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Circulation 11,000


Issue 45 January/February 2016


Lifestyle magazine

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hat a start we’ve had to 2016! It seems we have only just packed away the Christmas decorations and already we’re into ‘New Year, New You’!



ary 2016 uary/Febru Issue 45 Jan

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If you’ve made some New Year’s resolutions for 2016 which involve fitness then turn to pages 8 and 9 to see how The Willink Leisure Centre can help. With the on-site pool, a range of fitness classes and various courts and facilities that you can make use of, there’s no doubt they can support your fitness goals for 2016. Or perhaps golf is more your thing? If that’s the case, check out Bishopswood Golf Course on page 31 who are giving away three months of golf membership absolutely free in January as part of their ’12 for 15’ offer. Of course, the New Year is also a great time to get your finances in check. Mark Penston, our regular financial columnist, can be found on p.13 with some great information on buy-to-let changes and Rowberry Morris tells us about changes to inheritance tax on page 14, which we should all be aware of. Worried about heating bills? Our local Calor Centre in Mortimer brings us tips and advice on keeping your home warm for less on p.16 and perhaps this month’s Eye Tech column can help with its ‘Internet of Things’. Turn to p. 11 to find out more.

Valentine’ s Day Makeup Beauty Boxes 8 Menu 6


It’s not unusual for these winter months to make you feel like snuggling up and enjoying some comfort food. Or keeping the blues at bay and really spoiling yourself. This month’s competition will do just that. Reading’s Michelin starred restaurant, L’Ortolan, which we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep, are offering the chance to win a mouth-watering lunch for two. Flick to page 7 for details on how to enter! If home-cooked comfort food is what you’re after then you can’t have missed the changes to Budgens in Mortimer. Now with its own butcher’s counter and continuing to support local producers of eggs, bread and ale, it really is the supermarket of choice for good, fresh food. Which might help with ingredients for... Valentines Day! We hope you haven’t forgotten! But if you have left things to the last minute and are looking for a gift that will not fail to impress, turn to pages 4 and 5 to see all that Blissimi, the Medi-Spa in Spencers Wood, can offer. With vouchers available, your loved one can treat themselves to a range of luxurious pampering treatments. And as it’s a leap year, who knows what could happen? Turn to page 29 to read about the traditions of this special date.


We hope this year has got off to a flying start and look forward to bringing you Spratley’s, family keep news and viewsthe from the local areagarage across 2016.will From the team atyou Village MOToring Eye, we wish you all a very Happy New Year! 31 Driving home with our hassle free local collection & delivery service car Hellen &or courtesy for Christmas provision... Or, if you’d prefer, a lovely cup of tea while you wait.

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January EYE

Community News - 2 Winter Body Glow - 4 Jack Drives Dacia Duster - 10 Hello Toaster, Hello - 11 MOT £30.00 when booked online and carried out Eye on Finance - 13

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Richard Wattham, Pete Lincoln, Steve Stanton, Nina Gilbert, Peter Tanner, Andrea Bath, Mark Rhodes, Mark Little, Mark Penston, Megan Curtis, June Keepax, Rob Barnes, Matt Bowsher, Jack Worboys, Ghilaine Chan, Louize Clarke, Ricardo Stuart & Imogen Stead. The Village Eye is brought to you by Pinktomato Ltd, a local, independent creative design and marketing company. All content within the publication is copyright of Village Eye. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for views or opinions expressed by contributors or for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers. All dates, times, URL’s and telephone numbers are understood to be correct at the time of conditions submissionapply. to print. *Not including stock images for - advert release charged. * Terms and Please visit www.spratleys.co.uk full terms andfee conditions.



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0118 933 2338 Hellen Shaw Jackie Stuart Karen Sebright Megan Curtis Jack Worboys Mark Penston



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Recycle Me!


Pastures New For Tribute Festival


ctually - Dinton Pastures to be exact. After a fabulous 12 years at Wellington Country Park, we are very excited to tell you that in July 2016 Marvellous is relocating to the fabulous Dinton Pastures Country Park. Be sure to save the date as this year’s Festival is going to be something really special. This year, Marvellous Festival takes place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July with masses of live music across two stages. Acts already confirmed include tributes to Queen, Adele, Madonna, T Rextasy, AC/ DC, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Bruno Mars, Bob Marley and Rod Stewart. There is also a rumour that there may well be some ‘actual real-life‘ 80s acts in the line-up this year, too.

Watch this space! We are told that there’s going to be loads more space all round - and much larger provision for camping and glamping - in fact, we hear that the glamping park is going to be almost twice the size as it was at Welly due to its popularity! Who says camping has to be all mud and wellies! Sandals and showers for us please if you don’t mind :)

For information and tickets visit www. marvellousfestivals.com or call the ticket hotline on 0118 977 4350.

As usual, there will be tons of activities to keep the whole family occupied. With usual favourites: The Big Kids’ Village, fairground rides, face painting, dance workshops, bouncy castles, obstacle courses, full bar facilities and fabulous food stalls. Tickets are already on sale and selling fast. If you are yet to have a Marvellous experience, and keep meaning to go - why not make 2016 the year you actually do!

Theale Green School


Four pupils at Theale Green School are about to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project. Theale Green School is one of 10,000 schools participating in this exciting project, Rocket Science. Two kilograms of rocket seeds have been sent to the International Space Station as part of British astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month mission. After several months on board, the seeds will be sent back and will land in the Pacific Ocean this Spring. After they return to the UK, they will be packaged up with identical seeds that have stayed on earth. The young space biologists – Jamie Karl-Roger Saynor, Jimmy Muss, Joseph Chalkley-Adams and Nicholas Cross – won’t know which seeds are the spacefarers and which are not, and all results will be collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians. The project is aimed at inspiring pupils to think scientifically and helping them to see the potential of future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and Horticulture. We think it’s out of this world! 2

We got both kindsa' music.... We’ve got Country & Western!

Who knew that we had an award-winning ‘Country Crooner’ on our patch? Peter V Tanner of Burghfield Common has been beating the Americans at their own game, taking home the coveted Akademi Award for Best Country Folk song. And he is the first British Artist to do so! Peter has been performing across the UK at large venues such as Butlins and Warners as well as overseas, including the famous Accupulco Club Bar & Lizard Bar in Playa De Las Americas. In 2009, Peter, or ‘PV’ as he is known by his fans, decided to set up his own recording label to record his songs. They have been released on Amazon and iTunes, among other digital music sites! PV is a man of many talents and has been a Linedance Instructor for 20 years, too, as well as chairman of the BWDA2000 ( British Western Dance Association). Congratulations on your music award, PV. We look forward to hearing more from him soon!

Row Yer Boat to Barbados! Some quotes can be really inspiring, can’t they? When local man Richard Wattam heard, “Rowing non-stop across an Ocean may well be the most physically and mentally demanding venture that you will ever embark on in your life” he was inspired to take it on and pursue the dream!

After completing his first Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race (125 miles non stop) back in 2005, he has been researching in preparation for the challenge of rowing the Atlantic and is now in a position to do it. He has secured himself a place on the Toby Wallace of Oceanus Rowing as part of a crew of 8 on the Atlantic Row. The Atlantic Row is 2989 miles long and starts from Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria and finishes in Port St Charles in Barbados. They are even attempting a world record while they do it! The crew will be led by arguably the world’s most experienced ocean rower, Simon Chalk and Richard will set off alongside him and six other ‘mad but motivated individual’s with a rota of 4 rowing, 4 resting, 2hrs on 2hrs off, a lot of suncream, dried food, (maybe a bit of

eye mmity On Co

anxiety) and lots of excitement’. Richard will set off to the Canaries on 23rd January 2016.

During the race there will be a boat tracing facility, and updates on progress sent out regularly. In taking on this challenge, he is raising funds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance which saves lives every day and is run solely from donations. His close friend Captain Peter Barnes, who died in the helicopter crash in Vauxhall in 2013, flew for Midlands Air Ambulance, so raising funds for this charity is a fitting way for Richard, his family and supporters to remember & honour him and all he did. Good luck chaps!

Our lucky Panto Winner

Regular readers will know that we love a good competition here at VEHQ - and one of the most popular regular comps we run is for Anvil Panto tickets. Just before Christmas [we promise not to mention that word again before at least Oct], reader Sarah Sharpe’s entry was pulled out of the hat - bagging her a family ticket to see Jack & the Beanstalk at the Anvil in Basingstoke. Taking along her mum Irene, daughters Nevaeh 4, and Harmony 2 to see the show, we also arranged for them to meet the show’s stars, actor and comedian Mark Little (Neighbours) and Mark Rhodes (BBCs Sam & Mark) before the performance!


“We all really enjoyed the show” Sarah told us afterwards. “The girls where both captivated by the performance and stayed in their seats pretty much the whole time (expect when Nevaeh got pulled onto stage to help with one of the songs!). There was plenty of adult humour in it as well, which was very funny and entertaining for us. It was the girls’ first Panto and I can really see it becoming a Christmas tradition, so thank you all very much!”

Top: Mum Sarah, Baby Harmony, Mark Rhodes and Nevaeh. Middle: Mark Little with Mum Irene & Bottom: Nevaeh on stage with Simple Simon.

This month, we are delighted to be bringing you another of our most popular regular competitions - a chance to win lunch at L’Ortolan! Turn to page 7 for details - and remember... Our competitions are as genuine as they get - someone local always wins. Enter now, and who knows, that someone just might be you this time!

Congratulations Sarah Pollard & David Gregory!

news that our Now, we don’t usually ‘do’ personal mentions... But, upon hearing the joyous girlfriend Sarah on lovely his to question the popped FINALLY David ndent, correspo ity commun s in the world :) New Years Eve (and she said yes!) Please join us in wishing them all the happines xx Ed ! Milliner..? good a know Now, does anybody www.facebook.com/villageeye




Dehydrated hair lacks shine and becomes lack-lustre, dull and brittle. Too frequent shampooing contributes further to dry locks and a flaky scalp, so try to wash hair every other day at most with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. A weekly deep conditioning treatment masque will replace moisture in both your hair and scalp and help minimise breakage. Invest in two styling products to see you through the winter - a good heat protection spray to apply before drying hair or using heated styling wands/ straighteners and a leave-in hair oil to add gloss, manage dryness and static, and reduce breakage.

