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Issue Number 24 September 2008

and Town Life Your

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Inspirational hairdressing by


UK Hair Colour Champions - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Our highly talented professional team create the latest London cuts and colours from our large, modern Biggleswade Town Centre Salon. With Nicky Clarke and Hobs salon trained senior stylists, Hoopers of London guarantee all clients complete satisfaction every salon visit. Hoopers talented team specialises in the art of hairdressing and luxury beauty treatments. The entire team receive regular on-going training in all realms of hair colour, styling techniques, associated products and luxurious beauty treatments ensuring Hoopers remain an international leader in the fine art of hair and beauty.

17 High Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 0JE

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In this Issue


Issue Number 24 September 2008

and Town Life



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Summer In Britain Cornwall - Part 2


Bringing Local Business to Local People To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122

Christmas Parties


At Wyboston Lakes

Karen Warner

Additional Editorial


Melanie Hulse, Hepzibah Croft, Dave Allen, Sheila Dean, Morag Oriana and Emily Sanders ofSalt & Pepper PR - 07946 400554

Advertising Sales

Nigel Frost

Cover Photograph Fredredhat

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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.

The Crown, Northill Restaurant Review

Collectors Corner The Risk of Modern Living The Element of Risk Do U Txt? Fuel For School Footsore Travel - Costa Rica Put The Kettle On The History of Pubs Planting Daffodils Plants For Free Tokyo Tales Horoscopes Follow Me

11 20 22 24 28 31 32 34 44 52 55 56 60 61

A word from ...

Seasonal Delights 62 Fun Quiz 64 Music, Movies and More 67 Cut Your Losses 68 Children’s Page 71 Mobile Phone Madness 72 Vet’s Tip 74 What’s On 78 Puzzle Page 80 Aircraft Enthusiasts 83 Walking Back To Happiness 85 Prize Crossword 88 Potton Town Plan 91 Book Reviews 92

£25 Prize

Hi Everyone, I hope you all had a great Summer break it seems to come and go so quick. This month we have another great packed issuer for you including details of both the Gamlingay and Gransden Shows both are a great day out for all the family and well worth a visit. We have really enjoyed reading all your comments and suggestions received over the summer please continue to keep sending them in we will be looking to print your letters in the near future. So until next month Happy Reading Nigel and Karen

Summer in Britain – Cornwall 2


Staying in Britain for the Summer need not mean miserable days and nights hiding from the rain. With the county of Cornwall recording the highest average year-round temperatures it makes a great holiday destination whatever the time of year - although the sea is at its warmest and the possibility of rain at its lowest in July and August, so if swimming and sunbathing are your priorities and you are happy to negotiate for space with a few other happy holiday makers, then why not head west for the summer holiday? Last month we considered the beauties of Newlyn and St Michael’s Mount. As I admitted then too, it is difficult to pick highlights from a county with so much to offer but staying with the far west and close to the mount, Marazion has much to attract the discerning visitor and an interesting history too. The parish was created in 1813. Its modern name derives from the markets that were held there: ‘marghas bygan’ meaning ‘little market’ and marghas yow’ or Jew, meaning ‘Thursday market.’ The town claims to be the oldest in Britain, called Ictis by the Romans. In 1170, it was sending two members to Parliament in London and this continued until the dissolution of the priory on the Mount. The oldest record in which it is named is a charter circa 1250 where it is called Marhasgon. This first charter was reaffirmed by

Elizabeth I in 1595. Marazion was the major town in West Cornwall until the late medieval period when it was overtaken by Penzance. These days there is less to show for such a prestigious history. The streets are narrow and pretty and lined with cottages which would have been for the most part the dwellings of fishermen who worked from the harbour on the Mount as the town itself has no port. There are numerous galleries – Out of the Blue and Avalon being my favorites and the views of Mounts Bay and the Mount itself are worth drinking in over a cream tea at the Godolphin Hotel or in the pretty tea gardens at Rosario which is also a lovely shop, Sweet Charity, selling jewellery in aid of The Constant Gardener Trust.

