Issue 1 of The Beckenham Barker

Page 1

Branching Out

From Zulu to Beckenham

The local cafe and florist who keep giving back to charity

Meet Frank Bourne one of the last known survivors of the Rourke’s Drift


Solutions to Resolutions We have found them all!




Meet local historical performer



The Old House, Southend Road £750,000 A rarely available stylish, spacious penthouse. Set within a large period property benefitting from the sole use of the spectacular roof terrace.

Beckenham Road £1,150,000 The Address is delighted to offer this beautifully presented, extended mock Tudor detached house to market. Set on the popular Beckenham Road, this detached house is set on a Easterly facing plot.

247 Croydon Road, Beckenham, BR3 3PS Tel 0208 650 5875

Housing Market Update

Despite a lot of doom and gloom in the press and media we have seen a stable local property market where prices have held and demand for good wholesome houses has remained strong. On some occasions using a tailored marketing strategy we have been able to achieve over asking price! We are seeing a lot of buyers moving out from more central zones in London. Buyers are selling up in areas such as Dulwich and Peckham where they are achieving strong prices for smaller properties than in Beckenham. Beckenham is the destination of choice for a lot of these buyers as it has excellent local schools, transport links and a vibrant community.





Editor’s letter

Eureka Publishing Ltd

Welcome to issue one of The Beckenham Barker.


I am so excited to introduce the first edition of The Beckenham Barker, a celebration of everything there is to love about Beckenham.

Tracy Montagu-Guest Contributors Sonya Hayden Hope Davis

So, a very BIG thank you for picking up this edition. We are a free bi-monthly magazine/newspaper created by residents to celebrate, promote and share the amazing people and businesses we have here in Beckenham, past and present. We want to hear from you! We cannot do this without contributions, without you pointing us at those stories that need to be told.

Lauren Williams Claire Voegeli Belle Marie Shallcross Paul Smith Gary Montagu Tim Guest

Our front cover is of Simon Waterfield, a wonderful man with a whole double life, his story unfolds inside. If you, or you know of someone, would like to be featured then do get in touch. We would love to hear from you, and we will even shout you a beer or a coffee as a thank you!

Jo Dainow Printers Mortons Printers Designer

This is all about community, something which is being lost in many places around the UK, we are very fortunate to have it locally.

Electrographica Editorial Submissions 0745 5216938 Events Advertising enquiries 0745 5216938 Distribution Available to pick up at outlets across Beckenham

Thank you to the local businesses that took a leap of faith and have supported us on this first issue. Of course, we do need on-going support from you to keep the publication in circulation! So, get involved, promote your business for great value and forge your link with local people. Keep sending us your events, our next issue is Feb/March 2020.

Social Media Facebook @beckenhambarker, Instagram @

We hope you enjoy Issue One.

beckenhambarker and Twitter @barkerbeckenham Front Cover Simon Waterfield

Tracy Montagu-Guest

The Beckenham Barker has strived to ensure that all information is accurate, but the publishers do emphasize that they cannot take responsibility for any omissions or mistakes. We would also stress that views expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the publisher. No responsibility is accepted for colour transparencies or any other material submitted to The Beckenham Barker and are sent at the owners’ risk. No responsibility can be taken on behalf of advertisers in this publication. All editorial enquiries and submissions to The Beckenham Barker please direct via email Eureka Publishing Ltd © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.




Christmas All about

Christmas Trees


f you, like me, don’t mind the droppings of tiny pine needles covering your house from now until next Christmas, a real Christmas Tree is something you cannot beat. It offers everything you cannot get in an artificial tree with the full abundance of branches and pine needles along with the fresh smell. But do bear in mind if you live on the top floor on an apartment block it will take some carrying up the stairs! The other great advantage over an artificial tree is that a real tree is recyclable, as they normally get turned into chippings which then gets used on woodland paths and walkways, compared to artificial trees that end up in landfill. Remember you can always use the pine needles in cooking, potpourri and pine resin oil to go into soap, candles and lotions.

A 9ft tree is a perfect size for a living room. The Beckenham Barker recommends Flowers by Kiki flower stall. Conveniently located at Beckenham Junction Station they supply Blue Norwegian Pine non drop trees starting from £16 and they also offer delivery for a small fee depending on your area. You can either call on 07432 262704 or pop along and see them on the stall, they also do some amazing handmade Christmas wreaths and seasonal vase arrangements. Bromley Council provides free recycling centres across the borough. For Beckenham it is Unicorn Primary School (Cheswell Drive off South Eden Park Road) on Sunday 5th January 2020 8am to 12 noon. Alternatively, you can use your green recycle bin but make sure you break the tree down to fit the bin!

Handmade Christmas gifts & cards A home-made Christmas gift is something to treasure, not only can it fun making the gifts the amount of effort and time that goes into making these gifts is priceless. I am always so delighted to receive a Christmas gift that has been wrapped in brown paper and loving painted or decorated it makes however trivial the gift inside seem so much more special. When we think of handmade Christmas gifts one person springs to mind who has championed this with her love of

everything homemade is TV personality Kirstie Allsopp, “Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas” TV Series airs on Channel 4 where she has a plethora of ideas, some bizarre but overall it just about appreciating the beauty of handmade gifts and maybe trying something new. However, if you are unable to make something yourself, why not pop along to all the local Christmas Markets, Craft fairs and Fetes, where many a local person has spent hours creating gifts that you can’t buy on the high street.


Christmas Wreath Making Workshop


his year Beckenham-based House of Dandelions floral design studio is running Christmas wreath making workshops in the heart of Crystal Palace Park. The workshops are taking place at the Brown & Green LIFE café in Crystal Palace Park – a new community space surrounded by nature. All the materials you’ll need to make a festive wreath will be provided, including: An abundance of seasonal foliage, such as blue spruce, pine, eucalyptus and rosemary. A treasure trove of gorgeous, natural decorations - think dried flowers, feathers, pinecones, pampas grass, berries and seed heads. A velvet hanging ribbon. A 100% recyclable bag to take your wreath home in. Christmas nibbles and refreshments. Dates: 3rd Dec and 10th Dec. Venue: Brown & Green LIFE, Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Rd, London SE20 8DT Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm Cost: £50 Book your spot at www.houseofdandelions.comworkshops

CHRISTMAS MARKETS December 1st Langley Park Boys School, 11am to 3pm 100+ stalls December 7th Eden Park Christmas Tree Lights & Market, outside Eden Park train station, 6.30pm to 8.30pm December 8th Beckenham Place Mansion, 10am to 4pm, Vintage Market December 22nd Clock House Celebrates Christmas, outside Beckenham Library 11am to 5pm


The Handmade Christmas Co.


eckenham is home to The Handmade Christmas Co. which was founded in 2012 to design a premium alternative to the traditional Christmas stocking. Since then the collection has expanded to include a whole host of personalised Christmas decorations. They have 15 unique designs of Christmas sacks which you can personalise with your chosen name, the ideal gift that will be used year after year and they are very reasonably priced at £22. Their crackers are lovingly personalised by hand with a name of your choice and delivered individually packed in their beautiful red kraft boxes, making them a perfect gift or Secret Santa idea. The Handmade Christmas Co. was founded by creative duo Tom Coleman & Louis Porter,

following two years of development, the company publicly launched in 2014 with a single personalised Christmas sack design, and a plan to shake up the industry once and for all. Six years later, and after processing more than 400,000 orders around the world, The Handmade Christmas Co. is now the goto location for personalised Christmas sacks, stockings, baubles, gift wrap and so much more. The Handmade Christmas Co. is kindly offering you a 10% discount to anyone who orders f rom them due to f inding them here! Telephone 0203750 3012


at Beckenham Place Mansion – Free Entry They also hope to have live musicians playing from the Gallery, to add to the seasonal atmosphere. As usual, some of the artists in residence at the Mansion will be holding open studios on the day, including Sophia Lyons. Pop up to the first floor to meet them and view their work, some of which is for sale. Catch wonderful views of the park from their windows while you’re up there!


ho doesn’t love a spot of vintage? “So Last Century” Vintage Christmas Market at the Mansion, takes place on Sunday 8 December, at Beckenham Place Park, 10am - 4pm. So Last Century is at the Mansion this Christmas with a festive, hand-picked, line-up of vintage traders in the Drawing Room, Dining Room and Atrium selling a wide selection of unique and unusual gift ideas for friends and loved ones! You can expect to find a range of mid-century decor, lighting and homeware, ceramics, vintage and antique maps, botanical and medical drawings, prints, French brocante, fashion and accessories for the party season, jewellery and lots more. There’ll be delicious street food, a coffee van and a brownie stall outside, while indoors the cosy Basement Bar will be serving mulled wine and hot cider! The Mansion cafe will also be open on the day.

In their studio on the ground floor, “Know How You” sewing school will be running Christmas workshops on the day for children, teens and adults. Pre-book on their website Don’t forget to check out the cavernous Cigarette Records shop, in the basement. Owain will help you find what you’re looking for amongst the thousands of records he has in stock and he may introduce you to something you’ve never heard before! And finally, not to be missed, is the fascinating museum, run by The Friends of Beckenham Place Park. Crammed with artefacts, maps, and documents, you can find out about the rich history of the Park. So, put on your warmest coat and go along to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit - vintage style! Disabled access (except to first floor) and dog friendly.