BLISSIMI MEDI SPA Defy the temptation to let your hair and beauty regime lapse during the chilly winter months. Instead, set aside time to pamper your hair and skin so that you emerge from the winter glowing and radiant. Festive over indulgence, central heating, cold winds and winter bugs leave us all dehydrated, and dehydrated skin cells renew more slowly which leads to a build up of dead skin. The result – dull, rough skin with more pronounced wrinkles and fine lines. The first step to healthy hair and skin is, of course, to fix from within by drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, ideally infused with lemon, lime and orange for a health boosting hit of vitamin C to boost immunity and help ward off colds. Ensure your diet includes skin enhancing foods with a high omega 3 content – oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts and leafy greens.


or Signature Masque with Hot Towel Treatment.( £15) Kerastase Chronologiste Deep Conditioning Masque with Hot Towel Treatment (£15) HERO PRODUCTS: Oribe Super Shine Moisturising Styling Crème (£47) Kerastase Crème De La Crème Styling Cream. (£19.50)


Look after your feet as you would your hands – exfoliate in the shower, and moisturise with a nourishing foot cream. If heels are sore or cracked, treat with a heel repair cream at bedtime, which will transform feet within 3 days. Apply a thick layer of cream and wear cotton socks overnight to lock in the moisture and if toenails are dry and breaking, apply a nail oil twice a week. SALON TREATMENTS: Jessica ZenSpa Deluxe pedicure with Heated Boots.( £40/42) HERO PRODUCTS: Jessica Intense Heel Repair (£19.15) This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm (£16)

To book an appointment call

0118 988 5060




Closed 9am – 7pm 9am – 8pm 9am – 8pm 9am – 6pm 8am – 5pm


Tackle dry scaly winter skin by dry body brushing each day to boost circulation. Exfoliate dry skin before you shower 2 to 3 times a week and shower with a hydrating body wash. When dry, deeply nourish skin with a moisturising dry body oil. SALON TREATMENTS: Decleor Red Island Exfoliating Ritual (£55) Elemis Exotic Frangipani Body Nourishing Wrap( £55) HERO PRODUCTS: Decleor 1000 Grain Body Scrub £25 Decleor Satin Smooth Dry Body Oil (£32) Decleor Aromessence Nourishing Rich Body Oil (£42) This Works Dry Leg Oil (£39.50)

Look Amazing Feel Amazing

our website at blissimibeauty.com Basingstoke Road | Spencers Wood | RG7 1AA


Gentle exfoliation and rich Moisturisation is the key to supple, smooth, healthy skin. Exfoliate twice a week with a gentle facial enzyme peel to remove dead surface cells and reveal fresh, glowing skin. Apply a super hydrating facial oil which will penetrate deeper into the dermal layers and maximise the beneficial properties of your moisturiser by carrying it deeper into your skin. At night, deeply nourish freshly cleansed skin with a hydrating night balm or rich night cream to boost your body’s enhanced night time repair and recovery process. Look for products containing hyloraunic acid which will boost plumpness by absorbing 1000 times their molecular weight in water, reducing the appearance of fine lines. SALON TREATMENTS: Decleor Moisture Quench Facial (£68) Elemis Moisture Dew Facial (£60) HERO PRODUCTS: Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Capsules (£63) Decleor Aromessence Face Oil (£44)



Pigmentation reduction and resurfacing/ wrinkle reducing treatments should always be carried out during the winter months as neither are compatible with exposure to the sun. Transform your problem areas with salon grade peels and treatment facials, followed with at home aftercare products that will brighten, improve and correct age spots, sun damage, wrinkle depth and reveal luminous, younger looking skin. SALON TREATMENTS: ZO Skin Brightening Treatment (£75) Skinceuticals Gel Peel (£60) HERO PRODUCTS: ZO Daily Power Defence Cream (£130) Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 High Potency Refining Night Treatment (£49)

Dry, chapped hands and flaky brittle nails are easily avoided or treated. When exfoliating in the shower, ensure to include your hands to remove dead skin cells. Invest in a rich, moisturising hand cream and apply regularly throughout the day, and twice a week, rub a treatment nail oil into nails and cuticles followed by a thick layer of hand cream at bedtime. Try wearing cotton gloves to bed twice a week to lock in and maximise the moisturising benefits. SALON TREATMENTS: Jessica Deluxe Manicure with Heated Mitts (£38/40). HERO PRODUCTS: Jessica Nourish Cuticle Cream (£14.10). Phenomoil Intensive Moisturiser (£14.10)

CELEBRATING OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY! Although we quietly opened our doors for the first time, a week before Christmas in 2014, we officially opened on Friday 2nd January 2015, so this month we are celebrating our first anniversary and what an amazing year it has been! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our lovely clients for their continued support, recommendations to friends and family, and also to thank our talented team here at Blissimi, who together have brought experience, passion and commitment to providing the ultimate client experience. All of you have contributed enormously towards our goal - to become a truly exceptional, destination salon. We continually strive to grow, adding new treatments and ongoing brand training to ensure we stay at the forefront of new trends and developments in the hair and beauty industry, so that we can meet and exceed the expectations of our clients. We hope our passion for beauty and wellbeing inspires you to indulge in a little well deserved relaxation and pampering and we look forward to helping you continue to look and feel amazing! Wishing you all a very happy, healthy & prosperous 2016.

Laura Laura Holt Founder & Director Blissimi Hair, Beauty & Medispa

VALENTINES DAY PAMPER PACKAGE SPECIAL OFFER Treat the one you love (or yourself) to the ultimate pamper session including a 60 minute Luxury Facial and 30 minute Massage together with a Jessica Manicure and Pedicure at the special price of £135 (usually £170). Perfect for that special date or surprise proposal! (It is a Leap Year ladies!) 5

eye Beautiful

Megan’s Moments On Beauty

Now that Christmas is over (boo) the next holiday is Valentine’s Day. I love Valentine’s Day, it’s a chance to dress up and use my fanciest make up, glitter eye shadow and all! But whether I go on a day date or an evening one, one thing is for sure, I need my make up to last.

A good foundation is key to making my make up last and I can finally say, hand on heart, that I have found my holy grail foundation and that is Revlon’s Colour Stay. The natural, non-cakey finish rivals my luxury foundations and the fact it comes in two finishes, one for normal/dry skin and the other for combination/oily skin makes it the most impressive budget foundation for me. It also comes in a large selection of colours and undertones, which was the selling point for me as I have never been able to find a budget foundation that was yellow in tone and actually matched my skin colour. So this is revolutionary to me! Also, this foundation lasts on my skin, it really does – I don’t even need to powder during the day! This foundation will definitely be the one I’ll be wearing on Valentine’s Day and I really can’t recommend it enough.

If there is anything you would like to see me review or any ideas for which beauty topics I should cover next, then feel free to contact me at megan@villageeye.co.uk xx

Be My Valentine

Another vital item of make up that I use to make it last is my NYX Matte Finish Make Up Setting Spray and this stuff really is the best at making my make up last all day long. NYX is a relatively new make up brand in the UK after it having such success in the US and I am so glad it’s finally arrived here (available on Boots online). Their products are relatively cheap and they are such good quality, I haven’t purchased anything and regretted it, they’re definitely worth checking out! Back to the make up spray and this would be great for a day date as you can apply it first thing in the morning and then top it up before the evening and your make up will still look as fresh as it did first thing. Lastly, what says date night make up more than a bold lipstick? Especially for Valentine’s Day you need a lipstick that you don’t have to worry about touching up during the day or night. My all time favourite lipstick (and I do have a lot) has to be my Nars Satin Lip Pencil in the shade Luxembourg. It’s a very bright pink/red and it really does last on my lips without feeling dry at all. Best of all, it really does last through any meal, I’ve eaten a three course meal, gone to the bathroom and my lipstick has not budged or moved, it’s perfect! Nars is a luxury brand, but their lipstick pencils are fab, they come in so many colours and finishes, it’s impossible to walk away with just one!


To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk






ver thought about relaxing in stylish and comfortable surroundings and enjoying exquisite contemporary French cuisine, exceptional service and a warm welcome?

As proud holders of one Michelin star and three AA rosettes, L’Ortolan is now in the Top 20 on the Sunday Times Best UK Restaurants list! Conveniently located just down the road in Shinfield, L’Ortolan is housed in a beautiful listed building and offers a tempting variety of dining options for both business entertaining and social occasions.

delicious three course lunch with chef’s appetiser and pre-dessert for £32. The full Menu du Jour menu and details of other mouth watering offers can all be found on their website. www.lortolan. com Village Eye and L’Ortolan have teamed up to give one lucky reader the chance of winning one of these mouth watering lunches... Entry to the competition is free and remember, one of you WILL WIN! Please see the entry details below.

In addition to their regular fine dining experience, diners can also enjoy a Chef’s Table experience – where 2-4 guests get to dine in the kitchen opposite the pass, choose a Private Dining option in one of their 3 private dining rooms, and even offer budding chef’s the opportunity to ‘train’ in their kitchen for the day with their exclusive Chef’s Experience Package (Always a great gift, for someone special!) Dining at L’Ortolan costs less than you’d expect too! This winter, they are offering a Menu du Jour, a

Competition Entry To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, simply go to villageeye.co.uk, click the L’Ortolan tab and answer the following question:

L’Ortolan are in The Times top... a: 20 b: 50 c: 100 Entries must be made by midnight on Monday 29th Feb. The winner will be notified on Monday 3rd March. Lunch for 2 can be taken Tues to Thurs, expiry 31st March 2016


There's lots to do for all the family at The Willink in 2016 In 2016, as well as offering a state-of-the-art gym, and an array of fun, fitness workout classes for all levels, we’ll also be running adult and child swimming courses. Split into three age groups (0 - 18 months,18 - 36 months and 36 months - 4 years), and run by ASA qualified teachers, these classes are designed to encourage both adult and child to become more confident in the water together. With structured games include singing, splashing races and much more, all aimed at developing each child’s swimming ability, these courses run back to back, to encourage more consistency with learning and development.

