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Cheltenham Your FREE local community magazine APRIL 2020


THIS MONTH: Essential local news and information Big Interview with Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham Ways to survive social distancing & entertain the kids

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A note from the Editor






12 13 - 15


18 & 19


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The coronavirus pandemic is upending our way of life and forcing us to rethink and change the way we live and work. It is an unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, and while it would be easy to despair in challenging times like these, one needn't look very far to find caring and kind neighbours, friends, family members and even strangers who are willing to help. Numerous local support groups have popped up on social media over the last couple of weeks, in which residents offer practical help to those in need and share useful information (see Local News section for more information). It is exactly that - the help, love and support of our fantastic communities which will help us through this difficult time. Keep well and safe - and very importantly - stay at home as much as you can to protect yourself and others!


www.lovelocalmagazines.co.uk FOR ENQUIRIES:

anne@lovelocalmagazines.co.uk T: 01242 388 366

Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert. All artwork is accepted on the strict condition that permission has been given for use in the publication. Love Local Magazines do not officially endorse any advertising/editorial material included within the publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systen or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise - without the prior consent of the publisher. The use of this magazine for canvassing or direct marketing is strictly prohibited.

Best wishes, Anne


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Alex Chalk has been the MP for Cheltenham since 2015. Love Local Magazines spoke to him about his job, his views on important local issues and found out what's on the agenda for Cheltenham in 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: This interview was conducted before the outbreak of the Coronavirus and therefore contains no reference to COVID-19 or the current situation. For any recent news and updates from Alex Chalk, please visit www.alexchalk.com/news

■ What made you want to become an MP? I wanted to put myself among the great problems of our society and play a part in their solution. ■ If you weren’t an MP what would be your ideal job? My old job: A criminal barrister, prosecuting and defending in cases of terrorism, homicide and serious fraud. ■ What are your key priorities for representing Cheltenham in 2020 and beyond? I will be campaigning for Cheltenham General Hospital to host a new “Gloucestershire Cancer Institute” to attract the best clinicians to the county. Second, I want to see progress on making the Cheltenham cyber vision a reality, following the huge government backing. Third, I will be working nationally to help chart a route to Net Zero, 6

Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham

"Securing the best possible NHS services in Cheltenham will always be my top priority." following the landmark legal commitment that I spearheaded in Parliament. Fourth, I will also be speaking out on the issue of anti-microbial resistance, which presents a massive challenge for medicine and our society more generally. And fifth, I will keep campaigning for more resurfacing of Cheltenham’s roads! ■ What will be the biggest priority for Cheltenham in 2020? Securing the best possible NHS services in Cheltenham will always be my top priority. The total budget for the local hospital's trust went up by 7% last year, and massive additional funding is in the pipeline. I will be meeting ministers to ensure that Cheltenham gets its fair share of support and that local services are protected,

THE BIG INTERVIEW including at Cheltenham General. Other crucial local issues include ensuring promised support for schools, particularly special educational needs (SEND) funding, hits the frontline.

in potholes is an expensive and wasteful sticking plaster. I am delighted that message has hit home and major resurfacing works are now underway in Cheltenham, and large stretches (e.g. Tewkesbury Road and London Road/Bath Road) have been fixed. Now the local authority needs to finish the job, including in blackspots like St James’ Square.

■ Boots corner is now open again, what are your own personal thoughts on this? I'm glad it has reopened, but the truth is that it should never have been closed in the first place. Boots Corner has been an expensive fiasco, ■ Is Cheltenham’s A&E closure wasting nearly £2m of precious public postponement just a short term money at the same time as penalising reprieve? It was announced over 60,000 motorists. No credible case last year that the A&E will was ever presented for remain open and its future the closure, The parking charges assured. It will not be on and the execution itself the table as part of any in Cheltenham are was bungled. It has wider planned review. been a sorry chapter far too high. It is very disappointing in Cheltenham’s history. that some have resorted to spreading misinformation on this issue. ■ The state of our roads has been described as disgraceful – how can this be fixed once and for all? The key solution is resurfacing. I have said for many years that simply filling

