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VILLAGER The

and Town

Issue 15 - May 2014

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

Inside this issue

Win Tickets

to the Battle Proms Concert

Revision Tips

for students and parents

Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People

Bourn, Comberton, Grantchester, Trumpington, Toft, Hardwick and all surrounding villages every month

ur Yo EE y FRcop


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Message from the Editor: I am delighted to be taking over as Editor of The Villager magazine, an award winning community publication which reaches around 60,000 of you throughout Beds and Cambs - and not just because I can gaze out at a lovely view of the old Potton Market Square from my desk. The saying ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ certainly seems to apply to the magazine and I shall not be sweeping in with the proverbial broom as clearly, The Villager works very well and the advertisers would vouch for that. I do hope, however, to gradually introduce some more local features to the various issues we produce across the counties and explore new areas alongside the excellent writers and local contributors we already have on board. If there is anything you would like to see included in the magazine, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Likewise, if you have any articles of local interest in your area, I would be delighted to hear from you. This month we have a history of basket making and straw plaiting in the region, a new travelogue by aspiring journalist Melanie Ridley, and a heart-warming story from a couple who have fostered through Alliance Foster Care. So enjoy this spring edition of the magazine! You can contact me at editor@villagermag.com or telephone me at the office.

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Contents

Catherin

Buying and Selling Houses the Savvy Way.................................4

Animal Know-How...................................................................19

Win Tickets to The Battle Proms Open Air Concert......................6

Realistic Revision for Students and Parents..............................20

Water, Water Everywhere...........................................................9

Book Review............................................................................23

Where There’s a Will.................................................................10

Puzzle Page..............................................................................24

Cambridge Sunblinds Supporting Local Charities.....................12

What’s On.................................................................................26

Fun Quiz...................................................................................12

Prize Crossword........................................................................28

I’m Fine, I’m His Common Law Wife..........................................14

Last Month’s Crossword Solution and Winners.........................30

Alliance Foster Care..................................................................16

The Game of Golf......................................................................31

7,000 copies delivered free of charge in the following areas: Barrington, Barton, Bourn, Caldecote, Caxton, Comberton, Grantchester, Hardwick, Harston, Haslingfield, Papworth and Toft (We also have over 100 distribution points, including pubs, garages, most shops, post offices and Bar Hill Tesco)

Editor - Catherine Rose Editorial - Jonathan Vernon-Smith, Pippa Greenwood, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, Fiona McLeman, Catherine Rose, RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch, Alison Runham, Bruce Edwards and Adrienne Engleman

Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 nigel@villagermag.com www.villagermag.com

Advertising Sales - Justine Miller- 07905 063211 justine@villagermag.com

Disclaimer - All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

Photography - Smileus Design and Artwork - Design 9 Tel 07762 969460


Three Counties Radio

Buying and selling houses the savvy way! By Jonathan Vernon-Smith

They say that death of a loved one and divorce are the top two most stressful experiences in your life. Well number three must be moving house! Anyone who has moved will remember the stomach churning worry and the logistical nightmare that is buying and selling houses. However, there are some things you can do to not only make the process easier, but also demonstrate that you’re a savvy consumer. Here are my top tips: When you decide that you want to move (please really do make sure you do as there’s nothing as unfair as a seller who changes their mind when emotions and money have been spent), assess the market. Is it a buyers or a seller’s environment? At the moment, property prices in most areas are increasing, which for sellers is great, but means buyers are having to dig deeper into their pockets to secure a deal. During tough economic times, property prices tend to fall which means a savvy buyer can bag a bargain. Always get at least three good, reputable, local agents round to value your house. Ask them for a sensible price at which to market your property and ask them what they will do to get those prospective buyers through the door. Always establish their fee and NEVER agree to pay any money upfront. Always ensure that you pay their fee on completion of a deal and for goodness sake, haggle! If one of the agents is prepared to market the property for a 1% fee as opposed to the other two who want 1.5%, why would you even consider paying more? Get them to agree to match the other agent’s fee. If they’re not prepared to reduce their fee, then they’re not hungry enough for their commission and will not try hard enough to find a buyer. Look at their pictures on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla to ensure that they make other houses and flats look nice and ensure their descriptions are nicely written. Generally it’s better to sell your property before you agree to buy somewhere. Ultimately until you know how much you can achieve for your property, you don’t really know how much you can afford to spend on another. You should stipulate to your estate agents though that any buyer will afford you reasonable patience while you find somewhere to buy. Always employ the services of a totally independent mortgage advisor with access to all companies and who is prepared to recommend the best mortgage for you and NOT for them. You will find that most estate agents will try to persuade you to use the services of their own conveyancing solicitor. I personally do not like the idea of this. To me, it’s a complete conflict of interest (particularly if both the buyer and seller use the same solicitor). You need a legal advisor who is completely independent and looking out for your interests, not someone who is under pressure from an estate agent to hurry up and complete a sale. My advice is to ask friends and family members who have moved recently to recommend a good conveyancing solicitor to you. Also, remember that you should get some different quotes for this service and never be afraid to haggle with them. When it comes to you putting in an offer for the house of your dreams, you will need to again assess the market environment you’re working within. If the market is good and there are not many properties available, but lots of buyers competing, then it’s normally better to go in with a high offer on the basis that marketing of the property is ceased immediately. In a falling market, then a cheeky, low offer may just bag you a bargain. One final piece of advice I would like to share with you, is to be open and honest with people. Sadly property deals in this country can be messy, unpleasant affairs. However, I do not think we should sink to the levels of others. Be upfront with both your buyers and the vendors of the property you’re buying and treat them in the way you would like to be treated. Always ask to meet both parties so they get to know you and find it easier to also be transparent. Remember, once you’ve accepted a deal, to mess people around is utterly unacceptable.

