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Local Christmas Markets Be Appy, apps for fitness News from the area’s schools Meet the Fatstock Factotum Walk with Will past Laxton Hall

I S S U E 89 | N OV E M B E R 201 9

! E E R F

Aurora Borealis Plan a trip to see the Northern Lights

Christmas gift guide

Great, locally sourced presents for everyone! w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m

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E DI TO R ’ S L E T T E R Editor and Publisher Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Art editor Matt Tarrant matt@theactivemag.com Contributors Will Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Neal Wilson Front cover: Bragi Kort/ArcticShot.is Advertisement Sales Director Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Production assistant Gary Curtis Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, Eventus Business Centre, Sunderland Road, Northfield Industrial Estate, Market Deeping, PE6 8FD If you have information about a club then please get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine please email distribution@theactivemag. com. Active magazine is published monthly 12 times per year. ISSN 2059-8513 Published by Triangle Publishing Ltd Printed by Warner’s of Bourne

www.theactivemag.com

Disclaimer

Copyright (c) Triangle Publishing Ltd (TPL) 2019. 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 TPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of TPL 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, TPL 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. TPL 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.

“I’m a great believer of ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to local high streets.” I HAVE A confession, I am not the most organised when it comes to Christmas. One of my daughter’s has a birthday in early December so I always left Christmas until after then, and seeing Christmas decorations in the shops when the children have barely gone back to school in September is just a ‘no-no’ for me. But of course that leaves me with very little time to think about presents, let alone buy them so it all happens in a last minute rush so gets needlessly stressful. On other occasions I have been more organised buying the odd present much earlier in the year, putting it somewhere ‘safe’ and then of course either forgetting about it or unable to find it; is that just me or do some of you do the same? Well not this year. Our local towns are embracing Christmas markets and late night openings with a passion. And so they should. It’s the perfect way to showcase what is on offer, get everyone in the spirit and out to support local businesses. I’m a great believer of ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to local high streets and independent businesses so it’s good to see #ShopStamford, Harbs Collective and the like which are all set up by independent retailers and businesses to support each other and to encourage people to use them. We need to support them. It’s very easy to shop online, and we are all guilty of it at times, but it is so much nicer to walk into a shop, actually speak to a person, engage in conversation and make a purchase from someone who is working hard to make their business successful. And of course, you are often able to buy something which is quite unique. An added advantage of walking down a high street means you are getting some exercise as well as fresh air and the feeling of being part of a community. Do have a look at our gift guide for some present inspirations, all of which can be bought locally. I read somewhere recently that exercising indoors can help alleviate hair loss. I’m not sure if this is true or not but at this time of year getting out on your bike can be quite unpleasant. So this month we have embraced technology and found some apps which help you exercise, one even at your desk. Being glued to your phone is not always a good thing, but if an app is helping you reach your goal of running 5k there is a positive side. Something I have always wanted to see are the Northern Lights. It’s on my bucket list and one I can hopefully tick off before long, but first I‘m going to enjoy some of those Christmas markets and a glass of mulled wine; I’ll see you there. Mary - Editor

FIND US ONLINE

FACEBOOK theACTIVEmag

TWITTER @theACTIVEmag

INSTAGRAM theactivemaguk

WEBSITE theactivemag.com

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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I S S U E 89 / N OVE M B E R 201 9

Contents

ACTIVE LIFE 10 NEWS

Local news updates

13 WHAT’S ON

Catch up with what’s going on locally

15 RECIPE

Try a delicious venison chilli

19 TRAVEL

Plan a trip to see the Northern Lights

20 WILL’S WALKS

Will walks from Laxton to Blatherwycke

26

26 CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Enjoy some local Christmas shopping

30 UPPINGHAM FATSTOCK SHOW Meet Charlie Mason, the Fatstock Factotum

38

32 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE There’s something for everyone in our guide

38 BE APPY

Use apps to help you keep fit

ACTIVE BODY 47 PHYSIO

30

Sarah Babbs talks about bone density and how to maintain it

ACTIVE KIDS 51 LOCAL SCHOOL NEWS

ACTIVE SPORT 58 THE JETRIDE

News about the recent inaugural charity ride

62 THE MONGOL RALLY

Two intrepid readers tackle this infamous race

63 ICE HOCKEY

Learn about this fast moving sport

20 November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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ActiveLife Local Christmas markets | Gifts galore | See the Northern Lights Enjoy Will’s Walk | Uppingham Fatstock show E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R

Be appy, the latest in fitness tech p.38

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Active life

Kit Sponsorship Available THE BARBERS OF Uppingham is very much a community spirited business. Owner Caroline Mann, who also owns Charles Barry barbers in Corby, has been working with Corby Business Academy and their BTech business level 2 students who are basing their studies on the two businesses. Caroline will be visiting the college to meet the students to talk about the running of her businesses and her future aims and objectives. As a business owner Caroline likes to be involved with the community so Charles Barry barbers currently sponsor an under nines football team by providing training kit. Caroline is happy to sponsor a local team in Uppingham so do get in touch with her by emailing charlesbarry2@live.co.uk

New Ballet Studio AFB DANCE ACADEMY has a new home. The ballet school that specialises in teaching the Royal Academy of Dance ballet syllabus will now be running all of its classes from a new studio, which has a sprung floor and double height ballet barre, next to Langton Greenhouse and Garden Centre on Melton Road near Market Harborough. The dance academy runs classes for every age and ability starting with nursery classes for children aged from 2 ½ up to adult classes. Over 55s will soon be catered for as well with the addition of a Silver Swans class coming soon. For more information go to www.afbdanceacademy.co.uk

Stapleford Park launches its own gin

Topiary Trimmed THE CLIPSHAM YEW Tree Avenue Trust (CYTAT) has started a programme of restoration work on the 200 year-old-trees. It has been five years since they were last trimmed and will take about six weeks for the work to be completed. Funding to restore the trees has been raised by the Trust and a further £10,000 a year will be needed to keep the trees trimmed and in good shape. If you wish to help fundraise or to volunteer please email info@yewtreeavenue.co.uk

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STAPLEFORD PARK HAS launched its own Estate Foraged premium craft gin in partnership with Melton Mowbray based Brentingby Gin. The craft gin reflects the characteristics and flavours of the hotel’s 500 acre estate and is elevated by light botanicals of rose petal, lavender and nettle leaf making a light and refreshingly smooth gin. The Estate Foraged Gin will be available from www.staplefordpark.com/ estateforagedgin and from Stapleford Park’s bar and retail outlets.

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

New Faces at Café Ventoux TERESA, JONNY AND their team have recently taken over the franchise at Café Ventoux in Tugby. Popular with cyclists and coffee enthusiasts Café Ventoux will now be open seven days a week serving breakfast, homemade cakes and lunches. Themed bistro nights will be starting at the end of November. There will be a social cycle every Saturday morning at 9.30am and a social trail running session every Sunday morning at 9.30am. www.cafe-ventoux.cc

Release your Inner Wolf INNER WOLF, BASED at Wistow Rural Centre is a shop geared up for healthy dogs and active owners. They specialise in the outdoor market selling gear for people who like to be out and about with their dogs, not just walking them but running, cycling, camping and trekking too. As such they sell hands-free leads and harnesses and everything your dog needs to stay safe, dry and protected. Inner Wolf offer practical advice and really know what they are talking about, having years of experience and a number of active dogs on the team! The online shop started in 2005 with the shop at Wistow Rural Centre opening five years ago, an ideal place to bring your dog to try items for size. As well as selling all the gear in the shop they also cater for your dog’s diet selling healthy higher meat sourced food including frozen raw food which is very popular. Canicross is a sport that is becoming very popular; it’s cross country running with your dog but you train the dog to pull you. Inner Wolf sell the waist belts and harnesses that you need. They also hold a Sunday morning session where you can go and join them and you and your dog can learn more about the sport. The next event is on November 10, it’s free to join in and a great way to be introduced to canicross. There will be a 5 mile route or a 4-5km one. www.innerwolf.co.uk

10

Win or Lose Move WIN OR LOSE has been designing and selling premium men’s clothing for nearly four years and are especially well known for their colourful sock collections which are designed to reflect colours which have an affinity to sports teams, schools or just to put a bit of fun and colour into life. The Rugby World Cup, Premier League and Premiership are all covered. The business has recently moved to new offices at the Oakham Enterprise Park in Ashwell and a new range of smaller size socks (3.5 to 6.5) have been introduced to accommodate ladies and children. Socks can be bought online or from a number of retailers including Cavells’ South Street store in Oakham. www.win-or-lose.com

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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SOCKS – KNITWEAR – POLOS – UNDERWEAR

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Shop online at www.win-or-lose.com

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Active life

What’s on...

Great things to see and do in the region

STAMFORD FLOWER CLUB invites you to join them for a demo from top demonstrator Pamela Lewis on Monday November 11 at the Corn Exchange in Stamford. Pamela’s theme is Christmas Naturally and she will create many large, impressive arrangements along with anecdotes and tips. Everyone is welcome, tickets cost £10 stamfordflowerclub@gmail.com Quintessentially Wild has added an extra date to their Christmas Wreath School, Sunday December 8 between 6-9pm at The Ballroom, Stamford Arts Centre. Tickets are £55 and you will create your own wreath to take home with you. www.quintessentiallywild.com and The March Hare Tearooms at Corby Glen is also holding a wreath making evening on December 16 from 6.30-8.30pm www.themarchhare.eu Stamford Shoestring Theatre’s next production is Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale on December 3-7. It promises to be a highly entertaining and thought provoking evening. Tickets are on sale now from Stamford Arts Centre 01780 763203 A Festival of Remembrance featuring Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir will be held at the Cresset on Friday November 8 at 7.30pm. All money raised will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. For tickets ring 01733 265705 or www.peterboroughsings.org.uk

Uppingham Choral Society is holding its Autumn Concert at Uppingham Parish Church on November 16 at 8pm. Entitled A Celebration of British Composers and featuring guest organist David Butterworth, tickets are available on the door at £10 each including refreshments.

