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WHAT TO BUY FOR CHRISTMAS

The best sporting and leisure gifts this season ISSUE 17 // NOVEMBER 2013

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

PUPPY LOVE HOW TO BUY AND TRAIN A GREAT DOG

ISSUE 17 // NOVEMBER 2013

Plus

Bonkers for conkers

The world championships go nuts in Northants

NEW

Brilliant bike rides and triathlon training regimes

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1ST YEAR ANNIVERSARY

New Autumn/Winter collection in stock Wrap up warm this Christmas with our new outdoor clothing ranges. • • • • • •

Winter coats Winter fleeces Hats, gloves and accessories Wellies Walking boots and socks New children’s range

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Editor’s Letter OH, HOW I LAUGHED WHEN MY SIX-MONTH old labrador Bertie got hold of one of my handmade Church’s shoes and chewed a massive hole in it. And I found it hilarious when he ate the handle off our suitcase. My wife found it even funnier when he chewed through the TV cable and we had to call Sky at great expense to have it repaired. But those mishaps (and a few other besides) pale into insignificance when you factor in the sheer, unadulterated joy of owning a puppy, and watching them lollop ridiculously around the garden, or the look on their face when it’s walk time. It makes you realise what a great thing the simple pleasures in life are, like a stroll through the fields, and how much we tend to forget that when we’re rushing about. So in this issue we’re looking at everything you need to know if you are thinking of committing to a canine. It’s a big job, but done properly (and hopefully without too many footwear casualties) they’ll be fantastic friends for many years. Also in this issue, we’re looking at great sporting and leisure gifts for Christmas. Sorry about that. I know it’s only November, but like all problems, the sooner you appreciate that they are there, the sooner you can deal with them. That said, I’ll still be desperately be rushing round Stamford and Oakham on December 24 looking for presents. So it’s a case of don’t do as I do, do as I say, I suppose. Enjoy the issue.

Thanks, Steve

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy Editor Rich Beach rich@theactivemag.com Production Editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art Editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Dean Cornish, Jon Tyrrell, Sandie Hurford, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan Harry Measures Production Assistant Abigail Sharpe Advertising Sales Rachel Meadows rachel@theactivemag.com Accounts Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789

A member of the Stamford Chamber of

Trade and Commerce

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 Printed in the UK by Warners Midlands plc. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. Distributed by Grassroots Publishing Ltd ISSN 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Registration company number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

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

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2013. 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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CONTENTS NEWS 11 I CHARITY RIDE GATHERS MOMENTUM Etton pub aims to get more people involved in fund-raiser

12-13 I LIFE IN THE FAST LINE

Young South Luffenham karter aims for the top

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14-15 I NOVEMBER EVENTS

Great things to see and do in our area this month

HEADS UP 17 I MARTIN JOHNSON

The Sunday Times writer on the football World Cup

18-25 I CHRISTMAS KITBAG SPECIAL Seven pages of great festive gift ideas

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17

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FEATURES 26-31 I SHOOTING

Will Hetherington advises on how to get involved with local shoots, plus a guide on what to wear in the field

32-35 I HOW TO PICK A PUPPY

Read this before buying a puppy – essential advice to ensure you and your new pet all get along

36-41 I BONKERS CONKERS

Our region plays host to the World Conker Championships, and we were there to witness the drama

42-45 I STAMFORD BRIDGE

No, not the home of Chelsea but a look at a thriving bridge club in Stamford. Jeremy Beswick reports

REGULARS 46-47 I HEALTH AND BEAUTY

The latest advice to help you feel fitter and healthier

52-53 I GREAT WALKS

Will Hetherington and Ella head out to Lyndon

55 I SPORTSMAN’S DINNER

This month the boys try out the White Horse at Baston

56-57 I GREAT RUN

Another great local route to get you out and about

58-59 I SCHOOL SPORT

Our focus on the latest achievements from local pupils

60-65 I ROUND-UP

How clubs in the Stamford and Rutland area are getting on

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In Play

Fast track to success South Luffenham 12-year old Teddy Wilson, pictured leading, has won the 2013 Super One IAME Cadet British Karting Championship. See page 12 for more on the fast-moving UCC pupil.

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Photography: www.andrewjamesphotos.co.uk ///

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In Play

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FA Cup woe for Daniels A bumper home crowd of 668 saw the Daniels lose 2-0 to Conference North leaders, Hednesford Town, with both goals coming from the penalty spot. A win would have seen would have Stamford into the FA Cup First Round for the first time ever.

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News

Charity ride gathers momentum A MEMORIAL BIKE RIDE and fun day hosted by the Golden Pheasant in Etton raised £6,000 for charity last month and looks set to continue growing, with next year’s event aiming to be bigger and better than ever. The Liam Pridmore Memorial Bike Ride and Fun Day saw 223 cyclists take part, an increase of nearly a third compared with last year, and raise vital funds for the Brain Tumour Charity, The Rudolf Fund and local charity Team Jess. The annual fund-raiser started six years ago as a small event collecting money for local charities and has raised more than £20,000 for good causes. More recently the event has been in

memory of a brave Glinton lad called Liam Pridmore who died of a cancerous brain tumour last year. The organisers vowed to continue the event for years to come and raise more and more money for children’s cancer charities. Most of the riders on the day opted for the 25-mile route around the Green Wheel, while 63 riders headed off on the junior ride and a committed peloton of 40 dedicated cyclists took on the 55-mile route. The sun shone and supporters and riders alike enjoyed a day of family fun with bouncy castles, all-day live music and a world-class BBQ provided by the Golden Pheasant kitchen.

Bike ride organiser Matt Holman said: “It was a great event and even the sun stayed out all day. The annual event has grown in popularity over the years, we hope that more and more people will come along each year and enjoy the ‘route safe’ rides or support the event by donating or buying raffle tickets on the night and enjoying the entertainment.” Next year’s event hopes to be bigger and better, and is planned for Saturday, September 6, at the Golden Pheasant. The event will be fully insured for all riders and is looking to be one of the most popular local cycle ride events of the year.

Head down to the barre THERE’S AN EXCLUSIVE NEW full-body workout class coming to Stamford and it promises to create leaner, dancer-like bodies ‘by incorporating stength, flexibility and endurance into one complete workout’. Developed from a dance and Pilates background, the Xtend workout combines the benefits of dance with the principles of strength and safety in Pilates. Dance instructor Henri Tatton has been teaching at the Welland School of Dancing in Stamford since 2011 and is currently in her second year of studying for a BA Honours degree in Dance Education with the Royal Academy of Dance in London. But having recently been awarded her licence to teach Xtend Barre in the UK, means residents in the Stamford area will be some of the first to experience the barre workout that’s sweeping America. “The class may incorporate the ballet barre but it doesn’t revolve around pirouettes or anything,” Henri told Active. “A series of cardio exercises with traditional Pilates principals, as well light weight training, are intelligently combined in a 55-minute full body immersion. If you have limited time, Xtend Barre will take care of your upper body, abs, legs and bum in under an hour. If you go 3-4 times a week, it’s the only workout you really need.” The classes will be held at The Welland School of Dancing in Stamford on Thursdays at 9.30am. Xtend Barre classes last for 55 minutes and cost £6. Henri intends to hold more classes around the area, in gyms and other venues, so watch this space.  For information, contact Henri on 07866 564827 or email htatton866@btinternet.com

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News

Fast track to success!

sponsor Total Kart Shop, my dad Andrew and mechanic Wilko, Dan Hazelwood and Neil Doran at Fusion Motorsport and all my family and friends. It was a great way to round off my season.”  Coverage of Super One round 6 will broadcast on MotorsTV on November 4 from 7pm.

Walking saves lives! THERE’S AN EPIDEMIC OF INACTIVITY across the UK and mounting evidence illustrating the potentially lethal consequences of not keeping in shape has been compiled by MacMillan Cancer Support and The Ramblers in the most extensive overview of this research. Supported by Public Health England, this new report concludes that the answer to the lifethreatening consequences of inactivity is very simple: walking. The report demonstrates how walking is the solution to getting the nation active and explains why we need to take action now. Some of the key findings on the impact of inactivity are:  Physical inactivity tops smoking as one of the nation’s biggest health problems and is one of the top four global killers  It is responsible for 10.5% of heart disease cases, 13% of type 2 diabetes cases and 17% of premature deaths in the UK  Being inactive shortens lifespan by 3–5 years  The associated health problems of inactivity in England are costing the economy up to £10 billion a year. The Walking Works study also found that if everyone did enough walking to meet the recommended guidelines it could prevent 36,815

people dying prematurely, 294,730 cases of diabetes and 12,061 people going to hospital for emergency coronary heart disease treatment. The guidelines advise at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, every week, for adults; kids should be active for an hour every day. The report also highlights how physical activity can help prevent certain type of cancers, help manage the consequences of cancer treatment, and even help reduce the chance of some cancers returning. In fact, physical inactivity can be attributed as the cause of 18% of colon cancer cases and 17% of breast cancer cases. Benedict Southworth, chief executive of the Ramblers, said: “We’re facing a serious crisis of inactivity, but there is a simple solution. We need to see greater investment in initiatives which support and promote walking as the most accessible and affordable way for people to get active.” Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said: “It is sad that so many lives are put at risk each year due to inactivity. Inactivity is a nationwide epidemic that must be tackled now before it is too late. “Healthcare professionals need to ensure that they prescribe physical activity, such as walking, as an intrinsic part of a healthy lifestyle.”

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LOCAL JUNIOR KART RACER, Teddy Wilson, has taken on and beaten the country’s top kart drivers, winning the 2013 Super One IAME Cadet British Championship, securing himself fourth place in the overall British Championship. The result also establishes Teddy as the second-highest seeded driver in contention for next year’s title, open to drivers aged 8-13. The South Luffenham lad, who attends Uppingham Community College, said: “I wanted to finish my season on a good note and winning the final round of Super One was the best! “Although I couldn’t catch the leading three in the British Karting Championship, there were several drivers vying for fourth place. The points I got from this performance clinched it for me and now I can look forward to driving with the No. 4 plate in Super One next year.” Driving karts since he was six and racing from the age of eight, Teddy’s racing career shares the same beginnings as some of the world’s most famous drivers, including David Coulthard, Jason Plato, Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton, who all started off in the Super One series. Teddy added: “I would like to say a big thank you for all the support I’ve had this season from my

Photography: www.andrewjamesphotos.co.uk

South Luffenham 12-year-old Teddy Wilson claims British cadet karting championship

FUNDING FOR YOUNG TALENT TALENTED RUTLAND ATHLETES are now eligible to receive funding to develop their career in sport through the GO GOLD athlete fund. Funding to support GO GOLD is given by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council, and it financially supports athletes who live or attend a school in the area. The scheme aims to support talented young athletes who are performing at regional standard or above in their sport. Recipients can receive £500 to help them fund kit or transport to their training venue. GO GOLD is also open to those who are being recognised as being future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes and potential medal winners.  To apply for the scheme, visit www.lrsport.org/go-gold-athletefund, or contact Leicestershire & Rutland Sport’s development officer, Kim Lillie on 01509 564853.

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Rutland to get new cycle path network RUTLAND LOOKS SET to get a new network of cycle paths as part of a £4m scheme to encourage sustainable transport and boost tourism. Rutland County Council has allocated £480,000 of its local sustainable transport fund to spend on cycle routes this year, with an additional £200,000 in 2014/15. The highways budget will provide a further £42,000 to bring the total budget to £722,000. Six cycle routes have been identified from a possible 14. These would connect Langham and Whissendine, at a cost of £223,000; Oakham bypass to Uppingham Road, Oakham at £50,000; Oakham to Braunston along Braunston Road, at £204,000; extend the current route further along Oakham Road towards Ashwell, at £120,000; complete the off-road path at Lyndon Top, at £65,000; and extend the existing cycle path from the centre of Greetham to the junction with Thistleton Lane, Greetham at £60,000. The routes were chosen aer consultation

with parish councils, Rutland Access Group, the British Horse Society, Bridleways Association, the Velo Club and other cycling organisations. The routes are part of a bigger £4m scheme to improve transport links in the area, and £935,000 will also be spent building a bus station at the current public toilets site on John Street, Oakham. The building work will include new toilets and also a secure storage locker for cycles, in line with Rutland plans to become a ‘cycling county’. Work on the station is set to begin in the coming weeks.

