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fens

Issue 51 | August 2020

THE

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

Biggest issue

combining our two great editions

Inside this issue

Local sustainable products on your doorstep The man behind the world-famous grafitti Interviewing Abigail Hookham

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

Fens | 2020 1 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TOThe VISIT | August REVIEWS


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Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

WELCOME Change seems to be a constant theme at the moment. Every few weeks the Government announces new rules and revised restrictions and we have learnt to quickly adapt to a different way of living and working. One big change last month was the gradual easing of enforced closures for the hair industry, pubs and restaurants. Finally we could get our mops cut, enjoy a meal out and a well-deserved pint of beer (or large glass of gin). And whilst I understand that not all of us will feel ready to tread the first steps back into these kinds of establishments, we must also remember that the owners and workers are part of our community, they are friends, and where we can, we really must show them our support, just as they have shown the community great love by turning their hands to delivery and cooking free meals for the vulnerable. The eagle-eyed of you will have already spotted our link to Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust on our front cover. From this issue onwards, we have merged our two lovely editions: Greater Peterborough and Ramsey, to create one bigger and better version named simply: The Fens. By bringing these two areas together we can create more space for more articles and features and our wonderful advertisers can reach double their readership. We don’t mind change as long as we feel it brings benefits to others. So this month, please do enjoy your copy of our magazine and we would love to hear your feedback (especially after all the lovely comments from the last edition). It’s great to be back!

Natasha PUBLISHER

fens

Issue 51 | August 2020

THE

6 This month’s happy news 12 VJ Day Celebrations 16 Nature inspired art 23 Save our High Street 24 The local eco warriors 33 YOUR RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOOD TRUST PAGES 46 Interviewing local grafitti artist 50 Wild photography 60 Share the love - local photographs taken by you

Editor & design: Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk Assistant Editor: Richard Groom richard@pcbonline.co.uk Resident photogarpher: Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk Sales & distribution: 07511 662566 hello@thefensmag.co.uk Cover: Abigail Hookham www.abigailhookham.com With thanks to our brilliant contributors

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

@thefensmag www.thefensmag.co.uk

Biggest issue

combining our two great editions

Inside this issue

Local sustainable products on your doorstep The man behind the world-famous grafitti On your bike!

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

Fens | 2020 1 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TOThe VISIT | August REVIEWS

THE FENS is published by a local team. Care is taken to ensure that the content and information is correct, however we cannot take any responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by any errors. Permission must be granted to reproduce, copy or scan anything from this publication. THE FENS accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | August 2020

3


TRAVEL FEATURE

Dream now, travel later Travel Counsellors is an award-winning company with specialists whose knowledge of the industry is second to none. In this first of a series of features, their Cambridgeshire-based travel expert Alex Buckle talks to journalist and writer Collette Parker about how he is helping would be travellers to . . . dream now, travel later. How has Covid-19 affected people’s travel aspirations? Although people’s worlds became suddenly very much smaller, their hopes and dreams to widen horizons and sate pent up desire to travel has just intensified. I have worked in the travel industry for a quarter of a century – 14 of those my own travel agency – and I have just had the busiest June ever with my company for bookings in 2021.

around a distant island, or helping to bath elephants in Sri Lanka. Now this is even more so – even if they have to dream now, travel later. What has been your approach to helping people whose travel plans have been dashed? We care for our customers, our suppliers, staff and each other. My clients call me ‘their’ travel agent, in the same way as they talk about ‘their’ solicitor, plumber or electrician. Our attitude is always to ‘do the right thing’ by them and Covid is no different. We give them the advice and knowledge they need and respond based on what they feel most comfortable with. This has led us to being acknowledged by Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert survey, as the best company to respond to travellers’

What’s your theory for the reasons behind this trend? I am passionate about travel, for me it is not just a job. I got the bug when I lived with my parents in South East Asia and we would go off for holidays with a pack on our backs to Malaysia or Indonesia. Many like me are looking for more than just a holiday, they want an experience - whether it be climbing Kilimanjaro, kayaking

Our attitude is always to ‘do the right thing’

queries and refunds during this pandemic. How can you help those wishing to travel this year safely? As Travel Counsellors we are not just a travel agent, we give a personalised service. We are fully independent and can sell what we want in the UK or abroad with 100 per cent financial protection. We have a phenomenal training and information library, long-standing partnerships, 300 plus contact staff and fantastic technology. This helps us to advise people how to travel safely and we have some great deals at our fingertips. Alex Buckle Travel Counsellors Email: alex.buckle@ travelcounsellors.com Tel: 01487 898330 Instagram: alexb_travelguru

AWARDS: 2019 WINNER – Sunday Times Top Track 250; National Travel Retailer (British Travel Awards); Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards’ Best Homeworking Agency. 4

The Fens | August 2020


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The Fens | August 2020

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OUT AND ABOUT...

HAPPY NEWS

We wanted to create a new page dedicated to sharing positive news or a place to thank somebody for doing something great. If you would like to share your happy news about someone or another business, email hello@thefensmag.co.uk

FOOD4GOOD

THANK YOU MICHELLE

THANK YOU TARA

‘Food4Good’ are a March-based company who have been collecting food from Tesco which would have been skipped, and delivering it to those in need. The volunteers have been using their own cars and time and deserve a big hug!

Michelle Glasgow at Enhance Salon has been a treasure, she has kept in touch with us and organised delivery of pamper boxes for the community. Her efforts deserve acknowledgment and thanks.

I’d like to thank Tara Magpie (The Critter Sitter), who has carried on helping people with their animals/rescues/ foods from Turves to make sure people are cared for throughout lockdown. She’s an amazing person who doesn’t see it...

- Emma Brown

- Veronica Carter

- Kelly Bates

TRY WADES FIRST We heard so many thank yous and kind words about Wades (especially about Luke’s motivating video clips) so we had to give them another big thank you. It seems nothing is too much trouble for the guys at Wades in Ramsey - what a fantastic local business!

ADAPTING BUSINESSES

CHEF COLIN

RAMSEY FOODBANK

Richard Jones at The Fenland Roaster has changed his business to suit demand, delivers great food with great service at a reasonable cost too!

A huge thank you to Colin Wilson from The Falcon Hotel in Whittlesey for cooking so many meals for Helping Whittlesey, and all those who helped deliver them.

Judith Hyde and her team at Ramsey Foodbank deserve a thank you for not stopping throughout lockdown and making sure people are cared for.

- Tom Mortlock

6

The Fens | August 2020

- Theresa Squires

- Jayney Marsland


LOCAL NEWS

SNAKES ON A ROLL

IMAGES Chris Brudenell

Across the country families took part in painting and hiding rocks they had decorated to brighten somebody’s day. The rocks, once found, were then encouraged to be re-hidden so that others could take delight in discovery. In recent weeks, the phenomenon has evolved and Whittlesey, Coates, Eastrea and Ramsey have created snakes from hundreds of rocks. The simple idea is to encourage the community to come togther on a shared goal, to decorate enough rocks to create a long snake to brighten up each village. What a wonderful sight it is to see decorated stones, with all kinds of themes, in each of the villages. Through something truly awful, something truly beautiful has sprung up. Keep up the amazing work. To follow the various snakes, search ‘Love on the rocks Whittlesey’ or ‘BOSH’ Facebook pages for Ramsey.

CALLING ALL LOCAL YOUNG NHS HEROES! Audley End Miniature Railway are looking for special children who spent their valuable time helping the NHS through lockdown! Have you raised money for our NHS? Made or provided much needed PPE? Did you spend time in lockdown doing anything which benefited the NHS in any way? If you have we want to hear from you! We want to give you and your family a day at the magical Miniature Railway to say thank you! You will enjoy an enchanting train ride through estate woodland, a magical wander through the fairy and elf walk, a spectacular interactive show and then the chance to explore our brand new adventure play equipment in our spacious picnic area! Please contact us at enquiries@aemr.co.uk by August 10th if your child or you know of a child that has gone above and beyond for the NHS this lockdown.

HANDMADE MEMORY BEARS The Owl And The Paisley Cat create handmade items, made with love and attention. What started out as a beautiful way to remember a loved one who has passed, has turned into a growing business for Cassie Ward. So what is a memory bear? “A memory bear is a handmade bear made from materials that belonged to a special person or even outgrown baby clothes,” Cassie explained. “You might have a favourite outfit that your child once wore and looking for a unique keepsake. That’s where we come in. Simply send us your chosen material or old clothes and we can transform them into a bear to keep forever.” Whether you want to commission a bereavement bear or a just looking for a special, personalised teddy, The Owl and The Paisley Cat would be delighted to hear from you. Simply get in touch via Facebook or you can call on 07734 952626 or email cassie.ward1@icloud.com The Fens | August 2020

7


LOCAL NEWS

WHITTLESEY MAYOR GIVES THANKS My first contribution as the new Mayor and Leader of Whittlesey Town Council has to be one of thanks. My initial thanks go to my fellow Councillors for placing their confidence in me by electing me for an unprecedented second term in office, my first spell being 2013-2015. However, it would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to my predecessor, Cllr Mrs Julie Windle, who has just completed two years of exceptional dedication as Mayor. During that time Julie, with the unstinted support of her husband and consort, Robert, has not only represented Whittlesey in civic engagements in Cambridgeshire and the adjoining counties but has engaged herself in many aspects of the local community while leading the Town Council in the numerous day to day tasks required to ensure a smooth running of the administration. As we all know, the earlier part of this year has seen an unprecedented situation caused by the terrible Coronavirus epidemic which has spread across the world, and in the UK alone at time of writing claimed over 45,000 lives. However, this catastrophic situation has brought out the best from many with the health workers quite rightly topping the list of those who have gone beyond the call of duty on behalf of others. Key workers in industry, commerce and schools have played their part but we must not forget the many acts of kindness shown by our local community to our neighbours, many of whom have found themselves self-isolating for long periods and cut off from their family, friends and social circles. There have been many organisations who have stepped forward and lent their talents in the cause of others but two who stand out in our town during the present crisis are Helping Whittlesey and

