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November: Music, Dance, Comedy at Felixstowe Spa Pavilion For a shamrockin’ good time at Felixstowe Spa Pavilion, book for ‘One Night in Dublin’, on Saturday 6th November! This unmissable evening of Irish music promises to get the month off to a great start… With no less than eight fabulous shows to follow! To begin a run of four consecutive show nights, it’s ‘Little Red Riding …!’ (Thursday 11th November). This bawdy adult pantomime will raise plenty of chuckles, and a few eyebrows too! Next up, on Friday 12th November: The British Legion Festival of Remembrance. This is a wonderful opportunity to join with the local community, to commemorate our fallen and support the Felixstowe Poppy Appeal. Then, on Saturday 13th November, The Spa celebrate their Sixth Birthday, with ‘Stars from the Commitments’ – who played the theatre’s launch night in 2015. This outstanding show features original cast members and musicians from the award-winning Sir Alan Parker film alongside a hugely talented band, praised by Wilson Pickett as the group that are keeping soul music alive. VIP tickets are available for this special night – to meet the stars for a pre-show buffet, with photo opportunity and signed DVD. Rounding off the week: ‘The Greatest Love of All’ (Sunday 14th November). This acclaimed Whitney Houston show is billed as “mind-blowingly spot on”, and stars ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist, Belinda Davids.


The following weekend sees the return of Purple Zeppelin, on Saturday 20th November. Felixstowe Spa boasts plenty of “seaside rock”, but this tribute is more than just a great band performing all the ‘Greatest Hits’! it’s a theatrical insight into these two giants of rock – Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple – at their very best. November finishes with a triple run of shows - starting Friday 26th with ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ stars, Ian Waite and Vincent Simone. For VIP tickets, a “Strictly” limited number are now available! Next up, on Saturday 27th November: Ultimate ABBA tribute, ‘Thank You for the Music’. Finally, on Sunday 28th, a marvellous matinee: ‘Hits from the Blitz’, performed by Five Star Swing. Theatre tickets are available from the Spa Box Office: Tuesday - Sunday 11am-4pm (01394 284962). You can also select seats online, 24/7, at www.fxspa.co.uk The café, bars & restaurant are open every day, 10am-5pm. Breakfast is served 9am-11.45am and main meals, 12-4pm. Food is always served for two hours before every performance, with reservation advised on 01394 336336. • You can follow the Spa Pavilion on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, for all the latest news and show updates. Alternatively, sign up to their email newsletter at www.fxspa.co.uk


In Conversation with.....

It’s just weeks away, you cannot hide from it anymore. Our festive section includes things to see and do, ideas to survive and interesting facts.

Whitney - Queen of the Night star – Elesha Paul Moses on being Whitney and Tina, COVID and her career.

12 Arts:

13-20 Events Diary

Your day-by-day guide to the month of November. From art exhibitions to markets and stage shows to Christmas fairs, plus some firework displays. To get your event listed for FREE email us at listings@ipswich24.co.uk


As performance and the arts begin to emerge from COVID we have great news for panto lovers.... “Oh Yes We Do!”. Plus a great festive musical, drama, a rock choir and we look forward to outdoor summer concerts in 2022.

21-23 25-39

At Home:

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Our monthly lifestyle section includes tech and digital news and advice, decor and makeovers for your home and facts about finances.


After the recent fuel shortages we look at the legalities of storing extra fuel. Plus what to do in the case of a RTA and is playing music in the car a good or bad thing?



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Getting started on the slopes

If you are an experienced skier or absolute beginner Deben Travel can tailor the perfect ski or boarding holiday for you to make the most of your time on the slopes. For beginners it’s the start of your ski adventure – get ready for the mountain views, making your first turns, the ‘snow plough’ stop and an overall amazing experience. It is never been so simple to book as Deben Travel’s ski holidays include flights, transfers and accommodation, they can also arrange your ski lessons, lift passes and ski equipment. With accommodation ranging from self-catering apartments to hotels and catered chalets skiing is the ideal holiday for couples, a family or a group of friends. Many ski resorts will also offer plenty of ‘après ski’ activities such as swimming, ice skating, tobogganing and even husky treks so plenty to do for those who are non- skiers. The European ski season operates December to April. The better value destinations tend to be Bulgaria and Andorra and choosing an off-peak time to travel such as early January or late March could also make a saving although take a look at the historic snow reports and ski conditions for your dates before you decide, the higher altitude resorts will always offer more of a snow guarantee. Traditional resorts in Italy, Austria, France and Switzerland are easily accessible or if you prefer further afield there are many excellent resorts in Canada, USA or Japan to which Deben Travel can add tours or excursions to extend your stay. “Having previously worked in Austria as a Ski Representative and now taking my young children skiing I can honestly say it’s holiday to remember and one the team at Deben Travel can help you plan.” Says Lee Hunt of Deben Travel

• Deben Travel, 25 The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, 01394 615620, or see their website www.debentravel.co.uk

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Discover the world of Wasps

Stowmarket Wildlife Group – Suffolk Wildlife Trust next meeting takes place on Wednesday 24th November with a talk entitled WASPS With Hawk Honey A mention of the word wasp usually conjures up dread, but what do we REALLY know about wasps? Come along and join Hawk Honey as we delve into the incredible world of this fascinating range of insects. There’s more to them than just being picnic spoilers from the absolute tiny to the unbelievably large all capable of fantastic feats. This meeting will feature the annual raffle. All meetings will be held are held at 7.30pm at the Village Hall, Stowupland, IP14 4BQ Admission £2.50. Meetings of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Stowmarket Wildlife Group are subject to regulations and precautions to reduce the risks of Covid-19 transmission for the safety of Trust staff, volunteers, members and the community. Arrangements may change. Please check the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website at www.suffolkwildlifetrust. org/events for up-to-date information updates about this event contact John Thompson on 01449 676471 or swtstowmarket@gmail.com

IPSWICH FIREWORKS Ipswich’s spectacular Firework Display returns to Christchurch Park on Saturday 6th November. Expect spectacular musical fireworks, live music and entertainment, street foods, bar, funfair, bonfire and much, much more This year marks the 50th year of the event, as last year’s was missed, this means that 2022 will see the actual 50th event.The musical Fireworks Display will commence at 8pm. The funds raised help to provide scouting opportunities for hundreds of young people each year. Tickets can be purchased online only from www.ipswichfireworks.com and go on sale from 1st October at £9.00 per adult and £7.00 per child. Under 5’s are free and don’t need a ticket! Gates open at 6pm with fireworks at 8pm and family fun through to 10pm. Visit www.ipswichfireworks.com for more information. Organised displays are the safest place to enjoy a fireworks display.

Rebuilding a Saxon ship

• Pictures Andy Mills

Just up the road in Woodbridge a team of volunteers, the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company, are building a replica of the ship that was found in the ground at Sutton Hoo in 1939. Many of you will have seen the Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes film ‘The Dig’ which captured the story of the excavation and shared the many treasurers that were buried within the ship’s hull. The ship was thought to be the final resting place of King Raedwald in 625. The ship is now being brought back to life so that we can discover how it behaves on the water and therefore what it might have been originally used for. So far, the timber for the keel has been sourced and is being worked into shape using traditional Anglo-Saxons axes. The company has also made life-size and scaled models to perfect the construction techniques and have a number of experimental resources on display. A much smaller version of the ship called Sæ Wylfing can be seen moored up along the quay to give you a better idea of what the ship will eventually look like. This version requires eight rowers whereas the full-size ship will need up to 40. Visitors can watch the work taking place at The Longshed on Tide Mill Way on weekdays between 9.30am and 4pm when the end doors are open. On Saturday and Sunday, their sister company The Woodbridge Riverside Trust, open the doors from 11am to 1pm for viewing. You can visit the Ship’s Company website to find out more about volunteering, donating, sponsoring or arranging guided tours www.saxonship.org or email at contact@saxonship.org for more information.

Remembrance Sunday at HMS Ganges Museum, Shotley Gate The Shotley Division of HMS Ganges Association has, for many years now, arranged a short ceremony at the memorial plaque at Shotley Marina, on Remembrance Sunday, following the Remembrance Service at Shotley Church. The ashes of those exGanges Boys who have passed on (Crossed the Bar) in the previous 12 months, and whose families wish it, are scattered in the Haven Waters between Shotley Point and Harwich Harbour. There is a short service conducted by the Shotley Division Chaplin, who is also usually the incumbent in the Parish of Shotley, the Division Standard Bearer in in attendance, as is the Bugler from the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook to sound the Last Post and Reveille. The ceremony is fairly short, the names of those whose ashes are being scattered are called and the service usually ends with the Navy Prayer and Blessing. Tea and coffee is available in the Museum after the Service.

www.hmsgangesmuseum.com 5

£124,391 to help Stop, Listen, women feel safer and pass it on! Ipswich Borough Council’s bid to make an area of Ipswich feel safer for women has met success with £124,391 awarded from the government’s Safer Streets Fund. The money awarded will help the changes that will help address the general feelings of unsafety among Council and its partners introduce women and girls in the town. measures to make women feel safer and reduce crime in the Norwich “It’s a great win and the council has won because of its continued work Road area. with partners and the public. It’s a Improvements will include installing victory for us all.” better surveillance, improving Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and public spaces, empowering women and launching community safety Crime Commissioner, said, “I am absolutely delighted that this bid for campaigns. There will also be additional Government funding has regular community engagement events to capture people’s been successful, it’s great news for Ipswich. perceptions of the area and the “This Safer Streets money will make safety measures introduced. a tangible difference to the safety Cllr Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough of everyone in the Norwich Road Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, said, “Sarah area, with the addition of CCTV for example. I hope this significant Everard’s tragic death on 3 March investment and our particular focus 2021 and the devastating details on improving women and girls’ that have come to light since perceptions of safety in public places have highlighted public concerns will also help improve confidence in nationally about the safety of women the area. and children in public places and our “Policing has an important part to bid for further Safer Streets funding play in protecting women and girls focusses on how we can address from violence but we will only make those fears locally to ensure that everyone feels safer on Ipswich’s a difference if we take a partnership approach to working with the streets. local community, businesses and “I’m very pleased that we have been residents which is exactly what this successful in winning the money project will do.” and will now be able to introduce


Stop and listen for a few moments… November brings the crunch of leaves, the crackle of bonfires, the whoosh of fireworks, the squeals of excited children, the heavy footfall of the High Street and the chatter of people’s festive plan-making. Winter is full of exciting excuses to wrap up warm, get out there and to meet up with friends and family. However, for many, the season brings more sadness than celebration. Worsening weather and darker-for-longer days only increase the chances of people feeling lonely and isolated in their homes. The Ipswich Oddfellows, is a local friendship group that organises a variety of social gatherings to encourage people to venture out and make new friends, and to help lift spirits during bleaker times. If you know of anyone who would benefit from a bit of friendly company and to get out of the house, then pass on their name. Tell them, they’ll hear the ticking of brains over a game of scrabble, and the slurp of wine tasting; there’s lunch at the Plough, ‘ching ching’ of Christmas shopping at Ely Cathedral, taster chess for all and laughter galore at the Thursday activity session. There’ll always be the clatter of teacups too! What a wonderfully noisy group we are! Wanting a quieter moment? Then Oddfellows are offering a get-together for writing your Christmas cards and a talk from local Olympian Bill Tancred. They’re even online too, with regular Zoom sessions to fill dark hours with some fun. Sound a good idea? The Oddfellows welcomes everyone of all ages and walks of life to give their social events a try. The Hall is easy to find in High Street, near the Ipswich Museum and a short walk from bus stops and Crown Street car-park. Membership of the Oddfellows is from £25 a year. For more information about ‘trying before buying’ please call Lynne on 01473 251867, or email ipswich.branch@oddfellows.co.uk. Check out www.oddfellows.co.uk/events or www.facebook.com/OddfellowsIpswich

NO TRICK Family just a well-deserved


Navigating the past 18 months has been a challenge for many businesses and Pennikkity Pots Ceramics Café, based in the heart of Ipswich, has been no exception but with the fantastic support from customers new and old they are now busy planning their autumn and winter programme. Starting with Half Term and Halloween and then of course Christmas, the studio is the perfect place to entertain the family with some creative fun, memory making and possibly even making some unique and truly personal presents for your loved ones. Now back open from 10am to 4pm every day (closed on Wednesdays term time but open on school holidays) booking is advisable. A table booking system remains in place with tables available at 10am, 12midday and 2pm for painting, these are guaranteed for a minimum of an hour and a half. Booking can be made via their Facebook page ‘Pennikkity Pots Ceramics Café’ or calling the shop on 01473 216865. Alternately, you can just turn up and chance it too, if all the tables are taken the next available one will be reserved especially for you! Safety measures have been kept in place to keep everyone safe during your visit, including a one way system, sanitisation station, socially distanced tables, and personalised painting equipment. If you are still feeling uncomfortable about staying to paint, the studio is still offering paint at home kits too containing full instructions and equipment you just need to return your masterpieces for glazing and firing. Ceramic painting is available all day every day and the friendly staff are on hand to guide you through the process, assist with hand and foot prints if required and happy to offer helpful hints, tips and tricks to get the best results. During the October Half Term on Wednesday 27th the studio will be holding some creative clay sessions making pumpkins. With morning and afternoon sessions at just £15 per person contact the studio to secure your place today. So, go on ‘treat’ yourself to some valuable ‘Me Time’ or book a table and get together with family or friends. Don’t forget there is a great onsite café which you don’t have to paint to enjoy, with delicious home-made cakes, scones and savouries plus fair trade Italian coffee locally roasted in Suffolk plus a great selection of teas and warming hot chocolate perfect on a chilly day.

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history meeting

The next meeting of the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group takes place on Monday 15th November. Janet Few – “Remember Then: memories of 1946-1969 and how to record your own” takes place via Zoom at 7.30pm. Recalling life in Britain during the pivotal period 1946 – 1969, Dr Janet Few describes the results of a project during which eighty women recorded their memories of a time when we moved from liberty bodices to mini skirts and from ration books to ready meals. We saw the emergence of youth culture, the comprehensive education system, conspicuous consumerism and feminism. Join us on Zoom to either reminisce or discover what life was like at the time. This talk is much more than just a collection of memories. The techniques described will help both men and women, of all ages, to start writing reminiscences of their own. An experienced family, social and community historian, Janet Few is now in her fourth decade of family and local history research, and lectures regularly on these subjects. A qualified family historian, Janet has been involved in family history at a national level. She was education liaison officer for the Federation of Family History Societies for several years, and has acted as the local agent for several national research companies, and has worked with the Who Do You Think You Are? programme. She is also an accomplished, prize-winning, author. As her alter ego, Mistress Agnes, Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century, where she imparts information about life in the time of the English Civil War. This Zoom based event is free to members, but is also available to non-members at a cost of £3. If you wish to ‘attend’ please register via website https://avsfhg.org.uk/events/book/ and you will be sent joining instructions. Don’t leave it too late – places are filling up fast! However, at a cost of £6 for a full year’s membership, why not consider signing up with this growing band of family history enthusiasts now? Membership taken out after 1st October lasts until the following December.


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Planning a positive future Autumnal days at Baylham House Farm for rural branch lines It is always a pleasure to visit the farm and this year you’re going to be able to do so for even longer. Baylham House Farm will be open from Friday to Monday each week through November. Not many visitors know what goes on at Baylham as the days get shorter so this year they’re giving you the opportunity to come and find out. Wrap up warm and dry, stick your wellies on and come and have a wander.

Ensuring a thriving future for East Anglia’s rural rail branch lines was the focus at Greater Anglia’s annual community rail conference, building on the successes of recent years. Community Rail Partnerships, station adopters, local authorities and other organisations from across East Anglia came together with Greater Anglia to discuss how to ensure a bright future for the region’s local rail branch lines, building on the transformational benefits brought by Greater Anglia’s new trains.

Come and see the breeding groups of sheep with their rams getting ready for lambs next Easter, the billy goats with the nannys for kids in May. The yard will gradually fill with the pigs and cattle coming in to their winter quarters so you can get close and personal with all your favourite animals. Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is six miles north west of Ipswich, off the B1113 between Great Blakenham and Needham Market. During November the farm will be open from 10am to 4pm, Friday to Monday inclusive. With entry prices at £8 for adults, £7 for concessions, £4 for children (aged 4-16) and under four’s free, it would be difficult to find a more entertaining and better value attraction in Suffolk. For more information visit the website at www.baylham-house-farm.co.uk, check out Facebook or call 01473 830264.


