Issue 210

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Check out our website ISSUE 210

All you

Kn ead to Know on page 28



Be nice to have some sun for the Staycation...

ISSUE 210 Editor

Alice Thomas

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Welcome to sunny!! August here and hope that you and yours are safe and well as we come to the end of the Summer Holiday and the schools are back to try and return some normalitiy to our younger generations lives... as well as some of the older generations too... We have been busy as usual and have another bumper issue which has a ‘shout out’ to start, as after four decades in the teaching profession Littlegarths Head Teacher Peter Jones is retiring and we have loved the relationship that we have had with Peter and the team at the magazine as they have been advertisers in the magazine since 2006. All the best Peter and hope to catch up with you on a golf course soon. To that end we are excited to offer a big ‘elite’ hello and welcome to the new Head at Littlegarth, Kathy Uttley, who takes over, following five years as head of Lorenden Prep School, in Kent. Read more on Page 12 and 13. Elsewhere Richard Bowdidge who set up The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation with his wife Nikki is set to take the plunge with a daring open water swim and you can read how you can get involved by sponsoring Richard on Page 10. Page 22 gives us an insight into the return of the Rural Rumble at The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge on Saturday 9th October 2021 in aid of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. On Page 24 we catch with Alexandra’s, a lady only gym, where ladies of any age are able to access to keep fit, be pampered with beauty treatments, buy retail from local small businesses and have a social with like-minded people. This month sees the launch of The Baker’s Cousin, a brand new range of bread mixes for anyone who enjoys baking, from Mistley-based EDME. All you Knead to Know is on Page 28, check out the range. What’s On and Where is on Page 27 and there is a link to the website so you can make sure that your event isn’t missed out of the next issue, don’t forget to stay up to date at: Have fun in the sun and as always, please Be Kind! Alice

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contents 10

Dad takes the plunge Richard Bowdidge, of West Bergholt, has decided to take himself out of his comfort zone to raise much-needed funds for The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.


HRCC Rural Ramble is back! Join the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for our Rural Ramble at The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge on Saturday 9th October 2021!

living WELL



Support the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance with their first ever Crowdfunding Appeal to raise money to build a new state-ofthe-art training simulation suite at their North Weald Airbase.

Our Living Well section with this months activities to help us all love to Live Well as we look to come out of Lockdown.

EHAAT – Crowdfunding Appeal

Living Well


All you Knead to Know A local Mistley based company, The Baker’s Cousin, known for supplying natural ingredients to the bakery industry has, after nearly 140 years, decided to share its trade secrets with home bakers.


FJG LLP team up

Tell us about your What’s on and Where 4

FJG LLP solicitors team up with a private investment group, Blixt Group.

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Improving your home is the best option B

etween March and August last year, mortgage comparison site estimated that homeowners spent a staggering £55bn on home improvements. And with households estimated to be sitting on some £180bn of savings from the last 18 months, the boom looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. That’s the view of Steve Rawding, Sales and Marketing Director at leading South East home improvement company SEH BAC, who says uncertainty around going abroad is one of the main reasons why home improvements are still on the agenda. “Confidence in foreign holidays has taken a hit and, just like last year, consumers are likely to focus on investing in their homes with their savings,” said Steve. “Recent research commissioned by the Good Home Inquiry found that 63% of people approaching later life in England see home renovations as a priority in the next two years, so the bubble isn’t set to burst any time soon.” Steve also cites other reasons for the popularity of home improvements to stay on the rise. The recent stamp duty holiday caused chaos for potential buyers, with homes for sale getting snapped up in double quick time to take advantage.

Those people will have had to reset their priorities and, and with mortgage rates hitting another record low, homeowners are looking at remortgaging their properties to potentially save thousands on mortgage repayments or release capital. According to data from Legal & General Financial Advice, the number of over-50s customers seeking equity release to undertake home improvements rose by 134% in 2021. Steve said: “The stamp duty holiday was brilliant for those who were able to get in in time, but many missed the boat and, with some mortgage rates dropping below 1%, staying put has never looked more attractive. “Having home improvements can increase space and add value to a property, making them a great option to get everything from your home that you want.”

