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Thorpe Bay

April 2012

ORACLE Thorpe Bay at a glance Est. Sept 2005. Circulation 5,100

WIN! Oracle Competition A pair of tickets for Buddy Holly - A Legend Reborn At the Cliffs Pavilion

New! Oracle Travel

Why You Need a Travel Agent?

Recipe Deep-filled Egg and Bacon Pie

Under the Hammer What is it worth?


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APRIL 2012


caron b designer artist

Thorpe Bay

contemporary, original artworks

OR ACLE

publisher’s letter

W

ith this edition Oracle has another new feature from a local, well travelled lady called Karen Goldman. Each month she will be taking us to all sorts of wonderful destinations around the world. This month she has initially given an overview of the pitfalls of not using a travel agent. Over the next few months watch out for the Travel Expert page and allow your mind to be transported to some great destinations in the world covering a vast range of budgets. Oracle’s competition this month has been kindly donated by Entertainers. One lucky winner can win a pair of tickets to see the ever popular Buddy Holly at the Cliff’sPavilion on May 17th, in A Legend Reborn. Please send your entries in by April 27th. Please check out their website on www.thecliffspavilion.co.uk for further details on this show. To enter, simply send your name and contact details to Oracle/Buddy Holly Competition , 39 Alexandra Street., Southend, Essex SS1 1BW. Or by email to info@oraclepublications.co.uk stating the competition in the subject box and giving your contact details. Good Luck!

www.caronbrandajs.com undertakes personal and new business commissions for interior design

Emma Wynne-Morgan Publisher

01702 393838

prices from £150

39 Alexandra Street, Southend, Essex SS1 1BW

07771 534 144

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ORACLE

AMAX LANDSCAPES Marshalls Register Contractors - the professionals to trust

contents Local Issues Local Nature By Pat Wortley

9/10

Beard & Wonderful Hair & Beauty by Craig Smith

16

Sovereign Debt Crisis

20

Money Matters by Jacqui Moyies

Detailed Design Planning by Tim Knight

26

Deep-filled Egg and Bacon Pie Judy's Recipe Page

38

Golden Rules for Spring Fitness Health & Beauty by Cris Ramis

42

What is it worth? 46 Under the Hammer by Trevor Cornforth Why You Need a Travel Agent Travel Expert by Karen Goldman

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Diary Dates

56 64 66

Useful Numbers Advertiser Index

Advertorials Absolutely Fabulous iFit Studio Thorpe Bay Bowls Club Thorpe Hall School Independent Party Shoeburyness High School 4 T H O R P E B AY O R A C L E

6/7 14 18/19 34/35 60/61

As Marshalls Register Contractors we are recommended by Marshalls to install their patios and driveways. We supply the UK’s most comprehensive range of driveway and paving products from Marshalls to ensure you receive the driveway or patio of your dreams to suit your style and budget; all professionally installed to your full satisfaction.

To ensure a quality job, why not arrange a free quotation.

01702 469514 www.amaxlandscapes.com

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APRIL 2012


ED H IS BL TA ES

Carpets, Vinyls, Rugs

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RS A YE

Laminate Flooring & Remnants

640 Sutton Road Southend-On-Sea Essex, SS2 5PX Open Daily: 9.00am - 5.30pm

Trade Carpets Tel: 01702 612424/5 APRIL 2012

sales@tradecarpets.freeserve.co.uk www.tradecarpetssouthend.co.uk

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Advertorial

Shake that body! S

ummer is around the corner and I am sure like me, some of you would like to lose a little bit of weight, gained during those winter months. Or perhaps you would like to just tone up ready for that first beach moment of the year! Whatever your reason the i.fit Studio in Southchurch is offering its clients a very new and innovative way of losing weight which can fit in with anyones busy schedule.

Amongst many of its advantages it also increases stamina and improves fitness and well-being.

Get fit without a gym

All i.fit machines have two motors, one that powers the oscillation motion and one for the vibrating motion. Oscillation, the up and down motion, will give the body a resistance work out.The body will try to correct itself, fighting against the motion, so as one limb moves up, the other limb moves down allowing the bodies natural shock absorbing system to operate.

This new exercise studio is unique locally, offering its clients the chance to exercise without actually working out! Intrigued? Then please read on‌. The i.fit Studio holds eight i.fit machines that help its clients maintain a regular exercise routine for short intervals with amazing results.If you are looking for a well toned body, better flexibility, improved circulation plus the reduction of the appearance of cellulite then these machines will be a great find.

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Combined with a healthy diet and if used regularly, the vibrating and oscillating plates can reduce your dress size up to two sizes. Celebs such as Madonna, Sadie Frost, and Donatella Versace are all frequent users of i.fit machines.

How do the i.fit machines work?

