Page 1

The

Fens Issue 8 | January 2017

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

C o m in g soo n

THE FENS first ever awards - watch this space!

This year’s

Fancy a Holiday? Top Destinations Revealed

Stra w Bea r

History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to |visit | Media The Fens January 2017 1


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The Fens | January 2017


The

Fens

www.thefensmag.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thefensmag @thefensmag

Barley Media THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk MEDIA EDITOR Anthony Shiels SUB EDITOR Valerie Matthews/Theresa Shiels

DESIGN Barley Media Limited

PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell christopherbrudenellphotography.co.uk

ADVERTISING SALES sales@thefensmag.co.uk 01733 202049 | 07927 192854

ACCOUNTS 01733 202049 sales@thefensmag.co.uk

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 7,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves and Pondersbridge. Available to pick up from the following places (email or call for a full list): The George Pub, Whittlesey Library, Whittlesey Town Council office, The Manor Lesiure Centre, The Co-op Whittlesey, Pigeon’s Farm, Rose and Crown Pub - Thorney

Ed’s letter For some people, January can seem a bit of a bleak month. Christmas has passed, the weather is getting colder, and there’s a long way to go before spring is at our doorstep. However, for us this month brings lots of exciting things. There’s the Straw Bear Festival, the start of New Year’s Resolutions, and the whole of 2017 to plan for! We’ve even got a pick of the best holiday destinations - now that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! For those of you looking for a day out, why not visit the impressive Bewick’s swans - they’ve travelled all the way from Siberia to stay in the Fens over winter. You can see them at various places this month, turn to page 28 for details. We have lots to look forward to in the year ahead, some of which are top secret (but will be revealed very soon). We are thrilled though to be able to announce the first Fens Awards, which will take place later this year. But we need you! It’s important to us that these awards are a reflection of what the community feel, so we need you to vote for your favourite business and citizens. Maybe you know an unsung hero who deserves a thank you, or a company who went out of their way to help you. Perhaps you have a favourite restaurant that you want to shout about. Tell us! You can find out how to nominate in the next issue, and we’ll publish our shortlist in a few months. Sadly you can’t vote for THE FENS just yet though!

Natasha Shiels Publisher, THE FENS

January contributors 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 hello@thefensmagazine. co.uk. Registered office: 40 London Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1BT. Barley Media Limited accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

Simon ParrBlack runs

an Interior Design & Project Management company

Robert Bull is a boxing coach, currently setting up a digital nutrition advice service

p.12

p.23 The Fens | January 2017

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16 28

36

Contents The

Fens Issue 7 | January 2017

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

Comi ng soon

THE FENS first ever awards - watch this space!

6 Straw Bear Festival is here! 8 This month’s recipe warming winter soup 11 Your garden in January

20 Get slim with Slimming World’s top tips 22 Is it time you got fit for life?

12 De-clutter in 2017

23 NEW Nutrition columnist helps you detox

14 NEW Pet corner thinking about owning a dog?

25 Local news, including extended doctor’s surgery hours

16 Top holiday destinations

28 Don’t miss the Bewick swans

This year’s

Fancy a Holiday? Top Destinations Revealed

Stra w Bea r

History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to |visit | Media The Fens January 2017 1

Issue 8 | January 2017

Front cover - Straw Bear by Chris Brudenell

From couple shoots to your wedding day, the birth of your first child to a family group shot - we can help you keep those memories forever

Tel: 01733 202694 christopherbrudenell@btinternet.com www.ChrisBrudenellPhotography.com

4

The Fens | January 2017

35 Say no to bullying! 36 This month’s wild walk around beautiful Ely 38 Business corner handy numbers 40 Book review 42 What’s on guide for January

ng di es ed ag 0 W ck £85 pa m fro

Capturing moments... ...to last a lifetime

31 Try your hand at our history quiz


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Feature

38th

STRAW BEAR FESTIVAL

A fascinating weekend of music, colour, humour and dancing - yes the Straw Bear is back! 13th, 14th and 15th January Images Chris Brudenell

IVY LEAF CLUB, GRACIOUS STREET

Doors open at 7:30pm for music from Sam Kelly, Flossie Malavialle and Russell and Algar. Tickets are £10 and the music will kick off at 8pm until 11:30pm.

SATURDAY DAYTIME JANUARY 14TH

The Straw Bear Festival is back! For some of us, the bear is as familiar and looked forward to as Christmas and New Year - for others it might seem a bit bewildering or odd. I promise you, part of its charm is the fact that it is a little odd, but equally wonderful. Kicking off on Friday there’s a concert, barn dance, before the main procession of the bear on Saturday, story telling sessions, memorabilia to purchase, music sessions, dance displays and the finale on Sunday with the burning of the bear. So you don’t miss out, below is a shortened version of some of the great acts and events taking place over the weekend.

FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT JANUARY 13TH 6

The Fens | January 2017

The bear will begin his procession at 10:30am, leading its followers through town. There will also be various dances, and plenty of open pubs and food offerings. Roads will be closed from 9am. There will also be storytelling sessions at the Methodist United Reformed Church, Queen Street at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm with The Yarnsmith of Norwich - Dave Tong. This is a free event. At the Town Hall, Market Street, there will be performances by Poets United at 12:30-1:30pm and 3:30pm4:30pm, and Kevin Buxton from 2pm3pm. This is also a free event.

SATURDAY NIGHT BARN DANCE

Held at Sir Harry Smith Community College, Eastrea Road, the barn dance is sure to be a big hit. Tickets are just £12 and there will be live music from All Blacked Up with caller Baz Parkes. Please note there will be a bar open, and bringing your own


drinks is not permitted.

SUNDAY BURNING JANUARY 15TH

LO O FO K O U OF R TH T F ST RA ICIA E W L GU BE A IDE R

The Straw Bear will be burnt outside at Sir Harry Smith Community College, Eastrea Road, from 12pm to 2:30pm. There will also be various dances and a music session. Entrance is free and a bar will again be available.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For tickets, please contact the box office on 07857 357970. For up-to-date information, please visit www.strawbear.org.uk, or follow the bear on Facebook and twitter.

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Procession from thefrom Manor On the On Market Place and outside Procession theLeisure Manor Leisure the Market Place and outside Centre Centre in Station Road to the toThe in Bull Market Street. Street. in Station Road theBlack The Bull Black in Market Library Library in Market Street via the viaTeams alsowill be also moving betweenbetween in Market Street the will Teams be moving Market Place. the following pubs and clubs: Market Place. the following pubs and clubs: The Boat InnBoat - Ramsey Road Road The Inn - Ramsey The Falcon - London Street Street The Hotel Falcon Hotel - London Following the procession teams will Following the procession teams willNew The Crown High Causeway The New-Crown - High Causeway performperform on the on Market Place, all the Market Place, TheallRam - The Delph The Ram - The Delph along Market in Station along Street Marketand Street and in Station Quinn’s Quinn’s - Market- Street Market Street Road. Road. ChildersChilders Club - Station Club - Road Station Road Ivy LeafIvy Club - Gracious Street Street Leaf Club - Gracious

10:4510:45 - 12:00 - 12:00

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12:3512:35 - 2:45- 2:45

St Mary’s - Nr Market StChurch Mary’s Church - Nr Place Market Place Lane The St Andrew’s Hall - Parkinson’s LaneLetter St Andrew’s Hall - Parkinson’s - Church Street Street TheBLetter B - Church Methodist United United Methodist Reform Reform Church Church - Queen- Street Queen Street

3:00 3:00 - 3:30- 3:30

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33

33

The Fens | January 2017

7


Food

Warming Winter Soup Curried Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Soup

This is the perfect antidote to those cold January days... By John McGinn, Dog in a Doublet Makes about 6 servings Prepare Less than 30 mins Cook Around 40 mins

Ingredients

• 1kg butternut squash • 40g butter (almond oil if vegan) • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced • 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced • 2 tsp mild curry powder • 1ltr veg stock • 5 tbls crunchy peanut butter • 300ml milk (coconut milk if vegan) • A squeeze of lemon juice • Salt and pepper • 50g salted and roasted peanuts chopped, to garnish • Chopped coriander leaf, to garnish

The Twist

This dish is vegetarian and easily vegan adaptable, but how about using up the leftover turkey by quickly frying it in some sate marinade, and adding it to the soup with some of your favourite noodles.

Method

1. Peel the butternut squash, cut into wedges, remove the seeds and fibres and cut into small chunks. 2. Melt butter or oil in a large saucepan and cook onion and celery on low, until soft and lightly browned. Add the curry powder and fry for 1 minute, then add the squash and stock. Simmer for a good 20 minutes until the squash is very tender. 3. Puree the soup with the peanut butter (in batches if necessary). Return to the pan with milk and lemon juice and heat up again. Season to taste and serve with the peanut and coriander garnish.

John, Della and all staff at Dog in a Doublet want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year 8

The Fens | January 2017

Eat, drink, stay!

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New shop has a big heart

IMAGES Chris Brudenell

Employment can be difficult for people with a learning disability to access; 65% want to work, but only 7% do. Many of the people Thera East Anglia supports want to work, so when they looked to transform their day opportunity bases into community-led initiatives, a retail venture in Whittlesey was the perfect solution. A project group made up of people they support, family and staff worked together to decide how the shop would work and what it would sell. They did market research, designed the logo and decided how they wanted the shop to look. They even up-cycled the furniture which displays their stock. They wanted this venture to benefit the community too, so they invited local crafters to sell their work in the shop. Now the shop is open, they have been volunteering to gain skills which will help them get a paid job in the future. They also make handmade items to sell in the shop, which they receive payment for. The group has been delighted with everyone’s support since the launch took place in early December and they look forward to being part of the Whittlesey community. • You can find 82 Crafts and Creations at 3 Eastgate Mews in Whittlesey. They’re open Monday to Saturday between 9:30am and 3:30pm - and you’re sure to get a big welcome! The Fens | January 2017

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10 The Fens | January 2017


Home & Garden

Your garden in January

The garden in January needs to be prepared for all sorts of weather, and if you’ve been following our advice over the last few months, your hard work is done for now. Most plants are dormant this month as they sleep through the cold weather, but there are still a few things to do in the garden. Spring is just around the corner and work can be done to prepare for the warmth of the new season. When its not too cold, beds and borders can be dug over and lawn edges can be repaired and re-shaped. Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds, as food is scarce for them over the winter.

