Harpendia spring master 2014 pdf

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The Spring edition February 2014

Good bye Glen Eagle Manor

The end of an era in Harpenden as the once proud Glen Eagle Hotel has come to an end with the demolition completed in February 2014. Building starts soon on new apartment homes. Keep up to date + more photos at www.harpendia.com

and good bye Harpenden House Hotel

Harpenden House Hotel staff were advised on Feb13 that the landlord had sold the site to a House Developer and it would close on April 3rd. Keep up to date + more photos at www.harpendia.com

Also in this issue: Harpenden's Hidden Heritage How to keep fit Senses of Sardinia Saving a wedding day Business and Investing New car launch Professional food photography Harpenden Mencap Gardening

Harpenden news updates Check out the Harpendia web site daily



The Harpenden Sport Relief Mile is back! Sunday 23 March 2014. Are you fit enough to run? See page 22 for details Luton Airport expansion What’s happening? Where to go for Summer Sunshine? See page 10

From the Editor. Feb 19th 2014. Professional photographer Darrin Jenkins (see page 16) was set a new task recently. Normally at home with food as his ‘bread & butter’ he was challenged to portray your editor in a ‘new light’. So what do you think of the resulting photograph? Life in Harpenden is full of surprises, some good some bad. Changes on the High Street with some closures and some new opening, plus a new Library with ever increasing membership and now open Wed afternoon thanks to The Harpenden Society volunteers.

Is this the right site for the new secondary school in Harpenden? Follow the ongoing story at www.harpedia.com

A coffee lovers indoor flower garden

A big thank you to all the contributors and the writers who have made this edition special. Ron Taylor. info@harpendia.com

Harpenden's Hidden Heritage By Alexander Thomas

Alex is a Landscape Archaeologist (like Stewart Ainsworth, Mick Aston and Alex Langlands on Channel 4's Time Team!) and has just graduated with an MA in Archaeology from the University of Bristol, where he also received his undergraduate degree. He is currently working on a PhD proposal exploring Anglo-Saxon archaeology. Alex has always lived in Harpenden and for many years was a member of the St Albans Young Archaeologists' Club, or YAC. He is fascinated by local history and the archaeology of Harpenden was the subject of his Masters dissertation and of a Medieval study. In this article he hopes to summarise some of his conclusions and share a few of his theories.

named after the patron saint of travellers. This suggests that the Church recognised Harpenden as a lucrative spot where the Church might maximise its wealth by taking advantage of the travellers on their way to St Albans: pilgrims en route to the abbey and traders to the market. Domesday Book tells us that the land was owned in 1066 and 1086 by the Abbot of St Peter at Westminster, but following a petition by him to Pope Honorius III (1216 – 1227), a land dispute erupted between the Abbot at Westminster Abbey, William de Humez (1214 – 1222), and the Bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells (1209 – 1235). This was yet another cause for the parish split and the establishment of St. Nicholas'.

You may think that Harpenden is not an ancient settlement, that it only gained significance in the 1800s with the coming of the railway. However buildings such as St Nicholas' Church and the Cross Keys pub are evidence of earlier occupation, though there is little to suggest within the modern landscape how the settlement of Harpenden began or developed. My work has shown that the origins of Harpenden stretch back into prehistory. There is evidence that the landscape was occupied during the Iron Age (c. 750BC – AD43) and Roman (AD43 – AD410) periods. The modern centre of Harpenden stretches back to at least the 13th century – the time of Henry III (1216 – 1272), but this rich heritage has been hidden away in the archives. Harpenden and Wheathampstead are AngloSaxon names from harpe dene meaning path through the valley and a hill or homestead where wheat was grown. Harpenden is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as then it was considered part of Wheathampstead. Its separate identity came in 1221 when St Nicholas' Church was established as a chapelof-ease. Then two separate civil administrative parishes were established. St Nicholas’ location was ideal, not only because it was located near an ancient pond and stream (just in front of Galloway's shoe shop), but it was also perfectly situated to collect alms from those using the present A1081, and which may be why it was

Above: Alex Thomas has a scrape with his trowel at Batford Springs.

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Article continues... Wheathampstead’s wealth was increasing during the 13th century, evident by the rector’s tithes for the lands, mills and labour which were worth £23 10s 0d. This was a sizable amount and was created mostly through wheat production. Within the above mentioned petition sent to the Pope, the Abbot claimed ownership of St Helen’s Church, not just to provide help for the poor and sick, and provide a range of other pious needs, but also to lay claim to the lion's share of the wheat profits! He based his claim on the fact that two twelfth century Popes had granted the land to Westminster Abbey. The Bishop of Lincoln objected to the claim as it seems he saw himself as the patron of the living and therefore the most suitable owner of the land; he was also interested in profits. The dispute was settled in a Papal Bull of 1221 which gave to the Abbot of Westminster half the rector’s tithes, some land and a house near St Nicholas' Church in Harpenden. The Bishop of Lincoln acquired the rest, but only in 1859 did Harpenden become a separate parish from Wheathampstead.

