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ISSUE 30 // OCTOBER 2017


HOW TO… South Leicestershire’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Make mushroom soup Create a ghost costume

M i n d Gam e s How a healthy body helps brain health Countryfile’s Adam HeNSon on his Active life ISSUE 30 // OCTOBER 2017

Buff up for your big day

Will’s Walk

d Somerby an Burrough-on the-Hill

What to do to look great for your wedding

www.theACTIVEmag.com 10

Manor High School Excellence ~ Inspiration ~ Care ~ Respect

OPEN MORNINGS E V E R Y W E E K  9.00-10.00am  Come to our excellent school during the day - parents and

children are welcome

 See our inspiring teaching and learning in practice  Discover our outstanding pastoral care provision, including

before and after school

 Find out about our extra-curricular activities and events  Experience for yourself the “Magic of Manor”  Learn about our strong values, curriculum and school


 Speak to our friendly staff and students about our caring


 Experience our expertise in Key Stage 3 and GCSE ensuring

deep mastery in subjects that are right for your child

 Our new school bus service allows easy access for families

from further afield

 From age 11-16, your child’s five-year journey to success

starts here

Book your places on our Open Mornings online now at:


Places available for autumn 2018, with special focus on Year 7 If you are interested in joining Manor High School and would like further information, please call Alison on 0116 272 979 9

Copse Close, Oadby, Leicester LE2 4FU Telephone: 0116 271 4941 Email: admin@manorhigh.leics.sch.uk Website: www.manorhigh.leics.sch.uk Twitter: @ManorHighSchool Facebook: @ManorHighSchoolOadby

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Editor’s Letter HERE COMES AUTUMN, THE BEST SEASON of the year bar none. Yes, I’m slightly biased and possibly there’s some inherent calling to the months of leaves falling as I was born in it, but there is no doubt it outranks miserable winter, random spring and unfulfilled summer for a number of reasons. Here are a few: It always delivers on its promise. More than any other season, autumn always performs. The leaves always turn a majestic colour, the sun always shines with that golden glow and the mornings are always crisp and energising. Winter is grey, a good summer turns up once a decade and spring is just all over the place, invading winter and giving us forlorn hope of a wonderful summer to come while sometimes rudely reappearing in about June. You never get that with autumn. The football and rugby seasons start. As much as I love the cricket season, it’s the start of the rugby and football seasons that’s really exciting. It used to be easy: Tigers would start autumn trying to work out how much bigger to make the trophy cabinet for the season ahead. Now it’s a little less ambitious. Just one would do, but a day at Welford Road is still one of life’s great pleasures, even if the results aren’t quite as spectacular. Roast dinners and walks. Barbecues and chilled Chablis are great, but there are very few things as fine in life as a walk through the countryside under a bedding of leaves with the dogs in tow, in the knowledge that there’s a slab of roast beef in the oven and a fabulous bottle of claret breathing on the table. Middle England at its very finest. The kids go back to school. It’s great to have them at home for the holidays, but who doesn’t breathe a little sigh of relief when they are packaged back up in their uniforms and they are kept occupied for the majority of their day by a professional? So there you have it: definitive proof that you should embrace the new season wholeheartedly. Enjoy the issue! Steve

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

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

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

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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ISSUE 30 /// OCTOBER 2017


Great things to do locally for all the family

15 HOW TO...

Make mushroom soup and create a ghost costume


This month we cook ricotta and basil courgettes


Focus on incredible India


How getting active can help with mental health



What is it with some pro sports people and booze?


Advice from the Ashleigh Clinic’s Craig Mortimer


Function Jigsaw’s guide to strengthening your joints


Our essential guide to planning your big day

ACTIVE LOCAL 46-47 CHALLENGE UPDATES... Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers


Successes on the field from our local schools


Hindu priest Shastrii Dilip Joshi


Taking in Somerby and Burrough Hill


We try out The Fox and Goose at Illston on the Hill


Jeremy Beswick tries his hand at archery

62-66 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring

4 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

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Stretton House, Oadby Guide £925,000 Stretton House is a stunning Georgian property, with period character throughout. The property boasts approximately 5000 square feet of accommodation and is set within landscaped gardens, including a private woodland area and enjoying views over adjacent parkland. The house has benefited from significant improvement over recent years and is a wonderful family home, well situated to take advantage of the nearby Leicester Grammar School.


Market Harborough, Leicestershire Guide Price £499,950 Stunning 3 storey detached house, situated in the popular Farndon Fields area of Market Harborough. The property is immaculate throughout, boasting light filled rooms and upgraded specification. With two generous reception rooms, kitchen / dining room, master bedroom suite incl. dressing area / ensuite and four additional bedrooms / two bathrooms. With double garaging and parking for up to six vehicles.


Stoughton, Leicestershire Guide £599,950 Immaculately presented cottage, situated in the heart of Stoughton and refurbished in recent years by the current owners. The house boasts in excess of 2500 square feet of accommodation with stunning open plan entrance hall leading to dining room, a traditional sitting room and additional reception room. Five bedrooms are complimented by three bathrooms, with an additional shower room on the ground floor. Private South facing garden to the rear.



East Langton, Leicestershire Guide Price £425,000 Juniper House is an immaculate conversion within The Old Stables, East Langton, approximately 5 miles to the North of Market Harborough with direct trains to London St Pancras from 55 minutes. The house itself is immaculately presented, with recently refitted bespoke kitchen and first floor sitting room with West facing views over rear gardens and beyond.

t: 01858 463747 I e: harborough@mccallum-marsh.co.uk I w: mccallum-marsh.co.uk 36 High Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7NL mccallum marsh.indd 1

22/09/2017 16:20



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BROCKS HILL IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED Brocks Hill Country Park and Centre in Oadby has received a £1.2 million cash injection to improve and develop its facilities. The new partnership agreement between Sports Leisure Management and the local council means that the park will benefit from a new children’s play area, climbing walls, better parking facilities and the existing café facilities will be upgraded to provide catering for meetings. www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk


Sign up for the Santa Fun Run T J Thornton Jewellers in Coventry Road, Market Harborough, is a long established family business. An independent, traditional jeweller, it is now being run by Tim Thornton, the fourth generation of his family to run the business. They offer a professional service selling new and antique high quality jewellery as well as watches. They also do repairs, valuations and commissions. If you are looking for a fabulous engagement ring or a small piece of silver jewellery they should be the first people you visit. www.tjthornton.com

8 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

Entries are now being taken for the Santa Fun Run that will be held in Market Harborough on Sunday, December 10. Starting at 2pm at Welland Park, the chosen charity for this year is the Squires Effect. There are two distances to cover – 2k or 5k – and dogs on leads are welcome. www.raceharborough.co.uk



Running Shop Run by Runners Large Shoe Range Gait Analysis Friendly Service Clothing Accessories 146A Clarendon Park Road, LE2 3AE 0116 2708447 leicester running shop.indd 1

www.leicesterrunningshop.co.uk 21/04/2017 16:56

October Hockey Camp Thursday 26th – Friday 27th October 9.45am – 3.45pm £100



ings for bookre 30th fo e b made er Septemb

For further information and to book:www.uppinghamsummerschool.co.uk summerschool@uppingham.co.uk 01572 820800


` Like us on Facebook


t Follow us on Twitter

Are you running the risk of outliving your savings?

George Halls Cycle Centre 10-12, Northampton Road Market Harborough Leics, LE16 9HE 01858 465507 georgehallscycle@aol.com www.georgehallscycles.co.uk


ife expectancy is increasing all the time. Over the last 30 years (1982 to 2012) life expectancy has increased by around eight years for males and six years for females to 79.0 years for males and 82.7 years respectively (Office of National Statistics December 2013). This means that someone retiring now will need to have accumulated a fund far greater than someone retiring in 1982 to generate the same income. I believe in adopting an individual approach to help you make the best decisions for your retirement fund – decisions that are right for you now and in the future. I specialise in guiding people through the decision making process, so that they can make an informed choice. The golden rule is to find out exactly how much you are going to need in retirement – and to start planning for it now. For further information, or to request your no obligation review to retirement planning, contact:



Tel: 01162 599007 Email: matthew.boyce@sjpp.co.uk Web: www.matthewboyce.co.uk

The Partner represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The title ‘Partner’ is the marketing term used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

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22/09/2017 12:21


STAG FIGHT The deer rut is in full swing this month. This is when stags square up to each other in a ďŹ erce mating battle. You can get close to the action at Bradgate Park in Leicester, home to red and fallow deer. Accompanied walks are being held throughout October. Tickets must be booked in advance. www.bradgatepark.org

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0116 2591900

• Co-educational Independent Day Schools based together on a 75 acre site • • Pupils aged 3-18 • Come and visit us to find out what we are about •

London Road, Great Glen LE8 9FL • www.leicestergrammar.org.uk

Leicestershire’s first Prep School Plus for Boys & Girls aged 4–16 • Part of the Leicester Grammar School Trust •

Visit our new Early Years Classrooms in ‘School House’

• Book a private tour • Visit us on Open Morning, Saturday 28th October 2017 from 9.30am to 12.30pm For more information or to book a visit, please contact Mrs Whittle on 0116 259 2282 or visit www.stoneygateschool.co.uk

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WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these? ■ Join in the Hallowe’en fun at Rockingham Castle between October 24 and 26. There promises to be lots of spooky pumpkin activities, and fun for all the family. www.rockinghamcastle.com ■ Join former Apollo astronaut Al

Worden at the National Space Centre in Leicester on October 7. His visit coincides with World Space Week and offers a day of inspiration and insights into science. Also on offer during half-term is Spooky Space – lots of fun from the spooky science team! www.spacecentre.co.uk

■ There’s a food fayre at Brocks Hill Country Park and Centre on October 22. A great day out for the family with the chance to

learn more about healthy eating. Entry is free. www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk ■ Join the Hallowe’en Ghost Walk in Bradgate Park on October 31. Previously home to Lady Jane Grey, who spent nine days on the throne before being executed, her ghost is well-known at the park. Supper is included in the ticket price of £22.50. www.bradgatepark.org ■ Peterborough Fireworks Fiesta has a new sponsor, Britannia Fire and Security. Now in its 40th year and one of the top 10 displays in the UK, attracting more than11,000 visitors, the event will be held at the East of England Showground on November 4. Advance tickets are now on sale. www.fireworkfiesta.com

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WIGSTON COLLEGE Sixth Form Open Evening 2017 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Wednesday 8th November “Wigston College is a place where hard work, dedication and passion, from both students and staff come together to allow talents to flourish and bring succes within reach.” - Kate Nelson Head Girl 2016-17. BSC Nursing, De Montfort University

“The college has provided me with many opportunities, from Duke of Edinburgh to Sixth Form Management committees. This combined with cameraderie and the community feel of the college has provided me with a unique environment to work in and achieve outstanding grades.” - Luke Zelenovic BSc Chemical Engineering, University of Notingham


wigston.indd 1

“My time at the college was challenging, but enjoyable and staff are so easy to talk to.The college productions have to be my highlights over the two years, with everyone working together to create such amazing shows. The Performing Arts Department and staff are incredible. I would not have been able to achieve such high results without their help. - Alice Lee BA Dance & Musical Theatre, Bird College ‘Inspectors were highly complimentary about the quality of teaching they receive. Inspectors found that they are right to be pleased. In all of the sixth form lessons observed, the students learned consistently well.’ - Ofsted report March 2017

WIGSTON COLLEGE STATION ROAD, WIGSTON, LEICS. LE18 2DS Tel: 0116 288 1611 email: admin@wigstoncollege.org

@wigston 6thform

20/09/2017 11:54



COOK MUSHROOM SOUP Ingredients 60g chopped onions or shallots 50g butter Salt and pepper 400g trimmed wild mushrooms 600ml chicken stock 250ml milk Cook the onions gently in the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper for three minutes, being careful to not let them colour. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook very gently for five minutes. Add the chicken stock and milk, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Pour the soup into a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with fresh crusty bread.


