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p01 Elite Cover 107 Jan v4_Layout 1 09/01/2012 10:47 Page 1

w w w . e l i t e m a g a z i n e . c o . u k ISSUE 107 January/February 2012

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p02 Gymophobics New_Layout 1 05/01/2012 14:57 Page 1

p03 From the Editor Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 13:06 Page 3

January / February 2012

Result! Our whole family actually got through all the Christmas festivities this year without getting a cold … says Polly Enfield

publishing director Ian Goldsworthy Telephone: 01206 500543 editor Polly Enfield advertisement sales 01206 500543 sales managers Colson Price Reece O’Connor publishers Publisher Expert Ltd, P.O. Box 7391 Colchester, CO4 3WZ design and artwork contributors Jeremy Walsham, Polly Enfield, Peter Jones, Steve Brown, Peter Constable, Andy White, Ray Pile, Adrian Priestley, Lara Townsend, Fulvio Mussi, Andrew Mumford, Nick Kotarski, Brendan Timms,

front cover Cover image by David Gynn

I hope that you were as lucky and enjoyed it all as much as we did; but I was interested to read that the old wives’ tale about ‘catching a cold because of getting too cold’ might, after all, have some truth to it. It appears that if your nose is physically cold, then the virus feels more at home, so is more likely to snuggle in. Now, being the entrepreneurial sort, I set my mind to thinking of a device that could make my millions - some sort of ‘nasal central heating’ would probably be just the thing; proudly worn throughout the chilly season to ward off all the bugs. I have yet, however, to find a supporter who would be prepared to strap such a thing to their noses for the duration; or even for five minutes, come to that. Heigh ho; another genius idea bites the dust. But even though you’re not as daft as I am, let 2012 be the year where you break the mould a bit. Try venturing down some slightly unusual paths and let some new horizons widen out. You may well be glad that you did, but even if nothing stunning happens, you will still have added to your personal experience account. I wish a satisfying 2012 to all our readers. Quote of the Month... “Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do; what experience (Bruce Crampton) tells you to do and what your nerves let you do.”

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30,000 copies delivered monthly FREE to quality households in north east Essex and parts of Suffolk. To advertise to this quality readership call 01206 500543. Although elite magazine endorses companies, their products and services in both its advertisements and editorial articles, it is in no way responsible for the outcome or quality of any such business transaction between the advertised supplier and our reader/customers.


From the Editor ...

Dear Reader

ISSUE 107 January/February 2012

In This Month’s Issue ...

p04 Contents (Index) Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 13:01 Page 4


ISSUE 107 January/February 2012


From the Editor – Polly Enfield writes ...


Footings Direct – Kitchens - Money well spent!


Diary Dates – What’s going on in the area


Keep Fit and Raise Funds for Essex Air Ambulance


A Smooth Transition from Nursery to School at Littlegarth


Personal Results – The benefits of Pilates


Pete’s Patch – Peter Constable shares his gardening tips


Andy, dog behaviourist – PATS ‘Pets As Therapy’


Take this Month – Polly Enfield writes


The Wedding Page – Toastmaster duties at weddings


Protect TV – Multi-room audio and TV with hidden cables


NE Essex NHS – Cold weather warning, good advice for all


North Essex Partnership NHS – Drama against stigma


Mindbender – This month’s Quiz page


Stoke by Nayland Karate Club– ‘Black Belt achievements


Fulvio Mussi – Latest News


Chisbon Restorations – Classic Car maintenance


National Trust – What’s on this January/February


The latest News from Wildlives


Nick Kotarski – Credit Crunch? Time to save Money


Colchester Mercury Theatre– Spring Theatre for Children


Focus on Layer-de-la-Haye – Layer People’s New Year’s Walk

elite Food & Drink Supplement 4

Total Catering – Grand Designs


Oriental Cuisine – Cattawade Street, Brantham


Recipe – Brendan Timms, Head Chef, Peldon Rose, Peldon 4 Advertisers’ Index ..............Page Angie Scott.................................21 Baverstocks ................................11 Blackberry Bakery.................47(18) Blossom Florists .................7/24/25 Buy Local...............................23/29 Canine Care................................16 Carpet Suppliers & Fitters of Bow & Chingford........................8 Chisbon Restorations..................41 Club K9.......................................16 David Blundell Electrician...........35 Dave Neal...................................23 Essex Bars & Catering Services ..................................63(2) Footings Direct .............................5 Furniture Medic ..........................21 Gallery Bathrooms...................9/15 GDA Graphics.............................29 Get fit Cyprus .............................21 Gymophobics................................2 Hintlesham Golf Club ...........50(15) Hotel Continental ................54(11) John Fisher Gardener..................14 JH Holidays Casa Katrina Villa ....35 John Harding Photography .........24 Jhaal Indian Restaurant..........62(3) Kotarski IT Technician.................44 L O’C Electrical ...........................23 La Cascada Restaurant...........58(7) Little Fish Shop.....................48(17) Man with a Van ..........................23 Moving Memories ......................19 Nationwide Home Innovations ...19 NJ Landscape .............................14 Old Siege House Restaurant ...................56/57(8-9) Oriental Cuisine ..................53(12) Oven Wizard...............................23 Personal Results .........................13 Prested Hall Restaurant........51(14) Prested Hall Spa & Health Club ..31 Prestge Wooden Doors ...............25 Protech TV ..................................27 ROL Cruise.............................32/33 Simply Plumbing Ltd...................21 Sparkling Clean ..........................23 Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa....................20/49(16) Stour Valley Photography ...........26 The Starr Restaurant ..............59(6) Thai1 Restaurant ..................55(10) Yang Style Tai Chi .......................44 Utility Warehouse .......................17

p05 Footings Direct Jan_Layout 1 05/01/2012 14:55 Page 5

January / February 2012

Footings Direct: Kitchens – Money well spent! How nice would it be for your Kitchen & Dining Room to be combined to create a better family environment … says Jeremy Walsham Only our customers can decide if they want anything extra after the initial quotation. We do, of course, undertake all types of building work, specialising in extensions and loft conversions. We will be delighted to discuss your requirements, offering friendly advice if necessary, without charge or commitment. We have many satisfied customers who will be happy to share with you their positive experiences regarding Footings Direct Ltd.

If you are a parent, you appreciate the importance of family interaction at mealtimes; and don’t forget the ‘Wow’ factor that such a room can generate. If you have already decided to refit your kitchen, why not consider now whether a small extension could transform your kitchen into a combined kitchen/ diner? Or perhaps transform an average kitchen/diner into a truly spectacular one? Footings Direct Ltd offer a FREE service for kitchen design and an architect on hand, if you need plans for an extension. We will manage the project throughout, from initial concept right through to completion. We offer a ‘Fixed Price’ contract, never asking payment for extras, as we just don’t ‘do’ extras.

One call to Footings Direct Ltd on 01206 760000 or 01245 835005 or 01376 235005 could see your dream kitchen/diner ready for you and your family to enjoy this spring, so don’t put it off any longer!

