Cotswold Homes Cotswold-Homes.com The Property & Lifestyle Magazine for the North Cotswolds
SUMMER Edition 2012
£2.50 where sold
Summer Spectacular Your Guide To Wonderful Events In The North Cotswolds
ENTER THE GREAT COTSWOLD HOMES SUMMER GIVEAWAY! FREE FAMILY TICKETS TO FABULOUS COTSWOLD EVENTS!
ARTS, CRAFTS AND ARTISANS
THE HERITAGE OF CHIPPING CAMPDEN & THE BROADWAY COLONY
....Giffords Circus Longborough Opera Sezincote House Fete Gatcombe Park and much more....
HOT PROPERTY: ASK THE EXPERTS
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT HOME? STAYCATION IN THE COTSWOLDS
THROW AN OLYMPIC PARTY!
Cotswold Vodka Cocktails, Jubilee Ale and Perfect Picnics
THE WAR DIARIES OF A NURSE
ASTONISHING DISCOVERY OF A FIRST WORLD WAR ARCHIVE
Cotswold Homes Magazine CONTENTS An Olympic Summer - Out and About in the North Cotswolds, 2012
Pick up your Backpack, Head for the Great Outdoors Get Fit with Tim Spittle
Cotswold Homes Giveaway 5 Win tickets to Giffords Circus, Gatcombe Horse Trials, Longborough Festival Opera, The Best of British Show & Sezincote House Fete
Hot Property – Ask the Experts
Hart’s Silversmiths Traditional Country Craftsmanship
Broadway Colony 83 Henry James, JM Barrie & Elgar’s Pre-War Party
Food and Drink – How To Throw an Olympic Party
Giffords Circus Behind the scenes with the circus crew
The Local Market, 2012 54 Karen Harrison has two decades of experience in the North Cotswolds property market
Longborough Festival Opera Sweeny Todd and Wagner’s Ring
The “Staycation” - Flash in the Pan or Great Business Plan?
Banish the Burgers Get Creative with Outdoor Cooking
Donnington Brewery Do the ‘Donny Run’!
Finding The Ideal Holiday-Let Cottage Suggestions from the team at HARRISON & HARDIE
The Spirit of Summer 88 One of your Five a Day, suggests Emma Keene!
Events Calendar June, July and August Where to Go, What to Do?
Cotswold Crazies The Cotswold Olympicks, Football in the River and Cheese-Rolling
Interest Only Mortgages – RIP? Sue Ellis from JEM Financial Planning on keeping your cool Best Buys in the Buy-To-Let Market Caroline Gee chooses her favourites
Gatcombe Park Lucinda Green on 1984 and this year’s Olympic Hopefuls
Preserving our Indigenous Species The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Fine & Country in the Cotswolds Luring London Buyers to the Countryside
Adam Tatlow Game Keeper and Nature Photographer
Diary of an Equestrian Lady North Cotswold Pony Club Camp
Multi-Generational Living A Perfect Home for a Growing Trend, suggests James von Speyr
Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park Why Eating Rare Breeds is A Good Idea!
Summer Fetes and Fayres Traditional Village Fun for all the Family
Cheltenham Science Festival Answering the Big Questions
Seven Wonders of the Wolds 46 Our Unofficial List of Great Cotswold Must-Sees
The Perfect Picnic Basket 90 Richard Chamberlain from Longborough Food Store
Cotswold Independent Businesses – Save Money, Shop Local!
Cotswold Culture 76
Exclusive Privilege Card Offers Save Money and Support Local Trade
War Diaries Cotswold Man uncovers WWI Chronicle
Suits You, Sir Alex of Aptus Suits opens a store in Woodstock
Jeremy Houghton Olympic Artist, 2012 Arts and Crafts Movement The Heritage of Chipping Campden
Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses
Editor’s WELCOME Welcome to the Summer Edition 2012 of Cotswold Homes magazine. Whether you live here or are visiting, this is a wonderful time of year to be in the North Cotswolds. 78
So, these pages are full of what to do this summer, from June half-term to August Bank Holiday - whether it’s a cultural fix, a festival, a fete, an exploration of science, a circus or football in the river, something to please everyone, including how to host a burger-free barbecue and pack an epicurean picnic, topped off with a glass of Jubilee ale fresh from the Donnington Brewery or an ice-cold Cotswold Vodka cocktail. Not only how to spend your days but where to spend your money – from a selection of holiday cottages to a section of Privilege Card offers from local independent businesses. And best of all, on page 5 we have our Cotswold Homes Olympic Summer Giveaway, with tickets to some of the best attractions – The Best of British Show, Longborough Opera, Giffords Circus, Sezincote House and Gatcombe Park. Have fun! Matt Dicks, Editor, Cotswold Homes
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Cotswold Homes Competition
Cotswold Homes Grand Summer Giveaway!
WIN FREE TICKETS GIFFORDS CIRCUS, GATCOMBE PARK, THE BEST OF BRITISH SHOW,
SEZINCOTE HOUSE VILLAGE FETE & LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OF OPERA
This summer we have two free prize draws – our Cotswold Homes Facebook Prize Draw on Monday 4th June and our Cotswold Homes Readers’ Prize Draw on Friday 29th June. Facebook Prize Draw entries only, on Monday 4th June 2012 at 1.00 pm, to be drawn at random. There will be seven lucky winners, who will win one of the following: ü A free family season ticket to The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe from Friday 13th July ü One of four family* passes to Sezincote Fete on Saturday 16th June ü A family ticket* to Giffords Circus in Broadway on Thursday 14th June ü A family ticket* to The Best of British Show on Bank Holiday weekend, August 26th and 27th
Readers Prize Draw is on Friday 29th June 2012 at 1.00 pm. All Facebook fans and all e-mail entries received by 9.00 am on Friday 29th June will be included in this draw! ü One of two family season tickets to the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe, from Friday 13th July ü A pair of tickets to see Sweeney Todd at the Longborough Festival of Opera on Saturday 28th July ü A family ticket* to see Giffords Circus at Barrington on Thursday 19th July ü A family ticket* to The Best of British Show on Bank Holiday weekend, August 26th and 27th * For further details about the family tickets, please visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ cotswoldhomespage or visit our website www.cotswold-homes.com and click on the Magazine and Gallery section on the landing page
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It’s easy! Simply ‘Like’ our Facebook page on www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage Or: e-mail us, titling your subject ‘Competition’, with your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org Terms and Conditions: Entry to the competition is open to all except for employees (and their families) of Cotswold Homes and HARRISON & HARDIE. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via Facebook, by e-mail or by post and competition winners will be posted on our website. All unlucky entries from the Facebook Prize Draw will be re-entered into our Readers’ Prize Draw on Friday 29th June, 2012 at 1.00 pm. No alternative prize or cash substitute is available for any of the prizes. Full terms and conditions of the Prize Draws can be found on our Facebook page and on our website.
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Since 2000, Giffords Circus has been
enthralling country audiences with its
ambitious travelling performances, earning a national reputation for its wit and inventiveness along the way. Matt Dicks investigates what goes into the making of a spectacular. To someone pulling up on the morning of the hottest day of the year so far, the beautifully sunlit site of Folly Farm seems dormant. Yet these peaceful surroundings conceal the intensive training of Gifford Circus’ world-class performers, busily preparing for another astonishing season on the road. I’m here to meet with Maisie McArthur, the circus press manager, who has kindly agreed to a little tour-and-chat. Eager to learn all about Giffords’ next big venture, The Saturday Book, I’ve made the trip to talk about what’s in store. To my regret, it seems that I’ve arrived ahead of the performing dogs the team are expecting. Nationally acclaimed for the inventiveness, glamour and spectacle of their shows - Giffords ‘blew The Rolling Stones into the middle of next
Cotswold Homes Magazine
week,’ wrote Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times – the circus was the talk of the Cotswolds following its staging of Tolstoy’s weighty Russian epic War and Peace. Not the most obvious candidate for adaptation, perhaps, however the circus is an outfit that matches entertainment with ambition. It’s all down to the ongoing efforts of Nell and Toti Gifford, who invest their all in the massive task of managing a circus. It’s paid off, too – in 2010, Nell was awarded the inaugural ‘Maverick Award’ by the Groucho Club. So what can audiences expect from The Saturday Book? ‘This year, we’re really going back to our roots,’ says Maisie. ‘It’s a variety show with a very witty undertone. We were somewhat serious last year, so this is quite light. There’s a vintage feel to all the shows and everything we do is completely handmade, constructed after Nell’s designs.’
Our first stop is the big top – a bright, intimate arena that contains around 500 spectators per performance. Bits of last year’s Russiathemed artwork linger, not yet fully displaced by early paintings that will soon be embellished by a team of artistic interns. A beautiful grey horse named Savvy is being ridden around the ring, while Bibi the juggler limbers up for a day’s rehearsal. Horse training starts early in the calendar - Giffords will train new horses for each production. These animals typically have no experience of performing and are taught everything they need to learn by their dedicated handlers in the months before the first show. ‘We change the horses every year – we find that kids especially are pretty astute,’ says Maisie. ‘They know if they’ve seen something before and we like to keep each year’s show feeling fresh. Also, different things
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are required of the horses, depending on what we’ve got planned. Savvy, for instance, is a stocky sort of horse of the type that used to pull logs in a forested environment, so is more suited to certain kinds of work.’ But it’s not just the horses that are new. The approach of The Saturday Book promises the arrival of acrobats, balancing acts and human pyramids as well as the aforementioned dogs. Some performers do return, like Bibi (who last time round played a torch juggling soldier) and the famous Tweedy, the much-loved clown. This year, Bibi’s learning a new skill: vaulting. ‘I’ve never even ridden a horse before,’ he says, apparently undaunted – but by the time Giffords hits the road, he’ll be juggling on horseback. No pressure, then. Next, we venture inside the farm building to view some of Nell’s
TICKIN see P ETS AGE !
These animals 5 typically have no experience of performing and are taught everything they need to learn by their dedicated handlers in the months before the first show.
sketches. Plastered along the corridor are hundreds of letters authored by admiring children. Maisie points out a poster painted for a circusthemed party that a sixteen year old Nell threw for her when she was ten – the two were friends and neighbours as children. ‘I think that this was probably the first inkling of what she would go on to do in the future,’ reflects Maisie. Nell’s story is an interesting one – she really did ‘run away to join the circus’ when she left for the USA, joining Circus Flora after graduating from Oxford University with a double first in English Literature. Once over the Atlantic she worked a variety of circus jobs – anything from being a candy-floss girl to running the horses. When she fell in love with her future husband, Toti Gifford, the couple realized that to make things work they’d have to create a circus of their very own.
Of course, this would hardly be an easy undertaking. Nell has written eloquently of the early days of the circus, when love was the one ingredient absolutely essential to pulling everything off: ‘Toti and I pulled an old, wrecked showman’s wagon from a hedgerow in the Autumn of 1999. It had no floor, rotten sides, a collapsed roof…we saw in our mind’s eye a white tent in the background, full of music.
of what has gone before. Past shows have included 2006’s Joplin, a psychedelic celebration of musicianship and sixties-inspired artistic experimentation, and 2008’s Caravan, which imagined a 1900 horse fair. Each has been its own show, but all have shared the same essence of invention and a 1930s vintage aesthetic. Every time the circus pitches up, an oasis of liveliness and fun is created.
‘We were trying to invent something small, beautiful, colourful…The circus should be a place where there is no need for reason, causality – a world where only one context exists – the circus context.’ It’s clear to see that much of their success can be attributed to her unique imagination. Nell has also written two books – the autobiographical “Josser: The Secret Life of a Circus Girl” and a children’s biography on Philip Astley, the man who invented the circus. It’s from the pages of her sketchbook that the embryos of new shows begin to emerge. These drawings and scribbled ideas burst into life on the stage, living on in the memories of the thousands who have attended the shows.
The last stop of my tour is the office, which overlooks a large barn space used throughout rehearsals. Here, the team share their enthusiasm for plans for a new line of textile-based Giffords merchandise, expanding on an existing souvenir range that includes lollipops, tea mugs and printed towels. ‘Our thinking with these is to try and make the ‘circus magic’ last a little longer – so it’s not just a summer thing,’ they explain.
Inside the farmhouse’s colourful costume room traces from previous shows can be seen, including the remains of a frog prince and an eye-shadowed pig mask (and somewhere out of sight, there’s a deceptively lifelike ‘Trained Bear’ costume) - all vibrant reminders
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I leave Folly Farm with a better sense of the hard graft and breathtaking daring needed to pull something like your own circus out of the bag – and a definite feeling that such an accomplishment should be recognised by everyone with an interest in keeping home-grown entertainment alive. With all that’s coming up, 2012 promises to deliver a superbly exciting circus season. We await the lifting of the curtain with bated breath…
at the races
Cotswold Homes Magazine
LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA
Curtain Call – Matthew William Ellis
LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA 9 June – 29 July 2012 14
Cotswold Homes Magazine
LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA
Valkyries – Clive Barda
Madame Butterfly - Robert Workman
TICKIN see P ETS AGE ! 5
The dreamy Cotswold village of Longborough seems a curious venue for a Norse apocalypse, but that’s exactly what is promised by its prestigious opera festival this year. Staging performances of Wagner’s climactic Götterdämmerung, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and a Young Artists’ production of Sweeney Todd, the 2012 Longborough Festival Opera will deliver an enthralling and darkly dramatic season of world-class music. And next year – bang on time for Wagner’s bicentenary – the bar will be raised even
higher. The opera house aims to be the only one in 2013 to host the entirety of the epic Ring Cycle (apart from Germany’s Bayreuth, dedicated to the composer who oversaw its construction). The challenges of such an undertaking are not to be underestimated - it’s a doubly daring manoeuvre for an unsubsidised, self-supported venue which started life in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera, when owners Martin and Lizzie Graham originally hosted the Travelling Opera company in the courtyard of a stable block.
“Martin’s enthusiasm for opera has certainly rubbed off on the residents of Longborough..”
LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA
Figaro - Robert Workman
Matthew William Ellis
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Matthew William Ellis
LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA
Rhinegold, Ring Cycle Stephen Wright
‘Country house’ operas are often seen to have a speciality and Longborough Festival Opera’s is doubtlessly Wagner
Figaro - Robert Workman
Eventually, a barn was transformed into a fully furnished theatre, complete with seats taken from the Royal Opera House itself. Its orchestra pit – modelled on that of Bayreuth’s – contains around 65 players, and will be put to excellent use by ambitious future performances. Martin’s enthusiasm for opera has certainly rubbed off on the residents of Longborough, many of whom will play host to the travelling performers during their stay in the village, providing bed and board. ‘Country house’ operas are often seen to have a speciality and Longborough Festival Opera’s is doubtlessly Wagner. This year features the return of conductor Anthony
Negus, whose ‘profound Wagnerian expertise’ was lauded by Telegraph critic Rupert Christiansen during his 2011 Longborough review. Rachel Nicholls, who sang Helmwige in Die Walküre, will sing Brünnhilde for the first time, while Estonian tenor Mati Turi makes his British debut as the tragic hero Siegfried. Stuart Pendred makes his debut as the conniving Hagen and Malcolm Rivers will sing the dwarf Alberich. Rounding off this season is the Young Artists’ production of Stephan Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, the notorious tale of the demon barber of Fleet Street. Directed by Maria Jagusz and conducted by Richard Taggart, the
show will have a cast aged 16-25. Longborough has a strong commitment to developing young artists, offering them opportunities to work with professional creative teams. The roles undertaken offer a valuable induction into the various responsibilities of production. Longborough Festival Opera has generously donated two free tickets to see this year’s production of Sweeney Todd, which our lucky readers have a chance of winning! Simply turn to page 5 for details of how to enter the Readers’ Prize Draw on June 29th, 2012.
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Behind the Doors of Donnington Brewery
Photo - Lucy Driver
Behind the Doors of Donnington Brewery Closed to the general public, the peaceful Donnington Brewery seems like something of a secret. Yet for well over a hundred years, this picturesque riverside building has been industriously producing the beer for which it is famed, its characteristic wooden wheel stirred by the water that passes by. Today, it owns and supplies fifteen of the Cotswolds’ best-loved pubs. Incredibly, the building itself dates as far back as 1291, when it was one of the mills of Broadway Manor. Over the past seven or so centuries, these mill buildings have been used for various purposes. Purchased in 1827 by the Arkell family, the mill became a brewery in 1865 when Richard Arkell began to brew and sell his beer to the gentry in the hunting fields, competing with small breweries that were kept on some estates. Some of the ledgers in which Richard recorded the results of his early experiments were recently discovered during a spring clean - ‘Too heavy’ says one entry. ‘Not the right colour’ sighs another.
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The surrounding fields originally grew barley for the brewing process - this continued right up until the mid 1960s. (Today, the Maris Otter malt is bought from trusted growers in Norfolk and is still milled at the brewery). Inside the structure, many of the original corn-grinding mechanisms still exist, including the two stones, cogs, gearing and the exterior waterwheel. Spring water (or ‘liquor’ in brewing terms) is drawn from a natural spring besides the millpond. The brewery’s beautiful black swans were introduced to the pond by Claude Arkell, who came back from WWII as an RAF Officer in 1951 and remained with the brewery through to 2007, when he left the brewery to his cousins Peter and James Arkell. Today, the brewery is much unchanged, having successfully preserved many of its original features. Having remained in the family for around 145 years, it is a beautiful, living link to local history. In 2010 it was named ‘Brewery of the Year’ by the Good Pub Guide, and in the same year its public house at Naunton,
the Black Horse, raised over £7,000 to assist Haiti in just ten days. Television presenter Richard Hammond even visited the brewery in 2009 whilst filming on location for Top Gear – bringing it to a national audience.
Behind the Doors of Donnington Brewery
The Beers B.B. - abv 3.6% - a pleasant amber bitter with a slight hop aroma, a good balance of malt and hops in the mouth and a bitter aftertaste. S.B.A. - abv 4.4% - malt dominates over bitterness in the subtle flavour of this premium bitter, which has a hint of fruit and a dry, malty finish.
The Donnington Way A 62-mile walk incorporating the fifteen public houses which belong to the brewery, the circular Donnington Way takes in some of the most stunning scenery of the Cotswolds. Named The Donnington Way, this beautiful trail meanders through Stow-on-the-Wold, Longborough, Ganborough, Lower Swell, Great Barrington, Naunton, Guiting Power, Kineton, Ford, Snowshill, Stanton, Willersey, Moretonin-Marsh, Little Compton and Broadwell before taking a contented walker back to Stow-on-theWold. Each of the pubs is easily identified by their iconic black and white signs, introduced by Claude Arkell. An alternative option is minibus and private vehicle hire, which will take larger parties around each of the fifteen pubs. The idea of doing a ‘Donnington Run’ has become a tradition amongst beer connoisseurs and merry-makers alike. Visiting all 15 pubs is an ambitious undertaking, but it amply rewards the adventurous with fantastic views, excellent pub atmosphere and, of course, top-quality drinking.
The Pubs The Black Horse Inn, Naunton The Black Horse Inn, opened in 1870, is now a thriving village pub and a regular meeting place for villagers, visitors and horse-lovers alike. A great community, courtyard garden, separate restaurant and original flagstone flooring round off its rural charms.
The Coach and Horses Inn, Ganborough
A gorgeous Cotswold pub with roaring fires in the winter and a big garden for the summer, with great food, plenty of space to eat and drink and a lovely atmosphere. Handily situated on the main A424 Evesham to Stow-on-the-Wold road, it’s a great stopping-off point, too.
The Coach and Horses Inn, Longborough
This compact and cosy inn offers a traditional Cotswold village welcome, providing fine home-cooked food and traditional Sunday lunches with unique Donnington beer and cool Guinness. Look out from the beer garden and you’ll be transported back 100 years - the village cross, cottages and church look like the set of a period film drama.
The Farmers Arms, Guiting Power
A unique village pub with a skittle alley that doubles as a function room when necessary, The Farmers Arms is a real local’s pub in one of the Cotswolds’ prettiest and most communityminded villages, offering great beer and traditional home-cooked food.
The Fox Inn, Broadwell
Winner of the CAMRA North Cotswold Pub of the Year 2007 Award, The Fox Inn is a friendly, family pub offering traditional pub food. With a generous beer garden and village green opposite, the Fox is a quintessentially Cotswold pub.
The Fox Inn, Great Barrington
A traditional 17th century Cotswold inn sat next to the River Windrush, offering accommodation and delicious homemade seasonal dishes made from local produce. With a truly lovely local atmosphere, The Fox Inn has log fires, good food and is dog friendly. A picturesque country setting with riverside aspects make this a summer must-visit.
The Golden Ball, Lower Swell
Built in the 17th century, the Golden Ball has been a pub for one hundred years and sits in the very pretty and historic village of Lower Swell. This is a great venue for the family with food for all ages, a gourmet burger menu and a friendly atmosphere. This pub also offers a veranda with excellent panoramic views looking out towards Stow.
The Half Way House, Kineton
A characterful 17th century inn based in the peaceful hamlet of Kineton, halfway between Temple Guiting and Guiting Power. Up until 1975 it was owned by Corpus Christi College of Oxford. Now it’s a comfortable local pub with good traditional food made using local ingredients. Children are welcome and there’s a pretty, sheltered back garden.
The Mount Inn, Stanton
‘numismatist’ as there is an extensive display of bank notes and coins from all over the world. The Inn offers breathtaking rooftop views of Stanton extending to the Malverns, and beyond to the Welsh mountains.
The New Inn, Willersey
A lovely pub with plenty to do in the games room and skittle alley - although if it’s a quiet drink you’re after, there are lots of secluded nooks and crannies too. The landlord is the World Shin Kicking Champion 2003, which generally deters anyone from causing problems, although Joe insists that his shinkicking days are well and truly over!
The Plough, Ford
Beloved of racing enthusiasts, the Plough sits opposite the famous racing stables of Jackdaws Castle belonging to Jonjo O’Neill. Its excellent menu, grand sporting heritage and truly beautiful situation make this one of the very best pubs in the Cotswold area.
The Queen’s Head, Stow-on-the-Wold
Situated right in the marketplace-heart of Stow on the Wold, The Queen’s Head is bursting with old world charm and is popular with visitors and locals alike. A mix of heritage, atmosphere and pub grub provides a winning formula.
The Red Lion Inn, Little Compton
Warwickshire’s most southerly pub, The Red Lion Inn is a traditional honey-coloured stone retreat located at the edge of Little Compton. Set in a large, mature garden, the building features exposed stone walls, beams and inglenook fireplaces. Hearty fires are provided here throughout the colder months.
The Snowshill Arms, Snowshill
Neighbouring the spectacularly interesting Snowshill Manor, this pub has plenty of charm. Children are kept entertained in a generous play area and animals are also welcomed, making this a good place to take the family.
The Black Bear, Moreton-in-Marsh
A spacious pub occupying the highly-visited High Street in Moreton in Marsh, the Black Bear is known for its warm welcome and its 40seater restaurant area, where good old Sunday roasts are served aplenty.
