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January 2012 Quarterly Royal Mail distribution: 14,800 homes & businesses


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18 12

Fight the Flu!

Top 10 Flu Fighting Foods


Valentine’s Day

New Twists on some traditional Valentine’s Day Gifts



Back to Nature

We learn how to chit potatoes


Splashing About

The Biggest Charity Swimathon ever is launched!

24 Also in this issue...

6-7 local news

16-17 events

21 safety

New businesses & services across Ripon, Masham & the surrounding area

Out & About in early 2012

Check on your elderly Neighbours this Winter

13 food Chicken Soup Recipe

14-15 education

18 events Ripon Area Music & Arts Diary

24 local news Jennyruth Workshop News

20 cost saving

26 local news

Keep Warm During Winter

Blue Cross Update

Who wants to be an engineer?

I hope that you enjoy this edition of Ripon & Masham infocus. Please contact us if you would like to advertise your business in this publication. Best wishes,

Christine Campbell Editor


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A gem of a business... Haydn and Mel Armsby – the husband and wife team behind Holme Design – will not only be ringing in the New Year but also celebrating their second year of successful trading at their magnificent showroom at the Craft Yard in Bedale. With all the current news reporting daily on the economic downturn, this gem of a business seems to be defying the statistics. Holme Design Ltd specialises in helping people plan and install their dream kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. The business was established after Haydn and Mel refurbished their own home in Holme-on-Swale, which incidentally is where the company takes its name from. They realised that together they had the skills and contacts necessary to help other people to achieve a beautiful home, finished to the highest specification. It was this realisation, combined with Haydn’s 30 years of experience designing kitchens and bathrooms with some of the most prestigious and successful retailers in the North, that led the couple to branch out – and so they set up Holme Design.

“We are passionate about what we do and we’re delighted to be able to offer a carefully selected range of kitchens unique to the Dales area. We ensure we keep up with latest trends. For example, we’re very excited about the latest additions to the range of Charles Rennie Mackintosh kitchens by Omega. These come in fabulous high gloss, painted or natural wood finishes, and in a wonderful range of styles. Also we’ve just extended our Bedale showroom to display the new range of high gloss kitchens from Crown. Whether you’re looking for something classic or modern, you really should check them out — they are absolutely stunning.” Holme Design plan to continue providing a high quality bespoke service for clients and with positive feedback and personal recommendations from satisfied customers, it looks like Holme Design is set to remain on the path of continuing success.

So what is the secret to their success in these straitened times? “We really listen to clients’ needs. All projects are personally managed by Haydn and myself, from design right through to installation, so you are assured of a bespoke and personal service,” says Mel.

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New businesses & services come to

Ripon & Masham & surrounding areas this Winter New Businesses we’re introducing: • Planet Jewels Accesosories

NEW! Business • Stores Rural Services

NEW! Business

A New Year, New Opportunities for You & Your Home

• Sycamore Business Park

NEW! Broadband • The Little Red Berry Co

NEW! Business To feature within this section please contact us on: 01609 777401. You can also email: or visit:

Stores Rural Services cater for all aspects of building works, landscaping and garden maintenance and design.

Our local company offers a friendly and reliable service for those looking to undertake building and landscaping projects. We also undertake environmentally beneficial works including habitat creation, environmental conservation and wildlife gardening. We strive to deliver top quality workmanship, good value and trustworthy service. We would welcome the opportunity to work for you and provide both quality and affordability through our skills and experience. For free quotes and advice please contact us via e-mail, telephone or visit our website. Present this advert to receive an introductory 5% discount. ....................................................

Stores Rural Services Owner: Timonthy Campbell


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Mob: 07739 071012 Tel: 01765 601151

Success Stories at Sycamore! ARE YOU A NEW OR EXPANDING BUSINESS? In the current difficult economic climate, companies at Sycamore Business Park are flourishing. This is due, in no small way, to the requirements of individual businesses being appreciated and understood by Colin Stamp, the owner of Sycamore. He can tailor a package to your needs, combining low rent and a flexible lease backed by financial incentives, making it easy to move your business to a new home. In the last 12 months, Colin has added High Speed Fibre Optic Broadband to the park as he considers this an essential tool for successful businesses today. With a beautiful rural location, ample free parking, and excellent access to A1 and all surrounding areas, where else would you want to call home?

Come and flourish at Sycamore Business Park. Tel: 01661 853952 / 07802 390794

Bottling a Successful Business at Sycamore Business Park

An absorbing hobby turned into a full-time business for an artisan drinks maker from Harrogate after her fruit liqueurs proved to be a winning formula at last year’s country shows. Twenty six year-old Rachel Ellis had been making fruit liqueurs for family and friends for years and lucky recipients enjoyed the gifts immensely. She was frequently told that she should turn her hobby into a business. Inspired by this encouragement, Rachel decided that 2011 would be the year to test the market and the feasibility of starting her own business. After researching the licensing and legal regulations for distillation, Rachel targeted the end of the year to launch her first range of liqueurs. However, her business plan progressed rapidly and she decided to seek consumer opinion at the Otley show in May. Rachel took samples of her liqueurs for visitors to taste and comment on. To gauge response she had two bins for the empty tasting glasses – one for ‘yes I like it’ and the second for ‘it’s not for me’. The response was an overwhelming ‘Yes!’ Having been given the seal of approval by potential customers, Rachel’s business, The Little Red Berry Co. was launched.

