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Issue 78 - April 2012

and Town Life

Bringing Local Business to local People in Biggleswade, Sandy, Potton, Gamlingay and all surrounding villages. 11,000 copies delivered to over 30 towns and villages every month

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Relax and be spoilt in our new refurbished salon


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25% off colours with selected stylists


17 High Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 0JE

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In this Issue


Issue 78 - April 2012



and Town Life

Beyond Beauty

Salon and Boutique


Bringing Local Business to local People in Biggleswade, Sandy, Potton, Gamlingay and all surrounding villages. 11,000 copies delivered to over 30 towns and villages every month


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Editorial Melanie Hulse, Solange Hando, Katherine Sorell, Pippa Greenwood, Geoff Wharton, James Baggott, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, and Helen Taylor Advertising Sales Nigel Frost Photography Molka Design and Artwork Design 9 Tel 07762 969460 Publishers 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.

Five Star Hairdressing


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Cold Tea and Tears........................................................................ 4 Search for 900 Hikers..................................................................10 Meet the Local Ladies Who mean Business...............................13 Santa Pod Presents.....................................................................15 CPRE Living Countryside Awards............................................... 17 201 Orphaned Hedgehogs..........................................................18 Easter........................................................................................... 21 Where Am I?................................................................................22 The Art of the Titanic................................................................. 24 Turn Burglars into Bunglers....................................................... 28 Something in the Air...................................................................31 Calling all Butterfly Hunters....................................................... 33 Swaziland.................................................................................... 34 Working From Home.................................................................. 36 Kings Arms Angling Club............................................................ 38 Create the Perfect Home Office................................................40 Sandy Tourist Information Centre............................................. 43 Spring Clean Your make Up Bag................................................46 Slugs and Snails...........................................................................51 Rural Ramblings......................................................................... 52 The Babysitter............................................................................ 54 The Perfect Plant........................................................................ 57 Lawn Care................................................................................... 59 National Pet Month.................................................................... 62 National Autism Month..............................................................64 Children’s Page........................................................................... 67 Older Drivers Get Bad Press........................................................ 71 Easter Elsewhere........................................................................ 73 What’s On................................................................................... 74 Seasonal delights....................................................................... 76 Puzzle Page................................................................................80 Keeping Physically and Mentally Agile...................................... 82 Water Softeners and Walk In Bath Solutions............................90 To all our Potton Readers Don’t forget to send in your Community Hall Questionnaires by April 12th. Spare forms are availabe for the Post Office if you haven’t received one.

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Cold Tea and Tears

Bedfordshire’s Talent in Print

Last Saturday while browsing in a rather well known local bookshop, I happened across Langford lady, Mary Farmer. Sitting at a rather modest table piled high with her brand new book, Mary was happily signing copies for the discerning public who were lining up to read Cold Tea and Tears – It DID Happen to a Dietitian. Described as a ‘candid account of life at the ‘coalface’ of British healthcare’ Cold Tea and Tears has received rave reviews: ‘Enjoyable, informative and very accessible’ says one reader and ‘Gentle, funny and beautifully written’ exclaims Max Pemberton of the Daily Telegraph, ‘an informative, compelling and at times devastating analysis of our relationship with food’. But what inspired Mary to write her book and how would she advise budding authors? As busy as she is, Mary agreed to meet me today to tell me all about her adventures in the world of dietary advice as well as writing and publishing, and just exactly why every Villager reader ought to own a copy of her book! As Mary arrives at our arranged venue I am struck once more by her elegant poise and kindly manner. The most comfortable seat was occupied by a VIP, but this did not ruffle Mary’s feathers for a second. Smiling, she sat beside me and we fell into conversation exactly as if she were a thoughtful and kind-hearted friend whom I hadn’t seen for many years:


V: Your book, Cold Tea and Tears is about your experiences as a dietitian – tell me, what made you decide on that career? M: I had wanted to be a nurse since the age of four. There is an old photograph of me, standing oh-so-proudly next to my baby sister and I have a triangular napkin tied about my head and one can see the determination in my heart! I went on to study sciences at school, even though at the small boarding school I attended I was the only student who wanted to, and began my nurses training when I left school at 18. When my lovely Mother heard about my career choice her only words of wisdom were ‘you’ll be very tired, dear’, and sadly, her prediction proved true. The shifts were ever so hard to work with – ten nights on and five off, and the night-nurse’s home was quite a distance from the hospital and I did find it so hard to sleep during the day. I was tired in the extreme. After only a year I decided on a change of career. I had always enjoyed cooking and had an interest in food and so I thought about training to be a dietitian. The three-year degree course necessitated my taking A-levels in the three major science disciplines and so by the time I started college I was considered a mature student at 21. Finishing at 24, I then had to take a year’s diploma course before I began working. I did enjoy my job. It was varied and fun – I enjoy interacting with people and helping those who need it. I would recommend being a dietitian to anyone who likes sciences, cooking and people. A degree of empathy helps a great deal too! V: You have said that you felt compelled to write Cold Tea and Tears, can you explain why that was? M: Yes, I did feel compelled for several reasons. Firstly, the writing was almost cathartic for me. I had retired from my work but I was finding it all very difficult to forget. I wanted to let go of that part of my life and to draw a line under it in the best possible way. Retirement is not an easy time and it brings its own complications. Writing in this biographical way was my solution to some of them! I have always enjoyed reading and had noticed the varied and growing number of books of the genre I was considering – a ‘profession confession’ as they call it. There were doctors, vets, surgeons, police officers, midwives and nurses but not one

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e bookings Early bird onlin May until the 31st

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dietitian. I saw an opportunity to fill that gap and took it. V: The title, Cold Tea and Tears – it DID Happen to a Dietitian is an intriguing one, where did that come from? M: This was agonizing! I definitely did not want anything linked to weight, slimming or ‘dieting’ as I felt that this would give the wrong message. The work of a dietitian is often wrongly assumed to be only about helping overly-large people reshape their bodies. In the end my husband came up with ‘Cold Tea and Tears’ because one is always on the go and there rarely is time for a cup of tea and when or if one gets to sit down with one it is invariably already cold! The ‘tears’ part is not to say that my job made me miserable – far from it! The ‘tears’ in the book are most often of laughter, frustration and anger and only occasionally of sorrow. V: Have you always enjoyed writing? Did the work come easily to you? M: Of course, writing takes many, many forms but as far back as my school days I remember enjoying writing. I wrote home regularly as I attended a small boarding school in Kent whereas my family lived in Sussex and I still have some of the marvellous letters my mother wrote to me – they were beautiful and such an encouragement to me while I was away from home and an inspiration now too. I also know that my mother kept my replies until she died, that means a great deal to me. In the 1970s I worked as a free-lance writer for magazines such as Woman and Living. I was responsible for creating the diets for the regular healthy eating features. I also edited a leaflet for health visitors, who were advising women about their diets pre-, during and after pregnancy. At that time, research was showing the importance of good nutrition even before conception and it was discovered that folic acid and the prevention


of spina bifida in babies was a real connection. The ‘80s were an exciting time for this and other new findings in the field of infant nutrition. Being part of spreading such important knowledge was fascinating and a privilege Cold Tea and Tears began with the idea of writing a cookbook – ‘A Carer’s Cookbook’ it was called and it featured recipes for those caring for the elderly or sick who have to restrict their diet or who may find eating a certain way is better for them but are struggling for ideas or recipes. The trouble was it was such formulaic writing and I grew discontent with it. Instead, I found myself beginning to want to tell patients’ stories. I wrote down all I could remember but they seemed rather strung out so I then knitted them together by sharing some of the knowledge and experience I have gleaned over the years as a dietitian and writing a little bit about a subject I feel passionately about – the care of the elderly. More recently, I have been asked to write a series of articles for Independent Living, which is an online magazine. The first of these appeared in the February edition of the online newsletter. People often ask if I kept notes on my patients over the years and if I referred to these while writing the book. The answer is most emphatically NO! All of the book is written from memory – aided by letters home to my mother which I wrote during a period of my career when I was travelling a great deal around the UK. I did check out any facts and figures I wanted to use from various reports and so forth and I have included footnotes to that effect in the finished book but of course, it is not a PhD thesis, it is a story! V: Did you attend any writing courses to help you write your book? M: Not really – perhaps I should! Though kind friends have said that if I did I may lose my ‘voice and personality’. However, I did attend a one-day course which was run by two doctors – ‘Publish or Perish’ it was called. They had a great deal of experience and I learned a lot from them. I would

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Bold Imaginative Reflective Three words to define your daughter’s future. Add three more:

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Wednesday 9th May, 10am Telephone: 01234 361918

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This Easter don’t let us teach you how to suck your eggs! But if you’d like to actually bite them...

give us a call

For confidential dental advice contact Victoria Place Dental Practice Helen did and it transformed her life! 01767 313896 3 Victoria Place, Biggleswade, Beds SG18 9RN 8

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like to attend more on the same subject, especially those run by Harry Bingham at the Writers’ Workshop. V: Was it difficult to find a publisher – what would you advise anyone with a manuscript that they would like published? M: Someone once said to me that the writing is the easy part, it’s in attempting to be published that the nightmare begins, and to be honest I think that is a very fair comment. I would never discourage anyone from trying but as an unknown it is very hard, to the point that it can feel impossible. Do ask as many friends as you can to read your manuscript and make their comments. Try to take the negative ones and work with them in ways to improve your writing. I had to make quite a few changes to mine – writing and re-writing, as well as updating due to a change of government and changes in the running of the NHS. Once you and your trusted friends are happy my first tip would be to arm yourself with The Writers and Artists Yearbook and comb through it for publishers that a) accept unsolicited manuscripts and b) publish the genre that your book fits into best. There is no point asking a children’s book publisher to look at your manuscript if it is an historical romance – it will go immediately into their slush pile. The Writers and Artists Yearbook is a delight. It contains lots of information on writing for different publications and different genres including screen writing, for theatre, TV, radio etc.; Dos and don’ts; illustrating and blogging, copyright and finance; how to pitch your book and write a synopsis; print on demand and much more invaluable information. Tip two is to look at as many books in a similar genre to yours and check by whom they are published. You can use this knowledge to refer to and compare when you make your submission. Tip three assumes that you decide not to get an agent. All well-established writers have one and would recommend them I know, but they are almost as difficult to engage as a publisher. So,

tip three is to choose, for example, six suitable publishers and ring them up to ask a) do they accept unsolicited manuscripts? b) what is the name of the submissions editor – or to whom ought you to send your manuscript? and c) how would they like your submission made? Some just require an introductory letter, others want that and a synopsis (much harder to write than it sounds by the way); yet more want the first three chapters, or the first hundred pages and others require three random chapters. You also need to find out if they need your submission as hard copy which would usually be double-spaced, or would they prefer an email attachment? Be prepared for lots of rejections! But remember, they do depend on writers like you to make their living and so, eventually, someone will take you on. Many mainstream publishing houses now also offer a secondary imprint which is ‘self-publishing’ or as some would call it, ‘vanity publishing’. They will offer this to any unknown as you are a risk to them if you do not already have a committed readership. They will tell you that this is very much the thing to do right now and that the advantages include the author having complete control. This may be true but it also means that you have to live with your mistakes and no one is there to help you avoid making them. V: What are you reading right now and do you have any books to recommend? M:I am reading Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I noticed on Saturday that there is a new book out by Julian Barnes and I would highly recommend his writing to anyone, I particularly enjoyed Arthur and George. V: Do you enjoy Bedfordshire life? M: We have lived in Langford for the last 20 years and yes, I enjoy being part of the community a great deal. We have a lovely network of friends and that means the world to me. V: Describe yourself in three words. M: Optimistic, happy and pedantic where it matters. Mary Farmer’s book, Cold Tea and Tears – it DID happen to a Dietitian is available from Waterstones, and other leading bookshops. If you would like to meet Mary and obtain a signed copy she will be appearing to read and speak about her book at the following locations: • Sat. April 28th - Signing at Waterstones at Bedford. From 10.00am • Wed. May 2nd - Reading for “Sunshine Reading Group” at Stotfold Library. 2.00pm • Monday, May 14th - Reading and signing for “Good Afternoon” Group at Bedford Library. 2.15pm

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TO TAKE A HIKE FOR ST JOHN’S HOSPICE Starlight Hikes offer the opportunity to see fundraising in a whole new light. Thousands of people across the region will get the chance to raise money for charity and experience the beautiful Shuttleworth Estate by the light of the stars this Autumn, with the launch of the Bedfordshire’s Sue Ryder Starlight Hike, a night time charity-walk with a difference. Each location has been chosen to provide an atmospheric backdrop and stunning surroundings for a 10k sponsored walk, under the stars, to raise money for the charity that supports people through lifechanging illness. This follows new research that shows despite the fact that 46% of people would approach a charity if they were in need, only 4% have actually taken part in a charity fundraising event in the last 12 months. The event in aid of St. John’s Hospice will take place on 29 September at The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Biggleswade. The Starlight Hike will kick off at 11pm, after a group warm up and take participants through a beautifully lit route around the landmark grounds past The Shuttleworth collection hangers, beautiful college woodland, The Historic Mansion House and the stunning ornamental Swiss Gardens. At the end of the 10 kilometre walk, Hikers will be treated to a delicious breakfast. The team at Sue Ryder hope that 900 will sign up for the walks which raise crucial funds for the charity. Danielle Brandon, a regional fundraiser for Sue Ryder says: “We know that people often don’t


think about doing something for charity until they need its support. That is why, through the Starlight Hikes we hope to offer a special, different and fun way to raise money for Sue Ryder. We hope that the people of Bedfordshire will support us by signing up for the special event, which promises to show The Shuttleworth Collection in a whole new light.” For more information about the Starlight Hikes, or to sign up to a Starlight Hike event, please see About Starlight Hikes Sue Ryder Starlight Hikes will take place in 11 beautiful locations across the UK; Haddo House in Aberdeen, Glamis Castle in Dundee, Clitheroe Castle in Clitheroe, Temple Newsam in Leeds, Sledmere House in Driffield, Howarth Park and Village in Haworth, The Shuttleworth Collection in Bedford, Rutland Water in Peterborough, Cheltenham Race Course in Cheltenham, Chantry Park in Ipswich and Green Park in Reading. Please see for registration details and more information. About Sue Ryder Founded in 1953 by Lady Ryder, Sue Ryder is a national charity providing health and social care services in local communities. It provides compassionate and expert care to people with long-term and end of life needs in 7 hospices, 7 residential care centres and people’s homes. The charity also supports families, friends and carers.

