Page 1

Circulation 11,000


Issue 46 March 2016


Lifestyle magazine

for the RG7 area and beyond

eye TM




this spring with Spratley’s

12 LIGHTER NIGHTS & new things to do with them! 33 KYLE STEWART’S

page 10


Our cover sponsor this month

KEEPING IT LOCAL News | Business | Sport | Health | Homes | Entertainment1

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e magazinnd Lifestyle beyo


rch Issue 46 Ma


an it really be March already? It only seems a moment ago that we were putting the Christmas tree away and already we are enjoying lighter nights. It really does feel like there is more time to do things once the clocks spring forward and to celebrate that we’ve put together an article to give you some ideas on how to spend those extra evening hours of daylight. Turn to page 33 and take a look.

for the RG7

area and




Spring into Skin


If yourmembers car needs a little TLC after cold winter, or you feel like can now join FREE at the Willink every Friday trading it in for a newer model, then perhaps our cover sponsors

eye TM



RING MOTO spring this

can help? Spratley’s of Mortimer have been trading for over 100 years and have built their reputation on trust and good, honest service. Offering servicing, MOTs and pre-loved car sales, turn to page 11-12 and have a read about why Spratley’s could be the best choice for you and your motor.

tley’s with Spra

March is packed full of ‘days’ – St David’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and of course Easter falls into March this 12 year. This time of year can be great for new starts and new #52DISHES beginnings, particularly if your New Year’s Resolutions have NIGHTS 33 LIGHTER ! them with & new things to do fallen by the wayside. If you’re thinking about starting a new business this year, turn to page 17 and find all about a pop-up business school which will be launching in Reading to support people like you. Alternatively you could be thinking about learning something new this year, in which case, check out your Adult Education options. Our article on page 37 tells you all about the benefits of going back to school. page 10


Our cover

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| Homes | Ent

Perhaps you are still persevering with your resolutions? One local guy really impressed us when we heard about how he carried his New Year’s Resolution right through the year, blogging as he went. Turn to page 12-13 and see how #52dishes came about! Are kids on Iphones driving you mad? Can they not bear to put them down at night? Well, we may just have the answer for you. Get the power back by finding out all about the App ‘OurPact’. A simple, parent controlled App allows you to turn off certain applications on their phone at times that you preset or (our favourite) ‘until I say so’. Turn to page 10 to find out more. So while it’s still cold enough to snuggle up, get cosy and have a good read through of Village Eye magazine. As always, we’d like to extend a very big thank you to our readers, our advertisers and also our contributors. You are what brings this magazine to life and makes it what it is! Until next time, have a fabulous March.

March EYE

Parkway Easter Fun @ page 29

Hellen & the Team xx

Community News - 2 Jack Drives XC90 - 4 Eye on Finance - 15 Pop Up Busines School - 17 Hello Spring - 20

613 Contour CHIC 29 Being Pawful Old Dog New Tricks

37 39

Local Property Listings - 22 Trades & Services - 24-28 The Revenant - 31 Lighter Nights - 33 Sporting Heroes - 40

Easter Cooking


eye verts

eye web

eye deliver

Reading J 12


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Editor: Hellen Shaw A huge thank to all ourbetter contributors this month: Sub Editor: Jackie Stuart Things areyou always shared with friends... Ger Moran, Michele Cane, Amy Moran, Lisa Sykes, Sam Beauty Editor: Megan Curtis

Bahr, Alex Stephanie Smith, Paul If Hindmarsh, you are aLarissa member, you Herbert, can bring a friend for a swim or Motoring: workout Jack Worboys Spratley, Kyle Stewart, Henry Nicholson, David Gregory, Dale Finance: Mark Penston for free*. Jemma No need to book, just turnPetra up and enjoy their company. Kempson, Kennedy, Annabel Karmel, Morvey, Rosalie Ponsford, Rob Barnes, Ellie & Jenna legg

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A4 to Newbury

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Do You Have an Achoired Taste? There’s no doubt about it, singing is good for you! But so many of us are told we can’t sing by siblings or parents that we get too shy to try out our vibrato in public and confine our joy of singing to the shower. But what if there was a chance to sing in a group, for fun, with no need to be able to read music and with no audition? There is! Achoired Taste are a fun choir who rehearse at Burghfield St Mary’s School on a Monday from 7-8.30pm during term time. Singing in a group brings with it so many benefits. As well as making new friends from all walks of life, it’s a great way to relax and get away from life’s strains and stresses. Singing is great for health too. Singing is brain food and a cardio-vascular workout. But above all, singing in a group is simply one of the best feelings you’ll have. To find out more, email JEyre@burghfield.wberks.sch.uk


Get Connected!’ If you live in Sulhamstead or Ufton Nervet and are fed up with ‘rural’ broadband speeds - sometimes as low as 1Mb/s - help is now at hand.

parish in a couple of years, but there are no committed dates and it is likely that only the higher population areas will be provided with service.

A not-for-profit organisation, West Berkshire Community Broadband, can now offer you speeds up to 100 times higher. It is run by a team of volunteers which means all the money goes into providing a great service.

West Berkshire Community Broadband are offering three levels of service to the community. Which is right for you depends on how you use your internet connection. All services are run at full speed and connection is shared between all users on the network.

The idea was born out of a desperate need for better connectivity across the communities of Sulhamstead and Ufton Nervet including the School, Greens, Hamlets and isolated homes within the parish. There is, reportedly, another high speed fibre solution coming to the main areas of the

Re ad y S te ad y EG G ! The fundraising Mortimer Easter Egg Hunt will once again take place on the Fairground on 26th March 2016 between 10:00 and

The organisation is now ready to take orders for the Founders Package. For more information visit www. westberkscommunitybroadband.org

16:00. Maps for the Easter trail are on sale now in Budgens, Mortimer Post Office and Dad’s shop. There will also be a golden egg hunt in the park which offers you the chance to win a boxed egg. The Easter chick will be making a guest appearance too, refreshments will be served in the community centre and parking will be made available on the fairground, so come along and bring your family and friends! All profits go to help improve learning equipment at Mortimer Preschool (registered charity).

eye On Commity


Local residents in Theale and surrounding areas were delighted to hear recently that the plans for a 42-metre tall IKEA navigational tower had been withdrawn.


he free-standing triangular tower was to feature the firm’s distinctive blue and yellow logo and made up of three illuminated panels measuring four metres high and 16 metres wide. The Swedish firm had said it was intended to guide drivers to the store which is currently being built close to Junction 12 of the M4. However, angry protests from Sulham, Tilehurst, Theale and Holybrook parish councils and dozens of people living nearby, coupled with concern from West Berks Council and the Highways Agency has resulted in an about-turn by IKEA. A letter to West Berkshire Council stated: “It is the solution to a non-existent problem and uses the facade of being a navigational aid to conceal the primary purpose of advertising. Local customers will be well aware of the location of the store. Those travelling

on the motorway from a distance need know only that the store is at J12 M4 - once there, the store can hardly be missed.” The tower was described as a “totem pole” by West Berks principal conservation officer Dennis Greenway who said a simpler, less invasive aid to drivers would be brown signs on the motorway, similar to the Beale Park signs. Holybrook Parish Council objected to the tower, stating it was merely advertising and would set a precedent, leading to “an unacceptable, unsightly proliferation” of similar signs. Whatever your opinions on the proposed signage, it would be fair to remember that the IKEA store will bring over 300 new jobs to the area. Not only that, but IKEA has its own ‘living wage’ which is higher than the government’s at £8.25 per hour?


We think this is great as it means more money for the local economy... Even better news is that the store are already seeking to fill these positions and has already started recruiting. Jobs available range from Warehouse, Catering, Showroom, Customer Relations, Interior Design, Facilities, Logistics and Finance. This list goes on. According to Forbes, IKEA is in the top 5 global retail places to work... So, If you fancy working for one of the worlds happiest companies, then Google “IKEA Recruitment Reading” and applyonline now.

Happy people work at IKEA

Many of you will remember the shocking fire which ripped through our beloved local wedding and conference centre, Wokefield Park, back in November. As we reported at the time, although it was an enormous fire which shocked the local community, all of the staff and guests - over 200 - were evacuated safely, bussed out to local hotels, and nobody was hurt. Thankfully, the original 18th century mansion house on the site, a favourite venue for weddings and parties, was not affected by the fire. Since then, the team has been working hard to rebuild the Executive Centre and all that went with it. We were delighted to hear from the Senior team at Wokefield Park with an update. Wokefield Park are planning to re-open the swimming pool, sauna and gym in the Executive Centre on 1st March. It has a fabulous new fresh look with refurbished changing rooms in the swimming area. The team would like to thank past and current members for their patience whilst these areas were closed. And, of course, they would be pleased to welcome anyone thinking of becoming a member in the future. So if you like to work out, swim, relax - or all three - in glorious surroundings, why not give them a call to find out more on 0871 222 4828. Welcome back Wokefield!

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




September Solos 2016 at The BodyHoliday, Saint Lucia

New Single Rooms

Caribtours Exclusive: September Solos at the BodyHoliday September at The BodyHoliday is perfect for solo travellers looking to escape, unwind, be pampered, meet new people or just to spend quality time with existing friends. Your trip will include daily spa treatments, extensive fitness facilities, cocktail parties, a sunset cruise and of course, the glorious beach and watersports at this outstanding luxury Caribbean resort.

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner daily

Unlimited premium brand drinks, selected wines and Champagne by the glass

Personalised schedule of daily spa treatments

For 2016, the Standard Garden View Rooms have been completely refurbished and in September, are only available to book through Caribtours.

All watersports and land sports including tuition

All holistic and exercise classes

September Solos 2016 runs from 28 August until 24 September 2016. 7 nights from £1,975 per person staying in a newly refurbished Garden View Room on an all-inclusive basis. Availability is exclusive to Caribtours and the price includes return scheduled flights, private transfers and use of a lounge at Gatwick.

Hosted cocktail party at Cariblue Pool

Weekly hosted dinner in Cariblue

Weekly hosted dinner in TAO

Master classes

Fun sports

For more information, or to make a booking, please call Triangle Travel on 0844 854 6674.

Group fitness classes

Group Pilates classes

Weekly sunset cruise

ABTA No.V6665


What’s included:

LASER TREATMENTS USING THE CYNOSURE ELITE+ LASER We have invested in one of the best available lasers, the Cynosure Elite+, to offer our clients the fastest and most effective laser hair removal. Offering dual wave technology (Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers), the Elite+ allows our laser specialist therapists to perform aesthetic laser treatments with unsurpassed efficacy, faster treatment times, client comfort and exceptional results at competitive prices.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL For people who are tired of shaving, tweezing, and waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal has become the preferred option for smooth, hair free skin. The Elite+ offers a large spot size for faster treatment time and while a course of treatments is required for long lasting results, many clients report a very noticeable reduction in hair growth within their first few sessions. Laser skin tightening can be used to tighten facial and body contours. Laser skin tightening will not achieve the results of a surgical facelift, but most people notice a slight improvement in their appearance immediately after the treatment with the full effects being seen around 2 months after the initial procedure.


