Page 1

in Partnership with

The

Fens Issue 12 | May 2017

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

Win

A MEAL FOR 2 AT THE RAILWAY P. 34

EXCLUSIVE BBC Introducing Tom Simkins talks music Discover Ferry Meadows’ heros and much more History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places visit | Reviews Theto Fens | May 2017 1


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The Fens | May 2017


Ed’s letter

It has been another busy month for THE FENS team. We were thrilled to be invited to include our magazine in Queensgate Shopping Centre, which means from now on, shoppers from all over the area can pick up a copy of our publication. When I started this venture almost a year ago, I never imagined it could go so far - it shows that with a bit of determination and a lot of hard work, there are no limits what you can achieve. My thanks as always go to everyone who is a part of this great publication. And so we look towards May, with its two bank holidays and promise of warmer weather to come. In this issue we took a visit to Ferry Meadows Country Park and discovered why volunteering can enrich our own lives, as well as make a real impact on the community around us. I was also invited to visit the refurbished Railway Inn in Whittlesey, which I was delighted to see looks as good inside as the home-cooked food tastes. To celebrate its reopening, we also have a meal for two up for grabs, details on how you can enter is on page 34. Don’t forget to keep supporting our advertisers in this magazine and mention us when making enquiries - they’re the ones who make this publication possible. And finally, next month we celebrate our first birthday - that’s an excellent excuse for a cake, right? Enjoy the read!

NATASHA SHIELS, PUBLISHER

This month 7 Fenland Food and Craft Fair 9 Must Farm update 10 Interviewing Tom Simkins 15 Your garden in May 18-20 Nature in the Fens, including our bee spotlight 21-25 This month’s health and fitness in Partnership with

The

Fens

24 Will you walk 5 miles for charity? 26 Volunteering at Ferry Meadows 31 Find out how to create a natural look 33 New dog grooming parlour opens 34 Spotlight on The Railway 36 Recipe of the month

Issue 12 | May 2017

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

Win

A MEAL FOR 2 AT THE RAILWAY P. 34

EXCLUSIVE BBC Introducing Tom Simkins talks music Discover Ferry Meadows’ heros and much more History | Food | Home & garden | Nature | What’s on | Places visit | Reviews Theto Fens | May 2017 1

44 Independent business of the month - Westfield Nurseries 46 Motoring news

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 DISTRIBUTION

8,600 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 12 | May 2017

Front cover - Flowers (Westfield Nurseries) 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 | May 2017

3


This month

REASONS TO BE HAPPY

MAY DAY

MAY

Did you know? May Day itself (May 1st) is not a public holiday unless it falls on a Monday

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. The spring bank holiday on the first Monday in May was created in 1978, and reportedly was almost moved to October in 2011.

HALF-TERM AGAIN!

Did you know?

May is National Asparagus Month, as well as National Share-a-Story Month and National Burger Month in the UK

NATIONAL OPEN GARDEN SCHEME Have you ever fancied a nose around beautiful private gardens? In that case, the National Open Garden Scheme is right up your street - literally! The NGS have around 3,700 breathtaking private gardens opening for charity – and you don’t have to travel far for a fantastic day out! With gardens in Thorney, Huntingdon, Wisbech, Ely, Oundle, Peterborough to name just a few, there’s bound to be something to tickle your fancy. For full details, including dates for individual gardens, please visit www.ngs.org.uk. You can select the area you are interested in, as well as find out about the various charities the scheme supports. 4

The Fens | May 2017

FUN AT THE FARM

Join Sacrewell every day for pond dipping and other activities to keep your whole family entertained. 27th May – 4th June

HALF TERM TRAIL

Collect a trail sheet on the theme of rabbits from the Visitor Centre, and hunt for clues as you walk around Ferry Meadows. Return to the Visitor Centre to claim your prize. Trail sheets are available 10:00am-2:30pm and cost 50p. There’s no need to book! 27th May - 4th June


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The Fens | May 2017


News

Fenland

Midsummer Food and Craft Fair 2017

Come down to The Secret Garden this summer for a day out at the Food and Craft Fair on Saturday, June 24, at 10am and indulge in the finest artisan food and crafts they have on display for all to enjoy. Take a day off from the urban lifestyle and see what it’s really like to live in the Fens! Everything involved within the Fenland Midsummer Food and Craft Fair is purely unique and worth a visit; basket weaving demonstrations, a vintage fire engine topped off with a beautiful live music band playing. Imagine the perfect idyllic country fair’s on an episode of Midsummer Murders just without the murder. A variety of things to indulge yourself into which makes the Fenland Midsummer Food and Craft Fair your perfect destination. Stamford Cheese and Wine will also be making an appearance. The stall offers a wide selection of artisan cheeses along with chutneys, jams and crackers. They can even recommend what wine to go with your cheese, how fancy! Fenland Bushcraft is another stall that will be at the food and craft fair. It is a local family business run by Andrew Callaghan and Geoff Preen and it is very popular amongst campers of all ages. There will be a stand at the food and craft fair run by Andrew and Geoff and their trusty steed, Harry the Land Rover. You can learn how to make a fire the natural way and use the natural surroundings in a multiple of ways, replicating what our ancestors did every day, thousands of years ago. Over the past few years, the Secret Garden have hosted the Fenland Midsummer Food and Craft Fair and

every year more and more excitement appears and the atmosphere is yet again captured. This year there are 47 fantastic stalls on offer for you to roam at your pleasure. If that isn’t appealing enough then how about beer and sausage tasting? Now I bet that’s swept you off your feet. All locally produced beer and cider at Mile Tree Brewery and sausages provided by Bramblebee Farm will melt in your mouth and make you crave for more. Is your mouth watering yet? The sausages come in lots of flavours including sage and red onion, Cambridgeshire, olde English, cracked black pepper and plain pork. The family filled atmosphere shines onto the camp site. Even throughout my Interview with Steve, little Ewan was handing me everything he could get his hands on, including Lesley’s phone… sorry about that Lesley! The friendly, attention seeking cat, Vernon is sure to pay you a visit on a hunt for food and cuddles. Now does that sound like sound like a perfect summer’s day in the Fens, or is it just me? By Maddie Callaghan

n The Secret Garden is situated at The Secret Garden Touring Park, Mile Tree Lane, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 4TR To find out more information please call 01945 585044 or email thesecretgardentouringpark@ btconnect.com or visit the website to see what else is going on at www.thesecretgardentouringpark. co.uk

NOTICE The next meeting of the Whittlesey & District Business Forum in May is on the 24th. Businesses are welcome to arrive at 6pm at the Falcon Hotel, London Street, Whittlesey, and the meeting will start at 6:30pm. The speaker for this month will be Andy Wright from the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. So do not miss this important meeting. See you on the 24th. Steve Hodson. 01733 203064 The Fens | May 2017

7


News

All images by RWT Photography

Mayor’s Duck Race in Pictures

Hundreds of families and friends from Whittlesey and surrounding villages congregated on the banks of The Bower for the Easter Monday Mayors Charity Duck Race. Mayor of Whittlesey Cllr Alex Miscandlon started the race with the help of Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue and Whit the Duck. The winning ticket belonged to Ben Coxall whose duck number 626 won by a beak to win the first prize of £50 his prize was collected by his twin brother Danny who remarkably had a 1000 to /1 chance win three years ago. Cllr Alex added: “The event raised a considerable amount of money towards my charities. Which this year are NPNG, Whittlesey Warriors and Whittlesey Dolphins.”

Citizen of the Year in Pictures

8

The Fens | May 2017

This year’s Citizen of the Year was awarded to Brian Smithyman. Brian was nominated due to his selfless efforts to make the lives of people in Whittlesey better. Outstanding Services to the Community award was received by Mick Cooke, a man who spends his own time keeping the town tidy. “The scoring between the winner and the runner-up was incredibly close, and I would like to thank my fellow committee members Cllr. Mrs Rita Jolley and Cllr. Eamonn Dorling for what was a very difficult and tightly scored final,” added Whittlesey Mayor, Alex Miscandlon.


News

Imagine:Whittlesey

– Imagine the World Must Farm Consortium Meeting On Friday 10 March 2017 the Whittlesey Town Mayor, Cllr Alex Miscandlon, accompanied by Cllrs David Mason and Eamonn Dorling, attended a consortium meeting at the Key Theatre, Peterborough to discuss the future of Bronze Age artefacts recovered from the area in Whittlesey known as Must Farm. The meeting was chaired by Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive of Peterborough City and Cambridgeshire County Councils and amongst those present were representatives from Fenland District Council, Peterborough Vivacity, Peterborough Museum, Historic England, Cambridge Archaeological Society and the British Museum together with the appointed consultants engaged with appropriate funding for the project. The objective of the meeting was to elicit opinion from all parties with a view to applying successfully for National Heritage funding by the end of 2017 to enable a purpose built Heritage Centre to be established to house not only artefacts already discovered but to accommodate future finds of a similar nature. The initial discussions revolved around enhancing the current Bronze Age site at Flag Fen but as the meeting progressed it became apparent that due to the location and lack of suitable access to Flag Fen this was not an ideal situation, which was acknowledged by the majority of those present. The Whittlesey Councillors promoted a possible site adjacent to the A605 trunk road and in close proximity to the site of the original findings. This suggestion was endorsed by the Fenland District Council representation and the general consensus was that educational value was of primary importance involving a personal experience in a Fenland landscape. Whittlesey Town Council is currently undertaking enquiries to secure a suitable site within the Whittlesey boundaries on which to build a Heritage Centre which is recognised as not only being of regional importance but of interest internationally and vital to the future prosperity of our town. Further news will be reported as this project is progressed. An exhibition of some of the finds will be on display at Peterborough Museum between May 5th and September 10th. For more information visit www.vivacity-peterborough.com/vivacityvenues/peterborough-museum

Last month, Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey hosted the Imagine:Whittlesey concert. The audience thoroughly enjoyed a performance given by over 90 young people, local players and musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra. The concert was the culmination of a six-month project organised by Market Place working in partnership with 20Twenty Productions and Cambridgeshire Music Partnership. Grand Union Orchestra musicians worked closely with children from Coates Primary School, Park Lane Primary School, and Sir Harry Smith Community College, as well as local adult musicians from the Whittlesey Wind Ensemble to explore music stories of land, sea, and myths from around the world. Children learnt new rhythms and sounds, exploring music from around the globe, and learning to play new pieces on a range of instruments. Grand Union Orchestra Project Leader, Shanti Jayasinha said, “It's evenings like this that remind me how amazing it is to create musical experiences with young people - all of the children from Park Lane, Coates and Sir Harry Smith schools gave 100 per cent in the performance and achieved more than I could have imagined. They improvised on an Indian raag, played African drums, Reggae, Brazilian Samba, Bhangra and

sung their hearts out - even encouraging the audience to try and match them. It was a truly memorable event.” “What an amazing, inspirational experience for all of our Whittlesey young people to be able to perform alongside professional musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra,” added Sue Bradshaw, a teacher from Park Lane Primary School. “The atmosphere was electric as parents and members of the community joined us in a celebration of world music. Our musicians have developed their skills in musical improvisation as well as their confidence by working alongside and nurturing, talented musicians - this whole experience has been highly motivating for our students.” “This project was all about bringing people together to share and learn about different music traditions from around the world through workshops and performance,” added Market Place Programme Manager, Catherine Mummery. “Whittlesey is well known for the Straw Bear Festival and I particularly enjoyed the number that merged the Straw Bear dance with a South African township tune. Finding what unites us and creating a celebratory event unique to a particular place is integral to the Market Place approach as a Creative People and Places project.” The Fens | May 2017

9


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introducing

tom simkins Best known on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, TOM SIMKINS, swapped roles this month as he was interviewed by our own Anthony Shiels, revealing his favourite music festivals and sharing his top tips