The process of making fruit liqueurs for commercial purposes is regulated in the same way as other food processing and manufacturing and Rachel needed to find and equip commercial premises. Nothing, of the right size at the right price, was available in Rachel’s home town, Harrogate, but the Harrogate Economic Development Unit gave her details of Sycamore Business Park, a rural site at Copt Hewick just outside Ripon. Rachel said: “I knew as soon as I went to visit Sycamore that it was the place to launch my business. Not only did it have a unit of the right size and budget, it had a really nice, friendly and supportive feel. It is a community of small businesses, many of which have started here from scratch, like me. Colin Stamp, who owns the park, has been very flexible in accommodating what I need from business premises right now and I know that in time, if I need additional or larger premises, there is room to grow here. As I plan to sell to outlets across North Yorkshire it is important that I have good accessibility to the major road networks. Here I am only two minutes from the

A1M and with fibre optic broadband on site, Sycamore Business Park gives me more than most city centre locations.” The Little Red Berry Co. has become a member of Deliciously Yorkshire which Rachel hopes can support her plan to sell to restaurants and hotels as well as through retail outlets, at country shows and online. .............................................................. The Little Red Berry Co.’s fruit liqueurs will be stocked in Fodder at The Great Yorkshire Showground. They are also available on The Little Red Berry Co. can be contacted on For more information visit www.

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A modern business with historical roots... The Lightwater Group is owned by the Staveley family who have been landowners in the North Stainley area since 1517. In the 1980s the Staveley family began to diversify in to the ‘pick-your-own’ business and needed water for irrigation purposes. While drilling the borehole, they hit rock which they realised was of marketable quality. The rest, as they say, is history. The site is today the wellestablished...

The concrete trucks carry the raw materials to your location, then mix it into concrete. This means less waste and you only pay for the concrete you use. The trucks carry wheelbarrows for the customer to borrow and will wait for you to use the barrows to save rehandling effort.

...Potgate Quarry, supplying a range of aggregates and concrete across North Yorkshire.

The tipper trucks carry either 10 tonnes or 20 tonnes, but smaller loads are no problem. Any type of aggregate, sand, gravel, recycled, road planings etc. can be supplied.

The sales team are more than happy to quote for small loads to DIY and small builders, as a small team of local people they aim to offer a service often lost in larger companies with service centres located away from the quarry.

Call 01765 635435 for a no obligation quotation. From 1 tonne of gravel for a garden path to 1.5 million tonnes for widening the A1, you will get the same friendly, local service!

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Cold & Flu Fighting Foods

We all know that washing our hands regularly will help cut down on passing colds and flu, but did you know there are foods that can help fight cold and flu as well? Eating healthy obviously helps boost your immunity and fight off cold and flu, but even healthy eaters get sick! During those months when you are most apt to get sick, try bulking up on the super foods foods below. Not only will you help fight off the cold and flu, but you will also be much healthier in general!

Chicken Soup

Mum was right! Chicken soup is not only good for the soul, but a research study found that chicken soup has mild anti-inflammatory properties, which may help prevent colds and flu. It helps by decreasing mucus production, throat swelling and irritation To get the most out of your soup, include the following ingredients: chicken, onion, sweet potato, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery and parsley.


Ginger contains a natural plant compound that can help fight off infection called gingerol. Sipping ginger tea can help with the stuffiness and throat irritation. To make ginger tea, slice off a 1 inch chunk of ginger and place it in a cup boiling water. For year round benefits from ginger, try replacing your regular salad dressing with ginger vinaigrette. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar.


This one is unusual. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Zinc is a mineral that keeps our immune system strong and functioning at the optimum level. If you eat just three oysters a day, you can get your daily recommendation for zinc.

Dark Chocolate

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition says that Dark Chocolate can boost your immunity and deserves a place in healthy diets. High doses of cocoa support T-helper cells, which increase the immune system’s ability to defend against infection.


Yogurt contains probiotics, which is a good bacteria that line our intestines. Probiotics also defend our body against germs. To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look on the container for the National Yogurt Association’s “Live and Active Cultures” seal, which means there are at least two types of healthy bacteria and 100 million bacteria per gram.

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Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is a disease-fighting antioxidant. If you can replace one snack a day with 24 almonds (1 oz), then you will up your immunity 10 fold. If you don’t like the take of almonds, try chopping them to put on a salad or toast them for a much more nutty flavor.


Sulfur compounds have been shown to kill viruses and garlic contains a ton of them! Using garlic in recipes regarly makes you 2 times less likely to get sick. And even if you do get sick, it has been proven that garlic will shorten the life of the cold! Fresh garlic has a lot more of these compounds than after it has been cooked, so try adding fresh garlic at the end of your recipe.

Red Bell Pepper

We have always been told to eat an orange to get your Vitamin C every day, but Red Bell Peppers have twice as much immune-enhancing vitamin C as an orange! Vitamin C is essential in fighting off colds and flu and should be included in your daily diet. It can also decrease the duration of a cold by 80 percent. While it isn’t easy to just eat a red bell pepper, they work well chopped up in salads, stir fry and pasta sauces. Toss in at the last minute to reep all the benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea contains an immune-boosting chemical called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In order to get the maximum benefit, steep tea in boiling water for about 4 minutes. If you can’t stand the taste by itself, try adding a little honey, mint leaves, ginger, orange peel or cinnamon stick. .

