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Issue 56 March 2017 Circulation 11,000

FREE Lifestyle magazine

for the RG7 area and beyond

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it ye n i u o y e Ar






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

Spring Fayre at the Elm Tree ...Tripadvisor ranked as #1 of 490 Restaurants in Reading!!

w for Book no ’s Day Mother rch 26th Ma

“Good to see excellence at a good old Beech Hill pub” “The food was simply fantastic, absolutely faultless, which is rare for a Sunday roast! Will definitely be back again soon! This pub deserves to do well, always a warm welcome and atmosphere to go with fantastic food.”

Welcoming You, Whatever the Occasion OPENING HOURS: Pub:

12noon - 11:00pm


12noon - 2:30pm & 6:30pm - 9:30pm Mon-Sat 12noon - 5:00pm on Sundays

0118 988 3505 www.theelmtreebeechhill.co.uk The Elm Tree | Beech Hill Road | Beech Hill | RG7 2AZ



ElmTree Beech Hill




Circulation 11,000 Issue 56 March 2017

e Lifestyle magazin and beyond for the RG7 area


eye u in it

spring when this issue rolls around.

In this issue we really have something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for local things to do, need to find some local trades to work on your home or just want to curl up with a cup of tea and read something entertaining, you will find it among these pages.


Are yo


March! Fitness, Even if the weather outside ourand windowPostural is still a little Aligment? Want to work onello your Strength miserable, here at Village Eye HQ we know we’re on the road to






This month, our cover sponsor is Spratley’s of Mortimer. Spratley’s have been a presence on Victoria Road in Mortimer since 1908. The secret to their success really is no secret. It’s down to good old fashioned customer service, much-shouted about by their loyal customer base. And as changes are afoot with Spratley’s moving away from the Vauxhall franchise and becoming a fully independent garage, their focus on looking after the motoring needs of the local community and surrounding areas has never been more prominent. Turn to pages 4 and 5 to find out more.


6 13

We all love a good competition and this month, we have three for you to enter! Dog owners, get snapping and turn your pooch into a Calendar Girl (or boy!) Yes, this Bucket List Wishes Charity Calendar is searching for 12 dog superstars - one for each month of the year. Turn to page 29. Who’s up for winning a MASSIVE Easter Egg? Budgens is offering a Facebook based competition to win a number of impressive eggs so turn to page 35. And, not forgetting the kids - there is a chance for a young Reading FC fan to win a mascot package at the game on 17th April. More details on page 34. | Sport L News | Business KEEPING IT LOCA




| Health | Homes | Entert



Our regular columnists are back in full force this issue. Rowberry Morris Solicitors in Tadley guide us through changes to Inheritance Tax Rules - always a complicated area at the best of times - on page 11. Mark Penston, our Financial Advisor, continues on this note from an angle of financial planning knowing you or a parent has limited time to live. His advice can be found on page 12.

There are many variations of yoga. This class works on postural aligment On a lighter note, we have Jack Worboys reviewing the Mazda 2 Hatch on page 28. Megan, our Beauty for a fitter and Editor is giving away her secrets by revealing her very favourite products this month on page 6. And stronger body. DO YOU HAVE A finally, Eye Tech introduces us to an incredible lift share app called BlaBlaCar this month which allows you to ‘catch a ride’ or give a lift to someone and share the cost. Find it on p.13. And let’s not forget Rob Barnes’ film review on Page 34. This month he gives us his thoughts on the multi-award winning LaLa Land – have you seen it yet?


magazine to them! Until next time.

If you have ever thought of giving yoga a go, this is a good /villageeyemagazine opportunity to try it for free.


Property Spotlight 16-19 Suitable - for all levels of fitness. Trades & Services - 22-27 Jack Drives, Mazda 2 - 28 WIN A RFC A Thai Story - 30 MASCOT PACKAGE! About my Mummy! 33 This- voucher is for up to


Helle n & the Team xx

Community News - 2 Hello Elizabeth Kempson - 7 Inheritance Tax Changes - 11 LPA’s - Need to know - 12 Meet Ian Philips - 15

Keep up to date & like us on facebook!


two people* to try a yoga class at Willink for free until the end of March.

eye verts

eye web

eye print

Advertising in the Eye is very cost effective, both in print and online. We can even complete your artwork for you too (for free*) Please call us for details 0118 933 3311

Need a local business or service? Want to keep up with local news as it happens?

Village Eye has a printed circulation of 11,000 which is lovingly delivered through the doors of homes and businesses across 13 local villages.


A huge thank you to all our contributors this month: Richard Skegg, Jade Vincent, Paul Spratley, Sandrine Spencer, Maya Hillier, Jason Bushnell, Fin Stuart, Matthew Schofield, Rosalie Ponsford, Gini Blesky, Jack Chen, Phil Adishead, Ian Philips, Mark Baldwin, Elizabeth Groom, Elizabeth Kempson, Christine Cullen, Alyson Chorley, Carrie Naish. The Village Eye is brought to you by Pinktomato Ltd, a local, independent creative design and marketing company. All content within the publication is copyright of Village Eye. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for views or opinions expressed by contributors or for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers. All dates, times, URL’s and telephone numbers are understood to be correct at the time of submission to print. *Not including stock images - advert release fee charged.

Editor: Sub Editor: Advertising: Beauty Editor: Motoring: Finance: Film Buff:

* One free class per person. Over 16’s only

Thursdays 18:00 - 19:00

Lov all ingly these deli villagvered es! to



Minimal Eye! 8

This is not a spritual-based class, but there will be a rexling quiet As ever, we extend a huge thank you to all of our advertisers and contributors for helping to make Village Eye the area’s favourite local magazine, and please time before - if you are responding to any advert or feature, don’t forget to mentionthe the end of the session.

(mats provided)

Hellen Shaw Jackie Stuart Zahra Willis Megan Curtis Jack Worboys Mark Penston & Rob Starling Rob Barnes

To Book Call: 0118 983 4845

Registered Address: Butlers Lands Farm Mortimer, RG7 2AG

Hello@villageeye.co.uk PINKTOMATO 0118 933 3311

Willink Leisure Centre, Hollybush Lane, Burghfield Common, RG7 3XP

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


If you are a fan of Strictly, then this will be sure to get your Rhumba’s Racing! Have you ever been inspired by BBC’s ‘Strictly’ and really wanted to learn how to dance? Then look no further! VE has learned that on Thursday 30th March, The Hurst Leisure Centre in Baughurst have arranged for Strictly’s very own Superstar, Robin Windsor to come in and

lead a taster Ballroom Dancing Workshop! Afterwards, guests will be treated to an hour of meeting and greeting where they can get to know him better - ask questions... have photos etc... The BALLROOM DANCING WORKSHOP is open to all levels (including those who may have three left feet!) and will be held on Thursday 30th March at 18.30 - 21.00. Entrance will be ‘Strictly’ by ticket only and cost £25 each. This could even make a great early/late birthday treat for the Strictly fan in your life (we all have one!) Tickets are now available from The Hurst Leisure Centre Reception, Baughurst. For further information, call 0118 981 2198 We’d say you’ll probably need to book early to avoid disappointment.

Strictly Come Baughurst!

Picture courtesy of BBC

Get ahead at the Charity Spring Ball Don your best frocks and enjoy a fantastic evening of dinner and dancing at Trunkwell House on 25th March. This Spring Ball is being held in aid of the Berkshire Cancer Centre and Get Ahead. Local lady Carrie Naish is hosting event to show her gratitude for the amazing care her father received from both organisations during his treatment for throat cancer. All profits will go to the Berkshire Cancer Centre to help make cancer treatment that bit easier for patients, and Get Ahead (www.getahead.org. uk) who undertake research into head and neck cancers, train specialist nurses, and provide support to sufferers. Tables of 10 are available at £590, but you can also book individual tickets for £59 and the organisers will do their best to accommodate seating requests. We would suggest enquiring prior to payment. Tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, three course dinner with coffee and mints, and entertainment. There will also be a raffle and auction promising some great prizes. To book please contact Carrie on carriegough@yahoo.co.uk

Watch Out Wembley! It was cheers all round recently when the Burghfield St Mary’s Under 11 Girls Football team became the Under 11 Berkshire Champions. To celebrate their success, the girls were presented with trophies during school assembly by the Captain of Reading Women’s FC, Mandy Van Den Berg and Reading Women’s Goalkeeper, Grace Moloney. The girls were so excited to meet professional women footballers, and Reading Women’s FC has given each girl two free tickets to their next home match against Manchester City as a well done! 2

Dale Kempson from Parkers Estate Agents in Burghfield also attended the presentation as Parkers has kindly offered to pay for the girls’ new football kit as they are not allowed to play the next round in their hand-me-down Reading kit as it has a logo on it. They will now represent Berkshire in the South West England cup on 25th March, and if they win that, then the girls are off to Wembley for the All England Under 11s Schools Cup!  Parkers’ Dale Kempson, Reading Women’s FC Goalie, Grace Moloney, the girls’ coach, Jerry Bray and Reading Women’s FC Captain, Mandy Van Den Berg celebrate with the Burghfield St Mary’s Under 11 Berkshire girls football champs! 




FUN DAYth Sat 6 July Sat

1st 6


F Entry! 10:30am - late MORTIMER ntry! FAIRGROUNE D th

July 10:30am - late ree


Summer will be here before you know it!


eye in the


The heavy frosts have already made for crisp early mornings, and the yellow disc in the sky is occasionally gracing us with its presence - so what better time is there, to think of Summer? Hot sun, clear blue skies, children playing, beer tents, arts & craft stalls, bouncy castles and dog shows are all rounded off with music & dancing on a warm summer’s eve. Yes, of course we are talking about the Mortimer Fun Day (and night), which is now a much-anticipated date on many calendars! The Mortimer Village Partnership and Mortimer Music Live are now planning and looking forward to this year’s event which will be held on Saturday, July 1st. They will of course have all the favourite activities (here’s a pre-warning to local clubs & pubs to start training for the Tug ‘o’ War), plus some new and exciting arena attractions too. The day’s excitement will make way for the annual village ‘Tribute’ shindig... which promises to be a humdinger this year (we’ll be revealing this years bands identity over the coming weeks), with tickets going on sale at the end of the month. Who will it be?