Plant of the Month:

Three Essential Gardening Jobs for January Protect Plants

January is known for cold frosts and bitter winds so plants will need protecting. If you haven’t already done so, ensure protective fleece is in place on tender plants over-wintering outdoors. Lift containers up onto pot feet – if water isn’t draining away the

soil can become waterlogged. Wet compost can rot roots and cause pots to crack in frost. Remove snow from tree and shrub branches by knocking with a broom. Even a small amount of snow can add a lot of weight to branches, causing them to snap.

Dig Over Bare Ground

Run a fork through your vegetable patch or flowerbeds. This will help to aerate – getting air into the soil is important because plant roots need oxygen. Choose a dry day when the soil isn’t too wet. Don’t break your back breaking down large lumps of soil. Keeping them large can help air circulate and any later frosts will break them up.

Feed the Birds

Natural food sources for birds are in short supply during the winter. Give them a helping hand by putting food out for them. Keep food topped up but not full all the time – little and often is best.

Helleborus

Why should you plant them?

Popular because they flower in cold winter and early spring, Hellebores herald the start of the New Year bringing a touch of colour to the garden. Commonly known as ‘Christmas Roses’ they are easy to grow and very hardy. They produce attractive flowers and their leaves create a perfect evergreen backdrop to spring flowering bulbs.

How should you plant them?

Plant in shady herbaceous borders and the areas between deciduous shrubs to give an early splash of colour. Happy in dappled shade they should be planted in rich, heavy soil that won’t dry out in the summer. Ideal planting companions include Snowdrops, Primrose, Cornus and Mahonia.

Enjoy your garden!

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The Fens | January 2017

11


Home & garden

COME CLEAN IN 2017 So you have survived Christmas and are now thinking: ‘Where am I going to put all this stuff?’ It happens every year (and throughout), we find ourselves submerged in gifts, and whilst it is lovely to receive them, there is only so much space in the house! You have two choices I guess, buy a bigger house or maybe it’s time to de-clutter! Simon Parr-Black explains I have to say, I find it hard to work when there is a lot of clutter around me. I resort to having a good clear up before I can channel my mind and get things achieved. At the same time, it is not always as easy as it sounds as we all get attached to our belongings. With this in mind, I thought I would try to help those of you who would like it. Once you have cleared the clutter, what you have remaining are the essential elements, which tend to be more beautiful and more elegant.

does our skin and hair colour, and some things just don’t work any more. Whites don’t always stay as white as they once were, and neither does black. Whilst it is lovely to have summer beach clothes – how many do we need? Likewise, a pair of shoes that have never actually been worn because we don’t have the rest of the outfit to go with them, possibly could find a better home. A great way to do this is to turn all your hangers the wrong way, have a look in six months time which items haven’t been worn – the likelihood is that they will still be unworn six months later!

4. DVDS, CDS, VHS, CASSETTES…..

1. MAKE A LIST

As with many tasks, it is usually easier to start with a plan. Write down all the rooms that you would like to work on and then start one area at a time.

2. WHAT DOESN’T HAVE A FUNCTION?

This does take a certain amount of honesty, and is sometimes easier to do with someone else’s possessions, but, if you are doing this on your own, a little ruthlessness is called for. We all have sentimentality toward certain items, and hold onto others ‘just in case’.

3. DE-CLUTTER YOUR WARDROBE

Anyone who knows me will probably laugh at me writing this, but anything that attains a hole is binned immediately. Effectively, as we get older, our size and style changes, as 12 The Fens | January 2017

In this digital age, so many of the above are now just not used and they can take up vast amounts of space – how often do you use them? I have found that I now upload all my CDs to my Mac and play them from there through my TV, on my phone, in the car, on my iPod, etc. As such, I bundled up all my CDs and many DVDs as Christmas gifts. The same unfortunately goes for books, but I am terribly sentimental toward the printed word!

5. TAKE A PHOTO

Sometimes, all we need is a reminder of something that we no longer need and, as such, a photograph of that old chipped vase with some lovely flowers is all we require to allow ourselves to part with something we can no longer house.

6. THE KITCHEN!

Now there is a special room which always seems to harbor every gadget, dish and mug that we would possibly house. Being vegetarian, I had a good sort out of all the cookbooks that focused on meat and disposed of those. If you have a dishwasher, I would imagine that even you are surprised by the number of mugs you now have. I shall tell you, that if you have less mugs, it is

amazing how much quicker it is to empty the dishwasher Have you held onto the roasting tins that come with the last cooker you owned?

7. RETAIN, RECYCLE, REMOVE

As you start to approach this mammoth task, you could try to separate into three criteria. Items you want to retain; items you could sell on eBay or donate to charity; and items that need disposing of in the bin. You may be surprised how much money you could raise by selling a few items that you really don’t want. This goes for clothing, as well as CDs, DVDs, furniture and even jewelry. You may even be able to have a holiday if you have a really good clear out! And you can even get someone to do the hard work for you; companies like Stuffusell.co.uk does all the hard work for you, for a fee.

8. FIVE ITEM RULE

If the above seems daunting, how about looking at it in a far gentler way. Say, every time you clean or tidy the house, you select just five items that you no longer need and set them aside in a box or bag, or the boot of the car ready for you to drop off when you are next passing the charity shop? Over a period of time, you would be surprised by the space that you reclaim. It may seem daunting, but having a clear-out can benefit not just your home, but also your mind. Psychologists have found that women with cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol – the stress hormone associated with chronic fatigue, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a higher risk of mortality. A recent study also showed that physical clutter affects people’s ability to focus, process information, and be productive – so jilting the junk could be just the energy boost you need. What are you waiting for?

THE DETAILS

Oi

Simon Parr-Black is an interior designer. You can contact him on 01733 688235 or email him at simonparrblack@hotmail.co.uk


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Pets

PET CORNER | 'A house is not a home without a dog', so say almost everybody that has had a dog. They are a nuisance, they can chew your shoes and bring muddy paws inside. But they also bring you joy when you're having a bad day, give you health benefits from walking, and are superb companionship. CHOOSING A DOG In choosing a dog, you must take a few things into consideration, for example you wouldn't want a Great Dane in a one bedroomed flat on the fifth floor, or a Dogue de Bordeaux if you want a lap dog. An asthma sufferer wouldn't want a dog that is constantly moulting, and if you have children or grandchildren, you need to consider them. An excellent all-round breed are gun dogs, such as Labradors and Spaniels. WHAT SHOULD I BUY? There are a number of things that you can buy for your pet, but the most important of which are a bed and a special place for it in the house, plus a good quality collar and lead. By law, dogs should have a collar with a tag with a contact number on. They will also need a food and water bowl.

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

WHEN TO VISIT THE VETS You can never take your dog enough! This allows for lots of cuddles, and a positive memory to prevent your dog from being frightened! Your pets should be checked at least annually for their vaccinations, and so that they can be given flea and worm medication throughout the year. Anytime you notice a change in your dog, find a lump, they are 'off colour' or you are worried, it is always best to get them checked. SHOULD MY DOG BE NEUTERED? There are many varying thoughts on neutering. The facts are that you can prevent several potentially fatal or debilitating diseases by having them neutered. It also eliminates the risk of unwanted litters and mess when females are in season, and can reduce the urge to 'wander' in males. HOW OFTEN SHOULD DOGS WALK? It depends upon what breed of dog you choose, for example a Greyhound doesn't need very much exercise despite its appearance, but a Border Collie needs a lot to prevent it from getting bored. Exercise also depends

upon the age and any conditions the dog may have. Too much exercise is also not good for a rapidly growing puppy, as this can cause mal-formation of the limbs. 3 TIPS FOR DOG OWNERS • Do your homework – get the right breed and only buy from a reputable breeder where you have seen the puppies with the mother. • Do not buy from the internet. • Discipline your puppy, but do it kindly. A well trained dog is a pleasure and will be a superb companion throughout its life.

Your pet’s our passion

VACCINATION AMNESTY Restart Vaccinations for the price of a booster • Is your pet overdue his/her vaccination? • Unsure of the vaccination status of your pet? Our vaccination amnesty is a special offer giving you the opportunity to get your pet vaccination status fully up to date for just the cost of a single booster

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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 14 The Fens | January 2017

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Soot Busters (Sweeps) Ltd

Traditional and power brush chimney sweeping We use the latest in Rodtech power sweeping techniques combined with a high power vacuum, leaving both the chimney and home clean  Fully insured  Provide a prompt, reliable and friendly service 

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www.soot-busters.co.uk Is your chimney ready for the cooler nights? Who ya gonna call?...

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

15


Travel

TAKE OFF IN 2017

Planning your 2017 holiday? Every new year brings a host of reasons to choose a destination, but it’s a big world out there, so how do you pick the best place to go? WHITTLESEY TRAVEL share their top 2017 destinations 16 The Fens | January 2017


Travel One of Dubai’s theme parks

H

olidays in 2017 are set to be bigger, better and further flung as a whole host of destinations are opening up to travellers. Let us help you select the most amazing places to go and things to do in the year ahead. Here is just a small selection for you to explore, the journey starts here…

HOLIDAYS WITH CHILDREN Dubai

Besides the virtual year-round guarantee of sun, Dubai’s tropical desert climate offers an average daily temperature of 25oC all winter long, and little rain. With four new theme parks opened, you can wear out thrill-seeking children with a tour of the best of the new roller coasters and the attractions themed around popular films like Shrek or Kung Fu Panda, in between lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun. As always in Dubai, nothing will be done by half: Legoland’s water park features a half-million-gallon wave pool, and Legoland’s Dragon roller coaster is designed to reach speeds of 60km per hour. Swim with the dolphins, join a desert safari, try your hand at skiing on the indoor ski slope, or just shop until you drop! The choice of excellent hotels is vast, with many of them now offering a free half board package, and with Emirates flying daily from Birmingham, it makes it an easy destination for just a short break too.