Whittlesey Emergency Food Aid, both of whom are eternally grateful for the many donations of food and cash to enable them to function effectively. With its many volunteers, Helping Whittlesey has maintained regular deliveries of food and other essentials to those citizens who could not leave their homes and in conjunction with local food suppliers has provided literally hundreds of cooked meals on a weekly basis. Since 2014 Whittlesey Emergency Food Aid has helped countless families in the town and surrounding villages who have found themselves in distress and their work has continued throughout the recent crisis and will continue well beyond. Assistance can be given in confidence by in the first instance contacting either Brian Smithyman or Marija Lysak on 01733 752093. I would also like to single out for special praise Fenland District Council who have worked tirelessly to ensure that funding from Central Government has reached those businesses and organisations that otherwise may well have folded under the recent economic pressures. We have experienced dark times in Whittlesey of late and we are not out of the woods yet. Unfortunately many of our regular festivals and events have been cancelled as a result of the present situation and this has impacted not only on pleasure for our community in general but also on the businesses who depend on these events for income. During these harsh times I would ask that we continue to look out for each other and support the local businesses wherever possible. There is indeed light at the end of a very long tunnel and considerable financial investment will be made in Whittlesey in the coming months and years, more of which I hope to inform you of in the next edition of this magazine, so watch this space!! - By Cllr David K M Mason, Whittlesey Mayor

LOCAL BARCLAYS BRANCH THANK SCHOOLS The staff of March branch of Barclays Bank plc wanted to thank the staff of the local primary schools for staying open for children of key workers throughout the pandemic. As a small token of their gratitude the Barclays staff have donated items to make 4 gift boxes and delivered these to the March Primary schools: Burrowmoor Primary School, All Saints Inter-Church Academy, Westwood Primary School and Cavalry Primary School. 8

The Fens | August 2020


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GARDENING

YOUR GARDEN IN AUGUST After the heat of July the weather in August usually continues to be very nice giving us time to simply enjoy our gardens and all the hard work we’ve put into them. Don’t worry too much about doing endless jobs – just remember to keep everything watered. If you are going away, you may need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden. If you are at home and feeling energetic there are still a few gardening tasks for August that will keep your gardens going longer, as well as opportunities to get a head start on next years garden plans.

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August is the ideal month to take cuttings of woody herbs such as Rosemary and Lavender. To do this simply take new growth that hasn’t flowered this year – cut a piece 10cm long just below a leaf joint, remove the lower leaves and dip the end in a rooting hormone before planting in a gritty compost. If you have lavender in the garden now is also the ideal time to give it a trim. This will encourage bushy new growth in the spring and will prevent it becoming bare and woody.

2

PRUNING & TIDYING

Most long flowering perennials will finish flowering this month so cut them down to the ground. Don’t forget about them though - continue

to water them, as this will encourage a second flush of foliage and generally prevent the garden from looking frazzled and messy. Although weeds will be growing more slowly now than in the spring it’s a good idea to continue to hoe the soil to keep them down. Try to do this in warm, dry conditions to ensure any weed seedlings you disturb are left on the surface to dehydrate and die.

3

MAKE PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR

A nice relaxing job for those long hot days! Pull up a chair in a sunny spot and start planning for next year. Make sketches of your flower borders and vegetable plot and list what you would like to plant. Take photos of your garden now while it is looking its best – if you want to rearrange in the winter its much easier to do if you have a reference point. Also think about what bulbs you want to plant for that early display of spring colour – bulbs are usually available to buy from the end of August ready for autumn planting.

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The Fens | August 2020 11


GOOD THIS MONTH...

WHAT’S HOT IN AUGUST Each month brings something lovely to spot or to taste. Here’s our round-up this month

BRILLIANT BRAMLEYS

CRAZY ABOUT PEAS

Did you know peas are actually a fruit? The humble pea was recently rated Britain’s seventh favourite veg and as August is the best month for harvesting them, why not celebrate them cooked simply for a few minutes and served with a generous chunk of butter?

VJ DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY 1945 – 2020

On the 6th August 1945, the first atomic bomb (Little Boy) was detonated over the city of Hiroshima, and a second atomic bomb (Fat Man) was detonated over the city of Nagasaki on the 9th August. This action by the Allied Forces effectively brought an end to the war in the Far East and World War 2. But the Japanese surrender did not materialise immediately, as isolated forces continued fighting unaware of the ultimate capitulation. It was not until the morning of 2nd September 1945, that the Japanese delegation signed the main surrender documents on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. General Umezo Yoshigiro signed the instrument of surrender, witnessed by the Supreme Allied Commander General 12 The Fens | August 2020

This month, there’s an abundance of fruit and vegetables ready for eating. One of our favourites are Bramley apples (we have a huge tree in our garden). The first recorded sale of a Bramley was on October 31, 1862 when Henry Merryweather (who was allowed to sell the apples on behalf of local butcher Matthew Bramley, who grew thme in his garden). The three Bramley apples were sold for two shillings. Amazingly, the original tree still bears fruit! Bramleys are the most popular cooking apple in Britain, and for good reason. Try these tart, fluffy apples in pies, strudels to chutney and soups.

MacArthur. On the 15th August, we can remember those who did not return, and those still with us, who served in the Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and other Regiments, having lived in our Fenland towns and villages and East Anglia. Known as the “Forgotten Army” we all became aware of their suffering, torture and the atrocities of war. WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM The act of Remembrance will be held at 11am, at the Memorial in Queen St. Whittlesey in the presence of Cllr. D.K.M. Mason Whittlesey Mayor, members of Whittlesey Town Council and invited guests.


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The Fens | August 2020 15


Nature inspired art

WORDS NATASHA SHIELS ILLUSTRATIONS ABIGAIL HOOKHAM

Abigail Hookham is a published illustrator living in March. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and how the landscape keeps on giving Sitting smiling at me on my desk is a fox with a butterfly sitting on its nose. The print belongs to Abigail Hookham, a successful author and illustrator living in the Fens. I found her by chance on one of the Facebook groups I follow for inspiration and I couldn’t believe my luck to discover she lived just a few miles away. Despite just being in her twenties, Abigail has already achieved a huge amount in her career, including several books and an expanding greetings card collection. Growing up in Newborough, Abigail has also lived in Norwich, London and Wisbech. But the Fens, like for so many, always pulled her back. “I just couldn’t get over the fact I couldn’t see the sunset because 16 The Fens | August 2020


MAIN FEATURE

Why is the outdoors so inspiring for you? How can you not be inspired by Mother Nature? I have always been fascinated with the macro world of nature. Getting up close to tiny mossy

think, it takes a tremendous amount of work to build a digital game from scratch which meant it was often very technical. I am not a gamer, but I joined the course to learn how to I have this new appreci- paint digitally, ation for the little things which I did. It I hardly noticed before was a fascinating course and I - like being able to smell carry so much of different flowers while the knowledge on a bike ride, or hearing I gained from bird song while you sit it into my work as an illustrator outside today.

environments and fungi to see the world from an ant’s eye. Our natural world is full of so much beauty in patterns, colours, smells and sounds. You gained a First Class honours degree in Game Art and Design. Was that as fun as it sounds? It certainly had its perks! Of course, on a games course you are expected to make and play games. But that isn’t as much fun as you might

the buildings [in London] just consumed the skies. This might sound really weird but more than anything I missed the smell. Until you move to bustling city with heavy traffic you don’t realise how clean the air in the Fens is. Now I have moved back, I feel like I have this new appreciation for the little things I hardly noticed before - like being able to smell different flowers while on a bike ride, or hearing bird song while you sit outside.”

What made you move from games to books for your MA in Children’s Literature The Fens | August 2020 17


and Illustration at Goldsmiths UOL? While it’s such a cliché to say this, I did always want to be a children’s book illustrator. My Dad was a technical illustrator and my Mum worked with ceramics. I grew up in a creative household and drawing and storytelling was just something that was always with me. I think I’m very lucky to have never been told that a career in art wasn’t a viable option. The arts are so overlooked in education, yet without artists and designers, you wouldn’t be sat on a sofa, drinking from a cup, reading this. Art is so often pushed aside as we grow up. My degree in games was a stepping stone into the children’s book industry, but I also dreamed of working in the entertainment industry, which is why I didn’t study for my BA in illustration. I wanted to widen my scope and learn a new craft. What is your favourite medium? I don’t have a favourite! I love the versatility of gouache and watercolours, the texture of oil pastels and the softness of chalk pastels. You name it I use it! I always use a mixed media approach, and take into consideration the tone and emotion of the story I am trying to convey. Before starting my MA I hadn’t worked in a sketchbook traditionally for three years – my Games course was fast paced and digital. It was a shock to the system to go back to paper and pen after so long, but such a welcomed change! 18 The Fens | August 2020

Now I start all my paintings traditionally before taking them into Photoshop for some final tweaks and amendments. Having said that, some of my work is rendered completely in Photoshop, but I have spent the last five years developing techniques to give my digital paintings a more traditional and organic feel. Tell us about your own books. The Dragon in my Wardrobe was Written for Templars 40th Anniversary competition. The story had to contain a dragon, so I wrote a poem about a boy who believed there was a dragon in his wardrobe. My story and illustrations found me shortlisted into their top 10 entries which honestly blew me away as I did this before I even enrolled on my MA! BirdBox is a wordless picture book that I created for my MA, it follows a young girl and her grandad on their mission to birdwatch. Since this is a wordless narrative and only 10 pages long, it was a bit of a passion project, and not something that would likely be commercially published. I have this for sale on my Etsy shop. And finally Maggie and the Sea Bees! This is my baby, and unfortunately I can’t say much about it. It was my MA show piece and is currently in redevelopment! Is it easier to be the writer and illustrator? Sometimes it’s easier because you have a clear vision of what you want to illustrate as you’re writing. But that can also be a massive hindrance. You only have 12 spreads to show your story, and often when you’re writing you have

all these images coming into your head. I like working with authors just as much. It’s nice to have a fresh voice to illustrate for, and always a pleasure to bring their story to life with a combined vision. The process has changed now digital advances, but I have heard of a brilliant case of mismatched vision in a book that is very well-loved today. Apparently, for the book We’re going on a Bear hunt Michael Rosen (the author) had envisioned a King going on hunt for a Bear, but Helen Oxenbury (the illustrator) had a very different vision when she read the text and illustrated the images of the father and children that we know and love today! What’s your current project?   Right now I am flitting between a few projects. I am also working on building up my children’s book portfolio, while managing my Etsy shop. I like


to juggle a few things at a time… it certainly keeps me busy! How did lockdown affect you? Lockdown gave me a lot of time to reflect on what I learnt on my MA. It is so important for all children to see themselves reflected in what they consume and as I became more aware of this lack of representation, I realised it wasn’t just picture books that were struggling with this, but also greeting card companies. Therefore, I have spent the last few months coming up with a way customers can personalise the character on my greeting card designs to reflect the child recipient. They have been such a hit that I have had requests to bring out prints for children’s bedrooms. They are a joy to create, and actually, I was surprised by the number of cards I have designed for adults in their 20s. I think everyone has a secret desire to see what they would look like if illustrated in a children’s book, and my cards do just that!

and I accidentally planted 55 tomato plants (who knew planting a couple of mouldy tomatoes could yield so much!?) so we are trying to keep those alive and healthy too! Other than spending time in the garden I have a not-sosecret love for textiles, and in the last few years have turned my attention to needle felting. I love working with the fibres to create something in a 3D form, though my poor, frequently stabbed fingers don’t like it so much! What advice would you give to somebody looking to start a career in illustration or writing? Is it important that you can do both? 