CYCLEWRIGHT TO OPEN IN STAMFORD CYCLEWRIGHT IS OPENING a new bike shop in Stamford opposite the Tobie Norris pub. The St Paul’s Street shop will stock most major brands of cycles for all the family, with Cube bikes (pictured) being its primary brand. There will be a wide range of Cube lifestyle products such as clothing and accessories, and kids will be well catered for with the Raleigh range of junior bikes, too. Baston store manager, Gavin Thompson, who will be splitting his time between both sites intitially, said: “It’s all very exciting. We are still [at the time of going to press] finalising the day we open, but please stay tuned to our website or Facebook page, as we’ll be having a grand opening and look forward to meeting Stamford’s cyclists.”

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News /// Events

Out and about in November A run-down of fun things to do locally

CYCLING What? Mountain Bike Demo Day Where? Top Lodge, Fineshade Wood, Northants When? November 2 from 10am Following the success of Rutland Cycling’s Road Bike Demo Day earlier in the year, the team are applying the same brilliant formula to their huge range of mountain bikes, making choosing your next bike that much easier. There will be the latest 2014 bikes from Orange, Trek, Scott, Whyte and Specialized and you can try them all on the trails and paths for free, plus ask any of the experts from the brands about anything you need to know about their bikes. There is a £10 security deposit, which is returned when you’re done.  Places are strictly limited so booking is advised. Call the store on 01480 812 500 to book or visit www.rutlandcycling.com

FITNESS

What? Running, triathlon and fitness advice sessions Where? Advance Performance, Peterborough store, Fengate East When? Saturday mornings, 9am Get free advice from Advance Performance’s staff, who each have a background in areas such as sport science, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, nutrition and more. Saturday, November 2 – Is mid-foot/fore-foot running for you? Saturday, November 9 – Running for beginners Saturday, November 23 – How to avoid the most common injuries Saturday, November 30 – How to enjoy and get the best out of trail running  Find more information at www.advanceperformance.co.uk

SHOPPING What? Victorian Christmas (right) Where? Rockingham Castle, near Corby When? November 18-22 Rockingham Castle’s annual Christmas event is a trip back in time, to Christmas Eve 1881, when owner George Lewis Watson and his family decorated their family home and filled the courtyard with Christmas trees, while the castle staff prepared the fire and laid the table in the Great Hall. With the entire castle transformed by its Victorian makeover and the Walkers House restaurant serving homemade, locally-sourced dishes, mince pies and mulled wine, for many visitors, the event marks the start of their Christmas celebrations. Castle owner, James Saunders Watson, said: “With around a fih of our annual visitors coming along for our Christmas event, its popularity is undoubted. The Castle decorated in true Victorian style attracts visitors both locally and further afield.” The gates open daily ready for the first tour of the Castle at 11am. Tours run every 15 minutes throughout the day with the last tour at 7.30pm. Adults £7, Children (5-16) £3, under 5s free, car parking £2.50.  For more information call 01536 770240 or visit www.rockinghamcastle.com

DRAMA What? A Murder Mystery Evening Where? Peterborough Central Library When? November 27, 6.30pm Experience a proper ‘Whodunnit?’ and test your detective skills at this special evening scripted by crime writer Ann Cleeves, based on her award-winning Vera Stanhope novels. The script will provide an evening of witness statements, forensic reports and other clues. Once the confession is read at the end of the evening, the closest audience member to solving the murder will be awarded a prize. Tickets are £3 and will include refreshments.  Contact Peterborough Central Library – 01733 864 280, centrallibrary@vivacitypeterborough.com or visit www.vivacitypeterborough.com.

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DAY OUT What? Cras for Christmas and food fayre Where? Burghley House When? Nov 28 - Dec1 Burghley’s bumper weekend of food and cras returns at the end of the month, combining the ever-popular Cras for Christmas event, from Thursday (November 28) to Sunday (December 1), held in the marquee in front of the house, with the weekend’s food fayre held in the courtyards over the Saturday and Sunday. The Cras for Christmas tent will be packed with stallholders selling handmade gis . Graham Pickett Antiques will be in their usual Old Kitchen location with beautiful furniture and collectables. With the best of local food produce from cheese, beer, cakes and Burghley venison in the Food Fayre, your Christmas gi options are plenty.  Open from 10am to 3pm.

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Guest column

Back fours, barbeques and blathering on about Ecuador As England qualify for the World Cup, the Sunday Times’ Martin Johnson can’t wait to celebrate next summer here is, according to those who research these things, a marked increase in the suicide rate every time a football World Cup comes around, in which case, London bus drivers should prepare to keep a sharper eye out than normal when they’re chugging up Tottenham Court Road next summer. There’s nothing like being an England fan during a World Cup for bringing on an uncontrollable urge to hurl yourself under the wheels of a bus. Ever since 1966, England football fans have been deluded into believing their team has a chance of winning, and it doesn’t help when people like the chairman of the Football Association, Greg Dyke, describes their team as a “tanker that needs turning”. Here we go again... people talking about the England football team in terms of giants, conveniently ignoring the evidence that the oceangoing tanker which gave the world the game has long since joined the fleet of canal barges. Now that we’ve seen off the Poles and qualified for Brazil, the man in the street will spend the next eight months firmly believing that England are in with a chance. No-one will beat us for patriotism, that’s for sure. On the day of England’s opening match in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when the country was sweltering in barbeque weather, Asda reported selling a year’s supply of sausages in half an hour, and every bootful of bangers was driven home in a car with a flag of St George fluttering out of the window. And it will be the same next summer, even though someone has worked out that the aerodynamic downside of England fans flying flags on their cars equates to several thousand gallons of petrol. So while England making it to the final might have a beneficial effect on the suicide rate, the omens for global warming are obvious. Then there will be injury scares. “Will Rooney play or won’t he?” stories will grip the nation. Sleep will become impossible the night before the game, and every household will have a countdown clock ticking down to the moment the TV coverage of the match begins. Which will be at least five hours before kick off, to ensure that the panel of 28 experts have time to make an even bigger contribution to global warming with non-stop emissions of hot air. The radio will be even worse. I remember once waiting in vain, during a long Saturday afternoon car journey, for some news of the Walker Cup golf match, only to get nothing but football. And

T

England weren’t even playing. It was someone like Paraguay playing someone like Saudi Arabia, and after listening to someone blathering on about the Saudi back four, we were then treated to the national anthems of both countries. The previews to England’s matches will, of course, start just after the inquest into the previous one, and never mind that there are another six days or so in which to set the scene. And nothing will be left unsaid about England’s next opponents so if England are due to play, let’s say, Ecuador, we will have at least one programme informing us that the opposition hails from a mountainous South American country nestling between Columbia and Peru on the Pacific coast. Oh, and it also owns the Galapagos Islands. It doesn’t apply to the bigger opponents, of course, as we already know that the Germans all eat sauerkraut, swill beer and dress up in shorts. Then, when England finally get to play their first match, the traditional descent to terra firma will be provided by a 0-0 draw with Tierra del Fuego. And the following day, the country will come to a standstill while its subjects thrash out where it all went wrong. I once, during a World Cup, waited in vain to get served at a supermarket fish counter while the two employees engaged in a heated argument about England’s performance the previous night. Caught in the crossfire was a little old lady, who wanted only to take home a tuna steak, but had to stand for 10 minutes listening to one bloke describing Sven Goran Eriksson as a tactical genius, and another claiming that the Swede should actually be available in the store’s grocery section, along with all the other turnips. Talking of managers, there was a repeat recently of “The Impossible Job”, the fly on the wall documentary recording the dying days of the Graham Taylor era, and his farewell lament to the linesman as England were about to miss out on a place in the finals: “Your referee’s just got me the sack. Thank him for that, won’t you?” It is a programme, like no other, which tells you what agonies football managers put themselves through. Eventually, it will be all over, leaving people pummelling away at their remotes wondering where the footie has gone. And the sense of deprivation will be so acute many will require counselling. Fifa, clearly, has not thought it through. Any doctor could tell them how dangerous it is to cut off an addict’s supply, and the World Cup – especially one with England in it – is a Class A drug. And no-one will be in the slightest bit startled if they walk past someone chatting on a phone, and hear them say: “Blimey, is that the time? Sorry, got to dash. Ukraine v Moldova is on in 10 minutes.”

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Feature /// Gifts

Christmas Kitbag Loved ones got all the gear and you’ve no idea what to get them for Christmas? We’re here to help you with our seven-page festive gift guide

Country sports Barska binoculars

Barbour Country Cottage plaid scarf

This woven lambs wool and cashmere scarf has luxurious style and comfort Price £29.95 From Barnack Country Clothes, 01780 740115

Reliable, precision-made and affordable binoculars for hunting and bird watching. Price £39.99-£132 From Get Lost in Rutland, 01572 868 712

Ugg earmuffs

Never let your ears get cold again with these stylish and fluffy muffs. Price £75 From Cavells, 01572 770372

Chiruca Chelsea leather boots

These Spanish boots prove that practicality need not be sacrificed for comfort and style. Price £199.95 From Barnack Country Clothes, 01780 740115

Barmah Foldaway Bronco waterproof hat The ever popular Australian genuine leather hat is perfect for all year round wear. Price £52.99 From Barnack Country Clothes, 01780 740115

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Cycling

Maxi Micro Scooter

A scooter made to bikemaker standards, with quality components and speed guaranteed! Price From £99.95 From www.micro-scooters.co.uk

Forme Axe Edge Sport

A great value road bike, with lightweight frame and superb components. Price £799.99 From Rutland Cycling, www.rutlandcycling.com

Elite Novo turbo trainer

Don’t fancy winter riding? This turbo trainer is great for indoor use. Price £179.99 From www.cyclewright.co

Kiddimoto Hero balance bike

These beautiful ride-ons help kids to develop their motor skills, and are painted in racers’ colour schemes. This one is a replica of MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo. Price £129.99 From www.kiddimoto.co.uk

Silver cycling cufflinks

Handmade solid sterling silver cufflinks made for cyclists by cyclists in English Cufflinks’ own workshop. Price £90 From www.notonthehighstreet.com

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Feature /// Gifts

Fitness

Foam rollers

Regular use of these will relieve you of knotted muscles aer a session and they can speed up recovery time. Price £20.50 From www.advanceperformance.co.uk 01733 891111

Nathan Quickview hydration pack Get fit and keep up with your tweets and emails at the same time with this clever phone and drink holder. Price £23 From John Lewis

Exposure Trace rechargeable light set

The new Trace is a super compact front light with a powerful output and hassle free USB recharging. Price £79.99 (was £94.99) From Rutland Cycling www.rutlandcycling.com

Wackysox

Sports socks with more character, and British made too. Price £6.99 From Rutland Sports, 01572 722675

Puma Faas running shoes

Womens’ lightweight, high-tech running shoes, which come in great colours too. Price £70 From www.puma.com

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Football

Adidas Adizero football boots

If they’re good enough for Messi, they’re good enough for a muddy park in January… Price £160 From www.adidas.co.uk

Kickmaster goal

A quick and easy to set up training aid and goal for the kids, and big kids. Price From £16 From Tesco

Peterborough United home shirt

Support the Posh with the latest Nike home shirt. Price £40 From www. theposhonlinestore.com

Golf

Footjoy AQL ladies shoes

Ultra-lightweight comfort with added stability for all year round play, and a dash of style too. Price From £40 From www.footjoy.co.uk

Callaway X Hot clubs

The latest irons from Callaway feature a Speed Frame face for longer, more consistent distance. Price £400 (approx) From Selected stockists

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BBikes for the family and enthusiast

Reserve Your Bike

FOR CHRISTMAS NOW Minimum deposit £10.00

Giant Defy 1 ONLY £999.00

Giant Talon 5 27.5” ONLY £475.00

Raleigh Zero G 16” ONLY £129.99

Raleigh Starz 20” ONLY £189.99

BIKES / CLOTHING / ACCESSORIES / SERVICING New autumn/winter ranges now in-store

Waterside Garden Centre . King Street . Baston . PE6 9NY

T|01778 560495 E|info@cyclewright.co

OPEN: Monday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm & Sunday 10.30am - 4.30pm

cyclewright.co

@CycleWright.co

Wharf Road, Stamford PE9 2DU Telephone: 01780 755948 Mobile: 07867785273 www.julesofstamford.co.uk /julesofstamford julie@julesofstamford.co.uk