Keep the following dates free for some local Santa Fun Runs. Lutterworth will be holding theirs on December 1; Stamford on December 8 at 11.30am and Market Harborough also on December 8 at 2pm. Nene Valley Railway is bringing you something extra this winter. As well as the ever popular Santa steam trains they are now offering a 60 minute winter light spectacular which runs from December 13 – January 11. Departing from Wansford passengers can enjoy a magical train ride viewing the light displays all the way to Overton station, and back again, all accompanied by music. www.nvr.org.uk

Spend an evening with legendary snooker player Jimmy White at Stamford’s Corn Exchange theatre on November 19 at 7.30pm. During the second half of the evening the audience will have the chance to ask questions. To book tickets ring the box office on 01780 766455. Harborough cancer support group is held on the first and third Wednesday of every month between 1.30-5pm at The Methodist Church on Northampton Road. It’s a chance to pop in and have a chat as well as receive a range of complementary therapies and access one to one counselling. info@hcsg.org.uk There will be firework displays in Stamford on November 2 at the Welland Academy, and at the Rutland showground in Oakham as well as at St Joseph’s school field in Market Harborough.

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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www innerwolf co uk online and in-store

Healthy from the

Inside Out

Conservatory too hot in the summer and too cold in winter? Classic have the answer to this problem and you do not even have to change the existing windows/doors, although you can. Structurally very strong which means your new sun room meets full Building Regulation Approval.

visit our showroom 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk


Active life

RECIPE

Venison chilli The game season is here and there can’t be a much more delicious, healthy recipe to celebrate the taste of game; the perfect way to ward off the chilly autumnal evenings. INGREDIENTS

METHOD

• 500g minced venison

• 1 tsp chopped coriander

• 1 diced onion

• salt and pepper

• 1 diced red pepper

• ½ tsp smoked paprika

• 2 cloves of garlic

• ½ tsp chilli power

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• ½ tsp chilli flakes

• 1 tin chopped tomatoes

• 125ml red wine

• Gently cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Right at the end add the chopped coriander and season to taste.

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil

• 125ml game or beef stock

• Serve with plain rice.

• Fry the mince in the oil until it is all browned. • Add the chopped onion, peppers, garlic, tomatoes and puree. Stir together and add the smoked paprika, chilli powder and flakes, and season.

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

GARDE NING

Stock Taking Garden designer Teresa Kennedy enjoys taking stock and making plans this month

N

OVEMBER IS MY favourite time of year to take stock. There is always something to tweak; the difficulty sometimes can be in remembering what! If you really must, keep a note and take a photograph each month; or, if you’re like me, you’ll prefer the challenge of roping everybody in to give their scant recollections…

Bulbs

I created a wild garden at home this year which looked at its best between March and July, faltered a lot over the summer and then looked a lot better again in early autumn. But the biggest thing it lacked was bulbs. I think you need a hit of bright, bold colour to lift everything and the low growing dwarf tulip is a real winner for spring. At this time the most activity is happening at low level with perennials starting to bulk out, grass starting to green up and the addition of, for example, the hot red Scarlet Baby (Kaufmanniana) at only 20cm tall is perfect.

Fruit

Nobbly, gnarled trunks, plenty of branches, a superb hit of spring dainty blossom and late year crops. I cannot recommend enough that you bring fruit trees into the garden. They are incredibly good value, suited for our climate and really good in a small garden or mass planted in an orchard. Buy them from now onwards to get bargain prices.

Light

As leaves start to drop it’s really lovely to experience the changing light which gives you a different take on your outdoor space. Remember we have five months or so of this quiet, dormant time and it’s really worth allowing your garden to have a second skin. Long, distant views are really valuable so look at what is happening beyond your boundary and see how you can borrow that for your own benefit by opening up some of your existing planting.

Comfort

I want shade in the summer and I like warmth and stars in the autumn and winter. A winter fire in the early evening, wrapped up warm while sitting comfortably gives a whole load of wonderful feel-good factor; make sure you can create some of this for yourself. www.viridisdesign.co.uk 07726 334501

N AT U R E

The Jay JAYS ARE THE most colourful members of the crow family with their pinkish body plumage, blue, black and white wing coverts and black and white crown. As they fly away giving a raucous screech, the white rump is very obvious. They are similar in size to the jackdaw and can be found in all types of woodland from conifer plantations to deciduous woods. They also frequent

parks and large gardens where they will visit feeders for peanuts and seeds. Autumn is the best season to see jays when they leave woodlands to collect acorns from hedgerow trees. These are buried as a winter food source but not all are relocated so jays are an important agent in spreading oak trees. The footpath from Horn Mill to Fort Henry near Exton is a good place to watch this behaviour; the dipping flight of the jays is very distinctive. Jays have a varied diet including insects, fruit, seeds, eggs, young birds and even small mammals. Terry Mitcham

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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‘After 30 years of looking after people with hearing loss, I have come to realise how having good hearing and the ability to communicate well, can be vital to your general health and wellbeing. At Harborough Hearing Care we want to help you to hear well, so that you can live well.’ Clare Heaviside, Director & Audiologist

• HEARING ASSESSMENTS • PERSONAL, FRIENDLY SERVICE • ADVANCED HEARING AID SOLUTIONS • WAX REMOVAL, A SAFE GENTLE TECHNIQUE USING MICRO SUCTION • TINNITUS PRODUCTS • HEARING AID SERVICING, REPAIRS & ACCESSORIES • HOME VISITS AVAILABLE

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Active life

TR AV E L

The Greatest Light Show on Earth

Image: BRAGI KORT/ArcticShots.is

Travel to Iceland to be in one of the best spots to view the Northern Lights, and you can even do it from water

N

OVEMBER CAN BE a dreary month, the nights are getting longer and longer, daylight seems in short supply, the weather is miserable and the end of March when the clocks change back to summer-time seems a long way off. But all is not lost; November is the best time to see the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights and the lack of daylight hours in this case is a huge advantage as you have longer to see them and they are invisible to the naked eye in the summer. Iceland and Alaska are some of the best places to see them so as Iceland, perhaps the most eco friendly country in the world, is closer to home and just a three hour flight away, we are going to go there. The Northern Lights most commonly appear between 5pm and 2am. They may only show for a couple of minutes, or up to 30

minutes, and if you are really lucky could last a few hours. Obviously you need to be away from city lighting to really enjoy the show. There are many companies offering innovative ways to see the Aurora Borealis. One company we have found offers the chance to see the Northern Lights from water and in Iceland you can enjoy an Aurora photography masterclass at a magnificent waterfall location where you can capture the reflection and light. Whilst in Iceland enjoy the delights of the country including the volcanoes and geysers and, of course Reykavik, the northernmost capital in the world. www.offthemap.travel

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Laxton Hall makes for a grand view in the second half of this walk.

ACTIVE INFO Laxton itself was rebuilt as a model village by George Freke Evans while Laxton Hall is a 17th century Grade II Listed building which was also remodeled by Evans. It now serves as a residential care home for elderly Polish people who have formerly resided in the UK.

W I L L’ S W A L K

Laxton Hall and Blatherwycke A grand old country hall, an ancient abbey, a Midsomer Murders style village and some beautiful woodland make this a welcome walk, as Will Hetherington discovers.

20 November 2019 / the activemag.com

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Active life

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

I parked on the road by the narrow footpath to the church on the southern edge of the village, but you might be better off parking near the village green. The footpath leads to the south east from opposite the path to the church and immediately delivers panoramic views to the south and west as you would expect from the Hilltop Farm name. Follow the path through the first smaller field and then down the hill and to the bottom left hand corner of the next very large field. There were cows in here when I did the walk so take care. When you get to the corner go through on to the narrow country lane and turn left to walk along here for 300 yards until you come to the busy A43. Take care to cross the road and carry on up the lane opposite towards Blatherwycke. Once you are over the first hill the noise of the main road dissipates. Stay on this quiet lane for about half a mile until you come to the edge of Blatherwycke. Turn left at the road junction and walk north with views of the lake to the east. After 300 yards you will see the footpath straight ahead where the road forks to King’s Cliffe on the right and back to the A43 on the left. Take the footpath and leave the lane behind. You will now enter quite a well populated game area with partridges and pheasants aplenty as well as a few sheep. So please do keep your dogs under very close control. There’s no need to upset the shepherd or the gamekeeper. Keep heading north following the path through four field boundaries until you drop down with ancient Fineshade Abbey ahead and Fineshade and Westhay Woods sprawling out to your right. Take care to find the correct route here by turning left and crossing the rather unsightly but extremely functional concrete bridge over the muddy stream. It’s down in the dip before the mound that used to host St. Mary’s Augustinian Priory. Once you have crossed the concrete bridge walk west across the field and then re-cross the A43 and head out into the fields where the path continues to run west through pasture land. You will see Laxton Lodge Gatehouses on your left to start with and then gradually the grand view of Laxton Hall will unfold. The path runs across the northern face of the Hall and then enters Wakerley Woods in the corner of the grassland. Once you are in the woods it’s 500 yards west and then turn left at an obvious junction for another 500 yards south before emerging from the trees to the sight of Laxton village a field away. Blatherwycke Lake lies to the east as you walk north from the village towards Fineshade.

Images: Will Hetherington

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Active life

Essential information WHERE TO PARK It’s probably best to park around the green in Laxton village. Little Laxton village is relatively untouched by the outside world.

DISTANCE AND TIME Four and a half miles/ an hour and three quarters. HIGHLIGHTS Panoramic views from near Hiltop Farm, Blatherwycke Lake, remains of Fineshade Abbey, Laxton Hall and Wakerley Woods. LOWLIGHTS Crossing the A43 twice brings an unwelcome reminder of the real world. REFRESHMENTS The Queen’s Head in Bulwick or the Royal Oak in Duddington. DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws. It’s fairly undulating and there might be some mud in the winter but it’s not too challenging. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There is livestock and game on this route and limited fresh water so it’s not ideal for a warm day.

©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 036/19

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

START/ FINISH

Laxton Lodge gates.