this to life! Maps from the 1700s show the shadows of the old river, but by this time some considerable silting up had taken place and areas closer to the banks of the modern river were already built on. Domesday Book listed four mills on this part of the river and these would have been a focus for trade. The mills were positioned where the drove ways meet the river and include Pickford Mill, Batford Mill, Leasey Bridge Mill and Wheathampstead Mill; further upstream Hyde Mill was likely also part of the group. Pickford Mill is now demolished but once stood on today's Lea Industrial Estate at the junction of Pickford Hill and Cold Harbour. Batford Mill, which was rebuilt in the 1850s, still stands and is situated near the ford where Crabtree Lane crosses the river. Leasey Bridge Mill was situated close to the site of today's Leasey Bridge farmhouse, which dates to the 16th century. Last of all, there is the mill at Wheathampstead and today the buildings are still the focus of the village's historic centre

Historic maps and the topography of the area show that during the Medieval period there were a series of drove ways or tracks connecting the modern centre (and the present A1081), the Common to the river. Many older residents remember that sheep farmers would drive their flocks down Crabtree Lane (formerly known as Top Street) from the Common to the Ford. However what is not commonly known is that Stakers Lane (now Station Road), Dark Lane/ Piggotshill Lane, Ox Lane and Leasey Bridge Lane were also drove ways and all still exhibit some of these characteristics: elevated sides and a flat bottomed U-shaped profile. The U-shape was more pronounced before many of the roads were filled in, and was still visible in Crabtree Lane before it was re-developed in the 1960s around Gilpin Green and the Crabtree Schools. Ancient hedgerows lined the tracks, and as can still be seen in Leasey Bridge Lane and some parts of Crabtree Lane. These tracks were rights of way through the Harpenden farmland, farmed in strips during the Medieval period, and much of which was devoted to the production of wheat. The ancient centre of Harpenden is on the River Above: Alex Thomas at the Ford on the River Lea Lea, linking the settlement to Wheathampstead, at Batford. and London. The river was likely navigable during the Roman period and perhaps even during Medieval times. The recent flooding brings Article continues on next page...

Article concludes... The mills may have earlier origins, in particular at Batford. We know from the Domesday Book survey that the Abbot of Westminster Abbey had owned the land around the mill in King Edward the Confessor's day (1042 - 1066), and the implication of this is that the mill was in use during the early-Medieval and Anglo Saxon periods. The area around Batford also has a number of Iron Age and Roman archaeological sites which show that not only was the area settled, but the people living there were iron smelting and possibly processing wheat. So if wheat was being grown and ground for flour much earlier than Domesday, Batford Mill may have a longer history. The proximity of the Lea's five mills and their positions at the ends of the drove ways raises another interesting hypothesis. Was wheat being processed in Harpenden on a mass scale before Domesday? Certainly, bread would have been required for the local population but perhaps also for the population of the Roman city of Londinium (London). Our wheat and flour may even have been crucial for the upkeep of the Roman Army. The evidence for Harpenden's Iron Age and Roman heritage has only emerged recently thanks to archaeological excavations around Aldwickbury Golf Course and Turner's Hall Farm. At Aldwickbury from the river bank right up to Wheathampstead Road, there has been occupation dating to the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods. At Turner's Hall Farm a substantial Roman villa was excavated, and closer to Mackerye End evidence was found for occupation dating back to the Neolithic. Such discoveries have challenged previous assumptions made about the extent of the territorium of Verulamium. The Turner's Hall site has also prompted local archaeologists to rediscover and reinterpret the landscape. The clusters of ancient occupation near the River Lea, Batford Mill and the ford are fascinating and it is tempting to suggest that these were the basis of other Roman villa estates. More work is needed, and also to establish if there is evidence of any pre-Medieval settlement around St Nicholas' Church. (right)

“Harpenden is a town with a very rich heritage stretching back into prehistory and I hope that as my research progresses we will soon discover more.” Alex Thomas Archaeologists and Historians alike rely on an engaged public to help their research and understanding of the past. Founded in 1997, The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a long-term government funded project and is run by The British Museum. It has recorded over 900,000 objects which have been found, and voluntarily declared, by the public. The PAS also helps to enforce the 1996 Treasure Act. The data it produces is invaluable and this data is open to researchers. If you do find an object of archaeological interest on your property, please record its location and report it immediately to your local Finds Liaison Officer, Julian Watters, at Verulamium Museum. For more information on the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the 1996 Treasure Act and how to contact your Finds Liaison Officer please visit www.finds.org.uk. Alternatively, Alex is happy to offer help and advice on any archaeologically related problems. You can contact him through Harpendia at info@harpendia.com.