I-LipoXCELL Non Surgical Body Contouring Targeted reduction of stubborn areas of stored fat can be very difficult with diet and exercise alone. It is now possible, with the I-LipoXCell Laser, the first FDA approved system to achieve circumference reduction. Each treatment achieves instant inch loss, perfect as a one off treatment for special occasions, but for sustained inch loss, a commitment to a course of 10 treatments, with the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, healthy eating and good hydration following each treatment to maximise the metabolism of the mobilised fat cells is recommended. A comfortable treatment to help shift those stubborn lumps and bumps, and motivate you to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

LASER SKIN TIGHTENING Laser skin tightening can be used to tighten facial and body contours. Laser skin tightening will not achieve the results of a surgical facelift, but most people notice a slight improvement in their appearance immediately after the treatment with the full effects being seen around 2 months after the initial procedure. COSMECEUTICAL FACIALS & BODY TREATMENTS Caci, Elemis Biotech, Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion & Comcit (Micro-needle) facials and body treatments offer technological treatments combined with prescriptive skincare actives including Elemis, Skinceuticals and ZO Skin Health, to address your specific skin concerns including wrinkle reduction, firmness, radiance, blemish control and sensitivity, helping you to achieve healthy, glowing skin.


As we look forward to spring, Perhaps you have identified an area of concern in your beauty regime, (wrinkles, unwanted hair, pigmentation, blemishes, saggy skin, stubborn lumps and bumps) that would benefit from a targeted approach with longer lasting results? Our Medispa treatments at Blissimi provide some of the best technologies currently available, to offer affordable long term skin solutions for our clients, (male and female), and now is the time to start if you fancy smoother, younger looking skin, hair free legs, a permanently smoother back or bikini line in time for summer sunshine!


To book an appointment call


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



Berkshire Music & Arts Festival 2016 Say

Megan’s Moments On Beauty

I received s over the moon when tement. wa I t tha y sa To T! ER s is an understa PRODUCT RAVE AL ty Contour Kit for Christma Anastasia Beverly Hills’ ur kits, this one is coveted by YouTube beau Is . nto on co cti to s lle co me up co it ke en ma Wh p I knew it had to join my gurus everywhere and tually need it? Of course not, but it didn’t sto ac I did d an ry ssa ). it nece aming of it (sad, I know me from lusting and dre

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

To Cheekbones

The packaging is beautiful, it is sleek, matte black and comes in a range of shades depending on your skin tone (mine is light to medium). I know that the price tag is hefty but if you are serious about contouring then this palette blows all of the others out of the water. I’ve ditched my beloved Soap and Glory Solar Powder for this one. It is that good. The top three shades (Vanilla, Banana and Sand) can be used as powders/highlighters. I personally use Banana to set my make up under my eyes. It can also be used to counteract any redness and really wakes up my face. Vanilla is peachier in tone; I use this just under my brow bone to give my brows a bit more definition. Sand is a gorgeous highlight, which popped just on my cheekbones gives the perfect amount of daytime glow without looking like a disco ball.

On the contouring side of things the bottom three shades Java, Fawn and Havana are perfect. Being ghost like means currently I can only really use Fawn for contouring but I know Havana will be fab when I have more of a bronzed face in the summer. I love Fawn because it has the perfect ratio of brown to ash hues, meaning I avoid both looking like I’ve spread mud across my face and looking like I’m very ill. The great thing about this palette is that the three contour shades can be mixed up throughout the year, using the warmer shades in the summer and the more neutral, cooler shades in the winter. Also, what’s great (and maybe surprising) is that these shades look so natural. Of course if you just slap them on your face you will look like an extra from The Only Way is Essex but if you blend them correctly it looks beautiful.

I have found that the best way to use this palette is alongside the Real Techniques Contour Brush in 301. This brush is the brush of dreams, I nearly shed a tear when looking at this gorgeous weighted, rose gold (my fave!), sleek brush and knew it was the perfect partner to go with this contour kit. To contour with this I hold the brush to my face with the end pointing to the top of my ear and whilst pressing it on my face, I roll the brush down until I can feel the hollows of my cheeks – this is where you need to place the powder. Now the thing to avoid is to place the powder all the way from your ear to just before your lips, this is where so many people go wrong and it ends up looking fake. To avoid this I place my pinky finger on the corner of my mouth (the fingernail end) going up towards my cheek, I don’t place any powder from where my knuckle on my finger is to the corner of my lips. I use the contour brush to mark out my line of powder, when I first apply the powder to my face it does look stark and scary but I then blend it out with a different fluffy brush and voila! I am by no means a contouring expert so if you are a contouring novice then definitely check out the YouTuber Jaclyn Hill, she is the pro and her tutorials are amazing and so easy to follow.

So unless you’re Kim Kardashian then this palette probably isn’t a necessity for you. But if you have always been curious about contouring and want to take the plunge and give it a go then it is definitely worth it. Plus, it is a great all rounder and can be used all year long so I say if you can, then go for it!

Th Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Contour Kit retails at £39 from Cult Beauty online and comes in a range of shades and a cream or powder formula.


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



Get the look. Bridal, Prom, Special Occasion & ‘Just Because’ Hair, Beauty, Make-up & Nail Specialists... Either in-house or at a venue of your your choice*


WORTHINGTONS www.worthingtonsthesalon.co.uk 0118 983 2964 THE SALON * Conditions apply

Shorelands | Reading Road | Burghfield Common | RG7 3BL

With special thanks to: Larissa Bahr Photography www.larissabahr.com


Parkway Springs Into Summer

ng in its as a spri ellent h ly in a rt c ce ex series of Newbury ill hopping r announcing a g months that wgant S y a w rk e in ft le Pa a e m o r, e c a th h e rt y step this roughout the fo me. Aside fromg in the shop events th tch the eye for soctions emergin int Velvet, olle ca w, M certainly Spring fashion c spring in Jigsa tre has forecast e t n e th c t ra u e n …. & vib througho g y more th windows k Wills and man vents – includin ye ac e J k f s, o le r u e o J a numb

Tumbling Stuart Minions Soft Toy £39.99 The Entertainer

Easter Event Tasting at Paul

EasterrkFwuayn: at Pa

Fri March 25th - Sat 2nd

Tuesday 22nd March:

PAUL will be holding an exclusive event tasting & sampling of their stunning new Easter menu: Salads, Soups, Baguettes, Croque Monsieurs, Easter bread and more - If you’d like to pop along and register at www.shopatparkway.com


inting and workshop with Face-pa Easter Egg hunt & toy e and enjoy some of the best toys nc ner and so much more! Experie Parkway & The Entertai nsformers h wit et tre h-s hig the on Tra , urs osa Din , ZEN FRO many top brands from on Saturday 2nd - be warned... d, and many more… An Y TO CAUSE HAVOC AT PARKWAY! THE MINIONS ARE READ


celebs get

Ever wondered how celebrities seem to have short hair one day and bouncing, luscious locks the next? Chances are, they are having hair extensions fitted (yes, ladies even the ones who tell us they are ‘worth it’ in the shampoo ads). And, it’s not just the celebrities who are doing it either explains Stephanie Smith who runs her full service hair salon in Tilehurst specialises in all things extesion related! Since opening her salon two years ago, the former Willink pupil tells us that demand for longer , fuller locks has soared. “People are choosing to extend their hair for various reasons. For some it maybe because they have short hair and want to add length and for others it could be that they have very thin hair and they want to give it volume - as quite often hair can thin after childbirth or with age, and by adding hair extensions, they can return to a more youthful head of hair!” Like most products and technologies, over the years, hair extensions have come a long way too. Firstly, the hair quality itself has improved -

with most recipients opting for high grade real European and Russian (as opposed to the synthetic stuff - which frankly, can look a bit wiglike), but so too have the methods in which the extensions are put in. Google the words hair extensions and you’ll be bombarded with an Nations sweetheart, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini assortment of varying methods, has used hair extensions in the past to great effect. types and solutions for instant length. Having been an expert in all kinds of extension techniques for a number of years, using a wide range of hair ranges which include A+++ Remy Virgin graded hair (you’ll need to google this!), Steph has refined her application method to three kinds - Micro ring, Micro loop and Nano rings... Rings refer to the part of the bond which are attached to your own hair. Whilst micro rings are about size of a grain of rice, Nano’s are about this small [ ] yes, this is their actual size! With Nano Rings being around 90% smaller than most other methods available, their size allows for an undetectable, natural and comfortable finish. Each strand (a bunch of hair containing around 200 individual strands) of hair comes complete with its own specially designed attachment which is totally unique to this system. Nano ring hair extensions are suitable for both fine, medium and thick hair, and due to the ultra small size of the attachments it is possible to work higher up on the head to disguise top layers without them being seen. They are almost totally undetectable making them the perfect choice for fine hair too. Even if the bonds are exposed the tiny rings remain invisible, meaning your hair extension secret remains just that!

With a full head of extensions starting from just £250, if you would like to find out more about lengthening or thickening your hair this spring, you can call Stephanie on 07500 222603 or find her on facebook fb/stephaniesmithhair (with lots of before and after pics)



et me ask you a question. Do you know how many hours your child or teenager spends on their smartphone? Do you know what apps they are using? If you don’t know the answer to either of these questions, you should. On an average week, an average child spends up to 50 hours a week outside of school using technology online and staring at screens. Did you read that — 50 hours. When I saw that statistic, I was blown away. However, when I think about my own children’s usage, I can see how that adds up.

When I was growing up, I remember getting internet for the first time, dialing up with my modem and waiting an eternity as various screeches and noises signalled a connection... Then having to log off because someone else in the house needed to make a phone call. Our online time during those early online encounters was brief and functional. How things change. These days, most children use mobiles and the majority of these are smartphones with instant access to the world. Technology is now a valuable, essential tool for today’s children, offering endless opportunities for growth and exploration. While there is no spoof to this truth, parents can often forget the dangers of ungoverned online activity, as well as the habitual tendencies that it can foster. In the last couple of years especially, awareness of this issue has gained traction amongst child-development professionals, academics, and especially parents.



