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Win! an £800 ROAD BIKE Incredible Rutland Cycling Scott Speedster giveaway

ISSUE 10 // APRIL 2013

STA M FOR D & RU T L A N D’S SPORT A N D L E I S U R E M AGA Z I N E

ISSUE 10 // APRIL 2013

Mean Valley Roller GIRLS A wheely unusual team...

Plus IS

SPRING IR IN THE A

COVER iss 10.indd 116

A spot for a sandwich Pick of the best local picnic sites

Garden for fitness What to plant and when

It’s a Foal!

How to keep new arrivals healthy

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CONTENTS NEWS 11 I AROUND THE WORLD

Sarah Outen continues her epic adventure

12 I PREPARE TO SUFFER!

Rockingham Castle to host tough obstacle race

Issue 10 /// April 2013

22

14 I WIN: AN ÂŁ800 ROAD BIKE

Enter our exclusive Rutland Cycling competition

HEADS UP 18-19 I KITBAG

All the best gear and gadgets

21 I MARTIN JOHNSON

The Sunday Times writer on the appeal of the Boat Race

21

12

50

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FEATURES 22-25 I WELCOME TO ROLLER DERBY

Jeremy Beswick meets the Mean Valley Roller Girls – a local roller derby team which blends fitness with razzamattazz

26-33 I PICNICS

Sandie Hurford seeks out the best local picnic spots and offers up some new food and drink combinations

38-43 I GET IN THE SADDLE

Cycling is a great way to get fit... here’s 10 top reasons why you should get out on your bike

REGULARS 50-51 I GREAT WALKS

Will Hetherington and Ella try out a walk taking in Oakham, Egleton and Brooke

53 I SPORTSMAN’S DINNER

Dean and JT head out to Barnsdale Hall Hotel and Country Club for a bite to eat

55 I GREAT RUN

Alexa Cutteridge offers up another great local run to get you out and about and improve your fitness

56-59 I SCHOOL SPORT

Our monthly focus on the latest achievements from pupils in schools across our region

ROUND UPS 60-65 I ROUND-UP

26

How clubs in the Stamford and Rutland area are getting on

66 I REMEMBER WHEN?

Looking back into our area’s sporting history

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In Play

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Photography: Harry Measures

Honours even

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The local derby between Stamford Bels and Ryhall saw the Stamford side coming from behind to secure a point with a late equaliser. The game ended 2-2.

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In Play

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Photography: Harry Measures

Red nose day – literally

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Despite freezing Arctic conditions, dozens of hardy runners headed out for the Active Rutland Comic Relief fun run around Rutland Water to raise money for the red nose day charity.

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An evening with

Claire Lomas Believe, Inspire, Motivate, Dream Wednesday 24 April 2013 Stamford High School Hall, 7pm The Stamford Endowed Schools are delighted to welcome former pupil Claire Lomas back to school to deliver a Foundation Lecture. Do join us for this ‘homecoming’ event. Everyone is welcome. Entry is free of charge, but seats MUST be booked by emailing foundation@ses.lincs.sch.uk or calling 01780 750032. There will be a collection on the evening for Claire’s two charities – The Nicholls Foundation and Spinal Research.


News

Intrepid Sarah heads back out on her epic world record attempt Stamford adventurer aims to become the first person to circumnavigate the world using only human power LOCAL ADVENTURER Sarah Outen returned to Japan in March to continue her epic trip, where she aims to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe using only human power. Before setting off on chapter two of her journey she dropped in on the students at Stamford High School, where she was once a pupil herself, giving an inspirational talk on her incredible journey so far. Last summer the 27-year-old world record holder was forced to break from her expedition when a tropical storm damaged her rowing boat in the North Pacific ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland Japan, aer 25 days of rowing. She had already kayaked from London to France, and cycled from there across Europe, Russia and China, over 11,000 miles, before setting off in her rowing boat for the epic journey to Canada. She will now re-attempt the record-breaking row and continue her London-to-London expedition. Once Sarah makes it to Vancouver on the west coast of Canada she will cycle 3,000 miles across the country to Novia Scotia, where she’ll embark on the final leg of the journey, rowing 3,000 nautical miles across the North Atlantic Ocean, all the way back to Tower Bridge, where she first set off, back in April 2011.

Above and le

Sarah cycling in China and kayaking in Japan

Active caught up with Sarah at Rutland Cycling where she offered some top tips on setting off on your own cycle tour... “The great thing about cycle touring is it’s a great way to see the world at a slow pace where you can meet people along the way, plus it’s a really easy thing to get into, so it’s perfect for first-time adventurers. “My first top tip would be to look at the map of the world and choose somewhere interesting, have a look at what it might involve to cycle there by doing some research. “The next thing is choosing the right bike. It’s great that bikes are so forgiving and universal, so you can normally get bits for repairs all around the world, as long as you don’t have super fancy elements like disc brakes and hubs. Have a look at

a bike that will have strong components and a steel frame so it can be welded back together if need be and you want something that can carry kit. “The next part is kitting out the bike. I recommend a nice comfy saddle and definitely take a helmet, and make your bike as visible as possible. My best bit of kit on my bike is my dynamo hub light. Given that so many people get knocked off their bikes all around the world, take care against that. “In terms of the kit that you’re going to take, you should lay all the kit you think you’re going to need on the floor, and then halve it. Everyone sets out with far too much stuff. You’ll be cycling through places where you can replace things, and the great thing about cycle touring is

you don’t really need much once you’ve got your essentials “The one luxury I’d take is my Kindle or a book that I could swap along the way. And I do love having an ipod too, so I’d say something to read and an ipod. “My final tip is to take your time. Be open to the journey, open to the surprises along the way. Quite oen people get too set on making the miles, but they’ll have cycled for weeks and most of the best parts of the country have passed them by. So I’d say look up and around and be open to meeting people, and being a good ambassador for people on bikes is a good thing to be.” // Follow Active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ for a video of Sarah’s cycle tips, plus her talk on the first part of her trip.

WILDCATS PERFORM IN LONDON Youngsters from the region are celebrating aer performing dance and music acts at London’s O2 before a giant crowd at the Sunday Night Live variety performance event in February. Performers from Stamford, Bourne, Spalding and Peterborough took part with their troupe the West End Wildcats and also the Wildcats post 16 Academy, a group of performers who attend a full time BTEC course in Musical Theatre with the school, which is run in partnership with New College Stamford. The show formed part of their course assessment in musical theatre and jazz dance.

The Wildcats troupe performed a number of different routines including a medley from Cats, Addams Family, We Will Rock You and Chicago, while experiencing a day in the life of a performer, including using the artists’ dressing room. Caz Dolby, owner of Wildcats said: “We are very proud of our students that took part. Every single person did amazingly well, performing to the best of their abilities alongside being completely professional in a working theatre.” // For more information go to www.wildcatstheatreschool.co.uk

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News

FREE WEEKLY TRIATHLON ADVICE ADVANCE PERFORMANCE, the specialist running and triathlon stores, are now offering weekly bite-sized fitness tips to improve your performance from their expert in-store team and guest speakers. The 45-minute talks will take place every Thursday evenings, from 6pm-6.45pm, in their Peterborough and Cambridge stores. All speakers are qualified in certain specialities, as coaches, therapists or trainers, and will offer advice on their subjects, covering, amongst other topics, strength and conditioning, triathlon essentials, bike fit, the right kit, minimalist running technique, how to get the best from your gadgets and many, many more. And even if your sport isn’t running, swimming or cycling, there will still be subject to suit, such as nutrition, stretching, sports therapy, foam rollers, podiatry, posture, planning and goal setting. The Peterborough store will also hold special events for triathletes utilising the Triathlon Centre at Crightons hydropool, plus swim coaching using the SwimCam’s unique Swimtuning programme. For more information on Perform Clinics and special events visit the Advance Performance website www. advanceperformance.co.uk. ‘Like’ them on Facebook or ‘Follow’ them on Twitter and you will see which topics are covered each week.

WATERAID GOLF DAY LUFFENHAM HEATH Golf Club will be holding a golf day in June on behalf of the WaterAid Rutland Fund-raising Group, who have already raised more than £115,000 for projects in West Africa. Players can enter in either a team of four or as a pair, with a handicap limit of 24 for the men and 28 for the ladies. There will be coffee on arrival and the game will begin with a shotgun start at 1.30pm. Refreshments will be provided on the course and the day will end with dinner and prize giving, for both players and non-golfers. The event takes place on Friday, June 7, and entry fees will be £65 per player (£30 for non-players). // For more information contact Robert Macleod-Smith on 01572 812852 or randhms@aol.com

Get ready for s Rockingham Castle hosts The Suffering Obstacle Race series with a 10km event on June 22 and a tougher 10 mile challenge the following day

IF YOU’VE LEFT IT TOO LATE to train for the Rat Race Dirty Weekend in May, there’s an alternative adventure race coming to Rockingham Castle in June. The honestly-named The Suffering Obstacle Race series aims to shake up the adventure race industry with a series of unforgettably painful events at completely painless prices. And apparently, it’s not just about the races, but about being a part of it throughout the year by building a relationship with the event. Ultimate Adventures organiser and fitness nut, Markus Boyall explains: “We don’t want someone to race with us once and that’s it; we want to get our followers, the country, the world fit because we believe health and happiness go hand in hand.” “When we say this is a hard race we mean it. Rockingham Castle already has a harsh landscape of hills, valleys and natural water obstacles. It has an established off-road 4x4 Land Rover Experience course and a newly built equestrian course; that’s before we get started making it into a truly challenging course.” And he’s so confident in its difficulty that any MoD personnel who buys a ticket and brings their MoD 90 card on the day will get 10% of the profit of their ticket donated to BLESMA, The British Legion or Help For Heroes. And Active readers can benefit from a 10% discount of their ticket price by using the following coupon code at checkout before the end of the month: GETREADYTOSUFFER // The Suffering 10km takes place on the June 22 and the Pain & Suffering 10 mile is on June 23. Tickets start at £30. For more details visit www.thesufferingrace.co.uk

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Barnsdale Barnsdale Leisure Club Club Leisure

r suffering! March Membership

No Contract, Contract, No No No Joining Joining fe fe memberships memberships April Membership Membership Offer Offer April payable on new

No joining joining fee fee payable on new No No Contract, Contract, No No Joining Joining Fee Fee No memberships no lengthy lengthy contracts. contracts. On All All Memberships Memberships memberships and and no On No joining fee payable on new memberships and 30 days notice to cancel. WIN! FIVE ENTRIES joining fee payable on new No joining feeno payable oncontracts. new memberships memberships and and 30FREE days noticeTOrequired requiredNo to cancel. lengthy no lengthy contracts. no lengthy contracts. THE SUFFERING EVENT OF 30 days notice required to cancel. 30 30 days days notice notice required required to to cancel. cancel.

YOUR CHOICE

ACTIVE HAS TEAMED UP with The Suffering to offer five free entries to either The Suffering 10k Obstacle Race or The Pain and Suffering 10-mile Obstacle Race. We’ve got five entry tickets to give away, three via the magazine and one each via our Facebook and Twitter pages. So to be in with a greater chance of winning a ticket, don’t forget to log on to www. facebook.com/ theACTIVEmag or via Twitter: @theACTIVEmag To win, simply answer the following question: Where is The Suffering taking place? Answers should be sent by email to: suffering@theactivemag. com with your name and contact details. The winner will be picked at random. Closing date is May 15.

66 Tennis courts Tennis courts 22 Squash courts Squash courts

• 6 Tennis Courts • 6 Tennis Tennis Courts Courts •• 26 Squash Courts • 2 Squash Courts • Fully Equipped Gym • Fully Equipped Gym • 22 Metre Swimming Pool • 22 Metre Swimming Pool • Spa Pools • Spa Pools • Steam Room • Steam Room • Fitness Studio • Fitness Studio • Children’s Play Area • Children’s Play Area • Crazy Golf • Crazy Golf • Bowls • Bowls • 9 Hole Pitch & Putt • 9 Hole Pitch & Putt

Fully equipped equipped Gym Gym Fully 22 Metre Metre Swimming Swimming Pool Pool 22 Spa Pools Spa Pools Steam Room Room Steam

Please enquire at Leisure Reception for more

Please enquire at Leisure Reception for more details or phone 01572 771314 Fitness Studio or phone 01572 771314 Fitness Studio details Barnsdale | Nr Oakham | Rutland | LE15 8AB Barnsdale | Nr Oakham | Rutland | LE15 8AB www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk Children's Play Area Area www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk Children's Play

Your data will only be seen by Active magazine and Ultimate Adventures. Ultimate Adventures may contact you by email to send you further information. if you do not wish to receive further information please write “Do not send further information” in your entry email. Your details will never be passed on to a third party. As a winner active magazine may want to take pictures and run an editorial story on your progress. By entering you are giving consent for this.

Crazy Golf Crazy Golf Bowls Bowls

Barnsdale Hall 1/2 RL April.indd 1 Barnsdale Barnsdale Hall Hall 1/2 1/2 RL RL April.indd April.indd 1 1

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News

WIN: this £800 bike! To mark Rutland Cycling’s demo weekend this month, we’ve teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to win this Scott Speedster 40 lightweight road bike which is laden with top-spec features RUTLAND CYCLING IS BUILDING UP for its big demo weekend where you can try a fleet of the latest road bikes, at Grafham Water on April 13 or Rutland Cycling, Whitwell, on April 14. And one of the bikes in the fleet will be this Scott Speedster 40, worth £800, and we have one to give away, exclusively, to one lucky Active reader. The Scott Speedster 40 is a lightweight road bike with a double-butted 6061 alloy frame, carbon and alloy forks, on Syncros Race 28 Aero profile wheels. It features Scott Pro cantilever brakes and a Shimano Tiagra and Sora groupset. It’s a great first road bike at this price, but even better for free. All you have to do to enter this fantastic competition is answer this question, which may require some research: Who founded Rutland Cycling and when? // To enter, simply email the answer, including your full name, to winabike@theactivemag.com before April 30. Entrants will be added to Rutland Cycling’s newletter mailing list, where you may receive offers, news and other promotional communication, from which you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Inspirational Claire to give Stamford lecture Former high school pupil to talk about life after being paralysed in a horse riding accident EVERYONE KNOWS Claire Lomas as the inspirational fund-raiser and former horse event rider who was paralysed aer a riding accident, yet finished the London Marathon last year in 17 days using a robotic walking suit. Not everyone knows that she is a former Stamford High School student, and she’s returning to the school this month to deliver one of the school’s Foundation Lectures. Claire, who was recently voted ‘Tesco Courageous Mum of the Year’, will be embarking on another great challenge this month, cycling 400 miles around the country, visiting schools and organisations and telling her incredible story while raising funds for spinal injury research. Claire said: “Over the course of my challenge, I’ll be visiting as many schools as possible so I can talk to the children about the impact my spinal cord injury had on my life, how I have managed to rebuild my life and the 17 day marathon. I hope to encourage them to believe in themselves and set personal goals to achieve. “So far my training on the hand bike has been going well. It has been tough in the snow, but I just have to remind myself why I’m doing it and then it’s worth it. “Knowing that I’m raising money for research into spinal cord repair motivates me to push myself that little bit further.”

