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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 37 | June 2019

Up close to


ide IThreensgreat giveaways



YOU! Defibrillators For All is your local charity


We have provided 45 public access defibrillators which now need to be maintained at a cost of just under £100 per year each. We also screen 100 young people each year which costs £50 per person. This year we will also be training all key stage 2 children (7-11yrs) in first aid and providing them with a first aid book/magazine. We respond to all of our community groups and provide training or awareness whenever asked To provide these excellent services to our town we need support from you. We would like people to hold fundraising activities to enable us to continue.

If you can help please give us a call 07731 880444 or email defibrillatorsforall@gmail.com


The Fens | June 2019

Defibrillators For All

ED’S letter

It might not quite be the ‘birds and the bees’, but this issue we’re talking trains and bees. This season is my favourite for exploring the local area and discovering new places. In our June issue, we visited Railworld and met a wonderful beekeeper who taught us the importance of these little insects. It’s also our birthday! To celebrate, we have three amazing competitions. In June 2016, the very first FENS was published, in it I wrote: “This new, monthly publication aims to bring you quality editorial, with a limited number of adverts to ensure first and foremost, that this is a magazine you want to read.” I like to think that we’ve achieved just that. We continue to work hard to produce a publication which is informative, interesting and inspiring. June is one of my favourite months, it was the month I got married, plus it’s my husband’s and daughter’s birthdays. Come to think of it, it’s a busy and expensive month! But as you’ll read in our Father’s Day piece, sometimes the best way to celebrate is just simply spending time together. This month we’re spending a weekend together at the seaside in a place where our phones don’t work and there is no Wifi. We discovered it last year and I remember feeling cut off. What will happen if I don’t check my emails every hour? This year I’m so looking forward to that. I’m going to switch off from everything for the weekend and indulge in family time. Whatever you do this month, I hope you enjoy it just as much as me.


THIS month 11 Your garden in May

26 Meeting the Friendlands

12 Visiting Railworld Wildlife Haven

28 Father’s Day fashion

17 Ten years of the B2B Charity Bike Ride 19 Help to save the honey bee plus chance to win a beekeeper experience worth £250! 24 Health and fitness columns


36 Nature’s music 38 Amy discovers a secret garden 42 Win tickets to Battle of the Proms 44 Recipe of the month



A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


47 Win tickets to Tolethorpe 48 Events diary

Issue 37 | June 2019

Up close to



Three great giveaways


50 Independent of the month MTH Property Management

THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney amy@thefensmag.co.uk SUB EDITOR Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk ADVERTISING SALES sales@thefensmag.co.uk 07511 662566 ACCOUNTS hello@thefensmag.co.uk 07511 662566 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at hello@thefensmag.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS Joe Ferridge | Eamonn Dorling | John McGinn | Westfield Nurseries | Eva Jordan Robert Bull | Whittlesey Veterinary Centre David White | Sara Fontanella Richard Groom DISTRIBUTION

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

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

ISSUE 37 | JUNE 2019 Honey bees photographed by Chris Brudenell

THE FENS is published by Barley Media. 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 accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | June 2019


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NEW ENERGY FROM WASTE WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR US? The Waterbeach Waste Management Park has been in the news recently because of the decision by Amey to appeal Cambridgeshire County Council’s decision to refuse permission for an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at our existing site near Waterbeach. We want to make sure Cambridgeshire residents are aware of exactly what goes on at the plant and how EfW fits into a wider strategy, so we thought we would provide some information and ways for you to find out more. The majority of Amey’s work at Waterbeach is related to recycling and recovering value from waste, as well as disposing of what’s left over. We do this in a number of ways, such as: processing waste to identify recyclable material; processing compostable waste to create soil conditioner; and reducing the bulk and weight of material going to landfill. Waterbeach is the sensible location for a future EfW facility as it is already home to a state-of-theart materials recycling facility and already deals with the waste from across Cambridgeshire. Without a new EfW facility, waste will continue going to landfill – something that everyone is keen to see eliminated. The existing landfill site at Waterbeach can only last another 10-15 years.