Unfortunately, the tools and resources needed to bridge the gap between parenting and technology have lagged quite far behind. Until now that is. So it is with thanks to a certain celebrity chef we know and love here at VE and a recent facebook viral (non -paid) glowing endorsement he made last month - that I’m joining in with his parental revolution to bring to you - OurPact, a FREE smartphone app that allows you to sync your child’s phone to yours and set app usage and online limitations easily and quickly. Yes, not only can he whip up a Fettuccine Alfredo or a Peruvian Ceviche in an instant, but fellow parent of teens - Jamie Oliver, I’d like to officially appoint you as one of our ‘most trusted’ app testers yet. It turns out, that everything he said was true. In the short video he posted, Jamie claimed that “as a parent of teens, this app had almost certainly changed his (and his family’s) lives. It was this BOLD statement which had me clicking on the appstore quicker than you can say ‘pucker tucker’. You see, as a parent of teens myself, I know only too well about the constant dings, bongs, shutter ‘ka-chicks’ and chimes of an iphone whose owner sees it as a daily mission to fill their snapchat story with endless duck/pout/ grimace/sticky-outy tongue selfies in an attempt to boost their ‘score’. I know about the modern day teen dining ritual of ensuring that images of every meal, snack and beverage are captured and shared with their friends before consumption, and, well - don’t even get me started on Instagram! After conducting hundreds of hours of research with child professionals and then teaming up with parents and industry experts, somewhere in sunny California, the OurPact team have carefully constructed a seemingly perfect application which keeps the functionality of family life in mind. This simple app gives parents the power to schedule internet and app use according to your child’s daily routine. What I like is the ability to set up schedules, and input when your child is at school, piano/dance/football, dinner, homework, bathtime, bedtime, etc. You can set the number of hours your children spend on the internet and within apps too. But one of my favourite features (and perhaps one that makes me slightly

by Eye Geek


A HANDY LITTLE APP TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN CHILDREN, THEIR PARENTS & TECHNOLOGY. KIDS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO HIDE THIS ARTICLE FROM YOUR PARENTS! unpopular with my brood), is the ability to block internet and apps (Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) at-atouch from my own phone. A perfect solution if you catch your teen using them when they should be asleep on a school night (but you don’t want to remove their morning alarm clock at the same time)! So, the big question is - has this simple app changed my life and that of my own family too? Actually, yes. I think it has, and I would be happy to recommend this any parent of mobile addicted teens. Revolt and download. A word of caution though... When you are pairing OurPact with your phone, you’ll be asked if you want to download a secondary app called prestige. THIS IS ESSENTIAL in my book. That’s if you want

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

to keep the kids on side. You see, unfortunately, due to an iOS restriction, after your child’s device returns to an unblocked state after a period of restricted access, without the use of Prestige, their carefully organised and arranged applications will be removed from their pre-arranged folders and displayed back on homescreens in alphabetical order. I found this out the hard way, and for a short time, I was possibly the worst parent on the planet. Oh, and the last thing. Sadly, currently the app is only available for iphones, but we understand that the company behind it will be releasing an android version very soon. Further details about the app (and to set up a notification alert for android users) visit www.ourpact.com




keeping you

Motoring This spring with Spratley's

From a lowly cycle shed, to one of the areas’ most trusted and much loved garages (it only took about 100 years to get there!) With pre-loved vehicle sales, onsite MOTs, and servicing of most makes on offer at their Victoria Road garage, when it comes to motoring, Spratley’s is a onestop shop. But it wasn’t always a garage you know. It’s funny, how things/people/businesses evolve over the years, and this fifth generation family company are no exception. At Spratley’s they are proud of their heritage; the Mortimer-based family company has been in operation since the early 1900’s. Over the past hundred years or so, the business has evolved from dealing in bicycle parts and repairs as a small repair shop in King Street, to running a local bus service which provided a much needed transport link between our villages to locals in the community they serve. Who knew? Nowadays without a bus company or a bicycle in sight [unless you count the antique one hanging on their showroom wall], this evolution has led the folks at Spratley’s to specialise in repairing and retailing cars (something they’ve been rather good at for the past 50 years or so). Once famed for their affiliation with the Vauxhall brand, Spratley’s have also been caring

for most other makes of cars too, including servicing, repairs, MOTS, tyres and air conditioning. Now, 100 years is a long time to be in business - and whilst their history demonstrates their ability to readjust to meet the market conditions of the day, their longevity can largely be attributed to the most important ingredient in their traditional family recipe for business success - a generous measure of good old-fashioned caring and courteous customer service, delivered by the family and their professionally trained, loyal staff. You see, when we sat down with Paul Spratley to put this page together, we learned that as far as their pre-loved sales go, they really do have a very loyal following indeed. Going through the archives, Paul told us that in some cases, they have been serving customers who are now on their third generation of car buying. With customers returning time after time, one customer has purchased an astonishing 22 cars from Spratley’s over a 30 year period! So, whether you are in the market for a newer car, considering upgrading your existing wheels or looking for a reliable company to service and MOT your current vehicle, why not experience their renowned customer service for yourself and pay Spratley’s of Mortimer a visit this Spring.

Top left: The original bicycle repair shop on King Street. Bottom right: Blue Star Coaches circa 1950s


Peace of mind at Spratley’s


Preloved vehicles


£ At Spratley’s our aim is to take away the worry and hassle of vehicle maintenance for you. We provide a high quality service/repair experience from most makes of vehicle and our prices are very competitive considering the level of support our customers receive (free text/paper reminders, free courtesy cars, free local collection and deliveries, free Auto VHC vehicle health checks, free service wash and vac, comfortable waiting area with free WiFi and complimentary refreshments and more). We offer value services and manufacturer scheduled services and genuine or high quality branded parts. Spratley’s employ highly skilled and professionally trained technicians who take great pride in their work and we are continually investing in tools and technology to ensure they have the right kit for the job! Spratley’s also has friendly and knowledgeable service receptionists (male and female) who know their stuff too. We provide our regular customers with a proactive vehicle history monitoring service to try to prevent expensive car catastrophes, for example, a cambelt snapping! So, we’ll advise when your cambelt is due for change (according to the manufacturer’s recommendations). But there is never any pressure to have any recommended work carried out and none of our lovely service staff are paid on commission so you can be assured that they will always find the most appropriate and cost effective maintenance/repair solutions for you and your vehicle.

Having your car MOT’d every year can be a bit of a ‘faff’... At Spratley’s , for your convenience, we can do this for you whilst you wait on one of our comfy chairs enjoying a nice cup of tea or coffee whilst catching up on-line using our complimentary WiFi or watching the latest ‘whats on’ TV in our showroom. Or, if you don’t have time to wait, and subject to availability, you might prefer to take advantage of our free courtesy car offer. Just ask us for details. At Spratley’s we only employ highly experienced MOT Testers at our in-house Vehicle Testing Station; indeed, we are proud to be the only on-site certified Vehicle Testing Station in the Mortimer and Burghfield area, offering MOTs while you wait*. An MOT is available for £30 when combined with a service and is booked on line. The MOT must be booked and carried out at the same time as the service. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, please book your vehicle for its next MOT at www.spratleys.co.uk

Firstly and most importantly, there is never ever any pressure to buy at Spratley’s. Never ever! We have no horrible sales targets to hit… and none of our staff are paid on commission. We just want our customers to be happy with the vehicle choices that they make. However, if you are in the market to change your car (or light van), we do stock excellent condition, competitively priced pre-loved vehicles to suit most budgets and we also buy to order (Fords, Minis, VWs, Vauxhalls, Fiats and more.) If you are looking for a particular make or model and want the added reassurance of buying from a local, bona fide, friendly garage with excellent aftersales support, we’d be delighted to help you. We welcome part exchange vehicles and we also purchase cars from you even if you are not buying one from us… so you avoid the hassle and worry of selling your car privately!

MOT time again? YourIs itlocal MOT MOTs Testing Station

MOTs £30*

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.

0118 933 2338

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


60/62 Victoria Road | Mortimer | Reading | RG7 3SG

* Terms and conditions apply. Please visit www.spratleys.co.uk for full terms and conditions.


eye On Commity

#52new Chinese Sticky Pork Belly Serves 2

Ingredients: Stage 1: out and chopped in half (ab 1kg pork belly, sliced r) ex finge the length of your ind ck sto n cke chi 1litre ginger, peeled & finely 1 (thumb size) piece of chopped d and chopped in half 3 cloves garlic, peele 1 tbsp rice wine 1 tbsp caster sugar Stage 2 (glaze): 2 tbsp vegetable oil er Pinch of salt and pepp ced ginger, peeled and min of ce pie e) siz b um 1 (th 1 red chilli 2 tbsp honey 2 tbsp brown sugar 3 tbsp soy sauce Instructions: n and 1’ ingredients into a pa 1. Place all of ‘Stage at he the uce a lid on, red bring to the boil. Place . and simmer for 2 hours ain the pork. 2. Turn off the heat. Dr Thai p the stock to make a kee it for (If you’re up or Chinese soup!) . pstick/bite size chunks 3. Chop the pork to cho at a He wl. bo a in ts ien red Mix all of ‘Stage 2’ ing d fry pan, add the pork an ing fry ge lar a in oil p tbs ze gla of wl bo the lden. Pour until it starts to turn go ks loo it til un ok co to nue over the pork and conti ky. stic d an rk da you e spring onion, and (if Serve with rice and som lli. e fresh chopped chi like an extra kick) som Enjoy!

Love Kyle x



ost of us are guilty of starting each year/ season/month/day (delete as appropriate) with resolutions or a new plan to change our lifestyle. Whether it’s that wasted gym membership, a cupboard full of chocolate cake or the trudge to the same old dull job, the signs of unfulfilled good intentions are all around us. As the old saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared British hobby. But only a tiny fraction of us – an estimated 8% achieve their New Year’s goals. Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? Research has shown that to give our resolutions a chance, we should make SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. For example, rather than saying, “This year I’m going to start Salsa Dancing” you should say, “I am going to Salsa lessons on a Monday and a Thursday for the rest of this year.” Experts say not to overstretch ourselves too – always good to hear – make sure your goals are attainable and relevant to your life. There’s one man who has bucked the trend and done all of these things. Yes, in a quiet corner of Burghfield,

Kyle Stewart challenged himself to cook (and blog) one new recipe a week for the whole of 2015! After following his progress throughout the year, and having been so impressed with his staying power, we knew we had to find out more. We caught up with him recently to find out what is was all about... Some of you may know Kyle as a former manager at The Willink Leisure Centre? That explained a lot in my mind. Being a sporty type, you would expect a high level of self-motivation, wouldn’t you? Now it seems to have transferred from the leisure centre into other areas of his life, as is often the way with these motivated people. I tried to shake off my feelings of inadequacy as we started the interview... Where did the idea for #52newsdishes come from – how did it come about? I wanted a slightly different New Year’s resolution and decided to do something new. Both Lucy and I love cooking, but got in the habit of cooking the same things all the time, so I decided on 52 new dishes, thinking one a week would be achievable! Where did you get your inspiration? Various places. We have a collection of cook books that are often forgotten about, so decided to put them to better use. I also had a ‘Spicery’

dishes DOG RULES OK Could you have seen it through? subscription bought for me for Father’s Day, which sends you recipe ideas and the spices needed to cook them in the post. We also subscribed to a couple of ‘Hello Fresh’ boxes. As well as that, I also looked online a lot, and watched the cooking channels more than I have ever done before! What kept you going? Once I got past ten, I felt I had to keep it going! I posted a picture of each dish on Facebook, and the comments people left helped me continue. People started telling me that they were looking forward to seeing what was coming next. I couldn’t let them down! What was your favourite recipe? Probably the Beef Rendang (Indonesian curry) or ‘Yum Apps’ Sticky Chinese Pork Belly. Lucy loved the Jamie Oliver Hummingbird Cake, and has asked for it again this year for her birthday!

