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The

Fens Issue 2 | July 2016

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

WIN TICKETS

Green Meadows Festival

New

FREE magazine covering the Fens

Visiting

Interviewed local artist James Green

F la g Fen

History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to visit | Media The Fens | July 2016

1


Find us on

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1


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

DESIGN Barley Media Limited

PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell christopherbrudenellphotography.co.uk

ADVERTISING SALES Anthony Shiels Natasha Shiels 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 | Sally Middlemiss | Mayur and Ubhi Mistry

DISTRIBUTION 6,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves and Pondersbridge. Available to pick up from the following places (email 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 Last month I forgot to thank some really important people - our distributors! While we took sanctuary in the warmth, they braved the weather (remember the torrential rain at the very end of May/beginning of June?) to hand deliver our first issue of THE FENS. I did my small bit, and ached for about a week after. So this issue is dedicated to all of them, young and not-so-young, for their help, time and support. And the kind words I received about our June issue, meant it was worth the rain-soaked clothes. And so a new month brings a new addition - we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Cambridgeshire Fens (www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org). Just like us, Cambridgeshire Fens are a team of people who promote local businesses and places to visit, with the intention of building up the tourism in the Fenland area. Each month we’ll bring you ideas and hope to inspire you with different things to do. You can find out more on page 6. Now that summer is finally here, we thought we’d celebrate with some places to visit. On page 8 we review Flag Fen, and for those with families, there’s a guide of local places to visit (page 16). For the more sporty-type, we’ve got an introduction to cycling, and a great interview with local artist James Green. Whatever you get up to this month, I hope you have a great time.

Natasha Shiels Publisher, THE FENS

June 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.

Sally Middlemiss is a British Cycling

James Green is an

Ride Leader and the owner of local bike shop, Rutland Cycling

established artist, working and living in the Fens

p.16

p.26 The Fens | July 2016

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34 8 16

Contents The

Fens

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

WIN TICKETS

Ne w

Green Meadows Festival

FREE magazine covering the Fens

F la g Fen

History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places to visit | Media The Fens | July 2016

8 Exploring Flag Fen 10 This month’s recipe - Rosemary, Sea Salt and Sun-blushed Tomato Focaccia 12 Your garden in July

Visiting

Interviewed local artist James Green

6 Back to the elements

Issue 2 | July 2016

1

Issue 2 | July 2016 Front cover Bees by Chris Brudenell

14 Inspiration for your home 16 On your bike discover the joys of cycling

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 | July 2016

25 WIN tickets to the Green Meadows Festival

19 Your questions answered

26 A day in the life of a Fenland painter

20 The history of the Market Place - part 2

28 Reviewing Eva Jordan’s debut novel

22 Online dating myths debunked

30 The ultimate what’s on guide for events and gigs in the Fenland area

23 Columnist Joe gets green-fingered 24 Whittlesey in Bloom

ng di es ed ag 0 W ck £80 pa m fro

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

18 Family-friendly places to visit this month


Fenland District Industr 2 New Station Road W Peterborough Peterborough Tel: 01733 Tel:01733 0173 Fax: Fax: 0173 E: sales@epdwhittle

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5


Exploring the Fens

Back to the Elements The Cambridgeshire Fens provide an unrivalled experience of the British countryside with big skies, fiery sunsets, languorous waterways and unique opportunities for spotting wildlife. If you want to get back to the elements, this is the place to do it.

Water With more than 200 miles of rivers and drains, both natural and man-made, the Fens offer beautiful places to walk, boat or fish, or just relax with a picnic and enjoy some tranquillity.

Fire The expansive Fenland skies give a free, horizonto-horizon, 24 hour show every day. Moody clouds, thunderstorms, amazing sunsets and starlit nights you wouldn’t ever see in a city, all provide a unique and heavenly backdrop to earthly pursuits.

Earth The rich, peaty soil of the Fens make it ideal for agriculture, and with flat landscapes that stretch for miles, it is perfect for cycling and just enjoying the great outdoors. Wildlife is abundant on the ground and in the air.

Wind Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t get away from wind turbines in the Fens. Like giant kids’ windmills, they provide a unique, graceful backdrop to a stunning wide open landscape, powering the Fens.

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

www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org 6

The Fens | July 2016


Buy one pair of spectacles and get the second pair FREE* (Call us for details)

J

NEVILLE

OPTICIANS

18 Broad Street, Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 1HA

5% o f f

Quote “Fens” Offer ends 31.07.2016

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sales@grosvenorflooring.com

Whittlesey-based independent opticians with over 30 years of experience. Offering a large range of spectacles and sunglasses from standard to designer We aim to provide the highest level of professional ophthalmic services, using the latest techniques and equipment in a friendly, caring environment

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Visit our showroom at: 15 Market Place, Whittlesey PE7 1AB

T: 0800 028 2942 or 01733 840258 E: enquiries@blindsinharmony.co.uk

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The Fens | July 2016

7


Feature

DISCOVER MORE AT

Flag Fen

This month we travelled back 3,500 years to discover what life was like for our prehistoric ancestors at Flag Fen - which boasts to be the finest Bronze Age archaeological site in Northern Europe. Discovered by Francis Pryor in 1982, editor Natasha Shiels visited the remains of the prehistoric causeway to see why it’s still an important site today

O

n a glorious day in June, I visited Flag Fen with our photographer Chris, to see if the place had changed much since I had last been there (over 15 years ago). Standing in the visitor centre, with its child-sized bronze age helmets and plastic swords, it quickly brought back memories of excitement and adventure. My family had always taken us to various heritage sites and my brother and I loved running around, hiding, discovering and being, well, just kids.

Visiting Flag Fen

Flag Fen, like me, has grown up. The visitor centre is smart and offers tea, coffee and snacks alongside souvenirs. And there’s still the lovely sound of giggling children as a school coach pulled up outside. Picking up the guide, I could see that many of the points of interest had lasted - the Bronze Age settlement, which features a reconstructed glade,

Images by Chris Brudenell with roundhouse and garden (plus a delightful group of sheep, who sadly didn’t want to stay for a photo). There had been some funding to preserve this hut, but the team are now fundraising to reconstruct their Iron Age roundhouse.

Must Farm Boats

There were two particular highlights for me. The first was a visit to the preservation hall, where you can see the only visible remains of a prehistoric wooden structure in Britain. I stood in awe of a 3,300 year old structure that was only still standing because it has a constant source of water to prevent it from crumbling away. Yet there was something more surprising waiting for me at another wooden building - the Must Farm boats! I hadn’t realised that they had been brought to Flag Fen, and it was incredible to see them (albeit behind a glass wall and covered in plastic). These Bronze Age log boats have been incredibly preserved and reveal such fascinating history. If you only visit Flag Fen for this encounter, it’d be well worth it.

The Unexpected There’s much more to this site than just

8 The Fens | July 2016

archaeology, although of course you’d get more from it if you were interested in history. But Flag Fen is a beautiful place to visit for its wildlife and vistas; there’s the Lakeside Walk which takes in views of the beautiful Fenland landscape, a pretty little herb garden, plenty of seating for a picnic and a small area with wooden structures for little ones to play and explore. § If you haven’t been before, Flag Fen Archaeology Park might just make a fun morning or afternoon visit for any age. Visit www. vivacity-peterborough.com for more information.