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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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Simply Oak

Spectacular Showroom and Restaurant


Last day of trading Saturday 28th April

Simply Oak Amazing Sale

We have many tables of all sizes, chairs, sideboards, chests, bookcases and bedroom furniture etc. Now is your chance to own a piece of this wonderful fully restored solid oak furniture.

Emporium 50+ Dealers

Large selection of jewellery from new inexpensive pieces to traditional antique and handmade, also handbags and clothes new and retro, cushions, throws, ornaments, mirrors, lighting, clocks, toys, collectables, furniture - including a large range of shabby chic and lifestyle accessories both new and old.

The Oaks Restaurant Chef’s Special Lunch

2 course meal £5.95. 3 course meal £8.95 - Monday to Friday

Sunday Traditional Carvery - Last Sunday 21st April

Still only £7.95 adults and £4.95 children. Booking advisable (We use only British meats and fresh local vegetables). Homemade starters and desserts also available. We regret to inform our customers that due to circumstances beyond our control Simply Oak and the Oaks Restaurant are being put up for sale. We are able to honour all bookings and commitments up to the end of April, but if a buyer has not been found, we will have to close the Business on the 28th April 2012.

Opening hours:

Furniture: Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm Sun 11am - 4pm 12

Restaurant: Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm Sun 11am - 5pm

Potton Road, Biggleswade, Beds Tel: 01767 - 601 559 Email

Meet The Local Ladies

Who Mean Business! Little Gransden Village Hall will host an evening to promote local ladies who run their own businesses. It’s going to be packed out with the best female entrepreneurs from the Gransdens and surrounding areas, showcasing their businesses to the local community. Thursday 26th April at Little Gransden Village Hall SG19 3DP - 7.00pm to 10.00pm. Entry is free. Come and meet them and find out about their products and services, some of which will be available to buy on the night. You may get some Christmas shopping ticked off the list or find a new business opportunity. All in one evening. All in one place.

There’ll be a licensed bar, plus tea, coffee and fantastic cakes & cookies in our seated “Cafe”. Business Directory You can also get the Business Directory to take away with you. An invaluable source of new contacts who could become clients, business partners or just new friends. To find out more visit: www. or contact us via email

TOPSSPOT Unisex Hair Salon

* Wella * Goldwell * L’Oreal * Matrix * Introductory offer for new clients with this advert.

25% off a cut and blow dry and all colour and a free treatment with every colour. Tel: 01767 680275 53 High Street, Sandy SG19 1AG Tues/Weds/Fri - 8.30am to 5pm Thur - 8.30am to late Sat - 7am to 2.30pm To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


DAY TICKETS FROM £19 + booking fee in adv (Sat, Sun or Mon) inc. paddock access & parking


6th - 9th APRIL 2012, SANTA POD RACEWAY High Octane action & Pro Fuel shootout with Top Fuel Dragsters & Funny Cars! Explosive Jet Cars & Live Action Arena antics with Monster Trucks & stunts! (Sat/Sun/Mon) MONSTER




WWW.SANTAPOD.COM GO FREE! (max 3 per adult

Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, Nr. Wellingborough, Northants NN29 7XA. Signposted from J14/15 M1. Tel: 01234 782828


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Santa Pod Presents

The Auto Trader Easter Thunderball 2012! Entertaining the troops during the Easter weekend is always a challenge, but Santa Pod has solved the conundrum for the whole family with a packed four days of high-octane action and live entertainment that should appeal to guests of all ages. The 6th – 9th April 2012 sees the world-famous Northamptonshire venue laying on its best-ever programme of non-stop action yet. As you might expect from the home of adrenaline-fuelled drag racing, the Auto Trader Easter Thunderball offers a long weekend of action-packed motorsport and entertaining fun for the whole clan. Over 20 classes of both cars and bikes will take to the track, but headlining the event are the famous 270mph Nitro Funny Cars and 300mph Top Fuel Dragsters in the annual Pro Fuel Shootout. Witness bone shaking action from these mighty 8,000bhp machines in the fastest form of motorsport on the planet! If this isn’t impressive enough, in-between races, the awesome world record breaking Fireforce Jet Car will perform spectacular earth-shattering 260mph demos - as well as unhinged Frenchman Eric Teboul lietarlly firing himself up the strip on his Guinness World record holding Rocket Bike; the fastest two wheeler on earth! All of these incredible machines are guaranteed to leave you speechless! The gravity defying Freestyle Motocross and the multiple world champion trials rider Steve Colley finish the line-up, performing awe-inspiring tricks and stunts in the Live Action Arena. Kids will also love the jaw-dropping destruction and mayhem created by the Monster Trucks as ‘Podzilla’ and ‘Swamp Thing’ battle it out, and

with opportunity to ride in the Red Dragon truck; it will be an unforgettable experience, whether you’re 8.. or 80! Don’t forget Easter Monday becomes Monster Truck Madness when four trucks go head to head to entertain the crowds and crush unsuspecting cars in an unashamed spectacle of carnage and noise! There is something for everyone to enjoy at Santa Pod making it a firm family favourite where under 16s enter for FREE and camping is free for multiple day ticket holders! In addition to all the fun on the main track there’s loads for the kids to do, with side shows, trade stalls, a fun fair, full catering & bar facilities throughout the weekend. And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down - evening entertainment includes a firework display and live bands in the Fuelers Bar. If you want more, try the ultimate thrill ride - the 7-second Santa Pod 2 Seater Dragster and feel its full force. Find out for yourself how it feels to drive the quarter mile at race speeds. This Easter why not come along and be blown away? Advance tickets start at £10pp, rising to £60pp for the full four days. With kids getting in for free, it could be the best family weekend that you’ve ever enjoyed! Corporate packages are similarly good value, with fully catered VIP packages starting from just £79 + VAT per head. For more details please visit

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D M Specialist Joinery Based In Biggleswade

Available in these colours:

Get ‘Em Off! We all can have trouble removing boots or shoes that have been put through their paces. The Middleton Get ‘Em Off Boot Remover makes taking your boots off easy and elegant, especially if you have difficulty bending down. Hand crafted at our Workshop in Britain from amazing Corian®, our boot remover is elegant and is designed for most shoe sizes and is very easy to clean.

Mirrors made to order. Any size, shape and colour. Contact sales at D M Specialist Joiners on 01767 317773 Also available in Philpot’s of Hitchin

T: 01767-317-773 E:

Exclusive Bespoke British Furniture T: 01767-317-773 E:


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Have you been involved in a successful project to preserve or enhance the quality of the Bedfordshire countryside or know of anyone with one that you could recommend? The Bedfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is inviting entries to its prestigious Living Countryside Awards. Now in its fifth year, the awards recognise schemes that improve the county’s appearance, preserve its character and promote sustainability. The deadline for entries is 21st May 2012 and the three categories are: • Landscape Improvement • Historic and New Buildings • Sustainable Living. The awards recognise groups or individuals that have made special efforts to improve the natural environment. The scheme is not competitive and anyone can nominate a project which they believe is deserving of recognition. Examples of the broad range of activities that are eligible include: • Creation of nature reserves and ponds • Tree and hedgerow planting • Environmentally sensitive and sustainable farming practices • Conservation of historic sites • Imaginative building design • Local production and sale of food

• Traditional crafts such as coppicing, hedging, thatching and smithery This year we are keen to see examples of new housing developments that are imaginatively designed and have limited environmental impact on their surroundings. The entry form is very simple to complete. Previous award winners have included country parks and ponds, conservation schemes on farms, village churchyards, farm shops, school grounds, barn conversions, bridges, and individual craft businesses. Please follow the link to the leaflet thttp://www. which can be downloaded from our website. There you will find the application form under Living Countryside Awards, along with details and images of previous awards. A panel of experts will visit nominated entries during the summer and a prestigious awards ceremony will take place in the autumn. Your nomination could great difference to groups and individuals working on imaginative local projects which care for and enhance our landscape and environment. For further details contact Ann Collett-White 01234 353331/07989 837819 or by email at ann.

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201 orphaned or sick hedgehogs

treated by Shepreth Wildlife Park & SWCC

Throughout 2011, Shepreth Wildlife Park and SWCC treated 201 orphaned, underweight or sick hedgehogs, averaging 17.2 days in our care. The work of hedgehog rescue organisations is vital as research has shown that hedgehogs are dying out in the UK, at a rate of a fifth of the population every four years. It has been suggested that by 2025, they may be gone from Britain altogether. The Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital is one of the only facilities of its size available for the treatment and rehabilitation of hedgehogs in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Both these counties have higher than average numbers of hedgehogs - according to the 2010 RSPB Nature Count survey. Hedgehogs are brought in from across these counties, as well as from surrounding areas, such as Greater London, Suffolk and Bedfordshire. Shepreth Wildlife Park has managed a hedgehog hospital and rehabilitation programme for over 25 years. The hospital has now outgrown its current facilities and urgently needs larger, more up-to-date facilities. Much of the day-to-day work of the hospital is carried out by volunteers and overseen by animal keepers and management at the wildlife park. The hedgehogs are brought in by members of the public; either orphaned, injured, sick or underweight. They are nurtured back to health, and then released back into the wild. As well as our plans to expand the Hedgehog Hospital, we also hope to obtain funding for a research programme, in partnership with local universities, to monitor disease burden in hedgehog populations and post-release success. We also hope to expand our education programme through improvements to our information boards and website, and by


building several self-enclosed hedgehog gardens. These gardens will serve a dual purpose - they will be used to acclimatise hedgehogs before release, and will also be used to educate the public about what they can do to encourage hedgehogs into their garden. Shepreth Wildlife Park has supported the Hedgehog Hospital project over the last 25 years by providing space, medication, veterinary care, food and staff time. However, the funding available from the park is limited, which has meant the Hospital has been unable to meet growing demand, let alone build a purpose-built hospital. The Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity, an independent charitable organisation, has now taken over the governance and management of this. The estimated costs of building the new Hedgehog Hospital are 47,000 (this figure has been taken from our latest building quote). In addition to this, 19,500 is needed to cover the annual costs of running the hospital (such as veterinary fees, electricity, feed and staff costs) and equipping the Hospital Room with veterinary equipment to deal with emergency cases. So far, SWCC has raised 12,000 towards this through donations from members of the public, fundraising events and other charitable trusts. If you would like to know more about this project please contact us at swcc@sheprethwildlifepark., we would love to hear from you.

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To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122



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TIME OF YEAR It’s been a long road from the glory of Jesus Christ’s death resurrection – the central miracle of the Christian faith – to gorging on chocolate. And it’s a road that those of a philosophical bent might liken to the descent of Western civilisation into gluttonous consumerism. But leaving such considerations aside, how did it happen? Let’s start with the word itself, Easter. We have it on the word of the Venerable Bede, writing in the very early 8th century, that “Eostre” is derived from “Eostre-monath”, the month in which pagan Saxons celebrated the festival of the goddess Eostre. It’s a simple explanation, and one with which with which scholars of philology have had endless fun ever since – some even denying that there ever was a goddess Eostre and that Bede (uncharacteristically) made the whole thing up. But “eostre” is cognate with “öster”, the German for east, and is therefore associated with sunrise and hence spring, so Bede’s explanation at least has context on its side. Indeed the feast is only called “Easter” in Germanic countries: in France it’s called “Pâques”, a variation on the Jewish spring festival Pesach, and other Latin countries use names of the same derivation. Fascinating stuff, but it doesn’t get us much closer to the chocolate. And the answer is eggs. Eggs have been associated with spring since... well, since birds started laying them in spring. There are Persian wall-paintings of eggs being given as gifts from 2,500 years ago; the tradition survived the country’s conversion to Islam and persists to this day. In Egypt, another Islamic country, there is a seasonal tradition of egg decorating of unknown antiquity; in eastern Orthodox countries they paint eggs red (for Christ’s blood) and green (for returning spring); in England and North-Western Europe there is a tradition of rolling coloured eggs down hills at Eastertime, echoing the rolling away of the stone from the Holy Sepulchre; in America the White House puts on an annual display of decorated eggs from every state of the union, and favoured children (how are they selected?) are invited to a spot of egg-rolling on the White House lawn. Egg decoration seems to have evolved into making eggs out of solid chocolate in France or Germany in the early 19th century, and the first Easter egg in England came from Cadbury’s in 1842. These eggs can hardly have been for the mass market

since the chocolate of the time was very expensive and also very bitter. Finer, less harsh, and less expensive chocolate was made possible by more sophisticated processing equipment in the later 19th century, and Cadbury’s produced its first hollow egg (filled with sweets) in 1875. The first milk chocolate Easter egg followed exactly 30 years later and... well, what more do we need to know? Except that Easter eggs sell for a far higher price per gram than the slab chocolate of which they’re made, and as they’ll keep almost indefinitely any left unsold can simply go into cold store until next year – at which time next year’s prices can be charged for last year’s stock. As I said, it’s all a very long way from the Mount of Olives! Which brings on to the troublesome question of the date. Easter is the only moveable feast left in the Western calendar, all the others having been fixed; and it’s a source of enormous irritation to many, especially those in the tourism and education trades. But it too is based on Pesach or Passover, which falls on the full moon on or immediately after the vernal equinox. The early Church fathers knew that the Last Supper was held on Passover, for the Gospels told them so; the same authority placed the Crucifixion on the following Friday, so ipso facto the resurrection was on the first Sunday after the full moon that followed the vernal equinox. This was officially promulgated at the Council of Nicaea in 325AD; but since then the eastern Orthodox churches have drifted apart from the western tradition, and the western calendar has changed from the Julian to the Gregorian, so if you want to celebrate Easter twice all you have to do is hop on a ferry from Italy to Greece.

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These pictures are all taken in our distribution area. Do you know where they are?


