Chelmsford The City Times - January/February 2015

Page 1 Jan/Feb 2015 excl



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CT Welcome Hi readers,

Welcome to the January/February edition. Firstly we need your help, do you know of anyone who could contribute a children’s page for our magazines each month? After 16 issues, Toot Cornetto is no longer able to participate. We would like to send a massive thank you to her for her contributions for the last 18 months! What else is new for the new year? Well, we need to start thinking about festivals that we can help with and sponsor; so far this year we are sponsoring the Undiscovered 2015 competition (see the advert on page 26) - more information on this next month as we approach the Undiscovered semi-finals.


Nick & Paul, and Advertising Nick Garner 07970 206682

Editorial Paul Mclean 07595 949701


Disclaimer: It’s Your Media Ltd publish Chelmsford The City Times. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It’s Your Media Ltd. No part may be reproduced without the prior written permission of It’s Your Media Ltd. Registered offices 15 Hayes Close, Chesmford. Reg No 9154871. Printed by Imagery UK.

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CT Fashion - Sale Shopping Many people that I spoke to back in December did all of their gift buying online - if you know exactly what someone wants, then online shopping is brilliant for this, but if you only have a vague idea, then the high street is best as you can compare fabric, fit and colour when you’re shopping for clothing or accessories. There is a place for both high street shopping and online shopping in the way we buy and I think one could not exist without the other. If you ever thought that online shopping was killing the high street, you only had to look at our high streets in the run up to Christmas, Chelmsford was certainly buzzing! Oxford Street was heaving. The January sales are always a great opportunity to pick up some real bargains on the high street and online. If you know you want a coat or pair of boots for example, head to the high street and compare styles, quality and price. If you are looking for branded items that would normally be expensive (like Ugg boots) search online, but beware of imitations. If you are after designer fashion or a luxury or investment piece, try online at major department stores like Selfridges, Fenwick, House of Fraser and Liberty. Below, you will find my five tips for successful sale shopping and my highlights from the online sales. 1: Look for pieces made from leather, 100% cotton, wool, cashmere, silk and denim. With these, you are looking for clothes or accessories that will stand the test of time. 2: If you are shopping in the high street sales, wear comfortable shoes - you might cover some miles... Also wear clothes that are easy to get out of when you are in the fitting room and don’t wear a heavy coat. 3: Classic items that you will get wear out of are better than on-trend piece. You may not be wearing those neon stilettos this time next year, but those black suede courts will give you fashion mileage. 4: Think about how you would feel if you don’t buy it, will you be kicking yourself later? 5: Great investment pieces are things that span seasons, macs, leather jackets, pyjamas, bags, jewellery, shoes and scarves are all good bets. Mulberry If you can’t afford a Mulberry Alexa handbag (and who can at £840?) how about a Mulberry phone cover with Tab Bright Red Shiny Goat - was £90 now £63 or some Mulberry rain boots Pheasant Green Rubber - was £195 now £97.

Harvey Nichols DKNY Rose gold plated crystal hoop earrings (SC48620) - was £72.00 Now £28.00. Missoni Brick weave scarf (SC95734) - was £155.00 now £62.00 (60% off). Topshop Faux Fox Fur Trapper - was £26.00 Now £7.00. Wool Harrington Jacket - was £70.00 Now £25.00. Boden Girls Funky Duffle in violet or duckegg from £18.00. Girls Spotty High Tops from £9.00 in navy/silver. Boys Super Stitch T-Shirt in cobalt from £6.40. Boys The Jumper in navy/red stripe from £10.00. French Connection Body Ray Wrap Front Dress - was £65.00 Now £45.00. Smart Catch Trench Coat in Nocturnal/Holiday Crush or in Stone/Nocturnal £60.00. Checked Coat black/cream check £90.00. Palace Wool Oversized Coat in White Hare - was £225.00 now £90.00. Marie Stretch Flared Skirt - was £110.00 now £44.00. Wild Ashes A-Line Skirt - was £70.00 down to £80.00, Marks and Spencer Autograph Abstract Print Bodycon Dress - was £55.00 now £24.00, M&S Collection Best of British Drape Midi Dress - was £59.00 now £31.00. M&S Collection Slim Leg Ankle Grazer Trousers £20.00 to £35.00. Gap 1969 Stud Always Skinny Jeans £22.99. 1969 Always Skinny Cords in a wide variety of colours £14.99 to £22.99. Heathered True Straight Pants in light grey heather £22.99. Emma Smith is a style consultant and lives in Chelmsford. She offers personal shopping and wardrobe planning. Contact her on

Office On the high street or shop online, they have New Balance U420 Grey Navy Orange Style number 1233422399 - was £59.99 now £38.00. UGG Australia Classic Mini Mushroom Suede Style number 1062222740 - was £130.00 now £80.00. Swedish Hasbeens Braided Low Smu Black Leather Style number 1304000078 - was £89.00 now £60.00. Dr. Martens 8 Eyelet Lace Up Boot Tan Polished Leather Style number 2760345343 - was £110.00 now £77.00. John Lewis Jigsaw Crew Neck Cashmere Cardigan, Tomato 100% cashmere - was £129.00 now £77.00. Cath Kidston, Cath Kidston Large Across Body Bag, Blue Folk Flowers - was £55.00 now £38.50. Liberty Anglomania By Vivienne Westwood Black Solstice Slit Dress - was £310.00 now £179.99. Cash Ca Long Grey Cashmere Gloves - was £65.00 now £35.00. Marc by Marc Jacobs Pink Standard Enamel Bangle - was £75.00 now £39.00. Portolano Brown Nappa Leather Cashmere Lined Gloves - was £80.00 now £39.00. Missoni Black Rib Knit Beanie Hat - was £95.00 now £45.00. Nudie Jeans Blue Lin Mid Rise Skinny Jeans L32 - was £110.00 now £49.99. Selfridges Longchamp Le pliage medium travel bag in navy - was £63.00 now £50.00. Page 4

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Modern Manners by Simon Culleton The two following examples are of the correct etiquette expected for the same social situation - the only difference being that the advice was given over a hundred years apart. The contrasts couldn’t be more stark and it just goes to show how much society has changed. At an 1893 garden party, ladies were permitted to wear summer dresses with hats - bonnets for married ladies, this being a rare public occasion where evening dresses were not required. Llightly applauding a good band (that’s brass not group) with gloved hands was also acceptable, though one should never move to the music it was, after all, in a garden (perish the thought). If the evening was enjoyed, then a hand delivered letter of thanks the following day was recommended as particular good taste. The modern day party etiquette is somewhat different, the advice goes as follows: ‘always bring a bottle of bubbly and wear flat shoes and a short dress or just a belt will do if you are from Essex (I added the last bit). Try not to drink too much as you may believe as the night progresses that you have become better at dancing when the opposite is true - and never dance alone on the floor. Don’t get drunk and keep an eye on your friends as well. If one of you are sick, pop back in the morning and clean it up. Etiquette first appeared in 14th century France (of all the nationalities to invent manners) and is known as a proper form of behaviour to be followed in any social event. The word ‘etiquette’ was originally the name of the board of which the rules where written for court protocol. Since then. there has been a multitude of books on etiquette and modern manners. Two of which I have been studying for your consideration; one from 1893 and the other present day, and as the paragraph above has already shown, the rules are constantly changing. Some acceptable behavior in 1893 is now so out of date that it may be seen now-a-days as offensive; holding a door open

for a woman or offering her your seat is good manners but may also be implying in this modern world that she is not capable of looking after herself, (now where am I going to sit). Burping after a meal may be offensive to us but in other countries (France again) it can be a positively compliment. Yet it is with dating that etiquette has endured the greatest change. In 1893 it was considered correct and proper to first send a letter of introduction along with your calling card. If the match was agreeable, then a date for the first meeting was set; hence the word ‘date.’ Chaperones (meaning a third person) were always present when first dating; (present day equivalent: “my not so attractive mate is coming too”). The modern day dating advice is far far easier as the following advice shows: “it is always better to ask someone out for a date in person though a phone call is also acceptable, try not to email, defiantly do not text. (R U UP 4 IT). If the match was not compatible, the Edwardians would send yet another polite letter of rejection while returning and asking for the return of the gift: “here is the t-shirt, socks and pants you bought me (unwashed), can I have back the flat screen high definition TV?” It is strangely comforting that in the 1893 there is no protocol for divorce because most generally it did not happen. By stark contrast the book on modern manners has dedicated chapters to it and goes as far as to excuse the reader from the normal code of behavior during the break up, although insists that the rejection should always be done face to face: (U R 2 B Deleted). Yet whether we believe there is a need for etiquette or that it’s function is out-dated, the high sales of Etiquette and Modern Manners books - some of which are on their 18th edition - shows that there does seem to be a demand for them. And it may be far-fetched to think that someone may have to refer to a book to tell them to clean their own sick up yet street pastors and ambulance staff have nick-named the last Friday before Christmas as ‘vomit Friday’ so it’s not so uncommon in the world of modern manners. Yet the famous American author Jackson Brown Jr. best sums up the subject with distinct accuracey: “good manners sometimes means putting up with other peoples bad ones.” C U L8ER OK

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Chelmsford CAMRA Winter Beer and Cider Festival 18th 21st February Tired of all that chocolate and rich food from Christmas? Your taste buds need a workout!

charity raffle which has many beer and cider related prizes, including the opportunity to brew at Wibblers Brewery.

Celebrate with the Chelmsford and Mid-Essex branch of the Campaign for Real Ale celebrating their 40 year anniversary at King Edward VI Grammar School. SEE ADVERT ON THIS PAGE FOR DETAILS.