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BEAUTY

Bring on the Bling Mary Bremner gets creative with gel nails

I

AM A big fan of gel nails. I don’t have them done very often but when I do I really appreciate them; they never chip or fade and last for weeks and I still can’t quite believe that they are instantly dry once they’ve been put under the lamp. When I’ve had them removed it’s only because my nails have grown too long rather than the polish be chipped so they are well worth the trip to the salon to get them done. So I was very happy to be going to Sloanes of Uppingham to be treated to a set of gels. Sloanes has recently been given a makeover by new owner Emma and the freshly decorated spacious hair and beauty salon oozes comfort and sophistication. Regular customers are able to enjoy the treatments on offer with the benefits of a loyalty card. And now my nails were going to be given a makeover too. Beautician Gemma is not only a beauty therapist but also a nail technician. So she doesn’t just do standard gel nails but what can only be described as nail art. She can decorate your nails with gems, gold leaf, glitter and anything in between and the array of goodies I had to choose from was vast, and a bit confusing. I wasn’t sure about the nail art, never having considered anything like that before. I’m more than happy to have my nails painted and am a big fan of well manicured, painted nails. But gems and patterns? Not so sure. But in for a penny, in for a pound. The festive season is coming up

so it’s time to embrace the bling – and I also wanted to see how Gemma created these works of art. As my hands were still slightly tanned I chose a very pale pink colour and we then decided Gemma would add a pink gem to the base of each nail. But then of course, like a child in a sweet shop I got distracted by all the other goodies on offer and couldn’t resist the glitter; who can resist glitter! I’d seen people with one different coloured nail on each hand so decided glitter it would be on each ring finger. And then we’d add the gems. After doing the standard gel nails Gemma painstakingly added the glitter using a brush and it looked amazing. Then she painted another clear coat over the top which went under the lamp again to keep it in place. Next the gems. Using a very clever sort of suction tool she picked up a gem and put it on the base of my little finger. We both decided the pinks didn’t match so she removed it the same way. Opting for a clear gem instead looked much better. I decided then that one gem on each hand and the glittery nail was probably enough for me. But if I was slightly braver and had a big party coming up I would have let Gemma and her creativity loose as you could really have fun and create some fabulous looking nails. I greatly admired Gemma’s skill; she has very steady hands, the patience of a saint and eyes like a hawk, able to handle the fiddly little gems and deal with dithery customers like me who get easily distracted. Sloanes of Uppingham now offer loyalty cards for regular customers. A gel file and polish costs £28 and 50p extra per nail for any other adornment. A gel manicure is £40. www.sloanessalons.co.uk 01572 820333

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Active life

FASHION

Clothes That Stand the Test of Time Invest in classics and your clothing wardrobe could last for years

T

HROWAWAY FASHION IS no longer in favour. The more discerning among us are now as interested in the source and provenance of our clothing as the look of it. Sweatshop produced cheap clothing, often made by children is no longer seen as acceptable. As well as food miles maybe we should be thinking of fashion miles as well. But that’s not to say never darken a boutique’s door again. I’m a great believer in buying classics that you will wear time and again, year after year. You might have to spend more initially but if you get years of wear out of an item of clothing it’s money well spent. The other day I realised I was wearing a coat that was at least 20 years old, my trusty old Barbour which really is timeless. I love it, and have to fight my two daughters off who are always coveting it. It got me thinking about what else I have in my wardrobe that has stood the test of time and it would appear to be quite a bit! Does this make me a hoarder who never throws anything away or a discerning shopper; a bit of both I suspect. Interestingly the clothes that have stood the test of time are the more expensive classics, some of which I haven’t worn for years and then ‘rediscovered’ which is always a bonus. I have never understood why you need to buy a new winter coat every year. I greet my years’ old fake fur classic like an old friend every winter and the familiarity of it around my shoulders is like having a big hug. When I bought it I loved it, and I still do. What could be classed as a timeless classic? Obviously my Barbour, a trench coat or classic mac are another, consider a dress agency for finding some well known brands. I have a red Mulberry mac that was a purchase from Bicester village just under 20

years ago, it’s still going strong and much admired when I wear it and these days I can proudly claim the age of it. Cashmere jumpers are always a go-to, keep the colours neutral and you will wear it for years. Jackets and blazers are another item of clothing that don’t date as are knee high leather boots and handbags. There’s a bit of a theme here, most of the classics are outerwear which were probably quite expensive in the first place and are simple designs which will outlast any trends as they never go out of fashion. Therefore, in theory, they should be made of good quality fabric which will withstand wear and tear over the years. A way to keep these classics on-trend is to add a scarf or carry a bright, colourful handbag in the tone of the season. One more bit of advice; make sure your wardrobe is full of mothballs…

Barbour Acorn waxed cotton jacket £199 www.barbour.com

Kimberley jacket £425 Water-repellent buttoned trench coat £89.99

www.butlerstewart.co.uk

www.zara.com

Pure cashmere round neck jumper £79 www.marksandspencer.com

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SH OP

Y L L A L OC U N T IL YOU DROP!

Christmas markets start in November and are the perfect way to get you in the seasonal mood. Now there’s no excuse for leaving everything until the last minute

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Christmas Markets

C

HRISTKINDLMARKT IS A street market associated with Christmas held during the four weeks of Advent. They originated in Germany in the Middle Ages but now virtually every country across Europe has embraced them, including the UK, where the inaugural one was held in Lincoln. Some of the most popular now are held in Bath, York and the Birmingham German Christmas Market. Traditionally held in the town square with stalls in wooden huts, everything Christmassy is for sale, including seasonal food and drink as well as gifts. The air will be scented with roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, cinnamon and gluhwein (mulled wine) and there are usually carol singers and entertainers joining the local artisans selling their wares. The atmosphere cannot help but get you in the mood for Christmas. Wrap up warm and soak it all up, and if you are visiting one of the more northern European markets you might even get to enjoy some snowy Christmas scenes. Closer to home all of our local towns have embraced the idea of Christmas markets, albeit on a slightly smaller scale with usually just a day of festivities rather than a month. There are so many of them that you can literally shop until you drop, and at the same time enjoy some mulled wine and know that you are supporting local businesses.

Stamford will be holding its Christmas

market on Sunday November 24 where there will be festive family fun along with traditional street entertainment and craft and food stalls galore with the Christmas lights switched on at the end of the day. #ShopStamford which is the brainchild of the independent businesses in Stamford, has organised a late night Christmas shopping event on Thursday December 12. Local businesses, cafes, retailers, and chains as

well, are all joining forces to encourage people to come to the town. And look out for The Little Book of Stamford which you can pick up around the town. In this guide you can find everything you need to know about Stamford, where to eat, places to visit, where to park and, of course the location of all the thriving independent businesses. The Stamford and Rutland “Etsy Made Local’ Christmas Fair is on December 14.

Oundle is holding its Christmas market on December 7-8 with the lights being switched on during the Sunday evening. Oakham is holding the Big Christmas

Market on November 24 at Catmose Sports Centre; a Fair Trade Christmas Market at the Castle on November 30 with a late night shopping event in the town on December 9 from 4-9pm.

The Harbs Collective of Market Harborough have organised the Harbs

Collective After Hours Event on November

Catesbys at Yew Tree House in Exton is holding a Christmas Fair on November 9 between 10-4. There will be elegant decorations and stylish gifts as well as delicious refreshments available. www.catesbys.co.uk

22 between 6-9. Local shops will be opening their doors for a calm and chilled Christmas shopping night and the Christmas lights will be switched on during the evening. December 6 from 6-9pm is Market Harborough’s annual Christmas Fair, a lively event including rides with something for all the family. Thursday December 5 is Uppingham’s late night shopping event with most shops staying open until 9pm. There will be market stalls, street entertainers, a skating rink and even Santa and his reindeer, Yuletide fun for everyone. www.christmasinuppingham.co.uk If you are good on Instagram there are lots of sites to follow to keep up with news, offers and dates from local independent businesses; great for contacts and recommendations too. @indie_rutland is an Instagram site that is worth following. It’s a community of independents in Rutland and Stamford and is great for information about what’s going on including Christmas fair dates. @harbs_collective is run by the local shop owners in and around Market Harborough. This instagram site, like all the other #shoplocal sites encourages you to support local businesses; as do we all. Also look at @oundlecom and @shopstamford

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Christmas Markets

The stately homes nearby have also joined in with the spirit of Christmas.

Burghley Christmas Fair with the Angel Fair November 28 – December 1 This fair gets bigger and better every year with the fair held within the courtyards of Burghley House. There will be wooden chalets and heated marquees full of stalls offering seasonal gifts and food galore including the Fine Food Market; Burghley’s Christmas Shop will also be open. This year the Fair is being run alongside the Angel Fair to raise money for charity. Admission is free, parking £10 per car. www.burghley.co.uk

Belvoir Engine Yard Shopping village December 6-8

A ‘Christmas Treats’ Festive Food and Drinks Fair will be held at Belvoir’s Engine Yard. As well as enjoying all the shops within the Yard you can also sample more local, and worldwide produce at the Food Fair. The event takes place in large marquees where you will be able to watch demonstrations, sample food from the World Street food court and see stalls from artisan stallholders. This is the perfect place to order some Christmas delicacies. www. engineyardbelvoir.com www.visitbelvoir.co.uk

Welland Vale Free Christmas Market November 27, 2-8pm

The garden centre in Uppingham has invited local businesses and people to join them at their undercover Christmas market to showcase what the local area has to offer. There’s gins, wines and ciders – free tastings on offer – food galore, eco products and arts and crafts all with a Christmassy theme. The Chater Community Choir will be providing a festive feel at 6.15 pm and Santa is rumoured to be in his grotto. www.wellandvalegardeninspirations. co.uk

Peterborough Cathedral is hosting two Christmas markets this year. November 15-16 is the Cathedral craft and gift market held from 6.30-9pm on the Friday and 9.30-4.30pm on the Saturday. Friday is also the day the Christmas lights are switched on in the city. Peterborough City Christmas Market will be held between November 16 – December 28 and the cathedral is joining in by hosting stalls on the Cathedral Green.