Sweet Potatoes

Beta Carotene, the vitamin that gives Sweet Potatoes its color, is rich in vitamans and iron. Beta Carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which research suggests may be particularly helpful in the treatment of respiratory infections. Sweet potatoes are good simply baked in the oven and topped with a little butter OR try baking and topping with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon.

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Chicken Soup Pure soul food, this warming, easy chicken soup makes the most of leftover roast chicken. ............................................................................................... Serves: 6 Preparation and cooking times: Prep: Less than 30 mins Cook 30 mins - 1 hour ...............................................................................................

Method: 1 Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the onions, celery and carrots until they start to soften. 2 Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring as you do so. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. 3 Add the cooked chicken and cook until heated through. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Ingredients • 55g/2oz butter • 2 onions, peeled and sliced • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced • 25g/2oz plain flour

• 1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock • 450g/1lb cooked chicken, skinned and shredded • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley salt and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe from BBC Food

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Who wants to be an

Engineer? I have recently listened to two radio programmes in which students have been asked what they want to embark on as a career. Media, the arts, politics, the armed services, architecture, medicine, law and teaching appear to be the most popular. Out of numerous responses only one student said that they wanted to become an engineer. While this is only a snapshot of a survey, I know from my own experience in teaching and reading reports from established universities and industry, that there is huge concern about the lack of suitably qualified engineers.

What is an Engineer?

Taking the definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary. An Engineer is:1: A person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures. • A person qualified in a branch of engineering, especially as a professional: an aeronautical engineer 2: A person who controls an engine, especially on an aircraft or ship. • North American a train driver. 3: A skilful contriver or originator of something: • The prime engineer of the approach

Why be an Engineer?

Why are so few of our future generation not foreseeing their career in the field of engineering? This concerns me, because we have some of the best engineers in the world. One only has to look at the field of Formula 1 racing to realise that this is predominantly driven by British engineers. ..

14 Ripon & Masham infocus

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...It could be that students are encouraged to take the easier none mathematically based careers or the students themselves are wary of treading down a path in which they will have to work much harder to obtain a degree or relevant qualification. Schools use computer based systems to assist the student select a career, but a computer will only churn out what it has been programmed to do, and they are programmed by subjective human beings. It is my opinion that many potentially good engineers are being overlooked by the education system. I strongly recommend students to research into the variety of engineering courses that are available and consider the benefits that engineering can bring. On leaving school I took that path and have no regrets whatever. Useful internet John Harris

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2012 Out & About in early

16th January - 18th February • Ripon Library Book Sale

Ripon Library Books dealing with a variety of subjects will be up for grabs when North Yorkshire County Council’s Library and Customer Services Centre at Ripon holds a bumper book sale. There will be a wide selection of items for sale including adult fiction, non fiction and children’s books. Prices start from as little as 50p. For more information please contact Ripon Library on Tel: 0845 034 9524 or via email: ......................................................................................................................

28th January • They’re Only Pictures

2012 at the Water Rat! Water Rat owner Rick Jones is delighted to announce that a new ten-year lease has been secured on the property. This fantastic news is great for both regular patrons as well as for the staff. The lease allows Rick, and his team of staff, to build on the superb reputation the Water Rat currently has for sumptuous meals served at reasonable prices in beautiful surroundings.

Ripon Cathedral - all day event “They’re Only Pictures” features photographs taken by Paul Brown during a visit to Poland by a group of Christians and Jews earlier this year. It includes images of Auschwitz that people don’t normally see and aims to make viewers think about how such a place can come into being. “These pictures are both beautiful and chilling. I’d like to think they make people stop and think. How did such cruelty arise and how can we stop it from continuing in places like Bosnia, Darfur and Burma today? How can we combat the forces that drive people into groups filled with hate?” Karenza Passmore, Director of NERLRC. Other dates for this event are: 29th, 30th & 31st January and 1st - 15th February 2012. Tel: 01765 603462 .................................................................

11th - 19th Feb • School Holiday Fun - Heraldry Swanley Grange, Fountains Abbey 11am – 3pm Follow the clues on our trail and join in with drop-in craft activities in Swanley Grange. * *Normal admission price applies 01765 608888 ......................................................................................................................

15th - 16th February • Bird Box Making Fountains Mills, Fountains Abbey 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 3pm Come and make a bird box for your garden. Drop in craft workshops in Fountains Mill. £5 per box. Tel: 01765 643176. ...................................................................................................................... Above: Owner Rick Jones & Head Chef Kevin stock up on fresh produce

Rick is looking forward to a very positive New Year and he tells us more, “The flood prevention work should be completed in early Spring and once the riverside is back to it’s former glory we’ll be able to enjoy the river from our stunning terrace or the conservatory. We’ve already had five great years at the Water Rat and we’re looking forward to many more.” The new lease also means Rick is able to continue expanding the range of drink suppliers available at the pub. Working with local and regional microbreweries (like

16 Ripon & Masham infocus

Above: The beautiful riverside seating at the Water Rat

Please note: the editors cannot be held responsible for any changes to events listed. Please contact event organisers directly. All events correct at time of going to press.

Hambleton Ales), Rick strives to keep cask-ale enthusiasts returning for a drink from the constantly changing brews on tap. As well as an extensive collection of cask ales, the Water Rat offers an exciting cocktail selection and a new wine menu – all thanks to Bar Manager Kate. “We’ll be offering a little bit of something for everyone,” says Kate, “From warm drinks in the colder months, like winter-spiced Pimms or mulled wine, to a rich mojito cocktail for a reminder of Summer!”

