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…with Carol Vorderman She’s known for healthy eating, but in a moving interview Carol reveals how the stress of leaving Countdown led her to comfort eat – but now she’s back, ﬁtter than ever
By Nick McGrath
hink of Carol Vorderman and the chances are you’ll think ‘super slim, very attractive and a whizz with numbers’. But after Countdown it all seemed to be falling apart for her as she turned to comfort eating to cope with the stress – putting on a stone. But with typical Carol determination she fought back and shifted the weight. Now she’s back on top with a real passion for life. “Yes it’s true, I’m deﬁnitely more passionate about everything in my life today than I was ten years ago,” says Carol, who publishes her autobiography, It All Counts, in October. But the memory of those difﬁcult days when she turned to chocolate
are still very much with her. Carol, who relinquished presenting duties on the Channel 4 quiz show last year after 26 unbroken years, talks frankly about that time. “I was very, very stressed about the situation and I did put on about a stone,” says Carol, whose Detox For Life diet book has sold more than a million copies. “I was so tired I couldn’t sleep and I was the heaviest I had been for years. “I’m normally a very healthy eater and I consume more than my fair share of vegetables and fruit, but I know I’m on a downwards spiral if I start to eat chocolate every day, and that’s what happened last year. “We’re not talking vast quantities, but I could notice the difference. I’ve got my ‘trying-on,’ clothes I use for gauging my weight and if I get into them, I’m know I’m OK. If I don’t, I know something’s up. I never weigh myself, though. I haven’t weighed
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myself for years. I think it’s a very negative thing to do and it can become obsessive. People think, ‘Ooooh, no, I’ve put on a pound or two,’ and they’ll check the scales before breakfast, after lunch and then in the evening. Fast forward seven months and demonstrating the selfdisciplined willpower that has earned the twice-divorced mother-of-two from Prestatyn a small fortune, an MBE and a place in the nation’s hearts, Carol has shed the weight and is feeling more positive about the future. And the transformation is clearly a weight off her mind, as well as her body. “I’ve pretty much lost all that weight and without the ﬁlming and travelling commitments that Countdown brought, I feel healthier than I have in years. “I’m eating better, ﬁnding more time to exercise and generally noticing a massive positive change in my health. “I’m 50 next year and you do become very conscious of how things change. And they can change quite rapidly in your mid 40s and 50s, particularly for a woman, for obvious reasons. Carol’s willingness to take personal responsibility for her own health makes her the perfect candidate to front a new initiative by Lloyds Pharmacies called the Neighbourhood Health Watch scheme. The idea is that rather than face health issues alone – an increasingly serious issue for hundreds of thousands of people over 50 affected by divorce, bereavement or immobility – joining forces with your neighbours to talk about your problems will strengthen your resolve. The strategy is being piloted in the three British cities with the gravest health problems, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham and, if it proves
‘I was very, very stressed about the Countdown situation’
effective, the long-term plan is to roll it out all over the country. “It’s a way of saying that you don’t have to do it alone, we’ll give you some help and we’ll put you together with people who also want to conquer their health issues,” says Carol, who is recruiting 50 volunteers in each of the cities to take part in the trial. “Whether it’s losing weight, giving up fags or just getting ﬁtter, the idea is that by setting goals with similarly motivated people, the inclination to give up will diminish rapidly and that’s exactly what the initial research has shown so far. It’s all about giving people a greater chance to break their bad habits.” Participating branches of Lloyds will provide advice and test patients’ cholesterol, BMI and blood sugar levels, also suggesting steps to combat existing problems and tackle potential ones. And Carol also hopes it will act as a catalyst to reverse the increasing Americanisation of Britain’s health. “Unlike many other countries in Europe, we seem to be following the lead of the Americans and Britain’s obesity problem is getting more serious every year. “I’m not here to provide the
answers, but I think it’s largely to do with our habits; watching too much TV, eating junk food and not doing enough exercise. “And the national schizophrenia over weight in this country doesn’t help, either. On the one hand, you’ve got anorexically thin stars being trumpeted as glamorous and fabulous in the papers the next day, while we’ve got an increasing number of morbidly obese people trapped in a destructive cycle of seeking solace in fatty, sugary foods which just exacerbates their problems. “And the Government haven’t helped either by providing mixed messages. On one hand, they urge people to drink less, but on the other they encourage 24-hour drinking. It’s unbelievable. “But underlying all that I believe is that we’re starting to come up with excuses not to do things. Not genuine reasons, but excuses.” It’s a mentality alien to Carol and, as she approaches 50, she intends to make the most of every minute. “I’ve had one period of my life and now I’m looking forward to what comes next. It won’t be the same, but I don’t want it to be. I’ve done that. Bring on the future.” // See www.lloydspharmacy.com/ neighbourhoodhealthwatch for more information.