Algarve, Portugal

Whilst there are many hotels in this area that cater for children, we highly recommend staying at Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel – few other resorts do it in the detail-driven manner that is the Martinhal way. It is one of Europe’s best luxury family resorts and offers an excellent range of accommodation. Located far from the crowds and the concrete, within a protected natural park, it lays claim to a windswept, untouched spot on the western coast with empty, golden beaches and waves to surf on. The resort’s village square houses indoor and outdoor swimming pools, together with five different kids’ clubs catering for six months to 18 years of age, so there is something for every child. Meanwhile the parents can enjoy the best food in the area, experiment with the exclusively Portuguese wine list, unwind in the spa, or just laze in your room or villa listening to the whistle of the wind and the cry of the birds. Once you’re here, there’s really no need to leave! The Fens | January 2017

17


Travel

Iran

HOLIDAYS FOR COUPLES Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Inspired by 2,000 years of history, Italy’s legendary “Dolce Vita” is more alive than ever, infusing its art-filled cities, wine-rich countryside and jet set resorts. For old-school Italian glamour and superb hotels, it’s hard to beat the Amalfi Coast – and the coastal road is one of the most dramatic and picturesque in the world. It seems to surge triumphantly from a shimmering blue sea. Few stretches of coastline compare with the rugged cliffs and terraced lemon groves of Amalfi. In Positano, all pastel colours and winding streets, savour world class cuisine, shop in chic boutiques and visit the black Madonna inside the domed Church of Santa Maria Assunta. For something a little different, authentic experiences on offer include cookery classes, garden tours or limoncello tasting. Or take a trip across the water to Capri which is the very essence of romance with its upmarket hangouts, ancient churches, famous sea caves and the eight hundred Phoenician Steps which connect Anacapri to the sea. The Mediterranean islands possess the reputation as a playground for the glitterati with their sophistication and style. This is the Italy of quintessential glamour.

Iran

As Iran opens up to visitors, its monuments top every travel hit list and it is this year’s most talked about destination. Iran is an awe-inspiring mix of striking cities, remarkable scenery and archaeological wonders. The country is characterised by great 18 The Fens | January 2017

physical and climatic differences, from the towering Zagros mountains in the west, to the scorched central desert, and down to the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. The Iranians are very welcoming people, and as Iran remains far from a mainstream tourist destination, many of its finest sights can be explored in relative peace. Any trip to Iran will bring you into contact with the architectural wonders of the ancient world including the tiled mosques of Isfahan, the verdant gardens of Shiraz, the ancient Achaemenian capital of Pasargadae, the desert architecture of Yazd and the splendid bas-reliefs of the Palace of Persepolis. Roll through the country on board a train, visit towns that sit on the ancient caravan routes and explore the cafes and markets of Tehran.

BEST FOR LUXURY Maldives

Unhurried and unspoilt, these impossibly beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean promise a stay of utter tranquillity and luxury. Whether you are seeking refined luxury or kick-off-your-shoes escapism, the world’s leading hotel brands oblige magnificently: from fabulous glassfloored overwater bungalows to expansive butler-service beach villas. Imagine diving deep amongst coral reefs courted by rays and parrotfish,

or cruising the atolls in a traditional wooden dhoni. Why not escape to a sandbank in the middle of the ocean for a private dinner or sunset cocktails, or why stray from your stilted water villa where you can relax on a daybed, with the waters lapping below and slip down the private steps into the warm sea? Further indulgence arrives on a plate, Maldivian cuisine features a profusion of crab and seafood tapas prepared by some of the world’s leading chefs the food really is world-class. Paradise is not lost after all.

Greece

Steeped in mythology and imbued with a peaceful purity, Greece combines a mountainous beauty with a myriad of world-class beach resorts. Here traditions hold firm and the pace of life is slower and unaltered by the pressures of the modern world. From the dramatic lunar beauty of the Cyclades, to the pine-covered mountain and sandy beaches of Halkidiki, the sheer geographical variety of the Greek mainland and its infinite scattering of


A beautiful beach at Maldives

Italy’s Amalfi Coast

islands is intoxicating. Mykonos with its colourful harbour, Crete’s wildflowers, white-washed villages, dramatic gorges and rugged scenery and in Santorini, blue-domed churches contrast vibrantly against sugarhued buildings. Everywhere delicious Greek cuisine is to be savoured in convivial style, mezes of feta salads, spicy souvlaki and tangy moist stuffed vine leaves complemented by fish plucked freshly from the crystalline seas. Whether in search of the quiet simplicity of village life, or the classical

elegance of luxurious hotels and resorts, each destination has its own separate identity and distinctive spirit. No wonder the Gods of old mythology, so enchanted by what they saw, made Greece their heaven on earth.

THE EXPERTS

Whittlesey Travel are an independent travel specialist, based in Whittlesey. For more information please contact 01733 203680 or email info@whittleseytravel.com

“FURTHER INDULGENCE ARRIVES ON A PLATE, MALDIVIAN CUISINE FEATURES A PROFUSION OF CRAB AND SEAFOOD TAPAS PREPARED BY SOME OF THE WORLD’S LEADING CHEFS - THE FOOD REALLY IS WORLD-CLASS. PARADISE IS NOT LOST AFTER ALL”

Join us at the

HOLIDAY SHOW The Conservave Club, Whilesey 6pm to 9pm on Wednesday 25th January 2017

Our friendly staff and holiday company representatives will be on hand to chat about your holiday ideas. If you would like further information do contact us:Tel 01733 203680 or email info@whittleseytravel.com

The Fens | January 2017

19


Health & beauty

TOP TIPS TO A SLIM 2017

To celebrate the start of 2017, Gemma Lee, a slimming expert from Whittlesey, shares her secrets for successful slimming E – EASY CHANGES TO MAKE

“Lots of people will be making resolutions to lose weight and improve their health this New Year,” explains Gemma, who runs a Slimming World Group in Whittllesey on a Tuesday morning. “Successful weight loss isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about keeping it off too. Making temporary changes and going on a ‘diet’ that’s unsustainable in the long-term will only ever be a quick fix, meaning you’ll sadly be bound to regain any weight you lose – and maybe more – as soon as you go back to your normal eating habits. If you really want to live happy for the long term, the key is to make healthy, realistic changes to your lifestyle that you can keep up for the rest of your life.” Here are Gemma’s ‘New Year, New You’ tips to do just that.

N – NEVER GO HUNGRY Most people who embark on New Year diets fail within days or weeks because they follow plans that are too restrictive and leave them feeling hungry. In contrast, Slimming World’s fabulous Food Optimising programme is flexible and generous, with members able to satisfy their appetite on hundreds of healthy, everyday foods like fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat, poultry, fish, fat-free dairy, eggs and more without weighing, counting or measuring.

Believe it or not, if you’re looking to slim for good this New Year, you can still cook and enjoy all of your favourite meals, just by tweaking them slightly. Try switching to lean or extra-lean meat, trim off all visible fat and remove skin from poultry. Swap cooking oil for low calorie sprays, whole milk for skimmed or semi-skimmed, sugar for sweetener and calorie-laden salad dressings for fat-free vinaigrettes. These substitutions may seem small but put together they will really boost your weight loss.

W – WRITE A WEEKLY PLAN Spending some time at the weekend planning your week’s menu can really pay off; you’ll feel fully in control with your healthy eating and know exactly what to get at the supermarket, saving pennies at the checkout and bags of time. Thinking ahead about any potential pitfalls such as a social event will also help you to plan how to stay on track.

Y – YOU CHOOSE At home, keep your fridge stocked with filling, natural foods you can snack on such as fresh fruit, vegetable crudités and lean meat. When you’re feeling peckish in between meals, you’ll be able to dive right in, rather than eating that extra chunk of cheese or a packet of crisps while dinner’s cooking. At Slimming World no food is banned – we recommend a mix of flexibility in your diet, with just enough structure.

BEEF & BEAN HOTPOT BAKE Serves 4 Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: Under 3 hours Syns per serving: 1/2

METHOD

20 The Fens | January 2017

E – ENLIST SUPER SUPPORT Changing long-term habits can be challenging, and research shows that getting regular, effective support is a vital component in losing weight and keeping it off. Our members attend weekly group sessions, led by a consultant who has lost weight with Slimming World themselves. Consultants are trained to support members with understanding and empathy, as well as empowering them to learn how to make healthy choices they can keep up for life.

A – ADD SOME ACTIVITY Making resolutions to be more active are often at the top of our New Year lists. It’s important to start off slow and find something you enjoy. Increasing your activity levels could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or pledging to park the car further away from work or the shops.

R – REMOVE GUILT We all go off-track sometimes when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes. When that happens it’s easy for us to give ourselves a hard time. However, learning to be kinder to ourselves and recognising that we all have lapses at times can make it easier to get back on track. By following a flexible, generous, plan that fits with normal living, you’re much more likely to succeed long term.