They also heard how Greater Anglia’s team of 280 station adopters – volunteers who help to look after their local rail station – continued, even through lockdowns, to improve their local environment, making stations more welcoming ready for the return of passengers. Adopters have continued to develop station gardens that not only boost wildlife, but human wellbeing too, helping stations to become an even more valuable part of their communities. Discussions focused on how to help community rail lines recover beyond the pandemic and how to maximise the positive impact of the new trains. They also covered how community rail partnerships can help strengthen further their links with local communities, involving schools, colleges and local authorities to help bring about positive changes locally, and how to improve diversity and inclusion. East Anglia’s six Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs), Station Adoption community volunteers, local authorities, Transport Focus and the Community Rail Network - which represents CRPs and promotes community rail at a national level - attended the conference. Jonathan Denby, Greater Anglia’s Head of Corporate Affairs, said, “Community Rail Partnerships and our station adopters have continued to undertake excellent work throughout the pandemic, with recent initiatives including guides to encourage people to use the railway to access the countryside for walks and numerous biodiversity projects. “Community rail initiatives help to bring railways closer to the communities they serve, encouraging more people to take the train and supporting local communities by making it easier for residents to travel for work, learning, shopping or leisure and for visitors or tourists to get around, with significant benefits for the local economy. “Most community rail lines saw significant growth in passenger numbers in the years just before the pandemic and the new, high quality, longer trains being introduced, and already in place on many routes, provide a fantastic opportunity to encourage more people to take the train. “Indeed, train travel on our community rail routes has already been recovering strongly, as travel restrictions eased and many people holidayed in East Anglia this summer. “We’ll continue to build on our strong track record of partnership working, which has seen community rail lines become more and more popular with customers, as train services and stations have become more integrated with local communities’ needs, and most routes have benefitted from more frequent services, all year round.” He added: “A huge thanks to all involved for making the conference such a positive, effective event. We were able to build on our shared desire to ensure our local lines continue to thrive. Key priorities for the next year will include winning even more people to back to train travel, maximising the transformational benefits of the new trains and continuing the sustainable development of our routes in line with local needs.” To date in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, partnership working has helped to boost tourism and local economies; increase passenger numbers and improve health and well-being, through a whole range of initiatives including the production of local area guides, guided walks, special event trains, volunteering initiatives, community art projects, wildlife initiatives, partnership projects to deliver service improvements and station upgrades and wider community involvement schemes.

What’s on at

Stonham Barns Park in NOVEMBER There is always lots to see and do at Stonham Barns Park throughout the year and in November it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.

Having been damaged during an appalling arson attack last year, a historic shelter on Felixstowe’s South Seafront has been reopened to the community. Work to repair the Manwick shelter, undertaken by Felixstowe-based Turners Construction, began in June. The shelter, along with the nearby Arwela shelter, were fully refurbished in 2018 after suffering significant timber decay, vandalism and weather damage over the years, exacerbated by flooding during tidal surges. This £150,000 project was part of the Council’s ongoing investment in the South Seafront area. In October 2020, the Manwick shelter suffered extensive damage during an arson attack, which was condemned by local residents, the Leader of East Suffolk Council Cllr Steve Gallant and the Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Mark Jepson. Speaking about the reopening, Cllr Gallant said, “Local residents were clearly disappointed and upset over the appalling damage to this much-loved amenity, as were we and we wanted to get this historic shelter back into working use as quickly as possible for the benefit of the community. “Mindless vandalism, carried out by a selfish few, is completely unacceptable and especially in this case as the shelter had only recently been restored. However, I am delighted that Manwick is back in use and is once again open for residents and visitors to enjoy.” Cllr Mark Jepson, Mayor of Felixstowe, said, “It is fantastic to see the historic Manwick shelter recovered to its former glory. These singular and senseless acts of vandalism are not only appalling, but they undermine our community. The shelter is a much-loved and well-used amenity, and it will be wonderful to see visitors and residents alike enjoying it once again.”

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You could play adventure golf at the golf park or try one of the other golfing activities available. Take a walk round the Owl Sanctuary and see the birds of prey, Meerkats and red squirrels or spend a few relaxing hours fishing. For the younger ones in your family there is Tumbledown Soft Play Barn with Sensory room, where the kids can run, jump, climb, and explore to their hearts content. A seasonal fairground, train rides, FREE bouncy pillow and climbing frame. If you are feeling hungry there are two great places to eat, the Bistro with its fabulous home cooked food and the Teapot Pot Tea Room with speciality tea and coffee and delicious homemade cakes. This is a ‘dog friendly’ site and open seven days a week. Whether you visit for the day or stay for a holiday, you will find lots to keep you busy. For more information visit their website: www.stonhambarns.co.uk or their social media pages.



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Towards the end of the month the Christmas trees and decorations come out ready in time for the Christmas Craft Market which is held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th. This annual event is a great time to start your Christmas shopping, there will be stalls selling hand-made locally produced gifts that are not available on the high street, along with a fairground, train rides, face painting, seasonal food, and drink. Entrance is FREE and there is plenty of FREE parking. Also, the shops and business in the shopping village are getting ready for the Christmas rush, there is a large variety to choose from selling gifts, crafts, books, crystals, clothes, toys, furniture, hair & beauty treatments, homewares, holidays, hot tubs, antiques, and sweets. There is also a post office to post your cards, convenience store for your essentials and a garden centre for your Christmas plants and pots. For that ideal Christmas gift, you can have the opportunity to paint your own teapot at the Teapot Pottery or purchase a hand-crafted Christmas teapot. Also selling fast are tickets to the Christmas Party Nights, there are six nights in December with dinner and either disco, live music or a casino theme. Book now to celebrate Christmas in style at Stonham Barns Park. If you are not ready to think about Christmas yet, then there is still plenty to keep you busy. On Monday 11th there is Mid Suffolk Mondays the final monthly Antiques, Vintage and Retro fair for this year and every Sunday morning is the popular Stonham Car Boot.


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Cracking down on unlicensed dog breeding in East Suffolk n East Suffolk residents are urged to carry out thorough checks when buying a puppy, following investigations into illegal dog breeding in the district. Officers from East Suffolk Council’s Environmental Protection team exercised two warrants at addresses in Leiston in connection with unlicensed, and therefore illegal, dog breeding and/or sales of puppies under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.Supported by Suffolk Police, arrests were made, and evidence gathered. These actions follow many months of investigation, which is hoped will identify other illegal sites and practices in the area. Puppy farming is a cruel practice which overbreeds from bitches, often in poor conditions and without the necessary care. By selling puppies from fake show homes, buyers are duped into thinking that puppies had a good

Dog lovers asked to ‘Paws for a Picnic’


start in life and will be healthy. The trade is often connected to organised crime. Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment said, “Our officers are experts in animal licensing matters and will continue to work with Suffolk Police and local veterinary practices to shut down illegal and cruel activities like this when they are found in our area. Animal welfare is an important priority at East Suffolk and we also ask residents to check and check again that when purchasing a puppy, it’s from a reputable breeder.” If you think you may have purchased a puppy from an illegal seller, please call 0333 016 2000 to pass on information in confidence. Anyone selling puppies as a business must have a breeder’s licence – always ask to see this. You can check our list of licensed breeders at https://www.eastsuffolk.gov. uk/breeding-dogs/ In doubt, please email ep@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

The number of homes with animal family members is at an all-time high and many people are craving new opportunities to get involved with their local community, so Humanimal Trust is calling on dog lovers to ‘Paws for a Picnic’ this half term. Mental health issues and loneliness are just two of the many challenges faced by people across all age groups during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For some, this was the first time they had experienced such problems whilst for others, existing issues were exacerbated during periods of lockdown and self-isolation. Statistics show that levels of loneliness in the UK increased since spring 2020. Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey illustrate that between 3rd April and 3rd May 2020, five per cent of people (2.6m adults) said they felt lonely “often” or “always”. From October 2020 to February 2021, that increased to 7.2 per cent of the adult population. As a result, the UK has seen an unprecedented rise in households with animals, as people seek solace and companionship to tackle feelings of isolation and anxiety. Sadly however, mental health in animals isn’t as well-documented despite it becoming a growing concern. As socialising away from the home resumes and people start returning to the workplace, the isolation commences for our furry companions, causing complex issues such as social and separation anxiety in dogs in particular. In response to this, Humanimal Trust is calling on dog lovers and their families to come together with their four-legged friends during the half term holidays to take part in ‘Paws for a Picnic’, sponsored by Leucillin Family Sanitiser. Jo Blake, Development Manager at Humanimal Trust, said, “After such a long time, catching up with friends and family has never felt better, so we’ve teamed up with our sponsor Leucillin, to ask people to come together in their local community this half term (or whenever suits you) and ‘paws’ to appreciate all those you love, of all species. “It is easy to get involved, all you need is a group of like-minded people, with or without canine companions, a suitable picnic venue - whether that’s your local park, beach, garden or weather-friendly location - and your favourite snacks. We’ve put together some ideas to help make your fundraising event a success, with recipes, games, activities and resources available on our website.” Professor Noel Fitzpatrick said, “I believe that One Medicine is the most rational route forward for both animal and human medicine. “By taking part in ‘Paws for a Picnic’ and raising money for Humanimal Trust, together we can make a meaningful difference towards achieving a fairer world where animals and humans benefit equitably from medical progress and not at the expense of the other.” However, and wherever you choose to ‘Paws for a Picnic’, all the money raised will help the charity make ‘One Medicine’ a reality. For further information and to get involved, visit www.humanimaltrust.org.uk

A Year in the Life of The Apex To help celebrate The Apex’s 10th anniversary in 2020, Suffolk-based photographer Geoff Price spent twelve months documenting everyday life at The Apex. The resulting photographic exhibition beautifully captures every aspect of this much-loved venue and its place in the community.

Talks at the Woodbridge Society

Councillor Jo Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs, explained, “The Apex means many different things to many different people. For some, it is a concert hall, theatre, café, art gallery, conference venue or a Tourist Information Centre; but for others, it’s the place where they practice yoga, dance, or where their children learn ballet or make videos and so much more.” Marketing manager Ian Clarke added, “The Apex offers something for everyone, from babes in arms right through to senior citizens. We wanted some way to convey this versatility, and as you know, a picture speaks a thousand words!” Geoff had an ‘Access All Areas’ pass to a diverse selection of events - from The Sooty Show and the Mikado to workshops and business conferences. Prior to the pandemic, Geoff took photographs behind the scenes and on stage at gigs, concerts and events for all ages, as well as snapping the various local groups that fill the venue with life throughout the day. Consequently, the exhibition of ninety beautiful colour photographs encapsulates daily life at the acclaimed venue and helps to illustrate the major role that it plays in the community of Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk. The exhibition is open daily until Sunday 21st November, entry is free. For more information, visit www.theapex.co.uk or ring 01284 758000


It is only a few weeks since the town was expecting to welcome a number of refugee families.

Friday lunches are back!

This will not now happen but there are still around 2,500 refugees in Suffolk, most of whom live in Ipswich. In addition there are nearly 100 asylum seekers housed in Ipswich under the government’s ‘dispersal’ scheme. The Suffolk Refugee Association is there to provide these people with advice and support. Funded by grants and donations, the Association also helps with education, employment and access to immigration advice, housing, utilities etc.

Light lunches now served Fridays 12pm -2pm

At the Woodbridge Society’s November meeting, the Association’s Manager, Rebecca Crerar, will talk about the range of its work and the importance of integrating refugee families into their new surroundings. The talk will be on Wednesday 3rd November at 7.30pm and is entitled Asylum in Suffolk. The December talk will be given by Norman Porter, Churchwarden of St Mary’s Great Bealings. It is not long since the two St Mary’s (Woodbridge and Gt Bealings) joined together and Norman is extremely well-informed about the historical links between the two places and their parish churches. He will talk about these fascinating links under the title Threads of History on Wednesday 1st December at 7.30pm. Woodbridge Society meetings take place in the School Hall of Woodbridge Preparatory School (The Abbey), entrance and car parking off Cumberland Street. Under current circumstances it may be necessary to hold these meetings online via Zoom. For up-to-date information please check the Society’s website (www.woodbridgesociety.org.uk) or email info@ woodbridgesociety.org.uk. Meetings are open all and visitors are asked to donate £5.

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Whitney Queen Of The Night

n Critically acclaimed international stage sensation Whitney – Queen of the Night is back with its biggest ever UK tour. The electrifying show – which has wowed audiences and critics in the West End and around the world – is a stunning celebration of the music and life of one of the greatest singers of all time. Whitney – Queen Of The Night stars the sensational Elesha Paul Moses (What’s Love Got To Do With It?, The Voice, The X Factor) in the title role, supported by a stunning live band. This unmissable show is now visiting more than 80 theatres and venues including a date at Regent Theatre, Ipswich, on Thursday 25th November. Elesha has been striving for success in the music business for 20 years, via traditional grafting and TV talent shows. And now she’s back in the limelight starring in the critically acclaimed international stage sensation Whitney: Queen Of The Night, which returned to stages across the UK in the summer following the Covid-19 pandemic. Elesha appeared on The X Factor in 2010, alongside One Direction, she then reached the battle rounds – twice – on The Voice, and was mentored by Mathew Knowles – Beyonce’s dad – on a Channel 4 talent show. She is also touring the UK as Tina Turner in smash hit show What’s Love Got To Do With It?. We spoke to Elesha about her love of performing, life being put on hold during the pandemic and how she recreates the stunning Whitney vocals. Whitney - Queen Of The Night has been touring for a few years now. When did you join the show? I joined Whitney – Queen Of The Night back in 2018, initially understudying Whitney and as a backing singer, then I moved into the lead role performing

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throughout 2019, including the amazing West End and Brazil shows. We were really getting stuck into the 2020 tour when Covid-19 struck – and theatres were closed. Now we’ve been back up and running since the summer, it’s like we’ve never been away. The fans have been awesome and it’s been just so, so good to be out on the road again. The pandemic hit the entertainment hard, how was it for you? It was very strange at first I welcomed the break ,thinking it would be for a few weeks. As time went on I started to feel quite low with not knowing what was going to happen. Like so many entertainers I got a job as a supermarket delivery driver – and ended up in their Christmas TV advert. That was pretty crazy, but a great experience. I also did some acting, trained in stage fighting, and wrote music. I had to stay busy and active. I’ve trained in nutrition and as a personal trainer, so I found things which all add to my ability to make the shows the very best they can be. While I absolutely love being on the road and performing, having that time with the kids was brilliant and we had a lot of fun. You perform as both Whitney Houston and Tina Turner – they’re very different artists. What’s it like recreating these iconic female performers live on stage? You need a huge amount of stamina to do Whitney as well as Tina – vocally, physically and mentally. Whitney is the vocal challenge, while Tina is the physical, and they are such different sounding performers, of course. But each role makes me stronger in different ways which then pays off on both shows. As Whitney, there’s nowhere to hide as it’s a slower, more mellow show. I actually had to focus more on Whitney when we started doing them both together to keep that laid back vibe, even though I’d been in Queen Of The Night for longer. Compare that to What’s Love Got To Do With It? and Tina... Once you’re on stage, there’s no letting up from the moment you start. I love that contrast between the two. What’s new for Whitney – Queen Of The Night in 2021? We’ve had an all-new cast of singers and dancers, new choreography, new costumes, more storytelling, more interaction. For me personally, there’s even more choreography, which was been fun to learn alongside the new cast. It’s hardcore! I aim to do two hours a day in the gym because I need to be able to do that to keep up the energy and have the stamina to sing and dance for two hours. Vocally, I wasn’t doing too much during lockdown – although I always sang in the car. My voice was ready for the break, I’d been working almost non-stop singing Tina and Whitney for about five years. Coming back to rehearsals and then to performing, it was all still there and is now stronger than ever. How did you feel about getting back to performing? Seeing an audience singing and dancing along with us is incredible. It always was, but it feels even more special now. It’s such a huge part of why entertainers do what we do. I’m up there singing these incredible songs that people love, and hopefully for those couple of hours I’m doing a good enough job that we take them back to believe we’re the real thing. The feeling of a crowd singing along to I Wanna Dance With Somebody or How Will I Know, it’s just great. What’s the secret to the lasting popularity of singers like Whitney? I’d say Whitney audiences are 80 or 90 per cent female – it’s people getting together for a real girls’ night out. Her songs have never gone away. People still know the hits, I Wanna Dance With Somebody or I Will Always Love You. You do those songs and they’re all over it, it’s not fading away. It’s such a shame that Whitney’s life ended too soon. I sometimes wonder what it’d be like if Whitney had come through her problems, if she was still alive and I was able to see her live. • Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

christmas countdown WIN: New Christmas Book Authors, Steve Gunning and Chris Wheeler are celebrating the publication of their new Children’s picture book, ‘Santa’s Secret Agents’ aimed at kids aged five to 10. According to its publisher Carraway, the charming wit, delightful verse and captivating illustrations will be popular with children and parents who are excited to explore the hidden and magical world of Santa Claus (a.k.a Double Ho 7) and his all-seeing elves. What if “Santa can see through the and puns. When I first brought the sunroof” was the initial idea that concept to Steve it was just a simple started Chris Wheeler and his friend idea and a few verses. Together, with Steve Gunning on a journey to cothe support of our patient and loving write their debut festive Children’s families, through the twists and tale. The book that makes an ideal turns of life, at least one narrative


Christmas gift invites children and grown-ups alike to go on the (sleigh) ride of their lives as they follow Santa’s highly trained crack(er) team of elves and discover all of their gadgets and gizmos. Steve Gunning, joint writer and also illustrator of the book, commented, “We really wanted the story’s rhymes and pictures to be something children (and adults) would want to come back to over and over again, first because you would find something new and then because you just liked them. We hope the book will inspire kids’ imaginations and become something that they can share with future generations. We are really proud that it will be on sale in bookshops, it’s still a bit difficult to believe!” What inspired the book? A long car journey and two bored, misbehaving children caused an exasperated father to warn that Father Christmas would know that they were being naughty because, “Santa can see through the sunroof.” Co-author Chris Wheeler explains, “I spent most of the rest of that fateful car journey ignoring the children entirely as my head began to fill with ideas and rhymes

reboot and a global pandemic we were able to turn it into a fleshedout story and then, with Steve’s wonderful illustrations, a complete book. The finished product has farexceeded our expectations and we are indebted to Carraway in helping us to share it with the book-buying public.” Jane Shergold, Founder at Carraway Publishing said, “The early feedback from children, parents and booksellers has been

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really positive. They adore the humorous tongue-in-cheek verse and of course the in-jokes for all Bond fans, young and old, that are vividly brought to life through the detailed and inventive illustrations. Although it can be a tough challenge for new authors to break through and join the canon of established Christmas favourites such as The Snowman or The Jolly Christmas Postman, thanks to the power of today’s word-of-mouth marketing available through social media, new writers have the opportunity to reach out and quickly grow a large following. What also sets Santa’s Secret Agents apart is that it is not just for Christmas, the story features scenes from every season from Springtime in the garden to Halloween on the high street, so can be enjoyed all year round.” Priced at £9.99 the hardback version of Santa’s Secret Agents (ISBN: 9781916095021) is pub-

lished by Carraway Publishing and is available from 6th October online from Waterstones as well as in-store at all good bookshops. Visit www.santassecretagents.co.uk for some fun & games and for more information.