Did you know?

Excavations on the site revealed details of a wooden platform and post alignment that stretch for nearly a kilometre across the fen. These were built up between 1350 and 950BC and are of great national and international significance. Due to the waterlogged nature of the fens, this unique monument has been remarkably preserved

}

Feature

} } Did you know?

It is believed that the post alignment consists of 60,000 vertical timber and 250,000 horizontal pieces of wood, spanning the wet and marshy fen to meet a droveway on dry ground at each end. All the pieces of wood had been worked and shaped with tools

The Fens | July 2016

9


Food

Baking

bread

Construction

Rosemary, Sea Salt and Sun-blushed Tomato Focaccia

Blend the tomatoes into the olive oil (coarse or smooth, it’s up to you!) Put the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt and yeast. Add the tomato olive oil, plus enough of the warm water to make a soft but not quite sticky dough (the more water added the lighter the final result will be). Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand. Roll to about 1cm thick and place on a floured baking tray (a deep square 10 inch tray works well). Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise, it should double. Preheat oven to 180oC. Uncover the risen dough and sprinkle over the polenta (this helps form a crunch and holds the oil). Then push in the rosemary with your finger, making indentations every 4cm or so. Pour on the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 2530 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and well risen.

Don’t be put off making your own bread - it’s not as tricky as you might think and there’s nothing like the taste of homemade focaccia. By John McGinn, Dog in a Doublet

Serves 4 Prepare Less than 30 minutes (plus up to 2 hours proving) Cook 1-2 hours The Bread • 500g Strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting • 2tsp Sea Salt (Dog in a Doublet uses Maldon) • 1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast • 80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil • 100g sunblushed tomatoes • 250ml warm water The topping • Torn rosemary • Extra Virgin Olive Oil • Coarse polenta • Maldon sea salt

{

This dish is part of our eight course summer tasting menu, available from July 1st until September 31st.

Eat, drink, stay!

}

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms

River Nene, between Thorney & Whittlesey | 10 The Fens | July 2016

01733 202256

www.doginad.co.uk


Find us on  Follow us on 

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PETER JAY

FREDDIE HALL

PETER JAY

Summer time F ULL ME NU A VA I LA BLE S O ILN DG E SSE NT IA L B OOK OUT

Jazz, Blues & Motown

Gangster vs Zombie Night

FULL MEN U AV AILABLE BOOKIN G ESSEN TIAL

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PINO SOCCIO

NEW YEAR’S EVE

Christmas Night

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with Pino Soccio performing

B OOK I NG E SSE NT I A L

BOOKIN G ESSEN TIAL

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WWW.VE SUV IOWH ITTL E S E Y. C OM T: 01733 204599

| E: INFO@VESUVIOWHITTLESEY.COM 1 EASTGATE MEWS, WHITTLESEY, PETERBOROUGH, PE7 1PU

The Fens | July 2016

11


live happy this

r! e m m u s with

Slimming World EVERY MONDAY

EVERY TUESDAY

EVERY TUESDAY

EVERY WEDNESDAY

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 07456 864419

Childers (function room), 1a Station Road, Whittlesey 5:30pm and 7:30pm Call Tanya on 07713 595171

Coates Primary School, The Fold, Coates PE7 2BP 5:30pm and 7:30pm Call Jaimee on 07703 800270

Coates

Whittlesey

Whittlesey

Whittlesey

visit the website to read Liz’s story slimmingworld.co.uk 0344 897 8000

Westfield Nurseries Your friendly, local Garden Centre

Large selection of locally grown shrubs, bedding & basket plants Good selection of Vegetables including Seed Potatoes, Vegetable Packs, Packet/Loose Seed New stock arriving weekly during season Conifers, Roses, Alpines, Climbers, Perennials Gravel, Slate, Rockery Stones

Compost Corner - Loads of multi-buy deals on Compost

Garden chemicals - Lawn Feed, Weedkiller, Pest Killers Furniture, Benches, Arches

Everything you need for the perfect garden

*Some items subject to seasonal availability

Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2EX

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

Quality and Value…..Right on your Doorstep

Opening times: Mon-Sat 9am to 5pm; Sun 10am-4pm

Tel 01733 206688

12 The Fens | July 2016


Home & Garden

Your garden in July

The garden is in full swing this month and it’s a great time to sit outside, take in the sights of your garden and enjoy the warm weather. Keep plants looking good by regularly deadheading and you’ll enjoy a longer display of blooms. Make sure you keep new plants well watered and hoe off weeds that can thrive in the sunshine.

Three Essential Gardening Jobs for July Feed and weed Beds and borders will be blooming by now. Adding a liquid feed to your weekly watering regime will give a much needed boost to hanging baskets, containers and borders helping them to produce more flowers. Vegetable crops will also need weekly feeding to ensure the best growth. Keep weeds down – they steal vital moisture and nutrients. Kill them with regular hoeing between the rows of vegetables or in borders. Larger weeds should be dug out or pulled up by hand. Boost your lawn July is a good month to ensure you keep your lawn healthy and even the greenest lawn will benefit from a summer tonic to help it through the season. If you use a granular type of lawn

feed, sprinkle it on as per the instructions and water it in. For something even simpler, use a prepared liquid feed. When it’s hot and dry slightly raise the cutting height of your lawn mower, as taller grass will cool the roots and help keep the moisture in the soil for longer. Continue to mow regularly, just leave it a little longer. Get more flowers Bedding plants, roses and many other perennials benefit from regular deadheading. This will prolong the flowering period, making the garden more attractive, and will also prevent the plants from putting their energy into seed heads. Simply pinch off the fading flowers, or for tougher branches use secateurs. Enjoy your garden!

Westfield Nurseries Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2EX

Tel 01733 206688

Plant of the Month:

Salvia

A member of the sage family, Salvias are a diverse group of plants ranging from annuals to herbaceous perennials and herbs.

Why should you plant them?

With flowers that are popular with wildlife, they not only deliver colour and fragrance but are also great at attracting bees and butterflies. Salvias are long flowering with the potential to put on a great show from June through much of the summer and into autumn.

How should you plant them? Plant in full sun, with very well drained soil, and water well when it’s dry. Trim in the spring to maintain shape and deadhead once the flowers start to fade.