Jonathan Vernon-Smith not only offers you his consumer advice here but you can listen to The JVS Show tackling your consumer problems every weekday morning from 9am. 4

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www.cambridgesunblinds.co.uk To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261122

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COMPETITION

WIN a pair of tickets

to The Battle Proms Open Air Picnic Concerts The Perfect Summer Celebration for 2014! The Battle Proms are back for another explosive season at stunning locations around the country, including Burghley House in Lincolnshire (Saturday 5 July) and Hatfield House in Hertfordshire (Saturday 19 July). These stately settings provide the perfect backdrop for a summer celebration with music, fireworks, Spitfire, cannons and cavalry! In addition to a full orchestral programme of sublime classical music, these unique open-air picnic concerts feature a carefully choreographed and highly emotive Spitfire aerial display and stunning firework finale. This year the thrilling and ever popular mounted skill-at-arms display by an expert cavalry troop will be carried out in WW1 regalia to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, just one of many elements in the 2014 programme that will pay homage to this important historical anniversary. Battle Promenaders will also be treated to the Battle Proms signature piece – Beethoven’s Battle Symphony – performed as he intended with the full complement of 193 live firing cannon providing a thunderous percussion! Conducted by Douglas Coombes and performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, the programme will also include soul-stirring classical favourites suited to the grandeur of the historic settings. From Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (which also gets the ‘Battle Proms treatment’ of live cannon fire) to a sing-along finale packed with favourites such as Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

Much loved Songs of Praise presenter and celebrated compère, Pam Rhodes will be hosting the event, there will be a virtuoso performance of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 as young clarinettist Jordan Black makes his first Battle Proms appearance. We are delighted to welcome back superb soprano Denise Leigh who will perform enchanting arias before bringing the finale to life - and the crowd to their feet – as the spectacular firework display lights up the summer sky. Widely regarded as the most exciting summer proms concerts in the country, these are events that fans return to year after year, to enjoy a romantic evening as a couple, a night out with friends or for a significant celebration. For more information, or to book tickets for these spectacular events, visit www.battleproms.com or call on 01432 355 416. The Villager Magazine is delighted to announce we have 6 pairs of tickets to give away to either of the Battle Proms! To enter the draw simply send your name, address and email address to: Battle Proms Competition Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Deadline for Entries Friday 6th June 2014. The winners will be drawn at random.

2011 Spitfire - Darren Harbar

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Garden

Water, water, everywhere By Pippa Greenwood www.pippagreenwood.com A water-feature adds magic to any garden. The sound of tinkling water and the movement of light on its surface can be just the finishing touch you need either for a patio or for a much larger garden. There’s a plentiful choice of water-features of all shapes, styles, and sizes; but before you commit yourself, what are the main points to bear in mind? First, position. For moving water, your feature will use an electric pump, so there has to be a powerpoint nearby – something often overlooked. Do you want an eye-catching centrepiece for a formal garden, or just the music of running water as the soundtrack to your alfresco Sunday lunch? In either case, you need to consider carefully the appropriate position. Water-features can turn bright green in summer due to the build-up of algae. You can go a long way towards preventing this by positioning them away from direct sunlight. Make sure they’re well away from deciduous trees, too, as falling leaves will clog everything up. For smaller spaces you’re best off with a selfcontained feature. There are lots of lovely ones available such as terracotta or glazed pot stacks with the water continuously pumped from one container to another, so you’ll only need to top it up in the hottest weather. Spouts and fountains are great fun. A spitting fish, frog, or gargoyle adds a touch of art – or humour – while oxygenating a pool, reducing algae and keeping the pond-life happy. If you want moving water but perhaps have toddlers, a millstone with a low, centrally-positioned jet is both beautiful and safe. Plants are integral to any pond. Surface-floating plants such as waterlilies not only look gorgeous but their leaves also shade the water – again, reducing algae. Waterlilies need still water, so are

best avoided if you have a fountain; but a single spitting feature at one end of the pool shouldn’t create too much turbulence. Plants around the edges of a pools and ponds are called marginals and do best in shallower water or boggy ground. Use plenty: they look gorgeous, they hide the liner and they’re a haven for wildlife. Marginals to consider include yellow-flowered marsh marigold (caltha palustris); white-flowered bog arum (calla palustris); miniature reed-mace (typha minima); pale blue water forget-me-not (myosotis scorpioides); and purple-bloomed water and bog iris (eg iris laevigata). You’ll need about two plants per metre. For a more formal look choose shapely rushes or ferns. Water-features attract wildlife, and in summer you might be visited by dragonflies or mayflies. Birds may also come to drink and bathe. And even a small pond needs a safe exit-route in case hedgehogs pop by for a drink and tumbles in. A shallow beach of pebbles should do the trick. If your feature has a sizeable surface, net it in the autumn to catch falling leaves. Garden netting stretched taut is ideal. Remove it as necessary to tip off the leaves. Left in the water they’ll both clog the pumps and produce methane, which is toxic. In winter, don’t let the water-feature freeze up. If extreme cold is forecast smaller features are best emptied, and the pump cleaned and stored in the shed. Fish need an ice-free area on the surface or they’ll be killed by methane building up under the ice. Floating a football on the surface helps. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood.com for ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ for the AskPippa Q&A ervice, Nemaslug, natural pest controls and lots more besides!

