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You r sport a n d l i f e st y l e m ag a zi n e

Reach your sneaky peak How to get fit and healthy - without really trying!

Basketball for kids / Hambleton Hall / Dress better than the French What next for Tigers? / What’s on in Leicestershire and Rutland





Saturday 3rd March 2018 9.30am-12.30pm

Northamptonshire’s leading independent day school for boys and girls aged 3-18

Open Day We invite you to experience the everyday magic of life at Wellingborough School. Meet the pupils, talk to staff and learn how your family could be a part of the Wellingborough School community. Scholarships and bursaries are available. For more information, please call us on 01933 222427 or email admissions@wellingboroughschool.org


Editor’s Letter SEEING AS IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY THIS month, I thought all you sporty, active and fit types would be pleased to hear this piece of research I was sent recently: you could be twice as attractive if you play sport than if you don’t. This piece of rigorous research with scientifically proven results saw 200 men and 200 women put on Tinder. The male profiles which mentioned sport got an average of 94 matches over two days, and those that didn’t mention sport got only 57. Of the sports mentioned, those that put rugby down were by far the most popular with the ladies, with their tally increased to as many as 120 matches over two days, followed by weightlifting and golf (golf!). Now, I know quite a few people who play rugby, and all I can say is I assume this research didn’t include them, or their faces… For women, things were a little different. Those that played sport got on average about 10 to 20% more ‘swipes’ than those who didn’t. But all the women in the survey got three times more swipes as the men anyway, so none of them were exactly losing out. For men, the most popular sports they saw women playing were dance, gymnastics and weightlifting, for which I assume men were swiping on the assumption this meant the ladies they preferred went to the gym a lot, and weren’t 18-stone Bulgarian Olympians with armpit hair who could lift a small car over their heads. But perhaps they were – whatever floats your boat, I suppose. Still, the moral of this slightly ropey story is that in general, if you’re looking to find love, you stand more chance if you get out, get healthy and exercise a lot. Which all of our gorgeous, sexy readers already knew anyway… Enjoy the issue.

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789

If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ theactivemag.com. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer


Twitter // @theACTIVEmag Facebook // www.facebook.com/theACTIVEmag

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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17 HOW TO...


Great things to do for all the family Get on the piste in South Korea Make a gooey Valentine’s dessert


Pike, daffodils and the siskin


The wonderful Hambleton Hall

26-27 PEOPLE

Stamford’s own haute couturier


Take some tips from our Gallic amis

Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers


King’s Cliffe and Ashby Folville

The advance of technology in refereering


The latest kit to get you active


A great circular route around Rutland


Successes from our local schools

76-82 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring


Easy ways to get yourself active


Oakham’s new basketball club


10 ways to shift those stubborn pounds


Avicenna Clinic advice on concussion


Function Jisgsaw tips on mobility


Work on your balance on the slopes


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Contact us


tel: 01780 782328 email: thepapermills@gmail.com facebook: @thepapermills

Monday - Sunday 11.30am till late Lunch served from 12-2.30pm Mon - Sat Dinner served from 6-9pm

The Paper Mills, London Road, Wansford, Peterborough PE8 6JB.

Valentine’s Day is soon approaching, treat your loved one to a romantic dinner here at The Paper Mills. Enjoy a 5 course set menu, candlelit dinner and take home a complimentary box of chocolate covered strawberries!

Only £25 per person!

Pre-orders would be appreciated

Our friendly team look forward to welcoming you to this traditional English Gastropub. Good selection of lager and ales. Popular wine list sourced locally. Food is freshly cooked to order.

Locally sourced ingredients from within 30 miles of the area. We maintain close relationships with the local farms, bakeries, butchers and breweries.

Check out our new website www.paper-mills.com for all upcoming events and to see our Valentine’s menu!

Dogs allowed in bar area or garden 40/50 seater restaurant paper mill.indd 1

24/01/2018 14:56

3 Star Lane, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PH


01780 754737




info@ sowdenwallis.co.uk

Hambleton Road, Stamford £245,000 This extended three bedroom semi-detached family home has been finished to a high standard by the current owners, including a stylish new kitchen diner to the rear. Located in a popular residential location which provides easy access to the town centre, A1 and the Malcolm Sargent Primary School. The accommodation comprises of an entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen diner, utility room, cloakroom, landing, three bedrooms and family bathroom. There is off street parking to the front for two cars, whilst to the rear is a west facing patio and lawned garden. Viewing highly recommended.

EIGHT ACRES, STAMFORD £585,000 This stunning character family home is set in a unique location close to the town centre, St. Gilbert’s Primary School and Waitrose. The detached property must be viewed to appreciate the space and quality of accommodation on offer, rarely do properties of this nature come to the market therefore an early viewing is strongly advised. There is a modern open plan layout on the ground floor that includes a stylish vaulted ceiling to the sitting room with large glass windows and bi-fold doors that look out onto the enclosed patio and lawned garden, whilst the spacious kitchen diner provides a real family centre to the house with a contemporary staircase being a central feature. To the first floor are two double bedrooms, a single bedroom and shower room. There is an enclosed garden to three sides which provides a real sun trap for outside entertaining, as well as a patio, decked area and summerhouse.

Norfolk Square, Stamford £160,000 Situated in a cul-de-sac this three bedroom home offers good levels of accommodation and off street parking all within easy reach of the town centre. A spacious sitting room and well presented breakfast kitchen feature on the ground floor, with three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor. The property has gas fired central heating and replacement windows. To the rear of the property is a long patio and lawned garden which is west facing. To the front of the property is graveled off street parking for two cars.

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NORTH STREET STAMFORD £235,000 Set in the town centre, this two double bedroom town house has been modernised to a high standard by the current owners retaining many original features. The property is within walking distance of the train station and also comes with a spacious landing and gas fired central heating. Set over three floors the accommodation comprises of: a well presented kitchen, a sitting room with feature fireplace, two double bedrooms and stylish walk-in shower room. To the front is a patio garden, whilst to the rear is a storage area.


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26/01/2018 13:39

Activelife ●

Dress like the French ● Visit South Korea, host of the Winter Olympics Sample the delights of Hambleton Hall ● Find snowdrops and daffodils ● Make the ultimate Valentine’s chocolate pudding ● Meet Anna-Maria D’Amato, owner of Anna Couture Edited by Mary Bremner

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SIGN UP FOR THE DRAGON BOATS Entries are now open for the annual Dragon Boat Festival on Peterborough’s Rowing Lake. Celebrating its 20th year, the contest takes place on Saturday, June 9. More than 30 teams are expected to take part at Thorpe Meadows to raise money for the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall hospice. The charity needs to raise £2.3 million this year to be able to continue


providing end of life care to people across the region. There are spaces for up to 52 dragon boats to battle it out over the 200m course. The day promises to be a fun family day out with lots going on bankside as well as on the water. www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough and www.sueryder.org/thorpehall

Barking Mad, the dog holiday specialists which offer an alternative to kennels, has made Dogs for Good its chosen charity this year. Local representative Kerry Wells has set herself her own challenge to walk 1,000 miles in 2018 and to donate to Dogs for Good along the way. Dogs for Good train assistance dogs to support adults and children with a wide range of disabilities, including autism. These dogs can help transform lives. Barking Mad hopes to be able to raise enough money to fund a puppy through its training. Dogs for Good’s Stamford, Spalding and Peterborough branch got off to an excellent start to the fund-raising by holding a raffle at its Christmas party and raised £130. For more information, contact Kerry on 01780 322008 or visit www.barkingmad.uk.com or www.dogsforgood.org

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Opened in May 2017, The Little Red Gallery on St Mary’s Hill in Stamford is the sister gallery to one based in Lincoln. It’s an art gallery that offers a broad variety of choice with a little bit of everything, from originals to limited editions. Contemporary and traditional pieces are on offer with local and national artists featured. Every September it hosts a large exhibition focusing on big names in the art world. Work from eminent artists such as Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin, LS Lowry and Damian Hirst have been on show. As well as selling artwork, the gallery can also source work from renowned artists for you. Gallery manager Nicola Crabtree said: “We chose Stamford as it has such a great atmosphere as well as other very good galleries. The town has a lovely feel and we are enjoying settling in, becoming better known and getting to know people.” The gallery is also looking for local artists to join its stable. If you submit your work online the gallery would be delighted to have a look at it. Open every day, bar Wednesdays, pop in and have a chat to Nicola or assistant manager Clare – they will be delighted to see you and show you around. The Little Red Gallery, 8 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, PE9 2DP. www.thelittleredgallery.co.uk


VALENTINES OFFERS Cut & Blow Dry for £25

Brazilian/Hollywood Lycon Waxing £20 Jessica GELeration Nails (Hands or Feet) £18 Brow tint & wax/thread £15 Full set of Lash extensions £35 LVL Lashes £40 HD Brows £20

Add Blow Dry to ANY Treatment £10

Call 01780 660 301 or book online www.flawlessfaces.co.uk 17 / 18 Scotgate . Stamford . PE9 2YQ





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* Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer ends 28th February 2018 Call 01780 660302 or book online www.flawlessbody.co.uk for a no obligation consultation Flawless Body, 18a Scotgate, Stamford, PE9 2YQ

Activelife KAYAK TO THE PUB Let’s Get Lost in Leicester is a new outdoor adventure company founded by globetrotter, outdoor pursuits instructor and scuba diver Anthony Ball. The company offers kayak hire, kayak pub trips, yoga and overnight camp retreats in the woods, for individuals, friends and families as well as corporate days. You can design your own trip, with prices starting at £49 per person. www.letsgetlostleicester.com

GLAMPING AND YOGA COMBINED This year Country Bumpkin Yurts, in Great Oxendon, is on a mission to help you find a moment of peace, improve your health and engage with nature. As well as offering rustic luxury glamping stays, Country Bumpkin Yurts is teaming up with local instructors to host yoga retreats and Wim Hof Method workshops. After the success of last year’s yoga retreats, three more are being offered throughout 2018, starting with a spring equinox one on March 23. Combining yoga classes, nurturing vegan food, glamping and a hot tub with a glass of bubbles is a win-win situation for everyone. To find out more about staying at the yurts, the yoga retreats and the Wim Hof Method workshops, go to www.countrybumpkinyurts.co.uk.

Record-breaking panto? Oh yes it is! More than 30,000 people went to see Beauty and the Beast at Leicester’s de Monfort Hall over the Christmas period, breaking all previous records. They are now busy planning this year’s performance of Peter Pan, with tickets already on sale. www.demontforthall.co.uk

Rockingham International Horse trials has a new sponsor – luxury footwear and accessories brand Fairfax and Favor. The brand was established in 2013 and is a regular exhibitor at the trials, which will be held from May 18-20 this year. Fairfax and Favor has grown rapidly since its inception and is now a well known luxury lifestyle brand. www.rockinghamcastlehorsetrials.com www.fairfaxandfavor.com

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琀㨀  ㄀㜀㜀㠀 ㌀㐀㘀㘀㄀㄀ 攀㨀 椀渀昀漀䀀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 眀㨀 眀眀眀⸀欀氀漀猀攀渀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀 昀愀挀攀戀漀漀欀⸀挀漀洀⼀欀氀漀猀攀渀甀欀 䬀氀漀猀攀渀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 匀琀椀爀氀椀渀最 䌀攀渀琀爀攀Ⰰ  䴀愀爀欀攀琀 䐀攀攀瀀椀渀最Ⰰ 倀䔀㘀 㠀䔀儀

䄀氀甀洀椀渀椀甀洀 䈀椀昀漀氀搀 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 圀椀渀搀漀眀猀 簀 䘀爀漀渀琀 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 刀漀漀昀氀椀最栀琀猀 簀 匀氀椀搀椀渀最 䐀漀漀爀猀 簀 倀爀攀洀椀甀洀 甀倀嘀䌀 圀椀渀搀漀眀猀 ∠䴀愀渀甀昀愀挀琀甀爀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 䤀渀猀琀愀氀氀攀爀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 瘀攀爀礀 戀攀猀琀 愀氀甀洀椀渀椀甀洀                                               最氀愀稀椀渀最 猀礀猀琀攀洀猀 昀爀漀洀 愀挀爀漀猀猀 䔀甀爀漀瀀攀  ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 琀栀攀爀洀愀氀氀礀 攀昀昀椀挀椀攀渀琀 愀渀搀 椀渀挀爀攀搀椀戀氀礀 猀琀礀氀椀猀栀⸀            倀愀猀猀椀瘀栀愀甀猀 挀愀瀀愀戀椀氀椀琀椀攀猀Ⰰ 眀栀攀渀 爀攀焀甀椀爀攀搀  ∠䠀椀最栀氀礀 欀渀漀眀氀攀搀最攀愀戀氀攀 猀琀愀昀昀 眀栀漀 漀昀昀攀爀 攀砀挀攀氀氀攀渀琀 愀搀瘀椀挀攀  ∠䔀砀挀攀瀀琀椀漀渀愀氀氀礀 栀椀最栀 猀攀挀甀爀椀琀礀 爀愀琀椀渀最 漀渀 愀氀氀 瀀爀漀搀甀挀琀猀Ⰰ 洀愀渀礀  愀挀栀椀攀瘀椀渀最 倀䄀匀 ㈀㐀

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Launde Abbey

Open daily for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea

Valentine’s Dinner Available Wednesday 14th, Friday 16th & Saturday 17th February Starters Cream of Celeriac Soup, Romanesco Broccoli, Wild Mushroom Confit & Truffle Oil Local Game Rillettes Local Game, Prunes, Apricot, Port & Brioche Croute

Cyclists and walkers very welcome Why not start your walk or ride at Launde then reward yourself with a delicious lunch at the end? Visit our website for maps and routes at www.laundeabbey.org.uk

Cromer Crab & Baby Prawn Cake Lime Crème Fraiche & Pickled Cucumber Spaghetti

Launde Abbey, East Norton, Leicestershire LE7 9XB T: 01572 717254 I E: info@launde.org.uk


Charity No: 1140918

Champagne Sorbet & Berries

Main Course Beef 3-Ways- Striploin Medallion, Braised Blade & Shin Pithivier, with Dwarf Carrots, Wild Mushrooms & Potato Torte, Pan Jus Crispy Skin Sea Bass Fillet Lobster Bisque Sauce, Chive Creamed Mash, Cherry Tomato Confit & Tender Steam Broccoli Vegetable Strudel Pie Asparagus, Kalamata Olives, Baby Fennel, Wild Rocket, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis

Dessert Assiette of Desserts to Share: Mini Blueberry Cheese Cake, Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Mini Chocolate Fudge Cake & Mini Raspberry Panna Cotta Chocolate Deice White Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Layer, Strawberry Stew

Carpet. Without it, a room can feel undressed

Strawberry & Champagne Torte Praline Soil, Passion Fruit Drizzle Coffee and Petit Fours

£30 per person

Choose from opulent deep pile, traditional Axminsters, stylish Wiltons or natural seagrass. For the finishing touches to suit every home…

To reserve your table please call the Restaurant on 01572 725 174

www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk 01572 757 901

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Call us on… Visit our NEW Website

0116 271 6886

1 The Parade, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5BB w w w. o a d b y f l o o r i n g . c o . u k

25/01/2018 15:44


WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these?

● Leicester Comedy Festival takes place between February 7-25 featuring more than 830 shows in 69 venues across Leicestershire and Rutland. There are lots of well known faces taking part. www.comedy-festival.co.uk ● Lyddington is showing a film on the first Friday of every month in the village hall, starting with My Cousin Rachel on March 2. For more details contact Katherine Gregg on 01572 822296. ● Oundle Gilbert and Sullivan Players are celebrating their 60th anniversary by presenting Three Little Works between February 26 and March 3 at Queen Victoria Hall. www.oundlegands.org ● Easton Walled Gardens is hosting snowdrop week from February 17-25. Enjoy 12 acres of gardens and, at the same time, visit the botanical art exhibition featuring three local artists. This exhibition runs from February 17 to March 11. ● Join an adult sailing taster day at Ferry Meadows on February 17. The day is designed for beginners and introduces the basics of sailing. Booking is essential and the day costs £25. www.neneparktrust.org.uk ● Stamford Flower Club meets monthly at Barn Hill Methodist Church to enjoy a flower arranging demonstration. With more than 100 members they are a friendly bunch who also hold workshops to develop skills and a three-day flower festival in September. The next meeting is on February 12 at 7pm. To find out more email stamfordflowerclub@ gmail.com.