The Fens | May 2017

11


Interview Hi Tom, thanks so much for talking to THE FENS. How did you become a DJ? “I had grown up in and around the Cambridge music scene since I was in my early teens, be it in bands or as a fan of some of the awesome artists around at that time. “I was working out what I wanted to study at sixth form and after realising that my future wasn’t in film studies, I ended up going on an allencompassing audio production course which then got me started on the path into radio.   “I got my foot in the door at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire doing a few phone answering shifts, and over the last 10 years, have worked my way across various different roles at the station including, Station Sound Producer, Engineer, Music Manager, Technical Operator, which has led me to where I am now as a producer/ presenter for BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire.”   How do you feel about the way music is consumed in the modern age? “Streaming has certainly changed the game. I am probably a person who was born into that last generation who still like have a physical CD to marvel over, and the ability to enjoy all the different aspects of a band through listening to a album from cover to cover, so to speak, rather than just repeat playing that one song that did well on the radio.   “In recent times, the instant nature of music has made a lot of acts move away from the album or even EP, and look at focussing on releasing singles, as it’s a way to be able to showcase the best of what they are doing and refine it so it makes the maximum impact when it’s released.   “That being said, for me there is still something really special about kicking back, popping an album on and just enjoying the story it has about it, be that a coherent narrative or just a development of sound, but maybe I’m just a dying breed in this digital age.”   We recently bumped into you at our band/songwriter showcase. Thank you for coming along! With a lot of your life surrounded by new music, do you still get a kick out of watching bands play? “You are more than welcome, it was a great night and Golden Bantic nailed it!   “In my line of work I get the best of both worlds, in that I get to go see so many great live bands out and about around the county, and also have them drop in our studios to play live for us in session on BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire.   “I still get a massive kick from seeing people performing; there is something really sacred watching an artist or band bare their soul doing what they 12 The Fens | May 2017

love in playing music. I think for me, at this point, it tends to be the more quirky smaller gigs that hold those magic moments when crowd and artist connect on that level to create a special night.” Can you offer advice to any up and coming bands wanting to be heard on BBC Introducing? “The best way up and coming acts can get their music heard is to get themselves onto the BBC Introducing Uploader.   “This the way so many have gotten their music into BBC Introducing, it’s a great way to get music heard by professionals and if the music is good, it can go all the way to the top level and can lead to great opportunities.   “Otherwise just general advice would be to get out there and play as much as possible. The more you play, the better you get as a musician as you gain more experience and you never know who could be in the crowd.”   Are there any emerging bands from the Fens area to look out for in 2017? “This is such a hard question because the answer is yes, heaps, but who do I name without upsetting someone if I forget to include them!   “But if you want a bit of an insight, I recommend tuning in to BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire Saturday evenings from 8pm!”

What's the funniest memory you have from a live studio session? “We ask our artists for a level of selfcensorship due to the time we’re on the radio, and I remember an artist came in and we were mid-way through the show, he was performing live and realised his track had a naughty word coming up. So he’s playing his guitar, turns to me and with the straightest face just says, ‘bleep’ and carries on as if nothing had happened. I had to restrain myself from bursting out into fits

of laughter midway through his song - it really tickled me.” The Green Meadows Festival was a huge success last year. Are you and the BBC involved in any festivals this year?  “I am just generally in my happy place when summer hits and I get to sit in a field and enjoy music, be it a small festival or a large, many-thousand capacity one. I think there is something truly special about spending the British summer time enjoying the great outdoors accompanied by a backdrop of wonderful live artists.   “This year we are going to be heading out and about once more around the county, with takeover nights planned at both Green Meadows Festival and the Secret Garden Party. We are super appreciative to festivals allowing us to do this sort of thing, as it’s a great way to give local up and coming artists a platform to perform at some of the big events around the area, and help them grow in confidence.”   What future plans or ambitions do you have either in broadcasting or music? “Honestly I tend to be so busy that I just take it one day at a time, I am very lucky that my job is different every day of the week.   “I think with my background in the local music scene, and seeing so many talented bands who I grew up with, never really quite get the recognition I felt as a fan they deserved, it’s always been my aim since to try and help as many musicians as I can, to showcase what they do. And with the platform the show provides, this is definitely the best place for me to do that.”   n Thank you again for taking the time out to talk with us. You can tune into to BBC Introducing hosted by Tom Simkins every Saturday night from 8pm on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.


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Home & garden

Your garden in May

Spring is well under way now. The spring bulbs are fading and the herbaceous border is growing in leaps and bounds. The May days are longer and warmer and the risk of frost should have gone by now. The idea of getting out in the garden during the fine weather and ‘ticking things off the list’ becomes much more appealing. Spring flowering bulbs and plants will need clearing in preparation for summer bedding, and its promise of colour to come. But don’t get overwhelmed by those seemingly endless lists of gardening jobs – here are our three most important...

Plant of the Month:

Geranium

Why should you plant them?

Three essential gardening jobs for May PLANT SUMMER BEDDING

May is the month to get your summer bedding started in borders and containers. If planting in borders lift out old plants, run a fork through the soil and add a good fertiliser before replanting summer plants. Try to fill pots and containers in the position they are going to stay – they can become heavy when filled! Water retaining crystals will help to reduce the amount of watering and keep compost moist during warmer periods. Don’t forget to feed with fertiliser during the flowering period.

PRUNE EVERGREEN HEDGES AND SPRING FLOWERING SHRUBS

There’s no better time to give evergreen hedges a trim to get them looking neat and tidy. Smaller hedges can be tackled with a pair of shears, but you may need a hedge trimmer for larger bushes. Prune any shrubs that flowered in spring as soon as they have finished flowering. Broom, forsythia and ribes all need pruning now. Remove around a third of the oldest flowering stems – this will make the plant look better and encourage new growth to create a good display

next year. Be sure to check large shrubs and hedges for nesting birds before you start chopping!

Geraniums make popular bedding plants – either in the garden or in pots and hanging baskets. They thrive outdoors in the summer but are also great for using as a houseplant. They look good planted in a group in a flowerbed all by themselves or mixed in with other annuals – the perfect plant for any spot that calls for a splash of colour throughout the season.

How should you plant them?

Geraniums need to be grown in well draining soil or if planting in pots a good quality free draining compost. They should be located in a bright spot in the garden that gets plenty of sunshine. Soil should be allowed to dry between watering to avoid root rot.

PLANT OUT YOUNG VEG

Marrow, courgette and sweetcorn are all ready to be sown in the greenhouse. The likes of brussel sprouts, kale, peas and swede should also be okay covered outside. If you have already sown tomatoes, move them outside to harden them off. Keep them outside during the day and bring them back inside at night for two weeks to acclimatise them. If you have potatoes that are starting to emerge, pull a few inches of earth around the plant with a rake to give the plant more soil to grow. Enjoy your garden!

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Open 7 days a week including Bank Holidays The Fens | May 2017

15


Home & garden

Working with Conflicting Styles? Whether you’re taking on a roommate or moving into a new place with your significant other, combining different styles can be challenging, especially when the people involved have strong opinions. Simon Parr-Black shows it can be done CONSULT A THIRD PARTY If you find yourselves struggling to blend affinity for clean lines and minimalism with a love of bright colours, loud patterns and eclectic art, you could have a hard time balancing some of your preferences, and the years of hand-me-downs and other accessories can just prove to be too complicated to balance. Having an independent pair of eyes could be the way to go helping you to create harmony.

Some of the most interesting spaces integrate a variety of influences. Here are some suggestions for creating an environment that’s cohesive, not clashing, and preserving your relationship along the way. START FRESH By taking everything out of a room and then deciding together what goes back in, can give a couple a fresh start without starting from scratch. You can then go shopping together to bridge any gaps. To get a better sense of each other’s style, create a mood board to share images of rooms and furniture you like. MIX IT UP I think a big mistake couples make when designing is that they feel everything needs to match or be in the same aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to use furniture from different design periods, layer in fabrics and textiles that are varied in pattern and colour, hang artwork and pepper in accessories that are interesting and meaningful to you both. The ultimate goal in designing is to have a space that feels personal. To achieve that effect, you can juxtapose unexpected textures and 16 The Fens | May 2017

colours, pairing a green leather armchair with a vintage pink velvet footstool and covering two antique wingback chairs in patterned upholstery. Photographs of family members, mementos from your travels and colorful artwork hang together in the living room to create personal interest. This design works because every element in the space has touches of both personalities. FIND COMMON GROUND Find something you both love, like the colour blue or the outdoors. Incorporate that into the room in small details like a piece of art or a handpainted dresser. The inspiration for your shared home could turn out to be an imaginary holiday home. The balance can be from a place that you both love and so you could integrate that style into your home. Once you start to conceptualize one area, you can carry that over into other areas, then your personal characteristics can be represented through accessories and artwork.

PICK YOUR BATTLES Letting him keep his framed sports shirt now will give you the ammunition you need later for the fight over the pink velvet sofa! It’s probably not worth taking a stand over that beat-up old armchair you picked up at a garage sale, but maybe you don’t want to let go of your grandmother’s favourite teapot just yet. Think about what matters to you most and let go of the rest. TOP TIP: Pick up a peg board or cork board and create your own mood board with colours and textures you like

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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17


Nature

The Fens...today WORDS DAVID WHITE, RSPB Communications Officer in Cambridgeshire and the Fens IMAGES ANDY HAY, CHRIS GOMERSALL

It is always a learning curve when you visit an area for the first time. The first time I experienced the big skies of the Fens was from the train as I visited a friend in Kings Lynn back in December 2007. I was born and bred in Poole in Dorset. Down there, the sea, rolling hills and dramatic cliffs dominate the landscape. Therefore, the flat and wide open Fens came as a bit of a shock to the system for me. Little did I know, that just under a year later, I would be moving to this wonderful area, as I accepted a job as Community Information Officer at RSPB Lakenheath Fen, on the Suffolk/ Norfolk border. What was originally only a six month contract then turned into a year. Incredibly, almost eight and a half years later, I am still based at Lakenheath Fen, although I do a different job nowadays! This has given me an opportunity to really get to know the Fens, and needless to say, I have fallen in love with this area. As you might expect, given my role, the wildlife of the area is one of the

main reasons I have fallen for the Fens. The Ouse Washes and Nene Washes are incredible places to see wintering swans and ducks, but springtime is a truly magical season in the Fens. One of the things that quickly struck me when I moved here was the sheer amount of arable farmland. Again, this is something that I had not been used to growing up, as dairy farming dominates Dorset. I was eager to explore some of the farmland in the Fens, to find out more about the wildlife that lived in this habitat. I found a range of species that I had always found difficult to track down in my home county. This included species such as the corn bunting, with its song that sounds like a set of keys being jangled and the tree sparrow, the country cousin of the familiar house sparrow. They were joined by a supporting cast of species such as skylarks, singing their angelic songs overhead as if they were hanging on an invisible piece of string. The simple but pleasing song of the gorgeous

“The Ouse Washes and Nene Washes are incredible places to see wintering swans and ducks, but springtime is a truly magical season in the Fens” 18 The Fens | May 2017

yellowhammer could also be heard, who is supposed to sing “a little bit of bread and no cheese!” Although it was wonderful to acquaint myself with all of these species, I was worried when I found that they are all declining in this area due to habitat change. However, I was heartened to hear that a lot of work was being done to help these species. The Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone – an initiative between the RSPB and nature-friendly farmers - was created to safeguard valuable habitat for these species. This area now covers a whopping 3,782 hectares (which is larger than 3,500 football pitches!) and is managed by these dedicated farmers to save farmland birds and other wildlife. Thanks to this partnership, I can look forward to getting out into the Fens this spring to listen out for our resident farmland birds that make this area so special for wildlife. Why not venture into the Fens this spring and search for some of our farmland birds yourself? For more information on the Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone, and to find out where you can see farmland birds visit www.rspb.org.uk for more information.


Pets

PET CORNER | When you hear the word ‘rabbit’, how many of you lapse into the chorus of Bright Eyes from the film of Richard Adams’ book Watership Down, and how many of you think “Mmmmmmm.... yummy” ? !!! Eating rabbits may seem distasteful to many of you, but that was why they were first introduced into Britain. Thought to have been brought here by the Romans around 116-127 BC, who kept the rabbits for meat, the oldest rabbits’ remains in fact were found in West Sussex and Kent and found to be half a million years old, way before the Romans invaded! The domestication of rabbits is believed to have been started by Monks, who started to select and breed them for different colours. Latterly, the explosion of the middle classes in Victorian times, who had a surplus of time and money, started breeding rabbits for competitions, a pass-time that is still very popular today. Nowadays, rabbits are kept as pets, for showing, as well as for food. Even though they are partly domesticated, with some living

This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at everything you need to know about looking after your pet rabbit

in the home, they are still very close to their wild ancestors, and are blessed (or cursed) with some amazing senses. These senses are all formed from the fact that rabbits are a prey species. They have large ears that can move independently to pinpoint noises, large protruding eyes that give almost 360* vision (although they cannot see directly in front of their nose due to the position of their eyes!) and are continually growing teeth. Giving them good quality hay is the best food to help them keep their teeth in tip-top condition. Rabbits can also reproduce very quickly, being able to give birth at six months of age, with the gestation period of only 31 days. When you watch a rabbit, you will see their nose twitches. The nose is full of highly sensitive receptors used for ‘reading’ the air for signs of potential danger. A rabbit whose nose is not twitching, is completely relaxed.