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Finance

Where There’s a Will… By Debbie Singh-Bhatti

Whether you are old or young, married or single, rich or poor, you really ought to make a will! If you don’t, the only way to divide up your property after death will be according to the Law of Intestacy – and the result may not be to your liking! For example, if you are married, your other half may not automatically get everything. Brothers, sisters, parents and children may also inherit. And if you are an unmarried couple, you could be classed as a single person and your surviving partner could receive nothing. If a parent, consider who you would like to look after your children in the event of your death. For single parents or unmarried parents living together, a valid will that nominates guardians is invaluable. If no one knows your wishes, the court will decide on the future care of your children. A will gives single people the chance to have their estate divided amongst friends, relatives or charities, and even if you have made a will already it is a good idea to review and possibly update it, to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. Making a will is the one and only way to make sure your wishes are carried out after your death. There are several choices available when making a will. The ‘Do It Yourself’ option can be completed with the aid of a ‘Will Pack’ available from stationery

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shops or online. Though relatively cheap, this option offers no advice, so the will may not accurately reflect your wishes and best fit your circumstances. Professional bodies such as banks and solicitors offer will writing services. Typically, a representative will take down your instructions and draft a will accordingly. The skill and qualifications of individuals may vary, so check they are properly trained. Finally, you could use a professional will writer. Most firms send a specially trained person to your home to record your instructions. Your will is then drafted by someone qualified in will writing. Will writing firms are generally covered by professional indemnity insurance, and are members of a professional will writing body such as the Institute of Professional Will Writers. The cost to make a will depends on the complexity of your requirements. A simple single or mirrored will typically cost around £150 to £200, whereas more complex wills may be between £400 and £800. The original signed copy is the only legally binding version and if it gets lost, stolen or damaged it will be worthless- so keep it in a safe place! Tell your friends and family that you’ve made a will - but not necessarily what’s in it – and let them know how to find it.

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Local News

Cambridge Sunblinds

Supporting Local Charities Cambridge Sunblinds are very grateful for the support of our customers over the last few years. As everyone knows the economy has been difficult, and without our loyal customers we would not have survived during the last few challenging years. With this in mind we have decided that we would like to give back to the local community, so over the next few months we will contribute £1.00 for every blind and pair of curtains we sell this year to local charities. Each month we will be supporting a different local charity. Our staff are all excited to find out each day how many blinds/curtains have been sold to contribute towards the Charity. We wanted to support Star Throwers of Wymondham, a cancer support charity dedicated

to caring for people affected by cancer, in February we raised £613. We wish them every success, and commend them on the brilliant work that they do. Dr H Mannings, Star Throwers, said; “We are extremely grateful for your kindness and promise your wonderful donation will be directed towards continually improving the support and service we offer to improve the wellbeing of all those who cross our path. We are sure that in years to come you will be able to look back with pride that you helped us grow as a charity which will undoubtedly help many cancer sufferers and their families..” Our charity for March is Remember Ryan – Meningitis Research and in April Nelsons Journey

Fun Quiz - Red, White and Blue 1. Who wrote the novel The Hunt For Red October? 2. From which European country does Blue Nun wine originate? 3. Which of the following is not a character in the film Reservoir Dogs?... Mr. Red, Mr. White or Mr. Blue? 4. Which TV series was based on a character who is shot and killed in a 1950 crime film called The Blue Lamp? 5. In a famous scene from the James Bond film Dr. No, is the bikini that Urusula Andress is wearing red, white or blue? 6. A witch called Jadis, also known as the White Witch, features in which series of novels? 7. Are Viagra pills red, white or blue? 8. On which planet would you find the Great Red Spot? 9. White pudding is similar to black pudding, but what ingredient is missing? 10. What is the most common colour to appear on world flags, appearing on the national flags of approximately three quarters of the countries in the world?... Red, white or blue? 1. Tom Clancy 2. Germany 3. Mr. Red 4. Dixon Of Dock Green 5. White 6. The Chronicles Of Narnia 7. Blue 8. Jupiter 9. Blood 10. Red

Before

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After

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Cambridgeshire Foot Clinic Podiatry/Chiropody Yvonne Siudak

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www.yourfootclinic.co.uk Also Bedfordshire Foot Clinic Tel: 01767 681 704