WIN FREE TICKETS Circus Sallai is a brand new circus with a modern twist. They have award-winning international acrobats, aerial performers, jugglers, clowns, magicians and many more and are starting their tour in Peterborough from March 13 to 18. www.circus-sallai.co.uk or call 0800 002 57 57 / 07393137137. To celebrate their first performance Active has eight pairs of ringside tickets to give away. To enter our prize draw email to www. theactivemag.com/competitions. Closing date is March 1. Usual Active terms and conditions apply.

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Holiday Acco


Travel Agency

Overseas Prop

Tour Operatio

SPECIAL OFFER Free Parking or Lounge on all cruise or tour bookings (*t&c’s apply) Low cost travel insurance available, including medical conditions and over 80’s! Book an appointment in our Oakham Office: 01572 980101 | ktatum@my-destinations.co.uk

Got a quote somewhere else? Let us beat it! Home appointments available!

Your dog’s holiday starts here We provide home from home short break/ holiday care for your dog with our dog loving sitters in their homes. Everything is arranged, overseen and supported by us with your dog being suitably matched to ensure they have a great holiday too!

12 St Leonards Street Stamford, PE9 2HN

Tel 01780 654321 • sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk

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BarkingMad.uk.com | 01780 322008 kerry.wells@barkingmad.uk.com

25/01/2018 15:44



SKI LIKE AN OLYMPIAN IN SOUTH KOREA South Korea is not a country you associate with winter sports, but this month it is playing host to the Winter Olympics so all eyes are on this east Asian nation. It shares one of the world’s most heavily guarded borders with North Korea but do not let its hard-line military neighbour detract you from its beautiful hilly, green countryside dotted with cherry trees and temples. It also boasts coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands, huge cities such as Seoul, home to 25 million people, and – of course – plenty of snow and mountains ideal for hosting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Travel to the Olympic site is relatively easy as Pyeongchang is about 100 miles east of Seoul, Korea’s capital city. Flights from the UK to Seoul are frequent, taking about 11 hours, and train services from Seoul to the Olympic site will be efficient and inexpensive as the country has an amazing public transport system. If the Winter Olympics have inspired you, why not extend your stay and book some skiing of your own? South Korea is awash with ski resorts, due to its mountainous terrain. There are plenty of resorts not far from Seoul or you can go further afield to the south of the country.

If you want to experience night skiing visit Vivaldi Park in Hongcheon. Skiing in South Korea is efficient with fast lifts and excellent snow. Just make sure you book your trip carefully – don’t muddle up Pyongyang (the capital of North Korea) with Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics are being held. Other South Korea 10-day tours are available from £2,199 from www.my-destinations.co.uk (email: ktatum@my-destinations.co.uk).


www.teamgblive.com www.skisafari.com www.my-destinations.co.uk

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Companionship Matters As the cold days and dark nights draw in it can be a time where we feel staying indoors is the only option. We can create a care package that is tailored to your needs. Promoting independant living Our dedicated team provide the highest care to all our customers

We are a localstill? care Would you like to be able to access the community provider who support

Visit the local shops? Go out for the day? Visit a favourite place? Go for a walk? Out for coffee or for a pub lunch? Finish that favourite jigsaw? Enjoy a cup of tea? Or even just have some company in the comfort of your own home?

our customers with independent living

Our team not only support with whilst remaining in their own home. Personal care, meal preparation, Each care package is tailor made following medication needs and domestic an assessment to suit the needs and wishes chores but with companionship too. of our customers.

Services Available: Hourly care calls 24 Hour live in care

Help with appointments and transportation Respite care

Personal care (Assistance with bathing & dressing)

Meal preparation Assistance with medication

Shopping Companionship and outings.

Convalescence Call us on 01780 489227 care

Domestic & household chores

Email: info@wrightcareathome.com End of life care www.wrightcareathome.com Call us on 01780 489227 Email: The info@wrightcareathome.com Grey House, 3 Broad

Street, www.wrightcareathome.com Stamford. Lincolnshire PE9 1PG

The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford. Lincolnshire PE9 1PG

Wright Care at Home Stamford Living 1/4 Page AD.indd 1

07/09/2016 12:53

Come and enjoy a frothy coffee & fresh homemade food in a warm, cosy & friendly environment!  Frothy’s is a family run independent coffee shop

offering breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea 

All our food is prepared fresh to order on the premises using quality locally sourced produce

 Seasonal daily specials board  Sunday Roast  Open Fire  Loyalty Card  Warm welcome & excellent customer service  Value for money

12 Ironmonger Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 1PL Tel: 01780 751110 frothysltd@hotmail.com

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OPENING TIMES Mon-Sat 8am-5pm Sun 10am-4pm

25/01/2018 15:44



MAKE VALENTINE’S DAY DESSERT Indulge your loved one (and yourself) on Valentine’s Day by making this delicious, but very simple, gooey chocolate pudding. Ingredients 100g 70% dark chocolate 100g butter 2 eggs 100g caster sugar 20g plain flour Icing sugar

Method Melt the chocolate then allow to cool. Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and flour together then add the chocolate. Pour into four buttered ramekins. Pop in the oven on a baking tray and cook at 200C for 12-15 minutes until the puddings are set on the outside but runny in the middle. Turn out, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

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Save up to £500 When you trade in your old bike at any of our stores T&Cs apply. Time limited offer.

www.rutlandcycling.com 0330 555 0080 12 stores at:

Rutland | Peterborough | Grafham | Pitsford | Fineshade | Cambridge | Nottingham


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17/01/2018 16:11:22

25/01/2018 15:44




From the narcissus family, daffodils are a yellow flower that appear later this month, or early in March, heralding the start of spring. Travel towards Spalding and you can see fields of them that are commercially grown, and because of this they can often be found growing on field margins and roadsides as

they have gone ‘native.’ Grown locally mainly for their bulbs, the flowers are often viewed as a by-product, but a welcome one. One of the most famous poems by Wordsworth is recognised by almost everyone: ‘A host of golden daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze.’

THE SISKIN The siskin is a winter visitor to our area. The male is greenish-yellow with a black crown and rump and greenish wing bars. Females are duller with no black on the head. Siskins frequent the tree canopy, where flocks of up to a hundred are constantly on the move. Look for them in alders by local lakes and rivers and by Whitwell bay at Rutland Water. They feed on the tiny seeds of the alder, their fine bill ideal for teasing them out of the cones. In recent years siskins have been increasingly regular at garden feeding stations. Initially they were attracted by peanuts in the red mesh plastic bags. Today they prefer sunflower hearts and nyger seed. They are aggressive at feeders and will drive away tits and other diners. Siskins are most common in gardens from February until April, when supplies of tree seeds have been exhausted. Terry Mitcham

Pike The pike is one of the finest freshwater predators. They have large heads, forward looking eyes and a large mouth that contains razor sharp teeth. Its long torpedo shaped body makes it fast in the water and the olive and cream colours give good camouflage when waiting for its prey – they hunt by sight and prey on smaller fish. Pike can live up to 25 years and reach over 40lb. Commonly found in still, clear, weedy waters, fishing for them at this time of year in Rutland Water is very popular. Pike are also viewed as something of a culinary delicacy.

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in Stamford-Tinwell

Are you suffering from the following? Osteoarthrtitis Spinal Discs Osteoporosis Muscle damage

Fractures Ligament & tendon damage Cartilage damage Here at Cell Regeneration we strive to provide the leading musculoskeletal technology – MBST to offer individuals a pain free, stress free option in maintaining healthy joints and bones. Centres, both veterinary and medical, use MBST and elite sport teams trust using our technology and knowledge to improve and enhance an individual/ athlete/animal’s career and life.

Zeeco House Annexxe, Casterton Lane, Tinwell PE9 3UQ info@cell-regeneration.co.uk I www.mbst-therapy.co.uk I +44 01780 238 084

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01780 238084

Suffer from pain? How much would it mean to you to see a loved one free of pain and more mobile? What would it mean to you to be free of pain and have an alternative option to surgery and pain relief medication? In Rutland we have one of the seven MBST centres which are in the UK. Situated in Tinwell is a Physiotherapy centre which carries out the award winning treatment for Osteoarthrtitis, Osteoporosis, sports injuries, disc problems and general aches and pains for all ages. MBST is getting more and more renowned for its benefits across the world as the success of its treatment is non-invasive for a patient, it is quick to work and has huge benefits. In some cases even prevented the need for operations and enable people to stop pain relief medication. What is so great about it is it has no side effects and the process is simple for the patient and entirely risk and pain free.

A patient returns to do cycling challenge after successful MBST treatment.

Zeeco House Annexxe, Casterton Lane, Tinwell PE9 3UQ info@cell-regeneration.co.uk I www.mbst-therapy.co.uk I +44 01780 238 084

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Hambleton Hall, Rutland It may be a timeless luxury retreat spiriting you away from the bustle of modern life, but the food is certainly not old fashioned. By Steve Moody


n these changing times, when so much in the world seems to be in a state of flux or uncertainty, and everyone seems to be at each other’s throats at a moment’s notice over what they think or say, it is sometimes nice just to power down, switch it off and transport yourself to a world of quiet, comforting permanence. A world where Bertie Wooster is still trying to avoid his responsibilities, the sun always shines at picnics, Britain still has a few waves to rule, chaps wear hats and ladies take tea. But where to find this perfect sliver of a sunlit upland in a country riven by political turmoil, clogged streets and angry Tweeters? Well. It exists among the soaring chimneys, turreted rooftops and tumbling gardens of Hambleton Hall on the banks of Rutland Water – a horseshoed moat protecting it from brutal British life, accessed along a dead-end road and then through a gate; a portal to an altogether more genteel and calmer, and more sumptuous world. As you walk through the heavy oak doors, rows of wellies standing to attention to welcome you, you can feel the vicissitudes and belligerence of modern life slip away. It’s a grand old spot, with grand old designs, and a lot of places to sit. Publisher Chris and I prevaricated over exactly which room (and then which of the many sofas and armchairs) to sip our welcome gin and tonics in. Actually, we struggled to even choose which gin to have, such was the selection. I made a face like Bertie trying to keep up with a particularly quickly unravelling scheme, but fortunately a smartly dressed chap guided me very patiently and gently through the process and suddenly a local Burleigh gin had appeared in my hand, and I was sinking into a big leather armchair. Well, this is going well, I thought. Then we had to choose food, and I was concerned that with my brain working at tickover and barely not a jot more, I might find that a struggle too. Fortunately, picking what to eat was easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Everything on the menu looked entirely edible, each dish fizzing with gorgeous ingredients and fascinating combinations. That shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve ever ventured out on to the peninsula before though, because for more than two decades, head chef Aaron Patterson has been producing what is generally reckoned to be the best food in the area. He shows no signs of resting on his laurels. While choosing which food not to have, we were treated to a couple of warm-up acts: a squid crisp with tapioca, which had a wonderful salty crunch, and deep fried chorizo balls, which were peppery handgrenades. There then followed something of a Middle England stand-off with neither Chris nor I willing to commit to a particular dish and thus deny it to the other, but eventually I took one on the chin and plunged for Cornish crab with the thinnest slices of yuzu (a far eastern citrus fruit) and

Above, from top Timeless elegance inside; fallow venison with salt-baked celeriac and chocolate tortellini; paté de foie gras with Sauternes and Verjus jelly and walnuts

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Clockwise, from left Packington pork with apple, crackling and celeriac; the well-stocked bar; the ‘Chocolate Truffle’ with Jerusalem artichoke ice cream

apple, sparkling with the hot zing of ginger, and the whole thing was as refreshing and revitalising as a cold Pimm’s on a hot day. Chris had the liver and foie gras paté; a fine, smooth brick of deeply satisfying indulgence, with plenty of thick toast from the ever excellent Hambleton Bakery. This is a good thing – in life there is possibly no evil worse than foie gras without enough toast to accompany it. For mains, my short rib of beef, soft and buttery, was fabulous while the red wine jus that accompanied it was the type of sauce that really good restaurants can make that make you scratch your head trying to work out how seemingly 27 different vibrant flavours can all punch their way spectacularly to the surface in such a small space of time. Chris’ lamb fairly gambolled on to his plate – little slivers of light (and local) meat in a plate which sang of spring. Not long now. Both were excellent, vibrant displays. There’s no better cooking than this in our area. All of this was served by staff who did everything for you in an instant, but also were barely there. I like to think of Hambleton Hall as much like a swan out for a very peaceful Sunday swim. The whole place just seems to sail along as if pushed by a light zephyr, but you inherently know that in order to deliver such graceful progress, there’s some steady, dogged work being done below the surface. Pudding was a suitably showy affair for me, with the sugary ‘pumpkin’ enclosing a bursting heart of panna

cotta, while Chris’s soufflé stood more upright than a guardsman, but was lighter than air. After dinner, we headed back to more sofas for a coffee, and reflected on a fabulous meal. The food is modern but not pretentious, detailed but not fussy, and comes packed with a endless stream of flavours. I didn’t really want to leave. It really does transport you to a wonderful place, Hambleton Hall. But back to reality.

WHAT WE ATE Starters Cornish crab, yuzu, mouli, apple and ginger Chicken liver and foie gras parfait, fig Mains Slow cooked short rib of beef, charred potato, horseradish, red wine jus Launde Farm lamb, baby aubergine, goat’s curd Desserts ’The Pumpkin’, gingerbread panna cotta Quince and honey souffle, caramelised almond ice cream Cost £73 for three courses Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8TH. 01572 756 991 www.hambletonhall.com

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MEET CHEYNE LANE’S COUTURIER Mary Bremner chats to the talented Anna-Maria D’Amato, owner of Anna Couture Boutique in Stamford Active: Tell me a bit about yourself Anna: I’m from an Italian family, am bilingual, and was born in north London. My family moved to Spalding, where I went to secondary school, and I then studied fashion at Boston College for two years. I have always wanted to work in costume design so went to Bournemouth College of Art and Design where I did my degree in costume for stage and screen. Active: What sort of work have you done within the film and theatre industry? Anna: After college I moved to London and

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started working in the film industry. I worked on feature films such as Star Wars, Elizabeth, the Golden Age and Phantom of the Opera. I worked in the costume department and was a personal dresser to some of the main actors as well. I was also a stylist for The Corrs, touring with them and, at one point, was Madonna’s seamstress. I worked on many television shows including EastEnders and Midsomer Murders. It all sounds very glamorous, and I suppose at times it was, and was great fun as I worked with some amazing people. But the film industry is a cut-throat world and at times the industry can be quite a dark place. But I learnt

an incredible amount over 10 years in that world and made some fabulous contacts. During that time I set up a bespoke bridal design business, which shows off my couture dressmaking skills with my costume design flair. I ran my business from my London studio and showcased my collections at the National Wedding Show at Earls Court and Olympia for eight years. Active: What brought you back to the area? Anna: Everything changed rather dramatically for me in 2011 as, sadly, my marriage ended when my twin boys were only 10 months old. I

everyone that I meet. My shop has become a little hub and people pop in to say hello, ask fashion advice and styling tips and even bring some of their work to show me and ask for tips. Cheyne Lane businesses are a little community, we all look out for each other and help each other. I think the businesses in Stamford’s alleyways are hidden gems, mostly independents, and offer such a variety of good skills and services to the town.

left London and returned to my parents who live just outside Stamford. I had to literally start over again as I knew no-one here. It was at baby groups such as Tumble Tots that I found my closest friends who have seen me through some very tough times, and been my greatest strength. At the same time I started reconditioning dolls and selling them on eBay, slowly using my skills and rebuilding my life. The boys started school and I became involved with the PTA, and was chair for three years as well as becoming a parent governor. It was while sourcing Santa costumes for the school Christmas fayre in 2014 that I came across Sukies and found, to my delight, that Stamford had its own costume and theatre world. I was hired on the spot to be their costume maker and shop assistant. We were a big, happy family at Sukies and I am so grateful for them for help getting me back on my costume and dressmaking path. Active: When did you open the Anna Couture Boutique? Anna: In January 2017 we knew that Sukies was downsizing so I had to decide what to do. I was initially only looking for workroom space so I could start making wedding dresses again. I hadn’t intended to open a boutique but the

premises in Cheyne Lane in Stamford were so inspiring that I fell in love with this tiny shop space. It was ideal for a small boutique where I could sell all the things I love and get back into the fashion and bridal world, offering ready to wear and bespoke garments. I contacted many of the labels I had used during my styling days and on March 28 I opened Anna Couture. I have had tremendous help and support from my friends and family and so much encouragement from the local community.

