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FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 | ISSUE 76

WIN !

OUR MAGAZINES ARE DELIVERED FREE TO 21,000 HOMES & BUSINESSES MONTHLY !

T I C K ET S T O S E E DON AIREY & BRIAN DOWNEY

AFTERNOON TEA FOR TWO

£25.00 CASH

Flintshire’s LARGEST Free Publications Call 01352 870 760 www.insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk


Go out with a bang by purchasing or selling your home

Now is the best time to treat yourself

Call us on 01244 54 81 82 13-17 Brunswick Road, Buckley, Flintshire, CH7 2ED E: info@oakfieldproperty.com www.oakfieldproperty.com


Welcome....IFM Welcome to our November edition. Did you know Inside Flintshire Magazine is a small independent business with no association with Flintshire Council. Our business is funded by all the local businesses within and without them it would not be possible to print the 21,000 copies we do every month. A big thank you to them and to you our readers for supporting them by using their services. 

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Holidays A

ll around Europe in late November and early December Christmas markets will start to open. These provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the festive spirit, as well as drink delicious mulled wine, eat tasty food and buy seasonal items. Here are the top Christmas markets in Europe that you should visit to enjoy the festive spirit.

Vienna, Austria Vienna has heaps of Christmas markets all over the city. A few of the biggest are at Rathausplatz, Schönbrunn, Belvedere and Resselpark. At these markets you’ll find tasty Glühwein (Mulled wine), delicious sweets and beautiful gifts. Some of these markets, such as the one at Resselpark, have rides and other activities which are perfect for the kids. As well as the big markets throughout the city there are lots of smaller ones, such as along Spittalgasse. For a full list of the Christmas markets around Vienna head to wien.info.

Prague, Czech Republic Prague Old Town Square is the location of their biggest market. It’s

Slade - Lee Tomlinson - 23 £25.00 Cash - Lisa Davies - Ben Stokes Hugh Cornwell - Eric Henderson - Monster Festive Gift Fair Tickets will be posted out to the Winners Until next month. Reg - Editor Inside Flintshire Magazines

T: 01352 870 760

E: reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk Copyright No part of this publication may be reproduced, resold or stored in a retrieval system without the express permission of “Inside Flintshire Magazine” Adverts When providing advertising copy, artwork or photographs from existing sources, it is our customers’ responsibility to ensure that all the appropriate permissions regarding copyright have been obtained from the originator :Inside Flintshire Magazine accepts no liability for copyright issues regarding adverts published in good faith. For full terms and conditions see our web site www. insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk

ARTWORK DEADLINE DATE 4

18TH NOVEMBER

FB: /Insideflintshire

with rides, endless places to eat and shop, as well as bars and live music. Special attractions on offer include ice skating, a giant Ferris wheel, a circus and the Ice Kingdom. You may need to pre-book tickets for those attractions.

To read more about what’s happening in Prague this year visit prague.eu.

Across London you can find other places to enjoy the festivities, such as along Southbank near the London Eye, at Somerset house where they have Ice skating and at Leicester Square where you’ll find rides and other festivities. There are also lots of festive lights to enjoy in London such as those along Oxford Street and Regent Street and other spots around the city.

Munich, Germany

London’s Hyde Park hosts Winter Wonderland, which is something like a giant modern theme park. Complete

Local merchants will offer Estonian Christmas cuisine, from black pudding and sour cabbage to gingerbread and hot Christmas drinks, as well as handicrafts. Younger guests can enjoy merry-go-rounds and there is a diverse Christmas programme.

Bratislava, Slovakia At Hlavné Námestie at the centre of Bratislava’s Old Town is the main Christmas market. Here you can wander around the various stalls or gather at the tables and enjoy the tasty food on offer. Hviezdoslavovo Námestie is another market where you’ll find an ice skating rink and more stalls offering food, gifts and festive atmosphere.

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Dresden, Germany For a huge Christmas Market head to Dresden, where you’ll find one located on Altmarkt, one of the cities oldest squares. Enjoy some traditional punch, German sausage or other tasty snacks before exploring the many market stalls. For the kids there is a ferris wheel and carousel, and for panoramic views of the market climb up Kreuzkirche. Also close by is Frauenkirche, which is one of the city’s most famous churches.

For more information on London and other events going on around the city visit visitlondon.com.

Munich

Prague To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

Christmas gifts Build Your Own Mechanical Bike

£21.99

with a difference

For him... BraZen Stag Surround Sound Gaming Chair

For her...

Coffee Lab

£14.99

Make Your Own Chocolate Pizza

£129.00

Lazy Man Pan

London

For more information on this market visit christmasmarket.ee.

Visit visitbratislava.com for more information on Bratislava.

For information on skating at Somerset House visit somersethouse. org.uk/ice-rink.

For more information on Christmas in Munich visit muenchen.de.

London, UK

for more

Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn in Estonia is magical at Christmas with cobbled streets, medieval architecture and beautiful stalls and decorations.

For more information on Salzburg visit salzburg.info.

Visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com for more information.

The main Christmas market in Munich can be found at Marienplatz, directly in front of the Neues Rathaus (Town Hall). You will also find stalls along Neuhauser Straße and Kaufingerstraße, as well as lots of other places around the city.

Head to www.dresden.de information on Dresden.

For more information about the Salzburg festivities visit christkindlmarkt.co.at.

Vienna

We bring you another jam packed magazine with lots of useful tips, competitions, reviews and lots more. this months holiday editorial looks at the best European Christmas markets to start getting you into the festive spirit. See pages 6-7. Its that time of year when your thoughts turn to Christmas gifts so we have a look at Christmas gifts for him and her on pages 12-13 and this year’s must have Christmas toys on page 20. More fantastic prizes to be won, including an afternoon tea for two including Prosecco at the Mountain Park Hotel. See page 24 and 64 for this months competitions.

Last months competition winner’s.

located between the Old Town Hall and Church of Our Lady before Týn. Here you’ll find stalls, an incredible tree and the perfect festive atmosphere. A nice touch at the market is a special music and light ceremony on the Christmas tree, which is often repeated throughout the night.

Here you’ll find lots more stalls, decorations and joyful ambience.