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Dad takes the plunge with daring open water swim A

DAD who hasn’t set foot in a swimming pool for years is set to swim a mile in open water for charity. Richard Bowdidge, of West Bergholt, has decided to take himself out of his comfort zone to raise much-needed funds for The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. The dad-of-two will take part in the Serpentine Swim challenge, which forces contestants to swim a mile of the London lake in freezing conditions. Richard, who set up the Foundation with wife and CEO Nikki, said: “In 2020 I fundraised by shaving my hair off. “While living folicly challenged was difficult, I really thought it was about time I pushed myself a bit and tried something a bit more out there for The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.

of £500, but would love to raise more. Richard added: “It’s fantastic to get that support from people. Every penny raised really makes this challenge special for me in Tom’s memory. I’m hoping people will be there on the day to cheer me on too.” Wife Nikki said: “I’ve been egging Richard on for a while to get out of his chair and do something a bit daring, but even I think this is almost too much for him. “I can’t wait to see his smiling face in the freezing Serpentine, raising money for Tom and his Foundation.” To sponsor Richard, go to https:// RichardBowdidge1

To find out more about The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, go to

“Rather than running or cycling miles, I decided I would throw myself into a freezing cold lake in the middle of London and swim a mile. I’m yet to hear if Nikki will let me wear a wet suit, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. “I am nervous, daunted and excited all at the same time but I will only be going out of my comfort zone for one day, young people with cancer are out of theirs on a daily basis.” Richard has set himself a fundraising target


(L to R) Tom, Nikki, Emma and Richard Bowdidge.

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LONG-SERVING – headteacher Peter Jones is retiring after four decades in the profession The 63 year-old has spent the last 18 years in charge of Littlegarth School, in Nayland. He started as head of PE at Holmwood House, in Lexden, in September 1981 and then became deputy head in September 1995 before being appointed headteacher at Littlegarth in Sept 2003. Mr Jones said: “Teaching is a special profession and it’s been such a privilege to play a small part in the lives of so many special young people over the past 40 years. In recent years, Littlegarth has gained a strong reputation for academic and all-round success.

“These results, combined with some outstanding inspection reports, have enabled Littlegarth to rise to the position of one of the foremost independent prep schools in the region.” The school has grown considerably in those 40 years, especially in more recent years. Littlegarth now boasts some outstanding facilities, including a new multi-purpose sports hall, doubling the size of the sports facilities, and the planting of a fouracre woodland that houses an outdoor stage.

“Between 20 and 30 per cent of the Year 6 children gained entry to local grammar schools each year, while over half the Littlegarth leavers have gained scholarship awards to independent senior schools over the past ten years.

Peter Jones, retiring as headteacher since 2003


In January 2018, a new classroom block opened which incorporates six teaching rooms for Reception and Years 5 and 6, a library which houses a class computer room and specialist rooms for art, drama and music.

staff during her visits for sports day and various parents’ evenings in the summer term. Mrs Uttley said: “I’m delighted to be leading Littlegarth from September and very much looking forward to my first day with all the lovely children, staff and parent community. “I have been head of an IAPS Prep School in Kent for the last five years and very pleased to now be based on the Essex/Suffolk border and to be part of such a vibrant and happy school that Littlegarth clearly is. Littlegarth School new head, Kathy Uttley “Just before lockdown, Littlegarth received a prestigious visit from the Good Schools Guide and the subsequent report highlights just what an outstanding school Littlegarth has developed into,” added Mr Jones.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone at the school and being part of the school’s local community, finding out how we can work together.”

“The excellent report was based on evidence gained from the visit and from interviews with a number of parents across the school community. It was a real achievement.” Kathy Uttley is taking over as head, following five years as head of Lorenden Prep School, in Faversham, Kent. She has already met many children, parents and

If you would like to know more about all that Littlegarth provides, please visit our website or telephone 01206 262332 to arrange a visit in the coming weeks.

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Gardening with Well the children go back to school perhaps you had a short holiday or maybe your holiday was being at home and using the garden. Whatever it was the weather this year had played some dreadful tricks on us all with a beautiful start a rotten middle and who can tell how it will end, as gardeners though, we always grumble. Enough grumbling as this year has produced some great flower displays on everything from those early flowering shrubs to Perrennial’s and vegetables and fruits alike. Abundance of fruit on the late flowering fruit trees as they missed those frosts, but more about fruit later. The Mirabelle this year are so plentiful I can’t believe how many are on the trees. Commonly called cherry plums they are in fact plums and are grown mainly in France in Lorraine, where they are harvested like olives by shaking the trees. Several gardens I visit have them growing as do Wilkins and sons on their farm for jam making. They are like a large cherry, yellow with a fleck of rosy red although some are more yellow and others more

