NN Pulse Magazine May 24

Page 1

County-wide news, views and stories

What’s going on in your local area

Scan to subscribe Issue 102 | May 2024
The magazine at the heart of Northamptonshire


From the Kerry

orthampton Town Council’s Bands in the Park season has already started so summer is on its way. You can now enjoy free live performances from local bands on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays until 29th September. That’s a perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday, plus there’s no better use for Abington Park’s historic bandstand.

If you’re in need of a little extra adrenalin then try out the colossal ‘Mammoth’ obstacle course at Milton Keynes’ Aqua Parcs instead. From 4th May we can all enjoy the thrill of the 20ft ‘cliff jump’. You have a chance to win one of five pairs of tickets to try it and all the park’s other attractions for free. Just scan the QR code to enter before the end of the month. Good luck!

Carnival is coming soon too. Make sure you don’t miss the kaleidoscopic Northampton Carnival on 8th June. It’s a ‘Festival for All Cultures’ so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Racecourse will be full of food, fun and festivities. Be transported to the Caribbean, Asia or Africa for the day.

For a more peaceful time, try Rural Life at Lamport Hall again this year on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th May. See how we once lived and what it’s like to be a modern farmer in today’s world. You can enjoy non-stop live demonstrations in the main arena with dancing sheep, falconry, vintage steam engines, tractors and dogs putting their best paws forwards.

You might not have heard of Charles Ignatius Sancho since he was born on a slave ship on the Atlantic almost 300 years ago. Despite what he described as an ‘unlucky’ start, he attracted the attention and support of the Duke and Duchess of Montagu. Laura Malpas has been looking into his remarkable story. When you’ve finished mowing the lawn take a few minutes to find out more. Have a great month!


4 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk Published by Lunar Publishing Limited NN Pulse cannot take responsibility for the content of the advertisements, editorial or the services provided by the advertisers. Advertisements are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are accurate. All artwork is accepted on condition that permission has been given for use in MK Pulse. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. © NN Pulse
Read previous editions online: www.pulsegroupmedia.co.uk 01604 935300 nnpulse@pulsegroupmedia.co.uk 17 Stilebrook Road, Olney, Bucks MK46 5EA Connect with us on socials: /pulsemagazines @pulsemagazines nnpulsemagazine FINISHED READING? PASS PULSE MAGAZINE TO A FRIEND OR PLACE IT IN THE RECYCLING.
NN Pulse is distributed door to door to 22,000 homes and businesses in: Ashton, Blisworth, Brafield-on-the-Green, Bugbrooke, Chapel Brampton, Church Brampton, Collingtree Park, Collingtree Village, Denton, East Hunsbury, Gayton, Grange Park, Great Houghton, Greens Norton, Hackleton, Hardingstone, Horton, Little Houghton, Lower Harlestone, Milton Malsor, Moulton, Nether Heyford, Pattishall, Piddington, Preston Deanery, Quinton, Roade, Shutlanger, St Georges Fields, Stoke Bruerne, Upper Harlestone, West Hunsbury, Wootton, Wootton Fields, and pick up points across Northamptonshire. 30 6 NEWS 9 CARNIVAL 12 WICKSTEED PARK 14 LEGAL 16 COMPETITION 18 LOCAL HISTORY 20 CHARITY 26 FEATURE 28 FASHION 30 FOOD AND DRINK 32 DIGGING DEEP 36 INTERIORS 38 THEATRE 39 FILMS 40 MUSIC 44 WHAT’S ON 50 YOUR STARS 12
9 MAY 2024 The deadline for advertising in the next edition of Pulse Magazine is MONDAY 8TH FEBRUARY The edition Pulse is FRIDAY 10TH MAY

Home Counties Loft Ladders, Quality You Can Trust!

These days most homeowners suffer from a lack of storage space. So many precious items that need to be kept – but where to store it all? That’s where Home Counties Loft Ladders come in.

The company, based locally, offers homeowners the opportunity to maximise their storage space with a loft ladder, 50sqft of boarding and a lightall fully fitted in less than a day from just £444! But it’s not just the affordability of the package that makes Home Counties Loft Ladders stand out, as manager Jamie Oakley explains: ‘Our watchwords

are Quality, Integrity and Value. Quality in the materials that we use for all our installations and the fact that all our loft packages are fitted by time served tradesmen, so our customers are assured of the best job.

Integrity in that we will turn up at the time we say and make sure the house is spotless when we leave, and value in that we offer our services at a price people can afford.

Our business relies on referrals and we get a huge amount of our calls from people who have been

referred to us by our existing customers - that simply wouldn’t happen if we didn’t adhere to our overriding principles.

At the end of the day the old adage that happy customers lead to more happy customers is true and we work hard to make that happen for every installation we carry out!’

So, if you want to make use of your loft space, call Jamie free on 0808 301 9552 and he’ll be happy to pop round and give you a no obligation quote so you too can make use of your loft!

5 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 Consistently excellent. For individuals and businesses, we remain...
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Free Sunday sounds in Abington Park

Northampton Town Council’s Bands in the Park season has begun with a packed calendar of free live performances from local bands and musicians every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until 29th September.

Northampton Town Council is thrilled to announce the commencement of its much-anticipated Bands in the Park season, offering an exciting calendar brimming with free live performances by local bands and musicians. Every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until September 29th, music enthusiasts can revel in the melodic ambiance at Abington Park’s historic bandstand.

Set against the backdrop of Abington Park’s picturesque surroundings, the weekly musical extravaganza will run from 2pm to 5pm, captivating audiences with an eclectic mix of genres including brass, jazz, concert bands, choirs, ukulele groups, and solo performers. The Park Café, located close to the bandstand, is kindly sponsoring three performances.

Cllr Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town

Council, said: “We have a fantastic line-up of musicians booked for this year’s Bands in the Park season, with performances from all the traditional brass bands, some new acts such as the Friday Night Konspiracy funk soul band, old favourites the Fynnius Fogg Band and an Elvis Tribute, which went down very well last year!”

Performances continue every Sunday until 29th September, with the exception of Sunday, 15th September, when the Rockin’ Roadrunner Festival takes place. Additional performances are also scheduled every Bank Holiday Monday.

Don’t miss out on Northampton Town Council’s Bands in the Park season - a celebration of local talent and community spirit! Join us at Abington Park’s historic bandstand for an afternoon of unforgettable music and camaraderie.

For more information and the full schedule of performances, visit https://bit.ly/NBITP24

May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk 6 LOCAL NEWS
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As the foremost domestic glass replacement company in the UK for more than 18 years, Cloudy2Clear Windows are the leading name in the industry. You can join over 340,000 happy customers and replace your glass ethically and affordably. If you have a failed glazing unit it may not provide you with the protection you need, or be as energy-efficient as it once was. Why not take a minute to check your home to see if any double glazing has failed? Taking action now can prevent future financial problems.

When talking to the Manager of Cloudy2Clear Northampton & Oxford Trevor Skidmore it became evident that the value of saving their customers money has been held dear for a number of years. Since buying the franchise in 2006, Trevor & Wendy now have their 2 sons Lloyd & Ross and daughter in law Lori involved along with Dan, Tom & Jo and have committed to supporting the local community by providing a service that saves the public both time and money.

The Cloudy2Clear service only requires the glass to be replaced and not the whole window once the unit has failed. Trevor commented “By doing this we make the customer considerable savings and there is much less upheaval in the family home. Also, whether communities find themselves in a financial crisis or not, saving money when you don’t need to waste it is always the sensible option, and our truly family service does just that”

For a free quotation please call 0800 61 21 118 or visit www.cloudy2clear.co.uk.

7 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 Replace the pane, not the frame! Have Your Windows Steamed Up? Your trusted local expert Faulty locks, handles or hinges? Priority freephone www.cloudy2clear.co.uk All glazing backed by our “I really liked the fact that they were a local family run business” Janet Beard Get a FREE Quote We are a Checkatrade Member Glass, it’s better when it’s clear! Ask me about our fantastic Energy Saving Glass. Save Money With Cloudy2Clear. Your Local Glazing Experts!
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Selected by a jury of 100 distinguished automotive journalists representing 29 countries, the World Car Awards recognised the Kia EV9’s innovative design, spacious sevenseat interior, and competitive price point. Based on the E-GMP platform, the EV9 is the first Kia to feature fourth-generation battery technology for improved performance.

Established in 2003, the World Car Awards are renowned globally as a premier standard for automotive excellence and leadership, celebrating remarkable accomplishments within a rapidly changing automotive industry. Prior to the 2024 event, Kia had already claimed three wins at the World Car Awards – the Telluride as World Car of the Year and the Soul EV as World Urban Car in 2020, along with the Kia EV6 GT taking World Performance Car of the Year in 2023.

Kia EV9 secures double win at the 2024 world car awards

The 2024 Kia EV9 has achieved a remarkable dual victory at the 2024 World Car Awards. Revealed during a live announcement at the World Car Awards ceremony at the New York Auto Show, the EV9 secured prestigious titles for both World Car of the Year and World Electric Vehicle.

“We are hugely honoured that the 2024 EV9 has been named the World Car of the Year and World Electric Vehicle. This triumph is a testament to our unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and design excellence. The Kia EV9’s continued success will drive us to keep delivering exceptional vehicles that redefine the driving experience for customers around the world,” Ho Sung Song, President and CEO at Kia said.

Two wins in the World Car Awards add to an already

impressive haul of accolades for the 2024 Kia EV9. Since its introduction as Kia’s first dedicated three-row EV SUV, the EV9 has

collected a number of prizes, including winning the ‘Family Cars’ category of the Golden Steering Wheel Awards, the 2024 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, and ‘Best Premium SUV’ at the 2023 Newsweek Autos Awards.

“EV9 is a clear representation of Kia’s vision, and further evidence of our dedication to quality. This award cements Kia’s standing as the frontrunner in sustainable mobility solutions that go beyond conventional automobiles.

We share this honour with our global teams who contributed their utmost efforts to drive EV9’s success,” said Sean Yoon, President and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America.

8 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
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Costumes Performances Music

Saturday 8th June

From 12 Noon to 7.30pm

Racecourse Park Northampton, NN1 4LG

Live Entertainment on stage

Spectacular Parade

Exciting Fun Fair

Wide range of Stalls

A Festival For All Cultures #Carnival 2024

Carnival is coming… and we’re getting into the rhythm!

Get ready to immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of cultures and celebrate diversity at Northampton Carnival 2024! As the town gears up for its annual extravaganza, Northampton invites you to join in the festivities and experience the magic of “A Festival for All Cultures.”

Mark your calendars for Saturday 8th June as The Racecourse, Kettering Road, Northampton, transforms into a hub of excitement and cultural exchange from 12 noon onwards. Step into a world of entertainment on the Main Stage, where a stellar lineup awaits to captivate audiences of all ages.

We are delighted to announce the headliners this year is the awesome REPRO JAM SQUAD! Sway to the classical melodies of Ebony Mae Pallister, and the dynamic contemporary performance of Malcolm Dunn & Friends. Joining the lineup are African Drummers, CBlock Muzic, Shirley-Marie and a host of Visiting Troupes, ensuring an unforgettable musical journey around the globe. Plus, enjoy the beats spun by resident DJs from Inspiration FM and DJ Decka from Set It Off Sounds

Prepare to be dazzled as the parade sets off from the park at 2 pm, adorned with a stunning array of costumes representing cultures from every corner of the world. From Kettering Road to Abington Square, and

back via Wellingborough Road and Abington Ave to The Racecourse, witness the vibrant tapestry of Northampton’s cultural heritage come to life before your eyes.

No carnival experience is complete without indulging in delicious global cuisines. Satisfy your taste buds with authentic Caribbean, Asian, African, and traditional English delicacies, alongside tempting treats for the sweet tooth. And while you’re there, enjoy the thrills of the funfair, explore ethnic arts and crafts, and discover a wealth of local information and well-being stalls.

Join us in celebrating diversity, inclusion, and community spirit at Northampton Carnival 2024. Whether you’re representing your heritage or simply embracing the richness of cultures from around the world, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Scan the code to find out more or visit us online at: northamptoncarnival.co.uk

Put the date Saturday 8th June in your diary to attend the Northampton Carnival at The Racecourse, Kettering Road, Northampton, NN1 4LG. You won’t want to miss this magical day …the perfect outing for the entire family!

9 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024

ROkarters rocket to £8.5k charity total

Meet the winners of this year’s karting charity fundraiser ROkart. The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Nene Valley raised £8,500 for Rotarysupported organisations including women’s refuge Eve and cancer patient support charity The Lewis Foundation.

