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December 2019 edition 15,500 COPIES DELIVERED EVERY MONTH

A SLICE OF YORKSHIRE PIE

A traditional festive lunch

CHRISTMAS COMES TO LIFE Christmas gets covered

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Rotherham Life

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

Welcome! Welcome to the Christmas 2019 edition of

Rotherham Life magazine. ‘Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling,’ according to the saying and I couldn’t agree more. As we begin the countdown to the festivities, grab a mince pie and a cup of tea, and sit down with your magazine. You’ll find details of festive events to get you in the mood for Christmas. There’s also inspiration for decorating your tree, a festive baking recipe and a short story all about celebrations in Braithwell. While we all love Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle at this time of year. But Christmas is about much more than festive decorations and gifts under the tree — there can be so much joy in spending time with friends and family. I’m lucky to have some time off work over the festive period and intend to

David Coldrick takes a look at a traditional Yorkshire festive dish

shut out the many distractions of daily life and focus on those people around me that mean so much to me. In the season of goodwill, Bramley and Wickersley Lions (pictured above) are leading the way with donations from recent events made to both the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Children’s Air Ambulance. Keep up to date with daily news from local groups and updates about local events via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/rotherhamlife, Twitter @rotherham_life and on our website, www.rotherhamlife.com. Thank you to all our contributors and to all the businesses who continue to support our magazine. The whole team here at Rotherham Life wish you a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.

Pippa Greenwood advises creating sloping cuts for pruning perfection

Tim Saunders tries out Skoda’s rapid family runabout

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Rotherham Life

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

8

Inside this month 14

12

20

28

30

36

44 38

CONGRATULATIONS!

What’s on at Christmas..............................14

A Christmas Carol Part II............................38

Sleeping Beauty tickets winner: Marilyn Marson

Six tips for a healthy winter........................20

The Christmas cracker conundrum......42

What makes you tick?...............................28

A slice of Yorkshire Pie.................................44

First drives: Skoda Octavia vRS...............30

Regulars

Beautiful tree decorations.........................8

What’s on at The Wesley Centre............32

Community...............10, 16, 22, 26, 34 & 40

Cranberry, orange & nut loaf.................12

Pruning perfection......................................36

Local Business Directory...........................46

Features

6 December 2019


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CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

Beautiful tree decorations Katherine Sorrell on choosing the most glamorous and eye catching baubles Who doesn’t love hanging the baubles on their festive tree? Choose an array of the most glamorous and eye-catching ones around and the scene will be set for festive sparkles and joy. BEAUTIFUL BAUBLES • Tempting though it is to throw everything at the tree, an elegant, unified look is best achieved by limiting your colour palette to just a few different, but co-ordinating, shades. The rest can go back in the box for use in future years. • Hang your nicest baubles around the middle of the tree where they can be seen most easily. If you need to pad them out with cheaper or less interesting ones, hide these at the bottom or at the sides. • Larger baubles are best placed at the centre of branches, where they will add depth, and lower down on the tree. Smaller baubles can go on the ends of branches and at the top. PICTURED FROM TOP • This decorative glass bauble is also illuminated. It costs £11.99 from Lights4fun.co.uk Photograph: Oliver Perrott • Acorn made from sequins and pearls is both cute and glamorous. Acorn Bauble, £4.95, Annabel James. • You can’t get more decadent than a glass chandelier bauble, £6.99 each, Dobbies Garden Centres. 8 December 2019

While you are hanging, stand back regularly and assess how the tree as a whole is looking. The aim is to spread your baubles evenly around, from top to bottom, with a pleasing variety of shapes and sizes.

ABOVE Stick to a simple colour scheme and add variety in the form of shape, size and intriguing decoration, as demonstrated by this selection of Lene Bjerre ornaments, from The Taylor.


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COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

Ravenfield Angling Ponds

Anglers who are part of

Ravenfield Ponds Angling Club, and who fish in six ponds at the beautiful Ravenfield Park, have come up with two novel suggestions for Christmas presents for families who can’t think what to buy family or friends who are devoted anglers. One is to buy a Christmas voucher which can be exchanged for an annual membership of the club, beginning on 1st April, to fish both

at the ponds and other local waters available to members. Full details of the club and its waters can be seen at www.ravenfieldponds. co.uk with membership fees at www. ravenfieldponds.co.uk/membership. A second is to purchase a copy of the book ‘The history of Ravenfield Ponds…and the anglers that fished there’, which details the history of the ponds from as far back at the 18th century and gives details of

how, over the last 40 years, the club have worked hard to repair the years of neglect to return the park to its former glory, repairing and extending the fishery to what it is today, in doing so. The book is priced £10.00. Copies of the book and vouchers can be obtained from Phoenix Sports and Recreation, Bawtry Road, Brinsworth. Call 01709 363788 or email sinead.gallagher.phoenix@ gmail.com for further details. The book can also be obtained from the author on 07871 641357.

Maltby Miners Wickersley CI Welfare Band Bowling Club

Maltby Miners Welfare Band will be presenting their annual Christmas Concert at Rotherham Civic Theatre on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th December starting at 7.30pm. It promises to be a good evening of entertainment with a mix of festive music and carols and compered by the ever-popular Mark Taylor. Tickets are available from Rotherham Civic Box Office on 01709 823621 or online from the theatre’s website.

Wickersley Methodist Church

You are invited to Wickersley

Methodist Church’s December coffee morning on Friday 20th December from 10.00am to 12.00pm. They will be serving seasonal refreshments, as well as coffee and carols. There will also be a raffle and all proceeds go to Help the Aged. Everyone is welcome. Wickersley Methodist Church also has the following happening in December: • 1st December, 10.30am — Cafe Style Toy Service • 6th December, 6.30pm — Just4You Youth Service • 22nd December, 10.30am — Family Nativity Service • 22nd December, 4.00pm — Carol Service • 24th December, 4.00pm — Christmas Eve Communion • 25th December, 10.00am — Christmas Morning Service

10 December 2019

Wickersley CI Bowling Club's

Annual Presentation Dinner was held at the Sitwell Park Golf Club on 8th November. The event was well attended and many members received awards for their success during the year. The success reflected on the performance of the teams and the

standard of the coaching. Ken and Brenda Duty presented these awards. A variety of entertainment followed and completed an enjoyable evening. The club sends its Christmas greetings to all readers.