Ipswich24 has got two copies of Santa’s Secret Agents to give away to lucky readers. To be in with a chance of winning this great prize just send your answer to the following question, along with your name, address and a daytime telephone number to: Santa’s Secret Agents Competition, Ipswich24 Magazine, 12A Britannia Road, Ipswich, IP4 4PE or you can enter online at www.ipswich24.co.uk. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 30th November 2021.

Q. What animals pull Santa’s Sleigh at Christmas?

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SANTA SPECIALS at Mid Suffolk Light Railway For a magical Christmas treat for children up to 10 years old, a trip on a Mid Suffolk Light Railway Santa Special is not to be missed. Steam trains run from Brockford Station to ‘North Pole Halt’, for an individual visit to Santa in his Christmas Guards Van and each child receives a present. The Stations, Brockford and ‘North Pole Halt’ and the Museum and cafe, will all be decorated in full ‘Christmasy’ style. Plus, on the return from their Santa visit passengers can follow the signs for the Christmas Market where Christmas crafts, hot drinks, waffles and even festive mulled wine will be available to buy. There will also be two traction engines in steam and a Dutch Street organ on site to give an added festive feel and, for children (of all ages), there will be model railway layouts and a live steam model traction engine. Visitors, especially children, can enjoy the unique atmosphere created at Suffolk’s only standard gauge award winning railway museum. The Santa Special’s genuine Great Eastern Railway Victorian four-wheeler coaches are a historical experience for any passengers. This is a seasonal treat not to be missed, early booking is


recommended. Advanced booking only, compartments for two to eight people priced at £12.50 per person, minimum two passengers - £25.00. For all bookings and train times or further information visit www.mslr.org.uk/ bookings For larger parties email: events@mslr.org.uk Also, why not start the new year at the Steam & Light Festival at Suffolk’s only standard gauge preserved railway. Join us on January 1st for your first steam train ride of the year and visit to the Historical Lighting Association’s display of fascinating vintage oil lamps dating from the Mid-Victorian era as seen everywhere from grand houses to practical work places. For bookings and train times visit www.mslr.org.uk/ bookings 2021 Santa Specials takes place on 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th December Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Station Road, Wetheringsett IP14 5PW. (Off the A140, follow the brown signs). www.mslr.org.uk 01449 766899/01449 766874

Christmas Guest Survival Guide

This Christmas, homes up and down the land will fling their doors open and welcome a multitude of friends and family. Inevitably, this can test festive cheer and challenge the notion of peace on earth and goodwill to all men. But fear not! Here is a simple house guest survival guide to keep the true Christmas spirit alive. Having a house full of guests over the Christmas period can be stressful. Subsequently, many dread the festive season instead of looking forward to what should be a special time of the year shared with family and friends.

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Planning ahead can make Christmas visits a really festive affair for everyone. Having family and friends to stay over the Christmas period should be a real pleasure, and guests should be made to feel very welcome. However it’s important to have a good strategy to ensure that goodwill prevails.

Christmas Guest Survival Guide Festive Tips

1. Confirm visitor dates and number of guests well in advance to avoid a last-minute panic. 2. It is essential to ensure that guest departure dates are quite specific. Do not give your visitors any opportunity to outstay their welcome! 3. Decide well ahead of time where is the best place in your home to accommodate your extra guests. 4. Clear any clutter from the room and make space for your guest’s belongings in a wardrobe or drawer. 5. Check any special dietary requirements with your guests. 6. Prepare a shopping list and avoid the Christmas rush by placing any orders well in advance. 7. Remember, it’s your Christmas too and for you to remain the angelic host throughout the festive season a few ground rules are required. 8. Always ask for help with the cooking and washing up. There is no point in crashing around in the kitchen feeling resentful because nobody offered to assist. 9. Head for bed if you’re feeling tired! An exhausted, cranky host will put everyone on edge. 10. And If Christmas turns out to be a challenge, remember there’s always next year. www.robertdyas.co.uk

Determined to make the most of the festive season? Get inspired by these nine fun virtual activities from drawnames.co.uk that you can do to celebrate Christmas together – from a distance!

1. Play games online

Board games and Christmas go hand in hand, but it’s hard playing a game socially distanced - so why not do it virtually? Just pick a time and play together on Board Game Arena. Just promise not to sulk if you lose!

2. Online festive pub quiz

Simply choose a quizmaster and decide on a subject. The quizmaster can make the questions beforehand or choose from pre-made quizzes via Kahoot so the host can participate too. Schedule a time, share the Kahoot code and have get cracking.

3. Netflix Party

Is it even Christmas, if you don’t binge watch Christmas movies? It’s not as much fun on your own, so you can do it remotely! With Teleparty (the new name for Netflix party) you need never watch Elf by yourself again.

4. Decorate your desk

If you are working from home, decorating your desk is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. It will certainly make video calls that bit more interesting to see who’s made the most effort.

5. Send goodie/snack boxes

Christmas is all about sharing and celebrating together. So why not make a goodie box filled with the favourite snacks of your friends and families and surprise them by posting this to them.

6. Christmas jumper day

Grab your favourite Christmas jumper to make virtual celebrations more fun! Why not have a competition to find the ugliest Christmas jumper with the winner receiving a prize!

Jumper from Next

Nine fun ideas to start feeling festive


Stir-up Sunday

Christmas is a time for giving, so it’s not surprising that the connection between coins and Christmas has a very long history. Stir-up Sunday, this year on Sunday 21st November, is a lovely Christmas tradition that includes the whole family. The silver sixpence plays a very important part in this custom – it’s the day when Christmas puddings should be made in order to give them enough time to mature before Christmas, when every family member can take a turn at stirring the Christmas pudding mixture and make a wish. A silver sixpence is added to the pudding, and is said to bring luck and wealth to whoever finds the coin on their plate on Christmas day. The tradition of Christmas Stockings also began with coins, and is said to have started with St. Nicholas, a forth Century Greek saint who loved giving gifts to those less fortunate. Legend has it that he heard about a local nobleman who had lost both his wife and his money, and had moved into a peasant’s cottage with his three daughters. On spotting that the girls had hung their stockings to dry on the chimney ledge, St Nicolas decided to put a bag of silver coins into the stockings. Today’s Christmas Stockings are often filled with little gifts, and even today there will often be the gift of a coin in the toe. A Royal Mint 2021 annual coin set could be the perfect Christmas Stocking gift to mark a memorable year, or why not entice young adventurers to join in the Great British Coin Hunt, seeking out coins from change to complete the empty spaces in their very own Coin Hunt or Beatrix Potter coin collector albums? Gold too is synonymous with Christmas – notably the mention of gold, frankincense and myrrh in the Christmas story. Royal Mint gold and silver bars and bullion coins are available from bullion-trading website www.royalmintbullion.com and could be the ideal gift for those who have everything – or the perfect present for young investors. A Royal Mint Refinery gold bullion bar, or a year-dated gold bullion Sovereign, or the elegant silver bullion Britannia are just some of the bullion products that could light up the eyes of a loved one this Christmas. www.royalmint.com

7. Virtual festive Bingo

Nothing beats a good old game of Bingo. It is also a game that is easy to play virtually. Think about some prizes for the winners, and get your eyes down, with a free virtual Bingo website such as My Free Bingo Cards.

8. Christmas Song Charades

You don’t have to wait until after the Christmas lunch to play festive charades. Simply agree on the rules and use Christmas as a theme! Anything festive goes, films, songs or books – the list is endless.

9. Secret Santa

Virtual or not, the Christmas season isn’t complete without a Secret Santa. With Drawnames.co.uk Secret Santa Generator you can easily set up a group and draw names. You have the option to enter your address and with the gift finder, it is easy to send the desired gift without leaving your house. Then just pop on your Christmas jumper, grab your snacks, show off your decorated desk and watch each other unwrap their gifts via Facebook, Zoom or Skype, followed by a festive movie!


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The Perfect Christmas Tree What better way to celebrate the festive season than with the most glorious Christmas tree. But other than size, what are the things to consider when buying your Christmas centrepiece?

Each tree species can be a little different in size, scent and needle retention so it’s difficult to know which Christmas tree to buy. Delight your family and guests this Christmas by using Forestry Commission England’s expert guide to picking the perfect tree for you. NORWAY SPRUCE Considered the traditional Christmas tree, it’s best known for: - A wonderful shape and an abundance of branches – great for hanging lots of decorations! - A lovely ‘Christmassy’ scent that’s perfect at this time of year Who does it suit? With a long lasting scent and a traditional shape, they are perfect for those who appreciate the classic look and smell of Christmas. Tips To help your spruce retain its needles place it away from any heat source.. NORDMANN FIR - Has soft foliage and an even shape – making it a joy to decorate! - Glossy, dark green needles that have a whitish/light blue underside Who does it suit? With its big needles which are lovely and soft, Nordmann fir are perfect for those with young children. Tips You will need a big space to show off a Nordmann fir in its full glory. For a 6ft tall tree allow approximately 5ft space. LODGEPOLE PINE - Bushy appearance and luscious long green needles - Branches that point upwards which hold a wonderful pine scent Who does it suit? With the best needle retention of them all, Lodgepole pines are perfect for those who like a long festive season and decorate their tree as early as possible.


CARING FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE 1. Cut off 2.5cm from the trunk to aid with water absorption 2. Put the tree in a stand with the trunk immersed in water 3. Keep your tree in a cool, dry space. Away from radiators and fires 4. Water your tree regularly WHY BUY REAL? Being experts in trees, woodlands and sustainable forestry, Forestry Commission England’s real Christmas trees are so good, even Santa has given his stamp of approval. But why buy real? 1. Real trees use 10 times fewer materials and five times less energy than artificial trees. 2. They are completely biodegradable. 3. They are grown in the UK 4. A tree is planted for every tree harvested To find your nearest forest sales centre, or check out top tree tips on keeping your tree fresh and healthy over the festive holidays visit www.forestry.gov.uk/christmas

Sprouts: Yes/No? More Brits consider BRUSSEL SPROUTS to be the best bit of a Christmas dinner than stuffing or Yorkshire puddings. Research of 2,000 adults revealed 38 per cent see the festive vegetable as their FAVOURITE part of the dish, pipping stuffing to fifth place in the top 10 list. Roast potatoes came top of the poll, with 63 per cent rating them as the best item on the dinner plate. The crispy-yet-fluffy spud beat the iconic turkey to top spot, with doublepork delight, the pig in b la n ke t making up the top three. And the importance of a good gravy cannot be underestimated, as it came in fourth place with 43 per cent of the vote. A spokesperson from Morphy Richards, which commissioned the research, said, “We are certainly surprised to see Brussel sprouts score so highly in our latest research, but it’s great to see some staple Christmas vegetables making the top 10. “Christmas dinner is one of the most enjoyable meals of the year for many of us. How ever you choose to cook it, and whoever ends up taking on the mantle – it wouldn’t be quite the same without these festive favourites.” Stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and roast parsnips came in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, while carrots and cranberry sauce completed the top 10. It also emerged 38 per cent rate the Christmas dinner as their favourite dish of the year. But 30 per cent dislike how long it takes to cook, with one in five wishing it took under

an hour to create. And more than a quarter said they cook extra of their preferred part of the dish so they could have a bigger helping. Currently, Brits estimate whoever is in the kitchen will spend an average of three hours putting the meal together. Yet, 53 per cent actually enjoy cooking up their festive meal, according to the research via OnePoll. It has also emerged that 74 per cent think sitting down for Christmas dinner is the best part of the day itself. A spokesperson from Morphy Richards, creator of the Mico range, which aims to help users cook up dishes to oven quality in the microwave, added, “Traditionally, cooking Christmas dinner can take quite a while, and our research shows Brits wish it didn’t take so long. “Many people will spend hours in the kitchen, wishing instead that they could be enjoying quality time with their loved ones on such a special occasion.” TOP 10 FAVOURITE PARTS OF CHRISTMAS DINNER 1. Roast potatoes 2. Turkey 3. Pigs in blankets 4. Gravy 5. Brussels sprouts 6. Stuffing 7. Yorkshire puddings 8. Roast parsnips 9. Carrots 10. Cranberry sauce


UK’s best-loved festive traditions Christmas dinner, decorating the tree and exchanging presents are among the UK’s best-loved festive traditions, according to research.

Three quarters revealed customs will be especially meaningful this year with 26 per cent planning to adopt more of them than ever before. The M&S Bank research also found one in five are planning on spending extra on Christmas this year - £803 on average. Adults will typically spend £33 on Christmas jumpers, £42 on a tree and £35 on decorations, and another £36 will be spent on festive pyjamas. Other popular traditions among the top 30 included watching Christmas films, decorating the house and listening to yuletide songs. Shopping for Christmas presents and doing the Christmas food shop were also firm favourites. The average spend on food and drink this year is set to be a total of £193 – an estimated 44 per cent increase on last year. While £337 will be spent on presents for loved ones – up 47 per cent on 2020. The poll of 2,000 adults also revealed why traditions are taking on more meaning in 2021 - 42 per cent said it’s been a difficult year. And 31 per cent explained it’s because people want to enjoy time with friends and family more than ever. For nearly three quarters, it was Christmas traditions that make the holiday period feel so special. Half of respondents said they made them feel festive, and 45 per cent said they bring back memories of Christmas celebrations gone by. Paul Stokes, head of products, M&S Bank, said, “It’s clear that Christmas traditions are an important part of many families Christmas celebrations this year, which is understandable after what has been such an unprecedented year. “The familiarity of traditions also often brings a sense of comfort. “And as our research suggests, it’s not necessarily the bigger traditions that people enjoy most, but the little things that make this time of year so special, whether that’s a shopping trip for your Christmas dinner, or decorating the tree as a family.” When it comes to Christmas shopping, more than a quarter said they have a routine they follow. While more than half like to write a list and work their way through it, and 47 per cent like to be organised and plan their shopping trip in advance. More than a third like to make an occasion of it and go shopping with friends and family, if able to. Despite 34 per cent revealing they like to spend the whole day browsing for the perfect gifts for loved ones, 31 per cent admitted they like to get it done as quickly as possible. It also emerged a quarter of those polled have planned to - or already have - started their Christmas shopping earlier this year. The poll also found that more than one in five will plan their Christmas shopping list up to a month before, while 18 per cent will draw up their list a week before. A savvy third will also save reward points and vouchers throughout the year to specifically use at Christmas. Paul Stokes of M&S Bank added, “The research found that shopping for presents, as well as food and drink, are some of our favourite traditions as we head towards the festive period and nearly half of us look forward to doing it.