The benefits of oscillation training are: Reduction in visceral and subcutaneous fat – Particularly around the abdomen Improvement in muscle tone Reducing cholesterol Improvement in the function of the nervous system Improvement in bone density, making the bones become stronger Improvement in intestinal movement Increases the metabolic rate – the best way to lose weight

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APRIL 2012


These vibrations cause the muscles to contract and relax anything between 3 and 50 times per second.Which means just 10 minutes of vibration training is the equivalent of 60 minutes resistance training. The wonderful thing about this machine is that it is versatile and by using different positions on the machine you are able to tone and exercise different parts of the body. The i.fit machines have three different speeds to cater for people’s different abilities. Therefore, people as young as 16 and up to the age of 80 are able to use the machines once they have been given advice from i.fit Studio’s staff and answered a few health questions. Knowledgeable staff on hand There are eight i.fit machines in the women only studio and another two i.fit machines in a men only area. If you have young children there is a secure play area at the back of the studio. Tea and coffee facilities are also available. The friendly and knowledgeable members of staff are always available to help show you how to use the i.fit machines, give guidance and expert advice. Appointments are not necessary just drop by with your friends and have a work out whilst you catch up and share a giggle, as the i.fit machines are great fun to use. Or just come alone on your own as you will be made to feel very welcome. Open 7 days a week The i.fit Studio’s opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 10 pm, Saturday 9am – 9pm and Sunday 10am – 9pm.The i.fit Studio is open 7 days

a week and clients are able to drop in at any time. Next door to the studio, is a state-of-the-art tanning salon, so why not take advantage of this facility and enhance your overall healthy image ready for the summer.

FREE OFFER: i.fit Studio is offering all new clients a 6 minute free trial session.To qualify for this offer please take a copy of this month’s Oracle along to the i.fit Studio, offer ends 30 April 2012. (Terms & Conditions apply)

Read below are a few testimonials from the many happy and fit clients of i.fit Studio. Lorraine 23.11.2011 I started using the ifit machine 2 months ago. I was a size 14 and very “wobbly”. I use the machine 4 times a week for 10 or 20 minute sessions. I am now size 10 and feel great. I cannot believe how great the machines are. Joanne Appleton 25.11.2011 I have just finished a 12 session course and have alreadyhad comments about weight loss. Excellent. Invested in another course. Jean 3.3.2012 With the help of the girls that work in the ifit studio I completely got rid of my cellulite. I cant thank them enough.

01702 612580 http://www.abfabtanning.co.uk

202 Woodgrange Drive, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2SD APRIL 2012

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APRIL 2012


Painted Lady butterfly

Local Issues

Local nature By Pat Wortley

O

ne Spring day in 2009, I looked out of an upstairs window and saw a stream of Painted Ladies, newly arrived from the Continent, flying past. A sight like that is one aspect of the enjoyment of natural historians in our local wildlife. There are many surprises. A kingfisher may be seen flying along beside the stream in Willingale Way if you are lucky and up early.

Among our parks Priory Park has been specially enhanced by a little stream leading into the Prittle Brook. Brent Geese from Siberia on the shore in the autumn, a stunning array of rose hip berries on the sea wall in winter.The list goes on.

Our Society was founded in 1934. Local naturalists were anxious to protect the ancient woodland in Belfairs. The battle took several years, and included An animal was seen there recently that might have a petition of 20,000 signatures before Southend been a mink, but are the water voles still there? Borough Council purchased the land.Together they Maybe you will hear a cuckoo on Two Tree Island secured it for the enjoyment of generations to soon or a nightingale if you go further afield. come. The changing seasons bring a succession of The richness of the wildlife in the NatureReserve led different interesting things. Beautiful Pyramidal to its classification later as a Site of Special Scientific Orchids may be seen on the golf course in summer, Interest (SSSI). Part of what our members do is to record the flora, fauna and fungi they find. Spotted Orchids

APRIL 2012

Details of our activities can be found by phoning Pat Wortley on 01702 588115, as well as in our publication, Hadleigh Great Wood:The Wildlife and History of Belfairs Nature Reserve, which records 2,295 species of plants, fungi and animals found in it up to 1988. In 2002, Betty Matson rediscovered the Dormouse there, which led to Paul Terry, then the Borough’s Environmental Officer, initiating a survey. Now they are monitored by the local Dormouse Group set up in 2004. www.oraclepublications.co.uk

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New local records are found all the time, some during our field meetings. Some occur, as is to be expected these days, as a result of climate change, e.g.Wasp Spiders extending their range up from the Continent for example. We engage in conservation work, some in Belfairs. There, in Dodds Grove, an area is managed to help the Heath Fritillary butterfly by encouraging the growth of the Yellow Cow-wheat the food plant for its larvae, which otherwise can get smothered by other plants.This butterfly became extinct but was reintroduced. A rich reward is to see numbers of this dainty, pretty creature flying freely in the sunshine. Another project is to encourage the presence of the Deptford Pink around Hadleigh Castle and on the Belton Hills, by monitoring and creating small patches suitable for seeds and Plants. It is an exquisite small type of Pink. It is rare and we have deposited seeds in Kew’s Millenium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place. Our President, Don Down, discovered a wonderful place for wildlife and for visitors at Canvey Wick. Originally a grazing marsh, but subsequently part was developed as an oil refinery. He found an astonishing carpet of the Southern Marsh Orchid and also the rare Shrill Carder Bee. Since it supports “one of the most rich and rarity-dominated populations of insects” in this country, the site was declared a SSSI by English Nature.This part of South Heath Fritillary butterfly in Dodds Grove