We hope you will enjoy our festival, meeting friends old and new and we would like you to continue trying a range of real ale and ciders throughout the year. USE IT or LOSE IT has never been truer for pubs and the festival. So pick up entry forms for the 40 PUBS FOR 40 YEARS Real Ale and Cider Trails and collect stickers to win even more beer and cider related prizes. You could be the proud owner of a limited edition Trail Shirt, special pen and much more.

Editor of CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Roger Protz ,will open the festival at 3pm on Wednesday 18th January and will sign his books including his latest, co-written with Adrian Tirney-Jones: Britain’s Beer Revolution. Golden Ale Galore suits some, but now is your chance for novelty and to try a myriad of milds, stouts and porters from all over the country. Over 200 beers of all styles are planned over the course of the festival, including Local ales from Essex breweries with many special stronger winter ones with depth of character as well as the ever-popular gold beers to tantalise your taste buds. Of course, there will be many familiar brands and ruby beers for our ruby anniversary.

ORGANISED AND RUN BY VOLUNTEERS - by Claire Irons, Publicity Officer and Cider Rep CME Camra

Soft drinks will be on all Camra bars. With over 50 scintillating ciders, perries and pyders, supplied by the Essex Cider Shop, Essex wines from the Felstar vineyard and international beers there will be something for everyone. We shall have 40 favourites on the cider list plus 11 new ones. Aspall’s are well know cider makers and have launched Cyderkyn 3.8%, Templemoon 5.8% and Waddlegoose Lane 4.6%. We plan to have 3 from Pickled Pig in Cambridgeshire; 3 from the Bottle Kicking Cider Company in Leicestershire; Little Trees from Westcroft , the multi – award winning makers of Janet’s Jungle Juice . Perhaps a sneak preview of the CME40 cider made by Bertie’s Cider Company in Braintree planned it for the festival in July as well as his medium cider will be there. Look out for the special 40 YEAR CELEBRARATION BEER made to commemorate the fact that the branch was founded in 1975 and is still going strong with over 1650 members. This will be available to buy at Chelmsford festivals this year, direct from the cask and in bottles for you to enjoy throughout the year. Thanks to Franco De Vanzo of Felstar Brewery for brewing this unique beer especially for us all. So savour the flavour and celebrate in style. Food, glorious, food will be available at all sessions from companies such as Pipers Crisps, Merry Berry Chocolates and Hopleaf with a range of curries, chilli, hot dogs, chips and daily specials. Think you could do better? Want to be a BREWER FOR A DAY? Then enter the Page 7

CT Gardening by Tom Cole

Its January already! Later this month, or the beginning of next, move snowdrops (Galanthus species) that have become overcrowded. Do this when the flowers are beginning to die down. Any later and you will not be able to remember where they are. Dig the cluster of bulbs up and gently separate them. Plant them in their new location about 7.5cm 10cm apart. Choose a spot that will not dry out too often and include some humus - old potting compost will do fine. Generally, plant 2-3 times the height of the bulb for best results. Lily bulbs will be appearing in the shops in February and they make good outdoor pot plants. Plump undamaged bulbs are the ones to choose. Where their condition needs improvement, put them in a tray of moist compost for a week before planting, ensuring they remain frost free (the garage is ideal). I start mine in containers with 3 plump bulbs per 5lt pot. When in growth, they are transferred to beds and borders from mid to late May. Pots are plunged and removed when past their best to behind the shed! Lastly, It’s was a little wet in my garden last autumn, so I’ve only just been able to get onto my drying out slightly raised beds to dig them over. Add copious quantities of organic matter to the surface. I’m going for around 15cm depth all over. Follow this by turning in the soil to at least 1 spits depth and if able, level out. Consolidate with feet or the back of a metal rake by tamping down onto soil, as this improves water holding ability. You’re then ready for sowing, if using covers. I’ll be popping in mixed salad leaves containing sorrel, chard, lettuce and rocket for cut and come again. My other beds are sorted with onion sets and another for asparagus. News and events from the Writtle College: This year, the horticultural team will be leading a group of Level 3 (‘A’ level equivalent) students in competing at the Ideal Home Exhibition as part of the Young Gardener of the Year competition. We’re hoping to maintain our high standard of achieving golds and winning best in show - no pressure guys! I’ll report back nearer the time, as the show starts 20th March through to 6th April. Young Gardener of the Year is an annual competition in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, which celebrates young ‘green’ talent and sees six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head to

create a show stopping sustainable garden to be visited by thousands of visitors at the Ideal Home Show. Additionally, we have the chance to be awarded with either the Best in Show or The People’s Choice accolades. Wish us luck! Also, if you want to develop your gardening/landscape skills further or indeed, want to know more about everything we offer at the college, why not pop along to one of our many information events? Just follow this link: Good luck and happy gardening! For any gardening tips, why not contact: Tom Cole, Head of Faculty for Land & Environment, Writtle College, Chelmsford CM1 3RR by post (including a SAE) or by email at

01245 422712 / 07711 606561 • Trees • Pruning • Hedge Trimming • Roots Removed • Topping • Rotovating • Turfing • Fencing • Garden Design • Decking • Patios • Block Paving • Drives • Tar & Shingle Property Maintenance • Roofing • Chimney Repairs • Building Work • Flat roofs • Guttering • Fascias & Soffits


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Free written quotes and advice 10 year guarantee on all work 25 years experieince Unit 1, The Paddocks, Highwood, Chelmsford, CM1 3PU

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Springfield Community Centre Perryfields School Lawn Lane CM1 7PP 5:00pm and 7:00pm Angie 07814 992628

Life Church Hall Street off Moulsham Street Chelmsford Chelmsfo CM2 0HG 5:30pm Angie 07814 992628


NEW CONSULTANT 7th JANUARY Boreham Village Hall Main Road Boreham CM3 3JD 5:30pm and 7:30pm Glynn 07984 049777

North Springfield Baptist Church Havengore, off Pump Lane Springfield CM1 6JP 7:30pm Victoria 07823 441198

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground Baddow Road Great Baddow CM2 9RL 9:30am and 11:30am Lucy 01245 262457

NEW VENUE Sandon Village Hall Woodhill Road Sandon CM2 7SQ 7:00pm Lucy 01245 262457


NEW 3.30pm SESSION from 6th JANUARY Broomfield Village Hall 158 Main Road (behind Angel Pub) Broomfield CM1 7AH 3.30pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm Victoria 07823 441198 Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground Baddow Road Great Great Baddow CM2 9RL 5:30pm and 7:30pm Samantha 01245 266442 NEW GROUP OPENING 6th JANUARY Salvation Army Hall Maldon Road Hatfield Peveral CM3 2HS 7.30pm Lesley 07973 239899

Church Of St Augustine Of Canterbury St Augustines Way Springfield CM1 6GQ 9:30am and 11:30am Emma 07887 692906

St Michael's Church of England Junior School Barnard Road Galleywood CM2 8RR 7:30pm Emma 07887 692906

Newlands Spring Community Hall Dickens Place Chelmsford CM1 4UU 7:30pm Kierra 07971 349932

Writtle Community Association Longmeads House 12-14 Redwood Drive Writtle CM1 3LY 7:00pm Lesley 07973 239899 Springfield Park Baptist Church Springfield Park Road Spingfield CM2 6EB 7.30pm Victoria 07823 441198

Chelmer Village Hall Chelmer Village Way (Next to Asda) Chelmer Village CM2 6RE 7:30pm Emma 07887 692906


The Church Of Ascension Maltese Road Chelmsford CM1 2PB 9:30am Samantha 01245 266442


Springfield Park Baptist Church Springfield Park Road Spingfield CM2 6EB 8.30am Emma 07887 692906

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CT Cooking

by John Jacobs

It probably seems a little old to be wishing you good readers a Happy New Year. By the time this column goes to print we will already be halfway through the month and heading towards ‘blue Monday’. Apparently the most depressing day of the year. I’m not entirely convinced by that, but I am getting a little weary with the indiscriminate naming of days of the week. Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc. I’ve decided to call today Bernard Thursday for no apparent reason. It’s both random and pointless so should catch on. What can we look forward to in Chelmsford for 2015 fellow foodies? Well, a new £2m steak and burger restaurant named Chop Bloc is now set to open early this year in the heart of the city. According to insider magazine, The Caterer, the restaurant will inhabit a colossal 6,500 sq ft site over three floors with seating for 270, plus a 75-capacity bar and outside dining for up to 40.

controlled way.

The new John Lewis Bond Street development which starts building this year will be housing 5 new restaurants alone. Burger bar, Bill’s and South American restaurant, Las Iguanas, have signed up. Rumour has it that burger chain Byron and American bar Coast to Coast are also on board.


Method Melt 300 grams of chocolate into a bowl over hot water. Using a thermometer, wait until the temperature reaches 55-58 degrees. When this happens, add another 100 grams of chocolate. This will cool your mixture down. When the chocolate reaches 30-33 degrees you’re ready to go. Experiment by making shapes on grease proof paper and allowing to set. It really is that simple. As always, if you have any recipes you can send them into me at Happy fooding.