Zumba Cla sse


Insanity Classes

State of t

he art Gy


INSANITY® After taking the world by storm online and on DVD, Shaun T’s intense total-body conditioning program is now available as a class! INSANITY’s high-intensity activity forces the body to work for longer periods of time at a higher capacity than traditional workouts. As a result, people experience faster increases in cardiovascular fitness, and burn carbohydrates and fat more efficientlyas much as 1,000 calories per hour! Call for details. BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic programme is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, tae kwon do, t'ai chi and Muay Thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness. Check out our Body Combat Special on page 44.

Legacy Leisure working in partnership with your local authority


ZUMBA™ is one of the most popular group fitness classes in the world. Why? Because it's great fun. Each Zumba class combines dance moves inspired by samba, salsa, mambo and hip hop with classic moves from aerobics and martial arts, leaving you with a unique workout guaranteed to break a sweat and raise a smile. Ditch the workout - Join the Party! GYM - The Expressions fitness suite at Willink has been refurbished, with state of the art equipment from Precor to suit every users needs. Whether you are training for a marathon, or wanting to shift a few Christmas pounds, the gym has everything you need, and their dedicated fitness team will help you achieve your fitness goals. The gym also boasts a weight area to help supplement your workout.

N EW ! S S A L C Aqua Zumba Splashing, stretching, twisting, WITH shouting, laughing, hooting and hollering – that’s Aqua Zumba classes for you. Integrating the zumba dance class with traditional aqua fitness disciplines, Aqua Zumba - or water zumba - blends it all together into a safe, challenging, water-based workout that’s cardio-conditioning, bodytoning, and most of all, exhilarating beyond belief.

CHILDREN’S PARTIES Let us take care of your child’s special day. For those age 6 and over, how about a private pool party with exclusive use of our pool and giant inflatable - The Devastator for one hour. Tables and chairs will be provided for cakes and nibbles for the 2nd hour (all you need to do is supply the cake and nibbles for your birthday feast). For guests under the age of 6, we offer an exciting Bounce & Play Party. You will be given exclusive use of our large hall for two hours to entertain the special birthday guest and their friends. With a bouncy castle, soft play equipment, hoops, balls, small goal and protective floor mats at your disposal, we are sure your child and his/her friends will have a great time. All of our parties also include Party Mania invitations for you to personalise.



YOGA If you are looking for a workout program that's easy to learn, yoga requires little or no equipment, and soothes your soul while toning your body. If strengthening your cardiovascular system, toning and stretching your muscles, and improving your mental fitness are on your to-do list, then this is the exercise for you. TOTAL BODY BOOTCAMP is an easy to follow high intensity class, alternating cardiovascular intervals with body conditioning exercises. The ideal way to burn fat, improve fitness and agility, increase muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.

For a full list of classes, times and details of our adult and child swimming classes, please visit www.leisurecentre.com or call 0118 983 4845 Find us on

working in partnership with your Local Authority

0118 983 4845

School Lane | Burghfield Common | Berkshire | RG7 3XP


Jack worboys



Physiotherapy practice

Dacia Duster


here is a brand that has redefined low-cost motoring in the UK over the last few years. The Romanian brand Dacia, now owned by Renault, are creating some of the best value cars available in the UK for a long time. The range runs from the Sandero Hatchback up to a full blown off-roader, named the Duster, available for under £10k! But are they actually any good? The styling of the Duster is reserved, but still individual, inside and out. Unsurprisingly there is an abundance of cheap plastics and the design features are feeling a little dated. The interior is hardwearing and spacious enough for most and the boot is a good size with a fairly low lip to help when loading heavy items. Visibility is a little limited at the rear, but its easy enough to know where the four corners of the car are, something that’s very useful if you are going to take it off road.


The car drives competently, although the short first gear (due to the lack of a short range gearbox) takes a little getting used to. The ride quality is comfortably damped and doesn’t wallow in the bends and the brakes are intuitive to use. I got to drive the vehicle off road myself and all seemed well. I will admit it wasn’t the most testing course around, but the car never felt like it was going to get into trouble. It’s clear it isn’t going to have the ‘go anywhere ability’ of some more serious off-roaders, but for most applications in the UK this will be more than sufficient.

on Leisure & Lifestyle

The standard kit included with the car is basic, but Dacia haven’t scrimped on safety with driver, front passenger and front side airbags and traction control. Higher models come with options such as cruise control and a touch screen multimedia system with sat nav. The cost is the defining feature of this car, allowing it to get away with things that other cars just can’t. However, if you have images of off-roading in a sub £10k car you will most likely be disappointed; and stuck! Yes, it does cost £9,495 to start, but that is only the two wheel drive version. For a four wheel drive version you have to pay £11,495, but when you stand back and look that still is pretty good value for money. If you were going to get a second hand Land Rover Defender for this price you’d be looking anywhere between 5 and 15 years old!

Tel: 0118 933 3896 Text: 07951 840643




SUNDAY INDIAN BUFFETS Get together with family and friends at Burghfield Spices on Sundays from 1pm to 10pm

So no, I don’t think this car will change the world, but for the money you can’t do better. It’s simplicity and ability give it a plucky character that is very likeable and something I found myself drawn to. Would I recommend it? Yes I would! I wonder even, with the Land Rover Defender recently coming to the end of production, is this going to become the low-cost, reliable workhorse that powers farms across the country for years to come? Time will tell.

For just £8.95 for adults and children* & concessions £6.95 we’ll treat you to a selection of 15 popular dishes, sides and pappadoms - and you can leave the washing up to us!


We’d also like to invite you to join us every first Thursday of each month for our live music evenings. * children under 10 years

Usual Restaurant Menu is also available on Sundays

0118 983 4040 www.burghfieldspices.co.uk | The Hatchgate, Burghfield Common


TECH eye by Eye Geek


he “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on us if any? There are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” but for now, I’ll stick to the basics. Let’s start with understanding a few things... Broadband Internet has become more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with wifi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are going down, and smart phone penetration is skyrocketing. All of these things are creating a “perfect storm” for the IoT. So what is the Internet of things? Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices… that’s a lot of connections (some even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion). The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes

DING DONG, YOUR TOASTER IS CALLING The internet of things - Connecting world as you know it

people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and thingsthings. How will this impact you? The new rule for the future is going to be, “anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting, your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take, if the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 am and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in

the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working? On a broader scale the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live. Take a look at the visual below to see what something like that can look like. The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It’s not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today, it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. Security is a big issue that is often brought up. With billions of devices being connected together what

To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk

can people to do make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and in doing so, get access to your entire network? Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing. This is a hot button topic even today so one can only imagine how the conversation and concerns will escalate when we are talking about many billions of devices being connected. So what now? Conversations about the IoT are (and have been for several years) taking place all over the world as we seek to understand how this will impact our lives. We are also trying to understand what the many opportunities and challenges are going to be as more and more devices start to join the IoT. For now the best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about what the IoT is and the potential impacts that can be seen on how we work and live.

Eye Geek

Photograph: Peter Menzel/The Human Face of Big Data





of Mortimer

Ok, maybe not the Candlestick Maker, but Budgen’s of Mortimer have impressed us recently with their ode to traditional shopping habits and collaboration with local, long-standing specialist retailers...

Bread suppliers: Bramley Village Bakery

Meat suppliers, Tilehurst Village Butchers

For those over the age of [say] 35, you’ll remember a time when food shopping was typically done on a Friday evening or on a Saturday morning. It would consist of a family supermarket dash for ambient goods and products, and several stops on the journey back to visit the greengrocers, the butchers and the bakers. These pit-stops often felt like catching up with old friends - after all - your parents had been getting their fresh produce as and when they needed it throughout the week from these independent retailers for as long as you could remember. Fast forward then to modern day shopping, and it’s fair to say that our habits have changed over the years... Yes many of us still do the same Saturday morning dash, only these days the supermarkets are more like monster hypermarkets. And these ‘dashes’ are no longer brief either, the sheer size of some of the stores see to that. Sure, visiting a

Budgens of Mortimer 0118 933 2488 Victoria Road | Mortimer | Berkshire | RG7 3XD 12

superstore is great if you have a penchant for ‘faceless’ shopping in general - but it appears that an increasing number of people are tiring from the overwhelming structure of such stores, and moreover, the increased cost of their weekly shop, often exacerbated by impulse buying things we didn’t even know we ‘needed’ - who knew we ‘needed’ a new flat screen television when we only went in for baked beans! With time a precious commodity, it appears that shoppers are now coming full circle and electing to simplify their shopping habits - by revisiting traditional ways - buying what they need, frequently, locally and saving money at the same time. Budgens retailers always try to position themselves at the heart of the local community, and design their shops to meet local people’s needs. And it’s these good ol’ fashioned traditional values which is very apparent as you stroll through their store in Mortimer . You’ll spot Chocolate from Mortimer’s Chocolate Company, bread, cakes and rolls from Bramley

Village Bakery, a wide selection of beers from our very own local brewers West Berks Brewery in Yattendon and of course, a magazine rack topped up with copies of Village Eye! Their strive to keep it local doesn’t stop there either... Since their expansion and refurbishment last year, by popular demand, they have reinstated a fresh meat counter which is brimming with meat from award winning butchers, Tilehurst Village Butchers. Now in their 25th year, a member of the Elite Q Guild scheme and having won a Pride of Reading Award, all of their beef comes from local farm assured suppliers. With the cattle traditionally farmed and grass fed, meat is then matured for 21 days for extra flavour. Their English lamb also comes from local farms and from farm assured suppliers. Selected by their experienced butchers, the lamb is carefully chosen to guarantee the best eating quality. Well done Budgens keeping traditions alive, and enabling us to shop locally!