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18th February • Hands On Bread Masterclass Swinton Park Cookery School Join Rosemary Shrager for a day of perfecting your bread making skills. £215.00 per person For more information phone: 01765 680900 ......................................................................................................................

19th February • Wildlife Wander Fountains Abbey - 2-4pm A gentle two mile walk discovering the wonders of the estate’s wildlife. Meet at the Visitor Centre. ......................................................................................................................

21st February • Pancake Races Join us for Ripon’s traditional annual pancake races from the Cathedral along Kirkgate. 11:00 am - 12:30 pm .................................................................

29th April • Roseberry Topping 10 mile & 5 mile walk Start at 11am in the car park A Great Strides challenging walk for Cystic Fibrosis Week to the top of Roseberry Toppng and James Cook Mount back to Great Ayton with breath taking views to the coast and over the Vale of York. Call 0300 3731046 or book online at ..................................................................

7th May • Cathedral Beer Festival This popular event takes place every year on Bank Holiday Monday. Visitors are able to enjoy beers from local breweries, such as Hambleton Ales, Copper Dragon, Daleside, Dark Horse, Black Sheep, Roosters, Timothy Taylor, and many more. The day also includes good food and a wide range of musical entertainment, with both acoustic and electric sets from talented local performers. 11:30 am - 6:00 pm. Cost: £2.50, accompanied children free ......................................................................................................................

20th May • Yorkshire 10k and 2K Fun Run Newby Hall near Ripon Join this exciting run around the beautiful estate farm lands and lanes, along the River Ure for all ages. 2 for 1 ticket offer into the gardens for all families of participants, refreshments and stalls. Call 0300 3731046 or book online at ......................................................................................................................

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Ripon Area Music & Arts Diary

Valent ine’s Day New Twists on Traditional

Ripon Film Society Leisure Centre: Ripon

FILM: Mammuth 25th Jan - 8:00pm

France 2010 Comedy Directors: Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern A quirky road movie about a recently retired French butcher (Gerard Depardieu) who has to drive around south-western France on his old Mammuth motorbike to gather documents from all his past employers in order to claim his state pension. “…funny, sad and weird… always springing something new on the viewer… “ For ticket information please contact via: 01765 600993 ...........................................................................................................................

Ripon Community Orchestra: Ripon Grammar School, Ripon

Joint Winter Concert 31st Jan - 8:00pm

Ripon Community Orchestra in a joint concert with the Skelldale Singers and the Ripon Grammar School String Orchestra Free entry for this event! 01423 772459 ...........................................................................................................................

Richmondshire Subscription Concerts Zetland Centre, Richmond

CARDUCCI QUARTET 4th Feb - 7:30pm

Programme includes Haydn Quartet in G minor Op.74/3 “The Rider”; Shostakovich Quartet No.3 in F major and Mendelssohn Quartet in F minor, Op.80. Free talk by musicians about their work and music at 6.30pm. Adult: £12, Full time student £1, Season Ticket for SIX concerts: £36 01748 822001 ...........................................................................................................................

Cathedral Concert Society Ripon Cathedral, Ripon

KARIOSA ENSEMBLE 6th Feb - 7:30pm

The Kariosa Ensemble (Matthew Smith – flute, Karen Gibbard – oboe, Fiona Mitchell – clarinet, Iona Garvie – bassoon, Louisa Lam – piano) was set up in 2007 by students on the postgraduate performance course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. They are currently developing the work of this ensemble within both performance and community contexts. The Kariosa Ensemble is proud to be involved with the Live Music Now scheme. The group explores a colourful array of repertoire and aims to bring music alive to a wide variety of audiences. Adult: £15, Young students: £2, Season subscription: £75 01765 658971 ...........................................................................................................................

Ripon Film Society Leisure Centre, Ripon

FILM: THE BIG PICTURE 8th Feb - 8:00pm

France 2011 Psychological thriller Director: Eric Lartigau In a moment of madness or fear a successful lawyer and family man commits an act which propels him into a drastic plan to change his life forever. The French title translates as “The Man Who Wanted to Live His Life”. “…a clever movie about the powerful allure of starting again For ticket information please contact via: 01765 600993 ...........................................................................................................................

Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra St Mark’s Church, Harrogate

HPO WINTER CONCERT 11th Feb - 7:30pm

Programme includes: Schubert - Symphony No. 5 Brahms - Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16 Prokofiev - Symphony No. 1 (Classical) Adult: £10, Concession: £8, Student: £5 ...........................................................................................................................

Gift Ideas

Skip the Valentine’s Day Aisle

The marketing people at most brands have decided to emblazon everything from boxer shorts to stuffed animals with red hearts, but that doesn’t mean they make great Valentine’s Day gifts. The thoughtful present is the one that counts. Take the time to listen to clues for what she or he really wants. This might be a book that they mentioned looks interesting, or if they’re a collector, something new for their collectibles shelf. Most men would far rather have a pair of tickets to their favorite sports team than a bunch of flowers, and many girls would rather have those tickets than an impersonal heart-shaped box of chocolates.

Amazingly Delicious and Unique Chocolates For some, it just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without that box of chocolates. This year, don’t just pick up a cheap box from the supermarket, get something really special. Make sure you include a card with a long paragraph about how much your Valentine means to you.

Make Jewelry Special

One of the most traditional Valentine’s gifts can be made special with a little time -personalize your gift with engraving. Include that secret pet name, or an inside joke that makes you smile. The thought will be romantic and sweet.

