Issue 175 April 2016
GREAT PLACES GREAT PEOPLE GREAT MOTORS GREAT LIVING
Diss & Attleborough
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a splash of colour! Bring your room to life with our fabulous range of blinds, curtains and fabrics.
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Issue 175 Your community magazine
Dispatch Magazine would like to thank all those who have contributed to this issue.
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DispatchMag @Dispatch_Mag Tel 01953 456789 Web www.DispatchMagazine.co.uk Address Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2AE.
for Permanent & Temporary Recruitment Quality People continue to provide a recruitment service for the towns of Attleborough, Dereham, Diss, Thetford, Watton & Wymondham plus the surrounding areas throughout Breckland & South Norfolk.
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© Dispatch Magazine Disclaimer: No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Publisher. Every effort is taken to ensure that the contents of this magazine are accurate, but the Publisher can not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Whilst reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements the Publisher will not accept any resulting unsatisfactory transactions. They will, however, immediately investigate any written complaints. The Publishers reserve the right to amend such submissions and cannot accept responsibility for any loss.
2016 April | 03
DISS jackamans solicitors Common Misconceptions I thought I would write an article about some common legal misconceptions which we lawyers regularly come across. “Common Law spouse”. There is no such thing as a common law husband or wife. It has never existed. You are either married; in which case you have rights under the Matrimonial Causes Act, intestacy rules, Inheritance (Provisions for Family & Dependents) Act and many other Acts of Parliament.; or you are not. If you are not married then you will have less legal rights and there are also tax
consequences. “You can’t be an executor and a beneficiary”. This is not true, you can. However, there may be circumstances where it would be unwise to appoint someone to be an executor because they may have a conflict of interest between themselves and other beneficiaries, in which case they may use their power as executor to benefit themselves over other beneficiaries. “I have a Will so I don’t need a Power of attorney” or “I have power of attorney so I don’t need a will”. Both of these are wrong. A power of
attorney appoints attorneys who manage your affairs during your lifetime. Once you die, the Power of Attorney is null and void. At this point your executors take over the administration of your estate. Your executors have no power over you whilst you are alive, only when you are dead. “You can’t be an executor if you have power of attorney”. Wrong again I’m afraid. The attorneyship finishes on death, the executorship begins on that event and the different powers can be exercised by the same person. “I have a Will so I don’t need Probate”. This is also wrong. Probate is the process of proving the Will as the last Will and Testament and administering the estate in accordance with that
will. Whether or not your executors need a Grant of Probate will depend on the type and amount of your assets. Generally speaking probate will be required when an estate is worth in excess of £25,000. For further information please contact Lorna DentonCardew on 01379 643555 or email lorna.denton-cardew@ jackamans.co.uk. This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive. Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.
Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts & Probate personal attention guaranteed
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04 | April 2016
2016 April | 05
DISS Sound Sleep Beds An Interview with Andrew Bright from Sound Sleep Beds How do you know when its time to change your bed? Many of us don’t realise that our mattress has become uncomfortable over the years. I find the best questions to ask yourself are: Do you wake up feeling un-refreshed and aching? Have you slept better in another bed recently? Do you disturb your partner when changing sleep positions? Do you roll together? If you answer ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then I would certainly think about a new mattress or bed. How often should you change your bed? Generally, it is said you need to change your bed every 7 years. Many people question the reasoning behind this, a good quality mattress has lost approximately 70% of its support after this time and also hygiene reasons. Our beds are a breading ground for bacteria and dust mites, our mattress is the one thing that we spend so much time in contact with that we cannot actually wash. If you have a good solid top divan base or slats, usually you can just change the mattress. If your base is sprung, you would need to think about changing the whole bed. What is the best kind of mattress to sleep on? This is a very difficult question
06 | April 2016
to answer. Mattresses are very personal. Before you buy a mattress, its best to speak to one of our mattress specialists who can help guide you. Pocket sprung mattresses offer great support, but we offer so many different types topped with memory foam, natural fillings, latex, geltex and even the brand new Slumberland Affinity Foam. What makes you a mattress specialist? As a family, we have had over 50 years in the bed trade and spent over 20 of those as manufacturers. We have designed dozens of mattresses through the years and work closely with manufacturers to have the best quality mattresses at great prices. We are also honest; as we know all about springs and mattress filings, we will advise what is suitable for you and what benefits different mattresses will have for you. I am also an accredited Sleep Council Sleep Advisor, in fact I was the UK’s first qualified one! What kind of mattress do you sleep on? Currently I sleep on a Sealy Pocket Perfection Geltex mattress, I have had this ever since geltex was launched in November 2013. It’s the longest I have ever kept a mattress as I have loved it so
much. However I have just placed my order for the new Slumberland Serene mattress, this mattress features Affinity Foam. The Slumberland Affinity Foam is the first completely open celled foam offering maximum support and breathability. As someone who is into fitness and gym training six days a week, along with a day job of lifting and carrying beds, it is essential to have the best supporting mattress possible to help offer great pressure relief to aching muscles. A good night’s sleep is needed to allow our bodies rest and repair.