Can you give a gift this Christmas? Can you give a gift this Christmas, which will be delivered to the children’s ward at Rotherham Hospital for children who have to spend Christmas in hospital? They appeal has been organised by Keep a Beat South West Yorkshire and they ask for donations of new presents for children of all ages up to 17 years with a minimum value of £5.00. You can give one gift or as many as you like. They ask you to wrap the present, label it in pencil with age and a description and drop off to a local drop off point before 20th December so they can be delivered during Christmas week. Please ensure presents have the

Tickhill Film Society Tickhill Film Society will be showing feature-length films in Tickhill Parish Room on the third Wednesday of the month, with doors opening at 6.30pm and films starting at 7.00pm. They will be showing the musical sequel ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ with Emily Blunt, on

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CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

Cranberry, orange & nut loaf This simple cake makes a

delicious alternative to a classic rich fruit Christmas cake. It will keep un-iced in an airtight container for a few days. Add the icing and fresh cranberry topping on the day of serving. INGREDIENTS • 175g unsalted butter, softened • 175g golden caster sugar • 225g self-raising flour • 2 tsp ground mixed spice TASTY TOP TIP Instead of the fresh cranberries you could scatter over more festive-themed sugar sprinkles and add a dusting of edible gold spray for a really sparkly finish.

12 December 2019

• ½tsp baking powder • 3 large eggs • 75g sweetened dried cranberries • 50g walnuts, chopped • 50g hazelnuts, chopped • Zest of 1 orange • 1tbsp orange juice For the frosting • Half of a 400g tub readymade royal icing • 2 tsp snowflake sugar sprinkles • 75g fresh cranberries • Fresh mint sprigs, to decorate (optional) METHOD • Preheat the oven to 170°c, 150°c fan, gas mark 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and up two long sides of the tin with baking parchment. • Place the butter, sugar, flour,

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Rotherham Life Magazine 13


CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

What’s on this Christmas

CLIFTON PARK Clifton Lane, Rotherham S65 2AA 01709 336633

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WENTWORTH WOODHOUSE Wentworth, S62 7TQ www.wentworthwoodhouse.org.uk

ROTHERHAM CENTRAL LIBRARY Rotherham S60 1AE 01709 336774 www.rotherham.gov.uk/libraries FATHER CHRISTMAS AT RIVERSIDE Tuesday 10th November, 4.00pm to 5.00pm and Thursday 12th December 4.30pm to 5.30pm Meet Father Christmas in the library at Riverside for stories, activities

FESTIVE CINEMA — ELF Sunday 15th December, 2.00pm and Saturday 21st December, 2.00pm Snuggling up and watching a festive film is part of what makes Christmas so special. Enjoy the cult favourite Elf (PG), presented by WE Great Place on a 12-foot screen in the stunning state rooms at Wentworth Woodhouse. Hot chocolate, popcorn and other treats will be available to purchase on the day. Adults £12.00, children £6.00

ROTHERHAM CIVIC THEATRE 26 High Street, Rotherham S60 1PP 01709 823621 www.rotherhamtheatres.co.uk SLEEPING BEAUTY Friday 29th November to Sunday 5th January See the enchanting pantomime Sleeping Beauty at Rotherham Civic Theatres. When the wicked fairy Carabosse’s evil curse causes the princess to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into an enchanted sleep can anyone rescue her from the magical slumber before it is too late? Rotherham’s pantomime will have all the ingredients for a perfect festive panto. From £14.50 adults, £12.50 concessions and £50.00 family ticket

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Rotherham Life Magazine 15


COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

Rotherham Choral Society The Rotherham Choral Society will be presenting their Carol Service on Saturday 21st December at 7.30pm. There will be new music to hear plus the usual carols for the audience to join in with. The Dronfield Handbell Ringers will be the guests. They have been with the society on other occasions and are very popular with both the choir and the audience. The venue is Herringthorpe United Reformed Church and the tickets are £7.00 (£6.00 and £2.00 concessions). The Musical Director is Rachel Copley and the accompanist is Joy Blaker. Don't forget, some choir members will be singing at the Woodman pub on the Woodlaithes Estate on Friday 29th November. Les Francophiles de Tickhill Les Francophiles de Tickhill’s Christmas Party is on 4th December, when members celebrate Christmas with a French flavour. The first meeting of 2020 is on Wednesday 8th January (a week later than usual) when Marie Pierre Brown will be talking about the changing world of art in Paris with a talk entitled ‘La Belle Époque and Colette’. The group meet in the Parish Room, Tickhill, at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of the month. The annual subscription is £17.50. Non-members are charged at £4.00 per meeting but this is refundable if you decide to join. For more information call Jan Murray on 01302 611415. Wickersley WI have a busy month ahead of them. They have just had a fascinating talk on New Zealand which gave them a good insight into the beautiful country and stunning scenery. They also ran a tombola stall at the Wickersley Light Switch On on 23rd November. St Winifrid's Church, School

Lane, Stainton S66 7QX invite you to the following services over the Christmas period: 16 December 2019

We all have memories…

We welcomed several newcomers to Tickhill Music Society's piano recital by the Lithuanian, Ugnius Pauliukonis — and what a treat we were all in for! Performing since being six years young, he filmed this performance as part of working towards his International Artist Diploma. A lengthy pause before he started the first piece, well-articulated Haydn, heightened expectations. Before continuing with the more romantic repertoire of Chopin, Debussy and Dvarionas, he informed us of his theme for the first half: water. As if we hadn't seen enough of the wet stuff lately! The Haydn coda was based on water; Chopin's Etude is known as ‘waterfall’ (descending chords of the right hand over the river's arpeggios of the left); Debussy's Reflections in the Water (ending on both banks at the furthest stretches of the keyboard); the Lithuanian composer's The First Snowflakes perhaps stretching the point a little but worthy for the sheer virtuosity required. So, were we looking forward to the second half? Well, it was all Chopin — but proved to be delightfully varied. Ugnius introduced us to the dance motif, starting with a Ballade of gentle lilt — though with great dynamics to come. Ugnius explained that while Mazurkas are Polish folk dances, they are really leaves from Chopin's past and, as he

Wickersley WI Their last meeting of the year is on Wednesday 4th December, where members will be entertained by the musical duo Shore to Shore and possibly take part in some karaoke. Then on Wednesday 11th December

