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fens THE

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

FREE

Issue 15 | August 2017

WIN

A PICNIC HAMPER worth £45

VISITING

RSPCA Block Fen THE BEST PICNIC SPOTS REVEALED

HISTORY | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON The | PLACES TO VISIT1 | Fens | August 2017


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The Fens | August 2017


ED’S letter

It’s another sunny day, two days after our charity walk, and my legs still ache! I was blown away by the support we received both by volunteer helpers and participants. We enjoyed lovely sunshine, which I’m sure helped, but we had walkers of all ages, from fourlegged friends to somebody who walked on their birthday! And it seemed that everybody else enjoyed the day as much as me. You can see our photo gallery and long list of thank yous on page 19, and I can assure you that we will definitely hold the event again next year. Congratulations also to Andrew Inman who won our prize of a family ticket to Peterborough Greyhounds. And so we look ahead to August. With the long summer days, what better way to spend this month than enjoying our wonderful countryside. We have a great walk suggested by Leanne (If you haven’t had enough of walking), and some ideas on places to enjoy an outdoor picnic. We also have another fabulous competition, courtesy of Carluccio’s, and tickets to a brand new music festival in September. Last month we visited March museum and RSPCA Block Fen, and we would thoroughly recommend visiting both places if you get a chance. Enjoy the weather and let us know what you get up to.

NATASHA SHIELS, publisher

THIS month 6 WIN a picnic hamper

21 Are you active enough?

7 Win two tickets to Project Fest 2017

28 Getting closer to nature

11 Find the perfect picnic spot 15 Your garden in August

30 Visiting RSPCA Block Fen 36 Our recipe of the month

19 Charity walk gallery

40 Exploring March and District Museum

20 On the farm with farmer Phil

44 Interviewing David Fensom 48 Our walk of the month

fens THE

52 What’s on this month

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

FREE

Issue 15 | August 2017

WIN

A PICNIC HAMPER worth £45

54 Independent of the month Dog in a Doublet

VISITING

RSPCA Block Fen THE BEST PICNIC SPOTS REVEALED

HISTORY | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON The | PLACES TO VISIT1 | Fens | August 2017

THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk EDITORIAL/SALES ASSISTANT Amy Corney amy@thefensmag.co.uk SUB EDITOR Valerie Matthews/Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell christopherbrudenellphotography.co.uk ADVERTISING SALES sales@thefensmag.co.uk 01733 202049 | 07927 192854 Becky Daines becky@thefensmag.co.uk ACCOUNTS 01733 202049 sales@thefensmag.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at hello@thefensmag.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS Simon Parr-Black | Joe Ferridge | Eamonn Dorling | John McGinn | Westfield Nurseries | Anthony Austin | Mayur and Ubhi Mistry | Eva Jordan | Leanne Hyland | Robert Bull | Whittlesey Veterinary Centre | David White | Tia Henderson | Kerry Smith DISTRIBUTION

9,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves, Pondersbridge, Benwick, plus copies in March, Wisbech, Ramsey and Queensgate Shopping Centre

www.thefensmag.co.uk facebook.com/thefensmag @thefensmag thefensmag

ISSUE 15 | AUGUST 2017 Picnic shoot with thanks to Nene Park Trust and Lakeside Kitchen and Bar. Photo by Chris Brudenell

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@thefensmag.co.uk. Barley Media Limited accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | August 2017

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Win

OUR FAVOURITE PICNIC WINES

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Adult picnics are provided in a cool bag and children’s in a paper bag. The retailers within Queensgate Plastic cutlery and napkins are provided. Additional elements in the pictures are there for display purposes only.some Wine is notamazing included. shopping centre have V Suitable for vegetarians

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The Fens | August 2017


News

BOOK NOW FOR THORPE HALL HOSPICE’S ANNUAL ART WEEK PROJECT FEST IS COMING Coming to Peterborough Arena on September 23rd is Project Fest, a brand new over 18s music festival for fans of dance, trance, hardcore and hard-dance. Dubbed as the ultimate end of Summer party, this brand new festival will feature 80 artists, five arenas, food, drink and entertainment. For those looking to make a long weekend of it, a camping ticket will get you access on Friday through to Sunday. Watch out for our interview with DJ Danny Burch, founder of Project Fest, next month.

WIN TWO TICKETS TO PROJECT FEST 2017 Would you like to be one of the first to get your hands on Project Fest tickets? We’re giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. Simply email win@thefensmag.co.uk with the subject heading “Project Fest” by August 10th. One winner will be selected at random.

Local amateur artists are once again being given the opportunity to paint in beautiful surroundings and gather tips from experts at the annual Art Week staged at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. This year the spotlight will also be shining on creations by children from West Town Primary Academy who will be hosting an exhibition showing their artwork inspired by the hospice, mansion house and gardens. Art Week has been a regular fixture in the summer calendar at Thorpe Hall for 14 years, attracting hundreds of artists from across the region keen to learn new skills from experienced tutors. The event, running from August

14th to 18th, is organised to raise funds for the Sue Ryder hospice based at Thorpe Hall in Longthorpe. Places are still available to learn watercolour techniques and work with inks during day workshops. There is also the chance to paint in the hospice gardens without tuition for a small donation. Volunteer fundraiser and Art Week organiser Linda Dalton said: “We love to see our regular artists who return each year but are especially pleased to welcome new people to the event. The atmosphere is always great – plenty of learning and lots of fun. We are so grateful to the tutors who give their time so generously to help us.” Booking forms are available now by emailing linda.dalton@sueryder.org

WHITTLESEY STREETPRIDE 10TH ANNIVERSARY This year we have a variety of occasions, mostly concerning seating in various parts of the town and surrounding areas, starting with a donated seat which Streetpride members have refurbished and installed along the the path by the river. This seat will be officially launched on August 12th at 10am by cutting of a ribbon and the cracking of a bottle

of Champagne!! Secondly, a bench will be sited part way along the Green Wheel path heading towards Peterborough, this bench has been funded by Whittlesey Lions and will be installed in the next few weeks. The cheque for £500 was presented at the Lions barbecue by the President Steve Palmer. Thirdly, another bench which has been funded by Whittlesey Round

Table to the sum of £500 will be sited on the grass leading up to the Queen Street doctors’ surgery, again this will be done in the next few weeks. In addition to these happenings, we are caring for all the projects around the town helped by volunteers with the watering. If anybody would like to help or join us for any litter picking you are most welcome. Look on our website or call Fred Mills 01733 202874 The Fens | August 2017

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News

COUNCILLOR SURGERIES

THE BANK JOB ARRIVES We last visited Escape Peterborough in April. The small team were taking the city by storm with their three themed rooms, giving participants 60 minutes to solve puzzles and escape the room. Their phenomenal success has led to a brand new room, opening in August. The Bank Job is a new and exciting room with a different aim to their other three rooms. Instead of working out of an escape room within 60 minutes, The Bank Job will see you and your team having to break into the bank, de-activate the security systems and steal as much money as you can within the time limit! If you fail to leave with your loot, you will be caught! Visitors can either play as a team and take on the bank, or join up with up to 12 people and go head-to-head to see who are the best theives!

Councillor surgeries will be held in Grosvenor House, Whittlesey, from 9:30am to 10:30am on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2017. SATURDAY AUGUST 5TH COUNCILLORS PRESENT WILL BE: Councillor Steve Garratt (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Bob Wicks (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.

The Bank Job opens on Friday 4th August and bookings can be made via www.escape-peterborough.co.uk Escape (Peterborough) 23 Church Walk, Peterborough PE1 1SB 07960 987724

FLU VACCINATIONS New Queen Street Surgery will be holding their Flu vaccinations this year on Saturday 23rd and Saturday 30th September between 8.30am and 11.00am.

Whittlesey Athletic FC Update The face of Whittlesey Athletic has changed significantly since last season and we wanted to take this opportunity to let you all know what we’ve been up to since May. We now have new Co-Chair people in the form of David Moore and Gary Munns, along with a new Vice-Chairperson in Tom Owen. They all bring with them a wealth of experience of local football and knowledge of running successful businesses in the area. We also have a very strong, experienced committee, but we are always looking for new people with new ideas. Get in touch if you want to be part of the plans we have for the next few years. The entire committee’s aspirations for the next five years look very exciting for the club and the local community. Development goals for our Feldale ground include creating additional changing facilities, a large permanent clubhouse structure, 8

The Fens | August 2017

seated stands and standing areas for spectators and implementation of floodlights to name a few. The new football season has already started for us and once again we will be running four senior men’s sides in the Peterborough & District Football League, but it is not too late if you’re looking a new club to play for. We train every Tuesday and Thursday night at Feldale from 6.45. Please contact us via facebook, twitter or our website for further details. Our league games will start from Saturday 5th August and there will be home games on every Saturday at both Feldale and the Manor until May. Why not come down and support the lads in their aim for success this year; the bar will also be open! One very important priority for us, away from the football, is to create a fantastic facility that can be used by the entire community. We would really love this to be something for Whittlesey and the surrounding

parishes to be proud of and want to be involved with. We will be looking for community groups, other clubs and sports teams to call this their home in the future. To achieve our goals, we need you! We need the support of the community; just one person’s or one business’ help will make a difference. Please get in contact with us if there something you can help with from volunteering to sponsorship to supporting our fundraising events. We are in the process of creating a calendar of events and the details of these will be released soon! CONTACT THE CLUB ON Twiiter: @WhittleseyAthFC Facebook: @WhittleseyAthleticFC Website: www.whittleseyathleticfc.co.uk


BENWICK JUDGED AT ANGLIA IN BLOOM On Wednesday July 5th, Benwick village was officially judged in the Anglia in Bloom Annual Competition. It has been a difficult year with the extreme weather conditions, but we have done all we can do. Jill Hindle added: “Thank you to all our helpers and to all our supporters who have gone the extra mile in making Benwick look so nice.” “Thank you to Lofty for the loan of the Five Alls Pub to meet and greet our two judges, and show off our presentation with tea and home made cakes.” This year the group were fortunate to obtain funding from The Burnt House Wind Farm and Ransonmoor Fund, which enabled them to purchase equipment and self-watering planters. These are in situ on the Whittlesey Road Bridge and Lilyholt Road. “Benwick is now beginning to take on a picturesque look at last,” Jill added. “There are areas that still need to be addressed, which we would have liked to have added to our route to collect vital marks, such as our cemetery and also the allotments. These are such important areas of a village, however these were unfortunately not up to scratch.” The judges were impressed with the newly refurbished play park, which was immaculate and had excellent equipment and an impressive design. There is now a bit of a wait until September at the Anglia in Bloom Awards Ceremony to find out how Benwick fared. “It's not all about results,” Jill explained. “It's good to get accolade but we ‘Bloomers’ do what we do because we care about where we live, and need to preserve this little unique Fenland village of ours.” Image above: Anglia in Bloom judges Ian Hayes and Alan Lovett with ‘Bloomer’ Clare Billington, admiring Lilyholt Road self-watering planter, which was funded by the Burnt House Wind Farm Community Fund.

News

COACH HOLIDAYS

take a step forward

Nowadays, travelling by coach is probably the most convenient and comfortable way to go anywhere. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, watching the world go by from the panoramic windows. And setting off on a coach holiday with local coach travel specialist, Shaw’s Coaches, just couldn’t be easier – they even come and collect you from your door. Their new Autumn/Spring brochure features a superb selection of resort-based and scenic holidays and short breaks, including some lovely autumn colours tours and some great Christmas shopping weekends. . It’s also easy to have a super, stress-free day out when you book a Shaw’s day tour. Their new Summer/Autumn day tour brochure includes a huge choice of destinations suitable for all ages, including top West End shows from only £59 per person. There’s also a great choice of family friendly destinations that have been

specially arranged for the school summer holidays. Some departures feature a special ‘Book 4 seats for the price of 3’ offer and discounted child fares are also available on selected dates. Don’t miss these great days out: Skegess - 29 August ZSL London Zoo - 31 July Great Yarmouth - 1 August Woburn Safari Park 7 August The Harry Potter Experience at Warner Bros Studios - 21 August Crich Tramway Village 22 August London’s South Bank - 30 August, including an option to buy a ticket to ‘The Art of the Brick’, the world’s largest LEGO exhibition Find out more at Shaws of Maxey on 01778 342224 or by visiting www.shawscoaches. co.uk The Fens | August 2017

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Enjoy a break on the Cambridgeshire Waterways Day Boat Hire

of Maxey

Our day boat hire lets you meander along the tranquil Fenland Waterways through the town of March, Eastwards towards the village of Upwell. Pass through the Marmont Priory lock and the village unfolds before you. Upwell is one of the most picturesque villages in Fenland. Travel on to Outwell basin for a picnic at the former junction of the Wisbech canal.

