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Issue 91 - May 2013

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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Issue 91 - May 2013

and Town



In this Issue


Pizza Express Competition


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

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Editorial Rebecca Press, Solange Hando, Sarah Fryer, Pippa Greenwood, Geoff Wharton, James Baggott, Helen Taylor, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, Alex Brown, Julia Faulks, Anthony Tavistock, Katherine Sorrell and Kate McLelland Advertising Sales Nigel Frost Photography Christophe Villedieu Adam Bent

Alliance Foster Care

How cooks furthered my career


P&R Bathrooms

Second to none service


Froods Autoservices

Pop in and meet the team


Prize Crossword £25 could be yours!

The History of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.............. 4 450 Years of Ickwell May Day Festival........................... 14 Sandy Tourist Information Centre.................................. 19 Design and Artwork Shuttleworth Bird of Prey centre...................................23 Design 9 Tel 07762 969460 Operation Christmas Child..............................................24 Willington Dovecote and Stables...................................29 Publishers Blown Away.....................................................................33 Villager Publications Ltd Perfect Posture...............................................................37 24 Market Square, Potton 40 Years and Still Conducting........................................ 39 Beds. SG19 2NP Ignorance is No Defence................................................ 40 Tel: 01767 261122 Where Am I?....................................................................43 Coping With Things You Cannot Hide........................... 50 Rural Ramblings..............................................................53 Study For Success........................................................... 56 The Party Plan........................................................................ 59 Animal Queries................................................................ 61 Children’s Page............................................................... 64 and Town Life Biggleswade Sandy Lions.............................................. 66 Porsche Panamera GTS................................................... 71 Disclaimer All adverts and editorial are printed in Seasonal Delights............................................................72 good faith, however, Villager Publications What’s On........................................................................74 Ltd can not take any responsibility for Puzzle Page.................................................................... 80 the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any Budget Bathrooms..........................................................82 statements given in the editorial. No part Tallinn Old Town. Estonia............................................... 85 of this publication may be reproduced or Derwent Lower Football Club....................................... 88 stored without the express permission of the publisher. Bringing in the may......................................................... 91 Book Review................................................................... 93 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122 3


THE History of...

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Situated in South West London and nestled under the railway line is the oldest and probably the most famous rehoming centre, not only in London, but in the UK. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Founded in 1860 by Mrs Mary Tealby, and originally situated in Holloway “The Temporary Home for Lost & Starving Dogs” as it was then known, has become a household name. The centre has sure seen some changes in its 153 year existence, but one thing that remains the same is the love and welfare shown towards the animals from the dedicated staff that work tirelessly day in and day out. “Battersea” as it is more commonly known, moved to its present location in 1871, opposite Battersea Park and with a view of the iconic chimneys at Battersea Power Station. Most people referred to the home as simply “Battersea Dogs Home” however in 1883, it was decided that cats should also be accepted. Over the years more and more felines were coming through the doors, so in 2002 Battersea officially changed its name again to a more fittingly “Battersea Dogs & Cats Home” In 1885, Queen Victoria became Patron of the home, and it has remained under Royal


Patronage ever since. Queen Elizabeth II is the current Patron, and Prince Michael of Kent is the President. Many of the staff and animals have served in the World Wars and has been part of London’s culture for as long as people can remember. In 1862 when the Home was just starting out and was tucked down a side street in Holloway, North London, Charles Dickens wrote an article in his popular magazine, All The Year Round entitled Two Dog Shows which described how dogs were received into the Home and cared for by Battersea’s committed team of workers. He was fascinated by the staff and residents of the only rescue centre of its kind in London which prioritised dog welfare at a time when noone else would. Dickens was the most eminent of all Victorian writers and his words about the Home were heartfelt and hugely influential. Slowly but steadily public attitudes towards the Home changed. The Home grew in both size and popularity due to this. Its aims as a charity are never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help. They reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners; when they can’t do this, they care for them until new homes can be found for them. They also educate the public about

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responsible pet ownership. Battersea is financed purely on donations and it is crucial that the Centre keeps these contributions rolling in. The Homes raised an income of almost £12.2 million in 2010 In today’s economic climate, it must be so incredibly hard to maintain such a high standard of care to all the animals housed here, not to mention the cost of food, bedding and toys. In 1895 for example Battersea got through a staggering 32 ton of biscuits and 420 gallons of milk! The Duke & Duchess of Portland opened the Homes first country site in Hackbridge, Surrey in 1898, Mainly due to the rabies epidemic that came about. In the past, hundreds of dogs were diagnosed with rabies, the first rabid animal diagnosed was in Los Angeles County and also occurred in 1898 when an Englishman told the Health Officer his dog, which was uncontrollable, might have rabies. Confirmatory tests were run in Chicago. The following year, a man who was bitten on his nose by his rabid cocker spaniel became the first known human rabies death in the County. It was a little time after it opened, but in fact the Hackbridge site managed to house 100 sledge dogs, in 1914, in preparation for Ernest Shackleton’s second Antarctic Expedition. In 1934 The Hackbridge site was sold and Battersea opened a new site in Bow, East London. Country sites for Battersea have continued to grow in popularity and now they have two more based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch in Kent. In 1904 Battersea decided to open its doors to the general public on a Sunday, realising that “The day of rest” is a day when families would be most interested in visiting the home. Five years later in 1909, Battersea was hiring anything up to two motor vans and six horse drawn carriages to scour London and collect the strays from the streets. In fact by 1911 The Home started collecting stray dogs from London Police stations in an attempt to help re-home them. Every year at Battersea, something happens which becomes significant, a piece of history is born that remarkably stays within our western heritage, from Queen Elizabeth the Second becoming Patron in 1956 to Battersea celebrating its centenary in 1960. In 1984 Prince Michael of Kent becomes President of the Home and this still remains today. It was also around this time that the first full time veterinary surgeon was employed by Battersea to


work at the site in order to help sick and injured animals. This proved a wise move by Senior staff as the centre saw 20,000 dogs and 870 cats arrive in just that year alone. By 1990 Battersea introduced microchipping as a way of being able to monitor animals, and find them should they get lost once re-homed. Today Battersea is still backing the government in a bid to help microchipping be seen as an important framework to build better awareness of responsible ownership of dogs and cats. Battersea has chipped all animals rehomed since the mid-1990s. Battersea supports in principle the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs and cats as this makes it much easier for the animal to be traced back to its owner. They also believe that current basic legal requirements should still be enforced, for example all dogs must wear a collar and tag in a public place. Come 1998, Battersea had become so popular and such an iconic place, that media interest began to stir. The BBC was the first to film a documentary series on the Centre which provoked a lot of publicity. Celebrities such as Paul Grady, Elton John and DJ Lauren Lavern have all re-homed dogs and cats from Battersea. The Media interest didn’t stop at one series for the BBC, in fact by 2000 they returned and recorded a second and third of the popular documentary. In 2007 ratings for the show had soared and a brand new series was launched called Animal Rescue Live. Larry the cat, from Number 10 Downing Street was from Battersea, instantly making him one of the most famous cats in the country. Since taking up his role as chief mouser at No.10 Larry has been busy greeting VIPs, including American President Barack Obama and even released a book called ‘The Larry Diaries: Downing Street- the First 100 Days’. He has also become something of a media star making regular appearances in the world’s press. Earlier this year, actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales welcomed a cat named Hannah into their home. The acting duo visited the London site of the world-famous animal charity to find a new companion and instantly fell in love with one and a half year old Hannah who arrived at the Home after her owner fell ill and was no longer able to care for her. We all know Media can either make or break a situation, and for Red, the Lurcher, it certainly worked in his favour making him a world-wide phenomenon after he is caught on camera regularly escaping from his kennel and liberating

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his canine chums to share in a little midnight feasting. The footage went viral and within 24 hours Red was basking in his fame. In 2010 to mark Batterseas 150th anniversary, the Royal Mail released a set of stamps featuring a series of dogs and cats that had been adopted by staff. It also launched a commemorative book “A Home Of Their Own” which charts the history of the Home. This includes a look at the notables who have adopted animals, such as Elton John, who credited his pet, Thomas, with helping him through a rough period. Through 2011 and 2012, Battersea implemented the “Staffies - They’re Softer Than You Think” campaign to educate the public about the positive attributes of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Our ‘Staffies. They’re softer than you think’ campaign design won a top accolade at the Direct Marketing Association Awards. Battersea are proud that this important campaign for a muchmaligned breed has generated such awareness as it helps to continue to raise awareness of the Staffies’ plight and encourage more people to understand their true soft nature. In 2013 the selfless work continues from the amazing staff at Battersea, as does the filming for various TV shows. Currently ITV are filming the second series of Paul O’Grady’s “For the love of dogs” The media and airtime though can only support and surely sustain the much needed voluntary donations that are paramount if this


good work is to continue. Should you wish to talk to someone at Battersea regarding re-homing a dog or cat, please call 0843 509 4444 Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline, mobile charges may vary. All income donated from these calls will go towards the care of the dogs and cats at Battersea. Below are some other interesting facts about Battersea Dogs & Cats Home: • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cared for 5,941 dogs and 2,963 cats in 2011 (about 9,000 animals a year) • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home usually has around 450 dogs and 150 cats across its three sites and on foster at any one time. • The Home’s average daily intake is 14 dogs and 8 cats. • The average stay for dogs is 45 days, and for cats is 28 days across all three sites. There is no time limit and it is usual for an animal to stay until its adoption. • 2,705 dogs were rehomed in 2011 • 2,550 cats were rehomed in 2011 • Across all three sites, the Home employs approximately 331 members of staff in a range of operational and administrative roles. • There are currently 616 volunteers working in the Home. They carry out a range of functions including walking the dogs and socialising with both the dogs and cats, gardening, kennel support, admin and leading education talks.

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Maharajah of Sandy 01767 689743/680475

The home of perfect creations in authentic Indian cuisine... Sunday Banquet Lunch served between 12 noon and 3pm Special menu available Free Home delivery

OPEN 7 DAYS 5.30PM - 11.00PM 22 Market Square, Sandy SG19 1JA To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


COMPETITION • COMPETITION win A meal for two at the new PizzaExpress, Biggleswade PizzaExpress is celebrating the launch of its exciting new restaurant at Biggleswade by offering five fabulous prizes of a meal for two to the value of £40. All you need to do is send your name and address to:

PizzaExpress Biggleswade Competition Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Deadline for Entries - Friday 17th May 2011. The Winners will be drawn at random The restaurant, located in the beautiful old Biggleswade Town Hall, a listed building with massive Doric Columns and superb Drum Clock, opened on 20th March. It features images of paintings by famous artist John Tunnard, born in Sandy. All the popular PizzaExpress favourites will be available prepared on site using fresh ingredients. Said Manager Jason Howland: “We are really looking forward to coming to Biggleswade. We would like as many people as possible to visit our new restaurant. I am sure they will enjoy the experience and watching their pizzas being made to order.” Terms and conditions Offer available at PizzaExpress Biggleswade every day except Saturdays. Cannot be used with any other offer or set menu including Tesco vouchers. Can be used on takeaway orders.


