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SEVERN

Village LIVING

FREE

May 2010

Lifestyle | Community | Business

Norton Twigworth Down Hatherley Sandhurst Highnam Maisemore Hartpury Apperley Boddington & Staverton

Meat the Middles The farm butchery on your doorstep

Dive 90

Hatherley Manor from Domesday to State of the Art in 10 centuries

Learn to Dive in one weekend

R ‘n’ R on the River Your guide to the Severn’s best watering holes

WIN a joint of prime beef Join Hatherley Manor Loyalty Club see pg 23

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ALL WELCOME! Trade & Retail

Staverton Building Supplies

DECKING

38mm quality Per metre:

INDIAN SANDSTONE

5" £1.69+VAT 6" £1.95+VAT

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£15.95+VAT per sq. metre

Delivery within 10 mile radius included

i Building Suppl es Fly over to Stavertonirements under one roof ding requ for all your buil

HERE TO

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6,000

Stockists of: Cement, Ballast (25kg & bulk bags), Fence Posts, Fence Panels, Doors, Paints & Varnishes, Clothing & Footwear, Hardware, Tools & Power Tools, Sand & Cement, Paving, Bricks & Blocks, Sawn Timber, Ironmongery, Plumbing, Landscaping Materials & much more!

CEMENT ~ Collected 25kg bag = £2.95+VAT (£3.47 including VAT)

BUILDING MATERIALS DIY MATERIALS GARDEN MATERIALS

Ronseal Fence Life 5-litre = £6.99 inc. VAT

STAVERTON BUILDING SUPPLIES

Jupiter Court, Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road East, Gloucester GL2 9QL (on B4063 behind new Mitsubishi Car showroom)

Telephone: 01452 712108

email: mark@stavertonbuildingsupplies.co.uk

Open: Monday - Friday: 7.30am - 5.00pm & Saturdays 8.00am-12.00pm

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TEAK GARDEN FURNITURE ~ Available from stock ~

610 x 610 Buff Riven Slabs £2.88+VAT (£3.38 inc. VAT) 450 x 450 Buff Riven Slabs £1.59+VAT (£1.87 inc. VAT) All offers subject to availability

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Contents 4

Welcome to May

5-7

Village News & Diary

8-9

Meat the Middles The farm butchery on your doorstep

10-11

Thorn Homes

MEET THE MIDDLES 8

Extending their lead in local construction 12-13

Try Something New Dive 90 – learn to dive in one weekend

15

Six of the Best – Local Producers

16-18

R ‘n’ R on the River Your guide to the Severn’s best watering holes

23-24

TRY SOMETHING NEW 12

Hatherley Manor From Domesday to State of the Art in 10 centuries

25

NGS Open Gardens

26

Gloucester Rugby

29

Mind & Body: McTimoney Chiropractic

31

Talk Money: Spa Financial

NGS GARDENS 25

Where Can You Find Village Living? Severn Village Living Magazine is delivered to 5,000 homes and businesses across 10 villages. Find us in Norton, Twigworth, Down Hatherley, Sandhurst, Highnam, Maisemore, Hartpury, Apperley, Boddington and Staverton; as well as selected outlets in Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Newent. We are increasing our circulation every month, so if you didn’t receive a copy through your letterbox, you will do very shortly. Severn Village Living is published monthly by Miss T A Bailey t/a Village Living Magazine 3 Springhill Court Sandhurst Lane Sandhurst Glos GL2 9NX 01452 730023 www.severnvillageliving.co.uk

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Editorial & advertising enquiries Tina Bailey 07969 807110 tina@severnvillageliving.co.uk Production Toni Barrington The Magazine Production Company 01273 467579 production@villageliving.biz © 2010 Village Living Severn Village Living is an independent magazine and does not endorse the products or services that appear in the magazine. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily represent those of the editor or of Severn Village Living magazine.

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Welcome to May

I

love May; it is a resolutely cheerful month that always seems a bit hopeful and sunny with the promise of great things to come. So it is particularly exciting for me this May as I am proudly presenting the very

first copy of Severn Village Living Magazine.

This month we introduce you to Simon Middle of Mussel End Farm in Sandhurst and his superb butchery. He has been generous enough to offer a fantastic reader prize of a joint of prime home-grown beef for your Sunday Roast. What a great start to the first issue! We learn the history of Hatherley Manor and meet Trevor Thorn of Thorn Homes who tells us why we should improve, extend and re-build instead of selling our homes in 2010. Meet our columnists eager to share their knowledge in Talk Money and Mind & Body. Find an Open Garden to visit with NGS and map out your route to the best of the river watering holes. In fact, I’m just going to let you discover for yourselves. I hope you love the magazine. Like May, I promise great things to come! Be sure to let me know your thoughts at tina@severnvillageliving.co.uk

Tina 

    

 

 

              

     

  

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5 • NEWS & EVENTS

BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS

H

orsey or non-horsey – you have got to love the Mitshubishi Badminton Horse Trials. Starting Friday April 30th with the Dressage Tests and finishing with the thrilling show-jumping final 20 on Sunday May 3rd take a picnic, some money for the great shopping – of course – and enjoy a fantastic day out at the Duke of Beaufort’s park. The current European Three Day Event Champion, Tina Cook, World Champion Zara Phillips and last year’s winner and Oliver Townend is amongst the entries competing for the four star eventing title 2010. You can buy tickets at www.badminton-horse.co.uk and remember; Saturday is the popular cross-country day and gets very crowded, so get there early to avoid the queues into the park.

Tewkesbury Food and Drink Festival

T

he Wharf House at Over opened five new rooms in March just ahead of race week with two more to follow. They are the result of seven years hard work in association with the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust. I had a sneaky peak and they are lovely. Modern and fresh yet warm and welcoming with more than a hint of luxury provided by flat screen wall mounted plasma TV’s and beautifully finished bathrooms. There are tranquil views of the canal and an excellent restaurant to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in. Prices start from just £75 per room per night. www.thewharfhouse.co.uk

Saturday 1- Sunday 2 May 2010

C

elebrity chef James Martin, who is currently presenting TV’s popular show Saturday Kitchen, will be cooking again this year in the cookery theatre on Sunday 2nd May The Food and Drink festival is in it’s 6th successful year and visitors can enjoy browsing and sampling the wares of over 60 local food and drink producers in the Food Hall, be inspired for homemaking ideas in the Craft Tent or sign up for a Cyder tasting with Kevin Minchew’s Real Cyder and Perry. Plenty for the kids to do too – face painting, crafts and the Vegetable Olympics! To buy your tickets and to find out more at www.tewkesburyfoodfestival.co.uk www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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6 • NEWS & EVENTS

Bugsboarding Competition

T

his fun and exciting mountain board centre in Maisemore is giving away 2 hours free tuition with top mountain board instructors for 2 people (adults or children). A great way of entertaining the kids in the summer holidays or, if you are the adventurous type, have a go yourself! Check out their site www.bugsboarding.co.uk and enter by simply by answering this question: What is the name of the current 2009 World Mountainboard Freestyle Champion? Email your answer to tina@severnvillageliving.co.uk or write to Severn Village Living Magazine, 3 Springhill Court, Sandhurst, Gloucester, GL2 9NX LOOK OUT: For Bugsboarding in the June edition when they teach a group of willing volunteers how it is done in our Try Something New Feature.

HATHERLEY MANOR LOYALTY CLUB

H

H

atherley Manor (see our history feature) has launched a Loyalty Club for its non-residents. Join for free and enjoy rewards from a bottle of wine to an overnight stay with champagne. Anytime you eat in the restaurant, lounge or bar you are rewarded with 1 point for every pound you spend. It’s simple. Go to www.hatherleymanor.com to find out details of how to join.

artpury College is delighted with the outcome of its recent Ofsted inspection which graded the college ‘Outstanding’. The glowing report for the Gloucestershire institution gave Grade 1, the highest possible, for all cross college aspects of its work. Hartpury is one of only three land-based colleges in the uK to be graded as Outstanding. Speaking on the published report, College Principal Malcolm Wharton, commented: ”We are all very proud to receive the designation of ‘outstanding college’ and I say this on behalf of everyone here at the College – the staff, the Governors and especially the students. I hope the outcome of this report will inspire our future students to go on to achieve even more success.”