2 3

The Villager and Town Life magazine is delivered door to door throughout:

Abbotsley Beeston Broom Caxton Cockayne Hatley Cople Croydon Dunton Eltisley Everton Everton Heath Eyeworth Gamlingay Haynes Henlow Ickwell Green Ireland Langford Lower Caldecote Moggerhanger Northill Old Warden Potton Shuttleworth Southill Stanford Sutton The Gransden’s Thorncote Green Upper Caldecote Waresley Wrestlingworth


Issue 77 - March


and Town Life

Bringing Loca l Business to in Bigglesw local People ade, Sandy, Potton, Gam and all surro lingay unding villag es. 11,000 copie s delivered to over 30 and villages towns every mon th

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Issue 76 - Februa

ry 2012

and Town Life

Bringing Loca l Business to in Bigglesw local People ade, Sandy, Potton, Gam and all surro lingay unding villag es. 11,000 copie s delivered to over 30 and villages towns every mon th

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Issue 75 - Januar

y 2012

and Town Life

Bringing Loca l Business to in Bigglesw local People ade, Sandy, Potton, Gam and all surro lingay unding villag es. 11,000 copie s delivered to over 30 and villages towns every mon th

ur Yo EE FRco1 py


Issue 74 - Decem

ber 2011

and Town Life

Bringing Loca l Business to in Bigglesw Local Peop ade, Sandy, le Potton, Gam and all surro lingay unding villag To advertise es in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767

261 122

ur Yo EE FRco1 py

and can be found in most shops, pubs, garages in all of the above and more including Biggleswade and Sandy.

Last month’s pictures were taken in Wyboston Lakes .


Booking your advertising space is easy just call Nigel on 01767 261122 or e-mail

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The art of the Titanic


Before you go to bed on 14th April this year, set your alarm for 2.20am. Open all your windows; take the duvet off the bed; wear your thinnest nightie (or whatever you go to bed in). And when the alarm goes off you’ll be disoriented and freezing, just like the 2,200 souls aboard the Titanic as it slid beneath the icy calm of the north Atlantic 100 years ago to the minute. Unlike more than 1,500 of them, though, you’ll live. Just four days into her maiden voyage, the Titanic was the biggest ship in human history. She was 882 feet long, 92 feet wide, 175 feet tall from her keel to the top of her four funnels. She displaced over 52,000 tons. For her 883 first-class passengers she was a palace; for her 1,006 third-class passengers she was a hostel. But for all of them, her 1½-inch hull – made, as it turned out, of brittle steel – was no protection against the iceberg lying in wait. Despite a meeting speed of less than 30mph the impact was enough to rip open five of her watertight compartments – she was designed to lose only four of them. Impact was at 11.40pm. Two hours and 40 minutes later she broke in two and went down. The magnitude of the disaster, and the terror and the pity of it, was quickly seized upon by artists as a metaphor of enormous power. For the German painter Max Beckmann it summarised the chaos and uncertainty of human existence: his enormous (8’ x 10’) canvas, completed less than a year after the sinking and now in the St Louis Art Museum, shows hapless humanity suffering almost stoically amid nightmarish white-capped waves (actually the night was calm). For Thomas Hardy, whose poem Convergence of the Twain: Lines on the Loss of the Titanic was published in 1915, it symbolised man’s powerlessness in the face of nature: Hardy pictures the fishes swimming about the submerged


staterooms as an epitaph on the futility of human ambition. For the makers of the 1958 film A Night to Remember, it meant the opposite: they saw only human dignity and courage in the face of catastrophe. In 1979 the story was filmed again as SOS Titanic. This time the makers focused on a different aspect: class division. As well they might, for the richer you were the likelier you were to survive: 123 of the 883 first-class passengers died compared to 167 of 614 in second class, 528 of 1,006 in third class, and 693 of the 885 crew. Then there is the American figurative painter Ken Marschall who has been compulsively, almost obsessively, making paintings of the Titanic since 1969. His work is almost photographically lifelike and detailed and shows the great ship going about its business placidly as if nothing was wrong. And nothing is. It is only the viewer’s foreknowledge that makes the images so terrifying. Perhaps the greatest piece of art inspired by the disaster, though, came from the British indeterminist composer Gavin Bryars, whose The Sinking of the Titanic was written in 1969 and recorded by Brian Eno in 1975. In it, Bryars fantasises about the piece played by the eightpiece band as the ship sank – Nearer My God to Thee, supposedly – echoing forever around the wreck, the increasingly incoherent soundwaves trapped by the ocean as an eternal ghostly lament. Which brings us to 1997, and the James Cameron/ Leonardo diCaprio/Kate Winslett epic. Enough said. A commercial triumph; an artistic void. For a meditation on mortality occasioned by the centenary, go with Beckmann, Hardy, and above all Bryars. They really will make your heart go on...

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Alterations and Repairs, and Something More. The Village Shop, High Street, Wrestlingworth (Parking available at the rear) Mon 3.00-6.00pm, Tues 10.00am-5.00pm, Weds - closed, Thurs 9.00am-1.00pm Fri 10.00am-5.00pm, Sat 10.00am-1.00pm (evening appointments by arrangement)

Any enquiries please ring 07533 971399

Potton & District Club NEW MEMBERS WELCOME....£15 per year

To Get a New-look, Reward Style Membership Card (& Earn Points) apply now! this card will ENTITLE YOU to all Club BENEFITS, ie members Special Bar prices, FREE Hall Hire t&cs, FREE TRADE CARD Board & LOADS MORE... CHECK out web page


Weds 4th April - EASTER PRIZE BINGO NIGHT - Prizes and vouchers to be won Good Friday - 6th APRIL - SLEDGEHAMMER- (Band) John Smiths beer members special promotion price (while stocks last) Sat 7th April - THE SCALLYWAGS - A return visit. Fabulous vocals.These guys are very talented - they love audience participation! Easter Sunday - 8th April - FAMILY DISCO INFERNO PARTY NIGHT Sat 14th April - TRIPWIRE (Live Band). New to the club Sat 21st April - HUGGY FLARES - A return visit. Established as one of the area’s funkiest and Fun Soul / Disco Bands, performing Soul and Motown Classics from the sixties, seventies Funk & Disco Favourites. Fancy Dress 70s-80s welcome. Coors Light members promotion for St Georges day weekend 21ST and 22ND April (While stocks last) Fri 27th April - REPUBLICA - New band to the club, talented young musicians Sat 28th April - BAZOOKAJOE - A return visit Check out for more details Bar open Mon-Tues 7.30pm to 11.00pm Weds-Thur 6.00pm to 11.00pm Fri 5.00pm to 12.00am, Sat 12.00pm to 12.00am Sun 12.00pm to 10.30pm

Potton CIU Club, Charities Hall, Station Road, Potton Tel: 01767 261465 (Evenings) Website: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Come and see our New Showroom at 7 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Second Branch at The Barn, Old North Road, the rear of Yuva Restaurant, Kneesworth, Royston, Herts SG8 5JL Telephone:- 07817 7339738

Telephone: 01767 262777 Email: pottonf www.thepottonf

7 Market Square, Potton, Beds. SG19 2NP Opening Times Mon-Fri - 9.00am to 5.30pm Sat - 9.00am to 2.00pm


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Offers a selection of designer millinery & accessories for hire, at affordable prices strictly by appointment

07778 188924

The Royal Oak


Join Colin, Jo and the team for a warm welcome at Potton’s oldest pub

Freshly prepared food Lunch served Tuesday to Saturday between 12noon - 2:30pm Dinner served Tuesday to Saturday between 6:30pm - 9:00pm Traditional Sunday Lunch served 12noon - 3pm

4 Biggleswade Road, Potton, Bedfordshire Tel: 01767 261888 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Turn burglars into bunglers

By Helen Taylor

An Englishman’s home is his castle and today it is a castle under siege. The stark rise in crime and anti-social behaviour has homeowners - in rural and urban areas alike - running scared and ever more concerned with a problem that law and order fails to address. But despite this sad fact there is a fast-growing home security market that is equal to the problem; ready and able to empower the individual and preserve the sanctity of home. If the statistics are to be believed many of us will fall victim to crime, but thanks to an extensive range of affordable, simple and easy-to-use home security devices, protecting your property, possessions and family is becoming easier. This is a guide to some of the most popular products around at the moment. Fence Prikka Strip, £8.95 - A simple, cheap and effective way of protecting your property from intruders. Each anti-climb strip consists of a series of closely arranged cones that are formed from durable weatherproof PVC. Easy to trim to the size you require, the strips can be glued, screwed or nailed into place and are perfect for use on all perimeter fencing. Byron CS11D Dummy CCTV Camera Unit, £12.29 Flawlessly replicating a real CCTV unit, the dummy camera is extremely realistic. The accurate design and flashing red light gives the appearance of a genuine and operational camera. Driveway Monitor, £18.49 - Recognising intruders up to 100ft away, the Driveway Monitor offers cordless infra-red detection of heat or movement and alerts the homeowner via a radio signal that’s sent directly to the indoor receiver.


Frostfire Home Security Bar, £23.50 - Designed for use with both standard hinged doors and sliding patio doors, the Frostfire Home Security Bar can be wedged at any angle to prevent forced entry. Because it’s made from 20-gauge steel, the bar is incredibly strong and exceedingly robust, and so protects against forces of up to 150 kg. Fake TV Burglar Deterrent, £24 - Simulating the appearance of an active television set, the Fake TV helps to create the illusion that someone’s at home by using realistic LED lighting. An inbuilt sensor automatically triggers the system at dusk and thanks to its compact design, it’s perfect for use anywhere in the home. Security Wireless Camera, £29.50 - Suitable for use both inside or outside the property, the wireless camera makes for fast and easy positioning and transmits images both day and night - due to its night vision capabilities at 8-10 meters. Ex-Pro Complete 2.4GHz CCTV Camera, £94.97 - A robust weatherproof design makes this wireless system ideal for outdoor home security. With automatic activation of LEDs at night and good quality night-vision combined easy connectivity, it’s just the thing for all your home security needs. Yale Locks Alarm Wireless Home Starter Alarm Kit, £124.98 - Completely wireless and ideal for flats, garages or terraced and semi-detached homes, the alarm system is easy to install - causing no damage or disruption to home décor - and comes complete with a wireless remote control access pad that’s easy to operate. Not every device is necessary however, or easy to fit. So before you rush off to shop for gadgets, it would be well worth taking advice from a locksmith or security consultant and ensuring you have the right solution for your home.

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£50 OFF

EyeLT range lenses* Available now at your local branch when purchasing complete spectacles.

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Rodenstock Impression® progressive lenses with the new Eye Lens Technology

*Terms and conditions apply, please ask in store for details.

See better. Look perfect. Biggleswade 6 Hitchin St 01767 313258

Top That Sugar Craft BEDFORDSHIRE’S



For all your needs in decorating celebration cakes, Cupcakes etc. Ribbons • Patchwork Cutters • Karen Davis Moulds ABC Moulds • PME • Flower Paste • Stand Hire Tin Hire • Books etc… With friendly help and advice. Celebration & Wedding cakes made to order Based at Seddington Nursery, A1 Northbound between Biggleswade/Sandy, Beds Tel:

01767 680 983

Open 9.00a.m. – 5.30p.m. Tuesday – Saturday EVENING APPOINTMENTS BY ARRANGEMENT.

•••MORE SUGAR CRAFT CLASSES COMING SOON••• To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122



standa s a s e m o c m s li a n io s s fe Where pro


OPENING HOURS Monday 9.30am - 4.00pm, Tuesday 9.30am - 5.00pm Wednesday 9.00am - 6.00pm, Thursday 9.00am - 8.00pm Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm, Saturday 8.30am - 4.00pm We are celebrating 10 years of successful hairdressing. To mark our birthday we are offering various promotions throughout the anniversary week - Mon 30th April – Sat 5th May. 1. Make an appointment for you and your friend, who is new to the salon and you both receive 20% off your Cut & Blow Dry 2. Gents haircuts only £8 with Cassie and Zoe 3. Half Price on semi-permanent colouring/refresh toners 4. 10% off all retail 5. Double Stamps on your loyalty cards

BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR CLIENTS ALL WEEK !! 1 Station Road, Biggleswade, SG18 8AH 30

Tel: 01767 600510

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Something in the air


We tend to take air for granted, but the air around us isn’t always on our side: it can contain airborne allergens that make our eyes red or our noses run, or it can be too hot, too cold, too dry or not dry enough - but technology can help. For many people hay fever is a particular pain at this time of year, and there are a number of gadgets that promise to reduce its effects or prevent it from affecting you altogether. Both the Lumie Haylight (£49.95) and the Lloyds Pharmacy Hayfever Reliever (£39.99) are careful to avoid making specific health claims but there’s certainly anecdotal evidence that light therapy devices such as these can make hay fever more bearable. It’s also a good idea to know in advance what the pollen count will be like and there are plenty of smartphone apps that can help. We particularly like Clarityn’s two apps: the Allergy Pollen Forecast tells you when hay fever is likely to strike, while the Clarityn Sneeze Alarm is an alarm clock app that uses different sneezing sounds to tell you what kind of day you’re likely to have. Another option for allergy sufferers of all kinds is an air purifier or ioniser. The former removes irritants - pollen, for example, or dust mites, or pet dander - from the air using ultraviolet light or a filter, while ionisers use electrical charges to attract and trap contaminants. Air purifiers can cost anything from £40 to several hundred pounds - but they can be very effective, although if your allergy is to your pets the combination of a decent vacuum cleaner and a device such as the Furminator pet groomer (£16) may be a cheaper option. Another way to change the air around you is to

use a humidifier or a dehumidifier. The former is designed to make your home more humid, which can help reduce the symptoms of dry coughs, dry skin and other irritations, and options range from steam humidifiers - devices that boil water to create steam - to ultrasonic humidifiers, which create a cool fog of water droplets. For many British homes, however, the problem isn’t that the air is too dry: it’s that it’s too wet. Overly humid houses can cause health problems and irritate existing ones. Dehumidifiers address this by filtering the water out of the air into a water tank or permanent pipe, and prices range from about £49 for a small device suitable for flats to £199 for a high capacity model such as DeLonghi’s DNC65. Even if your house doesn’t suffer from damp, a dehumidifier might be worth considering if you have to dry your clothes indoors: dehumidifiers can dry your washing much more quickly, and unlike tumble dryers they’re not hugely expensive to run and they don’t crease your clothes. Sometimes all you want is to move the air around a bit, and there are plenty of fan heaters and cooling fans to choose from. Among the most interesting - and most expensive - options are two devices from Britain’s favourite inventor James Dyson: the Dyson Air Multiplier (£299) blows air without the buffeting you get from traditional blade fans, while the Dyson Hot (£269) uses the same technology to beam hot air. If you like the idea but not the price tag, a halogen heater (from around £15) offers directional heating on a much smaller budget.