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10.30am-4.00pm On the gate: adults: £8.50, Children: £4.50 OaPs: £4.50, Family ticket: £22

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Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 June at the Mansion house

It’s back and it’s hot! guaranteed fun for all the family. • Demonstrations from award winning chefs in our Chilli Kitchen • Chefs’ academy Cookalong and stalls offering free samples and selling everything chilli from cheese to chocolate. • a Chilli Bar selling chilli beer. lIve COOKIng DeMOnStratIOnS! Celebrity chefs

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450 years

of the Ickwell May Day festival

450 years of the Ickwell May Day festival will be celebrated at Ickwell Green on the May bank holiday, 6th May this year. May Day celebrations are held in this small village near Biggleswade, every year. It is a whole parish occasion which sees a procession of dancers gather in the grounds of the Crown Public House in Northill at 1 pm and traveling by trailer or walking from Northill to Ickwell, before the crowning of the May Queen and dancing round the maypole takes place. Our old documents show that celebrating May Day was an established custom at Ickwell as far back as 1563 - hence our 450 year celebrations. Payments are listed in the Church Warden’s accounts for the purchase of shoes for the dancers, bells for the shoes, food and drink. Payments were also made to various people for their paynes (efforts) and to mynstrells. The current form of celebrations, with the plaiting of ribbons and a May Queen, began in 1894 and have been held nearly every year since. The May Queen and her attendants are voted for by the local school children who have participated in the previous year’s May Day. The May Queen is presented with a garland, sceptre and crown - all decorated with flowers. She is also given a locket by a former May Queen as a remembrance of the day. There is then a ‘call to the flowers’ where small girls wearing dresses to reflect spring flowers – including buttercups, daisies, violets, mayflowers, rosebuds and forget-me-nots – skip up to the Maypole and say a rhyme in homage to the May Queen. Local children from the village schools in Northill and Upper Caldecote dance country dances around the Maypole, while older children from the villages demonstrate their skills at Morris dancing and plaiting ribbons round the Maypole in intricate patterns. It is then the turn of the adults, known as the Old Scholars, many of whom are parents or grandparents of the children taking part, to 14

show their skill at plaiting the ribbons round the maypole. Did you know that Ickwell May Day is one of the few May Days with a fixed maypole? Up to the 19th century the maypole was erected each year. A permanent maypole was erected in 1872 by the Squire John Harvey, to celebrate the birth of his son. The current maypole was last taken down after the celebrations in 2010 when it was repainted and put back in place in October ready for the celebrations again the following year. Once you’ve enjoyed the spectacular display of dancing, cross over the road and peruse the stalls, sideshows and partake of some excellent refreshments including home-made cakes in the village hall. In 2012, for the first time in living memory, the May Day festivities had to be postponed due to the heavy rain for several weeks before the May bank holiday, which resulted in the Maypole area being waterlogged. We are hoping that the sun will shine this year and that you join us for a celebration of rural England at its best. If you stay to the end of the dancing in the arena, you can join in and have a dance around the maypole too! Look around on May Day and you may spot some unusual things: • The ‘moggies’ with their blackened faces are a traditional feature. We still have a ‘moggie’ today representing the chimney sweep’s wife. As in times past ‘she’ plays an important part in collecting donations to enable the ancient custom of our May Day celebrations to continue as it relies totally on voluntary contributions. • See if you can spot any greenery tied around the base of the Maypole - a bunch of Mayflower (hawthorn) is tied around the pole every year before the festivities start. • This year’s May Queen should look even more splendid in a new dress! For more information, visit www.

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The Royal Oak Potton’s Oldest Pub

We are delighted to announce the arrival of our new Executive Chef Chris Farrell to the Royal Oak’s restaurant. Chris has worked as a Chef for 9 years and received his core training during two years working in France. Chris’ employment history spans a succession of à la carte Rosette Awarded restaurants and therefore he brings with him a wealth of experience, expertise and some new and very exciting recipes and ideas. Chris shares our philosophy of serving simply prepared dishes that evoke full flavours through the use of the highest quality, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Chris will be introducing his range of exciting and innovative dishes within our main evening menu and via our daily Specials Board. In addition we will continue to serve our ever-popular range of home-made traditional pub fayre, being renowned for our generous portions and great value. We are looking forward to seeing and tasting the menus that Chris will be delivering and are confident that he will continue to give our diners the ‘wow’ factor that you have become accustomed to at the Royal Oak. Our restaurant remains a relaxing and informal dining environment and the warmest of welcomes awaits your next visit, whether it’s for a lunch date with friends, for a hearty home-made dinner after work, or for that special occasion! Colin, Jo and the team THE ROYAL OAK RESTAURANT OPENING TIMES Lunch is served Tuesday to Saturday between 12.00pm – 2.30pm Dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday between 6.30pm – 9.00pm Traditional Sunday Lunch is served 12.00pm –3.00pm Senior Citizens Menu available Tuesday to Friday lunch times Full details of our new menu can be found on our website Coming soon to the restaurant - ITALIAN NIGHT This will be held weekly on Thursdays – dates to be confirmed Visit our website or befriend us on Facebook to get regular updates from the Royal Oak FORTHCOMING EVENTS AT THE ROYAL OAK Karaoke Night – Friday 10th May 60’s Disco Night – Friday 14th June

4 Biggleswade Road, Potton, Bedfordshire Tel: 01767 261888 18

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THE WARESLEY WALK - Saturday, 25th May Waresley Park c1900

The third Sandy Tourist Information Centre Guided Walk for 2013 will take place on Saturday, 25th May and is called THE WARESLEY WALK. We will meet in the Car Park of Waresley Park Garden Centre at 2.30 pm. Come and enjoy and learn more about the small, picturesque former estate village of Waresley, which stands on the ridge and lies just over the county border. The Walk will be led by Mrs Eleanor Jack, a resident of Waresley and a local historian. Much of the character of the village today is provided by the many nineteenth century thatched cottages, built to house the workers on the nearby estate of Waresley Park, which from 1834-1932 belonged to the Duncombe family. We will visit the old churchyard which was the site of Waresley’s earlier parish churches and which stands at the eastern end of the village. The medieval church was destroyed by a storm in the early 18th century and rebuilt shortly after in ‘humble imitation of the Chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge’. This Georgian building was pulled down in the middle of the 19th century. These two churches are commemorated by a stone cross which stands in the centre of this

churchyard. We will take a walk around other parts of this delightful place seeing the former school, water pumps, the village pub, etc, all dominated by the Victorian parish church’s tall slender spire – which was rebuilt in 1987 after being blown down after a strong gale. We will then visit the elegant parish church, which is dedicated to St James and which was erected by the Duncombe family, on the edge of Waresley Park in 1857. In addition to their lands in Cambridgeshire, the Duncombe’s owned (and still own) Duncombe Park in North Yorkshire (the gardens and parklands of which are open to the public at certain times of the year). The church was designed by the famous Gothic Revival architect, William Butterfield and contains some fine monuments and windows to the Duncombe family and some memorials brought from the earlier church. Attached to the church is the Duncombe Mausoleum, a single-storey building accessed separately to the church, via the churchyard. In 2012 it was restored with monies raised by a local community group. Works to the interior have included the installation of display panels

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documenting the history of the mausoleum and the Duncombe family. After visiting the church we will take a short walk into Waresley Park. Before the Duncombe’s ownership it was owned by the Needham family and in the spring of 1792 Humphry Repton, the famous Landscape Gardner, was called in to advise on the improvement of ‘Waresley Park in Huntingdonshire, a Seat of William Needham Esq.’ The year previously Repton had landscaped the ground at nearby Hazells Hall for the Pym family. Waresley was originally a deer park and Repton thought this could be improved by concealing the boundaries and removing the paling fences. The house was to be improved by changing the ‘nondescript Georgian style to a Gothic appearance’ then planting special trees in the park and further improvements to the approach to the house. As at Hazells Hall and many other parks, Repton produced one of his famous Red Books in the summer of 1792. The Red Books are so-called for their signature Moroccan leather binding, the slim volumes documented his plans for the landscape, primarily conveyed through detailed


before and after sketches. Repton illustrated the landscapes proposed transformation with watercolor, copperplate, and simple overlays that lifted or swept to the side to reveal his plans. The Waresley Red Book is still in existence and we will be able to see a photographic copy of the book showing Repton’s watercolours and his written ideas for the gardens and parklands. We will then return to the Garden Centre where you will be able to take refreshments in the delightful restaurant there and also be to look around this family run Garden Centre The Cost is £5 per person. To book your place please call into the TIC or contact us by telephone or email. Sandy Tourist Information Centre, Rear of 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy Telephone 01767 682728 mail OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm Saturday 10am-2pm Sundays and Bank Holidays - Closed

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bird of prey centre With Easter and summer fast approaching, many parents may be on the lookout for cheap days out to entertain the children. Nestled away at Shuttleworth Collage, Old Warden lays the bird of prey centre. Home to some fine examples of birds with attitude, this lovely location makes for a great day trip. It will provide a great experience for children and will also appeal to the enthusiast, private flying lessons are provided with a choice of either falcon or owl. The location itself is scenic and can provide a great backdrop to any walk. And for the adults, Old Warden is not too far from Ireland where the Black Horse pub can be found for a spot of lunch or drink. The large variety of birds includes some more exotic species, like the colourful parrots and caracaras; others include golden eagles, bald eagles and even vultures. There are a range of owls and smaller birds on display too. In the flying displays you will see the birds in action, where the sheer power of the birds can be observed. On my visit the centre put several different species of bird on display at the same time. This was great fun to watch, every bird has its own character and made the entire display very special. The centre also has a pelican which was displayed during the flying demonstration I viewed, He patiently sat in the audience. The staff members at the centre are all very friendly and passionate about their work. They were very happy to share some funny stories such as the time one of their birds flew all the

way into the Midlands after being mocked by crows. There are multiple talks which take place during the day, visitors are free to listen in and learn more about a specific species of bird. This is another chance to get close to the birds. Some interesting bird facts • The fastest bird is the peregrine falcon. It can swoop down on its prey at a speed of 300 km an hour. These can be seen at the centre whilst in flight or being fed. • The highest fliers are vultures and geese. • Owls have the best vision and hearing at night; on my visit to Shuttleworth I was informed Owls are 90% fluff and 10% eyes, disproving the myth that Owls are one of the wisest birds. True or not, the centre boasts a large variety of Owls. Including some Snowy owls, this will excite any Harry Potter fanatic. • Parrots are the longest-living birds. They can reach an age of up to 100 years. This is just one of the many hidden gems in Bedfordshire, this summer make the most of exploring and save money by just travelling a few miles from your front door. The children will find the experience enjoyable and also very educational. And if the birds don’t top the bill then why not check out the aircraft hangars on the same site. Shuttleworth offers many opportunities to spend an entire day out in one location.

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Operation Christmas child Pause for a moment to consider how wealthy you feel. Having had the privilege to visit Eastern Europe and Africa to help distribute gift filled shoe boxes to children who have nothing and see how that small gesture makes them feel wealthy and loved we need your help.

In order to do this we require your empty shoe boxes to recycle and would be grateful of any box donations to Potton Vineyard Church offices, 24 The Square, Potton, SG19 2NP. Call 01767 261764 for opening times.