Irises in brook in Priory Park

Essex is fortunate in having the Belton Hills and the Southend-on-Sea Foreshore, both of which have been designated as Local Nature Reserves. The former was largely as a result of work by Joyce MacConnell, the later by other members. Our Borough has some smaller Local Wildlife Sites e.g. Thorpe Hall Golf Course. The Borough Council has a Biodiversity and Environmental Awareness Working Party to which our Society contributes We hold meetings in the Southend Central Museum, some addressed by experts in natural history, including our Recorders. We have themed members’ evenings where we research and present material ourselves. These all provide the opportunity to learn more. Who would have thought, for example, that the life history of the huge Swan Mussel includes parasitizing a fish called the bitterling, as we were told the other day! We invite visitors and new members. Details of our activities can be found in our Newsletter, in our journal The South Essex Naturalist and on the website which we are developing senhs.org.uk.

SOUTH ESSEX NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY

01702 588115 www.senhsorg.uk v.tring@virgin.net Registered Charity No. 231981

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APRIL 2012


H

aving been open now for getting on three years Volkswagen Van Centre Chelmsford are delighted to announce that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have awarded Chelmsford Van Centre Tour Dealer status from January 2012.

opening. We are really excited to now be able to offer this fantastic vehicle to Essex and the surrounding area". For further information with regard the Volkswagen California or any other exciting Commercial vehicle products please call.

This is a tremendous achievement for such a young Van Centre and has really now given the Van Centre the ability to offer the full range of vehicles imported by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK. Chris Bunce, Head of Business at Chelmsford says: "Having the ability to now sell this prestigious product is a great credit to the way the van centre has grown and developed in its short time since 12

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01245 216456 Westway Chelmsford Essex CM1 3BH www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/chelmsford Paul.higham@ir.inchcape.co.uk

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APRIL 2012


S O FA S

CHAIRS

C U R TA I N S

BL I N D S

DESIGN, STYLE & CRAFTSMANSHIP Visit our extensive, newly refurbished showroom and workshop in Thorpe Bay. We offer a complete interior design service. A fantastic choice of styles, finishes, fabrics, leathers and bespoke upholstery – a talented and dedicated team of interior designers, furniture craftsmen and curtain makers to create your specific requirements – let us transform your home. Interior design by Michelle Elliott-Britto. We also provide a full re-upholstery and re-modelling service. MORRIS

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23-25 Station Road, Thorpe Bay, Essex SS1 3JY Tel. 01702 586800 Fax. 01702 586054 www.morrisinteriors.ltd.uk Opening hours: 9am–5pm Monday–Friday 9am–4pm Saturday

F U L L R E - U PH O L S T ERY

C A R PE T S


We have a superb green and we would like to think the finest view of any bowling club in the county. A great clubhouse with bar and kitchen and ample parking space. Thorpe Bay Bowling Club has been in existence for over 80 years, and, until 2012 has only been open to male bowlers. But now, in common with many other clubs, we are inviting ladies to join as full bowling members. Already the news has spread and we now have quite a number of lady bowlers signed up. Besides the bowling, the social side is very important to the club expecially in the winter months. Supper evenings, usually with guest entertainers, together with quizzes, race nights and other social events are held periodically and these, coupled with short mat bowling, snooker, darts, bridge evenings, etc, make for a full programme of events which are of course catered for by a well stocked bar. There is only one way to discover the delights of green bowling, and Thorpe Bay Bowling Club in particular, and that is to come along to our OPEN DAY FROM 10am ON THE 6th MAY. There will be bowls available, people to coach and all we ask is that you wear flat shoes to avoid spoiling the green. Later in the morning the bar will be open.

For further information please contact our Secretary on 01702 584200

THORPE BAY BOWLING CLUB THORPE BAY GARDENS

OPEN DAY MAY 6th 2012 14

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Cedars Care Centre is a modern and purpose built residential care centre situated in a pleasant area of Southend very close to the town centre and is easily accessed by road and public transport.

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APRIL 2012

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Oracle Hair & Beauty

Beard and Wonderful D

oes a beard give you an un-hair advantage over other men when it comes to work and relationships? What’s not to love and admire about a proper, manly, distinguished-looking beard? I ask as a chap - beardwearers can only be described as ‘chaps’ - who possesses fantastic facial fuzz himself. Sadly however, a new piece of scientific research has revealed that many more women are suffering from pogonophobia. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that they themselves look like Kind Edward VII but have a fear of beards. Shocking, I know. This is all dashed inconvenient – I always talk like Terry Thomas when discussing beards – when heartthrobs like George Clooney, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt and David Beckham have all sprouted impressive whiskers. Growing a beard makes the wearer more masculine. It also carries a certain air of gravitas and intellect. Stroking your hirsute chin while you think, make you look like a deep thinker. Of course, a certain length of growth can make you look like you just don’t care about primping and preening yourself in front of the mirror. For some, stubble projects a sort of laissez-faire outlook on life. Not shaving means you save time for more important things, like writing that Pulitzer-prize winning article or, more realistically, making a cheeky bacon sarnie. Another reason is simply that beards make chaps hot and attractive. Or do they?

