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Image copyright: Blue Orange Images

Volume 3 Issue 3


INES M A G A Ze d s in c e P u b li s h


it ie s ommun lo c a l c S e r v in g o v e r 1 0 y e a r s fo r



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So much more than just a magazine The opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily represent the views of flea ltd and therefore we do not accept liability.

The Watford Flea Magazine is published by flea ltd Watford Printers Building 58 Vicarage Road Watford WD18 0EW


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EDITORS WANTED Enquire without obligation Email: Phone: 01923 731160


West Herts College Finlay Wade, a student at West Herts College, is on Work Experience at The Flea. His first assignment was to interview Chris Pearson (Director of Strategy and Communications at West Herts College) to discuss the new campus 3 years on... Sitting in the vibrant public café located in what is known as ‘The Street’, I sat down with Chris to talk about about a new scheme the college had been preparing for students wanting to progress in the working environment. Chris explained ‘Power to Shine’, West Herts’ very own alternative experience to a Gap year. “This is an opportunity for students to take a week in a work placement (relevant to their course) and get a taste of the working environment. Students can then offer employers a history of their experiences and inevitably boost their individual chances of permanent employment”.

We talked about the new building being fitted with soft furnishings, giving a welcoming, refreshing feel and a positive atmosphere. “Students treat the college and its property with great respect and definitely appreciate the facilities that run along ‘The Street’. Chris revealed that enrolment had doubled since 2004 when the number of daytime students was around 2,400. Numbers of young people now average some 4,800 annually.

I wanted to tie up the interview by finding out what West Herts I asked,‘as a student from an College offers in terms of SEN (Special Educational Needs) exhibits, events and open days. background, what development I found they have an annual Art plans are in place for a diverse Exhibition open to the general range of students to come public on ‘The Street’ and and study at West Herts?’ that the Hair & Beauty salon is Chris revealed that, ‘we have open on a daily basis as is the schemes to make it happen, Restaurant 12pm – 2pm (also we’re not a selective college open on Tuesday and Thursday and we are open to everybody. evenings). We tap into specific needs and potentials to aid students’.

West Herts College was established in 1991, as an amalgamation of local ‘further education’ colleges such as Cassio College, Dacorum College and George Stephenson College. The College inherited campuses from its predecessors and now occupies sites at Hemel Hempstead (Marlowes) and Kings Langley (Construction and Engineering Centre). In 2010 the Watford College sites merged into a new state-of-the-art building in Hempstead Road.

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Art in Bushey Bushey is famous for three major artistic settlements, the most recent being the Lucy Kemp Welch School of Painting which was taken over in 1937 by her pupil, Marguerite Frobisher. The Frobisher School of Art was originally based in Glencoe Road, but thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, in 2007 the enormous Victorian studio was dismantled and re-erected behind the Bushey museum in Rudolph Road. It was a major task but now this piece of important Bushey heritage is open five days a week for workshops and art classes. The space is fabulous, high ceiling with natural light

Art classes at the

Frobisher Studio

and, although it was a freezing cold day when the Flea visited, the studio was warm and toasty. Esther Heylen and Ian Poulton teach the Poulton Art Group adult portrait and life classes every Thursday and Friday, and Cheryl Gould teaches a class on Wednesdays. For more information call Esther Heylen 07828 064586. For an extended article about Bushey Museum and the Frobisher Studio, visit

Call 07828 064586

Lululaund in 1900

As well as the Lucy Kemp Welch school of art, other famous art settlements in historical Bushey are the Monro Circle and the Herkomer school. In the early 19th century, Monro was a patron to numerous well known artists of the time, including William Turner. At the begining of the 20th century, Hubert von Herkomer based his art school at Lululaund, a ‘Bavarian castle’ he built in Melbourne Road. You can still see part of the façade although most of the house was demolished in 1939. Visit Bushey Museum in Rudolph road to view a selection of Herkomer paintings as well as artifacts from Lululaund and much much more!