carol shares a secreT I live with my mother, Edwina, and I always have. She’s 81 now, and she’s beaten cancer twice, but I don’t spend time speculating about my future health. If something does happen, then I’ll deal with it. I’m not going to spend time worrying about it now. YOURS // EVERY FORTNIGHT
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Are you sure you’re safe to drive? Ex-racing driver Stirling Moss (79) says motorists should be retested at 70, 75 and 80 because the roads have changed dramatically since they learned
PIcS: alamY; PaUl caRTER/UNP;; cHRIS BUll/UNP
By Ellie Guttridge and Jo Mears
overnment projections suggest that by 2021 there will be three million motorists over 70 on the nation’s roads. And, although they must renew their driving licences every three years, it is estimated only 10 per cent of them ever declare any impairment that might put their driving at risk. From last September, the General Medical Council issued draft guidance tightening up on doctors’ duty to report unﬁt drivers to the DVLA, raising
questions of patient conﬁdentiality. They had previously been only ‘advised’ to notify cases such as poor eyesight, or risk of ﬁts or heart attacks. And the DVLA has considered written cognitive tests for over-75s, although a trial of 200 drivers in Wales failed to prove that these were linked with accident risk in any useful way. The good news is that UK road accident statistics are falling year by year. And, according to the Department of Transport and several surveys, older drivers are no worse than any other group for causing death
and injury to other road users. The AA motoring organisation does not support an age restriction for older drivers, and says steps are being taken to improve older driver safety by making road signs clearer in future. “If you are going to tell elderly people they are more likely to kill themselves driving, you will also have to tell them there are similar risks for taking buses,” said a spokesman. “Older people are more frail and more likely to be killed in road accidents, but they are not posing a danger to others.” This Morning’s Denise Robertson, (75), who has linked up with windscreen repairer Autoglass to offer safety tips to drivers of all ages, says: “A dangerous driver is a dangerous driver, whether 20 or 70. Older people’s physical ability varies widely and is not really just dependent on age, so regular health checks are a good idea. “I am generally a pretty ﬁt and a safe driver, but I was told by an optician in my 40s that I needed distance glasses – something I wouldn’t have realised without a check.” A new survey from Autoglass reveals
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big debate ✽ PUTTING SAFETY FIRST
As the number of drivers over the age of 70 increases, so does the call for the need to retest elderly motorists
For retesting // Amanda CollingwoodPrince (36), from Rustington, West Sussex, has campaigned for regular tests for older drivers since an 82-yearold woman motorist ploughed into her twoyear-old daughter Madi ﬁve years ago. Her buggy was crushed and little Madi left disﬁgured and brain damaged. “We all have a duty to take the car keys off elderly people if they’re a danger on the roads. Don’t wait for an accident to happen. Madi had her whole life ahead of her. She had to have part of her brain removed and has been left
with behavioural problems. “Elderly drivers must have regular tests to check they are safe to drive. If the law isn’t changed, more people will be killed. Some elderly drivers are excellent, but others can’t see that they’re unsafe. “As we age, our reactions slow. There are numerous us examples of elderly people hitting the accelerator instead of the brake and ploughing into walls. s. It’s sometimes just pure luck that somebody hasn’t been hurt. Yet so often that driver
‘Elderly drivers must have regular tests’
is allowed to continue to drive. “When younger drivers are arrested for dangerous driving, they are made to retake their tests, yet elderly drivers are rarely made to. I just can’t see the sense in it.”
Amanda and inset daughter Madi, left brain damaged after an n elderly motorist hit her buggy
Against retesting 72 per cent of people are concerned about elderly relatives and friends driving as they age. More than half would welcome advice on staying safe on the road. But managing director Neil Doggett says that although the top three concerns were eyesight, reaction times and nervousness, these are concerns for all drivers and the focus on older people is misplaced. “We are living longer and staying active much later in life, so the focus should be on how we can help drivers of all ages to stay safe on the roads and not by penalising the over-70s by asking them to retest,” he said. // For more tips, contact Brake, the road safety charity. Call 01484 559909 or visit www.brake.org.uk // For information, or to book a RoSPA Experienced Driver Assessment, tel 0121 248 2127 or see www.rospa.com/ drivertraining. This is not a test, but an objective and conﬁdential assessment of your skills from an experienced driver, with tips for improvement if required. It costs £35, plus VAT, and lasts an hour in your own car and local area.
// Helen MacDonald, (78), a retired GP from Stockport, passed her driving test at 23. She hasn’t had an accident in more than 25 years. “I’m not in favour of compulsory retests because I believe most drivers know when the time comes to stop and doctors are much more aware of their role at advisingg
older patients about the risks. Compulsory driving tests would be a disproportionate response. “Some local authorities and other organisations run voluntary assessment courses which offer objective advice about your driving and will tell you if they think you should stop. “I recently took a Royal Society for the Prevention Pre Accidents of A (RoSPA) driving (Ro assessment ass because I was bec worried about my wo reactions slowing rea
down. I was relieved to be told my driving was safe. “The roads have changed since I started driving, but it is a gradual change that you adapt to. I do a lot of driving, but I am well aware that I can’t drive for long stints like I did when I was young. I also keep up with all my eye and health tests. “I would be a menace on the roads if I didn’t drive regularly. It’s a skill that is important to maintain with regular practice, but there is no reason why I should be made to take a test just because of my age.”