decided to check whether women were drawn to strong and healthy, bushy, macho men. They picked 19 men with full beards (that’s weeks of growth, with no trimming) and photographed them.They then asked their volunteers to shave off their beards, and photographed them again. The pictures were then shown to over 200 women, who were asked to rate the gents on their attractiveness. Overwhelmingly the clean-shaven images were regarded as significantly more attractive. Interestingly, when other men were asked what they thought of the subjects in the photos, they said that the bearded blokes looked older and more aggressive but curiously, both sexes stated that facial hair added gravitas and that the bearded men appeared to have a higher social status, commanding more respect from their peers. In short, beards send a signal of alpha masculinity to other men but do little to attract women. Of course, if growing a beard tickles your fancy I’d say go for it but if the other half doesn’t approve, be prepared to take it on the chin!

Psychologists Paul Vasey and Barnaby Dixson

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O

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Advertorial

Small classes make a big difference

W

ith the number of open day visitors to Thorpe Hall School reaching an all time high in March, Headteacher Mr Andrew Hampton gives the Oracle his thoughts on what makes the forward thinking independent school so successful. “I have no doubt that small class sizes makes a significant difference to education.

heavily in our teachers, our staff:pupil ratio is excellent allowing us to create even smaller classes for pupils who need more support. It is not uncommon for these pupils to be taught in a class as small as 5 or 6 – and the benefit is enormous, with pupils outperforming their benchmarked predictions by many grades at GCSE.

We are particularly proud of the fact that we have broken our best ever record for GCSE results twice in the last three years and are now the leading non-selective independent school in the whole of Essex. I think we have achieved this academic excellence by making It further shows that the positive effects of this every school day interesting and fun, by close attention in the first four years of supporting learning at home through our schooling can last right up until the end of virtual learning environment and by giving sixth form. We firmly believe in the benefits of each child the care, love and individual small teaching groups here at Thorpe Hall attention they need to thrive and succeed”. School with classes limited to 20 in the Junior School and 16 in the Senior School. In fact, a US study has recently provided some of the most compelling evidence yet that children taught in small classes in infant schools are likely to do significantly better at secondary level.

From early years, children are taught in small classes within stimulating and productive environments; including state-of-the-art ICT suites, dedicated science, food, textiles and art studios and exceptional sports and recreational facilities.Because we invest Wakering Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 3RD

01702 582340

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APRIL 2012


Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey

forward thinking Here at Thorpe Hall, we hold traditional values dear but we keep a clear and consistent focus on a brighter future. This is a progressive and forward thinking school for a modern world; a place where new ideas and initiatives are always explored and embraced. Our teaching style is founded on support, guidance and a love of learning and our pupils are actively encouraged to become strong, independent thinkers. Our aim is to bring life to education as well as bringing education to life. Thorpe Hall - for girls and boys from nursery to GCSE

t 01702 582340 www.thorpehallschool.co.uk Wakering Road | Southend-on-Sea | Essex | SS1 3RD


Money Matters

Sovereign debt crisis â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A good time to invest? by Jacqui Moyies

F

inancial issues have hardly been out of the headlines in the last five years, ever since the credit crunch first came into the national consciousness, and the European sovereign debt crisis of the last two years has merely served to intensify the media coverage. Since the autumn of 2009, the European Union has been struggling with the mounting debts of some of its weakest economies, notably Greece and Portugal. The crisis has even raised questions about whether the Euro can survive as a currency, placed strains and risks on banks across the continent and forced cuts in government spending, putting several countries back into recession. So what are the opportunities for investors in what remains a tough and uncertain economic environment? Equity markets so far in 2012 have started on a much more positive note. There are exciting and attractive investment opportunities out there. Take, for example, large blue-chip companies with a strong and healthy market position and a continuous record of generating profits and earnings during all phases of the economic cycle. Some of the best opportunities today can be found in the telecom and pharmaceutical sectors. And one of the safest places to invest in equity markets in times of economic turmoil are in defensive sectors such as consumer staples â&#x20AC;&#x201C; industries that manufacture and sell food and

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beverages, tobacco and household products. These are typically the last products to be removed from the household budget at times when disposable incomes are being squeezed. In addition, many analysts see corporate bonds as a promising asset class. Exaggerated fears of mass defaults are, in the eyes of many, presenting investors with unprecedented value in high quality corporate bonds. Commercial property, too, continues to represent a high-yielding and relatively stable asset class, presenting a further valuable opportunity for investors to diversify their assets and ultimately be rewarded over the longer term. After the events of the past few years, investors need no reminding that equity investing can be volatile. But history is clear - stock markets tend to rise over the longer term, despite short-term fluctuations. Good investment opportunities still exist for the prudent investor, across a diversified portfolio. However, to find those opportunities requires the expertise of a skilled and experienced wealth management specialist in order to satisfy properly medium to long-term investment objectives.