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The Easter cards & decorations now in stock


Gift & Card Company

Gifts for all occasions. Wedding, Baby, Christening... Stockist of Spaceform, Willow Tree, Yankee Candles and Lily Flame Candles Gift Vouchers Available Opening times: Mon to Fri 9.30am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 5.00pm, Sun - Closed Ample Free Parking Unit 3, The Saxon Centre, Kingsfield Road, (opposite swimming pool) Off London Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 8AT Join us on facebook Tel: 01767 600150 Website: Sign up for our newsletter at the website 32

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calling all

BUTTERFLY HUNTERS Our Garden Watch survey for 2012 is well under way; during April and May we’re asking for alert eyes to look-out for orange-tip and brimstone butterflies. Orange-tips are a common sight early in the spring; males have orange wing tips, which warn predators that they don’t taste nice, while females are more secretive, with grey wing tips. Both have green marbled undersides of the hind wing for camouflage, and have an isolated black spot on their forewing. Brimstones too are commonly seen in gardens during early spring. The adults have red antennae, with a characteristic orange spot on the middle of the front wing. Males are a distinctive lemon yellow whilst females are a pale green or whitish colour. During June and July we’ll be asking for sightings of hedgehogs, bats in August and September, garden spiders in October and November, and the song thrush in December and January. To find out more and to submit a sighting, visit our GardenWatch page via gardenwatch or call the Wildlife Trust on 01954 713500.

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Swaziland - Festival of Reeds

By Solange Hando

Bordered by Mozambique and South Africa, Swaziland is merely a blot on the map but besides wildlife and exquisite craft, its colourful traditions are worth a detour. At the heart of it all is a nearabsolute monarchy headed by Mswati III and the Queen Mother. In Swazi polygamous tradition, the heir to the throne is not the oldest son but the son of ‘the Great Wife’, chosen for her good character and family stock, and they rule together. As the southern spring approaches in the Valley of Heaven, maidens gather from across the country for the week long Festival of Reeds to pay homage to the royal pair. They rest for a night near the royal village then march to the reeds beds, up to 20 miles away, where they cut down reeds over twice their height, tying them in bundles with plaited grass or plastic ribbons. The reeds are carried back like trophies to the Queen’s Palace and used by the girls to strengthen the royal enclosure. The youngsters always return after dark, bearing torches, to prove they ‘travelled a long way’. Then there’s a whole day to relax with friends, add the final touch to the ceremonial costumes and groom one’s hair before dancing for the king. The king attends on the seventh day when many a young girl wakes up that morning wondering if she may be the next royal bride. At 43, Mswati III has 14 wives, the first two appointed by councillors according to tradition, but after that, he is free to choose, marrying into different clans to encourage unity. It’s a hard life for any man but if you are a Swazi king, how do you decide when


20,000 pretty girls, scantily dressed, parade in front of you? Fortunately, adding another bride to the list is not compulsory. On that final day, crowds make their way along dusty lanes lined with food stalls, taxis and vans. Bunting flutters across the road, blue, yellow and red, as people of all ages pour into the stadium. In the royal stand, the king wears a leopard skin loin cloth and a headdress of red lourie feathers. The parade is led by royal princesses with feathers in their hair, followed by beautifully poised young women, excited teenagers and children, watched by anxious mothers. Tightly packed groups perform their acts simultaneously, glowing with pride as they shuffle barefoot around the grounds. There are tassels and beads, shields, daggers, anklets and bracelets, traditional shoulder wraps sporting the king’s portrait, mobile phones and swanky sunglasses. A troop of raucous warriors bursts unannounced into the arena, waving sticks. The crowds laugh but promptly return to their dreams, dazed by waves of blinding colour and the hypnotic rhythm of African folk songs. Somewhere in the commotion, a young dancer carries a red rose and soon, 20,000 girls, maybe minus one, will go home, carrying food to thank them for their efforts. Mswati III has long been criticized for his lavish lifestyle but as brides go, hand plucked at the Reeds Festival or elsewhere, he is unlikely to rival his father. Sobhuza II had 70 wives, 210 children and over 1000 grandchildren.

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Bedfordshire Foot Clinic Podiatry/Chiropody Yvonne Siudak BSc (Hons.) MChS, HPC Registered

Podiatrist / Chiropodist Private Podiatry / Chiropody Care in Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

A comprehensive service for all your foot care needs

Hard Skin • Corns • Nail Cutting Ingrown Toe Nails • Fungal Nail Infections General Foot Care • Verrucae Treatment • Diabetic Assessments • Biomechanical Assessments Full details of our specialist treatments are available, call Yvonne for an appointment:

Bedfordshire Foot Clinic

17 Georgetown Cottages, Tempsford Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2AE T: 01767 681704 M: 07562 748352 E:

Also Cambridge Foot Clinic Tel: 01223 358431

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Working from home

By Ted Bruning

Spring is here at last, and with it comes the end of a dreadful dilemma that has been plaguing me since November – whether to turn on the central heating or not? Our new house is a dreadful wind-tunnel. An icy blast rips straight through it from the illfitting front door to the catflap in the kitchen. The dining room that serves as my office is right in the middle of the house and man! Is it cold! The fact that the ancient wooden sash windows are more gap than glass doesn’t help, but as the house is listed and in a conservation area they can’t be replaced. The central heating comes on at 6.30am, the boiler coming alive with a rattle and a roar that served the entire household as an alarm-clock until we got used to it. By 7am the house is toasty – almost too toasty, in fact. Then one by one the family emerges, blinking and bleary, breakfasts, and departs for whatever quotidian joys await. Leaving me and my dilemma. The heating is timed to go off at 9.30, and within a few moments the house has gone polar again. I could just turn it on again, but it seems wasteful to heat the whole house when I’m sitting on my tod in a single room. On the other hand I could go round turning off all the radiators in the rooms that aren’t being used, but it takes forever and anyway, I no longer particularly want to go into my teenage son’s room. I’m sure some the old washing that’s strewn about the place is alive and could well be dangerous. Besides, then I’d have to do the same tour again and turn all the radiators on when the heating shudders back into life at 4.30. Could I be bothered? I most certainly could not! The alternative is to make do with a single bar of the ancient electric fire in the dining room. This does the job all right – on one side of me, which gets char-grilled, while the other remains deep frozen. But here’s the dilemma (and it’s one that we middle-class liberals get genuinely handwringing about, so don’t laugh): which alternative is the less destructive to Lifeboat 36

Earth? Is it the carbon-rich fumes wheezing into the atmosphere from the flue of the gas boiler, or is it whatever eco-outrages are perpetrated in order to squirt a trickle of current into the electric fire? I really don’t know, and it’s doing my head in. On a more prosaic note, I don’t know which alternative is the more expensive, either. A manlier man than me could probably read the meters and sort the data to make meaningful comparisons. But for me and the bills it’s out of sight, out of mind. There is, of course, a politically correct option, which would be to insulate the house properly. But how do you insulate a 17th-century cottage without ripping out the entire interior and, effectively, starting from scratch? Cavity wall insulation? Don’t make me laugh! The windows we’ve already dealt with. As for loft insulation – well, the loft is the attic bedroom, my son’s sinister eyrie. If you tried to clad the sloping ceiling with insulating foam and then put up the necessary plasterboard the headroom would be reduced still further and the poor boy would have to bend double to get in. And anyway, even if there are grants available towards the cost I have a feeling that persuading the landlord to make any additional investment that might be necessary would be about as easy as converting Iran to Wesleyan Methodism. So there’s only one thing for it. Before next winter comes, I’ll have to buy a jumper.

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CHARITY NIGHT FEBRUARY 2012 ‘What a brilliant night’, ‘the best yet’! Just two of the many glowing comments about the latest Kings Arms charity evening, held at the Holiday Inn Garden Court in Sandy in aid of St john’s Hospice in Moggerhanger. Over two hundred anglers, many from some distance away, turned up to meet and listen to a galaxy of angling legends: renowned ‘grand master’ Bob Church was present for the sixth year running to sign copies of his latest book as was Mike Green, who interspersed photos of fly fishing for tarpon in the exotic scenery of Costa Rica with a few ‘risqué’ jokes. Well-known TV presenter and journalist Matt Hayes was perhaps the main draw this year and he gave his audience a wonderful insight into how photography has enhanced his passion for angling. The photographs shown were truly stunning and featured every kind of landscape, weather and sky pattern. The final celebrity was Chris Ball, carp historian and director of the weekly Carp-Talk, and his hour- long presentation was centred around his obvious enthusiasm for the legendary Dick Walker,


native of Bedfordshire, and the carp angler’s paradise, Redmire Pool. In addition to the presentations, those present had the chance to take part in an auction of several days ‘fishing in notable carp and pike venues, try their luck on the tombola with a host of prizes or peruse the second-hand tackle sale. They could even purchase jams and chutneys as a sweetener to the other half! Both the tombola and the auction were hugely successful financially and, a week after the event, the total for the charity currently stands at over £3600 with a bit more anticipated. A truly magnificent effort. Roy Smith and Graham Inwood did much of the legwork but many other club members made important contributions and we would like to thank all those who made major contributions to the success of the event; the staff at the Garden Court Hotel, our four guest speakers and the representatives from St Johns. We hope all those present had a great evening. See you again next year!

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Sally Anstee Accountants

Chartered Certified Accountants

- Accounts preparation for Sole traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies - Self assessment tax returns - Cash Flow Forecasting - Vat, Payroll & Bookkeeping - Business Start Up Free Initial Consultation Phone: Sally Anstee FCCA 01767 650700 Ground Floor Offices, Unit 30, Green End, Gamlingay, Sandy, Beds, SG19 3LF Email: Website:

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Create the perfect home office

By Katherine Sorrell Whether you have a dedicated room, a corner of the kitchen, a converted outbuilding or are simply looking to squeeze an office in under the stairs, our expert Katherine Sorrell’s guide will help you create a work space that’s not just efficient and functional, but also inviting and comfortable. Size matters - Start by considering the size of desk you require. The bigger the better – you will never regret having plenty of space on which to spread out. Do you also need a table and chairs for meetings, or perhaps a sofa or chaise longue on which to recline and read or think? And storage is vital, whether it’s a shelf above the desk, plan chests, filing cabinets, drawers or stacking boxes. Bear in mind that some things will need to be within arm’s reach, while less-used items can be stored on high shelves or deep cupboards, not necessarily in the same room. In awkward rooms, such as lofts, under-stairs or other small areas, built-in storage will make the most of the space; otherwise you may consider cheaper, freestanding options. Get technical - A good start is to count up your electrical appliances and ensure that you install enough plug sockets in the right places (about three inches above the work surface is good, plus some hidden lower down, too) to accommodate them all. Place electrical items together so you don’t end up with long stretches of cable between them, and clip trailing wires to backs of table legs where possible. Alternatively, going wireless eliminates some cables entirely, and gives you greater flexibility about where to site your equipment. Light fantastic - Good task and general lighting is vital to avoid eye strain when working at home. The more natural light the better – though beware glare from direct sun, and position your desk at right angles to a window if possible. For working on dim days and in the evenings, fit overhead lighting that doesn’t cast any shadows over your working area – track lighting, spots inset into the ceiling and wall lamps are all options. Desk lamps should ideally be adjustable. Alternatively, consider wiring one or two adjustable lamps into the wall above your desk. Fabulous furniture - Conventional office furnishings are great for efficiency, but tend to look out of place in a home. While ensuring


In this pretty home office natural, neutral storage boxes, baskets, bags and trays from The Holding Company (020 8445 2888; provide a variety of storage for papers and other work essentials.

that your desk and chair are comfortable, seek out furnishings that suit your home and your personality. Plenty of chain stores and independent shops sell home office furniture at a range of prices, but you could also consider hunting around junk shops, second-hand office furniture stores and salvage yards for interesting alternatives, such as old school lockers, a trestle resting on a pair of metal filing cabinets, a distressed kitchen unit or a desktop made from blackboard. Add functional accessories that will brighten up your day, such as colourful waste bins or funky pen holders, and some finishing touches, such as plants, pictures and scented candles that will make this a space where you really want to spend time. Shared spaces - If your office space is shared with your dining room, kitchen, bedroom or living room, you will probably want to conceal it as much as possible when it’s not in use. Build a large cupboard in a recess next to a chimneybreast, for example, and behind the doors you should be able to squeeze in a desk with some shelving above. In a kitchen you might consider removing a unit. That said, think carefully about whether the room’s two purposes will conflict – if you need to work with the children running around, or when a partner wants to sleep, it’s going to be a problem. You might be better off converting the loft, or fitting an office under the stairs, on a large landing or even in the garden shed.