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Family Law

It’s fine, I’m his common law wife I’ve got rights against him, haven’t I? Many couples live together sharing their finances under the same roof and under the mistaken assumption that they own a share of the house and that they have rights if they separate. But in short, there is no such thing as the common law wife. An unmarried couple who live together do not have the same rights if the relationship ends as they might do on divorce if they were married. For example, on divorce, spouses have the right to ask for pension sharing orders as well as other arrangements with pensions. An unmarried couple have no rights to ask for a share of pension. Also, a spouse has the right to ask for spousal maintenance. An unmarried couple have no such rights. If a couple own property together, they will each have rights in respect of that property, provided it is jointly owned. There may be an argument as to whether the equity should be divided equally or in other shares. If the property is in one of the couple’s sole name, the other may have no rights at all even if they have been paying towards the household expenses. To make matters more complicated it might be possible to claim that the non owning party has acquired some rights over the property if they can prove that they have contributed to the house and that the property was intended to be held jointly either by things

that were said or done or promised or inferred. It gets more complicated if the couple have children. It is possible to bring a financial claim against the other party on behalf of the children. The claim might be for child maintenance, either through the Child Support Agency and possibly the Court. It is also possible to apply to the Court for money to help meet children’s costs, such as school fees or child care expenses. At worse, the court could order that a property is provided to the parent with care of the children, which will probably be returned to the other parent when the children are grown up. If you are thinking of moving in with someone, why not take advice to find out what rights you do or don’t have and to see if it would be a good idea to draw up an agreement about who is going to pay for what and what will happen if the relationship ends. If you are already living with someone it’s not too late to find out where you stand and whether there are things you might want to do to protect your position. And if you are already separated, it may be a legal minefield but sensible legal advice can help you get out of the mess amicably with your ex.

Fiona McLeman Tel: 07894 095775 www.fmfamilylaw.co.uk

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Dedicated support for clients in relationship breakdown:

• • • • •

Separation Financial Settlements Change of Name Prenuptial Agreements Mediation

• • • • •

Divorce Living together agreements Adoption Children issues Collaborative family law

Fiona McLeman Family Law is accredited by Resolution and the Solicitors Regulation Authority as a Specialist in Family Law. For a free initial consultation contact Fiona:

fiona@fmfamilylaw.co.uk, 07894095775, www.fmfamilylaw.co.uk Regus House, 1010 Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne CB23 6DP Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Alliance Foster Care Based in Northampton, Alliance Foster Care covers a wide area that includes Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Working with local authorities and foster parents, they provide supportive homes for children who have been taken into care within a time frame that can be anything from a few days to several years. They also run various events for carers and their families from activity days and trips out to pantomimes and coffee mornings. Catherine Rose went to meet an experienced foster couple to find out about their experience. Lesley and Hugh Minty, who live near Bedford, have been fostering through Alliance Foster Care for a decade and are currently caring for two small girls: sisters aged two and a half and four who have been with them since December 2013. Having had four children of their own (now well into adulthood), their involvement with the company came about after Lesley’s mum died very suddenly and she felt that the time was right for a career change. Previously working in a school, she had always warmed to children seen as challenging and a close friend suggested she might take to fostering. The friend worked for Alliance Foster Care so Lesley had an initial chat with them and “was sold”. “It was good to have a personal recommendation” says Hugh “and when our friend had a problem with her foster child’s school, we were very impressed that someone from Alliance Foster Care got there before she did.” The couple went through an initial assessment process which normally takes a few months but despite having to answer lots of questions and supply references, they did not find it daunting. Lesley says: “It was all very relaxed and it gave us an opportunity to think about our parenting, the impact on us and our children, and how we would approach fostering.” At the time, the couple’s youngest daughter was eleven, and Lesley and Hugh were impressed with the fact that Alliance Foster Care goes to great lengths to include the foster family’s birth children in all their activities, even sending them a card and voucher at birthdays and Christmas. “The Birth Children’s Support Group means that their voices are heard” explains Lesley. Once the Minty’s had decided to go ahead, they attended an introductory training course ‘Skills to Foster’ which was based at Grafham Water and “included a nice lunch” says Leslie. There they

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by Catherine Rose

met staff and four or five other couples who were starting out in fostering like themselves and who they have kept in touch with. Alliance Foster Care offers a comprehensive support programme with regular support group meetings, activities during every school holiday and a 24/7 telephone helpline. Hugh and Leslie describe the agency as having “a friendly, inclusive atmosphere”. “You always see people you know at events as people tend to stay with the agency” says Leslie. The Minty’s are short term foster carers which means they are often called on for respite and emergency situations. Once, they had to take in a baby at short notice and Hugh needed to dash to the supermarket for emergency provisions. “You need to be flexible” says Hugh “as you can be caring for a child for three months or three years.” Their first fostered child was a girl of three and a half, who has now been adopted, followed by a boy who was also three and half when he came to them. They then looked after a brother and sister who exhibited challenging behaviour and had come to them in an emergency. Despite the fact they clearly have admirable parenting skills, Leslie and Hugh are never on their own as they are constantly working with the professional team surrounding the child which includes their support worker, teachers, health visitors, child psychologists and paediatricians. “Our support worker Harriet is brilliant” says Leslie. “She always goes above and beyond what is necessary.” Alliance Foster Care also have someone in place whose job is to work alongside the foster parents and child’s school and will attend Personal Educational Plan (PEP) meetings if the child has special educational needs. There is an ongoing training programme with courses and workshops by specialists on everything from trauma and attachment to managing challenging behaviour. The training links into an appraisal system and there is an independent annual review which then goes to a fostering panel. “It is not bureaucratic and very child focused” explains Hugh “with the emphasis on helping the child to grow and develop.” When asked about the rewards of fostering, Leslie doesn’t hesitate to say how she always feels valued and explains how when their second child arrived,