Rabbits are obligate herbivores and their food passes twice through their gut. The first time they ‘poo’, the caecotrophs as they are known, are eaten by the rabbit, adding enzymes enabling the mix to be metabolised the next time it passes through the gut, and eventually left on the ground. Rabbits have a highly specialised skeleton which does, however, have a slight design fault in that their spine is quite weak in relation to the huge strength of their hind limbs. It is therefore very important to pick up and carry rabbits extremely carefully, and not allow them to be dropped or fall. Those of you who remember Watership Down may also remember the advent of Myxomatosis, an awful control method that was introduced to control the burgeoning population. This disease to this day is still a threat to rabbits, and they should be vaccinated against it annually. Another fatal disease are the two strains of Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD), another disease that can be vaccinated against. For any advice regarding rabbit vaccinations or to book an appointment, please call the surgery.

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Your pet’s our passion www.whittleseyvets.co.uk The Fens | May 2017

19


Nature

Bee Creative in the Garden

Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts launch campaign to help wild bees The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to urge gardeners to do more to help protect bumblebees and solitary bees, heroes of the pollinator world. The Bee Creative in the Garden! call comes as bees are under increasing pressure largely due to loss of habitat. In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost and the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats isn’t just confined to rural areas. The network of 15 million gardens that once formed ‘green corridors’ for wildlife are disappearing at an alarming rate. The number of front gardens that have been paved over has tripled in a decade and over five million have no plants growing at all. The charities will be arming gardeners with the advice, insights

In the countryside, 97% of lowland meadow has already been lost 20 The Fens | May 2017

and inspiration they need to create different species of wild bee, their habitats that support wild bees life cycles and how they nest, as as they emerge from their nests in well as practical steps gardeners early spring to forage for food. can take to help them - download Gardeners will be able to at wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk download a wild bee-friendly Enter the Bee Creative photo gardening guide. Wildlife events competition - gardeners, and a ‘Bee Creative’ gardening groups and photo competition schools are encouraged will also be taking to share how they’ve place from April to welcomed wild bees 1 November 2017 as into gardens by posting bees buzz during the a picture on Facebook, gardener’s growing Twitter or Instagram Your Your Your season and then look – using the hashtag ebee ld ld wi wibe wild bee for nesting sites in #wildaboutgardens – of pack nactio n pack actio action pack autumn. their bee-friendly area, Caroline Fitton, whether a tailor-made Wildlife Trust BCN bee home, a flowersays: “Anyone can packed border or a wall take action to help wild bees that bees have made whether you have a wall for their own. vertical planting, window box, or A list of the wildlife gardening back garden. It’s easy to plant events taking place can be found a bee haven and fun choosing at wildaboutgardensweek.org. between bee-friendly beauties uk. Bee Creative in the Garden! such as borage, foxglove and culminates in Wild About Gardens honeysuckle.” Week, 23 - 29 October - a fun-filled The wild bee-friendly gardening week of special activities focused guide, ‘Get your garden buzzing on how to help bees survive the for bees’, is free to download and winter ahead. contains lots of facts about the ens #wildaboutgardens #wildaboutgard #wildaboutgardens

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Health

FOCUS ON - Pain

Breakfast - The most

important meal of the day The average time between an evening meal and breakfast in the UK is 13 hours. In fact, many people I’ve worked with wait until at least 10.30am before even considering eating, going nearly 16 and a half hours without food! This amount of time is enough to tick our body over into what is commonly referred to as ‘Starvation Mode’. This dates back to our caveman ancestors, where a lack of food meant the body started to prepare for a famine, and when food is eventually consumed, it’s stored as... you guessed it, body fat! Our ancestors’ bodies would look to use these fat stores later on when needed, but today, we eat meals and snacks for the rest of the day. This leads to an ineffective energy system, making it difficult for the body to distribute the right things to the right places as required. So break the fast, do it first thing in the morning and make it something good. Steer clear of sugary cereals (and that’s pretty much every cereal, even the ones that claim to be good), snack bars, bagels, waffles, bread, jams, Nutella, etc. These all lack any real substance and are full of the bad

Oi

carbs and sugars that directly lead to weight gain and poor health. My advice is always, a pint of cold water first, the body has gone 13 hours without water too, this jumpstarts your metabolism and gets the brain working. Then how many nutrients can you start your day with? Homemade smoothies can pack so much variety and goodness, plus they’re portable, so you can make it and take it with you on the go. Always make your own so you know exactly what is going in it.

The pain receptors can be activated in three ways: 1. COMPRESSION – when an internal (e.g. a muscle) or external (e.g. a garden slab) object places a mechanical pressure on the pain receptor. 2. CHEMICAL – the release of specific chemicals within the body. These are commonly associated with inflammation which is created when there is cellular damage. 3. ISCHEMIC – the reduction in blood flow to the receptor. This affects its overall health and therefore it becomes activated. Once registered the signal is sent through to our higher centres (our brain) where it is enhanced or diminished. This is determined by our:

My breakfast of choice is a three egg omelette with kale, peppers and a small amount of cheese and chorizo, with a handful of almonds or cashews, pint of water and a black coffee. This energises me through what is always an active morning and my own first training session of the day, until lunchtime at least four hours later. Make time for a nutritious breakfast, and see just how much of an impact in can have on your day, as well as your diet as a whole.

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 | May 2017

Pain is a feeling just like touch. It arises when a certain sensory nerve termed noiceptors (i.e. pain receptors) are activated. In the same way, mechanoceptors (mechanical touch receptors) enable us to feel the pressure of an object on our skin.

• Emotion at the time • Fears attached to the pain (e.g. if we are fearful that the chest pain is part of a heart attack it will feel more painful than if we know it is just wind!) • What is happening around us (e.g. if you sprain your ankle whilst looking after a young child it will be less painful than if you are out with your friends • Past experiences with pain (e.g. rugby players or builders/ farmers can be good at dealing with physical pain because they experience it regularly. However, they may respond very differently if they have a problem with their internal organs). So remember pain is controllable. To keep it to its absolute minimum, remain positive, create constructive surroundings and do not fear it but understand it.

Oi

ABOUT THE EXPERTS

Mayur and Ubhi can be found at Whittlesey Osteopaths, 01733 785214


MOTIVATION GOAL SETTING Did you know that setting a goal gives you a much greater chance of continuing, compared to those without?

A recent study, which analysed exercise data for more than a million adults in England, found that 80% failed to meet the government target of taking moderate exercise at least 12 times in a four-week period. It found about 8% of adults who were physically able to walk had not walked for even five minutes continuously during a four-week period, while 46% had not walked for leisure for more than 30 minutes continuously. This study reveals that as a nation, we really aren’t doing enough. There are of course many reasons why we aren’t exercising, and sometimes it isn’t possible, for example due to illness, injury or personal reasons. But as research shows that exercise is as important for our physical as well as our mental health, we should all try to do the basic minimum. Finding a goal is an excellent motivational tool, and it is the basis of this article. Find the right goal, and the rest should just fall into place... CHOOSE YOUR GOAL This sounds easier than it is. Start by writing down who you are; sit quietly for 10 minutes and evaluate what your intention is. Do you want to take part in a race or do a charity event? Do you want to be able to bicycle to the shops, or just to feel more confident and healthier? Can you team up with a friend who is in a similar position to you, or wants the same goal? STAY FOCUSED Picking a race to enter can be great

for motivation on days when you don’t feel like exercising, but they can also mask your true goal. If your goal is to feel healthier and more confident, don’t get too caught up in the build up to the race and lose focus on your true goal. Instead use the race as part of your training for your long-term ambition of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. CREATE A FRAMEWORK Once you have set your goal, create a loose structure which involves some activities, as well as times during the week to reflect on your progress. Be flexible, if the weather isn’t great outside, can you train the following morning or visit the gym instead? SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM GOALS It’s important to recognise the difference between a short-term, and long-term goal. A short-term goal is something you want to do in the near future. The near future can mean today, this week, this month, or even this year. A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish soon. For example, ‘I’d like to join a beginner running group.’ Shortterm goals are usually easier to fulfil, researching local groups in your area, will usually come up with a selection of different physical activities you can partake in. A long-term goal is something you want to do further in the future. Longterm goals require time and planning. They are not something you can do this week or even this month.

Fitness

Long-term goals usually take six months or more to achieve. For example, ‘I want to run a half marathon’. Goals such as these are best looked at in reverse: you’ve set your long-term goal, now how will you achieve it? What steps do you need to take now in order to reach that end result? Hopefully the two goals will go hand-in-hand. E.g. join a beginner running group, who can help you train and build up your fitness to complete the half marathon.

Last month I set myself the goal of signing up for a half marathon in October. I did this because I had joined a local group, loved building up my fitness, but after completing the initial course, I found my motivation had ceased. Entering the Perkins Great Eastern Run has reignited my flair once again, and I’m back in my running shoes. You don’t have to sign up for a running event. You could join a cycling club and look ahead for a charity ride, or take part in our sponsored walk (details on page 24). The key is finding something you enjoy, and letting your imagination flow from there. • A new running group will be starting from The Manor Leisure Centre on May 8th at 7pm. Thorney Running Club will be guiding participants over 10 weeks, to complete the couch to 5k program. All adults are welcome. For further details contact nathalie.f.palmer@gmail.com The Fens | May 2017

23


Raising money for Defibrillators for all & WYPCS

WDBF Charity walk 2017 9th july 2017 Are you ready for a challenge? Would you like to raise some money for local causes and discover a beautiful walk at the same time? WHITTLESEY & DISTRICT BUSINESS FORUM, alongside THE FENS magazine, are holding a Charity Walk on Sunday 9th July - and we need your help! We want you to take part in the 5-mile route and help us raise money for this year’s chosen causes: Defibrillators for All and Whittlesey Young People’s Counselling Service. The WDBF Charity Walk will begin at Lattersey Nature Reserve (on New Road, Whittlesey). Registration starts at 9:30am with the walk beginning at 10am. The route follows the Whittlesey Way, and will take you through Coates and

WDBF Charity walk 2017 9th july 2017

the Whittlesey way new road

the Whittlesey way new road

Eastrea before finishing back at the car park at approx. 1pm. EVENT DETAILS DATE: Sunday 9th July 2017 VENUE: Meet at the car park at Lattersey Nature Reserve, New Road, Whittlesey, PE7 1SZ TIMES: 9:30am registration; walkers leave at 10am ROUTES: 5 miles completes the circuit REGISTRATION FEE: Adults £5, children under 16 £1. All entrants will receive a medal on completion, plus there will be refreshments during the walk at The Vine pub, Coates. Everybody who registers on the day will be entered into a free prize draw to win entry

and a meal for four at Peterborough Greyhounds. Please complete the form below, along with your entrance fee, and return the form to Aspect Fires, 37 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BA. BACS payment or cheque is preferred, but if paying by cash, please ensure you have the correct amount. Cheques need to be made payable to: Whittlesey and District Business Forum. Extra forms and a route map can be found at: www.whittleseybusiness. co.uk/sponsored-walk/ You must sign up to the walk before July 2nd. Finally, please join our Facebook event page for updates and a link to share with your friends and family for extra donations.

I am taking part in the WDBF Charity Walk 2017 on Sunday 9th July 2017 to help raise money for Defibrillators for All and Whittlesey Young People’s Counselling Service. Thank you for your support.