Were there any disasters? Sort of, yes. But only one, which I suppose isn’t bad! I made a ‘Herby lamb with Aubergine and Puy Lentils’. Turns out, neither of us like aubergine!

What’s new for 2016 - or are you giving it a rest? I won’t be doing another #52! But I will certainly continue to look for new dishes and inspirations. We got another Spicery subscription for Christmas, so that will help!

When it comes to food, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. And while we may not all have the motivation of Kyle, we could all do with some fresh input once in a while. There are lots of ways to address this, some of which Kyle used himself. Why not try a subscription to The Spicery (www.thespicery. com). Every month, they send you a recipe kit, along with fresh spices, and you will soon find yourself cooking up recipes from around the world. Equally, there are some great online resources, such as www. bbcgoodfood.com, with many more websites with recipes linked to the TV cooking shows. Get the kids involved too. They tend to be far more adventurous with their likes and dislikes if they have been involved in cooking meals themselves. We all know that a varied and interesting diet has great health benefits, too, so why not dust off that frying pan and get inspired. There’s a couple of great recipes from celebrity chef, Anabel Karmel on page 39. We’d love to see some photos of your efforts too, so send them in to jackie@villageeye. co.uk

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

lly Chinese Sticky PorkKyleBe Style! facebook.com/villageeyemagazine


15 13

Jack worboys

Drives... VOLVO XC90 This month, Jack’s away... So we asked our chums over at locally based TV and web Motoring Channel ‘Only Motors’ to put the launch of their new SKY TV channel on hold to give us their take on the new Volvo XC90. For March, say hello to guest columnist Graham King!

air vents and cubbies back there as well. Both said there would be more than happy to spend a long journey back there.

Volvo makes some big claims about just how much space the new, seven-seat XC90 offers second and particularly third-row passengers, thanks to the clever packaging allowed by the modular platform that underpins the car.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that three more average-size housemates also had plenty of room in the second row on the same journey, with the seats pulled right the way forward. Add in an enormous boot (still generous with the third row up), the XC90 is truly cavernous.

But has it actually worked? Is there enough room for that archetypal six footer in the third row of the XC90? Fortunately, two of my housemates stand a lofty six-foot-three and served as the ideal guinea pigs when they needed a lift into to continue a drinking session. (This was a serious scientific experiment and in no way purely for my own amusement.)

There’s no getting from the XC90’s sheer size behind the wheel, but the communicative chassis and accurate handling ensure it never feels unwieldy. Body control is good too, but this is not a car for attacking B-roads. If you want to have fun driving your SUV, look elsewhere. The ride on our non-air suspended car was generally composed, but one rear seat passenger complained of nausea-inducing floatiness, possibly something to do with how the transverse composite leaf spring rear suspension is located.

Volvo isn’t lying. Access to the third row is a cinch, the second-row seats folding and sliding a long way out of the way. Even half in the bag, my housemates clambered in easily. Once the second row seats had been pulled forward (all three slide individually) there was plenty of kneeroom and more than enough for legs and shoulders. The seats are comfortable, too, and there’s speakers,


The Ultimate Family Car?

Regardless, the XC90 is a consumate cruiser. If not a rapid one. It’s not exactly slow, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine serving up 225bhp and 347lb/ft of torque. But its six-cylindered rivals

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If you’re in the market for a large, seven-seat SUV, I really can’t see why you’d get anything other than an XC90. The utterly rational, distinctly Swedish design outside and in looks fantastic, it’s economical, good enough to drive, supremely comfortable and more spacious than anything this side of a limo. In fact, it might just be the ultimate family car.

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The only real annoyance we had with the XC90 was the infotainment system. The 9in, portrait touchscreen looks fantastic and responds well, but the multi-page layout takes a lot of learning and it was too easy to press the wrong thing. And I could not work how to turn off the radio traffic updates.

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The trade-off is economy. Volvo quotes a class best combined average of 49.6mpg; on long motorway runs in consistently turned in high-30s.


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post quicker 0-62mph times than its 7.8secs and are just more satisfying to use.

Business & Finance

Playing With Figures…

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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.

It’s always with some frustration that I read about proposed tweaks and changes to tax and pension legislation. Although some of the changes are positive (for example increased access to pension funds), many changes seem rather over-complicated. Ultimately (and I guess understandably) the motivation is to raise more taxes in these still troubled times, although it just doesn’t seem fair to the average tax payer to have to grasp such a range of complex changes, understand how these changes affect them and what actions they may need to take. With apologies that space only allows the briefest of headlines:Coming in 2016:Lifetime Allowance cut from £1.25M to £1M The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is the maximum pension fund you are permitted to accumulate in your lifetime without tax penalties. It includes a calculation to ‘value’ a final salary pension, and more and more individuals are unwittingly exceeding this limit which can give rise to a 55% tax charge on the excess. Protection from the reduction in the LTA is available if early action is taken. Reducing Annual Allowance for high earners Higher earners will face a cut in the amount of tax-efficient pension savings that they can enjoy from April 2016. New Dividend Allowance There will be winners and losers when the £5,000 annual dividend allowance is introduced. Good news for some investors who will be able to receive some dividend income with no tax liability, but those business owners who pay themselves by dividends as well as salary may have to re-think their income strategies.

Clear thinking, straight talking

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Personal savings allowance The new Personal Savings Allowance will benefit both basic and higher rate tax payers by allowing individuals to earn tax-free savings interest within certain limits. Additionally, from April 2016 savers will see interest paid gross with no deduction of 20% tax at source by their bank or building society. Coming in 2017:IHT residence nil rate band In April 2017 it is proposed that a new ‘Residence Nil Rate Band’ (RNRB) will be added to an individual’s own nil rate band (currently £325,000). This could potentially save as much as £140,000 in inheritance tax when the family home passes to direct descendants. Although some of these changes are complex in nature, correctly utilised they can make significant differences to an individual’s financial position. It will obviously depend on personal circumstances, and the web can be a great source of information and assistance. So too can a good Financial Planner – but then I would say that!





£ £

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £

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


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eye On ns

FREE Business School is coming to Reading! Here at VE HQ, we love hearing about small business startups (after all, that’s where we hail from) - but if someone gave you the keys to prime retail space inside the Oracle Shopping Centre, what would you do with it, knowing that you’d be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in retail, such as Debenhams, Hollister and HMV? The Popup Business School were asked that question and the answer they came up with will help to launch an estimated 50-60 businesses in Reading and Newbury in just two weeks. Designed to help people find the confidence to try their ideas, the award winning start-up training team has a completely different approach to starting a business. Forget suits and business plans they focus on how to help people start for free and make money following their passion. The PopUp team run events like this across the UK however the location of the Reading event, taking place inside the former Waterstones shop, means that participants can develop their knowledge and confidence in workshops and then immediately test their ideas and sell to the public. Participants will learn ‘Five ways to start a business with no money,’ ‘The quickest way to build a business,’ ‘How to make a great website for free’ and ‘Twelve ways to drive traffic to your website.’ PopUp Business School specifically wants to target a new kind of entrepreneur. Co-founders Alan Donegan and Simon Paine, frustrated at how the traditional approach puts most people off ever starting, decided to challenge the system when they set up five years ago.

Rather than preach the importance of business plans, company structures and loan funding, Donegan and Paine turn this model on its head to achieve far greater results. Using a combination of starting with sales, building confidence and social media tools, the PopUp is having incredible impact in the business of empowering attendees with 50% or more getting going within two weeks.

attendees of the very first PopUp Business School in Weston-Super-Mare are still in touch now and the notion that entrepreneurs have made things happen on their own is as outdated as the business plan. Central to their approach is the principle of helping others to achieve what they want so we can all learn and grow together and the diversity of each event is where this magic really happens.

The rapid release of powerful – and free – online tools can be used by anyone from unemployed, lone parents, people with disability, ex-offenders and other members of the community who find it harder to get a job because of their personal circumstances. The PopUp team especially like helping those people who describe themselves as ‘technophobic’ as within a short time, even with limited IT skills, these are the attendees who find themselves like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole as the realisation of opportunities that exist begins to hit them.

Over the past five years the PopUp Business School team have worked tirelessly to take their bold ideas into a nationwide enterprise that’s helped hundreds of people in low-income circumstances to kick-start their dreams of a better life.

The sense of community is something that Donegan and Paine realise as more important than the workshop content. The

Unit 12, The Lower Mall, The Oracle Shopping Centre To sign up or for more information visit www.popupbusinessschool. co.uk/reading or find them on Facebook. And, if you’re passing the old Waterstones site,why not ‘Pop In!’

If you’re looking to make a change, start a business, or perhaps you have an idea and need some answers to the question ‘Will it work?’ then the PopUp Business School couldn’t have come at a better time. PopUp Business School Reading 2016 is free and starts 29th of February for two weeks, Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm at the former Waterstones Book Shop (near HMV, opposite Debenhams).

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




eye ds On m & Gar

Bringing the Outside, Inside. Anyone who has listened to local commercial radio in the past twenty years will most likely be familiar with a well-known advert ‘jingle’ - you know - the one which goes “Talk to the lads at Lafford & Leavey, Talk to the Lads they make it easy” (apologies if you spend the rest of the day singing this to yourself, it is rather ‘catchy’!) But who are these lads - and where did they come from? A few things happened in 1959... the first section of the M1 was opened, direct dial telephones were introduced into the UK, and a local man called Ray Lafford set about starting a business to supply and fit windows and doors to the homes in this area. Teamed with a partner (one Mr Leavey), Lafford and Leavey was born.

Ray Lafford, founder of Lafford & Leavey


From its humble beginnings in a shed in Bradfield, to their current home in Theale (where they have been for over 30 years), and now under the leadership of Paul Lafford (Ray Lafford’s son) who started as the ‘Tea Boy’ in 1979, the firm

have worked hard to build an excellent reputation amongst their client base for providing a professional service and offering only high quality products at affordable prices. As you’d expect of any company that has been in business as long as they have, the company have been through many changes over the years... but one thing has remained the same - the commitment and dedication of the management and staff to maintain the formidable reputation they have earned as ‘experts’ in all things ‘windows‘ and ‘conservatories’.