lose a half pint or more of fluid each night) and skin scales (we lose a pound of skin or more a year) makes beds a favourite breeding ground for the common dust mite: bad news for the nation’s 2-3 million asthma sufferers; and a grim thought for those sleeping on second-hand beds and other peoples’ sweat and skin scales! Not forgetting that many beds made before 1988 don’t even meet the UK’s basic fire safety regulations. At Sound Sleep we now offer 0% interest free credit, so that helps make more luxurious beds far more affordable.
What’s the key to a good night’s sleep? Everyone is different, but generally the number one factor is your bed. An uncomfortable bed will always will affect the way you sleep. Other factors which are equally important are a dark room, a room that is not too warm and peace and quiet. The one thing that disturbs sleep more than anything is your iPhone! Those late night sounds coming from your phone or the screen lighting up the room are disruptive – even on silent, those vibrations may wake you. Turn it off, facebook and instagram will still be there in the morning!
There is lots of publicity about unsafe beds at the moment, how do I know where to get a safe bed? Anyone buying a new bed from Sound Sleep doesn’t have to worry about that. All our beds are National Bed Federation approved, so they are safe, clean, hygienic and all meet trading standards requirements. We have informational videos on our website in the ‘Sleep Safe’ section of our website. We work closely with the Sleep Council and The National Bed Federation promoting the new code of practice. Sleep Safe. Sleep Sound. Sound Sleep.
Beds are expensive, is it better to buy a second hand one? No way. Firstly, there are beds and mattresses suitable for most price ranges. Not everyone wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a bed, obviously you do get what you pay for but second hand beds are a big no. It’s not just the bed’s ability to provide proper support that declines with age; A build up of moisture (we
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East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) It’s been more than three months since East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) celebrated opening the doors to it’s new store on Aylsham Road in Norwich and the shop is proving to be a great success. The charity’s Norwich shop officially opened on 11th December, with former Norwich and Leicester City player Darren Eadie cutting the ribbon. Since then the tills have been ringing with stock moving - so quickly EACH is appealing for more donations to keep up with demand! Michelle Hinton, EACH Norwich Shop Manager, said: “We’ve had a great few months of trading since we opened, with lots of customers visiting the shop regularly and wonderful support from the local community. One thing we do need is an increase in donations so we’re able to keep up with demand. We’re in need of clean and good quality clothing, bric-a-brac, modern paperback books, toys, jewellery, DVDs/CDs, household linens, retro and vintage clothes and small electrical items to help keep our shelves 08 | April 2016
fully stocked. “We have a customer car park and a team of willing volunteers to assist with bags, meaning it couldn’t be easier to drop your items in to us!” The charity also accepts donations of good quality furniture and can collect it free of charge if you’re unable to transport it yourself. You can contact their Retail Distribution Centre on 01842 821620 for more information. EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening condition across East Anglia and supports their families. Retail income is a very lucrative income stream for EACH, in the past financial year the charity’s shops generated more than £700,000 profit which all goes towards helping local families make the most of their precious time together. For more information on EACH’s Aylsham Road shop including opening times please visit www.each.org.uk or contact the shop on 01603 301475. www.DispatchMagazine.co.uk
DISS Diss Museum One of the displays that has attracted interest this season is Music Under the Radar, about electronic music composer Tristram Cary. He came to this via his work in wartime naval radar and had a studio at Fressingfield. The public can have a taste of his music at a free concert in St. Mary’s Hall, Diss (on the north side of the church) at 7.30pm on Saturday 9 April. Project co-ordinator Tristan Burfield contacted Tristram Cary’s son John and many other people who knew or worked with Cary. The result was a distinguished line-up for the concert. Trios, using turntables and a VCS3 synth, will be performed by Ian Helliwell and Simon James. Lawrence Casserley and Simon Desorgher will then play Narcissus on flute and electronics. Tristram Cary famously helped organise one of the first live electronic music concerts ever held, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London with Peter Zinovieff and David Cockerell on January 15th 1968.
