Page 1

Hello & welcome to the September issue, Don’t miss the What’s On page this month, which is packed full of new and updated events. Hyams Autos have asked us to mention that they will again be having a Christmas lights display for charity, so if anyone would like to nominate a deserving charity at Hyams Autos in Malmesbury, it will be considered. For those of you thinking of starting a new year fitness campaign early (or in my case late!) see Fitsteps on page 30, for fitness that is also fun, and with a strictly come dancing twist! If you have Canada on your list of places to visit, the Rockies Train Tour from Miles Morgan on page 3 looks fantastic. You may have seen pop up shops, but there is to be a POP up village near you! See page 32. Are you lucky enough to have a veggie patch or fruit tree, but seem to have a surplus? See page 33 for a new Harvest Share scheme! Kind Regards Renee Tuck

Nells Naturelle Cleaners Eco friendly cleaning agency

Tel : 07975689056


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Life Begins The rise and rise of Shabby Chic By Kate McLelland Visit any antique fair in any town in Britain nowadays and you will find an array of items that, twenty years ago, would have been considered better suited to go in a builder’s skip than take pride of place on a dealer’s stall. It may seem extraordinary that people are willing to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase pieces that are worn and damaged, but these items are popular because they meet the British public’s voracious demand for anything that can be described as “Shabby Chic”. So what is “Shabby Chic”, and why does this style now dominate the marketplace for home decoration and household goods? The term was originally coined in the 1980s by The World of Interiors magazine. Inspired by Mediterranean culture, the style reflected the increasing popularity of holidays in places such as Provence, Tuscany, France and Greece. In the 1990s TV programmes such as “Changing Rooms” encouraged homeowners to experiment with eclectic styles and at that time a number of new home decoration products emerged onto the market. These triggered a surge of interest in different paint effects, including the ageing and layering techniques used by fans of Shabby Chic to mimic the weathered, sun-baked surfaces found in traditional Mediterranean buildings. The look combines bleached-out, subtle colours for furniture, walls and paintwork with household items that are either genuinely old and displaying signs of wear, or new and deliberately treated to look as though they have had a lifetime of use. At a time when we are all under pressure to work harder for less money, it’s not surprising that we are drawn to a fashion that evokes the past, harking back to a gentler, more relaxed way of life. Suzanne Rowett, owner of the Dorset-based vintage style shop Shy Violet (, runs popular courses on specialist paint techniques. She believes the fashion for Shabby Chic is partly due to an increase in female buying power. “The 20th century vogue for Brown furniture was a very masculine fashion, largely dictated by men, but current trends are much more feminine and women have much more influence when it comes to furnishing and decorating their homes.” If you want to learn how to transform pieces of furniture yourself, you can find several excellent “How to” videos on YouTube, but it’s best to start with a low-cost item from a charity shop or car boot sale. A flat matt finish is a must and if you want to create an illusion of age you should avoid pure white in favour of creams, gentle yellows, pinks and


soft browns. For the Mediterranean look you can use bolder colour combinations, layering bright shades for a contrasting effect and rubbing down with different grades of sandpaper so the undercoat shows through at points where age and constant use would naturally rub away the surface. Once you have mastered a few simple techniques you will find it’s relatively easy to create your own Shabby Chic interior. Suzanne Rowett believes that these days the home is one of the few places where people can truly express their individuality and adds that reviving unique pieces of furniture can be very rewarding. “Once they start, many of my customers find it completely addictive”, adds Suzanne. “In fact, I’d say it changes their lives.”

Prestige Computer Services Your local Repair Company For 25 Years Repair & Sale Of PC’s & Laptops Won’t Boot & Slow Problems Solved Replacement of laptop cracked screens Data Recovery & Hard Drive Duplication Virus Removal & Software Installation. Internet-Wi Fi & Email Set Up For Friendly advice & Low Cost Repairs please Call Mark On MALMESBURY 01666 824031 Email

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

MARTIN CORFIELD UPHOLSTERY SERVICES “Your Tired Furniture Tastefully Restored to Your Specifications�

Martin Corfield Upholstery Services is a bespoke service providing high quality workmanship by a skilled craftsman in South Gloucestershire Antique Furniture Restoration We can reupholster valuable antique chairs and furniture. A total restoration involves rebuilding of internal upholstery fillings springs and fibres, using traditional methods and materials in keeping with the original build with the final fabric covering giving you a look and finish of your choice. Full Re-covering Service There is no need to replace your sofa and chairs because they no longer match the decor. Most upholstered furniture can be fully reupholstered. Why not give your sofas and chairs a new lease of life by stripping off the old fabric and re-covering them in new? The Look Both antique and modern furniture can be finished Shabby Chic, waxed or French polished and with a final fabric of your choice giving you that classic or maybe the more contemporary look. We have many samples of fabric collections available for you to choose from. Consultation and Quotation I offer free friendly advice with free quotation, home or a workshop visits can be arranged. Tel: 01454 279307

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


The Beginning of the Railway Boom September 27th 1825: Opening of Stockton & Darlington Railway September 15th 1830: Opening of Liverpool & Manchester Railway If there were such an event as World Railways Month, it would have to be September, when two of the most significant anniversaries in the history of tracked transport fall. The Stockton & Darlington Railway was the world’s first thoroughgoing commercial passenger and freight railway specifically designed for steam locomotives. It was officially declared open on September 27th 1825 and when the inaugural train – drawn by George Stephenson’s Locomotive No 1 and carrying 600 passengers in coal wagons with a luxury coach for VIPs – completed the 26-mile journey to the Tees wharfs at Stockton it was greeted by a crowd of 40,000 and a 21-gun salute. It wasn’t the world’s first steam railway, though. The first attempts at adapting steam engines – by then a mature technology – went back to the late 1780s when Boulton & Watt’s chief designer, Andrew Murdock, was experimenting with high-pressure steam and building prototype miniature locomotives in his back garden. His next-door neighbour, something of a child prodigy called Richard Trevithick, took note of what he was doing and when he grew up exhibited his own loco, Puffing Devil.

Picture: Opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.

35-mile line was intended to undercut the canal-owners who charged extortionate rates to bargees shuttling raw cotton and finished textiles between Liverpool docks and the Lancashire cotton-mills. It was two-track, steam-only, and properly timetabled. The L&M itself owned and operated the locos (including Stephenson’s Rocket), and even invented a crude form of signalling. The line itself was a miracle of engineering: it had 46 bridges and viaducts, one of nine arches, the Wapping tunnel was 1½ miles long, one twomile cutting was 70ft deep and to lay the line securely across the 4½-mile swamp, Chat Moss, the engineers had to sink hundreds of hurdles of heather and stone. The grand opening was marred by the death of the Liverpool MP William Huskisson, who was hit by the Rocket himself, losing his legs and his life soon after. Nevertheless, the L&M was a wild commercial success – and the railway boom was on, not just in Britain, but around the world. By Ted Bruning