With so many national windows, doors and conservatories companies out there, selecting a company who can provide the product you want at an affordable price with a high level of customer care can be a challenge. Fortunately for us all then that the lads at Lafford and Leavey tick all these boxes and are local too.

remembering that a conservatory is more that just another room it’s a room with a view!


They’re proud to be FENSA (Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme) registered too, meaning that the work they carry out complies with all current building regulations.

Property of the Month

One click to view the many customer recommendations and testimonials on their website is all that is needed to confirm this. Picking one at random - we thought this one said it all: “I must congratulate Lafford & Leavey for being efficient and helpful. It's nice to meet the Managing Director of the firm and not be bombarded with hype but just plain English and common sense.”

If you are looking to change your windows, get a new door or want to change your living space, why not give the lads a call and let them make it easy for you! Theale Office

Dark Lane Bradfield

Some of the ‘lads’, some years ago!

Spacious Four Bedroom Bungalow

Located on a peaceful lane in a designated ‘Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ is this rarely available detached 4 bedroom bungalow. The property is positioned on the edge of the aspirational village of Bradfield and enjoys spectacular views of the Pang Valley. Sitting on a plot of around 1/3 of an to offers the lads atofLafford & Leavey, Talk space acre the“Talk property plenty flexible living and entertaining thethought lads they maketoitthe easy” with accommodation beingtowell out. Outside rear there is a mature, well-tended, 90 foot south easterly facing garden. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire a property in this mostOne desirable locations. of theofleading window, door and conservatory installers in Berkshire, offering free quotations and advice from £795,000 a company Burghfieldwith Common office a formidable reputation spanning • Charming detached Cottage 50 years. Choose • Idyllic setting from a wide range within of 1/2 acre products in a style • Gas central heating and finish which will • 2226 sqft &and well presented suit your budget needs, we arelane only • Private anda substantial driveway phone call away.

Over the years, client demands for other home-related products spurred the company to expand into other areas including opening a Builders (GUIDE) Merchant (which has since become part of the national chain ‘Buildbase’) and bespoke Carpentry and Joinery company Lafford and Leavey Joinery. The companies all occupy a sizeable £POA plot on Arrowhead Road in Theale Theale Office where their multiple product lines offer an extensive array of interior • Unique Opportunity and exterior options, from uPVC, • 18 Acres Aluminum to Bi-folds and bespoke • Desirable Village location Hardwood, The lads at Lafford and • Redevelopment potential Leavey really know their stuff.


• Small Holding potential

Whether you want a modern look • No onward chain • Offered with no onward chain or a traditional feel, Lafford and Burghfield Common Theale Windows | Doors |Conservatories | UPVC or Timber Leavey has window and door designs and accessories that allow £650,000, £600,000 you to create the home you want Theale office Burghfield Common office to live in. Perhaps you are looking 4 Double bed, Det family home to enhance and improve the look• of ARROWHEAD ROAD, THEALE, READING,• RG7 4AZ detached 3 bedroom • South facing garden your home with new windows and Tel: Reading (0118) 9303333 Fax: (0118)•9323707 Extended to provide Utility room doors or are looking to extend it with • 23ft Dual aspect lounge Email: lafford.leavey@btconnect.com • Double Garage plus car port a conservatory, they will help you • 35ft garage & additional workshop to discover a whole new outlook • Upvc double glazing


• Desirable village location

• Attractive Garden

• Master ensuite and dressing room


Chapel Row


• Highly sought after village



Theale office

Burghfield Common office

• 3 Bedroom Semi Detached

• Two double bedroomed

• No onward chain

• Town house

No Signal? • Lounge/dining room we’ll fix it

• 100ft rear garden • Peaceful village location

• Gas central heating

TV signal problems? We can • Ample driveway parking help! Recently refurbished Contact Toby on 07737• 784 244 Burghfield Common Chapel Row Common Burghfield Burghfield 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

Spring 2013 version2quarter page landscape no Signal .indd 1

• • •

Home cinema systems IRS Systems Hidden cables

• Double glazing • Garage & parking

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Repairs to existing systems, Domestic and Commercial Work undertaken

We’re here for your every move... 11/03/2013 09:47


hello Sp

What buyers want...

We are often asked “What would make my home sell quickly”? Whilst some things may be quite obvious, our top three tips are: Repair, clean, restore, revamp The devil is in the detail, and the sale of your home could be hampered by simple little things that you've stopped paying attention to. Try to look at your home from the perspective of your buyer, and think about the details that would impress or dismay you if you were in their position.

Established in 1948, today Parkers have a network of over 50 offices across the south. With local offices in Burghfield, Theale, & Tadley, our local team has over 225 years of experience between them!

deal with the rush as investment buyers try to beat the potential increase.

Let there be light Lots of natural light usually tops the list of things people are looking for in a home. Here are some ways to maximise the light in your house natural or otherwise - and give the impression of having plenty of bright, airy space. Replace dim light bulbs with higher wattage. In areas of your house that are particularly dark, install some extra light fixtures. Repaint darker rooms with light-coloured and light-reflecting paint. Prune any trees or vines that are casting shadows inside the house. Depersonalise & Declutter Those gorgeous photographs of your daughter, husband, wife, nephew, best friend, cat and so forth that line the hallway and stairwell? Take them down. All of them. The ones in the bedroom too, and the living room, and everywhere else in the house. Don’t forget the cute finger painting your three year old made you for your birthday last year that’s still stuck on the fridge.Your buyers don’t want to see the lovely life you’ve made for yourself in your beautiful home. They want to imagine the lovely life they could make for themselves in their beautiful potential new home. Don’t allow anything to clutter that vision.

With Christmas just a distant memory and Easter fast approaching, heading in to spring is the time for much speculation and anticipation in the property market. With people selling to beat the rush and be first in line for any new properties that become available, eagerly awaiting

what this year’s budget will bring and mulling over plans for their summer holiday, this really is the time of year that people spring in to action! Although the longest standing employees at Parkers Burghfield and Theale wince when reminded that there is over 225 years’ experience

between just these two offices, it means that not only have they got a few stories from the ‘golden age’ of estate agency but have seen it all and are prepared for everything the market can throw at them, and this year’s talk of changes to the stamp duty is no different when being equipped and prepared to

Parkers Theale the youngest of the two offices has been operating since 2013 but has really established itself as part of the community. With Alan EnglandBranch Manager, Emma GeorgeAssistant Manager, Georgia CrewLettings Manager and William JuddSales Negotiator not only have they assisted local residents buy, sell and rent properties but have supported many local causes such as Theale Primary School, Beenham Primary School and Theale Tigers. Alan who has over 20 years’ experience says

If you are thinking of buying, selling or letting please call Burghfield Common 0118 983 3897, Theale 0118 930 3133 or 20

pring “Having had a successful 2015 we are looking forward to what 2016 has instore for us”. Spring time spring cleaning is the theme at the Parkers Burghfield office, with phase 1 of the long-awaited renovation to take place this spring. Freshening up the look is on the agenda this year with Dale saying “Having been in this office for 15 years it’s certainly time for a change! We know we can provide an excellent level of service but now is the time to bring the office up to the same excellent

standard” he told us. Currently they have a team of 8 members in the office, so dedicating time into a quality service has never been an issue. Like the Theale office, Burghfield are just as keen to give back with two members of staff doing their bit this summer cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity. Good Luck!


On m & Gards

With the three Directors behind these two offices, Dale Kempson, Bruce Taylor and Simon Gregory not wanting to stand still long enough to let the grass grow beneath their feet, all are keen to continue offering the same high level of personal, customer services whilst continuing to grow in strength and expand. With the success of 2015 behind them this year will be an exciting time!

r Tadley 0118 981 0494 21

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

Property of the Month Priors Road Tadley 3 Bedroom Semi Detached House

Tadley office

A spacious semi- detached house with good sized rear garden. Accommodation comprises of an Entrance hall, fitted kitchen, dining room, lounge, utility area, cloakroom, 3 bedrooms and bathroom . Outside is a front garden and a good sized enclosed rear garden. The property has double glazed windows and gas radiator heating.

£295,000 Under Offer

Tadley Sold

Pamber Heath

Under Offer




Tadley office

Tadley office

• 2 Bedrooms

• Detached Cottage

• 1 Reception Room

• 4 Bedrooms

• Kitchen

• 2 Receptions

• Cloakroom

• Good sized Gardens

• Garden

• Double Garage

• Partking Space

Pamber Green

£277,950 Tadley office

Under Offer

• Driveway

£235,000 Tadley office

• 3 Bedrooms

• 2 Bedooms

• 1 Reception

• Lounge/Dining room

• Kitchen

• Fitted Kitchen

• Enclosed Garden

• Shower Room

• Garage

• Garage

• Parking

Burghfield Common Tadley

• Garden



Tadley office

Tadley office

• 3 Bedrooms

• 1 Bedroom Property

• 2 Receptions

• Bathroom

• Enclosed Garden

• Kitchen -

• Off Road Parking for 5 cars

• Lounge

• Garage

• Parking

• No Chain


• Communal Garden

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



Property of the Month Dark Lane Bradfield Theale Office


Located on a peaceful lane in a designated ‘Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ is this rarely available detached 4 bedroom bungalow. The property is positioned on the edge of the aspirational village of Bradfield and enjoys spectacular views of the Pang Valley. Sitting on a plot of around 1/3 of an acre the property offers plenty of flexible living and entertaining space with accommodation being well thought out. Outside to the rear there is a mature, well-tended, 90 foot south easterly facing garden. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire a property in this most desirable of locations.

£675,000 £POA


Theale Office

Burghfield Common office

• Unique Opportunity

• Charming detached Cottage

• 18 Acres

• Idyllic setting within 1/2 acre

• Desirable Village location

• Gas central heating

• Redevelopment potential

• 2226 sqft & well presented

• Small Holding potential

• Private lane and substantial driveway

• No onward chain

Burghfield Common



Burghfield Common office

• 4 Double bed, Det family home

• 3 bedroom detached

• South facing garden

• Extended to provide Utility room

• 23ft Dual aspect lounge

• Double Garage plus car port

• 35ft garage & additional workshop

• Upvc double glazing

• Desirable village location • Master ensuite and dressing room

Chapel Row


• Offered with no onward chain


Theale office

• Attractive Garden



Burghfield Common office

• 3 Bedroom Semi Detached

• Two double bedroomed

• No onward chain

• Town house

• 100ft rear garden

• Lounge/dining room

• Peaceful village location

• Gas central heating

• Ample driveway parking • Recently refurbished

• Highly sought after village


Theale office

Chapel Row Common Burghfield Burghfield

Spacious Four Bedroom Bungalow

• Double glazing

Burghfield Common

• Garage & parking

We’re here for your every move... 23

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

Plasterer ? Need a Good, Local


Whether you're looking for a newly plastered ceiling or external rendering, we provide a wide range of plastering services. With more than 10 years of experience in plastering, you can expect the highest standards and an excellent finish every time.


