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FITNESS SPECIAL Top 5 Ways To Workout

WHAT’S ON Get Out And About In Essex


12 Months Health Club Membership Worth £400!

DISNEY WORLD The Ultimate Family Adventure




WeByrStep th 33 Step ald Marbled nails

ON THE COVER 24 Top 5 ways to workout 46 Experience Orlando Florida 53 What’s On 57 Competition Win a health club membership COMMUNITY 6 Your Comments 10 Local News 16 Meet the Locals 54 Union Care 55 Zinc Arts Charity feature


HOME & GARDEN 37 Blinds and Shutters Ep improvements Home pin 41 Gardening g With Victoria Robertson FOOD & DRINK Th & Wine Pairing 42 Recipe e


Bo on& VOUCHERS FUN, GAMES is 56 Puzzles 61 Shop Local Vouchers 62 Entering Fatherhood Without a Map Comical diary of a new Dad


EDUCATION 35 School Visits Oak B Tree u Schools

ck hu HEALTH &HFITNESS rth i l 20 New Year,l New You!





Motivational fitness tips 26 To the Core Core stability training

htSPORT o 66n Club Focus

Crostyx Hockey Club

Wo FASHION & BEAUTY o S Cover Up With adCape fo Wo o28 ut od30 hEnhance Your Hair rd fo rdSalon reviews Editor: Darren Perry Email: Tel: 01279 319 318 Advertising: advertising@ Fashion & Beauty: Victoria Grace Design: Sharon Butler-Felby @SketchDesign Web Design: Alex Collard www.aj-computing. Contributors: Danny Cohen, Jez Godlonton, Victoria Robertson, Amanda Anastasiou, Toby Webster, Wendy Pike, Carrie Feagan. Publishers: 3 Blue Worldwide Ltd Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company Facebook: EssexCentralMag Twitter: @EssexCentralMag 23,000 copies distributed to homes, businesses and station locations, along the Essex section of the Central Line and surrounding areas: South Woodford, Wanstead, Snaresbrook, Woodford, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton, North Chingford, Chigwell, Theydon Bois, Epping, North Weald & Ongar. Although every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, 3 Blue Worldwide Ltd take no responsibility for any errors, or the advertisements within this magazine.

Welcome back everyone,

Since the last issue, we’ve had Christmas and New Year celebrations, which were fantastic. This is now the last of our bimonthly publications as we will become monthly very soon. As it’s the start of the year we wanted to give you a fitness push so we have some enticing features that can help you on the path to looking trim and becoming fitter, it’s certainly something I’m going to work at this year! Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, some of our advertisers have fantastic offers available to make it a really special day for you and your loved one. I wish you all a great 2014, and on behalf of everyone at Essex Central we hope you enjoy this issue and join us each month from March as we continue to grow. Regards

Darren Perry Editor



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Head office address: Unit 1, Taylors Farm, Gravel Lane, Chigwell IG7 6DQ





We love hearing from you!

ere are a few of our favourite messages we have received recently via post, email and our social networks (thank you also for our Christmas cards!). Keep them coming in for a chance to win £20 if we pick you as the ‘Star Comment’ and £10 for the ‘Reader’s Photo’.




Chigwe m o r f s n view ‘Londo . D Simon Got a copy at Loughton station. A very good read. @Sheersy71 Perfect read over a morning coffee and cheeky mince pie! #great mag. @KatieHoweyPhoto

CONTACT US Address: Essex Central Magazine, 26 Aynsley Gardens, Church Langley, Essex, CM17 9PB @EssexCentralMag EssexCentralMag



Hello to all the team at Essex Central Magazine and a big THANK YOU for the ‘Bumper Christmas Bundle’ - such a delightful surprise- a great selection of goodies etc. to share and enjoy. Wishing you much success on going monthly in 2014. Phyllis Stone Just found a copy of @EssexCentralMag in my office! Very impressed. @hunny2908 Congratulations to Phyllis Stone (right) who was the winner of our ‘Bumper Christmas Bundle’ competition.

s a keen cook I always look forward to the recipes from local restaurants, and was delighted to see that for the Christmas issue your recipe was from The Theydon Oak. I have lived in Epping for many years and this is by far my favourite place to eat! I tried to recreate the ‘Mulled Pears with Roquefort’ as our starter for Christmas Day (I was cooking for 8!) and I am pleased to say that everyone enjoyed it immensely. I will definitely be serving this dish again at a future dinner party! Melanie Walsh Have a super weekend!! @GreenOwl_Essex






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dw eeper Zoe Almon St Clare housek do n ve se r , two of he Ben and Peanut

A short roundup of what’s been going on

Left to Right: Josh Mills, Harry Redknapp and Avril Mills

FOOTBALL MANAGER HARRY REDKNAPP BECOMES THE DREAM FACTORY CHARITY PATRON Queens Park Rangers football manager Harry Redknapp has pledged his support to The Dream Factory charity and agreed to become one of its patrons. Redknapp gave his support to the charity when he was the special guest at the recent awards evening at the new Epping St John’s School. Among those receiving an award was Josh Mills, the son of The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills, who was recognised for his work with the charity. Avril, from Epping - who set up the charity five years ago following the death of her son Oliver, nine, from leukaemia - had previously met Redknapp when he helped make a dream come true for a boy who wanted to have lunch with Harry and meet the Tottenham players at the club’s Chigwell training ground.



The charity has so far Granting wis made some hes for children and 250 dreams young ad ults with life come true for limiting cond children and itions. Please visit w young adults ww. yo urdreamfact with life-limiting conditions. Redknapp has offered to support the charity by becoming a patron and help make football-related dreams come true. Avril said: “It was a pleasure to meet Harry at the school awards evening and to have a chance to highlight the marvellous work that The Dream Factory is doing. “I’m delighted Harry has agreed to become a patron and we look forward to working with him in the future.”


Puppy love is in the air at St Clare Hospice now that registration is open for their annual Winter Walkies. St Clare housekeeper Zoe Almond, husband Michael and their seven adorable mutts will be among the walkers and their canine companions taking part in the 5km pooch parade starting at the Hospice in Hastingwood on Sunday, February 9 at 11am. A second Winter Walkies event is being held at GreenAcres Woodland Burials in Epping Forest on Sunday February 16. Zoe said: “As a nation of dog lovers, we are all animal crackers about our pets and it really is true that dogs are man’s best friend. Signing up for Winter Walkies is a wonderful way for pet owners to enjoy a fun day with other dog lovers and take the lead when it comes to fundraising for their local Hospice.” Last year, almost 250 people and their fourlegged friends took part in Winter Walkies, helping raise almost £5,500. There will be plenty of doggy fun and games, including competitions for the best dog/owner lookalike and the wackiest wellies. Anyone is welcome to join the walk – whether you are a pet owner or not. Advance registration £10 adults/£5 children. Call 01279 773750 or see www.stclarehospice.


with ogs

Chigwell Chapel Choir

CHIGWELL CHAPEL CHOIR SINGS AT EVENSONG AT ST JOHN’S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE The Chigwell Chapel Choir was invited to lead Evensong at one of the most prestigious of venues - St John’s College, Cambridge - where they reached new heights with a performance that defied their young age. Directed by Howard Ebden and accompanied by Simon Winters, the 40-strong choir delivered an evening service of exquisite beauty and technical prowess. The choir, which is the youngest for many years, performed with appreciable distinction, and this bodes well for a very bright future. The members of the choir are increasingly busy.

