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The CHRISTMAS edition 2016

New Lights bring a Winter Wonderland Above average weather ensured a large attendance on Sunday afternoon (Nov.27th) The whole town centre was packed with people enjoying all the events that had been organised by the Town Council and the Christmas Carnival Working Party Business was brisk from the opening of the Farmers Market at noon and this trend continued all afternoon with cafes, restaurants, pubs and retailers all doing good business. “Let’s hope this is the start of good Christmas trading” said one retailer.

The Carnival Procession at 3pm drew huge support from thousands who lined the High Street. The cast of Cinderella who are performing at the Harpenden Public Halls over the Christmas period were in full costume. There was plenty to keep children happy too with entertainment on the sound stage from 12.30 with lots of acts including Heart Radio. Lots of exciting fairground attractions, stalls including those from the Young Enterprise group and of course Santa’s Grotto. The ‘Lights Switch on’ ceremony by the Christmas poster competition winner Imola Moody, from St Dominic Catholic Primary School concluded a fantastic event which will be remembered by everyone. Many people have already commented that this year’s lights are the best they have ever had in Harpenden, and Town Mayor Cllr Linacre is in full agreement: “I think this year’s lights are stunning”.

FABULOUS PRIZES TO WIN in the Free Prize Draw. See page 25

Harpenden’s Christmas Carnival in pictures


Page 2. Christmas Carnival photos Page 4. ‘Christmas Past’ Page 6-7. ‘Christmas reading for Adults’ Page 10. ‘Harpenden artist, Ben Shalom’. Page 12-13. ‘Christmas reading for Children’. Page 16-17. ‘Old Fashioned Family Fun’. Page 18. ‘Christmas Reading for 5-8 yr olds’ Feature editorials /ads from all Page 20. ‘Why I Became … A Florist’ Page 22. ‘Christmas Reading for 5-8 yr olds’ the Harpenden retailers who Page 23. ‘My Harpenden’ are participating in the Page 24. ‘Christmas Reading for 5-8 yr olds’ Christmas promotion. Page 25. ‘Christmas Free Prize Draw’ Christmas Reading for 5- 8 year olds

"Gobbolino the Witch's Cat" by Ursula Moray Williams I read this when I was little and loved it. I read it to my son who also loved it. It’s a lovely story. Another good read is “The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse” by the same author. Gobbolino by Ursula Moray Williams is the charming tale of a witch's cat who would rather be a kitchen cat. Gobbolino has one white paw and blue eyes and isn't wicked at all, so his mother doesn't like him. He escapes to look for a kitchen home but is distrusted everywhere he goes and blamed for mysterious happenings, such as the farmer's milk turning sour and the orphanage children's gruel turning into chocolate.

Christmas Past By Amanda Thomas

Who’s for a festive trip to Stonehenge? Cast aside the outmoded idea that one of our best known ancient monuments is the place to celebrate the mid-summer solstice. Over the past few years, archaeological excavations at Stonehenge and work by Professor Mike Parker Pearson have shown that it was here our ancient ancestors gathered to celebrate the winter solstice. Rather than a single isolated monument, Stonehenge is now understood to be part of an ancient burial complex where people gathered to feast and remember their dead. Just as we travel to be with friends and family today at Christmas, our ancient ancestors journeyed with their animals from all over Britain to gather at Stonehenge. Occurring very close to Christmas Day, between 21 and 23 December, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. What better event to celebrate than the moment the days begin to lengthen, bringing with them the promise of spring?

gatherers, and there is certainly a link to the practice of wassailing. Whilst this involved door-to door singing, in cider producing areas singers still visit orchards in the hope that their music and recitations will ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming year. It is hardly surprising that Oliver Cromwell banned the singing of carols when so many of the lyrics harked back to a preChristian era. However in the early years of the nineteenth century, in the depths of the Industrial Revolution, two antiquarians set about preserving rural oral traditions which were fast disappearing. In their 1823 work, ‘Carols Ancient and Modern’, Davies Gilbert and William Sandys published versions of ‘The First Nowell’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘I Saw Three Ships’. Carols and folk songs from all over Britain – particularly Cornwall - were brought together and adapted to sing at Christmas; the 1823 compendium even included some French provincial songs.

It is therefore not surprising that we still decorate our houses at Christmas with greenery such as Christmas trees and branches of holly and ivy, though over the years such customs have taken on a different significance. Red berries were once thought to ward off witches and green leaves were thought to bring good luck. Yet they are also Christian symbols, particularly when woven into a wreath with holly and red berries representing the bloody crown of thorns worn by Jesus at the crucifixion. The use of trees as decoration or religious symbols has gone on for millennia, evidenced by the excavation of wood henges encircling an inverted oak stump. However, the bringing in of whole fir trees at Christmas probably began in Germany during the Medieval period. The tradition was brought to England by German migrants and the Hanoverian royal family; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are credited with its more widespread popularity

This is just a flavour of the origins of some of our Christmas traditions, and as commercialised as the festive season has become in recent years, there are still many rituals which are the same today as they have been for hundreds of years. Roast meat and poultry have been a staple of Christmas feasting since our Stonehenge ancestors tucked into suckling pig, and Christmas Pudding has been loved - and loathed - for centuries. Here is a recipe that you might like to try from 1747:

The Yule log also has its origins in our pagan past and the burning of a large block of wood has long been a tradition across Europe and Scandinavia. The fire gives warmth but also light - yet another reminder that longer, sunnier days will return. Today not many of us have large open fires on which to throw massive lumps of wood, but we do light candles and we also make delicious chocolate Yule log cakes.