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The beach at Marazion is lovely too and has the advantage of allowing carefully watched barbeques as well as a lot of space and shallow waters for swimming. Park on the right along the wall just before the town rather than in one of the overpriced car parks. Although there is a bit of a walk from there into the town this will enable a good look at Marazion Marsh. This reserve has Cornwall’s largest reedbed and more than 250 bird, 500 plant, 500 insect and 18 mammal species. Guided walks are conducted regularly throughout the summer offering assistance and tuition for beginner birdwatchers. The marsh is open at all times and is free to enter. The coastal road beyond Penzance and Newlyn leads through the very picturesque village of Mousehole (pronounced Mow-zle.) This tiny village was originally known as Porth Enys (‘port of the island’) which refers to St. Clements Isle, a low, bare reef that faces the village a few hundred meters offshore. There was a smugglers cave just south of the village which could be the reason for the present name although it also captures perfectly the tiny curved harbour nestled below the ragged lines of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages and narrow lanes that wiggle between and for the most part can allow only pedestrian access. It is best to park outside the village along the road on the left and walk the short distance to the centre by descending the steps to the paved coastal path and following this into the village. There are a few shops of interest and lots of galleries displaying local work as well as a lovely small sandy beach and lots of boats to see. The place with the most interesting historical tale is Keigwin House, on Keigwin Place. Dating from the fourteenth century this house survived the famous raid by the Spanish when 400 marauders landed in the village and set upon the local inhabitants. They slayed the residents of Keigwin

house but spared the house while torching the rest of the village and the church in nearby Paul. If your visit coincides with Christmas the decorative lights in Mousehole are famous and draw in a nightly crowd from the middle weekend of December onwards. The climax of events is on Tom Bawcock’s Eve – 23rd December, the anniversary of the stormy night that Tom Bawcock, a local fisherman, managed to haul in enough fish to feed the starving village. A local seafood dish known as Star Gazy Pie is prepared at The Ship Inn and brought out at midnight amidst much celebration. Not much further around this part of the coast is Lands End. It is a very beautiful drive to follow the coast as much as possible, paying visits to lovely and peaceful Lamorna Cove, Penberth (one of my absolutely favorite places), Treen, and Porthcurno which is the home one of the most tropical looking beaches in the British Isles. A horseshoe of white sand is tucked beneath dramatic, towering cliffs and the sea is divinely turquoise although painfully cold and prone to strong currents, so swimmers beware. From the beach it is possible to see the beach house built for the nephews and nieces of Rowena Cade, sandwiched in a fissure of rock up on the cliffs. Rowena was a local benefactress who also founded the famous Minack Theatre, situated atop the 200 ft high cliffs and reached either by

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road or very steep steps from the beach. Originally begun as a venue for amateur productions by members of Cade’s family and friends the theatre staged it’s first play, Shakespeare’s The Tempest in 1932. Now seating 750, although the original Greek amphitheatre design remains intact, the spectacular backdrop of the bay and cliffs makes this one of the most awe inspiring theatres in the world and productions – now by professional theatre groups, are often sold out for the seventeen week season which extends from late May until late September. It’s possible to book in person or online or telephone in advance for the very reasonably priced tickets. See local press or enquire at tourist information in Penzance for details in advance. My only experience of attending this theatre (an eclectic version of Pride and Prejudice) was wonderful – the view is just stunning and the sunset was one of the most memorable of my life, but it was also very breezy and as the evening drew in I found myself wearing every item of clothing I had in my back pack and still running for a hot drink at half time! Lands End is a magical spot purely as England’s extreme western tip – if you can find it beneath all the hyped-up rubbish that passes as entertainment at The Land’s End Experience. The best way by far is to approach Lands End on foot via the coastal path. This way the turf-topped granite cliffs and swooping fulmars are likely to be the sights that remain as souvenirs! The rocks out to sea all have names as various informative signs will tell you – Wolf’s Rock, The Armed Knight and Irish Lady. Look out for the Longships lighthouse which lies a mile and a half out to sea or the Wolf Rock lighthouse which is nine miles to the south-west. It is also sometimes possible to spot a misty outline of the Scilly Isles and perhaps even more excitingly, a passing dolphin or two. One thing worth facing the crowds for is the famous signpost which shows the distances to a