They have just released their debut album which has already raised close to £2,000, for the Lifebox Charity. Last month the choir gave a highly acclaimed performance at the Guild of Merchant Taylor’s where they raised an exceptional amount of money for Helen Green Design Foundation and the Smiles with Grace charity. In September they led Evensong at Pembroke College Cambridge, having returned from a tour to Barcelona in the summer. For more information email the school’s Director of Music, Howard Ebden, at

CHANGING PEOPLES LIVES In January 2014, Smile Design By Ash will be celebrating its third year of business. This state-of-the-art dental practice in Chigwell, Essex offers a comprehensive range of dental care including general dentistry, hygiene service, cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, dental implants, cosmetic dentures and braces for adult patients. The practice is proud to offer NUCALM (, which is one of the best ways for anxious patients to relax and have dental treatment much easier. Principal dentist Ash Parmar comments “Nucalm is a revolutionary system that is fantastic for nervous patients. Research shows that 4 out of 5 adult patients have some level of anxiety when visiting a dentist. With Nucalm, this will make it a thing of the past!” The dental practice has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and has achieved a very good reputation locally. Patients are assured of the best advice and dental care

Above: Smile Design By Ash in Chigwell Below: Dr Ash Parmar, Leading cosmetic dentist from Extreme Makeover UK

to achieve a healthy mouth and an attractive smile. Flexible finance options are available such as 0% finance plans over two years. For more information, visit www.smiledesign, or call 020 8500 0544 for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

Patients are assured of the best advice and dental care ESSEX CENTRAL 











16 Snakes Lane West, Woodford Green, IG8 0BS


ackfords is a beautifully appointed Period House combining the old world charm of open fires and cottage gardens with chic and newly refurbished interiors. As a family owned business, you can be sure of a warm welcome, high quality service and a wedding that can be tailored to your specification. The hotel was one of the first venues in the area to offer civil

ceremonies and has over 50 years of experience in helping brides and grooms with their special day. The hotel’s nine individually designed guest rooms maintain the property’s period charm while providing modern amenities. Room rates include a full traditional English breakfast each morning. Tel: 0208 504 2642 Website:


1 Market Place, Abridge, RM4 1UA


his delightful shop is one that you may often drive past whilst travelling through Abridge, but it needs to be one where you stop off and visit, because they have some lovely pieces of home furniture available. The large open shop floor is full of stylish sofas, chairs, console tables, mirrors and more and parking is available to the rear. It is the ideal place to browse when looking for a unique piece for your home in the ‘shabby chic’ look. They also offer a repair service and are able to



restore or alter practically anything you take to them, but the real jewel of the shop is the owner, Ron, who’s expert eye and friendly manner has attracted a long term customer base who have visited him for decades. Ron says, “Some of our clients have been visiting us for over 20 years, we moved here a few years ago and they followed us from our last location!” Tel: 01992 812 323 Website:



214 High Rd, Woodford Green, IG8 9HH

THE LOCALS T Support our local independents!


Horse Shoe Farm West, London Rd, Thornwood Common, Harlow, CM17 9LH


his beautiful Ofsted registered day nursery cares for children aged 3 months to 5 years and is owned and run by two of the most Johanne dedicated and friendly people you’re ever likely Emanuel and to meet. Bobbi Chana and Johanne Emanuel Bobbi Cha na (who started out as local child minders) manage a brilliant team who have helped take Blossoms to great heights in just 3 years. They pride themselves on providing a home from home environment where children can learn, explore and develop as individuals. Bobbi says, “Here at Blossoms we see everyone as part of the Blossoms family, from the children, to staff, to the parents. We are currently arranging our next party for the children and parents. They are always great fun days as everyone gets involved.” Last year they moved the business into a large farm house just beyond Epping, which they have renovated to give the children an amazing environment in which to learn and play, including four day-care rooms, a sensory room and a cosy room. The nursery is set on 8 acres of land, with 2 acres being used as a safe playground for the children to enjoy, and they even have a duck pond! For 2014 they will be holding opens days, and hosting ‘stay and play’ sessions, as well as a holiday club for 5-11 year olds. Bobbi says, “Were busy but we love all the children, and each day is great here!” The kids certainly look like they’re enjoying themselves on our visit. Tel: 01279 429937 Website:

Nasir Sharif and Eddie Butcher

his long standing Woodford business (originally a T.V sales and rental shop) sells a wide range of white goods and electrical products for the home. From wide screen TV’s and DVD Players to washing machines and fridge freezers, they really do have it all. They strive to offer quality brands along with knowledgeable customer service, Eddie Butcher has been a loyal employee since 1977, and has seen the business go through a change of hands. We spoke with Nasir Sharif, recent new owner of the company, who explained their plans for the future, “This year we are looking to expand the business further by opening up our basement to create a kitchen showroom. We shall supply and fit British and German built kitchens crafted to the highest standards.” The expansion of the large basement is expected to be completed by the summer, and will create an amazing space for local people to shop for a great quality kitchen. Tel: 0208 505 6325



IndiaGrill ✴


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The ideology behind India Grill comes from the streets of downtown Delhi, where grilled food is at its best. We at India Grill have travelled from village to city, both near and far to enhance your culinary experience. Just like the street vendors of India we now offer hot, fresh, lip smacking dishes which are very unique and authentic in the way we serve them to you.

Whether it is mouth-watering curries, soft freshly baked naans or char grilled platters, we guarantee to set your taste buds to the tingle position, creating a Bollywood bonanza for your pallet. And more importantly our dishes are cooked to full flavour, leaving the taste to linger on your tongues.

✴✴ 18 

India Grill, 159a High Road, Loughton, IG10 4LF Tel: 020 8508 7799 Web: Email:




B Sele iggest ct Esseion in x!

We won’t be beaten on price! Come along and browse our 8,000 sqr ft showroom See a virtual tour of the showroom on our website! l l l

Specials made to order E: W: T: 01992 573 111 A: Esgors Farm, High Road, Thornwood Common, near Epping, Essex, CM16 6LY 1 mile from M11 Roundabout, Junction 7 on B1393 - between Epping and Harlow.

l l l l l l

Large SeLection of furniture VariouS finiSheS Stain & Lacquer Stain & Wax Spray painted MirrorS l pictureS chandeLierS giftS gaLore BeSpoke kitchenS






NEW YOU Motivational tips for the new year and beyond


hat time has come around again, too much food, too much alcohol, not enough exercise and routine goes out the window… Many of you may have made a new year’s resolution to eat better, exercise more and generally get fit…and many of you may have already given up! Well… Here’s some tips to help kick start the new routine again and create the new you for 2014! 4 SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS - because without these your training could become very monotonous and stagnant leading to a drop in motivation. 4 TAKE PHOTOS - even if it seems difficult, or you don’t want to, they will give you the incentive to push on and help you to track your progression and see how well you’re doing. 4 DON’T JUST RELY ON THE SCALES - Taking measurements can actually be a better way of tracking progress over stepping on the scales. Many people get Danny Cohen disheartened when their weight-loss plateaus, but may be surprised at how many inches they have lost. 4 DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY - You are more likely to stick to something if you actually enjoy doing it. There are many different ways in which to work out, from swimming to an exercise class to dancing. Find something that you like to do. 4 KEEP GOING - Don’t let the diet go out the window by thinking ‘I had a greasy burger and chips for lunch, therefore I will continue to eat badly for the rest of the day, and start again tomorrow’. Move on, remember your goals, and make sure your very next meal is something healthy.