GET INVOLVED IN ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY The ECB is looking for young cricket fans to help at the ICC Champions Trophy in June and be the face of the international cricket tournament. Up to 900 ‘cricketeers’ are needed to support the sevent, with duties ranging from ground staff, on-field support, VIP hospitality, ticketing, marketing, media assistance and even photography. Not all roles will be high profile, or even close to the cricket, but all are vitally and important to supporting the Champions Trophy 2013, and the experience will enhance your CV and could even improve your employability. You’ll learn new skills, meet new people, work as a team and get to wear (and keep) the official ICC Champions Trophy 2012 volunteer uniform. // To get involved email: cricketeers@ecb.co.uk

Above Claire at the finish line of the London Marathon last year

Setting off on April 22 from Trent University in Nottingham, Claire will pedal her way through Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey, finally finishing in London on May 13.

// The ‘homecoming’ lecture will take place at Stamford High School on Wednesday April 24 at 7pm and is free for all, but tickets must be booked in advance by emailing foundation@ses.lincs.sch. uk or by calling 01780 750032. There will be a collection at the end of the talk for Claire’s two charities – The Nicholls Foundation and Spinal Research.

Sam signs for the Saints

LOCAL YOUNGSTER Sam Olver has signed for Northampton Saints. He will enter the senior academy squad for two years and will work towards a full senior contract. Sam, pictured receiving his contract from the club’s Dusty Hare, said: “I’m really happy to have secured a contract. I’m also relieved as playing professional rugby is what I’ve been focusing on.”

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News

Ton-up Tigers Ex-Oakham School pupils Tom Croft and Matt Smith celebrate winning 100 caps for Leicester Tigers TWO LEICESTER TIGERS STARS who went to school in Rutland have celebrated 100 games for the club. England and British Lions flanker Tom Cro and centre Matt Smith, who both went to Oakham School, received caps in presentations before games recently. Tom Cro celebrated his 100th start for Tigers by leading the team to a crucial 48-10 victory over Sale Sharks. He followed hot on the heels of Matt Smith, Cro’s good friend and former Oakham School team-mate, who played his 100th game for the club last month. Matt’s success follows in his father’s footsteps. The Smiths made Tigers history to become the first father-and-son combination to achieve the feat in the club’s 133-year history. Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith, who is now director of rugby at Oakham, had a 14-year career with the Tigers. He made a total of 331 appearances as a back-rower, including five cup finals. He then went on to captain and coach the Tigers, before joining Oakham. He coached both Tom and Matt before they went on to join Leicester Tigers. “It’s really nice to be part of the 100-start club,” said Cro, who came up through the Tigers Academy to make his senior debut in November 2005 and gain international honours with England and the British & Irish Lions. “It was nice seeing Smithy get his a couple of weeks ago. He could have waited a few more games and then we could have done it together!” Right and below right

Tom and Matt in action for Leicester

Above

Above

Tom collected his 100th cap from Tigers president Mike Harrison

Matt was presented with his cap by rugby legend Martin Johnson, le. Also pictured is Matt’s dad, former Tigers player Ian Smith

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Netball masterclass THE NETBALL TEAMS from year 7, 8, 9, and ten of Catmose College had a visit from former England netball captain Olivia Murphy where she delivered a masterclass. Olivia, who has 95 international caps, showed the students her Commonwealth medals and answered questions before coaching the teams on the court. Francesca Kennard Kettle from year ten asked Olivia what was required to compete at such a high level. “Hard work, lots of hard work,” was Olivia’s response. The day finished with games umpired by Olivia. Stuart Williams, Principal, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for Catmose College students to be coached by someone of such a high calibre. The workshop provided invaluable hands-on technique advice from a world champion, which will really help the students take their skills to the next level.” Olivia has represented England at World Youth Championships, taken part in three Commonwealth Games and two World Championships where she earned three bronze medals. She has also been head coach of Loughborough University, Loughborough Below centre Lightening Netball team, technical coach with England Above Pupils Eve Orton and Emily Broughton netball team and England Under-21 netball team. Her with Olivia Murphy current role is East Midlands regional netball manager.

Photography: Leicester Tigers

Catmose cricket champs CATMOSE COLLEGE cricket team recently claimed the title of Under 13 Rutland and Leicestershire County Cricket Champions and will now play in the level 3 County tournament to be held in Loughborough. Some great catches and high-scoring runs during the game in Leicester saw the Catmose students clinch the title against Soar Valley and be presented with their trophy by Shiv Thakor, the England U19 captain. Principal Stuart Williams said: “This is another fantastic sporting performance by Catmose College Students. The hard work and dedication put in by both staff and students has really paid off and I wish them they very best of luck at the county tournament.” Below centre Le

Students Eve Orton, Katie Baines, Emily Broughton, Zina Cheikh, Isabelle Dooley, Charlotte Allman, Tabitha Woolhouse and Lauren Gear

BikeFit at Rutland Cycling THE RUTLAND WATER-based cycle store at Whitewell will have a new BikeFit centre ready for its demonstration day on April 14, where riders can have their style assessed by the expert team and be advised on setting up their bike or buying the correct bike. According to Rutland Cycling’s Alex Woollen, there’s a lot more to fitting yourself to a bike than just adjusting the saddle and bars. He said: “It all depends on what you’re using your bike for. Small differences in geometry can make all the difference. If you are doing triathlons you need a bike that makes transitioning from the bike to running as easy as possible.” Rutland Cycling is also holsting a triathlon customer focus evening on April 9 from 6-8pm. It’s a chance for a sneak peek at the newest range on offer and there will be guest speakers from Inspire2tri and Blue Seventy as well as an exclusive 10% off bikes and 15% off tri gear valid for three months. // For more information on both events, contact Rutland Cycling on 01572 332032 or visit www.rutlandcycling.com

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Feature /// Gear

Kitbag

Here’s the kit to get you through the April showers... Orca wetsuit This is Eqiup’s Orca full-length men’s triathlon wetsuit and it uses 2mm neoprene on the upper body to aid flexibilty, while 3-5mm panels of Smoothskin neoprene are used on the back and torso, offering additional buoyancy. Speed Transition Panels also make it easier to remove quickly. Price £195 From www.advanceperformance.co.uk

Reaction GTC Pro 29

Jack Wolfskin Accelerate Zip T

A high-performance carbon hardtail with all the advantages of the bigger 29-inch wheels but as agile as a 26-inch bike. Through Active Brake Cooling, a wing-like support stay for the brake, airflow is directed towards the brake disc. Optimum strength to weight value results from the tapered head tube with integrated headset. Precise and balanced, the Reaction cuts through the trails. The result: affordable and very good! Price £1,399 From www.cyclewright.co

This Jack Wolfskin technical T-shirt is a workout essential and will keep you dry when you’re working up a sweat by absorbing moisture and forcing it to the outer layer to evaporate. It also dries quickly if you get caught out in the April showers. Price £40 From www.rutlandoutdoor.com

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Canondale 29er Trail Racers and hardtail-lovin’ loyalists everywhere have found that the Cannondale F29s offer the ultimate in 29er performance. With their ultralight, ultra-stiff frames, SPEED SAVE micro-suspension technology and 29er Race Geometry, the F29s combine the light weight and agility of 26-inch wheeled bikes with the relentless momentum of big wheels. Price £1,799.99 From www.oakhamcyclecentre.co.uk 01572 757058

Polaroid Socialmatic camera Do you use Instagram to capture your life, but miss the whole, actual, tangible, physical photos? Well, this Instagram-style camera featuring Polaroid technology will be out next year and it offers the ability to take Instagram-style pics, choosing filters to tweak your pics, but then actually print them out from its built-in Zink printer! It won’t replace the GoPro for action pics, but we love it anyway. Price TBC

Dare2B Full Burst jacket Craghoppers Cargo trousers These Craghoppers cargo pants for youngsters are unique in that they have extra leg length hidden away and a hidden extension seam incorporated into the trouser leg to accommodate growing boys and girls. As with most Craghoppers, they also feature NosiLife bug and insect protection in the fabric and, best of all, they’re very quick drying, so they’re perfect for April! Price £30 From www.getlostinrutland.co.uk

Dare2B make great outdoor kit, and this ladies cycling jacket is no exception. It features one of the highest quality waterproof materials available, so expect great breathability. And like most D2B kit, it’s very light. You get all the expected taped seams, mesh lining and three pockets with waterproof zips. Price £39 (reduced from £60) From wwww.rutlandcycling.com

Adidas Energy Boost shoe This funky looking men’s trainer is the latest running shoe to offer a new technology that claims to increase performance by recycling your energy input. The revolutionary mid-sole is made from a new, high tech polyurethane, or rather lots of tiny polyurethane capsules, fused together with high pressure steam. The result, is a platform that absorbs energy on every footstrike and returns it in reactionary power when you li off. Essentially: these are bouncy shoes. Price £110 From adidas.com and local stockists /// A P R I L 2 0 1 3 1 9

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AT

LARGE NOW COCKERELL ROAD, CORBY, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, NN17 5DU. TEL: 01536 268991 WWW.ROCKINGHAMCARS.CO.UK Fiat, the car brand with the lowest average CO2 emissions in Europe^ . Fuel consumption figures for the Fiat 500L range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 34.0 (8.3) – 62.8

(4.5); Extra UrbanHalf 56.5Page (5.0) –Advert_v3_GPL-GLR 76.3 (3.7); Combined 45.6 (6.2) – 70.6 (4.0). CO2 advert emissions 145 – 105 g/km. 1707 GPL-GLR Half Page Landscape 22/03/2013 17:53^Source: PageJATO 1 Dynamics. Based on volume-weighted average CO

2

(g/km) of the best selling brands in Europe, full year 2012.

emissions

Now stocking Páramo Get walking… Get cycling… Get camping… Get golfing… Get out in the fresh air… Get Lost in Rutland! What is Páramo? In 1983 Nick Brown, creator of Nick’s Wax (Nikwax), a proofing product was determined to find new, easy and clean way to waterproof garments. He developed a new novel approach. Harmful and flammable solvents were replaced with water and Nikwax Waterbased range was created. Nick was disillusioned with the way conventional waterproof - fabric worked and Páramo was born.

About us Get Lost In Rutland is a family business retailing everything for Walking, Cycling, Camping, and Golfing.

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Guest column

Oxbridge-on-Thames: a twohorse race between 18 people no-one has ever heard of The Sunday Times sports writer Martin Johnson on the enduring, and puzzling, popularity of the Boat Race

I’m a Cambridge man myself”, an acquaintance once revealed to me before the Boat Race. “All down to my father, really.” “Oh, which college did he go to?” I asked. “Oh, he was never at university. Left school at 16 in fact. It’s just that our first family car was an Austin Cambridge.” Most people in this country have never been remotely close to an Oxbridge education, but it seems that everyone has an affinity for one crew or the other on Boat Race day. Often for reasons as tenuous as the one above. Older readers will recall that there was also a car called a Morris Oxford, whose owners presumably rooted for the Dark Blues in one of British sport’s most iconic events. I’ll be supporting Cambridge, even though my father never owned a car by that name, or went to university there, so I have absolutely no idea why. Other than the fact that I slightly prefer light blue sweaters to dark blue ones, and have a pathological dislike for the Oxford bypass. There is no obvious explanation as to why a bunch of students should capture the imagination in quite the way they do for a 20-minute splash down the Thames. Or why the two teams take it so seriously that they start training for a race in April the previous October. Neither is there any money involved – although maybe that’s why it appeals. National newspapers no longer give it the prominence they once did, although last year, working for the Sunday Times, I was asked to re-jig the piece I was writing as a preview to the forthcoming cricket season because the two paragraphs inside the Sports section originally reserved for the Boat Race were now being expanded to take up half the front page, and a further half page inside. Plus, the race even made the news pages last year, with it firstly getting stopped when some ‘protestor’ jumped into the path of the crews, and when it was re-run an hour or so later, Oxford lost an oar when the two boats collided, handing Cambridge an easy win. Collisions are quite common in the Boat Race, which might strike you as bonkers on a river that is the thick end of 100 yards wide, but

it’s because both boats are competing for narrow stretches of the fastest running water. Being a metre off course at a certain point can be crucial enough to turn the respective navigators into kamikaze pilots, which means there’s always the potential for a total cox up. Hence the frantic jousting for position, and the need for a referee to keep shouting at the two coxes. Ironically, given that the crews will have trained so hard for the race that they’ve barely had time to do any studying, listening to the referee barking instructions will represent the first lecture they’ve attended in months. The first ever Boat Race was held at Henley in 1829, early enough for the Duke of Wellington to have possibly been among the audience jostling for a view. It gave birth to what later became the Henley Regatta, then moved on to Westminster and finally, in 1845, arrived at its current home between Putney and Mortlake. The score to date reads 81-76 in favour of Cambridge, with one dead heat in 1877, and no less than seven sinkings. Cambridge are ahead in that statistic as well, by four submersions to three. The Boat Race has been televised by the BBC since 1938, attracting audiences of 400 million in 160 countries, but its most famous piece of commentary was on radio in 1949, when John Snagge informed his listeners that he couldn’t tell through the mist which team were leading, but that it was “either Oxford or Cambridge”. It used to be elitist, with honours boards full of Lord this and Viscount that, but nowadays the seats are up for grabs to any old pleb who can row fast enough. Oddly enough though, in all those years, there haven’t been too many Boat Race oarsmen who have been terribly famous. Apart from Matthew Pinsent, we’ve had Hugh Laurie, a comedian, Lord Snowdon, who married Princess Margaret, and, er, that’s about it. Unless you count Sir Eugene Millington-Drake, who, as every schoolboy with an Oxbridge education knows, was British ambassador to Montevideo in 1911. And it remains perhaps the best known event in the sporting calendar for the sheer enormity of the contrast between elation and despair. There may only be a couple of centimetres between them when they cross the line, but while the eight rowers who cross the line a fag paper ahead will look fresh enough for a foxtrot at the university ball, the eight rowers who cross the line marginally behind will look dangerously close to death.