Do you


“It’s great to see that a third of savvy shoppers are saving up the reward points and vouchers they have earned on their spending throughout the year, to help make those Christmas traditions and festive spending go that little bit further.” Nearly half said they will enjoy giving presents more this year, with nearly half of people spending more on gifts than last year. The top reasons people enjoy gifting is to make other people happy, and to show others they care about them. Unsurprisingly, showing appreciation for others was also a popular reason for gifting this year.


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SCOUT CHRISTMAS POST The Scouts Christmas card collection and delivery service is back this year.

The delivery area covers Kesgrave, Rushmere, Ipswich Borough and Martlesham i.e. all postcodes IP1 to IP5, together with Felixstowe, The Trimleys and Kirton, and some of the surrounding villages including Claydon, Barham, Gt Blakenham, Westerfield, Witnesham, Henley, Tuddenham and Old Martlesham. Postboxes will be available from 25th November at many collection points across the area. The cost per card will be 30p and the closing date is Tuesday 7th December. All profits are shared between the scout groups taking part in the ratio of the number of cards collected and delivered. • Further information about delivery areas and collection points can be found at www.scoutspostipswich.org.uk

A LITTLE BIT OF SPARKLE The next Deben Flower Club meeting takes place on Tuesday 16th November at 7.30pm in Kirton Church Hall, Church Lane, Kirton IP10 0PU. (Please note the change of date from our regular second Tuesday.) Local demonstrator Pat South from Felixstowe will be putting us in the festive mood with a demonstration entitled “A Nod to Christmas” Pat, a former member and good friend of the club is sure to provide us with an entertaining and colourful evening. Pats arrangements will be raffled at the end of the demonstration. There will be spacing the seating and opening windows for ventilation to help ensure they remain Covid secure. Please feel free to wear a mask if you can, until you are seated. Hand sanitizer will be available as you enter the hall. Tea and coffee will be available but please feel free to bring your own refreshments if preferred. Friends, and new members will always be assured of a warm welcome. Visitors £5.00 email wa@sandlings. co.uk or telephone Sandy on 07910463158 for further information.

Get crafty for Christmas

Craftability is beginning to take on a ‘Christmas’ feel! They have all manner of items to make the festive season special. With various sizes and shapes of wreath frames and dried fruit, ribbons and raffia to make one to greet your guests this year. If you need help, Craftability have several kits available with all materials included. Maybe you would like to have a go at making a fabric wreath? They have a workshop do just that so take a look at the website for more details. Does your dolls house need cheering up? Craftability have Christmas decorations that will do just that. Along with the normal range of furniture and decorating elements take a look at the trees, Santa and snowmen amongst others. They have an abundance of Christmas fabric including some with dachshunds, the dog of the year! There is a selection of Christmas ‘fat quarters’ for your smaller projects. There is a good range of patterned Christmas ribbons as well as the standard colours – ideal for gift wrapping with their brown paper or cellophane. Perhaps you would like to join Craftability on a workshop to make a fabric bauble… Very simple and therapeutic. There is a selection of cross stitch kits with a Christmas theme and some simple sewing kits to start the youngsters in the family taking an interest in sewing. Craftability have a lovely new selection of ‘cake toppers’ for all occasions including Christmas and they are also stocking some of the elusive cake frills which many of you like for your homemade cakes. There are also some competitively priced biscuit and icing cutters. If papercraft is your specialty the shop has loads of decoupage sheets, coloured blank greeting cards, embellishments, peeloffs, dies and stamps. They have also found some beautiful Christmas paper pads and single sheets in various sizes including 12” x 12”, an ideal size if you are into scrapbooking. Craftability are stockists of ‘King Cole’ tinsel wool and carry a large selection of patterns to make toys and Christmas decorations for all to enjoy. They also have 20gl balls of DK wool suitable for all your small projects too. Finally, if you would like to come along to Craftability’s small, safe workshops to make one of the many Christmas projects that they are offering take a look at the website or call in for more information and to see the samples. Places are booking up quickly! See you soon!

for all your crafting needs Crafts, Gifts, Dolls Houses and Accessories 4 St. Lawrence Street, Ipswich IP1 1DN Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5.00pm

Tel: 01473 257550

www.craftability-ipswich.co.uk Email: sales@craftability-ipswich.co.uk 18

‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey is the best festive feel-good song ever made, according to a poll. The 1994 classic beat a string of other Christmas smash hits including ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ by Wizard and Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ to claim top spot. It also outstripped ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid. Other songs to make the definitive Christmas top 40 include ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The year’ by Andy Williams which just pipped tubthumping classic, Fairytale of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl to sixth spot. ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ by Chris Rea, Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ and Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town by Bruce Springsteen complete the top ten.

According to the stats 49 per cent of the nation say that Christmas truly begins when they start to hear Christmas songs on the radio or in stores. The study of 2021 adults also shows we listen to Christmas songs throughout all of our Christmas activities. As a nation, we chose ‘Christmas Classics’ as our favourite type of Christmas music with 35% of us agreeing. Women overwhelmingly agreed with 41 per cent saying ‘Christmas Classics’ are their favourite type of Christmas music. It also emerged 65 per cent of the nation say that they find themselves singing along to Christmas songs during the festive period… involuntarily, with wrapping presents and putting the tree up the most popular occasions. The study also found the majority of us feel getting together with family is the most exciting part of Christmas, with turkey, roast potatoes and pigs in blankets the best edible elements.

Pic: Creative Commons

These are the all-time top Christmas songs to get us in the festive mood.

Pic: S cliffric ue Andrew hard.o s rg



1. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey 49.6 per cent

29. Jingle Bells – Basshunter 14.6 per cent

2. Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard 49.3 per cent

30. If Every Day Was Like Christmas – Elvis Presley 12.7 per cent

3. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade 47.8 per cent

31. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas Without You – Elvis Presley 11.6 per cent

4. Last Christmas – Wham! 47.5 per cent

32. Mistletoe – Justin Bieber 11.2 per cent

5. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid 44.3 per cent

33. Christmas Is All Around – Billy Mack 10.9 per cent

6. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The year – Andy Williams 42.4 per cent

34. The Millennium Prayer – Cliff Richard 10 per cent

7. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl 42 per cent

35. All Alone On Christmas – Darlene Love 8.5 per cent

8. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea 38.2 per cent

36. Underneath The Tree – Kelly Clark 8.3 per cent

9. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens 35.8 per cent

37. Proper Crimbo – Bo Selecta 8.2 per cent

10. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Bruce Springsteen 33.9 per cent

38. Pretty Paper – Roy Orbison 7.8 per cent

11. Lonely This Christmas – Elvis Presley 28.6 per cent

39. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses 7.6 per cent

12. Blue Christmas – Elvis 28.5 per cent

40. Winter World of Love – Engelbert Humperdinck 7.4 h per cent w 08/10/2021 1 2021 10 Ipswich24 Cmas Boxing Day.qxp_135mm x 93mm

13. Stay Another Day – East 17 28.5 per cent 14. When A Child Is Born – Johnny Mathis 28.4 per cent 15. Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue 27.8 per cent 16. Baby Its Cold Outside – Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews 27.2 per cent 17. Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard 27.1 per cent 18. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney 27 per cent 19. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John and Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir 26.4 per cent 20. Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie 23.5 per cent 21. Walking In The Air – Peter Auty and The Sinfonia Of London 22 per cent 22. Step Into Christmas - Elton John 21.5 per cent 23. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness 19.9 per cent 24. I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake 19.9 per cent 25. The Power Of Love – Frankie Goes To Hollywood 18 per cent 26. Saviour’s Day – Cliff Richard 17.2 per cent 27. Please Come Home For Christmas – Bon Jovi 15.8 per cent 28. A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris de Burgh 15.3 per cent

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The Co-op Juniors’ creative team have been working on this new show for over a year, with the cast starting rehearsals during the summer. New musical arrangements have been created by musical director Joanne King, with professional designers in lighting, sound, stage and costumes worthy of a West End production. “It’s a huge commitment for our

The show has 12 performances and runs until Sunday 12th December. Tickets: coopjuniors.co.uk/ spectacular or call 01728 687110. Seats from £15, £22 & £29.

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SPECIAL OFFER on 3rd &10th Dec for groups of 10+, seniors and under 16: all seats £15. Group bookings discount on all performances: call 01728 687110

Enjoy breathtaking music and dance, dazzling costumes and stage effects, and memorable Christmas nostalgia that will leave the whole family ready for the festive season!




f designed new stage set and over 800 costumes. Audiences are in for a treat with a traditional family show that has become a fixture in Suffolk’s Christmas calendar. Coaches travel from all over East Anglia to bring people to Snape, where there are shops and a choice of places to eat including the new River View Café and Bar.

cast, volunteers, parents and our creative and technical teams, with months of rehearsals culminating in 12 shows in the magical setting of Suffolk’s premier music venue,” said technical director Alan Ayres. “The ambition of our directors, choreographers and designers is given free rein in the largest amateur production in the country, and we’re fortunate to have the support of East of England Co-op, who provide our rehearsal studios, workshops and stores in Ipswich.”







After a two year absence, the cast of almost 100 are ready to raise the roof of the world-famous venue with their unique blend of high energy music and dance backed by a live orchestra. “We hope everyone leaves the show with a warm festive glow, ready to celebrate Christmas!” said directors Lucy Allen and Oliver Brett. “It’s packed with surprises, a huge variety of different music and dance numbers, together with favourites like our 80 toy soldiers, traditional snow-covered finale and a glorious nativity scene.” Andrew Clarke in the East Anglian Daily Times hailed the 15th fanniversary production in 2019 as “A Christmas dance-variety show which is as inventive and impeccably presented as anything you would see on the West End stage…as slick, as polished, as professional as any show I’ve seen staged at Snape Maltings.” This year introduces a specially







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The UK’s largest youth musical theatre group is in sparkling form this December when they return to Snape Maltings Concert Hall in the Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular!

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Paloma heads to the races Double platinum and BRIT award-winning artist Paloma Faith will be embarking on her second UK tour within a year with her upcoming Summer 2022 tour. The extensive 23 date tour will run excited to be hearing all of her throughout June, July and August fabulous hits on a warm summers 2022 and will see Paloma play a evening again in 2022.” variety of venues and places she Paloma Faith said, “I am beyond hasn’t visited in a while, including a excited to announce my Summer return to Newmarket on 17th June 2022 tour. I love nothing more than plus her much anticipated debuts singing for you all and hearing you at Haydock Park and Sandown sing back to me. There’s nothing Park on 1st July and 20th July like it.” respectively. 2021 saw a season of incredible She will be performing an array live shows at The Jockey Club of hits from her extensive and Racecourses, despite the much-loved repertoire. These challenges of staging a season in homecoming shows will have fans 2021, the events marked the return singing along to classics such as to live music for thousands of fans. “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” Looking forward to a full-strength and “Lullaby” as well as new songs line-up in 2022, the likes of Nile from her fifth studio album “Infinite Rodgers, The Script, Olly Murs Things”. and Pete Tong & The Heritage Sophie Able, General Manager of Orchestra are already confirmed Newmarket Racecourses, said, with more announcements to “We are delighted to be welcoming come… Paloma back to Newmarket Nights • Paloma Faith will be at on Friday 17th June. When she Newmarket Racecourses on 17th performed in 2018 it was to an June 2022, Tickets are on sale audience of thousands and we’re now via thejockeyclublive.co.uk.

Wishing you a merry H and ELFy Christmas H H



This Christmas, the National award-winning CTC return to The Apex, Bury St. Edmunds with the regional premiere of ELF The Musical! Based on the Will Ferrell hit movie, this is the heart-warming story of how human Buddy (who was raised by Santa’s elves at the North Pole), travels to New York to find his real father, falls in love and brings Christmas happiness to everyone. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. The CTC was founded by Bridie Horne in 2009 and began its journey by offering summer workshops in a local school hall. Now offering full-time provision (CTC Foundation); a part-time training platform (CTC Academy); an in-house Agency (CTC Management); and awardwinning full-scale productions (CTC Events), the CTC has earned its reputation as one of the finest training centres in the East of England. The CTC now have their own studios based in Needham Market providing a modern, vibrant and professional training hub fully equipped for the specific needs of the Performing Arts. With sprung flooring, Sonos surround sound, costume and props store, a scenic workshop, floor to ceiling mirrors and windows, the space is uniquely fresh and inviting. ELF The Musical! Is at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds from 30th December until 2nd January. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01284 758000 or visit www.theapex.co.uk H Suitable for ages 3+ years


presents Proudly

Musical The

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin Music by Matthew Sklar • Lyrics by Chad Beguelin Based upon the New line Cinema film written by David Berenbaum

30TH DEC - 2ND JAN BOOK ONLINE theapex.co.uk

BOOK BY PHONE 01284 758000

thectc.co.uk This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe www.mtishows.co.uk




GIGANTIC rock‘n’roll panto

Last year the rock ‘n’ roll panto was (Snow) Queen size. This year it’s GIANT size!

The famous New Wolsey rock ‘n’ roll panto is back better than ever before with live-streaming as an option. Peter Rowe’s ingenious script will once again include interactions with audiences at home, participation and shout-outs, and the chance to supply a prop during the show! Join Jack’s adventure as we find that Dame Dolly Durden’s family farm has fallen on hard times - Squire Snuffbox is demanding the rent and Giant Blunderbore, with his wicked sidekick, Fleshcreep, is terrorising the land. There’s only one thing for it – Jack will have to sell their last remaining cow, Bessie. But when Jack comes back from the market with nothing more than a bag of beans it looks like the Durdens are done for. Then up pops Fairy Aubergine, up jumps a gigantic beanstalk and Jack is soon on his way up too, battling giants, rescuing the family farm and romancing the Squire’s spirited daughter, Jill. Brought to you by the famous New Wolsey company of multi-skilled actor musicians, it’s the best of pantomime mixed with the best songs from the classic rock and pop playlist, all played live before your eyes, including Hit The Road Jack, Lady Marmalade, Get Offa My Cloud, Go Your Own Way and many, many more. This glorious mash up of pantomime and pop concert is a festive treat for all the family.

Following the critically acclaimed success of the theatre’s hybrid pantomime offering The Snow Queen last year, which was “adored” by New York Times critics Alexis Soloski and Elisabeth Vincentelli, this year’s offering will once again include interactions with audiences at home, participation and shout-outs, and the chance to supply a prop during the show. Captioned, Audio Described, British Sign Language and Relaxed performances will be available during the run with all livestream performances having captioning and audio described options available, except for British Sign Language performances where the live stream’s captioning option will be replaced by a British Sign Language option. The cast for Jack and the Beanstalk are: Nicola Bryan (Sweet Charity) as Fleshcreep, Joe Butcher (Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story) as The Giant, Daniel Carter-Hope (Made In Dagenham) as Squire Snuffbox, James Haggie (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Billy, Natasha Magigi (Don Quixote) as Fairy Aubergine/Gemima, Daniella Piper (The Secret Garden) as Jill, Steve Simmonds (Assassins) as Dame Dolly Durden and Neil Urquhart (Bicycle Boy) as Jack. All other roles are played by members of the company. Jack and the Beanstalk is written by New Wolsey Artistic Director Peter Rowe and directed by Kate Golledge with Rebekah Hughes (Musical Director). • Tickets for in person audiences begin from £12 with livestream tickets at £25 available at http://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/

Sat 6th November

The Everlys Experience

+ Cliff Weston s Ticket ch a e 0 1 £

Sat 4th December

Sat 1th December


Jeff Stephen Smyth Gallant Band s Ticket h c a e £6

s Ticket ch a e 5 1 £

All performances commence 7:30pm • Doors 6:30pm FOR BOOKINGS & MORE INFORMATION

Tel 01473 912626 or 07591 099519



Rock Choir back singing face-to-face After a long 18 months, Rock Choir Members from Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Saffron Walden have reunited for live singing rehearsals and are experiencing the huge benefits of social singing for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The largest contemporary choir in the world, Rock Choir, has officially kicked off its Autumn term in Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Saffron Walden, and local Rock Choir Leader, Daniel Ribbits is delighted to be able to welcome the Members, also known as ‘Rockies’ back into the rehearsal room once again. During the height of lockdown, Rock Choir had to move all of its rehearsals online, teaching and rehearsing with Members via Zoom and YouTube sessions. The community spirit of Rock Choir really flourished during this time, and local Rockies maintained vital connections with their fellow singers by organising online charity events, quizzes and a host of social activities providing a life-line to those isolated by the Covid pandemic. As most restrictions have now been lifted, Rock Choir is able to gather for indoor rehearsals and harmonise together for the first time in 18 months. The new Autumn term will give Rock Choir Members the chance to learn four new, specially-arranged songs including the uplifting ‘Make your own kind of music’ by Paloma Faith.