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18 Chestnut Close | Theale| RG7 5DF

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.

James W Fisher Property Maintenance

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!

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

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



Handy LOCAL Andy Man!

ro m ot P g n Sp ri


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Household Carpentry Kitchen Fitting Flat Pack Furniture Decorating Plumbing Tiling Household Repairs


Garden Putting up sheds Grass Cutting Clearing Gutters Fence Painting Hedge Cutting Garden Maintenance Patio Cleaning

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Andy O118 929 1447 O7788 21181O

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Handy Andy 1/4 July 2015.indd 1

29/06/2015 11:19

Short & long term secure storage for home or business Open 7 days a week 8am – 8pm Easy access, all on one level Security alarms, CCTV cameras and 24 hr surveillance t: 0118 982 0788 m: 0776 025 5063 e: tadley@barn-store.co.uk


Providing a blinding service locally for 30 Y ears! • • • • • • •

Motorized Roller Blinds Roller Blinds Vertical Blinds Ventian Blinds Pleated Blinds Roman Blinds Conservatory Blinds

*25% off all blinds except Roman Blinds

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

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Red Hatch Yard | Reading Road | Burghfield Common | RG7 3BL

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







You may be eligible for Costco Membership... Costco is a membership warehouse club that sells a wide selection of top quality brand name merchandise at low warehouse prices.

Trade Membership*

9 Chervil Way, Burghfield Common, Reading, RG7 3YX

You qualify for Trade Membership if you are a bona fide business owner or manager, or are self employed. To join Costco and start saving please provide evidence of trading in the form of either a VAT Registration Certificate or two other pieces of business stationery (cheque, letterhead, invoice), PLUS a current business utility bill (electricity, gas, telephone, water). The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership is £20 (plus VAT).

Individual Membership*

You qualify for Individual Membership if you belong to specific employment groups – please call for details of qualifying categories. To join Costco and start saving please provide your employee ID card or current pay slip to prove your employment, PLUS a current utility bill (electricity, gas, telephone, water) or a bank statement addressed to your home. The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership is £25 (plus VAT).

New Line Sheds




Garden Sheds. Garden Workshops. Summerhouses. Chalets. Bespoke Rooms. Playhouses • • • • • • • •

Costco Reading, 100 South Oak Way, Green Park, Reading, Berks, RG2 6UE T: 0118 920 7100 E: marketing114@costco.co.uk www.costco.co.uk Membership Criteria applies. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made. Costco accepts cash, debit card, cheque or American Express.


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


Over 50 years experience. A family run business. We us wood from renewable sustainable Over 50 years experience. managed forest. Over 70% of our sales come We do not use chipboard or plywood. Mention this advert Bolted assembly. from recommendation and receive a free wood Bespoke design available.A family run business treatment with every Helpful and friendly staff. shedrenewable purchased! We us wood from Value for money.


sustainable managed forest We do not use chipboard or plywood. Bolted assembly Bespoke design available

0118 971 2245


Padworth Saw Mills, Rag Hill, Padworth, Reading, RG7 4NU

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




• • • • • •


We’re a LASSA Tyre Agent

Special offer £39.95 + vat

Air Conditioning Recharge/Service 3D Wheel alignment computer system

With our extensive range of facilities and FREE services can you afford to go anywhere else for your vehicle maintenance needs?

Please contact SERVICE RECEPTION on

0118 970 2222 www.mendemmotors.co.uk

Need a Solicitor? Contact John L Banky Solicitors A traditional and friendly law firm based in Theale, just off Junction 12 of the M4 offering a professional approach over a comprehensive range of Legal Services.

All areas of conveyancing

Commercial Property

Wills and Probate

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For advice please call:

0118 930 4630 john@johnlbankysolicitors.co.uk

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Open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

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


18a High Street, Theale Berkshire, RG7 5AN www.johnlbankysolicitors.co.uk Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 538444)

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




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

Sitting Pretty Cat Sitting

Experienced Dog Walker & Pet Sitting Service A tailored, professional Pet Sitting & Dog Walking / Puppy Visit Service based in Mortimer.

• Feeding / Daily visits to your home • TLC for your pet(s) in their own home • One flat rate for visit, not priced per pet • Puppy visits and dog walking services • Home Security measures included • Discounts for long term / repeat bookings Going away on holiday or business? We’ll look after your pet. / sittingprettycatsitting@hotmail.com

; www.sittingprettycatsitting.biz

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

0118 981 9996



CATKINS Covered fresh air pens Insulated & heated cabins (personal inspections welcome) Established 27years

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


Phone: 01189 333 446 Mobile: 07810 651 984

BOARDING CATTERY Threeways, Silchester Road, Pamber Heath

0118 970 0296 facebook.com/villageeyemagazine


on Pets!


APRIL 6th 2016 From April 6, it will be illegal for a dog not to be microchipped, with owners facing possible £500 fines if they fail to comply. Find out where to get your pooch chipped at www.peddymark.com


ARE YOU BEING PAWFUL? You’ll beagle-ad you read this article! Whether you are walking through Mortimer, Theale, Burghfield or any of the other villages in Village Eye territory, it is clear to see that the locals here love a dog. Big dogs, small dogs, slobbery dogs, scruffy dogs and smart dogs. We are very spoiled in this region to have such lovely countryside surrounding us for those essential ‘walkies!’, too. It is common to see owners out for walks at the break of dawn, or even by torchlight at night. Local dog owners - in the main - are committed and responsible, enjoying everything that comes with having a dog as part of your family. But, as a dog owner, how up-to-date are you on dog law? Do you know your rights and responsibilities? I think we’re all aware of the law surrounding dog fouling in public places. We’re certainly aware of the anger it creates within a neighbourhood when the law is ignored as we see it often referred to on our local village Facebook pages - and rightly so! But what about other areas of the law? Did you know, for example, that as of 6 April 2016 all dogs in England will be legally required to be microchipped and their details registered on one of the authorised databases? The idea behind this move, which has been campaigned

for by numerous animal pressure groups working collectively, is to encourage all dog owners to take full responsibility for keeping their pet. The electronic chips, which contain a record of the dog owner’s name and address and a unique identity number, should also make it easier to reunite lost animals with their owners. Microchipping is relatively inexpensive - around £20 and can be done at any veterinary practice, larger pet store or an independent microchip implanter. Do you travel with your dog? We all know there is nothing better than seeing a dog with its head out the window of a moving car. Sadly, it could cost you your licence and invalidate your car insurance to boot. The Highway Code states drivers need to ensure ‘dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly’. The law recommends a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard as ways of restraining your pet while driving. Are you being lawful when driving with your dog?

Barking Mad UK Dog Laws - Did you know? It is an offence to let your dog mate with any dog belonging to the royal family. It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs! No person on the Lancashire coast can incite a dog to bark if asked not to by a police officer.

Useful links: Find an implanter: www.peddymark.com Update yourself on more dog law: www.thekennelclub.org.uk


Catering For BOND... James B0ND! It’s been another busy year for the team here at Cutting Edge Catering. Among your bookings, we had a bit of a Bond theme going on when we made the canapes for the film premier of Spectre at the Showcase Cinema in Winnersh last year. Aston Martin then booked us again later in the year for the launch of the new DB10. Very glamorous! Many customers book us well in advance - we’re already booked to do a charity ball at the BCSA (Burghfield Community Sports Association) in September and we’re going to be feeding a

bunch of not-so-hairy bikers in the Summer when the Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club holds its annual show. We’ll be cooking up a wide variety of dishes for them, from all day breakfasts to homemade Thai green chicken curry. I have to say we couldn’t operate at the high standard we do without the fabulous fruit and veg produce we use from Wellers. They’ve been supplying us for a long time now, as have Warings bakery with their tray bake cakes and freshly baked bread. You may have seen the Cutting Edge Catering van parked there most mornings. Of course, we also supply local businesses on a daily basis and we’re pleased to say that we will soon be getting another refrigerated van to help us cope with the demand. The van sign says Cutting Edge, but the banter in the kitchen is ‘Over the Edge’ when we’ve been very busy! We don’t want to be fully booked when you call with your booking, so our new van will help us with that. Give us a wave if you see us. We love being part of the Village Eye community. Did you see our Christmas tree at the St. Mary’s church event? We’re hoping to have our revamped website up and running soon. You’ll be able to order and pay for

our freshly made platters of food online, so keep checking! See www.cuttingedgecatering. co.uk for details WIth love...

0118 907 6249 07795 188122 www.cuttingedgecatering.co.uk rosalie@cuttingedgecatering.co.uk

Rosalie & the te am x

Parties l Weddings l Christenings Birthdays | Funerals l Corporate

Making Memories

A Grand Wedding for Under a Grand Congratulations on your engagement! Packages from £999-£9.999* Our 2016 amazing £999 complete wedding package* ensures you can still go ahead with your special day without cutting back on the quality and style that we are renowned for. For further details ask at reception for our Wedding Co-ordinator or call:

0118 971 4411 www.holidayinn.com/readingwest *£999 offer excludes your wedding ceremony. Limited dates & availability


Holiday Inn Reading West, Padworth Lane, Bath Road, Reading RG7 5HT

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


For a chat about your event call:



Film of the MONTH by Rob Barnes

eye on Leisure

At the time of writing we still don’t know If Leonardo DiCaprio will bag his first Best Actor oscar for his role as frontiersman Hugh Glass in this beautiful yet punishing tale of vengeance. I hope so. Director Alejandro G. Inarritu drags his leading man through so many near-death experiences amid the freezing, bleak and hostile plains of the American outback he surely deserves some kind of reward. Loosely based on Michael Punke’s factbased novel The Revenant recounts the gruesome chapter in the life of 19th Century fur trapper Hugh Glass during a hunting expedition deep in the hostile MidWest. The films throws us straight into a chaotic and harrowing ambush that sees Glass’s men attacked by Arikara warriors that forces them further into the wilderness. Whilst away from the group Glass finds himself in the middle of a Grizzly bear and her cubs and the rest is movie history! I challenge you not to wince and squirm as DiCaprio gets mauled from head to toe and flung in the air like a rag doll in this jawdroppingly realistic scene. Now stranded and with their expedition guide knocking on death’s door the team decide the best chance of survival and finding a way out is to split up leaving Glass in the not so safe hands of the sirly and psychotic trapper Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) who soon leaves him for dead...or so he thinks.