That was in 1801, and by then other designers were already building steam-powered carriages designed for road use. The engines were too heavy for the roads though, so in 1804 Trevithick tried running an adapted engine (normally used to power a drop-hammer) on the tramway at Penydarren ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil. Again, the rails, which normally carried horse-drawn wagons, were too fragile. In 1808 Trevithick exhibited a purpose-built loco, Catch Me Who Can, on a circular track at a “steam circus” held in Euston, London. Everything worked but although many people enjoyed the ride, no-one was buying. Trevithick gave up. Mine owners didn’t, though. In 1812 a short line using steam locos opened between Middleton colliery and the wharves at Leeds. George Stephenson himself built two such lines, at Killingworth and Hetton before starting work on the Stockton & Darlington. Great engineer he might have been, but he wasn’t much of an organiser. The S&DR owned the line (which was only single track) but not the locos; instead, colliers and carriers paid to run their own trains, some steam, some horse-drawn. The confusion was indescribable. A second track was built and the need for timetables was soon discovered. The Liverpool & Manchester, on which Stephenson and his son Robert also worked, was a very different operation. The


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


•Bumper scuffs •Paintwork scratches •Kerbed alloys •Minor dents

Minety based, family run professional tree services company. Felling, Dismantling and Removal, Crown Reduction Thinning & Lifting, Pollarding, Dead Wooding, Stump Grinding, Hedge Trimming & Shaping, Chipping, Removal & Logging, Site Clearance NPTC QUALIFIED AND FULL Y INSURED

For a free no obligation quote or advice please call Ben Thorne on: 07971386606 Email: adm


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Lumley Garden & Pet Supplies

LIFESTYLE HEALTH & BEAUTY Guinot and Decleor facials OPI Manicure and Pedicures Gel & Acrylic Overlays/Extensions Foot Health Care St.Tropez Spray Tanning Bare Minerals Make up Aromatherapy/ Hot Stones Massages Waxing/Tinting/ Eyelash Extensions

Stainsbridge Mill, Gloucester Road, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0AJ Tel: 01666 822325 E-mail:

          Top Leading Brands of Food & Treats

Gift Vouchers Free Parking

Tel: 01666 577636 Lifestyle Health & Beauty Hankerton, Malmesbury, SN16 9JZ

 Own Label Premium Dog Food  Bowls, Toys & Accessories  Beds & Cushions  Wild Bird Food & Products inc .Live

Food “For you and your pet’s every need.” Delivery service Available.

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Putting your best foot forward Bad foot health isn’t just embarrassing, it can also be painful. From verrucas, to bunions, calluses, athlete’s foot and ingrown toenails, without the right treatment or preventative care you could end up in a lot of pain and discomfort. Treating foot problems Many foot problems can be helped with prescription or overthe-counter treatments, but some may require further help from a podiatrist (also known as a chiropodist). They can supply tailor-made insoles, padding or arch supports to help relieve heel or arch pain, or help to get rid of all that hard skin you’ve been building up for years. You will get priority NHS treatment by a podiatrist if you have diabetes, arthritis or blood circulation problems. Smelly feet If you notice people moving away from you when you talk, it may be worth checking your foot odour - no one wants to be known as the person with the smelly feet, or having the less offensive medical term, ‘bromodosis’. Luckily there are some simple solutions to stopping your feet from getting too stinky, which when you consider the fact that we have around 250,000 sweat glands in our feet, is a very common problem.  Use surgical spirit after a shower or bath, using cotton wool between your toes to help dry out the skin.  Use a foot spray or antiperspirant on your feet.

4. 5.

Regularly moisturise and smooth dry and rough skin. Seek professional help if you can’t treat a foot problem on your own.

Foot Health Care

Sina Ohms MCFHP MAFHP Foot Health Practitioner Corns-Nail Trimming-Verrucae-Hard SkinAthlete’s Foot-Ingrown Toenails-Nail InfectionsCracked Heels (Fissures)-Nail Cutting The Chippenham Natural Therapy Centre T:01249 443390 The Oxford Practice, Malmesbury T:01666 824 560 Corsham Chiropractic Clinic T: 01249 716683 Home Visits T: 01666 838683 M:07593324128

Piano tuner/ technician

 Buy anti-smelling foot insoles or feet-fresh socks.  Wear light sandals and go barefoot at home whenever

you can. Wearing the right shoes High heels, flip flops and unsupportive trainers won’t do your feet any favours – especially if you wear them on a regular basis. As tempting as it is to wear flip flops for comfort, you should try to avoid wearing them every day as they won’t give you that all-important heel and arch support to prevent foot pain or tendonitis. Final steps to take for healthy feet Many of the most common feet problems can be avoided or treated alongside conventional medication by following many of the tips above on foot hygiene, as well as the following: 1. Keep pedicure kits clean and don’t share them with others. 2. Avoid walking around barefoot at swimming pools or communal showers - these are a breeding ground for foot infections. 3. Trim your toe nails regularly to avoid in-grown toenails.


Mike Felton MPTA 01454 232971 or 07747 317844


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

RMN Personal Training Making Fitness Fun

1-2-1 sessions Personal and friendly Very effective Contact: 07979 084558



Bath Road, Willesley, Glos. GL8 8QX

Tel: 01666 880314 Email

Est. over 20years by Gill Butler, Veterinary Nurse. Small, family run business with heated facilities and daily walks at no extra cost. Elderly/pets on medication accepted. Grooming and pet supplies available.

ALL FEMALE TEAM •All exterior & interior work undertaken •Advice on colours and soft furnishings •Suppliers of fabric, flooring & accessories PRACTICAL, AFFORDABLE, INTERIOR SOLUTIONS

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts



To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Natural Health & Beauty in Wiltshire Over the past few years we have seen online retail sales grow whilst the high street has declined. In an economy where we constantly hear how a recession is upon us, consumers are much more focussed on achieving value for money. However, the down side of this is that buying cheap can often result in poor quality. If we consider the role of health and beauty products in this and the ever-increasing call for natural ingredients, the ability to buy affordable products can often be a challenge.

Can we be 100% confident that a product bought online contains the natural ingredients we need? Likewise how can we ensure that the products available on the high street offer exactly what we need? Do they compromise on quality to ensure they offer the competitive pricing needed to stay in business?

As a nation, the need for consumable items, that bring broad health benefits, is continually growing. However, one apparent failing is that the UK market is seriously limited in its ability to provide a British brand that delivers exactly what consumers want. It is this gap in the market which had led Sean Dougall, Managing Director of Collatec Collagen Technology to bring a fresh approach to supplying natural health and beauty products. Sean comments, “I have a passion for providing the very best health and beauty products. The product range I supply has been formulated in Wiltshire and is manufactured in Britain. It is my mission to understand what local consumers are looking for and matching our product range to suit.”

Collatec products have been carefully designed to ensure that they benefit the consumer. The cosmetic range focuses on natural ingredients, the skincare range focuses on sensitivity and the supplements are hailed as the “holy grail” of anti-ageing.