All new Mazda3 motors into Harpenden

Mazda’s inspiring KODO design is at the heart of the dynamic new Mazda3, which has just launched in the UK and taken pride of place in the Brayley Mazda showroom in Harpenden. This all-new family hatchback is more luxurious, more efficient and more intuitive than its previous incarnation and features Mazda’s istop, the world’s fastest idle-stop system, to help maximise fuel economy on shorter journeys. High-tech touches include head-up display and advanced connectivity, to ensure that occupants stay in touch whilst on the move. The range of internationally acclaimed SkyActiv engines includes everything from a smooth 98bhp 1.5-litre petrol to a muscular 2.2-litre diesel unit. Customers have a choice of SE, SE-L and Sport Nav trims. In terms of running costs, the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel manages 72.4mpg and 104g/km of CO2. There are also two petrol choices, a 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre. The former manages 56.4mpg whilst the 2-litre still manages 55mpg. There is also a 162bhp petrol version with economy of 50mpg. Mazda has opted for naturally aspirated engines rather than turbocharged units as it claims they’re more efficient for more of the time. That means you’ll be able to get closer to the claimed economy figures in the real world. On the all important safety side, buyers can be reassured that the all-new Mazda3 has been awarded 5-star Euro NCAP Safety Rating, which is the highest grade possible.

The model is now available now at Brayley Mazda in Harpenden with on the road prices from £16,995. Be one of the first to experience it! Arrange a Test Drive » Celebrating the launch of this new model, Brayleys is offering customers the chance to drive away an all-new Mazda3 120ps SE Hatchback for just £199 per month, based on a 5.9% APR representative Mazda Personal Contract Purchase with a £500 Dealer Deposit Contribution. View the current offer in full. To look at a video, photos and learn more about the car, visit Brayley Mazda

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Here’s what BBC Top Gear magazine had to say:

“Aside from those bold looks there’s a neatly designed interior with options like a headup display and all the connectivity options buyers apparently demand… it drives Ladies get motoring rather nicely with an Car showrooms are no longer ‘a man’s world’ according to Brayleys, enthusiasm for bends right up which has recruited its fifth saleswoman. One quarter of the company’s total showroom sales force is female with almost 50 with the class best, with years of motor trade experience between them. Paul Brayley, managing director, says an exponential increase in female car steering that’s accurate and ownership has helped the motor trade to broaden its appeal as a quick. The handling is source of employment. surefooted but fun and the ride “It’s refreshing to see a meaningful increase in the number of women for sales roles. Brayleys has experienced a continual rise in comfortable enough. Thank the applying the number of female car buyers so I’m pleased that we’re helping redress the industry’s out-dated gender imbalance in the 3′s width, which adds to the showroom.” Government statistics published by DVLA reveal that enjoyment and gives class female car ownership in 2013 eclipsed 40% for the first time since leading shoulder room.” records began. DEFY CONVENTION

FOCUS. ALL-NEW MAZDA3 WITH Multimedia Commander and 7.0" colour touchscreen Smart City Brake Support Power folding mirrors Engine start/stop button Alloy wheels Air-Conditioning


Integrated Bluetooth®



0% APR



Brayley Mazda 17 Luton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2UA 01582 447369 www.brayley-mazda.co.uk The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the all-new Mazda3 range: Urban 37.7 (7.5) – 60.1 (4.7). Extra Urban 58.9 (4.8) – 80.7 (3.5). Combined 48.7 (5.8) – 72.4 (3.9). CO2 emissions (g/km) 135 – 104. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results obtained through laboratory testing. These are provided for comparability purposes only and may not reflect your actual driving results. Retail sales only, subject to vehicle availability for vehicles registered between 02.01.14 and 31.03.14 at participating dealers. T&C apply. *0% finance available on all all-new Mazda3 models with a minimum 50% deposit required. Finance subject to status. 18s or over. Guarantee/Indemnity may be required. Mazda Financial Services RH1 1SR. We can introduce you to a limited number of carefully selected finance providers. We may receive a commission from them for the introduction. Model shown: all-new Mazda3 120ps SE, OTR from £16,995. Model shown features optional Soul Red Metallic paint (£660). OTR price includes VAT, number plates, delivery, 12 months’ road fund licence, first registration fee, 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty and 3 years’ European roadside assistance. Test drives subject to applicant status and availability. Not available in conjunction with any other offer unless specified. Details correct at time of publication and may vary, e.g. if list price changes.

Wedding day plans saved thanks to Loveweds Jewellers Jacqueline and Mark enjoyed an amazing honeymoon in the Seychelles last September after their wedding at Farbridge Barns, Chichester. Their beautiful wedding rings custom-made in 18ct White Gold and Palladium by Loveweds Jewellers Harpenden can be seen pictured in the sand.

wedding ring. Once Jacqueline was happy with the look of the actual wax cast, we then created her shaped wedding ring in 18ct White Gold. For Marks wedding ring we went through the process of going through various samples of rings showing him different shaped wedding rings, different profiles and designs. Mark opted for the classic Shallow Court profile band in Palladium 950 (AKA Comfort-Fit Ring)." These rings would normally take 21 days to supply including fitting however Mitchel Barres used his influence to complete the task in 10 days. Jacqueline and Mark couldn't have been happier thanks to Loveweds and their big day was celebrated in style. "From the moment I walked in, my experience of the whole process instantly changed. Mitchel was down-to-earth, friendly, welcoming and did not judge me like all the staff seemed to do in the other jewellers I visited".

