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Fens Issue 9 | February 2017

A FREE lifestyle magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens



EXCLUSIVE King’s Dyke Update

Straw Bear Gallery PLUS WICKEN FEN WALK and much more

Dare you brave the wall? History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to|visit | Media The Fens February 2017 1

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The Fens | February 2017

Clocking up the miles since 1922

Ed’s letter

This month I am writing my introduction on the evening of the Straw Bear - and what a festival it has been! We had sunshine, we had joyful crowds of young and old, we had dancing and song, and we even had a proposal! You can find our gallery on page 6 and I’m sure you will join me in sending huge congratulations to the organisers for yet another superb community event. The February issue also sees a fond welcome to two new members of THE FENS team. Sitting in my office with me on a Tuesday is Amy Corney. Amy will be assisting me with some editorial features, as a few of you have already discovered. Her first article features Lucy from Lucy’s Flowers, in a new regular page dedicated to supporting local businesses in our area. Our second exciting addition to the team is Becky Daines. Becky will be helping us to bring THE FENS to even more businesses. This means that we’re able to print even more copies - a whopping 1,000 to be exact, and we are delighted to welcome Benwick to our distrubtion area. We hope to share our love and passion for living in the Fens to as many local villages as possible - and if this is your first read of this publication, we really hope you enjoy it. So whether you’re after some inspiration for taking up a new activity, or finding a new nature spot or interested in what’s happening in your local area, we have it covered! Enjoy the read.


This month 6 Straw Bear gallery

gives extra benefits

8 This month’s recipe

23 New community hub opens

10 Fire safety tips

26 King’s Dyke exclusive update

13 Your garden in February

31 Whittlesey’s windmill

14 Storage solutions

33 A look back at Fen skating

16 We try out boulder climbing

35 Pet corner - owning a cat

20 Why exercising in the cold

36 Take a walk at Wicken Fen



40 The rise of vinyl

Issue 9 | February 2017

A FREE lifestyle magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

44 Independent shop of the month - Lucy’s Flowers



EXCLUSIVE King’s Dyke Update

45 WIN tickets to 9 to 5 Musical


PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels EDITORIAL/SALES ASSISTANT Amy Corney SUB EDITOR Valerie Matthews/Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell ADVERTISING SALES 01733 202049 | 07927 192854 Becky Daines ACCOUNTS 01733 202049 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at CONTRIBUTORS Simon Parr-Black | Joe Ferridge | Eamonn Dorling | John McGinn | Westfield Nurseries | Anthony Austin | Mayur and Ubhi Mistry | SG Computing | Eva Jordan | Leanne Hyland | Robert Bull | Whittlesey Veterinary Centre DISTRIBUTION 8,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves, Pondersbridge and Benwick @thefensmag

46 What’s on guide

Straw Bear Gallery PLUS WICKEN FEN WALK and much more

Dare you brave the wall? History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to|visit | Media The Fens February 2017 1

Issue 9 | February 2017

Front cover - Frosty Fen Reeds

THE FENS is published by Barley Media Limited. 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. For a copy of our contributors’ guidelines please email Registered office: 40 London Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1BT. Barley Media Limited accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | February 2017


This month



VALENTINE’S TREATS Roses are red, violets are blue...

Want to treat your better half this Valentine’s? You can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a local florist. We love Lucy’s Flowers on East Gate, Whittlesey. Whether you choose the traditional red roses, or go for something a little different, we’re sure your recipient won’t be disappointed! Lucy’s Flowers, 6 Angel House, Eastgate, Whittlesey PE7 1SE. 07595 336610

Red spot bag with free matching purse £20

Red Polka Dot handbag with detachable strap. Comes with FREE matching purse.

Patent Blue Mock Croc Handbag £17 Patent mock croc bag with magnetic closure. Free delivery on all orders at

Romantic meal for two?

Check out your local restaurants to see what Valentine’s specials they are running - I especially liked the look of Vesuvios romantic-themed menu - hint, hint....


Half Term Adventure, Sacrewell Saturday, February 18th to Sunday, February 26th, 10am - 4pm Are you looking for a half term farm adventure? Sacrewell has it covered! In the woods you can work as a team to build a den, then reward yourselves with a marshmallow toasted over the campfire. In the Mill you can travel back in time to the 18th century and learn how to make a bread roll just like the Victorians did. In the discovery centre you can meet some of their smaller animals - if you’re brave enough. Normal admission prices apply, with surcharges for some activities.

Half Term Stay ‘n’ Play (Under 10yrs) Who doesn’t love a bouncy castle and soft play? St Andrew’s Hall are running a special half term stay’n’play on Friday 19th of February. There are three sessions, 9-11am, 11:30-1:30pm and 2-4pm. Tickets (£4 for children, £1 adults) are limited, so pre-booking as early as possible is advised at 4

The Fens | February 2017

Fenland Light Railway, February 19th - 10:30am - 3:30pm

Perfect for train-mad boys and girls (and their train-mad parents), Fenland Light Railway is a 7 ¼ inch gauge Narrow Gauge Railway Operating Steam, Electric and Petrol locomotives. Train rides are just £1 and there are refreshments in the on-site shop/cafe. Mereside Drove, Ramsey Merside, PE26 2UE


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The Fens | February 2017 5 Visit our new website at

Straw Bear 2017 in Pictures

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival was held on the 13th to 15th of January, and once again was thoroughly well supported by local businesses, residents and fans from across the country. Conditions were ideal (if a little chilly), and spirits were high as the bear danced his way through the town centre. He even witnessed a marriage proposal as Ian Brown got down on one knee, with just a few hundred spectators, and asked his girlfriend Emma Lilley to marry him. Thankfully she said yes - and perhaps they might even have a straw bear themed wedding! Fans of the festival will have to wait until the 12th of January 2018 for its return.

Images by Chris Brudenell Photography. Call 01733 202694 or visit


The Fens | February 2017

Do you want this to be your place of work? DC Site Services Event & Festival Contractor We are a family run Event & Festival Contractor. The Events & Festivals we offer our services to range from country fairs, fun runs and exhibitions to some of the largest music festivals in the UK & Europe.

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Apply to Start Working WIth Us If you’d like to gain some invaluable expereince while ticking Events & Festival work off your bucket list then applying to work with DC Site Services could be just what you’re looking for!

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Request an information pack today Fenland District Industrial Estate, Station Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 2EY +44 (0) 1733 200 713

The Fens | February 2017



This dish is available on our Dog in a Doublet breakfast menu every morning

Ultimate Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs have become a bit of a travesty in recent years, but the key is the absolute best ingredients and patience By John McGinn, Dog in a Doublet Prepare Less than 5 mins Cook Up to 15 mins


• 3 eggs per person (the more you pay the better the egg will be) • A glug of double cream per person • Sea Salt and cracked black pepper • A knob of butter

The Method

Mix all the ingredients, except, butter together in a jug so they are uniform. Place a good non-stick frying pan on a low heat and add butter. When the butter starts melting (do not let colour or it will taint eggs) add the eggs and slowly move around the pan with a wooden or silicon spatula. The slower the cooking the better. You are looking for an almost custard like consistency. Take the eggs off the heat before they are quite there to allow residual heat to finish them off. Have your accompaniments ready and plate warm so you can remove

eggs from pan at the right moment. Serve on hot buttered toast or an English muffin.

The Twist

Smoked salmon and fresh basil, wild mushrooms and tarragon, or a Dog in a Doublets favourite: chives and local smoked cheddar. You could even use duck eggs for a very rich treat.

Eat, drink, stay!

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms

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The Fens | February 2017

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Prawns in a cream of avocado sauce served on a bed of salad

£6.90 Spiedino di Gamberoni

5 King prawns skewered, pan fried with cream and cognac, served on a bed of garlic spinach

£7.90 Gnocchetti Tricolori

Handmade dumplings in three colours: saffron, spinach and beetroot. Cooked in a rose cream sauce

£8.90 Anatra Al Tartufo

Pan-fried duck breast cooked with wild mushrooms and a cream, truffle oil sauce. Served with mash potatoes

£11.50 Pizza Cuore (for the ladies) Heart-shaped pizza. Please select your pizza from our menu!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Buon Appetito!

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The Fens | February 2017


Home & garden

Top tips

for looking after your fire this winter

Spring might not be far away, but February and March can still be very cold months. So stay warm this winter with a cosy fire, and read our top tips for looking after your fireplace Words by Stuart and Annette of Sootbusters Sweep Ltd much more important than primary. • Never completely close the secondary air vent. It’s the easiest way to create soot and tar in your chimney and completely coat the glass on your stove. • Replace worn, damaged or hard sealing ropes, cracked/broken glass and broken fire bricks. • Remember you’re always looking for a hot, fast burn, as this will be the cleanest, most efficient way of running the stove. • A small hot fire is much more efficient than a large slow-burning one.