Feature /// Gifts

Gifts and pampering Laboratory perfume

Liberty cosmetic bag

A beautifully made leather bag for all your essentials Price £125 From Cavells, 01572 770372

Natural English-made perfumes with lavender, basil, rosemary and oak tones. Price £48 From Cavells, 01572 770372

Charming Rewards

Can’t wear your medals all the time? These handmade silver charms record your milestones on a bracelet. Price £23.99 each From www.advanceperformance.co.uk

The original Swiss Army knife

Others may copy, but the original is still classic, well-made and practical Price £24-£65 From Get Lost in Rutland, 01572 868 712

Ostrich pillow light

Anyone wanting complete peace and quiet might consider this wearable pillow, designed to block out light and sound. Price £60 From www.ostrichpillow.com

Ruby & Ed hot water bottle cover A cuddly hot water bottle cover for those cold winter nights. Price £25 From www.notonthehighstreet.com

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Feature /// Gifts

Rugby

Leicester Tigers ladies shirt A more classic cut version of Tigers’ home shirt than the pro replica tops. Price £40 From www.store. leicestertigers.com

England pro shirt

Canterbury’s new England shirt for the next year. Price £55 From www.store.rfu.com

Hockey

Leather rugby ball washbag

You’ll be the belle of the changing rooms aer the game with this high quality washbag. Price £46 From www.notonthehighstreet.com

Dita EXA 700 hockey stick

An ultra-lightweight composite stick for optimum ball-handling and hitting power. Price £270 From www.barringtonsports.com

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Winter sports Hero3+ Black Edition

GoPro has updated its top-of-the-line action camera range, featuring improved low-light capabilities and extended battery life. Price £349.99 From www.cyclewright.co 01778 560495

Salomon Kiana Girls helmet

Lightweight adjustable helmet, with removable earpads for when it warms up. Price £50 From www. cotswoldoutdoor.com

Buton Feelgood Flying V Snowboard

A women’s board with exceptional stability, speed and turning power. Price £469 From www.surfdome.com

Cricket

Kookaburra Kahuna 400

Great quality wood for the price thanks to Vitas’ ability to hand pick all its Kookaburra stock. Price £105 From www. vitascricket.co.uk

Spartan Matt Prior 1000 JNR Matt Prior’s Spartan bat is available in sizes 4 - Harrow. Price £85 From www. vitascricket.co.uk

Gray Nicolls Oblivion E41 Test Cricket cufflinks

Perfect for any cricket lover, these attractive rhodium cricket cufflinks will simply bowl them over. Price £29 From www.notonthehighstreet.com

Alistair Cook will be using this in the Ashes this Winter. The very best bat available from Gray Nicolls. Price £380 From www.vitascricket.co.uk

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Feature /// Shooting

Turrets, tweeds and tasty birds

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With the game shooting season well underway, Will Hetherington offers advice on how you can enjoy shooting in the area, whatever your budget

DOWNTON STYLE

Belvoir Castle is the grand old seat of the Dukes of Rutland and has become extremely popular with teams of game shooters from all over the world in recent years. And you can see why. The ancestral home overlooking the Vale of Belvoir offers the true fairytale castle experience, and the progressive attitudes of the present Duke and Duchess make for a welcoming atmosphere. Visitors can get the full baronial treatment, including eating and staying overnight in the castle. With the chance to shoot partridge, pheasant and duck during the day this really is living and shooting straight out of the Downton Abbey mould. The estate, which is just a short drive north up the A1, also hosted the world’s biggest outdoor country sports event, the CLA Game Fair, in 2005 and 2009. There are lots of other game shoots in the area, not least Burghley House, but if you are new to shooting the best thing to do is start with clays (see overleaf). And the cost of visiting Belvoir to shoot, eat, stay and leave? You know what they say: “If you have to ask…” // www.belvoircastle.com

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Are you ready for the game season?

John Bradshaw’s Gun Shop Perio Mill Farm, Cotterstock Road, Fotheringhay, Peterborough PE8 5HU United Kingdom Tel: (01832) 226376 • Mobile: (07754) 868818 Email: marcus@johnbradshawguns.co.uk

www.johnbradshawguns.co.uk

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20/07/2012 09:20 12:37 22/07/2012


Feature /// Shooting

CLAY SHOOTING GROUNDS

There is something almost indescribably satisfying about successfully shooting clay pigeons, and there are a number of good shooting grounds in this area. Grange Farm at Wittering (grange-farm.co.uk) is owned and run by Robin Dunlop and provides a friendly environment to go and have a lesson. Instructors Bruce Marks and Ted Smith are both old hands and will soon get you smashing those clays at leisure. Kibworth Shooting Ground, just north of Market Harborough, is a good place to go and experience firing a shotgun for the first time. Sinclair Shooting Ground between Crowland and Spalding is also a well-established ground. Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground is run by Mark Russell and provides a beautiful woodland setting for clay shooting and is brilliant for anyone with a little bit of experience, but might be a bit intimidating for complete novices.

GET KITTED OUT

SIMULATED GAME DAYS

If you want a good fun day with a group of friends, and you haven’t got either the budget or the inclination for the real thing, then simulated game shooting is just the ticket. Instead of shooting real birds you will be breaking (or missing) clays, but otherwise the format is just the same as a game shooting day. So you can all dress up and enjoy the camaraderie of a day in the field and it won’t break the bank. The Grange at Pickworth, just north of Stamford, is one such farm which offers the ideal opportunity to bridge the gap between the clay shooting ground and the game shooting field proper. On arrival in the morning you will receive a warm welcome and a traditional start

to a game day with sloe gin, tea or coffee. You will then draw pegs, as you would on a typical pheasant shoot, and head off to shoot on various different parts of the farm. As an example of cost; for 5,000 clays and a two course lunch at the Willoughby Arms in Little Bytham, either in the middle or at the end of the day, it will cost £1,500 for 10 people. So it’s £150 each for a cracking day out, with all your refreshments thrown in too. Guns, tuition and cartridges can be supplied at an extra cost. The only problem with simulated shooting is you won’t have any delicious game to take home at the end of the day. // Visit gunsonpegs.co.uk for more information

There are some superb shooting clothing and equipment suppliers in our area so you have no excuse for not looking the part, whether you are shooting game or clays. Barnack Country Clothes (barnack.co.uk) is a well-established supplier and stocks a wide range of leading brands. Plus the shop is based on a farm so there’s no shortage of parking, and it has a genuine country atmosphere. The Cavells Country shop (cavellscountry.co. uk) on South Street in Oakham stocks the best kit from the likes of Barbour, Schoffel, Dubarry and R.M Williams. There is free parking and the clear investment in the shop reflects the high level of service you will receive. T&C Robinson (tandcrobinson.co.uk) in Stamford also has an excellent range of equestrian and country clothing, and will give you an excuse to visit Stamford for an hour or two. // Will Hetherington is the editor of Shooting Gazette, the UK’s leading monthly game shooting magazine

You’ve shot it... now to eat it. A simple pheasant recipe ROAST PHEASANT WITH BACON AND CREAMED SAVOY CABBAGE Serves four people Ingredients Four pheasant breasts 16 rashers of smoked back bacon 1 savoy cabbage (shredded) 250ml double cream Cornish sea salt and milled black pepper

Sear the pheasant breasts in a hot pan and set aside. Lay out four rashers of bacon slightly overlapping the next. Place one breast on the bacon and wrap neatly around, then wrap the others the same way. Season and roast in a pre-heated oven at 220ºC for six/eight minutes, depending on size. Remove from the oven and rest for a minimum of five minutes. Sauté the cabbage and stir in the cream just before cooked. Slice the pheasant in to four and serve on the creamed cabbage.

WHICH WINE? Blake Johnston from The Stamford Wine Company recommends a bottle of Henri Prudhon Saint Aubin 1er Cru (£19.99) to accompany the dish. He said: “Game season means one thing to me, time to break open the Burgundy. Henri Prudhon’s Saint Aubin 1er Cru is not a bad place to start – pungent and slightly smokey, and can deal with the cabbage in this recipe. Pinot Noir generally has very little tannin but good lively acidity which will cut through the meaty element of this dish and leave the palate nice and fresh.”

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Feature /// Shooting jackets

Lock, stock and barrel

Keep warm in style this winter with our comprehensive pick of the best shooting jackets from local retailers Photography: Nico Morgan

AlAn PAinE ComPton

Price £229.99 From Barnack Country Clothing A quality women’s shooting jacket with a waterproof breathable membrane and a soft contrast inner collar for comfort. It boasts two large cartridge pockets with drainage eyelets to prevent water build up on wet days and two handwarmer pockets with flaps for retaining cartridge pockets. Waterproof windbreaker cuffs.

AiglE SArdAnAy

Price £214.99 From Barnack Country Clothing A three-in-one parka that is waterproof, breathable and durable. It features wide opening game pocket with a water repellent lining for easy cleaning. It also features a removable Thermotech inner vest which provides additional warmth or can be worn independently.

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CHRYSALIS THE HAMPTON

SCHOFFEL PTARMIGAN

CRAGHOPPERS LUNSDALE

Price £525 From T&C Robinson, Stamford Made from pure new wool British tweed with specially selected linings and trimmed with luxury Alcantara this is the Rolls Royce of shooting jackets. A classic hand-cut English tweed fit, it features a buttoned double-vent in the back and vents for the arms that can be opened for ease of movement while pursuing country activities.

Price £549.95 From Cavells, Oakham An insulated Gore-tex tweed coat using Schöffel’s exclusive innovative, lightweight and washable tweed fabric woven in an English mill makes it 100% waterproof, windproof and highly breathable. Stylish and flattering with a superb feminine fit and cut, this Schoffel jacket will keep you warm and dry on or off the field.

Price £129.99 From Get Lost in Rutland, Ashwell Get a classic British heritage look with this stylish quilted jacket. The AquaDry membrane waterproof technology takes care of the wet weather, while the jacket’s diamond-quilt construction helps lock warmth in. Complete with stud-fastening front pockets, neat belt and elbow patches for a country-life appeal.

PASTON BY GUMLEAF MORTON

SCHOFFEL PTARMIGAN EXTREME

CRAGHOPPERS FIELD

Price £395.95 From T&C Robinson, Stamford Finest English new wool with a light weight tweed and contrasting suedette trim. Teflon coated to repel dirt and water. Fully waterproof with breathable interlining. Wool storm cuffs, poacher’s pocket and waterproof cartridge pocket. A shooting cut allows for full arm action.

Price £549.95 From Cavells, Oakham Schöffel’s latest shooting coat provides extreme weather protection for the ultimate performance using Gore-tex two layer laminate. Designed with a sport cut for ultimate li when shooting it is 100% waterproof, windproof and features breathable fleece pockets.

Price £134 From Get Lost in Rutland, Ashwell The Field jacket offers peerless waterproof protection thanks to its advanced Gore-tex Performance Shell lining. Featuring neat bellowed pockets and a stud-fastening stormflap, together with a smart checked lining all for under £150.

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Feature /// Buying a puppy

Nine

STEPS TO PICKING THE PERFECT PUP

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Buying a dog is a big decision, but if your mind is made up then Roderick Emery offers some words of wisdom

1} YOU AND YOUR LIFE

The first step is to consider who you are, what you are and where the dog is going to fit into your life. What is your life like? What is your working schedule? Are you away from home a good deal? Do you work long hours? Do things happen at work at short notice? The big deal? The urgent presentation? The glaring opportunity? Do you like a holiday abroad now and again? All these things will have an impact on your relationship with your dog... and your dog’s relationship with you. Remember that dogs, much like children, benefit from routines and boundaries. It is critical you identify your own circumstances with stark realism before you embark on this huge expedition.

2} YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR HOME

Having taken a long hard look at yourself, you must now do the same in relation to your family and your home. Dogs need their own space. Where will this dog live in the house? Will it live in the house at all? And if it does live in the house will there be parts of the house to which it is denied access? Do you want it in the bedrooms? On the furniture? Do you want it upstairs? Who lives in the house? Do you have a spouse, partner, occasional friend? What about children? What will be their relationship with the dog? What will their hamster’s relationship be with the dog? Is there a cat? If there are a variety of people in the house you must decide who is going to be responsible for the dog. The dog will ultimately bond with the person who feeds it. And walks it. So if it is going to be your dog then you will have to set up a daily routine which you and the dog can manage together. The dog will also respond to the person who makes much of it.

3} WHICH BREED?