Salzburg’s market can be found in the Old Town at Residenzplatz, Mozartplatz and Domplatz (various squares in the city). The decorations are beautiful and glow against the wonderful Austrian architecture and famous Salzburger Dom Cathedral.

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

So what do we have in this months issue?

Don’t forget to support our local businesses within and please give us a mention if you do use any of their services.

Salzburg, Austria

The best European Christmas markets for 2019

£12.99

Retro Mini DAB Radio And Bluetooth Speaker

£29.99

£69.00

One Night Glamping Break for Two

Desktop Arcade Machine

£55.00

£19.99

Game Vice Controller For iPhone

Smartphone Projector

£15.99

£79.95

Cartwright And Butler Aysgarth Picnic Hamper

Personalised Gold Mesh Strapped Watch

£75.00

£69.95

All gifts on these pages are available from prezzybox.com Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

ee

WIN WITH 24

64

WIN WITH

INSIDE

INSIDE

FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE

FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE WIN a Festive Afternoon Tea with Prosecco for two people at the

Win a pair of tickets to see

Don Airey & Brian Downey

In these days where everybody seems to want to show off at every given occasion, Don Airey is without a doubt “One of A Kind”. It is hard to find a legendary rock name from the last 30 years that has not utilised Don’s keyboard skills at some point. Amongst them Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Brian May, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and, obviously, Deep Purple, the band of which Don Airey has been a full time member for over fifteen years.

at Manchester - Academy 3 on February 24, 2020 It is not difficult to see Don Airey playing one day with Deep Purple in front of 15.000 people, and the next day playing the organ in the church of his beloved local village with the same concentration and respect for the music and the audience. Brian Downey on drums needs no introduction...... Hailing originally from Dublin, Brian enjoyed his first taste of success in Ireland with the top 20 hit ‘Morning

Dew’ before forming ‘Orphanage with Phil Lynott. The two went on to form the legendary Thin Lizzy with Eric Bell and Brian remained a constant member until the band split in 1983. Having worked on Phil Lynott’s solo albums and the subsequent Grand Slam project.

Flint Mountain Park Hotel The Flint Mountain Park Hotel offers 20 beautiful rooms set in the breathtaking countryside of North Wales. Located within easy reach of Chester, the Flint Mountain Park Hotel has all the right ingredients that will allow

Who am I?

The large, expansive function room is also the ideal location if you are looking for a special place for your special event. So, get in touch if you would like to book your stay at the Flint Mountain Park Hotel in North Wales.

Identify our mystery celebrity and you could win Born January 5, 1965, ???? is a British actor and former professional footballer who played from 1984 to 1999, notably for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Wales.

Brian remained in constant demand as both a touring and session drummer and regulary played live shows. Brian is often cited as being an influence by many of the world’s top drummers and feels invigorated to be playing the songs he co-wrote in Thin Lizzy with his new band Alive and Dangerous.

Born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, he captained Wales, having qualified via a Welsh grandparent. As a member of the “Crazy Gang”, he won the 1988 FA Cup with Wimbledon, a club for which he played well over 200 games during two spells between 1986 and 1998. He also played for Chelsea, Leeds United, Sheffield United and QPR. He played 184 Premier League games, scoring 13 goals. He was a defensive midfielder who was especially noted for his very

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question: “Which musical instrument does Don Airey Play ?” Monday February 24, 2020; Manchester - Academy 3; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000 Website: www.eventim.co.uk/; Doors - 7:00pm; Tickets: £27.50 advance

£25 CASH!

aggressive style of play, earning him a “hard man” image on the field. Since his retirement from football, he has capitalised on his tough man image and is now known as an actor for his fiery demeanour and physical presence. His film career began with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and continued with roles in mainstream films such as Snatch (2000), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), and Mean Machine (2001). He played Juggernaut in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, Sebastian Moran in CBS’s Elementary, and Brick in The CW’s Arrow. He appeared in Celebrity Big Brother 2010, where he finished in third place behind Dane Bowers and Alex Reid.

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Friday November 22)

32

you to relax, unwind and refresh. Whether you want to dine in their steak and grill restaurant or play a round or two of golf at their 12-hole course, they can cater to all your needs at this luxurious hotel in North Wales.

To be in with a chance of winning the Festive Tea, just answer the following question: “How many rooms does the Flint Mountain Park Hotel offer? ”

reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Friday November 22)

MOTORING ntroducing the New Toyota C-HR self-charging hybrid, with next-level hybrid performance. With its refined design and latest in-car connectivity, the New Toyota C-HR continues to defy convention. The SUV features Toyota’s fourthgeneration hybrid technology, delivering the efficiency you would expect from a hybrid, combined with performance you might not.

I

The popular Toyota C-HR SUV has received a raft of important updates for 2020, including a choice of two hybrid powertrains, a new multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and revised chassis settings. Following in the footsteps of its Corolla cousin, the new 2020 Toyota C-HR will benefit from a choice of two hybrid powertrains. Joining the existing 1.8-litre hybrid system is a new, more powerful, 2.0-litre hybrid so customers can choose the powertrain that best suits their driving style.

package to further reduce cabin noise. The 2020 Toyota C-HR includes a new multimedia system that upgrades the vehicle’s connectivity. This system now allows full smartphone integration and offers the latest versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while also supporting ‘over the air’ updates, delivering the latest versions of European road maps. Front lights are upgraded to premium LED technology, with the daytime running lights and indicators combined into one frontal projector, that emits a single smooth line above the main beam. At the rear, the new combination lights are connected by a gloss black spoiler creating a single clean shape.

Leave ordinary behind The exterior profile of the New Toyota C-HR maintains its dynamic coupé lines, while the updated front and rear lights underline its distinctive, stand out look. The inside of the car is equally eye-catching. The uncluttered layout and intuitive improvements throughout the cabin, enhance the driver experience.

Dynamic upgrades include modified electronic power steering tuning for improved steering feel. The 2.0-litre hybrid also benefits from a new suspension design that improves ride comfort, while retaining the Toyota C-HR’s excellent handling capabilities. All variants also feature an upgraded

The Toyota C-HR has been a smash hit in the UK with a combination of engaging driving dynamics, hybrid efficiency and standout design, which has helped the SUV gain an impressive 8.3% segment share.