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

Open 7 days a week including Bank Holidays

The Fens | July 2016

13


Home & garden

Finding your

inspiration So, you have decided to refurbish, but what colours should you use? Find your inspiration, explains Simon Parr-Black

Another idea is to look to your wardrobe. You might have a favourite outfit; the colours already suit your complexion, the top stitching adds a little detail and the finish on the buttons are just right. Add in the accessories, and you have a whole scheme sitting right there that

I often look to things that make me smile, be it an image in a magazine or photograph

There are no rights or wrongs, just your own personal taste, how you would like a room or area to make you, and others, feel. These days we have so much access to ideas, through the internet, television and magazines – it can all become somewhat overwhelming. If you are working on your bedroom, you might want it to have a romantic edge, whereas if you are refurbishing your living room, a relaxed light atmosphere could work better. I often look to things that make me smile, be it an image in a magazine or photograph, or out in the garden or on a walk.

suits your personality, and makes you feel good! These components could be revisited in a room perfectly. Gents, you don’t have to feel left out here; think of that pinstripe suit that looks great on, can that inspire a look? Think it through and you have a scheme that really works. Many years ago, I bought a rather large painting - I actually bought two, but later sold one. The remaining painting is quite imposing and has many colours in it. It has been in many different styles of rooms, currently using the colours of the painting on upholsteries, walls, flooring and curtains. Previously, it was hung in a predominantly white space - allowing the painting to be the focus and accent of the room. When you have decided on your colours, make sure you add in some texture - this can really make a scheme come to life. Using a variety of fabrics such as velvet, chenille and flannel, could help to make an accent silk look sumptuous and rich. As always, the colours and textures change in natural light and at night, so experiment to find the way you like it best. A few days considering will be far cheaper than having to replace something because you rushed! § Simon Parr-Black is an interior designer. Get in touch at simonparrblack@hotmail.co.uk; or call 01733 688235 or 07789 885825

14 The Fens | July 2016


Help to save a life If you find someone: • With chest pain? • With breathing difficulties? • Having a seizure? • Who has collapsed? • Has stopped breathing?

• Call 999 • Collect the nearest defibrillator quickly (or get someone else to) You may not need to use the defibrillator but it is better to have it close by just in case. You can always take it back later if it is not used!

During the last two years we have provided Whittlesey with more public access defibrillators than any other town in the country. Yet people still seem afraid to collect them. They can cause no harm and talk to you telling you what to do. Early defibrillation and CPR saves lives. Just waiting for the ambulance to arrive costs lives. Remember 999, and grab and go!

Your local defibrillators No Address Saxon Autopoint, 1

No Address No Address The 3 Horseshoes, 15 Pondersbridge Vill 8

No Address 22 The Little Hair Shop,

2

311 Eastrea Rd PE7 2AP

9

Chippy Sue’s, 14 The Delph PE7 1QH

16

Childers, 1A Station Rd PE7 1SA

23

4 Yarwells Headlands PE7 1RF

3

The Railway Pub, 139 Station Rd PE1 1UF

10

Carpenters Arms, 1 North Green, Coates, PE7 2BQ

17

Whittlesey Bowls Club, 194-198 Station Rd PE7 2HA (during opening times)

24

Boons Transport, Stonald Rd PE7 1QS

4

Westfield Nurseries, Station Rd PE7 2EX

11

Eastrea Centre, 2 Roman Gardens, Eastrea PE7 2BB

18

Decoy Fishing Lakes, Drybread Rd PE7 2AD (during opening times)

25

The Scout Hut, Inhams Rd

5

Nisa Shop, Victory Ave PE7 1XU

12

Coates Primary School, The Fold, Coates, PE7 2BP

19

AJS, Drybread Rd PE7 1JB (during school hours)

26

SHSCC (Sports Hall), Eastrea Rd (during school hours)

6

The Letter B, 53-57 Church St PE7 1DE

13

Town Hall, Market St PE7 1BD

20

Park Ln Sch, Park Lane PE7 1JB (during school hours)

27

Whittlesey Fire Station, Cemetery Rd PE7 1RU

7

Ivy Leaf Club, 1 Gracious St PE7 1AP

14

Grosvenor House, Eastgate PE7 1GH

21

New Rd Sch, New Rd PE7 1SZ (during school hours)

28

The Nags Head, 402 Eastrea Rd, Eastrea The Fens |PE7 July2AR 2016

Peterborough Rd PE7 1NJ

344 March Rd, Turves PE7 2DN

Hall, Oilmills Rd PE7 2LT

34 Bellmans Rd, PE7 1TY

15


Health & fitness

Pedal Power your Summer!

Whether you’d like to enjoy the great outdoors, save money commuting or getting about town, get a little fitter or have adventures, cycling can be enormous fun. Here are some top tips from Sally Middlemiss, British Cycling Ride Leader and owner of Rutland Cycling, to get you out pedalling in comfort and style What to get It’s possible to start cycling with a cheaper bike, but if you’re planning to ride on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth investing in a bicycle with a lightweight frame, made from aluminium or carbon fibre, and good-quality components that will stand a bit of wear and tear. These days bikes come in many shapes and sizes, but if you’re just starting out, I’d suggest you opt for one of these three popular styles: mountain bike, road bike or hybrid bike. The best option for you will depend on where and how you plan to ride; if you’ll be doing all your pedalling on roads, a road bike will get you there quickest. If you prefer going off the beaten track along bumpy trails, go for a mountain bike. If you fancy doing a bit of both, then as long as the off-road terrain’s not too uneven, a hybrid bike is your perfect choice. If you’re looking to ride that little bit faster or further, or are recovering from an injury or illness, then an electric bike is an ideal option. An e-bike provides all the advantages of a regular bike, 16 The Fens | July 2016

while reducing the strain on your body by giving you an assisted electronic boost. E-bikes are also a lovely way to explore the local countryside, enjoying all the sights and sounds without getting out of puff! You do still need to put some of the work in, but the battery power will give you a boost when you need it.

How to choose the right bike I’d strongly recommend that you visit your local bike shop, for expert advice, and to see and try some different models. Most shops, such as Rutland Cycling, are more than happy to share their passion and knowledge with you - no question is too small or silly.

How to learn Rutland Cycling centres at Rutland Water, Grafham Water, Peterborough or Cambridge, host regular rides. Novices – and those getting back into the saddle – are very welcome! Rides are all free to take part in, or you can hire a bike at a special discounted rate. We organise specific rides for women and ‘silver’ (aka older!) cyclists. All our ride information, including dates, routes and meeting points, can be found at www.rutlandcycling.com/rides Alternatively, consider joining a local cycling club. You don’t need to be an expert cyclist, and tips and activities with other people will help you stay motivated and may even help you enjoy the sport more. Information on cycling clubs across the UK can be found on the British Cycling website: www.britishcycling.org.uk How to enjoy your ride Here’s a quick checklist to help you increase your riding comfort and avoid common cycling complaints: aStay hydrated before, during and after your ride – take a water bottle or rucksack with hydration


pack with you on your ride. aWear a helmet to protect your head. aChange your hand and body positions regularly to prevent stiffness. aKeep arms loose and elbows bent to absorb the bumps when you’re riding over rougher terrain. aAvoiding pedalling in a high gear for long periods of time, to avoid knee strain. aRide the correct size bike. aWear the right clothing: padded shorts are a good start, and hi-vis clothing will help you ‘be safe, be seen’ on the roads. Stuffing a lightweight windand-water-resistant jacket in your back pocket is also a smart move, with our changeable British weather! aUse a decent pair of cycling shoes: whether you opt for standard cycling shoes or a clipless shoe/ pedal system, using a shoe designed for cycling will greatly improve comfort…and help you go faster! aInvest in a good saddle: having the rightsized saddle can make a huge difference to your comfort on the bike, particularly if you plan to ride longer distances. The width of our sit bones vary considerably from one person to the next, and it’s not always the case that bigger people have wider sit bones.