A heavily bearded DiCaprio has very few lines of dialogue so testament to him that the physical range and subtlety of his performance is so gripping. That said it’s hard not to sympathise with a man who is half eaten by a bear, left to rot in the extreme cold, forced to eat raw bison liver and treated to a night’s sleep in a fresh and steaming horse carcass! On the flipside Tom Hardy’s performance as the merciless Fitzgerald is all mouth, and whilst much of his mumbling dialect does go unheard it does little to detract from his perfectly pitched villain. Although not a big ensemble cast Domhnall Gleeson provides fine support as the straight-laced captain Henry and Will Poulter steals every scene as the young wide-eyed trapper Bridger. However, the real star of the movie is the scenery brought so vividly to life by Director Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki who reunite fresh from their oscar winning Birdman. Flitting

Children's book of the MONTH

quite naturally from the fierce and chilling snowstorms to the calm and savage beauty of the mountainscapes all the drama and tension seems somehow insignificant to the unrelenting world around it. Rather than an assault on the senses this is more of a massage as the changing elements ebb and flow off the screen leaving you completely immersed. Whilst there are some rather hokey scenes of life beyond the grave between Glass and the mother of his Pawnee-speaking son they do help to reinforce to his motives and superhuman powers of resolve. The Revenant is bloody, brutal and breathtaking in equal measure and though it’s lengthy 156 minute running time won’t be to everyone’s taste I couldn’t recommend it enough. Bear Grylls eat your heart out...this is one mission even you couldn’t survive!

"A must see" 4/5

Fire Colour One

byJenny Valentine

Meet Iris, teen firestarter, with a greedy mother and a stepfather whose big film part is just the next audition away. Iris lives in California, where her mother runs up credit card bills, wears Lebutin shoes, and drinks. All the time. Suddenly they are leaving their apartment and heading back to England, where Iris’s real father - the one who didn’t love her and never wanted her lies dying. She doesn’t want to like Ernest, her father, but somehow he seems much nicer than the man her mother is always describing. She gets to spend some time with him, in the family house full of 20th century art (which is why her mother came back). As they talk, she gets to hear her father’s side of the story. It doesn’t make her like her mother any more than she did, but it makes her think again about the lies people tell. So is her father lying as well? At the point in the book when something wonderful is revealed, I actually stopped reading and clapped my hands. What a great read for anyone, but particularly for the young adult audience this is aimed at.

age 13+

Review by Petra Morvey 31


We are a small friendly company offering high standard domestic and commercial cleaning services, ironing and curtain fitting services, using professional equipment and products. We are also offering carpet cleaning service, and cleaning of furniture, windows and ovens.

Regular & One-Off Cleaning Home & Office Cleaning End of Tenancy Cleaning Before & After Party Cleaning Pre/Post Holiday Cleaning Spring Cleaning

Curtain Alteration Service Domestic Carpet Cleaning Ironing (free collection & delivery)

Call: 0759 362 7139 info@cleanhouseservices.co.uk


Physiotherapy practice MUSCLE/TENDON STRAIN?





Tel: 0118 933 3896 Text: 07951 840643

www.mortimerphysio.co.uk info@mortimerphysio.co.uk

* NHS referrals are accepted from all West Berkshire GPs - just ask!

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 March we are offering a course of Beginners children’s lessons (age 3 to 9yrs) at half price! … £124.50*! This course, which includes contact enquiries@burleylodge.co.u one-one tuition is usually £245 is now priced at £122.50

Owner: Manager: Office hours: * if taken Tuesday to Friday after school.


Group Discounts Available

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

on Leisure

Making the most of the


Lighter Nights

Lighter evenings and longer days give us a whole new lease of life when they finally come around in Spring. Our winter hibernation gradually comes to an end, filling the lighter nights with endless possibilities. How do you want to spend them? Here at VE HQ we have started talking about our plans and we wanted to share our top ideas on how to make the most of the longer evenings!

1. Get in shape Somehow, going out for a run or popping to the gym doesn’t seem as gruesome when the evenings are lighter. In fact, it could pass as...enjoyable... or is that pushing it? Why not harness this new energy and get into shape. The chances are, if you stick to it now, you’ll be feeling great by the summer. It’s not too late to get some exercise in. Why not find a friend to work out with? It’s always easier when someone is relying on your company – it’s not so easy to duck out. Make this year THE year and prove to yourself you can do it. You know you can.

3. Walk around your village

One of the things we do too much of all year round is race from A to B, not taking any notice of what surrounds us. ‘Mindfulness’ is a fashionable term right now, but the concept has been around for a long time. This Spring, try taking a walk in the evening and appreciate your surroundings We are spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful countryside but the chances are, unless you have a dog, there are some lovely walks around farms and parks that you may not have discovered yet. While you’re walking, take a moment to appreciate the hard work that nature is doing all around, breathe in the fresh air, notice the aroma – hopefully pleasant - and enjoy the wind on your face.

5. Hang out the washing! Nothing heralds the start of the warmer weather than the satisfaction of hanging out the washing , and returning just an hour or two later to a dry, clean spring-fresh load. Mmnnn

2. Learn Something New Kyle’s exciting flavours (see page 12) have inspired us to conjure up some new recipes – rhubarb and sage soufflé anyone?! Why not try a cookery class? There are lots available at local centres and farther afield. Learn anything from pasta making to Vietnamese street food and treat your friends or other halves with your newly acquired skills. If cooking isn’t your thing, why not try mechanics or a musical instrument? The possibilities are endless and you will thrive on the confidence and pride that comes with learning your new skills.

6. Enjoy ‘al fresco’ living 4. In the dating game? Lighter evenings give us more energy so if you’ve been putting off getting back on the dating scene during the cold snap, you may want to consider rekindling your Tinder account or trying a speed dating event this Spring. Who knows where it may lead? It’s tempting (and perhaps more comfortable) to sit back and wait for life to happen to you, but be brave, confident and proud of yourself and see where the journey will take you!

When our short summer ends, do you feel like you’ve really made the most of it? Or does it feel like Summer passed you by? If you move into Autumn thinking, ‘I wish I’d eaten outside more’ or ‘We should have sat in the pub garden more’ (after all, we’ve got some fab pub gardens to choose from in these parts...) This year, start early and grab your cardi, jacket and fleecy blanket and take every opportunity to be outside, even if it is a bit chilly to start with!

Don’t forget to put your clocks forward on Sunday 26th March!



Eye on Leisure

Berkshire Music & Arts Festival 2016

Today there are hundreds of traditions and customs surrounding various holidays. Goblins and ghouls haunt Halloween, reindeer and Santa add fun and joy to Christmas and bunnies and eggs make Easter sweeter. So, where did these traditions come from? Most find their origins in pagan celebrations or customs; they have been modified or combined with Christian traditions.

It is believed the first Easter Bunny called southwestern Germany home. The Anglo-Saxons introduced the bunny as an Easter symbol in the 1500s; the first written records of it can be found in the 1600s. The idea of the Easter Bunny came from a pagan celebration. Anglo-Saxons worshipped Eostre, the German goddess of spring and fertility. Her earthly symbol was the rabbit or bunny which the Anglo-Saxons revered and cared for. Thus, the rabbit was a symbol of, and incorporated into the celebration of, Eostre. When the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity, sometime around the 1700s, many pagan traditions and customs were combined with Christian beliefs. For many years Easter was still celebrated with many pagan practices; however, today it a mix of equal parts, pagan, or non-religious, and Christian with a small commercial element mixed in. It is thought that German immigrants took the traditions surrounding Easter to America in the 1700s when German children looked forward to the Easter because the goddess Eostre, incarnated as a bunny, would bring them goodies. The tradition spread,and though the Easter bunny has its origins in Germany, today it’s a global symbol of Easter and part of many family traditions.

Origins of the Easter bunny! 34 34

Wow! What a fantastic day we had at The Berkshire Music & Arts Festival last month. Only in its second year, the Festival is thriving, tripling its numbers and going from strength to strength. Made up of three sections – drama, music and creative writing – the Festival took place across three local sites, including the magnificent Tudor manor house, Ufton Court, with the objective of giving local children a chance to perform their skills, as well as raising money for a fund to support children’s learning in their chosen Art, particularly children who cannot otherwise access lessons for financial or other reasons.

Children from accross the region got involved, singing, reciting, playing and acting their their way through the day. A particular mention we’d like to make is to congratulate Phoebe Masters of Mortimer, who won the Woodwind Solo competition by playing Mozart’s bassoon Concerto movement No 2. This is the first competition that she has won of her own accord. Phoebe was part of a bassoon ensemble that won their class at the 2014 National Youth Music Festival.

Village Eye magazine P hoebe Masters was delighted to be asked to sponsor the cup for Junior Poetry within the Creative Writing section and was keen to see the winner in print, so we offered to publish the winner’s poem in Village Eye magazine this month.

So, congratulations to this year’s winner Nidilan Srikajanan who gained the highest marks in the Junior Poetry Competition which was adjudicated by local poet Lesley Saunders. Lesley has written five books of poetry including her collection Cloud Camera which was described by Michael Hulse in The Poetry Review as ‘the most intelligent and thrilling book of poetry I’ve seen in several years’.

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gold honeycombr’siscold. A ? ld o g is What ugh the winte Whistling thro d A poppy is re What is resedlf? on its grassy bed, Brushing it s black ? A beetle’ra ck la b is t a h W t messy ck. Hiding in tha green ? A shrub is What is ggreinenthe lovely scene. Sittin wn n? Soil is bwron. to What is bwrohw r in ou Every ere lue A blue-tivt’els yb view. e? lu b is t a h W fully in the lo Flying grace an

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

ajan Nidilan Srik



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Medical Negligence? Pressure Sores By Ian Beavon Pressure ulcers, more commonly known as pressure sores, arise when an area of skin is ulcerated because of irritation and continuous pressure on a particular part of the body. The skin becomes damaged and the damage spreads to the tissues underlying the skin, and in severe cases, there can be permanent damage. Pressure ulcers are often very painful and take a long time to heal. Any patient can be susceptible to pressure ulcers but they tend to develop more in patients who are seriously unwell, have neurological conditions or impaired mobility. They can also be caused by use of equipment – beds or seats – which are not specifically designed to provide relief from pressure. I was recently informed of a distressing case which illustrates how serious the development and impact of pressure sores can be. At age 3 the Claimant contracted meningitis which duly resulted in a spinal cord abscess. Despite being rendered paraplegic, she was able to work, and managed to live a very fulfilling lifestyle.