FOOTINGS DIRECT LTD THE EXTENSION SPECIALISTS One call does it all! – ring Footings Direct Ltd where we will deal with the entire process from drawings to completion. ●

Extensions Loft Conversions ● Design & Construction ● New Build ● Paving & Brickwork ● Conservatories ● Renovations ● Fully Insured ●

T: 01206 760000 or 01245 835005 or 01376 235005 E-Mail: 192 Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3AZ 5

Domestic Services

p06-07 Diary Dates DPS Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 17:47 Page 6

Diary Dates

WHAT’S ON Events in and around Colchester

January/February 2012

Sunday 22nd January

Thursday 2nd February

Tannahill Weavers

Business & Professional Women Colchester & District Our speakers for this meeting are Richard and Nicole Gage fron "White Shine Jewellery.” Their talk is entitled "Silver jewellery, semi-precious stones and amber - current trends. Please join us at the Ramada Hotel, A12/A120 Ardleigh junction at 7.30pm. Tel: Barbara May 01206 822932 to book a place. there is a £5 visitors fee.

Headgate Theatre Productions 2011 finished with this fantastic band returning from their tour of North America and Europe. It’s 2012 and they are back at the Headgate for the 5th time. Traditional Scottish music at its best. Musicianship of the first order. You cannot fail to tap your feet and feel good. Do not miss them! 7.30pm. Tickets: £11.50 The Headgate Theatre 14 Chapel Street North Colchester CO2 7AT Box Office: Mon-Fri: 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Sat: 10am to 1pm Tel: 01206 366000

Saturday 28th January The Sausage Play by Sarah Rose Watts Mossycoat Productions A crazed sausage lover has seized control of the country. One rebel has been forced into hiding and another has been arrested after eating something that definitely wasn’t a sausage. Can the rebels form a shaky coalition with the ruling party? A hilarious political comedy directed by Sarah Watts. 7.30pm. Contains swearing and violence. Not suitable for under 15s. Tickets: £5, £3 (conc). The Headgate Theatre Box Office and Enquiries: Tel: 01206 366000

come along and let Ronnie help you. As one of the country’s best mediums he won’t tell your fortune, his foremost aim being to reunite you with loved ones in the spirit world. 7.30pm. Tickets: £11 The Headgate Theatre 14 Chapel Street North Colchester CO2 7AT Box Office: Mon-Fri: 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Sat: 10am to 1pm Tel: 01206 366000

Sunday 5th February

Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th February

Curious World of The Grymoire

Putting it Together by Stephen Sondheim

The Grymoire Journey with Mr Scott and Mr Shillaker from the spidery nooks of the Grymoire Observatory to the mysterious corners of nearby Cronkleton. Music, nonsense, cake, jiggery-pokery and the secrets of the occult combine to ensure a capital evening for all …. and hats! Some adult material. 8.30pm. Tickets: £7, £5 (conc). The Headgate Theatre Box Office and Enquiries: Tel: 01206 366000

Somerhouse Productions A revue with a difference … All performed by five people thrown together at a party. This sellout, “5-star” Edinburgh Festival production of “Putting It Together” is presented by a professional cast and band, and weaves together great songs from twelve of Stephen Sondheim’s scores including “Sweeney Todd”, “Company” and “Follies”. 8.00pm. Tickets: £10, 2-for-1 with valid student card. The Headgate Theatre 14 Chapel Street North Colchester CO2 7AT Box Office: Mon-Fri: 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Sat: 10am to 1pm Tel: 01206 366000

Thursday 9th February

An Evening of Clairvoyance Ronnie Buckingham If you haven’t made up your mind yet about the afterlife, 6

Kelvedon Players present

Old Mother Hubbard A wild west pantomime adventure to be held at The Institute, Kelvedon Performance Dates: Fri 27th Jan - 8pm; Sat 28th Jan - 2.30pm & 6pm; Sun 29th Jan 4.30pm; Thu 2nd Feb - 8pm; Friday, 3rd Feb 8pm; Sat 4th Feb - 2.30pm & 8pm


On the verge of being evicted from their home, Old Mother Hubbard, her son, Hughie, and Polly, her pretty young daughter, are granted a wish by the Good Fairy to try to find their long lost Uncle Oswald. In a blinding flash they are magically transported to a sunbaked prairie in the Wild, Wild West. Enter Tex Laramie, a tall, dashing young cowboy, along with his side-kick Old Tumbleweed, a bewhiskered, disreputable but likeable old-timer. Together they all set out to unravel the mystery of Uncle Ossie's disappearance. Along the way, among the many characters they meet are the villainous Matt Vinyl and his cronies, the seductive Miss Lulabelle, the beautiful young squaw Little Deer and the imposing Big Chief Thunder Cloud.

Tickets from the Box Office, The Master Butcher, Kelvedon High Street or Tel: 07742 532192. £7.00 or £5.50 concessions


(no concessions on Saturday, 4 February, at 8pm).

BOX OFFICE 01206 500900

Colchester Arts Centre Church Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NF 7

Diary Dates

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p08 Carpet Fit-Supply Rpt_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:55 Page 1

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From carpets to vinyls, from laminate flooring to real wood, we have a huge selection on offer, contact us today for more details.

We can fit floors of any type and style (specialising in carpets), which are fitted by our highly trained and qualified staff.

We offer carpets and flooring from most major manufacturers, including;

Our highly skilled team are committed to providing the highest standards of service to all our customers at a competitive price.

Amtico ● Brintons Karndean ● Georgian ● Altro ● Godfrey Hurst ● Polyfor ● Heckmondwyke ● Forbo-Nairn ● Interface ● Gerflor ● Ryalux ● Woodward Grosvenor and many more ●

We will arrange to fit your carpet at a time that suits you, as well as offering a free measuring and delivery service.

We have been established for over 50 highly successful years, our family run company will provide the best possible service and at the most competitive price. If you should require any further information, please do not hesitate to call Carpet Suppliers and Fitters of Chingford today - we look forward to hearing from you.

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p10 Air Ambulance Jan_Layout 1 06/01/2012 14:47 Page 10

Community and Health

January / February 2012

Keep Fit and Raise Funds for Essex Air Ambulance Essex Air Ambulance is looking for keen runners or someone who fancies a challenge to take part in the Brentwood Half Marathon, on Sunday 25th March 2012 and raise all-important funds for the life-saving Charity …

Runners supporting Essex Air Ambulance in the 2011 Brentwood Half Marathon Marathon is a really great way for people to raise money in aid of Essex Air Ambulance. The training keeps you fit and healthy, great for fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions and fundraising for Essex Air Ambulance means that you are helping to save lives across the county too. In difficult times, such as these, we need all the support we can get so this is a fantastic way to support such a worthy cause while doing something you really enjoy and accomplishing a challenge! It is such a fantastic local event for Essex and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Brentwood, takes place at Sawyers Hall College of Science & Technology with the run commencing at 10am. Essex Air Ambulance requires all their entrants to register by 9th March 2012 by contacting the office. There are only 50 places available and they are filling up fast! The registration fee is £22 plus a required minimum sponsorship of £200. Now in its 31st year the Brentwood Half Marathon has raised over £1 million for local, national and international charities. In 2011, 40 runners ran in support of Essex Air Ambulance and raised over £6,000 for the life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). We hope with the support of the people of Essex to be able to beat this in 2012! Nina Benscher, Essex Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said, “Brentwood Half