O

by Jacqui Moyies

To receive a complimentary guide covering Wealth Management Retirement Planning or Inheritance Tax Planning, contact Jacqui on :

01702 589553 Jacqui.moyies@sjpp.co.uk or visit www.sjpp.co.uk/jacquimoyies

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APRIL 2012


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Oracle Planning

Detailed Design S

o now we have a design, considered aesthetics and presented a comprehensive application to the local authority for approval. Of course approval is not guaranteed and refusals are unfortunately issued, but should that occur you still have the option to amend and re-submit or appeal the decision. In this event specialist Architectural services may be required together with involving a planning consultant who would advise on the appropriate method of appeal. For our purposes we will assume approval has been granted and you are ready to get into the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the development.This is the detailed design stage when you and your architect fully plan the structure and detail every operation your chosen builder will perform. As a famous architect said “God is in the detail” and this phase shouldn’t be avoided or under-estimated….spend enough time at this stage and you have a far better chance of avoiding unnecessary over-run and extra expense during the works.

You may need to employ Structural, Mechanical and Services Engineers or other design consultant to help design the project.The team works closely, interpreting your requirements, to produce the construction information and tender package. Traditionally the Architect leads the team and should advise on all elements of the construction. Decisions should be made at this time that include construction techniques and contract details, materials, finishes,

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fittings,programme and budget to ensure the level of detail is commensurate with your dreams and budget..

In order to deliver your ideal design within budget your team must ensure all details are included in the tender package to allow the Contractors to analyse and accurately price. Your architect should assist producing a tender list which usually consists of 3 or 4 builders. Builders unfortunately do get a bad press but the reality is the majority are honest and reliable and want to deliver a product you will be proud of. However the choice of builder is critical, as well as delivering the project he must be able to work with you and understand your needs, there is nothing more destructive to a project than the breakdown in communication or relations between client and builder. Once tenders are issued there is always an anxious wait for the prices to return. We will deal with the priced returns and the commencement of the work on site next but in the meantime I am happy to deal with any specific questions about any part of the programme at info@oraclepublications.co.uk By Tim Knight Sponsored by:

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We cater for

Private Fun ctions

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Beer Festival

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May 31st - June 5th BBQ (weather permitting) 12 Real Ales + Greene King Summer Classics

All Steaks

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s ion ect

012 2 Y MA

il El unc o C al Loc

The graph shows that year on year the Conservatives have failed to control the extent of their borrowing.The forecast limits are exceeded every year. Over 5 years they have doubled the borrowing limits and intend to further extend their financial boundaries. This is equivalent to a debt of £2000 for every man, woman and child in Southend-on-Sea. If that isn’t bad enough that debt has to be serviced adding an additional cost to residents of:Year

08/9

09/10

10/11

11/12

12/13

Costs £7.4m £8.5m £8.2m £10.8m £12.4m

Locally can you afford to vote Conservative?

18% of our total council tax is now being used just to pay financing costs (interest) on their borrowings. Independents can give Southend-on-Sea Council back to residents and local businesses

By empowering the local community we can address these financial problems and tackle issues. Every he growth of Independent representa- councillor throughout the Borough should have an tion has outstripped all the political input to the final decision making process. Until the 1940’s local councillors did not represent political parties parties, they were Independent, coming from rate Once again it’s election time. In the last 5 years the payers, residents associations and business groups. Independent group of councillors has, with the support of the electorate, trebled in size. Last year We need a system of local government where alone in the seven wards in which an Independent residents are properly consulted and allowed candidate stood we received 8,207 votes compared participation in the decision making process so as to to 6,005 for the Conservatives. Clearly, residents are contribute to the future of our town.The weakness of realising how disconnected the political parties are this current system of local government is that constructive and innovative ideas raised by other with their needs. councillors are ignored and derided simply because these suggestions did not come from the Financial Incompetence Conservatives. The Conservative council has lost of the Conservatives numerous opportunities to improve both our town Under the Conservatives (£M) borrowings continue and the lives of its residents because of this attitude. to spiral upwards: Authorised Limits for Operational Borrowings $ % & (£ Million)

T

! Year / Duration T H O R P E B AY O R A C L E

34

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# APRIL 2012


Local Democracy at Risk The Conservative led council recently sent out thousands of letters to residents advising them that the decision on various parking consultations had now been taken, a clear 2 weeks before the committee meeting scheduled to make that decision! The Conservative council are determined to go ahead with pay and display parking charges, regardless of the major detrimental impact on residents and small businesses. Independents will continue to fight against the attitude of the Conservative administration and work to bring some sense to the whole parking consultation issue.This behaviour extends to full council where the Conservatives passed their budget without allowing all councillors an opportunity to vote. The lunacy is that by avoiding a formal vote they argue the budget was passed unanimously.

Independent Councillors forward plan and look to the future Independent Councillors want to take our town back from the political parties and start planning for our future. We believe that to do this we need to remove party politics from local democracy and give control back to the residents. There seems little point in voting for someone to represent your ward only to find that they cannot represent local interests because they are not in the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interests. You, the voter, should come first.You should not come second to party politics. It demeans the democratic process when the voting in the Council chamber represents the views of just 8 people.

Money down the drain

A Council truly representing the electorate The success of Independent Councillors and the pressure we are putting on the party politicians is starting to tell. It is time Southend-on-Sea council was run in a more adult, consultative, and responsible manner.We are convinced that with resident-focused priorities, fewer consultants and better budgeting much more can be achieved for less; delivering the services we need in different ways and putting the savings made into better use for the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents. We want to do this in a council that operates without the domination of party politics; a chamber operating on consensus with fresh thinking and fresh ideas.