What do you do in your spare time? I think even in my ‘free time’ I’m drawing! ABIGAIL’S But Lockdown has turned me into an avid gardener. We have recently moved to a lovely house with a very neglected garden so we have spent a lot of time and energy on turning it into something much more functional with lots of flowers for • A childhood the bees and butterflies! favourite of mine. We have also been growing our own veg

No, it’s not important that you can do both. Publishers love being creative by pairing up authors and illustrators! My advice is to learn to observe and interpret. Whether you’re wanting to write or illustrate, the same rule applies. Observe human nature and the world around you, document it, understand it. If you want to write a story that speaks to the masses, you have to give a universal truth that feels like it's speaking to just the reader at that moment. It has to be unique and satisfying. If you want to illustrate the best thing you can do is illustrate. Go and sit at a cafe and draw the interactions around you, or for now, draw from your window. Everything tells a story, you're not aiming to recreate the story line by line, you’re aiming to interpret it. And illustrators always draw from life. If you want to illustrate a monkey, go to a zoo, or use a photograph (or even better, watch them on YouTube or TV). You will never develop your own voice if you just draw from other artists’ drawings! - You can support artists like Abigail by buying direct at www.etsy. com/uk/shop/AbigailHIllustrates you can also follow her on Instagram @A_Hookham

FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

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• This wordless picture book features some beautiful watercolour illustrations The Fens | August 2020 19


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KEEPING IT LOCAL

Save our High Street

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With independent shops opening their doors last month, now is the perfect time to support the hearts of our communities

he High Street has had big competition from online retailers for some time, but there’s no denying that independent shop owners took a massive hit when the Coronavirus hit. The government pledged £50million towards the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund and Fenland received approximately £90,000. But for some businesses, the months of keeping their shopfronts securely closed will leave them vulnerable and fighting for their livelihoods. What will become of our communities if our small and independent shops close for good? I count myself fortunate living in Fenland as there are still some wonderful local shops and shopkeepers, with a wealth of experience and advice. If you take a stroll around our market towns you will come across bakers, butchers, locksmiths, candles, electrical goods and much more. We’re not unique in that there are too many empty buildings (and perhaps a few too many hairdressers, but during lockdown, ironically it was probably the hairdressers we probably missed most), but there is also evidence in the rise of the new services: nail bars and coffee shops. In Whittlesey I can now collect my takeaway coffee with beans all the way from the Lake District. So in an age where the internet is king, how do so many smaller shops survive? I expect it is a mix of two things; the owners are grafters and are experts in many aspects of business, from marketing to sales. They adapt to change and they have to learn new skills. But more importantly, it is because they are usually expert in their fields. A great example is Larry’s Heel Bar, a local shop which has evolved over the years from cutting keys to repairing shoes and much more in-between. The family-run business has been a familiar sight for me since I was a little girl. I fondly remember the first time I was given my own front

door key; we went to Larry’s Heel Bar to collect it and I felt so grown up. A few years ago they repaired my mum’s favourite boots and they’ve engraved a tankard for my husband. The family members who still work in Larry’s Heel Bar clearly know everything about this traditional craft and are happy to share it. A few doors along is Bob’s Records (my husband’s favourite shop, by far). He can’t walk past without popping in to Bob to see what latest vinyls have appeared. If Bob sees something he thinks you might like, he’ll pop it behind the counter, he’s that kind of shopkeeper and people travel for miles and miles around to browse his records. Close by we have a bakery whose fresh bread and cakes waft into the air and tempt you in. How can you resist their selection of cream cakes? I can’t! Two of my favourite businesses are the local garden centre, where their expertise is only seconded to their brilliant selection of plants and seeds, and the local pet shop which I adored as a child. What these merchants offer is expertise, enthusiasm and a willingness to go above and beyond for their customers. During the lockdown, many of the shopkeepers opened a delivery service to enable the vulnerable to still access essential goods. The bakery delivered its bread on the back of a bicycle, the garden centre drove flowers and compost to the local community and restaurants and takeaways opened to cook meals free of charge for the vulnerable. Useful as the internet can be, they don’t engage with us. And that is why we must support them when we can, because we all know the adage, if we don’t use them, we will lose them. And what a great loss that would be. The Fens | August 2020 23


The local

ECO WARRIORS "We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly,” Anne Marie Bonneau, Zero Waste Chef

For me, the lockdown made me stop and assess how I was running my business and living my life. Our recycling bin was overflowing quickly and our plastic bottle waste kept staring at me, like an angry toddler that couldn’t be reasoned with. I decided we needed to reassess how we lived and worked. As a company, we had already reduced our plastic waste but by choosing to use less paper in print, I could make a huge impact. It inspired me to take a look at other businesses around who prove that eco-friendly offerings can be sustainable and profitable.

I'm hoping that it will give people the space to become more aware of the everyday products they are using, where the ingredients come from, the packaging they use and the Julia Williamson, impact it has on the environment.” Julie’s Inanna’s Daughter based in Lincoln solution to the horror she felt when she saw the amount of plastic bottles she had in her Launching her business on April 1st, Julia bathroom was to launch a company which Williamson was thrown into disarray as the created solid shampoo and conditioner Coronavirus hit Britain. “It’s been a really bars. “We can save as much as 24 plastic tough start. Shops that I had arranged bottles a year,” Julie added. “People like to wholesale orders with closed, suppliers shut think that all of our plastic is recycled, their businesses and I had lots of when globally only 10-15% of plastic technical problems affecting my currently is.” To acheive this, Julia “Just going online shopping channels and uses biodegradable greaseproof advertising. I've also been through the bin at paper and labels made from unable to work as a therapist recycled brown Kraft paper. the end of the day so have no income to fund the will shock you, but it’s Bars are posted in either a tin business.” (which can be repurposed, But that hasn’t stopped a good indicator of recycled or returned) or in a Inanna’s Daughter from letterbox friendly cardboard box where we can growing. “I think our attitude (which is biodegradable and make changes” towards the environment is recyclable).   changing for the better. People have slowed down and taken time - Find out more at to walk and exercise outdoors and have www.inannasdaughter.org or follow on really started to appreciate nature more. Instagram @inannas_daughter

“I was horrified at the amount of plastic bottles in my bathroom”

24 The Fens | August 2020


ECO LIVING

“Everything connects to everything else, and when we choose to acknowledge this connection, we can all do a better job for absolutely everything on earth” Eliza Riddell, ALL NATURAL SOAP Co based in Cambridgeshire

The ALL NATURAL SOAP Co started in 2012 'plastic free', after a chance gift: “I was gifted a wonderful 'palm oil free', book on natural soap making and holistic living 'zero waste' or for my birthday one year,” Eliza told us, “and even vegan got totally enthralled with all aspects of the bandwagons. process and ethics pretty much immediately. We have From there it was a short hop to realising how ALWAYS had wonderful washing with natural soap can be, the planet in realising I had a talent for it, wanting to share mind right it with friends and family, and then wanting from the to share it with as many people as possible.” very first Inspired by the many colours in nature and day we discovering that you don’t need synthetics or made 'nature-identical' ingredients for either visual or our first sensory beauty in cosmetics, Eliza’s business soap bar and this continues to was launched. infuse everything we do on a daily basis “I love the fact that we make soap and and we continually try and see how we nothing else and have really stuck firm can do better.” in this goal. We all wash in some way or Could other businesses do more? another on a regular basis and so if we “Yes definitely.” Eliza explained. “Even can choose to make this daily-use item if you think, oh but I 'just' make this or as ethical as possible then this is going that, take a moment and trace it back. to have an impact environmentally, Think about all the many raw materials, and if more people choose to wash with people, transport, water and energy sustainable, ethical and environmentallythat are involved in making your one product or providing your friendly options then that service. Pick one and think, impact (or lack of it) is going is there another option, to be huge!” To achieve could I, for example, be this, ALL NATURAL SOAP’s We’ve joined forces with sourcing X more sustainably products are free of palm Inanna’s Daughter and All or could I even repurpose oil and their packaging Natural Soap Co to give someone else's 'waste' into is free of plastic. “Even one lucky reader a super an innovative new product! when we were literally a eco-friendly bundle of body Even if your business is you market stall with a very products. All you have to do working from your bedroom small internet presence we is email hello@thefensmag. and providing a service, STILL chose to invest in our co.uk with one switch you could you perhaps do all planet and so opted to use can make at home to use less your internet searches on packing beans made from plastic and we will pick our Ecosia (ecosia.org) and favourite one. Entries close on non GMO corn starch that therefore help plant trees?” August 15th at midnight and you can literally dissolve one winner will receive one under the tap or put in the Sweet Orange & Bergamot - Find out more about compost. Environmental Shampoo and Conditioner bar, ALL NATURAL SOAP Co by responsibility isn't something a Rose Geranium soap bar and visiting allnaturalsoap. we've recently begun a Gentle Goat’s Milk soap bar. co.uk or follow them thinking about and we Good luck! @allnaturalsoap haven't jumped on the