Solutions to


It’s easy to make them, harder to stick to them. The Beckenham Barker Solutions to Resolutions start here... “I must try to get out more” We here at the Beckenham Barker are great fans of just going for a good old-fashioned walk. Costs nothing, you can go anytime, any day and there is an abundance of great parks in Beckenham to wander through and explore. If you don’t like walking alone and like the thought of ambling with a four legged friend but don’t want the full time commitment of having a dog, why not join “Borrow my Doggy” the best of both worlds. Alternatively, how about joining the local walking group, they meet in the car park on Tuesdays at 9.45am at Beckenham Place Park. There is a choice of 3 walks, one shorter (up to 30 minutes), level and on smooth paths. The

others are longer through woodland with rough ground and steep slopes (up to an hour). Contact Jenny Budd 0208 269 4890

“I must get organised” There is nothing better than seeing the end results from a great decluttering and reorganisation job whether that be one room or your whole house. There is nothing worse then having to do it yourself! I hate it too! However, the Beckenham Barker has found someone who loves to do this for others. Ingrid at Organise Your House has been decluttering homes since 2010, so, there is nothing she doesn’t know about decluttering and organisation. If you would like to restore a sense of balance to your home contact Ingrid@organiseyourhouse. or telephone her 07865 465100 Organise Your House has offered a 10% Discount to Beckenham Barker readers.


“I must do more for charity” Well, they say charity begins at home, so why not join The Friends of Beckenham Place Park? Their aim it is to conserve and promote the heritage, environmental and educational aspects of the park. The friends aim is to contribute towards any costs in running the Visitors Centre which is run by unpaid volunteers. Membership also gives you a quarterly newsletter and a voice in preserving and conserving this important open space. More details from:


“I must conquer my fear of ” Phobias and irrational fears can keep you from doing things you’d like to do. Lots of people have fears like for example of spiders, flying etc but when it becomes an intense fear that can cause you anxiety and disruption to your normal life then it becomes a phobia. If you want to try and conquer any fears or phobia, why not seek out a hypnotherapist. The aim of hypnotherapy is to communicate with the subconscious and change the way you feel and behave towards your phobia. The process itself involves putting you into a very relaxed, hypnotic state. Your hypnotherapist will talk you through this and you’ll be in control the whole time.

find groups or you could start your own group!

corner of Kentwood Adult Education car park.

Nolene Harris has started up a group for anyone who would like to meet new people. “Meet Up Mondays” are just a bunch of people ready to talk and have an hour of fun meeting new people.

Maybe you want to harp back to those days when splashing paint around on a wooden easel with abandon and no fear was fun. Upstairs at Gallery Seventeen is a teaching studio.

The meet every Monday in each month at 10am follow the signs to Rotary Chats

They hold both daytime and evening classes in ceramics, drawing and watercolours. The classes are suitable for beginners and more experience artists.

1st Monday – The Family Café, Hayes (8 Station Approach) 2nd Monday – Scott’s Kitchen, West Wickham (62 High Street) 3rd Monday – Beckenham Spa, (24 Beckenham Road) 4th Monday – Eden Park Hotel, (422 Upper Elmers End Road) Nolene is contactable on 0777 386 4704

“I want to learn a new skill or hobby” Starting up a new hobby can seem daunting for adults, but if you keep it fun and look at it as something which enriches your life it is quite achievable. Knowing what hobby to take up is a tough one, however, think back to your childhood days, what was it you loved doing, the chances are favourable that you still have some of those core interests that grabbed your attention when you were a kid. Men in Sheds just up the road in Penge is for over 50s men and women are a lively mix of people who like to socialise. They have a wellequipped wood workshop and you name it they might well do it as well as drinking tea and playing the guitar! If you are interested in joining them pop along, they are based in the

If you would like to speak to a local hypnotherapist about overcoming your fear or phobias speak to Claire Bolsover email or call her on 07957 317019 she can help you.

Call the Gallery on 0208 658 1788

“I must meet new people” Friends are good for your heath and wellbeing. So why not make it a resolution to start meeting you new people and making new friends? It is never easy to know where to start but with a little effort to attend more social events, chat to strangers and get introductions via friends of friends it can be done. Social media is a great way to see what events are coming up whether you are new person to the area, new mum, retired or simply just wanting to expand your horizons and meet others in the area a little searching you can



Celebrating our 10th anniversary, award winning tour operator ‘Tour Andalucia’ are delighted to support the first edition of the Beckenham Barker.We offer wonderful, exceptional value, small group and private tours of the beautiful Andalucia region of Southern Spain, with visits to Granada, Alhambra, Ronda, Seville, Córdoba and Málaga. And for Beckenham Barker Readers, mention Beckenham Barker with your enquiry and receive a 20% discount on our 7 day/6 night ‘Highlights of Andalucia’ tour* Visit our website or Call 07928 495328 *Offer valid for all bookings made by 30 April 2020






Beckenham Bookshop

“If it’s in print we’ll get it...” Increasingly rare, the independent bookshop used to be a cornerstone of most town centres many years ago. Gobbled up by the larger chains and hard hit by the online retailers, they hark back to a time when local community was a fundamental and important part of everyday life.

How true and encouraging. A local community without independent shops of high quality would become extremely bland and uninteresting and not to mention, a rather sad affair for us all. One of the fundamental keys to the success of these specialist shops is customer service and it oozes in the Beckenham Bookshop. Kelly loves customers and can normally get any books you want within 24 hours “if it is in print - we will get it” is the shop’s motto

So lucky for us to have one of the best independent bookshops around, the ‘award winning’ Beckenham Bookshop, established in 1974, is a small delight of a local shop with a wonderful range of books, cards and small gifts. Recently, I met up with the delightful Kelly Bradfield, “We take pleasure in who as a local girl, has been seeing people, we love running the Beckenham our customers – we Bookshop for the last eight and a half years. really like being on

the high street, we

Fundamental to the education of the next generation, is a wellstocked school library encouraging children to read more books and Kelly has worked with many local schools in the area providing the service of whole school library restocking “which has been an absolute pleasure to do” she quotes and also “I am very happy to be sent lists by local schools and delighted to make a valuable contribution”.

Her personality shines can’t compete with through in all the little details that she has lovingly Amazon but we can brought to the treasure chat to you, we really trove of a shop. There is a well-curated large array of love being part of the handwritten notes on “staff community” picks” which Kelly told me “it is a joint contribution between myself, my staff and our customers” “Ordering books from us is easy via email or and a great range of books that you don’t telephone, but the best way, if you can, is to necessarily see in mainstream bookshops. just pop in, have a chat or just to say hello” The shop thrives on community spirit with I asked Kelly what the biggest changes are an active pinboard detailing various local that she has come across over the years events and services. And Kelly adds, the shop “Bookshops everything changes nothing acts as a place where you can go and purchase changes” she said smiling “the biggest change tickets for many local events or activities that was the introduction of Amazon!” Which is take place throughout the year. understandable considering the impact the world’s largest retailer has had on the whole Book clubs are great. A lovely way to meet retail market. And, if you recall, Amazon like-minded people and share literary started life as an online book seller! However, opinions. Highly popular in North America and thankfully for the future of our local they are gaining ground in the UK. And the community, she continues to say that “It shop runs a free book club on an ‘ad-hoc; appears now, though, that the beginning of basis so call in and find out how to join and a new drive to re-connect with local shops is add another experience in your life. You will happening and that is great”.



receive a £2.00 discount of the book that the club will be reading, which is a nice touch. It is a ‘dip in/dip out’ type of book club, very informal and relaxed, what a great way to meet new people and have a good read! So if you are looking for a new book, a gift idea or just fancy one of the sweets they keep on the counter, pop in, meet Kelly or any of her lovely staff Simon, Elaine, Neelima or Richard, who are all a friendly bunch that love meeting customers. For the younger readers, there is an extensive children section which is well stocked with an extensive range of educational, fiction, non-fiction, homework helpers and creative books. “We take pleasure in seeing people, we love our customers – we really like being on the high street and being part of the high street, we can’t compete with Amazon but we can chat to you, we really love being part of the community”. The Beckenham Barker couldn’t have put it better. We encourage everyone to play the part in the local community by supporting the local independent shops, which keeps a village feel and an active and interesting high street for everyone’s benefit. Our book review has been brought to you by The Beckenham Bookshop Tracy Montagu-Guest The Beckenham Bookshop 42 High Street, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 1AY Tel: 020 8650 9744 BeckenhamBookshop

Book Reviews

The Bookworm Greenfeast: Autumn and Winter by Nigel Slater From the start of autumn, we crave food that nourishes, food that sets us up for going out in the cold and wet. This gorgeous new book of seasonal vegetarian recipes from Nigel Slater will see you through the worst of winter with his warming delicious ideas.

The Colour of Time: A New History of the World, 1850-1960 by Dan Jones, Marina Amaral 200 stunning images, using contemporary photographs as the basis for full-colour digital renditions, with a narrative that anchors each image in its context, and weaves them into a vivid account of the world that we live in today. A fusion of amazing pictures and well-chosen words, The Colour of Time offers a unique and beautiful perspective on the past.

Footnotes : A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers

TfL: The Story of the London Underground by David Long From smelly steam trains running along a single track to the innovative electric tube system speeding through a vast network of tunnels beneath our feet today, the London Underground keeps this busy city on the move. The Story of the London Underground tells the extraordinary history of the world’s most famous underground railway.

by Peter Fiennes A series of evocative biographies, a lyrical foray into the past, and a quest to understand Britain through the books, journals and diaries of some of our greatest writers. As Fiennes travels the country, and roams across the centuries, he wonders: ‘Who are we? What do we want? They seemed like good questions to ask, in the company of some of our greatest writers, given these restless times.’

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020 Divided into the 12, each month gives it the feel and weight of a traditional almanac, providing practical information that gives access to the outdoors and the seasons,there are features on each month’s unique nature, such as the meteor shower of the month, beehive behaviour, folklore and stories, seasonal recipes and charts tracking moon phases and tides. A pocket size toolkit for re-connecting to nature.