Create a ghost costume out of a bed sheet It’s ridiculously easy and quick, just what you want when it comes to making fancy dress costumes for Hallowe’en. Grab an old bed sheet and drape it over the head of the person who will be wearing the costume. Mark the centre of the head with a black marker, mark the eye holes, and mouth if you wish. Remove the sheet, cut out the eye holes, and a round mouth if you want. Job done!

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T J Thornton is a traditional family jewellery business established in 2007.

FESTIVE PARTY NIGHTS WITH DINNER & DISCO IN THE BARN A selection of dates are available throughout December ~ 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th • Sun-Thurs £28.50 pp / Fri-Sat £30.00 pp

3 Coventry Road, Market Harborough LE16 9BX

Tel: 01858 468858

• Private parties can be arranged, subject to availability

Email: tim@tjthornton.com Web: www.tjthornton.com

• All festive & private parties require a pre-order

Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5.00pm

Menu Cream of cauliflower soup V Pressed ham hock terrine & Piccalilli salad Gravlax of salmon, pickled cucumber & new potato salad G

Weekly Local Classes

*** Roast Norfolk turkey served with all the trimmings Seared fillet of seabass, crushed new potatoes with a dill & lemon butter sauce G Wild mushroom & tarragon pithivier with tenderstem broccoli V *** Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy V Dark chocolate delice, gratin cherries & white chocolate ice cream V Colston Basset stilton & English farmhouse cheddar, served with; celery, grapes, chutney & Jacobs crackers V

Fun and skills that could save your child’s life We feel incredibly proud that we’ve helped save a number of very young children’s lives after they’ve fallen into water and survived – thanks to the skills they learned with us. Our world-class teachers could have trained as private pilots – five times over – in the time it takes to fully qualify with us. You can trust us to take the very best care of you and your little one.

s held... classe

Leicester, Loughborough, Oakham, Uppingham, Grantham and Melton Mowbray

To give your baby a splashing start call

The Avenue, Rutland Water, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH tel: 01572 724678 enquiries@barnsdalelodge.co.uk


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01664 567 302 Let’s teach your baby to swim!


22/09/2017 12:06



FALLOW DEER The fallow deer is a fairly common sight in these parts. Look across open fields, close to woodland, and you will frequently spot them in quite large herds on open agricultural land. Easily identifiable by their spotted coats, they are smaller than the red deer but larger than the roe. Their coat becomes long and grey in the winter with the white spots becoming less apparent. White fallow are fairly common, as are melanistic (black). The stags sport impressive antlers that increase in size with age, reaching up to 70cm long. Not native to the British isles, their history is closely linked to deer parks. First brought to Britain from the Mediterranean and kept in deer parks, as their popularity declined the escapees naturalised and are the foundation of the high numbers found in Britain today. Peak activity is at dawn and dusk. Remember, if a deer jumps out in front of you while driving, stop, as they rarely travel alone. If one crosses the road, there are bound to be more.


Like the red legged partridge (also known as the French partridge), the pheasant is an introduced gamebird whose numbers are kept artificially high by releases. A common sight in fields and hedgerows, with a distinctive call. Pheasants may have been brought here by the Romans – they appear on some mosaic pavements – but are more likely to have been introduced by the Normans. Because it is a sporting

Horse mushrooms quarry the pheasant can fairly claim, more than any other bird, to have helped create our local countryside. Many woodlands are maintained on its behalf and crops of maize and kale provide it – and other species – with food and cover in winter. Pheasants are usually very wary and when disturbed in the open will usually run for cover in nearby hedges and woods. Males, with their dark green head and neck with red wattles around the eye, bright plumage and long tail, are unmistakable. Some have a white ring around the neck. All white birds, but not true albinos, are sometimes seen as are melanistic birds, which have very dark plumage. Females are sandy brown with darker markings, well camouflaged as they incubate up to 15 eggs in a nest well hidden beneath brambles and long grass. As well as grain and seeds, slugs, earthworms and molluscs are the main food. Terry Mitcham

A mild wet summer has led to an abundance of mushrooms in the fields. Delicious when freshly picked and cooked, these mushrooms have a rich, strong taste. Readily available in pastures, particularly where animals graze, they often grow in rings. They can grow up to 25cm across and 10cm tall in large numbers, so plenty for a good feed. The cap is usually white, sometimes a discoloured grey with the underside (gills) white when very young but quickly turning to a grey/brown colour in the more mature specimens. They smell mushroomy when picked, a good indicator that you have the horse mushroom rather than the yellow

stainer which does not smell edible at all. A word of warning – be aware of what you are picking. Foraging courses are available for those who are not confident in telling an edible mushroom from a poisonous one.

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1 lemon 3 courgettes Salt and pepper Olive oil 100g quinoa 125g ricotta 30g pine nuts 30g breadcrumbs 25g parmesan cheese 1 tbsp pesto verde 1 nutmeg 30g parsley 4 tomatoes 1 garlic clove


● Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Boil a kettle. Finely zest and juice the lemon.

Split the courgettes in half lengthways. Place them on a baking tray and season. Coat and turn them in oil and 1 tbsp of lemon juice (1). Bake, cut-side up, for 10-15 minutes. ●

● Rinse the quinoa in a sieve then transfer to a saucepan and cover with 400ml water. Season and bring to a simmer, cook for 10-12 minutes until tender.

While the courgttes and quinoa cook, mix the

RECIPE BOXES Riverford recipe boxes are a simple and inspiring way to cook. Every week, we deliver everything you need to make three tasty organic meals. Inside each box, you’ll find the freshest, seasonal organic produce, step-by-step recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for weeknights – most are ready in under



ricotta, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, parmesan and half the lemon zest in a bowl. Stir in the pesto. ● Remove the courgettes from the oven. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scrape out the softer core of the courgette until you’ve removed about half the flesh. ● Chop the removed courgette and stir into the ricotta mix (2). Loosen with 1tbsp oil. Season well and grate in a little nutmeg to taste.


● Spoon the mix evenly back into the hollowed courgettes. Return to the oven for 15 minutes until baked and bubbling. ● Drain any remaining water from the quinoa. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and leave to cool. Wash and dry the parsley. Finely chop a garlic clove. ● Quarter the tomatoes. Scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Finely dice the flesh (3).


● Stir the parsley, tomatoes and garlic through the quinoa. Check the seasoning and add lemon juice to taste. ● Serve the courgettes stacked on top of your quinoa tabbouleh (4).

Tip: You can also use marrows rather than courgettes.

45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious, with a few treats thrown in. Our cooks come up with nine new recipes every week, so there is always plenty of choice. There are three different varieties of recipe box - choose from vegetarian, quick, or original. A box for two people ranges in price from £33 for the vegetarian box, to £39.95 for the quick and original boxes. Delivered straight to your door, with everything you need to cook

included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to

find out more or call 01803 762059.

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Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

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

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm Tel: 01780 654321 Email: sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk 12 St Leonard’s Lincs PE9 2HN Tel: 01780 654321 Street, Email: Stamford, sales@classicstamford.co.uk 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN www.classicstamford.co.uk

12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN



TEA AND THE TAJ MAHAL India is a country of vast contrasts. Brightly coloured saris, heaving cities, sacred cows, tea plantations and bright sunlight – but also a lot of noise, crowds and beggars as there is a huge wealth divide. Be prepared, it’s highly populated in areas, slightly chaotic and incredibly hot and aromatic (and not always in the nicest way) so plan accordingly. If visiting for the first time it is sensible to go on a guided tour. When visiting India many people take in the golden triangle in the north of the country – New Delhi, the Taj Mahal at Agra, the pink city, Jaipur, and then back to the capital, New Delhi. These trips can be organised for you by many tour operators. This does make it easier as all the planning is done for you. The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, is on many people’s bucket list. Situated in the city of Agra on the Yamuna river, it was commissioned by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 20 years to complete, involving 20,000 workers and is built of white marble. The best time to visit is winter (October to December and February to March) when the temperatures are cooler and the weather clear. It can get exceptionally hot and humid during the summer months. But be aware that there will be crowds of people. To avoid them get there early. Queues

start at 6.30am and it is wise to be through the mausoleum before 10am when there will be hordes of people being ushered through by some very strict security guards. Security is very strict, so find out what you can and can’t take with you before you make the trip. You will be given shoe covers to wear during the visit. Also, be aware of pickpockets – they are quite a big problem around the Taj Mahal and throughout parts of the country. But don’t be put off and make sure you experience a trip in a rickshaw.


● You need a visa to visit India (www. indiantouristvisa.org.in) ● Be aware of pickpockets and beggars. Do not give money to beggars; it’s better to give food. ● Vaccinations are recommended. Check with your GP six weeks before you travel (www.gov. uk/foreign-travel-advice/India/health). Make sure you have comprehensive travel and health insurance. ● Never drink tap water and avoid ice and street food to lower the risk of the dreaded ‘Delhi belly.’ ● Women should dress conservatively – tops that cover your shoulders, shawls, and loose, long trousers or skirts. It is wise not to go out alone unless you are a seasoned traveller used to the country.

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Adam Henson

2 2 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

A RARE BREED Chris Meadows caught up with the UK’s best-known farmer, BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson, at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

What is your history in farming? I feel very privileged to have been born into a farming environment. We’re tenant farmers: my father took on the tenancy in 1962 and I succeeded it from him in 2002 and it’s a wonderful environment. I walk out the back door and I’m into the green countryside and fields. But also learning about farm animals and having dogs in the house and pets and ponies was just an amazing environment to be in. So are you a through-and-through country boy? I love visiting the city, and I like going to the theatre and restaurants and shopping, and going into London is a great buzz, but I love the countryside. And places such as Burghley – it’s great to see people from all walks of life coming out and enjoying the great outdoors and events such as this. And on Countryfile we’re now getting seven or eight million viewers, people who are engaged in what’s going on and wanting to know more about the environment that I grew up in. That for me is a great pleasure to be able to talk about that on the television, and something I feel very passionate about too. How can the British public help farmers more? Buying British is really important. So, if you look for the Red Tractor logo with the Union Flag behind it on the labels that’s the basic British standard that means it fits with all our very tight and high legislation in this country. And then if you want different ethical standards there’s freedom food, RSPCA, organic, you can go to your local farm shop, you can buy rare or traditional breed meat. I think that people are getting better at it, sourcing more carefully, thinking about what they’re eating. There’s a big revival in food and where it comes from, which is a great thing. But you can also grow your own – you can grow a few herbs in your window box, or if you’ve got a garden you can have a few chickens, or you can go further than that and have a few sheep and pigs if you’ve got some land. So there is a place for everyone to give it a go. And certainly being around animals is important. If you can have a pet then that’s great to learn about animal husbandry and responsibility, but also about death when the animal passes on.

