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COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS

SUMMER EDITION 2017 COMPLIMENTARY COPY

TEMPLE GUITING GOES GREEN ECO CRUSADER & TV STAR ROBERT LLEWELLYN ON BBC DOC

JUDY PASCOE CHRISTOPHER EDGE BESTSELLING AUTHORS ON CHILDREN’S FICTION

LIFE AFTER BREXIT

UNCERTAINTY FOR COTSWOLD FARMERS

SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER TIPS FOR YOUR COTSWOLD HOLIDAY

GEORGE UNDERWOOD

ACCLAIMED ARTIST & BOWIE FRIEND ON CAREER

GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA

WIN GIFFORDS CIRCUS, RSC, BIG FEASTIVAL TICKETS

HOT PROPERTY GO ONLINE WITH COTSWOLD HOMES


Cotswold Homes Magazine

WELCOME TO COTSWOLD HOMES MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017

Take a deep breath. A lot’s happened since last summer, hasn’t it? But in this ever-changing world there’s one thing you can depend on: a thriving Cotswold summertime, stuffed with festivals, mustvisit destinations - even a world-renowned touring circus.

CONTENTS COMPETITIONS A bigger giveaway extravaganza than ever

6-11

In this very issue, we’ve taken a closer look at Giffords Circus’ new production - Any Port in a Storm. An apt title for turbulent times - but as Tweedy the clown demonstrates, there’s plenty of entertainment to be gleaned from chaos. And while summer holidays might be a time of chaos for families, our Six Weeks of Summer guide lists enough Cotswold events and attractions to keep all ages occupied. This Summer Edition has proven quite the bookish issue. We’ve interviewed not one but two bestselling authors - Judy Pascoe and Christopher Edge - on their new books for children. (Budding novelists will be interested by the publishing model of Judy’s new book).

IN THE STUDIO WITH GEORGE UNDERWOOD The painter on his enigmatic artwork - and creating Bowie album covers

12-16

30-31

Meanwhile, Judy’s husband - local green tech enthusiast Robert Llewellyn (best known as Red Dwarf’s iconic sanitation android Kryten) primes us on the revolutionary changes taking place in Temple Guiting, as further detailed in his BBC Four documentary The Great Village Green Crusade. We very much like the thought of little, historic Temple Guiting providing the model for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Further on the eco-front, our motoring correspondent, Alexandra, test-drives a lovely little electric motor - the Renault ZOE - while surveyor Robert Hamilton tells you how to ‘green-up’ your Cotswold property. Our artist of the issue is George Underwood, perhaps best known for producing album covers for his lifelong friend, David Bowie. Seeming almost like glimpses into a mysterious world, George’s enigmatic paintings are quite different from anything we’ve covered before.

GIFFORDS CIRCUS: ANY PORT IN A STORM It wouldn’t be a Cotswold summer with Giffords - here’s the scoop on the new show

And, as always, we’re bringing you a bumper harvest of competition prizes and the pick of the Cotswold property market - as well as tips and advice from our panel of experts.

LIFE AFTER BREXIT: THE FOGGY FUTURE OF BRITISH FARMS

Our next issue, the Autumn/ Winter 2017 Edition, is out in October.

Cover Image Line Up by Bridget Lansley (Oil on Canvas 12 x 10 inches). Bridget is represented by the Fosse Gallery at Stow in the Wold. www.bridgetlansley.com www.fossegallery.com

We ask former NFU Dairy Chair Robert Harrison what Brexit might mean

54-57 Design team: Alias www.wearealias.com

0845 257 7475 sayhello@wearealias.com

3 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QB

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COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS


Cotswold Homes Magazine

18-21

24-26

AT HOME WITH AUTHOR JUDY PASCOE

CHILDREN’S AUTHOR CHRISTOPHER EDGE

The bestselling author on her new book - and her novel way of publishing it

We interview the writer who fuses high-concept science with adventure

WHAT’S ON AT THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

TEMPLE GUITING GOES GREEN Red Dwarf ’s Robert Llewellyn on his eco-doc The Great Village Green Crusade

Theatre lovers are in for a treat with Salome and Vice Versa

32-35

48-49

SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

DRIVING MISS DASHBOARD

Get out and about in the Cotswold summertime

Our motoring correspondent takes electric marvel, the Renault ZOE, out for a spin

38-45

50-51

GO ONLINE WITH PROPERTY

HOT PROPERTY Our pick of the North Cotswold property market - plus expert advice

Local, unique, bespoke, our perfect partnership with Harrison James & Hardie and Fine & Country North Cotswolds

82 Cotswold Homes Magazine Our next edition, Autumn/Winter 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:

78-133 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

COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS

www.cotswold-homes.com

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EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WE’VE GOT SOME FABULOUS PRIZES TO WIN THIS SUMMER! IF YOU WANT TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE TO HAVE A THRILLING NIGHT OUT AT THE THEATRE, TAKE THE FAMILY TO THE CIRCUS OR WIN A DELICIOUS DINNER FOR TWO THEN YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE. ENTERING COULDN’T BE EASIER - JUST HEAD TO OUR WEBSITE WWW.COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM

WIN! A THREE-COURSE LUNCH OR DINNER FOR TWO FROM THE A LA CARTE MENU AT THE BOWER HOUSE IN SHIPSTON ON STOUR Foodies can rejoice as we have a fantastic prize to give away to a brand new gourmet restaurant in the North Cotswolds. Opened in April, The Bower House is a 75-seat restaurant with five beautiful bedrooms on the first and second floors. It’s situated in a glorious Georgian building at the heart of the thriving market town of Shipston on Stour, just 10 miles from Stratford upon Avon; Shipston was recently named the best place to live in the Midlands by The Sunday Times! Though a restaurant, The Bower House pitches its menu to gastro-pub clientele. Everything is made in house, from the fennel seed bread and whipped butter to the ice creams.

The Bower House restaurant is currently open for lunch (12 noon to 2:30pm) Tuesday to Friday, for brunch (9am to 2pm) on Saturday & Sunday and for dinner (6pm to 9:30pm) Tuesday to Saturday; it is closed on Monday. Reservations can be made via the website (www. thebowerhouseshipston.com) or by calling 01608 663333. Cotswold Homes readers have the chance to WIN a three-course lunch or dinner for two, from the a la carte menu, with either a cocktail each or a bottle of house wine to share. To enter, simply head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 10th August 2017.

COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS 6

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EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WIN! A WEEKEND FAMILY TICKET (2 X ADULT, 2 X CHILDREN) TO JAMIE OLIVER AND ALEX JAMES’ BIG FEASTIVAL AT KINGHAM, 25TH – 27TH AUGUST WIN! A FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 TO GIFFORDS CIRCUSʼ 2017 SHOW AT STRATTON MEADOWS IN CIRENCESTER All new for 2017, the Any Port in a Storm show from Cotswold favourites, Giffords Circus, has been on tour around our region since 12th May, starting at their home base at Fennells Farm near Stroud, and running through to 24th September.

Go and spend a great weekend of food, tunes and summer frolics with this fabulous prize! A Weekend Family Ticket (valid for 2 adults and 2 children) is an entry only ticket that includes admission and live entertainment across the music, food and family stages. The ticket includes entry on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This year, Giffords is visiting the Spanish court of the 17th Century with Any Port in a Storm. It’s a thrilling, candle-lit, international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and of course the king of mis-rule, Tweedy the clown! Turn to our feature on the new show on pages 30-31 to find out more.

For more details about this year’s Big Feastival which takes place at Alex James’ Kingham farm from 25th – 27th August 2017, turn to our write-up on pages 36-37.

We’ve snapped up a family ticket for 4 (2 adults, 2 children) to give away to a lucky winner for one of the weekday performances at Stratton Meadows in Cirencester (choose a date from performances on 7, 8, 11, 12, 14 or 15 September, subject to availability).

To enter our draw to win this great family prize, simply head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes 10th August 2017.

To enter our draw to win this great family prize, simply head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 24th August 2017.

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

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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.

TURN THE PAGE TO DISCOVER YET MORE GREAT COMPETITIONS EXCLUSIVE TO COTSWOLD HOMES! COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS www.cotswold-homes.com

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EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE SALOMÉ AT THE RSC’S SWAN THEATRE, STRATFORDUPON-AVON ON A DATE OF YOUR CHOICE* + 2 PRE-SHOW MEALS AT THE ROOFTOP RESTAURANT In Oscar Wilde’s lyrical, one-act drama, he reinvents Salomé as a powerful and enigmatic figure, both erotic and chaste. Owen Horsley, Associate Director on the King & Country season, directs the RSC’s first ever Oscar Wilde production in Stratford-upon-Avon. This new production revels in the beauty of this poetic masterpiece. Salomé runs from 2nd June to 6th September at the Swan Theatre. (Read our interview with Salomé director, Owen Horsley, on pages 34-35). To enter this competition to win two tickets to a performance on a date of your choice* as well as two pre-show meals at the RSC’s Rooftop Restaurant in Stratford, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 20th July 2017. *Terms and conditions apply, date subject to availability. Prize cannot be transferred and is valid for the named winner plus guest only. Prize is not valid for Saturdays.

WIN! A FAMILY TICKET TO AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS AT THE OXFORD PLAYHOUSE ON 25TH JULY Following the success of last summer’s Peter Pan in Scarlet, director Theresa Heskins returns to the Playhouse with her celebrated production of Verne’s classic adventure. The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join Fogg and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock. Kick off your summer holiday with this fantastic adventure and marvel as a talented cast of eight play over 125 characters in this imaginative, high-spirited escapade. Featuring six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant. Around The World in 80 Days runs at The Oxford Playhouse from 25th – 29th July. Show times Tue to Thu & Sat eves: 7pm | Fri: 5.30pm | Wed, Thu & Sat mats: 2pm | Age guideline 7+ To enter this fabulous competition to win a Family Ticket (4 x tickets, up to 2 adults) to see Around The World in 80 Days on Tuesday 25th July at 7pm, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 6th July 2017. The prize even includes ice cream! COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS 8

Cotswold Homes Magazine


EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SEE A FILM OF YOUR CHOICE AT EVESHAM’S RENOWNED ART DECO CINEMA, THE REGAL The Regal Cinema in Evesham is a lovingly restored art deco style cinema with a coffee shop and licensed bar that attracts moviegoers from across the region. It hosts a wide variety of events that include live music and comedy performances, live sports broadcasts and transmissions of live theatre productions, as well as the latest blockbuster films! The lucky winner of this pair of tickets will be able to see a film of their choice for free (subject to availability). To enter our draw, visit the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 10th August 2017.

WIN! A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE SCREENING AT THE ROSES THEATRE ON 30TH JULY OF ANDRÉ RIEU IN CONCERT Known to millions as ‘The King of Waltz’, André Rieu is one of the world’s most popular music artists. His legendary annual Maastricht concert is the most eagerly anticipated cinema event of the year, last year setting new box office records in several countries. Set against the stunning medieval backdrop of the town square in André’s Dutch hometown, the spectacular Maastricht concert features the maestro in his element, along with his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra, sopranos, tenors and very special guests. André delivers an unforgettable musical experience full of humour, fun and emotion for all ages. Take a front row seat and experience this spectacular musical event on the big screen. To enter this competition to win two tickets to the screening at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Sunday 30th July at 3pm, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 13th July 2017.

WIN! SIGNED COPIES OF THE MANY WORLDS OF ALBIE BRIGHT AND THE JAMIE DRAKE EQUATION BY CHRISTOPHER EDGE Christopher Edge is the award-winning author of several books for children including The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, Twelve Minutes to Midnight, The Jamie Drake Equation and many others, too. To find out more about Christopher’s world and his writing, read our interview with him in this issue on pages 24-26. We’ve secured a great prize for one lucky winner from Christopher’s publishers, Nosy Crow: a chance to own a signed copy of both The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and The Jamie Drake Equation. To be in with a chance of winning, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 10th August 2017.

WIN! A SIGNED HARDBACK FIRST EDITION OF JUDY PASCOE’S NEW BOOK URSULA & BANDERAS WHEN PUBLISHED IN DECEMBER Judy Pascoe’s new novel for children – Ursula & Banderas –is the story of a young English servant girl and her wolfhound Bandares set during the time of the English Civil War. Taken into the confidence of the secretly Royalist Lady of the House, Lady Grey, Ursula is coaxed into smuggling Royalist prisoners out from under the nose of the Lady’s Parliamentarian husband, Lord Grey. This is a sprawling adventure that reads a little like a Hilary Mantel for kids. It’s full of intrigue and numerous twists and turns. (Turn to our interview with Judy Pascoe on pages 18-21 for more insight). We have two signed hardback first editions of Ursula & Banderas to give away, one each to two lucky winners, when the book is published in December. To enter our draw to be one of those winners, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 21st September 2017.

TURN THE PAGE TO DISCOVER YET MORE GREAT COMPETITIONS EXCLUSIVE TO COTSWOLD HOMES! COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS www.cotswold-homes.com

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EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WIN TICKETS TO BATTLE PROMS CONCERTS THIS SUMMER AT EITHER BLENHEIM PALACE OR RAGLEY HALL WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE HALLE, CHELTENHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL’S FINALE EVENT ON SATURDAY 15TH JULY (INCLUDING TICKETS TO A PRE-CONCERT TALK BY FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, MEURIG BOWEN) Be in with the chance of winning a pair of top-price tickets to see long-standing Festival favourites The Halle at Cheltenham Town Hall on Saturday 15th July, and a pre-concert talk by Festival Director Meurig Bowen which charts 70 Years of The Halle at Cheltenham Music Festival (from their first appearance at Cheltenham Music Festival in 1947 under the great Sir John Barbirolli up until Edward Gardner’s appearance with them in 2009). Since 1997 the Battle Proms have been treating audiences in their thousands to a heady mix of sublime classical music, carefully choreographed Spitfire and cavalry displays, dramatic cannon fire and spectacular firework finales.

Rising star Jonathan Heyward and baritone Roderick Williams will perform a romantic programme of Mahler’s ‘Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen’ (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4 – one of the most beloved of romantic symphonies.

The Battle Proms returns to Blenheim Palace on Saturday 22 July, in a stunning setting overlooking the iconic Column of Victory. The season finale follows at Ragley Hall on Saturday 12 August, where the lakeside setting offers a striking backdrop for the many pyrotechnic displays.

For more information on the concert, visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music/whats-on/2017/the-halle/

In a very special programme addition for the 20th anniversary, The Red Devils, the Parachute Regiment’s official display team, will perform a dramatic freefall demonstration in the skies above both concerts!

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the concert and pre-concert talk, just head to the competition section of www. cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 29th June 2017. Please note: a condition of entry is that all competition entrants will be signed up for Cheltenham Festivals enews.

Cotswold Homes has secured 3 pairs of tickets to each of the Battle Proms concerts at Blenheim Palace on 22nd July and to Ragley Hall on 12th August. To enter these great competitions, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 6th July 2017 for the Blenheim Palace event and 27th July 2017 for Ragley Hall. Good luck!

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Cotswold Homes Magazine


EXCLUSIVE COMPETITIONS AND OFFERS

SUMMER COMPETITION GIVEAWAY only with Cotswold Homes

WIN! A PAIR OF MAIN ENCLOSURE TICKETS TO WARWICK RACECOURSEʼS GRAND SEASON OPENER ON 26TH SEPTEMBER The long wait is over as racing returns to the one of the best small racecourses in the England! Warwick usually attracts a huge crowd for this traditional Tuesday fixture and this is the first post-summer jump racing fixture for the South-West Jockey Club racecourses. The Grand Season Opener fixture features six quality races to get the season off to a winning start, with gates opening at 11:50am. To enter this competition to win a pair of main enclosure tickets, head to the competition section of www.cotswoldhomes.com. Competition closes on 1st September 2017. The winning tickets give you access to all public areas of the racecourse and superb viewing.

WIN! TWO TICKETS TO THE BUGATTI FESTIVAL AT THE PRESCOTT SPEED HILL CLIMB NEAR GOTHERINGTON ON 15TH JULY The Bugatti Festival is a real celebration of the Bugatti marque supported by classes for saloons, sports cars and single seaters.

WIN! A FAMILY TICKET TO ADAM HENSON’S COTSWOLD FARM PARK 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 (2 adults, 2 children)! To be in with a chance of winning this great prize for all the family, head to the competition section of www.cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 10th August 2017.

Enjoy a relaxed day of competition supported by a gathering of some of the most delectable Bugatti cars in the UK. Many pre-war models will be attending including Brescias and of course the iconic Type 35 Grand Prix car. A must for all supporters of the marque! First car on the track approx. 8.30am. Scheduled finish time around 5.30pm. To enter this competition to win two tickets to the Bugatti Festival at Prescott Speed Hill Climb near Gotherington, head to the competition section of www. cotswold-homes.com. Competition closes on 6th July 2017.

ALL COMPETITIONS CAN BE ENTERED VIA OUR WEBSITE – JUST HEAD TO THE COMPETITION SECTION ON WWW.COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM THE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR THE NORTH COTSWOLDS www.cotswold-homes.com

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GEORGE UNDERWOOD

Seeing the Unknowable

George Underwood In the Artist’s Studio with

Ensconced in his Buxted studio, visionary artist George Underwood is busy painting. Some of these new works will be displayed in his next major exhibition, hosted at Stow on the Wold’s Fosse Gallery (1st - 29th October 2017). Journalists and acquaintances have always been intrigued by his eventful, lifelong friendship with David Bowie - but, as Underwood’s captivating paintings demonstrate, there’s more to this story.

You stare through a window, into another world. Clad in finery, its inhabitants peer back at you, their expressions inscrutable: armoured warriors, courtesans, figures in extravagant headdresses. You sense concealed knowledge here, and secret musings, but cannot grasp the shape of them. It’s because you are the alien, here in this strange kingdom of the soulful and the solemn. You can only behold, and wonder…

Ride With Stripes

“I’d like [the paintings] to have a spiritual feel about them...” 12

Cotswold Homes Magazine

…Well, that’s something of what I feel when I see the works of George Underwood, anyway. This compelling world that Underwood conjures up is not excessively fantastical or surreal - not in a sensational way, at least - but it does seem to exist somewhere beyond, in a place steeped in myth and allegory. There’s melancholy in the air, perhaps. A sense of stillness. Or maybe that’s just what I see. George and his wife Birgit have made their home in the leafy village of Buxted, situated in the considerably less mysterious realm of East Sussex. And a lovely home it is, too - all white walls and old wood, surrounded with rolling gardens of vivacious green (with what remains of bomb shelter somewhere on the premises, I’m told).

In the upstairs studio, the latest paintings are revealed: these are the works that will in coming months be transported for display in Stow on the Wold. Some complete, others in the process of emerging. Some existing only - for now - in the embryonic form of small concept sketches. ‘I’d like [the paintings] to have a spiritual feel about them,’ reflects George, as we browse. ‘About the faces. As though they’re thinking about something that is perhaps a bit otherworldly.’ A bit otherworldly. George started making a name for himself when the otherworldly rose up and seized popular culture - a time when The Beatles and T.Rex and all the other English visionaries were redefining the visual/auditory landscape. And, interestingly, George was for a time positioned as one of those hunky new music idols, leaving an art school education to record and release an album under the dashing stage name of Calvin James. (He also released a record with David Bowie, but more on that later). ‘The band might have taken off - but it didn’t,’ laughs George. ‘Music ended up being left behind, as I went back into college - and then out into the wide world.’


GEORGE UNDERWOOD

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GEORGE UNDERWOOD

Touting his post-art school portfolio around, George had an early break when he showed some of his ‘more shocking, horrific’ work to an art agency, who set him up illustrating the covers for two horror novels. ‘Coming straight from art college, it wasn’t a bad result. I was proud that I’d had these printed items in such a short time.’ He remembers how his mother warned him about giving up a steady job when he made the move into freelancing. ‘Well, she was right - in one way. It was a dive into the unknown,’ George concedes. ‘But I never looked back. I did job after job. A lot of rubbish for money, which is what happens when you have to pay the rent. ‘Some things I liked, some things I didn’t. When you’re an illustrator, you’re solving somebody else’s problems - but I thought that one day, I’d be solving my own…’ And so he went on illustrating, even opening his own studio, Main Artery, while developing his painting in his spare time. Slowly beginning to experiment with oils, George found in them a new form of expression.

Hair Peace

Now, countless exhibitions and RA (Royal Academy) Summer Show appearances later, he’s rather successfully gone from representing the work of others to staking out his own distinctive territory. Solving his own problems, indeed. George might have sidelined his own musical aspirations, but there was one way in which he remained very much connected with the industry: album artwork. George’s impressive portfolio of album art includes covers for T. Rex, Mott the Hoople and Procol Harum - and, of course, his old chum, David Bowie. (The albums George covered being David Bowie, Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars). David and George had been firm friends since they’d met at the age of nine, enrolling for St Mary’s boy scouts in Bromley; performed their first concert together, in fact, ‘around a campfire.’ (They would play together in various groups and later record a single as The King Bees). ‘The thing with David is that I’d been doing work for him for ages,’ George says. ‘He’d got me to interpret, if you like, some of his ideas in two dimensional form. I felt happy working with him. He was easy to get on with - very much in control of what he wanted. He’d say what he [was after] and, hopefully, I’d come up with the goods… ‘David always said to me: you’re not an illustrator - you’re a painter. That’s what you should strive to be…’ 14

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Ride With A Flower


GEORGE UNDERWOOD

Only in the course of my interview research had I realised that it was in fact George who’d been responsible for David Bowie’s distinctive eye. At the age of fifteen, George punched Bowie - then merely schoolboy David Jones - in a fight over a girl, accidently causing Bowie’s aniscoria (unequal size of the pupils). The unintended damage could not be repaired, though later, of course, these unusual eyes served as part of the ascendant superstar’s otherworldly allure. ‘I had a feeling you might ask me about that,’ George says, with a rueful smile. It’s obviously a story he’s been made to retell ad infinitum even more so, perhaps, in the days since Bowie’s unexpected death in January 2016.

‘He did say I’d done him a favour, in giving him this distinctive look. I only did it to show him how I felt - and then it was all over. I had no idea it was going to be this dramatic experience. It’ll be on my gravestone if I’m not careful…’ Reporters have often headlined the enduring friendship between the pair, whenever George has been filmed or written about. It’s all too easy to understand why - Bowie’s an icon, after all. But it’s also easy to imagine that this fixation might be pretty tiring for George. Especially after the loss of his friend. So one doesn’t want to ask too many prying questions, but in talking about George’s life and

“Some things I liked, some things I didn’t. When you’re an illustrator, you’re solving somebody else’s problems - but I thought that one day, I’d be solving my own…”

The Ensemble

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GEORGE UNDERWOOD

On A Mission

career there are, inevitably, fascinating overlaps - such as when George and Birgit accompanied Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust tour, which I cannot resist asking about. ‘I’d only been married a year,’ George says. ‘It was… difficult to describe. Incredible is one word I could use. [Or] Amazing. It was a travelling circus really, in a nice way. The red carpet was laid out for David wherever he went, even though he wasn’t very well known. It was a very clever ploy by management - to make him more famous then he actually was - and it worked. ‘Some of the concerts he gave, when we went to Cleeveland or somewhere like that, or Seattle - the kids there had never seen anything like that. He left a big impression on them - especially [as it was] 1972.’ George goes on. ‘The music business was getting a bit dull. It needed someone like him to liven it up.’ Over a year after Bowie’s death, the tributes continue. I’ve seen the mural in Brixton, still garlanded with flowers, handwritten messages the outpourings of loss and affection from those he had touched. But George was not only present at some of those seminal moments; he grew up alongside David Jones. Played music with him. Locked horns with him. The reporters have come, asked their questions, and George has answered. What more can I say? In search of new perspectives on George’s art, I ask after his influences. The world of George Underwood bears traces of the (rather more unsettling) Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, and the Viennese fantastic realists even Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin, whose Island of the Dead paintings are the last word in haunting landscapes. But, like all true artists, he’s learned from them and broken away, made something unique. 16

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White Magic Woman

During my visit, I get the impression that George is more comfortable discussing the work of the ‘outliers and outsiders’ he admires than putting labels on his own. And why would he spoil the technique of suggestion - of allowing the mind of the beholder to fill in its own blanks? It’s just that his figures seem so uncannily alive that one can’t help but reach for for narratives even if thinking in such a cloddish, literal way dulls the pictures’ raw imaginative power. I can’t help it: I want to read ‘the story’ behind the images - just as George’s illustrations once tempted readers to pull tales of terror and fantasy and adventure from the shelves. But they remain out of reach.