We are also delighted to announce that we will once again be offering Hot Air balloon flights over the village! Last year, all bar 6 of the 150 flights on offer sold out prior to the event, but as is sometimes the case with balloon flights, the British weather (it was a tad too gusty on the day) can mean that a balloon cannot be launched. Hey ho, we said - never mind - let’s go for it again next year - so we are! Tickets will go on sale in April, so keep an ‘Eye’ out for details. How exciting! One of the things that makes the Mortimer Fun Day so special is that so many local groups and individuals come together to make this a real ‘village’ event which unites the whole community. Of course, to make this happen, the Fun Day needs volunteers both for the planning over the coming months and on the day. They are asking anyone who can offer their time and energy (it doesn’t matter how much or how little) to please contact Doug at doug.overett@gmail.com So shake off the dark winter gloom, get involved and start thinking of summer.....and most importantly put Saturday July 1st in your diary!


Seasoned Hard Wood - By the Load or Bags, cut to your requirement - also Kindling Wood. FREE bag with first order when you mention this advert.

How the Gardens over in Beech Hill


All types - Close Board – Post and Rail – Gates


Turfing- Hedging – Garden Maintenance – Borders Driveways – Patios – Pergolas – Decking

The money was raised by hosting a series of flower arranging masterclasses which attracted almost 200 people. Notcutts centre manager Jonathan Tew said; “I am delighted that our flower masterclass events were such a success. Not only were they lots of fun but they also raised money to support the incredible work that Thrive do. Gardening is a fantastic hobby and for many people can help improve their physical and mental health in a very positive way.” Kathryn Rossiter, CEO of Thrive, said: “Thank you very much to Notcutts for this wonderful donation. The money will be spent on supporting our client gardeners and I am delighted that Notcutts have been able to see us in action when they visited our gardens at Beech Hill to make the donation and were given a tour.”



charity Thrive, the Beech Hill based charity which enables positive change in the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people through gardening and horticulture.

Colleagues and customers at Notcutts Garden Centre located in Nuneham Courtney (Oxfordshire) have raised over £1000 for

Locals will get a chance to visit the gardens at one of three open days later on this year (watch this space for dates!)


Pruning - Felling - Crown Reduction


Mark Vincent tel - 0118 983 3725 mob - 0789 903 0317


Amners Farm Lambing Days

Lambing 0* s: £6 / £7.5 AdultDays * / 0 £4.5 £5 Children: * 3 2 0/£ Family: £2

Prices e day Pre-sale ildren) sed on th ults, 2 Ch *If purcha t includes 2 Ad ticke (Family

Open 23rd & 24th April 30th April, 1st & 2nd May 2016

Save the Dates! 29th & 30th April & 1st May 6th & 7th May

11am-6pm (last entry 5pm)

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




Motoring Independent

This spring with Spratley's The popular garage in Mortimer has a fresh new and independent look and feel...

After more than 53 years as a Vauxhall Dealer, Spratley’s has now chosen in 2017 to become a fully independent garage, allowing it to offer its customers competitive pricing for servicing, repairs and MOT’s, regardless of make or model. Their aim at Spratley’s is to focus on looking after people in the local community and surrounding villages with their motoring needs. With vehicle sales and on-site MOTs, and servicing of most makes on offer at their Victoria Road garage, when it comes to motoring, Spratley’s is a one-stop 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 is 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? Now, more than 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. 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: Spratley’s large repair workshop and MOT Testing area. Bottom right the Spratley’s team.





Car Sales £

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 for 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 employs 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!

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*.

Firstly and most importantly, there is never ever any pressure to buy at Spratley’s. Never ever!

At Spratley’s we are able to carry out general repair work on most makes of car, from battery and tyre replacement to air conditioning, brakes and cambelts. The cambelt, is recommended by the car manufacturer to be changed after a certain number of years, or when the car reaches a certain mileage, whichever comes sooner. If the belt were to break [it is made of rubber and can perish] the damage caused can be extensive, leading to an expensive repair that can be uneconomical to carry out, especially on older cars. If you would like to know if your car has a cambelt and if so, the recommended interval change, then please call our service department to find out. We will be happy to provide a free quote if required.

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!

Your local WHILE-U-WAIT


Is it MOT time again? (*by appointment)

Testing Station

MOTs £40

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 www.spratleys.co.uk

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


Love this When thinking about what to write for this month’s article I thought why not write about what I am genuinely loving (even if they may seem like a random array)? These products are tried and tested and I have 100% fallen for them! Firstly my favourite of the bunch is Collab’s Dry Shampoo in Paradise which smells ah-mazing!! I’ve probably mentioned it before but this is hands down my favourite brand of dry shampoo I have ever tried - I’ve even converted my mum! This leaves no nasty white residue like other dry shampoo’s I’ve tried and doesn’t feel like I have hair full of product, making my hair feel worse than it was before. Not only that but it smells incredible, just like coconuts (making me wish I was on a beach and not in cold England), plus it has pink flamingos on the packaging - my favourite bird FYI. This fab dry shampoo is also as cheap as chips in Superdrug and I managed to pick up two for £1.79 each the other day on offer! Following on from the drugstore theme, another favourite of mine is Nivea’s Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover which is my go to product for removing all traces of make up. I am a lover of waterproof mascara and that calls for some heavy duty remover and this fits the bill perfectly. It’s a bio-phase remover which means it is split into two and you shake it to activate the solution and as it is oil based it really nourishes your face instead of stripping it! Compared to all of the high end make up removers I’ve tried this works wonders and who would want to spend lots on a product that runs out so quickly? This bargain is £3.89 from Boots! My more expensive favourite comes from Charlotte Tilbury and it’s their Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette which not only is rose gold and gorgeous to look at (definitely Instagram worthy) but works wonders too! I have the lighter shade and it’s the perfect bronzer shade which adds such a nice warmth to my face, noticeable but not in your face. I’ll admit I was a little sceptical of the highlighter as I thought it wouldn’t be glowy enough but I was amazed! It gives off a candlelit glow which added to the bronzer transforms and completes my make up! This a little more on the pricey side at £49 but would make the perfect gift for a make up lover! As it’s still freezing cold and probably will be for the next 5 months I thought it was time to take care of my hair. I am loving the Protein Spray from Label M which not only smells like hairdressers (we all know the smell) but it seriously hydrates my hair and makes my curls bouncy! What’s great is it helps coloured hair to rebuild it’s strength and I can vouch that my hair feels so much healthier. I bought the largest version of this from Look Fantastic which always offer amazing deals and is worth a look to buy lots of beauty bits in one go!

Megan’s Moments 6

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

Eye on Hair & Beauty


ago she completed the Wella Master Colour programme.

Elizabeth Kempson Hairdressing

Working alongside Amy is Vicky Clarke who started hairdressing fifteen years ago at Toni & Guy in Reading, specialising in cutting. “I completed an NVQ Level 2 in 2004 and during the same year I completed my training at the Toni & Guy academy, and eventually worked my way up to style director,” says Vicky.

Bigger & brighter than ever. They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. With that in mind, Elizabeth Kempson has gone all out to wow her clients when they step into her salon for the first time. Prepare to be pampered by the highly qualified team at Elizabeth Kempson Hairdressing, says Lisa Simmons. A recent expansion of the salon has seen it grow from two to five chairs, and the star of the new space is a custom-made, dazzling diamanté reception desk. The brilliance of the welcome is matched by Elizabeth’s two new team members, Amy and Vicky.

Her loyal and growing clientele is testament to the fact that you don’t have to forsake exclusivity and intimacy when your business takes off. Between them the trio share over 50 years of cutting and colouring experience, which for a local village salon makes the world of difference. Setting herself apart from run-of-the-mill salons is what has helped Elizabeth Kempson Hairdressing grow so rapidly over the last two years. It’s not just the beautiful reception desk or the sense of calm when you walk through the door; it’s the smaller details. The glass of chilled wine, the range of luxurious Wella Professionals products to try, the respect for the client if they want a piece of tranquil quiet time or a warm, friendly conversation over a cup of tea. Elizabeth refuses to book clients back to back, preferring to dedicate herself exclusively to one client at a time. “I still work in a very one-to-one way and whilst the client is there they are our focus,” says Elizabeth.

Since opening the salon in May 2014 as a business she hoped would fit around her two young daughters, Elizabeth’s diary is now booked up six days a week. A reputation for the quality of her consultations, the flexibility of her appointment times and the stunning hair she produces has meant clients book months in advance. This is where her new team members Amy and Vicky come into the picture. Colour-expert Amy Griffin has been in the hairdressing business for 23 years. With a passion for learning new techniques, she has the qualifications to prove it.

At the helm, Elizabeth has been hairdressing for 24 years, managing high end salons in both Hertfordshire and Berkshire. “I still absolutely love what I do,” she says. “I am blessed with a clientele of lovely ladies and going to work is something I look forward to.” Situated in the middle of a vibrant and socially active village means that Elizabeth is able to give something back to the community. “I sponsor the local netball team and support local events as much as possible. I have been so well supported locally I like to give something back,” she says. “The village of Mortimer is definitely a much brighter place thanks to this gem of a salon, not least because of the sparkliest reception desk I have ever seen.”

Amy says: “I took the L’Oréal Colour Specialist Degree while working in Dublin and then worked as a technical educator for L’Oréal for two years before moving to Reading 16 years ago.” Here in Reading, Amy became a technical director at a leading salon in Caversham and four years

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

Elizabeth Kempson Hairdressing 07748 922615



18-20 West End Road | Mortimer Common




Happier ife Eye on Leisure

Living a

A quiet revolution in ‘happier living’ has been taking place right under our noses and is gathering pace and support across the UK. consumption”, suggesting our culture has led us to believe we are a lesser person if we don’t have the latest mobile, the fastest car or the biggest house, creating a constant source of dissatisfaction in our lives when we use our phone, drive our car or come home to our modest house.

