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A summer to remember, or forget? We review a bizarre cricket season. Plus! David Gower on KP


guns, girls, game and gear Everything for a perfect autumn in the country

Walking round Exton Train driving in Wansford Sailability at Rutland Water






local sport round-up Burghley results tigers in the amateur days falconry KitBag senior cycling and more….

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Editor’s Letter WELL, THAT WAS THE SUMMER THEN, such as it was. It had its moments, when the sun mostly shone during the Olympics and some of September and early April threatened to actually give the barbequers an extended run for a week or so. But by and large, it was rubbish: cold, wet, grey. As a cricketer, I have finely tuned antennae to summer meteorlogical trends. I can remember years where the ball would endlessly grip out of dusty, arid turf (last year’s first half of the season, for example), or months of extreme heat, or of biting cold. But in more than 25 years of playing league cricket, I’ve never experienced a summer like this one. I played my first game in hailstones (which proved to be the best of the weather for a while), on April 15, and played my next on June 15. The incessant rain caused a myriad of problems for cricket clubs. Many depend on bar takings for money, but they were closed for months on end. And a lot of clubs in the area have struggled for players this year, too. When you’re not playing every week, or even every month, it’s very easy to fall out of the habit of being available and I’ve never heard of so many teams having to forfeit games through lack of players this season. Let’s hope it’s a one-off year, a blip rather than a trend. In the end, a lot of good cricket was played though, and we’ve reviewed the season for local clubs in this issue, and David Gower has given us a wider view of the sport as well. But it’s time for autumn now, and it’s my favourite time of year: unlike summer, it never disappoints and it’s nowhere near as miserable as winter either. Autumn means dog walks, roaring fires in pubs, rugby and for many in Active country, the shooting season, which we have covered in this issue thanks to Shooting Gazette editor Will Hetherington and photography by the finest country sports snapper there is, Oakham’s Nico Morgan. Enjoy.

Thanks, Steve

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

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Production Editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art Editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, David Gower, William Hetherington, Dean Cornish, Jon Tyrell, Alexa Cutteridge, Fiona Hurlingham, Rich Beach, Jeremy Beswick, Mark Gordon, Tim Pratt Photographers Nico Morgan, Jonathan Clarke, Marc Moggridge Production Assistant Abigail Sharpe Advertising Sales Rachel Meadows rachel@theactivemag.com Paula Scott paula@theactivemag.com Juliette Chapple juliette@theactivemag.com Accounts Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com If you have information on a club then get in touch with us by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then get in touch by emailing distribution@theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities with Active magazine then please email advertise@ theactivemag.com Printed in the UK by Warners Midlands plc. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. Distributed by Grassroots Publishing Ltd ISSN 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Registration company number 7994437 Disclaimer Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited, 2012. 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 Grassroots Publishing Limited. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Grassroots Publishing Limited 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, Grassroots Publishing Limited 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 to us and for ensuring that the material complies with applicable laws. Grassroots Publishing Limited and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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Issue 4 /// October 2012

NEWS 11 I NICHOLSON WINS BURGHLEY First win for 12 years for New Zealander


Thousands of people turn out for special event


Go back in time and become a steam train driver


All the essential gear you need


How a Rutland Water-based charity is giving disabled people their freedom back through sailing



Pensioner group wants more members


Active’s resident runner Alexa Cutteridge heads further afield with two runs around Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows


If anyone tells you getting fit doesn’t have to hurt... they’re lying. Our expert has devised another punishing routine

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Experienced shot Will Hetherington explains how you can get involved in the local shooting scene


You need to look good when out in the field at a shooting party so we select the best kit to wear. Tweed compulsory


Rain was the big winner this summer, but a lot of cricket was played locally. Who fared well and who’s out for a duck?



Will Hetherington and dog Ella take in Fort Henry and the stunning countryside surrounding Exton


Where better to celebrate your success than in a curry house. This month we’re off the The Bombay Cottage in Stamford


The Range Rover has defined luxury off-roading for years and now there’s an all-new version. Prepare to want one


What’s going on in local school sports


How clubs in the Stamford and Rutland area are getting on


The Sunday Times writer on rugby’s amateur days

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In Play

Burghley’s champion

A packed Burghley crowd watched as New Zealander Andrew Nicholson went one better than last year to win the 2012 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – his third win aer a 12 year hiatus – on Avebury. The 51-year-old lists Burghley as his favourite event to ride, while Avebury is his favourite horse. Doesn’t it show...

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In Play

Sunrise celebration


The Vitruvian Triathlon celebrated its tenth birthday last month with 1,000 athletes at Rutland Water in what competitors described as one of the best summer day’s racing in 2012. Ben Howard won the men’s race by 11 minutes while Catherine Faux finished nine minutes ahead of the other women.

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Are you ready for the game season?

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


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


Nicholson and Avebury win Burghley Twelve years after last winning the trials, 51-year-old Kiwi Andrew Nicholson takes the crown NEW ZEALANDER ANDREW NICHOLSON went one better than last year to win this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – his third win – on Avebury. It is 12-years since the 51-year-old last won around the estate and while he is perhaps the most prolific rider in the world, that was also his last four-star win. Andrew said: “It actually feels more like 20 years since I last won – is it only 12. Burghley is my favourite event to ride at and Avebury is a joy to ride. “There have been days when he’s let me down and days when perhaps I’ve let him down but overall he is a lovely consistent horse. I came here expecting to go well – he’s been on good form all year so I knew we had a good chance – I am not surprised but I am highly delighted.” Clear rounds were few and far between over Richard Jeffrey’s show jumping course – just four combinations from the 53 le in the competition did not add penalties to their score sheets in this phase. Both Oliver Townend and Armada and William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk had two down which while retaining their fourth and third place also allowed both Andrew and the overnight leader Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville a bit more breathing space. Nicholson and Avebury took out just one pole

which meant that Halpin had two fences in hand. Manoir de Carneville took out three poles handing the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge trophy and £55,000 first prize to Andrew and Avebury although Sinead received the runners up trophy. William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk finished in third place – high enough to ensure he won this year’s HSBC Classic series and its $150,000 first prize by one point from Nicholson. It is the third time in four years Fox-Pitt has won the lucrative prize.

Stapleford Park’s six-month offer Stapleford Park is offering a six-month only membership from October 1 until March 31. Members will have use of the 18-hole, par 73 Championship golf course, the fully equipped Technogym and heated 22-metre indoor swimming pool as well as six hours complimentary child care per week in the hotel’s Ofsted-regulated Tree Cottage Nursery. This one-time only membership offer has all the benefits and privileges of a full individual membership including a complimentary overnight stay, 20% discount on food and drinks, 20% discount on accommodation own room rates or preferential rates. An individual membership for six months is priced at £650 including joining fee, saving £310, and a couple membership is £1,150 including joining fee, saving £550. Members are also given the opportunity to join as a yearly full member at the end of the offer with no joining fee. For more information, contact Lara Thorpe on 01572 787079 or email: membership@stapleford.co.uk

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WINTER Visit Rutland Cycling today to make sure you don’t get left out in the cold.

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ALL ALTURA & GORE WINTER CLOTHING *Only valid against items at full RRP. Valid until 31/10/12 Can only be used in store.


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Rutland Day draws crowds Thousands flock to Rutland Water for music, fun, entertainment and activities THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE headed to the shores of Rutland Water last month to make the most of the good weather and enjoy a fun-filled family day out. Rutland Day, held at the Anglian Water reservoir for each of the last six years, was as popular as ever, attracting visitors from the local area as well as Cambridgeshire and the Midlands, to enjoy live music, activities, entertainment and cooking demonstrations. The main stage was busy throughout the day as crowds soaked up the music from local bands including ‘The Atlantics’ and ‘By The Rivers’, a young Reggae band who have featured on BBC Radio 6 as well as performing at ‘T in the Park’. Perhaps the most popular activities for families was the new mini golf course, which opened in Spring this yeaer, as well as the free bouncy slide which proved a hit with children and ‘grown-ups’ alike. The event also showcased the very best of Rutland’s produce with the Food and Drink Festival, which included more than 20 different stalls and producers ranging from sweet deserts to game pies and local meats. Anglian Water’s Tony Entwhistle, said: “It was brilliant to see so many visitors out enjoying what our local area has to offer in such a beautiful part of the country. “Everyone I spoke to seemed to be having a great time and they were really enjoying the late summer weather. This year felt like the most popular one yet, but I have no doubts that next year will raise the bar once again.”

In short FREE GOLF LESSONS Local golf clubs are offering free lessons to beginners as part of a scheme to bring more people into the sport. Rutland County Golf Club, Rutland Water Golf Course and Melton Mowbray Golf Club are participating in the ‘Get into Golf’ scheme which is being run by the Leicestershire and Rutland County Golf Partnership in conjunction with England Golf. Each course will last between 6-8 weeks and will take players through all elements of the game, with the final lesson on the course. All the coaching takes place with PGA professionals, and is free although participants are asked to pay for range balls used which cost a maximum of £4 per session. Jade Boggust, Golf development officer for Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the public to give golf a go, while meeting others and keeping fit this winter. All equipment is provided and participants need only turn up in comfortable clothing.’’ For further details and also free opportunities for juniors visit: www getintogolf.org and click on Leicestershire and Rutland

Sportive a success September saw the first edition of the Reservoir Cogs event from Rutland and Grafham Water, organised by Rutland Cycling. With the choice of routes ranging from 57 miles through to 109 miles, there was something for everyone. Local cyclist Greg Stevens was keen to point out that this was his first attempt at riding past the 100-mile mark. “Having other people to ride with and knowing that if I got stuck mechanically or my legs just gave up I’d be able to call the support team and get picked up was a big reason for doing this event,” he said. 2012 was the first Reservoir Cogs but expect to see 2013’s event taking Sportive riding to the next level.

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Feature /// Gear


Got the idea, but no gear? Here’s some great sporting stuff to spend your hard-earned on Aroma Home Soothing body wrap Soothing body wrap microwave for comforting warmth or chill for a cooling compress. Soothes aching muscles and joints. From: Redlands Mc Timoney Chiropractic Clinic Price £10

England pro home jersey Aer some awful efforts by Nike, Canterbury takes over making England’s rugby shirt and have played it safe with this all-white number. From Canterbury stockists Price £55.99

Moncler Fedor Never get lost in the wilderness again with this super-cool, super-bright Moncler ultra-light cotton fabric jacket with detachable hood, fisherman’s rib collar and ribbed cuffs. From Moncler.com Price £775

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Ladies tweed Baker Boy cap Stylish and fun, this Schoffel Baker Boy hat is made from superior tweed. Adaptable to create different looks, it will keep your head warm and your style cool. From Cavells Price £49.94

Kona Sutra The perfect bike to use if you are starting to commute. With full mudguards, pannier racks and cable disc brakes this road tourer will get you where you need to be with the minimal amount of fuss. From Rutland Cycling Price £999.99

The North Face McMurdo Boots A favourite waterproof snowboot is now available for children. Purple with fluff y bits for the girls, or stealth black for the boys. Ski resort chic anyone? From Precision Outdoor Price £50

The North Face Moondoggy Now even the little ones can rock some North Face gear! An uber warm goose-down jacket that’s reversible, Precision also has waterproof winter coats with removable fleeces to keep the kids warm and dry this winter. From Precision Outdoor Price £105

GM Flare 909 Make sure you’re the envy of nets with these flowing contoured edges, GM Power Arc blade, high swell position and light pick up. As used by Australian star Shane Watson. From Vitas Cricket RRP £260 Sale Price £175

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Feature /// Nene Valley Railway



Nene Valley Railway transports you back in time to the days before Dr Beeching did his worst. Rich Beach pays a visit to Wansford and steps up on to the footplate to drive a steam engine Photography: Rich Beach

I //

n our wonderful part of the country, you don’t have to go very far at all to find a palpable connection to our rich local history. But nothing transports you back in time in quite the same way as a ride on the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) – steam-powered time machines from an era when life moved at a less frenetic pace and train travel was more than just a means to an end; it was an adventurous experience. Today, families and enthusiasts travel on the locomotives throughout the year, from Wansford to Peterborough (all-day family ticket: £34). But for the ultimate experience how about driving the train yourself? Well, you can. And we did... Climbing up into the driver’s cab and the first thing you notice is the heat radiating from the firebox – the blazing inferno at the front of the footplate where the coal goes. I should’ve asked more questions when the editor said the day would be hot and smutty. Getting a sooty face is unavoidable, if you’re doing it properly. And the odd dirty bead of sweat will inevitably roll off your brow onto your overalls. The behemoth I was about to drive is a London Midland and Scottish Railway Fowler Class 4F locomotive, for any trainspotters out there. It’s one of only three surviving examples and was built in the Twenties. In front of me was about 49 tons of steam train. Behind me sat the coal and water tender, weighing a hefty 41 tons. The process of steam power is a simple concept, but the controls are just big iron levers and wheels with all the precision of a lump hammer; finesse with the inputs comes from the driver. “Alright, apply the throttle...” the driver told me, as I man-handled the L-shaped, lever to the right, setting us of out of Wansford station.