After that new sites will need to be found elsewhere in Cambridgeshire. Similarly, if EfW is not provided at Waterbeach, sites will be sought elsewhere in the county. A new Energy from Waste facility would take residual waste processed through mechanical and biological treatment and burn it at an extremely high temperature to create clean, safe energy – potentially enough electricity to power 63,000 homes. Amey are also looking to the potential for providing heat for the homes at the new development at Waterbeach. Compared to landfill, EfW could deliver an annual reduction in greenhouse gas

emissions of over 35,000 tonnes and reduce the amount that the council have to pay every year in landfill taxes – money that could be spent on schools, healthcare, and other local services. Amey also contribute to local good causes through the Amey Community Fund; to date over £5.5m has gone back into community groups and good causes across Cambridgeshire. If you would like to learn more about the proposals or are interested in the community fund, please visit our website at www. waterbeachwastemanagementpark. co.uk The Fens | June 2019


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Wednesday 30th January 2019 10-12 or 1.30-3pm

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Come along & enjoy the fun! New Road Preschool, New Road, Whittlesey PE7 1SZ Tel: 01733 685404 | Email: newroadpreschool@talktalkbusiness.net


Wednesday 30th January 2019 10-12 or 1.30-3pm

The Fens | June 2019


PRE-SCHOOL RECEIVES ‘GOOD’ OFSTED New Road Pre-school have recently received a ‘Good’ Ofsted report following a recent re-inspection. Staff and Committee are delighted with the outcome. During Spring term New Road-Preschool were visited by the Exotic Pet Encounter, when the children had the chance to get up close to a skunk, meerkats, a tarantula, a giant tortoise, a snake and a tiny owl. The children were all very brave when they held the spider and the snake, and some even held some food for the owl and it flew from one to the other. Mummies, daddies and grandparents came to play during Stay and Play week and Reverend Nigel visited to talk about Easter and read an Easter story. The children walked to the library, where they were given a book, had a book treasure hunt and were able to choose some library books to bring back to read at Pre-school. An open day took place in January, when several families new to the pre-school came to have a look around. Lots of mums came in for Mother’s Day

afternoon tea; the children had been busy making and decorating cupcakes for their mums to eat with a cup of tea or coffee. Just before Easter we visited Hamerton Zoo and saw tigers, monkeys, wallabies, wolves, and lots of other animals. Trips and outings have been funded with money we received from the Co-op Community Fund. Some of the parents attended a health event where they were able to try out some ideas for foods to put in the children’s lunchboxes. Recipes and leaflets regarding healthy eating were also available. The children have been cooking wraps, cupcakes, fruit salad, biscuits and pancakes. The children continue to do Forest

School activities, such as den building, sawing and whittling, both at the setting and at Lattersey Nature Reserve. They have made mud faces, whittled sticks and sawn discs to make a necklace. The pre-school are now looking forward to a busy Summer Term with a Father’s Day breakfast, when they will be serving bacon butties. They have some caterpillars arriving soon so the children can watch them grow and change into butterflies, plus some some duck eggs which will allow the children to watch as they hatch and grow into ducklings. Finally, there will be another Open Day on 20th June for prospective new children and their parents. Spaces are available for September 2019 - for further information ring 01733 685404.


To help with every aspect of the festival from planning months in advance to stewarding individual events on the day we are looking for a wide range of volunteers: We are after community partners in towns and villages across Huntingdonshire to host events or displays as part of the festival. Are you able to help out with specific events on the day/evening? We are after event stewards to assist with the smooth running of individual events. Enjoy getting out in the area? We are after volunteers to help with poster and leaflet distribution in the run up to the festival across the whole area! Are you a business that would like to support us? Whether it’s financial assistance with funding part of the festival or help with printing, marketing or advertising don’t hesitate to drop us a line! A full calendar of events can be found on the Festival website: huntshistoryfest. com or visit our Facebook page. The Fens | June 2019