May 2010 • Severn Village Living

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www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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7 • VILLAGE DIARY

Village Diary Severn Village Living would like to list village events from your local village so if you would like your event – be it a play, jumble sale, play group, beer festival, village fete, Young Farmers party, Youth Club disco or simply a coffee morning at your local church or parish hall, please get in touch. Charity & not for profit events are listed free of charge. A small charge applies for commercial listings. Down Hatherley Cricket Club is looking for new players for the 2010 season. Visit them at Wood Lane Down Hatherley or log on to www.downhatherleycricketclub.btik.com The White Hart at Maisemore is once again open! Andy & Lynne would like to thank all who have supported them during the shutdown. 01452 525336. www.whitehartmaisemore.co.uk

What’s on... May 2010 Metropolitan Opera at the Roses Saturday 1 May 2010 A season of thrilling performances from New York’s famous Metropolitan Opera will be shown live at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury. Admission: Tickets cost £20 and £15 for concessions Telephone: (01684) 295074

Tewkesbury Half Marathon Sunday 9 May 2010 TheTewkesbury Half Marathon and 5-Mile Fun Run. Venue: Tewkesbury town centre Times: Half marathon – 9.30am, Fun Run at 9.40am. Admission: Entry costs from £8, contact organisers for more information: Telephone: (01252) 373797

Bluebells in the Forest of Dean Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 May 2010 Don’t miss the chance to see this incredible visual delight while the flowers are in full bloom. Times: During daylight. Admission: Free of charge

Gloucester Docks Dragon Boat Regatta Sunday 16 May 2010 Be sure to visit Gloucester Docks this May for the Dragon Boat Regatta 2010 in aid of children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. From 10am to 6pm. Spectators free of charge, with entry costing £22. Telephone: (01452) 724144

Cheltenham Jazz Festival Wednesday 28 April to Monday 3 May 2010 Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2010 is eagerly awaited every year and 2010 presents Jamie Cullum as guest director. Performances from Paloma Faith. Wednesday 28 April to Monday 3 May 2010 Times: Vary. Ticket prices vary. Telephone: 0844 576 8970 Coracle Capers at Slimbridge Wetland Centre Sunday 18 April to Sunday 30 May 2010 Fancy paddling a coracle – a notoriously tricky-to-steer one-man watercraft, at Slimbridge this spring? Sundays 2, 16, 30 May 2010 Times: From 9.30am. Sessions cost £20. Tel: (01453) 891223 Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts Wednesday 5 to Sunday 16 May 2010 Celebrating dance, music, speech and drama, this festival is a must for those who love the performing arts. Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room and other venues. Telephone: (01242) 521621 Sue Ryder Care Gloucester’s First Midnight Walk Saturday 22 May 2010 Take part in Gloucester’s first ever women’s Midnight Walk. Starting at the stroke of midnight at St Oswald’s Retail Park, the walk follows a 7km circular route through the historical city of Gloucester. At the finish, tuck in to a well deserved breakfast and pick up your medal and midnight walk goodies. Register online – www.suerydercare.org/midnightwalks.

The Bacon Theatre’s fortnightly Tuesday movies Cinema for Cheltenham’s movie lovers this summer. The Soloist: Tuesday 4 May 2010 Skin: Tuesday 18 May 2010 Coco Before Chanel: Tuesday 25 May 2010 Times: From 7.45pm Admission: Tickets cost £6 or £5 for concessions Telephone: (01242) 258002 Westbury Court Garden – Evening tour with the Head Gardener Wed 12 May, Wed 16 Jun 2010 An evening guided tour of the garden covering its history and plants. Delicious cream tea included afterwards. Booking Essential 01452 760461. Hartpury College Higher Education Open Evening Wed 12 May 2010 Our open evenings are aimed at mature (21+) potential undergraduate or postgraduate students who are thinking about studying with us either on a full-time or part-time study basis. Chat with our academic teams and have a tour of the campus. Between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Free. Gloucestershire Rural Community Council http://www.grcc.org.uk/village_halls/ – a great way to find your local village hall and find out what’s on.

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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8 • MEAT THE MIDDLES

Meat the Middles

F

ollow Sandhurst Lane from the city of Gloucester for about a mile or so into the lovely village of Sandhurst on any Saturday and you would be forgiven for thinking the weight of traffic was a little excessive for a small village on the River Severn. There is, however, a reason for this – Simon Middle’s farm shop. Every Saturday, Simon and his wife, Louise, open a small farm shop and butchery in the front yard of Mussel End Farm. In this little tardis of a shop, you will find a large range of meats all home grown from Simon’s flock of Suffolk Mule sheep and Aberdeen Angus crossed Simental cattle that graze peacefully on his 130 acres of rich pasture land stretching along the River Severn. Not only is the meat reared on the farm but it is butchered there too. Recently, Simon has taken on a new butcher who has risen to the somewhat daunting challenge of preparing prime cuts of lamb, beef and pork from these valuable animals. Customers can choose from a huge selection ranging from succulent legs of spring lamb to fillets of juicy home grown beef steak. One of the most popular products is Simon’s sausages and bacon. One bacon

May 2010 • Severn Village Living

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sandwich from these pigs will satisfy you for the morning and beyond! The pigs are Large White and Landrace and every one is home bred. Simon started the butchery in 1999 and for several years worked with Master Butcher David (Tat) Attwood until his recent retirement in late 2009. Together they built a loyal following of trade from all over the Severn villages and the surrounding market towns. Sadly, in 2001 the farm was very badly affected by Foot and Mouth and the family suffered a devastating blow when all the livestock – cattle, pigs, lambs, ewes and rams – were destroyed. Despite this horrendous event hitting the butchery business so early on in its life, Simon and Louise fought back and kept the shop running. Within two years the farm was back to it former stock levels and nowadays 2010 sees Simon farming even more than the original 147 head of cattle, 580 ewes plus their yearly lambs, 37 rams and 34 pigs. Mussel End Farm meat is absolutely delicious. I speak from experience. If someone asked me to choose between a joint of beef and a leg of spring lamb for my last supper I would simply

Simon started the butchery in 1999 and for several years worked with Master Butcher David (Tat) Attwood until his recent retirement in late 2009. Together they built a loyal following of trade from all over the Severn villages and the surrounding market towns. choose both. Well, it would be my last supper after all, surely I wouldn’t be refused? I asked Simon why he thinks the meat he produces is so tasty and distinctive in flavour. Is it to do with the pasture on which they graze or the feed they are given? I am particularly interested in finding out if there is any truth in the rumour that Simon feeds his cows chocolate! And apparently seriously good chocolate too!