A traditional 17th century Cotswold inn which started life as a farmhouse, then became a cobbleshop, a tea room and then an off-licence. The Mount Inn is of special interest to a
Behind the Doors of Donnington Brewery
Interview with James Arkell
James Arkell, owner of Donnington Brewery, reflects on the history of this traditional Cotswold family business and talks about the production of its most recent brew – a Jubilee beer named Diamond Queen. You still use a traditional water wheel to power the brewing process - can you talk us through how it all works, from pond to pint? It works on a 3-pronged pin. The river powers the wheel via the sluice gate from the lake and the water wheel powers the pump that mashes and the under vat. It also powers various other bits and pieces around the brewery, when we require it. It’s basically used for the mashing of our beer and the pumping from the under vat into the copper. [The wheel] dates back to about 1865. Another wheel is located outside and is a flour mill wheel (also water-powered) that was used to make animal feed - barley, wheat, oats etc. It still turns today, but the mill is no longer in use and the stones haven’t been turned for 100 years. What variety of beers do you produce and how would you describe them? We have two main varieties that we have been producing for the last 50 years. BB (Best Bitter), which is our most popular beer, is 10.36 gravity which means 3.6% alcohol by volume - so for every 100 pints, 3.6 of it is alcoholic. The other one that we produce is SBA- Special Bitter Ale- this one is brewed at 4.4% alcohol by volume. We also brew Double Don, a bottled 500ml which is like a mixture of the two, and that’s bottled locally. We are also about to brew a beer called ‘Diamond Queen’ for the Jubilee Celebrations in June. It’s made up of a variety of hops and different malts, making it quite a blonde ale. We are creating it even as we speak, which is very exciting! We will bottle the first 15 barrels and will perhaps put the rest on draught…It will be a great beer for those celebrating. Last year we also brewed one called Founders Ale. I am told that there is an interesting story to the Founders Ale - can you elaborate? There is an interesting story behind this ale. We have all of the archives here in the form of the old brewing books which go back to the very start of the Donnington Brewery. You have to keep a brewing book so that the government could check that everything was present and correct with your beer – for example increasing/reducing sugar or water content of a beer as in those days it was an income for the government. Because of this we have to keep very long records and they are all handwritten. We found all of those records here, when we were looking for the records of
Cotswold Homes Magazine
the first brew, which was made in May 1855. So two years ago we brewed our original recipe of the blonde Founders Ale. Have you attempted the ‘Donnington Run?’ No! But I have drunk in every pub backwards, forwards and sideways! I’ve even ridden to couple in succession on my horse, but I haven’t actually done the Donny Run. Where can we buy your beer? All of our beers are available in all of our pubs. People may not realize that they can ring the brewery or come to the brewery and buy bottles of our beer. We sell in 3 different measures - bottled, poly pin (4.5 gallons) in a box which is very handy to have in the kitchen or for parties, and we can also sell in as a cask ale which is approximately 72 pints worth. After that, it is commercial. How many local people are currently employed by the brewery? Have their roles been handed down through generations, like with the Arkells? They’re all local people - there are four on the ground and one on the computer, plus a book-keeper and me. We have all been here for years and years - I’m the youngest by miles! Brewing seems to be in the blood. Were you always keen to forge a career in the family business? I was an only child so my father was pleased to encourage me into the business. I left school and then went training around the country with other brewers, seeing how it was done. I then came into the brewery in 1972 at Arkells in Swindon to work for my father and a friend. Part of my training was to come to Donnington Brewery to see how the beer was made and see it from the ‘Brew House’ to the pub. One of the landladies, Connie Emms, was a licensee here when I was here as a boy. She was here for 40 years, but has now retired to Cirencester. Can you tell us what a ‘table beer’ was and when people drank it? Table beer was the beer that was drunk back in the day - a weak beer. Basically, water was infectious, so they brewed beer. The beer that they drank to quench their thirst was called ‘Table Beer’, and the beer that you drunk to ‘have a good time’ was called XXX SBA. The
first runnings were stronger and the last ones (the end of the hops) were weaker. As people rarely drank wine, table beer was served in pewter jugs. Some had a glass bottom - the theory being that when you drank, you could see your enemy. Can you tell us about the history of the original site of the brewery? The brewery building originally comprised farm buildings and stables - it was very much a farmyard. The maltings were built in 1865, which in those days were the backbone of the brewery - as anybody could make beer with the right ingredients. Malting happened after harvest. During the summer days, people were out harvesting and working on the farm. Following this they would have done the malting, and then - during the winter months - they would make the beer. So it was just originally a working farm here, making flour, using horses for ploughing and all the rest. The brewing started in 1865, and then Duncombe House was built by Richard Arkell. The brewery lake is home to some beautiful birds. Have you introduced them or have they naturally settled here? Claude Arkell was a very enthusiastic ‘bird man’- and he had all sorts of unusual varieties of birds and he looked after them. The wild ones are the white swans and some geese, but otherwise they have just stayed here really. As the water for the beer is drawn from the hill, do you find different weather conditions affect the taste of the beer? Well we go to church - God willing the taste won’t change! Unlike most other breweries where they would use a borehole, we use a natural spring so ground conditions don’t affect us. Tell me about your newly refurbished holiday cottage... All of the Arkells lived there after Richard had to sell his house (Duncombe House) plus half of the farm in the 1890s due to death duties. So the family moved into the Old Brewery House between the malting place and the old brewery. It hadn’t been lived in for 40 years, and it’s now a 4 bedroomed, en-suite very nice house with a marvellous kitchen. So now we let it out for holidays, while I still live opposite!
Donnington Brewery Privilege Card Offers Visit the Magazine and Gallery section for a full list of Privilege Card offers from local businesses current during May and June. Register on-line by clicking on Cotswold-Homes Club button to get your FREE card or pop into one of the offices of HARRISON & HARDIE at Moreton, Stow or Bourton to pick one up, or telephone us on 01608 653899 and we will send one to you in the post within 7 working days! Then start saving on all sorts of products and services, from gifts to food to beauty and clothes!
The Halfway House
The Plough Inn
Receive a free jug of Pimms when six adults or more enjoy Lunch or Dinner in our garden until the end of August 2012
Tables of six adults or more, dining Monday to Friday receive a free bottle of house wine. Until the end of August 2012
Kineton, Guiting Power, Cheltenham Gloucestershire Gl54 5UG
Ford, Temple Guiting Gloucestershire GL54 5RU
Snowshill, Broadway Worcestershire WR12 7JU
The Coach and Horses
The Coach and Horses
The New Inn
Children’s meals for £3.50, Tuesday-Friday, between 5-7pm, until the end of August 2012
10% off for tables of 4 diners or more, Monday to Friday, until the end of August 2012
Walking Parties of 10 or more enjoy a 10% discount until the end of July 2012
The Snowshill Arms
10% off for tables of 6 or more, until the end of August 2012
Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0QU
Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0QU
Main Street, Willersey, Broadway Worcestershire WR12 7PJ
The Fox Inn, Broadwell
The Fox Inn, Barrington
Free Bottle of House Wine for tables of 6 or more eating from the Evening Dinner menu MonFri. Until the end of July 2012
FREE Bottle of House Wine for all Pre-booked tables of four or more for Chef Toby Refoy’s Taverna Style Evenings (Mon-Thurs). Until the end of July 2012
Broadwell, Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 0UF
Great Barrington, Oxfordshire OX18 4TB
Privilege card offers For more information, and a host of other Privilege Card offers, please turn to pages 94 - 96, or simply scan this QR code to take you to a full list of current Privilege Card offers to be found on our website.
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO: JUNE by the force of your own momentum? The official proceedings were stopped a couple of years ago but risk-loving enthusiasts are expected to keep it going for a third year. You might just catch this world-famous spectacle at Cooper’s Hill, Near Brockworth. 12.00 midday (A46 Stroud-Brockworth Rd) www.cheese-rolling.co.uk
Tetbury Woolsack Races Monday June 4th, Tetbury
The Cotswold Olimpicks, Dover’s Hill Friday 1st June 2012 is the 400th anniversary of the ever-popular rural games established by Robert Dover, and this year’s Olimpick programme will run from 2.00pm to midnight. At 10.00pm the Scuttlebrook Queen will light the beacon, with fireworks and torchlight procession to the square in Chipping Campden, where dancing will conclude the events at midnight. www.olimpickgames.co.uk
The 2012 Winchcombe Festival Tuesday 29th May to Sunday 3rd June With both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 500th Anniversary of Queen Katherine Parr’s birth firmly in mind, Winchcombe has established a ‘monarchy’ theme for this year’s festival. A great variety of art, crafts, music, poetry and drama workshops are planned in honour of both royal anniversaries – and the ever-interesting town of Winchcombe is always worth a visit. Festivities will end with an all day Diamond Jubilee street fair. www. winchcombe.co.uk
JUNE An Invited Group of Cotswold Artists, St. Peter’s Church, Winchcombe Tuesday 29th May to Sunday 3rd June As part of the Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts, and following the successful exhibition of sculpture last year, the Friends of St. Peter’s Church are hosting a major exhibition of painting, drawings and prints by seventeen largely professional artists from the Cotswolds. Among the well-known local artists are Mary Frame (Temple Guiting) Robin Reckitt (Winchcombe) David Birch (Chipping Campden) Antonia Black (Alderton) all of whom have also exhibited in London and abroad. Sales will benefit the Church’s fabric fund. This is an opportunity to see varied work, largely representational through to some semi-abstract, with renderings of the local landscape alongside scenes of Scotland, Japan, Chile, Australia rendered in a variety of media. www.winchcombe.co.uk/festival
Broadway Diamond Jubilee Vintage & Classic Car Show Saturday 2nd June From noon until 4 pm, Broadway Parish Council will be hosting this Vintage & Classic Car Show on the village green as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. They invite British Motor Vehicles registered before 1953 to celebrate the day. For more details, or if you wish to enter your vehicle, please contact Neil Hilton at email@example.com
Cheese-Rolling at Coopers Hill near Gloucester Monday June 4th, at noon Robin Reckitt
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It is thought that this customary race originated with burly young men attempting to display their strength to the women of the village. In modern times, participants have even found their efforts enshrined in the Guinness Book of Records. There are also plenty of other things happening to keep spectators amused. www.tetburywoolsack.co.uk
Ever chased a giant cheese down a wickedly steep hillside, arms and legs flailing helplessly, overcome
The Broadway Arts Festival Saturday 9th to Sunday 17th June Celebrating Art & Education, the Broadway Arts Festival celebrates the Cotswold village’s artistic heritage, unveiling a fantastic line-up for this year’s event, focusing on the work of John Singer Sargent RA and the Broadway Colony. To honour this year’s featured artist and garden designer, Alfred Parsons RA, the Festival is organising a national art competition with the theme of “In the Garden”. The winner will receive the John Singer Sargent Prize and £1,000 in cash, courtesy of sponsors John Noott Galleries of Broadway. There will be a performance of Peter Pan, written by J M Barrie, who was a member of the Broadway Colony. Peter Pan will be enacted by local school children, also the stars of the Children’s Parade that takes place on Saturday 9th June. www. broadwayartsfestival.com
Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse Friday 8th June to Sunday 10th June A family-friendly annual music festival featuring indie, folk and world music. The event has been called a ‘bijou Glastonbury’ and includes live music, workshops, comedy and a children’s literature tent. The Wychwood Festival has been nominated Best Family Festival in the UK Festival Awards every year. For tickets go to www.wychwoodfestival.com or call the box office on 01993 772580
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
An itinerary of fabulous events to entertain the whole family, Summer 2012 Midsummer Speed Fest at Prescott Speed Hill Climb, Gotherington Saturday 23rd June and Sunday 24TH June
Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival Friday 15th June to Sunday 17th June This festival at Cheltenham is a gastronomic delight, with over 150 exhibitors; the scope of local & regional products on show ensures there is something for everyone. You’ll find an astonishing variety of victuals from oatcakes to aphrodisiac Quince, the widest range of baked goods, meats, fish, cheeses, jams, chutneys - and there’s much more on offer. This is the one regional food event not to be missed. www.garden-events.com
The 11 round series runs across the three midland hill climb venues of Shelsley Walsh, Loton Park and Prescott and features a huge variety of cars from humble saloons through to F1-engined, purpose built single-seaters running within a class structure. The Speed Fest is celebrating 50 years of Mini Cooper. The event features a special display of Bentley Owners’ Club cars, strawberries on the lawns and special guest Paddy Hopkirk. www.prescott-hillclimb.com
CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL FRIDAY 29TH JUNE TO SUNDAY 1ST JULY, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire Will Young, Elvis Costello and Jools Holland join songbirds Macy Grey and Pixie Lott to perform at the festival affectionately known as Poshstock. Camping from £175 - £65 day pass Stratford Beer and Cider Festival, Stratford Racecourse Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June Connoisseurs rejoice! Stratford’s own Beer and Cider Festival will be featuring a variety of fine beverages for the discerning drinker to peruse. This festival is a must-visit for anybody interested in real ales. As Shakespeare wrote, ‘A quart of ale is a dish for a king.’ www.stratfordbeerfestival.org.uk
Longborough Festival Opera Saturday 9th June to Sunday 29th July Delivering another sensational opera season, Longborough Festival Opera will host performances including Wagner’s climactic Götterdämmerung, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and a Young Artists’ production of Sweeny Todd. See our article on page 14 – for more information and a chance to win tickets! www.lfo.org.uk
Rose Week at Sudeley Castle Monday 11th June to Sunday 17th June Your chance to visit the award-winning Queens Garden at Sudeley while in full bloom. The beautiful English Rose Garden has been described as the ‘Most Romantic’ by the Times with over 800 modern and old roses that promise to take your breath away. Sudeley Castle is also home to a variety of other fabulous gardens and the gardeners will also be giving guided tours throughout the week 10.30 am – 5.00 pm (booking in advance recommended). www.sudeleycastle.co.uk
Cheltenham Science Festival Tuesday 12th June to Sunday 17th June The returning Science Festival sees some big personalities – Vivienne Westwood and Brian Cox to name but two – leading discussions and talks on today’s hot topics. Visit www.cheltenhamfestivals. com for the full programme and more information on the other festivals.
Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition at Asthall Manor, Burford, Oxfordshire Sunday 17th June to Sunday 15th July An ambitious selection of beautifully realised contemporary sculpture situated in the privately landscaped grounds of Asthall Manor. Admission: £7.50; www.onformsculpture.co.uk
Bledington Music Festival Tuesday June 12th to Thursday 14th June The 2012 line-up of this beloved music festival features accomplished performances from acclaimed musicians including the multi-talented Alissa Firsova, cellist Jessica Hayes, soprano Lesley Jane Rogers and pianists Mark Bebbington and Jennie-Helen Moston. Last year’s event attracted the largest audience yet – hold tight for another success. www.bledingtonmusicfestival.co.uk
Adlestrop Village Open Day, near Moreton in Marsh Sunday 24th June Starting at 12.00 pm until 5.00 pm, a beautiful family day out will be offered by this pretty Cotswold village. Several gardens will open, with stalls, lunches and teas and even a fun dog show. One of the open gardens will also be selling plants. For further information phone 01608 658675 or email susan@adlestrop. eclipse.co.uk
Craft & Gift Fair- Redesdale Hall Saturday 30th June From 10 am to 4 pm, the historic town centre building of Redesdale Hall, in bustling Moreton in Marsh, is exhibiting quality, handmade products at this Summer Fair. The ideal opportunity to show off your unique products or just to spoil the family with delightful gifts! New stallholders are welcome to apply to the fair.
The Cotswold Show and Country Fair, Cirencester Park Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July A variety event of activities, pursuits and crafts to suit all country-dwellers, the Cotswold Show and Country Fair features animal and helicopter shows, archery, wood-carving, monster truck racing (starring Big Pete and the Grim Reaper) and kipper smoking. www. cotswoldshow.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO: JULY Orchestra of the Music Makers with pianist Melvyn Tan and early music gems from Trio Medieval and Florilegium’s Bolivian Baroque project. Town Hall and other venues. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com
Cheltenham Cricket Festival Cheltenham College Wednesday 11th July to Sunday 22nd July
JULY Olympic Flame Procession – Chipping Campden Sunday 1st July Arriving in town around 12.35 pm, the flame will be carried down Conduit Hill before heading along Sheep Street and then onto Lower High Street before heading out of town. Make sure to visit historic Campden to witness it pass through on the 44th day of the national torch relay.
Cheltenham International Festival of Music Wednesday 4th July to Sunday 15th July This event will feature Jean Efflam-Bavouzet performing a Debussy spectacular in the 150th anniversary of his birth, the return of Cheltenham favourite Milos Karadaglic (this year playing with the Carducci Quartet), Singapore’s stunning
First staged in 1872, Cheltenham Cricket Festival is the oldest cricket festival in the world. Set against the idyllic backdrop of Cheltenham College and the Cotswold hills, it provides the chance to see top cricketers in action and is big attraction for cricket fans, stars and new supporters alike. The festival is one of the largest events in the English cricketing calendar and is not to be missed. This year there are great fixtures, free coaching for juniors and other new activities. For further information and tickets, go to www.gloscricket.co.uk
The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Friday 13th July to Sunday 15th July This renowned event takes place at Gatcombe Park, spectacular home of the Princess Royal and her family and incorporates the British Open,
The Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford Saturday July 7th and Sunday July 8th Celebrate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in sparkling style as the RAF presents an aerial Royal Salute. Get transported back in time for a taste of 1940s life in the nostalgic Battle of Britain Village. Visit www.airtattoo.com or call 0800 107 1940 28
Cotswold Homes Magazine
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
An itinerary of fabulous events to entertain the whole family, Summer 2012 Intermediate and Novice Championships. As well as a weekend of top class eventing there will be a shopping village, arena attractions and entertainment for all the family. www.gatcombeevents.co.uk
The Battle Proms Concerts 2012 at Blenheim Palace Saturday 14th July
42nd Guiting Power Festival Friday 27th July to Saturday 4th August Now in its 42nd year, this accomplished and intimate music festival offers nine concerts spanning many different genres and aspects of music. With performances from the fabulous Katona Twins, the Heath Quartet and international award-winning violinist Leland Chen, the festival presents a programme as diverse as it is entertaining. Tickets will be on sale from mid-May for patrons (a minimum donation of £15 per person; apply to Guiting Festival, FREEPOST (GR1690), Winchcombe, GL54 5BR or queries to 01242 603912). Tickets will then be on general sale from 1st June. The Friday 27th July tickets cost £16, all others £12 or £6 for under-18s.
Classical music spectacular with cannons, cavalry, spitfire air display and fireworks. As well as performing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, the Battle Proms is the only concert that stages Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’ (Wellington’s Victory). Beethoven scored this piece for 193 cannons; Blenheim rises to the challenge by following his original score with the full complement of cannons - a unique and magnificent spectacle. www. battleproms.com
Cotswold Beer Festival - Postlip Hall near Winchcombe Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd July The Cotswold Beer Festival features over 80 real ales and ciders - not to mention the live music, food and free soft drinks provided for designated drivers. Friday and Saturday admission is by advance ticket only but is free on Sunday. www. gloucestershirecamra.org.uk
The Cotswold Arcadians staging The Comedy Of Errors Monday 23rd July to Saturday 28th July A one-of-a-kind staging of Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare in the gardens of Hatherop Castle, just 6 miles from Cirencester and 3 miles north of Fairford, this open-air production will commence at 7.30 pm. Audiences may picnic on the lawns from 6 pm. Tickets will be available from May 2012 from firstname.lastname@example.org or 01285 898019
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Tewkesbury Medieval Festival Saturday 14th July and Sunday 15th July The festival takes place on the fields behind the Tewkesbury Borough Council offices, Gloucester Road (part of the site of the original War of the Roses battle of Tewkesbury in 1471). Battles with knights and archers, a living history camp, jousting, street processions and medieval market will feature. We hear that this is the largest medieval festival in Europe! www. tewkesburymedievalfestival.org www.cotswold-homes.com
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO: AUGUST takes place in Cheltenham over ten days from the 18th to the 27th August 2012. It’s the best place to view work by around 70 of the finest craftsmen practising in Britain – and a good opportunity to place your own commissions. Visit www.celebrationofcraftsmanship.com for more information.
Evesham Angling Festival, Crown Meadow, Evesham Saturday 25th August to Monday 27th August
AUGUST WILDERNESS FESTIVAL - Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire FRIDAY 10TH AUGUST TO SUNDAY 12TH AUGUST Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Wilco, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Spiritualized and Stornoway provide the main attraction; masked midnight ball and banqueting. Camping from £99 to £139
Witness some of the UK’s top anglers as ‘the best take on the best’. Fishing is the focus of the everpopular festival, but there’s plenty to see in the shows and the town. Excitement has been building throughout the year’s qualifying matches; now see the finalists angle it out to take the crown. Free entry, too! See www.eveshamfestival.com
Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, Thirlstaine Long Gallery, Cheltenham College from Saturday 18th August to Monday 27th August
Winchcombe Country Show Winchcombe Senior School Fields Monday 27th August
Every year the Celebration brings together exceptional examples of unique craftsmanship and design that will undoubtedly prove to be the antiques of the future! The live exhibition
This show offers something for all of the family to enjoy, from the flower show to face painting and a novelty dog show. There is also a raffle with some superb prizes, delicious homemade cakes
Fairford Steam and Rally Show, Fairford SATURDAY 18TH AND SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST Showcasing a range of veteran and vintage vehicles, this event also features a go-kart party, the canine acrobatics of the Rockwood Dog Display Team and the equine thrills of the returning Stallions of Substance. Steam and tractor lovers will be especially delighted with the sights on offer. Make sure to check out the uncanny miniature steam engines while you’re there! Visit www.fairfordsteamrally.com for more information.
Cotswold Homes Magazine
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
An itinerary of fabulous events to entertain the whole family, Summer 2012 in the tea tent, organic ice cream, a licensed bar and crafts stalls. For further information, visit www. winchcombeshow.org.uk
Football in The River and Village Fete, Bourton on the Water August Bank Holiday Monday This hugely unique sporting event is an absolute must for sheer water-fuelled entertainment and a fantastic opportunity to witness community spirit at its best. With proceeds going to the village Football Club, Football in the River is an event that most spectators are glad to not be taking part in, but greatly enjoy watching! Get there early, not only to make the most of the day, but to ensure parking.
Foxstock, The Fox Inn, Barrington - Friday 24th August to Monday 27th August For over nine years now, The Fox Inn at Great Barrington near Burford has played host to its very own music festival â€“ the cannily named Foxstock. What started as a small gig organised by two friends has grown into a long weekend of music for all the family to enjoy. The August Bank Holiday event located in the picturesque setting by the River Windrush- the stage is actually located in the river - has various bands play music which is easy by day but that encourages the festival goers to get up and dance by night. Entry is free during the daytime but by ticket only for
evening performances. This year Dr. Feelgood will be headlining the festivities. See www. foxstock.co.uk for more details.