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17


Days out

Fun for the family The summer holidays are just around the corner (well, a few weeks away), so here’s our pick of family-friendly places to visit and activities to keep your little explorers happy

HAMERTON ZOO PARK | NEAR SAWTRY, HAMERTON Hamerton Zoo Park was a surprise discovery for us. Around 30-minutes away, this relatively small zoo has plenty of big and little animals to enjoy, as well as two play areas for children of all ages, cafe and a small train (perfect for my train-obsessed son). www.hamertonzoopark.com PIGEONS FARM | THORNEY There’s a lovely atmosphere at Pigeons Farm, where children can see farmyard animals in their most natural habit, and even hold some of the smaller animals. There’s also a lovely cafe serving hot and cold food, an outside play area (with a giant bouncy pillow), and tractor rides on certain days. Check out their website for lamb feeding dates and other special events happening throughout the year. www.pigeonsfarm.co.uk RAILWORLD | NENE VALLEY RAILWAY, PETERBOROUGH My three-year-old son would not forgive me if I didn’t share this one, as it’s one of his favourite places to visit. Tucked away at the Nene Valley Railway Station in Peterborough, this place combines model railways with a wildlife haven. Parents can enjoy a scenic walk and picnic whilst overlooking the River Nene, while their kids can enjoy watching Thomas steam around the track. It’s inexpensive to visit and on a sunny day, you can easily lose yourself in its charm. www.railworld.org.uk/#railways

18 The Fens | July 2016

SACREWELL FARM AND COUNTRY PARK | THORNHAUGH, PETERBOROUGH Sacrewell offers something for the whole family, no matter what the weather - what’s not to love? There’s plenty of animals, some of which you can feed, indoor play barn, cafe, tractor rides and plenty of places to picnic. www.sacrewell.org.uk

SKYLARK MAIZE MAZE AND FUNYARD | MARCH Skylark’s maze and funyard opens this summer on July 16th. Children can enjoy tractor rides, watch pigs racing (and place a bet on your favourite) and climb the zip wire. There’s also bouncy castles, go-karts, obstacle course and more. Skylark also boasts an award-winning cafe. www.skylarkmaizemaze.co.uk BOWL 2 DAY | WISBECH Bowl 2 Day offers 8 fully computerized and nicely maintained lanes to BTBA standard, automatic bumpers, air conditioning and easy scoring system. There’s also an indoor play area, www.play2day.co.uk/ten-pinbowling/


Ask the experts

Q&A

Our experts answer your questions. Send in your questions to us at hello@thefensmag.co.uk or on

Q

SHOULD I UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10? This is a very good question. Here at SG computing, we believe that Windows 10 is one of the best operating systems that Microsoft have ever released, however it does not mean that it’s for everyone. Pros: • Getting the job done is so much easier with Windows 10; you have your own personal assistant ready to help you with day-to-day tasks. Cortana can do many things, such as reminding you about appointments, checking the weather, sending email and even track flights and packages without having to do anything. • Start-up and shutdown is much much quicker. This means that less time is wasted waiting for your computer, allowing you more time to be productive. • Windows 10 has a modern look and feel, with many settings which makes your computer feel more personal. • Installing new devices on Windows 10 has never been easier, and Windows 10 has better driver support built in than before. When you buy a new printer, or any other device, Windows 10 automatically detects and installs the device for you without the need to download drivers online or installing from a disk. Cons: • Microsoft have changed the way Windows starts up and shuts down, making your computer faster to start up and shutdown. Doing this can cause Windows to become sluggish and programmes to not launch correctly, this can be solved with a simple restart of the computer, but this can be frustrating. • Start menu stop working? When Windows 10 was first released, the start menu would randomly stop working when you clicked “Start”. This has since been fixed by Microsoft through Windows updates. Microsoft are giving free upgrade to Windows 10 until July 29th, 2016 for Windows 7 and 8.1 user only. After this date it may not be free.

SG Computing, 01733 202152

b

Q

AS A LATE MIDDLE AGED WOMAN, IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD BE DOING TO KEEP OSTEOPOROSIS AT BAY?

Osteoporosis is a disorder that reduces our bone density and strength. It rarely presents with symptoms, however it makes us prone to fractures in the event of a trauma, e.g. a fall. To appreciate how we can help ourselves combat this disorder, we must first appreciate why/how it occurs. As human beings, we carry out many different activities during our lifetime. Therefore our bodies must continually adapt to our ever-changing tasks. Our bone tissue does this by continually breaking down and rebuilding our bones. At any one time, we can be knocking down and rebuilding up to 10% of our bones! There are two types of cells involved in this process, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The osteoclasts breakdown bone, whilst the osteoblasts rebuild it. When we have osteoporosis, there is an imbalance. Either the osteoblasts are lagging behind, or the osteoclasts are working too hard. The net result is loss of bone density.

The osteoblasts/clasts respond to various signals for clues on how hard to work. These signals come from a number of sources which are: 1. The forces passing through our bodies when we perform a physical activity. 2. Various circulating hormones, particularly those from the adrenal (oestrogen / testosterone), thyroid (calcitonin) and the parathyroid (parathyroid hormone) glands. 3. Foreign substances such as alcohol and some medications (steroids being the most notable). As we are designed to be more physical when we are younger, the quantity of oestrogen/testosterone falls as we age. Unfortunately, the drop in oestrogen after menopause is significantly greater than the testosterone drop in males. Thus osteoporosis is commonly a female disorder. The osteoblasts will obviously need the right raw materials to make the new bone. As bone tissue is made from protein fibres encased in calcium/phosphate crystals, we need to be consuming and absorbing a range of amino acids, calcium and salts. Now we have the basic understanding of osteoporosis, we can work out how to help our bodies maintain our bones. Performing regular load bearing activity or exercise, sends positive signals to our bones, whilst minimising alcohol consumption reduces negative signals. Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, dairy products, pulses/beans, meats and fish, gives osteoblasts the material they need to create new bone. Should we have any medical problems with our adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands, or our kidneys and digestive systems, these need to be investigated and treated accordingly.