Cary explained that the concert was an attempt by himself and the others to raise the profile of live electronic music: “When I got together with Zinovieff and Cockerell towards the end of the sixties one of the decisions made was there was not enough electronic concert music going on in England,” he said. This show featured Cary’s signature piece Birth is Life, 3 4 5, and contributions form Peter Zinovieff and Daphne Oram. The concert was a sell-out with the Queen Elizabeth Hall reaching it’s full 1,100 capacity and 300 people having to be turned away. The Financial Times critic, like many conservative concert-goers at the time, was bemused by the music, stating that although “technically it may be a triumph of skill and knowledge but what we heard resembled the dreariest kind of neo-Webern drawn out to inordinate length”. What you will hear in Diss on Saturday 9 April will probably be unlike anything you have heard before. Singalong-a-Max it ain’t. But keep an open mind and you might be impressed. By Basil Abbott
2016 April | 09
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10 | April 2016
ATTLEBOROUGH Kerry Butcher There’s plenty going on in the world of tax.. Easter has gone already and it is officially spring! I love spring – officially my favourite season of the year, as although it was a funny winter and really not that cold, it is lovely to have longer days, daylight when you get up in the morning and daylight when you leave work in the evenings. Weekends feel longer as Sundays don’t stop at 4.30 when the light goes and there is the promise of a lovely summer to come. What is not to like? Not to mention of course May bank holidays plus barbecues and trips to the beach. Of course along with April and spring comes the end of the tax year, which means those lovely self assessment tax returns start all over again! We have only just sent the last of them off packing and here they are again. If you are self employed, have rental income or have a company March or April year end, make sure that you get your affairs in order. If you are thinking of purchasing some new software, a new desk, a computer or taking out a loan think carefully about the timing of this. Do you know who owes you money at the yearend (debtors) or who you owe money to (creditors) as this information is very handy to make your accounts a great deal more accurate. Have you received all your bank statements? Or do you have the facility to download these? Once all this information is collated, why not get this dropped in to your lovely accountants who will be really pleased to receive the paperwork as soon as possible. Another change now that www.DispatchMagazine.co.uk
April is here is the National Living Wage. Unless you have been living inside a melon (other fruits are available), you will have no doubt heard about the living wage that was implemented at the beginning of April. This means that if you are 25 or over, your employer must pay you a rate of at least £7.20 per hour. This is good news if you are an employee but maybe not quite so good if you are an employer. Make sure that you are budgeting for this increase in your wage bill and don’t get caught out. If you need any help with your payroll then please do feel free to call us or email to discuss this. We can help with all aspects of payroll, day to day running, registering as an employer, help with tax codes, sick pay, maternity pay, holidays and at the other end of the scale we can help with calculation of redundancy, notice pay and P45’s etc. We also complete the real time filing with HMRC and can provide links to pay the PAYE due as well as completing all the annual returns that are needed.
of a Divided Tax Credit, you will now receive a tax free dividend allowance. This dividend allowance means that you won’t pay any tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income no matter what other non dividend income you have. This is great news as small investors with only a few shares will now be able to benefit from the dividend allowance. If you are a company director and receive higher dividends, then you will be taxed at different rates again. For dividends over £5,000 (the dividend allowance) you will be taxed at 7.5% tax up to the maximum of your 20% tax threshold. You will pay 32.5%
tax on dividends over the 20% bracket (on your 40% income) and if you go into the additional rate band you will pay tax on dividends at 38.1%. Dividends received on shares held in ISA’s will continue to be tax free as will dividends received in pension funds that are currently exempt from tax. This dividend news is a big relief to many share holders of close companies who were concerned just how they were going to be able to take their dividends from their companies. If you need further information or would like calculations on how this affects you, why not make an appointment to come and see us here at Exchange House? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01953 457173.
