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Issue 48 - November 2012

and Town Life


Prize Crossword See Inside

Bringing Local Business to Local People in Langford, Henlow, Stanford, Hinxworth, Caldecote, Radwell, Shillington, Upper and Lower Stondon, Gravenhurst, Holwell, Pirton, Baldock, Stotfold, Arlesey, Hitchin and Letchworth

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In this Issue


Issue 48 - November 2012


and Town Life



Prize Crossword See Inside


Through the Years


Bringing Local Business to Local People in Langford, Henlow, Stanford, Hinxworth, Caldecote, Radwell, Shillington, Upper and Lower Stondon, Gravenhurst, Holwell, Pirton, Baldock, Stotfold, Arlesey, Hitchin and Letchworth

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Competition Page


Great Prize Up For Grabs


Leon F. Jones, Katharine Sorell, Geoff Wharton, Claudia Leaf, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, Sarah Davey, James Baggott, Solange Hando, Alex Brown and Pippa Greenwood

Advertising Sales Nigel Frost

Front Cover Image Starblue

Design and Artwork Design 9 Tel 07762 969460


Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton Beds. SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122


and Town Life


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.


Prize Crossword £25 Up For Grabs!

Burning Desire........................................................................4 Wonderful Wellies..................................................................9 12 Days Christmas Challenge.................................................12 Great Wall of China................................................................12 Air Ambulance Charity..........................................................15 Choosing the Right Complementary Therapy.....................17 Gallery 1066.......................................................................... 20 Burglary Crime Prevention Advice...................................... 22 Wordsearch.......................................................................... 23 The Power of Perfume......................................................... 25 Technology Review.............................................................. 28 Leaves................................................................................... 35 Rural Ramblings...................................................................36 Children’s Page..................................................................... 38 Chevrolet Cruze SW..............................................................41 Seasonal Delights................................................................. 43 Inventions - Microwave Ovens............................................ 45 Puzzle Page..........................................................................48 Revamp It Up........................................................................50 Oven Pride............................................................................ 52 Fun Quiz................................................................................ 52 Stir It Up................................................................................56 What’s On.............................................................................58 We Will Remember Them.................................................... 61

The 3 Mousetrap winners are : Mrs N Barnes from Bedford Mrs L Houghton from Lower Stondon Mr P Taylor from Potton

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Burning Desire!

By Claudia Leaf

Boom! A firework display erupts in a cascade of colour and noise, marking summer in a tourist town. Whoosh! A rocket arcs into the night sky to celebrate a birthday, wedding or special anniversary. Nowadays there is hardly a single event – summer or winter – that doesn’t merit a pyrotechnic show at the end, complete with its crowd of spectators providing the obligatory ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. So why does November 5th still hold such a special place in our hearts? It’s a fairly safe bet to say that the original reason for Bonfire Night – to commemorate the gory end of Jacobean terrorist Guido Fawkes and his fellow plotters – isn’t really on our minds these days when we celebrate the date. November 5th is one of those important times when young and old can come together – despite the dark and the cold winter weather – to enjoy a shared experience complete with its own traditions. Central to that ritual is the bonfire itself. The attraction of fire is hard-wired into our DNA. Some historians speculate that the activities we associate with Bonfire Night are actually borrowed from much earlier, pagan traditions and the dates certainly seem to fit. The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain began on October 31st (co-incidentally our date for Halloween) and extended to the following day. At sunset on October 31st local villagers would assemble in order to build a giant bonfire, which then became the focal point of the event. The word ‘Samhain’ means “summer’s end” and communities came together both to thank the gods for the harvest and to help them face


the long, dark months ahead. Ancient people also believed it was a time for contacting – and sometimes appeasing - the spirits of dead ancestors who might lend a hand from the ‘other side’ to help the community through the challenges of winter. At the end of the celebration, each family would take a torch from the bonfire and bring it back to their home, where all fires had been deliberately extinguished the day before. These fires were then re-lit using the flame of the sacred bonfire: it was believed that if the fire went out, troubles would follow. This summer it has been interesting to observe a shadow of this practice in the rituals surrounding the Olympic torch – particularly the care that has been taken in preserving the flame throughout the national relays building up to the opening ceremony of the 2012 games. We consider that we belong to an enlightened and sophisticated society, so it is fascinating to observe the extraordinary pains taken by officials to ensure that the light originally sourced from the Temple of Hera at Olympia in Greece is not extinguished. Just as our ancient forefathers venerated the fire from the sacred Samhain bonfire, we treat the Olympic flame as a living being that must not be allowed to ‘die’ in case our hopes of success are extinguished with it. So next time you are standing round a November 5th bonfire – or even lying back in the bath, surrounded by a mass of flickering candles – you can reflect on our very human need to use fire as a bringer of hope and cheer.

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“Shillington Through the Years” Photographic Exhibition

Restored photos of Shillington through the years will be on display on Sunday, 18 November at Shillington Village Hall. The archive, which has been running since 2000, currently stands at nearly 500 exhibits, dating from the late 1890s to the mid-1960s. The images have all been supplied by residents of the village and cover a wide range of subject matters including farming, people, inns and pubs, festivals and celebrations, early general views of the village, schools, and on to later village developments. Apart from general interest at the exhibition, the archive has been used by those interested in family history aspects, and to this end, the Archive Committee has been empowered by the original picture owners to

provide mounted reprints of exhibition entries to those who would like copies. Entries from the archive have also been used to create the annual “Memories of Shillington” 2013 calendar, which will be available for sale from 18th November. If you have any photographs of the village which you consider might be of interest for inclusion in this fast expanding archive, then please do contact either Janet and Peter Watts, on 01462 712080, or e-mail:, or contact the chair of Shillington Parish Council Mrs. Sally Stapleton – e-mail: sallystapleton@ The exhibition will be open from 2pm to 5pm and light refreshments are included in the admission fee of £2.00 per person.

1. Shillington men building the road into the village, actual position not known. Believed to be late 1800s or early 1900s. Courtesy of Mrs J Hills

2. FW Palmer (Butcher) Delivery Van at Brookside, Hanscombe End Road, Shillington. Courtesy of Mr S Ashton

3. The White Horse Public House, Church Street, Shillington. c.1911 Courtesy of Mr J Granger

4. An early view of Church Street, Shillington Courtesy of Mrs J DeWick


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Wonderful wellies!

By Alex Brown

Spots, stripes, flowers or leopard print – wellington boots are no longer reserved for farmers, they’ve become a fashionable footwear essential. People have been wearing boots to keep their feet warm and dry for thousands of years. The earliest snow boots were discovered on an ancient iceman thought to be 5000 years old, and were made from bearskin, tree bark and deer pelts. Of course, the welly as we know it is named after the Duke of Wellington. He asked his shoemakers to adapt the hessian boots worn by men in the mid-18th century so that they were waterproof, and provided more protection in battle. They designed a leather boot that had a low heel and fitted closely to the leg. Meanwhile, the industrial manufacture of rubber was being developed, and an American called Henry Lee Norris founded the North British Rubber Company in Scotland. Now known as Hunter Boot Ltd, the factory made the first rubber wellingtons which became popular with farmers. Production rapidly increased during World War I, when the War Office asked Hunter to make boots that would keep the men’s feet dry in the trenches. Again in World War II, the factory supplied the boots for British forces working in flooded conditions. After the wars, wellies became popular with workers and the general public, and in the

last few years, manufacturers have taken the traditional design and given it an injection of colour and style. Anything goes these days - you can even get white wedding wellingtons! If you need a new pair of boots this winter, here is a quick round-up of what to look for: Cheaper wellies tend to be made from PVC. These are fine for occasional wear, but they can make your feet sweat and are not very hardwearing. • 100% rubber boots are more expensive, but will last longer. • Boots lined with neoprene will keep your feet really warm. • With cotton-lined boots, you can decide whether or not you need to wear socks for extra warmth. • If you have wide calves, look for wellingtons with a waterproof gusset so you can adjust the fit. • Some wellies have special treads to make them more suitable for walking long distances. • Snow boots have a thick rubber sole, a laced upper, and often a fleece collar around the top. Of course, when you get home from your walk in the wet, you’re faced with the age-old problem of getting your wellies off. Some boots fold down at the top, or have a gusset or zip to loosen them. Failing that, you can buy an inexpensive boot jack – simply wedge your heel in the jaws, tread on the base and pull!