Plum Pudding Take a Pound of Suet cut in little Pieces, not too fine, a Pound of Currants, and a Pound of Raisins stone, eight Eggs, one half the Whites, the Crumb of a Penny-loaf grated fine, one half a Nutmeg grated, and a Tea Spoonful of beaten Ginger, a little Salt, a Pound of Flour, a Pint of Milk; beat the Eggs first, then one half the Milk, beat them together, and by degrees stir in the Flour and Bread together, then the suet, spice and Fruit, and as Milk as will mix it all well together and very thick; boil it five Hours. Hannah Glasse; Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy;

With thanks to: Christmas Customs and Traditions, Why We Do What We Do at Christmas, Dr R. Brasch, Angus & Robertson, 1994. Why was the Partridge in the Pear Tree?: The History So many of our Christmas traditions have evolved of Christmas Carols, Rev Mark Lawson-Jones, The over time and many Christmas carols, such as ‘The Holly History Press, 2011. and the Ivy’ are old folk songs which barely hide their pagan roots. Some suggest that the singing and dancing to music goes right back to the Stonehenge

. Good Sports is a family run Sports Shop established in Harpenden over 25 years ago.

Lister Interiors have a unique range of home and interior gifts for Christmas

We specialise in offering a good all round service and work very hard to ensure we are competitively priced, have good stock levels and something you can’t get on the internet… great face to face honest advice and guidance.

We stock a wide range of equipment, footwear and clothing for all ages from major brands which include Nike, Under Armour, Babolat, Canterbury, Asics and Speedo plus some of the smaller specialists like 1000 Mile and Tecnifibre.

Choose from luxurious Nobilis faux fur throws and cushions, Ian Mankin paisley throws and velvet cushions, statement lamps, Zoffany chairs and reindeer head hooks.

Celebrate the New Year with a new look for your home Our services also include basic gait analysis which ensures you buy the right running shoes. We hold several Demo tennis rackets so you can try out before you buy, plus a restringing and re gripping service for Tennis, Badminton, and Squash rackets.

Interior design consultations for the New Year are now being booked. For advice on curtains, blinds, wallpaper, paint, carpets, rugs and lighting, please call us on 01582 764270 or pop into the shop. Follow us on Twitter @mygoodsports for all the latest offers and promotions. Find us opposite on Leyton Road opposite Waitrose

LISTER INTERIORS 6 Leyton Rd. Harpenden.

Christmas reading for Adults “The Forgetting Time” Sharon Guskin This is another Richard & Judy Book Club book – review on Harpendia coming soon. It’s all about the idea of reincarnation and is woven into a lovely story.

by Claire Millins

Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is he's already there. Noah is a little boy who knows things he shouldn't and remembers things he should have forgotten. Because as well as being a four-year-old called Noah, he remembers being a nine-year-old called Tommy. He remembers his house...His family. His mother. And now he wants to go home. Two boys. Two mothers One unforgettable story . . .

“The Reader ” Jean Paul Didierlaurent

Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life . . .

This looks a lovely read and will definitely be on my Christmas list.

Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. But it is when he discovers the diary of a lonely young woman, Julie - a woman who feels as lost in the world as he does - that his journey will truly begin.

“Purity” Jonathan Franzen

Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity that she’s saddled with student debt and a reclusive mother, but there are few clues as to who her father is or how she’ll ever have a normal life. Then she meets Andreas Wolf – internet outlaw, charismatic provocateur, a man who deals in secrets and might just be able to help her solve the mystery of her origins.

Far too many thrillers out there and sometimes we all need a good laugh. This looks like a book that might be the answer.

“Golden Hill” Francis Spufford According to the Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4, this is the best 18th Century novel since, well the 18th Century. Could it out Austen Jane Austen?

New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan Island, 1746. One rainy evening, a charming and handsome young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting house on Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition -- he has an order for a thousand pounds in his pocket that he wishes to cash. But can he be trusted? This is New York in its infancy, a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love, and find a world of trouble . . .

“Quicksand” Steve Toltz

Wildly funny and unceasingly surprising, Quicksand is both a satirical masterpiece and an unforgettable story of fate, family and friendship.

This, again looks like a great read and will be on the Christmas list.

Aldo Benjamin may be the unluckiest soul in human history, but that isn't going to stop his friend Liam writing about him. For what more could an aspiring novelist want from his muse than a thousand get-rich-quick schemes, a lifelong love affair, an eloquently named brothel, the most sexually confusing evening imaginable and a brief conversation with God?

“5 Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain” Barney Norris

'There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral. That is the meaning of this quiet city, where the spire soars into the blue, where rivers and stories weave into one another, where lives intertwine.’

This is Harpenden Books, book of the week (at the time of writing) and looks a really good read. The reviews are full of praise for the author.

“The Little Book of Hygge” Meik Wiking

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That's down to one thing: hygge.

Hygge is the word of the moment it appears, so what better way to introduce yourself to it, than this little book. It’s definitely on my list.

'Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight...' Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life

“The Joy of Quiz” Alan Connor For anyone who likes quizzing history – not the history round in quizzes!

“500 Words You Should Know” Caroline Taggart Do you ever struggle sometimes to remember the right word for something? Or even if you just want to impress your friends by sounding like you swallowed the dictionary, this is probably the book for you.

'An absolute must-read for anyone who loves quizzes ... I loved it!' Richard Osman A jaunty journey into the world of the quiz, from the question editor of BBC2's Only Connect, sometimes in the form of 300 excellent quiz questions

Ever wanted to ameliorate your atavistic lexicon, engage in a little intellectual badinage or been discombobulated by tricky diction? 500 Words You Should Know has you covered. This book will inspire the reader to use uncommon words in their correct context, utilize the English language to its full potential, and test themselves on the words they think they already know.