On 2nd April 2013 however, things were not looking good as their rings had recently been stolen by thieves in the raid where store manager Mitchel Barres had been kidnapped at gun point. (Read the full story at www.harpendia.com) despite being caught and jailed the wedding rings and several thousand pounds worth of jewellery were never recovered. This left Jacqueline and Mark with a dilemma should they choose new rings or try and find similar ones to those stolen? Mitchel Barres saved the day by suggesting that Loveweds would replicate the original rings that they made within 10 days in time for the wedding so that all the efforts put into choosing the original designs would be magically retained. "The rings are custom made, for Jacqueline's ring we initially made a wax cast of her engagement ring to get the exact shape for her

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them both in the right direction as to what best suits, and will break down the cost categorising weight of metal being used and the cost to supply and set each precious stone/gem if We custom-make any type of wedding band required. We will also advise on an accurate using precious metals such as 9/18ct white/ timescale for each wedding ring to be customyellow/ rose gold, platinum and palladium, all made. We offer custom engraving/laser sold by weight and not design at more affordable engraving inside or outside of the ring, and can trade prices. We can set precious stones such as now even laser engrave finger-prints in each high grade VS clarity diamonds, Rubys, other's ring! sapphires and emeralds at more affordable prices. Custom two-colour wedding bands available as well as custom shaped wedding bands.

Article concludes... Loveweds up to speed with wedding ring trends

How Loveweds can make your wedding day! On visiting Loveweds we will go through all of our sample range for both the bride and groom as well as go through any ideas that they might have. We will meet all budgets and there is no 'hard sale', we simply work out the weight of the precious metal being used and confirm the price in writing on-the-spot. We will advise and steer

Above: A couple of examples of the many letters of appreciation for the excellent service from Loveweds. Read them in the shop. Above right: Mitchel Barres, outside Loveweds Jewellers, Harpenden. Right: Mitchel showing off the difference between a £6 million and a £600 diamond.

Custom-Made Wedding Rings In precious metals such as 9/18ct Gold, Palladium, Platinum sold to you at more affordable prices. With numerous designs all sold by weight. Loveweds Jewellers. 69c High Street, Harpenden. AL5 2SL. T. 01582 761866. M. 079 5633 4262

The Five Senses of Sardinia By Sue Taylor

How many reviews do we read on a holiday experience - encouraging us to book a holiday - but do we actually think of our primordial needs that are used everyday - we take these for granted as they are “a given” - but if we use these in every sense, then our holidays can only be heightened by these five senses - I hope you enjoy my experiences.



Your eyes will be filled with colour - your emotions will come alive when you see the panorama of Golfo Aranci. Maybe a surprise glimpse of a peragrine falcon, mouflon sheep darting amongst the maquis - or one of the numerous archaelogical finds, the remains of an ancient past that take us from the Nuragic Age right up to the present day. At the end of each day the unforgettable experience of fiery red sunsets - deep crimson burning into your heart.

The body will come alive with the sun’s heat - feel the pleasures of the gentle Mediterranean breeze on your skin. Walk along the golden beaches and feel your feet gently sinking into the sand, scoop it up in your hands and let it trickle through your fingers and watch the golden grains sparkle in the sunshine. Touch the refined work of the Sardinian craft workers - linens, wool, straw and gold, rugs, baskets and jewellery are made by hand reflecting the fascinating history of Sardinia.


The heady fragrances of juniper, rosemary and wild lavender, awaken your body with a fragrance that lingers on the skin. Close your eyes drink in its perfume. Feel the embrace of the light winds of the Mediterranean that carry these heady fragrances awakening your senses.

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HEAR The screeching of the seagulls, or the song of the dolphins that ride the waves are natures sounds. The harmonies of the cicados in the silent night are second to none. Sweet harmonies restore peace to the heart and mind. The wind rushing through your hair - the waves lapping over the white sandy beach.

TASTE Golfo Aranci’s speciality is fish soup, octopus salad, fried seafood, baked fish an endless celebration of fresh flavours: from the sea to the plate. Regionally made pasta - salads and to end your banquet of sumptuous flavours why not try a traditional dessert - made with the love of the fresh ingredients that are abundant to this area. Taste the exceptional wines - the grapes maturing in the heat of each day, gaining sweetness before being picked to make these exceptionally good wines.

Above: Ron and Sue Taylor dining on the terrace of The Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel on the Golfo Aranci peninsular. Left: Wood sculptures on Golfo Aranci’s seafront to capture the subtle noises of the wind.

HOLIDAY BOOKED WITH: www.justsardinia.co.uk

Golfo Aranci is steeped in nature and history - your five senses will be brought back to life - and will linger in your soul long after your return from this Paradise that is Sardinia. Golfo Aranci has everything - beautiful beaches, warm clear sea, a beautiful port where you can take a liner to Corsica. The town has many interesting individual shops where the owners are only too happy to help you make your choice. The Port of Olbia (right) is only 40 mins by car - a beautiful journey taking your to the town centre which is steeped in history. Museums, galleries, churches, designer shops, restaurants - sit overlooking the harbour with a cool drink, or leisurely walk

around the historic streets with an ice cream made by artisans. Your five senses will be pushed to the limit - enjoy this beautiful island - it is second to none.