Participant Details: First Name: Surname: Group name/other names (if applicable): Home Address: Postcode: Email: Age (of all participants): Please delete as applicable: I have enclosed £5 / £1 / Cheque / BACS (Sort code: 20-45-45 Account no. 33061086 please use your surname as reference) / Other: Return completed forms to Aspect Fires, 37 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1BA before July 2nd. Remember to wear sensible footwear on the day. The tracks can be muddy and uneven, so unfortunately wheelchairs and pushchairs are not advisable. There will be limited parking, so if you’re coming by car, please be mindful of other road users and car share or walk wherever possible. We will have water, but please bring a bottle of water and wear sun protection if it’s very sunny. There will be a small prize on the day for children who complete our butterfly trail.

All entrants receive a medal on completion. Marshalls will direct walkers on the day. 24 The Fens | May 2017


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

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

Whittlesey

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

Whittlesey

save £5

join now! Just £9.95 on week one then £4.95 each week

EVERY THURSDAY

Eastrea

Eastrea Village Hall, Coates Road, Eastrea. 9:30am Call Anna on 07539 229365

slimmingworld.co.uk 0344 897 8000 The Fens | May 2017

25


Get involved

PARK

People

On the outskirts of the Fens lies Ferry Meadows, a popular destination for people of all ages. This month we joined Park Rangers and Park Volunteers to find out why the park and its people go hand in hand WORDS Natasha Shiels IMAGES Chris Brudenell

26 The Fens | May 2017


Helen Pra nge, 48, hou sewife

Volunteer for 6 years. Love s the park, volunteeri ng and the Ran gers.

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Ferry Meadows, which is part of Nene Park, it is a beautiful, safe and unspoilt place where you can walk, cycle, play, ride a train, fish, walk the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland. It’s situated just three miles from Peterborough’s city centre, and has cafes, an outdoor water sports centre and visitor centre. The park also holds various events throughout the year. I have many fond memories of Ferry Meadows; as a little girl I would ride my bicycle around the paths and over the many bridges, in awe of the size and scale of the park. As a 20-something my boyfriend (later to become husband) and I would walk, hand-in-hand, along the lake and later when I was heavily pregnant, I took the same path to try and enduce labour! Now with two young children we still find ourselves visiting the park and marvelling in their enjoyment, discovering the play areas, the sandpit, the swans and ducks to feed, and we’ve enjoyed many a lunch in the cafe. It’s lovely to discover Ferry Meadows all over again through their eyes, and I’m grateful to have such a vast open space on our doorstep. So when I got the chance to visit Nene Park and see behind the scenes, I jumped at it!

THE PARK RANGERS You’ve probably seen a Park Ranger

Chris Rollaso n, 30, Range r (Estate s) Ranger for 5 years. Loves the outdoors, hates litter and vandalism.

or two around the place, they’re the member’s of staff with green fleeces and cheery faces. The Rangers are an essential part of the running, managing and maintaining of the site. There are endless meadows, lakes and woodland which all require taking care of and it’s the role of the Rangers to do this. “There’s no such thing as a typical day,” explained Ranger (Estates), Chris Rollason. “One moment I could be on a tractor mowing the fields, next I’m on the lake building a Sand Martin nesting box! We deal with everything from first aid and carrying out tree safety work, to repairing vandalism and picking up litter.” With the choice of a 4x4 vehicle or bicycle to get around the park quickly, Chris has a love of being outside and working closely with nature. And with such great knowledge of the park, we had to ask him which is his favourite part: “I always recommend visitors explore beyond the busy areas and discover the different types of wildlife in places such as Ham Mere. Here you can spot a variety of wildfowl, waders and even the odd mammal.”

PARK VOLUNTEERS Working alongside the Rangers is a strong army of Park Volunteers - invaluable to Nene Park and as passionate about Ferry Meadows as the rest of the team. Giving up their own time, the 60 odd volunteers are really the backbone to the park’s success. Whether it’s building walls, planting or performing Ranger duties, the Volunteers get stuck in, proudly wearing their blue Park Volunteer fleece, as a badge of honour. “I was a housewife,” explained Helen Prange, “having given up my job, and I wanted something that I could do for me, and give something back to the community. I love the outdoors.” Helen was introduced to me as one of the original two who first volunteered in the park, over six years ago. She has continued to help out on a Wednesday morning ever since. “For me, it’s like therapy,” she explained. “Volunteering has allowed me to talk to people outside of my own life, I’ve made great friends, and I’ve learnt skills to deal with my personal, difficult situations.” I asked Helen if she would recommend it to others: “Definitely! Any kind of volunteering! Every person has a worth, whether you are young looking for experience, or want to enjoy the outdoors and meet new people. Volunteering gave me my identity.”

The Fens | May 2017

27


Benefits of volunteering There are lots of different groups to join where you can volunteer and give back to the community, here are our top five reasons why you should...

Not only do the volunteers get a great satisfaction from the help they give, but they learn new skills by working alongside experienced Rangers, and I’ve heard they get a Christmas dinner, BBQ and free car parking! Volunteering alongside the Rangers isn’t the only way you can get involved though; there are graphic designers, visitor centre helpers and in the future perhaps even office work where you can lend a hand and gain some invaluable experience. And that’s not all, more businesses are bringing their staff to enjoy a corporate day at Ferry Meadows. You can ditch your suit and tie and get your hands dirty, learning physical skills whilst building your team working skills. Companies can even enjoy the watersports activities after a morning of hard labour! So the next time you pop down to the park, take note of the many people who work tirelessly to keep Ferry Meadows looking beautiful and safe for our enjoyment. Have a stroll, enjoy some lunch at one of the cafes or enjoy a picnic in the open air, but please, please, please put your litter in the bin - otherwise you’ll have a Park Ranger to deal with! With thanks to staff and volunteers at Nene Park, who gave up their time to speak to us. You do an excellent job.

Ferry Meadows at a glance 28 The Fens | May 2017

Situated at the heart of Nene Park, Ferry Meadows is on Ham Lane, Peterborough PE2 5UU. Entrance is free, however there is a parking fee to pay on exit. The revenue from parking helps to maintain the park. It opens seven days a week, but do check the cafes and visitor centre for its opening hours. Further details can be found at www. neneparktrust.org.uk or by calling 01733 234193.

1. Volunteers live longer and are healthier Sounds like a pretty good reason to us! Apparently volunteers are happier and healthier than non-volunteers, and the older we get, the more important this is to our health. Older people who volunteer remain physically functional longer, have more robust psychological well-being, and live longer. 2. Volunteering establishes strong relationships We all tend to lead insular lives, and one the biggest benefits of joining a new group is the relationships you can build with different people. Working together towards a shared goal can really strengthen those relationships. 3. Volunteering is good for your career It can sometimes to be difficult to find employment, but finding volunteer work in an area that interests you, can be excellent for your CV, as well as help develop new skills which can be transferred to the work place. Sometimes volunteering can directly lead to employment. 4. Volunteering is good for society Many businesses are successful only if they maintain a strong volunteer workforce. In fact, places like museums, social service organizations, and faith-based organizations often rely on more volunteers than paid workers to meet their goals and fulfill their mission. These businesses are committed to doing good things for society, so by us helping them, they in turn can create a better society for us all. 5. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose Volunteering provides a profound health benefit, giving a sense of purpose and enabling you to choose to spend time on issues you feel strongly about.


The Green Wheel Cycl The Green Wheel Company FORWheel ALL YOUR CYCLI The Cycle Green Cycle Company

ALL YOUR CYCLING NEEDS& Se Cycle Repairs FOR ALL YOUR FOR CYCLING NEEDS Cycle Repairs & Servicing

Comprehensive range of spares

Cycle Repairs & Servicing Comprehensive range of spares and accessories Cycle Repairs &Traditional Servicing Traditional wheels built wheels built to order

Comprehensive ofbikes spares Comprehensive range of spares andrace, accessories For race, touring orrange mountain For touring or moun and accessories Open 6 days a week 9am-6pm (No Sunday opening) Traditional wheels built to order Success for local company Traditional toon: Open 6wheels days week -order 9am-6pm Telephone Wayneabuilt Fisher For race, touringForor mountain bikes 01733 533570 race, 205310 touringor or07847 mountain bikes It’s been a year since we last caught up with Telephone Wayne Fis 2 Barnes Way, Whittlesey, Peterborough Lily Rose Construction, and they’ve Open 6 been daysbusy a week - 9am-6pm (No Sunday opening)PE7 1LE Open 6 days a week - 9am-6pm

205310 or 0784 (No Sundayon: opening) Telephone Wayne01733 Fisher 2 Barnes Way, Whittlesey, Peterbo 01733 205310 or 07847Wayne 533570 Telephone Fisher on:

ever since

In construction since the age of 17, Whittlesey-born Tony Sharman set up Lily Rose Construction Ltd along with his sister and father to offer a one-stop carpentry and building company that specialises in supplying all the different trades to complete any project (and any size). Since we last met, Tony has completed many domestic and commercial projects, from repairing church roofs, to work for schools and garage extensions. “I think people sometimes don’t realise that we can take care of plumbing and electrical works,” added Tony, “from boilers, to complete bathroom refits, repairs and maintenance and rewires. We get the experts to get the job done!” WHY CHOOSE LILY ROSE CONSTRUCTION? “We use quality tradesmen and quality local materials,” Tony explained. “We do all types of building work, both domestic and commercial projects. Using our extensive list of quality local tradesmen, from builders, carpenters, plumbers, plasterers, electricians, tilers, roofers, painters and decorators, plus many more.” Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the right tradesmen for specific jobs, but Tony can take all of that stress away and use his own tradesmen - so there’s no fear of the unknown. Here’s just some of the projects Tony and his team can do: • Home renovations • Project manage new build projects • Fit kitchens/bathrooms • Commercial shop fitting • Church restoration projects So next time you have a door hanging off its hinges, or an extension you would be putting up, consider calling Lily Rose Construction Ltd. They’re trustworthy, hardworking, honest and reliable.

01733 205310 or PE7 07847 2 Barnes Way, Whittlesey, Peterborough 1LE 533570

B L JO AL O SM O

TO

N

You can contact the team on 01733 590121 or info@ lilyroseconstruction.co.uk Alternatively visit their website where you can find testimonials and a full list of work they can offer for domestic or commercial premises. www. lilyroseconstruction.co.uk

2 Barnes Way, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1LE

HOME - OFFICE - BUSINESS - COMMERCIAL Lily Rose Construction Ltd is a family-run carpentry and building company that specialises in supplying all the different trades to complete any project for you  CARPENTRY  BUILDING  KITCHEN FITTING  BEDROOMS  BATHROOMS  EXTENSIONS

 GARAGE CONVERSIONS  CHURCH RESTORATION  OFFICE FIT-OUTS  SHOP FITTING  PROPERTY MAINTENANCE  COMPLETE HOME RENOVATIONS

01733 590121 | info@lilyroseconstruction.co.uk

www.lilyroseconstruction.co.uk

The Fens | May 2017

29


G S IN E N SS CK N E O U DR ST ST M IN O PR O W N

& d gh an o u nl or Fe erb t Pe • Pet sitting/Staycation to stay in the home while you’re away • Pet care visits for long days out or short requirements • Boarding for small animals: rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents, etc • Hutch, cage & litter tray cleaning service • Pet to vet service if pets need a check up/vaccinations • Dogs letting out visits for working families • Dog walking

Pre-owned stylish high street designer fashion

CP Pu TG re, oi ls

Tel: 07714 109696 | 01733 840596 Email: info@crittersitter.co.uk | www.thecrittersitter.co.uk

Choose Natural Oils Essential Oil Educator Natural solutions for your family FREE educational classes & home visits Regular events

Dawn Styles | 07590 719965 | choosenaturaloils@gmail.com choosenaturaloils.leadtrain.com/events | Find me on Facebook

We would love to help you find a stunning proms dress, perfect wedding outfit, chic hat for the races or stylish holiday/casual clothes – at a fraction of the original recommended retail price. Brands include Ted Baker Dune Jacques Vert Hobbs

For out of hours by appointments call 07791 944435 7 Broad Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HA

pencodressagency.co.uk

In return Midas Care offers you support, recognition and a host of benefits with great rates of pay.