“Woah, too much. Back a bit,” I wrenched the stiff mechanism to the left. “Not enough, more, more, we’re slowing down too much...” This was my introduction to the far-from-precise go-stop controls. It didn’t take long to understand the nuance. Next was the gear selector, or at least the lever that made the train go backwards or forwards, and then the most important lever in the cab – the whistle. Between shovelling coal, tooting the whistle at the crossings en route to Ferry Meadows and keeping your eye on the pressure gauge, there’s not much to do on the unimpeded straights but mop your brow and enjoy the scenery. With barely any roads in sight and only rolling countryside flanking the train, it’s easy to imagine you’re travelling a hundred years in the past. The footplate is a an unexpectedly pleasant place to break away from modern life for a day. For someone who has no interest in trains, the day was over too soon. I even stood in the actual Post Office sorting carriage from the great train robbery during a walk around the workshops. NVR offers day-long driving experiences from £195, or can accomodate group hire for up to 10 people from around £900. You can even host your wedding from the carriages of a locomotive for a truly vintage experience. And Wansford, of course, is home to Thomas the Tank Engine.. NVR always has restoration projects on the go, and is currently collecting funds to buy the old station building to return an even bigger chunk of history to Wansford. If you’ve never visited, we recommend a trip back in time to Nene Valley. // Contact: 01780 784444 Right

Nene Valley Railway transports you back to the 1940s, from the station buildings to the steam trains

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Feature /// Falconry

Hawk hunters

Bird on the Hand offers falconry days where you can discover the skill and speed of birds of prey at work Words: Tim Pratt /// Photography: Chris Meadows


’ll admit to being worried. I have visions of sticking my arm in the air, holding a piece of meat, while a 200mph missile screeches down from the sky. If he gets this wrong, I’m going to lose a few fingers. Or possibly my arm. The missile in question is Rory, a peregrine falcon and the fastest bird on the planet. I needn’t have worried though. As I pulled into the driveway of falconers Bird on the Hand near Church Langton, just outside Market Harborough, I was greeted by Boris, a German wire-haired pointer, swiftly followed behind by Leo, a Wiemaraner. They cheerfully led me to Andrew, a pleasant Scottish chap and the owner. I couldn’t see any severed limbs lying around. Andrew has 11 birds iwith a mixture of hawks, falcons, eagles, owls and buzzards. Having learned his trade from an early age and having been in full-time falconry for the last

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Bird on the Hand lets you get up close to these magnificent and powerful birds of prey. A full day experience includes lunch and a spot of hunting

six-and-a-half years, he knows every intricacy of falconry, although what he does here is a little wider in remit than that. Andrew explains: “Falconry is simply hunting with falcons, although there’s no such word as ‘falconing’ - you go hawking. Hawkers go hawking as well, but hawkers are not falconers! They are the poorer cousins!” Training the birds takes time, although due to Andrew’s skill he reckons he was able to train a Harris hawk in five days, but it would normally take at least a month using a creance (a training line) to gain the trust of the bird. Bird on the Hand offers a variety of experiences, with birds such as Eddie, the eagle (naturally), a tawny eagle to be precise, and a female, too. Winnie the Poo the owl, and my would-be nemesis: Rory, the peregrine falcon. After the morning session introduction, a full day with Andrew would see an afternoon of hunting with Leo and Boris (the dogs) with a

spot of lunch in between. We headed off with Biggles and Dolly, two Harris hawks, for a display in the open fields of Leicestershire. It was incredible to see what they could do. Starting off as though you were walking a dog, the birds would start on your arm then fly to the next tree, wait for you and then race to the next, flying on to a outstretched arm when you called them, and landing with the lightest of touches. We did lose Dolly at one point as she chased a pheasant four fields away. Humans can see at 15 frames per second, while birds of prey work on a much higher rate of 120 frames per second, giving them exceptional eyesight. The only downside being you have to get to the bird before they start to eat their catch, and this meant a swift dash through the countryside. Fortunately the birds are radio tagged enabling us to find her along with listening out for the bells attached to her.

Seeing the birds so close up and watching them hunt was a genuinely special experience. They are truly regal creatures. By the end of the afternoon I felt completely comfortable to hold the glove up and call both Biggles and Dolly. I was pretty confident by now I was going to return with a complete set of digits, too.


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Feature /// Sailability


Rutland Sailability gives people with mental or physical impairments the chance to learn new skills and gain some independence Words: Steve Moody /// Photography: Rutland Sailability


Rutland Sailability is fully equipped to help people go sailing, no matter how severe their disability. Once out on Rutland Water, the freedom gained is wonderful

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ndependence is a thing able-bodied people take for granted: the ability to go anywhere and choose how to get there. But for those less mobile, that’s a luxury they don’t often have. But on the water, they can finally break free of the shackles imposed by physical or mental impairment. Yes, even if you’re blind you can sail single-handed, it seems. Ros Mulholland Gullick, deputy chairman of Rutland Sailability, a charity set up to get disabled and mentally impaired people on the water, explains: “The wonderful thing is you don’t need anyone to help because you don’t need to use your legs, and in fact you find that people who only have movement in their upper body are very strong and as a result can sail well, and even sail a Challenger three-hulled racing boat.” Ros reckons that after a while people can sail by sensory perception and not need sight. She explains: “You can talk people through feeling the wind, the motion of the water, the movement of the boat and what effect that has.” As a result, sailing has proved extremely useful in giving people back the confidence to take decisions for themselves and to learn new skills. It’s a process Ros went through herself. “I became disabled wheelchair dependent in 1996”, she says. “It was such a traumatic experience even though I knew it was going to happen, and once it did I cut off from everybody. But after about a year, I said to myself ‘this is stupid, I still have a brain’, so I went and did a degree. “I had been very active: I played tennis, squash, went on long walks and loved to ride and so I felt I had to do something active. Somebody asked if I had thought about sailing, so I went along and fell in love with sailing from the first time I sat in the boat. “Having ridden a lot, there is a correlation between riding a horse and riding the waves.” Rutland Sailability has 32 boats, with the smallest a single-seater Access dinghy, and the current cost of running the organisation for a year is £45,000. They rely entirely on donations, large or small, and have no Government subsidy. The local Rotary Clubs have been stalwart supporters for years, and raised thousands, but more is needed, Ros says. The charity has 214 members and runs sessions on Thursdays and Saturdays from April to November (or when winter really sets in), and Ros is keen to explain that that includes able-bodied members, too. There is no such thing as ‘volunteers’, although of course people give their time freely. Those who help are members too – it’s part of the ethos of the club that everyone mucks in together regardless of ability, and it doesn’t matter whether it is from qualified sailing instructors, or people on shore to help with the administration or pushing wheelchairs. Sailing gives people confidence, because they are in control, and that can be a very special feeling for people used to more constrained lives.

Above and below

Disability is no barrier when it comes to sailing, as Rutland Sailability is keen to stress. Local Rotary Clubs are staunch supporters, but more help is needed to run the charity

WANT TO GET INVOLVED? The season finishes soon, when the weather starts to turn in November, but the organisation is hoping people will come down and have a look this year with a view to becoming members and taking part in the 2013 season. // Visit www.rutland-sailability.org, where there are contact details to book a visit (the nature of the sessions mean all visitors must book in advance).

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Feature /// Shooting

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Shooting clays is great fun and days spent in the field chasing after pheasants are wonderful social occasions. Will Hetherington offers advice on how you can get involved

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Feature /// Shooting Right

Man’s best friend comes into his element on a shoot. Labradors are ideal retreivers out in the field


The pheasant shooting season starts on October 1 so don’t be too alarmed if you see jolly groups of people in tweed, complete with eager labradors and sporting shotguns, travelling around the local countryside. It’s common practice for a team of guns (the people who are doing the shooting) to meet at a farmhouse or pub for breakfast on the day of the shoot before heading off in a trailer, adapted military vehicle or separate 4x4s for the day. It’s normal for there to be eight guns on the day, plus a few partners and observers. The guns will either be guests of the shoot owner, members of a syndicate or one-off visitors. They are after a day in the countryside with good friends, good food and the chance to prove how good a shot they are. Or they might be hoping for the first two things on the list and then just avoid humiliating themselves. And at the end they will probably gather for a slap-up meal and some red wine as the night closes in and the fire roars. Perfect!


You might also see a larger group of other people looking a little more prepared for a hard day’s walking through brambles and thickets. These are the beaters and they often provide a personification of the phrase ‘down to earth’. These are the people who do most of the hard work in seeking out the birds and urging them to take flight by beating the bushes. They have extremely long memories and the driest of humours. If you upset them they will never forget. Things likely to upset the beaters include; being rude, being late, being a mean tipper and, most of all, being a bad shot. Although, paradoxically, the latter also

provides them with the ammunition to display their humour: “Try aiming at the thing in the air that looks a bit like a chicken, sir.” “Brought the empty cartridge shells again, sir?” “Are your barrels straight, sir?” “Looks like we’ve got those stealth pheasants again today, sir!” Make no mistake, the beaters see everything…


Less Lady Chatterley’s Lover and more countryside custodian, the gamekeeper is the person responsible for pretty much everything on a shoot. Gamekeepers work long hours and, as a rule, are a taciturn bunch. But once you earn the keeper’s respect then you are in clover.


The most common breeds of dogs involved in shooting are labradors and spaniels. Labradors love water, are natural retrievers and are reasonably easy to train. Consequently, they are ideal for retreiving shot birds. Spaniels (springers and cockers) are quite a lot more lively and do not enjoy observing for long. Well, actually, they tend to be hyper-active attention-seekers with extreme cases of Attention Deficit Disorder. There are many other less-well known breeds of gundogs, such as Hungarian vizslas, Weimaraners and German shorthaired pointers, but labradors and spaniels are the most common.


Getting started in shooting is pretty easy. First of all you should go to a clay shooting ground and see whether you enjoy it or not. But almost everyone does. And you don’t have to have the hand-eye co-ordination of Andy Murray or have years of military training. In fact all you have to do is turn up and listen to your instructor. There are a number of good places to visit in this area. Grange Farm at Wittering is owned and run by Robin Dunlop and provides a friendly environment to have a lesson. Kibworth Shooting Ground near Market Harborough is a good place to go and experience firing a shotgun for the first time. Sinclair Shooting Ground between Crowland and Spalding is also a well-established ground. Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground is run by Mark Russell and provides a woodland setting for clay shooting and is brilliant for anyone with a little bit of experience, but might be a bit intimidating for novices. Once you have had a go and decided you love it (which you will) how can you find out more? There is no directory of game shoots but the best advice is to speak to the farmer in the village or try and find out who the gamekeeper is. Once you know that you can volunteer to be a beater, which is the best way of learning how a shoot works. For good shooting clothing Barnack Country Clothes (www.barnack.co.uk) is an excellent local shop. If you want to go straight into the shooting you could try visiting www.gunsonpegs.co.uk, a website which sells individual spots on days. But it would be better to get involved in a local shoot first to learn the ropes. By doing this you will also meet lots of other keen shooters and opportunities will present themselves. One of the charms of shooting is that you can’t buy it all online – you have to spend a bit of time getting involved first. Other useful organisations are the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (www.basc.org.uk) and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (www.cpsa.co.uk).

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OLYMPIC GOLD On Thursday August 2 Dorset farmer’s son Pete Wilson thrilled the nation by winning Olympic gold in the double trap clay shooting event. This is the toughest of clay shooting disciplines as two clays are propelled away from the shooter simultaneously at more than 50mph. But 25-year-old Pete was well-prepared to see off the world’s best and lived up to his billing as one of the pre-event favourites during a nerveless display. Richard Faulds won gold in the same event at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 so there is a strong tradition of success in British clay shooting.

ooting season The pheasant sh er 1 until runs from Octob t it is illegal bu 1, ary bru Fe in the UK to shoot game d on Sundays an Christmas Day

WILL HETHERINGTON is the editor of Shooting Gazette, a monthly game shooting magazine.

BUYING A GUN There are a number of good gun shops in the area (see below) and there are some online retail options (guntrader.co.uk is one of the best) but I would always recommend visiting a gun shop and talking to one of the experts in person. But before you buy a gun you have to

have a shotgun certificate and these are issued by your county police force, once you have satisfied the qualification requirements. Give them a call for advice. But you will need to fit a secure shotgun cabinet somewhere reasonably out of the way in your house.

