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Ever wondered why the National Film Archive ended up in Berkhamsted?


Get out and make new friends! Find local groups to join inside





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Welcome to the Autumn issue!



he days may be getting a little shorter, but autumn can be a great time for getting out and about, with cooler, crisp days and bright sunshine. It’s the perfect time to work in the garden, tidying up and improving your soil, which is why we have a feature on compost - find out more about no-peat solutions and how to make your own. Autumn sees the children go back to school. Easing back into a new term can be tricky after the long summer, so our ideas for arts and crafts may help them decompress and use mindfulness to unwind. We also look at how to choose a retirement property, and find out how some local organisations are helping people to tackle loneliness and social isolation. With this in mind, we’ve included a list of clubs and groups who will welcome new members this autumn for kids as well as adults. Once again, Ian Bateman has come up with a puzzling crossword to get our brains ticking


News and views from Berkhamsted and surrounding villages

12 Treat yourself to something

special from our local shops

16 Whip up this sunshine cake for charity

20 Why crafts and mindfulness go together

24 How to beat loneliness and isolation

over. We hope you like it, do let us know! Just ping Alison a message to or call her on 01442 824300. Finally, we hope that we’ll all be able to take part in some of the autumn traditions that had to be missed last year. Let’s hope children can enjoy Trick or Treating safely, and that we can see the sky lit up with Fireworks on November the Fifth - remember to make sure your animals are safe indoors. As always, the magazine includes local news, events and features. We love to hear from local people, groups, schools and organisations, so please email Naomi at with your news prior to our winter issue. We hope this issue finds you safe and well and wish you happy reading.

Alison and Naomi

CONTACT US 01442 82430 0

ditor Owner & E


26 Find local clubs and

42 The latest reads from

28 Compost: garden gold 30 £300+ craft kit bundles up

44 What’s On 46 Walk: Discover Pistone Hill 47 Give your brain a workout

groups to join this autumn

for grabs

32 What to look for in a retirement home

34 The history of the BFI National Archive in Berkhamsted

local authors

with our cryptic crossword

48 Classifieds 50 Essential local services

The only local magazine offering shrink-wrapped guaranteed delivery to 11,312* addresses in the HP4 postcode area, by Royal Mail every quarter. *Royal Mail postcode data . Published quarterly in March, June, September & November The Team: Publisher: Alison Page / Editor: Naomi MacKay / Designer: Neil Randle Registered Address: Jubilee Gardens, Tring, Herts HP23 4JG. Living Magazines are published by independent publisher Alison Page Marketing. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without permission. The publisher will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Opinions expressed by authors and advertisers in this publication are not specifically endorsed by Alison Page Marketing.

For exclusive offers & updates between issues go to:




Sending the write stuff

materials is still huge and magnified further by the effects of Covid,’ added Chris. Pens can be sent to: Pens For Kids UK, PO Box 864, Orpington. BR6 1JQ Find out more at

Book a spot for festival



Berkhamsted not-for-profit organisation has so far helped send a total of 1,038,617 pens and pencils to schools and orphanages overseas. Pens For Kids UK is a family-run not for profit organisation that sends pens and pencils (old and new) to schools and orphanages to anyone that needs them, but predominantly in Africa. Chris Sissons said: ‘This happened due to the following three kind gestures from people: donations of used stationery; donations of new stationery, and cash donations to pay for the shipping.’ He told Berkhamsted Living: ‘Pens For Kids UK has been going for 11 years. I, a Berko local, recently took over from the founder Malcolm O’Brien. I stumbled across his plea online for someone to take over earlier this year and the rest is history!’ Now Chris runs the organisation with help from his family: ‘I’m running the charity side of things, while my mum Val is in charge of packaging and delivery logistics, but my wife, brother, sister, and nieces are all involved too.’ The organisation aims to send 100,000 pens and pencils to various schools and orphanages before the end of the year but can only do that with more donations. ‘The need for learning

4 / Berkhamsted Living

ibliophiles will be pleased to hear that plans are under way for the BerkoFest Book Festival. You can look forward to both children’s and adult authors appearing, with author’s readings, panels and Q&A sessions, along with book signings. Hosted by Robin Ince and Nigel Barden, as we went to press the following authors had been confirmed: Alexei Sayle: a regular on 1980s TV comedy The Young Ones, Sayle has also penned five novels, two short story collections, and five novels. His autobiography is entitled Stalin Ate My Homework. Lisa Jewell is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestselling author. She has written 18 novels, including dark psychological thrillers including The Girls, Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs. Other authors appearing include: former England cricketer Mike Brearley, Nikesh Shukla, AL Kennedy, AF Harrold, Christopher Edge, John Higgs and Pragya Argawal. Local authors to appear at BerkoFest Book Festival include Berkhamsted Living former Editor Clare Swatman (whose latest book is reviewed in this issue), Stuart Turton, Jamie Fewery, and Katy Regan. So pop this date in the diary: Sunday 7 November, 10am to 6pm at Berkhamsted Town Hall. Find further details at



Discover Herts Art and be inspired


erts Visual Arts is bringing artists, artisans and art-lovers together for inspiration, discovery and a rich opportunity - art in the heart of our communities across Hertfordshire. Running for more than 30 years, this year’s Herts Open Studios runs from

Award winners


Airport expansion plans continue

ongratulations to three local businesses that have scooped prizes in the Herts Muddy Stilettos Awards. Bustle & Bow Bridal Studio picked up the gong for best bridal store, while Potten End’s Cedar Coffee Shop bagged the prize for best cafe. Ashridge House was named best wedding venue.

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18 September to 10 October. Visitors can enjoy everything from classical to contemporary, decorative to functional, figurative to abstract, wall-hung to 3D art. Artists are taking part in-person or online. New web- and social media-based Virtual Open Studios features allow Open Studios to be enjoyed 24 hours a day, wherever you might be. To find an Open Studio use the website at and online e-brochure to plan your visits before you set out. On the street, just look for yellow bunting, direction arrows and banners outside venues.


ne of the things many of us noticed during lockdown was the clear skies and lack of noise from airplanes. As travel has begun to open up again, Luton London Airport (LLA) has moved on with its planning application to Luton Borough Council for expansion. While the plan has reportedly been pushed back four years and has had nearly a third shaved off its £3bn price tag, it will still see passenger numbers double - eventually hitting 32 million a year. According to the Chiltern Countryside Group: ‘If you registered comments and/or objections before, we are assured these will still stand when the application is considered by Council.’ The group also claims that flights appear to be operating at lower levels and using older, noisier aircraft. They are calling for residents to complain to the LLA about any disturbances, in order to stop the situation escalating. Complaints can be made via the LLA website or by emailing


Welcome to Habs A world-class education, closer than you think... r Introducing ou e new creativ ts arts and spor scholarships

4+, 5+, 7+, 11+, 13+ and 16+ applications now open for September 2022 entry

Book an open event now:


History opens up


eritage Open Days (HODs) start this month! From family activities to evening experiences, this year’s festival will have something for everyone - and it’s all free! From Medieval cooking at Berkhamsted Castle, to guided historical tours of the High Street, and a visit to an Arts and Craft House with a garden planted by Gertrude Jekyll, there’s something for everyone. HODs run from 10-19 September. See our What’s On pages for local events. Details of all UK events can be found at

NEWS IN BRIEF Lidl still in pipeline Discount supermarket Lidl still has plans for the old Roy Chapman site in London Road. A spokesperson told Living: ‘We remain committed to bringing a Lidl store to Berkhamsted and are hoping to be able to begin construction in the near future. We look forward to updating the local community further as soon as we are in a position to do so.’

Share your heritage Dacorum Heritage Trust is hosting a Fireworks and Festivals event in 2022, exhibiting the memories of people who worked at Brocks Fireworks, as well as gathering the heritage of faith and community groups in the local area. To take part contact 01442 879525 or

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Top marks for Lockers Park


ockers Park has been celebrating academic success as the preparatory school announced a 100% pass rate for its Common Entrance examinations, with all 21 of its Year 8 pupils securing places at their chosen senior schools. The academic accomplishments see pupils moving on to the country’s leading senior schools including Berkhamsted School, Bedford School, Eton College, Rugby School and St Albans, to name but a few. Lockers Park prides itself on the breadth of senior schools it sends pupils to, carefully finding the right school for each boy.

Florist with a flourish


erkhamsted High Street is pioneering the world’s first ‘florist’s table’, a space to watch floristry in action while sipping champagne and enjoying nibbles. Hanako (which should be open by the time you read this), will be bringing flower-lovers the opportunity to soak up a luxe floral atmosphere, either creating bespoke bouquets with the floral designers or relaxing at the champagne bar. Guests will have the choice of handcrafted, seasonal bouquets, blends of fresh and preserved flora, as well as a wide selection of gifts, including handmade chocolates.