‘Most drivers know when it’s time to stop’
Helen MacDonald, 78
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My lessons from
The actress Honor Blackman (83), best known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, tells us how a birthday present led to the creation of her trademark seductive voice If you love what you do, don’t stop I’m very fortunate in that I love what I do for a living. For me, everything I do is a new challenge – like releasing a single at the age of 83! Work is fun and I can’t imagine retiring – I’d be so bored. I’m sure if I did a different job where I was on my feet all day I might want to retire, but I’d still like to be busy and active.
Children are precious One of the highest points of my life was the arrival of both my children. My husband and I were unable to have children naturally, so we adopted my daughter Lottie and son Barnaby. It was a huge thrill when they arrived t ar
in my life. Mind you I’m sure they’d say I was an awful parent, because I had to work and go away from them for a lot of time. But I had to make a choice either go to work or let them starve! In a way I think it was good for me to work because my children got to see me as an individual and not just their mother.
Grandchildren can teach you so much I have four wonderful grandchildren all under six. I love seeing them as often as I can. Even if I go just a week without seeing them, they advance so much and I don’t want to miss out. I’m the queen of storytelling and they love telling me all the
WH HAT MADE YOU W O T E LIK WHO H YOU ARE TODAY? ASK… For my m 16th birthday, my father
offered me m the choice to either have a bicycle or elocution lessons. I chose the lessons. Growing up in Plaistow, Newh am, I had a Cockney accent and back in those days, you only got far in life if you spo ke well. If I had chosen the bike, who kno ws how my life might have turned out!
things they’ve learnt. My eldest grandson is really into dinosaurs and animals and it’s fascinating to have him teach me things I never knew about lions and tigers.
Living alone can be wonderful I’ve been married twice and divorced twice. I live alone and have done so for many years. I’m very happy being independent. I don’t want to have to worry about someone else and their needs. I’m selﬁsh and I like it this way!
You’re as young as you feel I really don’t feel my age – I don’t think anyone does. As we get older we developed more common sense, but we certainly don’t grow old on the inside. People tend to say I look good for my age; I don’t really know why. I take care of myself, eat well and exercise, but I think
it’s also got a lot to do with how you view life. Thinking positively and trying not to worry about things that will never come to pass is not easy, but probably good for you.
You can learn from bad times In some ways I had a happy childhood, but my father was extremely strict with me. There were a few waves of fear that regularly went through our family. But I believe that it taught me selfdiscipline and actually made me stronger as a person.
Never take things for granted Despite being an actress for many years now, I haven’t forgotten how depressing a period of unemployment can be. Even now, if I’ve not been working for just two weeks I’ll say to my family ‘that’s it, I’ll never work again’. My children just laugh and tell me to stop being so silly!
// Honor’s single, The Star Who Fell From Grace, is out now. She was talking to Claire Williams. YOURS // EVERY FORTNIGHT
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PICS: SCOPE FEATURES
eatliketheGreeks FillinguponfoodslovedbytheGreeks couldhelpyoutoreduceyourriskof diabetesby83percentand cancerby12percent,saysa studyinthebritishMedical Journal.Adietofbeans, peas,lentils,vegetables, wholegrainbread,olive oilandoilyﬁshcould reducetheriskof Alzheimer’s,too.
bootsoffersadiscreet waytodealwitherectile dysfunction(eD)suffered byoneintenbritish men.In29storesthey cangetadvicefrom trainedpharmacists.An initialscreening(£55) includesbloodpressure, cholesterolandblood glucosechecks.Call 08450708090foryour nearestparticipatingstore.
Getmoving!uSscientistshavefound thatpeoplewhositformostoftheirday havehighermortalityratesthanpeople whomovedmore–eveniftheywere regularexercisers.Thescientistsfound thatthemoretimeyouspendsitting duringthedaythemoreyoushould makeanefforttomoveinyourspare time,ifyouwanttolivelonger.
Carrotcruncher Cook your carrots whole to give you even more cancerﬁghting beneﬁts. Scientists at Newcastle University have found that boiling your carrots before cutting them up preserves 25 per cent more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol. Chopping up your carrots increases their surface area so more nutrients leak out into the water when you’re cooking. Crunching your carrots raw preserves even Goingup more vitamins and minerals. We love them dunked in a garlicky yogurt dip. BBQ SALMON Grill salmon or tuna on your summer barbecue as eating oily ﬁsh twice a week can slow the rate of age related macular degeneration.
SKIPPING SUNCREAM Don’t forget to slap on the sun cream even in the UK: 68 per cent ignore the risk of skin cancer and omit to put it on.
YOUR068-33-37 HEALTH.indd 33
of people over 60 would eat dairy products up to three days past their use by date – despite the risk Research from Food of listeria.* *Standards Agency
HEALT P CHECK-U Ifyou’reoneofthe Ifyou’reoneofthe 52percentofpeople intheuKwithback in the uK with back pain,trySevenSeas ComfrelieveCream (£6.84/50g)from boots.Astudyinthe britishJournalof SportsMedicinefound itsanti-inﬂammatory beneﬁtscouldreduce theintensityofback painby95percent.