On the farm you specialise in a lot of rare breeds. What was the reason behind this and how have you developed it over time? Well it was my dad really. He was an actor’s son, so first generation farmer and worked on a farm as a boy and got an assistant farm manager’s job, farm manager’s job and then eventually took on the tenancy at home and then started collecting rare farm animals. Post-war, the agriculturalists were told to turn the tap on for food production so we weren’t in that position again, and when we did that we streamlined agriculture and left behind some of our old fashioned dual-purpose animals. So animals like Gloucester cattle that were quite good at producing milk and quite good at producing beef but not brilliant at either were outclassed. And some of these animals were becoming extinct because they were no longer needed by modern day farmers. My dad started collecting them and ended up with quite a big collection, despite his business partner saying to him the reason these animals are rare is that they’re not commercially viable. So what were we going to do? Dad opened the Cotswold Farm Park to the public in 1971, which was the first ever open farm in the country to showcase rare breeds conservation and to help pay for his hobby. And we still run that today, and I’m really carrying on his legacy, and really believed in his idea that these animals would be needed in the future. They’re an important part of our heritage in terms of food provenance and local breeds to suit local areas. So 45 years on he’s been proven right and lots of people want Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages.

Le and below

Adam meeting the crowds at Burghley, before helping out in the catering area by cooking up some great British ingredients

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Adam Henson

Do you cross-breed the rare breeds? We do sometimes. So some of the breeds, such as the Shetland sheep, which are a little primitive breed that are now so popular they’re not rare. If you cross them with something like a commercial ram, say a Rominy, they produce a really good little lamb for the table. But we also farm commercially. We’ve got a commercial flock of 500 ewes, and then we’re farming with our neighbour on a joint venture farming operation of about 4,000 acres of arable, so we’re doing quite a lot of serious farming as well. And I’m away from the farm quite a bit, but I’ve just got a fantastic business partner and also a really good team of managers while I’m away. What brought you to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials? I do a little bit of work with Land Rover at charitable events, and events like this, and so they invited me along last year. I also know the Burghey House manager, Philip Gompertz, as he’s an old school friend of mine, so it’s really lovely to catch up with him and match it with being here for the trials. We talked about serving my Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages as the ‘Burghley Banger’ and I’ve been doing a little bit of book signing and then meeting people. What’s the ‘Burghley Banger’ like then? Our sausages are made by a local butcher at home, so we’re supporting him. They’re Gloucestershire Old Spots, and although it sounds a bit ironic, by eating rare breeds you’re giving the farmer an outlet and therefore the more he will keep and the less rare they become. But also we put in the best cuts of meat, so we take the legs and the chops and all the rest of it and put quality meats in the sausage and he’s careful with the salts and the additives, and natural skins on them. I think they do just make really good eating, and they’re perhaps a little more expensive than you might buy in the supermarket, but it’s about choosing products that you really enjoy the flavour of, plus you’re looking after the British countryside.

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I don’t want this to sound corny, but you need to remember it’s a managed landscape, and when you’re eating your Sunday roast or your supper in the evening you’re supporting the farmers and the community they live in and all the ancillary businesses that are associated with farming that keeps the countryside looking the way it does. So you’ve also got a new book out. It’s not your first is it? I’ve got a book that I wrote last year ‘Like Farmer Like Son’, which is a memoir about me and my dad and growing up on the farm and how our lives were very entwined, how we both worked eventually on TV. He used to do some TV presenting and then I got a job on Countryfile in 2001 and then during the writing of the book he sadly passed away so it was quite a difficult book to write. But it’s been very popular. And then I’ve got another book coming out about dogs, A Farmer and His Dog. Do you think you could do your job without a dog? No, and I personally would never want to be without one. Partly for work, I’ve got a couple of border collies working the sheep which are irreplaceable really. Lots of people try to round up sheep with quad bikes and it works to a degree, but you’ve got to have a border collie. They’re just extraordinarily intelligent, brilliant animals. And the very best people who work them, the sheepdog triallers, are just amazing. They’re like the very best horse riders here, they have incredible skill. But again the dog in the house that sits by you, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a bad mood, a good mood or what’s happened during your day the dog will always be by your side, you know you can pat it on the head and it’ll always greet you as you walk in. They’re so loyal and lovely. And there’s a dog for everybody. So if you look around Burghley here there’s all sorts of different people with all sorts of different dogs that all relate to the wolf really. So it’s wonderful that they’re such fantastic animals.


Adam and Zara Tindall offer up some Burghley Bangers made by a butcher local to Adam



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22/09/2017 12:05

Feature /// Mental health

MIND GAMES How exercise can make you feel more positive, less stressed and help with depression and other mental health issues


f you’ve just put your feet up after a long, bracing walk, or powered through a session in the gym, or are basking in the glow of a hard fought win, you will recognise the benefits that exercise can bring in terms of your state of mind. You might feel exhausted, but satisfied, possibly calmer and less stressed too. It’s a result of the chemicals your body has released during the heightened period of stress you have subjected yourself too: the protein Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and endorhphins. BDNF has a protective and reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch, which is why we often feel so at ease and can think clearly after exercising. At the same time endorphins, another chemical which fights stress, is released in your brain to minimise the pain and discomfort of exercising, and can make you feel elated too. But you probably know this already, and these are also short-term, albeit very positive, gains. The question is, can exercise help with long-term improvement in our mental health, and if so, how can we go about putting it into action? Firstly, it’s worth defining what is exercise and, of course, it varies for each of us depending on our age, health and fitness. Generally, there is an agreed recommendation that the average adult should do between 75 and 150 minutes of exercise a week,which can vary, depending on the person and their lifestyle, between moderate intensity exercise such as walking or riding a bike (obviously dependent on how hard you choose to do it), or something a little more taxing such as running, swimming or aerobics. Essentially though, any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer counts towards your exercise. So why should exercise help with mental well-being? Well, other than the fact there appears to be a strong link between the two, we‘re not exactly sure. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, there are several possibilities. It reckons most people in the world have always had to keep active to get food, water and shelter. This involves a moderate level of activity and seems to make us feel good. We may be hard wired to enjoy a certain amount of exercise.

Harder exercise (perhaps needed to fight or flight from danger) seems to be linked to feelings of stress, perhaps because it is needed for escaping from danger. It adds that exercise seems to have an effect on certain chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin. Brain cells use these chemicals to communicate with each other, so they affect your mood and thinking, while the BDNFs mentioned earlier help new brain cells to grow and develop. Moderate exercise seems to work better than vigorous exercise in this case, while exercise also seems to reduce harmful changes in the brain caused by stress. Once you have decided that you want to be more physically active, there are a few points worth thinking about. Apart from improving your physical and mental well-being, what else do you want to get out of being active? Ask yourself whether you’d prefer being indoors or out, doing a group or individual activity, or trying a new sport. If you’re put off by sporty exercises, or feel uninspired at the thought of limiting yourself to just one activity, think outside the box and remember that going on a walk, doing housework and gardening are all physical activities. Also, would you rather go it alone or do an activity with a friend? Social support is a great motivator, and sharing your experiences, goals and achievements will help you to keep focus and enthusiasm. Of course, if you are suffering from mental health issues, going out and trying something new might well seem rather daunting, and it’s easy to find plenty of barriers that give you reason to not continue, such as cost, injury or illness, lack of energy, fear of failure, or even the weather. So why not call on the help of family or friends: getting practical and emotional support from them can be incredibly useful in the early days as you embark on new routines or activities. Then there are other factors to consider. If you are anxious about your body image or fitness levels, don’t

“Any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer, counts towards your exercise”

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Feature /// Mental health

impaired over time. Decline in cognitive functions, such as attention and concentration, also occurs in older people, including those who do not develop dementia. Physical activity has been identified as a protective factor in studies that examined risk factors for dementia. For people who have already developed the disease, physical activity can help to delay further decline. Studies show that there is approximately a 20% to 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. Physical activity also seems to reduce the likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline in people who do not have dementia.


choose an activity or environments which will put you in uncomfortable situations. The point is to make you feel more at ease, not less so. Also, don’t sign up to a programme or to goals which you just can’t commit to: make sure it’s an activity you can complete with the time available to you, and that it fits in with your lifestyle. There’s no point choosing something incredibly ambitious requiring a lot of demanding training, which you cannot possibly achieve when juggling work and family life: it will just exacerbate your feelings of stress and anxiety. It might sound obvious, but it is surprising how many people throw themselves in at the deep end, such as signing up for major endurance events, thinking it will solve all sorts of problems and then soon find it has become one them. So it’s best to build up your ability gradually. Give yourself some easy wins to start with – there’s nothing wrong with that. Another idea is to focus on task goals, such as improving skills or stamina, rather than competition, and keep a record of your activity and review it to provide feedback on your progress. There are many apps and social networks accessible for free to help. It’s really important to set goals to measure progress, which might motivate you. Try using a pedometer or an app on your smartphone to measure your speed and distance travelled, or add on an extra stomach crunch or swim an extra length at the end of your session. Remember, you won’t see improvement from physical conditioning every day. Making the regular commitment to doing physical activity is an achievement in itself, and every activity session can improve your mood.


Improvements in healthcare have led to an increasing life expectancy and a growing population of people aged over 65. Alongside this increase in life expectancy, there has been an increase in the number of people living with dementia and in people with cognitive decline. The main symptom of dementia is memory loss; it is a progressive disease that results in people becoming more

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We would not claim that all mental health can be solved with exercise – that would be trite and simplistic – but physical activity has proved to be an effective alternative treatment for some people with depression. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with medication and/or psychological therapy, has few side effects and does not have the stigma that some people perceive to be attached to taking anti-depressants or attending psychotherapy and counselling. Physical activity can reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the problem with depression can be that people get in a spiral that proves hard to break free from: they are depressed so feel low on energy and tired, so avoid going and doing things, which makes them feel like they are missing out, which in turn makes them more depressed, and so on. Whatever you choose to do, the RCP recommends starting with something easy – such as walking round the

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13/07/2017 15:25

Feature /// Mental health block. Build your level up gradually, perhaps by just doing a minute or two more – or a few metres more - each day. Try to do something most days, even if you feel tired. Start by working out how much you do already – you can use a pedometer to show you how many steps you take every day. Or you could keep a diary for a few days of how long you spend doing active things. Then set yourself some goals. Make sure they are: S – Specific (clear) M – Measurable – you will know when you’ve achieved them A – Achievable – you can achieve them R – Relevant – they mean something to you T - Time-based – you set yourself a time limit to achieve your goals. They need to be things you can see yourself doing – and take pride in, so you feel good about yourself. You may be able to do it on your own, or with some help from others. But crucially, don’t overdo it. If you haven’t been active for a while, doing too much when you start can make you more tired – particularly if you also have a health problem such as depression that makes you feel tired. One day you may have the energy to be really active but feel completely exhausted the next. The RCP says you will have setbacks when you can’t meet a short-term goal, or just feel too tired to do anything. Recognise it when it happens, but don’t worry about it. Tomorrow is another day and short-term setbacks don’t matter in the bigger picture of your longer-term goals. And, if you need to, do ask someone else to give you a hand. You’ll soon be on the path to feeling better, fitter, more positive and less stressed. Good luck.