Budgens today

Opening Times Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 21:00 Sundays: 10:00 - 16:00

Business & Finance

Buy-to-let on Business Or Buy-to-fret?

eye eye

with Mark Penston

Independent Financial Advice • Investments • Pensions & Retirement Planning • Inheritance Tax Planning • Long Term Care • Mortgages For an initial consultation call Mark Penston on:

0118 987 6655 markp@blueskyifas.co.uk www.blueskyifas.co.uk

3 Chalfont Court, Lower Earley, Reading, Berks, RG6 5SY BlueSKY Independent Financial Advisers LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Your home is at risk if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage or other loans secured on it.

George Osbourne’s July budget announcement to increase taxation in the Buy-to-let market came as a big surprise and the consequences of this announcement are now beginning to emerge. The motivation seems to be to try and slow an apparently overheating buy-to-let market. Many of Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlords are reportedly selling off their portfolios of properties claiming that the tax they will pay could be more than 100% of their rental income. One of Britain’s biggest property owners, Fergus Wilson (a retired maths teacher from Kent), has just sold his property empire of 900 houses for £250M claiming that continuing was just not worth it. This is despite a capital gains tax bill of tens of millions on the sale. He may be one of the largest property owners, but he is not alone in his decision to sell, sparking worries that this could be the start of a big property sell-off. The two bombshells that George Osbourne dropped (both without any prior consultation) are:The removal of landlords’ ability to deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income when they calculate a profit on which to pay tax. This change will be phased in between 2017 and 2020. 3% stamp duty on the purchase of buy-to-let properties. All higher-rate taxpayers who own mortgaged buytolet properties will pay substantially more tax. Some current basic-rate taxpayers will also be hit, because the change will push them into the higher-rate tax bracket. Although the rules are quite complex the example below illustrates the effect of the changes, assuming you are a higher rate tax payer:-

Clear thinking, straight talking

For advice on company pension schemes and related benefits:

0118 9734420

Email: reading@onepc.co.uk

www.onepc.co.uk Sunfield Business Park New Mill Rd, Finchampstead Berkshire, RG40 4QT One Pension Consultancy are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Situation Now Your buy-to-let earns £20,000 a year and the interest-only mortgage costs £13,000 a year. Tax is due on the difference or profit. So you pay tax on £7,000, meaning £2,800 for HMRC (40%) and £4,200 for you. The situation once the changes are complete (2020): Tax is now due on your full rental income of £20,000, less a tax credit equivalent to basic-rate tax on the interest. So you pay 40% tax on £20,000 (i.e. £8,000), less the 20% credit (20% of £13,000 = £2,600), meaning £5,400 for HMRC and £1,600 for you. Your tax bill has therefore gone up by 93%. Now, let’s say the Bank Rate – and in turn your mortgage rate – rises by a small fraction, lifting your mortgage cost to £15,000, while your rent remains at £20,000. You will have to pay £5,000 tax in this scenario, so you make no profit at all. At Bluesky we have always been cautious about the buy-tolet market. In isolation, it doesn’t support our philosophy of investment diversification and use of tax efficient investments. While rental returns have been good for some, most underestimate the returns after costs and tax. These latest changes make property rental much less attractive for many.


Mark Penston is a Partner and Chartered Financial Planner with Bluesky Chartered Financial Planners.


Changes to Inheritance Rules – will they affect you?

Ghilaine Chan’s Top 5 Networking Tips for 2016 by Elizabeth Groom & Helen Greenwood

In 2007, the Conservative Party proposed to increase the amount that an individual could give free of inheritance tax, on their death, to £1,000,000 per person. Fast forward eight years; in the last Budget, the Chancellor announced that the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold could potentially rise from £325,000.00 per person to £500,000. As a result, married couples and civil partners may be able to pass on assets worth up to £1m, including the family home, to their descendants without paying any IHT at all. This is not quite the original promise, but will be welcome news to many people whose estate is worth more than the current allowances. At the moment, each individual has a tax free allowance, known as a nil rate band (NRB), of £325,000. Any assets passing to a spouse or civil partner are exempt from IHT, meaning that it may be possible for an estate, on the death of the surviving spouse or civil partner, to be worth up to £650,000 before IHT is payable. The new rules introduce an additional family home allowance called a residential nil rate band (RNB) which between 2017 and 2020 gradually increases from £100,000 to £175,000. There will, however, be losers under the new rules. If you are not a property owner, and you have put your money into investments, you cannot claim the RNB and, if your property is worth less than the RNB, you cannot claim the full value of the allowance. Other losers will be those who wish to leave their estate to more distant relatives or friends, as the RNB is only available if you give your estate to your direct descendants. If your estate is worth more than £2m, the RNB is reduced. As can be seen, the new rules can create confusion; if you would like to discuss the new inheritance provisions, then please contact Elizabeth Groom or Helen Greenwood.

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5 Mulfords Hill| Tadley | RG26 3XJ | TEL: 01189 812 992 14

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to find out more about Gh



here’s an old business adage that says “people buy people” and it’s absolutely true. People don’t do business with people they don’t like or even that they don’t know. So this makes networking and the chance to share your personality with potential customers absolutely essential. Technology has made the world a smaller place but that doesn’t make networking any less important; just easier. Networking is collaboration; the coming together of different expertise to achieve something better than they could alone. One form of networking that is becoming ever-more popular is throwing together two completely different groups of people, who would never usually mix, at one event.

An example of this would be an art group with say a developer group. This is designed to open people up to new ideas and viewpoints that they wouldn’t come across on their own. A good example of this sort of thinking and a new addition to the Reading networking scene in 2016 is Glug: a series of events for the design and creative community. Labelling itself as ‘Notworking’ Glug was founded in 2007 and is a not for profit organisation bringing together an eclectic group of people from all creative walks of life; from advertising, graphic design and the visual arts through to fashion, architecture and the crafts. The benefits of networking are obvious: the chance to get to know potential clients, interacting with other like-minded professionals, unbiased

feedback from your peers, and increasing your number of connections. No matter what social networking sites tell you there is no replacement for actually meeting people face-to-face and spending time with them. That’s not to say that networking is not without drawbacks, however, it can be time consuming - especially at the end of a long day at work, you might not meet the ideal people for your company/career and it could feel like a waste of time. But don’t let that put you off, our region is heaving with lots of popular groups and events, all with different takes on networking, different members, and different offerings. There’s something for everyone and hundreds of groups who can’t wait to meet you.

GROW@GreenPark is a collaboration, incubation and co-working hub where like-minded people can get together. Whether you are a start-up, creative, developer, freelancer or just can't face working from home – we welcome all! Our purpose is to inspire and connect passionate people who want to make a difference through their business. The only thing we’re missing is you.


Research shows that start-ups who work in a co-working space are four times more likely to succeed than those who don’t

TSVMN 15 15


Tucked away next to Mortimer Station is our local Calor Gas centre, a site which has been supplying gas to this community for over twenty years. So, when it came to writing a piece about heating efficiency - we knew who to ask for tips! 16


o-one likes to throw money away, but most of us do so every day without realising it. Unless your home is newly built, your heating system is unlikely to be running as efficiently as it could. Yet the average household can save around £200 a year by taking a few energy efficiency measures. As well as making some fantastic savings on your energy bills, you’ll also be doing your bit to help the environment. INSTANT SAVINGS TIPS There are lots of simple things you can do to become more energy efficient right away: By turning your thermostat down by just 1°C , you can save up to 10% on your annual fuel bills. Setting the hot water thermostat at 60° will reduce your electricity consumption, as will setting your boiler controls so your heating only comes on when you need it. You can also use the radiators' thermostatic valves (if fitted) to control the heating in individual rooms. And, fitting draught excluders to doors, windows and letterboxes will help to keep the heat in, and the cold out. There are also savings to be made when heating water too... Did you know that water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home? By implementing some or all of the following, you’ll be able to save fair bit if money! Don’t overfill the kettle – just boil what you need. According to greenbelt.org, overfilling a kettle wastes valuable energy - in fact, it wastes enough energy in a week to light a house for a day or run a TV set for 26 hours! Thirsty tea drinkers could also save 90 seconds each time they boil a kettle by putting in just the required amount of water. Energy can also be saved by running your washing machine a 40°C (or even a 30°C) wash cycle rather than 60°C -and run your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load or use the economy cycle. Finally, one obvious but not always implemented money saving strategies is to only use only what you need. This includes switching off lights when you leave a room (children and teens please take note) - and ensuring that appliances are fully ‘off’ instead of being left on standby. ABOUT CALOR Calor gas is the UK’s market leader when it comes to gas bottles. Their cylinders have over 1000 applications; including home energy supply, BBQing, patio heating, portable heating,

Check out the 8 things all homeowners should do to cost effectively lower their energy bills, while efficiently heating their homes.

Use energy efficient LED light bulbs LED bulbs offer the same light quality as traditional incandescent bulbs, yet last 25 times longer.

Insulate hot water lines & set the temperature to 120o 18% of household energy consumption is used towards water heating. Properly insulating the pipes is the key to preserving heat and decreasing the price of your gas bill

Invest in energy-saving appliances While these appliances may be more expensive initially, Energy saving appliances will save you money each month for the next 10 years!

Seal windows and doors with ‘weather’ stripping

Plug home electronics into power strips

Prevent the draft. Windows that allow an excessive amount of heat to escape can cause an increase of as much as 10-25% a month onto your fuel bill.

Rather than directly into the wall, use power strips and turn them off when they are not in use. Also, get out of the habit of using standby. This alone could save you the price of a few takeaways each year!

caravaning and much more. Producing Butane, Propane and Patio gas in a range of sizes, they always have the right size cylinder for the job. SWITCH If you are already using another fuel supply, the New Year is always a good time to consider switching to a cleaner, sustainable and modern fuel supply. Offering, just that - the folks at Calor guarantee a hassle-free conversion too, so you can start enjoying the many benefits of gas as soon as possible. At the moment, they also have an above ground tank offer and buy now pay later plans on new boilers making it easy to make the switch. Their fuel switching process is simple, ensuring as little disruption as possible. If you’re switching from oil, there is usually no need to replace your radiators and internal pipework either - as they’ll only need to replace your oil tank and boiler with your new gas tank or cylinder pack and gas boiler. The staff at Mortimer Calor Centre have over 40 years of experience and can advise you on appliances, energy saving incentives, LPG installation , health and

Install a programmable thermostat Use a programmable thermostat to automatically turn the heater down when you’re at work or sleeping. When you’re out of the house, there is no need to keep the heat on!