And pictured are the winners - by the narrowest of margins – the team from civil and structural engineers David Smith Associates, who completed 295 laps in two hours… just one second ahead of runner-up Wheel2Wheel, representing wall and tiling specialist Forti’s Tiling. In third place was the quartet from Carbon Racing.

The DSA team are pictured with Northampton Mayor Cllr Stephen Huibbert and the trophy.

The annual Rokart event has raised more than £80,000 for Northamptonshire causes in its eight years. “One of the real fun elements of Rokart is the sheer diversity of the teams that enter from all aspects of the Northampton community,” said Rotarian and Rokart organiser Richard Poynter.

This year’s event was sponsored by Michael Jones Jewellers.

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‘The winners – by the narrowest of margins – the team from civil and structural engineers David Smith Associates, who completed 295 laps in two hours’

A celebration of Rural Life at Lamport Hall

For the second year running, we are excited to announce the comeback of Rural Life at Lamport Hall on Sunday 26th May and Monday 27th May, 10am-5pm.

This event will take you back through the ages of Rural Life, to the modern world we now live and farm in today.

Our action-packed main arena will see live demonstrations from high quality acts non-stop throughout the whole day including dancing sheep, falconry, vintage steam engines, tractors, dog scurry and much, much, more!

Rural Life are also extremely excited to announce their headlining act Atkinson Action Horses, led by Ben Atkinson and his team

of stunt and trick riders, actors, writers and combat performers. They promise to thrill, excite and astonish audiences with their high energy, breath-taking, death-defying stunt shows. Ben and his team will be showcasing two performances each day in the main arenamake sure you don’t miss it!

Rural Life really is a day out for all the family and younger visitors are sure to enjoy the vintage fairground, small animal experience, Woolsey Ride-on Miniature Railway and the climbing wall.

In addition there will also be a bar tent, delicious food, a craft tent, have a go archery and tomahawk throwing, live music and a fun dog show as well as a display of vintage tractors and steam engines.

This event is suitable for all the family including four-legged friends and is sure to be a truly memorable day out.

> To find out more about events at Lamport Hall or to book tickets visit: lamporthall.co.uk

For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 11 Affordable loft boarding solutions
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Rural Life at Lamport Hall will boast the amazing horsemanship skills of Atkinson Action Horses as well as fun for the young and young at heart.

The custodians securing a century of history

Good Friday was a big day for Kettering’s Wicksteed Park, the oldest theme park on the UK mainland. The date marked the start of the summer season and making sure everything is ready to go is not for the fainthearted. Annie Roberts met up with the senior management ahead of the season’s launch.

There cannot be many managers who have caring for meerkats, maintaining the oldest surviving water ride in the world and negotiating with ice cream suppliers on their ‘to do’ list. But it is par for the course at Wicksteed Park.

The 147 acres of parkland opened its gates in 1921 thanks to the generosity of its founder Charles Wicksteed and his vision continues to thrive thanks to the management of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust which oversees the running of the park, with day-to-day operations handed over to a limited company, Wicksteed Trading Limited.

There have been highs and lows - one of the most recent lows was the park facing bankruptcy when Covid prevented people from visiting. Funding from the

government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a public appeal helped to secure the park’s future. Now plans are being finalised to build on its legacy and secure its position at the heart of the local community.

One example is the recent completion of the park’s @play, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow heritage project, supported by a grant of just over £2 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It has created a free heritage playground featuring ten pieces of historic play equipment, including the recovery and refurbishment of what is believed to be the world’s oldest playground swing, made by Charles Wicksteed a century ago.

The grant also helped to fund the restoration of the Garden Room, which offers stunning views across the park

from the top of its famous Edwardian-style Pavilion.

The fountain lawn, complete with iconic fountain, has been restored to its former glory and provided a wonderful backdrop to last year’s Centenary Ball, originally delayed by Covid but held in the Pavilion to celebrate the park’s original opening.

Kelly Richardson, the park’s director of finance and governance, provides the link between the Trust’s objectives and the park’s commercial aspirations. She and her team are up for the challenge.

“It is clear we need to reengage with the community after everything the park and our visitors have been through in recent times. A visit to Wicksteed is and should be all about the customer experience and we have this wonderful green space where people can come and enjoy themselves.

12 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
The management team at Wicksteed Park

“What is clear is that we cannot compete directly with the likes of Alton Towers or Warwick Castle. We are known as the UK mainland’s oldest theme park but we are so much more than a place where there are rides.”

Each year the park welcomes more than one million visitors, each wanting something different. Charles Wicksteed’s vision remains at its heart; the park remains accessible and free to enter on foot but many of the visitors head straight to the rides.

“There are two key things we have to bear

“The park has been here for more than 100 years. We see ourselves as custodians of its future.”

in mind,” said head of operations Jordan St Germain. “One is that we run a profitable business so we can continue to invest in the park. The other is a positive and memorable customer experience whatever the reason for their visit. For some, Wicksteed Park is a place where they walk their dogs every day but others might plan a great day out with the family.”

Once the season is under way people will want to visit the meerkats, stroke the goats or enjoy the rides. These include favourites for generations of park visitors such as the narrow-gauge train and the

water chute which has been granted Grade II listed status by Historic England. Ongoing investment has seen additions like the Garden Wheel Ferris wheel and this year’s new ride, Jolly Jockeys.

The management team’s calm approach does not give a hint of how large the ‘To Do’ list must be before the start of the season.

“There is always a lot to sort,” said Jordan “but I say to the team that when taking a decision, ask yourself ‘Is it in the spirit of Wicksteed?’. If it is not then do not do it.”

This decision-making process is put to the test every day. The team’s permanent workforce of around 45 is boosted during the summer with about 150 seasonal workers alongside more than 50

volunteers, who help with the upkeep of the park and its heritage.

The new arrivals complement the experience of people such as head of estate Mick Bush and rides and attractions manager Sam Towers, who between them have decades of experience at the park.

Food outlets have been given a facelift to reflect the park’s heritage and local suppliers are used wherever possible, including Northampton-based ice cream maker Gallone’s. Other revenue-raising projects include the park’s campsite, with space for 200 tents and caravans.

“What drives me is seeing happy kids,” said Jordan.

Kelly added: “The park has been here for more than 100 years. We see ourselves as custodians of its future and I would like to hope that people will appreciate what we are doing to secure the park for future generations.”

13 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
The Sway Rider A 68-page historical souvenir guide to Wicksteed Park has been produced to go on sale at the park as part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund supported @play project The waterchute and cottages behind

Can I reduce my Council Tax?

Explore the lesser-known Council Tax benefits for disabled individuals with Wilson Browne solicitors. Learn about Disability Band Reduction and Severe Mental Impairment Reduction eligibility and how to apply.

Many people are unaware of the different types of benefits they are entitled to if they are disabled or live with someone who is. One that regularly goes unnoticed is Council Tax.

Disability Band Reduction

If you or someone you live with is disabled, you may be able to apply for a reduction in council tax. You must be able to show that a disabled person lives in the property and that the property has either:

» An extra bathroom or kitchen for the person who is disabled to use.

» A room which is predominantly used by the disabled person. For example, a room specifically adapted for the disabled person to use.

» Sufficient floor space so that the disabled person can use a wheelchair at home.

You must be able to show that one of those features is essential or of major importance to the wellbeing of the person who is disabled. For example, you must be able to show that the room or space is needed because of the person’s needs and they would not need this if they were not disabled.

*Note – you do not need to have specifically adapted or built a new room, but it must be shown the room is for suited for their needs*

If you meet this criteria, the council will charge you the rate for the next lowest council tax band instead. So, if

“If you or someone you live with is severely mentally impaired, you may be able to apply for a reduction in council tax.”

your property is in band D, you will be charged a band C rate. If your property is already band A, your bill will be reduced by 17% as band A is the lowest band. A council inspector may attend your property before this reduction is awarded.

Severe Mental Impairment Reduction

If you or someone you live with is severely mentally impaired, you may be able to apply for a reduction in council tax.

A person is severely mentally impaired if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

You would need to apply to the council and provide the following information:

» Proof of your eligibility for certain disability benefits, such as attendance allowance or personal independence payment.

» Proof of your eligibility for certain disability benefits, such as attendance allowance or personal independence payment.

If you are diagnosed with a severe mental impairment and you live alone, you can apply for a reduction and receive potentially 100% discount. If you live in a household where one person qualifies as severely mentally impaired, you may qualify for 25% discount.

The Court of Protection team at Wilson Browne act as Deputy for many clients who are entitled to claim benefits. One of the team’s responsibilities is to make sure the client is claiming all the benefits they are entitled to. For

14 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
0800 088 6004.
our online contact form. LEGAL
simplified advice and clear guidance on entitled benefits, contact our team at
Visit www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk or scan the code

Win tickets to Aqua Parcs, Willen Lake

Attention thrill-seekers and water enthusiasts! Get ready for an adrenaline-packed summer as Aqua Parcs announces the return of its colossal ‘Mammoth’ obstacle for the 2024 season, starting May 4th. Standing tall at 30ft with a daring 20ft ‘cliff jump,’ the Mammoth promises heart-pounding excitement at Milton Keynes’ top attraction, as awarded in 2023.

In celebration, Aqua Parcs is giving you the chance to win one of 5 pairs of tickets, granting lucky winners access to the biggest summer attraction in MK. Winners will have the chance to conquer the Mammoth and explore the park’s new features in the Union, Aqua Glide, and Airspace sections.

Suitable for anyone aged 6 and over, 1.1m tall and able to swim 25m, Aqua Parcs is the award-winning family fun experience that is guaranteed to make a splash with the kids!

Safety remains a top priority at Aqua Parcs, with stringent measures in place and a Gold accreditation from The Royal Life Saving Society.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of the action – enter the competition now for a chance to win tickets to Aqua Parcs and make this summer one to remember!

Further details about booking and preparing for a visit can be found at www.aquaparcs.co.uk

Connect with Aqua Parcs on social media at: Facebook: www.facebook.com/AquaparcsUK Twitter: @aquaparcs Instagram: @aquaparcsmk

The closing date for entries is: Friday May 31

Stay in the loop with the freshest updates and must-know happenings across Northamptonshire. Love insider info?

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16 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk Plus... Free Swimming Free Cinema Holiday & After School Activities and much more! Swim, Swim, Swim Lessons Just £29.50 amonthandnojoiningfee

Places available in our Outstanding Foundation Stage from September 2024

In just a few short months, we will be welcoming a brand new cohort of Reception children to our school, and we would love it if your child was part of them! If you’re still looking for a space for September 2024, we invite you to visit our school website to discover what our World Class School has to offer.

All applications for our Foundation Stage 2024 cohort can be made directly via West Northamptonshire Council.




01604 344744

17 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
Caroline Chisholm School, The Wooldale Centre for Learning, Wootton Fields, Northampton, NN4 6TP
@CarolineChisholmSchool &
Caroline Chisholm School Website

Ignatius Sancho A man of letters

It’s inspiring to see someone rise above overwhelmingly difficult beginnings, and a life could hardly have started in more challenging circumstances than that of the baby boy who came to be known as Charles Ignatius Sancho, writes Laura Malpas

He was born in 1729 somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean in a slave ship bound for the Spanish colonies of South America. His survival was remarkable as it was more common for newborn babies to be thrown overboard to prevent the loss of monies to be made on the mother. The baby boy had both parents onboard with him but on arrival at the Spanish colony of New Grenada, his mother died, and his father took his own life rather than live as a slave. The Roman Catholic bishop of the colony baptised and named the orphan baby Charles Ignatius before he was sold to a slave trader.

Charles, barely two years old, was shipped to London and given to three wealthy unmarried sisters – probably the Legge sisters of the Earl of Dartmouth. They lived in Greenwich, opposite to the London residence of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Montagu, whose country seat was Boughton House in Northamptonshire.

At the time it was a highly fashionable display of wealth to have a black slave-servant as a maid or pageboy in one’s household, the younger and prettier the better. The sisters treated the toddler as an amusing pet, and despite his obvious intelligence tried to keep him in a state of ‘African ignorance’. They added the surname ‘Sancho’ after the fictional character Sancho Panza, the squire of Don Quixote in the novel by Cervantes.

Ignatius Sancho later wrote, “The first part of my life was rather unlucky, as I was placed in a family who judged ignorance the best and only security for obedience. A little reading and writing I got by unwearied application – the latter part of my life has been – thro’ God’s blessing, more fortunate.”