Active: Describe your day Anna: Every morning I take the boys to school and then head to the shop where, after getting the shop presentable, I make phone calls and deal with emails. The boutique opens at 10am and I’ll begin on alterations and dressmaking. Throughout the day customers will come in for either alterations or to make purchases. During the week I may have private appointments with brides and clients wanting bespoke outfits, including girls wanting an individual dress for their end of year or leavers’ proms. These are really enjoyable as we’ll discuss styles and fabrics. Brides will be greeted with prosecco and have the option to try on off-the-peg gowns from the UK designers that I stock. But they mainly, as well as mothers of the brides and grooms, opt for having their outfit made. Once the shop has closed I’ll go to my parents to pick up the boys, then it’s tea, homework and bedtime. When the boys are in bed I will continue to work on pattern cutting, ordering stock and emails.

Active: What do you make and sell? Anna: As well as making wedding and bespoke garments I sell luxury gowns from bridal, evening, prom and day wear to fabulous accessories, bags, shoes, scarves and jewellery including bridal accessories and handmade garters, veils and lingerie. We also alter everyday clothing from zips and hems to realigning complete garments. I now have two very qualified costume and fashion makers in my team, Eleanor and Lisa. We are very similar personalities and work well together, having fun and providing expert fashion advice and knowledge.

Active: What are your future plans? Anna: My business is growing all the time, which is exciting. For all the prom girls I have lots of choice in my evening gown collections from some great UK labels including red carpet favourites, Forever Unique and Eternity Prom. I also do the alterations for a lot of the local shops including men’s wear brands. My private clients bring me fabulous designs to work on including Georgian gowns for the Stamford Georgian Festival. A friend is the wardrobe supervisor at Tolethorpe and has asked me to make costumes for The Merchant of Venice this season. I’m delighted to be using my costume making skills again and equally pleased to be making bespoke gowns for brides and ladies wanting their own unique outfits. For men we make bespoke waistcoats and cravats, and tailor trousers, jackets and shirts. Look out for my Valentine’s Day window this month showing sumptuous lingerie which can be made to order. Touch wood, life is good, expansion is on the horizon, and I shall see where life takes me!

Active: What do you enjoy the most? Anna: My favourite part of my business is

Anna Couture, Cheyne Lane, Stamford, PE9 2DG 01780 756174

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Book a romantic break with a difference Enchanting Mongolian yurts in the heart of the East Midlands. The perfect place for a rural getaway. Visit our website for more info & to book: www.countrybumpkinyurts.co.uk 34 HARBOROUGH ROAD, GREAT OXENDON, LE16 8NA INFO@COUNTRYBUMPKINYURTS.CO.UK // 07375024672

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For Those Special Occasions


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BE BUSY AS A BEE IN A BUMBLE! Off to a festival or on a road trip? Here’s your chance to win £250-worth of rental of a Bumble Camper Van


wesome for travelling across Britain with your better half or a mate, Bumble’s two-seat two-berth campervans have two seat-belted seats up front, leaving the rest of the van for lots of accommodation space and a full-length double bed at night. The new campervan design is rolling out across all of the rental fleet, and now benefits from a large rear kitchen which includes a sink, tap with running water and also waste. There’s also a 26-litre cool box that stores plenty of beers and BBQ food. You’ll find lots of storage under the seating areas for kit and there’s plenty of room to kick back and relax.

If you need something bigger, there’s a four-seat van with a Maggiolina Extreme roof-tent which winds up to create sleeping space for another two adults. For your chance to win, go to www.theactivemag.com/competitions. Usual competition terms and conditions apply and can be found at www.theactivemag.com The competition closes on March 1. The small print The competition prize of £250 must be used in 2018. No black out dates, this can be booked for any time, subject to availability. All of Bumble’s terms and conditions are on its website – www.bumblecampers.com

RAGING BULL WINNER Mike Connolly from Easton-onthe-Hill won the Raging Bull competition in our December issue. He wins a £100 Raging Bull voucher to spend at the Springfields Outlet Centre store and a Raging Bull rugby ball signed by Phil Vickery.

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES Update your wardrobe with staples favoured by our Gallic amis over the Channel Edited by Mary Bremner

FOLLOW THE FRENCH It was revealed last month that Britons spend more on clothing than the French, and are eighth on the list of EU countries when it comes to household spending on clothing and footwear (an average of £30 a week or £1,540 a year). That is £500 more a year than the French. Personally I blame Zara, but is it that much of a surprise that Brits spend more than the French, despite their reputation for being so chic and elegant? But maybe that is the answer... less is more. The French have a reputation for classic elegance so probably spend more per item on higher quality clothing but buy less of it and less often. They will invest in classic items that they will mix and match, sometimes over many years, with other classic bits of clothing. It would appear that Brits appear to prefer high fashion items so buy less expensive clothes that quickly date, and more of them. Our mantra appears to be more volume, less quality and quickly discarding and moving on to the next high fashion trend. Maybe it’s time we took a leaf out of our neighbours across the Channel’s book? If we buy a good quality, classically styled jacket it will last us many years and will always be in fashion. It will be versatile as it can be dressed up with skirts and dresses, or down with jeans and boots. And every time you wear it you can look different. An easy and cheap way to update your look is to use accessories. A scarf can change the look entirely, colour and style-wise, or what about a different handbag or shoes. Why not give it a try? As well as saving money, you will be helping the planet as cheap clothing is virtually always imported, so buying less will cut down on air miles. Provenance of clothing is becoming very important to the customer and following the same route as food – where is it from and who made it – which can only be a good thing, surely?

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And finally...

Mary Bremner visits acupuncturist Duncan Ford at Stamford’s Broad Street Practice

Classic French fashion

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine using fine needles inserted into certain parts of the body. The Chinese believe that pain and disease is caused by disruption to the flow of energy through the body, so if you place a needle in a certain part of the body it stimulates the energy and promotes natural self-healing. Dispel all cynicism and the theory actually makes a lot of sense. Duncan Ford practices from the Broad Street Practice in Stamford and is there four days a week. As an acupuncturist he can help with general aches and pains, stress, sleep patterns and infertility. His most common treatments are for head aches, back pain, shoulders and necks. Strangely, acupuncture is often the last port of call for a patient. They have tried everything else and turn to practitioners such as Duncan as a last resort. And they get results, quickly. You will usually feel an immediate short term improvement but Duncan recommends four or five treatments, particularly for long term injuries and ailments. Maybe acupuncture is a last resort because, for many, the thought of needles being stuck in your body is horrifying. But I can assure you, it isn’t. You hardly feel a thing, it does not hurt and the benefits really are worth it. And, you cannot see the needles going in or sticking out of you (unless you really want to look, which I always do) so there is no need to worry. I had been to Duncan before when he helped me with hot flushes at night and I

was really impressed with the results, so much so that I was telling everyone to go to him for acupuncture. Two years later I’m back again with quite a few ailments for Duncan to have a go at. I fell heavily on my elbow about 18 months ago and probably should have sought medical help at the time, but me being me, didn’t. It appeared to heal well but I am now suffering pain above and below it, as well as in the joint. Duncan thinks ligament damage is likely. The first thing he did was prick my finger ‘to get the blood flowing’. I thought this was all rather weird but was happy to go with the flow (excuse the pun). The pricking of my finger was the most painful part of my whole visit. But to my amazement, after a tiny amount of blood was released my forearm immediately felt a lot better. Duncan then went to my opposite leg near my knee, pressed – and that hurt (how do they do that?). This is where he placed a needle. The Chinese apparently always work on the opposite side of the body to the injury. While that needle was working its magic we discussed a few more of my complaints – trouble sleeping and lowering energy levels. You would think that these two went together but I’ve always been a bad sleeper and never had trouble with my energy but recently, despite being someone who easily does my 10,000 steps a day and is a regular out with the dog and in the gym, I have been struggling sustaining all this, which is unusual. In went a needle for that, and advice that I was possibly lacking vitamin D (time for a sunshine holiday perhaps?) And in went another needle for the insomnia. You then lie there for about 10 minutes while the needles do their job. Then the needles are removed, drink lots of water – and no it doesn’t pour out of the holes made by the needles – and off you go. The first time I had acupuncture I was rather cynical about it all. But leave all that at the door when you have your treatment. I don’t really know how acupuncture works, but it does, and that’s all that matters. My arm is less painful, my energy levels seem to be rising and, best of all, I had one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years. Long may it continue. Duncan Ford, The Broad Street Practice, Stamford, PE9 1PG. 01780 480889. Initial consultation and treatment £57, follow-up treatments £42

American Vintage women’s Patherson blazer £95 www.cavells.co.uk

Gold button jacket £49.50 www.marksandspencer.com

Jemma tweed jacket £325 www.butlerstewart.co.uk

Barbour Hampstead boots £139 www.jonesbootmaker.com

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Sneaky fitness, joint mobility, three skiing essentials and how to spot the signs of concussion Edited by Mary Bremner

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MAKE WEIGHT LOSS WORK FOR YOU Leading nutritionists reveal 10 different ways to keep shedding those pounds

1 Emotional attachment “Emotional or comfort eating can be a key cause of weight gain. Because it doesn’t depend on hunger, comfort eating can often be uncontrolled – you don’t necessarily stop when you’re full. What’s more, the most ‘comforting’ foods tend to be sugary ones and carbohydrates, which are easy to over-eat and can quickly lead to weight gain when consumed in excess,” explains nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns. “Learning to manage your emotions in a different way can help stop emotional eating and help you lose weight if you need to do so. Exercise can be a great way to channel and relieve stress – you may do well with relaxing exercise such as yoga, or something more strenuous to ‘punch it out’ such as kickboxing. Journaling is another popular way to express yourself and let emotions come out,” adds Barns. 2 Metabolic balance Do you constantly struggle to maintain a healthy weight? Find what works for your body by delving deeper into your DNA. Nutritionist and weight loss coach Pippa Campbell runs a three-month metabolic balance programme that is 100% personalised and actively supports a person’s biochemistry and nutritional needs (£890, www.pippacampbellhealth.com). To begin a blood sample is taken from the client, which is then analysed by medical experts so that a customised and unique plan can be prepared. The programme aims to strengthen and balance your entire hormonal system, so that you are able to naturally manage weight loss specific to your body. “Metabolic balance is a long-term approach to feeling and looking in peak health and is backed by 20 years of research by physicians and nutritionists, that has helped more than 600,000 clients in 28 countries worldwide. The plan entails eating three meals a day of normal, wholesome foods,” explains Pippa. 3 Mindless snacking If you feel like you are constantly grazing throughout the day, then you could be adding unnecessary calories to your diet. “Snacking is important as it maintains metabolic rate and staves off awful hunger pangs, which can sometimes lead you into

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temptation. The key is to snack often, but ensure that you are eating healthy snacks in small portions,” says Alix Woods, nutritionist at Quest Nutra Pharma (www. qnutrapharma.com). “Mid-morning I have a small handful of nuts which are a rich source of protein, helping me to stay fuller for longer. Mid-afternoon I like have an oat biscuit or two with a generous topping of avocado, cream cheese or hummus.” 4 Read the labels Do you choose the gluten free, sugar free or low fat option in the hope that it can help shift those stubborn pounds? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what could be increasing fat around your middle. “If a food or drink is described as ‘low sugar’, ‘slim line’ or ‘diet’, it will usually contain an artificial sweetener. These sweeteners have been linked to mood swings and depression, and it has been found that people who regularly use artificial sweeteners tend to gain weight because they can slow down the digestive process and increase appetite,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, (www.marilynglenville. com), author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar. 5 Eat to feel full, not to clear your plate “Pay attention to how your stomach is feeling and eat slowly. Don’t get sucked into the pressure of clearing every scrap of food on your plate. Eat to feel satisfied, not stuffed,” says Cassandra Barns. 6 Switch the morning coffee We’re not going to tell you to ditch the caffeine altogether, but making the switch from your morning latte to a cup of hot water and lemon can help to activate your digestive system for the day ahead. Alix Woods explains: “I switched to a healthier morning habit of having a mug of warm water and lemon. Lemons are alkalising and water is detoxifying, which is essential to hydrate all our cells. The lemons mixed with the warm temperature of the water act as a digestive aid and helps the body to eliminate toxins.” 7 Sleep Interrupted or impaired sleep can cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can

wreak havoc on your weight, says Pippa Campbell. “What we eat and don’t eat plays a very important role on sleep. For example, eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed as this can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production. In addition, avoid before-bed snacks, particularly starchy carbs and sugars, as these will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low, you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.” 8 Protein is key If your diet is lacking in protein then you may be more inclined to go back for seconds. “Including protein in your meal helps to slow down digestion, leaving you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. In turn, this can help with weight loss as you’re less likely to have as many calories. To ensure you’re getting your daily dose of protein, try a plant-based protein powder. They are easy to digest and can be kept low-calorie. They can be used to make smoothies or shakes, and also added to savory foods such as stews and soups. I’d recommend Natures Plus almond protein powder (£40.50, www. naturesplus.co.uk),” suggests Cassandra Barns. 9 Lower your stress levels Do you struggle to control your stress levels? This can have an impact on your waistline. “After a stressful event cortisol levels in the blood often remain high for a while, effectively increasing your appetite because your body thinks you should refuel after all this fighting or fleeing. This means people under constant stress quite often feel constantly hungry. Worse, their body urges them to stock up on the foods it thinks will be most useful after all that ‘activity’ – carbohydrates (like sugar) and fats,” says Marilyn Glenville. Siberian ginseng can be very helpful in reducing stress levels. This herb is said to help increase the body’s resistance to stress and improve your energy levels. Nutritionist Cassandra Barns recommends Siberian ginseng by Quest Nutra Pharma (£7.69, www.qnutrapharma.com) to help support your body’s stress response and help keep your body feeling energised. 10 Don’t eat on the run “It gives your body the message that time is scarce, you are under pressure and stressed. Furthermore, your digestive system will be less efficient. Make a point of sitting down and eating your food as calmly as possible,” says Marilyn.