A close shave for brave George B erkhamsted 12-year-old George White has shaved his head in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust. George said: ‘I decided to shave my hair off to support the Teenage Cancer Trust because they do a brilliant job helping people of my age with cancer. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be told that you have cancer and that, apart from anything else, the treatment might make your hair fall out as well. I’ve had some funny looks from people in the street and a few comments from people at school, but it’s been worth it.’

Stay alert


new OWL (Online Watch Link) mobile app allows you to get notifications when your local police officers issue a new alert for your area. By downloading the OWL app and opening it once, you will receive alerts based on your current postcode location. You can choose to enable alerts for local issues in your community and other categories covering Business, Shop, Dog, Canal, Horse and Rural. Search the App Store or Google Play for ‘owl crime alerts’.

George had the intention of raising £500 (which pays for 20 appointments with a specialist nurse) through his JustGiving page ( To date he has raised over £2,000. His dad James, who runs his James The Gadget Man business from the town, told Berkhamsted Living: ‘We are so proud of what George has done. Like most families, we have experienced the upset and upheaval that cancer causes, but teenage cancer is so much more relevant to him that the choice of charity made sense. He’s a very brave and thoughtful lad and I’m sure it won’t be the last thing he does like this.’

Use us or lose us


he owner of a Berkhamsted art supply store is calling for local shoppers to make the most of the high street, as business owners struggle to recover from the pandemic. Jo Kidd, director of Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts in Lower Kings Road, told Berkhamsted Living that the knock-on effect of the pandemic, which saw non-essential retailers closed, along with issues with supply chains, has made it especially hard for local shops. Jo explained how often shoppers would come in to find something they had ‘been looking everywhere for’. ‘I’d love us to be the first point of call, not a last resort.’ she said. ‘You may pay a little more but you are also paying for the knowledge of our expert staff. You will go away with exactly what you need for your project, not something that is too small, the wrong colour or not suitable.’ Jo asked that local people support the local shops: ‘It’s basically use us or lose us. We need support now before it’s too late.’ Take a look at our Shop Local pages for some local seasonal inspiration. Local retailers are invited to participate in the Shop Local section totally free of charge.


Autumn 2021 / 9



A busy time for Graham Green Our Bookshop Festival returns T A fter a very challenging year, Our Bookshop in Tring has managed to go from strength to strength thanks to the huge amount of support they have received from across the region. They have passed on their thanks to all their customers. Numerous initiatives have been very successful, including the virtual events, book launches and the YouTube Channel, subscription service, the Bookshop and Book Festival Membership, the Bookclub with guest authors as well as the incredibly popular ‘minted’ book tokens. Visit for more information on everything they are doing.

Tring Book Festival Tring Book Festival takes place later this year - running from Friday 5 November until Sunday 14 November, predominantly in two venues - the newly refurbished High Street Baptist Church (next door to Our Bookshop) and the Court Theatre on Station Road. Just as in 2019, the festival will be kicking off with the Political Panel Show. This year’s panellists are Gagan Mohindra MP, Camilla Tominey and Jess Phillips. The final festival line-up will be announced and tickets will be on general sale by the time you read this. See the leaflet enclosed within this magazine for more information. For more details and to join the mailing list visit

10 / Berkhamsted Living

he Graham Greene International Festival is emphatically back again this year, with a fascinating programme compiled by experienced festival director Mike Hill. The 2021 Festival offers a range of lovingly researched talks for the aficionado, along with many opportunities for those less familiar with his work to discover that haunting literary mindscape, Greeneland. Baroness Claire Fox of the Academy of Ideas and playwright Nick Warburton will be discussing what makes Greene ‘A Good Read’; Professor Richard Greene will talk about his recent new biography, Russian Roulette: The Life and Times of Graham Greene; and the film version of Greene’s classic whisky-priest novel The Power and the Glory will be screened. The international worldview of this globetrotting son of Berkhamsted will be emphasised through contributions about a musical version of Our Man in Havana, the reception of Greene’s novels in socialist Romania, and the staging of his work in Germany, while novelist and screenwriter William Boyd will be discussing Greene’s last published novel. There’s something for everyone indeed! The 22nd Graham Greene International Festival runs from 30 September to 3 October. Further information and tickets:


Walk for children Celebrate the


he annual Berkhamsted Walk returns on Sunday 19 September, with a 12mile route through some lovely local countryside. The Walk supports The Children’s Society - a charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged children, young people and families through poverty and hard times since 1881. The charity has been hard hit by the pandemic - funding has been decimated at a time when children most need it, so they are asking local people to join the walk and support their crucial work. See Learn more about The Children’s Society at,uk.



he Celebration of Chilterns Food & Drink is a foodie event offering a range of family-friendly and community events throughout the Chilterns. Events include: outdoor cooking in the woods; join Chiltern Rangers for a barbecue cook-up using delicious local produce; and Food & Drink walks sampling local specialities such as Nettlebed cheeses, Buckmoorend burgers and sparkling wine from the Radnage Valley. You can also join local guides for a tour of the Inns of Amersham past and present, or a Bodgers pub tour. The event runs from 24-31 October. See for more details.



Autumn 2021 / 11



Whilst we have made every effort to ensure these details are correct, you must confirm directly with the retailer.

Here’s our selection of great things to buy in Berkhamsted, Tring and the villages
















12 / Berkhamsted Living



Handmade dog treats from all natural ingredients

Bailey’s Bites


Bailey & Sons - Berkhamsted 01 Kit Heath Stardust Earrings £38 02 9ct White Gold Hexagonal Necklace £300 Berkhamsted Arts & Crafts - Berkhamsted 03 Tie dye kit £19.95 04 Happypotomus story and colouring book £6.99 Fancy That - Tring 05 Groovy Girl £15 06 Foiled Resin necklaces £17.50 and Matching earrings £10.50 07 Resin cast bronze dipped Cockerpoo ‘Jasper’ £45 Etsy: BaileysbitesGB Facebook: Bailey’s Bites

Baileys Bites.indd 1

20/04/2021 10:58

Gems & Jules - Tring 08 Silver Chic Plum Dainty Layered Necklace £135 09 Silver Eqyptian Earrings £79 10 Silver Paperclip Chain Necklace £195 Mary Casserley - Tring 11 Berkhamsted School - Kings Campus from Tompkins Meadow £3 12 Tring Reservoir Startops A4 prints £25 Number Twenty - Berkhamsted 13 Alura candle £20 Puddingstone Distillery - Wilstone Green 14 Ultrasonic Gin £35 Tring Brewery - Tring 15 KING hop scented candle £10 16 Dagmal Breakfast Stout £2.55 17 Raven King Hot Sauce £5.15

Come on over to the distillery on Fridays and Saturdays to sample our gins. Try our new Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust collaboration – Ultrasonic Gin with notes of apple & mint.


Wilstone, Tring, Herts HP23 4NT

Advertise in Tring and Berkhamsted Living Magazines and your business will be delivered by the Royal Mail to almost 22,000 homes and businesses in the area. We are the only magazine delivering to every postcode in HP4 and HP23. It couldn’t be easier! Email or visit

Autumn 2021 / 13


A packed programme of events


erkhamsted Arts Trust (originally known as the Berkhamsted Arts Association) was formed in 1961. It has published a diary of events since 1985. That first year there were just 12 entries, and it now carries 93 in the Covid recovery 2021-2022 season – and has a print run of 12,000. You’ll find a copy of the diary within this magazine - and copies are also available in local public libraries, Berkhamsted Civic Centre and Berkhamsted Town Hall. There are events from more than 20 local organisations included in the diary each year,

and the 2021-2022 season includes events as diverse as film nights at the Civic Centre, the St Peters 800th Anniversary Orchestral Concert, a talk on the families and estates of Berkhamsted by the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society and a production by the Berkhamsted Youth Theatre. There are courses run by Berkhamsted’s WEA, a wine-tasting evening and chamber music evenings. You will certainly never be bored! Find out more in the enclosed leaflet and at www.