This domestic atmosphere was challenging for the growing boy, and he welcomed the opportunity to meet

18 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
Boughton House
The Letters of
were published
Ignatius Sancho, by Thomas Gainsborough 1768
Ignatius Sancho
by Frances Crewe

and converse with neighbours John and Mary, the Duke and Duchess of Montagu. Impressed with his quick wit and intelligence, the Duke encouraged the unwilling sisters to have him educated. The Duke stepped in often, taking him away to visit the Duchess and giving Ignatius books to help him learn. The Duchess was particularly fond of the young boy, and he appears next to her in a portrait painted by Enoch Seeman to be seen at Boughton House where he was a frequent visitor.

Accountancy records also show that Ignatius, identified as “ye Black of her Grace” and “The Boy Charles” was paid wages as a servant. Records show that he was educated, nursed when ill, and exquisitely well dressed – even his shoes were made by the Duchess’s own shoemaker.

Returning to regular life with the sisters became suffocating for Ignatius. When the Duke of Montagu died in 1749 it must have seemed like his intellectual escape route was closing. He ran away to enter service with the Duchess, rising to serve her as butler. He remained a favourite with the Duchess, for when she died two years later, he was left a legacy of £70, around £20k in today’s money, with an annuity of £30 for life.

to return to service with his patrons, acting as valet to the 3rd Duke of Montagu. Again, he was able to share in the Montagus’ appetite for art, literature, and music, further developing his reputation as a refined man of culture.

At the height of the slavery debate Ignatius wrote to the Anglo-Irish novelist Lawrence Sterne, encouraging him to lobby for abolition. Sterne replied very positively, and their correspondence was published, forming an important element of 18th century abolitionist literature. As a result of this exposure, Thomas Gainsborough whilst painting the portrait of the Duchess also painted Ignatius’s portrait.

Ignatius then left the household and spent several years enjoying the high life in London. His intellectual and artistic qualities once nurtured by his patrons were now realised. He wrote, composed, and mixed with the cultural elite, becoming quite the celebrity himself. Thanks to his connection to the Montagu family, one of the highest in the land, he was accepted in society as an intellectual. At this time, the immorality and inequities of slavery were becoming more and more obvious to society, and Ignatius was naturally seen as a spokesperson. He exchanged letters with many campaigning for the abolition of slavery.

Ignatius’s new financial freedom also allowed him to enjoy a healthy amount of socialising, especially with the theatrical world. Aged twenty-nine, he happily married a West Indian lady, Anne Osbourne, and became a devoted husband and father to seven children. Vigorous socialising and fatherhood emptied Ignatius’s purse, and he decided

Gout eventually forced Ignatius’s retirement from service. With the 3rd Duke’s help, in 1773 he set up a grocery store in London and was patronised by many of the aristocracy and other leading figures of the day. His ownership of both business and property also qualified him to have a vote in the general election, and he is famous for being the first person of African origin to vote in England.

Whilst a shopkeeper, Ignatius wrote a treatise on music, two plays, and continued his campaign for the abolition of slavery. Despite his success, it seems he never felt truly at home. He noted that despite being in the country since he was two years old, he felt that he was ‘only a lodger, and hardly that’.

However, his happy family life and successful marriage was a balm in his later years.

He died of gout in December 1780, and was buried at St Margaret’s in Westminster, the first person of African descent to receive an obituary published in the British press. Despite his status as an intellectual, his wife and three of his children were left without funds. His friend Frances Crewe arranged for 160 of his letters to be published, raising funds for the family, and providing Ignatius a published legacy. Over a thousand people subscribed to the volumes, including the Prime Minister of the time. The publication contributed much to the campaign which led to the first Act of the Abolition of British Slavery receiving Royal Assent in 1807.

The fond connection between the Duchess and Ignatius’s family continued, and forty years after his death, correspondence shows that support was still being given.

Ignatius’s writing continues to have impact today, and although he has been criticised for being a token celebrity, and of pandering to the elite, there is no doubt that he was a remarkable man who used his talents to overcome massive social handicaps, and to help change society for the better.

If you would like to learn more, please read a very well researched and entertaining book ‘The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho’ a novel written as a memoir by Paterson Joseph.

If you would like to learn more about Boughton House in Northamptonshire where Ignatius regularly visited and worked, please visit www.boughtonhouse.co.uk/sancho

The Northamptonshire Heritage Forum has something for everyone interested in learning more about our county’s history. If you would like more information, or are interested in joining the Forum and supporting its work, please visit www.northamptonshireheritageforum.co.uk

19 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 LOCAL HISTORY
Lady Mary, Duchess of Montagu with Ignatius by Enoch Seeman (left) and John, 2nd Duke of Montagu by Godfrey Kneller 1709 (Right)

How leaving a gift in your will means better care for patients

Talking about what happens after we’re gone can feel daunting, but it’s a vital part of planning for the future. Your consideration in estate planning can truly make a difference for your loved ones and the causes closest to your heart.

You don’t need to be wealthy to leave a meaningful impact. Every contribution, big or small, helps sustain top-quality care for generations to come.

Legacy giving, also known as leaving a charitable gift in your will, is a powerful way to support organisations like Northamptonshire Health Charity in the long term.

What does the charity do?

Northamptonshire Health Charity enhances the lives of patients, families, and healthcare staff by funding equipment, research, facilities, and extra comforts, above and beyond that which can be funded by the NHS.

How a legacy gifts have helped patients already There are so many ways that legacies can help to enhance patient care in our hospitals. Thanks to the generosity of Alfred Staden, facilities at Northampton General Hospital have been transformed. His legacy gift has funded specialist equipment that enables non-invasive assessment

of the liver for many patients and a new surgical robot. Mr Staden’s generosity extended his legacy, enhancing patient care and experience. All donations, regardless of size, directly improve healthcare services, leading to better outcomes for Northamptonshire residents.

Why leave a legacy gift?

We all rely on healthcare professionals at some point in our lives, and leaving a legacy donation ensures a positive impact on future healthcare services while expressing gratitude for the care you or a loved one might have received. Whether supporting new facilities, acquiring advanced equipment, or bolstering crucial services, legacy giving helps us plan for strategic, forward-thinking endeavours to benefit patient healthcare.

What about tax?

Concerned about inheritance tax? If your estate exceeds £325,000, your loved ones may face a 40% Inheritance Tax. By leaving a gift to the Northamptonshire Health Charity for the excess, you reduce tax liability while ensuring your family receives the intended amount. Always seek independent advice first. Gifts to charity in your Will can lower Inheritance Tax, maximising support for loved ones and local NHS services.

What should I do next?

If you’ve included the Northamptonshire Health Charity in your will or are considering it, please let us know to assist with our future planning. Your decision to include us in your will helps ensure the sustainability and growth of healthcare initiatives that benefit countless individuals in our community.

A gift from you could really make a difference to the lives of patients and staff across the whole of Northamptonshire. For more information contact the team on 01604 626927, email greenheart@nhcf.co.uk or visit www.northamptonshirehealthcharity.co.uk


Our Partner led family team are experienced in all aspects of family law

• Child Arrangement Orders

• Adoption

• Care Proceedings

• Divorce & Relationship Breakdown

• Finance

For straight talking advice call us on 01604 622101 or e-mail us at advice@bmtclaw.co.uk www.bmtclaw.co.uk 29 Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5DQ t: 01604 622101 f: 01604 230829 18 Brooklands Court, Kettering Venture Park, Kettering, NN15 6FD t: 01536 523434 f: 01536 310138 Our family team understand the issues you face and offer practical and straightforward legal advice. Any circumstances relating to family law are very stressful and in our experience it helps to obtain legal advice as early as possible. We are able to help you with:

Borneo Martell
- simplifying the complex
Turner Coulston Solicitors

I will get knives off our streets, for good

We need to take back Northampton’s streets from a rising epidemic of knife crime. In plain sight, we are now witnessing a crisis, a horrific growth in knife crime and stabbings. Not enough is being done to stop it.

Knife crime doesn’t just affect the direct victim, it affects the whole Northampton community. It creates a feeling of dread when walking home alone in the dark and fuels the belief held by a growing number of teenagers that they need to carry a knife to protect themselves. Too often nothing is done when there are signs that a young person is getting into trouble, being groomed by gangs, or becoming lost in a dangerous online world.

It’s time to take action.

Halving knife crime

If you elect a Labour Government at this year’s General Election, we have committed to halving knife crime. We must be tougher on knife crime, with swift and robust punishment for offenders. Meaningless warnings aren’t enough. There must be consequences for carrying a knife.

But, we must also focus on prevention. We need to tackle the causes of knife crime early and systematically. I will work with the police to prevent young people being drawn into crime, targeting those most at risk and building a package of support to stop them ever picking up a knife.

Stopping the sale of dangerous knives

I am proud that a Labour Government will ban the sale of “zombie knives”, put in place tough criminal sanctions on tech executives who allow illegal knife sales on their online marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, and strengthen the ID checks conducted by Royal Mail to stop kids getting hold of knives in the first place.

Helping kids get the best start in life

Prevention must also happen in our communities. Labour will introduce Young Futures Hubs in Northampton. These “Sure Start centres for teenagers” will bring together youth, mental health, police and employment professionals into one space to help kids get the best start and keep them away from crime.

Connecting with community leaders

Here in Northampton, I will launch a Knife Crime Coalition, which will bring together community leaders, voluntary organisations, sporting bodies, schools, faith leaders, businesses and young people themselves, to make sure that what is implemented works in our town. With a prominent voice, the coalition will ensure that impacted communities are at the heart of finding solutions.

I need your help

I can’t do this without you. If you want change, you need to use your voice and vote Labour in this year’s elections. You have a clear choice, more of the same with the Conservatives, or a fresh start with me. I hope you’ll help me get knives off our streets for good.

May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk 22 MIKE READER www.mikereader.co.uk
Mike Reader for Northampton South

Providing for a pet in your will

‘Your pets are an important part of your family, but providing for them in your will is not as straightforward as providing for other family members,’ says Shannon Carpenter, a solicitor in the wills and probate team with Borneo Martell Turner Coulston ‘Whilst a cat or dog might be relatively easy to care for, pets such as tortoises, llamas, or horses will likely require specialist care by someone who has sufficient time, knowledge and property to give your pet the care they need.’


29 Billing Road Northampton NN1 5DQ 01604 622101


18 Brooklands Court Kettering Venture Park Kettering NN15 6FD 01536 523434


Pets do not have a distinct legal personality and are technically belongings, but they sit in their own category between possessions and dependants and need to be considered carefully.

This means that you need to leave instructions about them in your will, and any financial provision you want to make for them cannot be a gift to the pet.

Leaving instructions about a pet in your will

First, you will need to consider what you wish to happen to your pet.

The most straightforward way is to leave your pet directly in the care of another person. This could be an existing owner of the pet, such as your partner or children, or it could be another family member or friend who does not currently share ownership of your pet. As with any gift in your will, you can leave your pets to whomever you wish and they do not need to know, or pre-approve, your intentions. However, a beneficiary of your will is not obliged to accept their gift and it can, therefore, be worth checking in advance that they are happy to take on responsibility for your pet.

Alternatively, you may prefer to leave your pet to a person or organisation for them to find the pet a suitable new home. You

can state your wishes in regard to rehoming, but you should bear in mind that these would not be legally binding and the person or organisation would be ultimately responsible for deciding where your pet should end up going.

In the case of a larger animal, for example, a horse, it may be that they can be sold by the estate and the sale proceeds paid to your beneficiaries. Your executors will have the authority to sell the pet, and it can be useful to leave a separate letter of wishes to guide your executors as to how, where, when, and to whom you would like the pet to be sold.

A professional can help you to decide the best approach for your circumstances.

Financial considerations

Whilst you cannot leave money to a pet, you can leave money to the person who will become responsible for looking after your pet. Any such gift should be by way of a bare trust, to allow the person or charity to use the funds for your pet’s benefit, including food, vet bills, and other such essential costs.

You should think about an appropriate level of funds, as well as how flexible you want to be with the terms under which it can be

spent, including any additional wishes you would like known.

Any money left in a bare trust for your pet’s upkeep will need to include a provision about what would happen to any remaining funds if your pet is no longer in need of the trust money. You might want this to revert to your family or friends, or you might want it to be passed to a charity of your choosing.

23 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published. How can we help?
must be considered carefully within a will, and a well-drafted will, prepared by an expert, will ensure that all eventualities are covered.
For further information, please contact Shannon Carpenter in the wills and probate team on: 01604 622101 or email shannon.carpenter@ bmtclaw.co.uk
Borneo Martell Turner Coulston has offices in both Northampton and Kettering.
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Shannon Carpenter Solicitor

Bluebird Care opens new office in East Hunsbury, expanding home care services and community support

Bluebird Care has officially opened its new office at The Abbey Centre, East Hunsbury. To celebrate, Directors David Howard and Catherine Slater, along with their team, hosted an informal party attended by local community members, charities, and dignitaries, including Cllr Stephen Hibbert, Mayor of Northampton, and representatives from East Hunsbury Parish Council.