Vote Claire Bibby Southchurch Ward

Vote Mike Stafford Thorpe Ward

Vote Independent

Independent Councillors Turning the Tide of Local Politics. For more information, contact: Mike Stafford 01702 587448 or Claire Bibby 07532299840 Please mention the Oracle when responding to adverts Printed and published by Oracle Publications on behalf of Independent Group of Councillors and Candidates APRIL 2012

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T H O R P E B AY O R A C L E

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For over 25 years we have been giving a complete personal and professional glass & glazing service DESIGN - QUALITY - RELIABILITY

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recipe of the month

processor. Add the butter and lard, then whizz briefly until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in just enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a ball.

In the Kitchen with Judy Barden BOOK NOW FOR MA Y DEMONSTRATION CLA VARIOUS DATES AVAILASSES! BLE For more info email judy.barden@btinternme at et.com

Deep-filled Egg and Bacon Pie

I

f you have guests to feed over the Easter weekend this is always very satisfying and can be served warm or cold. If you are worried about making the pastry, ready-made shortcrust will be fine, you will probably need 2 packets. Enjoy! Ingredients 300g (about 10) rindless smoked back bacon rashers 25g butter, plus extra for greasing 2 bunches of spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives 10 medium free-range eggs 100ml double cream ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg For the pastry 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting ¾ tsp salt 90g chilled butter, cut into pieces 90g chilled lard, cut into pieces Method 1. Put a heavy-gauge baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Stack up the bacon rashers and cut lengthways in half, then across into short strips. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add half the bacon, then fry briskly for 3-4 minutes until crisp and lightly golden. Set aside with a slotted spoon, then repeat with the remaining bacon. Clean the pan. 2. Lower the heat and add the butter to the pan. When it has melted, add the spring onions and cook gently for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then stir in the cooked bacon and herbs. 3. For the pastry, put the flour and salt in a food

38

T H O R P E B AY O R A C L E

4. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface, then cut off a 200g piece and set aside. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to line the base and sides of a lightly buttered 5.5cm deep, 20cm loose-bottomed round tin, leaving the edges overhanging. 5. Separate one of the eggs and set the yolk aside in a cup. Lightly beat the egg white and another egg with the cream, nutmeg, a little salt and some pepper in a small jug. Scatter two-thirds of the bacon mixture over the base of the tin and drizzle over half the cream mixture. 6. Carefully break the remaining eggs one at a time into a cup and slide them side-by-side onto the top of the bacon mixture, taking care not to break the yolks. Season them lightly, scatter over the remaining bacon mixture, then drizzle over the remaining egg and cream mixture. 7. Brush the overhanging pastry with a little water. Roll out the remaining pastry into a round, carefully lay it over the top of the pie and press the pastry edges together. Neatly trim ›back the overhanging pastry to 2cm, brush with a little more water, then roll it over on itself to form the edge of the pie. Crimp it well between your fingers, lightly score the top in a criss-cross pattern and cut a small slit in the centre of the lid. 8. Beat the reserved egg yolk with 1 tsp water and brush generously over the top of the pie. Re-knead and roll out the pastry trimmings, cut into leaves and use to decorate the top of the pie. Brush them with a little more glaze, slide the pie onto the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and serve warm, cut into wedges. Next month’s recipe:

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Health & Beauty

My Golden Rules for Getting Fit this Spring by Cris Ramis

D

on’t expect instant results - Exercise won’t transform your body overnight; it can take a few weeks of regular activity before you see any changes to your shape. But you will notice other benefits straight away, like increased energy, less stress and a more positive frame of mind. Keep a training log - Recording your workouts will help you measure and monitor your success. Charting your progress means you ensure your efforts are working. Set goals - Vague targets, such as ‘losing weight’ or ‘getting fit’, are less likely to motivate you than specific ones, such as losing 1lb a week or running a 10k race. Creating specific, challenging and achievable targets, and hitting them, means you’ll be much more likely to stick to your programme. You are meant to enjoy it - Research has found that ‘perceived confidence’ – a sense of success – is the best indication of whether you’ll stick with an activity. If you get a kick out of running fast, you’ll probably run for longer. So find a form of exercise you love, but use a variety of activities for best results.

working too hard can lead to injury. Move steadily and gradually through your training programme, making only small increases in intensity and duration/reps at a time. Eat before working out - For optimum energy and improved performance, you should eat 200-300 calories two hours before you exercise. Snacks incorporating protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats are best. And make sure you drink plenty of water - dehydration slows you down and can make you give up early. You can over-train – Training every day is not necessarily a good idea. You should never work the same muscle group on consecutive days, or work a muscle group that’s still sore from a previous session. Give your body time to recover and it is true, becoming an obsessivecompulsive trainer can affect your social life. It is okay, every now and then, to kick back and treat yourself to your favourite food or drink.