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MORE HEALTH, DIET AND WELL-BEING NEWS
Yours 50+ x ‘I’m looking for ﬁ n o i h s a F
the perfect jacket’
By Rebecca Speechley
Carol Cartwright, 64
Carol says: “I’ll be 65 this year, but I certainly don’t feel it. I have a lot of friends in their 40s and 50s and we love to go out dancing. We do rock ’n’ roll, ceroc and jive – it’s a great way to stay ﬁt and have fun. But knowing what to wear can be tricky. I love jeans and heels and to make them look smart I’m always on the hunt for jackets – but it can be tricky in the summer. “I love getting ready to go out – I plan my outﬁts and take ages getting glammed up – it’s all part of the fun. Hannah gives me lots of fashion tips, but I’m always nervous that I might be too old for some of the trends. I recently bought a pair of ballerina ﬂats that just didn’t look right on me, so I gave them to her. I think I’ll stick to my heels, they always make my outﬁts feel complete.
My fashion dilemma: I’d love to ﬁnd a really great ﬁtted jacket that I could wear with jeans and heels when I go out with my friends. My worry is: That I’m not wearing age-appropriate clothes – it’s hard to know what I can get away with. I’m addicted to... heels: My 17-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, has the same size feet as me. She’s always encouraging me to be fashionable and loves to steal my shoes.
WORDS REBECCA SPEECHLEY, STYLIST PIP EDWARDS, HAIR AND MAKE-UP OLIVIA FERRER, PHOTOGRAPHY RUTH JENKINSON
My favourite fashion memory: At 18 I loved mini skirts – the shorter the better – much to my mother’s despair.
Worn with jeans and a pretty top, jackets can look stylish. To make your look more fashionable, simply add a belt. It will show off your shape, or give you curves where you don’t have any. It is a fashion trend, but it
isn’t so youthful that you’ll look like mutton dressed as lamb. Try adding pretty brooches or a ﬂoral corsage to your lapel to customise your jacket if belts aren’t your thing.
Get the look: Lilac and grey ﬂoral top, £20, sizes 10-20, Vanilla Sands at Bhs; purple ﬁtted jacket, £15, sizes 8-20, Primark; grey trousers, £22, sizes 10-20, Vanilla Sands at Bhs; silver sandals, £25, sizes 3-8, Kaleidoscope; silver necklace and earring set, £10, Allusions at Bhs; cream snakeskin belt, £5, Florence & Fred at Tesco
Stockists: Allusions at Bhs 01277 844438; Bhs 0845 196 0000; Florence and Fred at Tesco 0800 505 555; Kaleidoscope 0844 556 4100; Primark 0118 960 6300
plan Our 5-step rescue p
Jackets are a great wardrobe staple and an ideal way to dress up your jeans. Whatever your shape you can ﬁnd one to suit you. Avoid anything double-breasted or with shoulder pads if you’re not slim because they will add bulk to your frame and look old fashioned. Single-breasted d styles with a ﬁtted shape help to cinch in your waist and skim any lumps and bumps. Look for jackets with shorter sleeves for a summery twist.
“Although I think I look quite good in the clothes I wear, I’d love someone to tell me if the things I love, such as jeans, jackets and heels are age-appropriate. “I feel young at heart, but I don’t want to look like I’m trying to dress like a teenager, or my worst nightmare, to end up looking like a frumpy old woman. Can you help?”
Knowing whether your clothes are appropriate for your age can be difﬁcult. There are no rules that say, ‘after 50 you cannot wear short skirts or sleeveless tops’, but to look chic and stylish, dress according to yourr
body shape. Carol has a lovely b slim s frame and toned arms for f a short-sleeved jacket. If you’re more self-conscious y about your arms, wear a long a sleeved top in a co-ordinating s colour underneath, or choose c a jacket with full or threequarter length sleeves. q
Keep your look youthful by choosing classic styles in great colours. Over 50s often stick to black, brown and
beige, which can look drab and be ageing. Carol looks great in this soft heathery mauve; it lifts her skin tone and brightens her face. In summer go for rosy pinks, dusky blues or, for a classic look, nautical navy and red. If you’re nervous about colour, start gently with brighter accessories such as a string of beads or a vibrant bag.
If you feel too old for jeans, try drill cotton trousers like Carol’s. They Th have a less formal cut than th smart slacks, but offer a slightly more classic, grown-up slig look loo than jeans. They’re just as versatile, though, and can be ve dressed up with heels for the dr evening or down with ﬂats for ev daytime. M&S and Wallis have da a good range of similar styles. g
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8 BEAUTY E CHALLENG
We know it takes time to really see the beneﬁt of some anti-ageing products. So we’ve asked real women to put the beauty companies’ claims to the test for a full eight weeks... PRODUCT: Clarins Bust Beauty Firming Lotion £32.50/50ml TESTER: Yvonne George (71) from Hertfordshire THE BEAUTY CLAIM: This
ﬁrming lotion is packed with special ingredients that work to replenish and tone the bust and help prevent skin slackening. It also contains pomegranate to smooth and vitamin B5 to hydrate your skin. Great for use after intense sun exposure, too.
“I love this outﬁt – it’s perfect for summer nights out.” Do you want a new look?