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APRIL 2012

You may recall from February and March’s articles that we and Sandy Town Council were seeking Walkers are Welcome status for Sandy. There are over 70 Walkers are Welcome towns and villages across Britain and it brings a number of benefits. It helps strengthen a town’s reputation as a place for visitors to come to enjoy the outdoors, bringing useful benefits to the local economy. We needed the support of the community to help with our application for this status and we asked you to sign a petition, as it was a requirement that we had to have 500 signatures endorsing this action. Thanks to all of you who signed the petition and also to the Sandy pubs, cafes and food outlets and accommodation providers who kindly assisted us by having petitions on their premises. The signatures were speedily obtained and the number of signatories far exceeded the number required. The application has now been forwarded to the appropriate body and we eagerly wait to hear whether Sandy will become the first town in East Anglia to gain this important status. GREENSAND RIDGE WALK FESTIVAL On 22nd April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Greensand Ridge Walk we and Sandy Town Council are hosting a day of celebrations from 9.30am onwards. The Greensand Ridge Walk is Bedfordshire’s premier long distance walk of some 40 miles and starts in Leighton Buzzard and finishes in Gamlingay. The day of celebrations will be held in Sandy Town Car Park (High Street) where there will be kiosks and stalls about the countryside and Bedfordshire rural life, local refreshments and much much more. There will also be Guided Walks from 10am (Groups of up to 30 will set off every 15 minutes) to areas of the Greensand Ridge Walk within Sandy parish. The Walks will start from the TIC. Please note that these will be timed walks and you will need to book NEW SANDY WALKS LEAFLET TO CELEBRATE THE QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE Also on the 22nd April, we hope to launch a new publication to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. This illustrated leaflet will contain six brand new Walks around Sandy and its beautiful countryside. These will

include a Pushchair Walk and a Town Walk and all will vary in length. There is one Walk for each decade of the Queen’s reign. SUMMER WALKS The very popular Summer Guided Walks run by the Tourist Information Centre are presently being arranged. There will be three Walks this year, plus the Walk in April being part of the Greensand Ridge Walk 25th anniversary (see above) and in September a walk forming part of the Bedfordshire Walking Festival. The Walking Festival is organised by local Ramblers Groups and there will be around seventy walks this year and these are all free. This year the festival is to be held between the Saturday, 8th to Sunday 16th September. Like last year, we will lead one of the walks and this will be a new Walk, called ‘The Lowfield Walk’. Look out for further details. Returning to the TIC Summer Guided Walks:The first of the three walks to be held this year is the very popular visit to SANDYE PLACE We will visit the riverside grounds and have a guided tour of the interior of this mid 18th century mansion and hear the history of Sandy’s former manor house. This will take place on Monday, 21st May at 7pm (Please see further details below). The second Walk is presently being arranged. The third walk is a brand new one and we will visit and hear about the historic village of CARDINGTON – with its connections with Whitbread family, the prison reformer, John Howard and its airship heritage. This Walk will take place on Sunday, 19th August. The cost will be £5 per person. Look out for further details AUTUMN – WINTER TALKS In view of last years very successful Talk about RAF Tempsford we will be arranging three Autumn - Winter Talks this year. The first Talk will be THE WHITBREAD’S OF SOUTHILL. This fascinating talk will be given by Sir Samuel Whitbread, who will speak about the history of this famous family, their public life in Bedfordshire over two hundred and fifty years, the story of the brewery and of the family home, Southill Park. (On one of the TIC Summer Walks held last year a large number of people enjoyed a guided walk in the beautiful ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped

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parklands). This Talk will take place on Thursday, 20th September. The cost will be £5 per person. Look out for further details The second Talk will be about a different aspect of RAF TEMPSFORD, the famous World War II airfield which flew special agents to occupied Europe to undertake various dangerous missions. It will be called ‘The Stately ‘Omes of England – Buildings used by the Special Operations Executive in World War II’. Like last years talk this will be given by local historian and author, Bernard O’Connor. This Talk will take place on Thursday, 4th October. The cost will be £5 per person. Look out for further details The third talk is the story of the SANDY TO POTTON RAILWAY, by local historian George Howe. We will hear how this private line was built by Sandy’s naval hero Captain Sir William Peel, RN, VC and the festivities that occurred at it opening in 1857 and its subsequent history. This Talk will take place on Thursday, 1st November. The cost will be £5 per person. Look out for further details Look out for further details for all these Walks and Talks.

Architects Building Surveyors Project Managers CDM Co-ordinators Sustainability Consultants Land Agents

CHANGE OF OPENING HOURS SANDY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE PLEASE NOTE that from Monday 2nd April 2012 the opening hours of the Tourist Information Centre will change to the following times:MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10am – 3pm SATURDAY 10am – 2pm SUNDAY Closed SANDY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE is at the rear of the offices of Sandy Town Council at 10 Cambridge Road. Access to the Centre is either (a) via the Town Car Park in the High Street – we are in the far left hand corner or (b) from Cambridge Road – via the path at the side of the Town Council Offices. Sandy Tourist Information Centre, Rear of 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy Telephone 01767 682728 email


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Spring Clean Your Make-Up Bag

By Helen Taylor

It’s a fact that many of us stubbornly hold on to our old favourite ‘can’t live without’ product, even though it lurks deep within a jam-packed make-up bag and is - more often than not - the most unappealing looking thing in there. That perfect shade of red lipstick, easy to apply liner and super-lengthening mascara might do its job expertly, but if it’s been hanging around for months, it may be threatening your health. Although your cosmetics look innocent enough, after being opened they offer a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And over time, you can end up suffering from some seriously nasty eye infections, skin irritations and blemishes, all because your products are long past their best. Not all manufacturers place ‘use by’ guidelines on their make-up, so it can be hard to know what is an acceptable amount of time to keep your beauty buys for. So we have compiled a guide to give you the low down on when is the right time to say goodbye to your trusty old product. Mascara Buy a new one at least every three or four months. Changes in texture and smell can indicate that it’s past its best. If you’ve had an eye infection, then discard the mascara you were using when it started and invest in a new one to avoid reinfection.


Pencil Eyeliner They are fine to use until you need to replace them, as the tip that is in contact with the eye is constantly being sharpened and therefore kept fairly clean - just make sure you always cover the tip with the protective lid. Liquid Eyeliner Should be treated the same as mascara and replaced every three to four months. As with all eye make-up, never be tempted to share yours or borrow someone else’s - it’s the fastest way to spread an eye infection. Eye Shadow Fine for a few years as long as they are stored properly in their original container. Make sure you replace the applicators regularly though and, as with all eye make-up, if you suffer with an eye infection at any point, always replace everything you were using at the time. Foundation Generally safe to use for around twelve months, foundations should be kept away from direct sunlight or intense heat to ensure a long lifespan. If you use a foundation brush or sponge to apply your make-up, clean them thoroughly on a regular basis. Powder Blusher Safe to use for a few years as bacteria can’t breed easily in the dry formula, though applicators should be kept clean - washing every few weeks is essential. Lipstick They should really be replaced after a year as they are in constant contact with your mouth. Be aware of changes in smell and texture to determine if it’s time you should be looking for a new one. Moisturiser Aim to discard moisturisers after six months. Changes in smell and consistency indicate that the product has reached its ‘use by’ date. Sunscreen: Aim to purchase brand new sunscreen every year, as the ingredients that protect you from damaging UV rays can become less potent over time. Nail Varnish Usually varnish will last for a good twelve months. If after shaking you aren’t able to mix it together, then it’s a sure sign it is ready to be thrown away.

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Ash Tree Financial Services

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ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND BUILDING DESIGN SERVICES Professional and affordable architectural design services provided for all types of private residential building projects including extensions, loft/garage conversions, garages and outbuildings through to new build dwellings with all necessary council approvals obtained. For free estimates and advice, contact Jason Dixon on:01767 677540 or 07908 004816 e-mail: No VAT payable for design and drawing services on residential projects Jason Dixon, 101 Meadow Road, Great Gransden, Sandy, SG19 3BB.

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Friends Five Star HairDressing


We are currently looking for a Senior Stylist, minimum experience 5 years, hours to suit and excellent pay package. Call 01767 682789 and ask for Liz. Going to a hair salon for the first time is an exciting as well as a slightly nerve-wracking experience and it’s possibly a little unusual to wait until the grand old age of fourteen for your first appointment. The truth is I have always trimmed my eldest daughter’s hair for her but, and I know parents of teens everywhere will understand what I mean here, she’s apparently reached that age where my scissor-skills just aren’t working for her anymore. Choosing a hair salon is never easy but Friends Five Star Hair Salon in Sandy is a very friendly, very professional salon with a team of nine who are thankfully as brilliant at listening and understanding hair dreams and needs as they are at cutting, styling and finishing. We are greeted at the door and offered a complimentary drink which cater to all tastes ranging from fresh cappuccino to fresh orange juice and my not-so-little girl takes a seat to discuss her


lovely chestnut locks with stylist Sharon while I talk through the latest news with salon owner Liz. ‘We redecorated the salon in January so we now have a smart, contemporary new look’ enthuses Liz, indicating the beautiful black and white patterned walls and fresh paintwork. The salon has a bright and clean feel with gorgeous big, framed mirrors, a very comfortable seating area and lots of the latest magazines to flick through and best of all, the lighting is complementary – a far cry from the scary spotlights of some salons. ‘The latest, very exciting news is that we are now able to offer the exclusive Chromatics from Redken – the latest in hair colour technology,’ continues Liz. ‘They are brilliant colours and also so much kinder to hair as they contain no ammonia whatsoever but have added protein to make hair 2x stronger – a real breakthrough in colour technology. They represent the future of hair colouring and we’re very proud to be the only salon in Sandy to be able to offer these colours now, with stylists trained to the highest levels by Redken, London. We are offering Redken Chromatics with no price increase and are sure that everyone who tries this amazing hair colour will be amazed at the results - we certainly were.’ A quick glance at my daughter tells me that all is very well indeed. One wash and special conditioning, PH balancing treatment later, she is happily ensconced in one of the salon’s deep, comfy chairs chattering away while Sharon works her magic – trimming and layering. She catches my eye and flashes me a big grin – such pampering has her in her element. ‘Of course, we continue to use all the latest award

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winning L’Oreal and Redken products as we always have in the salon. We are also able to offer evening appointments twice a week – on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and give all our new clients a welcome pack with discount vouchers for future cuts and treatments. Our loyalty card also continues to be very popular with our clients.’ I can hear the gentle rush of a hair-dryer coming from the direction of my beautiful girl and as I thank Liz and wander over to take a look, I am simply stunned by the shining sweep of hair that now swings stylishly around my baby girl’s shoulders. ‘I absolutely loved it’ my gorgeous girl tells me excitedly, gazing at her reflection in the swiveled rear-view mirror, commandeered on the journey home. ‘I asked for some layers and Sharon has really given it shape, I have never looked like this before, I feel so swishy and shiny - I feel great! I am so glad we went to Friends.’ And I feel great too – seeing her so happy is the perfect treat for me, and having such happy, shiny, styled hair is the perfect treat for her. So together, and alongside the many, many clients who travel from far and wide to put their hair into the care of Friends, we whole-heartedly recommend Friends Five Star Hair Salon of Sandy.

Special offer to mark the 1st year anniversary of new management Colour Clients - Any full head colour service booked in April will receive a free conditioning treatment worth £8 PLUS a take home complimentary bottle of Redken shampoo to help protect your colour. (Please note this offer has to be stated when booking or if you’ve already booked in please call to reserve your shampoo. Limited numbers available for this offer. First come first serve basis) All clients who come and see us will be entered into our raffle prize with a chance to win a designer perfume compliments of friends

FRIENDS FIVE STAR HAIRDRESSING 4 Shannon Court, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 1AG Tel: 01767 682789

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Slugs and Snails

By Pippa Greenwood This is the time of year when you’re likely to start to notice the presence of slugs and snails in your garden, greenhouse, coldframe, window box.... indeed just about everywhere. It never ceases to amaze me how much damage something as small as a slug can do and in such a short space of time. But then the truth of it is, there is never just one slug or one snail, you can always be sure that there will be hoards of them. I garden on clay and our soil is alkaline and so we have a plentiful supply of snails; if you garden on an acidic soil you will generally find that snails are not a problem as they need the calcium to make their shells. To say that they infuriate me would be an understatement, but the type I hate most are those small grey-black keeled slugs that do such a lot of damage to crops such as potatoes. I garden without chemicals so there is no question of using pellets, but I have tried pretty well every other trick in the book. I use the biological control nematode Phasmarhabdites hermaphrodita. Although quite expensive it works brilliantly against slugs and poses no environmental problems. If you time the applications so that the crops, flowers or other plants are protected while they are at their most vulnerable, then it shouldn’t be too much of an outlay. Slug and snail traps also work well, whether you buy your own ‘Slug Pubs’ or make them by plunging plastic beakers into the soil close to susceptible plants and then part filling them with beer. I once did a mini trial on Gardeners’ Question Time to see which beers slugs and snails liked best, and Guinness came out tops.... with alcohol-free lager proving least popular! I also find that stale milk works well and if you add a small quantity of grain or porridge oats to the liquid, the pests come in at an amazing rate. Make sure that you leave a centimetre or so of the rim of the beaker protruding above the soil level so that beneficial creatures such as ground beetles don’t fall in. If you create barriers around plants this can help, but I find it less reliable. My preferred materials are coco-shell, pine needles and crushed shells. But whatever you use do remember to put a complete circle around the base of the plant,

not just a ring or the slugs may simply come up inside the ring and of course check it regularly, replenishing the material as necessary. So before they start to really get a hold, show them who is boss, and take action straight away: Encourage wildlife such as ground beetles, birds and hedgehogs Create barriers around particularly susceptible plants. Buy or make slug traps. If growing potatoes concentrate on earlies and lift these as soon as possible, and grow varieties that show some resistance to attack. Use the biological control as a soil drench to control slugs (not snails) Attach copper strip around the circumference of pots containing slug susceptible plants. Go on night-time slug and snail hunts. In late autumn collect up snails from their hibernating places. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and make Veg Growing Easy. Just select the vegetables you’d like to grow and you’ll receive garden ready veg plants PLUS every week Pippa emails you hints, tips and advice about your chosen veg. From just £39 for up to 66 gardenready plants, 6 packets of seed and the weekly emails. Pippa’s website now also offers a great selection of growing frames, cloches, raised bed kits and biological controls.

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON

Which colour will it be tomorrow? We, as a nation, get a great deal of pleasure from the garden birds we feed and it was interesting to see the reaction, from one family member, upon seeing the shredded remains of an empty feeder spread about on the ground. We had assumed that the attack and damage must have been caused by some hungry fox, but some days later we were proved to be wrong, when we saw a grey tail twitching in the branches of a nearby tree. The owner of this appendage was soon to appear and proceeded to bound towards the copious amounts of delicious sunflower seed hanging from the shrubs. The gymnastic agility required to access and remove the food from the feeder was more than impressive and generated praise indeed, but this was soon to be replaced by concern when the seed level started to fall dramatically and pieces of chewed plastic started to accumulate below the expensive feeder! Now the dilemma was - do we allow access by all visitors to the feeders or do we choose which ones “deserve” our charitable offerings and will not misbehave. The discussion about which animals were to be allowed to eat at our table continued for several days when another visitor showed up. (The word had obviously got round). This time it was black and re-started the whole debate . Even as a child, I can still remember having been told about the damage caused by foreign, American, non-native grey squirrels following their introduction and how they were busy pushing out our pretty native reds by being more aggressive. In order to control their numbers, I was particularly impressed at the offer of a financial reward for each fluffy grey tail which could be bagged. (biological control?) I hear that the black form of the grey squirrel is even more aggressive and is better adapted to surviving cold weather and is therefore continuing to spread from it’s initial location 90 years ago in Hitchin or Letchworth where it was thought to originate from escapes from a zoo. As it is still relatively uncommon and rather


cute, will it be seen as a welcome rare garden visitor and encouraged, or seen as another alien pest to be removed? Then the debate may focus towards the white form which is even more rare (I didn’t even know this form existed!) and now I hear that in America (where else!) a PURPLE form has been seen !!! but possibly covered in powder paint??? I can see that for some entrepreneur, the opportunity of developing a new range of garden ornaments must include together with the chubby robins, lambs and fishing elves …the funky squirrel range-pretty pink, glowing orange and of course passionate purple. Getting back to reality, the question is - if an animal is perceived as being common, ugly, aggressive, destructive, foreign etc. are our reactions towards it always reasonably objective or are we sometimes excessively influenced by big brown eyes?