SPOT AN EFFICIENT FIRE Sitting in front of your wood burner or fireplace, you should be looking at bright, swirling flames and glowing embers. Outside, you should see little or no smoke coming out of your chimney, or ideally just a heat ‘haze’ (wait 10 minutes after first lighting a fire or adding wood to it before checking). The key to creating this kind of fire is well-seasoned, dry wood, plenty of ventilation and a good working knowledge of the features of your heating system. PREPARE YOUR WOOD PROPERLY Don’t burn water! This is the most fundamental thing to get right when you’re burning wood. It might be surprising, but green wood is around 50% water. That means that for every kg of green wood you add to the fire, you’re effectively adding around 500ml (a pint) of water. • Always use well seasoned or kiln dried hardwood logs. 10 The Fens | February 2017

• Wet or fresh logs will hiss and smoke, causing dangerous creosote build-up. • Ideally the moisture level of wood should be below 20% - we can check this for you, free of charge, as part of our standard sweeping service. MANAGE THE AIR Ventilation – Air is Vital – Heating appliances, whatever fuel they burn, need to be able to ‘breathe’ in order to function correctly. They need a constant and sufficient flow of air so ensure vents or airbricks are not blocked or covered. If in doubt, contact your local HETAS heating engineer to check your ventilation. Don’t be tempted to block air vents, as they do an important job. As far as your stove is concerned, air comes in two flavours. Primary air feeds the bed of the fire, and secondary air feeds the flames above it. Nearly all the energy from wood comes from burning gases released when it is heated – which means that secondary air is

KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN To enable your fire or appliance to 'breathe' efficiently, it is absolutely essential that you do not allow soot or ash to build up where it can prevent the free flow of smoke and Carbon Monoxide. Always use a recommended professional chimney sweep HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE SWEEP? Frequency will depend on the type of fuel used, appliance, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, and the type of chimney you have. The frequencies below are a guidance: Smokeless fuel: At least once a year Wood: Quarterly when in use Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use Oil: Once a year Gas: Once a year. With thanks to Sootbusters Sweep Ltd for their tips and advice. You can contact their team on 01487 814185 or visit Haven’t got a fire? Take a look at Aspect Fires in Whittlesey for an excellent range, or call 01733 202220 or visit



Wood Burning Stoves


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This picture shows the Charnwood CT Cookstove’

This picture shows the Charnwood CT Cookstove’

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.... Soot Busters! The Fens | February 2017


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12 The Fens | February 2017

Home & garden

Your garden in February

If you’re a keen gardener February is a month filled with anticipation. The first signs of life are beginning to emerge as plants shake off their winter dormancy and wildlife begins to wake. Light levels are increasing, temperatures are rising and splashes of colour are beginning to creep back into the garden. Spring is on its way and there is plenty of preparation to do.

Plant of the Month:


Why should you plant them?

Three Essential Gardening Jobs for February lawn edges will also give an instant lift to the appearance of the garden.

Welcome in the spring with Camellias – these hardy shrubs have glossy evergreen leaves and display flowers that brighten up the winter garden and herald the end of winter. An early riser in terms of plants waking up from the winter snooze, Camellias burst into flower in February just as the rest of the garden is starting to blink its eyes at the sunshine.

How should you plant them?

Prune Plants

Prune late flowering shrubs such as fuchsia, hydrangea, buddleja and ceanothus. Using sharp secateurs, cut just above an outward pointing bud. Aim to remove about a third of the height of the shrub and try to maintain an even shape. Check other shrubs and remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches to keep the plant healthy. Try to avoid pruning early flowering shrubs until after they have flowered.

Give the Lawn a Light Mow

If the weather is warm you may need to start mowing. Set the cutting height on your mower to its maximum and only mow when it’s dry. Re-cutting

Plant Shrubs and Trees

February is the ideal time to plant new shrubs and trees while they are still in their dormant state. Make sure the ground is not frozen or water logged before planting. Stakes and rabbit guards should be put in place at the time of planting to prevent damage to the root ball or bark. It’s also a good idea to check ties and stakes on existing plants and replace, tighten or slacken where necessary. Enjoy your garden!

Westfield Nurseries Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2EX

Tel 01733 206688

Camellias are easy to grow and flower reliably – the most important thing is choosing the right spot. Although a hardy shrub, their flower buds are susceptible to frost once they start to develop so plant in a sheltered spot and wrap with fleece when frost is forecast. Camellias like to grow in acidic soil so need planting with ericaceous compost. Feed with ericaceous plant food to keep the leaves glossy and green and water well once the flower buds appear – although the flowers wont break until February, the buds will begin to develop in autumn.

• Shrubs • Conifers • Roses • Bedding/Basket Plants • Perennials • Alpines • Compost • Turf • Bark • Wide Selection of Pots • Bagged Aggregates • Slabs

Open 7 days a week including Bank Holidays

The Fens | February 2017


Home & garden



Simon Parr-Black tackles something that bothers most of us - a messy house and lack of storage We have all heard it a hundred times or more, but the truth is it works. Having a home that is tidy, leads to a clearer mind and a more relaxing place to live. Those with children will sympathise with a youngster’s room often looking like a bomb has dropped or that they may have been burgled, but it is not always their fault. When arranging your home, think about storage. I’m sure many of you have looked around show-homes and they always look great; what we do have to remember however, is that no one is living there – often there are no wardrobes in the bedrooms or a very small one. Whilst it is becoming more common to see built-in wardrobes, the interior often doesn’t always offer practical storage solutions for all our belongings.

USE THE STAIRS! Whilst it is not always possible to build storage into the stairs, if you are looking at remodeling, building drawers into the stairs to store shoes, hats, scarfs,umbrellas and carrier bags for shopping, is a great way to keep your entrance hall tidy and clutter free. Likewise, building cupboards under stairs, rather than the glory hole that is both inaccessible and impractical, can really help with tidying cleaning equipment, coats and the like. 14 The Fens | February 2017

This type of storage can be styled to suit the most modern of interior as well as more traditional settings, and can be very cost effective.

PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR KIDS Youngsters often have the smallest of rooms in our homes, and whilst it is their space, we do have to remember that they need somewhere to sleep, play and do their homework, so arranging their space to provide all these elements can be taxing. One solution is of course by raising the bed to provide storage or even a desk underneath. Alternatively, a wardrobe and drawers with space to store their books and toys can create a much larger floor space that they can access and be able to put their belongings away again easily. Creating high level storage in a child’s rooms is not always as practical as it may seem, as they may not be able to reach - this of course means that adult assistance may be required in both retrieving and replacing items. If you do consider a raised bed, do ensure that it is safe for to sleep in and a suitable ladder or stair is available for them to get in and out – especially

for that middle of the night visit to the bathroom! DON’T FORGET THE KITCHEN The same principle can used throughout the home. With work surfaces being at a premium in smaller kitchens, careful planning of the units can make sure the space is utilized to its maximum potential, and also makes finding things easy. We have all had to unload cupboards and drawers to retrieve a can from the back, or a casserole dish from the bottom of a cupboard. MY TOP TIPS If like me, you have collected a few pairs of shoes over the years and not wanting to part with any of them, maybe creating storage, which doesn’t take as much space as you might think, could be turned into a focal point? It won’t fit in everyone’s home but it is so nice to be able to see all your prized pairs at once when you walk into the room! In my home, when I was remodelling, I managed to squeeze in storage cupboards everywhere possible; either side of the fire breast - making the fire place appear larger, in shallow recesses; placing hanging rails in a front facing arrangement; even converting a wardrobe into a dresser with the addition of some shelves, to store crockery, glasses and drinks. For a walk-in wardrobe I created, I used inexpensive CD shelving with rails either side to provide space for suits, shirts, trousers, belts and scarfs. Opposite a bookcase from B&Q became my shoe storage! You would be amazed to see how many shoes can be stored on a 3ft wide 6ft tall shelf unit! So there you have it - secret cupboards can be created and to top it all – there is far less dusting!



Simon Parr-Black is an interior designer. You can contact him on 01733 688235 or email him at

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The Fens | February 2017



16 The Fens | February 2017



Ticking off one of her bucket list activities, editor NATASHA SHIELS braved boulder climbing at Fenrock to discover that there’s a climber in all of us IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL

Growing up I wasn’t particularly brave or good at pushing myself out of my comfort zone, but something seems to have altered in adulthood and all of a sudden I found myself agreeing to try climbing a wall at a brand new centre called Fenrock. My initial confidence was waning by the time we arrived on a cold January day, but Nate, one owner of Fenrock (alongside his brother and fiancee) spotted us in the car park and waved us in. There was no going back. THE ORIGINS OF THE WALL Fenrock is in Outwell, just 30 minutes from Whittlesey. An impressively big converted warehouse, it’s ideal for rockclimbing enthusiasts with its various walls, different angles and numerous courses. The climbing gym started out as a search for somewhere to climb in Fenland: “I moved back to the area after buying a house with my fiancee,” Nate explained. “After a year of not climbing, I was getting slightly annoying, so we started looking for a warehouse to build a personal wall in. Things just escalated from there!” Featuring four zones to test even the most experienced of climbers, a gym area to strengthen your muscles and a selection of snacks and drinks, I can see why some people could spend the entire day here! FROM LITTLE FEET TO BIGGER ONES If you thought I was brave for having a go, you’d be amazed to hear that some of Fenrock’s regular visitors come from eight year olds - all the way to 70 plus veterans. This information gave me confidence - after all, if an eightyear-old can tackle the wall, surely so can I, right? There are different levels for climbing, starting with green, all the way to black. Naturally I started with the easiest route, and quickly got the hang of balancing, reaching and judging each step. Nate then suggested I moved on to the next level up. For someone who started the day saying that she had no upper strength, I amazed myself by reaching the very top and posing for the camera! I asked Nate why people loved to climb walls: “Other than the fact that it is an incredible full body workout, the community is one of the best around with everyone happy to chat and help; whether you are totally new or a seasoned veteran! For me personally, I like the mental clarity that I get when on the wall, it’s like a moving meditation.”

TOP TIPS FOR GETTING BETTER After about an hour, my arms and legs were getting a little wobbly, and I quickly discovered that I’m no Spiderman just yet! So how can you get better? “Quite simply, climb more!” Nate added. “Until you start getting into the really high grades, just getting your wall hours up will help you see massive increases in your ability and strength.” And it quickly becomes addictive. The harder a route is, the more you want to beat it. SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? You really don’t need any prior experience to try climbing. At The Fens | February 2017


Feature Fenrock, your first hour will be a supervised session with an experienced instructor. You will be taught how to fall safely (this is important because there are no ropes or harnesses), and the best way to climb. Once you’ve been advised, you are free to climb the wall at your own leisure and pace. Though Nate is never far away to give a helpful piece of advice, and plenty of encouragement. REASONS TO TRY BOULDERING Whether you want to get fit and try something a bit different, or want a new challenge for 2017, bouldering could just be the thing for you! It’s one of the most accessible forms of climbing, meaning you don’t need ropes and simply use coloured holds. Members of Fenrock can have unlimited access during opening hours for just £25, “and in the next few months, we’re hoping to expand the centre with more climbing surfaces and a café,” explained Nate. “Though for now, we are just loving bringing climbing to new people.”


DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT OR CLOTHING? Nope, you can just turn up and rent the gear that you need. In the long term it pays to buy your own chalk bag and shoes, which would cost around £100, but keep you going for a year. It’s also advisable to wear warm clothing during the winter months, and make sure you remove all jewellery (otherwise you might risk a rather nasty finger injury!) WHAT HAPPENS IF I FALL? We have special 30cm crash mats to land on which, providing you land as instructed, will protect you. Cuts, scrapes and bruises are quite common though! 18 The Fens | February 2017

FENROCK is based at Isle Road, Outwell, Wisbech PE14 8TD. For more information call the centre on 01945 772999 or visit their website at Opening hours: MON-FRI : 12:00 – 20:00 SATURDAY : 10:00 – 18:00 SUNDAY : 10:00 – 16:00


To be in the chance of winning, simply email with your name, postal address and contact details before February 10th 2017. One winner will be chosen at random after the closing date. Good luck - and don’t forget to share your pics with us!

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The Fens | February 2017




THE WINTER Think it’s too cold to burn the calories this month? Think again!

Okay so it doesn’t often snow that heavily here in the Fens, but it can get really cold and that can be just enough to stop you from leaving your front door and leaving your gym gear in the draw. But don’t despair - there are some really good reasons why you should embrace the cold and kick-start your new fitness regime this month. EXERCISE AND THE COMMON COLD If you’re looking for a safe way to prevent colds, regular exercise may actually be the key. And you don’t have to run a marathon, either. Moderate activity is all you need. Exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system -- the body’s defences against infections. Some studies show that “moderate intensity” exercise may cut down the number of colds you get. That type of activity includes things like a 20- to 30-minute walk every day, going to 20 The Fens | February 2017

the gym every other day, or biking with your kids a few times a week. In one study in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half the number of colds as those who didn’t exercise. Researchers found that regular walking may lead to a higher number of white blood cells, which fight infections. In another study, researchers found that in 65-year-olds who did regular exercise, the number of T-cells - a specific type of white blood cell - was as high as those of people in their 30s.

TWICE THE RETURN Did you know that you will burn more calories exercising in the cold? Nope, neither did we! As the body works harder to regulate its core temperature among the elements, you’ll burn a few more calories during your wintry workout compared to one conducted indoors. While the calorie burn varies with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature, it can be a nice morale booster (especially around the food-focused holidays) to get more out of your sweat session in this regard. Cold weather also makes the heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. For an unhealthy heart that struggles to manage the additional stress, this process can exacerbate illness and injury. But a regular exerciser with cardiovascular endurance can make their heart muscle even stronger with these cold-weather sessions, better preparing the body for more strenuous workouts in the future — not to mention other nonexercise stresses in life. EXTRA VITAMINS Once you get used to the drop in temperature, you might get a boost of vitamin D. The cold doesn’t mean the extra sun exposure won’t supply you with the same critical nutrients it does throughout the warmer parts of the year. The relative benefit also feels more substantial in the wintertime since the amount of natural light is already so restricted. BUT STAY SAFE AND HYDRATED It’s important to make sure you exercise safely. That means the correct clothing to stay warm, shoes if you’re on your feet and hi-viz if the light is restricted. You also need to remember to drink plenty of water, as whilst your sweating will certainly be less during the winter months, your body will still require water before, during and after coldweather workouts. Good hydration helps maintain peak performance, protects the body from injury. And don’t wait to feel thirsty before hydrating!



I kicked off last month’s article talking about cutting down on alcohol consumption, but it’s also important to consider what other manufactured chemicals and non-natural ingredients you are consuming in soft drinks that may be having a significant impact on your diet. Consider for a second that it’s easy, quick and cheap to overshoot your daily sugar intake just through casual beverages that you may not even be counting towards your dietary health. Here’s just a few examples of high sugar soft drinks many people consume every day - keep in mind daily recommended sugar levels are 37.5g for men, and 25g for women. COCA COLA CLASSIC (330ml) - 35g of sugar LUCOZADE ORANGE (500ml) - 46g of sugar VOLVIC FLAVOURED WATER (500ml) - 20g of sugar As a reference point, 10 Maryland Cookies


contain 35g of sugar. Fruit juices, what many people start their day with, contain comparable levels of sugar, although these sugars are more naturally occurring, without the actual fibre provided by the body of the fruit, the sugar can not be absorbed into the blood and put to effective use, often ending up as unwanted fat. ‘I only drink diet drinks!’ I hear you cry. The unfortunate news is that diet drinks, or so called ‘no sugar’ beverages, use artificial sweeteners or modified sugar molecules to create that sweet kick, whilst still labelling them ‘sugar free.’ The most popular alternative is Aspartame. You’ll find it everywhere sugar is said not to be, but it’s a sweetener closely linked to weight gain, and a list of ailments and illnesses too long to mention. I always encourage people to add their own actual fruit to water to give it some flavour, an infuser water bottle is a handy device to pick up, and green/herbal/fruit teas are in an abundance in every supermarket and are cheap! Sparkling water will give you a refreshing fizz fix should you require one too. If you’re hitting your daily water intake targets (3 litres for men, 2.2 litres for women), you may find you simply don’t want or need anything else.

Robert Bull is a boxing coach and self confessed food nerd, currently setting up a digital nutrition advice service. You can contact him on

WHAT ACTUALLY IS SCIATICA? Sciatica is a common problem, but can be easily misdiagnosed. This article will identify the key symptoms of sciatica and why they occur. FIRSTLY, WHY THE TERM SCIATICA? The answer is simple. Sciatica defines an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The nerve comes from the lower back and runs deep to the buttock muscles, before sheltering under the hamstring muscle as it passes down the back of the thigh. At the back of the knee, it branches into two and runs down the outside and back of the lower leg respectively, and ends in the foot (see illustration). It is the largest nerve in the lower extremity and supplies the majority of the structures. To give you a sense of its size, if you imagine the main nerves in the body having a diameter of tree branches then the equivalent diameter of the sciatic nerve would be that of the tree trunk. SO HOW DOES THE SCIATIC NERVE BECOME IRRITATED? The two most common ways are compression and / or chemical irritation. Compression is simply extra mechanical pressure placed on the nerve by the surrounding structures. Usually surrounding tissues will simply slide past each other during movement. However, if a surrounding tissue is tight or damaged, it may take up more space (as a result of swelling for example) and thus squeeze the sciatic nerve. Chemical irritation results from the chemicals released during inflammation. One of the roles of these chemicals is to sensitize the local nerves to induce pain. Therefore,


if the surrounding tissue is damaged [or indeed the sciatic nerve itself], then the resulting inflammation will chemically irritate the sciatic nerve. Both of these processes will alter the conduction of the sciatic nerve. When there is a low intensity compression, or chemical irritation, the sciatic nerve will produce pain along part or the whole of its pathway. As the compression or irritation increases in intensity, the functionality of the sciatic nerve will be compromised. This results in pins/needles, numbness or weakness in the muscles along the sciatic nerve pathway. So therein lies the symptoms of sciatica, back pain with a altered sensation into the buttock, posterior thigh or leg and foot. When the sciatic nerve is weakly compromised, it will produce pain in the named distribution, but as the severity increases it will also produce pins/needles, numbness or weakness.


Mayur and Ubhi can be found at Whittlesey Osteopaths, 01733 785214 The Fens | February 2017


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Whittlesey residents are about to get a brand new sporting facility in the area, after a group of local bowlers have taken on a project to transform the Petanque Centre on Station Road. The Whittlesey Indoor Sports Community Hub has been renovated to a first-class sports venue, with a sizeable space that's suitable for a range of different activities. The Hub will be offering kurling, indoor and carpet bowls, table tennis, walking football and a whole host of other sports for the community. Space is also available to be booked by local sports clubs and exercise class organisers at a subsidised price. The project started less than a year ago, after the Whittlesey Bowls Club Committee saw huge potential in the Petanque facility, which was only being used one day a week, for six months of the year. The Hub's Project Manager, Don McCarthy, says: "We've been really passionate about creating a place for people in the area to come and enjoy sports. Whatever your age or ability, we want to provide everyone in the community with opportunities to have fun with sport." "We're excited to see the Hub grow, as more local clubs and classes make use of this brilliant facility." The committee has received funding from the Amey Community Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. Whittlesey food manufacturer, McCain Foods, has also partnered with the venue. McCain Plant Manager, Geoff Dennis, says: "At McCain, we're dedicated to encouraging healthy, active lifestyles in the community and we thought that The Whittlesey Indoor Sports Community Hub would be a fantastic venue to support. We hope that as many people as possible in the area enjoy what's on offer."





If you want to find out more about the facility and what's on offer, make sure you take a trip to the open day on Saturday 11th February. 22 The Fens | February 2017





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Out in the Fens Every month, we explore the Fens to bring you news of the people, places and exciting goings-on that are worth knowing about in our area

IMAGE Chris Brudenell


“Good” Ofsted Results for Coates Primary Coates Primary School continues to have high expectations says the Ofsted Inspector, with purposeful, effective leadership. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school led by Lindsey Boucher, Headteacher, an inspirational role model for leaders who develops staff and pupils at Coates to achieve their best. Coates School staff have a determination to do the very best for every child, no matter what their need or ability and as a result pupils are happy, confident and achieving well, and also have a great deal of pride in their school. There is an effective ethos and culture of safeguarding in the school for pupils, and parents are confident in the safety of their children. Positive parents’ comments were received by the Ofsted Inspector, one

being: “The staff are dedicated, hardworking and approachable. They are completely focused on getting the best out of all the children, and children love their school.” Pupils’ positive attitudes to learning are a verification of the school’s success and one of the younger pupils said: “I love trying new things, it makes me feel excited about what I am doing.” Older pupils provide exemplary role models for younger pupils to aspire to, and inspection evidence showed that pupils set themselves high standards, and as a result, they are consistently achieving well and are a credit to the school. The Chair of Governors congratulated and thanked staff, pupils and governors for their hard work and also the very supportive parents, many of

whom participate in school activities throughout the year. Lindsey Boucher, a Headteacher with a young family herself, understands the needs of children and parents well, and ensures that the teaching and provision of the curriculum is a strength that contributes significantly to pupils’ success. Pupils leave Coates School as confident, positive, self-assured young people, ready for the next stage of their learning. Pupils’ targets are aspirational, Lindsey Boucher added: “I look forward to leading the school to continue to enjoy and achieve success in the future.” Well done Coates Primary School!