50TH ANNIVERSARY FLOWER FESTIVAL St. Thomas a Becket Church, Ramsey 50th Anniversary Flower Festival 7-9 June 2019 It was way back in 1969 when a group of ladies got together to plan the first ever Flower Festival in St. Thomas a Becket Church. It was to be staged in September of that year to run alongside celebrations in Ramsey to commemorate 1000 years since the founding of the Abbey in AD969. Here we are 50 years later and the Flower Festival is still going strong. So, for this year we are planning something very special. Usually we have about 38 displays, but this year we will squeeze in 50, in keeping with the occasion. Our title is Ramsey the Golden as this is what our wealthy Abbey was called in its heyday, and it is our Golden Anniversary. The theme is the history

COUCH TO MARATHON My running journey started in May 2017, 5 months after we moved to Whittlesey. I saw the local running group advertising a free couch to 5km course on the local field and decided to give it a go. It would be a good chance to make some friends in Whittlesey. I had done the couch to 5km twice before on my own but gave up both times as soon as I did the 5km. This time I was determined to stick to it and go further. On week 3 when they asked us to run for three minutes at a time, panic took over and I was ready to quit. I persevered though and continued with the group on a Monday night and tried 8

The Fens | June 2019

of Ramsey from AD969 to the present day. Pity the poor arrangers who have been asked to interpret the building of the culvert under Great Whyte or the Dissolution of the Monasteries! Come along and see what they come up with. We are open from 10 until 6 on Friday and Saturday, and 11.30 until 6 on Sunday. Our Festival Café will be serving delicious home made cakes all day and we will add sandwiches over the lunchtime 12 – 2. There will also be a raffle which will be drawn when we close on Sunday. Winners will be notified by phone. Entry is free, but any donations and all proceeds from the Café and the raffle go the church. Written by Hilary, Becket Flower Group to squeeze two other homework runs in each week. 5km progressed to 6km and eventually on to 10. My husband couldn’t believe it ... I couldn’t believe it! I applied for the London Marathon on a whim thinking I’d never get in. You hear of people applying year after year and never securing a place. 463,000 people applied in the ballot and little old me got a place on my first attempt. I hadn’t told anyone I’d applied, not even the husband, imagine our shock when that magazine dropped on to the doormat announcing ‘You’re in’. Straightaway I said I was going to defer until 2020 but my running was going well and on 21st December I ran my first half marathon around the streets of Whittlesey. In January I heard myself telling someone that I was running the London Marathon in April so subconsciously I had made a decision to go for it this year. I continued to run small distances three times a week, sticking in a longer run whenever the diary would allow it and on Sunday 28th April 2019 I am proud to say I completed my first ever Marathon in 5:25:09. I enjoyed every moment and that wall they talk about just never came. Never mind couch to 5km, this has been couch to a marathon in less than 2 years. Needless to say I’m pretty proud of myself and eternally grateful to Thorney Running Club and all my friends and family who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. If you’re even just a little bit inspired by my story, pop down to the Manor field on Monday at 6.45pm and give it a go. We’re a friendly bunch. Tammy Bell, aged 48 from Whittlesey.

CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS GIVE THANKS To the residents of Whittlesey. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for voting for us to serve you for the next 4 years. Your Whittlesey Conservative Councillors: Bassenhally Ward Chris Boden, Kay Mayor, Gary Munns Coates, Eastrea, Turves & Pondersbridge Ward Alex Miscandlon & Ray Whitwell Lattersey Ward Alan Bristow & David Davies St Andrew & St Mary North Ward David Mason & Julie Windle Stonald Ward Dee Laws & Victoria Lang-Whiston All contact details are available on the Whittlesey Town Council website www.whittleseytc.com Thank you once again, we will do our best to serve Whittlesey and every one of you, irrespective of political persuasion.