The new office comes at a time when the demand for premium home care services is on the rise. Bluebird Care Northampton is well-positioned to meet this growing need. Manager Kelly Mennim and her team of highly trained and compassionate carers are extremely passionate about improving the quality of life for all those they support.

Kelly said, “We are delighted to open our new Bluebird Care office in Northampton, reflecting our commitment to providing exceptional care services to the local community. This expansion will allow us to better support our customers and care team.”

Beyond care services, Bluebird Care Northampton actively engages in community outreach and partnerships. The choice of The Abbey Centre reflects this commitment, being a vibrant hub for various community activities and services. The opening event included a fundraiser for local charity, The Lighthouse Centre, which provides holistic treatments to patients with long-term medical conditions or cancers.

Looking ahead, Bluebird Care Northampton plans to establish a Dementia Café and social group at the Abbey Centre, accessible to all Northampton residents living with dementia and their caregivers. The team is excited about the opportunities this expansion brings and remains dedicated to delivering exceptional care with compassion and respect.

For those interested in learning more about Bluebird Care Northampton and its services, visit their website or contact their office directly at 01604 312182.

24 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk BLUEBIRD CARE
H me is where the heart is Let’s keep it thereTM New office now open The Abbey Centre, East Hunsbury, Northampton, NN4 0RZ Call us for a friendly chat about care at home Northampton & Daventry 01604 312182 bluebirdcare.co.uk/northampton northampton@bluebirdcare.co.uk • Companionship • Live-in Care • Overnight Care • Respite Care • Personal Care • Safe at Home
Directors David Howard and Catherine Slater, along with their team are pictured with Cllr Stephen HIbbert, Mayor of Northampton

Northants YFC Country Rally

Saturday 25th May 2024

Oundle YFC hosts this year’s rally at Park Farm, Dusthill Road, Brigstock NN14 3NG

With kind permission of the Millbank family

Come along for a great day out, with competitions, food stands, trade stalls and much more!

Plus the rally after party to celebrate the day’s successes!

25 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 OAP Discount 1-2 Hour 12 Month Speak to us today! Response time! guarantee on labour! OAP Discount 1-2 Hour Rightio Plumbers 650921 Fast Response All Work Guaranteed Highly Experienced Clear Pricing We work in all over Northamptonshire including Northampton, Moulton, Boughton, Gayton, Greens Norton, West Hunsbury and all surrounding areas 12 Month Speak to us today! Response time! guarantee on labour! OUR SERVICES Boiler Breakdowns Radiators & Pipes Tanks & Cylinders Boiler Servicing Toilets & Taps Leaks & Bursts Showers Clearing Blockages Pipework Replacement Gas Safe Certified 01604 549 841
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All we are saying is give pigeons a chance

They are the feathered friends that aren't. Pigeons are demonised by many, but as Annie Marriott from Animals in Need told Pulse's Sammy Jones, 'It's time to separate the fiction from the fact.'

They are rats with wings, aren't they? Vermin. Horrid, disease-carrying pests. Those cruel sentiments are often levied at the humble pigeon, who quietly goes about his or her business not wanting to be a burden to anyone. But is their reputation as a dirty, feathered foe deserved?

“Absolutely not. Pigeons will be pigeons, and we need to learn to co-exist with them better,” says Annie, “What you might not realise is that these birds have been domesticated for 1000s of years, with their beauty and intelligence being two reasons the birds were so revered.

“The increase in their numbers, and their soiling on buildings has seen them labelled, a little too readily, as pests.

“I'm no fan of pigeon poop any more than the next person, but we do have to give these birds some credit – simply putting spikes on

buildings, while simultaneously removing so much of their habitat for homes and construction is not acceptable.”

Let's address the issue commonly used as a reason to hate on them; Disease.

Yes, they do carry diseases – nasty sounding ailments like Cryptococcus and Histoplasmosis. When droppings are dry, they could become airborne which can see respiratory complaints follow, but most people will never get ill, and besides, pigeon droppings, like all poop, is waste material and best avoided.

The risk of pigeon-related diseases is so rare that you are much more likely to get sick eating those chicken wings from your favourite takeaway. Which debunks the myth that they are flying disease spreaders.

“If you are going to clean up droppings, I'd suggest you wear gloves and take precautions, but most people would do that anyway, surely?” Annie says, incredulous to think that people might be scrubbing plopsies from their window sills without covering their hands!

Pigeons are very social and often flock together. We have two at chez Jones who make good use of the bird feeder brimming with peanuts for our family of blue tits.

In fact, they make light work of emptying the feeder sometimes, but we don't just tolerate them, we welcome them. We've called them Percy and Petula, and trust me when I say that my cats know their names too!

“It seems a little bit odd to me that people are content to use pigeons for racing purposes, but then on the other hand, don't like to live alongside them.

“Let's not forget their importance during conflict too – they delivered endless messages during WWII and hundreds of lives were saved as a result of their work as so-called military messengers. Dozens were rewarded with a Dickin Medal, which is known as the animals' version of the Victoria Cross.”

Injured and sick pigeons are a frequent intake at Animals in Need, which cares for around 300 in any given year. We've taken some there ourselves; lethargic birds are at the mercy of predators and traffic and in desperate need of treatment.

“We see quite a few with ruptured crops that are usually caused by impact, so while the bird still eats, it will just fall out of the crop,” Annie said, “The good news about that is that it's fairly simple for a vet to stitch it up and rectify the problem.

26 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk FEATURE

“Canker is the most prevalent issue though, and often proves fatal. It is a parasitic disease spread from direct contact with another infected bird, or through infected food and water – it also affects other bird species, which is why it's always important to keep any water and food feeding stations clean.

“Canker really is vile, but it can be successfully treated if it is found in good time, and no, it cannot be spread to humans!

“We always have a large number of recuperating pigeons here, and the best thing is when we get to release a recovered pigeon back into the wild.”

Having discovered canker in a regular visitor to her garden, Vicky Bradfield-Mullenger travelled from Milton Keynes to pass the bird into the care of Annie's team.

“I noticed it was eating very slowly and had fluffed its feathers out, it just didn't look well," she remembered, "I approached, and noticed it couldn't see me as one eye was crusted over and stuck shut.

“I was able to catch it with a net and transport it to Animals in Need. I didn't hold out much hope as previous pigeons I'd taken there with canker hadn't survived, despite the best treatment,” Vicky said.

But this one was a plucky fighter.

“It was at Animals in Need for almost three months, but eventually was well enough for me to collect and release back into my garden, which was amazing – especially as its mate had been looking lost without its partner.

“I'm really grateful to the team there and make a regular donation to them each month. “Hopefully my small contribution helps support the wonderful work Animals in Need do,” she added.

But while some people go the extra mile to help the injured, sometimes the charity has to care for birds that have been wounded by humans.

One member of staff was called out to rescue two baby pigeons who had been thrown from a balcony before they were able to fly. The vicious, unprovoked attack proved fatal for one little bird. Thankfully, its sibling did recover.

“Humane deterrents can be employed if they are in an inconvenient place,” Annie said, “But if you aren't a fan of these gentle birds, please show some understanding and tolerance."

Here's Annie's advice for a successful bird rescue:

How to get close

Always remember that the pigeon will be scared and may be in pain. Approach with care so as not to cause extra stress or injury.

How do I retrieve the bird?

The best way to contain the bird, and prevent an injured bird from flying away is to gently place a towel over it. If there is a visible injury, attempting to move it yourself could exacerbate the problem. In that situation, pick up the phone to any wildlife rescue who will be able to advise, or assist.

How should I keep the bird safe before taking it to a rescue centre or veterinary practice?

If you are able to move the bird, place them in a cardboard box with plenty of air holes, and line the box with newspaper or snuggly towels. The box should be placed in a warm, quiet space.

Should I offer it food and drink?

Always make sure there is a supply of water in a shallow dish, but don't feed the bird unless you have been advised by wildlife experts – if you feed the wrong thing, it could make a sick bird even more poorly.

When should I take it to a professional who can help?

As quickly as you can! The bird needs to be assessed and treatment started as soon as possible.

27 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 FEATURE
Animals in Need founder Roy Marriott with one feathered friend


SUMMER’S drawing closer, and soon to be ruler of wardrobes, is all things grande, geometric and topped with gold.

More than grid prints, giant jewellery and jauntily-placed dodecahedrons, the trend sees prints in opulent colours, meet decadent details. Think: rich orange, lilac, purple and the reds I’ve mentioned for a few issues now, plus protractorshaped pleating and metallic finishing touches that want to look you square in the eye.

To wear it, learn from the fun logo play at Fendi, checkerboard sequins at Versace, Missoni’s warped take on its favourite stripes, and the blurry digital prints at Bottega Veneta. See the runways at Tove and Missoni for sunset-hued geo-prints, where patterns were on repeat, headto-toe.

Just don’t forget: whether you choose checks, zig-zags, or abstract shapes, add a touch of class with statement gold, sun-catching accessories. Grade A Summer dressing.

28 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit FASHION
H&M £44.99
Main image all items Zara Monsoon £49 Monsoon £59
Oliver Bonas £80
F&F @ Tesco
Zara £29.99 M&S £35 Oliver Bonas £26 George @ Asda £18 Blue top (inset) F&F @ Tesco TBC Matalan £26
*Prices correct at time of print
H&M Studio £89.99

New Woodlands Room brings the outside in at hospice

A new multi-purpose room designed ‘to bring the outside in’ has opened at Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

The beautifully refurbished Woodlands Room offers hospice patients the chance to experience the peace and calm of the forest in a comfortable setting.

There is suitable access for those who are bedbound, and the room is also available to patients’ families for parties or events.

It was recently used for the hospice’s annual Easter trail and has also housed wellbeing groups, clinical team meetings and staff training.

The space was funded primarily through a legacy gift, as well as donations from the Phillips Charitable Trust, with the support of Smurfit Kappa and various individuals holding their own fundraising events.

Director of Income Generation and Communications at the hospice Anita Frith said: “We are delighted that the new Woodlands Room is now open and is already being so well used. It has provided a wonderful serene and tranquil area for our patients and staff and the clever design using all the windows to let in natural light also achieves our aim of bringing the outside in.

“Thank you to everyone who made this happen. I look forward to seeing the Woodlands Room used for memory making for many years to come.”

To find out more about Cynthia Spencer Hospice, visit www.cynthiaspencer.org.

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For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 29 LOCAL NEWS
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The Woodlands Room has provided a wonderful serene and tranquil area for patients and staff

Green baked eggs with new season asparagus


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Serves: 2


2 tsp olive oil

2 x 200g packs Waitrose Early British Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths

Bunch salad onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 pointed spring cabbage, halved and shredded (thick core discarded)

1 green chilli, sliced

Few drops lemon juice

20g feta cheese, crumbled

4 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs

1. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add 1 tsp oil, season the asparagus and fry, turning now and then, until charred in places, for about 3 minutes; lift out of the pan and set aside.

2. Lower the heat, add the remaining 1 tsp oil and sauté the salad onions, garlic and cumin for 1 minute. Throw in the cabbage and half the chilli, season and fry for 3 minutes, tossing regularly. Add the lemon juice, half the feta and the asparagus. Turn the heat to medium-low.

3. Using a spoon, make 4 holes in the mix of vegetables, then crack in the eggs. Cover the pan with a large sheet of foil (it doesn’t need to be very tight) and leave for 5-7 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft. Uncover, take off the heat and season the eggs. Serve scattered with the remaining chilli and feta.


A limited crop of British early asparagus is available in April (the main crop is May). It has a slightly sweeter flavour and subtle purple tint to the tip.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes.

30 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk FOOD & DRINK
Book your table 01234 717000 info@olneyskitchen.uk 36a Market Place, Olney, MK46 4AJ Book online or order your take away: www.olneyskitchen.uk/olney Come and dine in our exquisite Olney restaurant or order from our take away menu Choose from a selection of mouth-watering: Starters, Speciality Burgers, Pizzas, Calzone, Pasta Dishes, Salads or something from the Grill We look forward to welcoming you soon! Father’s Day is approaching and there’s no better gift than some amazing food especially the MAC DADDY BURGER at Olney Kitchen. Call to reserve a table by phone: 01234 717000


How does your garden grow?