Comfy AND Sexy Lingerie

Guys, don’t go the stiletto heels and crotchless panties route unless she wears that sort of thing frequently already. Make sure that valentine’s lingerie is as much for her as it is for you. Girls, be daring. Surprise him by picking him up from work in a long coat with nothing but a new teddy on underneath! Now that’s lingerie both of you can enjoy.

Dress up the bedroom

If giving lingerie for Valentine’s Day is too predictable for you, take it a step further by dressing up the bedroom. Buy a new set of luxurious sheets. Set a bouquet of flowers next to the bed, and decorate with candles and rose petals. You’ll enjoy the ambiance on February 14th, but you’ll also get to enjoy those sheets for a long time to come.

Time with Friends

Ripon Film Society Leisure Centre, Ripon

This is a great one for couples that are friendly with other couples. You and your pals can join together to each give her and her pals plane tickets for a “girl’s weekend”, or him and his friends tickets for a “boys weekend”. She or he will love that you were so thoughtful and will know that you planned ahead.

22 Feb - 8:00pm

Time with Each Other


Greece 2009 Drama Director: Giorgos Lanthimos A seemingly ordinary Greek couple are bringing up their children in ignorance of the world outside: even giving ordinary words different meanings. Then an outsider is introduced and their scarily sealed world starts to crack open. “…brilliant, disturbing and often frighteningly funny… leaves you questioning the world around us.” For ticket information please contact via: 01765 600993 ...........................................................................................................................

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Most couples get so busy, especially during wedding planning, that they hardly have any time to spend together. Plan activities for the future that will be romantic time together. The present could be tickets to a new play, a picnic basket with a note about using it during the upcoming summer, or a spa gift certificate for couples treatments. She or he will enjoy knowing that you are thinking about your future together.

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during the winter with these 10 quick tips

There are plenty of ways to stay cosy and keep your home central heating bills to a minimum during the winter. Simply try out some of the following ideas - from hot water bottles to huddling together - and start to embrace the cold weather with a satisfied smile on your face.

1. Cosy up

6. Hot water bottles

Once you’re all wrapped up, make yourself a fair trade warm drink to finish off the experience of curling up on the sofa. You’ll really appreciate the savings in heating your home and feel smug about cutting carbon dioxide too.

There are some great hot water bottle warmers around too.

• If you haven’t already, reach for your favourite cosy blanket. With the extra layer you can then turn down your programmable room thermostat. Turning the temperature down just 1ºC can save up to 10% on your heating bills over the whole year, so imagine if you turned it down even more!

2. Get together

• Turning your home thermostats down in all rooms apart from one is a great excuse to stop others in the family skulking off to play video games, or watching different TVs around the house. You can keep one living area toasty (between 18-21ºC) and use it as an excuse to all get together and play games. Why not try charades to keep you moving, or have a good old fashioned chat (and we don’t mean online!).

• A hot water bottle is comforting in so many ways. You can carry one around with you, heat your bed up with it, or even warm your clothes up before you slip into them on a cold morning. Just remember to only boil the amount of water you need and buy an Energy Saving Trust Recommended kettle.

7. Double up your duvet

• It takes will power to turn your heating down a couple of hours before you go to bed. If a hot water bottle isn’t enough, why not invest in an extra duvet that you can use in the winter and store away in the summer. You can find the best duvet to keep you warm by comparing tog ratings of duvets. For summer you are looking for a tog rating of around 4.5 tog. And for winter look for around 13.5 tog. By doing this, you can turn down the heating in your room and still stay warm.

8. Brace the outside

3. Exercise

You could also keep warm by exercising inside too.

• Bracing the outside takes some preparation. Wrap yourself, your friends and your family up and brave that weather! Layer up with clothing, get yourself some good quality thermals, and go out and have fun. If it’s snowing you can build a snowman or go sledging. If it’s raining you can don those wellies and go splashing about. If it’s crisp and cold you could have a winter kick around in the garden. You could even grow your own winter vegetables – all that digging will keep you warm.

4. Mind the gaps

Whatever you do, it’s about turning that heating system down, or off, in your home and reaping the benefits.

• Exercise can be a scary word. But getting moving doesn’t have to be taxing and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise it’ll keep you warm. Get out the house, turn your heating controls right down and re-discover your neighbourhood by going for a brisk walk. When you return you’ll be glad the house is not boiling hot.

• If your home just doesn’t ever seem to warm up, it’s worth checking around your windows and the doors to see if there are any draughts. Installing draught proofing can save you money and costs very little, so it’s worth taking immediate action. There are some great temporary solutions to keeping the draughts away, and if you’ve got some time you could always come up with your own.

5. Get your slippers on

• It’s not easy switching your home heating systems down when bare floors get so cold! We lose most of our body heat through our head, fingers and toes, so make sure these are covered up first. Christmas is over so there’s no doubt some of you will have found yourselves with slippers in your stockings! It’s not that sexy walking around the house with gloves on. But slippers on the other hand are all the rage these days. Ok, so we made that up, but they are a great way to keep your feet warm and you’ll tick another box by not throwing them out as unwanted Christmas presents too. If you’re feeling left out because you didn’t get any slippers. Here’s some alternatives: • Wear two pairs of socks • Try slipper socks - socks with grips • Ugg boots . Although these are mainly worn outside, they were originally meant for indoors.