Gun shops in the area John Bradshaw’s Gunshop, Fotheringhay, tel. 01832 226376 Elderkin & Son, Spalding, tel. 01775 722919 Whittlesey Gun Shop, tel. 01733 204294

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Feature /// Shooting fashion


With the shooting season due to begin we bring together the finest outfits from local suppliers to show you how to look great (and keep warm) on those frosty winter mornings Photography: Nico Morgan

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Feature /// Shooting fashion

Below The vehicle of choice for a day’s shooting has to be a Land Rover or Range Rover (supplied by Sturgess Motor Group)

Above right Le to right John Hart in his own clothes Adam wears: Aigle Mens Sardany 3 in 1 Waterproof Coat £199.99, Barbour Mens Country Tattersall Sandstone Shirt £49.95, Barbour Mens Dunmoor Gilet £119.00, Barbour Traditional Fit Olive Moleskin Trousers £69.95, Sax Silk Tie - Red with Pheasants £11.99, Le Chameau Gents Vierzonord Wellington Boots £159.99, from Barnack Country Clothes Jamie wears: Schoffel Ptarmigan Coat £399.95, Schoffel Ptarmigan Tweed Plus 2’s £279.95, Schoffel Oakham Fleece £114.95, Schoffel Cambridge Shirt £69.95, Schoffel Stretton Sock £44.95, Schoffel, Herringbone Tie £59.95, From Cavells in Oakham, Aigle Parcours Vario Outlast Wellington Boots £149.99, from Cavells of Oakham Matt wears: Schoffel Ptarmigan Tweed Coat £549.95, Schoffel Shooting Breek , Schoffel Lambswool V Neck Jumper £79.95, Schoffel Tattersall Shirt £69.95, Schoffel Ptarmigan Sock £44.95, Schoffel, Herringbone Tie £59.95, from Cavells of Oakham James wears: Schoffel Men’s Ptarmigan Superlight Jacket £399.95, Schoffel Men’s Oakham Dark Olive Fleece Waistcoat £114.95, Alan Paine Men’s Compton Tweed Breeks £109.99, Schoffel Mens Cambridge Check Shirt £69.95, Sax Red Silk Tie with Flying Pheasants £11.99, Schoffel Mens Ptarmigan Loden Green Shooting Socks with Garters £44.95, Hunter Balmoral, Classic Wellington Boots £74.99, from Barnack Country Clothes

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Le Nicola wears: Barmah Foldaway Bronco Waterproof Hat - Dark Brown £44.99 Schoffel Womens Superlight Ghillie Coat £329.95 Alan Paine Ladies Compton Tweed Breeks £79.99 Barbour lambswool Herringbone Scarf - Celery/Willow £24.95 Hunter Original Wellington Boots – Navy £64.99 from Barnack Country Clothes Below Le: Alexa wears: Musto Ladies Whisper Jacket – Chocolate£359.99 Barbour Newmarket Plaid Scarf £24.95 Olney Anne Baker Boy Tweed Cap £37.99 Aigle Parcours Vario Wellington Boots – Bronze £99.99 Passive Ear Defenders – Folding Hearing Protector £25.95 from Barnack Country Clothes Below Right: Sarah wears: Schoffel Womens Burley Fleece Jacket – Aubergine £149.95 Musto Ladies Dark Rose Floral Country Shirt £48.99 Schoffel Ladies Bennet Tweed Cap, £44.95 Schoffel Ladies Stapleford Stitch Socks - Sage £39.95 Le Chameau All Tracks Country Ladies Wellington Boots £74.99 Ear Defenders Electronic £99.00 from Barnack Country Clothes

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Feature /// Shooting fashion Georgie wears: Schoffel Ladies Seaton Quilted Jacket - midnight £219.95 Barbour Boulmer Check Scarf – Purple £24.95 Olney Ladies Annabel Wax Hat with Ruched Crown – Navy £35.99 Hunter Original Wellington Boots – Aubergine £64.99 from Barnack Country Clothes James sporting: Natural Chestnut Thumbstick – £24.99 from Barnack Country Clothes

The shooTing season has arrived! Discover our new shooting range for men and women

www.barnack.co.uk tel:

01780 740115

Barnack, Stamford. PE9 3DY 2 miles from Burghley House Shop opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun 11am-3pm


Brands include: Barbour, Schöffel, Dubarry, RM Williams, Levi’s Superdry, Converse, White Stuff, Toms, Ugg plus many more... South St

Oakham • LE15 6BG • Tel: 01572 772477

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Below Guinnie guarding the cartridge bag: Croots Rosedale Green Canvas Cartridge Bag – 100 capacity £84.95 from Barnack Country Clothes

Ginny far le wears: Barbour Ladies Linford Tweed Jacket £329.00 Schoffel Womens Uppingham Socks - Grape £29.95 Musto Ladies Sporting Breeks – Dark Olive, £84.99 Barmah Foldaway Bronco Waterproof Hat – Dark Brown £44.99 Hunter Lady Balmoral Neoprene Wellies – Olive, £104.99 from Barnack Country Clothes Pippie second from right wears: Schoffel Tweed Ptarmigan Coat £549.95 Me and Kashmere Scarf £145.00 from Cavells of Oakham Aigle Parcours Brown Wellington Boots £89.99 from Barnack Country Clothes

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Feature /// Shooting fashion Right Ginny wears: Vilagallo Herringbone Jacket £199.00 Gant Jodphur Trousers £99.00 Villagallo Stag Print Shirt £85.00 from Cavells of Oakham Adam wears: Schoffel Tweed Sports Jacket £349.95 Schoffel Lambswool V Neck Jumper £79.95 Schoffel Moleskin Jean £109.95 from Cavells of Oakham












Far Right Matt and James wear: Schoffel Oakham Fleece Gilet £114.95 Schoffel Moleskin Jean £109.95 Schoffel Canterbury Shirt £69.95 Schoffel Herrongbone Tie £59.95 from Cavells of Oakham



Stapleford Park Golf Academy Membership

The Stapleford Park Golf Course was designed by Donald Steel, and is a 6,944 yard par 73 championship level course which wraps around the heart of Stapleford Park in two extended loops. Stapleford Park Golf Academy Membership, priced at £200, includes 1 hour’s free golf tuition with the Stapleford Park PGA Golf Pro and 6 complimentary green fees, followed by preferential green fees thereafter. The improved offer now includes reduced green fees, ability to play on weekends and bank holidays from 9 o'clock in the morning, plus receive 10% discount on all food and beverages at Stapleford Park. For further information regarding this new membership category please contact us on 01572 787 045 or visit www.stapleford.co.uk/golf as restrictions do apply. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Stapleford Park, Stapleford, Nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF

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Sarah: Schoffel Ladies Lyndon Fleece Gilet – Denim £114.95 Schoffel Ladies Oxford Cotton Shirt – Blue £64.95 from Barnack Country Clothes Alexa: Levis High Rise Skinny Jean £90.00 Barbour International Polar Quilt £179.00 from Cavells of Oakham

THE SHOOTING PARTY Photography Nico Morgan Clothes Barnack Country Clothes & Wellieboots.com Barnack Stamford Lincolnshire PE9 3DY Telephone: 01780 740115 (an answerphone operates out of shop hours) Fax: 01780 749171 Email: info@barnack.co.uk Website: www.barnack.co.uk Cavells 16 Mill Street Oakham, Rutland LE15 6EA 01572 770 372 www.cavells.co.uk Cars Sturgess Motor Group Aylestone Road Leicester LE2 7QN 0116 254 1237 www.sturgessgroup.co.uk Location Stapleford Park Stapleford, Nr. Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF Tel: 01572 787000 information@stapleford. co.uk www.staplefordpark.com Thanks to the models Adam, James, Jamie, Matt, Alexa, Georgie, Ginnie, Nicola, Pippie and Sarah. And the dogs Ella, Guinnie, Mazie and Stanley. Special thanks to Shoot captain John Hart

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Feature /// Cricket

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Bats, balls and biblical downpours Despite the huge amount of rain, our local clubs managed to put in some exceptional performances. Steve Moody reviews the highs and lows of the cricket season Photography: Harry Measures


Ufford Park had a good season, with their firsts on Saturday and Sunday threatening to challenge for league honours, before both finished just outside the promotion spots. As the club’s Peter Taylor explains: “We finished fourth in Hunts 1 (and got rained off against our big local rivals Burghley Park) and in Rutland 2, we could have got relegated, but will likely finish third and perhaps our best performance was eating the massive tea that Eaton Socon provided. “For the seconds, survival in Rutland was only confirmed on the last day but league re-organisation will probably mean a change anyway.” Andy Larkin was the top scorer for the firsts with nearly 900 runs in 25 innings at an average of 44, while the ever-reliable Paul Bentley took 36 wickets at 18. In the seconds, Danny Harrington had a prolific season with more than 700 runs from 14 innings and a top score of 136 not out, ending with an average of 65. As Taylor says: “Not one ton was scored in the firsts but there were some good knocks and we got out of jail a few times by setting off brightly, collapsing and winning by very small margins. We like a thrilling finish at Ufford.” Of the young guns, Tez Rawlings was the

brightest of the crop at the Park this year, Taylor said.


All of Oakham’s sides were badly affected by the weather this year, losing over 35% of games, the club’s Nick Begy said. With one game to go, Begy reckoned the Saturday first team in the Everards League can still finish third, which is about the upper end of expectations, as the team struggled early season for a consistent side. The Saturday seconds narrowly missed promotion which was purely down to the sides above having less cancelled games. He added: “In honesty we still want to strengthen, and look to recruit new players. We have some of the best objectively rated facilities in Rutland and Leicestershire, so we have big plans to improve. “The Sunday second team gained promotion from Rutland 6, which is a great result, with this team being designated as a development side with players from 13 or 14-years-old upwards. The first team had a horrible start to the season with poor availability, but won their last five games to stay afloat in Division Two, winning the last game with two balls to spare and a great 130 from Carel Fourie.”

Begy said the club had seen a lot of good performances this year, with newcomers Bhavin Shukla and Asish Patel performing well with bat and ball respectively. He added: “We have also seen some great innings from captain Sean Cowley and opener Will Stuart-Jones. In terms of first team cricket the young find has to be Albert Radford, performing well on both Saturdays and Sundays and scoring his maiden senior century. Rory Brown, a product of the youth system opened the bowling well throughout the season, and the now more regular Chris Larsen scoring some vital innings.” The Saturday seconds were lead by Matt Osman who consistently took wickets, with great batting support from Andrew Counsell, Maz Edge, Graham Cooper, and Tom Cooper. “The Sunday first team also saw the introduction of 14-year-old bowler Nick Davies, who also made a great contribution,” said Nick. “Their player of the season was probably Carel Fourie, who helped enormously in keeping them up. The Sunday firsts also were underpinned by experience with the likes of Graeme North and Dave Falcone being the mainstay of the bowling attack. “As with all clubs next year we need to find new players at all levels. We do exceptionally

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Feature /// Cricket

well to field four sides, but we are an ambitious club and want local talent to be part of this a while taking advantage of our great facilities.”


Burghley Park Cricket Club had another interesting, trying and at some times joyful season. According to club captain Chris Meadows, “the season (when play has been possible) has been a variety of up and downs, triumph and nearly disaster but never for the want of trying. The Saturday, Sunday, midweek, girls and juniors have performed admirably and played with spirit, enthusiasm, wit and courage.” The Saturday team, following promotion last year, finished mid-table having found it quite a leap up in standard but overall there was a feeling of satisfaction at consolidating in the division, with more to come. Meadows said: “Gareth Hook provided a solid and regular performer for the Park. He managed to galvanise the side and could perform up and down the order, scoring runs and contributing in the field. “Stuart Biggs once again scored runs in all formats and backed it up with razor sharp fielding, while bowling with pace and aggression. Mat Simpson led the bowling once again, while Michael Jones got stronger, quicker and provided the perfect foil for the unnerving accuracy of Simpson. Debutante Rob Emery

provided wickets with his leggies and opened the batting with a perfect and solid technique.” Matt Roberts scored runs a plenty for the Sunday side and led the team well in all conditions. The young pair of Hamish Thain and Tom Stephenson have made strong cases for inclusion in the Saturday side next season with Stephenson providing in particular a genuine all rounder who should prosper at the park for many years to come, while Thain played in a strong and aggressive vain that will only torment bowlers. David Popple once again provided the wickets for the Sunday team with his canny offspin and young Charlie Thain showed what the future holds, diving around the field and bowling with accuracy that goes beyond his young age. One of the major new introductions at Burghley this year was the Ladies team, with training sessions successful and the seeds have been sown for more games next season. Finally the juniors training and attendance, as well as dedication of the parents, showed that cricket remains a strong game in Stamford and there’s a bright future for the Park.

between one and two and this year we’ve not been able to keep our place due to a lack of younger players not as available as soon as we would have liked, and key games being rained off. The top division is a very good standard, and you’ve got to perform all year to stand a chance of staying up.” It looks like the firsts might meet the seconds next year, as with one game left too, they are in with a chance of promotion from Division three of the Rutland league, illustrating the strength in depth that this ambitious club are developing. On a Saturday, the firsts came second in Northants Division 13, but have pulled out of the league for next year. Salt explains: “We’re going into Everards division four in 2013 – we entered the Northants league but it will take 10 years for us to make it to the standards we want to be in, and most of us will be old men by then. “So we are joining the Leicestershire league next season. A lot of our lads play representative cricket in the county and so it’s natural that we would compete in their competitions at a senior level too.” There were some major performances too: Will Cropper smashed a magnificent 250 for the firsts against Grendon & Prims CC 2nds, while Jamie Dumford ended up with more than 700 runs at an average just shy of 40 to be the clubs top scorer. On the bowling front, Scott Green took 47 wickets at just over 11 to top the bowling charts by some distance. The club has just finished its second year at its impressive new ground, and Salt says that the vast fundraising and building project has taken centre stage for the last few years. “But we know that from now on, the cricket has to be the focus, now we’ve had had two summers here and everything is in place. Now we really need to home in on a better standard of cricket, because with other things, we have probably taken our eye off the ball really. “There are a number of good juniors coming through, such as Max Collins and Harry Wade, Jamie Richardson who’s at Stamford School and Ben Collins (on Leicestershire’s CCC’s books and an England Under 19 player) turns out for us whenever he can, although obviously that’s less than it used to be. But the lads all want to play a good standard – we have the facilities, now we have to deliver that.”