Independent restaurants continue to dominate the top 10 places on Trip Advisor with Vita Bella and Olio ending the year in positions 1 and 2 respectively and that looks set to continue in 2015. A congratulatory and well meaning ‘well done’ to everyone who made the top ten. This year, we’ll also be featuring more reviews of our local restaurants. If you would like a review of your restaurant, please email As for food trends this coming year, look out for a new app called Velocity, which aims to do for restaurants what Uber did for taxis. Using this app you can book a table, view the menu as well as view and pay your bill using your smartphone. Trials of the App have shown restaurants reducing service charges to 5% reflecting the lack of waiting staff as a result. Also, for you real ale lovers, bitter is being heavily pushed this year as the new drink of choice to match up with your evening meal and is proving more popular with 20-30 year olds than its more expensive grape cousin. In the week leading up to Christmas, Tesco reported a staggering 1.5 million bottles of ale sold. I remain as ever hopeful and eager with each January 1st in anticipation of the new and the novel that Chelmsford will bring in the way of food. So with this, a Happy New Year and stroll on spring. Working with Chocolate. Start off the year with a new and rather impressive skill for showing off to friends. Chocolate work looks very ornate and difficult, but the basics are very straight forward and produce startling results. My wife, a chocolate work neophyte, made this amazing cake for our New Year’s Eve bash. The key is tempering. If you simply melt chocolate and reform it into shapes, you risk the cocoa butter crystallising, causing a matt, easily crumbled and hard to work with result. Tempering removes that risk by cooling in a

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CT What’s On In Chelmsford Jan/Feb 2015 January 16th Bassment - Bakerside (live) EP launch & Alternative Disco Civic - Magic of Motown Cramphorn - Effie Gray (12A) 17th Asylum - The Deep + Osmium Guillotine - Buried By the Thousand Bassment - Alternative Disco - Darryl Butcher & Stapleford Civic - Houghton Weavers 18th Ale House - Irish Music Session 4pm 20th Cramphorn - Ida (12A) 21st Asylum - Music quiz Bassment - Nick Acton + Jack Lewis acoustic + DJs on Vinyl Cramphorn - Lunchtime concert 22nd Bassment - The Franklys plus guests Chelmsford Film Club - Thérèse 23rd Asylum - Short Tempus + Party At Your House Bassment - Soundstock Fest Heat 1 - Leanne Louise + E-Mute + Bad Standards + Bow Flats + The Bedroom Hour Civic - Beyond The Barricade Fleece - Grounds for Divorce 24th Ale House - Indescreet 9pm Asylum - Essex Undicvoered - Alex Fox + Colour Me Psycho + IC7 + Katy Forkings + The Velvet Tree Bassment - Alternative Disco - Firat (Birthday Set) + Darryl Butcher Civic - Waterloo – A Tribute to Abba Fleece - Charlie’s Aunt 25th Ale House - Jam 3pm Cramphorn - Swan Lake Woolpack - Jam night 27th Cramphorn - Night Moves (15) Fleece - CAMRA night 28th Bassment - Ethno Jam (Latin / Jazz / Funk / Folk Live Jam) Civic - The Illegal Eagles Cramphorn - Lunchtime concert Fleece - Re-opening Party 29th Ale House - Beer Fest Bassment - Leddra Chapman (Live) Album Launch + support Cramphorn - Andrea Chénier Fleece - Quiz night 30th Ale House - Dirty Work 9pm + Beer Fest Asylum - Earthmass + Bearfist + Distorted DJs Bassment - Rubber Soul Civic - Jethro - The Legend at Large Cramphorn - Gone Girl (18) Fleece - Dawgfish Indigo - Shakey’s Sessions - Mouthfull of Ashtrays 31st Ale House - Union Blues 8pm + Beer Fest Asylum - Essex Undiscovered - Amber Scott + Bakerside + Leanne Louise + Louise Parker + Sound Mirrors Bassment - Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer + Crème De Chèvre + Lucy Can’t Dance Civic - The Blues Brothers Experience Fleece - Skamite

February 1st Ale House - Beer Fest Civic - Chelmsford Dance Centre – Don’t Take Away The Music Cramphorn - Chelmsford Jazz Club Fleece - Essex Spartans Super Bowl bash - £12 inc meal pre-game & bacon rolls @ half time Woolpack - Jazz night 2nd Chelmsford Film Club - I Wish 3rd Tickets for The Fling Festival on sale - limited early bird and VIP tickets 4th July Hylands Park - visit 4th Asylum - The English Curse + Ethreal Fire + Joseph Smith Bassment - Live Jazz Funk Monthly Cramphorn - Lunchtime concert Cramphorn - National Trust talk Fleece - Midweek madness 5th Asylum - Madidus + Breaking Illusion + Melody Phoenix Bassment - Bassment Blues Jam Fleece - Quiz night 6th Asylum - Zen Motel + Inimenter Bassment - Centiment + Alternative Disco Civic - Money For Nothing – Tribute to Dire Straits Fleece - Beggar White Horse B & L - Our new big screen showing the Six Nations 8pm 7th Asylum - Delta Jacks & Friends - charity night for Farleigh Hospice Bassment - Rat Boy + Alternative Disco Cramphorn - The Thinking Drinkers Guide to the Legends of Liquor Fleece - The Earnshaws 8th Fleece - Quiz the Nation, a new nationwide fun interactive quiz Woolpack - Irish music night 11th Asylum - Outright Resistance + Osmium Guillotine + Kill The Freak Bassment - Blues In The City - The Delta Ladies + Clive & Simone Cramphorn - Lunchtime concert Cramphorn - Love Labour’s Lost 12th Bassment - Acoustic Underground Civic - Alan Carr – SOLD OUT

Please note, all events are subject to change. Please visit the relevant websites or Facebook pages for more details. Please send us your events for the next edition, for events between 13th Feb and 12th March. Email us at • Theatre • Book clubs • Exhibitions • Charity events • Jumble sales • Bazaars• Garden events

Chelmsford’s First Micropub by Simon Tippler of The Hop Beer Shop opened in November and straight away became one of the ‘go to’ places for beer drinkers in Chelmsford. As the Hop Beer Shop is open 12–9 and situated on Moulsham Street, it is perfectly located near to other great pubs such as The Cricketers, The Orange Tree and The Woolpack to name but a few, so if you do fancy another beer after closing time then there is plenty of choice. The concept of a ‘micropub’ has been around for a few years and is about getting back to the basics of good beer, simple bar snacks and a warm and friendly atmosphere with no recorded music. The first micropub, The Butchers Arms, opened in Kent 10 years ago and since then they have been popping up all over the country with the

100th micropub opening on 19th December 2014. John, the landlord of the Hop Beer Shop, has created a pub and offlicence and plans to stock a range of beer from some of the best breweries, not only in the UK but also from Belgium, America and anywhere else that is making great beer. When I asked John for his top 3 beers of all time, he thought for a while and said that with the variety of beer styles and flavours coming from the great new hops, it was too difficult to just pick 3 beers and that for him the best thing about beer is that there is now a beer to suit every mood and situation and that his top three beers today would probably be different from his top three next week. This is what makes the beer scene interesting and vibrant and something that John is hoping to promote with a range of casks beer and bottles to drink in his pub or to take out and enjoy at home. 173 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0LD 01245 353 570

24-26 Viaduct Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1TS 01245 260535 The Ale House are at it again with yet another of their bi-monthly Mini Beer Festivals! As always 24 real ales will be available at any one time, along with the 12 ciders always on offer with plenty of both ready to go on should you get through all of them.

What’s On Sunday 18th - Irish Music Session 4pm Saturday 24th - Indescreet 9pm Sunday 25th - Ale House Jam 3pm Friday 30th - Dirty Work 9pm Saturday 31st - Union Blues 8pm

Beer Fest 29th Jan - 1st Feb

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Modern Mint Interview by Tom, from the Best of Chelmsford A new style of interview, as today we meet - ourselves here at Modern Mint! The sponsors of this page, The Best of Chelmsford, have kindly agreed to interview us about the work we do at our garden design business, Modern Mint. How did you get into this profession Darren? I learnt my trade where I grew up in Hampshire. I started working with a tree surgeon and over the next few years became head ground worker for their team. The tree surgeons I worked for were brilliant at dismantling trees in difficult places - it was a great job being able to watch them work. I wanted to run a business the same way, by doing a job so well that it thrilled the client. Tree surgery is hard on the body, while gardening has a softer rhythm, so in order to be remarkable and able to offer a service and a skill that elates people, I changed direction slightly and began learning more about the plants underneath the trees. This led to me meeting some brilliant plants-women who taught me a huge amount, and then an opportunity came up to revamp a large country estate in Hampshire and I got the job. The business then grew incredibly quickly from there and we ended up expanding to offer lawn care services, patios, meadows and our own freshly-grown seasonal bouquets of flowers in addition to the garden design work we did. One year ago we moved to Essex and restarted the company, and began searching for new clients. We’ve had enormous fun with the people of Essex so far - creating a number of gardens packed with contemporary ideas like meadows and organic topiary. We have also set up an online shop as well as a blog on the Modern Mint website. The blog is a resource for people who need help with their gardens - whether it be how-to information, or stories about people in the horticultural industry, or looser, more philosophical writings about garden design. The online shop is sharing some of the products we love - artisan furniture for the home and garden, robust garden products that not only cope with the work but look great too, and colourful gift ideas that come from sustainable sources. It is also our mission to create Ten Meadows in Essex and London the design and consultation is free of charge, all we ask is that the client pays for materials and labour. Our hope is to create ten spaces in Essex that are flower rich, easy to maintain, great for wildlife and have a real ‘wow’ factor, so that we are making work that thrills people! What make your gardens different? We want to create magic for people - they should look out of the window and think ‘wow, I am so glad we have had the garden done.’ And their friends too should want to come over for a bbq and a drink, just to enjoy it. We suit clients who have either just moved house and want a complete garden revamp, or who have lived somewhere for a long time and are bored with what they see. If that is you, then we can come in and chat to you about what you want, and share with you all the beautiful ways you can improve your garden - some are actually quite simple, like adding scented plants around your front door - but it makes the world of difference to your garden.

can’t imagine it being anything else! The Mint part of our name is because mint can be an invasive plant, it tends to run wild and get involved with lots of other plants, which sums up quite well what our website offers people. Horticulture is such a wide landscape to delve into, that we wanted to be like mint and get involved in all the ideas that interest us. We added the word Modern because we want to make gardens that suit the 21st century lifestyle - people don’t have time to garden or the skills and knowledge to enjoy it, so we want to take what we know and are learning each and every day and filter it through a contemporary mindset. So that is what the name Modern Mint reminds us to do make gardens for our clients that are relevant to the here and now. If you need help getting the garden you want, visit www. to find out more about Darren and Modern Mint.

thebestofchelmsford Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. This year we’ll be bringing you even more information about what’s going on locally and carrying on our Buy Local campaign. We’ll be keeping you up to date with the best local businesses. Increasing our commitment to local charities, associations, groups and clubs as part of our community hub. If you have a favourite local business let us know and tell us why they’re so good at what they do. We’re not a web directory, we only work with a limited number of businesses, the ones local people consider to be the best. A great example of thebestof type of business is the one that features on this page, Modern Mint. We’re pleased to be working with Darren. He loves what he does and he does it with great skill and enthusiasm. He deserves to be a local success story. We’d like you to get in touch with us by visiting our website at or by giving us a call on 01245 701020.