The sounds of Lofoten


ormed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, the Engegård Quartet, one of Norway’s most sought-after ensembles, is showcased at Berkhamsted Music’s first concert of the season on Saturday 9 October in the Civic Centre Berkhamsted. [The quartet’s bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted

14 / Berkhamsted Living

international acclaim.] They have performed throughout Europe as well as in South America with concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. They also promote classical music in Norway Arvid Engegård as founder of the Lofoten Festival, and Juliet Jopling as artistic director of the Oslo Quartet Series. Subsequent concerts of the season running from October to March feature the Roscoe Piano Trio (Martin Roscoe, Fenella Humphreys and Jessica Burroughs), the Magnard Ensemble (wind quintet), the Quatuor Confluence from Paris, and finally a return visit by the Sacconi Quartet. See the programmes in the enclosed Berkhamsted Music leaflet, our What’s On pages, and look for more details and regular updates at



The value of advice You work hard to support your family and enjoy life – so why not seek expert advice to ensure your wealth is being managed effectively?


ife is busy – often complicated. Families become fragmented; demands on our time increase. You’d think that advances in technology, communications and media would make life easier, but that’s not always the case – it can just increase the noise and confusion as ‘information overload’ leaves us unsure about which way to turn. We rely on experts to help us or point us in the right direction: if our car breaks down, we see a mechanic; if we get toothache, we visit the dentist; if our body hurts, we consult a doctor. The same should also be true of our finances. Why wouldn’t we seek the advice of experts to ensure that it’s being managed at the most effective time and in the most effective way? Our advice proposition centres around you – a relationship-based, long-term approach focusing on understanding your motivations, needs and aspirations. Only then can we recommend products and investments that work in synergy with each other and match your attitude to risk. But of course, ‘the value of advice’ can be subjective and mean different things to different people. For some,

‘value’ can be found in the relinquishing of the burden and worry; for others, it’s knowing that their investments are being professionally managed and working towards achieving their goals. However you define ‘value’, you can rest assured that we’re here to support and guide you on every step of your financial journey. At St. James’s Place, we focus on achieving and maintaining a thorough understanding of your financial needs and aspirations. We believe passionately that the best wealth management service is provided through personalised, face-toface advice.

Changes in legislation and tax regimes, coupled with increased choices in financial products, all need expert knowledge We offer investments, with opportunities to grow your wealth and protect it against inflation, and a broad range of funds to choose from to help you build an appropriate portfolio. Regardless of your life stage, it’s also important to receive the right advice on your pension requirements. We can help

you make the most of retirement opportunities, whether you’re an individual or a business. We also specialise in providing effective solutions to meet your insurance and protection needs. Whether you require life cover or advice on Inheritance Tax, St. James’s Place will offer you the right products and services to suit you and your family. Whether you are remortgaging, downsizing, or a first-time buyer, St. James’s Place can offer advice on a wide range of mortgages. We also have access to a range of banking solutions. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and the value may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances.

STRINGER MANN CHARTERED FINANCIAL PLANNERS Senior Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Tel: 01442 874888 The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group's wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group's website The 'St. James's Place Partnership' and the titles 'Partner' and 'Partner Practice' are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives. SJP12236 V2 (09/20)




his September, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Coffee Morning event is back, with those attending set to raise millions to ensure Macmillan can continue to support the growing number of people living with cancer. Sadly, there has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a diagnosis as people face potential disruption or delays to treatment, and people impacted by cancer need Macmillan’s support now more than ever before. Victoria from Little Tring Cakes wants to inspire you to get in the kitchen for this worthy cause with this scrumptious cake recipe. It’s zesty and warming and the rum gives it a great ‘holiday’ kick. This year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning will be on Friday 24 September. Do something amazing today sign up to host a Macmillan Coffee Morning at



Cake: • 300g light brown sugar • 300g self-raising flour • 3 medium free-range eggs • 300g rapeseed oil • 8g bicarbonate of soda • 280g grated carrot • 220g tin of pineapple • 75g chopped walnuts • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp ground ginger • Zest and juice of 1 orange • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 75ml spiced rum

• 300g icing sugar • 50g butter • 100g cream cheese • 1 tsp vanilla • 1 tsp cinnamon • ½ tsp sea salt • Zest and juice of 1 orange

To decorate: • Dried mango • Edible gold powder

Cake 1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line 2 x 8in round cake tins with a disc of greaseproof paper and brush with oil. 2. In a bowl, weigh out all the dry ingredients and orange zest. 3. In the measuring jug, weigh out the oil and add the eggs to this. Meanwhile, grate the carrots and separate the pineapple from the juice in the tin, put the juice to one side. 4. Add the oil and eggs to the dry ingredients in quarters, mixing well between each interval. 5. Fold in the carrot, walnuts and pineapple to the mix. 6. Separate between the two tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes. Check that a skewer in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven. 7. In a small pan, juice the oranges and add the pineapple juice. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the rum. Evenly pour this over both cakes while the cakes and syrup are still warm. Leave to cool in their tins while you make the icing. Icing 1. Whisk the butter and cream cheese together along with the vanilla, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Slowly add the icing 1 tbsp at a time. 2. Once the cakes are cool, tip out of their tins by placing a plate on top of them and turning the tins upside down. Add one-third of the icing to the middle of the cake and spread evenly using a spoon. Place the other layer of the cake on top of this. 3. Pour the remaining icing on top of the cake using the back of a spoon to spread evenly and give a ‘paddled’ texture. 4. Tear up the dried mango and scatter evenly on top of the cake. Sprinkle with gold glitter. 5. Keeps in an airtight container for up to three days.

Your apples... your juice! We press, pasteurise & bottle your apples into delicious juice, which keeps for over a year


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Why write it down? We know what we’ve agreed…

Here’s another in my series of family law myths – this time we debunk myths for both unmarried, cohabiting, and married couples.

The Unmarried Couples Edition When a couple buy a property together, often their contributions are not equal. One could be contributing more to the deposit, or one paying more towards the mortgage. Often couples have understandings along the lines of ‘if we break up and sell the house, we get back what we each put in’. Sometimes they don’t discuss it at all but each understands something different about what would happen if their relationship were to end. For many people, talking about money is awkward, especially in the early stages of a relationship, when you can’t imagine life without each other. No one wants to be the person saying ‘Darling, we really need to put this in writing, you know, just in case’. But please do! Think of it as a gift to your future selves, which hopefully you will never use. It is far safer for couples to record their intentions in writing, in an express declaration of trust. Your conveyancing solicitor can help prepare this document before you proceed with the purchase. If, for example, one of you contributes 75% of the deposit, you may wish to set out that that person owns 75% of the property. But if the other person is going to pay more or all of the mortgage then maybe you want ownership to reflect that. Or maybe you want an agreement that you each receive the same percentage deposit you individually contributed, but after that everything is 50/50. These, and other agreements, can be included in a declaration of trust. Setting intentions out in an express declaration of trust will show, beyond doubt,

By Georgina Allen, Solicitor at Rayden Solicitors, Berkhamsted

what each of you thought you were doing when the transaction took place. Without it you may find yourself later arguing about past conversations and recollections of respective intentions, which is uncertain, and can be expensive and time-consuming to resolve. The Married Couples’ Edition Clients often tell me they have agreed everything with their spouses following separation, and they just want the divorce dealt with and the Decree Absolute will finalise everything… won’t it? Yes, the Decree Absolute finalises the divorce - you are no longer married. However, it does not terminate all of the claims which spouses have against each other. A divorced couple may have agreed their financial arrangements but sometimes circumstances change and one party may want to re-visit arrangements and they can, except in some limited circumstances such as re-marriage. In order to dismiss potential future claims and make an agreement regarding financial arrangements final and binding, the parties should apply for a ‘consent order’. This document can be drawn up by a solicitor and lodged with the Court for approval by a Judge. Once approved and sealed by the Court, it is binding (unless in exceptional circumstances eg. fraud). It provides peace of mind about future claims, and gives the parties evidence of the agreement, if one of them does not adhere to it. Punishments for breaching a Court order include: warning notices, enforcement orders, compensation and contempt of court proceedings. Once again, if in doubt, write it down.

Autumn 2021 / 19


MINDFULNESS After the tough couple of years our children have had, taking time out is more important than ever. Arts and crafts is the perfect way to do that


hildren have been through some thoroughly unsettling times over the past couple of years. A global pandemic, lockdowns, remote schooling, bubble closures and isolation. So it’s no surprise that children’s mental health is so high on the public agenda. Engaging in arts and crafts can be a great way to take the mind off stressful situations. It promotes mindfulness, by allowing you to take the time to focus just on the moment and what you are doing. Did you know that when we are being creative, a natural anti-depressant (dopamine) is released by the brain? While little ones enjoy arts and crafts on a more regular basis at pre-school and during Key Stage 1, as children (and teens) get older, there is less chance to be creative at school, so it’s even more important to allow creativity to happen at home. Katie Jones is the founder of Berkhamsted’s The Canvas Crew, which runs art workshops, clubs and parties for adults and children. She says: ‘Drawing and painting – in fact any creative activities – are brilliant for giving our

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poor brains a break. If we don’t put pressure on ourselves to create the ‘perfect picture’ it’s a much-needed chance to play, explore and express ourselves. I know from being contacted by lots of parents that making art, over the past year in particular, has made a huge difference to many children’s confidence and happiness.’ The Canvas Crew has been running parent and child workshops, which brings us to an important point. There’s no reason why you can’t join in the fun too. Seeing you having fun, being bold with your creations and willing to try, even if you make mistakes, will give them the confidence to be creative and adventurous. Crafts to try

Win the ultimate creative bundle! We have two amazing bundles of craft sets, each worth £150, from the lovely people at John Adams up for grabs. Head to our competition on page 30.