Since I last wrote for Dispatch I am pleased to have found guidance on how dividends will be taxed from this year (April 2016) and I am delighted to share this with you. Now many of us have some shares in companies such as Aviva, Santander, BP, and companies like this. We receive a dividend during each tax year and received a tax credit voucher previously. The new dividend tax rules have made tax credits a thing of the past. Instead 2016 April | 11
12 | April 2016
ATTLEBOROUGH ALMARY GREEN Understanding Investment Risk When it comes to making recommendation in respect of investments, one of the most critical factors to influence a financial adviser’s advice is the client’s attitude to risk. Alison Rudd looks at how this is assessed. Choosing a mix of investments from all the available plans, bonds, funds and policies out there is not a job for the faint-hearted. Most sound full of promise if you read the promotional material, but the reality is that almost every form of investment will carry some form of risk. A financial adviser will ensure that the client
understands risk and will make recommendations that match the client’s risk profile. Firstly, the adviser will carry out a full fact-find about the client’s circumstances, needs, goals and current financial arrangements. In addition, it’s important to assess the level of understanding the client has about the different types of investment available by looking at their investment history and knowledge, including the sophistication and range of their current or previous investment choices. The adviser will explore clients’ understanding of the types of investment risk to which they may be exposed and explain
the difference between cash investments where, in the main, the initial capital invested is not vulnerable, and other investments such as equities and property, where the value of the investment can go down as well as up. The next layer in an assessment of a client’s risk profile is to assess his or her personal attitude to risk. This is generally achieved through the use of a risk profile questionnaire which asks clients to select the risk descriptions they think most closely matches their attitude to risk. We then test this personal assessment against an independent assessment of their attitude to risk through a set of questions that explore the client’s perception of their current financial status and future expectations together with their response to a number of investment outcomes. The results of this second questionnaire will deliver a risk score of between 1 (defensive) and 10 (adventurous). In the rare event of a mismatch between the two assessments, we will discuss the disparity with the client to check their understanding of risk and confirm the level of risk they would like to take. The resultant final risk score can be used to match a suitable investment route to the client’s risk profile. This risk score should be checked at every review meeting with your adviser. A key element of the risk equation is your capacity for loss. This is your ability
to absorb falls in the value of your investment. Any recommendation should be backed up with an explanation of the loss of capital that potentially could occur and any materially detrimental effect it could have on your standard of living. A diversified investment portfolio will include a mix of investments with different risk levels, but the resultant ensemble will have an overall risk profile to match the individual’s attitude to risk. Diversification means avoiding concentrated sources of risk by investing in a series of assets that vary not only in their type and scope but also in their risk level. The old adage of not storing all of one’s eggs in the same basket still holds true: spreading the risk across a wide range of investments is almost always the recommended route. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested. The tax treatment of investments depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change. To discuss any aspect of your financial well-being, contact Alison at alison.rudd@ almarygreen.com or call 01603 706740. Alison can be found at the offices of M+A Partners, Cyprus Close, Attleborough most Wednesdays and is happy to arrange appointments there or in clients’ own homes. 2016 April | 13
ATTLEBOROUGH Priory Insurance A look at Buy-to-let Making sure you have adequate Landlords Insurance is essential, as a buy to let property is a substantial investment. Priory Insurance Brokers specialise in arranging insurance cover for all types of property from Blocks of Flats to standard Private Dwelling Houses. We deal with many leading UK Insurers and Lloyds Underwriters to provide the best possible quotation and cover for our clients, regardless of the risk. Being totally independent means we are not tied to a single provider and this allows us access to a range of insurance policies from our panel of carefully selected Insurers. Our trained and experienced staff members
are able to find the most suitable policy for your specific requirements. In addition to cover on Buildings, policies can be extended to include: •Property Owners Liability •Loss of Rent cover following an insured Peril •Accidental Damage Cover •Cover for Landlords Contents With no Call Centres, you can be assured of a personal and friendly approach by our fully trained staff. We will help you to find the best policy at the best price for your individual needs. For more information or advice, please feel free to call in to our Wymondham Office.
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14 | April 2016
Every month* in Dispatch Competition With the funds in all our wallets and purses running dangerously low, a little extra help can go a long way! We are running a monthly competition across all our magazines where you could be in with a chance to win a £50 voucher at a selection of major supermarkets. To enter, simply visit www.DispatchMagazine.co.uk and complete the entry form. The winner will be chosen at random on the 30th of each month and will be notified via email. Arrangements will be made for the posting or collection of the vouchers. Spider Creative Media, publishers of Dispatch Magazine, reserve the right to cancel or change the competition at any time without prior notice. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose other than via Dispatch Magazine. *Entry is for one months draw only. A separate entry would be required to enter each of the following months draws.
