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Issue 95 - September 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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In this Issue

Issue 95 - September 2013

and Town




P&R Bathrooms

Second to None Service


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

Harrison’s Flowers

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For the Perfect Bouquet


Editorial Sarah Fryer, Pippa Greenwood, Geoff Wharton, James Baggott, Helen Taylor, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, Julia Faulks, Katherine Sorrell, Bruce Edwards , Solange Hando, Louise Addison, Jackie Brewster, Kate McLelland, Tom Foote, Sarah Davey, Derek Thompson and Susan Brookes-Morris Advertising Sales Nigel Frost - Photography Akit and Adam Bent Design and Artwork Design 9 Tel 07762 969460 Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton Bedsfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122


and Town Life


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


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The History of Tea............................................................ 4 Where Am I?.................................................................... 10 Short Story...................................................................... 12 Peru.................................................................................. 14 Buying A Used Car........................................................... 17 Flying High In Autumn..................................................... 18 Rise and Rise of Shabby Chic..........................................20 Sandy Tourist Information Centre..................................24 The Man Form Galway....................................................27 Putting Your Best Foot Forward.....................................32 Hair Q & A........................................................................34 Men’s Health.................................................................. 36 Beat the Utility Bills........................................................ 38 Save Money.....................................................................42 Ten Ways to Create a New Room.................................. 44 Women In Business........................................................ 46 Weed Attack.................................................................... 51 Rural Ramblings..............................................................53 Super Sunset Photos.......................................................54 Beginning of the Railway Boom.................................... 56 Lawn to be Wild............................................................. 59 Animal Queries................................................................ 61 Children’s Page............................................................... 64 Back To School............................................................... 66 New Range Rover Sport................................................ 69 Seasonal Delights............................................................73 What’s On........................................................................74 Get Over Your Ex.............................................................77 Puzzle Page.................................................................... 80 Stay Out of Debt..............................................................82 Fun Quiz.......................................................................... 88 Book Review....................................................................92 Last month’s Wrest Park Competition Winners are: Status Quo tickets - Mrs M Hendry from Sandy Britannia Rules tickets - Wendy Harris from Shillington

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THE History of...


Ah yes, the infamous cup of tea, the quintessential Great British drink, leader of all beverages. But why is a good brew used in so many ways in the UK? We’ve all turned to a cup of tea in a crisis, but does this really help? “calm down, I’ll put the kettle on” said to us many a time by loved ones, well apparently a single cup of tea can significantly reduce anxiety levels after suffering a stressful experience, and in some cases, make people calmer than they were before. A study, by psychologist Dr Malcolm Cross at City University London, confirms what millions of tealovers have long believed, that if you are upset or anxious, it pays to make a brew. The experiment at the centre of the study, which placed volunteers in a stressful scenario, showed a 25 per cent increase in anxiety for those that did not receive tea immediately after the stressinducing test. Conversely, those who were given tea actually demonstrated a four per cent reduction in stress. As well as the soothing qualities of the tea itself, the psychologist found that the act of putting the kettle on also helped by tapping into a collective conscious and symbolism. Further psychological tests and focus groups conducted after the experiment indicate that tea’s calming benefits aren’t just a question of


biochemistry, but also a matter of its ‘Britishness’. Tea has such a long history to it dating back literally thousands of years, but it is far from British, in fact its legacy spans across many countries and cultures. It is said that tea originated in the province of Yunnan, China during the Shang Dynasty (1500 BC–1046 BC) as a medicinal drink. The legendary Emperor of China, Shennong, and inventor of agriculture and Chinese medicine was drinking a bowl of boiled water sometime around 2737 BC when a few leaves were blown from a nearby tree into his water, changing the colour. The emperor took a sip of the brew and was pleasantly surprised by its flavour and restorative properties. Another legend tells that the emperor tested the medical properties of various herbs on himself, some of them poisonous, and found tea to work as an antidote. Shennong is also mentioned in Lu Yu’s famous early work on the subject, Cha Jing. A similar Chinese legend goes that the god of agriculture would chew the leaves, stems, and roots of various plants to discover medicinal herbs. If he consumed a poisonous plant, he would chew tea leaves to counteract the poison. Whether or not these legends have any truth to them, tea has still played a significant role in Asian culture for centuries as a staple beverage, a

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curative, and a status symbol. It is not surprising, therefore, that theories of its origin are often religious or royal in nature. China as we know is famous for the British saying “For all the tea in China” it is simply known as the birth place of tea. Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century. The British introduced tea production, as well as consumption to India, in order to compete with the Chinese monopoly on tea. Using Chinese seeds and Chinese planting and cultivating techniques, the British launched a tea industry by offering land in Assam to any European who agreed to cultivate tea for export. Tea was originally only consumed by Anglicised Indians; it was not until the 1950s that tea grew widely popular in India through a successful advertising campaign by the India Tea Board. So if Britain introduced tea to India, when did the tea industry in the UK start to boom? The Importing of tea into Britain began in the 1660s with the marriage of King Charles II to the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, who brought to the court the habit of drinking tea. On 25 September 1660 Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary: “I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I never had drank before.” It is probable that early imports came via Amsterdam or through sailors on eastern boats. Regular trade began in Guangzhou (Canton). Trade was controlled by two monopolies: the Chinese Hongs (trading companies) and the British East India Company. The Hongs acquired tea from ‘the tea men’ who had an elaborate supply chain into the mountains and provinces where the tea was grown. The East India Company brought back many products, of which tea was just one, but it was to prove one of the most successful. By the end of the seventeenth century tea was taken as a drink, albeit mainly by the aristocracy. In 1690 nobody would have predicted that by 1750 tea would be the national drink. The origin of large trade in tea was the need for a return cargo from the East Indies. Merchantmen ships delivered fabrics manufactured in Britain to India and China but would return empty or partially full. To solve this problem the East India Company began a vigorous public relations campaign in England to popularise tea among the common people in Britain and develop it as a viable return cargo. The escalation of tea importation and sales over the period 1690 to 1750 is mirrored closely by the increase in importation and sales of cane sugar. The British were not just drinking tea but sweet


tea. Two of Britain’s trading triangles were to meet within the cup: the sugar sourced from Britain’s trading triangle encompassing Britain, Africa and the West Indies and the tea from the triangle encompassing Britain, India and China. The Emperor of China decreed that “China was the centre of the world and had everything they could ever need, so all trade with foreigners must be paid for in Silver” This meant that British traders had to pay China for its tea with silver bullion. Critics of the tea trade at this time would point to the damage caused to Britain’s wealth by this loss of bullion. As a way to generate the silver needed as payment for tea, Britain began exporting opium from the traditional growing regions of British India (in present day Pakistan and Afghanistan) into China. Opium use in China had a long history however British importation of opium, which began in 1781 increased between 1821 and 1837, and the government’s attitude towards opium, which was often ambivalent, hardened as usage of the drug spread more widely across Chinese society. It finally began enforcing measures against importation in 1838-9. Tea by now had become a very important source of tax revenue to the British Empire and the banning of the opium trade and thus the creation of funding issues for tea importers was one of the main causes of the Opium Wars. Whilst waging war on China was one of Britain’s tactics it also began to explore, and then executed, a plan to use India for growing tea. Plantations were established in areas such as Darjeeling, Assam, and Ceylon as an attempt to circumvent its dependence on Chinese tea. The East India Company sent Scottish botanist Robert Fortune to China to purchase and bring out of China tea plants, which were then taken to India, although it was the discovery of native varieties of tea plant in India which proved more important for the development of production there. Tea remained a very important item in Britain’s global trade, contributing in part to Britain’s global dominance by the end of the eighteenth century. To this day tea is seen worldwide as a symbol of

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‘Britishness’, but also, to some, as a symbol of old British colonialism. The London 2012 section of the Paralympic handover in Beijing included tea as part of the routine, sparking fury among many and raising debates amongst UK chat shows stating the London 2012 was far to British!! A cup or mug of tea in Britain is usually made in a different way than is common in China and other Eastern countries. Over 90% of tea consumed is black tea, often but not always with a small amount of milk and/or sugar added. The tea used is often contained in a tea bag, with many households opting to make tea this way for ease, however there are many British people whom still like to use tea leaves in a pot, as it is said this makes a smoother cup of tea. But in Britain it is not just regular tea that we like to refresh our pallets, fruit tea is becoming just as popular due to its flavours and promise of healthy consumption. There are said to be many benefits of drinking Fruit tea as it is jam-packed with assorted vitamins and minerals. Fruit teas are black teas flavoured with a natural essence of fruit. Popular Fruit tea flavours include cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry, orange, strawberry, and blueberry. Many fruit teas are made from combinations of fruits, and some also include herbs and spices. Technically fruit teas are not teas per se; rather infusions of fruit flavours, also known as tisanes, fruit teas are usually made using fruit juices or steeped in hot water and can be made at home as well. Made in the same way as traditional black tea, fruit is grated and shredded into fine pieces and then dried. On average a Fruit tea may contain up to nine ingredients, all which play a vital role in the end product of the tea. In a lot of ways Fruit tea is regarded as a rather recent custom, being especially popular with children and those who want a healthy drink without the caffeine. Fruit tea provides a fresh and revitalising cocktail and can be served both hot and cold. In the warmer months is serves as a perfect cool-me-down and once it gets cold, it is very relaxing and warming to the senses. So how else do we British folk celebrate the Great British Cuppa? Well afternoon tea or high tea as it is more commonly known is becoming more and more popular with venues popping up all over the place offering tasty delights and English Breakfast tea. Years ago, there would be just a few select places, mainly in London that would offer Ladies & Gentlemen high tea. It was encouraged by the rich and well to do and most certainly had etiquette about it. Afternoon tea is said to have

originated with one person; Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford. In the early 1800’s she launched the idea of having tea in the late afternoon to bridge the gap between luncheon and dinner, which in fashionable circles might not be served until 8 o’clock at night. This fashionable custom soon evolved into high tea among the working classes, where this late afternoon repast became the main meal of the day. Today, afternoon tea is as ever popular and in most establishments has retained its etiquette, with the service of such being offered in white gloves with bone china used for the tea. In days gone by, the aristocracy used to take their tea by placing their little finger in the air whilst sipping delicately out of their cup. The British Population tend not to pursue this manner, however, having said that, you will still find the odd Lady or Gentlemen whom like to uphold this decorum. Tea Gardens or posh hotels are the perfect locations for this custom. In fact Tea Gardens were popular with our older generations and still are today. Dating back, the popular pleasure gardens of Ranelagh and Vauxhall in London began serving tea around 1730. An evening of dancing and watching fireworks would be capped by tea. The concept caught on, and soon Tea Gardens opened all over Britain. Usually the gardens were opened on Saturday and Sunday, and an afternoon of entertainment and dancing would be highlighted by serving tea. So there we have it, Tea is officially an essential part of our everyday lives, it calms us down, it refreshes us and remains a massive part of British history.

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


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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 94 - Augu

and Town


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Issue 93 - July

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Issue 92 - June

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

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Issue 91 - May

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

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

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The Cream Jug By Jackie Brewster Cheryl said, “You know what I’d like to try? Potholing.” You could have knocked Ken down with a feather. He said, “Where’s this idea come from?” She explained that Donna tried it recently and had been raving about it ever since. Cheryl never liked to be outdone by Donna. That’s sisters for you. Ken joked, “Aren’t you worried about breaking a nail?” And she said tartly, “Sometimes, Ken, you’ve just got to get a bit dirty.” He was surprised and said, “Fine, you arrange it.” So he left it with her. They turned up on the day at a car park on the edge of Bower Crags and met the instructor, a nice lad called Frank. There was also a couple from Kidderminster and an older chap who never spoke. Frank took one look at Cheryl’s peep toe mules, and said, ‘You’ll need to change your footwear.” He offered her some battered Wellington boots, which she pulled on most begrudgingly. Then Frank handed them all a set of waterproof overalls. Cheryl turned very sulky. Ken tried cheering her up by pointing out that her linen slacks were dry clean only, and it was better to be safe than sorry. She had to agree with him in spite of herself. Ken thought they’d finally come to blows when Frank insisted she wear a safety helmet. It was all very well for him but Ken knew how long Cheryl spent on her hair every morning. She gave that mop more attention than she gave him. Reluctantly, she clipped the thing on muttering about health and safety gone mad. Ken didn’t dare let her see him laughing. They assembled at the mouth of the cave and Frank gave an introductory talk on potholing. Ken wished Cheryl could have paid more attention but she was texting Donna. She insisted she could text and listen at the same time. ‘Who’s she trying to kid?’ Ken thought, ‘Cheryl can’t listen even when she’s not doing anything at all’. Finally Frank said, “Right we’re ready to go in.” Cheryl looked up from her phone and asked, “Is that where we’re getting the clay from?” He looked surprised and said,


“Yes, there’s lots of slippery clay in these caves, so go steady now.” Cheryl nudged Ken gleefully saying, “Donna never got her clay from a cave.” Ken had no idea what she was on about, but was pleased that they were finally one up on Donna. One by one, crocodile-style, they entered the mouth of the cave. Cheryl did Ken proud. She squeezed through every tight passageway, crawled on her hands and knees, and even dragged herself along on her stomach, getting absolutely filthy with not a peep of complaint. Though Ken was right at the back and couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying anyway. But Cheryl did it, and that’s the main thing. “You’re a star Cheryl!” Ken said, as they emerged, squelching, into the daylight. Yet Cheryl seemed bewildered. “When do we get started on the potter’s wheel?” She frowned, looking around. “Why would we need one of them dear?” Ken asked gently, concerned the darkness had affected her mind. “I thought we were going potholing,” she snapped. “That’s right, and we did,” he said. “Potholing, caving, spelunking – call it what you like.” Her mouth dropped open, “I’ve only gone and mistaken potholing for pottery making,” she said, turning pale. “All I wanted was to make a cream jug like the one Donna made.” “You could still make a jug,” Ken replied. “After all, you’re wearing enough clay.”