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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“The beef is hung for four weeks”, says Simon, “making it very tender. The breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs are essential to our success.” The cattle are raised and slaughtered all year round. The breed is a cross between Aberdeen Angus and Simmental. Simon tells me the reason for the cross breed is because of the Simmental shape and the short grain meat of the Angus. As for the chocolate – it’s his little secret and he won’t tell me any more! However, I can guess it is something to do with fattening – I speak from extensive chocolate eating experience! Oh well, it is just a good excuse to taste some beef and see how distinct the flavour is. And what of the sheep? Are they fed chocolate too? “Definitely not”, Simon tells me. “The sheep must not be fat. They must be lean and succulent. The Suffolk cross Mule Ewe is my animal of choice because of its prolific production. I use a Charolais ram to introduce the perfect body shape. This is the same with my pigs. I chose the Large White cross Landrace pig for the ultimate carcase, not fat but an excellent shape that holds the ideal amount of meat.” In late winter, early spring; Simon Middle is an extremely busy man. When the majority of Cheltenham and Gloucester are enjoying the excitement of Cheltenham Gold Cup; Simon, Louise and their 12 year old son William

(ably assisted by four year old daughter, Lucy, who is proud to announce that she helps “feed the lambs if their Mummy can’t do it”) can be found immersed in the business of lambing 550 ewes throughout the months of February and March. From this flock of ewes there are usually around 1000 lambs delivered safely into the lambing pens before being moved out into the fields to enjoy rich grass and all the playing and running around they can handle. By May, the spring lambs are perfect for the roasting tin. Harsh as this may sound, it is vital to understand where your meat is coming from for buying local and supporting the local farmers is an essential part of village life. And not just village life. It is incredibly important for everyone who buys a joint of meat to consider the provenance of that leg of lamb or side of beef they are just about to put in the oven. For without that support, farmers like Simon Middle would not have survived major disasters such as the floods in 2000 and 2007, Foot and Mouth in 2001, the recent recession and all the other day to day trials that come with farming a total of nearly 500 acres of land consisting of beef, sheep and corn. Diversification is the key to the survival of many farmers today and Simon is no exception. Along with the farm shop, his fodder beet planting

and harvesting service, and the transformation of his spring lambing sheds into a huge marquee that he hires out for weddings and functions throughout the summer months; Simon and Louise have two lovely B&B rooms available all year round on the top floor of their converted Victorian farmhouse. What could be more appealing than staying on a working farm in this beautiful Gloucestershire village, waking up in the morning to views out to the River Severn whilst eating a mouthwatering bacon sandwich from the Middle pigs? Do you know what? I can’t hold out any longer, I am off to make a bacon sandwich for my lunch and what a stroke of luck; I just happen to have some of Simon’s rashers in the fridge!

COMPETITION WIN A JOINT OF SIMON’S BEST BEEF! PERFECT FOR THE SUNDAY ROAST Answer this simple question: What breed of sheep make up Simon Middle’s flock? Enter by emailing tina@severnvillageliving.co.uk or writing to Severn Village Living, 3 Springhill Court, Sandhurst Lane, Sandhurst, Gloucester GL2 9NX

Buy: Simon Middle Meat at Mussel End Farm, Sandhurst every Saturday at the farm gate. Stock: up on meat for your family function (perhaps celebrate in the Mussel End Marquee) by enquiring about buying in bulk either at the shop or by calling 01452 730222. Stay: at Mussel End Farm – or accommodate your holiday visitors – by logging onto www.musselendfarm.co.uk or emailing Louise on louise@musselendfarm.co.uk

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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10 • BuSINESS PROFILE

Thorn Homes –

extending their lead in local construction

I

have tried and failed on two occasions to meet up with Trevor Thorn to interview him about his very successful building firm, Thorn Homes. Trevor has a lot of work on at the moment because his clever marketing angle of ‘Why sell when you can extend’ took off in style after the property market crashed in 2008. It is for this reason I can’t pin him down so he has lined up a meeting with his Finance & Marketing Manager, Zoe Ryder – also Trevor’s Fiancée. I am a great believer of the phrase, ‘Behind every great man there is a great woman’ so I am delighted to talk to Zoe about their business. I meet Zoe in the Thorn Homes office on the Bristol Road in Gloucester, and she is sitting at her desk surrounded by invoices that need sending out to clients – that has to be a good sign. She tells me that 80% of Thorn Homes business is now made up of extension projects rather than new builds. Since the housing crash in 2008, more and more people have taken a fresh look at their homes and seen the potential in extending and improving rather than

May 2010 • Severn Village Living

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trying to sell in a depressed market. “It is easier to re-mortgage your property for home improvements than get a new mortgage and move”, says Zoe. “And extending adds value to your home for when you do want to sell it. A two storey extension is the best way of adding value; an extra bedroom and a bigger kitchen is the key to making your home more desirable.” I want to know what sets Thorn Homes apart from other building firms and how Trevor has survived in a market that has seen many housing projects halted and the construction industry hit hard. Zoe tells me that Trevor was working on private developments for friends and family and word started to spread. In 2007 he set up on his own – the height of the property ‘good times’ and chased large new build work on which to build his client base. Then the market crashed and instead of going down with it, Trevor focused on the extension projects and this became their unique selling point. Cleverly, this kept the firm not only trading in the recession, but experiencing growth and making a profit. The team has

“There are always things that can set a project back such as ground testing problems, which is a particular hazard with new builds; or finding problems like rot or crumbling brickwork which happens a lot in renovation projects; but we try and realistically set a timescale and put our names to it.” now grown to 20 sub-contractors who work on every job to maintain client confidence and consistency during their project. “There are three things that really set us apart from other contractors”, says Zoe, “When we price a job we quote for the complete project from start to finish to include architects plans and

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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sub-contractors. This way, the client knows exactly what they are paying for. And then there is the ability for clients to make small and frequent payments throughout the duration of their development to help them manage their budget. Secondly, we offer to take clients out to sites where we have completed a project to help them visualise their end result. Some past clients are happy to talk to the prospective customers about their experience of a Thorn Homes build. Lastly, we always use the same architects and trades people so the cost of a bespoke package is lower than instructing your own sub-contractors as we can benefit from established relationships and preferential rates which we can pass onto the client.” “What about timescales on a project?” I ask. “Do you commit to completing the work in a certain time and how can clients be sure their project won’t be overshadowed by a bigger build?” “The timescale is built into the contract”, Zoe explains. “There are always things that can set a project back such as ground testing problems, which is a particular hazard with new builds; or finding problems like rot or crumbling brickwork which happens a lot in renovation projects; but we try and realistically set a timescale and put our names to it. It doesn’t matter if we are working on ten other projects; we are committed to each one equally.” It is reassuring to hear this especially as the decision to have major building work done to your home is not one people take lightly. It is also good to hear that Thorn Homes joined the Federation of Master Builders in 2009 so all work is under warranty and insured for up to ten years. Zoe, like me, is a working mother and a busy lady, so I am interested to know if Trevor, with currently eight projects on the go from Churchdown to Oxford, is handy about the house. By Zoe’s immediate wry smile, I know the answer is not going to be in Trevor’s favour. “I do all the flat pack - I put up the cot bed, the bookcases and the wardrobe”, she laughs. I can empathise with this completely as I also put up and took down our cot bed three times on my own with only the help of an unenthusiastic 6 month old baby. Zoe and I spend five minutes moaning about having practical hands-on partners and still having to do all the DIY ourselves. Zoe’s colleague (a man) starts to look nervous at this point and wanders off to file something. I suppose we have to confess to not being able to extend the kitchen though; and that’s where Thorn Homes comes in.

Four Steps to Extending your Home 1. Get some plans drawn up. Thorn Homes provide a complete project package which includes two architects who work with them all the time. Trevor will arrange to come to your home with an architect and work on your plans with you. 2. Get planning permission! Thorn Homes strongly advise you get planning before you start work on your project. You don’t want to take it all down again if planning is rejected! TIP: Planning can take longer to be approved in the summer as the planning department is much busier than in the winter. The more complex the plans, the longer the process, so allow time in your schedule for this. 3. How long will it take? Once planning has been approved, a timescale will be agreed and contracted. Bear in mind that there can be unanticipated problems during the project that can unavoidably delay things, so prepare yourself (and your budget) for setbacks. 4. Project completed! Building Control will check the work and sign it off (which has never been a problem for Thorn Homes as they work closely with Building Control throughout the duration of the project). AND REMEMBER – THE WORK IS UNDER WARRANTY FOR 10 YEARS BUT ONLY IF, LIKE THORN HOMES, YOUR BUILDER IS A MEMBER OF THE FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS.