Oi Puppies by Kes Gray and Jim Field Dog is looking after some puppies. Quite a few puppies and none of them will sit! Not even on guppies, like they’re supposed to! They’re getting a little out of hand. But luckily Frog’s got a cunning plan . . . The new book in the Oi! range with charming illustrations and great read aloud rhymes, a whole lot of fun!



garden of Eden Park The

Eden Manor or Eden Farm c1790

Le ers from William Eden


get ‘www’, I guess not. William Eden, himself, came from the very well-to-do and influential Eden family and was a British Diplomat sitting in the house of Commons.

And he was one of several leading statesmen to be entertained at Eden Manor by William Eden, along with other notable people of the time, including William Wilberforce, who fought hard to abolish slavery and was a great humanist and philanthropist. I suppose William must have been a very popular name in the time and from these three, do we now

During his retirement in the country, as it was in the days, he stayed friends with William Pitt the Younger, who happened to be his nearest neighbour at Holwood House. And, indeed, William Pitt the Younger at one time had thoughts to marry his daughter. The elegant Eden Park Estate stretched down to Croydon Road. The very large house had a magnificent view that can be appreciated standing on the site in Crease Park today.

illiam Pitt the Younger, a locally born man, from Hayes, Bromley was a leading statesman becoming the youngest ever British Prime Minister in 1783 at only 24 years of age, going on to stay Prime Minister for over 18 years. Boris, eat your heart out!

His existing letters show that he enjoyed living a family life at Eden Farm. He writes in August 1794 “I visit the small works going forward on my farm and in the neighbourhood. I pursue a disjointed sort of reading in the library. I ride, walk and swing with my daughters and I play at skittles, pick fruit and take wasp nests with my sons. I act as coachman when Lady Auckland goes out in the phaeton. Our four girls are growing into tall young women and are pleasant companions to us.”

About Eden Park Give Away

“I pick fruit and take wasp nests with my sons”

A great tome to have on your coffee table, the Beckenham Barker has a copy of “Beckenham Through Time” to give away to one of our lucky readers.

Even from the term above, ‘nearest neighbour’ you can visualise vast areas of unbroken countryside and that it is hard to believe today, when you look at Eden Park that it was once mainly farmland, housing a large estate with a huge and magnificent 72 windowed manor house. Imagine fitting that out with double glazing, the bill would be enormous.

If you would like to win this publication, simply send an email to quoting “Beckenham Through Time” with your contact details and we will select a winner at random.

In its prime, many a decadent ball was held at the house with nobility coming and staying, all in their finery. Possibly plans for the policies and future destiny of our country may well have been conceived here at the time. William Eden or ‘Lord Auckland’ took over an existing lease on a property in 1872 when he finished his post in Ireland as Chief Secretary, with his wife Eleanor. The estate/farm became known as Eden Farm and it is here that they brought up their rather large family, comprising six sons and eight daughters. No wonder they needed a big house. The sub-antarctic Auckland Islands to the south of New Zealand discovered in 1806 were named after him.


REFERENCE. The History of Monks Orchard And Eden Park. Published by Halsgrove ISBN 1 84114338 3. Now out of print Further details on Eden Park and its history can be found where a detailed account is given on the life of the Eden Family Photograph of Eden Manor courtesy of Beckenham History.


Eating Out

Branching Out “there is a real sense of community in this little area”

A florist, coffee & gift shop. Open 7 days a week. Tucked neatly away in Elmers End, Branching Out is a little gem of a café, florist and gift shop. Branching Out is located at 149 Croydon Road in Beckenham and is run by owners Louise Wheelan & Emma McDermott. Delightful smells from the well-stocked and abundant flowers and plants waft gently into the café area of “Branching Out” though the use of the word café does not do this place justice.

As I entered with my 10-year-old son, I couldn’t help but notice the fine selection of scrumptious homemade cakes on the counter, all lined up and metaphorically shouting ‘Eat Me, Eat Me’ and I’m pretty sure he didn’t miss them either.

saw it, she knew the location was perfect. I was stacking shelves in M&S, so we decided to take the plunge and make a go of it. The Cakes are delicious are they homemade? “Everything is homemade, it is all made by all local individual ladies and a local gentleman even makes and supplies our sausage rolls”. The concept is everything ‘freshly made’ and ‘home made’. Do you hold events here? “We do baby showers, also wakes after a funeral, it is the perfect setting for these with the flowers, bringing a sense of peace and tranquillity”. “We do Bingo nights everything we do here is connected to St Christopher’s Hospice, we have open mic, comedy nights, bingos, Christmas markets with all monies raised going to St. Christopher’s Hospice”. Louise is rightly proud of their achievements with Branching Out and her generosity of spirit and personality shines as she told me “There is a real sense of community in this little area, Emma and I know everyone and if we don’t know them then we try and get to know them. We desperately want everyone to feel welcome.” I can honestly say that I love this place and, if you are looking for a place to meet friends, grab a coffee and be greeted with friendly hospitality, you can’t do any better than to go to “Branching Out”. A bonus, well-behaved dogs are very welcome!

My cup of very milky coffee warmed my hands (unfortunately, I am a bit of a coffee wimp!) as we took in the surroundings. We sat down at one of the charming mish-mashed tables and our generously filled toasted sandwiches and bagels were laid before us. The sophisticated ‘ontrend’ décor added to the charm.

The Florist side of the business has a beautiful selection of fresh flowers sourced from Covent Garden Market, they specialise in weddings, occasions, sympathy.....

My son extremely enjoyed, from the sound of unsophisticated slurping noises, one of their delicious freshly made milkshakes as Louise and I chatted. I was intrigued to find out more about their joint venture. Who runs Branching Out? “The Café and florist are all one business, we met at St. Christopher’s Hospice. There are two partners myself and Emma and we have been trading for 6 years this coming February”. How did the idea for Branching Out come about? “We were volunteers for the hospice at the Hayes Shop, Emma had lost her Dad and I had lost my mum and it brought us together. Situations change, life changes and I found myself in a position where I needed to work and likewise did Emma. Emma had been looking at shops locally to start a business and found this one. When she THE BECKENHAM BARKER

The attention to detail is notable as I watched the masters at work make their window display. They also offer a free local delivery service on bouquets priced just £30 and above. Donations are also given to St Christopher’s Hospice every time they prepare a floral tribute in memory of loved ones. Look out for the floral workshops they hold and other events.

Bouquets can be ordered over the phone 0208 650 1282/0208 249 5010 or email Branching Out Open 7 days a week Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm Saturday 8.30am to 5.00pm and Sundays 8am to 2.00pm


Back in time




Credit: Thank you to the BFI for the use of the photos

Beckenham! Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne OBE DCM (2459 B Co. 24th Regiment)

“Zulus -

thousands of ‘em” is uttered in the film by Colour Sergeant Bourne


he 1964 British epic war film ‘Zulu’, starring Michael Caine, is an all-time classic of the Silver Screen. If you haven’t seen it yet, then we highly recommend you treat yourself and watch this great British movie.

40 years of age actor, Nigel Green, whereas, Frank was only in his early twenties when he, along with approximately 150 heavily outnumbered British soldiers, fought against the phenomenal 4,000 brave Zulu warriors.

The film is about the small number of British Soldiers, many of whom were sick and wounded patients in a field hospital, who successfully beat off a huge Zulu army at ‘Rourkes Drift’ and it has become a 139-minute cinematic treasure!

It was a bloody battle and the Zulu Warriors fought using only their assegais (a sharp ‘spear-like’ weapon used for throwing) against the heavy artillery of British guns.

And we are proud to say that Beckenham lays claim to the final home and resting place of Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne OBE DCM, who was the last known heroic survivor of Rourkes Drift in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war. Bourne resided here for nearly 30 years until his death at the ripe old age of 91. A remarkable 12 soldiers were nominated for the Victoria Cross for bravery in the battle, but only 11 accepted. Instead, Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne requested a commission and during his career went onto become a Lieutenant Colonel. In the film, Frank was played by a


Outstanding bravery was displayed on both sides of the conflict where 351 Zulu Warriors died and a further 500 injured, compared to the British soldiers’ tally of 17 dead and 10 wounded. Frank Bourne was awarded an OBE and The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), a high-level award given for outstanding bravery. Staying in the army throughout his life, he eventually retired and resided at 16 Kings Hall Road, Beckenham, where a blue plaque was erected in his honour on 17th April 2001. Fittingly, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Bourne died on ‘VE Day’ the 8 May 1945, and he is buried at Elmers End Cemetery. His plot is T7 row 5, near to the war memorial.


“Because we’re here, lad. Nobody else. Just us”. Quote from Frank Bourne’s character in Zulu In 1936 Frank made a radio broadcast, sadly the original tapes were lost. This is a transcript of a radio broadcast published in the Listener, dated 30th December 1936. “In December 1872, when I was 18 years old, I enlisted in the 24th Regiment and received the princely pay of 6d a day, of which 3.5d was deducted for messing and washing, leaving 1s. 5.5d a week - for luxuries. I went to bed every night hungry but quite happy, and it made a man of me.

“ Because we’re

here, lad. Nobody else.