Could you be happier? “What is it?” I hear you cry, “I want to be happier!” This new trend is Minimalism, brought to the fore by a recent film, ‘Minimalism - A Documentary About The Important Things’. The film follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus as they crossed the USA a couple years ago promoting their book “All That Remains.” Interwoven are interviews with the two men about how they went from stressed out, consumercrazed corporate strivers to blissed out paragons of pared-down living and dispensers of hugs. A good deal of the film cuts away to talk about how others are applying minimalism in their every day life and the global, environmental impact of consumer culture. They delve into topics such as “compulsory

The film also looks at the environmental, social and psychological consequences of this over-purchasing behaviour. Topics include architecture, tiny house living, fashion, meditation and neuroscience. If you weren’t inclined toward a more minimal existence going into the film, you probably will be at the end. It encourages us to ‘opt out’ of this rat race, to live a more simple, less cluttered life where ‘stuff’ is less important. So much so, that any ‘stuff’ retained must have a use and a purpose. The message is not completely anti-consumer, but rather encourages a considered approach to purchases and a focus on quality not quantity. One of our team here at Village Eye, Zahra, has been trying Minimalism for herself over recent weeks. Zahra’s husband, Adam, had been so inspired by the film and the underlying concept that he encouraged them to fully embrace the concept of Minimalism and both take on the Minimalism 30 Day Challenge. The 30 Day Challenge sets targets for removing items from your home that don’t serve a useful purpose with the aim of getting you started

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



and beginning the mindset of minimalism - setting a different bar to strive for. On Day One, you give up one item (each, as this is a husband and wife challenge!), on Day Two, you give up two items and so on. By the time you get to Day 30 you will have eliminated 465 items from your home (or 930 items if you are doing this as a couple. Wow. That’s a lot of items - you wonder what would be left, but interestingly, Zahra tells us, “It didn’t even get hard until we go to about Day 23. Up to that point, there was just so much stuff that we’d accumulated over the years that we rarely, if ever, used. It’s been really free-ing.” “We have been spotting items around the home and squirreling them away. Okay, we’ve been hiding them from each other and stashing them to use in the next day’s clear out! There have also been times that one or other of us has let out an involuntary gasp when we’ve been watching telly or cooking and spotted an item that could go. It really has been a fun thing to do.”



s Zahra say ’s not that there in her much left ! house now

With a less cluttered living space and a future commitment to ‘considered purchasing’ Adam and Zahra are truly enjoying the experience of minimalism and all that this challenge has brought to their lives. “I really would recommend it to anyone who feels that they are continually striving for that elusive ‘something’ and never quite getting there. With each of us placing pressure on ourselves to expect to have the latest technologies and new releases, Minimalism re-focusses you on the simple purpose of an item, as opposed to its brand value.” This simple consideration turns so many of our cultural beliefs and existing value systems on its head. Could you retrain your brain stop wanting the next Iphone or a bigger, fast car? What would happen to our world if, as a global community, we start to focus on the purpose, rather than the badge? Changing the world can all start with a simple - yet challenging - declutter. So are you up for the 30 Day Minimalism Challenge?

eye 9



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T’s & C’s apply


! Your rights

The Residential Nil Rate Band - Will my estate benefit? However, the RNRB is not available to everyone. You need to own a property, which has been your residence at some time during your period of ownership.

By Elizabeth Groom The Residential Nil Rate Band (the RNRB) will make changes to the Inheritance Tax Rules for estates when an individual dies on or after the 6th April 2017. It will be phased in over 3 tax years, giving an extra allowance of £175,000.00 in April 2020 in addition to the existing Inheritance Tax allowance. For later years, the maximum RNRB will increase in line with inflation.

It can only be claimed if left to your direct descendant(s) ie, your child or grandchild. The definition of direct descendant in the legislation is very wide. A buy to let property or rental property will not qualify. The RNRB is limited to one residential property and capped at the value of your interest in the property, after deducting liabilities eg a mortgage, if less than the RNRB. If the value of your estate exceeds £2 million, the RNRB is not available in full

and cannot be claimed at all for estates worth over £2.7 million.

If you dispose of your property or downsize, the RNRB may still be available.

If your Will contains a trust, ie for a minor grandchild, the RNRB may not be available.

This article is only an abbreviated summary of a complicated area. Please contact the Private Client Department at Rowberry Morris who will be able to advise you further on whether your estate can benefit from the RNRB. Rowberry Morris can be contacted on 0118 981 2992

If you are cohabiting and pass your interest in your property to your partner under the terms of your Will or by survivorship, your entitlement to the RNRB will be lost. Your cohabitee does not fall within the definition of “lineal descendant”. If you are married or in a civil partnership, any unused RNRB can be transferred to your spouse’s or civil partner’s estate.

Mulfords Hill | Tadley | RG26 3XJ

CREATIVE COMPANY VIDEO Ditch the video of the boss in the office with a pot plant in the background and get something more creative on your website in 2017. View our showreel at:

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Business & Finance

Dying to sort things out…

by Mark Penston

pensions can be paid out as a tax-free lump sum before death. This can provide valuable funds at a time of need.

Independent Financial Advice

Using Business Property Relief (BPR) If you own a business it may qualify for business property relief which can give you options on how your business wealth is passed on in a tax efficient manner. Itʼs a complex area but seeking early advice can help to plan ahead.

Sadly, one of the motivators for people to sort their financial affairs out is because they, or perhaps one of their parents, have discovered that they are close to death. The notes I have made below focus on ʻthe crash course to deathʼ but of course many of the items should be part of good financial housekeeping anyway, because you never know… Will and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) This is not a service we offer, but nonetheless over half of all the clients we meet haven’t done a will (even the ill ones!). Google what happens if you die without a will (dying intestate). Ask you solicitor too about why you should do an LPA. Pensions (not necessarily inheritance tax (IHT) free) Recent changes in pension legislation (Pensions Freedoms) have made pensions highly effective IHT planning investments. Some pensions can now be passed down the generations outside of the estate, but nominations need to be made to ensure that wishes can be followed and funds kept outside of your estate. Pensions – Immediate payment If life expectancy is under 12 months, then some

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

0118 987 6655

Death In Service nomination Many people have life cover through their employer. Most schemes will allow you to nominate (or direct) who the proceeds should be paid to on death. This allows payment to be made directly to a beneficiary without going through your estate.

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.

Life Assurance. An important area to address if you are well. Is it set up correctly and could the use of a trust save time and money? If your life expectancy is limited, check whether any benefits can be paid out before death.


your local mobile IT helpdesk!

Inter-spouse transfers & CGT With the knowledge that transferring assets between spouses does not trigger any taxation and that capital gains tax liability dies with the individual, consider rearranging assets to limit taxation.

If you have computer problems, we can help you with: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Putting ISAs outside the estate Although ISAs are tax efficient, the downside is that these investments are generally included in your estate for inheritance tax purposes, unless they are invested in assets that are specifically zero rated for IHT. A niche area, but one that should be explored if ISA funds are significant.

x no fi e e f no

Please note that this is a rough guide on the topics covered and advice should always be sought before and action is taken.


Mark Penston is Partner and Chartered Financial Planner with Bluesky Chartered Financial Planners 0118 9876655

call us now

01256 560070

All w guar ork antee d


email: tam247pcsupport@gmail.com Freephone: 0800 228 9138 Cedar Gables, Meadow Park, Sherfield-on-Loddon,RG27 0DH

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





Lift Share anyone? Fancy saving a bit of money on your commute? If so, a new wave of lift-sharing services could be right up your street. As the sharing economy picks up momentum, its reach has become global. In cities and towns around the world, people are creating ways to share everything from baby clothes to boats, hardware to holiday homes. One of the fastest growing areas is that of the ‘lift-share’ (no, not the Peter Kaye version) - we are talking about a service where members of the public can ‘hitch’ a ride with others going in the same direction. Enter Blabla Car, a savvy social site & app that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for the same trip throughout the UK and the continent. Formed in the 2006 and launched in the UK in the year 2011, (along with its French and Spanish counterparts) Blabla now has more than 3 million members who trust their community marketplace to plan their ride sharing trips all over Europe. The BlaBlaCar website & app allows people to get in touch online and to meet in the real world. It is 21st Century (safe) hitchhiking that takes advantage of the technology on offer. It enables people who don’t know each other, but are interested in travel to connect and potentially cut their fuel bills by hundreds of pounds a year. So Many Empty Cars... The concept is simple and matches up drivers who are about to embark on a specific journey, or who use a certain route on a regular basis, with potential passengers who are looking for a ride to a particular destination.

TECH eye by Eye Geek

Dealing with insurance issues The fact that payments only cover fuel and running costs is important from an insurance point of view. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which represents the majority of UK providers, standard motor policies will continue to cover vehicles involved in lift-sharing provided no profit is made. The organisation says: “All ABI motor insurers have agreed that your insurance cover will not be affected if your passengers contribute towards your journey costs (including fuel, vehicle depreciation and associated vehicle running costs), as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. “This does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business.” Is it safe? After joining the site, members are usually called by a member of staff to verify their identity – this can be done by linking to the driver’s Facebook profile too. And as the site relies heavily on their reputation for safety, the company takes a lot of care to ensure drivers and passengers are who they say they are and use real names, linking to social media profiles whenever possible. After each trip, passengers and drivers are encouraged to rate each other on the site - helping to build a trust-based profile.

The sites suggest how much money each passenger should contribute based on the distance travelled – this sum is intended to cover their share of fuel as well as wear and tear.

Take sensible precautions

Marcus Taylor, Finance Director from Shinfield, has been using BlaBlaCar for the past year. Marcus, 38, says: “I drive to Manchester every week, and it always seemed ridiculous that 99% of the cars on the motorway only had one person in them.