With one game left, it looked as tough Uppingham’s first team would be leaving Rutland Division one for Division two. As Adi Salt says: “We’ve been a bit of a yo-yo side

Uffington somehow battled to the end of the season in with a chance of promotion to Division two of the Rutland League, despite having barely played a league game until June.

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Due to popular demand and as part of the ongoing success of our calendar of events, we are delighted to introduce our first Christmas Ball.

BA R N S DA L E L O D G E C H R I S T M A S BA L L 2012

Saturday 22nd December 2012 • Champagne reception • 3 course dinner • Live entertainment with ‘The Houndogs’ and our house disco Black tie £39.50 per person Tickets on sale now Special bed and breakfast rates for anyone attending the ball £80 double/twin and £60 single.

Christmas Party Nights Prices are £26.50 per person weekdays and £29.50 Fridays & Saturdays to include dinner and disco. Call or email for details.

The Avenue, Rutland Water, Near Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH tel: 01572 724678 fax: 01572 724961 e: enquiries@barnsdalelodge.co.uk www.barnsdalelodge.co.uk


Feature /// Cricket Chief catalysts for success were Damien Herrick, with around 400 runs and an average of nearly 60, and Guy Cunningham with 270 runs at 66. On the bowling front, Steve Moody topped the table with more than 20 wickets at 15, but a poor finish to the year due to a shortage of players meant the quest for promotion was a desperate scrabble rather than a serene finish. The club’s Ben Jennings explains: “With only one team and the terrible weather, it’s always hard to put out a consistent side, not helped by losing vital players in the second half of the season to relocation, new babies and work.”


In Rutland Division one, Stamford Town’s first team were battling the drop until the very last day of the season, with a lack of runs their major problem: only Matt Greaves and Steve Armstrong averaged more than 30 over the course of the season, and both only just. Just nine fifties in the entire league tells its own story. The bowling kept them in the hunt with Liam Dave, Steve Armstrong and Richard Field returning remarkably similar figures of just under 20 wickets each at an average of 16. Runs proved equally difficult to come by for the South Lincs and Border League Division one side, but tidy bowling from the likes of Bill Hall, Steve Armstrong and Neil Williams ensured a top three finish. In the last two or three years, Stamford’s young Sunday second team have been moved up divisions each time due to re-organisations, but every time they have been presented with a challenge, the players have shown themselves capable. It suggests that the club is building strength in depth assisted by wily veterans such as Bill Hall and Chris Birch, who keep taking regular wickets. The weather put paid to any high scoring, but Clive Simmons’ 90 not out against Uffington was the highlight.


Barnack finished just above Stamford in Division one of the Rutland League, avoiding the drop mainly due to the performances of Steve Best, who racked up more than 400 runs, and Asif Butt with 300 at 30. Shahid Muhammed’s 39 wickets at 17 ensured they were always in the hunt in most games. For the seconds, which finished mid-table in Division 6, Josh Alvey starred with early 400 at an average of more than 40, with a top score of 135 not out against Alconbury.


Ketton had a tough year as long term injuries to key players scuppered their season after promotion from Rutland Division three last year. Usual heavy scorer Craig Wilson broke his thumb early on and barely featured as a result, while club stalwart Simon Smith missed the second half of the season through injury, too. As a result, they struggled to fulfill fixtures towards, but the quality the club could bring to bear when players were fit and available meant they avoided the drop. Top scorers were Christian Durant and Matt Albinson, while skipper Dave Macdonald topped the bowling.

The international summer Cricket legend David Gower on a very silly season for England… This summer, the Olympics proved it was all about the togetherness of the team. In my sport too, the two biggest stories of the summer were all about the relationship between the individual and the team - one good, one not so good. The good first. Andrew Strauss took a moment or two at the end of a mighty tough and sadly unsuccessful series to ponder his future. When he returned to announce his retirement from all cricket it was done with style, the style one would expect from a man who has carried himself so well through the ups and downs of captaining his country. Those ups were impressive ones too, winning and keeping the Ashes with home and away series wins and taking the side to number one in the world by thrashing India at the end of the summer of 2011. In the end it seems that it was his feeling that he might be letting the team down through his own declining form that decided him and he said his farewells. He even wrote, pen and paper to the fore, to his men individually and thanked them for their part in his and the team’s success. That is true style. Then the not so good. At the time of Strauss’s retirement the bigger story was the dropping of Kevin Pietersen aer it had been revealed that he had been sending texts to members of the South African team, allegedly criticising Strauss as captain. It came as the final straw as far as the England team management were concerned, aer KP’s requests for special treatment with regards to the schedule, his piqued retirement from ODI cricket and his desire to be excused tests at the start of

next summer so that he could play a full season of IPL. It is, however, a complicated story. He himself was piqued by the fake Twitter account, KPGenius, which rather ribbed him and his lifestyle. A more confident and integrated team man might have shrugged it off. He is still angry that Swann and Broad might have been peripherally influential on the author, a friend of some of the Notts squad. KP is one of the hardest working cricketers you will ever see, hugely, nay enormously talented and, when you see him interact with the fans, as polite as they come. Yet, for whatever reason, he seems to struggle to be part of a team. You need to be in that dressing room to understand why. I cannot tell you why there are rumours around that a number of that team would rather not have him back. As far as I am concerned, whenever I have spoken to him I have found him to be polite and personable. When I listen to his pronouncements of television though, time aer time I feel he misjudges the mood. Aer that sensational hundred at Headingley against South Africa I wanted him to say how great a feeling it was to hit Dale Steyn back over his head, to tell the world how much he had enjoyed his day, in the same way as most of our medal winning Olympians had joy all over their faces. Instead all he could tell us was how hard it had been. Killjoy! Either way, and there is much still to unravel in this tale, the team felt it could do without him. However much of a shame that is, it serves only to reinforce the principle that it is indeed the team that always comes first.

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Feature /// Healthy pregnancy

Fit to drop NUTRITION

With the huge amount of literature available for pregnant women, it’s no wonder that many become confused about what they should or shouldn’t be eating. However, diet during pregnancy can be summed up in three simple words: balance, supplement and avoid. The rule of ‘eating for two’ is no longer recommended, and you only need to increase your calorie intake in the last trimester by 200 calories a day. Try to eat regularly, aiming for three balanced meals and two to three healthy snacks per day, and base your meals around the four main food groups: fruits and vegetables, starch, protein and dairy foods. Limit your consumption of foods high in fat and/or sugar as these provide calories but few nutrients, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and help prevent over eating. There are two supplements which you must take during pregnancy; folic acid (400 micrograms a day), ideally from pre-conception until the twelfth week, and vitamin D (10 micrograms a day) throughout pregnancy. It may also be beneficial to take an antenatal multi-vitamin as a ‘safety net’ to ensure that you always get enough nutrients. Several foods and drinks should be avoided during pregnancy and it’s important that you know these in detail. A brief summary is: some cheeses, pâté, raw or partially cooked eggs, meat and fish, certain fish, alcohol and caffeine. // Imogen Shaw, Shaw Nutrition, 07854 252437, www.shawnutrition.co.uk


Like most women you want to be as fit as possible during the pregnancy and be as prepared as you can be for a good birth.

Homeopathy can be one of the most useful therapies for pregnant women as it’s totally safe for them and the baby, and has been used for more than 250 years. It’s a therapy that is ideal for helping women through various problems that they may have during their pregnancy. Annie Hall MCPH, RSHom, is a Stamford homeopath with more than 20 years’ experience. She says: “One of the first things that can happen to women is that they are totally worn out, which is not a good start to what should be a joyous time. Homeopathy has been used to help with this, as well as help sort out the dreaded morning sickness. You can try to treat yourself but you’ll always have better results if you see a professional.” Annie has also seen women who have backache, constipation and who need help with turning the baby. The menfolk will be pleased to know that they can get involved, too: Annie also has a kit with homeopathic remedies that she hires out to couples, teaching the men how and when to use each remedy to help their partner have as comfortable a birth as possible. But it doesn’t stop with the birth. Homeopathy can help with feeding, baby blues, recovery from caesarian sections and many other problems. // Annie Hall, homeopath and health counsellor, 01780 767667, www.annie-hall.co.uk

that are designed to meet your needs at each stage of pregnancy. So as a pregnant lady myself I went along to Emma Cannings Salon in Stamford to put it to the test. I wished I had tried it out earlier. When I went I was at 31 weeks, and this treatment can be started from three months. The routine for the treatment started with a perfect back massage, which for me took away all the aches and pains from my back for the first time since becoming pregnant. Sophia massaged my legs, which is great for circulation and will help reduce the puffiness from ankles and feet. The treatment then went on to massaging my tummy which was a lovely treat, while a mask was then applied to help moisturise and nourish the tummy. By this stage I felt so relaxed. The next stage of the treatment which was a nourishing mini-facial to my sleep-deprived face. Stretch mark prevention cream with prolagen gel was applied, and to keep good circulation in my legs Sophia then finished putting on some Circulargel, which really gave them a lift. This was a truly relaxing treatment and one in which as a pregnant woman I would fully recommend. It relieved all my aches and pains and I left the salon feeling revitalised. // Emma Cannings, Stamford Garden Centre, Great Casterton, 01780 766583 www.emmacannings.co.uk


Pilates is an excellent way to help prepare your body for the birth process, and to help you return to normal after. However, it needs to be tailored to the many changes taking place in your body as each trimester brings fresh challenges with hormonal changes kicking in

I recently came across the Sumptuous Motherto-be Treatment option and noted that Decléor offer a carefully tailored programme of safe, effective and wonderfully relaxing treatments


Every woman wants to be healthy during their pregnancy and fit for when the baby arrives. Mum-to-be Amy Roberts asks the experts for various techniques to help


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Feature /// Healthy pregnancy Right

A pregnancy massage will leave mum feeling relaxed and ache-free. Treatments can be tailored for each stage of pregnancy

and the increasing need to support that growing bump. During pregnancy muscles become softer and ligaments more elastic. This allows the pelvis to widen, creating space for the birth canal. The trouble with all this increased flexibility is that joints can become unstable, just when they need to be strong to support the increased baby weight. Pilates exercises create a ‘girdle of strength’ – to quote Joseph Pilates – supporting the pelvic floor and sacroiliac area. Of course, a strong, healthy pelvic floor also ensures a fast return to a normal sex life and a grateful man. Pregnancy challenges the upper body, too. Pilates strengthens the back, neck and shoulder muscles to help support the heavier breasts and assist in carrying your newborn around. Meanwhile, the relaxation techniques you learn will help you to relax and enjoy the new life growing inside. Posture can be a casualty in pregnancy, as the body’s natural centre of gravity is altered. Pilates helps you adapt to this natural shift, making you more aware of your body and how you are moving. Pilates is great for pregnancy, but make sure you are in an appropriate class and the teacher is qualified specifically to teach pilates for pregnancy. // Stephanie Tenneson, Pilates-east, 07960 436777 Acupuncture has been used in China to restore, promote and maintain good health and energy for about 2,500 years. The philosophy states that health is dependent on the body’s energy – known as Qi – moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. For any number of reasons, Qi may become unbalanced, which leads to illness and pain. By inserting fine needles into the channels, it is possible to stimulate the body’s own healing response. Corinne Alexander practices in Stamford and is a fully qualified and insured acupuncturist and reflexologist as well as being a member of both the British Acupuncture Council and Association of Reflexologists. She says: “Acupuncture is very safe to have during pregnancy and an effective option at a time when many women choose to avoid taking medication for ailments such as nausea, fatigue and backache. “Some women use it on a monthly basis to help maintain the optimal health of both themselves and their developing baby. During the last month of pregnancy treatments can be increased to once a week with the aim of helping prepare the mother for the birth.” // Corinne Alexander, 07737 172939 or visit www.corinnealexander.co.uk