To live happy with Slimming World in 2017 visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or join one of our 9 sessions in Whittlesey and Coates running Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

INGREDIENTS

• 750g lean stewing beef, all fat removed, cubed • 2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 tbsp plain flour • Salt and pepper • 300ml boiling hot beef stock • 2tsp Worcestershire sauce • 400g baked beans • 2 bay leaves • 600g potatoes, peeled and sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC Fan/Gas 4 2. Place the beef, onions, carrots and flour in a baking dish, season and mix well 3. Pour in the stock then add the Worcestershire sauce, beans and bay leaves. Mix and arrange the sliced potatoes on top Cover with foil then place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours, or until the potatoes are tender Remove the foil, then turn up the oven to brown the potatoes, or finish under the grill


live happy! with

Slimming World

EVERY TUESDAY

Whittlesey

EVERY MONDAY

Coates

Coates Primary School, The Fold, Coates PE7 2BP 5:30pm and 7:30pm Call Anna on 07539 229365

Childers (function room), 1a Station Road, Whittlesey 9:30am and 11:30am Call Gemma on 01733 350091 or 07984 683681

Whittlesey Childers (function room), 1a Station Road, Whittlesey 5:30pm and 7:30pm Call Tanya on 07713 596171

NEW CONSULTANT NEW GROUP EVERY WEDNESDAY EVERY THURSDAY

Whittlesey

Eastrea

Childers (function room), 1a Station Road, Whittlesey 5:30pm and 7:30pm Call Charlene on 07931 313201

Eastrea Village Hall, Coates Road, Eastrea 9:30am Call Anna on 07713 596171

slimmingworld.co.uk 0344 897 8000

FOR BEGINNERS

IT TF GE OR F 17! 20

KICKB XING

Manor Leisure Centre FIRST CLASS FREE! Tuesdays (ladies only) 8-9pm IDEAL FOR BEGINNERS Thursdays (Juniors) 7-8pm NON CONTACT (Adults) 8-9pm FOR MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN AGED 6+

TEL: 07899 938390

The Fens | January 2017

21


Fitness

GET FIT

FOR LIFE

January is all about New Year’s Resolutions, but all too often these get broken before the month is out. So why not make a big change this year, and get fit for life!

GET INTO…racquet sports

A regular game of squash, tennis or badminton can help keep your muscles strong and flexible. Badminton in particular is a great sport for the over 50s because it offers social participation with friends, whilst squash is superb for improving your fitness and strength. Tennis is a surprisingly excellent workout to improve your anaerobic and aerobic fitness, tone muscles and work on balance. Racquet sports can be a really fun way to improve your fitness and leg strength, but the best part is that you’ll have so much fun doing it, and it won’t really feel like you’re working out at all!

GET INTO…fitness classes

With life expectancy continuing to rise, most of us will reach our 80s or beyond. But living longer is only part of the story. We don’t just want to age, we want to do it with vitality, mobility, good health, fitness and a passion to live life to the full. So this month, we’re looking at ways to improve your fitness which in turn, will improve your health and wellbeing.

GET INTO…swimming

Swimming is the perfect cardiovascular and low-impact exercise - and is a great way to keep active. Did you know that swimming can reduce the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and stroke? It’s also

THE DETAILS

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easily accessible with local pools such as Manor Leisure Centre, can be sociable and can be enjoyed all year long (even when it’s freezing outside!). Research shows that swimming boosts your mood and stimulates pulmonary systems. In time, it will strengthen your muscles, help with coordination, reduce the risk of injury and improve posture. Getting into swimming can be as simple as buying a little bit of kit (swimming costume, goggles or hat), and looking up your local pool timetable. Leisure centres such as New Vision have a variety of classes to suit everyone.

You can find a list of all leisure and fitness classes at New Vision Fitness, including various timetables. Please visit www.newvisionfitness.co.uk/classes or call 01354 622399

22 The Fens | January 2017

We’ve covered fitness classes in a previous edition, but they can provide so many benefits that it’s worth mentioning them again. Mixing up gym work with classes can really help to develop fitness, strength and flexibility. It’s important to find the right class that works for you and suits your lifestyle and pocket, and the options are endless. Mixing up your workouts is a great way to avoid boredom, so try to include a variety of gym work and classes to focus on all aspects of fitness, strength and flexibility.

3 GREAT CLASSES

Spinning - Group cycling boosts your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength Circuit training - A mix of cardiovascular and strength exercises set out in a circuit format for all-round fitness training Zumba - Combines a series of aerobic and dance moves to Latin music


EMBRACE THE

DETOX As we wave goodbye to another indulgent Christmas, many of us will now be looking to a healthy and prosperous 2017, starting with the standard post Christmas detox! Cutting down on the few too many units of alcohol that were enjoyed over the festive season is a great place to start. Lots of people will be attempting the Dryathalon in January, sobriety for the whole month (excluding The Straw Bear Festival of course!) This will give you a great base from which to kick-start your year, not only allowing your body time to fully recover from the ravages of Christmas, but cutting the boozy calories will aid weight loss and improve your energy levels. Raise some money for charity, or get friends involved to help keep you on track. For me, the foundation of any good detox and great health in general, is an awareness of the nutritional value of the food you consume. Put simply, increasing your nutrient levels by making fruits and vegetables the cornerstones of your meals and snacks, will have a positive effect on the way your body performs. Instead of defaulting to heavy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or breads in your meals, substitute them for different vegetables. The variety will not only keep your meals interesting, but will satisfy you more and keep you nutritionally ahead of the

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game. We'd be lost without a spiraliser in our house, courgetti spaghetti and carrot noodle stir-frys are always on the menu. A few more quick tips to help kick-start your year: - PLAN AHEAD. Don't bank on good food being available at short notice, it rarely is. - WATER IS VITAL, everything in your body needs it to function. Keep a water bottle near by and you will easily hit your daily quota of 3 litres for men or 2.2 litres for women. - FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH ADDED SUGAR YOU'RE ACTUALLY CONSUMING, (I bet it's more than you think), then reduce it by swapping with nutrient rich, low sugar foods. Sugar's not just in tea or coffee, but in bread, sauces, cereals, fizzy drinks etc. Ideally men should be consuming no more than 37.5grams, women 25grams.

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

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY ARTERIES HARDEN? To appreciate the structure of an artery, look at the diagram below.

We have an inner space Muscular Muscular  tissue   ! surrounded by a ! Stretchabl single layer of Blood  flow Stretchable  membrane   ! cells (termed Blood  flow ! Single  laye endothelium). Single  layer  cells   (endothel The (endothelium)   endothelium is stuck to a stretchable membrane, which Fig  1  -­‐  Cross  section  of  an  artery in turn is stuck to a muscular Fig  1  -­‐  Cross  section  of  an  artery tissue. The muscular tissue enables control of the arterial plug start to replicate and diameter. The stretchable grow until they cover it, thus membrane cushions the force separating the plug from of the blood flow in the same the flowing blood. way a net cushions the impact Unfortunately, the of a ball. In a simplified plug material cannot sense, the muscular walls be disposed of and give us control of our blood subsequently hardens over pressure whilst the stretchable time forming a plaque membrane softens the flow. (see fig 2). This renders the The process of arterial artery’s ability to contract hardening (termed or stretch in that area atherosclerosis), stiffens both arduous, if not impossible. the stretchable membrane The inability to control the and the muscular tissue, with pressure or flow in that the unfortunate impairment area means the sections of their attributes. The process of the artery both up and usually begins with damage downstream become to the endothelium, for which vulnerable to damage. Plaque hardening is there are many causes. The Arterial Plaque damaged cells burst and a silent process, and die. This not only creates a consequently we only hole, but also releases various become aware of it once it Muscular  tissue   adhesion molecules which ! That is why has taken hold. encourage monocytes (white it is important Stretchable  membrane   to take note Blood  flow Blood  flow of the wide !spread advice blood cells) and fat floating Single  layer  cells   within the blood to stick to the [regarding diet, exercise, area. activity and(endothelium)   managing This monocytic/fat mixture stress], even if you do not acts as plug for the hole. have any symptoms. Unfortunately, the mixture is Fig  2  -­‐  Cross  section  of  an  artery  which  has  un sticky and so will grow Fig  2  -­‐  Cross  section  of  an  artery  which  has  undergone  a  hardening  process faster as Plaque more mixture is laid Muscular  tissue   down. If left ! unchecked, Stretchable  membrane   the plug Blood  flow ! will fill the Single  layer  cells   diameter of (endothelium)   the artery. To prevent this, the cells at either end of the Fig  2  -­‐  Cross  section  of  an  artery  which  has  undergone  a  hardening  process

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ABOUT THE EXPERTS

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

23


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Your Local First Aid Training Company Open Courses Provides first aid training for: First Aid at Work Emergency First Aid at Work Paediatric First Aid Requalification Annual refresher Trauma days 24 The Fens | January 2017

Tailor made and certificated training to meet all your needs!

Emergency First Aid (6 hrs) 16 January 6 February 13 February We offer a maintenan Paediatric First Aid (12 hrs) attend the practice on 6 & 7 February • Cover starts from just £ 13 & 14 March

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IMAGES Chris Brudenell

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 - PLACES - EVENTS - PEOPLE - NEWS - WILDLIFE - COMMUNITY

CONGRATULATIONS CHELSEA Last month, THE FENS were accompanied by Mayor Alex Miscandlon in a surprise assembly at Coates Primary School, to present December front cover winner Chelsea Smith, with a framed cover. All of the children had created brilliant festive pieces of work, but Chelsea’s picture really stood out for the judges. Alex added, “When THE FENS asked the town clerk and myself to chose the cover for the December edition, we were delighted. The standard was very high and the task was very difficult. The final choices were made and a big congratulations to Chelsea!” Photographed above: Chelsea with her parents. Top photograph shows Coates Primary School with their headmistress, Whittlesey Mayor and editor Natasha

The Fens | January 2017

25


Whittlesey celebrates Christmas

Thank you Malcolm James Estate Agents Whittlesey Athletic Under 18s would like to thank Lorraine Bingley of Malcolm James Estate Agents, for sponsoring their football jackets this season. Pictured are a select few of the squad, proudly showing off the jackets supplied. Lorraine has been involved in local football for some time and her continued support is much appreciated. The team currently play in Division 2 of the Peterborough Youth League and play their home games at Feldale Field.