THE NHS’S FIVE STEPS TO MENTAL WELLBEING Below are five things that, according to the NHS, can help to boost our mental well-being: Connect – with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Keep learning – new skills as this can give you a sense of achievement. Why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play an instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your community centre, can improve your mental well-being and help you build new social networks. Be mindful – of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness mindfulness. It can positively change the way you feel about life.

SOME STARTING POINTS NHS The NHS Choices website has a number of tools to help people get started with physical activity, including exercises for older people, strength and flexibility videos, advice on taking up new sports, and getting started with walking. www.nhs.uk The Great Outdoor Gym Company Outdoor gyms are where some gym equipment is provided in outside spaces for people to use for free. www.tgogc.com The British Heart Foundation The BHF’s ‘Health at Work’ website provides further suggestions and some resources to get started with promoting physical activity at work. www.bhf.org.uk

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15/12/2016 17:27

Guest column

Win or lose, on the booze Martin Johnson on sportsmen’s often destructive relationship with those evils of modern sport: alcohol and the press here was I fretting about things such as North Korea and Hurricane Irma, when a glance at the WH Smith newspaper rack suddenly made me feel a whole lot better. Nuclear war on the way? Catastrophic climate change here already? Not according to The Sun, whose front page informed us that the real issue confronting Earth was: “WAZZA OFF THE RAZZA!” For the majority of the newspaper reading public, this wouldn’t have made much sense without the boffins at Bletchley Park providing them with a decoding transcript, but Sun readers, weaned on such front page classics as “Gotcha!” and “Up Yours Delors!” would have grasped at once the gravity of the situation. Wayne Rooney (Wazza) was coming off the Razza in deference to the long suffering Mrs Rooney, who was not best pleased with Mr Rooney for being at the wheel of another woman’s car when Plod pulled him over for a positive breath test. Rooney’s ‘Wazza’ nickname has, by all accounts, some connection to Paul Gascoigne’s ‘Gazza’, which sounds like a pretty tenuous link, but in most other respects they seem pretty much joined at the hip – both were teenage football prodigies, and both like a drink or two. I once stood in the players’ tunnel interviewing Gascoigne after his first match as manager of Kettering Town, and when he breathed in our direction, most of us needed a black coffee before risking the drive home. But the Gazza story is in almost all respects a sad one. Gascoigne is the second best known example of a star footballer taking to the bottle, marginally behind George Best. Which begs the question, are footballers – and high profile sportspeople in general – more prone than others to go out on the razza? It would, some would say, explain why footballers are always falling over, but the reason they, and other professional sportsman, give the impression of being bigger boozers than others, is that a drunken night out always ends up in the press thanks to someone whipping out a mobile phone to take a snap. If people think there’s a fair bit of grog being supped by sportsmen nowadays, they should have been around in rugby’s amateur era. I remember, in my time as rugby reporter for the Leicester Mercury, my first Easter tour with the Tigers to Wales,


taking a walk down Swansea High Street with a couple of the players at around 1am. We were suddenly alerted to the sound of a high pitched car engine, and an even higher pitched cry of “hello boys!”. Looking up we saw an old Mini full of females hurtling down the road, and the greeting had come from one of the touring party flat out on the roof. Lest you think that this kind of thing was confined to away matches only, you should have been inside the old Tigers’ clubhouse in the 1970s and 80s, when the players and fans all came together for a raucous Saturday night after the game. Star of proceedings was the old secretary Jerry Day, who had two party pieces. The first was ‘stool diving’, in which he attempted to vault several chairs in a row, and once we’d retrieved him from the wreckage, he’d launch into an even better loved routine. This involved breaking wind at the same time as engaging a cigarette lighter, and on one particularly Saturday the unfortunate occurrence known as ‘blow-back’ resulted in a trip across the road to the conveniently located Royal Infirmary. I looked up the top 10 professions for high rates of alcoholism, and nowhere was there a mention of professional sportsmen. Miners, builders, farmers, architects and doctors are all, apparently, more likely to seriously hit the bottle than a professional sportsman. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that the danger time for sportsmen is when they’re retired, with nothing much to do and quite a lot of money with which to do it. Best, who retired at 27, and Gascoigne, are football’s best two examples, and the boxer Ricky Hatton was another who took to drink when his fighting days were done. There have always been tales of sportsmen having a few too many, and there always will, but it would be a mistake to think that more of it goes on nowadays than in times gone by. One of the biggest boozers in football was the 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, and most of his nights out were in the company of reporters. But they never wrote about it, and that’s the difference. It’s not so much the players who’ve changed, it’s the press.  Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.

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22/09/2017 12:05


TWIST AND SHOUT Is your pelvis twisted? Craig Mortimer, consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist at the Ashleigh Clinic, looks at the problem... and how to solve it myself believe that there are usually other factors involved in causing your pain as well as the sacroiliac joint. If you look at the construction of the spine and legs that locate into your pelvis there is a complex integration of movement and control required by many joints and muscles. What can you do?

There are many options available when treating this and other spinal issues. Various physiotherapy treatments are available which include manual therapy to more invasive ones such as a local injection. Again our approach is always about movement so we tend to base our approach on restoring normal function by adding simple functional exercises to your programme. Here’s an idea of some exercises

I’m sure there are many of us who have visited a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath who have heard the words: ‘your pelvis is twisted’, ‘You have one hip higher than the other’, or ‘one leg’s longer than the other’. All alarming words when you have no idea of anatomy. But you know your back hurts and you say, ‘can you put it right?’. First it is important to understand what is going on and basic anatomy. Below is a diagram showing the sacroiliac joints. These can easily be seen as two dimples when looking at someone from behind. It is a strong weight-bearing joint in the pelvis connecting the pelvis with a triangular shaped bone called the sacrum.It is surrounded by the biggest ligaments in the body which help provide stabilisation and shock absorption for the spine. The ridges in the joint of either side act as a lock and key, much like if you put your knuckles together. These strong surrounding ligaments not only act to limit the very small movement, some studies suggest only 2mm, but also with the surrounding muscles, ligaments and fascia control continuous distraction and compression forces around the pelvis in many directions as we perform our daily activities.

• Single leg to chest. Lie on your back and as you draw one knee up to your chest, exhale. Flattening your spine to the floor and keeping your chin down to straighten the whole spine. Repeat with the other leg. • Now repeat the exercise pulling both knees to your chest. • Again lie on your back. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor. Place your hands in a crucifix position and gently move your knees side to side. • The Cobra is an exercise many of you may know. Lie face down. Place your hands by your shoulders and push up into half press up position whilst breathing out, keeping your pelvis and legs on the ground. • Child’s pose is a simple exercise where you start on your hands and knees and knees apart. Then slowly breathe out and sit backwards onto your knees with your arms stretched out in front. All of these exercises should be repeated 5-10 times and aim for a 5 second hold when relaxing and breathing out. If you are in doubt it is important you seek a consultation before performing these exercises as I mentioned earlier, there could be many different reasons for your problem and it is important to target your particular issues. You can contact the team at Ashleigh Clinic on 0116 2707948.

What are the symptoms?

When the joints become inflamed pain is felt commonly on one side of the lower back. The joint can move very slightly hence the term ‘twisted pelvis’, etc. You may experience pain into the hip, groin, buttocks and into the back of the leg. It is very important to get an accurate diagnosis from your physiotherapist as the symptoms can be very similar to other issues, such as prolapsed discs. When you consider the complexity of the anatomy in the pelvic region, there are a mass of major nerves that pass in front of the joint from the spine and many anatomists like

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SOLVING ANKLE RANKLES Function Jigsaw sports therapist Lauren Dobson explains how your ankles’ range of movement can affect your performance… Do you suffer regularly with tight calves or even cramping in the foot or calf? Have you ever even thought about your ankle mobility? Our ankles are the basic foundation of most movements, yet it is occasionally the most ignored joint next to the wrist in terms of flexibility. A good percentage of us don’t think about mobility at all but, when we do, we usually focus on our shoulders and hips. The ankles are stability joints that must very quickly absorb force, then help shi weight for the next movement as well as providing the base of functional strength. It seems silly to look so much into such a small joint, but having a nice strong base there will help improve all weight-bearing activity. The most important factor to consider is that you have the correct range of movement. It is important when we walk, run, cycle, squat, play football or hockey, that we have good range of movement through the ankle joints. If one – or both of these – are restricted, we create added stress on the other lower extremities no matter which activity you are performing. Let’s take running as an example. When we run, our ankle moves up and down (dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion) to allow us to absorb impact, control our body position and push off effectively with enough power. A runner with an Achilles’ tendon injury, causing tightness and shortening of the tendon, will have reduced ankle mobility and this will affect the athlete’s performance and speed. In longer distances, it will also put added pressure through the knee complex.


What causes poor ankle mobility? ● Flexibility through the calf muscles (gastroc and soleus) ● Ankle joint restriction – capsular tightness or scar tissue ● Adapted bad postures ● Previous injuries to the lower body ● Frequently wearing heeled shoes/poor footwear. How do we test ankle mobility? 1. Knee to wall test Stand with your foot vertical to the wall, with your big toe 5cm from the wall and knee in line with the foot. Bend your knee and attempt to touch the wall while keeping the entire foot flat on the ground, paying close attention to the heel. If the knee reaches the wall successfully with no heel raise, move 6cm away from the wall and repeat until the maximum distance from the wall is found. Less than 5cm = poor ankle mobility Up to 10cm = acceptable ankle mobility More than 10cm = good ankle mobility 2. Lying active dorsi-flexion against wall Lay on the ground with your feet together and flat against the wall and legs flat, arms by your side. Pull your toes back and as far away from the wall as possible keeping your heel in contact with the wall. Unable to move the ball of foot from the wall = poor ankle mobility Reaching 2-3cm from the wall = acceptable 3-5cm or more away from the wall = good ankle mobility



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3. Lying active plantar-flexion Begin on your back with feet pointing upwards in a vertical position. Point your toes as far away from you as possible and hold at your end range of motion. The goal is to reach around 30 degrees range of motion. Anything less than 20 degrees would be a sign of poor ankle mobility. 4. How do we regain ankle mobility? From the tests, you might find that there are some improvements to make. Some of the techniques used may take longer than you expect as you are possibly trying to regain muscle length in some of the structures – but using a mixture of all methods will show some quick improvements. Both static and dynamic stretching can be performed daily and/or as part of a warm-up routine. Try repeating the knee-to-wall test as a stretch and try to hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Use self-massage techniques with an Active Foam Roller or Active Trigger Ball on the calf, tibialis anterior (shin muscle) and plantar-fascia. Use a foam roller to allow the muscle structures to increase flexibility. Once we have improved our ankle mobility, it is then time to start stabilising the joint and strengthening the lower body. If any of the exercises cause pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you get seen by a professional for an injury assessment to rule out any serious injury. Function Jigsaw’s experienced therapists are available by calling 0116 3400 255.