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Cooks and Kids


Looked after children and birth children of our foster carers were invited to submit their own recipes for a cookery book. Those selected went on to cook their recipe with a professional chef. Katie, a young person in placement with foster carers from Alliance Foster Care, was one of the young people selected, and writes about how Cooks & Kids encouraged her to apply to college and train to become a chef. “Alliance Foster Care invited me to submit a recipe for a kids’ cookery book and was lucky to be chosen to cook it with a well-established chef (Chris Lee) in a professional kitchen. I made ‘Katie’s Samosas’. Chris was great and the whole day was amazing! Cooking in a top notch kitchen and being shown how to do the job properly was a real experience. We were photographed by professional photographers whilst doing it which put the pressure on a little, but made it equally real. Chris and I got on well and he invited me to visit him at his well-known-restaurant in Suffolk. It was definitely a day I will never forget, I can tell you. Doing this gave me the hands on experience to take part in my local Rotary Chef cooking competition which was through school and I did quite well. I got through to the quarter finals then unfortunately the


competition became too tough for me. This has made me realise my aspirations of becoming a chef – I want to go to the top! I applied to two colleges and was lucky enough to be accepted by both. After choosing my preferred college I put my head down and studied hard for my GCSE’s so I could get the grades required. Later on I couldn’t believe my luck when I was asked to do the book launch in London. I of course said a big yes! I went to London with my foster parents and stayed overnight in a hotel as we had to be up bright and early the next day to serve breakfast to the young children in school (which was all part of the book launch). I met so many young children from disadvantaged backgrounds and I was quite humbled by the occasion. Again, there were lots of pictures taken and Chris was there to support me along with staff from Alliance and NFA (the sponsors). Another day I will not forget. This has been such a memorable time in my life and I would encourage anyone to follow their aspirations and to just ‘go for it’. I am now on the way to making my dream of becoming a professional chef come true – with the help and support of my foster parents and everyone else, so thank you. By Katie

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Eve 'n' Stitches Spring Specials Tasty Tuesdays and Thursdays English breakfast + 18 holes of golf for just £25 Pre book 01480 474000 Sunday Lunch at The Mill Restaurant £9.95 FootGolf Amazing fun for all the family at the Cromwell Club Golf Taster sessions, membership, pay & play 01480 408900 Abbotsley Golf Hotel Potton Road, St Neots

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The Bargain Box 34 Church Street, Gamlingay email: Good quality, second hand goods across a wide range of stock - from unwanted gifts to antique fine china, from rare china and collectibles to bling beads and bangles. Opening hours Thursday 10am - 5pm, Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm 28

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Travel from Sandy to Bedford on the main A603 road or Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 51, and you will see signposts directing you to Willington Dovecote. On approaching the site of the building, with nearby Stables, you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer size and magnificence of these unique Tudor stone buildings, survivors of a manorial complex built by local man John Gostwick, who had purchased the village from the Duke of Norfolk in 1529. These buildings are thought to be of recycled stone obtained from buildings from the surrounding lands at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The associated red brick Manor House, part of which survives today, as a private residence, is believed to have been visited by Henry VIII in 1541, the year after Gostwick was knighted, when it is recorded that a Privy Council meeting was held here. The Dovecote and Stables are the only historic buildings in Bedfordshire owned by the National Trust, the Dovecote passing into Trust ownership in 1914, after properties in the village which had come into the ownership of the Duke of Bedford in 1774, were put up for disposal at various sales

commencing in 1902. The Stables became part of the National Trust portfolio in 1947 after being donated by the then occupiers of the Manor, the Godber family. It is true to say that Gostwick was one of the great survivors of the period, always managing to side with those who were in favour with Henry VIII at the time, firstly Cardinal Wolsey, to whom he was Comptroller of the Household, then in the service of the King in the position of Treasurer and Receiver-General of the First-Fruits and Tenths. The National Trust properties can be viewed by appointment with the Custodian, Mrs. J. Endersby, tel. 01234 838278. Additionally volunteers living nearby can occasionally accommodate casual visitors, when temporary signs are placed on site. Open afternoons take place on the last Sunday of each month from April to September inclusive, when displays by local historians are an added attraction. A suggested donation of ÂŁ1 per person would be appreciated. Refreshments, and toilet facilities are available in the nearby St. Lawrence church, where organ music recitals are performed.

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The Unforgettable Close Up and Cabaret Magic of Steve Dean

Immerse yourselves and guests in the close up magic of Steve Dean or enjoy a Cabaret Show that includes mentalism and much more.

Have you ever witnessed unexplainable events or illusions so convincing that they leave you fascinated and completely spellbound? This is Cabaret, close up mix and mingle and table magic at it’s very best. Not only enter the unbelievable world of close up professional magic that is second to none, you can now see a cabaret show that will leave you gasping, your guests enthralled and audience participation that is not only professional but will cause laughter throughout and will be something to remember for a very long time. This is ideal for any corporate or private event. Steve is a master of his craft and a member of the prestigious Magic Circle. He has had many letters of thanks and testimonials from people from all walks of life. From a small dinner party to performing on a British Cruise Liner this sort of entertainment is second to none and will give your guests unusual and fantastic entertainment that they can get involved in and will talk about for months to come. (Steve is a member of Equity with full public liability insurance). Please phone or email for details 07719 261147 • 01767 260671 email:

Introducing The Steve Dean School of Magic Have you ever been interested in close up magic or are you a close up magician who wishes to improve from beginner to intermediate level. The Steve Dean School of Magic is now offering Beginners and Intermediate classes. Single lessons or block bookings are available (discount for block bookings). This is a fantastic opportunity to learn the art of Close Up Magic taught by Steve who is a member of The Magic Circle and International Brotherhood of Magicians Please call 07719 261147 or 01767 260671 for details or to book your space on these very popular classes 30

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everything matters


HD smart TV’s , HDD Recorders, Audio Systems, & Camera’s, trust our expertise & tradition of best after sales service

A.N.Audio 34 Huntingdon Street St. Neots

phone:- 01480 472071 e-mail Hours:- Monday-Friday 9am-6pm Tuesday 9am-1pm Saturday:- 9am-5.30 pm

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Blown Away

A Salon Blow-Dry at Home By Helen Taylor You can’t beat the feeling of leaving the hairdressers with a perfectly blow-dried mane that’s glossy, bouncy and completely glamorous. When your hair looks great you feel fantastic, but as most of us are trying to cut down on our monthly spend, it can be hard to justify visits to the stylist in between your regular cut and colour. Because we don’t want you to compromise on looking and feeling great, we’ve compiled a guide that will help you to achieve a professionallooking blow-dry at home. Wash and Go It’s really important to think carefully before buying shampoo and conditioner. You need to assess your hair’s needs and select products that will work with your hair to achieve the look you want. If your hair is dry, brittle and straw-like, you’ll need a shampoo and conditioner that will add much-needed moisture to your locks, leaving them manageable and supple when you come to style your hair. Coloured hair - particularly red shades, as they fade so fast - requires a specialist shampoo and conditioner that won’t strip away your hue, but will instead pamper it and prolong the time between colours.

It’s worth investing in quality products for your hair, because cheap shampoos tend to contain harsh ingredients that strip the natural oils and quickly remove the artificial colour. Although you pay a lot more at the time of purchase, you’ll find that good shampoos and conditioners last a lot longer, because you don’t need to use so much of them. Be prepared not to see much lather when you wash though; professional products don’t behave the same way as cheaper versions, because their ingredients are better. Always ask your stylist for advice. They use them every day on all different hair types and will know what will work best for yours. Ready to Blow Once you’ve washed your hair, wrap it in a towel and leave it for a short time, so that it’s damp rather than dripping wet when you start to dry it. Next, gently brush through your hair using a good brush - natural bristles are best. Keep an eye on plastic varieties, because they tend to break and can snag and pull at your hair, resulting in split ends and damage. Section your hair using clips - even if it’s relatively short. Start at the bottom of your hair first, moving to the top of your head last. Whilst your hair is damp apply a little oil or serum to the lengths to lock in moisture and add shine. Dry Like a Professional Using a round barrel brush (which creates volume and lift) start drying the first section, roots first. Keep your dryer about six inches away from your scalp, so that the heat isn’t too intense. Use your brush to grip and pull hair taut in the direction you want it to go. If your hair is very fine or damaged, use a cooler setting so that you don’t cause breakage. Direct the air from your dryer downwards - the nozzle will help with this - to create a smooth, sleek finish. Don’t move on to the next section until each is completely dry but be sure to keep moving your dryer as leaving heat concentrated on one area for too long will frazzle your locks. Set and add shine to your blow-dry by finishing off with a cool blast of air from your dryer and add a little more gloss or oil to make your tresses look even shinier.

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Dupont Smart Strand By Abingdon Flooring Brand new range of luxury carpet to Potton Flooring which is Eco Friendly and guaranteed not to stain for 20 years... Come and see our in store video...

Telephone: 01767 262777 Email: pottonf www.thepottonf

7 Market Square, Potton, Beds. SG19 2NP Opening Times Mon-Fri - 9.00am to 5.00pm Sat - 9.00am to 1.00pm Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays


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


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 • Laser 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 681 704 M: 07562 748 352 E: Also Cambridge Foot Clinic Tel: 01223 358 431


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Perfect Posture

by Julia Faulks

Slumping at our desks and hunching our shoulders as we walk are hard habits to break, especially as we age and there’s no one there to tell us to ‘stand up straight!’ Here’s how to perfect your posture… As a nation we spend hours on our phones, laptops and in front of the TV, so it’s fair to say that posture is often the last thing on our mind. However, years of bending, twisting, slumping on the sofa or hauling heavy bags around, could take their toll and end up damaging your spine. Posture isn’t just about how you sit, but also affects the way you stand, lie down or move around. Bad posture can lead to back pain, repetitive strain injuries and may even worsen existing medical conditions. If you’re having a baby you need to be even more careful as pregnancy hormones will temporarily loosen your ligaments. Many of us will just sit back and accept the nagging aches and pains we feel throughout the day, whether we’re at our desks or on our feet for long periods. But making vital changes to the way you look after your posture could save you problems further down the line. Ergonomics (the posh name for posture) doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds - it’s just about supporting your back and reducing the strain that comes from aligning your body incorrectly. When sitting at a desk you can avoid bending awkwardly and straining muscles simply by readjusting your chair or positioning your keyboard and mouse in the right position. Invest in some posture-friendly props, such as wrist or foot rests, as well as an ergonomic chair.

Avoid holding your phone between your neck and shoulder, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, slumping forward in your chair, or slouching and hunching your shoulders over. It’s worth remembering that good posture doesn’t just bring physical benefits - you will look and feel more confident and attractive when you stand up straight and proud. Some people even claim that good posture can knock pounds off (sadly, this is just a visual illusion, but hey, it’s far easier than dieting). It’s also important to regularly exercise – walking and swimming are two easy activities that will help keep your spine healthy and your muscles in good shape. Forget walking around the house with a book balancing on your head - the next time you feel yourself drooping, remember these basic tips: 1. Keep both of your feet flat on the floor when sitting – if you can’t reach the floor, use a footrest. 2. Make sure your back is resting against the back of the chair and avoid leaning forward. 3. As you walk, keep the weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels. 4. Don’t lock your knees and wear supportive footwear. 5. Stand up, have a stretch or go for a walk. If you’re experiencing back ache or any other aches and pains that won’t go away it’s always a good idea to have it checked out by your doctor. You may also decide to search for a local osteopath who can decide what treatment you may need and give you some exercises that you can carry out at home.