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12 Days of Christmas Challenge to raise money for the MS Trust

Will you take on the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge to raise money for the MS Trust Staff at the MS Trust, a national charity based in Letchworth, have just launched its Christmas fundraiser where it hopes to raise £15,000 to fund its services over the Christmas period. The MS Trust needs people to sign up to take part in 12 easy fundraisers over 12 days to raise money to help people affected with MS. You can hold a brussel sprout eatathon, dress like santa, organise a carol concert or even give something up for 12 days. It really is entirely up to you what you want to do. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common disease of the central nervous system affecting young adults. Around 50 people per week are diagnosed with MS in the UK and more women then men are diagnosed. The MS Trust is a small charity based in Letchworth Garden City who provides many different services to people with MS, their family and friends. Community Fundraiser Donna Luff says “People with MS are at the heart of everything we do.


There is a huge demand for our services due to the NHS not providing information or support of this kind. The MS Trust doesn’t receive any government funding for its enquiry and information service, and so relies entirely on the support of people like you. This is why we hope people will embrace the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge” All money raised will ensure the MS Trust can continue its services helping people with MS by providing information, education, research and support for anyone affected by MS. To sign up visit or call the fundraising team on 01462 476707 to request your 12 Days of Christmas Challenge planner.

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Did you know that in 2012 the Great Wall of China more than doubled its length? After a five year survey by state archaeologists, it is now estimated to be over 20,000 km, and rising. Only 8% is reasonably well preserved but it is still considered the largest man-made structure on earth. So, can you really see it from space? Unlikely, since even the first Chinese astronaut could not confirm it. Yet, steeped in 2000 years of history and a UNESCO heritage site, the Great Wall fires up the imagination with images of invading hordes and brave soldiers fighting for emperor and country. It all started with disjointed earth defences built by warlords. When the first emperor unified China around 200 BC, all he had to do to protect his borders was connect the existing sections. Extended over time, eroded, destroyed and strengthened, much of what we see today dates back to the Ming dynasty who came to power in the 14th century, conscripting a huge labour force to build and rebuild with stone and brick. Their successors, the Manchus, did not need to breach the wall. By 1644, the peasants were starving and the gates opened by rebels. As discontinuous today as it was in the past, the wall includes natural defences such as deep gorges and cliffs alongside man-made fortifications, over 800 of them, though not all visible or accessible, in the Beijing province alone. Most visitors head for the Badaling section but north east of the capital, Mutianyu is quieter and just as spectacular, at the end of a scenic 70km drive through lush countryside sprinkled with farmhouses, meadows and orchards. Wild flowers


line the road, all purple and gold, and weeping willows dip their roots in natural springs. When the mountains begin to rise, higher, closer, excitement grows with every bend of the road. In the grand scheme of things, Mutianyu is merely a dot but beautifully restored; snaking up and down on a vertiginous ridge, it takes your breath away. Here the wall is rather special, reaching nearly eight metres in places, up to five metres across the top, with unusual perpendicular extensions, 22 towers, spaced every 100 metres or so, a tripletowered gate and crenulations on the inner and outer parapets so arrows could be shot in both directions. Arrow’s nock, bull’s horn ring, eagle flying belly up, the names of defences send shivers down your spine. Only the brave attempt the long climb to access the wall - most visitors take the cable car and save their energy for the top. A wise move, for up there it’s a rollercoaster of a trek, all steep steps and slippery slopes. Yet gazing up to the pass and the highest tower, etched into a pure blue sky, you feel on top of the world. The sun beats down, the shade is scarce but the views are fabulous; rugged mountains bristling like a dragon’s back, shadows creeping across the slopes, precipitous cliffs and spring blossom on the trees. Now and then, a gust of wind sweeps over the ancient stones and you can almost hear the clicking of armour and voices from a distant past. Far below, the tourist stalls beckon with cool drinks, pottery and Great Wall souvenirs, but on the ridge, there are no distractions, just an unforgettable panorama and 2000 years of Chinese history.

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CHRISTMAS FAYRE Saturday 17th November Sunday 18th November 10am – 4pm


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Air ambulance charity

TAKE delivery of night capable aircraft A life saving charity has taken delivery of a new aircraft which will mean they are able to treat more people who become seriously ill or injured in the eastern region. The East Anglian Air Ambulance’s (EAAA) most recent addition to its fleet heralds a new era in the evolution of the charity and helicopter emergency medical services nationally. Until now, the charity has only been able to help those who become sick or injured during the hours of daylight but this new aircraft will mean that the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic crews will be able to reach those who need urgent medical treatment during the hours of darkness. Tim Page, Chief Executive of EAAA, said: “Our move into night flying means that during the winter months when people drive to and from work in the dark, should an accident or medical emergency happen, we will be there, bringing

the hospital emergency room to them, wherever they are in East Anglia.” Peter Rosenvinge, Director of Fundraising at EAAA, said: “I am inspired by the passion and energy of the incredible volunteers and donors who support this charity. It’s the people of East Anglia who keep us flying and mean that we can reach people in their hour of need. Their efforts on our behalf continue to inspire me. Indeed it is their generosity that has made it possible for us to extend our service into the hours of darkness.” The crews have recently begun extensive training and it is expected that life-saving missions by helicopter during the hours of darkness will begin by the end of the year. For further information on the work of the East Anglian Air Ambulance visit uk or for details on how to volunteer or make a donation call 08450 669 999.

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Choosing the right therapy FROM

THE range of complementary therapies There are a wide range of complementary therapies available, but which one might be best for your condition? With such an array of complementary therapies on offer, it can be difficult to know which one might best suit your particular ailment or condition. Here’s a low-down on some of the most popular therapies and the kinds of conditions they can help: Acupuncture Acupuncture uses the insertion of fine needles into particular points in the skin. Where the needles are placed will depend on your condition. Acupuncturists believe that stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of Qi or energy (see also Traditional Chinese Medicine below). Good for: pain relief (it is sometimes used postsurgery), menstrual and menopausal problems, tendonitis, urinary problems, sports injuries Chiropractic Chiropractors work to correct dysfunction in the joints and muscles and work particularly on the spinal column, where problems such as neck and back pain can originate. Through manual treatments, such as spinal manipulation and adjustment, it can treat and help to prevent mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Good for: headaches, lower back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, Scoliosis, stress Homeopathy Homeopathy uses highly diluted substances usually given in tablet form - which help to trigger the body’s own natural system of healing. Based on the principle of treating ‘like with like’, the tablets contain minute amounts of substances, which in large doses would trigger a reaction, but in minute doses actually help to alleviate the condition. Good for: allergies, upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, hay fever, pre-menstrual syndrome, sinusitis Naturopathy Naturopathy uses a combination of natural therapies to help the body to heal itself. Therapies include diet, hydrotherapy, osteopathy, herbalism, homeopathy and exercise, which can all help the body to cleanse itself of toxins and

alleviate stress. Good for: chronic and acute conditions, such as digestive problems, chronic fatigue, hormonal problems, anxiety Osteopathy Osteopathy is almost considered mainstream these days and you can often be treated on the NHS. Working on the bones, joints and muscles, osteopathy uses manipulation, massage and light movements to holistically re-balance physical, mental and emotional problems. Good for: back pain, pregnancy-related problems, sports injuries Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) TCM works on the belief that illness is caused by disharmony (or dis-ease) in the body due to an imbalance of the flow of Qi or energy. Qi is made up of two forces, yin and yang and when one of these forces dominates, then illness occurs. A combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture is usually used. Good for: asthma and chest conditions, skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea What to expect from a consultation During the first consultation with your therapist you will be asked a lot of questions about your overall health, not just about your particular condition. This is because complementary therapists look at the body as a whole, not just one part of it. Expect to answer questions about your habits, diet, medical background and family health, as your therapist will need a full picture before they can decide on how to treat you. Remember to always consult your GP about your condition and don’t stop taking any prescribed medicine without discussing it with your GP first.