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WEDDINGS – a time of great happiness and joy – but also a time of great stress and high emotions. Where on Earth do you start when it comes to planning your big day, and how do you make sure you don’t forget anything? Lists, lists and more lists is the answer, along with a great deal of patience, organisational skills and, of course, a sense of humour. Here’s our guide to the big day...

Engagement rings and jewellery

The rule of thumb is that the groom spends anything from a month’s to three months’ salary on an engagement ring (or for some the sky’s the limit). It doesn’t matter, but go to a good jeweller for advice and help. TJ Thornton in Market Harborough is a long established business, now being run by the fourth generation of the same family. Stamford offers Dawsons in Red Lion Square and Bourne has Hoppers on North Street.

Hen parties and stag dos

These can be as refined – or not – as you wish. Country Bumpkin Yurts, based at an idyllic farm setting in the East Midlands, offers glamping at its best. The wood-fired hot tub sounds particularly appealing. Barnsdale Hall Hotel with its spa and beauty treatments is the perfect place for a fabulous girlie weekend. Stag dos – we’ll let the men sort that out themselves, but Grange Farm at Wittering has lots of activities from 4x4 driving to shooting to team building fun.

Picture perfect

Local photographers such as Nico Morgan, Katie Ingram and Rosie Butcher all have a great eye for detail and come highly recommended. They’re fully aware of the importance of capturing the fabulously informal moments, as well as the more traditional shots.

Get me to the church on time

There are a plethora of cars available for wedding hire. You can be slightly quirky and arrive in a VW camper or go to the other end of the spectrum and travel in a classic Rolls-Royce. Classic Rolls and Bentley Hire, based in Oakham, has a couple of beautiful Rolls-Royces as well as a slightly more modern Bentley, and will travel all over the East Midlands. Meadows Executive Cars, established in 1926, will make sure your day starts splendidly and will definitely get you there on time, and will also do airport runs for your honeymoon so you can arrive for your flight in style.

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Fabulous flowers

The flowers can make the day. Fabulous flowers are remembered and talked about, and the scent of arrangements can be incredibly evocative. Greensleaves at Stamford Garden Centre offers an ‘emporium of floral delights’ and will work with you to create your dream flowers. Georgia Bremner, who has a degree in floristry, has just created her own stunning wedding flowers and offers a bespoke wedding service. Chilli Peppers Florist in Market Harborough specialises in wedding flowers and Centre Piece Hire, also from Market Harborough, is great for that ‘something extra’.

Dresses to die for

The most important part of the day. What will the bride be wearing! Anna Couture in Stamford can make you a dress from scratch and also sells some fabulous designer dresses. Anna herself is a warm, friendly lady, full of fabulous ideas. The Wedding Room in Stamford has just moved to larger premises. Bradgate Brides in Leicester comes highly recommended, as does Wedding Belles in Kibworth Beauchamp. Annie Laurie in Easton on the Hill is great for bridal accessories and, at the moment, still has plenty of dresses on offer. Try lots of dresses on, even if you don’t think the style is for you, you might be surprised at what does suit you. Be open minded and take a couple of people with you who will offer good, honest advice.

Mothers and men

What does the mother of the bride wear? A large hat is an absolute must for some, and a drop dead outfit will always go down well, but avoid white or cream, for obvious reasons. Private Kollection in Market Deeping has plenty of choice, including hats, and offers great advice. Anna Couture also makes mother of the bride outfits and sells some fabulous fascinators. There is always the option to hire a hat – Harringtons Hats near Oundle offers

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USEFUL WEBSITES Jewellers www.tjthornton.com www.dawsonofstamford.com www.hoppersjewellers.co.uk Hen and stag do venues www.countrybumpkinyurts.co.uk www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.grange-farm.co.uk Cars www.meadowscars.co.uk www.rollsandbentleyhire.co.uk Photographers www.rosiebphotography.com www.katieingram.co.uk www.nicomorgan.com Wedding dresses Anna Couture 01780 765174 www.wedding-room.co.uk www.annielauriebridal.co.uk www.weddingbellesonline.co.uk www.bradgatebrides.co.uk Wedding outfits www.harringtonhats.com Private Kollection 01778 346226 Colin Bell Menswear 01780 757888 www.theweddinghirecompany.co.uk

this service. The groom can opt for traditional morning dress, lounge suit, tuxedo, or whatever he wants. Many will hire a suit, have one made or buy one. Colin Bell in Stamford is excellent for morning suit hire, as well as general suit purchase and hire, as is Farleys Wedding Suit Hire in Oadby.

Hair and beauty

You’ve got the dress, now you need to look the part. Find a good hairdresser and make up artist and have a practice run before the big day. Good Hair Days, which has branches in Uppingham and Stamford, offers the complete bridal package (hair and make up). Your wedding day is the day when you should use a professional make up artist. They will make sure your make up stays intact, and will bring out your features. If you want a little help before the day visit Glen Eden Medical Aesthetics who can offer cosmetic advice and treatment. Aroha Beauty House in Uppingham is the place to go for some ‘me time’ before the wedding. The Grooming Room in Market Harborough and Oliver Lee in Stamford both specialise in men’s grooming, offering wet shaves as well as hair styling.


Where to hold your wedding can be a difficult choice. Do you want to get married in a church or at the venue itself where the ceremony and reception can both be held. Be warned, some venues are booked up years in advance so you might need a long engagement. If you get married on a Friday it can be cheaper, and more dates might be available. Our part of the country offers some great venues – Normanton Church is a fabulous spot, as is Hambleton Hall. Both offer great views of Rutland Water, as do Barnsdale

Hall Hotel and Barnsdale Lodge Hotel. Launde Abbey is stunning and offers a marquee in the grounds for larger parties. Another site for marquee weddings is Orchard Meadows at Tugby, you can even camp (or glamp there). Berryfields near Yarwell also offers a site for a wedding, the beautiful grounds cover 18 acres with a threeacre lake in the middle, and, again, you can camp there. And Grange Farm at Wittering has a brand new permanent marquee in a beautiful setting.

Marquees, caterers, loos and sundries

This is where your checklist comes into its own. If you are using your own venue and hire a marquee you will also need loos, caterers, a bar, refrigeration, decorations, furniture – you name it, you’ll need it. Start with the marquee company, they will be able to recommend many specialists. Stamford Marquees and Events and Tents have most of our area covered and offer a huge range and size of marquees. Mill Farm Catering at Manthorpe do a superb job – a family-run butchers which also does outside catering, including wedding cakes (and the canapés are to die for). Posh loos are a must for weddings and Lodge Farm Luxury Toilet Hire from Market Harborough and Aqua Loos, near Stamford, both have excellent units. Fresh Wheels Refrigeration offers a mobile refrigerated unit delivered to your venue so that you are able to keep everything cool and locked, if necessary. And now you need a singer. Greg Fidler is an acoustic singer who can also offer a varied playlist and lighting to keep everyone entertained.

Beauticians and Hairdressers www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.glen-edenmedical.co.uk www.goodhairdaysstamford.co.uk www.oliverleestamford.co.uk www.arohabeautyhouse.com The Grooming Room 01858 419666 Florists www.chillipeppersflorist.co.uk www.jrcentrepieces.co.uk Georgia_florist on Instagram gjbremner@btinternet.com www.greensleavesflorist.co.uk Venues berryfieldsevents@gmail.com www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.hambletonhall.com www.laundeabbey.org.uk Normanton Church 01780 686800 www.theorchardmeadows.co.uk www.barnsdalelodge.co.uk Marquees, caterers, loos and sundries www.eventsandtents.co.uk www.stamfordmarquees.co.uk www.lodgefarmluxurytoilethire.co.uk www.aqualoos.co.uk Mill Farm Catering 01778 590263 www.fresh-wheels.co.uk www.acousticsinger.com

And there you have it – and breathe! Wade your way through this list to help your day go well, plan ahead and everything will fall into place. Finally,

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Le Ra in ices ted the ter nu Re shir mb e e al Sc sec r 1 ho o ols nda Gu ry ide

Places now available at Beauchamp College

Applications for Year 7, Year 10, and Year 12 September 2018 places can now be made. We offer a diverse and challenging curriculum, excellent pastoral care and an outstanding track record for results. Our Year 7 to Year 13 pathway also guarantees KS5 places for our students. Applications and transfers from other schools should be made through f your local authority website. Want to hear more? Why not book a personalised Beauchamp Live tour. See website for details.

For more details on applications please visit


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22/09/2017 14:04



CHARLIE CONQUERS HER DEMONS Hillclimber Charlie Martin tells us about her triumphs and tribulations this month by 5pm it was bone dry for the last attempt, but the rain started again a few minutes before the line. I absolutely went for it and didn’t back off one bit. With the water slithering across my visor I had no idea how hard it was coming down but the car was sliding around beneath me and I didn’t improve. Even so it was a psychological victory as I’d given it everything, and kept my foot down the whole time – check out the video on my Facebook page. A few weeks later I was at Le Mont-Dore in the heart of the Auvergne. This wild and volcanic region of France resembles Jurassic Park and can produce some of the wildest weather I’ve ever raced in. It can change in an instant too, but thankfully I got lucky for the second year running. Seeing hot air balloons rising in the sunrise over Lac Chambon as I

drove to the paddock on Saturday morning was a highlight for me. I’d definitely recommend this part of France to anyone who loves hiking and nature – you can ski here in the winter too. This race was also a round of the FIA European Hillclimb Championship. I had a chance to catch up with some friends and practice the Italian I started learning last year (a work in progress). The course is a long and winding track with 57 corners that takes a lot of learning, but this is the third time I’ve competed here so everything fell into place and I took fastest lady and 7th in class! Flying home clutching a huge silver and gold trophy – there was no chance of fitting it in my bag – meant I got some funny looks and conversations. Thankfully Easyjet didn’t charge me for extra hand luggage!