Reflexology is a natural therapy that uses pressure points on the feet to help maintain the body’s natural balance. It can be of great support to women during their pregnancy and can help promote feelings of general well-being. The origins of reflexology can be traced to ancient Egypt. However, it was first recognised in the western world at the turn of the 20th century by Dr William Fitzgerald. It was further developed in the 1930s by Eunice Ingham into the format that is widely practiced today. Corinne adds: “Pregnancy can also increase stress levels, especially as the birth becomes more imminent. Reflexology can help counter any stress by promoting relaxation. It also provides a place where you can focus purely on yourself and your growing baby.” // Corinne Alexander, 07737 172939 or visit www.corinnealexander.co.uk


During pregnancy your body will undergo many physical and emotional changes as your baby develops and your body prepares for giving birth. Some of the more obvious effects are heartburn and indigestion, morning sickness, sciatica, backache and tiredness. “The gentle nature of McTimoney chiropractic makes it especially suitable for pregnant women. The whole body approach can enhance the health and well-being of mother and baby,” says chiropractor and physiotherapist Nina Dixon, Msc, BSc, MCSP, MMCA, of Redlands McTimoney. “Treatment from the third month can help many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy and help your body prepare.” One of the most noticeable aspects that often causes back pain is the change in your posture as you adapt your stance to accommodate your

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PRACTICE GOOD POSTURE Avoid slouching down into your pelvic area – one of the best ways to practice good posture is to regularly sit on a birth ball (exercise ball). In order to balance on a birth ball you have no choice but to sit correctly, keeping your back straight and pelvis aligned, which reduces backache and helps your baby get into a good position. So if you’re too tired for exercises, just sitting on your ball instead of the sofa can still help strengthen your muscles and ease pressure on your back. PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES These muscles form a hammock between the front and back of your pelvis. The benefits of strengthening these

muscles during pregnancy include being able to relax your pelvic floor during labour, better circulation for recovery post-birth, prevention of haemorrhoids during labour and prevention of post-natal pelvic floor dysfunction (including symptoms such as urinary urgency, urinary incontinence and the need to urinate frequently). Sit with good posture. Roll your pelvis forward and backward – arching and flattening your back, find the middle position. From this middle position pull up your pelvic floor muscle – it is a feeling of ‘squeeze and li’. It is important to do this without tightening your leg or buttock muscles and make sure you breathe throughout! Try to hold the squeeze for up to 10 seconds, release and rest for at least 5 seconds and try to repeat 6-10 times. NINA DIXON, MSC, BSC, MCSP, MMCA, CHIROPRACTOR AND PHYSIOTHERAPIST (Always check with your GP before beginning any new exercise programme)


WALKING Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It helps to strengthen your breathing as well as your legs. Also, you don’t have to follow a strict regimen – you can look for ways to get a little extra walking such as parking a little further from the office or shops. Make sure that the surfaces you walk on are smooth and safe and wear sensible shoes. Don’t rush – take your time and moderate your pace.

growing baby. Chiropractic adjustment to realign your spine and pelvis can help to take some of the strain off your joints, shoulders, lower back and legs, the areas most affected. Through regular chiropractic treatment symptoms can be kept to a minimum, and your pelvic girdle can be maintained in its optimum position in readiness for delivery. And, as part of your treatment you will be offered advice on how to lift and carry to prevent injury, guidance on posture and simple stretching and strengthening exercises. Redlands McTimoney offer a free spine check service, so if you’re not sure if this is the right treatment option for you, you can chat to the chiropractor about your individual case and they will advise if they think they can help. // Redlands McTimoney Chiropractic Clinic, Stamford, 01780 756294, www.chiropractorstamford.co.uk

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Feature /// Cycling

Silver cyclists With the benefits of low impact exercise, cardio-vascular workout and a burgeoning social scene, plenty of older people are taking up cycling again Words and Photography: Rich Beach “WHO WAS IT who said cycling is the closest thing to flight?” muses Ann Johnson, Stamford pensioner and ardent cyclist. Well, it was American naturalist Louis Helle, and he said “bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds”. And Ann is hoping more senior cyclists will be flocking to the weekly ride around Rutland Water she is helping to organise. “Stamford lacks a safe cycle route,” says Ann, “which is why we set up this group, to encourage pensioners back on to bikes. Many of the people I know are too daunted by cycling on the road to consider taking it up again. And I don’t blame them; I don’t like it when motorists drive too close either, so it’s wonderful to be so near to Rutland where you can cycle on the routes around the reservoir, free from any traffic.” Ann is supported in her endeavour to get pensioners pedaling by Val Harvey from the Transition Town action group, an organisation dedicated to making Stamford greener and more sustainable. Together with Alex Woollen of Rutland Cycling, the trio have managed to corral a small posse to join them on their ride for the last few weeks, but want more silver cyclists to join in. “It’s wonderful when you set off from Normanton and pass the church museum on the edge of the water. The freedom from traffic, the open air, the panoramic cloudscape… It’s so peaceful,” enthuses Ann, who’s just bought a second lightweight bike with quick-release wheels, so she can get it in her car easily. But as Alex explains, you don’t even need your own

bike to join in: “Rutland Cycling has a huge selection for hire, and we are offering a 50% discount for the senior group, which means you can rent a bike for a fiver.” The choice of bikes is as vast at the reservoir and even includes tandem bicycles, like the one owned by newcomers to the group, John and Peggy, who are experienced cycle tourers. David is also an experienced cyclist, and arrived on a fancy road racer, while Richard had recently cycled around Loch Tay on his mountain bike. But Ann is keen to point out that this is a pleasure cycle, at a leisurely pace, and such experience isn’t necessary. Ann puts it into perspective: “Val is recovering from bowel cancer and I had a tumour removed from between my lung and spine a few years ago and didn’t think I’d walk up the stairs again. We’re by no means fitness freaks, but we love cycling, and being a low-impact activity, it’s better than walking and jogging.” The social element of the ride is an added bonus, with new people joining the group every week. “Rutland Water is well provided with coffee stops,” adds Ann. “We stop off at Sykes lane for a coffee and some call it a day there, others carry on to Whitwell. I think Alex is hoping we’ll make it all the way around the reservoir soon!” For more information contact Alex on alex.woollen@ rutlandcycling.com, or call 01572 737624. The group meets at the Normanton cycle hire centre on Tuesdays at 10am.

W H Y SEN IOR CYCLE? Cycling is a great way to combat the effects of ageing; here are a few reasons why you should cycle: // Placing little stress on your

body due to its low impact nature, cycling is second only to swimming for being kind to our bodies. // Spending time outside cycling in green spaces is a great way to improve mental health and can help combat the effects of depression. // 30 minutes on your bike each day can reduce the risk of coronary disease by up to 50% // Anyone who cycles regularly can expect to add years to their life expectancy

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Feature /// Great runs

Ferry Meadows, Peterborough Our resident runner Alexa Cutteridge picks out two great runs around Ferry Meadows ///

Photography: Nene Park Trust


Start at the Milton Ferry bridge by Ferry Hill (Castor end of Ferry Meadows). Run over the bridge towards the lake and turn right at the gate. Stay on the path which takes you around Gunwade Lake, over a bridge, through an avenue of trees to the sailing shop and café. Continue on the path which bares right by Lynch lake and part of Overton lake. As you reach the shop and information point, continue ahead and join Ham Lane which heads out of Ferry Meadows towards the city. After crossing over the railway line turn left following a footpath which you are on for a good fifteen minutes until you reach the large bridge going over the River Nene. Here you have a view of both the busy city and the tranquil countryside - you may even spot some kayakers in the water below! Go over the bridge following the path. To your right you will discover the rowing lake – yes Peterborough has one of these. Turn right and run alongside the lake. Enjoy watching the rowers at work, as you up your tempo along the flat straight for ten minutes or so. At the top end of the club house follow the road ahead taking you out to a roundabout. Carefully crossing the road, take the second exit towards Long Thorpe Village. Follow the main road (Thorpe Road) through the pretty village for around fifteen minutes. Upon leaving the village run over the bridge and turn left towards Thorpe Wood Police Station. Opposite this, turn right heading towards the Virgin Active Gym. Nearly there! On the gym side just beyond the entrance is a small opening to Ferry Meadows. Turn right and enjoy the last 10 minutes of your run, downhill through woodland leading you back to the Milton Ferry bridge. Now for some stretching and a cool down. If you find this distance challenging, mix your run with intervals of power walking – you’re still gaining benefit.


For a refreshing scenic run on a crisp October morning I advise parking at the main car park just off Ham Lane or the Ferry Hill (Castor end) and follow the path around the three lakes in either direction. To mix it up a bit, why not challenge yourself by improving your personal best each time you run or by using each play park and bridge as a place to stop and do some strength exercises, keeping your heart rate raised. Strength exercise suggestions:  Burpees  Jump lunges  Press-ups  Star Jumps  One-minute plank  Squats  Sit-ups  Squat jumps. Recovery food: Mushroom omelette. Eggs are a great protein source and mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Advised by Lindsay Holden (www.purelifestyles.co.uk)

STATS RUN ONE DISTANCE 6.5 miles TERRAIN Flat, grass and road surfaces TIMES 67 minutes at 10-minute mile pace DIFFICULTY 4/5

 RUN TWO DISTANCE Approx three miles TERRAIN Flat, grass and path surfaces TIMES 30 minutes at 10-minute mile pace DIFFICULTY 2/5


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Feature /// Great walks

Fort Henry, Exton

A peaceful walk, evoking images of a bygone era, as Will Hetherington discovers in the fields around Exton ///

Photography: Will Hetherington


Drive from Tickencote towards Exton and park on the right hand side of the road just by the trout hatchery, which is marked on the OS map. Take the footpath north from here and soon you will cross the North Brook on a small concrete bridge. Keep heading north through the field of wild flowers and grasses. Climb over the stile and on your right you will pass the remains of the medieval village of Horn, which you can make out in the undulations of the ground. As you get to the Lower Lake and then Fort Henry Lake you

will pass two footpaths to Exton going off to the left. You can take either of these for a shorter walk, but if you want the full six and a half miles then keep heading north on the east side of Fort Henry Lake. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the boathouse through the trees on the other side of the water and imagine the decadent parties which may have occured here in days gone by. Stay on the footpath up through the wooded valley until you get to the steep wooden steps on to the raised road which runs east west from Exton to the A1. Turn left at the top of the step

and get your head down for this one and a quarter mile stretch across open country towards Exton village. When you reach the end of the track turn left, passing under a magnificent old oak and follow the Viking Way for another mile until the village comes into view. Stay on the main track and enter the village through the farmyard, enjoying the views of some of the beautiful old stone houses in this stunning estate village. If you fancy a refreshing pint or snack at this stage (it is more than halfway round) then take a slight detour off the main road down to the Fox & Hounds pub. It’s worth it just to see the village green where you might well expect to see Miss Marple on her bicycle or DI Barnaby solving another murder in a rural paradise. Once you have rejoined the main road through the village take the left hand turn at the school sign and follow the road beyond the primary school on your right and out into the countryside again. Follow the footpath signs for three right angle turns and then make sure you branch off to

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ESSENTIAL INFORMATION Where to park Just by the trout hatchery and Horn Mill (both marked on the OS map) to the east of Exton. Or if you want to finish in the village then the Fox & Hounds car park or around the village green.

houses in Exton are as beautiful as they come, and overall this is a peaceful walk with hardly any traffic around and few other people. There are some magnificent old oak trees dotted around the route.

Distance and time Six and a half miles/two and a quarter hours

Lowlights There is only one pub on this walk but if you time it right that’s all you need.

Highlights Fort Henry Lake and the boathouse conjure up images of wild Edwardian parties. And it’s not hard to imagine Lady Chatterley meeting Mellors in secluded spots in the woodland around here. The old thatched

Refreshments The Fox & Hounds in Exton has got the market cornered on this walk as it’s the only option. However, you are only five minutes drive from Barnsdale Lodge, the Plough in Great Casterton and the Wheatsheaf in

Greetham to name a few decent local hostelries. Or you could plan ahead and book lunch or dinner in the Olive Branch up the A1 at Clipsham if you want a real treat.


been home to Exton Park has insborough for the Earls of Ga and the village four centuries, en home to be s ha of Exton stocracy in the journalistic ari rrespondent form of BBC co Kate Adie.