Whittlesey was lit up beautifully in December, with celebrations taking place at the Whittlesey Extravaganza and Christmas Tree Festival, held at St. Mary’s Church. The community was out in full force to make the most of some mild weather. Whittlesey Lions announced the winner of their window competition, as did the Whittlesey Business Forum who were so impressed with Grosvenor Flooring’s display, that they picked up this year’s award for best dressed shop front. Defibrillators for All were busy selling raffle tickets, Whittlesey Christian Church were offering face painting, and there was even a visit from Santa! Well done to everyone who helped to organise both events, and a big well done to Park Lane Primary School who won best Christmas Tree. Big thanks to RWT Photography for the above images.

A top FIFA and Premiership football referee recently visited Whittlesey. Craig Pawson, who referees international matches as well as top teams in England, was on hand to referee and present medals to eight teams representing New Road, Park Lane, Alderman Jacobs and Coates Primary Schools. Pawson was in Whittlesey as part of a full day of events, and the visit to Sir Harry Smith Community College was due to the support of Whittlesey Town Council (Tesco money) which was applied for by event organiser Robert Windle, who had been working in the schools for the previous five weeks. Representing the Council was Town Councillor Eamonn Dorling, who was delighted with the event and the attitude of all those who took part. Thanks also go to the hosts, Sir Harry Smith, and the other young referees who helped out by officiating . Photos show all the players with their medals, and Craig Pawson leading out two girls teams just before kick off.

Whittlesey gets a FIFA visit

Image RWT Photography

WHITTLESEY STREET PRIDE VOLUNTEER GROUP

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE & N.P.B.S. SUPPORT Our year ended with two respected Whittlesey organisations donating a total of £170 toward our funds for next year. This money will be wisely spent on plants for our “Gateway” projects. A National incentive by Yorkshire Bank, (N.P.B.S. Whittlesey branch) called Small Change – Big Difference, was rolled out to all branches to encourage community groups. Each branch could nominate three local causes, of which Street Pride were one, and we were the recipients of £100. The group wish to thank N.P.B.S. staff for all their valued support both past and present. Each year you 26 The Fens | January 2017 26 The Fens | January 2017

attend at least two litter picking or “tidy-up” events, and we do really recognise the level of support you give. St. John Ambulance held a coffee morning on December 3rd at Plough Road, and Pauline Richards very generously presented a cheque for £50 from the proceeds to us. In addition a very kind lady who wished to remain anonymous, gave a donation of £20 for which we offer our sincere thanks. Over 50 people attended the event, and all members of Street Pride wish to extend our thanks to everyone involved. Mr.

Johnson of Plough Road also allows our group to use his water supply to enable us to keep the plants well cared for in the hot weather. It is this type of generosity by members of the general public which inspire our members in their continued efforts to keep our town both clean, tidy, and colourful for all Whittlesey residents. Thanks to each and every one of you.


WHITTLESEY FIGHTS FOR MUST FARM ARTIFACTS

7 DAY A WEEK DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS

Following the Bronze Age finds at Must Farm, Whittlesey representatives from Peterborough Vivacity made a recent presentation to Whittlesey Town Council, which basically advocated transferring many of the artfacts found at Must Farm to the Bronze Age Centre at Flag Fen. This situation was deemed to be unacceptable to the Town Council and I then entered into discussions with the Town Mayor, Cllr. Alex Miscandlon, on the way forward which would give Whittlesey a greater profile in this immensely important project.

The New Queen Street Surgery is a member of the Greater Peterborough Network (GPN), along with 26 other local GP Practices, listed below. GPNs vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of its collective patients, which is approximately 160,000 patients, by offering seven day, 8am until 8pm, access to routine primary care across Peterborough and the surrounding areas. This extra resource helps New Queen Street and all the other member practices relieve pressure on their own service by being able to offer additional routine appointments to its own patients at other surgeries in the weekday evenings and at weekends. How do patients access these additional appointments? To access these routine appointments, our patients at New Queen Street just need to ring us and ask the reception team about evening and weekend appointments in both our surgery and in other surgeries. Our reception team can then see all the available appointments available to book into at the other surgeries. What about my medical records? If you book into another surgery for an evening appointment, then when you get there the doctor or nurse you see will have your full medical record available to them, as we all use the same medical computer system, SystmOne. You may be asked if you are happy to share your records if you attend at another surgery, you should say yes then the doctor or nurse you see will see the record as it is on our own computer here at New Queen Street. How does it work? All 27 practices in the GPN offer routine evening and weekend appointments on a rota basis. New Queen Street is open until late every Monday evening, and our branch site at Stanground is open late every Thursday evening. Half of the appointments are saved and offered only to the ‘host’ practice patients The other half of the appointments are then offered to the patients from the other 28 practices to book up to two weeks in advance. One week away from the clinic date, any appointments that were meant for the ‘other’ practices patients, that are NOT yet booked, can then be taken back and booked by the host practice themselves. What is the point? It means that our patients registered at New Queen Street have access to routine general practice up to 8pm Monday to Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings, if not here at New Queen Street, then at one of the member practices. We do not have the resources ourselves to open up for our own patients seven days a week – we do not have enough staff to cover all those shifts. BUT by joining forces with the other 26 practices, we do have the resources, and it means that all 160,000 patients get to benefit from the joint working. The list of practices in the scheme: •Ailsworth Medical Centre •Old Fletton Surgery •Boroughbury Medical Centre •Orton Bushfield Medical Practice •Botolph Bridge Community •Park Medical Centre Health Centre •Parnwell Medical Centre •Bretton Medical Practice •Paston Health Centre •Dogsthorpe Medical Centre •Stanground Surgery •The Grange Medical Centre •Thistlemoor Medical Centre •Hampton Health •Thomas Walker Surgery •Hodgson Medical Centre •Thorney Medical Practice •Jenner Health Centre •Thorpe Road Surgery •Millfield Medical Centre •Welland Medical Practice •Minster Medical Practice •Westgate Surgery •Nene Valley Medical Practice •Westwood Clinic •New Queen Street Surgery •Yaxley Group Practice

Due to a considerable amount of hard work and lobbying behind the scenes by Cllr. Miscandlon, a meeting was eventually arranged with Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive of Peterborough City and Cambridgeshire County Councils, at which both I and Cllr. Eamonn Dorling as Chairman of WTC Finance & Policy Committee were present. The result of this meeting was that Whittlesey Town Council have now been invited to meetings in the New Year of a newly formed consortium to discuss the future of the Must Farm artifacts. This consortium consists of representatives from Whittlesey Town Council, Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, Historic England, The British Museum, Peterborough Vivacity, the Arts Council and Forterra (Hanson Brick). The object of the consortium is to submit a solid case for Heritage Funding by the end of 2017 to enable a permanent Heritage Centre to be built to house the Must Farm and other important local historical items. The consortium will be chaired by Gillian Beasley and the respective Peterborough and North East Cambridgeshire MPs, Stewart Jackson and Steve Barclay will be kept fully informed. The importance of this initiative for the future prosperity of Whittlesey as a whole cannot be overstated as interest has been shown not only locally and nationally, but throughout the world. The team of archaelogists lead by Mark Knight are particularly anxious that full recognition is afforded to the local area. As progress is made I will ensure that the people of Whittlsesey are kept as fully informed as possible. Yours sincerely, Cllr. David K M Mason Whittlesey St Andrew District

The Fens | January 2017 27 The Fens | January 2017 27


Exploring the FENS

Fenland’s Feathery Friends Bewick’s swans are the smallest swans to visit the UK – they come here for winter, all the way from Siberia! Bewick’s swans arrive in the UK in mid-October. They spend the winter right here in the Fens, in our comparatively warm climate, before departing in March. The swans gather in large groups on the fields, where they feed on leftover potatoes and grain, aquatic plants and grass, SO WHERE CAN YOU SEE THEM? Mainly found in eastern England, Bewick’s swans can best be seen on the Ouse and Nene Washes in Cambridgeshire. One of the best places to spot these swans is at WWT Welney. Welney Wetland Centre is the perfect start to a day exploring wetlands. Located just 12 miles north of Ely, the centre is 2 miles south of Welney village. WWT Welney is not only perfect for families with its trails, explorer backpacks and crafts, but also the ideal place for photographers or

wildlife enthusiasts. Running from October, you can join the team to get a closer look at some of the swans and ducks, you can enjoy the birds from the comfort of the centrally heated hide and get the chance to ask questions. Don’t miss the flights in each day at dusk, when the swans return from the fields they have been feeding in during the day. There are also daily swan feeds (visit their website for full details). WWT WELNEY EVENT TIMES Saturday 21 January, 6.30-9am Sunday 22 January, 6.30-9am Saturday 11 February, 6-9am Wednesday 15 February, 6-9am OUSE WASHES Set in the heart of the Fens, the Ouse Washes forms the largest area of wash land in the UK. The reserve attracts thousands of swans in the winter, and the birdwatching hides are open at all times. There’s an RSPB visitor centre, open from 9am to 5pm, at Welches Dam at Manea village,

plus a handy car park. If you haven’t explored Manea and the Ouse Washes yet, why not make a visit this month? THREATS TO BEWICK’S Since 1995, the number of Bewick’s swans has plummeted by nearly half, caused by loss of habitat, illegal hunting, presence of wind turbines and power pylons in their flight path, and climate change. The best way to ensure the long term protection of this species is to spread awareness. You can also adopt a swan through wwt. org.uk. For further information, please visit: www.wwt.org.uk www.rspb.org.uk

To discover more about enjoying the Cambridgeshire Fens and ideas for great days out, please visit

www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org 28 The Fens | January 2017

www.facebook.com/ visitcambridgeshirefens.org Find us on Twitter: @CambridgeshireF


Discover your past

Whittlesey

To meet print deadlines, I am having to pen this before our annual Christmas party, although I feel sure that a great many of our 200 members will have enjoyed a time of fun and fellowship, with an 60s/70s local band, our own “Warblers” singing group, games, buffet tea, prize raffle, bar, etc! If you decided not to join us, I am confident you missed a great afternoon! At this month’s monthly meeting (on January 19th) we will learn about one person’s gap year spent at a leper colony, it’s sure to be both interesting and thought provoking! A party is scheduled (again!!) for March to celebrate our second birthday, with a return of a popular ukelele band to regale us; then in April it’s our second AGM with election of committee members. A few members have informed me that some folk locally believe our U3A is not for them because they don’t like the concept of “learning”, and the term “university” deters them from joining. I would assure these people that there are in fact more “fun” and “activity” groups within our organisation than actual learning ones, although it should be borne in mind that we “learn” something from whatever we do! U3As in fact, could not be further from the picture one conjures up in our minds! Continuing our series of promotions of our Interest groups, this month we feature our Family History Group. All at Whittlesey U3A wish you a healthy and happy New Year! Tony Wright, Publicity Officer. Tel. 01733 701628 or tony.whittlesey. wright@gmail.com.

