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Issue 86 - December 2012

and Town



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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In this Issue

Issue 86 - December 2012

and Town




The White Horse

And Parkside Farm Shop


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

The Retreat

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Editorial Solange Hando, Katherine Sorell, Pippa Greenwood, Geoff Wharton, James Baggott, Sarah Fryer, Claudia Leaf, Sarah Davey, Helen Taylor, Debbie Singh-Bhatti and Leon F Jones. Advertising Sales Nigel Frost Photography Sandralise 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.


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The History of Christmas.............................................................. 4 Where Am I?................................................................................10 Top Tips for Christmas Decorations...........................................13 O Christmas Tree.........................................................................15 A Very Vintage Christmas............................................................ 17 Colourful Cuba.............................................................................22 Santa Dash.................................................................................. 24 Fun Quiz...................................................................................... 26 Part Perfect make Up..................................................................27 Good Work in Bedfordshire Countryside.................................. 32 Album of the Month.................................................................. 35 Sandy Tourist Information Centre............................................. 37 Gadget Gifts................................................................................ 43 Coastscapes................................................................................46 Winter Planters............................................................................51 Rural Ramblings......................................................................... 52 Inventions................................................................................... 54 Wordsearch................................................................................ 57 Board Games.............................................................................. 59 Your Perfect Christmas..............................................................60 Animal Stories............................................................................ 63 Pee Wee Club..............................................................................64 Children’s Page........................................................................... 67 Ford B-Max.................................................................................68 1st Sandy Scout Group................................................................ 71 Seasonal Delights....................................................................... 73 What’s On................................................................................... 74 Everton Village Hall.................................................................... 77 Hygiene in the Home.................................................................. 78 Puzzle Page................................................................................80 A Ray of Hope............................................................................. 85 It’s That Man Again!...................................................................89 ‘Elf and Safety at Christmas.......................................................90 Top Ten Reasons......................................................................... 93

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at The Villager

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History of Christmas Traditions…

BY Sarah Fryer

‘Tis the season to be jolly’, Christmas comes but once a year and with it brings excitement and magical wonderment. December the 25th brings families together, offering a day when everyone can eat, drink and be merry, but how did Christmas come about and where did our favorite Xmas traditions come from. Well as we know, Christmas Eve is just as important as Christmas Day and a very exciting time for children. Christmas Eve (December 24th) marks the beginning of the period known as Christmas Tide. Christmas traditionally started at sunset on December the 24th and this has been considered, over time, to be Christmas Evening or more commonly known, Christmas Eve. So why is December the 24th so enchanting for children all over the world? Well this is of course the time stockings are hung on the mantelpiece or at the end of their beds hoping Santa Claus will stop by during the night and fill them with wonderful gifts. Children have been following such traditions since as early as the 1870’s when it is said Santa once dropped some gold coins when sliding down the chimney. The stockings were hung to catch the coins, as otherwise they would of been


lost if they had fallen through the ash grate. We know Santa is a mystical figure generally depicted as a portly and joyous white-bearded man whom always wears a red coat with white collar and cuffs, black boots and a black belt. According to tradition, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole with a large number of elves who frantically help him prepare the gifts in the workshop ready for Christmas Eve delivery. He delivers his presents via his eight flying reindeer that pull his sleigh across the night sky. A glorious vision for everyone to store deep within their imagination. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularised by the 1934 song “Santa Claus is coming to town”, Santa Claus has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorising them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, to all of the wellbehaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty ones, on the single night of Christmas Eve. Many may well know Santa as Saint Nicholas and this dates back to as long ago as fourth century AD, when a very rich bishop called Nicholas was reputed as always giving to the needy and poor and donating secret gifts to the people that needed them most. It was due to his kindness that he was made a Saint; St. Nicholas is not only the saint of children but also of sailors! One story tells of him helping some sailors that were caught in a dreadful storm off the coast of Turkey. The storm was raging around them and all the men were terrified that their ship would sink beneath the giant waves. They prayed to St. Nicholas to help them. Suddenly, he was standing on the deck before them. He ordered the sea to be calm, the storm died away, and they were able to sail their ship safely to port. So you see with his generosity and apparent magical presence, the connection was made. So onto Christmas Day, (December 25th) the day excitable children run amok around their homes, Mums and Dads have their stress levels pushed to the limit trying to prepare a day full of festive fun and families travel far and wide to celebrate with their loved ones. Why do we celebrate? is it purely greed because

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r a e Y w e N e h t

in with style.

celebrating with you even more. We love celebrating, and we love ner jackets and join Chris, Belle So put on your posh frocks & din New Year’s Eve. and staff at The Coach House this k ne wines, sip cold Dine from our á la carte menu, drin rs... beers and dance until the early hou

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we enjoy giving and receiving gifts?. December the 25th is the traditional anniversary of the birth of Christ, but most people are unsure about the true date for Christ’s birth. Many hypotheses circulate. The decision to celebrate Christmas on December the 25th was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome. They had a specific reason for doing so. Having turned long ago from worshiping, the one true God and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman Empire had fallen into sun worship. Recognising their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens, they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest. As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength and bring him back to life again. When it became apparent that the days were growing longer, there would be great rejoicing. The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianise these popular pagan celebrations. For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform, and the heathen festivities continued. Today we find ourselves left with a bizarre marriage of pagan and Christian elements that symbolise our modern celebration of Christmas. A special Christmas family meal is traditionally an important part of the celebration, and the food that is served varies greatly from country to country. Some regions, such as Sicily, have special meals starting Christmas Eve, when 12 kinds of fish are served. In England and countries influenced by its traditions though, a standard Christmas meal includes turkey or goose, gravy, potatoes and vegetables. Vegetables inevitably include Brussel Sprouts, an accompaniment disliked by many! Sauces such as Bread and cranberry are


almost always served with dinner. Desert on Christmas Day is traditionally hot Christmas pudding and mince pies or Christmas cake and also trifle are still a firm favorite. Many families set light to their Christmas puddings to burn the alcohol; this is generally done at the table in front of guests as a showpiece. Another of our many Christmas traditions is to set a cracker at our table placements, a practice dating back centuries Thomas J Smith invented crackers in 1847; he created the crackers as a development of his bon-bon sweets, which he sold in a twist of paper (the origins of the traditional sweet-wrapper). As sales of bon-bons slumped, Smith began to come up with new promotional ideas. His first tactic was to insert mottos into the wrappers of the sweets, but this had only limited success. Smith added the “crackle” element when he heard the crackle of a log he had just put on a fire. The size of the paper wrapper had to be increased to incorporate the banger mechanism, and the sweet itself was eventually dropped, to be replaced by a small gift In the early days, the crackers were called Bon Bons - meaning lollies or candies in French - and as a consequence were still quite small in size with a fairly plain wrapping. Later he added a colored outer wrapper and a friction strip – consisting of two overlapping strips of cardboard coated with a small amount of explosive powder - that is inside all ordinary crackers - and joined together, which became known as a “snap” - because when the cracker is pulled apart the strips rub across each other setting off a chemical reaction that produces an audible bang. The snap was also known as “Silver Fulminant” - a discovery in 1802 by Dottore Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli (1761-1818) Professor of chemistry at Pavia University, Italy. At the same time - as a confectioner - he would have been familiar with the popular Italian custom of having a surprise “trinket” inside chocolate Easter eggs and also with the ancient Chinese custom of inserting a fortune prediction “motto” inside the fortune cookies. By putting all these ideas together on his return from the Paris family holiday, the Christmas Cracker was born complete with a surprise novelty gift, a trinket, a tissue paper hat, a snap to make a bang when pulled apart and a piece of paper with a joke or motto - appropriate to express a principle or ideal suited to the occasion. Some people place crackers in their Christmas tree as a decoration and never pull them from

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year to year, but why do we have Christmas Trees and why do we decorate them? The Christmas tree is considered by some as a Christinisation of pagan tradition and ritual, surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship according to eighthcentury biographer Eddi Stephanus. Saint Boniface (634–709), who was a missionary in Germany, took an axe to an oak tree dedicated to Thor and pointed out a fir tree, which he stated, was a more fitting object of reverence because it pointed to heaven and it had a triangular shape, which he said was symbolic of the Trinity. In English language, the phrase “Christmas tree” is first recorded in 1835 and represents an importation from the German language. The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century though many argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century. Germany introduced the custom to Britain and by 1841 the Christmas tree had become even more widespread throughout the UK. By the 1870s, people in the United States had adopted the custom of putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it with lights and ornaments. People in Britain today decorate their Christmas tree’s with twinkly lights, candy canes, angels and garlands. Many opt for a colour theme, and Green and Red prove popular every year. It is said that green represents the continuance of life through the winter, whilst red symbolises the blood from Jesus Christ at the crucifix. To accompany our festive decorations we also spend millions each year sending friends and family messages of goodwill. Christmas cards are purchased in considerable quantities, and feature artwork, commercially designed and relevant to the season. The content of the design might relate directly to the Christmas narrative with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christian symbols such as the Star of Bethlehem, or a white dove which can represent both the Holy Spirit and Peace on Earth. Other Christmas cards are more secular and can depict Christmas traditions or mythical figures such as Santa Claus or objects directly associated with Christmas such as candles, holly and baubles. The first commercial Christmas card was produced by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1834 and since then, this tradition has grown to be a financial winner with consumers buying into it year after year in Britain.


We have looked at various traditions covering Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but what about Boxing Day? Why is December the 26th also linked to Christmas? Well like Christmas Day, Boxing Day is a public bank holiday, a non-working day for every Man, Women and Child in Britain. When Boxing Day falls on a Weekend, the following Monday is classed as the Public Holiday instead. So why is December the 26th called Boxing Day, why is it not referred to as just another bank holiday? Well traditionally Boxing Day was the day to open “The Box” This was a box made of wood or sometimes clay and contained donated gifts for the poor. These boxes would be left in Churches on Christmas Day for worshippers to come along and place a gift inside for the poor of every parish. The boxes were always opened the day after Christmas, hence the name, Boxing Day. Like Christmas Day, we tend to once again spend December the 26th with loved ones whereby we eat, drink and consume naughty treats. Lounging around and watching TV is a firm favorite for this day, especially when the previous two are normally very full on. Us Britain’s love our traditions, and I for one am pleased, Christmas would not be the same without them, and I don’t think it matters whether you are young or old, Christmas is still a magical and happy time of the year when one should celebrate with family and friends and revel in all the festive merriment.

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These pictures are all taken at public houses 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 85 - Novem

ber 2012

and Town Life


Prize Crossword See Inside

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 84 - Octob

er 2012

and Town Life


Prize Crossword See Inside

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 83 - Septe

mber 2012

and Town Life


Prize Crossword See Inside

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 82 - Augus

t 2012

and Town Life


Prize Crossword See Inside

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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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 at Stratton House Hotel Biggleswade


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New Banquet Menu at

Maharajah of Sandy 01767 689743/680475

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CLAYTON FAMILY BUTCHERS 19, Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Shop Telephone: 01767 261503 FOR ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS FARE

Traditional Farm Fresh White and Bronze Turkeys - Farmyard Best Cobb Chickens - Free Range Norfolk Geese Mature White Aylesbury Ducks - Prime Beef and Pork Joints - Home Cooked Hams - Gammon and Collar Bacon Joints Large Selection of English and Continental Cheese - Home-Made Pork Pies and much more… Our farm fresh poultry comes from Sudbury, Suffolk where traditional production methods contribute to supplying an outstanding product for your Christmas Dinner. The poultry is grown slowly for longer to full maturity with free range access to acres of grassland, fed only on high quality natural feeds and tended by caring farmers ensuring the highest welfare standards.

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Top tips for

xmas decorations Have your festive decorations lost their sparkle? Are they gaudy rather than gorgeous, tacky instead of terrific? Katherine Sorrell has some ideas to bring back your home’s Christmas cheer with wreaths, baubles and garlands galore Choose a theme - Rather than assembling any old cacophony of decorations, choosing a theme brings unity to the overall look. It should suit the style of your house and the way your family celebrates the festive season, whether laid-back and relaxed, sophisticated or formal. For some, that might mean a traditional, living fir tree and a colour theme of red, green and gold. For others, a kitsch fake tree with fluorescent ornaments; or perhaps a minimal, modern style with pure silver and glass. A Scandinavian theme would involve simple decorations in red and white, while a colourful, contemporary theme would be based around one or two bright colours. Dress the tree - Start by winding it with lights – making sure they’re evenly distributed by occasionally switching them on and standing back for an overall impression. Use a small stepladder if necessary to reach the top. Next, drape your garlands, again aiming for evenness and an impression of generosity without overloading the tree. On small or slim trees, use slender garlands; on larger trees you can afford to go for heavier, fancier garlands. Last, hang your ornaments, with the largest first, filling in around them with smaller ones. Don’t hang all the ornaments on the tips of branches – placing some nearer the trunk creates a sense of depth and interest. Hang a wreath - For some, the making of a family wreath using foraged leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts and fruit is a significant part of the holiday season; for others, creating a decorative wreath offers the chance to experiment with exciting new materials, from tinsel to feathers, pearls to buttons. Alternatively, ready-made examples are available in any style imaginable, from classic to contemporary, heart-shaped or circular, small or large, utterly simple or lavish and complex. Whatever its style, a Christmas wreath always provides a wonderful sense of festive welcome. Make some decorations - Home-made Christmas decorations can be as elaborate or simple as you wish, be they charmingly childish or ultrasophisticated. Multi-coloured paper chains are

the ultimate in family favourites, as are cutwork paper stars and clove-studded oranges. How about pom pom snowmen, peg-doll angels or glitter-covered pine cones? Or mini stocking shapes cut out of felt and ginger biscuits to hang from the tree? It’s all great fun and will create happy memories for years to come. Wrap your presents - Transform present-wrapping from a chore to a pleasure by taking a little extra time and trouble. When they’re piled under the tree they will look so much better if they’re colourcoordinated and criss-crossed with ribbons and bows. Inexpensive paper – even brown paper or newsprint – looks lovely if adorned with a home-made label, while sequins, feathers, glitter, stamped designs and wired beads can all provide additional allure. For a frivolous finishing touch add a tiny pine cone, iced biscuit or small bauble. Sort out your cards - An abundance of cards can soon appear to cover every available surface, so it pays to establish a system as soon as they start arriving. The most straightforward option is to clear a shelf or two, and arrange them close together, large at the back and small at the front, in neat rows. Smaller cards can be tucked around a mirror or picture frame. An alternative is to staple them to ribbons (weighted by a bauble or pine cone) to hang in rows from a mantelpiece or along the side of the staircase. Create displays - Nothing says Christmas like poinsettias in pots, scented candles on the mantelpiece and ivy, holly and mistletoe draped over every available surface. Bowls of clementines or nuts are both ornamental as well as edible, while baubles or fairy lights (the latter placed near a handy socket) can also be bundled into a glass bowl or vase for a glittery effect. Now’s the time to dig out that special table runner and your best crockery, glassware and cutlery for an eyecatching table display, finished off with a dish, tray or platter filled with greenery, candles and other festive decorations.