Rockingham Castle Victorian Christmas November 27 – December 1

Not so much a Christmas fair, more of a Christmas treat. Visitors will be transported back to Victorian times, Christmas Eve in 1849, with the castle decorated to reflect this. Staff will share stories of the family’s Victorian life and Christmas. You will also be able to enjoy locally sourced Christmas dishes and pick up some gifts from the Castle Gift Shop. Tickets cost £12 for an adult, £7.50 for children aged 4-16. www.rockinghamcastle.com And there you have it. If you wish you can be Christmas shopping virtually every weekend in November and early December, and even dashing from town to town on the same day to grab a bargain. Wherever you go make sure you pop into the local shops to offer support; it’s very much a case of ‘use it or lose it,’ and we need to keep our local High Streets alive and thriving.

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Charlie Mason: The Fatstock Factotum Mary Bremner meets Charlie Mason, Chairman of Uppingham’s Fatstock Show

W

hat exactly is a fatstock show? Traditionally it was the Christmas livestock market when local butchers were able to buy the best quality animals in the district to sell in their shops for Christmas. Farmers would prepare their beasts for this market and would compete for the accolade of being the best in show. In years gone by these shows would be run by the local livestock market operators which held weekly markets, with the beasts auctioned off at the end. Every local town used to have a fatstock show and dinner but these have all disappeared apart from ours.

The animals shown are not pedigree or rare breeds (apart from the pigs) but are cross breeds bred for their meat quality. They are finished ready for slaughter so are judged on this quality. There are seven cattle classes one of which is for animals sired by a native bull and this class needs more support. The show is a great way to encourage people to eat locally produced meat and cut down on food miles. Who are the judges and how many animals come to the market? The judges change every year but are usually

butchers or local buyers who will then buy the sheep or pigs. We don’t sell the cattle at the Fatstock show, many of them go to Melton Mowbray Fatstock show the week after. The rosettes are pinned on the pens so when the buyer buys an animal he takes the rosettes which are then hung in the butchers’ shops. The owner gets some prize money, a rosette and silverware. How far do the farmers come? Traditionally they would be from Rutland but now they come from further afield even as far as Spalding and Milton Keynes.

How has this changed? Uppingham had a livestock market held in the street weekly latterly taking place on a Thursday. This market finished in the late 1930s. In 1949 a group of local farmers decided to resurrect the Fatstock show and set up an organising committee and with the co-operation of the local council held it in the town’s Market Square. It is quite unusual to hold a livestock market in the main street of a town with the animals in temporary penning; we thought Uppingham was the only town to do this but understand there are a couple of others, Dartmouth and Winslow. We build the pens the day before the market and everything is cleared away by the middle of the afternoon on the day of the sale.

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Active life Image: Neal Wilson

people are very supportive, enjoying the tradition and the sight of the stock in the town square and local businesses enjoy the benefits of so many people visiting the town. We inform the local businesses eight months in advance of the date to avoid any clashes, chat to the police about the road closure and of course liaise with the town council. The fatstock committee always give Uppingham its Christmas tree as a thank you.

“Farmers would prepare their beasts for this market and would compete for the accolade of being the best in show.” When is the market and what actually happens on the day? This year it is on November 27. It is always held on a Wednesday in week 48 of the year which is usually the last Wednesday in November. The committee starts building the pens on Tuesday morning and by Wednesday morning at 6am everything is ready. Judging starts at 9.30am with prizes presented at 11.30am and the sale takes place at 12pm. Charles Richardson is the auctioneer and I’m his clerk. The market is then cleared and we all then retire to the Falcon for the

Fatstock lunch at about 2.30pm. This is open to the committee, judges, sponsors and exhibitors; we usually have about 180 people at the lunch including a guest speaker who this year is Gordon Corner who is head of the local NFU branch. For our centenary show Lord Vestey was our guest. We also have a raffle which usually raises enough funds to keep us solvent. It’s a good day for the town and everyone is welcome to come along and see the show; we are always keen for the local schools to come and have a look as well. The town’s

What is your role? I am the chairman of the committee and have been since 2013. I have been involved with the show for over 30 years, starting with helping to build the pens. My parents ran the Wheatsheaf pub and I’m born and bred in the town and remember as a child watching the pens being built for the show. I have a long history in the farming industry and with local livestock markets. When you’re not busy organising the Fatstock Show what do you do as a job? I am technical director of the Humane Slaughter Association, a charity that was founded in 1911. The charity works to improve the welfare of food animals during transport, marketing, slaughter and killing for disease control and welfare reasons. It works through research, education, training and technical advances to improve standards and bring practical and lasting improvements to the welfare of food animals around the world. It keeps me busy.

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LOCA L C H R I STM AS G I F TS !

I

N THE RUN up to Christmas why not take a look at our gift guide for inspiration on where to buy quirky, fun, practical or beautifully smelling presents. And best of all? They’re all locally made or sold. We’ve combed the local counties to find some brilliant independent businesses who would welcome our support this festive season. Come on, let’s start the Christmas ball rolling. And look out for late night shopping events. #shoplocal #happyChristmas #hohoho

The Grooming Room Taylors of Old Bond Street aftershave, shaving foam and gel, brushes and razors. Gift packs available Prices from £8.95 Contact: 01858 419666 / www.the-groomingroom.co.uk

Ada Gallery   Mountain inlay reclaimed wooden rhodium plated cufflinks Price: £37 Contact: 01858 461896 www.adagallery.co.uk

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Local Christmas Gifts Two Birds Gin Winter Fruits Gin – 37.5% Packed full of dried fruits, cloves, mixed spices, dark sugars, balanced with subtle notes of juniper berry. Price: £43 for 70cl and £14.50 for 20cl Contact: 01858 463758 / www.twobirdsspirits.co.uk

Bagel & Griff Charlotte Rhys bath & body range from South Africa Price: £10 to £45 Contact: 01858 468764 / www.bagelandgriff.com

Wilkinson Goldsmiths Vixi Lace statement pendant Price: £195 Contact: 01858 468 559 / www. wilkinsongoldsmiths.co.uk

MARKET HARBOROUGH, WISTOW AND LE ICESTE R

The Paint Pottle Prices from £10 in the shop and this piece £13 Contact 07900 090 851 / www.thepaintpottle.co.uk

George Hall Cycles SockGuy Tool Socks (other designs available) S/M (UK 4 - 8.5) L/XL (UK 9 - 12) Price: £10.95 Contact: 01858 465507 / www.georgehallscycles.co.uk

Leicester Running Shop On Waterproof and Windproof Anorak - ultralight and breathable, with elasticated hood tie, hidden vents for increased airflow and packs into its own inner pocket for easy portability Price: £320 Contact: 0116 270 8447 / www.leicesterrunningshop.co.uk

Inner Wolf, Wistow Ultimate survival hand warmer/emergency charger - great for dog walkers, camping, hiking and skiing Price: £29.99 Contact: 0116 337 3053 / www.innerwolf.co.uk

Keals Vintage hand drills converted into candle sticks turning practical into beautiful Prices from £35 Contact: 01858 419798 / www.kealsstudio.com

Mediterranean Deli, Wistow

Au Vodka Gold 70cl Inspired by gold, it combines British heritage and luxury ingredients to create ultra-premium vodka Price: £45.00 Contact: 0116 259 3441

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Local Christmas Gifts

Welland Vale Garden Inspirations Beautifully designed range of coasters, bowls and serving dishes. Plastic free, handmade from recycled materials, and British. The eco-friendly gift Price: from £12.99 Contact: 01572 822729 / www. wellandvalegardeninspirations. co.uk

One Way Out Escape rooms

Stapleford Park Real Luxury Neom Scented Candle. Choose from De-Stress, Feel Refreshed, Tranquility and Happiness Price: £32 for 1 wick/£45 for 3 wick Contact: 01572 898657 / www.staplefordpark.com

UPPINGHAM AND OAKHAM

Gift vouchers for a new uniquely themed escape room experience in Oakham Contact: 07825 138241 / www.onewayoutescape.com

Engine Yard, Belvoir Castle Duchess Gallery’s bone china ‘Heron Collection’ inspired by Bird & Flower wallpaper from The Kings Suite Price: from £15 Contact: 01476 871011 / www.engineyardbelvoir.com

Win or Lose Men’s striped Weekend Sock - a bold, cotton rich design, perfect to show your club or team colours Price: £9 per pair Contact: www.win-or-lose.com

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Local Christmas Gifts Mountain Warehouse Luna Mens’ Ski Pants insulated, made of IsoDry fabric with taped seams, adjustable waist and integrated snow gaiters Price: £59.99 from Stamford and Market Harborough stores Contact: 01780 481300 / 01858 419880

Karen Neale Illustrated gift cards, bags and prints Prices: £2.50/£8/£40 Contact: 07710 406 967 / www.karenneale.co.uk

Scotgate Mobility Cosyfeet slippers with secure velcro straps, supportive heel and wide fit Price: £27.50 Contact: 01780 763276 / www.scotgatemobility.co.uk

STAMFORD Stamford Heavenly Chocolates Handmade Christmas chocolates and truffles Price: £2.50 - £20 Contact: 01780 489364 / www.stamfordheavenlychocolates.co.uk

Tallington Lakes

Anna Couture Boutique Handmade leather bags designed by Dajana Rodriguez exclusive to Anna Couture Boutique. Price: From £100. Featured bag is Princessa in brown £239.00 Contact 01780 765174

Eivy Icecold Bloom baselayer tights With moisture wicking properties, stylish pattern, mid high waist and internal pocket Price: £54.99 Contact: 01778 381154 / www. tallingtonlakesproshop.com

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Be Appy :) Apps on our phones are useful and entertaining, but did you know they can help with your fitness levels too?

W

E ALL KNOW we should be doing at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week and for some of us that may be quite easy. But sometimes, because of various circumstances - including motivation - many of us struggle to find that time. We need a helping hand to push us that bit further, or an incentive to start moving in the first place. Welcome to the world of apps; there are a huge variety of them linked to your smartphone or tablet, that are easy to use, motivational and - above all - fun. From sitting and standing to walking, running and cycling, there’s an app out there for everyone; here are just a few we’ve put to the test.