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The Best of British Show, Cotswold Airport, Staverton Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August Donâ€™t miss this celebration of iconic British culture, with great food, air displays, entertainment, music, vehicle displays and much more. With plenty of vintage military planes and vehicles, this is a spectacle not to be missed. www.bestofbritishshow.co.uk www.cotswold-homes.com
ANTICKS AND RIBALDRY at the COTSWOLD OLIMPICKS On Thursday in Whit-week, On that Highly-renowned and universally admired spot called Dover’s Hill, Near Chipping Campden. Glos. The sports will commence with a grand match of Backswords for a purse of guineas, To be played by 9 or 7 men on a side. Each side must appear in the ring by 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Or 15s. each pair will be given for as many as will play. Wrestling for belts and others prizes. Also Jumping in bags and dancing. And a Jingling Match for 10s. 6d. As well as divers others of celebrated Cotswold and Olympic games, for which this annual meeting, has been famed for centuries. —Flyer advertising the Games of 1812
Sport-lovers take note: A grand 400 years of age this year, our very own Cotswold Olimpicks are in fact much, much older than their famous namesake – the enormous international athletic competitions we are hosting this year in London. Of course, you won’t find a ‘Shin-kicking’ event in the 2012 Olympics – but if you did, England would be a sure bet, thanks to our rich heritage in loopy local contests. The so-called Olimpicks, or Dover Games, were established in around 1612 by lawyer Robert Dover. It is uncertain what his founding aim was, but it is known that people from all classes were united in their love of this event. Crowds feasted whilst all-comers competed in a mixture of different contests. A wooden castle was even constructed, installed with tiny cannons to announce the events. Throughout the festivities, Dover would ride about on horseback in the ceremonial robes of royalty, loaned by King James himself, who bestowed his personal approval upon the Games. Of course, the jollity and celebration became a poke in the eye for more conservative folk, who alleged that drunkenness and promiscuity that took place at such occasions. James’ successor, 32
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Charles I, passed then swiftly withdrew a ruling that prohibited such activities on a Sunday. Like his father, Charles seemed to believe that such festivals played a valuable role in occupying the people and encouraging good feeling towards the crown. In 1636, the Annalia Dubrensia (Annals of Dover) was published - a compendium of poetry honouring Dover’s contributions to the social life of the English. The reputable poets who contributed denied rumours of misbehaviour at the games – arguing that the celebration instead united the classes in merriment and loyalty to the king. Yet in 1642, the outbreak of the English Civil War put a halt to all the fun. Revived in the years following Dover’s death in 1652, the games seemed to acquire a more boisterous tone. Sword-fighting became a staple and wrestling transformed shin-kicking, for which competitors would sometimes don nailed
or cruelly pointed boots. Dispossessed by the carving-up of common land in the 1800s, the games once again dwindled away. After the Second World War, the Festival of Britain saw the Olimpicks return as part of an attempt to restore the battered English spirit, and in 1966 the games finally became a fixture once again. Almost every year since, attendees have savoured the spectacle of the oddest pursuits rural Britain can offer. Aside from the notorious shin-kicking, the games have staged such bizarre events as dwile-flonking (a team sport involving the flinging of booze-soaked rags), piano smashing and gurning contests, alongside traditional fayre constants like the Tug o’ War. Olimpick chairman Graham Greenall elaborated to Cotswold Homes about the history of the prestigious games.
Q. The Olimpicks have been around a very long time indeed, reviving whenever they have been cancelled or disbanded. What do you think is the secret of their enduring appeal? It’s very much a local event for local people, but it also moves with the times. It’s a true mix of ancient and modern! Q. What do you think Dover’s original intentions may have been in establishing the games? We’ve heard various stories… Dover almost certainly took over existing festivities. One possibility is that he was encouraged by Sir Baptist Hicks’ agents. He was at Cambridge with Hicks’ nephew and they shared common interests. [Baptists Hicks was a wealthy textile merchant and philanthropist, responsible for many of the fine buildings erected in Campden, including Almshouses built for the poor]. Q. King James appeared to be a supporter of the games, lending Dover his fine clothes to wear. As a monarch, what benefits did he think such occasions would bring? Royal support is definite, the reasons for it less so. I suspect that is was reactive rather than proactive. Charles I also supported them and Prince Rupert almost certainly attended in 1636. Q. There have been some wild and wonderful contests taking place at the Olimpicks – dwile flonking, shin kicking, bale of hay racing, sword fighting, gurning and all the rest…which of these pursuits have been the most popular with the people? Shin kicking is certainly internationally popular
and famous at present. It has been a feature of the games since the start, but it is now more controlled and far less brutal… Q. Will the Cotswold Olimpicks be honouring its global counterpart in any way this year, as international attention fixates on Britain’s chances at the Olympic Games? We always honour our offspring and this year is no exception. We are holding our tug of war as usual and this is doubly relevant as there are moves to reinstate this in the modern Olympics. Great Britain won the gold medal in London in 1908 and a Chipping Campden man was a member of the winning team - thus another link between the two is maintained. Q. The 400th anniversary of the Dover Games was referenced in Britain’s successful 2012 Olympic bid. Do you think there is a cheeky claim to be made that the Dover Games were influential in inspiring the modern Olympics? The claim is far from cheeky - it is accurate and authenticated. We are the acorn, from which the modern Olympic oak with all its branches grew! Q. There’s been speculation that Shakespeare himself might have attended the games. Is there any evidence at all to support this idea? Shakespeare lived the last four years of his life at Stratford upon Avon and these corresponded to the first four years of the games. In those first years people travelled up to fifty or sixty miles to attend so the ten or so miles from Stratford would not have been unusual. There are also possible references to the games in The Merry Wives of Windsor and As You Like It. www.cotswold-homes.com
A Cheesy Uprising or a Double Gloucester Downfall? Cheese Rolling, arguably the nation’s most eccentric sport and an age-old Gloucestershire tradition, has gone guerrilla. Will it return for a third unofficial outing? You’d have to have been living under a rock not to have heard tales of Cheese Rolling! Generations of devotees have chased cheeses down Cooper’s Hill since time immemorial, and this quirky custom – attracting thousands of spectators - naturally became a modern day media-magnet. The event has even inspired an iPhone game. Yet, in recent years, the tradition has been essentially outlawed. The objective of Cheese Rolling is simple enough: Whoever crosses the line at the bottom of the two hundred yard, 1 in 2 gradient hill first is declared the winner. There are usually five races with twenty competitors in each (and even one ladies’ race and a children’s uphill race). The traditional 8lb Double Gloucester cheese (made by local cheese maker Diana Smart since 1988) is released at the top of the hill approximately one second before the competitors are let loose down the hill. Astonishingly, this hefty round of cheese can reach speeds of up to seventy miles per hour. Accordingly, invigilating medics have usually watched over proceedings – ready to attend to any injuries that might occur from the high-velocity tumbling. The contest attracts international interest, with entrants and spectators hailing from far outside Gloucestershire’s borders. The much-loved contest even triumphed over the threat posed by rationing in WWII. Between the years of 1941 and 1954 the cheese was substituted with a wooden replica (with a small hollow area in the centre which held a modest piece of cheese for the victor). Yet this noble tradition recently faced a deadlier foe in proposed insurance costs. In the 2009 event, an injury toll of eighteen was described by the attending St. John’s Ambulance team as ‘low’. Ten of the injured were spectators – nonparticipants in the bone-crunching race (one fell from a tree watching the event). That’s no big shakes for a competition partly famed for how risky it is. Past casualties have suffered spinal injuries and broken and sprained limbs - the highest recorded number of casualties was 33 in 1997. Following the 2009 event (the last ‘official’ Cheese Rolling), the local organising committee faced a series of financial issues to overcome in order to keep the tradition alive. These problems included sourcing funding for public liability 34
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“A police presence did not derail proceedings and in 2011, there were no recorded injuries.” insurance cover, directing, controlling the parking of cars and ensuring that all health and safety issues were addressed. The main concern was the fact that the venue was estimated to be able to accommodate ‘only’ 5,000 spectators. After a survey of how many people planned to attend the event in 2010 was carried out, it was suggested that an approximate 15,000 members of the public had ear-marked their Bank Holiday Monday for a trip to Cooper’s Hill. The event was just not going to be viable. To help cover the rising costs of hosting the event, the organisers proposed that they introduce a ‘festival style’ event with overnight camping, as opposed to the previous cost of £5 per car attending the spectacle which it had now outgrown. This idea was swiftly quashed by the local residents, as was the follow-up plan of charging £20 per person on the gate. The lack of progress in sourcing adequate funding forced the organisers to stand down from their positions and the event was seemingly brought to a saddening end. However, the endangered tradition went guerilla. Defiant locals began to plan an ‘offthe-record’ Cheese Rolling event after the unsuccessful search for a sponsor to help cover the cost of the event newly-swaddled in red tape. Savvy use of social media helped to keep fans aware of plans. 2010 and 2011 saw two successful Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling events with defiant spectators cheering on competitors, even without paramedics present. A police presence did not derail proceedings and in 2011, there were no recorded injuries. Chris Anderson was crowned that year’s Cheese Rolling champion, reigning victorious with three in one day- taking home a trio of Double Gloucester cheeses. ‘It’s a Brockleworth tradition – [let’s] keeping it going’, he remarked. ‘I had to win – it’s in my blood.’ It seems the rolling spirit is currently too strong to be overcome. Will these plucky enthusiasts keep cheeses tumbling in 2012?
Fancy a Game of Football in
A waterlogged football pitch would usually render the game abandoned, but on every August Bank Holiday Monday for the last century, Bourton-on-the-Water has played host to the surreal game of ‘Football in the River’. It is not entirely clear how the idea for the game came about, but to say the event is still going strong would be an understatement - it now attracts over one thousand spectators to the grassy banks of the River Windrush each year. In the usually calm waters of the river, the game is played under standard football rules, with goal posts set up roughly seventy metres apart in the three metre wide brook. Of course, the aim remains to score as many goals as possible. A river-based rivalry provides great entertainment as the Bourton Rovers first eleven and second eleven battle it out in ankle-high waters. Skill is definitely required - for most players it is tricky enough trying to control a football on immaculately groomed turf, let alone on running water, with crowds cheering within metres of the players, who battle it out for fifteen minutes each way. Meanwhile, a fete keeps up the entertainment and a variety of local eateries cater for hungry spectators. Just a word of warning - if you wish to get really close to the action by standing in the ‘front row’ on the banks of the river, wear waterproofs!
Gatcombe’s Festival of Eventing – July 2012
The Festival of Eventing at Gatcombe House has provided a fabulous Cotswold equestrian highlight for many a year. Lucinda Green recalls her own famous victories in the summer of 1984 at Gatcombe and the Los Angeles Olympics and reveals her hopes for Team GB at the Olympic Course in Greenwich, London 2012. The Royal love affair with the horse is well documented and in recent years, princesses seem to have dominated the sport of Eventing – none greater than the Olympian Princess Anne and her daughter, European and World Champion, Zara Phillips. Eventing is a sport demanding agility and speed combined with fearlessness of both horse and rider, judged upon three exacting stages of competition quite often all within a single day. Men and women, unlike any other sport, compete to the same rules and must excel in dressage, show jumping and cross-country. The majority of Eventing competitions are held at prestigious houses such as Blenheim and Badminton where the grounds will easily accommodate all three disciplines. Queen Elizabeth II bought Gatcombe Park, near Stroud, for Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips in 1976 as their marital home. The Princess Royal and Captain Phillips together, had by this time, won gold and silver in the European championships and an Olympic gold. The house and 730 acre farm estate presented an ideal opportunity to highlight the profile of British Eventing, a sport in which they had both competed internationally for the past decade. Their very own
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“The Princess Royal and Captain Phillips together, had by this time, won gold and silver in the European championships and an Olympic gold.” event would accommodate the most advanced riders and horses, their cross country course designed to be a true test.
attractions such as Dressage to Music, Shetland Pony Grand National, Dog Display and, this year, the Kennel Club Agility Team.
With great effort and input from the Eventing elite and volunteers, the grounds were prepared and the gates opened for competitors and public in August 1983. It proved a resounding success and the years that have followed have helped to produce many of the UK’s top riders. Last year, forty thousand spectators enjoyed the action and much more besides. Gatcombe Festival of Eventing gives allround family entertainment, with plenty of shops and eateries as well as a diverse range of arena
Lucinda Green is an iconic figure within the equestrian world, having won team silver at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, claiming two gold medals at the World Championships and 5 gold, 4 silver, and 1 bronze medal at the European Championships. In addition, Lucinda has won Badminton six times, a record she still holds. She now teaches cross country clinics all over the world and commentates for Channel 9 Australia at the London Olympics.
CH –At Gatcombe Horse trials in 1984, you claimed victory on ‘Village Gossip’. Can you recall that day? LG - Village Gossip was a horse that always came second. At just about every three-day event in the world, we came second 7 times in fact! At Gatcombe that year, we sneaked ahead of Andrew Hoy (the hotly tipped favourite) in the dressage. Village Gossip was so bold and powerful that day, he took a stride out at the giant steps-up on the cross country, and that saved us the vital second we needed to claim victory. CH – Gatcombe Horse trials provided the opportunity for Captain Mark Phillips to display his course designing skills. How do you feel it rode? LG - With difficult ground along the side of the hills, Mark did an extremely good job. I remember he built one fence a year or two later that was almost un-jumpable - he was the first to admit that he didn’t get that right. I don’t think you can design courses at the highest level, where you are encouraging horses to jump things right on the edge of their capabilities, and not occasionally get it wrong. Mark listened to what people had to say about his course and then made the decision as to whether or not to act upon it the following year. CH - Are there many other cross-country courses like Gatcombe? LG - At the Olympic course in Greenwich, the terrain is slightly similar although much less open than that of the Gatcombe Festival, as it is up and down a small yet steep mountain that they have to go up three times, and they have to twist and turn. The oak trees in Greenwich Park date from the 15th century and are not allowed to be trimmed - so the course has to twist to avoid the trees!
CH – What are your memories as a competitor at the Olympics? LG - Nothing can compare to the Olympic games. No international equestrian event is the same in atmosphere as the Olympics, I feel very lucky to have been a part of them. In particular, people from all over the world gather under one roof for one reason, because they are the best at what they do, whatever that may be. You sit down in the canteen next to a couple of total strangers and you start chatting away, even though you don’t have any common language you have a mutual bond, and it is the most wonderful feeling. At the Montreal Olympics, the equestrian teams were way out in the foothill, but we were given the opportunity to sample the Olympic village after we had completed our competition. It was just amazing - there is nothing like it.
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CH – How do you think team GB will fare at Greenwich? LG – We should do very well! We have fared very well in the last few Olympic games but we haven’t been quite good enough. When push comes to shove, only one person can win. Team GB has an equal chance, but it really depends if luck is going our way and whether we ride crosscountry fast enough. Contrary to popular belief, dressage and show jumping are not necessarily the deciding rounds. We have actually lost the last few Olympic Games on the cross-country. In Hong Kong, we lost because we simply weren’t fast enough. CH – Is there any horse and rider combination that you think is worth looking out for? LG - Zara Phillips and High Kingdom - cracking, brilliant little horse and she is riding out of her skin at the moment. It is also a very suitable horse for Greenwich, but we will see! www.cotswold-homes.com
Diary of an Equestrian Lady
Diary of an Equestrian Lady
North Cotswold Pony Club Summer Camp I grew up on a pony in the North Cotswolds, my days joyfully filled with all manner of equestrian faffing, grooming, tack cleaning, hacking, absorbing invaluable lessons of responsibility with every brush stroke. To this day I still lose myself in swiftly passing hours with only the company of my beautiful Tay, a horse so powerful yet immediately obedient to my touch. My mother instilled my passion for horses but it was the Pony Club that nurtured it. As soon as the clocks went forward my brother and I could not wait to pluck our ponies from the quagmire of our field and rumble off to as many Pony Club rallies as possible. Rally attendance was, and remains today, a vital requirement if one wishes to take part in the highlight of all Pony Club events - Summer Camp! Introduced in 1930, the North Cotswold branch of The Pony Club has traditionally been organised by a voluntary committee. Their efforts to create groups of similar ability and ages have often helped to form the foundation of lifelong friendships, the pinnacle of which are the summer camps that Mr R and The Honourable Mrs A Cookson have, for many years, kindly hosted - a week crammed with activities for an average of 140 ponies and pupils each year. They welcome all-comers from four-year-old tots on Thelwells to grown-up eighteen-year-olds on thoroughbreds, everyone joining together to benefit from the advice of top instructors teaching all manner of disciplines. Skills badges - such as Riding and Road Safety - are highly coveted and pupils work hard to achieve the
colours of competence. And on the final day annual cups are awarded, a fabulous opportunity to demonstrate all those new and hard-earned skills. To begin with, each morning children are gathered in groups of six or less for parade, a tradition to instil punctuality and the value of being properly turned out, horse and rider alike. Thereafter, the days gallop by in a flurry of dressage, show jumping, cross-country, gymkhana, stable-management, road safety, polo, pony racing and much more. Only the lure of refreshments will interrupt activities - elevenses are squash and biscuits, sipped under the cool shade of the park trees. Over lunch, parents relax in camping chairs, whilst children, sandwiches in hand, march off to see their friends in adjacent lorries. For younger children, days end with the cheerful jingle of an enterprising ice cream van. For the more senior rides a residential camp is provided, when education spills over into evening routines of equestrian keep. Many years may have passed since I last attended Summer Camp but such heady days were the very building blocks of my summer memories, my enduring passion for horses - they will never be forgotten, nor the friendships that were forged.
Local Pony Club Success Stories... • Tom Scudamore ~ Jockey ~ North Cotswold PC ~ 309 winners in the last 5 seasons. • Nick Skelton ~ Show Jumper ~ North Warwickshire PC ~ 4 Bronze & a Silver at the World Championships, 3 time Olympic Competitor and 3 times Hickstead Derby Winner. • Captain Mark Phillips ~ Eventer/Course Designer/former Chef d’Equipe ~ Beaufort PC ~ Olympic Gold and Silver, 4 X Badminton Winner • John Francombe ~ Jockey ~ Vale of the White Horse PC ~ Rode 1138 winners, 7 X National Hunt Champion Jockey. • Mike Tucker ~ Eventer & BBC Commentator ~ Beaufort PC ~ Olympic Reserve ~ International Competitor. • Zara Phillips ~ Eventer ~ Minchinhampton/Beaufort PC ~ European and World Champion.
- how a family farm became one of the most popular tourist destinations in the North Cotswolds No Cotswold summer would be complete without a visit to Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. We caught up with the Cotswolds’ most famous farmer and television presenter to look back on the history of the farm and to find out about the many exciting new developments he has planned for his visitors in 2012. The Farm Park has been one of the area’s best-loved attractions for many years now. What can we expect from you this summer? We always listen to what our visitors tell us and ran an extensive survey last year. We’ve introduced a Rare Breeds Through History Trail, which illustrates the importance of specific breeds from the Iron Age right up to today. We’ve upgraded a lot of our outdoor play equipment and more than doubled the size of our ever popular Touch Barn – where visitors can cuddle and feed animals, including piglets, chicks and domestic pets like guinea pigs. Last year we launched the first North Cotswold Food and Farming Festival - showcasing truly local and delicious produce. It proved so popular with locals that this year we’re holding three - on Sunday 13th May, September 30th and and December 2nd. Several local food producers will have stalls selling food - from beef, cheese and relishes to handmade chocolate, bread and puddings. These events take place on the same days as our popular Horse and Pony Fun Rides. For all these and other special events taking place throughout the season, do check our website at www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk How many visitors can the park expect in a typical summer? Our popularity is growing every year, as people who came here as children themselves come back again and again with their families and friends. We welcome 80,000 visitors annually now. What does the Farm Park offer its visitors in terms of education about farming today? We are passionate about British Farming and have a whole heap of information at our visitors’ disposal - from boards with easy to understand statistics about crops and animals, to listening posts about our rare breeds. My Dad, Joe Henson MBE, founded the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Cotswold Farm Park is dedicated to preserving rare breeds for generations to come. Tell us more about the ‘Wildlife Walk’… The Cotswold Farm Park is part of the 650 hectare Bemborough Farm run by myself and my business partner Duncan Andrews. The Wildlife Walk is a two-mile circular walk within the farm. It has wonderful views across a rolling Cotswold landscape, including a Bronze Age burial mound, old quarry workings for Cotswold roofing slates, miles of dry-stone walls and a Cotswold dewpond. In 1996 English Nature named part of it, “Barton Bushes”, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI. It is an area of wildflower-rich limestone grassland and scrub with a thriving population of the nationally rare plant Cotswold Pennycress and its population of the nationally scarce Duke of Burgundy butterfly. 40
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“My Dad, Joe Henson MBE, founded the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Cotswold Farm Park is dedicated to preserving rare breeds for generations to come.”
Our farming practices at Bemborough aim to improve conditions for wildlife across the whole 650-hectare mixed holding, using a mixture of environmentally friendly farming systems. Along the Wildlife Walk you will see how these practices are benefitting wildlife and biodiversity. The walk starts just by the entrance to the Farm Park and is open to everyone. You won’t be disappointed!
Cotswolds. I believe our winning formula is that fact that we offer a good day out for all ages – good, old-fashioned fun for everyone. Our visitors love coming to see our rare breed farm animals at different times of the year – from lambing in the spring, to shearing and milking demonstrations. Bottlefeeding and cuddling baby animals are also things that many people love – and the relaxed atmosphere of the Farm Park is enjoyable for everyone.
The Farm Park is known for its commitment to conservation. What sort of things do you do to help rare breeds flourish? There are three main reasons why we need to preserve rare breeds (types or strains of domestic animals that are not needed by modern agriculture): as a living museum to enable people interested in our living heritage to come and see the types of animals our ancestors farmed; for research purposes, to study in detail the diversity and variation found in these old fashioned breeds; and most importantly to keep our options open for the future and because our farming needs are constantly changing - if livestock breeders are to mould their animals to fit these changing needs, it is vital that they have a pool of genetic material to fall back on. It may sound odd, but in order to help rare breeds flourish we need to eat them! Yes. The more demand there is for rare breed meat, the less chance certain breeds will have of becoming extinct. Look at how the Gloucester Old Spot pig has become a popular breed once more – and they make the most delicious sausages! We sell our meat and sausages at the Farm Park and through the excellent Lambourne’s butchers in Stow – so it’s available for everyone to enjoy. Adam, you’re very famous these days, and all sorts of people want your advice. Do you still have the time to muck-in with events at the park? I do get recognised because of my TV work but I am still a farmer first and foremost. I am proud to be following in my Dad’s footsteps, as he set up the Cotswold Farm Park. I now run it – and the 650 acres at Bemborough Farm, with my business partner Duncan Andrews. To be honest there’s nothing I like more than getting stuck in with lambing and chatting to our visitors. You recently won an award for your contributions to local tourism. What, in your opinion, is the Farm Park formula for success? Yes, we won the Cotswold Tourism Gold award for best attraction, which we’re very proud of – and that’s testament to all the hard work and dedication of all our staff. Our campsite also got a silver award. It’s very popular with locals who just want to get away from it all for a night or so – as well as people who travel from all over the country and use us as a base for visiting the www.cotswold-homes.com
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On Saturday the 16th of June from 2pm onwards, Sezincote House will host the Longborough & Sezincote Fete. Every other year, by kind permission of Dr & Mrs Peake, locals and visitors enjoy the delights of a traditional village fete in the grounds of their magnificent country home, designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in 1805. Gazebos and stalls are manned by villagers touting their wares, from bric-a-brac to plants, books, second-hand children’s toys and clothing - all displayed with thought and pride. Traditional games are provided to occupy every generation – children can run in the Olympic torch relay race, parade in their fancy-dress costumes or simply sit upon the manicured 42
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lawns, entertained by a magic show. Motor enthusiasts will no doubt admire a fine collection of vintage cars, keen gardeners will wish to explore the stunning grounds and allcomers will enjoy the Campden Morris dancers. As with the finest village traditions, visitors will be able to partake of homemade cakes and tea served in the elevated orangery or sip a glass of fruity Pimms – and if they wish to top off the ultimate country house experience, they can even take a tour of the India-inspired home. Entry £4 per adult, £1 per child (5+) under 5s free. House tours adults only. All proceeds go to St James’ Church, Longborough.