Just us ” Quote from Frank Bourne’s character in Zulu

The Regiment had just come home from India after fifteen years. Now, the ‘A’ Company of any Regiment in those days was always called the Grenadier Company and was supposed to have the biggest men. I think the Sergeant Major must have been a wee bit humorous, for he posted me to our ‘A’ Company although I stood only five foot six inches and was painfully thin. After five years of home service, in February 1878 the Regiment received sudden orders to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope to take part in the Kaffir War. This was my first experience of active service, and shortly after, my Colonel promoted me Colour-Sergeant of ‘B’ Company - 100 strong. I was only twentythree, very nervous, sensitive, and afraid of my new responsibilities. Several men of the Company were my own age, others older, and some old enough to be my father, but after a few months I felt secure and thought I was getting along quite well. I also found myself ‘unpaid private secretary’ to several men who could barely read or write, and I deciphered and answered their letters home, feeling quite happy in our relations. One day, I heard a man named Wall ask my batman ‘if the kid was in’, a day or two later I asked Partridge casually who ‘the kid’ was, and received the answer ‘Why, you are, of course’. My stock slumped at once. I think it does us all good to have our swollen heads reduced. But we were a very happy family. You can’t live in tents, and on Mother Earth, for two years on Active Service without knowing your men intimately. The Kaffir War ended in June 1878 and we were moved to Pietermaritzburg, Natal, to assist in raising the curtain on the Zulu drama. On January 11 (1879) we crossed the Buffalo river at Rorke’s Drift - into Zulu country. Our Commander-in-Chief was Lord Chelmsford. Our strength was four thousand five hundred men, including thirteen Companies of my Regiment, the 24th, now the South Wales Borderers. One company was left behind at Rorke’s Drift, to guard the Hospital stores, and the Pontoons at the Drift on the Buffalo River. This was my Company, and at the time I was bitterly disappointed. We saw the main Column under Lord Chelmsford engage the enemy at once, and I watched the action, along with my four Sergeants, from a little hill by Rorke’s Drift. Then we saw them move on again, and they disappeared. And now I must tell you what happened to them during the next ten days. They made their Camp under a hill called Isandhlwana, about ten miles away. Then days later, on the twenty-first, Lord Chelmsford learned that the enemy was in force ahead of the Camp, and he moved out on the morning of the twenty-second with nearly half his force to attack them. But as he advanced they disappeared, and in his absence his Camp was attacked and overwhelmed by four thousand Zulus. So swift was the disaster that the few survivors who got away could give no reliable account of it, but the evidence of the dead who were afterwards found and buried where they lay told the unvarying tale of groups of men fighting back to back until the last cartridge was fired. After the war, Zulu witnesses all told the same story. ‘At first we could make no

headway against the soldiers, but suddenly they ceased to fire, then we came round them and killed them with our assegais’. According to one account, the last survivor was a Drummer Boy who flung his short sword at a Zulu. This was the last occasion that Band or Drummer Boys were taken on Active Service, as it was also the last occasion that the Colours were carried into action (This is not strictly correct. Some Regiments are believed to have carried Colours into action as late as 1881 or even 1882.) Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives that day trying to save the Colours. Fully twelve hundred men were killed. And by half past one no white man was alive in Isandhlwana Camp.

boxes. This was done and proved of great value when the enemy set the Hospital on fire. I was instructed to post a man as look-outs, in the Hospital, at the most vulnerable points, and to take out and command a line of skirmishers. Shortly after 3.30 an Officer commanding a Troop of Natal Light Horse arrived, having got away from Isandhlwana, and asked Lieutenant Chard for instructions. He was ordered to send detachments to observe the Drift and Pontoons, and to place outposts in the direction of the enemy to check his advance. About 4.15 the sound of firing was heard behind the hill on our front; the Officer returned and reported the enemy close upon us. He also reported that his 100 men would not obey his orders and had ridden off. About the same time another detachment of 100 men belonging to the Natal Native Contingent bolted., including their Officer himself. I am glad to say he was brought back some days later, court-martialled and dismissed from the service. The desertion of these detachments of 200 men appeared at first sight to be a great loss, with only a hundred of us left, but the feeling was that we could not have trusted them, and also that our defences were too small to accomodate them anyhow.

”One man whispered to me ‘Not a

Of course, back at Rorke’s Drift we knew nothing of this disaster, although my Sergeants and I on our hill above it could hear the guns and see the puffs of smoke. But an hour later, at two o’clock, a few refugees arrived and warned us of what to expect. One man whispered to me ‘Not a fighting chance for you, young feller.’ Up to that time we had done nothing to put our small post in a defensive position, as our Force in front was nearly five thousand strong and had six guns, and the last thing we expected was that we should be the saviours of the remainder of that Force. The strength of our small garrison at the Drift was two combatant and six departmental Officers, and one hundred and thirty-three NonCommissioned Officers and men, thirty-six of whom were sick, leaving about one hundred fighting men. Remember that twelve hundred men had just been massacred at Isandhlwana. Can you then be surprised that, flushed with their success, the Zulus were making for our small post, confident that we should be easy victims to their savagery?

fighting chance for you, young feller”

Having had the warning - but only two hours in advance, as it turned out - we set to work to loophole the two buildings and to connect the front of the Hospital with a stone cattle kraal by sacks of Indian corn and oats, and to draw up two Boer transport wagons to join the front of the Commissariat Stores with the back of the Hospital. These proved excellent barricades, but by no means impregnable. The native has always been credited with deep cunning, but luckily for us if the Zulu possessed any, he did not use it, for as the sacks connecting the Hospital had to be laid on a slope of the ground he could safely have crept along, cut the sacks open with his assegais, the corn would have rolled out and he could have walked in and I should not now be telling the story. When Lieutenant Chard of the Royal Engineers joined us he approved of what we had done, but considered that our inner space was too big, and suggested a line of biscuit


We knew now that whatever might happen we had to fight it out alone, and about 4.30 the enemy, from 500 to 600 strong, came in sight round the hill to our south, and driving my thin red line of skirmishers, made a rush at our south wall. They were met, and held, by a steady and deliberate fire for a short time, then, being re-inforced by some hundreds, they made desperate and repeated attempts to break through our temporary defences but were repulsed time and again. To show their fearlessness and their contempt for the red coats and small numbers, they tried to leap the parapet, and at times seized our bayonets, only to be shot down. Looking back, one cannot but admire their fanatical bravery. About 7 o’clock they succeeded, after many attempts, in setting fire to the Hospital. The small number we were able to spare defended it room by room, bringing out all the sick who could be moved before they retired. Privates Hook, R. Jones, W. Jones and J. Williams were the last to leave, holding the door with the bayonet when all their ammunition was expended. The Victoria Cross was awarded to these men, and they fully deserved it. The Zulus had collected the rifles from the men who they had killed at Isandhlwana, and had captured the ammunition from the mules which had stampeded and threw their loads; so our own arms where used against us. In


Back in time fact, this was the cause of every one of our casualties, killed and wounded, and we should have suffered many more if the enemy had known how to use a rifle. There was hardly a man even wounded by an assegais - their principle weapon.

removed under the cover of night. There are two things which I think have made Rorke’s Drift stand out so vividly after all these years. The first, that it took place on the same day as the terrible massacre at Isandhlwana, and the second, that Natal was saved from being overrun by a savage and victorious foe.

”there must have be ten


The attack lasted from 4.30 p.m. on the twenty-second to 4.00 a.m. on the twenty-third - twelve exciting hours - and when daybreak occurred, the enemy was out of sight. About 7 o’clock they appeared again to the south-west. But help was at hand; Lord Chelmsford with the other half of his original force was only an hour’s march away. On the previous afternoon he had learned of the destruction of his camp at Isandhlwana. A certain Commandant Lonsdale had chanced to ride back to the Camp and had been fired at by Zulus wearing our men’s uniform. He escaped by a miracle and was able to report the news to Lord Chelmsford.

in our rear and twenty

Seven VC’s were awarded to this one Company of the Regiment which is now the South Wales Borderers. I have told you the names of the four men who won the VC; the other three were Lieutenant Bromhead, Corporal Allen and Private F. Hitch. The Victoria Cross was also awarded to Lieutenant Chard, Royal Engineers, Surgeon Reynolds, and Corporal Schiess, but not one, I regret to say, of those VCs is alive today. In fact, there are only six survivors of Rorke’s Drift alive today: Ex-Privates W. Cooper, G. Edwards, H. Martin, W. Owens, H. Williams, and myself. Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead and the men received the thanks of Parliament, the Officers being promoted to the rank of Major. I was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal with an annuity of £10 - the same awarded to the Victoria Cross - and awarded a Commission, but as I was the youngest of eight sons, and the family exchequer was empty, I had to refuse it that time.

thousand in front”

Lord Chelmsford at once addressed his men and said: ‘Whilst we were skirmishing ahead the Zulus have taken our Camp; there must be ten thousand in our rear, and twenty thousand in front, we must win back our Camp tonight and cut our way back to Rorke’s Drift tomorrow’.’All right sir, we’ll do it’. They got back to camp that night, but they found a grim and silent scene as they cautiously approached. The next day they resumed their march and appeared at Rorke’s Drift, and our enemy retired. In his dispatch afterwards, Lord Chelmsford said: ‘To our intense relief the waving of hats was seen from the hastily erected entrenchments, and information soon reached me that the garrison...had for twelve hours made the most gallant resistance I have ever heard of against the determined attack of some 3,000 Zulu’s, 350 of whose dead bodies surrounded the post.’ Our losses were 17 killed and 9 wounded. Theirs 351 killed that we buried. Their wounded must have been 400 to 500, which they

Now just one word for the men who fought that night; I was moving amongst them all the time, and not for one moment did they flinch, their courage and their bravery cannot be expressed in words: for me they were an example of my soldiering days. The following year, Queen Victoria received at Windsor



Castle a Colour Party of the Regiment, and decorated the Queen’s Colour with a silver wreath of immortelles in memory of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill, ‘for their devotion in trying to save the Colours on the twenty-second of January (that was at Isandhlwana) and for the noble defence of Rorke’s Drift.’ So if you ever have the great privilege of seeing the Colours of the South Wales Borderers uncased you will see the wreath. The original wreath presented by Her Majesty is now in the Regimental Chapel of Brecon Cathedral. You may have seen the famous picture of ‘Rorke’s Drift’ painted by that great French artist, de Neuville, and the original is in the Officers’ Mess of the Second Battalion, now at Londonderry.”