■ Should local councils be charging for parking in our high streets if we are trying to save them? Some level of charging is only sensible, but the parking charges in Cheltenham are far too high. Our town is by far the most expensive place to park in Gloucestershire, and that sends out the wrong message to visitors. I will continue to call on Cheltenham Borough Council to cut charges and introduce free parking after 6pm and on Sundays. It’s time to show that Cheltenham is open for business. ■ What’s the best way for your constituents to contact you? The best way is through my email address, which is alex.chalk.mp@parliament.uk Page 7

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At the foot of the Bredon Hills, The Yew Tree Pub & Restaurant is located in the quaint village of Conderton. The setting is surrounded by natural beauty and many popular walking routes. The Yew Tree boasts stunning country interiors, fabulous food and drinks menus and a warm welcome which extends to muddy boots, paws and even hooves! The Yew Tree is open seven days a week. Food is served daily, including our famous Sunday Lunches which are served all day. For more information on menus & events etc. please visit our website. www.yewtreepub.com Reservation Line: 01386 725364 8


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Surviving social distancing The coronavirus pandemic is upending our way of life and health officials agree that to prevent its spread, social distancing has become essential. It really doesn’t mean the days ahead are doomed though; you just have to get a little creative. Here are a few ideas:

Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum or even the Guggenheim in New York City. Many museums offer a similar experience on your smartphone. Google Arts & Culture has a collection of virtual walk-throughs for dozens of international museums, from Paris to New Delhi.

Make a list. Schedule a plan of activities so you have the satisfaction of achievement at the end of the day and the week (but hopefully not the month!) Pick up the phone. Social media, texting and messaging have overtaken phone calls as the first line of communication for many. But that was always balanced with talking face to face as well. Right now, a chat on the phone can really boost your morale, and that of your friends and your family. Even if you find all you are talking about is the crisis, as the phrase goes, “it’s good to talk”. Set up a virtual book club. Catch up on reading - you don’t need libraries as you can download some e-books or audiobooks. Include your friends and create a virtual book club and group FaceTime each other to discuss. Be a culture vulture. Take a virtual museum tour. You could go to the 10

Be a film critic. Catch up with recent Oscar winners and maybe share your thoughts with some social interaction on Facebook or Twitter. Choose an actor and watch all their films in chronological order to see if their acting has improved or actually got worse. Learn a language. Probably something you think about doing every time you go on holiday. Learning a few phrases in another tongue will make you ready for next time. Keeps the mind active, too. Tax the brain. There are loads of puzzles online and apps available to test you, even if it’s just to test your vocabulary. Start with

SPECIAL Love Local's own puzzle page on p.14.

year or two, will you really wear it again?

Experiment in the kitchen. For foodies out there, make that recipe that’s been sitting in the drawer for years. Or read your cookbooks and find new recipes to tackle for when this is all over. Use up some of those more obscure tins and packets in the back of the cupboard - just watch those ‘Use By’ dates.

Start birdwatching. Coronavirus doesn’t bother them. Dust off some binoculars if you’ve got some and find out what species nest near you, you may be surprised.

Enjoy the great outdoors. Getting out will improve your general health. The fresh air will clear your mind and help you notice things about the world around you that you didn't see before. If you are really stuck at home, learn the names of plants and trees in your garden. Get organised. Not quite so appealing but you could always sort out your paperwork, your Will and your taxes - all the stuff you’ve been putting off for years. Clear out your wardrobe; if you’ve not worn it for a

Order in. Get all the takeaway food menus out of the drawer and order a takeout, because that way you are supporting local restaurants who need your help right now. Meditate. Now is the time to slow down and empty your mind. Time to relax, have a nap. Treat yourself. Use up all those facial kits and beauty treatments you’ve promised to treat yourself to. Foot souffles, hot oil hair treatments - you’ll look even better than before isolation. You could try styling your hair differently. For the first time in a long time, you’ll have time.