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Fitness apps

Dave and Rebekah Budenberg find themselves on the right path in Scotland using the ViewRanger app WE WERE GOING to Scotland for a walking holiday so decided to try the ViewRanger app: it covers the whole country; lets you download and save maps, finds your GPS location as well as lots more. Twice during the week the app proved as useful, if not more so, than the maps we always carry. We were high up on Liathach when the weather changed and visibility was low. We decided to turn back as we knew ahead meant walking on ridges where visibility is vital. The ViewRanger app allowed us to pinpoint our exact location and to confidently navigate a safe route down. Yes, we could have done this with a map (and I would still always take one

with me) but the app, using GPS, helped us navigate contour by contour. Secondly our slightly out of date paper map showed us the footpath, but on the ground it wasn’t marked at all. We plodded on using the paper OS map but it didn’t feel right. We looked at the ViewRanger, found our exact position and realised we had overshot our path so followed the app to find the missed point, saving us a lot of extra walking. The app allows you to route plan, save routes, follow route guides, see photographs of features on the maps, share routes, track times and distances and much more. The ViewRanger website is very informative and inspirational. This is a great app, we can’t rate it highly enough. The only downside is that the annual subscription (approximately £25 for the UK-wide app) only runs on one device. www.viewranger.com.

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Lisa Chauhan squeezes in some exercise while working at her desk

Catherine Searcy goes from couch to 5k with encouragement from Olympian Michael Johnson  

WHEN I BEGAN running in January 2019 it took me two weeks to realise I needed some structure. I’d set myself a target of running at least a mile a day for a year but spent the first 14 days charging round Market Harborough like a hare or a tortoise, neither of which I could sustain as I just didn’t have the fitness. I’d heard about a Couch to 5k app that had a choice of celebrity ‘trainers’ so downloaded the free ‘One You Couch to 5k’ app from Public Health England which aims to take you from beginner to running for 30 minutes and/or 5k continuously. With American Olympian Michael Johnson as my coach I started the nine-week programme hoping I’d easily make progress and my mile a day would soon be achievable. With the app set to run alongside my own music playlist any instructions from the ‘coach’ played over a muted song which meant once I got going I didn’t need to stop/start my music and wasn’t reliant on someone else’s playlist. I used some inexpensive Bluetooth headphones whilst running, but if there are a few people you could easily use a small personal speaker. Each week is split into three runs and you can skip, pause or repeat each part. I won’t lie, some of even the most basic runs were difficult (they do get easier) and the gentle ‘OK, you can walk now’ was always very welcome. When you finally run continuously for 30 minutes it’s a great feeling, I never thought I’d do it but if you follow the instructions from the coach you will manage it. If you struggle on one run, go back and repeat it, if you miss a week, go back and repeat your previous week; the app is completely adaptable. I used the app running outside, on the treadmill at the gym and whilst doing parkruns. When starting out, I wasn’t comfortable joining a running club so the app gave me the professional guidance I needed. www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/articles/2BN5HYHCwVPS1Krvzsk5wB2/ the-couch-to-5k-challenge-makeyourmove

SINCE TAKING OVER Active magazine and working from home my lifestyle has completely changed. I used to walk to work, into town at lunchtimes and walk home again. It wasn’t far but at least it got me out into the fresh air and moving. I also enjoyed lunchtime yoga classes at the Broad Street Practice. Now, having relocated both my home and work away from Stamford my free time involves a lot of gardening, as I try to whip my lovely new garden into shape. But I’m also spending hours and hours at my desk and have to remind myself to get up and move regularly. Luckily my Apple watch forces me to do just that (and to drink more water) but charging up and down the stairs gets a bit boring so I was on the lookout for something to do while sitting at my desk and came across the portable Activ5 and training app. It’s a hand held device that measures how much applied pressure you put on it for each exercise and sends the data to the mobile app via Bluetooth. By copying the postures and applying pressure on the device half of your body works against the other half, so doubling the intensity of the workout. It tests your level of force before you do each exercise and calibrates each workout to your strength level. This way it personalises over 100 different workouts for your ability and for each muscle group. The app coaches you through each exercise so you do it correctly. You follow the coaching curve for each exercise by applying different amounts of pressure on the device. It’s really addictive, you just want to hit the red circles on the curved line – like targets on a video game. I found the workouts fairly easy to grasp and each one is only about five minutes long, so I have no excuse. You can sit, stand or do some yoga or Pilates poses while doing the exercises. Your results and improvements are tracked, which is also addictive. The Activ5 is portable so I could take it anywhere but so far I’ve restricted it to the office! www.activbody.com/fitness-activ5

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Fitness apps

Gary Waterfall gets swifter on his bike even in horrendous weather I’VE ENDURED PLENTY of adverse weather conditions over the years; skin is, after all, waterproof. But cycling in the cold and wet on muddy slippery roads isn’t that appealing any more so my cycling fitness would deteriorate over the winter making it hard to get going the next spring. Last winter I turned to two gadgets to keep me up to speed until the weather improved. There is no substitute for getting out on the road, but if the weather - or time - is not kind to you this winter there is an alternative. I purchased a Tacx Flux Smart Turbo Trainer from Rutland Cycling and haven’t looked back. Simple to set up and easy to use, it allowed me to keep fitter last winter than ever before. Once set up, all you need to do is remove your back wheel and attach the bike to the Turbo Trainer; it’s fiddly at first but gets easier with practice. Once you are on the bike pedalling connected to a fitness app - I use Zwift you quickly forget about the horrible conditions outside as you become immersed in the indoor experience. Unlike roller based turbo trainers the Tacx is much quieter and very little vibration passes through floorboards if using upstairs. The resistance is automatically changed in response to the fitness app you pair with; hills aplenty if you want. I paired my Trainer with Zwift, a subscription based

service that mixes the pleasure and physical intensity of cycling with the fun of cycling in a virtual world. Pairing through Bluetooth needs a little thought in terms of devices. Younger eyes can just use an iPhone/android device on the handlebars to watch the action, look at effort levels and when the hills are coming. I mirror my iPhone through an old apple TV onto my TV; 4th Gen Apple TV is the best solution as it already has an app installed (pay attention Father Christmas). It is possible to watch on a laptop but you will need to interact with the app whilst riding to get the most from it; and then, enjoy. Ride through a futuristic New York Park with other virtual riders or across the mountains outside Innsbruck. 80+ routes and lots of structured workouts give a new experience each time and you can match the ride to your available time. I can assure you the hills still hurt, you can rest downhill and still get the benefits of drafting (yes you really can!) But, you won’t need to put your feet on the radiator to thaw out afterwards, or wait for a dry spell to wash the mud off your treasured bike. www.zwift.com

“Ride through a futuristic New York Park with other virtual riders or across the mountains outside Innsbruck.” November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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ActiveBody E DI T E D BY K AT E M A X I M

Daylight Gives Density Once bone density has been measured, Nutritional Therapist from Archway Health Hub Sheila Storer recommends the next best steps to optimum bone health

H

AVING ESTABLISHED YOUR current bone density (see the October issue) the next step is to determine what to do nutritionally to preserve and/or rebuild bone. This will vary with each individual and may involve more tests to find out the causes or contributing factors to any current or future bone loss. Ideally a new bone density scan will be done again in a year’s time for anyone with low density or in three years’ time for someone with normal levels. The kind of things that I will look for include how well a person’s body is using calcium. If we don’t have enough vitamin D the body stores calcium rather than using it which then results in calcium deposits around the body. Calcium can be deposited in the bones causing them to become brittle (just depositing it rather than building bone), and in the arteries leading to high blood pressure as they become less flexible. Calcium can be deposited in joints leading to joint pain as well as many other sites around the body, and it is also a nutritional supply for cancer cells so it is really important to ensure calcium is being utilised as it should be. As well as vitamin D, there are many other nutrients that are required to help with proper calcium utilisation. It is possible to find out if you are storing calcium by doing a hair mineral analysis test, which will show high levels in the hair if calcium is being deposited. With this knowledge steps can be taken to break down and get rid of excess calcium using nutrition and supplements. A regular vitamin D test is also useful. Another thing I would consider is how well a person’s digestion is working; it is possible to go through life not knowing what is normal and what isn’t. Excess ear wax can be a sign that you have developed food intolerances. Other symptoms that are likely to be linked to digestion are headaches, fatigue, allergies, itchy skin, and many others including the obvious IBS symptoms. If we are not fully digesting foods it can lead to low intake of minerals and vitamins which can again affect bone density. For those looking to improve or protect their bones for the future, digestion is a key element. Apart from the signs and symptoms of poor digestion a test for food intolerances is really useful as it gives definite details of which foods

are a problem and is also a pretty good indicator as to the level that digestion is not working. When considering bone density something that is generally overlooked is what actually draws minerals out of the bone, causing them to lose density. One of the big culprits is over acidity in the body: when this happens the body reacts by instructing bone cells to release minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorous to create a ‘mop’ for the acidity. Acidity is heavily influenced by the foods we eat and what we drink. Some things that cause acidity include red meat, saturated fat, alcohol, wheat, coffee, tea and dairy products; you’ll notice that fruit and vegetables are not on the list! It is easy to test your acidity regularly by testing your urine or saliva first thing in the morning with PH strips. For an initial consultation with Sheila contact Archway Health Hub on 01858 410820. Price £75. For a mobile bone density scan contact finola. macsweeney@btinternet.com or 07957 568838

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ActiveBody

Hoppity Hoppity Hop Physiotherapist Sarah Babbs from Stamford’s Broad Street Practice explains about bone density and how we can help keep it healthy

B

ONES ARE LIVING parts of our bodies which are constantly being remodelled throughout our lives. Bone cells known as osteoblasts and osteoclasts make this happen. The osteoblasts lay down new bone and the osteoclasts break bone down to allow for renewal. When young the bones change as we grow but as we age the balance changes a little and to put it simply, bone being laid down doesn’t keep up with that being remodelled. This is particularly apparent in osteoporosis when the bone becomes more fragile so more vulnerable to breakages from more minor injuries. The change in bone renewal begins at around the age of 30 but there are other factors involved in who is more likely to be affected by osteoporosis. Sedentary lifestyle, some medications, poor diet, very low weight and menopause all increase the risk. Often the first indication that there is a problem with bone mass is when someone has a light stumble but rather than an ankle sprain, a

Lower impact

fracture occurs. Bone density is measured by scanning with measurements showing normal bone density, osteopenia where bone is fragile and osteoporosis where there is further fragility or when a fracture may have already occurred. The good news, it is well documented that exercise helps to both maintain and improve bone health and can even reverse some of the changes seen. The best exercises are weight bearing with resistance or weight training. They can be divided into low, moderate and high impact. For those who have already had osteoporotic fractures, low impact exercises are recommended and include walking, marching, climbing stairs and using light weights for upper arm strength as well as walking poles when walking. For those with osteopenia, moderate and some high impact exercises are appropriate and these are shown in the chart below.