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O Christmas tree!

Find the perfect tree Like Santa and selection boxes, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree. As the centrepiece of the decorations, it’s essential that the tree suits you and your home. Real trees are lovely, but there are some very realistic artificial ones available these days, as well as beautiful modern ones – think bare twigs covered in twinkly lights or bold coloured branches with contrasting decorations. The main benefit of an artificial tree is that you can use it year after year – just make sure you have somewhere to store it! They are also great if space is limited, or if you have animals or young children. If you do decide to go for a real tree, before you get caught up in the festive spirit and buy the biggest one you can find, take a moment to measure the space where your tree will go. Think about the width you can accommodate, as well as the height, and remember to allow room to move around it. A garden centre is the obvious place to start your search, and you may also see signs to seasonal stalls or farms as you drive around. Did you know that you can now get Christmas trees by mail order? The disadvantage is that you don’t get to see what your actual tree looks like, but it’s a great option if you don’t have a car. The cost of trees varies according to the species, as well as the size. These are the types that you may see: • Norway Spruce – this traditional choice is cheapest, but it will drop its sharp needles. • Nordman Fir – glossy rich green needles that will stay put! • Noble Fir – also retains needles well. It has soft blue-green needles and a lovely fragrance. • Fraser Fir – compact and upright, so perfect for smaller rooms. • Blue Spruce – boasts unusual blue-grey needles and a rich scent. • Scots Pine – has twisted green/blue needles and that wonderful Christmas tree smell. Also consider whether you want a tree that

has been sawn off, or one that is planted in a pot. A sawn-off tree will probably be cheaper. It may come already wedged into a block of wood, or you may need to buy a special stand. If you invest in a tree that is still growing, you can keep it outside in a pot, or plant it in the ground and bring it in each year. If you’re not confident about this, there are now companies who will deliver a living tree and take it away again after Christmas to care for until next year. So whatever your tastes, space and pocket, rest assured there is a tree for you. Merry Christmas

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A very vintage Christmas

By Claudia Leaf

It’s mid December and your newly-bought Christmas tree is standing naked in the corner of your living room. So it’s to the loft, garage or shed to dig out that battered old box of decorations. If your box is anything like mine, you’ll probably find a past-its-best fairy with drooping wings, some purple and silver baubles from the Millennium and two crushed crackers from last year’s Christmas lunch (couldn’t bear to throw them away) tangled together with swathes of tinsel, garlands, non-functioning fairy lights and springs of plastic holly. Most of my hoard is cheap, garish and ultimately disposable. But there’s one very special part of the collection that I will never throw away. It’s a treasured set of old-style, hand painted tree decorations, made out of wafer thin glass. Vintage tree ornaments are an evocative sight for those of us who were children in the 1950s and 60s: each year when I unwrap my collection it takes me back to a time when Christmas seemed truly magical and exciting. Although I understand the reasons why hanging delicate glass baubles on the Christmas tree – within grabbing distance of little hands - is no longer a good idea, it’s sad to think that such beautiful items are no longer readily available. The tradition of making glass tree decorations dates back to 17th century Bohemia (the modern day Czech Republic) and Germany. Today’s familiar ball shapes had their origins at a place called Lauscha in Germany, where legend has it they were first created when glass blowers competed to see who could blow the largest sphere before the molten glass popped. Those that survived were kept by the glassmakers’

wives, swirled with silver nitrate and sold at local markets as magic talismans, offering protection and blessing during the holy season. In 1848 a picture of the young Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree, hung with decorations brought from her husband Prince Albert’s native Germany, was published in the Illustrated London News. This sparked a copycat craze throughout Europe and soon whole families in the town of Lauscha were employed to mass-produce decorations – the menfolk blowing the glass and the women and children painting and finishing the ornaments. Later that century, German immigrants brought the same passion for glass decorations to America. Thanks to entrepreneur Frank Woolworth - who bought millions for his popular chain stores - what began as a cottage industry in Lauscha became an international phenomenon. By the mid-20th century new molding techniques had sped up mass production and reduced the cost of manufacture. In addition to the more conventional round and oval shapes, there were decorations shaped like musical instruments, stars, lanterns, mushrooms, snowflakes, snowy cottages and little figures of Santa Claus. My favourites were the exotic birds with silky fibre glass tails that clipped onto your tree and trembled like real birds. Nowadays most Christmas tree ornaments are made out of plastic, but if you do happen to find a Lauschan treasure lurking at the bottom of your decorations box, take good care of it. Vintage tree ornaments are becoming highly collectable and you can find sets on Ebay and other online auction sites for between £15 and £30.

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The White Horse – Broom

Cooking up a storm With Christmas fast approaching, it is always nice to find a cosy pub that offers sensational food, a great atmosphere and competitive prices, somewhere that you can meet with friends and have a good time in the run up to Christmas. The White Horse at Broom offers exactly that and more. Open right up until Christmas Eve, Charles ans Sam Biswell, owners of this quaint little pub are putting on some nights to remember pre the festive season. Throughout November, December and January there will be quiz nights on offer for anyone wishing to relax over a drink or two and join in the fun. Theme nights are well known at The White Horse and can be anything from Italian Nights, Cocktails and Canapés or cheese and wine tasting to name but a few, in fact Italian Nights are a popular choice for the locals here. Alfredo Sorrentino, Italian Chef cooks up a storm when he runs his themed evenings. The food is authentic, and tastes delightful and makes for a wonderful night dining out. It’s not only evenings promising to deliver at The White Horse, Sunday Lunches are becoming extremely popular and at only £9.95

for locally sourced, quality belly of pork, it’s no wonder tables get booked up quickly. With New Year kicking at the heels of Christmas, it is time to start thinking where you will go and what you will do come December 31st. Well look no further than The White Horse at Broom. Charles and Sam are putting on a night of entertainment and merriment with their New Year’s Eve Italian Gala Dinner. Prepared and cooked by in house Italian Chef Alfredo Sorrentino, you are in for a treat. A three course meal will be prepared offering shared deli platters, varieties of true Italian pasta dishes and desserts to tantalise any taste buds. The Gala dinner will be on a booking only service, so call today to avoid any disappointment. For further information on any of the above and for future events at The White Horse, visit our website on www.whitehorsebroom. or check follow their Facebook page Whitehorse@broom. Look out for our free food offer in January. To book your New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner call - 01767 313 425

Call - 01767 313425

The White Horse, 30 Southill Road, Broom, SG18 9NN Website: 18

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Parkside Farm Shop

Everything for Christmas Dinner Parkside Farm Shop has been established for over 30 years and with a solid reputation for supplying quality meat, fruit and veg, it is no wonder the community of Biggleswade love them. Now with Christmas just around the corner, Parkside are geared up to offer not only the best free range turkeys, but the freshest veg and even a tasty Christmas Pud. The only extra they can’t supply is the custard! Parkside are also selling Vegetarian Christmas Puddings for the festive season, so even the meat free members of your family can enjoy the Christmas meal traditions. In addition to these, there is also a range of allergy/gluten free products. Parkside now have their Christmas meats for sale and with a choice of turkey, chicken, duck and Guinea fowl on offer, it really is a conundrum of which to choose. All the turkeys are locally reared Bronze turkeys and are allowed to free range during the day and have a comfortable straw bedded barn at night. You can order your entire Christmas dinner or poultry requests on-line, or via the shop by filling in an order form, however should you wish to order the delicious Dexter Beef, please call to discuss your requirements, this is due to heavy demand and short supply. Top quality gammon and hams are ready to be ordered, along with veg boxes offering all your favourite Xmas trimmings. Orders will be ready for collection on Saturday 22nd December or Monday 24th December. For your peace of mind and security we use a secure payment system, and you can pay by credit card or by PayPal account. As a family establishment, Parkside started out by selling home produced free range eggs and local vegetables, but they became so popular they branched out and decided to sell their quality rare breed meat such as their Large Black and Saddleback Pork, Dexter Beef and

Wiltshire Horn and Ryeland Lamb as well as other local produce from the surrounding area. Although Parkside are not as large as some other producers, they are certainly known by other local establishments. The White Horse in Broom have all their fresh veg and joints of meat supplied by Parkside as they recognise quality and freshness when they see it. Owner Charles has already ordered his free range turkeys for Christmas. Supporting local traders is also important in today’s society, especially when the cost of living is rising. In fact, people are seeing that Parkside’s prices for their fresh fruit and veg is very attractive compared to that of larger supermarkets, and with Christmas rapidly approaching, they know their customers will want value for money without compromising on quality. Another plus point for Parkside is their opening hours, open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday, means customers can happily stop and shop on their way home from work without the inconvenience of needing a supermarket. To hear our latest news, or to be kept up to date on meat delivery dates, sign up for our regular e-newsletter, or follow us on twitter @parksidefshop. You can also find more information on our website

Call - 07803 271326

Parkside Farm Shop, Southill Road, Broom SG18 9NN To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122



BARBERS Est. since 1995 (with no loss of ears!)

Jen, Donna and Suzi


Monday - Closed Tuesday 9am-7pm Wednesday 9am-5pm Thursday 11am-8pm Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 8.30am-3pm No appointments necessary Mens Hair Cut £8.50 Mens Re-Style £10.00 Mens W/C/B £11.00 Mens Semi Colour £10.00 Mens Highlights £20.00 Student Cut £7.50 Boys Cut £6.50 Under 4s £5.00 Senior Cut £5.00 (Excluding Saturday and after 3pm daily) No concessions on Saturdays


wish all customers,

OSMO Products

Professional and friendly with a relaxed atmosphere

Open 2 late nights No appointment necessary

25 Market Square, Potton, Beds 01767 260256 See You There !!

old and new, a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year

CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES 24th 9am - 1pm 25th Closed 26th Closed 27th Closed 28th 9am - 1pm 29th 9am - 1pm 30th Closed 31st Closed

Reopen as normal on Wed 2nd Jan 2013

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Colourful Cuba


‘It’s the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen’, said Christopher Columbus as he marvelled at this gem of an island, its lush mountains and virgin beaches lapped by the clear waters of the Caribbean, barely 100 miles from Florida. In this once troubled land, history is always within reach, but the real charm lies in the ever changing scenery and colourful cities. Take Santiago de Cuba, nestling on a vast aquamarine bay meandering, almost deserted, in and out of the mangrove, with its sturdy del Morro fortress and Granma island where rickety houses on stilts jostle along the shore. Beyond the winding lanes, the grand churches and colonial buildings festooned in bougainvillaea, coffee plantations climb up the slopes of the Sierra Maestra, among flame and papaya trees, wild lemon and pines. Up there at nearly 4000 feet, the air is cool and on a clear day, the panorama over Cuba’s second city dazzles you with colour and light. It’s a fair drive across the island but the best way to discover the rural heartlands; here a grove of carob trees, there the feathery blossom of jacarandas, a patch of cassava or the forlorn chimney of an old sugar mill. Pretty towns are sprinkled around Camaguey, famous for ballet and clay pots, Sancti Spiritus with its shaded arcades, Cienfuegos, the ‘Pearl of the South’ - set among flowering trees and elegant Italian style buildings. But framed by mountains clad in jungle and waterfalls, Trinidad is the jewel of them all, the mirror image of a nostalgic island where bicycles and horse-drawn carts outnumber conventional traffic. The heart of the town is a UNESCO site, a maze of colonial buildings, blue, yellow, pink


or pistachio green, with beautiful ironwork and red roofs glowing in the sun. In the cobbled alleyways, lace and embroidery flap in the breeze, drums echo in hidden courtyards and on the splendid Plaza Mayor, the old sugar capital enjoys its afternoon siesta. Meanwhile the steam train takes a handful of visitors to Sugar Mill Valley for fabulous views of hills and vales and sleepy villages sheltering under the mango trees. Heading west, luminous rice fields bask in the sunshine, rare birds and sea cows gather on the Zapata peninsula and soon, the capital beckons. Even for seasoned travellers, Havana defies imagination with its swirling kaleidoscope of colours and sounds, stunning palaces and crumbling ruins, wide boulevards and tangled lanes, revamped Cadillacs, side-cars, threewheeler scooter taxis and elegant horse-drawn carriages for tourists. The craft market sells Cuban dolls and hammocks while flower girls in bright costumes pose for pictures on Cathedral Square. It’s a wonderful dizzying city where you can eat al fresco, escape to nearby beaches, climb up to the fortress or follow the Hemingway trail to the fishing village of Cojimar. But the must-do excursion is to the hill town of Vinales, shaded by pine and orange trees, where pretty verandas frame every house in pastel colours. You can take a boat trip on an underground river to the Cave of the Indian Chief, partake of a farmer’s lunch in the forest and enjoy the view at the Jasmine Belvedere, overlooking the limestone hills which rise dragon-like from the valley floor. With its natural beauty and vibrant cities, Cuba is truly enticing.