Rebecca Jade Health and Beauty is a brand new luxury salon in the heart of Harpenden.

We offer a full range of treatments and pamper sessions which include manicures and pedicures, including Shellach and Bio Sculpture. Enjoy a full range of massages or choose to have those perfect lashes and brows with a spray tan and professional make up for that special occasion. Scrubs and skin care facials, hair removal, non surgical liposuction and facelifts along with a range of treatments for skin tags, pigmentation, thread veins are all available. We have three treatment rooms including a spa room where our fully qualified and dedicated therapists will look after you, pamper you and make your experience a relaxing and enjoyable one. Please contact us for a treatment menu or feel free to pop in and have a chat and a look around. Have a wonderful and beautiful Christmas and New Year

Rebecca Jade: 30 High St. 01582 280078

We love talking about love drinking wine. When can we meet? Your local wine merchant is not just for Christmas – but it is the perfect time to make your first visit and discover a fantastic range of wines hand-picked by Paul Rollings. Located in Station Road so very handy for the commuters amongst you when you come off the train – the shop is also a wine bar with wines available by the glass from the ‘Wine Juke Box’ which are very competitively priced so why not enjoy a tipple whilst choosing what to take home from the excellent range we have on the shelves. Try our Wine on Tap – the green way to buy wine! A selection of single estate wines available at excellent value

We can also assist you with matching wine to food for your Christmas needs and at any other time – we love talking about wine so don’t be afraid to ask! If you are looking for Christmas gifts we also have a range of packaging to make your gift look extra special. We have a great selection of Spirits

and Champagne as well as wine – and also some locally produced Chutneys, Nik the Greek Olives and Summerdown Mint Chocolates.

We have wines to suit all budgets and also offer free delivery within Harpenden for purchase of 3 bottles plus. For purchases of six bottles benefit from a 5% discount and for twelve bottles 10% discount.

Rollings Wine: 26 Station Rd 01582 769538.

Would you like to have the tastiest turkey for Christmas? If you want a really tasty turkey for Christmas then order it from R&M Butchers in Station Rd. You can of course order from a supermarket. So what’s the difference? R&M’s turkeys come from a free range farm in Leighton Buzzard where they grow all the feed the turkeys eat until maturity-(at 24 weeks) The turkeys have to reach maturity to ensure they are full of flavour. Different breeds grow to different sizes on maturity so you can have a small fully mature one or a large fully

mature bird. And on maturity the birds are dry hand plucked and ‘rested’ for 2 weeks to ensure any excess water is removed. (Turkey skin is very porous and can easily absorb water to boost the weight.) You also order free range, Geese, Ducks and Game. Make sure you order before Dec 15 to ensure you have the most memorable, tasty Christmas lunch ever. R & M BUTCHERS: 10 Station Rd. 01582 969819.

Purple Menswear... essential gifts and stocking ideas from premium brands The Festive period is fast approaching and gifting has come a long way in recent years. No longer just an item to be worn once then condemned to the sock drawer. Purple Menswear have essential gifts and stocking ideas from premium brands; Hugo Boss, Armani, Michael Kors and many more.  Hugo Boss Shirts From £79.95 Armani Knitwear From £99.95 Michael Kors Polo From £64.95 Eton Ties From £64.95 Derek Rose Underwear From £34.95 Hugo Boss Socks From £14.95 And if you cant decide what to buy then why not choose a Purple gift voucher.

Purple Menswear 1 The Forresters High Street Harpenden Hertfordshire AL5 2FB T. 01582 763791 M. 07825 2160696

Harpenden artist, Ben Shalom started painting when he was just three years old. “I painted, I drew, I created sculpture, “ he explains, “I was born an artist.” Luckily for Ben his early life was spent in some of the most inspirational places on the planet. Born in Haifa, Israel, at 22 he went to Bologna where his love affair with Mediterranean colours, flavours and textures continued. This influence is evident in his paintings today - oils on canvas composed of layer upon layer of vibrant, rich persimmon oranges, egg yolk yellows, together with Mediterranean turquoises and purples. However, Ben did not travel to Italy to study art. He attended the world’s oldest university at Bologna where he took a medicine degree, eventually specialising in gastrointestinal disorders. Whilst studying at the Università di Bologna he lived in Florence, immersing himself in Italian art and culture, and it was in Florence that he met his English wife, Rebecca.

Ben has now been in England for over 30 years and has lived in Harpenden for 20. Like most people he moved to the town because it is a lovely place to live, it was convenient for his wife’s work and his own at Bedford Hospital. “Art was always in me,” Ben adds, “and giving up medicine was a difficult decision to make.” But now art is once again part of Ben’s life and he spends about four days a week painting in his studio at the bottom of his exquisite Roundwood garden. “When people visit my studio it is a botanical, artistic experience!” he exclaims, though often he will not even be aware that people have come to see his work.

Painting for Ben is akin to a spiritual experience and he freely admits that he goes into a trance-like state when he is working, blotting out sounds and unconsciously choosing colours. His impasto technique is achieved mainly with a palette knife, layering paint to achieve a wonderful – and quite unique - depth and texture. Oil paint can take weeks to dry and so he works on several paintings at once. “I paint for love,” Ben add, “I spend my time struggling and thinking … the paintings are my babies.” Ben’s passion for art is contagious and he doesn’t keep it to himself. He teaches art at Camp School in St Albans and on Monday mornings can be found at Harpenden’s Community Meeting Point on Station Road. The charity was set up around 20 years ago and is a hub for local people suffering from mental health problems. “It is very rewarding,” Ben explains, as he can see how much his students enjoy being able to express themselves through painting. “Some of them create unbelievable pieces of art.”