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

Prices in the UK for the new 2020 Toyota C-HR, start from £25,625 for the entrylevel Icon model. Customers may then choose from Design, Excel and Dynamic grades, all available with either 1.8- or new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrains. The range-topping Orange Edition (seen in these images) rounds off the line-up.

The New Toyota C-HR is available to pre-order now, from Lindop Toyota in Queensferry, with first deliveries scheduled for December 2019. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482


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7


Holidays A

ll around Europe in late November and early December Christmas markets will start to open. These provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the festive spirit, as well as drink delicious mulled wine, eat tasty food and buy seasonal items. Here are the top Christmas markets in Europe that you should visit to enjoy the festive spirit.

Vienna, Austria Vienna has heaps of Christmas markets all over the city. A few of the biggest are at Rathausplatz, Schönbrunn, Belvedere and Resselpark. At these markets you’ll find tasty Glühwein (Mulled wine), delicious sweets and beautiful gifts. Some of these markets, such as the one at Resselpark, have rides and other activities which are perfect for the kids. As well as the big markets throughout the city there are lots of smaller ones, such as along Spittalgasse. For a full list of the Christmas markets around Vienna head to wien.info.

Prague, Czech Republic Prague Old Town Square is the location of their biggest market. It’s

The best European Christmas markets for 2019 located between the Old Town Hall and Church of Our Lady before Týn. Here you’ll find stalls, an incredible tree and the perfect festive atmosphere. A nice touch at the market is a special music and light ceremony on the Christmas tree, which is often repeated throughout the night.

with rides, endless places to eat and shop, as well as bars and live music. Special attractions on offer include ice skating, a giant Ferris wheel, a circus and the Ice Kingdom. You may need to pre-book tickets for those attractions.

To read more about what’s happening in Prague this year visit prague.eu.

Across London you can find other places to enjoy the festivities, such as along Southbank near the London Eye, at Somerset house where they have Ice skating and at Leicester Square where you’ll find rides and other festivities. There are also lots of festive lights to enjoy in London such as those along Oxford Street and Regent Street and other spots around the city.

Munich, Germany The main Christmas market in Munich can be found at Marienplatz, directly in front of the Neues Rathaus (Town Hall). You will also find stalls along Neuhauser Straße and Kaufingerstraße, as well as lots of other places around the city. For more information on Christmas in Munich visit muenchen.de.

London, UK London’s Hyde Park hosts Winter Wonderland, which is something like a giant modern theme park. Complete

Visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com for more information.

For information on skating at Somerset House visit somersethouse. org.uk/ice-rink. For more information on London and other events going on around the city visit visitlondon.com.

Vien 88

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements


nna

Salzburg, Austria Salzburg’s market can be found in the Old Town at Residenzplatz, Mozartplatz and Domplatz (various squares in the city). The decorations are beautiful and glow against the wonderful Austrian architecture and famous Salzburger Dom Cathedral. For more information about the Salzburg festivities visit christkindlmarkt.co.at. For more information on Salzburg visit salzburg.info.

Bratislava, Slovakia At Hlavné Námestie at the centre of Bratislava’s Old Town is the main Christmas market. Here you can wander around the various stalls or gather at the tables and enjoy the tasty food on offer. Hviezdoslavovo Námestie is another market where you’ll find an ice skating rink and more stalls offering food, gifts and festive atmosphere. Visit visitbratislava.com for more information on Bratislava.

Here you’ll find lots more stalls, decorations and joyful ambience. Head to www.dresden.de for more information on Dresden.

Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn in Estonia is magical at Christmas with cobbled streets, medieval architecture and beautiful stalls and decorations. Local merchants will offer Estonian Christmas cuisine, from black pudding and sour cabbage to gingerbread and hot Christmas drinks, as well as handicrafts. Younger guests can enjoy merry-go-rounds and there is a diverse Christmas programme.

London

For more information on this market visit christmasmarket.ee.

Dresden, Germany For a huge Christmas Market head to Dresden, where you’ll find one located on Altmarkt, one of the cities oldest squares. Enjoy some traditional punch, German sausage or other tasty snacks before exploring the many market stalls. For the kids there is a ferris wheel and carousel, and for panoramic views of the market climb up Kreuzkirche. Also close by is Frauenkirche, which is one of the city’s most famous churches.

Munich

Prague To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

99


10


Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? advertorial

Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the

whole window including the frames and all the hardware, however Cloudy2Clear have come up with a simple and cost saving solution‌ Just replace the glass!! If you see condensation in your windows just visit our website or give us a call on 0800 61 21 118. We will send out our highly experienced engineers for a free no obligation quote. A Cloudy2Clear quote takes on average no longer than 20 minutes. Once the quote is completed, we will sit down with you and explain the problem and tell you how we can fix it. With years of experience

Cloudy2Clear have a wealth of knowledge and are recognised as a Which Trusted Trader, plus our work is backed by an industry leading 25 year guarantee. Cloudy2Clear also replace faulty locks handles and hinges on all windows and doors. Your friendly local Cloudy2Clear specialist is Alan Ball and he services the Connahs Quay, Flint, Ewloe, Buckley, Queensferry, Aston & Hawarden areas. So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Alan a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118.

Cloudy2Clear GUARANTEE All Customers That An Average Quote Will Take No Longer Than 20 MINS!!!

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Christmas gifts Build Your Own Mechanical Bike

£21.99

For him... BraZen Stag Surround Sound Gaming Chair

Lazy Man Pan

£129.00

£29.99

Desktop Arcade Machine Game Vice Controller For iPhone

£79.95

£19.99

Smartphone Projector

£15.99

All gifts on these pages are available from prezzybox.com 1212

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements


with a difference For her...