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NOW OPEN and in time for perfect Christmas shopping

The Bargain Box 34 Church Street, Gamlingay

Good quality, second hand goods across a wide range of stock - from unwanted gifts to antique fine china, and lots more in between.

Current stock includes: • curtains from Sanderson, Crowhurst and others • small furniture items some in ‘shabby chic’ style • fireside collections of log baskets and companion sets • whimsical prints and limited editions of popular artists • costume jewellery, including ‘Pandora’ • Collectibles

The Bargain Box 34 Church Street Gamlingay Opening hours Thursday 10am - 5pm Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm Or at other times by appointment Tel: Email:

07802 601301

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Central Youth volunteering project

santa dash

The Central Youth Volunteering Project is hosting a Santa Dash to raise funds for Sue Ryder St Johns Hospice. The Santa Dash is a 5km run taking place at Stratton Upper School on Sunday 9th December. You can run, walk or jog – all of which will help to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder St Johns Hospice. The young people of the Central Youth Volunteering Project will be taking part in the Dash as well as helping to marshal the dash, serve refreshments and sell Christmas goodies. They are inviting the general public to join them at the Dash and help make a difference to the Hospice this Christmas. The event is open to all the family, young and old! There is a £5 registration fee to take part, which includes a Santa suit), a goody bag and refreshments. All proceeds will go to Sue Ryder – St Johns Hospice. We are looking for 140 Santa’s to take part which could raise £7000 for the hospice if every Santa was to raise just £50 sponsorhsip. The more Santa’s the merrier! To register contact Sarah on or you can

download a registration form from http://www. SantaDash.asp The Central Youth Volunteering Project (funded by Central Bedfordshire Council) is for young people aged 13-18. The Project has already seen over 100 young people volunteer and there are plenty more opportunities to get involved. Young people and their friends can volunteer at local events, in conservation work, sports and much more! All of these are fun and free (lunch and snacks are often included too!) To find out more contact Sarah on 07508113009 or

Potton & District Club Every Saturday during DECEMBER its Party Time! Fantastic Bands are booked!

Saturday 1st: The Barnacles, kick off the Christmas party warm up! Saturday 8th: HUGGY FLARES are back, 70s fancy dress welcome! Sunday 9th: Members Children Christmas party 4-6, applications from the club. Friday 14th: Christmas Prize Bingo Night Saturday 15th: Progression (Fantastic REGGAE & Jamaican Ska Band) Saturday 22nd: ALMOST ABBAs Chrismas Show-Time Mon 24th: Christmas Eve Disco Inferno your Party, your requests BOXING DAY: Wednesday 26th: Open All-Day EYES-WIDE-OPEN you will know every song! Great music for everyone. Saturday 29th: 7twenty7, Party Band, its not over yet! Monday 31st: New Years Eve Party-time....late late bar!

New Years Eve Tickets Available Now Diary date: THE SOULMAN IS BACK IN JANUARY: Get your early-bird membership deal for 2013 now. New members welcome. This information is supplied to you in good faith. Please check with the venue, before setting out, as details may change at short notice. Check the web page for entertainment/club news.... Google: Potton & District Club.

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: 24

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Fun Quiz - Christmas 1. Which of Santa’s reindeer comes first alphabetically? 2. Ending with the line “we’ll keep the red flag flying here”, The Red Flag is a song that is sung to the same tune as which Christmas carol? 3. Which snack food introduced a special Christmas Dinner flavour in 2010, describing it as a “fusion of turkey and stuffing with all the trimmings”? 4. What was Cliff Richard’s last UK Christmas number one hit single? 5. In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, what does Scrooge anonymously send to Bob Cratchit and his family on Christmas morning after being visited by a number of ghosts during the night? 6. Which EastEnders character was murdered on Christmas Day in 2009? 7. What is the nearest country to Christmas Island? 8. Which character from a Christmas themed book lived on Mount Crumpit and had a heart that was two sizes too small? 9. Which double act from Wigan feature on the 2010 Christmas postage stamps issued by Royal Mail? 10. Which Christmas song has been the biggest selling single in the UK never to have topped the singles chart?



1. Blitzen 2. O Christmas Tree 3. Pot Noodle 4. Saviour’s Day (in 1990; note that Millennium Prayer peaked at number two in 1999) 5. A turkey 6. Archie Mitchell (accept Archie) 7. Indonesia 8. 9. Wallace and Gromit 10. Last Christmas (by Wham)


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Party Perfect Make-Up

By Helen Taylor

We all know that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, so don’t hold back this Christmas: find a glamorous party look that’s guaranteed to make you the belle of the ball. Gorgeous hair and make-up is essential for whatever social gathering you’re attending and it’s the finishing touches that make you look really special. December’s party season is the one month in the calendar where you can really embrace a strong make-up look - so make the most of it. We’ve found one that will look great with whichever little black dress you’ll be wearing: it’s classic, sophisticated and perfect for Christmas, and here’s how to achieve it. Sophisticated Christmas Glamour: Get the look Porcelain skin, flushed cheeks, berry stained lips and defined eyes make fabulous make-up at this time of year. Embracing your natural complexion and choosing a foundation shade that’s close to it can give incredible results and a really classy finish. If you’re used to applying bronzer though, leaving it off - even in the winter - will take a little getting used to, but it’s always good to step out of your cosmetic comfort zone and try something new. Skin really has to be flawless for this look. Use a primer first, then apply a covering foundation using a foundation brush. Choose a light-reflecting loose powder to apply on top of your foundation for a radiant glow that helps to set your base. Although glittery cosmetics are everywhere at this time of year, it really is best to stay away from them, because shimmer and glitter show up every line and wrinkle and aren’t flattering unless you’re a teenager. If you do fancy some sparkle, opt for a dazzling nail varnish instead. Sculpt cheekbones by applying a blusher in a dusky pink hue. Remember not to place the colour too close to the centre of your face - smile as you apply it, to see the apples of your cheeks, and sweep upwards and outwards. Next, lightly define your eyes. Use a neutral eyeshadow across the lids and brow bone, then apply a light brown shade in the socket, and a deeper brown in the far corner. Brush your brows into shape using a brow brush, pluck away any stray hairs and emphasise them

with a hint of colour. Use a brow powder to add definition and shape - it’s worth doing this even if you don’t usually, as strong make-up calls for more defined brows - and finish with a slick of gel to set them. Choose a liquid liner in black and line your top lid. Extend the line out to create a small flick if you want to. Wait for it to dry fully before curling your eyelashes and apply lashings of mascara. For extra definition use false eyelashes, but make sure that they are natural looking. Use a soft black eye-pencil under your eye, and on the inner rim choose black liner for a smoky look or white for a wide-eyed look. Finish with a touch of mascara. Use a lip liner in a shade that compliments your lipstick and create a great shape. Using a lip brush, apply your lipstick. Choose a berry-red hue for instant glamour and finish with a dab of lip gloss in the centre of your lips for a really full look. Remember, Christmas comes but once a year - so enjoy every minute.

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The Royal Oak


Colin, Jo and the team would like to thank all our customers old and new, and we wish you all a joyous Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Join us this festive season for Christmas parties and cosy nights out! Christmas Menu (1st to 23rd December) Whether a work party, girly catch up or a chance to get together with the whole family, tantalise your taste buds for just £16.95 (2 course) or £21.95 (3 course). Choose from the Classic Roast Norfolk Turkey, Christmas Pud and Boozy Trifle or perhaps be tempted by our Wild Boar Terrine, mouthwatering Lamb Shank, Sweet Potato and Stilton Pie and Chocolate, Cranberry and Amaretti Torte. Booking is essential, so call us today on 01767 261888!

Friday 14th December Live music from 9pm Legendry rock night (80’s to present) with Dan Arnold Special 2 course meals for over 60’s Still just £8.95 over the Christmas period – please do call and book as we will be busy! Tuesday to Friday (12 to 2-30 pm and 6-30pm to 9pm) New Years Eve! Get ready for the best party in Potton. Tickets just £5 Buffet Curry Night Every Wednesday in January 6.30pm to 9.00pm £9.95 per person

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 Senior Citizen’s Menu Available Tuesday to Friday

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


The Retreat…


Sometimes the name says a lot about a place and The Retreat is no different. An oasis of calm, a tranquil and peaceful environment in which one can relax and enjoy the varied treatments offered by this Beauty Spa, it truly is a hidden gem in the heart of Biggleswade.


Upon entering The Retreat, it was apparent very quickly to me that the whole place felt homely. The building which is over 200 years old and originally a farmhouse had a cosy glow to it. The modern fixtures and fittings and wooden floors complimented the soothing coloured blinds which ran throughout the building. The neutral décor provided a magnificent backdrop in which the glow of warming candles gently danced. Opened 16 years ago, The Retreat Beauty Spa is Biggleswade’s best kept secret, but personally I think it needs to be shouted about. Set out over 3 floors, and offering something very different to that of many beauty salons, the ground floor of The Retreat lends itself to a haven of one stop shopping. Narnia opened just over a year ago by Debbie and Justine from The Retreat. Narnia is an enchanting little boutique stocking jewellery, clothes, gifts and home ware goods from designers such as Ruby and Ed, B-Lank and Bonsui. It has it’s own little coffee bar which works wonderfully well when wanting to catch up with friends after a treatment in the Spa. Next door to Narnia is the Bio Sculpture Gel Nail

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room, described in the industry as “The Channel of all gel nails” it’s well worth a visit. The Retreat also has a private waxing room tucked away in the back of the building. It feels secluded and welcoming and has a nice vibe about it. In fact every aspect of this Spa feels welcoming from the staff to even the treatment rooms. There is not that uncomfortable feeling that many women will associate with when sometimes visiting a place like this. It really does feel home from home. Move upstairs within this quaint building and you have yourself 3 treatment rooms. Basking in candle light, equipped with duvets and playing relaxing music, you will be forgiven for thinking you are on holiday. Offering a restful retreat, it is clear to see why treatments are so popular. I instantly regressed 5 years, back to the Caribbean to a fond memory I have of lying peacefully on a hammock, swinging in the gentle breeze by candlelight listening to some authentic music. Even the smell had me captivated in The Retreat. The rooms are stocked with the luxurious Collin Resultime products which stand proud upon the wooden furniture. You will also find a double treatment room here, perfect should you want to share the experience with a loved one or friend. The Retreat also offers beauty packages for Brides to be from preparation for the big day, to grooming sessions for the Groom, all carried out in the make-up room. Other services available at The Retreat are Mctimoney Chiropody with Chiropractor Pam Lander and Wrinkle Reducer Injections and Dermal Fillers by Becky Martin. Both of these facilities are carried out by in house practitioners that you can book independently to service you at The Retreat or you can book them direct via the Spa. There are so many positive things to say about The Retreat, even down to the ample parking and ease at which you can book your appointments. All the staff are very community focused and stay open until 9pm three nights a week, allowing for clients that work late to indulge after a hard days graft. For your convenience, The Retreat will be open on Sunday 23rd December and also Christmas Eve, where you will find the staff dressed up ready for the festive fun. Mulled wine and mince pies will be on offer and a dose of good cheer will be given to everyone. This is a great opportunity to pick up any last minute gifts from Narnia, pop into the Spa for some rest and relaxation and then finish off with a coffee at the bar.

With C hr absolu istmas comin tely ou g The ts season R . For £ tanding Bea etreat are o uty Pa 99 the ffering Radian cka ce lu a nourish Facial, Back N cky lady wil ge for the fe n stive l receiv ing oil eck and which for pur e an I Should is g ns e e Gel Na relaxation. A ently releas r Massage usin tant ed from ils and lso inc g warm lu The Re tweeze treat B ded are a se a massage ca w it h nd r to ow pencil a com to tak plimen , an eyebro f Bio Sculpt le e w u tary m packag re home. tint, w e, o a outside it really wil With so ma dernising ey x and l take world. you aw ny luxuries ebrow in one ay from the Should you wish to contact The Retreat Beauty Spa call 01767 313777 alternatively pop in and see for yourself how incredibly relaxing and warm it is. Find them at 4 London Road, Biggleswade, Beds. SG18 8EB They also have alot information on their website You can also find them on facebook at Retreat Biggleswade or follow them on twitter @theretreatbeautysp

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IN BEDFORDSHIRE’S COUNTRYSIDE All over the county there are people quietly working away to improve the landscape or preserve its best features for future generations. Much of their effort goes unrecognised, but the Campaign to Protect Rural England Bedfordshire branch aims to give them a public pat on the back for their efforts with its annual Living Countryside Awards. The 2012 Awards were presented by Dr Mike Clarke, CEO of the RSPB in a recent ceremony at their headquarters in Sandy. CPRE’s Bedfordshire scheme is now in its fifth year and over that time well over a hundred projects have been entered. The Awards are not competitive and cover the natural landscape, new and old buildings within it and great examples of sustainable businesses. Anyone can nominate initiatives which enhance the countryside and each one is visited by an expert panel of judges. Three top Awards - the CPRE Mark - were given to Rushmere Country Park near Heath and Reach, the Unity Hall at Barton-le-Clay and the Community Tree Trust, which is based at Clophill. Rushmere covers some 400 acres of woodland, heath and meadows which were acquired by the Greensand Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council in 2009. The visitor centre has a spectacular view over pine forest and a lake that houses a heronry which can be viewed on CCTV. Its extensive footpath network includes adventure playgrounds and amusing sculptures.