Give it a go! Jo Kidd, director of Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts in Lower Kings Road, offers some creative ideas for children and teens to try this autumn • To practise any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it! (Kurt Vonnegut) • Our mental health is as important as our physical health and there are all sorts of things we can do to help keep our brains happy and my favourite way is what most of us do naturally anyway – doodling! • Zen Doodling is the art of drawing structured patterns and once you have seen some examples it’s easy. You already have what you need (any pen and paper) and anyone can do it. It’s great for relieving stress and infusing some much-needed creativity into a child’s busy life.

For little ones:

Make monsters from junk: glue googly eyes, tissue paper tongues and cardboard arms and legs to old cereal boxes. Or make towers from things in the recycling! Have fun with paints: potato printing, finger painting, hand prints - there’s lots of fun ideas for making pictures with feet and hand prints online. Making pom poms: You just need two cardboard circles and some leftover wool. Those pom poms can become fat birds, Christmas puddings, planets - use your imagination!

For older ones:

• Teach them (or find someone to show you both!) how to knit or crochet. • Learn macrame - this 70s knot-tying craft is making a comeback. • Make bracelets from paracord

Above: An example of Zen Doodling seen in The Happypotomus and the Grumble Bee, written by Lazarus Gubbins (Jo Kidd’s husband). Left: Using a tie dye kit can produce some amazing results.

• Colour is a power which directly influences the soul (Kandinsky). There are so many ways to be creative with colour, but when I think about colour I think tie dye - it’s one way to have fun and achieve awesome results that can be worn. Colouring for mindfulness: there are lots of books or downloadable colouring sheets online. For older kids and teens who are way past their colouring in days, this can be a surprisingly soothing activity. Lino prints: For older kids and teens as you need a sharp blade, but you can get surprisingly impressive results. Clay: Whether you use a basic air drying clay or the colourful soft modelling dough (such as FIMO) that has to be oven baked, you can make all sorts - pots, pictures, jewellery, ornaments and more. Tactile activities such as using clay or modelling dough, can help children to feel grounded and more connected with life, especially in our ever-more digital world.

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Many of us have experienced changes in our circumstances over the past 18 months, so it’s important to look after ourselves, to be aware of potential mental health issues, and combat loneliness and isolation


o one can say the past 18 months or so haven’t been unusual - and challenging for many of us. A lot of people have seen their circumstances change, whether it’s through the loss of friends and family, changes in finances or an upheaval with work. As the summer starts to slip away, it might be easy to stay at home, avoid interacting with others and end up feeling quite isolated. So while the weather is still good, and before the evenings get dark, now is the time to think about how you can stay connected with the outside world. The good news is that there are a number of organisations in our area that aim to help local folk do just that, plus plenty of clubs, societies and groups that will always welcome new members with open arms. ‘Tackling loneliness, isolation and social inequality is the driving force behind our small charity Open Door,’ says Sam Harris,

24 / Berkhamsted Living

Communications Manager. ‘During lockdown, Open Door fed more than 4,000 meals to our elderly and vulnerable.’ The volunteer-run community and arts space on Berkhamsted High Street has a small donations cafe and an increasing range of activities for social, physical and mental wellbeing. Sam explains: ‘These include creative arts with exhibitions by local artists and the community, physical wellbeing activities such as yoga and Qigong, and various groups to help mental health and loneliness everything from Knit and Natter, Mums and Tots, and baby signing, to our lovely Memory Cafe for people with dementia and their carers.’ There’s also a Connections programme aimed at men, which includes Zoom support groups, Yoga classes and running groups. Find out more about Open Door at www. The over 50s can also join the Repair Shed,

HEALTH AND BEAUTY where they can tinker in a shed, make friends and share their lives. The Repair Sheds are run by Community Action Dacorum, whose Chief Executive Simon Aulton says: ‘The Repair Shed makes a positive difference to people suffering from loneliness and isolation by allowing them to talk shoulder to shoulder rather than eye to eye.’ Berkhamsted folk can access the Shed at Sunnyside Rural Trust in Northchurch. Shedders (as they like to be known) fix things, build new items out of wood and metal and sell them to keep their shed running. A Sewing Cafe has been established along similar lines, in Markyate, with the possibility of more locations to follow. If you would like to be involved with a local shed or cafe email or call 01442 617630. At the other end of the age scale, young people aged 12-18 can head to Berkhamsted’s Swan Youth Project, which aims to provide a safe environment where they can go, find something to do and someone to listen. Email manager@ for information.

Hector’s House is a Berkhamsted charity that aims to promote mental health awareness for young people. Find out more at https://

Staying connected The Community Action Dacorum team is making a positive difference to lives in Dacorum and across the whole of Hertfordshire with its Staying Connected - Digital Inclusion program. The programme, funded by Capt. Sir Tom Moore and the NHS Charities Together fund, sets out to repurpose old computers, tablets and phones to give to those who don’t have access to the internet. Digital Champions will work alongside those who need a confidence boost when it comes to using IT equipment and guide them through the process from switching on to using the software. If you have equipment to donate or wish to volunteer to be a part of the project, email uk or call 01442 214734.

The over 50s can also join the Repair Shed, where they can tinker in a shed, make friends and share their lives

Joining local clubs and organisations is a great way to meet new people. Turn the page for a directory of just some of the opportunities in our local area.

Autumn 2021/ 25

COME JOIN US Arty Farty Workshops Gill Masters runs Arty Farty workshops in Potten End. On a Tuesday she will offer studio space for like-minded artists to get together and Inspire each other. On Wednesdays, she will give lessons to anyone who wants to paint and, once a month, she will invite other artists to come along and give workshops on their styles - anything from willow weaving to sculpture. Contact 01442 251087 or email

Berkhamsted Cycling Club Established only six years ago, Berkhamsted Cycling Club has grown rapidly to more than 210 members. Friendly and inclusive - nobody takes themselves too seriously. There is a group to suit all abilities (every Saturday they have five groups) and e-bikes are welcome. No one gets left behind and meeting for coffee and cake after their weekly club rides is the cornerstone of the club. Contact

Berkhamsted Film Society A society with around 180 members. They meet in the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted and screen a season of about 17 films from September to April, comprising a wide selection of Englishlanguage and subtitled films across a range of genres, from recent mainstream releases to art house films. Most of the films are screened for two nights running and they welcome nonmembers, who can pay at the door. Contact 07795 148 491.

Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society The aim of the society is to encourage the study and appreciation of local history, genealogy and other subjects of historical interest. Members

26 / Berkhamsted Living

Here’s a small selection of groups that are welcoming new members this autumn.

enjoy free admission to Society meetings, seven talks a year, the society newsletter invitations to summer outings and other events, and a copy of ‘The Chronicle’ (the Society’s publication produced annually). Contact 01442 824362 or email

Berkhamsted Raiders Raiders offers lots of opportunities for boys and girls to get involved in youth football. Inclusive/ Disability Football sessions for children of all ages provide the opportunity to play sport, make friends, and have fun. They can accommodate all abilities and challenges (both physical and learning). Walking Football sessions are open to anyone, male or female, over the age of 16, of any ability, but particularly for the over 50s. Contact

Berkhamsted Rotary Refer over for details. Contact Peter Brown 07836 688470.

Berkhamsted Tangent Tangent provides the opportunity for women everywhere to be part of an organisation which is built on its roots of friendship. They empower women through friendship. Lifelong friendships are made in their national organisation. Contact 07760 164272. Web:

Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards Local History Group The group meets in the evening on the first Friday of the month from October – May in St Leonards Parish Hall, Jenkins Lane, St Leonards, HP23 6NW. They have a programme of interesting speakers on local topics and sometimes from further afield.

Hector’s House The Berkhamsted charity aims to prevent suicide and mental health stigma through education, awareness and support. Find someone to talk to, plus help and advice at

Open Door Volunteer-run community and arts space on Berkhamsted High Street with a range of activities including creative arts with exhibitions by local artists and the community, yoga and Qigong, Knit and Natter, Mums and Tots, baby signing, and a Memory Cafe for people with dementia and their carers. There’s also a Connections programme aimed at men.

Repair Sheds and Sewing Cafes Run by Community Action Dacorum, the over 50s can join the Repair Shed at Sunnyside Rural Trust in Northchurch, where they can tinker in a shed, make friends and share their lives. To find out about other clubs locally visit our website at to view a digital copy of the Tring magazine.