Coffee Lab

£14.99

Make Your Own Chocolate Pizza Retro Mini DAB Radio And Bluetooth Speaker

£12.99

£69.00

One Night Glamping Break for Two

£55.00

Personalised Gold Mesh Strapped Watch

£69.95

Cartwright And Butler Aysgarth Picnic Hamper

£75.00

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Simon Boyd Fabrics - The Northwest Leading Fabric & soft Furnishing Retailer. “At Simon Boyd the customer does not have to compromise on quality and style in order to get value for money”

Simon Boyds exclusive service is second to none. No other retailer can offer such a comprehensive package:- Measuring service, interior design, bespoke manufacturing, complete fitting service, reupholstery and loose – covers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for within the extensive range of readymade curtains, blinds and accessories then simply choose a fabric and have your soft furnishings made to order. Unlike our competitors we do not use any outworkers or sub contractors, every made to measure item is manufactured in our own factory thus ensuring complete quality control. Simon Boyd is renowned for its extensive range of fabrics, over 50,000 options of curtain and upholstery fabrics with up to 50% off R.R.P. With a choice of traditional, classic and contemporary designs, as well as the latest seasonal ranges, you’re certain to find the perfect fabric for your needs. We also import our own range of fabrics direct from mills all over Europe therefore not only 14

offering exclusive designs that will not be seen on any internet sites but also offering most competitive prices. Our expert sales staff will advise on style, design and fabrics to complete your individual look, including tiebacks and trimmings and can also provide professional help when it comes to choice of tracks and poles. We have interior designers and home design consultants who can offer creative, imaginative and practical solutions for any situation, no matter how small or large the project. As well as fabrics and accessories we also offer stunning designer ranges of wallpaper from the likes of Harlequin, William Morris and many more. At Simon Boyd we also provide a price promise on product, quality and service. Should you see a like for like product elsewhere and are able to provide us with the information we will strive to match the price – even on competitors sale prices.

“Better quality and better prices than online”


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HOUSE to Home o you have dreams of your own self-build home? These are the basics you need to know…

D

So you love a Lego set and fancy a go at the grown-up version – a self build? Far from being child’s play, building your own home is one of the biggest and bravest moves you’ll ever make. But it can also be hugely rewarding, and a way to create a home that’s perfect for you, from the size of the bathroom to the shape of the staircase.

Where can I build and how do I find a plot? Firstly, decide where you’d like to live then contact local agents and sign up with online plot search portals. It’s also worth driving around to identify any in-fill sites or garden plots. Also check the local councils for new planning applications. PlotBrowser is a free online search portal that includes links to local authority planning application searches. When you have your plot, contact the local council to find out about getting planning permission – find the details of how to do this at the Government’s Planning Portal. If your plot already has this, do check that the planning approval is still current.

Can I replace an existing building? Yes, so don’t discount plots with properties on them. You can even use part of your garden for a new home. Demolition costs are relatively cheap (around £5,000- £15,000, depending on the size and location of the property).

£3,000 per sq m is a fair guide for selfbuilders. There are additional costs that could trip you up though. For example, the price of connecting to services depends on how close the plot is to existing supplies.

and build costs. Factor in a contingency fund of at least 10 to 15 per cent of the budget that’s covered your financing from the start. Don’t, and you may find the money hard to come by down the line.

Do you have a mortgage if you build your own house?

Get a ‘decision in principle’ from a mortgage lender before you start looking for a plot of land, so you know exactly how much you can borrow.

You can finance building a house with a mortgage, yes. Though you’ll need a reasonably large deposit (at least 15 to 20 per cent), both for the land and the build costs. First, you’ll need to set – and stick to – a realistic budget for the land purchase

Self-build homes - all you need to know

Money for self-build projects is released in stages as the build progresses - usually after a stage is completed but sometimes before, which is much better for your cash flow.

Who will build my house? The most popular route is to commission either an architect or developer to design and build your home. This is the quickest, and least stressful, route. Specialist kit house companies often offer a range of packages, depending on your budget and how much you want to do yourself. It can be as little as making and installing a timber frame, right up to final fix and decorating. Another popular route is to hire a local building firm with a site manager, who will work to your drawings.

How can I keep costs low? Commit to the design early on, as making changes during the build can prove expensive. Project-managing your own build can save around 15-20 per cent of your build costs, but do be sure you have the time, energy and nous to research the best materials, haggle down prices and source and manage trades efficiently.

If a building is unsafe (and not Listed), the planning office should support demolition of the site.

How much does it cost to build a house? On top of the plot fee, and any resultant legal costs, around £1,500-

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Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

If you have the skills and time available, a completely DIY build is undoubtedly the cheapest, but rarely the fastest route. Keep the design simple and you can build a comfortable four-bed home with a footprint of 150 sq m for about £150,000200,000. Another thing worth remembering - it’s always a good idea to hang onto receipts, as although you’ll pay VAT up front, you can claim this back once the build is completed.


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This year’s must-have Christmas toys It’s now a well-established Christmas tradition: all the major stores release their own list of the toys they believe will be bestsellers in the run up to 25 December. Here we single out the toys we think are definitely worth their place on your child’s wishlist.

Kindi Kidz Dolls £25 each

Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys

Oblique Drifter £60 Available from: Hamleys

Owleez £50

Available from: Amazon

Marvel Avengers: Endgame Power Gauntlet £100 Available from: Amazon, Smyths Toys

Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear £29.99

Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys

FurReal Cubby the Curious Bear £89.99 Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys

Playmobil City Life Tiny Paws Pet Hotel £59.99

Available from: Amazon, Playmobil

Nerf Fortnite RL Blaster £30 Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys, Amazon

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Barbie DreamPlane £63.99

Available from: Amazon, Smyths Toys

Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements


21


22


Butlers

Appliances from the people that care

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Find Appliances for Every Home and Every Budget • We can compete on price and service with John Lewis, AO.com, Currys and more • Found your appliance cheaper elsewhere? Ask about Price Match • Buying multiple appliances? Ask our staff about our multi-buy discounts* Butlers Appliance Centre 29e Station Road, Queensferry, Flintshire CH5 1SU

Visit our website butlersdirect.co.uk

Tel: 01244 823 774

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WIN WITH INSIDE

FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE

Win a pair of tickets to see

Don Airey & Brian Downey

In these days where everybody seems to want to show off at every given occasion, Don Airey is without a doubt “One of A Kind”. It is hard to find a legendary rock name from the last 30 years that has not utilised Don’s keyboard skills at some point. Amongst them Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Brian May, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and, obviously, Deep Purple, the band of which Don Airey has been a full time member for over fifteen years.