ATTLEBOROUGH Attleborough Fire Station Could you be a retained firefighter? Attleborough Fire Station relies entirely on retained, or on-call, firefighters to crew the fire engine; we are currently running under strength and are keen to recruit people to help us provide emergency fire cover and protect their community. Retained firefighters come from all walks of life; are full-time parents, office staff, manual workers – in fact most professions you can think of. They are ordinary men and women, who are integral to keeping the local fire station crewed and ready for action, day or night. Watch Manager Mark Wilson works as a Critical Equipment
Officer within the Fire service and has been a retained fire fighter for 20 years. Other members of his crew have jobs ranging from work within the care industry to working for Anglia Demolition, and two others work for the local furniture company of Lee and Plumpton. Retained firefighters respond to the same calls as full time fire fighters and receive exactly the same high level of training; the difference is that on-call firefighters carry an alerter with them and respond to 999 emergencies from their homes and primary jobs whenever they are booked available. They are dedicated individuals
whose sense of pride and community draws them to the job and who receive a monthly retainer and an hourly rate for drill nights and turning out to calls. Last year Attleborough’s fire engine attended 254 calls, of which around a third were road traffic collisions. The crew also attended house fires, chimney fires, field fires, small animal rescues and incidents at the prison. Would you like to be part of Attleborough’s crew? There are no height restrictions and you don’t need to be super strong – but you do have to be over 18 years old.
You need to live, work, or spend your time within five minutes of the fire station and be able to provide the level of cover that we need. In addition to the 999 calls, successful individuals will be required to attend the weekly Monday drill night, a two week induction course and, ideally within the first year, a two week breathing apparatus course. If you are interested in finding out more then contact Operational Support Officer Jennie Schamp on 07557200799 or email jennifer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Retained Firefighters come from all walks of life
Attleborough Fire Station
is currently recruiting Retained (on call) Firefighters To find out more Call: OSO Schamp 07557200799 or Email: email@example.com
2016 April | 15
Amelia Reynolds Dispatch Writer Pete Goodrum meets BBC TV presenter Amelia Reynolds. I’m waiting in the BBC reception area. It’s in the middle of a refurbishment. In truth, because it’s not finished yet, it’s a bit dull. A bit grey. And then the door opens and Amelia Reynolds comes in. She’s wearing a stunning purple raincoat, which colour coordinates perfectly with her skirt, and a smile that could light a tv studio. And suddenly the room, and the day, seems brighter. We grab coffees and I tell her that I have some information on her, gleaned from the internet. She looks, well, suspicious, and when I reveal that it includes her answers to one of those ‘My Favourite Things’ questionnaires she actually groans. When, going through it, we find how old, and how inaccurate, it is she laughs. I mean really laughs. It’s going to prove to be the source of some further hilarity, but before that, let’s start at the beginning. Amelia was born in Fressingfield, in Suffolk. Her parents, of whom she plainly thinks the world, still live there. She went to Stradbroke High School and then Thomas Mills High School. She took a year out before university to go travelling. ‘I have no idea how my poor dear parents handled it’, she says. ‘They waved me off at Heathrow, a teenager with a friend, and that was it! I was gone!’ Her back packing travels were so exhaustive in that year that even she forgets some of it, and she pauses to check and fill in the list with obvious delight at the memories. Here’a a quick inventory - Egypt, India, Nepal, China, HongKong, Ha-waii, the USA including a Greyhound Bus trip to the deep south, Canada and, ‘nearly forgot’ (!) Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore! Three important things emerge about that trip. Firstly the two girls funded them-selves. Secondly she’s proud of what it achieved. “It was a huge experience, I learned
16 | April 2016
GENERAL so much about how people from different cultures lived. It also gave me so much more confidence. Thirdly - all the time she was travelling she was sending reports and pictures back to the East Anglian Daily Times. This was her first taste of journalism.
These early brushes with journalism and broadcasting stood her in good stead when it came to her first job. As did her travels. She found work with a production company who, amongst other things, made programmes for the BBC World Ser-vice.
Next though was the university place that was waiting for her at Exeter, where she studied Drama and English. Whilst there she co-hosted a University Radio break-fast show. There was she says, ‘Never a dull moment’.
‘My boss there, who was very much a mentor, recognised my ambition and with huge generosity suggested I spend a day a week working at the fledgling Cam-bridge Red TV’.