Frame Visualisation System See your picture framed before buying

Specialist framer of memorabilia, cross-stitches, football shirts, jigsaws, pictures, prints etc. Also dry mounting and laminating SUE’S GALLERY & FRAMING 29A High Street, Cricklade SN6 6AB 01793 759016 Unit 23 Blackworth Industrial Estate, Highworth, Swindon SN6 7NA 01793 764929 Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts



To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Starting School Starting school is a major transition in a child’s development and can be liberating and daunting for both of you. For children starting school this may mean new places, new people and new rules to follow. For you it may mean returning to work, or having to get used to being at home alone while your child is at school. The change impacts on the whole family. Difficult for your child It can be hard for a child to deal with the transition to starting school. There are lots to come to terms with, loss of babyhood, separation from the parent and loss of special one to one relationships. Children just starting school will suddenly go from being the biggest in their playgroup/nursery to being the smallest in their new school. This can be a very scary time! Children will vary in how easy or difficult they find this stage in their life but it is very common for children to have difficulties in making the jump. There are a number of different ways you can help prepare for when your child starts school. There are some common negative feelings your child may be feeling at this time and these can translate into difficult behaviour to manage as a parent. Suddenly it may seem that your child who was becoming a big girl or boy seems to regress back to being a toddler. However your child may be excited about school, show no fears whatsoever and run off on their first day leaving you weeping in their wake at your own loss. If this is the case then pat yourself on the back – your child is obviously feeling confident and secure enough to take this new challenge in their stride. Preparing your child for primary school Tell your child what to expect from school but don't oversell it, be positive, but also warn them gently that they may get tired and if they have any problems or feel sad they should tell their teacher. Visit the school beforehand If your child hasn't been to the school's nursery and doesn't have siblings at the school, make sure he or she sees the school before starting so they know what to expect. Many schools do set up 'taster' sessions for the new September intake at the end of the summer term. Rehearse the school routine Run through the school routine. Start packing them a lunch in a box and try different lunch foods so that you know what they will eat at school. Do this at the same school lunch times so they get used to the times they can eat. Talk about school rules Some children get confused or anxious about school rules. Reassure them and tell them to keep an eye on what the other children around them are doing. Some child-rearing experts suggest reading a book to your child about starting school. Encourage 'life skills' Children at school have to do things you'd normally do for them at home. Teachers just can't change 30 children into their PE kit so, ideally, you should teach your child to get dressed and undressed before they start school. Label their clothes Label your child's clothes and show your child where you've put their name, so they can check it themselves. School toilets and personal hygiene It's common - and often mortifying - for children to wet themselves at school, especially in the first few terms. Children often don't like the school toilets, so they will hang on until it's too late. Give your child a change of pants so they can avoid the embarrassment of telling the teacher if they don't want to. Make sure your child knows how to pull up their pants and wipe themselves and teach them how to flush the chain and wash their hands, so they don't perpetuate those awful tummy bugs that can take out whole families. At Tiggers we have pre-prep school sessions with our qualified early years teachers and ensure that we do all of the above and more to ensure that your child is as ready as possible for that next big step!

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Mediterranean Fish Bake Serves 4

Ready in 50 minutes This is a great one-pan dish full of fresh flavour. Monkfish is quite pricey but the meaty flesh is delicious and bakes really well, however you can replace it with cod loin, salmon steaks or thick pieces of haddock fillet if you prefer. Serve with a green salad and warmed ciabatta bread to mop up all the lovely herb and lemon flavoured pan juices.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Place the oil in a large non-stick roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes to the tin and toss to coat in the hot oil. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once.

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

2 tbsp olive oil (choose a good quality fruity one) 350g small new potatoes, halved 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks 225g small plum tomatoes, halved 4 monkfish fillets (each weighing about 150g) 50g butter, softened Pared rind and juice from 1 small lemon, plus extra wedges to serve • 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add the peppers and tomatoes to the roasting tin and toss to coat in the hot oil. Make a space in the tin and add the monkfish fillets. Return the roasting tin to the oven for 10 minutes. Dot the butter over the fish fillets and sprinkle over the lemon rind, juice and oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for a further 5-10 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and the potatoes and peppers are tender. Slice each monkfish fillet and arrange with the potatoes, peppers and tomatoes on four warmed serving plates. Spoon over the pan juices and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tip Replace the peppers with sliced courgettes, chunks of celery and baby button mushrooms, if liked.


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Lawn & Garden Services Grass Cutting Hedge Cutting General Garden Maintenance Lawn Treatments Aeration Scarifying Spraying Sports Ground Maintenance Call now for a free quotation:



Landscaping Before

Extension Before

New Build Before

Landscaping After

Extension After


New Build After

Extensions Loft Conversions Barn Conversions Listed Building Refurbishment Groundworks and Landscaping Natural Stone Walling Roofing Fascias & Guttering Kitchens & Bathrooms Carpentry Property Maintenance

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Being An Expert At Something Totally Useless Chris Russell I can do a few things. I have the odd skill.

I can play the piano, cook a decent chilli and touch my nose with my tongue. I taught myself to snowboard, can juggle a bit, and when I was fourteen I was really quite good in goal. However, the one thing that I am best at in the whole world - the single skill I am yet to find anyone to best me on - is spelling. I can spell like an absolute beast. I can spell pretty much any word on instinct, and I've been able to do this since I was a kid. I am the Ryan Gosling of spelling. All of which would be great if, in the modern world, spelling hadn't become as outdated a skill as minstreling. I've been robbed of my own magnificence here. My greatest intellectual asset is being able to do something which even the simplest of computers can carry out in micro-seconds, with minimum effort. In short, I am lucky enough to have found a skill at which I am uselessly brilliant. You see, being able to spell almost any word is pretty much the lamest superhero skill in the box. No one's ever going to spell the human race from the brink of destruction, are they? When extra-terrestrials commandeer the White House and threaten to eradicate all our major cities, President Obama isn't going to call me up and beg that I hotfoot it to Washington to vanquish our alien oppressors with a perfect rendition of the word 'ambidextrous'. I can't spell people into finding me charming and sophisticated. I can't aim to one day snag the Nobel Peace Prize for services to humanity. At best I could go to America, enter a spelling bee (why are these called 'bees', by the way?) and probably do rather well in one of those but that's the height of achievement possible in my special skill sector. Whoop-de-doo. Here’s the issue. Technology has rendered the ability to spell all but obsolete. It's not just that computers can smooth out your mistakes, it's that they now do it without you even noticing. A friend of mine pointed out the other day that he has never been quite sure how to correctly spell 'definitely' - probably never will - and yet he writes it flawlessly in e-mails and text messages every single week, because auto-correct has the courtesy to do his dirty work before he's even noticed the error.

very reason. And while I can't help but see the sense in this proposal, wouldn't it butcher our beautiful, complex language, leaving behind a bland and functional shell? Or, maybe, I'm just clinging onto an archaic discipline simply because I happen to be quite good at it. Either way, at the end of the day, there remains only this to be said. If you ever need me, if you're ever in trouble, shine the 'i before e except after c' call-sign into the night's sky, and I'll come running. Because, as sure as the sun doth rise, society will always need its superheroes. [Disclaimer: Any spelling mistakes in this article are to be attributed to the editer. Sorry, editor.] Chris is a freelance writer and musician with internationally-renowned rock band The Lightyears.


Local, friendly, quality finish every time

07979363224 or 07736326269 Email:

The drummer in my band is of the belief that the entire English language should be re-written phonetically, as in Italian. Rates of dyslexia, he says, are lower in Italy for this


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Call in today for a free tyre check with our tyres at Low Low prices Tyres Exhausts Brakes Batteries MOT Car Recovery

PITSTOP TYRES All makes of servicing available Wide range of tyres in stock Four wheel laser alignment MOT by appointment

TEL: 01666 824084 MOBILE: 07501 464821 We are a family run business and our aim is to keep you safe on the road, offering you a friendly and professional service with competitive prices. Unit 1, Whitewall Ind Est, Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wilts, SN16 0RD.