Valentine's Menu Live Book Chichetti Misti



A sharing platter of our finest Italian amuse bouche

Starters Ravioli Con Capesanta E Gamberoni Giant Ravioli filled with scallops and prawn finished in fish veloute and saffron sauce

Insalata di Anatra Affumicata Lovely winter salad with smoked duck breast, beetroot, artichoke hearts, honey and wholegrain mustard

Carpaccio di Tonno Con Rucola Fresh tuna carpaccio cured in lemon olive oil and rocket salad

Parmigiana di Melanzane A classic aubergine bake in tomatoes, basil and parmesan gratin


Dolci - Dessert

Filett di Manzo Alla Rossini

Carosello Di Cioccollato

Finest fillet of beef cooked in Port, rosemary, worcester sauce and beef demi glacé topped with fois gras

A sharing chocolate mini dessert platter for both of you

Dantice alla pizzaiola Red snapper fillet cooked in white wine, lemon zest and capers, olives and cherry tomatoes

Agnello Al Pistachio E Menta Rack of lamb in pistachio crust on a bed of madeira and mint sauce

Couricina Con Buffala E Pomodori Secchi A heart shaped ravioli filled with buffalo mozzarella and sun dried tomato and basil sauce

Tiramisù Classico Traditional indulgent tiramisù

Pistachio Soufflé Homemade pistachio soufflé served with amaretto ice cream


Il Vicolo Ristorante Italiano. 2-3 Cheyne Lane, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2AX Phone: 01780 480048 Email: ilvicolostamford@hotmail.com Visit: www.ilvicolostamford.co.uk www.facebook.com/Il-vicolo

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CONCUSSION IN SPORT Hany Elmadbouh, founder and senior consultant at Peterborough’s private healthcare facility Avicenna Clinic, talks about the effects of head injuries in sport – and how to deal with the consequences One thing you really shouldn’t leave to chance is the effect that knocks to your head, however minor they may seem, can have. The effects may be impacting your health and your life, and may also have caused damage to your neck or spine. The most common knocks to the head are from falling, accidents and sportsrelated injuries, but any minor knocks to the head are cumulative. Increased concussion awareness has helped individuals understand that getting ones bell rung or seeing stars after knocking heads on the football or rugby pitch is not a small thing. It’s not just boxers who need to worry about the cumulative effect of repeated blows to the head. Footballers, for example, may be susceptible to neurological disorders due to years of heading the

ball, putting them at increased risk of early dementia. Rugby players, construction workers, emergency first responders, miners and factory workers are all occupations that also have a high risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries from single severe blows or numerous dings that they shook off at the time, but eventually could add up to a syndrome known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The risk is so real that the Football Association has started research to study the link between repeated heading of a football and brain damage. The study aims to provide some understanding of football’s longterm health impact and risk of dementia. Some loss of mental ability is natural with age, but determining whether you are suffering from MCI is important. Half of all individuals with MCI will go on to suffer some

form of dementia during their lifetime. Forgetting an important date, stumbling over your words, catching your step before you fall – these are but a few signs that you may be in the initial stages of dementia. Other warning signs include personality or behavior changes, apathy, depression, and becoming easily distracted. Fortunately, advances in medical technology are helping in the early diagnosis and treatment of head injuries. One such advance is the increased use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in determining the causes and treatment regimen for dementia symptoms. MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to give a very detailed image of the internal body structures. MRI tends to show the slightest differences between normal and abnormal tissue and pick up early signs of brain damage before the symptoms become overt and the disease is well established. No-one really wants to think about such serious health issues on a daily basis, or not take part in activities they love in case of injury, but regular updates on total health may help prevent or reduce the risk of disabling conditions later in life. If you think you have the possibility of undisclosed, or cumulative, brain or soft tissue injuries, you can take advantage of the MRI services offered at Avicenna. Similarly, if you’re suffering pain from a past injury that’s stopping you doing the things that you love, why not make an appointment at the clinic? We offer a wide range of specialist consultant services, plus the latest in MRI technologies, available to both self-pay and insured patients. See for yourself the newest MRI machine that no longer takes you into that dreaded, claustrophobic tunnel, but is a cutting edge Open system, making the experience so much more comfortable, and so much less traumatic for children in particular. Avicenna is based in Peterborough City Centre, and you will be pleasantly surprised that you can often make a same day appointment, see a consultant, begin diagnostics, and receive a treatment plan, all in a single visit. For information, call the clinic on 0330 202 0597 or visit www.avicennaclinic.com.

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MOBILE SIGNALS Function Jigsaw sports therapist Lauren Dobson looks at mobility and flexibility, how it can affect you and what to do to improve flexibility, but there can be a lot more to it than that. Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints and the ability to move joints effectively through certain functional movements. Flexibility tests the tissue extensibility of certain muscle groups, and when restricted, causes problems. Different muscles in the body require different levels of flexibility (similar to how joints require different movements) and when we reduce flexibility, muscles feel tight and shortened and restrict movement, affecting joint mobility. Certain muscles allow good flexibility and feel loose with the capability of moving freely. Some athletes only have average flexibility. Some believe that some sports only require average flexibility: if you took a bunch of elite athletes into a lab and measured their physical qualities, you might find that they have good levels of strength, power, endurance or balance, but average flexibility.

The importance of mobility and flexibility A lot of people talk about how mobility and flexibility are important, and some people when injured come to realise the importance of this. But do you understand why it is important and how it can affect your performance? Sometimes, understanding this can be part of the challenge – the rest can be an easy journey. But what is mobility, how can you improve it, what does being ‘flexible’ involve and how can you improve it? Joint mobility The definition of joint mobility comes from the degree of movement where two bones meet before being restricted by surrounding tissues such as ligaments, tendons or muscles. Often this is known as the joint range of movement. The joints in the body link the skeletal system together and consists of different structures such as the bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles tendons and bursas.

Each joint requires a different type of movement. For example, the knee joint is a hinge joint and requires good stability, whereas the hip joint is a ball and socket joint and requires good mobility. There are a number of ways in which joint mobility can be affected; muscular tightness, inflammation in the joint, muscular imbalances, ligaments’ tensile strength, history of injury, cartilage damage or degeneration. Individuals who experience restricted mobility often resort to compensated movements when performing exercise. This is where the risk of injury is increased which is not a good thing. One of the main rationales behind focus on increase in range of movement at a joint is to reduce this risk of injury. Flexibility The majority of people think that good flexibility means that you can bend down and touch your toes. Yes, this requires good

How to improve joint mobility and flexibility It is proven that dynamic and static stretching helps to improve flexibility and joint mobility, but you don’t have to do hours of this to enjoy the benefits. There are also a number of self-massage techniques that will help with both of these; active foam rolling, trigger ball release, mini band assisted stretching. Then finally there are classes of physical activity such as yoga and pilates which can have a huge effect on flexibility and joint mobility. The benefit of exercises such as yoga and pilates is that not only are you improving range of movement and flexibility, but you are strengthening the structures in those positions too. It is all very well having the best range of movement, but it is what you can do with that range that will improve your performance. Why not try a combination of all of these? Then you are doing everything you can… Better movement = better performance Function Jigsaw will be hosting fortnightly yoga classes on Fridays from 6-7pm. Contact the admin team to book your place on 0116 3400255. Classes are 60 minutes long and cost £8 per person, with yoga mats in stock and available to purchase. Function Jigsaw, 24 Long Street, Wigston, Leicester LE18 2AH.

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THREE KEY SKI TIPS A recent skiing trip in the Swiss Alps made local physiotherapist Jacqueline Knox realise the importance of breathing, balance and strength when it comes to skiing Breathing Using breath to help our movements is fundamental and there is always a tendency to hold our breath when we are anxious and on that steep slope. This year I had really worked on my breathing control and I found breathing into my turns helped my control and stability throughout the turn. Effective breathing not only decreases anxiety but also helps with a more fluid movement so that the general overall movement is more natural. Balance Proprioception is the body’s awareness of where it is in space (spatial awareness). This spatial awareness is fundamental for when visibility is poor on the slopes. Initially try balancing by just standing still

with your eyes closed for one minute. Make sure you are safe and have something to grab or hold on to if you feel unsteady. Progress this to standing on one leg with your eyes closed and then progress further to an unstable surface such as a wobble cushion. The more spatial awareness we have, the less likely we are to fall. Strength Being strong in our centre/core enables us to be able to balance more effectively and adjust our bodies to those minor unexpected movements that happen on the slopes. The spine naturally rests in its neutral position, neither too arched with the bottom sticking out or too flat with the bottom tucked under.

This ‘neutral’ position enables the muscles around the spine and pelvis to work effectively and absorb shock. For skiing, the weight is shifted slightly forwards over the front of your feet and your core should work naturally to support and stabilise you from underneath. Exercises such as lunges, squats and bridge strengthen the gluteal (bottom) muscles along with the core.

Jacqueline Knox is a chartered and state registered physiotherapist with 29 years of experience in treating sports injuries. She is passionate about encouraging people to do exercise and get fitter to be able to enjoy their sports. She leads a team of physiotherapists at barn house physiotherapy in Tallington.

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Feature /// Get fit

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SNEAKY FITNESS Don’t have the time for long sessions in the gym, too busy to join teams, or just want to be a bit more active in everyday life? Try these useful tips THE MAIN CAUSE of lack of activity is the huge amount of time we spend sitting: on average, we spend about 9.5 hours a day on our bums – that’s two more hours than are spent asleep, on average. Whether it be at work, in the car or at home, we’re in a chair a lot of our lives, and it is having a detrimental effect on our weight. The good news is that the changes we need to make don’t have to be huge, and can easily be made, whether you are young or old. /// F E BRUA RY 2018 4 3

Feature /// Get fit

AT WORK YOGA AT YOUR DESK Use your desk time to stretch and hold… Rubber neck Sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it) and hold for a few seconds, then repeat for the left side. Reach for the stars Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can, keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling. Look around Turn your head to the left and try and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds… repeat on the right. Bobblehead Drop your chin down towards your chest and gently roll your head from side to side. Shrugs Raise both shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat a few times for good measure. Chest opener Bring your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit up tall and hold for 5–10 seconds. Seated toy soldier Sit up tall and extend your right arm all the way up towards the ceiling. Straighten your left leg out and raise it up as you bring your right arm down and try to touch your left foot. Do 8–10 on each side. Knee hugger With a bent knee, lift your right leg up and grab it with your arms and pull it in as close to your chest as you can. Hold for 5–10 seconds and then do it on the left side, too. Reach and bend Extend your right arm over your head and reach out as far as you can to the left and gently bend over. Hold for a few seconds and do it the other way. Knee press This one stretches out the glutes. With your right ankle on your left knee, gently press against the right knee a few times. Of course, after you’re done with the right side, give the left side some love, too. SIT BETTER We do a lot of slouching and craning our heads forward. Our heads are heavy, and the further forward we have them as opposed to being

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aligned with our spine, the heavier they become. By maintaining a forward head posture, you are constantly compressing all the nerves that lead to those awful headaches at the base of your skull. Being chronically out of alignment causes fatigue and aches and can have consequences as severe as asthma, sciatic nerve pain, disc compression and arthritis. Making sure your desk chair is the right height can drastically reduce neck and back strain. Your feet should be able to be flat on the floor and your knees and hips at a 90-degree angle. Keep your lower back pressed against the chair to help maintain good posture. One of the most important things you can do to avoid forward head posture is to make sure the top third of your monitor is above eye level.

THE HOME GYM While all the adverts showing people in Lycra powering through all manner of contraptions can be alluring, actually, there’s plenty you can do at home if you haven’t got the time to go out. You have the perfectly portable gym with you already: your own body.

Try doing exercise without equipment at first, and just using your own body weight. Sit-ups, crunches, lunges and squats are all simple but effective exercises that cost nothing, and you can find all the basic techniques online. Once you’ve built up some strength there’s plenty of other devices around the house: large water bottles or cans of baked beans, tomato soup or other foods can act as impromptu weights and a simple household chair can help with tricep dips, twists and tougher squats. If you stand in the kitchen while the kettle is boiling holding out a can of beans in both hands, you will soon start to feel the burn. Instead of spending £50 on the branded steps you have seen in aerobics classes, why not try using a normal step, or the bottom of the stairs. And when you’re climbing the stairs, why not climb them ‘twice’ each time by going up and down each step. You might look a little eccentric doing it, but it will take barely much longer and double your effort. Even housework can be a source of exercise. When doing the vaccuming, why not do it in a set of lunges, or the dusting on one leg? It sounds daft, but put it all together and you will be using your body incrementally all the time, which all contributes to a positive whole.


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Feature /// Get fit DON’T GIVE IN AS YOU GET OLDER

EVERYWHERE EXERCISES Every extra calorie burnt is a bonus, and if you can add all sorts of little ‘everywhere exercises’ into your routine, they will soon add up. So think laterally – how can you add more action into your daily life? Park farther away We all trawl round the car park or streets looking for a good spot to park for work, shopping or school, but why not just park a few hundred metres further away? If you do it every day and park just 500 metres further away than you usually do, you’ll end up walking an extra three miles a week. Take the stairs Every time you see an elevator or escalator, take the stairs option. And if you’re fit enough, why not bound up them at speed? Quick wall sits Standing still near a wall? Put your back against the wall, slide down three inches, and hold it for 30 seconds. Find a friend It’s amazing what a bit of outside motivation can do. Pauline Dickson from Find a Friend to Go says: “Doing hobbies or taking up new interests is really important, particularly as you get older, as it helps you get out and about, but it’s even nicer to do things with a friend. We introduce

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like-minded people to each other so they can go to the theatre together, or to the gym or simply out for a coffee.” Stand up If you have to be on the phone a lot, what better time to stand up, walk around or do some stretches. You don’t to be slumped behind a desk to talk. Go and see people Got to talk to somebody at work, or need to ask a favour of a neighbour? Instead of ringing, emailing or texting, actually go and see them. It’s all extra mileage. Take a walk break Schedule 10–15 minutes a day to just walk. See how many steps you can get on your fitness tracker. If it’s nice outside, go and get some fresh air. Put it on your calendar to make sure it happens. Better yet, find someone to go with you so you can encourage each other. Cook yourself Preparing food burns energy, with all the flitting from fridge to shelf to cooker and back again. Plus, you’ll know what goes in your food. Stand in line on one foot When standing in line somewhere (supermarket, restaurant, shopping), stand on one foot as long as you can. You are working on balance, co-ordination, agility and leg strength. Armchair raises Sitting in a chair with armrests? Put your hands on the armrests, and try to push up without using your legs until your arms are straight.

As we grow older it’s often easy for us to accept that our bodies stop working, but this isn’t and should never be the case. We really are as old as we feel. Samantha Wright from Wright Care at Home in Stamford said: “We pride ourselves on promoting independent living. In our community there are many classes for those not so young anymore, such as rambling clubs that are designed for all abilities. Also we provide visits that enable those in the community to still access the town on foot. By carrying out some daily chores: vacuuming, dusting or polishing, our bodies will stay agile. How about a short walk each day to stay active? If we let others do everything for us we will soon stop being able to do the things we love. “By a small walk into town, a walk around the garden or some small exercises daily we can keep doing the things we love. Yoga is very popular and also keeps the muscles working; it’s also great for the mind and heals the frustrations that getting older can bring. Often it’s fear that stops us remaining active, so why not ask us to support you with a visit a week to accompany you on a walk or with something you enjoy. It is proven that by staying active we will live independently for much longer.” It’s important to look after yourself though – especially your feet Podiatrist Nicola Blower, co-director at Walkrite, said: “Feet lose their springiness as we get older; skin and fatty padding may thin and circulation can become poor, but feet are vital to keeping active. “Help your feet by walking regularly and wearing appropriate shoes or see a podiatrist for assessment and further advice.”


Physiotherapy delivers a vast array of treatment techniques which help to restore and improve body movements and functions. Psychological health is enhanced by physical well-being and at Barn House Physiotherapy the treatment is as individual as you are. All Barn House physiotherapists are Chartered and State Registered with extensive experience in the treatment of musculo-skeletal problems and sports related injuries.

Barn House Physiotherapy Main Road Tallington Stamford Lincolnshire PE9 4RP T: +44 (0)1780 740242 F : +44 (0)1780 740586 E : barnhousephysio@btconnect.com W : www.barnhousephysio.co.uk



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25/01/2018 15:43

Feature /// Get fit

set unachievable goals. There are many reasons people do this. But if you have a bad back or knee, then things need adapting and may take a little more time. Remember, exercise doesn’t need to be complicated. Keeping it simple and enjoyable is always the key to continuation and a healthier lifestyle. If you have an injured knee, then don’t expect to run a marathon in three months’ time. Get some treatment, devise a plan and be realistic when you can achieve your goal. After all, we are in it together. We want you to get there and we’re here to help.