Mayur and Ubhi at Whittlesey Osteopaths, 01733 785214 The Fens | July 2016

19


History

The history of the

Part two by Anthony Austin

Market Place W

e saw in part one how the Abbeys of Ely and Thorney co-operated in laying out their new settlement in Whittlesey, based on the street now known as London Street, with its narrow lanes running north to the open fields and south to the Briggate River. At each end of the street, both Abbeys had their own little Market Places controlled by the Steward of each Manor. St. Andrews and St. Marys both received income from the rents they could charge the stall holders. This worked well when the town consisted just of London Street, but as Whittlesey prospered and the town expanded, the little Market Places became too small and overcrowded. As new streets were laid out across the once open fields, the dominance of St. Marys began to prevail over the much smaller Manor of St Andrews. Though the Abbey of Ely was by far the richest and largest, in Whittlesey it was the poor relation compared with the Abbey of Thorney who owned more than double the amount of land. If you look today at the two medieval churches of St Marys and St Andrews, it’s easy to see the difference in wealth. It was inevitable that Thorney, and their rich Manor of St Marys, would come to dominate the town. In fact, as the town expanded, the monks of Ely had to build a road specifically to give themselves access to the new streets such as Broad Street and Market Street. This new access road was laid from the St Andrews Manor House, and buildings in what is now Church Street, across the back gardens of houses they owned in London Street to the junction of Market Street and Broad Street. It was built purely for the use of the staff of St Andrews, and as such was gated and barred - it is still known as Barrs Street. The town and merchants needed a new Market Place, and St Marys had just a site; large, and best of all, right on the doorstep of the Abbey of Thorney’s headquarters in Whittlesey. So what would we have seen if we visited the site of the Market Place? 20 The Fens | July 2016

A typical medieval market. Note the High Cross

First of all, none of today’s buildings existed as they do. Throughout the written records that have survived, the area was usually described as “At the High Cross”. And this gives us a clue as to at least one construction that was here. Not only do we have a High Cross, we do of course also have a Low Cross in the town. We even have a White Cross, which still exists in a truncated form between Eastrea and Coates besides the modern road. Crosses were often constructed on pilgrimage routes - White Cross lay on the pilgrims’ road to the Chapel at Eldernell. They are also found at crossroads or the edge of towns. Crosses were also built outside Monastic complexes as places where preaching would take place. But beside the religious aspect, they were also used as a place where merchants could trade. Even today, the 17th century building on the Market Place is known as the Butter Cross, retaining that link with its medieval predecessor. It’s likely that this space we now know as the Market Place, was an open area in front of the St Mary’s Manor House and its buildings, including a vast tithe barn, all of which stood on the site of what is now occupied by the Town Cemetery,

Childers, St Mary’s Parish Room (as was), the Catholic church and of course St Marys Parish Church. The great Manor House, and all the administrative buildings, would likely have been surrounded by a wall with a gatehouse making an imposing sight behind the High Cross, which either stood on the site of the present Butter Cross, or close to it. Medieval markets were far more lively events than our present day version. They would have been a combination of stalls selling everything from meat to fish, clothes, shoes, butter and cheeses, medicines, crockery - every trade you can think of. To the shouting of the traders, you can add musicians, travelling players, pickpockets and a few drunks thrown in for good measure! For something like 250 years, Thorney Abbey presided over the Market Place, drawing a healthy income both from its thousands of acres of land and fen, and its valuable rents from houses, cottages and the Market. All that was to come to a sudden end in 1540, when the Abbot surrendered his monastery, and all his estates to Henry VIII and his Chancellor Thomas Cromwell. What would happen to the town and its Market Place in the new world of the Reformation?


History

In this new series, we take a look at our local area as photographed throughout the century. In this wonderful image, we can see bullocks standing outside of the old Whittlesey Post Office. They belonged to the appropriately-named Mr Bull, the butcher. Image provided by Whittlesey Museum, Market St, Whittlesey. Open Friday 2.30-4.30pm, Saturday 10am-12, Sunday 2.30-4.30pm. Entrance is ÂŁ1 adults, 50p for children.

Falcon Hotel, London Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BH Function Room Available for all occasions

Entertainment for July 9th July

Lee Major Solo Singer from 9.00pm

29th July

Karaoke with Katie from 8.30pm Sunday Carvery Lunch 12.00 till 2.00pm Restuarant | Function Room | B&B | Outside Bar Available for Hire t: 01733 351001 | e: falconhotel@hotmail.co.uk The Fens | July 2016

21


Online Dating myths

Debunked

Not so long ago, using online dating to find your perfect match was frowned upon. But the steady increase in the number of people using dating sites has transformed the way most singles look for a new partner. Many of us are ditching the clubs and bars and seeking a perfect match from the safety of our own homes, at any time of the day or night. But can you really find true love just a click away? We spoke to Steve Gibbs, CEO of Harvest Dating UK, to find out why dating websites really are the future Tell us about Harvest Dating? I’m a great believer in online dating, I had nothing but success when using online dating myself in the past. That was what made me want to set up my own network of dating sites, which I did eight years ago. I’m very proud of all the relationships, marriages, families and kids that simply wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been set up. From humble beginnings, we now operate in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA and, of course, the UK. We have over a million members across these countries, and all the members of Harvest Dating and Harvest Seniors (aimed at the over 40s) are self-professed nature lovers.

You certainly can (I did!), and thousands do every year. Traditional ways of meeting a partner or companion don't work for everyone. When you find someone through an online site, they may not be perfect, but at least you know that they went to the trouble of joining - so they're single and looking for a relationship!

your ideal partner. Members that pay to join a dating site are more committed to their search and more proactive. Ask yourself this simple question – would you really want to date someone who doesn’t feel that paying for a monthly subscription (less than the cost of a daily newspaper), is really worth it?

How can we stay safe online? Dating sites, like the rest of life, have their share of not so nice people, so we go to great lengths to weed out any members like that. We employ people whose role is to make sure that our members are genuine, and that their posts are acceptable.

How many ‘Harvest’ couples are there? Just from the couples that get in touch to say thank you, I know that we have been instrumental in bringing together thousands of people over the last eight years. That’s a nice feeling.

Online dating top tips aDon't add your address, your phone Here's how it all works... number, where you work or your When you first join Harvest Dating you private e-mail address. become a free member. As a free aGive out personal information member you can create a profile, sparingly, until you can be sure that add a photo, search for people by the person is trustworthy. postcode, create your favourites list aWhen it feels like time to take things and send unlimited winks. You'll also receive an email if someone adds you, to the next level and talk on the phone, use a mobile phone. winks, or sends you a message. aMeeting? Don't get a false sense of security, they are still a relative Can you find a perfect match online? stranger to you. Be on your guard. aMake the first meeting We employ people whose in daylight and in a public place. role is to make sure that our members are genuine aTell a friend where, when and who you are meeting. aMake your own way to and from the date - they shouldn't know exactly where you live yet, remember! aKeep the date to the length you agreed, and when you leave, go your separate ways. If things went well you can then arrange a second date! Why should people pay to join? That’s an easy one – by choosing to join a paid dating site you’re saying you’re willing to make a small investment to find 22 The Fens | July 2016

And finally, what’s your top tip for finding your perfect match online? Be active, it’s up to you to put the effort in and make contact with people you like the look of. You’ll only get out what you put in, and remember, it’s a dating site not a pen pal service – screw up your courage, take the plunge and arrange a date if you’re getting on with someone! I first winked at Martin and we had our first date two weeks later. We gradually realised we’d hit the jackpot and fell in love. We started talking about getting engaged. We bought the ring as Day to get Christm until waited [and] engaged, it was so special and Martin almost cried! We can't thank you and your team enough, we now have an amazing life together to look forward too. It's a dream that absolutely came true!! Online dating really does work!! xx Jan and Martin