at Manchester - Academy 3 on February 24, 2020 It is not difficult to see Don Airey playing one day with Deep Purple in front of 15.000 people, and the next day playing the organ in the church of his beloved local village with the same concentration and respect for the music and the audience. Brian Downey on drums needs no introduction...... Hailing originally from Dublin, Brian enjoyed his first taste of success in Ireland with the top 20 hit ‘Morning

Dew’ before forming ‘Orphanage with Phil Lynott. The two went on to form the legendary Thin Lizzy with Eric Bell and Brian remained a constant member until the band split in 1983. Having worked on Phil Lynott’s solo albums and the subsequent Grand Slam project. Brian remained in constant demand as both a touring and session drummer and regulary played live shows. Brian is often cited as being an influence by many of the world’s top drummers and feels invigorated to be playing the songs he co-wrote in Thin Lizzy with his new band Alive and Dangerous.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question: “Which musical instrument does Don Airey Play ?” Monday February 24, 2020; Manchester - Academy 3; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000 Website: www.eventim.co.uk/; Doors - 7:00pm; Tickets: £27.50 advance

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to

reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Friday November 22)

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WEEKEND CHRISTMAS

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20th - 22nd December Friday 20th

Christmas themed outfit competition and karaoke

Saturday 21st

Live bands playing outside throughout the day Chestnuts, pork and stuffing baps Specialist gin bar serving mulled gin and other gins from around the world

Sunday 22nd

North Pole themed children’s Christmas craft and lunch with Santa followed by the ladies’ choir carolling service with mulled wine and homemade warm mince pies. Contact The Mill Tavern 01352 732505 for more details of prices and how to book this event.

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COFFEE TIME

CROSSWORD Clues across

SUDOKU

1 Lens opening 5 Levels of rock in a geological structure 9 Party mime game 10 Eddies 12 Voted in again (2-7) 13 Horse's hind leg joints 14 Wound mark 16 Deliberately sink 19 Bring ship to a standstill (5,2) 21 Snow vehicle 24 Falsify 25 Kind of peach 27 Heavy & grey (of sky) 28 Supplies 29 Tranquilise 30 Seventh commandment sin

Clues down

Each row and each column must contain the numbers 1-9, and so must each 3 x 3 box.

28

1 Agreement 2 Income cheat, tax... 3 Do business 4 Go back in (2-5) 6 Terraced home (4,5) 7 Vile act 8 Estimated (damages) 11 Dedicatory poems 15 Brainiest 17 Mixes up (cards) 18 Ponytail elastic 20 Pig's cry 21 Fastened 22 Foundation garment 23 Football sweater 26 Blacksmith's block

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MOTORING ntroducing the New Toyota C-HR self-charging hybrid, with next-level hybrid performance. With its refined design and latest in-car connectivity, the New Toyota C-HR continues to defy convention. The SUV features Toyota’s fourthgeneration hybrid technology, delivering the efficiency you would expect from a hybrid, combined with performance you might not.

I

The popular Toyota C-HR SUV has received a raft of important updates for 2020, including a choice of two hybrid powertrains, a new multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and revised chassis settings. Following in the footsteps of its Corolla cousin, the new 2020 Toyota C-HR will benefit from a choice of two hybrid powertrains. Joining the existing 1.8-litre hybrid system is a new, more powerful, 2.0-litre hybrid so customers can choose the powertrain that best suits their driving style.

package to further reduce cabin noise. The 2020 Toyota C-HR includes a new multimedia system that upgrades the vehicle’s connectivity. This system now allows full smartphone integration and offers the latest versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while also supporting ‘over the air’ updates, delivering the latest versions of European road maps. Front lights are upgraded to premium LED technology, with the daytime running lights and indicators combined into one frontal projector, that emits a single smooth line above the main beam. At the rear, the new combination lights are connected by a gloss black spoiler creating a single clean shape.

Leave ordinary behind The exterior profile of the New Toyota C-HR maintains its dynamic coupé lines, while the updated front and rear lights underline its distinctive, stand out look. The inside of the car is equally eye-catching. The uncluttered layout and intuitive improvements throughout the cabin, enhance the driver experience.

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Dynamic upgrades include modified electronic power steering tuning for improved steering feel. The 2.0-litre hybrid also benefits from a new suspension design that improves ride comfort, while retaining the Toyota C-HR’s excellent handling capabilities. All variants also feature an upgraded

The Toyota C-HR has been a smash hit in the UK with a combination of engaging driving dynamics, hybrid efficiency and standout design, which has helped the SUV gain an impressive 8.3% segment share.

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Prices in the UK for the new 2020 Toyota C-HR, start from ÂŁ25,625 for the entrylevel Icon model. Customers may then choose from Design, Excel and Dynamic grades, all available with either 1.8- or new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrains. The range-topping Orange Edition (seen in these images) rounds off the line-up.

The New Toyota C-HR is available to pre-order now, from Lindop Toyota in Queensferry, with first deliveries scheduled for December 2019. To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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YOUR STARS Aries

(March 21 - April 19)

The Aries Horoscope indicates that you could be faced with some misunderstandings which could cause you sleepless nights. At work, you might feel unsettled. In your relationships, you could feel that the flow of communication is not forthcoming.

Taurus

(April 20 - May 20)

Gemini

(May 21 - June 20)

Cancer

(June 21 - July 22)

Relationships will be uppermost in your mind. A younger person in the family may need your help and support. It is possible that you may have to make some important financial decisions which will require a step-by-step approach involving detailed planning and considerable forethought.

This is an extremely happy Horoscope time and you will enjoy being with your loved ones, family and friends. You will have a very busy social life with lots of engagements. For those in established partnerships, there will be intense intimacy and special shared moments.

Watch out for health issues, your Horoscope interpretation suggests. Don’t ignore any pain related to your shoulder, liver/kidneys or intestines. If you suffer pain or discomfort in any of these areas, don’t suffer in silence or be afraid to consult a doctor.

Leo

(July 23 - August 22)

You may need to use your diplomatic skills in family matters, your Leo indicators tell you. There could be some issues which can only be sorted out by opening up the channels of communication. As a result, you may not like what you hear.