If you have a fashion problem you’d like us to ﬁx, please write to us, enclosing a recent picture of yourself, with your name, age and daytime contact details
CATHERINE SAID: This light lotion was easy to rub in and instantly left my skin soft and smooth. I found it soaked in quickly and it didn’t leave any greasy residue. It was several weeks before I saw any change to my skin texture, but after the full eight weeks of the test I could see an improvement. The skin on my bust looked smoother and it worked really well on the wrinkles on my neck, too. It wasn’t a quick ﬁx, so it would be a while before you saw any results. It works well, but I don’t think I’d buy it regularly. It would be more suitable for someone a bit younger. A FRIEND SAID: My daughter Lynne thought the wrinkles on my neck looked improved.
Yours VERDICT: An effective targeted treatment, but a little on the pricey side
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Roy Hudd writes just for you wr The phrase ‘like father, like son’ has a lot of The all-round entertainer and Yours columnist indulges in a spot of nature watching
PIC: CHRIS PAVELY
ello folks! I loved Springwatch on the telly. Apart from the lovely Kate Humble, who could share my hide any time, the shows this season were special because lots of the content was from our neighbouring county, Norfolk. I do realise that mentioning that county (we live in Suffolk) is one big crime, but Norfolk (sorry, I’ve mentioned it again!) has the Broads. We’ve had smashing holidays on its brilliant waterways and even more so now the area is being so well looked after. In fact, that unmentionable county was the ﬁrst place we looked when we moved out of London. Nowhere there was quite what we were after so we moved a wee bit south and Suffolk delivered. We had a few days on the Broads last year and saw tiny kingﬁshers darting into the water, a couple of otters mucking about as only they can – and a great variety of birds of all shapes and sizes (most of these were on the beach at Yarmouth in bikinis). Speaking of waterways and their wildlife, you may have noticed in the past that I do occasionally mention The Grand Order of Water Rats. A quick explanation here: The GOWR are a collection of blokes in show business who meet once a fortnight to make each other laugh and raise a few bob for charity. The Order has been going for more than 100 years and one member was the late Percy Edwards (the man who, before actual recordings of birds and animals became easy to get, impersonated them all on radio, television, and on ﬁlm soundtracks). Do you remember a radio sitcom called A Life of Bliss? Percy played Psyche, the almost human dog. It was Percy who at one meeting gave us the rundown on water rats – the animals, not the blokes. “They are not rats at all,” said Percy, “even though Kenneth Graham called the one in Wind In The Willows – Ratty. They are, in fact, water voles – nothing like horrible rats.” Percy also explained ‘vole’ was an anagram of ‘love’.
‘We have a pond in our garden and a family of water voles in residence’ 62
Hey! Where are you going, Ratty?
Water rats (sorry, voles) are rare and, although Percy assured me there were some in East Anglia, I hadn’t seen any till a few weeks ago. We have a pond in our garden and my son, Max, ran into the house with a cry of “Ratty! Ratty!” Out we ran and, to the sound of ‘plop!’, away went the vole. There seem to be a couple of families nesting around the water’s edge because we often caught a glimpse of their heads sticking out of the water or their backsides disappearing into the undergrowth. Then – just a couple of days ago – magic! We watched two babies tucking in to some plant stalks. They looked back at us, till tiring of people watching; two familiar plopping sounds told us they’d had enough. Percy retained that thrill of seeing special things in the country all his life. I think my life is just beginning.
YOURS // EVERY FORTNIGHT
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t u o l l u p s r u The Yo
o t e id u g e t le p m o c r You
history ce All the tips and tricks you need to trae family your ancestry and share your uniqu history with future generations
free wall chart
PICS: MASTERFILE; REX FEATURES; JUPITER; GETTY IMAGES
Written by: Sarah Warwick
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l-out // family history // the Yours pull-out // family history // the Yours pulll-o
he wonderful thing about family history research is that anyone can do it… all you need is curiosity about where you come from. In the last ﬁve years, thanks to the rise of the internet and TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? it’s a hobby that’s within everyone’s reach. Maybe you’d like to have a go but don’t know where to start? Just follow our handy step-by-step guide and you’ll have an impressive family tree in no time at all.
1.Begin with yourself First write down your name, date and place of birth, and date and place of marriage (if applicable)on a piece of paper. Repeat this formula for your siblings, parents, grandparents and other relatives (include death dates where relevant), working backwards through the generations. If your dates are a bit vague, don’t worry – you can check these later.
names and birth dates of your children and grandchildren as well as older generations. To keep things simple, produce a separate tree for your father’s family and your mother’s.
2.Draw your tree
3.Rummage in the attic
Draw a ﬁrst draft of your family tree. You can use the free poster (overleaf) for this – feel free to photocopy it to complete the different versions. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, just a chance to capture all the important information. Start with your birth family ﬁrst, without trying to involve that of your husband or wife. Include the
Look in any boxes of family papers. Brush off the inevitable dust and see if you can ﬁnd birth, marriage, death (or adoption) certiﬁcates, war service or employment records, or anything else that might be a clue: family history is like a detective story. Make a note of the dates, names and any other information included.