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Feature /// Roller derby

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The Mean Valley Roller Girls are a team with a difference. Jeremy Beswick straps on his roller skates Photography: Helen Savage Photography and Harry Measures

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Corporate Architecture Ltd

office@corporatearchitecture.co.uk www.corporatearchitecture.co.uk


Feature /// Roller derby

W

here can you see Diva La Lunatic, Michette Murder and Demonica Flooringstone hurtling around in helmets, hot pants and roller skates – without the need for mind-altering chemicals? Believe it or not, once a week in Stamford, Oakham and Peterborough. The team is the Mean Valley (geddit?) Roller Girls and the sport is roller derby. If I’ve whetted your appetite, I suspect a majority of you could use some explanation. Roller derby is a serious business with around 100 teams playing regularly in the UK. It evolved from an endurance sport attracting tens of thousands of spectators in the US in the mid-30s. There’s no ball – in each game or ‘scrim’ two fivewomen teams skate round an oval track. Both have a ‘jammer’ whose job is to pass the opposing players and then earn points by passing them a second time. The remaining four’s role is to block the opposing jammer and to assist their own, so they have both an offensive and a defensive role. There are some pretty nifty moves involved, especially when two or more blockers link together to form a wider barrier. Skaters often use the ‘whip’ – a technique to slingshot your jammer forward with the arm or hip and may ‘sacrifice’ a team-mate by pushing them into the path of the opponents’ jammer. The jammer can also change during a scrim, known as ‘passing the star’ as for easy identification they have a star on their helmet. As you’ll infer, the action is fast and furious. So why the outlandish track names and costumes? At one point in its history derby was as much showbiz as sport, so that’s part of the culture. Also, as team mainstay Hurtin’ Prue aka (Gail Booth) explained: “If you’re not usually the sporty type it really helps with confidence and aggression to become someone else on the track”. Not usually the sporty type? Actually, derby does attract both men and women who don’t find mainstream sports that appealing and is surprisingly accessible to all. As coach Marcel

Above

Action is fast and furious in roller derby, but there’s a technical aspect to the game, too, with strategies involved to get your team’s jammer past the opposing team. Lurid costumes and track names add to the razzamattazz

Grove put it: “The skates make athletes of everyone. It doesn’t matter what size or height you are. I know some very competitive bouters in their 50s”. Even if you’ve never touched a skate before Marcel reckons, with his coaching, you’d be competent within six weeks. Speaking to the team the word ‘empowering’ came to mind. Captain Diva La Lunatic started ‘The Meanies’ in 2011 and committee member Ophelia Outrage (Louise Sampson) recalls some team bonding events along the way. “We usually car-share to a bout. On one occasion we broke down and two helpful policemen stopped to assist. They did seem a little taken aback when all four of us emerged in our best finery – pig tails, fishnet tights, knee socks, etc”.

Louise also highlights the friendships she’s made, a significant proportion of her wedding guests being fellow skaters. Mean Valley became a ‘co-ed’ team some months ago and now has ex-ice hockey player Matt Thomson on board. Matt would really welcome some other guys around ‘to stop me feeling like the token bloke’, so hopefully some of you male readers out there will hear his plea. Referees and other NSOs (non-skating officials) are also welcome. The hot pants are not obligatory for men! Whatever your age or gender, if you fancy getting involved then spectating at an event will cost you only £5 on the day – and it is an ‘event’ with decorated hall, razzamattazz and merchandise for sale. It’s free for under 12s with an adult. There’s also a rumour that Sky Sports will be featuring roller derby on its Extreme Sports Channel, so look out for that. If you’re more of a participant than a spectator, absolute beginners are welcome at the recruitment sessions. It costs £25 a month to join for which you get 10 hours a week of action if you want it, which is a pretty cost effective way of getting your exercise. Just visit the Mean Valley Roller Girls website or Facebook page and all you need to know is there. Chosen your track name yet?

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call: 07816 148311 Web: www.meanvalleyrollergirls.co.uk

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Feature /// Picnics

PERFECT PICNICS

Hoping to dine al fresco this summer? Sandie Hurford picks some great places to lay your blanket locally and seeks out some new food and drink ideas

weather forecast means a quick trip to the supermarket or local deli for some finger-food provisions, with just a roll of kitchen paper alongside. A pre-planned occasion could involve some delectable dishes chosen from our recipe selection (see pages 31-33) and accoutrements as elaborate as a posh dinner party. I’ve seen men in dinner jackets carting the dining table across the lawn for a picnic while their begowned partners carry the candelabra alongside. Either way, pick your perfect location with the help of our list of top local picnic spots.

PICNIC TIPS

If the forecast’s good, go for it – it may be your only chance this year. ● Lay a groundsheet or plastic sheet beneath your blanket in case the ground is damp. Take plenty of rubbish bags and paper towels for easy cleaning. ● Pack your cooler in reverse order. Put your dessert in first, main course second and appetisers last. That way you won’t have to dig around to find the items you need. ● Bottled water is handy for washing hands as well as staying hydrated. ● Steer clear of mayonnaise because of food safety issues in hot weather; vinegar and oil-based dressings are safer. ● Avoid ice cream, sticky puddings and cakes – fragile to transport and insects love them. ● Put small bottles of water or juice in the freezer for a few hours before the picnic. These can help keep food cool and the drinks will still be cold when you need them. ●

© F1ONLINE DIGITALE BILDAGENTUR GMBH / ALAMY

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y own picnic memories have, admittedly, been mixed. The pleasure has usually been in the anticipation. One very hot day, my young cousin and I cowered in the car for hours, windows tightly shut, as a stray wasp made its lazy way around the jam sandwiches. Later, my own children always managed to prostrate their sandy bodies across the artfully arranged gourmet spread. And as for the dog… it doesn’t bear thinking about. But picnics are part of our heritage. The Famous Five were always having them, along of course with lashings of ginger beer, Ratty and Mole enjoyed picnics at the riverbank and even Jane Austen’s Emma managed an open-air lunch party. What about our English weather, you might say, as if the odd rain shower could cast a shadow across our al fresco idyll. Not a bit of it – that’s why we’ve brought along cagoules, wellies, outdoor heaters, rugs, Thermoses and lots more besides. A picnic is always as much of an adventure as merely a meal eaten outdoors. For two people, it can be a romantic date; add a few more dishes and friends and it becomes a “come as you are” party on the fly. And a picnic in the itinerary when travelling by car with the family for long distances makes a virtue out of a necessity. A simple, off-the-cuff affair prompted by a good

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Feature /// Picnics

Our pick of the top local picnic spots Barnwell Country Park near Oundle

With 15 hectares of lake, river bank and meadows to explore, this is a picnickers’ paradise. Three waterside trails and a wealth of wildlife make it a great destination for a day out. Free admission, parking charge.

Brampton Wood near Huntingdon

Further afield (the 900-year-old Brampton Wood is off the A14, four miles south west of Huntingdon) but offering a rare chance to spot glow worms. Imagine settling down to a dusk picnic as these rare little bugs switch on around you like fairy lights. Your best chance of seeing them is on chalk downland in the south of England but a handful have been spotted in summer at Brampton and you also have a chance of spotting dragonflies and butterflies. Free admission, free parking.

Burghley House Stamford

Regarded by many as the finest Elizabethan House in England, Burghley House‘s extensive grounds and sculpture park are open to the

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public with free admission and there are plenty of places to spread out your picnic rug. Following the success of last years big screen events, the Burghley Film Festival launches in August with four days of fabulous films. With everything from Bond to the Kings Speech and children’s classics there is something for everyone to enjoy. Book day or evening sessions, from £6 per adult, and see a double bill that will enthrall and delight all ages. For further details see the Burghley website www. Burghley.co.uk. Picnics are part of the fun. Burghley has been holding the three-day event horse trials on its estate since 1961 when it ceased to be held at Harewood. It holds the record for the staging of championships on an international horse trials site, two world championships, six European and one Young Riders European, and is the longest, continuous running international event.

Ferry Meadows near Peterborough

Walk, cycle, play, horse-ride, ride a train, go fishing, exercise the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland. There are water sports, cafes, hard

Ferry Meadows

routes for wheelchair users, a busy events and activity programme and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Fed up with the usual picnic fare? There are permanent barbecue stands near the coach park and the watersports centre car park, with no charge (take your own charcoal and utensils). You can also bring your own barbecue provided that it is off the ground and not gas-fired. Free admission, parking charge.

Fineshade Wood

between Stamford and Corby Part of Rockingham Forest, Fineshade is an ancient mixed broadleaf and conifer woodland

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woods and it’s a wonderful place to spot red kites, nightingales and skylarks.

breeding Ospreys in England for 150 years. On the water itself you can take a boat trip, do a spot of fishing or sample a wide range of water sports. Some of the best views are from onboard the Rutland Belle, which will take you on a four-mile cruise of Rutland Water. There are some picturesque walks and great cycle routes around the reservoir. Cycle hire is available, enabling you to follow part or all of the 25-mile circular track around the water. The reserve offers regular organised nature trails and bird watching for both adults and children. It’s also worth paying a visit to the Normanton Church museum to discover how this famous landmark was saved. It seems there’s something for everyone at Rutland Water Park, so pack up that picnic blanket and off you go. Parking charges.

Rutland Water

Southey Wood

Burghley House

with waymarked walks and cycle paths, and a range of wildlife. There is also a visitor’s centre with cafe, cycle hire, an adventure playground, on-site camping and, dotted around the woods, plenty of picnic spots for the perfect summer picnic. Situated between Corby and Stamford, signposted from the A43.

Kirby Hall near Corby

One of England’s greatest 17th-century mansions, even if it is partly roofless. An interesting backdrop for a picnic during which you can admire the recently restored great gardens. There’s also an audio tour with commentary by experts in garden history and such matters. Admission charge, free parking.

Oakham Castle Oakham

The splendid Great Hall of the castle is one of the finest examples of late 12th Century domestic architecture in England. The Great Hall is best known for its collection of commemorative horseshoes and 12th-century sculptures. If all that history makes you hungry, you can picnic to your heart’s content within the grounds of this beautiful structure. Free admission.

near Oakham It’s little wonder that this magnificent reservoir, park and nature reserve recently made the top 50 picnic spots in the UK, as listed by The Independent. Set in 4,200 acres of open countryside on the shores of Rutland Water, you’ll find cafes, restaurants, shops, a visitor centre and children’s playgrounds. Perennially popular with daytrippers. It’s home to a nature reserve, walking and cycling trails and all manner of watersports facilties (it’s where Ellen MacArthur learned to sail), so there are plenty of options for working off that extra slice of pork pie or Victoria sponge. Rutland Water Park offers world-class trout fishing and bird watching and the nature reserve is (summer only) home to the first

near Peterborough Once included in the medieval Royal Forest of Rockingham, Southey (between the villages of Upton and Ufford, five miles from Peterborough) is a mixed woodland with majestic oaks standing around the car park and picnic place. Tall, stately pine trees provide a backdrop to the picnic area, providing a cathedral-like entrance to the forest walks. An all-ability trail takes a meandering route through the woodland.

Stamford Meadows

Originally called the Water Meadows, the Meadows is a pleasant place to picnic and watch the birds. It provides level walking along the River Welland, where you’ll find the Stamford Meadows

Rockingham Castle near Corby

The castle stands on the edge of an escarpment giving dramatic views over the Welland Valley and five counties. Its architecture has examples from every period of its 950-year history. Surrounding it are some 18 acres of gardens largely following the footprint of the medieval castle, with masses of big open spaces for children to run around in. Open 12 noon–5pm Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from March 31; Tuesdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays June to end September. Admission charge.

Southey Wood

Tolethorpe Hall

Rockingham Forest Fermyn Wood, near Corby

A great spot in the middle of Rockingham Forest that’s perfect for a weekend family picnic. There are woodlands, meadows and marshes to explore, a designated area for barbecuing and the Skylark Cafe, serving homemade cakes. The wildlife is also a real draw – badgers and fallow deer inhabit the

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Feature /// Picnics Boudicea plaque recording her pursuit of the Romans, and is the starting point for the Jurassic Way. There are footpaths to Easton-onthe-Hill and Tinwell. It’s close to the shops if you find you’ve forgotten something but can be busy on fine-weather days, with probably more than the ideal ratio of dogs to humans.

Tolethorpe Hall near Stamford

A purpose-built auditorium in the landscaped grounds of the Elizabethan hall provides the setting for the annual summer season of outdoor Shakespeare, which attracts 30,000 visitors a year. There is nothing more enjoyable for a theatre visit on a summer evening than a picnic on the lawn beforehand. This year’s plays are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors and Dad’s Army (The Lost Episodes) from June 4-August 31. Tickets from Stamford Arts Centre.

set among majestic larch and includes a grassed area for picnicking. Barbecue points are also provided.

Wicksteed Park near Kettering

The UK’s first leisure park combines the excitement of rollercoasters, rides and

attractions with the tranquillity of a historic country park. With rides ranging from the Pirate Ship to Rocky Falls log flume, a nature reserve and 147 acres of beautiful parkland, there are a number of picnic benches around the park but many still prefer to spread their blanket next to their car. There are also some brickbuilt barbecues for visitors’ use.

Wicksteed Park

Wakerley Great Wood

between Stamford and Corby Another ancient woodland that’s a great place to go for picnics, walks, birdwatching and horse riding. It has two walks: an all-ability trail and a longer trail on muddier paths. Try out the orienteering course with maps available from the forest office. The car park is

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Picnic recipes Minted turkey couscous

Harissa is a fiery north African condiment popular in Tunisian and Moroccan cuisines so use sparingly unless you are sure your guests like things hot! Serve the couscous as part of an al fresco buffet or with a green salad as a main course Preparation: 15 minutes (plus standing) Cooking: 5 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients: ● 500g/1lb 2oz British Turkey breast steaks, cut into 1cm/1/2in cubes ● 175g/6oz cous cous ● 2tbsp olive oil ● 2tsp ground cumin ● 1tsp ground ginger ● 1tsp paprika ● 75g/1oz pine nuts, lightly toasted ● 2 fresh figs, chopped ● 100g/4oz no soak dried apricots, chopped Dressing ● 2tbsp white wine vinegar ● 4tbsp light olive oil ● 1tbsp lemon juice ● 1tsp harissa paste ● Pinch of sugar ● 1tbsp chopped fresh mint ● Spring onion to garnish ● Salt and black pepper Method 1. Put the cous cous in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover by 2cm/3/4inch. Set aside for 15 minutes until the grains of cous cous have swollen and absorbed the water. Fluff up the grains with a fork. 2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the turkey and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin, ginger and paprika and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir into the cous cous with the pine nuts, figs and apricots. 3.Whisk the dressing ingredients together and

pour over the cous cous. Stir well and serve at once or leave to cool. Tip: the pine nuts can be toasted under a grill or spread out on a baking sheet in a moderate oven. Once they start to colour watch them carefully as they will burn quickly burn and develop a bitter taste and if they are on a hot metal tray they will continue to toast after removing from the oven

Oriental tuna Nicoise salad

Whole tuna steaks marinated in Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade tossed with fresh, summery salad ingredients. Great for picnics! Serves 4 Preparation Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes: Plus 20 minutes marinating time Ingredients ● 450g (1lb) fresh tuna steaks ● 8tbsp Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade ● 450g (1lb) new potatoes ● 225g (8oz) green beans, trimmed ● 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and chopped ● 50g (2oz) sliced black pitted olives

8 cherry tomatoes, halved 4 hard boiled eggs, halved ● 50g (2oz) baby spinach leaves ● ●

Dressing 1 tsp whole grain mustard Juice of ½ lemon Method 1. Place the tuna steaks in a dish and pour the teriyaki marinade over, making sure they are well coated. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, boil the new potatoes in lightly salted water for 15 – 20 minutes until tender. Place the beans in a steamer above the potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and toss in a bowl with the cooked beans. Add the spring onions, olives, cherry tomatoes, eggs and spinach leaves to the potatoes and toss well. 3. Cover and keep warm. 4. Heat a ridged griddle pan and sear the tuna steaks for 2 minutes on each side. Add the excess marinade with the mustard and lemon juice to the pan and sizzle with the tuna steaks for 2 minutes. 5. Flake the tuna over the salad and drizzle over the hot marinade and serve.