If you would like to take part in the Brentwood Half Marathon and help support Essex Air Ambulance contact Nina Benscher on 0845 2417 690, email or visit for details.


p11 Baverstocks Rpt Ad_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:52 Page 1


w w w. b a v e r s t o c k s . c o m Colchester Office Tel: 01206 576216 Witham Office Tel: 01376 519044 email:

Baverstocks Mandate Every business needs professional assistance in making financial decisions and in managing its activities. The Baverstocks partnership has successfully provided that service since 1957, whilst continually expanding and developing a range of professional services to keep pace with, and to anticipate trend in, an increasingly complex business environment. Our ideally located Essex based offices afford our clients easy access to the wealth of experience and skills provided by our trained team members. At Baverstocks we encourage individual flair and innovative thinking whilst maintaining traditional values and quality of service. It is a proven fact that our fresh and dynamic approach to accountancy attract like-minded clients from a broad spectrum of business. Our objective for all client businesses, irrespective of size, is to help them realise their ambitions by providing a solid base of sound financial advice. Our proven route to success is to work closely with clients and their other professional advisors such as Bankers, Solicitors and Insurance Brokers, etc. Of vital importance are direct lines of communication: At Baverstocks we strive to be readily available for consultations on all subjects encompassed within our wide range of professional services. The business climate is presenting business with many new and exciting challenges and we are ideally suited to help you meet them. That’s why working with Baverstocks is: "WORKING FOR A BETTER BUSINESS"

Take the first step to a better business now – talk to your local Baverstocks partner: PHILIP LAWRENCE Colchester Tel 01206 576216 Witham Tel 01376 519044 email: WITHAM OFFICE:


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Lawley House, Butt Road EssexCO3 3DG Tel: (01206) 576216 Fax: (01206) 761225

p12 Littlegarth Jan_Layout 1 07/01/2012 14:58 Page 12

Education and Parenting

January / February 2012

A Smooth Transition from Nursery to School at Littlegarth Littlegarth School has always enjoyed an extremely close relationship with its thriving Nursery. Both are fortunate to be situated in the spectacular Horkesley Park grounds overlooking Nayland … says Peter Jones In recent years, the Nursery and the School have worked hard to ensure that the transition of children from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage One is smooth and seamless. Littlegarth Lower Nursery accepts children from the age of two-and-a-half, and up to sixteen children per day are looked after by an enthusiastic and experienced staff team. The following September, the children transfer into the Upper Nursery where they receive a curriculum which celebrates learning through play but which also seeks to help each child to develop skills that will prepare them thoroughly for life at one of the most popular and successful independent schools in the region. The vast majority of children at Littlegarth Nursery transfer to the School’s Reception classes at the age of four. The Upper Nursery children visit the Reception classes regularly, particularly in the Summer Term, and the teachers work hard to co-ordinate the curriculum between year groups, ensuring that individuals are given every opportunity to develop at their own pace. Head of Foundation Stage, Mrs. Sharon Bennett, is proud of the excellent links that have been developed between the Nursery and Reception classes at Littlegarth. She says, “Littlegarth children are very fortunate to have this close link between the Nursery and the School. Staff take great pride in maintaining strong links across the School and our Nursery children feel very grown up when they move into the Reception classes. With so many exciting plans in place for curriculum development throughout the school, this is a very exciting time to be a Littlegarth pupil.”

OPEN MORNINGS Littlegarth Nursery Saturday 4th February, 10.00am – 12 noon

Littlegarth School & Nursery Friday 24th February, 10.00am – 12 noon

Littlegarth School is an Independent Preparatory School for children between the ages of 2½ and 11 situated just over 4 miles from Colchester Station and 7 miles from Sudbury. For further details on the school, please contact: Peter H. Jones, Headmaster, Littlegarth School, Horkesley Park, Nayland, Colchester, CO6 4JR. Tel: 01206 262332 Fax: 01206 263101 email: Or visit 12

p13 Personal Results New_Layout 1 10/01/2012 13:54 Page 1

Horticulture & Landscaping

p14 Pete's Patch Jan_Layout 1 05/01/2012 17:21 Page 14

January / February 2012

Pete’s Patch I make no apology for failing to mention the Olympics; I can see no correlation between the major sporting event of the year and the needs of the domestic plot … germination etc. Make a final check through seed catalogues to decide what to grow later in the year. Continue to clear flower borders from weeds when the weather allows, dead-heading winter flowering pansies to ensure a succession of blooms. Watch out for bulbs poking thought the surface of the soil and do not hoe too close to them, which would damage flower production later. Keep off lawns when frozen or waterlogged. Otherwise, continue spiking with a garden fork to improve drainage and assist moss control, removing leaves as you go, depositing them in the compost

So I start this month with the rose garden. Roses are after all, for most people, the most popular flower of all. Check ties to see that they are strong enough and check any Autumn-planted bushes that they have not been loosened by frosts. If they have, firm them in. Planting can take place if soil conditions are free-draining and the weather is not freezing. Otherwise wait for a few days – no damage will be incurred. On the vegetable plot, continue harvesting Brussels sprouts, winter cabbage, leek and parsnip. Continue digging, removing weeds and incorporating compost or manure as you go, but NOT if the ground is frozen, waterlogged or snow is laying on the surface. This will only cause problems later with seed

Are you struggling to cope with your garden? If so, call 07887 660711 and ask for Pete, if I can assist I will, for a modest hourly rate... bin for use later in the year. Apply an Autumn or Winter dressing to encourage Spring growth. Mow if the weather is mild and the grass is dry, but NOT if snow or frost is forecast. Prune apples and pears as required, but NOT stone fruits – plums, damsons, peaches, apricots or greengages etc – these are best tackled in early Summer to avoid disease. Continue to remove weeds from flower borders, vegetable plots and containers. Remember, weeds harbour pests and diseases of all kinds, so their removal is very important. Is your garden your ‘Pride and Joy’? If not, would you like it be? Let me turn your dreams into reality! ● ● ● ● ●

Sketch Designs ● Full Planting Plans Detailed Construction Plans Source Materials and Plants Organise and work with vetted Landscape Contractors Locally based to cover areas between Chelmsford and Essex­Suffolk borders

Ring me now on 07867 794 689 for a Free Initial Consultation Or email Nicky Joshua Chartered Landscape Architect


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p16 Dylan Pets Jan_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:57 Page 16

January / February 2012

Pet’s Corner

Dear Dylan I am really pleased to announce that one of our dogs at Club k9 has recently qualified as a ‘Pets As Therapy’ dog, or PAT dog, for short … says Andy White better they can, for some, make a very real difference to their recovery, as on-going research continues to validate. What I was not aware of, is the size of the charity Bertie has joined or indeed the scope of their work. For example, did you know that the number of bedsides visited last year was a staggering 6.75 million? I’d also mention that some cats have also qualified, though we have kept this quiet from Bertie for the moment! Bertie has also a special role in the 2012 Para Olympics, because a member of his pack, Hanna, is representing Great Britain in the sailing, so good luck to both of them and maybe we will see them on TV. Bertie says that Hanna’s quite good, by the way.