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Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca At 12,507 feet, Titicaca appears like a dream, framed by pastel-coloured hills shimmering at the water’s edge under the crisp Andean sky. Stretching for over 100 miles and into Bolivia on its eastern side, fed by five rivers and numerous streams, it’s said to be the world’s highest navigable lake. The nature reserve created in 1978 protects 60 species of native birds and in the sheltered bay of Puno, the Uros Indians live peacefully on man-made islands. They were here long before the Incas built Machu Picchu but on their flimsy abodes ignored by the Conquistadores, they have outlived them for over 400 years. Soon after dawn, the first tourist boat sets off from Puno towards the nearest of 40 islands or so sprinkled around the bay. Built with local totora reeds, they glow coppery gold in the early sun and before long, the islanders begin to stir. Smoke rises from the huts, pots and pans tinkle in the semi- darkness, a man paddles in search of fresh reeds to strengthen or extend his domain and meet growing family needs. The reeds are cut near the shore, towed back then assembled and anchored on the spot. It’s an on-going task for the ‘people of the lake’, 2000 of them, though it never feels like it. Sailing around clusters of tiny islands, you spot a few huts on this one, a shrine on that one, a school on another, a clinic or a couple of craft stalls. The islands are fully movable but if you can’t jump across to see your neighbour, there are plenty of reed boats to travel around.


Most stunning are the majestic dragon-headed vessels gliding silently on blue waters, ready to carry a handful of wide-eyed visitors. Stepping ashore on a bouncy patch of reeds may be unnerving but no one seems to mind. ‘Please come inside,’ says a man with a bright woolly hat, ‘this is my home.’ It’s just one room, no furniture, but there are rugs on the floor and a small black and white television in the corner. Outside the sun is dazzling, the air is cold but ‘Mama’ is used to it. An imposing figure in an ample skirt and traditional bowler hat, she has lit the fire on a bed of stones and proudly shows the fish caught by her man that morning. Nothing grows on the reeds but you can catch fish and ducks, for meat and eggs, chew the white root of a reed or two and head for the market in Puno to sell embroidered cloth, knitwear and trinkets and buy whatever you need. Historians believe the Uros set up home on the lake to escape trouble on land but legend says otherwise. It claims they were here before the dawn of time, protected by ‘black blood’ when the earth was ‘dark and cold’, and few today would wish to change their traditional way of life. A cell phone may ring now and then but somewhere on the edge of the water, a child plays an Andean flute as a sudden breeze sends ripples across the reeds. The tourist boat heads back to the mainland then slowly, on the ‘Black Puma’ lake, the islands vanish, floating like a mirage between water and sky.

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Buying a Used Car?

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti Buying a car is a costly business, which is why it makes sense to check out the used car market where you can save thousands of pounds. Unfortunately it can also be fraught with problems if you don’t get it right. Here’s how to minimise the risks and give yourself the best chance of finding a bargain. Research Once you’ve decided on the type of car you need (based on your particular priorities with regards to comfort, economy and space), research the costs to purchase, tax, insure, service and fuel it. Bear in mind that although older models are often cheaper to buy, they can be more costly to run and may work out more expensive in the long term. Fact Find Have a list of questions to ask the seller before viewing the vehicle. Find out about previous owners; the mileage; the condition; how long the MOT and tax have to run; whether it has ever been written off, in an accident or stolen; if it has any finance outstanding; whether there is a log book, full service history, MOTs and receipts; and whether any maintenance needs doing. Inspection Always view the vehicle at the seller’s address in daylight and in dry weather. Check the sills, wheel arches and door bottoms for rust. Make sure all lights and seat belts work. Check the condition

of the tyres and mirrors. Look for mismatched or bubbling paint and uneven gaps between body panels. Check that the mileage is about correct for the car’s age (average is 10,000 per year). If the odometer numbers are out of line the mileage may have been tampered with. Check that the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), found under the bonnet and on the windows, matches the number on the V5 certificate (log book). Test Drive Drive the car for at least 15 minutes on different kinds of roads. Listen for unusual noises and look for excessive smoke from the exhaust. Make sure you’re happy with the brakes, gears, steering and suspension. If anything shakes, rattles or grates, the car may have problems that need sorting out. Paperwork Once you have agreed a price, make sure that all paperwork looks and feels genuine (no photocopies). Check that the VIN and recorded keeper details tally with the seller, and examine the service history and MOT certificates to verify the mileage. Get a receipt for your payment from the seller, and finally – make sure the new keeper sections of the log book are completed. Taking a knowledgeable friend along is always a good idea. Failing that, the AA and RAC both offer inspection services. You have to pay but for peace-of-mind it may be worth it. Good luck - and happy motoring!

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Fly High In The Autumn Sky

By Susan Brookes-Morris Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a birds-eye view of autumn’s fabulous colours? Well that’s exactly what you get when you take a hot air balloon flight. Here’s Susan Brookes’ description of her recent trip: I joined a group of excited passengers at the launch point and listened to the pilot’s safety briefing. Behind him, the balloon’s envelope was being filled with air using an enormous fan. The pilot judged our weights and sizes and told us all where to stand ready for boarding. Once in position, we watched with awe as the material became more and more inflated. Men rushed about manoeuvring the 100ft long nylon material to hasten filling. When the shout to board came, we moved rapidly to clamber into the then vertical basket. The balloon was unsecured and we began to lift off. Rising high into the sky, we waved to the gathered well wishers who quickly became just dots in the distance. As we headed to heights of up to 3000 feet, we were treated to a bird’s eye view of the countryside below. The whole landscape stretched before us: fields, trees, livestock in the fields, streams and lakes. It was a beautiful sight. The huge balloon moved silently across the sky. The calm only interrupted by the passengers’ conversation and the periodic blast of the burners injecting the spell-binding fire into the belly of the balloon. The temperature was surprisingly similar to that at ground level, but with the added bonus of the glow from the flame. Our lovely pilot cheerfully answered all our questions, pointed out landmarks, and told us about the skill of ballooning. Satellite navigation systems are installed in the balloons, but pilots also take maps in case equipment fails. Travel is so gentle because the balloon is moving at the same speed as the wind, and even the most apprehensive passenger soon relaxed and admired the views. When it was time for our flight to end, the pilot descended slowly. I had expected a jerky landing, but the contact of the basket with the ground slowed the progress of the balloon and brought it to a halt quite gently, within a couple of bounces. The basket slowly tilted on its side as it came to rest in a field and the balloon began to deflate in the breeze. We found ourselves lying on our


backs, rather like wine bottles in a rack, laughing at the fun of it all. For safety reasons, hot air ballooning can only take place when there are suitable weather conditions. Most in our group had waited a while before we finally got the opportunity to take to the skies, but we all agreed the wait for such a thrilling experience had been worthwhile and we’d love to do it again. If you would like to book a balloon flight make sure you use an accredited member of the British Association of Balloon Operators (BABO)

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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

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The rise and rise of Shabby Chic

By Kate McLelland

Visit any antique fair in any town in Britain nowadays and you will find an array of items that, twenty years ago, would have been considered better suited to go in a builder’s skip than take pride of place on a dealer’s stall. It may seem extraordinary that people are willing to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase pieces that are worn and damaged, but these items are popular because they meet the British public’s voracious demand for anything that can be described as “Shabby Chic”. So what is “Shabby Chic”, and why does this style now dominate the marketplace for home decoration and household goods? The term was originally coined in the 1980s by The World of Interiors magazine. Inspired by Mediterranean culture, the style reflected the increasing popularity of holidays in places such as Provence, Tuscany, France and Greece. In the 1990s TV programmes such as “Changing Rooms” encouraged homeowners to experiment with eclectic styles and at that time a number of new home decoration products emerged onto the market. These triggered a surge of interest in different paint effects, including the ageing and layering techniques used by fans of Shabby Chic to mimic the weathered, sun-baked surfaces found in traditional Mediterranean buildings. The look combines bleached-out, subtle colours for furniture, walls and paintwork with


household items that are either genuinely old and displaying signs of wear, or new and deliberately treated to look as though they have had a lifetime of use. At a time when we are all under pressure to work harder for less money, it’s not surprising that we are drawn to a fashion that evokes the past, harking back to a gentler, more relaxed way of life. Suzanne Rowett, owner of the Dorset-based vintage style shop Shy Violet (, runs popular courses on specialist paint techniques. She believes the fashion for Shabby Chic is partly due to an increase in female buying power. “The 20th century vogue for Brown furniture was a very masculine fashion, largely dictated by men, but current trends are much more feminine and women have much more influence when it comes to furnishing and decorating their homes.” If you want to learn how to transform pieces of furniture yourself, you can find several excellent “How to” videos on YouTube, but it’s best to start with a low-cost item from a charity shop or car boot sale. A flat matt finish is a must and if you want to create an illusion of age you should avoid pure white in favour of creams, gentle yellows, pinks and soft browns. For the Mediterranean look you can use bolder colour combinations, layering bright shades for a contrasting effect and rubbing down with different grades of sandpaper so the undercoat shows through at points where age and constant use would naturally rub away the surface. Once you have mastered a few simple techniques you will find it’s relatively easy to create your own Shabby Chic interior. Suzanne Rowett believes that these days the home is one of the few places where people can truly express their individuality and adds that reviving unique pieces of furniture can be very rewarding. “Once they start, many of my customers find it completely addictive”, adds Suzanne. “In fact, I’d say it changes their lives.”

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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




‘The ‘Sandy and Everton Walk’. Come and explore the countryside between Sandy and the village of Everton, following part of the Greensand Ridge. This walk takes you from the wooded paths of Sandy along the Roman road and then ascending the hill to the village of Everton and returning to Sandy via The Lodge reserve. The walk passes through pasture, parkland and woodland, offering fine views and passing interesting features. The Sandy and Everton Guided Walk takes place on Saturday, 5th October. The Walk will start from the Tourist Information Centre. We will then walk along the High street, cross the railway bridge to the Pinnacle Field. We will then ascend the Pinnacle – or Sandhills as it is known locally to see the wonderful view over the town and the Bedfordshire countryside. Many of the trees on the Pinnacle and the surrounding woodlands are of elm, oak, beech and birch and at this time of year all should be covered with a mantle of golden and russet autumn colours. The Pinnacle and much of the surrounding lands belong to the Pym family, ‘Squires of Sandy’ who have resided on their Hazells Hall estate since the middle of the 18th century. From the Pinnacle we will descend to the narrow road called Sand Lane. Until the Second World War this road was merely a sand track, but due to the many munitions kept in the surrounding woodlands the army tarmacked the surface. Shortly, the landscape opens before us with the valley of Swaden – now lacking its view

westwards due to plantations and the parklands and woodlands of Hazells Hall. We will enter the park and walk along the track through the meadowland, usually grazed by sheep or cattle. We will then walk along the field path called ‘Hasells Hedge’, which was the route of the Roman Road from Sandy to Godmanchester. We pass by heavy clay soils which are usually cropped with cereals and spinneys and hedges, which at this time of year will have late blackberries and also sloes – ideal for making Sloe Gin. On reaching the pathway leading to Everton, we ascend the hill to the village. There are marvellous views from the hill over the Bedfordshire plain. Everton is a small village on the edge of the Greensand Ridge with a handsome church of ironstone and cobblestone dating from the mid12th century. The walk continues along the road to Sandy Everton parish boundary, marked on our left by an avenue of horse chestnuts and with the 18th century ironstone thatched cottage, one of the original lodges leading to Hazells Hall. We will walk across Sandy Heath, now planted with nursery trees and then walk along the Long and Short Ridings and enter the RSPB reserve passing the handsome Gtaehouse and return to Sandy along the newly created Firs Trail. The Sandy - Everton Walk costs £5 per person (payable on booking please). Meet at the Tourist Information Centre at 2.30pm. To book your place please call into the TIC or contact us by telephone or email (see details below). Other TIC Guided Walks for 2013 includes The Sandy Warren Christmas Walk - Details are to follow. AUTUMN and WINTER TALKS The Tourist information centre has organised three AUTUMN and WINTER TALKS for this year. The Talks will be given in the Council Chamber of Sandy Town Council,10 Cambridge Road, Sandy. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL AS NUMBERS ARE LIMITED The first Talk is called Roman Sandy and this takes place on Thursday, 3rd October. This fascinating Talk will be given by the AOC Archaeology Group from Twickenham. AOC