Andalucía Gary Montagu

Have you ever heard of ‘Andalucía’? Maybe, maybe not, but you almost certainly will have heard of the Costa del Sol or Marbella for sure! Gary Montagu gives us an insight into the many delights on Andalucía away from the Costa del Sol.


ut Andalucía is far more than the well-known tourist traps on the Coast. The largest of Spain’s 17 Autonomous Regions, it is a varied land with Coast, towering Snow Peaked Mountains, Lakes, Sunshine and the most fabulous Cities of Granada, Seville, Córdoba, Málaga, Cádiz, Jerez and beautiful Ronda. Covering a vast area, similar size to Portugal, it has a unique identity from a legacy of the Incredible civilisations that invaded and settled here, leaving their culture and presence. From gastronomy, architecture and even language, the area is a true melting pot of the different tribes and people that came here.

the playground “ for the young Catherine of Aragon, as portrayed in the excellent Netflix Series The Spanish Princess

The name Andalucía derives from the Arabic term ‘alAndalus’ or ‘Land of the Vandals’. Famous for its Pueblos Blancos, the stunning white ‘Moorish’ villages that are perched high on


mountain tops or nestled at their base, with narrow lanes and wonderful views where time appears to have stood still. It is a mystical land of legends, Tapas, Flamenco, Culture, Castles and ancient Civilisations who inhabited Caves with art and paintings on the walls, still visible today. The fabulous ‘al-Qalʻat al-Ḥamrā’ the Red Fortress or ‘Alhambra’, as we know it today, and one of Europe’s most visited monuments, is not just a Fortress or Palace. It is a Royal City that looms high above the proud City of Granada, like an immense ship sailing towards it. Comprising Palaces with ornate stalactite vaulted ceilings, beautiful Gardens and Patios it has highly ingenious hydraulic water management systems, as featured in the Fountain of the Lions, where every hour, one of the twelve white marble lion statues surrounding the fountain would produce water from its mouth. A marvel, baffling visitors of the time. Built as the home of Sultans, and subsequently occupied by the Catholic Monarchs ‘Ferdinand and Isabella’, it was the playground for the young Catherine of Aragon and her sister Joanna, as portrayed in the excellent Netflix Series ‘The Spanish Princess’. When the last Nasrid Sultan of the


Kingdom of Granada, Mohammed XII, more commonly known as ‘Boabdil’ departed in 1492, he apparently looked back at his beautiful Palaces ‘al-Qalʻat alḤamrā’ and wept. The event has gone down in history as the ‘Last Sigh of the Moor’. Primarily an agricultural region, and according to the International Olive Oil Council, around 20% of all of the world’s Olive Oil comes from Andalucía. But it is not just quantity, it is recognised as amongst the highest quality. In fact, according to the nonprofit website ‘World’s Best Olive Oils’, who publish the top 50 list calculated from the results of the 17 most prestigious international Olive Oil competitions worldwide, seven of the top ten are from Andalucía and all of the top four. Gastronomy plays a big part in the life of the people from Andalucía and, in particular, they love to eat out as a family. Freshly barbequed fish on the shores at Málaga, ‘Salmorejo’ in Córdoba, Arabic style Tagines, Paella and hearty local stews, the fare is all about fresh local ingredients. And you will be hard pressed to find a region of Europe that has such stunning Cities within a relatively short drive of one another, but all of which, have their

own unique identity and feel. Beautiful Seville, the 4th largest City in Spain, known as the City of Opera, has large open Plazas and small lanes of the old Jewish Quarter, the Barrio Santa Cruz, which are called the ‘kissing’ lanes since the balconies of the houses are almost touching each other. One day in this magical City passes in the blink of an eye.

include dancing, live music, drink, food and lots of laughter. The people are gregarious and welcoming and know how to enjoy life to the full. The port City of Málaga is a beautiful seaport and one of the oldest continuously occupied Cities in Europe. The Phoenicians called it Malaka, not too far from how its known today.

And historical Córdoba with its Arabic influence and the Capital of both the Roman and Islamic Empires in the Iberian Peninsula. Home to the amazing ‘Mesquita’ the largest ancient Mosque in the Western World.

A wonderful Mediterranean City, there are marble pavements, a mostly pedestrianised old quarter and often a fresh light breeze blowing in from the sea. The massive Alcazaba fortress looms over the ancient Roman Theatre and close by is the birthplace of the famous painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso. With its chilled lifestyle, temperate sunny climate, ‘Chiringuito’ fresh fish barbeque restaurant shacks on the beach and full of tapas bars and cafeterias, to be a Malagueño explains why the people are so happy.

The Medieval Walls of the City are so well preserved, you would think they were recently built. And the beautiful Moorish style Patios are brimming with trailing geraniums and colourful pots. To visit atmospheric Córdoba, is to feel the ghosts and souls of the Muslims, Jews and Christians who once lived here and worked harmoniously together for many years. A place of learning and science, it led the world with many innovations, including the first European City to have public street lighting and undertaking advanced medical operations in the 10th Century. Córdoba prides itself on its gastronomy with wonderful taverns and many dishes with a distinctly Arabic flavour. Music and dance play a big part of life in Andalucía. The home of Flamenco, there are many festivals and events. Each City trying to out-gun the other with its intensity and passion. Local fiestas take place several times a year in small villages and always

colony of Flamingos in Europe with thousands nesting there. It is the only natural Flamingo breeding ground in Europe. It has a wonderful reception centre and is also a conservation centre for these beautiful and graceful birds. So ‘Andalucía’ is a truly remarkable and unique place in Europe with something for everyone. It is so easy to get to from the UK, with low cost flights available from London and Regional Airports. Gary Montagu runs a multi award-winning cultural tour company in Andalucía Tour Andalusia are offering our readers

a “20% discount”of any of their 7 day/6 nights “Highlights of Andalucia” tours

But unknown Andalucía is also a land of stunning countryside, such as the amazing El Torcal National park with its limestone towers and located at a higher elevation than Ben Nevis.Close by are the scenic lakes of Ardales with their turquoise waters and lovely ‘Senderos’ walking routes. Including the start of what used to be the worlds’ most infamous and dangerous walk, ‘The Caminito del Rey’, the Kings Walkway. Not anymore though, the walk has been renovated and although it still is attached, 100m from the river below, to the sheer sides of the gorge at El Chorro, it is now very safe, but not to be undertaken if you don’t have a ‘head for heights’. The Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, known as the ‘Flamingo Lake’, is home to the second largest




70 years of glamping “Volkswagen Campervans are unique in eliciting a nostalgic and emotional response” Beckenham is at the very tip of Kent, the Garden of England, and within easy access to some fantastic campsites not only in Kent but also Surrey and Sussex, that make the most of the amazing South-East countryside corner of England. What could be more exciting than exploring it in style with a typical glamping option, a VW Campervan? Without a doubt, the classic Volkswagen Campervans are unique in eliciting a nostalgic and emotional response whenever you hear their distinct exhaust note from their air cooled engines or see them driving past. They were designed around the same engine that was originally created for their little sister, the VW Beetle, the “Peoples Car”. They conjure up images of flower power in the 60’s and 70’s, festival goers, family holidays over the years and young children whose favourite pig has one. They are part of our culture and can be seen in the background when the Sweeney fly past, the opening moments of Back to the Future, used by famous chefs, or the star of Little Miss Sunshine. They are even the dream of some brides as their wedding car of choice. VW’s campervans offer a more compact and far more nimble option to a full sized motor home or caravan and, unlike caravans that must be towed to a campsite and stored when not in use, a VW Campervan can be parked anywhere and doubles as a daily driver. Typical features include a folding table, various seating arrangements for sleeping, storage cabinets, and curtains or blinds

for the windows. Some were built with attached pop-up canvas tops to create added headroom and sleeping space. VW Campervans offers the freedom of packing up everything you need when heading out on adventures. It’s true that the older classic VW Campervans aren’t as fast as modern cars, but they do get you to your holiday destination with smiles and waves on route from other drivers and the joy of knowing when you get there you can put the whistling kettle on for a lovely cup of tea. How exactly did this iconic classic camping vehicle come about? The first and distinctive “Splitscreen” look of the Volkswagen first appeared in 1949, and shortly after in 1951 the first ‘Camperbox’ conversion was introduced by Westfalia. In England, the first campervan conversion was by Jack White

(J P White of Sidmouth), a carpenter, who retro fitted a VW Transporter for camping to take his family on holiday. By 1956 he was turning out over 50 “Devon” conversions a year from his shed before moving into a former gasworks site at Sidmouth in 1960, employing 75 tradesmen. Since then there have been a number of other UK companies producing VW Campervan conversions including Danbury, Dormobile and Canterbury Pitt. Various versions of the VW transporter have been built over the years and converted into Campervans, and in 2021 VW plan to introduce the first all-electric transporter, the “I.D. Buzz”, keeping the VW Campervan glamping tradition alive for future generations. Even 70 years on, the Classic campervan still turns heads and fulfils dreams of family holidays exploring the British countryside and glamping at festivals.