Page 11


Keeping the kids entertained With schools and attractions closed, you might be looking for some fun things to do to keep your kids entertained. Being stuck at home does not have to be boring! Here are ten ideas of things to do at home: “Go” to the zoo. While going to an actual zoo is currently not possible, many zoos around the world keep posting pictures and videos of their animals on social media. Have you, for example, seen the footage from Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that shows their penguins roam around the premises and meet the other animals? Turn your living room into a theatre. Help your kids put on a play or variety show – you can hunt for props and costumes around the house. Video-call other family members and let them be the audience; it will put a smile on their faces! Host an art exhibition. If your child loves to be creative, encourage them to work on different arts and crafts projects over a certain period of time (e.g. a week). Collect the artwork and put together a little exhibition at the end. Turn your home into a gym. Don’t worry you don’t need to invest in expensive gym equipment to help your kids burn off some energy. Many everyday objects such as sofa cushions or toys can be turned into obstacles or used for balancing challenges. Don’t forget the old classic, either – THE FLOOR IS LAVA! Bake together. Easter is just around the corner so how about some Easter biscuits or carrot cake? Baking is a great way to be creative and learn about measuring ingredients and different foods. Enjoy an indoor picnic. Have an indoor picnic, complete with blanket and crockery. You need not worry about the weather, dirt, ants, bees or wasps. Invite some teddy bears and sing or play the “Teddy Bears Picnic” song too! Encourage some construction work. Get out the LEGO, trainsets and jigsaws puzzles. Use blankets and furniture to build a den or turn old cardboard boxes into a fortress – the possibilities are endless! Plan a family movie night. Have a family movie night and watch a film you’ll all enjoy. Turn down the lights and don’t forget the popcorn! Go outside. Weather permitting! Let your kids play in the garden the fresh air and exercise will do them good. Let them plant some seeds and bulbs or prepare a little Treasure or Easter Egg Hunt for them. Keep them curious. From science experiments to learning another language, there are a whole host of activity sheets, projects, flashcards, videos, podcasts and other resources to be discovered online. Setting up a designated learning area will help your child to focus better. Don’t forget about quiet time! Implement a daily quiet time to give both you and your kids a break - nobody is expecting you to entertain your kids all day long. Planning and adhering to a daily schedule of activities including breaks will help things to run smoothly. 12


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3 words O WORLD



3 words








5 words



Puzzle Page


1. In the 1997 film Titanic, Jack wins a game of what to get him and his friend tickets to travel on the Titanic? 2. How is Mildred Hubble better known in a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Jill Murphy?

Across of two quantities (5) 1. Stick of wax with 23. Citrus fruits (7) 3. Who was shot dead by Jack Ruby live on a central wick (6) 24. Men’s hairdresser (6) television? 4. Using Glacial period 25. Game only the lettersinin the Wordwheel, youassociated have ten minutes to find as many words as possible, none of which may be 4. In which 1996 video game could you take Earth’s history (3,3) with Wimbledon (6) foreign nouns. Each word must be control of Jill Valentine to fight against 9. plurals, Engage in words or proper Down of three letters or more, all must contain the central letter and zombies? boisterous, drunken 1. Restriction on letters can only be used once in every word. There is at least merrymaking (7) (6) 5. How many people are depicted on artist one word that uses all of thebeing letters outside in the wheel. 10. Choral work (5) 2. Nigerian Jack Vettriano’s painting The Singing Butler, reproductions of which made it the best11. Remove by monetary unit (5) selling art print in the UK? rubbing (5) 3. Alphabetic 12. Propriety in characters (7) 6. The 2011 film Jack And Jill won a record 10 manners and 5. Professional awards at the Golden Raspberry Awards, conduct (7) performer who including both Worst Actor and Worst Actress 13. Rapid and intense tells jokes (5) for which actor, who played both title roles? 14. Nuclear 17.the Population programme of 6. Brightest star in 7. In plant which(7) film does character count of Jill (6) 15. Draw attention to 19. Gas that acts as a training (5,6) the constellation Masterson die from skin asphyxiation? oneself away from screen for ultraviolet 18. Goat-like Scorpius (7) 8. In which US state is Jack Daniel’s whisky someone else (7) radiation (5) antelope (7) 7. Lay to rest (6) produced? 16. Beetle considered 21. Gas used to fill 20. Line on which 8. Person who 9. Which Oscar-winninglight actress played music is written (5) comes before divine by Ancient bulbs (5) Rachel’s younger sister, Jill, in the TV show “Friends”? 22. Relative magnitudes one in time (11) Egyptians (6)