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Feature /// Picnics placing a thick piece of cardboard on top of the foil, then balance a couple of cans on top 8. Pop into the fridge and chill overnight. Remove from the tin, slice and wrap in clean foil or cling film. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat or take on picnic Copyright Phil Vickery 2011 www.britishturkey.co.uk

Sticky chicken wings

Tangy, spicy chicken drumsticks and wings for when there’s a barbecue around. Serves 4 Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Turkey meatloaf with onions and boiled eggs

Serves: 6-8 slices Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: one hour Per serving: 344 kcals, 18.2g fat, 6.4g saturated fat Ingredients ● 500g British turkey mince ● 1 tbsp vegetable oil ● 2 onions finely, chopped ● 200g good quality sausage meat ● 1 tsp dried oregano ● 1 tsp ground cinnamon ● 1 tsp dried chilli flakes ● 3 slices white bread, no crusts, made into breadcrumbs ● 1 medium egg, beaten ● 4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley ● Ground black pepper ● 3 hard boiled eggs, shelled Method 1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C, Gas 4 2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes until golden and softened. Meanwhile, place the meats into a large bowl and mix in the oregano, cinnamon and chilli flakes. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and pepper, mix well 3. Once the onions are ready, add to the meat mixture and mix well again 4. Spoon half the mixture into a 2lb non-stick loaf tin and flatten well 5. Place 3 whole hard boiled eggs along the top and then pile the rest of the meat mixture over the eggs, pat down. Cover with 2 layers of oiled foil and secure around the tin 6. Place onto a baking tray (to catch any fat that may come out) and pop into the oven. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the juices run clear once a knife is inserted 7. Once cooked, carefully remove from the oven and cool. Once cool press lightly by

Ingredients ● 6tbsp Kikkoman Soy sauce ● 2tbsp honey ● 1tsp chilli sauce ● 3tbsp tomato puree ● Zest of 1 lemon ● 16 chicken wings and drumsticks, skin removed ● Sauté potatoes to serve. ● Green salad to serve 1. Place the Kikkoman soy sauce, honey, chilli sauce, puree and zest in a small saucepan and stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened slightly. 2. Make some cuts into the chicken pieces. Place them on a grill pan and brush the marinade over. Grill for 25 minutes, turning and basting with the marinade occasionally. Serve with crisp sauté potatoes and green salad. BBQ TIP Cook the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 C/350 F/ Gas 4. Transfer to a hot barbecue rack and cook over the coals for 5-10 minutes to char the chicken slightly.

What to drink Chosen by Blake Johnston from The Stamford Wine Company NV Cremant De Bourgogne, Domaine Brigand

So France has champagne, Italy has prosecco and Spain has cava, right? Well, all of the above is correct, however France also has some clever sparkling wines up it’s sleeve. Cremant De Bourgogne is from Burgundy and is made from the same main grape varieties as champagne; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is a dry example and has balanced acidity.

2010 Domain Pelle, Menetou-Salon, Loire, France

This appellation is, in my book, the finest in the Loire valley, producing some of the most enjoyable sauvignon blanc that I have come across. This is very different from a sancerre or a pouilly fume, and this has nowhere near the fruit of a New World sauvignon, but the subtle qualities of this wine are perfect for a picnic and this producer is definitely worth a try.

2011 Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine Félines-Jourdan

The grape picpoul, or piquepoule, lives up to its French name: ‘pique’ (sharp and lively) and ‘poule’ (so and maternal). A few growers still make and bottle their own wine and this is one of the best. A Languedoc equivalent to Italy’s Soave, this is round, full flavoured and characterful. A must with seafood and a tub of aïoli.

2011 Domaine Sautereau, Sancerre Rose

This rose sancerre is bright, pale pink in colour, with lively notes of strawberries and raspberries on the nose. The palate is full in body and fine in texture, with delicate flavours of fruits of the forest, and a long, elegant finish which is supported well by refreshing acidity.

2011 Berry’s Rose (Berry Bro’s and Rudd)

A blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cinsault, with a relatively deep strawberry colour and attractive hedgerow aromas. The red-fruit notes on the palate are pleasingly poised between the structured and the fruity, between white wine elegance and red wine weight. But as with all the best rosés, this has its own personality.

2009 Luciano Sandrone, Dolcetto d’Alba

This is made as an easy-to-drink wine that matches well with a variety of dishes. It shows great plum and berry fruit, deep minerality and good, firm, ripe tannins. Though Dolcetto roughly translates as ‘little sweet one’, the wine made here is not a pushover at all – it has loads of bright fruit but also good structure, with bright acid and firm tannin.

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Feature /// Gardening

HOW DOES YOUR

GARDEN GROW?

It’s spring and you might be thinking of planting for a late summer harvest. Adrian Walker gives his homegrowing tips

D

epending whether you rake your garden or rotivate it, lightly spread a multi-purpose Growmore fertiliser over your plot and work into the soil a few weeks before sowing. When you do come to sow seeds, or put in plants, try and work the land to a fine seed bed. I choose to work my land with a rotivator. There are many debates about using these machines, as some say it chops up the roots of weeds and spreads them, yet others say it pans the ground (compacts the soil) below the slasher blades. All of these are true, but if you’re keen to keep your garden clean from weeds this won’t be a problem. When you choose your rotivator, try and get one with slightly curved slashers, rather than the 90 degree angle slashers. This will reduce the compaction of the soil. If you compact the soil, dig the land a little deeper, but it’s not a major problem.

BROAD BEANS

These are one of the first crops I sow. They are very hardy and freeze well. Make a shallow drill (furrow) about two inches deep. Plant your bean seed about six to eight inches apart and cover with loose soil. One of the first problems your may meet is you be seed being stolen. When I first had this problem I thought it was birds. I was wrong: mice were the culprits so I got some dressed seeds thinking they wouldn’t like the taste. Instead they dug them up, cracked the shell and ate the inside! I���ve found the best thing to do is to get some two inch plastic pipe and put some

rat poison in. The pipe keeps the rat poison dry and the birds don’t get it, and it alleviated my mouse problem. Other pests you may come across are bean weevil, aphids and blackfly. To ensure a good harvest I use garden fungicides and insecticides. Spray your beans at first signs of buds. With blackfly, if you’re close to harvest just pick out the heads of the bean plant of the affected area. Chocolate spot can be treated with a fungicide, it possibly won’t completely disappear but the fungicide will at least slow it. When you harvest the beans don’t pull up the plant, cut it and leave the stubble and root in the ground. The broad bean makes its own fertiliser around its roots and this can be dug into the ground in the autumn ready for next years sowing. When freezing beans, blanch for three minutes first.

SOWING SMALL SEEDS

When sowing seeds, whether it’s carrots, beetroot or leeks, work the land so it’s reasonably fine. Draw a drill line with your rake handle, not too deep and sow your seeds. Lightly cover your seeds with a dusting of soil. A lot of the gardening books say half an inch deep. From experience I’ve found this is too deep. Once the seed is covered, pat the rows with the end of the rake and if you have a light garden roller use it to help compress the land and hold the moisture in longer. When working, use a plank (a scaffolding plank is perfect) to walk on parallel to your seed row to help spread your weight and prevent compaction of the soil. When your seeds grow, thin them out and put the thinnings on the compost, especially carrots. Then water the row with a watering can rose as close to the ground as possible. This will flood the

row and seal any thinning holes. This is especially important for carrots. I grow autumn king carrots and have tried many ways to prevent carrot fly. These insects burrow through the carrot and leave holes that can destroy them. The best method I’ve found is to sow the seeds as late as possible, such as early June. Harvest the carrots as soon as they are ready and blanch for five minutes if you are going to freeze.

LEEKS

These are a great winter crop and don’t have many problems. They are from the onion family and do suffer from rust. Just spray them with fungicide. When your leek seeds are big enough (6mm diameter approx.), lift them and trim them to the root leaving half an inch. Trim the tops of the leaves (only the tips) and

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I LOVE IMAGES / GARDENING / ALAMY

make a hole with a dibber (I use a fork handle shaved to a point). Drop the leek into the hole and fill it with water. About a week later, drop two grains of Growmore fertiliser into the hole of each leek and fill with water.

ONIONS

Onions come in sets: just plant them under the surface of the soil with the top just poking through. You may need to keep an eye on these as birds pull the odd ones out and drop them close by. If so, just put them back and firm the soil around. Once the root takes the birds will leave them alone. Once of the problems with onions is white rot (snotty or mouldy nose) disease. This is nothing like a snotty nose, it has a white fluffy mould with black spots in it, around the root of the bulb.

Leeks can suffer from this too. There is no cure – just lift and burn the diseased plants. It is advised to not grow onions on infected ground for eight years, although my plot suffers from this and I only lose about 10% of my crop each year, so I still feel it’s worth pursuing with them. When I harvest my onions I lift and dry them on a raised net bed. Once a day I store in net sacks or tie them together. Check stored onions frequently and remove dodgy ones.

RUNNER BEANS

They are quite simple to grow, but have you ever had the problem of flowers not setting and beans not forming? This tends to be due to dry weather. The simple cure is to water your flowers. This will help set the bean, then just care for them as any other crop.

PARSNIPS

I hear so many people say they can’t grow parsnips. Just sow generously as a small seed and they can be thinned out later. Water them well and be patient as they take a long time to grow.

CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI

These are sown as a small seed too but need to be covered by netting. Birds are especially partial and will strip rows in hours. When they reach six inches start transplanting. I usually sprinkle the ground with a little Growmore and Epsom salts. Not the whole plot, just in the rows. Epsom salts prevent magnesium deficiency, which brassicas can suffer from. Some of the worst pests for brassicas are caterpillars, and insecticide and fungicide can be used in the early stages but as

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All Aspects of Landscaping Undertaken

FOR A FREE : QUOTATION CALL

www.scenic-gardens.co.uk Visit our showcentre at Dobbies Garden World, Hampton, Peterborough to view our timber buildings

T: 01780 752311 M: 07712 771105 28 Lindsey Road, Uffington, Nr Stamford PE9 4SH


Feature /// Gardening I LOVE IMAGES / GARDENING / ALAMY

the plants mature you can use washing up water. Do this regularly if the weather is hot and dry.

POTATOES

I only grow earlies as they are quite easy. Set the seed on a tray and let them grow shoots. When planting make a five inch deep trench and plant twelve inches apart. If you have a seed with a shoot on each end you can cut it in half but it’s not something I tend to do as it can reduce the yield. If you do cut them in half dip the cut end in soot to keep wire worm and slugs away. If you plant a full seed push a knife through it. This will help it to rot, giving better yields. If slugs become a problem sprinkle slug pellets over the ground. I usually do this anyway when it’s a wet summer.

SPRAYING

As you may have already gathered I’m not shy with using the sprayer. Why shouldn’t you? If most farmers round our way swear by them, why should you go without? If you have to mix up spray for one vegetable, you might as well mix up enough to do everything. Make sure you check the instructions, as some suggest you leave 14 days before harvesting. I appreciate this method of gardening isn’t entirely organic and there are costs of purchasing the chemicals but the rewards are good when it comes round to harvest and I love it!

HOW TO GET FIT IN THE GARDEN

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Sean Elliott, managing director of Scenic Gardens in Peterborough, on the health benefits of gardening While gardening can be very enjoyable, it can also be great for your health. To gain a health benefit you must be active for at least 30 minutes just like any other exercise. Gardening can help to strengthen joints, increase flexibility, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Men can burn between up to 200 calories and women nearly as many just by a spot of weeding, planting, or digging holes. Gardening can be heavy work and it is essential that when liing heavy objects you use the correct liing technique, with a straight back and bending your knees. And don’t try to li too much in one go: you can always make two trips increasing your gardening exercise. Aer all, this isn’t gym work but exercise! You may be wondering if there are any tasks that will have you out into the garden this time of the year, especially with the weather we’ve had. I have compiled a short list of some of the activities and tasks

that can be carried out in preparation for a great British summer (fingers crossed!)...

• Beware of late frost, so keep delicate plants covered up. • Keep on top of those weeds. Now is a good time to remove them before they really take. Apply weed killer throughout to reduce work later. • As the weather warms encouraging new growth, you can add fertiliser to the boarders and then cover with mulch. • Remove the moss from paths, patios and drives. • If you haven’t already had your first cut, book your lawn mower in for a service. You want to be ready when the weather improves. • Keep your first few cuts on a high setting, sowing seeds where patches have formed. A late frost will reduce the yield of the seed so re-sow if this occurs. • Trim conifer hedges aer the last frost to prevent burning and brown patches. www.scenic-gardens.co.uk

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Feature /// Cycling

REASONS TO START CYCLING NOW! Inspired to take to the roads by our Olympic success last year? Here’s 10 reasons to get on your bike… Words: Rich Beach

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JAMES VAUGHANSPENCER / ALAMY

1. WE’RE GREAT AT IT!

After the successes of Sir Bradley Wiggins in both last year’s Tour de France and Olympic Games, not to mention the quick-sprinting skills of Mark Cavendish, the nation fell in love with cycling almost overnight. Good-natured locals seem now to be far more cautious of cyclists, some might even doff their cap as you ride by. It’s certainly become far more acceptable as a middle-aged man to don a matching Lycra cycling jersey and shorts and lose yourself in the Rutland countryside for a few hours.

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Feature /// Cycling smoothest roads in the country. From the centre of Stamford you’re no more than 20 minutes by pedal power from a sleepy, hedged lane where the only traffic you’re likely to encounter is of the four-legged variety. Head east of Stamford to sample the deserted delights of Exton, Cottesmore and Oakham; north will take you to Clipsham and beyond. If you head out towards Rutland Water, be sure to try the six-mile loop around the Hambleton Peninsula, which offers a short climb into Upper Hambleton and stunning views of the water. More short climbs can be found around Barnsdale Hill on the north side of the water.