The Fens | February 2017


Charitable acts over Christmas

Whittlesey Christian Church Balloon Found in Germany

I sincerely hope that every reader had a Happy Christmas, but would like to take this opportunity of thanking all those generous people in Whittlesey that extended their thoughts to those less fortunate at the festive time. I am sure that there were many commendable projects during the Christmas season, but would like to thank especially Nisa, Co-Op and Heron Foods who allowed Whittlesey Emergency Food Aid to participate in their annual trolley donations day, which ultimately made a happier Christmas for 17 families in the district who were provided with food hampers, gift vouchers and children's gifts. Thanks also go to all who attended St. Andrew’s Church over the Christmas period, where collections of £440.45 were donated via the British Red Cross, to alleviate the suffering of children in the war torn zone of Aleppo in Syria.

The Whittlesey Christian Church in Broad Street had an amazing surprise when someone posted on their Facebook page that they had found one of their balloons in Germany. A group from the church had been supporting the Whittlesey Extravaganza late night shopping event in the town recently and had been giving out free balloons and face painting for the children. Marija Lysak from the church said, “We aim to make sure that every child receives a balloon with their name on. The helium filled balloons, which also have our church logo

Cllr David K M Mason

on them, are very popular with the children. It’s quite easy that with all the excitement of the evening amongst the rides, stalls, and a visit from Santa, that some children can accidently let go of their balloon, only to see it fly away into the sky. We were all amazed when we saw on our church Facebook page that one balloon had been found in northern Germany North- West of Hamburg.” The balloon was found by Thomas Hinsche, who then posted a photograph of the balloon on the church Facebook page. Over 3,000 people have seen the article on Facebook to date. So next time you see a balloon float away, you never know where it might end up!

King’s Dyke Update Cambridgeshire County Council continues work to replace King’s Dyke level crossing. The plan to replace the crossing with a bridge and bypass to the south was overwhelmingly popular with the public, local businesses and Councillors. The bypass will connect to the A605, with roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brick works access road. Planning permission was granted in Spring 2016, and preparations have continued behind the scenes at the County Council over the last eight months of the year. Officers started on-site in early January to carry out land surveys, ground investigations and negotiations with landowners. The 26 The Fens | February 2017 26 The Fens | February 2017

surveys will provide information about soil conditions, which is crucial for construction design. A tender inviting companies to bid for this multi-million pound project is planned to go out in February 2017. After a 10 week period, officers will evaluate the bids and then make an announcement when a contractor is chosen. The successful bidder will work with officers to draw up detailed engineering designs for the bridge and bypass prior to the start of works. The Compulsory Purchase Orders necessary to buy the land needed are also being prepared, and these orders will go out soon. The Orders will advertise the County Council’s

intentions to buy the land for the statutory notification period. A presentation on the scheme was given to Fenland District Councillors at their Full Council meeting in November, and County Council Officers are regularly liaising with Whittlesey Council Councillors on scheme progress. The Project Manager, Tim Watkins, also recently updated Whittlesey Town Council on developments. Officers anticipate that works may start on site at King’s Dyke by Autumn 2017, subject to CPO objections and Network Rail permissions. The latest information about the project is available at: www.

WHITTLESEY CITIZEN and YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Nominations Do you know somebody who has gone above and beyond for their community? Nominate them so they can be recognised It has come to the time of year where the council wishes to present the Whittlesey Citizenship Award, and Whittlesey Young Citizen of the Year, and we would welcome nominations for people of all abilities, who have helped in the community, undertaken charity work, fundraising or achieved outstanding results in any discipline or anything else you feel is above and beyond the call of duty.

Should you wish to put someone forward for the above, please give details of the persons name, address and reason for nomination and send to: Susan Piergianni Clerk & RFO to the Council Whittlesey Town Council Grosvenor House Grosvenor Road Whittlesey, PE7 1AQ

The criteria for eligibility is you must live in Whittlesey, Coates, Eastrea, Turves or Pondersbridge. In order to be eligible for the The Young Citizen Award, the nominee must be 18 years old or below.

Please mark the envelope Whittlesey Young Citizen Committee or Whittlesey Citizenship Award.

Please remember, if you don’t nominate them, they cannot be recognised for what they do. If you have already nominated, why not encourage your friends, family and neighbours to do the same.

The Closing date is Tuesday 28th February 2017.

Pictured (by Chris Brudenell): Previous winners, Philip and Jayne Bradshaw

Plans for new, £115,000 play park unveiled in Benwick The people of Benwick got an early Christmas present last month when plans for an exciting new play park were unveiled there. Details of the ambitious, £115,000 project were outlined to villagers when they gathered in the existing play area. The wide range of new equipment that is on the way from specialist manufacturer HAGS SMP will cater for youngsters of all ages. It includes a multisports area, zipwire, swings, a roundabout and seesaw, as well as a new seating area. Funding for the project has come from WREN (£50,000), Section 106 contributions (£48,000), Fenland District Council (£13,480) and Benwick Parish Council (£3,000). Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “This is a very ambitious project for a

small place like Benwick and a lot of work has gone into securing the funding for it. Now the village can look forward to having some Ambitious project: (left to right) great new Fenland District Councillor Peter equipment that Murphy, Benwick parish councillors people will be Valeria Gobie and Jill Hindle, able to enjoy all HAGS-SMP’s Helen Septon-Pike and year round.” Bob Ollier, FDC’s parks and open Parish spaces manager councillor Valerie better.” Gobie said: “This project has been Installation work is due to start in a very long time in the making and January, with the whole project we’re pleased we’re nearly there with expected to be completed by the end it. The plans look fantastic. They’ve of February. been tailored to what we need and the children will be thrilled to bits. The sooner we can have it all in place, the The Fens | February 2017 27 The Fens | February 2017 27

MUDDY JODHPURS REPLACED BY POSH FROCKS! Local equestrians swapped their muddy jodhpurs for posh frocks and smart suits on 17th December, at an Awards Evening hosted by Grey Fern Park Equestrian Centre. Held at The Eastrea Centre, Whittlesey, the achievements of riders competing during the 2016 Summer Season at GreyFern Park were celebrated in style. Mrs Carolyn Furnell was named Ridden Showing Champion; and Mrs Trudy Boon was named as In Hand Showing Champion. In the Dressage section, the overall Champion was named as Ms Katie Humphrey. The Summer Evening Dressage League was won by Ms Anna George and Miss Georgia Sharp was crowned as the 2016 Showjumping Champion. A raffle of generously donated goods and services was held after the presentations, raising over £200 for Redwings Animal Sanctuary. Carole Newton, said of the evening: “It has been a great success and provides the perfect back drop to thank all those who have supported us during 2016. We are very proud of each and everyone of our competitors, with many of whom we have built up strong friendships." Mayor Alex added: “With my wife’s and my interest in horses, we felt honoured to be asked to present the awards to the winners. To the organisers, I would like to thank you for and enjoyable evening. Well done to all who won awards.” The schedule for the GreyFern Park current Winter Season can be found at www. greyfernpark.


Exciting New Venue

Three local clubs have merged and are now sharing the excellent new facilities at Whittlesey lndoor Bowls Club (W.I.B.C.) after a recent renovation. We now have among the very best facilities across Fenland and Peterborough, with our intention to become a great asset to the community. The current age range of our members varies from 10 years old to over 80. Our members play for a variety of reasons; some for fun, some to meet new people, some to improve fitness and health, where as some play competitively. We already have four teams who play in the Peterborough & District Table Tennis League, and would like to enter more next season. WHEN? Monday 7pm-10pm - Any age 7pm - 9pm Juniors Wednesday 2pm – 5pm – Adults over 18 Thursday 6pm - 9pm – Adults over 18 Friday 2pm – 5pm– Adults over 18 WHO? We have a separate youth division for under 18s run by qualified coaches with DBS clearance and safeguarding trained. As with adults, young people choose to play table tennis for a variety of reasons, and coaching is available for those who want to improve and work towards being league players in the future. Our Youth Division night is Mondays from 7-9pm. WANT TO JOIN US?

Adults Our combined membership is now over 50, and new members are very welcome. We are waiting for some additional tables to arrive, so in the first instance, could adults over 18 wishing to join please e-mail Bill Cunningham If you leave a contact number, Bill will call you back. Youth Division For parents who wish to register their children (under 18) to the Youth Division, please contact Angela Ritchie on 07590 505398 or email: angela@ Come along to our open afternoon to see what other fantastic facilities are available: WHITTLESEY INDOOR BOWLS CLUB OPEN DAY SATURDAY llTH FEBRUARY 2pm – 4pm 194-198 Station Road, Whittlesey PE7 2HA At the Open Day you will be able to try Carpet Bowls, Curling (sorry no ice)! There will be demonstrations and tasters of several different sports, and activities including Mindfulness and Tai Chi.