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Ash Tree Financial Services Independent Financial Advisers LOCAL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR OVER 30 YEARS SPECIALISING IN COMPLETE SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PROBLEMS AMONG THE SERVICES WE OFFER ARE:• Structural surveys on domestic or commercial properties. • All aspects of structural design for domestic alterations. • Subsidence investigations and surveys. • CCTV inspections and drainage repairs. Our Office Hours are: Tuesday to Friday 8.00am – 4.00pm. Tel: 01234 272772 Email: 15 St. Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, MK40 3JB Please quote reference: VIL/HACE/01


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

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40 years on

and still conducting….

Local Musical Director, Graham Albone of Courtlands Drive, Biggleswade is celebrating 40 years of raising the baton over Letchworth Arcadians. This milestone anniversary coincides with the Diamond Anniversary of the society. Graham first conducted for Letchworth Arcadians in 1973 for their production of Fiddler on the Roof and as part of their Diamond Anniversary programme the Arcadains are once again staging Fiddler on the Roof under Graham’s musical direction. This production will be staged at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage this November. Graham said: “I was brought up seeing the Arcadians’ shows from when I was quite small. They were crying out for a young lad to play the drums many years ago. From then on I joined the company and began taking lead parts in the shows. When the previous musical director left, they asked me if I would like to have a go and, some 40 years later, I’m still having a go.” When asked what he liked most about being a musical director, Graham said: “I enjoy being able to

pass on what I have learned over the years. “I enjoy coaching and bringing singers and actors on. It’s nice to see a show when it’s all put together with an orchestra and it’s satisfying sitting back and thinking that I made that.” He said: “The most challenging thing about being a musical director is that half of the company do not read music so I have to do what I call ‘note bashing’ - which is literally instilling the notes into the company”. Graham’s musicality has been passed through his family and over the years his wife Sally, and daughter’s Juliette and Nicole have all performed under his musical direction. Graham is currently preparing the company for their forthcoming concert to mark the diamond anniversary of the society – Musical Diamonds. Graham can be seen conducting this celebratory concert at the Icknield Centre, Letchworth from 2nd – May 2013. Tickets are available on www. or from the box office on 07511 519387.

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Ignorance is No Defence

by Anthony Tavistock Taking professional financial advice is advisable, but your own education is essential In my parents’ day, money was a simpler matter. In many families they went to work, earned their money, paid their taxes and saved what they could. When it came time to buy a house, they approached the bank manager to see if he would be kind enough to lend them three times the husband’s salary (the wife stayed at home looking after the children) for a repayment mortgage which was paid off over 20 or 25 years before he got his final salary scheme pension. By the time I started earning money, it had become much more complicated. We were two people paying the mortgage needing much higher salary multiples to afford rising house prices. Then came the ending of MIRAS, the emergence of interest only mortgages and endowment policies to pay them off (or not as it turned out in some cases). Pensions became more complex too, with choices for opting out of SERPS, private pension schemes, money purchase schemes and final salary scheme pensions became a distant memory for most. Throw in the scandals of mis-selling of endowments and PPI to name just two, and it’s clear even for my generation the financial world has become a confusing place. Hedge funds, derivatives, swaps – even the so-called experts struggle to make sense of it. The common thing throughout all these generations, my parents, myself, our children, is that none of us have ever had any financial education. Not one single lesson in the classroom at my school was ever devoted to personal financial matters. The financial company employees are taught how to sell to us, but we have little idea of how to make a judgement on what they tell us. At last, this should be about to change. In 2011, 118,000 people signed an e-petition via the website to force the issue of Financial Education in Schools to be debated in Parliament. Draft proposals have been published recently and are still under consultation into April, but it is expected that from September 2014, financial education will form part of the national curriculum in England, with 11-16 year olds receiving it as part


of their compulsory citizenship education. Plans are that pupils in Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) will be taught the function and use of money, personal budgeting, money management and a range of financial products and services. From 14 to 16 in Key Stage 4, they will be taught about wages, taxes, debt, credit, financial risk plus more sophisticated financial services and products. The Government wants students to have “the financial skills to enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis as well as to plan for future financial needs.” It is clear that the lessons are long overdue. You only have to look at how much the financial world has changed in the last 40 years to see that what is needed (and will hopefully be taught in schools) is a good grounding in the ‘basics’ of understanding personal finance. It is to be hoped that the generation that receive this education realise that their learning will need to continue long after they leave the classroom as the financial world continues to evolve. If knowledge is power, having the right financial knowledge will help our children avoid the mistakes with money we may have made along the way, and that can only be a good thing. In the meantime, pass on what you know already Mums and Dads, and a free Teen Cash Class is available at http://www.moneysavingexpert. com/family/Teenagers-cash-class.

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

For free estimates and advice, contact Jason Dixon on:01767 677540 or 07908 004816 e-mail: No VAT payable for design and drawing services on residential projects Jason Dixon, 101 Meadow Road, Great Gransden, Sandy, SG19 3BB.

Satchells was established in 1922 and for three generations our traditional family run business has sold and let thousands of properties throughout Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

• Buying • Selling • Renting • Letting OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

Call for a free valuation from our Biggleswade Office on: Sales: 01767 313256 Email: Letting: 01767 313488 Email:

Our network works for us - let it work for you! * Mention where you saw this advert’ To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


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:


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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 90 - April


and Town






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

ur Yo EE FRco1 py





Issue 89 - March

and Town






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

ur Yo EE FRco1 py





Issue 88 - Febru

and Town


ary 2013




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

ur Yo EE FRco1 py





Issue 87 - Janua

and Town


ry 2013




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

ur Yo EE FRco1 py

and can be found in most shops, pubs, garages in all of the above and more including Biggleswade and Sandy. Where Am I pictures supplied by Adam Bent Answer to last month’s Where am I competition was Great Barford.

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

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Shannon Court, High Street, Sandy

Local digital print, design and marketing services for businesses large and small What can we print?

What else do we do?

• Business cards & stationery • Flyers & leaflets • Brochures & folders • Mailers & newsletters • NCRs and order pads • Menus & tent cards • Manuals & catalogues • Posters & banners • Roller banners

• Graphic design • Logo design & branding • Photography • Photocopying • Promotional items • Direct mail • Print personalisation • Email newsletters • Marketing consultancy

Shops from 992 sq ft Offices from 173 sq ft in prime town centre location on flexible terms.

3 no minimum order 3 3 day standard service 3 same and next day turnarounds available 3 on-site parking 3 shop

AMPTHILL PRINT CENTRE 01525 300001 Drop in between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday - Friday at Unit 24 Station Rd Ind Est, Ampthill, Beds, MK45 2QY (Off the A507). Card payments accepted. ®

Please contact Natalie Bassett 01954 234200 or

Absolutely ... Positively ... NO pressure to sell! We give you FREE VALUATIONS .... YOU DECIDE !


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

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

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

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

t: 01767 600 300 e: 44

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Local business

working together As part of our ongoing support to local businesses Barclays are pleased to announce two forthcoming events in East Bedfordshire to help your business survive and thrive:

Places are limited so please see the formal invitation below to register your place.

Barclays lending clinic 5th May 2013,

Promote your business, find new customers and network with other local businesses in a friendly, informal setting. Hosted by Barclays business, The Villager magazine and OwnBiz. Please register your interest early by emailing or nigel@

Potton Presentations include: Barclays business Working with your bank towards a successful lending application

Local business showcase – July 2013

George Hay Accountants Professional advice from the friendly and approachable local specialists 2 Digital Maximising your web presence and making social media work for you






A date to remember – Business Lending Clinic 15 May 2013 Get your business fit for finance by joining our Business Banking Team who will explain the lending process and what you need to know when considering your application. There will also be a local entrepreneur on hand to talk to you about their experience first-hand. We’d be delighted if you could join us for this free event. Be sure to sign up early as places are limited. Email: or call 0845 124 6502* to reserve your place.







Venue The Coach House Hotel 12 Market Square Potton SG19 2NP Timings 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Please email me back to tell me if you do not want to receive further marketing emails from Barclays Group. *Calls may be recorded for security and training purposes. For BT business customers, 0845 calls will cost no more than 4.5p per minute, minimum call charge 6.0p (current at September 2012). The price on non-BT phone lines may be different. Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is registered in England and authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA No. 122702). Registered Number is 1026167 and its registered office 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. Item ref: 9912559

9912559v1.indd 1 9912559v2

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22/09/2012 21:34


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: 46

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WE’RE HERE FOR YOU NOW AND FOR THE FUTURE Successful financial planning is a two way process built upon a strong, trusting and importantly, lasting relationship. Our committed advisers work to really understand you, your circumstances and your expectations. At a time when many banks are failing their clients by withdrawing from or refusing to offer independent financial advice, you deserve an adviser you can rely on, one who will stand by you in the long-term. For face to face, objective and independent financial advice contact:

John R Scarratt DipPFS

07581 130 698

or email:

Positive Solutions (Financial Services) Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered as a Limited Company in England and Wales No. 3276760.

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P and R Bathrooms


There is a dizzying array of options open to anyone considering a new bathroom. Followers of popular home fashions and the latest styles featured in home design magazines will be familiar with some of the choices available, but to access the experience and guidance I felt I needed, I went along to visit P and R Bathrooms. The P and R Bathrooms showroom on Lurke Street in Bedford is a huge and impressive area with many, many display bathrooms cleverly laid out to make it easy to see individual styles and familiarize oneself with every option. With expert help it was much easier to discover the latest bathroom looks suitable for my home and a variety of tastes and budgets. ‘The main concern for many people these days is


bathroom furniture and storage. There are two big choices’ explain Paul, the ‘P’ of P and R. ‘The fully fitted bathroom or the free-standing, modular bathroom.’ I give him a confused frown and with no further ado I am being gently ushered towards an impressive looking show bathroom. The cistern is invisible, no pipework is on display whatsoever. The cupboards are ranged across the back wall and are deliciously sleek with real oak doors and plenty of drawers for easy-access to toiletries and towels. There is a fully coordinated worktop for a really clean look and a sink which I am told can be recessed into the surface for a solid surface finish or I can choose one which is fitted onto the counter top and has a more traditional look. ‘Many people favour the fully fitted bathroom because it has that modern edge. It features clean, long lines and with the right amount of storage space it is easy to maintain that sleek, tidy look that works so well. It is brilliant for smaller bathrooms and can actually make them appear larger. Clever lighting can work wonders in smaller spaces too and it is easy to incorporate that into a fitted bathroom and make the most of that very finished, polished look.’ ‘The alternative is to choose a free-standing or modular bathroom.’ I am guided towards a shining

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example as Paul continues. ‘Even though there is no counter-top or fitted furnishings in here the pipework can still be hidden because it is recessed into the wall. The storage – whatever you choose, cupboards, drawers, or a combination, can be wall mounted and tiled around so that it still has that very finished, sleek look but there need not be so much of it so again, this can work well in smaller bathrooms . The cupboards or drawers that you do choose have true space – non of it is in use for hiding pipework and so the storage is not compromised in any way. There are all sorts of furniture options so that you can still have that longline look and as everything is wall mounted there is nothing underneath which can make cleaning easier and lend a more open feel to the room.’ After spending time in the P and R showroom I am absolutely sure of the style I would like in our new bathroom. Our house is older and styled more traditionally and so I am glad to have the option of a free standing bathroom with all the modern convenience of recessed pipework and furniture that can accommodate the storage that our family needs. P and R Bathrooms have been in the bathroom business for a long time. ‘The beauty of having been in this business for the years that we have is that we use only suppliers who have proved themselves, the ones with the best track record of quality products and service. We insist on this because we insist that our customers are happy with their bathroom, and that has to be true, really honestly true, down the whole line – confident and happy designers, suppliers and installers result in delighted customers who come back to us time and again. And that really is our experience.’ P and R Bathrooms can undertake the complete transformation of your bathroom, ensuring the plumbers, carpenters, electricians and installers are all of the highest standard with experience and workmanship that is unrivalled. ‘We don’t have to provide the complete package, some people just want us to supply the bathroom, others want design and supply, but our customers who have trusted us with the whole package have all been thrilled with the results as well as the fact that they could just leave it all in our hands and there was no stress or added responsibility for them.’ If you are contemplating a new look for your littlest room, I would not hesitate to recommend a trip to P and R Bathrooms. Being able to make the choice by

spending time in such a huge variety of bathrooms, benefitting from expert advice followed by a design service and installation that you can trust ensures that P and R Bathrooms are second to none.