All of the answers to the questions raised by the last two points should direct you towards one breed or another. Far and away the most popular dogs in this country are labradors; but of course there are other breeds, too. And all are worthy of consideration and not just in terms of colour and size either. Think about size and shape. How big is your house and garden? Think about hair – quantities and colour. You have carpets and furniture, right? Think about energy levels. Think about food. The dog’s and yours. And not just about intake – which is expensive – but output also, which can be considerable. If you live in town, for example, you are going to have to pick up after your dog from time to time. Exactly. It bears thinking about. Explore more possibilities. A visit to Stamford Meadows is an excellent starting point. If only to find out just how many dogs look like their owners. Or rather how many owners uncannily resemble their dogs. When you have made your choice, do your research and find some breeders

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Feature /// Buying a puppy

NEED SOME HELP WITH YOUR PUPPY OR DOG?

HOW TO PICK A HEALTHY PUPPY We ask the experts at Oakham Vets what to look for... SOME BREEDS have predisposed health problems which can be screened for, such as hip, elbow or eye issues. Details about vet screening programmes can be found on the Kennel Club website. If the breed you have chosen can be screened for any problems, such as with x-rays, eye exams or genetic tests, ask the breeder if the dam (the puppy’s mother) has been tested. Also ask about worming and vaccinations. The vast majority of puppies are born with roundworms no matter how well the dam has been wormed. These worms cross through the placenta when the pups are in the womb and through the milk when the pups are suckling. Pups should be wormed at two, five and eight weeks old, and then monthly until six months old. The dam should also have been wormed when pregnant and when the pups are suckling her. Find out when the pups and dam were wormed and the worming product used. Some breeders ensure their litters have a vet check and their first vaccination before they are sold. This is not a necessity but does show that the breeder is genuinely interested in the puppies’ health and welfare. Ensure there is no discharge from the eye or nose, check for skin problems indicated by dandruff, redness, baldness or itching and watch that they can walk and run properly. It is important to ensure your puppy is healthy and has no signs of disease. Pups can be born with problems such as hernias or develop dental defects. These should be picked up early so you can make a decision as the best course of action for your pup.

Isis Pet Care in Little Bytham offers training, walking, sitting and grooming services. If you’re going somewhere and need to leave your dog, Isis has a great personal service, with designated rest areas for the ones that like their quiet time and also a comfy sofa for the ones that like to slob out and cuddle up just like they would at home! Visit www.isispetcare.com for more information Dog Knows Puppy School in Oakham has a set of six puppy training classes lasting one hour. The comprehensive programme has been carefully designed to take you through all the obedience basics giving you a good foundation for life with your new puppy or for any dog sport you choose to do later. Visit www.dogknows.co.uk for more information

// Catriona Laird BVM&S MRCVS, Oakham Vets www.oakhamvethospital.co.uk

4} MEET THE PARENTS

Having found a breed and a breeder, the next issue is to take a long hard look at the prospective parents of your prospective dog. Meet them, watch them at work; and at play. Check out where they live. If all their dogs live outside, for example, that’s all very well but how will their offspring take to living indoors? While you are at it, look at the people. Quite apart from looking like their dogs, how do they appear? Relaxed and happy or fraught and skint? If they are relaxed and happy then the chances are their dogs will be similar. If they are fraught and skint then they may be trying to flog puppies to make ends meet. Everything tells you something, it’s just a question of working out what it all means.

5} PEDIGREE PROBLEMS

So they’ve got a pedigree that goes back to the Ark. So what? Pedigrees are all very well if you have the knowledge to interpret them. Most of us don’t. On the other hand, even I know having the

same names in both columns for umpteen generations ought to ring alarm bells about congenital problems and the like. There are today, however, tests for several of these so it is as well to arm yourself with the necessary data on these (by which I mean hip and eye scores) before you undertake a conversation with possible breeders and grill them closely and hard on results across the generations. And try to find out where pups from previous litters have gone to and get references where possible. And follow them up. Information is power. Look especially at the bitch line.

6} DOG OR BITCH?

And while we are thinking about bitches perhaps this is the moment to consider whether you want a dog or a bitch. There are arguments either way but the long and short of it is that bitches are a nuisance for about six weeks a year when they are in season, while a dog is a potential nuisance in this regard every day. That’s hormones for you.

7} WHEN TO BUY

Timing is, of course, critical. Spring is a good time to get a pup, so if you start doing your research now you should be ready to take delivery of your eight-week old bundle of joy when the clocks go forward again in 2014. The lengthening days and rising temperatures are the perfect conditions for bringing up a young dog. Plenty of time out of doors; lots to see and do and experience; summers by the seaside or near water; and so on and so forth.

8} HOW TO CHOOSE FROM A LITTER

The call comes. The pups are born. Can you come over and take a look? What do you look for in a puppy? Look for brightness and alertness. Inquisitive is good. A snap of the fingers and see who responds. Don’t ignore the pup that refuses to be distracted from feeding however. That one has its little head screwed on the right way, after all. Spend plenty of time with the pups. This is an adoption, when all is said and done, with

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Tim Graham / Alamy

Puppy School Rutland

A six week training & socialisation course tailored specially for vaccinated puppies up to 20 weeks of age. Our classes are fun and friendly and you will learn how to use modern, force-free and kind training techniques. Classes are held at Oakham Veterinary Hospital on Wednesday evenings. To register your puppy, please contact Bobs Broadbent by e-mail: bobs@dogknows.co.uk or phone: 01664 454 792

www.puppyschool.co.uk

everything that implies. Take your time and having made your decision, mark your pup with nail varnish on one wee toenail.

9} Instil discipline from day one

The hardest thing you and your family will have to do is be firm and fair from the start. When the pup yelps, whines and cries on its first night in the kitchen don’t go running downstairs to give it a cuddle. Put your earplugs in and go back to sleep. When those big puppy eyes entreat you to deliver a treat from your dinner plate, resist the urge. If you succumb you will have lost the battle. Feed the pup regularly, but at the times you decide, not every time it looks a bit hungry. If you treat your new arrival consistently and fairly you will have a loyal and obedient friend for life. If you are too soft then the tables will quickly turn! Visit YouTube and search for ‘Fenton Richmond Park’. This video should provide you with the necessary backbone to be firm next time you think about caving in to those puppy eyes!

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Dogs are undoubtedly great company, but you need to be make sure you know what you’re doing before making a commmitment which will last for many years

28/10/2013 19:32


Feature /// Conkers

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ONLY IN ENGLAND

The nuts come out for the return of the World Conker Championships Words /// Photography: Rich Beach

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Feature /// Conkers

I

t’s raining. But not as bad as the previous two years, in which the annual World Conker Championships had to be cancelled due to the awful weather. Yet despite a persistent drizzle, the 2013 event was in full swing when Active arrived at the Shuckburgh Arms venue in the picturesque village of Southwick, near Oundle. Having never attended the event before, we didn’t know what to expect. Certainly not a large cheese facing off a banana on a podium surrounded by TV crews, press photographers and an excitable, baying crowd. Fancy dress is not mandatory but clearly embraced by many of the 138 entrants. The large cheese was in fact representing the American contingent and was from Wisconsin, ‘the dairy state’. He summed up the event well when questioned by one of the film crews, saying: “Who else would stand out in a field in the rain, in the middle of October and swing conkers around? It is so quintessentially British and that’s why we love it.” Indeed sir. Pitched next to the traditional pub games stall was the quintessentially British Daniel Lambert’s Dining Club,

today a team of four, who had been competing every year since 2001 and were dressed in dinner jackets, bowler hats and dickie bows, and quaffing fine wine from the get-go. The team sheltered from the rain under their own mini marquee, which served well to keep their copious supplies of cabernet sauvignon from being diluted by the rain. Desperate to hang on to past glory, they observed proceedings from behind a table, seemingly for the sole purpose of displaying their one conker championship trophy from 2004. “It’s a great day out,” said the club’s chairman, Paul Johnson, who is normally dealing in property from his office in Stamford. “It’s typically eccentric English sport at its best. The beer festival certainly helps and it’s a good way to raise money for charity.” As the large soggy crowd of spectators and competitors worked their way through the traditional ales and hog roast amidst flying nut shrapnel, the competition cruelly omitted the weaker players, whittling down the numbers to the conker elite – or as is more likely, the players lucky enough to have pulled the stronger conkers from the umpire’s bag of pre-strung nuts.

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The first of the Daniel Lambert’s Dining Club to fall was marketing consultant Jon Whowell, in his bowler hat and dark glasses, who grumbled something about “being smashed into oblivion in the first round as per usual” as he swapped his empty string for a full pint glass and took up position behind the spectator’s barrier. Jon was immediately joined by the team’s fairest member, Jane Freeman, also knocked out in round one, leaving Paul and Jane’s husband Derek to maintain the level of class injected into the event by their dapper attire. Meanwhile, on another podium the local vicar’s prayers must have gone unheard amidst the cheering as his holy

conker was shattered by his uncompromising opponent, banishing the reverend to the other side of the barrier, where he cast a disappointed glance towards the sky. The next round brought more pain for the club as chairman Johnson fell by the wayside in the early stages, leaving just Derek Freeman to make the next round and defend his team’s honour. As Derek straightened his tie and set aside his wine glass, his opponent Paul ‘The Pig’ Bloomfield stepped up on to the podium. The battle that followed will be written in the conker annals for ever more, as after 15 tense minutes of relentless nut bashing, chief umpire David ‘King Conker’ Jakins had to step in and

Clockwise, from far le

Paul Johnson defends the Daniel Lambert Dining Club’s honour; DLDC members Jon and Jane watch on having been knocked out in round one; action intensifies in the conker arena; Conker King David Jakins’ beer-holding conker staff; the rev strikes a mighty blow; David Jakins adjudicating over Derek Freeman and The Pig’s epic battle

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Feature /// Conkers

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: 1. All conkers and laces are supplied by Ashton Conker Club. Laces must not be knotted further or tampered with. 2. A distance of no less than eight inches or 20cm of lace must be between knuckle and nut.

6. A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out – it must be enough to mount an attack. 7. If both nuts smash at the same time then the match shall be replayed.

3. Each player then takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker.

8. Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re-threaded and the game continued.

4. Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, with no deliberate mis-hits.

9. A player causing a knotting of the laces (a snag) will be noted – three snags will lead to disqualification.

5. The game will be decided once one of the conkers is smashed.

declare a three-round play-off of nine strikes each. But still after 27 hits and just three misses, both nuts remained intact. The conkers were also in good shape. Derek picks up the story back at the wine stockade later: “The stewards had never seen anything like it,” he regales, topping up his glass. “I suggested that we toss for it, and so for the first time in the history of the tournament we settled it as gentlemen with the toss of a coin. The Pig called correctly and I took it like the gentleman I am, sobbing.” But had the rules been adhered to? Was victory snatched fairly? Derek didn’t think so. “Our conkers appeared evenly matched. I was giving it due welly but the Pig was playing coy, frequently missing and only a gentle tap when he did contact. Add to that he never once ‘stilled’ his conker, which as any gentleman knows is not playing the game. He tried the old trick of holding it lower and towards his body as well. I would have liked the stewards to be testing for the nine-inch rule, too. The Pig was treading a dangerous line...” But as a blonde Pink Panther called Sophie Knox smashed her way to victory as the women’s champion, much to her own disbelief and hilarity, the Pig faced-off with one Simon Cullum from Kettering in the men’s final. Much to team Daniels amusement, the Pig was soon toppled by Cullum, who while being crowned on stage with a look of utter

confusion on his face, said: “I’m a bit overwhelmed really. I just wanted a quiet Sunday afternoon and all this happened.” When asked what techniques he employed, Cullum added: “Once his nut cracked, I just went for the kill. No skill, just pure luck.” And as luck would have it, the rain ceased, the sun broke through the clouds and the morris dancers whacked their sticks and shook their bells. The victors celebrated their champion status and the Daniel Lambert Dining Club toasted the fact they were still immaculately attired. Much merriment was had by all, and the return of our area’s most eccentric annual event after its two-year absence was deemed a cracking success. We’re entering a team next year. See you there.