20 Ripon & Masham infocus

9. House work

• Before you stop reading, wait, housework can help keep your energy bills down! Whilst dusting those high hard to reach places, why not check your bulbs are all energy saving light bulbs . When cleaning your windows, check to see if you could plug some gaps around your window frames with draught-proofing strips. There are 2 main types: Self-adhesive foam strips, which are the cheapest option, and easy to install. However they may not last as long as other methods. Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached. These are longlasting, but cost a little more. When wiping around your skirting board, check for any draughty gaps, but also check plug sockets to see if you can turn off any electricals on standby. It’ll save you hassle and money in the long run.

10. Hot pots

• Eat healthy hot dinners such as stews laden with vegetables. As well as keeping you toasty, the nutrients will keep you healthy when the weather is trying to weaken your immune system. Stews also cook on a low heat which will stop your oven using too much energy.

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Check on your

elderly neighbours this winter

This winter the Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to take ten minutes out of their day to check on an elderly neighbour and carry out a few simple checks which could help to reduce these risks and keep them safe from fire. Winter can be a difficult time for elderly residents as the cold weather sets in and keeping warm becomes a priority. Fire risk in the home can increase due to people smoking indoors to stay out of the cold and using open fires and electric or gas heaters becomes more frequent. Four quick checks, that take just moments to carry out, could really make a difference to someone’s safety this winter:

• Offer to check their smoke alarm is working – Push the button and make sure the alarm sounds • Check if your neighbour smokes – If they do, remind them to never smoke in bed, never smoke when tired and always ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished in a suitable ash tray • Check your neighbours cooking practices – Remind them never to leave cooking unattended and ensure the cooker is turned off before they leave the house or go to bed. • Check whether your neighbour has an open fire – If so, ensure they use a fire guard. If they use a portable heater remind them not to sit too close as

fabric can catch fire. Also remind them not to leave it turned on over night. If someone has had an accident in their home, fallen and injured themselves or been taken ill, they may not be able to attract attention of neighbours, passersby or people who call at the door. Always be on the look-out for signs that something might be wrong, especially when the weather is cold. There are many signs to look out for: • Milk not taken in late in the day. • Newspapers stuck in the letterbox. • Curtains drawn during the day. • Lights burning during the day. • Home in darkness when there should be someone at home. • Dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in.

Prevention Clearly, it is important to prevent people from becoming cold in the first place. Family, friends and neighbours in the community can look out for those who might be at risk from the cold.

Prevention is always easier than cure.

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22 Ripon & Masham infocus

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How to chit your potatoes to get them off to a good start. How to chit

Chitting simply means encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting.

• Start chitting from late January in warmer parts of the country or in February in cooler areas, about six weeks before you intend to plant out the potatoes. • Each seed potato has a more rounded, blunt end that has a number of ‘eyes’. • Stand the tubers with the blunt end uppermost in trays or old egg boxes, with plenty of natural light. • The potatoes are ready to be planted out when the shoots are 1.5-2.5cm (0.5-1in) long.

How to plant • Plant your chitted potatoes when the soil has started to warm up, usually from mid-March or early April. Start by digging a trench 7.5-13cm (3-5in) deep, although the exact depth should vary according to the variety of potato you’re planting. • Add a light sprinkling of fertiliser to your trench before you begin planting. • Plant early potatoes about 30cm (12in) apart with 40-50cm (16-20in) between the rows, and second earlies and maincrops about 38cm (15in) apart with 75cm (30in) between the rows. • Handle your chitted tubers with care, gently setting them into the trench with the shoots pointing upwards, being careful not to break the shoots. Cover the potatoes lightly with soil. • As soon as the shoots appear, earth up each plant by covering it with a ridge of soil so that the shoots are just buried. • You need to do this at regular intervals and by the end of the season each plant will have a small mound around it about 15cm (6in) high.

Harvesting • Your home-grown potatoes should be ready for lifting from June until September, depending on the varieties and the growing conditions. Earlies can be lifted and eaten as soon as they’re ready. • This will be when above-ground growth is still green, and usually as soon as the flowers open. • Second and maincrop varieties can be kept in the ground much longer, until September, even though above-ground growth may well be looking past its best. • Two weeks before you lift the crop, cut the growth off at ground level. This should give the skins of the potatoes sufficient time to toughen up, making them far less prone to damage from lifting and easier to store.

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Swimathon launches biggest ever fundraising swim - And celebrates 25 anniversary year -

Entries for the 25th annual Swimathon opened this week with TV presenter, model and keen swimmer Jodie Kidd and London 2012 Ambassador Duncan Goodhew swimming the first two lengths at Oasis Sports Centre in London. The event again joins forces with Marie Curie Cancer Care and, for the first time, the BBC’s and British Swimming’s Big Splash, and Sport Relief to give thousands of swimmers the opportunity to raise vital funds through Swimathon’s traditional distance challenges and the new ‘Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief’. Swimathon Weekend 2012 hits 649 pools across the UK between 27-29 April. Last year over 400 swimmers took part across North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Teesside and collectively raised a fantastic £28,103 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Harrogate resident Kirstie Hamilton who took part in Swimathon last year for Marie Curie Cancer Care said: “I was inspired to take part in Swimathon after losing a friend and a colleague to cancer. The help and support that was provided by the Marie Curie nurses was amazing, and I wanted to do something to help raise money for the charity. “I did the 5k swim with my Husband. I followed a training schedule, and being a Triathlete, I used the event as part of my winter training. Anyone can take part in Swimathon though and I found it to be a great opportunity to develop. I had a great sense of achievement and was spurred on by the memory of my lost friends and by the thought of raising vital funds to help support the Marie Curie Nursing Service.”