Move furniture away from vents or radiators Don’t allow poorly placed furniture to block the flow of heat from your vents and radiators.

Shut the damper on your fireplace Many of us forget that an unused fireplace is essentially a giant hole in your roof for warm air to escape through!

safety and the many benefits of using LPG. To find out more about the benefits of switching to Calor, pop into our local centre and say hello to Andrew, Rob, Daren, Ellen and Mary, call 0118 933 2363 or visit www.calor.co.uk

Reading Calor Centre

01189 332363

Visit Reading Calor Centre, (Mortimer Station) Station Road, Mortimer, Reading, RG7 2AB 17

“Lafford & Leavey, experts in bringing the outside - inside”

Windows Doors Conservatories UPVC or Timber

One of the leading window, door and conservatory installers in Berkshire, offering free quotations and advice from a company with a formidable reputation spanning 50 years. Choose from a wide range of products in a style and finish which will suit your budget and needs, we’re only a phone call away.



ARROWHEAD ROAD, THEALE, READING, RG7 4AZ Tel: Reading (0118) 9303333 Fax: (0118) 9323707 Email: lafford.leavey@btconnect.com

ARROWHEAD ROAD, THEALE, BERKSHIRE, RG7 4AZ 0118 930 3333 lafford.leavey@btconnect.com

Theale 0118 930 3133 Burghfield Common 0118 983 3897 Tadley 0118 981 0494


Property of the Month Pleasant Hill Tadley 3 Bedroom Detached Bungalow

Tadley office

A well presented detached bungalow situated close to Tadley Centre. Accommodation comprises of an Entrance hall, cloakroom, fitted kitchen, breakfast area, dining room, lounge, 3 bedrooms and bathroom . Outside is a detached garage, driveway and an private enclose corner plot gardens. The property has double glazed windows, gas radiator heating, has been redecorated internally and has the advantage of no onward chain.

Under Offer

£150,000 Tadley office

• Double bedroom • Bathroom • Kitchen • Lounge • Parking • Garden


£365,000 £160,000 Tadley office

• Retirement bungalow • 2 Bedrooms • Lounge

• Kitchen

• No Chain

• Communal Gardens

Pamber Heath


Under Offer

Tadley office

• 1 Reception

• Lounge/Dining Room

• Kitchen

• FittedKitchen

• Good garden

• Shower Room

Under Offer

Pamber Heath

• Large Driveway

• Garage • Garden

Tadley office

• 3 Bedrooms

• 2 Bedrooms



Burghfield Common Tadley


Under Offer

Tadley office

• No Chain

£277,950 Tadley office

• 3 Bedooms

• 3 Bedrooms

• 2 Receptions

• 1 Reception

• Bathroom

• Kitchen

• Enclosed Garden

• Enclosed Garden

• Garage

• Garage

• Good order throughout

Pamber Heath

• Parking

Burghfield Common Mortimer Burghfield Village Aldermaston Wharf Beenham Midgham Woolhampton Sulhamstead Beech Hill Aldermaston Theale Bradfield Stanford Dingley Baughurst Tadley Ufton Nervet Spencers Wood Little London Brimpton Padworth Silchester Tutts Clump Tidmarsh Bradfield Southend Englefield Pamber Heath 19

Theale 0118 930 3133 Burghfield Common 0118 983 3897 Tadley 0118 981 0494

Property of the Month Hatch Close Chapel Row 4 Bedroom Family Home

Theale office

Rarely available and much coveted 4 bedroom detached family home located in the desirable area of Chapel Row.The property has a large porch which leads into a spacious hallway providing access to a dining room, kitchen, 24ft living room, complete with wood burning stove. There is also a freezer room and a large integral garage with workshop. The garage could offer very real conversion potential, there is also a downstairs cloakroom.Upstairs there are 4 double bedrooms, the master has an ensuite and dressing room. There is also a family bathroom and a generous loft space. Outside is a South facing garden





Theale office

Theale office

• 2 Bedrooms

• 3 Bedroom Character cottage

• Recently refurbished

• Desirable village location

• South facing Garden

• Off Road Parking

• Driveway parking for 4 cars

• Gardens

• Extension potential

• Open plan Kitchen / Dining area

• Close to station and Jct 12 M4



£400,000 Theale office

Beenham Sold STC


• No onward chain

Theale office

• 3 Bedroom Semi-Detached

• Desirable village location

• Rear views over open fields

• Refitted Kitchen

• 35ft Lounge/Diner

• 22’ Living Room

• Separate Study

• Study

• Village location

• Off road parking

• No onward chain

£500,000 Theale office

Burghfield Chapel Row Common Sold STC

• Double Garage

£270,000 Theale office

• Rarely available

• 2 bedroom character cottage

• Three Double Bedrooms

• No onward chain

• Desirable Village Location

• 2 Reception rooms

• Extension Potential

• Open fire place

• Off Road Parking for 5 cars

• South facing 70ft rear garden

• Gardens


• Close to train station

Burghfield Common Mortimer Burghfield Village Aldermaston Wharf Beenham Midgham Woolhampton Sulhamstead Beech Hill Aldermaston Theale Bradfield Stanford Dingley Baughurst Tadley Ufton Nervet Spencers Wood Little London Brimpton Padworth Silchester Tutts Clump Tidmarsh Bradfield Southend Englefield Pamber Heath 20


Property of the Month Woodlands Avenue Burghfield Common Burghfield Common Office


A character detached family home tucked away in this sought after location and boasting beautiful Gardens of approximately 1/4 acre. The single detached Garage is accessed from a private lane to one side and the property. Located within easy walking distance of both Primary schools, the highly rated Willink secondary school and all other everyday amenities. Internally the property offers good size and versatile accommodation including a ground floor bedroom with bathroom and three first floor bedrooms with a shower room. Blackberries includes water softner, oil fired central heating and the hot water is heated from solar panels to the front roof. An internal viewing is highly recommended.

£500,000 £355,000


Burghfield Common office

Mortimer Common

Burghfield Common office

• Large plot with double Garage

• Victorian Character Cottage

• Potential to extend alongside (STPP)

• 19’11 x 13’7 Lounge

• Recently replaced gas heating boiler

• 17’1 x 13’5 Kitchen/Diner

• Shower room

• 125ft Westerly aspect rear Garden

• Extended to provide large Kitchen/Diner

• Driveway & Integral Garage

• Open fireplace, Double Glazing

Burghfield Common


Burghfield Common office

• Charming 3-bed Det Bungalow

• Character Victorian detached

• 90ft x 50ft rear Garden

• Over 2,100 sq ft of space

• 28ft luxury Kitchen/Diner

• 22ft x 15’8 Kitchen/ Breakfastroom

• 19ft main Bedroom with en-suite

• En-suite & family Bathroom

• Car port and large gravel drive • Fully updated and improved

Burghfield Common


Burghfield Common office • 5-Bedroom detached • 4-Receptions, 3-Bathrooms • Over 2500 sq ft of Accommadation • Extended, improved and updated • Gas central heating to radiators • Substantial plot of over 1/4 acre

• Requires re-modernisation


Burghfield Common office

Burghfield BurghfieldVillage Common Burghfield

Beautiful detached white cottage

• Garage, Car port, large driveway


• Desirable village location


As part of our 15 year celebrations, we are drawing two winners each month for a year! So now that our lucky winners have all been informed after being away for the Christmas break we are so excited to tell you that the winner of the bottle of Champagne is Mrs ‘W’ of Burghfield Village for having a rental valuation and also a big congratulations to the winners of our Monthly Prize Draw for 15% off their selling fees, Mr and Mrs ‘C’ of Burghfield!

We’re here for your every move... 21

Keep it local ! Trades & Services Pages. Don’t forget to mention Village Eye when calling!

No Signal? we’ll fix it

TV signal problems? We can help! Contact Toby on 07737 784 244 for a free quotation or email: info@bluebanana.tv • • •

Digital Television Aerials Radio Aerials, (DAB and FM) Sky HD & Freesat

• • •

Multiroom systems European satellites TVs mounted on walls

• • •

www.bluebanana.tv Home cinema systems IRS Systems Hidden cables

• •

Repairs to existing systems, Domestic and Commercial Work undertaken

Spring 2013 version2quarter page landscape no Signal .indd 1

11/03/2013 09:47

Reading Metal Recycling Alloy. Batteries. Braisery. Brass.Copper. Copper Tanks. Car Radiators. Dirty/Irony Alley. Electric Motors.Elements. Gun Metal. Household Wire. Lead. Iron. Low Amoured. Old Rolled/Clean Alloy. Stainless Steel.

Experts in metal recycling We accept everything from small domestic jobs to full factory clear outs. We are a Licensed waste carrier based in Burghfield. Demolition Site Clearances We can come and collect your scrap from site or you can bring your scrap to us and use our 50 ton weighbridge!

James W Fisher Property Maintenance

PAINTING & DECORATING All interior and exterior decorating, carpentry and small building work. 25 years experience.