Give our recruitment team a call and take the first step to great benefits including: Exceptional rates of pay | fully paid Induction training, | Fast-track to the community for experienced carers | Guaranteed hours | Childcare vouchers | Flexible shifts to suit you | Free uniforms | Breakdown cover | High street discounts | Mobile phone with free minutes and data | Earn up to £9.05 per hour - plus enhanced rates for weekends and bank holidays | Your birthday off, paid

30 The Fens | May 2017

Coast Angel Forever Kelsey Rose Gucci

Opening hours Wednesday & Thursday 12pm-7pm Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm

Imagine being the centre of someone’s world by being the person they can’t wait to see each week.

Telephone: 01223 666899 or visit www.midas-care.co.uk/joinourteam

Karen Millen Armani Jeans Mint Velvet Lipsy VIP


Natural Makeup

How-To

Makeup Artist Tia Henderson reveals her secrets to an effortless natural look The key to effortless and flawless makeup is not a 101 makeup brushes and different products, it’s in the technique. With videos of unbelievable makeup looks that are just so hard to achieve unless you have at least 10 different products and brushes just for the eyes! I want to share with you my secret to creating a natural makeup look using only a handful of products and two brushes. Start off by prepping the skin by cleansing and moisturising. Then apply your primer with a soft fluffy brush. Choose a primer that suits your skin type; for example, a matte primer for oily skin, an illuminating primer for dull skin or a hydrating primer for dry skin etc. I love Illamasqua Satin Primer, it’s great for normal to dry skin types. Apply your foundation using the same soft fluffy brush in circular motions. This gives you great coverage with an airbrush finish. My favourite foundation is Illamasqua Skin Base foundation. If needed, apply concealer only to the areas that need it, such as under the eyes or to cover blemishes. Buff the concealer in with the same soft fluffy brush you applied your foundation with. Using your fluffy brush again, apply your bronzer in a three-shape, across the forehead, over the cheek bone and across the jawline. Use NYX Bronzer for a fresh glow to the skin. Apply a soft rose blush like Illamasqua Powder Blusher on the apples of the cheeks and your skin is complete. Using a small fluffy brush, apply your bronzer to the eyelids for a soft neutral eye shadow. Apply your favourite mascara (mine is Benefit They’re Real) and finish off with a lipstick like Illamasqua’s Rose Gold lipstick collection or gloss and you have completed a simple, spring inspired makeup look that’s so easy to create within minutes. The tools I used to create this look were llamasqua Cheek Brush and Qivange Soft Blending Brush.

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 www.tiahairandmakeupartsit.com 07495 784689

Celebrations at penco

The Prosecco flowed at a dress agency shop opening last month in Whittlesey. Friends Penny and Corrine (Penco), were surrounded by family and guests to toast the official opening of their shop, Penco. The ribbon was cut by Hollie Grant, Miss Teen Peterborough, whose hair was styled by Sophie, from hair and beauty salon, next door to Penco. After a glass or two, guests were invited to browse the boutique shop and admire the beautiful dresses, shoes and accessories. “We would like to thank our family and friends for their help and support setting up our lovely shop,” added Corrine. A venture between Penny and Corrine, with a shared belief that Whittlesey deserved a shop that gave women the opportunity to browse and buy for special occasions, weddings or proms, without needing to travel into town, Penco looks to become a staple on our high street. Selling, pre-loved, designer and high end high street, at a fraction of the original retail price - there is a real variety of dresses. jackets and accessories at Penco. A range of sizes and styles means there’s something for everyone from teens to the older lady. This month Penco has an excellent range of prom dresses. So why not pop in and show your support to the two lovely ladies. n Penco, Broad Street, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire PE7 1HA. For out of hours appointments, please call 07791 944435 or visit www. pencodressagency.co.uk

The Benefits of Oils Natural oils are becoming a real buzz word at the moment. Known for their health boosting benefits, they are a natural and chemical-free way to help you support you and your family’s health. “Essential oils are a gift from nature and can help us in so many ways,” explained Dawn Styles, mum of four and DoTERRA essential oils educator. “I love to connect with people and share these wonderful oils! I run educational classes at my home, or I can also run classes for your friends and family at your home. You provide the people and I provide the oils, the information!” So how can oils help? From weight loss, animal care, sleeping and managing pain, oils can be cleansing and reduce your toxic load. “All Essential Oils are not equal. Some places offer cheap oils, which aren’t the same

quality as pure, CPTG (Certified Pure Thereptic Grade) oils. It is much better to buy a higher quality oil in the first place as it will last far longer. DoTERRA provide the purest oils available in the world today, through rigorous third party testing.” “I also run online Facebook classes,” added Dawn, “which people can access from their own homes for a period of seven days, where they can learn and also win a free bottle of oil.” Dawn shares her knowledge and classes free of charge. “I want to help as many people as possible to feel empowered.” n You can find a list of events at choosenaturaloils. leadtrain.com/events or email choosenaturaloils@gmail.com The Fens | May 2017

31


Art Craft Exhibition &

  

at

St Mary’s Church, Whittlesey

$% %

Entrance

ÂŁ2 for adults-

  

children under 16s are

FREE

All welcome:

Friday 12 May 10am-5pm &$ " Saturday 13 May 10am-5pm %'%(

Sunday 14 May 10am-5pm

Event co-ordinator Jan Sharman jsharman76@btinternet.com Tel 01733 202782

The Writer's Corner Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings

Night, Night, Sleep Tight A recent visit to Stratford Upon Avon found me wandering around the home and birthplace of William Shakespeare. English poet, playwright and actor during the English Renaissance, Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. His works have been translated into 80 languages – including Star Trek’s Klingon – apparently! Whilst perusing the bedrooms of Shakespeare’s former home, I got talking to one of the volunteers about the reproduction beds on display. The mattresses were supported by ropes, which, I was advised, would have needed pulling very tightly to provide a well-sprung bed. This would have been achieved by twisting and turning the wooden turning posts connected to the ropes, placed along the sides of the bed. Hence the saying ‘Night, night, sleep tight.’ If the ropes were not pulled tight enough and someone slept badly as a consequence, it was generally regarded that they had had a ‘ropey night’s sleep.’ How true this is I can’t say for sure, but it got me thinking about other popular sayings and their origins. So, just for a bit of historical fun, I’ve listed a few more for you to peruse at your leisure. TURN A BLIND EYE The phrase ‘turn a blind eye’ usually used to refer to a deliberate refusal to acknowledge a particular reality, is said to date back to a legendary chapter in the career of the British naval hero, Horatio Nelson. During the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen, Nelson’s ships were pitted against a large Danish-Norwegian fleet. When Nelson’s superior officer flagged for him to withdraw, the oneeyed Nelson supposedly brought his telescope to his bad eye proclaiming: “I really do not see the signal.� He went on to score a momentous victory. Some historians have dismissed Nelson’s famous quip as battlefield myth, but the phrase ‘turn a blind eye’ persists to this day. CROCODILE TEARS The phrase “crocodile tears� is used to describe a display of superficial or false sorrow, but the saying actually derives from a medieval belief that crocodiles shed tears of sadness while they killed and consumed their prey. This myth dates back to the 14th century and comes from a book called The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. TOW-RAG The phrase ‘tow-rag’ comes from the pad of teased out old rope that Royal Navy sailors of the 18th and 19th century used to use when they visited ‘the head’ (toilet on the bow of the ship). Paper was far too expensive to use, so old rope, known as tow, was used and was then washed out and kept in one’s pocket until needed again. Hence the derisory term to call someone a towrag.

32 The Fens | May 2017


PHOTOS Chris Brudenell

Pawfect Little Angels After almost three years, Lauren Hailstone’s mobile dog grooming business has just taken a big leap as Little Angels Grooming moves into a permanent home in the centre of Whittlesey

For some people, taking on a business property might seem daunting, but for Lauren, who previously worked in Graphic Design and has a busiess background, it seemed the logical step. Being central and surrounded by free parking, Little Angels Grooming would be able to offer more appointments to keep her canine clients happy. And by the looks of the beautiful Maisie who had just been freshly groomed, we could see why Lauren’s business has boomed since she started. PASSION AT THE HEART So what led a Graphic Design graduate, to completely change her career path? “I wasn’t happy in my job, and one day I came home and said I wanted to work with dogs somebody suggested grooming and that was it!” Lauren went on to study at the College of Animal Welfare and has passed both her level 2 and 3 City and Guilds. She then built up her experience before deciding to launch her own mobile business. But it was always her ambition to open her own salon. At the heart of the new premises in Grosvenor Road, Whittlesey, it is Lauren’s passion and love for her animals that really stands out. From

tables that can be adjusted to allow Lauren to groom any dog, any size, to the quality shampoo products and the best equipment. There’s also a reception area and window so owners can sit and watch their pet be pampered from the comfort of the waiting room chairs, whilst the dogs are gently and carefully looked after.

your pets’ skin). Most dogs require a groom every 6-10 weeks, but this does depend on the breed, age and condition. There’s also an excellent loyalty scheme for clients which gives you 10% off your fifth groom - just remember to keep your card safe!

TOP QUALITY SERVICE At Little Angels your dog will be groomed by fully trained and insured staff. You can choose from a full groom, bath and dry or just a nail clip. And no dog is excluded, from the smallest breeds to the biggest. “One of the great things about having my own base,” explained Lauren, “means that I’ll be able to groom breeds such as huskies that I haven’t been able to previously due to their size.” NEW CUSTOMERS If you haven’t taken your dog to a grooming salon before, what do you need to know? You might not be surprised to learn that your dog must be up to date on its flea, worming and vaccinations. Brushing between visits is a good idea, to avoid matted fur, and don’t shampoo too close to your appointment (as that could dry

• Little Angels Grooming is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am-6pm, Thursdays between 12pm-8pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm. Appointments do need to be made in advance, and prices do depend on breed, size and condition of coat. Further information can be found at www.little-angelsgrooming.co.uk or by calling 01733 206784. The Fens | May 2017

33


Eating out

Fine food at

THE RAILWAY

After months of refurbishment, The Railway has reopened in Whittlesey. As well as a £300,000 injection, the pub has created 10 new jobs and given Simon Baines a place to serve quality, home-cooked food. We popped by to find out what this great new eatery has to offer Step inside the The Railway, and you might struggle to remember how it used to look. The investment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs and Bars, has not only given the pub an entirely new, fresh and modern look, but it also included an extension to give licensee Simon more dining space. The new-look pub has a gastro feel about the place, whilst still remaining

34 The Fens | May 2017

a family-friendly and welcoming place to enjoy a pint or two. Simon, who has worked all over the country in the last 10 years, is a trained chef and his knowledge about food is clear to see in his lunch and dinner menus. Diners can choose from a menu which includes apple and cider braised ham hock, traditional fish and chips, to steaks,

WIN LUNCH FOR TWO To celebrate the opening of The Railway, we’re giving you the chance to win a lunch for two. All you have to do is email hello@thefensmag.co.uk with a name and contact number by May 14th. Please include ‘Railway’ in your subject heading. One winner be selected from random. Good luck!

burgers, Sunday roasts, sharing platters and tempting desserts. Using locally sourced produce, and serving an excellent range of real ales and beers, plus outside seating area for families, there’s something to please everyone. With a seal of approval from MP Steve Barclay and a full house on their opening Sunday, it’s clear to see that the pub will be a great new addition for Whittlesey and the surrounding area. We wish Simon and his team great success for the future, and would encourage you all to pay him a visit and indulge in his delicious menu. The Railway is open Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 11pm and can be found on Station Road, Whittlesey. To reserve a table, please call 01733 203555 or visit www. therailwaywhittlesey.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 | May 2017

35


Food

Hake, Peas, Chorizo Bravas

With Hake in season, try this quick yet impressive dish for a Spring supper to liven up any day of the week By John McGinn, Dog in a Doublet PREPARE 30 mins COOK 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

THE HAKE • One piece of hake fillet per person (skin on) • Avocado oil THE PEAS • 500g frozen peas (left out to defrost in the bag for an hour) • 1tsp sea salt • 1tsp sugar • 1tsp fresh mint leaf chopped THE CHORIZO BRAVAS • 1 onion chopped • 500g baby potatoes cooked in their skins and cut into bite-size pieces • 100g chorizo (Iberico de Bellota is the best) • 50ml sherry (you can experiment with different types but an Amontillado is good) • Fresh basil to finish

THE METHOD

1. For the peas, put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth; you may need to add a little water to get it to blend properly. Keep blending until it’s really smooth. Peas do not need cooking, and the less heat these peas see the better, so make sure the motor of the blender doesn’t heating them too much! 2. Heat the hake a nonstick pan with a little of the avocado oil (avocado oil

has a much higher smoke point so will reach a nice high temperature). When it is hot, place the hake, skin side down, and cover with a lid or another pan and put aside. In the meantime, fry the onion on a high heat with a little butter and when it starts to colour, add the chorizo and the potatoes. When coloured and hot, add the sherry and stir a little to remove the alcohol. 3. The hake will now be cooked beautifully. So arrange the pea puree on the plate, place the hake on top and scatter potatoes around. Finish with the herbs and serve.