Do YOU know who your grandparents were?

Do you know who your grandparents were? And your Great grandparents? In the U3A Family History Group, we enjoy finding out about our ancestors. At Whittlesey Library, we make use of the free subscriptions to the genealogical websites “Ancestry.co.uk” and “Findmypast.co.uk”. Using easy methods to search these websites, you can discover where your ancestors lived, how they made a living and what other children they had. You can find their dates of birth and death, and find out when and whom they married. Military records and British Newspaper archives are also online. Every 10 years, from 1841 onwards in the UK and other countries, on one night in April, a census was taken recording everyone in each household. The 1911 census is particularly interesting as it was filled in by the head of the household personally, so you can see your great grandparent’s actual handwriting. It also asked how many children had been born, how many were still living, and how many died. (I was quite shocked to see that my great grandmother had borne 18 children, 10 of whom had died!). The censuses up to 1911 are available to search on the internet on these websites, and also a special census called the ‘1939 Register’. This was taken in September 1939 on the eve of WW II for the provision of Identity Cards. In1948 this became the basis of the National Health Service. You can send any information you find on the library computer to your home email and print it at home (or print it at the library). We only have use of five terminals and help each other along. The Family History Group usually meets on the last Friday in each month. Alternatively, the library has public computers which can be used to search family history in the same way. You’ll need your library membership card to log in. Do you have an interest in genealogy? Have you thought about joining the local U3A to pursue this among friends? You will be made most welcome! Lynda Norton (contact via Whittlesey U3A website or Facebook page)

COUNCILLOR SURGERIES Will be held in Grosvenor House from 09:30 to 10:30 on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2017. Saturday January 7th Councillors present will be: Councillor Dee Laws (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Julie Windle (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.

FENLAND TWINNING ASSOCIATION You may ask what is the Fenland Twinning Association and what does it do? Well, Fenland District Council has a number of twinning arrangements with areas across the world. They include the areas of Stadt Nettetal in Germany and The Sunshine coast in Australia. These twinning arrangements take a number of guises from business links, to cultural and exchange visits. Our closest links at present are with Stadt Nettetal, which take the form of exchange visits every two years. However, there is a wish that youth involvement in twinning is increased. So how can you help? Well, we as an organisation are always looking for people to become involved with the activities. Primarily this is being willing to host families/individuals when they visit Fenland, take part in the civic events that take place during this time, and wanting to take part in the reciprocal visits. A great number of lasting friendships have been established as a result of these visits. If you are interested in the cultural links that being a member of the Fenland Twinning Association bring, contact Councillor Mike Cornwell on 01354 653757, or come along to our AGM at Fenland Hall on January 25th at 6pm.

The first anniversary AGM of the Whittlesey Business Forum will be on Wednesday 18th January at the Falcon Hotel, London Street, at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Come along and have your say about this year’s programme. See you there. Steve Hodson, 01733 203064

The Fens | January 2017

29


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History

HISTORY

QUIZ Happy New Year! In the spirit of the festive season, I thought you might like to test your knowledge of old Whittlesey with a Quiz Not that I’m sure you will need the answers but just in case you do, you will find them upside down at the bottom of the page. Ok, hope you’re all ready for this trip through the past of the town we love so well.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

What building stands today on the site of the High Cross?

Whittlesey had three churches in medieval times; St Marys, St Andrews, and the third one was?

What is Old Tavern Street known as today?

The Letter B pub is in Church Street, where was the Letter A to be found?

What was High Causeway once known as?

During the Civil War in the 17th Century the Parliamentary Forces built a fort between Peterborough and Whittlesey. Where is it?

What does the name “Eldernell” mean?

In which street in the town was The Windmill pub?

What was the name of the lake that lay to the south of Coates and Eastrea till it was drained in the 17th Century?

In which street was Sir Harry Smith born?

By Anthony Austin

Can you name three streets that have had Methodist Chapels in them?

To what feature in the town, once far more common than today, does this old saying refer; “All you need is a good hat and a dry pair of boots”?

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

In which year was the modern Straw Bear Festival revived?

Where was the Gas works?

John opened the front door of The Red Lion, tripped and fell flat on his face, in which street?

There were two Windmill pubs or inns: one was in Whittlesey; where was the other?

What was built on the site of the Workhouse?

Besides Whittlesea Station, there was another elsewhere in the parish. Where was it?

accident

We met John earlier; his friend William had a similar accident making his way rather unsteadily from The Angel to The Wheatsheaf. In which street did this occur?

Do you know the name of the lane that runs from Gracious Street to Claygate beside the Zion Baptist Chapel?

20

Please turn over for the second part to the quiz....

The Fens | January 2017

31


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33

Answers: 1. The Buttercross; 2. St Peters; 3. Broad Street; 4. Whitmore Street; 5. Arnold Street; 6. Horsey Toll; 7. Oldeamere; 8. Grove of trees by the stream; 9. Windmill Street; 10. St Marys Street; 11. Queen Street, Church Street and Woolpack Lane; 12. Mud walls; 13. 1980; 14. On the site of the garage at the junction of East and West Delph.; 15. London Street; 16. Eastrea 17. Harry Smith College; 18. Eastrea; 19. Eastgate; 20. Ivy Lane A) Salvation Army Band at corner of Queen Street and Syers Lane; B) King’s Delph School; C) Greenways, Market Street; D) Church Street in winter; E) Somewhere in Whittlesey!; F) Thatched shop and house in London Street; G) Cottages in Horsegate

a e b

c d

g f

That’s it. Quite a mix of questions but please feel free to look online if you want. On this page are some pictures of the past for you to guess where they might be in the town or villages. I’ll confess now that one of them I’m counting on you telling me because I don’t know the answer!

History


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Mental health

SAY NO TO BULLYING What is bullying?

Bullying is often defined as repeated behaviour with intent to hurt another person, physically or emotionally. It can take many forms, including verbal threats, physical assault, calling names, gossiping and online bullying (cyberbullying). Don’t mistake bullying for a joke or banter, you know yourself and if you are not comfortable with the situation, speak up. Bullying can make a person feel very alone. It can make the victim miserable, breaking down their confidence and self-esteem. But as lonely as you may feel right now, support is available.

Counselling for bullying

Whether you are currently being bullied, have been bullied in the past or are affected by bullying another way, many people find counselling for bullying helpful. Contacting a counsellor can help you talk about what you are going through, in private and without judgement. Bullying may have affected you at an earlier time in your life, but it may have been a factor in developing other issues.

Why do people bully?

There are many reasons why someone bullies someone else. It could be that they are unhappy with something in their own life. In some cases, the bully is being (or has been) bullied themselves. If you are bullying others, you may be worried about talking to someone for fear of getting in trouble. But there are organisations that offer help to those who bully, as well as the victim.

Spotting the signs

Many people will keep their worries to themselves. Depending on the individual, they may brush it off as a harmless joke, or they may feel like there is no-one to turn to. Here are some common behaviours of bullying to look out for: • Tiredness • Keeps to themselves • Change in attitude • Irritable or snappy • Increased sick days or time off • Frequent headache and/or nausea

Bullying at school

No child deserves to be bullied. Being frightened every day can be very damaging for young people. It makes school a scary place to be, which in turn can affect their education and social skills. School bullying doesn’t only happen during the early years, either. Bullying can take place during any level of education, whether it be school, college or university.

If your child is being bullied

If you are worried for your child or have noticed their behaviour changing, try talking to them. Broach the subject when you are both calm, relaxed and in a comfortable environment. Let them know that bullying is always unacceptable and ensure they know you are there to help and support them. If you think further action is required, meet with their teacher. If your child is young, they can keep an eye on your child during the school day and speak to the bullies in question. If they are unable to help, consider speaking to the head teacher. Most schools will have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and an anti-bullying policy. If your child is older and doesn’t want you to speak to the school, suggest they speak to someone they trust. Don’t be offended if they don’t want to open up to you yet, they might find it more helpful at that moment to speak to a friend or a member of staff.

If you’re being bullied at school or college If you’re being bullied you may be afraid that telling someone will make the situation worse, but nothing will change if you don’t say anything. Your parents and teachers are there to support and protect you, tell them what is happening and how it is making you feel. If you aren’t ready to do this in person, write them a letter.

Cyberbullying

This form of bullying is becoming increasingly common. Cyberbullying refers to any bullying that takes place via your phone or online. Common

Did you know that 1 in 2 of us are affected by bullying? Bullying doesn’t discriminate, it’s everywhere. It can happen during any time of your life; at school, online or even at home

forms of cyberbullying include: • Email • Instant chat • Social networks • Messaging • Sexting - This term is used when someone sends you images or texts of a sexual nature. • Hacking If the bullying is happening on a social network, block and report them. Social networks are getting better at discouraging bullying. Next, save any abusive comments you get to use as evidence. You can show this to an adult or even take legal action.