Over coffee, I ask George if he liked the science fiction tales he once illustrated. ‘I always liked Ray Bradbury,’ he replies, and enthusiastically tells a (greatly abridged) version of a story ‘about the spiders from Mars,’ where astronauts are devoured by alien spiders after their scanning technology mistakenly categorises said spiders as friendly. (In fact, they simply have a fond appreciation for human flesh). Funny thing is, the spider story loses none of its power for being, in George’s retelling, all of five or six sentences long. In fact, it’s made all the more interesting because of - not in spite of - the gaps, the murky areas. The bits left unsaid.

See George’s exhibition at the Fosse Gallery in Stow on the Wold from 1st – 29th October 2017.

Find out more at www.fossegallery.com


JUDY PASCOE

One of the most simple acts of love we remember into adulthood is the comfort of being read a book at bedtime, of the calm induced by that generous routine promise of ‘just five minutes’, that bliss of solitary time with the person we love most, of sharing and kindness wrapped in the warmth of our blankety nest and the gentle surrender to sleep, listening to the slow rise and fall of our parent’s voice. Later comes the new delight of reading along, the stirring of our young and restless imagination in each corner of paper turned, the fascinating otherworld-ness of each illustration, the delicious sense of being transported at will and in safety to a different world where nothing is familiar. Judy Pascoe’s new novel for children – Ursula and Banderas – has been deliberately conceived in the tradition of such storytelling to capture the bonding and intimate experience of a book read aloud to one’s child, of jointly being captured in suspense to the pace and thrill of the plot, carried along and invested in a young character whose escape from peril becomes of utmost importance.

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JUDY PASCOE

WIN

A SIG HARDBA NED CK EDITIONFIRST SEE PAG E9

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JUDY PASCOE

Photography by Jenny Stewart.Visit www.jennystewart.co.uk

Once a Disney script doctor, Judy is well placed to understand the rules of plot and structure in the creation of an authentic children’s storyline. ‘I took inspiration from my long walks around Guiting Woods. The story slowly evolved - I took it home, tested it on my husband and daughter many times as I worked through each draft. There is something nostalgic and secure in the act of storytelling to a child, of the creation of intimate space. I deliberately set out this book to be read aloud as a chapter book. It is the archetypal structure, an age-old story of the wise innocent, a tale that illustrates the innate intelligence, wisdom and strength of small children, capable of astounding achievement in the most perilous of circumstances. ‘Ursula is a seven-year-old orphan servant girl working in a Parliamentarian house during the 20

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time of the Civil War. Her mistress is secretly a Royalist sympathiser and undercover activist. The little girl, guarded by her faithful hound Banderas, is compelled to take part in the secret progress of Royalists – on foot and at dead of night – on the long dark trek through Guiting Woods to Burford and on towards safety. ‘I am fascinated by the notion of dogs as natural protectors of children, something that seems to have a particular resonance in this Cotswold community where I was once told by a very redoubtable woman: “I’ve left the child with the dog”! I wanted to have just such a dog in my story – the Nanny in Peter Pan, of course – trustworthy, loyal, capable and fearless. As such Banderas the wolfhound is the talisman that protects Ursula, the innocent abroad, from harm. ‘Small children are extraordinarily intuitive,

unquestioning and loyal, with a strong moral sense. These qualities can be easily manipulated, working upon their naivety and their lack of awareness of risk. The mistress has all the power in this relationship – as such it is an abuse of the natural law of trust that exists between adult and child. Such stories serve a purpose in warning our children of the dangers of the world outside, told from the comfort of our own safe environment. They exercise our anxiety and our desire for a good outcome, our fear for a child’s emotional purity and the need to ensure their physical safety.’ Judy was born and brought up in Australia and had started life as a circus performer before travelling to the UK, where she became part of the alternative comedy circuit of renowned stars including Ruby Wax and Jack Dee. It was here she met Robert Llewellyn, once best known for


JUDY PASCOE

believes that she can hear his voice in the tree at the bottom of the garden.

There is something nostalgic and secure in the act of storytelling to a child, of the creation of intimate space space. his starring role as Kryten in the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf, now a respected eco-campaigner, self-confessed fan of the Tesla car, determined promoter of alternative energy sources.

The Tree, its impact and the outcome, is a beautifully sensitive story, told with humour and great insight, an allegory of the disintegration caused by catastrophic loss, of the fracturing of a child’s sense of security and of the resources that must be discovered to enable recovery. It confronts the uncomfortable realities of parental frailty, of the overwhelming need for comfort together with the enormous capability for selfless and compassion present within a small child. It tells of the chaos that is created by death, of the strength and wisdom of a child thrown into a world that she cannot control or understand but is compelled to protect and restore to sanity those loved ones who are suffering around her. As such an established and successful writer, perhaps it is a surprise to discover that Pascoe has not gone straight to a major publisher for the release of her first children’s novel, intended as the first in a series of adventures with Ursula and Banderas. Instead, she has decided to trust her concept to Unbound, a crowd-funding publishing house run by her friend John Mitchinson, who lives in the Cotswolds.

Having settled down to the particularly English way of village life found within our North Cotswold community, Judy returned to her childhood home in Australia as the setting for her first novel, The Tree. Written whilst her own children were very small, it was subsequently made into a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, generating millions at the box office after its worldwide release in 2010.

‘My husband has published several books with John’s help, using crowd-funding to raise money for pre-published writing. It is a very simple concept where supporters are able to pledge small sums, ranging from £10 for an e-book to £30 for a hardback first edition. I intend the first book to be out in time for Christmas and I hope, if my daughter Holly is a good critical voice, that it will be a success. She absolutely loves it – and no it’s not based on her, though she thinks it is!’

The Tree demonstrates Pascoe’s unerring ability to conceive the world from a child’s perspective, in describing a young family in the grip of shock and grief. Following the untimely and sudden death of her father, eight-year old Simone

To read more about the progress of Judy’s novel towards publication, and to ensure you are amongst those lucky enough to possess a first edition, simply log onto www.unbound.com/books/ursula-bandares

About Unbound Unbound is a team of writers, designers, publishers and producers working together in a converted warehouse in central London. Founded by John Mitchinson, they divide their time into finding, commissioning and making books whilst building Unbound and its community. With over 30 years of expertise in publishing and connecting people around creative projects, John started Unbound with a simple mission: to make publishing work for everybody. ‘Unbound believes that everyone should be given the chance to seize their own success, and that great ideas shouldn’t fall between the cracks because they don’t fit the mould. And that’s what we’ve built – a better way of doing things. A community, platform and a publishing model that shift the balance of power to people and communities that champion underserved ideas and voices.’ www.cotswold-homes.com

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CHRISTOPHER EDGE

WIN

D SIGNE

S

COPIE

GE 9 SEE PA

THE MAN WHO WROTE BEYOND THE UNIVERSE Award-winning children’s author Christopher Edge isn’t afraid to grapple with big and baffling ideas. In The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, a bereaved young boy uses quantum mechanics to travel the multiverse in search of a world where his mother is still alive; and in Christopher’s most recent book, The Jamie Drake Equation, the titular character feels estranged from his astronaut father - until an extraterrestrial intelligence helps to bridge the gap. We chat to the Gloucestershire-based writer and music enthusiast about mixing wild science with heart-stirring stories.

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CHRISTOPHER EDGE

Hi Christopher. Tell us - what did you enjoy reading when you were young? Oh, I was the Incredible Book-Eating Boy! I used to devour the shelves of my local library. C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, Roald Dahl, Susan Cooper…And comic books, too. 2000AD, Batman…I really roamed far and wide. How did you make the jump into writing as a career? Whenever children ask me this at school, I always tell them that the first book I wrote was produced when I was only four years old, with folded bits of paper. But as [a career]…I had a few jobs. I was an English teacher for a while. I worked in educational publishing, where I’d read a lot of children’s fiction to see if any would work in the classroom. In that time I read some great books from authors like Philip Reeve, and it just reconnected me with the books I used to love when I was younger. It made me realise that children’s fiction is a really exciting place to be - that there are so many stories you can tell. And it inspired me to tell some stories of my own. Which authors do you currently admire? I think we’re in a golden age for children’s literature at the moment. Especially for ages 9-upwards. Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Piers Torday, Philip Reeve and Frances Hardinge - who won the 2015 Costa Book Award with The Lie Tree (Editor’s Note: The Lie Tree was the first children’s book to win the award since 2001’s The Amber Spyglass.)…There’s so much ambition at the moment. It’s so exciting to be a part of it.

by professors of particle physics, astronomers et cetera but to use them to tell a truthful story, too.

Speaking of ambition! Your last two books, The Jamie Drake Equation and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright deal with some extraordinarily complicated stuff: quantum mechanics, multiverse theory…these things give even the experts headaches! So how difficult was it to work these really big, strange ideas into your narratives?

So has it been a case of you being interested in a theory, and writing a story around it, or coming up with a scenario and finding that some fascinating scientific theory has a role…?

[Laughs] Well I think it was especially difficult for me - I got a grade D for GCSE Physics! But what gives me inspiration is that both science and stories help us make sense of the world. Some of these theories of quantum physics, and parallel worlds, and the possibility of alien life…they are big ideas, but you can use them to tell very human stories. Stories about family, about love, about loss, and loneliness…The challenge for me is to stay true to the scientific ideas and present them in a truthful way - I get my books checked

That’s the challenge. And sometimes I drive myself mad with reading these weighty tomes about quantum physics just to make sure I understand it, and can then translate it into stories that a ten year old can understand and enjoy.

I wasn’t brilliant at science at school, but I’ve definitely grown fascinated by it in later life - partly thanks to people like Professor Brian Cox, who speak so engagingly about such big ideas. I tend to find when I’m watching something, or reading a popular science book, a little nugget will suddenly lodge in my mind… What I’ll usually get is a character comes to mind. So, in the case of The Jamie Drake Equation, it was partly inspired by the excitement I saw in my own children after they came back from school having learnt about Tim Peake on the International Space Station. And later as I was watching the ISS fly past at night… I wondered: ‘How would a child feel if that was their Dad up there?’

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CHRISTOPHER EDGE

this is mostly a displacement activity until some Hollywood director phones up and asks to make one of my books into a film…[laughs].

... when I am working on a book, I usually find there’s lots of serendipity in the things around me, and music fits into that. Sometimes I’ll try to evoke a mood for a scene with a certain song.

And are you working on a book at the moment? I’m working on a new book that’s scheduled to come out Spring next year. It’s similarly kind of science-inspired, but I can’t say too much about it at the moment! Finally: what’s the best thing about being a children’s author? I think the best thing is the freedom that it gives you. Look at the range of ideas out there. There’s not much that’s off-limits. Children as an audience will [engage] with huge concepts like quantum physics - give them the ideas and they’ll run with them. When I go out into schools and festivals, and meet the children who read my books…They’re such a passionate audience, and ask such brilliant questions. It’s an honour and a privilege to write for them.

So that was the starting point - a character is leading it. Similarly, with The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, I was inspired by something I read that described cancer as almost like ‘a quantum killer’ - a disease caused by a single cell in your body going rogue. From there I was reading about quantum physics, and how some quantum physicists believe that the world we live in is not the only one, that there could be many different parallel worlds. So [I had] the notion of a boy losing his mum to cancer and being determined to use quantum physics to find her again in one of these parallel worlds… It’s usually that science provides the spark of an idea and then the character ties it all together. Reading your books made me think about the current ‘landscape’ of science - and science is definitely in a strange place. There’s a lot of misinformation being spread, and outright science denial, in the case of global warming… …But on the other hand, it’s encouraging to see so many people rallying and marching around the globe to support scientists. What role do you think authors can play? Well, this is the thing! We are living in strange times at the moment. One would never have thought you’d find science and reason under attack, so hopefully…well, with books like mine, I’m trying to use the wonder of science to inspire. I had a lovely message on Twitter the other week, from a father. He said that The Many Worlds of Albie Bright had changed his daughter’s 26

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ambition from wanting to be a singer to wanting to be a quantum physicist! So if any child reads my books, and is inspired to investigate the science behind them, then that’s a wonderful result. The world is in desperate need of scientists and engineers, but also storytellers. Whatever people take away from the stories, hopefully it’s a positive message. You were recently on BBC Radio 6 to discuss making a soundtrack for The Many Worlds of Albie Bright. What role does music play in your writing process? It’s a strange one. I love music - I used to work in a record shop in the dim and distant past but I cannot listen to music when I’m writing! It interrupts the rhythm of the sentences in my mind. But when I am working on a book, I usually find there’s lots of serendipity in the things around me, and music fits into that. Sometimes I’ll try to evoke a mood for a scene with a certain song. For the most recent book, I was listening to a song by Tim Burgess (from The Charlatans) called Around. The lyrics really resonated with the emotions I thought Jamie would be feeling when he was missing his astronaut dad, and longing to see him again. And in The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, I actually have a scene where the Beastie Boys’ song Intergalactic provides the soundtrack to a dance-off the characters are having! The songs sometimes find their ways into the narrative, but when I make a book soundtrack

It’s usually that science provides the spark of an idea and then the character ties it all together.

The Jamie Drake Equation and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright are published by Nosy Crow, who are generously offering a prize of copies of both to one lucky winner! Turn to our competition section to find out how you can win. Find out more about Christopher and his books at www.christopheredge.co.uk


GIFFORD CIRCUS

ANY PORT In A

STORM

Images: Gem Hall Photography

Gifford Circus kicks up a tempest with its 2017 tour: a Baroque romp decked out with all the trappings of the Spanish Golden Age

You could never accuse Giffords Circus of a lack of ambition. Visionary ring-leaders Nell and Toti Gifford (and their peerless circus creatives) have never shied away from the most foreboding of source material: from riffing on War and Peace (in 2011) and Greek myth (in 2014’s The Thunders), they’ve always aimed big and bold, year after year. Now the sumptuous paintings of Diego Velasquez provide the canvas for another year of heartstopping acrobatics, equestrian stunts - and all the other Gifford frolics loyal audiences have come to expect. 30

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Giffords’ favourite fool, Tweedy, has stumbled into a new, unlikely home: the 17th century court of King Philip IV (as portrayed by David Pillukat).

physical comedy supremo) Cal McCrystal (One Man Two Guvnors) has returned for a sixth stint at Giffords, along with an ensemble of top-notch international acts.

And as you can imagine, the clown’s signature antics are destined to collide with the high pomposity and etiquette that only the most extravagant Spanish aristocrats can muster. It’s not long before the old order is upended.

Any Port in a Storm incorporates a Cuban troupe (infusing the Spanish court with some rather aristocratic acrobatics) an Italian juggler, a Spanish comedy duo, a Hungarian Csikos rider and a Ukranian flyer. (And let’s no forget Russian gymnast Sergii Poliakov).

This year there’s been such an assembly of talent in the Giffords court that even a king would blush. Celebrated screen and stage director (and

Of course, no Giffords show is complete without rambunctious blast of live music - and


GIFFORD CIRCUS

musical director James Keay is bringing us some promisingly entitled ‘Baroque Rock.’ And very excitingly, West End superstar costume designer takis has also been charged with blending the lavish Spanish fashions of the period with the signature Giffords flair.

ANY PORT IN A STORM TOUR

But you’ll have to ready your carriages if you want to catch the show. This circus storm’s already tearing its way around the landscape after launching on Friday 12th May at Fennells Farm in Stroud.

25 May – 5 June Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham

This year’s locations include Sudeley Castle, Daylesford Organic Farm, Blenheim Palace and Chiswick House & Gardens in London. (New for 2017 is the stately Stonor Park in Henley-on Thames, Oxfordshire).

15 – 26 June Oxford University Parks, Oxford

Tickets to Any Port In A Storm are on sale now and can be purchased from the Giffords Circus website at www.giffordscircus.com or Box Office on 0845 459 7469. Places for Circus Sauce can also be booked through the website and Box Office.

12 – 15 May Fennells Farm, Stroud 18 – 22 May Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

WIN

A FAM ILY

TICKET

SEE PA GE 7

8 – 12 June Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

29 June – 10 July Chiswick House & Gardens, London 13 – 17 July Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames 20 – 31 July The Fox Inn, Barrington 3 – 7 August Frampton on Severn, Village Green 10 – 21 August Minchinhampton Common 24 August – 4 September Marlborough Common 7 – 18 September Stratton Meadows, Cirencester 21 – 24 September Fennells Farm, Stroud

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RSC

I N T E R V I E W W I T H P L AY W R I G H T:

PO NHT HI EL R SPC ’O R T E R S VICE VERSA Playwright Phil Porter’s new play Vice Versa is ‘a side-splitting comedy romp, lovingly ripped off from the Roman comedies of Plautus’. A wily servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle a pompous general in this riotous new farce. Dodgy disguises, comic capers and a monkey create pandemonium as the tricksters try to save the girl, free the servant and live to tell the tale! Your play, Vice Versa or The Decline and Fall of General Braggadocio at the Hands of his Canny Servant Dexter and Terence the Monkey, is described as being ‘lovingly ripped off from the plays of Plautus’ – what does that mean? It means that this is very much a new play, but that it borrows considerably from the plays of Plautus, a great comic playwright who was writing for Roman audiences some 2,200 years ago. The plot of Vice Versa is loosely based on Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus, the story of a mean and boastful soldier who gets his comeuppance at the hands of his neighbour, his servant, and a woman whom 32

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he has kidnapped. I hope that Vice Versa captures some of the fabulous comic mischief with which Plautus stuffed his work. Previously for the RSC you’ve written The Christmas Truce and A Mad World, My Masters – how does this play compare? It’s definitely more similar to A Mad World, My Masters in that comedy is its primary intention. The Christmas Truce contained a few jokes, of course, but only as a counterpoint to the bigger tragedy. Vice Versa and A Mad World, My Masters are similar in that they bring together characters from the highest and lowest echelons of society

to paint a mischievous, satirical and farcical picture of the human condition. But the writing process has been very different. A Mad World, My Masters was an existing play, written in English, so we always had the option of leaving a line or a scene unchanged if we wished. With Vice Versa, although I have had Plautus’ body of work as a template, every word is freshly minted. What do you enjoy about working with the RSC? Many things. To name a few: I love the theatres


RSC

I E N J O Y A G R E AT R E L AT I O N S H I P W I T H THE RSC’S LITERARY D E PA R T M E N T, W H O A LWAY S S U P P O R T M E AND CHALLENGE ME TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN ME; I LIKE SPENDING T I M E I N S T R AT F O R D U P O N - AV O N B E C A U S E I G R E W U P N O T FA R AWAY S O I T F E E L S A B I T LIKE COMING HOME.

themselves – there’s great magic in their architecture that seems to make a special event of every performance; the RSC attracts the very best people in every role, so I know that whatever I write has the best possible chance of succeeding in production; I enjoy a great relationship with the RSC’s Literary Department, who always support me and challenge me to bring out the best in me; I like spending time in Stratford-upon-Avon because I grew up not far away so it feels a bit like coming home. I’ve been around a few years now on and off, but I still feel a real jolt of excitement at being allowed backstage or onstage. Tell us about the rehearsal process/dynamic between you and a director. How involved do you like to be in the process or do you prefer to take a step back at that point? I like to be involved all the way through. This is not because I’m a control freak – I’m delighted to sit quietly and let other people make decisions. But writing is quite a lonely business, so when rehearsals come around I’m keen to be part of the team and make a few friends. This production is being directed by Janice

PHOTOS BY PETE LE MAY. Copyright RSC

Honeyman, a fabulous South African director with many years of experience directing comedy, so I feel very secure in her capable hands. I will probably spend the first couple of weeks in rehearsal, then give them a bit of space after that, not because I don’t want to be there savouring every minute, but sometimes it’s good for people to explore the script without having the immediate option of asking the writer how they imagined a particular line or moment.

frantically on stationary bikes – exhausting for them but very enjoyable for me. I’ve been developing a new project with Soho Theatre called Rescue Fantasy – a futuristic musical about love and virtual reality. And I’ve started work on a new play for the RSC…

What have you been working on since we last saw you in 2014 with The Christmas Truce?

I’m not sure I’ve ever had writers’ block exactly, but I do know what it is like to feel defeated by a play, and unable to start/continue/finish writing it. In that situation I remind myself that even writing something bad that I will never use is more useful than writing nothing.

Vice Versa! I’ve also been working on an adaptation of Moliere’s The Miser with Sean Foley (with whom I adapted A Mad World, My Masters), which will be on in the West End in the spring. I wrote a play about drugs and cycling called The Man With The Hammer which was on at Theatre Royal Plymouth earlier this year. The actors performed the entire play while pedaling

Finally, do you ever suffer from writers’ block? What do you do to combat it? Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

My tip for aspiring writers would be to go to the theatre and then go home and write for a few hours afterwards, while that sense of what it’s like to sit in the audience is at its most immediate.

V I C E V E R S A P L AY S I N T H E S WA N T H E AT R E I N S T R AT F O R D - U P O N AV O N U N T I L 9 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 . F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , A N D T O B O O K T I C K E T S , P L E A S E V I S I T W W W. R S C . O R G . U K

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RSC

WITH SALOMÉ DIRECTOR

OWEN HORSLEY

WIN TS TO TICKE MÉ O L SA

GE 8 SEE PA

Oscar Wilde’s poetic masterpiece comes to the RSC’s Swan Theatre from 2 June - re-imagined as a contemporary, erotic tale of sexual ambiguity and revenge. How are you approaching Salomé, and why? For me, Salomé is one of the greatest plays about unfulfilled desire and what is more it was written by a gay man who was expressing his desires at a time when it was illegal for him to do so. In this year, the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality, I felt it was important to view this play through a gay lens to look back at the gay experience 50 years ago and now. 34

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There is an acceptance for gay men now, you won’t go to prison like Wilde did - and this play is no longer banned - but there is still a complexity to being a gay man in our society. This approach has very much come from the play, for me it comes from the man who wrote it and his words on the page. Why have you cast a man in the role of Salomé? The figure of Salomé is a taboo as she transgresses the boundaries of both male and female sexuality. I wanted to focus on that

ambiguity of gender and as I am approaching this from the perspective of male sexuality I wanted a man to play the role. However, Matthew who is playing Salomé, will - through costume and actions - continually juxtapose male and female conceptionsremaining fluid throughout. When a man expresses a fluidity with their sexuality, there is still a chaos and anger in response to that. A gay man who doesn’t feminise or masculinise his sexuality still faces problems in society who can’t understand or accept that ambiguity.