In addition to the live rehearsals, Rock Choir is giving those who prefer or need to remain isolated the opportunity to take part in the Autumn term with the launch of the National Online Rock Choir. To ensure they don’t miss a single note, Members can learn all of the songs from the comfort of their own homes and can rejoin the live Choirs whenever they are ready to do so. Local Rock Choir Leader, Daniel Ribbits, said, “It has been such a joyful experience, hearing the Rockies sing together in harmony after such a difficult time apart. Our Members have been so committed to Rock Choir and their determination to keep singing and to keep those social connections alive during lockdown was inspiring. Rock Choir is like a family and to see

November Events @ Two Sisters

that family back together and to witness the healing power of singing and socialising in person is very special. We would love to welcome anyone who would like to join Rock Choir this term and invite people of all ages and abilities to come and be a part of this fantastic group of singers.” Caroline Redman Lusher, Creator and Creative Director of Rock Choir has been highlighting the importance of group singing and the powerful positive impact it has on mental health and well-being. Caroline Comments, “I am overjoyed that our ‘Rockies’ have been allowed to regroup and sing together inside once again. It’s been a long and emotional 18 months waiting for this moment to happen. I am so proud of all the Rock Choir Members and my dedicated Rock Choir team who passionately led our choirs with the love, energy and positivity that Rock Choir is famous for. The nation’s mental health is at its worst and the services and support to combat loneliness, depression and anxiety are in huge demand and oversubscribed. Allowing choirs to reunite across the whole of the UK will now have a tremendous and positive impact and allow a healing process to begin for those who take part. Choirs of all types provide a life-line and this life-line can now be reinstated.” • If you would like to come along and see what Rock Choir is all about, sign up for a free taster session at your local Rock Choir today at www.rockchoir.com

NOVEMBER EVENTS Thursday 4th – 7.30pm (£14/£12)

Jazz with THANE & THE VILLEINS Pete Whittaker, Art Themen, George Double

Friday 5th – 7.30pm (£10)

Halloween Double Bill

On Thursday 4th Two Sisters Arts Centre are privileged to host Thane & The Villeins as part of their national tour.

TRIANGLE MUSIC & Justine de Mierre

Featuring jazz legends Pete Whittaker, Art Themen & George Double – this is a night all jazz fans should not miss.

Wednesday 10th – 7.30pm (£8/£7)

Friday 5th is the (slightly delayed) Halloween Special – featuring haunting tales from the unique acappella music of Triangle followed by Justine de Mierre with Dark Love told through story and song.


On Wednesday 10th there is a double programme of film to commemorate Remembrance week – with the screening of Private Peaceful & Stanley’s War


On Saturday 20th touring company The Pantaloons bring their take on the classic tale of Jekyll & Hyde On Sunday 21st Two Sisters hosts a Book Fayre to support local authors. There will be tables for local authors to sell their books, a chance to meet crime writer Ruth Dugdall, and displays by local writers groups as well as live music and readings and writers workshop sessions. And, Felixstowe’s premier second hand bookshop Treasure Chest will also be on hand with a variety of books available to buy. On Friday 26th Stacks of Sax will be rounding off the month with Deep in The Forest – a programme of music evoking fairy tales and the tenant of the winter season.

Film Screening for Remembrance

Saturday 20th – 7.30pm (£14/£12)

Sunday 21st – 10am-4pm – Free Entry

TWO SISTERS BOOK FAYRE supporting local authors

inc live music & readings, writers workshops

Friday 26th – 7.30pm (£10)

Stacks of Sax

BOX OFFICE: 01394 279613

Tickets: www.ticketsource.co.uk/two-sisters-arts-centre 23

Every Tuesday

Arts & Crafts Group, Castlehill Community Centre, 1.30-3.30pm. Everyone welcome, £2 per session. For more information call Lois on 07951 779271

Every Wednesday

Seated Exercises, at Ipswich Oddfellows 37 High St, Ipswich, 11.30am. £4 members, £5 guests. Contact 01473 251867 Beginner’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Classes, 7-9 pm at Sidegate Lane Community Centre, Ipswich, IP4 4HZ. 01473 422427

Every Thursday

Kurling and Boccia. Ipswich Oddfellows 37 High St Ipswich, 10.30am, £2.50 members, £3 guests. 01473 251867

Every Friday

Sequence Dancing at Sidegate Lane Community Centre, Ipswich. IP4 4HZ. 7.30 - 9.30. Members £3 each

Every Saturday

Mannings Weekend Market, Mannings, Felixstowe Seafront, 10-4pm. HMS Ganges Museum every weekend until end of October, 11am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm). Free entry & parking. Shotley Marina, Shotley Gate. www.hmsgangesmuseum.com Suffolk Heritage Aviation Group, open every Sunday until October 11am-4pm. Exhibition of the history of Suffolk aviation. Full size replica of Edith Cooks Bleriot, and many other interesting exhibits. Tea room and picnic area, free admission and parking. Foxhall Rd, Kesgrave, Ipswich.

Every Sun until 31st Oct

Sunday Car Boot, from 8am, Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT Call Simon on 07817 539168 for more info

Every Sunday

MHAS Control Tower Museum Open every Sunday 2-5pm until end of October. www.mhas.org.uk HMS Ganges Museum every weekend until end of October, 11am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm), Free entry & parking. Shotley Marina, Shotley Gate. www.hmsgangesmuseum.com Mannings Weekend Market, Mannings, Felixstowe Seafront, 9-5pm.

Sun 24th Oct

Giant Christmas Craft & Gift Fayre. Best Western Ipswich Hotel, Copdock. Over 65 stalls selling locally made arts & crafts. 10am-4pm. £1 admission, iao FIND

Wed 27th-Fri 29th Oct

Murder by the Book. The Brook Players present a play of murder, laughs, plots, counterplots and subplots. Tickets £8.50, cons £6.50, available on the door. Doors open 7 for 7.30pm

Wed 27th - Sun 31st Oct

Spill Festival, Ipswich’s biennial festival of performance art and activism returns with a 5-day programme of ground-breaking performances and installations across the town centre; all themed around Memory. Full details on www.spillfestival.com/festival 24

Wed 3rd Nov

Woodbridge Writers Group, 10am-noon. ​ Are you writing a book, or have you written one? Join a friendly group for reciprocal feedback, encouragement and support from like-minded people. Woodbridge Library Meeting Room, jane@bakwon.com In Search of the Knights Templars, Monthly Meeting Suffolk Family History Soc. Salvation Army Citadel, 558 Woodbridge Rd, Ipswich, 7.30pm £2 members, £3 non members. Tel 01473 274300

Fri 5th Nov

Talk: RAF Bentwaters, Martlesham Heath Aviation Society Monthly Meeting, Martlesham Heath Community Centre, 7.30pm. £3 for members, non-members are welcome at £4 Charity Cabaret Evening - Marshall King Legends Show. A variety show of legends and comedy. Doors 7pm, Tickets £10 - Gainsborough Labour Club, call 07757 591763 in aid of FIND and EACH

Organising an Event?

Get it listed in the Events Guide for Free Email your event by the 5th of the month to: listings@ipswich24.co.uk All listings subject to space and no guarantee is given of inclusion

Sat 6th Nov

Ipswich Fireworks, Christchurch Park, gates open 6pm, fireworks 8pm, see page 4 of this magazine Woodbridge Area Gamers, Woodbrdige Library,1pm-5pm. Come along to play modern strategy board games, both simple and complex, with a range provided that’s suitable for all age groups. This is an open doors group where all are welcome. Live Music: 2 Steps to Heaven. Rosary Conservative Club, Bramford Rd, Ipswich, 8-11pm. Tickets on the door - £6 (members £5) 50/50 Dance to live music by David Last. Sidegate Lane Community Centre, Ipswich. 7.4511pm. Bar & refreshments. Members £5, non members £6

Wed 10th-Sat 13th Nov

An Evening of Short Comedies presented by The Masque Players at Kesgrave Community Centre, 7.30pm all tickets £10. Tel: 01473 725633 or visit 22nd Stop Shop, near Tesco Metro

Wed 10th Nov

Fleece Jazz, Alina Bzhezhinska’s Hip Harp, 8pm, Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Box Office: 01787 211865

Thu 11th Nov

Top Time Book Club, Woodbridge Library, 2-4pm. A book group that’s open to everyone, Top Time meet on the second Thursday of every month, and they will be discussing Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery.



Fri 12th Nov

C&W Evening with Longshot. Rosary Conservative Club, Bramford Rd, Ipswich, 8-11pm. Licensed Bar. Tickets on the door - £6 (members £5)

Sun 14th Nov

Martlesham Heath Annual Remembrance Service, Barrack Sq (near BT main entrance). Everyone welcome. Starts 2.30pm Remembrance at Ganges Museum, Shotley Gate - see page 5 of this magazine for more information

Tues 16th Nov

East Ipswich Camera Club meet at The Tower Hall, Broadlands Way, Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich, IP4 5SU. Meetings 7.30-10pm. New members are always welcome. More info www.eastipswichcameraclub.co.uk Deben Flower Club Meeting, all welcome from 7.30pm. Kirton Church Hall, Church Lane, Kirton. Visitors £5.00 or call Sandy on 07910463158 for info

Wed 17th Nov

Woodbridge Writers Group, 10am-noon. ​ Are you writing a book, or have you written one? Join a friendly group for reciprocal feedback, encouragement and support from like-minded people. Woodbridge Library Meeting Room, jane@bakwon.com

Sat 20th Nov

Christmas Craft Fair, Stowupland Village Hall, IP14 4BQ - 10am-5pm, admission free, excellent variety of stalls and refreshments 50/50 Dance to live music by Stuart Burr. Sidegate Lane Community Centre, Ipswich. 7.4511pm. Bar & refreshments. Members £5, non members £6

Sun 21st Nov

Artisan Christmas, Art & Gift Fayre. Best Western Ipswich Hotel, Copdock. 10am-4pm. £1 admission. Free parking, refreshments available. Over 65 stalls selling locally made arts & crafts

Tues 23rd Nov

Ipswich IPMS Meeting, at Ipswich & District Indoor Bowling Club, Rushmere Rd, 7.30-10pm.

Wed 24th Nov

Talk: WASPS at the Village Hall, Stowupland, IP14 4BQ Admission £2.50., 7.30pm info John Thompson on 01449 676471 - see page 4 of this magazine Fleece Jazz, The Art Themen Trio, 8pm, Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Box Office: 01787 211865

Thur 25th Nov

Whitney Queen of the Night - Ipswich Regent. Tickets are on sale from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

Fri 26th Nov

C&W Evening with Chris Harris. Rosary Conservative Club, Bramford Rd, Ipswich, 8-11pm. Licensed Bar. Tickets on the door - £6 (members £5)

Sat 27th & Sun 28th Nov

Christmas Craft Market, Stonham Barns Park, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal, IP14 6AT. More info go to www.stonhambarns.co.uk or call 01449 711111

*Submissions listed subject to space availability. – No responsibility can be accepted for cancellation of events, if in doubt contact the event organiser before travelling.

Have your Event or Gig Listed Free!!* Email: info@ipswich24.co.uk Post: 12A Britannia Road, Ipswich IP4 4PE




Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice, shares four clever tips to get a stylish Christmas look.

n Turn the home into a stand out Christmas interior by mixing modern accents with traditional elements. 1. Add a stylish, contemporary twist to traditional elements Going for a modern look does not mean letting go of the elements that make Christmas feel like Christmas. Keep hallmarks like the tree and gifts that make the home feel festive and seasonal. It is a balancing act between the fresh and the classic - look for ways to add a contemporary touch without diminishing the festive feel. “The key here is in restraint,” advises Rebecca. “For instance, candles are a staple of the season, but rather than going all out with white or metallic candles, swap them out for an elegant dark hue. Snowflakes are also a popular choice during Christmas, but a star motif offers an updated take on the look.” “And a Christmas tree is a must-have, so keep it modern by leaving out the tinsel and opting instead for minimal, metallic baubles - this allows you to have the best of both worlds: the tradition of a Christmas tree, with a fresh look.” Consider the gifts that are displayed under the tree as well. Colour-coordinate them to match the rest of the home as an easy way to get a chic, coherent look. 2. Build upon the existing colour palette for a fresh and cohesive feel Instead of piling on red, green and gold accents, work with the existing colour palette of the home. Develop the look

from there to get a seamless, designer-led approach. “Maintaining a similar colour theme allows you to create a look that feels personal and specific to your style and home,” says Rebecca. “And being comfortable with the colours also means you can go bolder with your decorations while still feeling like you. For instance, hanging stars and gold cushions add a lot of festive glamour, and in hues like black and silver, they also fit wonderfully into the rest of this modern industrial space.” 3. Combine cosy textures and polished accessories for an elegant look Create a Christmas atmosphere through soft materials, warm lighting and hints of shine. “A designer trick to getting this look is to layer in a variety of textures,” says Rebecca. “In this Christmas-ready dining room, knits and fur throws give a soft, cosy feel while rattan and oak furniture add warm tones. Lighting is hugely important too, and for a polished alternative to fairy lights, consider lights encased in a string of stars for a diffused, twinkly glow that maintains the look of your interior.” Gold also adds a layer of sophistication and luxurious warmth to Christmas decor. “Gold and brass are great additions to a modern Christmas interior,” advises Rebecca. “But rather than going for the glitz and sparkle of glitter, opt for matte

tones instead - you still get the extra shine and polish, but in a more subtle, elegant way.” 4. Style a Christmas themed coffee table for a touch of designer flair Besides setting up a Christmas tree, decorate a coffee table as another festive feature in the home. Take the opportunity to add a stylish touch using modern colours such as black and gold. “Black always gives a modern edge, and in a festive setting, it stands out even more,” says Rebecca. “It also pairs beautifully with gold to create a luxe look. For a touch of designer flair, we styled the black coffee table by grouping items together - fresh foliage and touches of gold give a festive feel, while candles add height and drama.” FurnitureChoice.co.uk

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Fear of undoing the good done during Lockdown A poll of 2,000 adults found the past 18 months has given them a chance to conquer their domestic duties and keep tabs on things like never before. And as a result, half of those polled ‘enjoyed’ being at home. However, a third (32 per cent) are now worried they’ll start to lose this sense of control and order as ‘normality’ is resumed. As a result, half are ‘open’ to any tech which makes the transition to post-lockdown life easier and helps them maintain control of their lives. The research was commissioned by Samsung SmartThings (https://www.samsung.com/uk/smartthings/), a free service which allows you to remotely connect and control your smart home tech using your smartphone, tablet and laptop. Teg Dosanjh, director of connected services and technology from Samsung UK and Ireland, said, “Our research has shown just how accustomed to being at home the UK population has become. “And just as technology has helped get the nation through lockdown, it can also help people take small steps to get back out into the world, knowing their homes and connected devices are in their full control.” The study also identified other parts of post-lockdown life that people are

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getting used to again, including being out in a social setting. More than a third of those polled are anxious about interacting with others amid concerns their social skills will be rusty. Additionally, 61 per cent are worried they’ll be more likely to lose things like smartphones, laptops, or keys because they’ll be working ‘on the go’ – hot desking and working away from home. The study, carried out through OnePoll, found a quarter have already lost or misplaced personal belongings more often since the pandemic. Furthermore, they’ve typically spent an average of more than an hour a week searching for missing items. However, four in 10 think they’d be less worried about losing their personal belongings like their phone, watch, laptop, or keys if they were able to track them. Teg Dosanjh added, “With almost half of Brits saying they’re open to using newer forms of technology if it makes their life easier, it’s clear that smart technologies or platforms such as Samsung SmartThings can play a role in helping people find their feet as they start to move further away from their home. “Whether that’s tracking lost items, monitoring the home remotely or simply keeping people connected.”

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Digital connectivity will pave the way for a new era in healthcare Years from now, when we reflect on the millions of healthcare professionals that rose to the challenge to fight COVID-19 with bravery, dedication and courage, will we see the pandemic as a turning point when healthcare truly embraced a digital transformation? COVID-19 has become a catalyst for change in many ways, accelerating digitalisation across the board. We’ve seen email, telephone and video consultations replace face-to-face appointments and an explosion in the use of healthcare apps and web platforms to check symptoms, stay informed and find new ways to keep fit and healthy. GP practices and hospitals in Suffolk and indeed, nationwide, have adapted with incredible agility to provide crucial services, from remote diagnosis and treatment to symptom tracking and online test booking. This has made many services more accessible and more efficient than ever before, even for the most remote or vulnerable of patients. But is our infrastructure up to the challenge of further digitalisation across the entire health service?