Residential Scrap Metal Drop in your scrap metal from home, old copper pipes, washing machines, power cables etc. We will pay you top prices. Weirside Green Lane Burghfield Bridge Industrial Estate Reading RG30 3XN Mon-Sat 8am-6pm

(Opposite the Cunning Man)


0118 9500 470 0781 3443 763

OFFICE: 01189 831246 Mobile: 07766 646430 Email: info@jwfisher.co.uk www.jameswfisher.co.uk


The Forge, Reading Road, Burghfield Common, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 3BL


All aspects of electr ical work from a light switc h to a complete rewire

Fully insured • Fully qualified • Pa rt P complia nt

d . o k e @ m e . c o m w w w. o ke e l e c t ri c a l . c o . u k 22

0 7 7 6 9 0 1 1 8 9

5 5 6 8 5 2 3 3 2 8 6 7


eye Homes & Gardens

Having your home burgled is one of those things that we all hope won’t happen to us, yet we all know someone who has been a victim. The affect can be devastating, both financially and mentally. The good news is, with increasingly more information and statistics from the Home Office and independent surveys, coupled with developments in technology and manufacturing, there are some easy steps to take to protect your home – and business – against these types of crime. Local security experts, RS1, provided us with some of these statistics. Breakins are most common at night when everyone is tucked up in bed (Burglars aren’t as conspicuous in the dark) and daytime on weekdays (when people are at work no doubt). You’re also highly at risk when going on holiday or when spending prolonged periods away from your home. Burglars will often survey areas and pick out their most vulnerable targets. Ben McIlroy, MD of RS1, told us, “Purses, wallets and car keys/cars are still among the most common items taken from homes, followed by electrical goods, computers, jewellery and mobile phones.” A good deal of burglaries are still opportunistic, so take care not to leave your valuables out for passers-by to see.

So how do you best protect your home? Motion-activated security lighting was once a proven deterrent but it is not as effective as a monitored burglar alarm and does not often deter opportunistic burglars. But how effective is a house alarm, really? What do you do if you hear a house alarm? Do you make haste to the sound of the alarm to investigate and help? Do you immediately call the police? No. I think most of us assume it’s a false alarm and carry on with our daily lives. RS1, a new breed of security provider, have an office locally in Burghfield Common and provide monitored visual verification home alarm systems starting from £799.99, plus monitoring from as little as 25p a day. They pride themselves on combining traditional security systems with 21st century technology which includes the ability to control all of their systems via an app for mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

burglar will not be able to stop the signal from being transmitted and the controller sat at the monitoring station will make sure each activation is responded to. The benefit to a Visual Verification alarm is he will be able to physically see inside the property and make a prompt decision on what action to take; including contacting the necessary emergency services directly. This dramatically enhances response times to your premises, eliminates false alarm events and your home being black listed by the emergency services. RS1 really are the experts when it comes to security for homes or businesses. They also provide HD CCTV systems and Access Control systems. So if security is on your mind and you need to protect your home, office, golf course or stables, call the experts.

By connecting your alarm system to a remote monitoring station your alarm activations will not be ignored. The

CCTV, HOME SECURITY & HOME ACCESS SYSTEMS For free, impartial security advice, please call our local team on

0118 360 7737 To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk

www.rs1cctv.co.uk | www.rs1alarms.co.uk



23 23

Keep it local ! Trades & Services Pages. Don’t forget to mention Village Eye when calling!


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Air Conditioning Recharge/Service

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A funeral is an important part of the grieving process when family members and friends honour the life and memory of their loved one. Organising a funeral can be an extremely difficult period in a person’s life, but unfortunately it is something most people will endure at some stage.

At Geoffrey Church & Co, we have been serving people of this area for over 25 years from our premises in Tadley and Thatcham, becoming an integral part of the community and offering a high standard of support and service at this vulnerable time. We understand the needs and feelings of the bereaved and we’re able to sensitively advise on practicalities as well as personalising a loved-one’s funeral. Our ethos is that every life is uniqueDirectors and deserves to be remembered in its own unique way. We Funeral can help with that particular piece of music or organise a special route for the funeralservice procession to follow, for example. Our services extend to For a personal and dignified at all times... floral tributes, monumental masonry, obituaries, catering and other afterservice events as well as advising on funeral insurance plans. By offering • Personal Service Hours such -a24 wide range of services, Geoffrey Church & Co can support you • Private Chapel of Rest through every step of the process with understanding and care whilst • All types of Memorials, supplied and fixed always offering a professional service of the highest standards.

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Keep it local ! Trades & Services Pages. Don’t forget to mention Village Eye when calling!

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SAVINGS! Costco Wholesale is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. We provide a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of speciality departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one. We are confident in the quality and value of our products, and we stand behind them with our guarantee of satisfaction.

To find out if you are eligible, please contact the Marketing Team at Costco Reading on marketing114@costco.co.uk The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership is £20 (plus VAT). The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership is £25 (plus VAT). Membership Criteria applies. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made. Costco accepts cash, debit card, cheque or American Express

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To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk





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Celebrating Local Talented Children

WORK BUTT NAKED? REALLY?! There appears to be a holiday for just about every concept under the sun these days, so should we be surprised that there is such a thing as Working Naked Day? As its name suggests, Working Naked Day is the day in which you carry out the day’s work unclothed. It should be hastily mentioned, of course, that this does not mean that your turn up at a place of work naked – rather, the whole point is that the day celebrates the act of working from home and the freedom that results from this situation. If you are still shy, then bear in mind that the day can be celebrated by wearing pyjamas.

Back in November 2014, two musicians, an artist and two drama professionals got together to launch The Berkshire Music & Arts Festival. It was held at Ufton Court with the purpose of giving an opportunity to perform to local music students and drama students giving them immediate feedback from an esteemed adjudicator. The Festival also gave aspiring writers the chance to write stories and poems which, similarly, were adjudicated by local children’s author Peter J Murray. Children who compete in the Festival are rewarded with certificates, medals and cups, one of which Junior Poetry - is sponsored by Village Eye magazine and you will see the winner here in print next month! The interest in this year’s Festival has been overwhelming. The number of entries overall has doubled, with some

sections quadrupling! This has meant that not all performances can take place at the beautiful setting of Ufton Court, but it does mean that the Festival has grown now to three venues - Ufton Court, SUN Village Hall and St Mary’s Church (Sulhamstead Abbots). It’s going to be a wonderful day of music and drama, as well as a celebration of young writing talent. Why not come along to enjoy some of the performances and see what it’s all about? This year’s Festival is taking place on Sunday 31st January from 09.30am until early evening at each of the three venues. The entrance fee for spectators is £3 per adult and £1 per child and a guide to performances can be found in the programme which are on sale at each reception point. Tickets will admit spectators to any or all of the three venues.

To celebrate this day, of course, you will need the resources to be able to spend a day working from home. If you fulfil that requirement, then Working Naked Day is yours to enjoy.

Most importantly, Berkshire Music & Arts use any profits made from the Festival and other fundraising activities to create an Arts Fund. This fund will support a child within our community to study music or drama, who would otherwise not get the opportunity to. A donation is also made annually to a Special Educational Needs school who do wonderful things within their drama department for their students. Come and play!

February 5th is Go to Work Naked Day!

it’s cool to be kind...

Celebrated on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year. It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organisations, nationwide, to encourage acts of kindness. There’s no better time to help a pensioner to cross the road than on Random Acts Of Kindness Day. Of course, crossing assistance is only one of the ways that you can show kindness and assistance to those around you – get creative in finding small ways to make a difference and to make somebody smile! Perhaps you might consider giving a stranger an umbrella on a rainy day, paying for a meal at a local eatery, putting your neighbours’ bin back on their drive after they’ve been emptied... There are plenty of ideas of different RAKs you can perform here: www.randomactsofkindness.org - or, if you are a facebook user, why not search for you local ‘buy nothing’ group and join in with the fun. Spread the love in 2016 xx To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk




On Sport & Leisure




We all like a little something on the house... So, here’s a bottle on us and three free months membership


The refurbished clubhouse, Sands Restaurant, Balcony Bar and function suites make a magnificent addition to the golf course.

Bishopswood is a 9 hole course that is set in 70 acres of mature parkland on the North Hampshire/West Berkshire borders. Just a couple of years ago, it was rated by Today’s Golfer as “One of the best 9 hole course in the south”. Its tree lined fairways and superb greens represent a challenge for every level of player.

On the upper floor of the club house, Sands Restaurant is causing quite a stir and has established itself very firmly among the best places to eat out in Tadley and the surrounding area. It has always been a stunning place to enjoy a meal, but the arrival of Head Chef Neil Perkins has taken it to a whole new level.

3 Free Months Golf Membership With ‘official’ golf membership renewals not happening until April, Bishopswood Golf Course is offering those who would like to start their new golf habit in January, the first three months - to April - completely free. This is part of their ‘15 for 12’ deal on 5 and 7 day golf memberships, renewable in April 2017 . Of course there are lots of other types of membership available at Bishopswood. Just take a look at the website or give them a call to find out the different options available.

Neil is an award-winning chef with over 30 years’ experience and was Executive Head Chef at Bramshill Police College, where he catered for Members of Government, overseas dignitaries and Members of the Royal Family. Free Wine Sands Restaurant is open seven days a week to members and nonmembers, so why not treat yourself? During January and February, Sands Restaurant is offering a free bottle of house wine with every table of four booked on a Friday or Saturday evening. Just take along the voucher on this page, order from the restaurant menu to qualify and enjoy your bottle of wine on the house! To book a table, please call 01189 408 600, Option 4.

FREE WINE voucher


016 is looking to be a good year for Bishopswood Golf Course and these first few months of the year are no exception.

During January and February when the nights are still drawing in, cutting short afternoons on the golf course, don’t forget that Bishopswood have their floodlit driving range. There are 12 floodlit bays which are open to all - you don’t need to be a member to keep up your golf practise during the darker months.


To redeem your free bottle of wine, please present this voucher on arrival. Bishopswood

One bottle of wine per table of four/voucher on Friday/Saturday nights throughout January & February 2016. Offer expires 29th Feb. Subject to availability.