Free pick up and drop off within the Malmesbury area Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Ten Ways To Create A New Room In Your House By Katherine Sorrell Just had a baby? Started working from home? Run out of storage? Then you need to stretch your home. 1. Build an extension Pros Adding a rear extension to a kitchen can be a great way to create a multi-functional family room. Filling in the side return in a typical Victorian terrace is popular. It may be possible to add a second storey for a new bedroom or bathroom on the first floor, too. Cons Reduces garden size. Unsympathetic extensions feel like an add-on. 2. Convert the loft Pros Create a bedroom (perhaps with a bathroom), a home office or playroom, without taking space from the garden. Cons Not every loft has the headroom or enough useable space. More difficult and expensive if your roof isn’t traditionally built. 3. Convert the cellar Pros Turn a cellar into family living space, a useful utility area, a home office or even a self-contained annexe, without altering the outside of your home. Cons Often more expensive, per square metre, than other ways of creating extra space. Can be difficult to get enough headroom and light into the new room. 4. Add a conservatory Pros Adds extra living space and brings the garden into your home. Relatively inexpensive. Cons A poorly built conservatory can be too hot in summer, freezing cold in winter and full of condensation. Takes space from your garden. 5. Build a room in the garden Pros The building work will hardly bother you. Cons Not suitable for small gardens. Could look like a shed, security is an issue, and if not properly insulated it will be too cold to use in winter. 6. Divide a room into two Pros Carving up a large space to add another room is useful and can add value, even though you’re not actually creating any extra space. Cons You’ll need to create a separate doorway for the room, and include an opening window. 7. Put in an ensuite Pros Loved by buyers. Can be fitted into quite a small space. Cons Installing an ensuite at the expense of a bedroom could knock your property’s value. 8. Build on top of your garage Pros A first floor extension on top loses no garden space and is often relatively easy.


Convert a loft space into an extra bedroom. Hammonds Furniture (0800 021 4360;

Cons Foundations may not be strong enough, so the garage will have to be underpinned. 9. Convert your understairs space Pros Turns a poorly used area into a valuable extra room – perfect for a ground-floor loo, an extra shower room or a study area. Cons You’ll have to find extra space to store that understairs stuff. If putting in a loo or bathroom, ventilation and connecting to drainage may be a problem. 10. Convert your garage Pros It’s a relatively straightforward job to turn it into a valuable indoor space. Cons Foundations may need strengthening. Avoid if you live in an area where parking is at a premium. Remember, before starting any work, you must speak to the relevant authorities to find out if you need building regulations approval, planning permission or party wall consent from your neighbours. has more information.

How much value can I add? Before you embark on any major home improvement project, ask a local estate agent to value your home, and to estimate how much value they think your project would add.

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

L.P. Electrical


Reliable & Friendly service


Free Estimates for all your electrical needs Domestic, Industrial and Commercial Safety checks, Rewires, Extensions, Extra lighting and sockets, Fault finding, Test and Inspecting, Fuse board replacements, etc Fully insured and guaranteed Over 11 years experience

Call Les on

CONTACT OLIVER FREE MOB: 07500380455 TEL: 01666826143

07890 541492


Neil Farr Plumbing & Heating •Bathrooms & Refits •Central Heating •Emergency Call-outs

 All aspects of interior & exterior decorating to a professional high quality finish  Very competitive rates to suit your budget Free No Obligation Quotation

Free Quotes and Esti mates

Professional decorating will add value to your property and enhance your working and living environment. Tel:01793 435141 / 07800905006

01793 526207 07799595701

Living spaces Holly Cottage Sawyers Hill Minety SN16 9QL Tel: 01666 860465 Mobile: 07775 567163 mail:

PAUL WADSWOTH 17th Edition Electrician (Niceic Reg)

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Weed Attack By Pippa Greenwood Ask a dictionary the definition of a weed and you’ll read that it’s ‘a plant growing in the wrong place’. Ask a gardener, and they’ll tell you that weeds are often the number one menace in their garden. So if you want to wage war on those pesky weeds, and stand a chance of winning, take a look at my multi-pronged attack strategy. Off with their Heads Whatever the weed problem, it’s essential to prevent them from setting seed. Make sure you cut off its head before it has a chance to even start to set seed. The old saying that ‘one year’s seed is seven years’ weed’ isn’t far from the truth. Stop Stowaways When you’re next shopping for plants in your local garden centre or nursery make sure that you only bring home what you want, not those pesky weed stowaways that often lurk on the compost surface. I always do a bit of weeding before buying: especially for weeds such as the innocent looking hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). Spaghetti roots Some weeds like couch grass, bindweed and nettles have amazingly resilient and far-reaching underground stems or roots. Whatever you do, don’t succumb to the temptation to use a powered cultivator or rotovator as this will chop the roots in to little bits and end up spreading and increasing the problem in the process. Lawn Louts Lawn weeds such as dandelions and daisies are difficult to control as unlike the taller weeds, these rosette-forming plants won’t be harmed as you mow the lawn. One of the best, albeit slow, methods is to tackle them with a sturdy old kitchen knife or a daisy-grubber tool. Deep Rooted Problems Some weeds such as docks and dandelions have tough and chunky roots that are very difficult to kill. And to make matters worse, if you leave any sizeable bit of the root in the soil, it’s likely to form a new plant. Do everything you can to take out the entire root as you’ll be saving a lot of time in the long run. Laying Carpet For large areas, try the carpet option; literally covering the surface with a layer or two of carpet, If the carpet is placed fluffy side down and left in place for at least 18 months, the weeds will start to die off from lack of light. Make sure that the carpet is made from natural fibres, not synthetic or else you’ll be left with it in the soil, and for allotments, check that there are no restrictions on using carpet. Time it Right Some weeds such as the purple flowered oxalis spread by


forming tiny ‘bulbils’ or miniature bulbs below ground. If you try to dig these weeds out now, the bulbils will be shed into the surrounding soil as you lift the plant out, making matters worse. Wait until next spring when the bulbils will be firmly attached and weed them out then. Hoe, hoe, hoe An old fashioned and still just as useful method of weed control is the hoe. They’re a great way to weed your garden, especially if it’s largely annual weeds such as chickweed or groundsel that invade your plot. Keep the hoe sharp and use it regularly. Careful what you Compost Only compost the green, leafy bits of weeds; avoid any chunky roots, and never put any flowering or seeding weeds in the compost heap. Some weed seeds will easily survive most domestic composting systems.

For all your building needs including:*Repair and Maintenance, Renovation and Conversion, Extensions, Roofing, Decoration *Complete installation of kitchens, bathrooms and wet rooms *Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings, Conservation or New Builds *An established local builder with 38 years experience Call 07979 533310 for free quotation Quality work at realistic prices

SPANISH LESSONS Any level, beginners to advanced Coaching for exams Will come to your house if required Fiona Melville BA Hons (Oxon) Spanish Please call 01666 840215 / 07711816839


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

57 High St, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9AG Tel 01666 822444

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Did you know? Boilers account for around 55% of what you spend in a year on energy bills. You can save as much as £310 a year by replacing it.