Full Fibre – a foundation for digital transformation

The more widely available full fibre is, the easier it will be for this momentum towards a digital transformation in healthcare – hence why the Government has made levelling up connectivity across the country a key part of its ambitions. With the UK set to have 80% of the country covered by gigabit-capable broadband by 2025, now is the time for those within the healthcare industry to start thinking about what this could potentially unlock for them in the form of new digital services. Innovation in this space is already unlocking many

new insights into healthcare, making it possible to develop therapies and approaches that could strengthen health and care services in the face of perhaps more, as yet, unknown challenges. Harnessing analytics, for example, is already proving invaluable in the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers, while data platforms have allowed for rapid research into the spread and risk factors associated with COVID-19. Governments and local authorities in a growing number of countries, including South Korea, have used analytics to trace the contacts of people infected with the virus. Closer to home, the Newcastle University Urban Observatory has used sensor data to identify bottlenecks where social distancing cannot be maintained, understand how citizens adapt as restrictions are imposed or lifted and ultimately, prepare for future crises. Using digital healthcare tools and data as a preventative tool has potential applications on a much grander scale – even to identify and quash future pandemics.

Building a digital future

At CityFibre, we’re hard at work to bring full fibre to towns and cities across the UK, including in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds. We know that change is constant, and that what we rely on today in terms of infrastructure will not be sufficient in the decades, years, even months that lie ahead.

soon as possible and there are a several towns and cities across the UK, just like Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH), which we have already helped make the switch. Ultimately, we want full fibre to be the standard communications infrastructure across the UK; not just for public services, but for citizens and businesses too. This will be a critical element in ensuring communities across Ipswich, Lowestoft an Bury St Edmunds can use online health services effectively and that the shift to digital healthcare reaches its full potential. To find out more or register an interest in the service go to www.cityfibre.com/ip24

The UK Government’s current aim is for every NHS hospital, GP practice and community care service to gain access to full fibre broadband as 27

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What will you see in the Big Garden Birdwatch? The world’s largest garden wildlife survey returns, with hundreds of thousands of people watching and counting the UK’s garden birds over the last weekend in January for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Over a million people took part in 2021, counting 17 million birds – making it the biggest Birdwatch ever! Over the past year, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing. There has been a surge in interest in the nature on our doorsteps and many people have come to rely on garden birds to bring joy and comfort in these unsettling times. This year’s event takes place on 28th, 29th and 30th January 2022. The public is asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden, balcony or local park, then send their results to the RSPB. Just one hour every year, for the last four decades, has made the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch the largest garden wildlife citizen science project. Now in its 43rd year, over 150 million birds have been counted giving the RSPB an astonishing amount of insight into how our wildlife is faring. Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, said, “We were blown away by the enthusiasm with which people took part in the Birdwatch in 2021. We know that for many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider natural world and bring enormous joy.


in fact dropped dramatically since the Birdwatch began in 1979. House sparrows are down 58% while starlings are down 83%. To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2022, watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three days. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Tell us the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour. Beccy added, “Whether you saw one blackbird, twenty starlings or no birds whatsoever, it is really valuable information as it helps us build a picture of how our garden birds are faring from one year to the next.” The parallel event RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term, 5th January – 21st February 2022. In 2021, it celebrated its 20th anniversary of connecting children with nature in their school grounds. Since its launch, over a million school children and teachers have taken part. Further information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch For your FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to help you attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch Registration for Big Garden Birdwatch 2022 opens 8th December 2021.

Over the last year, there has been a broad and muchneeded realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too. “By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.” For four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. n Blue Tit and Great Tit eating suet coated raisin pellets. The house sparrow Pic: Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com) remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden bird with 2.6 million sighted in 2021. The blue tit and starling completed the top three.

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While house sparrows and starlings may be the UK’s most commonly sighted birds, a closer look at Big Garden Birdwatch data shows that numbers have 29


Head miller solves weed problem Woodbridge Tide Mill’s millpond had a problem. Weed was growing in an uncontrollable manner, and this was blocking the point at which water is released from the pond to power the millwheel and grind wheat. The weed grows from the bottom, eventually detaches and floats to the top. Underneath the floating dead weed there’s half a meter of clear water and then more weed growing from the bottom of the pond. It grows vigorously in the warm summer but eventually decomposes and starts to disappear in November. It’s completely gone by winter. During most of the year it gets caught in the Mill’s ancient machinery and recently this has brought milling to a standstill. The Solution - Dredging it is expensive and destructive to the

pond fabric and some wildlife. You can’t harvest it as a resource, and you can’t eat it because water from the river Deben isn’t pleasant. Head Miller Dan Tarrant Willis however has devised this cunning solution. The square shown in the photo is directly above the spot where the Mill draws water to power the wheel. The square has a half metre net hanging from it and a chain hanging down to keep it in place. The weed can’t get in there. Weed will grow from the pond floor but will detach and then can be skimmed off like a swimming pool. The wooden square rises and falls with the tide and when Dan takes 50cm of water from the pond for milling. The weed no longer stops the Mill from milling. An initiative that could be adopted by others who have a problem with such weed fouling water intakes for cooling or driving machinery, dynamos etc

When Woodbridge Tide Mill closed in 1957 it was the last commercial working tide mill in England. It is now one of only two tide mills in the country still producing stoneground wholemeal flour. The current mill is 220 years old but the earliest known mill on the same site was built in the 12th century thus celebrating 850 years of a mill on the site this year. It is managed and maintained by volunteers, dedicated to sustaining this wonderful example of a bygone age. It is a popular visitor attraction and educational resource and continues to produce genuine stoneground flour. • For more information visit woodbridgetidemill.org.uk/


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New Year Home Makeover We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘New Year, New You’ but how about a makeover for your home? Now taking bookings for 2022, Steve Shaw Painter and Decorator can help you to have a living space you can be proud of. With a wealth of experience and after 23 years in the industry, Steve has decided it’s time to start his own business enabling him to offer excellent customer service to his clients. After leaving school in ‘97 Steve went straight into an NVQ level 2 in painting and decorating, completing it in ‘98. From there he worked with Geoff Dinsdale and sons from ‘98, moving to AMF building contractors (Felixstowe) in 2000, where he has continued to work until now. Steve offers a range of Painting and Decorating services, including internal and external work, and both painting and paper hanging. From domestic and commercial work, Steve is happy to work

unsociable hours to suit his client’s requirements. Steve has an excellent attention to detail and will always respect your home, ensuring that work is carried out to a very high standard. He meets with clients beforehand to understand what work is required, enabling him to always meet their expectations. So, if your home is needing a fresh look be sure to call Steve Shaw Painter & Decorator on 07874 263889 to discuss your requirements and for your free no obligation quotation. All work carried out is fully insured. • For more information and to see examples of Steve’s work visit www.shawpainter.co.uk Facebook @steveshawpainter Instagram steveshawpainter

Dream mobile phone A survey of 2,000 phone-owners discovered what the true ‘dream phone’ would feature – including having a celebrity on speed dial and the ability to make things cheaper, such as food shopping. More than a quarter want their phone to automatically sift through their photos and delete duplicates, and half would love a universal caller ID. Other phone goals include a social media lock that kicks in after too much scrolling and being able to ‘gift’ leftover data to charity. And more than a quarter would like their handset to be able to reject any phone contract price hikes. But the research commissioned by Tesco Mobile found only 39 per cent currently own their ‘dream’ phone. The top barrier to having the ultimate phone was found to be price for 71 per cent while 16 per cent claim it’s because they’re tied into a contract. It also emerged two thirds of adults ‘couldn’t live’ without their mobile and on average people spend 55 minutes a week talking on their phone. Rachel Swift at Tesco Mobile said, “It’s amazing when you think about how much phones have changed over the years and what they’re now capable of. “So it’s fun to hear what people want from their phone in the future, and importantly what their dream phone looks like today. By rolling out Clubcard Prices at Tesco Mobile it means a dream phone is no longer out of reach.”

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Overuse of plastics in our bathrooms


Bathrooms across the UK are home to more than 152 tonnes of empty plastic bottles, which is 11 times heavier than the bell of Big Ben, according to research. A survey of 2,000 adults tallied up how many shampoo, conditioner and make up bottles Brits will get through every year. It found the average bathroom has at least two empty bottles kicking around, that Brits have yet to recycle. That’s approximately 40 grams of plastic in each of the 3.8million bathrooms in the UK – equating to around 152,000kg. But most adults are doing everything they can to recycle the products they’re using, with the average adult disposing of 312 plastic bottles a year. That’s 19,665 over the course of their lifetime, which is equal to more than four times the height of the Burj Khalifa if piled up on top of each other. It also emerged six in 10 adults want to be more sustainable in their everyday life but don’t know where to start, with a third saying there’s just not enough plastic-free or options made from recycled plastic. And 81 would like to see more alternative plastic free products available. The research was commissioned by professional haircare brand weDo, which has partnered with Plastic Bank to donate money for every bottle sold. A spokesperson from weDO said, “The study has revealed we dispose of a

recyclable when purchasing new toiletries and 77 per cent want to cut down on their plastic bottle usage. With the average Brit using five products per day as part of their hygiene routine, one in 10 make use of plastic-free or recycled plastic alternatives on a daily basis. Some of these plastic-free products include soap bars, glass bottles, refills, shampoo bars and toothpaste tabs. But when it comes to plastic, 75 per cent reuse bottles where they can and 76 per cent see recycled plastic bottles as a more sustainable alternative to non-recycled options. Although the study via OnePoll revealed one in 10 said a lack of knowledge about alternatives to plastic is the main barrier to reducing their consumption. While others blamed it on plastic options being deemed the most cost effective. The spokesperson from weDo added, “It’s very positive that so many people are changing their products for plastic-free or options made from recycled plastic and people are considering packaging when purchasing new things. “Shampoo bars and hand soaps are really savvy options as we get through these types of products so quickly.”

Flood & French Ltd shocking amount of plastic in our lifetimes, so it’s fantastic to see so many Brits want to become more sustainable. “But it’s not always easy to know where to start. Reducing and reusing have proven to be more sustainable than recycling, so why not start there. “Taking an extra two minutes at the shops to scout out any reduced plastic packaging, or even products in bottles that have already been recycled is a great place to start.” The survey went on to reveal most plastic at home is in the kitchen, closely followed by the bathroom, where 53 per cent of all products are made from plastic. Although 38 per cent consider whether the packaging is recycled or

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things you need to know about re-mortgaging

n Independent mortgage adviser Chris Blackwell of TED Mortgages shares tips on re-mortgaging. Home-owners often do not consider this, however, with interest rates so low, Chris says, now is the time to ensure your mortgage is right for you right now. Chris and his colleagues specialise in helping people find the right mortgage deal for their personal circumstances to allow them get on the housing ladder, move up or downsize. They also encourage everyone to reassess their mortgages on a regular basis even if they do not intend to move home. The value of regularly reviewing your mortgage is often underestimated and every year thousands of pounds of potential savings are left on the table by UK households who do not take the time to consider making a change when they are not planning on moving home. The term remortgage is, in fact, quite broad and can mean different things to different people. We feel the best explanation is that a remortgage is “an opportunity to review your finances in full and ensure they are working in the best way then can for you” - and it does not always mean you want to move house. Now could be a fantastic time to look at re-mortgaging because interest rates are so low. However, it is important to ask the right questions, which could include: when does your fixed rate end? Are there any early repayment charges or fees? We have come up with five things which may help you consider if a remortgage is right for you. 1. Standard variable rates: Some householders do not realise when their initial rate period finishes they do not have to simply revert to their lender’s standard variable rate. Currently a typical variable rate for most high street lenders is around 3.5 per cent. When your initial rate period finishes you can take a new deal with your existing lender or change to a new lender if a better deal is available. 2. Competitive rates: the rates available in the current market are at an all-time low. The deals available in September 2020 are very different to those available now. For example, for someone with 25 per cent equity/ deposit fixing for five years, the lowest rate available to them in September

2020 would have been 1.63 per cent. This compared with 0.99 per cent in September 2021. This represents a sizable monthly saving on household budgets. 3. Financial review: reviewing your mortgage is not just about getting a new deal. It is an opportunity to review your finances as a whole. This could include tidying up any high interest debts or trying to reduce the number of years on your overall mortgage. Your earnings may be higher and you may be in a position to invest more in your property. After all, who would not want to try and repay their mortgage quicker? 4. Releasing equity: property values have increased significantly in the past 12 months. This means that the amount of equity available in your home could have increased and be available for you to borrow against your home if needed. This could be used for home improvements, buying investment properties, consolidating debts and more. We strongly advise taking professional advice around this. 5. Things change: it is very easy to overlook the fact that our lives change, sometimes slowly over time, sometimes quickly through personal events. What was once the best thing for you may no longer be now. A change in circumstance can mean a change in mortgage. For most people a mortgage is their largest outgoing and therefore if this is not set up in the best way possible, it will have a negative impact on your overall financial position. And finally, please remember: a mortgage is a loan secured against your home. your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. By Chris Blackwell, codirector of independent Swindon-based mortgage broker TED Mortgages.






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Caring for our feathered friends Feeding your garden birds is more important than ever this winter, says the RSPB.

Over the events of the past 18 months, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing. Interest in garden birds and other wildlife has soared, with the number of people using the RSPB’s online bird identification tool shooting up by 95% in 2020. Taking the time to watch which feathered friends make use of your bird table or window feeder, can often help to reduce stress and restore calm. Not only does it benefit humans, but with over 60% of the UK population regularly feeding their garden birds, research suggests that this helps around 196 million birds a year. According to the RSPB, keeping your feeders and water trays topped up is important at this time of year to help your garden birds survive through the winter as natural food sources run low. Providing high-energy food will help your local birds build up the fat reserves they need to keep warm, and as a result your garden could soon become a hive of activity. What’s more, for those without a garden, window feeders can prove just as popular with your feathered friends. Thankfully, if your bird feed supplies are running low, your cupboards can hold the answer to attracting our feathered friends to your garden. According to the RSPB, fruits like apples and pears, even when they’re past their best, can be snapped up by blackbirds and thrushes, while grated mild cheese can be a fantastic source of energy and protein for a range of birds. Cooked pastry, defrosted peas or unsalted bacon leftovers are also great options, as well as cooked rice, pasta and the inside of potatoes providing a great energy source. With a range of options to help tempt your local birds into your garden, the RSPB is urging people across the country to stock up their feeders and ensure fresh water is available as winter brings the toughest and coldest months for birds. The charity, who have been monitoring trends in garden bird numbers for over 40 years, are on hand to provide top tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden as part of their popular Big Garden Birdwatch survey. To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, which runs from Friday 28th January to Sunday 30th January 2022, visit www.rspb.org.uk/ birdwatch or text BIRD to 70030 for your FREE guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch and RSPB shop voucher. • Pictures from RSPB

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More than half of workers (52 per cent) have seen vital business technology damaged since Covid-19 forced millions to work from home in March 2020, according to new Direct Line business insurance research. More than six in ten (62 per cent) said that they were responsible themselves, but others cited surprising culprits. Over a quarter (26 per cent) said mischievous or clumsy children had caused the damage, while more than one in five said their housemates (22 per cent) or partners (21 per cent) were responsible – hopefully not upsetting too many relationships in the process. Regionally, London was the most accident-prone city, with an astonishing 77 per cent of Londoners saying that they had damaged their business technology since the first national lockdown. Overall, more than one in three (35 per cent) said that they’ve had more accidents than they did when they were working every day in the office. The most common reasons for the damage were: - Spilling food or drink on the equipment (29 per cent) - Electrical faults, including power surges (23 per cent) - A trip or fall resulting in equipment being damaged (20 per cent) - Leaving the equipment on a hot surface (19 per cent) - Partner or housemate using the equipment (16 per cent) - Leaving the equipment outside (13 per cent) More than seven in ten (72 per cent) said there was more than £500 worth of damage, while over one in three (35 per cent) reported it to be more than £1,000. These problems are also taking time to be resolved. Over a quarter (29 per cent) said it took three to five working days to get the issue resolved, with 26


per cent saying it took one to two working weeks – hugely inconvenient for those trying to meet deadlines and keep projects moving. Surprisingly, many employees aren’t reporting these issues to their businesses. More than four in ten (42 per cent) did not make their organisation aware because they thought they could fix it themselves (25 per cent), thought they could still use the item (24 per cent), believed they might have to pay out of their own pocket (24 per cent) or were worried about getting told off by their boss (21 per cent). The most common items of business technology damaged were: - Laptops (25 per cent) - Work mobile phones (22 per cent) - Desktop PCs (19 per cent) - Desk phones (11 per cent) - Tablets (10 per cent) Direct Line has launched Business Tech Essentials, a new service to help businesses get back up and running quickly in the event that essential tech is damaged or stolen while working from home. The service is included with Business Contents cover for Retail, Hair and Beauty and B&B as well as with Electrical Items cover for Office and Professional customers. It provides customers with £2,500 worth of complimentary business equipment cover, per person, whilst they work at home and replaces tech within 24 hours of a valid claim. To claim a replacement, all customers need to do is get in touch with the claims team between 8am – 6pm from Monday to Friday except Bank holidays. Cover and claim limits apply. Jane Morgan, SME Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance, said, “Our research shows that working from home can be risky. When vital business technology is damaged, there can be a significant impact on an organisation’s ability to operate and on its overall productivity levels.” Customers needing cover above £2,500 per person when working from home, can increase this by adding Property Away from the Premises cover to their policy. This add on covers their business equipment when out and about elsewhere and also comes with the Business Tech Essentials service, providing 24-hour replacement of essential tech following an approved claim.” Business Tech Essentials covers mobiles, laptops and tablets, desktop PCs and phones, TVs and printers. More information on Business Tech Essentials can be found here: https:// www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/small-business-insurance/ business-tech-essentials