TARGET Excellent: 30 or more words Good: 27 words Fair: 23 words

10. Which three actors have played Jack Ryan in the four films based on books by Tom Clancy? Answers on p. 29




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Page 15

Coronavirus and health issues

Take extra care if you are older or have health issues * Heart problems * Diabetes * Breathing difficulties

Things you can do Stay away from crowds Avoid sick people Make a plan for if you get ill - your care, food & tablets 16

If you are worried DO NOT go to your GP Stay home and phone NHS 111


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Breakdown Cover Explained What is breakdown cover? Should your car break down while on the move, holding a breakdown cover policy with will mean you have an on-demand recovery service to either help you get back on the road quickly or take your car to a garage without fear of unexpected fees. What exactly is covered? Cover varies depending on the type you have and who your provider is. Typically, a basic breakdown cover policy will ensure you’re covered for simple roadside repairs (commonly known as roadside assistance) or to be towed to a garage without having to pay extra over your annual or monthly fixed rate (note that paying monthly is sometimes more expensive than paying annually). Many providers also offer optional extras such as at-home cover, which allows you to call upon assistance if your car fails to start at home; onward travel cover, which allows you to be taken to your originally planned destination if your car cannot be quickly fixed; and European cover, which allows you to take advantage of similar privileges while driving on the continent. Optional extras vary by policy types and provider, so it’s worth crosschecking companies when looking to take out breakdown cover. 18

By James Baggott Who offers breakdown cover, and how can I take out a policy? There’s a range of breakdown cover providers in the UK, with popular choices including the AA, RAC and Green Flag, amongst others.Taking out a policy can be as easy as contacting a provider and looking through your options with them. It’s also common for insurance providers to offer breakdown cover as an additional extra when taking out a new policy, while some banks provide it as part of premium account offerings. How can I get cheap breakdown cover? The easiest way to get a low-cost breakdown policy is to use an online comparison tool. Much like an insurance comparison site, these can take your details and return quotes from a number of providers to find the best price for your particular needs. If you’re still not happy with the price, don’t be afraid to pick the phone up and directly contact providers to try and bring it down. Our tip would be to make a note of any cheaper quotes if you have a preferred provider, and see if they can match or beat it. Is it illegal to drive without breakdown cover? Unlike an insurance policy, there is no legal requirement for your car to be covered under a breakdown policy. However, your wallet may thank you should you have a policy and do have an unexpected breakdown.

Top Tips ● Cross-check providers using an online comparison tool ● Check which extras are included with each policy ● Pick up the phone to try and get a cheaper quote


The cars to look out for in 2020

By James Baggott

Here are the most exciting cars by class due to arrive this year… Crossover — Ford Puma This funky-looking machine packs some clever technology under its skin. Mild-hybrid powertrains feature in a bid to improve efficiency, while a ‘MegaBox’ compartment in the boot is on hand to maximise practicality. Convertible — Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet This T-Roc brings a soft-top experience to the car. It remains to be seen if it can carry over the impressive driving dynamics of the vehicle underpinning it, though there is no doubt its canvas roof brings a new element of appeal to the car. Estate — Skoda Superb iV Building on the supremely practical Czech estate, this has a 1.4-litre petrol engine linked up to an 85kW motor, allowing for a claimed electric-only range of 34 miles. Hatchback — Volkswagen Golf Mk8 The MK8 comes to market with a fresh new look and more interior tech. There’s a cleaner, more efficient range of engines too. Though we’ve yet to see it in full, expect a go-faster GTI to arrive in 2020 as well. MPV — Mercedes EQV Moving forward from the EQC SUV, the EQV is an electric van, likely to be one of a number of electrified Mercedes vehicles due to arrive in 2020. Pick-up — Jeep Gladiator Essentially a five-seater pick-up version of