RSC

Why is it important to do this play now? I want to celebrate a world where you don’t go to prison because you are gay, but I also feel that during this year of the anniversary [of the decriminalisation of homosexuality] it’s important to acknowledge that being a gay man is still complex. Especially in the context of gender. This play feels perfect for this moment, because it feels to me Wilde is writing from his own experience as a gay man. There is still a sense of shame, an element of vulnerability and this requirement for male and female to be defined terms. And we still live in a world where in the first two months of this year seven transgender Americans have been murdered and less than a year ago 49

people were murdered in a hate crime at a gay nightclub in Orlando. This gay version of Salomé who chooses to express themselves freely to the world and is punished for it still exists. How different will the text be from the original? I’m in love with what Wilde wrote. This is from his gut, it’s poetic, visceral and muscular. I didn’t want to change or interrupt what reads to me as a stream of consciousness, so have only made very limited cuts. The challenge is making the text work and that’s what I’ll develop with the company through rehearsals. Can you tell us about your plans for the costume and set design?

“ T H E P L AY H A S T H E EMOTIONAL FREEDOM T H AT Y O U E X P E R I E N C E A S A TEENAGER, WHEN YOU ARE STILL FINDING YOUR WAY I N T H E W O R L D . ”

The design will lean towards modern. You will see an extension of the Swan Theatre and we will use all the space. This play is a love letter to theatre and I want to explore the theatricality of the text. The set and costumes will be an extension of the decadent and sensual text. Why does the music of Perfume Genius work for your production? For me Perfume Genius speaks about a modern gay experience. It’s still a complex issue being gay in society, it’s still hard to express yourself, avoid labels, Perfume Genius writes about that. It’s a very personal choice, but I feel he universally expresses the very internal experience of what it means to be gay today. Will the production be suitable for all ages?

Photos by Richard Lakos © RSC

I feel strongly that the production will speak very directly to a teenage audience. The play has the emotional freedom that you experience as a teenager, when you are still finding your way in the world. It will be challenging, but I hope a good conversation starter for families with older children.

S A L O M É P L AY S I N T H E S WA N T H E AT R E I N S T R AT F O R D - U P O N - AV O N F R O M 2 J U N E - 6 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 . F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , A N D T O B O O K T I C K E T S , P L E A S E V I S I T W W W. R S C . O R G . U K

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THE BIG FEASTIVAL

r t else is cooking fo ha w ¯ on tt Co ne al s, Fear e festiv Faithless, Olly Mur ttle taster for th the li a ’s re He l? a iv st ab the 2017 Big Fea mes’ farm. Dig out the sunnies, gr smash on Alex Ja volved. tickets and get in

The Food and Drink

Of course, entertainment’s only half the story at the Big Feastival. There’s no better festival to treat your tummy, so let’s tuck in: Patty & Bun, Smokestak, Fundi Pizza, the Feral Food Store, the Cheese Truck, the Waffle Float and the Ink Squid Bar are amongst those bringing their delicious (often award-winning) wares to the Cotswolds. So keep your eyes peeled for Street Food Alley - the perfect place to recharge inbetween sets. The Food and Drink Markets will help keep those Cotswold larders well stocked, while cookery schools, banquets and supper clubs round up the foodie experience. Yum!

The Tunes

Singer/presenter/hearthrob extraordinaire Olly Murs, ska icons Madness and upstart superstar Ella Eyre are the big news this year - but we’re also hotly anticipating a soul-stirring Faithless DJ set and Hacienda Classical - bringing you the hit sounds of Manchester’s famous club scene as reimagined by orchestra, choir and special guests Graeme Park, Mike Pickering, Peter Hook, Rowetta, MC Tunes, Rae and Bez. (Sure to be a fascinating experience for ravers and culturelovers alike). But that’s not all! Feastival regulars the Cuban Brothers and Norman Jay MBE will be joined by a glittering array of musical talent - including The Cribs, Louisa Johnson, De La Soul, Embrace (and many, many more).

The Chefs

The NEFF Big Kitchen is BACK, baby! And we’re ready to welcome gurus Gennaro Contaldo, Antonio Carluccio, Rick and Jack Stein, Gizzi Erskine (and more!) to the stove for more of that special Big Feastival sauce. Nathan Outlaw, Romy Gill, David Bez, Mark Hix and friends will also be cooking up a storm over the Feastival. Still hungry? The return of Table Sessions - a series of talks and Q&As - will get attendees up close and personal with presenter/author supreme Fearne Cotton, The Mindful Chef, The Clean Beauty Girls and 26 Grains founder Alex Hely-Hutchinson. Come along and learn their kitchen secrets…

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THE BIG FEASTIVAL

The Details

When 25-27 August 2017 Where Alex James’ farm, Kingham (Direct trains from London Paddington to Kingham Train Station, which only take 90 minutes)

How much? Camping tickets Adult camping ticket (18+) Teen camping ticket 12s and under camping ticket

£185.00 £110.00 £45.00

Weekend tickets (excludes camping)

The Fun

It’s not all about the adults at the Big Feastival: at Alex James’ farm, all the family is catered for. So let’s have a big hand for Justin Fletcher perhaps THE most sought-after kids’ entertainer in the land. That’s to say nothing of comedy duo Dick and Dom, the bonafide masters of mischief - and children won’t want to miss the breakout canine star Marshall from PAW Patrol, one of the best-loved TV shows of recent years. Revellers of all ages will be delighted to learn that the Vintage Funfair is also back in town, packing all the thrills and spills of the funfair into the fields. And after you’ve yelled yourself hoarse you can go and chill in the Common Room, replete with table tennis and air hockey tables (and maybe a workshop here and there).

Adult weekend ticket (18+) Teen weekend ticket (13-17) 12s and under weekend ticket

£155.00 £90.00 £30.00

Day tickets Adult Friday ticket (18+) Adult Saturday ticket (18+) Adult Sunday ticket (18+)

£65.00 £80.00 £80.00

Teen Friday ticket (18+) Teen Saturday ticket (18+) Teen Sunday ticket (18+)

£40.00 £50.00 £50.00

12s and under any day ticket 12s and under any day ticket (Additional child)

free* £15.00

*included with Adult day ticket price Booking fees apply

Next up, something for the yummy mummies the reappearance of the Lifestyle Village, dwelling place of lovely crafty boutiquey-things (and the luxurious VIP Lounge awaits the shopped-out). Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, the Vegetable Patch, the Big Top and Crayons and Crafts bring a little education into the mix (and why not pop along to Tom Fool’s Tree House for Reggaerobics or ukulele tutorials?) Special mention to the Workshop, where the Royal Shakespeare Company will be letting kids get to grips with the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. Phew. Is that everything? No, we haven’t even mentioned the Udder Stage yet - or the Little Dudes’ Den - or the sports at the Village Green…So head on over to uk.thebigfeastival.com to get the big picture.

Book tickets at

WIN

A WE FAMILY EKEND TICKET S EE PAG E7

om .c l a v i t s a e f ig b e h .t k u www.cotswold-homes.com

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SIX WEEKS of

SUMMER There’s no Summer like a Cotswold Summer. Whether you’ve lived here for years - or are just stopping over on your holidays - here’s our list of top attractions. FESTIVAL FROLICS

Never mind Glastonbury. Cotswold-dwellers needn’t go far for a few days of musical merriment (or foodie treats).

The Big Feastival (25th - 27th August 2017) Love food? Love tunes? Then Jamie Oliver and Blur’s Alex James have the festival for you. The Big Feastival brings three days of grooves and grub to Alex’s Kingham farm - and, after several successful years, it’s a proven recipe perfect for summer fun. Headliners Olly Murs and Madness are rounded off with Hacienda Classical a special orchestral arrangement of iconic club tracks for the Big Feastival. Meanwhile, Rick Stein and Antonio Carluccio are among the chefs who’ll be tantalising our tastebuds. Mouth-watering stalls and plenty of family entertainment will round off another doubtlessly fab Feastival summer. Those who aren’t Cotswold natives can ‘glamp’ over in style and comfort. Londoners can walk from Kingham station to the Feastival - it’s only an hour and a half train ride from the capital - making the Big Feastival a fine trip out for those big city visitors. Book tickets at uk.thebigfeastival.com

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The Big Feastival


SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

Stow Cotswold Festival (15th July 2017)

The Cotswolds has a lot to thank the Cotswold Lion for - and these very special sheep are in the spotlight in Stow’s square this year. After the last Stow Cotswold Festival devoted itself to America, this year’s celebrations are more ‘back-to-basics’ - showing visitors what’s really shaped this unique little Cotswold town. With a full range of country crafts on offer for your viewing pleasure (from blacksmithing to hedge-laying, loom-weaving and dry stone walling), this year’s shindig promises good old Cotswold entertainment and education in equal measure. A forty-stall market, tombola, live music and treasure hunt (and much more besides) are sure to delight all ages.

Cornbury

(7th - 9th July 2017) After years of rocking the Cotswolds, Hugh Philimore’s Cornbury Music Festival is bowing out - so don’t miss the Fabulous Finale. Bryan Adams, the Kaiser Chiefs and Jools Holland will all be there to see Cornbury off in style. Crowd-pleasers The Pretenders, Scouting for Girls and Sophie Ellis Bextor will also be bringing their musical stylings to the stage for one last hurrah. There’ll also be a spot of comedy, a children’s zone, roaming entertainers and plenty of good old fashioned festival fun (make sure to check the website for the full line-up). Book tickets at www.cornburyfestival.com - locals can also purchase theirs from the box office at The Theatre Chipping Norton.

Wilderness Festival (3rd - 6th August 2017)

Perhaps the chicest of the Cotswold festivals. Every August, Cornbury Park becomes a boho-wonderland of workshops, wellbeing and summery whimsy as Wilderness rolls round again. Why not try some paddleboard yoga on the river, or ‘cultivate your magnificence’ with Gail Love Schock while you’re waiting for artsy eighties icon Grace Jones, Bonobo and Two Door Cinema Club to serve up some grooves? Wilderness’ unique cultural programming distinguishes it from other festival fare - talks, debates and theatre all feature alongside the tunes, food and workshops. (Those who feel more at home within the pages of a book than traipsing around a muddy, sloshy field are well catered for here). Book tickets and see the full line-up at www.wildernessfestival.com Wilderness Festival www.cotswold-homes.com

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GORGEOUS GARDENS (& THE GREAT OUTDOORS)

Country drives and strolls through fields and woodlands are all well and good - but you’d be surprised at the pockets of cultivated loveliness scattered around the Cotswolds. Here are just a few of our favourites.

s n e d r a G t r u o C e t a g s Kift

Kiftsgate Court Gardens The creation of three generations of women gardeners.You can certainly feel the years of love and the designerly attention that makes Kiftsgate the marvel it is today. (It’s also home to perhaps the largest climbing rose in all of England). Found a little way from Mickleton, Kiftsgate’s grounds have been slowly transforming ever since 1920. See the website www.kiftsgate.co.uk for more details on every aspect of the garden, and a wealth of visitor information.

Hidcote Manor Gardens One of the nation’s favourite gardens - and with good reason – located not far from Chipping Campden. We’ve got American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston, to thank for Hidcote’s immersive, expertly-designed arrangement of outdoor ‘rooms.’ Many of the plants were collected during Johnston’s special plant-hunting abroad trips.

Cotswold Lavender Cotswold Lavender Ninety acres of purple, just outside Snowshill near Broadway - and a stone’s throw from Snowshill Manor. One of the really iconic Cotswold sights. The distinctive flowers start to come into bloom mid-June - but really, early July is the best time to visit. (Go too late and you’ll end up harvested - though visitors can perhaps visit the distillery). A shop and tea room will fill your belly and sell you lots of lovely Cotswold Lavender products accordingly. To find out everything you could possibly need to know about visiting Cotswold Lavender, visit www.cotswoldlavender.co.uk. Do check before making your visit. See also: Sezincote House & Gardens, Sudeley Castle 40

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Now that the site’s managed by the National Trust, you can grab a meal in Winthrop’s Cafe after you’ve finished exploring the arboreal splendour, or browse the plant centre. Check www.nationaltrust.org.uk for visitor information and opening times.

Blenheim Park & Gardens The grounds of stately Blenheim Palace (near Woodstock) are vast. Landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, perfect for a long and invigorating walk (across routes where Sir Winston Churchill must have played in his youth). The Great Lake and stunning waterfall captivate the attention, and the formal gardens enchant - but best make Blenheim your only stop of the day if you’re planning to walk the perimeter (or indeed, explore the palace itself). Check www.blenheimpalace.com for prices and opening information. Blenheim also has a full schedule of events and is one of the stops for the touring Giffords Circus - always unmissable.


SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

HISTORIC HOUSES

The Cotswolds is certainly home to some rather fetching homes. And its got its fair share of manor houses, mansions - even castles. Some inhabited, some open to the public - some both. Here are our faves.

Sezincote

Sezincote Nothing in the Cotswolds looks anything like so fantastical as Sezincote House - were it not for the Cotswold hills and resplendent greenery, visitors could be mistaken for thinking they’ve zipped through a portal to some lavish Indian estate. Just look at that dome! (And we’ve not started on the elephants…or the breath-taking curling conservatory). Sezincote’s expansive 19th century garden, pools, springs and yews also have to be seen to be believed. The house is open May to September on Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays; 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm. The admission is £10 (includes house tour and garden), but we must take pains to point out that children are not allowed within the house (without special permission). However, kids will certainly adore the gardens, open January-November (Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays; 2pm to 6pm. £5 Adults, £1.50 Children). Take a look at www.sezincote.co.uk to find out everything you could want to know about visiting Sezincote.

Blenhelm Palace

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Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle

Snowshill Manor

A storehouse of fascinating treasures. The burial site of a Tudor Queen (Henry VIII’s final wife - Katherine Parr). And home to more historical curiosities than you could shake a Starkey at. We promise that Sudeley is one of the most sumptuous, most grandiose residences you’ll ever visit because it’s still very much the home of Lady Elizabeth Ashcombe and her children (the family quarters are, alas, closed to the public - but with so much else to do, we promise you won’t be disappointed).

Charles Wade’s motto was ‘Let Nothing Perish’. Using the sugar fortune he inherited to fill his manor house with eccentric knick-knacks and artefacts sourced from around the world - including some very formidable-looking suits of Japanese samurai armour, sure to please any boy) - he’s left behind something remarkable and utterly unique in Snowshill Manor. A must-visit destination for the curious.

The gardens, too, bear mentioning - encircling around the gorgeous ruins of Richard III’s banqueting hall (and elsewhere), they’re some of the very loveliest gardens you’ll see in the Cotswolds, and that’s saying something. But we don’t want to spoil too many of Sudeley’s surprises. Take a look at www.sudeleycastle.co.uk for more information - and a small flavour of what’s in store.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden for more information.

Blenheim Palace We already mentioned the gardens, but boy, is Blenheim Palace impressive. Step inside this UNESCO world heritage site and trace the history of the Dukes of Marlborough - and learn more about the life and times of its most famous resident, Sir Winston Churchill, in a special exhibition. (You can even see the room where he was born). Blenheim keeps a full diary of events and exhibitions - even a Battle Proms - so do visit www.blenheimpalace.com for more details.

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Chastleton

SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

An astonishingly well-preserved Jacobean manor house, now owned and maintained by the National Trust. Chastleton was constructed between 16071612 by a wealthy wool merchant of the sort that once flourished in the boom years of the Cotswold wood trade. But the declining fortunes of the family meant the structure and interior was left almost unaltered by fads and fashions of the intervening years. Don’t expect a wide range of 21st-century mod-cons: there’s no shop or tea room at Chastleton, only a sublime sense of historicity. See www.nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.

www.cotswold-homes.com

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SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

Comption Verney

GREAT GALLERIES, MARVELLOUS MUSEUMS

Art aficionado? Or maybe history’s your thing. Take a trip to one of these venues to feel stimulated and inspired. Compton Verney

Broadway Museum and Art Gallery

A splendid scenic, beautiful landscaped park. An imposingly grand house. And some of the most fantastic art exhibitions within reach. Let’s not forget, either, the preposterously fascinating collection of folk art/artefacts - from handcarved pub signs to portraits of obese noblemen. Exhibition ‘Unsilencing the Library’ runs from 17th June – 17th December (with a bit of Quentin Blake later in the year. Full info at www.comptonverney.org.uk

Developed in partnership with Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, BMAG ‘tells the story of travel and trade in Broadway through its collections’ and hosts locally focused exhibitions. It also displays many artefacts from the founding collection of Elias Ashmole, gifted to the University of Oxford in 1683. See more information at www.broadwaymuseum.org.uk

The Wilson, Cheltenham Cheltenham’s gallery/museum underwent a refurb a few years ago and was reborn as The Wilson. With its Arts and Crafts displays and special exhibitions (such as Pop Art in Print, until 4th June), a visit to the Wilson is the perfect pre-theatre or day trip activity. www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk 44

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SIX WEEKS OF SUMMER

ONE-OF-A-KIND WONDERS

Sometimes the shires can get a little eccentric. Here are some of our favourite unique attractions found only in the Cotswolds. Model Railway, Bourton on the Water Bourton residents most often visit the Model Railway’s toyshop to buy gifts for younger relatives - but if you’ve never seen it before, 500 feet of intricate model trackway waits in the back. All ages can appreciate the detail of the miniature engines racing around (and with a Model Village elsewhere in Bourton, miniature enthusiasts will be in heaven). Visitor info at www.bourtonmodelrailway.co.uk

Model Village, Bourton on the Water Take a trip back in time - and see how little Bourton has changed over the years, thanks to this painstakingly assembled miniature replica (one ninth scale). The only Grade II listed model village in the country - now with miniature trees! www.themodelvillage.com

CULTURAL COTSWOLDS Dean & Chadlington Music Festival (29th June - 2nd July)

This local music festival brings innovative programming and world-class artists to the Cotswolds every year. Featuring a wide variety of performances in exquisite venues making this a true highlight of the summer for all music-lovers.

Cheltenham Music Festival (1 - 16th July)

Treat your ears at the 2017 Cheltenham Music Festival. Featuring Welsh bassbaritone Bryn Terfel, the Nash Ensemble, the Gould Piano Trio, Piano 4 Hands, CBSO, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Jan Lisiecki. See www.cheltenhamfestivals. com/music for tickets and information.

Football in the River, Bourton on the Water The traditional splashy kickaround will be held around the 28th August this year - enjoy the fete and then head to the riverbank at around 4pm to catch the action. (Be warned - you’re going to get wet, but you’ll be drier than the players).

LIVING THE WILD LIFE

Fancy a walk on the wild side? You don’t have to go far to find exotic species in the Cotswolds - or a spot of wilderness. Birdland, Bourton on the Water Home to over 500 species - including cuddly penguins and colourful flamingos - Birdland’s one of the most popular attractions in the North Cotswolds. Now including a Jurassic Journey trail, it’s a mecca for young dino enthusiasts (birds of course being dinosaur descendants, as said-enthusiasts will tell you). If you’ve never been - or simply haven’t visited for a few years it’s time to check out the fascinating cross-section of the natural world that’s right on your doorstep. Visitor information here: www.birdland.co.uk

Birdland

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, nr. Burford Rhinos. Tigers. Lions. Penguins. Tapirs. Giraffes. Crocodiles. Reticulated pythons. There’s lots of good reasons to visit the CWP - a train you can ride, sprawling gardens, daily activities - but of course the main attractions are, well, the animals. Truly fascinating animals, in an environment you can spend the better part of an afternoon pottering around. A great trip for families of all ages. www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com

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DAYTRIPPER

DAY T R I P P E R

I N G E N I O U S D E S I G N I N T H E J A PA N E S E H U S E

Images: © The Barbican Centre

THE BARBICAN CENTRE’S AMBITIOUS EXHIBITION PRESENTS US WITH A V E R Y D I F F E R E N T TA K E O N H O U S I N G . TA K E A T R I P T O L O N D O N A N D STEP INSIDE AN ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL - WHILE YOU CAN Here in the Cotswolds, we’re used to popping in and out of buildings that have existed for hundreds of years, unrocked by earthquakes. Not so for many of our Japanese visitors, who arrive in ever-increasing numbers to marvel at our changeless little villages. In the case of Tokyo-dwellers, the attraction is easy to understand: the sprawling, rural spaciousness of the Cotswold landscape (and the historic stone sturdiness of its architecture) is a far cry from the teeming Eastern megacity, with its cramped living conditions and striking skyscrapers. With half of Tokyo levelled by the firebomb raids of WWII, post-war Japan needed a lot of new housing - and fast. (The infamously destructive Operation Meetinghouse air raid alone left over one million citizens homeless). When economic growth picked up in the 1950s beginning a dramatic ascent that saw the country positioned as the second largest economy in the world by the 1980s - Japanese urban living was changed forever. Prefabricated houses and experimental design resisted creeping Western influence, creating a chance for modern Japanese city to re-imagine itself. 46

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Now London’s Barbican Centre (itself an architectural marvel) invites you to explore the Japanese House. It’s an often surreal experience - most obviously in the full-scale recreation of the famous ‘Moriyama House.’

How about a house shaped like a face? Or fully-tiled, dollop-shaped houses? This curious and captivating exhibition showcases some intriguing alternatives to the minimalistic, straight lines of modernity.

Designed by architect Ryue Nishizawaa (SANAA) and built in 2005, the Moriyama House is comprised of ten buildings, or units, divided by exterior patio gardens. (The Barbican version is furnished with books and music belonging to the reclusive collector/modern hermit Yasuo Moriyama himself, who has never left his home country).

Indeed, there are some philosophies on display here that seem very alien from reverential British attitudes towards housing: the needs of residents have shaped some strange and inspiring solutions to pressing problems. This show presents us with snippets from a world where tower-like concrete homes sprout from absurdly narrow, nigh-useless plots; rural getaways rear on stilts; urban buildings are frequently torn down, started again.

The installers have the lighting rigged on an hourly cycle - fading and brightening to reflect the changing light of day. When the light is dim enough, you can see movie clips projected against the walls. Delightfully, you can even clamber inside a stilted fairy-tale teahouse, made from hand-charred timber by architectural Terunobu Fujimori and the students of Kingston University. But the general idea is that you potter about gazing at radical interpretations of the domestic. Trail around the Barbican’s side galleries, and you’ll see the history of the Japanese house play out - and glimpse some very unusual buildings.

Here, disruption and restriction are merely opportunities for growth, an excuse for looking at society anew. Ingenuity born from constraint there’s nothing like it.

THE JAPANESE HOUSE: ARCHITECTURE AND LIFE AFTER 1945 BARBICAN CENTRE, BARBICAN, LONDON 23RD MARCH 2017 – 25TH JUNE 2017 WWW.BARBICAN.ORG.UK


ROBERT LLEWELLYN

TEMPLE GUITING

GOES GREEN Red Dwarf comic actor and green energy enthusiast Robert Llewellyn has been running a two year campaign to unite Temple Guiting in switching to renewable, community-based power sources. A new BBC4 documentary, The Great Village Green Crusade,, traces Robert’s efforts to convert the Cotswolds - and follows him to Las Vegas, perhaps the most surprising place of all to go green.