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Lesley and Hugh Minty Fostering through Alliance Foster Care for over a decade

he was incredibly anxious, unable to manage his emotions and didn’t trust anyone. As time went on, although he still had a number of difficulties, he attended school regularly and came to enjoy it, and he joined Boys Brigade. “You could see his self-esteem rising” says Leslie. Although Hugh and Leslie both knew that he would move on, they felt that he had been prepared for the next step in his life journey. Alliance Foster Care gives a lot of support when the time comes for a child to be handed over and

the couple have stayed in touch with their foster children. Leslie says: “I feel blessed and honoured that we can still be a part of these children’s lives.” Alliance Foster Care is an independent fostering agency that provides children in care with high quality foster placements. The agency has been described as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, meeting or exceeding all National Fostering Standards. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you can visit their website at www.alliancefostercare.co.uk or telephone them on 01604 879373.

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Visit the classic Shuttleworth Collection. Over fifty unique and mostly original airworthy aeroplanes, vintage cars and motorcycles. Find admission prices and opening times on our website. Our special events, airshows, and family entertainment run throughout the year, with airshows from May-October. Summer 2014 events now available on our website. Book online or by telephone.

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Pets

Animal Know-How Special homes for special animals By adopting an animal from the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch, you can enjoy the wonderful feeling that you’ve given a special home to an animal that needs it. Most of the animals in our care have had a difficult start in life, having been victims of cruelty or neglect. For that reason we need to find special homes, with special people, who can help our pets to learn what it’s really like to be in a loving, caring environment. That’s why we work really hard to find each adopter the right pet. Animals that come into our care often require a period of rehabilitation before they’re ready to be re-homed. We have a team of lovely volunteers who look after them in their own homes for as long as it takes – sometimes just a few weeks, other times much longer. When we believe they’re ready, we’ll observe their behaviour and give them a health check – this helps us match their needs to a suitable person or family. Many of the animals in our care have had a tough time so it’s very important that their next home is the right one and a home for life. That’s why we ask anyone who’s thinking of re-homing from us to fill in an application form (via the website or we can fill it in for you) before being interviewed by one of our re-homers. We find this is the best way to learn more about you and help you to choose the right pet. We carry out a home visit for all animals and in some cases might suggest minor changes that help ensure your home is as pet friendly as possible. We’ll also call or visit afterwards to make sure you and your new pet are adjusting well to your new life together. We really believe there is a home to suit every animal in our care. Sometimes it just takes a little time to find the perfect home. To view some of the animals in our care needing a forever home – look out for

our re-homing posters which are displayed in various shops and vets throughout the county, or go to the website listed below. Adopt an animal…. enhance your life.

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ANIMAL KNOW-HOW is one of a eries of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch www.rspca.org.uk/local/bedfordshire-northbranch

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Time of Year

Realistic Revision

For Students (and Parents!) By Alison Runham (www.alison.runham.co.uk) This month, thousands of students will start study leave in preparation for exams. Ideally, all their work is up to date, they’ve been revising as they go and their parents are confident that their child is well prepared; everyone is calm. But in the real world, students and parents may be panicking, with no idea how to structure all this ‘free’ time or how much revision is enough. So here are tips to help students - and parents - make the most of study leave.

Students

Plan • Be clear about the time, date, structure and content of your exam. Before buying a revision book, check carefully to make sure it’s specific to your course – there are often several versions, each focussing on a different examining board or topic, particularly in Literature and History where there may be many topic or text options. • Make a realistic timetable. Try to vary subjects throughout the day and week, but also consider exam dates – initially, put more emphasis on the subjects coming up first. Factor in other commitments and longer breaks, plus any unfinished work (just

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doing what’s necessary for assessment or revision). • Don’t kid yourself you can revise with the TV on. You can’t. Revise somewhere peaceful, without distractions - leave your mobile elsewhere and turn off your TV and laptop (or block social media sites). Only use them at break times. • Pace your work, allowing time for unexpected delays and particularly tough topics. Organise • Collate everything on a topic in one place, and group related topics together. • Mix old topics with new, and easy with difficult; save the easiest and most recent for the beginning of the day as a confidence boost, or the end, when you’re tired. • Have a specific target for each session – ‘I will revise osmosis’ is too woolly, but ‘I will summarise osmosis down to one A4 page’ ensures you’re doing something with a