Call Zoe to arrange for an onsite visit and quote on 01452 531460 or visit www.thornhomes.co.uk and email info@thornhomes.co.uk

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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12 • try something new

The Try Dive Monday Daytime Due to an unfortunate incident with a quad bike and an over enthusiastic horse, I have pulled my back and badly bruised my leg. Not ideal for getting into a wetsuit and breathing apparatus. I need a stunt double!

Dive 90

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t’s not every Monday evening that I ask the boyfriend to dress up in a rubber suit and mask but, relying on the fact that he is usually up for anything, I ask and he gamely agrees. No, we weren’t trying out the latest fashion suggestion from Gok Wan, or anything else you might have imagined – we were off to learn how to Scuba dive. With the summer on the horizon, and the likelihood of rain and gale force winds, your thoughts may turn to golden beaches, crystal clear waters and a bit of guaranteed sun. If you have ever imagined a James Bond moment where you are swimming serenely in and out of the coral reefs amongst the marine fish alongside a dashing companion, you might be interested in reading on and finding out how you can learn to do just that. Dive 90 is a local Cheltenham business specialising in Diving Tuition and you would think by writing this article, that I have a burning desire to learn how to dive, but in truth I happen upon their shop whilst buying sausages in the butchers next door. I decide diving might be a very interesting t hing to learn how to do and I go inside for a closer look. The little shop is a tardist. Inside I find a whole range of diving equipment and I also note that Dive 90 arrange holidays to great diving resorts such as Egypt, The Maldives and Spain. I enquire further with an extremely knowledgeable man called Steve, who turns out to be the owner. He tells me all about the business and how Dive 90 offer everything from taster dives – called Try Dives – to PADI Open Water Courses through to organising two week diving holidays. I decide I might like to do a Try Dive to see if I could cut it as a deep sea diver. “Calm down”, says Steve, “a Try Dive is simply a 2 hour introductory lesson to see if you would like to go on and learn more about diving”. So, James Bond Ideas aside, I ask if I can sign up for a Try Dive the following Monday evening.

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Monday evening I have recruited a Glamorous Assistant to take my place, and he hasn’t insisted on a fee. Excellent. Maybe the promise of rubber enticed him. We head off to Brockworth Pool, just 10 minutes up the road, for an 8pm start. Armed with a towel (him) and a camera (me) we feel confident and ready to dive. We arrive poolside and start to feel rather intimidated. A group of people are looking extremely knowledgeable, climbing into wetsuits and sorting out their diving equipment. Glamorous Assistant looks a bit worried. We then meet John, the instructor, who is very cheerful and immediately takes control. Glamorous Assistant goes off to change into his wetsuit. He comes out of the changing rooms to ask me for money for the locker and as he does so, a fellow diver kindly signals that he has the wetsuit on back to front. Seeing as he hasn’t even made it into the pool yet, it seems there is some way to go. Getting Kitted Out After fitting his breathing apparatus and flippers (or ‘fins’ as the professionals call them) John, a fully qualified PADI Instructor, starts the safety briefing. He goes through the breathing drills. Don’t hold your breath seems to be an important one, although he says that the natural reaction is to hold your breath underwater so you have to make a concerted effort to tell your brain to breathe. Then he moves onto hand signals which are essential to communicating underwater. And finally, how to equalise, which means balancing the pressure in your ears

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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If you have ever imagined a James Bond moment where you are swimming serenely in and out of the coral reefs amongst the marine fish alongside a dashing companion, you might be interested in reading on and finding out how you can learn to do just that. by pinching your nose and blowing gently until you feel balanced. Lastly, John demonstrates how to let in and release air from the tanks to increase or decrease buoyancy – basically how to stay under and how to come up again. Dipping In Glamorous Assistant practises equalising, checks his buoyancy levels, adjusts his mask and he and John disappear under the water to familiarise themselves with the pressure and general feeling of being underwater with all this apparatus. They come up and go back under several times until Glamorous Assistant is comfortable with everything. Next they go for a longer dive, heading a bit deeper into the pool. John’s hand signals let his dive partner know what to do until he gets a feel for the process. Getting Braver The next dive is a long one and I keep losing sight of them beneath the water. At one point all the divers seemed to be submerged and all I can see are yellow tanks and the occasional surface bubble. It was eerily quiet poolside and I had the feeling I was watching a pod of whales swimming around each other coming to the surface every so often. It is fair to say, diving is not a great

spectator sport and I start to feel a bit envious that it wasn’t me doing the diving. I get chatting to an instructor on the reasons why people learn how to dive. I assumed it was mostly to get qualified to dive on holiday, but it seems that this is often not the main reason. Mostly people learn to dive because they want a new challenge; to try something different. One lady was taking lessons to help overcome a fear of deep water and others were preparing to go on a diving holiday. I was also impressed by the mix of people diving. There were a few young men and women, a couple in their mid-sixties and a family. Each person or couple had an instructor to themselves. I thought it would be a large group with one instructor between them but I am told it is best one-on-one so the pupil can enjoy dedicated instruction which helps aid the learning process. Finally they emerge after two or three more dives and I insist on a photo opportunity before they disappear again, but John tells me it’s the end of the session and that Glamorous Assistant has been a good pupil and listened well (which is unusual as this is not a skill he usually demonstrates at home). John said he was quite a natural and would be a good candidate for the Open Water Course, which is the next move on from the Try Dive. The Open Water Courses can be taken over a fast track weekend – Friday/Saturday / Sunday – with theory in the morning and practical pool sessions in the afternoon. After the pool, you progress to a quarry in Bristol to perform ‘proper’ Open Water dives. Successful completion of the course over the weekend leads to a PADI Open Water qualification which means if you want dive with the fish in the Caribbean, you are good to go! For those who would prefer a less intense course, the same qualification can be obtained over a six week period every Monday and Wednesday at local pools.

Course Information: Fast Track Open Water Weekends are run monthly. New 6 week courses and Try Dives take place every week. Monday and Wednesdays and either Brockworth or Tewkesbury. Call Steve on 01242 680003, drop in and see him at Knightsbridge Business Centre, Cheltenham, email at info@dive90.com or visit www.dive90.com for everything you need to know.

Coming Up for AIr As Glamorous Assistant ‘de-kits’ I ask how he enjoyed the session. He says he really liked it and he would consider going on to do the Open Water Course. He found John’s instructions clear and easy to follow and he felt confident and safe all the way through the session. The thing he was most impressed with was that they could find a wet suit and fins to accommodate his 6ft 5in frame and his size 13 feet! He said he didn’t come across any marine life and only got down to a depth of 3 metres, which was hardly the stuff of shipwreck dives but he thought it was a cool thing to do on a Monday night. I suppose I had better have a go now so I can be the dashing companion swimming next to him in our own personal James Bond moment. I’ll probably be the one with the wetsuit on back to front!