GIVEAWAY TIME

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A Q&A with Susie Munns at Safe Haven Therapy & Coaching Susie Munns is an experienced therapist & life coach

WHAT DO YOU DO? I am an energy therapist and life coach, I use a solution focused integrative approach to heal and help people live their best, happiest lives. I have worked with hundreds of people over the years and helped them overcome anxiety, depression, phobias, addiction, trauma to name a few. I always replace any issues or events I remove with something positive like confidence, self-belief or self-esteem. My intention is to always leave people, whether I am working with them or not, better than I found them. WHAT THERAPIES DO YOU USE? The main therapies I use are Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Havening and Mindfulness. WHAT IS EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)? Also known as Tapping, EFT is a mixture of talk and energy therapy, you tap on the meridian points whilst acknowledging whatever it is you want to shift / overcome. It still amazes me how quickly and effective it is. WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER THERAPISTS AND COACHES? The approach I use is solution focused, if you need to keep coming back to me week after week for months or years I am not serving you in the best way I can. Although I do have clients return to me, it is generally because of something new that has come up. I like to teach my clients the techniques I use so they can use them away from our sessions to help themselves. My intention is to get you feeling healthy, happy and energised in the shortest

time possible. If you want change and you are ready to put the work in, together we can shift past events and self-limiting beliefs and get you ready to achieve your goals and dreams. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE? I love Einstein’s famous quote about insanity. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” It is so true and applies to all aspects of life, if you keep doing what you have always done; you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always got. WHY DID YOU BECOME A THERAPIST? I wasn’t lucky enough to know what I wanted to do when it came to choosing what to study, so I went down the obvious business and finance route, I had a successful career but I didn’t ever love what I did. Looking back the answer to my dream vocation was in front of me all along, I was always the go to person with friends and family when they needed help, advise or comforting. I finally had my YEEHAA moment in 2006 when I was introduced to NLP and EFT, I haven’t looked back since. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH? I get to help people change their lives for the better and overcome huge obstacles every day, what’s not to love? When I hear how well somebody I have worked with is doing it makes me feel so happy. I believe we all have a predestined purpose, and I know I am doing what I came here to do - help people. To find out more about the therapies Susie uses and the services she offers, visit www.safehaven-therapy.com

Susie Munns can be found at Safe Haven Therapy & Coaching Mobile: 07915 073 013 www.safehaven-therapy.com www.facebook.com/SafeHavenTherapy 28 The Fens | August 2020


SUPPORT LOCAL

The Well-Being Box Laura Stott talks to us about The Well-Being Box and how the lockdown gave her the opportunity to realise a long-awaited dream

M

um to three beautiful boys, Laura Stott (who was originally from Whittlesey) moved from Solihull to Eastrea to bring her family up. When lockdown happened, Laura bravely launched The Well-Being Box, an idea she had long wanted to do but struggled to find time in her otherwise busy schedule. Known by friends and family for giving little packages as gifts, it was Laura’s experience of postnatal depression and anxiety that helped form the basis of her business. Family and friends were very supportive, and as Laura was living away from home, gestures such as a card or little gift sent in the post were really appreciated. This set the seed for The Well-being Box. She realised that many people could benefit from support and self-care and that you could brighten somebody's day even if you lived miles away, with a box of kindness. What kind of things would a customer find inside? The Well-being box curates gift boxes full of thoughtful gifts that support well-being and selfcare. The boxes are ideal for a treat for yourself or to send to someone to let them know you are thinking of them. In putting together each box I have drawn on my

own experiences of different life-stages and events. For example, ‘The New Mum Box’ was designed to include gifts for mum, such as quick and easy to use beauty products, and a lovely black and white book for bonding time with baby. I am very pleased to be able to include some fabulous independent brands in the boxes, all UK based. Our boxes include beauty products, artisan chocolate, soy candles, sensory toys, books, mugs and tea. The boxes also include some tips to help support wellbeing. Each box is beautifully presented and includes a gift card.  

Are the boxes for women? Many of the products are aimed predominantly at women, although the sensory baby boxes are for parents. We are about to launch The ‘ManKind’ box so there is something just for the boys! Why do you think self-care is so important?

Looking after yourself and your well-being has become increasingly important as our lives have got busier, and at times, more stressful. Feelings of well-being are fundamental to overall health, and how we deal with everyday life. I am the first to admit that focusing on myself has not always been the top of my to-do list. But after my own mental health issues, I have worked hard to make sure I take some time out for myself. This can be doing something such as yoga or by just having some chocolate with a good mug of tea! Do you have any exciting future business plans? I have several new boxes launching over the next few months and am always researching new products to include. I am also looking to grow our work with businesses and their employee well-being programs. Getting involved with various networking groups is something I am really enjoying, so I look forward to doing more of this. You can order a box at www.thewellbeingbox.com You can also contact Laura direct either on Instagram @thewell_beingbox or on Facebook @The Well-being Box The boxes can be sent directly to a loved one and can include a hand-written message inside. The Fens | August 2020 29


FOOTWEAR SPECIALISTS

n A wide selection of brands are stocked in store n All staff are fully trained to fit orthotics, specialist fits, splints, wide and slim feet n Caters for sizes from birth to adult size 12

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30 The Fens | August 2020

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Slimdown in Lockdown!

Slimming World Consultant at the Eastrea Centre Anna Foster has been running her groups virtually, supporting members to manage their weight each week. She says: “In these testing times, it is normal to feel stressed and anxious and our usual healthy habits like eating well and keeping active to slip a little. I know I’ve had my days when it’s felt really difficult to stay motivated... and that’s completely ok, we are only human! “This month I celebrate being a consultant for 5 years and I’ve really learnt that getting support so you don’t feel alone is so key when it comes to keeping up healthy habits, whatever life throws your way. During lockdown my members have been loving the fact they can still attend group from their house to mine! We have a private Facebook page & weekly optional meetings on zoom where we share practical hints and tips, recipes and overcome challenges together. We really do

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laugh and cry together. “When I had to close my groups in March, we really didn’t know how long this was going to go on for, but we knew that members needed the help and support more than ever. Within weeks we had gone virtual! It was the same support, just a different venue! Since the beginning of April my members have lost 1,373lb which is a mind blowing 98 stone, earning themselves their awards along the way! I am so proud of each and every member.” The great news is Anna will be opening her doors at the Eastrea Centre on the 17th August where she will be combining all of her sessions on the Monday! If you would like more information on joining contact Anna on 07539 229365 or visit www. slimmingworld.co.uk for information on other groups in your area.

at The Eastrea Centre Re-opening 17th August Groups will now be running all day Monday. When it goes back to normal it will be 9.30am, 5.30 & 7.30pm. To start with it will be strictly appointment only (for new & existing members). As you can appreciate our priority is keeping our members safe whilst adhering to government guidelines, so group times will be different. Please contact Anna on 07539 229365 to get booked in and started on your journey. For information on Whittlesey groups and their re-opening dates & times please call Gemma: 07725 037960 Charlene: 0793 1313201

The Fens | August 2020 31


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£350,000 Boost to ‘The Pavilion’ Sporting Community Hub

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust (RNT), Ramsey Cricket Club and Ramsey Million Partnership are delighted to announce that our shared vision of creating a multiuse sporting and community building in Ramsey is one step nearer, thanks to a generous grant of £350,000 from the Cambridgeshire County Council Communities Capital Fund. This, along with the £230,000 investment from Ramsey Million Big Local, will finally, after seven years of planning, make ‘The Pavilion’ closer to becoming a reality. Ramsey Cricket Club has a long sporting history and a reputation for developing local talent. Community activities, managed by Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, have successfully run from the site for several years - including BOSH, CRUNCH, BOSH Summer, The Dog’s Meet Community Café, Repair Café and Phoenix workshops and courses. Although a great centrally located site it isn’t built to cater for these very different activities. More significantly the user groups are running out of space as the numbers attending, and the range of activities, grow. Developing the building and future proofing it for sporting and community use is, therefore, mutually beneficial. ‘The Pavilion’ would not have got to this stage if it wasn’t for the determination of Ramsey Million Big Local Partnership, which has not only funded

the consultation and planning stage but has had significant input into the direction and design of the build, all based on community consultation. The last few years have been spent working with Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust and Ramsey Cricket Club drawing up plans, awaiting planning permission, developing a business case and negotiating legal agreements. Ramsey Million Partnership also commissioned the awardwinning architect of the Gamlingay Eco Hub, Dan Jones of Civic London, to design ‘The Pavilion’. All parties wanted to create something that was not only functional but also a building of quality that Ramsey residents could be proud of. We were fortunate to find an architect that shared our vision and wanted to work with us to achieve it. Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust (RNT), Ramsey Cricket Club and Ramsey Million Partnership would like to thank County Councillor Adela Costello and Mayor Steve Corney for demonstrating their belief in ‘The Pavilion’ by supporting the application to the Cambridgeshire County Council Communities Capital Fund. After seven years of planning ‘The Pavilion’ is ‘ready to go’. Now funding and planning permission is in place it is intended that the project will go out to tender very soon and, current restrictions permitting, building works start in the autumn. Once completed ‘The Pavilion’ will not only be one of the finest cricket facilities in the county but the heart of community development in Ramsey and the surrounding area. The Fens | August 2020 33


RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOODS TRUST

RAMSEY HERITAGE Following the retirement of Ann Cuthbert who so successfully led the Promoting Ramsey and Ramsey Journey Through Time projects, this work will be continued by the Ramsey Heritage Partnership. This is a group comprising the local heritage projects – Ramsey Rural Museum, Ramsey Mortuary Chapels, Ramsey Walled Garden, The Gatehouse, Abbey House, St Thomas a Becket and Ramsey 1940’s as well as local historians and other interested parties. The group is in the process of applying for charitable status with the aim of developing promoting Ramsey’s heritage and history and to support collaborative working and learning about our history. It will be a membership group so interested people will be able to join to support our heritage groups, research or learn about our history and heritage. It has been a difficult year for all of us, including our heritage groups. We have had to cancel our popular heritage days and the nature of some of the buildings makes opening with social