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

When the Claimant was in her early fifties she decided to go on a cruise. Before she embarked on the trip she bought herself a new wheelchair. Unfortunately, her body had not become used to the chair, and she developed mild pressure sores. After the trip, she had to make numerous trips back and forth to see her GP and the surgery nurses, but they failed to adequately treat her. The pressure sores increased in size and, much to her embarrassment, started to smell (so much so that her employer gave her time off work). The difficulties became so severe that she subsequently had to be referred to a spinal unit. There was even concern that she might have developed septicaemia. The GP and nurses were insured by different insurers. Neither accepted responsibility for the Claimant’s condition – indeed, each blamed the other - so she ultimately had to bring a claim against both, alleging a failure to adequately treat the pressure sores. Such was the extent of the Claimant’s illness, when the case was to be determined by a Court of law, she had to attend on a hospital bed! The claim settled at the door of the court at a compromised figure of £800,000! Pressure ulcers can be deemed a minor ailment but as the above case demonstrates, if left untreated, they can have very serious consequences. For further information please contact Ian Beavon at Rowberry Morris.

Usual Restaurant Menu is also available on Sundays

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

Mulfords Hill Tadley RG26 3XJ T: 0118 981 2992



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Eye on Leisure

The joy of learning doesn’t come to a screeching halt after you leave school or university; we continue to pick up new things every single day, whether it’s a mind-blowing fact from a nature documentary or how to react to a new situation. Learning is for life, not just for childhood, and adult education can equip you with the know-how, skills and confidence to advance your career or make lifechanging decisions. With flexible learning options readily available including online, distance, workplace and local campus sessions, building on existing knowledge has never been easier. So if you've been thinking about boosting your knowledge and skills by taking up something new, but keep putting it off with excuses like "I'm too old", ditch your concerns and take control. We have some great adult education facilities at the local secondary schools, so get inspired and check out what they have to offer. Taking up a new course, sport or learning an instrument can work wonders for your confidence, as it encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and approach something completely new. The more you take part, the more you'll begin to feel at ease, in turn boosting your confidence levels


Never too old to try something

and broadening your skill set. It will boost your self-esteem and give you a sense of pride from your achievements. Not just this, but you're also bound to meet new people along the way, which will widen your social circle and give you the confidence to approach others in situations where you may not have done before. What about your career? While you might already have a job, adult learning courses can make your career prospects skyrocket. Learning new skills will open up opportunities that might not have been available in the past, leading to a promotion or a job change. What's more, you might finally be able to grab that career you've dreamed of having for years, but never thought you'd aspire to.

I no secret that learning It’s can drastically improve your quality of life too; picking up new skills and developing new talents can widen your interests, giving you a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

It can also protect against poor mental health. When some adults leave college or university, they begin to feel a sudden yearn for learning. Retaining new information and gaining new skills helps to keep the mind and body stimulated, contributing towards a healthy brain Retaining new information and gaining new skills helps to keep the mind and body stimulated, contributing towards a healthy brain. This could help to ward off health problems in later life, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia..


Did you know that learning makes you happy? If your brain's not being fed new information, it's easy to feel uninspired and you'll likely become bored. Approaching new challenges can be fun and rewarding, making you feel happier in both the short and long term. Independence... Acquiring new skills will give you a newfound freedom to take charge of situations and tasks that you may have had to depend on others for in the past. This means that you can take matters into your own hands independently, rather than having to rely on somebody else. You'll feel much more ready and able to handle everyday demands a lot more efficiently, all the while being a leader not a follower. And finally? Wisdom... Learning new information and skills is a truly valuable experience and one that you'll be able to share with those around you. If you have young children or grandchildren, you can pass your knowledge onto them, which in turn will better help them in various situations they'll encounter throughout life. So while some of your New Year’s resolutions may have fallen by the wayside, why not give this path to self-improvement a go? Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good luck!

Upskilling gives you the opportunity to network and build relationships in both a professional and personal capacity too. For example, enrolling in a professional qualification will give you contact with others in the field fellow learners with professional interests in a similar capacity. You might even make some new friends!

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




eggcellent adventures at Jubilee

For our term-time nursery contact: Sian on 0118 983 4018 Email: info@jubileegems.co.uk Visit: www.jubileegems.co.uk

Easter and springtime at Jubilee is all about new beginnings. The first buds bloom, animals stir and the earth seems to come to life again. Children at Jubilee’s nurseries immerse themselves in all that this time of year has to offer. The children get first-hand experience of eggs hatching - encountering life cycles, growth and development. In turn, this also encourages social interaction and promotes caring and nurturing skills.

For our full-time nursery contact: Lesley on 0118 970 1600 Email: info@jubileedaynursery.co.uk Visit: www.jubileedaynursery.co.uk

Older children might help collect freshly-laid eggs from the chickens on the farm (which are also used in our delicious, home-cooked food), go on a bug hunt through our private woodland and everyone looks forward to the birth of new lambs! We are passionate about supporting children on their journey as effective and motivated learners and our dedicated, skilled and caring team plan stimulating activities in a rich environment that our children enjoy and learn from.


“A wonderful nursery in a fantastic setting. Both of my little ones have learnt about so many varied topics including hatching eggs, gardening and so much messy play! The staff are so caring, friendly and to me it felt like a family for my little ones whilst we were away from them. I cannot recommend Jubilee highly enough.� (Review from parent, 2016) To see more reviews from parents, go to www.daynurseries.co.uk Located in Padworth Common (just a 7 minute drive from the centre of Mortimer) and set in 53 acres of stunning countryside, farmland and woodland; we offer exceptional care for babies from 3 months to children up to 5 years of age. 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.

Children will



LOVE making these

Easter recipes As the kids break up from school, curbing their eager anticipation for the Easter Bunny’s arrival is no hop in the park. So why not keep you little chicks busy in the kitchen with these choc-free creations? From Tomato Tulips to Pop Cake Chicks, Annabel Karmel, regular contributor to VE and the UK’s bestselling author of twenty six books on baby and children’s food and nutrition shares with us some of her her cracking Easter treats with a twist. Enjoy.

Pop Cake Chicks:

Bake regular and mini cupcakes and decorate them to make little chicks. If you can’t find vanilla frosting, you can make your own buttercream by beating together 110g butter softened, 225g icing sugar, sieved and 1 tbsp water. Ingredients Cakes 600g Madeira cake; 180g cream cheese; 340g yellow candy melts; 12 orange Tic Tacs; Black writing icing pen; White fondant icing; Candy melts for coating cake pops (200g pack)

Decoration Yellow fondant or marzipan for the chick Black Writing Icing for the eyes Mini Easter Eggs Icing 100g butter, softened 100g icing sugar, sieved 50g cream cheese

Pop Cake Chicks Method: Make fine breadcrumbs out of the Madeira cake by rubbing the cake between your fingers into a mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese and mix until you make a firm dough. Shape into 12 balls. Put onto a baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Melt the yellow candy melts in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until runny. Using a fork, dip the balls into the yellow chocolate, then place on a baking sheet. Insert the orange Tic Tacs to make the beaks, then chill until set in the fridge. When set, draw on eyes using the black writing icing. Arrange the chicks in an egg carton, then make egg shells by rolling out the white. fondant icing and cutting out mini triangles to look like the jagged edges of broken shells. Dab a little water on one side of the icing with a wrap these around the chicks. MAKES 12 CHICKS

TOMATO TULIPS: Let your little one’s spoil you with Annabel’s edible blooms. We think that these are the perfect treat for both Mother’s Day and Easter.

Ingredients: 12 baby plum tomatoes; 180g cream cheese; small bunch chives; grind of black pepper; pinch of salt; 12 spring onions; 12 BBQ skewers; a little wire.

TOMATO TULIPS Method: Mix the cream cheese, finely chopped chives and seasoning and put in a small piping bag.Trim leaves of spring onions to look pretty and remove root. Carefully push skewers up through base of spring onion so that they are hidden all the way to the top and then come out by just less than an inch. If you want the stems to bend on any of the tulips, you will need to attach a length of wire to the skewer which is curved. Carefully cut a cross into a tomato and remove any excess pulp. Pipe the crème cheese mixture into the centre of each tomato. Gently push the tomato onto the exposed skewer. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. Arrange your beautiful array of tasty tulips. MAKES 12 TULIPS

For those busy Easter days, stock-up on Annabel’s Chilled Toddler Meals. Inspired by her popular cookbook recipes, they are low in salt and a tasty way towards their 5-a-day. Find them in the chiller aisle at Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

For this recipe and many more great family recipe

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

ideas visit www.annabelkarmel.com” facebook.com/villageeyemagazine




on Sport & Leisure



Can you believe it? Not one, but two local young women have been selected for the England Women’s Under19s squad. Yes, that’s a real, proper England team! Jenna Legg and Ellie Wilson will both be taking to the pitch to compete for our nation in the La Manga Tournament this month. They will be joining the Young Lionesses to take on Netherlands (on Thursday 3 March), USA (Saturday 5 March) and Denmark (Monday 7 March) in the annual friendly competition. After this trip to southern Spain, the team will go to Sweden for three European Championship qualifiers. Both Jenna and Ellie attended our local primary schools - Burghfield St. Mary’s and Sulhamstead & Ufton Nervet and both later became pupils at The Willink in Burghfield Common. We’ve spoken to The Willink this morning and to say they are ‘chuffed to bits’ is an understatement!

Picture courtesy of The FA. Getty Images


Jenna’s football career was ignited by a stint at our very own Burghfield Football Club. BFC is a FA Charter Standard development club, established in 1989, that offers football to both boys and girls from U5 up. They operate on a mixed sex basis up to 16 years old and are always looking for new players - of both genders. Jenna moved on at the age of 8 to Reading FC and is now in her 5th season at Chelsea. Ellie, who amazingly had no prior footballing experience before joining an after school football club was spotted by a ‘scout’ at the age of 8 and invited to join the Reading Girls team. This year she was signed by Bristol City! Girls and women’s football is on a steep upward curve. Young girls are putting on their shinpads in unprecedented numbers. Every weekend park pitches are filled with female matches and junior clubs report ever increasing schoolgirl membership. The skill and tactical nous of players has never been higher. Or the talent pool deeper. And the growing involvement in regular sporting activity can only have a positive effect on the nation’s health.


in action, to see what can be done, to dream that it might be them. So thank you Ellie and Jenna. You are an inspiration to our footballing girls and you can rest assured that we shall be following your progress. Good luck! If you have been inspired by Jenna and Ellie and would like to find out more about joining a local team please visit www.burghfieldfc.com

But what inspires young players more than anything is to see the professionals


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can now join members FREE at Willink every Friday




* We know you have many, but this is limited to one friend at a time.

Things are always better shared with friends... If you are a member, you can bring a friend for a swim or workout for free*. No need to book, just turn up and enjoy their company.

0118 983 4845

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