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recently completed a seven week excavation in advance of the new Tesco store in New Road, Sandy. AOC will tell us about Roman Sandy in general and about the discoveries found during the dig earlier this year. You will also be able to see the Roman Sandy display in the Chamber, which includes such items as pottery, coins, bronze brooches, animal bone, sculpture, etc The origin of Sandy as a Roman town has been recognised since the 17th century. It was in the 19th century, with the coming of the railway and subsequent quarrying of land around the train line and station, that the first major finds of Roman artefacts from the area are recorded. These included coins, pottery, iron work including a Roman sword and a Roman cemetery on the site of the present day railway station. Further Roman finds continued to be made in the last century - a collection of bronze objects, coins and pottery fragments was recovered from the Town cemetery and a small excavation was carried out in Chesterfield in the late 1950s. It was not until work in a new area of the cemetery revealed the remains of a Roman skull, that modern archaeological recording of Roman

Sandy began, with excavations carried out in the cemetery between 1988 and 199. Many of the artefacts form part of the ‘Roman Sandy Story’ in the Sandy Town Council Offices where this Talk will be held. Also within the ‘Roman Sandy Story’ exhibition there are excellent artist’s interpretations of what Roman Sandy may have looked like and this was based on the evidence of the foundations etc of properties found during the various excavations. This Talk will take place on Thursday, 3rd October at 7.30pm. The Cost will be £5 per person. Refreshments will be served by members of the Sandy Historical Research Group to raise funds for their work. Other Talks to be held include The Rise and Fall of the Cardington Airships to be held on Wednesday, 6th November and The Bedford to Cambridge Railway on Wednesday, 4th December. Obtain further information about the above from The Tourist Information Centre, rear of 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy Telephone 01767 682728 Email - tourism@

Potton & District Club NEW MEMBERS WELCOME Keeping LIVE MUSIC live! every week!


Sat 7th SLEDGEHAMMER are back, fantastic musicians Sat 14th TIME MACHINE NEW Sat 21st ALMOST ABBA are back Fri 27th THE SOULMAN is back Sat 28th THE VEEs are back NOT TO BE MISSED!


Sat 5th Milner TOP BAND from London BEER FESTIVAL WEEKENDER SPECIAL EVENTS Thurs 10th SHANNON EXPRESS SHOW-TIME tbc Fri 11th (BEER FESTIVAL WEEKENDER SPECIAL) DR BUSKERS SHOWTIME RETURNS! WITH AN HILARIOUS 1940s THEME! fancy dress welcomed Sat 12th Devils Mo-jo are back, fantastic female fronted talented band. Sat 12th DEVILS MO-JO are back, with something for everyone. Fri 18th Subject 2 change (that is the bands name) local band Sat 19th BURLESQUE are back female fronted fantastic Band. Sat 26th Engine Room are back, you will luv em! All information is provided in good faith, always check the web page for changes/updates.

Potton CIU Club, Charities Hall, Station Road, Potton Tel: 01767 261465 (Evenings) Website: Our new community



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The Man from Galway

Tom Foote, author and yachtsman

The rugged beauty of Galway’s wet and windswept coast is a distant thought, and in great contrast to the sun-baked region of Andalucía. Here, 78-year-old Irishman, Tom Foote’s 31-foot sailing cutter, Picnic, is presently moored at a marina 45 minutes’ drive west of Almería. Climbing aboard and ducking past the rigging on the modest deck, it’s immediately apparent that Picnic is well equipped. With its lifeboat-shaped hull, the vessel is able to confront some formidable seas. Indeed, Tom’s life is inextricably linked to the sea, and with a plethora of nautical adventures behind him, he is clearly more at home aboard than anywhere else. Tom hails me into the cockpit with his distinctive Irish lilt and is soon down below preparing a cup of Barry’s Tea. “The best tea in Ireland!” he assures me. He squints in the glare of the morning sun, his weathered brown skin in striking contrast to a head of silver hair. He launches into some marina gossip, interweaved with quips of the morning’s news crackling through the boat’s radio - a coup

underway in Egypt. As he fusses in the galley, I gaze across the marina. Fishing boats ready their colourful craft in the milky light, fisherman stab the silence with their machinegun Andaluz accent, terns dive into the water, and a gentle breeze rocks Picnic in the tranquillity. Tom emerges from the dark into the glare of the cockpit, pushes a cup of Barry’s in front of me, and the man from Galway settles down to tell his tale. Raised in beautiful Crosshaven, County Cork, it was only natural that in this home of the world’s oldest yacht club, Tom would be messing around in boats from an early age. At 18, he joined the British Merchant Navy, setting sail on steamships hauling coal or rice in the Far East. Passages from Calcutta (120 miles up the Hooghly river) to Colombo, or Rangoon to Pakistan - barely heard-of places at the time - introduced the youngster to a world apart from the close confines of community life back home in Cork. Climbing the ranks to radio operator afforded

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

Professional and friendly with a relaxed atmosphere


Open 2 late nights

Monday - Closed Tuesday 9am-7pm Wednesday 9am-5pm Thursday 11am-8pm Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 8.30am-3pm No appointments necessary

No appointments necessary Senior Citizen Concession Tue- Fri before 3pm from £6 Jon, Donna & Suzy would like to remind customers old and new we are open two late nights Tue/Thurs and due to high demand there will be two stylists cutting on Wednesdays. 25 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

01767 260256 See You There !! 28


PRICES Mens Hair Cut £9.50 Mens Re-Style £12.50 Mens Wash & Cut £11.50 Student Cut £8.50 Children Under 16 £7.50 Children Under 5 £6.00 Senior Cut £6.00 (Excluding Saturday and after 3pm daily) No concessions on Saturdays

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Tom outstanding privileges. With his own cabin and freedoms of Officer status, Tom fondly recalls his ‘boy’: an assistant on board the ship, Shahjehan, who “looked after me, polished the brass on the portholes, and practically waited on me hand and foot.” The term ‘boy’ is perhaps misleading, especially since the faithful 63-year-old Indian servant was 42 years Tom’s senior. Life at sea was dutybound for crew and officers, with strict rules for alcohol consumption and other frivolities, so it was with great surprise that the Muslim boy requested Tom, whom he called ‘sahib’ (master), to acquire a bottle of whiskey for him. Tom flatly declined, but later felt bad, so hastily hid a bottle of grog for his faithful companion in the laundry one morning. Some days later, the boy held a gathering in the confines of his cabin for his wedding. His beautiful wife and a few smartly attired guests attended the quaint ceremony. Tom was invited as the special guest and soon discovered the reason for the boy’s insistence to acquire the bottle: so that his beloved sahib could have a drink of his favourite whiskey at the wedding. Tom ‘came ashore’ in 1962, married in England, and then emigrated to Canada to work for air traffic communications at Dorval airport, Montreal. He left there and moved on to a remote base in Saglek, Labrador engaged in early warning defence systems for Marconi. With his wife pregnant, however, Tom decided to accept an opportunity to return to Britain with an offer of a position at RAF Fylingdales, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) radar base in the North York Moors. Here he would remain for 12 years, and during this time, he returned to sailing in small dinghies in nearby Scarborough. Sadly, the marriage broke up and Tom made the decision to return to Ireland to work for the computer company, DEC. The emotional upheaval was eased a little, however, as DEC was located in Galway on the western coast, a city he would come to love. “The place was rather backward at the time,” he reflects. “There was only one set of traffic lights in ’73 and not too much going on at all.” The early years of Tom’s return to a traditional Catholic community were tough at a time when divorcees were shunned in certain quarters.

“You stood out like a sore thumb,” he explains, looking contemplatively across the water, mug of tea in hand. “People behaved as if you were an outcast...” Now though, Galway has transformed into a cosmopolitan city, with a university, fine restaurants, boutiques, and an unpretentious sophistication to compliment its historic heritage and natural beauty. With a strong emphasis on arts and culture, the Galway Arts Festival is world-renowned. Tom was remarried in 1974 to Hilary, an air stewardess with Aer Lingus (a profession she maintained for 27 years), and having reignited his love of sailing in Scarborough, launched himself back into the sport by crewing aboard local yachts. Initially, he undertook coastal passages in and around Galway and the spectacular Arran Islands. Soon, however, the trips extended from Dublin around the coast back to Galway, down to the Scilly Isles, and then on to Biscay and beyond. He bought his own 21-foot sloop built by shipwrights in his birthplace, Crosshaven, and soon upgraded to a 30-foot vessel, Subadar, named after a ship he worked aboard in India. Writing is another part of Tom’s life; a passion reborn in Galway. During his years at sea, Tom maintained journals and dreamed of writing novels that would draw on inspiration from his travels. Indeed, so strong was the motivation that he purposefully took early retirement from DEC to write a novel. Within three years, the thriller, Undertow, was complete and in 1997 he was signed by a publisher in County Clare. The sailing adventures continued, and it was aboard his friend’s 43-foot cutter, Mary Lee (reputedly harbouring a ghost, so Tom informs me), that he ventured into the Mediterranean and eventually purchased Picnic upon whose cobalt decks we now sit drinking tea. Tom has endured some ripples in his life, not to mention storms at sea (notably with a 50-knot passage in Biscay when he broke his ribs), but now the waters have calmed, the memories are rich, and so are the tales told with a glint in the Irishman’s eyes. Tom Foote’s new novel for 2013, Walk With The Devil, is published by Dufour and available in all major outlets.

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Hair by Amanda

Bedfordshire Foot Clinic Podiatry/Chiropody Yvonne Siudak

BSc (Hons.) MChs, HPC Registered

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

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


LEARN DANCE Ballroom & Latin American Social Dance Classes for Adult Beginners Conservative Club, Bedford Rd, Sandy SG19 1EL Tuesdays 7.30 - 9.30 Commencing 17th September 2013

J i ve ro t a n d t x o F te p l Socia Q u ic k s d n a z t a Ch a Wa l and Ch a b m u R £7 per person per evening Improvers and Sequence classes available Private lessons by appointment Contact: Les Durham AIDTA 07748 917170


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5 Famous Trees

1. Boscobel, Shropshire Boscobel House in Shropshire was once home to The Royal Oak, the tree in which Charles II hid whilst fleeing from the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The original tree was destroyed in the 18th century, but one of its descendants, now 300 years old, stands in its place. 2. Fortingall, Perthshire A yew tree in the Perthshire village of Fortingall is almost certainly the oldest tree in Europe, with estimates of its age reaching a staggering 5,000 years old – it would already have been 1,000 years old when the Pyramids were built. 3. Hatfield, Hertfordshire On 17 November 1558, Elizabeth Tudor was sat beneath an oak tree in the gardens of what is now Hatfield House when she received news that her sister Mary had died, and that she was now Queen of England. The tree, now known as the Queen Elizabeth Oak, is found on the Hatfield

coat of arms. 4. Runnymede, Berkshire King John signed the Magna Carta beneath the Ankerwyke Yew in Runnymede, Berkshire, in 1215. It is also thought that the tree served as a meeting place for Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in the 1530s. 5. Southwell, Nottinghamshire The first Bramley apple was grown in Southwell in Nottinghamshire from a seed planted by MaryAnn Brailsford in 1809. The apple takes its name from Matthew Bramley, a local merchant who bought the garden containing the tree in 1846. Š Taken from The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer by Paul Anthony Jones.