Bertie’ a beautifully-natured; not to mention handsome; golden retriever, and he deservedly passed his assessment with flying colours. I have no doubt that he will help brighten the day of many people less fortunate than you or I. I have some experience of dogs involved in this kind of work, both as a recipient, handler, and observer and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they can bring much happiness to even the darkest of moments and not just to the person being visited. From hospitals to care homes, special-needs schools to hospices and a variety of places in between, animals can make a unique and special difference. Apart from simply making people feel


If you would like any further information or perhaps you might be able to help, visit To support Bertie and Hanna, try or if you prefer to tweet (whatever that is) it’s Twitter : Bertie 2012

Give your dog a break and a chance to meet new friends at Club K9. Based on the Island and run by Andy White, Mersea’s own dog whisperer, Club K9 is the perfect destination for a canine away-day. • • • • •

Open Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 6.30pm Local pick-up and drop-off Free assessment Loyalty scheme Extremely reasonable rates

Also available • • • •

Owners’ courses Difficult dogs club Rehabilitation Home consultations

For further information contact Andy White, dog behaviourist on

01206 385260 or 07873266305


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p18 Take this Month Jan_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:07 Page 18

The Editor writes...

January / February 2012

Take this month I’m looking out of my window at an oak tree, its leaves still hanging on in spite of the first frosts and the tugging winds, and wondering what other kind of records this winter might bring … says Polly Enfield Oh the joys of being British and being able to talk about the weather in so many different ways! This year, no matter how bad it gets, as a stalwart subject of conversation the weather will offer a pleasant respite to conversations about the politico-financial climate, that’s for sure. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the china-blue skies of this time of the year a real ‘plus’. No sign just yet of Seasonal Affective Disorder blighting the lives of sufferers, I suspect, and I too have been getting out there and enjoying some really remarkable days in the fresh air. I caught the tail end of a chat on the radio early this morning about the sedentary lifestyles of our children today. It’s something that bothers me personally more than a little, so I pricked up my ears to

listen to what they had to say. It appears that Oxford University students have carried out a poll of young people’s attitudes to getting out in the fresh air to jump up and down, compared to their apparent preference for living a virtual-world experience on-screen. How I hope there was some serious substance to the poll’s findings, because it seems that only two per cent of those questioned would rather sit on their backsides all day long, and some forty per cent really wanted to get out on their bikes and build tree-houses. The others? Maybe they had abstained or come up with other preferences, expressed before I had turned the radio on. But the fact remains that if we don’t bring this subject up more often in the public domain then the idea of bikes and tree-houses will 18

disappear completely behind a haze of political correctness and health and safety issues – the culture that encourages images of a paedophile crouching hoof-in-mouth behind every bush while people stand behind safety fences waving their arms in useless self-congratulation, promoting the seemingly admirable rule that ‘even one child abused is too many’. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting in any way that we should just throw up our hands and let the perverted prosper - but really, life is for living especially when you consider that for generations gone by, children went out to play without even a mobile phone in their pockets yet were safely tucked up in their beds every night. It is perhaps time to offer them some of the freedom that is their childhood birth-right, rather than concentrating on reciting the, ‘I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to them’ modern mantra. Let’s face the uncomfortable fact, too, that for many children, regrettably, indoors is already a dangerous place for them to be. It was many years ago that I found a kindred spirit in Sue Palmer, whose book entitled ‘Toxic Childhood’ with the sub-title, ‘How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It’ expressed my own concerns about this issue and offered some interesting scenarios. You may well disagree; but let’s all get out there into the muddy and snowy green fields of England and live a bit, before we forget how to.

A Happy & Healthy New Year to you all!

p19 Nationwide Moving Rpt_Layout 1 05/01/2012 18:08 Page 1

transfer to


• Family home movies • Holiday memories • Your Wedding video

We can transfer your camcorder tapes, VHS tapes & cine films to DVD for safekeeping. We also convert audio cassettes and open-reel tapes to CD. Wedding & Party VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY undertaken too

01206 842607 MOVING MEMORIES Video Productions The Studio, 16 Kingswood Road, Colchester CO4 5JX

p20 Stoke Spa New_Layout 1 05/01/2012 17:04 Page 1

Banish the Winter Blues with a luxurious Winter Warmer Spa Day!

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• Unlimited use of pool, sauna, • Coffee or juice on arrival steam room and Jacuzzi • Luxurious Winter Warmer 1 hour treatment • Towels and robes • Delicious 2 course lunch with glass of wine or juice The hour long winter warmer treatment includes an all-over body brush, a rich moisturising and repairing mask applied to the body which is then warmly wrapped. Then a mini facial with mask and relaxing scalp massage, ending with relaxing full body massage. This Spa Day is available 7 days a week from 1st January 2012 until 31st March 2012. For bookings please call 01206 265820/822. Enhance your Spa Day and stay for dinner, bed and breakfast for just another £55** per person * £10 supplement for Saturdays and Sundays ** based on 2 sharing twin room

Peake Spa at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester CO6 4PZ •

p21_SPH_Getfit_Furniture Medic_A_Scott_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:13 Page 1

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p22 Buy Local_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:21 Page 1

W W W. B U Y LO C A L . E U

There are solid reasons why we need to support local businesses Local businesses are the largest employers in the area and they reinvest the money that they make locally. A successful local business framework in a town is both economic and ecological, whilst offering the customer more choice. Loyalty card schemes have a proven track record, small businesses can afford to run one when they join forces with other local businesses, so that the customer base is shared, cross fertilization of customers makes good business sense.

‘Buy Local‘ is about local businesses working together, for the benefit of the customers!

‘Buy Local‘ was a finalist in ‘Business Innovation of the Year’ category, 2010.


p23_Local_Tradesmen_Layout 1 05/01/2012 17:29 Page 1

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W W W. B U Y LO C A L . E U

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Local Tradesmen – Advertise here!


elite Magazine is a quality, full-colour


general-interest consumer magazine, with 30,000 copies delivered free every month to selected large, two-car family homes in the CO postcode of North East Essex and parts of Suffolk. Its handy A5-format has a strong editorial content; offers the largest circulation in the area and encourages consumer engagement and feedback, so remember ... ‘If you want to compete, advertise in Elite!’

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p24 Weddings Harding Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 11:35 Page 24

January / February 2012

The Wedding Page Weddings

As I was musing over this month’s message, it occurred to me that I might indicate the duties your Toastmaster would normally perform at weddings … contact the caterers, photographer and any other people who are to be involved with the reception, such as the video team and the entertainers. It is vitally important that I know precisely what each of them has in mind, because I am the co-ordinator and it is my job to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day. For example, it is not good if the caterers are ready to start serving the meal but the photographer is still taking pictures. Equally you can’t have the video team and the photographer getting in each other’s way. The band or disco cannot be setting up their equipment during the wedding breakfast - although some have been known to try! So as you can see, there are many aspects of the whole that have to be brought together seamlessly. In the absence of a Toastmaster this often falls on the bride’s mother and if she is not a natural organiser of people and details then she might find it near to impossible to relax and enjoy her daughter’s wedding day.