Save Money By Doing Winter Things Now By Jasmine Birtles, Winter might seem like some time away but you can save money by preparing for it now. Switch your bills now It’s a great time to switch to a cheaper provider as the major providers typically start to increase their prices any day now, just in time for winter. Find a copy of your last gas and electricity bills, go to the energy-switching page on and find a cheaper deal for yourself. It’s often worth considering one of the smaller suppliers however if you want to stick to a major supplier you may be eligible for discounted bills through the government’s ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme which offers heating and insulation improvements for low-income and means tested households. Visit or call the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 for details. Boilers If your boiler is coming to the end of its life, now is a good time to have it replaced. Most boilers over 15 years old can be repaired to keep them working, but they will be less efficient than modern ones. Even factoring in the cost of a new boiler you could save money by replacing it now. Also, you could receive up to £270 cashback for updating your boiler through the new government energy improvement scheme, The Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which gives you money back if you make energy efficiency improvements in your home. The Green Deal is available to households in England and Wales and operates on a first-come, first-served basis, even if you are renting privately or in social housing. Firstly, have a Green Deal assessment carried out on your property which will provide you with a report of what could be improved. Then agree to a quote or Green Deal plan with a Green Deal Provider. You can find them online at Apply for the Green Deal Cashback Voucher at Make sure you have the work completed before the voucher expires and you’ll receive your cashback within 30 days. Insulation Now is a great time to get up-to-date insulation as it’s a quiet period for installers. Insulation materials are also much cheaper to buy in the summer and early autumn. Efficient insulation can cut the cost of heating and cooling by 40%, while loft insulations save an average 20% on your energy bills annually. Don’t forget you can also find loft insulation vouchers on websites like Groupon as well as applying for the Green Deal. Draught-proofing


Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy in your home. The Energy Saving Trust claims you can save £55 a year. You could save more money by taking the DIY route but remember some older properties with single glazing will be more difficult to draught-proof and if you are not comfortable with your DIY skills, hiring a professional could save you money in the long run. Check your home insurance policy before carrying out work yourself to ensure that you’re covered for DIY. Plumbers Summer and early autumn is a slower time of year for plumbers so you could find the rates more favourable, and you’ll also be able to get the work completed quickly. has up to date information on hundreds of ways to earn a bit on the side and boost your income – and more are being added every week. There is also a wealth of information on best-buy financial products, plus heaps of articles to help you be a clever consumer and make the most of your money.

BOWEN ACCOUNTANTS LTD Chartered Accountants and Tax Consultants

•Small and medium sized business specialists •Free initial meeting •Fixed fees available •Free fact sheets and monthly e-news (see our website) Griffon House Seagry Heath Great Somerford Wiltshire SN15 5EN Tel: 01249 720341 Fax: 01249 470560

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts



Numbers Rachel Ward Imagine that every time you look into someone’s eyes, you see the date on which they’ll die. Such is fifteen year old Jem’s secret. Understandably, she tends to keep away from people in general. Then along comes Spider. He and Jem strike up a friendship that will bring Jem out of herself. It’s all going quite well, until they take a day trip into London. What happens when you realise that everybody in a massive queue has the SAME number? Impending doom seems likely and only Jem and Spider can save them.Show More Show Less A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ begins Dickens’ classic set in pre-revolutionary France, following the life of the aristocrat Charles Darnay who, despite his kind-hearted nature, will become a victim of the tumultuous times that lie ahead. His life is paralleled with that of English Barrister Sydney Carton, who is suffering the pain of unrequited love. The object of his affection: Darnay’s wife. Originally published in weekly instalments, it was a veritable Dickensian soap opera about the days of their lives and the build-up to the French Revolution.

It’s back to school in September and to help with your mental arithmetic, we’ve put together some of the best novels that feature numbers. Some may be more mentally challenging than others, but pay attention in the back, and it’ll all add up.

McMurphy, the twinkle-in-his-eye, cat-among-the-pigeons livewire who’s ready to turn Ratched’s regime on its head. Kesey’s masterpiece is moving and compelling, very funny at points and at others, absolutely terrifying. I am Number Four Pittacus Lore They killed Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. John Smith is Number Four. Just a teenager, John moves from place to place, anxious that those hunting him will catch up. This is science fiction writing at its best and you’ll definitely be sucked in, especially when you realise that Earth isn’t the only planet in the universe that can sustain life. John has escaped from a rival caste on his own planet and is now one of nine in hiding. The fugitives can only be killed in their number order and they will survive… as long as they remain apart.

Slaugherhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut Told through the eyes of World War 2 soldier Billy Pilgrim, this satirical novel is deemed to be one of the greatest anti -war books ever written. Chaplain’s assistant Billy refuses to fight and is captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He and his fellow POWs are kept in a disused slaughterhouse and, along with their German guards, are some of the few survivors of the firebombing of Dresden. Billy’s funny, often bittersweet story is an odyssey through time and is another ‘must-read’ for everybody searching for meaning in life. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey Told through the eyes of the seemingly-mute American Indian, Chief Bromden, this is the story of the inmates at an Oregon State mental hospital, where Nurse Ratched rules the wards with a tyrannical arm. Into this mix comes


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

01666 86-13-99 or 07595323158 Friendly, Efficient, Reliable & Prompt Service •Local & long distance •Up to 6 seat carrier •Airport Transfers •Business Travel •Corporate Accounts

Need an electrician?

Domestic & Commercial Electrical Service Fully Insured, Free Estimates Faults and repairs, electrical installations, lights and sockets, rewires and fuse box changes. Tony Parfrey

01666 837580



The Major’s Retreat

Tel: 01454 218 263 Tormarton THE BEST VALUE COUNTRY PUB IN THE AREA

Seasoned Hard Wood Logs Julien Webb

Pure and simple proper old fashioned pub!

01666 826652 07867 475562

The one & only Major’s Retreat Google us and you will find us on top!

Chip Shop Day—Fryday 20th September Eat your fill- fish and chips & deep fried Mars Bars all for £12.95 Trip Advisor certificate of Excellence 2 years running 2012 & 2013! “The owner a real character who adds to the pub’s ambiance” “... A real country pub welcome...” “... it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t...” “....real ale—scrumptious food...” Come and see for yourself! Tuesday is Quiz Night- starts 9pm with free nibbles Sunday Roast Lunches & full menu available 12-2.30pm *We like our customers so much we try to spoil them!*

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Lawn to be Wild by Derek Thompson Cutting the grass seems such a waste of time to me. Just like fingernails, toenails and hair (if you're lucky), it'll only grow back again. True, it's a valuable addition to the compost, but that's about it. Whereas, one of the things I love most about the garden as a whole is its adaptability. Yes, it's an ecosystem and a natural habitat, but it's also something more: a blank canvas just waiting for my often ill-thought-out ideas. Bored with grass? (And, by grass, I mean patches of grass among the swathes of dandelions.) We wanted to take the whole rural thing a stage further (no, not a tractor - it wouldn't fit through the gate), and decided to create a meadow. Or rather, with our garden: a mini meadow. First, I dug out a rough circle - and believe me, it was rough. Next, with the turf removed, we put down a layer of 50 / 50 soil and sharp sand. We brought in native wildflower seeds and some from Flanders' poppies, which came impregnated on paper rolls. Some judicious scissor work to patchwork the sections, soak with water and then another layer of soil and sand. Naturally, the cat supervised the proceedings, technically outranking Anne as chief observer. Porsha's presence was also a timely reminder to put netting over the circle from the beginning. After that, it's a case of occasional watering, watching and waiting. The seeds stir into life very quickly. Try as you might though, it's nigh on impossible to stop the daisies from encroaching over the edges. Maybe they're just arriving early to the party. The edges of the garden are largely wild (and some of the neighbours are probably furious), a rather fetching tangle of lords and ladies, buttercups and grasses, with seasonal appearances from bluebells, columbines, foxgloves and pulmonaria. We also have something we know as Mrs West, but have never been able to identify properly - so much for the power of the internet. The joy of having wild garden areas is the same sense of excitement as buying lucky bags as a child. Only, in this case, instead of a disappointing car with a broken wheel, the surprise might be scarlet pimpernel, wild strawberries (Anne's not keen - she says they take over), or dog violets. And even today we argue over speedwell vs. forget-me-nots in an identity parade. We haven't gone entirely au naturel. Having previously installed a few raised beds, Anne opted for violas (Avril Lawson), geums (Mrs Bradshaw) and bellis. None of which explains the catmint we planted near the front gate, principally to see whether Porsha would appreciate it. Strangely, while she loved it when it was a mere kittenmint in the conservatory, she treats it with indifference now it's out in the open. Not to worry though; if last year was anything to go by, she'll love the next butternut squash plant.