Edna & John A wife & husband team – great photography every time

Blue Orange Images Abbots Langley T 01923 350596 etc

parties weddings portraits


Watford Music Scene Welcome back, dear reader.

By Pete Curtis

Hard to believe, I know, but Spring is just around the corner - thankfully - and with it those longer, lazier evenings, encouraging more people to pop out for a relaxed and stimulating evening of unpredictable live music at one of the many open mic nights around the region, and beyond.

Although some open mic evenings are more rigorously organised than others there is, due to their very nature, always going to be a random element inasmuch as one never knows who’s going to show up! That said, and regardless of audience numbers, they are invariably a source of warmth and support for newbies unused to facing a crowd. FLEA fans are fortunate enough to have a number of excellent evenings within easy reach, so there’s really no excuse not to get out at some point and give one or two of them a try - more, if you’re an aspiring performer. Perhaps the best known of these, and certainly, after ten years, one of the longest running, takes place at The Horns every Wednesday evening. The singularly good natured host, Shane Lamont, is equally welcoming to all performers regardless of their pedigree! It’s as good a place to start as any, with its eclectic crowd and excellent facilities, so do take advantage of it. Just around the corner at The Flag, the richly talented Martin “Marv” Renshaw hosts a weekly gathering each Thursday which, again, draws people of all abilities into a supportive atmosphere. Down the road apiece, at The King’s Head in Hunton Bridge, Emma Wilson - no mean songwriter herself - hosts a session on the second Friday of every month. It’s a great old pub, and you can hear everything from floor singers to entire bands within a single night. Doing something a little different is jazz singer Alex Williams who, with his various musical partners, hosts the Dial Up sessions at Watford Palace Theatre, as well as at Coco in Croxley and at The Seven Dials near Covent Garden. Alex is an easy going host, and the whole affair has a showier, jazzier vibe than the previously mentioned shindigs. I know there are more out there, but I can’t fit them all in ( sorry guys! ). Feel free to send in your details to the FLEA website. The point is,

this is all about the musical community encouraging and supporting its own... you never know when the next Jake Bugg or Joni MItchell is going to walk in the door and blow the audience away, so if you’ve ever thought about giving it a shot, it’s way more real and far more satisfying than aspiring to the X Factor. Joni Mitchell in 1979

So - what are you waiting for? See you there!


Drum Tuition

For the young and the not so young, novice or experienced

Whether you want to learn from scratch or need to brush up on your skills; I have a formal education through Tech Music schools and more than ten years experience in a live performance and recording environment.

I can help you reach the level of proficiency you wish to achieve. Lessons are held on a one-to-one basis a in purpose built studio based in central Watford, and hourly costs are very reasonable*

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Austerity Measures Quelle surprise! Emanating from my underutilized postbag at Flea offices comes a letter, possibly delivered by that venerable, yet almost moribund institution, the Royal Mail. Attention all twitterati : a letter is an envelope, containing a message, written on a piece of paper. What a quaint idea! It transpired that the missive was a cri de Coeur from my old friend, the rotund Rev. J.R. PanCrandon, formerly of Newton Abbot, imploring me to offer austerity advice through the aegis of my column. The paucity of his meager stipend was forcing him to make a stark choice between eating and warming himself. How, he asks might his mounting grocery bill be contained? Immediately glad to be of assistance Rev! My solution is simple and decisive: STOP EATING. In a trice, you will sensationally reduce your food bill to zero. Moreover, your grotesque girth will shrivel to the point where you could enjoy watching parts of your anatomy obscured from your gaze for many a year. Regrettably, however, the flesh is weak, and I foresee that after a couple of weeks you’ll whinge, claiming boredom, hunger or both as reasons to discontinue the regime. So…my next suggestion is that you luxuriate in that diet which is the ambrosia of the underclass: baked beans on toast. Yummy! These are obtainable in large tins (the beans that is) from any disreputable supermarket at approx. 27p per can. A large cut-loaf will set you back approx. 55p and a large slab of butter £1.19. I calculate a week’s eating to cost no more than £3.63. But once again, I imagine, after a few weeks you’ll complain; grumbling about having to do all that cooking, slaving over a hot toaster, microwave etc. So you’ll be seeking advice on eating out on a tight Watford budget. I’m happy to help. Dine in style with the town’s elite at Ell’s Kitchen in Watford Market, Charter Place. (Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat.). From this remarkable establishment a bewildering variety of grub issues forth. A miniscule kitchen maybe, but the speed with which all manner of goodies is thurped on to the counter is amazing. All is available, be it hot dog, exotic plate of chips or the haute cuisine of cheese omelette, chips and