Le and below

The scenery in and around Exton is as beautiful as it comes. The Fox and Hounds looks out over Exton village green and is ideal for a snack and a pint

the left heading east back towards the car. If you don’t spot this turn you will end up in the village. From here you stay in the shallow valley which is kept lush by the babbling Hawkswell spring. As you pass round the north side of Cuckoo Farm enjoy the wooden steps and walkway straight out of an Enid Blyton novel. And shortly after this take the footpath up to the road and back round to your car.


The first part of this walk is a wildlife conservation area and there are signs asking for dogs to be kept on leads. But there is plenty of water around all the way up to Fort Henry Lake. And Hawkswell spring ensures your dog can have a drink and a cooling dip, too. There were no sheep or cattle in any of the fields on the day we did this walk.

Difficulty rating (out of five)

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Feature /// Fitness

Team maintenance

Now the season has started, it’s a case of keeping everything ticking over nicely, says fitness expert Mark Gordon

// Steady pace - long even paced run (game time

IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY involved in field or court based sports, then you need to sit up and listen! In terms of your fitness, you should now be in the ‘maintenance’ phase as you have already completed a solid pre-season fitness schedule. But what is the ‘maintenance’ phase? Well it’s not quite as arduous as pre-season training but you still need a fitness regime to get you through the season in one piece and specific to your sport! We start with a weekly planner and break the sessions down into sessions A, B and C and use Saturday as game time (this can be changed according to sport):

// Intervals with rest - All out effort jog for 2-6 minutes

MONDAY Session A (resistance training)

This session should incorporate each major body part (legs, back, chest, shoulders and arms) almost like a circuit class (which is an alternative). This could be a high repeatition workout and the duration lasting for 45 minutes maximum.

TUESDAY Session B (sprints, agility and plyometrics)

// Sprint 1 x 20, 40, 60, 100, 250 mtrs // Agility – Illinois Agility Test x 1 and T-Test x 1 (see

fitness2health.co.uk) // Plyometrics - Used to develop athletic power (strength and speed). Squat jump, Standing long jump, Lateral jump, Diagonal jump 1 x 8 repetitions of each.

WEDNESDAY Session A (resistance training)

This resistance session should be related to the ‘core’ specifically. Pilates or Yoga might also have the desired affect. But ultimately 20-minute sessions using various exercises to strengthen the core area related to your sport specific movement patterns.

THURSDAY Session C (aerobic endurance)

This has four main protocols and you should choose a different one each week.


// Intervals with recovery – a continuous run with

quicker periods of jogging (20 mins) with a 2 – 6 minute rest (3 repeats)

// Special endurance – Using your Jog, cruise, walk,

lateral run and sprint using your (10 – 20 repeats)

FRIDAY – // rest SATURDAY – // game SUNDAY – // active recovery This is anything from a steady bike ride to a gentle jog to a swim. This sort of light activity actually speeds up your recovery by improving blood-flow to your muscles, as you will recover faster and enjoy better relaxation.

MARK GORDON Email: Mark@fitness2health Web: www.fitnees2health.co.uk Facebook: Mark Fitness Trainer Mobile: 07525 657596

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Feature /// Sportsman’s Dinner

The Bombay Cottage, Stamford Curry connoisseurs JT and Dean discuss the merits of post-colonial market town architecture, taste some spectacular dishes and marvel at psychic waiters Dean Even though we’re such finely honed sportsmen John, we do seem to go for more than our fair share of curries. I do wonder if they’re good for our active lifetsyles. JT Of course they are. The rice is full of carbohydrate, I think, the meat is bound to be good protein, and the onion salad with the poppadoms must count for three of our five a day. Not to mention the vitamins in the beer. Dean Fair enough. So as well as being so good for our sporting bodies, the Bombay Cottage is a great spot to go to for its top quality food. Habib seems to be there to open the door with a smile every time I come here. Is he psychic? Does he know that guests are coming in? It’s a nice touch though. JT Not sure, but he’s certainly friendly to everyone, and seems to know everyone’s names and addresses (including ours) for deliveries. That’s a good sign of repeat business. A curry house where everyone knows your name. It’s like Cheers, but with tikka masala. Dean I always use the Bombay Cottage for their excellent quality delivery service (as do most people I know), but don’t often venture that extra 100 yards from Red Lion Square to Scotgate to sit in the restaurant. It’s a pleasant place to go though, with Habib’s friendly welcome, waiters in traditional outfits, all in a nice olde English style building. An interesting cultural mix of east and west.

JT I’d have been fascinated to hear more of your discourse on the multi-cultural influences in modern Britain and the way architecture has been assimilated and adapted by Indian restaurants to reflect a sort of aesthetic polyglotism, but the poppadoms turned up, and top notch they were, too. It’s also great that you get a big bowl of onion salad. I don’t see why some curry houses scrimp when it comes to the onion salad. Lashings of the stuff suits me, and we may even get up to our five a day out of the one tub. Dean Good to see that they’ve got Kingfisher lager on tap in here, and they’re speedy with their service as well. I do enjoy a pint of Kingfisher. Are hops a fruit or a veg? JT Not sure, but I expect they’re good for you. For starter, I had the sizzling mixed kebab. It’s always a bit embarrassing when a sizzling dish comes out. It reminds me of people looking at you when your birthday cake is wheeled out when you’re a kid. Blooming nice though, albeit without candles. Dean I had a very tasty aloo chop. A bit like a fish cake, but full of herby Indian potatoes instead of fish. JT On Habib’s advice, I plumped for the rangamati chicken for my main. It’s not what I’d usually order, but it’s a fantastic dish. Habib very kindly brought us some zaflongi murug to try as well – a chicken dish served on a bed of

spinach. Absolutely divine. The food here is certainly the main attraction. Dean I agree on the zaflongi murug, and my syhlhety chicken was also cracking as well. The chef’s specials here are unique – I’ve not seen a lot of these elsewhere, and they’re all authentic and very tasty. JT To finish off, we shared some lemon sorbet. Dean You always do this to me with puddings – why do I have to share with you? I’ll say it again, it’s what couples in love do. JT I don’t love you Dean, not in that way. VERDICT Overall, we’re big fans of the Bombay Cottage. Granted it’s a slight walk out of town (about 100 yards) but there are two good pubs over the road to have a pre-meal drink, and what it may lack in location it certainly makes up for in great quality food and a superb welcome. In fairness, some prefer the Scotgate location with parking easier, so it’s swings and roundabouts I suppose. If you’ve not tried the Bombay Cottage yet, for either takeaway or a sit down meal, we recommend you do so soon. Habib will be sure to make you welcome.

The Bombay Cottage 52 Scotgate, Stamford 01780 480138

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Feature /// Cars

New Range Rover: a car for the country In the 10 years the current Range Rover has been around, I have driven them through rivers, climbed a rocky Scottish mountain, gone up one side of an aircraft hangar, and down the other, taken the family to Cornwall on holiday, and been chauffeured to Windsor Castle in one. There is no other car that has such a wide spread of abilities as the Range Rover, from transporting muddy dogs, to going to see the Queen. And as this model is about to replaced, it has the distinction of being one of the few cars that seems just as desirable and capable as it was when it was new. That’s quite a feat for a decade-old machine, and if you’re thinking of buying one of the last, run-out models you would be making a fine purchase. So there’s a new one coming at the end of this year. The first SUV with an all-aluminium body, the new Range Rover takes the capabilities of the marque’s flagship to a new level, with even greater luxury and refinement, enhanced performance and handling on all terrains, and significant advances in sustainability. “Launching the all-new Range Rover represents a major milestone for Land Rover, being the first exciting output from an unprecedented investment in premium vehicle technologies,” said John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director. “The new Range Rover preserves the essential, unique character of the vehicle – that special blend of luxury, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability. However, its clean sheet design and revolutionary lightweight

construction have enabled us to transform the experience for luxury vehicle customers, with a step change in refinement and handling.” At just under five metres long, the new car has a very similar footprint to the outgoing model, but with a smoother and more streamlined profile – making it the most aerodynamic Range Rover ever. The luxurious interior has a modern and pure character, incorporating distinctive Range Rover design cues, but with a fresh and very contemporary treatment. The cabin retains the characteristic strong, architectural forms, and these are emphasised by extremely clean and elegant surfaces which are flawlessly executed using the finest leathers and veneers. With over 118mm more legroom, the rear compartment offers vastly more space and comfort, with the option of the desirable new two-seat executive class seating package for the ultimate in rear-seat luxury. An new state-of-the-art lightweight suspension delivers class-leading wheel travel, providing exceptional wheel articulation and composure to deal with the toughest conditions. Outstanding traction and dynamic stability is provided by the proven Range Rover full-time intelligent 4WD system, with a two-speed transfer box, working in parallel with the sophisticated electronic traction control systems. The new Range Rover’s unmatched breadth of capability is also reflected in its tremendously strong structure with enhanced body geometry for all-terrain conditions, wading depth which

has improved by 200mm to 900mm, and its position as the best towing vehicle in its class with a 3,500kg trailer capability. With its highly acclaimed line-up of torquerich engines, the new Range Rover delivers swift and effortless performance. Customers have a choice of a supercharged V8 petrol (which has frightening fuel consumption) and two more real-world diesels (a 3.0-litre TDV6 and 4.4-litre SDV8), all of which are now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Pricing in the UK starts from £71,295 rising to £98,395 for the Range Rover Autobiography Supercharged. Probably best get your order in now, because there will be a long waiting list. Steve Moody

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Advertorial /// Stamford Endowed Schools FACILITIES Pupils at the Stamford Endowed Schools enjoy a wealth of first-class sporting facilities. They include extensive playing fields, artificial turf pitches, squash courts, floodlit tennis courts, two swimming pools and a cricket pavilion. The rugby and cricket pitches are immaculately maintained. The newest addition is the sports centre and swimming pool, which includes a 25-metre indoor pool (pictured opposite), gymnasium, fitness rooms, teaching rooms, a hospitality area, and wet and dry changing rooms.

A sporting chance AT A TIME when the nation is basking in the success of Team GB at the Olympics, the Stamford Endowed Schools (SES) have been celebrating a season of sporting successes of their own. At Stamford High School (girls 11-18), the U14 and U18 hockey teams were Lincolnshire County Champions, and three of the First XI players were selected for the Midlands U18 hockey team. In netball, the U14 team were district winners, while the U16 team won both district and county tournaments, proceeding to the national finals in Basildon, Essex. The football team was amongst the most successful teams, winning the national U18 Independent Schools Cup at the end of an impressive season’s performance. Two players from the team were subsequently called up to the National Representative Squad. Behind this explosion of success has been a considerable increase in the number of girls participating in sports, alongside a growing fixture list and the introduction of new sports. For instance, indoor rowing has increased greatly in popularity over recent years, with each of the year group teams excelling in this year’s Concept 2 league. The sports staff are determined that there should be a sporting interest to suit all tastes and abilities, and last year more than 300 girls received awards in such sports as badminton, swimming, gymnastics, sailing, shooting, polo, tennis and athletics. The large number of girls representing their county and region has propelled sport to a higher level and this momentum will be maintained by delivering more sporting opportunities. Stamford School (boys 11-18) has also seen considerable success over the last year. The U14A rugby side was unbeaten and the 1st XV, 15a and 16a all completed the ‘triple crown’ of wins over

“Opportunities and successes and something for everyone” The Good Schools Guide

“Excellent sports facilities – all three schools benefit from an excellent spread of shared facilities and no school can offer more” The Good Schools Guide Uppingham, Oundle and Oakham. The 1st XV, inspired by a pre-season tour of New Zealand, also came third at the National XVs at St Joseph’s, reached the plate final at the Sedburgh Super Tens and won the Leicester Tigers 7s U18 final. Several of the hockey sides enjoyed their best ever seasons, with the U14 team proudly defeating heavyweight hockey side, Millfield School, for the first time in the school’s history. The 1st XI cricket team lost only two of their fixtures all season, using the skills they developed during a pre-season tour of Barbados to great effect. There is a range of sports available – both team and individual – and teams are fielded at a variety of levels, so that whatever their ability, the boys have a chance to participate. The sporting programme includes golf, tennis, squash, badminton, basketball, sailing, shooting, swimming and fencing. Sport starts early at the Stamford Endowed Schools and pupils at the Stamford Junior School (co-ed 2-11) enjoy a variety of team and individual sports. Last year, the girls’ hockey and netball teams both reached regional rounds of competition, and the tennis doubles team picked up silver medals at the national tournament. The boys’ hockey team continued their winning run and were champions of the North and Midlands Regional Hockey Tournament. The swimming and rounders teams also performed well. The standard of sporting provision and accomplishment at the Stamford Endowed Schools is high, and with added inspiration of Olympic success, the future for sport in Stamford looks bright.

ONES TO WATCH The First XV captain, Louis Grimoldby (graduated 2012, pictured above), led the England Clubs and Schools team to victory over Ireland and has now successfully started playing for Premiership champions, Harlequins. Sophie How, year 13, won gold for Team GB at the FEI European Eventing Championships for Juniors on her horse Pebbly Aga Khan. Lottie Smith remains the GISGA, MISGA and IAPS Under 11 gymnastic champion from her time at Stamford Junior School and has ambitions to compete in the Rio Olympic Games.