Keeping our streets clean Nine Street Pride members braved the elements to do the traditional New Year day litter pick, gathering at the Buttercross and getting very soggy in the process. A successful collection of 10 bags of rubbish was achieved, they then retired to the George for a welcome cup of coffee. The next gathering was again at the Buttercross at 10am on Sunday the 15th January, to help clear up the litter following the Straw Bear Festival on the Saturday. Attended by 12 members and collecting 11 bags of rubbish, we had yet another wet and soggy day, but we once again retired to the George for coffee. We all look forward to another year of successful litter picking. If you fancy spending an hour every other Saturday morning at 10am, please do come and join us. To find out more, please contact Fred Mills (Chairman) on 01733 202874 or Peter Davies (Secretary) on 01733 204041. 28 The Fens | February 2017

Discover your past


Early last month we reached a total of 200 members, a marvellous achievement considering our U3A is still not yet two years of age! New members continue to join us on a regular basis although, not at the rate of the beginning of our formation. I did some mental guesswork the other night in my waking hours and estimated that there must be at least two or three thousand local residents who would qualify for U3A membership (either retired or no longer in full time employment) so clearly, we have plenty of scope for expanding! Subscriptions for the year from April 1st have been set at £16, which represents very good value! For this, members receive quarterly national magazines, monthly local newsletters, access to around 25 interest groups meeting either weekly, fortnightly or some, monthly, monthly open meetings with guest speakers and sometimes entertainment and, probably most importantly a network of new friends! At this month’s open meeting at Childers Club we have a speaker coming who, we are reliably informed, provides an intriguing talk on “Bees and Bee Keeping.” Members attending can also take the opportunity to catch up on all the latest news from “Head Office” and the local interest groups as well as enjoying a time for a cup of tea or coffee, biscuits and a chance to chat with friends. This month the spotlight falls upon our Walking Group, see below. Tony Wright, Publicity Officer

COUNCILLOR SURGERIES Will be held in Grosvenor House from 09:30 to 10:30 on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2017. Saturday February 4th Councillors present will be: Councillor David Mason (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Ray Whitwell (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.

Whittlesey U3A Walking Group

Well as the name suggests we are indeed a walking group. We meet every first and third Monday in the month, 9:30am at the Buttercross in the Market Square, from where we put or best foot forward. We always aim to end up back at The George for refreshment following the walks. Our very first walk was June 2015 and since then we have only been beaten by the weather on two occasions, both heavy rain. That did not totally defeat us though, as we retired to The George to plan future walks. Regularly the group consists of between eight and thirteen walkers. We usually aim to walk for 2 ½ to 3 hours, covering 6 to 8 miles. Initially all walks were “local” whilst the group was becoming established. In 2016 we started to split the walks to “local” and “away” as we wanted a bit more adventure and some different views. The local walks always start and end in Whittlesey, whereas for the away walks we travel for up to 30 minutes to enjoy the splendours of Ferry Meadows, Stilton, Castor, Kings Cliffe, Holme, Godmanchester, etc.. There are exceptions though!. Using bus passes, where appropriate, we take the bus to March and find a walking route back from March to Whittlesey, total mileage is around 11 to 12 miles. We also walk to Peterborough with the option of making the return journey either by bus or “Shank’s pony,” this makes a 12 to 13 mile route. Both of these are annual events. Really the group should be renamed to walk and talk. There is a great deal of experience sharing going on be it sharing health issues, holiday experiences, cooking recipes, life, working life (who mentioned that 4 letter word), grandchildren, other U3A groups, the world of nature, weather, TV programmes, shows, reminiscing youth. You name it we seem to talk about it. Ideally you will need some sturdy shoes as some of the routes can be wet underfoot or muddy, other than that just bring a drink and sense of humour with you. If you are interested in joining this walking group then you will be made most welcome. You can come one time for a “try before you buy” before joining our U3A. Please contact Brian Harrison 07801 726161

Whittlesey woman 75 years in membership of WI Ruby Hurst (Whittlesey) celebrated her 90th birthday in style with 25 members at the latest Whittlesey Womens Institute meeting. Ruby has been a member of the WI for over 75 years and was presented with gifts, a birthday cake and a certificate from the WI President Mrs Ann Quincey. Photograph courtesy RWT Photography

Our next meeting is Wednesday 22nd February at the Falcon Hotel 6pm for 6:30 pm. We are pIeased to have a speaker from Whittlesey Museum. Come along and find out a little bit about your town. See you there, Steve Hodson, 01733 203064.

The Fens | February 2017


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A Windmill by the Briggate


WORDS Anthony Austin This repro of Rembrandt’s painting of a mill by the river shows a good likeness to the Briggate windmill

I can still remember the first time I saw a windmill. It would have been in the early 1950s and was called Outwood Mill in Surrey, the oldest working windmill in the country and built in 1665, its white sails turning merrily in the wind. My grandfather told me that around 1900 he had once counted 12 working mills looking across the Weald, from the heights of the South Downs. It’s fascinating how close we can get to history; one of my great aunts was born in the late 1860s and I once met an old man who, when he was a little boy, met an old man who in his youth, had seen a stage coach being held up by a highwayman in the 1780s. Of course, I can’t translate the historical witnesses I’ve met into the history of Whittlesey; I just haven’t been here long enough. But I have met a man whose grandfather was one of those who built the railway line from Whittlesey to March in 1847, and who would have known the railway station at Eastrea. And he certainly would have been able to see a lot more windmills than my grandfather had. Windmills for grinding flour, for grist or animal feed, for colza oil ground from rapeseed and used for lighting, and of course for draining the Fens. I know we are used to seeing the sails of wind turbines turning against the sky, but somehow they don’t carry the same beauty as the sails of a windmill. The windmill is much smaller and on

a more human level than the huge wind turbine. Whittlesey had many such mills of which one survives in the town, plus one at Eastrea and a further one at Coates. A while ago I came across the reminiscences of a Reverend Joseph Russel Little, who wrote: “In 1831 my father married Martha, daughter of John Russel. My grandfather was a builder and millwright in a large way and when the Fens were entirely drained by windmills, his services were constantly in request. It was my delight as a child to go into his great timber yard and watch the workmen framing the huge sails and machinery for the mills…. “Near my grandfather’s house (the site of 17 to 23, London Street) stood a very high tower mill with a gallery running around it about a third of the way up to enable the miller to manipulate the sails. It exactly resembled Rembrandt’s mill and was a landmark for miles around. … “My grandfather died in 1839 when I was about seven years old.” The windmill in question stood at the corner where the Briggate River makes a right angled turn. It was built in the mid18th Century and put up for sale in June 1799 as: “To be sold by Private Contract. “A capital brick built Corn Windmill, most advantageously situated at Whittlesey aforesaid, close to the navigable river leading from Lynn to Northampton, with the sails, tackle, gear and appurtenances thereto with a piece of ground adjoining the same as is now in the occupation of Mr James Boyce, the proprietor. The above premises are Freehold, and the Mill which is near 60 feet high, working two pairs of stones and with its vicinity to the river possesses advantages rarely to be met with.” It’s interesting to see how the Briggate was seen as part of a river

highway running from Kings Lynn to Northampton. In fact, the main commercial highways were by river. The mill was demolished sometime between 1854 and 1886, but the Russels’ house in London Street survived until the 1950s. From the rather poor photograph you can just about make out that it was a large house with dormer windows and a central chimney, that suggests it was built in the late 16th or 17th Century. The plan showing its position in London Street also shows the windmill (indicated by a circle) at the right angle bend in the river. What a sight the mill would have made today if it had survived! The Fens | February 2017


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Exploring the FENS

Get your Skates on! Fen skating has a long history in the Whittlesey Fens, but when mankind first experienced the joys of flying over the ice is not known. Skating with sharpened or flatten bones attached to the foot appears to have existed in Finland some 3000 years ago. Records show that it was a popular past time from China in the 10th Century, to medieval Europe, and it was here in the 13th or 14th Century the Dutch invented adding a sharpened metal edge to ice skates to improve the manoeuvrability of the skater. Diarist Samuel Pepys recorded seeing skating on the canal in St. James Park in the winter of 1662. HISTORY OF SKATING IN THE FENS As a pastime, and a means of travelling, skating was enjoyed by people from all walks of life, but racing, as a sport, was generally the preserve of workers most, but not all, agricultural labourers. By the early 19th Century racing was well established and reports printed in the press. The century coincided with a period of colder winters, which favoured the sport, and Whittlesey was very well placed for good river surfaces and notably the enormous expanse of Whittlesey Mere. In 1840 for example, on the Mere, over 1,000 acres were frozen and more than 10,000 people gathered to watch a series of races run over a 2-mile course. Some skaters could achieve amazing speeds; John Gittan of

Nordelph in the 1820s, with the wind in his favour, covered a mile in 2 minutes 29 seconds. Skating in the Fens, around Whittlesey, has traditionally taken place on both the rivers and the flooded washes, as can be seen in the photograph taken in 1917. Skating still takes place on the flooded field opposite to the Dog in a Doublet whenever conditions are favourable, and when it’s cold enough. A PERSONAL MEMORY Phil Gray was lucky enough to enjoy at least one day skating almost every year from about 1958 until 2009, when winters became milder. “Like many other Whittlesey families, when I was a child the cupboard under the stairs held a box of skates, mainly Whittlesey Runners. “The town is lucky that through the Whittlesey Skating Association, a group of enthusiasts bought the twenty acre field on the Wash near Dog in a Doublet Sluice. A slacker was put in the riverbank so that water could be let onto the field until it was flooded to a depth of two or three feet. It was, and still is, flooded midNovember until March in the hopes that Jack Frost will do his stuff. The Wash might flood naturally, but the timing might not coincide with sharp frosts. The Skating Association field was always ready. “In 1959 the Wash was in full flood and it froze. We were able to skate

along the drove – no wire fences in the way – to Eldernell to meet friends from Coates. “One day I was skating with Paul French and his father Rowley. Paul was practicing for the Championship of the Fens and clipped round our chosen field about three times to one of ours. After a while Rowley said, ‘Blast this, let’s refuel.’ He produced a hip flask of Cherry Brandy. We refuelled regularly after the first nip. And, Oh yes, Paul became Champion of the Fens. “Fred Smith from Must Farm was local champion and was succeeded by his son Laurie. Between them they held the title (The Norris Cup for a one mile race, open to entrants within ten miles of Whittlesey), for sixty years. “My longest spell was twenty-one consecutive days skating. “A famous day for Fen skating on Whittlesey Wash came about because other venues – Baston Fen and Bury Fen – were unavailable. The National Skating Association Fen Centre ran off races for the prize Champion of the Fens. This was on 15th December 1991. John French won the title. John also skated for the British team in the Winter Olympics.” WANT TO FIND OUT MORE? You can read more history in The Washlanders and Fenland Fowler by Phil Gray, both from the library. For Fen skating history and records generally, Skaters of the Fens by Alan Bloom, also available from the library.