§ Find out more at www.harvestdating.co.uk or www.harvestseniors.co.uk


Columnist

Paying for Care Life of an ordinary guy As a 33-year-old man who likes to live life on the edge and experience heart-pounding activities, I recently became the renter of an allotment. I thought this would be a great way to spend some time with my horticulturally minded girlfriend and force me to leave the safe confines of my home, and with it my video games and dvds. However, who would have thought that growing a few potatoes and beans could prove to be so stressful? As I sit here writing these very words, I do so knowing full well that currently several hundred black fly are hosting an ‘all you can eat’ gourmet evening on my peas, while various birds have their beady little eyes locked on even the slightest hint of a berry brave enough to sprout from its bush. The truly upsetting thing is, and what these creatures don’t seem to appreciate, is just how much sweat and effort I have expended to try and grow what I am convinced will, rather than see me through the winter, actually just about sustain me for a single November evening as I feast on a two and half inch carrot served on a bed of kidney bean. And so, without a hint of exaggeration, I have decided to declare war on nature. Rather than my initial manifesto of growing everything organically, I now find myself spraying my peas with a chemical so pungent it smells like something Lucifer has excreted after participation in a hot chilli eating contest, and erecting canes with empty cola bottles for hats in a bid to scare away any avian villains. Still, despite bites from red ants on my ankles and what I sincerely hope is dirt under my finger nails, I must say I am really quite enjoying the whole experience. When the sun is shining, there’s little better than filling the thermos with tea and spending the day digging and planting. It’s just a shame that the only thing I seem to be an expert at growing, are weeds.

§ Joe Ferridge is an occasional writer and lover of hot beverages

A recent article in a national newspaper indicated that care homes were beginning to interrogate families, “to weed out those with less than £150,000”. Clearly this would be very distressing for many individuals and their families; it comes about when a care home requires a level of funding to provide the standard of care that must be delivered to their patients – as much as £750 per week – sometimes more. Put simply, if a patient cannot afford this – the Local Authority may take over the funding but their contribution is considerably lower than this – therefore the care home ends up subsidising that patient. The care home is seldom a charity, they need to make a profit, therefore their business plan can only afford a small number of these patients. Their solution is to seek out those patients that can afford four years care – this might be circa £150,000. Some care homes request that family members sign up to assure ongoing contributions otherwise the room may not be available! The entire subject is complex, needs to be handled sensitively and requires a good knowledge of legislation and financial options available. If this is a matter that concerns you, it is important to have both financial and legal advice. For financial advice I urge selection of a Society of Later Life Adviser (SOLLA) full member that is an Independent Financial Adviser – such a specialist will also have solid professional connections if legal representation is required. Solutions may involve finding access to assets that can provide the level of care required, it may help with the financial protection of an estate so that the assets can be distributed in the most effective way. There are no two cases the same, which is why an initial Fact Finding meeting without obligation is an important first step. Legal representation could help ensure Wills (with or without trusts) are robust and the provision of Lasting Power of Attorney where appropriate – also the ability to challenge a local authority when a decision appears unfair or onerous. For a Free initial consultation please contact me:

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 Fens 684319 | July 2016 23 authorised and regulated by the Financial ConductThe Authority


In other news... Whittlesey in Bloom judging this month

Whittlesey in Bloom is part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Anglia in Bloom competition. The town first entered the competition in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Year. Our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday March 1st was well attended and, during the evening, we took part in an exercise organised by Bob Ollier, Parks and Open Spaces Manager, Fenland District Council, regarding how our entry for Anglia in Bloom is marked and the specifications required – through the eyes of a judge! It exercised our brains and proved to be very interesting. The 2015 ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards’, from the RHS Britain in Bloom, were also presented as follows: St. Mary’s Church Gardens - Developing (level 3); Lattersey Nature Reserve and Friends of the Cemetery – Thriving (level 4); and The Pound, Gateway Projects and Allotments Rejuvenation – Outstanding (level 5). Well done to everyone. We were delighted to be successful in our application to receive a grant from the Tesco Fund distributed by the Town Council. This will go a long way to help the ‘In Bloom’ team maintain and develop new projects this year. We are very grateful to the Whittlesey charities, the Town Council, and local businesses and organisations that have already given donations and supported us. We are especially grateful to RWT Ltd and R J Warren Ltd for sponsoring specific projects. The ‘In Bloom’ team has been busy with continued maintenance of our existing projects, and development of some new ones, in preparation for the Anglia in Bloom judging which takes place during July each year. This year, Whittlesey will be judged on Thursday July 7th. You will see our volunteers out and about weeding and tidying the streets leading up to that date. It would be helpful if businesses and residents would assist us in this by ensuring that their respective frontages are swept and weeded early on July 7th. A portfolio highlighting our work, and giving a history of Whittlesey, has been prepared and 24 The Fens | July 2016

sent off to the judges. New projects for 2016 are the area on High Causeway adjacent to Alice’s Greengrocers, and the large area at the end of the ‘Garden of Rest’. From 2012, we have been awarded better results year on year; from Bronze to Silver, and in 2014, attaining Silver gilt and the Most Improved Town in the Anglia in Bloom competition. In 2015, we were awarded High Silver gilt which the judges assured us was not far off the highest accolade of Gold. Our goal for 2016 is GOLD. The ‘Friends of the Cemetery’ are continuing their work at the cemetery, and would like to remind visitors that take their cars into the cemetery, that the gates should always be closed after entry and exit. Also that dogs are not allowed in the Cemetery. Thank you. If you would like to join us at our next meetings, they are normally held monthly on a Tuesday at 6.30pm at Grosvenor House (The Town Council Offices) – opposite the new bus stop. Dates are publicised on the Whittlesey Town Council website (www.whittleseytc.com). You will be made very welcome. On behalf of the dedicated ‘Whittlesey in Bloom’ and ‘Friends of the Cemetery’ teams of volunteers thank you for your support. § If you would like to help our town and make new like-minded friends, everyone is welcome. Kay Mayor, Chairman: Whittlesey in Bloom / Friends of Whittlesey Cemetery t: 01733 204944 e: kayfmayor48@gmail.com Or find us on Facebook

COUNCILLOR SURGERIES Councillor surgeries will be held in Grosvenor House from 9:30am to 10:30am on Saturday July 9th and Saturday July 23rd. On Saturday July 9th, councillors present will be: Councillor Alex Miscandlon (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Alan Bristow (Town Councillor) Saturday July 23rd Councillors present will be: Councillor Ralph Butcher (County, District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Martin Curtis (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.


Coates Village Show 2016

Summer is fast approaching and the Coates Village Show Committee are looking forward to another successful day – with categories for all to enter and a range of stalls and activities – promising something for everyone! The Coates Village show is an annual occurrence which has two main events. The Show competition, where entrants can put forward a range of produce and crafts to be judged against other entries with the ultimate goal of being crowned ‘Overall Winner’. The other event is a fun afternoon for all the family with lots of exciting activities. Similar to previous years, the competition will have categories for vegetables, fruit and salad, flowers and plants, cookery, photography, handicraft and farming, as well as a range of categories specifically for children. Entry to the competition is open to everyone living in the team parish area Whttlesey, Pondersbridge, Eastrea, Coates, Turves and surrounding farms and smallholdings, as well as any students that go to the schools in this area, no matter where they live. Schedules and entry forms will be available from early June in local shops and pubs, at a price of 50p, or can be downloaded for free from our website foht.wpcteam.org.uk In the afternoon, starting at 1.00pm, there will be a range of activities in the grounds of Holy Trinity including a sweet tombola, raffles and a range of stalls and games offering chances to win and buy! And of course, your chance to see the produce and crafts that have been entered into the show. The 2016 Coates Village Show will be on July 16th, at Holy Trinity, Coates. Closing date for entries is 12.00 noon on Thursday July 14th.