The majority of my commissions are for weddings, so here is a résumé of what I do at the wedding reception, though please bear in mind that as with all professional engagements, the final programme is agreed only after considerable consultation with the bridal couple and their parents, particularly the bride’s parents who traditionally would organise the whole thing and in many cases finance it too. There is a very well-established order of procedure, but this open to modification dependant on the family’s personal requirements and how formal or informal they wish the day to be. These details are finalised at the home visit which I make about three to four weeks before the wedding. It also around this time that I

Next month I’ll detail the running order of a formal wedding reception from the time the bride and groom first arrive, right through to the last speech.

We cater for all types of photography, specialising in weddings and social occasions, also events and corporate, favouring the more natural and informal style many refer to as 'reportage' or 'photo-journalist' when shooting a Wedding or social event. John Harding

M.M.inst.V APV (dip)

John Harding Photography The Studio, 16 Kingswood Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 5JX Member of SWPP & BPPA, the top Photographic Organisation in Europe.


t: 01206 842607

m: 07810 446707

p25 Blossom Prestige ad_Layout 1 05/01/2012 18:01 Page 1

We offer an installation service, using our directly employed, fully qualified carpenters with over 28 years experience. We can also supply and install various styles and sizes of porch canopies and stair conversions, with a choice of over 30 spindle styles in oak, hardwood or pine. We would be only too glad to visit your home to complete a full and extensive free survey to clarify and determine your requirements. We also offer a delivery service, taking our products to you. Why not take a look at our extensive range of products on our website or come in to see us at our show room located at Peartree Business Park, Unit 20 Peartree Road, Colchester, CO3 0JN. You can also contact one of our members of staff for friendly and professional advice. Call us on 01206 570726 or email us at

p26 Stour Valley New_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:23 Page 1

Something to celebrate in 2012? Make your celebrations last st foorever - with the beautiful photographs you dream about.

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p27 Protech TV Jan_Layout 1 05/01/2012 15:22 Page 27

January / February 2012

Domestic Services

Protech TV Providing the Latest Tech for Multi-room Audio and TV with Hidden Cables ‌ says Ray Pile My name is Ray and I specialise in Custom Installations and Multi-room Audio and Video from Basic set-up and tuning, to Full Design and Installation of LCD or Plasma Screens with Hidden Cables. Installing the set on the wall is a great way to save space and it looks great. A custom installation from Protech TV will not only look

fantastic, it will be connected, set-up and integrated the correct way with your other equipment, to get the best out of the TV. Installations will have no visible cables and also the option of hidden Sky Box/DVD etc with full control via the TV. I provide a free site survey to design and discuss the options available for installing wall mounted Screens. I ensure that all installations are to the highest quality, taking that extra time and care to create the perfect job. I can mount your screen on any type of wall, reposition sky, aerial and mains points enabling you to have the screen mounted wherever you want it. Cables are installed into the wall; sometimes even without the need to chase out; and great care is always taken to achieve a faultless finish. Please call Ray on 01206 864422 or 07779 860251 or email me at Mention Elite for a free home demo of the latest multi-room audio system.


p28 NHS Cold Weather Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 10:15 Page 28

Community and Health

January / February 2012

Cold weather warning North East Essex to people with respiratory illness, and good advice for all Local health chiefs are urging people with chronic respiratory illness to help protect themselves from winter’s chilly blast to avoid unnecessarily being admitted to hospital … Dr Pam Hall, Public Health Consultant at NHS North Essex, said, “There are strong associations between COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) hospital admissions and cold weather.” “The common cold replicates faster in a cold nose and the immune system becomes more sluggish in colder temperatures. A common cold is therefore more likely to develop, which can lead to a chest infection in COPD patients.” “Nobody wants to end up in hospital, so I would urge COPD patients, who are particularly vulnerable to the many bugs doing the rounds this time of year, to do all they can to protect themselves. Patients with COPD can ask their community pharmacist for a free medicines-use review which would help them with any medication issues and provide advice. Your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and

over-the-counter medicines.” So, before the holiday schedule gets too hectic, check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the following basics to get you through the holidays: ● Your usual painkillers, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin ● Cold and flu remedies ● Anti-diarrhoea medicine ● Oral rehydration salts ● Indigestion remedies ● Plasters ● Bandages ● Thermometer ● Tissues If you are already taking other medication, check first with your pharmacist to make


sure the medicines are right for you, and check that any medicines already in your cabinet are still okay to use. If they are past their use-by date, do not take them. If it’s not an emergency, please don’t go to A&E or ring 999. People can help the NHS during these busy times by making sure they ‘choose well’ and consider using other parts of the NHS, such as a pharmacist, your GP, NHS Direct online at or on 0845 46 47. If you need treatment, consider using a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.

p29_Buy local_GDA_Graphics_Layout 1 07/01/2012 16:20 Page 1

W W W. B U Y LO C A L . E U

We are looking for nice presentable representatives to sign-up local businesses to the ‘Buy Local’ scheme.

Local businesses pay nothing to join, they simply have to provide ‘Buy Local’ card holders with an incentive, free gift or discount when using their ‘Buy Local’ card. Once the business is signed-up and have been given their window sticker and dispenser, all that is required is a visit every 6 weeks or so to collect completed forms and replenish the dispenser. We are recruiting for most areas in the CO postcode! The pay is £6 per hour, detailed time sheets need to be kept.

To apply all 01206 500543 or email


GDA Graphics are in the business of enhancing your business. We understand your belief in the power of good design to support existing clients, impress new ones and so increase your sales.

Better by Design Advertising Magazines Brochures Reports Flyers Branding

GDA Graphics work with you directly to create visual communication solutions for a wide range of business needs. Whether it’s advertising; magazines; brochures; reports; flyers or branding; we’re your first choice. Please email with your requirements or alternatively give me a call on 01206 395167

GDA Graphics 17 Turner Ave, Lawford Manningtree, Essex CO11 2LG T: 01206 395167 M: 07590 572521 E:

p30 NHS Drama Competition Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 10:20 Page 30