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Garden and property maintenance internal and external repairs Fencing and timber structures Environmental retaining walls Shed repairs including new felt or roof Decorating and internal repairs Tiling, bathrooms and kitchens Plastering and plaster repairs General plumbing and electrical repairs

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Decking, paving, block paving, brickwork and groundworks Hardwood decking Softwood decking Gazebos and log cabins Paving - natural stone and concrete Block paving - rectangular and antiqued Brickwork Groundwork and site clearance Our team of professional Level site tradesmen can help you transform your living and garden space. You can benefit from a softer and warmer feel using a wide range of beautiful timber, natural stone or concrete products. Existing paving

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COMES TO Gallery 1066 Fabián Pérez, one of the worlds most sought after artists, is flying into London from Los Angeles to be a guest of honour at Gallery 1066 on November 16th. Fabian will be joining customers for a champagne reception to celebrate the launch of his exclusive new collection of Canvas Editions and Original Paintings inspired by life after dark in Buenos Aires. His captivating work is characterised by a passionate style and an intoxicating atmosphere which originates from his fascinating and unusual background. His father owned bordellos and the young artist was constantly exposed to beautiful women who could seduce a man “simply by lighting a cigarette”. Today we see these “ladies of the night” exquisitely portrayed in many of Fabian’s paintings - memories of his youth and the nightlife he observed. Fabian’s stunning paintings fall into context as atmospheric representations

of forbidden sensuality and unnamed desires. Gallery Owner, Hayley Norman comments “We have been looking forward all year to have Fabian Perez in the gallery. It’s a huge accolade and we are so proud to be able to offer such an amazing experience to our clients who will meet such an International superstar. Despite his formidable reputation in the art world, his warm personality has made him a favourite with collectors and it will be an event not to be missed’ Gallery 1066 is one of the UK’s most innovative art venues. This cutting-edge art venue offers art lovers a place in which to relax and enjoy viewing an exceptional range of Original Paintings, collectable Limited Editions and Sculptures. To find out more about Gallery 1066 and its calendar of events please contact Hayley on 014362 622233 or Gallery 1066 are supporting The Garden House Hospice.

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Cambridgeshire Police Dear resident, I would like to bring to your attention that there has been a burglary in a residential property in your area. Please be extra vigilant and mindful of your home security. Most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves. In two out of ten burglaries they don’t even have to use force – they get in through an open door or window. Look at your home through the burglar’s eyes – are there places where they could break in unseen? Have you fitted strong locks on your doors and windows? Would they have to make a lot of noise by breaking glass? Reduce the risk of burglary happening to you by making sure you’ve taken these simple precautions. Look in when you’re out. Most burglaries happen when a house or flat is empty, use time switches – available from DIY shops – to turn on lights, radios and other appliances when you’re out. Don’t tempt the thief – keep all valuable items out of sight. Don’t advertise your absence when you’re on holiday, or even when out at work or shopping. Most burglars will only tackle an empty house. If you can, get a friend or neighbour to look after your home when you’re away, by collecting your post, drawing your curtains at night and generally making the place look lived in. And be prepared to do the same for them. Side Passages Fit a strong, lockable, high gate across the passage to stop a thief getting to the back of the house where they can work undisturbed. If you share an alleyway with a neighbour, ask their permission and for help with the cost. Gates and Fences Check for weak spots where a thief could get in – a low or sagging fence, or a back gate with weak lock. A thorny hedge along the boundary can act as a deterrent. But make sure that the front of the house is still visible to passers-by so that a burglar can’t work unseen. Burglar Alarms Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice. There are many systems on the market, ranging from cheaper DIY alarms to more sophisticated alarms costing hundreds of pounds. Easily installable ‘wire-free’ alarms are now available


whereby sensors fitted around the house transmit radio detection signals to a control system. These systems usually take 3-4 hours to fit. Wired alarms are cheaper but take longer – around a day – to install. Get specialist advice and a number of quotes. Consult your insurance company for companies they recommend before deciding which best suits your needs. The system should meet BS4737 (professionally installed) or BS6707 (DIY). Remember, a badly-fitted alarm can create problems in itself. Don’t install a DIY system unless you have the electrical knowledge and practical skill to do so. Be a good neighbour If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood, call the police. Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme – there are now over 130,000 in this country. Anyone can start up a Watch – contact your neighbourhood team for details, visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Neighbourhood Watch section or www. If you are burgled A secure home will reduce the chance of you getting burgled. But, if you get home and notice signs of a break-in: Don’t go in or call out – the intruder could still be inside. Go to a neighbour’s to call the police on 101. If the intruder is still in the property dial 999. Crime Prevention Advice. Cambridgeshire Police have officers trained in crime prevention – contact your local community safety unit for advice. It may be possible to arrange a survey of your home and recommend security improvements. This is a popular service – and you may want to ask for a leaflet to enable you to carry out your own survey. For a copy of Your Practical Guide to Crime Prevention contact your local Community Safety Unit.

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The Power of Perfume

By Helen Taylor

With Christmas fast approaching, many of us are turning our attention to finding the perfect gift for that special person. The one thing that always seems to spring to mind is perfume. Whether it’s a designer fragrance, a classic scent or an old favourite, there’s something about it that delights women of all ages. It may seem that you can’t go wrong with perfume, but have you ever stopped to think about what makes it so special? We’ve all felt the impact that scent can have in our lives - a momentary waft of a familiar smell can instantly evoke memories of a certain person, time, place or stage of life. Our sense of smell is so compelling that it allows us to unlock forgotten moments stored away deep within our minds in an instant. Indeed fragrance seems to have a magical ability to affect our mood - lifting our spirits, making us feel good about ourselves, as well as happy and contented. It also defines people - we remember their fragrance long after we’ve forgotten their clothes, or even their looks. This is why it’s so important to find a fragrance that you love, and to make it your own signature scent. There are thousands of perfumes on the market nowadays - fashion brands, designers and even celebrities have their own fragrances on offer, and many smell very similar to the untrained nose. But, we all seem to instantly know what we like, and what we don’t. This is because scents are categorised according to ‘notes’ - characteristics that define overall similarities. And we all, knowingly or unknowingly, tend to be drawn to a particular ‘fragrance family’. Fresh - Scents described as ‘Fresh’ often contain a blend of ‘green’ notes that are evocative of things like spring-time, citrus fruits and freshly-cut grass. The overall scent is light, clean and refreshing. Floral - Encompassing a multitude of aromas taken from flowers, this family’s fragrance is totally floral. With inspiration drawn from the scent of a single bloom, or a vast bouquet, ‘Floral’ fragrances can contain notes of rose, lily of the

valley, jasmine, cherry blossom, honey flower, violets and many more. These fragrances can be sweet or powdery. Oriental - Extravagantly exotic, ‘Oriental’ scents are often formed with notes of amber and vanilla. Known for their sensual fragrance, Orientals tend to be ‘heavier’ than other groups and are altogether more powerful fragrances. Chypre (or Woods) - Inspired by the ‘woody’ fragrance of oak, sandlewood, cedarwood and moss, this family is heavily aromatic and masculine - many of these notes are used in men’s fragrance. Patchouli, vetiver and pine lift the woody notes, for a crisp scent. Of course, perfumes are incredibly personal and what one person loves, another one loathes. It’s a great feeling to find your signature fragrance. And once you discover what elements make it perfect for you, you can buy a range of scents within that family that are different variations on the one you love. This means that your favourite fragrance can be adapted for various occasions, seasons or even for day and night. And remember, if there’s a very special event on the horizon for you - like your wedding day buy a brand new fragrance that you will forever associate with it. So, to leave a lasting impression, just find the scent that’s right for you.