For further information including location, menu’s and the facilities available at Bishopswood visit www.bishopswoodgc.co.uk or call 01189 408600 29

Film of the MONTH

eye on Leisure

by Rob Barnes I’m relieved to report that The Force Awakens has not only lived up to the unprecedented hype, it has undoubtedly re-awoken the inner child in Star Wars fans the world over. The force is definitely strong with director JJ Abrams who has drawn on the spirit of the originals to deliver a near perfect intergalactic romp so packed with nostalgia at times it felt quite overwhelming. As a rather dishevelled Han Solo puts it ‘Chewie, we’re home.’ Set some 30 years after The Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker is missing and the mythical Jedi movement has all but faded into a galaxy now ruled by ‘The First Order’. After hotshot resistance pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) is captured, rogue Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) helps him escape only to find himself on a collision course with a young scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) on the desert planet of Jakku. Finn and Rey are oblivious to the vital intel held by Rey’s newly adopted droid BB-8 that soon sees them hunted down by the First Order and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the precocious commander with lethal powers of the force. And so begins the familiar good versus evil quest that takes in new planets, new lightsabers and bold new characters whilst reacquainting us with some old faces including Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The central pairing of newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are fantastic. They are not only believable they are completely captivating and share a chemistry that bodes very well for the rest of the trilogy. Ridley looks like she

was born to the role of Rey, the feisty bright-eyed forager in search of a family who deserted her as a child, perfectly complemented by Finn, the reluctant hero with a roguish wit. So strong are their performances that it completely overshadows those of Carrie Fisher and in particular Harrison Ford. This was a 3D presentation but I’m sure the cinematography was no less stunning in 2D. The scale and beauty of some of the early sequences on the dusty planet of Jakku - reminiscent of Tatooine - were simply breathtaking. JJ Abrams perfect blend of live action and CGI wizardry adds an authenticity that was so absent from the prequels, and so when we catch our first glimpse of the Millennium Falcon and a fleet of X-Wings it really is a joy to behold. Equally at home choreographing deep space dogfights with the human

Children's book of the MONTH

melodrama on the ground Abrams sucks you in from the very first frame, and leaves you gasping for breath after the inevitable cliffhanger. Disney’s bold decision to reject George Lucas’s vision and instead place Hollywood’s golden child at the helm has proved an inspired success. It’s no surprise that this long awaited sequel has smashed box office records all around the world, but what’s more surprising to me is that I am now completely hooked and hungry for more. JJ Abrams take a bow! Next up is writer/director Rian Johnson who will bring us Episode VIII in 2017...Patience I must have.

"A must see" 4.5/5


by Michael Morpurgo

This touching book is about the journey from Afghanistan to England by a young boy named Aman and his mother. When a bold cocker spaniel is found begging outside their cave they make the decision to risk their lives and travel to England. After an extremely long and dangerous journey they both arrive in England where they settle down for a bit, but unfortunately they are sent to a prison and they know they will be sent back to Afghanistan. When all hope is lost, Tom Aman’s best friend, and his Grandad are willing to campaign for them to be freed. I really enjoyed this amazing book. The story is very emotional and makes you want to read on. If you like reading diary entries, then this is a great book for you because of the unique way it’s written. I think this book is written not only to engage the reader but also to try to get you to think about the lives of different people around the world.

Review by Imogen Stead


Marry Me ?

Making Memories

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If your man is a bit slow to pop the question, why not take advantage of an old tradition which actually dates back to 5th century Ireland. The story goes that St. Bridget persuaded St. Patrick to allow women to ask their men to marry them. He was in favour of every seven years, but she persuaded him that every four years would be better. Hence the leap year marriage proposal was born. In medieval times if the man turned down the offer of proposal he had to pay a forfeit of one pound and a pair of gloves or a silk gown. So if you are turned down perhaps you can invoke the old custom and end up (after inflation taken into account) with a tidy sum and a new wardrobe! Of course in this modern age ladies can, and do propose marriage whenever they want. But why not take advantage of this romantic tradition and choose 29th February 2016 to ask your man to marry you? This year the 29th of February falls on a Monday so you can plan a long weekend away beforehand, book a hotel for the night, book a romantic meal in a nice restaurant or arrange a surprise at home for him. Go on! Take the chance, he might be just waiting for it. Be romantic and creative and come back and tell us all about it. If he says yes - Good Luck!

lovely person wanted to join our happy


Part-time Sales & Marketing

Do you have strong relationship skills? Are you a self-starting telesales person? Do you think outside of the box? If the answer to these questions is yes, then we’d love to hear from you. Now in our fifth year, Village Eye has helped 100s of local and national businesses to reach out to customers in this area. Now with a distribution of over 11,000, spanning thirteen villages, we are looking for a special person who would like to grow with us in 2016. Mortimer-based Immediate start. Flexible hours. Generous pay on offer too! If you would like to join our happy team, please call us for a chat on: 0118 933 3311or send an email to jackie@villageeye.co.uk

Image: The Proposal, 2009 Buena Vista Home Entertainment Available on:


To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk




Tadley Why Pay More? Pet Supplies

You name it - we sell it!

Live Stock of Small Animals, Birds & Tropical Fish We also stock Wild Bird Products, all at guaranteed low prices, with FREE LOCAL DELIVERY available

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CATKINS Covered fresh air pens Insulated & heated cabins (personal inspections welcome)


Effective osteopathic healthcare for North Hampshire and West Berkshire ... keeping YOU active

Friday 26th February 7:30pm to 10:30pm (doors open at 7pm)

Take some positive action TODAY and make an appointment to see Mr Darcy Jones, Registered Osteopath if you have problems with: • • • • • •

Swallowfield Parish Hall, RG7 1QX


Mortimer Surgery 72 Victoria Road, Mortimer Common RG7 3SQ www.spinehealthcentre.co.uk darcy.jones@spinehealthcentre.co.uk Appointments: 01256 352241 or 07842 395 682 Clinic times: Monday & Thursday afternoon, other times by appointment. Home visits available.

The Bacuma Boys and friends Ticket price £15—includes a delicious 2-course supper Bar & real ale from West Berkshire Brewery Tickets from our Box Office on 0118 988 5688 Beech Hill Village Shop or online www.thrive.org.uk All proceeds in aid of Thrive

To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk


Threeways, Silchester Road, Pamber Heath

0118 970 0296

Established 27years

The Spine Health Centre


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Helping the local Wildlife survive this Wintertime


t is surprisingly easy to do something to help garden wildlife at this time of year. Most wildlife hibernates over winter, hunkering down in log piles, nestling into tree bark, or burying in compost heaps or mud. Some species, such as birds and squirrels, don’t hibernate, but struggle to stay alive - using up fat reserves just to stay warm. What can you do to help? Small things will make a big difference. Don’t tidy your borders or shrubs until early spring as they can make the perfect nest in which animals can hide, rest and hibernate. It’s also a good idea to leave seeds on herbaceous plants and shrubs for feeding birds. Be careful when you turn your compost heap, too. The warmth attracts frogs, toads and newts to nestle there. The risk of animals and reptiles sheltering in bonfires is pretty well-known, so if you can, build your bonfire the day it will be lit. Do you have a pond? Did you know, if your garden pond freezes over, toxic gases can build up in the water, which

Miss the Panto? S PRESENTS


Eye on Leisure

may kill fish or frogs hibernating at the bottom. Never break the ice with force or tip boiling water onto the pond, as this can harm or even kill fish that live in it. Why not float a tennis ball in your pond to prevent it freezing over? Or melt a hole in the ice by carefully placing a pan of hot water on the surface. If you don’t have a pond, leaving out clean water in a shallow dish at ground level will help most species. Birds rely on us when their sources of insects and grubs dry up. Feed the birds from the first frost until mid-spring, leaving food out for birds every day. You could help a range of birds by offering different foods. Peanut cakes, chopped bacon rind and even grated cheese. Thrushes and blackbirds will like over-ripe apples scattered on the ground with some raisins.


are often too small to hibernate, and so are unable to survive the cold weather. In mild winters, hedgehogs are prone to waking up, too, having been tricked into believing it is spring. They waste valuable fat reserves looking for food. Most hedgehogs enter hibernation by mid to late autumn, so there is little need to feed at this time of year, but if you find a baby hedgehog, take it in and keep it warm in a tall-sided box with hot water bottle on the bottom, covered with a thick towel. Feed it with cat or dog food and water and call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) on 01584 890801 for further advice, or visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk

It is good to mindful of attracting rats when feeding birds. Make sure you don’t over feed, so there are not lots of left overs. Clean up any leftovers and spills before dark. You can attract other wildlife to your garden, too. Believe it or not, foxes love cheese, boiled potatoes, bread and fat scraps. Squirrels don’t hibernate, but they do stock pile food to eat during the leanest months. You can offer them nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds, plus some chopped apple, beans, carrots or spinach. Badgers have a really tough time finding their favourite food - earthworms - when the ground is frozen. You can help by providing them with cooked meats, cheese, peanuts and fruit. Hedgehogs Did you know that nearly half of all hedgehogs die during their first winter? What a shocking statistic. Many starve, while those born in late-summer

Came lot - The Panto!

If you missed your fill of hissing, booing, clapping and cheering over the festive period, never fear - it’s not too late - OH NO IT”S NOT! The Silchester Players’ next production is the pantomime ‘Camelot, the Panto’. In this pantomime by Ben Crocker we have the usual of good versus bad, with, of course, good triumphing in the end! We will visit The Haunted Hotel in the Shrieking Bog, with strange goings on with a ghost, Merlin’s Laboratory and The Great Hall of Misty Mountain Castle, when the Royal Marriage is agreed. All the usual pantomime characters will be there, including the Dame, and the Principle Girl and Boy.





LAGE H's)ALL TER VIL SILCHES 2.30pm/7.30pm (Sat ances: 7.30pm (Fri's) ssions £6 Perform

Doors Open: 30 mins

: Adults £8, before shows Prices

For ticket details


please telephone

0118 9815600

Tickets are available by calling Beryl on 01189 815600, and cost £8 Adults and £6 Concessions. Performances are on January 29 & 30, also February 5 & 6. Evening performances are at 7.30, and there will be matinées on the Saturdays at 2.30, and take place in the Silchester Village Hall. The Silchester Players are particularly proud as this pantomime will in fact be their 40th! Founded in 1976, they have been delighting audiences with 120 different productions since then, and made many thousands of pounds worth of donations to various worthwhile causes.