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by Julia Faulks

Bad foot health isn’t just embarrassing, it can also be painful. From verrucas, to bunions, calluses, athlete’s foot and ingrown toenails, without the right treatment or preventative care you could end up in a lot of pain and discomfort. Treating foot problems Many foot problems can be helped with prescription or over-the-counter treatments, but some may require further help from a podiatrist (also known as a chiropodist). They can supply tailor-made insoles, padding or arch supports to help relieve heel or arch pain, or help to get rid of all that hard skin you’ve been building up for years. You will get priority NHS treatment by a podiatrist if you have diabetes, arthritis or blood circulation problems. But if you have a foot problem that is just a bit ugly but isn’t causing you pain, then you may not be eligible for treatment on the NHS. Smelly feet If you notice people moving away from you when you talk, it may be worth checking your foot odour (if not, then your breath, armpits, you get the idea) - no one wants to be known as the person with the smelly feet, or having the less offensive medical term, ‘bromodosis’. Luckily there are some simple solutions to stopping your feet from getting too stinky, which when you consider the fact that we have around 250,000 sweat glands in our feet, is a very common problem. As well as making sure you don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row (to help the sweat dry out), you should wash and dry your feet every day and avoid wearing socks more than once before they are washed. If you still can’t get rid of the smell then try the following: • Use surgical spirit after a shower or bath, using cotton wool between your toes to help dry out the skin. • Use a foot spray, deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. • Buy anti-smelling foot insoles or feet-fresh socks. • Wear light sandals and go barefoot at home whenever you can. Wearing the right shoes High heels, flip flops and unsupportive trainers


won’t do your feet any favours – especially if you wear them on a regular basis. As tempting as it is to wear flip flops for comfort, you should try to avoid wearing them every day. Along with the possibility that you will stub your toe or sprain your ankle tripping up as you run to catch the bus, they also won’t give you that allimportant heel and arch support to prevent foot pain or tendonitis. Final steps to take for healthy feet Many of the most common feet problems can be avoided or treated alongside conventional medication by following many of the tips above on foot hygiene, as well as the following: 1. Keep pedicure kits clean and don’t share them with others. 2. Avoid walking around barefoot at swimming pools or communal showers - these are a breeding ground for foot infections. 3. Trim your toe nails regularly to avoid in-grown toenails. 4. Regularly moisturise and smooth dry and rough skin. 5. Seek professional help if you can’t treat a foot problem on your own.

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Hair Q and A

By Helen Taylor Having a bad hair day? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Q. I spend a lot of money each month on my salon colour but it fades very quickly. I want it to stay looking vibrant for longer; what can I do? A. Is your colour permanent or semi-permanent? Many women visit the salon and don’t know which dye is being applied to their hair. If it’s permanent, the colour will stay in until cut out or re-coloured. If it’s a semi-permanent then expect it to wash out after approximately 18-20 washes. Remember, although permanent colours have staying power, they are harsher on your hair, so if it’s in bad condition, stick to a semi. What colour is your hair? Reds are notoriously difficult to maintain and you will have to be prepared to colour your hair more frequently. Reds fade fast; washing, blow-drying, styling, sunlight and chlorine will fade your colour quickly. Specialist shampoos designed for red colours can help. After having your hair coloured wait at least 48 hours before washing to protect your new shade - this extra time will allow the colour to settle. Always wash your locks with water at a cool temperature because hot water opens the


cuticles on the hair shaft, allowing dye to escape. Avoid clarifying shampoos - these are products which are designed to deep clean the hair. Not surprisingly they strip out colour causing it to fade fast. Buy shampoo and conditioner which is designed for coloured hair because they are formulated without the harsh chemicals that will strip out colour. If you have a holiday in the sun planned, pack hair products with SPF protection and UV filters to protect against the sun’s rays. If you’re in the pool keep your hair out of the water, or coat it in conditioner before you take a swim. Q. No matter what I do with my hair it always ends up looking flat. How can I inject some volume? A. Use a volumising product on your roots when your hair is damp. Tip your head upside down to blow-dry until the hair is nearly dry, then flip your head back and use a round brush with a metal barrel to add lift and volume throughout the top sections. Think carefully about your hair colour; one all-over colour can make your hair look flatter, so choose highlights in several shades to create more interest and give the illusion of a thicker, fuller and more voluminous mane. Q. My hair is really frizzy; what can I do? A. Fight frizz by using a deep conditioning treatment every time you wash your hair. Remember to apply it to the lengths and ends only to avoid greasy-looking roots. Before you dry your locks, apply a serum or oil, section off your locks and direct your hairdryer’s nozzle downwards as you dry, to create a smooth finish. If you’re still finding that your style is frizzy when you’ve finished add a little more oil or serum. Q. My hair looks damaged, dry and dull. I use straighteners on my long hair every day; are they to blame? A. Yes. Any heat styling - straightening, curling, blow-drying - can have a damaging effect, especially on long hair styles. Heat tools dry out the lengths and ends of hair leaving locks looking frazzled. Although we all depend on them to create the looks we want for our hair, it’s important to not over-use them. Always use a good quality heat protection spray before blowdrying, straightening or curling. Try to leave hair to dry naturally when you can and always deepcondition your mane.

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Butterfly Nails Luxury Manicures and Pedicures

Lynn Offers Luxury Manicures & Pedicures in the comfort of her own home Full Luxury Pedicures - include a deep soak, scrub, cuticle and hard skin treatment, nail shape and file, ridge filler, base coat, polish of your choice, quick dry treatment, massage and oil. Shellac Manicures - Include cuticle tidy, nail shape, solar oil, hand massage and colour of your choice Prices Full Luxury Pedicure £12.50 Basic Manicure £10.00 Shellac (Hands) £12.50 Shellac (Feet) £12.50 Full Luxury Pedicure plus Shellac (Feet) £14.00 Full Luxury Pedicure plus Shellac to both hands and feet £24.00 T: 07715

Call Lynn to make an appointment now:

335 187 E: Butterfly Nails.... A passion for perfection

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Hey Guys! Read this!

It could save your life Testicular cancer is relatively rare, yet it is the most common type of cancer to affect men aged between 15 and 44. Factors that can increase the risk include having a family history of the disease, and being born with undescended testicles. Rates of the disease are also five times higher in white men than in black men. Thankfully, the outlook for men diagnosed with testicular cancer is one of the best for all types of cancer. Over 95% of cases of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured. Even cases where the cancer has spread outside the testicles have an 80% chance of being cured. As with other cancers, early detection improves your prognosis and can reduce the amount of treatment necessary. The most common symptom to look out for is a painless lump or swelling in a testicle. Read how to examine yourself below, but be aware that fewer than 4 in 100 testicular lumps are cancerous. Other symptoms may include a dull ache or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. Sometimes, testicular cancer can spread to the lymph glands at the back of the abdomen, which can cause backache. Lumps can also form in the lymph glands around the neck and collarbone. Testicular cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the centre of the chest. This leads to swelling, a cough and difficulty in breathing or swallowing. The cancer cells may also spread to the lungs themselves causing breathlessness, but they do not usually affect other organs. Treatment of testicular cancer involves surgically removing the affected testicle. This should not affect fertility or the ability to have sex, and a false testicle can be put in place so that the scrotum will have a normal appearance. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy or additional surgery may also be required, depending on the type and spread of the disease. How to Examine Yourself You should check your testicles regularly – 36

once a month is a good interval. The best time to do this is after a warm bath or shower when your scrotal skin will be relaxed. Hold the scrotum in the palms of your hands and use your fingers and thumb to gently feel each testicle. Look out for any lumps or swellings, or an increase in size or weight. (You should feel a soft tube at the back of each testicle – this is normal). It is rare to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time, so you can compare one with the other to see what is normal. If you notice anything unusual, contact your GP as soon as possible.

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£5 for 2 classes New customers or those returning after 6 months only. Other restrictions may apply • Bring this Ad with you.

Sandy - Sandye Place Academy, Park Road Mon & Wed 7.30pm, Tue 8pm, Thur 7pm & 8pm Express (30 min) Mon 6.45pm & Tue 7.15pm No need to book • Classes also in Cambourne, St Neots & other areas. For further info go to or call 01480 216090

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Beat the utility bills

The gadgets that’ll save you cash With summer already a distant memory, energy companies are rubbing their hands with glee. Cooler weather means bigger energy bills. Time to review a few energy saving devices then. You don’t need to spend a fortune: some of the most effective changes are the simplest. For example, one of the best bill-busters is to replace existing bulbs with low-energy ones. Halogen bulbs are better than incandescent ones, but LED bulbs are better still: for example in a typical 6-light kitchen spotlight, you can replace six 50W halogen bulbs with six 3W LEDs - so the total energy use would drop from 300W to just 18W. Look for “warm white” LEDs if you want a natural light: some LEDs have a bluish light, an effect not everybody likes. Note if you want dimmable lights you’ll need dimmable bulbs and LED-friendly dimmer switches. While the bulbs do cost more than traditional ones the price is coming down, and they last much, much longer than even halogens, so they’ll pay for themselves quickly and save you money over a long period of time. If you have an outdoor security light, consider swapping that too: while halogen security lights can use 400W or more, LED ones can be surprisingly bright with bulbs rated at just 10W. Turning things off can slash your energy usage too, and computers are particular offenders. Investing in the Ecobutton, which costs around £15, can pay for itself very quickly: press it when you take a break and it’ll put your PC into the most energy efficient standby mode. For TVs, a TV standby saver can put all your home


entertainment kit to sleep when you put the TV into standby mode, and there’s an equivalent for PCs. Expect to pay £21 for a TV standby saver and around £16 for a PC one. The Energy Saving Trust also recommends the WAHL Eco Kettle, which uses 60% less energy than a normal kettle - but don’t spoil the savings by boiling more water than you actually need. Don’t forget about batteries either: swapping from normal batteries to rechargeable ones can save you hundreds of pounds in a relatively short space of time: according to Which? magazine, you could save as much as £500 over 100 charges. Cutting down your gas usage isn’t quite as simple, but it’s still possible. Fitting a flow regulator such as the £5 Showersave to your shower slashes the amount of hot water your showers use, and the £25 Radiator BOOster can reduce the time it takes to heat a room, cutting energy usage in the process. Shower flow reducers can reduce your bills if you’re on a water meter too, as can the Hippo water saver, which reduces the amount of water used to flush your toilet. For really big savings on gas, give some thought to a new boiler: by replacing a D-rated boiler with an A-rated one, you could save around £181 per year in a typical detached house. If that’s a step too far, don’t forget the obvious, affordable options: you’ll save a fortune by insulating your house if its current insulation isn’t up to scratch and by turning the thermostat down a notch. You’ll find that energy efficiency work is often subsidised by government grants, and you might even be able to have it done for free.

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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:

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

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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’ 40

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Christmas Parties at Abbotsley Themed Parties Girls Night, Sinatra Night & Comedy Night from £30 Christmas Boogie Nights 3 course dinner – dance the night away £32.95 Private parties catered for Cromwell Club available for discos and buffets

We are looking for more delivery people in this area to deliver our magazine.

Contact Josh Muir for further details or to make a booking 01480 474000 or

Please contact Nigel for more details

Welcome drink and canapés 5 course festive menu. Mince pies and coffee £49.95

Tel: 01767 261122

Abbotsley Golf Hotel, Potton Road, St Neots PE19 6XN, 01480 474000

Christmas Day at Abbotsley


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: Our new community


Save money

by doing winter things now Winter might seem like some time away but you can save money by preparing for it now; plumbers are cheaper while the weather is warmer and there are still offers on insulation and boilers so start work now before winter arrives and the prices go up. Switch your bills now - It’s a great time to switch to a cheaper provider as the major providers typically start to increase their prices any day now, just in time for winter. Find a copy of your last gas and electricity bills, go to the energyswitching page on and find a cheaper deal for yourself. It’s often worth considering one of the smaller suppliers however if you want to stick to a major supplier you may be eligible for discounted bills through the government’s ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme which offers heating and insulation improvements for low-income and means tested households. Visit energy-company-obligation or call the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 for details. Boilers - If your boiler is coming to the end of its life, now is a good time to have it replaced. Most boilers over 15 years old can be repaired to keep them working, but they will be less efficient than modern ones. Even factoring in the cost of a new boiler you could save money by replacing it now. Also, you could receive up to £270 cashback for updating your boiler through the new government energy improvement scheme, The Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which gives you money back if you make energy efficiency improvements in your home. The Green Deal is available to households in England and Wales and operates on a first-come, first-served basis, even if you are renting privately or in social housing. Firstly, have a Green Deal assessment carried out on your property which will provide you with a report of what could be improved. Then agree to a quote or Green Deal plan with a Green Deal Provider. You can find them online at consumersearch. Apply for the Green Deal Cashback Voucher at www.gdcashback.decc. Make sure you have the work completed before the voucher expires and you’ll receive your cashback within 30 days. Insulation Now is a great time to get up-to-date


insulation as it’s a quiet period for installers. Insulation materials are also much cheaper to buy in the summer and early autumn. Efficient insulation can cut the cost of heating and cooling by 40%, while loft insulations save an average 20% on your energy bills annually. Don’t forget you can also find loft insulation vouchers on websites like Groupon as well as applying for the Green Deal. Draught-proofing - Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy in your home. The Energy Saving Trust claims you can save £55 a year. You could save more money by taking the DIY route but remember some older properties with single glazing will be more difficult to draughtproof and if you are not comfortable with your DIY skills, hiring a professional could save you money in the long run. Check your home insurance policy before carrying out work yourself to ensure that you’re covered for DIY. Plumbers - Summer and early autumn is a slower time of year for plumbers so you could find the rates more favourable, and you’ll also be able to get the work completed quickly. Have any pipe repairs or radiator work done now to eliminate cold spots and fix wasteful dripping taps. It’s also worth having the plumbers in just to check everything is ship shape for winter. has up to date information on hundreds of ways to earn a bit on the side and boost your income – and more are being added every week. There is also a wealth of information on best-buy financial products, plus heaps of articles to help you be a clever consumer and make the most of your money. Did you know? Boilers account for around 55% of what you spend in a year on energy bills. You can save as much as £310 a year by replacing it.