beans. The latter costs £5.35 approx. with mug of tea thrown in. The tea from an old fashioned transport café urn is superb. The chips are never dry. I witnessed an elegantly chic young woman (well, we are talking Watford here) devour a chip baguette with fried egg as side dish. How bizarre is that? Troddy

Transport For London DOES recycle! Thank you for your further email about recycling on the Tube. We work with our cleaning and waste contractors to continuously review and improve on the amount of customer waste which is recycled. This has improved year on year. As well as collecting newspapers for recycling, waste in the litter bins goes to a Materials Recycling Facility which separates the recyclable waste from the other waste. Over 80% of customer waste left on the Tube (which includes newspapers, papers, cardboard and cans) is recycled. We are committed to delivering strict cleanliness standards and will continue to reduce the impact of litter on the Tube. Yours sincerely, Customer Service Centre


All things foody ‘Watford is not short of a few restaurants. Whatever you could want can be catered for by one of the many establishments on the main strip in the centre of town.’ The latest addition is “Carluccio’s” and Joe McKenzie can recommend it. ‘The service was superb, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming.’ Read the full review here:

Away from the crowds is a hidden gem; just a 5 minute drive towards Northwood is Moor Park, a private estate flanked by a golf course on one side and Oxhey woods on the other. Just opposite Moor Park underground station is a parade of shops where you will find Cafe Loco. An ideal meeting place for lunch or just a coffee, the service and food are first class and parking is right outside!

Meat or fish?

Photo credit: Belfast Zoo

In England, Good Friday is a day when Christians don’t eat meat as it is the meant to represent the flesh of Christ. But in parts of South America, the “no meat” rule is slightly different. By special dispensation of the Vatican, the Capybara (the largest rodent in the world) is eaten in great numbers in the Latin Americas on Good Friday – 400 tonnes are eaten during Lent in Venezuela alone! The reasoning is that the Capybara is a water-dwelling animal and is considered a fish. What do you think?


65 years of the Some might say that it is starting to show its age, while others might say that it’s the flagship of a welfare state that has been copied and revered by countries all across the world.

The NHS has achieved a number of world firsts in terms of healthcare and treatments. On July 25 1978, the birth of Louise Joy Brown in Oldham heralded a true leap forward in the science of human conception; she Whatever your opinion of the was the world’s first test-tube NHS is, there is no denying that baby. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) it was a fantastic innovation in treatment is now commonplace the welfare of people especially and since then, more than a after the staggering loss of million test tube babies have life during the Second World been born worldwide. War. A country that was on its The NHS is one of the largest knees, economically, saying employers in the world, to the world that, even in the ranking alongside the Chinese times of hardship, the welfare People’s Liberation Army, the of the people is of the utmost Indian railways and the Walimportance. Mart supermarket chain. The When 13-year-old Sylvia Diggery NHS currently employs nearly (née Beckingham) was admitted to 1.4 million people in various a Manchester hospital with a liver positions. There are also more condition in 1948, she became the than 100 volunteering roles first patient to be treated by the within health and social care. NHS. Today, both men and women You can join the hospital radio live an average of 10 years longer team, the Women’s Royal than they did before the creation Voluntary Service and the League of Friends, among many others. of the NHS in 1948.