{

Eat, drink, stay!

THE TWIST

Replace the hake with salmon. The chorizo with asparagus, the sherry with Pernod, and the basil with dill. 36 The Fens | May 2017

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms

River Nene, between Thorney & Whittlesey |

01733 202256

www.doginad.co.uk


Running in pants Wow, it’s been a crazy month with friends having babies, friends having birthdays, wedding planning, a trip to New York, London and more. However, I can’t help but share my story about something that should be really mundane, but alas nothing really is when I’m involved. I run to work every day. I do have a car but it sits on my drive, once red now more faded pink, unable to move and rusting away much to the frustration of my fiancee. A consequence of me running to work is of course having to run back, and so after work every day, I get changed into my gear before setting off for my epic, 1-mile, all downhill journey home. (It’s all uphill on the way to work though)! It was a Tuesday, and I had flown back from New York the previous evening and I was tired. Really tired. I had slept about two hours the previous night, survived work and I was ready to go home. And so I got changed as I always do, set Strava to record what would be the slowest downhill mile ever run, and left the building. Unfortunately, what I realised only a little bit late, typically just as the door closed behind me, was that rather than putting on my running shorts, I had in fact neglected to put anything on and I was standing outside in a running top and my rather tight boxer shorts. Now to be fair, I had luckily worn my good CKs that day, but still this was not a favourable situation for me. To heighten my problem, it turned out in my hand were a set of keys, but not the set to reopen the door that had closed behind me, but the keys for the front door for which I would need to walk around the building to get to. And so I did, trundle around, hoping that no one would see me which seemed unlikely due to the main road and temporary traffic lights outside the front of the building. Sure enough, a cacophony of car horns and even a surprise appearance of the landlord of the pub over the road who just happened to be taking the bins out, accompanied my ‘walk of shame’, but eventually I got to the door and hurriedly opened it. It was a horrible run home, and it even started to rain half way down, as if fate wanted to kick me in my delicate parts to finish me off.

§ Joe Ferridge is an occasional writer and thanks to work colleagues, will never be able to forget these recent events.

Now the dust has settled on the ‘last’ Spring Budget, what are the implications of the current tax year for most of us? For employees, the new tax year may include an increase in pension contributions from both employer and employee if you are in an Auto Enrolment system recently introduced. Greater contributions can mean higher benefits – but will the arrangement be enough? Do you have a clear objective in terms of value and timescale? The Self Employed managed to avoid an increase in National Insurance – but the writing is on the wall in my opinion, there appears to be a concerted effort to move contractors on to an employed basis where it is more appropriate. There is also a further attack on owners of limited companies paying themselves a small wage plus dividend payments, where a significant increase in taxation has developed – having highlighted this, there is still an opportunity to utilise dividends and pension contributions for successful businesses. Although National Savings and Investments (NS&I) will offer a three-year cash bond at 2.2% interest for up to £3,000, a more significant opportunity may lie in the increased Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance up from £15,240 to £20,000 already announced. Did you know that you can invest up to 100% of your taxable earnings in to a pension (subject to some other legislative caveats) this could be a great way to get an overnight reward on cash deposits held in a low interest savings account? To keep your finances in line with expectations, legislation and what the investment markets are doing, review your plans with an Independent Financial Adviser.

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 | May 2017

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The Wisbech & Fenland Museum is one of the oldest museums in the United Kingdom and this Victorian gem holds an eclectic mix of collections from around the world, including Ancient Egyptian, Local and Social History, Porcelain, Archaeology and Geology.

Fenland’s Five Museums

FIVE MUSEUMS

Exploring the FENS

The 19th century Library, containing Charles Dickens’ original manuscript of “Great Expectations”, is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month and the Research Room can be booked for researching local Parish Records. The essence of the Museum remains virtually unchanged, so come and discover a treasure house of rare and unusual artefacts, illuminating history, both local and worldwide, recent Fenland is an area rich in history, with and ancient.

impressive buildings and interesting individuals who have helped to shape the landscape and its towns and villages. This issue we take a look at the five museums which showcase Fenland’s history.

CHATTERIS MUSEUM Chatteris’ museum displays the ancient market town from earliest prehistoric settlement to recent times. Exhibits illustrate traditional aspects of Fenland life on an island, the waterways and drainage, the railway boom and the wealth of a prosperous 19th century market town. There are interactive audio visual units and pottery and stained glass puzzles to view. The Museum’s touch screen kiosk archive contains over 9,000 photographs and documents, copies of which can be made on request. Find us: 14 Church Lane, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire PE16 6JA Opening hours Contact: 01354 696319 to | www.chatterismuseum. Tuesday to Saturday - 10.00am 4.00pm wordpress.com Schools and group visits are welcome at other times by special Opening times: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2 arrangement. Admission Free. 4.30pm. Saturdays 10am - 1pm Contact details MARCH & DISTRICT MUSEUM WISBECH & Museum FENLAND MUSEUM March is housed in a former school built Museum Square, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 in 1851 from West Norfolk Carstone. The1ES Museum Tel 01945 583817 has wide ranging collections reflecting former life FREE email ininfo@wisbechmuseum.org.uk the area, especially during the last hundred ENTRY years. A series of room reconstructions depictWCa www.wisbechmuseum.org.uk turn of the century kitchen, parlour and nursery. Local craft and agricultural tools are on display, as are interesting collections of historic cameras and early radios. A working blacksmith’s forge has been reconstructed in the courtyard, alongside a rebuilt Fenland cottage. Other displays relate to the history of the railways in March. Find us: High Street, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9JJ Contact: 01354 655300 | www.marchmuseum. co.uk Opening times: Wednesday and Saturday 10:30am - 3:30pm Saturdays 10am - 1pm WHITTLESEY MUSEUM Whittlesey Museum tells the story of the Cambridgeshire fenland around Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves and Pondersbridge. The museum is housed in the Old Town Hall, Whittlesey. Eight rooms and two outdoor spaces cover topics such as archive photographs, costume, domestic life and local celebrities such as Sir Harry Smith.

Whittlesey Museum also Wed, Sat & Sun (including Bank runs a rolling programme of Holidays) 1 - 4.30pm. £4.50, NT temporary exhibitions. members & concessions £3.50, Find us: The Old Town Hall, accompanied under 17s FREE Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 MARCH & DISTRICT MUSEUM OCHATTERIS MUSEUM WISBECH & FENLAND MUSEUM 1BD TheHILL’S Wisbech & Fenland WHITTLESEY MUSEUM OOCTAVIA BIRTHPLACE HOUSE Contact: 07706 132437 | Museum is one of the oldest WISBECH & FENLAND MUSEUM www.whittleseymuseum.co.uk museums in the UK and holds Opening times: Saturday an eclectic mix of collections 10am-12 noon, Friday & from around the world. Sunday 2.30-4.30pm. £1 for The 19th century Library, adults and 50p for children. containing Charles Dickens’ OCTAVIA HILL’S BIRTHPLACE original manuscript of “Great Built in about 1740, this Grade Expectations”, is open to the II* listed building was once the public on the first Saturday of birthplace of Octavia Hill (1838 each month. - 1912) and where she was The essence of the Museum first exposed to social reform remains virtually unchanged, events that would influence so you can discover a treasure her lifework. house of rare and unusual Discover and celebrate artefacts, illuminating history, Hill’s pioneering work, legacy both local and worldwide, and significance on today’s recent and ancient. society, in what promises to be Find us: Museum Square, a thought- provoking journey Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 through the narrative of her 1ES remarkable life. Contact: 01945 583817 | www. Find us: 7 South Brink, wisbechmuseum.org.uk Wisbech, Cambridgeshire Opening times: Tuesday to PE13 1JB Saturday - 10.00am to 4.00pm Contact: 01945 476358 | www.octaviahill.org Next month we take a closer Opening times: (15th March look at Wisbech & Fenland - 31st October) Mon, Tue, Museum...

omething for Everyone

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

www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org

www.facebook.com/ visitcambridgeshirefens.org Find us on Twitter: @CambridgeshireF The Fens Fens | | May May 2017 2017 The

39 39


News

PHOTOS Chris Brudenell

THE LETTER B DOES IT AGAIN! Two cheques were presented last month at The Letter B Pub in Whittlesey. Landlord Bruce Roan handed a £350 cheque to the Pyjama Fairies, and £1,100 to NPNGUK. Louise Nicholls, spokesperson for NPNGUK, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Bruce, Denise and everyone at the

PHOTOS Chris Brudenell

CARE HOME CELEBRATE 70 YEARS The Elms care home in Whittlesey, celebrated 70 years of BUPA care with a 1940s tea party in March. The residents were treated to homemade cakes and teas or coffees, while staff members dressed up to add a little fun on a Monday morning. The Elms residents and staff also enjoyed music by the Banjo Man that afternoon. All money raised from this event, and other fundraisers, go towards residents’ funds. The staff regularly take residents out to lunch, take them on boat trips to St. Ives. Thanks to some funding as well as money the acitivity co-ordinators raise, The Elms is reguarly visited by ‘Movement to Music’ classes, therapy dogs and a very popular Elvis impersonator. All of these activities are invaluable to the residents. There’s plenty going on at the care home for the public to get involved with, such as an open day on June 16th and a Summer Fete in August 5th. Watch this space for more detail nearer the time. 40 The Fens | May 2017

Letter B for their continued support to No Gain No Pain UK. Donations like these make a massive difference to the charity and enable us to place more Syringe drivers into the community. At present, we have managed to donate a total of 12 new Syringe drivers , 11 to our area and one to the Wansford area. These machines have all been in constant use since they were handed over. This would not be possible without everyone’s support.” The Pyjama Fairies, the second charity that the pub’s quiz nights had raised money for, sew specially designed wrapstyle pyjamas and gowns for children undergoing surgery and treatment, since normal pyjamas can pose difficulties. In Bruce’s 10 years being landlord of the Letter B pub, he has helped to raise over £42,000 for many different local charities. Ever modest, Bruce will always put his remarkable achievements down to his regular customers, their quiz nights and charity cycle rides. But we know you’re a star Bruce!

27 BAGS FILLED BY PRIDERS On a bright and sunny Saturday morning on last month, 17 members of Whittlesey Street Pride, gathered at the Buttercross and spread out around the town to fill 27 bags of assorted rubbish that had been discarded on our streets. The group’s 10th anniversary project is progressing, and will be revealed in due course. Anybody wanting to give a little time, please contact Street Pride Chairman, Fred Mills, on 01733 202874.

COUNCILLOR SURGERY DATES

To be held in Grosvenor House from 09:30 to 10:30 on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2017. Saturday May 6th Councillors present will be: Councillor Ralph Butcher (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Alan Bristow (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.


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41


Walk of the month

EXPLORING

Devil’s Dyke

Leanne Hyland discovers that not all of Fenland is flat, welcome to Devil’s Dyke!