P&R Bathrooms

9 Lurke Street, Bedford MK40 3HZ Tel: 0845 434 8401 Website: Open 9:00am-5:00pm Mon - Fri 10:ooam-4:00pm Saturday To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


coping with thngs you cannot hide

By PIPPA GREENWOOD However much effort you make with your garden, you can be sure that there will still be a few things that look awful. You may have made (or hope to make) beautiful borders, sensational shrubbery and lots more besides, but how do you cope with those things you just cannot seem to hide? A washing line may be essential but rarely adds to the appeal of the garden. If yours consists of two large poles with a line in between, try growing a pretty climber up the poles. If you use a self-clinging plant such as variegated ivy it won’t need any additional support. Alternatively make a chicken wire, trellis ‘box’ or frame around the posts and then allow the climber to scramble up, using plant ties if necessary. Summer flowering clematis or sweet pea will look great too. If you do use a more vigorous climber then be prepared to do some intermittent pruning. Decrepit sheds or moth-eaten garages can be a real eyesore. Sometimes a thorough scrub of the walls will do the trick, or why not make a feature out of the shed or garage and re-paint it. Consider erecting a trellis on one or more of the vertical surfaces and grow a selection of favourite climbers up it to make an even more attractive feature. If the garden can be a little gloomy then it helps if you paint any surfaces such as garage or shed walls with a paler colour. If your heating is fuelled by gas from an unattractive and enormous cylinder or oil from a large green tank, you will know that they have to be sited in an accessible position. You can use hazel wattle hurdles to hide them which are perfect as they also match with the adjacent boundary fence. Try using standard fence panels in the same way and again planting them with


climbers or scramblers will help. Whatever you do, make sure that you check on it from time to time and remove excessive climber growth so that the tank remains accessible. Is it the neighbouring garden that harbours the eye sore which makes you want to retreat back into your house? Something nasty next door is of course even harder to conceal but why not add a layer of trellis to the top of your existing fence and then use climbers once it is in position. Hold the trellis in position using batons of wood attached to the existing fence posts or special post-joining metal sleeves that you can buy from your fencing supplier or garden centre. Trellis is available in a range of shapes and need not be straight edged so you can create a range of different looks to suit your gardening style. Another option is to erect a pergola or arch to obscure or break up an unsightly view or the eyesore in the neighbour’s garden and adding plants will help to add a bit more height and soften the outline. If you combine some of your favourite flowering climbers with some evergreen planting too, you should even achieve good effects during the seasons when the leaves have fallen from many plants. Visit Pippa’s website and sign up for Pippa’s free newsletter packed full of gardening hints, happenings, advice and offers and you will also receive a free ebook on organic gardening. Don’t forget that you can buy Nemaslug and other biological controls, anti-slug matting and tape, Enviromesh and signed books, autumn vegetable packs and a hand-picked selection of garden products from the website too.

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

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON

The forlorn lawn

Spring is the ideal time to start renovating the mainstay to most gardens in this country – the lawn. Due to the fact the weather is usually mild and the rainfall tends to be fairly evenly spread over the whole year (this year being an exception?) grass grows well, but unfortunately so do the weeds, which can slowly build up especially when the growing environment is more suited to the two main enemies of a beautiful lawn – moss and broadleaved weeds such as dandelions, daisies, clover and thistles. Lawns need to be looked after just like any other part of the garden, but they often are left to fend for themselves to survive against the smothering effects of more vigorously growing competitors. The fine leaved grass species which produce the best lawns are particularly badly affected, as they tend to grow more slowly compared to the slightly coarser wider leaved grasses which are more commonly used especially in general purpose turf. Over the years, the soil gets compacted, overhanging trees increase the amount of shade, the dog makes it’s contribution and the occasional game of football does not help. Unless the lawn has now become a wasteland with a few green patches scattered it IS possible to relatively easily transform it from an eyesore to a magnificent expanse of glistening green! You will need to have available the following 1. Large head rake (the plastic ones are ideal as they are lighter and easier to use). You need this for raking up the vast amounts of moss you will probably collect. 2. Scarifier. The electric ones are very good but throw away the collecting box because they are usually very small and the volume of moss which comes out of a medium sized lawn is most impressive. 3. A sprayer and a small bottle of selective weedkiller. You spray the whole lawn, the grass is left untouched but the broad-leaved weeds are selectively killed. 4. A large bag of lawn sand to be sprinkled evenly over the lawn and a few days later most of the moss will turn black and be in the process of dying. 5. A lawn edger. Edging makes a great improvement 6. Grass seed. Small quantity for re-seeding bare patches which may be left after heavy moss infestations. The first thing to do is to apply the lawn sand and leave for a few days and then the moss can be removed using the electric scarifier. Take the collecting box off the machine and rake up the pile

of moss left on the surface, into a large bag. You will be amazed at how much will come off most lawns, but do not be deceived, there is more lurking further down ! Usually a second or even third session is required with possibly a further treatment with moss killing sand after a few weeks. The lawn will look very bare and thin at this stage, but do not worry, as it will soon grow back, especially with the added bonus of a little fertilizer already included in the lawnsand Once the grass has re-grown and the weather is calm, the selective weedkiller can be applied . The mowings after this spraying should not be used for compost as the chemicals can remain active for some time. So we have two methods of controlling the main problems with lawns, physical removal and chemical treatments. These will eliminate the nasty competitors and allow the grasses to access water ,light and nutrients. The grass will respond by regrowing strongly filling out. All we need now are some nice warm days to sit out and enjoy -sorry, no no time for that ,the grass needs cutting!

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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Study for Success

By Alex Brown

Get the results you want with our top tips Preparation is the key to revising effectively. Make sure you know what type of exams you will have – short questions, multiple-choice or essays – and what topics they will cover. Organise your course notes and textbooks so that everything is easy to find. Work out how much time you have for each subject and don’t avoid the ones that you find particularly difficult – or easy. Make a timetable, but don’t spend so long making it look beautiful that you’re behind before you start! Remember to include your other commitments and try to maintain your normal routine of mealtimes, exercise and so on. Think about the time of day that you work best – some people are night owls while others get more done in the early morning. Plan a ten-minute break in every hour and don’t work for more than three hours at a time. Now divide the topics you need to learn into manageable chunks. To help memorise information, make notes and put as much as you can into your own words. Summarise key points and write them on index cards or sticky notes that you can put around the house. You may find that making a spider diagram or mind map is helpful. Try inventing your own mnemonics, such as


Never Eat Shredded Wheat for the points of the compass. You can also visualise a scene that includes details you need to remember – a battlefield or mountain habitat, for example. Make the most of revision classes offered by your school or college. You could also revise with a friend – practice explaining difficult concepts and ask each other challenging questions. Get hold of as many old exam papers and example questions as you can. Familiarise yourself with the way questions are worded and make sure you understand exactly what they are asking you to do. Prepare draft answers to questions that come up frequently. When the exam gets close, complete a paper within the time limit to get an idea of how quickly you need to work. To keep motivated, reward yourself with a weekly treat such as a trip to the cinema or a favourite meal. But if it’s not going so well, don’t give up! Adjust your timetable and focus on the areas you find most difficult, or common questions. Keep thinking about what a good grade will bring – a university place or that dream job. The night before the exam, have a quick look through your notes, but don’t cram. Get an early night so you wake up refreshed and ready to go. Good luck!

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PArty Plan!

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti When I was a child a birthday party consisted of a few sandwiches, a bowl of jelly and a game of musical chairs. Not so nowadays. Children’s parties are becoming something of an art form, with an ever-increasing choice of activities to make the occasion one to remember! The first decision is whether to organise your child’s party yourself, or hand it over to an expert. Fast food burger and pizza outlets were perhaps the first to offer organised parties: including food, games and a party host. Now there is a wide variety of party experiences available, from swimming and bowling, to football and gymnastics; from cake baking and pottery, to paintballing and go-karting. There are princess parties offering make up and pampering sessions and quad biking experiences for the more adventurous. You can enjoy a trip out to a local attraction, or book a session at a play centre. The possibilities seem limitless! Generally, if you book a party experience you can expect the host to provide the food, the entertainment and in many cases the cake. This takes all the stress out of the organisation and enables you to sit back, watch and enjoy. However if you don’t mind a bit of hard work, hosting your own party can be a satisfying experience which allows you complete freedom over themes, food and entertainment. You

might ask your guests to come dressed as pirates for example. With a little imagination you can create jewels from favourite sweets, get guests to make themselves a hat or eye patch, and turn the house into a desert island with an accompanying map to help guests hunt for hidden ‘treasure’. Traditional games can be easily adapted to fit a chosen theme. For example, at a dressing-up party instead of passing a parcel children could pass a pillow case filled with oversized clothing. When the music stops they dip their hand in and put on whatever garment they end up with! If you find the idea of being totally in charge a little daunting, why not compromise by providing the food yourself but hire a professional for the entertainment (or vice versa)? Magicians, face painters, clowns, puppet shows, discos and bouncy castles are all popular choices, and it is not usually difficult to find a local caterer. Remember though, when planning food to keep it bite size. Small children in particular are notorious for taking a bite and leaving the rest! If you need further help planning your party there many outlets which offer party packs that include invitations, games, decorations and party bag fillers on selected themes. However you decide to organise your party, have fun and let the kids do the same!