These early brushes with journalism and broadcasting stood her in good stead when it came to her first job. As did her travels. She found work with a production company who, amongst other things, made programmes for the BBC World Ser-vice. ‘My boss there, who was very much a mentor, recognised my ambition and with huge generosity suggested I spend a day a week working at the fledgling Cam-bridge Red TV’. She soon got into her stride, hosting a show called ‘The Red Debate’. ‘It was on such a shoestring! I had an earpiece held together with sellotape, and I had to work the production desk and fader switches, like a radio broadcaster, while I was live on tv!’
She soon got into her stride, hosting a show called ‘The Red Debate’. ‘It was on such a shoestring! I had an earpiece held together with sellotape, and I had to work the production desk and fader switches, like a radio broadcaster, while I was live on tv!’ Next on the cv was a spell in cable tv, working in the old Anglia TV building. ‘It was a great team. I loved it’. By now she was certain that tv was where she wanted to work and where she saw her future. She moved to BBC Look East, initially as a researcher. ‘It was great experience, and I was working with some talented and experienced people, but I never lied
Next on the cv was a spell in cable tv, working in the old Anglia TV building. ‘It was a great team. I loved it’. By now she was certain that tv was where she wanted to work and where she saw her future. She moved to BBC Look East, initially as a researcher. ‘It was great experience, and I was working with some talented and experienced people, but I never lied about my ambition to be on screen’. She got there. Her first on screen job was as the Essex reporter. It’s at this point that I throw in what I assume will be a timely and relevant piece of information from my internet research. ‘And’, I say, ‘you won the Best Newcomer to Television Journalism Award’. ‘No!’, she says. “I didn’t!’ This is where the laughter starts. Amelia Reynolds has the sort of laugh that lifts you. It’s infectious. It’s laughter to be shared, as if we’ve known each other for years. Thinking back now, and given that we were talking in a public space, we were sharing the sort of laughter that probably made some of the other coffee drinkers wonder what the heck we were talking about. What we were talking about was this. “I didn’t win it. I was nominated but it went to - of all people - David Whiteley!’ Why’s that funny? Because Amelia and fellow BBC presenter David are now married. ‘I swear this is true’ she tells me. When we moved house not
Amelia Reynolds with Dispatch Editor Jonath an
2016 April | 17
about my ambition to be on screen’. She got there. Her first on screen job was as the Essex reporter. It’s at this point that I throw in what I assume will be a timely and relevant piece of information from my internet research. ‘And’, I say, ‘you won the Best Newcomer to Television Journalism Award’. ‘No!’, she says. “I didn’t!’ This is where the laughter starts. Amelia Reynolds has the sort of laugh that lifts you. It’s infectious. It’s laughter to be shared, as if we’ve known each other for years. Thinking back now, and given that we were talking in a public space, we were sharing the sort of laughter that probably made some of the other coffee drinkers wonder what the heck we were talking about. What we were talking about was this. “I didn’t win it. I was nominated but it went to - of all people - David Whiteley!’ Why’s that funny? Because Amelia and fellow BBC presenter David are now married. ‘I swear this is true’ she tells me. When we moved house not too long ago, out came his award. He polished it!’ We’ re both laughing, but it ratchets up another notch of hilarity when she adds, with the comic timing of a sitcom star, ‘I had to tell him. Really, David, there’s no need to have it on quite such conspicuous display!’ We quickly cover her rise through anchor duties and presenting Look East, as well as The Politics Show before I decide to take the frankly dangerous risk, given the story so far, of mentioning another fact (‘please let it be correct’ is forming as a thought in
18 | April 2016
too long ago, out came his award. He polished it!’ We’ re both laughing, but it ratchets up another notch of hilarity when she adds, with the comic timing of a sitcom star, ‘I had to tell him. Really, David, there’s no need to have it on quite such conspicuous display!’ We quickly cover her rise through anchor duties and presenting Look East, as well as The Politics Show before I decide to take the frankly dangerous risk, given the story so far, of mentioning another fact (‘please let it be correct’ is forming as a thought in my mind, counter balanced with a sly hope that’s it not, because that way will lie more laughter). ‘Is it true that you actually played yourself in a film?’ It’s true. But it’s equally productive in the laughter stakes. ‘I did! It was amazing! Let’s deal with the story. This was the case of the ‘Suffolk Plane Spotters’ who got themselves into some high profile trouble when the Greek authorities arrested them on spying charges in 2001. In 2002 they were put on trial and Amelia covered it. ‘So, a couple of years later I get a phone call to say that there was to be a film about it - and they wanted me to play myself as the reporter at the trial! As soon as I realised it wasn’t a joke my reaction was ‘Yeah!’’ We’re back to the laughter. There’s no disrespect for the ordeal of the imprisoned spotters, nor the work of the film makers, it’s just that she tells the story with such hilarious wonderment at her involvement in the film. ‘I had a caravan! With my name on it! OK, my name was just sort of stuck on it, and not in a star shape - but