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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Severn Village Living •May 2010

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15 • SIx OF THE BEST... LOCAL PRODuCERS

Six of the Best… Gloucester Sausage Co, Knightsbridge

Local Producers

Strawberry Hill Vineyard, Newent

A family run butchers shop providing the finest locally sourced meats and produce. They produce the famous Gloucester Old Spot Sausage, and have now opened a Deli at their premises in Knightsbridge. As well as their famous sausages they sell pork, chicken, lamb, beef and bacon. At their Harts Barn Crafts Centre on the edge of the Forest of Dean they also produce their very own cider and perry. A great day out for all the family and noted as the region’s principle creative centre for keeping the traditional arts and crafts alive. Grab a sausage at www.thegloucestersausagecompany.co.uk

Established in 1999, Strawberry Hill Vineyard planted their first vines on the hills around Newent. In 2002 they started to plant their vines under glass in a revolutionary move for English wine production. They now produce exciting new wines from a rare English Chardonnay to a crisp and fruity Pinot Rosé perfect for summer. Wine Maker of the Year 2004 Martin Fowkes is responsible for some delicious wines here and it is highly recommended to experience a vineyard tour and tasting with owner Tim Chance. Arrange one at www.strawberryhillvineyard.co.uk

Godsells Cheese, Leonard Stanley

Whittingtons Brewery, Newent Whittingtons Brewery was established in early 2003 as part of the Three Choirs estate, which is set in 75 acres of rolling vineyards near Newent. The brewery is named after one of Gloucestershire’s most famous sons, Dick Whittington. Legend has it that Dick was born in the hamlet of Pauntley and lived in Gloucester before embarking on his adventurous life in London. The beer names concentrate on Whittington’s cat, Puss: such as Nine Lives, a smooth, easy-drinking beer that has found favour with many CAMRA enthusiasts. Find out more about these unique bitters by visiting www.three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk

Days Cottage Apple Juice, Brookthorpe Award winning Day’s Cottage Apple Juice is made with apples from traditional, mature orchards in Gloucestershire. The fruit comes only from unsprayed orchards and dozens of varieties are used, some unique to the county, such as Taynton Codlin, Flower of the West and underleaves. Day’s Cottage Apple Juice is a family run business, based on the family farm, and reviving a long tradition of cider and perry making in Gloucestershire. Learn more: www.dayscottage.co.uk

Godsells Cheese is a range of hand made cheeses made at Church Farm, in the Gloucestershire village of Leonard Stanley, using cows milk from Liz Godsell’s own herd of cows and other local farms. They produce Double Gloucester, Single Gloucester and cheeses with brilliant names such as Scary Mary, Singing Granny, Holy Smoked and Three Virgins. With names like these, they simply have to be sampled! Buy at www.godsellscheese.com

Over Farm Market, Over, Nr Highnam There are 80 different types of fruit and vegetables and many cereal crops growing in the fields at Rob Keene’s Over Farm market and worth a special mention are the delicious strawberries, growing now ready for the summer. As well as selling their produce in the farm shop who run the coffee shop; Over Farm are now supplying fresh local produce to local businesses and schools. There are trail rides and educational programmes for the kids and an abundance of mouth-watering local jams, chutneys, cheeses, fruit, veg, breads and pastries for the adults to try on-site and then take home. Keep up to date with their news and events at www.overfarmmarket.co.uk

Find and Buy at: www.fresh-n-local.co.uk www.gloucestershirefarmersmarkets.org.uk

Other Stockists: Stanmans Kitchen – Westgate Street, Gloucester 1471 Deli – High Street, Tewkesbury Gloucester Farm Shops – www.gloucestershirefarmshops.co.uk

Meet the producers at: Gloucester Farmers Market, every Friday 9am-3pm, The Cross and in The Gate Stroud Farmers Market, every Saturday 9am-2pm, Cornhill Market Place Tewkesbury Farmers Market, every second Thursday of the month 9am – 2.30pm, Cascades Leisure Centre Car Park Cheltenham Farmers Market, second & last Friday of every month 9am – 3pm, The Promenade www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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16 • R ’N’ R ALONG THE RIVER

R ‘n’ R along the River Wet your whistle in the River Severn’s finest watering holes

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he River Severn is Britain’s longest river running for 220 miles. It is also England’s greatest river in terms of water fl ow. According to some sources, the name “Severn” is derived from the name Sabrina based on the mythical story of a nymph who drowned in the river. As the Severn becomes tidal at Maisemore, the associated deity changes to Noadu who is represented mounted on a seahorse riding on the crest of the Severn bore. There is no doubt that the villages of the River Severn are beautiful places to live – after all they are the inspiration for this magazine! And whether you are lucky enough to live in one of these

villages or simply have the opportunity to visit, there are some pretty good watering holes you won’t want to miss out on along the way. If you want to get as close as you can get to actually sitting IN the River Severn with your pint of local ale, your first stop has to be The Red Lion at Wainlodes Hill. This pub stands facing a wide and impressive section of the river in a valley dropping down out of the village of Norton from the main A38 Gloucester to Tewkesbury. In the summer the tables are packed with drinkers enjoying the river views. The pub is popular with tourists (there is a caravan and camping site behind the Red Lion) and locals alike, so when you manage to get a table to sit down and enjoy the beer and the great

pub food served here – don’t get up again unless your spot is heavily guarded. What a shame, you’ll have to stay all day! Moving on from the Red Lion enthusiastic walkers could walk the 1¾ miles to Tirley and the next two pubs. On your left The Riverside and on your right The Hawbridge Inn. Both pubs sit right on the banks of the Severn and there is certainly room for both. Summer trade again means the pubs get extremely busy so if you can’t get in one, there is always the other and neither will disappoint. The Riverside is now under new ownership and is currently undergoing some menu changes and general improvements. Owner Adam is a whizz in the kitchen (although he tells

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   

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me he would rather be out of the bowels of the kitchen and serving outside in the sun). For now, he is relegated to the basement, creating new summer menus for his guests to enjoy overlooking his very own stretch of the Severn. The Hawbridge Inn is just as prominently located and is ready to entice you across the bridge with a secure beer garden and family play area so Mum and Dad can eat and enjoy a G&T in peace without worrying if the little ones are taking an unaccompanied dip in the water! This is a great family pub that lays on bouncy castles and summer events for the kids and also has camping facilities. The next village along is Lower Apperley where a stop at The Farmers Arms will leave you talking about the food for some time to come. Although this pub is not on the river, it is on your river route and should not be ignored. If you are out midweek, check out Steak Night – a choice of steaks including pork and fish steaks and a free starter or dessert. Dining outside on a summer

evening surrounded by lovely countryside means you won’t mind giving the river a miss for a night. The Coal House at Apperley (not to be confused with Lower Apperley) is also worth a visit for their ‘steak on a stone’.The 300yr old pub has a small and intimate dining area so booking is advised if you want to eat. If it is just a drink you’re after and there are no seats left outside, there is always plenty of grass on the river bank on which to sit and watch the river life go by. Leaving Apperley and heading back out onto the A38, turn back towards Gloucester and find yourself at The Swan Inn at Coombe Hill. If you are a bird lover, this will be the pub for you as the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve sits behind the pub in the canal basin. The Swan Inn has a popular early evening supper offer, local real ales, a welcoming atmosphere and family friendly service. Walk off your great value meal along the towpath and look for the mute swans nesting by The Wharf.

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If you venture over to the other side of the River Severn, and by this I mean the west side where the river runs through Maisemore and Hartpury towards the county border, you will be pleased you made the effort because stopping in at The Queens Arms in Ashleworth village is a culinary treat. The recipient of many great reviews, this 16th Century pub is just a short walk from the river where there used to be a chain ferry in the 1950’s linking the ‘Gloucester side’ of the river at Sandhurst to the ‘Herefordshire side’ at Ashleworth. Although the ferry no longer exists, the Queens Arms is worthy of the 6 mile drive from Gloucester for the 22 malt whisky’s if nothing else. Arrange transport back home though! Still in Ashleworth village, walk on down the road to the River and you will find the famous Boat Inn at the site of the old chain ferry. This pub has an

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       

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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18 • R ’n’ r along the river

excellent reputation for real ales and is steeped in local history. A family affair, the pub has been run by the Jelf family for over 400 years with it’s ferry rights dating back to the 1460’s when it is believed they were granted by a grateful Kind Edward IV fleeing enemies in the House of Lancaster. The Boat Inn remains an iconic establishment that you should most definitely visit. Also on this west side of the River Severn, take time to find The Yew Tree Inn at Chaceley Stocks, once called The Old Ferry Inn. It is a long drive down to the river from the main road but worth it to eat delicious home cooked food in their beautiful grounds right on the west bank. There is plenty to see as the pub is right next the Avon Sailing Club. The Wharf House at Over is not a pub, but is it on the River and on the Canal so very much worth a mention. It is Gloucester’s only Restaurant with Rooms and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the adjacent Canal Basin, recently restored by the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust. Eating and drinking on the Waterside Restaurant’s terrace on a warm summer evening is a must. We can’t finish this article without telling you about the Kings Head on the Old Tewkesbury Road. Popular for Sunday Lunches and some great steaks, this pub is a good stop en route to Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds especially if you are travelling with the kids as it boasts a large garden and family play area. If you are local you might be interested in Poker Nights – a national league with Casino hosted finals.