For those of us that call the Fens our home, it’s fair to say the landscape is quite flat - unless of course you’ve chosen to venture to nearby Devil’s Dyke in south Cambridgeshire, where a 30ft high, seven mile long ridgeway marks the site of an ancient Anglo Saxon earthwork. Towering above neighbouring farmland, this huge defensive rampart dates back to the 6th or 7th century AD where it stood proudly jutting out into the watery lands of the East Angles. Used to control trade and passage along the ancient roman roads, Devil’s Dyke linked the impenetrable Fens with dense woodland to the south. I begin my journey in the small village of Reach, where an ancient oak tree gazes out over the village green and thirsty locals drain their glasses at the aptly named Dyke’s End pub. The air is warm and there’s barely a breeze as I set off towards the foot of the Dyke. Scrambling up the side of the grassy ridge, I’m greeted by panoramic views of the countryside, a patchwork of deep greens dotted with chalky grassland peering up from below. 42 The Fens | May 2017

There’s a well-marked trail atop the ridge which I follow, creeping in and out of scrub and flowering blackthorn which is bursting into life. I take a deep breath and for the first time this year notice the smell of sweet pollen. The Dyke rises up in front of me, reaching its highest point at Gallows Hill where it peaks at a massive 34ft above the Fens below. I glance down and notice I’m being followed, a small flock of fluffy white lambs tread tentatively in a line, nudging one another as they stumble forward, feasting on thick tufts of grass. The ridge is interrupted at the site where an old abandoned railway once stood, and I hop down wooden steps before clambering back onto the opposite bank where thorny yellow flowers wriggle at my feet. The Dyke is known by many for its abundance of wildflowers - and is home to several species of orchid. I push on and soon forget about the map in my hand. In fact, I’m enjoying the walk so much I almost miss the right turn ahead and could quite happily walk the full 7.5 miles of the ridgeway - but the promise of a roast

Flowering blackthorn lines the path

Late blooming daffodils bring a burst of colour to the village of Swaffham Prior


A peacock butterfly warms its delicate wings

Panoramic views across the Fens

Be sure to stick to the path when crossing open farmland dinner in the next village is too hard to resist. Clambering down from the ridge I find myself standing at the edge of a freshly ploughed field. As I cross, hordes of butterflies surround me and just ahead, a handful of deer stand to attention. They dart for cover in the long grass beyond as I approach, camouflaged against the earthen backdrop. I’m a little out of breath as I near the next turnstile, the chalky terrain is like walking through deep sand, and I enter the next field where a team of horses fight for my attention, grumbling at one another in distaste. The track leads me to a crossroads and I head down a pretty lane into the village of Swaffham Prior, where bright daffodils grow along the roadside. At the Red Lion pub, a friendly gentleman is more than happy to accommodate my request for a roast, despite it being a

busy Mother’s Day lunch service. Belly full, I follow a winding road to a partly obscured trail which takes me from the village along a scenic wooded bridleway. Extensive chalk scrub and grassland makes the area around Devil’s Dyke a unique habitat, drawing in several unusual species of plants including purple milk-vetch and pasque flowers. Legs heavy, I’m soon back in Reach where a timber sign leads me to the giant oak from where I began my walk. I sit beneath its towering branches and wonder how many generations of history this oak must have witnessed, from Viking battles, archaeological digs and ancient trading customs to today, where the earthwork provides a pleasant variation to a walk quite literally with an edge in Fenland.

DEVIL’S DYKE THE STATS Difficulty Level: Easy Distance: 5.5 miles Time: 3 hours with a stop en route Terrain: Footpaths and chalky grassland

The Fens | May 2017

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Independent of the month

Local

Business

Westfield Nurseries

Adrian and Claire Howson are the husband and wife team behind Whittlesey’s only garden centre, WESTFIELD NURSERIES. We stopped by to talk to them about their inspiration and plans to grow their business

WORDS AMY CORNEY IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL

HOW LONG HAVE YOU OWNED AND RUN WESTFIELD NURSERIES? We purchased the existing business 5.5 years ago, and we are currently in our sixth season here. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURCHASE THE NURSERY AND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? We had wanted to run our own business together for a long time and when the opportunity to purchase this one came up, we leapt at the chance. We were already keen gardeners and felt our existing skills would transfer well, plus we were eager to have a business in our home town of Whittlesey. We thoroughly enjoy being our own bosses but the best part of the job is interacting with our customers and building up a rapport with them. WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED SEASON AND WHAT WOULD YOUR FAVOURITE

44 The Fens | May 2017

PLANT AND TREE BE? Our favourite season is easily Spring as that is when gardens start to burst to life, for us Spring/Summer is our busiest time. One of our all-time favourite plants is the Black Petunia and we particularly like Cherry blossom trees in spring. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR STOCK AND PRODUCTS? We choose our stock on a seasonal basis, we currently have in lots of Summer bedding and hanging basket plants such as Geraniums, Fuchsias and Petunias. In the Autumn, we focus more on shrubs and of course Christmas trees in December. The majority of our stock is all locally grown in Wisbech and Spalding, but we are also happy to fulfil any customer request for more unusual plants and trees. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO A NOVICE GARDENER? Don’t be afraid, just experiment as it takes time to get to know your garden. If you are unsure we are always happy to give advice. DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PLANS FOR WESTFIELD NURSERIES? In the future, we would love to branch out and have coffee and tea facilities here, but currently we

are concentrating on developing our plant and tree ranges. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS? Be prepared for a lot of hard work, as running your own business is no bed of roses! It takes time to establish a business and to build your customer base, so be ready to persevere. We feel very lucky here as we have some wonderful loyal customers! WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE FENS? We love that the Fens has such wide open spaces, with big skies and dramatic sunsets. We have lived in Whittlesey all our lives and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. OTHER THAN GARDENING, WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU LIKE TO PURSUE? We currently work seven days a week so time off is a luxury, but when we do have a break we enjoy spending it with our family, or going hiking and walking in Wales. WESTFIELD NURSERIES is located on Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2EX. You can contact the team 01733 206688 or find them on Facebook


Motoring

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FAMILY RUN BUSINESS WITH OVER 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE MOTOR TRADE

Local dealership thanks loyal customers Fouracres of Thorney are a family-run company, who have a rich history selling a wide variety of vehicles. Based in Thorney, close to Peterborough centre and the Fenland villages, Fouracres have been set up for over 35 years.

- OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK (EVENING VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENT) - EXCELLENT FINANCE PACKAGES (SUBJECT TO STATUS) - WE PRIDE OURSELVES UPON OUR NO PRESSURE SALES POLICY AND BELIEVE THE QUALITY OF OUR VEHICLES SHOULD SELL THEMSELVES - ALL CARS SOLD WITH 3 MONTHS WARRANTYWISE WARRANTY - HPI CERTIFICATE - FULL VALET

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The husband and wife team pride themselves on a no pressure sales policy - meaning you can visit them seven days a week (including evenings by appointment), and look at the various cars for sale without feeling pressured. “We believe the quality of our vehicles should sell themselves,” explained Vanessa. “We stock a variety of vehicles such as 4x4, family cars, sports and prestige, so we really do have something for everyone.” “We are primarily an internet based company; we work on an appointment only basis,” added Vanessa. “We chose to work this way, so we can offer each one of our customers, our undivided attention.” So what happens when you fall in love with that shiny new car you’ve spotted at Fouracres? “There’s a finance package to suit everyone. We can offer Moto Novo Finance, which is one of the fastest growing providers of Motor Finance in the UK. And once approved, you can leave with your new car in under an hour!” Driving away in your new vehicle is one of the best moments, but for peace of mind, Vanessa and Jerry offer three months Warrantywise Warranty, for cars of a value over £2,000, this warranty is extensive and is one of the very best to ensure you can leave Fouracres with full confidence. Loyal customers are always one of the key aspects to any business - and Fouracres is no exception. Vanessa and Jerry are grateful to each of their customers, who they often see time and time again. “I just purchased a Peugeot from Fouracres,” explained happy customer, Tracey Taylor. “It’s an excellent car and excellent, friendly service. Whether buying a top of the range vehicle or a ‘cheaper’ car, you will always get the same professional customer service from two of the nicest people anyone could meet. I would highly recommend!” So whether you are a returning customer, or somebody looking to buy a used quality vehicle, make sure you visit Fouracres. You’re sure to be looked after and who knows, you might just find that perfect next car!

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n Fouracres are based at Northside, Thorney, Peterborough, PE6 0RL. All stock can be viewed at www. fouracresofthorney.co.uk or on their Facebook page. For enquiries please call 01733 351271 or 07900 375402 The Fens | May 2017

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Motoring

Fenland Classic Car Show and Busfest Fenland will once again play host to the annual Busfest, and this year, it combines the Fenland Classic Car Show on Sunday, May 21st. This year the Busfest will be even bigger; held on Market Street and Broad Street in Whittlesey, it will showcase vintage and modern buses and coaches from across the country. Not only will spectators get to enjoy seeing the buses up close, they will even be able to enjoy a free bus service connecting different Fenland towns and villages, including Peterborough! Ramsey will play host to the Classic Car Show (formerly at Thorney) and is connected by one of the free bus services every 20 minutes.

Bus exhibition at Museum

All timetables, list of pubs, vehicles and vehicle allocations are listed in an event brochure, along with info about each destination. Brochures are £5, with all proceeds going towards running the event and classic vehicle preservation and restoration. More details can be found at: www. easternbusgroup.co.uk Free bus services will be operating from Whittlesey Market Place to the following places: 701 Peterborough every 20mins 341 Ramsey (Classic Car Show) – every 20mins 345 Thorney every 30mins 350 March and Turves up to every 30mins 351 Chatteris every hour.

46 The Fens | May 2017

To complement the upcoming Whittlesey Bus Festival on Sunday 21st May, Whittlesey Museum in Market Street will be staging an exhibition charting the history of the town’s bus services from its earliest days to present times. Photos and memorabilia relating to all the service providers (J.R.Morley also known as W.B.S, Eastern Counties, Canham’s, Alec Head, Cavalier andJudd’s) will be on show, so come along and take a walk down memory lane with us. Along with the exhibition there will be lots to amuse young and old alike, including activities for children with prizes, an opportunity to read our Memory Book and add your own entry, and then maybe take photos of your child as a bus driver or conductor. The museum holds all sorts of interesting things to see including displays on Must Farm, locally found fossils, farming and railway artefacts and local census records, so come along and see what you can find! The Whittlesey Museum is open from 10.00am to 4.30pm on 21st May. Donations to the museum gratefully received on the day.


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This month’s book review What we’re

reading

Jawbone Lake by Ray Robinson; Windmill Books Set in a small town in Derbyshire’s Peak District, Jawbone Lake is a compelling and cleverly woven thriller about a young man’s search for the truth behind the disappearance of his father. However, it is also a heartfelt look at life after death and the impact of such on those left behind seen through the eyes of the story’s two main protagonists, Joe Arms and Rabbit. Living in London, Joe is the successful owner of a thriving software company he set up from scratch after leaving university. However, Joe has had enough of London life and his manic work schedule. He decides to sell the business and leave London for a while. Early one morning Joe receives a phone call from his mother, Eileen, telling him there’s been an accident. His father’s Land Rover, which crashed into a frozen lake off a bridge, has been found but his father, CJ, is missing. With no idea if any other vehicles were involved and no apparent witnesses, the police are somewhat baffled by the circumstances surrounding the accident. Joe’s father is missing, presumed dead. Distraught, Joe sets out to find the reason behind his father’s disappearance only to uncover some unsettling truths along the way. This was the man Joe thought he knew but his quest leads him to a past that began in Hastings and another life in Andalusia in Spain, which throws up the age-old question – does anyone ever truly know someone? The story’s second protagonist is Rabbit, a young woman who works in the local ice-cream factory who, unbeknown to anyone else, was standing by the lake when CJ’s car went into it. She also witnessed the presence of another car and a man with ‘a dark shape silhouetted in his hand.’ Hers is a mundane existence and one where she is still coming to terms with the loss of her baby son. “Sensing the vastness of the water out there, its pull, she was reminded how, towards the end of her labour last year, it felt as though her stomach had created itwwvs own field of gravity…And even though he was now gone from her world, she still felt him inside her, floating like a tiny underwater astronaut.” Our verdict… Although Jawbone Lake delves into the murky dealings of the criminal underworld, this is not a fast paced action thriller but rather a look at the aftermath that crime and the loss of a loved one leaves on those left behind. The characters are well rounded and the narrative moves along at a steady pace. Robinson’s use of language is beautifully evocative and his description of places and changing scenery simply breathtaking. Robinson is clearly a writer who understands the art of writing and this is definitely a book I’d recommend.