80 years of service


erkhamsted Rotary has 80 proud years of service in our area. Its Rotary Youth Services Team runs challenging competitions including: Young Chef, Youth Speaks, Technology Tournament, and Young Photographer. It also runs a Musical Instrument Library for young people; a joint venture with Dacorum Music School, and the new Young Musician competition, along with the Dacorum Young Artist. Other projects include Shoeboxes (Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children and adults in Eastern Europe); assistance to young people (such as Swan Youth) and support for school environmental projects. If you’re interested in joining, visit

A Sewing Cafe has been established along similar lines, in Markyate, with the possibility of more locations to follow. Contact tony@communityactiondacorum. or 01442 617630.

Swan Youth Project The ethos of the Swan Youth Project is to provide young people between the ages of 12 and 18 with a safe environment where they can go, find something to do and someone to listen. The after school drop-in time is from 3.30 - 6pm Monday to Friday at the Swan Youth Project Centre at 137-139 High Street Berkhamsted. If you are interested and want to become a member, email

The Canvas Crew The Canvas Crew runs art workshops, clubs and parties for adults and children – in Berkhamsted and online. They’re all about being creative, building confidence and having fun!


GOLD! Forget diamonds - the gardener’s best friend is compost, and with peat-based compounds a no-no, what else can you use?

28 / Berkhamsted Living

This benefits the plants significantly and our weeds are kept under control, so no weed killer needed either! ‘Growing no-dig works for veg plots and flowerbeds alike, so if you are interested in learning more, the current lead in UK no-dig work is Charles Dowding [Monty Don calls him the guru of no-dig gardening].’

What are the alternatives? If you want to buy peat-free compost, you have a few choices: Wood fibre: This includes composted bark, paper waste and sawdust. It offers a low pH and good drainage. Coir: This coconut fibre is a waste product and is mostly imported from Sri Lanka. While it can

Keep an eye out for free compost on offer from Dacorum Council


ll of us are trying to be more organic when it comes to gardening, and with sales of peat-based compost set to be banned from 2024, we might as well be prepared. There really is no reason to wait. Matt Felix, Sunnyside Rural Trust’s site coordinator at Northchurch, says: ‘Here at Sunnyside Rural Trust we attempt a process of hot composting within six large bays. Rapid decomposition takes place at high temperatures, allowing us to use a mix of green and animal (goats, pigs, sheep) waste, layering the compost with equal amounts each week. At the end of each month the compost gets turned into the new bay, leaving the first bay empty for the new waste. This method allows for faster production (six months) of larger amounts of compost to be used in the polytunnels all year round, and is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus and should be weed-free, thanks to the heat created. ‘We then celebrate the ‘No Dig Method’. The principle of no-dig is to not disturb the natural soil any more than the top 5cm, and then apply compost as a mulch rather than digging it in as would happen traditionally.

GARDENS be good at retaining water, it is not so good at retaining nutrients, so be careful to feed your plants as necessary. Green waste: Made by councils and some private companies from the green waste harvested from household waste collections. Keep an eye out for free compost on offer from Dacorum Council.

ferments. It’s a much quicker process - you can see results in just 10 days. CompoSphere Rollable Tumblr: This round bin can be pushed around to help the compost mix together - and can also be rolled out of the way when necessary.

Choosing a compost bin There are all kinds of bins to choose from. And if you have plenty of space in your garden, you have lots of choice. However, if your garden space is limited, here’s a few options... Wormery: If you buy one, it will most likely stand on legs and fit easily on a patio. Brandling worms are kept inside and you get not only rich compost but liquid fertiliser too. Compost bags: Special compost bags are made from a breathable fabric that allows the oxygen to get in. Bokashi bins: Rather than decomposing, the material in these Japanese-developed bins

Recipe for homemade compost Ingredients You need a good mix of green and brown components to make a balanced mix: • Greens: fruit and veg peelings; grass cuttings; coffee grounds; fresh manure; green plant cuttings. • Browns: leaves; hay; straw; shredded paper; cardboard; chopped up woody prunings; eggshells; teabags; sawdust. • Never add: ·whole eggs; cooked meat/bones; fatty food waste; dairy products; dog or cat waste, or treated wood (such as fence panels). Method 1. Find a space that is out of the way. You can use a compost bin if you want. This is advisable if the compost can be easily seen

from the rest of the garden, just because it will look nicer 2. Add waste as and when you have it - try to keep a good mix of green and brown or it will be too wet/too dry. 3. Every so often, check the consistency. If it’s too dry, you can water it with the hose. If it’s too wet, fork in some more matter from the ‘brown’ list. 4. The compost will take at least six months to become the brown, crumbly compost you need. If it is not rotting, you may need to turn it and fork it to add more oxygen. 5. Dig in to borders, or use as a mulch around plants. Use a mix of compost and soil in containers.

Autumn 2021/ 29




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What to look for in your retirement home

y the time you’re thinking about retiring you will probably have done quite a bit of home hunting, but thinking about a retirement home is a different matter. So how to choose? You could choose a retirement village or development. Here, there will be other people of retirement age, there may be a warden on hand for emergencies, and the added bonus of activities and facilities on site. A retirement home or apartment might offer you independent living, and lower running costs, but with fewer added-on facilities. Things to think about… Facilities: If you retire in your late 60s you could have at least another 20 years to enjoy. Your mobility may become affected, so having facilities and activities on tap is useful including beauty salons and hairdressers, cafes and even gyms. There may be activities such as yoga and wine tasting, and even an allotment or gardens to tend.

32 / Berkhamsted Living

Care on tap: Some offer a warden service, others might have someone on call but off-site. You may get round-the-clock care, while others have a programme of variable care, which can increase as and when you require it. You may find developments with an element of nursing care and even facilities for dementia sufferers. Getting out and about: A lovely rural location sounds idyllic, but if you can’t get yourself out and about, you’ll be stuck there. Being close to a nearby town for doctors or hospital


Robert Stringer, of Stringer Mann Chartered Financial Planners in Berkhamsted, is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). He advises that you start considering your retirement accommodation sooner rather than later - it may even be something you look ahead to when you are in your 20s and 30s. But certainly, he says: ‘We often say to people in their 50s and 60s, you need to keep enough money for care. When you are selling your home to buy a retirement home, you should leave enough for service charges and care. Care can cost as much as £1,000 a week, even if it is in your own home. It’s always important to work out what your next step will be. At 80 you may still be quite active, travelling away on holiday etc. By the age of 85 your needs may have changed considerably. ‘People will often come to us too late - when a parent has had a fall or has dementia - to try to work out what the next step will be. Planning is important - make sure you have Powers of Attorney in place too.

At 80 you may still be quite active… by the age of 85 your needs may have changed considerably

Planning ahead

‘We also always advise that you ensure you are getting the help you need. If you have a medical need then care is free at the point of delivery so Continuing Healthcare Assessments are vital. There are benefits such as attendance allowance and registered nursing care contributions too. ‘The most important thing is to get expert advice as early as possible.’

homes are leasehold, and when you sell there can be a lot of paperwork - more than when selling a normal property’. Talking of which, do ensure you update your Will when you move into your retirement home.

appointments may become a more pressing need as you age. Some developments offer a shuttle service into town. Service charges: Most of these developments have a service charge, so do take that into account when working out your finances. This charge will cover maintenance, as well as activities, on-site care, grounds maintenance and so on. Be sure you are clear about exactly what it includes. Selling on: Should you need to go into a nursing home, or when you die, it’s likely you will want your family to sell your home and divide the proceeds as you wish. Be aware that there can be extra charges when this happens it is often called a deferred management charge. Robert Stringer points out that ‘most of these

Autumn 2021 / 33

Love Life and Laughter

Making it in the movies Ever wondered why the National Film Archive ended up in a Hertfordshire market town? We take a look at its story - and what happens there now...


he BFI National Archive is one of the largest film archives in the world. Its history goes back to 1935. At its inception, it was known as the National Film Library, and had a tiny budget and a staff of only two. It became the National Film Archive in 1955, and, in 1992, to reflect the growing amount of television-related material being archived, the National Film and Television Archive. It finally took on the moniker of BFI National Archive in 2006. When the collection began, it was housed at the BFI’s London headquarters, but it became clear that, as it grew, it would need new, dedicated storage space. Films, of course, must be kept away from moisture, heat and strong light if they are to be preserved. So in 1940, a state-of-the-art space was opened in Aston Clinton. In 1968, the archive moved once more, this time to new premises, which became the home for acetate films. Ten years later, a new site in Warwickshire was established to house nitrate films.