“Featuring traditional stalls and sideshows. Morris dancers, Longborough School dancers, family magic show, children’s craft activities, refreshments, Olympic torch races, craft demonstrations, a Pimms stall and vintage cars.”
All across the North Cotswolds, little signs popping up on roadside verges herald the annual village fete season. Here is advance notice of a few of our favourites… May Fayre - Bourton on the Water - Saturday 9th June From 10am until 4pm on The Green - if wet, in Victoria Hall. Always a major event in the village, there are lots of stalls including plants, cakes, books, white elephant and a mega Tombola as well as a raffle. Refreshments are served all day in the Victoria Hall. Frequent duck races will be held in the river. Proceeds in aid of The Catholic Churches of Stow and Bourton. All welcome.
Bledington Fete - Saturday 16th June Traditional fete held on The Village Green. Fun dog show, Maypole dancing, tug of war competition. Ploughman’s lunches from 12 noon. Fete opens at 1pm. BBQ and teas available. Stalls- cakes, plants, white elephant, books and bottle tombola. Sideshows- bowling, Aunt Sally, coconut shy, jousting and more. Craft stalls, beer tent, live music. Free entry.
Northleach Charter Fair – 30th June 2012 King Henry III granted the town a charter in 1227 allowing a weekly market to be held and an annual fair to be staged on the vigil of the feast and the morrow of St Peter and St
Paul. In modern times, it is held each year on the last Saturday in June. This is a non-profit making event that provides a great day out for the community and aims to raise funds for local clubs and charities. Attractions include fairground rides, stalls run by the local community groups, competitions, a barbecue and local live bands playing in the afternoon.
street fair will feature a wide variety of traditional stalls and entertainments.
Ebrington Village Fete – 14th July
A traditional village fete in this beautiful Cotswold village, with lots of stalls, games, plants, bric-abrac, music and fun. Teas served in the village hall & bar, plenty of free parking with disabled bays. 1-4pm. £1 admission fee.
2pm at Ebrington Cricket Ground. Traditional village fete and family dog show. Entrance £1.00 for adults and children over 12. Parking is free. All the traditional stalls will be there - cakes, WI jams and preserves, produce, books, plants, white elephant, flowers and gifts, with games to include wheel of fortune, bottle stall, crown darts, skittles and raffle. For the children, the fete will include an obstacle course, sports, a bouncy castle, face painting, tombola, a puppeteer and hay rides.
Great Rissington School Fete - Saturday 30th June
Cold Aston Village Fayre - 21st July
From 2.00 pm-5:30pm at Great Rissington Sports and Social Club. Lots of stalls - Plants, books, cakes, clothes, sweets, Tombola, face painting, BBQ, Cream Teas, Bar, Games - Wang a Wellie, Gerald the Giraffe, Hook a Duck, Bouncy Castle - Children’s country dancing, music, Grand Prize Draw and much, much more. All proceeds to the Friends of Great Rissington School.
A large variety of stalls and attractions with fun for all the family. Proceeds go to the village church, village activities and local charities.1.30pm-5pm £2 admission.
Guiting Power Fete - 30th June
Oddington Street Fair - 30th June from 10am - noon The picturesque village of Oddington’s very own
Wyck Rissington Village Fete - 19th August, noon until 5pm Music, stalls, crafts, falconry display and handling, dog show, bric-a-brac, vintage cars and games for all ages. Admission £2.00 per car to include free entry into raffle. All proceeds to Church Bell Restoration and Village Hall maintenance. www.cotswold-homes.com
Cheltenham’s Science Festival
Answering the Big Questions: Cheltenham’s Science Festival
The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 12th-17th June 2012
Can we build a star on Earth? Did our eyes evolve to perceive things as they really are – or to see things as we need to see them? Is human identity rooted in the genes, or the brain? How could we survive a zombie apocalypse, and just what the heck is dark matter, anyway? Life presents us with a multitude of questions. Often, their answers seem maddeningly out of reach, yet you might just be surprised at how close we are to approaching fundamental breakthroughs. At Switzerland’s particlesmashing Hadron Collider, confident CERN scientists have pinned this year as the one we finally nail down – or rule out - the elusive Higgs Bosun, the theoretical ‘God Particle’ which could help us understand the structure of matter itself. But you don’t have to visit an underground Swiss mega-complex to be at the forefront of discovery. Our very own spa town of Cheltenham is now a platform from which a whole spectrum of scientific topics can be explored. It’s all thanks to its science festival that this regency town can now enjoy its unlikely new status as a crucible of curiosity. It’s here at the upcoming 2012 Cheltenham Science Festival that Professor Robert Winston will argue that science needs to be elevated to the kind of cultural status that the arts enjoy. There’s certainly an increasing popular interest in all things scientific – aided, in part, by fresh-faced enthusiasts like pop star -astrophysicist Brian Cox (another festival luminary). Through discussion with some of the world’s most eminent thinkers and media personalities, the event aims to engage and entertain audiences in equal measure, helping them learn about a variety of fields. Regeneration, sustainability, change and recovery are key topics at Cheltenham this summer, but the festival’s scope is massive, exploring all manner of contemporary issues - from internet ‘hacktivism’ through to Parkinson’s Disease and global overpopulation. With a programme as ambitious and relevant as this year’s directors have provided, the inquisitive will be well rewarded. So who’s on the guest list this year? Taking a break from the fashion circuit is no less than design queen Vivienne Westwood, who’ll explore the links of climate change to financial crisis and culture. Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince will usher us into the Infinite Monkey Cage, allowing us a witty view of the world through the eyes of a scientist. Musical comedy 44
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“It’s here at the upcoming 2012 Cheltenham Science Festival that Professor Robert Winston will argue that science needs to be elevated to the kind of cultural status that the arts enjoy.” polymath Tim Minchin will be stopping by to put science to song, whilst guest director Marcus Brigstocke asks: Would we take more notice of the apocalypse if it had better marketing? Brigstocke’s question is just one of many that will be tackled by the many debates and talks scheduled for 2012. The floor is open - it’s up to the many headlining researchers, lecturers and
journalists to prompt this year’s discussions. Can robots think? Can science save the economy? How do Olympic athletes prepare for the psychological challenges they’ll have to face? And is wind energy a key to future survival, or just a load of hot air? Thanks to the forum provided by the 2012 Cheltenham Science Festival, we might just be getting closer to the answers for which we have been searching so long.
Seven Wonders of the Wolds
Seven Wonders of the Wolds
Well, they might not be official, but Cotswold Homes has selected seven local wonders in our beautiful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that are well worth your attention this summer! The Cotswold Way Trail
This scenic trail covers 102 miles (164km) between the two picturesque locations of Chipping Campden and Bath, running mostly along the Cotswold escarpment and passing through an officially designated Area of Natural Beauty. As it winds its way through the Cotswolds, the trail visits many historic sites and quintessential villages, including the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Hailes Abbey and many beautiful churches and historic houses. In 2007 it was approved by the Government as a National Trail, of which there are very few. The highest point of this trail which passes through Areas of Outstanding National Beauty is at Cleeve Hill near Winchcombe (330m/1,083ft). The trail is ideal for either a dayâ€™s stroll or for a week of walking.
The roof enables breathtaking views of a 62 mile radius and 16 counties. 46
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This unique Saxon-styled folly tower stands on the Cotswold Way at 312 metres (1,024ft) above sea level. The roof enables breathtaking views of a 62 mile radius and 16 counties. The Tower also features graphic displays over three floors of the colourful and varied uses of the architectural masterpiece over the years. Open all year round, visitors can indulge themselves with magnificent sights.
Dating back to the seventeenth century, Batsford Arboretum plays host to one of the largest private collections of trees, plants and trees, with the current count standing at over 1,600. The arboretum also holds the National Collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries as well as a plant centre and tea rooms to re-fuel after exploring the 55 acre attraction.
Now a family home, Sudeley Castle was once home to Queen Katherine Parr- the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII. The grounds include the Queens’ Garden which holds a huge variety of traditional roses, exhibitions which help explain the extensive history behind the castle, medieval ruins, a coffee shop and even an adventure playground. There are also special tours of the house available.
Snowshill Manor & Gardens
Set out in a theatrical style, the 22,000 eclectic objects collected by architect, artist craftsmen and poet, Charles Wade, Snowshill Manor is a wonderful place to spend the day exploring and examining. Accompanying the house are terraced hillside gardens, designed in the Arts and Crafts style as a series of ‘outside rooms’ which are seen as an extension of the house, and are a fantastic place to relax.
This year’s theme is ‘Mythical Monsters’ – the maize will be grown into the shape of a giant creature and will contain over 50,000 sunflowers. Stanway House
This stunning Jacobean manor house built from Cotswold stone has plenty to offer its visitors. Impressive features of the grounds surrounding Stanway include a 14th century tithe barn, avenues, trees and gorgeous surrounding countryside all located at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment. Over the last decade, the 18th Century watergarden has been lovingly restored. Its most impressive feature is the fountain in the canal which was opened in 2004 - it is the tallest jet fountain in Great Britain rocketing water 300 feet into the skies.
Hidcote Manor Maize Maze
Created by a world leading maize maze designer, this unique puzzle will stand for seven weeks of the summer. This year’s theme is ‘Mythical Monsters’ – the maize will be grown into the shape of a giant creature and will contain over 50,000 sunflowers. The paths within the maze are up to three miles long, but don’t worry if you get lost bridges and observation towers will enable superb views and there is even a ‘Maze Master’ on hand within the puzzle to guide you on your way.
timâ€™s top fitness tips
Country Health and Fitness:
The freedom of fitness combine the gym and the great outdoors this summer!
Tim Spittle from Rapid FX explains how our beautiful, undulating Cotswold countryside is the perfect place to get fit and have fun as a family this summer! Living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country with its historic market towns, abundance of winding lanes, babbling brooks and rolling green hills edged with age-old woods and copses, the Cotswolds offer us every opportunity to get outside and explore. Furthermore, the countryside satisfies our need for adventure and achievement, an amazing place to fulfil our ambitions and lifelong dreams. With summer around the corner itâ€™s time for the whole family to thrown on those backpacks, grab some water and then cycle, run or trek across some of our magnificent areas of outstanding natural beauty. One local man who has used gym training to enhance his love of outdoor running and marathons is Alan Guthrie. He lives with his
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wife Sophie in the charming village of Blockley and works away in London during the week. He has run for miles and miles around the local countryside, training for his most recent campaign in the London Marathon. In stark contrast with the slog of city running, Alan loves nothing more than to get home and get out and about, using the challenges of the Cotswold terrain, with its steep contours, hills and valleys, exactly like the local trainers do with their racehorses, as an excellent place to develop leg strength, endurance and real running power for a major sporting challenge. With a rigid gym routine building strength and running longevity, his outdoor natural training track allowed him to complete the 26 miles 385 yards in just over 4 hours, raising nearly ÂŁ3,000 for Guide Dogs along the way.
Photography by Antonia Deutsch
3 Great Leg Exercises Here are three exercises we used within Alan’s workout 1. Bench Step Up
Develop leg strength through your glutes (bottom) Execution: Stand square onto a bench with toes, knees and hips in alignment. Engage your core muscles, drawn breath and squeeze your bottom together as you stand up onto the bench, driving your knee into the air. Keep the foot firmly on the bench as you carefully step down and repeat. Complete 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each leg at a weight that becomes difficult nearing the end of the set. (If in doubt ask a trainer to assist with your form and weight selection).
2. Box Jumps If you want to improve fitness and enhance your performance for any outdoor pursuit, you need to find a good training programme to build you up steadily and safely, to keep you free from injury. The programme you embark upon should be designed to suit your specific sport and have some fitness periodization built in - quite simply, pre-planned increments. You can find these programmes from official organisations which promote your sport or from your local personal trainer. Building a great platform for family fitness Running events in particular have become extremely popular over the last few years, including 3- 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons and, of course, the full marathon – whilst the last represents a major challenge, there are plenty of less ambitious courses suitable for your whole family. Your performance in any of these events can be improved with an excellent training programme to develop your legs, bottom and core strength, not forgetting the supporting upper body muscles, too, as there is nothing worse than the feeling of weak shoulders holding heavy arms on a long distance run and this can affect the strongest of runners with the strongest of legs. Use the gym to develop your endurance, strength and power, to improve fitness, speed and performance. Combine your routines with outdoor running, bringing great benefits for all your family’s health and, most of all, discovering an excellent way to have fun together!
Develop explosive power to improve speed and performance Execution: Stand square onto the side of a bench which is at a height you can safely jump onto with two feet. Engage your core as you bend your legs slightly before launching up on to the bench and back down. Ensure you land lightly and keep good form with this high repetition, high tempo exercise. Complete 3-4 sets of 15-25 repetitions (start with small numbers at first and increase steadily).
3. Power Hill Climb (Walk or Run)
Develop immense endurance using a Treadmill Execution: Warm up thoroughly for 10 minutes on a treadmill. Then increase the incline to a gradient which you can cope with. Set a time between 10 minutes and 45 minutes and walk/run. You may require rest intervals (lower the incline) and ensure your heart rate or perceived exertion remains around 80-85%. This is a great training technique to build into a programme or as a standalone for fitness & weight loss.
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: The Traditional Oak Frame Company
The Traditional Oak Frame Company
Leo Marsh of the Traditional Oak Frame Company specialises in designing, creating and erecting bespoke timber framed houses and structures using traditional methods. Praised across the Cotswolds for both his new build and restoration work, Leo’s craftsmanship has been met with great acclaim. Naturally, Cotswold Homes was eager to find out more… What benefits does having a traditional oak frame bring to a property? They’re very popular now, and we do contemporary design as well. Oak frames bring plenty of character and value to a property; a lot of people say they really like returning home to them. It sounds odd, but quite often we hear that people find them very calming to be around. How long have you been in business, and what makes your company unique? We’ve been up and running as the Traditional Oak Frame Company for two years. I think one thing people really like about us is that with us they can see the team work a whole project from start to finish, from the cutting in the workshop to assembly on-site. You handle plenty of new build work. Tell us about your design process and how you meet client needs. We like to meet our clients on-site to get all the information and requirements. Then, we’ll usually make a 3D sketch – a visualization of what has been proposed. With these stills, we can even get a sketch-up file from Google – meaning that people are actually able to ‘walk around’ and tour their own model! We have lots of projects on file, so if people come to us with ideas, we’re usually able to have something similar to show them. The Traditional Oak Frame Company also undertakes delicate restoration work. How
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important is it to you to preserve the character of an existing property? It’s important – if the original timber is still usable, we can support it with fibreglass rods and resin – super strong, but you won’t see the support and it won’t interfere with the character. We recently worked on a project with the National Trust where replicating the original dimensions of the timber was imperative. We’re also in the process of submitting plans for restoring the old stocks in Stow!
Do you work independently, or can you also work alongside existing contractors? We do work alongside contractors, and also offer a turn-key service. Working alongside contractors can be a big benefit – as then we’re able to assist one another with building jobs should the need arise! What have clients said about your work? Lots of nice things! We come highly recommended for our ‘friendliness, professionalism and attention to detail.’ Many testimonials can be found on our website, www.traditionaloakframe.com. Here’s one from the Hon. Daniel Janner QC: ‘Mr. Marsh is a highly skilled craftsman. My family were delighted with his excellent work on our Cotswold cottage, which was to an exceptional standard. It is a pleasure to recommend him.’
To find out more about the Traditional Oak Frame Company’s services and projects, visit www.traditionaloakframe.com, call 01451 850050 (tel), 07977154998 (mob) or email Leo at email@example.com
Cotswold Homes Magazine
THE NORTH COTSWOLD PROPERTY MARKET
Ask the experts... WITH RUMOURS OF A DOUBLE DIP, WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THE LAST RECESSION ABOUT THE NORTH COTSWOLD PROPERTY MARKET?
“We have plenty of buyers who will commit given the right price and if so, properties sell quickly.” Karen Harrison, James von Speyr and Caroline Gee are the Principal Directors of HARRISON & HARDIE. Here, Karen considers how the last two decades working together in local estate agency have given them uniquely valuable insights into the North Cotswold residential sales market today.
Karen says: “I started life as an estate agent as a weekend girl whilst studying at university in 1985, (suffice it to say, the experience taught me to use full-time staff at weekends when we set up our own business, but that’s another story!), coming home to the Cotswolds in 1987 and returning to agency in 1994. My abiding memory, when I first returned to agency, was the misery caused by super-high interest rates, a steep fall in values and the rippling of repossessions right into the late 90s as a consequence. Everyone blamed estate agents but banks were the real villains then as now. The banks had taken over the business of estate agency, viewing the rapidly rising market of the late 80s as a perfect springboard for selling financial products – remember Black Horse, The Nationwide, Bradford & Bingley et al? In a boom era you can get lucky but when the market is tough you need experienced agents who really know how to sell – not endowment policies but houses. By the end of 1994, bank/agency chains were suffering hugely - the Nationwide infamously sold 300 plus offices to Countrywide for the nominal sum of one pound. Like James, I became a manager with the Coun54
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trywide group working alongside Caroline, and very soon our little team of offices dominated the local market. By 1997, we were amongst the most profitable branches in the whole of Countrywide. We were very ambitious, focused and enthusiastic and we knew the market inside out. After several years of sustained success, we finally left in 2000, taking most of our team with us over the next couple of years, to set up our own independent agency. Since then, we have sold more properties in GL54 and GL56 than any other agency, corporate or independent, with around a quarter of all sales year in year out, set against 40 competing agencies selling in the same area. We have become a hugely experienced team by working closely and consistently together for the best part of two decades through good and bad, defined very simply by our determination always to do our best for our customers, our employees and our community. So, what do we know today? We know that the local property market is less susceptible to the rise and fall of the national market than other areas and that the vagaries of mortgage lending are less important than confidence. In the last recession, the North Cotswolds sustained longer, fell less far and recovered more quickly than other parts of the country and so much is true, this time round. The local market is still a cash-rich, choose-to-
move market underpinned by sophisticated purchasers and vendors with low ratios of loan to value, who understand the risk of a market falling back, who have equity in their properties and can afford to ride out the recession. Super-low interest rates are an entirely different cause-and-effect for this recession a - nightmare for the retirement sector but a boon for vendors who have been able to hang on without selling, (meaning far fewer repossessions than in the last recession) and equally useful for investors in the North Cotswold property market. Lack of available properties, cautious borrowing and large amounts of equity are as important to the recovery of today’s local market as they were in the last recession. Price is the fundamental consideration - one can afford to be ambitious in some markets, less so in others. For example, in 1995, most agencies locally were asleep to the idea that there was more to be had from the market. An independent competitor, furious with me for telling his vendors that they were on at too little money (then securing the instructions at a higher price and selling as promised), came across the road to find me. “You are single-handedly responsible for raising prices to an unsustainable level!” he roared at me, as his grip of the local market disappeared within a few short months. But history proved otherwise and we were right to
be ambitious, way in advance of signs from the national market place. It’s about knowing your buyers, pricing correctly upwards or downwards, understanding what will sell at what price, and being brave enough to tell your vendors accordingly. Similarly, over-ambitious pricing and not taking proper heed of the signs can be fatal. In the middle months of 2007, board counts showed that we had 84% of all sales in the area – an alarmingly high statistic, even given our strength in the market place. We began advising vendors to drop prices long before the collapse of Northern Rock, whilst other local agents accused us of under-pricing to get sales. From then to the end of 2008 we sold as many properties as all our most local competing agencies combined, whilst the market plummeted nearly 25% from the height in 18 months. Many of our vendors escaped whilst others whose agents had not been so adamant found themselves suddenly trapped in a rapidly falling market. At the beginning of 2009, conversely, we sensed a strong recovery in one part of the market, with the emergence of investors who had been circling for months suddenly snapping up traditional second-home and holiday lets. We tailored our marketing strategy accordingly, witnessing a rise of 15% during that year in prices for “roses round the door” properties – back to prices achieved mid-2006 – and again selling as many properties as all our direct competitors combined. 2009 was our second best year ever. Over the last three years, the market as a whole has bobbed along, rather than continuing to climb, kept steady by a shortage of stock as vendors sit tight. Period property prices peaked early – by comparison, modern, residential estate properties are still closer to late 2005 prices in general, an attractive proposition for investors seeking slow underlying capital growth in the residential lettings market, for which we have a steady, strong demand. 2006 prices can be achieved for large, individual, non-estate properties close to great schools, helped along by affluent families seeking the good life and an excellent education for their children- but the stamp duty threshold at £500,000 has real bite, now that lower loan to values and tighter lending criteria push purchasers to substitute additional lending with hard cash. The resilience of the market place can always be tested by the re-emergence of individual developers, looking to refurbish and/or extend properties specifically to make a profit, and these applicants, interestingly, are beginning to reappear. National house builders are also funding new developments - sites at Bourton and Moreton are underway and an exciting new addition to the village at Upper Rissington is expected in the near future. With around 300 new properties arriving in the market over the next couple of years, prices in the residential market will remain keen, of course. Volume and availability of properties always will dictate the level of pricing and at the moment, should mean
that competition is fierce with about a third less properties in the market than in 2007. However, only around 20% of the local market is registered on-line as SSTC. This shows that vendors are being failed by local agents promising over-inflated prices simply to secure instructions. We have plenty of buyers who will commit given the right price and if so, properties sell quickly. Despite our knowledge and longevity, when asked for advice we can often find ourselves out-priced by over-ambitious competitors with less market share. Our choice is either to take on an instruction at a competitor’s price or simply to walk away, knowing that this cynical strategy of over-pricing can leave a property on the market unsold for months. To prove a point, a massive 20% of all the properties sold by our agency in 2011 were previously unsuccessfully marketed by other local agencies. Providing properties are properly priced and proactively marketed, houses are selling quickly. The underlying mar-
ket is perfectly stable but though sustainable, it is still very price-sensitive. Vendors should not be fooled by the promise of a very high price any more than the lure of a cheap fee – both are tactical manoeuvres by inferior agencies. Ultimately, correct pricing adds value to a house because it will sell quickly and achieve its best possible price, with more interest and more competition generated amongst buyers. As a whole, a correctly priced market will create greater demand as boards change more quickly to Sold, ensuring a rise in confidence and a slow upward curve in values. Conversely, a house placed into the market at too high a price will linger for months, eventually selling at under its true value, having been overlooked in favour of better-priced properties, becoming stale and tired in purchasers’ eyes. If too many vendors simply take their cue from what is presently on offer in the market place for sale, rather than investigate what has actually sold, then the problem will simply magnify and the market will suffer from a period of over-pricing.” www.cotswold-homes.com
THE BARN & STABLES, FROM £995 PER WEEK
WYCK BEACON HOUSE, FROM £1,795 PER WEEK
THE CROOK, STARTING FROM £825 PER WEEK
HAINAULT HOUSE, STARTING FROM £775 PER WEEK
Built in the 1700s, this stunning Grade II listed barn and stables has been converted into an exceptional house, which perfectly blends historic features with modern facilities. Located on the edge of the picturesque village of Chedworth, the house looks out over the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
The Crook is a beautiful Grade II listed house, furnished to a very high standard and situated in the heart of the picturesque town of Stow-on-the-Wold, which has numerous pubs, restaurants and shops, and is perfectly located for touring the Cotswolds.