Unity Hall is the realisation of a 30-year ambition held by the village to have a purpose built centre for the Scouts and Guides of the area. Its clever design echoes the simplicity of local farm buildings but it uses the latest energy saving technologies and blends into the beautiful backdrop of Sharpenhoe Clappers. The Community Tree Trust collects seeds from local species and grows them on for two to three years. They are then sold to landowners and farmers who want to restore or enhance their land with truly native trees; the Forest of Marston Vale has been a major recipient of the Trust’s work, for example. It has strong educational ethic, involving youngsters in the collecting of the seeds and is now diversifying into wild flowers. Other Award winners demonstrate the diversity of entries. The new Pear Tree Piece housing development at Old Warden, providing affordable homes for local people is designed to harmonise with the architecture of existing local buildings, whilst the restoration of the Ongley Mausoleum in the churchyard of the same village has preserved a local landmark from becoming derelict. Improved access to the countryside features strongly in projects at Polehanger Farm at Meppershall, where a kind farmer has opened up new footpaths across his land to create enjoyable and safer routes for walkers and in the village of Shefford, which has developed a lovely stretch of Bellcote Meadow as a public amenity. Further information about the CPRE Bedfordshire Awards is available at or from 01234 353331

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Hair by Amanda

Professional, Affordable, Reliable Mobile Hairdresser

Beautiful hair by city and guilds qualified stylist Cut & Blowdry, Colours, Highlights, Lowlights, Permanent Wave, Sets, Conditioning Treatments, All Hairdressing Services Special Senior Citizen Discounts Mob: 07974 281933 Tel: 01767 262143

APampering ROM ATICS & Beauty Holistics 15% of Welcome to Aromatics – f f or new a haven of peace, c lients pampering and relaxation in the heart of Potton. Whether you are looking for a gift for a special someone, a regular pick–me–up or a day of relaxation with your friends, we’ll take care of you. Treatments include: • • • • •

Facial & Body Treatments Holistic Treatments Waxing Eye Care Lash Perfect Eyelash Extensions

N ow open

Su nd a ys

• • • • • • • •

Teen treatments Manicures & Pedicures Pregnancy Massage Spa Packages Hen & Bridal Packages Bio-Sculpture Sports Massage Pedicures

Tel: 07711 204409

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Sole Practice Reflexology Clinic (Established 2002)

REFLEXOLOGY/VERTICAL REFLEXOLOGY REIKI HEAD & SHOULDER MASSAGE Holistic therapies to improve many conditions and bring a sense of relaxation and well-being Treatments can be combined as required 10 years of professional accredited advanced training and experience Gift vouchers available CARLA ROBINSON MAR. VRT. REIKI Tel: 01767-651634/0777-201-2928 (Gamlingay area )


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Album Of The Month

LONG WAVE – Jeff Lynne Welcome to our monthly look at new albums, classic albums and those that time forgot or at least warrant another listen. This month it’s the turn of Jeff Lynne and his first solo album in twenty-two years ‘LONG WAVE’. In 1990 Jeff released ‘Armchair Theatre’ which included eight originals and three covers Jesse Stone’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ and two standards ‘September Song’ and ‘Stormy Weather’. This time all eleven tracks are covers. Now I’m a fan of covers albums because I’m interested in hearing songs that my favourite artists like and have been influenced by. The first thing I do after hearing a covers album is try to find and hear the original versions. With ‘Long Wave’ I was familiar with all the songs already. Jeff has been very true to the originals but has put his own distinctive stamp on them, like Chuck Berry’s ‘Let It Rock’, Roy Orbison’s ‘Running Scared’ (terrific version) and The Everly Brothers ‘So Sad’. Don Covay’s ‘Mercy, Mercy’, a song Jeff used to perform live with his sixties group The Idle Race , is an enjoyable R&B stomp. Opening track is a surprise with Charles Aznavour’s ‘She’ showing a great melody brought to life by Jeff’s harmonic rendition. Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’ always was a great song although I guess Jeff’s influence here was from the Nat ‘King’ Cole version. A couple of show tunes are included from ‘Carousel’ Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘If I Loved You’ and from ‘Pal Joey’ Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’. The album is rounded out by Etta James’ ‘At Last’, Bobby Darin’s ‘Beyond The Sea’ and The Four Aces ‘Love Is A Many Splendored Thing’. Has the word Splendored ever been used in a song title since? I get the feeling this was an album Jeff Lynne just wanted to get out of his system at some point in his career. Jeff has probably worked with all the great artists he ever wanted to, and it’s an impressive list including The Beatles, plus Paul, George and Ringo solo, Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Dave Edmunds and many,

many more. Jeff also has a new ELO album ‘MR BLUE SKY’ at the same time in which he has rerecorded many of ELO’s greatest songs, feeling sure he could do them even better the second time around. The results have been open to much debate. Most of the songs if I heard them on the radio I would not be able to tell the difference, they are that close to the original versions. So to summarize, two albums worth buying for their high musical quality content. Jeff Lynne is a very talented man having played almost everything on both albums. But that said it would be nice to hear some new original songs next time from Mr. Lynne. Alan & Mike

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10 years of g n i s s e r d r i a h l u f s s e succ We are now offering hair extensions guide price of £300 - £350 Student discount available and free consultations OPENING HOURS Monday - Closed, Tuesday 9.30am - 5.00pm Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm, Thursday 9.00am - 8.00pm Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm, Saturday 8.30am - 4.00pm 1 Station Road, Biggleswade, SG18 8AH 36

Tel: 01767 600510

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The giving and receiving of cards and gifts forms an important part of the Christmas season and December is usually a very busy month scouring the shops for those unusual gifts for a particular person. This year why not buy something with a local connection. It could be for that person who lives locally, a friend or relative who has moved away, etc Here at Sandy Tourist Information Centre we have a selection of local items that would make that ideal and unique present, such as a Sandy tea towel with line drawings of various views of the town and a mug celebrating Sandy’s market gardening heritage. We also sell Sandy dishes, Sandy thimbles, Sandy notelets, Sandy pens and pen pots. How about a gift of locally produced honey or honey marmalade? We also sell local jams in individual pots or in a jute gift bag. We can take your orders for local homemade preserves which include such delicious items as chutneys (apple, beetroot, mango, etc), jams (blackcurrant, gooseberry, raspberry, strawberry, etc) and marmalades (lemon, lime, three fruit and orange with whiskey, etc). We are also selling plum jam

made by Sandy’s Town Mayor to raise funds for the Sandy Christmas Cracker event (see below). Books are always lovely to receive at Christmas – enjoy a read about your locality. Some of the titles we hold include ‘Lost villages of Bedfordshire’, ‘Ghostly Bedfordshire’, ‘Why we love Bedfordshire’, ‘Biggleswade Heritage Trail’ and many more. For the keen walker we have the book - ‘Favourite walks in and around Bedfordshire’. For those who enjoy looking at books with old photographs of the locality we have the ‘Pictorial memories of Sandy’ books and books in the ‘Yesterday’s Bedfordshire’ series There is a great deal of interest in RAF Tempsford, the wartime secret airfield, as is shown by the number of visitors we get to the Centre from people, both locally, nationally and internationally enquiring about this historic place. Also we have had large numbers of people attending the two talks about the airfield, which we have arranged and which have formed part of the TIC Autumn/ Winter Talks programme. These specific talks have been given by local historian and author, Bernard O’Connor and we sell copies of Bernard’s

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books about Tempsford called ‘RAF Tempsford – Churchill’s most Secret Airfield’ and ‘The Women of RAF Tempsford’. The three main towns of east Bedfordshire are captured in the DVD ‘Three Market Towns’. It makes a unique gift. Why not give a Theatre Token as a unique gift – it is an ideal present and allows the receiver to choose from over 240 theatres nationwide, including several local ones and those in London’s West End. These gift vouchers can be used to see Plays, Musicals, Comedies, Opera, Dance, etc and there is no expiry date, unlike other gift vouchers. The Tokens come in different values £5, £10 and £20 so you can choose what you want to spend. For the third year the Tourist Information Centre has published a Sandy Calendar. This has various colour views of Sandy, including the spring floods on the Ivel meadows, Beeston Green, St Swithun’s Church and School, Sandy Heath, etc. The Calendar costs £5.50. Also, this year, we have published a Sandy Christmas Card which depicts a snowy scene in the gardens of The Lodge. Also there are copies of last year’s cards available depicting Sandy Church in the snow. The cards are sold in packs of


10 (£3.25) or individually they cost 35 pence each. The Tourist Information Centre will be having a stall selling the cards and calendars at Sandy’s ‘Christmas Cracker’ event to be held in Sandy Market Square on Sunday, 2nd December. We hope that the above will give you some ideas for that exclusive and special present. Call into the Centre to see these unique gifts and also pick up leaflets for local walks to undertake over the Christmas season, details of What’s On in the locality and also see the vast range of both local and national information we hold, etc. We look forward to welcoming you. ALL GOOD CHRISTMAS WISHES FROM THE STAFF AT SANDY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE Sandy Tourist Information Centre, Rear of 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy Telephone 01767 682728 email OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm Saturday 10am-2pm Sundays and Bank Holidays Closed

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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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INDUSTRIAL UNITS & WORKSHOPS TO LET units from furbished Ft • Fully re q – 7,000 S r 950 SqFt fo 1 A to cess • Good ac t region s a South E e, w.c. & it has offic • Each un ller shutter door electric ro ed, gated site clos • Fully en TV C t C h it w ble to ren ace availa • Yard sp


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Ash Tree Financial Services Independent Financial Advisers For friendly and expert advice in your financial planning including: Mortgages and Home Insurance Life assurance Critical Illness Cover Income Protection Pensions and Annuities Investments and Savings Contact Christopher Goodwin Ash Tree House, 48 Sutton Mill Road, Potton, SG19 2QB Tel: 01767 262760

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

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Before 42


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The best gifts for gadget fans

for the person who has everything Buying Christmas presents for gadget fans can be difficult, because they don’t tend to wait for special occasions to splash out - but before you reach for the stand-by option of perfume or socks, it’s worth thinking laterally. The answer to the question “what do you buy for the person who has everything?” is often “accessories”. This doesn’t necessarily mean brightly coloured cases or novelty items that plug into laptops’ USB ports, although of course there are plenty of those to choose from; novelty USB items are this decade’s equivalent of hilarious musical socks, and best avoided. In many cases accessories can make gadgets even more useful. Take the Eye-Fi Connect memory card, for example: it’s a camera memory card with built-in Wi-Fi, so it turns any camera into a connected one for instant uploading. It’s not as expensive as you might expect - at the time of writing a 4GB Eye-Fi Connect X2 is £32.25 on Amazon - and it will genuinely delight any camera fan. Just make sure it’ll fit: Eye-Fi cards are designed to fit in SDHC slots, which you’ll find in most but not all modern cameras. Another camera favourite is the Gorillapod, an innovative camera tripod that can hang on to almost anything. It’s available for everything from smartphones to enormous digital SLRs, and prices start at around £10. Unlike traditional tripods it doesn’t need to sit on the ground: you can wrap it around lampposts and tree branches, hang it from tables or put it on your head. There are no shortage of useful accessories for iPads, and one of the best is Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard (around £75), which essentially turns

an iPad into a small laptop. If you’d rather spend a little less, there are tablet styluses for writing notes and drawing for as little as £6.30 (Griffin’s Apple iPad Stylus), rising to around £22 for the Pogo Sketch Pro. Such styluses work not just on iPads, but any touchscreen device including rival tablets and smartphones. As you’ve probably noticed in the shop, Apple owners are particularly well served by accessories: you can’t wander round the supermarket without tripping over a pile of iPhone alarm clocks and speaker docks. Such items make great presents, but be careful which ones you buy: with the arrival of the iPhone 5 in September, Apple dumped its existing dock connector in favour of a smaller connector called Lightning. Accessories designed for the iPhone 4 and earlier will still work, but they’ll need an expensive adapter for the iPhone 5, updated iPods and updated iPads - and in some cases the cost of the adapter may be more than the cost of the accessory. It’s definitely worth checking which version the person has before spending any money - advice that also applies to very useful multi-device chargers such as the Bluelounge Refresh (£69.99), which can charge multiple gadgets simultaneously. If you’re still stuck for ideas, there’s always the famous answer to the present for someone who has everything: a box for them to put it all in. Rather than a box we’d recommend a bag, and we particularly like the Unit Portables bags (£59.99 from while they’re designed to accommodate gadgets, chargers and their accessories, they’re smart, stylish and available in a range of eye-catching colours.

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WITH ABOVE ALL CHALET COMPANY For us Brits to ski, the French Alps are just about unbeatable - they are close, so relatively cheap and easy to get to, beautiful and dramatic, and challenging for every skier. Alpine holidays can be divided into two categories; the package and the chalet. If you want cheap, low quality and minimum service, by all means take the package deal and spend your holiday wondering what you are eating and where on the mountain you are. If however, your tastes run more towards value for money, good food, personal service and a little luxury, you need to look at the chalet holiday. Take Above All Chalet Company for example – newly launched by a local girl - the staff will meet you at the airport, transport you in just one hour to a luxury apartment in the centre of the charming and traditional village of Les Gets, hand you the inclusive skis and passes they have arranged on your behalf and accompany you up onto the mountain which they know like the back of their hands.


Once exhausted they will ply you with inclusive beer, wine and freshly baked cake and send you off to the spa while they prepare a sumptuous 3 course dinner. And even better, this happens every single day! So, yes you can ski for £450, but if you ski for £800 you will be more relaxed, enjoy more time with your young ones, be better fed and everything will be tailored to your personal needs. And you will never have to wonder which way up a lift map goes… Find out more about Above All Chalet Company at

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Tax Returns Submissions Date 31st January 2013 No need to use bookkeepers and accountants when you can use our simple and easy to use bookkeeping

ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND BUILDING DESIGN SERVICES Professional and affordable architectural design services provided for all types of private residential building projects with all necessary council approvals obtained.

software package at a fraction of the cost

Check out our video showing how easy it is to use at: Any bookkeeping questions can be emailed to us via our contact page on the website

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.