Business Structures: Which Should I Use? After a careful assessment of a new clients business and personal objectives, Mike Melling, (below) Managing Partner of TaxAssist Harpenden recently helped the partners of a local building company to save an initial £12,000 in tax by advising the partners to convert to a Limited Company. Mike commented that having made the decision to be your own boss, or indeed having been in business for years, it is important to decide and at times re-evaluate the best legal and taxation structure for your enterprise. The most suitable structure for you will depend on your personal situation and your future plans. The decision you make will have repercussions on the way you are taxed, your exposure to creditors and other matters of understanding the different options

come together, pool their talents, clients and business contacts so that, collectively, they can build a more successful business than they would individually. The partners will agree to share the joint profits in pre-determined percentages. It is advisable to draw up a Partnership Agreement which sets the rules of how the partners will work together. Partners are taxed in the same way as sole traders, but only on their own share of the partnership profits. As with sole traders, the partners are legally liable to pay the debts of the business. Each partner is ‘jointly and severally’ liable for the partnership debts, so that if certain partners are unable to pay their share of the partnership debts then those debts can fall on the other partners.

Limited company

A limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners. It can trade, own assets and incur liabilities in its own right. Your ownership of the company is recognised by owning shares in that company. If you also work for the company, you are both the owner (shareholder) and an employee of that company. When a company generates profits, they are the company’s property. Should you wish to extract money from the company, you must either pay a dividend to the shareholders, or a salary as an employee.

The possible main options you have are as follows.

Sole trader

This is the simplest way of trading. There are only a few formalities to trading this way, the most important of which is informing HMRC. You are required to keep business records in order to calculate profits each year and they will form the basis of how you pay your tax and national insurance. Any profits generated in this medium are automatically yours. The business of a sole trader is not distinguished from the proprietor’s personal affairs so that if there are any debts, you are legally liable to pay those debts down to your last worldly possession.


A partnership is an extension of being a sole trader. Here, a group of two or more people will

The advantage to you is that you can have a balance of these two to minimise your overall tax and national insurance liability. Companies themselves pay corporation tax on their profits after paying your salary but before your dividend distribution. Effective tax planning requires profits, salary and dividends to be considered together. There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to operating through a limited company. We have a separate factsheet on ‘Incorporation’ which considers the relative merits as well as the downsides of operating as a company.

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Article concludes... New companies can be purchased relatively cheaply in a ready-made form usually referred to as ‘off the shelf’ companies. There are additional administrative factors in running a company, such as statutory accounts preparation, company secretarial obligations and PAYE (Pay as You Earn) procedures. A big advantage of owning a limited company is that your personal liability is limited to the nominal share capital you have invested.

How we can help

TaxAssist Accountants will be happy to discuss your plans and the most appropriate business structure with you. The most appropriate structure will depend on a number of factors including consideration of taxation implications, the legal entity, ownership and liability. Please see our brochure here for what we do.

Limited liability partnership

A limited liability partnership is legally similar to a company. It is administered like a company in all aspects except its taxation. In this, it is treated like a partnership. Therefore you have the limited liability, administrative and statutory obligations of a company but not the taxation and national insurance flexibility. They are particularly suitable for medium and large-sized partnerships.


* TaxAssist Accountants, 126 Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1QQ ( 01582 760154 )

Follow us on:

01582 760154 www.taxassist.co.uk/harpenden

Caveat Emptor or is it Caveat Venditor? By Geoff Newman. Lyndhurst Financial Management

I was recently having a cup of coffee with Ron Taylor, the editor of this magazine and he recounted a story that got me reflecting about how life has changed over the last fifty years. Taking from the title of this article, the concept of caveat emptor means that the purchaser must examine, judge and test a product considered for purchase him or herself. However, the modern trend in laws protecting consumers has minimized the importance of this rule with increased responsibilities placed upon the seller and the doctrine of caveat venditor has become more prevalent. So what has this got to do with Ron? Well back to his story. He recently received a telephone call from a junior employee of a company explaining that Ron’s name had been given to them as someone who was a keen investor and also had knowledge of fine wines. Once he had made Ron feel important he then went on to explain how his company would provide him with the highest service from initial wine selection through to eventual re-sale and all the stages in between. Nothing wrong with that you might think and indeed if it had stopped there you would be right. However, it is what happened next that is the real point of the story.

Above. Geo Newman, Director. Lyndhurst Financial Management. Harpenden

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Article concludes... Two days later Ron received a call from a director of the company saying “you deserve service from senior staff being such an important potential investor who recognises opportunities” and proceed to do a semi pressure call on investing in wine, quoting a report from a well-known City investment bank that there was a global shortage of wine and that now was a great time to invest. Having listened to his story Ron said it was “too near Christmas to think about but would contact them in the New Year”. Two days later another call from the same company from a junior staff member with even harder selling going on and again quoting wine shortage, “he just wouldn’t listen” said Ron “and eventually I hung u Subsequently, Ron found an article on BBC News essentially saying that the data used to come up with the “serious global wine shortage” was out of date and that figures for 2013 show that for the first time in many years

production is going to be much higher than consumption! So there is certainly no shortage of wine! A salutary tale and luckily Ron didn’t take up their offer. Quite coincidently I was also reading an article in the FT entitled “’Boiler room’ scam shut down”. Boiler room scams are so called because of pressure put on investors by salesman who cold call. The majority of boiler room scams are targeted at men aged 65 and over (not you Ron!) who are active investors, on average victims tend to lose £20,000. As ever, if something appears too good to be true it usually is. As the Financial Conduct Authority says, ensure you only deal with financial services firms authorised by us. If not then CAVEAT EMPTOR.