St Winifrid’s Church services • 22nd December, 2.00pm — Carol Service (no service at 9.15am) • 24th December, 3.00pm — Family

claimed, "all we have are memories". Four Mazurkas followed with a real spring in their steps. Introducing the Etudes, Ugnius kindly explained that no.5 was nicknamed ‘wrong note’ so we were prepared, this time the left hand taking the melody and the right expansive arpeggios, reversing ‘waterfall’. He invited us to try the octaves in both hands demanded by no.10! We are not all blessed with Rachmaninov's hands, unlike this remarkable pianist. Finally the Scherzo, “like a summary of the second half” and an apt conclusion to this exceptional recital as Ugnius gazed towards the heavens, transporting us all to a place where indeed memories are made. Review by Philip James UPCOMING CONCERT Tickhill Music Society’s next concert will be on Friday 13th December at 7.00pm at St Mary's Primary School, St Mary's Road, Tickhill. 'Change for two Tenors' is with local singers Barrie Scully and Alan Cropley who present a programme of folk songs, sea shanties, songs from the shows and, of course, music with Christmas in mind. Join the society for wine, mince pies and their seasonal raffle. Subscriptions for seven concerts costs £60.00, concessions £55.00 (pro rata dependent upon joining date) and subscriptions for any four concerts is £40.00. Alternatively, non-member admission is £12.00 for each event at the door. Accompanied children (under 16) and students (aged 16 to 19) are admitted free of charge. they will be having their Christmas meal at the Sitwell Golf Club. The WI will re-open its doors on 15th January. If anyone is looking to join the group they can add their name to the waiting list and the list will be reviewed in the new year. Email secretarywickersleywi@ yahoo.com to do this. Service and Holy Communion (no service at 10.15pm) • 29th December, 9.15am — Matins and Sermon.


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Find us on Facebook Rotherham Life Magazine 17


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HEALTH

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

Six tips for a healthy winter The shorter, darker, colder, wetter days of winter can leave even the fittest and chirpiest people feeling run-down. To feel better through the winter: 1. REDUCE INFECTION RISK While being cold cannot give you a cold or the flu (only viruses can do that), it can stress your body and lower your immunity. Practise good hygiene and take antibacterial hand gel out with you. If you’re recommended to have a flu vaccine or are eligible for a free one, get it early, before flu season starts. Rest assured it can’t give you flu, as it contains no live viruses. People who get flu after vaccination may have a rarer flu strain not covered by the vaccine or a strain contracted before it became fully active. 2. KEEP EXERCISING Exercise can warm you up, boost your immune system and release endorphins that make you feel good. If you’re exercising outdoors, bundle up, avoid exercising when it’s icy and wear bright, reflective clothes if it’s dark. Consider indoor alternatives: swimming, indoor climbing, exercise classes, short-term gym passes, exercise DVDs or buying your own exercise bike or weights. Check out www.nhs.uk/live-well/ exercise and click on ‘fitness guides’ 20 December 2019

Alison Runham on staying healthy through the winter months for free ten-minute workouts, or www. nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitnessstudio for online exercise videos, including yoga, Pilates, strength exercises, aerobic workouts and more. 3. GET ENOUGH DAYLIGHT, FRESH AIR AND VITAMIN D Your body uses sunlight to regulate your body clock and create vitamin D, essential for strong teeth, muscles and bones, so don’t hibernate! However, in the UK, there’s not enough sunlight between October and early March to make sufficient vitamin D, nor can you get enough by eating vitamin D-rich foods, so the NHS recommends a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement. 4. STAY WARM When the temperature drops below 8°C, those who are over 65, disabled or pregnant, or have children under school age, or have a mental or long-term health condition are more vulnerable to illness. Low temperatures increase vulnerability to heart attacks, stroke, flu, pneumonia,

hypothermia, falls and injuries, and can worsen depression, dementia and Raynaud’s Disease (which interrupts blood supply to the extremities, causing pain, numbness, stiffness or tingling, most commonly in the fingers). Keep your home heated to at least 18°C and use hot water bottles, heat packs or electric blankets if necessary. Try a hot bath before bed, and have hot meals and drinks. Pre-warm clothes on radiators or in your airing cupboard. When outdoors, wear warm gloves and a hat, and use hand dryers for a warmth top-up while you’re out. 5. EAT HEALTHY COMFORT FOOD Choose healthy comfort foods like stews and soups (but watch your fat and salt intake and include plenty of vegetables). Homemade soups are easily made with a simple blender, and cooked fruit with lowfat custard makes a great winter pudding. Visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/eat-well and click on recipes to find healthy, warming dishes. 6. FINALLY… LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Stay active, warm and sociable: exercise, time spent outdoors and the company of others can all help stave off winter blues. However, if you think you may have fullblown SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), see your GP for help.


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COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

Harworth Christie Organ Enthusiasts Do you like dancing or just

listening to organ music? Then join Harworth Christie Organ Enthusiasts on the fourth weekend of every month for a dance on Saturday night and then an organ concert on Sunday. Saturday dancing is from 7.30pm to 11.00pm for £5.00 (licensed bar). The magical talents of group member and ex-Mansfield Cinema organist Alan Wilson will be on show at the Christmas concert on Sunday 15th December at 2.30pm. Everyone is invited to what promises to be a very special event. Entry is £6.00 for members and senior citizens and for any non-member it is £7.00. Children under 12 gain free entry with an accompanying adult. Pay on the door, no tickets are needed. The dance and concert will be at Harworth Miners Welfare Hall, Whitehouse Road, Bircotes DN11 8EF and free secure parking is available at the rear of the hall. There are also disabled facilities available within the hall. For further information, please visit www.harworthchristie.org. uk, contact Dave Fleetwood on 07985 580558 or 01302 611838.

Bramley & Wickersley Lions SOUTH YORKSHIRE LIONS GIVE CHILDREN’S AIR AMBULANCE A LIFT Lions clubs in the South Yorkshire region joined together to celebrate 40 years of the South Yorkshire Police Brass Band, with a concert in Doncaster Minster. The recently crowned national champions, Second Section, were conducted by their musical director, Leigh Baker. Also appearing was guest solo percussionist, Simone Rebello, who gave an enthralling display of skill on the xylophone and vibraphone. After the intermission, and distribution of Union flags, the second half of the concert took on a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ feel with some traditional rousing songs. The patriotic mood was enhanced with furious flag waving from the audience and a desperate attempt to keep clapping in time with the band. The finale included the skirl of a lone bagpiper filling the minster with a real spine-tingling moment. The Lions clubs of South Yorkshire had come together to put on the concert for the benefit of a charity that operates throughout the region. The Children’s Air Ambulance began in 2012 and operates two state-ofthe-art helicopters that can provide specialist and intensive care in the air for critically ill babies and children. Everyone gave their time for

free, and nearly £10,000 was raised for this worthy cause. DRY LAND REGATTA SUCCESS The Yorkshire Air Ambulance has had a great lift thanks to the efforts of the community in Bramley, following the Dry Land Regatta. The everpopular, free event raised £3,000 for this worthy cause and organisers agreed that this year the Yorkshire Air Ambulance would be supported. Following the donation, some of the people involved with organising the event were invited to visit the Air Ambulance and see some of the realistic training aids they use. President of the Bramley and Wickersley Lions Club, who coordinated the event, Susan Drayson said: “Supporting this charity is important to local people and is at the heart of what we do as Lions. Putting on the free event for the community and helping others is central to what Lions are all about. Anyone can be a Lion, we are always looking at other ways to support our community and would like people to suggest ways we can help.” The club meets on the first and third Wednesday of the month in Bramley Social Club at 7.30pm. More details can be found at www. bwlions.org.uk or on Facebook.