Photo credits: Š BBC 48

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ROBERT LLEWELLYN

Hello Robert.Tell us about your ambitions to turn Temple Guiting green. It was really inspired by what has taken place over the last twenty five years in Germany, where there are an enormous number of community energy schemes all over the country. I was filming an unrelated programme some years ago and saw, in a village, this enormous turbine. I [remarked] that no company [in England] would be allowed to put something like that next to a village only to find out that it was their turbine.They put it up and they benefitted from it. I’m lucky enough to have a south-facing house that we can put roof panels on, but not everybody is in that position. One of the ways around that and this is happening around the country already - is that a community gets together and installs a larger-scale renewable energy project which they all benefit from. [The question is] how, on a nationwide level, do we encourage adoption of new technologies which are now economically more viable, as well as renewable? Because they’ve grown much cheaper to install, which is a key point in the discussion. Is a community-based approach the way forward in transitioning to a greener energy era, as you see it? Very much so. It’s not a theory based on my own opinions - this has come from many discussions with people who work in the power industry. One of the people who convinced me was somebody who worked in the nuclear power industry, who said the only solution to the approaching gap in our energy supply (because we haven’t built any nuclear power stations for such a long time) is large-scale community renewables, because they’re now so quick and easy to install. You’re not talking about a fifteen year lead time to build a massive power structure, and all the infrastructure that requires. It’s a very quick solution. There are complexities - the strength of your grid in the local area held us up a great deal…[Because] what you don’t use in the immediate vicinity is delivered back into the grid. The National Grid was built as a means of delivering power from stations through to households, along wires. It wasn’t built to send it back the same way - although, it works! You can send electricity either way, which fascinated me to learn. In the new documentary, you visit Las Vegas. At first glance it would seem to be a very wasteful place when it comes to power usage - but now they’re implementing new technology… Well, they’re replacing I-don’t-know-how-many billion bulbs with LEDs.That alone will reduce energy requirements by 20%, which on a city-wide scale is a colossal amount.

THE NATIONAL GRID WAS BUILT AS A MEANS OF DELIVERING POWER FROM STATIONS THROUGH TO HOUSEHOLDS, ALONG WIRES. IT WASN’T BUILT TO SEND IT BACK THE SAME WAY - ALTHOUGH, IT WORKS! YOU CAN SEND ELECTRICITY EITHER WAY, WHICH FASCINATED ME TO LEARN.

We barely touched the story but there’s a move by the big casinos (who are spending lots of money on power from a coal-burning plant located about 500 miles away) who are realising that putting solar on their roofs is a cheaper option, because their demand comes in the middle of the day when it is very hot (to power all the air conditioning).They’re reducing running costs by an enormous amount. Once one casino had done it, the others started doing it too, so you’re now seeing a lot of investment. Although the PR would argue that they’re doing it to be kind to the planet, by reducing CO2 - which it is! - it’s very much an economic decision for them. It’s cheaper. So are we at a tipping point now where renewables - through becoming more and more economic - are beginning to supplant fossil-fuelled power generation? It’s happening around the world. I think it was Tuesday this week that the Indian government announced the cancellation of four new coalburning plants. Entirely because solar is cheaper. They’re installing gargantuan amounts, as is China. We’re not behind the curve - very few people know our solar-installed base now is 13 and a half gigawatts, which is three and half Hinkley Point C’s. That’s already in now and operating. What’s interesting about solar is that it doesn’t show up in the grid - it appears as lower demand. My house now has got computers on, a washing machine on, an electric car charging - we won’t be using any electricity from the grid. All that shows is a ‘lowering in demand.’ Wind, on the other hand, is registered and measured and put in the mix, so you can see what wind is doing.You can only see what solar’s doing from the reduction in demand around the country. When climate change deniers ascend to positions

of political power, how can we make sure we push through green technology? Having spent an amount of time in pre-Trump America - he’d won the election but wasn’t in power when I was there - I think America’s more divided than we’re aware of here.The coasts are very into renewables. So there are enormous renewables projects going ahead but there’s backlash from the old fossils. Those voices exist in this country, but I don’t think Nigel Lawson and the rabid climate change deniers have quite so much clout as you’d expect. Our current - and we’re assuming, future - government has a slightly more enlightened attitude towards offshore power and the electric car changeover… Their attitudes towards the installation of solar haven’t killed it. And because the cost is getting much lower, you’re seeing the results. I think they can sense public opinion. When mums are having asthma attacks during the school run because of fumes from idling diesel engines - that gets through. Energy independence is not a liberal, trendy, tree-hugging, left-wing argument - it’s essentially a Conservative argument. Do we want to give money to Vladimir Putin or the Norwegians for gas, or to Saudi Arabia for oil? There’s a lot of interest in government and industrial circles in the economic imperative. About six years ago, solar panels were about six hundred quid - now they’re about one hundred. When you’re installing tens of thousands, that makes a big difference. And they’re more efficient! The Great Village Green Crusade aired at 9.00pm, 1st June on BBC4. Catch it on BBC iPlayer while it’s still available. www.cotswold-homes.com

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DRIVING MISS DASHBOARD

nge ra g bi t ea gr a h it w r ca ic tr ec ult ZOE na Re No need for anxiety – a little el w ne e th in e m ti g’ in fy ri ct le ‘e Alexandra Tilley Loughrey has an Whenever I drive an electric car, guaranteed, the first question people ask is ‘how often do you have to charge it?’ This relates to the modern phenomenon known as ‘range anxiety.’ Well, worry not - this car can realistically do a journey of 150 miles without going anywhere near a charging point. Yes, 150 miles, which means I can drive from little old Temple Guiting to London without having to stop - and happily do a return trip to Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, Swindon, Stratford upon Avon - you get the drift. And thanks to credible online websites that direct you to real dealerships (plus the government grant you currently get towards buying any electric car) you can own a brand new Zoe for about the same price as most traditional hatchbacks. And that means that Zoe (we got on so well, she felt like part of the family) is a serious contender for a second car which to me is a really exciting thing to be able to say in 2017. The future is here! Getting to Oxford was about the same as bombing along in our (air polluting) diesel Golf. I arrived in about the same time, although the actual driving experience was significantly different. 50

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Driving with Zoe makes you more ‘fuel efficient’ and considerate - you’re less likely to floor the accelerator - as doing this chews up the electricity and reduces your range.You’re aware that the more miles you can get from your charge, the cheaper it will be to drive. On country lanes I tended to use ‘eco mode’ for a gentler pace, but when I hit the Witney bypass and needed to overtake, a quick press of the button gave me the necessary oomph. If you thought Candy Crush was addictive, try coasting (not using the accelerator) and braking (the brakes are regenerative) - which can actually gain you miles, especially when driving down hills! Being electric, Zoe is automatic and as easy to drive (though considerably smoother, with a far better turning circle) as a dodgem car. The controls are really easy to use and the dashboard shows simple images of charging, driving range and speed.

And the best bit - charging from empty costs the grand total of about £2!

Fuel consumption: No more trips to petrol stations - ever Road tax: £0 Safety: The maximum five star European (EURO NCAP) safety rating thanks to numerous head and chest airbags.

But being electric (I hate to say but, as it implies something awful) the more devices you use - such as charging your phone, using the aircon or electric seats - will have an effect on the battery range. But, really, don’t panic - you’ll still be able to commute to Oxford, or Swindon, or Bristol - and get home with plenty of driving miles to spare. Charging electric cars is getting easier almost every day, as more and more fast chargers are being installed on streets, in car parks, supermarkets and service stations. I charged from an almost empty range to 100% full overnight in our garage on a standard three-pin plug - and using a fast charger only took two hours. It really is as easy as charging a mobile phone, which we all do, at various points throughout the day - with a full-on boost overnight. And the best bit - charging from empty costs the grand total of about £2! Compare that with the cost of fuel every time you fill up at the pump. Apart from wishing the monthly battery hire could be cheaper (I’m sure this will happen), I have one gripe. Trying to fit the chargers back into the bags provided in the (very large for a small car) boot was as difficult as getting iPhone earphones back into their original box. But overall, I’d put this down as a ‘first world problem.’ Do realise that air pollution is a real and dangerous threat to our planet. Choose life. Choose electric.

Media: An easy to use touch screen system which accesses radio, sat nav, bluetooth connection - as well as a Renault app that locates charging points, which is ideal for planning longer journeys. This season’s colours: A palette of eight options, six with a Farrow and Ball bias, plus the louder Zircon Blue and Mars Red. The drive: From smooth and sensible on eco mode, to far more punchy without. Love the hill-start assist feature - no fear of sliding backwards. This year’s model: There are six to choose from: Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav, Signature Nav or three ‘i’ Nav options, depending on whether you want to own or lease your battery, and what sort of charger you’re prepared to pay for. Optional extras: Alloy wheels, BOSE 3D surround sound multimedia system, DAB radio, TomTom LIVE sat nav, parking camera. The list goes on… Warranty: 4 years (up to 100,000 miles) Price: From £14,245 (though there are discounts to be had with online dealers) plus monthly optional battery hire, from £49.

Follow Alexandra on Twitter @MissDashboardUK for a refreshing take on cars. www.cotswold-homes.com

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ROB HARRISON

Life after Brexit: The Foggy Future

of British Farms

Of all industries affected by the historic decision to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union, Britain’s farming sectors might yet have the most to lose. With many farms dependent on EU subsidies and seasonal EU labour, it’s no wonder many British producers are feeling unsettled - while others, like Environment Secretary Angela Leadsom, see ‘an extraordinary opportunity to thrive’ and a bonfire of burdensome regulations. As critical trade negotiations slowly get started, and a snap general election is suddenly announced, a time of uncertainty lies ahead. Former NFU Dairy Chair and dairy farmer Rob Harrison runs Sandfield Farm in the Vale of Evesham with his partner, Emma. Since 2009, Sandfield has been open for pre-arranged visits of schoolchildren and learning-disabled adults. 54

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We caught up with Rob regarding the impacts the Brexit decision - and ongoing negotiations has had on the security and confidence of British farmers. In the past, Sandfield - like many other farms has received EU funding for conservation and diversification work. What sort of projects has this funding supported at Sandfield? Lots of different things! In the Vale of Evesham, there’s a focus on preservation of old orchards. We’ve got an old orchard which we’d preserved and replanted. We’re also encouraging insects and wild farmland birds, including lapwings and other ground-nesting birds. We have quite a few brown hares here as well.

Particularly around the Cotswolds, and the Vale of Evesham, they’re looking to encourage farming in a different way - ensuring some parts are put down for wildlife. And you get compensated what that means is that the money you could have made by growing a crop in that area, potentially, you get for growing a crop for the birds instead. That’s basically how it works. Also - we’ve opened up our farm, increased the access in margins around the field to make it easier for visitors to walk around, and so we’ve had funding towards allowing people on the farm as well. In the initial years of the Higher Level Stewardship [initiatives], we had capital grants to help us plant hedges - some seven or eight years ago.


ROB HARRISON

NFU Online claims farmers are responsible for some 70% of UK landmass. In terms of custodianship of the environment, what sort of impact is leaving the EU looking like it’s going to have? It’s very early to tell. In the short term, it’s looking like there’s going to be a broad-scale adoption of current EU rules. But potentially, in the future - we may have (or we hope to have!) something fit for UK purposes, as opposed to the rest of the EU. Because we’ve always had to comply with [directives] that have been introduced to target issues that have had little effect in the UK. It is an opportunity to be more specific and relevant with things that apply to this country. Elsewhere figures claim that some 90% of farms face collapse with withdrawal of subsidies. Is there a confidence within the farming community that there’ll be a suitable replacement for current EU funding? My personal view is that there’ll be a gradual removal of subsidies. If you look at any government - whether that’s Labour or Conservative over the last 15 years – they have all been very against direct payments or direct subsidies. As I’ve already discussed, we’ve received income [in the form of] environmental payments – but that was very much income foregone. I know that farmers want to look after the environment but if we’re going to invest in looking after wildlife, and actually put our money into doing so, we need to be compensated for it..

Probably the government, some of the big institutions and also the voters will want farmers [to look after the environment]. I think there will still be some form of supporting and encouraging farmers to look after it, because if that doesn’t happen, the ways in which we operate within this capitalist society… Well, there needs to be another method in which we can do that and remain competitive. So I think that’s going to be a key part of policy. The other interesting thing, to go back to direct payments, is that we are seeing volatility in the marketplace. In my previous job [As NFU Dairy Board Chair] we looked at milk prices over the last couple of years, and I was also able to see how they affected me personally. Fuel prices can also go up and down…across the whole spectrum, we see input and output prices being extremely volatile over the last ten years. And I think, actually, that if the UK government wants to see people fed and to have a secure supply of food, it’s not only about producing good quality food and looking after the environment but it’s also about making sure that farmers are paid a fair reward - which might involve managing the volatility. When prices are lower, or higher, there might be ways of [subsidising farmers] that go beyond the usual mechanism. The final tier to it is encouraging competitiveness within the industry. Government and industry both have a role in encouraging investment in the right places. What is your general impression of the way the Brexit debate was conducted - since of all sectors, farming might be the most impacted? That’s quite a difficult one! The question [presented] was very much just: ‘should we leave the EU?’ And of course, there are various ways in which we can do that, and that will come into ongoing negotiations.

I thought the vote would be close, but didn’t think we’d actually vote out, so perhaps a lot of people had no idea how close the vote was going to be…

I think a lot of voters probably didn’t realise the impact of what was going to happen, potentially. I thought the vote would be close, but didn’t think we’d actually vote out, so perhaps a lot of people had no idea how close the vote was going to be… Perhaps some other political commentators might have a better opinion on this, but some people who voted may have done so because they were fed up with the status quo, as opposed to thinking that there was a better alternative. I think many were unhappy with the EU, and maybe unhappy with the way they were treated in their jobs, and voted against it in the hopes for a better life…but whether what’s going to www.cotswold-homes.com

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ROB HARRISON

happen next is the better option? That’s the question. It feels like the debate was dominated by immigration, which was often cast in a negative light - when, for example, British farming is heavily dependent on EU workers. Agriculture would be just one of the many sectors where we would struggle to function without EU migrant workers. In the horticultural sector, they use an awful lot of casual labour, seasonal labour. I don’t have figures to hand but it wouldn’t surprise me if, in dairy, some twenty percent of labourers were of EU origin, who, by their sheer nature, would be classified as unskilled permanent workers - who seem the kind of people that many voters would like to discourage. However, there is a lack of skill and willingness amongst UK workers who might otherwise come to work on dairy farms - or perhaps it’s that they can’t afford to live in the country. There are lots of different factors, so it’s difficult for many farmers to employ UK people - or at least, the right kind of UK worker. I think that’s a real threat to dairy and horticulture - those are the two sectors I’m really concerned about, in terms of labour.

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Do you think there’s a disconnect between the British public and farming - that people are nowadays less aware of its importance to everyday life? It would be great if the Great British public understood more about where their food comes from. It is important that we have British-produced food, and I think most people want to see British-produced food on their shelves! The other side of things is looking at agriculture and realising that it’s actually the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector. The food industry is huge, and we’re seeing more interesting food because of various programmes on the television - so the next step is realising how agriculture is a big part of that. I also think agriculture’s really exciting. I think lots of people enjoy working outside, and there’s an increased use of technology. So we need to let it be known that it’s an interesting world for careers and opportunities. Finally, in the dairy farmer’s dream scenario -

what are the best possible changes you could end up with, on the other side of Brexit? Ultimately, most farmers - and dairy farmers especially - would like to see an increased demand for UK-based products. At the minute, as the UK, we’re less than 80 percent selfsufficient for dairy products. What I would love to see is a bit of import displacement. Can we produce more? Can we produce more cheddar, more yoghurt, more butter, with British milk? And if the market rewards us sufficiently, we don’t have anything to worry about in terms of losing support from the government or the EU. So you need a patriotic surge of ‘Buy British?’ It would certainly help. I also think what is negotiated in terms of trade is going to be absolutely key, in terms of agriculture. Because we export an awful lot, but we also import a lot as well. So our relative competitiveness is going to be decided around the negotiating table over the next couple of years.

Learn more about Sandfield at www.sandfieldfarm.com Follow Rob on Twitter at @robharrison37


ROB HARRISON

It is important that we have British-produced food, and I think most people want to see Britishproduced food on their shelves!

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FARMING PARTNERSHIPS

Ask the experts

View from Hanbury church in Worcestershire, setting for the fictional village of Ambridge in The Archers

Farming partnerships: What you need to know Sally McFadden, lifelong fan of The Archers and Head of Commercial Property at Thomson Bancks, has many years’ experience in the commercial issues of rural life. Here she turns her attention to the opportunities provided by farming partnerships.

Anyone who follows The Archers will know that Brian Aldridge is considering setting up a family farm partnership to deal with the issues of land ownership and succession at Home Farm. Partnerships can protect the long-term interests of a farming family and help pass the business down through generations. However, as the Ambridge residents may soon discover, farming partnerships are complex and can raise a number of questions. Are all farm partnerships the same? Organisation of a farming partnership depends on the size and type of farm, the roles of family members in running the farm, and differences

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in capital contributions. In England, there are 3 types of partnership: • Traditional Partnerships: These are the most common and may or may not be formally documented. If nothing is recorded and there is no evidence to the contrary, the partners are entitled to share equally in the capital and profits of the farm business. • Limited Partnerships: As the name suggests these provide a way of limiting liability. At least one partner must manage the business and provide an unlimited liability to creditors, however the remainder of partners may restrict their liability to an agreed

sum; the downside is that they cannot take part in the management of the partnership business and so this is not always practical. • Limited Liability Partnerships: These are still unusual in farming circles, they resemble a limited company but have the organisational flexibility of a partnership. You need at least two members to take responsibility for dealing with the Companies House requirements for filing partnership accounts and so on. Members’ liability can be limited to the extent of their capital contributions, however unlike limited partnerships, members can still take part in management of the business.


FARMING PARTNERSHIPS

Ask the experts

Most farm partnerships fall into the Traditional category, although increasingly we are seeing farms adopt structures providing limited liability. Some farmers have moved away from partnerships altogether, setting up a Company Limited by Guarantee under which liability is limited to the amount members have contributed to the assets of the company. What do I need to think about when setting up a Farming Partnership? Assets: You must identify whether assets used for the business will be partnership assets, or will remain the personal property of individual partners. ‘Partnership property’ is owned by the business and shown on the balance sheet, so capital profits and losses will belong to the partnership. If the partnership is dissolved, partnership property may need to be sold to settle debts and liabilities. ‘Separate property’ however belongs to one or more of the partners and is held outside the partnership

(and balance sheet) but is occupied and used by the partnership possibly under a lease or licence arrangement. Entitlements: You need to be clear who owns any existing entitlements and whether these will be partnership assets. Entitlements might need to be transferred to the Partnership before they can be used and restructuring could affect your access to BPS payments. Expenditure: If attributable to the farm’s business use, this should be borne by the partnership, and your accountant should be able to work out which expenses can be classified as “business expenses”. Tax planning: Tax reliefs usually influence which assets are included in the partnership. As each family partnership tax position will be different it’s sensible to seek specialist tax advice and make sure that the partnership documents and accounts work together.

If, like Home Farm, you are considering setting up a farming partnership, your solicitors and accountants should help you find the best structure for your business.

Charles Collingwood as Brian Aldridge © BBC Pictures Brian Aldridge

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): If the farm is a Partnership asset, any liability for SDLT will depend on the family connections between the partners. Parent and children partnerships usually avoid SDLT liability but there may be liability if the partnership involves uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins. If, like Home Farm, you are considering setting up a farming partnership, your solicitors and accountants should help you find the best structure for your business. Sally McFadden is an Associate Solicitor in the Business Services Team at Thomson & Bancks LLP dealing with all commercial property matters for a mix of business, agricultural and not-for-profit clients. She also has niche specialist experience on agricultural matters and energy and renewables. To speak to Sally call 01684 299633 or visit www.tbsolicitors.co.uk

www.cotswold-homes.com

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BLACKDOWN SHEPHERD HUTS

Ever dreamt of a little retreat where you could go to write, indulge in a pet project or simply have some time to yourself ? Blackdown Shepherd Huts’ self-build kits are the cost-effective answer.

Once the preserve of shepherds, gamekeepers and outdoorsmen, wheeled huts are in vogue - now built to serve as bespoke writing dens, summerhouses, offices, kitchens and even saunas. Invitingly proportioned and elegantly constructed, they’re the ideal way to increase your living space without the mess, dust, fuss and disarray of an extension. (And since they’re on wheels, re-positioning your hut is very little bother). But Somerset-based Blackdown Shepherd Huts have also noticed the interest and satisfaction their customers take in the actual construction process. So, in addition to their bespoke huts, they’ve been making and selling self-build kits. ‘When we first started, we discovered that there were lots of people who wanted their own hut - just for the satisfaction of building something for themselves,’ says Blackdown’s Will Vickery. ‘Our self-build huts have been especially developed for those with the time to indulge their artisan leanings and hand-build their own hut, at a really great price. ‘We can give self-builders as much or as little support as they need - our clients feel very accomplished when they sit in their finished shepherd hut for the first time.’ With their keen attention to quality, Blackdown Shepherd Huts have won many fans. (Even the ever-discerning Theo Pathitis of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den can be seen proudly showing off his own Blackdown hut online). Owner of British brand Herring Shoes, Adrian Herring, is just one of the self-build converts. 60

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We have Classic FM on the radio, light a fire, read a good book, and simply relax. Time flies when you're at the hut, and we never want to leave, but the great thing is that we can sleep in the hut too and it's very cosy.


BLACKDOWN SHEPHERD HUTS

Blackdown Shepherd Huts have a workshop near Ilminster in Somerset where they design and create your hut…Clad in oak or wriggly tin they can include shower rooms, kitchens, or simply a log-burner. ‘I spent two days a week for about four months building my shepherd hut, which is hidden away in my eight acres of woodland,’ Adrian says.

delight to share it with my wife and friends… My wife and I love to take a lunch to our shepherd hut.

‘Blackdown Shepherd Huts delivered me an oak chassis self-build hut and the whole process of putting it together was a total pleasure. It was a real sense of achievement when I completed my hut. I thought - I made that!'

‘We have Classic FM on the radio, light a fire, read a good book, and simply relax. Time flies when you're at the hut, and we never want to leave, but the great thing is that we can sleep in the hut too and it's very cosy. We also took great pride in decorating the hut ourselves and have added to it using local artists' pictures of wildlife.

Adrian's hut is constructed with an oak chassis and double doors, complete with an internal log burner and solar panels (allowing him 24 hours of battery time). It’s also been kitted out with functioning water pump and LED lighting. Initially built as a solo-bolthole in the woods, it’s regularly enjoyed by friends and family. ‘It's a

‘It's the perfect spot to watch the wildlife and have some time away from modern stresses and strains. [It’s] a place that makes us both very happy. Getting a Blackdown Shepherd Hut really is the best thing we've ever done.’

They are all 7ft 6in wide and either 12, 14, 16 or 18ft in length. Self-build huts start from £5,250 for steel rolling chassis and framework, and hand-crafted bespoke huts start from £18,900 inc. VAT. A fully road-legal Towable (Towby) is also available, which is popular for event catering.

For more information (and helpful videos), visit www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk Contact Blackdown Shepherd Huts at 01460 929774 07711 489717 (mobile) info@blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk

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FARMER’S WIFE

BREXIT SPECIAL

It’s all change for Anna MacCurrach - but with Brexit the centrepiece of a snap general election, we’ve asked for her take on farming’s future. Since my last article we have moved out of the house we built ten years ago and enjoyed a short holiday to recover from the backbreaking effort that went into getting it shipshape for our tenants. I was hoping to write about my new career as a farmer’s wife living in the family farmhouse, complete with structural cobwebs and interesting wiring; about how I have shifted furniture with only the aid of a towel and a sack 62

Cotswold Homes Magazine

truck, and used a strimmer for the first time. Cotswold Homes have other ideas, however they want to know how we feel about Brexit and the effect it may have on our farm. I am nervous about what to write - so you can imagine my delight when they covered this very subject on The Archers the other day, albeit extremely briefly. Pip Archer’s attitude is that there is no need

for immediate panic as the government has promised to honour subsidies until 2020, end of subject. (To be honest, she does have a lot on her plate at the moment so it’s not surprising it’s a fair way down her list of priorities). Back to Brexit. The two main issues, for agriculture, appear to be trade deals and subsidies. Trade deals are wildly complicated and I put my


FARMER’S WIFE

All we can really do is to continue to play to our strengths, whatever they may be. For some it will be soil type, for others topography, access to road networks or tourism. It is the nature of the beast that farmers can be slow to respond to changes – practically everything takes a year – and when you think of it like that, 2020 isn’t actually that far away.

my hand up to only having the most tenuous of grasps. Essentially, we currently enjoy ‘free trade’ within the EU (although we do pay a hefty EU membership fee to benefit from this), importing and exporting between other EU nations.

cornerstone of the EU, supporting 12 million farmers and consuming around 40% of the budget. It was established in 1957 to boost productivity and has evolved considerably over the ensuing decades.