NEW DAY TRIP & DOOR2DOOR HOLIDAY BROCHURES NOW OUT

Our award winning trips include…  42nd Street  Andre Rieu  Buckingham Palace State Apartments  John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration Concert  plus lots more amazing days out

Alternatively head west passing Floods Ferry Marina Park and crossing the Greenwich Meridian before arriving at Ashline Lock and the town of Whittlesey. ‘Wind’ your boat above the lock, picnic in Manor Fields or treat yourself to a meal in town before commencing the return journey to March.

PROUD WINNERS OF HOLIDAY PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR 2016

“easy to read brochure with eye catching illustrations, a comprehensive range of holiday destinations and that something special”

Our day hire narrowboats have a galley complete with hob, fridge and crockery. A toilet and seating area. The boat can hold up to 10 people. Collection from 9:30am, returning for departure at 6pm.

GIFT VOUCHERS

– the perfect present for any occasion! Contact our friendly & experienced team today for a brochure or to book

01778 342224 enquiries@shawscoaches.co.uk www.shawscoaches.co.uk

Tel: 01354 652770 Email: holidays@foxboats.co.uk Web: www.foxnarrowboats.com Fox Narrowboats Ltd. 10 Marina Drive, March, Cambs, PE15 0AU

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FIND YOUR

Perfect Picnic August is the perfect month for an al fresco dining experience. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly place or something a little different, we have rounded up some of the best places to enjoy a summer picnic A picnic offers the opportunity to spend some quality family time together, gets everyone outdoors and costs very little money. Come rain or shine, these places offer something a little different for enjoying some family time or even with a group of friends (don’t forget to pack the gin and tonic!).

FAMILY FAVOURITE

I couldn’t talk about picnics without mentioning one of my personal favourite places to visit with my children. Of course I’m referring to Nene Park. Set just minutes away from the centre of Peterborough, Ferry Meadows Country Park has everything a family (or dog-owner)

could possibly want. From acres of green space, beautiful lakes to playgrounds and facilities to keep all members of the family happy, Ferry Meadows is ideal. Take a stroll beyond the Visitors’ Centre and you will quickly find quieter paths and tucked away corners of the park for an intimate picnic. Or if you’re after something a bit more energetic, why not find a spot near the Watersports Centre or better yet, work up an apetite on an activity on the lake! The fantastic array of facilities on site mean that there’s a dog and child-friendly shop, cafe, toilets and bike hire. And if you’re staring at your sandwich in dismay, I can not The Fens | August 2017

11


recommend the Lakeside Kitchen and Bar highly enough for a spot of lunch. We tested out some delicious scones for our front cover shoot and fought over the last mouthful! Ferry Meadows operates a park and pay system, so don’t forget to pay for your parking before you leave. If you’re looking to enjoy some of the watersports activities whilst visiting, it is advised to call before visiting to check for availability on 01733 234193 or visit www.neneparktrust.org.uk/ferrymeadows

FUN ON THE FARM

The sound of sheep and the familiar sight of inquisitive goats, it has to be Sacrewell! One of the best farms in Cambridgeshire, Sacrewell has enough activities on site to keep even the fussiest customers happy. During the summer months, Sacrewell has extra activities running, from duck racing, lamb nationals, leatherworks to tractor rides and plenty of animals to meet. Pick up some animal feed and take a walk through the vast site and you will discover picnic benches overlooking the newly restored Watermill. If it starts to rain, visitors can take shelter in the playbarn (perfect for babies through to big kids) and order hot tea or coffee. And if you find you’ve left the picnic hamper at home, indulge in some freshly prepared food in the cafe. Tractor rides and animal feed are extras, but the entry price includes full use of the farm and on a beautiful summer’s day, you could easily spend the day here. For further details and events throughout the year, call Sacrewell on 01780 782254 or visit www.sacrewell. org.uk

THE WONDER OF WATER

Picnics don’t have to be on land, what about enjoying one aboard a narrow boat? River banks and inland waterways provide some of the best scenery that England has to offer. Fox Narrowboats, based in March, offer you the chance to experience a narrowboat holiday where you can stop just about anywhere you like. (Just don’t moor your holiday narrowboat near bridges, junctions, locks or in other companies’ boatyards without their permission.) Most companies offer day hire, including Fox Narrowboats. Some of the best picnic spots you can enjoy nearby are Lance Hunter Rowe Boat Basin at Outwell, and West End Park moorings in March. Depending on the weather, you can sit al fresco or eat in the comfort of the boat (where you will find tea making facilities, plenty of indoor seating and toilets!) Fox Narrowboats offer day boat hire between 9.30am – 6pm, with a maximum number on each boat of 10 (two of which must be adults). Prices vary so please do enquire by calling 01354 652770 or visit www.foxboats.co.uk

INNER CITY HAVEN

On a derelict piece of land in the centre of Peterborough, a collection of volunteers led by Brian Pearce, had a dream of a wildlife haven. Part of Nene Valley Railway and Railworld, the Wildlife Haven has been transformed to include ponds, waterfalls and sitting areas. Visitors can enjoy watching (and controlling) model railways and a short walk across a restored metal bridge, takes you to the North side and ‘Rev Richard Paten’s Nature Haven’. This inner city oasis is a habitat

creation project for native species, featuring many ponds and cascading waterfalls. It is a lovely place to explore and learn about nature. So what makes it the perfect spot for a picnic? It’s secluded from the city, but with free parking and easy to access, it can be suprisingly peaceful (aside from the occasional train chuffing past). There are picnic benches taking in the River Nene and you can pick up an ice-cream and cup of tea from the visitor centre. KIDS GO FREE - Simply bring this magazine with you for free entry to Railworld this summer for your children. Railworld is open 11:00am to 4pm. A family pass costs £10.00 (2 adults and 3 children). Adults - £4, Concessions £3, – Children - £2. For more information visit www.railworld.org.uk 01733 344240

SOMETHING FOR THE CULTURED

Situated in Stamford, but hidden away from the usual bustle of city life, sits Tolethorpe Hall. Mostly known for for the Rutland Open Air Theatre which was built on its grounds, the setting couldn’t be more ideal for a spot of dining outside. The beautiful gardens, enhanced by BBC gardener Bunny Guinness, overlook classic English parkland, where every night, for 12 weeks, hundreds of people enjoy picnics before heading into the auditorium to sit back, relax and be entertained. Don’t worry if you forget your bottle of bubbly, there is a theatre bar for enjoying pre-performance and interval drinks, and an option to preorder a choice of two picnics. The gardens open from 12pm for matinée performances and 5pm for evening performances. To book tickets or find out dates for specific plays, call the box office on 01780 756133 or visit www. stamfordshakespeare.co.uk With special thanks to Lakeside Kitchen and Bar for supplying us with food for our front cover shoot, and to Nene Park Trust for allowing us to use Ferry Meadows as our beautiful scene.

12 The Fens | August 2017


1

3 2

5 4

PACK FOR A

Great British Picnic 6 7

10 8 9

OUR STOCKISTS ARE ALL SITUATED IN QUEENSGATE SHOPPING CENTRE: 1. M&S Two Person Heart Hamper £45 2. Tiger Picnic Basket £15 4. Argos Beau and Elliot12 piece Melamine Picnic Set £44.99 6. Paperchase Flora Set of Four Snack Pots £8 8. Tiger Flask £5 9. Tiger Inflatable Pillow and Blanket £6

3. M&S Picnic Drinks Dispenser £17.50 5. M&S Floral Picnic Blanket £19.50 7. Tiger Pineapple Picnic Set £4 10. Next Tea For Two Bistro Set £199 The Fens | August 2017

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N&J

HARD LANDSCAPING All forms of groundwork undertaken

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Block drives • Patios • Fencing • Turfing Power wash drives & patios

Council registered for drop kerbs & drainage

Contact PAUL JAKES T: 01733 701612 | M: 07831 327691

Landscaping and Garden Specialists

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Westfield Nurseries Your friendly, local Garden Centre Everything you need for the perfect garden

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14 The Fens | August 2017


YOUR GARDEN IN

Home & garden

August

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

LOOKING GOOD THIS MONTH...

Hydrangea

WHY SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Hydrangeas are popular garden shrubs with delicate heads of flowers in shades of pink, white or blue. They are easy to care for, fully hardy and have an old fashioned, cottage style charm.

HOW SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM?

THREE ESSENTIAL GARDENING JOBS FOR AUGUST TAKE HERB CUTTINGS

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

PRUNING AND TIDYING

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

Hydrangeas like moist, free draining soil and a partially shaded sheltered spot.

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

easier to do if you have a reference point. Also think about what bulbs you want to plant for that early display of spring colour – bulbs are usually available to buy from the end of August ready for autumn planting.

MAKE PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR

Enjoy your garden!

A nice relaxing job for those long hot days! Pull up a chair in a sunny spot and start planning for next year. Make sketches of your flower borders and vegetable plot and list what you would like to plant. Take photos of your garden now while it is looking its best – if you want to rearrange in the winter its much

Westfield Nurseries Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2EX

Tel 01733 206688

• 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 | August 2017

15


Home & garden

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL Are you starting out making your first home, or looking to refresh your existing home? The temptations of the High Street and Internet offer so many opportunities for ways to achieve the look you crave, but is that always the best way? Simon Parr-Black finds out more Manufacturing practices have had to change and adapt to keep up with the current demand for affordable options for new furniture, and whilst this is a good thing, sometimes in that quest they have not been able to provide the durable quality of traditionally made pieces. Upholstered items are often created with foam on chipboard, and whilst they look good when you buy them, they can let you down in the not too distant future. The craftsmen that created upholstered goods of the past are often seen as too expensive, but there is another way.... I have been asked a few times recently to look at dining chairs or armchairs, as the upholstery has had its time. This can be a great way to reinvent the much-loved furniture that you know works in your home and give it a new lease of life. During the refurbishment of a dining chair for example, the joints can be overlooked to ensure the frame is reinforced if necessary to make it good as new. From there you have a plethora of wonderful fabrics to choose from to really make them your own, rather than the small selection that you usually get in a furniture store or online. Ask for guidance as to which fabrics are recommended for upholstery. From here you can look in the back of a fabric book and you will see the upholstery icon, there may also be a Martindale or Wysenbeek count. Martindale and Wysenbeek tests are industry tests to determine the durability of a fabric - the higher the count the more durable it should be. Don’t be misled, this does not mean that it will not stain, but it will last. Anything under 30,000 should be avoided for upholstery, unless it was intended as more of a decorative piece and not to be used often. For a dining chair, I would tend to look for a count in excess of 50,000. Fabrics such as velvets have counts in excess of 100,000. Now before you set off to get it reupholstered straight away, think a little more. Is the wood colour right for your home, or would you prefer 16 The Fens | August 2017

it darker or possibly painted to tie in with the shabby chic dresser or kitchen units you have just bought? Make sure the paint finish is durable for the purpose and the wood has been prepared properly before using. You could also ask the upholsterer to add piping if you would like more definition to the shape – this could also be done in a contrast colour or leather. You could even remove the piping and use furniture pins instead – these could be in brass, nickel, chrome or black. Fringing or braid could be added for extra effect, and the chair could be made to look completely different by adding a skirt beneath the seat to take the upholstered look right to the floor. To go just that one step further, a ring or drawer pull could possibly be fitted to the back (this will depend on the frame as it need to fix to something solid!). The same principles apply not just to the upholstered items, dining table, chests of drawers, wardrobes can all benefit from the same makeover. Adding colour or fabric to the interior can add an accent to the room. I have an old wardrobe that I converted as a drinks cabinet in my dining room – not that I am a massive drinker, but whenever people came to my home, I found I was always in the kitchen mixing drinks and my guests were elsewhere – to me, it made sense. In this instance, you

could add mirror to the interior, glass shelves or lighting. It’s all about how you want to live and how you want that life to feel. It doesn’t need to cost a lot, but when you are starting with something that you like, that works and is good quality, it can often be far more effective to revisit that than to start again with something that is not made as well. So next time you are looking at changing your furniture, look at what you have home, after all, it’s all in the detail!