5. IT’S MORE SOCIAL THAN FACEBOOK!

2. IT’S EASY TO ESCAPE THE TRAFFIC

Fineshade Woods, found along the A43 to Corby, is a glorious off-road playground no matter what your level of skill. If you’re feeling like a challenging blast with your mates on mountain bikes, the trails are perfect. And if you want to get the kids involved in enjoying cycling at an early age, there’s also a family route which is five miles long, and obviously doesn’t include any steep hills or obstacles. But best of all, you can make an impromptu visit at any time due to the large hire bike fleet available. Cycle hire is from £9.99 or from £6.99 for kids, and the choice is vast. Rutland Cycling’s hire fleet is made up of new-season models from the biggest bike brands and includes bikes for everyone, regardless of age or ability. You can hire the highest spec mountain or road bike, hybrid bikes, kids’ bikes, tandems, trailer bikes, plus helmets, lights, child seats and even GoPro cameras to capture your day’s fun. Just across the A43 is Wakerley Woods, which offers a more extreme selection of trails for well-suspended mountain bikes, but be careful out there – it’s a long walk out of the woods if you hurt yourself (don’t ride alone). With the reservoir route around Rutland Water, and yet more options at Grafham Water, you are spoilt for off-road and traffic-free cycle routes in the area. www.rutlandcycling.com 01572 332032

improve your intelligence? One experiment in Ireland put male students through a memory test, which was then repeated half an hour later but with one half of the group sat doing nothing while the rest cycled for 30 minutes. It was reported that ‘the exercised volunteers performed significantly better on the memory test than they had on their first try, while the volunteers who had rested did not improve’. A study from the University of Georgia also looked at the effect of exercise on 30 women, aged between 18-37. Part of the group undertook six weeks of aerobic exercise. The results revealed a significant drop in anxiety levels. Dr Randy Rzewnicki from the EU’s directorate general for health and consumers, said: “These studies add to the body of knowledge about health benefits. Regular cycling, such as commuting, is good for so many facets of health, from weight control to preventing heart disease and diabetes, to helping you sleep well. There’s hardly anything cycling isn’t good for. It’s good for life expectancy; it lets you live longer, with a higher quality of life. And not just more days in your life, but more life in your days.”

6. WE’VE GOT CYCLE SHOPPING SEWN UP

Cycling is big business locally, so you’ll rarely need to resort to the internet to find your cycling supplies. Rutland Cycling, situated on the shores of Rutland Water, is a veritable cycling mecca, stocking off-road and Tarmac-ready bikes for all ages. They also have stores at Normanton, Grafham Water and Fineshade. Throw into the mix Cycle Wright at Baston, the Oakham Cycle Centre, The Gorrilla Firm in Oundle and even electric bike stockist, Get Lost in Rutland, and you pretty much have your two-wheeled needs covered. See: //www.rutlandcycling.com //www.cyclewright.co //www.oakhamcyclecentre.co.uk //www.gorillafirmcycling.com //www.getlostinrutland.co.uk

7. IT’S ONE-THIRD THE WAY INTO TRIATHLONS

3. IT MAKES YOU SMARTER

It goes without saying that an active life means a healthy life, and cycling is not only a great way of getting a tan in the summer months, but also a superb way of staying fit. You’re getting a good cardio workout and strengthening all the muscles in your legs at the same time. But did you know that more than one scientific study has found that cycling can

The Stamford area is host to a number of cycling clubs which you can join up to in order to sample the social side of cycling, whether that’s on the road or on a muddy trail. They’re good places to make new friends, learn new routes, and even – if you get bitten by the bug – start out in your career as the next Bradley Wiggins. Clubs are a brilliant repository of information, and advice on all aspects of riding. Within an hour’s drive, we have Peterborough Cycling Club (purportedly the oldest in the country), Rutland Velo, Fenland Clarion, Spalding CC and many other smaller clubs to sign up to. For details, see: // www.peterboroughcyclingclub.co.uk // www.veloclubrutland.org.uk // www.fenlandclarion.co.uk // spaldingcyclingclub.wordpress.com

4. THE AREA IS THE UK’S CYCLING CAPITAL

Living in the Stamford and Rutland area, we’re blessed with some of the quietest,

If you do get bitten by the cycling bug, or are already, then perhaps you’re ready to move into triathlons. In mid-April, Rutland Cycling is launching a brand-new triathlon range in their Giant store at Rutland Water, and online. On April 9, between 6-8pm, they’re organising a pre-launch evening at the Giant Store, Normanton, Rutland Water.

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��

��

��

���

Open Day

Saturday 27 April

11am - 4pm

Refreshments Available

Come and see behind the scenes at one of the East Midlands leading Equine and Small Animal Hospitals Dog Agility Demo Inside Out Horse Display Sniffer Dog Demo Horseshoe Making Meet the Pets Saddle Fitting Meet the Staff Trade Stands Charity Stalls

Proceeds Towards:

Please see www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk for full details


Feature /// Cycling

8. IF YOU LIKE GADGETS, YOU’LL LOVE THE LATEST BIKES... This will be a free event with drinks and nibbles, and will feature tips, advice and a Q&A session for beginners and experienced triathletes, delivered by British Triathlon coach Mary Hardwick of inspire2tri. Plus, there will be a sneak preview of their new blueseventy triathlon range, available in store and online from mid April, plus discounts on triathlon products purchased on the night. To register your interest, (which will entitle you to a 15% discount, valid for 3 months) please email kerry.rough@rutlandcycling.co.uk

9. CAFÉ CULTURE

One of the secret pleasures of cycling is the café stops! What better way to spend an hour or so in the middle of your ride than with your feet up on a pavement with a fist-sized slab of cake and a nice strong coffee? Luckily, we’ve a plethora of cafes that are perfect stop-offs, some of which attract riders from as far as Peterborough. For days on which you’re in need of a good warm drink to

Some of the latest high-end bikes are as technically advanced as the phone in your pocket, featuring electronic systems for seamless gear shifting and for on-the-move suspension adjustment. Things have come a long way since SunTour developed the Browning Electronic AccuShift Transmission (SunTour BEAST), back in 1990, which electronically shifted the chain through its triple chainset. Shimano introduced the first commercial electronic gear shift system in 2009, and still lead the way today. The Di2 system uses a small electric motor to drive the derailleur, and replaces conventional levers with switches.

Some systems are now wireless too. This type switches gears much faster than normal, and, as it does not use traditional cables and can calibrate itself, requires less maintenance. The Pinarello FP Quattro Ultegra Di2 features Shimano’s system, and uses a carbon monocoque frame, asymmetric rear stays and oversized bottom bracket. The 2013 model costs around £3,999. Off the road and similar technology can be found in high-end mountain bikes, such as some of Scott’s 29ers, which feature Fox’s intelligent Road Dynamics system. This offers electronically controlled damping of both front forks and rear shocks by switching between preset modes, such as ‘trail’ and ‘descent’, to offer optimum damping characteristics.

10. WE HOST AN INTERNATIONAL CYCLING EVENT

Did you know we host a world-class one-day cycle race in the area every April? The Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic is an epic test of man and machine, and attracts hundreds of the best riders from teams all over the country and now internationally. Starting in Oakham, it takes in laps of Rutland Water and even dirt tracks through fields out in the countryside. It’s been compared to the Paris - Roubaix and it is your best chance of getting up close to cycling’s elite, and in our own backyard. The RutlandMelton CiCLE Classic takes place on April 21. // www.cicleclassic.co.uk TIM SCRIVENER / ALAMY

keep away the cold, the Stamford Arts Centre café can provide solace, and many of the town’s public houses are happy for you to wheel a bike in, or at least leave it in the beer garden (it’s always good form to ask first, though).

Oakham, 29 April, 2012. Competitors battle the rain as they compete in the RutlandMelton International CiCLE Classic cycle race. Over a month’s rain fell in one day in the East Midlands

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Feature /// Horse breeding

Foal’s gold Hoping to breed a Burghley winner? Julia Dungworth talks to the experts at Oakham Veterinary Hospital about how to do it

B

ritain is blooming, the grass is getting greener, the daffodils are bursting through and the lambs are frolicking in the fields all around the countryside. Spring is finally here, and it is an especially busy time of year for Oakham Veterinary Hospital. It has a very impressive stud unit which includes everything you could possibly imagine and more for your mare and foal. It has an American-style barn with large heated foaling boxes, 24 hour CCTV monitors, individual turn-out pens, vets that are never more than five minutes away and a very capable stud manager in Matt Hecking. Matt is passionate about his breeding and has recently been to Germany to source new stallions. I had never realised what an amazing service they offer: you can literally call them up with your mare that you have hunted for 10 seasons, and all you have to do is pick a suitable partner. They will, of course, help you with this: Matt has what can only be described as a menu of sires, so that they can offer you great impartial advice depending on your budget and your chosen discipline. Oakham also offers conformation profiling to help prevent breeding a foal that only you could love. February through to late June is their busy time for foaling, with more than 100 mares being foaled there in the last four years. Even though they are normally pretty well spread out over the four months, two years ago they had five foals in one night. “As soon as one came out you could hear the waters breaking of the next mare along,” said Matt. It was a long night and when they finished, in the early hours of the morning, senior partner William Bevin then went home to find his own mare had just begun foaling. I’m not sure if it was a full moon that night but it is quite rare to have such a busy night. As with humans, horses do have a due date, with an 11-month gestation period, but there is an old

wives tail which says ‘the foal chooses the day and the mare chooses the hour’. Mares usually come in to Oakham two weeks before the due date so they can settle in and have all the relevant checks done, which means you can sit back and relax while the staff at the hospital do all the late night checks and waiting on your behalf.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SIRE

If you are breeding for a hobby or even for more serious purposes, then now is the time to start researching your stallions. There are hundreds to choose from, both locally and internationally. Oakham boasts an exceptional 91% conception rate with chilled semen artificial insemination, an option people now regularly choose over natural service, which can of course be done on site, too.

Oakham offers artificial insemination for visiting mares, using fresh, chilled or frozen semen. Fresh semen is available from local visiting stallions which can be collected on site. Chilled semen is delivered from stallions all over Europe and can be collected on one day and delivered to the mare the next. The frozen semen is stored in liquid nitrogen and allows mare access to busy competing stallions, stallions from different continents and even stallions that have passed away. If you know your mare’s cycles it can be a very quick process, after a few initial tests. Although if your mare hasn’t had a foal before, it may take a couple of attempts, so better to start early. Mare’s cycles are 21 days long. Again the best time for this is from late April to July. Once your mare has been scanned in foal at two and four weeks you can again sit back and wait, while she does a great lawn mower impression in the field. I used to think that you needed to have acres of rolling fields and lots of facilities to breed your own foal (and to know what you’re doing), but you really don’t. If you look on Oakham Veterinary Hospital’s website you will find spa-like packages to suit you and your horse and hopefully inspire you to breed yourself the next Burghley winner. All you really need is a mare and some inspiration.

OAKHAM ADVANTAGES

Top and above

Oakham’s American-style barn features heated foaling boxes. Horses have plenty of room to roam

// BEVA-approved Practice for AI with fresh, chilled and frozen semen // Competitive pricing structure // On-site foaling facilities with 24-hour supervision with a highly-trained team specialising in the care of new-born foals // Embryo transfer/transported embryo service // DEFRA-approved semen collection and distribution centre for walk in stallions // On-site semen freezing available all year round // Close working relationships with agents representing Europe’s leading dressage, showjumping and eventing stallions // Quiet, safe envoiroment for your mares // Large heated foaling boxes

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Feature /// Rough notes

Stapleford Park In the first of our golf course reviews, we attempt to master this glorious championship course, with varying results. By Steve Moody WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING your first round of golf of the year, and it happens to be on a championship standard course following six months of rain, you might conclude that utter disaster and drawn out torture are to be your playing partners for the next four hours. As it happens, my playing partners were Active publisher Chris, who has a swing like a hair trigger bear trap, Will, a globetrotting lothario of the Antipodeans whose only recent experience of golf is down under in 90 degrees, and JT, Active’s professional eater, who when not critiquing chefs plays off 11 at Burghley Park. And, as it happens, the course at Stapleford Park, which has housed Senior Tour events, is far more accommodating than it might seem. The first three holes ease you in gently, with wide open drives and subsequent shots requiring the shorter clubs. It gives you a chance to loosen the muscles, attempt some rhythm and post some half decent scores before the real test begins. What also helps is that you don’t need to book a tee time, and there’s a fantastically relaxed air in the incredibly well-appointed thatched clubhouse, the best in the area. As a visitor, what is especially noticeable is there are no stuffy souls

sitting in the corner suspiciously eyeing these interlopers (even one wearing the most ridiculous trousers ever seen on a golf course), and you aren’t queuing on the tee as the pro pours ever more fourballs into the timetable. Actually, playing at Stapleford is the epitome of millionaire’s golf, but fortunately not at millionaire’s rates. Designed by Donald Steel, the 6,944-yard par 73 wraps around the heart of the estate in two extended loops, with players playing the inside arc on the way out, and the outside one on the

way back. So for that introduction, you loop around the beautiful country house and then head out into the woods. By the time we got to the stunning dogleg par five fourth, which hugs the woods on the left and then climbs uphill to a raised green, it was clear we were in a two-horse race, the thoroughbred being JT who was notching up pars with monotonous regularity, and the rest of us who were finding the challenge of hitting golf balls straight rather too much of one. If you can get the ball away properly, you’ll find the fairways are like lawns, but beware the bunkers, which can be tough to escape, especially around the greens where they have steep sides like those on links courses. The greens were also in excellent condition considering the time of year (no temporary ones here) with some interesting geography that could make for some entertaining shots when they speed up a bit. So what you get is a fascinating fusion of Scottish influence with the bunkers and large greens and classical English country house parkland for fairways, a mix that I will admit did not suit my fusion of wayward irons and halfcock putting.