34 / Berkhamsted Living

However, according to Robin Baker, head curator at the BFI National Archive, a ‘truly transformative moment for BFI’ happened when John Paul Getty Junior donated cash to the organisation. His generous donation led to the opening, in 1987, of the new, purpose-built J. Paul Getty Jr. Conservation Centre on a 9-acre site in Berkhamsted. This cash injection also allowed the BFI to move to new headquarters in Stephen Street, central London. While the Warwickshire site keeps safe many rare films that are considered highly precious - especially film negatives and highly unstable nitrate film - the Berkhamsted site houses rare films stills, costume and production designs, a huge of collection of films that are still shown in cinemas and much more. The archive is the ‘busiest in the world,’ says Robin, and is the holding place for film stills, 35mm film, and a tape collection along with many associated items related to British

filmmaking - so there’s scripts, business papers and correspondence. Among the cardboard filing boxes is a real treasure for Star Wars fans - the continuity supervisor’s shooting script for something called ‘The Adventures of Luke Starkiller’ by George Lucas. Continuity polaroids, which offer candid photos of the cast/crew on set, and scribbled annotations make this something very special for film geeks. You’ll find scripts and correspondence from films by Alfred Hitchcock, Derek Jarman and David Lean, along with 1.5 million film stills and 20,000 film posters. It is also the location for restoration work. Robin says: ‘It’s been a great location for us and a great local employer. [There are between 80 and 100 colleagues working at the conservation centre.] Many of the people who work for us come straight from school. They learn some very rare skills and of course once they learn those skills, many of them stay with us for a long time.’ And it’s hardly surprising - some of the work must be a film enthusiasts’ dream. ‘They might be working on the original negatives that went through Alfred Hitchcock’s camera. How exciting is that?’ says Robin. The skilled staff work on restoring films. For instance The Epic of Everest, a 1924 documentary about the Mallory and Irvine Mount Everest expedition, once restored, was chosen to be shown at the We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an international online film festival organised during the pandemic. Not everything is so old though - Monty Python legend Terry Gilliam sat in on the restoration work of his 1977 film Jabberwocky, to ensure the 2017 version matched his Seventies ideal. One of the major projects for the archive is transferring video tape into a digital format, explains Robin. ‘In the future there won’t be any machines left to play video on, so there’s a real urgency for this work.’ The archive has ‘world-beating facilities for digitisation’,


allowing the material to be preserved for future generations. The largest part of the national collection is TV. Although the BBC takes care of its own content, the archive preserves the output of ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Of course an archive is never complete. Gems still pop up from the past. The archive has a list of coveted films, believed to be lost. On this list was a 1923 movie entitled Love, Life and Laughter, starring Betty Balfour, known as the ‘British Mary Pickford’. However, the Eye Filmmuseum in the Netherlands actually found it had a copy, which has since been acquired and restored by the BFI. The BFI National Archive also found a tiny film fragment, shot in Technicolor, of another iconic 1920s star - Louise Brookes - from her lost film, American Venus (1926). We gave Robin the hard task of picking out just a few of the most interesting pieces that are stored in the archive. He chose an invitation to Peter Sellers’ first birthday party, production designs from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, and Cecil Beaton’s Academy Award for My Fair Lady. He also describes a letter from US Director William Wyler, explaining how he had seen footage of an unknown actress and was going to cast her in the lead in his next film. The film? Roman Holiday. The actress? Audrey Hepburn.

Visit the BFI National Archive • The archive is usually open (pandemics aside) once a year, to allow the public to get a glimpse of what happens behind its doors, and what the collection includes. Robin says it’s amazing how complex the processes are, and how they mix the analogue world with the latest extraordinary technology. Amazing work going on right on our doorstep! • This year’s open day is on 12 Sept, though booking may have closed by the time you see this. See for details.

Autumn 2021 / 35

Your health doesn’t have to wait

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The latest books from our local and regional authors

The latest reads from our bevy of local authors!

Finding Linda By JH Harris. From, bookshops and Amazon. Out now. This novel introduces young WPC Janice Morton, who is juggling her workload with a desire to uncover the truth about her childhood playmate’s disappearance 10 years earlier. Visit our website to learn more at This is a first-class read and we were hooked from page one. We can’t wait for the next book when Janice Morton returns as a Sergeant. Julie Harris lives in Tring with her husband, working part time at Brian Clark Opticians. Julie belongs to the Tring Writers’ Circle and meets with the members every fortnight.

By Clare Swatman. From Our Bookshop, Tring, other bookshops and Amazon. Out now. Anna is a carer and used to helping older people - but when she meets 94-year-old Grace, she discovers that her charge has plans to help her too. As they share stories of their heartbreak - Anna’s from a recent divorce, and Grace from events during World War II they discover that they have a lot in common, despite the age gap between them. Can they both make peace with the past? Set in and around Lowestoft in Suffolk, where Clare has many happy memories from spending time with her grandparents, this heartwarming story will grab you from the start, as you warm to the two central characters. You might need some tissues at the ready too! Clare Swatman was a journalist for national women’s magazines including Bella, Best and Take a Break – and of course is the former Editor of Tring Living and Berkhamsted Living Magazines! She lives in Berkhamsted with her husband and two boys. She has written two former novels - Before You Go and The Mother’s Secret - and is currently working on her fourth.

Doing One’s Duty By Mike Walsham. From bookshops and Amazon. Out now. Following on from his first book Monique, this is a thrilling tale about the Intelligence Service during World War II. This historical novel follows the exploits of Andrew, who was recruited into the British Secret Intelligence Service in 1939 for his linguistic talents. His missions include joining one of the ‘small ships’ in the evacuation of British Expeditionary Force soldiers out of Dunkirk, and persuading the King of Norway to accept exile in London rather than fight against the Nazis. A fascinating story, which entwines real characters and events into a fictional tale, it is a great read, especially for anyone interested in the history of the Second World War. Mike lives in Ringshall, Little Gaddesden. His first book, Monique, was published in 2020. 42 / Berkhamsted Living

Local authors! Let us know about your book releases. Email

Dear Grace

Self Contained – Scenes from a Single Life By Emma John. From bookshops and Amazon. Out now. Self Contained is about living singly, and was written during the pandemic in a lovely thatched cottage on the canalside in Marsworth, near Tring – a village which Emma says has been an absolute refuge for her, with its reservoirs, fields, footpaths and the kind neighbourly community. Those who have spent any time being single, whether during a pandemic or not will laugh wryly throughout. From the very first page, this book wraps you in a snuggly blanket – the writing style has a warmth and familiarity about it which is oddly comforting. Make yourself a cuppa, sit back, relax and enjoy. Emma is a journalist and author. She was the first woman in the UK to win a Sports Journalism Award.

Progress of a Modern Pilgrim: My Life as an Ambassador of Faith and Film By David Sullivan. From www. progressofamodernpilgrim. com, bookshops and Amazon. Out now. David has lived in Berkhamsted for 24 years. His autobiography follows humanitarian work in North Korea, work in China, acting work on major feature films and TV programmes and a summer in 1969 with the Yanomami South American Native Indian tribe. This is a fascinating insight into one man’s extraordinary life. David’s tales are like a window into another world. You can find out more and purchase your copy at

Autumn 2021 / 43


Please check with the organisers in advance to confirm whether their event will be going ahead. If you would like to include your event in future magazines complete the form at:

Fairs / Festivals: Producing Watercress in Berkhamsted Meet at St Johns Wells Lane HP4 1JQ, 10.30am. Also 16 Sep. Learn what life was like for the watercress families.* Fairs / Festivals: St Peter’s Church and Court House 3pm. Visit the Tudor Court House, a building much altered over the years.* berkhamsted-history.

MONDAY 13 SEP MONDAY 6 SEP Film: Berkhamsted Film Society Berkhamsted Civic Centre, Also Tue 7, Mon 20, Tue 21 Sep. 8pm. Non-members £5 at door. For details of film please visit the website.www.

TUESDAY 7 SEP Travel: Military Veterans day to National Memorial Arboretum Hemel Hempstead Rotary Club, in partnership with Berkhamsted Rotary Club, are arranging a day trip to the National Memorial Arboretum for military veterans. RotaryHemelHempstead Gardens: Ashridge House Garden Tour Available to book every Tuesday at 10am & 1pm. A fascinating tour of the spectacular Grade II* gardens designed by Humphry Repton in 1813. www.ashridgehouse.

WEDNESDAY 8 SEP Sport: Ashridge Golf Day Ashridge Golf Club, A fantastic 18 holes on this prestigious course followed by a delicious three-course meal and live auction in support of the Hospice of St Francis.

THURSDAY 9 SEP Walks: Nature Connection Wellbeing Course Gadebridge Park. 10.30am12.30pm. Free six-week course for adults 18+ in Dacorum. Living with anxiety and low-level mental health conditions. Application by referral from GP, medical or health professional or support worker. uk/natureconnection

FRIDAY 10 SEP Fairs / Festivals: Berkhamsted Foundling Hospital Online event available all week. Two former foundlings

talk about what life was like for the children from 1935-1955.