Try these challenges, recording your time/reps. Repeat them monthly, fortnightly or even weekly and see if you can improve your results.




Press ups

in a minute

Run 1K

Sit ups

Bike 1K

in a minute

Row 1000M


Total =

Cycle 5K

in a minute

These are just some examples to kick start you in the new year, you could make up your own challenges, but remember perseverance is the key! Contact me for any other ideas or if you need that extra little push to achieve your goals quicker…






Bespoke fitness tailored to your needs Based in Repton Park | Home training available We bring everything to get you started. Check out our website shop for all of your supplement requirements! CONTACT DETAILS Email: Mobile: 07957 304 949

Get Insanely Shredded with our NEW Insanity Extreme Fitness Class!

One of 1st UKthe Instr uctor s!

All classes are suitable for ALL levels with modifications Wednesday & Friday 10am - Trinity Church Hall, Mannock Drive, Loughton, Essex, IG10. Tuesdays 7pm, The Murray hall, 106 Borders Lane, IG10 3DS. Classes are £24 per month (1 class per week) Walk ins £8. If participating in more than one class per week, rates will be further discounted! Please contact Mandy at to book and secure your place!





GET A PERSONAL TRAINER Great for…people who want extra motivation and guidance.

Working with a personal trainer has many benefits, from extra motivation, to simply knowing you are exercising correctly and safely. John McComish from Chigwell Personal Training offers a mature and experienced approach to fitness. He works 7 days a week delivering PT sessions in and around Chigwell. As well being a fully qualified PT, he is also a fully qualified school teacher and trains people of all ages, shapes and abilities, in either their home, parks or local gym. His service is bespoke - you tell him your goal and he will help you achieve it. John said; “My workouts are fun, inspirational and not ‘same old’- clients look forward to their sessions, learn new skills and enhance their well-being. For some it simply builds their confidence and allows exercise to become part of their lives. “Many clients have  reached middle age and realise the value of their health. They want to be fit, strong and active for as long as is possible, it can no longer be taken for granted, now it’s a priority.” Check out www.chigwell  and/or contact John at john@chigwell Tel:07957 304 949



The exercise uses poles in order to add two major g. benefits to walkin

GO NORDIC WALKING Great for…all levels of fitness

Nordic Walking is an enhancement of ordinary walking and makes something we can all do... twice as effective! It can be done by anybody, anywhere and does not require expensive equipment or clothing. The exercise uses poles in order to add two major benefits to walking. The poles help to propel the walker along, meaning he/she works harder than usual, yet the support provided by the poles makes it feel easier, and the upper body muscles are used as well as the legs.

Nordic Walking East London Essex, is a local organisation that are extremely passionate about Nordic walking and are committed to helping the community achieve their health and fitness goals. Based in the beautiful Epping Forest, there are a variety classes throughout the week that can be enjoyed with like-minded people. Over 350 people make up the local Nordic walking community who all enjoy exercising outside in nature away from the gym environment. To find out more please visit:

GET BUGGYFIT Great for…busy Mums

Buggyfit is a great social class which enables mums to bring their babies along in their buggy or pushchair and get 1 hour of exercise without the worry of finding reliable childcare. This power walking


WORKOUT Getting fit is all about finding a way of exercising that you actually enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, or be seen as a chore with our pick of the 5 best ways to workout, all available locally to you.

JOIN A LEISURE CENTRE Great for…someone who wants everything under one roof

If you are interested in a variety of sporting activities then joining a leisure centre could be right for you. Harlow Leisurezone brings the opportunity to have fun, re-energise, improve health and fitness, learn new skills, relax, and unwind, all under one roof. The striking state of the art gym overlooks rolling countryside and is the perfect place to really work up a sweat, using the latest fitness equipment. If swimming is your thing then the beautiful pool is a generous size, being 25m long and 8 lanes wide, with seating for 300 spectators and a learner pool, perfect for younger members of the family. There are swim classes suitable for all ages, and even a synchronised swimming club! The sports arena is built to national club standard for badminton, basketball and trampolining and features a sprung, slip resistant floor. Other facilities include an indoor tennis hall, three fitness studios, four squash courts, health spa, daycare nursery, hair salon, therapy suite, science exhibition, lounge bar and café. Web: Tel: 01279 621500 class, incorporating cardio and weights, boxing, various core strength exercises and games for a total body workout is proving to be the answer to shifting postnatal weight and re-toning the body after giving birth. The effective and safe postnatal workout burns fat and

improves posture. The morning classes (10am), performed outside in Wanstead Flats and Claybury Park also provide a great way to socialise with other mums and make new friends. Buggyfit is fun and baby comes too! What’s more, Alicia, who runs the classes, is



INSANITY CLASS Great for…exercise enthusiasts

The latest craze in home fitness DVD’s is now available as a group class workout. Insanity, originally created in America by Shaun T uses high intensity max interval training to get results, fast! This class will push you past your limits using plyometric drills mixed with intervals of strength, resistance, power and core training. Mandy Karimloo is one of the first certified teachers of Insanity in the UK. Mandy said: “You’ll experience a huge mixture of feelings and emotions - fun, pain, challenging, tough, tearfulness, and happiness but most of all you will achieve and accomplish a great state of mind and body and leave my class full of life and motivation.” The classes are held in Loughton on Tuesday evenings, and Wednesday and Friday mornings and cost £25 a month (1 per week) or £8 for walk-ins. Contact Mandy at mandykarimloo@sky. com Tel: 07904 190 047

offering Essex Central readers their first class for free! Call Alicia on 07799 805 102 or visit www. bootiefit. Get fit wit to hout the c arrange your ost of childcare. first session.






CORE Core Stability Training

Using the TRX


Core stability relates to the bodily region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm and its ability to stabilise the body during movement. In practice core stability is essential for the maintenance of an upright posture and especially for movements and lifts that require extra effort such as lifting a heavy weight from the ground to a table. Without core stability the lower back is not supported from inside and can be injured by strain caused by the exercise. On a personal level, since the age of 12 my lower back had been weak causing me much pain into adulthood. But thanks to a career change into the health & fitness industry with many hours learning and teaching core stability techniques my posture has completely changed and I



now stand upright with purpose & without pain. One of the best ways to get great results is to use a TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise). This is an amazing invention and a fantastic way to use your own body weight to achieve core stability, body strength and toning. Thanks to the Navy Seals that took the idea from the Gymnastic rings, it gives people like you and I the ability to workout and challenge our bodies in an extremely healthy and forgiving way. Also TRX can also be used almost anywhere i.e. in your home, at the gym, in a forest or a park. It takes seconds to set up, all you need is some teaching techniques to get you going. Another really good option, which can be used within the home or gym environment is a fitness ball otherwise known as a Swiss ball. Swiss balls can really make exercise fun and help you master core stability, co-ordination control

and strength. Sitting on a Swiss ball instead of a chair is a very good way to keep your spine healthy and help you maintain good posture.  Swiss balls come in 4 different sizes which range from 55cm for someone who is 5ft tall to 85cm for someone who is 6ft 2 or taller. There are many different types of exercises that you can do on a Swiss ball from the basic plank hold to a more advance jackknife press up. Using a Swiss ball ensures that you fire up all your core stabilisation muscle group as with the Swiss ball dynamics you are forced to take  control of the ball rather than have the ball take control of you. Basic Swiss ball exercises can be achieved on your own but to gain the maximum benefits it is advisable to attend a Swiss ball class or have guidance from a trainer.  By Jez James Godlonton Personal Trainer

Sun Goddess Tanning & Beauty



0208 989 7903 9 STATION PARADE, HIGH STREET, WANSTEAD, LONDON E11 1QF Opposite Snaresbrook Station







Keep warm during the final months of winter with a cape.