As well as making identity checks on drivers, the Blabla advise all users to take sensible precautions before travelling with someone new. Here are some handy hints if you’re thinking of giving it a go:

10% of the price of a rail ticket “Car sharing makes complete sense: I get some payback for my diesel bills, and my passengers get a cheaper trip.” The drive from Reading to Manchester costs a typical passenger of his around £15, Marcus says — which might be less than a tenth of the price of a peak rail ticket. “Another advantage for passengers is that I offer a door-to-door service,” he adds. Many of his passengers are young people or students, Marcus says, but there are also a number of businessmen and professionals who use the service too. Meeting new people “It’s not just down to the cost – it is also a more environmentally friendly way to travel.” Says John Harrington, a PR consultant from Exeter. John drives up to Newbury for work at the start of each week and back again on Fridays. He uses Blabla to advertise his route to potential travelling companions. “A friend of mine recommended it,” says John, 32. “He was using it as a passenger to save money on train fares, but he said it was also a way to meet nice people.”

• • • • •

Avoid sharing home addresses prior to the trip. Meeting in a public place. Telling a friend or relative who you will be travelling with and providing details of your trip. Showing photo ID when you meet to confirm identities. After each trip, passengers and drivers are encouraged to rate each other on the site - a bit like an ebay rating.

For further information visit: www.blablacar.co.uk

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




Pleated Blinds Roman Blinds Conservatories Perfect Fit Blinds 14

Roller Blinds Vertical Blinds Ventian Blinds Motorized Roller Blinds

0118 983 1800 www.blinddateblinds.com

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

eye siness

From Jungle to Joyful

local bu

why gardens love

IAN PHILIPS Spring is on its way, and who wouldn’t want a beautiful garden to enjoy?


t’s true for most of us, I’m sure, but it’s also true to say that not many of us achieve the colourful, lush garden that we wish for. And it’s mainly down to lack of available time. Ian Philips, who runs Ian Philips Garden Services which was established in 1977, agrees. He says, “Many customers very much enjoy their gardens but lead such a busy life style that they have little time for even the basics of garden maintenance and inevitably, the bigger the garden, the bigger the problem!” At Ian Philips, you can choose the level of gardening support that suits your needs and your budget. They can devise a plan for all year-round maintenance and planting, offer seasonal maintenance or, if you need the team on a more adhoc basis, you can book a oneoff visit to sort out that over-grown hedge, fix the fence, put up a shed and pressure wash the patio!

The team can also put together a programme to make sure you achieve a lush lawn this summer with great stripes…. without you moving from your sun lounger! And what’s more, this family business based in Mortimer has customers staying loyal for over ten years. Customers don’t stay loyal for that long unless reliability and quality of service is second-to-none. The team at Ian Philips certainly deliver on that front.

One thing that remains constant is Ian’s love of plants, and he is at his best when designing gardens and landscaping. And when he’s not planting them, he’s painting them. Ian’s joy of flora and fauna extends into his ‘downtime’ too, when he can often be found sitting with his paint brush and easel working on a new masterpiece - normally a view of our great Berkshire countryside…..with a few choice plants and shrubs.

The well-trained, highlyOne thing skilled team of six work within a 20 mile radius of remains Mortimer offering both domestic and commercial constant is gardening services. The commercial work carried Ian’s love of out is on Business Parks, plants! small estates and local churchyards, as well as domestic gardens. With up-to-date equipment, as well as the correct licenses for weed control sprayers and chain saws, they are fully experienced with safety and HSE requirements.

Most of us will see a sad, tired winter garden if we look out of the window today. But planning and acting now will give us every chance of a delightful garden in the summer. And if you don’t know your ‘cloche’ from your ‘cold-frame’ maybe give the team at Ian Philips a call...

The company has over the years taken on and trained many young staff, particularly over the summer months. For those budding young gardeners who are interested, we are currently recruiting so please contact Ian or Mark.

Enjoy your garden once again!

Ian Philips can be reached on 01189 332396 0796 1300 851 or Mark Baldwin on 01189 834026 07852 151519 or visit www.ipgardens.co.uk


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

Property of the Month Casey Court Stanford Dingley 3 bedroom rural home

Theale Office

Situated in the much coveted village of Stanford Dingley the property is equidistant between Thatcham and Reading and has over 45 miles of public footpaths on its doorstep. It also within walking distance of 2 excellent country pubs. Ground floor accommodation comprises a living room, complete with log burner. The Kitchen is modern and there is a large conservatory that provides views and access to the rear garden. There is also a bathroom and store room On the first floor there are three bedrooms the master provides far reaching unspoilt rural views. The property has real extension potential, and in the past has had planning permission for a double story extension.

£390,000 £375,000


Theale office

Theale office

• 4 bedroom detached

• 3 bedroom town house

• Rarely available

• Newly Built

• Attached self contained annex

• 10 Year NHBC guarantee

• 27ft kitchen/dining room

• Well placed for transport infrastructure

• Ensuite bathroom

Theale Burghfield Common

• 2 reception rooms

• Pleasing views




Theale office


Theale office

• 2 bedroom detached

• Three bedroom Victorian home

• Character cottage

• Two double bedrooms

• Approx 150ft garden

• Conversion potential

• 17ft useful office space

• Enclosed rear garden

• Walking distance of High Street

• Desirable village location

• Refitted 19ft kitchen/dining room



• Short walk to mainline station


Theale office

Calcot Burghfield Common Burghfield

• No onward Chain

Theale office

• Two Double Bedrooms

• 2 bedroom cottage

• Recently Redecorated

• No onward chain

• Off Road Parking

• 100ft rear garden

• Good Sized Garden

• In need of modernisation

• Well Located

• Peaceful ‘End of lane’ location

• No Onward Chain

Padworth Burghfield Common Burghfield

• Short walk to mainline station

Burghfield Common Mortimer Burghfield Village Aldermaston Wharf Beenham Midgham Woolhampton Sulhamstead Beech Hill Aldermaston Theale Bradfield Stanford Dingley Baughurst Tadley Ufton Nervet Spencers Wood Little London Brimpton Padworth Silchester Tutts Clump Tidmarsh Bradfield Southend Englefield Pamber Heath 16

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

Property of the Month Oak Drive Burghfield Common 4 bedroom family home


Offered to the market in immaculate condition, this four bedroom property is set within a quiet cul-de-sac location. The ground floor accommodation comprises a 16ft lounge, 14ft sitting room, 14ft conservatory, 19 ft kitchen/ breakfast room, utility area, porch, entrance hall and shower room. The first floor comprises four generous double bedrooms with en-suite to master and second bedroom and a family bathroom. To the front of the property is parking and a double garage. Walking distance of Willink secondary school Viewings are highly recommended.



Burghfield Common office


Burghfield Common office

• Set within approx. 1/5 of an acre

• Four double bedrooms

• Views overlooking the valley

• Large plot of land

• Private and secluded gardens

• Over 1800sq. ft. of accom

• Four generous bedrooms

• Popular semi-rural location

• Upgraded UPVC double glazing

• Extension potential (STPP)

• Garage/studio room

Ufton Nervet


Burghfield Common office

• Three bedroomed detached

• End of quiet cul de sac

• Shower room & family bathroom

• Three bedrooms

• Ample off road parking

• Lounge & dining room

• Single garage

• Gas central heating

• Private garden • Quiet cul de sac location

Burghfield BurghfieldCommon Common

• Double garage & two bathrooms


Burghfield Common office

• Walking distance to shops

Burghfield Common

• Parking for 5 vehicles



• Four bedrooms, two bathrooms

• 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms

• 16ft living room

• Open-plan kitchen diner

• Kitchen/breakfast room

• Separate utility room

• 14 ft conservatory

• Garage and driveway parking

• Single garage

• Quiet cul-de-sac location

Burghfield Common office

Burghfield Common

Burghfield Common Office

• Backing on to farmland

Burghfield Common office

Burghfield Common

• Overlooking wooded copse

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 17

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

Property of the Month Tadley Hill Tadley 5 bedroom Family Home

Tadley Office

Presented in immaculate order throughout, this extended detached property is conveniently located within easy walking distance of various schools, regular bus routes and Tadley centre offering shopping facilities and amenities. With spacious accommodation over two floors, this well presented home comprises of 22’ lounge with open wood burning fireplace, brick built sun room with vaulted ceiling and feature gable ended window, refitted kitchen, dining room, study, family room/ bedroom 5 and cloakroom to the ground floor. To the first floor the property consists of 3 double bedrooms, 1 single bedroom, refitted shower room to the master suite and separate family bathroom. Externally the property offers an easy maintenance landscaped rear garden with various storage facilities, double detached garage, external gym and ample off road parking to the front and side.

£675,000 £475,000


Tadley office

Tadley office

Aldermaston Burghfield Common

• 5 Bedrooms

• 3 Bedrooms

• 4 Receptions

• 3 Receptions

• 3 Bathrooms

• 1 Bathroom

• Kitchen/Breakfast room

• Kitchen

• Double garage

• Private garden

• Period features

Pamber Heath



Tadley office


Tadley office

• 5 Bedrooms

• 4 Bedrooms

• 4 Receptions

• 2 Reception

• 2 Bathrooms

• 3 Bathrooms

• Kitchen

• 2 Kitchens

• Driveway parking

• Garage

• Period features




• Annexe


Tadley office

Tadley Burghfield Common Burghfield

• Garage & parking

Tadley office

• 3 Bedrooms

• 3 Bedrooms

• 2 Receptions

• 2 Receptions

• 3 Bathrooms

• 3 Bathrooms

• Kitchen

• Kitchen

• Garden

• Garage

• Garage

Tadley Burghfield Common Burghfield

• Allocated parking

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



Property of the Month Blewburton Close Mortimer 3 bedroom family home

£1350 pcm £1195pcm Theale office

(Tenant’s fees apply)

Situated in this quiet exclusive development in a semi rual location within the popular village of Mortimer, just a short walk to the railway station with its links to Reading and London ( Paddington 25 mins ). Easy access to the village which has a comprehensive range of everyday amenities yet open countryside surrounds this much sought after location. Presented superbly throughout internal accommodation includes cloakroom, 18 kitchen / breakfast room, fitted appliances and granite work surfaces, 18ft Lounge / dining room, master bedroom with ensuite, two further bedrooms and family bathroom. Neat enclosed gardens and allocated parking for two vehicles. Available immediately, unfurnished.