4. Study heirlooms
Family heirlooms may also be clues to how your ancestors lived: a great-uncle’s war medals, for example, are invaluable for working out when and where he served and his service number.
5. Ask the family
You don’t want to cover the same ground as another family member so contact the rest of the clan to see if anyone has done any research. Ask for help – distant cousins may be able to help with dates and names, even if only for one small branch of your tree. Borrow and scan (or photograph) memorabilia, heirlooms and photos for clues and to help you keep a record of objects passed down through the family.
PICS: JUPITER; MASTERFILE; GETTY IMAGES; REX FEATURES
WHERE TO GET HELP the national archives (england and Wales) Kew, richmond, surrey tW9 4dU tel: 020 8876 3444 www.nationalarchives.gov.uk the national archives of scotland hM general register house, 2 princes street, edinburgh eh1 3YY tel: 0131 535 1314 www.nas.gov.uk public record ofﬁce of northern Ireland (pronI) 66 Balmoral avenue, Belfast Bt9 6nY tel: 028 90255905 www.proni.gov.uk
general register ofﬁce Certiﬁcate services section general register ofﬁce, po Box 2, southport pr8 2Jd tel: 0845 603 7788 www.direct.gov.uk/gro society of genealogists 14 goswell road, London eC1M 7Ba tel: 020 7251 8799 www.sog.org.uk federation of family history societies po Box 8857, Lutterworth Le17 9BJ tel: 01455 203133 www.ffhs.org.uk
LOOKING ONLINE // www.ancestry.co.uk offers endless opportunities to research your family story. Its easy-to-use family-tree building software allows members to record family history and share it with others. We have ﬁve premium Memberships to ancestry.co.uk to give away, worth £107.40 each, which will give the winners d online access to UK Censuses, Birth, Marriage & death and Military records along with pre-1837 parish & probate records and incoming passenger lists and much more. for YoU
EXTRA RA A
simply send your name and address to: ancestry giveaway issue 68, Yours Magazine, Media house, peterborough Business park, peterborough pe2 6ea. the ﬁrst ﬁve entries drawn after the closing date, august 14, will be the winners. If you do not wish to be contacted in the future by Yours Magazine please write ‘no further Contact’ clearly on the postcard’. (please note winners must have access to the internet to take advantage of this prize).
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ulll-out u // family history // the Yours pull-out // family history // the Yours pull BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS
EXTRA RA A
W do You think You are? Who e encyclopedia of genealogy by n nick Barratt (harper, 2008) is th the deﬁnitive, must-have guide to re researching your family’s roots. ffrom the makers of the awardw winning BBC series, this book ccontains all you need to know w whether you’re a beginner or m more experienced researcher.
Your readers can order a copy of Who You Yours Y think You are? encyclopedia do You ge of genealogy by nick Barratt at the special price of £20 (£5 off the rrp).
simply call the ha harperCollins hotline on 0870 787 1724 and quote dept d 858J. or write to Mail order dept 858J, harperCollins publishers, Westerhill road, Bishopbriggs, glasgow g64 2Qt, enclosing a cheque made payable to harperCollins publishers. free p&p for all UK orders. please allow 21 days for delivery.
6. Order certiﬁcates
Your family’s birth, marriage and death certiﬁcates are available from the General Register Ofﬁce (see Where to get help, below). If you want to be thorough, order them for everyone in your tree. The certiﬁcates cost £7 each, so be sure you have the right person! You will need the relevant reference number from the BMD Index which can be searched by name and date.
7. Online research
Most people nowadays do their research online as it is easier, cheaper and quicker. Simply go to either www. ancestry.co.uk or www.ﬁndmypast. com (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk for Scottish research). Initial searches are
‘ I just wish I’d done it earlier’
// head teacher pauline Wood from Wynyard village, in teesside, began researching her family history because she was at a loose end in the summer holidays. now she is so enthusiastic about genealogy that she’s included it on the timetable at school and the kids love it. “When my mum died it struck me that I knew veryy little about my family’s past,” says pauline. “I never knew my grandparents so I began by asking my older brothers and sisters what they could remember. It was fascinating and deﬁnitely the best place to start, even people’s nicknames are helpful as you delve deeper into the research.” pauline has been using ancestry.co.uk to research and build her tree over the past two years and now it’s grown to include more than 1200 names. “It’s so easy to use,” she says. “My only regret is that I wish I’d done it earlier. My husband and I have met so many interesting people and we’ve found family connections all over the world.”
Ofﬁce. These places also have BMD Indexes but they are on microﬁlm and must be browsed by hand so ﬁnding the references will take longer.
free but you will have to pay to view BMD Index references. To save money, type the names and dates into www. freeBMD.org.uk ﬁrst. This site is free to search but isn’t yet complete.
9. Work backwards
8. No computer?
Make sure you always work backwards through the generations from the If you don’t have access to a computer known to the unknown, verify all dates there are other options. Most local and names with documentation, and libraries and archives now have a check, check and check again that your subscription to www.ancestry.co.uk, work is accurate. which you can use for free. It is still possible to access the BMD Index in person by visiting The National Archives turn over the page to create your very own family (the modern incarnation of the tree with our easy-to- use poster. start with yourself old Public Record Ofﬁce), the in the centre and work your way outwards adding National Archives of Scotland parents, grandparents etc in turn through the or your local County Record
USING YOUR FREE POSTER
generations. Write in pencil to begin with so you can go back and correct any mistakes. Before you start you may like to take a photocopy so you can complete several versions that include all branches of your tree. or why not complete one for each of the grandchildren with them taking g centre e stage?