By Carrie Feagan As the winter months are coming to an end, why not ditch the classic winter coat for something super stylish and on trend, the cape puts a definitive twist on the normal everyday coat. Here I show you some of my favourites that I found online, so now you can grab the new cover up without having to leave your home… Ramona Navy Faux Fur Cape £40.00

Lucy Check Panel Cape £18.00

Mink Fur oo H d Cape Rare £55.00 £30.00



High Drama Houndstooth Cape Nastygal. com £48.16

Rosie Faux Fur Trim Hooded Cape Missguided. com £59.99

Hannah Brocade Cape £18.00



ENHANCE YOUR HAIR With EnhanceMe by HOB Salons

Main Picture: HOB Salons Loughton From left to right, Simon Wilson - Senior Stylist at HOB Salons Loughton, Daryl White - Assistant at HOB Salons Loughton and Faye Turner - HOB Salons’ Creative Colour Director


hen we heard that awardwinning hairdressing group HOB Salons were launching four brand new colour techniques that offer the hottest catwalk trends at purse friendly prices, we couldn’t wait to try them! The EnhanceMe range includes; Duo Gloss (£50), which uses two complementing semi- permanent colours, blended seamlessly to



create the ultimate high gloss finish to your style, Gloss Lites (£55), which creates a sun kissed effect by using a scattering of natural looking highlights to enhance an all over semi-permanent gloss colour, Illume Lites (£65), which reignites an all over tint with the tailored placement of stunning highlights to create a beautiful multi–tonal effect, and Root Stretch (from £75),

which creates a ‘rock chick’ look by adding lighter tones through the length and ends of the hair to enhance darker roots. All of the treatments (except Root Stretch) are set at a fixed price, no matter the length or thickness of your hair. Two of the team headed down to HOB Salons Loughton to see what the new EnhanceMe colour service had to offer.


By Victoria Grace – Beauty Editor This technique uses two complementing semi- permanent colours, blended seamlessly to create a high gloss finish for £50.



managed to blow dry my pokerstraight and uncooperative hair into every ‘Essex girls’ dream, with big bouncy curls with added volume. I left feeling very glamorous and pampered.

BEFORE HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HAIR COLOUR BEFORE VISITING HOB SALONS? I felt that my hair lacked shine and wasn’t really in keeping with the season. I originally had natural mid-brown hair with lighter blonde ends, which I liked as it was a low maintainance style, however I wanted something darker for winter. Upon consultation Faye recommended that I have the duo gloss treatment with a deep (almost purple) brunette with a chocolate brown shade over the top to provide a high gloss result

AFTER and bring out the colour of my eyes. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR NEW ‘ENHANCE ME’ COLOUR? I love it! My hair has never looked so shiny and healthy and the two different colours complement each other so well. Many people have commented on how great my new hair looks, and I have to agree with them! Even though duo gloss is a semi-permanent treatment, the colour has lasted surprisingly well and I do not have to worry about the appearance of unsightly roots. Simon even


By Sharon Butler-Felby – Designer This technique reignites an all over tint with the tailored placement of stunning natural highlights to create a multi-tonal effect for £65.



HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HAIR COLOUR BEFORE VISITING HOB SALONS? After years of having highlights I felt like my hair was in very dry, bad condition and I had been left with a block of very blonde hair at the front. I also had very noticeable roots which I wasn’t happy with. Faye suggested that a cooler toned, all over tint would be more suitable for my skin and eye colour, with the placement of blonde foils

to break up the streak at the front and recommended an additional treatment of Luxeoil Keratin Restore Mask (£5) to help rebuild the hair from the inside. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR NEW ‘ENHANCE ME’ COLOUR? I am very happy with the results, the colour feels lifted, looks very professional and because it suits my skin tone better it looks more natural than before. The treatment

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE CUSTOMER SERVICE? The customer service was second to none, all of the staff were extremely friendly and professional and I felt confident in their expert hands. I thought the little extras that you get with HOB Salons like a head massage really added to the experience. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRICE? At a fixed price of £50, I think it is excellent value for money. As my hair is both long, and extremely thick, it is refreshing to know that I can finally get a professional and stylish colour treatment that doesn’t end up costing the earth. Star Rating: HHHHH has left me more awake looking and the Keratin mask left my hair feeling silky and shiny. As the new tint is closer to my natural hair colour, I have also noticed that my root regrowth is not as prominent as before and so has lasted longer. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE CUSTOMER SERVICE? I thought the customer service was excellent! The consultation was very clear and thorough, which gave me confidence that Faye really knew what she was talking about. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRICE? I usually pay the same price (£65) for a mobile hairdresser to come to my home, so in comparison I thought that Illume Lites offered great value. With HOB Salons you get the feeling of being pampered in a nice environment, including a head massage, massage chair and cups of tea. I don’t get that at home! Star Rating: HHHHH

HOB Salons Loughton, 263 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1AH, Tel: 020 8532 0001,



020 7240 3111

Make-up for Professionals by Professionals







STEP BY STEP ...MARBLED NAILS Get creative with your nails!







Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to get artistic with your nails with some marbling. I’ve used the marbling technique to create a water splash design. In this step-by-step guide I am using a Gelish gel polish but you can achieve the same look with ordinary nail varnish at home.


H 4 colours of nail varnish H 1 top coat H A dotting tool, I am using one by Nail

Harmony. If you don’t have a dotting tool, you can always use a hair grip. 1. Make sure you have everything you need and that you are comfortable. 2. Apply 2 coats of your colour choice, ensuring the first layer is dry before you apply the next, I’ve chosen the colour ‘Arctic White’. 3. Pick up your second colour and apply dots with your dotting tool. Starting with bigger sized dots from the bottom of the







nail, working your way up to the center with smaller sized dots. The colour I’ve used is ‘My Favorite Accessory’. 4. Repeat step 3 but with a different colour, filling up the spaces in between the dots. I’ve used ‘Radiance Is My Middle Name’ a lighter shade of blue to compliment the previous colour. 5. Repeat step 3 again, with a different colour. This time I’ve used ‘Showstopping’ a glittery silver. 6. The final step is to get artistic and use your dotting tool to blend the colors into each other in all different directions to create a marbling effect with the colours. You can also use a very thin striper brush to create a smoother kind of blend. Once dry, apply your top coat.

Use colours that compliment each other for a subtle effect and use brighter clashing colours for a more striking effect. Try and stay away from using all dark colours as they tend to not mix very well with each other.


Marbling is very creative so don’t feel you have to do a design on each nail, you may just want to do a small design on a few nails only.


Choose a glitter as one of your colours to dot with as the sparkle really adds depth to your design.