£1500pcm (Tenant’s fees apply)

(Tenant’s fees apply)

Burghfield Common office • Three bedrooms

• 3 Bedroom Mid Terrace

• Refitted bathroom

• Well Presented Throughout

• Kitchen with appliances

• Allocated Parking

• Garage with driveway

• Close to J12 of M4

• Views to front & rear

• Offered Unfurnished • Available Immediately



Beech Hill (Tenant’s fees apply)

• Unfurnished, available immediately


Burghfield Common office

Burghfield BurghfieldCommon Common

Burghfield Common Office

(Tenant’s fees apply)

Theale office

• Exceptionally spacious four bedroomed detached house

• 2 Bedroom Mid Terrace

• Large living space, mature gardens.

• Private Garden

• Quiet yet convenient location

• Close to Theale High Street

• Easy access to Reading, AWE, M4 and rail station.

• Close to J12 of M4

• Fitted kitchen and utility room • Unfurnished. Available now.

• Available March


• Offered Unfurnished

Meet the Rentals Team - Sharon Coleman, Tadley Before being appointed as Tadley’s lettings Manager in 2015, Sharon’s owned a property maintenance company, which means she really understands what relationships need to be like between landlords and tenants. A natural people person,she is pro-active, and very customer focussed. Sharon’s interests when not hard at work include travelling, going to the gym and socialising. Her main passion however, is wine-having previously owned two wine bars! “I specialise in fast placing of quality tenants, which I vet personally as well as putting them through a 3rd party referencing. Part of our service includes quarterly inspections, which are followed up with a detailed outcome reports (including photos every time). We offer a truly local service too - I’m the only dedicated lettings person based in Tadley itself, as opposed to in Basingstoke or surrounding areas, which means I can make sure your property is looked after like it should be as your investment is growing. We’ll also provde you with Annual market appraisals of your property to make sure you are getting the correct rental income. If an increase is due in line with the market, I can organise all the necessary paperwork to advise the tenant of the increase for you too”.


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



Homes & Gardens

Green Green Grass A perfect lawn really is the ‘Holy Grail’ of gardening. Who wouldn’t want a lush, green lawn with Wimbledon stripes?

But here in the UK our attempts are often thwarted by our cold, wet, damp climate and...MOSS! Yes, moss really is the enemy when it comes to achieving that perfect lawn.

Getting the perfect

“A lawn with heavy moss can look really unsightly, especially in the winter when it comes to life. It can have a bright green look, and unless it is controlled and physically removed from the lawn, it can regenerate itself year after year.” Thanks to Phil, we have some top tips on controlling moss to share with our readers:

It gets everywhere; on the front drive, the roof, in the guttering, but especially in the lawn. Due to our climate, and limited sun in the winter, moss can develop and spread very easily. But why does moss spread into the lawn? Poor drainage is often a big problem. Do you have areas on your lawn where water lays on the surface? You’ll probably find moss there. Similarly, shaded areas - particularly under trees can be susceptible, and the type of soil that you have in your garden can also be a contributing factor. Moss is a lover of clay soil, but also loves soil that is very acidic. You tend to find it most in areas that have limited air movement, too, such as the sides of the house, garage, fences or trees. So, it’s a lost cause, right? Wrong! There are lots of things you can do to prevent the spread of moss spoiling your lovely lawn. We spoke to Phil Adshead of Supagrass for his thoughts. He told us,

Prune and trim trees right back to allow more air movement through the lawn.

In some cases over seeding where the moss was removed is necessary.

Apply moss killer in Autumn and early Spring.

Don’t cut your lawn too short. The general consensus is to keep the blades of grass between 2.5cm and 3cm.

Use a Iron Sulphate material to kill moss. Once moss is dead it must be removed by raking by hand or machine scarification.

Following these steps will help keep moss under control and will allow the grasses in your lawn to do what they are designed to do, which is to grow strong and be healthy.

Aerating the lawn helps drainage allowing grass roots to strengthen.

If you need some further advice, Phil is happy to help. You can call him on 01256 461388 or email rbf@supagrass.co.uk

Apply Autumn and Spring feed with nitrogen.

Helping you achieve the lawn you’ve always wanted.

Lawn Fertilising

Moss Control

Weed Killing



Lawn Mowing

Phil Adshead runs Supagrass in the Hampshire and West Berks area. He has helped over 1000 customers improve their lawns, and has looked after the greens at two of the top 10 golf courses in the world including Augusta National. For a FREE lawn assessment and quote with Phil call 01256 461388 or email rbf@supagrass.co.uk



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

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

LAFFORD & LEAVEY LTD ARROWHEAD ROAD, THEALE, READING, RG7 4AZ Tel: Reading (0118) 9303333 Fax: (0118) 9323707 Email: lafford.leavey@btconnect.com 21

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


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

Fully insured • Fully qualified • Pa rt P complia nt

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We’re a LASSA Tyre Agent!

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?

Plasterer ? Need a Good, Local

Experienced team of specialist plasterers Will take on any plastering job, domestic & commercial Friendly and professional service To request a free quote, or to discuss your requirements, contact us today. We'll be happy to help.

Please contact SERVICE RECEPTION on

0118 970 2222 www.mendemmotors.co.uk


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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Plastering Services

Want to rid your home of your old Artex ceilings?

0118 988 7590 or 07789 902 091 After


info@mtjplastering.co.uk www.mtjplastering.co.uk

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

18 Chestnut Close | Theale| RG7 5DF



& tel: 0118 983 4164 or mob: 07836 751 072

email: davidling007@sky.com | 9 Chervil Way, Burghfield Common, RG7 3XY


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 0118 982 0788 e: tadley@barn-store.co.uk

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

Berkshire Design Build Ltd

www.barn-store.co.uk 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!

Need a Solicitor? Contact John L Banky Solicitors

Taking Time to Care

Helping your loved ones to remain in their own homes Does your loved one need some help each day, getting up and dressed, preparing meals or getting settled in the evening? We offer daily visits to homes across Berkshire ensuring both you and your loved one are getting the support you need. We never rush, we don’t believe in 10 minute visits – we believe in helping your loved ones to feel safe, cared for and independent. Q1Care Ltd is approved by the Care Quality Commission – CQC inspected and rated GOOD 14/9/2016

Contact us today for a no obligation discussion about your needs. Melanie.Meads@q1care.co.uk

Tel. 01189 323 865

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

Contested Probate/Inheritance Claims

General Litigation

For advice please call:

0118 930 4630

Open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm


18a High Street, Theale Berkshire, RG7 5AN



Q1Care Ltd Mortimer House 49 Church Street Theale Berkshire RG7 5BX Q1Care Ltd is approved by the Care Quality Commission

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 538444)

New Line Sheds

James W Fisher

ManCave Specialists!

Property Maintenance


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

Experienced legal consultancy


Over 50 years experience. A family run business. Over 50 years experience. Visit us! We us wood from renewable sustainable Over 70% of our sales come Mention this advert Mon-Fri managed forest. and receive a free wood 8-4:30pm from recommendation We do not use chipboard or plywood. treatment&with every Bolted assembly. A family run business shed purchased! Bespoke design available. We us wood fromSat 9-4 renewable Helpful and friendly staff. sustainable managed forest Value for money.

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

0118 971 2245 www.newlinesheds.co.uk

All interior and exterior decorating, carpentry and small building work. 25 years experience. CONTACT JAMES TODAY FOR A FREE QUOTATION. No job too small:

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

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




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

ws & Doors Windo With over 20 years experience serving local customers, we take pride in offering quality & Doors doors replacement windows, Windows and conservatories with all of our products meeting British standards. We provide a personal touch and Windows & Doors - Berkshire competitive pricing that only a local independent company like ourselves can offer.

For a friendly, no obligation chat about your windows, please call:

0118 930 5757

UPVC: Windows - Doors - Conservatories - Facias - Soffits & Guttering

Registered in England: Tailormade Windows & Doors of Berkshire Ltd. 6 Valley Road Burghfield Reading RG7 3NF

Handy L OCAL Andy Man!

Wetrooms, Easy-Access Showers and Bathrooms Serving our customers for over 25 years your local company for wet rooms and bathroom conversions.

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

Trading Standards accredited, please call the Bran Partnership for a no obligation quote.

0118 983 1212 or 07836 648503 email: bran.partnership@btopenworld.com




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

No vat charged | Competitive Prices

Andy O118 929 1447 O7788 21181O

Email andypropertymtce@gmail.com

Handy Andy 1/4 July 2015.indd 1

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


29/06/2015 11:19



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


We stock a wide selection raw food, horse feed, plus horse bedding, small animal food and bedding, wild bird foods, cage and aviary bird foods, chicken food and bedding, cat food and cat litter, fish food for cold water, tropical and marine, reptile food and also many exotic foods. You name it, we stock and sell it and probably for the best prices in the area. We provide FREE DELIVERY, have some great promotions and guarantee friendly service.

0118 981 9996

www.tadleypetsupplies.co.uk 4-5 THE FORGE (next to Tesco’s) HEATH END ROAD, BAUGHURST

Burghfield Dog Grooming & Mortimer Pet Shop

Looking for a dog groomer?

Then look no further and support a local family run business. We groom most sizes and breeds of dog in a fully insured salon with qualified groomers. Collection & delivery can be arranged. We also stock a good range of pet supplies and are RAW pet food specialists 37-39 King Street, Mortimer, RG7 3RS Tel: 01189 331245 Mobile: 07799 073913 Burghfield_doggrooming@hotmail.com www.burghfielddoggrooming.co.uk

Dog Training Based in Spencers Wood

• Fear related problems • Hyperactive or Anxiety related problems • Puppy Training • Basic Obedience Taining • Dog Aggression • Human Aggression

Email or phone us today and start the amazing journey to helping your canine.

07793 073622

One to one attention for you and your dog...

nathan@balancedenergycaninetraining.co.uk www.@balancedenergycaninetraining.co.uk

P & H Cleaning Services • • • • • • •

Deep Spring Cleaning Before/After Party Cleaning Quality domestic & office cleaning General cleaning One -off cleans End of tenancy Ironing (collection & delivery!)