SATURDAY 11 SEP Fundraisers: Hospice of St Francis Car Boot Sale Dudswell Field, Tring Road, HP4 3TA. £10 car, £13 van (£5 discount for pre-booking). Buyers £2. Seller set-up from 7am, buyer entrance from 8.30am. carbootsales Markets & Sales: Tring Farmers Market Market Place, Brook Street, Tring, 9am-12.30pm. 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. www.tringfarmersmarket. Fairs / Festivals: The Battle of Berkhamsted Common - the Power of the People Meet at car park on B4506 - turning to Aldbury, 10am. A guided tour showing extent of area proposed for enclosure by Lord Brownlow and its background history. * Fairs / Festivals: Lost Wharves of Berkhamsted Meet at Old Mill House Hotel London Road HP4 2BN. 10am. Also 15 Sep. Guided tour of yesterday’s canal, highlighting the former industrial activity and the importance of canals in the growth and development of the town.* Music: Nikki Iles Trio Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, 8.30pm. Berkhamsted Jazz first concert of 2021/22 Season.

SUNDAY 12 SEP Fairs / Festivals: BFI Film & Television Archive Open Day BFI National Archive, Berkhamsted, 10.30am-4pm. See the specialist skills, technology and vaults preserving the film and TV heritage of the nation. Pre-booking essential. visiting/event/bfi-filmtelevision-archive

Fairs / Festivals: Amersfort Amersfort Hall, Potten End, HP4 2QF, 10am and 2.30pm. A fine Arts and Craft house, with a garden designed by Ernest Willmott and planted by Gertude Jekyll. Guided tour of the gardens.* Walks: A Walk Back in Time White Hill HP4 1LJ, 2pm. Also 16 Sep. Guided Tour of Berkhamsted’s Historic Centre which points out significant buildings and events of the town.* berkhamsted-history.

WEDNESDAY 15 SEP Business: BDCC Champagne Networking Breakfast Berkhamsted Cricket Club, 7.15-9.30am. £15 members, £20 non-members. www.

THURSDAY 16 SEP Fairs / Festivals: Berkhamsted’s West End Poverty and Industry Meet at Sacred Heart Church Park St HP4 1HX, 6pm. Also 10.30am 18 Sep. Learn about the less well known history of Berkhamsted.* Walks: Wild Gin Tasting Tring Reservoirs, 7-10pm. An evening visit to Wilstone Reservoir Nature Reserve, learning about the amazing nocturnal bat, followed by gin tasting at Puddingstone Distillery. www.

FRIDAY 17 SEP Fairs / Festivals: A Walk in the Past - Berkhamsted Place, successor to the Castle Meet at top of Castle Hill, 10am. Also 2pm 18 Sep. Experience something of the grandeur and ambiance of what remains of this Royal Mansion House. *

SATURDAY 18 SEP Fairs / Festivals: Climate Action Berkhamsted To 26 Sep. Take part in the Great

Big Green Week, a UK wide celebration of action on climate change. climate-action-berkhamsted Fairs / Festivals: Chilterns Heritage Festival To 3 Oct. A series of exciting events across the region, designed to celebrate the diverse heritage of the Chilterns. heritage-festival/ Markets & Sales: Berkhamsted Farmers Market High Street, Berkhamsted, 10am-2pm. berkofm

SUNDAY 19 SEP Sport: MKFM Tour de Vale Bike Ride Transform lives by taking part in Buckinghamshire’s biggest charity bike ride. Walks: The Berkhamsted Walk A 12-mile walk designed to raise money for The Children’s Society. www. Travel: Winchester Cathedral Flower Show Masons mini bus and coach hire. £35pp. A stunning array of flower arrangements inspired by the magnificent Winchester Bible. www.masonscoachhire. Fairs / Festivals: Visit to working watercress beds HP1 2BS, 11am. A rare opportunity to see a working watercress bed from start to finish, a familiar site in Victorian England.*

WEDNESDAY 22 SEP Business: Tring Together Netwalking 9am. For those who find breakfast meetings too early and evenings too difficult to get to, join BusinessMart (Tring’s biggest business networking group) and walk around Tring Park whilst you network. Dogs welcome. Register via email. Arts & Crafts: Berkhamsted Live Goes Green Berkhamsted celebration of Great Big Green Week showcasing music from indie/ folk band The Devines plus ‘Climate Justice/Eco Testimonies’ by John Bell, Raeeka Yassale & Sue Hampton. www. uk/great-big-green-week

SATURDAY 25 SEP Fairs / Festivals: Herts Bigger Weekend Hertfordshire’s biggest celebration of the year gives you the opportunity to enjoy all that our county has to offer. Exhibitions: Tring And District Model Railway Club Exhibition Pitstone Memorial Hall LU7 9EY. 10.15am-4.30pm. There will be layouts in various scales from the small N gauge up to the large G scale suitable for use in gardens. www. Music: Nine Below Zero Blues Bar, Tring. 8pm.

FRIDAY 1 OCT Exhibitions: The Virtual Art Shop To 31 Oct. Free online art exhibition showcasing paintings, prints, jewellery and glassware from local artists. Sales from the site raise money for the Chilterns MS Centre. Talks: Corsets and codpieces - a study of tudor underwear By video conference, 7.15pm. Speaker Dr Nic Fulcher. Music: Head Hunters Blues Band Blues Bar, Tring. 8pm.

SATURDAY 2 OCT Markets & Sales: Berkhamsted Book Fair Court House, Berkhamsted, 10am-4pm. 01442 862011 Music: Slim Chance Blues Bar Tring, 8pm. Music: Matt Skelton’s Blackhawk Band Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, 8.30pm.

MONDAY 4 OCT Film: Berkhamsted Film Society Berkhamsted Civic Centre, Also Tue 5, Mon 18, Tue 19, Mon 25, Tue 26. 8pm. Non-members £5 at door. For details of film please visit the website. www.

SATURDAY 9 OCT Arts & Crafts: Festival of Arts and Crafts St Mary’s Church, Ivinghoe. Also Sun 10. To celebrate the church’s 800th anniversary. Live music and refreshments. holycross.allsaints

Markets & Sales: Tring Farmers Market Market Place, Brook Street, Tring, 9am-12.30pm. 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. www.tringfarmersmarket. Music: Engegard Quartet Berkhamsted Civic Centre, 7.30pm, £16. www.

THURSDAY 14 OCT Music: Alex Hamilton Band Blues Bar, Tring. 8pm.

SUNDAY 17 OCT Markets & Sales: Berkhamsted Farmers Market High Street, Berkhamsted, 10am-2pm. www.facebook. com/berkofm

THURSDAY 21 OCT Music: East West Maxwell Street Blues Bar, Tring. 8pm.

SATURDAY 23 OCT Music: OMG A Night at the Musicals Starring the Tring Together Big Band. 7pm at Nora Grace Hall. There will be hot food and snacks. Pre-booking is essential.

SATURDAY 30 OCT Music: Georgia Mancio Trio Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, 8pm.

MONDAY 1 NOV Film: Berkhamsted Film Society Berkhamsted Civic Centre, Also Tue 2, Mon 15, Tue 16. 8pm. Non-members £5 at door. For details of film please visit the website. www.

WEDNESDAY 3 NOV Travel: Blackpool Illuminations Masons mini bus and coach hire. From £166pp. To 5 Nov.

FRIDAY 5 NOV Talks: West Wycombe Park and the Dashwoods By video conference, 7.15pm. Speaker Peter Hague. Fairs / Festivals: Tring Book Festival From 5 to 14 November taking place at the Court Theatre and High Street Baptist Church.

Visit the website for details.


SATURDAY 6 NOV Fairs / Festivals: Berkhamsted Town Fireworks A charitable event taking place at Berkhamsted Cricket Club. Fairs / Festivals: Tring Festival of Fire A charity event taking place at Tring Park Cricket Club, and raising money to support sport in the local community.

Join us for the 22nd Graham Greene International Festival


30th Sept – 3rd Oct ’21

Full Logo


Preferred application of logo (green/charcoal-on-white);

2. Alternative application of the Full Logo (white on green);

this application may be used on all on-screen and printed

this application may be used for stand-out print media,

media. This GG monogram reduces Graham Greene’s

such as cover pages or business cards. Due to its

initals into a single icon, a visual summary of the wider

heavy colour use, this version is only to be printed

branding. The ‘Graham Greene’ lettering is a modified

by professional printers (not in-house).

version of the classic typeface Georgia Bold, and the tagline is the modern version of Neue Haas Grotesk. 1

SUNDAY 7 NOV Fairs / Festivals: Berkhamsted Book Festival Berkhamsted Town Hall, 10am-6pm. There will be children’s and adult authors and a mixture of author’s readings, panels and Q&A sessions.

THURSDAY 11 NOV Music: The Hitman Blues Band Blues Bar, Tring. 8pm.