By Nail Harmony Master Educator Amanda Anastasiou, owner of Finesse Hair & Beauty in Chingford. If you would like to have your nails done by Amanda, please visit





Left to right: Claire Osborn, Headmistress Normanhurst School, Cheryl Macnair Headmistress, Oaklands School, Kaye Lovejoy, Headmistress Coopersale Hall School, Matthew Hagger, Group Principal Oak-Tree Group of Schools


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SCHOOL VISITS Choices and Decisions for September 2014

he Spring Term is here, so parents will have researched and visited potential schools and are now ready to decide on which school is best for their children to start at in September. But what is it that parents are looking for? Regular access to teachers and the size of schools were two key factors highlighted by a survey of Oak-Tree Group of Schools’ parents. The Oak-Tree Group comprises three privately-owned independent schools in the Epping Forest area. Normanhurst School in North Chingford is available for children up to 16, and Oaklands School in Loughton and Coopersale Hall School in Epping take children from 2½ to 11. Each school has its own individual character and together they offer an excellent standard of education in happy, secure and family-orientated environments. The 2013 survey showed that a key influencing factor when considering several schools was the level of direct contact between

parents and their child’s teacher or keyworker. Seeing teachers for a maximum of 5 minutes at an annual parents’ evening isn’t nearly enough, parents like to be able to see their childs teacher when it suits them, not the school. Many parents recorded that they like the Oak-Tree Schools’ philosophy of a high level of communication between parents and school which is standard practice. All Oak-Tree Schools offer an ‘open door’ policy, and teachers are available for brief chats or longer discussions on a daily basis. Even the Headmistresses are readily accessible.  Informal coffee mornings with the Headmistress and Group Principal, Matthew Hagger, take place in the Autumn or Spring Terms. Mr Hagger comments, “We value the input our parents give when it comes to the education we provide to their children. Parents have many good ideas and the coffee mornings are perfect for developing our schools to an even higher level.”

Another key factor that parents consider is the size of the school. Smaller, nurturing environments are desirable but when is small too small? Conversely, bigger schools can see children lost in the large classes and year groups. The OakTree Group gives strength in numbers that sees a balance between too small and too large. Individually the Oak-Tree Schools use their size to their pupils’ advantage to personalise the education and to know each one as an individual. Collectively they educate around 750 pupils and employ around 220 teachers, classroom assistants, support and ancillary staff. When decisions need to be made that will have such a long-term effect on children, it is important to get it right first time. An OakTree education has become the standard to aspire to in the Epping Forest area and the schools will help you to make the right choices. Learn more at www.



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ith a vast array of styles available in a range of different materials, blinds and shutters are fast becoming the popular choice for the home above traditional curtains. Wayne Nelson, owner of Windows Blinds & Shutters Ltd in South Woodford explains why blinds could be a great addition to your windows.

Why would you suggest blinds instead of curtains? Compared to curtains, blinds offer some more bespoke choice in terms of measurement and fitting and are easier to tailor to a particular window space. For example, blinds can be measured to fit perfectly over the window, giving much more control over the amount of light that passes through it. Blackout blinds can also be used as a complete covering for a window space, and work well to block out light for children’s bedrooms.

I’m on a budget and imagine that a tailor made product would be expensive, is this true? No not at all, with our free no obligation, in house survey and free fitting, our made to measure blinds are very competitively priced. We strive to give the highest quality at the lowest possible prices!!! Can they be fitted to any window? In 99% of cases yes, but one of our highly skilled surveyors will be able to tell you exactly where and how your new window blinds can be fitted. With so many different styles available, how do I choose what’s right for me? With the guidance from our free no obligation, in house survey, we will listen to you and guide you with best possible window coverings for your exact requirements. How long do they last? Our window blinds will last many years but we do cover our blinds and

installation with a 3 year guarantee as long as reasonable care has been taken and no malicious damage has occurred. What’s involved in the fitting process, how long do they take to install? All of our blinds are installed by highly trained fitters, in most cases individual blinds can be fitted in as little as 15 minutes.

our website to view our extensive collection. I have small children, what about safety measures? This is a very high priority of ours, on our free survey our surveyor will point out

Can you tailor blinds to my specific colour scheme and decor? Yes we can, we have thousands of colours to choose from, please visit the risks to yourselves and offer free child safety devices for your new blinds on installation, we can also install these devices to your existing blinds at a very small cost. To view their product range, or to arrange a FREE survey visit www.windowblindsand or telephone 0800 849 60 50.





✤ Sofas & Sofa Beds ✤ Corner Units ✤ Chairs


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Our showroom is in the middle of Abridge, (see map below) we also have our own local workshop we can make you a brand new sofa, sofabed, corner unit, chairs, stools, headboards in a choice of fabrics and sizes to suit your requirements. We can also reupholster your existing furniture to look like new in a wide range of fabric or leather. Customers can now visit us to see our range of soft furnishings, mirrors, dressing tables, console tables and much more.

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We are your Panasonic dealer in Woodford Green which provides a great choice of home entertainment and household appliances. Learn more about our full range of award winning products in store. Our wide range of consumer electronics are available in this local store, from Panasonic Smart Viera TVs, Lumix cameras and camcorders to washing machines, fridge freezers and kitchen appliances.

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shrubs provide structure and decorative appeal




Border with Coprosma ‘Midnight Martini’

Victoria Robertson


Many pests are still hiding in the garden at this time of year. Check for slugs and snails under pots, old bricks and stones to expose them and their eggs. This will also provide a welcome feast for the birds.

A seasonal guide to help you get the most out of your garden.


elcome to my New Year gardening guide. It’s the start of the gardening year! I will be covering many gardening topics this year and introducing some exciting new ideas and ways in which you can bring even more interest to your garden. The beginning of the gardening year is always a good time to start thinking about making some positive plans and changes to your garden to bring all year round interest to different areas. In spring the appearance of delicate delightful bulbs, in the summer months an abundance of flowers and floral aroma’s filling the air, in the autumn amazing colourful leaves and bark, and in the winter beautiful berries. Now is the time to think about growing your own fruit and vegetables if you don’t do so already. You really don’t need that much room at all; you can grow a wide edible variety

in hanging baskets, pots and grow bags which don’t take up that much space. Think about what worked in your garden last year and what didn’t, and look at ways in which you can rejuvenate and replenish planting schemes in neglected areas. Start taking steps towards making your garden space work better for you. If you choose to redesign borders, shrubs will help to form the main backbone and planting scheme that will provide structure as well as decorative appeal. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and add bark texture, flowers and foliage and many are highly fragrant too. Some ever green shrubs that help to add interest include the following: Aucuba japonica ‘Golden King’, a fully hardy evergreen shrub, which is best planted in damp soil, and grows to an ultimate height of 1.1m - 1.5m over 5 - 10 years. Coprosma

‘Midnight Martini’ is a frost hardy evergreen shrub. It is best planted in moist/ damp soil, and grows to an ultimate height of 0.6m - 1m in 2 - 5 years. Abelia schumanii ‘Bumblebee’ is a frost hardy deciduous shrub, best planted in moist, well-drained soil, and grows to an ultimate height of 1.1m -1.5m in 2 - 5 years. Abutilon megapotamicum is a half hardy deciduous shrub, best planted in moist, welldrained soil, growing to an ultimate height of 1.6m 2.5m in 10 - 20 years. Lawns require plenty of maintenance - you could look at ways to substitute your lawn with either slate or gravel. If you have room in your garden have you ever thought of planting an edible hedge? Cherry Plum (for jam) or Elderberry (for cordial from the flowers in spring) are two delicious options. By Victoria Robertson, committee member at Epping Horticultural Society and Copped Hall.