• • • • • •


Seven Days a week Competitive rates Fully insured, experienced Flexible and trustworthy References available 100% guarantee for a well done job

discount for March Deep Spring Cleans


07787 174847 0118 988 9298 phcleaningservices@live.co.uk

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







0118 907 1267 OR VISIT


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.

We will pay you top ££s for your scrap!

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!

0118 9500 470 0781 3443 763

www.readingmetalrecycling.co.uk Mon-Sat 8am-6pm

Residential Scrap Metal Drop in your scrap metal old copper pipes, washing machines, power cables etc.

Reading Metal Recycling

(Opposite the Cunning Man)

Weirside, Green Lane Burghfield Bridge Industrial Estate

Contact Toby on 07737 784 244

for a free quotation or email: info@bluebanana.tv

• • •

No Signal? we’ll fix it



Garden Services

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

Home cinema systems IRS Systems Hidden cables

• Multiroom systems • Repairs to existing systems, • European satellites • Domestic and Commercial Work undertaken • TVs mounted on walls

What can I do for your Garden this winter?

No Job too Large or Small If you don’t have the time or experience to take care of your garden and have it looking the way you would like, let this local, experienced gardener take the strain so you can sit back and relax this winter! Winter lawncare, mowing, digging, sowing, planting, weeding, pruning, hedge-cutting, tree management, sympathetic makeovers and soft & hard landscaping.

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

Plenty still needs doing during the winter!

Keep Keepititlocal local! ! Trades Trades&&Services ServicesPages. Pages. Don’t Don’tforget forgetto tomention mentionVillage VillageEye Eyewhen whencalling! calling!


For a friendly quote and advice, please call Tim Sillince:

0118 988 7590 or 07768 764908




Jack worboys



azda is another of the car brands that seems to have found their true calling in the last year or so. The styling department has been given free rein to make some really exciting shapes and they’ve invested in the engineering to make the cars lighter and the engines more efficient. The Mazda 2 in its current guise was released in 2014, but hasn’t yet been able to topple the class leader, the incredibly successful Ford Fiesta. The styling of the 2 has taken cues from the other models in Mazda’s range. I particularly like the protruding front grill and the very sleek interior. The interior characterises Japanese minimalism, but there seems to be a sense of style more commonly associated with countries such as Italy. It’s no prancing horse, but a nice place to sit all the same. As is common with cars nowadays the 2 shares its platform with other models. It is apparently stiffer, lighter and larger than the previous model. Let me guess it’s more efficient too? Of course it is, with the mid range petrol model being quoted at 62.8mpg. The engines available are all 1.5L four cylinder units, in both petrol and diesel variants with the diesel and faster petrol being paired with a 6 speed gearbox. The petrol engines offer up 90hp and 115hp and the diesel with 105hp. Fuel efficiency is 62.8mpg and 56.5mpg for petrol and 83.1mpg for diesel. The diesel also offers 89g/km of CO2 where the petrols are both just over 100g/km. Again as is usual for this sector at the moment the new 2 has much improved driving dynamics. This never used to be much concern, but car companies are now able to work wizardry with the suspension

Mazda 2 Hatch systems. The 2 offers a compliant ride with more than enough comfort, but can still handle itself when you push on. The fiesta may have one of the best chassis in this sector, but the 2 definitely gives it a good run for it’s money on fun. Also with a sub 9 second 0-62mph time for the faster petrol model, it’s not too slow either! Interior space has increased slightly over the last model, offering 280L of boot space and a wider interior giving a more spacious feel. The levels of technology available are fairly standard for a car in this sector. Base level standard spec brings a USB port, air con and hillstart assist. Prices start at £12,540 and rise to £18,280. At the top level you’ll be getting keyless entry, climate control, parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. The 2 balances good build quality, clever design, great usability, efficient engines and a fun driving experience. The design offers some real interest over the more bland cars in this sector, but may not be for all. If you want something different from the Fiestas that surround you on your neighbours’ drives then this is definitely well worth a look.


Spring Forward

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

March...The start of Spring. The sun keeps poking its head out, flashing a hint of what's sure to come soon. Well, certainly after March 26th at least - the date this year when we should all adjust our clocks ready for British Summertime -YIPEEE.

Each year when the clocks go forward, is it me or is there really a general ‘uplifting’ feeling detected in people’s mood? Though most of us would ordinarily be unhappy about losing an hour of our precious weekends, the longer days signifies the beginning of British Summertime, something we seem to happily welcome after the cold winter we've had. Coupled with the fact that it's still light at 7 o'clock at night puts a big smile on our faces. If only those grey rain clouds would stop lurking menacingly... We’re ready to

get our Summer wardrobes out of hiding! When Europe first enacted Daylight Savings Time in 1916, the goal was not for us to get more or less sleep, or longer farming days as it is popularly believed. It was in fact to conserve expensive coal burning during World War I by maximizing daylight during labouring hours. After much of the rest of the world followed suit with the twice yearly clock change that became known as “Spring forward, Fall back,” effects began to emerge among them, factors that can even affect how you look and feel too. So come on summer, bring it on - we are ready for you!

Bridle Eye Care your local independent Optician Looking after all of your Eye Care needs. A frame for every face, and a price for every pocket...

0118 930 2312

Contact us today! 28


find us on THEALE High Street Eye Tests | Children’s Eye Tests | Glasses & Sunglasses | Designer Frames | Contact Lenses

eye y on Charit


SAY Sausages!

Rules: Dog must be house-trained One entry per dog Entries close at midnight on 31st March 2017 Winners will be announced on facebook notified by PM

OUR SEARCH FOR A CANINE SUPERSTAR POOCH STARTS RIGHT HERE! Does your pup have star quality? Does your pooch have bundles of charisma? If you think your dog has something special then we want to hear from you! From now until the end of March, we are inviting you to send in a snapshot of your canine cutie. Take a photo, send it in and we’ll select 12 winners from your entries to become our Charity Poster Pooches for

2018. That could sort the family Christmas presents this year! Local photographer Jack Chen at Digifocus Photography is looking for dogs of every kind. “Whether it’s big Border Collies, small Shih Tzus, cute Cockapoos, naughty Norfolk Terriers, delightful Dalmations or magnificent Miniature Schnauzers, the breed does not matter.” The winning dogs will be treated to their very own studio photo shoot

(courtesy of Digifocus) and once the pups have been papped, they will be turned into local Canine Superstars when they appear in this new, local charity ‘doggy’ calendar for 2018! The charity that the calendar supports is Bucket List Wishes, run by local lady Gini Blesky. Bucket List Wishes arrange and organise end of life ‘wishes’ for terminally ill adults. To find out more visit www. bucketlistwishes.org.uk

Facebook Entry @Superstarpooches To enter your dog, visit the Facebook page, @superstarpooches ‘like’ it and then upload your snap with the breed, age and name of your pooch. We’ll keep you updated as the competition progresses and maybe we’ll see your dog as a Calendar girl - or boy - next year!


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




THAI STORY It’s been another busy year for the team at Cutting Edge Catering. When we took a moment to reflect on what we got up to in 2016, we were pleasantly surprised with one of the statistics... Though we knew it had become very poplar, we had not realised that we’d actually served nearly as many people our mouthwatering take on Thai Homemade Chicken Curry as we had contemporary canapes and hot & cold buffets! Many customers book us well in advance - we’re already booked to cater for events, from Christenings, to Parties and family gatherings throughout the spring and summer We’ve even had bookings for Christmas already (yes we really said that in March!) We’ve also just been rebooked to feed a bunch of not-so-hairy bikers in September 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 our homemade Thai green chicken curry. One of the growing areas of our business is working with other local businesses 30

For a chat about your event call:

07795 188122 www.cuttingedgecatering.co.uk rosalie@cuttingedgecatering.co.uk

where, on a daily basis we are supplying office workers, their customers and associates with tasty fayre with locally sourced ingredients where possible. Indeed, 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.

Surprisingly, whilst our contemporary and traditional lunch time office buffets remain as popular as ever - our take on a Thai green Chicken curry is now one of our most popular requests when it comes to feeding the troops in the workplace - who knew! We’re pleased to say that we have recently purchased another refrigerated van to help us cope with the demand in this area too. The van sign says Cutting Edge, but the banter in the kitchen is ‘Over the Edge’ when we’ve been very busy! We love getting involved with the community too - indeed, we enjoyed meeting so many of you

Parties | Weddings | Christenings Birthdays | Funerals | Corporate

at various Fetes, Fun days and of course, Burghfest last summer where our Thai Green Chicken curry went down a storm! With love...

am x Rosalie & the te

Cutting Edge is a small independent catering company ....with creative flair and strong attention to detail we can provide eye catching excellent food at affordable prices. Rosalie and her team can be contacted on 07795 188 122 visit www.cuttingedgecatering.co.uk for details

EASY THAI GREEN CHICKEN CURRY Ingredients: 1 red onion Good Thai green paste* 2 chicken breasts skin off

2 tins of coconut milk Large bunch of fresh coriander Lime Juice

Serves 2

Method Finely chop the red onion and cook in a little olive oil in a large saucepan until soft. Add Thai green paste according to taste. Slice the chicken breasts into chunks and add to the onion and Thai paste and lightly brown on all sides. Stir the coconut milk into the chicken and onion. Chop the coriander and add to the mixture. Simmer for 30 mins ensuring the chicken is fully cooked. Drizzle with lime juice and serve with boiled rice. Simple! *There are lots of recipes available online for Thai green curry paste. If you are stuck for time, or do not have all of the ingredients (there are many), there are some good ready made ones available from the supermarket. We like Waitrose Cooks’ range & also Mae Ploy Green Thai Paste available from Tesco & Asda.