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measurable outcome. • Keep sessions short - around 30 minutes – then take a short, strictly-timed break. After four or five sessions, have a longer break (e.g. an hour for lunch or watching TV). Tips for Better Revision Passively reading through everything you’ve ever written will not work. Effective revision is active; you need to engage with the material. Here’s how: Note-taking helps you to focus, make sense of your reading and pull your ideas together, in words and ways you understand. This process of sifting and summarising is a great revision method in itself, and reducing your notes to a card or one A4 page makes them portable and easily digestible. Use colours, highlighting, underlining, tables, patterned notes, bullet points, mind maps or diagrams. Why? Read on. Engage Your Senses Taking notes in this way makes good use of your visual memory. In the exam, you’re far more likely to visualise that spider diagram you did, with a summary on each fluorescent leg and underlined keywords, than to visualise a closely written page of one-colour, linear notes. You can also try using sticking post-it notes in places where they will catch your eye often, or make a timeline or note ‘washing line’ to string across your room. Make good use of your auditory sense too record key phrases and equations; march around the room first whispering facts, then increasing volume until you’re shouting them. You’ll be amazed how well they stick. Use helpers Get together with friends; this can make revision more fun and help you fill in gaps or understand a topic you find tricky. Make question cards and ask your parents to play Trivial Pursuit with you. Practice answering the type of question you will get in the exam. Gather relevant facts and write an outline for essay answers, or design a multiple-choice quiz. Beware the Internet It can be useful, but some websites feature worryingly inaccurate, highly unhelpful quizzes and fact sheets that have been uploaded by students. Stick to reputable ones where materials are contributed by teachers, e.g. BBC’s Bitesize.

Parents & Helpers Don’t impose your own anxieties and ambitions - they have their own. Hide your anxieties and reassure them that exams are an important step, but not the end of everything. Reminding them about their brother’s 6 A* GCSEs or 10 hour revision sessions only adds to the pressure. Don’t belittle their worries – listen to them. Reassure them that your affection for them isn’t dependent on exam results. Don’t expect them to work every waking hour – it’s not efficient. Brains need time to sort and assimilate information. Make sure they get enough rest and relaxation, and consider treating them to new stationery and favourite snacks for break time. Show an interest - and make it a positive one. If your only input is to nag them to ‘come off the computer and do some work’, it’s unlikely to encourage them (and they may be using a revision website). Be an active helper – Test them on facts, play quiz games or time them as they do practice questions. Pre-arrange a treat for when the exams are over.

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Let us help you get your business off to a flying start VILLAGER The

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Books

BOOK REVIEW

By Bruce Edwards

LADY BETTE and the Murder of Mr THYNN N A Pickford Pub: Wiedenfeld & Nicolson h/b £20 ISBN 978 0297 87085 2 At first glance this would appear to be an intriguing fictional historical novel, and in some ways reads as such, but no, a quote from the blurb offers us this: ‘the true story of a scandalous marriage and a sensational murder in late seventeenth-century London’. Hence it is a factual and deeply fascinating account of the mores of the social world of its time. Who today would countenance the marriage of a fourteen year old heiress Lady Bette - merely to bolster the fortunes of a despicable ‘gentleman’? This is no less than the Mr Thynn of the title. Using set piece locations as stepping stones, chapter by chapter, Pickford takes us on a journey of exploration into the world of Charles II and the devious machinations of the fanatical figures of the day. We can easily develop a fondness for young Bette with her ability to work out her own salvation despite the overwhelming selfishness of her treacherous grandmother, the Dowager Countess Howard, and we may be forgiven for saying ‘serves you right’ when three assorted villains carry out a devious plan to assassinate Mr Thynn. There’s a colourful Count behind the plot - somehow he escapes justice but the others . . . we follow their demise in chilling detail. A marvellous and accurate ‘history without tears’ whodunit. Suggestion and queries to: writerselect@gmail.com. We’re always happy to consider specific titles for review, though without obligation. Can’t find a title? E-mail your details and we’ll try to help.” Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Easy Suduko

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Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzles. 24


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n O s ’ t Wha 1 May Little Paxton Gardening Club 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Members £1, Visitors £2 including refreshments Speaker will be Jane Buist of Penny Cross Plants talking to us about Salvias and how to keep them flourishing from year to year. Janet supplies the World Garden of Lullington Castle. Plants will be on sale. 2 & 16 May St Neots Library Knitting Group 1-4pm Meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. 3 May Craft Fair 9.30am-4pm St Ives Free Church Local people selling hand-made crafts at very reasonable prices. Held on the first Saturday of each month. Charity tombola and free entry. For more details visit http://www.saintscrafters.blogspot.com 4, 11, 18 & 25 May Kingfisher Church 10.30am Little Paxton Primary School Every Sunday - all welcome. Services include children’s groups and a crèche. Refreshments served. Tel: 01480 214894 Web: www.kingfisherchurch.co.uk 7 May Poor Little Belgium 7pm for 7.30pm The Comrades Club, Godmanchester, PE29 2AY The Cambridgeshire branch of the Western Front Association is pleased to present a talk by John Chester about the role of and experiences of Belgium on the Great War. Non-members most welcome. Web: www.westernfrontassociation.com 7, 14, 21 & 28 May Tots, Tea & Chat 10.50am-12 noon St James’ Church, Little Paxton Drop-in session for children and their carers. 10 May The Beautiful Bluebells of Brampton Wood 10.30am Brampton Wood Car Park, Grafham Road, Brampton (GR TL 184698) Suggested donations Adults £2, Children free The Huntingdonshire Local Group of the Wildlife Trust invites you to come and experience the delights of a carpet of bluebells in this ancient woodland. You are welcome to share this enchanting scene by participating in one of two guided walks they are offering this year. George Cottam, Brampton Wood Warden, will lead the walks. Please park in the Trust car park. Tel: George 01480 450809