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TATTOO STUDIO Black and Grey - Abstract - Biomechanical Colour - Flash - Fractal - Japanese - Lettering New School - Old School - Organica - Oriental Pointilism - Realism - Tribal

OPEN Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday - Monday (Appointment Only) Late night bookings taken (Appointment Only)

ENTRANCE THROUGH THE HAIRFACTORY 278 Hitchin Road Henlow Camp, Henlow, Befordshire SG16 6DP Facebook: FunkyBuddhaTattoo

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The Unforgettable Close Up and Cabaret Magic of Steve Dean Immerse yourselves and guests in the close up magic of Steve Dean or enjoy a Cabaret Show that includes mentalism and much more. Have you ever witnessed unexplainable events or illusions so convincing that they leave you fascinated and completely spellbound? This is Cabaret, close up mix and mingle and table magic at it’s very best. Not only enter the unbelievable world of close up professional magic that is second to none, you can now see a cabaret show that will leave you gasping, your guests enthralled and audience participation that is not only professional but will cause laughter throughout and will be something to remember for a very long time. This is ideal for any corporate or private event. Steve is a master of his craft and a member of the prestigious Magic Circle. He has had many letters of thanks and testimonials from people from all walks of life. From a small dinner party to performing on a British Cruise Liner this sort of entertainment is second to none and will give your guests unusual and fantastic entertainment that they can get involved in and will talk about for months to come. (Steve is a member of Equity with full public liability insurance). Please phone or email for details

07719 261147 • 01767 260671 email:

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Ones to watch - How tech can stop

you missing your favourite shows With very few exceptions - major sporting events, the X Factor and so on - the days when we all watched the same programmes at the same time are long gone: increasingly TV is something we record and watch later on. But what happens if you forget to record something, or something went wrong with the recording? Don’t despair, because it’s never been easier to turn back time. We’re talking, of course, about catch-up TV: the sites and services that enable you to watch programmes that have already been broadcast. The best-known service is the BBC’s excellent iPlayer (, which you can use to ensure you never miss an episode of Newsnight or EastEnders, and which is available not just for computers but for games consoles too. There’s also an app to watch iPlayer programmes on an iPhone or iPad. One of the great things about iPlayer is that it doesn’t just cover BBC One: there’s also the entertainment channel BBC 3, the arts channel BBC 4 and the children’s channels cBBC and cBeebies - which is really handy if the only thing that’ll calm the kids is a quick blast of In The Night Garden. Programmes are usually available immediately after broadcast, and they remain online for a week. The BBC isn’t the only major broadcaster offering catch-up TV. ITV has the ITV player ( itvplayer), Channel 4 has 4oD (www.channel4. com/programmes/4oD) and Channel Five has Demand Five ( Like the BBC’s iPlayer they enable you to watch the last week of programming and they’re also available as apps for mobile phones and tablets, although unlike BBC iPlayer they include advertising as well as programming. For an easy


way to search across all the broadcasters’ catchup services, check out, a search engine for British catch-up TV. Sky’s catchup services are subscriber-only: if you’re a Sky customer you can access Sky Go at Catching up via computers, phones or tablets is very handy, but what about using your TV? If you’re with Virgin Media or Sky you can access catch-up TV via your cable or satellite box, although you need a specific kind of box: with Virgin you need a Virgin Media TiVo, which gives you the BBC iPlayer, 4oD and ITV’s Net Player, and with Sky you need a broadband-connected Sky+ box to access its Sky Anytime+ service. It’s a similar story with BT Vision: customers with a Vision+ box can access catch-up TV as part of their package. Freeview can do catch-up TV too: most Freeview HD TVs are Smart TVs, which means they can access BBC’s iPlayer if they’re connected to the internet, and many Freeview+ HD recorders can do the same. If you don’t have the hardware, however, you might want to buy something newer and more interesting: the new digital TV service YouView ( offers all the broadcasters, not just the BBC. For example, the Humax DTR-T1000 digital TV recorder gives you Freeview+ HD and YouView for a subscriptionfree of £279.95. Its 500GB hard disk gives you up to 300 hours of recording time. YouView’s on-demand and catch-up services make it one to watch, but if you’re considering it, it’s important to ensure your internet service is up to the job: YouView uses your internet connection to download programmes, so make sure your ISP account doesn’t have a small monthly data transfer limit.

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Close to Baldock town centre in spacious surroundings this motel style Bed & Breakfast offers off road parking. • continental breakfast • large luxury en-suite rooms • free wifi internet access • sky tv/dvd player • fridge in room • private location • close to train station • major credit cards taken

Tel: 07970 162753

Email: or North Road, Baldock, Hertfordshire SG7 5DN

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CASH Cambridge Coins and Jewellery Coins, Medals, Banknotes, Tokens, Postcards.

Anything GOLD any SILVER....even broken jewellery!

Buying and selling old Coins, Military Medals, Tokens, Banknotes and bullion well as Jewellery.

52 High Street // Biggleswade // Beds // SG18 0LJ // (Opposite “The Codfather”) Open Wednesday to Saturday. 11am to 7pm

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COMPETITION · COMPETITION · COMPETITION ARE YOU CRACKERS ABOUT CHRISTMAS? Join in the FUN and plan your outing to the Biggest and Best Christmas Shopping Fair in the Midlands. The Festive Gift Fair Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th November. The 17th Festive Gift Fair promises to be a Showstopper of an event, so head along to Birmingham’s NEC to find a gift and tick your lift! The Organisers take all the hard work out of present-buying, bringing together a great mix of 325 stalls, brimming over with thousands of clever gifts for all ages and tastes. You’ll see all your favourites as well as over 100 NEW companies at this year’s bumper fair. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be caught up in the excitement of browsing round hunting for your perfect gifts. And when your bags are full, you can drop them off at the Present Crèche and continue to shop, stop for a bite to eat and enjoy some great Christmas musical entertainment – from live bands, choirs and brass bands. Lanka Kade is back with a fantastic selection of children’s colourful educational wooden toys. Try their new red onion and smoky chipotle relish from the Cambridge Chilli Farm.

Forget your calorie counter and pick and mix your favourite flavours from chilli chocolate to strawberries and cream by Fudge Kitchen. Exquisitely old fashioned Christmas decorations – snow globes and nativity scenes that will delight the whole family by Farrars. Party girls will love the Tipsy Feed Flat Pumps that fold into a little pouch for their handbag – ditch the high heels in favour of these comfy flats by Hunki Dory. Treat the most important man in your life to something unique. All Star Sports Memorabilia have autographed footballs and a vast selection of signed photographs by leading sports and film personalities. Designer Jewellery for someone special – a delicate sterling silver bangle with 3 beautiful personalised charms by Anne Reeves Jewellery. There are: Crafts, Christmas Decorations, Games, Toys and Stocking Fillers, Food and Drink Fashion, Handbags and Jewellery, Gifts for Cooks & Gardeners, Health & Beauty Baby Gifts, Decorative Accessories for the Home, Gadgets... and much much more!!!

We have 10 pairs of tickets to give away Simply send your name and address to the address below by Fri 9th Nov 2012. Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP The Winner will be drawn at random.

If you are not a lucky winner, advanced tickets are priced from just £8.50. Book now by calling NEC Ticket Hotline on 0844 581 0808/0809 or online at (£1.50 per booking transaction).