Let him bake Cake!

eye on Leisure

On Leisure

What could be better? Enjoying amazingly tasty cakes, while helping to raise money for a great cause! Local Willink student Matthew Schofield, 16, is raising funds for a once-in-a-lifetime school trip to Madagascar in July, where he and his fellow students will be helping lay pipe work, build a children’s home and work with the local community. His talent for baking has truly come into its own as he has started to bake cakes to order so that he can raise funds for this trip. Matthew is, by all accounts, an amazing baker - as you can see from these impressive pics - and clearly has a high level of initiative and motivation which will serve him well in reaching his target. Matthew is looking to take orders for cakes for all occasions, small or large. With prices starting at £15, what baking requests do you have coming up? Can you help him reach his target? You can contact Matthew through his mum, Heather on 07515 433935

Coffee UP

Before You GO GO COFFEE IS MORE than just a morning energy-booster - its now seen as one of the most common sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. Last year, researchers in Australia found that the Arabica coffee bean stabilizes free radicals, which can lead to inflammation in your body, at every stage of the brewing process.

This antioxidant activity is the reason coffee is considered to be protective for your heart, liver, brain and more, According to a review of more than 1,200 different studies from Ulster University in Northern Ireland, benefits of moderate coffee consumption - up to four cups per day - includes heart and brain health, better insulin regulation, an enhanced metabolism, better protection from some cancers and improved gastrointestinal health. There’s also a surprising amount of nutrients in one cup, including ll percent of your daily needs of energy- producing vitamin B2 and six per cent of your requirements of B5, which is key to healthy red blood cell count. You’ll also be drinking other key minerals including manganese, potassium and magnesium. GET UP AND GO A coffee 10 minutes before you start a workout will improve your endurance and performance, and your metabolism will increase by up to 11 per cent too. It also helps your body burn more calories even after you’ve stopped exercising! Apparently, caffeine also reduces muscle pain during exercise, as well as soreness afterwards. What’s more, it helps control your body’s fluid balance so your energy and had ration levels stay healthy, refuting the misconception that coffee is dehydrating.

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

CURRY SUNDAYS Get together with family and friends at Burghfield Spices on Sundays from 1pm to 10pm For just £9.95 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.

0118 983 4040


Our full menu is just a click away. You can now order online for collection/delivery!



The Hatchgate, Burghfield Common




Open Mornings Thursday 30 March Open Mornings run from 10.30am to 12.00pm. To reserve your place please call Admissions on 0118 984 6910 or email admissions@sjcr.org.uk. Alternatively you can book via our website.


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24/01/2017 12:00 pm

Early Years Open Afternoon Thursday 30 March, 4.15pm - 5.30pm To reserve your place at our Open Afternoon please call Admissions on 0118 984 6910 or email admissions@sjcr.org.uk. Alternatively you can book via our website.



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


VillageEye92x126AdJan2017V1.indd 1


24/01/2017 12:01 pm

Families & Leisure


Children can always be relied upon to say the kindest things! We are regularly sent some very funny and interesting emails by our readers... and the contents of one such mail recently had the team in stitches! As it’s Mother’s Day this month, what better time to share this with our readers in celebration of Mums everywhere. We know you’ll enjoy this little insight into the thoughts of our little ones and, in particular, their thoughts about their Mummy. You may think you know your children and their views of the world you helped to shape them, right? Well, think again! Prepare to be surprised, shocked, charmed and entertained. Why did God make mothers? She’s the only one who knows where the sellotape tape is. Mostly to clean the house. What kind of little girl was your Mummy? I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but bossy, I think. They say she used to be nice. What’s Mummy’s cooking like? We always pray before meals. Not because we’re religious but because Mum is such a rubbish cook. My mum is a good cook but sometimes her gravy doesn’t move and we have to help it out of the jug.

What’s the difference between Mummies and Daddies?

Does Mummy wear fashionable clothes?

Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

Sometimes my mum looks a bit frumpy, but she is thirty-two, which is really old.

Dads are taller & stronger, but Mums have all the real power because that’s who you’ve got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend’s. Mums have magic kisses, they make you feel better without medicine. If you could change one thing about your Mummy, what would it be? She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that. I’d make my Mummy smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who  did it and not me.

My brother says our mum is the worst cook in the world. But I don’t think that’s fair. Michelle Wright’s mum is even worse.

I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes in the back of her head.

Who’s the boss at your house?

She has lovely teeth. Yellow is my favourite colour.

Mum doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad watches football. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

Mummy wears lots of cardigans even though Daddy says they make her look old. When he says that, she threatens to hit him with the rolling pin, but she never does - except one time when her hand slipped. What did Mummy need to know about dad before she married him? His last name. She had to know his background. Like has he been arrested and does he get drunk?

What does Mummy look like?

My mum is very pretty although sometimes she misses with her lipstick.

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




eye on Leisure

Film of the MONTH by ROB BARNES Mia and Sebastian are both lonely souls from a bygone era completely out of step with the contemporary world around them. They lust over the golden age of music and movies in a world that has long moved on, but despite the knocks they relentlessly chase their dreams. For all of Stone and Gosling’s Hollywood charm it’s the relatable story of how life so often gets in the way of your goals and ambitions that ultimately hooks us. The on-screen chemistry smoulders at first but once the dance routines fly it soon catches fire. They are certainly no Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers but nor should they be, Chazelle is less focused on pin point choreography than he is on the portrayal of two normal people trying to make it in life.


very now and again a movie comes along that steals your heart, taps deep into your soul and makes your spirit soar. Damien Chazelle’s dazzling and dancing tale of true romance in the unforgiving world of Tinseltown had me completely spellbound from start to finish. The opening six minutes is a breathtaking spectacle that turns a mundane traffic jam on an LA freeway into a lavish musical number that will have you secretly bouncing in your seat...and all this before the opening titles. Amidst the honking horns we get our first brief encounter between our two wannabe starlets Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). Mia is an aspiring actor working as a barista on the studio lot

Children's book of the MONTH

and Sebastian a gigging jazz pianist who dreams of opening his own club. When Mia is left stranded after a night out with friends and follows the sounds of a piano tune playing from a bar she lays eyes on him again. Like something straight out of Casablanca their eyes meet like two star crossed lovers, but no sooner does this precious moment arrive so it vanishes into thin air as he inexplicably storms out, brushing her aside on the way. Their paths meet again at a party and this time it’s third time lucky as a moonlight walk in the Hollywood hills gives us a beautiful riff on Singin’ in the Rain and sparks the start of a whirlwind romance. As their fortunes turn and their stars finally align their own lives start to take a different path jeopardising their future together.

Befitting of the classic musicals it so clearly idolises, the film’s vibrant Technicolor palette contrasts perfectly with the glossy dreamlike sheen of the more poignant scenes. The costumes and sets are also a nostalgic throwback but manage to maintain a modern day chic quality that keeps the film’s feet firmly in the present. Last and by no means least is the sumptuous soundtrack that brings the drama so vividly to life. From the hypnotic ‘City of Stars’ through to the rampant chorus ‘Another Day of Sun’ it pulls at all your heart strings at just the right time. I won’t deny it; I went completely cuckoo over La La Land and it deserves all the accolades that it’s sweeping up. It may leave a tear in your eye but it’s guaranteed to lift your spirits on the gloomiest of days. Whether you love or loathe musicals, trust me this movie refreshes the parts other movies cannot reach, so drink it in whilst you can!

Absolutely loved this!


The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

This second book in the series starts with Harry having a miserable summer holidays at The Dursley’s at No. 4 Privet Drive. Thankfully, he is rescued by his friend Ron in an amazing flying car. He can’t believe his eyes. The car is very old but Ron manages to fly them to Hogwarts for the start of the new term, although the landing is a bit rough! During the book, we follow the twists and turns across the new school term with Harry, Ron and Hermione. It is difficult for Harry to know who he can trust as they come across people being petrified, a house elf called Dobby and a colony of giant spiders while they go about solving the mystery of The Chamber of Secrets. Harry also discovers he can talk to snakes by speaking Parcel Tongue which he didn’t even know he could do! I thought the story was fantastic. It was exciting and scary and I recommend it for boys and girls aged 7 and over who don’t get scared easily. If you don’t like scary things, stay away! I would recommend reading the next book in the series which is Prisoner of Azkaban.

Ages 8+


Review by Fin Stuart

Egg-cellent Service and Convenience! of Mortimer of the stores part time supervisors who is currently studying engineering at college and has rallied the troops! Another charity event is on its way soon, too. The Mortimer Easter Egg Hunt will once again take place in the village over Easter weekend and Budgens will be adding to the excitement by offering an egg-citing competition to win one of 10 prizes, with the top prize being a massive 3kg hand-decorated chocolate egg!

Excuse the pun, but Budgens of Mortimer has really ‘cracked it’ when it comes to being at the heart of the local community and understanding the needs of its customers. As a keen supporter of village life, Budgens has sponsored the local football kits for Mortimer FC, is a main sponsor of the Mortimer Fun Day and this year, has entered a team into the Burghfield Box Cart Challenge. The latter challenge is being headed up by one

where you may have found yourself needing to make a special trip to find something different, this year you can find it more conveniently. But the team at Budgens never rest on their laurels and will continue to introduce new things that serve the customer well. The next thing on their list is to introduce a customer comments box, so if there is something you’re keen to suggest, Budgens of Mortimer is listening, so tell them what you think!

All you need to do to enter the competition is ‘Like’ the Budgens Facebook page and share the Easter Facebook post when it appears. To find the winners, Budgens will draw a name from those who have Liked and Shared the post and announce them on the Facebook page. More to follow next month!

Want to win a 3kg chocolate Egg?

This Easter, Budgens will be stocking all of your favourite Easter Egg brands as well as catering for those with dietary requirements. Budgens has always stocked dairy-free and gluten free ranges within the store and the same is true of the Easter Eggs on offer, so there’s no need to go further afield. Budgens can provide you with dairy-free, gluten free and vegan Easter Eggs on your doorstep. They are also stocking some speciality eggs this year, such as a Marmite Easter Egg now that we’ve got to try! Sitting alongside on the shelf you’ll find some delights such as a Baileys egg and a Guinness Easter egg too! So once again,

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

So what with dairy-free, gluten-free, Marmite Easter eggs and a listening ear, you can rest assured that Budgens of Mortimer is delivering the residents of Mortimer and surrounding villages eggcellent service and convenience! Make sure you like f/budgensmortimer to be in with a chance of winning the 3kg egg!