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10 May Organ and Soprano Recital 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Huntingdon Admission on the door £5, Concessions £4 By David and Carol Shippey. This historic Victorian organ, built by the Hull firm of Forster and Andrews (using some earlier pipework) will showcase a broad range of contrasting musical styles. Enjoy a worthwhile and inspiring evening in this beautiful 14th century church. Tel: John Dillistone - Recitals Organiser 01480 455573 10 May Fashion Show 7.30pm The Sacred Heart Church Hall, Needingworth Road, St Ives Tickets £5 including a glass of wine and nibbles Male and Female fashion for all ages by M & Co. All welcome. Proceeds – Holy Land projects. Tickets: Kathy Bishop 01480 214524 10 May The Combertones 8pm Comberton Village Hall Tickets £7 (in advance or on the door) An evening of classic jazz with local band The Combertones. Bring your own drinks/glasses. Teas on sale. Proceeds towards Comberton Scouts international trip to Belgium in Summer 2014. Tel: Liz Bland 01223 263040 for tickets Email: combertones@btinternet.com 10 & 11 May Art Exhibition 10.30am-4.30pm Hemingford Abbots Village Hall Hemingford Art Club Art Exhibition. Works of art are for sale and original. Also on sale will be cards featuring original and hand painted work. 14 & 28 May Night Knitters 7-9pm St Neots Library Free admission A friendly evening for those who enjoy knitting, crochet and other thread based crafts. Meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.

16 May 12 Years a Slave (15) 7pm for 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Adults £4, Concessions £3, Under 16 £2 Kimbolton Community Cinema. Tickets from Watson’s, Dixi’s Deli, Bytes Café or on the door if available. Tel: 01480 860297 for more information Web: http://e-voice.org.uk/ themandevillehallkimbolton


16 May A Victorian Country House Evening 7.30pm St James’ Church, Little Paxton Tickets £6 including refreshments Presented by members of St Neots Choral Society. Raffle. Tel: Tickets Alison Rogers 01480 215607 Email: alison.rogers7@btinternet.com

22 May St Neots & District Gardening Club 8pm St. Mary’s Church Hall, Brook Street, St. Neots Members £2.00,Non-Members £2.50 which includes refreshments and a raffle ticket Paul Hoxey talking about Cacti and Succulents. Competition is ‘One stem of a foliage plant’.

17 May Plant Sale 11am-3pm Buckden Towers Adults £2.50, Children free 20 specialist plant stalls. Free parking. Refreshments available.

25 & 26 May The St. Ives Antiques Fair Burgess Hall (One Leisure), Westwood Road, St. Ives Adults £2, Concessions £1.50 More than 45 expert antique dealers ready to give advice and offer genuine antiques at affordable prices to suit every age and pocket. There’s plenty to inspire you, including ceramics, china and porcelain, paintings and books, costume and precious jewellery, glassware, art deco and art nouveau pieces, silver, militaria and quality small furniture. Ample free car parking, wheelchair access by lift, hot and cold snacks and refreshments available. Tel: 01480 896866

17 May Music for a May Evening 7.30pm All Saints’, Haslingfield Tickets £10 Music for a May Evening with Hazel Brooks (violin) and Robin Walker (organ). Works by Vivaldi, Handel, Schmelzer, Samuel Wesley, Gläser, Pärt and Rheinberger. Tickets from the Village Shop Tel: Enquiries 01223 872190 18 May Red Cross Open Garden 1.30-5pm £4 Crosshall Manor, Eaton Ford, PE19 7GB Part of the British Red Cross (Bedfordshire division) Open Gardens events. Many parts of this lovely garden have been revamped since we last saw it. A Gorrik columned seating area overlooks two carp pools which is surrounded by urns and pots. From this position there are beautiful views across the fields. Another seating area surrounds an old tree and overlooks the terraced laws and boarders filled with flowers. The vegetable garden and Antique Barn may also be open. Parking and teas at the house. 18 May Exclusive Shopping Event at L.K. Bennett 5-8pm 1st Floor, Grand Arcade, Cambridge Tickets £10 including Fizz, nibbles and a chance to enjoy complimentary therapies 10% discount, Luxury Raffle, plus gifts and goodie bags and chat to Kuoni holidays. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lk-bennettexclusiveshopping-event-in-aid-of-the-nspccchildline-tickets-10883216995 20 May Kimbolton Flower Club 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Admission for visitors £6, including light refreshments The May meeting will be a flower arranging demonstration “A Blooming Good Read” by Gill Shanks. 21 May Huntingdonshire Family History Society 7.30-9pm Women’s Institute Centre, Waldon Road, Huntingdon Non-members welcome - £1 donation appreciatedAGM followed by Fascinating Facts from ‘The St Neots Advertiser’ during WW1 by Sue Jarrett. Web: www.huntsfhs.org.uk