Now in its fifth year, Green Meadows Festival is a gathering of friends and family in the beautiful countryside of Elton Hall Estate near Peterborough. Taking place on August 12th to 14th, the Festival boasts a huge line up of internationally acclaimed artists and DJs across multiple stages. These include Britpop legends Space, BBC Radio’s Craig Charles, dance royalty; Utah Saints and many, many more! Green Meadows has strong ties with the local area, whether it is through raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust’s Addenbrooke’s ward, or offering support to local artists

and performers. This year they have teamed up with BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire for a stage takeover set, to feature the best up and coming acts our region has to offer, including The Rose Affair, The Candle Thieves, and more. BBC Radio Cambs will also be broadcasting live from site. Alongside the music, there will plenty to keep children happy with a full itinerary of free children’s activities in the “Kid’s Corner’, including Circus workshops, mini Music makers, arts and crafts, Jedi Training, inflatables, face painting, kids disco, cinema and much more. The fun doesn’t stop there either, Saturday will be the Fancy Dress day (for adults too!) and with this year’s theme, ‘Enchanted Woods & Magical Creatures’, expect to see a multitude of fairy wings, elfin bows, foxes’ tails and all manner of creations. There is even a children’s fancy dress parade! The Festival prides itself on having a safe and family friendly atmosphere

Annual B2B Charity Bike Ride 2016 For the ninth year, The Letter B pub in Whittlesey, is hosting its annual B2B Charity Bike Ride. Setting off on Saturday July 16th, fundraisers will be cycling over 50 miles to complete a circuit which begins and finishes at the popular Letter B pub. Race organisers, Roger Boon, Russell Hart and Bruce Roan, explained that this year’s local charity will be the Syringe Drivers (No Pain, No Gain). For an entry fee of £20, riders will each get a racing shirt to wear. Such was their compelling story of camaraderie and achievement that the cyclists feel at the end of the race, editor Natasha Shiels has signed up! Watch this space for our race report next month! You can sponsor the group of cyclists by popping into The Letter B pub and speaking to landlord Bruce. The group have already raised in excess of £36,000 over the years let’s see if this year we can make it a record one!

on site, complete with a family camping section, it makes it an ideal place for little ones to get a taste for festivals. There are even hot showers and toilets for those who prefer their experience a little more refined! "Moving to a beautiful new site at Elton Hall and extending to three full days (and nights), we have the opportunity to bring more music and culture to the area, not only with big acts but also continuing to support local artists. It's going to be our best year yet." Ollie Sharp - Festival Founder. Green Meadows 2016 is set to be a fantastic three days! Limited full weekend adult tickets at £55 (inc. camping) are available now. Limited day tickets also available. Visit http:// greenmeadowsfestival.org/ for info and to purchase tickets. Fancy winning a pair of weekend tickets (inc. camping)? All you have to do is email hello@thefensmag.co.uk with your contact details before July 18th. The Fens | July 2016

25


A day in the life of a...

Fenla nd painter

James Green is a professional artist, living and working in Whittlesey with his wife, two young daughters and their family pet dog. Unlike many artists, James has managed to turn his passion and talent into a profession. James uses watercolour and ink to produce paintings of fenland and railway scenes, he has also recently achieved a place into the Guild of Railways Artists.

1. What was it that attracted you to the life of an artist?

I always enjoyed art as a child but only managed a C-grade for art in school; to be honest, because that was one of my best grades, I decided to pursue it as a career. It was as simple as that really.

2. What inspires you? Why is the Fenland landscape so appealing?

The Fens feature heavily in my landscape paintings simply because it’s on my doorstep; having reference to hand is a must for any artist. Commercially this makes sense too, having a potential customer base close by who can relate to this subject matter. The Fens really have a unique feel to them with the open flat landscapes and big skies, an artist 26 The Fens | July 2016

could never run out of interesting scenes to paint here. Having said that, I’m sure if I lived anywhere else in the country I would find inspiration Photo by Chris Brudenell

from that area too. With my railway paintings, I’m really inspired by the end of the steam era in 1960s, just the whole dirt and grime of it all. Although I wasn’t born at that time, I still get inspired and find great appeal in the old photographs.

3. Tell us about a typical day?

Each day varies; I could spend the day at the printers, proofing limited edition prints of my work, or I could be displaying and selling my paintings at a show, which can often mean a lot of traveling and being away from home for a few days. However, a typical day would be spent in my studio, with the help from my wife who plays an important role in the day to day running of the business. We can spend the morning together framing up my prints ready


‘Black Fives’ by artist James Green

On the positive side, I get to meet lots of collectors of my work, and there is nothing more satisfying than having someone like one of my paintings enough that they buy the original painting or a print of it - it just makes all the hard work I put into a painting worth while.

5. What advice would you give to somebody thinking of taking on the same career?

Try and specialise in one subject matter, so that you can build up a reputation in that particular field. Obviously the subject matter would need to interest you too. Be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time and effort away from the easel to promote yourself, like most careers, you achieve your success by the hard work you put in.

6. If you could do anything differently, would you and why?

Business-wise, when I first started, I made so many mistakes, but I’ve leant from those mistakes over the years so wouldn’t change that. Artwork-wise is different; I’m self-critical and often look back at many of my paintings and wish that I had done that differently, or added something, or moved that tree, etc, but that’s common for an artist. You never know, one day I might create a painting I’m 100% happy with!

7. And finally, if painting hadn’t worked out, what do you think would have been your career? I would say I would be working on computers producing Technical Illustrations; I did study this at art college but when I graduated in 1996, I chose instead to concentrate on the traditional side of the arts, and I’m pleased I chose that path. ‘Morning flight’ by artist James Green

§ You can find out more about James by visiting www.jamesgreenart.co.uk or calling 01733 203230.

for orders to be dispatched, or ready to take to my next show. I then like to spend the whole afternoon painting. I’m not keen on working an hour here and there on a painting, instead I prefer to have a good run and work on a painting for at least four or five hours at a time. (Often I like to listen to some classic rock while working, this seems to help me get the creative juices flowing).  Typically a painting can take between one and four months to complete.

4. What are the positives and negatives of working in the industry?

People have a romantic impression of an artist’s life, thinking it’s a very relaxing lifestyle. In reality, to make a living, you need to do far more then that. There’s admin work, packing and posting orders, self-promotion including demonstrating to art groups, updating website and social media, networking, framing prints, exhibiting, supplying galleries with stock, working with printers to produce accurate prints, etc. This often means painting comes second. 