Clockwise, from top le

Derek and the Pig, aer 10 minutes; national media crews came from across the UK; ‘fruit and nuts come to blows’: the Daniel Lambert Dining Club team post-defeat

‘THE RETURN OF OUR AREA’S MOST ECCENTRIC EVENT WAS DEEMED A CRACKING SUCCESS’ /// NOV E M BE R 2 0 1 3 41

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Feature /// Bridge

4 2 NOV E M BE R 2 0 1 3 ///

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The other Stamford Bridge Stamford Bridge Club has a high-tech clubhouse and a huge membership. Jeremy Beswick finds out what makes it tick Mens Sana in Corpore Sano, or “A healthy mind in a healthy body” for those of you who’s Latin is as ropey as mine. It’s fair to say we at Active usually concentrate more on the “Corpore” than on the “Mens”. Indeed, when the editor asked me for an article on Stamford Bridge I was all set for a trip down to Chelsea FC. But instead it was a building tucked away off Exeter Gardens, to see a thriving club. Somerset Maugham called bridge “the most entertaining and intelligent card game the wit of man has so far devised”, but it’s a game that looks utterly incomprehensible to those that don’t play it, and it utterly addictive to those that do. Founded in 1967, Stamford Bridge Club first met in Blackstones. As the membership grew, larger premises were regularly needed and a peripatetic existence developed over the years. Venues included the White Heather Cafe, Congregational Hall, Kings Mill, the Arts Centre

and a social centre at Stamford Hospital – the latter with egg boxes nailed to the ceiling to dampen the noise. When a hospital redevelopment loomed a permanent home was the club’s wish and so it redoubled its efforts and found a piece of derelict ground attached to Stamford Bowls Club that would do the trick. But a clubhouse would have to be built from scratch. A member’s friend, John Regis, came up trumps tabling a bid at cost price – a great deal – and won the contract. After much spadework the building was completed and decked out for the official opening in March 2012. So now they meet in one of the few purposebuilt club houses in the UK. Forget dusty church halls: this is a high-tech facility with computer room and touchscreen technology. There’s an automatic card dealing machine and the results of play are both visible in real-time and uploaded automatically to the web site at end of play.

/// NOV E M BE R 2 0 1 3 4 3

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Feature /// Bridge

It’s a welcoming environment - “the life-blood of the club is the continual introduction of new players,” says aptly-named chairman Paul Double, and the convivial atmosphere is helped along by members having the occasional glass of wine at the table. No wonder the club is the fourteenth best attended in the country. They hold regular sessions for absolute beginners “with a mixture of humour and expert advice”. If you’ve never played bridge before you’re in for a treat – but don’t take my word for it. Here’s Omar Sharif: “Many games provide fun, but bridge grips you. It exercises your mind. Your mind can rust, you know, but bridge prevents the rust from forming.” Or Martina Navratilova: “No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the bridge table.” Once you’ve got the hang of things you move on to novice’s evening (Monday) and then gentle (Wednesday). The more experienced players are not allowed at these sessions, so there’s no reason at all to feel intimidated. There are also “host” evenings when you can come along without a partner. “We’d really love to have some new young players” said member of 37 years and tournament director Brendan Alston. At the expert end of the scale, Stamford field seven teams in the Northants Bridge League, the ‘A’ side winning the county’s premier division six times in the last 10 years, and are currently top again this time around. Apart from the facilities, what sets Stamford apart from other clubs? The last word goes to Brendan: “Although we take our bridge seriously, we strive to make it a friendly atmosphere. We just want everyone to have a good time and go home happy”. Interested? Visit www.stamfordbridgeclub. co.uk or call Graham Hedley on 01780 751644. Aboe

The game of bridge looks bewildering to the novice, but Stamford Bridge Club hosts special beginner sessions to get people involved and let them pick up the rules

‘ALTHOUGH WE TAKE OUR BRIDGE SERIOUSLY, WE STRIVE TO MAKE IT A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE’ BRIDGE FACTS RANDOM & GENERAL An early version of the game was played in England as far back as the 16th Century. ● Oliver Cromwell banned all card games during his Protectorate – however, aer the Restoration and once Charles II was safely on the throne, card games returned. ● There are two types of bridge: rubber, which is normally played at home for leisure, and duplicate bridge which is used for competitions. ● Mrs Anthony Fly, of Little Rock, Arkansas, filed a petition for divorce on the grounds that her husband refused to make up a four at bridge. However, it could be a mistake to play with your husband or wife, as shown by Myrtle Bennett. In 1929, Myrtle shot and killed her husband over his bidding and play of a hand. Mrs Bennett was later acquitted. ● The Soviet Union tried to replace the kings, queens and jacks of court cards with heroes of the revolution. ● The modern form of contract bridge was invented in the 1920s by American billionaire Harold Vanderbilt, who developed an early scoring system for the game. ● The odds against four players each holding all thirteen cards in a suit are 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301, 559,999 to one – or the same as Posh and Becks being out of the newspapers. Such a deal was first claimed in March 1892, and has been claimed ever since! Maybe winning the lottery isn’t so difficult aer all. ● In June 1995, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) admitted the World Bridge Federation (WBF) as part of the Olympic movement. ●

/// NOV E M BE R 2 0 1 3 4 5

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Feature /// Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

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

NATIONAL MID-LIFE HAIR CRISIS Hair is an essential part of our self-image, so it’s not surprising that the stress of either losing our hair or developing unwanted hair can affect our confidence and self-esteem. During the menopause, hormonal fluctuations can play havoc with our hair growth cycle, and any changes become more noticeable. Norma Goldman, founder and director of The Menopause Exchange newsletter, says: “It’s devastating to discover that your previously lavish locks are now looking worse for wear. It’s important that women seek help for hair loss and/or hair thinning from a pharmacist, GP or trichologist. “Many menopausal women also notice excess hair growth on their face and body. Fortunately, there are things they can do to keep this under control.”

HAIR LOSS TREATMENT

Harsh weather and frequent temperature changes can be your hair’s worst enemy, but there are ways to protect it

A

S WINTER APPROACHES, the cold weather and central heating means this can be a particularly damaging time for hair. From dull and dry locks to staticplagued strands, the season can be a hair nightmare. So what precautions can you take to protect it? Stamford hairdresser Hollie Marston (07762 771966), who works at Kim Smith’s Hair Design in St Paul’s Street, says she always gives clients advice on how to keep their hair in tip-top condition, as well as teaching them how to use different hair tools to recreate their style and keep up with new trends. Follow her tips for winter haircare:

WASHING Wash your hair less frequently. Daily washing is damaging. Resist the temptation to use extremely hot water too, as this can also be damaging. Be sure to use a good shampoo and make sure you employ a good conditioner. AIR-DRYING Try to let your hair dry as naturally as possible before applying any heat from a hair dryer. Remember, heat can dry out and damage your hair – protect it from heat damage by using a product to help to lock in moisture. MOISTURISING Despite common belief, the winter months can

Does winter do this to your hair? Don’t worry – help is at hand

/// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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The beauty and cosmetic company L’Oreal claims to have a breakthrough new hair growth product called ‘Densifique’ that actually grows back hair. It’s the Holy Grail of the hair industry and L’Oreal says it’s for real and will hit salon shelves soon Developed in its plant in Paris, L’Oreal scientists claim ‘Densifique’ works to reawaken dormant hair cells, allowing them to grow back. Daily, using an applicator, the product is put onto the head and then massaged into the scalp. Within 90 days the company claims 1,500 hairs will grow back and continue on from there. The ‘continue on’ part is what’s important as human heads normally have some 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles. “We’ve known for 100 years that hair grows and falls out,” Patricia Pineau, head of scientific affairs at L’Oreal, said in a press release. “We haven’t known what makes hair regenerate until now. It is all about hair stem cell environment. We have been able to develop a cosmetic product that respects the natural way hair regenerates.” Cass Coulston, of L’Oreal, says the product works both for men experiencing male pattern balding and women experiencing hair thinning. “Hair thinning is not just associated with ageing,” she said. “It can happen as a result of a poor diet, hormones, stress, post pregnancy and over-processing hair.” Regardless of the reason for the thinning, Coulston said the product regenerates it. An issue, however, is the cost: treatment creams for 90 days will set the consumer back nearly £300.

Winter tips for healthy hair

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Follow our winter haircare tips to look good whatever the weather

CAN WE REVERSE GREY HAIR?

be more damaging to your hair than the summer months. The constant change from freezing cold outside areas to heated interiors that have had all the moisture in the air dried out by heating systems can leave your hair lacklustre and dry. Use an intensive hair repair mask at least once a week to help keep your hair moisturised. I would also recommend using a leave-in conditioner for extra protection when styling your hair. Professional hair colour makes hair manageable but also imparts massive moisture and shine, which is a must for gorgeous hair.

to keep it protected and provide an extra barrier from the elements. GET INSPIRED. SEE YOUR STYLIST.

HAIRSTYLES Select a hairstyle that is practical and enables you to keep yourself warm. Some big hairstyles aren’t going to work if you need to wear a hat to keep the heat in. Soft waves look great while wearing a winter hat and are easy to resurrect when you take it off.

STATIC AND FRIZZ Due to wearing sweaters, hats and woollen garments, your hair tends to become static and frizzy. To help combat frizz, use a vented brush with a mix of plastic and boar bristles. Remember to wash only with lukewarm water – hot water tends to dry your hair all the more. To make your hair smoother, use a leave-in conditioner every time you shampoo your hair.

WARMTH Keep your hair warm when you’re outside by wearing a hat but be aware that fibres like wool and cotton absorb moisture and can rub and damage your hair. Wrapping a silk scarf around your head before putting your hat on will help

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DANDRUFF Dandruff is typically associated with a dry and itchy scalp. When the temperature drops and there’s little moisture in the air, our scalps tend to become dry, tight and uncomfortably itchy. Hairdryers can make things worse as they tend to make your scalp extra dry, which in turn leads to dandruff. Try the ‘hot oil with lemon’ therapy at least once a week.

SPLIT ENDS AND HAIR BREAKAGE Cutting off the split ends is the only remedy to treat this problem. Avoid tying your hair with rubber bands.

A PARTY SEASON OFFER Haircare specialists at Asembo in St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, recommend a Redken Smooth Lock Treatment (£40) to calm and enrich hair affected by the cold and damp weather. Owner Natasha Parker says the treatment leaves hair feeling smooth and conditioned, providing protection from heat to restore very dry, unruly hair types with improved manageability, frizz-free smoothness and shine. “We’re also promoting Redken Diamond Oil, a silicon-free oil treatment that infuses hair with a nourishing blend of coriander and

apricot oils to help seal in moisture and intensify shine,” she says. “Each drop helps protect and strengthen hair for improved manageability while conditioning and illuminating for prismatic, diamond-like shine. Redken Diamond Oil is available as a shampoo, conditioner, mask and oil, now in stock at Asembo. Asembo has a party season offer of a blow-dry and manicure for just £35, the blow-dry carried out by junior stylist Blair and the manicure including a vast selection of Jessica nail colours.

With age comes the greying of hair. It happens to everyone, but European researchers may have come up with a formula to reverse this process. According to new research, the reason people have grey hair is because they develop massive oxidative stress via accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle. This causes the hair to bleach itself from the inside out. This enormous accumulation of hydrogen peroxide can be cured with what researchers describe as a topical, ultraviolet B-activated – sunlight – compound, discovered as the result of research into vitiligo, a condition when the skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. This skin disease occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, which in reaction causes white irregular shaped patches to appear on the surface of the skin. The study shows that the treatment can reverse the greying of hair, as well as treating patients with vitiligo, though the researchers do not specify when the treatment will become available for retail.

THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE It has been estimated that male pattern baldness affects around one third of men by the time they reach 30 and two-thirds by the time they reach middle age, but a new hair transplant procedure claims to completely reverse the problem. Up until now, most hair transplants have relied on the process of the surgeon removing strips of follicles from a donor site which are then implanted onto the region where the hair has begun to thin out and stop growing. The problem with this method is that the surgery itself can be quite painful as the strips of skin and hair follicles that are removed are quite large and, on top of this, the recovery times are usually quite long with a mixed chance of success. If the follicles do not heal correctly following the hair transplant procedure, they will actually die which will inevitably result in additional hair loss leaving large and noticeable bald patches that render the surgery pointless. FUE Hair Clinics (www.fuehairclinics.co. uk) have started using a procedure that involves a technique known as Follicular Unit Extraction. It involves the relatively painless removal and insertion of singular or multiple follicles containing just two to three hairs each. The advantage this method offers is that the surgery is less painful and that the single follicles tend to heal more quickly which means that there is minimal damage and a lot less scarring. Individual follicles can also be inserted at a specific angle during the procedure so that the overall look is also completely realistic.

/// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Feature /// Rough notes

North Luffenham GC Active publisher Chris Meadows and Derbyshire cricketer Wes Durston head for a round at North Luffenham While the summer may well and truly be over, don’t let that put you off a round of golf. There might not be the run on the fairways to maximise those booming drives, but with softer greens, you can target those pins with more accuracy. Many hardy golfers brave the wintery conditions, don their waterproofs and continue to enjoy playing throughout the winter months. And that’s certainly what we did, well the second point at least. In less than ideal golfing conditions for a self-confessed fair weather golfer I took Wes to North Luffenham Golf Club, an ex-RAF base course that’s now run by Andy and Helen, and their two dogs, Millie the labrador and Gus the spaniel. As soon as we entered the clubhouse we felt welcomed, and not just by Gus, who was first to greet us. As we sat at the bar and had a coffee, before heading out into the rather unfavorable weather for our round, Helen talked us through the course. Effectively it’s a nine-hole track but cleverly adapted to create an 18-hole challenge by playing the holes twice, with shared fairways, but separate tees and greens. Par for the course is 70 (71 for ladies) and at 5,981 yards it’s not the longest course in the area, which is handy through the winter, but don’t be fooled as there are plenty of challenges even for the low handicapper. Now more than 30 years old, the mixture of native mature trees certainly adds a healthy degree of difficulty to the course. Green fees are very reasonable too: pay and play for £15 (£12 with a member) for 18 holes or £9 (£7 with a member) for nine holes. Membership subs are £365, or £1 a day as Andy pointed out. There aren’t many places where you can play for a £1 a day. And if you join now for the 2014 season you get up to March free, so it’s even better value. Junior rates are gentle on the pocket money too at £8 for 18 holes and £5 for nine holes with annual subs of £60 (up to 16) to £120 (17-21). With a small membership of about 140 members currently you get the impression that there’s a great atmosphere there, the membership are proud of their club, and it means the course doesn’t get too congested either. A not-for-profit operation, all the money made goes back into the maintenance of the club. The recently refurbished clubhouse has all the necessary facilities, and offers plenty of space to relax pre- and post-round. The club can also cater for functions for groups of up to 40, with the local bridge club the most recent to take advantage of the facilities. It would have been very easy to have settled in the clubhouse, especially with the menu options on the

blackboards behind the well stocked bar, but it was time to brave the conditions and play some golf. Teeing off from the first, which also doubles as the tenth, you’re immediately presented with a dogleg right, one that Wes tackled without issue teeing off first. With my usual slice I thought I’d have been in running for the opening hole. Sadly not. I managed to escape with a bogey though, while Wes made easy work of the hole with a par. Playing off nine, he’s not new to golf, and the joys of playing professional cricket sees a good amount of off season time to play. Many top-level cricketers tend to be keen golfers. It’s a tough life. Wes maintained the honour on the next tee, and that’s not necessarily an advantage the first time you play a course. The combination of tees and greens takes a little getting used to as Wes quickly found out on the 463-yard par 5 second hole. His sublime second shot to within a foot of the hole saw him swiftly remove his putter from his bag and walk towards the green with a confident stride as if he was a Rory McIlroy readying to lift off his cap to the applause as he approached his ball on the green with a put to win The Open. Sadly the reality soon saw the large grin disappear as he realised he’d put his ball on the 11th green rather than the second. Having made a hash of the hole myself, I was then the one with a smug grin as the error allowed me to halve the hole. He blamed the rain in his eyes. As you meander around the rest of the course

out towards the RAF base there’s a good mixture of par threes and par fours, with Wes and I winning alternate holes pretty much all the way round. Make sure you watch out for cars crossing the course, although Andy has only heard of one incident in his two years at the helm. His truck behind the clubhouse seems to get a more frequent battering from wayward tee shots off the 18th. What’s surprising with the layout is that the back nine doesn’t feel like a repeat of the front nine as the different tee positions and alternate greens on many of the holes create a completely different feel. Wes ended up as victor, with both of us thoroughly enjoying the round. Considering the monsoon conditions we faced the course played very well. Another positive is that the course doesn’t use winter greens. North Luffenham is a great course for all players, with those new to the game able to play in a relaxed environment. The course suits those that play a good short game, but with open fairways and a few long holes to allow the big hitters to unleash their drivers. A spacious practice area allows you to train to your hearts content. A member’s winter league runs throughout the off season as well as the members mornings each Thursday, when impromptu competitions run each week. And we’ll definitely be going back when it stops raining –- but I’m guessing Wes will take a closer look at the course map next time.

5 0 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3 ///

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/// N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Feature /// Great walks

Lovely Lyndon Step away from the hustle of modern life with this stroll around peaceful Lyndon and the surrounding estate Words &Photography: Will Hetherington THE ROUTE

Despite being little more than a couple of decent golf shots from the south shores of Rutland Water, Lyndon has retained its serene sense of detachment from the modern world. This is a direct result of most of the village remaining in possession of Lyndon estate, and it makes it a perfect spot for a calming walk away from the worries of modern life. The village’s position on the northern banks of the Chater Valley means you will be able to exploit any low winter sun on this stroll back through history. Park anywhere in the village, but near St. Martin’s Church is as good a place as any, and set out north-west along the Manton road. This is not a busy thoroughfare so enjoy the ancient woodland and perhaps even convince yourselves you are lord and lady of the manor for a little while! Very shortly before the road reaches the main road along the south shore of Rutland Water there is a footpath to the left. Take this path and head downhill with a bank of trees on your left. Don’t be surprised if you see a few pheasants roaming around and a gamekeeper or two, because the shooting here is renowned. When you reach the valley bottom and the pretty River Chater you have two options. You

can carry on south, over the railway and up the hill to Wing. If you do then make sure you go the King’s Arms. This is a welcoming pub which does excellent food if you have built in time for lunch. But even if you are not eating, go and have a drink. You won’t regret it. If you want the shorter walk then simply turn at the river and take the route back to Lyndon, via grand old Lyndon Hall, which was completed in 1677. The hall sits in an appropriately large amount of parkland and, if you find it a bit overwhelming, there is always the stunning red brick house to the east which might seem more manageable. Once you are back in the village savour the tranquil atmosphere of a community which has not succumbed to detrimental levels of development, and offers a glimpse of a bygone country life which is hard to find in 2013. The only downside with this walk is that it may leave you feeling a little envious of the lucky people who get to live in this rural paradise.

Difficulty rating (out of five)

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TOP STAT

tes back Lyndon Hall da village to 1671 and the from has benefitted ownership the protective ilies of just two fam since then.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park There should be plenty of room near the church in Lyndon. Distance and time Two miles (45 minutes) for the shorter version, and four miles (an hour and half) if you walk to Wing too. Clockwise, from above

Stunning houses in the area may bring out the green-eyed monster in you; St Martin’s Church in Lyndon is the starting point for this walk; beautiful Lyndon Hall was completed in 1677 and has offered protection for the village since then; this walk offers stunning views over the Chater Valley

Highlights The peaceful atmosphere of a village which has been protected from over-development. Stunning Lyndon Hall and many other impressive old buildings.

Lovely views over the Chater Valley.

take care if there is any shooting going on.

Lowlights The green-eyed monster may pay you a visit. Refreshments The King’s Arms in Wing is an extremely relaxing spot for a pint, or plan ahead and enjoy an excellent lunch. The pooch perspective This walk is pretty dog-friendly, although you should obviously

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Feature /// Sportsman’s Dinner

The White Horse, Baston JT and Dean head east to a pub that is gaining a reputation for fine food and beer JT This month we ventured slightly further afield for our Sportsman’s Dinner – 10 miles out to Baston. Baston is just between Deeping and Bourne, but has a ‘Rutland’ feel to it. I’d not been to the White Horse before, but had heard it’s a great new addition to the local food scene. Dean It’s the pub that Ben and Germaine Larter have moved to. I thought they did a really good job at the Bull and Swan in Stamford. JT Good local knowledge Deano. Local farmer Mark Richardson (aka Smiler) bought the pub and saved it from closing. First impressions were that they have done a really good job. The building is tastefully lit from the outside. Dean The inside doesn’t disappoint either. I love the fact that it is completely open, with no division between the bar and the restaurant. The noise and the hum of excited chatter hits you as you walk in the door. The fact that it is packed is testament to how popular this pub has become. JT Once we got to the classy bar area, we were greeted by a fine selection of real ales and a beaming barmaid. Not a finer sight to be had. Dean I had to calm down you JT. But I do agree, the bar is a welcome site. I love the over-bar lighting, and that pipework makes this the Lloyd’s Building of Local Pubs! The pub was certainly full of really cool little touches, without being overly pretentious or trying to be too trendy.

JT There were certainly a few nice sights around the bar area, I agree. I may have to come back to Baston again. Dean Calm down, again, JT. There’s a really good selection (of meat), and as Ben points out, all of it is procured locally. The beef, for instance, is sourced from Trevor Lyon’s farm at Thurlby, and apparently, tonight’s was formerly known as “Hugo” a Semimetal/Lincoln Red cross. JT He could have walked here it’s that close, although I’m not sure he would have got served. Well that was it for me. I had Hugo for both starter and main; oxtail cheek and cheesy bread to start off, with the White Horse burger for main. And even though it’s called the ‘White Horse Burger’, it’s certainly all beef. No supermarket rubbish here! Dean I sampled the equally locally-sourced pulled pork, and the Hugo and ale pie, sorry steak and ale pie. I love pulled pork, something I first tasted in the States while travelling. JT More tales from your gap year! Some of us had to work when we left school. For drinks, I chose to start on the Comet, a lovely pint brewed by a local fella called Simon Raines. He knows a thing or two about a decent pint and just to be a bit classy, I fancied a nice drop of Italian red to go with our food. Dean Good choice. My pork was amazing, so tender. Your oxtail didn’t look too shabby!

JT It was amazeballs, to use a phrase from the kids. I love to try the less glamorous cuts, and this certainly doesn’t disappoint. Dean My main course lifted the standard even higher. My pie was packed full of meat and it just melted in the mouth. I can tell Hugo had a happy life! JT My burger was fantastic. I had to use my knife and fork to avoid an embarrassing spillage, the meat was perfectly cooked and the chips were big and chunky. A real man’s burger! Dean Although I didn’t have an awful lot of room left, my lemon posset was worth the feeling of bloatedness. JT Well, my run beforehand was certainly of use as I wouldn’t have wanted to miss my bakewell tart, and the waitress that served it! Overall a really good meal, with excellent service in a cracking pub. I would certainly recommend a visit, and it’s good to know there’s a function room upstairs that can seat up to 25 people. We will certainly be making a return visit very soon.

The White Horse

4 Church Street, Baston. 01778 560923 www.thewhitehorsebaston.co.uk

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Feature /// Great rides

Rutland Ripple Jon Sheehan of Tri Coach 3 will be offering routes and training advice for cyclists, runners and swimmers over the next few months. To start with, here’s a classic bike route around Rutland This bike route is used for local events such as the Dambuster duathlon, Dambuster triathlon and Vitruvian triathlon. It includes the infamous ‘Rutland ripple’, which requires the cyclist to climb three consecutive hills ranging from 4 to 11% inclines. From Whitwell, join the A606 to Oakham, turning left at the first roundabout onto the A6003. Follow this road over the ‘ripple’ and take a left at the next roundabout joining the A47. This next section is a fast piece of road and takes you towards Morcott. Turn left at the Morcott junction, A6121 (White Horse pub on the corner), and follow this road through South Luffenham. Stay on this road all the way to Ketton and take the first left after the cement works, which will see you climb Ketton hill. At the T-junction, turn left onto the A606 heading towards Empingham. Remain on this road through Empingham village and into Whitwell. As you spin out of Whitwell village, turn left back into Rutland Water. Tri Coach 3 advises cyclists to ride in a pair or a group when possible and recommends informing someone of your proposed route in case of an emergency.