Sylvia Diggery (née Beckingham) was the first NHS patient in 1948.

But, there seems to be trouble brewing. We have all heard about hospitals having trouble with funding or outbreaks of “super strains” of a virus or bacteria. Recently, health minister and doctor, Dan Poulter has said that he would have trouble recommending a number of hospitals in the Essex region due to their higher than expected death rates. The expected number of deaths is calculated using a range of adjustment factors including age, gender, admission method and diagnosis grouping. Investigations into these trusts – along with three others from across England - will be carried out by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. He is expected to present his report in July 2013. JMB

The stress of life changes ... ‘I suffer anxiety and I am not sleeping,’ Barbara said. ‘Can Autogenic Training help me?’ Barbara had taken a career break, and in her 40s she qualified as a teacher. Now facing her first job in a demanding secondary school, she was finding it hard to cope with the extraordinary pressure of managing preparation and classroom dynamics, not to mention a busy home life.

However, Barbara realised she had to break the pattern, to enjoy her new career. She just needed to manage the stress of change.

I am careful not to make outcome promises.

Jane Bird SRN, DipAT

After 4 months (9-session AT course, and the later follow-up), Barbara reported consistent good quality sleep, confidence in the classroom and most important: ‘The constant low-level anxiety which was my “normal” has now gone.’

Autogenic Training

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is brilliant short-term therapy for long-term well-being. Jane Bird has 30 years’ experience helping people help themselves.


Fear or phobia? Success stories Just a line to thank you for your hypnosis session which enabled me to overcome my worries about public speaking. Malcolm, Hemel Most people have some kind of fear or phobia: spiders, snakes, heights, open spaces, water, crowds, confined spaces … an endless list. Sometimes, the fear is overwhelming. Fear adversely affects life, and suffocates enjoyment. If you, or someone you know is suffering, rest assured... ...Tania Clarke can help


Call or email me.

We can banish your fear.

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What’s your phobia? Allodoxaphobia - Fear of opinions. Epistemophobia - Fear of knowledge. Gerontophobia - Fear of old people or of growing old. Ergophobia - Fear of work. Nephophobia - Fear of clouds. Pogonophobia- Fear of beards. Sesquipedalophobia - Fear of long words. (ironically) Zemmiphobia - Fear of the great mole rat.

Muscle tightness or pain? Stressed, injured or tired? FREE Assessment !!! and 50% off your first massage

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The difference with Tania is that she does it with such humour & humanity that I could instantly relate to her & what she was saying. I quite literally laughed my way through some of the sessions! Dee – formerly fear of intimacy, Watford

I went on holiday recently and was nothing less than calm on the plane. Lovely flight, had a sandwich and everything. What a revelation! Laura – formerly

fear of flying, Bushey


Weather report By Dave Degen

But maybe not. Our climate is changing. No one knows for sure what the weather will be in a month’s time - or even a week ahead. But trends in historic data show our weather is becoming wetter and wilder. 2012 was the wettest ever. February just gone is set to be one of the coldest on record. But it wasn’t just here in the UK that records were broken: In January 2013, Las Vegas experienced the most extreme freezes as the mercury plummeted to -26OC. Meanwhile, Australia was frazzled in record heatwaves coupled with high winds that whipped up hundreds of bushfires.

© Alan cozzi / Watford FC.

By the time you read this, I truly hope that you will be basking in the warmth of the mild spring sun and that the bleak winter we have just endured will be long gone.

Zola’s fight for promotion

We know we are having an impact on the climate. In the aftermath of 9/11, there were no aircraft flying above the USA and it was noted how the traditionally smog-filled sky was unusually clear. Climate scientists investigated and discovered that small particles from aeroplane emissions are acting to block out the sun’s rays, causing a significant drop in temperature. This effect has been called Global Dimming. Global studies of the sun index (hours of direct sunlight) have shown a drop of 17% since the 1970s. No one knows what effect this will have on vegetation. Already there have been alarming drops in the bee population and levels of vitamin D. But we press on regardless with airport expansion.