Virgo

(August 23 - September 22)

You may overspend in this period without realising it. It could be an expensive splurge which you will regret in the cold light of day. Your love-life may seem erratic if you are single. If you are in a partnership, you may fall out over a minor issue that causes hurtful words or arguments.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Watch your finances - you may well have to tighten your belt. There could be an unexpected bill that needs immediate payment, making you shudder because you will feel as though you have been ripped off. You may feel wary of spending money and you will be very careful, checking and double-checking invoices.

Scorpio

(October 23 - November 21)

Try not to make any foolhardy financial decisions. You might be attracted to an investment proposition, but be sure to do your research before you sign anything. Think twice before you part with any of your hardearned cash. The Horoscope for Scorpio warns that extreme caution is needed.

Sagittarius

(November 22 - December 21)

You are likely to be tuned into your inner self and personal aspirations. If you are spiritually inclined, this period could be very significant for you. You will have a sense of knowingness and you will trust your intuition.

Capricorn

(December 22 - January 19)

You may feel down in the mouth at the start of this period, but by the end of it you will be smiling again because there will be good news on the job front. It could be a promotion or a raise in salary, but whatever it is there will be cause to celebrate and enjoy the moment.

Aquarius

(January 20 - February 18)

You will be engaged in some sort of charity work that allows you to help others through a hobby, the arts or a group situation where you will prove to be a good role model. People will rally to the cause and you will do a lot of useful work for which you will receive considerable public recognition.

Pisces

(February 19 - March 20)

There could be some fretful times at work for Pisceans, though there’s nothing that you won’t be able to take in your stride. You’ll have a little more money to play with, but take care not to buy things you don’t really need or want. Try to learn from past mistakes and, if possible, save more than you spend.

38

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010619FA_148x210_SEP2019_FINALE.pdf

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RECIPE Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4. Grease a 35x25cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment. 2 For the sponge, place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together for about five minutes, or until the mixture is very pale and thick. 3 Sift over the flour and fold in gently, taking care not to over mix. 4 Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and tilt the tin to level the surface. 5 Bake for 20 minutes, or until risen, golden-brown and springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for five minutes then leave to cool completely. 6 For the filling, dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and add the brandy. Set aside to cool. 7 When the sponge is cold, carefully slice the cake in half horizontally, so you have two thin sponges of equal depth. 8 Using the loose base of a square cake tin as a guide, cut two 18cm squares from each sponge. Discard the sponge trimmings. 9 Line the base and sides of the square

Tiramisu cake tin with long rectangles of baking parchment. 10 Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the cream and icing sugar to make a creamy, spreadable frosting. 11 Place one layer of sponge in the base of the lined cake tin. Spoon over onequarter of the coffee brandy mixture. Then spread one-quarter of the mascarpone frosting over the soaked sponge. Scatter over one-third of the grated chocolate. 12 Place the second sponge on top, spoon over another quarter of the coffee mixture then spread another quarter of the frosting over the soaked sponge. Scatter over another one third of the grated chocolate. Repeat with the third sponge. 13 Place the fourth sponge on top and spoon over the remaining coffee

mixture. Using a palette knife spread a very thin layer of the remaining frosting over the top of the cake – this is called a ‘crumb coat’ and will seal in any loose crumbs of sponge. 14 Spread the rest of the frosting in a thicker layer over the cake. Chill for at least one hour before turning out. 15 While the cake is chilling, melt half of the chopped chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. (Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.) Gently stir the chocolate until it reaches a melting temperature of 53C. 16 Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chopped chocolate and continue stirring gently until the chocolate cools to 31C or lower and is thick enough to pipe. 17 Place a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface. Use another sheet to make a paper piping bag. 18 Spoon the melted chocolate into the paper piping bag. Leave to set until required. 19 Dust the chilled tiramisu cake with the cocoa powder before turning out onto a serving plate.

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 1-2 hrs

Serves: 9

Ingredients For the sponge ● A little softened butter, for greasing ● 4 large free-range eggs ● 100g caster sugar

● 100g self-raising flour

For the filling ● 1 tbsp instant coffee granules ● 150ml boiling water ● 100ml brandy

● 3 x 250g tubs full-fat mascarpone

cheese ● 300ml double cream

● 3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted ● 65g dark chocolate, grated.

For the decoration ● 100g chocolate, finely chopped ● 2 tbsp cocoa powder

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GARDENING here’s nothing better than gathering round a glowing fire on evenings outdoors A fire feature makes a fabulous focal point for any garden. While a purpose-built outdoor fireplace or firepit offers the ultimate in outdoor heating, buying off-the-peg is a great alternative. We explore all the options here, so you can create a feature that will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space, come rain, shine or even snow.

T

What are the best options for an outdoor fireplace? 1. Fire baskets A basic wood-burning fire basket or brazier requires little set-up and is contained in an open basket, so air circulates freely and the fire burns more efficiently. This is often the most affordable route to a garden fireplace.

2. Firepits Firepits (pictured below) contain the heat source in a raised bowl, with designs ranging from simple portable metal bowls, to larger firepits with addon grills or tiled surrounds.

4. Fireplace walls The ultimate option is a built-in wall fire, set a seating height for maximum effect.

Where can I buy an outdoor fireplace? Dobbies stocks a variety of styles at a range of price points, from basic portable fire bowls to top-of-the-range freestanding fireplaces. Firepits UK’s range includes ovens and firepits, plus all the essentials, from tools and utensils, to cooking racks, covers and kindling.

Installing an outdoor fireplace Paloform’s handcrafted contemporary firepits are fabulous statement pieces in architectural concrete and weathered steel. Urban Fires are another good option if you’re looking for a wall fire.

Which materials can an outdoor fireplace be made from? Stainless steel is easy to clean and rain and rust-resistant, but can be pricey. Steel is less expensive but more prone to rusting, unless it’s powder-coated. Corten steel is a good option – otherwise know as weathering steel, it forms a stable, rusted orange appearance over time and looks beautiful when contrasted with a wall in dark grey or navy.

use smokeless fuel. For a list of what you can burn, visit: smokecontrol. defra.gov.uk/ fuels.

What extra features should I look for? Useful accessories include a mesh screen to keep embers from flying, a wood grate to allow better air flow and grills or hotplates for cooking on. Fire tables with built-in surrounds, either tiled or stone, give a handy resting surface for drinks if you’re entertaining.