Look out for sparrows, blue tits and greenfinches feeding from hanging bird feeders. Regularly top them up, and during dry days remember to put out a small bowl filled with water or invest in a bird bath. For ground feeding birds, such as blackbirds and starlings, you could scatter some of the bird feed on the ground.




INGREDIENTS (serves 4) 2 Lobsters (1-11/4 coo ked weight each) For the Mornay Sauc e 340ml Milk 14g Butter 14g Plain Flour 28g Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated)


For the Thermidor Sauce 12g Finely Chopped Shallots 1 /2 tsp English Mustard 60ml Brandy 25g Butter 1 tsp Grated Parmesa n 1 tsp Chopped Parsle y


Executive Head Chef Stephen Bard, of Smith’s Ongar shows us how to make this classic Lobster dish, just in time to impress someone special this Valentines Day.

METHOD 1. Place Lobsters whole in a large saucepan of boiling water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 2. Melt the butter for the Mornay Sauce over a low heat, add the flour and mix. Cook gently without colouring. In a separate

pan warm the milk. Gradually add the warmed milk to the butter/flour mix and stir until smooth. Add the grated cheese and cook for 5 minutes. 3. When the Lobsters have cooled remove the claws, cut the lobster in half lengthways and remove all of the meat. Discard the sack in the head and the trail from

Lobster Thermidor is a classic dish to which there is a classic accompaniment - great white Burgundy, the grande dame of the Chardonnay grape. Top Burgundy is very dear, but there are plenty of alternatives that are much kinder to the pocket. White wines from the Maconnais region provide enough buttery flesh and crisp minerality to



the tail. Place the lobster shell onto a baking sheet. 4. Melt the butter for the Thermidor Sauce in a saucepan, add the chopped shallots and cook until tender with no colour. Add the brandy and set alight to burn off the alcohol. Mix in the mustard and chopped parsley. Add the Mornay

throw into relief the delicate richness of the dish. 2011 Macon Davayé, Croix de Senaillet (£13.95/£12.95 for 6) comes from the South of the. Certified organic, it is poised and seductive, with aromas of spring flowers. From the slopes of Vergisson comes Eric Forest’s minuscule production of beautifully precise, mineral Macon-Vergisson ‘Sur la Roche’ (£17.85/£16.65) and his

sauce and mix. 5. Warm the lobster meat, spoon some of the sauce into the shells. Evenly distribute the meat into each shell and coat with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese then glaze under the grill and serve.

astonishingly refined 2011 Pouilly-Fuissé ‘l’Ame Forest (£22.65/£21.05). Any one of these wines will enhance and compliment the dish. The Black Dog Wine Company, Ashlyns Farm Shop, North Weald. 01992 525009





“Now owned by head chef Gavin Maguire”

The Bluebell restaurant is located in the heart of Chigwell, Essex and represents the finest in modern British and European cuisine. We pride ourselves on The Bluebell’s elegantly relaxed atmosphere, beautifully and simply presented food and first class service. Housed within a lovingly restored five hundred year old building, The Bluebell is deceptively large on the inside. Part of the restaurant’s charm are the two separate dining areas; at the front a cosy and intimate space whilst at the rear you will find a larger sophisticated dining area. The Bluebell is perfect for business entertaining, intimate evenings, delicious lunches or even a family celebration. Whatever the event we will do our utmost to make sure you have a truly special experience in a relaxing and elegant environment.


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Our set lunch menu offers a great selection and is changed on a regular basis We pride ourselves on offering a wide selection of seasonal food for all of our diners so why not come down and enjoy a meal with us.




Watery fun

Thrilling rides



e kick off the New Year in the ‘magical capital of the world’. Boredom is outlawed in Florida, home to many of the world’s greatest theme parks, in which dreams come true for young and old alike. The ‘Sunshine State’ is warm and humid most of the year – 20°C during winter, and around 30°C in the summer. Winter is popular as it’s mild but still warm enough to swim outdoors. Humidity rises towards summer, and by September the rainy season has come to an end. Our focus is Universal Orlando Resort and the number one holiday destination in the world, Walt Disney World Resort.


Meet Mickey

Animal Adventures



With six fantastic Disney parks, two exciting night-time entertainment districts and a state-of-the-art sports complex, this is an experience for the whole family you will never forget. MAGIC KINGDOM PARK - Seven enchanted lands including the recently expanded ‘New Fantasyland’ featuring the wonderful new additions Enchanted Forest & Storybook Circus adventures. EPCOT - High tech fun and Disney imagination combine in two

realms, Future World (the wonders of tomorrow, today) and World Showcase (visit 11 countries in one day). Both are bursting with thrills and excitement. Don’t miss The Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2014.


- Lights, camera, action! Showbiz takes centre stage, but you’re the star. Walk down the red carpet into the heart of movies. DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM - Meet the creatures inhabiting our world – and our imagination. Roar with excitement as you discover animal adventures, loveable creatures and spectacular shows at over 20 attractions throughout five unforgettable lands. WATER PARKS - There are two great water parks to choose from. Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a winters playground in the middle of sunny Florida, where the water is still a divine 21°C, and at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon you will find a wonderful water adventure of twisting tides, roaring rapids and relaxing rivers.


It’s an entire universe of action, thrills, and excitement. Take a starring role in some of the biggest movies and TV shows ever created at Universal Studios Florida. Right next door, experience the



UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando 5 Star

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT Disney’s Art of Animation Resort 3 Star Deluxe pulse-pounding thrills of Universal’s Islands of Adventure.


- At this real, working production studio you’ll find rides, shows, movie sets and attractions that make YOU the star. Try the hilarious new 3-D ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem; experience Shrek 4-D; The Simpsons Ride and more.

Walt Disney World’s newest arrival is the ultimate in family fun. Each of the four wings are dedicated to Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Kids (and not-so-young kids) will love an environment decked out with over-sized characters. There’s a great range of dining options, three pools and children’s facilities.


and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter; swing high above the streets in The Amazing Adventures of SpiderMan; splash through the comical water rides of Toon Lagoon; face dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and enter the colourful worlds of Dr. Seuss at Seuss Landing. WET ‘N WILD - More themed, multi-person thrill rides than any other waterpark. Hits like Disco H20, Brain Wash, Bubba Tub, The Flyer are highspeed, multi-person family adventures that let you experience the excitement with up to four people at a time. You’ll also find the all-new Blastaway Beach, the largest family water play area in Florida. UNIVERSAL CITYWALK - Orlando’s hottest spot for entertainment, home to some of Orlando’s most exciting mix of nightclubs, restaurants, concert venues, shops, cinemas, street performers and more.

Your tailor-made trip need not be limited to theme parks. Florida is home to Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee, Space Coast, or the beach nirvanas of St Petersburg and Clearwater. Mix and match for the ultimate Florida experience. The New Year is a fantastic time to book. Abbotts Travel have many eye-catching offers – please get in touch. Abbotts Travel, 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA (open Monday-Saturday). Tel: 0208 989 9445 Track more exclusive offers and receive your free monthly newsletter online at Twitter: @abbottstravel.