That’s not to say we don’t already trade with nations outside of the EU. At Tagmoor we currently sell our malting barley to markets within the UK and Europe as well as China. Our wheat has gone as far afield as North America and Saudi Arabia, beans to Morocco and Egypt. The bottom line is that there are markets outside of Europe – in my husband’s words: ‘If they don’t want it, somebody else will.’

Rather than paying farmers to produce lots of food it now pays them to farm environmentally. This subsidy system stabilises food production, maintains land values and keeps the price of food low for consumers. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the devastating effect removing them would have on every one of us, which is why, I presume, the government are honouring them until 2020.

The CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) is a

After that? Your guess is as good as mine.

The two main issues, for agriculture, appear to be trade deals and subsidies.

On our farm, we will continue to do what we are both good at and enjoy doing – growing cereals and rearing livestock, as well as what makes sense – capitalising on the popularity of this area with visitors. James will continue to talk to grain traders and livestock dealers so that he can be best placed to produce what is wanted. As for me, in my new career, I will be ‘project managing’ (sounds very organised, my style is much more ‘winging it’) the conversion of some stables into a holiday cottage. James has long said that every inch of the farm has to ‘earn its keep’ and, much to our eldest daughter’s horror, he has obtained planning consent to convert six stables. I am very happy to help with the latest in a long line of diversification projects, obviously. Any opportunity to help secure the future of the farm, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, will be grabbed with both hands. Farming is a long game that requires strategy and planning, as well as passion for the job and the countryside. The lack of crystal balls is not remotely helpful (with Brexit and also with weather forecasts) but I don’t see anyone ready to hang up their wellies as a result just yet.

Find out more about Tagmoor Farm at www.lovemycow.com www.cotswold-homes.com

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FARM PARK

WIN A FAM DAY PA ILY SS

SEE PA GE 11

FARM PARK EMBARKS ON A NEW WOODLAND ADVENTURE Cotswold residents will know that there’s been lots of development over at the Cotswold Farm Park in the years since it was founded by Joe Henson in 1971. But over recent months, Adam Henson and his business partner, Duncan Andrews, have been busily working away at a rather different sort of attraction - a radical departure from the usual farmland fare. And it’s finally time to reveal what they’ve been up to - an adventurous and family-friendly oneday bushcraft course, open to ages 8-upward (*with adult-only and 24 hour survival courses also available). Cotswold Adventures is a gentle and fun introduction to the art of bushcraft, taking attendees into the woods and training them up as budding survivalists. ‘I grew up running around this woodland with my sisters, enjoying the peace of it but also the challenges it throws up at you,’ says Adam.

“THEY MAY NEVER WHITTLE WOOD OR START A FIRE AGAIN IN THEIR LIVES, BUT AT LEAST THEY’LL KNOW HOW TO!”

‘It’s a real pleasure to invite people up here to come and experience a slice of it for themselves. Tim and Jose are qualified bushcraft instructors, so they’re safe pairs of hands to guide everyone through it.’

car park to a basecamp situated in private woodland. Once in the woods, visitors will learn the fine arts of shelter-building, game preparation (that is, learning how to cook and eat wild food for lunch), fire-lighting, watersourcing and natural navigation. (There’ll also be a whittling tutorial, so you can take home a little woodland memento).

It’s a short walk from the Cotswold Farm Park

No prior experience is necessary, although it’s

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recommended that participants be in good physical health (fit enough to handle a fair amount of walking). Participants will want to wear sturdy footwear (and perhaps pack some waterproof layers, bearing in mind the vagaries of the English weather) but all other necessary equipment is provided. ‘Living in such a fast-paced world, full of technology, it’s never been more important to just get kids out into nature,’ Adam says. ‘This is a way of encouraging them – in a safe environment – to get outside their comfort zone and try something new and a bit different. ‘They may never whittle wood or start a fire again in their lives, but at least they’ll know how to! It’s a great way to spend time bonding as a family as well, because in some cases, the parents may not have experienced these things either, so you’re all coming to it from the same level.’ There will be twelve weekend bushcraft sessions this year, with limited places available and the option to extend your trip by staying at the newly-renovated camp site. Visit www.cotswoldadventures.com to book your places; the day is priced at £100 for adults and £80 for children.


WHAT THE GAMEKEEPER SAW Guiting-based gamekeeper/photographer Adam Tatlow’s work is displayed around the Cotswolds - but he’s now looking for more venues to stock his greeting cards (take a look at www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com for contact details and picture galleries). ‘I will be at Brockhampton Village Show (27th August) and the Winchcombe Country Show (28th August),’ says Adam, ‘and I will also have a stall at Naunton’s Classic Car Show and Village Fete on 16th July’. So, readers, keep your eyes peeled for more of Adam’s striking pictures such as this issue’s image of a roe fawn.

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SHEENA MARSH

Sheena Marsh wants you to get out in the garden and enjoy the horticultural pursuits of your labours over the summer! A reliable indicator that summer is well on the way is the arrival of the first garden shows. As well as working in your own garden, take some time for a great day out at a garden show, enjoying the company of like-minded visitors to swap ideas and inspiration. Just taking a leisurely stroll through a garden can lift the spirits, so make the most of the warmer weather and get out. There’s plenty to do to keep you occupied!

Water , water , water After the very dry spring this year, water is precious and we need to use it wisely in our gardens.

the leaves wilt - they become limp because they are no longer swollen with water. They nearly always turn yellow and sometimes they become brown at the ends and the leaves drop off.

Established plants and trees in general do not require watering. It is best to let plants reach for their own water, excess watering can lead to the formation of shallow roots and thereby creates a plant that is vulnerable to drought and wind.

It's much better to give a newly planted tree or shrub a good soaking two or three times a week, rather than a little sprinkling every day. So, if you have just planted a new garden, water in the evening or early morning before the heat of the sun evaporates the water.

However, in a hot spell, newly planted shrubs and trees will require irrigation of some sort. The first sign that a plant is suffering from drought is that

If you do have to water in the middle of the day, try not to let the water fall on the leaves as this can scorch the plants. Get to the bottom of the

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plant with your hose pipe or watering can. All plants in containers rely on someone to water them or they will die. Even if we have a bit of rain, plants in containers need a lot of water. The smaller the container, the more watering it will require. Adding water retentive gel when planting containers helps.

Use a mulch to p reserve water If you’ve never used a mulch before, this might be the summer to consider it.


SHEENA MARSH

,,

Gar dening shou ld nevere.,, become a chor Mulches are basically ‘coverings’ placed on the surface of cultivated soil. They can be applied to bare soil or to cover the surface of compost in containers. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of materials as a mulch and have found the best one to be well rotted bark, that’s the very fine sort, not the thicker pieces of bark used in car parks (I think that looks a bit ugly.) Bark breaks down gradually to release nutrients into the soil and help improve its structure. It will need replacing when it has fully rotted down and the key is to apply a really thick layer. An 80L bag will cover an area of about 1 metre. In addition to preserving water, a thick layer of mulch suppresses weeds, improves soil texture, deters some pests, protects the roots of plants from extreme temperatures and give a decorative finish. What’s not to love? If there’s one thing I’d encourage all gardeners to do this summer - it would be to become a mulcher!

Hoe or hand-pull annual weeds Choose a dry day and leave the leaves on the surface to wither. Perennial weeds (things like dandelions and ground elder) are trickier to deal with. They have to be dug out and effectively removed completely; if any trace is left in the soil, be warned, they return!

flowers later in the season. Most deadheading can be done with secateurs, cutting back to just above strong buds lower down the stem.

edges are cut regularly and it’s less work doing it once a week as the trimmings are few and don’t have to be cleared up.

Mow grass regularly

'Feed and Weed' lawns

…to encourage good growth. Mowing is the best way to ensure you have a good lawn. Once a week is fine but for a really good lawn, twice a week. The reason for this is that the less grass that is taken off at each cut the healthier it will remain.

Deadheading is a regular task in all parts of the garden over the summer as flowers ‘go over.’ With many plants the flowering period can be extended if old flowers are removed as soon as they fade.

It is also important to mow the grass in a different direction each time. If you always mow in the same direction, the grass begins to grow that way and the mower blades, especially on a cylinder mower, will not cut it as well.

This is particularly important with roses. It will prevent the plant’s energy going into seed production and channel it into new growth and

Don’t forget your edging and trim the edges at the same time as the lawn is cut. It makes all the difference to the appearance of a garden if the

Treat weeds such as dandelions in your lawn with a selective weed killer. This is the best done in the summer, while the weeds are actively growing. There are various products available from garden centres, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as it is possible to scorch the grass by using too much.

...And enjoy! Finally, this is the time of year to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours. So above all take time to reward yourself. Gardening should never become a chore.

Sheena Marsh is the founder and a director of Oxford Garden Design. For over fifteen years she 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 - and to get in touch - just visit www.oxfordgardendesign.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com

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REVEREND RACHEL ROSBOROUGH

As she prepares to move away from the Cotswolds, Reverend Rachel Rosborough looks back on hundreds of years of history embodied in our stone churches - and the storms they’ve weathered

Hopefully as you sit reading this magazine, the sun will be shining and we will be enjoying a wonderful, hot Cotswold summer. Living in Bourton on the Water, I am very aware of the fact that we live in a part of the world that attracts many visitors – especially when the sun is out. In fact, all around this beautiful area, we have so many wonderful places for visitors to visit and enjoy – open spaces and fields, country houses and gardens, farms and picnic spots, shops, tearooms and other attractions. I wonder how many of us locals also take time to enjoy these attractions. I think it is a fact of life that when you live somewhere, especially for a long time, you can so easily forget to enjoy these kind of things. This has been brought home to me recently, as we are moving away from the Cotswolds this summer. Suddenly, I am aware of all the lovely places that I have heard about since we moved here almost six years ago but have never quite found the time to visit. So I am drawing up a list – places and attractions to go to before we leave in a couple of months. So as we enjoy the summer – whether it is glorious and sunny, or rather wet and grey, why not start a similar list, and take the time to have a day out? In addition to the many places we might find on leaflets and notices in our tourist information centres, can I also encourage you to pop into some of our many church buildings? Most of them are open each day and are delighted to welcome all. Generally our churches contain so much to explore and discover in the way of history and architectural features and, to be honest, a cool oasis if you find yourselves out and about on a hot sunny day. But they also, each of them, tell a story. 72

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They tell a story of the church in the Cotswolds over many centuries. Like a good book they detail chapters from different times, and hint at something of what was going on at the time. Chapters that involve periods of wealth and success, which has been the case for many of our fine wool churches at certain periods; chapters that tell sometimes of decline and neglect - often small chapels once under threat of closure, yet weathered out the storms; chapters that tell of spirituality and expressions of worship at different times; chapters that are ancient and historic and chapters that are more recent. One of the churches that I have responsibility for, St Lawrence’s in Bourton on the Water, has been closed for the last few months for a fairly major building project. A new chapter written for the 21st century to add to the many written over 800 years or more.

Do go and have a look when it reopens in August. Although parts of it will be noticeably new, even modern, a new chapter does not erase the previous chapters. Much of the work that has been done preserves and enhances that which has gone before and all that is treasured but also seeks to allow the church to connect with the everchanging society and community in which it finds itself. Take time to read the history of the place, noting the major developments in almost every century since its construction. And of course, on top of all that, most of our Cotswold churches have been places of worship and spiritual pilgrimage for many hundreds of years - and they still are. As you enter in, as you take in the stained glass, the architectural features, the size and begin to read the many chapters, take time also to be still, to pause, to reflect, perhaps to pray to the God who loves each one of us.


THE YOGA TREE

A VITAL TOOL FOR BUSINESS, MIND AND BODY Emma Lawrence of the Yoga Tree is startled by the rise of anxiety in our society - but luckily, the means of fighting back are within reach for these kind of practices.The amount of pressure put upon teenagers these days is incomparable to the norms of thirty years ago.

Recently, I’ve been invited to go into a variety of businesses to try to significantly reduce stress levels and anxiety-related depression in employees between the ages of twenty-two and fifty-five.

The more business owners that do, the happier their staff will be and the better they will perform. So look after yourself, your mind and your body. But as starting something new can often feel a little intimidating, I’ve assembled some reassuring testimonies from the yoga classes I teach.

While business owners and HR leaders understand that this cannot be done in one day, they are now starting to realise that exhaustion and stress-related illness is becoming more ‘the norm’ than 5 years ago. They are also aware that there are tools to help, but in most cases they have little knowledge of these. In this world of 24/7 communication, where everything has to be done as fast as possible, and where evenings and weekends at home probably don’t mean being uncontactable by colleagues and superiors, this is becoming more of a common problem. Lack of actual time away from phones and laptops, as well as burn out from long hours, play a huge part in this. The ever-impressive psychotherapist/counsellor/ entrepreneur Ales Zivkovic conducted some simple research into this matter using Google Trends, which indicated that depression and anxiety show up as two of the highest ranking mental health searches - and that searches for anxiety increased 18% in 2016 compared to 2015, with an astonishing 96% increase over the period of last 5 years. For depression and anxiety, the growth is almost twofold in the UK compared to the rest of the world. (You can find a more comprehensive analysis at Zivkovic’s blog here: http://aleszivkovic.com/blog). There are, of course, other mental health conditions that have seen a sharp rise in the last five years across the UK. Searches for stress increased by 18%, bipolar 14%, panic attacks rose 30%, social anxiety 49%, burnout 19%, and relationship counselling by as much as 58%. As an employer, it is important to know that the latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show: • The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000 cases, a prevalence rate of 1,510 per 100,000 workers. • The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers.The estimated number and rate have remained broadly flat for more than a decade. • The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2015/16 was 11.7 million days.This equated to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. • In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-

“I thoroughly enjoyed the breathing techniques and it is something I still use today. I recommend that everyone should try Yoga and explore the benefits.” related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

‘I enjoyed the yoga day and the relaxing nature of it. It provided interesting and effective stress-relieving exercises and relaxation techniques. As we have such busy lives and can find ourselves in stressful situations, these techniques could certainly assist in staying cool and calm.’ (Male aged 33) ‘At first I was apprehensive and had preconceived ideas of what Yoga would entail. However, I attended with an open mind and was very pleased with the session. Emma made us very welcome and relaxed from the start [and] clearly explained the clear goals of each technique and encouraged us to push ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed the breathing techniques and it is something I still use today. I recommend that everyone should try Yoga and explore the benefits.’ (Male aged 29)

So, what can we do? Teach life tools through yoga, relaxation, pranayama (breathing techniques) and simple meditation.The earlier we teach the tools, the easier they become. Having said that, it is never too late to start.

‘I found the yoga day a really welcome reprieve from the stresses of everyday life.Taking time to learn techniques to properly relax, along with stretches and postures to help keep you fit, seems like the perfect combination. Emma was helpful, patient and motivating. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again.’ (Female aged 26)

And the more you practise in non-stressful environments, the easier they are to do, when you really need them. Whilst you can be your own worst enemy by letting yourself become anxious, you can also be your own best friend by applying techniques you have learnt and using them to look after yourself.

‘Having been sceptical about the concept of yoga retreat, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed the day.The yoga nidra especially was a great chance to escape from reality for a short while, and concentrate on relaxing.’ (Male aged 39)

Yoga connects body and mind. It is an all-round therapy for all ages and abilities. And it can be practised wherever there is space for you to lie down. Hotel rooms, gardens, kitchens, roof terraces, student halls of residence, beaches - you just need a space the size of a yoga mat.The meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques can be can be conducted anywhere.You just need yourself. These tools are not only useful for stress, but they are great for clearing the mind so you can focus on something specific. Some schools, at least, are starting to realise the need

‘The Yoga Retreat was very calming. I have never done Yoga before and felt Emma was excellent in her teaching, very knowledgeable and inspiring. She made me feel comfortable exploring yoga for the first time. I thought the day was planned out well and the food cooked for us was incredible. She made the whole experience easy and fun.The yoga nidra was so relaxing and I was able to switch off completely, taking away all my stresses. I would definitely like to do Yoga again and especially with Emma at The Yoga Tree.’ (Female aged 42)

www.the-yoga-tree.com www.cotswold-homes.com

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DENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

DENTAL HEALTH

MATTERS THE HEAVY-METAL GENERATION

There are many people who had most of their dentistry completed in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Dentists often call them ‘The Heavy-Metal Generation’! Have you ever wondered why they had so many more fillings, crowns and extractions than the younger members of their family?

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

Why were so many fillings placed? There may have been many causes, but the most common were: • Many more sweets and sugary foods were eaten after the war There are still people alive today who remember the sugar rationing after the war and what it was like when it was lifted in 1953. In fact, the British diet was extremely healthy during sugar rationing, with a reduction in the decay rate of the nation’s teeth. But it was only natural that when sweets became readily available the public would make up for lost time, which had a big effect in increasing the number of cavities in our mouths. • Dentists placing unnecessary fillings Until the last three decades, the practice of dentistry was based on the work of an American dentist, Dr G V Black, and his textbook published in 1896! The standard filling material at the time was silver amalgam, retained by cutting undercuts into the enamel, made more destructive as Dr Black insisted that the filling should be extended into the area next to the decay. This was meant to prevent further decay, but the end result was a much larger filling. Eventually the larger filling broke and was replaced by a crown, and if this fractured it often led to the extraction of the tooth. 74

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• No fluoride in toothpaste This may be the single most important factor in reducing tooth decay. For many years the link between fluoride and low tooth decay rates has been well established. Fluoride has been placed in toothpastes since the 1950s, but became more popular in the following decades. As soon as we eat any food containing sugars and starches, bacteria in the mouth convert this into an acid that starts to attack the surface of the tooth breaking down the enamel prisms. Fluoride reverses this procedure and even strengthens the new enamel by making bigger, stronger prisms.

So what about modern dentistry? A modern dentist aims to treat their patient with the least destructive procedure available. Early decay is treated by increasing the fluoride

and improving the oral hygiene in the mouth. If decay continues, a plastic filling is placed to restore the tooth. This relies on bonding to enamel, so a much smaller cavity is made, reducing the risk of further fracture later.

If you want more information about the contents of the article, go to www. dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about and follow links to ‘Preventive care and oral hygiene’, or contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831396 or email reception@drbigg. com and come to see 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 x-rays if required, and a free Denplan Examination.


SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS WITH

COTSWOLD HOMES AS AN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS SERVING THE NORTH COTSWOLD COMMUNITY, NOW’S THE PERFECT TIME TO GET ON BOARD WITH COTSWOLD HOMES! With a range of affordable online, print marketing and editorial packages plus invaluable access to a unique database of 7,500 + from just £150 plus VAT per quarter Whether you want to kick start your brand new business, promote an event or maintain a bespoke line of communication with the North Cotswold marketplace, we have exactly what you need to suit your budget

FOR MORE INFORMATION, SIMPLY CONTACT KEELIN AT KEELIN@COTSWOLD-HOMES.COM

Bridal Make-up Artist, Beauty Therapy and Medical Aesthetics. The Beauty Barn is situated on the outskirts of Bourton-on-the-Water in the heart of the Cotswolds. With stunning views of the Lakes and surrounding countryside, it is the perfect place to escape and rejuvenate. Our treatment list includesBridal & Bridal party Make-up by our Make-up Artist Becca, Prescription Facials, Opera Led Facials, Shellac Manicures and Pedicures, PhD Waxing, Eyebrow tinting and Shaping, Semi Permanent eyelash extensions, Eyelash Perming, Swedish Massage, Hopi Ear Candles, St Tropez spray tans, Medical Skin Peels, Lip Augmentation & Dermal Fillers. Numerous day spa packages are available, with Monthly offers on our Facebook page. Our Bridal Make-up artist offers a Bridal Trial, meticulous planning and time management and of course your Bridal Make-up on the day for just £100. Bridal Party Make-up can be done for £40 per person. There may be an extra charge for travel if it's over a certain distance, please call for details.

Rose Barn, Cemetery Lane, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HB fb.me/thebeautybarncotswolds | 07907024364


AMANDA HANLEY

Whether it’s a well-loved or antique sofa or chair in need of a new lease of life, or a beautiful new bespoke item you can personalise with your own choice of fabric, Interior Designer Amanda Hanley gives an insight into how to create something unique, beautiful and practical that you will cherish for years to come.

When selecting a fabric for your piece of furniture, aesthetic is an important element, but functionality is key. There are certain considerations you need to think about to ensure you will get the result you are aspiring to and that your furniture will last the test of time.

What colour and fabric should I go for? Once you’ve decided on the perfect sofa or chair, choose a fabric that is harmonious with the style and character of the piece of furniture and the interior of your house. For instance, a traditional fabric is the obvious choice for a traditional-style Frame. However, if you want to go for something a bit different, try combining styles with the assistance of a professional! Tactile textiles with a luxurious feel are increasingly popular in the latest designer fabric collections; velvet is a good choice that comes in a vast number of finishes.

GP & J Baker

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Make sure your colour choice is one you can live

with for a long time. You might want to avoid very bold colours that could look dated long before the piece needs recovering. Think about the mood you are trying to create and consider the colour temperature. Warm and cool colours will hugely affect the mood of the room; warming hues enhance the impact, and may encourage you to choose something a little more exciting than the wide range of neutral tones. Soft reds and burnt oranges look gorgeous with neutral backgrounds, creating a warm, welcoming look with a country chic feel.


AMANDA HANLEY

How do I choose a fabric that Get creative will be durable enough for my Don't be afraid to choose a fabric with a fun or family? unique print if you love it. It can add a surprisingly The importance of fabric durability depends on a number of factors, including the style of furniture, the room and environment it will be used in, how often it will be used and who will be using it – in particular children and pets!

Should I go for a plain or patterned fabric? Most importantly, make sure you choose a design you really love and will enjoy for a long time; ideally you don’t want something that will be out of fashion by next year! Plain and neutral styles are more versatile in standing the test of time, however patterns withstand wear and tear, stains and damage better. If pattern is your preference, ensure that the print suits the style and shape of the furniture; traditional fabrics usually suit classic pieces and plain fabrics complement modern designs. If the piece is complex with lots of curves and detail, then a solid pattern normally works best. You should also consider the size of the pattern and the impact it will have on the room. When it comes to customisation, there is a multitude of choices that will transform the piece. Take advice on trimmings; adding piped edges, button tufting, cords and edging will finish your piece off beautifully.

Will it be in a high traffic area? There are plenty of hardwearing fabrics to choose from; look out for high thread counts and tight weaves. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; denser fabrics are more durable. Woven patterns often last longer than printed ones and tightly woven velvets can also be very hardwearing as the abrasion is taken at the end of the pile tuft. Silks can work in formal settings with occasional wear, but wool, cotton and synthetics are much more suitable for everyday living.

personal touch and quickly transform the feel of the entire room. If you're too nervous to experiment with bolder colours and patterns, you might rather express your style with a footstool or ottoman, which can double as a coffee table. It'll add a more subtle sense of diversity to your space. A recent trend for re-upholstery is to use two complementary fabrics, ideally on an occasional chair. It is crucial, of course, to choose fabrics that work perfectly together so it is worthwhile consulting an expert on how to mix patterns, textures and colours beautifully.