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Smyth & Co. are small business specialists offering a broad range of services to Sole Traders, Partnerships & Limited Companies including:







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Business Start-Up Assistance Corporate & Personal Tax Advice Self Assessment Tax Returns Management & Annual Accounts Bookkeeping, Payroll, CIS & VAT Business plans and forecasts

For a free consultation call 01767 220214


Specialists in Country Homes, Rural and Commercial Property Lettings in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire

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Fully qualiFied — 25 years experienCe

PlumbinG & heatinG ltd


Gas installer Boiler installation with 5 year warranty Boiler breakdown & power flushing Frozen condense pipe rectified Boiler service and landlord certification

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Call: 01462 292247 / 07566 118 247 218627


14 Pear Tree Close, Lower Stondon, Bedfordshire SG16 6ND Email: Website:

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THE LOG MAN Established 1972

Hardwood Logs • All Size Fires & Woodburners Catered For • Half & Full Loads Delivered Contact:

Phillip Jepps Your Local Log Man

01462 711 430 07860 411 378

 Lawns cut and edged  Borders and beds weeded  Shrubs pruned and shaped  Paths and patios swept  Rubbish removed  Patios and decking  Hedges cut  Turfing  Fences



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by pippa Greenwood Are you surrounded, engulfed and swamped with huge quantities of fallen leaves? Whether they come from trees in your own garden or from a neighbour’s, the deluge of leaves that falls at this time of year is often enough to make even the most level headed, tree-loving gardener eye up a chainsaw. I still recall (with a good degree of fondness) my previous house; surrounded by trees, in the winter it was quite light, in summer it was dark because of the leaves on the trees, and in the autumn, it was under an almost impenetrable carpet of fallen leaves. So what can you do if your trees and those of neighbouring properties are currently covering your garden? Rather than letting them drive you to distraction, turn them in to gardeners’ gold: leafmould. If you are after a completely environmentally friendly and very effective soil conditioner or mulching material, leafmould is the answer. In environmental terms it’s great as homemade leafmould doesn’t need transporting around the country as many materials do. Leafmould means wheelbarrow yards, not air miles! If you have the space, make yourself a leafmould cage. Simply drive four treated softwood stakes into the ground, each stake marking out one corner of the ‘cage’. The stakes will need to be about 1.5m (5ft) long so that they can be driven in really well, to a depth of 1-2ft, leaving 3-4ft above ground. Then attach some galvanized chicken wire to the stakes to create the sides of the cage and cram the cage full of leaves - if they are moist, so much the better, however if not, add a watering can of water to the heap of leaves, pouring some in after each six inches or so of leaves. If you want to speed up the process you could add a leafmould activator (available from garden centres and some mail order catalogues and websites). Most deciduous leaves rot down well, with those from oak and beech trees being the best. But those which fall from fruit trees, garden shrubs and climbers and indeed most deciduous trees work well too. When you collect up the leaves, try to avoid including too many twigs or evergreen leaves as these take much longer to rot down than deciduous leaves. Tough, leathery leaves such as those from sycamore, horse chestnut and plane

are also best avoided. Most of us collect leaves using a spring-tined rake and although this may not be the quickest method, it does allow you to avoid some materials more easily. A leaf sucker or a leaf blower will speed things up massively but will often mean you end up with more debris such as twigs and stones. If the leaves falling on your lawn are a wideranging assortment, then one of the best ways to deal with this is to use the lawn mower rather than a rake or special machine – just mow the lawn with the leaves on it. The collection bag on the mower will then be full of a brilliant mix of chopped leaves and even the slower-to-rot-down types will rot speedily as they have been chopped up quite finely. Mixed with the lush, high-nitrogen grass clippings, the whole process is sped up. If space, time or money are short then you can also make leafmould in a bin liner or bin bag. Choose a good quality bin liner and cram it full of leaves, again adding water and/or activator if you wish. Then stab a few holes in the bag with a garden fork, loosely fold over the top of the bag and weigh it down with a brick. Bin liners full of leaves are certainly not an attractive feature, but can be hidden anywhere that you have the space, such as the shed, garage or greenhouse. Whichever method you use, you should have a useable product in 12-18 months, but leave it a bit longer and it will be even better. Leafmould will help to improve the moisture-retaining capacity of a light, sandy soil and help to increase the aeration and drainage of a heavy clay soil. It also makes wonderful mulch that can be used on flower beds and borders, the vegetable plot, around trees and shrubs and around all your fruit as well. It’s not often you get something for nothing, is it? So take advantage of all those leaves while you can. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com for some great gift ideas and items for your garden. You can also sign up for Pippa’s newsletter and receive a free ebook on organic gardening.

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON

Treasured Memories-Not Just Memories There must have been published thousands of wildlife books over the last few years and as Autumn moves ever so closer and the ‘gloomy days’ start to get nearer, it is always a pleasure to start thumbing through books which have been collecting dust during the busier days of Spring and Summer. One of my favourites is simply titled-Book of British Birds, published by The Reader’s Digest. I love this book because of it’s wonderful collection of illustrations which show the birds in a variety of interesting positions often reflecting their individual behavioural characteristics. The Barn Owl is shown peering intently below, (suggesting that some unfortunate small mammal is about to be grabbed). My favourite however is on page 164 - The Heron and aptly titled “Silent Killer of the Marshes”. He is shown dozing and standing on one leg attached to an enormous foot, seemingly out of scale. However, I am sure that the artist (Raymond-Harris Ching) depicted this accurately together with the colours of the birds. All the illustrations are vivid but at the same time true to life, at least I thought so until recently! We had a special visitor the other day and he stayed for over half an hour. He positioned himself on top of the bird feeder, which was a mere half metre from the window. The view therefore was incredibly clear as the morning sunshine illuminated him like a searchlight. It was a male sparrowhawk. I sat and admired him for a while and then began to study him in more detail. He settled down to periods of preening, interspaced with short bursts of intense concentration when a small bird streaked overhead. As soon as he calculated that it was out of range, he would instantly revert to relaxed mode again. I was particularly interested in the colours of his plumage. The orange-red bars on the chest were most pronounced and contrasted strongly with the pure-white fluffy feathers below. His orange-rimmed eyes suggested laserlike rays could be turned on, on demand! The slate–grey back was darker than expected and the long legs, such a vivid yellow, seemingly still wet from the painting. Such a beautiful creature but a killer none the less.


When he eventually took flight I decided to go and compare the visual memories I now had with the illustration in my favourite bird book. However I was soon to be disappointed. The picture did not accurately represent the creature I had just experienced. The colours of the living bird had been so much stronger. I don’t know if the thrill of seeing the real thing so close and for so long had made me exaggerate it’s beauty, but the picture in the book did not do it justice. I now realized that my most loved bird illustrations may not be as accurate as I had previously thought. However, on reflection, I was now willing to accept that even the best illustrations cannot match the real thing. Due to the fact that we rarely have the privilege of seeing our living heritage up close, we may not fully appreciate their splendour. Which suggests that we should make even more effort to look after these living treasures.

Geoff Wharton Gardening Services Reliable, experienced, well qualified. General and specialist garden work: Jungle clearing, Pruning, Hedge and grass cutting, Regular maintenance, Licensed waste disposal. Full public liability cover. Geoff Wharton - BSC honours Hort.Science

Tel: 01767 261727

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GILKS FENCING LTD Supplying of all types of gates and fencing to trade and public.

•Closeboard Fencing • TGV Gates • Trellis Made to Customers Design • Lap Panel Fencing • Railings • Chain Link • Knee Rail Fencing • Concrete Slotted Posts • Professional Installation Available

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STEEL FOR BUILDERS Are you paying too much for your steel through normal retail suppliers? Then contact County Construction (Steelworks) Ltd TODAY!