the Wrangler, it’s expected that the Gladiator will factor into Jeep’s European strategy during 2020. Saloon — BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe A four-door version of BMW’s two-door 2 Series. Expect a range of petrol and diesel engines, and there’s a chance of a hybrid powertrain too although nothing has been confirmed as yet. SUV — Land Rover Defender The Defender will have a variety of specifications and wheelbase choices, as well as engines. There’s going to be a hybrid version too – so there’s an option for those people who want the cleanest version of the Defender available. Van — Volkswagen Caddy Compact, easy to drive and extremely practical, this boasts more technology than before without forsaking any of the practicality and spaciousness that the older Caddy was well known for. Performance Car — Audi RS6 The new RS6 is more powerful than before while being sharper and more engaging to drive. It’s no less practical, however, and it looks great. Luxury car — Mercedes-Maybach GLS The GLS boasts a plethora of high-end features and materials for the ultimate comfort. Along with distinctive looks, it brings a powerful V8 engine, a 27-speaker audio setup and reclining rear seats among other features to the GLS. Electric car — Volkswagen ID.3 This year, Volkswagen will launch a batterypowered vehicle — the ID.3. Similar in size to a Golf, the German hatch will come in a variety of powertrain configurations, the largest of which promises a range of 261 miles between charges. Page 19


Potato & Broccoli Gratin Ready in: 1 hour Serves 4 - 6

METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180F, gas mark 6. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of lightly salted water for 8-10 minutes until almost tender, adding the broccoli to the pan for the last 2-3 minutes of

Ingredients ● 750g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks ● Salt and freshly ground black pepper

cooking time. Drain well and place in a large shallow ovenproof dish. Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until just softened. Scatter the onion over the potatoes and broccoli. Melt the butter in the pan, then stir in the flour and cook for

● 225g broccoli florets

1 minute until foaming. Remove the pan from the heat and

● 1 red onion, peeled and

boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2

● 1 tbsp olive oil

cut into thin wedges ● 25g butter

● 25g plain flour ● 300ml milk

● 150g mature Cheddar, grated ● 2 tsp Dijon mustard ● Fresh basil leaves, to garnish


gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the minutes, still stirring, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in the half the cheese and the mustard and simmer for a further minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the dish and scatter over the rest of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve garnished with the basil leaves. TIP: Choose a firm, waxy-fleshed potato such as Charlotte or Desiree for this dish, or try sweet potatoes instead.

FOOD & DRINK Give the classic hot cross bun a delicious twist with the addition of chocolate chips, orange zest and piped chocolate crosses!

Chocolate & Orange Hot Cross Buns Ready in: 2 h 45 mins Makes 12 Ingredients

METHOD Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice, orange zest, sugar and dried yeast. Make a well in the middle.

● 2 tsp ground mixed spice

Bring the milk almost to the boil then stir in the butter until melted. Leave the liquid to cool until it’s just hand hot. Pour the liquid into the well with the beaten egg and mix with a round- bladed knife to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

● Zest of 1 orange

● 50g caster sugar

Place the dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for about 1h or until the dough has doubled in size.

● 1 x 7g sachet easy-blend

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten out with the palms of your hands and scatter over the dried fruit and chocolate chips. Fold and knead the dough until the fruit and chocolate chips are incorporated. Divide and shape the dough into 12 buns and place on a large greased baking sheet.

● 500g strong white plain flour, plus extra for dusting ● 1/2 tsp salt

or fast-action dried yeast ● 300ml hand-hot milk ● 55g butter, cubed

● 75g dried mixed fruit

Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place until the buns have risen by at least half again and are almost touching each other - this will take about 45-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, Gas Mark 6.


Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Brush with the warmed golden syrup whilst the buns are still warm.

● 1 large egg, beaten

● 50g dark chocolate chips

● 1-2 tbsp warmed golden syrup ● 50g dark chocolate, melted

When the buns are cold, spoon the melted chocolate into a small disposable piping bag, snip off the end and pipe a cross on each bun. Leave until set then serve. Best served on day they’re made with butter or chocolate spread.