Depending on the environment you might need to consider fade resistance and mildew resistance. If you have allergies consider fabric such as microfibre, which is lint-free and won’t attract dust. And if you have pets avoid using delicate fabrics or anything with lots of texture. You can check every fabric’s capabilities in the producer’s swatch book. Upholstery fabrics should have a minimum of 20,000-30,000 rubs – we prefer to select fabrics with 100,000 rubs for clients’ sofas, to ensure longevity. Upholstered items should also have a ticket that displays its fire resistance.

GP & J Baker

All sofas and chairs available at Amanda Hanley by Design

Woven patterns often last longer than printed ones and tightly woven velvets can also be very hardwearing as the abrasion is taken at the end of the pile tuft.

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

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AMBERLEY, LONGBOROUGH

£999,950 SOLD

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. 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 651000

LITTLE COURT, BOURTON ON THE WATER

£725,000 SOLD

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 822 977

THE WILLOW HOUSE, GREAT WOLFORD

£725,000 SOLD

A charming, cleverly extended, substantial village home partly dating back to the seventeenth century, presented in beautiful order throughout and occupying a prime central position in the rural village of Great Wolford. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Snug/Family Room | Utility Room | Study/Bedroom 5 | Shower Room | Four First Floor Double Bedrooms | Two Bathrooms | Garage | Garden | EPC Rating: D

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

STATION HOUSE, ADLESTROP

£580,000 SOLD

This former Station Master’s house has been substantially extended and modernised by the current owners to create a well-proportioned family home.The property occupies a picturesque and rural position with grounds which extend to approximately three quarters of an acre. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Family Room | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Double Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: E

Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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


WINDYRIDGE, STOW ON THE WOLD

£500,000 SALE AGREED

This detached single storey barn conversion boasts generously proportioned accommodation on the edge of this popular North Cotswold town. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Conservatory | Study | Shower Room | Utility/Laundry Room | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Four Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: F

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

THE OLD POST OFFICE, STRETTON ON FOSSE

£375,000 SOLD

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

2 LOWER FOLLY, PAXFORD

£375,000

A delightful double fronted period cottage situated within this popular North Cotswold village, boasting an abundance of character features and benefiting from a pretty cottage garden to the rear and off road parking to the front. Entrance | Sitting Room | Dining Hall | Kitchen | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden Room | Garden To Rear | Parking | EPC Rating: G

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

1 CHURCH PIECE, LOWER SWELL

£375,000 SALE AGREED

A link detached house situated in a popular village, just outside of Stow on the Wold. Entrance Hall | Dining Room | Sitting Room | Conservatory | Kitchen/ Breakfast Room | Downstairs Shower Room with WC | Three First Floor Bedrooms | Bathroom | Front and Rear Garden | Off Road Parking Area | EPC Rating: D

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

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A COMPLETE MARKETING STRATEGY …THOUSANDS OF UNIQUE AND RETURNING VISITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO COTSWOLD HOMES EACH MONTH FOR A DETAILED INSIGHT INTO THE COTSWOLD MARKETPLACE… Every property, village and town is linked to an extensive catalogue of local events and places of interest, plus a host of useful information about local amenities, schools, clubs and community life In addition to a general search bar, our cleverly curated sections offer carefully hand-picked suggestions for traditional wish lists, plus an ideal New Instructions shortcut for returning visitors Our Instant Online Valuation Tool and Recently Sold sections provide an invaluable resource and fascinating information on recent activity and likely prices within the marketplace for those considering whether to sell or let their own Cotswold home Our local industry experts offer wise advice on every aspect of buying, letting or selling properties in the North Cotswold marketplace, from general market trends to financing a purchase

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#APlaceInTheCountry Don’t miss out on this fabulous barn conversion in Blockley!

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A COMPLETE MARKETING STRATEGY OVER 7,500 PEOPLE ON OUR COTSWOLD HOMES DATABASE ARE REGISTERED TO RECEIVE BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED NEWSLETTERS DESIGNED TO SHOWCASE THE NORTH COTSWOLDS PROPERTY MARKETPLACE All our newsletters are linked to stunning feature editorial spreads on our website and to our latest magazine edition, hosted online by Issuu

Each newsletter is boosted again to thousands more potential buyers via our proactive Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds

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With a readership in excess of 50,000 for each luxurious quarterly edition, Cotswold Homes magazine sets the superlative standard for the Cotswold property marketplace

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BAPTIST MANSE, SHIPSTON ON STOUR

ÂŁ750,000

A stunning detached Victorian villa situated on the outskirts of this thriving market town offering substantial, immaculately presented family accommodation and a generously proportioned self-contained annexe. Entrance Hall l Formal Sitting Room open to Dining Room l Family Room l Kitchen/Breakfast Room l Pantry l Utility l WC l Four Double Bedrooms l Family Bathroom l Shower Room l Garden l Off Road Parking l EPC Rating: TBC Annexe: Entrance Hall l Large Sitting Room l Kitchen l Large Double Bedroom l Bathroom l Garden l EPC Rating: TBC Fine and Country, Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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FOX LODGE, ASTON MAGNA £995,000 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 two 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

ROSE VILLA, BLEDINGTON

£625,000

A double fronted Victorian family home occupying a tucked away position on a quiet side street within this popular North Cotswold village. 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 | Study | WC | Guest Bedroom With En-Suite | Three First Floor Bedrooms | Bathroom | Parking | Garden | EPC Rating: G Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

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


A Place in the Country Desirable homes, dream locations

HALL & HEATHER COTTAGE, GREAT ROLLRIGHT

£550,000

A rare opportunity to purchase two adjoining period cottages in the heart of this quintessential Cotswold village. These charming two bedroom cottages overlook a secluded and mature garden and lend themselves to both investment and second home use. Hall Cottage – Entrance | Two Bedrooms and A Bathroom On The Ground Floor | Open Plan Sitting Room/Dining Room/ Kitchen With Vaulted Ceilings On The First Floor | EPC Rating: G Heather Cottage – Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen On The Ground Floor | Two Bedrooms And A Bathroom Upstairs | EPC Rating: E Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

LILAC COTTAGE, FORD

£525,000

A modern Cotswold stone property in the style of a barn conversion with many exposed beams, double glazing and LPG gas fired central heating. To the rear all the windows look down the Windrush Valley and from the kitchen and the master bedroom the view is up the famous Jonjo O’Neill, Jacksdaws Castle gallops. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory | WC | Master Bedroom | En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Garage | Parking for Two Vehicles | EPC Rating: E Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

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GLEBE HOUSE

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A Place in the Country

GLEBE HOUSE

Glebe House is a substantial detached Cotswold stone property set within a peaceful and private position that has been extended and redesigned by the current vendors to create a dream Cotswold home, one furthermore blessed with enormous charm and character, perfect for family-living or indeed a private country retreat. Hidden behind electric wooden gates at the end of a gravelled tree-lined drive and surrounded by grounds of over nine acres, the house enjoys a spectacular elevated position enjoying panoramic westerly views across the surrounding countryside.

The interior of Glebe House has undergone a careful and sympathetic renovation with no expense spared in the provision of quality and luxury. A broad welcoming hallway opens out onto a fully equipped open-plan living space, with a kitchen / breakfast area that now forms the natural centrepiece of the home, the whole ooded with natural light and generously fitted to a high standard including an Everhot cast iron range cooker. This working side of the kitchen leads handily through to utility / boot room and WC, whilst to the opposite end a large dining / family area will host twelve people comfortably around a table, the natural setting for informal dinner parties and larger family celebrations. A cosy seating area - complete with wood-burning stove set within a Cotswold stone fireplace - takes full advantage of the sunlit evening views; likewise, for more formal occasions a wellproportioned sitting room with open limestone fireplace is situated at the other side of the house, leading out to a conservatory and paved terrace, the whole encompassing the same wonderful views. Blessed by the dying rays of summer warmth from the setting sun, an evening drinks party or dining al fresco will especially benefit from an integral music system that provides continuity of ambience and sound throughout the whole ground oor.

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GLEBE HOUSE

A cosy seating area - complete with wood-burning stove set within a Cotswold stone fireplace - takes full advantage of the sunlit evening views; likewise, for more formal occasions a well-proportioned sitting room with open limestone fireplace is situated at the other side of the house ...

On the first floor, approached by a solid oak staircase and galleried landing, two luxurious double bedroom suites can be found with two further double bedrooms and a family bathroom, again all presented in immaculate decorative order and enjoying the same uninterrupted, peaceful and private views. Outside, the immaculately landscaped gardens are laid mainly to lawn but include an ornamental pond, tennis court and former manège (with two paddocks secured by post and rail fencing). With everything set to provide the perfect excuse for relaxed country weekends, as such Glebe House is custom-made for a relaxed and happy family life, especially for those who enjoy equestrian pursuits or whose weekend hobbies might benefit from a range of outbuildings comprising two large storerooms, a stable, an open-fronted American-style barn and electric double garage. 88

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Sitting on the edge of the small village of Little Rissington, only a short five-minute drive to the picturesque Cotswold centre of Bourton on the Water and a wide range of day-to-day amenities, the larger centres of Cheltenham, Burford and Oxford are all within half an hour’s reach. Notably for those who need to commute, the train station at Kingham is only six miles away, thereby providing regular mainline rail access to London Paddington in around an hour and a half. Equally importantly, excellent schooling is immediately on hand. The Cotswold School in Bourton on the Water was named The Sunday Times’ Comprehensive School of the Year 2015/16 and for those who wish for private education there are a number of schools situated locally including Cheltenham College, Kitebrook Preparatory and Kingham Hill School; equally renowned Pates and Denmark Road grammar schools are also within a manageable daily drive.


A Place in the Country

GLEBE HOUSE

Glebe House is offered to the market by the Bourton on the Water branch of Fine & Country North Cotswolds; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01451 824977.

“... an evening drinks party or dining al fresco will especially benefit from an integral music system that provides continuity of ambience and sound throughout the whole ground floor.” www.cotswold-homes.com

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THE MILL HOUSE

MILL HOUSE P

A stunning split-level barn constructed of Cotswold stone, approaching 3,000 square foot of open-plan living space, Mill House has been updated and signiďŹ cantly improved by the current owners. It is beautifully situated within several acres of delightfully maintained gardens and paddocks, enjoying gorgeous rural views in all directions and a secluded, private location. As such the property is bound to command a great deal of interest and presents an extremely attractive proposition, addressing the ubiquitous wish list of all those seeking the ultimate beneďŹ ts of traditional country lifestyle - luxurious living space, far-reaching views and natural privacy in the heart of the North Cotswold landscape. 90

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Situated in the tiny village of Paxford the property revels in a secluded position comfortably insulated from view, neighboured and protected on the approach from the front and looking out onto broad open countryside thereafter, with little interruption save for an occasional rider or walker strolling by on a bridle path that runs to one edge of the boundary. Despite the isolation afforded by its rural setting, day-to-day needs are amply served by two of the most renowned and desirable villages in the North Cotswolds, with Blockley and Chipping Campden lying barely two miles in either direction. Meanwhile, the mainline train station to Paddington is accessible at the nearby ancient market town of Moreton in Marsh, along with a

D

further host of amenities and facilities within a few minutes’ drive. Paxford is on the bus route for the renowned secondary school at Chipping Campden and is within a sensible commutable distance from Oxford, Cheltenham or Stratford upon Avon, and as such this is an eminently suitable property for a number of different purchasers - either for a family, as a prime second home or even a large holiday let proposition given that, in such a horsey county, the land could very easily be rented out. Ideally, of course, it is perfectly suited to equestrian interests or indeed for anyone seeking an idyllic retreat from the pressures of day-to-day life.


Mill House is tucked invisibly within the heart of the village, approached via a short gravelled lane bridged over a low-lying brook. Centred within meticulously landscaped gardens and surrounded by seven acres of flat paddock land, the property offers a wealth of integral character and great attention to detail, using a palette of traditional natural materials: exposed brick and stonework, stripped floorboards, oak beams, latched doors and picture windows amongst its various delights, the whole positioned to best advantage within its plot. A broad gated and gravelled driveway leads to a picturesque frontage of neatly manicured lawns with colourfully stocked borders, shaded by a profusion of deciduous trees and complemented by a wide and pretty pond, the whole combining to provide a comforting sense of tranquillity and retreat. Once inside, impressively vast rooms open up

“There is a true sense of luxury and peace that reigns here, enhanced by glazed double doors that can be thrown open onto a wrought iron balcony to capture the best of the views ...”

within, several of which could happily vie for the ultimate ‘wow factor’. Every glamorous interior is conceived to the highest standard throughout. The natural structure of the original barn has been cleverly optimised to create free-flowing, adaptable, informal and formal living spaces, embracing a traditional country vernacular with a twist, combining original character and a modern split-level arrangement, all elements complementing each space throughout, from the beauty of a vaulted ceiling or a room brightly lit by full-length windows to the pleasing structure of an open balustrade staircase or an original exposed ‘A’ frame. First of the most striking living spaces is an enormous, warm and welcoming kitchen / breakfast room complete with an informal seating area and wood burning stove, perfect for family life - indeed, as the present owners explain, it is where they spend all their time.

www.cotswold-homes.com

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A Place in the Country

THE MILL HOUSE


THE MILL HOUSE

“The kitchen / breakfast room is truly the heart of this home. Most days we don’t feel the need to go into another room at all but simply to move from one part to another. It’s incredibly sociable, of course, and practical - the children used to sit at the table to do their homework whilst we cooked dinner and chatted; even when we have all our extended family or invite friends we do tend to stay rooted here, as everyone really unwinds and relaxes. Equally it’s cosy even when the children have gone back to university, especially on cold winter nights, just the two of us tucked up together with the dogs in front of the wood-burner, totally at peace with the world.” Complementing the arrangement of day-to-day informal living on the ground floor level are a separate capacious utility room and, to the far end, a double bedroom suite with doors leading out onto the garden, a space that could just as easily be used as a convenient place to work from home or to provide for an elderly relative / live-in nanny. The higher ground floor is useful for more formal entertainment, especially for

large family Christmases and summer parties – an enormous, square, double-height sitting room with an adjacent dining room beyond (currently used as a study), both leading out onto the garden and benefiting from glorious countryside views. Leading down to the lower-level floor is a guest suite offering two double bedrooms, each served by a luxurious bathroom. Alone in all its glory on the upper storey is the master bedroom, together with a walk-in dressing room and generously appointed shower room. There is a true sense of luxury and peace that reigns

‘This is a beautiful, rural property in a popular village with a great pub. With the space above the garage used as another double bedroom you will have a luxury proposition which sleeps 10, and which should deliver around £65,000 gross rental income per annum.’

Cotswold Homes Magazine

The original main barn has recently been added to with a new timber building, serving as garaging, log store, garden storage and even a sauna, with generous ancillary living accommodation above. Here, there’s another double bedroom and shower room. “When the children come home, bringing their

“The kitchen / breakfast room is truly the heart of this home. Most days we don’t feel the need to go into another room at all but simply to move from one part to another. It’s incredibly sociable, of course, and practical ...”

Andy Soye says

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here, enhanced by glazed double doors that can be thrown open onto a wrought iron balcony to capture the best of the views - a place ideal for quiet contemplation, settling down with a book or a lazy Sunday breakfast on sunlit mornings.


university friends with them, it’s ideal to put them all up in here whilst we still keep the house to ourselves! Of course we shall be very sad to leave here having enjoyed every moment but with our family now pretty much grown up and gone, whilst it’s great to have all this amazing space when everyone is home for high days and holidays it’s often just the two of us day-to-day, and we accept it’s time to move on. “We are very comfortable to do so, knowing that it’s been such a very happy place and that there’s so much more enjoyment for the next

family who comes here. They will certainly benefit from the hard work we have done to ensure this is a practical, easily maintained home, especially in terms of someone who would like to make proper use of the paddocks. We imagine in our mind’s eye a young family, little girls with ponies would be wonderful, or possibly someone running a business from home who might wish to operate a small livery perhaps. Given the bridle path that runs immediately beside us and stretches out into the open countryside beyond, it’s an ideal place for keeping horses as you would never even have to venture out onto the road.”

A Place in the Country

THE MILL HOUSE

Mill House is offered to the market by the Moreton in Marsh branch of Fine & Country North Cotswolds; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01608 651000.

www.cotswold-homes.com

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BURGRED BARN

Burgred Barn The Architecture of Happiness The importance of the design of buildings and location to our wellbeing is the philosophical debate taken up by Alain de Botton in his seminal 2006 work, The Architecture of Happiness. In it, he proposes that the most enduring happiness might be found most easily “in a run of old floorboards or in a wash of morning light over a plaster wall – in undramatic, frangible scenes of beauty...” If so then Burgred Barn – a single storey stable barn conversion that was once part of working farm, blessed with over an acre of garden and orientated to enjoy the most beautiful views over the surrounding hills, gives what great design should always seek to achieve, a sense of profound wellbeing and the promise of happiness in the fabric of day-to-day living. 96

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As such, perhaps it is no surprise to find that a sculptor and a complementary therapist have made their home here. “When we found the property in 2004,” explains the current owner Jo Riley, “we could immediately see it as a place to create a wonderful family life, to provide an escape from the pressures of our busy lives, somewhere we could address our need for creative expression, a better sense of mindfulness and peace, if you like. As such, it has more than fulfilled its brief. This house allows us to connect fully with nature and the outside world in all seasons. Everyone who comes to the door says the same thing – ‘Look at the view!’” Surrounded by rolling hills, the property looks over the most magnificent Cotswold


A Place in the Country

BURGRED BARN

countryside. It is, without a doubt, breathtakingly, overwhelmingly beautiful. “We can see all the way to Pasture Farm in the far distance. It feels as if we are on perpetual holiday in Provence or Tuscany. We have placed a bench on the top terrace just outside the kitchen planted beneath with a thyme bed, to capture that wonderful feeling of time standing still where we find the opportunity simply to sit and absorb that feeling, to relax as often as we can. From inside we are also immediately connected to that same view as the principal rooms all look out upon it too, with double doors leading out from the kitchen and lounge which we throw open to enjoy the fresh air, as if we are in the garden without even stepping outside.” The happiness derived from great architecture is as much in the structure and fabric as the outlook and Burgred Barn resonates again with de Botton’s view that it is not the complexity of design but the clever appearance of simplicity that matters – “…a love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than the eternal and the simple rather than the ornate…” All arranged on one level, the original conversion

We have placed a bench on the top terrace just outside the kitchen planted beneath with a thyme bed, to capture that wonderful feeling of time standing still where we find the

opportunity simply to sit and absorb that feeling, to relax as often as we can. was both intelligent and empathetic, ensuring that the structure and rough, honest materials of the eighteenth century barn were left on view as integral, tactile, necessary pleasures, with so much beauty in the details - the exposed herringbone brickwork, a beamed ‘A’ frame in a plaster wall, a tiny stone alcove above a sink and a soaring roof space - the whole combining to produce a sense of beguiling, luxurious simplicity. “There were a lot of small rooms when we arrived but we have opened everything up to create a much more practical, open-plan design - now all of the rooms are of a really good size, with loads of cupboards and shelves equipped to contain all our accumulated belongings and hobbies. For us the important thing was to move easily from space to space - a success testified by the regular Nerf gun battles and games of hide and seek that take place throughout the whole

building! Above all, the house encourages an easy, informal and sociable atmosphere, a place where we can enjoy high days and holidays with our friends and family, seated around the kitchen table or stretched out on the sofas in front of the fire, relishing the pleasures of a simple country lifestyle.” Nowhere is this more evident than the kitchen / breakfast room, the epitome of country living at its best. Hand-crafted, a range of natural materials and textures in wood, stone and brick all give colour and warmth, the windows look out over the garden and views beyond, doors are open to waft in the scent of herbs and fresh air. It’s somewhere to take time, to cook slowly and to congregate together, to unwind over convivial family meals. The garden room and the courtyard that lies beyond provide a more sheltered, contemplative sanctuary. www.cotswold-homes.com

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BURGRED BARN

“This garden room and courtyard were really practical when our son was a toddler - we used them as a safe, confined indoor-outdoor play area. Now we both work from home far more and the garden room has become Rob’s study, so we always use the courtyard for morning coffee breaks being south facing and completely private - it’s very warm even when it’s too cold to venture into the main garden. After supper, we all make our way into the lounge together. In summer it’s another indoor-outdoor space connecting us with the night skies and the balmy elongating evenings, whilst in winter it’s a cosy place to settle down in front of a roaring fire, to play board games, enjoy a glass of wine, relax and chill. It’s a great place to have friends down for the weekend and as a party house it’s perfect, Christmas particularly.” Throughout the property is the same stamp of simple, understated luxury. With a stunning kitchen / breakfast room and garden room, wide internal halls, a large vaulted family lounge and three double bedrooms (each served with bathroom / shower room) the whole building functions perfectly as a free-flow of pleasurably light-filled, beautiful, airy living spaces. Whilst they secured planning permission to extend, they have never felt it necessary to take up. [see Cotswold District Council’s website, planning reference 09/00561/FUL & 12/02108/FUL]. “We haven’t once felt short of space although it’s eminently possible to extend quite substantially given the property sits at the top of a very large plot. One could push up the square footage without impacting on the garden at all bearing in mind the barn sits at on a large, flat upper terrace – in itself that’s somewhat of a rarity, given the generally hilly terrain of Blockley!” They did not stop at creating a wonderful interior but commissioned Rupert and Nick Williams-Ellis (also residents in the same village) to design and build an equally stunning landscaped exterior, making the most of the broad, long and gently sloping grounds. The property is now approached by an immaculate gated and gravelled driveway, with plenty of parking and turning space leading to a threebay timber garage. Stretching out beyond is a series of interconnected garden spaces, each of different character and function, including a hidden garden at the very end, wherein lies a veritable paradise. “We were both working very hard and often away when we first moved here, so the whole garden was purposely designed to be low maintenance. The top third has an Italian-inspired theme with a wide, flat, manicured lawn and stone-built terraces, surrounded by a profusion of seasonal colour. We loved the idea of growing vegetables as a nod to self-sufficiency. The greenhouse and raised flowerbeds were installed to make gardening much easier - we can potter about quite happily, needing only a few hours a week to keep on top of things and to mow the lawns. The middle section is the antithesis of the top terrace as a spreading, naturally unstructured 98

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This house allows us to connect fully with nature and the outside world in all seasons.

Everyone who comes to the door says the same thing – ‘Look at the view! space with a spinney of elegant mature trees, where we located two timber studios – one for Rob’s sculpture and the other one serving as my Garden Retreat. We both really love being down here, centred within the garden and hidden away from daily life, somewhere we can easily embrace the beauty of changing seasons.” Beyond is the hidden orchard, a delightful secret garden complete with a large sweet chestnut tree framing views towards the distant hills, generously planted with walnut, plum, apple, damson and quince trees. “There’s a profusion of blossom in spring and loads of fruit to make excellent jams and chutneys. Whatever the season, it is a really special place - we often hold family campfires down here, roasting chestnuts or barbecuing our supper. Complete with a tree house and rope swing it’s absolutely idyllic for children, of course.” Whilst Burgred Barn has all the prerequisite ingredients for a happy family life, it is suited to a wide number of potential purchasers. Given the luxury of single storey accommodation and the surprising ease of garden maintenance, it would be just as suited to a retired couple or equally as a second home / holiday let investment. Once the centre of a thriving Georgian silk mill industry, today Blockley is a highly desirable and tranquil Cotswold village that attracts many visitors and has a very sociable community served by two public houses, a renowned primary school and a wonderful shop / café managed by local residents. For more amenities there is the nearby ancient market town of Moreton in Marsh and, of course, easy access to the regular mainline Worcester / Paddington train service into central London.