Stone and cast iron are robust but hefty to move, so it’s worth investing in a protective cover if you leave it out all year.

Is wood-burning the only option? 3. Wood burners Freestanding wood-burners (main pic, right) feature a flue that directs smoke up and away from guests, with heat radiating in one direction. Styles vary from modern metal or cast-iron designs to Mexican-style clay chimeneas.

48

Most firepits burn solid fuel – wood with a lower moisture content such as kiln-dried logs or wood briquettes gives off less smoke, while charcoal gives a longer burn time so is cost-effective. Clean-burning bio-ethanol or gel firepits are another option. If you live in a smokeless zone, you must

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CINEMA Charlie's Angels

stigators A trio of elite private inve -tech high in st late the with armed s, icle veh nce ma rfor tools, high-pe and an martial arts techniques h their array of disguises unleas land, sea state-of-the-art skills on apped kidn a n dow k trac to and air tophis p kee and e to-b billionaireon software secret voice-identificati out of lethal hands. brilliant, They're beautiful, they're , in this and they work for Charlie original high-octane update of the ies. ser TV edy com onacti 70s

2019 Released: November 29, , Comedy Genre: Action, Adventure ks Director: Elizabeth Ban Claflin, Cast: Naomi Scott, Sam Elizabeth Banks

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Frozen FrozenIIII Anna, Anna,Elsa, Elsa,Kristoff, Kristoff,Olaf Olafand andSven Sven leave leaveArendelle Arendelleto totravel travelto toan an ancient, ancient,autumn-bound autumn-boundforest forestof ofan an enchanted enchantedland. land.They Theyset setout outto tofifind nd the theorigin originof ofElsa's Elsa'spowers powersin inorder order to tosave savetheir theirkingdom. kingdom. The Theanswer answerisiscalling callingher herand and threatening threateningher herkingdom. kingdom.Together Together with withher herfriends, friends,she shesets setsout outon onaa dangerous dangerousbut butremarkable remarkablejourney. journey. In InFrozen, Frozen,Elsa Elsafeared fearedher herpowers powers were weretoo toomuch muchfor forthe theworld. world.In In Frozen FrozenII, II,she shemust musthope hopethey theyare are enough. enough.

Released: Released:November November22, 22,2019 2019 Genre: Genre:Animation, Animation,Adventure, Adventure,

Comedy Comedy

Directors: Directors: Chris Chris Buck, Buck, Jennifer Jennifer Lee Lee

Cast: Cast:Kristen Kristen Bell, Bell, Jonathan Jonathan

Groff, Groff, Evan Evan Rachel Rachel Wood Wood

The Good Liar

Based on Nicholas Searle's 2016 best-selling novel and star ring Helen Mirren and Ian McK ellen the Good Liar tells the story of career con artist Roy Courtnay (Mc Kellen), who can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (Mirren) onli ne. As Betty opens her life and home to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and -dry swindle into the most trea cherous tightrope walk of his life.

Released: November 8, 201 9 Genre: Drama Director: Bill Condon Cast: Helen Mirren,

Ian McKellen, Jim Carter

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HEALTH eeping your heart healthy is simple when you look at the big picture: Get exercise. Eat right. Stress less. Watch your weight. Don’t smoke. Putting those goals into action, of course, isn’t so simple. Which matter most? How can you put them into daily practice? Here are practical hints for a way of life that makes you feel great while it strengthens your heart.

K

1. Make time for play Adults need at least 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week for heart health. Make exercise playtime and you're more likely to get it done. Play football with your kids, walk the dog, or just take a walk on your lunch break. Go for a total of at least 30 minutes of exercise daily - and break it up, if you like. Aim for a 10-minute morning walk, workout with hand weights at lunch, and some digging in the garden before dinner, and you’ve met your goals.

2. Soothe stress Doing absolutely nothing can be a big part of keeping your heart healthy. Be sure to "relax and unplug daily," say researchers. "Stress is a significant villain of heart health and really any health issue. It can wreak havoc." Carve out time for yourself regularly. Walk away from the computer, the phone, and other distractions. Make time to recharge your batteries, to find both energy and calm.

3. Your four 'food rules'

Limit Bad Fat: If you eat a typical British diet, this one change can bring dramatic results: Eat less saturated fat. You can reduce your risk of heart issues by half. Start by switching to low-fat meat and dairy, and change to healthier fats like olive and canola oils. Cut the Salt: Cook without salt, limit processed foods, and go easy on the salt shaker. Aim to bring down the sodium you eat to 1,500 milligrams.

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Pump Up Produce: Eat at least two and a half cups of vegetables and fruit every day. You'll lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Go for Grains: Whole grains help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Think about corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes and pasta, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, quinoa, and chewy, delicious brown or wild rice.

Six steps to a healthy heart

4. Work towards a healthy body weight Gaining weight is a constant threat for most of us in our world of cheap, convenience foods. And extra pounds especially if you tip into obesity - raise the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Lose a few more and you're likely to have more energy and sleep better too. Here are the basics: Go for good nutrition: Choose foods that are rich in nutrients, not just empty calories. A can of regular Coke, for example, has over 120 calories and a lot of added sugar which gives you a lot of empty calories without a lot of nutritional benefits. For a nutrientpacked snack worth the calories, try a palmful of mixed nuts. That has about 165 calories and is packed with protein and heart-healthy fats. Balance calories: Be aware of the balance between the calories you eat and the calories your body needs. To lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn. Get physical: Get moving at least 30 minutes daily, most days of the week. Children and teens need at least 60 minutes of activity each day.

5. Stop smoking Cancer, lung disease, a higher chance of a heart attack - the damages smoking can do are well-known. Did you know that tobacco is also linked to early menopause, infertility, and pregnancy complications? There’s no best way to quit smoking. Medicine, support groups, counseling or a combination of all three may be what it takes to help you stop. Reach out - get help.

6. Get regular checkups Regular blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks, as well as physical exams, are important to keep your heart healthy. Two conditions that can hurt your heart - high blood pressure and high cholesterol - are "silent." That means you typically won't know you have them unless you get tested. Ask your doctor how often you need a heart checkup and put the next one on your calendar now - before you forget about it!