Braithwell Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association Members of Braithwell Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association (YCA) enjoyed a delicious Harvest Supper supplied by Lily’s of Hellaby, along with a seasonal quiz and some quirky competition entries for a best dressed fruit or vegetable. The annual Autumn Meeting was held at the prestigious Queen Margaret School near York. Members were entertained to a humorous performance by Bad Apple Theatre Company and a most enlightening

Everyone is invited to the

Crossroads Care Christmas Fair at Unit H The Point, Bradmarsh, Rotherham S60 1BP on Friday 13th December

22 December 2019

talk by guest speaker Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to The Queen. A cheque for an amazing £15,500 was presented to the YCA charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, from monies raised by various branch events throughout the year.

meeting at The Ruddle Centre with sherry, mince pies and a magic show

DECEMBER OUTINGS/EVENTS • 6th December — shopping and Christmas carol service at St Michael Le Belfry, York • 10th December — Christmas

Members of Braithwell YCA would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy and peaceful 2020. For further information please contact Pamela at pammyjill@ me.com, call 07585 663434 or visit their Facebook page, ‘Yorkshire Countrywomen Braithwell Branch’. Visitors and new members are warmly welcomed.

from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. There will be numerous stalls including cakes, bric-a-brac, bottle stall, Christmas gifts

for sale, live music and an appearance from Father Christmas too. For further information, please call 01709 360272.

Crossroads Care Christmas Fair


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Rotherham Life Magazine 23


WALKER&CO. Solicitors

Walker & Co is a long established law firm based in Maltby near Rotherham on the main street. We have been serving the local community for over 30 years. Let us explain who we are. We are extremely lucky to have four directors who make up the core management team at Walker & Co Solicitors. For those of you who don’t already know, Andrew Walker is our founder and senior director who specialises in crime, probate and all types on litigation. Andrew is currently approaching his 40th anniversary as a practising solicitor which is a wonderful milestone.

Catherine Burns - director specialises in family law which can be anything from a divorce, domestic violence or even childcare matters and much, more. Ian Clay - director has specialisms, in employment law, landlord tenant and company law. Paul Dalowsky is our conveyancing director, and deals in residential & commercial property. The management team are wonderfully supported by a host of other legal professionals all specialising in their own niche area. We pride ourselves on giving the very best in standards with a very friendly yet professional approach. We are approachable and explain matters in a way that is down to earth and non jargon in style.

WELCOMING NICOLA TO THE TEAM Walker & Co welcome Nicola Smith to the team. Nicola joins us with a wealth of experience in personal injury spanning 23 years. She will concentrate her efforts on providing a first class personal service to new and existing clients suffering any kind of personal injury. She will also be tasked with a PI department to help us bring these additional services to the community.

• Medical negligence • Accidents in a public place • Accidents at work • Industrial disease • Untraced driver claims • Criminal Injuries • Accidents on compensation • Road traffic accidents private premises There are many strings to Nicola’s bow and the above list is not exhaustive. She is well known for taking on claims that are a little harder, a bit more complicated, and more to the point, claims that other firms turn away. Her approach to helping clients no matter what their circumstances is refreshing to say the least. Nicola is a published lawyer writing for many legal publications. She has managed law firms and built departments across south, west and north Yorkshire, but being a Rotherham girl herself she joins us now to put down roots for the remainder of her career.

Nicola will be hosting drop-in advice clinics and regular events to raise our profile on the high street so like and follow our Facebook page to stay up to date. If you have a personal injury enquiry please do not hesitate to email Nicola directly at nicolasmith@ walkersolicitors.co.uk. Our other areas of practice include wills, probate, power of attorney and court of protection, commercial, family law, housing property, criminal law, employment, conveyancing, landlord & tenant. The Walker & Co team invite you to check out our client reviews on our website www.walkersolicitors.co.uk or visit our Facebook page to stay up to date with news and changes in law. If you or anyone you know have been affected by a legal issue of any kind, please do give us a call on 01709 817112 to see how we may help you.

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24 December 2019


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Rotherham Life Magazine 25


COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

Friends in Harmony

Refurbished Parkgate Astro facility

Friends in Harmony are

Rotherham United Community

St Simon and St Jude —

Thurcroft Parish Church

performing two Christmas concerts this month — on Friday 6th December at 7.00pm in Clifton Methodist Church, Lister Street, Rotherham (tickets cost £6.00) and on Saturday 14th December at 7.00pm in St Bartholomew’s Church, Church Lane, Maltby (tickets cost £7.00). The choir will also be entertaining members of WING and members of Forget-Me-Not Memory Café at their Christmas parties. On Tuesday 17th December the choir and the children from Badsley Primary School (where the choir rehearse) will be giving a concert for parents and friends. During November choir members have donated food and toiletries to the Food for the People in Crisis Partnership Christmas Appeal. The donations will be added to other donations collected across Rotherham and taken to Fareshare Yorkshire where they will be sorted and distributed across the Food for People in Crisis Partnership in time for Christmas.

Thurcroft Parish Church will be holding their Christmas Fair at the Gordon Bennett Hall on Green Arbour Road on Friday 6th December from 2.30pm. Go along and meet Father Christmas and look around the stalls of cakes, crafts, raffle, tombolas, toys and more. Refreshments will be available and

Children love to draw. From an

early age, they will pick up a pencil or crayon and scribble. As they grow older, unintelligible scribbles gain form and are greatly admired by ‘grown ups’. Children’s art is proudly displayed on classroom walls, on fridges and around kitchens. But as they grow older, many children find that the pure pleasure of drawing falls away. Fuelled by a mixture of frustration if what’s on the paper doesn’t reflect what’s seen, and the critical, sometimes sarcastic responses of classmates and teachers, confidence wanes. Many adults say they would love to be able

26 December 2019

Sports Trust are pleased to announce that they have taken over the Parkgate Astro facility. A facility that they use extensively to deliver sessions to the community of Rotherham, currently they run projects such as MAN V FAT and walking football and local football teams are able to book out the facility for their evening training sessions during the winter months. Not only did they take over the facility, the trust has given the facility a much-needed upgrade, with new exterior painting and signs, new LED floodlights, brand new goals, café and games room fitted with dart boards and a pool table. These upgrades show the trust’s commitment to providing quality sporting facilities and sessions to the Rotherham community. Jamie Noble, the head of RUCST said: “It is a great step forward for us to have our own facility that staff and participants can call their own and grow alongside the trust. In just three years we have moved into the New York Stadium, built classrooms

the Christmas lights in Thurcroft will be switched on at about 5.30pm. Christmas Services at Thurcroft Parish Church are: • 19th December, 7.00pm — Carol Service • 22nd December, 10.45am —