A Place in the Country

BURGRED BARN

Immediately following an Open Viewing Day with multiple viewings, a sale was swiftly agreed in excess of the asking price

ANDY SOYE SAYS ‘What a stunning property! As it stands, you would aim to deliver around £45,000 of gross rental income per annum, however if you were able to convert the outbuilding to an annexe with a double bed and lift the occupancy to 8, this could increase the gross income to £55,000 per annum.’

www.cotswold-homes.com

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HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Andy Soye

Mat Faraday

Considering a Cotswold holiday let investment?

Q A

Have changes in Buy-to-Let taxation put an end to investing in the property marketplace? If not, what should I buy to maximise my potential return? From April 2017 the new tax laws on Buy-to-Let properties will start to impact on the investment marketplace - both on wouldbe investors and existing Buy-to-Let owners. Such owners will no longer be able to offset all of their mortgage interest against profit as an allowable cost. As a result, many stand to lose thousands and some might even make a loss. The good news is that holiday cottages, (or Furnished Holiday Lets, as the taxman likes to call them), are excluded from this new legislation. Investing in a Cotswold holiday cottage has never looked more appealing than now. The Cotswolds are an ideal location given the area’s natural beauty and central position within the UK. Plenty of people holiday here all year round, providing a solid rental income base that performs very differently from Devon and Cornwall, say, which are much more seasonal markets. Within striking distance of London, this is also a highly desirable area to live, of course. The whole marketplace is very resilient, as prime, period village homes will always be in demand, so investors can aim to achieve long-term capital growth as well. In our experience, whilst one and two bedroom properties do well, larger houses with three, four or more bedrooms typically do even better. This is partly because whilst income increases relatively linearly with the number of guests that a property can accommodate, some property costs remain relatively fixed as the sleeping capacity increases. It is also because there are fewer large Cotswold holiday cottages relative to the levels of demand, ensuring that strong pricing levels can be maintained all year round. The most important advice for potential holiday let investors, whatever your budget, is to “buy smart”. This often means looking for property features that would be perceived differently by residential purchasers. For example, a cottage with a large garden may have a high value as a residential purchase, but it will not make

too much difference to the price a guest will pay to stay there. Conversely, a residential purchaser may not place much value on a second living room, whereas this may be perfect for a sofa bed sleeping two additional guests, in a holiday cottage. Predicting income for holiday homes is dependent upon many factors, however, the following table provides an indication of the annual gross income that you might expect for a luxury property in a pretty Cotswold village. Do bear in mind that these levels of income are difficult to generate on your own – we have made significant investments in technology and infrastructure to enable us to integrate with all the major marketing platforms, as well as developing market leading pricing strategies, which combine together to enable us to maximise our owners’ incomes.

Maximum Occupancy

Gross Annual Income

2

£18,000 - £22,000+

4

£25,000 - £35,000+

6

£35,000 - £45,000+

8

£45,000 - £65,000+

10

£55,000 - £80,000+

12+

£65,000 - £100,000+

We are very experienced at assessing the particular benefits of prime Cotswold holiday homes, and can advise on key holiday letting factors, including furnishing, pricing, occupancy, security deposits and property management. Once you have found your dream Cotswold home, we can provide a more detailed financial forecast and help you to get the best possible return on your investment. 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@charactercottages.co.uk, visit www.character-cottages.co.uk or telephone 020 8935 5375.

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Cotswold Homes

property

www.cotswold-homes.com/property

THE FLEECE HOUSE, STOW ON THE WOLD

ÂŁ475,000

A rare opportunity to acquire a detached period property in Stow on the Wold with well-proportioned accommodation and in need of some modernisation. No Onward Chain. Entrance | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Garden Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Work Room | Workshop | WC | Three Bedrooms | Two Bathrooms | Attic Room | Garden | Potential For Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

1 CHURCH COTTAGES, TODENHAM

ÂŁ429,950

A delightful double fronted cottage boasting an abundance of character and charm, occupying an excellent position opposite the village church and benefiting from beautiful countryside views to the rear. Entrance | Kitchen/Dining Room | Sitting Room | Three Bedrooms | Study Area | Garden | EPC Rating: E Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

cotswold-homes.com/property

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


Investing in Bricks and Mortar Property portfolios, holiday lets and development projects

CLEMATIS COTTAGE, LONG COMPTON

£350,000

Constructed of Cotswold stone this beautifully presented three double bedroom cottage benefits from off road parking, a garage and a low maintenance garden to the rear. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | WC | Master Bedroom With En-Suite | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garage | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

SALE AGREED – CHURCH VIEW, STOW ON THE WOLD

£275,000

A stunning period apartment centrally located within this premium North Cotswold market town. The two bedroom apartment is finished to an impeccably high standard with stylishly appointed accommodation arranged over two floors enjoying views of the Church. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Roof Terrace | Separate Office/Study | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

view all our properties at cotswold-homes.com/property


WINDRUSH COTTAGE

WINDRUSH COTTAGE Naunton

Of the breathtaking panoramic views to be found in the North Cotswolds, a cluster of converted barns situated high above the village of Naunton must surely enjoy some of the finest, and of these Windrush Cottage has claimed the best for its own. Full of charming period detail, Windrush Cottage is a substantial barn conversion with a generous amount of living space predominantly arranged on one floor. Interiors are flooded by natural light and are luxuriously spacious, enhanced by broad glazed doors. Three main reception rooms include a grand formal sitting room (large enough to dwarf a grand piano, and blessed with a doubleheight ceiling which soars up into the “A” frame) with windows set to enjoy those stunning views. There is also an elevated terrace where, on sultry evenings, one can relax with a glass of wine in hand, to enjoy the far-reaching views over the Windrush Valley. There is a formal dining room, with views of a pretty central courtyard, and a more informal living room beyond, plus a secluded study tucked away, both overlooking the main courtyard garden. 106 Cotswold Homes Magazine

The kitchen / breakfast room forms a natural social hub, a veritable cook’s paradise fitted with copious solid wood cupboards and topped by long runs of polished black granite, and a cosy breakfast area. Three double bedrooms above are each appointed their own bathroom / shower room, whilst outside a detached double garage gives plenty of safe storage and off-road parking, with a pretty walled courtyard garden beyond. This is a great place to keep fit and healthy, surrounded as it is by beautiful walks. A tenminute post-prandial stroll down the hill will take you into the village proper, where one can check into the Black Horse pub for a pint or two before striking out to the glorious open countryside beyond. Crossed with bridal paths, set deep within the

bowl of the valley, the peaceful and picturesque linear arrangement of age-old cottages in Naunton form part of an original settlement dating back as far as the Domesday Book. Dominated by a magnificent mediaeval church and dovecote, the village quietly meanders along the shallow river Windrush for the best part of a mile. This famous undulating landscape of the western edge of the North Cotswolds is also home to the most horse-loving local folk, particularly those involved with the Sport of Kings. The Twiston-Davies’ yard is in Naunton and McManus’s Jackdaw Castle is to be found within a stone’s throw at Ford. Meanwhile, high above the village at the very top of the ridge and again within handy walking distance is a blowy but beautiful golf course on the renowned Naunton Downs, topped by a most convivial clubhouse.


WINDRUSH COTTAGE

‘This is a very attractive property in a desirable village with easy access to both Bourton on the Water & Stow on the Wold. As it stands, I would aim to deliver around £45,000 of letting income and would suggest perhaps converting the study into a further bedroom to increase occupancy.’

With enough sporting opportunities at hand to keep the most demanding of guests entertained at the weekend, should one wish for more prosaic day-to-day amenities and distractions it’s only a short drive to Stow on the Wold and twenty minutes to Cheltenham, thereby giving quick access to a network of major roads running in all directions - to Bath and Bristol, Stratford and Birmingham, Banbury and Oxford - all within an hour’s drive. As such, this is the perfect pad to invite friends down from London for a grown-up lazy weekend. The mainline train from Paddington pulls into nearby Kingham on a regular hour-and-a-half run, providing an equally sensible commuting proposition for a professional couple seeking a rural retreat from the stresses of city life. For the same reason the property would do very well indeed as a holiday-let investment, given a host of readily available tourist attractions within striking distance including the historic delights of Sudeley Castle, the worldfamous village of Bourton on the Water, the chocolate box charm of Chipping Campden and, along with many independent shops and cafes dotted throughout the Cotswolds, the ancient market town of Moreton in Marsh.

THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO KEEP FIT AND HEALTHY, SURROUNDED AS IT IS BY BEAUTIFUL WALKS. A TEN-MINUTE POST-PRANDIAL STROLL DOWN THE HILL WILL TAKE YOU INTO THE VILLAGE PROPER, WHERE ONE CAN CHECK INTO THE BLACK HORSE PUB FOR A PINT OR TWO BEFORE STRIKING OUT TO THE GLORIOUS OPEN COUNTRYSIDE BEYOND." However, given the copious and eminently flexible arrangement of living space, Windrush Cottage is just as suitable to the needs of a growing family. Anyone concerned with the exemplary educational opportunities offered within the North Cotswold community will know there are a host of great private and state schools. The nearest

is a delightful village primary school at Lower Swell, just two miles away, or similarly Cold Aston. Even more happily, Naunton is situated within the catchment area and on the bus route for the Cotswold School, an Outstanding state secondary school in Bourton on the Water that was rated the best in the UK by The Sunday Times in 2016.

Windrush Cottage is offered to the market by the Bourton on the Water branch of Fine & Country North Cotswolds; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01451 824977.

www.cotswold-homes.com 107

Investing in Bricks and Mortar

ANDY SOYE SAYS


THE BRITISH SCHOOL

was eventually converted into a private home. Built of mellow stone with the narrowest edge to the kerbside and sheltered privately under a gently sloping roofline, it offers an unassuming and beguiling exterior that reveals little of the sheer size and scope within. As such it was to prove the perfect second home for the current owners when they found the property up for sale in 2001.

Blockley’s beautiful architectural heritage, typified by picturesque rows of terraced cottages cheek-by-jowl with fine Georgian houses along its high street, owes a great deal to a serendipitous geographical position. Nestled within the steep slopes of surrounding hills, the fast shallow stream that flows through the centre of the village has been harnessed from early medieval times to power water mills. By the 1800s up to 10 large mills were engaged in a flourishing silk industry, employing hundreds of workers at its height, during which time this erstwhile rural community enjoyed a brief but intense period of extreme wealth.

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The British School in Chapel Lane is a unique product of this time, built in 1852 by a collective of merchants who were required under the new Provisions of Factory Act to cater for the needs of young children working in the mills. Attached to the chapel and quickly expanding to include an infant class and lecturing facility, in fact it was only twenty years before poor trade and high taxation forced a swift exit of workers during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The school gradually fell into decline and in the twentieth century this simple building, perched on a narrow pretty lane leading off the high street,

“After many years visiting the Cotswolds to walk and ride we had a number of important criteria on our wish list but just stepping through the front door was enough to persuade us. I said ‘this will do nicely’ and that was that!” Mr Pritchard recalls. “Our practical considerations were forgotten but thankfully we discovered everything we needed was also provided, a joy when we were able to live here permanently a few years later without having to move again.” Embraced within one vast, flowing multi-levelled interior this tranquil and immaculate, eminently grown-up home offers three large principal living spaces – a formal living space, a cosy snug area and a sociable dining space served by a separate kitchen, the whole delineated in the main by a simple arrangement of furniture. The middle floor is more traditionally supplied with


THE BRITISH SCHOOL

Investing in Bricks and Mortar

AFTER MANY YEARS VISITING THE COTSWOLDS TO WALK AND RIDE WE HAD A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT CRITERIA ON OUR WISH LIST BUT JUST STEPPING THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR WAS ENOUGH TO PERSUADE US.

ANDY SOYE SAYS “A stunning holiday let proposition – spacious, lots of character – furnished and presented in a luxury, contemporary style, this would fetch in excess of £40,000 gross income per annum.”

a master bedroom suite in addition to the utility and storerooms, whilst the garden floor provides generously proportioned guest accommodation. It is precisely the lack of physical division in this soaring principal single space that allows a constant movement of light to be cast through the gothic arched windows, set on all sides to catch the best of the sun throughout the day. Jewelled colours play onto long clean bare walls from circular stained glass windows set high in each apex, prisms glancing from the bevelled glass of an oak balustrade staircase, dusk creating thin shadows in mirrored alcoves, as structure and light somehow become art. Everything within is strategically placed – ceramics, a gravelled contemplative garden of treasured objects, lofty bookcases, modern pieces with antiques, all finding their own favoured position within an eclectic gallery. “We really don’t need paintings,” observes Mr Pritchard. “The building speaks for itself.” The vendors’ innate understanding of the

inherent beauty of this space is carried into each carefully executed fine detail throughout their home. Discreet, understated comfort and indulgence is evident in every element, from the uncluttered cleverness of strategic mood lighting placed almost invisibly amongst the rafters to the pleasurable luxury of an enormous principal bedroom, complete with an en-suite bathroom beautifully tiled by a local master craftsman, and the prerequisite deep long baths ready for an evening’s soak after a long walk in the surrounding countryside. If Danish hygge has a Cotswold cousin, this is its archetype – a uniquely individual period property that defies a traditional interpretation and exalts in the nature of home as a place of comfort and a retreat, to enjoy alone or with favoured friends. Certainly guests may come and stay if they wish, unobtrusively on their own lower ground floor with their own bathroom - and be invited to join their hosts for breakfast on the

abundantly planted terraced garden to look out together quietly onto a glorious view - but this is principally a wonderful place of solitude, calm and restoration. “It was at first a truly blissful retreat from the pressures of city life in every sense, yes, but once we became fully centred in Blockley we found it just as brilliantly suited to a great social life, in fact. We have hosted local clubs and societies here, invited friends and neighbours over for drinks and had big family get-togethers – one thing’s for certain, there’s plenty of room to mingle! Not only that but our relatives with young children have loved bringing them here, spending holidays here at any time of year. The house offers them wide safe spaces for grey days (one greatnephew took his first steps here) and, when the sun shines, Blockley Brook, the local paths, the Cotswold Farm Park and many other attractions have provided wonderful times and many happy memories for us all."

The British School is offered to the market by the Moreton in Marsh branch of Fine & Country North Cotswolds; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01608 651000.

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YEW TREE COTTAGE

YEW TREE COTTAGE Longborough

Yew Tree Cottage is a superb quintessential cottage believed to be dating back to the seventeenth century, one of the very oldest of properties situated at the heart of the village’s ancient High Street in Longborough, originally part of an old fruit farm estate. The yew trees that once bordered the cottage have gone but otherwise it presents much the same as the day it first stood. Double-fronted, constructed in a quintessentially Cotswold vernacular of mellow stone under gabled eaves with a pretty cottage garden bordered by a low, gated garden wall, it possesses such inherently pleasing symmetry and architectural simplicity that it is nothing short of a picture postcard for anyone searching for their dream home in the country.

The cottage had been untouched for years when the present vendors bought it back in 2009. “It was in need of a lot of work and took us three months before we could even think about living here.”

wall almost entirely glazed with double doors leading out onto a generous enclosed courtyard laid initially to stone terraces and then to a flat lawn, bordered by well-stocked flower beds and Cotswold stone walls.

The interior of the cottage defies expectation. Approaching, there is a suggestion of quaint small rooms lying beyond but in fact the exact opposite - a huge, beamed living room spans its entire width blessed by a vast inglenook fireplace. At the rear of the property, overlooking the garden and converted from an attached double height stone outbuilding, is an enormous kitchen breakfast room with a pitched ceiling that soars up towards the rafters, one

There are currently three big double bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor but the existing airing cupboard and a deep run of fitted wardrobes could easily be converted into an en-suite shower room. Above, on the third storey, are two partly converted attic rooms divided by a simple partition with dormer windows quietly overlooking the village street scene below. This top floor provides an exciting design project, being suitable for a conversion to a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and separate dressing room.

THIS IS INDEED A PROPER FAMILY HOME. EQUALLY, IT WOULD SERVE AS A HIGHLY DESIRABLE INVESTMENT PROPOSITION EITHER AS AN ESCAPE FROM CITY LIFE OR A PROFITABLE HOLIDAY LET CHOCOLATE BOX COTTAGE ..."

It is a worthy inheritance. Refurbished with a light touch entirely in keeping with the original character, Yew Tree Cottage today is warm, welcoming and tactile, a natural palette of exposed wood and stone allowing an occasional nod to glamour with heavily patterned papers and rich fabrics, the whole simply furnished with imposing pieces of furniture yet not diminishing the sense of space. Necessary luxuries are all in place with a stylish new bathroom and a beautifully fitted country kitchen complete with wide range cooker. This is indeed a proper family home. Equally, it would serve as a highly desirable investment proposition - either as an escape from city life or a profitable holiday let chocolate box cottage - set within in a prime Cotswold hill village with everything provided for day-to-day needs including a thriving primary school, a traditional pub and beautiful country church, a proper oldfashioned village shop and tea rooms, all within a stone’s throw.

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Investing in Bricks and Mortar

YEW TREE COTTAGE

ANDY SOYE SAYS ‘This is a beautiful and quintessential property in a sought-after village which benefits from useful amenities such as the village shop and pub. As it sleeps 8, I would expect it to achieve approximately £45,000 gross rental income per annum.’

Yew Tree Cottage is offered to the market by the Moreton in Marsh branch of Fine & Country North Cotswolds; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01608 651000.

www.cotswold-homes.com 111


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Ellen Roome

Clever with money

Our new columnist Ellen Roome specialises in financing the upper quartile marketplace.

Q A

My sale just fell through for the second time and whilst there’s thankfully a cash buyer in the wings as a back-up, I am about to lose my onward purchase. There’s plenty of equity in my cottage but I am self-employed (an actor) and as such my income fluctuates wildly. I wonder if I would even qualify for bridging finance? You have my utmost sympathy. When there’s a long chain behind you, buying a property can be a very long-winded process fraught with difficulty. You’re stuck in the middle, out of control, and desperate about losing the house of your dreams - just don’t end up losing the shirt off your back by making a rash decision. Obviously all lending still needs to be affordable. It’s one thing being able to raise the funds but we always need to make sure that clients can afford the repayments going forward. Your case is symptomatic of this modern age where incomes are frequently not as straightforward as they used to be. You may be blessed with plenty of equity but it’s always feast or famine month to month. Take a deep breath. Despite how strongly you feel about securing this onward property, the traditional option of bridging finance - whilst quick to arrange - is very costly. In theory, they differ from a normal mortgage because they are for a specific short term purpose, generally 12-18 months. Given the specialist nature of the loan – i.e. it’s for a specific short-term purpose - the interest rates can be higher than traditional term loans, generally around1% a month. Given your income is sizeable but also extremely unpredictable, I don’t think it’s the right way forward for you. There are two other options I would like to suggest. The

112 Cotswold Homes Magazine

first is short-term borrowing, similar to bridging but more adaptable and less expensive. With at least one reputable UK lender offering competitive rates on such financing (currently at around 5% per annum), when your house sale has finally gone through you simply repay the loan, and there’s even an option not to make any payments on the loan until the end of the term. This facility will allow you to proceed quickly whilst you wait for your sale to catch up - do just remember the interest will be added onto to the total sum of borrowing, once you finally complete on your sale. The other possibility that you might not have considered is to hold on to your current property and change your existing mortgage into a buy-to-let. With a prime property such as your present home, this means you can release equity and instead of selling become a landlord instead. Lenders, on the whole, will look at the potential rental income covering the mortgage repayments by a certain percentage rather than just your own income. In such circumstances, whatever you decide you really do need to have a good broker with the liberty and experience to work with these off-the-radar lenders, the ones that sit outside the main market with an appetite to lend on fluctuating income sources. There are many solutions out there, if you’re in the know. To talk through the specifics of these suggestions, just give me a call. Ellen Roome runs a team of very experienced advisers at The Finance Roome Ltd. They have a wealth of knowledge in dealing with complex financial situations with regards to mortgages and all types of insurance. Call 0203 588 3353 or visit www.thefinanceroome.co.uk


HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Robert Hamilton

Going green: How to make a Cotswold property eco-friendly, inside and out

Q A

I want to make sure that works to my Listed Cotswold stone cottage are carried out in an eco-friendly way.What ‘green’ measures can I use? It is very pleasing that ‘green’ options are becoming mainstream now, rather than being regarded as cranky - and, in fact, you can’t be greener than an old Cotswold cottage! In many cases, the stones used were literally picked off the fields and the thickness of the walls act like giant storage heaters over the winter months. However, your Listing, plus the fact that you’re in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and probably also a Conservation Area too) will impose some limitations. For example, you are very unlikely to be permitted to put solar panels on a Cotswold stone roof but if you have a black Welsh slate roof, there are very good solar slates that can make a very useful contribution into reducing bills. I am a great fan of underfloor heating as the continual ambient warmth, running at a lower temperature than conventional central heating, is far better for the building and can be usefully run off ground-source or air heat-pumps. New models of combi boiler are more ecologically friendly, however if you use your log-burner frequently, then fit a water-jacket and / or install a Rayburn - not just to cook with and keep warm but also to heat your hot water. Don’t forget that the addition of a non-electric water softener will also cut down lime scale, and therefore energy consumption, too.

And please don’t forget the garden. Having just gone through one of the driest winter/spring seasons on record, water tables are already low and hosepipe bans are being mooted. Do your bit by harvesting as much rainwater as possible, fitting water butts to downpipes and a plumbing system whereby bath, shower and washing machine discharge (‘grey water’) doesn’t just run back into drains but is stored along with rainwater, either to flush WCs or to water the garden. It also makes sense to stock your garden according to local conditions and to take into account climate change.Try to grow many of your own vegetables, salads and Heritage variety potatoes - these are thirsty chaps but well worth the effort of lugging your used bathwater through the house. Having just had National Hedgehog Week, this column is a plea, too, for our prickly friends.They do not hibernate properly in mild winters and end up seriously underweight, hence vulnerable to disease and predation.They do travel a considerable distance so ensure your boundaries have holes at the bottom where they can come in and out, keep a pile of old wood in a sheltered corner for hibernation and stay off the slug pellets! Make sure your pond has a ‘ladder’ or stone heap to allow exit and, above all, please DON’T give them bread and milk – they are carnivores! Just fresh water, chopped boiled eggs or meaty cat food (not fish).

Secondary glazing, draught-proofing and other insulation measures will all help to keep in heat - but remember to ventilate to avoid condensation. Do we really need to have a house so warm that we can wear shirtsleeves in mid-winter? Try a thicker jumper!

In fact, to be committed to eco-conservation is to garden in a wildlifefriendly manner, too. A corner of nettles and weeds will allow butterflies and insects to thrive whilst herb gardens are beloved by bees and allowing dead vegetation and leaves to mulch down over the winter will preserve small plants and invertebrates, providing essential food for birds and other pollinating visitors. Much more in keeping with your Cotswold cottage!

Even changing to LED lighting will make a significant reduction to energy usage.These have improved immensely from the days when they gave out a cold harsh glare, now providing soft ambient light - all very hygge! By the same token, solar lights can be used for exterior illumination but do try not to light your garden as though you are guiding in jumbo-jets, because light pollution is another sore point.

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.