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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18 The Fens | August 2017


SUCCESS FOR FIRST

Charity Walk

The Fens magazine and Whittlesey & District Business Forum joined forces earlier this month to host a charity walk in aid of Young People’s Counselling Service and Defibrillators For All. The weather was perfect, and over 60 participants joined organisers to take part in the 5-mile walk. We were thrilled by the support we received, with extra donations on the lead up to the event ensuring we raised over £600. We would like to share particular thanks to Nisa for supplying water; McCains for donating £125 to each of our charities; Eamonn Dorling, Stephen Hodson and Joe Jennings for ensuring the logistics were so well organised; Roy Gerstner and our extra marshalls on the day; Aspect Fires for collecting our entry forms; Deborah Slator for supplying our first aid; and finally Cllr. Julie Windle for opening the walk. Big thanks to Chris Brudenell for photographing us before we got hot and sweaty! And finally, thank you to everyone who took part. We hope to see you all at the next one!

The Fens | August 2017

19


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Sub-contract work undertaken Call 01733 841291 / 07577 418962 Visit www.the-paving-company.com

ON THE FARM

Mark Housden PAINTER & DECORATOR

Words by Philip Bradshaw

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Our spring season was good, and most of our crops established well. We then had a period of near drought conditions, which hampered development of all our crops. I don’t complain about weather – we get what we are given, and all we can do is get on and do our job the best we can. Happily, some rain came in the nick of time, and although it is still a dry season, crops here are looking well. There have been restrictions on irrigation – the field scale watering of crops. This is to protect water levels and the surrounding environment in the Fens, and irrigation continues in a carefully monitored fashion, mainly on potatoes and onions. Unfortunately, the summer has seen an uplift in random fly tipping in the countryside, sometimes on our farm. This is infuriating as most of it is domestic rubbish that could have been taken to the recycling centre in Whittlesey at no

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cost to the householder. This is a countrywide problem, and it is a huge shame, as it means that many of us are having to upgrade farm security with CCTV and security gates, just because of the actions of a small minority. We have had some bird counts done by the RSPB here over the summer and the results are very good. Bird numbers are high, and we are proud to have some of the rarer Fenland birds on the farm, including some grey partridge. Healthy bird life is a good indicator of a good environmental ecosystem, and shows that our policy of producing food with a careful regard for the environment is delivering good results. Harvest has just started, and early crop yields are reasonable but not high. Hopefully when we start on the winter wheat crop it will be better. Harvest is an exciting time, after a year of establishing and nurturing crops, we finally get to see the results of our labour!


ARE YOU ACTIVE ENOUGH? According to research by the British Heart Foundation, 70% of us say we want to be more physically active. Factors such as too many work commitments and a lack of leisure time are stopping us The average Brit is said to spend 20 hours a day sleeping, lying down or sitting, we’re putting ourselves at greater risk of health problems. We can’t continue to make excuses, says the World Heart Foundation (WHF), which is urging people to be more self-aware and start moving. HOW ACTIVE ARE YOU? One in three people questioned by the WHF had no idea how acive they are. Awareness is the first step in making a change. Find out exactly how active you are (or not) by wearing a pedometer, such as a Fitbug. It can be a bit alarming, as most people significantly overestimate their activity level. Simply wearing a pedometer can encourage you to be more active, too. A recent study showed an increase in physical activity of 26.9% by using a pedometer. There’s strong evidence that exercising reduces your risk of chronic diseases and improves the quality of your life. New research involving over 55s confirms exercising and losing weight as the most effective treatments for osteoarthritis. GET STARTED Making a conscious choice to

improve your quality of life through health and fitness is the first step. But don’t rely on willpower or just hoping it will happen. You have to take control and make it work for you. The next step is to get organised. Plan and structure your fitness schedule and activities to suit your lifestyle. There are endless ways to exercise. Be realistic and think about your personality; your likes and dislikes; whether you are a team player or prefer exercising alone. And stick with it. When planning, take into account the ways in which you’re likely to sabotage your own progress or commitment (look back to past experience for evidence). Work out what encourages you to keep going and monitor that. GET A TRACKER For some people, having a tracker to keep you focussed is a really good idea. There are loads on the market, but for a great all-rounder try the TomTom Touch Fitness Tracker, £99.99 from John Lewis. It can track your sleep, activity and monitor your heart rate!

TOP TIPS 1. Map out your fitness schedule and keep it visible 2. Make exercise a priority. Don’t just wait until you have time 3. Be organised: book activities and classses into your schedule 4. Consider home workouts such as yoga, weights, toning, stretching and dancing. Mowing the lawn or doing housework counts! 5. Join a group to help you persevere when it gets tough. Look out for your local U3A groups who have special interest activities such as walking or cycling groups. Or join a local fitness centre where you can take part in a variety of different classes. The Fens | August 2017

21


Health

BACTERIA: OUR FRIEND AND FOE

A strange relationship exists between us and bacteria. On one hand we are constantly trying to kill them and on the other we can not survive without them.

The Chorleywood Bread Process explained

Have you ever heard of the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP)? Invented in 1961 by the British Baking Association, it is the process by which 80% of today’s bread is produced. In a nutshell, the CBP cuts down the amount of time it takes to get a loaf of bread from flour form to supermarket shelf by a huge amount, saving effort and costs. It has allowed bread makers worldwide to mass produce long lasting, cheap and tasty bread for all. Sounds great, but you knew there was a ‘however’ coming... However, by cutting the fermentation process from traditionally around 6 hours to under 30 minutes, the CBP eliminates the possibility

There is also a spew of preservatives, additives and enzyme ‘improvers’ that go into the dough to make it last longer on the shelf and appear to taste better. These have been redefined in recent years as ‘processing aids’ so that they don’t have to be listed in the ingredients, but don’t be fooled, the process is still exactly the same. Wholegrain bread doesn’t sit much higher on the scale with me, additives and preservatives, most of which you couldn’t pronounce, let alone explain, are laced within wholegrain bread too, and although you get the added wheat germ and wheat bran (which improves the nutrient quality slightly), it doesn’t add enough to the loaf to make it full time diet worthy for me.

BY CUTTING THE FERMENTATION PROCESS [...] THE CBP ELIMINATES THE POSSIBILITY OF GOOD BACTERIA BEING PRESENT IN THE BREAD of good bacteria being present in the bread to make it efficiently digestible and remotely nutritious. A lot of people I deal with often mention the bloated feeling, heartburn or even stomach aches that come immediately after eating bread or refined carbohydrates.

Oi

My advice for bread lovers, as with anything that I don’t consider a staple of a permanent nutrient rich diet, is find the best quality you can. Make your own or go and find a bakers that will tell you (and be able to pronounce and explain) every ingredient. Be sure you are eating real food and not food like substances.

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 22 The Fens | August 2017

No matter how much we clean ourselves, we will always have bacteria living on and inside of us. We have a symbiotic relationship with them. This means that we provide a suitable environment for them to live and, in return, they perform jobs for us. These jobs we cannot do ourselves. Thus we can not live without them and they can not live without us. Yet we are competing all the time for space. Our immune systems (and various other body mechanisms) are in place to keep the bacteria population under control. Failure to do this and the bacteria will run riot, multiply and take over our bodies. This is why, for example, we have the urge/desire to wash. Our brains are in tune with our own scent and can identify when we smell and need cleansing. A large proportion of our scent, as you are gathering, is due to the size of the bacteria colony living on our skin. However, being too clean can also have its problems. We see this amongst those who are classed with obsessive compulsive disorders - they may wash 4-5 times a day, brush their teeth multiple times, etc. The consequence is that various bacterial colonies are destroyed and so the jobs they perform go undone. Bacteria also keep our immune system strong. The greater the exposure to bacteria, the stronger our immune systems. All systems in our bodies work on a simple principle: the greater the exposure to a stimulus, the better we become at adapting to it. Think of throwing a ball, playing an instrument, performing your job, hearing sounds, talking, in fact anything. The greater we do it, the better we get. The same applies to our immune system. 100 years ago we were exposed to thousands of bacteria daily, 1000 years ago even more, and 100,000 years ago substantially more as our habits were more rural and technologically free. Our environments today are relatively sterile in comparison. Our exposure to bacteria is relatively low so our immune system gets lazy. Our weakening immune system is one of the many reasons why we are suffering from more coughs, colds and flus. Another of those reasons, is our reliance on medicine. Not only is our exposure to bacteria deceasing (due to the sterile environment), but when our immune systems are engaged (i.e. we have a cough, cold or flu) we provide extra help when it is not needed. Would you want somebody reading the paper out loud to you when you are perfectly capable of reading it yourself? Now, we are not implying that we should all live dirty, wash once a week and eliminate medications. Rather we should strike a balance, excessive cleanliness weakens our bodies as does excessive dirtiness. Giving our immune system a chance to fight the bacteria/virus means it grows stronger and thus reduces the frequency of future illness. Should our bodies struggle, then consider sending in the second wave - medicine.

Oi 01733

Mayur and Ubhi can be found at Whittlesey Osteopaths, 14 Market Place, Whittlesey,PE7 1AB. You can contact them on 785214 or visit www.whittlesey-osteopaths.com


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Authors Q&A Fun In The Sun Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings Last month I was one of five authors invited to a summer themed Author Q&A event in Harpenden. Organised by the lovely Katherine Sunderland (bibliomaniacuk.co.uk), an avid reader, book blogger and reviewer, I can honestly say it was a brilliant evening. The questions asked were great fun and as they are book and summertime themed I thought it would be good fun to share some of the event questions and my replies. Q. Could you start with a very brief introduction to yourself? A. Eva Jordan, mum, writer, reader, reviewer, blogger. Author of 183 Times A Year – humorous look at contemporary family life. Second novel, All The Colours In Between, due to be published in October this year.

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24 The Fens | August 2017

Q. Can you tell me three things your protagonist(s) would pack in their suitcase if they were going on holiday? Lizzie (Mum) 1. Books 2. Comfortable knickers 3. Wine – lots of it! Otherwise, earphones/earplugs (to drown out the incessant moaning of her teenage daughters). Cassie (Teenage daughter) 1. Mobile phone 2. Fake eyelashes 3. The entire contents of her wardrobe, otherwise known as a floordrobe. Q. What would be their perfect holiday location? Lizzie – as far away from her teenage daughters as humanly possible – possibly Australia or New Zealand. Cassie – somewhere cool, sick and peng like Ibiza, or New York (like her friend – Chelsea Divine) Q. Have you read a novel that was set in or described a particular location or holiday destination that made you want to travel there? A. Yes – Victoria Hislop’s, The Island, is a story that spans across and links three generations of family around the island of Spinalonga, off the north coast of Crete, which was the main leper colony of Greece between1903 until 1957. Q. Which fictional character would you take on holiday? A. Bridget Jones, because she is outrageously funny, terribly human, and champion for the underdog. Q. If you could have a writing retreat where in the world would you choose it to be? A. Hawaii, wonderful scenery, very relaxed, very spiritual. Q. Who (fictional or real) would you take as your mentor / critique partner on this writing retreat? A. Sue Townsend, whose wonderful writing reflected her brilliant social observation skills, not to mention her wicked sense of humour. Q. Which book will you be sharing your beach towel with this summer? A. Glass Houses by Jackie Buxton – topical and contemporary morality tale. “When she sent that text, all our lives changed forever...”


Natural Makeup

How-To

Makeup Artist Tia Henderson reveals her secrets to winged eyeliner Eyeliner has become a huge trend in 2017, with more technical and dramatic looks being created. This month, I wanted to share with you all the best way to create a simple Winged Eyeliner Look.