By Eva Jordan, author of 183 Times A Year

NEW MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED TO REMEMBER EXERCISE EAGLE This month will see the unveiling of a new memorial to remember the lives of the men who will kiiled during Exercise Eagle in 1944. Exercise Eagle was the training exercise where the USAAF Troop Carrier Command and the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions practised before D-Day. During this exercise two C47s of the 316th Troop Carrier Group collided between Turves and Benwick, killing all on board. Keen history-fan, Darren Bond, decided to look into erecting a memorial to remember the fallen men and found lots of local support. The memorial is due to be unveiled at Holy Trinity Church, Coates on May 13th. A service of remembrance will be held at 12:30pm, followed by the unveiling and a fly-past. Special invited guests will be in attendance, including a relative of one of the men who lost his life. All are welcome to participate in the ceremony.

NEW PUBLICITY OFFICER AT LOCL U3A As I begin to write my first column as the new publicity officer and editor of the U3A magazine, I would like to thank those who elected me and to send my best wishes to my predecessor, Tony Wright, as he starts his new role within the U3A. Looking forward to our third year in Whittlesey, it is perhaps a good time to also look back and reflect on our success so far. During the last two years we have grown to a membership of 214, with activity groups ranging from walking and cycling for those who want to be out and about, to Sunday lunch club for those who prefer to enjoy good food in good company. There are new groups taking off all the time, most recently Dancing, and others that are almost ready to roll, such as the Creative Writing group. Most have spaces for another new face. If there is not already a group to meet their needs, members are encouraged to come forward with ideas and assist in setting up one.

WOODCRAFTING

This was one of the first groups to be set up when the Whittlesey U3A was launched. Six members, all of whom have been there from the beginning, meet every week on Friday morning at the Scaldgate Community Centre. We know that woodcrafting has been taking place in the Fens for many years. The wooden wheel discovered at Must Farm shows evidence of this skill in the Bronze Age. Our own group of three men and three women are keeping this tradition alive. With just knives, chisels and a sheet of sandpaper, they are creating ornate items such as owls, fish and birds. Books for beginners are available, tools can be borrowed, and new members would be warmly welcomed. By Wendy Fletcher, U3A Publicity Officer The Fens | May 2017

49


History

Shopping - Retail Therapy WORDS Anthony Austin It certainly has changed, hasn’t it? Even in our lifetimes it’s transformed out of all recognition with online stores and delivery. Just imagine telling your 19th Century forebears that you could, if you wanted to, do all your shopping from your mobile whilst lying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning and have everything delivered soon after breakfast. I think my grandmother, born in the 1880s, might have struggled a bit with that! To her, shopping would mean local shops owned by families who lived above or behind the shop. Virtually every street in Victorian Whittlesey had shops and most, a pub as well! But let’s go back to the beginning of the town, a thousand years ago. As we’ve read about in earlier articles, Whittlesey consisted of London Street, then the High Street, and the narrow little lanes that led off either to the open fields on the north, or the river on the south. What is now Market Street was a rough track at the back of the cottage gardens on one side and the open fields stretching away towards the fen lying between Whittlesey and Thorney. The markets at each end of London Street were the shops of the day. These weekly events, where sellers were both local folk and, on important saints or holy days (from where we get the word holiday), from further afield. Most of the needful trades, like blacksmithing, were carried on at the manor sites next to St. Andrews and St. Marys. In our town of peasants working for the manors, clothes, shoes and the like were made within the family. It was a self-sufficient society: Topman, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis were a long way away! Shops had existed in Britain since Roman times, but they were limited to the urban settlements such as Durobrivae near Peterborough.

You can see in the above painting that there were no stalls in medieval 50 The Fens | May 2017

Broad Street had at one time a stream running down it with footbridges to access the houses and shops on each side markets as we would recognise today, but altogether it was a more haphazard affair. Sometime in the late 14th or 15th Century the Market Place was moved to its present-day position in front of the gates to the Manor of St. Marys by St. Marys Church. The town by this time was expanding northwards over the open fields and the focus of Whittlesey moved as well. Market Street and Broad Street took over the importance of London Street, and permanent shops began to appear. Almshouse Street and Old Tavern Street, as they were known in the 17th and 18th Century, are clearly not early medieval streets; indeed, Broad Street had at one time a stream running down it with footbridges to access the houses and shops on each side. Ada Copsey wrote about 1900 that Arthur Norris, who had died sometime before, recounted how his grandfather recollected that when he was a young man, a dyke had run down Broad Street and that there was a plank bridge to their shop door.

By the 18th Century we are beginning to get some details about the kind of shops to be found in the town, from the commonplace to the specialized such as a periwig maker on the corner of the Market Place and Queen Street. And it was indeed the Market Place that quite naturally became the focus for both the market itself, with the 17th Century Buttercross, shops and Inns as well as houses lived in by the most prosperous tradesmen and gentry. Next month we’ll take a look at the spread of shops and the beginnings of national chains making their mark on the town. But I’ll leave you with a photograph that many of you will I am sure recognise, of the north side of the Market Place showing the Woodhouse’s ironmonger shop and the now demolished Smith’s shop which, although it only appeared to be Victorian in age, was concealing a building of the 16th Century behind that white brick front wall. Until next time...


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The Fens | May 2017

51


Proudly sponsored by

What’s on guide FAMILY-FRIENDLY May 1st

Fun Day at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre between 11am3pm. Fun for the whole family, from inflatables for kids to martial arts for the adults. All proceeds go to The Village Playgroup Werrington and Amazon Children’s Ward

May 12th-14th

The Yaxley Festival is a free event, showcasing local talent, providing family entertainment and celebrating local history. Visit their website for a full list of music over the weekend: yaxleyfestival.info

May 20th-21st

Sheep Shearing Weekend at Sacrewell. Sheep shearing is an ageold skill, passed down from generation to generation. Our expert Ross Priddle will give demonstrations as he shears the Sacrewell flock

May 20th-21st

Discover Ferry Meadows 11-4pm. Attractions include helicopter rides, watersports tasters, bouncy castle and climbing wall. Event is free but there might be charges for some activities

May 20th

ALIWAL MANOR, WHITTLESEY – FUN DAY AND CAR BOOT AT 1.30PM. For stall or car boot enquiries call Michelle or Deborah on 01733 203347. Proceeds to go directly to Comforts Fund which enables our residents to enjoy trips, special events in the home and celebrate birthdays and Christmas

REGULARS Hatha Yoga, for all levels, £6 each, some mats available. Monday - 6pm Wednesday - 6.30pm, Thursday - 9.30am. St Andrew’s Parish Room, Parkinsons Lane, Whittlesey Power Yoga, lively music, intended to raise your heart rate & increase your flexibility & fitness. £6.10 to non members, bring water & small towel. Wednesday - 8pm. New Vision Fitness, Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey Painting group, we meet in the Eastrea Centre every Tuesday 1pm to 4pm all are welcome, for details contact Sue on 01733 205241 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 52 The Fens | May 2017

OTHER

MUSIC April 30th

May 4th

Mesh Band playing at Letter B, Whittlesey

Professor Brian Cox live at Peterborough Arena

May 6th

May 5th

Race Night at 7pm at Sudbury Court

May 6th

Quiz Night at 7:30pm, St Andrews Hall, raising money for NGNPUK (No Gain, No Pain UK). £5 per person – Teams of up to 8. Bring your own food and drink, tea and cakes for sale at half time including a raffle

May 7th

Craft Fair at Elgoods Brewery

May 12th-14th

Art & Craft Exhibition at St. Mary’s Church, Whittlesey between 10am5pm. Entrance £2 for adults and children under 16s are free.

May 12th

Half Price Bingo at 7pm at Sudbury Court

May 13th

Ramsey Walled Garden reopens at 2:30pm. Entrance at Rural Museum

May 19th

Karaoke including cheese and glass of wine at 7pm. £2.50 each at Sudbury Court

May 21st

Benwick Exhibition from 2pm-5pm at Benwick Village Hall. Huge collection of photos of Benwick, plus displays of local arts and crafts. Free admission

May 26th

Card Bingo at 7pm at Sudbury Court

May 27th

Stamford Vintage Fair between 11-4 at the Arts Centre, PE9 2DL. Entry £1 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, (new dates), 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

A Grand Charity Gala at Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey from 7pm-11:30pm. Tickets are £15 with funds going to local churches

May 19th

Defibrillators For All and NGNPUK charity music night at 7:30pm – midnight, Childers. Tickets cost £10. Performing on the night will be Holly and the Boatmen and Dale Diamond. Plus Whittlesey Motown legend Terry Grant. There will be a raffle and a light buffet included in the price of the ticket

May 20th

Concert by the City of Peterborough and Harlow Concert Bands at 7.00pm at St. Andrews Church, Ledbury Road, Netherton, Peterborough, PE3 9RF Tickets £8 each, free for under 16s, available from Hilary Lewis  01733 265877, petconcertband@gmail.com

May 20th

“Great Nights Entertainment” Soul, Motown and Disco from the 60s, 70s & the 80s returns to the Ivy Leaf Club with a new themed night “Back to School”. So it’s time to dig out your “School Uniform” and get set for another Great Night! Dressing for the occasion is optional, but prizes on the night will be given for the best dressed adult Head Boy and Head Girl. Food, Real Ale and Cocktails will be available via the Ivy Leaf throughout the evening. Tickets £6 in advance or £8 on the door. Tickets can be paid in advance via www. paypal.me/GreatNights E-tickets will then be sent direct to your inbox. Or you can purchase tickets at Larry’s Heel Bar, Broad St, Whittlesey; The Ivy leaf Club, Gracious Street, Whittlesey, 01733 202579; or by phone from Andy on 07941 629660

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53


Literature

Memories of a happy childhood in the Fens Although now living in Australia, for Madeleine Pizzuti, her love of her hometown is so strong that she wrote a book about it. We spoke to Madeleine to find out why true love cannot be broken

‘I can still smell the country air that surrounded us as we sat amongst the gooseberry bushes that day. The aroma of cucumber sandwiches, tea from a flask, bales of prickly straw, mingled with the smell of strawberries ripening in the distance, created for me a childhood memory that would last forever. It was lunchtime and there we sat, cross-legged on the hard, clay-like soil that we fondly called the Fens.’ And so begins Madeleine’s book, a short collection of memories from her childhood, growing up in Leverington. Tell Me a Story takes the readers on a journey from a grandmother’s jelly cubes to donkey rides and teenage crushes. But in 1972, an 18-year-old Madeleine decided to leave the safety of her family circle and she emigrated to Sydney, Australia. Here she fell in love, got married and had three boys. “My favourite memory of living in the Fens is the friendliness of the Fen folk,” Madeleine explains. “It was quite common to have people just pop in unannounced – neighbours would come around for a cup of tea or to borrow a cup of sugar, and people were always there to help whenever necessary.”

54 The Fens | May 2017

Each short chaper evokes a different special memory for the author, but also serves to take the reader to a familar place. In the section entitled “A Day at the Seaside,’ we are taken to Hunstanton. ‘This is my heaven, I thought to myself, just being here with my family and enjoying the wonderful day out,’ explains the author. She delicately paints the picture of a childhood day out at the seaside in such a way that you are almost tasting the stick of rock and feeling the sand beneath your feet. “The Fens is so special to me because it’s where I was born and where I spent the first 18 years of my life. It’s my foundation,” Madeleine added. “I have the happiest memories of my childhood and my family life. If there’s a time when I feel rather down (which is not a regular occurrence I might add!), it’s natural for me to escape to the memories of my childhood and find comfort there.” As Madeleine explains in the acknowledgements, the book “is not merely a book of memories; it is much more than that. It is my way of saying thank you to the numerous people who were part of the fabric of my childhood [...] you all played a part in

my life, and have made me who I am today.” And when we asked her what she missed most about living here, she added: “I miss the strawberry fields and gooseberry bushes! Fruit picking was a real adventure when we were children. The whole day would be spent at my Uncle’s farm, not only picking fruit, but exploring the pig sty, jumping on a haystack and merely trying to see what mischief we could get up to!” The Fens might not be as big or seemingly as enticing as somewhere like Australia, but it seems to leave its imprint on us, even for those living on the other side of the world. And I for one feel very lucky that I can still enjoy an adventure in the Fenland landscape. With thanks to Madeleine Pizzuti. Her brilliant book, ‘Tell me a Story’ can be purchased through Amazon, Troubador Publishing or by visiting her website at www. madeleinepizzuti. co.uk


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56 The Fens | May 2017

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