variety of famous places such as Auckland in NZ or New York in the USA. Visitors queue to have their photograph taken beside the sign showing the mileage to their home-town, all very harmless and quite interesting. Part of the exhibition around the sign is dedicated to the End-to Enders, people who have made the trip, on foot, bike, by car or naked, from John O Grouts to Lands End (or vice versa). Means of transport range from the sublime to the ridiculous and are very amusing. (874 miles on a motorized bar stool anyone?) The drive from Lands End to St Ives, through the region known as Cape Cornwall, is one of the most beautiful in England. Green turf pastures roll down from road to rugged granite cliff top and the route curls through little discovered places such as Pendeen, St. Just-In-Penwith and Zennor. Worth a look around Pendeen are the lighthouse and some of the remains of the tin mining industry. The lighthouse is at the place known as Pendeen Watch – a slate promonitory just outside the village. The building itself is squat and painted green and cream but offers superb views across the craggy coast and the derelict mining buildings that dot the surrounding hills. Tours of the lighthouse are possible in July and August on Sunday afternoons but be warned! As the proud owners of the last working twelve-inch fog siren

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in the country this can sound without warning and the results can be traumatic! Past Pendeen with it’s two ruined mining engine houses is the Geevor Tin Mine. This was the area’s last working mine, only ceasing to operate in 1990. Since then the building has been restored and opened up to visitors to allow a view of the Cornish tin mining industry. It is possible to wander around the surface machinery and through the huge mill where the rock was separated from the tin ore but the best part of the experience is a guided tour of the audit or horizontal passage running into the rock. Here the treacherous and hard toiling life of a miner are graphically described and you can peer up the vertical shafts to the sky or down to murky depths below. There is a small museum which has a model of the mine and explains the process of tin production which is very complex but interesting. Fairly close by is the Levant Beam Engine – Cornwall’s oldest beam engine. This was used in the Levant mine where the disaster of 1919 happened when 31 men died and many more were injured in the fall of the ‘man-engine’ or mechanical lift. The village of Zennor has been made famous by many tales of merry maids or mermaids as they are better known as well as the home of D H Lawrence. Who knows how much truth there is to the story of the merry maid who became so entranced by the singing of one of the choristers at Zennor that she lured him down to the sea from where he never returned? The church at Zennor remembers this tale with its Mermaid Chair – made from two sixteenth century bench ends carved with the image of a mermaid holding a mirror and comb. Lawrence moved to Zennor in 1916 and described it as ‘the best place I have been in.’ he stayed to write Women in Love and attempted to begin a writers community which was unsuccessful due

to his rather unorthodox relationship with Frieda, his wife and the unfriendliness of the locals, especially the police who were concerned about Frieda’s German roots. Continuing on this coast road will eventually bring you to St. Ives. This very popular coastal town is typically Cornish in layout – lots of tiny cottages clustered around an enchanting harbour with larger houses and hotels more towards the edges of the town There are plenty of shops and galleries as well as the lovely beach by the harbour and one just a bit further around called Porthmeor Beach. The town was a very busy fishing port for a long time and in one day in 1868 a record of sixteen and a half million fish were caught in just one net off the coast at this point. Viginia Woolf summered here until she was twelve and described the town as ‘windy, noisy, vociferous and narrowstreeted’. The pilchard dried up in the early 1900s but by then a thriving artist community had begun which later included such figures as Barbera Hepworth and Ben Nicholson and the potter Bernard Leach. The legacy of these artists continues today in the many galleries, the most famous of which is of course the Tate St. Ives, located on the road that overlooks Porthmeor Beach. Over the two months it has been possible to consider just a tiny portion of the many delights that Cornwall offers to the visitor and all of these have been in the very far west! What of the wonderful Eden Project, Doc Martin’s Port Wenn (Port Isaac), the waves of Newquay, pretty and car-free Polperro and the astounding sections of coast close to Looe? Wherever you stay and look in Cornwall there is beauty and history and interest for it really is a county with something for everyone and a place that England can be proud of.

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and punchbag fitness training

PUNCHBAG CIRCUITS Tuesday 7:00pm Tuesday 9:00pm Thursday 7:00pm Thursday 9:00pm

FIND US On the 1st floor above bus station entrance in Hitchin Street PHONE US 07976 732103

Lessons for adults and juniors Date: Tuesday and Thursday Place: Biggleswade Dojo Century House, Market Place Juniors: 6.00pm - 7.00pm £3.00 Adults: 8.00pm - 9.00pm £5.00

Train in the ‘strongest’ karate style Kyokushinkai

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The Royal Oak


Join Ruth, Anthony & Peter for a warm welcome at Potton’s oldest pub

Pub & Beer Garden

Superb Fresh Food

Enjoy a relaxing drink in a traditional English pub.