SCHOLARSHIPS Stamford School and Stamford High School offer sports scholarships to those joining in years 7, 9, and 12 (sixth form). This prestigious award recognises students with a high level of sporting ability and potential, with the ambition to progress to national representation. For further information on sports at Stamford Endowed Schools, please visit www.ses.lincs.sch.uk, call 01780 750310 or join us at one of our October open days (Stamford School and Stamford High School – 6 October; Stamford Junior School – 13 October; Sixth Form – 16 October. (See the website for full details)

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Feature /// School sports

Uppingham tour South Africa Tim Prior, tour coach, reviews the school’s successful but punishing tour to Springbok country For many of the pupils and staff, the South Africa 2012 rugby tour was one of the best experiences they have ever had. It was an invigorating and thoughtful trip which gave the pupils the opportunity to experience many aspects of South Africa life, alongside the opportunity to play some of the toughest rugby teams they have ever encountered. Arriving at Cape Town, we travelled east along the Garden Route, played matches in four different locations and had many opportunities for sightseeing, before flying home from Johannesburg. One of the most memorable elements of the tour was the three days spent at Kasselsvlei Primary School; a school in the relatively tough Cape Town suburb of South Bellville. This element of the tour was more than just a coach trip of pupils turning up at an unknown destination, playing rugby for an hour and then leaving. The Uppinghamians fully integrated into the life of the school, they helped teach lessons (academic and sport) to the young pupils, some of whom had very challenging personal circumstances, and were excellent role models for the young pupils in their care.

The tourists were further moved by the tough environment of this community when they billeted in the area with the families of the senior school pupils. As a result the boys decided to utilise their ‘fines money’, which had been earmarked for the end of tour dinner, to build up a fund for the primary school. On the rugby pitches of South Africa, the Uppinghamians also faced a series of challenges and each one was quite distinct. Hamilton Seapoint RFC was the first port of call and the opposition were huge! Both Uppingham teams performed well and imposed their superior technique and shape, leaving with two wins. The next challenge was Kasselsvlei Secondary High School. We were expecting very hard, large forwards and hard-hitting physical rugby from this fixtures but found ourselves equally impressed by the speed, dexterity and skills of the Cape-coloured players who flashed by us in a blur of speed. The 2nd XV fought hard and were able to gain control of the set pieces and rucks; resulting in an excellent victory. The 1st XV also played well but the quality of the Kasselsvlei team was a distinct step up from the previous match and their number 10 was

outstanding (and played for Western Province). From here we headed up country and played York High School. This was meant to be a development team fixture for the younger players on the tour. However… we came across the very large forwards and physical rugby we had encountered before, resulting in a close fought defeat. The final challenge was Nico Malan High School, who are rated 18th in the South African Schools League. The 1st XV were up against a very talented team including a South African U18 winger whose pace had to be seen to be believed. Although they held their own and played with great pride for much of the match, particularly in the forwards, the South Africans scored some great tries in a 33-0 loss. The 2nd XV also played hard but following some late tries lost 31-12. To achieve three victories was about what we expected and it was pleasing to learn that every team we played felt that we had taken the game to them. Although we were defeated by the Nico Malan teams, we learned that they had heavily defeated many English school teams and they felt none were as strong as Uppingham.

Olympian Crista inspires school teams

Olympic bronze medal-winning Team GB hockey player Crista Cullen visited Stamford and Oakham Schools recently to talk about the commitment needed to be an international sports star, and to give pupils some useful coaching tips. At Stamford, Crista put the girls through their paces and gave them a real insight into how hard work and determination leads to success. After the hockey training, Crista came back to the school hall for a presentation and Q&A session. She spoke about her journey over the past four years, the training that she undertook and the spirit of Team GB, speaking about her team’s disappointment after not getting into the semi-final in Beijing, and how it was at this point they all reached a decision to commit the next four years of their lives to London 2012. At her old school, Oakham, Crista was greeted by nearly 1,500

Oakham pupils, teachers and support staff in front of Stumps pavilion. Oakham director of sport Iain Simpson congratulated Crista on a career that has spanned 11 years and more than 170 England and GB caps. Crista said she was overwhelmed by the welcome and told the school pupils that her Olympic dream had started at the school, and encouraged them to be inspired and to follow their

dreams whatever they may be in whatever area of life. She went on to tell them to savour their time at school and that she felt it was such a privilege to represent both her country and Oakham School. Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook summed up proceedings saying that Crista had certainly inspired a generation nationally, but especially at Oakham, and thanked her for everything that she had done for the school over the past few years.

BUSINESS OF RUGBY AT OAKHAM Upper School business students at Oakham School got a lesson in the business of sport recently from Peter Wheeler, executive director of Leicester Tigers. He provided a comprehensive insight into how the Tigers make money and the elements that go into the running of a successful Premiership rugby club. Wheeler talked about how significantly the club has grown in the years following the dawn of the professional era, the importance of its large and loyal fan base and the strength of its corporate culture. Tigers’ relationship to the rest of the Premiership was also explored and in summary issues relating to sport industries were applied to success in business more generally.

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Corporate Architecture Ltd

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


Feature /// Fitness

Fit for the boardroom

Research has found that people who are fit and healthy make better leaders in the workplace. Mary R. Brooks, executive director of MAP Knowledge, reports OVER THE PAST MONTHS a person in a fairly senior management position I know has lost 63 pounds simply by counting calories and taking regular exercise. They have received a lot of comments from their staff and others about how much more energetic and effective they seem to be as a leader. So what does this mean? The military has long advocated the connection between physical fitness and leadership. Charles Garcia (2009) in his book ‘Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows’ quotes Major John Patrick Gallagher as saying that self-discipline, being able to perform under pressure and exist outside our comfort zone is the key to unlock our success. I think the key point of that statement is ‘selfdiscipline’. A leader who exhibits the selfdiscipline to take control of and maintain their physical fitness sets a good example for their subordinates. Research supports that being physically fit increases mental stamina and endurance, which

are both well known attributes that an effective leader must possess. In 2002 a study by McDowell-Larsen, Kearny & Campbell looked at the impact regular exercise had on two multi-rater leadership assessment instruments. In 1997, data was collected from over 600 senior executives who attended the same five-day course. Before attending the course, the executives completed a health and physical activity survey. Information was collected from both the executives and their observers. On arrival, additional information was collected including body mass index, blood pressure and exercise routine. The health information was compared with the results of the leadership skills assessments which included input from an observer group of senior people, direct staff and peers. Results revealed that the observer group rated exercisers significantly higher than the non-exercisers on many of the leadership skills assessed.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would agree. She is renowned for her routine of 4.30am work-outs for 40 minutes regardless of her agenda or location. Other well-known fitness leaders include Tom Monaghan, Domino’s Pizza founder Larry Ellison (do you think he eats them?), co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of Alcoa Inc and, of course, our own Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin founder. Physical fitness provides the self-discipline of the leader which conveys a message to their followers. Countries themselves are sometimes judged on the fitness and health of their leader/s; just watch these presidents and prime ministers ‘strutting’ their stuff, or ‘walking the talk’. There are obvious health benefits to being physically fit which may enhance the real or even perceived effectiveness of the leader, but you have to recognise the connection in the first place, don`t you?

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


Drury’s Daniels deliver a good start BY DEAN CORNISH


n Active’s August edition, we looked ahead to an exciting new season for the Stamford Daniels and they’ve not disappointed so far, at least not in terms of results. Returning manager Graham Drury has so far lead his team to four wins in their first five league games, as well as making good progress in the two most important cup competitions – the FA Cup and FA Trophy. The Daniels haven’t disappointed in front of goal either, averaging almost three a game with the likes of new signings Jordan Smith, Andy Hall and Gary King all impressing in the penalty area. The main objective for the Daniels this year will be promotion, and it’s not just the fans who think they’ve got a chance, with the bookies now installing them at 5/1 fourth favourites to win the league after their bright start.

As well as promotion though, a good run in the FA Cup or FA Trophy is crucial for the club finances, and with winnable games in the FA Cup second qualifying round (Buxton at home on 22 September after we went to press – Ed), and in the FA Trophy next phase (Kidsgrove at

home on 29 September), there’s certainly plenty of optimism milling around Wothorpe Road.

It’s not been such a bright start for the other Stamford-based non-league side, Blackstones FC, who are currently languishing in the bottom four of the United Counties League after picking up just a solitary win in their first six games. There must have been waves of optimism around Lincoln Road in August after they smashed Barrow Town in their extra preliminary FA Cup game, and then won their first league game of the season against Irchester United. That early season feelgood factor has long since been extinguished though with seven defeats on the spin for Darren Jarvis and Michael Goode’s men, including defeat in the FA Cup to Gresley Rovers. Meanwhile, ambitious Oakham United have made a good start to their Peterborough Premier Division campaign, currently sitting third in the division with five wins from their first eight games, including a solid 1-0 win in the big derby at home to Uppingham Town, who

themselves sit mid-table and are already looking good to improve on last year’s lowly finish. In Division One, it’s been a poor start to the season for the Stamford Bels, who sit bottom having only won one game, albeit an impressive 5-1 away win against fellow strugglers Sutton Bridge. Newly-promoted Ryhall United have started their campaign back in Division One marginally better, with James Sheehan’s men picking up a win and two draws from their opening five games. Ketton FC, meanwhile, lead the way in the early table in terms of Rutland sides with the boys from Pit Lane sitting mid-table after some good results, including creditable draws against King’s Lynn Reserves and a 3-0 derby day beating of Stamford Bels. It’s early days yet, but the Stamford Daniels and Oakham United both look well placed for a tilt at the top in their respective leagues. It’s shaping up to be a good season, but aren’t they always? Next time you’ve got a Saturday free, why not pop along and see what you think?

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Early season’s been a curate’s egg BY JEREMY BESWICK


he new season’s been a curate’s egg for our local clubs. Oakham and Stamford College Old Boys struggled for early form with the excellent parts coming from Stamford Town’s two wins. Oakham opened with a thriller, losing 31-35 to Belgrave. Despite a 20-point lead from four early tries they didn’t trouble the scorer in the second half. Adding to the misery, late on three Oaks players graced A&E with their presence, the toll including a broken cheekbone/ nose, busted ligaments and stitches to the head (Will Armstrong, Tom Williams and James Padley collecting their purple hearts and frightening the nurses). No lack of commitment, one infers. Next week those still standing (six regulars unavailable) made the trip to Ashbourne incurring a 44-23 loss. Close until the final quarter, Oaks were defiant with their tackling but excellent recycling from Ashbourne saw the forwards ultimately tire. So, two high-scoring defeats for the Oaks but their eight tries have at least earned bonus points. Veteran John Hamilton summed it up thus: “Once we get our defence organised our attacking flair will win games”. Stamford College OB’s scheduled debut at home to Oundle was less than glorious as the club was unable to fulfil the fixture. Still, it’s part of the charm of local rugby that a front row can go missing to bring in

the harvest, and with a complete front row, you can’t play. The back line was similarly weakened for their second fixture as a scratch side yielded 31 points to St Ives, gathering only five, but chairman Gavin Moss reaped positives from the game, especially as they fielded six debutantes. Try scorer was Aled Pattison – a breakaway from halfway – and fitness levels were good, with College camped in the opponent’s half for the last quarter but unable to capitalise. Moss commented: “With so many new players we need more rugby. Once they gel we’ll be on the up”. Supporters will also hope the grain is now safely in the silos. Stamford Town stuttered against Deepings, going 5-0 down before recovering to lead 10-5 at the break when a few words of the short variety from the coaches were amusingly discernible from the touchline. The hair-dryer treatment weaved its magic and the second-half performance was in marked contrast, a team now seemingly introduced to each other finally running out easy winners 29-12. Try scorers Robbie Smith, David Bushrod and Richard Thompson complemented Will Mardling’s accuracy with the boot. Determined to be proved second-half specialists, they next contrived to lose the first period 0-15 away to Stockwood Park before another much-improved second saw them pile on the points, winning

27-15. Rumours of doping agencies confiscating the half-time oranges have been exaggerated, but Stamford’s superior stamina should help them win a high proportion of their games in the last quarter and a push for promotion seems on the cards. Captain Matt Albinson told me: “Competition for places is at an all-time high and we’re optimistic all three senior sides will serve up a feast of rugby every Saturday”. Amen to that. Across all three clubs 252 points scored at an average of over 50 per fixture – dull it wasn’t.