Anstee Gorst

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: Antoinette Gorst ACCA or Sally Anstee FCCA 01767 650700 Ground Floor Offices, Unit 30, Green End, Gamlingay, Sandy, Beds, SG19 3LF Email: Website:

Friendly, family run guest house in the heart of Biggleswade. Ideal for the business or leisure traveller. All rooms ensuite and free wifi. Stratton Guest House 4a London Road, Biggleswade Beds SG18 8EB Tel: 01767 600920

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Coastscapes - A collaboration

of two local artists is launched! Jayne Odell ARPS, a photographer from Gamlingay and Kevin Hall, a musician and songwriter from Sandy have joined forces on a special collaboration entitled Coastscapes. The short film is a fusion of coastal photography with a specially written contemporary score, which was launched at the Lounge Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant in Biggleswade. The creative pair met only six months ago through a mutual friend whilst Kevin was working on his latest album Songbook 2. When he saw Jayne’s work he was immediately inspired, and suggested composing a piece of music that would complement the collection. The next few months saw them working together to develop the project from a simple demo into a fully mastered track and high-definition short film. Coastscapes was premiered on 15th November at an evening reception for representatives from the photographic and music industries, as well as close friends of Kevin and Jayne at The Lounge, which was a perfect location for the launch. Guests enjoyed the warm hospitality from the team along with some great food and a glass or two of bubbly, whilst the beautiful music and stunning photography enthralled everyone. John McGinley, General Manager at the Lounge says; “We were thrilled to host the event for these guys. Jayne’s spine-tingling work has been sewn into an evocative short film of musical silk. Her stunning photography has been enjoyed here since she chose to hang a collection of landscape pieces with us, and Biggleswade folk have really enjoyed them – they fit the venue perfectly”. Jayne’s photography centres on a passion for the sea hence the inspiration for the Coastscapes collection. She discovered her love of photography in 2006 and

High Tide Rhossili

developed her skills to achieve an ARPS Distinction in Visual Arts awarded by the Royal Photographic Society in June 2011. Her additional forays into landscape and observational work have achieved high acclaim at club competition and national exhibition level. She’s also been recently featured in a national photographic magazine. Kevin Hall is a musician, composer and producer whose extensive work to date includes partnerships with Pixie Lott, Alexandra Burke, Alfie Boe, Cliff Richard and Tony Hadley. He is currently writing an album with group Dali as well as touring with his internationally acclaimed band Vice Versa. His new album Songbook 2 is now available. Jayne and Kevin hope this will be the first of many projects... It’s exciting to see two local artists working in this way, to create something so evocative and powerful. You can enjoy Coastscapes at For more information:

Jayne Odell


Kevin Hall

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Computer Supply & Repair Fast, friendly and local support for all your computer and technology needs. Repairs, Upgrades, Custom Builds etc. Virus and Spyware Removal, PC Health Checks, Software/Hardware Sales, Networking and Wireless

No Call Out Fee Why pay shop prices when you can have a faster, cheaper and more personal service to your door available? With work guaranteed and a No Fix, No Fee motto, why shop anywhere else for your Computer needs?

The Gadget Guy Phone: 01767 641680 Mobile: 07776 497004 Email: Web: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Hifi Lounge

Here to listen…

Based near the village of Dunton, in the heart of rural Central Bedfordshire is an unparalleled Hifi business offering something very different from that of its competitors. Set in a beautiful converted granary building and with spectacular countryside views, Hifi lounge is certainly an eye opener. With ample parking and easy access from the A1, it is the nicest and most convenient way to shop for that extra special piece of audio equipment. The ethos behind Hifi Lounge is to only stock a reasonably small portfolio of brands, but brands that Husband and wife team Paul and Wendy


Clark are passionate about, thus creating a shared enthusiasm with their clients and a genuine passion about the brands they supply. Hifi Lounge has lovingly created a listening environment within their showroom, where they have emulated an atmosphere like you would have at home. Paul and Wendy never wanted to create a retail shop with just demo rooms. “We believe when demoing Hifi, you should have the opportunity to hear the equipment as close as you would at home. We understand that all rooms are different but hopefully we have fulfilled our original goal as best we can”. When purchasing something as important as quality hi-fi equipment, you need time, demonstrations and most importantly, a member of staff on hand when required to answer those all important questions about the latest goings on in the world of Hi-Fi. There are no pressured sales here, you can stay as long as you want, listen to whatever you like and never feel rushed. Hifi Lounge have never tried to portray a business that will stock every brand on the market to suit every budget and taste, on the contrary, but to

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specialise in a few key brands and offer a very friendly, personable service. They are almost trying to turn the clock back to a time when the customer always came first, to a time before retail parks and the internet. OK they can’t do anything about the dreaded MP3 but Hifi Lounge can guarantee that they will always return your call, answer your e-mails and will always be available to speak to you personally. Brands you can expect to see at Hifi lounge include PMC Speakers, Naim, Rega, Bryston, Spendor and JVC to name but a few. They are all products that Paul has been a long-time advocate of, especially PMC and Bryston which he first encountered when working for another Hi-Fi retailer. Commenting on the above Paul says “As a PMC and Bryston owner for the last few years it was an easy decision to offer these amazing brands to our customers, to be honest if it wasn’t for my love of both PMC and Bryston I don’t think there would be a Hifi lounge as together they re-ignited my passion for hifi and music in general and that inspired both my wife and I to start our own hifi Shop. Having Naim on board was the icing on the cake though as Naim make fantastic equipment that just sounds so musical and involving, they offer a range that covers all bases and budgets that will appeal to most music lovers, whether that be an all in one unit, a streamer, a CD player or a big separates system, and better still, Naim sounds just beautiful with PMC speakers. But at HiFi Lounge our real love is Vinyl, you can’t beat the convenience of streaming music but for really sitting down and enjoying your music we still feel that vinyl offers the most realistic and natural sound around and that is where Rega come in, offering a great range of turntables as well as speakers, amps, CD players etc., Rega always offer fantastic value for money as well as extremely musical equipment”. Hifi Lounge will be running music evenings and events so visit the website regularly to see what they are planning next. Should you be interested in streaming, vinyl, headphones or even the occasional movie, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

For more information or to experience what Hifi Lounge has to offer, please feel free to call us on 01767 448 121 or even better, come in and say hello. Don’t forget to check our website regularly on

HiFi Lounge, 4 The Granary Buildings, Millow Hall Farm, Millow, Dunton, Bedfordshire, SG18 8RH Tel: 01767 448 121 Website: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


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

• Professional Turf Laying Service • Weed Treated & Fertilized • Fast Delivery • Commercial and Domestic • Free Estimates • All Areas Covered • Hard Landscaping Large or Small Jobs Undertaken

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ORdeR yOuR heAting Oil tOgetheR... and save money! Join Agricole Oil’s ‘Daily Mini BulkBuy Scheme’ or our ‘Monthly Bulk-Buy Scheme’ (on the 1st day of each month) and reduce your heating oil bills today! Ring me before you buy Jeremy Cole (01954) 719452 50

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Winter Planters

by pippa Greenwood Even if you’re sure you’re not going to venture out in to your garden much in the colder months, make sure you have every possible encouragement by creating a winter planter or two. A pretty planter on the front steps or gracing the patio will not only look gorgeous from the warm comfort of the house, but will also help to coax you outside from time to time. Grab a container, some compost and a selection of plants and be creative. Larger is better, as once temperatures drop a larger container is more likely to protect the roots on the plants due to the greater volume of compost. Frozen roots are fatal, so this is really worth bearing in mind. I’d avoid any container less than 30cm (12in) diameter if possible, unless you live in a very mild area. Remember that summer bedding displays can be pulled out now, so you can always re-use suitable containers once the plants have been cleared. Any container will insulate the roots a little, but one made from thick wood (such as a wooden trough or window box, or a half-barrel) will be very effective. Good quality, fairy chunky plastic also works quite well. Try to avoid metal as this tends to conduct cold. Warm undergarments are all the rage for winter planters. A lining of bubble-wrap polythene or even a few layers of old fabric or carpet, sandwiched between the sides of the container and the compost will help to keep both compost and roots warm. I always save packaging materials from parcels for this sort of thing; why not pull out the bubble-wrap inner lining from a large padded envelope and use that? If you live in a particularly cold area, or simply want to decrease the risk of winter damage further, try to position winter planters out of the windiest areas. If possible place them fairly close to a house wall on the south or west side as this will help to provide a little extra warmth. A visit to your local plant nursery or garden centre at this time of year should fill you with inspiration as you’ll be amazed at the range of plants available for adding winter colour and interest to pots and planters. Some of my favourites are the universal or other winter flowering pansies or even hardier smaller flowered violas. For some seriously sturdy winter colour, try the winter flowering heathers as these make a good

base for the display and you can, if you wish, add trailing plants such as variegated ivies to help provide extra colour, texture and interesting leaf shapes. All these plants will last for years, not just the winter months. At this time of year you are likely to find many garden centres offer very tiny versions of shrubs such as skimmias, Pieris or hollies and many of the dwarf conifers. Although these obviously have the potential to grow considerably larger, they will provide good colour and interest in a container for a year or two and can then be planted out into the garden and allowed to reach their full size. In warmer areas, you will also be able to add bright patches of colour to your display using the ‘winter cherry’ or solanum which has bright yellow and orange fruits and also many of the polyanthus whose super-sized, primrose-like flowers come in a wide range of really showy colours. You could also use a few winter flowering cyclamen but these definitely need a very sheltered spot such as a window box on a protected wall. Finally, don’t forget to prolong the time which the planter will look gorgeous by adding in a few early spring flowering bulbs such as miniature narcissus, crocus and miniature iris. There are many different forms, colours and shapes of all these bulbs available and if hidden beneath the roots of your winter bedding plants, you will forget they are there until they burst out in spring and produce a lovely flush of fresh, pretty colour and often some delightful perfume too. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and sign up for ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’. Choose from a fantastic selection of vegetables that Pippa will send to you at just the right time for planting AND each week you receive an email telling you all you need to know to ensure great results – from just £29 for up to 66 garden-ready plants.

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON Closing The Door after the Horse Has Bolted?

It is so reassuring to know that our rural interests are being protected so assiduously. The government was so quick to respond to the latest fungal terrorist attack by the incurable Ash dieback fungus. After having learned that the disease was now established here, it pulled out all of the stops to ban the import of all ash trees (which could make the situation worse?) and arrange for the meeting of “Cobra” to formulate an action plan of significance. The outcome of this high- powered committee is that we wash our children and our boots after visiting a woodland in order to reduce the spread of the mainly wind-borne fungal spores. As stated in the Forestry Commission information guide, the spores are only able to survive for a few days and there is a low probability that dispersal is via birds, clothing and insects. I suppose that when you have been “caught out”, giving sensible advice is better than saying nothing at all! It is so distressing to see our large trees dying. The devastation caused by Dutch Elm Disease followed by diseases affecting Oak and Horsechestnut indicate that the situation could be serious. The question is are fungal diseases becoming more of a problem? Have we been previously protected by our island geography? Is the increased transport and movement of produce from sites where such diseases are endemic a price we have to pay for greater choice and availability and is climatic stress a significant factor in reducing resistance. It is interesting to note that in the UK wild population of our ash trees, it is recognised that there are some trees which show some degree of immunity. Would it not be a good idea to research this with


an aim of developing propagated replacements in anticipation of replanting requirements? In this increasingly changing world, it is such a pity that our organisations are still seemingly re-active rather than pro-active. I suppose that it all comes down to resources and priorities of spending but I feel that we do need to concentrate on future issues of concern and respond with practical action before the problem becomes too big to deal with. More to the point, I don’t understand we have to import trees which grow like weeds anyway. Anyone who has an ash tree near a garden will have spent many hours removing self-sown seedlings which are trying to take over! These imported trees will not be propagated from our native stock and will not be as well adjusted to our particular growing conditions. However, no good crying over spilt milk! The disease is here and now we must deal with it as efficiently as possible. Perhaps advice such as washing children needs to be upgraded?

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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Pottons Specialist Welding and Fabricating Company

For further information please call Trevor on Tel: 01767 261845 Mobile: 07941 187689 Email:

ton for a ll yo Wrought iron work, ur w elding needs made to order, including

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INVENTIONS - Christmas Tree Lights

By Leon F. Jones

There’s nothing that says ‘Christmas has arrived’ as much as a Christmas tree beautifully illuminated with lights. Some say that the tradition dates as far back as the 1600s when wealthy German families would decorate their trees with small candles held in place with pins or melted wax. Owing to the danger of fire however, the candles would only stay lit for several minutes at a time with home owners standing nervously by. Even after candle holders and lanterns became available, fires were common and insurance companies started refusing to pay claims. The solution was provided by a very well-known name and its unveiling must be one of the greatest publicity stunts of all time. In December 1880, in order to publicise his latest invention, Thomas Edison hung a string of electric lights around his laboratory in New Jersey. Passers-by were mesmerised by the beautiful display and associated it with yuletide celebrations. Two years later one of Edison’s inventors, Edward Johnson,

lit a Christmas tree with 80 small bulbs and by 1900, Christmas displays with lights started appearing in department store windows. On Christmas Eve, 1923, President Coolidge lit the National Christmas Tree near the White House with 3,000 lights. A string of lights cost about $12 which put buying them way out of reach of ordinary American families. General Electric, who had purchased the rights to Edison’s bulbs, even released advertisements suggesting families rented them. It wasn’t until 1925 when the Sadacca family, who owned a novelty lighting business, started mass manufacturing Christmas lights, that they become affordable. Today you can take your pick of incandescent or LED lights. Either way, what a pleasure it is to light up your tree in these cold winter months.

GILKS FENCING LTD Supplying of all types of gates and fencing to trade and public. •Maintenance free •Environmentally friendly •Stronger and lighter than concrete posts •Unique natural wood-grain finish •Dual faced fencing posts and gravel boards •Will not rot, crack, chip or split We are looking for show gardens to promote this exciting new product. Excellent prices for the first few selected. Interested? Call us.