red, the flesh is sweet tender and if perfectly ripe soft and jelly like. Chefs use them for tarts and a as nx as said make superb jams and jelly. So grow something different this year why not check out Pomona Fruits,they have a range of Mirabelle from the traditional Mirabelle de Nancy to a red variety Countess or a yellow called Sphere. As we go through this month if you haven’t cut the lavender dead heads off you really must, the danger is that second flowers will appear and then you feel guilty cutting those off and the plant will end up leggy. Always cut into the young wood about an inch and this will encourage fresh new growth if not the plant will become woody. With a bit of luck you still will get a second flush of flower even though quite sparse. Feed with a liquid feed like Maxicrop to give it a boost, taking of which, I’m hoping you’ve kept Rhododendron, Azalea, and Camellias well watered and fed through last month and this. Why you ask , well this is when the buds are being formed for

their flowers, and if they don’t get enough the stem to the bud can’t feed the flower and it browns and drops off. Then you will be disappointed that your bush isn’t in bloom. If you have perhaps a Laurel hedge or maybe Portuguese Laurel even conifer it’s worth doing a prune before winter. I’ve just pruned a Laurel hedge and as it was smallish I used as I always would my trusty pair of Felco No 2 a great pair of secateurs which will last you for years. Prune back to just above a leaf and that will produce a shoot from the leaf axil. Stand back to check the top is by level and remember hedges a generally level and not following the lie of the land. Talking of which, it is now time if you haven’t already cut back your Beach and Hornbeam hedges, normally August well late August is best and then the hedges as the leaves go brown they should stay on all winter and will give you a good screen, that’s why people plant them as an alternative to evergreen.

Ken Crowther CHort MCIHort



living WELL


Helen Rollason Cancer Charity’s Rural Ramble is back for 2021! J

oin the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for our Rural Ramble at The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge on Saturday 9th October 2021!

The gardens which are entirely maintained by volunteers, comprise of a walled kitchen garden dating back to the 18th century, a wild flowers area for the bees, formal gardens, beautiful carpets and expansive colourful displays of flowers in Spring and Summer. There are three distance options for participants to choose from; 10 mile walk and garden visit, 4 mile walk and garden visit or a 1 mile walk family trail and garden visit – dogs on leads are welcome. As part of the visit a delicious cream tea is included with each ticket. Previous participants have been full of praise for the event; “I would just like to say thank you for organising a great Rural Ramble. My husband, two children, two dogs and I completed the 10 mile ramble today. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the organisation, the route and the tea afterwards were all excellent and for the first time in a long time the weather was on everyone’s side!” Angus Drever - Chair of Trustees at the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the Gardens are to be the focal point of the Helen Rollason Rural Ramble again on Saturday 9th October. The Grade II listed Gardens are being lovingly restored by volunteers to enable the public to enjoy the wealth of history and biodiversity that the Gardens abound in.” Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Community Fundraiser Karen Mitchell added. “After we had to postpone our original April date this year, we are so looking forward to returning to The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge in the Autumn. It will be wonderful to see families, groups of friends, children and dogs enjoying the walk and the stunning gardens once again.”

Book now to take advantage of our early bird prices as places are limited and must be pre-booked! You can register online using the form on our website (www. or simply call 01245 380719.


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Alexandra’s a small, quiet, ladies only gym A

lexandra’s is a lady only gym, where ladies of any age are able to access to keep fit, be pampered with beauty treatments, buy retail from local small businesses and have a social with like-minded people. They are a small quiet gym that makes you feel at home and not that uncomfortable feeling like some public gyms. You wear what’s comfortable for you and our bespoke programme will get you started on your fitness journey. They offer seven power assisted Toning Tables, helping you start your fitness campaign by exercising key muscles without too much stress. They are especially good for people with the following: Asthma, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, High Blood Cholesterol, Post Stroke, Diabetes, Depression, Anxiety and Obesity. Workout approx. 1hr

They have two Power Plates that offer a 30 Min full body workout. The platform stimulates the body’s muscles making them contract more rapidly. Perfect to increase muscle strength, increase bone density, increase flexibility and mobility, improves balance , immediate improvement in blood and circulation and cellulite buster. You can enjoy alongside the tables and power plates our cardio equipment and weights. For an extra cost they also run Pilates, Aerobics, Chair, Legs Bums and Tums and Disco Inferno workout classes throughout the week.

More information give us a call: 01787 370888 or email the team at:


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Alexandra’s is a ladies-only gym where you can exercise, relax or rejuvenate using our wide range of equipment and expert technicians.

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Laughter Lines Clinics at Alexandras We aim to take care of your face body and soul. Whether you are in need of a spa facial, relaxing massage, or would benefit from a deep tissue massage. Please feel free to call Sophie on 07552740651 or

PAYG £6 per session OR £30 per month unlimited Mon- Fri 9am -8pm | Saturday 8am-2pm 01787 370888 | | 24

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We hand make brownies, truffles, tarts and cakes in Colchester specialising in Gluten and Dairy-Free goods. Direct message us at @ReadyBaked in Facebook or Instagram to place an order. We offer local collection from Colchester or local delivery on a Friday or a Saturday in the Colchester area.