At last – spring is here! We may cautiously begin to ventilate the greenhouse as daytime temperatures rise. The door and louvres may be opened slightly during the day and closed overnight. A thermometer is essential for recording maximum and minimum temperatures. A moderate range is desirable.

We have sown more courgettes, pumpkins and squash seeds in our collection of recycled pots with much success. We have also made sowings of a mixture of salad crops at fortnightly intervals in a series of large pots to see if we can produce a succession of leaves over a long period of time.

Enjoy the merry month of May in the garden

May is a marvellous month in the garden; warmer temperatures tease our gardens to life, and if you planted well, an abundance of flowers will add beauty to your spaces.

Flower beds will need to be maintained and weeds taken care of. There is no need for weed killers when elbow grease, regular hoeing and hand-weeding can be enough to keep them at bay.

Other, non-invasive methods can also be employed for particularly difficult to deal with areas.

You’ll probably need to make the acquaintance of the lawnmower once a week too, but it’s a small price to pay for a garden that grows as opposed to one made from plastic. Please don’t!

If possible, leaving some lawn space uncut is an easy way to support the wildlife in your area, and if you have a little haven of shrubbery, it will need trimming, but before you get busy with the clippers, remember it might be home to nesting birds at this time of the year.

fro-ing as they harvest a constant stream of snacks for their newly hatched is wonderful. And that birdsong – it’s good for the soul, right?

If the temperatures are rising, things will start drying out, and plants will be thirsty. If you haven’t already done so, introducing a water butt to your garden is a grand addition, and a decision you won’t regret. Collecting rainwater is a great way to water the garden, eases pressure on water resources, and of course you won’t pay a premium for it. It’s free!

In order to maximise water consumption, recycling is key of course, but also water early in the day and later in the evening – when the sun hasn’t got its hat on.

We’re talking about sunshine and cheery days, but even in May, frost can bite, and it is capable of making a mess of any fragile new growths and blossoms. Taking precautions now, avoids difficult issues later on.

We are potting on the tomato plants, variety Sun Baby, a yellow fruited cherry tomato, with the intention of growing some in a growing bag in the greenhouse, some in large 20lt pots and others in a row in a raised bed. We will plant these deeply, as the extra root growth will help to anchor the plant more securely. The pepper plants face a similar future and they are being hardened off.

The broad bean plants, raised under cloches, will now benefit from having their tips pinched off, encouraging pod development lower down and deterring black fly infestation.

We are continuing to earth-up our potatoes, (three tubers to a large pot) almost all of them showing healthy growth.

The rows of beetroot, carrots, radishes and plug-grown lettuce are thriving, benefitting from careful weeding with a Dutch hoe.

Many tulips will have flowered and should have their dead flowers snapped off at the stalk, which, with the leaves, will send down nourishment to the bulb.

All is well!

Ralph Westmoreland, Denton & District Gardening Club member

Nesting season is longer than you might imagine, and typically between March and August. Watching busy feathered parents gathering their version of ‘bricks and mortar’ is a delight, and the constant to-ing and

With the garden springing into life, May is a month to truly enjoy all of the beauty and benefits of your outside space, but with so much to do, it’s also a time to keep you on your toes...until Gin 0’Clock of course. It should be compulsory to sit back and admire your handiwork with a glass of goodness when the sun goes down!

> Denton & District Gardening Club is a small, friendly club which meets on a Monday evening every month. New members and visitors are always welcome.

For more information please contact Margaret at m.pateman@yahoo.co.uk or 01604 890875

32 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk HOME & GARDEN
Be aware that birds can still be nesting in your hedgerows and undergrowth as late as August Invest in a water butt to get through the dry summer months

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Cerulean Blue, the hue of tranquil seas and clear skies, brings a breath of fresh air into any home as we approach the summer season. Its vibrant yet soothing presence offers a versatile charm that seamlessly bridges the gap between modernity and timeless elegance.

If you’re looking for ways to refresh your space and add a little more colour into your day to day, explore our curated collection.

Cerulean Blue


If you would like to see your brand or business featured in Pulse, in print or online get in touch:


May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk 34
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New plants inject splash of colour to town centre beauty spot in Northampton

A forgotten green space in Northampton town centre restored to its former glory thanks to a lottery-funded volunteer project has been given a fresh new look ahead of the summer.

Last year, Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) secured £10,000 of Lottery funding to initiate the restoration efforts in St Katherine’s Gardens. The initial phase included the installation of new planters, bins, seating areas and striking murals, all supported by Northampton Town Council.

The second phase of work began last month and saw new shrubs, flowers and trees planted to give the park a fresh new look. Further work will see the addition of three new benches and two new murals, to be completed by students at Northampton College.

Northampton BID partnered with Northampton Town Council and volunteers from the Royal British Legion and Workbridge to stage the planting day, which saw a mix of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and herbaceous perennials added to three separate areas, including the RBL memorial garden.

All plants were selected by the team at Workbridge, led by Liz Wing and Clare Robertson-Marriott, a volunteer from the town council’s Climate Change Forum.

Mark Mullen, operations manager for Northampton BID, said: “The ongoing work to transform St Katherine’s Gardens has been a resounding success, helping to bring back an unloved corner of our town

Love to explore?

into a vibrant and welcoming place for everyone to enjoy.

“This planting further enhances the environmental credentials and we are grateful to all the volunteers who came along to help out. We’re looking forward to continuing our work in St Katherine’s gardens this year, with more murals planned and further projects with students from Northampton College.”

St Katherine’s Gardens was once the site of the 19th century church of St Katherine. It provides a walkway between the Bus Station and Horsemarket, and is neighboured by businesses on College Street, St Katherine’s Street and King Street.

Stay up to date with the best places to go and the most epic events happening across Northamptonshire.

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For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 35 LOCAL NEWS Call Kevin today for your FREE lawn review on 01604 965085 Text/WhatsApp 07810 440194 Email: kevin.sparks@lawnscience.co.uk Weed control Fertilisation Moss control Scarification Over seeding Top dressing Aeration Soil conditioning Lawn renovations Chafer grub control Leather Jacket control Gutter cleaning Your best local lawn care experts for: Your easy way to a lush, green, weed-free lawn Supporting Northamptonshire  5.0 • Great Music • Local Bands • Entertainment • Local Events • What’s On • Great Guests • Local Voices with great music from today and the hits of yesterday
Volunteers planted new shrubs, flowers and trees to give the park a fresh new look



Newstalgia is a look that weaves the best of the past with today’s innovation. It’s a curated blend of retro patterns and colours, updated with modern sensibilities to create spaces that have a sense of nostalgia but still feel fresh. This trend celebrates vintage charm by putting an emphasis on upcycling items whilst also embracing new purchases that have a link to the past, ensuring every piece has a story and a place in our contemporary homes.

Nostalgia is recreating identical pieces from the past, newstalgia is seeking to improve them. The idea is to use nostalgic pieces to create something new. You may choose to have an old piece of furniture reupholstered in a modern fabric or to re-paint an inherited item of cabinetry in a vibrant Annie Sloan tone (Capri Pink and Firle Green are two of my favourites).

Though newstalgia is a relatively recent concept, first surfacing a couple of years ago, it has already been used by fashionwear brand Ellesse to name their recent collection of ‘premium, everyday essentials’ and by Interface, a global leader in modular flooring. Interface describe their namesake collection

as inspired by decades of iconic design and leading-edge innovation, constructed with the future in mind. They profess to using a nostalgic palette of colours, tones and metallic finishes to create a curated look that presents as familiar yet modern, whilst capturing a distinct retro vibe with tonal block and crisscross designs.

It is this ‘familiar yet modern’ ideal that makes the newstalgia trend so easy to incorporate into our own homes. As much as we might like the idea of completely revamping an entire space according to the latest trend, for most of us, interior design is more about adding a little bit at a time or adapting one or two pieces to update a room, without the costs and upheaval involved in changing everything. Using ‘familiar’ items should be interpreted as re-using or repurposing pieces that we already own.

At Mills and Kinsella, we are big fans of the sustainable aspect of the newstalgia trend. Where we can, we’ll encourage customers to reupholster rather than buy new. A modernday fabric and some replacement filling might be all that is needed to transform a much loved, but tired heirloom such as a sofa, footstool, armchair, or set of dining chairs.

If you prefer to buy new then look for pieces with an iconic design. Recall the art, furniture, patterns, colours, shapes and fashion of your past, especially where they evoke happy memories or remind you of people, trips or experiences. Vinyl records used as art, or posters of classic movies, can work well in a home office, snug, music room, movie room or playroom. Retro-looking light fittings are so on trend that they’re easily available to buy. IOS Lighting in Northampton has a lovely range on





36 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk INTERIORS Rosie Kinsella Interior Designer 01604 751262 www.millsandkinsella.com

display and the technical expertise to answer any questions. For fabrics and wallpapers, have a look at Scion (part of the Sanderson group) whose quirky designs have a distinctly retro theme. Mind the Gap has numerous wallpapers featuring iconic images including historical television advertisements, old style speakers and vintage letters.

Remember that this trend demands that you experiment with individual pieces and have some fun. Almost everybody’s home contains one or two items that have moved with them over the years, favourite possessions that they struggle to be parted from. It’s the modern way in which you use these items that will determine whether they can suit your contemporary space.

The most successful interiors have depth and tell a story. Find and use items that speak to you - bite size chunks of memorabilia - vintage items with a historynew purchases that remind you of a bygone time. These are the pieces and aspects of your interior that will become conversation starters and talking points. And the best bit is that you’ll come home at the end of a long day to a space full of sentimental pieces that mean something to you, pieces specifically chosen for their story rather than an everchanging show home of furniture that needs replacing with the next trend.

Indulge your senses, it's bluebell season

Have you ever noticed how the first half of the year seems to be marked by the appearance of flowers?

In January, we look out for snowdrops, followed by crocuses in February. March feels more abundant as we welcome daffodils, tulips and more; while April is all about the blossoming trees. Now, in May we’re seeing many people’s favourite wildflower - the bluebell. Known for their deep blue-purple colouring and sweet fragrance, bluebells herald the start of summer. The appearance of these delicate blooms across swathes of British woodland, encourage many of us to get out into the sunshine to explore our local displays.

Northamptonshire’s Bluebells

We’re fortunate in Northamptonshire to have a number of stunning bluebell displays to enjoy, even in hidden corners such as the display found between housing estates and a supermarket in Grangewood Park. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to wander, a day out with the family or the

perfect spot for your photographs, we’ve found these magical bluebell walks in the area.

If you’re looking to take the dog for a walk in the woods, you’ve got a number to choose from. Everdon Stubbs, just south of Daventry, comes alive at this time of year; as does Hazelborough Wood near Silverstone. Badby Woods owned by Fawsley Hall, with an impressive gatehouse as an entrance and Short Wood, part of the Rockingham Forest near Glapthorn, also provide wonderful woodland walks. If you’re looking for a cafe and more to extend your stay, Lamport Hall and Gardens can help and they hold events throughout the year. You might also like to visit Coton Manor Garden, near Guisborough, featured in the 2022 Channel 5 series on Great British Gardens

Bluebells at Home

Many of our contemporary artists have been inspired by these stunning flora. Paul Evans is an exceptional landscape artist who has beautifully captured these ethereal woodland glades, while Sam Toft celebrates the joy of spring with her piece Barefoot in the Bluebells

As spring becomes summer, we hope you’ll enjoy the beauty of nature in bluebells.

37 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
Trembecki Gallery Correspondent www.therosegallery.co.uk
Paul Evans Sam Toft www.bobbibeck.com

Go see the burbling,

babbling verbivore!

Doppelgingers, Pink Ladies, a Fresh Prince favourite, a magical night out, a sharp dressed man, Six Chick Flicks and Rapunzel. Just some of the variety coming to a stage near you this May.

Sammy Jones digs deep...

The last time he was in these parts, Ray Bradshaw (May 1, Royal) delivered the goods with Deaf Com One, about growing up with deaf parents. Now, the multi awardwinning comedian is back with Doppelginger Ray is always being told, ‘You look just like my mate...’ and so now he’s on a quest to find the person who looks most like him.

This latest show is a heartwarming comedy about a silly search for a man with an orange beard who is follicly challenged.

Do you have a bald, ginger bearded pal in their 30s? Take them along. They could be The One.

This show will have a BSL Interpreter too. Six Chick Flicks (May 3, Royal) was a sellout smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and now it’s your turn to add to your smile lines at the hands of New York comedians Kerry Ipema and KK Apple who will take you from the deck of the Titanic to the glittery pink halls of Harvard Law.