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Wide variety of Top Quality •Seed & Meadow Hay• •Haylage• •Wheat & Barley Straw• Various Bale Sizes

•All types of Fencing• Also stock

• Equine Services - including Muck Heap Removal • Shavings • 360 Digger Hire with Driver

Call Mark: 07711 376 287 or Jenny: 01462 892 253

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Unique Landscape We specialise in

Patios, Fencing, Clear Ups Turf Laying, Hedge Trimming Tree Cutting, Tree Felling, Planting, Pruning, Driveways, Printed concrete, Stencil Concrete, Decking ...and much more

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Board Games

They’re anything but boring? Despite the increasing popularity of computer and electronic games, good old fashioned board games still have their place. There are websites dedicated to fans of the genre, and when I posted a request on Facebook for recommendations, I was inundated with suggestions. Yes, a passion for this type of gaming is still very much alive! As a child I spent rainy Saturday afternoons sprawled across the living room carpet engrossed in a game of Monopoly. British weather being what it is, mum would entertain us three children for several hours with this rather long winded game that has aptly been renamed ‘Monotony’ by some! The most memorable games always involved dad. He was kind, fair and compassionate by nature, but once involved in a game of Monopoly, a much darker side would emerge. If he met with bad luck at the start, he would tug at our heart strings, persuade us to part with valuable properties for next to nothing, talk us into letting him off rent, and then end up winning by placing about fourteen hotels on Park Lane! Merciless, totally merciless. Scrabble is another favourite. Mum and I have enjoyed many an hour challenging one another’s wits and word power. It’s a great way to improve vocabulary and spelling skills, but neither is actually required to win. Dad was notorious for

his somewhat unorthodox spellings and when it was his turn, he would pour over the board for what seemed like hours, giving mum time to make a drink, eat a round of toast and watch the latest episode of Coronation Street, before placing his three letter word that included an x and z over a triple letter word-score and earning himself in excess of 100 points. Strategy was always the key, and he was not lacking in that department! I remember the time the family played Pictionary on a caravan holiday. We laughed and teased and giggled at one another’s attempts at drawing, but none were as funny as dad’s rendition of a horse. It took us the best part of an hour to identify it and the cup and saucer that followed weren’t much better! Fun, friendship and family time together are all reasons why board games continue to be as popular now as ever. Nothing can replace that feeling of camaraderie that comes with physical proximity as you nudge elbows and knock knees, or even the board itself, while engrossed in the very serious business of trying to beat down your opponents. All the better if those opponents are blood-relatives! More recent additions to our games cupboard include Blokus, Rummikub and Uno, but there is a whole host of games out there just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed! Go get yourself one!

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Your perfect Christmas

celebrate your way! The perfect family Christmas – we’ve all seen it on the telly. Adoring parents watch beautiful children open immaculately wrapped gifts, their faces full of joy and wonder. So why is it that so many festive seasons consist of weeks of frantic present-buying, culminating in arguments, tantrums and burnt sprouts? I think that a lot of the stress of Christmas comes from our unreasonable expectations of the day. We can feel pressurised to celebrate in a way that is never going to work. Difficult as it may be, the most important thing is to think about what you really want from Christmas and to stick to it. Maybe you’d like to spend the day just with your partner, or to eat curry instead of turkey for once? If this ruffles people’s feathers, try a compromise – you could agree to do things one way this year and another the next. To avoid simmering tensions, say no to things you are really against, but offer an alternative. For example, you could suggest meeting up with friends or family during the quiet days between Christmas and the New Year. If you are the one who hosts the family Christmas lunch, ease the pressure by asking people to bring specific contributions, and allocate jobs beforehand. It may seem bossy,


but things will go much more smoothly if everyone knows what they are doing. On the day, designate one room as a chill-out place, where people can go to escape if they need to. And try to take a break from the sofa for a breath of fresh air. It’s easy to stagnate over Christmas and a dose of the great outdoors is good for everyone. Worrying about money is one of major causes of stress at Christmas and can spoil your enjoyment of the day. This year, why not challenge yourself to choose smaller gifts that are really special? You can look in local independent shops for unusual items, or try Christmas craft fairs and charity shops. Last year I decided to have a real budget Christmas and made food gifts for my friends and family. Ask a foodie friend, or search online if you’re stuck for recipes. (Nigella’s Chilli Jam is a good one.) Another idea is to give your time to help someone. Or you can buy pretty boxes, or bags, and make your own bespoke gift sets or kits. Christmas is said to be all about children, but I think for it to really work, the adults also need to have fun. So arrange some treats for yourself and make this Christmas really special – for you too!

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Oldies can be goodies too Do you remember the Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year? Many of us were awestruck at the energy and charisma of our 86 year-old Queen. Around the same time, two little Westie Terriers – also in their twilight years – were unceremoniously dumped. Fred and Bob are absolutely fantastic dogs. They’re over 10 years old, but actually seem much younger when you meet them. They are playful, friendly and have soft, silky fur. Unbelievably, both were taken to a vets to be put to sleep. Did they have an incurable illness? No. Have they got severe behavioural problems? No. Their crime was to be considered ‘old’ by their owners. The RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch stepped in to care for these lovely boys and to try and re-home them. Older animals are often harder to re-home as people focus on the negative aspects of age, rather than the positives. However, with an older dog you can get all the love, loyalty and fun – without the destructive behaviour, neediness and intensive hours needed to train a young puppy. Although it took over 8 months for Fred and Bob,

they have now found a perfect home in Putnoe with a retired couple who met them – and instantly fell in love. Their days are spent snuggled in front of the fire, relaxing on their Mum’s lap and having an enjoyable walk and sniff in their own garden. So, if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, why not consider an oldie? Fred and Bob’s new owners wouldn’t change them for the world. There are many animals in our care looking for a forever home. If you’re interested in adopting one, please contact us. ANIMAL STORIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch

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


Pee Wee Club

John O’Gaunt Golf Club More than 50 of the Club’s 7 to 12 year old Pee Wees enjoyed their 4 hole competition on the Carthagena Course on Sunday 21 October 2012. The golf was followed by an awards and presentation ceremony at which the match results and seasons certificates were presented. The Boys Age group Winners were Luke Hargreaves (7 - 8 years), Bradley Williams (9 years), Matthew Richardson (10 years), and Ethan Chamberlain (11 -12 years). The Girls Age Group Winners were Cecilia Strickland (7 - 10 years) and Caitlin Thomas (10 ½ to 12 years). The Overall Pee Wee Runner Up Trophy with a score of 25 was won by Bradley Williams with the Overall Winner with a magnificent score of 18 was Matthew Richardson. At the presentation Club Captain Martin Pettitt congratulated all the competitors and thanked those who had assisted on the day with running the competition and throughout the summer season, especially parents, members of General Committee, Malcolm Roberts and Steve Akrill, respectively the Juniors Patron and Junior Organiser, Michael (Shaggy) Grace and Dean Saunders and Lee and Sue Scarbrow for all of

their commitment and to Wendy Ashcroft for the organisation and co-ordination leading up to the event and on the day. For more information on the Clubs Pee Wee Section for 6 – 11 year olds and the Junior Section for the 11 – 17 years olds, the clubs free taster sessions for ladies or general membership enquiries please contact the club administration office. or Tel: 01767 260360

After 64

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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

The Andrews


Potton & Biggleswade We specialise in teaching children from the age of 3yrs & above in:

• Disco/Street • Ballet • Tap Dancing Our classes are lively and enjoyable and most importantly lots of fun !! Teachers CRB Checked & qualified with the I.S.T.D and N.A.T.D


01462 643 384

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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 66

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Ford B-Max

BY JAMES BAGGOTT Ford has ditched its forgettable Fusion and replaced it with a bold car sporting no B-pillars, but is it any good? We find out. What is it? It is the first car in a massive product offensive from the Blue Oval, designed to keep the car giant profitable in Europe. The B-Max replaces the forgettable – but much-loved among certain UK buyers – Fusion and goes up against rivals from Vauxhall, Honda, Nissan and Citroen in the B-segment MPV market. But to steal sales away from these firms, the B-Max has a party-piece – no B-pillars. What’s under the bonnet? Petrol buyers will be able to choose between the new 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine with 99bhp or 118bhp. There’s also a 1.4 litre Duratorq with 89bhp and a 1.6-litre Ti-VCT unit with 104bhp and an automatic gearbox. Diesels include a 1.5 with 74bhp and a 1.6 with 94bhp. Ford says the best seller will be the 1.6-litre diesel, but, in time, the 1.0-litre could claim that title. What’s the spec like? The range kicks off at £12,995 for the Studio 1.4-litre petrol which comes with electric mirrors and electric windows front and rear, while prices top out at £18,895 for the Titanium 1.6-litre diesel. That model comes as standard with 16-inch alloys, auto headlamps and Ford system – a clever voice control and device integration system. It’s a £250

option on all models bar the Titanium. What’s it like to drive? At launch we drove the 1.0-litre Ecoboost 118bhp and the 1.6-litre diesel. The 1.0-litre is a blast yet still offers agreeable fuel economy figures – 55.4mpg combined is quoted – while the 1.6-litre diesel is sluggish. It has light steering and the ride is supple. The B-Max retains the Fiesta’s fun handling – a car on which it’s based. What do the press think of it? The Telegraph said: ‘After the execrable Fusion, Ford has worked hard to produce something different and worthwhile. This is a wellengineered car, safe and good looking.’ Honest John adds: ‘And anyone already contemplating a Citroen C3 Picasso, a Hyundai ix20, a Kia Venga, a Toyota Verso S or a Vauxhall Meriva should get down to their Ford dealers and take a look.’ We asked Ford of Britain MD Mark Ovenden how much of a change the B-Max is over the old Fusion. ‘It’s a completely different vehicle. Fusion did pretty well for us and our dealers, but with B-Max the wow is the door system. B-Max also has lots of style, a large range of clever features and, of course, there’s the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. The B-Max is an excellent car – whereas the Fusion was essentially just a high-riding vehicle. B-Max has a got a lot more strength to it. As one of my younger colleagues said to me, the B-Max is more of an automotive app than a car!’ What do we think of it? This could well be the new class-leader as it makes other cars in this sector seem terribly conservative. Without having the benefit of trying all the engines and specifications, we can only really recommend the 1.0-litre Ecoboost 118bhp Titanium model which retails at £17,595. It’s not cheap but it’s probably worth the money. Model: Ford B-Max Price: £17,595 (as tested) Engine: 1.0-litre, petrol. Power: 118bhp, 169Nm Max speed: 109mph 0-60mph: 13s MPG (comb’d): 55.4 Emissions: 119g/km Residual values (three years): 37 percent


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Mats Cars Potton Based Local and Long Distance Private Hire Airport/Stations/Nights Out etc

Mini Bus Hire For All Occasions Contact Tony on 01767 631475 or 07739 864228 Email:

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

ABOVE ALL Autocentre Unit 1, Sand Road Ind. Est., Great Gransden SG19 3AH

10% discount with this advert

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

AIR CONDITIONING – Recharging of system. 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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1st Sandy Scout Group NEEDS YOU

The Scout Troop is in desperate need of new leaders as at the present time cover is being provided by other group members and for the troop to continue to thrive and expand it needs the continuity of regular leaders. Unfortunately if new leaders are not recruited the Scout Troop will be forced to close in the New Year, thus depriving the current 20 boys and girls aged 10 to 14, the chance of making friendships and learning life long skills. We are looking for a Scout Leader and two assistants (male or female) who would be willing to take over this active troop. All training will be given and help in running the troop will also be available until training is complete. Why not come and join us and become part of the worldwide Scouting family, or if you were once a member why not come back and pass on some of your knowledge to the Scouts. The Troop meets on Friday evenings 7pm – 9pm at the Scout Headquarters in Sunderland Road, Sandy.

The rewards are great and you will be helping the youngsters to fulfil their potential as future citizens through adventure and experiences whilst having fun. 1st Sandy Scout Group is an active one, which currently has over 160 members in the following sections: Beavers (2 Colonies), Cubs (3 Packs), Scouts (1 Troop) & Explorers (1 Unit). The sections are all working towards the Chief Scout Awards, and in the last few months 9 Beavers have gained the Bronze Award and 10 Cubs the Silver Award. The Scouts are working on the Gold Award while the Explorers are hoping to gain the Platinum Award and also striving for The Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is a great start to life and can be used on their CRB for future references. If you can help in any way or for further information please contact Andrew Woods – Group Scout Leader on 01767 682979.

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Oven Cleaning! - It’s a dirty job! Why do it yourself?

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


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

We clean ovens using non-caustic, non-toxic products in your home. 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

Contact James on: 01767 260188 or Mobile: 07812 666081 email: You can also book at

Tel: 01767 681 667 Mob: 07817 011 957 email:


parent company est. 1998

• Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

• Gift Shop

• Delicatessen

• Garden Centre

• Café

• Christmas Shop

• Butchery

• Fishmongers

• Fresh Flowers

• Free-range eggs

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SEASONAL DELIGHTS MINI CHRISTMAS CAKES These delightful mini fruit and nut topped cakes are perfect for giving as a festive foodie present. Simply wrap in clear cellophane and tie with gold ribbon or place in small gift boxes. Makes 9 Ready in 4 hours, plus cooling

INGREDIENTS 250g butter, softened 250g dark muscovado sugar 4 medium eggs, beaten 350g plain flour 2 tsp ground mixed spice ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 800g mixed dried fruit 100g glace cherries, rinsed, dried and chopped 100g chopped mixed nuts For the decoration 750g marzipan Icing sugar, for dusting 4 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved Mixed coloured glace cherries, walnut halves, Brazil nuts and chopped dried apricots 1 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with a double thickness of greased, greaseproof paper.