Siyaya Direct from Makokoba, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe… 'Colourful, climactic and bursting at the seams with energy, Siyaya celebrates the greatest African instrument: the human voice. Siyaya complements lively dances and liquid tones with superb percussion rhythms and sweet a cappella harmonies, exploring the rich cultures and traditions of Africa. SUNDAY22 SEPTEMBER 2013 GRITTLETON VILLAGE HALL 6.30pm TICKETS Jan on 01249 782798 Adults £7, Concessions £6, Children £4.50, Family £18.50 BYO drinks and prepare to be blown away!

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

Tel: +44 (0) 1666 840439 email: The Street, Alderton, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 6NL

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

MARTIN BARRETT Plumbing & Heating Engineer For a no obligation quote please call:




Play our award-winning, par 72 course from just £30 this winter with our fabulous green fees and society packages! Winter green fee £30 per person Winter society packages from £35 per person Available November to March - Society packages for 4 or more

CALL US 01249 782982



The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club, Castle Combe, Nr. Bath, SN14 7JW

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


FitSteps Fitness that’s Strictly Fun! First taster session class FREE! New Class Starts Wednesday 11th Sept 7pm Tetbury Leisure centre Thursday 12th Sept, 8pm,Malmesbury Town Hall. Suitable for all fitness levels, all ages, no partner required! For more information call Ruth on 07734 886275 £5 pay as you go.

Fitsteps comes to Malmesbury FitSteps™ is the hot new dance fitness craze inspired by Britain's most successful entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing. If you love Zumba, and Strictly Come Dancing is a highlight of your year, you will adore FitSteps. You'll be dancing Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Quickstep, Waltz, Paso Doble, Samba and Tango — and you won’t even need a partner or previous dance experience. ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ dance stars Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite have teamed up with six time world champion swimmer Mark Foster (he may not be the world’s greatest dancer, but what he doesn’t know about fitness can be printed on the back of a stamp) and a group of hand picked health and fitness professionals, to produce a unique dance fitness programme – ‘FitSteps’. Combining the graceful steps of Ballroom and the up-tempo steps of the Latin dances, FitSteps™ is a really fun, energetic and effective way to stay fit and keep trim that will appeal to everyone, even those who think they can’t dance. It's a dance fitness programme that is so much fun you don't even realise you're getting fit. I have been fortunate enough to have been trained by Ian Waite & Natalie Lowe and am one of the first Fitstep instructors in the country. FitSteps doesn't officially launch until September and certified instructors are very thin on the ground at the moment, so this is one of first official FitSteps classes in the world and I know everyone is going to love this new programme. It's already proved popular with my regular ladies who have been enjoying snippets that I've been incorporating into my Zumba® classes over the past few weeks prior to launching FitSteps™. So, what’s not to like – come and give it a go, its truly Fab-u-lous!!!! ****FREE TASTER CLASSES ON WEDNESDAY 11TH AND THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER****

Inner Flame Great Walls of Fire

Push yourself to the limit in support of Inner Flame, a local youth charity making a huge difference in young people’s lives. This year, our main fundraising challenge offers not one, but two choices! Teams will attempt to climb the height of Mount Everest and cycle the distance of the Great Wall of China! It’s all happening on Saturday 21st September at David Lloyd Gym in Swindon, who are kindly hosting the event for us. The Great Wall Challenge In this 9-hour “spinathon”, teams of 2-4 people will compete with each other, while combining their efforts to cycle 5500 miles in 9 hours – the length of the Great Wall of China! The Mount Everest Challenge Alongside the spinathon, we’ll be running this event for its 4th year. Teams of 6-8 people climb up and down a wall to the height of Mount Everest in a day! What could we call this event… the Great Wall, a climbing wall, for Inner Flame… it had to be “Great Walls of Fire” For more information, please call us on 01793 862555 now!


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

New recognition ... ......for Perfection Perfection Health and Beauty, a secluded beauty retreat tucked away in the quaint Foxley countryside has just been awarded number 25 in the UK’s Most Inspiring Beauty Salons. Opening in March 2011 Perfection Health and Beauty have already been crowned one of the top five salons in the Country at the Professional Beauty Awards, where Salon Owner Michelle Williams and her team attended a black tie awards ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton in February this year . Over nine hundred beauty professionals attended the prestigious event where winners were announced by presenter Claudia Winkleman. It has now been revealed Perfection Health and Beauty has been placed number 25 in the UK’s Most Inspiring Salons 2013, their second award this year! Sitting alongside an impressive line up of the Urban Calm in Liverpool, and the Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa in London the Perfection Team are honoured to be recognised in this way. “I am absolutely thrilled to have Perfection nominated number 25 in the Most Inspiring Beauty Salons in the UK, it is a credit to us all. We have all worked so incredibly hard to push the salon forward and accomplish so much within such a short space of time, I am so proud of my team. It is a true honour to be recognised amongst some of the top salons in our industry who I have always respected and admired. My mission has always been to offer my clients the same five star luxury experience associated within a spa but in the convenience and price-point of a salon location. Our full order book is certainly suggesting we are doing something right, and I am delighted to have the pleasure in treating such lovely local people. We will certainly be striving forward and looking to expand our business and brand into 2014.” For more information on Perfection Health and Beauty please call (01666) 822811 or visit the website

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Enjoy the UK's first ever POP up Village! The UK's first POP up Village will be held just down the road in Sherston from the 20th-22nd of September. It is full of fun and exciting experiences and everyone is welcome to visit and enjoy what's on offer! What's a POP? Well usually a POP up is a business taking over an empty shop for a few days or amazing street food available for just one weekend. But Sherston has gone one step further and is opening up nearly 40 fun shops and experiences in homes and gardens around the village for one weekend only. It is a fantastically eclectic mix of POP's for all ages. To name just a few we have - POP up Pony, The Vintage Book Shop, The Dizzy Cow Milkshake Bar, a children's storyteller, the Horrible Histories experience, The Grove Road Toybox, a Latin Quarter, Tin Box Treasure Trail, the farm park, drama Kings and Queens workshops, a Mangold Hurl (complete with delicious mangold 'delicacies'). POP up Cinema, Vintage Cupcake Cafe (with gramophone) and a mini cookery school by the wonderful Hobbs House Bakery. We are very excited to welcome Sasha Jenner, the patisserie chef for Hobbs House, who will be treating us to bread and butter pudding made with the Sherston Overnighter. We also have a free POP up gig by The Village People at the Rattlebone pub on Saturday night - so bring your dancing shoes! These are just a taster of the POP's on offer so make sure you have the weekend in your diary.     