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On the seventh hole, water appears for the first time, and true to form the duffers of our group were drawn to it like a man crawling out of the desert, while JT continued in his imperious way. After a dinky little par three at the ninth, you head uphill to the horsebox which serves the refreshment, and can lounge in front of the house in a scene straight out of PG Wodehouse. A driveable par four 10th is great fun, followed by the turn proper, which sees the 11th snake alongside the out of bounds, and Leicestershire fields. It’s a tough drive as there is water on the right too, and it’s easy to see why this par five is number one on the stroke index. After that, the holes meander their way back towards the start, and each one offers an interesting new test, letting you have a thrashing great drive and then tightening, or hemming you in with out of bounds and fiendishly placed bunkers. By this point JT was playing his own game, but the wildly fluctuating fortunes (or horrific lack of consistency, depending on your view) of the other three was making for a cracking round, with Will hitting drives anywhere but straight, yet using those muscular arms that make those southern hemisphere girls swoon to good effect by blasting a fusillade of brilliant second shots to keep him in the game. The 18th is a hole replete with all sorts of danger, just as the final stretch should be, with pond and brook to inspire dramatic finishes. Scuffing into the rough left me out of it, but Chris, in the manner of a man with lady luck firmly

cuffed to him, hit his second to two feet and to much cheering (from him) annoyingly knocked his putt in to avoid taking possession of the wooden spoon outright. Add into the mix and excellent lunch in the clubhouse, watching real golfers playing on Sky, and it’s fair to say that Stapleford Park is one of the finest course for miles around, and deserving of much better golfers than us (JT execepted).

WHAT THE OTHERS THOUGHT

Chris Meadows You really feel it’s going to be an experience from the moment you drive up to the clubhouse. Having played Stapleford Park before it was a completely different challenge in the Spring to the Summer with the different wind direction, but equally as pleasurable. Stapleford Park is a stunning place to play golf and I’m certainly considering taking them up on their current membership offer. Will Felgate As a 20+ handicap golfer Stapleford has a lot to offer. You are well rewarded off the tee for staying in the fairways but also on the not-so-rare occasion one edges into the rough salvation is possible. Par fours do not require long irons to be pulled out of the bag too often, and my favourite holes were the 13th and the 18th, which presented a challenging yet fitting end to a lovely course. And to top it off the lovely surroundings, streams and the views provided a pleasant distraction

from Chris’s swing! Jon Tyrell What I like about Stapleford is there are some great risk and reward holes, where second shots into greens can often bring low scores or trouble. Also, for lower handicap players it’s a course that really makes you think off the tee. It’s not just a big drive off every one, but you need a wide variety of irons and woods to negotiate your way round.

AMBITIOUS PLANS “WE WANT PEOPLE to think of Stapleford Park as a golf club in its own right, and not a golf course attached to a luxury hotel,” says the club’s golf pro Richard Alderson. The club has ambitious plans to expand, with indoor driving bays with shot tracking technology about to be built, as well as a number of great deals for those who want to play regularly, or on a more ad hoc basis. For golfers who play intermittently, Stapleford is offering a £200 annual deal which gets you six rounds plus free lesson (worth £40) and unlimited use of the practice facilities, then £25 a round thereaer. Then there’s a full annual membership for £750, and Richard will put together packages for corporate groups, for which the facilities are perfect. Whichever way you choose to pay, it’s really good value for

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Feature /// Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Everything a woman needs to be fit, healthy and fantastic. Edited by Sandie Hurford

Fitness tips for new mums Local Fit2Fab fitness instructor Louise Allen has some advice on getting back in shape and details of a new BuggyFit class

M

AKING TIME FOR REGULAR exercise is especially important after giving birth to regain the energy levels you’ll need to look after children, according to

Louise Allen. “However, it’s important to do this gradually and not to push the body too much in the early weeks following pregnancy,” she says. Louise is also a great advocate of getting outdoors in the fresh air. “As well as boosting Vitamin D levels, it’s good to get out of the house to create calm wellbeing and release any negativity and tension in both the mind and body.” Her fitness plan includes the following tips: Check with the doctor Before beginning or reinitiating a fitness program postpartum, check with your doctor or health visitor. Think about posture Particularly important to new mums as during pregnancy the spine tends to take a ‘lordosis’ shape as the pelvis changes alignment to support the body so it is important to concentrate on posture following birth to actively re-train the alignment of the spine, gently and gradually. When feeding, use pillows to bring your baby closer to your breast or the bottle, rather than leaning over, as this causes the upper back to be stretched and the muscles in the chest to contract. If you are putting the baby on your hip, try to swap hips. If pushing the pram, adjust it so you can stand tall. Get an exercise plan The ideal postpartum fitness program will include a balance of activities. You can start with cardiovascular exercise like walking, swimming, or cycling and then add strength training with weights or other resistance exercise tools. In addition, incorporate flexibility exercises like yoga, Pilates, or a few simple stretches. Walk with the pram This is a great way to get your body back into shape. There are often lots of appointments in the early days with a baby, so try to schedule them so you can walk there and back. When walking, focus on your pelvic floor and posture.

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Avoid crunches Louise concentrates purely on pelvic floor exercises and deep-core exercises for the transverse adominis. These exercises also target the multifidus, quadratus lumborum and diaphragm. It is important to work these muscles in order to achieve a flat stomach, as crunches do not achieve this. Working these muscles correctly – Pilates is particularly good for this – will help back pain, something most women suffer from during their pregnancy. Indoor exercise When getting out of the house is not an option, dedicated fitness TV channels and postpartum exercise videos are designed for mums who need the convenience of home workouts, whether they’re weather-bound or baby-bound. Rest Adequate rest allows the muscles to heal. If you are offered help with the baby, take it! Assess what is really important – the washing or a nap. If your body is repaired, you will be able to achieve a lot more in the long run. Baby comes too: new fitness classes incorporate buggies

HELP AND ADVICE IN PREGNANCY AND AFTERWARDS Massage in pregnancy

LimeGreen Therapy provides a mobile massage service in the Lincolnshire/ Rutland/East Midlands area providing holistic therapy treatments in the comfort of your home. Founder Angela Cardew says: “Massage with essential oils can be of enormous benefit for ‘mums to be’ as back or neck ache, oedema, nausea and general exhaustion are all common complaints during pregnancy. I carry out a consultation on the first visit to establish which treatment plan would be the best.” ■ www.limegreentherapy.co.uk

Back in shape the easy way

If you’re struggling to lose that post-baby bulge, Stamford’s Purely You offers body contouring treatments including nonsurgical laser lipo to dissolve fat and tighten skin. Therapist Louise Dakin says even one session can offer immediate results – up to 3cm lost – with no need for intensive cardio-vascular exercise. Then there’s the Flabelos machine, a 10-minute whole-body vibration workout equivalent to one hour in the gym. Benefits are said to include toning, fat burning, anti-ageing, weight loss, cellulite reduction, improved circulation and help with lower back pain. “These are a great way of getting back into shape with your GP’s permission,” says Louise. ■ www.purely-you.com

Now put your feet up

Join knitting celebs like Julia Roberts, Scarlet Johansson , Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zita Jones, Uma Thurman and Lilly Allen in a hobby that’s great for pregnant women and new mums. As well as being relaxing and calming, you can’t eat while you’re doing it so it helps with the weight loss! And you can make your new baby exclusive clothes and blankets, using cashmere and silk yarns, that you wouldn’t be able to buy on the high street. Don’t know how? The Ewe Woolshop in St Mary’s Street, Stamford (entrance in Cheyne Lane) plans to run learn-to-knit workshops and has details of local knit-and-natter groups. ■ www.i-love-ewe.com

BuggyFit 4 Mums

Getting mums back into fitness following pregnancy, enabling them to bring along a buggy and child so both mother and baby benefit. Exercise will consist of gentle cardiovascular exercise, progressing to power walking or gentle jogging, and toning exercises, concentrating on breathing, posture, pelvic floor and core stability. Starts April 22, Mondays and Wednesdays, 9-10am at Sykes Lane, Rutland Water. ■ fit2fab@hotmail.co.uk

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Tiny twins Eliza and Matilda Foreman make a splash with Water Babies

The benefits of baby swimming BABIES AS YOUNG AS JUST A few weeks old can take part in award-winning swimming lessons at venues across Leicestershire and Peterborough, including Stamford, Oakham and Uppingham. The Water Babies programme is designed to make the most of babies’ natural affinity with water, teaching confidence and safety using specialist techniques. Charlie and Chris Craven, who run Water Babies in Leicestershire, were first introduced to baby swimming when they attended classes with their son Luke.

Baby swim tips 1. There’s nothing to stop you

taking your baby swimming on your own – classes aren’t for everyone. 2. Make sure the water is warm enough (32 degrees for babies under 12 weeks or 12-14lbs; 30 degrees aer this) 3. It may be worth investing in a baby wetsuit if you’re visiting your local pool and you’re unsure of the temperatures 4. Limit the first few sessions to about 20 minutes – there’s a lot of new sensations for your baby to take on board 5. Don’t submerge your baby except in supervised lessons, although they’ll probably unexpectedly dip their face in the water a couple of times and that’s absolutely fine

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“From the word go, we all waterbabies.co.uk absolutely loved the sessions,” says Charlie. “They were the highlight of our week, and made what was already a very special time W absolutely perfect.” NE In fact, Charlie loved the lessons 887_Leicester, P'boro & Cambridge Joint Ad.indd 1 19/03/2013 so much that she left her career in communications and retrained as a P U R E LY Y O U Water Babies teacher. Less than three years later, she and Chris Body &Beauty decided to start running lessons across the Leicestershire area. Charlie adds: “The lessons provide such a special bonding time and it’s been amazing meeting Special Treat ment s some wonderful families. We think there must be something in the • Lipo / anti cellulite water as we now have four sets of • Inch loss / toning twins swimming with us! Massage • Unique candle massage “There is a huge sense of • Men’s treatments achievement seeing what the babies Purely You is a new & innovative can do from so young and they love beauty salon, offering a full range the sense of freedom that being in of body and beauty treatments. water provides,” adds Chris. We recognise the importance of Debi Hogston, who runs Water ‘You’ time and our friendly and Babies classes in Peterborough and highly qualified staff, will endeavour Body Beaut y Cambridge, began Water Babies to make every visit a positive and rewarding experience. with her youngest child Lily when she was just 10 weeks old. She got Our facilities are bright and spacious into teaching the classes following and offer a relaxing haven away from the stresses of everyday life. 14 years as a dental receptionist. Debi says: “With progressive We look forward to welcoming you to training, babies can be taught Mens P U R E LY YO U lifesaving skills very early on, such Body &Beauty as turning onto their backs or 51a High Street, Stamford PE9 2BD swimming to the nearest solid Tel: 01780 767307 object following a sudden enquiries@purely-you.com www.purely-you.com submersion.”

P U R E LY YO U Body &Beauty

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Feature /// Great walks

Oakham, Egleton and Brooke

A pleasant combination of town and country will leave you looking for a good lunch, says Will Hetherington Words &Photography: Will Hetherington THE ROUTE

Park in any of the car parks in Oakham and pay for four hours to leave enough time for the walk and lunch. Head south on the Uppingham Road, passing the museum and Rutland County Council offices. Shortly after the road and foot bridge over a small stream take the footpath off to the left heading out into open fields. This will soon bring you to the A6003 Oakham bypass. Cross with care and head towards St. Edmund’s Church in Egleton, an obvious landmark. When you get to Egleton, an attractive and peaceful little place on the edge of Rutland Water, walk straight down Church Road through the hamlet to the T-junction where you will see the footpath heading south in front of you. Follow the path, and look out for plenty of birdlife, as this is prime birdwatching territory. The path skirts around the east side of a small wood and then cuts diagonally across a field to take you back to the A6003. Walk down this busy road for a couple of minutes and look out for the footpath sign to the right. Once you have re-joined the footpath safely cross the railway line and head uphill through Gunthorpe, which is basically a big farm offering some stunning views of Rutland to the south. From Gunthorpe there is a mile-long stretch westwards to the idyllic village of Brooke, with its attractive houses and church. As the path

drops down to the village it crosses the River Gwash, and it’s very easy to forget the highspeed modern world whizzing past. If only there was a pub here, too! From Brooke turn north-west back towards Oakham along the footpath which goes straight up hill parallel with Brooke Road to the west. This is a good climb, which should get the heart pumping and help you work up an appetite as you enter the final stages of the walk. At the top of the hill this footpath will bring you to a track where you turn left. Follow this track to Brooke Road and turn right to walk down the hill towards Oakham. This is a very quiet road giving a great view of the town below and it takes about 15 minutes to get back in to town, crossing the railway and passing the cricket club on the way. Once you are back in Oakham you will be ready for something to eat and the Lord Nelson is a great pub for lunch.

THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE

Very dog friendly. Apart from a few sheep outside Gunthorpe there is plenty of free roaming to be had, and the Gwash at Brooke provides a good place for a drink and a dip.

Difficulty rating (out of five)

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TOP STAT

ter Bird The Anglian Wa is a few e ntr Ce ing Watch east from minutes’ walk open daily Egleton and is year from the t ou gh throu m from (4p m 5p to 9am ril). Ap – er mb ve No

Clockwise, from above

Stunning scenery and splendid isolation feature strongly on this walk – it’s hard to think that you’re just a few minutes’ walk from Oakham. Leaving Oakham as you start out you’ll pass the museum. The St Edmund’s Church in the picturesque village of Egleton acts as an obvious landmark as you approach

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Anywhere you can in Oakham. Pay up for up to four hours to allow enough time to eat aer your walk. I did this walk clockwise but there is no reason you shouldn’t do it in the other direction. Distance and time Six miles, two and a quarter hours. Highlights Egleton is an attractive and peaceful village. The views of Rutland from Gunthorpe to Brooke are spectacular and Brooke lies in an idyllic valley. The climb out of

Brooke back towards Oakham is especially rewarding because you know it’s downhill from there all the way back to refreshment. Lowlights You have to walk alongside the A6003 for a couple of minutes between Egleton and Gunthorpe and this is quite a busy road. Sadly there are no pubs on the way round. Refreshments The Lord Nelson in Oakham is perfect for a drink, lunch or dinner. The Blue Ball at Braunston is also worth a detour from Brooke.