Ben exhibits regularly and his paintings can also be found upstairs at the Vine Leaves restaurant in Vaughan Road, where they meld perfectly with the middle eastern cuisine. Prices start at around £150 and Ben also accepts commissions.

For more information visit Ben Shalom’s website at Editorial by Amanda Thomas

We’re about making healthy & indulgent food & drink that taste fantastic! You probably think Nice only offers sweet-treats for children– but it has become equally popular with adults seeking freshly prepared, healthy food for lunch or as a snack. Our savoury menu includes lowcarb crêpes, bagels and flatbreads with a large array of fillings. Locally sourced coffee roasted in small batches to preserve flavour, unrivalled tasting hot chocolate, and pure fruit smoothies are amongst the favourites. Our convivial table can seat up to 16 people, and we are happy to reserve it for groups from Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 14:30. And if you choose to host your PTA/Class Meeting at Nice we’ll put 5% of your spend towards a raffle prize for your next event.

So why not book your Christmas social at Nice. 01582 966760. Don’t forget our popular Nice gift cards –- a great stocking filler!

At Fonehouse Harpenden, you will find great customer service and offers to suit you. From tailored Business contracts on O2 and EE to onsite same day phone repairs.  We have sim only contracts with massive data allowances on the 3 network starting from £10 per month.  Pop in to store see the latest range of handsets and deals.   We also aim to have your mobile phones protected with the latest accessories from UAG phone cases to Premium Tempered glass screen protectors.  We can also cut invisible shield screen protectors to size with our new Zaag machine. 


Christmas Deals: Free iPhone 7 from £45 per month, Unlimited calls, texts, 8GB data. With £50 worth of free accessories included!   Unlimited calls, texts and 4GB data from £10 per month !   Unlimited calls, texts and 25GB of Data from £40 per month, 180 minutes to call to and from Europe. Limited time offer!  Free Samsung S7 included. (Normally £53 per month)

4c Leyton Rd. 01582 769442

Christmas reading for Children 9-12 year olds The books on these lists are not books all relating to Christmas, since I believe this limits when you can read them, i.e., only at Christmas. So here are a list of books, by ages and in no particular order that I think your children, both boys and girls will like: By Claire Millins

"Odds & The Frost Giants" Neil Gaiman

This is on the list of books to buy

A thrilling, wintry Nordic epic from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell, weaving a tale of legend, magic and adventure which will grip and enchant readers from beginning to end.

Gwyn’s grandmother leaves him five gifts: a brooch, a piece of dried seaweed, a tin whistle, a scarf, and a broken toy horse. She tells him they will help make him a magician – but can Gwyn use This is on the list of books to buy. them to bring his missing sister, Bethan, home? "The Snow Spider" Jenny Nimmo

"On Angel Wings" Michael Morpurgo

This is on the list of books to buy.

"The Wolf Wilder" Katherine Rundell This is on our book shelf to read and I bought a copy for my son’s friend who thought it was brilliant.

On Angel Wings is a beautifully poignant and atmospheric Christmas story from Michael Morpurgo and Roald Dahl's beloved illustrator, Quentin Blake. One cold Christmas night, a shepherd recounts the magical story of how he came to be the first visitor to the newborn Christ child - ahead of the other shepherds, and in complete secret. Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

"The Lost Island of Tamarind" Nadia Aguiar

Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and We could not put this book down. Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place . . .

It is truly brilliant. Descriptive and full of adventure. We have also read the 2nd book – also fabulous – and there is a 3rd book that has just been released. Might be a Christmas purchase.

Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. An island with the darkest of secrets, where pirates lurk and jaguars roam - and a precious stone holds a power that is both wondrous and terrifying. This is where the children must go.

Enter a world filled with magical chocolate, evil villains, and an adventure twins Lily and Oz never could have dreamed. . . . We’ve read it twice it is that good Lily and Oz Spoffard have just inherited a magical – I still have visions of a large cat house with a mysterious boarded-up chocolate shop on the ground floor. The twins’ great-greatcrashing into McDonald’s!! It’s uncles were famous chocolatiers, and their super funny. There is a sequel chocolate was ANYTHING but ordinary. In fact, it called “The Curse of the had magical properties. Chocolate Phoenix”, which is Now an evil gang is after the secret recipe, and it’s equally good. up to Lily and Oz to stop them. The fate of their family, and the world, depends on it. "The Wizz Pop Chocolate Shop" Kate Saunders

"Winterling" Sarah Prineas

A fantastic read. My son and I could not get enough of this book, we loved it so much. The 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy are also truly magical. I cannot recommend this book enough

"The Imagination Box" Martin Ford Another one of those books you pick up and realise you have picked up a true gem. This, again is brilliant. The sequel is also great and the 3rd and final book is out in the Spring of 2017. We can’t wait. We love Phil the Finger Monkey. "The Uncommoners" Jennifer Bell

Fer has always felt that she doesn't belong. She hears the call of the wild wood, the secrets it whispers. When her grandmother reveals clues about the disappearance of her father and his mystical bond to her mother, Fer begins to unlock secrets about the parents she never knew. Led to a reflecting pool which uncovers The Way, Fer finds an enchanting and dangerous land.