SINGER/SONGWRITER CHRISTIAN SMITH IS SET TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘REVIVAL’ ON 8TH JUNE 2019 After a successful year in 2018 and signing with Suffolk based label ‘GingerDog Records’, Christian has been going from strength to strength including his latest single ‘Auburn Sky’ getting radio plays internationally and reaching number 5 in the iTunes Country Chart. New album ‘Revival’ (set for release on 8th June) is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to songwriting. Including songs such as the recently released ‘Auburn Sky’ and crowd favourite ‘Chains’, this album gives off a raw rocky feel fused with hints of country. To celebrate the release of ‘Revival’, there will be an in store performance at Bob’s Records in Whittlesey on 1st June followed by an album release show held at The Sportsman in Chatteris on the night of the 8th June. Tickets are available at www.gingerdog. co.uk/concerts Visit www.christiansmithmusic. co.uk to find out more


LOCAL AUTHOR CELEBRATES THIRD NOVEL Local author, Eva Jordan, seen here holding her third, recently released new novel, Time Will Tell will be at Waterstones in Peterborough on Thursday 6th June 6.30-8.30pm where she, alongside crime writer, Tony Forder, will be reading an extract from her latest novel and signing copies. The event is FREE and all are welcome!

I am very honoured and humbly proud that I have been re-elected Mayor of Whittlesey for the forthcoming year 2019-2020. During the past 12 months I have attended just over 100 engagements and events both in Whittlesey and outside the town as Mayor, which has been a privilege and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. My Mayor’s charities for the past year The Alzheimer’s Society and The Young People’s Counselling Service have benefited from three successful fund raising events – a Fashion Show in October, Mayor’s Ball in March and Duck Race in April. Many thanks to everyone who supported and helped me organise these events especially the the Town Clerk Mrs Sue Piergianni. Looking forward to the coming civic year ahead, I am happy to visit and meet with as many local groups, businesses and charities across the town and villages as possible. So

if you are hosting or organising an engagement, meeting or a forthcoming event that you would like the Mayor to attend please contact the Town Clerk Mrs Sue Piergianni Tel. 01733 351296 or Email whittleseytowncouncil@ btconnect.com I will endeavour to continue to carry out my duties as Mayor over the coming year to the best of my ability and be an unfailing ambassador for the town. I hope to see many of you on Sunday 16th June at Whittlesey Juniors Football Club’s Field of Dreams off Stonald Road for the It’s a Knockout at 2pm and for the Whittlesey Sports Association free Father’s Day Taster sessions from 12.30pm at the same venue where you can play all ages of Football, have a go at Archery, Boxing, Table Tennis, Netball, Bowls, Martial Arts and lots more, this will be a great family day out so bring all the family. Kind regards, Cllr. Julie Windle, Mayor of Whittlesey

NEW VENUE FOR LOCAL SLIMMERS Whittlesey and the surrounding Slimming World members have a brand new venue on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30pm and 7:30pm. The Methodist Church on Queen Street is the perfect venue, central to Whittlesey and with plenty of room for new members. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with Charlene on 07931 313201, Gemma on 07955 211027 or Anna on 07539 229365. There’s venues in Stanground, Whittlesey and Eastrea, so something to suit everyone.

A CELEBRATION OF LOCAL PRODUCERS AND CULINARY DELIGHTS The annual Oundle Food Festival will yet again be offering its vibrant street market stalls and entertainment on 22nd June this year. Remaining one of the most popular dates in regional foodies’ diaries, over 75 of the region’s finest independent food and drink producers will gather in Oundle’s town centre to tantalise and tickle your taste buds. With additional events and offers from generous local Oundle businesses, June becomes the month to understand and sample local products, providing chances to learn about the food and drink that is lovingly created in the region and to meet those who grow, raise, cook, bake, brew, distil and make the many treats on offer. The bunting and bustle of the busy street market itself on the 22nd June between 9am – 4pm is held in the heart of Oundle and is a sight to behold. Stallholders, such as Yum Yum Tree Fudge, New Lodge Farm, Munchy Seeds, Riverford Organic Delivery, Saxby’s Cider, Lincolnshire Poacher and many more will return by popular demand, but there are always some newcomers to welcome too. Family entertainment from Corby’s