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Feature /// Sportsman’s Dinner

Barnsdale Hall Hotel and Country Club Barnsdale Hall is a sportsman’s paradise, as JT and Dean find out Dean This month we headed out to the Ospre Bar at Barnsdale Hall Hotel and Country Club. To be honest, we always thought you had to be a member to come here, or be staying at the hotel. That’s not the case these days, so it’s a great spot to try out. JT Just sitting in the bar brings a bead of sweat to my brow. The last time I was sat here I could hardly get my breath after a hefty beating at squash. There are some fantastic facilities here at Barnsdale, ranging from squash courts, tennis courts, a good gym and a decent pool. I was surprised to see people actually playing outdoor tennis, even in the recent inclement weather. They’re a hardy bunch these Rutlanders! Dean I used to spend a lot of my school holidays over here as a teenager. I always remember the main attraction being the Yummy Mummies though! I think I fell in love with half of the young mums in Rutland during our visits here. We used to love coming to the gym too, to hone those guns. JT I could tell that by how tight your shirt is, it doesn’t look like you’ve been using any of the facilities much recently, apart from the bar. Anyway, talking of which, we had a pleasant drink in the bar first before going through to the restaurant. The bar had a real feel of a country club, with people with wet hair straight out of the showers after a workout, sports bags beside tables and lots of chatter about the games. There was a good atmosphere in there. You can

certainly tell that the club’s facilities are well used, although not by you Dean. Dean What I also liked were the attentive waiters. All seemed to know their trade well, and were quick with the drinks orders. I had the hot smoked salmon for starter followed by the not so healthy belly of pork, but it looked too good not to try. The pork was extremely succulent, and went extremely well with the sauce... and a good portion of chips on the side! What I liked about the menu was the fact that there’s a wide range of traditional British dishes to choose from. There’s also a great steak menu, plus the usual suspects such as fish and chips, sausages and lamb’s liver. JT I’d slow down on the chips if I were you! I really enjoyed my chicken caesar salad starter. A lot of the starters are available as main courses, which is a good idea as many of them look really tasty. As Dean said, the steak options were numerous, so it was rude not to try my favourite, rump steak cooked medium rare and cooked as perfectly as anywhere I’ve eaten in the area. Dean The restaurant was really light and airy, and in the summer the views would be great across the reservoir with the option to eat outside, too. I also like this place because I managed a hole in one on the par-three golf course they’ve got here. I can still picture the ball sailing the full 60 yards, pitching, spinning back, and nestling perfectly in the hole.

JT Shanking and coming off a tree more like. How was your desert? My apple pie was superb. I do like a good apple pie. Reminds me of summer. Dean The chocolate fondant was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more chocolately desert. JT Overall, the meal was superb. A real winner, and prices are reasonable as well. I’d say it’s the perfect place to bring a date. Have a nice wander around the grounds, maybe a bit of sport together (letting them win obviously), before a spruce up and a nice dinner. Dean Ok John. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble finding a way to let them beat you at squash though. Just play your normal game and you’ll be fine. You may have trouble finding the date in the first place though. Personally, I’d also recommend Barnsdale for a meal out. As I mentioned, the bar and restaurant are open to all and it’s got that great ‘wow’ factor, with beautiful views, and the advantage of being different from just a town centre restaurant. Give it a try and definitely try that pork belly! It’s almost as good as mine!

Barnsdale Hall Hotel 01572 757901 www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk

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Feature /// Great runs

The Routh, Uppingham Alexa Cutteridge takes on an Uppingham route inspired by a school cross-country run This month’s running route is inspired by Uppingham School’s cross-country event called the Routh. Unfortunately, to take part in the event proper, you may have to lose a few years off your age and enrol at the school, but it doesn’t mean we can’t replicate its course in our own time. The origin of the Routh at Uppingham School is shrouded in mystery. It was organised for the first time in 1895 by Dr Charles Routh and started as a paper chase. Two good runners acted as hares, each having a cloth bag tied to the waist full of shredded paper. The paper was shredded in the school library on the day of the run by the younger boys and if any of them ‘cut’ this session they were fined three pence! The image of all that paper blowing around the countryside today would not find many supporters, and the course has changed over the years – only 19 runners took part in the Routh in 1941; today the whole school does and there are around 600 finishers. This year it was held in March and the winner was Marcus HowardVyse, who completed it in 31.05 minutes. So there’s your target time. The Routh-inspired route Start at the farm track by Roundary Farm near Glaston Road. Head away from Uppingham towards Bisbrooke across the fields. As you approach Bisbrooke run through the woodland and then on to the Inghams. At the main road turn right and head in to the village

STATS THE ROUTH, UPPINGHAM DISTANCE 4.9 miles TERRAIN One uphill, one ldownhill, cross country and road DIFFICULTY 3/5

and downhill. Go under the disused railway bridge and begin the first steep uphill - attack it! At the cross roads, turn left and join Seaton Road. Enjoy the flat easy terrain as well as the beautiful Rutland countryside views. After around half a mile take the grass footpath on the left above the village of Seaton. Ahead, the footpath shortly meets the road again. Turn left and pick up the pace on the long downhill run. At the bottom of the hill go over the gate and join the disused railway track through pretty woodland. At the end of the track turn right and enter the grass field. Run across the field, heading back towards Bisbrooke. Here, you may get a glimpse of some new born lambs amongst the daffodils – embrace that

spring feeling, or the snow if it is still here by the time this article comes out! At the end of the field, go over the style and continue on the narrow bridleway ahead until you join on to Church Lane. The beautiful church is on your left and traditionally this is where Father James (chaplain at Uppingham School) sprinkles the Uppinghamian runner with ‘holy water’, and by this point you certainly need it. Cross over the main road, turn right, then left passing though the Inghams. Join the footpath on your left and head back towards Uppingham via the farm track you started out on. The end is in sight, so begin that sprint finish and a winning time. Go, go, go!

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Feature /// School sports

Rutland schools running champions THE RUTLAND PRIMARY Schools Cross Country Championships took place recently at Sykes Lane, Empingham. The event saw more than 240 runners competing in eight different races (year 3 boys/ girls, year 4 boys/girls, year 5 boys/girls, year 6 boys/girls). There were also around 20 helpers from Catmose College supporting the event, fulfilling roles such as marshalls and hares. Pictured are some of the very happy trophy winners who took part in the event at Rutland Water courtesy of Anglian Water. The morning was cold with little of the promised snow flurries when children from 17 of the Rutland Primary Schools arrived to take part in the eight races.

The set-up team, efficient as ever, had the courses laid out before the first children arrived and at the other end the recorders with frozen fingers had the results ready very promptly. Two runners repeated their successes from last year, Emily Ferguson (St Mary and St John) and Scarlett Wilson (Bringhurst) winning their respective races. Langham were most successful team, winning three team trophies but it was good to see Ketton winning their first ever team trophy in the 36 year history of the event and English Martyrs their first since 2004. Brooke Hill and Brooke Priory both won one each and the year 6 girls repeating their year 5 success of last year.

Above

Some of the trophy winners from the Rutland Primary Schools Cross-Country Championships

Jeremy wins his first England cap

Above

Some of the Oakham netball players

STAMFORD SCHOOL added another international honour to its history as Jeremy Cunnew won his first England Cap in a recent fixture against Wales. England Students beat their Welsh counterparts 27-20 in a thrilling encounter that made up a little for the senior England’s thrashing at the hands of Wales on Saturday. Jeremy, who is currently doing a master’s at Loughborough University, was joined on the pitch by fellow Old Stamfordian Mike Allen who was winning his third cap. Jeremy said: “It was a fantastic experience and a great game to be part of.” Both Jeremy and Mike represented the School First XV in 2006, 2007, 2008 and toured South America in 2007. Coach David Laventure was proud of their achievements: “It’s a great honour for anyone to represent their country and Jeremy and Mike have worked incredibly hard on their game since they were 15-16.”

Netball teams make it to national finals OAKHAM’S U19 AND U14 netball teams have both qualified for the National Netball Finals. “This is an incredible achievement given how competitive netball is,” said Director of Sport Iain Simpson. ”To have both teams qualify is extremely rare and is a testament to our investment in facilities and training for our squads.” The U19 team won the Regional Finals for the second time in three years to secure their place. They beat teams from Trent, Bilborough, The Priory, Stamford and Nottingham High. The U14s beat Northampton High, Nottingham High, Repton, Queen Elizabeth Grammar and Kesteven School to reach the regional final against Repton, which they narrowly lost 7-6. Both teams played some superb netball in the National Finals, on March 16 at Basildon Sporting Village. The standard of play was exceptionally high during all their group matches, despite not making it through to the quarter finals.

Above

Jeremy with fellow Old Stamfordian Mike Allen

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SPORTS SHORTS

Above, from le

R Offer, B Atkinson, E Moss, H Charlton, C Collett, K Staunton, D McFaden, T Williams, T Gulland, A Pinner, B Lovell

Stamford’s 7s success STAMFORD SCHOOL have built on their 15-a-side success with an unbeaten start to their season in the shortened Sevens format of rugby. They went undefeated at Leicester Grammar School in the Tigers Under 18 7s to start the season and then went on to win the Under 18 title at the Newark RFC 7s. The team enjoyed early success over Nottingham High School and Leicester Grammar before going on to comprehensive victories over Oakham and Uppingham. The boys have built their success around a well organised and physical defence led by Connor Collett. They only conceded one try at Leicester and four in the whole tournament at Newark. Angus Pinner and Tom Williams

pulled all the tactical strings and Captain Tom Gulland was top try scorer. Captain Tom Gulland was pleased: “It was a good day’s work, 7s is always very challenging but the boys worked hard and everyone made a significant contribution.” Henry Hives and Callum Crellin were the stand out players in the under 16 competition, where the boys finished runners up to Queen Ethelbergers School on points difference. Head of Rugby at Stamford School, David Laventure, added: “Sevens is a great game for developing players. This format really puts pressure on their fitness and the execution of fundamental skills when they are tired. It will serve them well and it’s a great format to play and watch.”

UFFINGTON LAUNCHES KIDS’ CRICKET TEAM Uffington Cricket Club (UCC) is re-establishing its junior section and is looking for more kids to join. The under 9s team is for boys and girls in years 3 and 4, and will play Kwik Cricket with a so ball. Equipment will be provided, and coaching starts on April 10 at Uffington from 5.30pm – 6.45pm. Team manager is James Genever, who can be contacted on 07813 199434 or email at james.genever@btinternet.com The Under 11s is a team is for boys and girls in years 5 and 6, and will be playing with a harder ball. Equipment will be provided, with coaching at the same time as the under 9s, with matches starting on May 2 at home against Bourne. Team manager Karl Breeze can be contacted on 07973 324404 or emailed at karl. breeze@orangehouse.co.uk. Children can play in normal sports kit, with no special equipment required. Junior membership will cost £10 per year to include all training sessions and matches. JUNIOR CRICKET AT BURGHLEY PARK Junior cricket starts at Burghley Park CC on April 21 from 10am-12pm. The coaching sessions will run every Sunday morning throughout the summer. The first junior match takes place on April 28 against the newly-formed Uffington CC (see above). Sessions are open to all ages, and the first session is free. Burghley Park CC is once again taking part in NatWest Cricket Force Day on April 6. All help is welcome. RUARAIDH REPRESENTS SCOTLAND Oakham School pupil Ruaraidh Smith represented Scotland in the U18 rugby squad. The team played England on March 3. Ruaraidh, 17, is the captain of the school’s 1st XV. He said: “It was an honour to be selected for my country, especially against England, and to start made it even better.”

Sport England grant for popular sailing club THE POPULAR Stamford Endowed Schools Sailing Club has benefitted from the addition of two new Wanderer dinghies thanks to a £10,000 grant from Sport England. Before the addition of the Wanderers, the SES Sailing Club’s fleet was oriented towards younger sailors and experienced older students who race the 420 at a club level. The investment from Sport England has enabled sixth form sailors of all abilities to get involved. Sixth form students have a sports afternoon every Tuesday and they now have the option of sailing at Rutland Water, which will be fantastic during the summer months.

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Feature /// School sports

Stamford win Midlands Cup High School girls retain title with 2-1 victory in final over Welbeck... now for the national cup final! LAST YEAR WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL one for Stamford U18 girls’ football team, with victories in both the Midlands Cup and the ISFA National Cup for the first time. When the new season started in September, the girls knew that they would have to live up to the standard of their predecessors and were therefore facing quite a challenge. A challenge that was addressed in quite some fashion since the girls have once again surpassed themselves to reach the National Cup Final and will have the opportunity to defend their title against ACS Cobham (Surrey), the very same team they overcame 2-0 in last year’s final. The final will be played at the home of Arsenal Ladies on April 30. The semi-final saw them dispose of Welbeck Defence College 6-0 with a hat-trick from Abbie Brewin, who was, as usual, pulling the strings in midfield. Captain Genny Peck said after the game: “We were all expecting a difficult game, so we were assertive from start to finish, fighting to win the ball back, which allowed us to score early on and continue to attack throughout.” Confidence is at its pinnacle and the team is in very good spirits after retaining the Midlands Cup. The hosts, Uppingham, kicked off the tournament with a 1-0 win over Repton with a goal in the final minute, while Loughborough made their debut in the tournament with a comfortable 4-0 win over Oakham. Both Stamford and Loughborough looked to be strong throughout the afternoon, but Welbeck put a spanner in the works by beating Loughborough 1-0. That meant that with one game to go, Stamford and Loughborough were equal on points and only a similar slip-up against Welbeck would result in Stamford losing out on top spot to Loughborough. However, Welbeck also needed to ensure that they didn’t lose by more than two goals, to remain in third place above the hosts, Uppingham. Under the watchful eye of England and Birmingham Ladies star, Emily Westwood, Stamford took the lead, scoring two goals and giving Uppingham hope, whilst Loughborough could see the title slipping away. A goal from Welbeck put them back in it, but the game finished 2-1 with Stamford taking the cup for the second year in a row, whilst Loughborough took the plate trophy home for coming second. Once again, the tournament was a huge success with over 80 girls participating, although those 80 were certainly ready to get back in their respective minibuses with the fan heaters on by the end. This year the team has scored a staggering 84 goals so far, with Abbie Brewin scoring 37 of them, proving how influential she is in the team. 7 of the girls have been selected to represent the Midlands in the forthcoming ISFA Regional Representative Tournament (Hannah Brewis, Abbie Brewin, Rachel Burgon, Genny Peck, Beth Carnegie, Beth Pinder

Above

Stamford’s team, front row, from le: Aisling MacDonald, Hannah Brewis, Rachel Burgon, Abbie Brewin. Back row, from le: : Zoe Wilson, Sarah Bloomer, Charlotte Brooks, Genny Peck (captain), Olivia Chandler, Beth Carnegie, Penny Skipper. Emily Westwood (Birmingham City Ladies and England)

and Charlotte Spice), with two of them also being picked up for the ISFA England team (Abbie Brewin and Hannah Brewis). Fabrice Vié, the SHS and Midlands team coach, said: “This team is special, they have grown in confidence and strength throughout the season and they have been able to raise their game when needed. They all work hard for each other and deserve enormous praise and credit.”