There is a box. Anything you imagine will appear inside. You have one go, one chance to create anything you want. What would you pick?" That's exactly the question ten-year-old Timothy Hart gets to answer after discovering The Imagination Box. The greatest toy on earth. The top-secret contraption transforms his life but when the box's inventor, Professor Eisenstone, goes missing, Tim knows he has to investigate.

Dive head first into the world of Lundinor in this magical adventure story for anyone with a Hogwarts-shaped hole in their life.

Again, this is on our book shelf to When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to read, when we’ve finished the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big current book.

brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Returning to Sylvie’s house, they find it has been ransacked by unknown intruders – before a mysterious feather scratches an ominous message onto the kitchen wall. A very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush. Ivy and Seb make their escape – only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, where ordinary objects have amazing powers. The forces of evil are closing in fast, and Ivy and Seb must get to the bottom of a family secret . . . before it’s too late.


Its official ! CY Hair is the new trendy place to be seen. 

We promote ourselves on being The Family Salon where you can just walk in, sit on our luxury massage chairs, while we wash your hair and your children are getting a light trim next to you. CY Hair welcome the whole family to come celebrate Christmas with us, as we all prepare for the big day its self.   In the build up to Christmas we will help you relax with a lovely head massage in a calm and friendly environment.   A welcome cup of tea and a mince pie awaits our valued customers. You’d be mad not to pop in and meet our team of experienced hairdressers in this very exciting month. 7 Bowers Parade. 01582 713694.Book online for a consultation or just walk in either way, the team will be ready and waiting for you.

Looking for a gift...

You will be sure to find some interesting and unusual gift ideas in this delightful shop, packed to the rafters with gifts for all. Serena Hart 10 Bowers Parade, High Street Harpenden. AL5 2SH 01582 761681

At 20/20 Eyecare we love Christmas and planning for our Christmas window displays starts in June!

They always reflect our family friendly approach to eye care and are a source of great delight to people of all ages in Harpenden. But that’s not to say we don’t take looking after eye health seriously – we do but in a caring and relaxed environment. We see lots of families and many of the children look forward to their trip to 20/20! Our team of staff have over a century of experience and knowledge between them in hospital, community and high street settings. But don’t just read about us – come and meet us in person. 

We are open Tuesday – Friday 9.00 – 5.30 & Saturday 9.00 – 4.30. Or call us on 01582 766613.

Old Fashioned Family Fun By Amanda Thomas

Cinderella, Harpenden’s ‘all star family panto’ is a Christmas must-see. Running from 10 to 22 December 2016 at the Public Halls, this year’s show stars Honey Fine as Cinderella, Luke Roberts as Buttons, Steve Leeds as the Prince, and Jess Robinson as the Fairy Godmother. There are also performances by Harpenden and St Albans children from The Dance Studio. Harpendia Editor, Ron Taylor and I caught up with some of the stars during rehearsals. Local girl Honey Fine from Bushy is in her final year at London’s Italia Conti Academy. Last year Honey’s singing career took off when, as part of the girl band Mon Amie, she appeared on ITV’s the X Factor. Knocked out at the Six Chair Challenge stage, the band split up recently but not before completing a UK tour supporting Jason Donovan. Honey’s friend, Lauren Rammell, was competing in this year’s X Factor in the girl band 4 of Diamonds. Honey is thrilled to be playing Cinderella. She landed the role almost by chance thanks to her old singing teacher who heard – through Facebook- that producer Chris Law was looking for someone to play the title role. The character of Cinderella is a demanding one but Holly relishes working under pressure, particularly as she finds she learns lines faster that way. Her dream is to be a television presenter but Holly’s first love is singing. In Cinderella she will be performing hits from the likes of Jess Glynn and One Direction, “The best group to have ever come out of the X Factor!” Children’s TV presenter Luke Roberts plays Buttons, a role he was initially reluctant to take as he had always played principal boy. However, Chris persuaded Luke to join the cast and he soon realised what a great role the part of Buttons is: “I’m glad Chris asked me!” In addition Harpenden is an easy commute from Luke’s home in Bexley, Kent, and he is

working once more with Jess Robinson with whom he appeared in Aladdin at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley last year. Luke’s background is in children’s television and is best known for Hi-5 which is shown on CITV and Cartoonito; “It’s like Blue Peter presented by S Club 7,” he explained, laughing. Luke and Hi-5 co-star Emma Nowell now work as a duo and together perform A Song for A Day for pre-school children at festivals and shopping centres all over the country. Steve Leeds plays Prince Charming. Steve’s career began as a backing dancer and singer. He was plucked from an early line up of boy band The Wanted by well known record producers Steve Crosby and Mike Stock. They had created a show called Go! Go! Go! which they knew Steve would be perfect for. Choreographed by Paul Domaine, Go! Go! Go! features on the children’s channel Nick Jr. and has toured as a stage show around the UK. Steve has also toured with Mamma Mia! in the role of Pepper, and whilst he enjoys dancing and singing, his first love is acting. Last year he appeared in Cinderella with Brian Conley and Lesley Joseph in Southend, close to his home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Steve loves doing panto and has high praise for this year’s production in Harpenden: “It’s amazing to get families together in this way and this production has got such a family feel.” Good, clean family fun is what has always characterised Harpenden’s annual panto, thanks to the guiding hand of producer Chris Law. This year Chris has also taken on the role of Baron Hardup, Cinderella’s father. Chris wrote the script for Cinderella, adapting the story by Charles Perrault to include topical references and some extraordinary illusions and special effects.