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance – Training Suite Crowdfunding Appeal E

ssex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) are calling upon the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire to support the charity with their first ever Crowdfunding Appeal to raise money to build a new state-of-the-art training simulation suite at their North Weald Airbase for their critical care team. Dr Naomi Pritchard, one of EHAATs PreHospital Care Consultants explains further, “we are asking the local community to help us raise money to build an intensive and realistic training environment for our critical care team. High-tech visual projections, sounds and smells will submerge our team in ultra-real training scenarios so they can practice advanced procedures on human-like medical mannequins, putting them under the same stress and pressure of a real-life incident. This could be a car crash by a busy road or an incident in a child’s bedroom, this immersive training will help our team to train and prepare better for the various real-world scenarios they face every day.” EHAATs team work 24/7 and are dispatched up to 6 times a day. They aim to save lives and reduce and prevent disability and suffering from critical illness and injury by providing a first-class pre-hospital emergency medical service. Treating patients at the scene, away from immediate hospital support, they could be performing open-heart surgery on a road one minute and managing a blood transfusion mid-air the next. Naomi continues, “this new training simulation suite at our North Weald Airbase will allow for the realistic simulation, debrief and critique of incident-based scenarios. This will enhance confidence, knowledge, team communication and performance at the scene of each mission. This new suite will also enable us to collaborate and share learning and experiences with partners across the emergency services and the NHS, opening the facility up for cross team simulations


such as road traffic accidents and terrorist incidents. The long-term impact is that with your help our critical care team of pre-hospital care doctors and critical care paramedics will continue to perform increasingly complex medical procedures in unusual locations and scenarios. The result will be a stronger air ambulance for the people of Essex and Hertfordshire and the saving of more lives. In addition, our high-tech training environment will become a Centre of Excellence, setting training standards for wider medical and emergency service communities across Essex, Hertfordshire and beyond.” Natasha Robertson, Fundraising Manager said, “training is so vital to ensuring that our clinical teams continue to provide the life-saving work that they do. We are thrilled that with the support of Stephen Gale at the Thorpe Bay Rotary Club we have been able to setup this very special appeal and if you could donate, you would have the peace of mind that you have helped to better train our critical care team now and into the future. To find out more and to support this appeal please visit projects/essexhertsairambulance.”

For more information about EHAAT and its work, visit

Your local What’s on and Where Guide The Halls

St Andrew’s Plain, Norwich, NR3 1AU. Telephone: 01603 628477

Colchester Charter Hall Colchester Leisure World, Cowdray Ave, Colchester CO1 1YH. Tel: 01206 573948

Art Fair East This year’s fair will run from Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th December in Norwich.

of a 34 year criminal career. If you thought the law was in safe hands and a serious business, - you were wrong! “Clever, often hilarious” (Spy in the Stalls). The play contains some strong language.

TV favourite Ed Byrne brings his biggest tour to date to Colchester 11th November

Headgate Theatre One of the biggest art fairs outside of London is set to return for 2021.

Colchester Arts Centre

Church St, Colchester CO1 1NF Tel: 01206 500900

14 Chapel St N, CO2 7AT Tel: 01206 366000 tickets@headgatetheatre. Songs and Ayres Wed 8th September 2021 Catherine May and Andrew Allen formed their duo in 2018 to explore the repertoire for voice and guitar. Honour Amongst Thieves Wed 29th September 2021 - Sat 2nd October 2021 Catherine May and Andrew Allen formed their duo in 2018 to explore the repertoire for voice and guitar.

The godfather of political comedy, Mark Thomas 21st October

This look at the justice system and those who people it is born

The Sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein Wed 15th September 2021 - Sat 18th September 2021 Platform Musicals celebrate the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein in a special concert performance that features selections from some of the greatest musicals ever written, including “Oklahoma”, “South Pacific”, “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music”. Book early to avoid disappointment. All these dates and times are subject to Government Guidance at the time and always contact the event before attending... Please mention elite magazine when replying to advertisements


All you


w o n K o t d a e n K

local company, known for supplying natural ingredients to the bakery industry has, after nearly 140 years, decided to share its trade secrets with home bakers. This month sees the launch of The Baker’s Cousin, a brand new range of bread mixes for anyone who enjoys baking, from Mistleybased EDME. Six marvellous mixes of natural, wholesome ingredients are ready for the hands of home bakers, whatever their skill level. Nearly half (45%) of UK adults surveyed by YouGov in May last year said they would like to make bread in the future. “We have just made that aspiration easy - and a whole lot more appealing,” says Mark Hodson, The Baker’s Cousin kneader-in-chief. He points to the fact that in the baking-mixes on the shelves, there is a lot of exciting sweet fare, but very little that is fun – and savoury.