Community and Health

January / February 2012

Drama against stigma A drama and a speaking competition about mental health have been launched by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Secondary schools in North Essex are invited to take part in a drama for groups and a speaking contest for individuals, aged 11-17 years … The closing date for entries is 4 May 2012 and the short-list will be announced by the end of July 2012. The winner will receive a trophy and certificate. The aim is for young people to produce a short drama (about 10 minutes) to help reduce the stigma around mental health issues, and it will be performed at the Trust’s Annual Public Meeting. The public speaking competition is themed, “OMG, what did you say about mental illness?” Each piece should last up to 4 minutes and be performed as a speech, poem or both, and the finals for both competitions will be held at the Trust’s Annual Public Meeting in Colchester on Wednesday 12 September, 2012. At last year’s Annual Public Meeting, three short-listed schools performed dramas that they created about mental health in front of 300 people in Chelmsford. The winner was St Clere’s School, in Stanford le Hope. Boswells School (Chelmsford) was the runner up and Clacton Coastal Academy was highly commended. Jody Kempster-Swanson,

teacher said, “Pupils at St Clere's conducted their own research and learnt a great deal about the range of problems. We focussed on two of the most common mental health problems and constructed a piece to raise awareness of the causes of these problems and possible ways of dealing with them. Pupils were astonished to learn how common mental health issues are, with 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering. For some pupils, that was their first time performing to an audience so they felt privileged to be involved in such an important project. This project opened many opportunities to perform this piece to raise awareness in 30

the local area." Andrew Geldard, Chief Executive said, “Last year's event was very moving with many patients saying how good the plays were and how accurate! We want to keep the conversation about mental health going in schools and colleges; helping to raise awareness of these illnesses and how treatment helps people to recover.” To take part, please contact Tracey Mann, Communications Dept, North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation on 01245 546443 or

p31 Prested Spa New_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:36 Page 1

p32-33 ROL Cruise Ads DPS_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:35 Page 32

p32-33 ROL Cruise Ads DPS_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:35 Page 33

January / February 2012


Across 6 A mud oven is immobile despite modification. (7) 7 Initially Oslo takes on an empty space and reveals a distorted sphere. (5) 9 Sounds like an expensive knitting stitch. (4) 10 What The Queen might hope for if she played poker. (5,5) 11 Rushed on to cover completely when adjusted. (8) 13 Just outside the suburbs where the rich reside. (6) 15 Ten hundreds for old fashioned you. (4) 17 A flower of the violet family. Once a derogatory term for homosexuals. (5) 18 Usually capitalised and abbreviated to induce insensibility. (4) 19 Archaic- A prayer. (6) 20 A lady teacher takes on nothing then readies herself for monkey business. (8) 23 It smooths the way to swallow food. (10) 26 A member of the brass family, not noted for its musical agility 27 I stand in the centre of the church, how unworldly innocent of me. (5) 28 Strong German style beer. (7)


The words to search for are all drawn from “Take This Month”. They are:UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE PERVERTED CHILDHOOD SCENARIOS

Down 6) unmoved 7) ovoid 9) purl 10) royal flush 11) enshroud 13) exurbs 15) thou 17) pansy 18) kayo 19) orison 20) marmoset 23) epiglottis 27) naïve 28) Pilsner




1 That's as maybe but they seem longer than sixty minutes when you can't sleep. (5,5) 2 Excessive with regards to party. (6) 3 There's something inside the red gym that seems uncomfortable. (4) 4 It's traditionally the home of many brass bands. (8) 5 Lots of love and a pound sterling will make you sprawl about. (4) 6 A manoeuvre Maggie Thatcher found difficult to execute. (1-4) 8 A body found in SE1 refuses to do as it is told. (7) 12 What to wear when employing with garden implements. (5) 14 It's tying in reverse. (10) 16 Literally a layer of dense sub soil that prevents drainage. (4-3) 17 Is this cash to spend in a haberdashery? (3-5) 21 Leaser alters things for change of ownership. (6) 22 Behead a parliamentarian for a warm glow. (5) 24 It follows national and precedes iron to assist cooking. (4) 25 It signals the end of day, or the end of life, in a military way. (4) 1) small hours 2) overdo 3) edgy 4) colliery 5) loll 6) U-turn 8) disobey 12) denim 14) unknotting 16) hard-pan 17) pin-money 21) resale 22) ember 24) grid 25) taps

Crossword and Wordsearch

p34 Mindbender_Layout 1 06/01/2012 14:44 Page 34


p35 JH Holidays Blundell Rpt_Layout 1 05/01/2012 18:07 Page 1

Casa Katrina Villa, Costa del Sol, Spain A relaxing, quiet villa in the Costa del Sol mountains! Fully furnished, air-conditioned villa with private pool.

Set in the bea peacefu utiful, l ser of Alma enity char

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A SERVICE YOU WILL BE PLEASED WITH AT PRICES THAT WON’T SHOCK YOU! Domestic & Light Commercial Rewires – Fault Finding Kitchen / Bathroom Electrics Part P Registered Prompt, Reliable and Tidy!

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FREE ELECTRICAL INSPECTION Visual inspection of your premises including condition of cables, fuse board, earthing and lighting

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David Blundell Electrician Tel: 01206 501820 / 07906 868122 email:

p36 Stoke Karate Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 10:22 Page 36

Sport and Fitness

January / February 2012

Black Belt achievements for 14 year-old Karate students at Stoke by Nayland Karate Club Adam Earl and Ellie Toogood, both 14 years old, who train in Shotokan Karate at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, achieved their 1st Dan Black Belt recently at Abingdon, Oxfordshire … Adam and Ellie have been at Stoke by Nayland Karate Club since they were white belts and have trained consistently for over 3 years to get their black belts. Ellie, their first female black belt junior, said, 'Getting my Black Belt is the greatest achievement in my life so far and I thank my Senseis for all the time they have spent with me. I hang my belt at the bottom of my bed and smile every morning when I wake up and see it! Getting my Black Belt has definitely changed my life'. Chief Instructor at Stoke, Sensei Peter Heal, set up the club in 2000 at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel’s Peake Fitness club and has seen students of all ages, progress from white belts to advanced black belts. Steve Harris also helps to train the students. The club has junior (7+) and senior members and has some of the best

The Stoke by Nayland Karate Club in the Peake Fitness studio.

training facilities in the area. The classes are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6.30pm onwards. For more information on the Stoke by Nayland Karate Club or if you wish to join, please visit the karate website

Left to right - Tamara Unwin, family director of Stoke by Nayland Hotel, and Peter Heal congratulate the teenagers on their achievement.

Left to right – Trainer Steve Harris, Adam Earl, Ellie Toogood and Sensei Peter Heal. 36

p37 Fulvio Mussi Jan_Layout 1 07/01/2012 14:58 Page 37

January / February 2012

Sport and Fitness

Fulvio Mussi This time of year is often the quietest in the racing calendar and is a good time to fit in all the things made impossible during the hectic racing year … says Fulvio Mussi I recently had the opportunity to attend an annual event that is important in the sports world’s calendar, the President’s Sporting Club’s Annual Awards Luncheon. This event is host to 600 disabled children and their helpers; some of the children receiving awards for their achievements in sport; and I am always honoured to be asked to present an award to these inspirational children, while they get to meet various celebrities from the sporting world and have a great time. If you would like to find out more, check out the

website, there are some great photos to check out. I am off to America next week, with the hope of some driving while I am there, so will report back on the state of play on my return and will also update you on this year’s plans for racing. For a taste of the Night Race at Brands in November, check out the link on my Happy New Year and safe driving,



p38-39 Places of Worship DPS_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:24 Page 1

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p38-39 Places of Worship DPS_Layout 1 05/01/2012 16:25 Page 2

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To advertise in elite call our sales team now on: 01206 500543

Focus on Car Maintenance

p40-41 Chisbon DPS Jan_Layout 1 06/01/2012 14:42 Page 40

January / February 2012

The original pre-war MG F Type as found.