Darren, does Modern Mint mean anything? It does! It took a lot of thought to come up with the name, and it divided opinion when we first started using it, but now of course we Page 14

Junior Trading Post and Two Reinventions by Linda McNeill

This month I got to interview Margaux Sloan, one half of the creative duo behind the establishment of Junior Trading Post in Great Baddow. Any new parent who knows their worth has discovered this little gold-mine of a shop which opened in March 2013. Junior Trading Post is THE ‘in’ place to find high-end pre-loved baby and children’s clothes, toys and accessories in Chelmsford but it also offers so much MORE.

I first discovered JTP as I was establishing my own business - Bun in the Oven Birthing - at exactly the same time as they were launching back in March. At this point, Margaux was nine months pregnant with her third child (now a smiley and gorgeous 10 month old!) and about to launch a new business with her good pal Jo Pendrous. Sound a little crazy to give birth and open a new shop all in one month?! Well these crazy ladies have made it work. While chatting to Margaux, it rapidly became apparent just how much they have achieved over the last year and how creative they are to have made what is essentially a secondhand baby and children’s clothes shop into a real DESTINATION for parents with young children. Junior Trading Post offers many services to parents of young children. They have their shop - whereby they source preloved baby and children’s paraphernalia to sell, so any parents out there wishing to shift their out-grown clothes, toys, prams etc may well want to get in touch. The shop also hosts local craftsman’s goods and has a gorgeous array of beautiful home-made products such as quilts and booties and personalised pictures and a whole lot more. Junior Trading Post is also a cafe which is clearly very child-friendly and sells yummy snacks, lunches and a whole range of beverages. But they have not stopped at this, in fact it is pretty tricky to summarise all the services they provide! At the back of the shop

is a gorgeous room which is available for hire. In here a whole lot of activities are on offer ranging from baby massage, pregnancy and post-natal yoga to hypnobirthing taster sessions (small plug for my own business!). The room is spacious, light and airy and really is a lovely space. They also hold parties in here, from baby showers to birthday parties which are tailored specifically to the individual. If you would like this service but want to hold your party elsewhere they also offer ‘party in a box’ whereby they can bring the party to you. However there is still more to mention! Jo and Margaux are clearly rather crafty with an eye for detail (the shop is beautifully presented) and as such they hold a range of rather cool classes and activities for children - particularly in the school holidays when other classes often come to a stop. They have a craft room which is open the whole time where you and your child can pop in and get creative, then in the school holidays they go all out with gardening clubs, pottery making, cookery classes plus many many more. See what I mean? JTP is definitely more than just a shop. Jo and Margaux certainly took a leap of faith when launching their new business and have both significantly reinvented their careers.

Margaux worked in marketing in London for a number of years after completing a degree in French with Marketing. “I knew from the age of 3 when I first saw adverts on TV that I wanted to make them - I found them fascinating.” She returned to her role after having her first child but after having her son 3 years ago decided that she simply could not balance her

role in marketing with being a mother of two. Margaux stayed at home for a year but began to get itchy feet. When out on a trip to the zoo with Jo and their children, Jo mentioned that she had had an idea for a pre-loved baby shop but with extras. Bizarrely enough Margaux had been thinking along the same lines and the seed for Junior Trading Post was sown… Jo, also a mother of 3 young children, had a very cool but “bonkers job” (Margaux’s words!) at this time. “She worked for GMTV doing the lighting - she had to get up to go to work at 3 am, she would finish at 10 be home by 1 then look after her children all day. This was exhausting so she was also looking for something else.” After raising the capital to launch the business and negotiating for about a year to rent the shop in Great Baddow, then fitting it out and generally getting organised and sourcing stock (so just a few minor details!) they launched Junior Trading Post in March 2013. I asked Margaux to reflect on the past year: “it has been the busiest year of my life and I did not think this was possible. However, it has been a million times more rewarding than my previous career. I love the people I have met along the way. It can be tricky balancing the shop and the kids but they are really good. When Jo and I are both in, our kids play together. We both also now get two days off a week which definitely helps the work-life balance.” I found chatting to Margaux really inspiring as so many of us have dreams and exciting ideas which we think could make good business or we think we have identified a niche in the market. However, many of us just leave them as dreams whereas Margaux and Jo have pursued theirs and are realising it. Inspiring, brave and yes, probably a little bit crazy! Their address is 26A High Street, Great Baddow, CM2 7HQ (opposite Great Baddow Library). Their web site is www. If you are someone who has reinvented their career and would like to be featured in my column please get in touch at linda@ bunintheovenbirthing,

Freelance PHP/MySQL Developers We are looking for freelance web developers to join our team. You will ideally have experience of WordPress and OpenCart. Email

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Angel Broomfield City Detective Episode 11 - The case of the ‘High Wire Antics’ By Simon Culleton Angel Broomfield, Chelmsford’s very own private detective, was raised by nuns in a secret monastery in Boreham with only the complete volumes of Sherlock Holmes for company. Angel is now a resident of 221½ Moulsham Street, home of the City Detective Agency, with his trusty side-kick John and the radiant Helen, Angel is now ready to serve the city. In the last episode we left Angel, John and Helen cowering together as the Hoffman youth with burning torches frantically charged towards them and the chosen twelve of the ‘women against oppression’ rowing team with oars in hand blocked their path. John bent over to expect the worst when suddenly and quite extraordinarily out of the blue, came a charging elephant whose trunk wrapped around the nipped waist of Helen and carried her off. Angel and John managed to grab hold of it’s tail to exact an escape, but soon lost their grip and were left chasing the grey backside of the elephant as it tore through the under growth leaving a mass of destruction in it’s wake. “This reminds me of my first game of kiss chase” said John. “A large woman as I remember, but boy could she run.” The elephant could then be seen running across a field and into a triple peaked marquee and it became apparent to both Angel and John that the circus had come to Chelmsford. They tried desperately to follow the elephant inside the tent but a strong man dressed in a leopard skin leotard and a curly black moustache prevented entry. “How much money have you got?” Asked Angel looking at the queue of noisy children leading to the entrance. Then with alarm they both noticed that the Hoffman youth had followed the unmistakable track of the elephant and was advancing across the field towards them. “We have no time to lose” said Angel frantically, “there is only one more episode to go and now we have to save Helen as well as solve the case of the German spy.” Suddenly a roar of laughter came from inside the marquee and Angel had an idea. “And for my next act..” shouted the authoritive voice of the circus master dressed in a top hat and riding boots as he stood in the centre ring surrounded by an audience of excited people, “..all the way from Italy, The fantastic five Gasepe brother clowns. Nobody noticed when seven clowns ran out; Angel and John dressed in baggy trousers and red noses tried to blend in. Angel shouted to John “look for Helen” but no sooner had he spoken when he was met by a custard pie smack in the face. John went over to help but was slowed by one of the Gasepe brother clowns emptying the contents of a watering can into his trousers and kicking him in the seat of his pants. Then the audience cheered like crazy when a curtain was pulled back to reveal Helen tied to a target board with nothing more than balloons to cover her shame. “Oh for a drawing pin...” said John as the oldest Gasepe brother stamped on his foot, hit him over the head with an exploding bat and honked his nose. Angel, realising that some of the balloons were deflating, ran over to untie Helen, John almost made it too but for some Chinese crackers being pushed down the back of his trousers creating a sensation last felt after an extra spicy vindaloo... “You have almost lost your clothes in every episode” said Angel as he untied her. Helen strategically held the balloons in front of her: “cost a fortune to have these put in” she said. Suddenly the crowd gasped and looked to the heavens, one lady screamed and another looked away for fear of fainting because up there on the tight rope, John who had since been chased up a ladder by the clowns, was attempting to make his escape across the wire. Angel screamed for him to stop,

remembering a similar stunt during the secret nuns cider tasting evening when Sister Wino Wendy, as she was known, had drunkenly attempted to balance along the ridge tiles of the church roof resulting in her slipping and falling into a passing funeral just as a leading mourner had pleaded to the heavens for a sign. Two spot lights lit up John as a drum roll signalled his first step. The audience held their breath and all eyes were upon him, apart from Helen who was blowing up the balloon directly in front of her and smiling at the size. Then, to his horror, he spied one of the clowns who strangely was wearing jack boot and a pointy helmet untying the safety net. “I’ve got to save John!” shouted Angel as he shot up the ladder. Helen was soon behind him using only friction to hold the balloons in place. As soon as they reached the platform that was opposite to John they screamed a warning which was drowned out by the rapturous cheering of the audience. John noticed the waving arms of Angel and the balloon clad Helen. “Righto” he shouted “i’ll come to you”. The crowd immediately fell into stony silence and as one, the whole place held their breath as drums rolled and John took his first wobbly step onto the tight rope. Even one of the clowns that had chased him up the ladder allowed the party whistle in his month to fall limp. Then precariously John wobbled and wibbled making it half way across, but a scream from a child in the audience and the bursting of one of Helen’s balloons was enough to send him into an uncontrollable wobble which resulted in him losing his balance and only remaining attached to the wire by a leg hook. Angel in desperation turned to Helen and said: “i’ll never get to him in time!” Thinking quickly, Helen picked up a piece of apparatus which is normally reserved for the clowns and Angel seizing the moment set off. The crowd broke into excited cheers and applause at the sight of Angel with Helen on his shoulders making his way along the tight rope on a 12 inch pushbike. The Gesape brother clowns, not wanting to be out-done, also set of from the other direction on a 12 inch pushbike three up. John could barely hold on and was about to rely on the false belief of the safety net and let go when suddenly, like an angel in the night…. Tune in for the last episode to see if Angel will stop clowning around, will John fall to the ground and will Helen’s balloons go down? All this and more in the last episode of Angel Broomfield city detective.