2 Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Sift together the flour and spices then fold into the creamed mixture. Fold in the lemon zest, dried fruit, glace cherries and nuts and mix thoroughly. 3 Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Use the back of a metal spoon to make a slight dip in the centre (this will help to give an even rise). Bake in the preheated oven for 3¼ - 3 ½ hours or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin. 4 When the cake is completely cold, use a sharp knife to cut it into 9 smaller square cakes. Brush the sides of each cake with a little apricot jam. Divide the marzipan into 9 pieces. Dust a surface lightly with icing sugar and roll each piece out to a strip long enough to go around each cake. Wrap the strips around the cakes pinching the ends together to seal. Top each cake with a selection of cherries, nuts and apricots. Tie a ribbon around each cake if liked.

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what’S ON?


30 November, 1-2 December Christmas Tree Festival, St James’ Church, Waresley Opening night Friday 7pm mulled wine, mince pies and entertainment £5 entrance Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm- 4pm £2 entrance Come and see our 3rd successful Festival! Special new Story Time for Children 4.15-5pm £3 per family. Enjoy a magic story time amongst the pretty trees and lights. Fabulous Christmas hamper raffle. Refreshments available. 1 December Christmas Bazaar 10am-2pm Free admission All Saint’s Church, Church Road, Sutton Various stalls and seasonal refreshments. Sutton School Choir singing carols. Santa’s Grotto. Raffle. Barrel Organ Demonstration. Tel: 01767 261742 1 December The Signals Museum10am-4pm The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get an entry permit from the Guardroom. See website for full information. The museum will next be open on 2 February 2013. Web: 1 December Christmas Fayre 10.30am-12.30pm Free admission Scout HQ, Sunderland Road, Sandy 1st Sandy Scout Group’s Christmas Fayre. Lots of stalls. 1 December Christmas Festival Bazaar 10.30am-3.30pm Beeston Methodist Church, The Baulk, off The Limes, Beeston Various stalls, Father Christmas, Santa’s Treasure Hunt, Christmas Quiz sheet. Refreshments served all day. Lunches served from 12 - 2pm. Tel: 01767 682034 1 December Potton Pre-School Christmas Bazaar 11am-2pm Potton Lower School Adults £1.50 including free mince pie. Children free BBQ, tea and coffee. Crafts and games for children. Father Christmas. Children’s tombola and much more. 1 December Christmas Fayre 12noon – 3pm Southill Lower School, School Lane, Southill Variety of stalls including jewellery, homewares/gifts, books, cards, handbags, Santa’s Grotto (gift and photo taken with Santa), refreshments, children’s craft activities and more. Supporting the Friends of Southill Lower School.

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 1 December The Amici Singers Christmas Concert 7pm Admission £7, School children free, Dunton Church Usual mixture of old and new music, but the main work will be a sequence of English carols arranged by the Amici conductor Dr Douglas Coombes MBE, called Nowell Sing We. Refreshments will be served after the concert. 1 December The Damned On Tour Tickets £20 7.30pm Bedford Corn Exchange, Bedford Loco-A-Gogo 2012 with special guests The Dickies. Web: Tickets: 3 December Aerobics Class £5 11am-12pm and 7.30-8.30pm Potton Community Centre Weekly Aerobics classes. Booking essential. Please email for dates around Christmas and New Year. Email: 4, 11 & 18 December Tuesday Morning Walkers 9.30-11.30am RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Adults £3, RSPB Members free. £4 per car to non members Weekly walks around the reserve with a leader, looking for birds, wildlife and enjoying the site. Everyone welcome. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 5, 12 & 19 December Yoga Classes £7 per class 7.30-9pm The Church Rooms, St. Swithun’s Church, Sandy Every Wednesday. Everyone welcome. Tel: 01767 680926 Email: 5 December ‘Naim Future of HiFi’ Event 4-8pm hifi lounge, 4 The Granary Buildings, Millow Hall Farm, Dunton. Free admission Event about the new Streaming HiFi equipment available with demonstrations throughout the evening with refreshments. Places must be booked in advance by email or phone. Representatives from Naim will be on hand to answer any questions. Tel: 01767 448121 Email: Web: Web:

6 December Season’s Greetings 7.30pm prompt Sandye Place School, Sandy Tickets £10 Sandy Flower Club welcome Alan Smith with a demonstration entitled “Seasons’ Greetings”. Alan 1 December is a highly entertaining demonstrator, a NAFAS Area Hardy Plant Society Talk (Small charge for visitors) Demonstrator, and a keen competitor at Chelsea Flower 2pm The Wetherley Centre, Biggleswade Show. Come along and bring a friend for a fun night out. Talk by Tim Fuller on ‘Good Companions - a selection of Advance tickets from Sandy Tourist Information Centre or hardy geraniums, ornamental grasses, and herbaceous phone 01767 226275. perennials’. All welcome. Tel: Winifred 01234 721720 Tel: Adrienne Massey 01767 682800 Web: Please mention The Villager and Town Life when Email: responding to adverts 74


6 December Potton History Society 8pm Community Centre, Potton. Visitors £2, all welcome Potton History Society presents an evening of films and video from their archive showing Pottonians at work and play. Seasonal refreshments provided. Visitors always welcome. Web: 7 December Christmas Fair 3.30-5pm Sutton Village Hall Sutton Lower School PTA’s Christmas Fair. 7 December Bingo Night 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Monthly Bingo Friday night with cash prizes, raffle and licensed bar. All proceeds to support the Village Hall. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 8 December Christmas Fayre 1-3pm Robert Peel Lower School, Dapifer Drive, Sandy Adults 50p Children Free Stalls, Santa’s Grotto, Cake Stall, Tombolas, Face Painting, Christmas Crafts, Win a Christmas Hamper, Christmas Raffle, Refreshments plus many more. 8 December “Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom” 4pm Waresley Village Hall Adults £9 adults, Children £6 Potton-based Theatre of Widdershins are returning to present another enchanting and humorous family puppet show, “Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom”. Seasonal refreshments available. Tickets: Chris Thorne 01767 651239 Email: Web: 8 December East Beds Concert Band Christmas Concert 6.30pm Stratton School, Biggleswade The band will play a wide range of different types of music so something for everyone to enjoy - from Finlandia and Sweeney Todd to a Jackson Five hits compilation with some Christmas tunes. The concert band will be supported by the award winning East Beds Youth Choir. Refreshments including mulled wine and mince pies. 8 & 9 December Christmas Arts, Crafts, Food & Drink 10am-4pm Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester Admission £2.50, Concessions £2 Visit the indoor arena and sample and buy from our wide range of arts, craft and gift stalls where you might find anything from jewellery and other accessories, handicrafts, hand-made cards, photography, candles, aromatherapy products, through to ceramics and wood turning. Web:

14 & 28 December Whist Drive 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Fortnightly Friday Whist Drive. Refreshments included. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information 21 December Christmas Concert of Traditional Carols 7.30pm The Church of St Mary, Potton Tickets £6 including mince pie and mulled wine after concert. The Locrian Chamber Choir presents Two Christmas Concerts of Traditional Carols. Conductor David Beer and accompanist Tessa Wood. Tickets from Cameron’s Newsagents Potton, Choir Members or Juliet Jones 01767 226123. 22 December Christmas Concert of Traditional Carols 7.30pm The Church of St John The Baptist, Cockayne Hatley Tickets £6 including mince pie and mulled wine after concert. The Locrian Chamber Choir presents Two Christmas Concerts of Traditional Carols. Conductor David Beer and accompanist Tessa Wood. Tickets from Cameron’s Newsagents Potton, Choir Members or Juliet Jones 01767 226123 31 December New Year’s Party Moggerhanger Village Hall Tickets £4 Bring and share buffet. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information 8 January The Beautiful Fraud 10.00am Labour Hall, Crab Lane, Biggleswade, SG18 0LN Course £45 for 10 1½hr sessions. Biggleswade WEA. An examination of the stars and filmmakers of some of the greatest films of all time. Godard called cinema “The Beautiful Fraud”. Tutor Laurence Staig. Tel: Claire Bartram 01767 223524 Email: 10 January Tudor, Stuart & Georgian Cambridge 10am Labour Hall, Crab Lane, Biggleswade, SG18 0LN Course £45 for 10 1½hr sessions. Biggleswade WEA. Focusing on three centuries, including times of danger, turbulence and corruption, examining both town and university, daily life and some notable individuals. Tutor Honor Ridout.

12 January The Iron Lady (12) Doors open 2.30pm, film starts 3pm Space for Sports & Arts, Holmemead School, Mead End, Biggleswade Tickets £3.50 The Iron Lady tells the compelling story of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep); a woman who smashed through 9 December the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a maleTable Top Sale 10am-12 noon Moggerhanger Lower School dominated world. The story concerns power and the price Entry 50p for buyers. Sellers £8. that is paid for power, and is a surprising and intimate Tel: 01767 641691 portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Tel: 01767call 626338 Web: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please 01767 122 75

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

Comet Cleaning Services Commercial & Residential Cleaners • Commercial and Domestic Cleaners • Builders/Landlord Cleans • Experienced and Personal Service • Regular, Weekly/Spring Clean • Fully Insured/Ref's Available • No up front fee's/contracts

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Tel: 01767 691668 Mob: 07887 776980

DRIFTWOOD JOINERY LTD Specialists in Bespoke Joinery

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Can you help us?

EVERTON VILLAGE HALL Everton Village Hall is in the process of being refurbished and redecorated. Much has already been accomplished but there are still some improvements to be made. The Management Committee members are determined that Everton will have a fit-forpurpose hall suitable for the various groups and clubs based in the village as well as a great venue for booking parties and receptions at reasonable prices. As part of the refurbishment, with the financial support of Everton Parish Council, it was decided that the memorial to those from the village who fell in the two World Wars should be cleaned and restored. The wood panelling above the fireplace has now been returned to its former glory and the pictures of the eleven men who gave their lives are back in place. But can you help us? We are trying to make contact with any of their living relatives. At some stage we hope to be able to celebrate both the Village Hall’s refurbishment and the sacrifice that the eleven villagers made all those years ago. Although our plans are somewhat in advance, we are acutely aware that 2014 is approaching. We believe that the

100th anniversary of the start of World War I will herald all manner of reflections and celebrations and we would like to be prepared. The names of the 10 men from the village who fell in the 1914-18 conflict and the airman who died in the Second World War were: Archibald Frank BAKER, William James CHAPMAN, Herbert Edward DARLOW, John Frank ENDERSBY, Parker GIGGLE, John HULL, William James HULL, James LAWSON, Walter Lee LAWSON, Thomas George MEEKS, and Cecil Geoffrey Nigel DARLOW. If you are related to any of these gentlemen or know anything about the whereabouts of any living relatives please contact Mike Collins at 12 The Lawns, Everton, Beds. SG19 2LB (Tel. 01767 692268). If you would like to see what has been achieved at Everton Village Hall, inspect the War Memorial panelling, or would like to consider booking the hall please contact: Michael Flack on 01767 652191 or Nigel Bush on 01767 682251.

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in the home Home hygiene? We all know what we should be doing to keep our home hygienically clean - or do we? Most of us think we know what to do to keep our homes clean - but one study found that two-thirds of Britons don’t follow basic home hygiene. Do you know what temperature your fridge should be? Or that clothes left on the floor can pick up germs? Or that within eight hours one bacterium on a damp cloth can multiply to six million? Read on... Kitchen Work surfaces: A quick wipe with a damp cloth is not enough to kill bacteria - particularly if you’ve been using the same cloth for a few days. Use a disinfectant or antibacterial spray to clean surfaces - and don’t just leave that dried bit of food that’s been lurking in the corner for the past week. A home hygiene survey carried out by the Hygiene Council found that in 12% of cases visibly clean surfaces were in fact heavily contaminated by bacteria. Food preparation: It is estimated that up to 80% of food-borne illnesses happen in the home. Micro-organisms that cause these illnesses can be spread from raw meat onto chopping boards, worktops and utensils. Always use a separate board for chopping vegetables from the one on which you chop raw meat. Your fridge should be at 5ºC. Defrosting and cooking: Always follow the instructions for defrosting food, particularly in a microwave where being only a few seconds off can make a difference. Always make sure food, particularly meat, is cooked to 70ºC. Reheated food should also be heated at 70ºC or above and only re-serve leftovers once. Cooked food should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. Dishcloths: These are the worst culprits for harbouring germs. Always use disposable cloths and rinse them out thoroughly after each use, before hanging them to dry. If they remain damp it allows bacteria to quickly multiply. Living/sleeping areas Bacteria in food dropped on the floor or sofa can survive for a long time, so ignore these at your peril. Regularly vacuuming the sofa will help prevent debris building up. It will also help to


eliminate dust mites, which can cause allergies. Steam cleaning living room furniture and beds is a good way to rid them of mites. Curtains can also be home to bacteria and mites if not cleaned properly. Again, steam cleaning is a good way to thoroughly deep clean or take the curtains to the dry cleaners. Toys often carry lots of germs as babies and small children love to drag them along the floor - and then put them in their mouth. Clean hard or plastic toys by washing them in warm, soapy water. Soft toys can often be put through the washing machine - check the label. Bathrooms Bathrooms are probably one of the cleaner rooms in the house as we know to clean the toilet well to protect against germs. But how often do you also disinfect the loo handle/ button or the bathroom door handle? Children should wash their hands every time after using the loo, but often forget, meaning germs are easily spread. Shower trays are another area where germs can easily build up, so make sure these are given more than a swift wipe. Simple measures mean it doesn’t have to be hard work to keep your home hygienically clean, keeping your family safe.