To discover more about enjoying the Cambridgeshire Fens and ideas for great days out, please visit Find us on Twitter: @CambridgeshireF The Fens | February 2017


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PET CORNER | Dog people say that dogs are more intelligent than cats; you can teach a dog to sit, to roll over, give you a paw, etc. What can a cat do? Well, cat people will tell you that their cat could do that, but they are far too intelligent to fall for that! There are many cat breeds which command prices upwards of £500, but most cats are just Domestic Shorthairs, and are available at numerous rescue centres. They are hardy, streetwise and able to withstand the worst of our weather as they can find a nice dry place to curl up in. Pedigree cats, on the other hand, often need more time and effort spent on them. Regular ‘moggies’ are mostly allowed outside, but pedigrees usually have to reside in the house or a confined space, because they can be targets. Cats that are allowed to roam outside get to climb trees and fences, chase birds and mice - all ways to keep fit, but indoor cats can easily get overweight, lose muscle mass, and become lazy, which can have detrimental effects on their health. Try buying a cat toy to keep your pet occupied.

This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at everything you need to know about owning a cat

Cats are generally a solitary species, except for Lions, yet we expect them to live in multi-cat households and be happy living in close proximity to other animals. Domestic cats are much better at integrating than their wild counterparts, but it is not unheard of for there to be problems. If it is a multi-cat household, there needs to be several litter trays, bowls and places to sleep in order to keep the peace. Unless they are pedigree cats and are to be used for breeding, it is highly recommended to have your kittens neutered. Cats are able to breed like the proverbial rabbit, and with so many cats and kittens that sadly find themselves in rescue centres,

there is no need to produce even more. Neutering also vastly lessens the negative unwanted behavioural traits, for example male cats spraying in your house or the female calling out at all times of the night when in season. Neutering also eliminates testicular cancers, mammary tumours and pyometra. Your vet can advise you about this when you bring your new pet in to see them at the practice. The vet can also give advice about nutrition for example, cats cannot be fed dog food because it doesn’t contain a substance called Taurine, which is an essential element for them. 3 TIPS FOR CAT OWNERS • If you are pregnant, be extra careful when handling the litter tray. Toxoplasmosis can be caught from cat faeces and can affect the unborn foetus. • Try not to have any member of the Lily family in the house as every part of this plant is extremely toxic to cats. • Make sure that your cat is microchipped and that the details are kept up to date. Cats can wander quite far and the microchip will enable us to trace the owner.

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Find us: 27 Broad Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1HA Opening: Mon-Fri 8:30am - 6:30pm | Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm The Fens | February 2017


Walk of the month

The Wetlands of


This month Leanne Hyland wraps up warm to explore a frosty Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

It’s often said that there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. Never does this ring more true than in the depths of winter, on a crisp, fog strewn morning in January. Temperatures have dropped to below freezing, and as a result the Fens 36 The Fens | February 2017

are coated in a light dusting of frost. At Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, the boardwalks are slippery and a layer of thick fog obscures the horizon, but in the near distance there’s plenty to see. Owned by the National Trust, who work to protect areas of natural beauty and historically significant buildings for future generations, Wicken Fen is one of Europe’s most important wetlands, playing home to around 9000 different species of plants and wildlife. Raised wooden walkways and grassy droves greet me as I pass through the visitor centre and head along the Boardwalk Trail. Although admittedly it’s not the brightest of days, it’s surprising how different the Fens can look when cloaked in mist. Herds of Highland cattle, their long horns and shaggy coats silhouetted in the distance, only add to the mysterious atmosphere. As I navigate through Wicken, I come upon a series of hides from where you can stop to check for wildlife. Each has its own unique viewpoint looking out over the reserve, some scenes are filled with sedge and reed beds from where, if you’re lucky, you can spot hen harriers, water voles and bitterns, while others overlook large areas of marshland. I step silently into a hide and wait. A family of moorhen float

into view, and above, migratory geese swoop past - in truth there are more visitors than birds to be seen on this chilly morning, but I continue, undeterred. A little further along the trail I reach Sedge Fen, a small part of East Anglia which has never been drained in order to help preserve its unique mix of plants and wildlife. A large wind pump sits atop the Fen, helping to keep the land flooded over winter. Unlike the majority of land around here, Sedge Fen has a large, undisturbed layer of peat hidden beneath its surface which makes for a highly unique habitat. So diverse in fact are the creatures that live in this environment, they were even of interest to a young Charles Darwin who came to collect beetles at Wicken in the 1820’s.

Konik ponies thrive in a wetland environment

The Ship of the Fens, Ely Cathedral

There are nine wildlife hides across the reserve – check sightings daily at the visitor centre From here I leave the boardwalk and prepare to get my wellies seriously muddy as I tackle the longer Adventurers Fen Trail. It doesn’t take me long to discover the real gem of the Wicken Reserve - grazing herds of Konik ponies. Originating from Poland, these semi-feral horses really stand out against the bare winter scenes with their bright silver coats. I watch, transfixed as they attempt to sip water from the frozen river by breaking small holes in the ice sheet. Konik ponies thrive in wetland environments, but winter can be harsh here even for the toughest of creatures. The reserve’s windpump helps to keep It’s nearing midday when the Sedge Fen flooded over winter sun finally decides to make an appearance and I take this opportunity to clamber over a nearby Wicken. Beside me, free roaming bridge for far reaching views of the deer munch on dry grass. They reserve. From above I really get a feel freeze as I pass - just allowing me for the vastness of the landscape and enough time to snap a couple of I can see uninterrupted for miles in pictures. every direction. I rejoin the path and Wicken Village is tiny and full of follow part of the picturesque Lodes character. On approach, it’s hard Way all the way into the village of to miss the giant sails of the 19th century windmill which dominate its skyline, rising high above the rooftops. The mill still grinds flour to this day, and you can visit on select open days throughout the year. Wicken’s idyllic streets are quiet as I wander through, leading me full circle back to the Fen. Before I leave, there’s just time to warm up with a hot pasty on this sleepy Sunday afternoon. A deer stands alert on Baker’s Fen

Highland cattle are easy to spot with their long horns and wavy coats

Burwell Lode Wicken Corn Windmill is a Cambridgeshire smock mill dating


Difficulty Level: Easy. Terrain: Boardwalks and muddy footpaths. Take wellies. Distance: 6 mile circular walk – flexible, there are several paths to choose from. Time: 3 hours with hide stops on route. Facilities: Warm up in the National Trust Café with hot pasties (weekends only in February). Cost: Parking at Wicken Fen £3. Entry to Boardwalk Trail £6.95 for non-members of the National Trust.

The Fens | February 2017




The Fens business corner is a handy listing for your local services, shops and restaurants. You can list your business here for just £10 a month, or get a free listing with an advert in the magazine. Contact the team on 01733 202049 or email AUTO SERVICES BRIGGATE SERVICE GARAGE, 01733 202543,

ELECTRICIAN FENLAND ELECTRICAL, 01733 350400, fenlandelectrical.

OPTICIANS J NEVILLE OPTICIANS, 01733 208578, jnevilleopticians.


ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING G’S ELECTRICAL, Part P Register Electrician, 07969 880551, Whittlesey


NORPILE LTD, 01603 416155,


PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS BRUDENELL, 01733 202694, ChrisBrudenellPhotography. com



CATERING/HOG ROASTS THE FENLAND ROASTER, 07930 494076, 01733 206658,




CLEANING/CARE SERVICE SOLITAIRE CARE, 07709 600039, solitairecare@





GARDENING WESTFIELD NURSERIES, 01733 206688, Station Road, Whittlesey PE7 2EX


38 The Fens | February 2017

LANDSCAPING AND GARDEN SPECIALISTS, 07774 310915, landscapingand HAIRDRESSERS THE LITTLE HAIR SHOP, 01733 200445 , 34 Bellman’s Road, Whittlesey JEWELLERY/WATCH REPAIRS THE MENDERS, 01733 685899, Unit 3 Lovells Court, Whittlesey PE7 1BW MOBILITY SPECIALISTS SCOOTER PARAMEDIC, 01354 680662, scooterparamedic.

PIANO TUITION I TEACH PIANO, 07505 688612, PUBLIC HOUSES THE BOAT INN, 01733 202488, 2 Ramsey Road, Whittlesey RECORD STORE/RECORDS WANTED BOB’S RECORDS, 07802 354220, 07711 873435 RESTAURANT/CAFE FONTANELLA’S, 01733 203587 VESUVIO, 01733 204599, DOG IN A DOUBLET, 01733 202256,

SHOPPING PEACH WILLOW, 07590 505398, 82 CRAFTS AND CREATIONS, 3 Eastgate Mews, Whittlesey, PE7 1PU SKIP HIRE F&G SKIP HIRE, 07415 440330, fandgskiphireltd@ STAIRLIFTS GREENSTAIRLIFTS LIMITED, 01487 815741, greenstairlifts. TRAVEL SPECIALISTS SHAWS OF MAXEY, 01778 342224, enquiries@, VETERINARY CENTRE WHITTLESEY VETERINARY CENTRE, 01733 685514, 27 Broad Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HA, WINDOWS, DOORS, CONSERVATORIES PRESTIGE HOME IMPROVEMENTS, 01733 785125,

FALCON HOTEL, 01733 351001, London Street, Whittlesey

SOVEREIGN IMPROVEMENTS, 01354 279379, office@ sovereign-improvements.