Meet Darrin Jenkins By Amanda Thomas

Photographer Darrin Jenkins works out of a studio in a converted chapel in Codicote. It is easy to see why Darrin chooses to work here rather than in London as the place has a relaxed charm about it with many of the old fittings still in place. The building also has exciting potential, for although it already has excellent cooking facilities, Darrin has plans to convert the back of the building into a state-of-the -art kitchen to expand his portfolio in an area where he has already made quite a name - photographing food. A graduate from Salisbury College of Art, Darrin first worked as a photographer's assistant and then set up by himself in 1991. His work has always been commercial and he has worked with firms such as Virgin, Whitbread and Thorn Lighting, though he still enjoys working for smaller, local companies. He has worked with people as diverse as Buzz Aldrin, David Bellamy and Sir Steve Redgrave, and he also photographed HM the Queen a few years ago when she opened the Above top: Cognac splash Above: Honeycomb YHA centre in Rotherhithe. Darrin's work can be seen everywhere: on posters, billboards and websites; he also took the images of fruit and vegetables which decorate the sides of the Ocado vans. Article continues on next page...

Article concludes... In the early days, Darrin's work was shot in large format, but he now has a digitally adapted camera which produces images equivalent to the quality of 10 x 8" film and is the highest resolution on the market today. He was one of the first photographers to start using a specially digitally adapted camera and continues to push the boundaries with new technology. Darrin is currently experimenting with computer generated images, such as the Jacob's Cream Crackers picture seen here. The photograph was set up using a series of images which were taken one by one. Each scoop of butter was photographed individually, the hand was a real hand, which was then converted into a wire frame 3-D image, and the crackers were strung together with cotton and then digitally enhanced to give the impression that they are freestanding. Darrin is also keen to be at the forefront of the industry as video technology is poised to go through the same revolution as still photography. The web will be one of the first places to see this change, and where still photographs were once the norm on the internet, these will rapidly be replaced by moving images. In the next few years, our expectations of how products will be marketed in places such as the web, and on billboards, will be transformed. Darrin Jenkins is already a step ahead, but what sets him apart from his London competitors is his extraordinary creativity, his attention to detail and the quality of work. His work really is fabulous - and he also makes a very nice cup of coee!

Above top: Chanel Above: Jacob's Cream Crackers

Darrin Jenkins, D Jenkins Photography Ltd. Chapel Studio, 158 High Street, Codicote, Herts, SG4 8UB. UK Telephone : 01438 820 530 Mobile: 07785 762 867

Harpenden Mencap - Inspiring our Community By Amanda Thomas

Harpendia recently reported on the 2012 Harpenden Society Annual Awards for which the "... Certificate of Merit [was] awarded to Harpenden Mencap for Pine Court (below) in recognition of the valuable improvement the building has made to the local area."

Harpenden Mencap has, in fact, done much more. With some 95 employees, 50 of whom are full time, the organisation has made a valuable improvement to our community in every respect. Since 1959 Harpenden Mencap has fulfilled an essential need for local people with learning disabilities and their families - the opportunity to live an independent and normal life. The organisation is an independent charity serving Harpenden and the surrounding villages. AďŹƒliated to Royal Mencap, it is selffunding, relying on local fund-raising, legacies and donations from charitable funds such as Baily Thomas, the Clothworkers Foundation, the Methodist Church and the Harpenden Trust.

Stairways accommodation was becoming crowded and out-dated, which is not ideal for people with specific emotional and physical needs. The plot of land near the corner of Carlton Road and Stewart Road had been up for re-development for some time, but no one could agree (least of all local residents) on the best solution. Harpenden Mencap was sensitive to these objections and in November 2012, after eighteen months of building work, the purpose built block of eleven flats was opened. The flats are built to homes for life standard and I was fortunate to be given a guided tour by Pine Court resident Judith Hill (below). The flats are laid out across three floors, all colour coded for swift recognition. Along the walls are the original plans of the building, proudly coloured in by tenants to show their designated areas. Downstairs, and with access to the garden and vegetable plot, is a laundry and communal area, complete with pool table - apparently an essential requirement and specifically asked for by the residents. Judith beamed when she opened her front door to us, and it was easy to see why she is so happy and proud of her apartment.