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        



    

For details on all Gloucestershire’s pubs in and around the River Severn, including those mentioned here, check out www.waterscape. com/canals-and-rivers/river-severn/ for a comprehensive listing and contact details.

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      

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        

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 May 2010 • Severn Village Living

Village Living Severn 1.indd 18

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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International Dawn Chorus Day 2nd May, 4.30am - 6.30am, £5 incl. refreshments Set your alarm and join Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at the crack of dawn to celebrate the magic of International Dawn Chorus Day. Early risers will be rewarded with fabulous bird song, and refreshed with coffee and a Danish pastry! Locations: Collin Park Wood Nature Reserve, Newent Greystones Farm Nature Reserve, Bourton-on-the-Water Lower Woods Nature Reserve, near Wickwar Whelford Pools Nature Reserve, near Fairford Suitable for children over 11 years. Pre-book your place on 01452 383333 Bats & Moths at Chedworth Nature Reserve – Part of National Moth Night, 5 May, 8pm A joint event with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation and Gloucestershire Bat Group with live demonstrations of bat mist netting and moth identification. For more details, contact: Peter Hugo 01453 882134 / 07789 361874 Walk 4 Wildlife! With Mike Dilger 16 May, 10am - 2pm A 5 mile sponsored walk through 4 stunning nature reserves in Stroud’s Golden Valley, led by BBC TV’s The One Show presenter, Mike Dilger. A great opportunity to get out and enjoy the beauty of this area, and raise some much-needed funds for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. You will be rewarded with refreshments and live entertainment at the nearby Daneway Inn. A great day for all the family – and dogs can come on a Walkies 4 Wildlife too! Find out more by visiting: www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/ walk4wildlife or calling us on: 01452 383333

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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21 • ADVERTORIAL

THE LOCAL FIRM WITH BIG CITY CONNECTIONS

W

ith offi ces in Cheltenham, Churchdown and central London, Thomas Legal Group has made a name for itself offering a range of specialist conveyancing, wills and probate services to clients throughout the South West of England, but it is not stopping there. On 3rd May 2010, Thomas Legal Group will be opening a fourth offi ce at Brunswick House on Gloucester Business Park, continuing their expansion into the local market. Simon Thomas, Managing Partner, explains: “I’m extremely pleased that the recent ongoing success of the firm has allowed us to continue to expand and to provide modern and effective legal services throughout the Country. It is our plain English, transparent and personal approach to the way we work that has proven so popular with our clients – we have been very fortunate that this has enabled us to grow both the size of our team and the number of locations from which we work, while other local firms have had to generally retreat and cut back.”

He continues: “Since opening our London office over a year ago, the business has gone from strength-tostrength. We have grown and have been approached to work for some blue chip clients and become specialists in providing bespoke conveyancing services to high net worth individuals in some of the most exclusive residential areas of London and the Cotswolds. We enjoy our work in London but Gloucestershire is our ongoing base and we are very keen to introduce our London-quality service levels to the local communities within this County.” The opening of the Churchdown office in June 2009 enabled Simon and his fellow Partners, including local girl and Partner, Victoria Hudson, to grow their teams further with the appointment of senior Wills and Probate Solicitor Lorna Henderson. As a specialist in working with the deceased’s estates, Lorna works alongside the highly reputable and well known Solicitor, Alan Thompson, who is one of the Firm’s Consultants. Simon Thomas attributes much of the ongoing expansion of the company to the appointment of key players in

the local property market. Experienced senior paralegal Pat Milton joined the Group’s expanding Cheltenham Office in June 2009, as Thomas explains: “…securing the highly respected Pat Milton in addition to Alan Thompson & Lorna has been a real coup for the firm, enabling us to provide highly experienced and focused advice to all of our clients”. Since expanding into London, leading solicitors from the firm are regularly featured in national newspapers, such as The Sunday Times, providing weekly ‘Ask the Experts’ legal advice columns for its readers. Look out for them when you next buy your Sunday paper!

To contact your local office or to learn more about the Thomas Legal Group, log onto www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk. Prefer to chat to someone in person? Call Harriet King on 01242 230 454 or email harriet@thomaslegalgroup.com

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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01452 525792

3 College Street, Gloucester GL1 2NE steiff@csoriginals.co.uk www.collegestreetoriginals.co.uk

Over 200 original Steiff® bears in stock Gloucestershire’s only ‘Club’ store Full gift wrapping and delivery service available Call or email us, mention send you ‘Village Living’ and we’ll ogue. a Free 2010 Steiff catal

Gloucester’s only independent specialist retailer offering a wide range of fine gifts, exclusive collectables and bespoke framing.

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        

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   

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 April 2010 • Village Living

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www.villageliving.biz | tel: 01903 814092

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23 • the history of... hatherley manor

Hatherley Manor – from Domesday to State of the Art in 10 centuries.

T

he parish of what we know as Down Hatherley, first saw its name in ‘print’ when it appeared in the Domesday book in 1086 as ‘Atherlai’ under the reign of Edward the Confessor. After Edward’s death the land was stolen by Harold – of Battle of Hastings fame – much to the anger of the locals. After the death of Harold it is uncertain how long the parish, known then as Hatherley Manor, was held under crown control but it passed through several centuries reverting back and forth from the crown to baronial stewardship. The actual building of Hatherley Court (on the site of Hatherley Manor Hotel today) started life as a small manor house built for George Brett Esq. in the 17th Century. The Bretts were favoured by Oliver Cromwell for their support of the parliamentary cause and it is rumoured that the manor house was actually built for one of Cromwell’s illegitimate sons. Though this bit of local scandal was never proven!

In the 19th Century Anthony Gilbert Jones, thrice Mayor of Gloucester 187577 was in residence of Hatherley Court. He fathered nine children, the seventh and youngest son being Charles Allen Jones. Charles was famous for patenting the well known Hatherley ‘Lattice Steps’, the forerunner to the modern step ladder in 1914. Jones & Co went on to draw up plans for the mass production of folding furniture and the most quintessential of all English works – the deck chair!

Nowadays you can still find a deck chair or two strewn about Hatherley Manor’s beautifully tended lawns but they are usually being lounged in by wedding guests or croquet enthusiasts. The hotel as it is now is an architectural smorgasbord of late 18th and 19th Century additions and more recent extensions from the time it became a hotel in 1984, yet it retains the grandeur and charm of a manor house for the landed gentry. In 2005, Hatherley Manor Hotel underwent its latest refurbishment starting with its 50 bedrooms and then on to the Dewinton Restaurant in 2006. The feel of the restaurant changed from a bistro style eatery to an upscale place in which to wine and dine. Today the restaurant has a classy and expensive feel yet it is actually very relaxed and affordable, like wearing a silk shirt with no tie out on a picnic! The refurbishment of the public areas finished in 2009 with the Hatherley Suite, often used for wedding

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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24 • the history of... hatherley manor

ceremonies and private functions. Not ones to let the grass grow under their feet, Stephen Trowbridge (General Manager) and his team, embarked on a major new project early this year. £300,000 was spent on a state of the art kitchen installed by award winning Space Catering Equipment of Gloucester. With names such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Number 10 Downing Street boasting Space kitchens, the hotel is in good company. The kitchen will enable them to cater for bigger weddings and family gatherings but most importantly, it will revolutionise the restaurant. Currently the restaurant is open for dinner and Sunday Lunch but Executive Chef Terry Woolcock hopes to open daily for lunch in the not too distant future. In the meantime, why wait! Terry recommends the excellent value Early Weekend Offer – £18 for 3 courses at dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.