Right and below Action from the Midlands Cup

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Roundup The scores, star performers and stats from a month in Stamford and Rutland sport

Football

Daniels’ promotion challenge falters BY DEAN CORNISH

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tamford Daniels’ quest for promotion has hit the buffers somewhat with a disastrous run in March seeing them lose three games on the bounce. Wayne Hatswell’s men had a superb February, winning all four games to give them outside hopes of catching Coalville Town at the top of the table. Since the turn of the month though, the Daniels have picked up just four points from five games, and worryingly have failed to score in three of those games, in spite of ace marksman Ricky Miller’s return to the club. Even more worryingly, the performances have matched results with the Daniels looking very poor during their drubbings against Belper and Leek Town. There’s also been indiscipline on the pitch, leading to two sendings off in the home defeat against Chasetown. So there’s not much cheer at Wothorpe Road currently. The poor run means Stamford have slipped to third in the table, and with other play off hopefuls now closing the gap, the

Daniels need to reverse their fortunes pretty soon, especially with home advantage in the play offs being the prize for those teams finishing highest in the table come the end of the season. Blackstones haven’t had a good few weeks either. The Stamford-based UCL side haven’t won in five games, their last win being a 4-2 victory over Harborough Town back in February. Since then, Dave Stratton’s side have lost two and drawn two of their games and with a tough run of fixtures coming up, things won’t get any easier for the Stones’ new boss. Added to that is the unrest in the camp of Michael Nelson’s recent refusal to play for financial reasons, and you suspect that Stones are already looking forward to the new season. In the Peterborough league, Oakham United’s form has been mixed of late. After a woeful run of form, the Oaks got back to winning ways in dramatic style with a 7-1 away win at King’s Cliffe. They followed that up with a 4-1 victory over Leverington Sports to renew hopes of a top three finish.

March has since seen a good win away at Ramsey, but with defeats at Coates and a heavy reverse against league leaders Peterborough Sports, you suspect coach Andy Saddington will be happy with a place in the top six come the end of the season. Uppingham Town, meanwhile, have slipped to tenth in the league with defeats at Netherton, and Whittlesey and a 1-1 draw at Peterborough ICA. In the first division, Ketton remain the pride of Rutland, sitting in tenth place in the league with two recent away wins over Macca Sports and Hampton. Ryhall have also been in form on their travels, winning 3-1 away at Moulton Harrox, as well as picking up a good recent home win over Farcet. The big local derby between Ryhall and Stamford Bels saw honours shared, the game finishing 2-2 with Bels coming from behind with both their goals coming from super subs. Bels are eleventh in the 15-team table but with the teams below them just a couple of points behind, relegation worries remain.

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Rugby

The Oakham express thunders on BY JEREMY BESWICK

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akham’s express train rolls on. A determined push for second place and that promotion play-off remains on track, despite a disappointing 28-10 shunt at Nuneaton Old Edwardians in their last match. After shading the local derby 23-22 away to Melton they had a stunning 55-5 home victory against closest rivals Dronfield, who they now have a six-point advantage over. The engine that day was their forwards who steamed it as James Beanland and Angus Boyle lined up two tries each, another coming from the front row in the guise of Rhys Grieve. Coach Tom Armstrong said: “Our forward play hadn’t been one of our strong suits but (ex-Leicester Tigers prop) Matt Hampson has been down to coach us and it’s paid dividends.” He also picked out Carel Fourie, Mark Matthews, Tom Burton and 19-year old Owen Smith for particular praise. Away games at table-topping Coalville and rivals Belgrave await, so the champagne remains firmly corked for now, but promotion would be a fitting way to say farewell to the Showground as they pop 10 minutes up the road to improved facilities next year.

Stamford sit happily atop their league with a fat 10-point cushion over Stewarts & Lloyds, who they crucially squashed 39-28. They also helped themselves to four other big helpings included two whoppers against Northampton Men’s Own (88-10 away and 70-17 at home) a 62-3 crushing at Long Buckby and a more modest cup win under floodlights 27-12 against Kesteven. Should Stamford go on to win the league, key will have been the second half of that win over Stewarts & Lloyds, as they trailed 14-20 at the break. Playing with the slope in the second period tries from Bruce Parker, Tom Gulland, Tom Wire and Chris Fletcher saw them home. President Steve Fowkes said: “I think we can now talk about when we get promoted, not if”. He thinks they may be moved into the north half of the league, where Oakham await, should they lose out on promotion themselves. A mouth-watering prospect. Stamford College Old Boys have been on tour – to Sheffield – where they looked sharp to beat Mosborough 30-10. Back in the league, they were skewered 52-0 at Thorney and lost their way 17-11 to Westwood, they were top of the form against fellow strugglers Wellingborough Old Grammarians winning 11-7. Captain Carl Walker said their ‘brutal’

cup game against Skegness contributed to the Westwood loss, which he described as unlucky. He added: “Things have started to gel over the past few weeks and I hope we’ve turned a corner”. Here’s to a positive end to a bad season, less mixed metaphors and better things for next year. Deepings are in a dogfight at the lower end of the table with four or five other teams, so the visit of Old Newtonians was a ‘must win’ game according to captain Dan Ainsworth. With Toby Cole impressing at the breakdown, vice-captain Ali Shaw prominent and Dan himself named as man of the match, they ran out 21-13 winners to ease the nerves – just as well as their other two outings this month were reverses; 0-42 at Daventry and 3-27 home to high-flying Rushden and Higham. Dan observed that this last one was close: “They deserved to win but the score flattered them and it was a spirited performance”. He singled out George Offer for his defensive work. So, this month’s Mystic Meg forecast is for Deepings and Stamford College to avoid relegation, Oakham to gain that play-off spot and Stamford Town to be promoted. Let’s hope I’m not eating humble pie in the next column – a distinct possibility for someone whose pub sweep entry predicted England would beat Wales.

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Roundup

Equestrianism

Point to point starts as hunting comes to a close BY JULIA DUNGWORTH

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he Cottesmore Point-to-Point, held on the first Sunday of March at Garthorpe, was definitely the place to be this month. There was a small break in the unseasonal weather to allow the eight-race meeting to go ahead and with 69 runners the jockeys described the going as perfect. It was a great day, as usual, with a good spectator turnout to enjoy some great sport. Former Cheltenham winner My Way De Solzen won the Nine Year Olds race impressively by some 16 lengths. Realt Ag Leamt won the Sturgess Motor Group of Leicester Restricted race. The seven-year old, owned by the Peters family from Cambridgeshire, also won convincingly with a twelve-length lead. The hunting season has now drawn to a close with the last few meets having slightly smaller fields than usual, due to poor ground conditions and the dismal and wet weather. The Readyfield Bloodhounds and the Cambridge University Drag Hounds carried on a little longer. Some very hardy riders enduring some extreme conditions at Burghley Park with the latter on March 10. They had to battle the elements with sleet

and snow, but still a lot of smiling, cold faces were to be seen. They were very appreciative that they had an outing at all, albeit a slightly shorter day. Burghley Pony Club had already been forced to cancel its normally oversubscribed Hunter Trails in late March at Burghley Park and has made the decision to turn it into an Eventer Trial. This will be held at Grange Farm Equestrian Centre in Wittering on Easter Monday. Oasby Horse Trials managed to pull out all the stops and run four very busy days with some 43 sections on March 7 to 10. Many thanks to Nigel and Gill Wild at Foxdale for allowing us to be towed onto their land and to gallop round in the fog, where at some points the conditions were so bad you couldn’t see your dressage arena. Richard Jones achieved one of the best local results. He just missed the top spot in the Open Intermediate class, on the Badminton-bound Highland Ford, by 0.9 of a penalty to Michael Owen from Cheshire on Highland Prince (not the recently retired footballing Michael Owen from Cheshire, I should add!). Nicole Mills from Stamford won one of the BE100 sections with the tiny but impressive Nutwood Paperhase.

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With all this terrible weather, looking forward is what we should be doing, and Belton Horse Trials near Grantham runs from April 12-14 and is definitely worth a visit. Already over-subscribed with riders, the Grantham Cup is the main attraction, which runs over all three days. This year, for the first time they have also added a CIC**, which means not only will you get to see some of the Badminton runners having their final outings, but you can also get a glimpse of the stars of the future. They also boast a large trade stand area and food village, with many other classes taking place, such as The Inter Hunt relay and stallion parade. The Quorn Hunt Gate Jumping Competition will take place in the evening of Thursday, March 28, at Vale View Equestrian Centre just outside Melton Mowbray. It is only open to hunt subscribers but is normally a great fun competition to watch with a lot of banter involved. Last year’s winner Angus Smales won jumping 4ft 9in. He has told me he will be there riding again this year and he is keen to contest his title and take the ��1,000 prize!

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Bowls

Stamford IBC team pipped at the post BY B OB WA R T ER S

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he difference between success and failure in bowls can at times be a matter of millimetres – a touch on the jack, a missed drive. And so it proved for Stamford Indoor Bowls Club who just missed out on being crowned English National Over 60s Fours winners. As it was, Mike Ramsden, Bob Warters, Peter Edwards and Martyn Dolby had to settle for reaching the final of one of the game’s most prestigious event, losing on the last end after the scores were level 15-15 with Tye Green IBC from Harlow. Earlier the quartet had travelled to Melton IBC, hoping to give a good account of themselves in their last 16 match with Royal Tunbridge Wells. They certainly did that with a 27-12 victory, following up with a 27-18 triumph over Ross Peers IBC. Semi-final opponents Featherstone were expected to be the toughest opposition, and so it proved when the Yorkshire quartet picked up a five to tie the scores mid-way through the match. But with immaculate drawing by lead Ramsden and precise conversions by Edwards and skip Dolby, Stamford re-established their superiority. Featherstone finally conceded after 20 ends (17-23) needing six to force an extra end. Despite two days of competition and more than 15 hours on the rink, Stamford

Above

Flanked by EWIBA and EIBA presidents Sheila Storey and Bernard Millard, Stamford players are pictured with their finalists trophy, from le: Martyn Dolby, Mike Ramsden, Peter Edwards and Bob Warters

forged into a 15-10 lead in the final thanks to some superb conversions by Edwards. But inspired and marshalled by their skip, John Anderson, the Essex players hit back to lead 16-15 by the 19th end. The turning point came at the penultimate next end with Stamford holding one shot and needing a six-inch trail on the jack for a five count and almost unassailable lead. With Stamford supporters on their feet with excitement, Dolby’s final bowl only

grazed the jack and, with the scores level at 15-15, Stamford were unable to dislodge Tye Green’s nearest bowl on the final end. Warters said: “While at first we might have settled for reaching the national finals and at least winning our first game, in the end it was tinged with disappointment of what might have been. But that’s bowls – sometimes it’s down to nerve and millimetres. “It was a great thrill for all of us playing and the club to be represented at that level and enjoy the cameraderie of other clubs. “It has certainly given us an appetite for more success and helped to put Stamford IBC on the map.”

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Roundup

Golf

Intriguing final in prospect at Burghley Park BURGHLEY PARK The line up in the final of the men’s winter league competition at Burghley Park is now clear, after the semi-finals were played in atrocious weather. During the course of their rounds, players braved rain, sleet, snow, high winds and freezing temperatures, with course closure seeming a possibility at one point as heavy rain led to local temporary flooding. All four teams deserve credit for sticking it out to see the matches to a conclusion. The match which pitted David Jackson and Howard Jones (standing in for the holidaying Javan Argent who was enjoying rather warmer conditions in the Caribbean) against Stuart Blessett and Martin Ash went out early in the day and had the better conditions, and turned out to be closely contested. There were never more than two holes between the teams, with Jackson and Jones getting back to all square on the 16th, but Blessett and Ash’s par on 17 saw them take a lead that they never relinquished, winning 1 Up. The other match, between Yorkshiremen Paul Wilkinson and John Mayman, and Bob Emmins and Chris Bradshaw, suffered the worst of the conditions, with a hopeful phone call to the greens staff asking if the course was open yielding what turned out to be the wrong answer for Emmins and Bradshaw.

Wilkinson and Mayman were always up in the match, with Wilkinson having a good day and Mayman’s long range putting proving decisive. The match ended on the 15th green, with Wilkinson and Mayman winning 4 and 3. Men’s A team captain Mark Yarham led his team to an impressive away win at Grantham against Belton Woods in the second round of the national Mail on Sunday competition last weekend, coming home with a 3½ - 1½ victory to progress to the next round. The most competitive match featured captain Yarham , who was five up after five holes, level after 10, and managed to win the last two holes to secure a one-up win! The ladies’ season has now also got into gear, with mixed results. In the Daily Mail Foursomes, Gill Bedford and Hannah Vaughan welcomed opponents from Kettering Golf Club to Burghley, and showed the importance of home advantage by coming out five and three winners. In the ladies’ Mail on Sunday competition, Burghley made the short trip north to Greetham Valley to play their second round match. The match started in a blizzard, and conditions hardly improved throughout the match, although the snow occasionally relented to sleet or rain. In spite of strong performances from Kay Hircock (who won four and three) and Hannah Vaughan (a three and one winner),

the team went down 3-2 to a strong Greetham side. GREETHAM VALLEY Lady golfers are made of very stern stuff and a bit of rain and snow doesn’t put them off. The Greetham Mail on Sunday team of 10 played host to Burghley Park ladies in the team knockout competition and both teams had horrendous conditions to contend with: very high winds, hailstones, some more snow and driving rain. In the first game captain Gilly Grant led from the front and beat Anne Hughes one up. Sue Brand kept up the momentum by beating Joan Hickman four and two. In game three, Pat Jamieson had a comprehensive win against Carole Hollman, Pat won seven and five. This was enough to put the Valley through to the next round with two games to go. Mandie Cassie lost to Kay Hircock four and three and Sophie Beardsall lost to Hannah Vaughan three and one. They had the option of just tossing a coin instead of going out in the tough conditions but it says a lot about both teams that they wanted to play the game to have the chance of going through with a win. Gilly said that both teams did well to play not just against the course and opponents but against some of the worst conditions that she has ever played in. Greetham now go forward to the next round in two weeks’ time.

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Feature /// Remember when?

Hardingham & Sons Athletic Outfitters Rich Beach pops into Frothys in Stamford for a sausage and fried egg, and comes out with a sporting history lesson

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ne of the reasons Stamford was named the best place in Britain to live recently was because of its independent shops. Stamfordians have treasured these local businesses, often eschewing the big nationals that try and muscle in. There are still independent sports stores in the area, but the one now occupied by Frothys, the family-run café on Ironmonger Street, has long gone. Hardingham & Sons, a sports equipment and bike repair shop is pictured here in the first part of the 20th Century. While I was tucking into a Full English one Sunday, Frothys owner Louise Wright explained: “Not long after we set up as Frothys, we had a customer come in who was visiting Stamford and he told us his grandparents used to run a sports shop here and lived in the flat above. “Apparently his grandmother was a fiery character who would throw things out of the upstairs windows on to Ironmonger Street, at his grandfather, when they had blazing rows. “They had the shop for 20 to 30 years, as far as we can work out, and not long after opening the sports shop, they added a toy department down in the basement.” What a lovely snippet of Stamford history. Now, whatever happened to that period lamp post (pictured left)?

Clockwise from above

Frothys as it is today. A close up of the front of the sports shop. Hardingham & Sons was still there aer 1937, as the shop next to it was built that year, according to the brickwork above the door. Any ideas how long it lasted?

If you have any photos and stories of Stamford and Rutland’s sporting past, please email editor@theactivemag.com

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Active Magazine // April 2013