We’re delighted to announce our recently awarded Food Mark from Tastes of Bedfordshire, received in recognition of our seasonal menus and dedication to sourcing fresh, local produce.

We serve a selection of 4 real ales, fine wines, draught & bottled lagers, as well as soft drinks, & fresh coffee & tea.

Bar open ALL DAY every day from 11:30am. (From 3pm on Mondays)

At the Royal Oak, our chefs use only the finest, locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Your food is prepared and cooked to order.


Enjoy a starter, main course & dessert from our Table d’hôte Menu for £19.95 per person. Bring this voucher to claim a complimentary glass of wine for each person ordering from the Table d’hôte Menu. Offer available Monday to Thursday evenings throughout September.

Lunches & evening meals served daily Sunday Lunches served 12-3pm

4 Biggleswade Road, Potton, Bedfordshire Tel: 01767 261888 10

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Collectors’ Corner

Something of interest to everyone Many of us will have found something interesting in a drawer and wondered what it was - and what’s it worth! Each month our Collectors’ Corner will help you all decide whether your finds are collectable, and what sort of value they might hold. Over the months, we will journey through many different types of collectables, and unearth something of their background. Dave Allen of Cambridge Coins & Jewellery in Sandy is our resident expert on these ‘small collectables’ matters. Such small collectables include, Coins, Military Medals and Badges, Banknotes, Tokens, Cigarette Cards, Tea Cards … and the like. Dave is well known in the collecting world and is also secretary of the local Bedfordshire Numismatic Society (BNS). This local society is for those interested in collecting coins, medals, banknotes and tokens. You may have also heard him on BBC local radio as the regular ‘coin expert.’ This month, we start off our Collectors’ Corner looking at Coins. Next month, we will look at Medals. Many decades ago – when Dave was a boy – most children collected something; perhaps coins. The thrill of finding something that added to your collection was terrific! Value didn’t matter. The pleasure came from seeking out the items themselves. As we all know, children now seek more modern electronic entertainment and would consider collecting coins as far too un-interesting. They wouldn’t want to undertake any research into the items; instead they need instant reward, for example through computer games. The result is that there are far, far, less collectors; except us old ones! Back to collecting … Condition of an item is often paramount, in determining the value of collectable items. Collectors always want coins in good condition … BUT … from a value point of view, the coins may have a value commercially, even though not in good enough condition, to be sought by collectors. Strange but true! This is because silver-looking British coins, dating before 1947, have at least 50% silver in them. This gives them a value because of the silver content. Our coins minted since then, contain no silver at all. People often think that because something is

old, it’s worth a lot. It may be of course, but it’s much more likely that it’s valuable because of its condition. This does not mean that all items have to be perfect – far from it. However, for a coin to be considered “collectable” it does need to be in a condition that is “better than normally turns up, for its age”. So … the older a coin is, the more wear it can have and still be interesting to collectors. Of course, judging whatever is normal “for its age” is difficult, or even impossible, for most of us. Dave’s 40+ years of experience, however, makes this easy for him! Have a look in that cupboard, or that drawer. See what you can find. Is it old? Is it silver … or even perhaps gold? Whatever you find, please don’t clean it, as this will make them worthless as collectors’ items. Leave them just as they are. Perhaps you will find a large, even huge, copper coin dated 1797 as shown in our picture. That’s Britannia sitting above the date. These were only produced in 1797 and are affectionately referred to as “cartwheel” pennies. Any of you finding one will quickly understand why … as they have a very thick rim to them! You may even find an even larger version, as in 1797 they also minted a twopence piece in the same design! These weighed two ounces each – believe it or not - and were completely impractical for use. That’s why they stopped making them that year! Have a rummage today. See what you can find.