Wyck Beacon is a grand country house in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. Set in secluded, enclosed gardens exceeding two acres, the house exudes character and is the perfect location for a large gathering of family or friends.
Hainault House is a Grade II listed, double fronted, Cotswold home dating from the 17th century, situated in the historic village of Blockley. Voted 2nd by Tripadvisor in their UK top 10 cosy cottages survey!
Making Money From Your Second Home
With the Olympics causing a surge in demand for holiday cottages, we find out from Mat Faraday if the trend for “staycations” is a flash in the pan or a good long-term investment plan. Are holiday cottages in the North Cotswolds benefitting from the 2012 Olympic Games being held in the UK?
So is now a good time for owners in the North Cotswolds to think about letting out their second homes as holiday cottages?
Yes, we think so. The government has used the Olympic Games as the basis for a global advertising campaign, encouraging tourism to all regions of Britain. We have always marketed our cottages internationally and we are seeing a noticeable increase in the level of foreign bookings this year.
Definitely. Well managed, premium holiday cottages in the Cotswolds will make money in all economic climates. With the cost of running second homes constantly increasing, now is a good time to turn an under-utilised liability into a profitable asset, which owners can still use when they wish.
So is the North Cotswolds always a popular destination for overseas tourists? How do exchange rates affect these visitors?
What is it that makes you believe you have found the key to long-term success for your clients?
The Cotswolds region has always attracted large numbers of overseas tourists, who love the quintessentially English countryside and villages. The relative weakness of the pound against other major currencies is a positive factor at the moment; however, the Cotswolds will always be popular with affluent overseas visitors.
Put simply, we view each property as an individual business, with the objective of maximising each owner’s profits. Unlike a traditional agency, we are very pro-active, constantly reviewing booking levels at every property, adjusting pricing, running bespoke promotions, setting up special featured listings and adjusting discounts, to make sure each property achieves its full potential. We also work with owners to identify opportunities to maximise their profits and we only charge a fixed commission percentage on the revenues we generate – no administration fees, charges for photographs or hidden booking fees. By offering an optional suite of management services, our owners are free to leave the management of their properties entirely in our hands, if they wish. A number of our owners live abroad, happy in the knowledge that their prized
What about “staycations”? In these tough economic times, are more people staying in the UK for their holidays? We think there has been an increase in people staying here, in particular for second holidays. The Cotswolds is an all year round market for holiday cottages, driven by events, such as birthdays or reunions, as well as main family holidays. That has made the holiday cottage market in the Cotswolds very resilient to the economic downturn.
asset is being looked after and earning them money, whilst also generating long-term capital growth and a “pension pot” to come home to one day. If money was no object and you were going to purchase a property for holiday letting, what would you go for? All other things being equal, the more guests a property can accommodate, the better the economics work for holiday letting. This is primarily due to scarcity value, as there are far fewer holiday cottages that sleep 10+ guests than sleep 4-6 guests. We would also look for an abundance of character, a good location and a layout that is practical for a variety of guests. Something like Rivendell House, for example, featured in this magazine and offered for sale at £650,0000, would be a great choice for a holiday let property.
Andy Soye Character Cottages
Mat Faraday Character Cottages Visit Character Cottages website: www.character-cottages.com, or talk to them on 0844 870 8532 or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org
2 HORNES PLACE
Ask the experts... I have read the analysis of properties with potential for holiday lets provided by Character Cottages with great interest over the last few months and I am persuaded that I should invest in a suitable cottage! I have a maximum of £400,000 to spend – what do you have currently on your books to tempt me?
2 Hornes Place, Moreton in Marsh, £325,000
“A double-fronted cottage converted in the 1970s in natural Cotswold stone and sympathetically updated throughout” Tom Burdett, Branch Manager at the HARRISON & HARDIE offices of Moreton in Marsh, offers two properties that are eminently suitable for the holiday let market.
Tom says: “My first choice is 2 Hornes Place, tucked quietly away from the hustle and bustle in Old Town, Moreton in Marsh, on the market at £325,000 – easily within budget. This lovely cottage is absolutely ideal for what you have in mind, as the property next door is currently used as a very successful holiday let. A double-fronted cottage converted in the 1970s in natural Cotswold stone and sympathetically updated throughout by the present owner, it forms part of a terrace of three quaint cottages each with garden, garage and parking, all bounded by a high stone wall to provide complete privacy from passers-by. There is a pretty cottage garden to the front, beautifully planted with a rose-covered arbour and flowerbeds full of sweet-smelling perennials, mainly laid to lawn with a little patio area 58
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to enjoy the most of the sun. The property has three bedrooms and a family bathroom, sitting room, kitchen with study leading off (which could easily be changed to a utility/shower room) and downstairs cloakroom. The owners have created a delightful interior full of character, with flagstone and wooden floors, a wood-burning stove and traditionally fitted kitchen, the bedrooms having a delightful aspect looking out over old-town gardens and period properties, all presented in beautiful decorative order.
Andy Soye: This is a quintessential, cute Cotswold cottage, in a good town with a lovely garden that will please guests without requiring too much maintenance, whilst parking and a garage give additional flexibility and widen the net in terms of potential customers. Well-presented ground floor space with exposed beams, a stone floor and a log burner, combined with modern finishes, such as halogen down lighters, generate a lovely farmhouse feel throughout. Three lovely bedrooms will fit two doubles and two bunks, to sleep up to six. Moreton is a highly regarded market town, with plenty of pubs, restaurants and shops, ensuring that this cottage will appeal to a wide variety of guests, who enjoy having everything to hand. It should bring in around £30,000 per annum gross revenue.
1 BREWERY ROW
“The whole property is flooded with light, an abundance of character in every room” Tom says: An equally tempting choice is 1 Brewery Row, nestled in the heart of the lovely village of Little Compton, ( just a few minutes’ drive from Moreton in Marsh on the way to Chipping Norton). Forming part of a row of traditional cottages, this period home is offered to the market at £300,000 and has so much immediate charm, inside and out, that it would be on any holiday-maker’s wish list. With two double bedrooms, an en-suite shower room, bathroom and wonderful ground floor space, the cottage has a large, double-aspect sitting room and a separate dining room open to a fabulous galley kitchen, all with part-glazed doors leading onto landscaped, traditional gardens front and rear, laid mainly to pea gravel with raised beds. The whole property is flooded with light, an abundance of character in every room – an arched stone fireplace with wood-burning stove, exposed beams and stone floors – beautifully updated and eminently practical, this home is a superb choice for a traditional holiday-let cottage.”
1 Brewery Row, Little Compton, £300,000
Andy Soye: This beautiful cottage has a well-presented garden ideal for al fresco dining, which guests love to do in the summer! Again, the property has hit that ideal mix of character features and modern finishes, with a delightful country style kitchen, separate dining room, large fireplace and a light, clean finish throughout. The two double bedrooms, with two bathrooms, would strongly appeal to families and couples alike. Little Compton is a very popular village with plenty of appeal to visitors and Moreton-in-Marsh is just three miles away, for access to larger shops and facilities. Sleeping up to four adults, it will provide approximately £22,000 per annum of gross revenue. www.cotswold-homes.com
Ask the experts...
Little Haven, Stow on the Wold, £285,000
“In Little Haven the kitchen forms the centre of the house, serving a cosy sitting room warmed by a wood-burning stove and opening onto a delightful breakfast room with pitched glazed roof ” Leigh Glazebrook, Sales Manager for the Stow on the Wold branch of HARRISON & HARDIE, considers Little Haven, a period terraced cottage in the heart of Stow on the Wold, is another contender.
Leigh says: “Little Haven is situated in Well Lane, within walking distance of all the town’s amenities and again, ideally suited to a second-home or holiday let market place. At £285,000, the property offers similar accommodation to Brewery Row, in that it has great floor space filled with traditional features including Cotswold stone fireplace, lovely oak and stone floors, exposed beams and Shaker-style kitchen, enjoying open-plan living that flows easily through to a long paved garden bordered by wattle fencing, with a raised central flower bed and plenty of room to allow children to play safely. 60 Cotswold Homes Magazine
“In Little Haven the kitchen forms the centre of the house, serving a cosy sitting room warmed by a wood-burning stove and opening onto a delightful breakfast room with pitched glazed roof and glazed doors running the length of the back of the cottage, perfect for family life and entertaining, a wonderful sense of space bathed in light throughout. The upstairs reveals more period features with exposed stone and rafters - a beautiful landing (spacious enough for the occasional put-youup) leading onto two bedrooms and a family bathroom.”
Andy Soye: This cosy stone cottage will prove very much in demand by the couples and small family market, having an easy to maintain garden/courtyard area, an entrance porch for those muddy boots, and a warm and inviting living room with a large log burner – just perfect after a long Cotswold walk. Two bedrooms sleeping 4, with an option to utilise the landing/study as a potential +1, to ensure maximum letting potential and situated just minutes from the market square of Stow, this is an ideal holiday let location with countless shops, sights, walks, and restaurants almost on your doorstep! It, too, should bring upwards of £22,000 per annum gross revenue.
“Full of traditional character, presented in lovely decorative order and providing comfortable, adaptable living space, this property works equally well as a main family home” Steven Buchanan, Sales Manager at the Bourton on the Water branch of HARRISON & HARDIE, suggests Station Villas - an extended three bedroom Cotswold stone cottage - has great potential as a holiday-let property.
Steve says: “Bourton on the Water is an absolute magnet for visitors from around the world, providing so many amenities for locals and tourists to enjoy and ensuring a high demand for holidaylet properties and second homes, particularly those suitable for families. The shallow River Windrush flows through the centre, spanned by picturesque low stone bridges, earning the village a second name - “The Venice of The Cotswolds”. It’s a delightful place to enjoy a weekend break or a family fortnight, with plenty to do, from beautiful countryside walks to attractions such as Birdland, the Maze, the Motor Museum and much more. “Station Villas sits on the outskirts of the village, at £399,950, it has three double bedrooms and generous ground floor space, with a sitting room, separate dining room, conservatory and kitchen/breakfast room. Outside there is a great garden with wide, safe lawns for children to play and the driveway provides all-important parking for several vehicles to the front. Full of traditional character, presented in lovely decorative order and providing comfortable, adaptable living space, this property works equally well as a main family home, especially given The Cotswold School’s Outstanding Ofsted status.”
Station Villas, Bourton on the Water, £399,950
Andy Soye: This beautiful Cotswold stone cottage is located in a premier village with a good sized, enclosed garden, perfect for adults and children alike. Off street parking is a major advantage in Bourton. Spacious and well presented, with plenty of flexible living space and character features, including wooden floors and a wood burning stove, complemented by neutral décor and modern finishes, with three double bedrooms and a contemporary family bathroom, the property can comfortably sleep up to six people. Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the premier locations in the area, with lots of pubs, restaurants and shops, would appeal to a wide variety of guests and attract high quality bookings all year round, bringing in approximately £35,000 per annum gross revenue. www.cotswold-homes.com
JEM FINANCIAL PLANNING
Ask the experts... MORTGAGE MATTERS
Sophia, Sue, John and Gail
Recently, the debate about interest-only mortgages has stepped up in the list of things that borrowers are urged to worry about, mostly by the scare-mongering element of tabloid newspapers.We speak to Sue Ellis, of JEM Financial Planning, to give her view on two different questions from local house-owners about the subject. Do we really have anything to worry about?
My husband and I are slightly unnerved by the “ticking time-bomb” argument that surrounds the issue of interest-only mortgages. We are in our mid-40s, we have an interest-only mortgage of £300,000, our house is worth around £500,000 (looking at comparable properties that have sold recently in Blockley), and we both have secure jobs. Should we be worried and should we be changing to a repayment product? Your question is one that could apply to many people, particularly those who were sold a mortgage in the last 10 years or so when ‘interest only’ mortgages were being plugged by lenders as the flexible, cheap and easy way to start a mortgage. Repay your capital by any means, rely on an inheritance from Great Aunt Fanny if you wish, the choice is yours! Of course since then, the financial market has seen a downturn, lenders have been given a cautionary ‘telling off’ by the Financial Services Authority and interest only lending is now a case of jumping through several hoops! However, as a broker I believe that sensibly - and that word is key to the whole argument – interest-only lending is a useful and flexible way to borrow residential funds. With regard to your particular situation I would say that you need not be worried – the market here in the North Cotswolds continues to be strong and you have considerable equity in your property at present. You could always downsize to a smaller property in the future, something that most people see themselves doing, or perhaps you have some other assets that you can use to reduce the capital? If you are concerned, and would like to start chipping away at the balance, then make
regular overpayments on the mortgage (within the terms of any mortgage conditions). We plan to downsize from our large main home, which should release at least £400,000 cash from sale, to a smaller property. We currently have an interest-only product on our main home at around 60% loan to value and intend to get one again. We also plan to purchase a small investment property that we can rent out, sell in 15 years time, to provide us with a pension (in addition to other savings). Given the adverse press surrounding interest-only products, should we still be considering an interest-only option on either or both properties? There are two separate points here – with regard to downsizing from your current home, if you want to continue on an interest-only basis on your proposed residential property, your choice of lender will be restricted, as most will want to see an existing investment strategy in place, be it a pension/ISA etc. Lenders are now not so keen on relying either the sale of the property itself, or even the investment property you are purchasing. Having said that it is still possible to obtain lending on this basis and your case proves in point why interest only is a valuable lending proposition if used sensibly. With regard to the investment property you mention, then that is a totally different scenario. Interest-only is the expected repayment route landlords will take - as the very reason people buy investment properties is to use any equity gained to prop up pensions, etc. Lenders respect this and, as these are not ‘owner occupied properties’, they do not serve the same restrictions. www.cotswold-homes.com
INVESTING IN THE BUY-TO-LET MARKET
Ask the experts... INVESTING IN THE BUY-TO-LET MARKET
Dear Caroline, I read your article about investing in property as a buy-to-let with great interest. Can you give me some ideas about what I might do with a lump sum of £150,000, which I am planning to use as a long-term plan for my future retirement in 10 years? I have no outstanding mortgage on my own property, so possibly could arrange an interest-only mortgage on an investment and use some of my capital to do up a property suitable for the lettings market – or equally, I am happy to buy something that offers a good return and is ready to go for cash!
10 The Old School House, Stow on the Wold - £700 pcm
“The general rule of thumb is that you can judge the amount of rental income by the number of bedrooms, although location and presentation can also have an impact on the maximum value of any property ” Caroline Gee, Director and Head of Lettings at HARRISON & HARDIE, suggests a number of properties suitable for the rental market:
Caroline says: “The rental market is very strong at the moment – we only take on average around 4 viewings to rent out a property. The general rule of thumb is that you can judge the amount of rental income by the number of bedrooms, although location and presentation can also have an impact on the maximum value of any property – and those properties in exceptionally good order, with newly refurbished kitchens, bathrooms and crisp décor, for example, will get as much as 10% more per calendar month, so it is worth saving some of your capital to invest in presentation and ensuring that the property does not have any on-going maintenance issues. 64
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Crumble Cottage in Stow on the Wold, £169,950
Sandy Lane Court, Upper Rissington, at £169,950
Rolph’s Court, Moreton in Marsh, £125,000
We have period and modern properties on offer within your budget, the first on my list being Crumble Cottage in Stow on the Wold, £169,950, offering period character and space with a sitting room, separate little dining room, kitchen, two double bedrooms, bathroom and secluded rear garden, laid to patio. It’s situated very close to all the main amenities, within a stone’s throw of Tesco’s and ideal for a young couple, for example - the property will let out at around £650 per calendar month. Something completely different for my next suggestion – a two bedroom, first floor flat in Rolph’s Court, Moreton in Marsh, £125,000. Again, this property is ideal for a young couple, especially anyone seeking to commute on the Worcester – London, Paddington route. The property is well within your budget but it needs updating to get the best rental income. Once you have spent a bit of money, somewhere around £650 per calendar month should be achievable with all those shiny mod cons, especially with the
8 Station Road, £239,950
benefit of a garden to sit out in and a garage, to boot! Affordable three bedroom properties evidently have great attraction in terms of their return – and the last few years have seen a rise in families wishing to rent, rather than buy. We have a perfect example at Sandy Lane Court, Upper Rissington, at £169,950. The property offers a modern kitchen, sitting room with wood-burner, three bedrooms, bathroom, garden and allocated parking. Upper Rissington has proved a wise choice for investors with an eye on the family market - Great Rissington Primary was recently awarded Outstanding Ofsted status and there is a regular school bus to Bourton Primary, too, where the secondary Cotswold School has a similarly excellent reputation. Upper Rissington is definitely a village “on the up”, with approved plans for a new part of the village bringing with it a host of new amenities in due course. Currently, it would fetch around £750 per calendar month.
Alternatively, looking northwards for a Chipping Campden school catchment area and the family market there, you could do well in the extremely desirable village of Blockley, particularly given you are looking at a long term prospect and taking into consideration underlying capital growth, assuming you are prepared to extend your spending power with an interest-only mortgage. With a fabulous primary school in the village, 8 Station Road, £239,950, is a semi-detached ex-local authority property offering spacious, beautifully presented accommodation with a large, safe garden, garage and off-road parking, Contrary to expectation, ex-local properties can be rented out providing the tenants have lived and / or worked in the local area, making it a desirable longer-term letting opportunity for a family eager to put down roots – imagine the attraction of a characterful, edge of village property in a place where they have always wanted to live for around £825 per calendar month! www.cotswold-homes.com
Ask the experts... I am looking for a property that has some value to add to it. I have a budget of £500,000 in total, with an agreement in principle for a small interest-only mortgage and a chunk of cash to refurbish and/or extend a property. I would love to find an old cottage in a village location, something that should sell for a reasonable profit when done up. What do you have to offer?
1 Sunnyside, Upper Oddington, £375,000
“A cherished family home located in Upper Oddington, 1 Sunnyside looks out over the village towards splendid countryside beyond” Karen Harrison, Principal Director of HARRISON & HARDIE, offers a Cotswold stone, period, three-storey property enjoying lovely far-reaching views, with potential for up-dating and extension, at £375,000.
Karen says: “Referring back to what I said about the recession now compared with the early 1990’s, when property prices started to revive in the North Cotswolds and confidence returned, not only did repossessions offer opportunities to bargain hunters with cash in their pockets, there was a supply of other properties that could be picked up if you were savvy enough – exlocal properties in fabulous villages with room to build on, run-down cottages occupied by the same family for decades, reconstituted stone bungalows on large plots crying out for something more beautiful 66
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on the foot print, town properties with long gardens ripe for in-fill… Nowadays, there are far fewer opportunities for “turnaround” by comparison – over the boom years everyone was quick to spot potential. Sarah Beeney, Kirsty Allsop and other property gurus, of course, have made everyone into enthusiastic developers and you do have to be quick to secure something with real potential. It is possible to find the occasional gem - I have a perfect example for you, a lovely property in a very desirable village – but whether it will still be for sale by the time you read this, I can’t be sure! A cherished family home located in Upper Oddington, 1 Sunnyside looks out over the
village towards splendid countryside beyond. Now in need of updating, its potential makes it a sound investment, offering great space and therefore attractive to a wide range of potential purchasers, from holiday lets to a main family home. An outbuilding sits directly behind the kitchen with only a small gap between it and the house, which you could knock through to create a beautiful kitchen/family room, creating much better ground floor space. Upstairs there are five bedrooms, so it would be easy to convert one bedroom as an en-suite bathroom to a master bedroom. Finished to a high standard and extended as suggested, we would expect to re-market around £495,000 in today’s market place.”
Fine & Country Homes from HARRISON & HARDIE
Ask the experts... Fine & Country Homes from HARRISON & HARDIE
James von Speyr, director, explains how Fine & Country brings the London and International market place to the North Cotswolds
“Fine & Country Homes from HARRISON & HARDIE is a wonderful service specifically for the sale and letting of cottages, country homes and property of individual architectural merit. We are already well placed to service the requirements of our clients, of course - and with Fine & Country we are simply cementing our position as the North Cotswolds’ leading property specialist, in a position to reach a truly international marketplace. Fine & Country provides a refreshing approach to marketing, with a supporting network of national and international offices and a central London presence - a 300-strong network including international offices in Cyprus, Madeira, Malta, Mauritius, Middle East, Portugal, Qatar, South and West Africa. Fine & Country’s renowned and respected marketing for national and international property has won many admirers in the industry, highlighted with a raft of acclaimed awards including, most recently: UK Property Awards - Winner Best Real Estate Agency Marketing UK 2011UK Property Awards - Winner Best International Real Estate Agency Marketing 2011The Sunday Times Prestige Property Estate Agency of the Year 2011 Fine & Country marketing tools include an outstanding website www.fineandcountry.co.uk with its famed emphasis on lifestyle, high quality glossy brochures and unique magazine Refined, plus inclusion in national broadsheet newspaper advertising, the whole enhanced by our Public
Relations Department with a team of journalists regularly securing publicity throughout the national press. This is a particularly powerful marketing tool, given it is estimated that positive editorial coverage can be worth around ten times the value of equivalent advertising space. Our International Property Centre in Mayfair not only serves the lucrative London market and provides marketing services for all Fine & Country properties throughout the UK, but is also a vital hub for our international market, referring clients all over the world. Located in impressive showrooms at 119-121 Park Lane, London W1, a team of experts in the sale of superior town properties, large country estates and luxury new-build homes are on hand to discuss clients’ requirements and to assist with many enquiries from UK and abroad. To discuss whether your home would be suitable for Fine & Country marketing and to find out how to accelerate the sale of your property by accessing the national and international marketplace, you can arrange a no-obligation, confidential consultation with me or with Karen Harrison, both principal directors, when we will be able to offer confidential advice and an in-depth, personally tailored marketing campaign suited to your needs and timescales. To book an appointment, I can be reached at the Stow on the Wold branch of HARRISON & HARDIE on 01451 833170 and Karen is based at our Moreton offices on 01608 651000. We look forward to hearing from you!”
Ask the experts... We have just sold our own and my mother’s property and are combining finances for a home to live together; with three young children, some privacy for everyone is essential. We must have 5 bedrooms, a sitting room for my mum, a “snug” for the children and somewhere for me and my husband to escape to, too! We need access to Stratford-upon-Avon and Moreton for work, but we have a hankering for village life. If we can find something without having to do any work that would be even better, as neither of us is skilled in the DIY department! £700,000 is our maximum budget.