RAMSEY JOB SEARCH Looking for a job, advice or support when applying for work, Job Search in Ramsey is still open to everyone, whether unemployed or looking to further your career. Job Search aims to help people at all stages of their job search - from preparing a CV and filling in application forms through to interview techniques. We are currently working on an appointment only basis but do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment to see us at our base in Ramsey Library or we can provide online support. Come and give it a try! Please contact Alison on 07562379472 or Email rntprojectmanager@gmail.com for further information. Also see the Ramsey Job Search Facebook page for vacancies. 34 The Fens | August 2020

distancing problematic. All sites are managed entirely by volunteers some of whom are shielding or caring for shielding family. Ramsey Walled Garden, which has the advantage of being outside, is now open on Sunday afternoons with a one-way system in operation to ensure the safety of visitors and volunteers. Look out for information about the new booklet Ramsey Our Journey Through Time which will be ready shortly. Follow the Discover Ramsey Facebook page and look for announcements on the Discover Ramsey website. - Jane Sills

RAMSEY COMMUNITY MARKET – SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED! Social distancing has been paramount for Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust when organising the stalls on Ramsey Community Market. Residents have commented on how well the system works and Routs of Wisbech – ‘The Fish Man’ – have been so successful that they are now attending Ramsey on a Thursday and Saturday. We have also welcomed a new stall selling fresh eggs to complement Edwards Fruit and Veg. If you or someone you know would like a pitch please contact market.rntoffice@gmail. com for further details.


RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOODS TRUST

RAMSEY AREA COVID -19 SUPPORT UPDATE

RAMSEY NEIGHBOURHOODS TRUST Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust rntchair@gmail.com or anna.rntoffice@gmail.com 07548 048471 Facebook: Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust Job Search By appointment 07562 379472 rntprojectmanager@gmail. com Facebook: Jobsearch Ramsey SPARKS Facebook: Sparks Club rntprojectmanager@gmail. com 07562 379472

The team at Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust want to thank our amazing volunteers, particularly as many are now returning to work. We’ve delivered a little token to say a heartfelt thanks for what you have done for our community. To those who still need us - we are still here and are happy to help. We are delighted to announce that Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust has secured funding from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to continue Ramsey Area Covid-19 Support over the summer, autumn and into the new year. Thanks also needs to go to the customers and staff of the Esso Garage in Ramsey who have raised money to help us support local people who are still in isolation. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you live in Ramsey or the surrounding villages and you need help because you are isolating due to COVID-19.

BREAKING NEWS!

Telephone or Text: 07562 379472 Email: ramsey.covid19@gmail.com Ramsey Foodbank Vouchers: 07548 048471 Facebook: Ramsey.Covid19

Due to a change in government guidance BOSH is now able to offer a limited number of small group sessions for 5-10 year olds who live in Ramsey Town or the surrounding villages. For more details contact boshsummer. rntoffice@gmail.com

BOSH boshsummer.rntoffice@ gmail.com 07955 817137 Facebook: BOSH - Ramsey CRUNCH 07955 817137 jodie.rntoffice@gmail.com Facebook: Crunch - Ramsey Community Market market.rntoffice@gmail.com Facebook: Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust Ramsey Million BIg Local 07548 048471 office.ramseymillion@gmail. com Facebook: Ramsey Million - Big Local Ramsey Timebank 07562 379472 rntprojectmanager@gmail. com Facebook: Ramsey Timebank The Fens | August 2020 35


RAMSEY HANDY NUMBERS

USEFUL NUMBERS 24 Hour Emergency Number 01480 52222 Age UK Cambridgeshire 0300 6669860 Care Network Cambridgeshire 01480 423065 Caring Together (Carers Trust) 03452 410954 Citizens Advice Bureau 0344 2451292 Cromwell Vets 01487 814789 Huntingdon Job Centre 0843 5092446 Hunts Forum 01480 420601 Locality 01480 376209 Chorus Homes 0345 2669760 Muir Housing 01480 453234 One Leisure 01480 388111 Police Emergency 999 Police Non Emergency 101 Ramsey Child & Family Zone 01480 379420 Ramsey Community Bus 01487 711330 Ramsey Community Warden 07900 340265 Ramsey Food Bank 01487 812648 Ramsey Library 0345 0455225 Ramsey Million* 01487 814897 BOSH/CRUNCH 07955 817137 Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust* 01487 814897 Ramsey Post Office 01487 812549 Ramsey Volunteer Bureau 01487 814117 The Bobby Scheme 01480 413311 Stagecoach 01223 433250 Swearers Funeral Services 01487 812239 The Ramsey Initiative 01487 813612 WI Centre 01480 453137 Health Addenbrookes Hinchingbrooke Hospital Peterborough City Hospital Rainbow Surgery Ramsey Dental Surgery Ramsey Health Centre

01223 245151 01480 416416 01733 678000 01487 710980 01487 812312 01487 812611

Need a local number? Our handy numbers are worth keeping close by. Or better still, keep your copy of the magazine on your coffee table until the next one pops through your door...

Village Halls/Community Centre Bury Village Hall 01487 813848 Ramsey Community Centre 01733 844816 Ramsey Forty Foot Village Hall 01487 814637 Ramsey Mereside Village Hall 01733 844459 Upwood Village Hall 01487 815475 Wistow Village Hall 01487 822708 Schools/Child Care Abbey College Ashbeach Primary Bury C of E Primary Bury Play Group Busy Bee Day Nursery Head Start Nursery Ramsey Pre School Ashbeach Ladybirds Pre School Ramsey Junior School Ramsey Spinning Infants The Ramsey Day Nursery Upwood Playgroup Upwood Primary School Councils Ramsey & Bury County Councillor County Cllr. Adela Costello Ramsey & Bury District Councillors District Cllr. Steve Corney District Cllr. Jeff Clarke District Cllr. John Palmer Warboys District Cllr. Jill Taverner District Cllr. Graham Bull Ramsey Mayor - Cllr.Steve Corney Ramsey Town Council Parish Council - Clerk Bury Parish Council Wistow Parish Council

01487 812352 01733 844262 01487 813784 07733 360836 01487 711643 01487 711122 01487 710160 01733 219900 01487 812500 01487 813587 01487 710422 01487 813510 01487 813510

01487 813124 07795 057440 07802 398259 01487 814063 01487 823082 07780 511928 01487 814957 01487 814957 01487 812447 01487 813278 01487 812877

Editorial Policy Summary •All items are included entirely at the discretion of the editor who reserves the right to edit or refuse to print any item submitted. •The Fens Magazine cannot accept any liability for omissions, errors or mistakes which occur in production. •All materials contained within are strictly copyright, all rights reserved. Production in whole or part without permission of The Fens Magazine is prohibited. 36 The Fens | August 2020


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39


Elsa the Cygnet A Story of Survival WORDS AND PHOTOS VERONICA POULTNEY

New columnist Veronica Johansson Poultney discovers that some days you are just in the right place at the right time I first met Elsa I believe at sunrise on June 16th. She was swimming in the Waterlily Pit in Ely Country Park and was with another sibling and her parents. As I was watching the parents walked out of the water and onto the grass, but the two little cygnets were too small to follow, probably only a day or two old. After a while they started swimming and looking for their parents, squeaking all the way around. I stayed for a while to see if they found each other, the parents did go back to the water, but the cygnets were far gone by then over on the other side. A couple of days later, I saw them on the river Great Ouse, but with only one of the cygnets, the one I had named Elsa. As a keen photographer, I kept returning but I didn’t see them for days and days. Finally, on June 24th, I spotted Elsa all on her own. She was 40 The Fens | August 2020

tucked away by the side of the river in the grass, but on the other side from me. I was worried for her, as she was only about 10-14 days old, but I hoped the parents were going to be back soon. The following morning I saw Elsa again all on her own and became more worried. I met my friend Sally who told me that she had seen one of the large male swans chasing

Elsa’s parents off the river earlier that week and had tried to kill Elsa. Sally had prevented it and the Swan had left. I became so worried for her and after a post I made on social media, I was advised to contact Cambridgeshire Wildlife Care. The lady said if I can pick her up to do so, and then call them for further guidance. But she was on the other side of the river, so I


THROUGH THE LENS

couldn’t get anywhere near her. That evening I saw her again, a little bit further up, all on her own nibbling away on the grass. A heron came very near but she was able to hide in the grass under the riverbank. On the morning of the 26th, I went to look for her. I was so happy to see her with the four cygnet swan family by the bridge near Peacock Tearooms in Ely and I thought they had adopted her. But then they suddenly started to attack her, first the other larger cygnets and then the large male swan. He had grabbed her neck and tried pushing her under the water, so I jumped in the river to scare them off, shouting and kicking water at the attacking swan. I was a bit careful too, as I know the swan could have attacked me and I didn’t wish to harm him or his family. Luckily, they finally left and I could rescue Elsa, who had managed to hide behind a large rock by the bridge foundation. I had sent a message with an update before I jumped into the river for the Wildlife Care, who had replied with a link to find the right care place for Elsa. A lady called Sarah was helping me by the river and carried my belongings home, as I was carrying Elsa. At home I contacted The Waterfowl Sanctuary in Godmanchester. I spoke with Graham who said they would love to look after Elsa. Myself and my daughter drove over with

Elsa and she settle in straight away with some sweet little ducklings. She is doing very well in her new beautiful home at The Waterfowl Sanctuary, being lovingly cared for and becoming the beautiful little lady she was born to be. A week after Elsa arrived they had another cygnet who needed their care, so Elsa now has a best friend. I’m feeling truly grateful and happy for Elsa (who actually could be a boy only time will tell....).