Until next month’s Collectors’ Corner . . . Cambridge Coins & Jewellery 14, High Street (down the alley next to four Seasons), Sandy, SG19 1AQ. Tel: 01767 69 00 66

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10% discount for Christmas parties booked in September when mentioning The Villager

The Unforgettable Close Up Magic of

10% discount for Christmas parties booked in August when mentioning Steve performing at MBDA annual party The Villager (Formally British Aerospace)

Steve Dean Entertaining guests at a wedding

Have you ever witnessed unexplainable events or illusions so convincing that they leave you fascinated & completely spellbound? This is close up mix and mingle and table magic at its very best. 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. With Christmas bookings already flooding in and one week in December already completely booked don’t be disappointed and secure your date for your office party or private function today.

Please phone or email for details

Entertaining Guests at The Masons annual fund raising event Kevin Wheatley (ITV Inspector Lewis)

07719 261147 • 01767 260671 email:

Phil Daniels (Kevin Wicks, Eastenders)

John Conteh (ex Boxing Champion)

Celebrities thank Steve for entertaining them at The Annual Sparks Charity Event To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Christmas Parties

at Wyboston Lakes

Wyboston Lakes, nestling on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border, is gearing up for the 2008 festive season with the launch of its Christmas party packages.

Christmas is a magical time of year and, whilst we all recognise it’s a time for children, it’s an ideal time for adults to let their hair down too! This year we have a range of events designed to suit all tastes and budgets throughout the festive season. These are sure to be a big hit with all party goers who are already well versed with Wyboston Lakes’ unparalleled reputation. We’re still in mid summer, yet the Christmas market is already hotting up, with lots of the larger companies in the area securing the key dates in the festive calendar! With so much choice, everyone will find Wyboston Lakes the ideal venue for their Christmas celebrations. This year, we really do have something for everyone from a Comedy Night, Abba Tribute Nights with the option of fancy dress, through to a 70’s night with a retro-style menu! Our famous ‘Bring a Party to a Party’ package allows


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all bookings, large and small, to join in one big happy event. Large parties of up to 350 can have exclusive use of one of Wyboston Lakes’ venues for the whole evening, themed if they wish! For those who prefer a quieter celebration, a two or three course Christmas menu will be available at lunchtimes throughout the week and on Sunday to Thursday evenings in the idyllic surroundings of The Waterfront Brasserie. For a more family orientated event, why not join us for our special Christmas Brunch on Sunday 14th December 2008, when Santa will be on hand to bring festive cheer! And to welcome in the New Year, a prestigious gala dinner dance is being held in the Robinson Executive Centre with fireworks, a caricaturist and dancing to Platinum Gold, one of the best function bands in the country. Wyboston Lakes has the expertise to create the right party atmosphere for any group of up to 350, with award-winning chefs on hand to provide the highest quality food that caters for all tastes. Wyboston Lakes offers the added bonus of on-site accommodation. With over 400 bedrooms, for only £50* per room per night, including full English or Continental breakfast, party goers can really enjoy the Christmas experience without the worry of expensive taxis or driving home afterwards. Booking your party could not be easier, just visit our website to download a brochure, email christmas@ or pick up the phone and call Laura on 01480 212625. We would be delighted to hear from you and show you our fabulous facilities. *£75 per room for New Year’s Eve including late speciality breakfast.

CHRISTMAS AT WYBOSTON LAKES Wyboston Lakes, Great North Road, Bedfordshire MK44 3AL

Tel: 01480 212625 email: web: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Ritzy India Cool and Co

n y India r a r o p m nte



! y a d s e n d e W r u o y p Spice u Wednesday Night Banquet Any Starter Any Main Course Any Vegetable dish, Rice/Naan Coffee with mint


Sunday Lunch Buffet £7.95 per person (children £4.95)

Choose from our normal menu (King Prawn £2.00 (extra)

Function Room Up To 70 People Any Occasion • Food Available No Extra Charge for Parties Guaranteed delivery within 1 hour or your meal is half price!

Take-away service available. English and special dietary menus available 10% discount on all orders collected over £10 Free delivery on local orders over £10 Free delivery on orders over £15 to local villages (Biggleswade, Sandy, Potton, Gamlingay, Great Gransden, Blunham, Upper Caldecote, Langford and surrounding villages)

Ritzy India 2 Blackbird Street, Potton, Beds, SG19 2LT 01767 261651 / 01767 260332 Email: Website: 16

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September Villager Issue  

The Villager Magazine for local people and business