Jennyruth Workshops

Jonathan’s Report for the Newsletter. These are his own words and order of telling, just the phrasing adjusted by Barrie here and there.

I Did it Again! My challenge this year was to walk 82 miles along the Fife Coastal Path in bonnie Scotland. We started at the Forth Bridge in North Queensferry and walked to the river Tay Bridge near Dundee. The first few miles were very nice through a nature reserve but very soon we came upon a big working area (industrial he means!) There were scrap metal yards and things like that and until we passed through Kirkaldy three days later it was like this

24 Ripon & Masham infocus

Swimathon Weekend participants swimming for Marie Curie Cancer Care can choose from the 5k, 2.5k or Team 5k challenges and those opting to raise money for the ‘Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief’ can take part individually or as part of a team to complete the Mile. Jodie Kidd said: “I‘m delighted to help launch the 25th Swimathon - and in such a special sporting year for this country. With all the talk of being inspired to take up exercise in 2012, it’s events like this that give us all that sometimes necessary goal to aim for. Whilst I can’t claim to be a fish in the pool exactly, diving into my local pool is something I definitely enjoy. And even more so now that I can take my little boy in with me.”

will provide free nursing care and support for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses. The charity expects to care for over 31,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its hospices this year.” Money raised by the public for the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief will be spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives; both here, at home in the UK, and across the world’s poorest countries. Each of the first 10,000 people to sign up online for a Swimathon Weekend session before 31 January 2012 will enjoy half price entry. Swimmer entry is open at until 25 April 2012.

Swimathon Weekend President Duncan Goodhew said: “We all know that sports such as swimming will enjoy their time in the limelight this year. 2012 also being our 25th Anniversary year, we’d love to add to the half a million people who have taken part in the event so far, to dive into pools up and down the country. These amazing people have raised more than £34 million for charity to date and, by teaming up with the Big Splash, we’re aiming to raise record amounts for not one but two important charities.” Funds raised by taking on the 5k or 2.5k Swimathon Distance Challenges for Marie Curie Cancer Care

with a lot of road walking, Ugh! After this it got much nicer. We went through some lovely old fishing villages with good views out to sea and up the coast and across to some islands. We still had a lot of walking on tarmac, but some of the time we were walking on the beach. Whilst we were on the walk we went past a monument to King Alexander 3rd where he went over the cliff on horseback and was killed. He was in a hurry on a foggy night to get back home to his new Queen after having a meeting in Edinburgh. We also saw the remains of some very old salt pans where the local people a long time ago used to boil up sea water to get the salt out of it. We also saw some caves where cavemen once lived long before the time of Jesus. There were holes in the cave walls which were probably for doves. One of the caves was called Jonathan’s cave!! We went past a lot of

golf courses, called golf links. At one point we were walking under some very high cliffs and I found a golf ball at the bottom. I’m glad I wasn’t there when it came down! We also saw lots of wild flowers along the coast and dad and I had a competition to see who could spot them first! On one day we knew that we had to get to a point early enough to beat the tide coming in, but we didn’t!! We had to wait a long time and then I had to paddle to get round some rocks (please note that it was VERY safe!!! Barrie) All the time we were walking we lived in a wooden chalet in Upper Largo so we must say a very big thank you to mum who took us to the beginning and collected us at the end of every day. Robinson Crusoe came from Upper Largo and we saw his statue. Thank you to all my sponsors I raised over £1300.00 for Jennyruth Workshops. Jonathan

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FRIDAY, 9th MARCH, 2012 9.30am to 3.00pm

Donations of Goods would be greatly appreciated and can be left at the Town Hall on Thursday 8th March between 9.00am and 3.30pm

For advertising contact Christine on: 01609 777401 |

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Blue Cross

lucky to be alive

The Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Thirsk recently looked after an extremely lucky black cat. Little Mags, who is only about 18-months-old, was discovered in a field near Easingwold. She had been trapped for about two weeks because her front paw was stuck in her elasticated collar and she was unable to move. Not only was she starving and had lost about half her bodyweight, her attempts to get free had caused a nasty wound in her ‘armpit’. This had become infected and riddled with maggots-literally eating her alive!

Thankfully she was eventually found and rushed to the Bishopton veterinary practice nearby. She is now recovering and, at time of going to press, looking for a new home. Caroline Thompson, Blue Cross deputy manager a Thirsk said: “Mags has been through an horrific ordeal which could easily have been avoided if she had been wearing a collar that snapped open when she became trapped. We’re urging cat owners to avoid using elasticated collars to prevent incidents like this in the future.”

top tips for happy pets this winter Just like their owners, many pets prefer to spend more time indoors when the weather turns cold and wet. It is important to make sure pets are still getting the physical and mental stimulation they need if they are not going out and about as much as usual. Cats naturally want to scratch outdoors to keep their claws sharp and leave scent markings. Make sure you provide scratch posts for them so that they don’t take this out on your furniture! Encourage them to use it by gently wiping their paws on it and sprinkle some cat nip to tempt them. Hide pet treats around the house to encourage your pet to do some

exercise and to keep them mentally active. Remember to give them less dinner if you give more treats than usual though, to prevent them putting on weight. Make sure you play other games with your pets too. Cats like fishing rod toys, balls and even cotton reels (but remove the cotton!), and hiding in cardboard boxes. Provide chew toys for your dog to keep them entertained and prevent them from chewing unsuitable objects - like your favourite slippers or the furniture. Try and keep to your dog’s usual walk routine. If you do take them on shorter walks then vary the route to keep it interesting. Always keep dogs on a lead if your usual walk is near water, if it has frozen over it can be very dangerous for them to walk on.