I don’t quite know where the summer went, but it’s looking pretty autumnal outside and my final hillclimb in the French calendar is rapidly approaching. I’ve had to re-arrange my calendar slightly which sadly meant missing Turckheim, set in the picturesque heart of Alsace. A little over a month ago I faced my demons at Vuillafans Echevannes, the course where I crashed into the side of a mountain last year at just shy of 100mph. Understandably I was a little apprehensive, especially when I saw the forecast was predicting heavy rain. But thankfully it turned out be sunny and warm until Sunday. Faced with one dry run and storms on the horizon, it would be the first run on Sunday morning that decided the finishing order. I posted an OK time but was a little frustrated. Heavy rain started at lunch time but

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MAJU IS AIMING HIGH Maju Giga, mum, Ice Warrior and rookie climber, tells us about her plans for her first major climb and what motivates her The time has come for my first climb – Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. At 5,895metres high it is Africa’s tallest mountain, one of the seven summits as well as being the world’s tallest free standing mountain. I am aiming to complete my climb by October 5. After a lot of research I have picked the Lemosho route which will take eight days. This is the biggest challenge of my life, and I’m nervous. They say the first step is always the hardest, and this is my first step towards my ultimate goal to climb all seven summits – this is my life goal. All my gear is ready and my boots are well and truly broken in. I remember my first climb, the Three Peaks, I was absolutely petrified and remember crying to my sister and telling her that I did not think I would be able to complete it. And here I am now 17 months later on my way to Kilimanjaro. My sister Santok Odedra is coming with me. I am still scared of heights, I am still scared of flying but I’m going to do it. I will be taking a flag with me to the summit that has the photos of my maternal and paternal grandparents as well as my grandfather’s

brother. By climbing I aim to raise awareness and funds for areas, topics and issues which I believe have impacted their lives in some way – you will hear more about these stories throughout my journey and climbs. For this climb I am raising funds for a local Leicester charity called Community of Grace. This is a charity for men who were homeless and vulnerable. They now all live under one roof – like a family – but their premises are in need a new roof which will cost £12,000 and I

am trying to raise as much money as I can. My Faceboook page has a link to the online give.net donations page. Community of Grace supports anyone, regardless of faith, and have supported men from all religions. www.communityofgrace.co.uk

IT’S ALL SYSTEMS GO! Mark Smith has set himself an incredible challenge before he reaches the age of 50 – the 48-year old is planning to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End in September 2018. Here’s how his preparation is going... “Well the route and daily distances for the run next September are set and will range from 17 to 40.5 miles per day. It’s now time to seriously ramp up the training, diet and body conditioning. I’ve been to the doctors for a full medical and I seem healthy and fit for the challenge. I found out my cholesterol was nice and low (2.6) in the process. I’d never given that a thought before. The training is getting harder, running up to 40 miles a week rnow, with gym sessions as well. Finding the time is becoming more difficult, particularly as the nights draw in and the mornings are getting colder. As with most of us casual runners, we get up, eat a light breakfast, look at the weather and go for a run. Not anymore! It’s now an

hour of warming up, stretching and light jogging before the run. The runs themselves are between six and 15 miles whether it’s raining, windy or sunny, then I cool down and recover with a cold bath. This also means that half a day’s gone. It is usually at this time I think about why I’m doing this in the first place and think about those boys with much greater challenges ahead of them – those who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The support I’m getting from everyone is amazing. I already have a commitment of £1,800 sponsorship towards my £50,000 target. We have also gone live with my personal MyDonate Page. However, if you would like to offer me a corporate sponsorship we still have some spaces available from £500 to £1,000 (e-mail me at mark.smith@stephengeorge.co.uk for more information). In terms of the support team my friend Sarah Grey is helping with physiotherapy, we

have Adam Jackson, part of the GB triathlete team, providing personal training with extra support from Uppingham School Sports Centre. Next month I am aiming to get my accommodation and medical support sorted. So yes, it’s full-on even with 11 months to go! You can find more information about the challenge from my own Facebook page and through the charity Alex’s Wish. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marksmith6

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22/09/2017 12:05



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Saturday 7 October 2017, 9.30am–12.30pm. You will be able to: Talk in depth with our staff

Tour the school with a Sixth Former as your guide

Discuss the curriculum

Learn about the school during a short speech

View classroom displays and activities

by the Headmaster

Book online at www.leicesterhigh.co.uk or call Amy Costello on 0116 270 5338 or email marketing@leicesterhigh.co.uk

454 London Road, Leicester LE2 2PP

Tel: 0116 270 5338



Leicester High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls 3-18.

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16/08/2017 09:08

ACTIVE LOCAL /// Schools

EMILY SELECTED FOR VOLVO OCEAN RACE Old Oakhamian Emily Nagel has been selected as part of Team AkzoNobel in the world’s toughest sailing event – the Volvo Ocean Race. It is held every three years and starts on October 22. Emily, who left Oakham School in 2012 and studied engineering at Southampton University, followed by an internship with America’s Cup team SoftBank Japan, is the youngest female sailor to join this team. Her selection comes after two months of trialling and participating in every stage of the Volvo Ocean Race’s qualifier series. She is currently engaged in an intensive training program and speed testing from the team’s base in Portugal.


SOUTH AFRICA SPORTS TOUR Around 140 Oakhamians travelled the length and breadth of South Africa playing rugby, hockey and netball on four different tours. The teams trained and played challenging matches at both sea level and the altitudes on the high veldt. James Bateman, director of hockey said: “We saw a huge improvement in the students’ ability as a result of being able to concentrate solidly on their particular sport over the three weeks. It is incredibly beneficial for them to adapt to different environments and to play against different styles of play. This experience will be great preparation for the sporting season ahead.” As well as sports fixtures, students had the opportunity to climb Table Mountain, surf, visit

Seal Island, whale watch and sand board. They also went on spectacular game drives and managed to spot elephants, lions, hippos, wildebeest, rhinos, zebra, giraffes, ostrich and the iconic springbok. Everyone enjoyed meeting the local school children and presented cheques to the charity Edu Nova which supports sport in the local schools. Billeting was also an important aspect of the trip, as it gave the students the chance to gain an insight into the culture and create friendships. Peta Girdwood, assistant director of sport (girls) added: “This tour has been truly amazing, full of memories that will last us all a lifetime. A huge thank you to all the pupils for being such credit to the school.”


Oakham’s junior rugby squad pose on Table Mountain

Another successful Stowe Putter event for Spratton School was held in the summer on the Capability Brown grounds of Stowe School. Elliott, Jack and Max played quite superbly – 63 juniors competed from 36 schools with Elliott coming third in the U12s event, Jack winning the U12s and Max coming second in the U14s. The prizes were presented by golf legend Bernard Gallacher OBE, who gave an interesting speech covering his experiences of the Ryder Cup, coaching tips and the importance of playing the game in an honest way.

WITHAM WIN LAXTON TITLE Witham Hall’s U11A hockey team won a fiercely contested Laxton Tournament in September. There was tough competition from Stamford, Foremarke, Bedford, Kimbolton, Wisbech, Laxton and Stoneygate, but Witham remained unbeaten, keeping a clean sheet throughout. Having beaten Foremarke 2-0 in the pool stages, Witham met them again in the final. The teams could not be separated in normal time, leading to the nail biting penalty shuffles.

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22/09/2017 12:25

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24/08/2017 17:41


A day in the life of



his temple began in 1969 in a small terraced house in the Spinney Hill area of Leicester. Three years later it moved to Cramford Street then some years after that the community bought an old telecoms building in St Barnabas Street and gradually built on to it to make the temple what it is today. We carried out a survey two years ago and calculated that 200,000 people a year come to this temple. That includes our regular devotees and also people of other faiths who come to visit us. We have 3,000 to 4,000 school children each year and also people from nursing homes. One of my roles is to teach them about Hinduism. I always wanted to be a priest because my father and grandfather were also priests, in India. My father was not in good health and he sent me to train at the Sola Bhagavat University. It takes 11 years to qualify as a priest at a Sanskrit university to gain the title of Shastrii. I then moved from India to Leicester to stay with my uncle. I have been here for 13 years and I am the senior Hindu priest. There are three priests altogether and our role is to give the right advice and guidance to the devotees who come here to worship. We also plan and celebrate festivals, manage the running of the temple and try to encourage more people to come and support the temple. I conduct Hindu wedding ceremonies all over Europe; this year I’ve been to Germany, Italy and Spain to do so. We’re open from 6.30am to 8.30pm every day. On Saturdays and Sundays we run cultural programmes and prayers and songs called Bhajan, which means songs of worship, and we provide food for approximately 1,000 people each weekend. We have prayers three times a day: the first at 7am, then from 9.30am to 10.30am. At 12pm we offer food to the gods and then we eat that food ourselves. Finally, evening prayers take place from 6.45pm until 7.45pm. We run language schools in Guajarati and English, we have yoga and meditation classes every Monday and we also have solicitors who provide free legal advice once a month to people who need it. Festival of light We use the big hall for community events and the front hall for temple celebrations and festivals. We decorate the temple with fresh and artificial flowers for each festival and we change the costumes of the gods and goddesses. Each festival has different meanings and they are celebrated in different ways. We celebrate the

“I like to meet people and I like to help. I try my best” Holi festival of colours in March and the Diwali festival in the autumn to mark the last day of the Hindu year and the first day of the new year. This year it takes place from October 19 to 22. Diwali is the festival of light and celebrates the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. It is when people let light into their hearts and minds, and try to do something helpful for their family, community and country. We light fireworks to burn away anger, ego, critical thoughts and jealousy. We want to welcome good energy, good friends and good feelings in the new year of Diwali. We wear our best clothes, give sweets and gifts to each other and forgive wrongs from the past year. The Diwali festival in the Melton Road area of Leicester is one of the biggest Diwali festivals in the country. We are famous for Indian food and shopping. All faiths join us there, not just Hindus. We

decorate the whole area and have a huge switching on ceremony with 30,000 to 40,000 people each year. I sometimes go to people’s houses to bless them on the birth of their babies, for weddings, when they open a new business or move house. I am also a Hindu minister in Her Majesty’s Prison Service where I try and help stop crime by talking to and guiding the prisoners. I work in Nottingham Prison, Foston Hall in Derbyshire and Sudbury, Denby and Bolton prisons. I have been asked to go to more prisons but unfortunately I don’t have time. I’m a community member of the Federation of Hindu Priests and I attend meetings of the National Council of Hindu Temples all over the country. I meet ministers from all faiths including Christians, Muslims and Sikhs to discuss peace and the poor in the world. We ask the views of every single minister and try to work out how we can all help make things better for everyone and the country. I like to meet people and I like to help. I try my best. Shree Hindu Temple & Community Centre, 34 St Barnabas Rd, Leicester, LE5 4BD. 07871 848224.

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ACTIVE LOCAL Great walks


one of the most Burrough Hill is toric features in striking and his . The large flat Leicestershire a steep-sided plateau crowns 0m (690 ), hill reaching 21 ws. with superb vie

SOMERBY & BURROUGH HILL Prepare for a few steep climbs and some dramatic scenery on this local gem. By Will Hetherington Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)


If you are not familiar with the terrain between Oakham and Melton Mowbray then be warned there are lots of undulations, and some of them are really quite steep and lengthy. Park on High Street in Somerby just east of the Stilton Cheese pub (or in their car park if you are going to be putting some business their way) and head north out of the village on the footpath signposted Leicestershire Round. Make sure you get the right path as there is another one nearby which is misleading. You will soon find yourself on the ups and down north of Somerby as the first mile of this walk contains four mini valleys as the path cuts through a mixture of grazing fields, woodland and arable fields. Pay attention to the direction arrows and your OS map to make sure you keep

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heading north, and after a mile or so you will come to a metal gate at the top of a wooded escarpment. Go through the gate and take the steps down the hill, passing a memorial bench on your left. It’s a lovely viewpoint of Little Dalby Hall to the north and worth a moment’s contemplation. From here follow the yellow waymarkers into the next woodland and look out for the large sign for the Dalby Hills Path. This explains that the paths here are permissive but they are well established and it’s a very special corner of our little land. Turn left at the Dalby Hills sign and follow the path as it traverses the hillside westward towards Burrough Hill. After the first bit of woodland and then a section of open field you will pass another memorial bench on your right hand side at the start of the next belt of woodland. Follow the path as it curves gently through the woods until you emerge into the open. Keep following the path until you come to a downhill section through some gorse and then make the steep

climb straight ahead on to the summit of Burrough Hill. It’s a country park with a car park on the other side so don’t be surprised to find a few people on the flat section at the top, but you can afford a degree of smugness because you have walked up! Head to the western edge where the toposcope tells you which direction to look for possible landmarks on a clear day. It’s quite exposed on the top so even on a pleasant day it can be very windy and feel quite cold. When you’ve finished absorbing the views head down through the gorse towards the yellow marker. From here go through the gate to the right and take the path which runs south across three fields to Burrough on the Hill. Before you get to the village take the left branch after crossing a dry stream and you will then come out on the road just to the north of Burrough on the Hill. The path back to Somerby drops off the main road on the left between the houses less than a 100 yards further south. But be warned this path has one last sting in the tail – another very steep climb. When you get back to the Stilton Cheese you will be ready to rest those legs. Clockwise, from above

Burrough Hill is 210 metres high and on a clear day they say you can see Lincoln Cathedral; Somerby village; Little Dalby Hall; turn le at this sign if you’re doing the anti-clockwise route


WHERE TO PARK On High Street in Somerby, just east of The Stilton Cheese pub.