RSPB ADVICE Swans are very attentive parents, so a young lone cygnet may mean that something is amiss. Young cygnets are very vulnerable, so if you find one that you are absolutely sure is orphaned, put it safely into a cardboard box. You should then contact a reputable swan rescue agency, who will give you the necessary advice on how to care for it until they can collect it. You should not attempt to hand-rear the cygnet yourself. The Waterfowl Sanctuary are located in Godmanchester near Huntingdon and offer rescue, rehabilitation and life sanctuary to waterfowl. Find out more at thewaterfowlsanctuary.co.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veronica Johansson Poultney grew up in northern Sweden enjoying the outdoors, forest walks, climbing trees, skiing down a hill or just watching the sky. Over the last few years she has spent more time walking with her camera in Fenland. The lockdown inspired her to start a Facebook page called Veronica in the Fens. Her work is available on Etsy.com and you can follow her at @ veronicainthefens on Facebook or Instagram. The Fens | August 2020 41


Get into....

Fitness with Focus

Fitness with Fo c u s

For some of us exercising during the last few months has been extremely difficult and the temptation to comfort eat has been over-whelming. Now that restrictions are starting to ease, there really is no better time to start focussing back on your fitness

Fitness with Focus is the business of Carly Vine. Carly joined the fitness industry 15 years ago as she wanted to help people like herself who felt left behind when they were growing up and lacked the confidence to get started as they got older. YOU SPECIALISE IN BEGINNERS, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE? I choose to focus on beginners as they are the people that NEED help. Sadly, the industry generally caters for the 15% of the population who will actively use a gym - most of whom just want a facility. I feel it is my job to educate people throughout their journey, and to assure them that it’s never too late to begin to look after your health.   WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF A PT? There are many benefits of using a dedicated instructor. Some of the most valuable benefits are accountability and guidance. Accountability by having to schedule the appointment in to your diary makes it a real commitment to yourself and your results. Guidance in the way of demonstration, supervision and correction of form where required, which not only reduces

42 The Fens | August 2020

the risk of injury, but also means we only progress when and how the individual is ready. WHY IS NOW THE PERFECT TIME TO START EXERCISING? “Now” is always the perfect time to start. However, with the current world health situation, having better cardio vascular health is a huge benefit. A lot of people have adopted a fairly inactive lifestyle. With many people still on furlough, a lot of us have the time in order to be able to adopt a new lifestyle adjustment that we can continue. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEBODY WHO IS NERVOUS? First of all, don’t panic. Most people, even those with a sedentary job, do some form of exercise – even if they can’t see it. I’m not here to judge or need you to know ‘where’ to start; I just need you to start. I’m here to guide and show you the way. WHAT’S A TYPICAL SESSION? After our initial consultation where we will have identified the individual’s wants (and potential health restrictions) I will provide a personal plan. The plan will include regular reviews and assessments, and goals for measured progression. DO I NEED ANY EQUIPMENT? All you will need to bring is a full water bottle and perhaps a small towel. You don’t need any fancy clothes either. Just something non-restrictive and comfortable, and some trainers. ISN’T HAVING A PT EXPENSIVE?  I think that’s subjective. For

example, I have friends who spend a lot of money in beauty salons. I know others who spend £50-£70 on a night out at the weekend, every weekend. It’s a lot about how important something is to the individual in question. One question I was asked when I was 19 was: “What is the value on your long term health and wellbeing?” I couldn’t answer that question… WHAT AREAS DO YOU COVER?  I work on a 30 minute commute basis. So if I can get to the client in 30 minutes, from the centre of Whittlesey, then I can accommodate them. WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? Each achievement is subjective to the individual, for example, I’ve helped one of my clients go from needing to book two seats on an aeroplane, to only having to book one. I’ve helped another radically reduce the blood pressure medication they were taking. My eldest client was 92, who simply wanted to keep active and mobile. More than anything, I love helping people see the value in a commitment to themselves and a happier, healthier life. When I see people happy as a result of their hard work with me, I know that we’ve both achieved something. Find out more by visiting www. fitnesswithfocus.co.uk or you can email fitnesswithfocus@mail.com or call 07943 146907 f: FitnessWithFocus i: @fitwithfocus


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Art inspired change

Social media has a lot of negative connotations, but one brilliant positive it can bring is to share bold and ground-breaking art designed to change people’s attitudes. The artists create the statement and the internet broadcasts it WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Anybody living or working in Peterborough will have come across one of Nathan Murdoch’s bold graffiti designs, the oldest and most iconic of which being his Keith Flint tribute on a legal graffiti wall in Peterborough. But most recently Nath has been in the spotlight for creating the anti-racist tribute of two hands, again created in the town. We met with the street artist to find out how he transformed himself from a youngster in a graffiti crew to winning Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018. MENACE IN SOCIETY My graffiti journey started in around 1999 when I was in my first year at secondary school. I grew up in Eastfield, Peterborough and spent most of our time building dens in the local woods. One of my best friends at the time had this idea of starting a graffiti crew called MIS (Menace in Society). We started getting car paint and any markers we could acquire at that age to write around where we lived and in the school.   Graffiti was more hidden back then, without social media and little internet, so we travelled the city on our pushbikes taking photos on a camera for inspiration. The only internet access we had was via the school IT suite and there was limited graffiti online. During this time, I collected possibly the largest pre-digital Peterborough graffiti archive in existence.     THE KEITH FLINT TRIBUTE I have been a HUGE Prodigy fan since I was young; I first discovered it via ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’ album which, strangely, I used 46 The Fens | August 2020

to listen to at my dad’s house in Russell Street, Peterborough. Down the road from his house was the first street art mural I had ever seen. The artwork within the album sleeve became unconsciously an inspiration in my journey. It’s an amazing piece and I guess the rebellious side within me wanted to be a part of that, even at such a young age.   I had seen Prodigy many times in my life, the last time being December before Keith’s death at Alexandra Palace. My painting friend Tars, who had been with me to see the band before, texted me to say of Keith’s passing. I shed a few tears processing this news. Nearly two weeks after Keith’s death it was my eldest son’s birthday but, for reasons unknown, I took a huge mental health plummet and was struggling to cope with my emotions. I reached out to a couple of people but found it difficult to connect with people closer, I guess in fear of their perception of me. In this emotional state, I started painting Keith on the Thursday/Friday evening. I posted the finished piece on the Saturday evening online without much thought. Within 60 minutes it had over 600 shares and by Sunday morning it had over a thousand. The most important thing for me was that I did Keith and the band proud. I was in an unstable emotional state myself and I channelled that energy into producing a tribute which emotionally connected to millions of people. What I learnt from this was the most beautiful power of art; I had messages from people across the world about their connection to a wall I painted. The wall is still there today


‘What I learnt from this was the most beautiful power of art’

THIS PAGE The iconic Keith Flint tribute The Fens | August 2020 47


THIS PAGE Nathan Murdoch’s recent mural in Whittlesey and the Dispora commissioned pieces

and is possibly one of Peterborough’s most photographed walls in recent years. DIASPORA AND THE ANTI-RACISM MOVEMENT Diaspora contacted me as a local artist to do a piece about anti-racism. I could do whatever I wanted as long as it was relevant. I know and have experienced some forms of racism as a white man, but I think more than anything what graffiti 48 The Fens | August 2020

culture has taught me, regardless of background, colour, wealth etc, is that we come together through a shared interest. When I woke up one morning read an email from a lady in Minnesota wanting to use my painting as a profile picture, was it surprising? I couldn’t believe it! A lady from 100s of miles away found a picture I painted and wanted to use it to help promote a positive message in her city which was in unrest due to the George Floyd incident.   GROWING A BUSINESS I started Street Arts Hire in 2015 as a self-employed brand whilst I was working full time as a Health and Safety Manager (people were later surprised to find out my secret!). After working for three years building the brand, I left full-time employment in July 2018 and changed the business to a limited company in the April. In 2017 we won Service of the Year and in 2018 I won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Peterborough Small Business Awards. This year I am again a finalist, this time in the Business Man of the Year category.   Street Arts Hire are a collective of street artists across art, music and dance. We offer all forms of street art for hire, creating bespoke solutions to a client’s needs. It had originally started as a music/ street art event in Peterborough, but being young and lacking maturity, it wasn’t developed until later years.   We’ve worked on projects from bedroom walls to multi-million pound organisations at the moment. We have a huge variance in our clientele and have been fortunate to work with names like Wickes, Ikea, BMW, Twitter, English Football League and Virgin Health.   THE WAR MEMORIAL AT THE STRAW BEAR PUB My grandma was in WWII and had a keen interest in war and memories from that period. She passed a few years ago but I spent many hours with my grandma watching war movies. Painting any war memorial makes me think of her and how proud she would be. Overall, it’s a wonderful thing to do and give something back to those who risked and gave their lives for us to have a better life. We are forever in their debt. Nathan is selling limited edition signed prints of his arts against racism pieces. For further information on these or any of the team’s other works, please visit www.streetartshire.co.uk or follow Street Arts for Hire on Facebook or Instagram. You can also find details on how to commission a piece of work.