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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

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. ®

Relationship at breaking point? Caring, confidential legal advice about: • Divorce & separation • Cohabitation

• Financial settlements • Child contact & residence

Visit or email Local meetings arranged at a time and place to suit you.


half hour telephone appointment

Call locally based family and divorce specialist Tamara Glanvill on 0845 680 2136 (local rate) Woolley & Co is a member of the Law Society and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Head office: Warwick Enterprise Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick. CV35 9EF

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43 15/07/2013 14:57

Ten ways to create a new room

BY KATHERINE SORRELL Just had a baby? Started working from home? Run out of storage? Then you need to stretch your home. 1 Build an extension Pros - Adding a rear extension to a kitchen can be a great way to create a multi-functional family room. Filling in the side return in a typical Victorian terrace is popular. It may be possible to add a second storey for a new bedroom or bathroom on the first floor, too. Cons Reduces garden size. Unsympathetic extensions feel like an add-on. 2 Convert the loft Pros - Create a bedroom (perhaps with a bathroom), a home office or playroom, without taking space from the garden. Cons - Not every loft has the headroom or enough useable space. More difficult and expensive if your roof isn’t traditionally built. 3 Convert the cellar Pros - Turn a cellar into family living space, a useful utility area, a home office or even a selfcontained annexe, without altering the outside of your home. Cons - Often more expensive, per square metre, than other ways of creating extra space. Can be


difficult to get enough headroom and light into the new room. 4 Add a conservatory Pros - Adds extra living space and brings the garden into your home. Relatively inexpensive. Cons -mA poorly built conservatory can be too hot in summer, freezing cold in winter and full of condensation. Takes space from your garden. 5 Build a room in the garden Pros - The building work will hardly bother you. Cons - Not suitable for small gardens. Could look like a shed, security is an issue, and if not properly insulated it will be too cold to use in winter. 6 Divide a room into two Pros - Carving up a large space to add another room is useful and can add value, even though you’re not actually creating any extra space. Cons - You’ll need to create a separate doorway for the room, and include an opening window. 7 Put in an ensuite Pros - Loved by buyers. Can be fitted into quite a small space. Cons - Installing an ensuite at the expense of a bedroom could knock your property’s value. 8 Build on top of your garage Pros - A first floor extension on top loses no garden space and is often relatively easy. Cons - Foundations may not be strong enough, so the garage will have to be underpinned. 9 Convert your understairs space Pros - Turns a poorly used area into a valuable extra room – perfect for a ground-floor loo, an extra shower room or a study area. Cons - You’ll have to find extra space to store that under-stairs stuff. If putting in a loo or bathroom, ventilation and connecting to drainage may be a problem. 10 Convert your garage Pros - It’s a relatively straightforward job to turn it into a valuable indoor space. Cons - Foundations may need strengthening. Avoid if you live in an area where parking is at a premium. Remember, before starting any work, you must speak to the relevant authorities to find out if you need building regulations approval, planning permission or party wall consent from your neighbours. has more information.

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

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

The Gadget Guy Phone: 01767 641680 Mobile: 07776 497004 Email: Web: Our new community


Women In Business

Incredibly supportive group Local Sandy resident Louise Yexley is launching a group aimed at Women In Business covering businesses in the Sandy, Biggleswade, Potton and surrounding areas. She already runs groups in Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth. “I have been involved with WIBN since 2007. The network is incredibly supportive and business gets passed, both within and outside of the group. We meet monthly and at lunchtime which means that it’s easier for some business women to commit to.” I have met some varied and incredibly interesting businesses over the past few years and as I live in Sandy but don’t really know anything about the businesses in the area I wanted to start a group locally. Like many other local residents, my children go to school here and attend sports groups in Biggleswade but I’ve never really supported anything else local. The launch meeting is on Tuesday 10th September at The Holiday Inn 12-2pm and is open to all


business women whether full time, part time, employed, a business owner. Thereafter we will meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month and will be restricted to 1 person per professional category. “There has been lots of interest shown by businesses already and we are expecting a good turnout on 10th September for the launch. Book your place and come along and see what it’s all about”. If you would like to book a place at the launch meeting, please contact louise.yexley@ or call 07989 020647 for further information

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

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

01462 713 713

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Harrison’s Flowers

For the perfect bouquet

There are many occasions where finding the perfect bouquet is essential – from that special moment that says ‘I love you’ through ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘We miss you’ to the exact floral celebration you need in hand on your wedding day. But, what each has in common is the heart. Flowers speak from your heart, say in a lasting and personal way the words that you hope will always be remembered. How important it is then to ensure that your bouquet is the right one to speak for you , but how is that possible? The key is in finding the right florist. Harrison’s Flowers have opened in Biggleswade High Street much to the delight of anyone with an experienced eye. I chatted to manager Lois and proprietor Kenny Harrison for an insight in their visions for this new enterprise in the heart of Biggleswade: ‘My brother, Dan, and I are local accountants by trade and when we heard from a client that they wanted to sell their business we could see a great opportunity that we had the chance to enlarge upon. We opened the shop, Harrison’s Flowers, on July 1st after giving the premises something of


a make-over – we have made it bright, clean and vibrant – we hope it is a place that the town can feel really proud of!’ Enthuses Kenny. Lois continues, ‘I have been working with flowers for many years and absolutely love my job. I have exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show and while a love for traditional floristry is the basis of my work, my interests extends as far as very contemporary designs with form linear shapes that include a real variety of beautiful blooms including tropical flowers and foliage. ‘When I was given the chance to manage Harrison’s Flowers I was thrilled to be taking on such a well-established business that really has been given a new lease of life, with an up-tothe-minute look that combines all the traditional blossoms and blooms you would expect in any florist with a unique twist that will definitely give our customers a pleasant surprise.’ ‘We are very excited about the business’ explains Kenny, ‘And as local people we are glad to be providing a really good florist service which we are positive that local people will appreciate and that they can really rely on. We feel that we are

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giving something back to the town, bringing a fresh and beautiful business to the High Street.’ Explains Kenny. ‘ Our aim is to listen to our customers and be completely sympathetic to their needs.’ Adds Lois, ‘We can make a wedding day a fabulous and fragrant celebration, the birth of a new baby a life-changing moment in flowers while at the same time offer deeply felt sympathy and support to someone who is recently bereaved or may have need for flowers for another sombre occasion. We offer a uniquely personalised and friendly service with tailor made designs to suit every individual and their budget and circumstances. We are more than happy to advise and donate our creative inspiration to make sure our customers’ receive the floral helping hand that they need. ‘I work hard on our window displays and like to think they are a reflection of the special service we can offer at Harrison’s Flowers. We also plan to exhibit at wedding fairs to showcase our abilities to local couples who are planning to marry in the near future. ‘ Kenny concludes ‘We have lots of exciting plans for the shop and look forward to seeing many local people and helping them with their floral needs – whatever the occasion. I know we have a brilliant, fresh-thinking team in the shop and that the service we provide is of the highest quality

alongside exceptional value for money.’ If you are seeking a floristry service to care for your most special day, occasion or event; an honest and sincere, reliable florist to provide a dignified yet memorable bouquet to say goodbye to a loved one or simply a card, a candle or corsage then call in to Harrison’s Flowers, High Street, Biggleswade and be sure of finding a personal service to suit you.

Harrisons Flowers

28 High Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 0JL Tel: 01767 600 365 Website: Our new community


Pottons Specialist Welding and Fabricating Company

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

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

ma m e G • • • •


stairs benches individual beds furniture

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Suppliers of manual and automated gates Security doors and grills Fire escapes All welding projects

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By PIPPA GREENWOOD Ask a dictionary the definition of a weed and you’ll read that it’s ‘a plant growing in the wrong place’. Ask a gardener, and they’ll tell you that weeds are often the number one menace in their garden. So if you want to wage war on those pesky weeds, and stand a chance of winning, take a look at my multi-pronged attack strategy. Off with their Heads Whatever the weed problem, it’s essential to prevent them from setting seed. Make sure you cut off its head before it has a chance to even start to set seed. The old saying that ‘one year’s seed is seven years’ weed’ isn’t far from the truth. Stop Stowaways When you’re next shopping for plants in your local garden centre or nursery make sure that you only bring home what you want, not those pesky weed stowaways that often lurk on the compost surface. I always do a bit of weeding before buying: especially for weeds such as the innocent looking hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). Spaghetti roots Some weeds like couch grass, bindweed and nettles have amazingly resilient and far-reaching underground stems or roots. Whatever you do, don’t succumb to the temptation to use a powered cultivator or rotovator as this will chop the roots in to little bits and end up spreading and increasing the problem in the process. Lawn Louts Lawn weeds such as dandelions and daisies are difficult to control as unlike the taller weeds, these rosette-forming plants won’t be harmed as you mow the lawn. One of the best, albeit slow, methods is to tackle them with a sturdy old kitchen knife or a daisy-grubber tool. Deep Rooted Problems Some weeds such as docks and dandelions have tough and chunky roots that are very difficult to kill. And to make matters worse, if you leave any sizeable bit of the root in the soil, it’s likely to form a new plant. Do everything you can to take out the entire root as you’ll be saving a lot of time in the long run. Laying Carpet For large areas, try the carpet option; literally covering the surface with a layer or two of carpet, held in place with bricks. If the carpet is placed fluffy side down and left in place for at least 18

months, the weeds will start to die off from lack of light. Make sure that the carpet is made from natural fibres, not synthetic or else you’ll be left with it in the soil, and for allotments, check that there are no restrictions on using carpet. Time it Right Some weeds such as the purple flowered oxalis spread by forming tiny ‘bulbils’ or miniature bulbs below ground. If you try to dig these weeds out now, the bulbils will be shed into the surrounding soil as you lift the plant out, making matters worse. Wait until next spring when the bulbils will be firmly attached and weed them out then. Hoe, hoe, hoe An old fashioned and still just as useful method of weed control is the hoe. They’re a great way to weed your garden, especially if it’s largely annual weeds such as chickweed or groundsel that invade your plot. Keep the hoe sharp and use it regularly. Careful what you Compost Only compost the green, leafy bits of weeds; avoid any chunky roots, and never put any flowering or seeding weeds in the compost heap. Some weed seeds will easily survive most domestic composting systems. Visit Pippa’s website for a great range of gardening products including Pippa’s favourite weeder, Nemaslug, Nemasys caterpillar, slug, ant and other biological controls, Enviromesh & Envirofleece and lots more besides.

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON

Honeybee Heaven?