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OPEN AUDITIONS Earthquakes in London by Mike Bartlett 9th and 10th February 2015 - 7.45pm at the Old Court Theatre, Chelmsford

Tom: Male, early 20s. Uni student and political activist. A strong character of African origin.

CTW are looking for a big-hearted and motivated cast to bring to life this re-working of one of the National Theatre’s most innovative and challenging pieces of recent times. Fast-paced, loud and brash (with a cracking soundtrack including live music), Earthquakes will be a rewarding challenge.

Colin: Male, late 30s to early 40s. Sarah’s husband.

The principal characters are listed below, but overall a team of at least 14 actors will be required to deliver the project, with an equal number of males and females required.

Mrs Andrews: Female, late 40s to 60s. Robert’s Scottish housekeeper.

Robert: Male, mid-20s to 40s. Climate scientist and father to Freya, Sarah and Jasmine. Beard required and will be required to play a younger version of himself (hence the younger age range). Freya: Female, late 20s to early 30s. Pregnant teacher gradually descending into madness. Sarah: Female, late 30s. Government minister balancing ethics with business. Jasmine: Female, late teens to early 20s. Ex-uni student, wild and devil-may-care. A rebel. Role requires some partial nudity. Steve: Male, late 20s to early 30s. Jasmine’s husband.

Peter: Female, playing age early teens. A unique role for a young actress or actress with a young playing age. A student at Jasmine’s school who isn’t what they seem.

A number of additional actors covering a breadth of age ranges are required for a huge variety of speaking/non-speaking parts including a polar bear, doctors, businessmen/women, nurses, police officers, a World War 2 soldier, joggers and mothers dressed all in black who disappear (you’ll be interested to hear that the polar bear is a speaking part). People of all abilities and experiences are encouraged to audition. The play contains themes which some may find distressing including abortion, death and the extinction of the human race. The play also includes very strong language. For more information or to discuss the project, contact Director Danny Segeth via (07891 197181) or Asst Director Vikki Pead via

Park Smart: Find Your Perfect Car Parking Space in Chelmsford Chelmsford City Council is providing a useful guide to help you save money and time by finding a car park to suit your needs. With the news that the Bond Street car park will close at midnight on 3 January 2015 to enable works to start on the city’s exciting new retail development, it is a great time to explore Chelmsford’s alternative parking. For shopping trips, you could choose Meadows Retail (behind Iceland), or High Chelmer (Victoria Road South). Wharf Road (near the Essex Records Office) offers an ideal long stay parking option at only £4.50 - perfect for a full day out shopping, dining and enjoying leisure activities.

three months of 2015. To assist your daily commute, check out Chelmsford City Council’s season tickets which offer great value for money. Details about Premium Season Tickets, Annual 7 Permits and Business Permits can be found at Finally, beat the January blues with Chelmsford City Council’s promotional January sales. We are offering five lucky winners the chance to park in Waterloo Lane 1 and/or Waterloo Lane 2 on Saturday evenings for free. Visit for more details.

For excellent value weekend parking, try Townfield Street (next to the railway station), which is perfect for west end shopping, offering unique restaurants and boutiques and all within a couple of minutes walk from the High Street. Townfield Street is only £2.50 per day on weekends and Baddow Road (near the Odeon Roundabout) is priced at only £4.50 a day for weekend parking. For a fun day out, why not visit a show at the Chelmsford City Theatres, next to the Fairfield Road car park (on Coval Lane)? Chelmsford Council is also offering three lucky winners the chance of winning free parking for all theatre productions for the first Page 18

Have your van sign written this month and receive 500 FREE Business Cards. Or do you need any work wear? 5 printed polos single colour on the front for £50 Or 3 Hoodies/Sweatshirts Printed single colour on the front for £45. Printed Beanie Hats RRP £7.50 on sale at £5.00

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Signs Window Displays Large Format Printing Posters Business Cards Leaflets Menu Printing Flags LED Lighting T-Shirt Printing Work Wear Vehicle Sign Writing Banners Logo Design And Much Much More!

Hypnotherapy by Jenny Hartill

Happy New Year readers! Does anyone have any New Year Resolutions this year? Most of us make these Resolutions to change a certain behaviour, my clients come to me because one or more of their behaviour patterns do not fit in with the life they lead or want to achieve. Therefore in this article I want to talk about the conflict of neurosis as this is what will hinder you in resolving those behaviours, hypnotherapy is not just a ‘quick fix’ that’ll get rid of your issue in one session. Here I want to explain how neurosis develop and how hypnotherapy can help with a range of things.

avoiding in order for me to write an accurate screed to help you overcome these issues. We may even need to use hypnoanalysis to find out how and why this behaviour manifested.

The conflict of neurosis occurs when the client consciously wants to do something, but the subconscious believes this to be wrong. In these cases the subconscious belief itself is usually false. The symptoms that are presented could be anything from for example over eating, smoking, drinking too much to anger issues, habits like hair pulling and any phobias. The symptom is not caused by the event, but by the client’s reaction to that event. So for example, someone with a phobia of spiders may have been bitten in a foreign country and experienced a negative physical reaction, which in turn caused a negative emotional reaction (fear, anxiety etc) and therefore the subconscious believes all spiders are dangerous. On the one hand it is correct, spiders in certain countries are dangerous, but in England our spiders are harmless. Phobias can also be transferred. This is more common than you’d think - especially with spiders. Say a parent is afraid of spiders, as a young child you see them completely freak out when they see a spider. The fact your parent has freaked out makes you freak out, your parent is supposed to protect you so if they’re scared then the thing they’re scared of must be really, really bad! Therefore your reaction to this event is to be scared of spiders because your parent is and your subconscious has learned from this experience that this is correct. Hence, the phobia is transferred. Now, say your New Year’s Resolution is to not be scared of spiders anymore, you’re going to face your fear and get rid of the spider in the bath tub rather than calling your partner/housemate/parent/sibling to come to your rescue. Your conscious mind wants to do this, but your subconscious believes your action (of getting rid of the spider) to be dangerous and therefore wrong. Hence, the conflict of neurosis. Hypnotherapy is excellent for curing phobias, but the main issue here is that we absolutely must find out where the phobia came from and how it’s manifested itself. Your phobia is unique to you because your interpretation of events was unique, so in hypnotherapy we use this to our advantage to get rid of the phobia usually over 4-6 weeks.

Many people come to me thinking hypnotherapy is a quick fix to lose weight. It’s not. Let me put this very bluntly: there is a reason you are overweight and unless you get to the bottom of this reason you will not permanently lose weight, but you will either remain overweight or your weight will fluctuate between normal and overweight. I will do everything I can to help my clients, but you need to be ready to find out where your weight issue comes from to get a permanent result. I refuse to do gastric band therapy because, again, many people believe this to be a quick fix. There are many, many reasons as to why people overeat, some people comfort eat, some people feel they are ‘filling a hole’ and some people subconsciously want to be overweight to create a barrier between them and the world. It really depends on the client. Again we would find out the root of the issue so I could write an appropriate screed - time-wise, this is very unpredictable as again, it depends on the client and the issue, but I would say a minimum of 4-6 weeks hypnotherapy, possibly with additional counselling.

Because our various neurosis are caused by our reactions to certain events, this explains the different ways in which people emotionally and psychologically react in the aftermath of an event such as say, an accident or disaster. Some people will be able to express their feelings and concerns around the incident and will have a support network to help them cope emotionally. Others will repress the memories and emotions but the anxiety will remain until the issues are resolved. The result of repression is of course a neurosis, perhaps a fear or phobia, or complete emotional distancing or disassociation with the world and other people in it. The latter point can sometimes manifest itself in the form of commitment issues and difficulties in maintaining relationships, even with friends and family, so if your New Year’s Resolution is to make more of an effort with people - perhaps you need to look at why you don’t make the effort in the first place. This could extend as far as social anxiety and self esteem and confidence issues. Your subconscious will have found ways to reduce your anxiety as much as possible throughout the years, do you find excuses to not go to social events? Are you suddenly feeling a bit under the weather and therefore decide that you’re too unwell to go to the gym? This is called avoidance and is a very common coping strategy. In therapy we would need to find out exactly what you’re

One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight. If this is yours, ask yourself these questions: • • • •

How long, honestly, have you been overweight? Do you avoid the gym? If so, why? What is it about the gym that makes you want to avoid it? What is causing you to be overweight? Do you over eat? Why? Are you creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by being overweight because you want to avoid social situations? Do you assume people won’t like you or will judge you because of your weight?