Under 30s are saving for home

The typical under 30 has saved almost £10,000 for a deposit on their first home, research has revealed

A study of 2,000 adults aged 18-29 found more than half would be happy to move to a less desirable location if it meant they could own their own property. However, three quarters worry that house price rises are drastically outpacing their salary increases, making their task even more difficult. And 76 per cent feel the government should be creating more incentives to help young adults get on the property ladder. Overall, after paying bills, rent and other living expenses, the average under 30 has squirreled away £9,300 towards their first property. The research was commissioned by Shared Ownership Week, and aims to provide advice on how to make the scheme work for your needs. A spokesperson for Shared Ownership Week said, “It is clear that like generations before them, under 30s are just as ambitious when it comes to buying a home. However, many are facing new challenges before taking this step, and finding obstacles in their way. Owning a home shouldn’t be something out of reach for young people, or indeed anyone – which is where shared ownership can help.” Under Shared Ownership, buyers build equity on their share of the property while paying a lower rent on the part they don’t own. They can then buy further shares until eventually owning the home outright. However, the study found four in 10 respondents are not familiar with the concept. It also emerged that seven in 10 of those surveyed via OnePoll have given up on luxuries to help boost their savings. Although 35 per cent feel the pandemic has actually had a positive effect on their bank balance. But more than eight in 10 feel that the cost of housing in the UK is ‘seriously unfair’. A spokesperson for Shared Ownership Week added, “For a lot of young people, it seems their only option is to withdraw from ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’. Our research found shared ownership could be a huge help to many, but they’re perhaps not as aware of it as they could be. For anyone who is looking to get on the property ladder and isn’t sure where to start, we’d certainly advise doing some research in this direction.” Shared Ownership Week has teamed up with interiors influencer Kelsey Heinrichs to shine a spotlight on how to style and furnish a first home on a budget. She said, “I’m currently saving like mad for my own home buying journey, so can really relate to the plight of first-time buyers. “After saving for a home, plus all the costs that go with it, it’s unlikely that anyone has an excessive budget for furnishing their first place. But there’s no need to fret about this as even the best interior designers cheat their way to ultimate house goals. I’m looking forward to sharing my own guide to achieving home style bliss at a fraction of the price.”

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A note from Portal Woodlands Conservation Group

At the Portal Woodlands Conservation Group September work morning, a stunning effort from the Volunteers cleared a huge swathe of the perimeter track. Again, this month, the Group were very pleased that several new people joined us. Those taking a walk through the woods might have discovered some late summer colour. Red admiral butterflies could be seen drinking nectar from the very unassuming flowers of ivy. Often unrecognised, being so different from its spring form, the bright red berries of the lords and ladies plant stand out in the green undergrowth. Although visible any time of the year, fungi becomes more prevalent as we move into autumn and can bring some very unusual forms and colour. With Guy Fawkes Night approaching, please take care to check for hedgehogs in your bonfire and carefully remove them. The November work morning is Saturday 20th, from 10am to Noon, meet at the Education Area. Please bring your own gloves, refreshments and, if possible, tools. Please visit https://pwcg.onesuffolk.net/volunteerwork-mornings/ for full details of how we are operating our volunteer work mornings post-covid. New volunteers of all ages and abilities are always welcome. No experience needed. For further information, please contact pwcg. martlesham@gmail.com, phone: 01473 612632 or visit the website at pwcg.onesuffolk.net or join the members’ Facebook Group by messaging Duncan Sweeting. Stephen Corley, Chairman



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The Perfect Walk


n A study of 2,000 walkers found peace and quiet is the most important part of a stroll or hike for two thirds of those polled. Also, among the top 20 things which make up the perfect walk were sunny weather, a clear plan or route and a body of water such as a river or lake. Ideally a hike would start at 11.30am and last for two hours and 51 minutes – just in time for a late lunch, as a picnic and eateries such as a café or pub also feature in the list. ‘Instagramable’ photo spots made the top 20, with an average of eight photos being taken on a walk. And 41 per cent even take a specific break for shots. The research, commissioned by route planning and navigation app Komoot, also found the perfect walk should take place in a forest, with other popular options being a national park or countryside village. And the views people hope to take in include the sea, a field of flowers and mountains. A further 47 per cent would like to see a sunset while on a hike and 39 per cent would opt for a sunrise. The study also found six in 10 believe walking improves their overall mood, with other benefits including staying healthy, making it into a day out and enjoying nature. Komoot co-founder Jonas Spengler said, “We’re pleased to see even more data supporting the benefits of walking on both physical and mental health. “We believe walking or hiking is something everyone of all abilities can get involved with and enjoy, whether they travel up the country or walk around their local area. “If you head out with an attitude of discovery, just about any walk can feel like an adventure.” During the typical month adults go on an

average of five walks, and in the perfect scenario would go with their partner, child or group of friends – only one in 10 would choose to go alone. Along the way, 62 per cent would like to see wildlife, with birds topping the list of sought-after animals, followed by sheep and cows. The temperature for a perfect stroll should be 17.8 degrees. It also emerged 46 per cent like to explore new areas when going on walks, while adults are prepared to travel an average of 49 miles for their perfect walk. Jonas added, “Komoot aims to uncover some of the walking community’s favourite routes, providing walking inspiration at your fingertips, and bringing you a few steps closer to your perfect walk. “No matter the location, and whether people are looking to challenge themselves or simply enjoy a stroll around somewhere new, there is a walk – and an adventure – for everyone.” The Top 20 Elements of a Perfect Walk

1. Peace and quiet 2. Comfy shoes 3. Picturesque views 4. Seeing wildlife 5. A body of water e.g. a river, lake, the sea etc 6. Sunny weather 7. Various plants and flowers 8. Birdsong 9. A mix of landscapes e.g. beaches, mountain etc 10. Visiting an eatery for food e.g. a café or pub 11. A well sign posted route 12. Friendly fellow walkers 13. A clear plan/route 14. A picnic 15. A straight-forward path 16. Facts about the area 17. Listening to music 18. Meeting new people 19. Some challenges e.g. climbing rocks 20. ‘Instagramable’ photo spots


Garden pest could be wintering in your home! An invasive stink bug that spoils fruit and vegetables and can overwinter in homes has been found at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey as part of a pheromone trapping project designed to monitor its spread. The brown marmorated stink bug has only been caught using pheromones twice before in the UK, in London and Essex in 2020. It is not yet clear whether the lone adult caught in each instance has hitch-hiked into the country via imported goods and passenger luggage or if the species is breeding locally and the findings represent an, as yet, undiscovered population. The pest is native to Asia and has recently spread to other parts of Europe including Italy and the US where it is causing significant crop damage totalling millions of dollars annually. While the South East of England is thought to be at the northern limit of the bug’s potential range, climate change means it is likely to spread further. The male adult was found at RHS Garden Wisley in a pheromone trap installed as part of a project led by NIAB (East Malling) and funded by Defra. The use of pheromone traps, which release the bugs’ naturally occurring scents to lure them to a sticky panel, demonstrates that they are present and able to disperse and locate their peers, highlighting the potential for undiscovered local breeding and colonisation. There are more than 40 species of stink bugs, also known as shield bugs, already present in the UK. The majority are not considered to be pests as they pose no threat to plant health. Brown marmorated stink bugs can be differentiated from native UK shield bugs by their rectangular-shaped head. Stink bugs get their name from the odour emitted when threatened, for example when being removed from inside homes in the colder months. This is particularly true for the brown marmorated species which tends to congregate in large numbers around window frames. Dr Glen Powell, Head of Plant Health at RHS Garden Wisley, said, “The installation of pheromone traps at our gardens enable us to study invasive species from their arrival in the UK through to potential colonisation. While there is currently no evidence of breeding we would expect the stink bug to grow in prevalence and it may become problematic in gardens during summer and homes in the winter months within five-ten years. This isn’t a

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sudden invasion but potentially a gradual population build-up and spread, exacerbated by our warming world. The stink bug isn’t the first to land on our shores and won’t be the last and understanding how we can best manage it is the next challenge for the research community supporting gardeners and commercial growers of fruit and vegetables.” Dr Michelle Fountain, Head of Pest and Pathogen Ecology, NIAB EMR commented: “Brown marmorated stink bug represents a significant threat to food production systems in the UK so it is crucial that we continue to monitor any establishment and spread of the pest. The long-term development of management and environmentally-sensitive control strategies will be needed so that the research community can keep industry and gardeners one step ahead of this pest species.” • For more information about the brown marmorated stink bug visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=1059


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Book helps educate youngsters on mental health A reception class at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich was the first to receive a story book, Sammy the Sea Squirt, written by independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind to teach them about the benefits of movement on their mental health. The author of the book, and Head of Education at Suffolk Mind, Ezra Hewing, did a special reading, the Children and Young People’s Trainer at Suffolk Mind, Louise Harris, lead a movement session and the book illustrator, Emma Graham hosted a drawing session at the school. Every reception aged child (four-to-five-years-old) across Suffolk will receive a copy of Sammy the Sea Squirt, following a successful Crowdfunding appeal launched on World Book Day in March 2021. In total, 8,000 copies of the book have been published to give out for free. Ezra Hewing said, “We launched this important project as we want to ensure that children from a young age know the benefits of exercise on their mental health. Movement and exercise makes the heart and body strong and healthy, but it also burns off harmful stress hormones to stop them damaging children’s brains when they are at their most vulnerable. “We are very excited that every reception aged child will have access to this beautiful book and be able take a copy home with them. We want them to learn an important lesson in a fun way through the character Sammy the Sea Squirt, who moves with ocean friends to look after memory and emotions.”

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The Willows Primary School held their own Sammy the Sea Squirt fundraising day, to raise more than £800 towards the campaign. The pupils dressed up in colourful clothes and took part in lots of fun educational activities to mark the day. Paul Arch, Headteacher at the Willows Primary school said, “Developing an understanding of how to support and maintain our own mental health and wellbeing is vital for children so they can become resilient adults. As a school, we do a lot of therapeutic based work with our children and see the benefits that this has. “It was important to get involved with the Sammy the Sea Squirt campaign because there is a lack of high-quality resources for young children and so we felt strongly that providing every reception aged child with a book to support them, was beneficial. As a Thrive school, this fits perfectly with our existing work and dovetails in with our ethos and values.” Suffolk’s Most Active County Partnership and Public Health Suffolk have supported the campaign throughout and will be distributing the books to children. Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Public Protection, & Communities, said, “Suffolk County Council has been proud to support Suffolk Mind with this initiative and I am delighted that we can now offer a copy of the book to every Reception aged child in Suffolk. “The book offers children a fun way to learn about the importance of physical activity on their mental and physical wellbeing and helps to encourage them to be active from a young age, building strong foundations for being active throughout their lives.” • Visit the website for more details: www.suffolkmind.org.uk/ sammytheseasquirt


Five trending facial treatments that are damaging your skin The skin is the largest organ in your body and the most noticeable part about a person’s body. This is why it is so essential to maintain your skin’s health with daily care and skin treatments. However, the skin is often taken for granted until there is a noticeable problem. This leads to people seeking quick fixes and instant results with trending treatments that promise to heal skin concerns overnight but in reality, they could be doing more harm than good. Chief scientific officer of Dermoi Eve Casha (MSc Pharmaceutical Formulation) has reviewed the top facial treatments on the market and given evidence on the harmful and damaging effects, hand-picking the treatments that have proven to be damaging to the skin.


Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular skincare treatments on the market. It acts as a dead skin remover. However, with microdermabrasion, you will see a very temporary smoothing of the skin’s surface from exfoliating it, but it does nothing to change the skin on a cellular level. Microdermabrasion gives temporary results that have long-lasting damaging and ageing effects.


Another current trending facial treatment on the market now is the HydraFacial. In the HydraFacial procedure, hydra-dermabrasion is combined with chemical peeling and extraction. The treatment also includes multiple passes, so you are not doing this just once, you are doing it four times. As a result of the multiple passes, there is extreme potential to leave people red, raw, and sensitive. The potential irritation this can cause could even worsen existing skin conditions and cause lasting damage.

deep penetration on the skin runs the risk of also altering the pigmentation, all of which contributes to quickening the signs of ageing.

Deep facial peels

Medium and deep chemical peels can lead to premature skin ageing. Regular usage will thin the skin and cause it to sag, making patients look much older. The deeper down that you exfoliate the skin, the more damage you are causing. When you get so far down to the dermis, you get past your stem cell layer and reach the skin’s collagen supplies. Penetrating this deep causes damage to the skin’s collagen. This temporarily increases collagen production leading to temporary aesthetic benefits, but in the long run the damage far outweighs the benefits.

Deep microneedling

While microneedling can be an amazing tool to increase collagen production, when needles are too long and procedures are done incorrectly it leads to scars and can increase hyperpigmentation. This is extremely probable on acne-prone skin and deeper skin tones. In conclusion, the reason these treatments have grown in popularity is due to the instant results that they can produce. However, any changes from instant results treatments, such as the ones named above, are temporary. Dermoi’s chief scientific officer, Eve Casha, has found that while these treatments may appear to improve the symptoms of your skin condition, they do nothing to treat the root cause. The moment you stop using instant result skincare products or treatments, the problem you had in the first place will re-occur. More often than not, the problem will return much worse than before. dermoi.com


The problem with dermaplaning is that the treatment needs to be repeated at least weekly. Repeatedly shaving off the skin barrier will cause damage to the epidermis as well as heightening the symptoms of acne. Any physical

Coping with the changing season

With the clocks changing and the nights drawing in many people will affected by winter depression or Seasonal Effective Disorder (S.A.D.). Wintertime depression is very common but why? Simple. We live in northern climes and suffer because of the seasonally shortened days. Just as trees lose their leaves when the days shorten, people lose their happiness. People who live where the days shorten seasonally are victims of the brain’s chemical reaction to lesser hours of daylight. So, understanding that it is not your fault, what can you do? First, start right now on a plan to extend the hours of daylight in your day by using light therapy. Light therapy is the most effective depression treatment known. All you need is a small bank of lights and the time to sit near them for a couple of hours each day. Reduce your stress by sticking to a daily routine. Get to bed on time so you can do your light therapy in the morning. Try to avoid annoying people. Get to work early and plan your day. Make a list of

things to do and check them off as you accomplish them. Save the challenging projects for when you are not fighting your winter depression. Next, decide that the weather will not affect your mood. You can’t change the weather, so why be upset by it? If the weather is bad, allow a little extra time to get to work. It’s simple, isn’t it? Accept it and move on. Then, improve your health. Eat a little less. Eat healthier foods. Exercise a little. Go for a walk. Did you know that it is nearly impossible to think bad thoughts while walking briskly? Drink water! The item that people lack the most is plain old water. Last, don’t give up on yourself. If you feel bad, yell for help! Talk to someone. Those closest to you need to know how you are feeling. Tell them. If you can’t talk to your family or a friend, go see your doctor.

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Five reasons to be cheerful this Winter Winter can make life harder, but it is also a season to savour.

2. Birds flock to our gardens Our gardens, balconies and windowsills are perfect for attracting wildlife in search of scarce Winter food. Put out sunflower seeds, peanuts or fat balls, and don’t forget to provide some water for them too. 3. The Festive season Sending cards or letters to those you love, watching Christmas films, spending time with family and friends, or simply wishing someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in the street – it all gives you a sense of warmth and hope during the Winter. And, if restrictions stay as they are, we will be able to gather on Christmas Day. One AHM Installations customers said, “My daughter and grandchildren don’t

1. Winter is beautiful Frosty mornings, the fresh air, sparkling cobwebs, the long shadows as the sun dips… there are so many beautiful things about Winter. Getting out for a walk and enjoying your surroundings is a great way to keep both body and mind healthy. But for some people, getting out of the house isn’t an option. AHM Installations’ customers often tell them that if the weather is bad, it’s difficult to get around. If that’s the case, take a moment each day to enjoy what you can see out of the window or in your garden. Pick up a pen and draw something or write a poem about what makes Winter beautiful.

live far away. We’ll definitely get together for Christmas. I can’t wait.” 4. Snuggling up with a hot drink and a good film or book Snuggling under a blanket with a mug of something warm and something to watch or read is a comforting thing to do at any time of year. And in the cold winter months, keeping warm also has the added benefit of helping to stave off those winter bugs. We’re sold! 5. Without Winter there would be no Spring One of the best things about the British seasons is that as one departs, another arrives. Just think about how much we appreciate those early daffodils that appear as the weather changes in the Spring, the birth of new lambs, the longer, sunnier days. It always comes with a feeling that after the Winter, we’ve all earned it! If you’re concerned about staying warm and well this Winter, Age

UK (0800 169 65 65) has a useful guide called ‘Winter Wrapped Up’. If you need a printout of it, please call AHM Installations and they’d be happy to help. At AHM Installations they prioritise quality of life over everything. They enjoy helping people, which includes listening to the challenges our customers face at home. One of the customers AHM Installations spoke to about their concerns for this Winter has disabilities. They’re delighted that he can now enjoy a nice warm shower on a cold Winter’s day because he feels so much safer with his new shower cubicle, grab bars and seat, which AHM Installations recently installed. • Call the family-run team on 0800 731 6495. AHM Installations install safe, affordable, stylish bathrooms for anyone with limited mobility.