Disney images ©Disney. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2012 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

Experience la dolce vita – the sweet life – at this luxurious hotel. The 750-room hotel is modelled after the famed Mediterranean seaside village of Portofino, Italy, down to the cobblestone streets and outdoor cafés. You’ll find three themed pools, eight restaurants and lounges, and the Mandara Spa.



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“What is your Goal for 2014?” KATIE - Woodford

ADAM - Epping

“To go back to college to do an access course so I can be a mental health nurse.”

“Stop working ridiculous hours and have a holiday for the first time in 5 years, and to concentrate on me a bit more, hit the gym and get sexy for that holiday!”

KATHERINE - Woodford

SHARON - Billericay

“To complete the third year of my counselling degree and to spend more time with friends.”

JAMIE - Chigwell

“I just want to keep on being nice and friendly to people and always have a smile on my face.”

“My goals for 2014 are to travel round Asia, buy another property and find a hot man!!”

RICH - Bishops Stortford

“To set aside more time to spend with the family. Work takes up so much of my time, I want to make sure I am creating space each week to do something together.”

GRAHAM - Woodford

“I’m looking to spend a little less and put more aside for a rainy day, I also want to stay in more contact with friends, especially those who I don’t live near.”

CALLUM - Chigwell

“I want to learn to do a wheelie on my bike and drive with no hands, when my parents are not looking!”

RYAN - Walthamstow

PATCHES - Chigwell

“I plan to eat as much fish as possible!”

SOPHIE - Chigwell

“I just want everyone to have a really good New Year.”

JUSTINE - South Woodford

“I want to hit the gym so I can find myself a lovely lady!”

“To be able to provide the community with the best bespoke virtual assistant service. So I have set up Watermelon PA for just that reason.”

VINNY Woodford

DAVE - Chigwell

“I’m hoping to join a travelling circus!”

“My goal or 2014 is to help people show more kindness and tolerance towards others.”



JR Accounts is a small, client focused firm of Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors based in Ilford. We provide progressive solutions to many diverse businesses and individuals. We specialise in tax planning, accounting, auditing and consulting. We believe in focusing on and identifying tax opportunities to enhance the growth of your business. Our utmost priority is your success. Therefore, we strive to work with you to overcome your business challenges. From preparation of accounts to payroll services, and business plans to tax planning, our aim is to help your business prosper. The right accountancy support is an asset, not an extra cost.


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Roy Strutt Photography

WHEN: Wednesday 29th January, 9am-2pm WHAT: East London and Essex Spinal Centre, provided by Spire Roding Hospital WHERE: Virgin Active Gym, Abridge Road, Chigwell. Call 0208 709 7817 for more information

WHEN: Third Monday of the month. 5.30pm WHAT: Vojan Cooking Club. Contact: Sharon Butler-Felby 07850 864 799 WHERE: The Vojan, Ongar. £30 WHEN: Every Tuesday 8pm WHAT: Pub quiz WHERE: The Theydon Oak, Epping. Cash prize. Tel: 01992 572 618 WHEN: First Tuesday of the month. From 7.30pm WHAT: The Vojan Business Networking Group - No membership fee, just £10, includes dinner, some drinks and social media support. Contact: Sharon Butler-Felby 07850 864 799 WHERE: The Vojan, Ongar WHEN: Every Thursday WHAT: 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Night - Come and dance the evening away to the sounds of the 50’s. A fun night for all to jive, bop and stroll to the best music the 50’s produced. WHERE: Chingford Rugby Club. 7.30pm till 11pm, £5 entrance

WHEN: Thursday 30th January – 8pm WHAT: Loughton Astronomical Society - Public observing, open observing in conjunction with BBC Stargazing Live. Guests welcome. For more details visit: WHERE: Scout Hall, Loughton Lane, Theydon Bois

WHEN: Sunday 2nd February, 9am2pm WHAT: Loughton Resident’s Association Farmers Market Produce stalls and stalls manned by local organisation plus a second-hand book stall. LRA councillors will be on hand to respond to residents’ questions and problems. For more details email contact@loughtonresidents. WHERE: Centric Parade, High Road, Loughton

WHEN: Friday 7th February WHAT: Teen Club - Come along to the library and enjoy a friendly space for Teens to study, play games and read, plus lots more. Suitable for ages: 11 to 18 WHERE: South Woodford Library, 116 High Road WHEN: Monday 17th to Friday 28th February 10am-5pm WHAT: Exhibition Wildlife photography by Mark Powter. Free/ no booking required. Tel 020 7332 1911 WHERE: The View, Rangers Road, Chingford WHEN: Wednesday 19th February, 10am-noon WHAT: Pond Dipping – Discover all the amazing animals that live in our ponds. Investigate what lives where, watch how they move and find out what they eat. Please note that while younger siblings are welcome to join us, the activities are aimed at children aged 5-11. Booking required. Children aged 5-11 - £6. Children under 5 - £2. Adults and children over 11 - £2. Ring 0208 502 8500 to reserve a place WHERE: Epping Forest Field Centre, Pauls Nursery Rd, High Beach, Loughton WHEN: Saturday 22nd February 11am-3pm WHAT: The ‘Posh’ Jumble – Designer clothes, household items, accessories, furniture, vintage, bric-a-brac, books and CDs. Café serving tea and cakes. For more details ring 07860214009. Admission £1 WHERE: Wanstead United Reformed Church, Nightingale Lane, Wanstead.




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UNION CARE U Paul Lane and Sarah Allman



Making a difference

nion Care is an independent, family owned and operated domiciliary care provider based in Chigwell, supporting those in need of assistance in their own homes in and around West Essex. Run by Paul Lane and Sarah Allman who are dedicated to making a difference to the home care sector and ensuring the community receives all of the information, support and professionalism they deserve. Sarah says “because Union Care is an independent company, this makes us flexible. We design all of our care packages around each client’s individual needs, making sure we have the time and skills to deliver exactly what is required.”

Paul adds “At Union Care we also recognise the value of our care workers. We offer support, motivation and training to keep our team engaged and enjoying their careers with us.” The foundation of Union Care is to provide high standard, affordable care whilst also ensuring complete support to their care workers, recognising the importance of their roles in the community. If you require any information regarding care or assistance at home, do not hesitate to contact Union Care on Tel: 020 3393 9660, Email : or Website:

COMMUNITY Kai enjoying a spray arts residential course at Zinc Arts as part of a BBC Children in Need programme, Launchpad.