It is the Harpenden Trust which provided the finance for the Tunstall video security system which has been installed at the award-winning Pine Court supported living flats, and where I met trustee Patrick Fisher and director Karen Staord. Patrick and Karen explained to me how the building of Pine Court came about and their vision for the future. Harpenden Mencap still occupies Stairways in Douglas Road, and it is here that Patrick's son still very happily lives, and the reason why Patrick first became involved with Mencap. Stairways occupies part of an Edwardian building and Harpenden Mencap realised that it would not be cost-eective to try and modernise the existing facilities. What was needed was a new site to where they could move existing tenants. At

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Article concludes... The common areas of Pine Court (right) are warm and welcoming with airy corridors and a neutral decor, but the inside of Judith's flat exceeded expectations. Doors are slightly wider than usual and the rooms are connected by areas spacious enough to turn a wheelchair. The bathroom was just as easily accessible, set up with ease and convenience at the forefront of its design. The kitchen and sitting room were in the same mould with clever safety features such as an induction hob. Here the ceilings were as high as in the rest of the flat and natural light poured in through large windows. Were these flats to go onto the open market, I have no doubt that Harpenden estate agents would be inundated with offers. However, this will never happen. Pine Court has been built so that the flats will grow with the residents. Should the health of a tenant deteriorate, the accommodation can be readily adapted to their changing needs. Each flat, for example, contains hidden fixtures for hoists, in short, and as Patrick put it, the accommodation is "future proofed." The most challenging aspect of the building project was making provision for parking. The compact underground car park is probably the only part of the development where a compromise had to be made, but Pine Court is so close to the centre of the village that residents can easily walk to the shops and local facilities However, most important of all, they are free to chose when they want to go out. They are reliant on no one, yet help is close at hand if there is an emergency.

Whilst Pine Court is an undoubted success, the future is less certain for Harpenden Mencap and a new site is desperately needed for the residents still living at Stairways. The Red House site is an interesting prospect and various options are being explored in the planning of the area as it is about to undergo re-development. Funding for a new building is a serious consideration. Pine Court cost over £2 million to complete, and whilst the mortgage is covered by tenants' rents, it is the purchase of land and building costs which are the biggest consideration. Needless to say, there is a way forward as Patrick, Karen and their colleagues are currently exploring the possibility of teaming up with a local housing association. Linking up with such an organisation would mean that the process for future tenants would differ somewhat to what is currently in place and they would have to apply for a flat through St Albans District Council. However, the dream is that in the future those who need supported living can choose where they want to live and the specialist care will follow. At the moment this is often not as simple as it sounds. Patrick and Karen have been involved with Harpenden Mencap for over thirty years and are passionate about the part they play in Harpenden society. In Karen's words, "we are in partnership with the community," but Patrick summed it up: "We are an independent, capable community. Here tenants can live fulfilled, ordinary lives. Pine Court has exceeded our wildest dreams."

Above: Penny Kitching a tenant at Harpenden Mencap’s Pine Court receiving a Certificate of Merit from Chris Marsden (The Harpenden Society Chair) with Karen Stafford, Mencap Director. Patrick Fisher, Trustee; and far right Ron Taylor (The Harpenden Society Publicity Manager)

If you would like to help Harpenden Mencap, by raising funds or volunteering, you can contact the team at Stairways, 19 Douglas Road, Harpenden, AL5 2EN; telephone: (01582) 460055; email: office@harpendenmencap.co.uk . Please also visit the website at www.harpendenmencap.org.uk

Learn the secrets of Boxing.

The new way to improve your fitness and wellbeing here in Harpenden. By Ron Taylor

I went along to a training session at the gym in Harpers recently to meet Fabio Grasso (right) the man behind this new concept in Harpenden. Q. Is this just a new fad? A. Whilst this is a brand new concept in Harpenden it originates from the Hatton Academy founded by Ricky Hatton in Manchester. They are the only training course to be officially accredited by REP’s and The British Boxing Board of Control. Q. How does it compare with other fitness programmes? A. Not only will you learn to defend yourself, you will tone up, loose fat and become much fitter. It’s also a ‘fun’ environment training with a partner on different exercise programmes each week. Q. What qualifies you to be an instructor? A. I have been trained in the ‘Boxing for Fitness’ Course at the Ricky Hatton Academy as a Level 3 Elite Coach. Also I’m an ABA Level 1 Coach and completed a training course at the Pinewood Stars Boxing Club. I’m also a boxing coach at the St Albans & London Colney Boxing Club. Q. Is it safe? A. Absolutely. It’s a non contact sport with friends. You are trained to punch but into protective body cover and special hand pads.

Article concludes... Q. It’s just for men and boys? A. Not at all there are lots of women taking part and it’s suitable for all ages from twelve onwards. I would say that the average age in the Harpenden classes is 20 - 30. Q. What about the facilities? A. At Harpers in Harpenden the classes are held in a fully equipped gym/studio. And there’s full shower facilities to end the session. Q. Do you need expensive kit? A. No, just typical gym shorts, shirt and trainers. All boxing gloves and pads are provided. Q. How much time does it take? A. The classes last an hour and a half.

Q. How much will it cost? A. Just one class a week is £10. If you take two classes it’s £15. But as an incentive you can join for one FREE class to see how it suits you. Q. What changes will I see in my fitness levels after completing a full training programme? A. A whole range of improvements: You will be more alert and confident; generally fitter, not out of breath when you run for the train; have better reflexes and be quicker off the mark.

Why not book a trial session with Fabio to see what it’s all about. Contact details: 07866514114 email: teamhatton1972@gmail.com Facebook: Fabio Grasso PT and watch the videos.

Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile Sunday 23rd March 2014 The Harpenden Sport Relief Mile is back! It’s time to start limbering up, and after the success of 2012 and our ‘sell out’ event, we have been allocated double the number of spaces!! The town is set to host its second Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 23 March 2014, and needs the local community to show their support. As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives - there will be similar events taking place all over the country on this date. The Harpenden Sport Relief Mile is being organised by Camp Green (a Harpenden based outdoor fitness group) in conjunction with the Harpenden Sports Centre, Harpers. The event opens at 9.45am. Setting off from just outside Harpers, the route will pass through/take in the sights of Rothamsted Park and the surrounding area and is set to be an incredible event. Entrants don’t have to be sporty to take part, but can choose to complete 1, 3 or 6 miles knowing that the money raised will help to change the lives of people living right here on our doorstep, across the rest of the UK and in some of the world’s poorest countries. Right: TRX pull ups - even the smallest and most unused of muscles cannot hide! Below: Holding a squat - does wonders for your thighs - and feels very good when you stop!

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This is a fun event and is open to all the family. It is hoped that many children as well as adults will take part. To enter the Harpenden Mile visit www.sportrelief.com, type in either Harpenden or your postcode, the Harpenden Mile will come up on the left of your screen, select this and then choose your distance.

So come on, shake the dust o your trainers and join in the fun!

If you need any further information, or are able to volunteer to assist with the arrangements on the day, please contact Tom Doe: email tom@campgreen.co.uk

For those who would rather not participate in the event itself but are able to provide some support, local people are also needed to marshal the route and to help with other arrangements on the day.

Above left: Group shot Back row from left: Lexi, Selina, Tom Doe, Phil, Kate. Front row from left: Jo, Celine, Jutta, Andrea, Kathryn Above right: Warming up with running, skipping & a bit of Highland Fling thrown in for good measure! Often working in teams or pairs co-ordination is key! Below left: Hip flexor stretch is an important warm up exercise Below right: Hip flexor stretch is an important warm up exercise

Creating a Culinary Delight in your Garden By Renata Rybczyk-Savage. The Plantsitter.

So let’s start with some unusual fruit. I grew the cape gooseberry or inca berry (below left) last year from seed in pots under cover of my polytunnel. They were easy to grow and you’d be surprised to hear that this little yellow gem is related (albeit distantly) to the tomato, aubergine and potato. I’ve grown them as perennials and so will be expecting many more fruit this year. Last year’s harvest I’d like to entice you all into growing more was very good for a first yield. So, easy to unusual food. Last year I grew many varieties grow, produces a good yield and last for and as I won’t deny I’m fond of eating in years. What more could you ask for? restaurants and enjoying food from around the world, I wanted to try and grow the foods In the garden there is a small fig tree. Hard to that were on those restaurants’ menus. The look after? Only if you don’t have the time to weather may not always suit in merry protect the tender plant from frost. Fresh figs Harpenden but we can always grow under have quite a delicate taste, one which I do cover and let’s not forget that some exotic prefer to dried ones. They can be grown in fruit and veg may come from countries that large containers or planted into the ground do have a climate similar to ours. Also, don’t but be warned: fig trees can grow to some be put off by usual family favourites coming heights. in different colours! Just because they look different doesn’t mean that they would taste different (unless, of course, they taste even better). As the new year grows with us, so does the opportunity to grow new and exciting food in our gardens. The seeds and plants available at nurseries and online have never been better, with a wider choice of varieties and new cultivars hitting our gardens.

Above: The inca berry flower (see the resemblance to tomato and potato flowers?)

Aubergines may come across as a difficult plant to grow as it’s not often seen in gardens, but this vegetable will delight you in its ease in growing. Plant seedlings into growbags as you would tomatoes and watch this plant bloom (flower above) and produce large aubergines, suitable for the dining table!

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Article concludes... On the allotment I’ve been working on different colours and the French bean variety Purple Teepee has been popular with my children. Scores of beautiful purple flowers that were covered with bees went on to produce purple beans. Alongside these I grew yellow French beans and green ones to provide a splash of colour, creating a feel good factor for all the hard work! Sadly, the purple colour fades to green when cooked but they are still delicious to eat. Overhead in hanging baskets by the shed there’s a plant creeping along, bearing small, green fruit. This is the cucamelon. Imagine cucumber with a hint of lime and no longer than an inch. A great harvest and when I had far too many to eat in the summer, I simply preserved them in brine to carry on enjoying over the winter months.

There are so many things that you should not be afraid to try and grow. Often exotic fruit or vegetables will produce beautiful flowers as well as the final product so go ahead, grow something out of the ordinary and be the envy of your neighbours! Contact me via: www.theplantsitter.co.uk e.mail: renata@renatauk.com

Above: Another favourite in my polytunnel is Thai basil which has distinctive liquorice flavour)

Editor. Ron Taylor Contact: info@harpendia.com Daily news updates: www.harpendia.com Video Channel: Type ‘harpendia’ in the Youtube search box Editorial consultant. Amanda Thomas COMING SOON Christmas in Harpenden with Harpendia.

Coming soon Harpendia Summer 2014 Edition

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