STATS Start/Finish Whitwell Distance 24.89 miles Time 12mph = 2.04.30, 15mph = 1.39.36, 18mph = 1.23.00 Elevation 873 Difficulty 7.5/10

// For further information, visit the following link: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1947654

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Feature /// School sports

Stamford old boy makes test debut STAMFORD SCHOOL old boy, Shan Masood, made a huge impact in his Test debut for Pakistan as he opened the batting and produced 75 runs against South Africa in Abu Dhabi. Just three years ago, Shan left Stamford and his legacy lives on after he became the second highest runs scorer in England

BIATHLON SUCCESS ASIA HAMDORFF and Harriet Wright have both won places at the National Championships after taking part in the East Midlands and Eastern Biathlon Championships at Bingham. The Biathlon was organised by the British Modern Pentathlon Association and consisted of a 200metre swim with a separate 1600 metre run. Points were awarded for each race and combined to find an overall winner. Both from Oakham School, Asia won the U16 Girls event with a time of 2.26 in the swim and 5.58 in the run, whilst Harriet came fifth with times of 3.03 in the swim and 6.02 in the run. Both performances have enabled the girls to qualify for the National Championships in November. Asia has also qualified for the National Schools’ Final that takes place in April at the Olympic Park. Harriet awaits confirmation as the National Rankings are finalised.

school cricket and set a school record with an average of 103. His achievement was mentioned in Wisden 2010. Will Phelan, Stamford School headmaster, said: “Very few cricketers have the opportunity to play for their country and we are proud to have been part of his journey. The staff that worked

with Shan are particularly proud of his success.” Stamford School coach and Ashes cricketer Dean Headley added: “Opening the batting in test match cricket is all about temperament. The South Africans are a pretty tough bunch! That’s a very promising start for a debut.”

Brooke cross-country THE ANNUAL BROOKE Priory School cross-country races took place recently at Shorne Hill, Braunston. Eight local schools took part: St Peter’s, Glapthorne, Stamford, Grantham Prep, Witham Hall, St Hughes, Copthill and Laxton. As well as U8, U9, U10 and U11 races for both boys and girls there was an U7 Fun Run which allowed younger brothers and sisters to enjoy a piece of the action.

At the presentation, individual medals were awarded down to sixth place and trophies for the top three teams were shared out between all the schools. Special medals were presented to Jed Gelderbloom and Eleanor Mansfield, the fastest Year 6 boy and girl from Brooke Priory. Head of sport, Wayne Faulconbridge, said: “It was a wonderful occasion which was enjoyed by all and I am very proud of all the children who ran so well.”

Bourne into regional finals BOURNE GRAMMAR SCHOOL broke new ground in October as all four of its cross-country teams progressed to the regional finals of the English Schools Athletics Association (ESAA) Cross Country Cup, which takes place in November. The Junior Boys gave an exceptional team performance. Oliver Smith (Year 8) won the race, closely followed by Aaron Hunt in fouth, Joshua Haynes-Barrett fifth and Harrison Dee sixth. The Junior Girls also finished in first place, with Isabel Spinley and Jasmine Allen (Year 8) in second and third respectively. Both intermediate teams qualified in second place to cap Bourne Grammar’s best ever performance at this stage of the competition. Top six finishers included a fourth place for Alice Callcut (Year 9) and an exceptional fifth for Cameron Everist (Year10), beating Bradley Allan (Year 9) who finished in sixth position. Head of PE, Chris Ray, said: “This was a superb performance and we are very hopeful that at least one of the teams will reach the national final in November in Southend and continue our involvement in the final for the seventh consecutive year.”

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Ex-Tigers star in coaching event EX-ENGLAND AND LEICESTER Tigers star Austin Healey visited Oakham to coach the school’s 1st and 2nd XV teams. During the session, he had the chance to team up with his former Tigers teammate, Glenn Gelderbloom,

who is now Oakham’s 1st XV coach. During his training afternoon, Healey ran a decision-making session and showed the players ‘how it should be done’. All of the pupils appreciated the opportunity to learn first-hand from his experience.

U15 county rugby selection BOURNE GRAMMAR SCHOOL Year 10 students Adam Castle and James Thomas have been selected to play for Lincolnshire Under-15s and also been selected in the Leicester Tigers Developing Player Programme for the 2013/14 season. They were among 25 successfully selected from a pool of 60 applicants at trials held at Lincoln RFC. They will now commence training to face off against Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire at Worksop College in a tournament on 24 November. Adam and James, who play for Spalding RFC, are also among just nine players from 30 at their centre who have been selected for the Leicester Tigers’ Developing Player Programme (DPP). Both players have come through the Notts Lincs and Derby school of rugby over the last two seasons and represented Lincolnshire at under-13 level. James, who plays scrum half, has played representative rugby for the Welsh Exiles last season, scoring a try on his debut. He will continue to represent the Exiles this season. Adam’s form at Spalding this season has seen him thrive at fullback scoring nine tries in four appearances making him the top try scorer so far.

Stamford rugby

Football leaders

STAMFORD’S Third XV have won all six of their games, with the highlight away wins over Bedford and Stowe. Not wanting to be outdone, the Second XV have also won seven from seven. The First XV have lost just one match, a 20-17 heartbreaker at Bedford, but they bounced back to produce solid wins over Uppingham, Oundle and Stowe. First XV captain Connor Collett said: “We feel as though we are developing more as squads and are looking forward to the remainder of the season.”

STUDENTS FROM Uppingham Community College have completed the Football Association Junior Football Leaders Award. These students gave up their Saturday to attend the full day course where they learnt how to assist in the leading of football activities, refereeing, how to work with a team and an introduction to different competition formats. They are now helping to deliver the Rutland & Melton Primary Schools Football Leagues on Tuesday nights.

Faux breaks Ironman records Former Stamford School student, Catherine Faux, put in a stunning performance at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Having only competed in her first triathlon in 2009, Catherine broke the F25-F29 Age Group record and finished as the first Age Group (amateur) athlete overall. She also managed to set a new record, becoming the fastest female Age Group (amateur) in Hawaii, ever! Her finishing time of 9:15:16 would have made the top 10 in the female Pro race.

Judo club Uppingham Community College has joined Vale Judo Club this term to set up a new lunchtime Judo Club. Sportivate funding has been secured that will allow 20 students aged 11-16 years (boys and girls) to participate in an eight week course. The course will be a mixture of Judo & Self Defence and at the end of the course students will have been prepared for their first judo grading.

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

Football

FA Cup heartbreak for the Daniels BY DEAN CORNISH

U

nfortunately Stamford fell short in their quest to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup. A bumper home crowd of 668 saw the Daniels lose 2-0 to Conference North leaders, Hednesford Town. The Daniels more than matched their higher league opponents in the first 45 minutes, but were undone in the second half thanks to two penalties from Hednesford’s leading marksman Elliott Durell. Both penalties were awarded following infringements from Nathan Haines, and while both decisions were hotly disputed, the referee was probably correct on each occasion. As well as allowing their fans to spend the last month daydreaming of a home tie against a football league side, the cup run has also provided the Daniels with a financial boost, with more than £12,000 earnt in prize money alone. Hopefully that income will allow David Staff to bolster his ranks as they now try and concentrate on avoiding relegation from the league.

In the league, it’s been a mixed month for Staff’s men as they try and battle against relegation from the Evo Stik Premier division following promotion last season. The Daniels started October with some great results, including a draw against much-fancied Chorley, and wins over Buxton (1-0) and Stocksbridge Park Steels (4-3), a game which saw Northampton Town loanee David Moyo bag two goals, including a well taken late winner. The Daniels’ form then dipped with a disappointing loss against lower league opposition in the FA Trophy, and then league defeat away at fellow strugglers Stafford Rangers. The defeat at Stafford was even more disappointing considering the Daniels took the lead. Stamford remain in the bottom four in spite of the seven points they picked up in the month, but they’re in touch with the sides above and look to be far more comfortable in the league than they were in the early part of the season. Much rests on the shoulders of the upfront hotshots Jordan Smith and Ryan Robins who have

recently signed new contracts. If they stay at the club, and keep scoring, I feel the Daniels will still stay up, but only just! Blackstones’ season hasn’t improved meanwhile, having picked up just four points from their opening 12 games of the season. Former U18 manager Gary Peace took over from Dave Stratton after the Stamford side’s poor start to the season, but they’ve since continued to struggle and are currently second bottom of the league. There had been signs of improvement when Peace first took over, but apart from their solitary win (5-3) at home to lowly Wellingborough Whitworth, it’s been a grim few weeks for Stones, with defeats at Lutterworth (4-1), Eynesbury (7-1), and home losses to Thrapston (1-4), Irchester (1-2), Boston Town (0-2), and Northampton On Chenecks (0-4). Hopefully things will improve for Peace’s men, but they do seem destined for a fight against a second successive relegation. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Uppingham Town still lead the way for our local sides, and they remain

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unbeaten and definitely must be considered contenders for this year’s title. Richard Kendrick’s men are currently third in the division, seven points off King’s Lynn Town Reserves, but still with four games in hand on the leaders. Since drawing with last year’s champions, Moulton Horrox, Uppingham then beat Netherton at home (2-1) to stamp their championship credentials, before disappointingly drawing 1-1 at home with Leverington Sports, a game where they spurned various chances. Oakham United meanwhile are getting their season back on track after the difficult start to their campaign. Wayne Oldaker’s men have won three of their six games since their essential month long break from the league, including good results over Whittlesey Blue Star (3-0), Leverington Sports (1-0), and away at Sawtry (1-2). The only blot on the copy book was their 6-0 thrashing away at Netherton United, but apart from that it’s been a good period for Oakham as they climb from the foot of

the league table after the turbulent start. The Rutland side are now third bottom, although should be higher were it not for the harsh points deduction for delaying their games in August. In Division 1, Ketton FC are in top form, having won five league games on the spin. The boys from Pit Lane are now up to seventh having recorded away wins at Sutton Bridge (2-4), King’s Cliffe (1-2), and Netherton Reserves (1-2), and home games against Farcet (4-2) and Moulton Horrox (3-1). Manager Darren Eady said at the start of the season that they had a chance to upset a few big teams this year, and with their current form they have a chance of challenging towards the top of the division. Ryhall United aren’t far behind in eighth place, although inconsistency for James Sheehan’s men would seem to preclude their challenging at the very top of the league. Their last four league games have seen them win at home against Netherton (2-0), lose to Peterborough ICA (0-1), beat Warboys (1-0) and lose to Stanground. The Stamford Bels’ poor start to their

Division 1 season has continued having lost 10 of their opening 12 games to sit firmly in the bottom two. Since their good win in mid-September over ICA Sports Reserves, they’ve lost four league games, conceding 18 goals. After a promising start to their Leicestershire Senior League season, Cottesmore hit some poor form leading to three straight defeats. They managed to stop the rot with a 2-2 draw at Saffron Dynamo with goals from Robbie Preira and new signing Josh Dixon. They then claimed another draw with a share of the points in a 0-0 draw with Kirby Muxloe Reserves, following an inspired performance by goalkeeper Rob Lewin. First team manager Neil Miller has been able to further add Joe Aldridge to his squad from local rivals Melton Mowbray and more signings are likely. Former first team manager Steve Duffy has returned to the club and has taken over the reserve team manager’s role with immediate effect. He will be assisted by players Rich Giblin and Ash Ward.