Opening Times Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 21:00 Sundays: 10:00 - 16:00 35



A MASCOT PACKAGE AT MADEJSKI! Courtesy of Spratley’s WOW, what an amazing prize for young Reading FC fans to start the spring! In conjunction with Spratley’s of Mortimer and Reading Football Club, one lucky Eye reader will win an exciting Mascot Package at the Reading v Rotheram game on Monday 17th April (Easter Monday). What has made this exciting prize possible? For the last 13 years (in addition to selling, servicing and MOTing all makes of cars), Spratley’s of Mortimer has been supporting Reading Football Club's Community Trust programme by providing them with a car. This car enables their ambassador, Ryan Williams (who many of you will be familiar with) to travel to local schools and youth organisations to represent Reading FC within the local and surrounding communities, acting as an extension of the club to engage with local people and make a genuine impact on their sporting lives. The prize: Our lucky winner will receive all of the following:

Paul Spratley & Ryan Williams

to win!

Goody bag Inclusion of photo in match day programme Mascot to meet the players Pre match warm up on the Madejski Stadium pitch Photo taken of mascots in centre circle A complimentary matchday programme Four seats to watch the game

If you are (or have a child that is) aged between 5 -14, have a current Reading FC kit and would LOVE to win this exciting prize, simply visit facebook.com/Spratleys comment on the competition post (and very importantly - like the facebook page as that’s where our winner will be announced)! GOOD LUCK

Entries must be in by midnight on Friday 24th March. The winner will be drawn at random on Monday 27th March and announced on the Spratley’s facebook page. The winner must wear a current Reading FC kit (the supply of kit is not included in the prize) when being a ‘Mascot. This prize is for a Mascot Package on Monday 17th April.


Poppy Poem by Maya Hillier

The grass is green, The sky is blue, But danger enters too. Guns are firing, Lives are lost, Each day more and more. Families praying, To save themselves, But the bomb goes off. The ground gets rough, Fighting gets tough. But in 1945, Some flowers grow, As red as blood, As black as grief, In flanders field, All is quiet, No war can disturb the peace., grass is green, The sky is blue, But danger enters too. Guns are firing, Lives are lost, Each day more and more. Families praying, To save themselves, But the bomb goes off. The ground gets rough, Fighting gets tough. But in 1945, Some flowers grow, As red as blood, As black as grief, In flanders field, All is quiet, No war can disturb the peace. Maya, winner of the Berkshire Music & Arts Festival Poetry Competition 2017

eye Êtes-vous un ressortissant français vivant à RG7? Leisure & Families

If the answer is ‘yes’ then Sandrine’s story may interest you... Sandrine Spencer is a French national who has lived and worked in the UK for twenty years. Her love of language has always been evident; from using her English while working as an Aupair, to using her German while working for a Japanese company and most recently, using her French while working for Renault. When her children arrived she taught them French from a very early age and

Sandrine & her husband Paul are off to live in China!

believes this is important for all children. When she was made redundant 9 years ago, Sandrine decided to start a new career - sharing her knowledge and experience of teaching French - and so has been a “La Jolie Ronde” licensee for over 6 years teaching French to children from the age of 3 to 11 years old. Over the years, the business has grown steadily. Starting with just two schools, one in Rotherwick and the other one in Hatch Warren, she now teaches in five schools, two nurseries and has five private pupils. Some students have stayed with her from nursery to Year 6 and others have moved to France with their families and have become very confident linguists. Private tuition includes preparing for GCSE

French and preparing students for local grammar school entry exams. The time has come, however, for Sandrine to take a break for a few years as she is following her husband to China. It’s an exciting time for her and she is already embracing the challenge of learning Mandarin. Could you take the business and run with it for a couple of years? If you think you can help, or are thinking of going back to work and think this might be something you can do - contact Sandrine on 07919 301565 or email LeClubTricolore@ live.co.uk

Want to join the Brownies?!

Many of us ladies will fondly remember our days in the Brownies. Without a doubt, Brownies has moved into the 21st Century and remains a fabulous club for girls aged 7-10. Are you looking for something different for an upcoming celebration or birthday party? How about a sleepover experience your child will never forget. Let us provide you with an easy stress free service providing individual tents and decorations along with a choice of many great activity packs to suit all themes and budgets. www.thesleepoverpartypeople.co.uk

The focus is on empowering girls to find their voice, inspire them to discover the best in themselves and make a positive

difference in their community. All still very relevant today, I’m sure you agree. Theale Brownies are actively looking for new members. You will also find Brownie groups running in Burghfield and Mortimer as well as surrounding villages. To find out more, go to k www.girlguiding.org.u

or call

Sarah 07774 372066 Nicky 07570 587832

Based in Mortimer, we cover a 25 mile radius from RG7

www.facebook.com/ thesleepoverpartypeople



Excellent education for boys and girls aged 11-18


Tuesday 14 March 2017, 9am Book via our website at

www.luckleyhouseschool.org School Bus available covering RG7 Luckley Road, Wokingham T: 0118 978 4175 E: Registrar@luckleyhouseschool.org 38

eye on Education

Valuing children as strong, capable and resilient, Jubilee’s nurseries for children from 3months to 5 years of age have a highly regarded reputation for outdoor learning all year-round. The benefits of connecting with nature through play can have positive and far-reaching effects into adulthood... Senior Nursery Manager Lesley Thompson says, “If we think back to our own childhoods, some of our fondest memories are of playing outdoors but in recent years there has been a cultural shift and disconnect with nature that has led to a reduction in access to the outdoors for many young children. We’re fortunate to have over 50 acres, so whether it be going on a bear hunt in our private woodland, visiting the stream, enjoying our paddocks and sensory garden, mud kitchens, forest schools or seeing and learning about the animals on our farm, children are outside every day. Our ethos is ‘learning by doing’ – both inside and outdoors. We believe it is essential that children explore, learn and play - safely and freely. In a cohesive approach, all that children learn in their home life and through their time at Jubilee means that they are inspired and taught how to think, not what to think.” Free and unstructured play is incredibly important for problemsolving, self-discipline and focus. Being in nature (not just learning about it) can have dramatic effects on mental

well-being and self-esteem. Fresh air and fun really does make one feel healthier, fitter and happier. Alongside this, research has shown that children use five times as many words when they play outdoors so it naturally extends vocabulary. The simple act of being outside gives children freedom, fuels physical and sensory development and imaginations! All Jubilee’s outdoor learning links directly to the Early Years Foundation Stage (the national framework which sets the standard for learning and development from birth to five). Lesley goes on to say, “ultimately our philosophy enables a sense of wellbeing, and ensures children remain active and healthy. It all adds to what characterises ’Jubilee children’ as confident, independent young learners who are resilient and creative in their approach to life.”

If you would like to receive a prospectus, come and visit or find out more – then give us a call. Located in Padworth (just a few minutes drive from Mortimer, Burghfield and Tadley and minutes from the A4), we

provide exceptional care for babies from 3 months to children up to 5 years of age. We offer a range of packages including fulltime, term-time* and flexible sessions. Government funding is also available for eligible 2*, 3 and 4 year-olds and we accept childcare vouchers.(*Jubilee Gems only)

To contact Jubilee Day Nursery (full-time), Tel: 0118 970 1600 Email: info@jubileedaynursery.co.uk or visit www.jubileedaynursery.co.uk

To contact Jubilee Gems (term-time), Tel: 0118 983 4018 Email: info@jubileegems.co.uk or visit www.jubileegems.co.uk 39

eyere On Leisu

Bradfield College Golf Club

Bradfield College Golf Club is pleased to announce the imminent opening of a state of the art indoor golf studio.


radfield’s golfers and students can now benefit from year round golf tuition in a comfortable environment. The indoor golf studio is equipped with indoor nets and an indoor putting green from the nationally acclaimed Huxley Golf. PGA Golf Professional Simon McGreal offers in-depth coaching using the very latest technology including Trackman T4 and Swing Catalyst equipment. These offer an incredible golf coaching experience to Bradfield students and golf club members. The superb 9 hole golf course remains at the heart of Bradfield College Golf Club’s facility. The six pars 4s and three pars 3s (par 66 and 5,040 yards for 18 holes) are set up to be accessible for beginners, improvers and seasoned

golfers alike, with each hole posing quite different challenges to help players develop their game or test their skills. Designed by Donald Steel and shaped out of rolling countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the course was opened by a former Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher OBE in 1998. The peaceful and charming setting is enhanced by mature trees, a meandering stream and many lovely views. With the membership year starting in April 2017 and with no joining fees, there has never been a better time to join Bradfield College Golf Club. For more information or to arrange a free trial round for prospective members, please email golfinfo@ bradfieldcollege.org.uk, call 0118 964 4600 or visit www.bradfieldgolfclub. 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!


The Village Eye is a privately owned magazine and bought to you by Pinktomato Limited, a local marketing company. All content within the publication is copyright of Village Eye. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for views or opinions expressed by contributors or for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers. All dates, times, URL’s and telephone numbers are understood to be correct at the time of submission to print. To feature your business in this publication please call 0118 933 3311

Want to work on your Fitness, Strength and Postural Aligment?

There are many variations of yoga. This class works on postural aligment for a fitter and stronger body. This is not a spritual-based class, but there will be a rexling quiet time before the end of the session. If you have ever thought of giving yoga a go, this is a good opportunity to try it for free. Suitable for all levels of fitness.

YOGA VOUCHER This voucher is for up to two people* to try a yoga class at Willink for free until the end of March. * One free class per person. Over 16’s only

Thursdays 18:00 - 19:00

(mats provided)

To Book Call: 0118 983 4845

Willink Leisure Centre, Hollybush Lane, Burghfield Common, RG7 3XP


Home is where the heart is... and we love property Spring is one of the most successful times to sell your home


Let Parkers show you! Visit parkersproperties.co.uk for more details.

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Village Eye Mar 17  

Village Eye Mar 17  

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