Offer of the Month Two for One Tuesdays – Two can dine from the Table d’hôte for £28.95 Monday to Sunday 7pm-9.30pm.

Not only can you enjoy the delicious food at a great price but Hatherley Manor will reward you for doing so. You could earn yourself a bottle of wine to complement your meal. Read our News and Events section on page 6 for details of the newly launched Loyalty Club. What do we think? You’ll find out when we review the Dewinton Restaurant in June’s edition of Severn Village Living Magazine. Until then, try it out for yourself!

All the offers are downloadable from the website www.hatherleymanor.com but for those who prefer to call there is always someone available to chat through the offers available with you on 01452 730217.

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  

      May 2010 • Severn Village Living

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www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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25 • sussex in season

NGS Open Gardens – May

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very year NGS gardens across England and Wales welcome over half a million visitors. Most gardens which open for the NGS are privately owned and open just a few times each year. Some gardens open as part of a group with the whole community involved. The National Garden Scheme raises over £2 million each year for nursing, caring and gardening charities. They have raised over £25 million in the last 10 years. Proud of your green fingers? Learn more about how to open your garden to the public and raise money for worthy NGS charities such as MacMillan Cancer Research, and Marie Curie Cancer Care and log on to www.ngs.org.uk. If you are not a gardener but love gardens none the less, the NGS website will direct you to all the open gardens across the UK. In the meantime, Severn Village Living has picked out six gardens open in May within 10 miles of Gloucester for you to discover and enjoy. Highnam Court, Highnam 40 acres of Victorian landscaped gardens surrounding magnificent Grade I house (not open), set out by the artist Thomas Gambier Parry. There are lakes, shrubberies and listed Pulhamite water gardens with grottos and fernery. Exciting ornamental lakes and woodland areas. An extensive 1-acre rose garden. Disability information: Gravel paths, slopes, steps to orangery & toilets Open: 9 May; 6 June (11-5). Adm £4, chd free Contact: Roger Head 01452 308251 Brockworth Court, Brockworth Historic manor house (not open) that once belonged to Llanthony Priory featuring CPRE award-winning restored C13 tithe barn. The Garden has undergone much restoration work in recent years. The Dew pond with Monet bridge leading to an island summerhouse is gorgeous. Enjoy mostly farmhouse style planting and an Organic kitchen garden complemented by views of Coopers and Crickley Hills There is also an Arts & crafts gallery. Jet Age Museum Open: Suns 30 May; 20 June (2pm-5pm) Adm £4, chd free Contact: Mr & Mrs Tim Wiltshire 01452 863232

Berry’s Place Farm, Churcham Country garden surrounded by farmland and old orcharding. Lovely lawns and mixed herbaceous borders with some old roses. There is a formal kitchen garden and rose arbour leading to a lake and summerhouse with a variety of water lilies and carp. All shared with peacocks and ducks. Open: Sat 29 May to BH Mon 31 May (11am-7pm). Max 15 visitors. Adm £3, chd free (share to Air Ambulance & The Forge) Featured on Radio Gloucestershire ‘Secret Gardens’ Contact: Anne Thomas 01452 750298 Willow Lodge, Nr Longhope A Plantsman’s garden with unusual and rare plants, herbaceous borders, shrubs and alpine garden. Many woodland plants and a large bog garden with marginals and Asiatic primulas. There is an exceptional arboretum containing around 400 different trees and shrubs from all over the temperate world. There are also areas of wild flowers set in 4-acre grounds. Open: Sun 2, BH Mon 3 May (1pm-5pm) Adm £3, chd free Contact: John & Sheila Wood 01452 831211 www.willowgardens.fsnet.co.uk Breene’s, Longhope RHS Gold Medal winners’ own private garden set in 1/3 acre with valley views, dramatic planting, interesting level changes throughout, parterre garden, vegetable garden and many places to sit, relax and enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake. Plenty of year-round interest. Photography & plants for sale. Open: Sat 29 May; 12 June; Suns 30 May; 13 June (2pm-6pm). Adm £3, chd free Contact: Ann & James Steed 01452 831286 Lower Farmhouse, Clifford’s Mesne, Nr Newent A two-acre garden, including woodland, stream and a large natural lily pond with rockery and bog garden. Herbaceous borders, pergola walk, terrace with ornamental fishpond, kitchen and herb garden; many interesting and unusual trees and shrubs. Open: Weds 26 May; 2 June (2pm-6pm). Adm £3, chd free Contact: Gareth & Sarah Williams through NGS.

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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26 • gloucester rugby club

2010/11 Season Ticket Package Launched Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce their 2010/11 season ticket prices and package which includes great deals for kids and the inclusion of the Anglo Welsh Cup pool matches.

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he future is looking bright for Bryan Redpath and his Gloucester team with a large number of his signings completed which have seen players like Lesley Vainikolo, Olly Morgan and Luke Narraway re-sign their contracts. We also have some exciting new signings like Brett Deacon on his way from Leicester. Bryan Redpath has already proved this year that he is building something special here at Kingsholm with a real emphasis on the importance of the relationship between the club, players and supporters. On the pitch, things have been on the rise since Christmas with Gloucester Rugby being the top try scoring team in the Guinness Premiership so far this season. With things looking up on the playing front, Gloucester Rugby are hoping to attract more season ticket holders to Kingsholm as well as encouraging more kids and families to attend. Younger supporters will now have the opportunity to watch Premiership, European and Anglo Welsh Cup rugby for just £3 standing and £6 seating in the C&G Stand Silver, Bronze sections or JS Stand per match. Junior season ticket holders will also automatically be enrolled into the Junior Supporters Club known as the Gloucester Crew where they will receive benefits including: coaching sessions, stadium tours and a chance to meet the Gloucester Rugby players as well

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as including many more scheduled activities. For the first time in 2010/11, the season ticket package will include entry to the home pool matches in the Anglo Welsh Cup, a tournament in which Gloucester have reached the final for the past two seasons, only narrowly denied silverware in March this year by Northampton after a thrilling, seesaw encounter. After two years of zero price increases, the cost of a season ticket has seen a slight increase compared to last year. The price increase includes a 2.5% VAT increase and the additional benefit of an extra two matches , which previously had been all pay games. The 2010/11 package is aimed at attracting more juniors and families to Kingsholm as well as offering more matches and cost savings across the board. The West Terrace has seen the least increase to ensure a wide range of affordability for fans. New this season is the facility for existing members to be able to renew seats and standing tickets online using the MyTickets software. This software will also enable members to select and purchase season tickets for friends and family in one online transaction. Gloucester Rugby’s Managing Director Ken Nottage explained that the club had taken on board the opinions of supporters when pulling the packages together.

“After consulting with a cross section of supporters on their views of the rugby club, and what was important to them, several things emerged.” “People wanted cheaper tickets for children so that they can enjoy a family day at the rugby and that the Anglo Welsh Cup matches should be included within the package. A better bar facility for all supporters to enjoy was also on the wish list.” “This package reflects the points that were raised in that we have made season tickets cheaper for kids giving them the opportunity to watch Premiership and European matches for just £6 per match seating or £3 per match standing.” “The inclusion of the Anglo Welsh Cup pool matches has an additional benefit in that it allows season ticket holders to watch all competitions at Kingsholm using one ticket taking away the hassle and addition cost of purchasing individual tickets for individual competitions.” “Plans are already in place to improve the Shogun bar facility to make it a more welcoming place for all supporters as well as reducing the prices behind the bar and offering a wider selection of food and entertainment, including interviews with players.” “As a club we value the support of our season ticket holders. It’s been said before that they are the lifeblood of the club and we want to deliver a product that meets their desires and expectations.”