Step 1

Shape your brows, then finish by applying concealer around the brow for a clean and sharp shape. Also apply the concealer all over the eyelid. Apply your eyeshadow.

And now for

something Genius!

Step 2

The packaging, shape and size of this device certainly raises a few eyebrows but trust me when I say it, it gives great satisfaction!

Step 3

What you’re actually looking at is a cutting edge, ultrasound skincare tool that boosts the performance of anti-aging products making them work smarter and optimising their performance.

Choose your eyeliner wisely, a liquid or gel liner will give you a much cleaner and darker stroke, whereas an eye pencil will give you a much softer line that could also be blended out into a smokey effect. Map out the area where you want your eyeliner to end by dotting the eyeliner on, when doing this look straight forward into a mirror as this will give you the best winged effect once you have completed your eyeliner look.

Step 4

From the dot where you want your wing to finish, draw a line straight down to lower lash line on the outer corner of the eye.

Step 5

Then close the eye slightly and draw a line from the end of the wing to the middle of the eyelid close the lash line. If you are happy with the line you have created, fill in the triangle shape you have created.

Step 6

Join a line from the very inner corner of the eye to the middle of the eyelid and your winged eyeliner is complete! Don’t reach for the makeup wipe/ cotton bud to remove any smaller mistakes, just apply your concealer with a brush over the mistake and this will cover it up rather than take the whole line off that you’ve just created!

n About the expert - Tia Henderson “I want you to look and feel the best you ever have” Specialist hair and makeup artistry for special occasions, couture bridal and prom, event and media. TIA Hair & Makeup Artist, 07495 784689 www.tiahairandmakeupartsit.com

It had never really occurred to me before that when face creams are applied using your fingertips, the product is being unevenly dispersed due to the skins uneven surface. The Genius Device gently vibrates whilst emitting 300,000 waves per second to help apply skincare products more effectively including serums, eye creams and lip treatments. It has three warmth settings and can be used on all areas of the face, getting into hard to reach spots such as the sides of the nose and the corner areas under the eyes. It’s really easy to use and you just incorporate it into your daily skincare routine. I’ve been blown away by the results and you can see a difference after the very first use. It’s not just for wrinkles either, we’ve been seeing dramatic improvements on scarred skin and even stretch marks. The device can be purchased along with our Anti-aging Intensive Renewal Serum and our Lifting & Contouring Eye Cream for £399 (or £239.40 if you register as a ‘Preferred Client’). If you’d like to give the device a try, please get in touch.

Kerry x Kerry Smith, Arbonne Independent Consultant Tel: 07834385201 Email: Kerry.arbonne@btinternet.com Web: www.kerrysmith1.arbonne.com The Fens | August 2017

25


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The Fens | August 2017

27


Nature

Getting active

WITH NATURE WORDS AND IMAGE David White, RSPB One of the things that I love the most about wildlife watching is that it gets me out in the countryside exercising in a wide variety of environments. I have been a walker for a lot longer than I have been into wildlife, so it is always great to combine the two. We are very fortunate that there are plenty of places in the Fens that it is very easy to enjoy a nice long walk and wildlife watching.

This walk can be extended by another mile around the Brandon Fen family trail, which offers a pleasant contrast to the rest of the reserve. The trail passes through some woodland and sandy Brecks heath before returning to the car park. I quite often do this walk of just over four miles in the evening after work and it really does help me to unwind after a day’s work.

One of my favourite places to do this is at RSPB Lakenheath Fen on the Suffolk/ Norfolk border, which is where I am fortunate enough to be based. Our “main circular trail” as it is rather pragmatically known is just over three miles in length. It heads out from the visitor centre down an old forestry track which eventually reaches Joist Fen viewpoint, which is around a mile and a half from the visitor centre.

Although usually, the longest circular walk around the reserve is the walk mentioned above, in August every year, we have an extended guided walk around parts of the reserve that aren’t usually open to the public. This walk, which is just over six miles in length, will take place this year on Saturday 5 August 2pm-7pm and is entitled: “A celebration of summer”.

From here, the return route is alongside a raised Public Footpath which runs adjacent to the River Little Ouse, which forms the northern boundary of the reserve. There are fantastic views of the reedbeds and poplar woods of the reserve to the south. To the north, there are the riverside meadows which are often favoured by hunting barn owls. 28 The Fens | August 2017

I am leading this walk this year and it is always great to showcase parts of the reserve that members of the public don’t often get to see. The walk goes right down through the middle of the reserve to Botany Bay SSSI. This area of the reserve is original fenland and is one of the tiny fragments that has never been drained. It therefore has a real prehistoric look and feel to it. To find

out more about this event including how to book your place, please search online for “Lakenheath Fen events” or ring the reserve office on 01842 863400. We follow the same riverbank Public Footpath mentioned above all the way back to the Washland viewpoint, which is a five minute walk to the visitor centre. Fingers crossed for good weather on that day! If this article has inspired you to come for a walk around RSPB Lakenheath Fen, here is some more information about the reserve. The reserve is open at all times. The visitor centre and toilets are open daily 9am-5pm. We sell snacks including ice creams. We also sell hot and cold drinks. RSPB members visit for free and there is a facilities charge of £4 per car for non-members. Please ring 01842 863400 or e-mail lakenheath@ rspb.org.uk for more information. We hope to see you on the reserve soon! David White, Communications Officer, RSPB Lakenheath Fen


PET CORNER| WE’RE ALL GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY... Summer holidays are here! The sun’s out, the bucket and spade have been dusted off and the sandals and shorts have broken out of the wardrobe. More and more people are choosing to take their pets away with them as they are a big part of our lives, and the number of pet friendly hotels and destinations is increasing annually. Whether you are taking your pet abroad or are having a ‘stay-cation’, here are a few pointers to bear in mind: GOING ABROAD The rules regarding animal travel are many and can be very complicated. The exact medication, vaccinations and when to do these depends entirely upon where in the world you are going. Every country has its own individual entry requirements. Some countries require tests, whereas others require next to nothing, usually just a rabies vaccination and a pet passport. The only sure way to know what you require is to contact Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Your vet practice is unlikely to give too much advice regarding what you need as there are too many countries and different rules, that change constantly.

This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at summer holidays with your pets

The change in the flora, fauna, and temperature where you are travelling to can disorientate your pet and make them anxious, so much so that they are not actually enjoying themselves, so sometimes it is prudent to think long and hard whether taking them abroad is actually the right thing for them. STAYING IN THE UK There are many hotels, B&Bs and cottages that allow pets, but there are several beaches in the UK that don’t allow dogs between Easter and October, so it is a good idea to do some homework to find dogfriendly places. As with going abroad, pets are creatures of habit and can possible get stressed by the change of scenery, where they sleep and with the flora and fauna of the area that you are visiting. Simple things like the change in the make-up of the drinking water or river water could spark off a small bout

of diarrhoea, but their stomachs should soon settle down and get back to normal. If it doesn’t in a couple of days, take your pet to the nearest vet. We don’t have the problem in the Fens, but areas of sandy soil and heathland is excellent habitation for the UKs only venomous snake, the European Viper (Adder), and an interested muzzle or lower limb is fair game for a snake that feels threatened. If you suspect a snake bite, keep your pet quiet, cool, and preferably carry them back to a car and get them straight to a vet who will assess them. Even though it has been the law since April 2016 to have all dogs microchipped, there are a few that haven’t got one for various reasons. It is important therefore, to have a tag on your dog’s collar with a phone number on it where you can be contacted during your holiday, ie. It is no good having your home phone number on it! Identification is also useful to someone that finds your dog after they may have chased after a local bunny and then suddenly didn’t recognise the area and couldn’t find their way back to you. Have a very nice summer wherever you are going and whatever you are doing.

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29


Visiting

All creatures GREAT AND SMALL Wagging tails and twitching noses, cats purring and dogs walking, welcome to RSPCA Block Fen, an animal centre with a passion for all creatures great and small WORDS Natasha Shiels IMAGES Chris Brudenell When you think of rescue centres, you might be forgiven for thinking of sad places, where animals are unhappy or unwell. You might not imagine a place where animals thrive, find love and begin their road to recovery. In some way, these places can be seen instead, as a crossroads for certain animals who, for one reason or another, find they no longer have a home. That is certainly the case for the RSPCA Block Fen. Tucked away in the outskirts of Wimblington, Block Fen is a 70 acre site with plenty of space for its resident dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, chickens, oh and the odd degu! The animals who find themselves at Block Fen are usually the result of neglect or a criminal case. Whatever the background, each animal brought into the RSPCA centre is subject to an assessment, they will also be seen by the centre’s resident vet and will receive any treatment required, as well as vaccinations, neutering, micro-chipping and also routine worm and flea treatments. Once everything is completed the animal will then be made available for adoption. Each section of Block Fen is designed with the animal’s welfare in mind. Cats have a great indoor enclosure which gives them room to climb, sleep and explore. Visitors can walk through the cattery and meet each feline, which has a chart to 30 The Fens | August 2017

inform you of its likes, dislikes, history, age and name. We met Sophie, a one-year-old cat and a beautiful little kitten (which was, unsurprisingly, reserved already). From the cattery we were introduced to RSPCA Block Fen’s many dogs. The centre is licensed by RSPCA headquarters to house 62 dogs and 72 cats, and Kirstyn Gaunt, the Deputy Manager, explained they were almost always at capacity. “No healthy animal is put to sleep, from time to time we do have animals here for longer than we would like. In cases like these we will strive to find different ways to promote the animal and sometimes move them to a different RSPCA centre for a new audience. We find this works really well to find homes for dogs who might not have attracted the attention of an adopter here. There’s a perfect home for all of our residents.” In the exercise area, we were introduced to lovable Fagen, who took a particular interest in our camera and Honey and Crystal who surprised me by jumping straight into the paddling pool! All of the dogs get walked for a minimum of 30 minutes every day, but with the team’s invaluable volunteers, they can get walked up to 5-6 times a day. And it’s not just a quick stroll in an enclosure, RSPCA Block Fen’s handsome grounds mean that the dogs get taken out of the main centre itself and into the fields beyond.


All animals need more than just food and walks however, and socialising is all part of daily life at Block Fen. The 50 strong team of volunteers, as well as staff members, all take time to groom and socialise with the animals, giving them as much love as they would get from potential new owners. Just looking at Fagen as he plays with the staff, and Honey as she runs happily around, there is no doubt that you’re looking at really happy, healthy animals. I would imagine they hardly know themselves that they’re in a rescue centre. Most animals stay typically a month before being re-homed, but for some, such as Fagen and Crystal, it proves to be more difficult to find the right new owners. “Some people can be put off by the dogs barking in their kennels, but often as soon as the dog is taken to meet a prospective new owner, they completely change and show their true character,” Kirstyn explained. So what happens if you fall in love with a dog at Block Fen? “All members of the family are asked to come in and meet the animal, including any other dogs in the home. If that goes well, we conduct a home visit. The whole purpose is to ensure we match the right animal with the right family. We get to know our dogs really well, and are great judges when it comes to finding the best match.” WHY CHOOSE A RESCUE CENTRE All new owners receive a 14 day phone call to check everyone is settling in well with the new member of the family, and cats and dogs receive 6 weeks free insurance. But more importantly, if you choose an animal from RSPCA Block Fen, you will be giving a second chance to a pet who might have had a difficult start, but one which has been checked by a vet, neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated. You also have a team of animal experts who can advise and help you find the right animal for your individual case. DONATIONS WANTED What if you can’t take an animal home, but still want to help? RSPCA Block Fen are always looking for donations, no matter how big or small. In particular, the centre is always grateful for blankets and towels, animal food (Chappie original dog meat is great for dogs with skin conditions), greens (any food for their many smaller animals), dog harnesses (medium ones, apparently, are in short supply) and newspapers. If you

would like to get more involved, the centre is always grateful for new volunteers. You can get involved in walking, cleaning, grooming and socialising the many different animals at RSPCA Block Fen. It can give you great experience in handing different animals, whether you’re looking for a career in welfare or just have a few spare hours a week. Block Fen only ask that volunteers are over 16. It was clear that for staff and volunteers at RSPCA Block Fen, caring for their animals is a way of life. Many of them work beyond their contracted hours, sometimes taking home animals for fostering. Here isn’t a place full of sad or sick animals, it’s a place full of love and I urge you to pay a visit if you are thinking of getting a new pet. Give a home to a rescue centre animal and you give them a second chance.