Balls Up Juggling Club and the Nene Valley Festival crew will make the street market a great family day out with a fantastic atmosphere, plus the fabulous Oundle Fringe Festival will provide yet another hugely enjoyable programme of music and dance. To ease traffic flow and parking in

the town centre, a Park & Ride service provided by Oundle School will be available from the Oundle Wharf where Food Festival attendees can also have a look around the shops of Festival sponsors AGA Oundle and Hambleton Bakery. Visitors are encouraged to explore the wonderful shops and welcoming eateries which line the streets all year round and in the run up to the Festival some Oundle culinary focussed businesses are offering special events and discounts throughout June if customers show a Food Festival flier; so pick one up from around and about town or from the Oundle Festival Office. Admission is free: it’s truly a day which is enjoyed by visitors of all ages! Further details are available in the Food Festival flier available from the Oundle Box Office, on the website www.oundlefoodfestival.co.uk and on Facebook @OundleFoodFestival The Fens | June 2019


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Open Thursday & Sunday 9:30am-2pm Friday & Saturday 9am-5pm 10 The Fens | June 2019

Party at the Wharf Ronnie Scotts All Stars The Festivals’ Ceilidh Oundle on Show Kathryn Tickell & the Darkening Shoo Shoo Baby Wagner Wrap! The Bach Walk Gangsta Granny A Passion for Opera Much Ado About Nothing The Big Bach Project Lunchtime Recitals 25th Anniversary Organ Recital

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SATURDAY 22ND JUNE 9am–4pm, Oundle Town Centre Over 75 food, drink & product stalls, music and family entertainment FREE ADMISSION Events and offers running throughout June 2019 www.oundlefoodfestival.co.uk


www.oundlefestival.org.uk Tel:01832 274734 Oundle Festival Office, 4 New Street, Oundle, PE8 4EA

Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN June By the time that June arrives it’s pretty safe to say that the risk of frost is behind us – summer is on its way and it’s time to make sure the garden is in good shape for the summer months. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the garden is bursting into life. This makes June a particularly busy month for the green-fingered among us with lots of planting, pruning, maintenance and weeding to be done. All our hard work is sure to be worth the effort though as we sit back and admire the onset of summer in our garden.

Looking good this month... Rose WHY SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Roses suit all kinds of gardens – they come in a huge variety of colours, shapes and scents. They can be grown in beds, borders and containers and can be grown up walls, fences and trellis.

3 ESSENTIAL JOBS FOR JUNE PLANT BASKETS AND CONTAINERS Now the risk of morning frost has passed, it’s time to plant up your containers, hanging baskets and planters. If you already had them growing in the greenhouse, or hardening off outside during the day, then it’s now safe to move them out to their summer position – choosing a sunny spot will ensure you get the best from them. Trim any excess growth to maintain shape and dead head regularly to encourage flower growth. Water at least once a day or more frequently when it’s hot, dry and windy. Regular feeding – once per week in the summer – will also help your plants to thrive. MOW LAWNS AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK The lawn will be growing fast now and will continue to do so throughout the summer so a good weekly cut is essential to keep it looking neat and tidy. To make sure your lawn looks its best for the summer, apply a spring fertiliser onto established lawns now. A

good feed and a regular close cut will encourage extra growth making your lawn thick and lush. Don’t forget to reduce cutting frequency and raise mower blades if we have a drought. CARE FOR YOUR ROSES June is traditionally the month when roses are at their peak. You will need to keep an eye out for black spot and aphid attacks. Both of these will need treating immediately to ensure that too much damage doesn’t occur. Black spot is a serious disease for roses caused by a fungus which infects the leaves and reduces plant vigour and should be treated at first sign of infection with a fungicide. Green fly are sap-sucking creatures that can alter the growth of roses, also decreasing their vigour. Treat roses that are being attacked by aphids with an insecticide. Dead head any faded rose blooms to encourage fresh buds to grow and apply a rose fertiliser after the first flowering.

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HOW SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Roses grown in containers can be planted all year round – check the label when buying though as their preferred spot and conditions will vary depending on the type. Dig a hole roughly twice the size of the root ball to a spade’s depth, dig in a good quality compost and fork in a general fertiliser. Plant the rose to the same depth as it was in the container, firm down and water well. Apply a rose fertiliser every spring for amazing displays of colour.