RIVENDELL HOUSE, LOWER BRAILES, £650,000 Rivendell House ??????????????
“The private and secure garden is a delight – you will all enjoy sitting in the immaculately landscaped lawns, relishing the peace and quiet of the countryside around you ” James von Speyr, Principal Director of Fine & Country at HARRISON & HARDIE, has the perfect property.
James says: “Rivendell House gives you everything on your wish list and you won’t even have to pick up a paint brush! This lovely home is situated at the edge of the Cotswolds in the rural village of Lower Brailles - immaculately presented, it provides beautiful, spacious, adaptable accommodation, with all the requirements on your wish list, including five bedrooms and enough ground floor accommodation for everyone to eat together, to entertain friends and to relax in their own space. This gorgeous house with adjoining barn was designed and built to the highest specification by the present owner and is situated in an excellent location, surrounded by rolling countryside but within easy commutable distance to Stratford, Banbury and Moreton in Marsh. 70
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All the rooms are a generous size and full of natural light. The open plan kitchen and dining room is a perfect family space, complete with the obligatory Aga and a fabulous drinks fridge, where everyone can congregate for meals. From the kitchen, doors open onto the area that connects the house to the barn, providing a massive entertaining space, perfect for a large number of guests at Christmas with room for a long table to dine together. The formal sitting room with its woodburning stove is a cosy retreat in winter and you can take a newspaper and cup of coffee into the conservatory to enjoy its very tranquil atmosphere in the summer. There is space at Rivendell for everyone if they require ‘time out’ – the barn itself will be perfectly suited to your mother. Annexed to the main house, the upstairs area is presently an office but could easily be used as a bedroom, whilst the ground floor sitting room would be perfect for your
mother to unwind and to have her own things about her - she can even make herself a quiet cup of tea in the kitchenette! The private and secure garden is a delight – you will all enjoy sitting in the immaculately landscaped lawns, relishing the peace and quiet of the countryside around you. A pretty feature is the trickling stream running through the garden and the bridge that crosses it, giving you a rear access to the property. There are lovely views from the house - you can see Brailes Hill, which, with Castle Hill and Mine Hill, forms the strenuous ‘Brailes Three Hills Walk” if you have a family dog to exercise! There are good schools in the village and the nearby towns satisfy all retail and cultural needs for your three generation family – I cannot recommend Rivendell House too highly as a superb home where you can all enjoy an enviable life style.”
Andy Soye: Rivendell House is a grand property with a number of large rooms, perfectly suited for big parties who require lots of entertaining space and very tastefully decorated throughout. It has many beautiful features, including wooden floors, a huge Aga and a very impressive kitchen. Large holiday letting properties in the Cotswolds are scarce, therefore we would recommend maximising occupancy by having four single beds in the fifth bedroom, giving a sleeping capacity of 12, with three bathrooms. Lower Brailes is on the edge of the Cotswolds, within a relatively short drive of Stratford and all the North Cotswold tourist attractions whilst the village has excellent amenities for guests, including two inns, a general store, butcher and newsagent. Assuming the property can sleep 12 adults, it would bring in approximately £60,000 per annum of gross revenue. www.cotswold-homes.com
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: NEWLANDS
Newlands is a retirement community set in the heart of the North Cotswolds - but seems much more like a luxurious country house hotel with its handsome architecture, tranquil setting, impressive grounds, stunning views and beautifully appointed rooms. This is a retirement home second to none, an independent establishment that prides itself on its first class reputation and extensive facilities, with a registered care home at its heart. Just as Newlands is an extraordinary place, so the residents are an interesting community - many of them have led varied and incredibly productive lives, with a number who have been recognised for their contribution to British life.
There is no doubt that Newlands endeavours to address the most exacting standards of these residents. An attentive, professional, caring team is on hand 24 hours a day so that residents are provided with an atmosphere akin to a rather comfortable country club, where simply nothing is too much trouble. Cuisine of the highest quality is provided in an elegant, fully licensed restaurant. For less formal occasions, there is a cosy coffee shop where, on warmer days, one can enjoy views of the beautifully landscaped gardens from the sunlit terrace. If wishing for a more intimate experience, one can arrange to meet friends in the library, doubling as a private dining suite. In preparation for such social occasions, a spot of pampering with the hairdresser can be paired with a relaxing session in the beauty therapy room for the ultimate in “me-time”! Indeed, this is care of the very best kind. Set in acres of landscaped terraced gardens with spectacular views over the surrounding Cotswold countryside, the location offers the best of both worlds - a stunning, rural outlook yet with the all the wonderful amenities that Stow on the Wold has to offer literally just around the corner. Whether seeking an opportunity to take domiciliary care, hospitality or merely to be surrounded by home comforts on reaching a decision to move out of one’s original family home, Newlands certainly takes some beating. In addition to the grand house itself, Newlands has also built some stunning assisted living apartments and cottages, with a floor space and quality of finish that exceeds any provided by local competitors.
Over the years, Newlands has built upon its reputation, establishing a business that is widely respected and, just as importantly, totally integrated into the life of one of the most stunning of Cotswold towns. “We aspire to excellence,” says the management team. “We aim to provide a high quality service and seek to establish standards not seen thus far in our industry. We have a dedicated staff, caring professionals who take enormous pride in their work. The quality of care, hospitality and service we provide, coupled with our breathtaking surroundings, set us apart from our competitors.” What has been their greatest success and, looking forward, what plans do they have for the future of Newlands? “We are very proud to have established an authentic retirement community which has consistently produced the highest standards and certainly ranks amongst the best, if not the very best example of its kind. We look forward to seeing the community flourish and are committed to setting even higher standards within our industry, in order to provide the very best possible experience for all our customers.” To arrange a visit to this beautiful home, please contact the team at Newlands on 01451 832323 or write to: Newlands, Evesham Road, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1EJ. Alternatively, visit www.newlandscourt.co.uk.
The War Diaries of Nurse Edith Appleton
Notes from the Front:
The War Diaries of Nurse Edith Appleton Publishing the War Diaries of Nurse Edith Appleton Cotswold resident Dick Robinson remembers his great aunt Edie as a ‘rather strict’ elderly lady presiding over a flourishing vegetable garden complete with chickens and a pet trout named Algernon. Yet in fact his Aunt Edie was posted to France during WWI, becoming a decorated member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QUAIMNS) and responsible for thousands of lives. Working close to the Western Front, Edie tended to thousands of soldiers brutalised by ‘The War to End All Wars’, meanwhile recording her experiences in a series of candid diaries. With the 2012 publication of her journals by Simon & Schuster in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, these moving entries are now available to a modern audience. QUAIMNS was known for its exacting standards whose members were highly educated, unmarried women of high social bearing, aged between 25 and 35 years old. There were only around 300 members at the start of the war but the sheer number of wounded meant that thousands of Reserves – such as Edie – were quickly enabled to join. The young nurse Edith quickly became known for her stoicism and capability. Unflinching in the line of her duty, she was awarded a Royal Red Cross (First Class) and later a Military O.B.E for her bravery and dedication. She treated the first victims of the notorious gas attack at Ypres, recorded Zeppelin sightings and witnessed, every day, the hellish consequences of the violence and myriad torments which the soldiers faced in the trenches. Somehow finding the energy to record her experiences, Edie was never less than frank 76
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when recording her observations of the grim human cost of war. Yet the tone of her entries is not despairing. As editor Ruth Cowen notes: ‘…What lifts the diaries from an almost unendurable catalogue of horrors is Edie’s ability to switch from this grinding ghastliness to a genuinely joyous, exuberant appreciation of the natural beauty around her.’ Within her eloquent and concise entries, she was just as adept at describing the joys of a walk or picnic as cataloguing the ordeals she faced in the wards. One entry finds her savouring a fleeting moment of peace: ‘Slept through the first bell - & woke at the second – to find my room aglow with a beautiful pink light. The outside world was a foot deep under snow. Telephone wires looking like those fluffy bell pulls about 3 inches round in snow & all glittering in the early morning sunshine. Truly beautiful & unwarlike. Now I must quickly dress or I shall be late for breakfast, but by tonight – if the snow thaws – I may forget what the morning was like – as there is plenty every day to drive out all thoughts but patients – wards – etc lists, & Convoys.’ In 1918, Edie found herself relocated to the recently constructed, lavishly beautiful, grand Hotel Trianon, later obliterated by the Luftwaffe during WWII and reduced to a pile of stones by the time Dick visited France. ‘I sometimes wonder if I realise that I am living in one of France’s smartest Hotels: beautifully situated, good rooms, wide corridors, bathrooms galore. And all free of charge! Influenza is still raging and my poor surgical patients are surrounded and swamped by it. My ward and corridor all full of influenza patients - and still they come!’
The diaries lay unexamined for years after Edie died in 1958. They came into Dick’s possession in 1997, and were once again stored away – years later he loaned them to an interested neighbour who suggested they should be published. Spanning over 450 pages, Dick sent them to his cousins living on Vancouver Island in Canada for transcribing. After the diaries featured on BBC Radio 4, publishers Random House were swift to express their interest, though Edith’s writings eventually found an outlet in a joint publication between Simon & Schuster and the Imperial War Museum as part of a ‘War Diaries’ series. Having initially posted the diaries online, Dick was brought into unexpected contact with the relatives of those that Edie befriended or cared for. ‘They just come out of the blue,’ he says. He has been approached by five people who have traced an ancestor through to Edie’s website. Meeting a descendant makes for a poignant moment for both parties. Often, family histories have been elucidated by her writings. ‘One of the most rewarding aspects of putting the diaries online has been the occasional contact from people who have recognised their relative,’ Dick notes. ‘It is amazing that, almost 100 years after Edie spent those five years nursing in France [from October 1914 until she was demobilised on 22 December 1919], these reunions are occurring.’ In fact, he has been contacted as recently as March this year, when Nicola Mortimer approached him regarding her great, great uncle, Private Charles Kerr. Charlie, as Edie calls him, was nursed by her from late February until his death on 12 March 1916.
Extract: 1915, Near Ypres April 5 A field ambulance at Ypres was shelled last night – two orderlies killed and ten wounded, some fatally. All the patients were transferred to us, so we have been very busy today.
April 6 We gave the little orphans a tea this afternoon. We laid out the tables, they came in and we followed, and as we entered they struck up ‘God Save the King’ in French, and the eldest girl made us a little speech. They fed as we poured out tea for them, then they gave us a little concert, ‘Vive l’Angleterre!’ and ‘Vive la France!’ Three cheers all round, very happy! Now on duty again. Have not been out for three days. First because of much work, but also the weather, which is rainy and windy – not good for caps and tempers.
April 8 ‘My heart is very sore for one poor boy, or for his Mother – We have had him 10 days – & he is no better & is in a state to die at any moment. I am writing to his Mother & telling her so, she is evidently a refined old lady – writes back to say she is “so glad to hear Charlie is with us – the rest & good food will do him good”. Have my letters not reached her? Or won’t she understand that the boy is dying. I think he must have been gassed – he is purple & just like a gas patient.’
Men who came in the convoy today were in a terrible state of nervous collapse, a great many of them having been blown up in their trenches.
Edie’s affections for Private Kerr are very clear and she records his final moments with tenderness and sympathy. Nicola stumbled across the website while searching for information on Charles.‘Finding the extract from Edie’s diaries was very moving. It was touching to learn that he was lovingly cared for by Edie,’ she says. As the 100th anniversary of WWI approaches, the information age continues to establish opportunities for families like Charles Kerr’s to fill in the blanks.
There are, however, whole sections of the diaries missing, each containing names and stories that remain unknown. Dick dreams that the absent pages might one day appear somewhere in the Isle of Wight, where Edie spent her post-war life. Until such a time as they might materialise we can only imagine what else she might have witnessed. For now, Edie’s readers will be greatly satisfied with the release of one of the most unique accounts of wartime service yet discovered. War Diaries: A Nurse At The Front (published by Simon & Schuster and the Imperial War Museum) is now available from The Cotswold Bookstore on the High Street, Moreton in Marsh
April 9 Heavy convoy in with bad cases, but I am off for one hour. I have to go back this evening, we have two cases – head wounds – for theatre. Many of today’s wounded were shot in the stomach.
A Zeppelin was reported as heading this way, but we heard this morning that it has gone south. Off duty this evening, went for a walk and then looked over the college, where we are to move tomorrow.
April 15 There was a tremendously heavy bombardment last night. It only lasted threequarters of an hour, but it was impossible to sleep through the noise. I stood at my window and watched it all – gun flashes, ground lights and searchlights. It was over by about 12.30. I heard today that it was covering our troops’ advance.
April 17 A Taube* that flew over here early this morning was shot down a little way away. The pilot was killed and the observer taken prisoner. He was walked through the town wearing an Iron Cross. At present there is a big attack being made by our men somewhere near Ypres, and there is much flashing going on. It has been a frightfully busy day again, although only two operations – an amputation
and an appendix. * The first German mass-produced military plane.
April 18 Sunday. Our men made an attack last night, and we heard the heavy firing that covered their advance – in fact it shook the houses. In three minutes they had taken a trench with 13 prisoners and two officers. The whole work of the night achieved a hill of importance blown up – arms and legs of men flung high and into our own trenches – and six lines of trenches taken, along with 2,000 prisoners. The Germans made a counterattack, and killed and wounded nearly 1,000 of our men, and we have had over 600 through our hospital today, all badly wounded and fearfully collapsed. Some who have been out since August say it is quite the worst time they have had. We went on duty at 5.30 a.m. and stayed on till 9 p.m., and I missed tea and dinner because we were too busy in the theatre. I came straight to bed and am having dinner from the officers’ mess brought up to me. It was a sad day in the theatre and a terribly tiring one, with so many amputations of arms and legs, and insides cut and packed in. Sir Anthony Bowlby and Doctor Parbury from Sharnbrook each did one operation to give our men a rest.
April 19 We have had more patients in, in two heavy trainloads. Ypres is too dangerous for them to be treated nearby, so we get them brought in a few hours after they are wounded. One, a young officer, had both feet cut off. He was walking in Ypres when a shell struck him. He died soon after.
April 20 A frantic day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. – one long rush of badly wounded being admitted, and three trainloads have been evacuated. It is a wicked war. Officers and men come in – many so blown to bits that they just come in to die. Most go straight to the theatre for amputation of limb or limbs, or to have their insides – which have been blown out – replaced, and to be made a little more comfortable for the few hours left to them. The big ward is all agonised groans and pleadings and we feel we don’t know where to start on the hundreds of things to be done at once. Ypres is very much ruined and heaps of dead – English, French and Belgian – are lying about in the square and all around the town. We hear the Germans have given up the hope of taking Ypres, so have decided to utterly destroy it.
North Cotswolds’ Jeremy Houghton Olympic Artist
Broadway-based artist Jeremy Houghton has some impressive accomplishments to his name. He’s been the official artist for London Fashion Week, has painted the Queen, portrayed some of the most inspirational names in athletics and has seen his work hang alongside the very greatest of modern artists. Now he’s embracing his role as a BT Olympic Artist to produce dynamic, contemporary portraits of British hopefuls. In this issue Cotswold Homes talks to Jeremy about all his creative endeavours and the rich artistic heritage of his Cotswold home town. 78
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You’ve worked with such celebrated athletes as Oscar Pistorius, Nastia Liukin, Dame Kelly Holmes and Alex Gregory. How did they respond to being painted – did they take an interest in the creative process? They’ve all been really good – they seem quite flattered, really. I like to give them a painting as a thank you for working with me. I try not to interrupt their schedule – I sit back and observe them at work. They’re busy, busy people who undergo hours and hours of training, so it’s not like they can clear time for me to do the work. Actually, the act of painting is somewhat like a sport. There are various similarities. You have good days and bad days, and of course there’s the need to keep training! Watercolour is a tricky medium to work with
– not many would necessarily associate it with movement or dynamism. Was it the natural choice for you to work with in your sporting pictures? The fact that using watercolours can be difficult made me stick with them. I knew that if I persisted I would end up doing something unique – get different results from everybody else. When you get used to them, they’re actually quite a quick medium to work with. It gives me a distinct advantage over something like sculpting, which obviously takes a long time to complete. When you’re working with Olympians it’s very handy – if you compare my portfolio to that of somebody who’s spent the time sculpting, I’ve been able to produce a greater volume of work in the time we’ve had available.
Over recent years your work has been displayed beside that of artists as well-known as Damien Hirst and Banksy. Which of your contemporaries do you most admire - and why? I love both those people that you mentioned, actually. I think it’s because they’re both great businessmen. That quality separates successful artists from the rest. I’m also fond of David Tress. Beyond that, I’m always looking at the work of others, picking up bits and pieces, although I don’t copy what I see – I’m trying to build something unique with my own practice. Painting the Queen and her Gentlemen at Arms must have felt like a very high-pressure commission. Did you have to steel your nerves for this ceremonious occasion? Well, it was more than just one occasion. I followed [the Gentleman at Arms] for a year – to garden parties, to the Palace, to Westminster Abbey – a number of impressive venues. It was all pretty prescriptive, really, in that I was told where to stand and what to do – I don’t know if that helped to make it easier. It was an important thing to get right and I just had to get on with it, really – it was just a question of doing the job. You’re very involved in the annual Broadway Arts Festival. This year, the works of John Singer Sargent and the Broadway Colony will go on display. How influential was their work to your development as an artist? Which figures in this group are particularly interesting to you?
I really like John Singer Sargent’s charcoal portraits. He did a good one of the first American actress to play at Stratford – she helped to make Americans aware of the Cotswolds. Her grandson now lives in the village. She put together the village cricket team – I now captain the modern team of artists! But to return to the question, I think it’s more the heritage that I find inspiring, rather than any one individual.
Compton Verney. That’s a pretty cool place. The really exciting news is that the Ashmolean Museum is moving half its collection to Broadway – that’s just been confirmed. I’m in London quite a lot, too, so I get to see a lot there.
Do you think we’ll see a transition from concept driven art-making to a more craft and technique oriented approach, as was once championed by artistic communities that settled in the Cotswolds?
I’ll draw and make sketches when I’m out, and when time is against me. Having a camera makes it all a hell of a lot easier. But as for drawing around the area, I don’t tend to really, mostly because I see it as home; I don’t really cast an ‘artistic’ eye over it. Also, the area lends itself to landscapes, and I tend to be more interested in human art. If I were to produce a landscape there’d have to be some kind of activity within it.
Yes and no. I think the two types will go in different directions – probably they should be different ‘subjects’. In concept-driven work, the look, the ‘visuals’, are not so important – it’s the theory of it that is. I do think that there should be more of a synergy between concept and practice than is sometimes apparent. But we have an amazing heritage here. Behind it all there is still the need to be commercial. I think in art schools there’s not enough focus on being commercial – it almost seems like students are being taught how to rely on grants and funds. My game plan was to build up a name, have a plan – when I started I did around an exhibition a month. It was sink or swim! After four years or so of that, things start to happen.
Do you ever hone your observational skills by drawing ‘on location’ in the Cotswolds? Is there a certain place here that continues to inspire you, for scenic or artistic reasons?
Your flamingo paintings have been linked to ecological issues. Do you feel that, throughout your career, you’ve been consistently developing certain themes, or do you seize upon more abstract things that capture your attention? A recurring theme is water. It took me to the flamingo, which is the subject of many of my paintings. If my work can raise awareness of conservation issues, that’s a good thing. I’m going to push that in the years ahead.
Besides the festival, where would you recommend that people who are interested in the artistic heritage of the area should visit? www.cotswold-homes.com
The Art of Living
Artof Living The
Meet the community of artists, designers and craftsmen who completely redefined a Cotswold town TELEVISION VIEWERS might remember Gok Wan’s ‘Made in China’, a recent programme that followed the flamboyant stylist as he toured around his ancestral homeland. During the show, much airtime was devoted to China’s love affair with all things English. Factory footage showed how many British and western designs – like London’s iconic black cab taxi - have been imitated, mass-produced and exported by the East.
The scale of China’s mimicry reached a somewhat creepy zenith when Gok visited ‘Thames Town’, a place where civilians live in mock Tudor houses, stroll alongside quaint canals and are policed by officers dressed like Beefeaters. For Wan, this pastiche of an English town was too surreal; it was an imitation of a foreign tradition, a culture transplant engineered for profit. Reflecting on his experiences and the intensive manufacturing he had seen at work, he sadly observed that many of his countrymen didn’t seem to make anything new – instead, they had become master copyists. However, the threats that industrialisation and mass commerce pose to design and craftsmanship are nothing new. Quality, beauty and originality have often been the casualties of swift production and bitter price wars – ever since the Industrial Revolution that kicked off right here in England. One man who resisted the transition to industry was the designer, writer and socialist William Morris (1834-96), who famously proclaimed: ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’.
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Morris was a firm supporter and practitioner of traditional methods of production. His press at Kelmscott concentrated on producing the lavishly illustrated, limited edition books that he believed should be at the heart of every person’s spiritual life (accordingly, the print methods he practised were well out of date). In the 1880s, he stayed at Broadway Tower, the striking folly that is said to have inspired elements of J.R.R Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy (in fact, Morris’ own fantasy writings were also to inspire the author). A man of many talents, he is best remembered for his leadership of the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to restore the status of decorative design and revive craft itself. Just few years after Morris’ stay, the movement came to the Cotswolds, when in 1902 the charismatic architect C.R Ashbee decided to move his Guild of Handicrafts from London to Chipping Campden. Suddenly, the old wool town was a hub of contemporary design. Silversmiths, bookbinders, woodcarvers, cabinetmakers…around 150 people of various occupations alighted on the town. At first, it seems, locals were begrudging of the newcomers, who typically earned more than they could gather together from the farms and fields. Research suggests relations were much improved, however, by the performances, night classes and Elizabethan plays the craftsmen staged. Ashbee even installed a swimming pool. Today, Campden’s recently opened Court Barn museum presents an excellently curated account of the lives of the Guild’s key members. Profiles next to their work detail their ‘Temperament’ and, pointedly, their ‘Attitude
to Money’. Each craftsperson is given life beyond their artistic accomplishments – we learn that Katharine Adams, the Broadwaybased bookbinder, felt ‘rather keenly the ups and downs of life’, whilst the furniture maker Gordon Russell was essentially ‘shy, though he made himself into a public figure. His tastes had the force of convictions.’ One of the Guild’s most interesting and conflicted figures was the master etcher Frederick Griggs, who purchased the hill where the 400-year-old Cotswold Olimpicks are still held, saving it from development. He was also responsible for preserving much of Campden’s antiquity, having the telephone lines in the High Street buried underground. ‘He could be affable, but he had dark moods’ recounts his museum cabinet, and the brooding intricacy of his artworks testifies to that character. Griggs was enamoured with his own vision of ‘England’, a sort of vanished rural utopia where craft and society existed in perfect equilibrium. This he portrayed in splendidly detailed, rather melancholy etchings of buildings – some real, some imagined. Griggs died in 1938 with his own dream project, New Dover’s House,
Inside the Court Barn Museum, Chipping Campden
incomplete, having continuously spent and planned beyond his means (His attitude to money? ‘When he had it, he spent it on things he loved. When he didn’t, he spent it on things he loved.’). Perhaps it is best that he did not live to see the wartime horrors that his beloved England would soon endure. The other members had varying fortunes. Gordon Russell actually returned to the city and re-integrated machinery into his practice, admiring their exactness and efficiency. He became Director of the Council of Industrial Design – known today as the Design Council. The Glasgow-born carver Alec Miller’s work eventually took him abroad to settle in California, whilst illustrator Paul Woodroffe was commissioned to produce stained glass windows for St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic cathedral in New York. Sadly, the community itself did not last long. Ashbee’s motive for founding the Guild was to give working men the opportunity to learn (and profit from) applied arts and to create a society of free craftspeople. ‘I am glad to think that the men themselves have decided…it is better to leave Babylon and go back to the land,’ he wrote
in his journal one Christmas day. However, though his experiment had enjoyed success in London, it failed to take root commercially in the Cotswolds. The Guild disbanded just a few years after its arrival, though individual members such as Griggs and Woodroffe stayed in Campden. While it lasted, the community is considered to have flourished creatively in its new surroundings and several of its members stayed on in the area to establish prosperous and long lasting businesses. Some - like Hart silversmiths and the Winchcombe Pottery - still remain, ensuring that the philosophy behind the experiment survives to be seen in practice over 100 years later. Today, the village’s artistic heritage is very much in evidence, with recent collectives such as Creative Campden following the example of the Guild. As the Court Barn museum notes, perhaps craft has a home in the country after all. Today, Campden’s creative legacy prospers. A modern collective, Creative Campden, benefits from an online presence (www. creativecampden.co.uk)
Craft and Country
Craft and Country Inside the Hart Workshop
David Hart nard at work
C.R Ashbee was one of the leading lights of the Arts and Crafts movement. Sadly, his Guild of Handicraft failed to prosper in the Cotswolds – yet one of its members established a thriving business that stands to this day, nearly unchanged for over a century. Jael Rote investigates a timehonoured family enterprise.