me - who’d always wanted to be an actress - in a film - with my own caravan!’ By this time I’m sure people are looking at us. We stabilise a bit. She talks of her and David getting married in 2008. And adds ‘Despite the award!’ which starts the giggles again. ‘We had a lovely wedding in Trowse, where we were living. It was a fantastic day’. The children arrived. Annabel in 2010. Cleo in 2013. They are she says ‘wholly un-impressed with their parents being ‘on the telly’, and the slightly elder Annabel positively shudders with embarrassment if a public appearance comes up. Amelia assumes a perfect imitation of an embarrassed little girl’s face and says ‘Mum, really? Nooo!’ Amelia’s children are plainly hugely important to her. Her conversation is dotted with references to events being ‘before’ or ‘after’ the children being born. She takes motherhood seriously and when I mention the crazy hours she works (she won’t fin-ish until 11.00pm tonight) she sees the positive in it. ‘Often when I’m working late, my kids are asleep. And, I’m able to be at home with them quite a lot of the time which is a bonus that many working mums don’t have’. It’s obvious that she’s giving thought to something she wants to say on the subject. Ready, she says, ‘I didn’t realise the joy of having a family before it happened. And I do feel blessed to have such a wonderful family, as well as doing a job that I love. It is a balancing act, of course it is. Sometimes you think - I’ve got it right- but there are plenty of other times when you panic that it’s not going to plan. And believe me, there isn’t a working mum colleague of mine, and I have lots, who doesn’t feel the same’.
presence of a professional. ‘I do a lot of interviews. Minis-ters, Chief Executives, high profile people. I’m totally conscious that I am in a privi-leged position. I can, and must, ask the questions that the viewer would want to ask. To do that I have to have the facts. They may or may not all be needed or come up, but I have to have them. I owe it to the viewer. I never wing it.’ Assiduous research, total preparation, are she says part of an attitude she’s had since school. Of course they are. She was born to do this work. Capable of off duty hilarity she is, on screen, a consummate broadcaster, presenter and interviewer. It radiates from her. ‘I suppose’ she says in closing, to really answer your question about why I love my work, it’s because I love doing interviews. I enjoy them’. ‘No pressure here then Pete’, I think to myself. ‘I’ve just interviewed one of the best interviewers in the media! This could have gone horribly wrong! Amelia has to leave and we shake hands and go out into the street, setting of in opposite directions. Am I worried about that last thought? Not really. Because if the talented, committed, articulate and funny person that is Amelia Reynolds has en-joyed this interview half as much as I have, she’s just had a brilliant morning!
She will often r ever to her colleagues, always praising their professionalism, gen-erosity and team spirit. Work and family fill her and David’s life to such an extent that there’s little time for outside interests. ‘I love skiing but we haven’t been for ages. We do go to the gym. We’re good at keeping fit. In fact she and David both completed the London Marathon in 2009. ‘He beat me! But only by a couple of minutes - and I stopped to fit in an interview. Does all of this make us sound super competitive? We’re not. Honestly!’ I turn the conversation back to her work. It’s demanding. She manages on 5 hours sleep between midnight and 5.00am, and the hours are flexible to say the least. Does she take the work home with her? No, she doesn’t. Not because she’s less than committed but because she realises that she specialises in news. ‘It’s what’s happening on the day. Tomorrow the story will have moved on, so you can’t dwell on it once it’s done’. What she does dwell on is the research. This is a step change in our conversation. She’s no less amiable now, but she is more focussed. Her physical posture shifts. You know you’re in the www.DispatchMagazine.co.uk
2016 April | 19
GENERAL Tom Thumb Lawn Care