Steel for the building trade with next day delivery Steel Beams

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Find your ideal car today! 01462 457070 / 07595 875414 25 High Street, Shillington, Herts, SG5 3LL

L Family Business with over 20 years experience Male and Female DSA Approved Instructors • Motorway Training • Theory Test Training • Pass Plus Training • Parking & Refresher Training • 10 Hours for £220 • Intensive courses available

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER First 2 hours for the price of one for new students with this voucher


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Chevrolet Cruze SW


Chevy has sold more than 1.3 million Cruzes worldwide - now they’ve added an estate model to the range. What is it? This is the Cruze that dealers have been waiting for. Last year Chevy dealers received the much needed five-door hatch, but they have been unable to provide a competitive offering in the popular C-segment estate sector - until now. It’s practical with 1,478 litres of boot space with the seats down, and it also brings in a facelift for the Cruze range, new technology and the death knell for the Cruze four-door saloon - it’s been discontinued. What’s under the bonnet? Quite simply the choice is limited to two petrols and a diesel. The petrols come in the flavour of a 128bhp 1.6 and a 139bhp 1.8. The majority of

buyers will opt for the 128bhp 1.7-litre diesel as it’s the best all-rounder. We also tried a 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel at launch, but there are no current plans to introduce these to the UK yet. What’s the spec like? Just like the five-door hatchback, Chevrolet is generous with the list of standard equipment. The range kicks off at £15,375 for the 1.6-litre LS which comes with air con, MP3 connectivity and electric mirrors and prices top out at £19,785 for the 1.7-litre LTZ Nav model. This is very reasonably priced and boasts alloy wheels, climate control, sat nav, cruise control and rear parking sensors. What’s it like to drive? When it comes to the test drive, we would advise customers to try different versions. Why? Petrol versions are soft, wallowy and aren’t involving to drive. However, the 1.7-litre diesel version – thanks to more weight over the front wheels – is far more pleasurable to drive. The six-speed auto (1.8-litre LT) is not the best. What do the press think of it? The Independent said: ‘Most parts of the world like it and buy it in big numbers. Now that the Station Wagon has arrived, more UK buyers can be expected to join in.’ Auto Express, however, concluded: ‘The Cruze SW makes plenty of sense as a family choice, thanks to its spacious, clever boot and refined, comfortable drive, but the Ford Focus estate is sharper and much more fun to drive.’ What do we think of it? We’ve never been huge fans of the Cruze range, deeming it to be the Astra’s poorer cousin and not that attractive. But the SW changes that – yes, a Focus may be more fun to drive, but few rivals match the SW’s package of attractive styling and great value for money. The Cruze is no longer a left-field choice. Model: Chevy Cruze SW LTZ Price: £19,785 (as tested) Engine: 1.7-litre, diesel Power: 128bhp Max speed: 124mph 0-60mph: 10.4s MPG (comb’d): 62.8 Emissions: 119g/km Residual values (three years): TBC

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Venison is a lean and flavoursome red meat which is in season from October through to February. For the best quality, buy from a trusted butcher. This warming casserole is perfect for a weekend supper served with creamy mashed potato and a glass of fullbodied red wine. Serves 6 Ready in 2 ½ hours, plus marinating

INGREDIENTS 1.3 kg diced venison 425ml red wine 1 tsp juniper berries 2 fresh bay leaves 2 tbsp olive oil 25g butter 350g shallots or button onions, peeled 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 tbsp seasoned flour 300ml hot beef or vegetable stock 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly few sprigs fresh thyme salt and freshly ground black pepper creamy mashed potato, to serve 1 Place the venison in a bowl and pour over the wine. Add the juniper berries and bay leaves, cover and marinate in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before starting to cook the casserole. 2 Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2.

Strain the venison from the red wine (reserving the wine). Heat half the oil and butter in a large flameproof casserole dish and fry the venison in 2-3 batches until browned all over, adding the rest of the oil and butter when necessary. Remove the venison with a slotted spoon and set aside. 3 Add the onions to the casserole and fry for 6-7 minutes until golden, adding the garlic after 3 minutes. Sprinkle over the seasoned flour and fry for a further 1-2 minutes. Gradually stir in the wine and stock and bring to the boil, scraping any sediment from the base of the casserole. 4 Add the venison, parsnips, carrots and half the thyme sprigs to the casserole and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ – 2 hours until the venison and vegetables are tender. 5 Remove from the oven and stir in the redcurrant jelly. Return the casserole, uncovered, to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes. Serve garnished with the rest of the thyme sprigs and with creamy mashed potato, if liked.

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Painting & Decorating Property Maintenance Quality Workmanship Papering, Coving etc. Interior and Exterior Work Free Quotations Call W Firkins & Partners Ltd 01462 814117 or 07939 267083 Est 1981 20 Clifton Road, Shefford, Beds


Tel: 07507 963008 Boiler replacements and breakdowns Power flushing General plumbing & heating Radiators, cylinders and tanks. Gas safe registered.

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INVENTIONS - Microwave Ovens

By Leon F. Jones

Like many important inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product of another technology. During the research and development of aircraft detecting Radar projects in the 1930’s, the amazing properties of microwaves were identified. Working on the Radar project with the Raytheon Corporation, American Marvin Bock stood in front of a prototype scanner dish and was amazed to find that a chocolate bar in his pocket completely melted in seconds. Intrigued, Marvin began years of private experimentation at home, building a huge microwave machine and attempting to cook hotdogs. Unfortunately for Marvin, a senior scientist on the Radar project, Dr Percy Spencer, began experimenting himself, first with popcorn and then eggs. Spencer continued experimenting, building a metal box into which he fed microwave power. The energy was unable to escape through metal, thereby creating a higher density electromagnetic field. When food was placed inside, the microwaves caused the water molecules in

the item to vibrate and become heated. Engineers quickly went to work on developing and refining Spencer’s prototype. In October 1946 the Raytheon Corp filed a patent proposing microwaves be used to cook food. In 1947 the first commercial microwave oven entered the market. The initial units were enormous, standing 5½ft. tall, weighing 750lbs and costing $5000 each. The magnetron tube had to be water-cooled, so an extensive plumbing installation was also required. Constant improvements and refinements soon produced a reliable lightweight oven that was air-cooled and much less expensive. By 1975 the sales of microwave ovens exceeded the sales of gas cookers. Style, size, shape, colour and price are now tailored to fit any family kitchen. In less than 70 years an accidental discovery has become a global phenomenon.

Quality Support Solutions We are a family business registered with the Care Quality Commission. Our aim is to provide a high quality individualised personal care and support services to people living within their own homes. Ensuring you receive the support/care you both want and need. • • • • • • •

Support with day-to-day living (budgeting, paying bills etc) Health appointments and medication Shopping • Cooking and advice on healthy eating Support with letters and filling in forms. Social activities, accessing work or college Sitting Service • Using public transport • Personal care Domestic tasks such as cleaning, laundry, ironing

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For a informal chat about your requirements you are welcome to call, email or write to us. There is no pressure or obligation so call us today and start the road to positive change. Bedford i-lab, Priory Business Park, Stannard Way, Bedford, MK44 3RZ


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Lots of Choice Immediate Availability

The Carpet Trade Centre • • • •

Over 10,000sq ft of warehouse to choose from 100’s of designs, stock always changing Vinyl/cushion floor stock Large choice of rugs

Delivery and fitting service in days rather than weeks Low, low prices, high quality stock

Tel: 01462 851637 Units 5A-6, Henlow Industrial Estate Henlow SG16 6DS

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How to play It’s simple! 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 puzzle. Watch out! Sudoku is highly addictive.