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Roundup

Rugby

New club, old boys and golden girls BY JEREMY BESWICK

W

elcome news for all you local rugby fans this month as Stoneygate up sticks from their Scraptoft ground in Leicester to play home fixtures in Uppingham. Now based at the community college and with a dedicated clubhouse above The Vaults in Market Square, thanks to its owner and ex-player Robert Wills, Uppinghamians at last have a team to call their own – and what a proud tradition they bring with them. This year is their 125th anniversary and they’ll be celebrating with a dinner for 400 at Leicester Tigers this month. Past honours include the Midlands Division 1 Championship and the County Cup. In their heyday Gate played preseason friendlies against the Tigers every year and up until the late 90s could field four senior teams plus vets and colts. Paul Burnell, of Scotland and the Lions, and the author of The Art of Coarse Rugby, Michael Green, are among their illustrious alumni. Like many grand old clubs – Rosslyn Park spring to mind – the advent of professionalism hasn’t been kind to them. Club captain Graeme Ough takes up the story: “We did start to pay some players but

that caused rifts with the others, so we stopped. Over time we lost more and more talent to competing, paying clubs and playing in the Midland League, which often meant travelling 50 miles to a game, became too much for an all amateur side.” They eventually pulled out and entered the Leicester League in tier five. This isn’t a tale of terminal decline, though - far from it. They won that division in their first season, then Division Four on the bounce and currently lead Division Three undefeated having beaten Belgrave 3rds, Anstey, Market Harborough Vets and Quorn already this term. In fact, they haven’t lost a league match in two and a half years. Why the move? “With all the jobs that need doing, heating and manning the clubhouse, paying £200 each time we cut the grass, we calculated every home game was costing us around £1,000,” said Ough. So, over time, maintaining a 14-acre site with three pitches and all that implies gradually became untenable. “Whereas UCC rent us the pitch for a fixed sum and it’s fully maintained and run by them to a very high standard.” “Biting the bullet”, as Graeme called

pulling out of the Midlands League, has paid off for them. Let’s hope this second difficult decision will too and, as Graeme says, “breathe new life into an old club”. They’re not exactly strangers either, as most of the players are Uppingham residents. To make the move the success their bravery deserves more players, volunteers, supporters and – particularly - mini rugby kids from under 5s to under 11s are all needed. Any candidates out there should contact Phil Beech (07508 007690 or at pbeech@pnimedia.com) for details and to help give Stoneygate a right royal Rutland welcome. The second big story this month is the continuing turnaround in the fortunes of Stamford College Old Boys. Regular readers will know what a tough time they had last season, but they’ve followed up their opening league victory against Bourne with wins against Corby (22-12) – “A tough hard-fought game” euphemised captain Carl Walker – and Kempston (31-22). In the Vase they crushed Ollerton with eight tries, running out 44-10 with a hat-trick from Haydn Johns that wasn’t

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enough to earn him man of the match, which went to Aram Jones. Even though they subsequently lost 27-0 to league leaders Long Buckby, Walker saw some positives: “The lads didn’t disgrace themselves one bit. Buckby will have known they’d been in a rugby match when they came off.” He picked out full-back Johns, winger and new boy Jones and Tom Williams in the back row for particular praise. Is it too early to talk of promotion? “We’re still hoping for the top half of the table,” said Walker. “I think we need to be in this league for one more year.” That’s a far more positive outlook than hitherto. Newly promoted Stamford Town’s opening few games have been in contrast to college’s. Their only win so far was 23-18 at home to Melbourne, but losses to Nottingham Casuals, Ashbourne, Bakewell Mannerians (a thrashing at 74-7) and Melton (albeit only 5-6) leave them third from bottom of the table. All this comes as something of a surprise to your writer who’d tipped them to do well. Is this just due to my own lack of savvy rugby judgment or are there

mitigating factors? Captain Matt Albinson: “This is a highly competitive division and we’ll take time to settle. I’ve every confidence we’ll do better as the season progresses. No excuses, but we’ve had issues with our pre-season and with availability that I hope are now behind us.” That rings true, as even in the victory against Melbourne there were 10 absentees from the usual starting 15, including seven from the scrum. Hooker Ollie Story will be out for some time with a nasty eye injury, but the others should shortly return. In sum, I’ll stick my neck out and stand by my forecast of a top half finish for the side. Oakham Town continue their good form of last season, when they narrowly missed out on promotion. A strong second half saw them beat Kesteven 20-7 in Grantham and they performed well in the driving rain at home to Loughborough, four penalties from Mark Matthews and a try by Varley contributing to the impressive 19-10 win. Better than a poke in the eye, as captain Tom Armstrong will attest having missed the second half for a trip to A&E with just such an injury. Due to play Olney in the cup, their

opponents had other commitments so Oakies also find themselves in the third round without yet playing a game. Deepings Devils opened the season with a massive 119-0 win away to Rushden but then lost, for almost the first time in living memory, 5-12 away to Woodbridge. Normal service was resumed 64-24 against Chelmsford and continued with five tries against Wellingborough. Another successful season seems assured for Deepings – but that’s enough about the ladies. The men have had a nightmare start, losing their four openers against Thorney, St Ives, Stewarts & Lloyds, Stockwood Park and then conceding the match at Biggleswade. Not surprisingly they’re currently rooted at the bottom of the table. Captain Gareth Silverwood, who’s been spotted perusing the RFU rulebook section dealing with gender-based player eligibility, will not be happy. To be fair, he did tell us last month: “We’ve got a lot of young blood coming in, many of them under 18s. We need to blood them.” Let’s hope they’re bloody but unbowed and their season improves. Keep at it lads.

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Equestrianism

Osberton, Oasby and JumpCross wraps up BY JULIA DUNGWORTH

O

sberton, near Newark, on October 3-6, was one of the last big local events, and now includes the Young Horse Class Championships for four and five year olds, as well as a six and seven year old CIC*, CCI** to run alongside the CCI* CCI**. Both the international classes were very well subscribed with the CCI* having 114 entries and the CCI** nearly 90. There was a strong local contingent entered at the event, but I’m sure that none of them will thank me for printing their results! The big section was won by Australian rider Sam Griffiths riding Angelo IV, with Sophie How on Bojangles HRS taking the slightly smaller one star class. Although Osberton has a reputation for being wet, it wasn’t actually too bad this year, but I heard many reports of the heating being cranked up in the lorries. It was also so gloomy in the early evenings on Thursday and Friday that riders were asked to wear high visibility clothing if riding after 4pm. Having been to Osberton many times before, on that same weekend I decided to flee the country and head off to Ligniere in France for exactly the same competition –

the main difference being we got to sit outside the lorry every evening in a T-shirt! This too was a great competition and although I wasn’t highly placed individually I got to ride my faithful partner Sonic Boom on the British Team and helped them to secure third place overall. Stuart Buntine’s team made the short drive south down the A1 to Grantham after their mammoth Osberton effort for Oasby on October 19-20, where again it was a product of its own popularity and had to ballot some of the lower classes. Matt Hecking, the stud manager from Oakham Veterinary Hospital, made light work of the Intermediate track for a win on his and Wendy Hecking’s six-year-old Oratorio, finishing on a clean sheet after a 35.5 dressage. This is only the horse’s second intermediate, and he will definitely be one to watch out for next season. Charlotte Hollis has been out strutting her stuff in the dressage arena again, on her own Suitably Gracious, a six-year-old mare by Hanoverian stallion Sir Donnerhall. They have won both their medium tests, at Vale View on the September 29 and the Dressage to Music Freestyle at Moulton College, to qualify them for the Medium

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and Elementary Music Winter Regionals. Sue Booth, who is a vet from Clear Ridge Veterinary Surgery in Stamford, has also been putting her best foot forward on her own gelding Laurie to win the Medium Area Festival at Sheepgate which qualifies her for the area festival championships in April next Year. On October 19, JumpCross ran its last competition of the year and included the increasingly popular Grassroots classes to start the day off. This also saw the announcement of the eagerly awaited JumpCross league placings. The Group Three senior was won by Sally Wagstaff on Gulliver. It wasn’t quite enough to seal the win on the league table though and she had to settle for third place while Alison Cooke took the spoils on Saatchi. With more than a 10-point lead, it didn’t matter that Alison wasn’t there to fight for her position as she had sold Saatchi the week before! Due to the dark nights setting in, there was no Group Two class run, but the league was won narrowly by Geoff Bridges from Wittering on Eeyor. Poor Michael Dungworth had to settle for second place on his favouite mare Tallulah with Henny McIntosh taking third place.

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6 4 NOV E M BE R 2013 ///

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Hockey

Bourne Deeping Dragons get into gear

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fter a defeat away to IpswichEast Suffolk, Bourne Deeping Dragons were looking to show some ‘bouncebackability’ and return to winning ways by welcoming bottom of the table Ely City HC to the Arthur Mellows Astro. Neat work by the forwards saw plenty of opportunities to test the Ely defence early and the deadlock was broken after Shane Carlton was brought down in the D by the keeper’s flailing stick, leaving the umpire no choice but to award a penalty stroke. Once again Ben Slack undertook the penalty taking duties and fired the Dragons into the lead with a well executed stroke. Another strike by Ben Slack settled the nerves further. Continuing to pressure the visiting defence saw more penalty corners won, and eventually one made its way in via a deflection from Henry Winfield-Chislett. The visiting keeper continued to have a busy afternoon as Bourne Deeping continued exerting pressure on the Ely back line. The scoring was finally rounded off when Shane Carlton was rewarded with an easy tap in at the far post after his tireless running throughout the day, when Andrew Kind saw off the visiting keeper and

Above

Bourne Deeping Dragons’ Men’s First XI in action

selflessly passed to the Dragons’ striker for his first of the campaign. The Dragons are currently fourth in the East Men’s League Division 1 ladder but only trail the league leaders by three points. After successive 4-0 defeats at home, a win against Ely IIs was just the pick-me-up Bourne Deeping IIs needed. Jason Purllant and Richard Woods provided the tonic needed with two second half goals, while Tim Beaver’s first clean

sheet of the season in the Dragons’ goal ensured they secured their first home win since promotion last season. It could have been a different story but for the captain’s heroics: Ely could and should have taken the lead, but as the striker shaped to shoot, having rounded the goalkeeper, Dragons skipper Graham Brewer flung himself in front of the goal, illegally blocking the shot with his legs. A penalty flick seemed certain but after consultation between the umpires it was deemed that the ball was going wide and that a penalty corner and yellow card (10 minutes in the sin bin) for the captain was sufficient punishment for the sudden rush of blood. The second half saw the Dragons work harder to retain possession and this saw them able to build more as a unit. The ever willing Tancred was causing problems in and around the Ely D, and when Purllant found himself with a similar chance to the one he had blazed over earlier, this time he kept his composure to slot the ball past a grounded ‘keeper to give the Dragons the lead. A penalty corner converted just minutes later saw the Dragons double their lead when Richard Woods’ strong shot deflected in off a defender’s foot.

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Feature /// Stalwart

Maurice Mosdell M E M B E R S H I P S E C R E TA RY, S TA M F O R D S Q UA S H C L U B

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ou can be sure that somebody deserves the epithet ‘stalwart’ when they have no idea how long they’ve actually been at a club. Maurice Mosdell has been at Stamford Squash Club such a long time that he’s not even sure which decade he started playing in. “I think it was about 1978,” he says. “Or perhaps the early ’80s. But I’d been stationed at RAF Wittering, and then Coningsby, and after that Cottesmore as an engineer and I was in my mid-30s and looking for a challenge. I played cricket, for Wittering and Bourne, and a bit of football and rugby, and a friend suggested squash. I didn’t think much of it as a game, until I started playing and then I was hooked. “The great thing about it is that you can pop in after work and really thunder the ball about and work off any stress you might have built up during the day, and it keeps you fit as well.” He was in the RAF for 40 years, and then ran a sports shop in Deeping Leisure Centre for a further 10 before retiring. But he’s always busy, even now: “I took up racquet stringing in the ’90s, got a machine and took the professional qualifications, and in the end I ended up stinging for the professionals during Wimbledon, stringing hundreds of racquets for 12 hours a day. Indeed, when I meet him at Stamford Squash Club, just off Conduit Road, he’d just dropped

Words & photography /// Steve Moody

off a couple of racquets for members. You could never call the club luxurious, but it’s an honest sort of a place where people come to play more than hang around. It’s also a lot cheaper than joining a gym, he points out. Maurice, even at 78, is still very fit and there are quite a few elder members of the club (his usual playing partner is 79, “but he’s not as fit as me so I mostly beat him,” he jokes) but for people thinking of taking up the game he has some advice.

“Squash isn’t a game that will get you fit if you haven’t done a lot before. It’s such an intense sport that if you’re thinking of taking it up you need to do some running or work in the gym first. Then, once you’ve reached a level, squash is brilliant for keeping you fit.” His legacy to the club is modernising the running of the booking system. Because squash is not a team game, clubs aren’t the same as cricket or football. People tend to play in small groups or with friends, apart from in the leagues, and so they want to play at certain times on certain days. When he took over as membership secretary, all the bookings were handwritten in a book, which in today’s busy world was a slow way of doing things, especially when the members were working all over the place. Now, it’s online it makes it a lot easier to see when courts are free. “As a club, we are pretty successful. At its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s squash was attracting a lot of players, and some of the clubs had lots of facilities such as bars and shops, but memberships have generally dwindled. But not here. We have about 180 members of all ages, and it has stayed like that for a long time. We have junior and beginner sessions, and club nights most Thursdays where people thinking of joining can turn up and play a few games, and that seems to work well.”  For more information on the club, visit www.stamfordsquashclub.org.uk

‘THE GREAT THING ABOUT SQUASH IS THAT YOU CAN POP IN AFTER WORK AND REALLY THUNDER THE BALL ABOUT TO WORK OFF STRESS’

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // November 2013  

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 // November 2013  

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