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JB NEW SIZE:Plumbing JB 05/11/2012 13:26 Page 1

  

                         

Tel: 01767 261622 Mob: 07947 732883 Email:

   

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































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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• 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


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Biggleswade Sandy Lions Club Biggleswade Sandy Lions as usual are in for a busy December with our run up to Christmas. It has not been an easy year again, but we hope you will still be able to give us your traditional generous support. Tickets are selling well for our Charity dance on 8th December at the Weatherly Centre, Biggleswade, starting at 8pm. Dancing of all kinds will be to “New Vintage +” at a cost of only £14, including a plated supper. Don’t be disappointed – contact Mary Campbell on 01767 222282 or sonasinverate@yahoo. As usual we shall be helping Father Christmas at Langford Garden Centre on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm, starting Saturday 24th November and finishing Sunday 23rd December. Children – you can bring mum and dad as well! Our sleigh runs, all in December, are planned for Biggleswade on the 6th and 17th, Clifton 10th, Potton 11th and Langford 13th and 18th. Why not join in the fun and help us and meet the Lions first hand – you will be warmly welcomed.

And there’s more – we shall be having our tin shakes as well – G&M Growers 1st, 2nd and 16th, Sainsburys 8th and 9th, Aldi 15th and ASDA 22nd and 23rd. Our sincere thanks to these outlets once again for their support. All the profits of the dance and the proceeds of all the other events will help us provide Christmas parcels for the lonely and needy as well as helping us with our community service work next year. Please give as generously as you can – many, many thanks. HELP LIONS HELP For more information about Biggleswade Sandy Lions, contact Or call 0845 833 9749

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PK Cleaning Services Est. since 1988

z Professional

Carpet and Upholstery cleaning z Window cleaning z UPVC Fascia cleaning z Patio and Driveway cleaning z Gutter and Soffit cleaning Free Estimates. Friendly and reliable service.

Paul Kaiser

Home 01767 222822 Mobile 07812 335860 Visit us on

ACOLINE WATER SOFTENERS LTD Non Electric Block Salt Softeners Uses up to 60% Less Salt 10 Year Guarantee Purchase or Lease Rental FREE Salt Delivery We Repair ALL Makes of Water Softener

01462 811487 w w w. a c o l i n e s o f t e n e r s . c o . u k 84

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104 Ampthill Road, Shefford, Beds, SG17 5BB

A Ray of Hope!

LANGFORD WINDOWS Hope of an Indian summer has pretty much passed us by after what has been yet another mediocre summer. Few bright spells meant making the most of every ray of sunshine and those sunbeams have certainly have been few and far between! Conservatories are a great way of maximising the sun. Always a wow factor on any house - stately and grand or ahem, like most of us, compact and bijou – they really bring the outdoors in, flooding the house with natural light and warmth (even when the temperature outside says otherwise!) Popularity has grown around the concept of combining garden and home living, giving rise to some alternative ideas to the traditional glass-framed conservatory structure. With previously luxury items now becoming affordable, options such as bi-fold doors can make an incredible difference. Bi-fold doors concertina, and with a low threshold literally allow the house and garden to merge, when open. When closed they create a “glazed wall” effect and used internally, allow a single room to become two separate, or one large area.

Impressive character, height and light to a flat roof extension or even to a conservatory, can be achieved with a lantern roof which has become a popular method of maximising light. They can be put on conservatories and really come into their own on extensions and orangeries, increasing natural light and adding an attractive and impressive period feature. Orangeries are really seeing a big drive in demand. With the benefits of brickwork piers combined with wall-to-ceiling natural light, they give a real feeling of having additional home-space rather than it being an add-on or extension to the house. The roof can be all, or just part-glazed allowing the benefits of a combination of ceiling lights and natural light to permeate the room. Combined with bi-fold doors and a lantern roof, these really are winners. Conservatories, bi-fold doors, lantern roofs and orangeries can all be made using UPVC, timber and aluminium in a range of colours allowing you to really create the bespoke look you want, and finally allow you to enjoy not just the summer warmth we always expect but the cooler ones, like this year’s!

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The Villager Prize Crossword 1st Prize £25 Name:

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before 14th December 2012 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

2nd Prize £15



Last Month’s Crossword Winners. Congratulations to: 1st prize - Mr Paul Note from Upper Caldecote and 2nd prize - Mrs C Williams from Godmanchester For last month’s solution please visit Across 1 South American animal (6) 4 Clans (6) 9 Whirlwind (7) 10 Male duck (5) 11 Casseroles (5) 12 Surprised (7) 13 Source of power (11) 18 Cars, buses etc. (7) 20 Dangerous (5) 22 Tacks (5) 23 Graceful (7) 24 Eighth month (6) 25 Flow (6) Down 1 Painter (6) 2 American handbag (5) 3 Masterpiece (7) 5 Wireless (5) 6 Woollen cover (7) 7 Fast (6) 8 Assembled (11) 14 Departing (7) 15 Right (7) 16 Lines of a verse (6) 17 Method (6) 19 Clenched hands (5) 21 Frighten (5)


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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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T&R Roofing Ltd

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


Windows, Doors, Conservatories, Bi-Folding Doors & Composite Doors

COMMERCIAL & DOMESTIC • Verticle Sliding Sash Windows • Casement Windows • Residential & French Doors • Patio Doors • Pivot Windows • 10 Year Insurance Backed Guarantee • Discount for Pensioners • FENSA Certification

Unit 2-6 Shannon Place, Potton, Sandy, Beds SG19 2SP T. 01767 260 626 E.

Call Tony Simpson for a FREE estimate on:

01767 314847 mob. 07831849847

% 5 2


Potton Windows Limited was established in 1987



LOFT INSULATION If you are a home owner or rent privately you could be entitled to FREE Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation




* 88

01767 681849 And quote reference NE12

This offer is for a limited period only so call us now and SAVE MONEY


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It’s That Man Again!

By Sarah Davey

Yes that might be your dad, your brother or your favourite uncle. You don’t want to buy socks but you’re darned if you do know what to buy them. Relax, we’re here to help. Is the problem that your difficult male is too cool for anything as mundane as socks? Try Rough Trade’s Album Club ( Each month your lucky man will receive a package containing the must-have album of the moment – a new musical discovery. For genuine cool it’s hard to beat. Gift subscriptions start at just £24. Perhaps the problem is that your tricky chap has such a unique style that it’s tough to choose anything guaranteed to appeal to his sartorial side. Last year I discovered Bivolino (www.bivolino. com). Here your man can design his own shirt in 3D, and have it custom made. The site has style advice and hints and tips on designing. It’s rather addictive and I guarantee that if fashion is his thing he’ll have fun. E-vouchers start at £25. Sometimes, and this is especially the case with

older men, they really don’t want for anything and secretly dread having to dispose of unwanted smellies and sweets. Socks are useful, but boring. So what about a gift subscription to a magazine? There’s a title for pretty much any interest, including current affairs, history, psychology and sport. Many can be purchased for downloading to a tablet or phone. The final male is the trickiest to satisfy. He’s grumpy and unappreciative, no matter what, so in this case I’d recommend a charity gift. That way at least someone somewhere in the world will appreciate your generosity! Happy hunting.

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‘Elf and Safety at Christmas! By Debbie Singh-Bhatti We’ve all met them - those odd souls who bound up to us on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, informing us that there are just 358 days until next Christmas. They seem thrilled at the prospect of another season of peace and good will to all men, whilst we’re still recovering from the last one, grateful to have emerged unscathed. There are health warnings about any number of things, but Christmas rarely features. Yet there are all kinds of dangers lurking behind innocent looking fairy lights and seemingly innocuous novelties. A whopping 31 people have died since 1996 from watering their Christmas tree while the lights were still on, others have suffered broken arms from pulling Christmas crackers (really?!), and each year a couple of people die after testing 9 volt batteries on their tongue! These facts and figures are not for the faint hearted, nor is paying a visit to Father Christmas apparently. Experts say that small children often find a trip to Santa ‘terrifying’ and that responsible adults should take appropriate action to lessen the trauma. I must admit, I do possess a photo of my daughter looking highly distraught, whilst a white haired, bearded stranger desperately tries to wrestle her back on to his knee. We all know the dangers of drinking and driving, but did you know that accidents have occurred involving out of control toy racing cars? The police warn us to stay at home when the weather is bad, but not if there is a novice Scalextric driver on the loose! Incidents with unfamiliar toys rate in the top three causes of accidents at Christmas. When my sister and I dropped the odd Lego brick, we knew dad had found it when we heard a loud howl and saw him hopping around on one foot. Treading on broken toy parts, or being stabbed by pins left in shirts, may result in a trip to casualty. Nothing less than total vigilance is called for. Do not open beer bottles with your teeth, or leave fairy lights on unattended, nor 90

should you use a knife as a substitute for a screwdriver, pair of scissors or tooth pick. Every year, dozens of people are admitted to Accident and Emergency departments over the Christmas period having done one, (or in some cases more than one) of these. And finally... the Food Standards Agency tells us that some ten million turkeys are sold every year at Christmas. They also tell us that 20 percent of all cases of food poisoning are poultry-related, so you can see there is a capacity for disaster lurking inside almost every oven in the land. How many of us check our oven temperatures using a thermometer? And how many more of us are still eating leftovers a week later. Make an oven thermometer top priority this year, and freeze left-overs or dispose of them after three days. Wherever you are, and whatever you’re up to this season, take care and have a very happy (and safe) Christmas, then exhale because it’s a full 358 days before you have to do it all again.

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G & H SEAMER Funeral Directors

Family owned and managed business. Established 100 years.

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

47 High Street, Sandy

Telephone: 01767 680519 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


J. Jenkins

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

For all your building needs Call John on 01767 222219 or 07831 283296 Email: References available on request

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



Reg no. 193542

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Top ten reasons

for looking after your grandchildren Top ten reasons for looking after your grandchildren - apart from loving them, of course! 1. All your recollections will be new to them and they’ll grow to enjoy them more through repetition. 2. You can dish the dirt on how their own mum or dad behaved as children. Embarrassing photos, anyone? 3. You may feel like a free baby-sitter, but it’s better than having to lend the money for childcare. And by lend, I mean give. 4. Spoil them a little and there’s a prospect of a better Christmas present than hankies, scented soap or socks. 5 You can play computer games without having to buy them. You may also convince them to leave a games console behind, for practice. 6. You can show the grandkids what real food is like, unless you fancy an excuse for the occasional burger and chips.

7. You can teach your grandkids the ‘tidying up’ game, thus saving on the cost of a cleaner. This also works with the ‘car washing’ game and the ‘gardening game’, but use sparingly! 8. You’ll have lots of exercise without having to join a gym. 9. You can outshine that other set of grandparents. 10. Your own children will owe you. Bonus 11. You might get a free holiday out of it!

C l a s s i f i e d s Domestic Repairs

Art Classes

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

Domestic Repairs



JB Domestic


Guaranteed Repairs To: Washing Machines Tumble Dryers Electric Ovens/Cookers Dishwashers

Garage conversions from £5.9K

Extension - Sunrooms

Call 07811 985568 or 01767 261803 “Free quotes • Excellent references”

• • • • •

Extensions & Sunrooms Garage & Loft Conversions Walls, Patios & Decking General Building Work Property Maintenance

No Call Out Charge! Tel: 01767 680621 Mobile: 07778 891490

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


Classifieds Dressmaking - Alterations and Bespoke

Garden Specialist

Local, honest, professional service

Dressmaking - Alterations and Bespoke


Alterations and Repairs, and Something More. Has moved to The Village Shop, High Street, Wrestlingworth (Parking available at the rear)

From Potton take the B1042 to Wrestlingworth,turn left at T junction shop is on the left. 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 Looking forward to welcoming customers, old and new, in Thread’s new home


Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter friendly reliable & insured d. chandler electrical services niceic part p registered domestic & commercial 23 the lawns everton, sandy, beds 07966 296304 or 01767 680929

Fancy Dress

M. Philmore (Phil) - Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter Disabled showers supplied and fitted. General plumbing. Now semi retired. 57 Green Acres, Gamlingay, Beds. SG19 3LR Tel: 01767 650619 Mobile: 07870366414 Painting Services

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


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Classifieds Pet Services

Property Improvements

Plastering Services

Property Improvements

Steve Swain

Plastering Contractor All aspects Plastering, Pebble Dashing Rendering, Screeding


Mob: 07887 861881 Tel: 01767 226404

GARY BERRIDGE Plasterer & General Maintenance Including UPVC Doors and Windows Tiling, Painting and Decorating Free Quotes

T: 01767 316485 M: 07582 485155 E:


Private Car Hire

K.D. Secure Container Storage 20’ x 8’ x 8’ containers Electronic Secure Locked & Gated Area Domestic and Commercial Storage Short and Long Term Rates

Please call Gamlingay 01767 650777 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 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122





n W ve Satu ing be rda ho en ext ys ho urs en urs de d to 4p m


01767 682789

Merry Christmas from all of us at Friends Five Star Hairdressing and Happy 2013!!!!!! We’d like to thank our clients for their continued support this year and wish them all a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the new year. Come and see us over the festive period whether it may be for special occasion hair or a colour or style change our highly experienced staff at Friends will go that extra mile to make you look and feel fantastic. In Friends over the Christmas period: • Redken Christmas boxes - perfect gift for a loved one • Ghd metallic range for Christmas 2012 • Friends Five Star Hairdressing gift vouchers • Luxury Mince pies

Special Offer for December

Buy any retail in December and receive a complimentary £10 gift voucher to use next year* (* t & c ‘s apply) Book a hair up or curls on New Years Eve and receive 20% off

Extended Christmas Hours

Sunday 23rd December 9.00 am - 3.00pm

We’re open on Sunday 23rd Dec to offer our clients more flexibility to be able to come and have a bit of ‘me’ time in the lead up the Christmas period. Come enjoy a mince pie, listen to Christmas songs and switch off for a few hours call 01767 682789 to book.

Opening Hours: Mon, Tues & Fri 9.30 - 6.00pm, Wed & Thurs 9.30 - 9.00pm, Sat 8.30 - 4.00pm Friends Five Star Hairdressing 4 Shannon Court, Sandy, Bedfordshire sg19 1ag Large car park at rear of salon. Tel. 01767 682 789

Potton Villager December 2012  

Potton Villager Magazine December 2012