I have always had a sweet tooth. It was particularly bad when ‘Wispa’ bars were available. I thought I would try something a little more natural and started to enjoy honey. Later, I had one of my, as it turned out, particularly stupid ideas. I knew that bees made honey from nectar which they obtained from flowers. The flowers produced a sugary liquid in order to attract insects to pollinate their flowers and fertilise their immature ovules inside. When the seeds form and start to grow, the fruit develops to eventually help with their dispersal. I reasoned that I would be doing everyone a good turn if I started to keep bees! I would be helping the environment by contributing to the fruitfulness of the planet and get a load of lovely free honey as well and all I had to do was to steal it from the bees as they had done all the work! Little did I know what was in store for me!! I had a friend who had some hives and I asked him if I could give him a hand and if he would “show me the ropes”. We got all dressed up in protective gear and proceeded to open the hives and check for queen cells. I was petrified. The smoker was supposed to keep the bees quiet (as a response they gorge on honey and supposedly become quiet) but the ones near me seemed to be determined to gain access to my skin by any means possible. The meshed veil covering my face ended up being peppered by bees hurling themselves in my direction and my thick gloves were only partially effective in preventing stings. I was in a state of total fear and could not understand how my friend managed to make it look so easy as he manipulated frame after frame covered with thousands of these little devils. Despite this initial trauma I was determined to continue with my plan of becoming acquainted with this art and decided to set up an indoor colony like the ones sometimes on display in agricultural shows. With the help of my beekeeper friend, we did manage to set one up and it was absolutely fascinating, to see at very close range, through a double layer of transparent glass, the queen with her slightly elongated body moving up and down the wax sheets laying eggs surrounded by attentive workers. The thicker bodied drones were not very common but the most fascinating part was the workers returning with their back legs covered with different coloured pollen according to the kind of flowers they had been visiting. Eventually I did set up my own hives and finally did get some honey and it was absolutely delicious but I never did feel comfortable when working with the hives and eventually we parted company due to a particularly memorable event which was to follow. It was with the glass-sided observation hive. The

workers do not live for very long especially in the summer and when they die they are usually removed from the hive by other workers. The entrance tube to the observation hive was a little too long and sometimes needed to be cleared by blowing the dead bees out. I would block up the colony, pull out the plastic tube and then clear the entrance. Unfortunately on this occasion while working on the clearing, I managed to knock the cotton wool block which was holding back the other bees. I had disturbed and annoyed the bees and out they came looking for trouble i.e. me! I did eventually manage to get the tube re-connected but in the process I was stung a number of times on my arm. I thought nothing of it at the time and was only too relieved to have most of the bees still behind the sheets of glass, but later during the afternoon I started to feel decidedly strange and my arm was starting to swell and turn a charming shade of beetroot in colour. That night I felt extremely unwell and visited the doctor first thing in the morning as I could hardly walk. It felt like a cross between being drunk and having sunstroke with a throbbing arm the size of Popeye’s. I took a double dose of Piriton and slowly the haze started to lift. It took more than 24 hours before I felt almost normal again. It had been a great shock and I did not keep bees again, but I still love honey (from a jar!) Afterwards I realized that I had been hoodwinked into this situation by the allure of the sweet reward and had dismissed the potential problems as insignificant and I had gone ahead nevertheless. I had made no contingency plans and had not thought through any repercussions. I certainly hadn’t considered any form of personal risk assessment! The whole episode reminds me that sometimes we should also bear in mind the negative aspects of some particular technological innovation. I am sure that we all fall into this trap when we are offered things which are sold to us as a wonderful improvements to make our lives easier. Time and time again we find that eventually the bubble bursts and we are left with a bit of a mess to clear up. As an example, the cost of nuclear waste disposal comes to mind. We are always keen to see the positive aspects of any innovation but developing a more balanced view relative to disadvantages as well as the more obvious advantages and planning ways of dealing with them before they become difficult to deal with seems to be an obvious way forward? However it is always easy to criticize retrospectively. Sometimes the lure of sweet rewards can easily overcome the pragmatic approach. It certainly did with me!

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Super Sunset Photos

By Louise Addison

Autumn is the best time of year for beautiful sunsets. Capturing them on camera can be tricky though. Here’s how to take better sunset pics. Choose the time and place – Make a note of places where you’ve seen wonderful sunsets, then make a point of travelling there before the sunset to give you time to set your camera up. There are some great websites which tell you what time the sun will set on a particular day. Try www.sunsettimes. Think foreground – The best sunset photos tend to have something of interest in the foreground, generally silhouetted, to provide a focal point. Look for a great tree, or a wind farm, even pylons can look picturesque in front of a sunset. Patience and a tripod are very handy – Sunset actually goes on for quite a long time. As the sun dips beneath the horizon it can produce some spectacular shots, but afterwards, the colours of the sky can become even more rich and beautiful, so hang around. The best shots are often longer

exposures, so they will look shaky unless you secure your camera to a tripod. Ignore ‘the rule of thirds’ – It’s a good rule, but with sunsets you generally want to place your horizon really low down in the shot so the picture is filled with colour. Use reflections if available – If you are near water take full advantage of doubling the impact of your sunset. Experiment by placing the horizon at exactly half way, or fill the shot with reflections only

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The beginning of the railway boom

Sept 27th 1825 AND Sept 15th 1830 September 27th 1825: Opening of Stockton & Darlington Railway September 15th 1830: Opening of Liverpool & Manchester Railway If there were such an event as World Railways Month, it would have to be September, when two of the most significant anniversaries in the history of tracked transport fall. The Stockton & Darlington Railway was the world’s first thoroughgoing commercial passenger and freight railway specifically designed for steam locomotives. It was officially declared open on September 27th 1825 and when the inaugural train – drawn by George Stephenson’s Locomotive No 1 and carrying 600 passengers in coal wagons with a luxury coach for VIPs – completed the 26mile journey to the Tees wharfs at Stockton it was greeted by a crowd of 40,000 and a 21-gun salute. It wasn’t the world’s first steam railway, though. The first attempts at adapting steam engines – by then a mature technology – went back to the late 1780s when Boulton & Watt’s chief designer, Andrew Murdock, was experimenting with highpressure steam and building prototype miniature locomotives in his back garden. His next-door neighbour, something of a child prodigy called Richard Trevithick, took note of what he was doing and when he grew up exhibited his own loco, Puffing Devil. That was in 1801, and by then other designers


were already building steam-powered carriages designed for road use. The engines were too heavy for the roads though, so in 1804 Trevithick tried running an adapted engine (normally used to power a drop-hammer) on the tramway at Penydarren ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil. Again, the rails, which normally carried horse-drawn wagons, were too fragile. In 1808 Trevithick exhibited a purpose-built loco, Catch Me Who Can, on a circular track at a “steam circus” held in Euston, London. Everything worked but although many people enjoyed the ride, no-one was buying. Trevithick gave up. Mine owners didn’t, though. In 1812 a short line using steam locos opened between Middleton colliery and the wharves at Leeds. George Stephenson himself built two such lines, at Killingworth and Hetton before starting work on the Stockton & Darlington. Great engineer he might have been, but he wasn’t much of an organiser. The S&DR owned the line (which was only single track) but not the locos; instead, colliers and carriers paid to run their own trains, some steam, some horse-drawn. The confusion was indescribable. A second track was built and the need for timetables was soon discovered. The Liverpool & Manchester, on which Stephenson and his son Robert also worked, was a very different operation. The 35-mile line was intended to undercut the canal-owners who charged extortionate rates to bargees shuttling raw cotton and finished textiles between Liverpool docks and the Lancashire cotton-mills. It was two-track, steam-only, and properly timetabled. The L&M itself owned and operated the locos (including Stephenson’s Rocket), and even invented a crude form of signalling. The line itself was a miracle of engineering: it had 46 bridges and viaducts, one of nine arches, the Wapping tunnel was 1½ miles long, one two-mile cutting was 70ft deep and to lay the line securely across the 4½-mile swamp, Chat Moss, the engineers had to sink hundreds of hurdles of heather and stone. The grand opening was marred by the death of the Liverpool MP William Huskisson, who was hit by the Rocket himself, losing his legs and his life soon after. Nevertheless, the L&M was a wild commercial success – and the railway boom was on, not just in Britain, but around the world.

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Lawn to be Wild

BY DEREK THOMPSON Cutting the grass seems such a waste of time to me. Just like fingernails, toenails and hair (if you’re lucky), it’ll only grow back again. True, it’s a valuable addition to the compost, but that’s about it. Whereas, one of the things I love most about the garden as a whole is its adaptability. Yes, it’s an ecosystem and a natural habitat, but it’s also something more: a blank canvas just waiting for my often ill-thought-out ideas. Bored with grass? (And, by grass, I mean patches of grass among the swathes of dandelions.) There’s a remedy for that - simply put down bark chips. Worried that the bees and butterflies need more encouragement to stay and thrive? Easy peasy - grow more flowers and grow a variety to suit different insects. And while you’re about it, make sure you provide a shallow source of water so they can drink. We wanted to take the whole rural thing a stage further (no, not a tractor - it wouldn’t fit through the gate), and decided to create a meadow. Or rather, with our garden: a mini meadow. First, I dug out a rough circle - and believe me, it was rough. Next, with the turf removed, we put down a layer of 50 / 50 soil and sharp sand. We brought in native wildflower seeds and some from Flanders’ poppies, which came impregnated on paper rolls. Some judicious scissor work to patchwork the sections, soak with water and then another layer of soil and sand. Naturally, the cat supervised the proceedings, technically outranking Anne as chief observer. Porsha’s presence was also a timely reminder to put netting over the circle from the beginning. After that, it’s a case of occasional watering, watching and waiting. The seeds stir into life very quickly. Try as you might though, it’s nigh on impossible to stop the daisies from encroaching over the edges. Maybe they’re just arriving early to the party. The edges of the garden are largely wild (and some of the neighbours are probably

furious), a rather fetching tangle of lords and ladies, buttercups and grasses, with seasonal appearances from bluebells, columbines, foxgloves and pulmonaria. We also have something we know as Mrs West, but have never been able to identify properly - so much for the power of the internet. The joy of having wild garden areas is the same sense of excitement as buying lucky bags as a child. Only, in this case, instead of a disappointing car with a broken wheel, the surprise might be scarlet pimpernel, wild strawberries (Anne’s not keen - she says they take over), or dog violets. And even today we argue over speedwell vs. forget-me-nots in an identity parade. We haven’t gone entirely au naturel. Having previously installed a few raised beds, Anne opted for violas (Avril Lawson), geums (Mrs Bradshaw) and bellis. None of which explains the catmint we planted near the front gate, principally to see whether Porsha would appreciate it. Strangely, while she loved it when it was a mere kittenmint in the conservatory, she treats it with indifference now it’s out in the open. Not to worry though; if last year was anything to go by, she’ll love the next butternut squash plant.

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A little care

can make a huge difference….. Clive, the kitten, may only be 4 months old, but he’s experienced more traumas in his short life than most. Thankfully, despite a terrible start, his life has been transformed. But this isn’t always the case. Clive was born to a feral cat – one of a number of cats living wild at an address in Kempston. In June, the RSPCA became involved, as the colony of cats was becoming a problem. These cats probably originated from an unneutered pet cat that was abandoned. Two unneutered cats can quickly become a whole colony. In fact, in seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens! Family members interbreed which can lead to deformities and sickly young. And as these cats are often underfed, are not vaccinated, wormed or treated for fleas, they’re often living unhealthy, miserable lives. Clive was about 6 weeks old when he came into our care with his five other siblings. It was difficult to give an exact age, as each kitten was very small and frail. Little Clive was one of the smallest in the litter. He had cat flu and conjunctivitis. All the kittens struggled with tummy problems and had to be fed a diet of plain chicken. This meant that caring for Clive was not only time consuming for his volunteer foster family, but more expensive, for the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch, than a healthy kitten which could be fed on dry kitten food. Over the coming weeks we thought we would lose Clive a number of times as his tiny, frail body fought for survival.

But, Clive is, thankfully, a survivor and is now a delightful, cheeky little kitten. He might be short in stature, and probably always will be, but he makes up for this by his huge personality and loving nature. After a month with his foster family, Clive was well enough to be re-homed. He was taken to Deepdale Vets, in Potton, who are generous enough to house some of our animals for us. Within days, Jo visited to find a kitten, met Clive and fell in love. Clive now rules the roost in his new home in Clapham. The RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch is currently inundated with unwanted kittens looking for homes. Please consider neutering your pets so that you are not adding to this problem. If you think you can give a kitten a loving forever home, please contact us. We’re also looking for volunteer foster carers who can give cats, and kittens like Clive, a future. ANIMAL QUERIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North branch

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Back to School

By Susan Brookes-Morris Schools are generally very keen to foster a good relationship with parents and their wider community. Often people are well-intentioned and would like to help out, but don’t know how. Here are some ideas which might appeal. You could become a member of the Parent Teachers Association. Traditionally these were developed to foster better relationships between parents and schools, but they are now generally associated with fundraising. You could be involved with activities as varied as running a stall at the summer fete, overseeing discos for the pupils, or organising quiz evenings for parents. Associations are always looking for innovative fundraising ideas, and bringing in new members can bring additional contacts and different perspectives. Why not become a parent governor? Governors get involved with the strategic decision making of schools. They attend full governor body meetings and usually sit on committees dealing with various aspects of the school, such as staffing finance and curriculum. Parent governors are voted for by the parents of pupils at the school. Core responsibilities include: ensuring accountability; acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Head Teacher; monitoring and evaluating the school’s progress; budgetary allocation and control; planning for the long term future of the school; setting the school’s aims and values, and appointing senior members of staff, including the Head Teacher.


Maybe you would like to be a classroom helper. Classroom helpers volunteer to assist teachers on a regular basis, usually in primary schools. They may be in school for half an hour a week, or perhaps up to half a day. They help with tasks such as listening to pupils read. Reading practice is very labour-intensive, and helpers can make a big difference to teachers and children. It is generally recommended that you assist in a class which isn’t the one your child is in. Perhaps you could help outside the classroom by going on a school outing. This could be a regular weekly trip to the local swimming pool, occasional days out to places of interest, or helping with the football team. You may also be able to help your child’s school by sharing your experiences. Many senior schools have events where parents and local business people come into school to talk about their careers, or to discuss anecdotes about taking part in a notable event or visiting an unusual place. For all but the most fleeting of visits, you will need to undergo a police background check before you can be part of school activities. It is a standard procedure carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in England and Wales, and by Disclosure Scotland in Scotland. Many school volunteers not only benefit from a sense of pride and fulfilment at having assisted, but also find that they improve their skills and enhance their CVs.