Further help

The Young Peoples Counselling Service (WYPCS) is run by a dedicated committee of volunteers with trained counsellors. The free service is confidential and can be accessed by any young person aged 13-25. WYPCS is currently looking for people who are interested in joining their fundraising team, and local companies who may have a charity donations budget. If you would like to get involved in a small way, by organising or participating in a fundraising event in aid of the Young Peoples Counselling Service, you will be directly paying towards a young person receiving a course of counselling sessions in your local community. Each young persons course of sessions costs a maximum of £360. Contact Louise Russell on 07779 991202. TO REFER TO THE SERVICE YOU CAN Free phone 0800 634 4396; text 07738 949 585. Find us on facebook @WYPCS, visit www.ypcs.uk or email capccg.wypcs@nhs.net If you are worried about elder bullying, you can call a confidential helpline called Action on Elder Abuse on 0808 808 8141 Further information can be found at www.counselling-directory.org.uk/ The Fens | January 2017

35


A wintry wander through historic Ely and beyond

After an indulgent festive season, why not plan in a beautiful walk to clear the cobwebs? Leanne Hyland takes us on a tour of beautiful Ely Winter has well and truly arrived in Ely. Temperatures have dropped, branches lay bare and I can finally warrant breaking out my bobble hat and gloves. Not only is today’s walk an opportunity to discover another beautiful part of the Fenland landscape, but also a chance to explore historic Ely and its imposing cathedral. Formerly an island surrounded by marshland, Ely was once revered for its abundance of eels which lived in the low lying Fens. Today eel numbers have dwindled dramatically, but I’ll be paying homage to Ely’s past as I follow a variation of the Ely Eel Trail - an easily accessible, family friendly walk taking in the best bits of this riverside city, its history and picturesque surroundings. I begin at Ely railway station and head towards the waterfront. Here I’m greeted by a long streak of willow trees, their branches dangling in the river, almost bare but warmed by the golden sunshine. At their feet, curiously coloured birds splash enthusiastically in the Great Ouse. Following the river upstream I pass fishermen unhooking their catch and families out for a winter stroll. The children look on in awe as the young anglers unhook a large pike, still wriggling around as it’s placed

carefully back into the water. Ahead, Ely’s Jubilee Gardens and Peacocks Tea Rooms tempt me with their array of treats (try the brownie, it’s delicious!), but I push on and follow the water under a low hanging rail bridge. Beneath the bridge the path opens out and I find myself in a large field. Despite the proximity of trains flashing past, the path feels remote and only scrub and windswept reeds separate me from the river, where hardy folk in wooden boats row past. Trees rise up on the far side of the bank, some remain cloaked in green while others have succumbed to winter’s first frost. In the distance, canal boats are moored snugly beside the riverbank as their inhabitants cosy together inside to keep warm. The smell of wood smoke reaches my nose as I pass, rising up from the boats’ tiny chimneys. Ahead there’s a dirt track which I follow all the way to Cuckoo bridge, a viewpoint from where you can see for miles across the waterways, and beyond Roswell Pits - a nature reserve and site of special scientific interest which formed atop the city’s old clay pits. During excavation of the site, palaeontologists found the remains of ancient marine reptiles from the Jurassic period. Today this park acts as a refuge for all manner of wildlife including Kingfishers, Reed Buntings and Bearded Tits, while more fragile creatures seek shelter in the scrub and reed beds.

Bare branches make squirrels easier to spot 36 The Fens | January 2017


Walk of the month

The Ship of the Fens, Ely Cathedral

Leaving the reserve I journey back to the Cuckoo crossroads and follow a forest track steeped in moss. I spot mushrooms huddled together on large broken trunks and breathe in deep lungfuls of cooling air. Though it can be all too tempting to hang up your boots until spring as winter approaches, you’d certainly be missing out on a lot - the empty paths and lack of crowds, the crisp, fresh air, the rosy cheeks, the welcome hot flask as you stop for a swig of tea and let’s not forget the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day spent in the great outdoors. The forest path leads me to Ely town centre, where I make a right and clamber over cobbles up a long steep hill to the old town. Centuries old buildings line the streets, some dating back almost 800 years – but none rival Ely’s spectacular cathedral. First built in 1109 by monks at a

Warm up with a homemade pie at the Cutters Inn time when Ely was just a small settlement, this historic building is known locally as the Ship of the Fens due to its prominence above the surrounding flatlands. Inside, the grand scale of the building becomes apparent, with its intricate wooden ceiling and tiny candlelit chapels. Today the tower tours are fully booked, but I’ve heard the view from the top is well worth the climb. Back in the fresh air, I stumble away from the Cathedral and follow the winding path of Ely’s city park. The bare branches above my head make squirrels easy to spot and I stop to watch as they scurry confidently through the branches in search of nuts. When I reach the river once again, I turn and look back at the cathedral silhouetted on the skyline. This enchanting city is definitely one to enjoy yearround.

Cuckoo Bridge, the gateway to Roswell Pits

Watch out for prickly plants Canal boats moored on the Great Ouse River

THE STATS

Difficulty Level: Easy. Distance: 6 miles. Time: 3 hours at a relaxed pace. Nearest pub: The Cutter Inn. For something a little different try Peacocks Tearooms.

The Fens | January 2017

37


The

Fens BUSINESS CORNER

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 sales@thefensmag.co.uk AUTO SERVICES BRIGGATE SERVICE GARAGE, 01733 202543, briggateservicegarage.co.uk BUILDING SERVICES EPD INSULATION GROUP, 01733 202996, sales@epdwhittlesey.co.uk NORPILE LTD, 01603 416155, norpile.co.uk CARPENTRY/BUILDERS LILY ROSE CONSTRUCTION LTD, 01733 590121, lilyroseconstruction.co.uk CATERING/HOG ROASTS OCCASIONS CATERING, 07979 497257 occasionscatering andevents.co.uk

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THE BOAT INN, 01733 202488, 2 Ramsey Road, Whittlesey

NEW VISION FITNESS, 01354 622399, newvisionfitness.co.uk FINANCIAL ADVISER EAMONN DORLING, 01733 314553, eamonn@ brookswealth.co.uk FIREPLACE SPECIALISTS ASPECT FIRES, 01733 202220, aspectfires.co.uk FLOORING GROSVENOR FLOORING, 01733 390411, grosvenorflooring.com

CHIMNEY SWEEPS SOOT BUSTERS, 01487 814185 soot-busters.co.uk

FLORIST LUCY’S FLOWERS, 07595 336610

CLEANING SPECIALISTS HUGH CRANE, 01733 206991, hughcrane.co.uk

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

CLUBS WHITTLESEY CONSERVATIVE CLUB, 01733 202381 COMPUTERS SG COMPUTING, 01733 202152, sgcomputing.com CYCLE REPAIRS THE GREEN WHEEL CYCLE CO, 01733 205310, 2 Barnes Way, Whittlesey PE7 1LE DENTIST WHITTLESEY DENTAL, 01733 202587, whittleseydental.com DRY-CLEANERS/PRINT GOLDCREST, 01733 350655, 30 Market Street, Whittlesey ELECTRICIAN FENLAND ELECTRICAL, 01733 350400, fenlandelectrical. co.uk ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING G’S ELECTRICAL, Part P Register Electrician, 07969 880551, Whittlesey FIRST AID FENLAND FIRST AID, 01733

38 The Fens | January 2017

LANDSCAPING AND GARDEN SPECIALISTS, 07774 310915, landscapingand gardenspecialists.com 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 OPTICIANS J NEVILLE OPTICIANS, 01733 208578, jnevilleopticians. co.uk OSTEOPATHS WHITTLESEY OSTEOPATHS, 01733 785214, whittlesey-osteopaths.com PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS BRUDENELL, 01733 202694, ChrisBrudenellPhotography. com  PUBLIC HOUSES FALCON HOTEL, 01733

RECORD STORE/RECORDS WANTED BOB’S RECORDS, 07802 354220, 07711 873435 RESTAURANT/CAFE FONTANELLA’S, 01733 203587 VESUVIO, 01733 204599, vesuviowhittlesey.com DOG IN A DOUBLET, 01733 202256, doginad.co.uk SHOPPING PEACH WILLOW, 07590 505398, peachwillow.co.uk 82 CRAFTS AND CREATIONS, 3 Eastgate Mews, Whittlesey, PE7 1PU

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Some facts about Pensions 1. You don’t have to take pension benefits when you retire. Usually pension income enables an individual to retire, but not everyone is the same – you might have other income or access to capital that can fund your lifestyle – at least for a while. In which case, you could retain your pension and use it later or pass it on to someone else. 2. You have five years in which to claim tax relief. All UK residents under 75 years of age receive tax relief on a pension contribution at 20% - so £8,000 attracts £2,000 tax relief resulting in a gross contribution of £10,000 (that means your net contribution increases by 25%)! If you are a higher rate tax payer you can effectively claim up to a further 20% via a tax return effectively reducing your £10,000 pension contribution to £6,000. Many higher rate taxpayers forget to claim but the good news is that you can go back up to four additional years which could result in a refund or tax code adjustment. 3. You don’t have to contribute monthly. Many savers like to know that a contribution is affordable, particularly if income is irregular. So, lump sum payments can be made and still benefit from the tax efficiency associated with a pension. 4. You do not need to buy an annuity with your pension.Some pensions provide guaranteed index linked regular income. Other plans can buy additional guaranteed income if that is important to you, alternatively you might value the flexibility of taking funds out when it will do most good – there are potential dangers that you should get qualified advice on but new legislation provides flexible drawdown that may be of interest. 5. You can contribute to a pension even if you do not work or pay tax. You can start a pension rather than a savings account for a child. A carer that does not receive an income can have a pension. Your income may be modest enough to avoid tax and yet a pension contribution will attract the benefit of tax relief (within certain restrictions). 6. Pensions are usually free from Inheritance Tax. This is because most plans are in trust and consequently not included in the individual’s estate making pensions a very useful tool when contemplating effective Estate Planning. 7. Your Pension can follow you between jobs. Sometimes a pension includes valuable benefits so it is important to take advice before blindly shifting pensions in to a single pot or moving benefits from one employer to another. 8. You can continue paying in to a pension even if you have retired. Tax relief up to 45% may be applicable up to age 75, so take advice before moving all your spare cash in to a cash deposit – there might be another suggestion that could be more suitable. 9. Sometimes taking pensions before you need them is tax efficient as you may well be able to fund other tax privileged investments which you otherwise could not afford to do. 10. Clients can take a tax-free amount before they retire helping with debt planning for Mortgage repayment for example. 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: Eamonn@brookswealth.co.uk Brooks Wealth Management is a trading style of Ampris Limited who are an appointed representative of Wealthline Limited, Registered in England 08761632 (Registered office: 8a Cowgate, Peterborough) Wealthline Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 684319