SHEDS/GARAGES THE SHED SHOP, 01733 350218, 32 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BD,

VIKING CONSERVATORIES, WINDOWS, DOORS, 01733 840051, matt. vikingconservatories@



The Writer's Corner Local author and mother of two

Jordan shares her musings


Love Is In The Air! Celebrated on February 14th each year, the cynics among us could be forgiven for viewing upcoming Valentine’s Day in its current incarnation as a colossal commercial venture seized upon by big businesses to drive huge sales of flowers (red roses, by far the most popular, with estimates of around 110 million sold 2-3 days leading up to February 14th), chocolates (more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold) and jewellery. Not to mention the massive increase of card sales where an estimated one billion will be sent worldwide making Valentine’s Day the second largest seasonal card sending celebration after Christmas. However, the writer and romantic in me prefer to believe there is more to it than that. So, straight from the heart, and in the true spirit of love and romance, here are a few declarations of love taken from several famous love letters. Zelda Fitzgerald to F Scott Fitzgerald Darling – I love these velvet nights. I’ve never been able to decide … whether I love you most in the eternal classic half-lights where it blends with day or in the full religious fan-fare of mid-night or perhaps in the lux of noon. Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Katherine Mansfield to John Middleton Murry My darling, Do not imagine, because you find these lines in your private book that I have been trespassing. You know I have not – and where else shall I leave a love letter? For I long to write you a love letter tonight. You are all about me – I seem to breathe you – hear you – feel you in me and of me … John Keats to Fanny Brawne My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you — I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each other’s minds. We know what the other one wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.

Impact of Economy on Investments Interest Rates, Inflation, Import Duty and currency exchange rates may have an impact on the economic performance of a Company, a Region or an entire Nation – so it is quite possible that an investment portfolio may be affected. Why would increasing interest rates have an impact? Well borrowing would cost more that could impact against house building or investing in industry. Altering interest rates can help control inflation. Inflation impacts on the cost of doing business, if you are investing in business (and most investments do) – a long term slow down might reduce profitability, the value of shares and the level of dividends. Leaving the EU might involve import duties to protect domestic imports, or if imposed by others, to make our exports less appealing. The exchange rate that recently reduced the value our £ made imports more expensive and reduced the price of exports – few businesses work totally in isolation, even a Whittlesey furniture maker using local materials might be in competition with a manufacturer from abroad or one using materials from another country. In these uncertain times, it is even more important to select fund managers that are experienced, understand the markets they specialise in, and can influence the composition of funds under management. This might involve diversification in terms of underlying asset classes and geographical exposure – have they demonstrated this ability over similar situations in the past? Regular reviews are an important feature of professional advice because investment markets change, legislation develops and personal circumstances alter over time. To remain invested in a particular fund might not always be the best long term solution. If any of these ideas suggest to you that a review is in order, please contact me for a free initial consultation.

Eamonn Dorling Dip PFS, Senior Independent Financial Adviser. Brooks Wealth Management Tel: 01733 314553 Mob: 07767 795816 Email: 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 Financial Conduct Authority 684319

The Fens | February 2017




In the digital age where a lifetime of music can be acquired for free, stored on a USB stick and carried around in your pocket, it's not difficult to understand the decline in sales of records and CDs. In the last few years with digital streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music on the rise, it's not even necessary to own music anymore. A simple email entry on a handheld device and boom! You hold the keys to nearly a hundred years of recorded music. So why has the last two years shown the first increase in vinyl sales since 2007? How in the world did vinyl outsell CD and 40 The Fens | February 2017

digital in 2016? And what is bringing back not just the ageing consumer, but a younger generation to establishments such as Bob's Records in Whittlesey? Well the answers are wide and varied. MY PERSONAL REASON Being a lover of music I am biased, but I believe an album should be an occasion. I remember waiting for my favourite band to release a new record. The hype, the anticipation, saving my paper round money, and then getting the first bus to Peterborough to wait outside Virgin Megastores until it opened. The excitement, the investment, and of course

holding the record are just small parts of the experience, and that's before the music even starts. DIGITAL MUSIC AND STREAMING Spotify is extremely convenient and almost too much so. If a song doesn't grab you in the first minute you can simply skip to the next track. If music is to be considered an art form, perhaps it shouldn't be so freely available and throwaway? With a new record, or more so in an older one you're investing in a piece of history,

the size and weight of the record and the attention to detail in the artwork and liner notes means you’re holding something real. THE HISTORY Of course then you have the music. In the late 50s and early 60s, music production wasn't what it is now. That meant that

COLLECTIBLE Finally, with a vast amount of original vinyl long out of print, records can be a sound investment with some collectors willing to pay top dollar for a rare release or original record in good condition. As always, the best advice would be to speak to an expert or someone who knows their records.


Expert bands had to perform their takes live. Retakes took time and money, and quite often the band would only have a matter of days to make a record. This meant that the performances tends to be far from perfect, guitars not quite in tune, slips from the musicians and background sounds of band members conversing mid song. RECORDING TECHNOLOGY With digital recording technology we now make popular music to sound perfect. So much so that it's unlikely to gain commercial radio play if the sound is not crystal clear. Vocals are regularly autotuned to sometimes barely resemble human, and music can be left sounding 21st century modern but flat and inadvertently lifeless. This want for music with urgency is another factor bringing consumers back to the older bands and traditional media such as vinyl. The crackles and the imperfection is what gives the older recordings their character and charm. FASHION Nowadays, with contemporary fashion in the household, retro is very popular. The turntable is a fascinating invention and can make a great feature and focal point in a room.

What does vinyl mean to you? Well, it's everything isn't it? For me it's not just the music. I was brought up with it, so it's the memories and the history. After all these years it's still exciting. What has surprised you most since opening Bob's Records? How many people in the area collect records for one, and the different genres of music people are looking for. Also the age range of people, between 11-85. Why do you primarily deal in older records? It's probably more to do with my age! The rereleases just don't sound the same as the older stuff. However, records by bands like The Smiths, Joy Division, and Oasis are interesting and difficult to come by. What advice do you have for people starting their vinyl collection? Get the best equipment that you can afford. Listen and see what sounds good to you. Before you buy your vinyl, check it isn't scratched and ask to listen to it played before making a purchase.

With thanks to Bob’s Records on Broad Street, Whittlesey.



Parties ~ Weddings Conferences ~ Funerals Birthdays ~ Christenings

new enquiries welcome

February Events

• Wed 1st Jukebox • Two full size snooker tables, Legends + Buffet £6pp plus dominoes, darts and two 2pm start gaming machines. • Separate • Sat 4th Steve Carmel bar facility in our function room. • Sat 11th Travis There is also a small dance floor • Sun 12th Sunday Lunch in the lounge. • We’re one of • Sat 18th Dale Diamond the best local venues to hire out • Sat 25th Aud for any occasion. FRIDAY LUNCH Hot food We operate a smart-casual dress code. Football tops, baseball caps excluded. served Fridays 12-2pm




MON-SAT 10-5 SUN 10-4

The Fens | February 2017


Books, music, films, games What we’re


Another Love by Amanda Prowse; Head of Zeus Take an intelligent, hardworking woman with a successful career surrounded by a doting husband, beautiful young daughter and all the material trappings anyone could reasonably wish for and you have all the ingredients for a perfect life – right? Wrong – especially when there is another love involved. And when that other love is so great, so alluring, so addictive and so destructive it overrides all rational thought and even the welfare of your own child, it is immediately apparent how caustic and far reaching such a love can be. Romilly, quiet, studious and less pretty than her beautiful twin sisters – at least in her eyes – meets David, fellow student at university. David, gorgeous and popular is well out of Romily’s league “for she knew beyond a shadow of doubt that boys like David Wells didn’t fall in love with bookish, ginger-haired, spectacle-wearing girls like her.” Only, much to Romily’s surprise, he does. On their first date Romily decides she needs a little Dutch courage – just to help calm her nerves. And she isn’t fussy, anything will do, “she needed something to give her confidence, anything that might loosen her tongue and enable her to shine a little in front of this beautiful boy.” Their friendship blossoms into love, eventually leading to marriage and the birth of their beautiful daughter, Celeste. But, despite a successful career as a scientist, her loving husband, her beautiful daughter and her wonderful house, Romily continues to reach for the bottle – to manage a visit from her opinionated mother in law, to manage work – to manage life in general. Only, as with most addictions, one glass of wine leads to one bottle, leads to several bottles, leads to many bottles. Our verdict… Narrated through the voices of Romily and her daughter, Celeste, Amanda Prowse does a brilliant job of demonstrating the destructive and far reaching effects alcohol addiction has, not only on the life of the addict themselves but on friends and family too. However, although Prowse doesn’t sugar-coat the consequences of this devastating illness she nonetheless manages to tell it with great empathy. Another Love is definitely one I’d recommended.

By Eva Jordan, author of 183 Times A Year

New releases


Trolls (U), After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Release date: February 13th 42 The Fens | February 2017

Darts Being a man can be difficult sometimes. Sure, compared to women we seem to have it easy. No monthly internal plumbing issues and the luxury of knowing that childbirth is nowhere in our future. There are moments however when as a man, you can feel quite inadequate. I for example, unlike most ‘manly men’ cannot burp a single letter of the alphabet, unlike a fellow who sat next to me in a pub just the other day who, much to the delight of his growing fans, managed to get all the way to ‘t’ before declaring he needed more beer before he could continue. I am also unable to wire a plug without first fusing the entire house. However, it is a present I actually asked for for Christmas that has made me feel most inadequate, and that is a dart board. I used to be pretty good at darts. Stereotypically, it seemed fitting really. I weighed 17 stone and when someone told me to drink responsibly I thought they meant don’t spill it. I now think though, that a bit of a beer belly might be crucial to darts as since I’ve lost a little weight, I feel like I’ve thrown more ‘arrows’ into the wall than on the actual board. I would once be able to hit double ten for a finish 7 out of ten times, but now having the dart hit the board is a genuine achievement. And now, for the inadequacy. I spend much of my time beating my fiancee at whatever game we play. I really enjoy it truth be told, because at heart, I’m a bit of a git. Darts though, seems to be ‘her game’ as despite not even seeming like she’s looking at the dart board, every time we play, she wins. We went ‘around the board’ the other day, and before I’d hit ‘7’ she was finished and this is a girl who thought hitting a ‘180’ meant you threw the dart with your back to the board. She knows I will relentlessly practise until I’m good enough to beat her, and then having done so refuse to ever play her again, but based on current form, I’d better buy some wall filler.