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Dear RSPCA vet, My husband keeps telling me that I shouldn’t give my cat ‘treats’ as she is overweight. Is this something I should be concerned about? Ruth, Sandy Dear Ruth, Obesity – having too much body fat – is a disease that needs to be taken seriously. It can impair the health, welfare and quality of life of your pet. Studies have estimated that 22-44 per cent of dogs are overweight or obese, and these figures are similar for cats. Just a few examples of potentially serious medical conditions associated with obesity in pets include: diabetes mellitus, orthopaedic disease, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure, skin diseases and
cancers. For dogs and cats there are a few simple checks you can do regularly, which can help you to prevent your pet from becoming obese: • You should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering. • You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above. • Your pet’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.

If your pet doesn’t pass all three checks, or if you are in any doubt about your pet’s weight, always consult your vet. They will be able to give your pet a health check and, if necessary, they’ll recommend a weight reduction programme. This will most likely involve making changes to your pet’s diet and making recommendations about exercise and activity. Making these changes will help prevent your pet from gaining excess body fat and keep your pet healthy and happy. ANIMAL QUERIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch

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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

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The cattery for caring owners. Comfort and security for your pet. To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122



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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


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Biggleswade Sandy Lions

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD Biggleswade Sandy Lions have launched their Community Service Award scheme for groups of young people aged 9 to 20 years old in schools, youth groups and scouting and guide organisations. The Award consists of a certificate and a cheque for £100 for the group to spend as they wish. The aim of this ongoing scheme is to encourage and recognise the community service and environmental work done by these groups and also encourage others to take part. The size of the project does not matter and it can be a ‘one-off’. What counts is the difference it makes to the local community or the environment. The project has to be carried out over a full weekend or more, or the equivalent in time. Please note, it is not for fund raising or commercially orientated projects. All groups have to do is contact Biggleswade Sandy Lions club and tell them about the project – what they will be doing, when and where. We will then liaise with them and two members will go along and

see for themselves to ensure the project qualifies. It is as simple as that. This is a golden opportunity for young people to show our local community what they can do and that they care. Biggleswade Sandy Lions care about and support young people – hence the creation of this scheme. We believe that those who get involved in community and environmental work will do so in later life too. It will stick with them and communities will reap the benefit in the future. The contacts for this award scheme are Judith Hagger or Roger Wolburn on 01462 814967. For information about Biggleswade Sandy Lions Club visit YOUTH AT THE FRONT

A flexible Ofsted registered day nursery for children from 6 weeks to 5 years with extensive and well resourced grounds. Excellent links to the A1, St Neots and Sandy Railway Station. To find out more call us today on

01767 691348

e: w: 76 London Road, Sandy, Beds, SG19 1DZ Part of the same group as Gamlingay and Buckden Day Nurseries


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Gamlingay Tyre Centre

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Tel: 01767 261871 Mob: 07983 218367 All major credit/debit cards accepted

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froods autoservices

pop in and meet the team Sometimes, just sometimes, you can be so happy with the level of service you receive that you feel it is your duty to tell others – it is our intention to make you feel like this all of the time! Michael and Lisa O’Neil acquired Froods Autoservices from The Frood family in December 2010, (the outgoing family selling-up to leave the motor industry) and set about turning the company into a business you, our customers, can be rightly proud of. With a background in aviation maintenance a ‘right first time’ philosophy sums up Michael’s passion for your vehicle and your safety. This intention spills over into the factory training undertaken by all of Froods technicians and the massive investment they’ve made in the latest tooling and equipment – testament to this comes from Bosch Car Service who are commended by ‘Which?’ magazine as the highest quality car service and repair providers in the country and they are now, from November 2012, represented here in Sandy, Bedfordshire by Froods Autoservices due to their capability with customers vehicles. Your car nowadays is more like a computer on wheels, several in fact, and these solid state systems generate and react to over a quarter of a million pieces of information a second the difference for you the driver is the current levels of comfort, performance and even entertainment whilst having minimal effect on the environment. Your vehicle manufacturers have, cleverly, created an on-board library of this data so that some garages can ‘read’ the vehicles history and here at Froods Autoservices, using the most up-to-date Bosch technology we have

the capability to interrogate this information flow and take corrective actions on your behalf aimed at containing your costs, increasing fuel efficiency and prolong your vehicles life; tip-top service and maintenance at a fraction of dealer costs. …but cars don’t say thank you, nor do they make recommendations – to achieve this we must satisfy you, our customers and this is our focus. We will make every effort to satisfy your needs and criteria wherever possible; be it time, to fit in with your busy lifestyle, or economic by giving fixed quotations for work – but never at the expense of your safety and security. Our customer service centre is headed up by Lisa. Lisa has worked for many years in the customer environment and is also a trained professional in customer service. You won’t be expected to speak fluent ‘motor vehicle’ when bringing your car to us, we are adept at identifying ‘this noise’ or ‘that problem’ and don’t be surprised if we ask you to take us out in your car so that we can experience your concerns, this investment in time ensures that your needs are exactly met, after all this is where you can rest assured that your interests really are at the heart of our business. We are proud of what we can do for you - be prepare to be amazed! Pop-in, meet the team and we’ll show you around!

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Hidato Starting at 1 and finishing at 34, track your way from one hexagon to another (touching) hexagon, placing consecutive numbers into the empty shapes as you go. Some numbers are already given.

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Porsche Panamera GTS

by James Baggott

It’s the Noel Edmonds of the car world: Some love his fuzzy patch of facial hair, while others detest his banker-bothering ways. Much like the Panamera. OK, not a lot like the Panamera, but you get my point, sort of. This baboon-bottomed, super-sized porker isn’t for everyone. It’s big, brash and in your face – and this jazzed up GTS version is even more raucous. But is it too jazzy? We find out... What is it? It’s Porsche’s executive-transporting-super-giant machine with added fizz-bang-wallop. The GTS sits below the Turbo, but is still ludicrously swift for a car and as long as your average P&O ferry. Slightly harder, sportier and more involving, the GTS is for punting pen-pushers to the office with a bit more vigour and involvement. What’s under the bonnet? Under its Bergerac-esque conk is an utterly brilliant 4.8-litre lump lifted from the Panamera S. In GTS guise, it gets a bit more stomp – up 30bhp to 424bhp with torque at 520Nm. This is mated to a brilliant, self-shifting seven-speed ‘box which makes for rapid getaways. Despite its bulk, it will rival a BMW M5 in the 0-60mph sprint, covering it in 4.5s whilst going on to hit 174mph top whack.

What’s the kit like? Suitably impressive, but like all Porsches you’ll pay through the nose for it. This test model had a whopping £15,159 worth of options on it. The red paint cost £2,517 alone, then there’s £3,197 for the dynamic chassis control and torque vectoring plus ceramic brakes cost a scary £5,924. You even pay £295 for the heated seats. Any rivals? Oh, you betcha. All premium manufacturers have a rival or two. BMW could flog you an M5 or a 7 Series, Audi has an S8 (which is awesome), Jaguar an XJ probably in R trim. And Mercedes would no doubt sell you something slightly duller like an S Class. But what you really want from them is something with an AMG badge. Anyway, you get our point – there’s lots of choice. Is it any good? In a word, yes. I was thinking of ending things there, but that wouldn’t have been much of a review. The GTS is quite possibly the best Panamera available. It’s rapid, incredibly entertaining, engaging to drive and sounds fiery. There are three driving modes, but I can’t remember them all as the only one you really want is Sport Plus. It sounds better, it goes quicker and the steering feels crisp. On the road, the four wheel drive makes it feel planted and it’s one of the comfiest cars over distance I’ve tried for a long time. The verdict I want one... and I wouldn’t have said that about a Panamera before I drove the GTS version. For someone who likes involvement in their daily drive, but comfort to boot, the GTS ticks a lot of boxes. The looks won’t float everyone’s boat, but they certainly grew on me over my week with the barge. However, you’re going to need pretty deep pockets to enjoy this Porsche as the options alone cost more than three Dacia Sandero’s! But I know which I’d rather have on the driveway. The Knowledge Model: Porsche Panamera GTS Price: £91,239 Engine: 4.8-litre, V8 Power: 430bhp, 520Nm Max speed: 179mph 0-62mph: 4.5s MPG (comb’d): 25.9 Emissions: 256g/km

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CHEESE, BACON AND ONION PIE Tip Serve simply with a fresh tomato salad made by thickly slicing ripe vine tomatoes and layering with finely chopped spring onions and a few fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. 1 To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the mustard powder and salt. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 2 Stir in enough of the iced water with a round bladed knife to mix to a crumbly dough. Knead very lightly until just smooth then flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 20-25 minutes.

Perfect for a simple lunch or for an early summer picnic this savoury pie has a really rich and buttery crisp pastry and a tasty smoked bacon and onion filling. It tastes just as delicious warm or cold. Look for packs of smoked bacon pieces near the bacon rashers in the supermarket or use flavoursome Italian diced pancetta instead. FOR THE PASTRY 225g plain flour 1 tsp mustard powder Pinch of salt 115g butter, chilled and diced 4-5 tbsp iced water FOR THE FILLING 175g smoked bacon pieces 4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tbsp sunflower oil 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated Beaten egg, to glaze Tomato salad, to serve (see Tip) Makes 8 slices Ready in 1½ hours, plus chilling 72

3 Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Dry-fry the bacon pieces in a large non-stick frying pan for 4-5 minutes until just golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the oil and sliced onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the onions are very tender and pale golden. Leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. 4 Roll out just over half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20x30cm loose-based fluted flan tin. Layer the bacon, onions and grated cheese in the pastry case and season between the layers with freshly ground black pepper. 5 Roll out the rest of the pastry and use to cover the filling. Seal the edges of the pastry with water then pinch them tightly together with fingertips. Trim off any excess pastry. 6 Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and pierce 3-4 holes in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold with tomato salad, if liked.

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

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what’S ON?