Rotherham U3A to draw in that same carefree way as they did as children, but describe themselves as “no good at art”. Drawing and painting are put aside. There are many reasons why older adults return to art. Winston Churchill began painting in response to a bout of severe depression during his forties. Some come to it for the first time following an accident or disabling illness such as a stroke; others because they have always wanted to draw and paint, but never had the time or opportunity.

and expanded our education offer and now we have managed to open an outdoor facility which will help us expand both our football offer as well as many other inclusion and health activities. Thank you to the support of the Football Foundation, as well as many local businesses, who have not only helped swiftly with the requests but have given up their time to support many behind the scenes upgrades that have been necessary to operate from a high quality facility in the heart of the community.” Rotherham United Community Sports Trust would like to thank all companies that have helped with the upgrades to the facility. Without their help this project wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it has and the facility wouldn’t have been upgraded to the quality as it has. If you would like information on any sessions the trust run at the Parkgate Astro facility or any information about how you are able to use the facility for your team’s football training email rcanadine@rotherhamunited. net or call 01709 827767. Christmas Family Service • Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24th December, 6.00pm — Christingle Service • Christmas Day, Wednesday 25th December, 10.45am — Christmas Day Eucharist. Everyone is welcome at all of these services. Would-be artists are invited to join one of Rotherham U3A’s three lively and friendly art groups, whose main aims are enjoyment of the activity and improvement of artistic abilities. As in all U3A groups, those with more experience and ability willingly help and encourage others who may never have painted before, or who haven’t tried drawing or painting since schooldays. Churchill said: “Beginning with audacity is a very great part of the art of painting.” Be audacious. Rediscover the joy of drawing and painting. Contact Brian James for more details on 01709 730421.


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Our Christmas Schedule

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Dis 14th Dec - from 2pm Kids Xmas Party featuring. Georg co Special Guest Santa & Santae 20th Dec - “Mad Friday” - Live Duo Act Small Town Sounds!

Plus our amazing Mad Friday Happy Hour! 21st Dec - Live Vocalist Lewis Robinson 22nd Dec - Christmas Disco from 7pm Xmas Eve - Open until Late Xmas Day - Opening hours 11am - 1pm Boxing Day - Xmas Hangover Disco 7pm until late! 28th Dec - Northern Soul & Motown with DJ Snowy from 8pm

New Years Eve - Open 6pm until the early hours!

Family friendly tap room (must be in before 8pm) with buffet plus Disco & Balloon drop in the Lounge with prizes to be won from 8pm. Admittance only until 11pm! New Years Day - All the football on BT Plus

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Rotherham Life Magazine 27


MOTORING

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

What makes you tick? I have always been intrigued

by people’s choice of car. Why drive a Renault? Why run a sports-car? Why in red or silver? Actor and funny-man Stephen Fry owned a black London taxi. He said it was convenient for abouttown driving, with its turn-on-a sixpence capability and room for five and all their luggage in the back. But is that his whole reason? Personally, I’m not sure if the convenience of such a runabout is outweighed by the inconvenience

28 December 2019

of tourists constantly flagging you down but hey, each to their own. 4x4s, SUVs, ‘Chelsea Tractors’? Come on owners. What made you brave the environmentalist death threats and buy one? Please don’t answer, “I had the safety of my children/grandchildren in mind”. If you’ve read the reports on what a 4-wheel

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MOTORING

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

First Drives: Skoda Octavia vRS

Tim Saunders tries out Skoda’s rapid family runabout “It’s got the same electric seat as

the Volkswagen van,” observes my son Henry (three) on assessing the Skoda Octavia VRS Challenge. He’s a clever lad. Previously, we had tested a VW Caravelle Executive and he’s quite right about the driver’s seat. Economies of scale dictate that the Volkswagen Group, which owns 12 manufacturers including Skoda, Bentley and Seat, will use the same or similar parts and features across its range; a sensible idea. Excellent quality is something that we have become used to from the Volkswagen family and this Skoda is another shining example (quite literally from that gorgeous velvet red metallic paintwork). I think the beautifully crafted black alloy wheels complement this souped-up saloon, making it really quite eye-catching. “They look out of place on this car,” says my artist wife, Caroline, who, it is fair to say, knows more about design than I do. “The shape of the car is quite bland yet the wheels look as if they should be on a totally different vehicle.” Whatever her thoughts, a Jaguar XF parks next to the Skoda and the driver

30 December 2019

Images © Manufacturer

cannot take his eyes off the Octavia. It’s The Skoda Octavia has won legions of the last fans including the British traffic police, day of who can often be seen in them pulling term speeding motorists over by the roadside. for my daughters Harriett (eight) The driving position is, as I would and Heidi (six) and it makes a nice expect; excellent and all my family agrees surprise for them to be collected from that it provides a very comfortable school in this cool, flash Skoda. environment. There’s adequate room in The Skoda comes loaded with the rear for three passengers. But despite luxuries including heated front seats, its size it’s a real struggle strapping in cruise control, aluminium pedals, black my three children in their car seats. exhaust tailpipes with sports sound and Dare I say it; it’s easier in my geriatric there’s even an umbrella under the front and considerably tinier Ford Fiesta. passenger seat. At night there’s some On the Skoda a push button ignition fun blue lighting on the door inserts. replaces the traditional key on the While there is no reversing camera, steering column. It is quick, especially the Octavia does beep when getting when sports mode is engaged too close to by pushing the VRS button; obstacles, which 0 to 60mph in 6.6secs can be helpful, THE BIG NUMBERS and a 155mph top speed. if a bit irritating. Price.................... £30,770 Put your foot to the floor in This sizeable Engine ....................2.0 TSI second gear and it will reach sports saloon Power....................245bhp 70mph as quickly as you 0 to 60mph .........8.4secs is a top class can say ‘Jack Robinson’. Economy ............... 36mpg driver’s car What a delight. I enjoy using but the overall the decisive six speed Watch the video at experience could manual gearbox and there’s www.testdrives.biz still be enhanced a traditional handbrake. further, I feel.


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Go on, give me a call, you’ve nothing to lose but your scratches Rotherham Life Magazine 31


LEISURE

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

What’s on at The Wesley Centre

The Wesley Centre is a thriving

small business and facilities centre. The two adjoining buildings house an events hall, conference room and various sized rentable business offices. Plus, onsite parking is available. The business centre holds fully furnished offices, ready to move into.