Quality tuition at affordable prices Fun and exciting dance classes from 2 - yrs to adults Musical Theatre Course from 5 yrs

Excellent all-round education for boys and girls aged 11-18

Ballet, Tap, Modern, Street, Gymnastic Dance Singing, Drama, Street Dance

Free trial lessons available To find out more, please contact Louise on 01189 868000 info@allstardance.co.uk www.allstardance.co.uk


www.luckleyhouseschool.org School Bus available covering RG7 Classes in: Burghfield | Theale | Mortimer | Silchester | Thatcham | Tadley | Lower Earley

Luckley Road, Wokingham T: 0118 978 4175 E: Registrar@luckleyhouseschool.org

Mortimer St. John’s CE Infant School “Growing and Learning together" Would you like your child to attend a warm, welcoming school where nurturing and learning are key to educating your child?

A school set in the heart of the village A well-resourced, bright learning environment Creative, fun curriculum An education based on Christian principles Specialist sports and music coaching Warm, caring staff We foster a love of learning Visit us anytime. Please contact the Headteacher: Nicola Sumner 0118 933 2242 Our Learning Community is built on love, hope, trust and friendship which develops the spark of God in everyone.


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19/11/2015 14:47


Prepare for your future




TES Independent School of the Year 2015 Independent day school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18

‘Ofsted found the quality of teaching in the Sixth Form to be good: as a result, the majority of students exceeded their target grades in 2015. Furthermore, in excess of 97% of these students now attend their first choice university.’




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Church Street, Theale, Reading, RG7 5DA T: 0118 930 2741 E: inmail@thealegreen.w-berks.sch.uk www.thealegreen.w-berks.sch.uk


03/12/2015 13:38


To contribute, advertise or let us know your news please call 0118 933 3311 or email info@villageeye.co.uk




Families & Leisure Families


Independent school of the year! St Joseph’s College in Reading has won the ‘Independent School of the Year’ award at the prestigious 2015 TES Independent School Awards. The awards ceremony was a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by Michael Portillo, where over 400 attendees celebrated all that is outstanding in independent schools across the UK. As well as ‘Independent School of the Year’, St Joseph’s College also won the key category of ‘Financial/ Commercial Initiative of the Year’.

seen previously in the sector. However, as a team we had huge conviction that it was the right thing to do, and this has been proven in the significant and consistent rise in pupil numbers across the school, from Early Years pupils aged three right up to our Sixth Formers aged 18.” “Our fees are still modest compared to other schools in our area, and I am delighted that St Joseph’s is able to open its doors to many who would not otherwise consider independent education to be an option.”

St Joseph’s implemented a courageous strategic and financial plan that appeared counter-intuitive in reducing fees and increasing investment. Yet the decision was a successful one that not only paid dividends for the school but set an example to the rest of the sector. Pupil numbers have risen and the school is now a role model for other schools. Indeed, it will make many other schools reconsider their approach to increasing fees. Andrew Colpus, Headmaster of St Joseph’s, is thrilled that the school’s bold strategy and its subsequent success have been recognised. “It was a real leap of faith for our Governors to reduce the fees, and to pair this with significant investment was something that had not been

And looking for a new social activity for 2016....? Why not join the Thames Valley Flower Club? With a sociable morning watching a professional flower demonstrator, they have various events during the year, including a trip to the theatre, garden visits,and more. It's a good opportunity to make friends, and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with them too!

The group meet on the last Monday of each month from 10.30am to 1pm at The Calcot Centre, Highview, Calcot, Reading. For further details please contact Brenda on 0118 9431079

Phil Neal [SIMS MD], Andrew Colpus [Head of St.Joseph’s] & Michael Portillo

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The great outdoors at Jubilee In recent years there has been a cultural shift in society that has led to a reduction in access to the outdoors for many young children. Jubilee’s nurseries are fortunate to have access to 53 acres of open countryside, private woodland and even our very own working farm for the children to enjoy. Our ethos at Jubilee is ‘learning by doing’ – both inside and out, every day. We believe it is essential that children explore, learn and play - safely and freely. Our outdoor environments have been specifically designed, resourced and developed to offer children a rich variety of experiences to discover and explore every day - from the carefully designed gardens, dedicated play equipment and giant sand-pit to our stunning woodland and paddocks. Even the youngest of children enjoy regular walks to see the animals and delight in the new arrivals in springtime. It is a fantastic learning resource and there’s always an abundance of adventures for the children from collecting natural objects which they use to create pictures, making dens, squelching in the mud, splashing through the stream, clambering over logs, bug hunts or visiting the Gruffalo and all our other beautiful wood sculptures. To enhance our outdoor experiences, older children also participate in Forest School with our qualified Forest School staff. Forest School embraces the outdoors as an inspirational learning environment focused on the child’s learning needs. As children explore and experience the natural world on a regular and sustained basis, it’s a unique way of building confidence and self-esteem, learning new life skills and promoting independence through hands-on learning experiences. The children try out a variety of activities which include making dens, whittling sticks, toasting marshmallows, learning to use tools, drilling wood to make jewellery and learning to build camp fires safely.

To come and visit us or to receive a prospectus, please get in touch. We offer care for babies from 3 months to children up to 5 years of age. We also offer a range of packages including full-time, term-time and flexible sessions.


For our term-time nursery contact:

For our full-time nursery contact:

Sian on 0118 983 4018 Email: info@jubileegems.co.uk Visit: www.jubileegems.co.uk

Lesley on 0118 970 1600 Email: info@jubileedaynursery.co.uk Visit: www.jubileedaynursery.co.uk

eye little ones

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s monstrous success comes The Gruffalo’s Child - with attitude! But just how brave is she? If you have little ones and are stuck for ideas this coming half term, then the Haymarket Theatre in Basingstoke have a special treat in store.... From Friday 26th - Sunday 28th February, they have the Tall Stories Theatre Company returning bringing Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning sequel to life in a magical, musical adaptation of the bestselling story!

The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood... One wild and windy night, the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow.

After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist... Does he? Just how brave is she? Find out for yourselves by joining her. Suitable for: ages 3 and over, this show has a running time of 55 minutes.

En route, she meets the same fox, owl and snake that her father met some years before. Each points her in a different direction, so by the time the little Gruffalo gets to the heart of the wood, she is beginning to have serious doubts about the scary mouse that her dad has told her about.

Tickets are just £13 and £1 Infant in arms tickets are available to those under 2 years. To book call: 01256 844244 or online at anvilarts. org.uk

All illustrations copyright © Axel Scheffler 2004, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.



on Sport & Leisure

Body & Cardio

Combat In just the same way as every other industry, fashions come and go in fitness too. But one ‘fashion’ that really seems to have stood the test of time is the Les Mills BODYCOMBAT™ class. The Willink Leisure Centre at Burghfield Common have invested in BodyCombat classes and found that they have been really popular, giving members the fitness results they have been looking for and once discovered, members are hungry for more! BODYCOMBAT™ is a high-energy martial arts-inspired workout that is totally non-contact. It is advertised as the ‘Fastest way to get your Body Tight’ as well as making you feel like a champ! So why not try punching and kicking your way to fitness? No experience is needed, so don’t worry if you’re just getting started. You just need to bring a fighting attitude and leave inhibitions at the door.

He was nominated earlier this year for Les Mills’ Award to find ‘The One’ - the best Les Mills instructor in the world! Why not check him out yourself? You can find him teaching BodyCombat at The Willink Leisure Centre on Mondays from 8.10pm - 9.10pm. These classes are included in club membership or can be paid for on a Pay As You Go basis. And if you want a double-whammy, try out his new class ‘Cardio Combat’ at Mortimer St Mary’s Junior School on a Wednesday from 8pm to 9pm. The class is a cardio martial arts-based class, finishing with abs, legs and conditioning. A whole body workout that targets every muscle group. All levels of fitness are catered for and everyone is welcome regardless of age, sex, shape, size or weight! So if you want to raise your fitness levels and try something new this month, get in touch with Ricardo to find out more or book your place.

A new instructor burst onto the scene at The Willink last year causing quite a stir. Ricardo Stuart had previously been teaching BodyCombat at ‘The Club’ at Mapledurham, David Lloyd Reading and Caversham Health & Fitness - among others - and had built up an enviable following. Now a local boy, he has started to relocate his classes to ‘our patch’.

Learn to Ride • • • • •

Beginner lessons to advanced level, including BHS exams Jumping, cross country and hacking Clinics, shows and competitions throughout the year Livery spaces From now until the end of February, we are offering a course of Beginners children’s lessons (age 3 to 9yrs) at half price! … £124.50! This course, which contact enquiries@burleylodge.co.uk includes one-one tuition is usually £249 is now priced at £124.50

Owner: Manager: Office hours:

Ricardo S tuar t

Fitness Fusion

To find a class near you: 07939 141386


/ricardo fitness fusion

Our Courses make excellent Christmas gifts! Learn to Ride in 2016!

Bridget Hart Jenny MacArthur Tues-Sun, 9am-5pm

Burley Lodge is a very Friendly riding school located in beautiful surroundings. With highly-qualified instructors, Burley Lodge offers lessons to all ages with horses to suit all abilities!

0118 988 6936 www.burleylodge.co.uk

Burley Lodge Equestrian Centre | Hyde End Road, Shinfield |Berkshire | RG2 9EP


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Is it MOT time again?

Spratley’s, the family garage will keep you MOToring with our hassle free local collection & delivery service or courtesy car provision... Or, if you’d prefer, a lovely cup of tea while you wait.

MOT £30 MOT £30.00 when booked online and carried out with a service* Visit www.spratleys.co.uk for details.

Your local MOT Testing Station Professionally trained, experienced service technicians and MOT testers Same day, on site MOTs* Free courtesy cars* Free local collection and delivery* While you wait appointments

0118 933 2338 www.spratleys.co.uk

60/62 Victoria Road | Mortimer | Reading | RG7 3SG * Terms and conditions apply. Please visit www.spratleys.co.uk for full terms and conditions.


Happy Moves with Parkers


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Burghfield Common 0118 983 3897 Tadley 0118 981 0494 arker Theale 0118 930 3133 15 1 5 www.parkersproperties.co.uk


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Dale Kempson

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