GET SMART! Not got a lot of time, or starting from a low fitness base? Be careful and train intelligently, says Craig Mortimer, consultant physiotherapist at the Ashleigh Clinic Getting fit and leading a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle is what it’s all about. Often the main problem is time. I feel the key is always to make things easy and train intelligently. Exercise can be very simple and should always meet your goal. We normally see an increase in patients attending for treatment on various injuries due to a sudden increase in exercise activity or unrealistic programs which your body is not used to – especially at the start of the year when they are on a new regime. Studies in America alone analysed in 2015 show that nearly 460,000 went to hospital. Most were treated and discharged, but about 32,000 were hospitalised and a few were pronounced dead on arrival. At the clinic we have many GPs and personal trainers to help individuals achieve their own personal goals. The key is education – education regarding exercise and how to get the most out of it and not get injured. Start with your SMART goals” Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time bound

Firstly get yourself checked out by your physiotherapist or GP. If you have any health issues such as a bad back, knee, shoulder, heart problems and so on, you need to have an idea where to start to avoid any further problems. We see many patients who think that they can do everything, only to find out that they can’t and then sustain or exacerbate existing injuries. When you have the all-clear you are ready to go! Specific Make sure your goals are precise and measured in performance terms. For example, ‘I want to lose weight but I have a bad back’. Then I need to be realistic on the types of exercise and modifications as well as the time it might take. Measurable Measuring your achievement could be as simple as how far or fast you can walk, or how long you can cycle for. When you have a musculoskeletal injury, your program must take this into account and be adjusted accordingly. Function is everything and when exercising, good functional biomechanics is a must to help prevent injury. Achievable The biggest mistake people make is when they

Relevant All too often people will pick an activity or exercise that their friends or family do, but they might not necessarily like. If you don’t know what to do, be open-minded and look to change around. When you’re happy with what you do then there is more of a chance you will carry on. There are lots of ways of doing exercise. Imagine performing exercises you personally dislike and are not relevant to the activity you want to do. Be challenging to yourself, but be selective. Time-bound Time is a most precious thing and possibly one of the reasons people stop exercising. But remember, you can do exercise anywhere – you might have the kids at home or be busy at work, but pick a room and an exercise, for example squats. Every time you go into the room try doing five squats. Then tomorrow you can change the exercise or room. It’s a great way of ticking over when you just don’t have time. Seek advice If in doubt always get advice. When you have an injury it is important to know what you can and can’t do. Many people think going down the gym is the answer. But it is important to know what is the right direction to take to achieve your goals as we see many people who injure themselves doing the wrong exercise. Remember: function is everything. Quality exercise, relevant to you, at your pace, gives you the outcome you want to achieve. If you need a chat to decide how to maximise your potential, give our team a call on 0116 2707948. Craig Mortimer Consultant physiotherapist Ashleigh Clinic Leicester 0116 2707948 www.ashleighclinic.co.uk

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The George and Dragon, Seaton The beautifully refurbished George and Dragon pub at Seaton is the ambitious new venture from Ralph Offer, formerly of the Stamford Wine Bar.

This quintessentially English village pub has undergone a complete transformation, with three months of hard work creating an interior that is best described as snug country pub with an industrial twist – think bare brick and luxurious tweed, enhanced with thoroughly modern metal accents such as the spider web light fitting that illuminates the main bar. The downstairs area has been extended to include a welcoming sitting room completed with cosy armchairs and a piano – the perfect place to while away

an evening with a good bottle of wine. Ralph has put his wine knowledge to good use, creating a comprehensive drinks list including over thirty wines, as well as a selection of local ales, lager and spirits that ensures there is something for every taste. Upstairs, luxury awaits in the form of three individually themed guest bedrooms; Pheasant, Stag and Hare. Each has its own unique, elegant look which is coordinated down to the last mug and towel, and complemented by extra little luxuries such as Moulton Brown

toiletries. One thing that the rooms all have in common are stunning views over the picturesque Rutland village of Seaton, with the village church and rolling hills beyond creating a perfect panorama to wake up to in the morning. However, the main attraction is the new fine dining menu, masterminded by chef Omar Palazzolo. After seventeen years spent working in some of London’s best kitchens, including Nobu and Tom’s Kitchen, Omar has big plans for his own menu at the George and Dragon. He describes his take on food as ‘purist’, with

Telephone 01572 747418 - 2 Main Street, Seaton, Rutland LE15 9HU

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a focus on simple flavours and quality, locally-sourced ingredients which offer both great taste and nutrition for the body and soul! Expect a creative, ever-changing selection of dishes with influences from many of the cuisines that Omar loves, from modern Italian to Japanese. The George and Dragon is undoubtedly the perfect country destination for anyone looking for a great meal, a warm reception and a good drink. Ralph looks forward to welcoming you through the door!

Ralph Offer - Owner Omar Palazzolo - Head Chef

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Feature /// Staff challenges


TRY A TRIATHLON CHRIS MEADOWS, PUBLISHER I am now committed, having secured a place in the Dambuster Triathlon which takes place at Rutland Water on June 16. The Dambuster is an Olympic distance triathlon, run by Pacesetter Events, encompassing a 1.5km swim, 42km bike ride and 10km run. I’m literally jumping in at the deep end with this, being as it’s my first foray into the world of triathlons, and it’s little daunting given I’m not at my athletic peak. Since entering it has encouraged a couple of extra gym visits a week though. I am going to have to ramp up the training considerably if I’m going to make it round, so

I’m due to meet up with specialist triathlete coach Mary Hardwick from Inspire2Tri in the next few weeks to see what I need to be doing. Through Mary I’ve also met up with nutritionist Dawn Revens from The Compeater, who has got me compiling a food diary for when we meet up again for a metabolic testing session. She’ll be measuring my metabolic efficiency apparently – or, I suspect, inefficiency. It’ll be interesting to see the outcome as it’ll help to tailor my nutritional intake to aid my training. Gym sessions currently only focus on the run element so I need to get on two wheels and do some pool work too. One step at a time.

Shave 10 minutes off my half-marathon time AMY ROBERTS, ADVERTISING SALES Since committing to the half-marathon in the January edition I’ve been training hard, with two Rutland Water parkruns under my belt. My first time was 30.49 minutes then, thanks to a little extra training and with help from a friend Ross Ward, I managed to beat my time to 27.19 which was very satisfying. In between the two runs my trainers were aggravating my feet, so I felt it was time to hang up the old trainers and trade them in for some new ones. I went to Advance Performance where I met Matt who asked me questions to get a little background of what I am doing and want to achieve to make sure I get the right type of trainer. He tested me with a normal trainer first to see how I run, he then talked through the Video Gait Analysis, and I popped on to the running machine and, with the camera behind recording how I run, it allowed Matt to see what style of trainer I need to allow me to run without my feet/legs falling in or out. It was great to watch in slow motion how it all works. I tried four styles and some corrected one leg but not the other. They have many brands at

Advance Performance including Defiance, Asics, Saucony and the ones that suited me the best were Brooks. I fell in love with the bright pink and blue which fitted perfectly. So off I went around the car park to try them out, to make sure they were comfortable. According to Matt, nine out of 10 trainers are too small for people, and the average trainer costs £120. They have a list of clubs which you can join to show you how to get started, but a great tip was don’t do too much too soon. I was told to walk around the house to wear them in before hitting the first run, but not to go too far for my first trial. So off I went to do my second park run and knocked off nearly two minutes. My next aim is to get some long distance runs under my belt. I’ve managed a 6.5-mile run but need to improve on that by February. One great thing about this challenge is that a brilliant support group has since formed in my village – the Swayfield Stragglers – who have now set their own challenges for 2018. So here’s to some hard training in the next four weeks.

I’ve just spent a month travelling in Australia and New Zealand, which entailed many hours map reading in a camper van, then drinking copious amounts of sauvignon blanc and eating delicious Whittaker’s chocolate, so I can’t say I’ve made a good start on my fitness regime. However, I did do a few slightly strenuous walks and went kayaking and watched people running along the beaches so I know what a good running action looks like. Still battling with jet lag, I went to my first box fit session of the year with Andy Chambers’ Fighting Fit class and surprisingly managed to keep up with the rest of the group fairly well. We now have homework to do each day – which may be improving on how many press-ups, jump squats or burpees we can do in 90 seconds – and I need to be doing those regularly. An hour of conditioning exercises, team games and boxing against pads can be exhausting, but it’s the first time in my life that I’ve enjoyed a fitness class and that’s because I’m training with a great group of people, Andy is a good motivator and he comes up with plenty of challenging but fun exercises. Having fun is going to be key in getting me fit enough to do the parkrun in 35 minutes. I also did a two-to-one session with a friend at Andy’s home gym which was really grueling. He has many weird and wonderful pieces of equipment but this week we did loads of work on the punch bag and the weekly challenge was a carrying exercise using medicine balls and a 20 kg power bag. My arms felt like they were dropping off at the end of it!

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Feature /// Staff challenges

HALVE MY HANDICAP STEVE MOODY, EDITOR A lot of people have raised an eyebrow or two when I said I was going to halve my golf handicap this year – and that group includes serious golfers who know what the game entails and others who play with me and know what my game entails. Thing is, what does my game entail? I think I have a fairly good idea of what I’m good and bad at, but it’s an opinion, not fact. I’ve signed up to a £175 programme with Mark Jackson at Burghley Park Golf Club, which includes an hour-long assessment session then a number of lessons through the season. The assessment session uses all the technology that Rory, Tiger et al use to measure their game, which is a bit intimidating as it shows in black and white how you hit a ball, and how far, where your good shots are and where you miss. But Mark says it is vital. You have to understand what you’re doing right and wrong with measured data, not opinion, and that starts with this assessment. As an example, I might think I’m not a very good putter, but perhaps it’s not actually my

putting which is an issue – it’s the approach shots which are leaving me too much to do on the greens. So the perception is one thing is not so good, but the problem is actually elsewhere. So after we’ve got some data, he’s going to put in place a tailored programme of training and practice and I have to record everything I do in social or competitive golf, so that the more evidence I have, the more we can concentrate on the areas that need work, to cut out those shots which should bring my handicap down. It’s all very scientific, and very thorough. And there’s no hiding place if things go wrong. It might be winter, but there’s still golf to be played, and I’ve already been hitting a lot of balls at the driving range too (randomly and with no particular focus, until Mark takes control) but I think that playing through the wind, mud and ice is useful for your game, because if you can play well in that then when the course is perfect you should be on fire. Well, that’s the theory. I feel like I’m matching my scores of last summer at least, which must be an improvement. Isn’t it?

Climbing back to the top of the eventing ladder JULIA DUNGWORTH, EQUESTRIAN CORRESPONDENT We are starting to get geared up for the event season which starts in early March, we’re registered and I have bravely entered into the Novice section at Oasby as our first run. We have had one outing to Arena UK for some show jump training with Vicky Young, where my horse Gala was quite spooky but made a valiant effort of the size increase in his fences. Unfortunately due to heavy snow (again) our first dressage show of the year was cancelled and possibly will be not replaced; however, Gala is now successfully blizzard trained just in case we need it for our Burghley debut!

IMPROVE MY BATTING AVERAGE BY 10 DEAN CORNISH, FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT “Improve my batting average by 10?” Surely I could just drop down the order, or even push to join the second team to do that?! I have to admit I’ve not done a lot about my challenge yet, but I have managed to look at some new kit I may be keen to buy. Hopefully we will start nets soon, and with some good coaching I’m confident I can improve. It’s the short ball that always gets me out. That needs work. Well short ones and also straight ones. And often short and wide ones too (this isn’t secret news to any local cricketers reading this. They will know this already!).

WANT TO TAKE UP A CHALLENGE? Just email the editor – steve@ theactivemag.com – with the subject line ‘TeamActive Challenge 18’ with what you are planning to do and when, and then we’ll give you some dates when we’ll need short monthly updates, and we will feature you in the magazine, and hopefully give you some much needed inspiration to keep going! It can be a fitness, wellness, sporting or self-improvement goal – we’d love to hear about your challenge.

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Feature /// Challenges

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Ash Routen is on final countdown to his trip to cross Lake Baikal in Russia, and he’s one of the few people who has relished his weight gain over Christmas! As we enter the New Year, it’s now just over 50 days until we leave for Russia – it’s getting serious now. So serious in fact that I’ve been fattening myself up nicely over Christmas in preparation! Since last month Phil and I have popped down to London to get our visas, and despite being given the wrong passport back, and being phoned by our visa company to say our dates weren’t allowable – we finally got clearance. Time to crack on with the finer details of planning. To spend 20 days or more on the ice, unsupported and self-sustained, we of course need to take a full ‘life support’ system with us. This includes our tent, food, fuel, spare clothing, repair kits, solar panel, batteries, satellite phone, GPS tracker, emergency beacon, and so on. This all sounds like a lot, and when packed together it will be. I’m estimating we’ll be pulling at least 50kg in our pulks (sledge), plus an extra pulk which we’ll share on a daily hauling rota. The trick is to ensure that we have everything we need, but that we minimise weight so we can maintain a good walking pace. Polar adventurers have been known to chop toothbrushes in half, do away with tea bags (used frozen tea bags can weigh quite a bit on a long expedition!) and cut off labels and excess material from clothing and equipment. Every gram counts, but we won’t be going as far as some to save weight. One of the main questions that I get asked is, what will you eat out there? Thankfully long gone are the days of Shackleton and Scott where mashed up lard and dried powdered beef (Pemmican) was the usual fare. Although some people do still choose to take copious amounts of butter and other concoctions, we’ll be relying on good quality dehydrated meals for breakfast and our evening meal, such as porridge with blueberries, chilli con carne, that sort of thing. You just need to add hot water and you have a fairly tasty treat. During the day we’ll be snacking on trail mix, cheese and beef jerky, chocolate, flapjacks, etc. All in we aim to take in around 6,000 calories per day to cover the physical work we’ll be doing. Food is so important for morale as well as rocket fuel for our sledge hauling, so we’ve tasked nutritionist Andrew Nippard at Fuelling Your Adventures to help plan our menus and calorie needs. This is just a small snippet of the planning and preparation needed for such a trip. We’re often told by the media and motivational speakers to just

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get up and go, throw caution to the wind, quit our jobs and live the dream. Just do it they say! What you don’t hear is that in most cases, serious adventures are preceded by months, or years, of planning, research, training and scrimping and saving. Those nice photos on social media are just the tip of the iceberg. But you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds and take a month off work to go to Siberia like Phil and I to have a good adventure. Adventure can be found in the parks, streams, hills and woodlands of Leicestershire, much closer to home and at little or no cost. You can find out more at www.ashrouten.com or via Twitter @ashrouten. The trip is being supported by Sub Zero Clothing, Sigg UK, Nordisk Outdoor, Fuelling Your Adventures, Expedition Foods and A-B Tours.

EAT, TRAIN, SLEEP… Mark Smith has had to cope with illness and a minor injury this month but is forging ahead with training for his mammoth run from one end of the UK to the other January started with man flu but an even more determined commitment to the challenge. I’ve upped my body conditioning training so am spending more time in the gym. Unfortunately I’ve managed to pick up a minor Achilles injury running along a snowy footpath, so extra support from my sports osteopath has also been essential. Every day is now full, even on my rest day. Typically each day is starting at 5:30am and looks something like this:

Vanessa, and friends so that helps make it more enjoyable. The size and time commitments of this challenge are much larger than I’d originally thought and, yes, I have questioned it. But this isn’t about me, it’s about all those children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The support I’ve

received from complete strangers has been amazing. Alex’s Wish are able to use all the money raised immediately for research and development, none of it is used for commission or fees. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marksmith6

05:30 - get up 05:45 - light breakfast 06:15 - one hour of home gym work 07:30 - leave for work 08:30 - breakfast, carb based 12:00 - working lunch 13:00 - light 10k run 14:00 - back to work 15:00 - snack of mixed protein and carbs 17:00 - finish work 18:00 - Code Fitness Gym or longer run from home. 20:00 - home and dinner. 10:30 - sleep. Saturdays and Sundays include longer runs of 15 to 18 miles but I’m joined by my wife,

ICE/DESERT/JUNGLE – UP AND RUNNING Ultra-runner Simon Davies tells us how he got on when re-introducing running to his training schedule and how he managed in his new snow shoes This year I’m attempting a grand slam of the three hardest ultra-marathons in the world – The Ice Ultra, Desert Ultra and Jungle Ultra – to raise as much money as I can for Rainbows, a children’s hospice where terminally ill children and their families from across the East Midlands can find care, support and love. The first race is the Ice Ultra – a 150-mile self-sufficient race inside the Arctic Circle. Race day is February 18 so I haven’t got long to prepare now. I have to carry my entire kit for the five days including food, safety equipment and specialist survival gear. I can expect long periods running in darkness in temperatures down to -30°. I still feel that I have a huge amount to do, but also that I’ve made some real progress over the last month. Most importantly I’m back running again! Three months ago I was on crutches after damaging my Achilles tendon, but thanks to the support of my

training partner for this event – The Training Shed – I’m now in a much better place. I’ve been doing daily exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist Matt ever since the ankle injury and two weeks ago my team at The Training Shed told me I could finally start running again. I started with 10 steady minutes on the treadmill followed by a circuit of leg and core exercises. I’d then check the ankle felt okay before repeating the set two to three times. After a week or so I managed to run for an hour so the team decided it was time to start running outside. In the back of my mind I’ve always had the end of 2017 as decision time about the first race. I wanted to be able to run 20 off-road

miles with a backpack without feeling significant pain in the damaged ankle. We were treated to some unexpected snow just after Christmas, so on New Year’s Eve I set off on my test run. The fields were still heavy with wet snow and the footpaths a mixture of mud and ice. I put some weight in the backpack I’m using for the race so I could test the ankle as thoroughly as possible. I managed the 20 miles in around three hours which I was pretty happy with considering the conditions and, more importantly, the ankle held up pretty well. The fund-raising has also made good progress and the total stands at £10,500. To my delight I even received a $250 donation from a complete stranger – a kind individual from California who had seen my story online and wanted to contribute.It’s unexpected acts of kindness like this that give me even more motivation to succeed and raise as much awareness and money as I possibly can for Rainbow’s Children’s Hospice. To find out more or to donate some money to Rainbows, visit www. icedesertjungle.com.