‘If you love chick flicks you’ll love this show. If you hate chick flicks...you’ll love this show!’ is the promise.

Essentially, Six Chick Flicks is a ‘Legally Blonde Pretty Woman Dirty Danced on the Beaches while writing a Notebook on the Titanic.’ Geddit?!

Gyles Brandreth (May 5, Derngate) Can’t

Stop Talking – he’s been burbling and babbling since he was a baby and now the jumper-loving knowledge pot is set to share a rollercoaster of tales and revelations from his unlikely life in show business and politics. And his Royal associations!

We’re not saying you should settle in for the night, but the verbivore holds the world record for the longest-ever after-dinner speech. It was 12 and a half hours long...

Tom Allen is the household name with the acerbic wit and riotous storytelling, and the dapper dressed fella – and host of The Apprentice: You’re Fired is spending two nights in this neck of the woods (May 9 & 10, Derngate) with Completely He wants your opinions on his vegetable patch...

Calling all Burger Palace Boys and Pink Ladies; Grease is the word (May 13-18, Derngate) and the Rydell High centred action is grittier and more glamorous than ever before. So many years on, and it’s still electrifyin’!

The School For Scandal (May 21-25, Royal) is deliciously naughty and outrageously silly. A timeless comedy in social satire and the art of gossip.

Sir Peter Teazle (played by Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Joseph Marcell) believes his young wife is sleeping with someone else. She isn’t, but she’s starting to think if her husband believes it, she may as well give it a go.

‘I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was’ declares Ruby Wax (May 28, Royal) as she continues performances of her ‘rawest, darkest, funniest and most compelling stage show yet,’ due to enormous demand.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (May 28-June 1) is a modern day marvel as many of you know already. If you’ve seen it before, you’ll want some more, and if you’ve yet to indulge, now is the time.

Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. He doesn’t quite fit in and is terrified about the future. But he is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

Milton Keynes-raised, West End star Ivano Turco is in the lead role.

Emmanuel Sonubi (May 29, Royal) will take you on a whistle stop tour through the jobs that have led him to become a must-see sensation, with his show Curriculum Vitae, and a day later Smack The Pony star Fiona Allen will take over with her debut stand-up show. It’s about family, marriage and things that truly annoy her.

Fiona says it’s a show, ‘for everyone, even those passive-aggressive school mums.’

Over at The Old Savoy, the kids will be catered for during half term with the DollyPopz Children’s Show (May 28), before you let your hair down with the tangled musical adventure Rapunzel (May 29), followed by Milkshake! Live on Holiday (May 30).

Dora, Pip and Posy will be there. Will your little ‘uns?

38 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
> Book tickets: Royal & Derngate: royalandderngate.co.uk The Old Savoy: theoldsavoy.co.uk
Left to right: Ruby Wax will be Compelling on May 28, enjoy non-stop nattering with Gyles Brandreth on May 5 and School for Scandal promises to be deliciously naughty when it arrives on May 21

Film Reviews


Actor Dev Patel directs, co-writes and stars in this new action revenge thriller which to describe as ‘John Wick in India’ sounds reductive. Though, Monkey Man has an arms dealer produce a pistol he says is the same as in Keanu Reeves’ increasingly ridiculous hitman saga. Then again, while this film has the bone-crunching, stabbing and shooting to please genre fans, Patel also tries to inject cultural and political relevance.

The title refers both to Hanuman, the intrepid Hindu deity whose tales are referenced throughout, and to Patel’s nameless main character as he boxes wearing a monkey mask. This is years after his mother was murdered and his village massacred by a brutal police chief, with a politically greedy guru behind it all. He seeks revenge on both, infiltrating a lavish hotel the police chief frequents and preparing to take him out.


Star Rating: 3/5

Now streaming on Netflix is this dramatised version of Emily Maitlis’ Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew in 2019 over his links to Jeffrey Epstein. Aside from highlighting the perseverance of producer Sam McAlister (Billie Piper) in securing the interview, Scoop isn’t exactly revelatory despite its title. The main interest is rewatching the televisual car crash come together through lots of serious behind closeddoors conversations and rehearsals before it plays out. That and depicting the prince, played with glib, nearly childlike aplomb by Rufus Sewell, as someone who never really grew up. Be prepared to shake your head once more at what may go down as the perfect case study in lacking self-awareness. ✪

The film’s sprawling city location is impressively gritty and evokes moral and societal rot as the corrupt haves keep down the have-nots. As director, Patel isn’t afraid to go brash: the action scenes’ bold colours, some very quick cutting and bloody detail all make for several satisfying, frenetic melees. He compellingly acts his character’s journey, first through pursuing his near-nihilistic revenge to realising a more altruistic goal for his violence in the spirit of Hanuman, as he connects with those similarly oppressed by the guru. However, it could mean more if the protagonist’s childhood wasn’t fully revealed only in the second half. If placed at the front of the film, it could have made every subsequent blow hit that much harder. As is, you’ll be intrigued and enjoying the acting, action and style rather than fully invested. ✪

Star Rating: 1.5/5

Also now on Netflix, from its very first lines Damsel is determined to emphasise that its damsel will not be in distress, and will not be rescued by a brave knight, thank you very much! In truth, such ‘subversion’ has long been the predictable mainstream norm and it’s not like this film compensates with a memorable medieval setting or characters. Millie Bobby Brown’s not terrible as the lord’s daughter married into a wealthy kingdom, then offered as sacrifice to a dragon she has to escape by herself. Everything creaks like clunky mechanics towards the intended female empowerment message, and with no nuance or subtlety among the entire cast it comes across as indulgent, even crass by the end. ✪


Star Rating: 1.5/5

Seeing the English and Welsh countryside fill the screen is the best thing about this Middle Ages movie. You’d want to root for homegrown comedy that’s also clearly made on a modest budget, except you’ll hardly seize your sides with laughter. After the brattish queen Dagan gets deposed by woman of the people Humble Joan, she treks the land to seek support from other kings while perhaps discovering the value of her companion Shulmay. Some all-round game acting can’t disguise the fact that repetition alone doesn’t count as comedy, especially not just saying rude words over and over. Nick Frost gets the best lines as a poo-spading peasant who joins their quest, but Monty Python’s Holy Grail this isn’t, despite similarly lacking any horses. ✪

Star Rating: 1

Imagine the creative potential of a horror film based on someone’s imaginary friend – it could be incredible. In practice, Imaginary is only extraordinary by how tepidly it plays the usual disposable horror beats. When Jessica, a children’s book author, moves back into her family’s old home, her stepdaughter makes a teddy bear her best friend. Things of course turn sinister, though the sense of obligation hangs over every minute of Imaginary. Clearly telegraphed, instantly forgettable jump scares, mythology explained by a reclusive elderly person, symbols of childhood innocence twisted into evil, and don’t forget the big “twist” that doesn’t matter when you’re already struggling to suspend your disbelief for a moment. ✪

You can follow Jordan on Twitter (@JordanReview) and read his blog at www.reviewsreflections.wordpress.com

39 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024

Twisted firestarters and wonderful wobblies!

Everybody in the Place will be going bonkers for Flint Fire when The Prodigy tribute takes a turn at The Black Prince on May 3.

Described as a ‘brand new chaotic live tribute to the Keith Flint years,’ this band is curated by Royle Eddy who previously spent the best part of two decades fronting The Jilted Generation – if anyone knows how to whip up a storm a la the much missed Keith Flint, it’s this fella.

Expect Prodigy classics and rarities aplenty in a fury-filled explosive night.

Baby’s Got a Temper when she doesn’t get mitts on tickets, so hurry and secure yours.

Having sizzled on The Black Prince stage previously, The SoapGirls are set for the ‘rematch’ on May 10. This is one of those real ‘back by popular demand’ bookings which will bring out their fans – cutely named as The SoapSuds – en masse.

Fearless French-born siblings Millie and Mie pen outsider anthems that are androgynous, audacious and straight from the heart.

Covid was a ****** for the artistic community, but these creative girls didn’t just stay home and put their feet up – they stayed home and stuck two fingers up at the cancelled tours to treat those suds to more than 400 live-streamed shows, which saw them take those fans on a raucous worldwide tour.

Now though, they are back showing off their banging tunes, with fabulous figures and frankly scary flexibility!

‘...they celebrate true freedom, freedom of movement and authenticity paired with a provocative honesty that is second to none,’ are the words on their website.

SBD Promotions then head over to The Roadmender for a date with Jah Wobble (May 17).

Jah was born John Wardle, but Sid Vicious, struggling to pronounce his name correctly, renamed him as Jah Wobble. One for the trivia fiends among you.

The bassist, singer and composer has racked up an insane body of work during a career that is 45 years long (and counting).

He was a founding member of the mighty PiL, joining Keith Levene and former Pistol frontman John Lydon, and played on their first two albums, First Issue and Metal Box, before stepping out alone in 1980. Collaborations? Sure, he’s had a few of those – Can’s Holger Czukay, The Edge from U2, Chris Connelly from Ministry, Geordie Walker from Killing Joke, Sinead O’Connor and Bjork among them. What a list!

Jah must have one of those brains that whirs constantly, but however it works, it works well and he has published books on music, politics and spirituality. He is famed for his interest in Eastern philosophy and has also written extensively on that subject.

This will be a night to remember, and the ‘fampton’s six-legged punk rock trio, Kroker have been added to the bill, along with Safest Spaces, who span the MK/Northampton divide and dish up punchy portions of emo punk.

Unique, inspiring and curiously alluring, one of his more recent musical outpourings, The Bus Routes of South London elpee was written and recorded on buses in South London. Obviously.

Jah is most certainly the musical conductor, and when he wraps up this current road trek at the ‘Mender, the show will centre around the band playing that second PiL elpee, Metal Box, or rather the re-worked version, Rebuilt in Dub, which was released back in 2021.

“It’s as mesmerising as the original, but with a deeper broader scope. I put my heart and soul into this,”Jah promises, and if you are heading to the show, you’ll see another familiar face in the band ranks; former Siouxsie & The Banshees guitarist Jon Klein.

Speaking about the current band, Jah calls it, ‘My best ever line up, playing my best ever shows...’

SBD have kept the prickliest pick for the end of the month, with Thistle commanding back at The Black Prince (May 31).

The name might be new, but the band ain’t; this is the new name for ‘fampton players Tragic.

Thistle’s first EP, Lomochrome is seemingly worth a listen, with its ‘droning guitars, driving bass, oscillating drums and other harsh noises.’ Bristol’s Haal will also show up, and sound out with their debut EP, Back To Shilmarine. London-based dream pop deliverers Sadplanet will also play for you.

> For all tickets and more details tappety-tap to sbdpromotions.com

Us? We’re off to tip our ears the Thistle way.

40 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk MUSIC
Jah Wobble are on at The Roadmender on May 17 The SoapGirls Thistle (top Left) and Flint Fire are on the bill at The Black Prince this month

IRockgrass originators bring their twang to town

ncredibly, Hayseed Dixie have been colouring up stages for more than two decades now, and they’ve been prolific putter-outers too; with 16 albums, a Halloween EP and a double live album. Those deliveries have sold a combined number in excess of 750,000 physical copies. And when it comes to digital listens (both legal and naughty) their tunes have been shared so many times that it makes the band want to laugh and cry simultaneously. And, we are reliably informed, they often do.

The self-styled creators of ‘rockgrass’ most recently delivered Shattered Grass, which is brimming with ‘all original, old-school, hardcountry, honky-tonk songs with ragged glory!

But what about the foundations of this unique mob?

It all started when Barley Scotch stumbled across a wrecked car on an isolated mountain road in the hills of Deer Lick Holler, East Tennessee. While going through the motor, Brother Barley discovered a collection of vinyl records by a band he’d never before heard of, called AC/DC.

He took the releases back into town, put the needle on them and shared the sounds with his buddies. According to those that were there, ‘no-one had heard such sounds since the last time Uncle Virgil caught his leg in the grain elevator...’

The boys recorded some of these new songs in their own mountain music style and the debut album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, which contained stark-raving-plastered reworkings of 10 AC/DC deliveries, was born. It sold a shed load of copies and the band decided to hit the road to ‘play some live

shows, chase some women, and drink some beer and whiskey.’ And they are still doing it.

On May 16, they’ll be delivering their maximum rockgrass at The Roadmender What songs will make it onto the setlist? With delights like I’m Keeping Your Poop, Before Your Old Man Gets Home, Underneath The Bed, Nicotine and Alcohol and Too Much Poo To Flush, the setlist will surely be s***hot!

> Support will come from The Zipheads and tickets are a click away at theroadmender.com

Also heading to The Roadmender this month:

James Arthur will be joined by a veritable feast of ‘famptonshire talent when he headlines Delapré Park in June.