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Revamp it up

By KATHeRINE SORELL Tatty tables, boring bookcases and lacklustre lamps? Improving your furnishings isn’t expensive or difficult if you take the make-do-and-mend approach, says Katherine Sorrell Sofas and armchairs Worn or grubby upholstery is easy to disguise in an instant with a blanket, shawl, throw or other large piece of fabric. Unfortunately, the moment you sit down the fabric will start to come untucked so, for a more permanent solution, a new cover is the best option. For those who are handy with a sewing machine, making a simple loose cover will not be too demanding but, even if you have to go to a professional, a new slipcover can transform the proportions and character of your furniture, and is worthwhile if you have a goodquality piece to which you want to add another few years of life. Either way, save money by using cheap canvas on areas you can’t see, or consider a boho-chic patchwork effect combining several different (but co-ordinating) fabrics. For that finishing touch, add cushions made from leftover lengths of fabric, silk scarves, vintage linens or even attractive tea towels. Lamps - Wooden lamp bases of all shapes, sizes and styles are perfect candidates for a revamp – just sand down and then choose your paint. White or off-white eggshell is cool and simple but, for a more eye-catching effect, try vibrant colours or interesting finishes such metallic, pearlescent or glitter. Fabric shades are easy to re-cover with a small length of new (or vintage) fabric and some spray glue. Ruffled fabric added to the bottom edge of a plain shade gives a pretty, country-style look, or embellish with ribbons, braid, buttons, bows or frills. Wooden furniture - More or less any old wooden furniture (though not, obviously, valuable antiques) can be rescued quite easily. Take your time, however – it’s all in the preparation. First, carry out any necessary repairs. Then remove drawers, handles and knobs. Rub the piece down thoroughly with medium-grade sandpaper, and wipe with a damp cloth. Bare wood needs a coat of primer; otherwise, it’s undercoat then a top coat of eggshell or gloss. Bear in mind, too, that a simple change of knob or handle often makes a dramatic difference, giving a sophisticated feel to a cheap, modern piece, or transforming


something frumpy and old-fashioned into a modern delight. Further changes, for those feeling confident enough, could include adding or removing mouldings, replacing solid doors with glazing, or fitting hanging rails or hooks. Headboards - A gorgeous new headboard will brighten up the most boring of bedrooms. For divan beds, pad an appropriately sized rectangle of MDF with a sheet of foam or wadding, sew a slip cover, then attach to the wall or the bed frame. Use a soft, tactile fabric (such as velvet or moleskin), that co-ordinates with everything else in the room, from bed linen to walls and window treatments. For an impromptu headboard, use a folding screen or a length of hemmed fabric hung from a baton above the bed. If your bed has an integral headboard, try placing a quilt or padded throw over it, or sew a rectangle of quilted fabric and tie it onto the framework. Curtains and blinds Nothing dates a room more than old-fashioned curtains so, if you like their fabric but not their style, check out whether it’s possible to replace either the header tape – change deep gathers or goblets for more up-to-date, simple gathers or pencil pleats – or the hanging method itself: from hooks and rings to ties, tabs, clips or eyelets. Alternatively, you could add a twist to plain curtains by stitching a complementary border along the leading edge or across the bottom, or adding a trimming such as ribbon, ric rac or a row of buttons. If your curtain pole is out of date, try painting it, replacing the finials or substituting the whole thing with a more modern example. Blinds can be instantly improved either by adding an interesting trim along the bottom or – a tiny but important detail – swapping a cheap plastic pull for a good-looking one made from leather, glass, raffia, stone or rope. If you need to re-start from scratch, remember that inexpensive fabric makes sumptuous-looking curtains if used generously, and lined so that they hang properly.

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Oven Pride

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti In one survey it was voted the most hated household chore. It is dirty, difficult and time consuming and many don’t do it at all. Those who do tackle it usually end up dirty, tired and frustrated. It is, of course, cleaning the oven - so why not hire a professional?! A professional oven cleaning company will start restoring your grubby, greasy oven to its former gleaming glory by first immersing the racks, shelves and pans in a tank – usually situated in their specialist vehicle. Whilst they soak, the oven (or cooker, hob or microwave) will get a thorough clean on both the inside and out. Following the clean, the racks and shelves will be replaced and your oven should then be ready for immediate use. A single oven takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to clean and costs around £50 and you can double this for a range. When choosing an oven cleaner, be sure to check exactly what is included in the price. Many companies charge extra for grill pans, for example.

Oven cleaning is not rocket science but when you choose a professional for the job, you get someone who has been properly trained, who understands what techniques and products work best and who can generally do a much better job in a fraction of the time!

Fun Quiz - One To Ten 1. Who wrote and sang the theme song for the TV show One Foot In The Grave? 2. Which of William Shakespeare’s plays opens with the line “Two households, both alike in dignity”? 3. Which of the Three Musketeers shares his name with a fragrance by Estée Lauder? 4. What special power does the only female member of the Fantastic Four have? 5. Which pop group launched Channel 5 in 1997 with a reworked version of the song 5-4-3-2-1? 6. The sixth of the Ten Commandments says that you shall not commit what? 7. In which seven-a-side sport did Prince William represent the Scottish national universities team in a Celtic Nations tournament against Wales and Ireland in 2004? 8. What time is the clock set to on a box of After Eight mints? 9. At the World Matchplay championship in 1984, who achieved the first ever televised nine dart finish? 10. Which former soap star released the album Ten Good Reasons, which was the UK’s biggest selling album of 1989?



1. Eric Idle 2. Romeo And Juliet 3. Aramis 4. She can make herself (and other people) invisible 5. The Spice Girls 6. Murder 7. Water Polo 8. Five past eight 9. John Lowe 10. Jason Donovan


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The Villager Prize Crossword

Last Month’s Crossword Winners Congratulations to: 1st Dawn Peters from Kempston 2nd Roger Walker from Camborne For last month’s solution please visit

sponsors of


1st Prize £25 Name:

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before 16th November 2012 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

2nd Prize £15



Across 1 Ten years (6) 4 Pictures (6) 9 Level high land (7) 10 Tag (5) 11 Poem (5) 12 Selections (7) 13 Demolition (11) 18 Pharmacist (7) 20 Perfect (5) 22 Spoils (5) 23 Against (7) 24 Scale (6) 25 Grown ups (6) Down 1 Leave (6) 2 Absurd (5) 3 Lowest (7) 5 Greeting (5) 6 Used for smoking (7) 7 Spatter (6) 8 Commas, colons. (11) 14 Dusk (7) 15 Stumbled (7) 16 Afraid (6) 17 Play equipment (6) 19 Edition (5) 21 Artists frame (5)


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Stir it up!

By Sarah Davey The last Sunday of the Christian year is the fifth before Christmas. It is known as ‘Stir-up Sunday’ and is the day traditionally when the Christmas pudding should be made. These days we mostly buy our Christmas puddings ready-made from the supermarket so the whole story and tradition behind them is at risk of being lost. But not so long ago every housewife made her own Christmas pudding on Stir-up Sunday which meant that the flavours had plenty of time to develop before Christmas. The pudding was traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and his Disciples. On Stir-up Sunday families returned from Church to give the pudding its traditional lucky stir. The pudding mixture was always stirred from East to West in honour of the three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus. Whilst stirring the pudding mixture, each family member would make a secret wish.


The name ‘Stir Up Sunday’ comes from the opening words of this prayer: “Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” A coin was traditionally added to the ingredients and cooked in the pudding. It was supposedly to bring wealth to whoever found it on their plate on Christmas Day. The traditional coin was an old silver sixpence or threepenny bit. Other traditional additions to the pudding include a ring, to foretell a marriage, and a thimble for a lucky life.

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what’S ON?


3 November The Signals Museum Open 10am-4pm The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get an entry permit from the Guardroom. See website for full information. Web:

7 & 21 November Tea Dances 2-4.15pm Shefford Town Memorial Hall, Hitchin Road, Shefford £2.50 including tea and biscuits Tea Dances featuring ballroom, Latin, Sequence and Olde Tyme dancing. All welcome. Tel: Maurice 01462 628656

3 November Shillington Firework Spectacular Fun Starts 5pm fireworks from 7pm Shillington Lower School, Greenfields, Shillington Adults £6, Children 3-16 yrs £3, Family Ticket (2 adults 2 children under 16) £15, Children under 3 yrs free BBQ, Games and Stalls, Mulled Wine, Beer Tent, Tea and Cakes. Children’s Entertainment featuring Stripey Wipey! Tickets available on the gate.