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Feature /// Challenges

CHRISTMAS DOWN UNDER Harry Brooks updates us on the Sydney to Hobart race and finally, after months of planning, it’s his turn to join The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race Race 4, starting in Fremantle and finishing in Sydney, is short by Clipper Race standards. The 2,500 nautical miles cover the remainder of the Southern Ocean, round Cape Leeuwin in Tasmania and then up to Sydney. It was always going to be a tactical race, with the lead changing often, particularly in the last third of the race up the east coast of New South Wales and into Sydney. Team UNICEF struggled with ‘wind holes’ inshore and lost out to two other boats, but tight racing with only 19 minutes separating the leader and the second placed boat was thrilling to follow. The fleet arrival in Sydney was spectacular, with clear blue skies and a firm breeze to cheer the heart and provide a welcome change in mood after the trauma of the previous leg to Fremantle. Dolphins played at the bows as the

boats eased their way into the harbour close to the famous Opera House and bridge. The Christmas celebrations were short-lived as the Sydney to Hobart race started on Boxing Day, the southern hemisphere equivalent of the Fastnet Race. This is a fast and furious dash to Tasmania which this year was particularly special – Prince Harry’s Invictus Games are to be held in Sydney in 2018, so to mark the occasion the Clipper Race supplied two boats and skippers which were crewed by injured service personnel. Clipper Ventures has been working with Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and Help for Heroes to give wounded and injured UK and Australian veterans and defence personnel the opportunity to take part in the iconic Sydney to Hobart classic. Adrian Whitby was a crew member on board

Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Down Under. He said: “It’s been absolutely amazing. I had no idea how good it would be and I never planned that I would do anything like this in my whole life. It’s really humbling to think that organisations such as Clipper Ventures, the Invictus Games and the Australian Defence are all supporting you.” New Year was spent in Hobart, with the boats starting the race north to the Whitsunday Islands on January 5. For me, this is where the adventure really begins as I join the UNICEF boat (currently in ninth place overall) for the race to China. Thanks for all your good wishes, they really do make a difference, and next month I’ll be able to update you about life on the ocean waves! www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Above and left The spectacular scenes as the race fleet arrives in Sydney harbour

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Feature /// Great walks


y y was originall Fineshade Abbe e, then an stl ca an rm No a ory. It was Augustinian pri residence a to ed ert nv co was and that building 1956. demolished in

KING’S CLIFFE, BLATHERWYCKE & FINESHADE A long walk of three different parts works in every sense, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


As with all circular routes there are a number of parking options, but I chose to park on the very western edge of King’s Cliffe, where West Street meets Blatherwycke Road. You could park in Blatherwycke or at Fineshade but I felt this worked quite well for me and the dogs. Head south down Orchard Lane and turn right after a minute to take the path which skirts across the bottom edge of the allotments. Once you clear the allotments the path heads out into open grass fields and soon crosses the Willow Brook, which it then essentially tracks (with a few deviations) for a mile until you reach Blatherwycke Lake.

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You will go through Alders Farm on the way and you will need to keep the dogs under close control from this point because there is a lot of game in the area. A couple of field boundaries after Alders Farm you will notice the landscape changing from pasture land to manicured parkland and large arable fields with well planted copses on hilltops. It’s a big pheasant shooting area and you will see plenty of evidence of that in this affluent little corner of north-east Northamptonshire. The path goes gradually uphill along the southern shore of Blatherwycke Lake and ultimately brings you into this tiny village around the back of the church and a grand but rather derelict looking old building, which could easily have been lifted from the grounds of a chateau. When you get to the road turn right and walk over the bridge and then up the hill. Follow the road round to the right and, with the lake on your

right, you will soon come to the footpath which heads out north towards Fineshade from a road junction. Keep following the path as it starts to gradually climb towards the woods in the distance. Just before the path goes around the south western fringe of the woods it starts to drop downhill quickly and at the bottom there is a fourway footpath junction where you keep going straight. You are now also on the Jurassic Way as it winds its way from Banbury to Stamford. Go up the steep bank and firstly you will have good views of Fineshade Abbey on the left (and Ketton cement works in the far distance) and you will then pass another magnificent house set on its own lake. Keep following the path until you reach the road into Fineshade Top Lodge. Turn right here and when you get to the lodge there is a very handy outside tap and water bowl for the dogs in a corner of the courtyard. There’s also a cafe and toilets should you need them. But don’t go any further in that direction because the Jurassic Way carries on past the front of the Top Lodge and then heads off on a woodland road


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Where to park I parked on the western edge of King’s Cliffe where West Street meets Blatherwycke Road, but you can park in Blatherwycke or at Fineshade Top Lodge (pay & display).

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Distance and time Six and a half miles/two and a quarter hours. Highlights The first section along the Willow Brook is straight out of Enid Blyton. The area around Blatherwycke bears all the hallmarks of affluence and the lake and village are both very attractive. Fineshade Abbey and the woods are then totally different again. So it’s a walk of three very different parts. Lowlights You might have to keep the dog on the lead more than you would want. Refreshments The cafe at Fineshade Top Lodge. Shop and Cross Keys pub in King’s Cliffe. Difficulty rating Four paws; this is quite a long walk and there are plenty of undulations. The pooch perspective Brilliant by the Willow Brook but restricted around Blatherwycke. The stretch back through the woods from Top Lodge to King’s Cliffe might be a bit dull for the dogs too.

For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.


initially to the south and then curving around to the west. From Top Lodge it’s nearly two miles back to King’s Cliffe but most of that is along the metalled road in Westhay Wood. Near the end of the wood you leave the Jurassic Way behind when it heads north. Carry on west through a yard and then take Wood Lane south back into King’s Cliffe and back to the car.

Clockwise, from main picture

The view back towards King’s Cliffe from Blatherwycke Park; the bridge over the Willow Brook in Blatherwycke; Blatherwycke might be small but it packs a punch

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Feature /// Great walks


n cricket Ashby Caringto y Folville ground in Ashb one of the is regarded as grounds prettiest cricket in the county.

ASHBY FOLVILLE & GADDESBY There is something distinctly gentle and old fashioned about this little corner of Leicestershire, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


I parked by the church in Ashby Folville, right next door to one of the prettiest cricket grounds you are likely to see. There’s a sign saying the car park is for church and village hall visitors only, but with no other vehicles around on a weekday morning I took the risk. But you could just as easily do this route starting and finishing at Gaddesby, or park elsewhere in Ashby Folville. From the car park the footpath heading south out of the village takes you straight into a piece of woodland with Gaddesby Brook running through it. After you cross the brook and pass the

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rope swing, make sure you take the left-hand option when you get to the next gate. This will soon take you past an attractive old bridge towards the Manor House on your left hand side. Carry straight on into the fields towards Barsby to the south. When you reach Barsby turn right on to Church Lane and cross straight over the main road running north/south through the village. You will now be on Main Street. Walk down Main Street and when the road takes a right turn carry straight on to the farm, where you need to turn right before the main farmyard and follow the footpath signs to pick up the path north west to Gaddesby. Head diagonally across the first grazing field and look for the slightly concealed stile in the hedge. From here the path is very clear all the way into Gaddesby. As you stride out over the

Clockwise, from above

This charming bridge on the edge of Ashby Folville sets the tone for the walk; there’s a pleasing variety of trees on this route

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Feature /// Great walks

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open fields there are splendid views all around this charming triangle of Leicestershire villages. The footpath gradually heads downhill towards Gaddesby church, and when you reach flat ground the path soon crosses back over Gaddesby Brook and then heads up a grand treelined track to Rearsby Lane. Cross the road and go past the Cheney Arms on your left hand side, and then turn left up Main Street. After fewer than 100 yards you will see the sign on the right to the church and Ashby Folville. Take this path and bear right just after the war memorial, skirting around the southern edge of the church. You will pass through some modern housing before the path leaves the village behind and soon reaches a crossroads where you need to take the Leicestershire Round towards Ashby Folville. But make sure you don’t head south because you will just end up at the school. Once you are on the right track it’s no more than a mile through a series of fields and past Mill Farm back to Ashby Folville where you can reenter the village a number of different ways and you can take advantage of the Carington Arms.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Either near the church in Ashby Folville or at the Cheney Arms in Gaddesby if you want to start and finish from there instead. Distance and time Three and three quarter miles/an hour and a quarter.


Highlights Ashby Folville appears to have resisted the march of time and the cricket ground could not be more quintessentially English. There are lots of lovely views and countryside vignettes on the way around and Gaddesby offers a hint of grandeur with its large church, grand houses and imposing trees. Lowlights You might want a longer walk but there are some obvious extensions with the Midshires Way and the Leicestershire Round both available. Refreshments The Cheney Arms in Gaddesby and the Carington Arms in Ashby Folville. Difficulty rating Three paws; there are a few stiles and it might be muddy in places after a wet spell but generally this is an easy walk. The pooch perspective There were some cattle and sheep grazing in some fields but the Gaddesby Brook offers a good opportunity for a drink and a cool down. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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Guest column

DRS, TMO, VAR, LMAO... Martin Johnson isn’t sure the use of technology to eliminate all refereeing and umpiring errors is going to work o now football has followed the likes of cricket, rugby and tennis in embracing the use of TV replays, moving us ever closer to the day when there won’t be a single game or pastime willing to entrust the decisionmaking process to anything quite as primitive as the human eyeball. Before we know it, Ronnie O’Sullivan will be required to sit down in the middle of his snooker break while the TV ref examines – from about 28 different angles – whether his waistcoat button has made contact with a red while potting the pink, and the world marbles final will grind to a halt while the ref invites the chap upstairs to trawl through the footage for a potential foul. VAR, as football’s new Video Assistant Referee system is called, is far from infallible, and had it been in use in 1966 England’s World Cup team would still be sitting around in the rubble of the old Wembley waiting for a decision on whether Geoff Hurst’s goal in extra time had crossed the line or not. Football is still getting the hang of this new system, as are the spectators, who can now wander off for a mug of Bovril (do they still serve Bovril?) while the ref stands in the middle of the pitch twiddling a knob in his right ear and looking puzzled. As though, instead of hearing the voice of his television assistant coming through his earpiece, he’s accidentally tuned in to the Archers. This kind of thing certainly robs the game of continuity, in the same way as watching a James Bond movie on a commercial channel. Just as 007 is about to bed the girl, or drive his Aston Martin over a cliff top and engage the parachute button, you’re suddenly being appraised of the wondrous properties of a carpet cleaner, or having some dog sell you car insurance. Leicester City had an early taste of VAR in their FA Cup replay against Fleetwood Town, a game which will now go into history as the first to have a decision to award a goal overturned on the advice of a bloke in front of the telly. The linesman flagged for offside, the ref sent it upstairs to make sure, and the footage confirmed what football spectators have been shouting for well over a century. “Hey linesman! Where’s yer guide dog!” You can’t avoid making history when a system is introduced for the first time, as it did in cricket back in May 1993 when a match between Surrey and Lancashire at the Oval became the first in English domestic cricket to have a decision referred to a television official. On top of which, the umpire (former Leicestershire opening batsman Barry Dudleston) later confirmed, it was also the first to come up with entirely the wrong decision. Dudleston would normally have raised his finger straightaway when Lancashire’s Wasim Akram was run out by (Dudleston’s own estimate) almost a yard, but the game had been in progress


for a long time without anything happening to test out the new system, so Dudleston reached for his walkie-talkie for the sake of getting it up and running as opposed to being in any doubt. After what seemed to him to be an inordinately long time for something so obvious, Dudleston’s walkie-talkie crackled back into life. “Can’t help you Barry” came the voice at the other end. “Why not?” asked Dudleston. “Because, when the bails flew off, all I could see was Shep’s arse.” The posterior in question belonged to the square leg umpire David Shepherd, and one of the more ample ones on the circuit had completely blocked the camera at the decisive moment. “Oh ‘eck” said Dudleston, who then had to apply cricket’s unwritten ‘benefit of the doubt’ rule in favour of the batsman. Twelve years later, the referral system still hadn’t made it into Test match cricket in England, which is probably just as well. Had it been around in 2005, the most celebrated Ashes series since the war would have been won by Australia rather than Michael Vaughan’s team. With Australia two runs short of victory in the Birmingham Test match, and England needing just the one wicket, Michael Kasprowicz deflected a ball from Steve Harmison off his glove, and was given out caught behind the wicket. However, had DRS – cricket’s equivalent of VAR – been in place, and the batsman had referred the decision, replays would have shown that the glove was not attached to the bat handle at the time, and that the original decision would have been overturned. The trouble with DRS, or VAR, is that the continuity of the game suffers, and this is even more the case with TMO, the system employed in rugby union for referring decisions to the Television Match Official. When once you could more or less guarantee that a game of rugby kicking off at 3pm would finish at about half past four, constant referrals to the TMO, plus stopping the clock for injuries and re-setting scrummages, means that you can add at least half an hour on to this, and often quite a bit more. It’s the same with tennis. You can barely get past the first five minutes without the umpire reaching for his microphone and saying something like: “Mr Nadal is challenging the call to the right hand sideline. The ball was called out….” So do we really need our high profile sports to keep stopping and starting all the time to make sure that there’s not been a miscarriage of justice? Worst of all, now that football has joined the quest to eradicate all human error, is the football fan to be denied the one inalienable right which comes with purchasing a ticket. Namely, the joy of being able to shout: “rubbish ref!”  Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.