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New Range Rover Sport

by James Baggott

James Bond star Daniel Craig drove it through New York for the launch, now James Baggott has his chance behind the wheel of the new Range Rover Sport… in the equally glamorous Cotswolds. What is it? For years the Range Rover Sport has reigned supreme in the SUV market and now Land Rover is back at it again, with an all-new variety. Lighter, faster and more capable than ever before, the new model is no longer based on the Discovery, but now takes its underpinnings from the full-fat Rangie. Design DNA comes from the incredibly popular Evoque and mixed with the luxurious surroundings from the daddy of the line-up, it’s a potent combination and will be an absolute winner. What’s under the bonnet? A choice of diesel and petrol units, plus there’s a diesel hybrid on the way later this year. The petrol stationcrushing supercharged 5.0-litre V8 510bhp lump hits 60mph in five seconds dead and on to a top speed of 155mph. Ok, it emits 298g/km and returns 22.1mpg, but it’s so worth it. The SDV8 arrives later this year and in the meantime you can pick from the 3.0-litre V6 diesel in 258bhp and 292bhp guises – the more powerful of the two hits 60mph in 7.1 seconds. What’s the spec like? Palatial. It’s awash with fresh technology, from wade depth sensors to traffic sign recognition. A real innovation is the two extra seats in the boot; these are for occasional use only, but the electrically powered perches will

come in handy with families. The front seats are adjustable 14 ways, heated and cooled and so too are those in the middle row. There’s a powered tailgate, cooled centre console that you can fit a bottle of champagne in and soft-close doors. The Meridian 1700W stereo is brilliant and buyers can choose from nine different wheel designs in sizes from 19 to 22-inch. Any rivals? Land Rover chalk up the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne as the biggest contenders, but it’s the latter that really gives it any serious challenge. The German firm’s badge might hold a little more brand cache, but we’d pick the Sport over it every time. As a combination of jaw-dropping looks mixed with ability and agility, it’s hard to beat. What’s it like to drive? With 420kg shaved from the weight, heavily revised steering and all-new lightweight suspension, the car feels incredibly different to drive on the road to its predecessor. In 5.0-litre form it’s ludicrously quick on all road surfaces and can claim the title of the fastest ever Land Rover to be made. Flick it into Dynamic mode and it becomes a different car – the steering quickens, it corners harder and the throttle response sharpens. It’s worlds apart from the standard mode which is far more sedate. As allrounders go, this Sport is without doubt one of the best. Verdict Make no mistake - this is the new benchmark in the SUV market. I’ve been racking my brain for faults and if I’m picky the plastic feel of the paddle shifters is a little cheap and the infotainment system looks a little old in terms of graphics and speed. But that’s about it. This is a car that would please sports car drivers as much as traditional SUV drivers and the best bit? It’s considerably cheaper than the equally-brilliant Range Rover – so it’s a bargain too… The Knowledge Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 Supercharged Autobiography Dynamic Price: £81,550 Engine: 5.0-litre, V8 supercharged Power: 510bhp, 625Nm Max speed: 155mph 0-60mph: 5.0s MPG: 22.1 Emissions: 298g/km

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Mediterranean fish bake This is a great one-pan dish full of fresh flavour. Monkfish is quite pricey but the meaty flesh is delicious and bakes really well, however you can replace it with cod loin, salmon steaks or thick pieces of haddock fillet if you prefer. Serve with a green salad and warmed ciabatta bread to mop up all the lovely herb and lemon flavoured pan juices. INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp olive oil (choose a good quality fruity one) 350g small new potatoes, halved 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 225g small plum tomatoes, halved 4 monkfish fillets (each weighing about 150g) 50g butter, softened Pared rind and juice from 1 small lemon, plus extra wedges to serve 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano Salt and freshly ground black pepper Serves: 4 Ready in: 50 minutes





Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Place the oil in a large non-stick roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes to the tin and toss to coat in the hot oil. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once. Add the peppers and tomatoes to the roasting tin and toss to coat in the hot oil. Make a space in the tin and add the monkfish fillets. Return the roasting tin to the oven for 10 minutes. Dot the butter over the fish fillets and sprinkle over the lemon rind, juice and oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for a further 5-10 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and the potatoes and peppers are tender. Slice each monkfish fillet and arrange with the potatoes, peppers and tomatoes on four warmed serving plates. Spoon over the pan juices and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tip Replace the peppers with sliced courgettes, chunks of celery and baby button mushrooms, if liked.

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what’S ON?


1 September Broom Quarry Sponsored Stroll (up to 5 miles) 12.30pm Water Lane Farm, Upper Caldecote Adults £5, Under 16s free BBQ lunch before setting off on a sponsored stroll around Broom Quarry Lakes. In aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Tel: 0300 300 8544 Email: 1 September Treasure Hunt 2pm Moggerhanger Village Hall £2 per person. Approximately 12 miles by car. Refreshments included. Bar open for your return. Tel: Chris 01767 640242 1 September Cream Tea 3-5.30pm £5 Haslingfield Dovecote, CB23 1JW Fresh scones, jam and cream will be served in the woodland garden and orchard at the 17th Century circular Dovecote in Haslingfield. In aid of Parkinson’s UK. Tel: 01223 871788 2 September St Neots Astronomy Association 7.30pm Visitors Centre, Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, Little Paxton Historical Nova by Gary Poyner. Fun informative meeting with visual displays. Everyone welcome. Tel: David Roberts 01480 212960 Email: 4, 14, & 18 September Hamlets, Hahas & Bowling Greens 11.30am-12.30pm Wimpole Estate A 1.2 mile walk learning about Wimpole’s history. All walks are free; just turn up on the day and meet outside the stable block. Please wear walking shoes or boots. Web: 4 September Folk Evening 7pm Moggerhanger Village Hall First Wednesday every month. Open floor folk session evening. Also open the box. Tel: Carolyn on 01767 640727 4, 9 & 11 September Biggleswade Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) Pantomime Auditions 8-10pm Trinity Methodist Hall, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade This year’s panto is Frankenstein by David Swan. Come along and join the fun as a performer or backstage. First formal read through is on 4th, singing and dancing auditions are on 9th and principal roles are on 11th Sept. Email: BATS Secretary 6 & 20 September Whist Drive 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Fortnightly Friday Whist Drive. Refreshments included. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 for more information

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 7 September Hardy Plant Society Talk 2pm The Wetherley Centre, Biggleswade Cambs and Beds Hardy Plant Society present a talk by Howard Drury on ‘Cornwall – the unknown gardens’. Howard is a horticultural Broadcaster, Speaker, Lecturer, Writer, and Consultant. He has 12 years of experience presenting T.V. programmes. Tel: Winifred 01234 721720 Web: 8 September Waresley Garage & Table-Top Sale 11am-4pm Collect your map of participating households from the Village Hall. Tel: Chris 01767 651239 or Gerry 07786 361079 8 September Woodland & Folly Guided Walk 1.30pm-3pm Wimpole Estate All walks are free; just turn up on the day and meet outside the stable block. Please wear walking shoes or boots. 9 & 23 September Biggleswade Cancer Support Group 1-3pm Meeting Rooms, Baptist Church, London Road Biggleswade A new support group for anyone with cancer, friends and family. The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month (except Bank Holidays). Tel: Gina 07812 796581 Email: 10 September Working Lives 10.30am Labour Hall, Crab Lane, Biggleswade Fee: £55 - Concessions are available Biggleswade Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) Branch course. Ten 1½ hour sessions. An exploration of how our ancestors made a living in the last five centuries, and the impact on their circumstances. Tutor: Honor Ridout. Free parking Tel: Clive Bandy 01462 730147 Email: 10 September Social Evening 7pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Second Tuesday every month. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 13 September Bingo Night 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Monthly Bingo Friday night with cash prizes, raffle and licensed bar. All proceeds to support the Village Hall. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727

13 September 7 September Performers & Pints 17: Astounding Autumn! The Signals Museum 10am-4pm 8 for 8.30pm-11pm (ish!) The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the The Red Lion, 1 Station Road, Potton public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving Free entry (donations welcome). Four high quality licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get emerging artists performing 30 minutes each (line-up TBC). an entry permit from the Guardroom. See website for full A great community night out of live music for all! Web: Web: mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts 74 information. Please


14 September Cake, Produce & Plant Sale 10am-12 noon 9 Sandy Road, Everton Refreshments and warm hospitality. Proceeds to St Mary’s Parish Church, Everton. 14 September Coeliac UK Beds & Mid Herts Support Group Home Counties Food Fair 10am-2pm The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Admission £1 including prize draw ticket Over 30 suppliers of gluten free food and beers with samples to try and to purchase. Gluten Free Fish & Chip Van. Tea & Coffee. Info about your local support group. 14 September “Jazz in Tent” 6.30 for 7pm Tickets £25 The Old Locomotive Garden, Deepdale Good live music, good food, good company, good causes! Tel: Tickets 01767 262553 or 01767 260788 14 September Albery Dog Rescue Companion and Novelty Dog Show 10am-4.30pm £1 per class Bedfordshire Growers, Potton Road, Biggleswade Refreshments, raffle and stalls. Proceeds for rescue dogs. Tel: Beryl 01234 356612 15 September Biggleswade Antiques Fair 9.30am-4pm Entrance £1.50 The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Diverse range of antiques and collectables. Tel: 01480 382432 or 07906 647346 Web: 15 September Animal Healing Workshop 10am-4pm Gamlingay £30 for non-healers and £25 for qualified healers Learn more about the way healing can help your pet or how you can qualify as a healer. There will be animals to work with. For information and to book please contact Rita on 01767 641674 or 07963 418887. 21 September Summer Churchyard Tidy-up 10am-1pm St Mary’s Parish Church, Everton. All help very welcome and refreshments will be provided. 21 September St. Andrew’s Church Country Fayre and “A Toy Story” Exhibition 10.30-3.30pm Shortmead Street, Biggleswade Free admission.

21 September The Gamlingay Show 1-5pm Gamlingay Village College, Station Road Adults £3, Concessions £1.50 Annual Village Show complete with competitions, craft marquee, stalls, side-shows, refreshments, arena events, funfair, classic cars, motor-cycles and tractors. Tel: 07519 921126 Web: 21 September Split Whiskers 7pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Tickets: £10 Popular rock & blues band. Two course hot supper. Tel: Tickets Carolyn 01767 640727 21-29 September Royston Arts Festival Various events including Meera Syal talk followed by Q&A session and book-signing, performance by pianist Clare Hammond and free workshops including poetry, batik, theatre, music and flower arranging. See website for full details. Web: 21 & 22 September Sutton Flower Festival and Duck Race Floral displays in All Saints’ Church. Stalls and teas available. Duck Race on Sunday 22 September from Sutton Ford at 3pm. Tel: Tickets 01767 261742 or 01767 260734 22 September Fun Family Dog Show Free entry 10am, first class 12 noon Chalton Stables, Blunham Road, Moggerhanger Variety of classes. Sponsors include Pet Magic, Rascal Dog Litter Box Company, Purina, Hollywood Dogs and Posh Dogs. Tel: Fiona 07968 028615 22 September Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Furry Tales 3 pm Little Gransden Village Hall Adults £8, Children £6 Favourite local puppet masters “Theatre of Widdershins” present another show suitable for all the family. Tickets available by telephone or online. Tel: 01767 677906 Web: 22 September Harvest Festival 4pm St Johns Church, Cockayne Hatley Harvest Festival Evensong followed by Harvest tea at 5pm, raffle and auction of produce. 26 September Pictures of Gamlingay 8.00pm The Community Centre, Brook End, Potton Potton History Society. Dave Allen presents a collection of photographs that provide an insight into the locals who lived just over the border.

21 September Bourn Beer and Cider Festival 12 noon-11pm Manor Farm, 14 Alms Hill, Bourn, Cambridge Adults £3, under 18 years free 29 September Bourn’s first beer and cider festival raising money for the Croydon cum Clopton Monthly Village Market NSPCC. Local beers, cider and wine. BBQ in the afternoon 10.30am-1pm High Street, Croydon Free entry and a hog roast in the evening and live music all day. Local businesses displaying and selling their products. Tel: 01954 713971 Email: Web: call To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please 01767 261 122 75

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

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



s/oven (all inc.)...£40.00 d/oven (all inc.)...£52.00 extractors from...£16.00 microwaves.....£16.00 hobs from....£12.00 BBQs, Agas and Ranges individually priced.