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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J.R. Bibby Turf Supplies Quality Turf with a Quality Service

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Unit 2, 1 Stockton End, Off Sunderland Road, Sandy, Beds SG19 1SB Tel: 01767 681746 Fax: 01767 681776 Email: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


The Babysitter

Who is looking after your children? Hiring a babysitter is a great way for parents to have a night out, and for the babysitter to earn a bit of pocket money. But how should you choose a babysitter? What is the legal position around babysitting? The law does not specify a minimum age for a babysitter, but the NSPCC recommends that you do not choose anyone under the age of 16. Even when you are out, the legal responsibility for the care and safety of your children remains with you. Be aware that 16-year-olds vary considerably in their maturity, so choose someone you already know well, or who has been recommended by someone you know and trust. Make sure you all spend some time with the babysitter beforehand, so you are all comfortable with each other. On the night, make sure the babysitter knows where you will be, the phone numbers that you can be contacted on, and if possible, the number


of a nearby relative and neighbour. Make sure they know what to do in an emergency, have a leaflet with basic first aid nearby. Let them know your house rules. And at the end of the night, escort them home or allow them to stay over, for their own safety. Good luck, and have a nice time!

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We don’t aim to save you pennies - just £’s Huge Range of Drought Busting Plants Moisture Control Compost

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The Perfect Plant! As a plantsman I often get asked to recommend the perfect plant. Now I know the conversation is going to be interesting when I am approached with the phrase ‘do you know anything about plants?’ This phrase is usually accompanied with a quizzical scowl, and completed with raised eyebrows. “Now, we want it to flower for 12 months of the year, produce scent in winter (but not too heavy), be available in purple, blue and White, with a splash of pink around mother’s day. It must be evergreen, fast growing, tall enough to block out the view of the neighbour’s garage, but not large enough to block out light. It should be able to grow in our heavy clay soil, not require feeding and will never need pruning. It should absolutely not shed leaves onto my husband’s impeccably manicured lawn, and must be able to withstand rabbits, provide a home for birds and ladybirds, but not be susceptible to diseases or pests. The flowers should be self-deadheading, and should provide sweet nectar for bees, but not wasps. Oh, and it must be 2 metres tall when planted, and not be expensive. Can you recommend a few?’ This could be an April fool, but it’s not: it’s a common request. They want me to give them a long Latin name (the plant, not the enquirer!) but it doesn’t exist, and I’m rather glad. Plants are like friends, they all have different personalities, different requirements and different strengths and weaknesses, but it’s that very variety which makes gardening (and friendship) so rewarding. April is a very busy month for most people in the garden, and one of my favourites. The clocks have changed, the days are longer and warmer and plant growth is rapid. There are still some major tasks which can be completed at this time of year, such as cutting back evergreens. Cut back hard, feed and the plant will regenerate over the next few years. If you didn’t feed your plants last month, now is the time to do it. If you are an organic gardener, a handful of chicken manure pellets

or blood, fish and bone, are great tonics for your plants. It’s also the time when potatoes can be planted. Some years ago, a very helpful guy at our local garden centre demystified the whole potato planting schedule for me and in essence all potatoes are planted right now- traditionally Easter Sunday I think. The first earlies, second earlies and main crop tubers are planted together, it’s just that they are harvested at different times. The instructions on the packs are usually pretty clear. Other jobs to do this month include: Deadhead faded flowers from bulbs After flowering, prune back forsythia shrubs Prune Buddleia and Lavatera and hardy Fuchsias Happy Gardening, Lee ( Other jobs to do this month Deadhead faded flowers from bulbs After flowering prune back forsythia shrubs Prune Buddleia and Lavatera and hardy Fuschias

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Patios, Fencing, Hard Landscaping, Turfing Phone Richard on

01767 691373 or 07597 419651 anytime for a free quote. Portfolio and references upon request.


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FOR April

Mowing Mow at least once a week now. Make sure mower has been serviced and blade replaced or sharpened. Fertiliser This is the time to feed and weed (preferably in that order). The fertiliser is predominately Nitrogen in a slow release form, but it may also need Phosphate and Potassium as well as vital trace elements to promote a vibrant lawn. Weed Control Once the weeds and grass are actively growing a selective herbicide to kill broad leaved weeds such as dandelions, daisies and clover within the grass can be applied. Patio/Driveway Weed Control Weeds can look unsightly at this time of year in patios and driveways. We can spray a total weed killer to kill them and keep weed free for up to 6 months.

Actions required in Spring • Mow Lawn At Least Once Per Week. • Apply Spring Fertiliser To Produce Vibrant Green Lawn • Spray Weeds In Lawn With Selective Herbicide • Spray Drive/Path/Patios With Total Herbicide To Keep Weed Free For Summer Call Deborah or Richard : 01480 812393 e-mail -

Reader Offer

Book up for a Weed Control Treatment and we’ll apply the Spring Fertiliser FREE OF CHARGE. (Existing customers will receive an additional treatment free of charge too).

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Professional Dog & Cat Grooming Hydro Massage Bathing Bespoke Dog & Cat Grooming Handstripping Specialists De-shedding Treatments Open Plan Grooming 38 Shortmead St Biggleswade 01767 600 212 Find us on Facebook To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


National Pet Month

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti Pets play a key role in a person’s life, providing companionship, affection and even protection. Children who keep a pet get the opportunity to learn how to love, care about and be responsible for another living creature. Caring for their pet helps in the development of self discipline. They say that a dog is a man’s best friend and never is this truer than in the case of working and assistance companion animals. Chosen for their social nature, dogs work closely with people in a variety of roles including law enforcement, search and rescue, and farming. As assistance animals, dogs provide help for the visually and hearing impaired, serve as an alert system for impending seizures, and offer additional strength and mobility for the physically disabled. Dogs also provide comfort for some people suffering emotional difficulties. Starting 7th April is National Pet Month, an annual event that brings together pet lovers, animal welfare charities, professional bodies and pet

businesses. Throughout the UK until 7th May fun-filled events are being held to help improve the welfare of pets. If you’d like to take part, visit for further details. Top Ten Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership • Think carefully before getting a pet and learn about its special requirements. • Ensure your pet is socialised and well trained. • Provide a nutritious and well balanced diet. • Provide suitable housing and bedding. • Clean up after your pet and worm it regularly. • Protect against diseases. Your vet can provide you with advice. • Prevent unwanted litters and neuter your pet when appropriate. • Groom your pet regularly. • Control your pet and ensure it is properly identified. • Take out pet insurance for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses to cover unexpected veterinary fees and third-party liability

Can I go to the Paddocks for my Holiday please?

Paddocks Boarding Cattery Peaceful location. No dogs boarded. Spacious, individual, heated chalets with large covered runs. Inspection welcome. Boarding from £6.00/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

Telephone 01767 677 759 Open all year.

The cattery for caring owners. Comfort and security for your pet. 62

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New season pond fish now in stock

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National Autism Month April is National Autism Month. When hearing about autism, many people think of the film Rain Man, or of a child genius who can’t function at all socially. The reality for most people affected by autism is somewhat different. Autism is a developmental disorder which affects the way a person communicates and relates to the world. The causes are not known, and it is a lifelong condition. It is a spectrum, which means while all people with autism will share certain traits, the effect the condition has on them will be different. Some will be able to live independently, while others may need care for the rest of their lives. People with autism have difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination. Common social mores like sarcasm and jokes are difficult to understand, and figurative speech tends to be taken literally, so the expression ‘cool’ may mean slightly cold to someone with autism, rather than slang for something good. They see the world differently and often feel they don’t fit in, but can’t figure out why. People with autism often have learning disabilities that mask the symptoms of autism. Asperger Syndrome is a form of autism that is not usually accompanied by severe learning disabilities, and people with it are often of higher than average intelligence, but sufferers may still struggle with social interactions and


may have milder learning difficulties such as dyspraxia and dyslexia. Around 1 in 100 people in the UK are on the autistic spectrum. As awareness of autism and Asperger syndrome grows, diagnosis for children is becoming more common, but for adults it can still be a struggle. The first step in getting a diagnosis would be to talk to a GP. It might help to ring the Autism Helpline to help prepare what to say. The GP will then make a referral to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist for an assessment and formal diagnosis. They will ask questions about childhood history, day to day interactions and so on. There may be more than one appointment before a report is written and official diagnosis is made, but once it is done, further support and services can then be accessed. Organisations like The National Autism Society can be a great help. They can provide information about services to support autistic people, such as housing, befriending, employment and education. They also provide support for friends and family of autistic people too. The vast majority of people with autism can lead happy, independent lives, especially if the people around them have knowledge and understanding of the condition. Autism Helpline 0808 800 4104 National Autistic Society

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Swimming Lessons • • • • • •

Private pool - Tadlow ASA qualified teachers Beginners & stroke technique classes 1-3 pupils per class 10 week courses (term time only) Mother and Toddler classes

C a l l He ather on Tel: 01767 631053 Mob: 07885 516561

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Biggleswade Sandy Lions Club Ickwell May Day Festival was first documented in the Churchwarden’s accounts of c1565 and has continued ever since, apart from a break at the time of the Puritans. A permanent Maypole was first erected in 1872. The Festival this year will be on Monday 7th May. Biggleswade Sandy Lions will be there as usual and plan to have their skittles, golf and duck games as well as a lucky dip, books and bric a brac. Come and have fun. The money we raise will help us help the local community. Originally, Maypoles were young trees cut down and stuck in the ground. People danced around to celebrate the end of winter with the start of the fine weather to allow planting to begin. Maypoles were once common all over England and the tallest is said to have been erected on The Strand in London in 1661 standing over 143 feet high. It was felled in 1771 when Sir Isaac Newton sent it to a friend in Wanstead to support the


then largest telescope in Europe. The name of St Andrew Undershaft in Cornhill derives from a large Maypole set up in front of it. Biggleswade Sandy Lions also plan on having a publicity stall once again at this year’s Ickwell Festival. Do come and have a chat and find out more about the Lions. We are always looking for new members so we can do more to help in the community. All we ask for is some of your spare time to help with fund raising and community service plus we have social events as well. To find out even more you can also visit our website or call 0845 8339749. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at Biggleswade Conservative Club where you will be most welcome. We look forward to meeting you. Come and make some new friends. YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU

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07860 834 887

T&M Complete Car Care Independent Mobile Vehicle Services:

Mats Cars Potton Based Local and Long Distance Private Hire Airport/Stations/Nights Out etc Can now carry up to 7 passengers + luggage in our new Luxury MPV. 4 Passenger car also available. Airport Transfers From Luton £40, Stansted £65, Heathrow £80, Gatwick £130 Tel: 01767 261871 Mob: 07983 218367 All major credit/debit cards accepted

Established since 1988 in Baldock, Hertfordshire, T&M have now gone mobile, maintaining our full range of services with the convenience of bringing them directly to your location of choice.

Our services include: • • • • • • •

Air-Con Servicing and Re-Gasing ECU Diagnostics and Repair Full Vehicle Servicing Collect and Return MOT Testing Competitive Rates On Parts and Labour 0% VAT on all jobs All major credit and debit cards accepted

Our Aim:

Our commitment to our customers is of utmost importance. We are an independent business with an aim to meet customer expectation on cost and services provided, ensuring we maintain our high standards at all times. We attempt to complete all work the same day where possible.

Personal chauffeur service

Providing a luxurious first class chauffeur service for any occasion including: Airport Transfers Corporate & media travel Sports & social events Special occasions evenings out Weddings All local and long distance travel catered for

Please contact us: Tel: 07901 65 66 62 E-mail:

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SANDY M.O.T CENTRE While-you-wait testing on site

FROODS AUTOSERVICES Your ‘main dealer’ alternative………..

Established over 20 years we have grown from strength to strength by word of mouth referrals due to the quality of our work and service. We provide vehicle maintenance, repairs and diagnostics for most makes of vehicles and have invested in training and state of the art diagnostic equipment to meet the demands of the modern car. We also provide: • Servicing & Repairs • MOTʼs on Site, including 4 x 4 Vehicles • Air Conditioning • Tyres • 4 Wheel Laser Alignment • Batteries & Exhausts • American Vehicle Service & Diagnostics • Vehicle Recovery & Transportation Service • Collect & Delivery Service • Courtesy Cars

It is our policy to keep our customers informed at all times with the fault, cause, cure and estimated cost which will be reported to the customer before we carry out any repair work. We recognise that it is important to use Original Equipment (OE) parts and the manufacturers recommended engine lubricants to prevent premature engine damage and this is standard practice. Personal Attention and Professional Service Telephone: 01767

680868 Email: Website:

10 Darlington Close, Sunderland Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 1RW


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Safety Groups Say Older Drivers

Get A ‘Bad Press’

Road safety organisations have said forcing elderly drivers to retake their test when they reach a certain age is not the best way to improve road safety. There has been a recent spate of accidents involving older drivers who police have claimed were not fit to hold a licence. One accident saw a 16-year-old girl killed by an 87-year-old driver who swerved onto the pavement in Colchester, Essex crushing the girl against a wall. Police had asked the driver to give up his licence three days before the fatal crash after he was involved in a separate crash, an inquest heard. However, road safety groups have told us that they think incidents involving elderly drivers are more widely reported in the press – heightening the public’s negative perception of older drivers. “Older drivers do of course make mistakes as do all older people, said Adrian Walsh, director of charity RoadSafe. “There is evidence to show that risk increases as drivers get older, but the type of error is quite different from young drivers – most of them are to do with errors of judgement rather than breaches of the law and most are ‘lapses’. One thing is quite clear – older drivers take less risks.” Andrew Howard, head of road safety at The AA, agreed, adding: “It is very difficult to base

decisions about older drivers on the more outrageous accidents that they have. After all we don’t base our rules on all young drivers around those who pinch cars, speed or drive stupidly to impress their friends. “By and large, most older drivers are safe drivers. Risk curves fall from teenage to late 40s and only really begin to turn up again by late 60s/early 70s and sharply by 80s. Even then they struggle to have a risk level challenging the youngest (and fittest) drivers.” Howard added that stopping older people driving would have immense costs too – both personally and to the economy as other forms of transport would have to be funded. The Institute of Advanced Motorists said they think older drivers get an “unfair press”. “In terms of the number of crashes they have they are one of the safest groups on the road and far safer than young drivers between the ages of 17-24,” said the IAM’s Neil Greig. “When an older driver knocks down a pedestrian or drives the wrong way up a dual carriageway they get banner headlines and calls for tough retests. The vast majority of older drivers are responsible adults who know their weaknesses and change their driving to cope with them.” The IAM wants to see voluntary assessments made widely available, such as its DriveCheck55, where drivers can refresh their skills, discuss the high risk factors and get an independent assessment without fear of losing their licence. Meanwhile, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said there is no evidence older drivers have more accidents. “In fact their safety record is better than that of many young drivers - but their frailty means that when they are involved in collisions they are more likely to be killed or seriously injured,” he explained. “Rather than introducing compulsory retesting for older drivers, we would like to see the greater promotion of voluntary refresher courses. Insurance policies which offer discounts to older drivers who do not drive at the riskiest times – such as at night – and on the most dangerous roads would also help.” By James Baggott, editor of Car Dealer Magazine (

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Business gone slow? Let us help!