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Who am I?

Identify our mystery celebrity and you could win Born January 5, 1965, ???? is a British actor and former professional footballer who played from 1984 to 1999, notably for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Wales. Born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, he captained Wales, having qualified via a Welsh grandparent. As a member of the “Crazy Gang”, he won the 1988 FA Cup with Wimbledon, a club for which he played well over 200 games during two spells between 1986 and 1998. He also played for Chelsea, Leeds United, Sheffield United and QPR. He played 184 Premier League games, scoring 13 goals. He was a defensive midfielder who was especially noted for his very

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IN THIS MONTH 1975: Ross McWhirter shot dead On 27 November at 6.45pm, McWhirter, who rose to prominence with his brother Norris as co-author of The Guinness Book of Records, was shot and killed by two IRA volunteers, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty. Both were members of what became known as the ‘Balcombe Street Gang’ the group for whose capture McWhirter had offered a £50,000 reward. McWhirter was shot at close range in the head and chest with a .357 Magnum revolver outside his home in Village Road, Bush Hill Park. Both brothers were regulars on the BBC show Record Breakers, and brother Norris continued to appear on the programme after Ross’s death.

1952: The Mousetrap opens Based on an Agatha Christie murder mystery, The Mousetrap had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 6 October 1952. Its pre-West End tour then took it to Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham before it began its run in London on 25 November 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre. It has been running continuously ever since. The longest running West End show, it has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.

1957: First animal in orbit

1980: “Who shot J.R.?” On 21 November 1980, 350 million people around the world tuned in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers. The plot twist inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering “Who shot J.R.?” for the next eight months. The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.

1990: Thatcher quits In November 1990, Margaret Thatcher failed to receive a majority in the Conservative Party’s annual vote for selection of a leader. She withdrew her nomination and John Major, the chancellor of the Exchequer since 1989, was chosen as Conservative leader. On November 22, she announced her resignation and six days later was succeeded by Major.

1990 1957

Thatcher’s three consecutive terms in office marked the longest continuous tenure of a British prime minister since 1827, although during her premiership she had the second-lowest average approval rating (40%) of any post-war Prime Minister.

1991: Freddie Mercury dead

On 3 November 1957, the secondever orbiting spacecraft carried the first animal into orbit, the dog Laika, launched aboard the Soviet Sputnik 2 spacecraft (nicknamed ‘Muttnik’ in the West).

On the evening of 24 November 1991, Freddie Mercury, lead singer with the rock band Queen, died at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington.The cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Laika died during the flight, as was intended because the technology to return from orbit had not yet been developed. At least 10 other dogs were launched into orbit and numerous others on sub-orbital flights before the historic date of 12 April 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

He’d issued a statement the previous day in which he finally confirmed he’d been suffering from the disease.

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1980

The global media hype over the series was unprecedented, and T-shirts printed with such references as “Who Shot J.R.?” and “I Shot J.R.” became common over the previous summer.

Sales of Queen albums rose dramatically in 1992, the year following his death. In 1992, one American critic noted, “What cynics call the ‘dead star’ factor had come into play - Queen are in the middle of a major resurgence.

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TECH TALK ith e-commerce growing at an unprecedented rate all around the world, brick and mortar stores have to work twice as hard to attract customers’ attention. No wonder - online shopping keeps the desire for convenience alive. There are ways to compete with online retailers and create a greater in-store experience, though. And the easiest way to do so is by using technology to their advantage.

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Mobile technology With software being one of the fastest growing technology expenditures in the retail industry, online and mobile shopping have become major forces. Many retailers are adopting data analytics software to manage their stores more effectively and provide an effortless and personalised shopping experience to their customers. Even though many of them have already developed some sort of shopping apps, retailers are now looking at new ways to take advantage of mobile technology.

How new technology is changing the face of shopping

Cashierless stores will take automated checkout to a whole new level. They use cameras, computer vision technology and smart shelf sensors to track shoppers and their actions so that they don’t have to wait in the line to pay. Instead, they can be charged automatically once they leave the store.

Automated checkouts Many stores are already using self-checkout machines. However, although customers want a more convenient shopping experience with less human interaction, such machines are not always popular.

Robots can also serve as… shopping carts. It may not sound like a life-changing technology, but a cart that follows a client instead of being pushed and manoeuvred between the narrow aisles makes sense. It’s currently being tested in China, at 7Fresh, which is a chain of supermarkets from Alibaba’s competitor, JD.com. Alibaba’s Hema stores aim to converge online and offline shopping, and offer an entirely new experience - their stores also serve as distribution centres. Customers who are more accustomed to traditional shopping are encouraged to order online and get all the products delivered - even within 30 minutes. Hema is also famous for offering an in-store dining experience which is provided by robots that move ingredients from a shop to the restaurant and then serve the meals. Except for soups, which are served by humans, so it seems that robots still need to learn!

Improved shopping experience with IoT

The Eastern European convenience store chain Zabka is a great example of this. It has been working on an app which will encourage shoppers to purchase products based on the circumstances while they’re inside the store, and send them notifications about any Zabka stores in the vicinity - suggesting that they may be in need of shopping. Another brand that brings retail to a new level is Nike. Its flagship store in New York is mobilecentred and clients can check out and choose products to be delivered to the fitting room using an app, which is also a source of personalised discounts.

The rise of robots

IoT (the Internet of Things) is a developing new technology with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. With IoT, in-store shopping can easily be enhanced - and there’s no need to go all the way and build a cashierless store in order to make that happen.

Automated checkout enhances more state-of-the-art technology. Computer vision can be followed by face recognition and thanks to that, customers won’t even need to scan their phones to pay for the products - faces can be matched with their digital wallets. Its popularity will also depends on both the technology itself (it’s not perfect yet) and customers’ concerns about privacy.

‘Beacons’ enable the sending of personalised messages and offers to smartphones within their reach, and can analyse the routes customers take in the stores in order to display products in a better, more efficient way. It’s only a matter of time before the majority of retailers implements IoT solutions, one way or another. In fact, a few popular store chains in the USA, including Macy’s, Urban Outfitters and Timberland, have already been experimenting with beacons, and it’s a trend which is likely to continue.

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