How to Survive Christmas and beyond… Lauren Williams DIP.CBH gives us her survival tips on getting through Christmas and the New Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” says the song lyric but is it the most wonderful time of the year? An old lecturer of mine used to call Christmas “Christ what a mess” because of the ridiculous amount of pressure people feel to act differently than they usually would and the massive amount of expectations that surround the day itself. Christmas and New Years can be a time for depression and stress with many people find themselves alone at Christmas, or feeling like they need to have a happy day because we are surrounded with not only our expectations and traditions for the day but the picture-postcard perfect presentations on television and in the media! So, what do we do? Is it all doom and gloom? The answer is no, it isn’t all doom and gloom, and I am going to give you some survival tips to get through direct from sciencebacked mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy. Mindfulness, in summary, is being fully in the present moment, aware

of all you can be aware of without expectation and judgement. Cognitive behavioural therapy contains many approaches that help change your thoughts and behaviours. It allows you to build the life you want rather than feeling controlled by external circumstances. In CBT and stoicism, it is understood that although we don’t have control over external conditions, such as people at Christmas, we do have a choice over our attitude and behaviours. In CBT distress can sometimes be seen as coming from the demands we place on things such as demanding or expecting that at Christmas you must not be alone. Overall, both mindfulness and CBT open up choices to us about our attitudes and behaviours and help change our mindset. But before we continue, I want to make something very clear to you.. YOU GET TO HAVE THE CHRISTMAS YOU CHOOSE, I promise. You do not have to let your own expectations, societies expectations or your families shape what you value. You do not need to anything you don’t want to like simulate false niceties to your drunk Aunty. Begin with what your values are around Christmas and build your goals from there. They must be your values, and they must not include controlling other people’s behaviour because we can only ever control our own behaviour.

Plan for the Christmas you want to have, ask yourself what is most important overall, is it the presents, the perfect dinner or is it spending time with loved ones? Once you have your list of values, write an action plan for each and decide in advance what you can do if the situation turns out not to be as you would expect. If you fear daggers at dawn, as most family Christmas’s can turn out, think about how you can take care of yourself anyway, a few mindful minutes eating and smelling your Christmas dinner may well just give you that pause to respond rather than react to your family. If you spend time alone at Christmas list some ways you can honour the day anyway and if being alone feels too lonely, consider volunteering at a shelter for Christmas. New Year Expectations Once Christmas is over, minds turn to New Year’s replete with the expectations this brings and promises to reform our behaviour in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Personally, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, well not those traditionally thought of as Resolutions. I believe sticking to healthy behaviour requires the right mindset, which is not a black and white one. If we look at a classic New Year’s Resolution, weight loss, then generally people will feast at Christmas and enter famine at New Years, but there are many problems with this mindset


walking or complete a that mean you might visualisation exercise. You sabotage yourself. In order can use visualisation to bring to succeed it is important the reality of your goal closer to feel like you won’t be by visualising how you will deprived of anything, but look, feel and behave once if you feast at Christmas you have achieved that to make up for your later goal. Make sure before you famine, you are already start that you truly value thinking about your goal the goal you have set for in a negative way. Delaying your own reasons such as, the goal till New Year or “I want to be healthy, so I indeed Monday already tells am losing weight” rather your mind that the task is than, “I want to fit into a six 6 unwanted because you are dress because then I will be putting it off, it is far better popular”, the mind responds to start with smaller goals better to situations it can and do a little something control and goals that do every day such as one less not encourage low selfchocolate over Christmas. esteem. Keep to your own In order to succeed in your lane, by this, I mean use your goals, you need to make own progress to compare not just the goal a desired yourself to and make sure to one, but the process and reward yourself for success lifestyle change it will involve in your goals. desirable otherwise any gains will be temporary. Overall, at Christmas, New Years and beyond into the To make goals desirable New Year, take care of you. and sustainable over the In the rush and hubbub long term, you can use and even in the loneliness, mindfulness, mindset skills there is happiness to and SMART goals to make be had. Take a while to sure you don’t sabotage stand still, appreciate all your efforts. SMART stands the textures of and on a for Specific, Measurable, Christmas tree, enjoy a Achievable and Realistic hot chocolate mindfully or and Time-based follow listen lovingly to the tinkle this acronym for success. of a loved one's voice. Mindfulness can help you to avoid self-sabotage, your monkey mind might suggest Lauren Williams is a Cognitive Behavioural how you will Hypnotherapist and Wellbeing Practitioner, fail in your if you need help with your wellbeing goals, goals or are not stress or anxiety please visit doing enough, take that and send her message or join her active suggestion and growing social media accounts from your mind as a cue to practice some mindful


Home guru Interior Design founder Claire Voegeli ares with of Lark & Co. sh ul tips on us her wonderf r home decorating you ready for the n Christmas seaso

A Simple Guide to

Decorating - Your Festive Home With the days getting shorter, darker and increasingly cold it would be easy to hunker down and buy our way through Christmas in an online frenzy. Time is short and money is stretched. We have presents to buy, cards to send, people to see, school plays, Christmas fairs and trips to Santa.... we are busy people! So, it’s understandable if the idea of decorating the house begins and ends with the tree. But I urge you to think again and take a moment to imagine the joy a well decorated home can bring to all. With a few simple, cost effective ideas and a little inspiration you can magically transform your home and hopefully enjoy yourself along the way! Firstly, this is YOUR home so decorate it however YOU want! My advice is to pick one look and keep things streamlined by limiting your materials and colour palette. Using greenery is an instant way to get the festive feeling and can be used everywhere in either a modern or traditional way. Think also about additional lighting and layering festive decorations into all areas of the home. The kitchen, bathroom and bedroom can all take a little something special if you put your mind to it. In this age of mass consumerism, there is a growing desire for a return to a simpler time. Where handmade is celebrated and admired, where quality and longevity have value, and we champion the small businesses in our community. So I challenge you to be thoughtful, buy less and buy better, get crafty, create memories and have fun getting involved.

Ding Dong (Merrily on High) Christmas is a sociable season and a great excuse to gather with friends and neighbours. Make a good first impression and start your decorating efforts with a

simple wreath. Get creative and buy a blank wreath (or hoop if you want a more modern look) and forage in your garden or local woods for fallen branches, cones and berries. Foraging is a perfect way to keep things affordable and can be surprisingly rewarding. Cut spare branches from the back or bottom of your Christmas tree for additional fresh greenery. Or get involved and join a wreath making workshop, you’ll be having a great night out, making friends and learning a new skill. You’ll be supporting a local business with the bonus of a hand-crafted work of art to admire every day.

Deck the Halls I love to decorate the Hallway! It is a joy to come home to and sets the tone for what’s to come. The stairs and bannister are an easy quick win as they naturally lend themselves to a stringing fairy lights (battery operated are best) and some festive greenery. Real greenery can dry up in the central heating but there are some great faux garlands to be found and they have the benefit of being reused year after year. Add in some fake berries, orange slices, feathers, garden foliage or whatever you can find for a traditional look. Or for an alternative approach make (or buy!) some paper garlands and tie it all on with some natural twine.

(May Your Days Be) Merry & Bright Brighten up your home with an extra light or two and switch up the mood for any event. Adding fairy lights into your decorating will instantly turn on the magic. Arrange them around the fireplace, along any surface or put them in a jar (the battery type lights again are great for this lantern effect). Candles are equally as effective and can have the added benefit of filling your home with amazing scents. My favourites for the season are Forest Pine (for when the tree is past its best!) and Cinnamon Spice for a freshly baked aroma.

Baby it’s Cold Outside Layering up your living area is key to feeling cosy at this time of year. Add in a couple of


textured cushions and a throw to keep you snuggled up in the evening. If you have a fireplace, layer up the mantel with visual treats; greenery or twigs from the garden, ornaments, candles and fairy lights. If you want to maximise this area add another hanging garland or wreath over the mantel. Light (or turn on) the fire, put your feet up and take time to relax! image: Monika Hibbs Instagram @monikahibbs

Eat, Drink & Be Merry If you’re hosting your own festivities you’re likely to be gathering around the table for a large part of the day. So add in a few extra details to delight your guests and keep your spirits high. I love to see a garland down the centre of the table but if you’re laying on a big spread you can keep your decorations simple with jars of soft greenery. Keep them neat and low for a more sociable view. Use a simple table cloth and tie your napkins with bakers twine and a sprig of fir.

A Time for Giving Finally, continue your theme through to your gift giving and wrapping. Choose thoughtful gifts from small businesses and local makers. Keep things simple and effective by using plain recycled paper dressed up with some pretty string and tags. Be resourceful and use last years Christmas cards or invest in a festive stamp to personalise your wrapping for years to come. And don’t leave the wrapping until Christmas Eve as these will look fabulous sitting under your tree! image: Instagram @valerie.husemann Lark & Co. is an Interior Design & Events Styling business based in Beckenham. Designing unique contemporary spaces with bespoke details. Focussing on affordable and sustainable solutions through handmade and repurposed items, championing a ‘buy once, buy better’ ethos & supporting local and small businesses. For more ideas and inspiration follow Lark & Co. on Pinterest https:// www. Claire can be found at or email her





Are you ready for THE

wildest garden party your street has ever seen?!


magine a garden party that never ended. One that cost barely anything to arrange, but which succeeded in feeding scores of VIP guests. One that

Gardening Advice from Paul Smith Local gardener Paul has been attending to gardens in the area for 15+ years. Here he shares with us his useful tips and his expertise…

Hi everyone, I will endeavor to offer practical advice on many aspects of garden care and maintenance, including weed control and the never-ending battle against garden pests and diseases. Whilst many feel that the months of December and January are dormant there is still plenty of jobs that need doing, for example cleaning and maintenance jobs on the greenhouse and on gardening equipment; take your lawn mower in for its annual service whilst the grass is growing very slowly; although it can take up to three weeks to be serviced so now is the time. Despite the long, cold, dark evenings, it gives up as chance to plan the year’s crops and order seeds and seedlings. You could get involved with your local allotment society who will take seed orders at a very reasonable price due to bulk buying.