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28 May Fashion Show 7.30pm Alconbury Memorial Hall Admission £3 including a glass of wine Hosted by Alconbury cum Weston WI. The evening is organised by Lincs Fashions who will be selling half price and less ladies ex-chain store - Next, M&S, BHS and many other clothes. All sizes catered for. Tickets: Judith Aylott 01480 896565 7 June Organ Recital 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Godmanchester Admission by programme on the door £7 With John Dillistone, Recitals Organiser. The Godmanchester organ is a unique example of work by the renowned Victorian organ builder, Henry Bryceson. Installed in 1859, it contains pipework similar to continental Baroque organs, inviting an eclectic programme that includes music by J.S. Bach, Sweelinck, Guilmant, Henry Smart and Samuel Sebastian Wesley. In aid of the Church Roof Appeal. 14 June Bromswold Bike Fest Start times vary. The Green Man, Leighton Bromswold No entry fee – donations suggested Bromswold Bike Fest has been awarded a Cycle Legacy grant by Cambridgeshire County Council. A group of keen cyclists from Leighton Bromswold is organising a ‘Tour de West Cambridgeshire’ with the aim to get as many people as possible from Leighton Bromswold, the surrounding villages on a bike to ride one of the planned cycle routes (2, 6, 15, 25 and 50 miles). We aim to appeal to all ages and abilities. All routes will start/finish at The Green Man, which will also be the venue for post-ride refreshments. Start times vary depending on the length of route cycled, but it is hoped that all will finish by 4.00 p.m. Charity event in aid of for Macmillan Cancer Support, Samuel Pepys Special Needs School, St Neots, and Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Tel: Carol Greed on 01480 891568 Web: www.bbf2014.co.uk

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Prize

The Villager Prize Crossword

£25

Across 1 Stove (4) 3 Confessed (8) 9 Remove (7) 10 Tall structure (5) 11 Current (12) 14 Married woman (3) 16 Smooth surface (5) 17 Perceive (3) 18 Clarifications (12) 21 Fine porcelain (5) 22 Passion (7) 23 Calamity (8) 24 Small room (4)

16th May 2014 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Name:

Tel:

Address:

Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Martin Cooper from Bigglewade For last month’s solution please visit www.villagermag.com 28

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this page and send to the address below before

Down 1 Conquer (8) 2 Devoured (5) 4 Small spot (3) 5 Road junction (12) 6 Defeats (7) 7 Terrible (4) 8 Butterfly larva (12) 12 Simple (5) 13 Private (8) 15 A swinging time? (7) 19 Small fruit (5) 20 Not alkali (4) 22 Female sheep (3)


New Decorations Interior and Exterior Painting Wallpapering

Mark Newman

Painting & Decorating m.a.newman@virgin.net

01954212342 07969650344 164 Limes Road, Hardwick Cambridge CB23 7XX To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261122

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Crossword Solution for The Villager April Edition Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Martin Cooper from Biggleswade

April’s Wildlife Competition The solution to the puzzle in the last issue of The Villager was MIGRATION derived from the initial letters of Mistle, Ivy, Ground, Robin, Adder, Thrush, Ivy, October and Nightjar. From the correct solutions, the winner, selected at random, was Natalie Bartlett (Offord Cluny), who has been sent the prize, a copy of ‘Wildlife through the Year’ signed by the author. If you did not win, this book, largely concerned with the wildlife of Bedfordshire, is available through your local bookshop (ISBN 978-1-291-66252-8) or for £9.95 + £1.80 p&p from Wildlife book, Fountains, Park Lane, Blunham, Bedford MK44 3NJ.

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Cambridge Meridian Golf

The Game Of Golf

By Adrienne Engleman - PGA Golf Professional Cambridge Meridian Golf Club 18-hole golf courses typically total to an overall par score of 72 for a complete round. For example, this could combine 4 x par-3, 10 x par4, and 4 x par-5 holes. Additionally, courses are classified according to their play difficulty, which is used to calculate a golfer’s playing handicap for a given course. A golfer’s score is usually expressed as the difference between the player’s number of strokes and the par score. Common scores for a hole also have specific terms. For example, one stroke over par (+1) is known as a “Bogey” and two strokes over par is known as a “Double Bogey”, and so on. One stroke under par (-1) is known as a “Birdie”, two strokes under par is known as an “Eagle” and three strokes under par is known as an “Albatross” (albeit a rare occurrence!). An “Ace” is a hole in one, i.e. when a golfer sinks his ball into the cup with his first stroke from the tee (albeit a very rare occurrence!). The dictionary definition of par is ‘usual’ or ‘average’. It was adopted in golf in the 1890s to mean the standard score in strokes for each hole of a given course. The term bogey originated from referring to a player’s opponent as the “Bogey Man” (an ‘evil spirit’) and the name stuck. Bogey became the score

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that a player of high amateur standard should reach, while par was the standard for professionals and championship-level amateurs. As with many terms used in golf, the exact origins are not known. However, the term birdie seems to have originated from the phrase ‘a bird of a shot’ (slang used as an exclamation that something was excellent). When used by golfers it may have implied that the ball ‘flew like a bird’ (the term has been in use since the 1910s). The terms eagle and albatross were coined as an analogy with birdie. As the score under par increases so does the size and rarity of the bird (the term eagle was first used in the 1920s and albatross became a golfing term in the 1930s). If you would like to experience your first bogey (or indeed birdie!) then May is ‘National Golf Month’ which is an initiative targeting 100,000 lapsed or new golfers. The scheme is providing opportunities to try golf (again or for the first time) at special offer prices and Cambridge Meridian Golf Club is heavily involved with various dates being available throughout the month. For more details and further information got to www.nationalgolfmonth.com and if you would like to try golf then please register at www.getintogolf.org or contact me direct on Mobile No: 07979 500199 or Email: adrienne@ cambridgegolfacademy.co.uk

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Grantchester may 14