There are also plenty of the latest songs, impressions by impersonator Jess Robinson, and good, clean jokes. Chris was keen to stress that Cinderella has none of the vulgarity or smuttiness which has crept into so many pantomimes these days. “Let me give you an example of one of the jokes,” he added. “I woke up this morning and found the house full of aeroplanes. I’d left the landing light on!” Chris’ day job is as a consultant for television companies in Salford ensuring nothing goes wrong on set, pre-empting disasters such as fires and also setting up rehearsals for emergencies such as bomb scares. A far cry from the fantasy world of Cinderella. However Chris’ eye for detail is evident in this production. The show is worth coming to see just for Cinderella’s transformation scene when she is made ready for the Prince’s ball. Her coach will be pulled by a real Shetland pony (named Snoopy) and the costumes will be as wonderful as ever, created by panto veteran Pat Moss in Sussex and at the Public Halls, Fiona Clark, Cinderella’s Wardrobe Mistress. In conclusion, we asked Chris what he thought about the proposals for a new theatre in Harpenden and if he would be sad to leave the Public Halls. “As lovely as the building is, it has been here a long time. It

would be lovely to have a purpose-built venue and it will be nothing but positive for the town. I’m looking forward to it.” Not as much as we are to see this year’s production of Cinderella! Tickets are available from cinderella/ or by telephoning 01582 767525.

Christmas Carnival Nov 27. Above left Jessi Robinson with Luke Roberts. Above right: Steve Leeds with Honey Fine

Lyndhurst launch new services – “Focus for Women” Lyndhurst Financial Management, your local financial advisory firm, have launched a dedicated service called “Focus for Women”, offering women holistic financial advice at whatever stage they are at in their life. We help women take control of their finances to achieve greater long term security, so that they know both they and their families are looked after.

• Women are increasingly forging their own careers and accumulating wealth independently and may well appreciate financial advice from a woman. • We will listen to you and your situation and help you to feel confident about your finances.

You can speak to either a male or female adviser but if you prefer to speak to one of our female advisers, here are a number of reasons why our Focus for Women clients do: • They find it easier to discuss their personal circumstances with our female advisers, this is particularly true at a time where there has been a significant change in their lives e.g. bereavement or divorce. If you would like to have an initial chat with one of our Focus for Women team (above) call on 01582 769980.

Complimentary gift wrapping at Oui A warm welcome awaits you at Oui. We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, professional service within a relaxed atmosphere. Come in and enjoy browsing our Winter collections and get some great Christmas gift ideas or create a wish list for yourself.  We stock Swarovski element jewellery by Dyrberg Kern from £19, Alpaca hats and scarfs, fabulous handbags from £49 and footwear from Ilse Jacobsen, all to complement our contemporary Oui and Set clothing collections. We stock sizes 8 to 18.  Take the hassle out of Christmas shopping with our complimentary gift wrapping. Come in and take a peek!

Christmas Reading for 5- 8 year olds “The BFG” by Roald Dahl

Let’s face it who doesn’t like Roald Dahl books. They’re perfect for children. The BFG is on this list purely as it coincides with the film release on DVD. But any Roald Dahl book would be a great read. On a dark, silvery moonlit night, Sophie is snatched from her bed by a giant. Luckily it is the Big Friendly Giant, the BFG, who only eats snozzcumbers and glugs frobscottle. But there are other giants in Giant Country. Fifty foot brutes who gallop far and wide every night to find human beans to eat. Can Sophie and her friend the BFG stop them? Let's hope so otherwise the next child a gruesome giant guzzles could be YOU.

Remember car service as well as carol service

Silver Palate Deli Delicious ...

There’s nothing more certain to spoil your Christmas than the car breaking down, just when you need it most. Advice is at hand, however, from the experts at Brayley Harpenden, who can ensure you’re well prepared over the festive season. During December, the dealership is offering £20 off all manufacturer standard services, plus MOTs for just £29 for any make and model. Not only that but Brayleys is providing motorists with a free battery, wiper and bulb health check. If any of these needs replacing, they’ll also fit it for free if you purchase the item from them. Brayleys’ tips for reliability on the roads this Christmas: BATTERY Conserve power by switching off all auxiliaries before turning your engine off. ENGINE Check the coolant reservoir regularly and top-up with anti-freeze if need be. SCREEN Protect the windscreen and wipers from frost using an old sheet or specialist protector. Never use boiling water. TYRES Check tyre pressures regularly. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, but at least 3mm will provide better grip in wet and icy conditions. EQUIPMENT Carry these items in your car, in case of a long traffic delay: hi-vis jacket; coat and gloves; chocolate and a bottle of water; mobile phone charger.

Christmas is the time for something special and what better way to treat your friends and family than with the sumptuous offerings at the Silver Palate Delicatessen. Newly opened in Vaughan Rd it’s a few yards away from the highly renowned Silver Palate restaurant. As soon as you walk in your taste buds will be aroused by the smell of fresh coffee mingling with aromas of cheese and olives. Looking around you’ll see a vast selection of both fresh produce and shelves of specialty products to tempt you. Why not have a coffee and a croissant while you make up your mind?

BODYWORK Wash the car frequently to get rid of road salt, which can cause corrosion. Paul Brayley, Managing Director of Brayleys said: “We’d like to wish all our customers and residents of Harpenden a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.” Like all good delis their cheese, meats and salamis are to die for! Their olives, oils, pastas, jams, chutneys and other speciality products are in profusion. And their breads, cakes, panettone and biscuits are very tempting. Looking for a Christmas gift to impress then choose a Hamper, ready made or made to a budget.