Advertising in The Villager is easy. To find out more call Nigel on 01767 261122 or email

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Tel: 01767 679000

MOT TESTING For class 4 or 7 vehicles Class IV Cars and vans up to 3000kg Class VII Vans over 3000kg up to 3500kg

SERVICING Good Garage Scheme Industry Standard Service Or to manufacturer specification

DIAGNOSTICS - SNAP ON Diagnostic fault finding centre. EXHAUSTS - Supplied and fitted to all makes of cars and vans. BATTERIES - Supplied and fitted two and three year guarantee. BRAKES - Discs Pads Shoes. Cylinders etc supplied and fitted. CODE READING - Trace & rectify those alarming red dashboard warning lights. TYRES - All makes inc. Budget Avon, Dunlop, Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli.


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Easter Elsewhere!

some traditions from across Europe Fed up with chocolate and bunnies? Check out these cool Easter traditions from our European neighbours. In Finland children blacken their faces and go begging in the streets, rather like our Halloween. On Easter Monday the villagers of Haux, in France, cook up a giant omelette using over 4500 eggs. The omelette feeds over 1000 people and is served in the village square for lunch. In some parts of Germany people save their Christmas trees and burn them in a ceremonial bonfire, which symbolises the victory of spring over the dark days of winter. Latvian children hold egg fights, using decorated eggs. The fights are similar to our conker fights and the egg which cracks first loses. Possibly the strangest tradition comes from Hungary, The Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Here women are spanked on Easter Monday. It is said that spanking ensures a woman’s beauty will be preserved during the following year! Me? I’m sticking to the chocolate!

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what’S ON?


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

17 March-5 April Lambing Time 10.30am-5pm Wimpole Home Farm, near Arrington Normal Farm admission applies Celebrate the arrival of spring as newborn lambs frolic in the fields. Head to Home Farm to meet the rare breed ewes and lambs and if you are lucky you may see a live birth. Tel: 01223 206000 Web:

6-9 April Easter Hunt Trail 10am-4pm RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Cost: Trail sheet £2. £4 per vehicle to non-RSPB members Follow the Easter trail and spot all of the pictures hidden in the woodland with a creme egg to collect when you finish! Tel: 01767 680541 Web:

1 April Easter Craft Fayre 10am-4pm Stratton Upper School, Biggleswade Admission £1, children free Refreshments available all day. Tables available at £15 each. Tel: 01767 220000

11 April The Biggleswade & District Pensioners Ass. Meeting 2.30pm Labour Hall, Crab Lane, Biggleswade We are a non-political association and have speakers who will be of interest to all pensioners. Tel: Mary on 01767 315569 for more information

1 April Easter Egg Hunt 2pm-5pm St John’s Hospice Grounds, Moggerhanger £3 entry for children and £1 for adults All children will receive a chocolate Easter egg for taking part, and also the chance to win a special prize! Easter egg hunt, raffle, stalls, cake decorating, mask decorating, teas, coffees and face painting. Tel: For further information Lauren Hasdell 01767 641044 or email:

13 April The first Cuckoo of Spring? 10am-12 noon RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Cost: Adults £4, RSPB members £3, Children £3, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £2. The Lodge is a great place to see and hear the increasingly scarce messenger of Spring, the Cuckoo. We’ll take a walk to see if these intriguing birds have found their way back to The Lodge from their wintering grounds in Africa. Booking essential. Tel: 01767 680541 Web:

3, 10, 17 & 24 April 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. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 3 April Potton WI 7.30pm Potton members free, Guests £3 Guest speaker will be Maureen Moody, on Magazine Journalism. New members and guest welcome. Books for sale 50p each. The craft theme for this month is celebrating Easter, the winning entry will be picked by the speaker. 4 April Alpines 7.30pm WI Hall, Waresley Road, Gamlingay Visitors very welcome £2.50 entry charge Angela Whiting from D’Arcy and Everest Alpine Nursery at Somerton, St. Ives, is coming to talk to us about Alpines and also give us some ideas for the sometimes tricky problem of planting up Alpine troughs. Just in time for the new spring season. Tel: Jean Venning 01767 261298


13 April Bingo Night 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Monthly Bingo Friday night with cash prizes, a raffle and licensed bar. Proceeds to the Village Hall. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 14 April Water for Elephants (PG13) Doors open 2.30pm, film starts 3pm Space for Sports & Arts, Holmemead School Tickets £3.50 A handsome veterinary student falls for a married circus performer in this romantic drama adapted from author Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel, directed by Francis Lawrence. Tel: 01767 626338 Web: 20 April St George’s Day Concert 7.30pm Beeston Methodist Church Admission £3 including light refreshments, pay at the door. This is a concert with choirs, soloists, musicians and Double Take men’s barbershop quartet. Come along and help raise the roof with singing and waving of flags for St George’s Day. Tel: Angela Earl 01767 220175

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20 April Whist Drive 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Fortnightly Friday Whist Drive. Refreshments included. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information 21 April 11th Ashwell Flea Market 9.30am-1pm St Mary’s Church, Ashwell All sorts of weird and wonderful items for sale. Tea and Coffee available. Proceeds to the Church Restoration Appeal. 21 April Birds 4 Beginners 10am-12 noon RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Cost: Adults £5, RSPB members £4, Children £3, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £2. Our ever popular walk, discovering how to identify the birds that you see on your walks and in your gardens. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 21 April Casino Night 6.30pm for 7pm supper Moggerhanger Village Hall Tickets £8 including two course supper Licensed bar. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information 21 April Friends of Sutton School Quiz Night 7.30pm Sutton Village Hall £8.00 per ticket including fish and chip supper Teams of up to 6, licensed bar and raffle. Tel: Jeni 07885 641174 21 April Quiz Night with Ian Brooks 7.30pm Blunham Village Hall £5 per person Bar and Food available. In aid of Teddybears Playgroup, Blunham. Tel: Fiona 0796 8028615 to reserve a table or to join a team 22 April Spring Herbalist’s Walk 2.00pm-4.00pm RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Cost: Adults £5, RSPB members £4, Children £3, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £2. Discover the many medicinal uses of plants. Medicinal herbalist Julie Dore returns with her very popular walk, showing us how leaves, roots and berries can be used to treat anything from headaches and stress to colds and constipation! Booking essential. Tel: 01767 680541 Web:

24 & 26 April Biggleswade Air Cadets 7.30-9.00pm Shortmead Street Aged between 13-17 years old? Wondering what to do at weekends? We can offer Flying/Gliding; Shooting; Adventure Weekends; Duke of Edinburgh Award and much more. All Welcome. 25 April Sandy & District Horticultural Association 7.30pm Seddington Nurseries David Fowler (Bedford Town Guide) will be giving a talk featuring ‘The story of Laxtons in Bedford & Sandy’. Laxtons who developed the well-known apple and the Soveriegn Strawberry had sites in Bedford and at Girtford in Sandy which is now Bickerdikes Gardens. A meal is available afterwards, which needs to pre-booked with Tony Munns on 01767 691055. New members and visitors welcome 26 April Indulgence Evening 7-9.30pm Moggerhanger Lower School Tickets: Advance £2.50, on the night £3 Treatments only £5 including nail painting, Reflexology & Tarot Readings. Tel: Sid 07505 359764 29 April Celebrity Charity Football Match Gates open 11.30am, 1pm kick off Potton Utd FC, The Hollow Tickets Adults £5, Children Under 14s £2 Gransden XI vs. Arsenal Celebrity X1. In aid of Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, Moggerhanger. Tickets available from Gransden Village Shop or Londis in Potton or email 5 May Diamond Rings Concert 7.30pm Sue Ryder Hospice, St John’s Road, Moggerhanger Tickets £7, children under 13 £5 Peregrine Recorder Orchestra is performing a very varied programme . Due to strictly limited seating in the hall entry is by ticket only. Proceeds to the hospice charity. Simple refreshments will be available to purchase. Tel: Ron on 01767 641501 or 07952 472699, to secure a booking 7 May Novelty Dog Show 9.30-5pm White Horse Pub, Broom, Biggleswade Organised by Barking Mad Dog Training School in aid of Hounds for Heroes. Classes start at 10am prompt and cost £1 each. Web:



Easter Chocolate Mousse Cake Perfect for a special Easter Sunday meal this indulgent dessert has a chocolate sponge base, creamy white chocolate mousse filling and a rich and dark chocolate glaze. It can be prepared the day before or made a couple of weeks in advance and frozen.

Serves 4 Ready in 1 ¼ hours plus 3 - 4 hours chilling


BASE • 3 eggs • 70g caster sugar • 50g plain flour • 2 tbsp cocoa powder MOUSSE • 2 x 150g bars good quality white chocolate, broken into pieces • 3 tbsp milk • 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 300ml double cream • 3 large egg whites • 2 tsp powdered gelatine GLAZE • 85g plain chocolate • 20g unsalted butter • 4 tbsp double cream • Melted white chocolate and small candy coated chocolate eggs, to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 20 cm round spring-form tin. To make the base, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until very thick and pale – the whisk should leave a trail in the mixture when lifted. 2. Sift over the flour and cocoa and fold in gently. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 12-15 minutes until just springy to the touch. Turn out and leave to cool completely. Clean the tin and lightly grease and re-line the base. Place the cold sponge in the base of the tin. 3. To make the mousse, place the white chocolate, milk and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and leave until melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth then stir in 4 tbsp of the cream. 4. Dissolve the gelatine in 2 tbsp hot water. Cool for a few minutes then stir into the chocolate mixture. Softly whip the rest of the cream and fold into the chocolate mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold in. Spoon the mousse over the sponge base and chill for 3-4 hours until set. 5. For the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth then stir in the cream. Leave until cool and thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally. Remove the mousse cake from the tin and gently spread the chocolate glaze over the top. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and decorate with the eggs.


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Oven Cleaning! - It’s a dirty job! Why do it yourself? We clean ovens using non-caustic, non-toxic products in your home.

For all your oven cleaning needs, using a Non-toxic, Non-caustic cleaning solution

Ovens • Ranges • Hobs • Extractors Agas • Microwaves • Barbecues (May - Sept) Single Oven (all racks/pans inc)........................£35 Single Oven & Grill Oven (all racks/pans inc).....£45 Single Separate Grill Oven (racks/pans inc)......£15 Microwaves & Combination Ovens....................£20 Extractor Fan (free filter for next clean).............£12 Hob..................................................................£12 . . .

Agas and Ranges priced accordingly Oven Bulbs replaced for free in all jobs V.A.T free

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s/oven (all inc.)...£36.00 d/oven (all inc.)...£48.00 extractors from...£12.00 microwaves.....£16.00 hobs from....£12.00 BBQs, Agas and Ranges individually priced.

We cover Beds - Herts - South Cambs Contact us now

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CLAYTON FAMILY BUTCHERS 19, Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Shop Telephone: 01767 261503 Once again a family run business


Opening Hours Tuesday & Wednesday 8am – 5pm, Thursday & Friday 8am – 6pm Saturdays 7.30am – 1.30pm Fresh Quality Meats • Award Winning Sausages • Home Cooked & Continental Meats • Hand-Raised Pork Pies • Selection of English and Continental Cheese • Spit-Roasted Chickens from the Rotisserie • Hot Pies, Pasties and Sausage Rolls • Faggots, Brawn and Chitterlings • Gluten Free Sausages & Burgers

We also supply catering establishments from our specialist unit in Sandy, Bedfordshire - Telephone: (01767) 699940 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Comet Cleaning Services


Property Maintenance Exterior and Interior Painting Blocked Gutters Fascia Board Cleaning Chimney and Wall Pointing Patios, Fencing, Paths & Bases Brickwork and Repairs Fascia Board Painting uPVC Cleaning Insurance jobs welcome No job too small Free Estimates

01767 680532 or 0774 600 8188

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and Domestic Cleaners

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Staff & Excellent Customer Services

Please contact Cheryl on Contact: Helen 01767 631402 Mobile: 07762 462866 or Email: 07762 462866

Fine Textures

Artexing, Coving, Paper Hanging Quality Painting and Decorating Insurance work undertaken No obligation free quotation Friendly reliable service Contact info: Tel: 01767 601351 Mob: 07970060891 E-mail: 78

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D. Chandler

Electrical Services

DRIFTWOOD JOINERY LTD Specialists in Bespoke Joinery

NICEIC Part P Registered Domestic Re-wires Fuse Board Upgrades Testing and Inspecting Landlord Certificates Showers/Sockets/Lighting New Builds/Extensions Security Lighting Free Estimates. Competitive Rates. All work in accordance to BS7671 I.E.E. 17th Edition Wiring Regulations Friendly, Reliable and Insured NICEIC Backed 6 Year Warranty

Conservatories • Doors • Windows Staircases Handmade Kitchens Handmade Bedroom Furniture

07966 296304 or 01767 680929

Unit 8, Gracious Farm, Southill, Beds SG18 9JB T: 01462 816695 F: 01462 850915 E: info

J. Jenkins


Building Services Extensions New Build Renovations Garage Conversions Loft Conversions Kitchen Fitting Driveways and Patios

Funeral Directors

Family owned and managed business. Established 100 years.