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The JumpCross team at Grange Farm have not let the unpredictable summer weather dampen their spirits and put on another successful competition at JumpCross HQ. There was a huge turnout of competitors and spectators alike and the sections were highly competitive with each rider looking to score as many league points as possible. Robin Dunlop’s well planned track featured water crossings, combinations and two joker fences allowing riders to improve their score at the double and a stile fence at the very end of the round. Robin said: “JumpCross events are really well supported and we still have a training event and competition in October before the season starts to slow down.”

Results: Grange Farm, September 15

Intro - Junior 1st – Sabrina Lucas riding Full of Colour 2nd – Kloe Davis riding Chesters Blue Moon 3rd – Ross Hemmings riding Waterloo Curtis Intro - Senior 1st – Kerry Dean riding The Cider Glider 2nd – Alison Cooke riding Saachi 3rd – Sophie Lumsden riding Scrumpy Jack Group 3 – Junior 1st – Phoebe Wagner riding Elvis 2nd – Sophie Warrener riding Thieka 3rd – Annie MacIntosh riding Jack

Group 3 – Senior 1st – Alicia Goodchild riding Remi Martel 2nd – Sally Wagstaff riding Gulliver 3rd – Amy Hayward riding Yvanovitch Group 2 – Junior 1st – Rachel Dinwoodie riding McGuinty Springs 2nd – Phoebe Wagner riding Morgan

Group 2 – Senior 1st – Alicia Goodchild riding Remi Martel 2nd – Sally Wagstaff riding Gulliver 3rd – Julia Dungworth riding Limmerick

Rutland ladies get off to a flyer BY SIMON COOPER


fter a comprehensive series of pre-season fixtures, Rutland’s 1st X1 ladies began their second season in the Cambridge Premier Division with a trip to Oundle. With several new faces, the Rutland side are approaching this year’s campaign with some optimism. They began brightly, often picking their way through the home side’s midfield. Oundle, however, had a couple of canny operators at the back, and they, in tandem with a more than useful goalkeeper, kept the Rutlanders at bay for a good 20 minutes before Anne Pollock finally broke the deadlock. That goal seemed to sting the opposition into action, and new full-back pairing Clare England and Nicki Perry had to be alert to deal with a string of attacks. With the Rutland side under increasing pressure approaching half time, captain Katie Richardson took a ball to the throat and had to be temporarily withdrawn, but the rest of the girls rolled up their sleeves and the Rutland goal made it through to the break unscathed. A re-jig at half time, with Richardson returning to the fray, led to Rutland looking immediately more threatening. However it took the introduction of Nat Grundy at centre forward five minutes in to bring about the second goal, with Pollock also

adding another shortly after. Back came Oundle, increasingly finding joy down the Rutland left side. They pegged a goal back, and in truth could have had at least another were it not for some adroit goalkeeping from Vicky Salt. After this scary five minute period, Rutland again asserted themselves, Kim Cooil proving adept at mopping things up in the centre of the field and Pollock and Dom Lammie starting to get their link up play going. Charlie Gregg had also got up to fifth gear, charging down the right wing repeatedly, and from one such burst Rutland were awarded a penalty stroke (sadly blown just as Ella Brahmachari was forcing the ball in the goal). Rachel Richardson tucked that into the bottom left hand corner with the minimum of fuss and clear water was once again established. It was all Rutland now, and the whole team were over the moon when Polly Hirst bagged a quickfire brace on her debut, and then Brahmachari, after a couple of false starts, got the goal her performance had merited. The Ladies 2nd X1 took the field in St Ives wondering how much of a step up would be required after last year’s promotion. After a 5-1 defeat, in which Lucy Ginn starred in goal, they return to the training ground with a renewed sense of purpose.

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Charity captain’s day a success GREETHAM

Greetham club captains Jim Wheeler and Eileen Pare ran a stableford competition recently in aid of both captains’ funds and their charity for this year, the Evergreen Care Trust. Thankfully there weren’t the extremes of weather facing the competitors in the Ladies British Open at Hoylake the same weekend, but what they did have was tough enough to get their attention and to keep the scoring down. In the men’s competition it was very tight with first, second and third all coming home with 38 points, and had to be separated on count back. Geoff Williams took first thanks to a better final three holes. The 11 handicapper said that the conditions were brutal for everybody but overall he was extremely happy with the way that he managed to keep his swing tempo when the head was saying “hit it just that bit harder into the wind”. Second placed Graham Smith, off five, had a lapse in his usually impeccable concentration when he hit his ball into the water on the par three fourteenth, he ended up with a five which ruined his chances. Dave Thompson also off five was third. In the ladies competition, former captain Eve Mills took the win with a spirited 37 points in spite of not scoring on the second and 13th holes. Eve, off 16, was pleased with the way that she coped in the wind.

Thirty two seemed to be a popular number on the day as that was the score for the next four ladies. Fay Taylor took second and Chris Edwards was third, Sue Ker and Gillian Upton were fourth and fifth. Seniors’ captain Peter Macdonald Pearce held his away day at Beeston Fields in Nottingham ton a day of mixed wind and rain. Everybody was caught out with the slickness of the greens which also seemed to have lots of hidden slopes. Last year’s winner of the Joe Ball Bowl, David Aldred, seemed to cope with them better than most. Reflecting the difficulty of the course for a visitor, the scores were very low and David won with a score of 33 points. Second placed David Lucas seemed to get to grips with them in the back nine and came in with 31 points. David also won the longest drive and nearest the pin. Joe Ball was third with 30 points. Seventy two was the winning score for Peter Macdonald Pearce, Martin Hope and David Aldred.

The Better Ball Stableford saw David Clarke from Horsley Lodge and Mitch Sharpe of Chesterfield in first place on 43 points, ahead of local Bob Emmins and Sam Oldman (The Leicestershire) on 41. The annual mixed knock-out competition for the Swindin Trophy saw a win for brother and sister Dean and Hannah Vaughan over Mick Chapman and Ladies vice-captain Janet Duff. Tight until the turn, a strong start to the back nine saw the pair emerge as five and three winners 5 and 3, with Dean the first junior winner. The Seniors had a strong finish to the season with a 5½ - 4½ win in their second to last match of the season at Belton Park.


The Men’s Autumn Open 36-hole competition was contested by 44 pairs from 31 clubs. The first round consisted of an 18-hole Betterball Bogey competition, with. Burghley member Dominic Higgs, playing with guest Greg Shelton from Stoke Rochford, emerging as winners on +5, with John and Roy Dexter one back.

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Rutland ladies get off to a flyer

New team captains confirmed



he final games of RCNL’s inaugural season took place last month, with two thrilling games completing the summer 2012 fixtures. The first game saw Don Paddy’s meet Pink Panthers with Panthers needing a win to move into the fourth spot. Both squads were at full strength and, in a repeat of their first meeting, the first 12 minutes saw end to end action, with Panthers leading by just one goal at first quarter end. Panthers pulled ahead during the second quarter, leading by six goals thanks to the stunning partnership of GS Naomi Cooper and GA Penny Cooper, who together scored a plethora of goals. But DPs fought back, netting a massive 22 goals in the second half of the match. In the final seconds of the game, with the goals level, DPs missed an opportunity to score thanks to Panthers’ defensive efforts, enabling them to work the ball back into their attacking quarter to score the winning goal, resulting in a score line of 35-34. The title rested on the second match of the evening when Cavells met Oakham Ospreys. Cavells needed to win by 30 clear goals to finish top of the table ahead of rivals Catmose Cougars. Cavells dominated from the off despite impressive defensive play from Osprey’s Gemma Hughes and Pam Chamberlain, which kept Cavells to nine goals in the first quarter and enabled team mate Vicki Bradley to work her way in to the attacking circle and score four goals. Megan Clarke and Carly Latham kept

Ospreys to just two goals in the second quarter, and Ospreys chances were further thwarted when WA Katie Burton was forced to retire with a finger injury. Despite a great effort by GA Laura Wilkinson for Cavells, the final score ended 37-11, leaving Cavells four goals short of their target, putting them in the second place spot and giving victory to Catmose Cougars. RCNL would like to thank everyone who has helped make our first season such an amazing success. The Winter 2012/13 season will start in October, and we will welcome a number of new teams to the league. There is still time for new players to join us as we will continue our Thursday night training sessions at Catmose College from 7pm for a further three weeks. Teams are looking for players so join now: www.rcnl.co.uk or contact Tina 07841 592490. RCNL will be holding a celebration event on Friday 12 October 2012 at XY Bar in Oakham. Tickets will cost £3.


After Uppingham Hill Badminton Club’s AGM and further consultation at the beginning of this season, the team captains for the 2012/13 season have been confirmed as: Rutland and Stamford Mens – Jack Smalley Rutland and Stamford Mixed – Sian Bryars Melton and District Mixed – Matt Stevens Hunts and Peterborough Mens 6 – Peter Atkinson Hunts and Peterborough Mens 4 – Mark Burberry Hunts and Peterborough Ladies 4 – Sian Bryars Hunts and Peterborough Mixed – Sian Bryars The mixed team will play in Division two of the Peterborough and Hunts league this season, guaranteeing 12 top-notch fixtures including their old friends from Border and Apollo. The ladies are confirmed in Division two of the 4s competition, so 10 fixtures for the gals, and the men’s 4s are confirmed in Division two also, so they will play eight fixtures including some tough nights at Jack Hunt.

The Mens 6s are confirmed in Division three after last year’s unbeaten promotion season.

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23/09/2012 19:19

Guest column

Pints of whelks, HP sauce bottle missiles and Deano left on a roundabout... The Sunday Times’ Martin Johnson is amazed he’s still alive having covered Leicester Tigers in the amateur days was having a pint recently with the former rugby correspondent of the Birmingham Mail, and the new season had left him underwhelmed. “They tell me it’s a better game since it went professional,” he said. “Utter rubbish. Everyone’s six foot six, 18 stone and runs 100 yards in 10 seconds. Ye gods. If I want to watch rugby league I’ll go to Wigan or St Helens, not Northampton or the Tigers.” It was a classic case of everything was better in my day. Memory can be a selective thing, and while he closed his eyes to dream of Phil Bennett sidestepping his way past mesmerised opponents at Cardiff Arms Park, my own thoughts drifted to a game between Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, played on a swamp in a howling gale, and the players giving a passable impersonation of 30 wallowing hippos. On the other hand I could see where he was coming from. Attending my first game of the season at Wasps, I arrived an hour-and-a-half before kick-off and the two teams were already out practising tackling, kicking and scrummaging. My mind went back to my time as rugby correspondent of the Leicester Mercury, when no-one arrived until half-anhour before, and in Dusty Hare’s case, Saturday morning in the lambing shed invariably saw him emerging from his Land Rover, still in his wellies, at five to three. On the second weekend of this season, I was overtaken on the M5 by a coach with blacked-out windows emblazoned with ‘Exeter Chiefs’. It was 11am on Saturday, and they were playing Northampton on Sunday afternoon, so clearly they were staying overnight. Tigers, in the Hare, Woodward, Wheeler, Cusworth era, never stayed overnight even when they travelled to Twickenham on John Player Cup Final day. Luxury coach? It was a rusty old banger, belching black smoke, and on one away trip to London we were coughing and spluttering our way past Newport Pagnell when someone asked “anyone


seen Deano?”. We were meant to pick Dean Richards up at a roundabout in Hinckley, but forgot. And as for the local newspaper reporter, I astonish myself that I am still alive to tell these tales. Where to begin? The Redfern brothers holding mine and Tim Buttimore’s ankles as they dangled us upside down over a bridge in Stratford? Brian Hall propelling a bottle of HP sauce that grazed my ear before splintering a mirror on a tour to Bahrain? The forwards showing me what it was like to be at the bottom of a ruck? In a hotel lobby. Being forced to drink pints full of vinegar-soaked whelks in the Neath RFC bar after being caught – several times – for right-handed drinking? I still wake up, on occasions, bathed in sweat and gibbering uncontrollably. “There, there,” my wife will say. “It’s alright. Wheeler and Cusworth aren’t playing now. Go back to sleep.” Rarely did she open the door on a Saturday night, or the early hours of a Sunday, to find me returning home wearing more or less what I went out in. Once, I had nothing on but a single shoe, a pair of underpants, and a jacket. Just how different a game it was years ago is best summed up by Keith Jarrett making his debut for Wales against England having just left school, scoring 19 points, and wandering – looking slightly the worse for wear – into Cardiff bus station just as they were locking up for the night. The boss looked round for a driver, and issued him with the instruction: “Get one of the buses out for Mr Jarrett and take him home to Newport. Oh, and make it a double decker in case he wants to smoke upstairs.” They didn’t do press conferences in those days either, but if they had, try to imagine current Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill explaining away a defeat thus: “We were a bit short in the backs, what with Bill being best man at a wedding and Sid not being able to get time off work. And not having our first choice No 8 because we forgot to pick him up at a roundabout didn’t help either.” Things move on and the current Tigers side would put 60 points on the old lot. However, the more I think about it, the more I realise why some of us hanker for an era long gone.

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