Chisbon Restorations – Classic Car braking system maintenance Last time we talked about getting an old classic car running after a long period of storage. This time we shall be looking at the braking system ‌ says Adrian Priestley The car in question was a pre-war MG F Type. These cars originally had cable operated brakes which, if sound would have been far easier to re-commission.

Oil soaked brake drum.

However, the brakes on this MG had been converted to hydraulic by a previous owner which meant a more thorough overhaul was required. All four brake drums were

Rebuilt brakes. 40

removed, the rears had some oil ingress from the rear axle seals, these seals were renewed and all the drums thoroughly cleaned. All the brake shoes were relined as even the oil free

January / February 2012

Pipe work as found.

linings looked very old and crumbly around the edges. The wheel cylinders (they operate the brake shoes) plus the master cylinder were stripped down and their bores examined – all had corrosion and new ones proved unavailable so they were sent

Wheel cylinder corrosion.

to Past Parts up near Bury St. Edmunds who specialise in reconditioning old brake cylinders. Past Parts also supplied us with a new set of flexible brake hoses. All the steel brake pipes were rusting so they were all replaced with Copper/Nickel

ones plus their routing around the chassis was greatly improved. There were no brake lights fitted so we managed to fit double filament bulbs in the existing rear lamps plus fit a pressure switch in our new pipe work. The mounting of the master cylinder was a bit weak which allowed it to flex when the brake pedal was pressed, this was modified to the one shown. Once the whole lot was done we had virtually renewed the whole braking system – it is not always necessary to go this far on all classic cars that have sat unused! Bye for now, Adrian

Improved master cylinder mount.

Your local classic vehicle specialist For servicing, repairs and restoration to a very high standard please contact Adrian Priestley on 01255 862626 or via

Unit 2 Lower Barn Farm, Quay, Lane, Beaumont, Essex, CO160BB 41

Focus on Car Maintenance

p40-41 Chisbon DPS Jan_Layout 1 06/01/2012 14:42 Page 41

p42 National Trust Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 09:18 Page 42

Community and Health

January / February 2012

What’s on this January/February SUFFOLK Flatford: Bridge Cottage Flatford, East Bergholt, Suffolk CO7 6UL Telephone: 01206 298260

For more information, visit

Warden Walks Sunday 22nd January, 2012, 11:30am-12:30 pm Join our Area Warden for a guided tour of the countryside he manages around Flatford. Normal admission applies. £6 per person. Booking essential. Tel: 01206 298260.

Storytelling and Activities

View towards Dedham over the River Stour at Bridge Cottage, Flatford.


Saturday, 4th February 2012, 11am-12pm Join us to hear Silly Suzie Goose and Look out Silly Suzie Goose by Peter Horacek. Followed by animal based craft activities.

Booking Not Needed. Free event. Children are welcome. (normal admission charges apply).

Along the Stour to Langham Saturday, 11th February 2012, 10:30am-1:30pm Let one of our experienced guides lead you on a 3 hour (7 mile) walk along the Stour Valley, following the river upstream through the villages of Dedham and Stratford St Mary to the beautiful church at Langham before returning to Flatford. Gates open: 10.15am. Last admission time: 10.30am All Tickets £6. Booking Essential Tel: 01206 298260.

For more information, visit

Wimpole Estate: Arrington, Royston, Cambridgeshire SG8 0BW Tel: 01223 206000 Curious about Conservation Thursday, 16th February 2012, 11:30am-1:30pm Meet our modern day housekeepers and discover how we clean and care for our collections. Booking Not Needed. Normal Admission Charges Apply. Adult £10.30, Child 5+ £5.80 (Non National Trust Member).

Basement Tour

A glimpse into the closets

Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 10:30am-11:30am Join us on a guided tour of the servant areas below stairs, including lots of areas not on the normal visitor route. Booking Essential.

Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 11am-4:30pm Ever wondered just what is behind that door? Here is your chance to find out! Booking Not Needed. Normal Admission Charges Apply.


p43 Wildlives Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 09:19 Page 43

January / February 2012

Otter makes a splash at Wildlives Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre All the volunteers at Wildlives fell in love when a tiny three-month old otter was found in Coggeshall High Street, bedraggled, dehydrated, starving and covered in ticks and fly strike … says Lara Townsend Quickly named Splash, at Wildlives she soon responded to care, doubling in size rapidly and with her mischievous personality quickly emerging. Otters are not born liking water; their mothers have to drag them in for their first swims, and, true to form, Splash hated her pool and climbed out as quickly as possible. In spite of her regarding fingers as ideal chew toys, everyone found it hard not to be able to handle her so that she did not become too tame and were sad to see her go to her new home at a specialist otter

centre in the New Forest. She will stay with them until she is fifteen months old, learning to hunt and take care of herself, and then she will be returning to Essex. Darren Tansley, the co-ordinator of the Essex Otter Survey at Essex Wildlife Trust, will be in charge of locating a suitable release site, where an artificial holt and enclosure will be built so that she does not come into conflict with existing otter territories – these solitary animals fiercely defend their areas, and the existing high population of the river Blackwater precludes her release near where she was found, as

she would be unable to establish a territory. Once she is fully established she will be released to begin her new life.

Unlucky month for swans The end of last year saw a run of bad luck for swans, with an unusual number of call-outs. One cygnet took a stroll up Wivenhoe main street. He was retrieved, and since the tide was out he was taken to Alresford creek; on release he swiftly teamed up with an older swan. Another, adult, swan startled residents of a new housing complex in Colchester Hythe when he crash-landed on

their second floor balcony. Transferred to a nearby lake he swam off none the worse for his experience. A cygnet in his second year was not so lucky after flying into telegraph wires; he ruptured one of the air sacs which help birds in flight, and unfortunately died. An adult found collapsed and starving at Abberton Reservoir was brought back to Wildlives and returned to health, and was recently released successfully.

Wildlives Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre ‘Catkins’, Frating Road, Thorrington, Colchester CO7 8HT

01206 251174/07802 767016 Opening hours: April – September 10.00am – 6.00pm Outside of Wildlives’ hours, please log on to our website for advice on what to do with a sick animal, until we are open again in the morning.


Focus on Wildlives

p44 Kotarski Tai Chi Jan_Layout 1 06/01/2012 14:45 Page 44

Business and Law

January / February 2012

Nick Kotarski – Credit Crunch? Time to save Money There are actually many ways to save time and money in these trying times, so here are some tips … says Nick Kotarski Don’t buy an overpowered PC. It will just sit there not being used to the full, but consuming unnecessary power. Saving? £100+. Microsoft Office is pretty expensive and can easily double the cost of a new PC. Think if you must have Office because there are good free alternatives. Saving? £200+. If you are a home user Office 2010 Home and Student Edition includes Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote. Best is that it is licensed for three computers. Saving? £150 - £650. If you edit photographs and have outgrown Photoshop Elements there are very good free alternatives to Photoshop. Saving? £300+.