‘Woodland Escape’ by artist James Green

The Fens | July 2016

27


Books, music, film and games What we’re

reading 183 Times a Year, Eva Jordan; Urbane Publications Parents with teenage children who feel like they’re fighting a losing battle, take note - you are not alone. Local author Eva Jordan’s debut novel, 183 Times a Year will leave you feeling relieved, and just a little bit better. Based on the relationship, in particular, between mothers and daughters, this story follows Lizzie who is the anchor to her slightly dysfunctional family, and her two children Cassie and Connor, and her step-daughter Maisy (or is that Mania). Taking in turns to tell the narrative, these characters perfectly embody the lives so many of us lead - stuck staring at our phones, caring a little too much about what other people think and do, and desperately trying to make our lives ‘perfect’. There are clever twists and heart-warming moments in this novel, as a terrible betrayal and physical attack threaten to pull apart their lives. Topped with a mention of a certain Straw Bear, Eva has cleverly illustrated contemporary family life. Will Lizzie, Cassie, Connor and Maisy get their happy ever after, or will tragedy leave the family broken? You will just have to read it to find out!

Our verdict...

“Testing, testing, one, two, teens...” There’s a lot to 183 Times a Year, besides the relationship between mothers and daughters. There’s wonderful references to music, moments that make you laugh out loud, and a really important lesson that we all could do with taking note of. At times you are reminded what it is to be a teenager again, before you’re whisked back to the worries and hardships we, as parents, face. Would I recommend it? Certainly, yes.

New releases

music

ELLIPSIS, Biffy Clyro; £12.99 Release date: July 1st 28 The Fens | July 2016

Briggate Service Garage MOBIL LUBRICATION SERVICE

Friendly, personal service • Cars & light vans • Service, repairs & MOT • Vehicle air conditioning service • New & used car sales • Petrol & diesel sales • Tyres & exhausts Briggate Garage, Ramsey Road, Whittlesey PE7 1DR Open Mon-Fri 8am to 5:30pm | Sat 8am to 12:30pm

01733 202543 | info@briggateservicegarage.co.uk

www.briggateservicegarage.co.uk

Goldcrest

Dry-Cleaners

& Garment Printing Coat £9.60 Dress £9.60 Jacket £6.50 Skirt £4.90 Suit £9.60 Trousers £4.90

Includes retexturing and hand finishing

Agent Level 7

42A High Street, March PE15 9JR

Tel: 01354 661145

30 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BD

Tel: 01733 350655

goldcrest-wheelcentre@btconnect.com


HANDYMAN

COMPUTING

Paul, no job too small Gardening Handyman Carpentry Carpentry work Painting/decorating decorating Light Light household maintenance For a FREE no obligation quotation, contact Paul:

T: 01733 688537 E: paul.748@hotmail.co.uk

WINDOW CLEANING

GARDEN & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE  Block paved driveway cleaning & repairing  Block paved driveway laying, resanding & sealing

Window Cleaner

 Patio cleaning & repairing

Traditional mop & blade, est. 2002

All frames and sills included in price UPVC facia boards, gutterings, gable ends and conservatory roofs

For a free quote call

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T: 01733 709348 M: 07429 542614

 Patio laying  Roof cleaning & tile replacement NO JOB TO BIG OR SMALL

 Lawn mowing, hedge trimming & weed pulling  Fences repaired, replaced & painted

Call Jason: 07950

376527

 Tip runs

The Fens | July 2016

29


What’s on guide CHARITY July 9th

9.30 - 12.00 noon. Used book sale at Holy Trinity, Coates. Over 1,000 paperbacks at 50p each or 3 for £1. All profits go towards upkeep and maintenance of the church

July 9th

Thorpe Hall Summer Fete - Thorpe Road - 11am-4pm - Entrance £2 www.sueryder.org/get-involved/ events

July 10th

Coffee/Cake and shopping event at the Ivy Leaf club on Sunday 10th July, 10am-2pm. Proceeds to Marie Curie. Free entry

COMEDY/THEATRE

FAMILY-FRIENDLY July 16th

AJS Fete, 12:00-2:00pm. This year’s fete is being opened by John and Gina Ferridge, raising funds for Children with Cancer UK. Lots of things to do plus stalls and an arena with various demonstrations

July 16th

Coates Village Show. Full details about the competition can be downloaded at www.foht. wpcteam.org.uk. The family fun afternoon starts at 1:00pm at Holy Trinity, Coates

OTHER July 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th

Artists’ open studios 2016. Inspirational art in homes and studios throughout the surrounding villages. Find out at www.paos.org.uk

July 15th

The East of England Careers Show at Peterborough Arena between 9:30am and 3:30pm. This event is aimed at young people aged 1424. Entrance is free. www.peterborougharena.com

July 30th July 7th

Romeo and Juliet, live screening from The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at The Key Theatre. Tickets £16 full price. www.vivacity-peterborough.com/ venues/key-theatre Whittlesey & District

Business

FORUM

Whittlesey Business Forum’s next meeting is July 20th at the Falcon Hotel, London Street. Meet at 6pm for a 6:30pm start.

Whittlesey Conservatives are holding their annual summer Cheese and Wine Party at Paradise Lodge, Paradise Lane, Whittlesey, by kind permission of Julie and Robert Windle. Guest speaker will be Stephen Barclay M.P. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £10 per head and are available from Julie Windle on 01733 204445

July 31st

Whittlesea Motorcycle Club Festival is being held at Coates Green (outside the Vine pub). Come and see a display of classic, old and modern bikes, with cakes provided by Coates WI, and various other stands. From 11am All welcome. www. whittlesea-motorcycle-club.co.uk

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.

30 The Fens | July 2016

MUSIC July 2nd

Thomas Jay Duo at Conservative Club

July 3rd

Children of the Revolution playing at Hubs Place, from 4pm to 8pm. Tickets are £10 which includes a burger or hot dog. Tickets available at Hubs and J. Jones Butchers. Raising funds for Whittlesey Junior Football Club

July 9th

Lee Major Solo Singer from 9.00pm at the Falcon Hotel

July 9th

Rob Stevenson at Conservative Club

July 15th-17th

Beer, cider and sausage fest. Live music from Easyer Said on Saturday, quiz of the year on Sunday from 3:30pm. There’s also a BBQ on Sat and Sun. All at The Letter B pub

July 16th

Dave Logan at Conservative Club

July 17th

Music on the Square - FEDZ and Shannon will be performing. Whittlesey Market Place at 2pm

July 19th

Open mic at the Boat Inn, 9pm

July 23rd

Atherney Reborn at Conservative Club

July 29th

Karaoke with Katie from 8.30pm at the Falcon Hotel

July 30th

Karl at Conservative Club

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, based around traditional Sun Salutations, 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


The Countryside?

We love it!

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With thousands of local members to choose from, there has never been a better time to join Harvest Dating UK - so why wait? Join for FREE, Now - your perfect date could be just a click away! For mature readers, there’s a dedicated sister site called Harvest Seniors UK - exclusively for the over 40s Full membership can cost as little as a few pennies a day, so it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to meet the love of your life

Visit

www.HarvestDating.co.uk or www.HarvestSeniors.co.uk

now and get the Harvest magic working for you!

The Fens | July 2016

31


RISE ABOVE the rest this

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01733 20 25 25 32 The Fens | July 2016

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