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Cotswold Homes

property

www.cotswold-homes.com/property

2 FOXES CLOSE, BOURTON ON THE WATER,

£499,000

A four bedroom detached house situated within a short walk of the High Street. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Study | Kitchen with Breakfast Area | Utility Area | Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Three Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Off Road Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: E

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

HILLCOTE, STOW ON THE WOLD

£469,500

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

cotswold-homes.com/property

1 QUEEN HENRIETTA PLACE, STOW ON THE WOLD

£475,000

A two bedroom end terrace property in immaculate condition, set in a peaceful location off Well Lane, a short walk from the centre of town specifically designed with the over 55's in mind. Entrance Hall | Cloakroom/Utility Area | Drawing Room | Dining Room | Kitchen | Sun Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Landing/Study Area | Bathroom | Garden and Private Terrace | Two Allocated Parking Spaces | EPC Rating: B

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

3 PARKVIEW TERRACE, UPPER RISSINGTON

£335,000 SALE AGREED

A brand new three bedroom chalet style house. 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

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

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


Retiring to the Cotswolds Planning your golden years

5 LANDGATE YARD, STOW ON THE WOLD

£395,950

A beautifully presented three bedroom mid-terraced Cotswold stone property, situated within walking distance of the town centre.The property is currently used as a holiday let but would be equally suitable as a second or main home. Entrance Hall | Open Plan Sitting Room/Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Cloakroom | Master Bedroom | En-Suite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden to Rear | Off Road Parking | Garage | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822 977

33 STATION ROAD, SHIPSTON ON STOUR

£310,000

A well-presented Edwardian property situated within walking distance to the centre of Shipston on Stour.The property benefits from original fireplace in the sitting room, quarry tiled floors and period wooden floorboards. A generous, well stocked rear garden with storage shed, outbuildings and feature pond. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Bathroom | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | WC | Gardens To Front And Rear | EPC Rating: E Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

7 BOWLING GREEN COURT, £205,000 MORETON IN MARSH SALE AGREED

6 KINGSTONE COURT, MORETON IN MARSH

A well-presented first floor apartment occupying arguably the best position within this popular retirement development.The apartment benefits from a south & west dual aspect and overlooks the communal grounds and open countryside beyond. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Communal Gardens | EPC Rating: D

A well-presented two bedroom ground floor apartment occupying a fantastic position within this popular McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living development.The apartment overlooks communal grounds and benefits from a central location within Chipping Norton. Entrance Hall | Living/Dining Room | Kitchen | Two Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | EPC Rating: C

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

£175,000

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

view all our properties at cotswold-homes.com/property


NEWLANDS COURT

Newlands Court Newlands Court is an exclusive collection of bespoke modern Cotswold stone cottages amongst the landscaped grounds of a former manor house, adjacent to open countryside yet securely positioned within a private gated development.

Offering a level walk into the ancient market town of Stow on the Wold, these properties have been designed exclusively for over 55s. For anyone wishing to downsize without having to dispense with precious items of furniture and to maintain an essentially independent lifestyle, Newlands Court offers an ideal solution. This particular property is offered freehold but there is still much on hand for day-to-day needs within the annual service charge including all exterior property maintenance, the use of beautiful communal grounds, an onsite hair dressing salon and a fine-dining restaurant, for example, all for a reasonable annual maintenance charge. On the approach to the terrace of cottages, a traditional post and rail fence is all that separates Newlands Court from glorious open countryside, stretching out to the hills beyond. The final terrace

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is seated in an elevated position with a rear aspect looking out on a magnificent line of ancient trees, the boundary of a country estate. Meanwhile, the original formal gardens of the manor are set out in a succession of descending stone terraces and immaculately kept lawns, enhanced by an ornamental pool. A sheltered summerhouse on the upper courtyard terrace provides a sociable meeting point; the peace of the garden, planted with lavender and rose beds, a perfect place to take a stroll on a balmy day. 11 Newlands is a detached cottage situated in a favoured position offering well- proportioned, practical living accommodation with its own private garden, garage plus parking en-bloc.The ground floor accommodation provides a reception hall, dual-aspect living room with open fireplace and a sociable kitchen-breakfast room. A separate study


Retiring to the Cotswolds

NEWLANDS COURT

Each cottage has its own private garden plus a garage en-bloc and parking. detached, this cottage is blessed with a good plot and wellproportioned, practical living spaces.

could easily become a bedroom, given the provision of an adjacent shower room. Upstairs, tucked beneath the cottage’ sloping ceilings and quaint dormer windows is an elegant master bedroom complete with fitted wardrobes and ensuite bathroom.Two more double bedrooms and a guest bathroom afford plenty of room for visiting family and friends. Outside, edged with pretty herbaceous borders is a small, secluded garden, also tasked to the resident gardener, of course. As such Newlands Court offers the ideal solution for those who are young at heart, without having to worry about the distant future. Given a range of optional care and hospitality packages as time goes on, this development provides the luxury standard for anyone hoping to retire to the North Cotswolds.

11 Newlands Court is offered to the market by the Bourton on the Water branch of Fine & Country; for further information or to book a viewing strictly by prior appointment, simply telephone 01451 822977.

www.cotswold-homes.com 117


ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

KELLY JENKINS-SHAW LLB Hons, SALES NEGOTIATOR

Retiring to the Cotswolds – great days out! As a mother to a very energetic four year old, I often find myself on the hunt for new and exciting things to do on my doorstep that don’t involve military style planning. Thankfully, in the Cotswolds there is a plethora of things on offer, to occupy the smallest and the biggest kids amongst us, whether we are still in short trousers or finally enjoying the rewards of retirement. The Cotswolds in the sunshine, or even just in the absence of rain, mean that the options stretch far and wide, from purse-friendly walks along any number of our footpaths with a picnic in hand, visiting the ducks in Bourton on the Water or burning off steam at the adventure playground in Broadway – talking of steam, of course there’s even a GWR heritage railway station at Toddington, the central point on a beautiful line that spans from Cheltenham’s racecourse almost to Broadway, where a station is due to be completed very soon. One of our most favourite places to visit in Spring, Summer and Autumn is Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, just outside Guiting Power. Offering hands on activities, such as feeding lambs, whether you’re up for hours of fun on gigantic bouncy pillows or interesting educational talks on the preservation of rare breeds, you can be sure of smiling faces at the end of the day. Be aware though, the Park does close over winter for essential maintenance, so check ahead before you load up the car! Meanwhile for a country stroll, Batsford Arboretum and the adjoining Cotswold Falconry Centre are also a worthwhile day out, with 56 acres of beautifully maintained grounds to explore and many birds of prey appearing in free-flying demonstrations. Just south of Burford, The Cotswold Wildlife Park is another major highlight, set in spreading acres of landscaped parkland and boasts a fantastic collection of animals: giraffes, lions, lemur, wolves and many more. There are also a daily ‘animal encounters’ (including feeding) to partake in, along with two excellent playgrounds and a narrow-gauge train that tours the ground, perfect for when little legs or old bones need a rest. It’s pet friendly too but dogs must stay on leads and cannot be taken to some areas of the park. For 118 Cotswold Homes Magazine

those who are really interested in the animal world, there are also Keeper Experiences that can be booked in advance. Meanwhile, if a spot of adrenaline and adventure is something you’re looking for, you can’t go too far wrong with a visit to Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney. With over a hundred lakes spanning forty square miles, the Park offers something for everyone: water skiing, windsurfing or wake boarding and on land, for those who like to take things a little slower there’s angling, birdwatching and a number of cycle paths to enjoy. No article on great days out in the Cotswolds would be complete without a reference to the world class Giffords Circus and their touring extravaganza. Throughout the summer months, the talented performers tour the Cotswolds offering matinee and evening performances on various picturesque village greens. The calibre of the production is second to none, offering all the charm of a traditional circus but with a world class spin, and to ‘top’ it all the troupe also now proudly offers the world’s only travelling restaurant, Circus Sauce, a sixty-seat dining experience enveloped in olde-worlde Giffords charm. With a host of retirement developments in the North Cotswolds offering everything from luxurious apartments at University Farm to grand country homes within the Newlands Court estate, with McCarthy and Stone’s new developments at Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh primed for an easy life and a third site at Stow on the Wold on the way, handily situated close to shopping facilities and within a level walk of the ancient market town centre, there is plenty of choice for how you wish to live out your golden years and an endless number of wonderful places and attractions, all designed to keep you young at heart. For more information on suitable properties, Kelly JenkinsShaw can be found at the Bourton on the Water offices of Harrison James & Hardie. For details on suitable retirement developments and a list of properties currently available for sale, simply telephone Kelly on 01451 822977.


BROOK COTTAGE, BLOCKLEY

£360,000 SALE AGREED

A delightful period cottage situated in perhaps one of the most picturesque positions within the quintessential Cotswold village of Blockley, currently operating as a successful holiday let but equally well suited to both main home and second home buyers. Entrance | Sitting Room/Dining Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom With En-Suite Bathroom | Second Floor Double Bedroom With WC | Garden To The Rear | EPC Rating: D

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

44 PARK ROAD, BLOCKLEY

£325,000 SALE AGREED

An attractive Cotswold stone period property situated in an elevated position within the sought after North Cotswold village of Blockley. Enjoying stunning views to the rear, this property boasts a wealth of character features and has been lovingly restored to an exceptional standard by its current owner. Sitting Room With Log Burning Stove | Exposed Stonework And Feature Window Seat | Kitchen Opening To Dining Room With Cotswold Stone Fireplace | Two Double Bedrooms | Well Fitted Bathroom With Beautifully Detailed Stain Glass Windows | Garden With Views Over Open Fields And Countryside Beyond | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

www.cotswold-homes.com/property harrisonjameshardie.co.uk

STABLE COTTAGE, FORD

£335,000 NEW INSTRUCTION

An exquisite Grade II listed cottage situated in a very accessible and popular location. Sitting Room/Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Bedroom 2/Dining Room | Master Bedroom | Bathroom | Enclosed Patio Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: Exempt

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

BOX TREE COTTAGE, HIDCOTE BOYCE

£299,950 SALE AGREED

A delightful period cottage currently operating as a successful holiday let and occupying a tucked away position within this quintessential Cotswold village. Entrance | Sitting Room | Kitchen | Master Bedroom and Bathroom On The First Floor | Bedroom On The Second Floor | Garden With Summer House | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

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


DESMOND HOUSE, TODENHAM

£1,975 PCM LET AGREED

A detached Cotswold Stone village property situated in an idyllic location within the tranquil village of Todenham with stunning views across the neighbouring countryside. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Study | Utility | WC | Master Bedroom Suite with Dressing Area and Shower Room | Two Further Double Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garage with Rear Office/ Gym | Paved Terrace | Landscaped Gardens | EPC Rating: D

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

TOAD HALL, STOW ON THE WOLD

£925 PCM LET AGREED

Toad Hall is a beautiful double fronted period cottage located just off the heart of the town of Stow on the Wold with off road parking. Sitting Room | Dining Room with Entrance Hatch to Cellar | Kitchen | Bedroom | Study/Child’s Bedroom | Family bathroom | Second Floor Master Bedroom with En-Suite | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

PARK HOUSE, UPPER RISSINGTON

£1,250 PCM LET AGREED

A recently renovated detached single storey dwelling located on the outskirts of Upper Rissington, in Wyck Beacon.The property offers spacious and light accommodation presented to a high standard. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Three Double Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

WINDRUSH COTTAGE, LONG COMPTON

£795 PCM LET AGREED

A detached period cottage tucked away in the popular village of Long Compton.The property has easy access to Stratford upon Avon. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Utility Room | Kitchen | Bathroom with Separate Toilet | Two Double Bedrooms | Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

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Cotswold Homes

property

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SKIPPE COTTAGE, FIFIELD

ÂŁ550,000

A delightful tucked away Cotswold cottage in the picturesque and unspoilt village of Fifield. The property offers well-proportioned accommodation and beautiful views across the countryside. No Onward Chain. Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Dining Room | Sitting Room | Second Sitting Room | Downstairs Shower Room/WC | Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Off Road Parking | Garden | Separate Studio | No Onward Chain | EPC Rating: F

Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

23 BLENHEIM WAY, MORETON IN MARSH

ÂŁ575,000 (SALE AGREED)

A beautifully presented detached family home occupying a secluded position within a private gated area of Blenheim Way with an open outlook over adjoining parkland. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Dining Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | WC | Master Bedroom With En-suite | Guest Bedroom With Ensuite | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Detached Double Garage | Parking | Landscaped Rear Garden | EPC Rating: C Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

cotswold-homes.com/property

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


Family Life Perfect homes for families

CHERRY ORCHARD, BLOCKLEY

ÂŁ550,000

A beautifully presented Cotswold stone period property situated in the desirable village of Blockley. This three bedroom family cottage boasts an abundance of character and benefits from private and landscaped rear garden, gated rear driveway, parking and a substantial outbuilding with power and light and potential to convert (subject to the necessary planning consents). Entrance Hall | Cloak Room | Kitchen | Breakfast Room | Conservatory | Dining Room | Sitting Room | Master Bedroom With En-Suite and Dressing Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | Patio Area | Outbuilding For Storage | Summer House with Power and Light | Additional Lawned Area | Gated Driveway | Outbuilding with potential to convert (subject to necessary planning contents) | EPC Rating: D Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651000

2 FAIREY CLOSE, UPPER RISSINGTON

ÂŁ525,000

An immaculately presented detached family home situated in the desirable village of Upper Rissington. The property benefits from light and airy living accommodation, a southerly facing rear garden, double garage and off road parking for two cars. The house sits within close proximity of The Rissington Primary School and the newly established village centre. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Room | Study | WC | Master Bedroom | En-suite Shower Room | Second Double Bedroom | En-suite Shower Room | Three Further Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Rear Garden | Double Garage | Parking | EPC Rating: B Harrison James & Hardie, Bourton on the Water 01451 822977

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HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the experts

Sue Ellis

Take control over debt

Q A

My wife and I have been struggling with debt recently - partly due to ill health and in all honesty, living beyond our means. We desperately need something to put our finances back in order so that things just don’t carry on getting worse over time. Well firstly, you are not alone. There have been several articles recently in the national press stating that personal debt is increasing due to the rise in ‘pay day loans’ and particularly a surge in consumers buying vehicles via the ‘Personal Contract Purchase’ option (with monthly payments to a credit provider, with an option to complete the purchase at a future minimum value or otherwise to hand back the vehicle at the end of the agreed term). With an increasing number of credit and store cards too, some commentators predict that we could be heading for another credit crisis - something that the Government is keen to put a halt to, of course. The first (and biggest) step is to seek help now. If you are already behind with your payments to your various debtors, and if you have accrued serious arrears, then I would recommend contacting either The Citizens Advice Bureau or the Money Advice Service.These both offer free, unbiased help and will do their best to help you find a solution. If you are behind with mortgage payments then contact your lender as soon as possible. However, if payments are up-to-date and it’s just a case of wanting to consolidate everything into one manageable payment, if you own a property with sufficient equity and have a good credit history, the first option may be to consider additional borrowing with your existing lender. Any lending against your home will be subject to underwriting by the lender, requiring income details plus a full breakdown of your debts and regular household outgoings, to assess whether consolidating is an affordable solution. The advantage of borrowing this way is that you are able to benefit from a low interest rate, spreading the debt over a longer period of time. The disadvantage is that the lender has the security of your property, it could cost far more in the end than short-term borrowing, and falling behind with payments could ultimately mean losing your home.

If your current lender will not consider the required additional borrowing, you might try what is known as a ‘second charge lender’ instead. These companies will often help when the original lender won’t, but do remember their legal charge ranking is behind that of the original lender, potentially creating a bigger risk for them in the event of default on payments and, as a result, rates and fees tend to be higher than those of a standard lender. If you are uncomfortable with borrowing against your home (or indeed if you don’t own your own home) then firstly approach your bank to establish whether they will consider a personal loan. Providing you have a good, established financial relationship you may be able to benefit from a competitive rate for a consolidated loan sufficient to repay all existing debts and of course, the sum is repaid over a shorter period of time so could potentially cost less overall than borrowing against your home. Alternatively, you can take a look at money comparison websites giving likely interest rates for ‘unsecured’ loans from various companies. However, do remember these are purely indicative of general lending rates - ultimately the rate you receive will be dependent upon your credit history and score. Of course every case is individual, and I have had to generalise here, but as I’ve already mentioned the most important thing is to seek help and not to despair - things will just get worse if you bury your head in the sand. If you don’t take steps to get things under control then bankruptcy is the ultimate outcome, to be avoided at all costs as it can have far-reaching consequences. Just remember that all lenders have a duty of care to be sympathetic to their debtors but they can’t help if they don’t know you’re struggling! 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 124 Cotswold Homes Magazine


CARPENTRY & BUILDING FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION

m: 07734 939 415

e: lukegainford@gmail.com


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61 KING GEORGES FIELD, STOW ON THE WOLD

£259,950 SALE AGREED

A well presented, spacious three bedroom property situated in a generous corner plot with ample parking. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Dining Room | Utility Room | Conservatory | Three Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Front and Rear Gardens | Driveway | EPC Rating: D

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

11 SOUTHGATE COURT, UPPER RISSINGTON

£199,950

This three bedroom home occupies an edge of village position and benefits from a courtyard garden and off road parking. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Courtyard Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

cotswold-homes.com/property

10 FOSSE FOLLY, STOW ON THE WOLD

£225,000

A well-presented three bedroom property located within walking distance of the town centre of the popular market town of Stow on the Wold.The property is ideal for first time and investment buyers. Entrance Hall | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Sitting Room | Two Double Bedrooms | Single Bedroom | Bathroom | Garden | Two Off Road Parking Places | EPC Rating: D

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

12 LYSANDER WAY, MORETON IN MARSH

£110,000 SALE AGREED

An immaculately presented three bedroom home situated on the Eastern edge of this popular North Cotswold market town.The property is offered for sale on a 40% shared ownership basis and can be staircased to 100% ownership. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | WC | Three Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: B

Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh 01608 651 000

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


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1 POLICE HOUSE, BOURTON ON THE WATER

£925 PCM LET AGREED

A terraced Cotswold Stone refurbished property, presented to a high standard, located just off the High Street of Bourton on the Water and within walking distance of the Cotswold School Academy. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Diner | Master Bedroom with EnSuite Shower Room | Two Further Bedrooms | Bathroom | Rear Garden | Ample Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

18 SOUTHGATE COURT, UPPER RISSINGTON

£750 PCM LET AGREED

A mid terraced property located in the popular village of Upper Rissington benefiting from off road parking and rear garden. Entrance Hall | Sitting/Dining Room | Kitchen | Three Bedrooms | Bath/ Shower Room | Rear Garden | Off Road Parking | EPC Rating: D

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

4B STIRLING WAY, MORETON IN MARSH

£825 PCM LET AGREED

An immaculately presented semi detached property situated on the popular development of Moreton Park. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Utility Area | Cloakroom | Two Bedrooms | Family Bathroom | Garden | EPC Rating: C

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

13 FOLLY FIELD, BOURTON ON THE WATER

£725 PCM LET AGREED

An end of terrace two bedroom property located on the outskirts of the village of Bourton on the Water with garden and off road parking. Entrance Hall | Sitting Room | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Two Bedrooms | Bathroom | Garden | Parking | EPC Rating: E

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

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07867 425844 | jmroofingcontractors@outlook.com | www.jmroofingcontractors.com

Local company specialising in traditional Cotswold stone roofing and all other types of pitched roofing. We also provide pointing, guttering, facias, leadwork, moss clearance from your roof/gutters as well as installation of chimney cages, Velux windows & sun tunnels, and many more services which your property may require. Please contact us for more information or check out our website for images of previous work undertaken.

@jmroofingcontractors


UPPER RISSINGTON

UPDATE on UPPER RISSINGTON SUMMER 2017 Keelin McLeman unveils more exciting developments in this rapidly up-and-coming, thriving community. For the last seventeen years, local independent estate agents Harrison James & Hardie have always championed the newest village on the block as Upper Rissington has undergone a gradual metamorphosis from abandoned RAF base to desirable Cotswold hotspot. Co-owners Karen Harrison and James von Speyr clearly heeded their own advice, settling here with their young family in 2004, and perhaps it is no surprise that Karen was appointed specialist adviser for the developers when planning permission was granted to build new homes on the old light industrial park. As a parent-governor Karen was similarly employed as consultant in the transition of Great Rissington primary school as it became a split-site provision with Upper Rissington, during which she also ran a fund-raising campaign that brought in £17,000 for a minibus to ferry children between the old and the new buildings, now in constant daily use. Today Harrison James & Hardie is still very much seen as the agency of choice for both old and new homes, handling around 95% of re-sales and representing Linden Homes in the development of the Officers Mess. “This last phase of development is a perfect metaphor for Upper Rissington in its slow transition from an ugly decaying monolith into a beautiful and worthy investment,” says Karen. “Serendipitously, the village has become home to many talented entrepreneurs, successful company directors and creative thinkers, all sharing an extremely positive, forward-thinking 130 Cotswold Homes Magazine

ethic, with clubs offering everything from archery to yoga in addition to a broadening range of amenities.” Whilst hall and school were simultaneously built, the Village Hall only opened last July after concerted efforts by a small but fiercely committed group of volunteer residents. A Charitable Trust was set up in June 2017 to oversee the hall’s on-going management and development. Chairman Dean Beard says: “This is a vital hub for an increasingly vibrant community. It’s been a long slog negotiating the lease but now that we have it, we’re all enthusiastically looking forward. It’s a wonderful provision with a great future and a focused team to ensure its success.” Meanwhile, barely two years after the Upper

This up-and-coming community has become home to so many talented entrepreneurs, successful company directors and creative thinkers, mostly with young families, all sharing an extremely positive, forwardthinking ethic.

Rissington site first opened its doors there has been such high demand for school places that an extra classroom will be built by September and more room within the existing building given a new, separate facility for Rascals preschool within the school grounds boasting three classrooms plus a kitchen, office and cloakrooms. These significant improvements come at a fitting point in the school’s history as a worthy legacy for retiring head teacher Liz Pearce, aptly reflecting all her commitment to a lengthy, exhausting but rewarding, successful transition. Recently married Mrs Pearce extended a warm welcome in her latest newsletter to new head teacher Mrs Sue Dawe, who will take over in September. “It is so exciting that after all this time, pre-school provision for the Rissington area is securely in place at last. This has been

Maria Martin of Blue Court Textiles


Your First Home

UPPER RISSINGTON

East Wing of the Officers Mess development, Upper Rissington - Offered for sale by Harrison James & Hardie 01451 822977

a wonderful place to work. The children and families are so caring and supportive and it has been a particular joy to see how the community is growing together to build a thriving and exciting place in which to live.” In May, Mrs Pearce and two pupils were part of a welcoming party for Badham Pharmacy’s newest branch after yet another hard-fought battle supported by residents, the primary school, county and parish councillors. “With persistence we succeeded in ensuring a much needed facility and a more sustainable community,” said delighted local councillor Mark MacKenzie-Charrington at the opening launch.

The Upper Rissington community gathers in the Village Hall

Congratulating fellow councillor Dr Nigel Moor for his invaluably informed persuasion on the merits of the application to NHS England, the pharmacy provides two private consultation rooms and offers a range of free health checks, urgent repeat medication, treatment for minor ailments, a free delivery service for mobilityimpaired patients and dedicated medication dispensing for care homes in the local area.

seven employees to the original team at the old Sopwith Road site, this significantly larger venture - unveiled by the Upper Rissington Scout Group - has already proved highly popular by providing a far greater range of fresh produce including many local suppliers from Gloucestershire.

Next door, the brand new eco-friendly Midcounties Co-operative store has also finally opened following an eagerly awaited £350,000 relocation investment. Recruiting

Badham Pharmacy

Rob & Emma from Pilates 4U

Rubbing shoulders with The Runner Bean offering a range of fitness and relaxation classes including private and group Pilates sessions from Cotswold business Pilates4U - and a busy licensed bistro at The Hangar offering a number of regular social events, these invaluable amenities provide a natural meeting place for local residents. Given the Officers Mess is not set for completion until 2018, no doubt the village will attract more businesses and similarly invested residents over the coming months – perhaps most likely to gain immediately is Maria Martin of Blue Court Textiles, a local independent design enterprise making bespoke curtains and blinds! www.cotswold-homes.com 131


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