Tips and Timely Hints: Dig and prepare borders and soil for next year’s planting. Pruning - Fruit trees, Roses, Wisteria and Japanese maples (Acers).

brought back a host of long-lost friends, and attracted colourful characters in their droves. One that began in your little patch of garden, but grew roots and shoots to spread like a vast, vibrant, living tapestry: from your garden to your street…your street to your neighbourhood…and then, like wildfire, throughout the metropolis, flooding our capital with colour and sound and life in all its wonderful forms. Well don’t wait for an invitation! YOU hold the seeds of change that could bring about this perennial celebration of London life – specifically, wildlife. And everything you need to get started is available from Rewild My Street, the London-based campaign designed to inspire residents to adapt their homes, gardens and streets in order to help the capital’s wildlife to thrive. Using visionary drawings and practical design advice, Rewild My Street seeks to reverse the trends of biodiversity decline and loss of urban greenery, while promoting Londoners’ health and wellbeing through contact with nature. The campaign’s manager Siân Moxon tells us why this is so important: “London loses the equivalent of 2.5 Hyde Parks per year as residents pave over front gardens, fell trees and lay artificial back lawns. This significantly impairs the habitat value of streets - at a time when over 40% of UK species are in decline, and 15% are extinct or facing extinction. Gardens cover a quarter of London – and so increased awareness about their importance for wildlife could make a real difference. The process of ‘greening’ cities also has wider environmental benefits, including reducing air pollution, flood risk and overheating.”

Rewild My Street

uses aspirational drawings that show a typical urban street transformed for wildlife. These are shared in the open-access website, rewildmystreet. org, which as Siân explains, holds a wealth of information for anyone keen to transform their outdoor space: “The website essentially acts as a toolkit, recommending off-the-shelf products and step-by-step activities to attract wildlife, with expert information on urban species and habitats. Anyone signing up receives a free ‘Wild Makeover Guide’, featuring five illustrated rewilding activities, and a monthly Wild Makeover tip – as well as the opportunity to contribute to the new community forum.” So what are you waiting for? Plant that first seed now by visiting, and following / rewildmystreet on Twitter and Instagram. It doesn’t matter how small your outdoor space is – every tiny change can make a huge difference to the future of wildlife for Beckenham, and beyond! Or if you’ve already transformed your garden to create a wildlife-friendly environment, share your top tips with us and we’ll print a selection of Beckenham ‘hive wisdom’ in the next issue! Email thebeckenhambarker@, or contact us on Instagram @ beckenhambarker.

Happy rewilding! Rewild My Street is led by Siân Moxon at the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University in collaboration with graduates of the School, and London business partners, MXN Architecture and ecologists Eight Associates.

Put all your potted plants in a group together in a nice sheltered spot. This will keep them protected from the worst of the winter weather. On hydrangeas leave the flower heads on the plants as this will help provide protection against the frost. Don’t forget our feathered friends, they need fresh water and love fat balls. Keep Gardening!! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Paul Smith



Food & Drink

Fancy a brew? The Three Hounds Bottle Shop introduces us to their favourite fridge fillers…. The Three Hounds Bottle Shop is situated by Clockhouse Station and is run by Matt with the help of Jack and Emily. Their goal is to introduce people to amazing beer from some of the best independent breweries the world has to offer, including many from London. Here are some of Matthew’s favourite fridge fillers from four local breweries, available all year round in the Three Hounds Bottle Shop!

Now one of London’s biggest Independent breweries, Gypsy Hill have been going from strength to strength. This year they rebranded and released six core range beers, keeping one of our favourite fridge fillers: the fantastic Hepcat! This session strength IPA packs all the hoppy goodness of an India Pale Ale but at a moderate 4.6% abv. Mosaic, Equinox, Citra and Moteuka hops bring a complex tropical fruit aroma with plenty of malt flavour, as well as richness and depth to this hop forward Session IPA.

Brewery: Gipsy Hill Brewing Co. Location: Gipsy Hill, SE27 Beer: Hepcat Style: Session IPA Strength: 4.6%

Our youngest brewery on the list is the brainchild of two brothers, who set up Villages Brewery in Deptford. While Rafiki, Rodeo and Whistle are brewed all year round, Villages also brew a series of special releases including the Wave series, an ever-changing IPA. Whistle is a modern craft beer twist on the traditional Pilsner style. This Czech-style Pilsner has a light biscuit grain balanced with a floral and spicy aroma from the Saaz and Hallertauer Mittelfrüher hops, leading to a crisp bitter finish.

Brewery: Villages Location: Deptford, SE8 Beer: Whistle Style: Pilsner Strength: 4.4%


Hailing from Peckham, Brick Brewery moved their production site to Deptford this year while maintaining the original site as a dedicated tap room serving up beers including their amazing monthly sour release range. With these and many many more wonderful beers, it’s well worth a visit.

As one of the original indie breweries in London, The Kernel Brewery set the standard for consistently amazing beers. They are known for their Pale Ales, IPAs and Tables Beers, whose hops constantly change from brew to brew but always taste fantastic.

marmalade on rye toast.

The latest edition of their Table Beer comes in at a gentle 3.0% abv and is hopped with El Dorado and Vic Secret. This Pale Ale has a light mouthfeel with a subtle aroma of peaches and soft fruit resulting in a refreshing finish that makes you want another sip.

Brewery: Brick Brewery Location: Peckham, SE15 Beer: Peckham Rye Style: Red Ale Strength: 4.7%

Brewery: The Kernel Brewery Location: Bermondsey, SE16 Beer: Table Beer Style: Table Beer Strength: 3.0%

One of few breweries to have a Red Ale available all year round, the Peckham Rye uses Rye Malt to bring a dry and biscuit quality that sits on a malty, sweet backbone and leads to a tangerine and citrus finish, like



Events round-up COMEDY Bring Your Own Baby Comedy The award-winning parent and baby comedy club. Bring your baby and your mates for top comedy, coffee (or wine!) for you, plus soft flooring, toys and more for baby. “Bring Your Own Baby Comedy is the UK’s premier baby friendly comedy club! Their shows feature the funniest comedy stars from the circuit and TV. The events are all about you, the parents! But don’t worry – they also take great care of our younger guests. They provide soft flooring, toys, buggy parking and baby changing at all of our venues, so that your baby is happy, and you can relax, have a drink and be entertained!” December and Jan Shows: Sunday Special: Sunday 1st December: Beckenham Public Hall: 2pm Tues 17th December: Bridge House Tavern, Penge: 12pm Monday 23rd December: Churchill Theatre, Bromley: 12pm Monday 20th January 2020: Churchill Theatre, Bromley: 12pm Tuesday 28th January 2020: Bridge House Tavern, Penge: 12pm

Beckenham Comedy Cabaret A monthly comedy cabaret night Next Performances: December 21st 2019 & January 31st 2020 7 Albemarle Road, BR3 5HZ Beckenham A comedy and variety show in the heart of Beckenham. Established in 2015, our monthly shows feature some of the most exciting acts from the comedy circuit.

Live Music The Upbeat Beatles The Upbeat Beatles tribute band are second to none - powerhouse vocals, precision harmonies and tight musicianship. The guys have an easy, happy rapport with any crowd, giving them a reputation to be envied as the best in the business. There isn’t a band to touch them - 8 bars of “Twist and Shout” and you will know why! No other band can perform this song like the Upbeat Beatles! The show takes you through the Fab Four’s long and winding road from the early Cavern days through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper to Abbey Road, with narrative and full multi-media presentation. If you love the Beatles you’ll love this show, and if you don’t love the Beatles you’ll love this show! Venue: Langley Park School for Boys, Beckenham 31st January 2020, 7.30pm Book via whats-on/beckenham/langley-park-centre-for-the-performingarts-beckenham/the-upbeat-beatles

TICKETS: £14 on-the-door / £12 Advanced / £10 Early Bird Book: (tickets go on sale at the beginning of each month)

Rave Reviews “This is a great evening out. Live stand-up comedy performed by a variety of acts at a bargain price” “Best thing this side of Edinburgh! All the hot stuff on the comedy scene lands here thanks” “Another fantastic show” THE BECKENHAM BARKER



PANTOMINE The Glass Slipper This Christmas come and join us for some festive fun with our Family Panto! Join our much-loved characters as they take you through the magical story of The Glass Slipper!

Filmbox Community Cinema

Packed full of everything you could want in a Pantomime including, great comedy moments, beautiful costumes, audience interaction and of course some much needed booooing of our villains!

Come and join FILMBOX Community Cinema for mulled wine and mince pies and a wonderful festive start to the film with Christmas songs and carols from a local community choir.

Our resident baker Ria The Slice will also be on hand for you to purchase any festive treats! Date: Sunday 15th December 2019 Venue: Beckenham Place Mansion Session 1 - 11.00am - 12.00 Session 2 - 12.30 - 13.30pm

Event: The Bishop’s Wife (U) starring Cary Grant Venue: Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, Beckenham Date: Thursday 12th December 2019 at 7:30PM Section: Studio 609

Tickets Child £10/adult £5 Family tickets available - family of 3 £20/family of 4 £25. ( Can be any combination of adults & children) Babies in arms (under 18months) free

Event: Mary Poppins Returns (U) Venue: Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, Beckenham Date: Thursday 12th December 2019 at 7.30pm Section: The Performance Hall tickets-76971988289

Aladdin Beckenham Theatre presents its 2019 Pantomime By Jack Northcott Directed by Mike Darbon whats-on/beckenham/langleypark-centre-for-the-performingarts-beckenham

Aladdin, a poor boy from old Beijing, dreams of a time when he could meet Princess Jasmine and has his chance when the Emperor and Empress order that he becomes a cleaner at the Royal Palace. Meanwhile, the evil Egyptian sorcerer, Abanaza, has other plans for Aladdin and tricks him into opening the Cave of Wonders. With hilarious comedy from Widow Twankey, her streetwise other son, Wishee Washee, Fu Fu the kung-fu panda and some very inept policemen, this very modern Aladdin will provide huge amounts of fun for audiences of all ages!