While the facilities centre is available to host a multitude of occasions which could include weddings, christenings, funerals, birthdays, training events and various sized musical/theatrical experiences. For community groups this is an ideal local venue, as discounts are on offer for event block bookings. Looking for a professional business address, then the centre offers a virtual office package, just call for more details. The Wesley Centre is “one of Maltby’s hidden gems”. Call in and ask for a tour, so you can view the facilities up close. For further details call 01709 811118 or email reception@ maltbycdt.org.uk.

Maltby Minors Musical and Drama Group Every Monday, 6.00pm – 8.00pm Zumba, £4.00 per session Every Tuesday, 9.30am – 10.15am Maltby Music and Theatre Group Every Tuesday and Thursday, 7.30pm to 9.30pm Zion Craft Club Wednesday 11th December 1.00pm – 2.30pm — all welcome Tai Chi £6.00, every Friday, 10.00am to 11.00am — all welcome Free refreshments Zion Church Services Every Sunday, 10.30am to 12.30pm — all welcome

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32 December 2019

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Rotherham Life Magazine 33


COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

St Francis Church Twas the night before stall day … St Francis Church Bramley would like to welcome everyone to join them for some very special services during December:

• 1st December, 4.00pm — Christingle Service • 15th December, 10.45am — All Age Worship • 22nd December, 4.00pm — Carol Service • 23rd December, 11.00pm — Christmas Eve Midnight Communion • 24th December, 10.00am — Christmas Day Family Service • 29th December, 10.00am — Holy Communion

Wreath making Go along to Stainton Village Hall

on Sunday 8th December from 2.00pm and create a wreath to adorn your door over the festive period. Tickets are priced at £25.00 and are available from Sue Barratt on 07941 543501, in advance only. Last year’s event was fully subscribed and proved a very popular and enjoyable experience. Guidance, refreshments and all essential materials will be provided.

Friday Memory Café

The Forget Me Not Friday Memory Café at Wickersley Methodist Church welcomes anyone from Wickersley and the surrounding area who is living with dementia, and their carers, to join them for music, table games, crafts and much more. The café meets on the second Friday of each month at Wickersley Methodist Church, Bawtry Road S66 1JJ, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Here are the upcoming dates: • 13th December — Carol service and Christmas party with Friends in Harmony. Also there may be a surprise visitor • 10th January — Andy Greaves is back to entertain • 14th February — Valentine’s Day For more information please email forgetmenotmemorycafe@gmail.com. 34 December 2019

T’was the day before stall day

When all through the office, Nothing was stirring, not even the coffee The bags were stacked by the door with care With hopes that the Be Cancer SAFE Team would soon be there The Team were all nestled all snug by their desks While visions of pens, lanyards and posters danced in their heads When out on Coke Hill there arose such a clatter I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter Away to the window I flew in a flash There was our driver all lively and quick I knew in a moment that it was Ian More rapid than eagles his colleagues they came As he whistled and shouted and called them by name Now Tracy and Tracy, On Kerry and Jo

Lets dash away, dash away, dash away all He spoke not a word And went straight to his work, driving them all To work on their stall

The Be Cancer SAFE Team are working across Rotherham to raise awareness to Rotherham residents about the importance of taking up their cancer screening appointments for cervical cancer and breast cancer and to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer, prostrate cancer and lung cancer. The team do this by having stalls in GP surgeries and their surrounding areas to give out information about cancer screening. If you see them out and about please stop by their stall and say hello and take some information to share with your family and friends.

What’s on at Tickhill Parish Room The preparations for Christmas have to be well under way by the middle of November. Retailers have been ‘selling’ Christmas for ages already. Tickhill Parish Room starts Christmas with the Tickhill Late Night Shopping event on Thursday 28th November. Traditionally the lights are switched on that night and the room will be decorated and prepared for customers from 5.00pm. Hopefully, the weather is kind to us and a good start will be made to the Christmas season. The regular groups will meet as usual during the lead up to Christmas and are as follows: Monday • Ukulele for everyone, however talented you are, from 7.00pm Tuesday • Spanishtastic for Kids, 1.00pm, 5.00pm, 5.50pm • Yoga, from 7.15pm Wednesday • First of the month — WI, from 2.00pm • First of the month — Les Francophiles de Tickhill, from 7.30pm • Third of the month — Tickhill Film Society, from 7.00pm. £6.00 for guests, £45.00 membership

• Every week (term time) — Sounds Phonics, from 10.30am to 11.30am Saturday • Coffee morning from 10.00am to 12.00pm — go along and meet your friends and catch up over a delicious cafetiere of coffee and a toasted teacake. Funds from this event go towards the running costs of the Parish Room. On 7th December Cat Sidhu is running another Goddess Healing Circle. These are monthly events which will help awakenheal-transformation. Also on selected dates in 2020 there will be Sacred Womb Temples and courses in Munay-Ki and Reiki Healing from beginners to Master Teachers. Sessions need to be booked in advance as places are limited. Visit www. oraclesoulgoddess.com for details. There are several new opportunities to book/hire the Parish Room for your own event/party/celebration. They still have Christmas Day available to book for your special family event. Everything is available in the well-equipped kitchen so you don’t have to squeeze everyone into your own home — plenty of room to spread out! Call Janice Birkinshaw on 07840 419763 to find out more.


Rotherham Life Magazine 35


GARDENS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

Pruning Perfection Winter is perfect for pruning

and cutting back woody plants (except if it is really icy or frosty), so get stuck in now that deciduous trees, shrubs, hedges and climbers are bare of leaves. Remember that for pruning to really benefit the plant, you need the right tools. For a small expanse of hedge or a shrub that needs reshaping, a good, sharp pair of well-oiled shears should do the job. When cutting along a hedge top, a guide line — such as a taut string — will help you get a neat, level surface. For larger hedges a powered hedge cutter or hedge trimmer is preferable. Use ‘loppers’ for removal of stems at various heights and of varying thicknesses. These are available with various handle lengths (some have telescopic handles), so that you can reach higher. For relatively thick stems they are better than shears or secateurs and allow, for accurate cutting. Wear goggles, and ideally protective headgear if you have to cut back branches above your head. Everybody needs a pair of goodquality sharp secateurs for pruning smaller woody stems. Always cut to an outward-facing bud (so that the new growth produced from that bud grows outwards). Secateurs are good for removing dead and dying stems, for formative pruning (to ensure the plant grows in the right direction), and

36 December 2019

Pippa Greenwood advises creating sloping cuts whenever you can so that rain and moisture runs off for pruning to encourage flowering. A proper pruning saw is necessary for pruning out or tidying up larger branches on trees and shrubs and is perfect for fruit trees. Use a sawing action for best results and make the pruning cut a few millimetres or so away from the main stem from which the branch you are removing is joined. A cut like this will heal quicker and is less prone to fungal rotting. MORE PRUNING TIPS Always check the best pruning time for your plants — most hedges and many shrubs can be cut back now, but

you may impact the flowering potential of others. Some trees, mainly those in the Prunus family — such as edible and ornamental cherries, plums, apricots, damsons, peaches and nectarines — are prone to the potentially fatal fungal ‘silver leaf’ infection, and should be pruned in the summer months. Pruning tools must be really sharp blunt tools mean more effort and the risk of damage to the plant. Create sloping cuts with secateurs, loppers and saws to prevent moisture accumulating (wetness encourages wood rotting), and cut close to, but not on top of, a bud to allow new growth without dieback. Stand back from time to time when pruning, to let you see how you are affecting the overall shape of the plant.