Following an incredible unbeaten run over the past month (February) Gianfranco Zola has landed ‘LMA Championship Manager of the Month Award’. It is Zola’s first individual award since managing the side and he states; “I got it thanks to the players. They appreciate it but it will now be back to business.” Watford FC currently sits in 3rd place, just two points behind Steve Bruce’s Hull City and with just nine games left, the race for automatic promotion is truly on!

Beginners Running Course starting 6th April for 9 weeks Watford Running Sisters have been meeting on Saturday mornings in Cassiobury Park since 2005. If you are over 16 and want to start or progress your running why not join our beginners course? Places are limited so please visit for application form.


Easter at Automaster GB Film fans will know about Easter eggs - an intentional hidden message, inside joke, or feature in a computer program, movie or book. labour charges Famous ones include George Harrison briefly with this page appearing in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, or Limited time offer the club in Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom being called “Club Obi Wan” (in reference to Automaster GB, Unit P2, Penfold Trading Estate, another Steven Spielberg film). More recently, Imperial Way, Watford, WD24 4YY Easter Eggs included on DVDs have been hidden “extras” that require you to follow clues in the main menus if you want to find them.

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But what happens when your car has a problem? Will you be prepared to go on a hunt to try and find out exactly what the trouble is? Will it be as much fun as looking for the little in-jokes in films? I can tell you now: it isn’t.

That’s where the professionals come in. The guys at Automaster GB are professionals that will hunt down deficiencies in your car like kids searching for chocolate easter eggs, or geeks looking for hidden messages in Star Wars. Get your vehicle a diagnostic spring clean after the long, harsh winter, as well as servicing, MOT, repairs and of course bodywork. Let Automaster GB bring your vehicle maintenance up to spec ready for the summer ahead.

Who has the right to manage your affairs when you can’t? Your husband, wife, civil partner – in fact nobody – has the automatic right to step in and manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your personal welfare if you lost the mental capacity to do so. That is as it should be. However, without a Lasting Power of Attorney even those you love and trust will need to spend time and money applying to the Court before they can refocus their full attention on what is important – helping you. Find out more about what a Lasting Power of Attorney is by attending a free presentation at Age UK Hertfordshire (Watford Office) on Thursday morning, 18th April. Places are limited so you must prebook by contacting 01923 460011 or 07970 695221. The guest speaker is Shirley Batten-Smith of Planet Wills Ltd who has a great deal of experience of helping clients create and register their own documents.

For more information and advice, contact Shirley Batten-Smith of Planet Wills Ltd

01923 460011  Looking for help and advice you can trust on Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney?  Want an experienced, professionally qualified Adviser?  Don’t want to pay extra for a home visit?  Want fixed cost with no hidden extras?

Planet Wills ticks all the right boxes

PLANET Wills 01923 460011


Trouble at work? Are you being harassed or bullied at work? Are you the victim of discrimination? Have you recently been given notice of redundancy or offered a Compromise Agreement? If you have, Moore Solicitors can assist you with your employment related matter; whether you have a claim at the Employment Tribunal or an internal disciplinary to attend.

Case Study

(names and personal information have been changed to maintain confidentiality)

A client, Peter, had ongoing issues at work. We advised on the grievances and drafted a grievance letter and statement. Peter took a colleague to the grievance meeting but the result was not satisfactory. Following an appeal, we wrote a letter to the employer asking for a Compromise Agreement as the working relationship had become untenable. Peter was offered an exit package and successfully moved on. Another client, Naomi, suffered with depression and stress at work. She was off sick for a short period at the beginning of the year. However, her employer requested that she attend Occupational

By Harsha Moore

Health and started capability proceedings against her. She raised a grievance, of disability discrimination, as this had not been the path followed in relation to other staff who had been off sick for non-mental health related issues. The employer fiercely followed the capability procedure and dismissed the employee. A claim was started at an Employment Tribunal and settled through agreement. At Moore Solicitors we provide professional and practical advice as well as legal presentation at an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal. We provide initial telephone advice for FREE and can then work on a fixed fee or hourly rate or charge your legal expenses insurance; we do some cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. Call Harsha Moore or Caroline Rowlands today to talk through your work problems.