RSPCA Block Fen is on Block Fen Drove, situated near the village of Wimblington in Cambridgeshire (suggested SatNav postcode is PE15 0PL). The centre is in a rural location, and the road leading to the site isn’t best signposted. They are open to the public six days a week, closed on Wednesdays. The Reception and Pet Accessories Shop is open from 9am - 4pm and Animal Viewing is from 11am - 3.30pm. You can contact RSPCA on 0300 123 0726 or visit www.rspca.org.uk/local Finally, if you see an act of cruelty against animals, please call the National Cruelty Line 0300 1234 999 The Fens | August 2017

31


Get involved

Back in time

1940S WEEKEND Celebrating their fifteenth 1940s weekend, Ramsey will once again play host on Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th August. An original search light battery unit, The Camp is situated on the outskirts of Ramsey. The Camp, a 10-acre site, will hold everything 40s with all the sights, sounds and tastes of the era. Living history displays are situated amongst the original wooden buildings with vintage military, civilian and commercial vehicles exhibited all around. Re-enactors mingle with visitors and add to the atmosphere. Once again the camp will have the original Jones’ van from the Dad’s Army BBC Television series for the whole weekend. Plus a unique Air Raid scenario in an air raid shelter! The Drill Hall will feature lots of entertainment with Woody’s War Department in charge of music. There will even be a fashion show depicting

clothes and trends of the 1940s, along with vintage hair dressing. Ria Chambers from ‘Family at War’ will be giving demonstrations of war time cooking, rations permitting. There will be numerous musical performances on both days to suit everyone. Saturday will feature the G.B. Home Guard Band, and the East of England Pipe Band will join the camp on Sunday. Visit the row of shops selling clothes, bric-a-brac, and fruit and veg. Try your luck in the vintage Penny Arcade before heading to the canteen (NAAFI) for spam sandwiches, bread pudding and anything else not on ration. The 1940s garden behind the canteen is central to the Home Front displays, complete with small farmyard animals including pigs, goats and chickens. In the adjacent 20-acre grass field there will be a Big Top Circus tent.

Musical interludes will take place between dance demonstrations, and exhibitions given by the Cambs Beds and Lindy Experience. The event is suited to the whole family, and children will be entertained by Captain Silly Billy! There will also be various displays in the arena and the vintage vehicles which will parade around the ring. A vintage omnibus from Dews Coaches will shuttle people free of charge to and from the Ramsey town to the event site over the weekend. Don’t miss the Saturday evening Big Band Dance in the Big Top. Tickets are £15 each in advance (over 12s only). Whilst period dress is encouraged to add to the atmosphere, it is not essential. Ticket numbers are limited so please buy early to avoid disappointment. On sale either directly from the website. Ramsey 1940s - The Camp, Wood Lane, Ramsey, PE26 2XB www.ramsey1940s.co.uk

SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2017

Welcome to the Bird’s Nest Books Short Story Competition! Stories can be on any theme, should have a maximum of 1000 words and be previously unpublished (including on websites, blogs or social media). The winner will receive a prize of £75 and their story will be published in THE FENS. HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY 1. Write Your Story Please read the full rules (see www. birdsnestbooks.co.uk). Stories may only be submitted electronically, not on paper. Please submit your story as a Word document (.doc or .docx file) in Times New Roman 12pt or Arial 12pt and double spaced. Please put your name and the title at the beginning of the piece. Each piece will judged anonymously. 2. Make Your Payment Once your story is ready to submit

MAKE YOUR PAYMENT FIRST online at www.birdsnestbooks.co.uk. Payment will be processed through PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account). If you cannot pay online, or you do not wish to, we can accept payment via cheque made out to Bird’s Nest Books CIC and posted to Bird’s Nest Books, March Town Hall, Market Place, March, Cambs. PE15 9JF. We can also take payment in cash at our office in March. The office is not occupied every day – please email jane@ birdsnestbooks.co.uk or phone 07388 821282 to make an appointment. 3. Send Your Story Email it as an attachment to story@ birdsnestbooks.co.uk with SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2017 in the title of the email. Please state in the email your name, address and phone number, the date you made your payment and whether it was by

cheque, in person at the office or via Paypal (in which case please state the email address you used for the Paypal payment). You will then receive an email acknowledgement of your submission. Closing date for receipt of entries: Midnight (BST) 3rd September 2017. JUDGING AND PRIZES Writing must be well-structured, coherent and grammatically correct. We will be looking out for original, engaging stories with an interesting plot and convincing characters. A shortlist will be drawn up by the Bird’s Nest Books directors, before the short list will be read by judges Sue Welfare and Jon Lawrence who will decide on the winning entry. The judges’ decision is final. The winner will receive a copy of the magazine.

SUMMARY Eligibility: Open to adults (aged 16 and over) living in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Peterborough. Word Count: A maximum of 1000 words (excluding the title) Theme/genre: There is no set theme or genre, but erotica and graphic horror cannot be accepted. Entry Fee: £3.50 per entry Closing Date: Midnight on Sunday September 3rd 2017. Entries received after this time will not be considered. Submissions: Must be made via email to story@birdsnestbooks.co.uk Results: Shortlisted entrants will be notified by September 14th. The winner will be announced on October 9th. 32 The Fens | August 2017


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The Camp, Wood lane, ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambs. Pe26 2XB

lane,Flight ramsey, Huntingdon, 2XB Memorial - Both Days On SitePe26 All Weekend ENTRANCE ON DAy - NIGHT (10amCambs. - 5pm) admiSSiOn SATUR admiSSiOnThe Camp, Wood SATURDAY DANCE Battle of Britain -enaCTmenT Van -(Dads DrumON ENTRANCE DAy -Service (10am - 5pm)Jones’ Þ BaTTle ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 re S DANCiNg TO THE& ENTRANCE ON Jones’ DAy - (10am 5pm) Army) Battle ofHead Britain VanSaT (Dads Arm Memorial Flight - Both Days OnBattle Site Allof Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am SOuND OF THE Memorial Flight Both Days On Site All Weekend Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Se ADuLTS: £10.00 CONCESSiONS: £6.00 FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 uNDER 5’s FREE ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 admiSSiOn SATURDAY MEMPHiS BELLE 1 Flight - Both& Days OnBritain Site All Weekend Sunday Morning Battle of Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Service thMemorial th thBritain re th -enaCTmenT Þ19 Þ BaTTle SaT Sun aT 2.30pm Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Arm FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 uNDER 5’s FREE DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE Þ Battle of Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 uNDER 5’s FREE ENTRANCE ON DAy (10am 5pm) Saturday & 20 august 2017 Saturday 19 & 20 august 2017 ORCHESTRA Memorial Flight - Both Days On Site All Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am Memorial Flight - Both Days On Site All Weekend Sunday Battle of-Britain Memorial Flight Both Days Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Service On Site All Weekend Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Se Þ BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT & Sun aT 2.30 TiCKETS £15.00 DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) The Camp, Wood lane, ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambs. Pe26 2XB DiSCOuNT TiCKETS AVAiLABLE admiSSiOn ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE The Camp, Wood lane, ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambs. Pe26 2XB Memorial Flight -admiSSiOn Both Days On On Site All Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am SATURD Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army)WEEKEND Drum Head Service -All Memorial Flight -& Both Days Site Weekend Sunday Morning 1 Þ BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT & Sun a Memorial Flight - Both Days On Site All Weekend Þ BaTTle Þ re enaCTmenT SaT Sun aT 2.30pm (Over 12’s only) Þ BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT DANCiNg TO THE ONSite DAyAll - (10am - 5pm) AVAiLABLE l -CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Service l CAMPiNg (must pre-booked) admiSSiOn FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 -(10am uNDER 5’s FREE SATURDAY NIGHT DA Memorial Flight - Both DaysENTRANCE ENTRANCE ON DAy 5pm) On Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am Þbe Þ BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT & Sun aT 2.30pm Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Service 7.30pm to LATE. We have 3re stages full of 1940’s Musi Þ BaTTle enaCTmenT SaT & Su admiSSiOn SATURDAY NIGH Memorial FlightFlight - Both-re Days-Days SOuND OF THESunday Site Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am Þ BaTTle SaT & Sun aT 2.30 Memorial Both OnAll Site All Weekend Morning 11.00am admiSSiOn SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 DANCiN ENTRANCE ON DAy - (10am -enaCTmenT 5pm)On DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE admiSSiOn SATURD ADuLTS: £10.00 - MEMPHiS CONCESSiONS: £6.00 -enaCTmenT ENTRANCE ON DAy - (10am - 5pm) admiSSiOn SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE Þ BaTTle re Þ SaT & Sun aT 2.30pm BELLE We have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music aN Tim admiSSiOn SATURDAY Ha Þ Þ We have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music and Entertainment featuring: BaTTle re enaCTmenT SaT & Sun aT 2.30pm nd -enaCTmenT DANCiNg TO ot THE ENTRANCE ON DAy - (10am - 5pm) lls ÞSOuND BaTTle SaT Sun aTNIGHT 2.30pm do DANCiNg TO TH ENTRANCE ONre -ADuLTS: (10am£6.00 -£10.00 5pm)ON FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - uNDER 5’s ADuLTS: FREEÞ£10.00 - CONCESSiONS: ENTRANCE -(must (10am -& ad admiSSiOn SATURDAY DA -DAy CONCESSiONS: £6.00 lk po ORCHESTRA lDAy CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE be pre-booked) ENTRANCE ON DAy - (10am -5pm) 5pm) 5’s FREE FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 uNDER ( aka Ma jor MEMPH SOuND OF THE Tim SOuND OF THE Tim ernd admiSSiOn SATURDAY NIGHT leS Ha spHa admiSSiOn ADuLTS:DiSCOuNT SATURDAY NIGHT nd ca ADuLTS: --CONCESSiONS: £6.00 ley s llNIGHT £10.00 WEEKEND - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 PaulDANCE DANCiN ENTRANCE ON DAy -£10.00 (10am 5pm) FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - ot uNDER 5’s£15.00 FREE sDANCE do SATURDAY DANCE ll do ad ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 TiCKETS AVAiLABLE Ia FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - uNDER 5’s FREE otadmiSSiOn ADuLTS: £10.00 - TiCKETS CONCESSiONS: £6.00 MEMPHiS BELL lk n po ‘R lkad ORC