1 May Folk Social Evening 6pm Moggerhanger Village Hall First Wednesday every month. The Bar is open for a drink and a chat. Invited musicians. Tel: Carolyn on 01767 640727 3, 17 & 31 May Whist Drive 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Fortnightly Friday Whist Drive. Refreshments included. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information 4 May Shuttleworth Collection Flying Evening Gates open 12 noon, flying starts 6.15pm Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Online Adults in advance £15, Adults on the gate £20, Accompanied under 16s free. Web: 6 May May Day Fete Gates open 11am (earlier for sellers) The Hollow, Biggleswade Road, Potton Adults £1.50, OAPs and Children 50p, Family £4 Along with Harris’ Fun Fair, food & drink, archery and local community stalls, we’re hoping that this year’s Car Boot will be even bigger and better than last year’s success! There is still time to organise a stall – cheap pitches. Tel: Phill 07801 344688 for info 6 May Wilden May Day Fayre 1pm onwards Wilden Village Hall, High Street, Wilden The Bedford Pipe Band will be marching down Wilden High Street at 1pm, followed by Maypole dancing and the crowning of the May Queen. Irish Dancing, bagpipe displays, refreshment tent and more. The Victoria Arms pub is joining in the fun with a beer and cider festival and tractor display during the day, and an evening buffet. 7, 14, 21 & 28 May Tuesday Morning Walkers 9.30-11.30am RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Adults £3, RSPB Members free. Admission £4 per vehicleWeekly walks around the reserve with a leader, looking for birds, wildlife and enjoying the site. Tel: 01767 680541 Web: 7 May Potton Ladies Club 7.30pm Potton Conservative Club, Brook End, Potton Malcolm Jones and Wendy Elizabeth will be demonstrating “The Art of Knotting”. Raffle and refreshments. Any unwanted Christmas cards, trimmings and wool would be appreciated for a future craft evening. 10 May Bingo Night 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Monthly Bingo Friday night with cash prizes, raffle and licensed bar. Also open the box. All proceeds to support the Village Hall. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727

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 10 May Performers & Pints 15: 3rd Anniversary Bash! 8 for 8.30pm The Red Lion, 1 Station Road, Potton Free entry (donations welcome) ** Big Artists in Little Potton **. Alex Holmes, Expendable Friend, Will Mak (P & P creator & curator), and one other ace artist TBC. A great community night out of live music. Web: 10, 11 & 12 May Angelic Reiki 1&2 Practitioner Level 10am-5pm approx. Cost £252 (£52 deposit required with booking, balance due before course commencement – instalments available) If you want to learn a new and powerful healing system or practice at Practitioners level or higher, then this really is a certificated course to embrace. You do NOT need any previous experience to do this course. You will learn all you need to be a fully qualified Angelic Reiki Practitioner under the Angelic Reiki Association. Tel: Annette - Angelic Reiki Master Teacher 01767 226492 Mob: 07918 904934 for more information or to enrol on a course or email 11 May Sandy & District Horticultural Association 9am Tickets approx. £20 per person Trip to Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Leaving Sandy at 9.00am to include an optional guided tour of the gardens with some free time in Cambridge afterwards. Tel: Vanessa 01767 448795 11 May Joyful Noise (PR 13) Doors open 2.30pm Tickets £3.50 Space for Sports & Arts, Holmemead School, Mead End, Biggleswade Starring Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan and Dexter Darden. Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but is counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the Joyful Noise Competition. Web: 11 May St Mary’s Singers Spring Concert - Gloria 7.30pm St Mary Magdalene Church, Dunton Tickets £10, Under 16s £5 Includes Vivaldi’s Gloria and a selection of sacred choral music. With the New English Concert Orchestra conducted by Douglas Coombes MBE. Tickets from Tysoes, Potton Market Square. Tel: 01767 601877 for tickets 11 May Concert by Hitchin Band 7.30pm St Swithun’s Church, Sandy Tickets £4 Refreshments served during the interval. Free parking near to the Church. Proceeds in aid of The Leprosy Mission. Tel: Colin Osborne 01767 682032 for tickets

17 May Moggerhanger Plant Sale Coffee Morning 10am-1pm 10 May Little Orchard, 36 Blunham Road, Chalton, Moggerhanger Secret Stories of Waresley Raffle, Cake Stall, Pickles & Preserves. Bedding plants, 8.00pm Waresley Village Hall Tickets: £10 hanging baskets, planters, tomato plants, vegetable plants, Enjoy an evening of local legend, myth and folklore with herbs, perennials and much more... All proceeds to St. traditional music and some dancing tales. Licensed Bar. John’s Church. To order hanging baskets from £12 and for Tickets: Chris Thorne 01767 651239 Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts 74 more information call Jo Hollington on 01767 641184. email:

what’S ON? IN MAY

18 May Cakes, Plants and Produce Stall 10am-12 noon 9 Sandy Road, Everton Do come and buy and meet others over a cup of coffee. Proceeds to St Mary’s Church Everton. 18 May Moggerhanger Plant Sale 10am-4pm Little Orchard, 36 Blunham Road, Chalton, Moggerhanger Ploughman’s Lunches and Cream Teas. Raffle, Cake Stall, Pickles & Preserves. Bedding plants, hanging baskets, tomato plants, herbs, perennials and more... All proceeds to St. John’s Church. To order hanging baskets from £12 and for more information call Jo Hollington on 01767 641184. 18 May Annual Quiz Night 6.30-11pm Adults £3, Children under 12 £1, under 5s free Sandye Place Academy Laburnum Lower School presents their annual Quiz night!! Teams of up to 6 adults (over 12s classed as adult for purpose of the quiz). Bar, food, raffle, games and disco as well as the quiz!! Tickets can be purchased from the Tourist Information Centre in Sandy or from the main school office. 18 May ‘A Mixed Choral Bag’ 7.30pm Trinity Methodist Church, Shortmead Street Biggleswade Advance tickets £7, On the door £8 The Amici Singers present ‘A Mixed Choral Bag’ presented by Douglas Coombes with guest conductors. Tickets available from Biggleswade Express, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade. Proceeds in aid of ‘Opening Doors for the Community’. 18 May An Evening of Music and Dance with “Blueprint” 8pm until Late Eco-Hub, Gamlingay Tickets £10 Dance to music from the 60’s onwards. Licensed bar. In aid of St Mary’s Church. Tickets from Bargain Box and the Eco-Hub. Web: 19 May Flying Day & Light Aircraft Association Party in the Park Gates open 9am, Flying starts 2pm Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Adults £20, Children free Content subject to weather, availability and serviceability. Tickets available online. Web: 19 May Biggleswade Antiques Fair 9.30am-4pm The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Entrance £1.50 A diverse range of antiques and collectables.Cafe serving breakfast, lunches and afternoon tea. Tel: 01480 382432

19 May Moggerhanger Plant Sale 1pm-4pm Little Orchard, 36 Blunham Road, Chalton, Moggerhanger Cream Teas. Raffle, Cake Stall, Pickles & Preserves. Bedding plants, hanging baskets, tomato plants, herbs, perennials and more... All proceeds to St. John’s Church. To order hanging baskets from £12 and for more information call Jo Hollington on 01767 641184. 20 May Biggleswade W.I. 10am Baptist Church Hall, London Road, Biggleswade Visitors are always welcome for a £4 fee Third Monday of the month. 10am start and with tea and coffee at 12pm. A talk on “Donkey Sanctuary”. 22 May ‘Walk around the plots’ 6.30pm Biggleswade Allotment Group (BAG). A chance to take a look around some of our member’s plots, bring any spare plants or seeds to swap or give away, refreshments on offer. For more info please visit our website 23 May Potton History Society 8.00pm The Community Centre, Brook End, Potton ‘The Hunt for Medieval Potton’. Results from the archaeological test pits dug in Potton in 2012. Visitors welcome. Light refreshments provided. Web: 25 May Aragon Lacemakers 10am-3pm Garden Room, Moggerhanger Park Aragon Lacemakers will be demonstrating and exhibiting some lace, old and new. Proceeds to Moggerhanger Park. 25 May The Waresley Walk 2.30pm £5 per person Car Park, Waresley Park Garden Centre Come and enjoy and learn more about the small, picturesque former estate village of Waresley. The Walk will be led by Mrs Eleanor Jack, a resident of Waresley and a local historian. To book please call/email Sandy TIC 01767 682728 Email: 26 May ‘Classic Cars & other Wheels around Willington’ 12 noon-5 pm Willington Dovecote & Stables, Willington An informal gathering of classic vehicles, ancient and modern, with a display in the Stables by Willington Local History Group. Visitors encouraged to bring own picnic. 31 May Ceilidh Doors open 7.30pm, last dance 11.30pm Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Adults £10, Children (under 18) £6, Seniors (over 65) £9, Students/unwaged (with SU card/UB40) £7, Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) £28 Ceilidh dances are fast-paced, easy to learn, great fun and addictive! Clear instructions from the caller before and during the set, allow anyone to join in and enjoy the dancing. Web:

19 May Plant Sale and May Fete 12.30pm Wrestlingworth Chequers’ Meadow Wrestlingworth Goodwill Fund and Friends of the Lower School present an afternoon of traditional entertainment with Maypole dancing, cakes games and food. Bouncy castle, BBQ, and design a mini garden. Any donated plants Toreceived advertise in day. The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122 gratefully on the


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Paul Hodson

Now Installing V Phase Units

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

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Quality PVC-U Windows & Doors MANUFACTURERS & INSTALLERS 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 Potton Windows is the only local company to be awarded the Secure By Design accreditation, to all products manufactured at its Potton Factory, this is a Police Preferred specification for greater security.

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How to play It’s simple! Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzle. Watch out! Sudoku is highly addictive.


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


Budget Bathrooms

BY KATHERINE SORRELL Big ideas, small budget? It is possible to have a beautiful bathroom without spending a fortune. Katherine Sorrell outlines her top tips. • Choose simple white bathroom fittings in standard sizes. Simply use tiles, taps and accessories to create an elegant and upmarket effect. Remember that not all whites are quite the same shade however so make sure they match. • Try for factory shops, seconds shops and permanent discount outlets nationwide; for listings of shopping villages, outlet stores and factory shops, go to • Plan carefully so that you avoid moving existing plumbing. By putting the bath, basin, WC, shower and any radiators in the same position you can keep installation costs down. The same applies to existing doors, windows and built-in features such as cupboards or radiators. • DIY or GSI? If you do some of the work yourself, it will save money. Know your limitations, however. Tiling and painting are straightforward and even plastering or putting down flooring can be tackled by a competent DIYer. If in doubt, however, call someone in and, when it comes to electrics, remember that there are strict safety regulations controlling what work may be carried out by a non-professional. Search for a qualified electrician at or www. • Fitting a new shower? Know your water supply system and make sure you choose a shower that will work with it. If your water pressure is low, for example, you’ll need to choose a type that can cope with this; otherwise you’ll have to install a pump as well. • A radiator that doubles as a towel rail will save you buying the two items separately, or simply attach a towel holder (such as a plain chrome pole from any DIY retailer) above your existing radiator. • To avoid the labour cost of removing old tiles and re-plastering the wall, it is often possible to tile over the existing tiles. • When putting in new tiles, save by only covering specific areas: perhaps up to half-


height around the room, or else just the splash backs next to the bath and basin. Use paint everywhere else. • Instead of pricey stone or marble wall or floor tiles, find a look-alike made from ceramic or porcelain. They are widely available, attractive, stain-resistant, light (and therefore easy to lay) and should cost noticeably less than the real thing. • If you love expensive mosaic tiles, limit them to small areas, or else combine them with plainer tiles as a border or insets. • Rather than installing a blind or having your windows sandblasted, use glass etching spray or stick-on film to ensure your privacy. These days, the latter comes in a wide range of patterns, from plain frosted to your own bespoke designs. • Custom-built, fitted storage can be expensive. Instead, choose standard-sized, off-the-peg units or else combine a simple set of shelves with free-standing storage such as trolleys, chests, cupboards or baskets.