Moderate impact

High impact

Walks Highland dancing Basketball Brisk walking Jogging or running Volleyball Marching Team and racket sports Track events Stair climbing Skipping and hopping Star jumps Gentle heel drops Low level jumping Tuck jumps Stamping Vigorous heel drops and stamping High level jumps

However as we all know, exercise is always good. For all of us, especially those with risk factors, high impact exercises are the very best way to prevent osteoporosis. The recommended level for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and strength exercises at least twice a week. These exercises can be varied and of course it is always better to choose ones you enjoy as you are most likely to actually do them. Also important is exercise to improve balance and co-ordination as this will limit the risk of falls which can lead to fractures. Many people find classes helpful, if only for the discipline of taking exercise. Any class using weights and bounce, including good old aerobics, are excellent and yoga and Pilates also can be useful. The main caveat for those with osteoporosis is to avoid loaded flexion ie forward bending under strain or loaded weight. Cycling and swimming are also good exercise with excellent cardiovascular and muscle strength effects but are not best for bone strength because of the lower impact. A study in 2015 showed that weight training with low weight and lots of repetitions can increase bone density up to 22 percent in post menopausal women and up to 29 percent in people with osteopenia. I rather love the simplicity of another study that had women between 25 and 50 hopping at least 10 times twice a day, with 30 seconds between each hop, and found that they significantly increased their hip bone density after four months. Another group who hopped 20 times daily, showed even greater gains. So whether you are in the gym, out running or just hopping about, you will be keeping those bones and body strong with regular exercise. To make an appointment with Sarah ring the Broad Street Practice on 01780 480889 or contact her direct on 07780 900201. Visit the Royal Osteoporosis website for more information www.theros.org

“The change in bone renewal begins at around the age of 30 but there are other factors involved in who is more likely to be affected” November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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ActiveBody

Myth Busting This month World Duathlon champion and local girl Claire Steels, director of Steels Fitness, busts some commonly held myths held by people about the fitness journey

CUTTING OUT GLUTEN IS GREAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Gluten is a combination of proteins found in foods such as bread, pizza, pasta, etc, and is often blamed for weight gain, or at least an inability to lose weight. When people go gluten-free they often cut out foods like bread, pasta and processed snacks which can - not surprisingly - result in weight loss. However that weight loss should be attributed to an overall reduction in calories, as well as a reduction in fat as foods containing gluten are often high in both. Caution should be used when consuming the gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods and snacks. It is easy to assume that these are in some way healthier so people often eat larger portions of them when they can, in fact, contain higher numbers of both calories and fat than the original food.

MORE SWEAT DURING YOUR WORKOUT MEANS YOU’RE BURNING MORE CALORIES

Some of you may have seen people pulling on the layers and jumping on the treadmill, or even going to the extremes of wearing plastic bin liners or tracksuit tops to increase their sweat rate in a bid to burn more calories. You might sweat more but that shouldn’t be associated with a greater calorie deficiency or a more beneficial workout. With phrases like “feel the burn” and “burning calories” it is easy to associate the concept of heat with a successful workout. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down and this process is unique for all of us. People will sweat at different rates and different stages of training, even when doing the same workout.

WEIGHT TRAINING MAKES WOMEN BULKY AND BIG

Lifting heavy weights will help women to develop strength but it won’t cause them to bulk up overnight. Developing huge gains in muscle mass requires testosterone levels that

“Lifting heavy weights will help women to develop strength but it won’t cause them to bulk up overnight.” women simply don’t have even if they are following a strict strength training programme. Extreme increases in calories (by thousands and thousands per day) alongside a strength training programme will almost certainly see gains in size but this will be as a result of a conscious effort and not something that has happened by chance.

NUTRIENT TIMING OR ‘YOU MUST EAT STRAIGHT AFTER YOUR WORKOUT’

We’ve all heard that it is important to refuel with carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after exercise, but recent research now suggests that we have a much longer window and that as long as we eat a balanced meal within the next few hours the majority of us can adequately refuel. If you are enjoying a double training day then you may need to get fuel in faster so that you are ready to train again later the same day, but this isn’t the case for most people.

YOU CAN TARGET FAT BURNING IN CERTAIN AREAS

Sadly you cannot cherry pick the areas that you want to burn fat from. You can improve strength, balance and stability in certain areas by exercising the muscles but unfortunately you won’t burn fat from those areas. So doing core exercises will not reduce fat levels around your stomach but will increase strength, balance and stability. These exercises will also increase muscle tone which will be visible with reduced levels of body fat. Burning calories through regular and consistent full body training and an improvement in diet will likely lead to a reduction of all over body fat levels. For more information on Steel’s Fitness Retreats, personal training, her 12 week training programme or to enrol on her Majorcan Cycling Retreat go to info@ steelsfitness.com

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Active Kids E DI T E D BY M A RY BR E M N E R

Leicester Grammar pupils enjoy D of E expedition LEICESTER GRAMMAR SCHOOL students recently enjoyed their gold D of E qualifying expedition in the Lake District. The students camped at night and walked miles during the day, often in inclement weather. All students managed to complete their qualifying expedition, despite some challenging conditions and have learnt a great deal, faced their own personal challenges and had a great adventure at the same time in some beautiful countryside.

New Outdoor Learning Area for Witham Hall School WITHAM HALL SCHOOL has recently held a grand opening for their new outdoor learning area. The area offers the chance for pre prep children to enjoy sensory learning, mechanics, sound, weather, role play and physical dexterity as well as having lots of fun too.

Mayor Visits Leighfield THE CHILDREN AT Leighfield Primary School in Uppingham thoroughly enjoyed participating in Hello Yellow Day, a day that is organised by Young Minds, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and support for the positive mental health and wellbeing of young people. Staff and pupils dressed up in yellow and met the Mayor of Uppingham and raised ÂŁ315 for the charity whilst enjoying a day of exciting and creative activities.

November 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active Kids

Cross Country Success WITHAM HALL’S CROSS COUNTRY senior teams - boys and girls - have recently been successful in the Fenland League with Eliza winning the U13 race and Alexandra coming third despite only being 11. Jack finished second in the boys U13 race, well done everyone.

Congratulations Tom Robert Smyth Academy celebrates their annual Open Evening STAFF AND STUDENTS at Robert Smyth Academy are celebrating after a record number of families visited the school during their recent annual Open Evening for year 6 children and their families. During the evening students visited different faculties where they were able to participate in activities including printing their name on a bag, laser cutting, turning water into wine, meeting an historic king, coding and trampolining as well as sampling the school restaurant’s food, listening to the school’s band ‘Soul Patrol’ and listening to the Principal, Mr Dan Cleary’s presentations. One parent said: ‘We were very impressed by the focus on a ‘rounded education.’ The school had excellent facilities and extremely welcoming staff and students who all showed a strong community feel.’

LEICESTER GRAMMAR PUPIL Tom Dixon who is in year 10 has recently been selected to represent Great Britain in the Biathle World Championships in Florida after finishing second in the UK Biathle Championships this summer. Biathle is part of the modern pentathlon Olympic programme and is closely linked to Tom’s favourite, the triathlon. Tom has now been invited to join the East Midlands Triathlon Academy which is the first step on the Performance Pathway Programme for elite athletes.

UCC are a sporty lot UPPINGHAM COMMUNITY COLLEGE is actively encouraging their latest intake of year 7s to join the many sports clubs and activities they have on offer. Last year they had 345 pupils playing competitive sports fixtures and hope to make it even higher this academic year. This sporty lot, 38% of them, played competitive sport as part of Team Leicestershire competitions, the highest statistics in the county.

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Active Kids

Well done Eddie STAMFORD SCHOOL SPORTS scholar Eddie Harper has been selected for the men’s Great Britain hockey elite development squad for the 2019/20 season. The squad is made up of 34 players and selection forms a passage to the GB senior training squad accelerating the development of future medal winning Olympians. Eddie represented England at U18 throughout the 2018/19 season playing in many international matches including the Six Nations competition in Eindhoven and is now one of 25 players in the final England U18 squad. As well as playing hockey for the school Eddie plays for Cambridge City’s first team who are in the National League.

Ava’s Success CONGRATULATIONS TO WITHAM’S Ava who is in year 4. She recently competed in the working pony class at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead with her pony Greendown Ozzy and came third.

Oakhamians Make Their Debuts THREE HOCKEY PLAYERS from Oakham School recently made their debuts at the National League Club in Leicester and the National Premier League Club at Beeston. Margot, Ellie-Mae and Becca have been playing for the clubs’ junior programmes for many years and have now progressed to the seniors where they will experience some highly competitive matches.

LGJS Infant Harvest Assembly PROUD PARENTS AND relatives enjoyed watching the children in Key stage 1 at Leicester Grammar Junior School at their infant harvest assembly recently. Harvest offerings will be given to the Jubilee Food Bank in Market Harborough which provides food for local people in need.