Silver Palate Deli, 7 Vaughan Rd. 01582 349521

Why I Became … A Florist

Stephanie Randall – owner of The Flower Studio in Harpenden By Claire Millins

Tell me about your journey in floristry? I have been a florist for 20 years, training at Oaklands College in St Albans. I have been working for myself for 12 years. Why did you become a florist? I decided to become a florist because I am creative with my hands and I love flowers and foliage. What qualities should a budding florist have? I think any budding florist should have an eye for colour and textures. What are your busiest times of the year? Our busiest times of year Valentine’s Day, the week of Mother’s Day and, of course, Christmas. How many arrangements do you typically make in a day? It varies on a day to day basis, but generally on a Saturday probably between 20 and 30 arrangements. What’s the biggest event you’ve ever prepared arrangements for? The biggest event I prepared arrangements for was a function at The Mansion House in London for Princess Anne. What are you 3 favourite flowers and why? Peonies for their scent and beauty Tubrose for their scent Roses What do you like doing in your spare time? In my spare time I like sewing and swimming.

Orders for Christmas are now being taken. Christmas Wreaths are £35 or £45. If you would like something more bespoke, please speak to Stephanie. The Flower Studio is located at 2 Leyton Road in Harpenden (in between Manor Pharmacy and Friends) Telephone: 01582 769919 Website:

Fashion essentials for Christmas from Fullwoods Be party ready this Christmas with the perfect pair of jeans, we have Salsa jeans at £96. Add a Pako Litto lurex glitter top for festive night out. Or need something a little dressier? How about an Onjenu Velvet dress for the xmas party.

Fullwoods for Gift ideas Mary Portas Kinky knickers make great stocking fillers £15. Winter scarves from £29. Sparkle gloves £12. Leather clutch bags from £30 .

Underwear from Wacoal and Marie Jo for the lady in your life. Bobble hats. Jewellery from £15.

Treat yourself to knitwear by YAYA from £49 or something Lacey from Rosemunde. Comfy pumps that fold in half to pop in your bag by Butterfly Twist from £29. Gift Vouchers and gift boxes.

FULLWOODS Leyton Rd. Opp Waitrose 01582 968939

Join us at The Harpenden Arms on Wednesday 14 December for an evening of live music with the fantastic and very talented “Swing Out Santa Band”. Now the town lights have been switched on, it’s full steam ahead at The Arms this December. We’ve been mulling everything in sight, baking trays of delicious mince pies, putting up the decorations, dusting off the Christmas jumpers and really getting into the swing of the festive season! Come along and see for yourselves!

We still have spaces available for parties Also on Monday 5 December in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, we are hosting a Dementia Awareness information evening in the Pullman Room from 7.30pm with our guest speaker, Angela Scarlett-Marshall. All are welcome to attend. For more information, call Nick Williams on 01582 461113 The Harpenden Arms

Christmas Countdown at Breathing Space

4 weeks of offers in the run up to Christmas

Christmas Reading for 5- 8 year olds

Little Old Mrs Pepperpot (and other stories" by Alf Proysen These were my some of my favourite reads when I was little. I loved the adventures Mrs Pepperpot got up to.

28th Nov-4th Dec 10% off Home and exercise gifts - ESPA and Archipelego candles and diffusers, Studio equipment eg swiss balls, exercise grip socks, yoga mats, foam rollers

Whoever heard of an old woman becoming queen of the crows? Or riding through the snow on the back of a cat? Or tricking a mouse into cleaning her house? Well, with the amazing Mrs Pepperpot, anything can happen - and usually does - especially when she can shrink to a few inches high without a moment's notice! But being so small can have its advantages, especially when it means you can also talk to the animals ...These classic stories about the much-loved Mrs Pepperpot hold a timeless magic for young children everywhere.

5th Dec -11th Dec Body week- buy one of the ESPA Body collection boxes and book an ESPA Body wrap for £30 to be used in Dec or January (saving of £29) Includes ESPA gift boxes-

12th Dec -18th Dec Facial treats and Jessica offers Buy an ESPA Facial Christmas gift Box and Book a Age Defyer Facial in January for £50 usually (£85)  

"Mudpuddle Farm" by Michael Morpurgo This is a lovely book with some really lovely and funny stories in. They are written almost in comic strip form which is perfect for beginning readers A charming series of adventures for younger readers, featuring a family of all sorts of animals that live in the farmyard behind the tumble-down barn on Mudpuddle Farm… Six fantastic stories in one volume!

Create you own facial gift box to include 3 products from the range of cleansers, toners, moisturisers and exfoliators and receive a 20% discount. We will box and package for Christmas. 10% off all Jessica gift sets

19th Dec – 24th Dec Santa Specials – 10% off ESPA Christmas Boxes plus many other treats.

BREATHING SPACE: Thompsons Close 01582 462223.


Harpenden Town Mayor – Nicola Linacre How long have you lived in Harpenden? Nearly 30 years. Where did you grow up? I grow up in Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and then came to Harpenden via the University of Surrey and London. Are Harpenden & Tunbridge Wells similar? Tunbridge Wells is bigger and has different areas of shopping. However, they are probably similar as you can get "disgusted of Harpenden" just as much as "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells". Which do you prefer? I genuinely prefer Harpenden. I miss the choice of shops that you get in Tunbridge Wells, but as a place to live Harpenden wins. What would you miss most about Harpenden if you had to leave? I would miss friends. That would be a big thing. And I'd miss the friendliness of Harpenden. I remember when I first moved from London going into Boots and being genuinely shocked at everyone being so polite and pleasant. In Harpenden, we are spoilt for coffee shops, which is your favourite? I don't have one as I don't drink coffee or any hot drinks. I can't stand the smell of coffee. Do you have a favourite Harpenden view? I must admit I love the view over Rothamsted Park. Which Harpenden shops do you rely on? The staples really; Waitrose, Boots, M&S, Springfield. What advice would you give a tourist? I would advise them to go on a guided walk which would give them a good background to Harpenden and an appreciation of how it developed.