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES www.ﬁndmypast.co.uk
a one-stop-shop for research north of the border
a tree-hosting website where you can ﬁnd living relatives
? l James T h o m as Joh Smith b 1879 n Fox Charle Ma s Smit ry F h o 189 x 2-1 93 7
ll Ha 72 r y b.18
Joan Smith b.1955 (me!)
YOUR068-64-70 family tree pullout.indd 65
Iv y Rober ts 973 0-1 191 2 th 193 mi b. es S J am
directory of family history resources held in public libraries in the UK.
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full of useful documents – this site also gives access to emigration records
for you... Our delicious, easy recipes are designed for two people, simply halve the h iingredients di if iit’s ’ jjust ffor you!! Compiled by Sheena Correa
Crispy Italian Chicken & Polenta
Chicken with a difference! If you can’t get hold of polenta, then unpeeled potato chunks work just as well in this tasty mid-week dinner
PER SERVING: 513 CALS, FAT 20G, SAT FAT 5G
PICS: GOOD FOOD: 101 MEALS FOR TWO
Ready in 30 mins • 500g (20 oz) pack ready-to-use cooked polenta • 25g (1oz) parmesan, grated • 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on • 250g (10 oz) pack cherry tomatoes • Leaves from a few fresh rosemary sprigs, torn • 1 garlic clove, roughly sliced • 2 tbsp olive oil 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas Mark 6. Using your ﬁngers, roughly
break up the polenta into small chunks and scatter over the bottom of a small roasting tin. Tip in the parmesan and mix well until the polenta is evenly coated. 2 Sit the chicken breasts, cherry tomatoes, rosemary and garlic on top of the polenta, drizzle with the olive oil, then season to taste. 3 Roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken skin is crisp and golden, and the polenta and cheese are turning crusty around the edges. Serve immediately with a mixed green salad.
Frugal food tip Remove cheese from its plastic wrapper and wrap in BacoFoil. The cheese does not sweat and stays fresh much longer than wrapping it in plastic.
// Taken from Good Food: 101 Meals For Two, published by BBC Books, at £4.99. All recipes ﬁrst published in BBC Good Food Magazine. Text and photography © BBC Magazines, 2006.
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Cooking with the Grandkids
This is a clever way to show fruit can be used in tasty treats too
Apricot and orange cake Makes 8-10 servings
until light and ďŹ‚uffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 3 Sift the ďŹ‚our and baking powder together, fold into the creamed mixture alternately with the orange rind, juice and chopped apricots. Mix lightly using a metal spoon until smooth. 4 Put the mixture into the prepared tin and make a well in the centre of the mixture. Place the remaining apricots on top if using, and bake in the centre of a moderate oven, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 5 Grasp the foil and remove the cake from 1 Line a 2lb loaf tin with enough BacoFoil the tin, allow to cool. Wrap in the surplus foil to store in a cool place for 7-10 days. to leave a 12.5cm (5in) frill above TIP: Be sure to use BacoFoil Non-Stick, as the edge of the tin. Preheat oven to the unique non-stick coating will allow your 150Â°C/300Â°F/Gas Mark 2. cake to glide easily from foil to plate. 2 Cream the butter and sugar together
â€˘ Piece of BacoFoil Non-Stick 45cm x 60cm (18in x 24in) â€˘ 226g (8oz) butter â€˘ 226g (8oz) caster sugar â€˘ 4 eggs â€˘ 283g (10oz) plain ďŹ‚our â€˘ 1 level tsp baking powder â€˘ Juice and grated rind of 1 orange â€˘ 56g (2oz) chopped dried apricots â€˘ Whole dried apricots cut into eighths (optional)
// Recipe: ÂŠ Baco Consumer Products, www.bacofamilysundays.co.uk
Buy it Cheaper cleaning
WHY NOT TRY...? Very Berry Pudding A light sponge pudding drizzled with a fruity sauce of zesty berries including redcurrants, blackberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.
// This and many other delicious dishes could be delivered to your door by Wiltshire Farm Foods.
To request a FREE 70-page menu simply call 0800 773 773 or visit www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com to see the full range of meals available.
LUXURY ORANGE JUICES
EAGER ORANGE JUICE, 1 Litre/ÂŁ1.89 Very basic packaging which made it look like a budget brand. A smooth juice with good body and a distinct orange ďŹ‚avour. Iâ€™d buy this again. 3/5
TOP TIP Try drizzling melted white or dark chocolate on bowls of chilled mixed berries for a simple summer pudding in an instant.