Mae Stephens, Billy Lockett, Andy Crofts, Charlotte Carpenter and Balter are all on the bill, with even more to be announced.

Tickets for the show, on June 16, can be bought via aperfectdayfestival.com

> We’ll have a full preview for the big show in our next edition.

New Purple Celebration –The music of Prince – May 4

Jah Wobble – May 17

(see the SBD round-up)

Pink by Vicky JacksonPink Tribute – May 18

41 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
More delights for Delapré
Charlotte Carpenter

Hair today, everywhere tomorrow for the fab FFSYTHO

It’s been a while since we shared details of new music from ‘fampton’s FFSYTHO, but she is still fizzing!

In fact, she’s been busier than ever; from trimming locks to waxing lyrical on the airwaves. Oh, and new music is in the mix too, of course, writes Sammy Jones.

“I am sitting on a few new releases and am just finishing those up,” she told me, with the promise of delivering “summertime jams.”

FFSYTHO has been feeding the live scene too – she’s fresh back from a boisterous night in Bournemouth, and as you read this, she is tapping into the Bedford scene with a date supporting KILA-P with the likes of Genesis Elijah. London is calling next.

“It’ll be my first performance on the LGBT scene and I can’t wait!” she buzzed, “It’s in Clapham, and I’m looking forward to mixing with other gays as it feels like I’m pretty much the only gay in my village...”

FFSYTHO might have hit the headlines for her musical talents, but it was the billboards she hit as an ambassador for the cool Bedhead hair care brand. And she ain’t done yet: “The campaign has been extended for another year, so you’ll be able to see my big head on

billboards across the UK. What a feeling. It’s unreal,” she said, “I still can’t believe this is my life.”

You might say she is ‘hair’, there and everywhere – FFSYTHO is now cutting barnets as well as tunes.

“I’ve always wanted to do barbering, and finally went for it. I did a 10-day intensive course to up my skills and I’m giving back to the community at homeless shelters...”

She’s loving it: “It’s such an amazing thing to do, the people are so kind and it’s so rewarding giving them a little clean up and they feel so much better.”

When she’s not barbering, modelling or working on her own tunes you can find her pushing everyone else’s – FFSYTHO has just landed a new radio show on Revolution Radio.

“I’m doing it with my long time friend Sarah Fyah, she is an ex history school teacher turned radio presenter. She’s a badass. We’re just bouncing off the vibes every Tuesday from 10pm on 97.1FM, playing all the best in old school and new school and all genres.”

For the purpose of tune spinning they are calling themselves The Terrible Two, and FFSYTHO will be extending a welcoming hand to the local scene – with a weekly segment dedicated to the talent on our doorstep. Like us, but in radio form!

“I know how hard it is to be plugged on the radio, so I want to help out others in the underground music scene,” she promises.

I know how hard it is to be plugged on the radio, so I want to help out others in the underground music scene.”

> Catch FFSYTHO at:

Rag City festival – June 14

On The Bus festival – Bridport –August 30 & 31

Keep in touch with all things FFSYTHO on FB, X, Insta, Bandcamp and Spotify: @FFSYTHO

42 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk MUSIC
FFSYTHO is cutting barnets as well as tunes and presenting her own radio show on Revolution Radio


Stables Screening: One Life

Wednesday, May 1, 7.30pm

Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Flynn, Anthony Hopkins and Lena Olin start in this film about British stockbroker Nicholas Winton. He visited Czechoslovakia in the 1930s and formed plans to assist in the rescue of Jewish children before the onset of World War II, in an operation that came to be known as the Kindertransport.

Bring the popcorn: stables.org

The Pirates of Penzance

Wednesday, May 1 –

Saturday, May 4, 7.30pm

Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera is packed full of sentimental pirates, blundering policemen, absurd adventures and improbable paradoxes – and Wolverton G&S will bring this production to you.

Walk the plank: stantonburytheatre.co.uk

John Reilly & Lewis Nitikman

Thursday, May 2

Get set for a uniquely intimate gig created by John’s intensely profound lyrics and stunning vocals enhanced by the incredible piano skills of Lewis. Expect a very special evening of moving and inspirational music.

Amazing Life: stables.org

Flint Fire – The Keith Flint Prodigy Tribute

Friday, May 3

The Black Prince welcomes the chaotic live tribute to the Keith Flint years of The Prodigy which has been curated by ‘Royle Eddy’ –formerly of The Jilted Generation. Expect classics and rarities and you’ll leave happy. No Good: sbdpromotions.com

New Purple Celebration –The Music of Prince

Saturday, May 4, 7.30pm

A nine-piece band who have been playing tribute to the man and his music for 20 years. A non-stop brilliantly funky set is a given. Little Red Corvette: theroadmender.com

The Nightingales

Sunday, May 5, 7.30pm

Post punk legends stop off in the new city as part of their Off The Beaten Track tour. The Last Laugh: thecraufurdarms.com

What Lies Beneath?

Wednesday, May 8, 6pm-8.30pm

Katherine Priddy

Tuesday, May 7

Earlier this year, Katherine released her sophomore album, and now the Guy Garvey and Richard Thompson approved talent visits Wavendon to play material from The Pendulum Swing. Anyway, Always: stables.org

Breezy Rodio

Tuesday, May 7

They went down a storm at the Bletchley Blues Club when they supported the Cinelli Brothers, so small surprise to learn that they are being brought back as headliners. Shooting the breeze: bletchleybluesclub.uk

This Parks Trust run freshwater exploration is being hosted at the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve. The practical, adults-only workshop will demonstrate effective sampling techniques used to measure the health of water systems and you’ll be able to get up close with some freshwater invertebrates. Pre-booking is essential. Bug life: theparkstrust.com

Blues Jam

Wednesday, May 8

Step up and show your flair – just bring your sticks, guitars, basses, mics and the like. Beginners are welcome, and a friendly environment is a given. Free flow: bletchleybluesclub.uk

44 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk WHATS ON
John Reilly & Lewis Nitikman, The Stables - May 2

West End Now

Friday, May 10 & Saturday, May 11

Northampton Musical Theatre Company brings song and dance from some of the West End’s most loved shows including Six, Les Misérables and Dear Evan Hansen to the stage of The Royal.

Look Down: royalandderngate.co.uk

Alina Orchestra: Summer Nights

Friday, May 10, 7.30pm

A very special summer concert celebrating the 80th birthday of Alina Orchestra’s Musical Director, Hilary Davan Wetton who will conduct, with soprano Rebecca Bottone. The show will feature some of Hilary’s favourite works – from a Mozart Symphony to pieces by Delius, Berlioz and Mendelssohn.

Nocturne: stables.org

Mercury – The Ultimate Queen Tribute

Friday, May 10, 7.30pm

Incredibly, it’s 50 years since Queen released their debut album, but though time flies those stellar tracks don’t age, and Mercury visits The Old Savoy to sate fans with one hit after another.

Royal approval: theoldsavoy.co.uk


Friday, May 10

Sludge duo with riffs aplenty make their Craufurd Arms return with support from Wallowing.

Matriarch: thecraufurdarms.com

Walking Festival: Litter Pick

Friday, May 10, 10am

Help clear the ancient woodlands of Howe Park Wood of litter – all equipment will be provided, including special pickers for children. The pick is expected to last for around an hour.

Keep Britain Tidy: theparkstrust.com

Whole Lotta Shakin’ –

The Shakin’ Stevens Story

Saturday, May 11, 7.30pm

West End star Rebel Dean will guide you through a full audio-visual spectacular with his live band, including rare footage and images which tell the story of the rockin’ Welsh boy and his rise to chart-topping superstardom.

This Ole House: stantonburytheatre.co.uk

An Evening of Burlesque

Saturday, May 11, 7.30pm

Roll up, roll up for a scintillating night out at the Derngate, promising an extravaganza of glitz, glamour, fun and fabulous costumes. Cabaret o’clock: royalandderngate.co.uk

Handbag Heaven Club Night

Saturday, May 11, 7pm

A riot of memories, camp fun and iconic tunes hosted by Radio Northampton’s Bernie Keith, it’s a return to the dance floors we grew up with. Four hours of non-stop dancing at The Deco.

Ready those moves: theoldsavoy.co.uk

Denton & District Gardening Club

Monday, May 13, 7.30pm

Janette Merilion will be talking about ‘Birds, Bees and Butterflies’ – how to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. There will be plants for sale, a raffle and home-made refreshments. Entrance is free to members, £3 for visitors.

Everyone is welcome, Denton Village Hall, Vicarage Lane, Denton, NN7 1DT Enquiries to 01604 890875 or email m.pateman@yahoo.co.uk

Big Azza & The Jukesters

Tuesday, May 14

Harmonica fronted Blues band playing top quality R&B, Swing, Jump Jive & Blues. A mix of quality covers and originals to keep your feet tapping, and keep you dancing all night long.

Boogie on: bletchleybluesclub.uk

45 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
Centre Building 1, The Royal Ordnance Depot, Weedon Bec, NN7 4PS
E: info@vintique.co
OPEN: Wed to Mon 10am-4pm, CLOSED: Tues Facebook: @vintiqueltd Instagram: vintique.limited T: 01327 341 980
Katherine PriddyWavendon bound on May 7 Learn how to make your garden more wildlife-friendly at Denton & District Gardening Club - May 13

Descriptive Guided Walk: Gyosei Art Trail

Thursday, May 16, 6pm-7.30pm

Join The Parks Trust for a walk of the art trail along the Grand Union Canal, taking in all eight pieces which relate to themes of Japanese connections, canal history and local history.

Marvel at the mosaic: theparkstrust.com

Not A Game For Girls

Thursday, May 16 – Sunday, May 19

Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Co. tells the dramatic story of the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies – one of the most famous and successful women’s football teams during the First World Warso popular The Football Association tried to ban them.

Back of the net: stantonburytheatre.co.uk


Thursday, May 16, 7.30pm

Post-punkers from San Francisco and Los Angeles with a sound that manages to be both nostalgic and contemporary visit

The Craufurd Arms.

False Desire: thecraufurdarms.com

Big Doggie Do

Saturday, May 18 & Sunday, May 19, midday-5pm

Doggie displays, showing classes, flyball, pet supplies, delicious treats (for pooches and people), tutorials and demonstrations and much more, at Willen Lake.

Tails will wag: theparkstrust.com

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra –Verdi’s Requiem

Sunday, May 19, 7.30pm

The RPO closes its 2023/4 season in Northampton with Verdi’s Requiem. It will be thrilling, dramatic, and blazing with emotion. Adrian Partington will conduct.

Baton at the ready: royalandderngate.co.uk

Singing for the Brain

Monday, May 20, 10.30am-12.15pm and 2pm-3.45pm

Sessions using singing to bring people with dementia together in a friendly and stimulating activity.

Contact: chelsea.gadd@alzheimers.org.uk or call 01908 232612 before attending

The School For Scandal

Tuesday, May 21 - Saturday, May 25

Deliciously naughty and outrageously silly, this timeless comedy is a masterclass in social satire and the art of gossip.

Joseph Marcell (Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe star) stars. So Scandalous: royalandderngate.co.uk

Johannes Radebe: House of JoJo Wednesday, May 22

TV Dance Sensation Johannes Radebe will be joined by a host of eclectic characters in this brand-new theatrical celebration jam-packed with roof-raising music, dazzling costumes and of course, world class dance.

Dance away your troubles: atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

46 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk
beautiful garden.
Free Parking Available
grown basket and bedding plants, shrubs, perennials, herbs for a
WI Homemade Cake/Produce Stall Refreshments and
Take That - Still ruling the (pop) worldand back in MK on May 30 Emmanuel Sonubi, May 29

Time For Coffee

Friday, May 24, 10am-noon

The Campaigns Committee is hosting the coffee morning when a member of the Nene River Trust will be talking. All are welcome. Enjoy cake and a chat with other members and perhaps even try your luck with the raffle. No need to book, just turn up.

Clean rivers, nice coffee: WI House, 71 Park View, Moulton, NN3 7UZ

Birmingham Royal Ballet 2

Saturday, May 25

RB2 returns to Northampton with more performances of Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection from some of the very best young dancers from around the world. Toe-tally breathtaking: royalandderngate.co.uk

Parks & Ride: Furzton Lake

Sunday, May 26, 11am

Join The Parks Trust and follow the Tattenhoe Valley, exploring through Furzton and Emerson Valley, heading back to the lake for a lap of honour! Ideal for all the family. Push Off: theparkstrust.com

Liam Ward Band

Tuesday, May 28

Get your mojo working with the epic harpdriven sounds of vintage American dance music: rocking blues, west coast swing and funky, soulful roots music.