24hr Service Pre-paid Funeral Plan Available Private Rest Chapel

For all your building needs Call John on 01767 222219 or 08831 283296 Email: 24 Market Square, Potton

References available on request

47 High Street, Sandy

Telephone: 01767 680519

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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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P.E. JAMES & SONS DOMESTIC PLUMBING, HEATING & GAS Small Repairs to Major Installations

Heating Problems & Installations

Showers, Pumps and Wet Rooms

New Boilers

Bathrooms and Ceramic Tiling

Solar Hot water



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Keeping physically

and mentally agile

Keeping your body and mind stimulated will help you to get so much more out of your later years. The changes to life that retirement brings can be quite a shock, even if you have been looking forward to it. Losing the focus of going to work each day can be hard and it is easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle. But research shows that those who keep active both physically and mentally enjoy a healthier later life. So what can you do? The benefits of activity Regular exercise has a huge number of benefits: it strengthens your muscles, aiding mobility and reducing the risk of falls and conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis (brittle bones). It also helps to reduce the risk of other conditions, such as diabetes and stroke. It improves coordination and balance and encourages a healthy appetite, regular bowel movements and means you are more likely to sleep well at night. It also stimulates the brain, so that you’re less likely to suffer from stress or depression. Small amounts of regular exercise or activity is better for you than a big burst of energy one day and then nothing for the rest of the week. And exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym - there is plenty you can do at home and while you’re out and about to keep active. At home you can tackle the garden - just a little weeding or pruning is using your muscles and keeping them flexible; and even housework is great for strengthening muscles. Try an exercise DVD at home - and ask a friend to join you to make it more fun. Walk as much as you can each day - to the local shops or library and take up some social activities that will encourage you to meet


other people as well as exercise, such as dance or arts & craft classes; or keep fit for the over 50s. And, if you have lots of energy, you could even try Zumba, which is fast-paced and fun. All these activities will keep your muscles moving and supple. Age UK (formerly Age Concern) has a nationwide programme, Fit as a Fiddle, which supports people over 50 with physical activity, healthy eating and mental wellbeing. Find out more at Keeping mentally stimulated Studies show that the more you use your brain the more mentally active you’ll remain. As well as slowing down memory loss (although you’re still likely to forget things!), you can also reduce the chances of conditions such as Alzheimer’s. As with physical exercise, keeping mentally active can also help to reduce stress and depression. There are many activities that can help to keep your brain mentally agile. At home you can tackle crossword puzzles, Sudoku or chess. Maybe now is the time to start reading all those books you never had time for when you were working? It is also possible to ‘train’ your mind by using trigger words to jog your memory. Using sticky notes on the fridge will help to remind you of what you need to do that day. Joining groups with common interests will encourage you to meet and interact with new people as well as keeping your mind occupied. Try bingo; learn a new language or how to use a computer; or enrol on a cookery course. Your local council or library will have information on classes and activities for older people - just take your pick!

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All types of roofing work undertaken. Friendly, reliable and professional service.

Tel: 07989 423449 or 01767 317121

CULLIFORD EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE The complete garden maintenance service from: • Clearing • Weeding • Pruning • Lopping • Hedge Cutting • Tree Removal • Gutter Clearing • Conservatory Cleaning • Fence Painting • Fence Panel Repair/Replacement • Re-turfing • Lawn Care • Grass Cutting We offer a 3 step service: 1. Reliability - I do what I say 2. Service - Same day where possible 3. Price - We estimate with no hidden cost

Special Seasonal Offer:

Patio Jet Washing & Re-pointing Block Paving Jet Washing & Sealing For a prompt, reliable and personal service call:

01767 640799 or 07975 658265 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Paul Hodson

Now Installing V Phase Units

Electrical Contractor Electrical Maintenance Commercial & Domestic Installations Rewires Fuse Board Upgrades Electric Heating Systems Underfloor Heating BT Points Periodic Testing Portable Appliance Testing Showers Free Estimates ELECSA Part P Approved All work carried out to IEE wiring regulations 17th edition Call to discuss your requirements

Tel: 01767 691668 Mob: 07887 776980


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Business to Business Associates Ltd

VIP CLUB sponsors of


1st Prize £25 Name:

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

2nd Prize £15



Last Month’s Crossword Solution To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Fill in your details on the previous page and send your completed entry for a chance to win a cash prize.




1 Not private (6)

1 Mailed (6)

4 One belonging to a club (6)

2 Destroyed by fire (5)

9 Endure (7)

3 Copy (7)

10 Book of maps (5)

5 Precise (5)

11 Surplus (5)

6 Accept as true (7)

12 Design (7)

7 Climbing up (6)

13 Discontinued (11)

8 Frantically (11)

18 Withdraw (7)

14 Interconnected system (7)

20 Living (5)

15 Clearly (7)

22 Concerning (5)

16 Chicken meat (6)

23 Outside light (7)

17 Racket game (6)

24 Removing (6)

19 Consumed (5)

25 Two wheeled vehicles (6)

21 Perfect (5)

Congratulations to last month’s crossword winners: 1st Prize - Miss C Porter from Gamlingay 2nd Prize - Mr P Brown from Cambourne 86

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KEMP GARAGE DOORS SALES • INSTALLATION • REPAIRS • Family Run Business • 25 Years Experience • Up and Over • Sectional and Roller Doors • Security Shutters

• Remote Control Door

SANDY • POTTON • All Major Brands

Supplied and Serviced



• OAP Rates Available

01767 260165 Sandy

01480 210410 Eaton Socon

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to our Young Cricketers After the success of War Horse and soon to be released Great Expectations, Gamlingay found itself in the national news – but something was missed and that was the success of our local boys and girls in their Colts Cricket League matches representing Waresley and the surrounding villages. Resulting in 12 of them making it to County level for selection in the 2012 season. 3 playing in the Under 10 year olds 1 in the Under 11’s – one of our young lady players 1 in the Under 12’s 1 in the Under 13’s 4 in the Under 14’s 1 in the Under 15’s 1 in the Under 17’s In 2012 we will field three senior cricket teams in the Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire Leagues and Waresley Cricket Club will run no less than six colt teams for young


players between the ages of 9 and 16. Currently over 80 girls and boys train and practice on fun filled Monday evenings. Should any of our village boys or girls be interested in playing or learning to play our national game or perhaps learning to score and report on the matches (parents are invited for this too), please contact for further details any of these mentioned below. Our club is fully accredited and CRB checked. Training for the new season gets underway soon up at the Waresley Cricket Club and other venues. So if you want to be involved, get in contact with: Andy or Nichola Donald Pat Ellerbeck Phil Masdin

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T&R Roofing Ltd

Mark Dilley Electrical Part P Registered Company 22386 Extra sockets - Lighting Extensions - Re-wires Security Lighting - Showers Inspections No job too small Free estimates All work to BS7671 regulations City and Guilds qualified

Tel: 01767 261008 Mob: 07990 895430

Family Business Est. 1985

• Felt Roofing Specialists (10 year & 15 year guarantee on high performance felts) • Tiling, Slating, Guttering • UPVC Facia/Soffits • Chimney Work

All NEW work guaranteed Fully insured for employer & Public Liability Call Tony Simpson for a FREE estimate on:

01767 314847 mob. 07831849847


• Spot stain and odour removal • Anti-stain protection • The very latest equipment used • All work guaranteed • Fully insured • Established for 22 years • Leather suites cleaned and reconditioned

01767 652971 or 07870 338074

Tel: 01767 261622 Mob: 07947 732883 Email:

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Water Softeners

AND Walk in Bathing solutions? Hardwater (Limescale) causes problems in homes and for people with skin problems – blocked showers, ‘scummed up’ shower screens and scale stains in toilets and wash basins are hard to clean but Limescale is more of a problem where you can’t see it; reduced water flow through pipes, scaled up heating systems and boilers – and of course, higher heating bills & maintenance costs. Mark Allen formed Ashwell Water in 2005 after his son’s Eczema benefited from the installation of a Water Softener. Itchy and Dry Skin is exaggerated by the harsh soaps, shampoos and cleaning products we use everyday, normally in significant amounts to combat the effects of hard water. The most popular solution to the problem of hard water is to have a water softener installed in your home. They are simple to fit, easy to maintain and they will dramatically improve the quality of your domestic water supply. Water Softeners reduce the amount of fuel and detergents that you consume. This is kinder on the environment, extends appliance life and reduces boiler problems / plumber call outs thus saving you money! Water Softeners can last twenty plus years and unlike most household appliances, they actually have a payback time – typically within four years. “We experienced luxurious soft water on holiday, to find that our son’s skin improved dramatically, only to flair up again when we returned home again,” says Mark. “We’ve had many customers confirming that a water softener has noticeably helped. This combined with scale free showers, soft laundry, and significantly less cleaning required in bathrooms and kitchens make a water softener an essential appliance for your home.” Water Softeners fit in to a standard kitchen cabinet or under most kitchen sinks and are tailored to today’s modern water demands and environment. Ashwell Water are an independent supplier, with the average unit costing around £730, with a lifespan of 20 years - this equates to approx. £50 per year (including running costs). Units come with a minimum of a


five year warranty. Ashwell Water offer WALK IN BATHING solutions to address customers concerns with getting in to and out of their existing bath or shower. This customised service offers simple solutions (shower seats) through to premium quality baths / showers at a fraction of the cost of the big advertisers. Ashwell Water prices offer average savings of around £2000 with the supply and install of a complete bath / shower system – Contact Ashwell Water to arrange a free survey. Ashwell Water offer independent advice and the best overall solutions / brands based around our customers needs, budget and environment. So there really is an alternative to hardwater and bathing safely, and comfortably in your home. CONTACT: Freephone – 0800 634 3470 Email: Web:

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• Energy Saving Boiler Installs • Boiler Replacements • New System Installs • System Upgrades • LPG Boiler Installation & Servicing • Solar Panels • Underfloor Heating • Power Flushing • Servicing • Radiator, Cylinder and Megaflo installations and more... Free Quotations •

Mobile: 07828 297078 David Dennis CORGI Registered Gas Installer Phone: 01767 262 300 Web: 5A King Street, Potton, Bedfordshire, SG19 2QT


• Energy Saving Boiler Installs • Boiler Replacements • New System Installs • System Upgrades • LPG Boiler Installation & Servicing • Solar Panels • Underfloor Heating • Power Flushing • Servicing • Radiator, Cylinder and Megaflo installations and more...

• Free Quotations

Mobile: 07828 297078 David Dennis CORGI Registered Gas Installer Phone: 01767 262 300 Web: 5A King Street, Potton, Bedfordshire, SG19 2QT

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20th Birthday brings

fine English music to St Andrew’s

The LOCRIAN Chamber Choir is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with two major performances, the first of which takes place at St Andrew’s Church, Biggleswade on Saturday 21st April at 7.30pm. The Potton-based choir will be joined by an invitation string orchestra for a ‘Festival of English Music’. As well as a range of choral works by Purcell, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Finzi and Hawes the orchestra will be will be playing Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and pianist Tessa Wood will be playing Finzi’s Eclogue for solo piano and strings. Conductor and Musical Director Justin Thomas has led Locrian since its beginning in 1992 and has been responsible for establishing the choir’s reputation as one of the finest in the area. “Our 20th birthday is quite a landmark,” he said. “Well over half the choir are original members and we decided we should really pull the stops out to put on a top quality concert that we and our audience would remember for a long time. It seemed right that it should be a celebration of the wealth of beautiful music by English composers.” He then went on: “Tessa Wood has been our wonderful accompanist since we

began but her true talent has rarely had a chance to shine through. She is an exceptional pianist. Her solo in this concert will put that right at last and will be enough reason on its own for people to come!” The concert will also feature the first performance of a piece for choir and orchestra written specially for the occasion by Justin himself. The concert is being dedicated to the memory of Arthur & Betty Warne and Peter Wall, three talented and much loved Locrian members who passed away in recent years. Tickets for this fine musical event are £10 each (under 18s £8), including interval refreshment. They can be obtained from 01767 226123 or any choir member. Numbers are limited and advance booking is strongly recommended. On July 14th the choir will be concluding its celebrations with a less formal concert at St Mary’s Church, Potton at which it is hoped former Locrian members will return to join the choir in a look back at some of the many works sung by the choir in the last 20 years. Further detail will be available at the April concert.

Classifieds Art Classes

Building & Maintenance

Domestic & Commercial Building & Maintenance Service • All types of Building & Maintenance work undertaken • Garage & Loft Conversions • All aspects of Carpentry • Bathroom & Kitchen Installations • Roofing (flat and pitched) • Landscaping & Brickwork • Alterations & Refurbishment

Bathrooms Installations and Plumbing

Customer’s recommendations available on request

For a free quote call Richard on:

H. 01767 681704 M. 07941 855415


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Classifieds Garden Specialists

Domestic Repairs

Domestic Appliance Repairs Washing Machines • Cookers Fridges • Vacs • Dryers

Bill Tangye

Beds Tel By or appointment only - 4 Stratford Road, Sandy, Mob 01767 650750Tel: 07711 07802 393331 257105

Fancy Dress

Leisure Lawns For the perfect garden

Garden Clearance, Hedgecutting, Mowing, Fencing, Patios, Tree Work and Turfing All aspects of landscaping Also supply and fit artificial grass for a no maintenance lawn Call David Scudds on 01767 681550 or 07807 063520 Email:


Chesterfield Fancy Dress Hire 100’s of costumes for all occasions Adults from £15 • Childrens from £7.50 Wigs and accessories Range includes 60’s, 70’s, Superheroes, Medieval, Halloween, and many more ....

By appointment only - 4 Stratford Road, Sandy, Beds

Tel: 07711 257105

Fencing and Groundworks



Garden Specialist


MIKE NEIGHBOUR Carpet Joiner, Glass Splashbacks for Kitchens Cupboards, Fitted Wardrobes, Loft Ladders etc 30 Years Experience

01767 677898 or 07711 311956 Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter

M. Philmore (Phil) - Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter Disabled showers supplied and fitted. General plumbing and home maintenance. No job too small. 57 Green Acres, Gamlingay, Beds. SG19 3LR

Local, honest, professional service


Tel: 01767 650619 Mobile: 07870366414

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Classifieds Massage & Reflexology

Pig Roasts

Travelling Massage and Reflexology David Sheppard – MFHT Tel: 07776 230327 Email: Private Car Hire


GREG HARRUP MOBILE: 07814 680350


Painting Services

Property Improvements A professional property maintenance service

Property Improvements by

Gary Hare Carpentry • Kitchens • Bedrooms Decorating • Flooring Bathrooms •Tiling • and more...

Tel: 01767 651821 Mob: 07773 973420 Pet Services


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Potton April edition