osi po MEMPHiS BELLE DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE DANCiNg TO THE ENTRANCE ON DAy - DAy (10am - 5pm) (aka e’ Ma Ronly) jor aka o1940’s Ma Sw se DANCiNg TO THE ENTRANCE ON DAy - (10am - 5pm) i FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - jor uNDER FREE DANCiNg TO THE ENTRANCE ON - ((10am -DiSCOuNT 5pm) Sw SOuND ing (Over 12’s ORCHESTRA ) full WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE We have 3 5’s stages of Music and En ff Cam Ho am bs FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 -uNDER uNDER 5’s FREE Ad FAMiLylTiCKET: £25.00 - uNDER FREE & SOuND OF THE Be ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 TiCKET ds Lin ORCHESTRA dy Ia CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE n FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 5’s FREE ADuLTS: £10.00 CONCESSiONS: £6.00 SOuND OF THE Ia5’s ‘R n o TiCKETS £15.0 SOuND OF THE ‘R si lCAMPiNg CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) osie’ADuLTS: e’ MEMPH DiSCOuNT- CONCESSiONS: WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE £10.00 £6.00 R o MEMPHiS BELLE 7.30pm to LATE. se Rose l AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) ADuLTS: £10.00 - CONCESSiONS: £6.00 For theTiCKETS Children: Childrens enterta DiSCOuNT WEEKEND AVAiLABLE (Over ffm MEMPHiS BELLE Exp Tim an Ho TiCKETS er Ha am ffm ien (Over 12’s only nd Ad Ho ce ley am DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE l FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - uNDER 5’sbe FREE Ad FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 --BELLE uNDER 5’s s AVAiLABLE MEMPHiS ORCHESTRA ll ORC do£15.00 CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must pre-booked) DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS ot l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must beFREE pre-booked) FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 uNDER 5’s FREE ad lk ORCHESTRA po 7.30pm to l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) (Over 12’s only) 7.30pm ( aka For the Children: Childrens entertaine Big Band Music: SaTurday GB have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music and Entertainment featuring: FAMiLy TiCKET: £25.00 - uNDERWe 5’s FREE Ma TiCKETS £15.00 jor For the Children: Childrens entertainer Silly Billy and Farmyard animals We have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music and Entertainm Sw ORCHESTRA DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE ing )LAT We haveAVAiLABLE 3 stages full of 1940’s Music and TiCKET TiCKETS £15.00 l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE l CAMPiNg (must and beTim pre-booked) (Over 12’s only) Ia Battle of Britain Jones’ Van (Dads Army) Drum Head Service n 7.30pm to LATE. We have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music Entertainment featuring ‘R Sunday eaST o (Over 12’s only) si TiCKETS £15.00 Han e’ l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) Big Band Music: SaTurday GB HO dle (Over Tim er y R WeVan have 3AVAiLABLE stages full of 1940’s and fea DiSCOuNT WEEKEND TiCKETS AVAiLABLE We have 3oMusic stages of Entertainment 1940’s Music and Enter Band Music: SaTurday -lk GB HOme Guard Band Ha PaO ssp full se nd ca ll ley do ul l CAMPiNg (must be of Britain ot (Dads Army) Drum Head Service Tim Pa 7.30pm toHa LATE. s Jones’ an ad ffm nd po Ho ley dollBig am l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must bepre-booked) pre-booked) Memorial Flight - Both DaysBattle On Site All Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am sy Ad (aka adot 7.30pm to LATE. Tim ll er Maj lk Han sp or Swi do po (Over 12’s only) ca dle ng) ot ul Pa ad s Cam ll lk Sunday eaST OF ( 7.30pm aka bs do We have 3 stages full of 1940’s Music and Entertainment featuring: Tim po Ma Sunday -neaST OF enGland PiPe Band Han ad dleul Sw ySw lk ing po (1940’s Tim aka sng) Memorial Flight - Both Days )of Ia OnWe Sitehave Alljor Weekend Sunday Morning 11.00am l CAMPiNg AVAiLABLE (must be pre-booked) We 3 stages full of Music and ll Ma Ha seB 3 stages fullot Music and Entertainment featuring: BOTH SaTurda jor do nd Cam ca ‘R (Children: For the Childrens entertainer Silly aka ley ot os bs Maj ing ad & or ie Pa Be lk Swi s1940’s ’Music ds po Ro Lin We have 3 stages full ofhave 1940’s and Entertainment se do dy Cam 7.30pm to ll LATE. (aka ot bsfeaturing: Ia Exp

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All smiles at WHITTLESEY DENTAL CARE Celebrating their second year in the Whittlesey practice last month, Dr. Sailaja Gali has invested since moving in. We first met the team after a state of the art surgical room had been installed with a fresh coat of paint and brand new cabinets and equipment. But it was always part of a bigger picture for Sailaja, who saw the huge potential of the site and recognised the need to create a space where patients felt comfortable and at ease. Just last month the second stage of works were completed, and saw a transformation of their second surgical room (also used by their hygienist) and a complete relocation of the decontamination room. “Whilst the new equipment isn’t cheap,” Sailaja explained, “it’s so much better for our dental nurses and will make their work more time efficient and easier.” The second surgical room, which is painted a complementary orange and is fitted with air-conditioning, will not only be used by their hygienist but also the surgery’s brand new additional dentist. Dr. Balsam Majid is as lovely as Sailaja, and perfectly complements the small but closeknit team. Working part-time from 34 The Fens | August 2017

Whittlesey Dental Care, Balsam will enable the group to take on more patients and continue to offer the same great care they are known for. “We were getting so busy,” explained Sailaja, “that we felt it was time to find somebody to join us. Maintaining standard of care and our personal approach to our patients is ultimately most important to us.” So what’s next for Whittlesey Dental Care? “The next project in the surgery will be our reception area,” Sailaja added, “although we’re yet to decide on our colour. But there’s lots more in the pipeline in the future. For now we’re still offering our great dental plans,

Come and meet us!

Whittlesey Dental Care will be having a stand at the upcoming Whittlesey Festival on Sunday 10th September. Pop by and say hello to your local dental team.

IMAGES Chris Brudenell

Dr. Gali and are team at Whittlesey Dental Care have lots of reasons to smile this month. Aside from having the best dental care right on their doorstep, ensuring the whitest of smiles, Whittlesey Dental Care has seen further cosmetic improvements and a new face amongst the team

implants and clear braces. We also offer guided implant surgery, antiwrinkle treatment and teeth whitening.” And don’t worry if you’re a nervous patient or want to bring your children, Sailaja and her team are experts in making everyone feel perfectly at home. There are no scary dentists here! Whittlesey Dental Care, 1a Blunts Lane, Whittlesey PE7 1AH. To find out more please call 01733 202587 or visit www. whittleseydental.com


C Ous M Eon A ND  Find SEE U S AT T H E W H IT T LES E Y F EST IVA L 10T H S E P T.

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Dr.

General dentistryWE including white fillings, AS WELL AS ROUTINE TREATMENTS, ARE ABLE TO extractions, root canal fillings PROVIDE A FULL RANGE OF:

We offer a maintenance plan for patients looking to attend the practice on a regular basis. • Cover starts from just £8.33 a month

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 Dentures: Acrylic and Metal  Teeth whitening  Implant referrals • Porcelain veneers • All hygiene appointments are included in the plan  0% fiby nance available  Clear braces (six month smiles) • Crownfor andadults bridge work • Payment monthly Direct Debit  Anti wrinkle treatment available  Oral hygienist on hand for advice and care • Dentures - acrylic/metal • No need for an assessment - join today  Guided implant fees surgery - less pain, more smile • Facial  aesthetics: Now taking onand new patifillers ents Botox Dermal • Discount on treatment Please phone reception to find out about the care plan

£10 OFF NEW PATIENT TO CELEBRATE OUR 2ND ANNIVERSARY NowCONSULTATIONS taking on new patients Mon: 8.30am-5pm | Tues: 11:30am-7pm | Wed: 8.30am-5pm

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Food

A Picnic of Sausage Rolls with Potato Salad A quick way of creating a varied picnic easily is to make a few different varieties. Serve them with a nice potato salad and you have a great summer picnic meal

{

PREPARE 20 mins COOK 30-60 mins

INGREDIENTS

BE CREATIVE

• 500g shop bought puff pastry (in a sheet is easiest) • A few of your favourite sausages (skins removed) • An egg beaten for glazing

CURRYWURST

Add a good pinch of curry powder to the sausage meat and serve with mango chutney dip

GAMMON AND PINEAPPLE

POTATO SALAD

• 500g new potatoes cooked and halved • 1 tbsp crème fraise • 1 tbsp salad cream • 1tsp mustard powder • 1 red onion, finely chopped • 1 tsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp freshly chopped chives • 4 spring onions chopped • Salt and pepper, to taste

Stir in some chopped gammon or english ham and some finely chopped fresh pineapple

THE METHOD

1. To make a classic sausage roll place the sausage meat on 3 inch strip of pastry and roll the pastry around the sausage, using a little water to help stick the pastry. Glaze with the beaten egg and cut into a size that suites. 2. Bake in the oven at 180oC for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown. 3. For the potatoe sald, just mix all the ingredients together except the potatoes, and once the dressing is mixed, stir it into the potatoes.

FIG

Put a layer of fig jam on the pastry before the sausage mea,t and put a slice of fig on the pastry after glazing

BUTTERNUT, SAGE AND GOATS CHEESE

Mix cooked butternut with chopped sage and crumbled goats cheese and season with salt and pepper

CHEESE AND ONION

Mix cooked new pots with chopped onion and grated cheddar

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Exploring the Fens

Celebrating 40 YEARS The volunteers at March Museum had a great excuse for a big party last month, as they celebrated the museum’s 40th birthday. We visited the old school house and discovered a delightful collection of local and national treasures

WORDS Natasha Shiels IMAGES Chris Brudenell

March and District Museum is located in the former school, built in 1851,on the High Street in March. Close to ample free parking, this lovely museum was a surprising find and is our third visit in our series of museums in the Fens. Welcomed in by Lillian and Les, volunteers for over 17 years, it’s quick to see that every aspect of the old educational building has been utilised to display a wide range of collections. Through generous donations, March Museum has collections reflecting former life in the Fenland area. A series of room reconstructions depicts a turn of the century kitchen and parlour, with some of the outbuildings used to display a typical Fenland cottage. By displaying collections in this way, the museum feels interactive and engaging. There are even costumes for children to try on, and an old school table to allow younger visitors to sit and draw. Volunteers have even taken this a stage further with hidden pictures around the museum, encouraging children to hunt through the various rooms and enjoy exploring the museum. March and District Museum is separated into several sections. Its main room, with beautiful vaulted ceilings, is worth a visit in itself. The 19th century school suits the museum

perfectly, with the Haylock Room showing various collections including china, dairy equipment, bottles, old toys and a large collection of tools. There is railway memorabilia, model carts, paintings and early medical treatment. The west room of the museum holds the archive room. Here visitors can research family history, while the museum’s great collection of old photographs gives great local information. There’s more outside, with converted outbuildings to house an old working forge, Fenland farming and drainage tools, stonework and agricultural collections. It’s not the kind of museum you can pop in for five minutes, it quickly absorbs you and after an hour you realise you have barely scratched the surface. Despite the museum’s modest size and complete reliance on volunteers and members, the museum has so much to offer. Keen photographers will be fascinated with the collection of cameras, while those interested in the Second World War will find their collections and artefacts particularly noteworthy in the north room. As well as an example of a bomb, March Museum has a Victoria Cross. But I think what really brings these historical objects to life is the stories and the people behind them. The Victoria

Cross belonged to Ben Gimbert, who, we learnt, had led a train which had caught fire away from Soham. He saved many lives thanks to his heroic actions. We also discovered that Fenland had in fact raised money for a Polish submarine, and a beautiful model has been made by one volunteer for display in the museum. A temporary exhibition educates visitors about this fascinating part of Fenland history, which otherwise might be forgotten. With these temporary exhibitions changing every three months or so, and a large museum to clean, organise and run, it’s not difficult to see why its volunteers are the crux of the place. Around 30 volunteers take part in a variety of roles, and alongside their 120 museum members, they help to secure the future of the many invaluable collections in the museum. Chairman Gordon Thorpe explained that they’re always looking for new volunteers and members. So whether you have a few hours to spare or a vested interest in history, March and District Museum would love to hear from you. In return, volunteers get to be part of a wonderful community of individuals. You could help with restoration, cataloguing or just supervising the collections. The Fens | August 2017

41


I don’t think I could pinpoint a particular favourite collection in March Museum. It was so well organised and displayed that I found myself marvelling from old motoring memorabilia to dainty Victorian shoes, medals and an old toy train. Even when you thought you had seen it all, somebody points to the ceiling and you discover incredible paintings, flags and maps. So do visit March and District Museum this month, and be transported back with plenty of nostalgia and surprise. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY - ST PETER’S CHURCH HALL AT 7:30PM. £3 (MEMBERS £2). REFRESHMENTS INCLUDED September 8th - Annie James will be speaking about the ‘Bound for Botany Bay’ October 13th - Michael Knight on the History of Milestones November 10th - Jacqui Huggins on the Life, Times and Memories of a ‘Fen Girl’ (plus AGM).