Harmonica heaven: bletchleybluesclub.uk

DollyPopz Children’s Show

Tuesday, May 28, 2pm

Join pop culture Princesses Flossy, Blossom and Honey at their high energy Pop Party. Big costumes, big moves and an even bigger playlist of hits.

Chart attack: theoldsavoy.co.uk

Stables Screening: Barbie

Tuesday, May 28, 2.30pm

Eccentric and individualistic, Barbie is exiled from Barbieland because of her imperfections. When her home world is in peril, Barbie returns with the knowledge that what makes her different also makes her stronger. Starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie. Life’s fantastic: stables.org

The Syndicate

Thursday, May 28 – Saturday, June 1

Kay Mellor’s marvellous comedy drama takes to the stage, directed by Kay’s daughter, Gaynor Faye and starring Samantha Giles and Brooke Vincent.

Hit the jackpot: atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Emmanuel Sonubi

Wednesday, May 29, 7.30pm

Join Emmanuel on a hilarious and sometimes poignant journey that explores the professions that he’s had prior to becoming a comedian, discussing how those experiences helped shape his comedic voice. Is your CV up to date? royalandderngate.co.uk


Wednesday, May 29, 2.30pm

With a wicked witch, a feisty heroine, a tap dancing horse and a host of adventures, Rapunzel promises to be a vibrant take on a classic and much loved story. Packed with songs, dance routines and jokes aplenty, it’s a family-friendly extravaganza. Let your hair down: theoldsavoy.co.uk

Take That

Thursday, May 30

Pop kings Take That make their Stadium MK return, as part of their This Life tour, with support from Olly Murs.

Greatest Day: ticketmaster.co.uk

NC Jazz: The Edison Herbert Quartet

Friday, May 31, 7.30pm

An intimate musical journey will weave through both past and present compositions, treating the audience to engaging grooves, heartfelt ballads, and toe-tapping numbers. Jazz it up: royalandderngate.co.uk


Bands in the Park

Every Sunday & Bank

Holiday Monday, 2pm –5pm: Abington Park Bandstand

Our Bands in the Park season continues with live music performances from traditional brass, jazz and concert bands, plus cover bands and singers in the beautiful surroundings of Abington Park. Meet up with family and friends and enjoy the music. 5th May - Rushden Town Band

6th May – Northampton Ukulele Group

12th May – Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra

19th May - Churches Together Northampton 26th May – Kettering Town Band

27th May – Buddy Holly Tribute Band (sponsored by The Park Café)

2nd June – The Starlight Sisters


Eid Festival

Sunday 19th May, 12pm – 6pm: Becket’s Park

Celebrate Eid at Becket’s Park! Everyone is welcome to come together for a free community day full of fun and activities for the whole family, including stalls, food market and live entertainment.

Oak Apple Day

Monday 27th May, 11.30am – 12.45pm: All Saints’ Church

This ancient civic ceremony remembers the contribution from King Charles II for the restoration of Northampton after the great fire in 1675 and includes a marching drummers’ performance, a service of thanksgiving and an oak leaf wreathing of the statue of the King, which stands high on the roof of All Saints’ Church.

Northampton County Beer Festival

Thursday 30th May, 4pm – 11pm, Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June, 11am – 11pm: Becket’s Park

Enjoy live music, festival food, craft and bottled beers galore, ales, ciders, prosecco and much more! Tickets are available from Skiddle.com.

For more details on NTC’s events and projects visit: northamptontowncouncil.gov.uk/events

Or get in touch with the team: events@northamptontowncouncil.gov.uk

All events and projects listed are delivered, supported or sponsored by Northampton Town Council

47 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024
Birmingham Royal Ballet tip-toe into the Derngate on May 25 Joseph Marcell - From The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air to The School For Scandal, from May 21
48 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk

View from the Far Kerb


Usually, the view from the far kerb is another kerb. Occasionally, something interesting resides in the road or beyond. Otherwise, it is just another kerb.

It becomes more interesting when that other kerb is a ‘dropped kerb.’ It both denotes the edge of the road and at the same time it allows wheeled vehicles to transfer from a footpath to the road surface without drama.

Wow, that was a boring! Can it get any worse? Well, that depends. They can be handy to facilitate access to your driveway or garage. However, if someone parks across them because they failed to notice them, or they were too lazy to park elsewhere, it can lead to infuriation. It can be quite a ‘thing’ when it happens, but the fact is that it happens rarely. It just seems more common because those affected make a great deal of fuss over the matter. And why not?

To many drivers, the ‘pedestrian’ dropped kerb is merely a hinderance to their freedom to park wherever.

Then there are their small brethren: those not as big in terms of anticipated width of wheeled vehicles passing over them. However, despite their lesser size, they are just as important, if not more so. While it can be a great inconvenience to come home and discover that someone has parked across your drive, it is a bigger issue when trying to maneuverer a laden baby buggy down a full height kerb. To many drivers, the

‘pedestrian’ dropped kerb is merely a hinderance to their freedom to park wherever. Obviously, parking across someone’s driveway is bad, but to park on a corner is okay. At least it isn’t blocking anyone (other than obscuring vision; increasing the likelihood of accidents; inconveniencing others; and being illegal).

Then we get to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. Unless they are capable of zipping up Ben Nevis on a sunny day, none will be able to negotiate the full-height kerbs either side of anything parked across a dropped kerb. Usually, they will be carrying individuals who don’t have the luxury of a helper to manhandle (personhandle?) the thing up or down the kerb. Indeed, some powered wheelchairs are rather heavy. The idea that the average person could heft one about is quite funny, until realising that such behaviour could lead to serious injury.

The practical solution is to find a dropped kerb further along and drive back down the roadway; passing the offending motor vehicle, and then seeking out another dropped kerb so as to get out of the road and back on the footpath. Other drivers faced with such a wheelchair in the road tend to be quite good about it when seeing them moving slowly ahead. That is just as well because their combined chair/user weight can approach a quarter of a tonne.

Imagine the crash damage to a vehicle if there was a collision! And that is before the social stigma of being known as the driver who ran into a wheelchair user.

Maybe the real social stigma should be the act of parking across, and blocking, such dropped kerbs?

49 For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk | NN Pulse Magazine | May 2024 PUZZLES
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Clues Across 1. Pupa (9) 6. Bishop’s diocese (3) 8. Self-important (7) 9. Swear (5) 10. Petty quarrel (4) 11. Offer (3) 13. Back of neck (4) 14. Crawl (5) 16. Russian wolfhound (6) 18. Thin fried potatoes (6) 19. Fruit (5) 21. Ailments (4) SUDOKU PUZZLE 4 3 6 2 8 7 1 3 4 9 5 2 3 6 9 1 5 2 6 1 5 1 7 8 Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits 1 to 9 with no repeats. Good Luck! QUICK CROSSWORD Solutions to Sudoku and Quick Crossword can be found on page 50 22. Eccentric, slightly mad (3) 23. Prods (4) 27. Extreme (5) 28. Scrubbed (7) 30. Gratuity (3) 31. Pierce (9) Clues Down 1. Trophy (3) 2. Cuban dance (5) 3. Demonstrate (4) 4. Famous film dog (6) 5. Unwell (4) 6. Exceed (7) 7. Mid-morning snack (inf.) (9) 10. Nickname (9) 11. Concise (5) 12. Condemn (5) 14. Male swan (3) 15. Snoop (3) 17. Type of desk (4-3) 20. Motive (6) 24. Main artery (5) 25. Freshwater fish (4) 26. Mail (4) 29. Colouring agent (3)
Phil O’Hara

Your stars

Flavour of the Times - Aries is consistently followed by Taurus, and with numerous planets still clustered in the sky, it presents another upheaval to the system. You might have felt overwhelmed by the influx of new experiences all at once. However, this month offers an opportunity to ground everything and make it manageable. With spring in full bloom, take inspiration from nature and begin cultivating in a practical manner. Whether it’s planting vegetables, fruit, saplings, or intentions for yourself, now is the time. Just like plants, they require nurturing and care, so pay attention to your desires and tend to them with love.


April 21 – May 21

With a grounded, earthy essence also comes a hint of sensuality! This month, as many planets transition from the hyperactivity of Aries into your sign, you might find yourself drawing admirers interested in indulging in earthly delights. Alternatively, you may attract financial opportunities instead. It sounds like a win-win situation to me!


May 22 – June 21

Work hard this month to pave the way for more enjoyment later on, how does that sound? I understand you’re not keen on delaying gratification, but it would be unwise to squander your time in idle chatter when there are pressing tasks at hand. Focus your efforts and stay attentive, and you’ll have plenty of time to socialis come June!


June 22 – July 23

As we transition from the sharpness and irritability of last month’s Aries energy to the sign of Taurus, you might find things feeling more comfortable all around. You’ll likely feel less vulnerable and sensitive, allowing you to harness the grounded energy for practical activities and perhaps even some self-care at home.


July 24 – August 23

The energy of Taurus consistently challenges the Leo lion. It’s not solely about shining, looking good, or seeking excitement. Rather, it’s about genuine, earthy achievement— unassuming yet impactful. Give it a shot this month, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the significant progress you’ve made toward goals that truly matter to you.

Your Own astrological Forecast for 2024


August 24 – September 23

Virgo aligns harmoniously with the Taurus energy of this month. You’ll feel capable, organised, and a sense of things falling into place after the chaotic fire energy of last month. Your organisational prowess will be in demand, particularly by those seeking to work smarter rather than harder.


September 24 – October 23

You may sometimes come off as egotistical, that’s not your style! You prioritise building bridges and uphold a strong sense of fairness. This month presents an opportunity to translate your beliefs into concrete action. Getting involved with a campaigning group could be just the thing for you in May, and you might discover a genuine sense of fulfillment in making such a commitment.


October 24 – November 22

Saturn, the planet of control and limitations, advises that you dig deep into your soul this month and make some key decisions. This means rejecting some perhaps long-held imaginings that haven’t really ever worked out. That may be sad but at least you’ve got some space in looking for for new approaches to old problems.


November 23 – December 22

Saturn is not only impeding you but also creating confusion this month. However Mars, the planet of action, is now working for you so you can make progress in your explorations. Its fiery energy should be directed purposefully, though, into those things that are really achievable. Think of what you do as essential stepping stones on your path into the future.

You are bound to be affected personally by some, if not all, of the massive changes taking place this year. Not everyone will be equally affected on a personal level, but you will certainly feel it if you are an Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, or Taurus.

An astrological reading of your birth chart can help you understand how these changes might affect you. To really understand what they mean for you during 2024, I would recommend that you consider booking a comprehensive personal astrological consultation with me. This is completely specific to


December 23 – January 20

As the fire of Aries gives way to the earthiness of Taurus you will feel more comfortable this month. It may not be very easy to see exactly where certain things are going but at least you have recognisable and controllable forward momentum. Make the most of it because June will feel far too frivolous - get the hard work done now!


January 21 – February 19

In the background the changes you have always wanted to bring about are unfoldingbut agonisingly slowly. You can’t afford to just sit back and watch things happen or just talk about it: you have to ‘put in a shift’, do the work and do it thoroughly. So I’d avoid flights of fancy if you are serious about achieving your goals.


February 20 – March 20

The flooding is hopefully over, the ground is becoming workable to it’s time to dig in and work on manifesting your dreams. This is not about dreaming itself, it’s about doing the practical work you need to do to get some real results. Sure, there will be some resistance but that can be overcome if you stick at it. It’s not glamorous but the results just might be.


March 21 – April 20

Now is the month to give solid practical expression and direction to all that fire you have been stoking up. Taurus is as patient as Aries is impatient so your fire now needs to be grounded in practical activities. Imagine the bull (Taurus) sweating as it gives all its energy to pulling that plough across the field. Tenacity is the thing: keep working at it!

you and your life. It will illuminate many things that you may not have considered up to now, and it will enable you to really take advantage of the positive energies and avoid the negative ones throughout the year.

My prices for chart readings remain the same as they have been for the past five years: starting at £67 for an hour on Zoom or Skype. Please visit www.astroguidance.co.uk for more details and to book a session. You can also text or WhatsApp me on 07866 727743 or email me at howpark@aol.com for more information.

50 May 2024 | NN Pulse Magazine | For the latest local news visit www.nnpulse.co.uk GET INVOLVED... We are always looking for local stories, news and events. Send your stories to: nnpulse@pulsegroupmedia.co.uk For the latest local news visit: nnpulse.co.uk or scan the code.
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