DISTANCE AND TIME Five and a half miles/at least two hours.


HIGHLIGHTS Stunning views from the start but particularly from the 210-metre high Burrough Hill. Lovely villages and varied terrain. LOWLIGHTS The path through Dalby Woods can get very muddy, and if you don’t like hills… REFRESHMENTS The Stilton Cheese in Somerby and Grant’s Free House in Burrough on the Hill are both packed with rural charm. DIFFICULTY RATING Five paws – there are lots of hills and some of them are very steep. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There are some sheep on the way round but your dogs will be tired at the end of this one. Limited fresh water though. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.


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ACTIVE LOCAL /// Archery


Archery is a great sport for all the family, and it has a rich past too, as Jeremy Beswick discovers Photography: Pip Warters FOR THE MAJORITY of the history of mankind, archery was an invention that rivalled the wheel in its importance. No-one knows exactly when arrow was first put to bow, but cave drawings and fossilised arrowheads prove they were in use from around 20,000BC, and possibly much earlier. Only the invention of gunpowder and then firearms in the seventeenth century – a mere split-second ago in comparative historical terms – saw it surpassed as the weapon of choice for what were the two major leisure occupations de jour; hunting food and killing each other. Even millennia later whole empires were built, and history turned, on seemingly small innovations to this most ancient of technologies. The Parthians added bone and sinew to the traditional wood for added power and it was this, known as the composite bow, that enabled our old friend Attila the Hun to conquer boundless swathes of territory and the Turks to repel the Crusaders. Closer to home, England would be a very different place today were it not for the role of archers in plucky away wins at Poitiers, Crecy and Agincourt, or in that infamous shock home defeat of 1066 as Harold’s Anglo-Saxon eye fell victim to a Norman arrow. In the centuries that followed, the capability of the nation’s archers continued to be so vital to national security that, to ensure we had a bowman talent pool for the national team in times of war, successive rulers banned other recreations on Sundays, sponsored tournaments with lavish prizes and made practice compulsory with stiff fines for the dilatory. Today, of course, archery is just a sport, but a fast growing one with around eight million adherents worldwide and 34,000 affiliated members in the UK spread over 1,100 clubs all across the country. In our own South Leicestershire there are several such thriving societies including The Bowmen of Glen, Kirby Muxloe Archery Club, The Ancient Order of Foresters in Countesthorpe, Lutterworth Archery Club, the Welland Valley Archers of Market Harborough and, the one I went to visit on a gloriously sunny Sunday morning, the Phoenix Archers just outside Smeeton Westerby, near Kibworth. Their ground is a quiet field with a small clubhouse surrounded by pretty countryside and reached by a farmer’s track – if you wanted to get away from it all this would be just the place. I was greeted by two stalwart members, husband and wife Jan and Frank Damsell. After some words of welcome Jan told me: “I started archery 12 years ago – it was a birthday present from Frank who’d started a year earlier.”

Frank interrupted: “It was the chance of beating me at something that appealed to her,” but Jan was quite clear why she really loved it: “Communing with nature, the fresh air, the friendship, forgetting your worries for a while. “It’s just you against the target and there’s something about it that makes you want to do better. It’s totally addictive. Sometimes I’m determined I’m not going home until I get a gold end.” Frank added: “Even if it takes three weeks and she’s suffering from hypothermia and malnutrition.” Frank, evidently one of the more amusing members of the club, is also a skilled leather worker and when it was time for me have a go the ‘bracer’ he fitted on my left arm had been handmade by him. I stood side on, feet at 90 degrees to the target, and placed my arrow precariously on the rest and raised the bow. Pulling back the string I could feel the latent power strain against my muscles as I struggled to hold it steady. As I let my fingers roll off the string as I’d been told, the arrow flew much faster than I’d anticipated and the dull thump as it – more by luck than judgment I suspect – found its target, seemed to be immediate and I experienced a heady mix of relief and pleasure. Several members carefully emerged from their place of

Le and below

There are a wealth of clubs in our area where you can have a go and you don’t need to splash out on lots of equipment either as most clubs will let you borrow a bow and arrows to begin with

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ACTIVE LOCAL /// Archery

safety behind the clubhouse and I must have done OK with my remaining shots because they remained in full view for the rest. Under the helpful eye and tutelage of long-standing member Jay Chauhan I might even have improved a little in my short time with the bow. Jay joined seven years ago having had a go some years before that and “got the bug”. He told me the club had grown steadily since those days. “They’re a good mix of people with no cliques. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a slower pace of life away from cars and laptops.” It’s a sentiment echoed by relative newcomer Rob Taylor. “I’ve got a stressful job and this is an opportunity to relax and unwind a little and I’ve made new friends. Nobody minds what level you shoot at. When I first had a go I thought we’d have to get a metal detector out to find my arrows. We have some really good fun together.” John Morris is more of an old hand and has competed for the county. “It’s a fantastic family sport,” he told me. “You can have three generations of the same family at the same club and, because of the handicapping system the newer or younger ones can compete with and beat the old hands.” The Phoenix Archers are keen to attract new members, whether individuals or whole families who’d like to shoot together. This is an engagingly inclusive sport - as the national governing body Archery GB puts it: “It is a sport for all, providing opportunities whatever age and ability. It

attracts young and old as well as able and disabled, all shooting and competing together.” It went on to agree with John: “You may even come across a whole family at a club, or at the same tournament, as a large number of parents, children and often grandchildren are members.” Should you feel inspired, starting is easy. The club runs an introductory course for £25 with all the equipment you need to begin. Thereafter, as Frank told me: “Once you’ve passed you can choose whichever type of bow suits you”. Frank himself prefers the pure, unadulterated longbow saying: “There’s something primaeval about archery so why not go the whole way?” but advised anyone new not to rush out and buy anything at all, adding: “use our club equipment for a while until you make up your mind.” Everything else you need to know can be found on their website (see below). If you do decide to give it a spin you might reflect, as you draw back your first string, that you’re joining an ancient historical line that, though half forgotten, is still indelibly imprinted on our entire cultural DNA. And as your bolt hits the target you’ll be experiencing – as I did – exactly the same feelings and emotions that your distant ancestors lived, fought and died with for tens of thousands of years.


Handicap system in the sport means that all ages and abilities can compete together

The Phoenix Archers, www.phoenixarchers.uk phoenixarchers@hotmail.com Tel: 0116 240 3459

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


Lions, South and Hinckley battle it out BY JEREMY BESWICK


aving finished a creditable third in National League 2 last season, Leicester Lions would have been expecting a somewhat more positive start to their season than has actually transpired, as they opened their account with a 48-10 defeat at Sale. Although the hosts were runners up last campaign, and two late tries against 14 men may have flattered them somewhat, it was not the start that new head coach Jack Heald would have wanted, especially in preparation for the visit of local rivals South Leicester the following weekend – who had their tails up after a win against Huddersfield. The Lions/South derby is one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the year and represents the start of the settling of bragging rights for top Leicestershire side in the division between those two and Hinckley. It started badly for the home side, South scoring a try from scrum-half Adam Shaw straight from the kick off. Devon Constant replied for Lions only for South’s Daniel Ireland to restore the lead. Back again came the home team with prop Liam Hills going over and a penalty to both sides meant the score at the interval was 13-15 with all to play for. It was South who drew first blood in the second period, ex-Lions second row Joe Collingham putting one over his old mates but, after a second try from Constant in response, there was little in it at 18-22 with a quarter of an hour left. There were to be no more tries, but a yellow card for each side

and three penalties from South’s always dependable Rickie Aley gave them the victory by 31 to 18. Heald called the result “disappointing” but felt “we competed throughout the game with a try count of three apiece” whereas South’s chairman Wayne Marsden, never anything but committed to the cause, called their victory “comfortable”. Next up for Lions was an away tie at the third member of that League 2 triumvirate, Hinckley, and again it started badly for them as the home side slotted a penalty in the first couple of minutes. Lions, however, took the lead when the in-form Constant went over but, alas, another penalty to Hinckley was followed by two tries from them as they appeared to be drawing clear. It was down to Lions’ prop Liam Hill to keep them alive with his own try just before the half time whistle blew – at 20-10. The second period started in stark contrast to the first with Lions having what the club’s Mike Howkins called “a golden patch in the first ten minutes”. It was that man Constant again – now not so much on form as on fire – who bagged another two tries in two minutes as Lions regained a narrow lead. Having first appeared taken aback by this transformation of fortunes, Hinckley regrouped and within a further 15 minutes had restored the half-time difference, going over twice and, with less than 20 minutes left may have thought “job done”. It was to be no such thing, Lions showing great resilience as both fullback James Morgan and scrumhalf

Alex Smit brought the score to a tantalising 34-34 with 10 minutes to go. At this point the match could have gone either way but, when things aren’t going for you, it seems to stick sometimes and a penalty from Hinckley was enough to see them home. Lions’ mood afterwards would not have been improved by learning that, meanwhile, South Leicester had made it three out of three by coming back from 13-20 at half time to beat one of the favourites for the league, Sedgley, with tries from Myles Bean (2), Will Ward, Dan Moolman and Rickie Aley, who also ran up 22 points with the boot. A jubilant Marsden summed up: “The sun was certainly shining for this game – ten tries had the crowd on their feet – the faithful could not quite believe it.” Over in Hunts Division 1 West, Lutterworth have had three close results. Losing two and winning the third. Having lost at home to Rugby Lions on the opening day by a whisker, 34-37, they travelled to Stoke and found the pitch heavy from rain and, as they knew in advance, with a steep slope. A quarter of the game passed before the first score, Stoke being rewarded for consistent pressure with a penalty, and a second made it 6-0 at the break. Although Lutts were to score the first try of the game, it eventually ended 16-10 to the home side. Lutts manager Steve Russell felt “the referee’s whistle hardly left his mouth” but at least they landed their first win of the season against Stourbridge Lions the following Saturday.