Where’s been your most memorable meal? We had a delegation from our twin town of Alzey during the summer and we went to Lussman's and used their private dining room upstairs. What do you think Harpenden needs most? I would say a large department store. If you could do anything as Mayor (money being no object) what would be your top priority? I would make donations to the really small local charities (not the ones that have shops along the High Street) but the really local ones that do amazing work. My two charities this year are both small local charities: Youth Talk and The Tyler Reader Brighter Future Fund. What’s your favourite Harpenden discovery? Definitely the fact that the security shop next to Chef Peking used to be the local town lock-up for drunkards. What are your home comforts? Snuggling up with a good book. What are you reading at the moment? I have just started a Sharon Bolton book. She has written a series of 4 about Detective Lacey Flint and someone recommended them to me. I have just started the first one and it has dived straight into the action, which is good. What are your extravagances? Books, definitely books. What’s your life philosophy? The importance of kindness to the people you love. Interview by Claire Millins

“You are a diamond dear, they can’t break you!”

Christmas Reading for 5- 8 year olds "The Diary of Dennis the Menace" Steven Butler

For all Beano fans, young and old, this is a brilliantly funny “Menace Diary”. Again an easy read for emerging readers. This is the 1st in a series of 6,so far. The Diary of Dennis the Menace gives readers the inside story on every cheeky trick and prank played by the star of The Beano. Written by Roald Dahl Funny Prizeshortlisted author of The Wrong Pong series, Steven Butler, this hilarious book will delight Beano fans. Meet Dennis, Gnasher and friends (and enemies!) and explore Beanotown with Dennis as your guide. This is a brilliant celebration of classic British comedy in the year that The Beano celebrates its 75 birthday.

Your love story- our passion! Custom made; Wedding, Engagement & Eternity Rings; Forever & Always CALL US NOW FREE QUOTATION:

01582 761866 69C High Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL52SL

The Wombles" Elizabeth Beresford

As someone who grew up with the television series as an introduction to The Wombles, these books are a brilliant reminder of their adventures. The first ever recyclers. I can hear Bernard Cribbens’ voice when I read them as well. “The Wombles" is the first ever Wombles book and introduces the stern but kindly Great Uncle Bulgaria; Orinoco, who is particularly fond of his food and a subsequent forty winks; general handyman extraordinaire Tobermory, who can turn almost anything that the Wombles retrieve from Wimbledon Common into something useful; Madame Cholet, who cooks the most delicious and natural foods to keep the Wombles happy and contented; and, last but not least, Bungo, one of the youngest and cheekiest Wombles of all.


A big thank you to all the businesses who donated these fabulous prizes

PRIZES • Three x £50 Cash prizes. The Harpenden Retailers Christmas free prize draw is open to all Harpenden residents via the official entry form on the leaflet below. PICK UP A LEAFLET IN THE SHOPS BELOW Simply complete the entry form and put it in the ‘Christmas Draw’ box at any of the participating retailers listed below. Free Prize Draw details and rules are also on the HARPENDIA web site

• Three Wembley tickets to see England play in a World Cup qualifier (donated by Brayleys) • Books from No Exit publishers Pulp! The Classics A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler; Montecristo by Martin Suter; Willnot by James Sallis; Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson

• A painting by Harpenden RULES artist Ben Shalom, • All entrants must be over 18 years of age. • Closing date for entries is December 19th “Red Roses” 2016. • Winners will be drawn on December 21st by the Town Mayor Cllr Nicola Linacre and advised by email or phone. • The winners list (names only) will be published on the HARPENDIA web site on December 23rd. • There is no cash alternative to the prizes. • A fashion Voucher from OUI

one-stop site for everything you need to know about living


* NE

Special Offers for you this Christmas W


Brayleys Breathing Space CY Hair fonehouse Fullwoods Gallery Rouge Good Sports Harpenden Arms Listers Loveweds Musical Images Nice Oui Purple R & M Butchers Rebecca Jade Rollings Wine Serena Hart Silver Palate 20/20 Vision Threads


The Harpenden High Street is THE place for your Christmas shopping. There’s an amazing choice of retailers offering almost everything you need to make your Christmas very special and more affordable.


Just cut out the coupons and take them to the retailers to claim your offer.


Cash prizes, three Wembley tickets to see England play in a World Cup qualifier; new books and more. Complete your details on the reverse & hand in to any of the featured retailers. Closing date Dec 19 2016 PRODUCED BY

• A Designers Guild cushion from Lister Interiors • A mini Hamper from the Silver Palate Deli • An Aromatherapy Full Body Massage from Breathing Space • An invisible shield screen protector cut to size for your mobile with our new Zaag machine. From Fonehouse Harpenden

Editor: Ron Taylor Contact: Daily news updates: Video Channel: Type ‘harpendia’ in the Youtube search box Editorial Consultants: Amanda Thomas and Claire Millins

Coming in March 2017 Harpendia Spring Edition

Xmas master 2016 pdf med  

How to find great ideas to celebrate Christmas in Harpenden. Food and wine ideas; Christmas shopping; Christmas Entertainment; Eating Out; C...