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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Season ticket prices start from; £48 Junior standing, £210 Adult standing, £96 Junior seating and £330 Adult seating. For more information or to book a season ticket visit www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk or call the ticket hotline on 0871 871 8781 option 2.

Player Profile Gloucester Rugby Club’s

Lesley Vainikolo What is the first game you remember watching? It would have been back home watching the All Blacks take on Australia in the Bledisloe Cup. Who is your sport’s best pundit? Probably the guy from The Rugby Club on Sky, Stuart Barnes. He’s interesting to listen to. Who’s got the flashiest motor at the club? Everyone says it’s you! I think are few of the boys are after the title with the Jaguars and cars like that but no-one’s touches mine! Who’s the best dresser in the playing department? That would be Q (Akapusi Qera) If money was no object what would you buy? I’d probably buy a getaway island for myself and the family. Somewhere where we could have our privacy and I could keep them safe and happy. Best try you’ve ever scored? I’ve scored a few so that’s a tough one! I think probably the one when I broke the record in Super League when I scored 37 tries. That was for Bradford against St Helens. Who is your best friend in rugby? I don’t really have one best friend. We’re a really tight bunch, us Islanders and get together often. People like Q and Eli and Shontayne Hape and Johnny Faamatuainu from Bath. We get together a lot. Sam Tuitupou from Worcester is another.

Which player and team impressed you most during the Six Nations? I watched a lot of the Six Nations and I was impressed with the Irish winger, Tommy Bowe. I rated him pretty highly. France were the best team overall. They were strong from 1 to 15 and deserved the title. What’s the toughest game in your opinion – league or union? They’re both tough and hard games in their own in their own different ways. In union, you have the rucks and the mauls but in league you have the sheer impact of the tackling. Do you support any other sporting teams? I like to relax by watching sport. I really like watching snooker and boxing but they’re not team sports obviously! Which player did you most admire when you were growing up? Zinzan Brooke. He was a real icon. A forward who could drop goals from halfway – he was amazing. In rugby league, I’d have to say Mal Meninga. Has sport ever brought tears to your eyes? Not really tears but if someone scores a great try or pulls of a huge tackle then you do feel emotional. Rugby’s an emotional game. Where in the world is the best night out? Rome. You can have a real nice night out in Rome.

With thanks to Gloucester Rugby Club and Anna Mitchell for letting us print this interview. www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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           

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29 • MIND & BODY

Mind & Body Jemma Cyphus-Jones McTimoney Chiropractor, Back Well Soon

McTimoney Chiropractic

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elcome to Back Well Soon McTimoney Chiropractic Clinic. My name is Jemma Cyphus-Jones and I graduated as a McTimoney Chiropractor in 2007. Since then I have been working for an established clinic in Bishops Cleeve but opened Back Well Soon in Twigworth in August last year. My interest in chiropractic started when I saw a pony that had been lame for 6 months due to a tendon injury in the hind leg, which then become sound after a single chiropractic treatment. I was amazed, but in fact it’s quite simple to understand why the treatment helped once you know how chiropractic works. WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC AND HOW DOES IT WORK? Chiropractic is a method of adjusting the bones and muscles of your body to improve the alignment of the skeleton, and through this process help the nervous and muscular system function more efficiently and speed up healing processes. This realignment and rebalancing can help to relieve pain and discomfort, numbness and pins and needles, and increase mobility following

problems caused by accidents, stress, poor exercise, poor posture, illness, everyday wear and tear etc. The whole body is checked and treated, as misalignments in one area of the body often cause symptoms in another. For instance, headaches may be relieved by treatment to the neck, and the pony’s tendon couldn’t heal because she was carrying the leg abnormally due to a tilted pelvis. WHAT CONDITIONS BENEFIT FROM CHIROPRACTIC? Chiropractic spinal manipulation often helps with the symptoms of chronic or acute back and neck pain, migraine headache and dizziness, muscular aches, and a number of upper and lowers extremity joint conditions which cause pain, discomfort and stiffness. I find it particularly effective when combined with therapeutic massage. WHY MCTIMONEY CHIROPRACTIC? McTimoney is one of many different Chiropractic techniques. Some use instruments to adjust, and some rely heavily on x-rays to determine what to adjust, but the McTimoney method (developed by the late John McTimoney

over 50yrs ago) is well known for being a gentle, precise, ‘hands on’ whole body treatment, making it especially suitable for all ages. The youngest I have treated is my own new- born sons; the oldest (so far) was 98! I am frequently asked how Chiropractic differs from osteopathy. Both try to achieve the same result by hands on treatments and both are regulated by law, but McTimoney Chiropractors tend to use quick dexterous and accurate actions to ‘adjust’ the body whereas osteopaths more typically use a ‘mobilisation’ technique to stretch and massage the body to encourage movement. Next month I plan to talk about what to expect at an initial consultation and first treatment and specific conditions and symptoms related to the neck and how and why chiropractic may help. If you have any queries or questions about chiropractic please feel free to contact me on 01452 730900. Back Well Soon McTimoney Chiropractic Clinic, Unit 12 Twigworth Court Business Centre, Tewkesbury Rd. Glos GL2 9PG

www.severnvillageliving.co.uk | tel: 01452 730023

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A PERSONAL FRIENDLY & AFFORDABLE SERVICE GUARANTEED AT Chartered Accountants FOR QUALITY BUSINESS ADVICE IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE AND THE FOREST OF DEAN Owner Managed Businesses

Auditing

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Positive Business Advice Including Start-ups, Cash flow

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Free Initial Consultation • Free Easy Parking

Glos:

(01452) 520000

Forest:

(01594) 843635

www.griffithsmarshall.co.uk email: info@griffithsmarshall.co.uk

Beaumont House, 172 Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2EZ 45 Newerne Street, Lydney, Gloucester GL15 5RA

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         

         

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Talk Money

31 • talk money

Kevin Dursley Spa Financial Solutions

PPI – mis-selling

W

elcome to Talk Money. This month I am pleased to introduce myself and my company, Spa Financial Solutions. I am Kevin Dursley. Myself and the Spa Financial Solutions team are established debt counsellors providing a wide range of debt solutions for consumers, sole traders and the self employed. For the next few months I will be focusing on a new debt based topic. This month I talk about Payment Protection Insurance mis-selling. Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is one of the major scandals in personal finance today. Over the past years when people have entered into a loan or credit card agreement they have been offered Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) on most occasions. Most lenders had been hard selling PPI to increase profits while

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also mis-selling this type of insurance. As a result the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has heavily fined many of the major high street banks and lenders. People who have taken out such policies have been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation because PPI has been mis-sold. PPI has been criticised and deemed unethical. The onerous small print clauses contained within the terms and conditions prevents many PPI policies from paying out if the policy holder client becomes sick or unemployed. In many instances it has been proved that consumers are unaware that PPI has been added to their loan or credit card. Taking all of the above into consideration, as well as recent regulation changes, consumers are encouraged to make a claim if they feel that they have been a victim of misselling. Successful claims can result in all premiums being re-paid, together with interest and compensation. If any of the following applies to you then you may have a valid claim! •W  ere you informed of any other companies that could provide you with this insurance?

• Were the terms and conditions of the insurance policy fully explained? • Were you asked about your existing medical conditions? • Were you self employed, unemployed or retired when the policy was taken out, or throughout some of the duration of the policy? • Were you told you must take the policy out in order to get the card or loan? If not, then you may have a claim against the lender which whom you have PPI. A successful claim for mis-sold PPI can result in thousands of pounds being returned for premiums paid plus interest. Spa Financial Solutions has partnered with a Ministry of Justice regulated claims specialist to provide this service and we can help you find out if you have a claim. We work on a NO WIN NO FEE basis. Call our specialist team on 0800 622 6275 for further advice or email us via the contact form on our website www. spafinancialsolutions.co.uk You can also find out more information about PPI misselling at www.simplyppi.co.uk.

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     

         

            

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