MARCH & DISTRICT MUSEUM High Street, March PE15 9JJ Admission: Free but donations appreciated Opening times: Wednesday and Saturday 10:30am 3:30pm. Groups at other times by appointment. Find out more: 01354 655300 or visit www.marchmuseum.co.uk

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

www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org 42 The Fens | August 2017

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Interview

Behind the scenes

WITH DAVID FENSOM David Fensom is an actor, director and currently the Theatre Manager for Stamford Shakespeare Company. We caught up with him to find out more WORDS Amy Corney “When I left school in 1995 I always had it in my mind to go to drama school and become an actor. I applied to a few drama schools but didn’t get in, so I got a job and joined the Bourne Players, a local amateur theatre group. In 1999, I joined the Stamford Shakespeare Company. I spent the next few years acting with them and also was elected to the Board of Directors of the Company, eventually becoming Chairman. In 2006 I decided it was time to pursue acting as a career and went to drama school. Upon graduating I worked as an actor and director around the country and overseas.” What do you love most about performing arts? “The chance to be creative. As an actor I have always loved escaping into a role and making the most of the opportunity to become someone else. Researching a character and specific places and periods in time is always fascinating too. As a director I love being able to take the vision and ideas from my head and put them onto a stage and see it come alive.” Stamford Shakespeare Company bought Tolethorpe Hall in 1977 how important is the building to the performances? “The house is incredibly important to us. Not only is it a magnificent building, but it serves a very practical purpose in housing all our costumes and props. It is also where all our rehearsals take place. “Having a stage which is open to the elements means that every performance is different. Sometimes the conditions add that extra special touch of magic to the show, for example: the dramatic swordfight at the end of Macbeth as real thunder and lightning fills the air creates an atmosphere like no other, and one which is not possible with lighting and sounds effects alone. Over the years we have had many a dramatic scene heightened by real wind, rain, thunder and lightning.” Why did you decide to set ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in 1919? 

“In imagining a setting for Much Ado About Nothing, Caroline [Caroline Stephenson is a co-director] and I wanted to bring the story to life in a time and place relevant to our own, where the actors did not have to change their own natural speech, or adopt a distant historical culture. Shakespeare’s original is set in Sicily, yet the play seems very English. So, while hopefully preserving the essential qualities of the play, we chose to move the setting to a quintessentially English country house and garden. The background to the story requires a war, and for us the First World War, and the subsequent lack of young men, gave an opportunity to create wonderful female parts in the form of the Watch, with women taking on traditionally male roles during the harsh reality of the fallout from the war.” What does your role as Director involve? “Basically, as a director, you are responsible for everything. Directors can find a team of people to do various jobs if they want to, otherwise it is all up to them. Caroline and I have always been happy to share the workload between us. Amongst other things, we cut the script and choose when and where to set the play, design a set, design the costumes, choose the music, write and design the programme, paint and dress the set. Directing takes over your life. You end up spending every waking moment (and some dreamtime too!) thinking about or working on the play for about a year, often longer.” What happens if it rains? “Simply put, if it rains the actors get wet. Our permanent canopy above the auditorium means the audience always remain dry. The actors, on the other hand, get wet, sometimes extremely wet. Usually the rain is a brief shower, but on occasion it can hammer down. That presents problems, because the noise of the rain on the canopy above the audience can start to drown out the

actors’ voices. In 2012 I had to stop a performance of Twelfth Night because not only was the rain coming down so hard you couldn’t hear the actors, you could barely see them either! We had the interval early, during which time the storm passed, and then we carried on.” Have you decided which plays you will direct next year? “Next year is a very special year for us as the Company will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. To celebrate we have chosen two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: The Merchant of Venice and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and also Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s classic comedy The School for Scandal.” What piece of advice would you give to somebody looking to get involved in theatre?  “Just find a group, make a phone call and get involved. There is nothing like the camaraderie of being involved in a production. If you are looking to enter the profession I would also recommend joining a local group. The more experience you can get the better. Work hard and learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.” Finally, do you think Shakespeare plays are still relevant today?  “One of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, the writer Ben Jonson, wrote of Shakespeare that, ‘he was not of an age, but for all time.’ How very true that is, his plays are timeless. The works are universal and enduring because he was masterful at imbuing his stories and his characters with qualities that audiences and readers identify with. Samuel Johnson wrote, “His characters... are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as the world will always supply, and observation will always find.” When you watch a play by Shakespeare you so often see elements of your own life or your own personality reflected back at you. You can contact the box office on 01780 756133 or visit www. stamfordshakespearecompany.co.uk The Fens | August 2017

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This month’s book review What we’re

reading

Beautiful by Katie Piper; Ebury Press Several months ago, I had the great honour of meeting Katie Piper. The victim of a horrific acid attack, Katie is a shining example of triumph over adversity. Friendly and approachable, Katie proved to be genuinely warm and extremely generous with her time. So, this month’s book review is a work of non-fiction by Katie Piper. Katie’s autobiography, Beautiful, explains how she was attacked, her life beforehand and the events leading up to that day. Age twenty-four, living in London, Katie was a beautiful, successful and ambitious young woman when she was brutally raped by her then boyfriend. Several weeks later she had acid thrown in her face by the same man. “I heard a horrible screaming sound, like an animal being slaughtered … then I realised it was me.” However, if Katie’s perpetrator thought she was going to crawl away and hide her injuries from the rest of the world, he was sorely mistaken. Through the love and support of wonderful family and good friends, not to mention an iron-will powered by true determination and courage, Katie completely turned her life around. To many, she is an inspiration and role model. She is also beautiful, incredibly successful and rightly ambitious. Some of you may recognise Katie from TV shows like ‘Bodyshockers’ and ‘Face to Face’ and like me, you may have read about her terrible ordeal back in 2008, but also like me, you may not have realised the full

extent of her injuries, and the pain and suffering she endured, both mentally and physically. “It was just a normal mirror, a round sheet of glass encased in a white plastic frame, but as I reached for it, my hand trembled. ‘Take your time, Katie,’ my psychologist Lisa said gently…But I didn’t do things by halves – I never had…All of a sudden, that normal little mirror became a window into hell.” Katie continues to have countless operations, she is blind in one eye and because she swallowed some of the acid, she also suffered internal damage, resulting in a scar tissue around her oesophagus. This left Katie unable to eat and swallow food properly, which again resulted in yet more surgery. Katie makes no attempt to hide the fact she struggled after her attack, describing some very ‘dark’ times, however, this is also a story of hope and inspiration. Our verdict… Well composed, Beautiful is easy to read but not an easy read. Nonetheless, it is also written with great warmth, humour and aplomb. One woman’s triumph over evil and living proof that life does go on despite, at times, unimaginable difficulties and suffering.

By Eva Jordan, author of 183 Times A Year

THREE RETIREMENT WORRIES 1. Making Your Pension Work Smarter and Longer 2. Getting Affordable High-Quality Healthcare 3. Becoming the Victim of a Scam Fraudster  1. Having enough to live on and enjoy a lifestyle begins with knowing how much you need, it is not difficult to put a range of income requirements even if you don’t know exactly what you expect to be doing and how often – rather than an exact figure – between x and y is a good starting point. From this we can put together a Cash Flow plan that includes all pension arrangements including State pension, benefits, company pensions and private arrangements plus any other forms of income from property, repayment of loans or other financial arrangements, income from investments etc. Deduct tax and expected expenditure to see whether the plan is viable, if not what are the options? Topping up pensions may still be possible, using cash deposits in a more productive way, even drawing on equity from your premises might be an option*. 2. As we get older the possibility that Care might be required, and that it could be very expensive is a worry. Government inspired caps on funding are discussed, some are dropped, Local Authorities and Social Services do their utmost and families are left wondering how it will all pan out. There are actions that can be taken to help provide the best standard of care, the affordability will depend on individual circumstances – therefore advice from a specialist is essential. 3. Everyone is at risk from fraud. It is even more worrying when the fraudster targets someone known to be retiring and might have substantial funds available at that time. The old adage is important to remember at this time: If it seems too good to be true – it probably is! This is because fraudsters have been known to offer irresistible investment opportunities in exchange for the contents of your pension fund just at the time you become eligible to draw benefits. The new flexible drawdown legislation can provide valuable options for some and an opportunity to fraudsters – take advice from a qualified Independent Financial Adviser before making any decisions. Take the worry out of the most exciting phase of your life!. To keep your finances in line with expectations, legislation and what the investment markets are doing, review your plans with an Independent Financial Adviser. *This might involve an Equity Release arrangement that should only be considered with a qualified adviser. You need to be aware that equity release is not suitable for everyone, they can be expensive and inflexible if your circumstances change, they may affect your tax position and entitlement to state benefits and will reduce the value of your estate. To understand the features and risks of equity release, ask for a personalised illustration. I recommend that you take independent advice from a professional and look at all the other options available to you.

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 | August 2017

47


Walk of the month

Crawling with life…

Thurlby & Baston Fen Britain is home to a vast amount of insects, with around 20,000 different species to its name. They’re all around us, and yet often seen as little more than a distraction. But look a little closer and you’ll realise that these curious critters can really add variety to our well trodden paths, and the Fens with its plentiful marsh and wetland is a fantastic place to go in search

WORDS AND IMAGES LEANNE HYLAND I’m back in the heart of Fenland today to tackle a walk encompassing two different nature reserves close to Bourne in South Lincolnshire. Propped up on either side of the River Glen, Thurlby and Baston Fen are each considered a real hub for insect life - and it doesn’t take me long to find out why. The towering grassland at Thurlby Fen Slipe is alive and teeming with creatures of every shape and size. Tiny crickets leap out in front me, chirping loudly as I brush past, my feet disturbing their grassy abode. Vibrant damselflies dot the air with colour as they flit between hedgerows warming their delicate wings in the sun. Above, bright pink blossoms hum with bees thirsty for nectar. The sun beams down on my face as I walk, the air is humid and the terrain dense. The low lying pools of water that surround me help to draw in the sheer mass of insect life here at Thurlby. Not only do these creepy crawlies play a crucial role in the food chain, providing a tasty dinner for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, they also to help to maintain our unique ecosystems, aiding in the pollination of plants, aeration of soil and the control of pests. I follow a linear route which runs the length of the reserve, it’s very easy to navigate and there’s no need for a map, but certain sections are off limits to protect the more fragile habitats that surround me. I spot field poppies, teasels and an array of wildflowers, spilling out from the narrow confines of the reserve, over the floodbank and downhill to the 48 The Fens | August 2017

river beyond. When the path ends, instead of retracing my steps I divert to the road to take in the wide open expanse of land and vast skies which are so characteristic of the Fens. Although Baston Fen runs parallel to the site, there’s no through access so I hop back into the car and head for the south bank of the river. A long tract of permanent pasture, the Baston reserve covers 80 acres and sits in a rural location surrounded by arable farmland. I spot cows shielding their young as I enter, heading straight up the large floodbank on my right for views over the river. Historically, when Baston flooded and the surrounding waters began to freeze, Fen skating was a popular pastime, with locals enjoying the age old tradition. Today however there’s wall to wall sunshine and not one other person in sight, showing just how little known the South Lincolnshire Fens really are. Baston is also teeming with wildlife, but is especially known for its abundance of wildfowl. Shovelers, tufted ducks and sedge warblers can all be spotted throughout breeding season. I sit amongst the grass and watch as a mute swan and its family of fluffy adolescents glide through the reedbeds. The river is beautiful, and brightened considerably by flowering ragwort which lines the bank. Though poisonous to humans, insects aren’t deterred and butterflies in particular can’t seem to get enough as they perch their dozens on the yellow petals. Not only are the waterways incredibly scenic, they also provide a crucial wildlife corridor for the

creatures that call the Fens home. A little further upstream, a forested track sees willows, osiers and alder trees act as shelter for tits and finches - there’s even a couple of bird boxes to encourage winged visitors from further afield. Having completed my route I sit for a while, legs dangling over the side of a low hanging bridge. Beneath me the river is almost entirely covered with lily pads, clear sparkling water shining out from between them. The sun makes the water look even more enticing on this hot summer’s day, and I might just have to cool down with a little paddle.