Finally (because my word count’s a bit high!) many people want to stop smoking. Ceasing any habit is incredibly hard, you will need to find out why your subconscious needed this habit in the first place, what are the triggers, why did you start in the first place etc etc. Hypnotherapy is great for getting rid of habits, but you must be prepared to do some digging and really look at why you developed the habit in the first place so a suitable screed can be developed. If anyone would like any further info or has any enquiries about hypnotherapy or counselling, please see my website www.

If you are interested in advertising in any of our publications please call 07970 206682 or email Chelmsford The City Times Moulsham Times Braintree Life

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Pedal Power for The J’s Hospice What could be better than spending a spring-time Sunday cycling through Essex villages enjoying the early May sunshine, absorbing the beauty of the countryside and perhaps enjoying a short stop for lunch or a drink at one of the village pubs or cafes en route? The J’s are inviting couples, families, friends and colleagues to take part in Pedal for The J’s - a successful charity bike ride, now in its sixth year, that draws people from across Essex with excellent reviews for it’s organisation and variety of routes.

The event will take place on Sunday 3rd May 2015 and promises to be a great day out for experienced cyclists and novices alike. The ride takes in some of Essex’s most beautiful scenery with a choice of three distances; 15, 35 or 50 miles. All routes will start and finish at Admirals Park in Chelmsford with the 15 mile route taking in Mashbury, Pleshey and Great Waltham and the longer ones travelling west towards Hatfield Heath, returning through the Easters then all three rides join up at Pleshey. The spirit of the event is taking part, so you can go as fast or slow as you like. This year, riders will be getting plenty of vocal support from Heart FM’s Heart Angels - Martin & Su from the Breakfast Show were also there to lend their own encouragement at the launch of Pedal for The J’s 2015, though it remains to be seen whether Martin can be tempted onto a bicycle! (pictured).

throughout Essex.”

Due to be launched this spring, just in time for Pedal for The J’s, Beaulieu is set to make a huge impact on Chelmsford, bringing new homes and community facilities, including schools, shops, health and enhanced transport connections to the area. Residents at Beaulieu will have a range of amenities on their doorstep reducing the need for car travel and a network of cycleways and footpaths to encourage healthy lifestyles - perfect for the type of active cyclist that takes part in Pedal for The J’s! The J’s Hospice provides hospice care in the home for young adults throughout Essex. Due to improvements in medical care and technology, the population of young adults with life limiting conditions is growing. But at 19 years old, these patients have outgrown children’s services and need age appropriate care and support. The J’s Hospice team provides hospice, medical, nursing and respite care for patients, carers and their families. They also provide emotional and bereavement support. The long term aim is to build a stand-alone hospice building in Essex. You can register to take part in Pedal for the J’s online by visiting or call the office on 01245 475474 to request a registration form to be sent to you. Registration starts at just £14 (£7 for under 16s) and this includes refreshments; there is no minimum sponsorship. but of course please try to raise as much as you can! Registration is open now, so hurry as places will fill quickly...

Heart Breakfast presenter Su Harrison said: “cycling’s always been a popular hobby, but since the Tour de France came through our county it seems more people than ever are getting on their bikes! “I can’t think of a better way to raise vital money for such a brilliant cause than pedalling for The J’s Hospice! “We’ll be entering a team - it’ll be a challenge but loads of fun… and hopefully not as strenuous as my last cycling challenge - which was riding to Paris!” Traditionally, Pedal for The J’s is viewed as one of the most familyfriendly rides in Essex - the 15 mile route is on quiet, picturesque country roads and attracts a large number of parents with children. “We took my youngest out for his first charity cycle ride, it was a beautiful day, we took it at our own pace and the encouragement of the other riders and marshals really kept a smile on his face! He was really proud of his medal and took it into school for show and tell the next day.” This year’s event is proudly sponsored by Beaulieu, the exciting new residential development by Countryside and L&Q in Chelmsford, who are entering a team of staff and friends. Training has already begun and they are looking forward to the challenge. Andrew Carrington, managing director of Countryside, said: “we are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Pedal for The J’s and our team of keen cyclists can’t wait to take part. It is a great community event that not only encourages everyone to get fit and healthy, but most importantly helps raise money to support The J’s Hospice, which is such a worthy charity helping to support young adults in need of hospice care Page 21

No Diets, Just Back to Normal by Keith Porter


My friend Ilse explained something great on Facebook earlier this month. After a few indulgences at Christmas, she wasn’t going to start some new diet as part of a New Year’s Resolution - she was just going to go back to

Now, normal for Ilse is not normal for most people. We’ve both been following a Real Food diet for a few years now, and Ilse is also currently studying to be a personal trainer. She’s really into her health, as you can imagine. Me and Ilse both avoid processed foods and focus on clean meats, veggies, fruits and plenty of good fats. And yes. We think butter from grass-fed cows is a good fat! That all might sound weird to you. It might sound unsustainable. But if you change your habits piece by piece over the whole year, the idea of going back to normal, rather than going on a bit of a all-or-nothing crazy diet, seems to make a bit more sense. I get asked a ton of questions all of the time about diet and exercise. The trouble is, the answers are difficult to hear, as making a big shift

in the way you look and feel requires a big shift in how you eat and move. It’s not easy, and that’s why most people give it a good go in January but gradually return to how they ate before. But you can be different. This year, at your own pace, you can change one small habit at a time. Perhaps first of all you could research a diet that makes sense to you (you can find a beginner’s guide to Paleo on Then, you can start to implement some changes based on what you find. That might mean cutting back on the amount of diet cokes that get you through the afternoon, or saying no to the muffins in the office. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. Over the year, these small, weekly or monthly changes will add up to a big change, so on 1st January 2016, you won’t be looking for the next diet craze to help you shift the holiday weight, you’ll simply be going back to normal. To find out about personal training, Paleo nutrition, or to ask me a question, drop me a line at, or find us online at

Health, Happiness & Hummingbirds! by Kellie Jones

Happy 2015 to you all! What a fabulous December we had at Hummingbird, with two immensely relaxing pre-Christmas workshops, the 12 Days of Christmas donation classes and a good old knees up with the team at Med Fusion. Bethany Love, an awesome kundalini yoga teacher from Santa Barbara, California, got our breath of fire going whilst opening our hearts to prosperity (see pic below). The beautiful Davina Warwick treated some of our lucky clients to 2 hours of restorative yoga by candlelight and Vikki Stevenson got us all in the festive giving spirit with her inventive 12 days of christmas vinyasa flow class with all proceeds going direct to The Hope Foundation.

did something for the first time?” and: “if not now, when?” Wishing you all health & happiness, Kellie x

2014 was a massive year of change and challenges for myself and my awesome business partner Ellie and we couldn’t have done it without our fabulous team’s support. After a well deserved rest we are open for business again with health & happiness as our absolute focus for the coming year, for ourselves as well as all our clients. Although our hard work has paid off, we are aware that our own wellbeing was neglected whilst we took care of others and ultimately this meant that we couldn’t give 100% as we were too exhausted. So to be of maximum service to our family, friends and clients we realise we need to take maximum care of ourselves. Watch this space and our blogs and social media pages for more about our journey of selflove & care… So to start as we mean to go on we have organised some cleansing, healing workshops for January so that you can start your own self-love & care plan too. First up is a Sound Healing workshop on Saturday 24th, that will help you quieten your mind, let go of mental chatter and forget the world for a time whilst being bathed in sound, using Himalayan singing bowls, gongs and percussion. Next is Yoga Pretzels on Wednesday 28th, which, by using binding and twisting postures, gets the heat up in the body and starts the detoxification process. Both workshops are bookable via our website www. or So to end on two of my favourite quotes: “when was the last time you Page 22

Pilates, Yoga, Meditation Book your space online or call: Small Classes & 1-2-1’s Inspirational Teachers 01245 422556 Friendly, Community Vibe Reeds Farm Estate, Writtle, CM1 2ST



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New Year, New Hobby? by Sarah from Blooming Felt With Christmas now a dim and distant memory and New Year celebrations long gone, we still have to contend with a number of winter months and dark evenings before spring decides it will put in an appearance. But worry not! There are lots of fantastic crafty hobbies that you can try and which will fill those evenings.

One of the most popular crafts at the moment is felting. There are 3 ways you can make felt. The first is known as ‘wet felting’, whereby you use unspun wool (more typically called roving or tops) which are layered on top of one another. These are then soaked with warm soapy water and agitated until the fibres begin to knit themselves together, creating a sheet of felt which can then be used for all sorts of projects.