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Standing in the workshop of Hart’s Gold & Silversmiths, no imagination is required to picture a scene sixty-four years ago when a ten year old schoolboy first picked up a hammer and, under his father’s instruction, began his first tentative steps down the road to becoming a highly skilled craftsman. Now in his seventies, David Hart presides over the family legacy, instructing his own team in the skills of the Hart tradition.
George remained at the helm until 1968 when he was replaced by his son - they had worked together for nearly 40 years. Then, in 1990 it fell to David Hart to take on the responsibility of maintaining the traditions of this very rare institution. In this he is now aided by his son William, nephew Julian and colleague Derek Elliot - today, this workshop remains very much an industrious working space, with visitors welcomed to look around.
The workshop is virtually unchanged from the time of David’s youth. Light filters through windows that dimly illuminate a thousand tools first used more than a century ago. Workbenches are lit to provide pools of light where the current crop of silversmiths are to be found, bent in concentration in places once occupied by those who came before. Four generations have so far plied their trade within this workspace since founder George Hart first moved to Chipping Campden in 1902. He came with fifty other East London craftsmen under the leadership of C. R. Ashbee, a leading light of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Yet only in Hart’s workshop did the Craft’s philosophy truly take root – remaining in business 110 years after his arrival.
On my visit, David was kind enough to show me their visitors’ book, a volume dating back to 1902. Even then, people came from around the world. Early entries include the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and another entry is written in Japanese characters. More recently, the Duke of Kent popped in for a royal visit. Each day, David estimates between six to twenty visitors make their way up the narrow winding stairs to enter this old but very active workshop.
The Movement ran against the tide of industrialisation it believed was destroying traditional crafts, robbing workmen of the fruits of their endeavours. The Guild of Handicraft to which these men belonged was a cooperative. They occupied space provided by a disused silk mill and took over the deserted cottages found within Chipping Campden - a village then in decline after wool fortunes had faded.
Yet even in this timeless place modern economic turmoil has impacted: the rush of capital from currencies into precious metals has taken the price of an ounce of silver from an average of £3 to £20. The difficulties this presents are obvious and David is grateful they have a landlord in sympathy with their beliefs. This historic workshop is a living link to the unique heritage of Campden – today the town has clearly benefitted from its association with the experimental colony who once lived there and the workshop still stands as a fantastic asset to the town – one that should absolutely be preserved.
BOHEMIA IN BROADWAY
celebrated in the 2012 Broadway Art Festival – many years after their departure. Clearly, their residency has left a lasting impression. Of course, during their lifetime, it was not entirely unusual for bohemian colonies of artists to form in picturesque rural locations, places where their crafts could be practiced in peace and beauty. Yet, in Broadway, work certainly came with a generous dose of play. The grunt work of creation was often interrupted by boisterous fun, which left most locals surprisingly unfazed – at least, according to the merrymakers themselves (the painter Edmund Gosse remarked: ‘Nothing we do scandalizes the villagers…Whatever we do or say or wear or sing they only say “Them Americans is out again”.’). The group danced, indulged in lawn games, feasted, played music, sang and took delight in sporting peculiar clothes. The vigorousness with which they enjoyed country living is still to be admired. It seems only the author Henry James remained above such frivolity (‘[He] was the only sedate one of all - benign, indulgent but grave, and not often unbending beyond a genial chuckle.’ – Gosse, again). However many spontaneous dances and rounds of tennis he might have refused, though, James was clearly enchanted with life in the village, remarking: “This is the great recommendation of Broadway: everything in it is convertible. There is portraiture in the air and composition in the very accidents. Everything is a subject or an effect.... It is delicious to be at Broadway and not have to draw.” All good things must end, however, and inevitably the good times fizzled out and then the Great War changed things for ever, for everyone. The colony fragmented and eventually dissolved after the careers of influential members Sargent and James took them away to more cosmopolitan surroundings. Their names and achievements, though, are forever linked with Broadway, leaving a legacy that lives on with the village’s timeless beauty.
Orange Lillies, Broadway, Worcestershire c1911 by Alfred Parsons RA. Copyright Royal Academy of Arts; Photographer J Hammond
PICTURE YOURSELF in a Cotswold village during the summer of 1885. It’s a typically languid day and – bar the absence of cameras, cars and other modern fittings - all is as you’d expect to find it: honey-coloured cottages, wide streets and an expansive village green. Except… Strangely, there are unmistakably American voices in the air. You trace their laughter and singing across the green to an ancient-looking house where, in the garden, a haphazard round of tennis is being played. The rural quiet is disturbed by dramatic blasts of Wagner whilst, around the house’s grounds and in unseen rooms, paint is painstakingly applied to canvas, books are read and written. You’ve stumbled upon the country retreat of a crew of artists and intellectuals, who have alighted together on the village of Broadway in search of an English idyll. Their ranks include the painter John Singer Sargent, acclaimed author Henry James and the house’s tenant, the multi-talented Francis Millet, who in 1912 will lose his life aboard the sinking Titanic. A bruised Sargent is recovering from the scandal surrounding his sensuous “Portrait of Madame X” - it is in these gardens that he will complete “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, due to cause a small storm of opinion in the Royal Academy before being snapped up by the Tate Gallery. Noteworthy visitors come and go: guests such as J.M Barrie, author of Peter Pan, and composer Edward Elgar. This quiet Cotswold village has become a port of call for people of ideas – and will remain so until around 1914. Now return yourself to the 21st century, where this ragtag crew of creative minds is still remembered as the Broadway group. They’re about to be
Learn more about the colony in this year’s Broadway Arts Festival, celebrating Art & Education in the Show Village of England, 9 - 17 June 2012. The highlight of the 2012 Festival is “Country Gardens: John Singer Sargent RA, Alfred Parsons RA and their contemporaries”, a major exhibition at Haynes Fine Art featuring over 20 oils and watercolours by renowned 19th-century artist and garden designer Alfred Parsons RA, together with important works by John Singer Sargent, Lawrence Alma Tadema, John Constable, Lucien Pissaro and many of their contemporaries. The exhibition will be unveiled by Britain’s favourite polymath Sir Roy Strong on Saturday 9 June and will remain open till the end of the Festival. Broadway Luminaries The Founder, Francis Millet – An American painter, writer and sculptor, he was central to the colony. Purchasing the derelict monastic building of Abbots Grange (dating back from the 14th century), he converted it into a place for a creative community to work – and play. A man whose various talents and achievements leave him tricky to define, Millet served as a drummer boy in the American Civil War and graduated from Harvard University. In 1912, Millet lost his life in one of the most notorious tragedies of the early 20th century: the sinking of the Titanic. The Painter, John Singer Sargent – One of the best known and most well regarded painters of his time, Sargent painted the popular “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” (1885-86) during his time at Broadway. His talents were widely sought, and he was adept with watercolours as he was with oils. Sargent once unwittingly provoked scandal when he attempted to break into high society with his sensuous, experimental painting of Madame Pierre Gautreau (Madame X) in1884, but his reputation as one of the great painters of his time has endured through to this day. The Author, Henry James - Regarded as one of the most important figures in literary realism, it seems James remained mostly aloof from the ribaldry that took place. A true man of letters and a prolific writer, his novels included ghost story The Turn of the Screw and The Bostonians, a tragicomedy adapted for film by Merchant Ivory in 1984. www.cotswold-homes.com
Banish the Burgers and Bangers
e h t h s i n Ba d n a s r e g Bur Bangers An English summer would not be summer without a visit to the neighbours to partake of cremated offerings in cakey baps, doused with tomato ketchup. This dubious feast is usually served up by our menfolk, who hover like moths to a flame around the barbecue dressed in rude aprons, peering hopefully, offering conflicting advice and overindulging in their own “quality control” whilst the WAGS suffer relegation to “sides” – an Iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise in a jar and a pile of rice salad, if you are lucky. This Olympic summer provides a perfect host of opportunities for outdoor eating, but make sure your own garden festivities are extraspecial this year. Squash the misconception that all meat needs a good charring and unleash the untapped potential of your inner Masterchef. Take some timely advice from our very own mistress of the BBQ, Collette Fairweather, who, with the help of Rob and his team at R&D Walker (T/A Checketts) of Moreton in Marsh, will transform your al fresco experience.
For Starters... Collette: I would refrain from individual starters but supply generous nibbles. Blanch and then griddle some locally grown, award-winning Vale of Evesham asparagus and serve with butter or homemade mayonnaise. Put out bowls of assorted salty nuts or home-fried crisps with dips. Boiled quails eggs and celery salt are easy yet different. Olives and cornichons are delicious, maybe even a little pâté and toast or salami sausage on a little chopping board.
For Mains... LAMB Butterflied leg of lamb with barbequed Mediterranean vegetables, rosemary potatoes and Tzatziki Rob: If you butterfly a leg of lamb, removing the bone and flattening out the meat, the surface area is hugely increased and you achieve a similar thickness throughout, making it ideal for the BBQ Collette: Haloumi cheese, marinated in the same way, works well as a substitute for the lamb. To marinate a butterflied leg of lamb: Take a good glug of olive oil, a dash of cider vinegar,
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dried oregano and thyme, crushed garlic, sliced onion and salt and pepper and rub the meat all over, doing the same with some peppers, halved baby courgettes and sliced aubergines. Leave the marinated meat and vegetables to infuse for at least a couple hours. To make Tzatziki: Peel, core and grate a cucumber and place in a sieve, add a pinch of salt and leave for twenty minutes for the moisture to escape. Add the drained cucumber to Greek yogurt, a spoonful of mayonnaise, plenty of grated garlic and freshly chopped mint. Mix and chill. Rosemary Potatoes: Peel and cube potatoes, add a splosh of olive oil, rosemary and garlic, with plenty of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and roast in a hot oven for twenty minutes or so until crispy and golden. Time, gentleman! Time the cooking of your potatoes with the Lamb. Get your BBQ really hot and when the majority of the coals are white and the flames subside, place the lamb on the rack and roast, turning occasionally for 20 minutes every half kilo. About 25 minutes before the end of cooking time, arrange the vegetables around the lamb and put the potatoes in the oven. The vegetables will go blackish in colour but do not fret - this creates a beautiful sweet taste. To serve: Serve the lamb when slightly rested, carve and serve on a platter with vegetables and potatoes, and a bottle of ouzo if you dare!
Rib of Beef with herb butter, with Celeriac Remoulade, oven roasted new potatoes and baby leaf salad.
Spatchcock Baby Chicken with Tabbouleh
FRUIT, CHOCOLATE, MERINGUE, CREAM, MARSHMALLOWS…
Rob: I chine the beef, sawing through the backbone - this increases the circulation of heat and makes it easier to carve. Beef is excellent for the BBQ. That lovely smoky scent really enhances the meat’s flavour. Collette: Lightly oil the rib of beef that Rob has chined for you, then season the meat and cook on the BBQ to your own preference. Serve the beef with slices of the herb butter, bowls of salad, potatoes and Remoulade, washed down with a lovely cold glass of soft Beaujolais. For the Remoulade: Peel and shred the flesh of a celeriac into spaghetti, either by hand or with the aid of a mandolin, toss in a squeeze of lemon juice to tenderise, then add some mayonnaise and Dijon mustard with fresh parsley, mix and season to taste, leave in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Make your herb butter: Finely slice a selection of fresh mixed herbs, like tarragon, parsley and chives, mix into softened unsalted butter, season. Dollop the mixture onto cling film, roll into a sausage shape and chill in the fridge. Roast your new potatoes: Coat new potatoes with a little olive oil and salt and roast in a hot oven until golden.
Rob: When I spatchcock a chicken, I remove the backbone, squash the bird flattish and then pin into position with skewers. By keeping the chicken as a whole, the bones help to keep the bird moist, a common problem when barbecuing chicken breast Collette: Mix lemon zest and juice with olive oil, garlic and thyme, pepper and plenty of salt. Ask Rob to spatchcock a chicken and rub all over with the marinade and allow to infuse. Once the coals of the BBQ turn white, griddle the chicken for about half an hour or so (dependent on size) until the juices run clear. Serve chicken with lightly dressed salad leaves… and a crisp glass or three of Sauvignon Blanc! For the Tabbouleh,: Cook enough bulgar wheat to the packet instructions to feed your guests. De-seed and finely dice tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, mix into bulgar wheat with plenty of freshly chopped mint and parsley, drizzle with olive and lemon juice.
Collette: Fruit parcels are so simple to prepare in advance and a wonderful way to utilise the BBQ ashes. Layer a square of greaseproof paper on top of a square of tin-foil, in the centre place fresh fruit, strawberries, pears, plums etc, and add cubes of chocolate, either white, milk or dark. Twist into a parcel and place in the embers of the BBQ to melt into the most delicious goo. Place the parcels in bowls and unwrap. I like to add a drizzle of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for sheer gluttony. Another easy summer delight is a bowl of English strawberries, tossed in lavender syrup and Eton Mess is always a winner. Alternatively, simply toasted marshmallows; blistered clouds of sweetness, delicious! To make Eton Mess: whip some cream and fold in some crushed meringues and strawberries but combine just before serving to prevent the meringues going soggy. NB: For the faint-hearted…. Rob: We also have a wide variety of delicious homemade sausages and burgers!! Collette: Check out R&D Walker Privilege Card Offer on all the meat featured in this article!
The Cotswold Brewing Company
The Spirit of Summer
Having already brewed up a storm with their delicious local beers, The Cotswold Brewing Company are turning their craft to distilling some sensational spirits. A thirsty Cotswold Homes team eagerly anticipates the launch of both Cotswold Gin and Cotswold Vodka… After the fun of the tastings, the reality of their undertaking slowly dawned on the couple. There was so much to consider; gaining the necessary permissions to site a still at the brewery (with a very old, inconvenient law stating that brewers could not be distillers on the same site), the expertise required to distil and the lack of available space within the brewery itself were all niggling obstacles. Undeterred, they decided to seek the advice and support of experts and were lucky enough to find Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers in London. Months were spent together with Charles creating unique recipes embodying a tasty Cotswold essence! It was a hard job indeed - but someone had to do it. A plan was made: Thames Distillers would distil and bottle the initial batches of Cotswold Gin and Cotswold Vodka with the longer term aim to hopefully buy and install a still at the brewery. Established in 2005 by husband and wife team Rick and Emma Keene, The Cotswold Brewing Company’s stated intention was to ‘produce and distribute quality, hand crafted specialty beers to the local community’. At that time, they focused on producing kegged and bottled European-style beers such as lager and wheat beer – drawing on Rick’s brewing degree and 20 years of experience in the industry. Due to consumer demand, the brand portfolio eventually increased to include a dark lager, a cider and – more recently – a stout. Yet Emma had a terrible secret. Although a great fan and avid consumer of Rick’s brews, her tipple of choice was not a lager or cider…but gin. She remains known for arriving at friends’ parties bearing her own bottle (complete with mixer) rather than partaking of the wine and beer generally on offer. It seemed like a perfectly natural next step for the pair to start producing their very own gin. Rick was able to draw from his knowledge in both brewing and distilling, and Emma upon her vast wealth of ‘hands-on experience’. Months of practical research were undertaken with an extensive tasting panel (otherwise known as family and friends) and the practicalities of distilling duly investigated.
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Both the gin and vodka are made using the finest ingredients. They are distilled from 100% grain – unlike cheaper, mass-made alternatives using molasses that keep costs down but fail to deliver the same clean depth of flavour. Rick and Emma’s gin is flavoured with hops (an obvious reference to the company’s heritage) alongside ingredients readily available in the Cotswolds – with lemon balm and hawthorn berries picked from the hedgerows. Lime provides the predominant citrus notes, as both agree it is more tasty than lemon. With all elements finally in place, everything was almost ready to go - but the impending arrival of their fourth daughter meant that the project had to be put on hold for several months. Now, in 2012, the pair’s plans have at last come to fruition. With bottles finding their way from France, graphic designers hard at work, label printers primed and distillation and bottling slots booked, the first batches of Cotswold Gin and Vodka should be here in the early summer…so keep an eye on the Cotswold Lager website and Facebook page and for a Privilege Card offer in our next issue of the magazine! In the meantime, visit the company’s newly designed and excellently animated website at www.cotswoldbrewingcompany.co.uk.
Emma’s Cotswold Cocktails
Rumour has it that these recipes were written on an old manuscript that Rick and Emma found under a flagstone when renovating the kitchen of their Cotswolds home...but then again, you really shouldn’t listen to rumours! Whatever the truth behind where they came from, Emma’s recipes are a perfect accompaniment to chilling out after work, savouring the last of the evening sun whilst relaxing in a pretty Cotswold garden or equally, served in brimming jugs of ice–cold loveliness at a great big Olympic Summer Party to celebrate Team GB’s successes!
The Cotswold Food Store
Perfect Cotswold Picnic The
Richard Chamberlain, owner of The Cotswold Food Store & Café, explores perfect picnic possibilities this summer.
The joy of a memorable picnic comes from what you eat, where and with whom. We are blessed on all three counts here in the Cotswolds. We have vibrant social communities in our towns and villages and a whole myriad of clubs, groups and organizations. We have drop-dead gorgeous landscapes and locations, and an unrivalled calendar of events throughout the year. And of course, we have truly delicious local food and drink. So, now is the time to plan some perfect picnic moments this summer. We have an array of summer festivals including Wychwood and Cornbury. Food & drink festivals are in every corner of our hills – Tetbury, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham to name just a few. Jazz, music and literature events feature widely and we have great sporting and cultural events like the Cheltenham Cricket Festival, the Longborough Opera Festival and Giffords Circus enticing you to dust down that wicker hamper. And of course, we have the momentous Diamond Jubilee this year - so, don’t delay … let’s go all alfresco in 2012! 90 Cotswold Homes Magazine
Selecting what to include in your picnic can be great fun. Head off to your nearest delicatessen or farm shop and I’m certain you’ll be inspired and do, please, let local produce enrich your culinary spread. Specialty breads are a must and we’re blessed with some local bakeries including Hobbs House, La Parisienne, La Tradition and Boulangerie Valentin to mention four. “Du pain” is the perfect partner for paté and cheeses but also for potted fish and game from The Potted Game Company in Cirencester … one of my favourites. Donnington Smoked Trout Paté is also a big favourite and hot smoked trout is a wonderful option for Quiche, that perfect picnic dish. Be sure to make yours with local farmhouse eggs or even delicious organic ones from Barrington Park Estate. Asparagus is in season during the early summer and we’re spoilt for Gloucester Old Spot bacon for a classic Quiche Lorraine. You’ll also find delicious locally made pork and game pies and a range of cold meats widely available. If you seek out some local charcuterie from local producers such as The Cotswold Curer, you’ll be rewarded with salamis and chorizos of great flavour and texture. Summer fruits with Cotswold double cream are surely a must and it’s not difficult to fill your hamper with Cotswold beverages; bottled beers from any number of local breweries including The Cotswold Brewing Company, The North Cotswold Brewery and Battledown and Festival breweries in Cheltenham. Craft ciders such as Prior’s Tipple and those from The Cotswold Cider Company are perfect for summer drinking but if wine is your tipple, do use the moment to try an English white or rosé from our local vineyards at Malmesbury or Snitterfield near Stratford upon Avon. For those steering clear of alcohol, the Pershore Plum and Elderflower Pressés from Nurses Cottage are a summer delight and new Cotswold sparkling and still spring waters from Alderley House make for a refreshing local alternative. So, gather your rug and hamper full of Cotswold picnic delights and enjoy the real flavour of Cotswold picnicking this summer.
The Big Picnic at The Cotswold Food Store
Enjoy your summer with a ready-made picnic from The Cotswold Food Store. For more info, call 01451 830469 or visit www.cotswoldfoodstore.co.uk.
Picnics at The Longborough Festival Opera
Opera Customers are welcome to bring their own picnics to enjoy in the grounds. But if you would like to order a delicious picnic, The Cotswold Food Store & Café offers a Cotswold Summer Picnic for the 2012 Longborough Festival. Each picnic will be freshly prepared and will be delivered to the LFO main foyer prior to the performance for your collection.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust best dressed grooms
Unnatural World Colin Studholme, Director of Policy and Research at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, examines how the importation of non-native species threatens to destroy our local wildlife. As an officially designated Area of Natural Beauty, it is important that the integrity of the Cotswold landscape is preserved. Immigrant species can bring far-reaching consequences for a local ecology that is ill-equipped to deal with change and the hazards intruders pose to our animal life. It is generally considered in conservation circles that the second biggest threat to native species worldwide, after habitat loss and fragmentation, is the negative impact caused by non-native species. These are species that find themselves in parts of the world where they wouldn’t occur naturally – inevitably with human help – and have caused considerable damage to local food chains, and species interactions, as they become a dominant part of a new ecosystem. There are some well-known examples of the disasters this can cause. The deliberate introduction of cane toads into Australia to control pests in sugar cane plantations might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but without any natural predators they soon got out of control. From the few hundred released in the 1930s there are now an estimated 200 million. They have a voracious appetite and have devastated the invertebrate ecology of Queensland – but, ironically, they don’t seem to have had much impact on the beetle they were brought in to control! Australia has suffered more than most countries from unwanted alien species introduced by man, which has significantly changed the ecology of vast tracts of land and put many species at the risk of extinction.