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1ST PLACE Carl Everitt’s Dawn over Bradlaugh fields Northampton

Wild photography This month, Wildlife Trust’s Caroline Fitton has been busy looking at entries to their photographic competition

Photographing wildlife has to be one of the most pleasurable pursuits – the perfect way to be surrounded by and absorbed in beautiful scenery, studying all kinds of species from plants, animals, birds to insects and capturing a range of atmospheric conditions. The Wildlife Trust in Cambridgeshire run an annual Wildlife Photography Competition and the winners in the 2020 competition have recently been announced; the theme was Local Gems, and the deadline extended to allow for entries during lockdown, with an extra category added, Garden and Home Gems, with an impressive number of entries. The overall winner is Carl Everitt, with a stunning image of dawn rising over Bradlaugh Field reserve in Northampton (images had to be taken in the three counties which the local Trust covers: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire), he wins £1,500 worth of photographic equipment from Fujifilm UK. A wide selection of 24 images was made in total, all to be published in the Trust’s 2021 wildlife calendar (on sale in the next few months) of which several are local to the Fens. Two species at Woodwalton Fen are in the calendar: a gorgeous water vole taken by Guy Pilkington (regular photographer at the Great Fen), reflecting the fact that the Fens is a booming stronghold for these beautiful, nationally declining mammals, and a four spotted chaser dragonfly by Colin Bradshaw. 50 The Fens | August 2020

Gary Norman’s striking image of Wicken Fen is included, along with another four spotted chaser dragonfly by Hedley Wright at Wicken. This year the Trust were delighted to have Sarah Lambert as a judge: a highly knowledgeable botanist, ecologist, blogger and photographer, Sarah delivers nature photography workshops and is a nature tour leader, she says: “This year I was very privileged to be one of the three judges, having been a prize-winner in two previous competitions. One of my winning photographs, of a sallow kitten moth resting on a lichen-covered table, was taken in our garden, so it’s been great seeing what people have photographed in their gardens.” Most gardens provide a wealth of subject matter for wildlife photography and a small area allows the development of a more in depth understanding of the animals and plants that share the space - there are many advantages to garden wildlife photography. More info www.wildlifebcn.org/news/photographycompetition-2020-winners-announced Sarah Lambert www.blipfoto.com/mollyblobs Judges included representatives from Fujifilm UK and Opticron, and past winner Simon Wantling. 240 people people submitted 580 photographs for consideration, an impressive field of photographs to choose from: the Trust thanks everyone who submitted photographs.


NATURE

Attract wildlife: Actively attracting wildlife to gardens by providing food and potential homes means that being near an open window can yield excellent shots. Observing wildlife and looking at natural spaces is known to stimulate feelings of well-being, and during extended periods of observation you’re more likely to capture an image that illustrates interesting behaviour or some beautiful light! Insects: Garden flowers attract many insects which provides an endless source of subject matter, particularly if your camera has macro facility. Spend time walking round the garden noticing what’s about. Many insects seem to be constantly on the move, but take your time and you’ll see there are certain areas that they return to. Wildflowers, mosses and fungi: In gardens these shouldn’t be overlooked as a photographic resource and may be easier to capture than fast-moving insects - look for

interesting angles, stunning colour contrasts or intricate patterns. Wildflowers are often best if you take them from ground level, and as many cameras have flip-up screens, this no longer means you have to lie on the ground. Good lighting: Particularly important for wildflower photography, shooting against the light in early morning or late evening highlights the translucence of delicate flowers or the presence of interesting spines and hairs. Detailed shots of flowers are best taken on calm days with high cloud cover, when the sky acts as a giant soft-box, eliminating any harsh shadows. Experiment: As well as more traditional wildlife and nature photography, perhaps try some creative approaches such as in-camera movement, multiple exposures and long exposures? Or techniques such as stacking or photographing flowers on a lightpad - there’s plenty of information on the internet to help with these techniques.

Colin Bradshaw’s four spotted chaser at Woodwalton Fen

Guy Pilkington’s water vole reflection at Woodwalton Fen

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COLUMNISTS

Smile… It’s Good For You!

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living”- F. Scott Fitzgerald

yet as we age, we smile less. Research suggests As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and that on average, a child will smile 400 times per everyone looks forward to what’s left of the day compared to adults who smile just 40-50 year, it’s tempting to swap one lot of worry for times per day. When we naturally feel good, we another. After all, no one can predict the future, smile. However, we don’t have to be in a good and at the moment it’s hard to understand what mood to smile, it’s a tool we can use when we’re the real toll recent events will have on us all. feeling down to bring us back up. Science has What the cost will be for the everyday person in shown that the simple act of smiling has the terms of job losses and business closures, not to mention much needed, and power to boost a person’s still now postponed surgery mood by signalling to the and healthcare issues. These brain to tell it we are happy, Science has shown that the simple which in turn releases and other burning questions act of smiling has the power to are, I’m sure, present amongst cortisol and endorphins into many of us right now. On a our bodies, thus lowering boost a person’s mood by personal level, I have, and stress levels and bringing signalling to the brain to tell continue to believe there’s about a sense of mild it we are happy a lot that doesn’t add up, euphoria. questions that are not being Other health benefits include: addressed. This has prompted me to seek my own answers, • Reduced blood pressure carry out some of my own • Increased endurance in-depth research, which has • Reduced pain proved interesting, led me • Reduced stress along several fascinating • Strengthened immune system paths, not to mention down a Also, according to an article few rabbit holes. I’ve learned written by Earlexia Norwood, a lot. But for now, all I can M.D. in 2017, smiling, as I’ve safely conclude is, all is not as long suspected, is contagious. it necessarily appears to be. Norwood explains that, “when Except an agenda perhaps to we smile we activate neurons in keep us fearful, even divided. the brain that fire a synchronising Which isn’t good for anyone’s feature. You’ll notice that one smile will lead to additional smiles, not just for you, health? So for now, like so many others, I’m but for those around you.” In other words, when concentrating on getting back to some sort of we smile, the world smiles with us. ‘normality’, which I’ve vowed to do with a smile. My advice? Take a break from social media, Here’s why. turn off the news, and smile. Why? Because it’s Facial expressions have an enormous impact good for you! on mood. We are born with the ability to smile;

- Eva Jordon is a mother of two and published local author of 183 Times a Year, All the Colours Between and Time Will Tell. You can find out more about her by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter.com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter The Fens | August 2020 53


Covid-19 and Charities The charity sector, like most others, has not escaped the influence of Covid-19 and many of the Fenland charities are worried and have, understandably, raised many questions in relation to their support and management. Writes Jaimie King. I’ve singled out some of the most frequently asked questions we are dealing with based on the new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill which published in June. Many charities were forced to postpone or cancel their AGMs and other meetings. Temporary legislation now allows charitable companies to re-schedule an AGM which had to be held between March 26th and August 21st 2020 and put back until September 30th at the latest. Unincorporated charities are not covered by this new law. For greater flexibility the Trustees could change the requirements in the governing documents. Trustees of any charity can cancel or postpone a meeting but this decision should be recorded. Filing a charity’s annual return and accounts should be completed on time where possible. However, if a filing date is looming and the coronavirus has made it impossible to meet the deadline, an extension can be requested by e-mailing ‘filingextension@charitycommission.gov.uk’ quoting the charity name and registration number. At the moment, face-to-face meetings are very difficult and sometimes impossible. Virtual meetings using on-line digital platforms, video-conferencing or simple telephone conference are largely acceptable. The Commission will understand if a digital meeting is needed but this decision should be recorded. The new law sets out steps to help charities and businesses to continue operating and avoid insolvency caused by Covid-19. There are moratoriums, to delay debt enforcement action and measures to allow directors/trustees to continue to operate the charity without the risk of personal liability. These are the key areas we’ve been discussing with clients but there are many others. Should you have questions or concerns contact us or read the guidance at: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector

54 The Fens | August 2020


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THIS MONTH’S RECIPE

BULGOGI BEEF SKEWERS John McGinn, head chef at Dog in a Doublet, shares a great summer recipe

INGREDIENTS 1kg rib eye steak (we’ve used wagyu for the delicious fat content) 1 small pear, peeled and coarsely grated 100ml tamari soy sauce 3 tbls light brown sugar 2 tbls toasted sesame oil 5 cloves garlic, minced 2 inch freshly grated ginger 2 tbls gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) 2 tbls vegetable oil, divided ORIENTAL SALAD 2 cooking apples, cut into juliennes 1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into juliennes 1 tbls cider vinegar 1 tbls caster sugar

METHOD 1. Cut the steak into 1-2cm chunks. 2. In a medium bowl combine pear, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and gochujang. Add the steak, cover and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight, mixing occasionally. 3. For the salad: simply mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate until needed (it does mellow and improve over time). 4. For the crispy rice: cook as per instructions on the packet then

allow to cool covered with a weight on top to add pressure and press the rice. Chill then slice or break into pieces and deep fry until crisp and golden. 5. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a cast iron wok or pan then working in batches, add steak to the pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until charred and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and steak. 6. Serve immediately, garnished with the salad and crispy rice, coriander and soy. .

CRISPY RICE 100g rice Deep fat fryer TO GARNISH Fresh coriander and Kekap Manis (or another thick soy sauce)

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COLUMNISTS

What have I missed?

Paul Kosciecha, from Whittlesey Baptist Church, shares his thoughts this month...

There’s a phrase, ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’. It’s so true isn’t it. Each day we can use the internet for all kinds of things. Then our connection goes down. Suddenly, we realise how much we rely on it. For years we’ve had the freedom in our country to come and go as we please. We could visit each other in our homes, travel wherever we wanted. Over recent months those freedoms have been curtailed. Suddenly, when they’re gone, we realise what we had. In March we cancelled all of our meetings as a church. No services, no opportunity to meet. I have to say, these were things I’d become used to. I’d say that I’d begun to take them for granted. Now they

aren’t there, I miss them. But why do I miss them? In part, it’s a community thing. Being shut off in our homes can be a lonely existence. To have the opportunity to meet with 100+ people on a weekly basis would be a welcome change. Yet, that’s not the only reason. A church is more than just a group of people who meet together. A church is a picture and reminder of something incredible. At the heart of the Bible is the message of Jesus – a message of God saving people; a people from every nation, tribe and tongue. When we meet as a church, I see that in the flesh. Around me are a diverse group of people,

yet all of them loved by God. As I look across the room there are people of many ages, a mixture of many backgrounds, different abilities and different struggles. Yet, for all of them, if they trust Jesus, the Bible says, God calls them his children. I’m looking forward to the time we can begin our services again. Now that the government has said we can open, we’re looking at how we can do that. For more information of our online services and future plans please check out our website – www. whittleseybaptist.org.uk – or our Facebook page – www. facebook.com/whittleseybaptist Praying you all keep safe and well.

The Fens | August 2020 59


OUT AND ABOUT...

SHARE THE LOVE

Fenland is an area rich with wildlife, beautiful landscape and wonderful skies. This month we asked you to share your favourite wildlife walks over the past month and you didn’t disappoint.....