Hodson says The Baker’s Cousin has risen up to fill this gap. The brand moves away from the ‘worthy’ image portrayed by some bread mixes. With its colourful packaging, quirky illustrations and play on words, it spells out the pleasure that can be had from bread baking. It indicates that producing healthy, nutritious food can be enjoyable and entertaining. “You can have fun with dough,” he says, “and then experience fresh, nutritious bread straight from the oven. With one of The Baker’s Cousin bread mixes in your hands (or bread machine) and the help of the easy instructions, you will be creating impressive loaves right from the get-go. You don’t have to do much to rise to the challenge: just give it a ‘dough’.

“Puns aside, the fact your home will be filled with fabulous aromas once your loaves are in the oven is an additional benefit to the goodness of fresh, home-baked bread.” The six mixes will enable baking novices and experts to create superb breads ranging from seed-packed cobs and dark rye boules to flat focaccia and ancient grain tin loaves. They are packed with the same special ingredients that EDME has been producing and supplying to professional bakers since the company started in 1884. The company is located on the Essex-Suffolk border in the heart of the best grain growing region in Britain, and over the years, local people have visited the factory and, filled with enthusiasm, asked why they couldn’t buy small quantities of the mixes to use at home. 2020 threw up changes in cooking and eating habits – some of which will endure. There is


a greater interest in food, in ingredients, and in home baking. That plus the interest from EDME’s neighbours made for a clear decision. It was time to give people access to the ingredients previously available only to the pros. So it was that The Baker’s Cousin began. The bread mixes come in handy 1kg packs – enough to make two sizeable loaves. The name of each of the Baker’s Cousin mixes plays on words: A Rye Smile; Needed and Seeded; Go with the Grain. The brightly coloured packets, recyclable along with plastic bags at supermarkets, sport contemporary designs with an Edwardian-style twist. They are certainly attention-grabbing. Mark Hodson concludes, “Home baking isn’t all about cakes and cookies, but about natural, nutritious savoury foods too. If there’s anything more you ‘knead’ to know, or to inspire you, just hop online and sift through the lovely mixes on offer to make your choices. Then get your implements and surfaces b’ready and get the oven on. Dough, dough, dough!”

The Baker’s Cousin range comprises:-

A Rye Smile: dark rye bread mix Light Ryelief: light rye bread mix Go with the Grain: ancient grain bread mix Know Your Onions: onion focaccia bread mix Needed and Seeded: seeded bread mix The Whole Truth: wholemeal bread mix Serves you Rye: light rye flour Serves you Rye: dark rye flour It is available through

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Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP team up with the Blixt Group L

eading Essex firm Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP solicitors (FJG) are delighted to announce that they have combined forces with a private investment group, Blixt Group (Blixt). This is the first collaboration of its kind for Blixt, which has been looking to invest nationally in the legal sector. FJG will become a springboard for further acquisitions over the next 3 to 4 years. FJG has successfully survived the covid crisis and is now in a strong position to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Partnering with Blixt will ensure that FJG remains resilient, with sufficient capital, human resources and technology support to enable it to continue to grow rapidly both organically and by way of acquisition.

Senior partner Tony Fisher (above) said “this is a fantastic opportunity for the firm to continue its growth path and provide opportunities to other firms to be part of a national network. We will stick with our key values of integrity, respect and expertise, and with the support of Blixt we want to continue to be known as a great place to work, retaining and supporting the best employees to develop their own careers in a dynamic and exciting firm which is fully adjusted to the emerging legal services market.” The Blixt group is a growth-oriented panEuropean private equity firm headquartered in London with access to over €250 million of committed institutional investor funding. Blixt is committed to the UK legal sector with the vision of building a leading national firm, concentrating on the provision of private client services and services to small and mediumsized corporates. Carl Harring, CEO of the Blixt Group said ‘we are delighted to be working with FJG. We were immediately impressed by the quality of the firm and its commitment to innovation and progress alongside excellent client service. We are looking forward to help build a strong national group supported by best-in-class technology and process flow.” All of the existing FJG equity partners will remain as partners and members of the firm in their current roles with senior partner Tony Fisher becoming Chief Executive Officer and managing partner Paula Fowler becoming Chief Operations Officer.

For more information contact or visit: call 0845 543 5700 or follow us on social media.


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