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Clearwater Showers

Designers & Installers of Bespoke Shower Enclosures

Call or email to see what we can create for your dream bathroom T: 07971

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DRIFTWOOD JOINERY LTD Specialists in Bespoke Joinery


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Conservatories • Doors • Windows Staircases Handmade Kitchens Handmade Bedroom Furniture

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Julian Biggs Chimney Advert:Layout 1 07/12/2012 15:3

Chimney Sweep Member of the Institute of Chimney Sweeps


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

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Tallinn Old Town - Estonia

By Solange Hando

Long ago on Toompea Hill, the noble families of Tallinn enjoyed fresh air and stunning views while at their feet, artisans and traders earned their living in dark mysterious lanes. Nowadays, in Estonia’s capital, the hill top welcomes everyone with its lovely esplanades looking down on red gabled roofs, cobbled alleyways, lofty spires and the remains of the city wall. The Baltic Sea glistens in the distance and the chiming of bells mingles with bird song. Up there, two cathedrals beckon, the old Lutheran church with tombs and coats of arms and the modern Russian Orthodox with golden mosaics and onion-shaped domes. Girls in Estonian dress sell roasted almonds on a quiet square and the Old Town, now a World Heritage site, tumbles down the picturesque streets, known as ‘Tallinn’s two legs’. In the humble Danish King’s Garden, they say, Valdemar II rested on his way to Toompea and inspired by a vision of what would become the Danish flag, he led his troops to victory. All around, flowering plants and medieval Guild signs line the meandering steps and alleyways where small art galleries and craft shops mingle with outdoor cafés and secluded courtyards. Look out for St Nicholas church, famous for its silver and dancing skeletons and St Olav’s which, when it was built in 1500, claimed the world’s tallest spire. The House of the Black Heads Brotherhood was for young unmarried merchants, protected by an African saint, and the ‘Fat Margaret’ tower, named after a cook, is now the Maritime Museum. Now and then, you catch a glimpse of the limestone city wall, dating back to the 13th century, over a mile long altogether and dotted with fairy tale towers, including the ivy-draped Viru Gate, the city’s icon, and the strangelynamed ‘Maidens’ Tower’ where prostitutes were sent to jail. St Catherine’s Passage and the Masters’ Courtyard are awash with ceramics, quilts and hand-painted silk, sheer delight for photographers, but gems await on every corner, here a Dominican Priory, there a flour mill, a Great Guildhall and on the Town Hall Square, the oldest pharmacy in Europe. This colourful square has been the heart of town for 800 years. The Gothic Town Hall is a 15th century masterpiece, some say the best of its

kind in Northern Europe, with dragons spouting water from the façade and Old Thomas, the local mascot, perched atop the tower. Pink, red, white or cream, tall merchant houses rise all around, bearing witness to the wealth of the Hanseatic League, a medieval guild which traded from the Baltic to the North Sea. Visitors gaze at the compass rose on the round stone and the great cauldrons of elk soup bubbling under the arcades where traditional restaurants beckon with furcovered chairs. Some seek out the Bishops’ House festooned in apostles’ niches, others make their way to the City’s Museum and its scale model of Tallinn but sooner or later, the bakeries beckon with tempting displays of hand-made chocolates and marzipan, invented right here, in the old pharmacy. According to legend, the pharmacist was ill and the astute apprentice, who had to test all remedies, replaced the bitter herbs with sweet ingredients. Everyone loved it, especially the patients. So in Old Tallinn today, you’ll find marzipan in all shapes and colours and you can even try making your own in a local workshop.

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Ty Interiors Prize Crossword 1st Prize £25 Name:

Sponsored by Ty Interiors, The Olde Watermill Shopping Village, Faldo Road, Barton Le Clay, MK45 4RF

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before 17th May 2013. Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Tel:


Please enter me into the prize draw to be drawn at end of 3 months for £1000 off a fully fitted kitchen. T&C’s apply. (Please tick) Last Month’s Crossword Winners. Congratulations to: 1st prize - Ms Forster – Kempston Hardwick and 2nd prize - Mr Giles – St Neots For last month’s solution please visit Across 1 Choose (6) 4 Bends (6) 9 Latest style (7) 10 Work out (5) 11 Scour (5) 12 Remove (7) 13 Arguing (11) 18 Changed (7) 20 Used to steer a car (5) 22 Attempted (5) 23 Kindergarten (7) 24 Area, district (6) 25 Head of newspaper (6) Down 1 Least risk (6) 2 Not the winner (5) 3 Type of plant (7) 5 Overturn (5) 6 Rogue (7) 7 Bedding (6) 8 Unconnected (11) 14 Loosening (7) 15 Taken down (7) 16 Haggle (6) 17 Participant (6) 19 Wireless (5) 21 Expel (5)


Pleasemention mentionThe TheVillager Villagerand andTown TownLife Lifewhen whenresponding respondingtotoadverts adverts Please

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

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Derwent Lower Football Club (“DLFC”) is a non profit making organisation which was formed in September 2010. When it was formed, the club had 20 players, just two seasons later the club now has over 100 players. The club trains every Saturday morning 9am-10am on the playing fields at Derwent Lower School. During the winter months the players train in the Sports Hall at RAF Henlow by kind permission of the Station Commander. The players range from 3 to 9 years old and are drawn from the villages of Lower Stondon, Henlow Camp, Shillington, Campton and surrounding areas. It truly is a community club for aspiring Rooney’s, Gerrards, Lampards & local hero Jack Wilshere’s! The club actively encourages girls to play football which is reflected by the number of girls in our teams and by the fact that one of our coaches is an ex-Arsenal ladies player, we are equally keen for those aspiring to be the next Kelly Smith.

The continuing success of DLFC has been recognised by the Football Association with their award of the FA Charter Standard Club. For more information about the club please go to

P.E.JAMES • Boiler Breakdown Repairs • New Boilers & Radiators • Heating / Flushing Cleaning


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Reg No. 193542

G & H SEAMER Funeral Directors

Family owned and managed business. Established 100 years.

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

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T&R Roofing Ltd

Family Business Est. 1985

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PK Cleaning Services Est. since 1988

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• 35 years experience • Decorating / Wallpapering • Carpentry • Tiling • Coving • All aspects of home maintenance Tel: 01234 304682 01234 347699 or 07807 008062

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Julian Biggs Plumbing Advert:Layout 1 07/12/2012 15

JulianBiggs Plumbing& Heating All aspects of plumbing & heating work Oil fired boilers - Servicing, Repairs, installation Bathroom, showers and taps leaking taps to full installation


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Bringing in the May

By Kate McLelland

One of the best indications that summer is about to arrive is when Britain’s hedgerows explode with the pink and white blossoms of the hawthorn. The hawthorn is one of those quintessentially English trees: although quietly unobtrusive for most of the year, it bursts into spectacular life in the late spring, with flowers crowded so densely together they look like snowfall. In the autumn it glows with clusters of red berries. No wonder the tree features so strongly in ancient folklore. The old name for hawthorn was “may” and the flower of the may tree has long been considered a symbol of hope. It even gave its name to The Mayflower, the famous ship that sailed from England in 1620, transporting a stalwart band of pilgrims to build a new life in America. As its alternative name suggests, hawthorn was central to ancient May Day celebrations. The old Celtic festival of May Day was known as ‘Beltane’ after the Celtic god of light, or the sun. The beginning of summer was also celebrated in Ancient Rome at the Floralia festival (dedicated to the flower goddess Flora), which took place at roughly the same time. May Day celebrations in Britain were probably a hybrid of both traditions mixed up with Druidic tree worship, and the introduction of Christianity did little to dispel these pagan traditions. On the first day of May, villagers would wake at daybreak and roam through the countryside, gathering flowers and hawthorn twigs to decorate their houses. A maypole – usually the trunk of a birch tree, stripped of its branches and decorated with ribbons and flowers - was set up in the middle of the village green. In olden times maypoles were constructed with three rings on the top - the highest and smallest was made of hawthorn. The community danced around the pole, singing traditional songs, while the men of the village performed Morris dances and the prettiest girl, dressed in floral garlands, was crowned Queen of the May. Occasionally a May King was also chosen, and the pair ruled over the festivities. In Elizabethan times, the king and queen were given the names ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Maid Marian’. These celebrations were derived from ancient

fertility rituals and the ‘greenwood marriages’ that took place provide clear evidence of this. Often young girls came home from their country rambles with more than a garland of flowers. As one observer wrote: “I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.” May Day festivities reached their height in England during the Middle Ages but in 1644 the Puritans passed a law which made them illegal. This attempt to repress the celebrations eventually failed, mainly because they were too deeply rooted in rural culture. When the monarchy was restored some years later and Charles II came to the throne, people all over the country put up maypoles as a sign of loyalty to the crown. For the next two hundred years the old customs continued, but interest in May Day traditions began to fade. They enjoyed a brief revival in the Victorian era but any connection to fertility rites was deliberately overlooked and maypole dancing was reduced to an innocent children’s game. Sadly by this time the hawthorn – once the embodiment of hope for the coming summer – had also lost its significance, becoming just another tree in the British landscape.

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TV AERIAL & SATELLITE SPECIALIST See our website for a comprehensive list of our services

CALL FREE 0800 7317988 To discuss your requirements or to make an appointment


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Decorating Services

REVIEW The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan Before Carrie Bradshaw et al, four Chinese women began meeting in San Francisco to compare notes as recent immigrants. It was 1949 and they called themselves ‘The Joy Luck Club’. The women were bound together by circumstance and history, vowing to make money and a new life for themselves. It’s a complex and delicately interwoven tale of Chinese mothers and daughters, revealing secrets and lies and all striving to find a place in the modern world whilst feeling the constant tug of their past. If you’ve never read Tan before then this is a brilliant place to start. The Help Kathryn Stockett This is the story of three women: Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, and their attempts to change the social structure and confines of a segregated Mississippi in the 1960s. Young Skeeter is a white woman with a degree, but no husband. She’s also lost her maid and confidante, ‘Constantine’ and nobody can tell her where she’s gone. Aibileen is a black maid who is essentially raising a white woman’s child for her, whilst grieving for her own dead son. Meanwhile Minny is a fantastic cook but an even greater gossip. Between them, the three plan to write and publish their own stories, revealing social scandals and ‘tellin’ it like it is’. It’s brilliant, and worth reading just to hear the revelation of the ‘terrible awful’. That’s a laughout-loud moment in itself.


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Classifieds Handyman

Domestic Repairs

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

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Plastering Services

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3/12/12 11:45:18


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

T: 01767 316485 M: 07582 485155 E:

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


01767 682789

After being inside Shannon Court in Sandy for nearly 8 years Friends Five Star Hairdressing have relocated to Sandy’s Market Square into what was the old ‘Lord Roberts’ pub. This salon move has enabled us to give our clients more luxurious surroundings with more space. We strive to give our clients the best we can with top customer service and by using award winning products We offer our clients at Friends; • London trained stylists • Award winning products- Redken, Ghd & L’Oreal • The only salon in Sandy to offer Redkens colour range containing ‘ No Ammonia’ • Fantastic loyalty scheme for all clients • 3 tier price system • 2 late evenings until 9pm • Free consultations and colour clinics • Private backwash room • Wedding packages • On-going training for all stylists

SPECIAL OFFER FOR MAY Complimentary clear colour gloss for cut and finish and colour services in May (it is important to quote this offer at time of booking to ensure the correct appointment time and a patch test is required 48 hours beforehand)

Clear colour gloss benefits

• Completely clear - No tone • Adds amazing shine to all hair types • Only 20 mins processing time • Perfect to refresh coloured hair • Brings tires, dull hair back to life • Great for natural hair

Opening Hours: Mon, Tues & Fri 9.30 - 6.00pm, Wed & Thurs 9.30 - 9.00pm, Sat 8.30 - 4.00pm Friends Five Star Hairdressing 1 Market Square, Sandy, Beds SG19 1HT Tel. 01767 682 789

Potton May 2013  

Potton May 2013 Villager Magazine

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