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GEORGE HALLS CYCLE CENTRE 10-12 Northampton Road, Market Harborough, Leics, LE16 9HE. 01858 465507 www.georgehallscycles.co.uk georgehallscycle@aol.com

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Learn about ice hockey | The JET Ride Readers step up to the challenge | Local club updates

ActiveSport On your bike! This month Richard Mackintosh recommends a challenging route of 45 miles and 2100 ft elevation, with plenty of watering holes and resting places on the way

BARROWDEN

THORPE BY WATER

MEDBOURNE

WESTON BY WELLAND FOXTON

GREAT BOWDEN

S

TART IN BARROWDEN and head northwest towards Morcott, then take the first left up the Seaton Road. Join the B672 passing under the Harringworth viaduct, past Thorpe by Water onto Caldecott where you briefly join the A6003. Head towards Great Easton, then in the village take the first left just before the village shop carrying on to Medbourne. Join the B664 Ashley road to Weston by Welland where you turn right toward Welham. Crossing the bridge turn left to Thorpe Langton and the B6047. Turn left down the hill and just after passing under the railway bridge turn right, towards and into Foxton village. Head to the bottom of the locks and enjoy a rest and the refreshments available as you watch the canal boats transit the two staircases of five Locks.

GRETTON

CALDECOTT

ROCKINGHAM

Distance: 44.79miles Elevation: 2084ft Ride type: Road

Leave the Locks as you came in, back up to the Gumley road junction, turn left and then take a right towards Gartree prison and on to Great Bowden. Head for the very busy A6 roundabout (take care here) take the A427 for 50 metres before turning left onto the B664, through Sutton Bassett, back to Weston by Welland then towards Medbourne again. Turn right to Ashley, pass through the village heading for Middleton. Turn left and follow the B670 up the hill through Cottingham and Rockingham, carry on through Gretton, Harringworth and then to Wakerley where you turn left back to Barrowden. https://www.strava.com/routes/21885595

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The JETRide

The inaugural JETRide was held on September 22, Mary Bremner caught up with Duncan Mason who organised it

T

HE INAUGURAL JETRIDE was held on September 22, starting and finishing at RAF Cranwell; it was a charity cycle ride of either 50 or 80 miles organised by Duncan Mason who is a trustee of the Jon Egging Trust. Many of you might recognise the name Jon Egging. He was the red arrow pilot who sadly lost his life during a display in August 2011. Dunc is an ex red arrow pilot and ex Battle of Britain Memorial Flight BBMF leader and worked with Jon on the harriers at Wittering shortly before Jon joined the reds. Shortly after Jon’s death that October, Dunc was part of a team of BBMF and red arrow pilots, as well as some from the Blades Aerobatic team, who took part in the 400 in 4 cycle ride across Britain from St David’s to Lowestoft. Jon was supposed to be one of the cyclists but his widow Emma joined them instead.

‘I’d flown over Jon’s wedding and sadly, his funeral in a spitfire so knew Jon well but hadn’t got to know Emma until that ride. When we finished I said ‘right let’s do Land’s End to John O’Groats next year,’ and she agreed. Since then we have done a number of personal cycling challenges but this year decided to do something different. We obviously want to raise as many funds as we can for the Jon Egging Trust which was set up shortly after his death. I suggested to the other trustees that I organise a sportif and the ride grew from there. We called it the JETRide as it tied in well with both the Trust and the aircraft Jon flew. ‘The ride started and finished at Cranwell because of its excellent facilities but it also gave riders the chance to ride in front of the officers’ mess, College Hall, which is a fabulous building, something many people

Jon Egging lost his life in 2011

do not get to do, even those in the RAF. There was also a flypast by the Avro Lancaster from the BBMF which thankfully happened as the weather was kind to us. Many ex Reds rode in the sportif and many, many more riders joined us; 250 in all. So far we have raised over £15,000 for the Jon Egging Trust with more money coming in as we speak.’

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ActiveSport ‘The Jon Egging Trust was set up by his widow Emma to help young people aged 12-16 who are facing adversity and to help them be the best they can be.’

The Jon Egging Trust was set up by his widow Emma to help young people aged 12-16 who are facing adversity and to help them be the best they can be. The charity’s vision is that all young people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Children are identified by schools who have signed up to the blue skies programme. This programme has helped thousands of

youngsters already. They meet inspirational figures, be it from the RAF, sporting stars, CEOs of big defence companies; all people who are happy to give their time. The idea is to build confidence, help develop teamwork and leadership skills leading to work experience and more employment opportunities. To do this the Trust needs to raise funds,

Ballet Classes

hence the JETRide which proved to be a great success due to Dunc’s hard work; ably assisted by Graham Pemberton and Linda Willis. The ride was such a success that plans are already afoot for next year. The route will be changed and Dunc hopes for 500 riders in 2020. Watch this space, we will keep you informed about dates. www.joneggingtrust.co.uk

AFB Dance Studio, Melton Road, LE16 7TG www.afbdanceacademy.co.uk info@afbdanceacademy.co.uk 07722 571121

Nursery Dance from 2.5 years Children and teens ballet Adult ballet and Silver Swans for over-55's

Get in touch to book a FREE taster session November 2019 / theactivemag.com 59

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CHALLENGES

Champagne All Round All our challengers have achieved their goals this month, so it’s congratulations to everyone

Charlie the Iron Man Three years ago Charlie Reading set himself a goal to complete an Ironman; last month he did just that

AFTER 10 MONTHS of training more than 10 hours a week I was heading to Cervia in Italy to fulfil my goal of completing an Ironman; that’s a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride, finishing off with a marathon; and now my time had come, I was nervous and excited. On race day I was in transition by 6.30am getting my final bike checks done, applying body glide to avoid sores and donning my wetsuit before heading to the beach and a calm Adriatic Sea. Once the pros were in, the rolling start of the age groupers (me and 3,000 other people) commenced, with six athletes entering the water every five seconds, by 8am I was in the water. The swim went well. I’d targeted 1 hour 15 minutes for the swim and did it in 1 hour 5 so was delighted. And I felt good. I didn’t get the bike element of the transition right and wasted a good couple of minutes faffing with gloves and not putting my helmet on soon enough. The ride was a mostly flat 112 miles and I’d set an average speed of 18mph. I was delighted to have maintained an average speed of over 20mph so finished 30 minutes ahead of target. Even better, I was still feeling good. I had spent the time on the bike loading up with energy bars and salt tablets, in preparation for a hot marathon. Transition from bike to run went more smoothly and I was soon running through the streets of Cervia. My plan for the marathon was a Run/Walk/Run strategy, something I did whilst running the Brighton marathon earlier this year. I’d run for nine minutes, walk for one and repeat. My legs still felt good on the second of the four 6.5 mile laps, but my stomach was not. All those energy bars, gels and isotonic drinks were starting to slosh around inside me. The third lap was when I started to hit some dark places. My stomach was feeling worse, and even flat coke, a good solution for an upset stomach was making it worse. I knew that my stomach was the biggest risk to me not finishing the race, so for the fourth and final lap I decided to not eat or drink anything and hope I had enough inside to get me to the line. This theory worked for the first three miles of the final 6.5-mile stretch and I started to feel better. Then came the exhaustion and I was now counting down each and every minute until I could walk for a minute. I knew I had to now give everything I had left to finish as quickly as possible, so I did and as I crossed the finish line, my watch said 10 hours and 58 minutes. Amazing. Sadly, the official timing chip didn’t agree, and my official time was 11 hours and 1 minute but I’d easily beaten my target of 12 hours. All I could do at that point was sit and take a moment. I had given everything and I just needed five minutes to collect my thoughts before I went off to celebrate with my loyal supporters. Would I do it again? Quite probably, watch this space…

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The Deloitte Ride Celia de Blasi Celia recently cycled from Geneva to Champagne and tells us how she got on I HAVE RETURNED to tell the tale, and what an amazing experience it was. A group of 22 amateur cyclists, including me, cycled from Geneva to Champagne to raise funds for Ferblanc, a charity that raises money for the advancement of neurological research. I was nervous about the cycling, as we would be averaging 80 miles a day for four days, but had been training since March so I’d put the hours in. The scenery was stunning, the people positive and the challenge was epic. Catering and accommodation throughout the trip was fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve also raised over £3,200 and together we’ve raised over £65,000. It was a great challenge and worth all the training. Will I get back on a bike? Probably… https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CeliaDeBlasi www.ferblanc.org

Jarred Lester and Stuart Hill have both completed the Deloitte Ride across Britain, Jarred tells us how he got on WHEN I TOLD people I was going to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats most people said I was mad. But I trained hard for 10 months so knew that I was ready; but cycling for nine days solid covering 110 miles a day was going to be tough. The ride mainly went to plan but there were times when I had to dig deeper than I have ever dug before to keep going. Finding my limits and really challenging myself has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. I found the ride tougher mentally than physically and didn’t suffer from any injuries. The event was incredibly well organised, with lots of support; the only downside was sleeping in a one man tent at night. I’m 6ft 3in so pulling on the lycra in the mornings wasn’t easy! Britain is stunning. Highlights included climbing Cheddar Gorge and Scotland’s fabulous lochs. Disappointingly it did rain a lot and I had a few mechanical issues with my bike but I’m delighted that I’ve beaten my target of £2,500 raised for Macmillan. … and now Stuart. One of the things that amazed me most was the scale of the event. For nine days I was part of a gigantic peloton of nearly a thousand riders, hundreds of staff, support vehicles, tents and supplies, steadily rolling our way from Land’s End to John O’Groats. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and am delighted that so far I’ve raised £2,975 for Prostate Cancer UK and am hoping to get that above £3,000. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartHill19

Active wants to hear from you If you have set yourself a challenge, be it the most simple to the most ambitious, we want to hear from you. Get in touch well before your challenge date then we can follow your training, trials and tribulations as well as your actual triumph. Email mary@theactivemag.com

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The World’s Longest Pug Crawl Two friends have recently completed the Mongol Rally and things didn’t go quite to plan