The Fens | January 2017

39


Books, music, films, games What we’re

reading

Number 11 by Jonathan Coe; Penguin Number 11 is the eleventh novel written by Jonathon Coe, and although this is my first Coe read, research suggests it has all the hallmarks of his previous novels in that most of his work has an underlying preoccupation with political issues, often expressed comically in the form of satire. Number 11 is a bang up to date, state of the nation satire. Starting with best friends Rachel and Alison, Coe takes us on a social and political journey beginning around the turn of the century. For the most part, Rachel remains the main protagonist throughout, however, Number 11 is not really plot driven or character driven, but rather a number of loosely connected short stories or episodes, where Rachel, predominately, has some link as does the Number 11, whether it’s a bus route, a house number, a table number at a function and also, not surprisingly, number 11 Downing Street. The characters and their unfolding stories are used, in the main, as vehicles for Coe’s brilliant social commentary. His targets are obvious ones but deservedly so including; corrupt business owners, bankers and politicians, social media – including cyber bullying and trolling – and reality TV. Coe also looks at the effect of austerity on the poor – be that housing shortages, a lack of decent job opportunities and the rise of food banks – compared to the unaffected super-rich with their many properties – often standing vacant – with garages alone valued at just under half a million pounds, used for storing cars never driven. ‘I feel,’ Rachel said, ‘that there’s my world, and there’s their world, and the two co-exist, and are very close to each other, but you can’t really pass from one to the other.’ Our verdict… Number 11 is a brilliant social commentary about the current state of our nation. Coe is a great satirist and I often found my mouth lifting into a wry smile, however, I also found myself feeling somewhat deflated with his depressingly accurate observations about the absurdity of modern life. Therefore, it is not a particularly cheery read – and nor should it be. It also descends into a tale of horror towards the end, which although interesting, somehow felt disjointed with the rest of the book. I don’t think this book is for everyone, however Coe’s prose throughout is brilliant and I for one would recommend it.

By Eva Jordan, author of 183 Times A Year

New releases

films

Why Him? (15), A dad forms a bitter rivalry with his daughter’s young rich boyfriend

Release date: December 26th 40 The Fens | January 2017

Wedding Venues

After many hints, ranging from looking solemnly at her ring finger, to the not so subtle asking ‘are you ever going to ask me to marry you?’ I finally did the deed and proposed. Thankfully my girlfriend accepted, and so now I have levelled up on Facebook as my relationship status advances to ‘Engaged’. A couple of months in, and the visits to potential venues have been coming thick and fast. Contrary to my first expectation that we would arrive at these places greeted with open arms and maybe even the offer of a cup of tea, largely the visits have consisted of ‘this is the room you get married, this is where you eat, this is where you dance, any questions? (Next couple arrive.) Get out.’ I have come to know these places as ‘wedding factories’, and the problem is most fall foul of committing one or all of our discussed ‘wedding sins’ which are as follows: • Any place that has a carpet that looks like it was put down in the 70s and wouldn’t have looked out of place in Jack and Vera Duckworth’s house, is instantly dismissed. • When discussing food, any venue that refers to the meal as a ‘wedding breakfast’ is instantly dismissed. Breakfast is eaten in the morning. • Anybody who tries to tell me covering a perfectly good chair in any fabric of any colour is in any way aesthetically pleasing will be politely told to ‘go away’. Since visiting these places, I have discovered details that I never even considered. For example, one lady at a venue seemed to think that I might like my wedding cake cut by a ‘Vera Wang’ knife. There was a prolonged awkward silence after this, with her looking into my startled eyes. Firstly I was startled because I was waiting for her to confirm that ‘Vera Wang’ wasn’t some horrific metaphor for an alternate cake cutter and second, when I reached into the recesses of my mind and found a vague connection to that name as a dress designer, I wondered what about me dressed in a comfy hoody top and naff jeans and my fiancé similarly, said ‘these people care about fancy cutlery’. Long story short, we’re not going there and the quest continues.

§ Joe Ferridge is an occasional writer and is quite happy to eat with his IKEA cutlery


The Writer's Corner Local author and mother of two

Jordan shares her musings

GARDENING

Eva

The inspiration of the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival Well, that’s it, another Christmas done and dusted. Where does the time go? As we bid goodbye to 2016 and welcome in the new year, I for one would like to wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017. And, as our thoughts turn to the year ahead, maybe you’re looking for bargains in the January sales or planning your summer holiday, the bad news is we’re still in deepest mid-winter and it’s cold enough to freeze the proverbial you know what’s off a brass monkey. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. For a start, the shortest day of winter, December 21st, has already passed us by so from here on in, nights are getting shorter and days longer and secondly, January in the Fens gives us another annual festival to look forward to – namely the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival. Undoubtedly one of my favourite times of the year and the inspiration behind my own interpretation of such an event, here is an extract from my debut novel, 183 Times A Year, which takes place in the fictitious town of Great Tosson. Enjoy! My self-indulgent melancholy is temporarily hindered as I push my way through swarms of people gathered along every street. Our small and usually quiet town is bustling and bursting at the seams. An infestation of locals and visitors alike follow the bear made of straw – enthusiastically entertained by an entourage of storytellers and street acts. Musicians provide a melodic din across an eclectic sound of instruments. Bagpipes, Harmonicas, Mandolins and Hurdy Gurdies intertwine with the heartbeat of base and side drums to well known songs such as the The Curly Headed Ploughboy and the Old Drove Road. Flamboyant costumes of the Morris, Molly, Rapper and Long Sword dancers inject a welcome relief of colour into the drab and dreary backdrop. Technicolor tatter-coats dazzle the eye, as do some of the more eccentric waistcoats, rosettes and neckerchiefs. Others sport flashing, neon armbands and some wear straw hats while others show off black bowlers or top hats. Women predominately fashion layered, ankle length skirts that rustle with every twist and turn whilst men prefer knee-length breeches. White handkerchiefs are waved ceremoniously and whoops and cries of varying voice are thrown up and caught on the wind. There is rhythmic clash of metal from the Long Swords complementing the hollow collision of clay pipe wielding Morris dancers. I look across a flock of faces and pick out Dad’s. I continue to push my way through the throng of good spirits, hoping some of it may actually rub off. Enticing smells of mulled wine and roasting hog hang heavy amongst the atmosphere of pagan abandonment. Joyous escape from fuel bills, job losses and pay cuts. A brief but hedonistic trip into carnival and Mardi Gras.

By Eva Jordan, author of 183 Times A Year

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What’s on GUIDE FAMILY-FRIENDLY

OTHER

January 8th

Posh Events Wedding Fayre at 11am to 3pm, Peterborough United Football Club. Free entry and glass of bubbly on arrival

January 9th January 3rd

Lego Club - Whittlesey Library & Community Hub, Market Street, Whittlesey between 10.00- 11.00am. 50p per child. A Saturday morning monthly lego club for children aged between 4 & 11 years January 6th Wildlife in winter. Enjoy a guided walk in the company of conservation officer Chris Park We’ll visit the feeding stations to see which animals are making use of them and also take a good look at the wildfowl on the lakes at Ferry Meadows visitor centre between 9:30-11:30am. Suitable for children 7+

January 21st-22nd

MineVention 2017. Do your children love enjoy playing Minecraft? If the answer to either of questions is ‘yes’, why not bring them to MineVention? A weekend of Minecraft, on-stage fun and games, meeting world famous YouTubers and more! Tickets are £26.50 from The Cresset Box Office

Whittlesea Society meeting. Hannah Vandridge will speak on ‘Shopping Through the Centuries’ at 7:30pm in the Town Hall

MUSIC

January 3rd    

Millstone acoustic sessions at Barnack, 8pm with Claude Domino

January 5th    

Voodoo Unplugged acoustic session, 8pm with Dave and Steve

January 7th

Rob Stevenson at Conservative Club

January 10th   

The Ploughman Open Mic Werrington, 9pm with Stacey

January 11th  

Backroom Acoustic at the Railway Ramsey, 8pm with the Boatmen

January 14th

Straw Bear Day Open To The Public until 5pm at Conservative Club

January 14th

Live music with Holly & The Boatmen at the Falcon Hotel, starting at 5pm

January 13th-15th

January 14th

Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival. Don’t miss out this unique weekend of fun, music and dance. For full details, please see page 6

Steve Jay at Conservative Club

January 14th

January 21st

Whittlesey Museum will be holding a Straw Bear extended opening event

January 18th

First anniversary AGM of the Whittlesey Business Forum will be held at The Falcon Hotel, from 6pm for a 6:30pm start

January 25th

Holiday Show at Conservative Club, Whittlesey. Join staff from Whittlesey Travel and holiday company representatives from 6-9pm, who will be on hand to chat about your holiday ideas

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 - you don't have to be a gym member to attend! £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

January 17th  

The Boat Inn Whittlesey Monthly Open Mic, 8.45pm with Dave and Phil Mark Josef at Conservative Club

January 25th  

Backroom Acoustic at the Railway Ramsey, 8pm with the Boatmen

January 27th  

Whisky bar acoustic sessions at the Boat Inn, 8.30pm with the Boatmen

January 27th

Karaoke with Katie at the Falcon Hotel at 8:30pm in the bar

January 28th

Michael Knight at Conservative Club

January 29th  

Glasshouse Acoustic, Key Theatre, 3pm featuring Steve Gibbs 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

Email the team at hello@thefensmag.co.uk to be included in our events guide. Information is correct at time of printing. Please check with the venue/organiser directly. 42 The Fens | January 2017


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