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Rotherham Life Magazine 37


CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

A short story by Peter A Dunstan

A Christmas Carol Part II David coupled his tractor to the

decorated float. The Braithwell Church Choir had done an excellent job of decorating the trailer which belonged to David Hawksworth, a local farmer. They had used bales of hay as seating for the choir and musicians, and had created a Nativity scene at the rear of the float. David had decided to help raise funds for the church after the Reverend Tony Drinkwater appealed for funds for urgent repairs to the leaking church roof. It was the week before Christmas as David drove the float along the streets of Braithwell. Money was collected by volunteers walking alongside the float, as the choir sang traditional carols accompanied by the musicians. After a successful night David reversed the float into the barn, leaving it ready for the following night. At 6.00pm that following evening David arrived at the care home on the outskirts of Braithwell. After being pre-warned of the intended visit, the dining hall had been prepared to accommodate the choir and audience. Peter Bailey, a retired minister and now a resident at the home, thanked the choir for a most enjoyable evening and not being one to miss an opportunity for a sermon, brought the evening to a

38 December 2019

close with a Christmas message. He produced a lump of coal and a container full of coins which he presented to the Reverend Tony Drinkwater, explaining to the audience what each of them represented. He explained that Frankincense was offering the truth in our minds to Jesus, that Myrrh was offering our hands to Jesus, and that Gold was offering love in our hearts to Jesus. Peter went on to say that Frankincense and Myrrh was used for perfume, incense and medicine, and was derived from trees just the same as the lump of coal, and that the container of coins was symbolic of the monetary value of the Gold, and had been raised/collected by the residents and staff of the home, for the church appeal. The Reverend handed the lump of coal and the coins to David who placed them next to the crib on the float before driving back to the barn. DAY THREE The Reverend suggested a visit to Major Tom Huntingham Smith at the Manor House close to the village of Micklebring. This did not go down well with the choir and musicians, as the Major kept himself very much to himself

and isolated from the village, and village life. They agreed to go after the Reverend suggested the visit may benefit not only the church, but integrate the Major into village life. David drove the float close to the large and imposing wooden front door. The choir sang their opening song, Away In A Manger, but they were soon interrupted when the Major flung the door open and told them to “clear off, I’ve had enough of carol singers this week”. The Reverend paused a moment and explained to the Major Tom the reason for the visit: “These people you see here have not only given their time to decorating this float, but have also turned out on this cold night, carol singing, all in aid of the church appeal and in hope they would bring a little joy and happiness into the world and celebrate the birth of Jesus.” The door closed. DAY FOUR A Christmas Feast was held in the barn belonging to David, and he suggested to the Reverend Tony that the musicians play some modern Christmas songs for the benefit of younger people present , and finish with a sermon based on, for example, Slade’s popular Christmas song ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. “Why shouldn’t people have fun celebrating the birth of Jesus?” asked David. “It could be so much more interesting for the younger generation gathered here tonight; more appropriate than giving a sermon about Good King Wenceslas last looked out. Don’t you think?” The evening was a success for both young and old with the bar and stalls exceeding expectations and leading the Reverend Tony to think maybe the church should modernise its ideas. The Christmas Eve service was well attended which pleased the Reverend Tony, and upon leaving the church he shook hands with David who mentioned the fact he had seen Major Tom Huntingham Smith in the congregation. “God moves in mysterious ways,” replied the Reverend Tony, and showed David a check for £5,000 signed by Major Tom Huntingham Smith for the church appeal.


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Rotherham Life Magazine 39


COMMUNITY

For more community events visit your Local Events directory at www.rotherhamlife.com

Volunteers from Maltby

(Rother Valley) Lions will once again be touring the local streets with Santa in his sleigh so big and little children can meet Father Christmas during December. The planned routes are: • 7th December — Thurcroft • 8th December — Highfield Park/Tickhill Road • 9th December — Manor Area (Braithwell Road and below) • 10th December — Sheppey and Little London area • 11th December — White City and Hellaby

As Christmas rapidly

approaches, there are lots of activities planned at Maltby St Barts:

Santa’s Sleigh • 13th and 14th December — Ravenfield • 15th December — Model Village • 16th December — Birks Holt • 17th December — Braithwell • 20th December — Laughton, Hooton Levitt and Brookhouse • 21st December — Cliff Hills • 22nd December — Dale Hill 1 (Lilly Hall Road/Columbus Way Estate) • 23rd December — Dale Hill 2 (Start Upperfield Road and Lower Part of Estate) • 24th December — Dale Hill 3 (Scott Walk and the side of the New Estate)

Christmas at Maltby St Barts Christmas songs. This will be a great seasonal evening. Admission costs £7.00, to include mulled wine and mince pies. There will be a raffle for a Christmas hamper.

• 30th November, 10.00am — 2.30pm — Christmas Coffee Morning in church with tombola, Christmas decorations, books, nearly new goods as well as refreshments • 14th December, 7.00pm — Friends in Harmony choir will be performing

CHRISTMAS SERVICES • 22nd December, 6.00pm — Christmas carol service, all welcome • 24th December, 6.00pm —

The next Rotherham

Friendship Lunches

• Sir Jack’s Carvery Bramley, Moorhead Way, Rotherham S66 1YY, on Tuesday 10th December, from 12.00pm to 3.00pm. There will be entertainment from Stevie Moore and Patricia Lynn and the cost is £7.00, which includes a small carvery and ice cream. Please book direct with Sir Jack’s on 01709 530306 • Red Lion Todwick, Sheffield Road S26 1DJ, on Monday 16th December

from 12.00pm to 3.00pm. There will be entertainment from Phil Lawrence and the cost is £7.00, which includes a small carvery and ice cream. Please book direct with the Red Lion on 01909 771654 or email 7933@greenking.co.uk. • Ring O Bells, Fenton Road, Kimberworth S61 3RG on Monday 2nd December, from 11.30am to 2.30pm. There will be entertainment from Russ Weaver and

Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR)

VIP Volunteering Week

friendship lunches will be at:

launched Rotherham VIP Volunteering week in October to coincide with National Make a Difference Day, promoting volunteering in Rotherham. VAR staff worked with the chief executives from a number of key agencies in the borough to secure volunteering placements for them in local voluntary and community groups. This has included; RMBC, South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and Voluntary Action

40 December 2019

Rotherham’s own CEO Janet Wheatley. Julie Adamson, Director of Services, said: “Getting our leaders involved in local communities is key. It is important that the people who make decisions about the lives of others in the town understand what life is really like for people who live and work in Rotherham. Volunteering in one of the town’s many groups supporting those often most vulnerable is an excellent way of building knowledge and understanding of some of

STATIC VISITS • 6th December, 9.30am – 1.30pm — Tesco, Maltby • 14th December, 9.30am – 3.00pm — Morrisons, Bramley Please note due to weather conditions, times/dates may have to change. All members/volunteers of Maltby (Rother Valley) Lions wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For further information call Lion Lynn on 07504 326336, see www.maltbylions.org.uk or find the Lions on Facebook for up-to-date information. Christingle, all welcome to this beautiful and exciting service • 24th December, 11.30pm — Midnight Mass, welcome in Christmas • 25th December, 9.30am — Christmas Day Eucharist at Laughton Church • 25th December, 10.45am — Christmas Day Eucharist at Thurcroft Church. All good wishes for a happy, peaceful Christmas from all at St Barts. the cost is £7.00, which includes a choice of main course and pudding. Please book direct with the venue on 01709 551918. Early booking is always recommended. If the venues cannot help with your enquiry, then please call Alison Walsh at Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham on 01709 837170, or visit www.homeinstead. co.uk/rotherham. The Friendship Lunches are sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham. Why not join them and make some new friends? the issues residents of Rotherham face. #VIPVolunteering #volunteeringrotherham.” THINKING ABOUT A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION? WHY NOT START VOLUNTEERING? VAR have a menu of over 150 different roles to choose from on their website. Browse and apply direct at www.varotherham.org.uk/i-want-tovolunteer/, call 01709 834451 or email volunteer@varotherham.org.uk. Be inspired! Start something new today!


Rotherham Life Magazine 41


CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

The Christmas cracker conundrum they can be used again and again. You can also make DIY Christmas crackers by saving cardboard toilet roll and rolling them in a pretty fabric or brown paper or newspaper. Fill them with a handwritten joke and gift and tie with string at each end. These look festive but are untied — rather than pulled apart. You can always shout ‘bang’ as you pass them out!

The environment is a hot

topic right now and let’s face it Christmas crackers have never been eco-friendly. Refuse increases by 30% over the festive season. Can you even remember the plastic tat that fell out of last year’s crackers? Thought not. But if you feel like your Christmas table is not complete without a cracker

and a snap there are alternatives to the supermarket classic, Try ‘12 days of Christmas crackers’ which include an eco-friendlier wooden toy. Recyclable Christmas crackers come with a snap, hat, a joke — but no gift. Re-usable crackers are also available and can be filled with a gift of choice. Some have refillable ’snaps’ which mean

CRACKER JOKES FOR DIY CRACKERS What does Santa do with fat elves? He sends them to an Elf Farm What did Santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker What’s a dog’s favourite carol? Bark, the herald angels sing

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CAD DESIGN | GROUNDWORKS | SOAKAWAYS | DRAINAGE UNDERTAKEN Rotherham Life Magazine 43


CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS comes to Life

A slice of Yorkshire Pie David Coldrick takes a look at a traditional festive dish “You look like a man who likes

a good pie,” said the butcher. I was not sure how to take that remark. As a good Yorkshireman I decided to be gracious and bought one — for a friend you understand. I was immediately reminded of some schoolboy one-liners: • ‘Doctor I have a mince pie growing on my head — Don’t worry I have some cream for that.’ • ‘A pie walks into a pub. The barman says ‘Sorry we don’t serve food.’ • ‘Why did the pie go to the dentist? For a filling.’ Despite all the bad jokes, pies have a long and illustrious history in our region. ‘Yorkshire Pie’ was a traditional festive dish, often given as a gift to be served up on Christmas Eve and at Christmas morning breakfast. Whilst the poor probably had to make do with Yorkshire pudding filled with anything that came to hand the wealthy indulged, as was ever the case. They were seriously big pies. Charles Dickens wrote a story ‘The

44 December 2019

Boots at the Holly Tree Inn’ which refers to ‘…a Yorkshire pie, like a fort’. Forts are generally pretty impressive structures and these pies were real engineering feats. Conisbrough Castle springs to mind. If you enjoyed watching the ITV series ‘Victoria’ you will remember the Chief Cook to the Queen, Charles Francatelli. He was a real person, especially well known for very fancy pies, publicised in his popular cookbooks. If you visit Harewood House near Leeds you can see the great kitchen, used in the TV series to mimic Buckingham Palace. Look out for the huge embossed copper moulds used to bake pies. Albert, the Prince Consort, was particularly fond of Christmas trees, cards and festivities. Francatelli served a particularly grand Yorkshire Pie to Victoria and Albert at Windsor in 1858. A lidded ‘standing crust’ was used, filled with different poultry, placed one inside the other, plus stuffing and maybe game. ‘The Art of Cookery’ by Hannah Glasse, published in 1747, includes a recipe for a Yorkshire Pie

requiring a very thick wall, bottom and base in which to put; a turkey, goose, duck, partridge and a pigeon plus lots of salt, pepper, half an ounce of mace and nutmegs, a quarter ounce of cloves, four pounds of butter, some woodcocks and a hare! The recipe states ‘…the walls must be well-built’. That was to retain the juices, help preserve the meat after cooking and protect it in transit on terrible roads in unsprung carts. It would probably require as much flour as for 60 loaves of bread. In those days people were more concerned about eating the meat filling than having quality pastry. Just as well because standing crust was often inedible through being adulterated with cheap filler. A touch of brick dust was considered to add good colouration for pies, although Mr Francatelli would never have approved. Then place in a very hot oven for a least four hours... This would surely make for a fun ‘Technical Task’ in the next series of Bake Off! David Coldrick is owner of Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham 34 Moorgate Road S60 2AG @homeinsteadrotherham 01709 837170 david.coldrick@homeinstead.co.uk


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149 Bawtry Road, Wickersley S66 2BW | email: wickersley@elr.co.uk | www.elr.co.uk Rotherham Life Magazine 45


Rotherham Life

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