Solving work related problems

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Oxhey mum going global! Lillipops are naturally flavoured and specially formulated ice pops for pregnant women. Designed to help ease the symptoms of Dry Mouth, Acid Indigestion, Nausea & Heartburn. Designed and developed by Denise Soden from Oxhey Hall, we wanted to know more.... Have you always lived locally? Yes, I was born in Bushey and went to Bushey Meads. What did you do before starting your business? I was an accounts supervisor, a tree surgeon’s secretary and a ‘film extra’. How did you come up with the idea of Lillipops? My third pregnancy caused chronic nausea, dehydration, haywire tastebuds and no appetite! I tried ice but craved taste, so I made some ice pops with delicious and healthy ingredients. They eased my nausea, rehydrated me and settled my tummy. The result was daughter Lilli – hence ‘Lillipops’

Denise mixing flavours in the lab!

How important was family support ? Essential! I couldn’t have managed without mum – and hubbie, who does most of the work! Is running your own business harder than you expected? Yes!!!

Innovative telecoms solutions

Who or what was the most valuable source of help when you started your business?

Specialists in the provision of advanced communication services for business

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All sales come through our website. We currently have distributors in Ireland, Italy, Spain, South Korea and Slovakia. Once clinical trials complete in September we shall sell in USA, Canada, Saudi, Jordan, Japan and Equador.

VoIP and Broadband

How did you manage to find distributors in all these countries?

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The internet. How do you market Lillipops?

They came to me - via the website. They searched for ‘morning sickness remedy’ and found me! What advice would you give to someone starting in business? Know your market place! For the full Lillipops story, visit their website:


Gloword 1







8 9 10 11









20 21

22 24

25 26


Across 1 8. 9. 10. 13. 15. 16. 17. 19. 20. 21. 24. 25. 26. Down 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 11. 12. 13. 14. 18. 19. 22. 23.

Baltic state (9) Dead as a .... (4) IBRD man in sheeps clothing (9) Rearrange text (4) Uninteresting (5) Beast (6) Copier shows the bullets path (6) Near Serbia (6) Riga it’s Capital (6) Stake a right to (5) Oleaginous (4) Marked on delivery (9) .... and plaster (4) Add in stages (9) Idealistic image (4) Pique (4) In addition (2,4) Meaning to camp (6) Tending to bring about (9) Not daytime (9) Deceitfully confuse (9) Lacking restraint (9) Elementary language (5) Night vision (5) Old Blighty (6) Rubbish (6) Islamic leader (4) .... and bare it (4)


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Coaching, Hypnotherapy Tania Clarke 07717 410910

IT Support & Repair Nixuss Computer Repair Ctr 01923 350255

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Pet Sitting Different Strokes Pet Sitting 07506 429 631

Catering - any occasion MJT Catering 01923 351421

Electrician Brett Electrical Services Ltd 01923 270071

Plumbing & Heating Services Taylor Made Services Ltd 07973 542618, 01923 270998

Golf Clubs Phil Gomme 0773 405 2392

Printing Watford Printers Ltd 01923 223885

Hypnotherapist Cynthia Marsh, DCH 0777 051 5377

Signs & Vehicle Lettering Signwise 01923 250 850

Chartered Accountants Derek Skinner FCA 01923 777338

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The Watford Flea Magazine Issue 303  

The Watford Flea Magazine Issue 303 For all your Family, Lifestyle, Education and Arts needs in Watford. In this issue we have fears and p...