We cover Beds - Herts - South Cambs Contact us now

Tel: 01767 681 667 Mob: 07817 011 957 email: 76

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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Get Over Your Ex

By Sarah Davey

As the saying goes, ‘breaking up is hard to do.’ The emotional rollercoaster which follows a relationship breakdown can be very hard to deal with. Try these tips to help you get over your ex. Ignore them – Ignore all attempts to Tweet, email, text or otherwise attract your attention. Likewise resist the urge to Tweet, text or email them. Often we fall back into a bad relationship because it’s convenient, and we’re too set in a pattern to try something different. Break the cycle. ‘Disappear’ them – Hide away the stuffed toys, gifts and photos that remind you of them. In the early stages of a break-up it’s too easy to cling on to the nice memories and persuade yourself that you need them back in your life. Don’t stalk them! – Don’t drive past their house or haunt places special to both of you. Even if you can’t bring yourself to ‘unfriend’ them on Facebook, at least hide them from your news feed so you won’t be tempted to check on them every time you log-on.

Get out – It might be tempting to lie in bed, eating Green and Black’s finest and listening to heartbreak FM, but what you really need is company. Ring your most sociable friends and arrange a fun night out. Make a list – Write down all the reasons you split. Then read them back to yourself whenever you start romanticising the past. Remember, they’re your ex for a reason...or several!


Door Locks Approved By


Our new community


Julian Biggs Plumbing Advert:Layout 1 17/05/2013 14

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


Tel: 01767 627591 07950 705479 located in Northill, Beds

Fully qualified and insured • All work guaranteed Free Quotations • Local, professional & reliable


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Friendly, Independent, expert advice on your personal and business financial planning

Retirement Planning

Annuities • Open-Market-Options • Pensions

Savings & Investments ISAs • OEICs • Bonds


Life • Critical Illness • Income

Existing Plans & Portfolios Review Needs & Objectives

To arrange an appointment please contact:

Wayne Bacon DipFA MIFS a truly Independent Financial Adviser T: 01767 650 477 M: 07738 120 127 E:

Tel: 01767 261622 Mob: 07947 732883 Email: 2plan wealth management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is entered on the FCA register ( under reference 461598. Registered office: 2plan wealth management Ltd. Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 5BZ. Registered in England Number: 05998270 VAT Registered: 894679251

G & H SEAMER Funeral Directors

Family owned and managed business. Established 100 years.

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

47 High Street, Sandy

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































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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Stay Out of Debt

By Sarah Davey

Being in debt is no fun and it’s easier to get into debt than out of it. Stay out of debt with our five top tips. Budget – It sounds obvious, but an astonishing number of us don’t know what we actually spend each month. For two months write down every outgoing and you might be surprised at how much of cash you fritter away. Make a list of regular commitments - utility bills, mortgage, outstanding loans etc.; a list of necessary evils - petrol, train tickets etc; a list of desirables - holidays, salon trips etc.; and a list of non-essentials. Boost your cash – This can be done in two ways: Cut all unnecessary expenditure, or increase your income. It might not be a good time economically to ask for a pay-rise, but could you take on some extra work in return for a little more in your pay packet? What about selling your unwanted items on eBay, or even starting your own little business using a skill or hobby you already have, such as

sewing, baking, computer or language skills? Use credit cards – Yes, you read that correctly. If used wisely they can be a helpful cashmanagement tool. With some cards you get cash back for spending. So by putting your regular expenditure, such as groceries, on your card you can earn money. Only do this if you are prepared to pay the balance off in full after the grace period (generally 30 days). Save don’t spend – Any surplus cash should be saved. Allocate some for holidays or other desirable items, and some for emergencies. Any left over can be put into a longer term savings account. DIY – Often we pay people for services we could easily manage ourselves. Try washing your own car or making your own packed lunch for a month and see how much you save.

Handmade Kitchens Of Distinction By Simon Simon Ltd Our exclusive and diverse range of handcrafted kitchens can be tailor-made to suit your personal requirements. To ensure that your project runs seamlessly, our in house specialists offer a complete range of services including home consultation, design and planning, tiling, electrical, plumbing, plastering and building works.

For more information on our products and services contact: Simon Nash: 07952439826

Simon Giddings: 07966272444



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

Tel: 01767 691668 Mob: 07887 776980

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


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

Under New Management

Hand Car Wash

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

• Friendly, y Professional y, Hand Car wash • Open 7 days a week 9am-7pm • 10 Y Years of Experien Experience ce

. . .

• Free W Wash with loyalty Card

Ovens • Ranges • Hobs • Extractors Agas • Microwaves • Barbecues (May - Sept)

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

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

parent company est. 1998

Get your Loyalty Card stamped each visit & get your 5th Wash absolutely FREE ! 29 Great North Road, Lower Caldecote Beds SG18 9BA 07760 403 883 Tel: T

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


Quality PVC-U Windows & Doors MANUFACTURERS & INSTALLERS Windows, Doors, Conservatories, Bi-Folding Doors & Composite Doors

COMMERCIAL & DOMESTIC • Vertical 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.

Unit 2-6 Shannon Place, Potton, Sandy, Beds SG19 2SP

T. 01767 260 626 E.

Potton Windows Limited was established in 1987 84

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Julian Biggs Chimney Advert:Layout 1 17/05/2013 14:

Chimney Sweep

Mark Dilley Electrical

Member of the Institute of Chimney Sweeps


Tel: 01767 627591 07950 705479

Part P Registered Company 22386 located in Northill, Beds

Extra sockets - Lighting Extensions - Re-wires Security Lighting - Showers Inspections

• All types of chimneys swept • Brush & vacuum • Chimney Safety Certificate issued

Fully qualified and insured Clean & tidy service Competitive rates Local, professional & reliable

No job too small Free estimates All work to BS7671 regulations City and Guilds qualified

Tel: 01767 261008 Mob: 07990 895430 Our new community


The Villager Prize Crossword Prize



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


Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Paul Lovett from Henlow For last month’s solution please visit Across 1 Entrance (6) 4 Be owned by (6) 9 Hold (7) 10 Previous (5) 11 Brush (5) 12 Conversing (7) 13 Promises (11) 18 Sediment (7) 20 Undressed (5) 22 Avoid (5) 23 In the open air (7) 24 Guard (6) 25 Grown-ups (6) Down 1 Blame (6) 2 Type of light boat (5) 3 Soap (7) 5 Banish (5) 6 Belief (7) 7 Car repair centre (6) 8 Directive (11) 14 Make clear (7) 15 Caught fire (7) 16 Snakes (6) 17 Worships (6) 19 Curse (5) 21 Small hill (5)


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

• Remote Control Door

SANDY • POTTON • All Major Brands

Supplied and Serviced



• OAP Rates Available

01767 260165 Sandy

01480 210410 Eaton Socon

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


Fun Quiz - Musical Instruments 1. What is the name of the long plastic horn that came to worldwide attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup with many supporters blowing on one to produce a loud monotone sound? 2. Which musical instrument features on the Guinness logo? 3. Jazz musician Charlie Parker is best known for playing which musical instrument? 4. Consisting of two metal strips bound around a cotton tape reed, a swazzle is an instrument that is held in the mouth and traditionally used to provide the voice of which character? 5. How many black keys are there for every eight white keys on a piano? 6. Which famous person popularised musical instruments called the wobble board and the stylophone? 7. How many strings are there in total on the four instruments that make up a standard string quartet? 8. Who famously set his guitar on fire at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival? 9. Which musical instrument features a part called a chanter, which the player of the instrument would use to create the melody? 10. Which musical instrument has a name that roughly translates as “jumping flea�? 1. The vuvuzela 2. The harp 3. Saxophone 4. Punch (in a Punch and Judy show) 5. Five 6. Rolf Harris 7. 16 (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello - all have 4 strings) 8. Jimi Hendrix 9. Bagpipes 10. The ukulele




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T&R Roofing Ltd

Family Business Est. 1985

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

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

01767 314847 mob. 07831849847


All Aspects Plastering & Property Maintenance

Specialists in Bespoke Joinery

• Skimming • Dry Lining • Tape & Jointing • Stud Walling • Plaster Boarding Also other Building works undertaken from Drainage to Conversions For an Estimate or Advice on whatever job you need please call

Alf Fisher M.

07788 299 836

For a Friendly and Reliable Service

Conservatories • Doors • Windows Staircases Handmade Kitchens Handmade Bedroom Furniture

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

Our new community


1st Glass Window Repairs 30

years experience

FULLY INSURED! Local company who can fix all types of problems with your double glazing, call us now for a free quotation. Steamed Up Glass Faulty Window or Door Locks & Hinges Draughty Windows and Doors Leaking Conservatory Roofs Fascias and Gutters New Conservatory Roofs


07511 906161

J. Jenkins

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

For all your building needs Call John on 01767 222219 or 07831 283296 Email: References available on request 90

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Car Parts Air Bag Axle Battery Body Bonnet Boot Brake Bumper Car Seat

Carburretor Child Seat Clutch Door Engine Fuse Heater Horn Indicator

Mirror Radio Roof Sat Nav Starter Tyres Wheel Rim Wheels

Find the names of the car parts in the grid and the remaining letters will spell out a related phrase

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



BY Bruce Edwards Shadows on the Nile Kate Furnivall Published by Sphere - paperback 435pp £7.99 ISBN 978 0 7515 4337 7


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

Kate Furnivall has six novels to her credit. She did a splendid job with ‘The Russian Concubine’ and a no less effective well crafted and romantically evocative adventure tale of the hard reality of the Japanese occupation of Singapore in ‘The White Pearl’. Consequently in ‘Shadows on the Nile’, her latest novel, it is with some surprise to find an atmospheric and rather dark voyage into a very susceptible young girl’s mind. An early platonic love for the adopted and deranged brother her parents ‘swopped’ for replacement Timothy stays with her. When Timothy goes missing, she’s caught up in riots in London and discovers, in classic Conan Doyle manner, an extravagant potential solution. She unravels the clue which takes her to Egypt and the world becomes a strange place. The constant switch from thought to actuality, from surmise to sexual satisfaction, keeps the pace going at a disturbing and yet compelling rate. The involvement with Egypt’s tangled politics and criminality becomes the backdrop for a solution though a problematic one, as is the commonality of the two young boys of Jessie’s teenage years. With a uniquely developed style and adroit phraseology to heighten the atmosphere, Furnivall has moved her storytelling to a new dimension. The between-wars era is ripe for exploitation and the concept of a relationship between a malleable young girl and an aristocratic adventurer not entirely new but Furnivall manages to make the most of her canvas. A read that will demand concentration, but well worth it.

01767 652971 or 07870 338074 92

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Decorating Services

Domestic Repairs

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


• Over 25 years experience • No job too big or too small • Free estimates T: 01767

222 028

M: 07887

No Call Out Charge!

618 832

Tel: 01767 680621 Mobile: 07778 891490


Business gone a bit slow? Let us help!

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

PK Cleaning Services

Domestic Repairs

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

Bill Tangye

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


Est. since 1988

z Professional

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

Paul Kaiser

Home 01767 222822 Mobile 07812 335860 Visit us on

Garden Specialists

Hatley Garden Services Reliable Trustworthy Service Fully Insured

Border Care/Shrub Pruning, Hedge Trimming, Fence repair/Painting, Lawn Care, Turf laying Long Term Garden Maintenance, One Off Garden Tidy

Please call me (Kevin) for a free estimate: Tel: 01767 631174 Mobile: 07742 832810

Class i fi e d s

Our new community




Pet Services


Plastering Services

Steve Swain

Plastering Contractor All aspects Plastering, Pebble Dashing Rendering, Screeding

Mob: 07887 861881 Tel: 01767 226404 Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter

M. Philmore (Phil) - Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter


James Geekie Plastering

Disabled showers supplied and fitted. General plumbing. Now semi retired.

All types of plastering - big or small Interior/Exterior Work Undertaken Re-skim Rooms, Walls, Artex & Ceilings Dry Lining and Screeding

57 Green Acres, Gamlingay, Beds. SG19 3LR

Tel: 07792 415356 or 01767 317161 Email:

Tel: 01767 650619 Mobile: 07870366414 Painting Services

Private Car Hire

Mats Cars Private Hire Potton Based

4+7 Seater Cars Available

Airport/Stations/Nights Out etc Local and Long Distance Tel: 01767 261871 Mob: 07983 218367 All major credit/debit cards accepted


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Classifieds Removals & Storage

Private Car Hire

removals, storage, archive and shipping • House and office moves • Large and small vehicles • Local/long distance and overseas removals • Containerised storage • Extremely high quality customer service Call for a no obligation quotation

01767 313230

Property Improvements by

A professional property maintenance service

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

Tel: 01767 651821 Mob: 07773 973420 Property Improvements


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

Stephens Storage Dinky ad_03.indd 1

Domestic and Commercial Storage (Near Potton)

Caravans and Cars Welcome Short and long term rates Secure site, cctv with full gated access 7 days a week. New storage containers just arrived

Please call 01767 260248 or 07970 292055 Storage

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

Please call Gamlingay 01767 650777

T: 01767 316485 M: 07582 485155 E:

Property Improvements

3/12/12 11:45:18


Property Improvements


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

Please call salon on 01767 682789 for our special monthly promotion for September 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 sept 13  
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