keeps the weeds down too! Of course, we’d all love that short mown look, but to A striped lawn is just a few steps away achieve a heathy short mown lawn, we would need to cut Let’s face it. Just like us, you’ve a moss control, as well as the lawn every few days, and probably tried everything to carrying out scarification and get your lawn looking great for hollow-tine aeration if required. ensure it never grows too long. Even when we’re on holiday! the summer. But, no matter When your lawn has no how hard we try, we can At each treatment, we’ll weeds, you just need to focus never quite get that glowing also let you know if we spot on keeping your lawn thick. green striped lawn that we’re any further problems, such Cutting your lawn at 2 inches longing for. In fact, I’d be happy as fungal diseases or insect will help to keep it thick and if I could get my lawn to grow infestations, and advise you on healthy. properly! lawn care tasks that you could be doing better, such as lawn Oh, and one thing we do We spoke to Mark Ayres of mowing. notice all of the time; you need Tom Thumb Lawn Care to see to make sure the mowing what advice he can offer. Lawn mowing? Can it really make that much of a difference? blade is sharp. The number of blunt blades we see is Mark, tell us a bit about your Mowing your lawn correctly unbelievable! lawn care service? can mean the difference Tom Thumb Lawn Care offers between a poor lawn and a What else should I look out for? a seasonal treatment plan to great lawn. Little and often is There’s plenty of things that help improve the condition of the key. On a domestic lawn, can make your lawn look your lawn. We carry out five you should keep the grass unhealthy, such as thatch. treatments throughout the plants at a height of around Thatch is a fibrous layer of year. During the spring and 2 inches, and never mow any organic material that forms the summer, we apply a slow more than a third off the on the surface of a lawn. It’s release fertiliser and a weed height of the grass plants. mostly grass clippings, dead control treatment. During weeds and leaves. The material the autumn and the winter, Two inches sounds a little high. it’s made from is similar to we apply liquid nutrients and I like my lawn cut short, and it
20 | April 2016
that of a compost heap, but due to the reduced amount of airflow over your lawn, it won’t decompose. Thatch forms a great home for moss and prevents water and nutrients reaching the soil level. There are a number of different lawn care treatments we can offer to reduce the thatch layer, all of which will help you achieve a green and manageable lawn. Perfect advice Mark, thanks! Tom Thumb’s annual lawn care plan helps to ensure weeds and moss are kept at bay, as well as keeping your lawn looking healthy by applying the correct nutrients during each season. Mark’s team will also advise you of any further problems they find. Prices start from only £6 per month. For more information, contact 01482 250 026 or visit www.tomthumblawncare.co.uk
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ELDERLY The Hearing Care Centre By Karen Finch, audiologist and Managing Director of The Hearing Care Centre More and more of us are on the go whilst listening to music through headphones connected to our smartphones and other devices. So, whether you’re listening to tunes or making a call it’s important to make sure that you’re taking proper precautions to avoid permanent noise-induced hearing damage. Here is a list of things you may not even realise can contribute to hearing loss, and some tips on how to help save your hearing. Get some snug headphones If your headphones don’t fit properly in your ears, you may
24 | April 2016
be letting in a lot of ambient noise from your surroundings. If this is the case, you may be pumping the volume too loud to make up for the loss in sound. Invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones, or earbuds that fit nice and snug into your ear and provide clear sound so you can avoid having to compensate with higher volume. Earbuds and headphones vary in size and shape and good quality ones come with a few different earbud attachments so you can find the right kind for you. Downtime for your eardrums According to the World Health Organisation, we should only be listening to around one
hour per day worth of content on our smartphones or similar devices. The reality is that many of us are connected for much, much longer, especially younger people, and often at volumes of around 80 decibels. This is the equivalent of exposing your ears to the sounds of busy city traffic for an entire hour. Let your ears recover every now and then by taking a quiet break. Get your volume under control Your smartphone is capable of extreme volume, and there’s no reason why your phone should be set to the maximum level on a regular basis. It’s recommended that you stay at around two thirds of the volume mark as this is a much safer level. Listening to a moderate volume for a continuous period can affect your hearing, so listening above
the recommended safe level will increase the likelihood of permanent damage. Get your ears checked It’s important to regularly get your ears checked as part of a regular medical checkup. If you’re experiencing irritation or muffled sounds, you may have a blocked ear canal and the doctor may be able to clear it out for you. But you should also get your hearing tested by a qualified audiologist, because if you did have a hearing loss, the earlier it’s detected the sooner you can do something about it. Karen Finch is the Managing Director and lead audiologist at The Hearing Care Centre. The multi-award winning, family-run company has 20 centres across Suffolk and Norfolk.
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The April 2016 edition of Dispatch Magazine for Diss and Attleborough