Pain is not weakness leaving the body - It is a warning sign, not a threshold to be crossed. Don’t exercise to the point of agony, because

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Under The Hammer

What is it worth? Trevor Cornforth

A

fter the last issue Michael sent me an email about a Chinese ceramic panel he owns but knows nothing about. Photos can often be deceptive so I asked him to let me take a look and neither of us was disappointed. It is quite clear to see that it is a Cantonese enamelled porcelain tile but the subject is a lovely Imperial Court scene with the typical cut-away allowing a view of the interior of the building where the Emperor is receiving petitions. Once I was able to see it first-hand it became apparent that it is a mid 19th C piece of very fine quality which has been set later into a lacquered frame, probably in Shanghai in the 1920’s ready for export. Such panels were usually set as table screens rather than wall decoration and this one will definitely attract the Chinese buyers who are clawing back their own heritage.Value wise I would expect it to run into several thousand pounds.

A very fine famille rose panel with lacquered frame.

have been used for cutting silk or paper. Similar examples can be seen in important museum collections so it is quite a surprise to see them popping up in Leigh on sea.

The market for such things is small but keen so again a sale price in the mid hundreds of pounds can be expected. Despite the Court origins the achieved prices in recent years for similar pieces have not been as high as one might expect. However this was still I also had an enquiry about this unusual pair of quite a surprise for our lady owner who had taken scissors which have languished for a long time in an them for granted. elderly lady’s china cabinet. If you have something you would like to know about Once again handling them tells the full story.They are then email a picture to me at info@chalkwellaucTurkish in origin and although they are steel they are tions.co.uk and I will try to help or give me a call inlaid with gold making them quite important items from the Ottoman Court in the 18th C. They would

The scissors which subsequently sold just below £1,000!

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kitchen & bathroom specialist Gas Safe Registered (No. 228479) Boiler Installations Boiler Upgrades Power-flushing Service Clean, Reliable & Fully Insured All aspects of Heating & Plumbing FREE Estimate & Advice Over 20 Years Experience

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Re-upholstery & Antique Restoration by experienced local craftsmen High-quality craftsmanship :FREE C Specialists in Young Bros. and Coopers Estimates C 3-Piece Suites made to your specifications C Extensive library of fabrics including:Voyage,Villa Nova, Ross, Linwood etc. C Very competitive rates

All work carried out in the Poynters Lane Workshop

PETER J. WEDDELL Upholstery . Antique Restoration Middle Barn, New House Farm, Poynters Lane SS3 9TS

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Travel Expert

Why you need a Travel Agent By Karen Goldman

J

ust a couple of years ago, headlines were about the demise of the travel agent, about to go the way of the Dodo and the dinosaur. Guess what? Travel agents are not only still here, they are experiencing a rebound – despite (or because of?) the myriad travel tools available online.

Among the many major advantages high-powered agents bring to the table is personal connections and clout. “Connections” means knowing GMs and executives at top hotels personally. Who do you think will get you that special room and VIP service ? You calling an 0800 reservation centre, or your travel agent calling the GM whom he or she has known for 20 years – and sends a lot of business to? All these extras come from the travel agents calling on your behalf – at no extra cost to you. The clout part comes from volume. When your travel agent books hundreds of room nights with a high profile luxury hotel each year, the hotel will move heaven and earth to look after their clients.

To be clear, I am talking about true experts, the really good travel agents who add value, not the ones running full page ads of deals in the Sunday papers. The best travel agents are essentially consultants, because it is their advice, expertise, and connections that are of great value, not the ability to print airline tickets for you. Find an excellent travel advisor and stick with them, because a big part of the equation is that they get to know you and your wants, likes and People think they can just book flights, hotels, or car rentals themselves, and sometimes they can, especially dislikes, and make suggestions accordingly. if nothing goes wrong. But when your flight is cancelled and you are standing in line waiting to be rebooked, believe me, you’ll wish you had a travel agent.

I have been in the travel industry for 25 years and many clients are now old friends as I have looked after their honeymoons, family trips, and special celebrations. It’s not quite the same relationship with your laptop ! Sponsored by:

0845 058 7187

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Interior and exterior decorating, painting and wallpapering

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Carpenter & Joiner JOHN SORRELL - your local carpenter and joiner for over 25 years All aspects of woodwork and property maintenance undertaken, including:

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ORACLE Diary Dates SOCIAL EVENING 11TH APRIL FREE Essex Handicraft Association South East Essex Branch. Hadleigh 01702 479 862 EASTER EVENT FREE 7th April, Leigh Library Gardens 13:00 - 16:00 Join in the fun of an Easter Egg Hunt with a prize for all who complete the hunt. Activities include Leigh Lions BBQ, a Bounc Castle, Punch & Judy, face painting, ice cream, children's entertainment and a variety of stalls. 01702 716288.

SODS Advance Box Office (Until 1st February 2012)

08445 885997 sodstickets@hotmail.co.uk www.southendoperatic.com

Cliffs Pavilion Box Office

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18th - 21st

APRIL 2012

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LTD. on behalf of R&H Theatricals of New York.