Thinking of replacing your computer? A couple of simple upgrades can often extend the useful life by a couple of years. Saving? £200+. Don’t risk your business by not backing up your data. This doesn’t need to be expensive. Saving? Incalculable. Dealing with spam costs time and money often running into hundreds of pounds per user per year. Get the spam filtered out before it reaches your domain/computer for almost nothing, which will save your valuable time. Do you have a maintenance contract? Is it good value? Some are just money for very little return. Possible saving here of hundreds of pounds, and if your website is costing you money and doing very little good, try getting a professional website for a reasonable price instead.



Qualified to teach various Chinese martial arts inc two styles of Wing Chun, Praying Mantis and Dragon Kung Fu style including various types of animal forms.

Also offering

In the meantime for any help and advice contact Nick Kotarski on:

Yang style Tai Chi Mobile - 07796 766321 Website

07790 842 968 / 01206 299 568 or visit



Don’t Panic Call & Ask Nick

Help that you and your computer can understand!

Want the best value broadband? Call Nick for details

Professional help is at hand on all the following: Broadband • Viruses Wireless Networks • Firewalls Cookies • Crashes • Hardware Spyware • Websites and E-mail

Tel: 01206 299 568 / 07790 842 968 E:    W: 44

p45 Destination Colchester Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 19:41 Page 45

January / February 2012

How to increase Colchester’s tourism income by £40 million per year Official tourism statistics suggest Colchester could gain an extra £40 million in tourist revenue each year with a change in strategy … says Bill Hayton Figures produced by East of England Tourism (EET) – comparing Colchester with similar towns – show how we could benefit significantly by attracting higher-spending visitors. Other data, comparing Colchester with equivalent towns and cities, suggest the town could attract more first-time visitors and more staying visitors. A move upmarket could earn the town at least £40 million per year.

Sources The data in this briefing comes from reports produced by EET, in particular its ‘Destination Benchmarking Report’ from 2008 and 2009 and its ‘Economic Impact of Tourism Colchester Borough’ studies for 2008 and 2009. This information was obtained from Colchester Borough Council following a Freedom of Information request earlier this year. These are the only and most up-to-date visitor figures that CBC possesses. This information been supplemented by data from the North Essex Authorities Retail Study produced by GVA Grimley and the Colchester Retail Study produced by Jones Lang LaSalle in October 2011. The EET Benchmarking reports compared Colchester with Rochester, Windsor and Oxford (in 2009) and Lancaster, Bath, Salisbury, Winchester and Chichester (in 2008).

Headline numbers These figures are taken from the 2009 Benchmarking Report. They compare

visitor spending in Colchester with visitor spending in the average of the four comparison towns. ● The proportion of visitors to Colchester who were visiting for leisure or holiday was significantly lower than the average - 57% vs 67% (60% vs 66% in 2008). ● The proportion of visitors to Colchester who were visiting for the first time was about one third of the average - 13% vs 31% (10% vs 28% in 2008). ● The proportion of visitors to Colchester who stayed the night was lower than the average - 24% vs 27% (8% vs 27% in 2008). ● The proportion of staying visitors to Colchester who were staying with friends or relatives (rather than paid-for accommodation) was significantly higher than the average - 62% vs 39%. ● The proportion of visitors to Colchester who were classified as being higher income (AB socioeconomic profile) was only half the average - 16% vs 28% (same figures in 2008). ● The proportion of visitors to Colchester classified as lower income (C2/DE socio-economic profiles) was 50% more than the average - 51% vs 33% (47% vs 34% in 2008). ● The average spend per person per night was one third of the average £7.95 vs £20.03 - because so many stay with friends and not in hotels etc (£7.36 vs £19.80 in 2008). ● The average spend per person of people staying in paid-for accommodation was 25% less than the average £21.13 vs £28.34 per person per night (£29.46 vs 45

£32.14 in 2008). ● The average spend per person on eating and drinking was almost one third less than the average - £6.18 vs £8.94 (£5.69 vs £8.40 in 2008). ● The average spend per person on shopping was over a third less than the average - £9.08 vs £14.27 (higher in 2008 at £13.49 vs £12.62). ● The average spend per person on entertainment was a quarter of the average - £1.02 vs £3.76 (£2.29 vs £3.20 in 2008).

Economic impact of lower-spending visitors In short the figures above demonstrate that Colchester doesn’t attract as many high-spending visitors as its peers but does pull in more low-spending visitors. This means Colchester earns less from its visitors than equivalent towns and cities. In a separate report ‘Economic Impact of Tourism 2009’ EET uses statistically-generated figures to estimate how many day and staying visitors Colchester receives: ● Day trips - 4.28 million ● Staying trips - 283,000 It's then a relatively simple calculation to estimate how much Colchester could gain from refocusing its tourism offer.

In next month’s conclusion to the article Bill Hayton will report on the economic impact of lower-spending visitors, attracting more tourists and encouraging more staying visitors to Colchester.

Business and Law

Focus on Layer-de-la-Haye

p46 Layer New Year Walk Jan_Layout 1 09/01/2012 09:17 Page 46

January / February 2012

Layer Village People’s New Year’s Walk The recent Bank Holiday, Monday January 2nd, again saw a large group of people meeting together to enjoy a post-Christmas walk in the winter sunshine of Layer-de-la-Haye … Over 100 people met at the village hall at 11.00am. and, after a brief explanation from Nigel Warner, chair of Layer Village People, regarding the necessity for walkers to keep their dogs on a lead, the group set off. It was great to see so many people of varying ages - from a 2 year old enjoying the sights from an elevated position, seated cosily in a special backpack on her dad's back, to teenagers and retired yet enthusiastic walkers all enjoying the companionship of a walk in the beautiful Layer countryside. The walk took the group down Malting Green Road onto Fields Farm Road and along to Blind Knights Farm. The views across the fields to Abberton reservoir were stunning in the winter morning sunlight. A short while later, as the party crossed fields heading for the reservoir, one of the Layer Village Committee was able to point out a Little Owl seated on the branch of a nearby hawthorn tree. This was encouraging, since breeding Birds Survey data suggests its numbers are declining, with the UK population estimated to be down 24 per cent between

1995 and 2008. As one member of the group said, "We are so lucky to have this wonderful countryside and wildlife right on our doorstep!” This walk was particularly interesting since it was virtually a repeat of the 2011 New Year's event and everyone who had taken part in this walk could compare the advancement in the enhancement project at Abberton Reservoir, being carried out by Essex and Suffolk Water. The reservoir is one of the most important in Britain for wildfowl and the new wildlife centre could be seen in the distance as the party walked around part of the site. Having

skirted the reservoir, the group walked across fields leading to Layer's pretty St John the Baptist church. From there it was a short walk along the new foot path past Water Works Close and a chance to stop for a cheering drink at The Fox pub. It was very heartening to see how many people turned out again for one of the Layer Village People's walks and to hear from one young couple, Victoria and Mike, who have in the past month moved to Layer from Surrey, comment, "Layer People are so friendly; we feel like the television programme Escape to The Country. We love living in Layer!”

Visit Layer Village People's website for latest news and future events: 46

Elite Magazine Issue 107  

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Elite Magazine Issue 107  

30,000 copies delivered monthly FREE to quality households in north east Essex and parts of Suffolk. To advertise to this quality readership...