From Space Oddity to Starman: Bowie’s Beckenham Tour! Sun, 12 January 2020 Times: 14:00 – 17:00 GMT Location: Beckenham Junction Railway Station, Beckenham, BR3 1HY Join Bowie Tour London’s Nick Stephenson for a unique musical walking tour of Beckenham, an area rich with David Bowie history where he wrote many of his greatest songs! Visit the site of Haddon Hall where rock ‘n’ roll history was made and learn of how David Bowie dreamed up his famous Ziggy Stardust persona. Get a unique insight into the venue where he rehearsed for his classic Hunky-Dory album and visit the original site of the famous Beckenham Arts Lab. This tour will feature classic David Bowie songs performed en route plus anecdotes and stories from his life. Tickets available:


From Sunday, 15th December 2019 – Wednesday, 1st January 2020 Christmas Break between Saturday, 21st December – Thursday, 26th December 2019 Matinee performances at 3pm: Sunday, 15th December, Saturday, 28th December, Sunday, 29th December, Tuesday, 31st December, Wednesday, 1st January Evening performances at 7.30pm: Monday, 16th December – Friday, 20th December, Friday, 27th December, Monday, 30th December Tickets: Members: £8, £6 concessions Non-members: £10, £8 concessions Available from the Box Office on 07905 908331 or Eventbrite: Beckenham Theatre Centre, 46, Bromley Road, Beckenham BR3 5JD

If you have an event you would like included in FebruaryMarch issue email asap and we will endeavour to include it.



Meet Simon


One man’s journey through time and his ‘alter egos’ By Tracy Montagu-Guest


imon Waterfield is a Beckenham resident who lives a double life! I caught up with him to find out more… On a rainy Friday, I met up for a coffee and a tuna sandwich at the Big Breakfast, High Street Beckenham with 63-year-old Simon Waterfield.

North of England. Like many of us, he used to hate history at school, finding it rather dull and boring. But now, realising how interesting it is to understand our everyday ancestors and what their lives were actually like, he has become an avid history buff.

With a full time day job as a Professional Surveyor in the City of London, outside of work, our unassuming local resident transforms into characters of the past, re-enacting the grisly times when conflict and battle was a regular feature of life.

“It was never a planned move to do historical re-enactments I fell into this via my son”. Many years ago, Simon’s son wanted to become involved historical re-enactments, but was too young do so by himself, “So along went Daddy”. They were part of a small team that toured around, performing shows and demonstrations to the public. With various items that related to the enactments and they gave many talks, bringing these events to life.

So, chatting about Simon’s other life “an author and performer of historical reenactments”, I was fascinated to know more about this and how he got into it. His easy-going personality and warm voice soon made me forget that the day outside was rather grey, wet and dreary. I became mesmerized in being transported back in time with images flashing through my head of how it must have been back in these times. Not that I would want to be there in person, that’s for sure. Simon’s love of performing and writing monologues was clear to see and his enthusiasm was infectious. His love of telling historical events through the eyes of ordinary individuals made these periods, and the events taking place, come alive. Around 36 years ago, Simon moved to Beckenham from the

Simon started to realise that “there were real human stories behind our talks and the paraphernalia that we were showing”. “I wanted to bring more to life the actual story of these characters” and his first real story was that of “The Agincourt Archer” which was performed and well received at the Beckenham Theatre Centre, it then quickly and organically blossomed into him travelling and performing his monologue enactment across the UK. Coming from an angle of what the day to day life as an Archer participating in the famous battle of

I wanted to “ bring more to

life the actual story of these characters


Agincourt, the audience loved it. Simon also joined the Beckenham Theatre Centre 20 years ago and the St Georges Players. Next, surprised that his maternal grandfather had been in WW1 as a volunteer under Kitchener’s Army “no one in the family knew anything about it as he had never told anyone!” Following a lot of thorough research to find out what he did in the War, Simon was prompted to write and perform his maternal grandfathers’ story “The Kilted Tommy” a First World War Seaforth Highlander. “I managed to get hold of the original regiment’s army Kilt and other paraphernalia”. Since then he has written 4 other stories about his grandfather.



The Battle. A child exploring a castle is transported back into the 15th Century when the castle is under siege. Find out what it’s like being in a castle at war, what happens as armour is donned and what happens in a cavalry charge. The Hunt. A child exploring a castle is transported back to an even earlier 14th Century as part of the nobility. Imagine being one of the Lords children. What was lifelike in a castle, what was the food really like, what was it like to go on a hunt? The Jouster. What is it really like being a medieval jouster? Is the food that good? What’s it like being encased in armour, what’s it really like being on a horse? Does it really hurt being hit? How afraid are you ? Are the squires as efficient as they should be? It’s a Squire’s life. Is a squire’s life really that good? A day in the life of a harassed squire.

The Quest. What was it really like for a squire to go on a dragon quest with his knight? They find out what gets left out of the fables. Simon does a lot of storytelling for the ‘University of the Third Age’ and other historical events. You might have seen Simon perform at the Beckenham Place Park re-opening where he performed as the owner and developer of the park “Mr Cator”. He is booked to perform at Beckenham’s National Trust group early 2020. Catch him next at: Simon will be appearing next 7/8 March 2020 at the Beckenham Theatre Centre doing a weekend show of “The Kilted Tommy”. A must see! When asked about any highlights of his career he said “it was doing The Kilted Tommy in front of my mother, a personal and very moving performance as I performed it at the Church, in front of the steps, where my grandfather was laid out on the evening of his cremation”. Wow! Simon has performed at Highclere Castle also known as the famous ‘Downton Abbey’. Where he was a major part of a re-enactment performance of a WW1 hospital, he even managed to include his grandfather as one of the patients in the hospital performance.

Simon has had no formal training as an actor “I still don’t believe I actually do this at times, since it is so far out of my comfort zone” but he loves every second of it. He has re-enacted stories right from the 10th Century up to WW1. He has also performed at the Brighton & Oxford Fringe Festivals. On a different note, Simon has been fighting with his own personal battle against prostate cancer and he has written several uplifting short stories around his experience, what he has been going through and how he feels, which he is publishing over the Winter. We wish him well in his recovery. Sadly, and poignantly, his Grandfather “The Kilted Tommy” died of prostate cancer. You can find out more about Simon and his amazing other life and see some of his work on his website Photo Credits: Marie Shallcross You can find the Big Breakfast located at 82 High Street, Beckenham BR3 1ED. Open 7 days a week and it does a stonking good breakfast!

Across: 6 Abdicate, 8 Yaks, 9 Salad dressing, 10 Climatologist, 14 Reincarnation, 17 Weatherperson, 20 Anon, 21 Solidify.

Quiz time Across 6 Relinquish a throne (8) 8 Tibetan oxen (4) 9 Mayonnaise (5,8) 10 Expert in atmospheric conditions (13) 14 Rebirth of the soul in a new body (13) 17 Meteorologist (13) 20 Unknown (4) 21 Freeze (8)

Down 1 Turkish currency (4) 2 Outlaw (6) 3 Breakfast food (6) 4 Power of vision (8) 5 Related by blood (4) 7 Blind system of writing (7) 11 Lack of variety (8) 12 Belonging to us (3) 13 Exhibitionist (4-3) 15 Prejudice against old people (6) 16 Baby’s feeding bottle cap (6) 18 Sicilian volcano (4) 19 Clarets (4)



Down: 1 Lira, 2 Bandit, 3 Cereal, 4 Eyesight, 5 Akin, 7 Braille, 11 Monotony, 12 Our, 13 Show-off, 15 Ageism, 16 Nipple, 18 Etna, 19 Reds.

Simon’s is in the process of editing 3 short stories books which he hopes to get published with illustrations soon. Simon has also written stories for children bringing the magic of his enactments to life to a much younger generation which he has performed in historical castles and monuments across the UK. These have included

Food Winter Warmers from the Barker With the colder weather and darker nights there is nothing better than sitting down to food that warms you from the inside out. Our Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup is delicious served with warm crusty rolls, it is quick and a definite crowd pleaser. Sweet Potato & Parsnip Soup Serves 4 cook and preparation time 40 minutes 1tbs olive oil 1 chopped onion 1 chopped celery stick 1 chopped garlic clove 2tsp curry powder 450g peeled, cubed sweet potato 3 peeled and cubed parnsips 250g either vegetable or chicken stock 1 x 400g tin coconut milk

Savoury winter granola by Kitchen at The Grove

Villagers Sausages

150g rolled jumbo oats 60ml melted coconut oil or olive oil 60ml maple syrup or honey 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon 1⁄2 tsp turmeric Seeds from 4 cardamom pods ground in a pestle and mortar 1⁄4 tsp chilli powder 1⁄4 tsp cumin powder 1⁄2 tsp ginger powder 15g pumpkin seeds 15g sunflower seeds 15g pine nuts 15g pecans or other nuts 15g goji berries or dried cranberries 1. Preheat oven to 160C/ fan140C/325F gas mark 3 2. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper 3. In a medium bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, chili powder, cumin, and ginger and mix well. 4.In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and pecans 5. Pour oil and spice mixture over the oats, mixing well with a wooden spoon or with your hand, so the oats are well coated

6. Spread the mixture in one even layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes so it bakes evenly 7. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried berries 8. Let it cool completely and store it in a cool, dry place Sprinkle over poached egg and avocado for a tasty winter brunch or as a delicious savoury snack.

Kitchen in The Grove Beckenham based “Kitchen at The Grove” offers the ultimate fine dining restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home. To find out more visit them



1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and cook the onion, celery and garlic for approx. 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the curry powder and cook for a further 30 seconds. 2. Add the sweet potato, parsnips, stock and coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer for around 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender to touch. Leave to cool and then blitz in a blender until smooth and soup like consistency. 3. Return to a pan and gently reheat, check seasoning and serve with crusty warm bread rolls.