Casement Windows Bay Windows Tilt and Turn Sliding Sash Shaped Windows

    

Composite doors Entrance doors French doors Stable doors Patio doors

Owing to limited numbers just a couple of the POP ups will be pre-book only. Any POPs which need to be pre-booked will be released via and facebook/thepopupvillage as we get the information. So keep an eye out to get your place. More details of each POP, including their costs, are also available on the website and Facebook so like us at Facebook/thepopupvillage for the most up to date news. There will be a downloadable map on the website in September or you can pick up a free copy from the POP up marquee on the high street anytime from 9am on the Saturday and Sunday during the event. This is a not for profit event and all proceeds raised from each of the POPs will go to Sherston Primary School, Busyhands Pre-School and Sherston Toddlers. The first POP up village in the UK is looking fantastic so come along and join in

SHARPES Windows and Doors

01666 840042 07720717902

•Roof line products available  Fascias  Soffits  Guttering •Replaced or Repaired •Window and Door repairs •Locks • Hinges • Handles •Replacement glass units

A - Rated Energy Efficient Double Glazing 32

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Bespoke Beauty Bespoke Beauty Sessions Providing bespoke beauty sessions to cater for all pampering needs... Established 14 years with an excellent reputation: Facial, massage, reflexology, pedicures, manicures, waxing, eyelash tinting & perming, slimming wraps Caci, Guinot, Thalgo, St Topez, Universal Contour Wrap, Shellac, Nailtiques See For special offers Email: Tel:


to deliver around 100 kilos of produce every week. It is a real community effort: Many people made regular deliveries, several of the towns carers Do you ever find that you have more fruit or vegetables than brought bags of you can use? Have you cooked, frozen batches, made fruit donated from chutneys, jellies and jams, and given them away to family the gardens of and friends and still have some to spare? If so, maybe you their elderly clients. Some people also offered to pick the would consider sharing your surplus with people who are unused fruit from their neighbours trees to bring to us, and a struggling to feed themselves adequately. local community farm regularly gave surplus produce they were unable to sell (20 huge cabbages one week)! Malmesbury Harvest Share is the first scheme of its type and was set up to make use of Malmesbury's surplus fruit This year we are hoping that many more people will become and vegetables. We deliver it on a weekly basis to Fareinvolved. So please share your surplus harvest if you can, share (a food distribution charity) in Bristol. They then supand pass the word to friends and neighbours too! We are ply it to more than 50 different organisations across the going to need more drivers to help with deliveries, so if you South West who distribute food to people in need. drive regularly to Bristol and you think you could help do The scheme works very simply; any fruit or vegetable dona- please give us a call. tions should be dropped round to 49 The Triangle, MalmesCall Lynn on 01666 826 205 bury. The produce is weighed and packed into boxes, and Fruit and Vegetables donations to 49 The Triangle, Malmesthen driven to the Bristol warehouse of FareShare. bury. For more information on FareShare visit Last year was unfortunately a very bad year for fruit and vegetables, but during our trail period in 2011 we were able


Harvest Share

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Peru Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca

By Solange Hando At 12,507 feet, Titicaca appears like a dream, framed by pastel-coloured hills shimmering at the water’s edge under the crisp Andean sky. Stretching for over 100 miles and into Bolivia on its eastern side, fed by five rivers and numerous streams, it’s said to be the world’s highest navigable lake. The nature reserve created in 1978 protects 60 species of native birds and in the sheltered bay of Puno, the Uros Indians live peacefully on man-made islands. They were here long before the Incas built Machu Picchu but on their flimsy abodes ignored by the Conquistadores, they have outlived them for over 400 years. Soon after dawn, the first tourist boat sets off from Puno towards the nearest of 40 islands or so sprinkled around the bay. Built with local totora reeds, they glow coppery gold in the early sun and before long, the islanders begin to stir. Smoke rises from the huts, pots and pans tinkle in the semidarkness, a man paddles in search of fresh reeds to strengthen or extend his domain and meet growing family needs. The reeds are cut near the shore, towed back then assembled and anchored on the spot. It’s an on-going task for the ‘people of the lake’, 2000 of them, though it never feels like it. Sailing around clusters of tiny islands, you spot a few huts on this one, a shrine on that one, a school on another, a clinic or a couple of craft stalls. The islands are fully movable but if you can’t jump across to see your neighbour, there are plenty of reed boats to travel around. Most stunning are the majestic dragon-headed vessels gliding silently on blue waters, ready to carry a handful of wide-eyed visitors. Stepping ashore on a bouncy patch of reeds may be unnerving but no one seems to mind. ‘Please come inside,’ says a man with a bright woolly hat, ‘this is my home.’ It’s just one room, no furniture, but there are rugs on the floor and a small black and white television in the corner. Outside the sun is dazzling, the air is cold but ‘Mama’ is used to it. An imposing figure in an ample skirt and traditional bowler hat, she has lit the fire on a bed of stones and proudly shows the fish caught by her man that morning. Nothing grows on the reeds but you can catch fish and ducks, for meat and eggs, chew the white root of a reed or two and


head for the market in Puno to sell embroidered cloth, knitwear and trinkets and buy whatever you need. Historians believe the Uros set up home on the lake to escape trouble on land but legend says otherwise. It claims they were here before the dawn of time, protected by ‘black blood’ when the earth was ‘dark and cold’, and few today would wish to change their traditional way of life. A cell phone may ring now and then but somewhere on the edge of the water, a child plays an Andean flute as a sudden breeze sends ripples across the reeds. The tourist boat heads back to the mainland then slowly, on the ‘Black Puma’ lake, the islands vanish, floating like a mirage between water and sky.

Where’s your dog holidaying this year?

DOG BOARDING ....In my home No kennels, no cages Just comfy beds in my kitchen Lots of fun, daily walks and trips to the beach and arboretum Maximum 5 guest dogs Licensed and Insured

Melissa Powell, Forge House, Alderton, Wilts SN14 6NL Call: 07546 665550 email: To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Beat The Utility Bills The gadgets that'll save you cash and do your bit for the planet too

With summer already a distant memory, energy companies are rubbing their hands with glee. Cooler weather means bigger energy bills. Time to review a few energy saving devices then. You don't need to spend a fortune: some of the most effective changes are the simplest. For example, one of the best bill-busters is to replace existing bulbs with low-energy ones. Halogen bulbs are better than incandescent ones, but LED bulbs are better still: for example in a typical 6-light kitchen spotlight, you can replace six 50W halogen bulbs with six 3W LEDs - so the total energy use would drop from 300W to just 18W. Look for "warm white" LEDs if you want a natural light: some LEDs have a bluish light, an effect not everybody likes. Note if you want dimmable lights you'll need dimmable bulbs and LED-friendly dimmer switches. While the bulbs do cost more than traditional ones the price is coming down, and they last much, much longer than even halogens, so they'll pay for themselves quickly and save you money over a long period of time. If you have an outdoor security light, consider swapping that too: while halogen security lights can use 400W or more, LED ones can be surprisingly bright with bulbs rated at just 10W.