THE STATS DIFFICULTY: Easy DISTANCE: 3 miles TERRAIN: Dirt tracks and long grassy corridors FACILITIES: Nearby Bourne has a multitude of cafes


Wheat fields stretch far into the distance

Baston Fen forms part of the Macmillan Way which stretches from Boston to Dorset The Fens | August 2017

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WHAT’S ON ANIMAL AGENTS Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 25th July - 30th August

Did you know elephants used to live in Peterborough? That the Romans loved rabbits? Or that dogs have been our pets for over 10,000 years? Get inspired to join the Summer Reading Challenge with Animal Agents events at Peterborough Museum. Running for six weeks, help solve museum mysteries as the Agents travel through time. Can you help them solve the trickiest puzzles history can throw at them? Find clues, unravel riddles and get up close to objects. Plus with storytelling from every era, you’ll travel from the Jurassic to the age of steam in no time! Each week will have a different theme starting with Dino Detectives: 25th-26th July. Times: 10am-5pm (4pm last entry) £3 children, £4 adults, £12 families No need to book www.vivacity-peterborough.com/ whatson/heritage/animal-agents/

PAINTING THE FENS (CHILDREN’S EVENT) Tuesday 1st August

Learn or improve your watercolour skills and create your own masterpiece at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve. Learn basic watercolour techniques indoors with a tutor before heading out onto the Fen to have a go at painting it! Booking Essential. Phone: 0344 249 1895. Suitable for children aged 6 and over. Start times vary so check the website. Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely.

MEETING MAGICAL MAMMALS Thursday 3rd August

Join Ranger Chris Rollason at Ferry Meadows for a short walk discovering the small mammals that live in the park. We will hopefully get to see Voles, Mice and Shrews as well as talk about their habitat, diet and identifying features. Time: 10:00am-11:00am Meet at: Visitor Centre Cost: Free - Suggested donation £2 Please call 01733 234193 for further details. Booking is essential. Please visit 52 The Fens | August 2017

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY...

www.neneparktrust.org.uk

THE ELMS CARE HOME SUMMER FETE Saturday 5th August

information. Elgood’s Brewery Gardens, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 1LW

Everybody is welcome to join The Elms Care Home in Whittlesey from 2pm. There will be music, a car boot sale, cream teas and much more.

FENLAND PLANTS WORKSHOP Saturday 5th August

Woodwalton Fen is amongst the best sites to get an understanding of what the original Fenland might have been like, and there are many plant species which are now largely confined to places like Woodwalton within Fenland. This course will focus on understanding the different plant communities that comprise (semi-) natural fens, the species that make up these communities and the factors such as water-regime and management that shape the patterns. Much of the time will be spent on the old fen at Woodwalton, getting to know the key species, some of the specialities and the impact of historical exploitation and modern conservation action. We will also have talks that introduce fens and Fenland and give an insight into the old nature reserve and the re-created habitats of the Great Fen. At the end of the course, participants should recognise a range of Fenland plants and have an understanding of how this dynamic landscape and its habitats are interrelated. The Wildlife Trust Countryside Centre & Woodwalton Fen Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm Booking essential. Find out more at www.greatfen.org.uk/events/ workshops/fenland-plantsworkshop

ELGOOD’S BREWERY GARDENS - OPEN GARDEN FOR NGS Sunday 6th August Elgood’s are opening their gardens for the National Garden Scheme on Sunday 6th August between 11.304.30. Admission is £4, children free. Light refreshments. Times:11:30 to 16:30. Call 01945 583160 for more

WOMEN’S NETWORKING Tuesday 8th August

Join like-minded women in business at the second Whittlesey Ladies Who Latte. Following on from our successful first meeting, we will be thrilled to see you at 9:30-11am at The Falcon Hotel in London Street, Whittlesey. Free to attend. Email hello@thefensmag.co.uk for info

THE BRAYS AND NICK CORNEY & THE BUZZ RATS Friday 11th August Join local bands The Brays who will be launching their new album and Nick Corney & The Buzz Rats who are launching their new EP, at Mama Liz’s Voodoo Lounge. With support from acoustic duo The Lartey Sisters. Time: From 8:30pm £5 in advance or £7 on the door Also available from www. wegottickets.com

NATURE KIDS 14th to 18th August and 21st – 25th August Fun nature inspired activities for children in the summer holidays at Ferry Meadows. Learn how to build a shelter, light a fire and use


natural materials in woodland crafts. Different activities everyday. Time: 09:30 – 15:00 Meet at: Lakeside Car Park Cost: £15 per day or £60 for the week Please call 01733 234193 for further details. Booking is essential. Please visit www.neneparktrust.org.uk

The Fedz - to celebrate 100 years of Lions Clubs International. Whittlesey Market Square Times: 2-5pm Bring your picnic and deck chairs suncream or Kagool - It will go ahead rain or shine!

REGULARS

CHICKEN RUN (OUTDOOR CINEMA) Friday 18th August

Sacrewell are hosting an outdoor cinema experinec of Chicken Run, starting at 8pm. A family ticket costs £30 for 2 adults/ 2 children OR 1 adult/ 3 children. 50p per person booking fee incurred. (You can also book adult and child tickets seperately). Find out more and to book at www. sacrewell.org.uk/events/chickenrun-outdoor-cinema/

1940s RAMSEY WEEKEND Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th August

Come and take a journey back in time with Ramsey’s 1940s weekend. There’s so much to see and do, including a dance on Saturday night (tickets required), 1940s music, fashion show, classic car exhibition, air raid scenario and more. Full details on page 32 Price: £10 (adults), £6 (concessions), £25 (family ticket) and under 5s are free. Find out more by calling 07881 730047 or visit www.ramsey1940s. co.uk

PETERBOROUGH BEER FESTIVAL Tuesday 22nd - Saturday 26th August

Celebrating their 40th year, Peterborough Beer Festival returns with over 400 real ales, ciders, perries, wines and bottled beers. There’s live music, a gin bar and more. Entance on Peterborough embankment. Entry price varies on date and time. Find out more by calling 01733 896555 or visiting www.beer-fest.org. uk

CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL Sunday 3rd September

Whittlesey & District Lions Club invite you to a free music event, featuring

WHITTLESEY AND DISTRICT U3A DATES The Whittlesey and District U3A hold an open meeting at Childers, Station Road, every third Thursday of the month at 2pm. Each month they have a guest speaker or entertainment. See details below: August Andy Smith, Music Man September Liz Wright, talk on Donkey Sanctuary October Cheese and Wine tasting November Ian Dorling, talk on Wills December Christmas party Please note that non-members are always welcome to come along for a taster session. Further details are available on our website, find us on Facebook, or email us at whittleseyu3a@gmail.com Wendy Fletcher, Publicity Officer

WHITTLESEY CONSERVATIVE CLUB ENTERTAINMENT Saturday 5th August James Courtney

Saturday 12th August Pat Campbell

Saturday 19th August Dave Logan

Saturday 26th August Dale Diamond

Hatha Yoga, for all levels, £6 each, some mats available. Monday - 6pm Wednesday - 6.30pm, Thursday 9.30am. St Andrew’s Parish Room, Parkinsons Lane, Whittlesey Power Yoga, lively music, intended to raise your heart rate & increase your flexibility & fitness. £6.10 to non members, bring water & small towel. Wednesday - 8pm. New Vision Fitness, Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey Painting group, we meet in the Eastrea Centre every Tuesday 1pm to 4pm all are welcome, for details contact Sue on 01733 205241 Jim’s Bingo, Tuesday and Thursday. Doors open at 7pm. Eyes down at 7.30pm at the rear of the Conservative Club. No membership required Hot Food 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 Sun, Mon & Thursday at the Ivy Leaf Club Ukulele ‘strum for fun’ first and third Tuesday, at the Ram, Whittlesey 7-9pm. Call Chris on 07960 316724 for info Weekly meditation class in March Fridays 10.30am - 11.30am. £5 per class. March Podiatry Practice, High Street, March, meditateinpeterborough.org.uk Whittlesey Mud Walls Group Meet upstairs at the Whittlesey Museum on the first Wednesday of the month at 10:30am

Would you like to earn money while working at your favourite Events & Festivals?

EVENT & FESTIVAL CONTRACTOR Stewarding • Traffic & Car Parking Management Recycling & Waste Management • Event Cleaning

Call 01733 200713

to request an information pack! recruitment@dcsiteservices.com www.dcsiteservices.com

The Fens | August 2017

53


Local

BUSINESS

Dog in a Doublet John and Della McGinn are the landlords of the popular pub and restaurant, Dog in the Doublet. Also offering Bed and Breakfast, John has more plans for expansion but he won’t be hanging up his chef’s whites anytime soon!

WORDS AMY CORNEY IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL

WHY DID YOU PURCHASE THE DOG IN A DOUBLET BACK IN 2011? I started my working life as a civil engineer but always had a passion for cooking wholesome food. I used to enjoy throwing dinner parties for friends in the evenings, and it was a friend that secretly sent in an application to MasterChef 10 years ago. Back in 2011 I was running a hotel and restaurant in Wimblington but wanted to take the plunge and purchase my own place. By chance the Dog in a Doublet came on the market. Back then it was in a derelict state and over the last seven years we have been renovating it! HOW DID IT DEVELOP? We started with the restaurant and once that was up and running, we decided to start developing rooms for the B&B. The deli came organically as customers kept asking to purchase food. We are now looking at the glamping side of the business. DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PLANS? We always have new plans on the go for developing the business further, and I don’t think we will ever stop! We want to open more bedrooms and 54 The Fens | August 2017

extend our campsite. Through our success we have extended our team and now we have a new full-time restaurant manager and chef. YOU RECENTLY FILMED ‘4 IN A BED’ FOR CHANNEL 4, HOW DID YOU FIND THE EXPERIENCE? It was an enjoyable experience - it was great to visit different B&Bs and get new ideas. We scored 10/10 on our breakfasts and on our hospitality, so that was a proud moment for us! WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MENU INSPIRATION FROM? We change our menu every two months and pay close attention to the seasons. I am growing lots of my own produce onsite and am passionate about using fresh local seasonal ingredients. My inspiration comes from everywhere, but I am particularly keen on finding old forgotten recipes or using traditional methods but updating them with a modern twist. I religiously read the Sunday paper supplements to keep up to date with current trends and adapting our menus to meet customer requests. We now offer a £10 menu alongside our seasonal and

tasting menu, which includes some great classics. IS THERE A CHEF YOU ADMIRE THE MOST? I am a huge fan of Tom Kerridge as he has a similar background to me. WHAT IS THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? I think it would be right now, seven years after opening. We have survived floods and it’s so rewarding to look at how far we have progressed and how positive the future is looking. DOG IN A DOUBLET has just launched its summer menu, so why not pop down and try something new. They’re located on River Nene between Thorney and Whittlesey. You can contact John and his team on 01733 202256 or visit the website: www.doginad.co.uk


FRESH FOOD CRAFT ALES

THE

RAILWAY WHITTLESEY

FAMILY

GARDEN

REAL ALES

NEW MANAGEMENT AT THE RAILWAY NOW OPEN AND SERVING HOME-COOKED FOOD | EXCELLENT RANGE OF ALES AND WINES | FAMILY FRIENDLY | USING LOCAL PRODUCE | OUTSIDE AREA | LUNCH MENU | SUNDAY LUNCH

OPENING HOURS MON - SUN 12:00-23:00 The Railway, 139 Station Road, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire PE7 1UF

01733 203555 | therailwaywhittlesey.co.uk

The Fens | August 2017

55


OUR BUFFETS AND HOG ROASTS ARE IDEAL FOR EVERY OCCASION - LET US CATER FOR YOU!

The Fenland Roaster

HOG ROASTS, BBQS AND COOKED BREAKFASTS - MOBILE CATERING AND CORPORATE HOSPITALITY IN AND AROUND PETERBOROUGH, CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES

SPECIALISING IN:

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

EXCELLENT RANGE OF BUFFETS & EXTRAS:

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

SERVING AT THE WHITTLESEY FESTIVAL - SEPTEMBER 10TH:

Why not come down and sample our hog roast at the Letter B Pub, CAMRA Cider Pub of the year 2015 & 2016?

For all enquiries: 07930 494 076 | 01733 206658 | richard@thefenlandroaster.co.uk 56 The Fens | August 2017

Or visit www.thefenlandroaster.co.uk

The Fens August 2017  
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