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65 martin johnson OK.indd 21

25/01/2018 15:57

t h e l e a n pa n t ry c


2 Mill street, Oakham le15 6ea - 01572 774363 7 2 h i g h s t, s ta m f o r d p e 9 2 aw - 0 1 7 8 0 7 6 3 1 7 3 07432 866182 i n fo @ t h e l e a n pa n t ryco m pa n y. co . u k

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26/01/2018 14:12

Feature /// Gear


1. Tacx Vortex smart turbo trainer

The Vortex is an interactive smart trainer with an electro brake. This resistance unit is suitable for an average training level and can reach a maximum resistance of 950 watts. Instead of using a handlebar computer you train by connecting the Vortex to the Tacx Cycling apps. If you want to train with a PC or laptop you can purchase upgrades. Of the many possible training options, you can choose the software that best matches you and your way of training. The Vortex communicates wirelessly via ANT+ and Bluetooth and you can attach your tablet or smartphone to the handlebar (as an optional extra). Price £359.99 From rutlandcycling.com




2. Nike Zonal Aeroshield

The Nike Zonal AeroShield women’s running jacket combines rain and wind protection with breathability where you need it most. New Nike AeroShield technology used in key zones lets body heat flow out and sweat evaporate, without letting the elements in. Price £129.95 From nike.com


3. Smith I/OX

The extra-large spherical lens of the I/ OX allows unparalleled peripheral vision, while 5X anti-fog technology provides five times the fog absorption compared to anything else on the market. This technology combined with the interchangeable lens keeps you on the mountain all day, regardless of the conditions. Price £178.50 From smithoptics.com

4. Endura Luminite gloves

Endura Luminite Gloves are seam sealed with an internal breathable and waterproof membrane and gel padding on the palm to offer you complete riding comfort and warmth. The stretch wind-block fabric offers dexterity and warmth, while gel padding on the sudette palm boosts comfort. These gloves also feature reflective print and knuckle flashes, embossed neoprene cuff with Velcro adjuster, and full finger terry wipe. Price £37.99 From rutlandcycling.com


5. Forme Peak Trail 1ELS

Forme’s new electric bike is perfect for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The powerful electric motor means anyone can enjoy the thrills of cycling regardless of fitness level. Price £2,275 From CafeVentoux.cc

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Active Rutland’s Exercise Referral Scheme Can Help You! If you are aged 16+ with a longstanding health condition, we can help you lead a healthier and more active life. We know that exercise can help to relieve symptoms of many conditions and lower your risk of illness, so we offer a scheme designed to aid you, to return to fitness. We have seen people lose as much as 10 stone, lower their blood pressure to healthy ranges and reduce their need for medication. Active Rutland has helped so many people return to fitness, and we can do the same for you. We can help you to: • • • • • • •

Lose weight Boost your self-esteem Make new friends Reduce blood pressure Reduce pain Improve your quality of life Reduce your risk of having a fall

Contact your health professional or Active Rutland today to see if you could benefit from this scheme on:

01572 758200 activerutlandhealth@rutland.gov.uk www.activerutland.org.uk

Active Mag February 2018 Artwork (Active Rutland).indd 1

17/01/2018 15:26:14


Distance 30 miles

Bulwick, turn left to Blatherwycke. Stay on this road until you reach King’s Cliffe. 13. In King’s Cliffe, take the first left on to Wood Lane. At the end of the Tarmac section, keep straight on to join the unpaved byway. 14. On reaching the farmyard, turn left onto the bridleway and enter the woods, passing around a barred iron gate. 15. On reaching the main fire road, turn right at the sign for Westhay Wood, following the waymarked cycle path (green arrows) anticlockwise around Fineshade Wood, until you reach Top Lodge visitor centre – a good place for a café stop.

ON YOUR BIKE! Rutland Cycling’s Sally Middlemiss suggests a circular route taking in Normanton, Glaston, Fineshade Wood and Ketton Including on- and off-road sections, this is a real Rutland adventure ride, packing in a great variety of terrain and landscapes and over 2,200ft of climbing, all in just 30 miles. It reveals views you can’t enjoy from the road, while incorporating some of the great country lane sections in our locality. It’s a challenging route with some significant inclines and you’ll need a bike that can handle Tarmac and unsurfaced paths – a gravel/adventure road bike is ideal, with its knobbly tyres, disc brakes and efficiency on tarmac. If you’d like to try out a brand new 2018 men’s or women’s gravel bike on this route, call the Giant Store on 01780 720888 and book a demo session.

9. Descend sharply to Seaton station, turning left at the t-junction towards Morcott. Stay on this road, following signs to Harringworth and passing under the viaduct. 10. At the t-junction in Harringworth, turn left then immediately right, following signs to Laxton. 11. Stay on this road through Laxton, to cross the A43 by turning right, then immediately left, signposted Bulwick. 12. After passing the church and village shop in

Top Lodge, Fineshade Wood to Normanton 16. Exit Top Lodge, heading towards the A43. Cross over the main road, following signs for Wakerley. 17. On entering Wakerley village, turn left at the t-junction, then first right, signposted Barrowden. 18. On entering Barrowden, take the first right, signposted Tixover. 19. Climb up to the A47, then cross over the busy main road, turning right then immediately left on to Barrowden Lane, which is marked ‘unsuitable for road vehicles’. Pedal along Barrowden Lane, which becomes unsurfaced, then surfaced again before you descend into Ketton. 20. At the t-junction in Ketton, turn left to cross the railway line, then stay on this road, crossing the river and passing the church on your right. 21. At the crossroads, go straight on towards Empingham. Stay on this road until you reach the A606 at Normanton, then turn left and first right into Normanton car park.



Normanton to Glaston 1. From Normanton car park, take the lakeside cycle route, heading clockwise towards Lyndon Nature Reserve. 2. Follow the cycle route past the sailing club. 3. Continue along the lakeside path (unpaved section), then turn left at the nature reserve and join the road leading up the hill to Lyndon Top. 4. Cross over the main road, heading towards Lyndon. 5. Ride through Lyndon village, following signs to Wing. Keep on this road, dropping down to cross over the River Chater, then climbing over the railway line up to Wing. 6. At the t-junction, turn right into Wing village, then take the first left, signposted Glaston. Glaston to Fineshade Wood 7. On reaching the A47 in Glaston, cross over the main road, following signs to Seaton and Harringworth. 8. As you pass Seaton, go straight over the crossroads, heading for Harringworth.






/// F E BRUA RY 2018 6 9

“A clear-eyed, energetic, forward-thinking school” - The Good Schools Guide

OPEN MORNINGS 2018 Lower School Saturday 24 February 2018 Saturday 19 May 2018

Middle School Saturday 28 April 2018 Saturday 9 June 2018

Please call us to book an Open Morning or to arrange an individual visit

Boarding Flexi-boarding Day places available

01572 758758 admissions@oakham.rutland.sch.uk Oakham School Chapel Close Oakham Rutland LE15 6DT



of pupils’

& other



‘achievements in

art, drama, &




music are

‘the quality of the



Independent Schools Inspectorate October 2017

Station Approach Oakham Rutland LE15 6QW info@brooke.rutland.sch.uk www.brooke.rutland.sch.uk

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25/01/2018 15:42

Feature /// School sports


Above Teddy, right, on the podium at Daytona

Local 16-year-old kart racer Teddy Wilson took his first victory on American soil at the famed Daytona International Speedway circuit in Florida recently. Making his debut at the annual World Karting Association (WKA) Daytona KartWeek, Teddy won the IAME Senior category of the Margay Sprint Nationals racing for Jay Howard’s Motorsport Driver Development (MDD) team. MDD team manager Joe Hidalgo said: “Working with Teddy has been a great pleasure. We showed pace and what we are capable of. Now I’m looking forward to

what’s in store in the 2018 season in karting and Formula 4, and am confident we can win more races.” Teddy added: “It was great to be racing again after a 14-month break. This is good preparation as I make the transition into racing Formula 4 single seater cars in the United States Championship.” Teddy’s first official F4 test takes place at Houston MSR in Texas later this month. The six-round championship visits legendary racetracks across America and culminates in a supporting race at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

HAT-TRICK OF CLUB RECORDS FOR ALEX Alex Sadler smashed three Deepings Swimming Club records and collected a hat-trick of gold medals, while Holly Leggott achieved the consideration time for the British Swimming Championships for the first time at the City of Derby Level 1 Meet. Ten-year-old Alex took gold and set new club records in the 200m butterfly, where he dipped below three minutes for the first time, clocking 2.58.46, and the 100m butterfly. He also won gold in the 400m freestyle and broke his third club record in the 100m backstroke, where he took bronze. Holly, 15, also broke a club record and achieved the British Swimming Championships

Above Deepings swimmer Alex Sadler

consideration time in the 50m freestyle, swimming under 28 seconds (27.92) for the first time in a 50-metre pool.

Other medal-winning performances came from Isabel Spinley, who took gold in the 200m butterfly, and Bethany Eagle-Brown, who collected bronze in the 100m freestyle. Meanwhile, 10-year-old Oliver Harrison narrowly missed out on bronze in the 200m breaststroke by a little over a second, finishing fourth. In total, the squad of 13 swimmers set 18 personal bests. The team was: Alex Sadler, Tom Adams, Thomas Neal, Oliver Harrison, Jessie Spooner, Isabel Spinley, Holly Leggott, Hannah Matthews, Emma Wilde, Chloe Jones, Bethany Eagle-Brown, Bailie Harrison and Amy Tappern.

OAKHAM HOCKEY RANKED SECOND IN COUNTRY Oakham’s senior boys indoor hockey team are ranked second in the country following an impressive show of talent at the national finals held at Whitgift School. “Being ranked as the second best indoor hockey team in the country is an impressive accolade and a testimony to the team’s talent, and the hard work they’ve put into training,” said the school’s director of hockey, James Bateman. “It’s a superb achievement, which goes one better than last year when the team narrowly missed out on a place in the final thanks to a nail-biting penalty shoot out.”

HUGO SMASHES IT! Hugo Dunn, a Year 5 pupil from Witham Hall, has been selected to represent the Midlands in a tennis match against the East of England. Hugo has been training every week with the regional team.

CRICKET CAMP Tom Flowers Cricket Coaching is introducing a February half-term camp at Stamford Junior School from February 12 to 16. The camps are designed to help develop any cricketer, from beginner to advanced, and include batting and bowling skills, net practice, fielding challenges and game-based events throughout the week, To book a place, visit www. tomflowerscricketcoaching. com/camps.html or call 07815 647892.

US GOLF Hugo Kedzlie, a pupil at Stamford School, is back from a trip to the US where he won the @TJGT Black Horse NY Shootout in Houston, Texas. As a result, he will compete in the Texas Tour Championship Invitational in February.

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26/01/2018 10:55

Feature /// Basketball

THUNDER BALLERS Jeremy Beswick visits a basketball club slam-dunking its way through the European youth game Photography: Pip Warters


f you’re a youngster in and around the Welland Valley who wants to play a team sport, then you’re very well served if rugby, football or cricket is your thing. But what if it isn’t? Until recently there was little choice on offer, as very few local sides offer something different from the ‘big three’ in a competitive league format. The good news is there’s now another option for under 14 to 18 year olds in the form of the Rutland Thunders basketball club. Not only are they local, as they are based in Oakham, they’re an impressive outfit as well. Their under 16s team recently travelled to Finland for a tournament against no less than 250 other sides and came home as champions. Young Brandon Hickman’s gold medal was hanging proudly around the neck of his mum Corrina when I went to watch them train. She’s now club secretary and explained how they’d grown from one team in their first season to three – and how her workload has ballooned with it. “It was OK with only one side, but now it’s

like a second full-time job,” she smiled. Nevertheless, she seems keen to be even busier, as she went on to tell me they’d like to recruit as many new players as possible, both boys and girls, and of all abilities. “It’s worth all the hours because my son’s so passionate about it,” she said, and was evidently delighted he’d finally found a suitable outlet for his competitive spirit. Another mum, Nicola White, explained why they urgently need new players: “My son’s team has between six and eight players there at a match day. With five on court, sometimes that only leaves one sub. By the end of the third quarter – just as the larger teams from Leicester, Nottingham and Derby are putting on five entirely fresh players – ours are on their knees!” It must have been one of the most lively, noisy and busy sports halls I’ve ever walked into – and one of the happiest, too. All three age groups were doing their stuff under the guidance of their coach, ex-pro John Smith, among much cheering, whooping and clapping. Nicola agreed that the Thunders were a very

/// F E BRUA RY 2018 7 3

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Feature /// Basketball welcome addition to the local sporting scene. “We tried hockey, but the nearest club was Melton and it seemed there were hardly any fixtures. Living in a small county we expected that to get any additional sporting opportunities we’d have to travel but now, right here in little Rutland, there’s a great alternative.” Her son Theo plays for the under 14s and is every bit as committed as clubmate Brandon. “He hadn’t really found his thing sports-wise before, but now he has. I’m so pleased he’s here and not sat in front of some electronic device,” she continued. “It’s been a tremendous confidence builder for him and given him the motivation to keep fit. They’re all incredibly supportive of each other and there’s a really lovely feeling amongst the team.” Maya Rangelova agreed. Her 15-year old Vladimir is enjoying his first season: “He loves it and talks about it all the time.” She too mentioned confidence building and went on: “He’s performing better academically now – and I put that down to coming here. Because he’s more self-confident he’s happier asking questions in class.” That supportive environment and much else besides is largely down to John Smith, the coach. Dad John Kennedy who, as an ex-rugby player has come across a coach or two in his time, said: “John’s unique – different from any other coach I’ve known. Very direct and vocal. The kids

know exactly what he wants and they want to play for him – he’s their mentor. I think a lot of children these days don’t have enough structure in their lives. This club gives them that.” What benefits had he seen for his 15- year old, Max? “For general fun and fitness it’s one of the best things. The cardio they go through is amazing. Max wasn’t particularly sporty before he came here but it’s transformed him in terms of fitness and having a sporting purpose. He wants to strive for a higher level now.” Tom Browne, captain of the under 18s, is also a John Smith fan. He said: “When I first started, no matter how badly I played, John gave me another chance and believed in me. I’ve massive respect for him. He doesn’t just coach basketball, he’s a life coach as well – showing us how to show respect and politeness to others.” One great attraction of basketball for teenagers is its reputation – it’s cool (or whatever the word they use nowadays). Played with little specialist equipment, almost all the top players are from deprived communities yet, even in the toughest inner city areas of London, it’s never disrupted by gang rivalry or violence because, according to one seasoned observer, “basketball is sacred among the young”. Rutland might not have that sort of social problem but even here, as Tom’s mother Mandy pointed out, “There are all sorts of people from all walks of life here this evening who might

never have met but for the game. Nevertheless, the camaraderie is incredibly strong. You’ll see a lot of passion, but never anger.” One parent was moved to write to the club saying: “Dear Rutland Thunders. I simply wanted to express our thanks to the organisers and coaches. Thank you for all the time and effort that you all put into coaching our son... he is developing in sportsmanship and self esteem under your guidance and having a great time.” It seems to me that a lot of youngsters could really benefit from giving this a go, but don’t worry too much if your child isn’t that tall either. Tyrone ‘Muggsy’ Bogues played professionally at the very highest level in the USA for 14 years. He’s 5ft 3in. There are side benefits for us parents, too. As Nicola pointed out: “It’s a lot warmer in winter watching your children here in the sports hall than freezing to death on a rugby or football touchline.” The last word should go to John himself. He puts it like this: “Basketball is not only about playing the sport but provides positive messages. It gives them confidence, teaches self discipline, self control and respect.” He says his strongest belief is that it helps to “demonstrate that the amount of effort you put into something determines what you get out of it”. That’s a fine lesson for any of us to learn.

/// F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 7 5

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


Strong start for Oaks and Oundle, but Lions fail to roar BY JEREMY BESWICK


veryone at Oakham RFC will be hoping for better things from 2018 than they managed from their disappointing first half of the season – and will have been much encouraged as they opened the year well with an all-important win against their fiercest rivals, Stamford Town. James Beanland stole the headlines with four tries but, unusually for the Oaks who are generally a backs-oriented side, their scrum were also the stars of the show, demonstrating a clear superiority throughout the match which proved to be a vital component of their victory. Three tries in the first half – and Beanland’s hat-trick – all came largely as a result of good work from the forwards and, with Callum Crellin showing his usual dependability with the boot, they led 21-0 at the break. To their credit, Stamford came back with two tries of their own early in the second period as they somehow twice managed to conjure decent possession from their own scrum put-ins even while their pack was heading backwards at a rate of knots. At 21-12 the match looked as if it might come alive again but Oakham upped their game once more and Beanland’s fourth try, followed by a Crellin penalty, saw them safely home to much celebration. Next up for the Oaks was an away fixture against Old Laurentians – a stern test as their hosts are close to the top of the league – and an early converted try from the home

side underlined the scale of the challenge, particularly as Oaks were fielding a muchchanged side and had already lost Dan Watkins to a first-minute injury. A penalty from Crellin brought them back to 7-3 and they then briefly held the lead after Charlie McKee went over, only for Laurentians to respond and reassert control. Yet Oakham’s Sam Janes was having a fine game and by now it was clear that the sides were evenly matched, even though Oaks went into the interval eight points down. A wood-assisted Crellin penalty brought them closer early doors in the second and they were clearly the better side by now until – alas – Rhys Grieve saw yellow. However, the next try was to come from 14-men Oaks; Crellin showing he has more to his game than penalties and conversions by landing an intelligently taken try of his own – Oaks narrowly back in the lead with less than a quarter of the match left to play. The next two tries came from the home side, who were by now realising they had a real game of rugby on their hands, to put them 12 points up with around 10 minutes left. But Oakham then really rattled their defence and won penalty after penalty before Henry Wills landed a really well-deserved try to bring them within a single score of victory at 35-30 and ensure a nervous finale for the hosts. Unfortunately that was to prove to be the final score but it was a performance that exceeded expectations.