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Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick catches up with the Leicester staff aer they recorded their first win of the season


Aer starting their season with two defeats, Tigers’ head coach Matt O’Connor was understandably relieved to have beaten Gloucester when we spoke a few days aerwards, but was still far from contented with their overall performance that day. “I was disappointed by the back 60 minutes of the game. We started really well but then let ourselves down. Although we created lots of opportunities to score several more tries it was frustrating that the last pass or the final set play let us down”. Although the scrum performed well, the set plays he would have had in mind were the line outs, an issue in every match so far and exacerbated this time by Ed Slater returning to Welford Road in away colours, players confirming to me that he still knew Tigers’ calls. Why they weren’t changed in the circumstances remains a mystery to me. Perhaps it was due to uncertainty about forwards coach Richard Blaze, who has subsequently announced his resignation for undisclosed personal reasons. His responsibilities have been picked up by Brett Deacon who will fill the post until “a suitable replacement can be found”. He won’t find his job will get any easier as Graham Kitchener – “our

number one line out caller” according to O’Connor – will be out for a few weeks aer surgery on a broken eye socket. However, although he’s “sad to see Blazey go but understands the reasons” O’Connor is confident that Deacon will fill his shoes with ease. “Brett will do a great job” he said. “He always has here and the boys will be working hard for him”. That sentiment was echoed by Harry Wells when we sat down later. “The lads really take on board what he’s got to say” he told me. Wells had made his home Premiership debut that day against Gloucester having come through the Tigers’ academy and then spent some time at Bedford Blues to continue his development. Most observers thought he’d had a fine game and, though satisfied with his own performance – “It felt really good” – and feeling that the team as a whole had improved their defensive line speed, agreed with his coach they should have done much better. “Having scored three tries in the first 20-25 minutes it’s not good enough for us not to get a bonus point. We’ve still got to be hard on ourselves because we’ve le a point out there on the field”. Although it hasn’t been the start to their campaign they would have wished, O’Connor was still quite bullish, noting “No one’s got an unbeaten record already aer three games. I think the margins will be a lot tighter than last season with those sides who can perform to 90 or 95% of their peak every game coming out on top in the end. It’s going to be an arm wrestle of a season all the way through to May”. Let’s hope he’s right, because you wouldn’t back anyone against the Tigers if it comes down to brute strength and desire.


Harry Wells made his home Premiership debut in the victory over Gloucester at Welford Road

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22/09/2017 12:29



All change as three new managers take on roles BY JEREMY BESWICK


hange seems to be the order of the day as far as managers in South Leicestershire are concerned with Lutterworth, Oadby and Harborough Town all now having new faces at the helm. Mick English has decided to step down from team management at Lutterworth, although he remains as chairman of both the club and the academy. After reaching the milestone of 30 years involvement, and been instrumental in the very creation of the club, they recently marked that anniversary with a Leicester City Legends versus Lutterworth Legends friendly. Luke Smith noted: “Mick was one of the youngest players to play for Lutterworth Town making his first team debut at the age of 16. In 1993 alongside long-time friends Terry Waterfield and Steve Rendell he set up Lutterworth Athletic, who since then have achieved great success with seven promotions and success in both the league and county cups along the way.” He’s replaced by Luke Carr as first team coach and Martin King as director of football. “It’ll be a season of transition,” English told me. “The first team squad has also had an influx of new blood with us retaining only around ten players from last year. Nevertheless we’re aiming to finish in the top four.” He explained that would qualify them to play in the FA Cup, a run of three or so games in that competition being potentially

lucrative. “Given there are lots of players coming together for the first time it’s been an encouraging start to the season,” he said, and the league record so far is won five, drawn one, lost two putting them third in the table. Harborough Town have decided to part company with first team manager Nick Pollard and are now on the hunt for a replacement. Chair of the senior section Peter Dougan said: “We are seeking to appoint a committed manager who will embed a playing philosophy across the club at all levels and will be fully committed to work with the directors in delivering the long term vision.” Applicants, who must be working towards a UEFA B Qualification as a minimum, are invited to get in touch. Vicechairman Andy Winston told me: “Stu Spencer will be taking charge of the first team as interim. Nick did a fantastic job but it’s better for all sides to move on now.” They’ve had a reasonable start to the season in the league and sit in midtable, but Winston bemoaned their disappointments in the both the FA Cup and Vase, with the associated loss of the opportunity for some money-spinning ties in which they exited early to Yaxley and Bourne respectively. Highlights however included an opening 5-0 win against Sileby Rangers and a creditable draw away at one of the richest clubs in the league, Daventry Town, with

only a last gasp penalty denying them victory and against whom not many sides will come away with a result, according to Winston. Adam Creaney, Kieran Fitzgerald and Jake Dumbleton were on the score sheet for them that day. Long term, the club is about to secure its future by signing a 50-year lease on the clubhouse and playing fields and work continues on putting in place a new first team pitch. Oadby Town’s ground, in contrast, was sold during the close season but, thankfully, to a football fan so hopefully there will be no negative implications moving forward. Having spent all of the last campaign in an ultimately successful fight against relegation from the UCL Premier Division, and then losing the first three league matches of this, they’ve made the difficult decision to part company with first team manager Dave Clay. Clay has gone on to manage St Andrews and he’s replaced by Owen Wright with Dave Williams as assistant. Although the Poachers did go on to beat Oakham United in the Cup, their league form did not immediately improve under the new regime as they went on to lose the next four games, although they will be hoping that two recent draws herald the start of a return to form. One of those saw the return of Clay to Freeway Park in his new role for the 2-2 St Andrews result, an event that all seemed to enjoy with no hard feelings.

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22/09/2017 12:31

Vox Fox Jeremy Beswick reports on the hiatus caused at City by the delay in signing Club Sporting’s Adrien Silva Aer the Foxes’ stuttering start to the Premiership season, due in part to the need to bolster the centre of the park, the saga of midfielder Adrien Silva’s on/off transfer from Club Sporting continues. It just goes to show what an efficient organisation FIFA must be and the water-tight corporate governance they have, to feel able to justify their refusal to sanction the move because they received the paperwork late – by an outrageous 14 seconds. To concentrate their efforts on such a transgression demonstrates they’ve fully put their own house in order to such an extent that there are now no other pressing matters to focus their almost limitless resources and management attention on. The valid interests of a willing seller, a keen buyer and – most of all – of the player himself seem lost. The pausing of an all-too-short career, and the very real reduction in his chances of being selected to play for his nation in next year’s World Cup due to the lay off and lack of match fitness, count as nought in FIFAland against a tardiness in bureaucratic completion that lasted as long as, well, as long as it takes to type the words ‘tardiness in bureaucratic completion’. So Silva languishes in his native Portugal without a side to train with or

to play for, in an Alice-in-Wonderland hiatus awaiting the birth of his child with Foxes fans every bit as expectant. Spielberg’s film The Terminal about a man stuck in JFK airport, unable to enter the USA or to leave because he is stateless, pales in comparison. Publicly, City are being admirably restrained, doubtless calculating that’s the tactical approach most likely to lead to a volte-face by the Gnomes of Zurich in FIFA’s HQ, but underneath they must be seething. Silva represents a key acquisition to complete the substantial rebuilding of the team. Substantial indeed, as the total transfer cost of the squad – even excluding Silva’s £22m – is around £180m. That may only be a quarter of the Premiership’s highest, inevitably Manchester City, but it still puts the Foxes at a dizzy eighth place on the big spender’s list. (For the record, the equivalent figure for the title-winning side was £23m). So, perhaps the board and fans now regard a top 10 finish as par for the course, bangs per buck wise, which just increases the pressure on Craig Shakespeare who, like Silva, has a family to provide for and a career to pursue. Online forums are pessimistic (forums tend to be that way) about such a finish and the bloggers’ jury is well and truly out about whether he is the right man. Shakey, as he has inevitably come to be called, is tipped variously to lead them to the sunlit uplands or to condemn them to a fight against relegation. With Silva being the last piece of his tactical jigsaw, he’s very possibly another whose future depends on common sense prevailing in Switzerland. But don’t hold your breath. Not even for 14 seconds.

Gnome Aer th bolster the Club Spor and the w to sanction seconds. To conc their own – rampant managem The vali himself se in his chan the lay off bureaucra “tardiness So Silva an Alice-in expectant enter the U Publicly approach underneat substantia Substan £22m – is inevitably spender’s So, perh per buck w has a fam Online f bloggers’



Manager Craig Shakespeare is waiting on news of potential signing Adrien Silva from Club Sporting in Portugal

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22/09/2017 12:31



Fabulous Burghley BY JULIA DUNGWORTH


ell, what a fabulous Burghley we have just had with so many local riders competing. Obviously Oliver Townend was a very popular British winner and although he does now live in Ellesmere, he spent a lot of his younger riding years in South Leicestershire where he started out with Kenneth Clawson, then setting up on his own in the same area. Then on to Piggy French on her new ride Vanir Kamir. It is so good to see Piggy hitting top form again after the birth of her son Max last year, and she was one of very few clears which moved her from sixth overnight up to a tremendous second place. Then there was a bit of a gap in the local placings: Simon Grieve was 32nd and 36th, just adding one stop at the Rolex combination on his first ride Drumbilla Metro, but clear on his second round Douglas. Willa Newton looked like she was going to be stylishly clear inside the time until near the end, where she had a cheeky run-out at Discovery Valley then another at the next fence the Leaf Pit, which meant she nipped in between Simon’s rides to finish 35th. Andrew Hoy also picked up two stops on


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the cross-country on the now newly-retired The Blue Frontier, to finish 37th, and last but by no means least was Angus Smales, he also picked up a couple of unfortunate runouts in exactly the same place as Willa, to finish 40th. The Pony Club Jumping in Ring 2 at Burghley were as popular as ever both within the club and for the spectators. The Puckeridge Hunt were the eventual victors after a long day of jumping, but locally we had a good day with the Woodland Pytchley team consisting of Honor Burges-Lumsden, Daisy Hammond, Lily Mawby and Charlotte Parsley finishing in third place, then just missing the podium was the Belvoir Team consisting of Heidi Coy, Alice Kilham, Holly Baker and Lizzie Westropp a great memorable day was had by all. The Friday then saw another Dubarry Young Event Horse Final, which holds qualifiers all over the country, although we do seem to be very good at producing young horses locally. The morning started with the five-year old class, in which Tracy Walshe took the spoils, with Emile Chandler finishing fourth on Hazzle Dazzle and also winning

two more prizes for being the best British bred and SHB. Emilie was also then placed seventh on Cooley Now or Never. That was followed by JP Sheffield, finishing ninth, and Willa Newton in 10th. JP had another two unplaced with Emilie, Willa and Richard Coney also having other rides. The afternoon was the slightly smaller but the no less competitive four-year old class, which was won by Ginnie Turnbull from Newton Linford on I Diablo Joe. She also took the prize for the best British bred on Joe, then the SHB prize on Jesmond Mystery who finished ninth. Ginnie also finished 10th, 11th and had another unplaced ride, so it must have been a busy afternoon for her. JP finished seventh on Irene, and another two unplaced rides. Sarah Cohen has also had another great round on Treason in the penultimate Event Rider Masters at Blair Castle, where she finished seventh in a very competitive section, just having an uncharacteristic two fences down in the show jumping. It does however leave her in second place in the ERM series and with only one event left; she could be taking some great prize money home.

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // October 2017  

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

Active Magazine // South Leicestershire // October 2017  

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