The second is called ‘needle felting’ and this takes 2 forms - one is sculptural felting using (again) unspun wool and a felting needle which has tiny barbs on the end. By stabbing the wool (try to avoid your fingers) with the felting needle, the fibres ‘felt’ together and you can create all sorts of wonderful pieces - think birds, animals, people, food etc. You can also create pictures by needle felting. You just need a high density foam sponge or pad, a backing piece of felt and wool roving or wool tops and you can then create beautiful pictures on the backing felt using just the unspun wool and your felting needle. The final way to create felt is by a method called ‘fulling’. This is a very simple way to create felt and you’ve probably already done it numerous times (by accident) in the past. Fulling is when you shrink a lovely wool jumper in the washing machine!! So, now that Christmas (and the relatives) have gone you can put that hideous jumper that Aunt Agnes gave you as a present into the washing machine with your usual washing powder. Turn up the temperature to 90 degrees, shove a tennis ball in with it (to create friction) and watch that jumper shrink beautifully into an amazing piece of felt that you can use in all sort of crafty projects! If you’d like more detailed information about any of the above ways to make felt or would like advice on the best items to purchase (only you can decide whether Aunt Agnes’ jumper is hideous though), you can email me via our website or visit our ‘Shedquarters’ in Danbury (see website for details). Sarah x

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01245 262082 City Slickers - Page 24

Meeting Peter Andre Was ‘Insania’, says Chelmsford Slimming World Consultants A group of Slimming World Consultants say meeting singer and TV presenter Peter Andre was the perfect way to get set for a superslimming start to 2015. The team, who run weekly Slimming World groups in Chelmsford, were thrilled to get a chance to cuddle up to Peter when he co-hosted the Slimming World Awards with the organisation’s chair and founder, Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE. Victoria Darnell said meeting the Mysterious Girl and Insania singer was a wonderful way to round off what’s been a great 12 months for Slimming World, as well as the perfect way to kick start another successful year: “I’m so proud of all of our members. They’ve lost fantastic amounts of weight throughout 2014, with many of them reaching their target weights and improving their health substantially. “It’s so rewarding to see people achieve things that they didn’t think possible before losing weight, whether that’s wearing smaller-sized clothes, taking up new hobbies, reducing medication or being able to do more with their family and friends. Meeting Peter was a real treat he was such a nice guy - and a great way to celebrate all of that. Now we feel powered up and can’t wait to help our members hold on to all of the fabulous changes they’ve made and to support even more people to become happier and healthier in 2015.” Two-time celebrity dad-of-the-year Peter, who famously featured on the ITV show I’m a Celebrity in 2004 and now presents Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover, said he was delighted to meet the Slimming World Consultants at the event, which was held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. He added: “being in the public eye there’s a lot of scrutiny and if you put on even a pound or two the magazines and newspapers are extremely quick to point it out, so I’ve always tried to take care of myself and watch my weight. However, since becoming a dad I’ve realised it’s about more than just looking good; it’s much more important to me that I’m fit and healthy and setting a good example to my children. At the awards I met lots of people who’ve lost incredible amounts of weight and it has completely transformed their lives and their families’ lives too. They’re eating more healthily and being more active and so are their families. And every single one of them told me that they couldn’t have made those changes without the support of their Slimming World group and their consultant, so the people who run the groups are clearly very important.” Flattered by Peter’s kind words, Emma Lodge hopes even more people will join Slimming World and benefit from making healthy lifestyle changes this new year: “we truly believe that joining Slimming World is the best way for people to lose weight this January. Getting off to a great start is really important when embarking on a slimming plan; seeing results on the scales and feeling lighter and brighter will motivate people to keep going and achieve their goals. Everyone will be sure of a fab start with Slimming World this new year and even if people have struggled to stick to weight loss plans in the past, I know we can help them to make a change for life this time around - our members and their success are proof of that. “Slimming World’s food optimising plan isn’t a diet, we simply help our members to discover new healthy habits and a healthier way of eating that they can enjoy without ever feeling hungry or deprived. They make small easy changes to the way they shop, cook and eat, introduce activity to their daily routine, and get regular support to reward their successes and overcome the hurdles they face along the way. This helps them to stick to their personal goals and can make a big difference to the way members feel about themselves as well as their weight.

to make friends. We’ve had a lot of fun throughout the year - we’ve held parties, raised money for charity and members have cheered each other on with every step of their weight loss journey. We can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for Slimming World and would love anyone who’s thinking about losing weight this January to join us.” To power up your weight loss in 2015 visit or call 0844 897 8000 to find your nearest Slimming World group.

Slimming World Consultants cuddle up to singer and TV presenter Peter Andre (from left to right): Angie Lynch, Emma Lodge, Samantha Chambers, Kierra Barnard, Victoria Darnell.

01245 471670

“On top of seeing success on the scales, our groups are great places Page 25

The Playlist - The Local Music Scene by Richard Merriman One band who managed to establish themselves as the group to watch - seemingly almost as soon as they did their first gig - was Chelmsford’s Little Donkey. I spoke to lead singer and songwriter, Mat Frost, about their latest EP, how it came to be and where they might be heading in 2015.

Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper should make a point of checking out. While the contribution of drummer, Jim, certainly makes for a more muscular sound compared to the group’s previous output, the band are still very much an acoustic act and are happy to call themselves grunge-folk.

Little Donkey was once slightly, erm, littler. Initially named, Little Donkey and Dusty Roads, Mat Frost and pal, Simon Charlton, offered up twin acoustic guitars, some close harmonies and Mat’s enviable grunge baritone, evidence of a misspent youth of singing along to Pearl Jam records and possibly, the occasional tipple. Soon they were joined by Simon’s brother, Russ, himself an accomplished guitarist, who took up the bass.

Title track, Real Woman, opens, as many of their songs do, with one of Simon’s tender guitar lines, but when Mat’s voice breaks through we get a singer who strikes a deft balance between aggression, melancholy and his characteristic dry wit. Russ’ skills as a finger pickin’ guitarist translate to some highly melodic, but never verbose, bass playing and guitar lines ebb in and out. While bonus track, UhOh, a live favourite, is the obvious ear-worm, Real Woman is a grower that sneaks up on you. Track three, Turn Away, is my favourite. It has the most up-beat intro of the set and the layered vocals on the chorus add an extra colour and although they might hate to admit it, pushes the record closer to the more commercial sound of Mumford and Sons.

This three-piece line-up stepped into an empty slot in the 2013 Undiscovered competition at the last minute - and won the darn thing. This victory garnered some more attention and gifted them some recording time and valuable festival slots. Later that year they also received the Panic Award for best band. Most recently Little Donkey took the final step to being a ‘proper’ band when they were joined by drummer, Jim Kemble, who finally makes his first appearance on a recording on the new record. So how does a band raise the money the finance recording and pressing a high quality record? The answer is crowd funding. Like many groups, start-up companies, film makers and game developers, Little Donkey set up a crowd funding page on The hope was that enough people would like the group and be keen enough to spare a few quid to pay for an - as yet unrecorded - record. Mat told me about his initial anxiety, “so, there we were, ready to press the button and beg and borrow. You see, the use of Pledge, the sheepish nudge to your fans, it feels weird even calling them that, the asking for cash in exchange for Donkeyphernalia: it’s a damned scary thing!

So Mat, what can we expect from Little Donkey in 2015? “We kick off the new year at Kelvedon Institute at a big showcase gig with Sound Mirrors and The White Gospel, after that I reckon 2015 is going to be quite introverted, with each of us tending to kids: teenage ones, baby ones and one on the way! That’s not to say we won’t be writing however, just that we’re taking a bit of time to reflect and metamorphose. It’s what we do you see. For every heavy load, there’s a sanctuary...” Check out the Real Woman EP and other recordings at littledonkey. If you want to see your music featured in this column contact Richard Merriman at


“We’re a band, we get great crowd responses, but we’re not famous. We’re a local entity with a following that spans our town, sorry, city, and yet there’s still the fear. Still that whatifnoonereallygivesamonkey’s dread. So we pressed that damned button and the pledges flooded in! Because people can be beautiful and can prove that this city, and our local musical community, both real and virtual, is full of love. And yes, I’m content with being mushy about it, because it’s genuinely peachy; it’s Donkey-love on a new scale! The money came in, we made our most honest EP yet, we say thankya to all involved and pray they ken it. It’s no rose, but the journey was great.” Mat’s humility and genuine surprise at the response that Little Donkey got, when they asked their fans for cash, is counteracted by the quality of the resulting product. The Real Woman EP is a strong, musically mature and pro-sounding set of five songs, which fans of Page 26

CT History

Some Other Ancient Local Archaeological Sites by John Power

Earliest signs of settlement in Chelmsford were revealed in excavations during rebuilding in Moulsham Street and attached land south of Parkway when Neolithic (4000 BC) pottery was found. Further remains were dated to Bronze and Iron Age.

Whereas local henges belong to the late Stone Age, the enclosure at Springfield Lyons, north-east of Chelmsford, that was excavated in 1981 is Bronze Age and although circular, was built as a defensive structure surrounding thatched, wattle and daub roundhouses. It consisted of an impressive earth surround, perhaps even ramparts with a wooden palisade and streams on either side, feeding a ditch moat. It is 60 metres across and had causeways leading to it. A smaller enclosure adjacent to it is a miniature version off the same layout. Post holes show that there was a gate porch structure at one of the openings of the circle and roundhouses with porch openings, within the circle. The site was radio-carbon dated to 830-420 BCE. Finds in and around the structure have included pottery, bronze tools and moulds for their manufacture. Knapped flints from earlier Stone Age technology and a later iron sword and scabbard found in earth layers nearer the surface were also unearthed. It is evident that farming took place in what remains of a field system to the east of the structure. The site would have provided good views across the Chelmer Valley to initiate movement to behind the walls in times of conflict. Similar sites have been excavated in Essex: two at Mucking on the south coast. Moving forward in time to the Anglo-Saxon era, two royal - or at least high status - burials have been dug locally that almost rival the legendary Sutton Hoo burials near Woodbridge in Suffolk. In the Prittlewell area of Southend in 2003 during preparations for road widening near Priory Park on a roundabout, a 7th Century, once walled chamber grave was found under an earth mound. At four metres long and of similar square section it is the largest found in England. Acid soil has destroyed the body bar a few teeth, but it was


Adjacent to Broomfield Road, north of Chelmsford, another AngloSaxon, 7th century site of a high status burial was excavated in 1894 after being disturbed by gravel extraction and can now be found beyond the end of a road subsequently named Saxon Way. The site included finds of a lamp, bucket, two blue glass beakers, spear heads, an iron cauldron and tall iron cup, a drinking horn with gold edging, a knife, shield boss, sword with sheath, pyramidal jewel, attached to a sword harness and buckle with other inset stones. Some of the artefacts have been identified with the dynasty of Merovingian kings of France. A copy of the pyramidal jewel is incorporated into the mayoral chain of office for Chelmsford. The finds are housed in the British Museum. Broomfield Church has two large stones dated to the Saxon period incorporated into the building, which may be remnants from a small stone circle. There is also a local legend of a dragon pond that was nearby. Great Leighs Church also has a circular tower which reflects the time of Christian conversions when circles were the centres of ritual observances before square towers were adopted by the emerging new religion. It was largely rebuilt by Normans in the 12th century, probably the Knights Templars from nearby Cressing Preceptory whose estates included the area. The Templars favoured round towers as they were said to reflect the form of Soloman’s Temple. Earlier foundations have been dated to 970 CE.