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Bathroom Basics By Katherine Sorrell When planning a bathroom, practicalities must come first, but with thought and inspiration you can create a room that reflects your style as well as being warm and welcoming, clean and calm. Think about who will use the room, how often and when, and consider the fittings you want. Sketch the room to scale on squared paper, indicating the positions of windows, doors, radiators and pipes, and allow generous space to move around in. Avoid moving pipes if possible to reduce installation costs. Plan out the electrics, marking the position of light fittings (which must be wetrated) and perhaps a shaver socket/toothbrush charger. Shallow false walls can hide cables and pipework, while underfloor heating frees up wall space as no radiator is needed. Finally, work out what is possible given your budget and available space. Bathroom fittings come in a multitude of styles and prices, but simplicity is often best; if on a tight budget, invest most in moving parts such as shower doors and taps. 22

Include plenty of free-standing or built-in storage. Go to showrooms and stand in the shower, climb into the bath and sit on the loo – you’ll be using them daily for years so they must be comfortable and well made. Check products conform to British or European standards and what guarantee is on offer. Baths: The more you pay, the more variety there is. A standard bath is a 1700x700mm rectangle, but there are double-ended, corner and free-standing baths. Acrylic is most common but baths made from stone, wood, copper or glass are available. Showers: The three key features are flow control, thermostatic control and easy cleaning. More costly models may include constant temperature control, a hot water safety limiter, cool housing, watersaving, adjustable sprays and easy-clean functions. Basins: Options include the traditional ceramic pedestal style model, winged, semi-pedestal, counter-top or wall-hung. WCs: Choices include basic pan and cistern loos, the close-coupled style (where the pan and cistern are in one seamless unit), a back-to-wall WC where the cistern is hidden behind a false wall or furniture, or a contemporary, wall-hung type.

Top Tips ■ Sketch a room plan ■ Include plenty of storage but also allow for enough space to move around ■ Invest in moving parts & avoid moving pipes ■ Check what guarantee products come with


Choose Your Ideal Bathroom Flooring There’s an endless choice of bathroom floorings that are affordable, practical and wonderfully attractive. Here are some popular options to choose from: Vinyl and luxury vinyl tiles Quick and easy to lay, vinyl is warm underfoot, durable, stain-resistant, water-resistant and easy to mop, and many types work with underfloor heating. From affordable sheet vinyls to luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) the range of patterns is impressive. Ceramic and porcelain tiles A go-to choice, tiles are infinitely variable – in size, shape, pattern and price – but are cold and hard underfoot, and hence are often combined with underfloor heating. Without a matt or textured surface, they can be slippery when wet. Porcelain tiles can imitate the look of wood or stone incredibly well, without some of the drawbacks of those materials. Stone Stone tends to be cold and hard underfoot. It’s also really heavy, so consider consulting an expert to ensure your floor joists can take its weight. That said, stone is tough, durable and possesses an incomparable natural beauty, with a wide variety of finishes and patterns. Natural stone can be quite porous and is likely to require sealing before and during installation, and careful cleaning afterwards. Engineered wood Solid wood floorboards tend to shrink, swell and/or warp with wetness and humidity so use engineered wood, made from real wood

By Katherine Sorrell

layered at right angles and glued, making it extra strong and stable. It is usually suitable over underfloor heating. Choose a waterresistant finish and ventilate the room well to minimise humidity, place mats in front of the bath and basin, and mop up spills immediately. Cork Warm, quiet and resilient to water, cork tiles are easy to fit, durable and extremely sustainable. Cork is available in a range of fashionable shades and comes pre-finished with a durable wear layer. As with LVTs and rubber, cork tiles must be butted up very close to avoid water seeping between them. Rubber Warm and shock-absorbent, durable, stain-resistant and incredibly waterproof, rubber is both child-friendly and ultra-stylish, coming in an array of colours. Available in tile or sheet form, it is generally low maintenance, but smooth surfaces can be very slippery, so the best choice for a bathroom is a textured design, which may need occasional careful cleaning.