EASTER ON THE ESTUARY FREE 8th - 9th April, Southend Pier Meet the Easter Bunny who will be handing out cream eggs to the children. Activities will include a lucky dip, raffle & children's colouring competition. 01702 618747 vic@southend.gov.uk. ACE CAFĂ&#x2030; SOUTHEND SHAKEDOWN FREE 9th April, Southend Seafront Annual charity motorcycle ride from Ace Cafe, London to Southend Seafront. Enjoy the spectacle of several thousand motorbikes of every type imaginable on display. 01702 618747 vic@southend.co.uk. BIG ROCK WEEKEND FREE 14th - 15th April, Central Museum and Planetarium, Victoria Avenue 10:00 - 16:00 Weekend of activities, demonstrations and talks. Use crazy silica (sand) to create a beautiful souvenir to take away and try your hand at panning for fool's gold! A wide range of unusual fossils and rocks to purchase in the museum shop and a great chance to have those prized fossils and minerals identified. Entry is free but donations always www.oraclepublications.co.uk www.twitter.com/oracle_essex

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Advertorial

Maths and English at Shoeburyness High School I n the maths department at Shoeburyness High School, we pride ourselves on giving our students every opportunity to succeed. We go the extra mile to provide opportunity to overcome barriers and ultimately achieve examination success.

Earlier this year, we took a targeted group to Kidz Kingdom for a mathematical experience followed by a chance to let their hair down and have fun just prior to their exams. Activities included marking a paper that the staff had done to find the deliberate mistakes and explain them.

For example, we have recently taken Year 11 students to Bradwell outdoor activity centre for two days where they received intensive revision and support, largely disguised as quizzes and treasure hunts, whilst enjoying personal challenges and recreational activities. Staff and students bonded over snooker, nail varnish and a buffet in the evening and to quote one student “it was the best weekend ever – I have learnt loads!”

But it’s not just Year 11 that get the help. We have a growing troop of students, largely from Years 11, 12 & 13, but some from Years 9 & 10, who give up their time to help younger students overcome their difficulties with maths and provide them with a beneficial boost. This is a peer mentoring program run by our Maths Learning Mentor and is proving advantageous, not only to the mentees but also to the mentors. Special thanks go to Year 12 & 13 students such as Chelsea Embery and Chris Hume who have been totally reliable in working with students 3 or 4 times a week over quite a period of time and Sana Hufthy whose mentee went up a whole level as a result of her intervention. Student mentors are able to strengthen their own maths and enjoy the immense satisfaction of seeing the difference they are making to their mentees. Our students are all gaining in confidence and enjoying success, watching grades and levels soar for individuals! Naomi Angel

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I

n the English Department at Shoeburyness High School, we pride ourselves on offering students a diverse range of topics to study and on giving them a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their ability and imagination! We regularly give the students the chance to enter competitions, most recently the Radio 2 Short Story competition, and in recent years have even produced a winning entry! These successes are celebrated in school in the weekly newsletter and on the website and we are consistently impressed by the standard of the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; entries. We have a dedicated English Learning Mentor who works with groups of students to develop their skills and who runs our â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chapter and Chatterâ&#x20AC;? Book Club on a weekly basis, where keen readers have the opportunity to share their enthusiasm and ideas for reading with other like-minded individuals. In addition, the Shoeburyness High School Gifted and Talented

Evening recently showcased the talents of our students who are exceptionally impressive, when several students gave speeches in front of an audience, demonstrating their confidence and maturity in the subject. Many of our able students study English AS level courses in Year 11. Literacy events run regularly throughout the school year; these are then incorporated into lesson time, broadening the horizons of the students and encouraging them to raise their literacy standards on a regular basis. In lessons, students are encouraged to be as creative and innovative as possible and their work is displayed around the English Department as a source of pride at their achievements, both at Key Stages 3 and 4 and post-16 at Key Stage 5. Within the English Department, students are encouraged to take an active part in their own learning and display a great deal of enthusiasm for the texts studied, plays performed and the development of their own skills. It is a lively and inspiring place to be for all concerned and we are extremely proud of the achievements of our students. Gail Randall

Shoeburyness High School APRIL 2012

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Reach over 20,000 readership in Leigh & Thorpe Bay hungry for your business Call for a Media Pack or visit www.oraclepublications.co.uk To advertise in ORACLE call 01702 393838 All rights reserved. No part of Oracle Publications UK Ltd. may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means either wholly or in part without prior permission of the publisher. Oracle Publications UK Ltd. is editorially autonomous and the opinions expressed are not those of the publisher unless expressly stated.

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PAUL NEWMAN

25TH ANNIVERSARY 1984 - 2009

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Paul Newman Interiors have an exciting and extensive portfolio of styles for kitchens from leading manufacturers and stunning locally built handcrafted designs. Attention to detail sets us apart and our team of employed, expert fitters will ensure you are delighted with your new room. You can be confident that our prices will always be competitive but quality will never be compromised.

Visit our new showrooms and be inspired!

136 High Street, Hadleigh, Essex, SS7 2PB Tel: 01702 552868 Fax: 01702 555518 Email: info@paulnewmaninteriors.co.uk


April Thorpe Bay 2012  

Free Community magazine in Thorpe Bay area of Southend Essex. The high quality glossy no.1 for local news and business.

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