Oaks’ vice-president Roger Baston told me: “If we play like that for the rest of the season we’ll be more than happy.” Up a tier in Midlands 1, Oundle started the new year with an impressive 47-17 home win over Melton Mowbray. The club’s Peter Croot, having noted how Melton had troubled the Eagles in the earlier away fixture by playing a tight game with a dominant set piece, had Oundle practising hard on how to combat this in the return. After going down to an early penalty against the run of play, and despite their pack being steady as a rock, the Eagles then played “a 35-minute blitz of sublime rugby,” according to Croot. Captain Joe Roberts landed their first try and then number eight Robb Shingles went on to bag three more of his own in succession, he in turn followed by Gareth Jacob and Mike Carter to make it 40-3 at half-time. Following a host of changes from Oundle and a re-grouping by Melton, the second half was more even with only Harry Winch’s try close to the end adding to Oundle’s total, but it was that 35-minute blitz that had won them the game. Next up was an away game at Northampton Old Scouts and the eight men of the Eagles’ scrum played the leading role in their opening try from Ben Milborne – the front row of Jones, Roberts and Saint just as rock-solid as against Melton. The forwards were again prominent in the build-up to Jack Sharpley’s second. Scouts

76 F E B R UA R Y 2018 ///

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27/01/2018 09:16


Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick reckons that things might get even worse for the Tigers before they get better It’s fair to say that Leicester Tigers are in one of the worst runs in living memory. Having narrowly beaten Sale Sharks in mid-November, they have lost seven and won one, and that was a dreadfully poor display that saw a narrow victory at home over Premiership bottom side London Irish. So just how bad is it at Tigers? It really is very hard to say. For a start, in this dismal period they have played Wasps, Saracens, Munster a couple of times, Racing 92 and Exeter, and got nilled with a reserve team in Castres during a European match which, if not a dead rubber, was certainly being read the last rites. Those of a positive disposition would say that most of these matches were against the sporting powerhouses of the game so it’s not surprising that Tigers have had a bad run. The issue is that once upon a time, Leicester would have expected to win most of those, being the most powerful of all. And power is what Leicester patently do not have. Head coach Matt

O’Connor is taking stick for the paucity of results, lack of cohesion and odd PR-doublespeak which leaves fans feeling patronised and not given honest answers, but the fact is this is not yet his squad: the forwards are clearly light of go-forward and a remnant of the all-court game espoused in the last couple of years, and a policy that saw lots of not-quite international standard players signed with the promise of being at the club all season, rather than away for their countries for large parts. Just as other clubs went down the superstar route… That Tigers have no iconic, brutal second rower or line-busting, canny number eight makes many yearn for a new Johnson or Richards, but the academy has not exactly been churning out internationals in the last decade, and a number of signings have oen come and gone with little effect. So the issues run deeper than the current management, and will take time to turn around. The signing of Worcester’s very highly rated lock Will Spencer and Wasps back row Guy Thompson for next season might be one answer, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out where the shortcomings are elsewhere, so the club will be scouring the world for suitable players. It will be difficult for supporters used to continued success, but the simple fact is O’Connor is only half a season into his project and he needs more time. There could be more pain ahead though, before it gets better. The question is, how much patience do the fans have?

Above Action from the Tigers’ final European pool game, a narrow loss at home to French side Racing 92

got one back after a yellow card for Oundle but outside centre Will Carrington, who has been efficiently slotting conversions all season, restored the gap with a try that Croot described as almost identical to their first and James Keane then secured the bonus point with their fourth, his pace and strength enabling him to evade three attempted tackles. Again Scouts came back with a try before half time to make it 14-29.

Ten minutes into the second period Carrington scored his second and then landed his third after 15. Keane was also to add another two tries for a hat trick of his own and make it eight in all and the final score 21-56, Croot summing up: “This was the best all-round performance – the pack as one, big ball carriers doing the hard yards, and the backs exploiting every chance.” Oundle currently sit seventh in the table.

A further two tiers up the leagues, Leicester Lions’ travails in National League 2 continue. Having drawn away in the big one just before Christmas (25-25 against South Leicester) they went on to lose 27-1 at home to Hinckley, 39-10 at Tynedale and 14-7 to Macclesfield. South fared a little better off the back of the derby, losing to Sedgley and Sale but beating Sheffield Tigers and as a result are two places above the Lions in sixth.

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76-77 rugby OK.indd 61

26/01/2018 12:17

ROUND-UP Football


Stamford stutter, Harborough slow but Oakham win a game BY DEAN CORNISH


t’s been a somewhat mixed period for Stamford AFC as they look to push on in the Evo Stik League and lay claim to promotion back up to the Northern Premier Division. Going into the all-important Christmas fixtures, Stamford were just a few points from the second automatic promotion place, and their form was impressive. However, a mixed holiday period has seen them slip back to sixth in the division and seen fans realistically start to aim now at hopefully going up via the play-offs, rather than automatically qualifying via the top two positions. The Christmas period started with a disappointing 1-1 draw away at relegationthreatened Carlton Town before a bumper Boxing Day crowd of more than 600 saw Graham Drury’s men cruise past local rivals and fellow promotion hopefuls, Corby Town, 2-0. Spirits were therefore high at the turn of the year, but a woefully complacent New Year’s Day performance saw the Daniels defeated 2-0 away at bottom side Peterborough Sports. The Daniels got themselves back in the mix with a hard fought 1-0 away win at Lincoln United the following week to give Stamford fans belief that they still had a chance of fighting for a top two finish in the league. Sadly, those hopes were diminished when fellow high flyers Frickley Athletic came to the Zeeco Stadium in mid-January and outmuscled the Daniels to win a thrilling match

4-2, with two late goals to end Stamford’s unbeaten home record. That game characterised Stamford’s season so far, with the away side’s Gavin Allot showing Stamford what they’ve been missing all year – a prolific striker who can turn a game with a couple of poacher’s goals. The following week, Stamford drew 0-0 away at basement dwellers Sheffield FC, once again dominating possession but not able to convert nine separate shots on goal. In fairness, Graham Drury has recognised the issue and swooped to sign Callum Ball, a striker who has played up front professionally for the likes of Coventry City and St Mirren. Let’s hope Ball can do the business and ensure Stamford finish the season strongly. One division below in the United Counties League Premier Division, Harborough Town are currently eighth after a reasonable period over Christmas, although form isn’t now quite as strong as it had been earlier in the season. After a 2-1 win away at Boston Town just before Christmas, Harborough then got their fourth win on the bounce, smashing Northampton Sileby Rangers on Boxing Day 8-1, with doubles from Harry Henbury and Aaron Preston. The Bees then drew 2-2 away at relegation threatened Sleaford Town before losing to Northampton ON Chenecks in their first game of 2018. In the United Counties League division one, Stamford’s other side, Blackstones,

have also had a mixed run of form since the Christmas decorations went up. After scoring five goals in three consecutive games in early December, it looked like Stones would challenge for honours this season. However, Stones then lost on December 22 (4-1 away at title favourites Pinchbeck United, drew on Boxing Day away at local rivals Bourne Town, before starting the New Year with another 4-1 away defeat at a side in the top six, Potton United). They then recovered form slightly by beating Thrapston 1-0 away, before unluckily losing 2-1 at home to another promotion hopeful, Raunds Town. That defeat means Stones are now fifth in the league and looking unlikely to challenge as they had hoped a month ago. In the same division, Oakham United are still struggling badly, with an abysmal run of form that has seen them drop to second bottom in the league. After an extraordinary run of 19 defeats, Oakham did stop the rot slightly with a goalless draw against Irchester just before Christmas, before then reverting to losing form and losing their next two league games – against Lutterworth (5-2) and Huntingdon (4-2). In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions have moved to the top of the table for the first time in their history, after another fine period of form. James Sheehan’s side reached the summit after another 10-0 thumping of Warboys

7 8 F E B R UA R Y 2018 ///

78-79 football OK.indd 60

26/01/2018 15:09

Vox Fox New year, new confidence – Leicester City look to make an impact in the FA Cup The Christmas period wasn’t very full of cheer for Leicester City, with only two points gleaned from a possible 12. But with the opposition consisting of the two Manchesters and Liverpool, and an away trip to Watford, perhaps the points target for the period wasn’t missed by that many points aer all. The new year has seen an improvement in results, with a convincing 3-0 home win over Huddersfield on New Year’s Day, a hard fought goalless draw at Chelsea and a solid two-goal victory over Watford. The result is that the Foxes have moved up to seventh in the league at the time of writing, and look good value for it too. In between those games, there was the shenanigans in the third round of the FA Cup against Jamie Vardy’s old club Fleetwood Town, which required a replay at the King Power Stadium and the appearance of a virtual referee to see Leicester go through.

The proverbial banana skin was avoided, to much relief, because Leicester (and we say this through gritted teeth with a fourth round tie against Peterborough aer we go to press) look the sort of side that could go on a good cup run. With the ability to score goals, and not a huge chance of making the top four, they can beat anyone on their day. Wembley in late spring? That would be lovely... Talking of going to press, the January transfer window fun and games were just starting to heat up as the Active presses rolled. Riyad Mahrez was spotted at Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game against Chelsea and the rumour mill reached fever pitch, although manager Claude Puel claimed, possibly with a hint of jokiness, he was there doing some scouting. Two things spring to mind. Why send a player linked to a club to that club for scouting? But on the flip side, the reason he was spotted was because team-mate Islam Slimani put a photo on Instagram of them both at the game. If there was something more to the visit, that would seem an odd thing to do. Mind you, footballers are hardly Machiavelli, are they? No doubt the whole saga will have been resolved by the time you read this. Or not.


Town (the second time they’ve notched 10 goals against the same opposition). The win follows up good wins against Leverington and Peterborough Sports reserves. Both Moulton Horrox and Netherton United have a couple of games in hand on the Lions, but Stamford Lions are in form and it looks like it’ll be a cracking end to the season. Ketton have moved up to 11th in the same division after a good start to 2018 with hard-fought away wins at Stanground and Holbeach. In Division One, Stamford Bels are sixth in the league and in good shape so far in 2018, with a 3-0 win over Oakham reserves, a well merited 0-0 away at Peterborough Polonia and then qualifying for the cup semi-finals on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Bretton.

Right Action from the Daniels’ 2-0 away loss at bottom side Peterborough Sports on New Year’s Day

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Inter-club derby


ourne Deepings Ladies saw the latest derby match played between its Seconds and Thirds teams, and the game lived up to previous encounters. The match started with both teams fighting for dominance and a lot of back and forth play, but an early break down the middle allowed Kat Kennedy the first shot at goal – it went wide but gave the Thirds a boost in confidence. The Seconds quickly came back with their own attack but the defenders held strong clearing the ball. The game continue to be one step forward and then two back before the Seconds got four consecutive short corners; however, they didn’t manage to convert any into a goal. The Thirds then had a quick break with Janet Eagle Smith getting a goal opportunity but again, it just went wide. Then a steal by Jo Morgan Walters enabled a very nimble Kat to take the ball into the D and pass to Vicky Edwards, who managed to steal the first goal of the game. Both teams then came out fighting, with numerous runs up and down the field, but very few further opportunities. Once the second half started the Seconds applied a lot of pressure and got their first

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goal, but the Thirds quickly responded with another goal from Gill Flook. The game then returned to both teams fighting for the ball and a couple of short corners. Minutes before the end of the match the Seconds managed to slip another goal in to make it 2-2. The Seconds are top of the league and undefeated, so there is still a lot to play for this season. The situation is similarly strong for the Firsts, who are top of the league as well. Poor weather failed to deter the Bourne Deeping Dragons 13-strong ladies squad in achieving another well-deserved three points against Cambridge University. Initial push back midfield play was dominated by Emily Murray and Becky Waters and on the few occasions that Cambridge broke through on the attack the Dragons defence held strong and quickly pushed play back up the field. Dragons player of the match, defender Alice Brookes, made some strong tackles, feeding the play back into an attacking position in a solid 2-0 win. The men’s first team also welcomed Cambridge Students, with both teams needing three points. On a cold and wet afternoon it was Bourne that struck first – within the first five minutes Rich Collins


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passed to Simon Shorter who fired a reverse pass across the D for Simon Miles to deflect past the stranded keeper, but a rare attack for the students resulted in a tame drag flick finding the backboard. However, Stuart Biggs, George Collins and Olly Vartan also scored and the students couldn’t keep pace – the Dragons coming out on top 5-3. After a great win against CoP 5s, Bourne Deeping Seconds’ spirits were high and they went into the next game against Saint Neots with plenty of confidence. After lots of attacks they finally won a short corner – Matty Clarkson pushed out to the top of the D, which was calmly slipped to Andrew Dodds on the right who smashed the ball into the bottom left of the goal. The Saints then got a lucky break and managed to slip the ball under the BDHC keeper. After an encouraging half-time talk, straight from the whistle BDHC pressured the Saint Neots defence and Andrew Dodds dribbled through the defence to slot the ball into the bottom corner, putting the Dragons ahead. Dodds then hammered the ball into the bottom left, completing his hat-trick. Harry Fontaine performed a fantastic first time reverse shot that flew into the top of the goal to give the Dragons a 4-1 win.


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ROUND-UP Equestrianism


Burghley director honoured



lympia in London was once again a great setting to finish the 2017 season. One of the highlights was Elizabeth Inman, event director of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, being awarded a BEF Medal of Honour in recognition of her dedication to the event over the last 35 years. The medal was first awarded in 1949 and is presented each year in recognition of outstanding services to the British Equestrian Federation or one of its member bodies. Much to the crowd’s disappointment, Holly Smith bowed out unusually early at Olympia in the Puissance. She went on to have a three-way split to win the surprisingly competitive Puissance on her good horse Quality Old Joker the weekend after Christmas at The Liverpool International Horse Show though. Dan Delstart, our local French showjumper, had his first attempt at the Puissance at an international show, and he put up a credible performance to make it to the third round. Dan will be moving to Keysoe from March and will be offering clinics and lessons.


Julia Dungworth will be at the Dodson & Horrell Masterclass

Tabitha Kyle, daughter of Mark and Tanya Kyle, also had a brilliant win in the 138cm Championship on Lissduff Royal - she is one to watch for the upcoming season. Liverpool opened their doors to a host of showjumpers but the event was cut short on New Year’s Eve when the Echo Hall car park caught fire. Luckily, everyone was evacuated to safety. Dodson & Horrell is holding a Performance Masterclass at Arena UK on Saturday, March 17, at 2pm. It will be hosted by Spencer Sturmey with demonstrations

by brand ambassadors Richard Davison, Geoff Billington, Piggy French, and Sophie Wells, with myself acting as guinea pig on Gala. The masterclass is designed to help you improve your performance with tips from the top riders and goody bags. Tickets are on sale now at £20 from arenauk.com. All ticket sales are generously donated to Brooke Charity for working horses and donkeys. Local event rider Anna Cheney from Kettering had an awful experience at one of Caroline Moore’s event clinics. While bandaging her horse in the back of the lorry he became spooked, unbalancing Anna, causing her to fall underneath him, which resulted in her horse panicking. Anna got out from under her horse, but was rushed into Nottingham hospital where she was treated for a broken arm, thumb and had 10 stitches in her head. Thankfully she was wearing a hat, which was completely destroyed as a result of being repeatedly kicked. Anna feels without it, she would not be here to tell her story and would like to urge everyone to wear their hats while dealing with their horses. Anna is confident she’ll be back riding by the end of April.


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11+ Testing Information Evening Tuesday 6 March 2018 7.00pm

Parents of Year 5 students are invited to attend an Information Evening on the 11+ testing process. The Headteacher will give a short presentation on the 11+ tests and how to apply for a place at Bourne Grammar School. Drinks will be served after the presentation and there will be an opportunity to collect an information pack, register your child for the test and ask any questions of the Headteacher and Admissions Staff.

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // February 2018  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...

Active Magazine // February 2018  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...

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