Top Tips ■ Choose practical flooring: non-slip and resistant to water and humidity, easy to clean and comfortable underfoot ■ Consider underfloor heating ■ Use an expert installer Page 23


Making An Entrance By Katherine Sorrell Your hallway is the first part of your home you see when entering. A well thoughtout design helps make an impression. .

of downlights set into the ceiling is better. Avoid protruding wall lights in a narrow hall where they become obstacles.

On the wall In a narrow hallway, pale colours emphasise a sense of space. Specialist light-reflecting paints may help, or look for patterned wallpaper with a metallic sheen, and add large mirrors. Choose an extra-tough paint if you expect wear and tear, or add a dado rail and clad the walls below it with panelling, tiles or hard-wearing vinyl wallpaper. Periodstyle tiles or embossed wallpapers suit older properties with period features.

Sensible storage Built-in storage makes the most of available space. Shallow, floor-to-ceiling cupboards with doors painted the same colour as the walls, or mirrored, are discreet but hold masses. Alternatively, use free-standing cupboards, sideboards, tables, benches, hooks or racks that suit your layout and style. Somewhere to keep post and keys is useful: perhaps a bowl and rack on a console table, radiator cover or shelf, or a small, wall-mounted cupboard and hooks.

Durable floors Flooring should be non-slip, durable, dirt-resistant and easily maintained. Darker colours are generally better than pale, especially if you have pets and children. Stone, ceramic or quarry tiles, or Victorian encaustic tiles, are all easy to care for, while solid wooden boards or parquet simply require regular polishing or waxing. Linoleum or vinyl can look impressive but carpet is more problematic. Choose a colour or pattern that won’t show the dirt, and make sure it’s suitable for a hallway: an 80:20 twist classified for heavy domestic use is often the best. Lovely lighting Light in the hallway should illuminate steps, stairs and thresholds clearly and help provide an even flow of light. With a high ceiling, a beautiful chandelier, or a series of pendants, looks great; otherwise, a row 24

Finishing touches Windows will benefit from shutters, blinds or curtains, with fabric co-ordinated with cushions or upholstery. A long, thin floor runner works beautifully on hard flooring. Fit shelving above doorways or above head height along the hall’s length for books and delicate items. And, finally, add a personal touch with paintings, photographs or other artworks.

Top Tips ■ Use pale colours and mirrors in narrow hallways ■ Darker colours work best for flooring ■ Pick the right type of lighting ■ Consider built-in storage solutions

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Follow a special trail this Easter and beyond We’re hoping that visitors to Cheltenham town centre will still be able to enjoy the great outdoors despite the huge range of events that are being cancelled with the spread of the Coronavirus. In 2018 Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) launched the Hidden Cheltenham Trail. The trail guides people to places of historic interest and tells the stories that have been overlooked and forgotten of the people, places and communities of the town. Since then, we’ve run special trails in the main school holidays and this Easter will be no different. A family-based trail will encourage youngsters to collect puzzle pieces from 48 businesses across the town centre, which will enable them to complete 12 different puzzles. Starting at The Wilson, they will collect a trail pack, which includes a printed map, instructions and a puzzle booklet. On completion, they can then take their puzzles back and get a special Easter prize, which won’t cost a penny. It is due to run Tuesday - Saturday throughout the holidays, starting on 7th April. And remember that even if some businesses are unable to take part, the original trail, featuring 12 points of interest from The Brewery Quarter to Montpellier, continues to be a great way to discover some of our secrets. See bit.ly/HiddenChelt Kevan Blackadder, Cheltenham BID Director

New season for Lions Club holiday caravan April sees the start of another season for the Club's holiday caravan at Burnham-onSea which allows local families to catch a much-needed break. The first caravan was purchased in 1983 and replaced in 1991 and 2010. In that time over 2,500 people have benefitted from it. The caravan is specially built for disabled people and has low-level kitchen fittings, hoists in the bedroom and a ramp for easy access. The site is ideal for people with mobility problems and only a short distance away from the town centre and beach. Families are recommended by various local organisations, including Acorns Children’s 26