§ Joe Ferridge is an occasional writer and would like to make it clear for when she reads this, is in no way insinuating his fiancee has a ‘beer belly’!



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PIANO TUITION Hello, my name is Anthony and...

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Whittlesey Piano/Keyboard Tuition i teach students of all ages i am DBS accredited i am competitively priced i have a 100% exam pass rate

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The Fens | February 2017


Independent of the month



Lucy’s Flowers

Set in the heart of Whittlesey in the Cambridgeshire Fens is Lucy’s Flowers, a florist with an abundance of floral passion WORDS AMY CORNEY IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Lucy’s Flowers have just celebrated their 10th birthday at their current location in the heart of Whittlesey. Lucy Riley, the owner of the business originally came from Ireland, but has become an ardent convert to the Fens and her town of Whittlesey. Her cheerful manner and friendly face have made her a popular resident in the town. With over 30 years’ experience as a florist, her passion for her business is apparent.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? I enjoy being my own boss, getting to make my own decisions and choosing my stock. I like the interaction with my customers as I have a great laugh with many of them. It’s through my shop I have made some great friends and it has helped me become part of the community. WHAT MAKES YOUR FLORIST SHOP UNIQUE? I am a traditional florist and I cater for everything and every occasion. My shop is often described as an Aladdin’s Cave as I have a treasure trove of supplies. I like to provide an 44 The Fens | February 2017

affordable service with my products being good value for money. I’m very happy to help customers with any special requests and I’m always available for last minute orders. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE OCCASION IN THE YEAR TO CREATE FLOWERS FOR? I really enjoy creating floral bouquets for Mother’s Day which will soon be here. I also love Christmas as there are so many decorations that can be created with flowers and foliage, such as Christmas wreaths and table centrepieces. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE FLOWER? I love all flowers and enjoy working with all different types, but I do have a fondness for Chrysanthemums as they are so versatile. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GARDEN YOU LIKE TO VISIT? I like visiting Kew Gardens in south London as it’s truly spectacular, and I like Hampton Court flower show and Chelsea flower show. WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST IN THE FENS?

In my spare time, I like bike riding around the area, I particularly like riding through the villages and enjoying the countryside. I love the sunsets in the Fens as the skies can be so dramatic and colourful. • Lucy’s Flowers can be found at 6 Angel House, East Gate, Whittlesey PE7 1SE. 01733 336610

‘9 to 5’ the Musical Arrives in Town PODS, Peterborough’s multi-award-winning musical theatre group, return to The Cresset this spring with the regional premiere of the new Broadway smash-hit musical comedy, ‘9 To 5’. ‘9 To 5’ is based on the hit 80s movie which starred Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin as three co-workers, Judy, Doralee and Violet. Judy, Doralee and Violet are three unlikely heroines who turn the tables on their sexist bigot of a boss, Franklin Hart, proving that with friendship, girl-power with just a hint of poison anything is possible! '9 To 5' features music from Dolly Parton's Oscar, Tony® and Grammy awardnominated score including, of course, the original hit song, '9 To 5'. Taking the lead roles of Violet, Judy, Doralee and Hart are Amanda Villamayor, Georgia Evans, Hannah Joy Gibson and Calvin Lawrence. Amanda trained in Musical Theatre and went on to perform roles in numerous West End productions. Amanda relocated to Peterborough with her young family and joined PODS to play Velma Von Tussle in their sell-out production of ‘Hairspray’. The iconic role of Doralee, made famous on screen by Dolly Parton, is played by Hannah Joy Gibson. Hannah received glowing reviews for her portrayal of Penny Pingleton in last season’s production of ‘Hairspray’. The egotistical, bigoted boss Franklin Hart is played by the genuinely kind and caring, Calvin Lawrence. ‘9 To 5’ will play at The Cresset, Peterborough, 21-25 March 2017. Tickets are on sale now with great group and family discounts available 01733 265705. WIN TWO FREE TICKETS for Wednesday 22nd March 2017 simply by emailing by February 10th. Good luck!






CALL MATT 01733 840051 or 07939 010257 Or find us on Facebook The Fens | February 2017


What’s on guide FAMILY-FRIENDLY February 3rd

Family Prize Bingo at St. Andrew’s Hall, Whittlesey. Eyes down at 6:30pm, children welcome



February 11th

Community Hub Open day between 2pm-4pm, 194-198 Station Road, Whittlesey PE7 2HA. There will be demonstrations and tasters of several different sports, and activities including Mindfulness and Tai Chi.

February 13th

Chris Carr will speak on ‘The Wise Woman: Spells and Witchcraft’at the Whittlesea Society meeting

February 22nd February 16th - 18th

Great Fen LEGO Build at 10am to 4pm, Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Brampton Road, Huntingdon. If you love LEGO® then you cannot miss this three day event in the half term! Places are £6 per person, under 5s are free and this includes a free viewing of the map. Visit: uk/events/family-events-communityevents/great-fen-build for all the details and how to book

February 16th - 18th

Fenland Light Railway, 10:30am 3:30pm. Come and ride on a steam locomotive. Train rides are just £1 and there are refreshments available. Mereside Drove, Ramsey Mereside, PE16 2UE

Whittlesey & District Business Forum’s next meeting is on Wednesday 22nd February at the Falcon Hotel 6pm for 6:30 pm

March 1st

Simon & Garfunkel Revival Band. To celebrate the original duo’s 60th Anniversary, expect their best loved songs from the past 60 years. Tickets £21 / £20 at the Cresset (01733 265705)

March 21st - 25th

Proudly sponsored by

PODS Presents 9 to 5 the Musical at The Cresset at 7:30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2:30pm. For tickets and information you can call the box office on 01733 265705

February 1st

Jukebox Legends + Buffet, £6pp, 2pm start at Conservative Club, Whittlesey

February 2nd

Open mic, Voodoo Lounge Stamford

February 3rd

Christina Boonstra at After Hours Live, Octavia’s Cafe, Wisbech. Live entertainment with a twist of faith. 7:30pm-9:00pm. Free entry

February 4th

Steve Carmel at Conservative Club, Whittlesey

February 11th

Travis at Conservative Club, Whittlesey

February 18th

Dale Diamond at Conservative Club, Whittlesey

February 21st

Boat Inn, Whittlesey (Powered)

February 24th

Boat inn Whisky Bar Sessions

February 25th

Aud First time in the Club at Conservative Club, Whittlesey

February 25th

Messy Church at the Queen Mary Centre, Wisbech. A fun all-age event for the whole family. Packed full of art & craft activities based on a biblical theme; a celebration time where we sing, say a prayer and hear a Bible story. The event ends with everyone sharing a meal together. 3:30pm5:30pm. This is free of charge (but donations are welcome)

REGULARS Hatha Yoga, for all levels, £6 each, some mats available. Monday - 6pm Wednesday - 6.30pm, Thursday 9.30am. St Andrew’s Parish Room, Parkinsons Lane, Whittlesey Power Yoga, lively music, intended to raise your heart rate & increase your flexibility & fitness. £6.10 to non members, bring water & small towel. Wednesday - 8pm. New Vision Fitness, Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey Painting group, we meet in the Eastrea Centre every Tuesday 1pm to 4pm all are welcome, for details contact Sue on 01733 205241 46 The Fens | February 2017

February 26th

Jim’s Bingo, every Tuesday and Thursday. Doors open at 7pm. Eyes down at 7.30pm at Conservative Club Hot Food every Friday lunchtime. at Conservative Club Whittlesea Society meet on the second Monday of each month at 7.30pm in the Town Hall and always have a speaker Members Bingo starts at 7.30pm every Sunday, Monday & Thursday at the Ivy Leaf Club Ukulele ‘strum for fun’ alternate Wednesdays, 11th and 25th, The Ram, Whittlesey 7pm to 9pm. Call Chris 07960 316724 for details

WHITTLESEY IN TUNE. A new musical event for Whittlesey, with proceeds going to local charities. There will be a raffle with tea, coffee and homemade cakes in the interval at a nominal cost. The concert will be held at St Andrew’s Hall, Parkinson’s Lane, Whittlesey, PE7 1BZ at 2.30pm. Entry will be just £5 and is in aid of the Sue Ryder Hospice at Thorpe Hall

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Bar Snack Menu Available Daily




Our homemade burgers are made from only 100% beef and chicken, locally sourced from Freemans. Using traditional methods, we grill our burgers with the finest fresh ingredients and seasonings to order BEEF BURGERS












All our desserts are made fresh each day in our kitchen





Falcon Hotel, London Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BH  01733 351001  Find us on: 



New menu is available

Monday - Saturday between 12-2pm, 5-8pm Mon-Thurs, and 5-9pm Fri - Sat The Fens | February 2017



The Fenland Roaster


Specialising in:

Excellent range of buffets and extras:

• Garden parties • Wedding breakfast • Funeral or wake • Event catering

• Menus can be altered to suit needs/budget • Homemade cakes, pastries and drinks can be included • Traditional ice cream cart • Fully catered with platters and crockery

For all enquiries: 07930 494 076 | 01733 206658 | 48 The Fens | February 2017

Or visit

The Fens February 2017  
The Fens February 2017