Showersave to your shower slashes the amount of hot water your showers use, and the £25 Radiator BOOster can reduce the time it takes to heat a room, cutting energy usage in the process. Shower flow reducers can reduce your bills if you're on a water meter too, as can the Hippo water saver, which reduces the amount of water used to flush your toilet. For really big savings on gas, give some thought to a new boiler: by replacing a D-rated boiler with an A-rated one, you could save around £181 per year in a typical detached house. If that's a step too far, don't forget the obvious, affordable options: you'll save a fortune by insulating your house if its current insulation isn't up to scratch and by turning the thermostat down a notch. You'll find that energy efficiency work is often subsidised by government grants, and you might even be able to have it done for free.

Turning things off can slash your energy usage too, and computers are particular offenders. Investing in the Ecobutton, which costs around £15, can pay for itself very quickly: press it when you take a break and it'll put your PC into the most energy efficient standby mode. For TVs, a TV standby saver can put all your home entertainment kit to sleep when you put the TV into standby mode, and there's an equivalent for PCs. Expect to pay £21 for a TV standby saver and around £16 for a PC one. The Energy Saving Trust also recommends the WAHL Eco Kettle, which uses 60% less energy than a normal kettle - but don't spoil the savings by boiling more water than you actually need. Don't forget about batteries either: swapping from normal batteries to rechargeable ones can save you hundreds of pounds in a relatively short space of time: according to Which? magazine, you could save as much as £500 over 100 charges. Cutting down your gas usage isn't quite as simple, but it's still possible. Fitting a flow regulator such as the £5


To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

Please mention Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts


Foxley Plumbing & Heating Oil Boiler Installation, Servicing & Repairs Oil Tank Replacement Heating Installation & Repairs Bathroom Installations Unvented Cylinder Systems NO JOB TOO SMALL

Tim Hibbard Email

(01666) 822863 or 07966462202 38

To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email


during term-time for discussion, quizzes, and fun. Varied topics, some serious, some light-hearted. You can come along to three meetings with no obligation to join. All ages welcome. For more information call Pam 01666 824999 Monday September 2nd Kings Arms Malmesbury 7:309:30pm Malmesbury Cake Society Theme - grandmothers recipes Demo - Bakewell tart with award winning chef Gary Ashley Monthly raffle Bring your bake, recipe and £4.50 entry fee 100% of all proceeds to CRUK Monday September 9th Charlton Village Hall starting at 7-30pm. An illustrated talk by. NATHALIE MIGNETTE On MEDEVIL GARDENS Admission Free Visisters Welcome Thu 12th September at 7:30 pm in Little Somerford Village Hall, The WI Inspiring Women- Little Somerford WI entrance £3 A warm invitation for an illustrated talk by award winning photographer Arthur Kingdon ‘Underwater Sea-Life Photography’ Saturday 14 Sept– MINETY FETE, 2 – 5.30pm. Produce and craft stalls, side shows, BBQ and bar, cakes, plants, fun fair, bouncy castle, Wiltshire Police, Army, dog show, Punch and Judy, races, raffle and much more. Entry fee £1 adults, 50p children. Come along and join the fun. From Sat 14th September for 3 months Rings of Lace- Antique and Modern Lace An exciting collaboration between Bristol Lace Group and Athelstan Museum Athelstan Museum, Malmesbury, Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Tel: 01666 829258 Saturday 21st September, 7.30pmPeter Organ Recital, Malmesbury AbbeyTickets available from Malmesbury Abbey Adults £12, Malmesbury Abbey Music Society members £10, Children £5 Sunday 22nd September, Start time: 11:00 am Malmesbury Half Marathon Entry details from Sat 28th September Evening of Musical Melodies- Big Band Special7:00 pm from 7:30 pm start, Malmesbury Abbey Featuring The Wiltshire Police Band and ‘Ten in a Bar’, Tickets: £20 Canapes and wine on arrival

Every Sunday (7.30pm) and Thursday (2.30pm) Crudwell Short Mat Bowls - bring flat shoes and we have the woods at Crudwell Village Hall Every Monday 1.00 - 3.30pm Malmesbury Physically Handicapped Club. The club is run for the benefit of physically handicapped, and elderly, residents of Malmesbury. Transport can be arranged in the immediate Malmesbury area. For further info please contact 01666 824351 Every 4th Monday—from 23rd Sept Malmesbury Arts Club meet at St Mary’s Hall at 7.30-9.30pm to paint and draw., and every 2nd Wednesday from Sept 11th 2-4pm at the Town Hall All ages welcome. Every Monday Fortnight 1.30-3pm at the Town Hall Malmesbury. Singing for the Brain for carers and people with dementia. Please call the Alzheimer's Society on 01249 443469 for further information. Every Monday Malmesbury Singers rehearse every Monday Evening from 7:30-9:15, in Malmesbury Abbey between September and the following Easter, giving two major concerts a year in the Abbey, one at Christmas, the other just before Easter. Most years we give a smaller, lighter concert in July in the Town Hall, rehearsing there on Mon eve. April/ July 7:30-9:15.New members welcome contact ‘Every Monday & Thursday – Malmesbury Bridge Club meets for friendly duplicate bridge at Athelstan House, Burton Hill Primary Care Centre complex, at 7 p.m. For details or if you need a partner, contact 01453 860512 Every 2nd Tuesday-7.30pm Lea WI meet at Village Hall Every Tuesday and Thursday- Athelstan Players, a local drama group meet in our Club Room (behind the Co-op) (adults only) 7.30 - 10 pm. If you can sing, dance, act or help back stage, new members welcome. 01666 822691 Most Tuesdays in The Activity Zone from 12.30 to15.30. Malmesbury Tuesday Club -A sandwich lunch (£3) is followed by board games, a quiz or puzzle or a talk from a visiting speaker. From time to time we travel to enjoy a meal Transport to and from the club can usually be arranged. For Local Information and Useful Numbers further details ring Rhiannon Parry on 01666 823339 Every Wednesday—Members (aged 60 and over) meet at BT Fault line 0800 800 151 Gas 0800 111999 noon in the Wesleyan Room of the Town Hall to see friends Malmesbury Town Council 01666 822 143 and enjoy a 2 course lunch. Details from Helen Churchill Youth Centre 01666 823747 Activity Zone 01666 822533 01666 840080 Library 01666 823611 Every 4th Wednesday of month—Wiltshire Family History Emergency 999 Police 101 Society meet at La Flambe, Birdcage Walk. All welcome, no DOCTORS SURGERIES Wiltshire ancestry necessary! Free. Contact 01666823507 Malmesbury PCC 01666 825825 Sunday 11th August. Malmesbury Carnival Open Gardens Tolsey Surgery Sherston 01666 840270 Afternoon. A dozen gardens will be opening between 2pm and 6pm in aid of Malmesbury Carnival funds. £5 for adults; Email: Telephone: 01666 818 143 children free. Refreshments will be available. Get a map Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot accept from the Tourist Information Office in the Town Hall or from responsibility for loss, damage, colour variation or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert. All artwork is accepted on the strict condition that permisany of the gardens on the day. Go to sion has been given for use in the publication. Adverts are accepted on the or telephone 01666 understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. Malmesbury Connections does not officially endorse any advertising 826363 for more information. included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this Malmesbury NWR (National Women's Register) Next meet- material publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in ing 3rd September 2013 Would you like to meet new people any form—electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise—without the prior consent of the publisher ( Malmesbury Connections) Printer: NewmanThomson and make friends?mention Our group meets every three weeks Please Malmesbury Connections when responding to adverts



To advertise call 07919288977 or 01666 818143 or email

2013 September  
2013 September  

September issue of Malmesbury Connections