Photo by David Kightly taken around his home town of March

Photo by Isobel Miller-Keel at her home in Throckenholt

Photo by Cameron Silvester taken locally in Fenland

Photo by Dean French taken along the river Great Ouse at Ten Mile Bank in Norfolk

60 The Fens | August 2020


FARM TO ….. A family run farm for over 100 years. Ten minutes from St Ives & Huntingdon. Visit a variety of traditional and some more unusual animals -from cows, pigs, buffalo, deer to parrots and crocodiles.

Visit our tearoom and enjoy homemade cakes, scones, sandwiches, afternoon teas and our traditional breakfasts.

Butchers & Farm Shop

50ft fresh meat counter offering one of the largest selections of home produced meats in the country. With our own deli celebrating a wide range of home produced products and over fifty British cheeses.

Tuesday – Friday: 9am - 6pm Saturday: 9am - 4pm Sunday: 10.30am - 4pm Monday: Closed

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….FORK Our new tropical house is home to some of our more exotic residents – come and visit for a chance to get up close and personal with our snappy crocodiles and other reptiles!

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Tropical House, Farm Walk and Woodland walk: Tuesday to Saturday: 10.30am – 6pm Sunday: 10.30am – 4pm Monday :Closed

Please note: Our steak house is currently closed due to the pandemic. We are not taking bookings at this time. The Fens | August 2020 61


TECHNOLOGY

THE NEW WINDOWS V2020

Every month, AA Whittlesey Computers will be providing an article on laptop/Computer Technical issues and for our first issue we thought it may be helpful to let you know about the latest ‘Feature Version’ of Windows 10 – coming to a computer near you, unless you have a Mac. In this article we are going to walk you through three of the best changes and additions to the OS (Operating System)...

Ever since Jerry Nixon, a Microsoft developer, announced back in June 2010 that Windows 10 was the “Last Version of Windows” we have been receiving may updates to the famous, or some would say infamous, operating system. Some have been small updates like ease of use and dark mode being introduced in v1903 and some very large new feature rich versions, like the latest Windows 2020 update. Some of the new features found are:• EASIER WIRELESS CONNECTIONS – If you have a Bluetooth headset, mouse or keyboard you will be pleased to know that connecting the device to your computer will be faster than ever before. Microsoft have added the ability to connect to a Bluetooth device via the notification settings, this is a lot better for first time users of either Bluetooth or Windows 10 as you don’t have to go through all of the confusing settings to enable it! •DOWNLOADING JUST GOT SAFER – If you have downloaded anything on the internet you will know that what you see isn’t always what you get! Sometimes you could be looking for some software to edit pictures and the next thing you know your computer is being used for nefarious deeds for example data mining etc. these applications are called potentially unwanted programs or PUPs and until now Windows Security, the inbuilt anti-virus couldn’t detect them. With this new update, Windows Security can detect and get rid of PUPs along with all of the other viruses, malware and trojans that might be lurking on the internet. • FRIENDS WITH CORTANA – Cortana is now 62 The Fens | August 2020

more useful than ever with the addition of many new commands, for example “Am I free at (time)” will check your calendar and look at the current day to see if you have anything booked in. Another example of this would be “Find time to talk with (person) about (topic)” this will look though your calendar and find time free to talk to the specified person about the specified topic. These are just 3 of the very many additions and changes that have been made to Windows 10 V2020 update and we at AA Whittlesey Computers highly encourage you to update to the latest version. If you are having trouble with updating your laptop or tower, bring it in to the shop and we will be more than happy to help. From all of us at AA Whittlesey Computers Ltd – Happy Computing! - Dawn, Deborah Len and Oliver Find AA Whittlesey Computers now at Grosvenor Road, Whittlesey PE7 1AQ. Get in touch at 01733 601663 or 07540 444262.


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This month’s Book Review

Resident author Eva Jordan shares her latest reads...

LIVE GREEN: 52 STEPS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE By Jen Chillingworth; Published by Quadrille “Less buying, more doing, less wanting, more enjoying.” I can’t stand unnecessary waste, or littering, especially plastic. An invention I both love and loathe in equal measure. Cheap and durable, it is believed that 8.3 billion metric tonnes of the stuff has been produced during the last 70 years alone, 79 percent of which has been thrown away, either into landfill sites or the general environment, including 8 million tonnes into our oceans every year. Estimates suggest, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our seas, and 99 percent of all seabirds will have consumed some. For this reason alone, I believe we owe it to our planet to act and think a little greener, but not just with plastic, but also in all aspects of our daily life. Live Green is a handy sized and thoughtful collection of 52 tips, one for each week of the year, that offers ideas about the changes we can make to our home and lifestyle, including the reduction of, and recycling of plastic. It looks at things like cleaning products and the advantages of making our own, and the benefit of mindful shopping and eating green. It also addresses personal care, including how to create a capsule wardrobe and buying vintage, and helpful advice on hair care, cosmetics and beauty routines. With a fab section at the back containing useful links to other green sources of information, and helpful recipe ideas (including a great sloe gin, and a rather lovely sea salt and lemon and lavender body scrub) scattered throughout, Live Green is an easy to read and beautifully illustrated guide to help start you on your way to a more healthy and eco friendly lifestyle.

STRUCTURED INVESTMENTS This is a bit different; as an alternative to a cash deposit that might be thought of as safe but with poor prospects of providing enough interest, and equity investments that rise or fall according to the financial markets that can be influenced by all sorts of things – there are investments that can offer some degree of assurance or structure, to your portfolio. One type provides capital protection throughout the term of the investment, these are referred to as Deposit Plans. This is attractive if investment markets fall for a long time as you will at least get your investment back – not so good if prices (inflation) has increased significantly during the time funds were invested, but better than getting back less than the original investment. The upside could be a defined return – just as an example: 9% on the 3rd anniversary – so put simply about 3% per year, £20,000 could mature at £21,800. The return is usually measured against the performance of an investment index. It could be, for example, based on the FTSE 100® index that is measured when the plan starts, then pays out if the closing index date is higher than when it started. If the index is lower – it returns the amount invested – ‘Heads you win, Tails you don’t lose’ to use a coin flipping analogy. Investment Plans do put your Capital at Risk, in exchange for higher potential returns. They can appear to be a bit more complicated, for example a 6 or 8 year investment plan might surrender benefits and stop at an earlier anniversary date if certain criteria is met, for example: A 6 year plan might offer the equivalent of 9% per annum average if the FTSE 100® is higher than when the plan started, if this happened on the 4th anniversary, the pay-out would be 36% (4 x 9%) and the plan stops. However, if the FTSE 100® was only 60% of the starting level at the end of term and the European version of the Capital at Risk barrier was implemented, risk to capital might be reduced in line with the fall in the index. If the plan stops early whatever happens afterwards is of no consequence. None of the above illustrations are intended as advice – just examples of some interesting options that providers of these plans can provide. Some plans are designed to generate an attractive level of income, others are set to provide growth added to the investment. Some are taxed under Income Tax, others under Capital Gains Tax. The use of Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) or holding within a pension can reduce exposure to tax and in all cases qualified Independent Financial Advice is important.

Eamonn Dorling Dip PFS, Senior Independent Financial Adviser. Brooks Wealth Management Tel: 01733 314553 Mob: 07767 795816 Email: Eamonn@brookswealth.co.uk Brooks Wealth Management is a trading style of Ampris Limited who are an appointed representative of Wealthline Limited, registered in England 08761632 (Registered office: 8a Cowgate, Peterborough) Wealthline Limited are authorised and regulated by The Fens684319 | August 2020 65 the Financial Conduct Authority


COLUMNIST

The Fenland Mum

Our first escape, part two... New columnist Hazel Beecroft shares her journey of motherhood whilst living on the edge of the Fens

W

e’ve arrived at Holme Fen and it’s fantastic to see other visitors, but also alarming to find dozens of cars parallel parked along the narrow country lane. The nature reserve has never been so popular, and I hope that when shopping centres reopen a few families decide to go back to the woods instead. I shake off disquiet, and learn the feeling is mutual from the stilted smiles of strangers. I have Verity’s giant plastic potty in a bag for life – my least glam mum move to date – but with lockdown life I had not even considered buying a portable version before today and I am clueless about whether or not it’s allowed / acceptable / bad for her training to let her pee on the grass like I would if I really needed to go. We wrestle on coats, only to regret it later, and take our first steps into the wild. Verity’s beaming face is priceless. All earlier nerves forgotten, she’s enthralled with the new environment, taken aback by the natural world after playing in a conforming garden and looking at the same dull conifers for weeks. We amble along worn grass paths and stop to consider the foxgloves and heather. Ugly mushrooms clinging to tree trunks captivate us with their beauty. We walk over wooden bridges covered in chicken wire, designed for safe passage over muddy spots, but the ground is bone dry. Bees trundle by, and I remind Verity not to stroke one as tempting as it is. The clouds clear and light basks us when it can navigate the braches. We wave at dogs as they bound past and I share polite nods with other parents as we dance the two metre jig. I observe a person in a mask, a glimpse of the new normal, and think about my next trip to London. I brace myself for the sea of PPE, for needing to root around my bag and put on my own mask when using the tube. It’s now a requirement and not just a precaution. We sit and rest on chalky logs, and 66 The Fens | August 2020

the fresh fenland air is cleansing. Hazel Beecroft grew up around Verity is reluctant Cambridgeshire and lives with to get up and her husband, daughter and then starts to slow, two horses on the edge of The tiring mentally Fens. She is a self-published and physically, so author of equestrian fiction I scoop her into - complete with romance, my arms and plod conflict and drama (to keep the protagonist busy) - all set in on, enjoying the the Fens. Find her books online workout her extra weight adds to my at Amazon.co.uk, available in legs. We stop to both paperback and e-book. use the potty, just Follow her on Facebook @HazelBeecroftAuthor or as a family passes, Instagram @hazel_beecroft for and I laugh at the regular updates on her riding way Verity blinks and writing. at them from her seat, unruffled by Sod’s Law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

We make our way back to the car, our reset buttons pushed and home calling. That was more than enough for our first escape. She nods off during the journey and I successfully peel her from the car seat and lay her down inside. There’s a little wet patch on her leggings, but I can forgive her for an accident. It was a big day, a brave move, and a little bit of wee is the least of my worries.


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