7 November Historical Talk 8pm St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Street, Langford Visitors welcome £1.50 Langford History society presents a talk by Peter Ibbett on ‘Langford and the Bedfordshire Magazine’ with a look at articles about Langford which appeared in the now defunct magazine. Tel: Ted 01462 701096 Web:

3 November Elvis Tribute Night 7.30-9.30pm RAF Henlow Theatre, Henlow Spirit Connexions presents Pete Webb as Elvis who is undoubtedly one of the most sought after Elvis impersonators. He has delighted audiences performing his Elvis Tribute shows in a multitude of venues. Providing a complete evening of entertainment covering songs from the most popular period of Elvis’s Vegas years. Tel: Gail 07724 088430 Email:

10th November Pirton Craft Fayre 10am-4pm Pirton Village Hall Quality Crafts, including face painting and wood carving for the children. Home cooked food served all day.

4 November Fungus Foray 10am-12 noon and 1-3pm RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Adults £4, RSPB Members £3, Children £3, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £2. Come and discover some of the hundreds of wonderful fungi that fill the woodland at The Lodge at this time of the year, with experts from Bedfordshire Natural History Society. Booking essential. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 4 November Fantastic Firework Display 6pm onwards Adults £3, Children £2, under 2s Free Mount Pleasant Golf Club, Station Road, Lower Stondon Mount Pleasant Golf Club & the SRA present a fantastic Fireworks Display. Bar open, hot food available, Glow Sticks & Bracelets, Mulled wine and Raffle. Tickets available at Golf Club Bar or pay on the night. 6, 13, 20 & 27 November Tuesday Morning Walkers 9.30-11.30am RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Adults £3, RSPB Members free. £4 per vehicle to non-RSPB members Weekly walks around the reserve with a leader, looking for birds, wildlife and enjoying the site. Everyone welcome. Tel: 01767 680541 Web:


15 November The Vintage Christmas Boutique 10am-4pm Sculpture Gallery, Woburn Abbey Entry £5 New and unique event gathering the best that vintage has to offer. 40 carefully selected purveyors will create a vintage winter wonderland of original vintage goods and artisan wares including fashion boutique, textiles, haberdashery, homewares, furniture, jewellery, accessories and more. With Betty & Violet’s Vintage Tea Room. Web: 15 November Letchworth District Gardeners Association AGM 7.45pm Central Methodist Church Hall, Pixmore Way, LGC Members £1, Non-members £2 Letchworth District Gardeners Association AGM. Tel: Jo Schurch 07913 774504 Web: 16 November Christmas Shopping Evening 7.30-10pm Community Centre, Whiston Crescent, Clifton Clifton Toddler Group is hosting a Christmas Shopping Evening! Wide range of stalls, local, hand-made, and fair-trade, cards, clothing, homewares, Love Em, Jamie at Home, Polka Dots and Daisies cakes, bags, jewellery, gifts and much, much more! Email for more details. 17 November Men’s Breakfast 8.30am Shefford Baptist Church Start the day with cereal, a cooked breakfast and some good conversation. All men welcome! Tel: Bob King 01462 701774

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17 November Autumn Fair 1.30-4pm Meppershall VA Lower School, High Street, Meppershall Christmas Crafts & Gifts, French Café, Beauty Products and Treatments, Outside Games & BBQ.

24 November Auction 3pm Shefford Baptist Church Check out publicity nearer the time as to what will be available. Tel: Steve 01462 812564

17 November From The Jam & Bowfinger 9.30pm-1am The Centre for Carnival Arts, St Mary’s Street, Luton Tickets £20 ‘FROM THE JAM’ does exactly what it says on the tin – or jar. This is the band led by bassist/singer Bruce Foxton one of the original members of immortal punk/mod/new wave trio. Tickets available from UK Centre For Carnival Arts Box Office in person, or We Got Tickets, and Vinyl Revelations, 1b Cardigan Street, Luton Tel: 01582 876391

24 November Soul Man Tickets £5 each Arlesey Town Football Club presents Soul Man. Tickets available from Lesley at the Club or call Lesley on 07717 462393.

17 & 18 November Christmas Fayre 10am-4pm RSPB The Lodge, Sandy £1 per car. Small donation for badge making and children’s activities Join us at The Lodge for the annual Christmas Fayre; take a browse through a wide range of stalls and get all of your Christmas gifts in the setting of The RSPB’s headquarters. Visit Santa’s grotto and enjoy the Salvation Army and Carol singers. Hot soup, rolls and mince pies available. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 18 November Annual exhibition of an archive of photos of Shillington Through the Years 2pm Shillington Village Hall Entrance £2.00 per person An exhibition of in excess of 450 restored images making a valuable archive of Shillington village and its residents through the years, from the very late 1890’s through to the present time. The 2013 Shillington village calendar will be available for sale and tea and cake will be available during the afternoon. This is an event not only of general interest but of particular interest to anybody carrying out family history research. If any readers have images that they think may be of interest to the archive, for exhibition in future years, then we should be most pleased hear from you. Tel: Peter Watts 01462 712080 Email: 24 November Table Top Sale 10am-1pm St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Road, Stotfold Tables £4.50. Enquiries to Chris Webster 01462 834108. Table Top Sale. Proceeds to the restoration of St. Mary’s Church, Stotfold.

24 & 25 November Christmas at the Mill 10.30am-5pm Stotfold Mill Free admission Visit Santa in his Grotto and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies in the tea room. Please note that this is a special Christmas event for families with young children so no machinery will be operating but the mill will be open. Tel: Christine 01462 734541 Web: 27 November Charity Christmas Fayre 7pm-9pm Free Entry Great Opportunity to buy some Christmas Presents, Stocking Fillers or a Gift/Treat for yourself. All welcome, please invite family and friends. Homewares, Bath & Soap products, Fairy Corner, Gift & Candles, Cupcakes, Handbags, Christmas cards, Neal’s Yard and more. Raising funds for Letchworth Garden Hospice and Help for Heroes. 1 December Ashwell Christmas Fair 9.30am-1pm St Mary’s Church, Ashwell Arts and Crafts, Cakes and Cards, Presents and Prizes. The Choir will sing carols and refreshments will be available. Ashwell Museum will also be open. 1 December Community Carol Singing & ‘Get in the Picture’ 5pm Shefford High Street Why not start your Christmas preparations off on the right note, with carols and the opportunity to have your picture in a Nativity scene, all for free!

Entries into our What’s On sections are free. If you have an event you would like us to publicise please email the details to

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104 Ampthill Road, Shefford, Beds, SG17 5BB

We will remember them

By Sarah Davey

Why do we wear a poppy? Scarlet poppies grow wild all over Western Europe wherever the soil has been disturbed. The battles of the First World War churned up such vast areas of earth that millions of poppies germinated and bloomed, often around the bodies of the fallen soldiers. A Canadian surgeon called John McRae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields in which the poppies symbolise the deaths of those who fought. It is a haunting memorial to those soldiers who have died in any war. Why do we have a two minute silence? It was on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that the guns of World War I fell silent. Four years of fighting and devastation finally ended. The following year ceremonies of remembrance took place on what was known as Armistice Day. An Australian journalist, Edward George Honey first proposed a respectful silence to remember the dead. He wrote a letter to the London Evening News which was brought to the attention of King

George V. The king then issued a proclamation which called for a two minute silence. These days Armistice Day is known as Remembrance Sunday and is a chance to honour the fallen soldiers of all conflicts.

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Villager Henlow nov12  

Villager Magazine Henlow November 2012

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