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Residents in East Suffolk have had their say on how periods impact those who experience them as part of East Suffolk Council’s ongoing work to fight period poverty. East Suffolk Council ran a survey titled ‘Periods – East Suffolk’ earlier this year to get a clearer picture of how people in the district are affected by their periods and how the Council can best provide the necessary support and address the stigma associated with periods. In total, 1,184 people took part in the survey, providing important information on some of the issues and concerns faced by those who experience periods. Some of the findings from the survey revealed that over 65% of those who took part have missed school or work days due to the periods, with over 81% saying this was due to pain. It also highlighted that many people don’t feel comfortable talking to their male peers about their periods, with over 56% saying they don’t. When asked whether they would be open to using sustainable sanitary products, over 42% said no due to worries about such products being too expensive, too much work, too uncomfortable, too messy and more. Worryingly, over 43% said they have used sanitary items not fit for purpose, or for too long, because of the cost and almost 20% have been in receipt of free sanitary items before. The survey was carried out as part of East Suffolk Council’s Period Poverty project, which was launched in 2018. Through this project, the Council provides ‘PP boxes’ containing free sanitary products which are accessible via local hubs, consisting mainly of businesses, organisations and schools. The aim of the project is to make sanitary products easily accessible to all East Suffolk residents regardless of their financial or personal circumstances. Cllr Letitia Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said, “Everyone is affected differently by periods, and some of these impacts can be largely ‘invisible’ to others. As well as health issues, they can affect wellbeing in different ways and the ability to function normally in a range of situations and of course, they also come with a financial cost which is a struggle to some people. “We will now be running a social media campaign based on the findings of the survey, so that we can ensure that people know where to access free sanitary products if needed and where to go if they need some help or advice on managing their periods. Alongside this, we will also be reaching out to more local businesses and organisations to encourage them to get involved in the Period Poverty project by becoming a hub to make free sanitary products even more accessible in our communities.” For more information about the Period Poverty project, including where to find free sanitary boxes, go towww.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/ period-poverty/ Any businesses or organisations wanting to sign up as a hub should email communities@eastsuffolk.gov.uk


Surgical centre celebrates it’s inaugural year

Ipswich’s leading eye health clinic and surgical centre has marked its first anniversary, having enhanced thousands of lives in the past year.

Newmedica Ipswich opened its doors last September, providing a range of treatments such as cataract surgery and a special laser treatment (YAG capsulotomy) designed to improve vision after cataract surgery. It has also worked in partnership with the NHS locally to help cut waiting times for patients needing treatment for life-impacting eye conditions such as cataracts. This has been particularly relevant during the pandemic, when the NHS has been under strain because of resources being put towards fighting COVID-19. In the past year Newmedica Ipswich

Blooms for breast cancer

One thousand unique ‘flowers’ have been created as part of a special installation to help fund a new breast care centre in Ipswich. The beautiful Blooms for Blossom will be ‘planted’ at the front of Ipswich Hospital and each unique flower will be available to take home at the end of the display. Created by Suffolk Ironworks, each flower has been hand made to be different to the next, and is stamped with its own number. Anyone buying a flower will receive a numbered certificate too. Money raised by the blooms will go towards The Blossom Appeal, led by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, to fund a vital new breast care centre for patients. Currently patients must visit different breast clinics and locations across Ipswich Hospital, often having to change and get dressed before moving to a different space. Having one main breast care centre will mean patients can stay in the same place for all their appointments. The new centre will also offer quiet spaces for patients receiving their diagnosis, areas for young people and male patients, as well as a garden area – which will feature some of the metal flowers. Kim Collingridge, Lead Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist at ESNEFT, said, “Bringing all the departments of the breast service together under one roof will have a positive impact on patient experience. “It will enable us, as professionals, to work more efficiently and effectively to make the patients visit to the department more personalised, prevent long waits to be seen and enable us to give individuals the

time they need and deserve.” Funding for the new centre has been ongoing during the last four years, with a total of £5.3m needed to complete the project. Mandy Jordan, Associate Director for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said, “We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of the public for our appeal, but we still have some way to go. We still need to raise £850,000 to pay for this vital one-stop breast care centre. “We’re so excited with Blooms for Blossom. These flowers are so special and make the perfect present, tribute or just as a beautiful addition to your garden, but they’ll also be helping to fund such an important appeal.” The full installation of all 1,000 flowers will be completed during October – Breast Cancer Awareness month – with the final shape of the display yet to be revealed! More than 13,000 women are invited to Ipswich Hospital each year for their routine screening, with an additional 300 women referred by their GP each month. Allison Chaplin, General Manager for Breast Services at ESNEFT, said, “The demand for services is increasing all the time, as we are better informed about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. As well as developing the new breast care centre, we’re developing services for patients, such as our new breast pain clinic we’re launching soon. We want patients to be able to get the right help at the appropriate place when they need it.”

has helped 3,064 cataract patients, treated 2,817 in its theatre, and administered YAG laser treatment to 411 people. The clinic, which is based at Hadleigh Road, is led by consultant ophthalmologists Raj Hanspal and Usman Hussain, alongside operational director Rosemary Smith. Rosemary said, “We are incredibly proud to reach this landmark first year, having been able to help so many people in and around Suffolk. “Opening a new business in the middle of a global pandemic was always going to be a challenge, but thanks to our fantastic team, we have gone from strength to strength. We have an excellent relationship with the local NHS and are pleased to be able to work closely with them during these challenging times and help in any way we can. “Most importantly, in the past year we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our patients, which is so rewarding to hear. We are extremely proud to be able to enhance so many people’s lives.’ Patients are typically referred to Newmedica by a GP or optometrist in line with local CCG pathways. Newmedica aim to see patients within two weeks for their first appointment, before having their surgical treatment within the following four weeks. • For more information, call 01473 453463 or visit the website at www.newmedica.co.uk/clinics/ipswich.

• To donate and take home your own special bloom, visit https://colchesteripswichcharity.org.uk/our-events/blooms/ 43

New research from Direct Line Motor Insurance reveals the influence different types of music can have on driver safety.

In partnership with an academic study from Brunel University London, Coventry University and the Economic and Social Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, Direct Line can reveal the potential influence factors such as volume and lyrics can have on a driver’s ability to focus effectively when in towns and cities. Music that has the most beneficial impact on a driver’s mental state is typically soft, with a slow-to-moderate tempo, and without lyrics, the research found. When listening to loud music (75 decibels – the equivalent of an alarm clock), drivers were 37 per cent more mentally stimulated, which can have a negative impact on more demanding urban driving, compared with listening to loud music (60 decibels – the equivalent of normal conversation) with lyrics. Volume plays a significant role in determining a motorist’s mindset. The study found that drivers listening to soft, instrumental music reported 14 per cent lower mental arousal, which can optimise focus for urban driving, than those listening to loud instrumental music, and 21 per cent lower than when listening to soft, lyrical music. These findings are important, as further research from Direct Line found that four-fifths of motorists – some 30 million people – often listen to music when driving, while nearly half, or 18 million people, listen exclusively to music behind the wheel. While simple lyrics and simple compositions and slow-tempo music are relatively popular, loud music, and complex lyrics and complex composition are also listened to widely. Around 5.2 million motorists say that they only listen to this type of music, like pop and rap, which means that nearly a fifth of the UK’s motorists may not be fully concentrating when driving. Over a million young motorists aged 18–34 years, say they have listened to music that makes them feel either angry or aggressive while driving, with around the same number (1.08 million) admitting to having broken down in tears while behind the wheel. The highest proportion within this age group occurred within the younger 18–24-year age bracket. In contrast, one in 11 of

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those aged 35–54 years have listened to music that made them cry, falling to five per cent of those over the age of 55. These emotional triggers while driving have resulted in heightened danger, with one million young people saying that the music they listen to while driving has distracted them to the point where they have had a near miss with another vehicle, and a further 316,000 saying that the music they listened to had resulted in a collision. Professor Costas Karageorghis from Brunel University London, said, “The most important thing to consider when listening to music while driving is to ensure you are not mentally overloaded. ” Simon Henrick, head of news at Direct Line, commented, “Music often plays an integral role in driving, from making the experience more enjoyable to improving our mood. These findings are therefore really interesting from a safety perspective, as they show that music can influence your level of focus when behind the wheel. In towns and cities there are so many potential risks, like pedestrians, cyclists, crossings and traffic lights, so it makes sense to listen to music that keeps you calm but alert. “The great thing about music is that it caters to everyone, so while we’re not telling drivers to change their preferences, we want to highlight the impact it can have on how someone drives. We would suggest that people are mindful of what they’re listening to and how it could affect both their emotions and their levels of concentration, especially in towns and cities.” Direct Line and Brunel have provided the following top five tips for choosing the safest music for driving: 1. Keep it calm: Avoid aggressive lyrics as these can prompt dangerous and risktaking driving behaviours such as jumping red lights and speeding 2. Keep it simple: Music that is highly syncopated or rhythmically complicated should also be avoided 3. Keep it quieter: The music volume shouldn’t be excessive and kept at under 75 decibels, otherwise there is an increased risk of missing important sounds, such as an approaching motorcycle 4. Keep it classic: It is advisable to use familiar, well-known tracks or those from the driver’s preferred genre, which are likely to have more of a feel-good flavour 5. Keep it light: Avoid music that might have a negative impact on emotional state

RAC sets out the law on With reports of drivers filling containers and even plastic bottles during the worst of the fuel delivery crisis, the RAC is informing drivers of the law around storing fuel at home. While the law says you can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home without a licence, that doesn’t mean you should in the current situation. Stockpiling fuel at home when fuel deliveries are disrupted only makes it more difficult for others to get the petrol or diesel they need and homeowners may be putting themselves and others at risk from fire.

What does the law say?

An individual is allowed to store up to 30 litres of petrol without a special licence. There is, however, no specific legal requirement on the storage of diesel in your home.

How should petrol be stored?

Petrol must be stored in the right container: always use proper container that is designed for use with petrol, and make sure it has a tight-fitting cap. You’re allowed to store up to 10 litres in a plastic container, up to 20 litres in a metal ‘jerry’ can and up to 30 litres in a demountable fuel tank, such as from a small boat. Storing petrol is a fire risk, so keep it in a secure outbuilding – like a shed or garage – that is away from any sources of ignition and is cool and well ventilated. Never store it outside or inside your house, and of course keep it well out of the reach of children and pets. While diesel is not flammable like petrol, it can still pose a danger, so it’s advisable to follow the same steps.

How long can I keep fuel for?

Petrol has a shelf-life of around six months if stored in a sealed container at 20 degrees - or just three months if kept at 30 degrees. The more it’s exposed to heat, the more quickly it will go off. If the petrol is contaminated in any way, the quality will start to fall away sooner. RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said, “Just because it’s legal to store up to 30 litres of petrol at home, doesn’t mean it’s the right

• Louise Plant

Ensuring your R.T.A. claim doesn’t hit a bump in the road

No matter how serious, road traffic accidents (RTAs) are always distressing experiences. 2020 alone saw over 115,584 casualties of all severities resulting from RTAs, including 23,529 people killed or seriously injured people. If you are a victim of an RTA, then you could have a case for compensation and to assist you ahead of any claim, there are important steps you should take / pieces of evidence that you should gather if possible. Immediately following an accident, if possible, the first steps you should take include: • Seek medical attention – even if you are feeling ok, it is important to get checked over • Get the details of all those involved: – For vehicles, this includes registration numbers, the make, model and colour of the vehicles involved – For people, obtain their phone numbers, addresses and insurance details. Also, be sure to write a description of the person involved and who you believe to be responsible for the RTA • If possible, take photographs of the accident location, the vehicles involved and the damage caused • Contact the police and report the incident – while they may not always be required to attend the accident, if any person refuses to provide their details at the scene, you must report them to the police

• If you are the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident, inform your insurer at the earliest opportunity • Get the details of any witnesses including their telephone numbers – and their own accounts of what happened – they could back up your claim • Keep your own record of the incident – this can include writing down what happened and taking photos of any injuries sustained • Keep records of all expenses that you may have incurred as a result of the incident and any injuries sustained - for example, loss of earnings, travel expenses and any medication costs If your property or vehicle has been damaged as a result of an RTA, or you’ve been injured, then you can make a claim. Personal injury and loss claims following an RTA come in two parts: 1. Compensation for the pain and suffering sustained as a result of the accident 2. Compensation for any financial losses flowing from that accident and injury – this could come in the form of the cost of vehicle repairs, medication and treatment costs or loss of earnings due to injuries sustained It is important therefore that if possible, you capture as much information about the accident, injuries and losses sustained, so that if you do wish to make a claim at a later date, the evidence and information that you need is already to hand to assist in the progression of your claim as quickly as possible. For more information or advice on how to make a claim, get in touch with Prettys’ Personal Injury team. Contact Louise Plant by calling 01473 298293 or email lplant@prettys.co.uk

n storing fuel at home

thing to do when so many drivers have been struggling to get the fuel they need to go to work and carry out their important daily tasks. Those who need to should follow the law carefully to keep themselves, their families and neighbours safe. Petrol should always be kept in the proper containers in an outbuilding and never left outside.” Find more tips from the RAC at: www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/ does-fuel-go-off-old-fuel-and-fuel-storage-questions-answered With petrol and diesel prices rising, and the worry of supply issues, driving fuel efficiently has suddenly become much more important. Fortunately, there’s also lots you can do to get as much out of a single tank of petrol or diesel as possible. Try these tips:

Drive with a light right foot

The way you drive has the biggest impact on how much fuel you use. Accelerate and brake gently, and in a manual car drive in the highest gear possible (while staying within the speed limit of course). This keeps the engine’s revs down and saves fuel.

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Try to maintain momentum

Slowing down (and stopping) and then having to build speed back up again wastes fuel, so as far as you can anticipate what’s happening up ahead and adjust your speed smoothly using the gears. For instance, if you can see traffic lights ahead are red then approach more slowly and you may not need to stop at all. Good for your mpg, and you’ve kept moving!

Combine your journeys

Cold starts increase your car’s fuel consumption, whereas a warm engine is a much more efficient one, so try to make one round trip rather than lots of separate ones where you’re switching off and then back on again. • More tips on fuel efficient driving can found: www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/how-to/fuel-saving-tips

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n Ford's Focus with Daniel Ford

The fun thing about writing these articles in advance of their publication is that I have no idea what will have happened in the few weeks between me writing the article and it reaching my adoring fanbase (all three of them). This is an especially difficult issue in terms of football because multiple games can take place during that time. Despite this, I am going to tell you this month why Paul Cook is the right manager to take this Ipswich Town Football Club forward and if by time of publication he has been sacked and we have inevitably employed another manager called Paul then I give you all permission to deride me for my lack of knowledge.

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It is almost as if an Ipswich Town fan has got lost and wandered down onto the touchline to coach the team, and I mean that as a compliment because you can see that he lives every moment of the match. When Town lose a game you can see how much it hurts him and when you see your manager visibly distraught after a defeat that makes me even more desperate for him to concede. In addition, one of the key faults of Cook’s predecessors messieurs Lambert and McCarthy was their irritating habit of blatantly trying to mislead the fans in terms of the quality of their team’s performance. There is nothing more demeaning than when a manager treats his supporters as uneducated mugs who known nothing about the game. Paul Cook is nothing like that, his post-match interviews are so refreshing, my particular highlight was after the Shrewsbury game when he could easily have basked in the glory of the win but instead spoke out at his team’s mental fragility. For a manager to be popular with the fans of course he needs to win games, but in his last season as Town manager Mick McCarthy won 17 games but still was deeply unpopular with the fans. When you have a manager that clearly cares so much about the team that becomes infectious among the fanbase, take the example of Liverpool where manager Jurgen Klopp has managed to develop a deep emotional connection with the fans. I don’t know what will happen this season but whatever happens I love the fact that I care about this club more than ever and that is thanks to Mr Cook.


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