Talks on:

What makes Greene ‘A Good Read’



The Captain and the Enemy (William Boyd)

Fairs / Festivals: Christmas PART 3: EXAMPLES at Waddesdon Waddesdon Manor. Wed-Sun 12noon-7.30pm to 3 Jan. Markets & Sales: Tring 1 Farmers Market Market Place, Brook Street, Tring, 9am-12.30pm. 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. www.tringfarmersmarket. Music: Roscoe Piano Trio V . 1Civic . 0 0 Centre, Berkhamsted 7.30pm, £16. www.


Business: BDCC Champagne Networking Breakfast Berkhamsted Cricket Club, 7.15-9.30am. £15 members; £20 non-members. www.berkhamsted-chamber.

... ...

A musical version of Our Man in Havana

Screenings of: The Stranger’s Hand starring Trevor Howard


The Power and the Glory starring Laurence Olivier

Festival venues:

Berkhamsted Town Hall


Berkhamsted Civic 01234 123Centre 123



Music: Richard Pite Band Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, 8pm. Tribute to Keith Nicholls.

Deans’ Hall and the Old Hall Berkhamsted School


SUNDAY 21 NOV Markets & Sales: 6 Berkhamsted Farmers Market High Street, Berkhamsted, 10am-2pm.www.facebook.


The new biography by Richard Greene

* All Heritage Open Days events are free of charge. Booking is essential.

01234 123 123


PITSTONE HILL This walk is about 3.5 miles long. An easy stretch for a Sunday afternoon. 1. Starting from Pitstone Memorial Hall car park go across the recreation ground to the roundabout and turn right up Marsworth Road towards the village. After about 200 yards take the smaller gate on your right into the permissive footpath surrounding the allotments. Do not enter the allotment site. 2. Follow this path round until you come to a farm track. Turn left and follow the track straight up until you reach the road by the Silver Birch. Beware that this path can be muddy in parts in the winter. 3. Cross the road taking great care. Cross the narrow field on the permissive footpath. Go through the hole in the hedge and turn left onto Footpath 7. (see website) 4. Continue on this footpath over a stile, across the field entrance and round to your right, parallel with Stocks Road and continue up the hill. 5. When you reach the top of this path go through the gate and turn right. Follow the wide path till you reach the well-trodden path coming down from the top of the hill (Piccadilly). Turn right here and climb up to the highest point. On your way note the overgrown copse on your right. This is the AA wood planted in the 1950s by members of

the AA with neither permission nor plan for maintenance. Also note a dug-out pocket beside the path to your right. This is the Pitstone Home Guard gun emplacement from World War II! 6. Admire the view from the highest point including All Saints, Leighton Buzzard to your right and the County Council building in Aylesbury to your left. 7. When you reach a post with a blue arrow bear right and follow the path downwards until you reach the gate into Aldbury Nowers. Do not go through the gate. 8. Turn down the hill, which is quite steep at this point. Go straight on through the gate onto the footpath going down the side of the quarry. After you have been through the metal barrier at the bottom turn right to walk on a footpath parallel with the road. 9. At the end cross onto the road near the roundabout. Take care here and make your way across the roundabout and along Westfield Road. 10. Follow the Footpath sign across the quarry to Church Road. At the end of Church Road turn left and follow Vicarage Road back to the Memorial Hall. With thanks to Pitstone Parish Council.




As a new term starts this month, our crossword from Ian Bateman has a back-to-school theme. Will you come top of the class?

Down 1

2 3 4 5

6 7 8

13 14 15 16 18 21

Across 10 11 12 13

Headless spring is less than a pound (5) Support a really extreme school (9) Decimalisation of 9 to ruin school (7) Force to go through school (7) Held breath and played innings - with less time in the middle (5)

15 Spies in America or China, oddly (3) 16 School winter runner (3) 17 Persuasive with this gift (3) 19 Head pours me cocktail (7) 20 Attorney by the end of primary school! (3) 23 An attempt previously (3)

24 School is even about final grades (3) 25 Cobblers make these spirits heard (5) 27 School health check (7) 29 A reeve is confused by black widow (7) 32 There’s only one Valerie! (9) 33 Even holier behind church school (5)


26 28 29 30 31

Crossword Answers - Across: 9 Ounce, 10 Secondary, 11 Grammar, 12 Subject, 13 Bated, 15 CIA, 16 Ski, 17 Gab, 19 Supremo, 20 Day, 23 Ago, 24 Bus, 25 Soles, 27 Medical, 29 Bereave, 32 Singleton, 33 Choir. Down: 1 Song, 2 Infant, 3 Term, 4 User, 5 Ice skaters, 6 Snub, 7 Game bird, 8 Syntax, 13 Bag, 14 Disco, 15 Capability, 16 Shoes, 18 Boarding, 21 Yes, 22 Mimosa, 26 Lead on, 28 Cult, 29 Band, 30 Rock, 31 Earl.


Very ends of finishing school (4) Loud worker next to trendy school (6) School period (4) Employer to manipulate rule (4) Winter olympians mistakenly race ski set (3,7) Slight roll over (4) Grouse or badger I’m stewing (4,4) Nasty disorder leads to unknown arrangement of words (6) School secured scuba gear (3) School record goes to Oscar (5) Brown landscape designer has aptitude (10) Small weeds at school (5) Hog damage to motor school... (8) ...Surely the old sow started? (3) Champagne cocktail makes imam so drunk (6) Request to guide gull (4,2) Apprentice adopted by lower sect... (4) ...School bishop as well (4) Spacecraft loses alien jewel (4) Noble appreciation for music lost (4)




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I genuinely do read and enjoy Tring Living and I think it’s definitely the best way to reach our target market in the local area. Beth Roberts, Little Kits, Tring

07585 007109 Advertising and leaflet inserts in both the Tring and Berkhamsted Living magazines has consistently been one, if not the best routes to new markets we’ve found. Working with Alison and her team is something we’re looking forward to doing over the months and years to come. Tom Beeston, Chiltern Society








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22 November 2021


07 March 2022

Our Kit Heath Bee pendant flourished in the Spring magazine, thank you so much for featuring it for us. Charlotte Hewitt, Bailey & Sons, Berkhamsted

It is really important, especially in these difficult times, that the businesses who advertise in our magazine understand where their enquiries come from. If you contact someone or make an enquiry, please help us both by mentioning Living Magazines. It’s just a little thing, but a really important one. We need you to help us continue to make Tring and Berkhamsted Living magazines the great local resources they are now. If you contact an advertiser, please help us by letting them know that you saw their advert/ details in this magazine. Thank you.



LOCAL ESSENTIALS Need a number in a hurry? Keep this page handy Visit our website for more essential services and telephone numbers including opticians, dental surgeries and vets for Berkhamsted www.livingmags. info/berkhamsted-essential-services

Defibrillator machines in the town

centre can be found by The Civic Centre, 161 High Street, Berkhamsted HP4 3HD. For a full list of defibrillators in the east of England, visit our website using the above link.

HEALTH Hemel Hempstead Hospital & Urgent Care Centre (Open 24/7) Hillfield Road, Hemel Hempstead HP2 4AD. 01442 213141 Late Night Pharmacy Open until 10.30pm 7 days a week 172 Tring Road, Bedgrove, Aylesbury HP20 1JR. 01296 432 696

ADDITIONAL USEFUL NUMBERS Police Emergency 999 Police Non-Emergency 101 NHS Medical Advice Line 111 Samaritans Call free from any phone on 116 123 Child Line For free and confidential help for young people: 0800 1111



0300 123 4050 or visit 30/31 to Hemel Hempstead via Ashridge, the Gaddesdens and Potten End (not Sun) 354 to Northchurch (not Sun) 354 to Chesham (not Sun) 500/501 to Aylesbury via Tring 500/501 to Watford via Hemel Hempstead 502/532 to Northchurch via Sportspace (not Sun) 502/532 to Hemel Hempstead via Potten End

Community Action

This service provides older or disabled people who have difficulties in using public transport safe, reliable and accessible transport to a local supermarket. 01442 253935 or visit www. Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday morning of each month to Waitrose, Berkhamsted.


London Northwestern Railway 0333 3110039 or visit to download the operator’s app To London Euston via Hemel Hempstead and Watford Junction To Northampton via Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes Southern Railway 0345 1272920 or 0208 1850778 from a mobile, or visit To Milton Keynes via Leighton Buzzard To South Croydon via Watford, Olympia and Clapham Junction

50 / Berkhamsted Living


Getting you there


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Berkhamsted Bovingdon Wigginton Aldbury Tring Potten End & all surrounding areas SERVING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

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Berkhamsted Living - Autumn 2021  

Look after yourself as the evenings get longer. We’re encouraging our readers to get out and make friends at some of our local groups and so...

Berkhamsted Living - Autumn 2021  

Look after yourself as the evenings get longer. We’re encouraging our readers to get out and make friends at some of our local groups and so...

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