Hospice, St Vincents and St Georges, CPC Families and People Plus. The holiday comes at no charge to the visitors as the costs (over £5,000 per year) are covered by the Lions Club. Forthcoming Lions Club events* that will help raise money for the caravan include: ● Giant Easter Egg Raffle at various pubs throughout town ● Plant Sales in Charlton Kings (1 May) & at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Rd (30 May) ● Book Sale, Regent Arcade (25 - 31 May). If you know of a family who would benefit from a holiday at the caravan, please contact Lion Gerry Mitchell on 01242 242867.

* Some or all of these events may be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.


How stockpiling affects young adults with disabilities By Laura Sobiegraj (14/03/2020) The coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of worry. As a result, many people are panic buying and stockpiling dried foods and toiletries, even though the government and supermarkets have stated that there was no need for excessive stockpiling. This greatly affects people such as Charley (18) from Cheltenham, who cannot easily get around or buy things in bulk. Charley struggles with chronic back pain and regular fainting episodes, which makes it hard for her to shop, especially now that most nearby stores, usually easily accessible to her, have run out of stock. Toilet rolls, pasta and other food items are becoming increasingly hard to get hold of which presents a real problem to people with disabilities and mobility impairments in particular. Even online shopping has its limitations as many items are simply out of stock. All this is a result of unnecessary stockpiling, even though there haven’t been many Coronavirus cases confirmed locally at this time, so please be considerate and think twice before loading up your trolley.

Councillors Corner I’m writing this on Gold Cup day. Yesterday, my Co-Councillor Angie Boyes and I had to interrupt our meeting with Dominic Burke, Head of Balcarras, so that Dominic could tell all the students who should have been travelling to Germany that their school trip was cancelled. No doubt they are not alone. The school has insurance to cover such eventualities, but what about all the small businesses, people who provide kayaking, camping and similar activities for young people? And their suppliers, caterers, coach drivers, etc.? Friday 13th was also the day my holiday

Local community comes together to offer help The local community has come together amid the Coronavirus crisis, to support and help each other by creating a public Facebook group called 'COVID-19 Cheltenham Community Network'. The group aims to help prevent and contain any possible outbreaks by offering practical assistance to those in need. Offers range from help with shopping to sourcing urgent supplies, posting the mail for someone or walking somebody's dog. If you need any help (e.g. because you are self-isolating, unwell or at risk), then please join. Similarly, if you can offer help and support or just wish to stay updated and connected with your community, then check out the group.

New tax helpline to support businesses affected by COVID-19 HMRC has launched a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The helpline number is 0800 0159 559. Open: Mon - Fri: 8am - 8pm & Sat: 8am - 4pm. Closed on Bank Holidays. to Croatia was cancelled, with less than 48 hours’ notice. Fortunately, just two phone calls were sufficient to get 100% of the money back. I was very lucky, but airline staff, airport workers and their suppliers will bear the brunt of these cancellations. It brought home to me in a very personal way that Coronavirus will affect all our lives and will have a huge impact on many businesses. Please remember the less fortunate this Easter as you shop and put something into the food bank. Cllr Paul McCloskey, Charlton Kings Page 27

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PUZZLE ANSWERS Henry Hedgehog Puzzles page 13 CROSSWORD:

Across: (2) Worms, (3) Leaf, (6) Sunshine, (7) Thaw, (9) Rainbow, (12) Eggs, (13) Mud, (15) Rain, (17) Easter Down: (1) Green, (4) Flower, (5) Nest, (6) Spring, (8) Holiday, (10) Warm, (11) Puddle, (14) Grass, (16) Ice The word that can be unscrambled is... Flowers.

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Isolate your household Stay at home If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it’s mild Everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others. DO NOT go to your GP or hospital. Go to NHS.UK to check your symptoms and follow the specialist medical advice. Only call NHS 111 if you can’t get online or your symptoms worsen. Protect older people and those with existing health conditions by avoiding contact. Find out how to isolate your household at nhs.uk/coronavirus




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