To control or not to control? In the UK we are familiar with introduced species like the grey squirrel, sycamore and American mink. These have all had a negative impact on our native species and are actively controlled for conservation purposes. There are some people, of course, who think that they should not be controlled and that we should accept them as part of an altered ecosystem. It’s a tricky subject to tackle, especially when some non-natives – such as the Himalayan balsam – add a splash of colour to ditches and streams. However, these plants are a magnet for pollinators and there is strong evidence that many native bank-side species are not being visited as their pollinators are now making a ‘bee-line’ to the balsam. In Our Rivers More recently, however, there seems to have been a spate of invasive species arriving in the UK that are having, or are predicted to have, major impacts in the future. A number of nonnative signal crayfish species (farmed for food) have escaped from crayfish farms and are now established in many of our watercourses. They are systematically devastating our native white-clawed crayfish by out-competing for food and habitat and by carrying a plague to which the indigenous species is particularly vulnerable. The arrival of this new species in a watercourse sadly means that local extinction is inevitable. The primary conservation measure for our native species is a drastic measure – removal of the population to designated ‘ark’ sites which, it is hoped, the invaders will not be able to colonise. It’s not surprising that aquatic invaders are capable of moving and colonising new territory so quickly. The Chinese mitten crabs are working their way up the Thames and into Gloucestershire, causing damage to river banks as they go. More recently, Dikerogammarus villosus, also known as the ‘killer shrimp’, has been declared by the Environmental Agency as the non-native species that poses the biggest threat to our aquatic ecosystems. A voracious predator of invertebrates, it is capable of altering the entire ecosystem of our watercourse. The
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River threat: the Signal Crayfish (c. Dave Kilby)
change in the food chain could affect the food supply of familiar species such as the native brown trout. Controlling their spread is virtually impossible once they become established. But it was only a few years ago that we were alarmed by the arrival of the harlequin ladybird, with the threat that it could devastate populations of our native ladybirds. Despite the alien version being well established it does not seem to have had quite the impact that was predicted. However, it remains important not to be complacent and to anticipate challenges to our local wildlife. New Threats Current concern focuses on the arrival of the Asian hornet. Thought to have been introduced to Europe in freight from China, they are presently settled as nearby as France - and could head our way. A handful of hornets can destroy an entire nest of honeybees in a matter of hours – they take bees back to their nests to feed their larvae. The native honey bee is already under severe pressure from diseases and periods of bad weather. The Asian hornet could be the final straw for our bees and we could see that invasive species not only impact on the local ecology – but on the economy as well.
What the Gamekeeper Saw Wildlife Photography by Adam Tatlow This stunning shot of a young kestrel comes courtesy of local gamekeeper and photographer Adam Tatlow. View more of Adam’s work – including seasonal galleries – at www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com, where limited edition prints are available along with greetings cards.
Privilege card offers Free footstool with each sofa purchased excluding material, until the end of August 2012 Tel: 01608 659091 5 Threshers Yard, West Street, Kingham Oxfordshire, OX7 6YF
A Luxurious Organic Express facial, back neck and shoulder massage and Express Manicure or Pedicure £90, normally £120 until the end of August 2012
Tel: 01386 841123 M Spa, Lapstone, Westington Hill Chipping Campden, GL55 6EG
Book 4 personal training sessions within a month and receive a month’s free classes until the end of August 2012 Tel: 01386 701231 Unit 6, Draycott Business Village Draycott, Nr Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire, GL56 9JY
Wyck Hill House Hotel & SPA
Book dinner in our restaurant & receive £10 off per person max of 4 people, cannot be used in conjunction with other offers. Valid until 31st August 2012.
10% off rib of beef, leg of lamb and spatchcock chicken
7 months gym or swim membership for the price of 5 until the end of August 2012
until the end of AUGUST 2012 Tel: 01451 831936 Wyck Hill House Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1HY
10% OFF all greeting cards
until the end of August 2012 Tel: 01451 822800 Box of Delights, High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AQ
Tel: 01608 651002 24 High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 OAF
Tel: 01451 824024 Cotswold Leisure Bourton, Station Road Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BD
MACNISH CHAIR RISER, PROBLEM STANDING?
10% off all legal fees
until the end of August 2012
TURN YOUR OWN CHAIR INTO AN ELECTRIC CHAIR WITH A 14-DAY FREE TRIAL & RECEIVE £40 OFF PURCHASE PRICE Until the end of August 2012
Thomas Legal Group is a dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds Tel: 01452 657950 Thomas Legal Group, Brunswick House Brockworth, Gloucestershire, GL3 4AA
Tel: 0845 370 7018
MacNish Ltd, Barn 2, Oxpens Farm, Yanworth, Cheltenham, GL54 3QE
Visit the Magazine and Gallery section for a full list of Privilege Card offers from local businesses current during May, June, July and August. Register on-line by clicking on Cotswold-Homes Club button to get your FREE card or pop into one of the offices of HARRISON & HARDIE at Moreton, Stow or Bourton to pick one up, or telephone us on 01608 653899 and we will send one to you in the post within 7 working days! Then start saving on all sorts of products and services, from gifts to food to beauty and clothes!
Free filter coffee
with every cake purchased over £2, Monday to Friday
50% off returns following outbound journeys within a 20-mile radius of Bourton
until the end of July 2012
until the end of july 2012
Tel: 01608 652060 Cacao Bean, Carfax House, High Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AT
Spend over £5 and get one free bag of Miracle Grow Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food.
01451 820 778 07585 308 838 www.hopeprivatehire.com
Until stocks last, 1 per sale, valid until 30th June 2012.
all Howdens Kitchens and appliances from our suppliers, until the end of August 2012
Tel: 01608 651757 Stow Road, Moreton In Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0DS
Tel: 01386 840484 Unit 14a, Weston Industrial Estate, Honeybourne, Nr. Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 7QB
Book dinner at the Dial House, order 3 courses for 2 people from any of our menus and get a free bottle of house wine until the end of July 2012
Tel: 01451 822244 Dial House Hotel, High Street, Bourton on the Water, GL54 2AN
Karndean and AmtiCo Flooring until the end of July 2012 Tel: 01242 521273 Parsons Flooring, The Brown Barn, Longacre Farm, Brockhampton Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 9RS
The Lamb Inn Great Rissington
20% off all
surveys from the Cirencester office
15% off all food until the end of August 2012
valid until the end of august 2012
Excludes set menus and any other promotions
Tel: 01285 640840 Central Surveying, 17 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AA
Tel: 01451 820388 The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington, Gloucestershire, GL54 2LP
Free 100% silk handmade tie with all purchases over £100.
Valid until 1st August 2012.
Tel: 01993 358284 21B Oxford Street, Woodstock, OX20 1TH (Appointments Only)
Privilege card offers 5% discount on lager, cider and wheat beer bottle sales direct from the brewery and 10% off brewery tours. until the end of July 2012 Tel: 01451 824488 College Farm, Stow Road, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HN
Free property appraisals, free photographs and up to £250 cash back for new joiners until the end of August 2012
Tel: 0844 870 8532 4 Ember Lane, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8ER
Up to 50% off – Beds, Sofas, Chairs, Pictures, China, Lamps, Cutlery and much more. While stocks last. Call for more information & to visit our showroom. Tel: 01993 822385 Mob: 07976 353996 Lark Rise, Beech Crove, Fulbrook, Oxfordshire, OX18 4DE
10% off Hedge Trimming valid until the 1st August 2012 Tel: 01608 644490 The Spinney, Elmsfield Industrial Estate, Worcester Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5XL
15% off all Plumbing Materials from our supplier
10% off all Cotswold walking guides
until the end of August 2012
Until the end of August 2012
Tel: 01386 840484 Weston Industrial Estate, Honeybourne, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 7QB
Stylist blow dry from a hair stylist and a nail tidy and polish - £30, normally £39 Tel: 01386 841123 Mode, Lapstone, Westington Hill, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6EG
Tel: 01451 870150 2 Talbot Court, The Square, Stow On The Wold, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BQ
10% off total bill from light lunch menu, served in drawing room & sun terrace Mon - Sat until 30th June 2012. Cannot be used with other offers/promotions. Tel: 01451 820456 Lower Slaughter Manor, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HP
SUITS YOU, SIR
AS APTUS SUITS HITS THE HIGH STREET WITH THE LAUNCH OF THEIR NEW SHOP, THE COTSWOLD TAILOR IN WOODSTOCK, COTSWOLD HOMES RECEIVED AN INVITE TO THE PARTY AND DAVID CAMERON WAS THERE TO CONGRATULATE ALEX, TOO. Cotswold Homes has keenly followed the progress of the North Cotswold’s favourite bespoke tailors, Aptus Suits, and is delighted to report that on Friday, May 11th, we were invited to attend the launch of their first high street store, The Cotswold Tailor, in the heart of Woodstock. In praise of this new adventure for the company, Prime Minister David Cameron popped in to congratulate Alex Edwards, raising spirits even higher. During the fabulous party, Collette Fairweather managed to grab Alex by his finely cut lapels for a few moments, to ask him a little more about the new direction of his company. Alex, what do you offer that’s different at the new store and how much does your bespoke tailoring cost, now? “We sell contemporary men’s and women’s clothing in traditional British Cloths. We place a particular emphasis where possible on sourcing British Tailored products. We are also able to offer a bespoke tailoring service from the shop. We offer British Tailored Chinos from £75.00, Alpaca Jumpers from £79 and Tweed Jackets from £315.00.”
“There is something rather pleasing about knowing that with every sale of these items we are helping to keep British people in work.”
Furthermore all of our jackets are tailored to the same cut and specifics as our bespoke wear, meaning each of our jackets is hand-sewn, has a floating canvas chest-plate and working cuffs. We are also passionate about sourcing our products from British Manufacturers. There is something rather pleasing about knowing that with every sale of these items we are helping to keep British people in work.”
Aptus has become hugely successful - opening The Cotswold Tailor provides quite a different service, so what was the thought-process behind opening a shop? “We are fortunate that Aptus Suits has grown quicker than we could have ever hoped. The key to its success has been offering the highest possible standard of tailoring at attainable prices. The idea behind the shop arose as many of our clients were stating their displeasure at the mass-produced same old dross found littered across high streets up and down the country. What The Cotswold Tailor offers is original designs in small batch runs, ensuring each of our clients can own something unique. “We never tailor more than five jackets in each design/cloth, ensuring originality throughout.
What ready-to-wear products will you stock? “We sell men’s and women’s weekend wear, including moleskin chinos and corduroy trousers, Argentinian polo belts, ties, cufflinks, tweed skirts, socks and, of course, our unforgettable tweed jackets! We don’t sell readyto-wear suits in the shop, as we feel our tailored business offers rather competitive prices in this area! However, our ready-to-wear jackets and skirts are tailored to a Savile Row spec in British cloths, including household names such as: Dugdale Bros, John G Hardy, Harris Tweed and the local Marling and Evans.” Will there be more for the ladies? Our Women’s range is growing all of the time. Although initially two thirds of the shop’s space will be dedicated to Menswear, we are in the process of designing a new range of jackets, skirts, and Alpaca shawls for our ladies’ range. Clearly, Alex, there is a sustainable place for bespoke tailoring in the 21st century? “The world of bespoke tailoring is changing all of the time. The market has been flooded with cheap polyester blended poorly made suits. However, as shown by the growth of Aptus Suits in the last year, if you can offer a great product at a fair price there will always be demand.“ www.cotswold-homes.com
Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses Homes & Gardens
Where to stay, what to do, where to go?
Amanda Hanley By Design An independent and professional service for all of your interior design projects. Fulbrook. Website: www.amandahanley.co.uk Tel: 01993 822385 Mobile: 07976 353996 Email: email@example.com Baroque Ardor A successful partnership of interior designers who are dedicated to creating unique, hand painted furniture. Swindon. Website: www.baroque-ardor.co.uk Tel: 07595 894676/07920 112252 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Becknell Services Flooring specialists. Wood & Stone Floors Refurbished, Curtain Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning , Reach & Wash Window Cleaning. Honeybourne. Tel: 01386 840484 Email: email@example.com Fosseway Garden Centre A large garden centre offering all gardening, pets, gifts and everything to do with outdoor living, plus a great cafe. Moreton in Marsh. Website: www.fossewaygardencentre. co.uk. Tel: 01608 651757. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Westcote Design We produce a comprehensive range of sofas, sofabeds, footstools, headboards and bespoke furniture manufactured by a small talented team. Kingham. Website: www.westcotedesign.co.uk Tel :01608 659091 Email: email@example.com Central Surveying Chartered Surveyors, Building Surveyors and Property Consultants for London and the South West. Cirencester. Website: www.centralsurveying.co.uk Tel: 01285 640840 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cotswold Building Contractors A local, friendly and trustworthy building and development service with a high degree of expertise and excellent workmanship. Honeybourne. Tel: 01386 840484 Email: email@example.com Four Shires Construction Ltd Four Shires Construction Ltd specialise in premium Cotswold Barn Conversions and renovations. Bathrooms, Living, Gym and Sauna, Bedrooms, Dining, External. Broadway. Website: www.fourshiresconstruction. co.uk. Tel: 01451 850905. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Five Valleys Natural Pools Five Valleys Natural Pools in partnership with Biotop. Design & Construct eco friendly natural swimming pools. Stroud. Website: www.fivevalleysnaturalpools. co.uk. Tel 01453 884881 / 07714 236211. Email: email@example.com KC Carpets We are a family run business that has been offering the best in carpets, vinyl flooring and blinds since 1984. Moreton in Marsh. Website: www.kc-carpets.co.uk Tel: 01608 650331 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Lonstone Manufacturers of premium quality garden landscaping products, including paving and exclusive reproduction Lonstone Vintage Planters and feature pieces. Longborough. Website: www.lonstone.co.uk Tel: 01451 830140 Email: email@example.com Parsons Carpet & Flooring Specialists Passionate about flooring and equally passionate about the quality of service that we provide to you. Cheltenham. Website: www.parsonsflooring.com Tel: 01242 521273 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Traditional Oak Frame Company Gloucestershire- based traditional green oak timber-framed house construction and restoration. Guiting Power. Website: www.traditionaloakframe.com Tel: 01451 850050 Email: email@example.com Treetech Arboricultural Services Ltd A professional, efficient service with consistent quality standards for all aspects of tree care. Chipping Norton. Website: www.treetech.co.uk Tel: 01608 644490 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org William Gilder Ltd William Gilder Ltd has proudly provided specialist transportation services for over 25 years. Disposal, Painting, Storage, Transport. Cheltenham. Website: www.williamgilder.co.uk Tel: 01242 620677 Email: email@example.com
the high street
Day-to-day essentials, occasional luxuries
Harrison & Hardie Estate Agents The Leading Estate Agency specialising in Residential Sales and Lettings in the heart of the North Cotswolds. Holiday cottages, family homes, first-time buys and substantial country houses. Website: www.cotswold-homes.com Moreton in Marsh: 01608 651000; firstname.lastname@example.org Bourton on the Water: 01451 822977; email@example.com Stow on the Wold: 01451 833170; firstname.lastname@example.org Residential Lettings: 01451 833177; email@example.com Fine & Country Estate Agents Award-winning, international agency for upper quartile residential property in the UK and abroad. Superior town residences, luxury new-build properties and classic country homes. Website: www.fineandcountry. co.uk. Represented in the North Cotswolds by HARRISON & HARDIE estate agents. James von Speyr, Director 01451 833170; jvonspeyr@ harrisonandhardie.co.uk; Karen Harrison, Director 01608 651000; firstname.lastname@example.org Cotswold-Homes.com Innovative, multi-media marketing for independent North Cotswold businesses. Website: www.cotswold-homes.com Tel: 01608 653899. Marketing: email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Social media: email@example.com
The Cotswold Food Store & Cafe The Cotswold Food Store and Café is a must-visit farm shop situated in a traditional Cotswold stone barn. Moreton in Marsh. Website: www.cotswoldfoodstore.co.uk Tel: 01451 830469 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Love My Cow Award winning Hereford Beef, traditionally reared on pastures over looking Bourton-on-the-Water. Website: www.lovemycow.com Tel: 01451 810198 Email: email@example.com R&D Walker T/A P Checketts Butcher’s providing seasonal meats, game (when in season), local venison, local beef, lamb and pork. Moreton in Marsh. Tel: 01608 651002 The Cotswold Tailor Aptus Suits is a family-run tailoring business based in the heart of the Cotswolds. 21B Oxford Street, Woodstock, OX20 1TH. Website: www.aptusuits.com Tel: 01608 645306 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Box of Delights Box of Delights is located in the Cotswolds & offers a range of beautiful home & gift items. Beautiful contemporary gifts, Greeting cards, Jewellery, Decorations. Bourton on the Water Website: www.boxofdelights.biz Tel: 01451 822800 Email: email@example.com GH Fine Jewellery GH Fine Jewellery specialises in jewellery, silver, valuations and buying. Jewellery, Silver, Antique and second hand, Sales and Valuation. Stow on the Wold. Tel: 01451 830155 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org MacNish Ltd Chair Adaptation Specialists. PROBLEM STANDING? Turn your OWN chair into an electric riser chair! Yanworth. Website: www.macnish.net Tel: 0845 370 7018 Email: email@example.com The Cotswold Frock Shop The Cotswold Frock Shop a onestop shop for The Bride and all the Ladies in the Bridal Party. 2/3 Park Street, Stow on the Wold Website: www.thecotswoldfrockshop. co.uk. Tel: 01451 832309. Email: info@ thecotswoldfrockshop.co.uk
living in the cotswolds
Leisure, lifestyle and business
Philip Hanley Financial Services Independent Financial Adviser providing investment, pensions and mortgage advice. Website: www.pjamesfs.com Tel: 01993 824680 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org M Spa Our approach to achieving wellbeing of mind, body and spirit lies in the treatments carefully chosen and created by us. Lapstone. Website: www.mspa.so Tel: 01386 841123 Email: email@example.com
Cotswold Leisure Bourton Cotswold Leisure Bourton offers a range of facilities to suit all ages and abilities. Bourton on the Water. Website: www.cotswold.gov.uk Tel: 01451 824024 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Rapid FX Personal Fitness RapidFX personal training is dedicated to offering professional personal assistance to fitness and wellbeing within the North Cotswolds. Draycott. Tel: 01386 701231 Email: email@example.com MH & Partners mh&partners are a team of friendly, creative, people who work within many sectors including tourism. Design, Web, Events & Marketing. Ebrington and Stratford Upon Avon. Website: www.mhandpartners.com Tel: 07773 369 648 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org JEM Financial Planning John Magee, an Independent Financial Adviser, and Sue Ellis, a Mortgage Broker, are located with in the Cotswolds. Draycott. Website: www.johnny-magee.co.uk Tel: 01386 840777 Email: email@example.com The Cotswold Brewing Company A family owned and run brewery which supplies kegged and bottled lagers, wheat beer, stout and cider to pubs, restaurants and hotels in the Cotswolds. Bourton on the Water Website: www. cotswoldbrewingcompany.co.uk Tel: 01451 824488 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Legal Group Dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds. We offer a top quality service and FIXED PRICE conveyancing. Gloucestershire. Website: www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk Tel: 01452 657950 Email: sharon.foote@ thomaslegalgroup.uk.com
visiting in the cotswolds Where to stay, what to do, where to go?
Character Cottages Character Cottages is a distinctive, full service holiday lettings business, with a focus on letting and managing fabulous country homes. Website: www.character-cottages.com Tel: 0844 870 8532 Email: email@example.com Cotswold Farm Park Cotswold Farm Park was the first Rare Breeds farm to open to the public. A Total Countryside Experience in the Heart of the Cotswolds. Guiting Power. Website: cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk Tel: 01451 850307 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Coach and Horses, Longborough A Cotswold village pub offering open fires, good food and award-winning Donnington ales brewed just a couple of miles away. Longborough. Tel: 01451 830325 Email: email@example.com The Dial House Hotel & Restaurant The Dial House Hotel demonstrates the best blend of traditional and
modern to bring you the ultimate country hotel experience. Bourton on the Water. Website: www.dialhousehotel.com Tel: 01451 822244 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Fox Inn, Great Barrington The Fox Inn is in the Prettiest Pub Setting in the Cotswolds on the Banks of the River Windrush. Bar Snack Menu, Riverside Dining, Traditional C17th Bar with local Ales, Ciders & Juices. Great Barrington. Website: www.foxinnbarrington.com Tel: 01451 844385 Email: email@example.com The Fox Inn, Broadwell The Fox is a friendly, family pub offering traditional pub food with beer garden, ideal for couples and families. Broadwell. Tel: 01451 870909 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Halfway House, Kineton The Half Way House is 17th Century Inn serving good traditional food, using local ingredients, and fine local ale. Kineton. Website: www. thehalfwayhousekineton.co.uk Tel: 01451 850344 The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington The Lamb Inn at Great Rissington is one of the Cotswolds’ most welcoming country inns. Great Rissington Website: www.thelambinn.com Tel: 01451 820388 Email: email@example.com The New Inn, Willersey The New Inn is a lovely pub with plenty to do and has a games room & skittle alley! Traditional village pub, Function room, Donnington Ales. Willersey. Website: www.newinnbroadway.co.uk Tel: 01386 853226 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Plough Inn, Ford Sitting in the hamlet of Ford, this popular 16th Century Inn is renowned for its excellent menu and fine Donnington ales. Ford. Website: www.theploughinnatford.co.uk Tel: 01386 584215 Email: email@example.com The Snowshill Arms, Snowshill The Snowshill Arms is a 13th Century pub, situated in the pretty, tranquil village of Snowshill. Beer garden, Function room, Donnington Ales, Children’s play area. Snowshill. Tel: 01386 852653 Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa For somewhere to relax, to work, a place to celebrate or to combine all these things, Wyck Hill is the perfect venue. Stow on the Wold. Website: www.wyckhillhousehotel.co.uk Tel: 01451 831936 Email: sales.wyckhillhouse@ bespokehotels.com Hope Private Hire: Taxi Service A reliable, punctual service available 24 hours a day Airport Transfers, Castles, Races, SeaPort Transfers, Gardens and Tours of the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds. Website: www.hopeprivatehire.com Tel: 01451 820778 Mobile: 07585308838 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Finest Dining in the Cotswolds At Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa is a luxury Country House set within 100 acres of grounds. This absolute haven is the perfect location to dine whilst enjoying our breathtaking views over the Cotswold’s and the majesty that is Windrush Valley. Offering the highest in hospitality and service our Fine Dining Restaurant & Conservatory, boasting a 2 AA Rosette Award is intimate & traditional in style, and our Head Chef Mark David Jane specialises in creating contemporary cuisine using locally sources ingredients - his skills are a welcome culinary treat for residents and locals alike Lunch 12.00 - 2.30pm Daily from £15.95 per person Dinner 7.00 - 9.30pm Daily from £35.95 per person Wyck Hill House is open all day for Coffee, Light Snacks or make your booking and join us Full Afternoon Tea
Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa
Burford Road, Stow-on-the-Wold, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, GL54 1HY T: 01451 831 936 E: email@example.com W: www.wyckhillhousehotel.co.uk
Cotswold Homes Issue 5 (Summer Edition)