H

ARRY STORER AND Joe Hellman had heard about the Mongol Rally and fancied doing it; driving 10,000 miles to Ulan Ude in Siberia in a clapped out old banger with an engine size of less than 1.2 litres. But they also wanted to raise money for a mental health charity - something close to both their hearts - and chose Stem4 a small charity where they knew their donation would be much appreciated and put to good use. But first of all they had to get prepared. They had to get hold of an old banger so found an old Peugeot 205 GL 1.1L which they then pimped to make sure it was able to cope with the hazardous conditions, adding a steel sump guard as well as many other modifications. That was the easy part. From December onwards they planned their route to allow time to apply for visas. This was tricky as for many they had to specify the exact dates they would arrive and depart from the country; hard to tell when you are driving an old banger, don’t know what the roads are like and exact distances. Their last visa, the Mongolian one, arrived the day before they left to get to the start, so it was tight! The boys set off on July 21 and made good time across Europe enjoying the camaraderie of driving in a convoy with the other ralliers. Once they left Instanbul things began to get more interesting. Iran was Harry’s favourite country; the people were incredibly friendly and despite having to stay in set hotels with a guide they were able to chat to the locals. The heat was hard to cope with, over 52

degrees at one point causing the car to overheat. To combat this they had to put the heater on! Driving the Pamir Highway was another high point, literally and figuratively. The second highest highway in the world and it was breathtaking. They were now travelling in convoy with a team called Genghis Can’t Stop Us who proved very helpful as the Pug (their car) was struggling with a lack of power, so their companions would help push the car up some of the hills. There were low points along the way. Joe was mugged near Ulaanbaatr in Mongolia and when the boys were driving into the evening on the Ulaanbaatr to Ulan Ude road they hit a pothole hard, bending a steel rim so decided to call it a night and camp at the top of a hill. A bad move as the conditions, already atrocious, got worse. Thunder and lightning surrounded them so they decided they were safer in the car than the tent; they survived a long, tense and scary night. The following day didn’t get any better. The car was limping along managing no more than 30kmh when they hit a huge bump damaging the sump guard, causing the engine to basically drop out, signing the car’s death warrant. They were in the middle of nowhere with 450km to go to the finish line. But these enterprising young men didn’t give up, a Russian team ‘Fools and Roads’ came to their rescue and towed them to the finish. They had made it, albeit with a helping hand. The boys had the experience of their lives, saw countries and met people who made a life long impression and along the way have raised over £7,000 for their charity. If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause go to https://stem4.charitycheckout.co.uk/pf/joeh-harrys

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ActiveSport

Spotlight on Ice Hockey We learn about Ice Hockey from local team Peterborough Phantoms

I

CE HOCKEY HAS been played in the UK since the beginning of the 20th century. Britain was a founder member of the world governing body, the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation), which was formed in 1908. The first game between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was held on March 16 1900, when Oxford won 7-6. The sport continued to increase in popularity during the 1930s with the opening of large indoor arenas at Wembley, Haringey and Earls Court. Teams were mostly full of Canadian professionals, many of whom went on to compete in the NHL (National Hockey League). Ice hockey is now considered the most popular indoor sport in the United Kingdom and regarded as the fastest growing winter sport. The game is played with five skaters and one goalie on the ice for each team at one time, but teams have up to 19 skaters and rotate players. The game is split into three 20-minute periods, but the clock stops each time the referee blows their whistle. The aim, like football, is to score more goals than the other team but, unlike football, ice hockey matches do not end in a draw. If the score is level at the end of the 60 minutes, five minutes of overtime are played. If no one wins in overtime, the result is decided on penalty shots. The top league in Britain is the Elite Ice Hockey League and below that is the NIHL National division. The Elite League attracts players from all over the world, some of whom have previously played at the top level of ice hockey, the NHL in America, whilst the NIHL consists mainly of British players, who are accompanied by imported players, mainly from Europe. The Great Britain team has enjoyed success in recent years. In 2018, they were promoted

to the top division in International hockey by winning their group. In 2019, they dramatically won their final game 4-3 against France to ensure their place in this top division which contains teams like USA, Canada, Finland and Russia, staffed almost entirely by well-established NHL players, but Great Britain defied the odds and secured their place in the division for at least another year. The Peterborough Phantoms are the only team local to the area competing in the NIHL National League. Formed in 2002, the Phantoms replaced the Peterborough Pirates, who were established in 1982. The Phantoms have always competed in this second tier and have enjoyed plenty of success in recent years.

In 2008/9 the Phantoms won the league, cup and playoff treble, in one of the most historic years in the club’s history. In 2014/15, they won the playoffs for the first time since the treble winning season, beating Manchester Phoenix in the final at Planet Ice, Coventry. The 2018/19 season was also an extremely successful one for the Phantoms, as they won another treble, the NIHL Autumn Cup, NIHL South Cup and the South playoffs, before losing out on a fourth trophy in overtime in the final. This year, the Phantoms are competing in the newly formed NIHL National division, which has brought together teams from around the country, scrapping the regionalised formation of the previous league. The season is expected to be close between all ten teams, with no clear stand out winners and no obvious weak links, so it’s going to be exciting. There has never been a better time to get involved with ice hockey, especially in Peterborough. The team play the majority of their home games on Sunday evenings at 5:30pm, at Planet Ice Peterborough. For more information, visit www.gophantoms.co.uk.

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ActiveSport

Jeremy Smithson-Beswick catches up with news from some of our local clubs

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OTH STAMFORD AND Oakham rugby clubs will have started their pre-season preparations with an aspiration, if not an expectation, of promotion from East Midlands Three in this year’s campaign. Stamford were desperately unlucky to miss out on elevation last term and Oaks’ narrow relegation down from the second tier will have them itching to return to the higher level - to which they surely belong. Early results from these two avowed rivals were in contrast however, as Stamford swept all before them in the league whilst Oaks stuttered. Seasoned observers know that early form can be misleading at this level of rugby with many of the younger players yet to return from university and some of the older hands a little rusty - but there’s no doubt which side has bagged early bragging rights. After an early setback in the form of an exit from the Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire Cup at the hands of Spalding, Stamford started their league fixtures with a comfortable away win at Daventry, scoring five tries from Dan Griffin, Gary Ramsden, James O’Shea and new recruits Iain Downer and Lewis Nettleton. Ramsden was also on the score sheet the following weekend at home to Dunstablians as his try, together with those from Bruce Parker, skipper Robbie Smith and James Stables ensured Austin Schwarz’s men landed a 26-8 bonus point win having been behind for much of the first half. Both Ramsden and his side then went on to complete a hat trick at Huntingdon with the former scoring their opening try in their 34-12 win. The pick of their scores, however, came from Dan Heard who caught

seven days later, in a 51-19 reverse that ex-president Keith Crellin called a poor performance which had “highlighted several weaknesses” and left the club “alarmed”. Let’s hope that was just an off day as they did then go on to recover somewhat by beating St Neots 32-18.

Huntingdon’s restart for the second half and evaded the entire home side to touch down under the posts for a fantastic individual try he will remember well into his old age. It was so good, the same may well be said for some of the spectators. Oaks started brightly with an emphatic home win against Queens by 40-14 but were then beaten in the Midlands Vase at Manor Park by an even more convincing 53-12. It was scarcely better at Rushden and Higham

We’re blessed with some great rugby clubs in our area – and Stamford Old Boys, Deepings and Bourne will feature next month – but we’re perhaps even more flush with terrific golf courses, few better than Stoke Rochford, just a few miles up the A1. Known as a course for all seasons because you can still typically play there when other venues are waterlogged and with permanent greens all year round due to excellent drainage, they’re on a mission to attract new members of both genders. Chair of the Commercial Committee, Glyn Staines, told me “we’re doing whatever we can to introduce people of all ages to golf”.

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ActiveSport

This includes starting a short course format to cut typical round time to two hours rather than four and a more informal feel around the place with ties and jackets no longer required – smart casual being the order of the day – and a spike bar so players can more easily relax and socialise afterwards. Last month they hosted charity events for Children in Need and Macmillan Nurses and Glyn’s so confident that you’ll enjoy yourself there he said “if you play once I guarantee you’ll come back”. If you’ve ever considered taking up the game you could do worse than to contact the club professional for an introductory lesson - for which they’ll supply the clubs. Elsewhere, their colleagues at Rutland County and Greetham Valley managed to maintain friendly relations by halving a recent match at the latter which means the home side remain unbeaten at the Valley this season. Their Sophie Beardsall was elected to play for Lincolnshire in the National County Finals and, according to County Vice Captain Gilly Grant, “played some amazing golf” to help Lincs finish runners up.

performances of Grace Edwards, Maya Sangiorgio, Lilly Tappern, Jessica O’Herlihy, Jake Jungmann and Tom Neal who were responsible for 32 of their 55 gold medals. Grace, who is just ten years old and Jake, sixteen, with seven each. Head coach Lynn Chapman said “it was great to see everyone focusing on their skills and benefiting from their hard training, from the youngest to the oldest. It’s only our second competition back after the summer break so to come away with so many medals, county/Midland times and personal bests is a fantastic result. Everyone should be proud of their achievements.”

Our friends at Deeping Swimming Cub have excelled themselves again this month with no less than 123 medals from their 71 competitors in a tournament against Boston, Lincoln Trident, South Lincs and Sutton. With so many outstanding performances it’s almost unjust to pick out individuals but the club themselves highlighted the

“Already an England under-19 player, I expect we’ll hear plenty more about this talented all-rounder.”

Congratulations are also due to Stamford School’s groundsmen who, under the watchful eye of their head Bob Carder, have been to Lords to receive a National Groundcare Award for the quality of their cricket pitches. The judges called their square and outfield “pristine and mesmerising to look at”. As well as enjoying the ceremony they were looking forward to a day in an

executive box watching Middlesex versus Derbyshire. Alas, the groundsmen’s curse of perpetual rain defeated them on this occasion as the day’s play was a wash out. Finally, our warm congratulations to Joey Evison, also of Stamford School and latterly Bourne Cricket Club who has landed a three-year professional contract with Notts at the age of just 17. He’ll join fellow Stamford alumnus Zak Chappell in their dressing room after impressing by scoring 45 in his first class debut against Warwickshire on the last day of the season. Already an England under-19 player, I expect we’ll hear plenty more about this talented all-rounder in the years to come.

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // November 2019  

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 // Stamford & Rutland // November 2019  

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