Could you love us? If you are considering taking on a pet please come and visit the Thirsk animal adoption centre. We always have lots of cats and dogs who really deserve a loving home and there are many benefits to taking on a pet from The Blue Cross: • All Blue Cross pets are carefully assessed and we match each individual pet to potential new owners. • Every animal has been checked over by the vet, vaccinated, neutered and microchipped • Blue Cross animal behaviourists can give advice for the rest of the

26 Ripon & Masham infocus

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pet’s lifetime if you notice a change

in their behaviour. If would like to find out about the pets looking for homes at The Blue Cross in Thirsk, or about our events, contact the centre on 01845 577759, visit the website: uk/thirsk or join us on Facebook!

This magazine has a

readership of


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to advertise with us!

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Thirsk & Easingwold



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Our publications are Royal Mail delivered every quarter to over 45,000 homes & businesses across Northallerton, Thirsk, Easingwold, Ripon & Masham.


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£105.00 £350.00 When’s the next issue? Northallerton Distribution: w/c 12 March ‘12 Copy: 16 February ‘12 .....................................................


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The Index is a free service offered to our customers. No responsibility can be held for errors or omissions.

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Index Bee Keeping

Computer Services

Fire Safety

Agricultural Supply Services: p8

Masham I.T: p8

North Yorkshire Fire Service: p27

Boiler Servicing



Holme Design: p5 Lowmac Home Design: p9 Rydenor Paints: p4 Stairs & More: p9

Oilforce: p21 Rumdoodle Gas Services: p28

Clock Tower Dental: p2

Logs To Burn: p23 PJ Taylor Forestry: p22


Builders & Contractors

Bedale Copy Shop: p28 p28

Concrete 4 U: p9 Flat Roof Company: p29 Lightwater Quarries: p28 MH Joinery: p10 Property Repair Services: p28 Ripon Building Services: p1 Stores Rural Services: p6

Business Services Bedale Copy Shop: p28 Evans Self Storage: p10 Masham I.T: p8 p28 Sycamore Business Park: p7

Carpets & Flooring Searles Carpets: p1

Cleaning Services Cleanup Services: p4 Daily Poppins: p8

Children’s Services Encore Dancewear: p14 Paul Stride: p15 Socatots: p14 Stagecoach: p14 Treasure Island: p15 York & Harrogate Area Teachers: p14

Design & Print Education York & Harrogate Area Teachers: p14

Elderly Care MV Mobility: p25 Skell Lodge Nursing Home: p25 Sycamore Hall: p32

Electrical Services Aerial & Sat Fix: p9 B & P Don: p4 Electrocare: p28 Handy Andy: p28

Entertainment Good Company Yorkshire: p17 Good Company Yorkshire: p29 Precious Gems: p28 The Water Rat: p16

Fashion & Clothing

Food & Drink Jaipur Spice: p17 Old Station Yard: p17 The Water Rat: p16 Wiltshire Farm Foods: p13


Joinery MH Joinery: p10

Kitchen Design

Carlton House Furniture: p11 Kitchings Furniture: p2 Simply Beds: p32

Dales of Thirsk: p10 Holme Design: p5 Lowmac Home Design: p9

Garden Services

Mobility Assistance

Concrete 4 U: p9 Fencing Paving & Decking: p23 Jonny Almond: p23 Mark Kinghorn Garden Services: p22 North Yorkshire Tree Care: p29 Property Repair Services: p28 Skell Wrough Iron: p23 Stores Rural Services: p6 White’s Garden Services: p29

Gifts Kardz: p16

Encore Dancewear: p14 Humphrey & Tilly: p3 Planet Jewels Accessories: p6

Healthcare & Wellbeing

Finance & Legal

Home & Interiors

Askham Tax & Accountancy Ltd: p28

Planet Jewels Accessories: p6 Precious Gems: p28 Silverdale: p19

Angi Almond Holistic Therapies: p25

Dales of Thirsk: p10 Finesse Home Interiors: p31

MV Mobility: p25

Oven Cleaning OvenU: p27

Painters & Decorators Trevor Pickering: p28

Pets & Animals AJ Fabrications: p26 Animal Antics: p26 Farmway: p1

Photography Brendan Knight Photography: p19

Plumbing Rumdoodle Gas Services: p28

AMR Locksmiths: p28 F & P Alarms: p10 Flat Roof Company: p29 Handy Andy: p28 Johnsons Heating: p29 Jonny Almond: p23 MH Joinery: p10 Property Repair Services: p28 Rumdoodle Gas Services: p28

Property Sales & Letting Hunters: p3

Sports & Leisure Encore Dance School: p14 Socatots: p14 Square 1 Leisure: p3 Treasure Island: p15

Storage Evans Self Storage: p10

Taxi A’n’B Cars: p3

Tree Surgery North Yorkshire Tree Care: p29 Stores Rural Services: p6

Windows Abbey Windows: p8 Millennium Windows: p27 Simco Windows: p22

Wrought Iron Skell Wrough Iron: p23

Property Maintenance About The House: p28

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Ripon & Masham InFocus Winter 2011  

Ripon & Masham InFocus showcases a wide range of local business and services across Ripon, Masham and the surrounding areas.

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