State of the art cinema/theatre


Interior Photograps: Roy Strutt Photography


Versatile venue delivering vibrant arts vibe for everyone

rom drop-in art sessions to Zumba classes and almost everything in between, Zinc Arts Centre is always abuzz with creativity, fun and learning. Not only is it the first fully accessible residential arts centre in the UK but the charity, based at Great Stony in Chipping Ongar High Street, also serves as a hub for local community groups. “Through our unique workshops and activities we aim to benefit people of all ages and abilities. Anyone hiring facilities at Zinc Arts Centre will be actively contributing to the charity’s creative and educational programmes which allow participants to grow and ultimately to reach their full potential,” said Zinc Arts Director, Heather Stradling. Celebrating diversity, this dynamic arts and education charity champions disability arts and promotes the culture and heritage of disabled and excluded people. Its aim is to be a national centre of excellence and its ethos is one of inclusion, providing accessible arts for

Large recept ion area and cafe .

everyone - Arts Without Exception. Working with well-known charities like Youth Music and Comic Relief, Zinc Arts delivers a variety of specialist workshops and outreach projects for vulnerable groups. During term time the charity runs a programme of vocational courses specifically tailored to the needs of disabled adults. From gardening to crafts, film-making to cooking, the Creative Plus Programme caters for wide-ranging interests, developing fundamental skills for greater independence and personal growth. One of the most popular is The Biz, a weekly drama session. In addition to classrooms and meeting spaces, the centre’s versatile facilities include a studio theatre with sprung dance floor plus raked seating for 110 people, a multi-sensory chill-out room and spacious dining hall. There is on-site catering, a cafe for visitors and 24 contemporary ensuite bedrooms, six with ceiling hoists. by Wendy Pike,

To be part of the Zinc Arts buzz or just to soak up some of that ambient creative energy, you could always pop in and find out first-hand what’s happening. If you need another excuse to go - tea, coffee and homemade cakes are available from the Zinc Arts Cafe. For more information visit www.zincarts. or call 01277 365626 or email info@

Are you a local charity? Would you like to be featured here? Contact: editor@ essexcentralmagazine. ESSEX CENTRAL  55







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n the run up to his first Christmas our little friendly blob had no idea what was about to happen, I would get a pair of socks and he would get toys beyond his wildest dreams. Yet none of this mattered of course, as he decided he would spend the Christmas period hibernating in a box. His auntie had purchased him a huge giraffe toy (practically life sized, it was an absolute joy finding space for it in our home) and luckily for little man it also came with a huge box, easily big enough to house a small zoo. He crawled in with a face of joy and reappeared 4 days later, as if he’d discovered Narnia. Every now and then the cats would venture in, only to return looking very sorry for themselves and missing a few clumps of fur. We decided to place the giraffe in his new room (we’ve just moved) and tried to fit his other belongings around it, the cot now sits under the belly of the giraffe and we have to pole vault over its back to reach the chest of drawers. Thankfully the recent storm blew some tiles of the roof, so its head now pokes through the loft for some fresh air. Christmas Day was a mixed affair, it was great pulling crackers with him, placing party hats on his head that fell down over his face, and opening presents, but what wasn’t so great was listening to all the ‘kind’ gifts people had bought for him. Everywhere we turned, there was another musical toy in one form or another, singing, animal noises, sirens and flashing lights filled the air. The house soon began to resemble a nightclub rave as more and more lights and sounds started to switch on and off without warning, the toys were literally ‘alive’. In the end we grabbed some glow sticks and a whistle and just went with the flow, unfortunately I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen club though, as I was wearing trainers!



Finally we got him to bed, only to step on a teddy that yelled, “I LOVE YOU!” clearly it didn’t, it just wanted to ruin our lives by waking our sleeping baby. Thankfully, he’s started to sleep through the night which, as every parent would agree, is a gift from the gods. The first few times this happened we awoke quite scared that something was wrong, as we were so used to waking up to screams. We crept into his room, just to see him snoring gently. He generally starts the mornings quite placid, as if he is charging in the sunlight like a lizard, getting ready

Sirens and flashin g ! air the lights filled

to fuel himself for the day ahead. After about 30 minutes charging he explodes into a laughing, bouncing ball of energy. We however are still in sleep mode, so we try to lay him down between us, only to be swiftly kicked or head-butted out of bed. In fact the only times he seems to sit contently is when watching football, and this has obviously left me delighted! A match comes on, doesn’t matter who, and he just watches the screen for 90 minutes, occasionally standing, sometimes giving the odd snort (making strange noises is his new thing). Aside from that he never stops moving, which makes things very difficult at times. If you think trying to put clothes on a moving baby his tricky, then trying to change the nappy of a moving baby is a complete nightmare! A nappy change is often the time he decides it will be a great idea to flip round and start crawling/standing/sitting, anywhere and everywhere except on the mat, as we yell and follow behind him trying to lift his legs off our lovely new carpet like an

involuntary game of wheelbarrow! “Get his arms, spin him down, its everywhere!!” comes the cry, but I look up to see the Mrs its fits of laughter whilst my hands are already coloured in 50 shades of mess. All his clothes then get thrown into the washing machine and this has resulted in a few tired mornings where I have been incredulous at how, “that dam machine has shrunk all my clothes … again!! I tell you, if I can’t wear another one of my babygrows I’ll call the makers and... hang on...oh!” only to realise my mistake, have a coffee and see the light. His clothes are an issue all of their own, no sooner have you placed him into a new outfit, you can physically see him growing inside like the Incredible Hulk, the arms start to bulge, legs tear at the seams, “get him out, he’ll suffocate, get the grease!” and we shoehorn him out of yet another redundant outfit that gets thrown into the attic (in case we ever decide to go doolally and have another child). As I mentioned before, making strange noises is his new favourite past-time, recent additions to his repertoire include; a hideous snort, a chocking cough sound and a socially awkward continuous 30 second long raspberry. These can be particularly embarrassing when out in public as people in front of us in queues can assume we are choking him, only to turn round and see him gleefully smiling at his ‘new skill’. Upon turning away again he then decides to let rip with his raspberry finale! To be fair it did help us battle the queues of the Boxing Day Sales, as the people in front of us simply ran away, with their backs dripping in saliva and we advanced to the checkout in double quick time. All in all though it’s been my best Christmas ever, as you can imagine, after all… I had wanted those socks for months. ...TO BE CONTINUED


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The jewel in the crown of the Woodford Wells Club is looking for new members. Could you be their next star hockey player?

T s Ladies in action.

s Men’s 2’s in action. t Youth academy.



he Woodford Wells Club (WWC) is situated in the quiet town of Woodford Green close to the central line station. The club has a rich heritage of over 100 years, championing such sports as squash, tennis, cricket and at the heart of the Woodford Wells Club is the Crostyx Hockey Club. Founded in 1920 the hockey club merged with the WWC in 1968 to join its proud sporting history and its fantastic clubhouse where all the teams convene and socialise after their games. Crostyx HC currently has 6 senior teams including 3 Men’s teams & 3 Ladies teams all of whom are competing at the highest levels, and building into this strong hockey pedigree is a fantastic youth academy for children aged 7 to 12. All of the senior teams play their games on a Saturday around the East of England or at their home pitch, the Peter May Sports Centre in Walthamstow. Although Hockey is at the core of Crostyx’s purpose, there is a very social side to the club and the Hockey teams are responsible for running a number of social activities throughout the season

open to the whole WWC; events include the Halloween Party, Christmas Party, Cocktail evening and the end of year social. Committee member Phil Walker invites new players, saying; “Whether you’re wishing to change your current club, want to start playing a new sport or merely want to revisit a pastime that you haven’t played in a while; The Crostyx Hockey Club is the perfect place to do so.” “We encourage all new players both young and not so young, and are always complimented on our warm reception by new players. So, if you fancy kick starting 2014 with a bang please free to come down to one of our training sessions that are run every Wednesday at the Peter May Sports Centre.” Junior training (ages 7 - 12), Saturdays 9.30am - 11.00am, Junior additional training, (ages 12 and above) Wednesdays 7.00pm - 8.30pm Senior training Wednesdays 8.30pm - 10.00pm For more information please visit Tel: 07515 813 606 @crostyxhc

Gill Woods Photography

s Mens 1’s in action




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Essex Central Issue 4  

Jan/Feb 2014

Essex Central Issue 4  

Jan/Feb 2014