LIDL FAIRGLOBE FAIRTRADE ORANGE JUICE, 1 Litre/93p Easy-to-open and informative packaging. Rather watery and lacked substance, but good value for money. 2/5
// What to eat now! Essential foods for 50+ women â€“ is the new guide produced in association with Wiltshire Farm Foods. For your free copy call 0800 773 773 or write to: Wiltshire Farm Foods, ;LEXXSI FREEPOST Admail 3619, )WWIRXMEPJSSHWJSV EXRS[ [SQIR Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8ZY. 3RISJXLI=SYVWKYMH IWÂłHIWMKRIH XSLIPT]SYQEOIXLI QSWXSJ]SYVPMJI
TROPICANA PURE PREMIUM VALENCIA ORANGE & CRUSHED RASPBERRY, 1Litre/ÂŁ2.49 The blend of ďŹ‚avours worked well and it was very refreshing. A little pricey, so I would only buy it as a treat. 4/5
We all know that berries are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, but you neednâ€™t shell out on more expensive exotic varieties. Buy British-grown produce, save money at a â€˜pick your ownâ€™ farm, or go foraging in hedgerows later in the year for the freshest blackberries and top up on this superfood completely free! Use them in jam, coulis or sprinkled on cereal and yogurt for an extra boost of vitamins.
Summer Fruits Cheesecake An irresistible baked cheesecake on a biscuit crumb base and topped with raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and a strawberry glaze.
These new clever cloths really are the business when it comes to ridding your kitchen of germs. Woven with the natural antibacterial silver, they kill 99% of bacteria and will save a fortune on chemical cleaners. Use them wet or dry on worktops, saucepans and cutlery for smear-free cleaning and by just using water, they prove a godsend for allergy sufferers. // A 3-pack of Clever Cloths costs ÂŁ5.99 from Asda, Boots, Debenhams, Tesco, Wilkinsons or visit www.JMLdirect.com
Tried & tasted
Tested by: Peter Williams (61) from Dunstable
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look at life… Yours columnist Lynda Bellingham ﬁnds that going through the gates of her local gym was like embarking on a journey to hell
hen I was at school, avoiding the gym was a must for any girl who wished to achieve street cred. One did not DO the exercise stuff. One DID the coffee bar in the city centre. How weird is the reversal of fortune once one gets to a certain age? Mind you, having said that, I am still avoiding the gym at all costs. Cost being the operative word. To be thin, think rich! Whose idea was it that to join a health club you had to take out a second mortgage? Perhaps in these credit crunch times this problem has eased somewhat. I notice my local gym is much more open to negotiation these days. However, it is not just about the money is it? How on earth can any normal, slightly middle-aged and maybe a little plump woman enter the hallowed halls of a gym? The humiliation! I actually live in a complex which boasts a gym, so when I ﬁrst arrived, I decided that the time had come for me to address any issues I had with the whole ﬁtness regime thing. I gave all my details to the girl on the door (noting how gorgeous she was and toned. Help!). I followed her pert posterior down the steps to the changing rooms. There were a couple of ladies getting changed – both very ﬁt-looking. Still, I could manage the changing bit, especially if I used the place at ﬁve in the morning. I am a very solitary person, you understand. So now I have changed into my old black leggings and a baggy t-shirt and, like a lamb to the slaughter, I pass through the gates of hell into the gym. AAAARGH! There, before my eyes, are rows and rows of robotic blonde humanoids with perfect ﬁgures wearing headbands and walking in time to the music from their iPods. Honestly, if I had come from another planet and been greeted by this spectacle it would have sent me running for cover.
‘I emerged like a piece of clothing that had been through a spin cycle’
I spent the next hour straining to hear what my personal trainer was telling me over the noise of wheels and machines and dance music. I lifted and pulled, stretched and bent, and it hurt like hell. Then, in a kind of daze and hyperventilating, I tumbled back into the changing room. I could hardly get my clothes off my sweat-drenched body I was shaking so much. I staggered into the shower unaware of the looks I was getting from the perfect human specimens around me. It was only later I realised that through all this I was uttering a constant stream of little moans and groans. Well, it was a bit like a lesser version of giving birth. All that pain, yet nothing to show at the end of it all. I emerged into the daylight like a piece of clothing that had been through a spin cycle. My hair was in tatters, hanging limply. My face was puce and burning, and my legs kept buckling under me. When I got back to my apartment, I fell into bed and passed out. No. I’m sorry, I never went back. I am now doing Pilates, which is great fun and actually really does tone you up. I do it in the privacy of my own home. Perhaps if I had persevered I’d have felt wonderful and ended up with the perfect body. But life is too short. Give me a gentle stroll around a park followed by a cup of tea and a bun any day.
On a personal front, Mr Spain has just had a hernia operation. He was out of hospital the same day before I could even nurse him and two days later was driving to Spain. And ﬁnally the curtain has come down on the old cast of Calendar Girls and we’ve welcomed in
the new by going for a coffee together. June Brown was asking me for tips about costume changes. As a gift for the present cast I had a photo framed of each in role. My sister Jean (54), who is very artistic, helped me wrap them in brown paper tied with rafﬁa
and made each a little card of a sunﬂower. It’s been wonderful and I’m glad to head to Spain now for a break. That should help stave off loose-end feelings. It’s been such a big part of my life for so long.
PIC: CAMERA PRESS; PAUL MITCHELL
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