Get t by doing our 30 minute strength and cardio workout. 30 minutes, three times a week is all it takes. No waiting for machines, just join the circuit and off you go. Your workout will be fun and y by and the all-women atmosphere will drive you along. We have great tness coaches who are there to help and support you at all times. They will help you set tness and weight loss goals and write you a personal tness program that will make you feel welcome and at ease. We also have a great range of group exercise classes that are fun and motivating ranging from Yoga, Pilates to Zumba, and legs, bums & tums.


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believed to be the body of an Essex king, probably either Saebert I (died 616) or Saebert II (died 653). Grave goods included a sword, a lyre, a gold belt buckle, copper shoe buckles and silver and iron artefacts including drinking vessels. Two gold foil crosses were placed in a way that suggested that they had covered the eyes, indicating that the king had converted to Christianity. Other Anglo-Saxon occupation is also evident in the Prittlewell and surrounding area. Road widening plans were modified and a permanent exhibition of finds elsewhere was promised.



65 Dukes Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1DW

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Meadows Shopmobility

Picture yourself. You have an accident, perhaps while in your car or on the rugby field and on your discharge from hospital you are told, “It will be 3 months before you can walk normally so no walking on that leg for at least 6 weeks”. The crutches are OK but tiring and you can’t carry bags or wheel a trolley while using them. Sitting at home is boring, you can’t even go to the library and watching TV and playing computer games can only keep you occupied for so long! This is where Meadows Shopmobility comes to the rescue by providing you with an electric scooter that will set you free! You can visit the bank for much needed cash, go to the library, have lunch with friends and still have time for shopping. Job done! As you get better you can manage with a rollater, a sort of seat with 4 wheels that you can easily push for support but that provides a seat whenever you need it. What about old Albert? He has his own scooter, one of those big ones that go on the road, but he can’t get it in the car and wants to go away with his family. Meadows Shopmobility comes to the rescue again by renting Albert a holiday hire scooter that is small and comes apart so it goes in the car boot. These mobility aids, together with standard wheelchairs and other items, can be hired for £5 per day or £25 a week but we do ask for a £50 deposit and proof of identity and address. Don’t forget poor old Freda. She needs a knee op’ and doesn’t know how she’ll manage at home afterwards. Once again Meadows Shopmobility can help with a little electric wheelchair designed for use around the home. Lastly there is Sara. Her eyesight is deteriorating fast now but even here Meadows Shopmobility can help. With a little advanced warning we can provide people trained in sighted guiding for those with visual problems. Our volunteers were trained by the Guide Dogs for the Blind and, although willing, we need notice to organise someone for you.

Do you have difficulty Are you elderly, disabled, getting around? recovering from an injury? Meadows shopmobility offers a range of scooters and wheelchairs which can help with your mobility needs. This includes longer term and holiday hire. Either as a member or non-member of our service.

We also provide Kiddicab and pushchair hire for parents of young children.

The main shopping streets in Chelmsford are all pedestrian walkways as are the undercover centres of High Chelmer and The Meadows. This means that people who cannot walk very far, either through illness or accident, are excluded from enjoying the benefits of such areas. Meadows Shopmobility was established in 2003 to lend wheelchairs, electric scooters and other walking aids to people so they too can get around the shops, banks, and other facilities in the city centre. We are located on the ground floor of The Meadows multi storey car park in the middle of the disabled parking area but we do have a service in Market Road, opposite County Hall, which is located in the Community Mobility shop. This shop is one of three that we operate to provide the much needed money to run our services. We do not have any financial help from other sources although High Chelmer and The Meadows shopping centres help us in more practical ways. Electric scooters have had a bad press lately with stories of some rather selfish users riding rough shod over other pedestrians but most users are thoughtful and considerate to others. We ensure all our hirers are able to control the equipment properly before they are allowed to use it and full insurance is in place. We have not forgotten the young ones. Push chairs, strollers and Kiddicabs are available from both our outlets for £2 a session, but we insist on seeing proof of identity and address. Our staff consist mainly of volunteers although we have a full time Manager in Jane Webb with her helpers Stuart Hannan and Geraldine Roe. Additional volunteers for both our hire office and our shops are always required so if you have a few hours to spare and would like to help, please give us a ring. Our charity is overseen by a board of trustees who are anxious to recruit suitable members. People with skills in the financial, legal and marketing fields would be particularly welcome. Our contact details are as follows: The charity number is 1155272. The main office telephone number is 01245 357097. The Community Mobility Shop number is 01245 355731. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Ring one of our friendly volunteers for more information.


Ground Floor Meadows Multi-storey Car Park Near the Odeon Cinema Telephone: 01245 357097

Of course, some people need our services on a more permanent basis and we are here for them Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm. All our services are available to our members for just £15 a year with no other charges or costs, so you can use our appliances 6 days a week if you wish. We are always happy to provide a seat and a cup of tea or coffee if you are waiting for a lift home.

Community Mobility 7 Market Road (Near the Library) Telephone: 01245 355731

Copy - 30th January Art Work - 5th February

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Stargazing With Mark Willis - February/March 2015 Venus and Mars - Together again, at last! Looking West, on 22 February at 18:40 UCT, (same as GMT), Venus and Mars will be very close together. Venus on the left and Mars on the right. This is a line of sight illusion as they are not at all close together. Mars is outside Earth’s orbit, further from the Sun than us and Venus is inside our orbit. Venus is a hot planet. Clouds permanently hide the Venusian surface which hide the fact that Venus it is over twice as hot as your oven! Despite this harsh environment, the then USSR launched their Venera 9 probe to Venus and successfully landed there 05:13 UTC on October 22, 1975. It had the honour of being the first ever probe to return pictures of the surface of another planet, Mars is a cold planet. The Americans landed Viking 1 onto Mars at 11:53 on July 20 1976 on Chryse Plantia and then Viking 2 about 200 kilometers west of Crater Mie, Utopia Plantia at 22:58 on September 3, 1976.

Temperatures between 120c. and 20c were recorded at both sites. The latest and most impressive probe landed on Mars Science Laboratory or Curiosity touched down in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC. The most compelling evidence yet is that probably 3.8 billion years ago, Mars was a temperate planet like Earth and almost certainly had running water, rivers, lakes and seas. Watch this space! Any questions please either e-mail or contact me on Twitter. Next month: an eclipse of the Sun - not total. Mark Willis presents ‘Willis Wireless’ every Monday at 7pm on Chelmsford Community Radio. Web: Twitter: @WillisWireless Email:

It’s Half Time in the Rotary Year

The Rotary year begins 1st July, so as I suck on my metaphorical half-time orange I can reflect on what has been a really enjoyable first six months of the Rotary year. There seems to be a real surge of enthusiasm in the clubs and every one of them is active in Rotary projects. Membership has risen during this period defying the trend that has beset most voluntary organisations in recent years. As a result, clubs have been enormously successful in supporting a whole raft of good causes and the figures I am receiving regarding Santa sleigh and Christmas collections are staggering. People of Essex are so generous and I thank you so very much. The vast majority of money collected over Christmas goes to local projects.

opportunity to see the talents of dancers, musicians, vocalists and others from within our community. Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on 01245 606505 priced at £10 each. All profits go to charities supported by Rotary - in 2015, The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and the long-running Rotary International Stop Polio Now Campaign. If you feel excited by the opportunities that Rotary offers and would like to become part of this wonderful organisation, visit www. or phone me for details. Happy New Year. Stan Keller 01245 260349

I have been to numerous events which, in addition to supporting these good causes, have raised awareness of what Rotary does and what it’s all about. It’s incredible how many different ways there are for raising funds. But Rotary is not all about money. There are lots of other means of putting something back into the community without asking for cash. Some of these would come under the heading of Rotary Days and plans are going ahead for the World’s Biggest Quiz on 6th June 2015 which is primarily a PR exercise and a way of getting Essex into the Guinness Book of World Records. It is being held at Southend Football Club but I hope people will come from all around Essex. It’s up to us to make it happen and I will be giving you more details in due course. I am very much looking forward to the visit to our District of RIBI President Peter King and his wife, Di. This is on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th January. We will be showing off a sample of the projects our clubs support. At our recent District Council Meeting I was delighted with the attendance on a cold winter’s evening. We had very inspiring speakers and I hope we can support the charities of our speakers. We have had both Susanne Rea on the World’s Greatest Meal which is in aid of polio and Olivia Giles who is organising the Big Meal for her charity 500 Miles. Both present inexpensive ways of giving support and we all love to eat. Look up their respective websites if you want to help. Community Showcase Of course, we have other things to look forward to and coming up shortly on the 15th February is the Community Showcase. This 2 hour event is hosted by Chelmsford Rivermead Rotary Club at the Civic Theatre Chelmsford during Rotary week. It is an acclaimed Page 30

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