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

Open 7 days a week including Bank Holidays The Fens | June 2019


AN OASIS IN THE HEART OF PETERBOROUGH Aiming to entertain and educate about our world, we took a visit to Railworld Wildlife Haven WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL

Martyn Hanks designed and made Railworld’s windmill and watermill. The windmill took him 4 months to make by hand, using recycled materials, and Martyn travelled from Preston to install it. 12 The Fens | June 2019

As a family, we are no strangers to Railworld Wildlife Haven. We first visited when our son had just turned two. Drawn by the fact that he loved trains, we turned up not quite sure what to expect. Four years later, we’re still taking him and hands down it’s still his favourite place to visit. For Dylan, the draw certainly is the connections to trains. Railworld, like its name suggests, has huge links with transport. The vast piece of land, just 500 metres from Peterborough City Centre, was bought in 1985 by Rev. Richard Paten. Back then it was a derelict power station coal yard. A true pioneer, Rev. Paten also purchased the locomotive that started the Nene Valley Railway (NVR). This connection to trains shaped the vision for the piece of land, but it took several decades to evolve into what we see today. In that time, Rev Paten worked alongside Brian Pearce, a retired Perkins engineer, to create not only a homage to the past but an emphasis on the future and the importance of nature and the Wildlife Haven emerged. It certainly wasn’t an easy journey to transform a flat, barren piece of land into a space for different species of plants and animals to thrive. Last year alone, over 12,600 hours of volunteering went into Railworld. In the early days, Brian was reliant on donations from companies such as Caterpillar, Perkins and British Rail to not only provide iron bridges and concrete, but man hours

and machinery. Over time, their combined vision began to surface and the flat land gave way to ponds, waterfalls and hills. When we first visited Railworld we had no idea what we would find as we explored, but each year as we return, we’re constantly being surprised and delighted. Today’s visitors will discover an outdoor model railway, inspired and created by another retired engineer Bob Clarke, a beautiful wildlife trail with picnic benches and viewing platforms, a building which houses a perfectly to scale model world, an impressive indoor model railway and a Thomas the Tank Engine railway for children to operate, plus many more interactive elements and educational posts throughout the site, to encourage learning in a fun environment. The Fens | June 2019


Once you poke at the history of Railworld, its brilliant world really opens up. Each element that you see took years of hard work and dedication by a strong team of volunteers. The education centre that houses the world, took 19 years to finish. The first Victorian iron bridge took three and a half years to install. Almost everything you see was donated or foraged, earning the team the title of ‘Champions for ReUse, RePurpose and Share.’ As Brian explained, the hours of work that have gone into Railworld are purely to create somewhere to entertain and educate. The team of 20 volunteers give up their spare time to give something back, a recognition that earned the team the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and Brian an MBE. So why visit Railworld Wildlife Haven? For a reasonable entry fee, visitors of all ages can enjoy a walk around the three acre site, taking in the some 200 species of flora and fauna. The model railways are always a big hit, and thanks to Bob Clarke and his team of volunteers, they keep growing and evolving, including a miniature moving windmill and ski lift new for 2019. Bring a picnic and you can easily spend several hours exploring and discovering some of the quirky elements of Railworld, including the giant solar powered rotating globe and interactive trains. For an extended visit, why not pop on a train at the Nene Valley Station and take a ride to Wansford? Tickets can be purchased at Railworld. Alternatively an NVR ticket will get you a discounted family ticket into Railworld for just £5. 14 The Fens | June 2019

Open every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 11m to 4pm between April and October, Railworld Wildlife Haven is accessible from Pleasure Fair Meadow Car Park on Oundle Road, Peterborough PE2 9NR. Entrance is £4 for adults (£3 concessions) and £2 for children. Alternatively you can purchase a family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) for £10. Parking is free. Find out more by visiting www.railworld.org.uk or calling 01733 344240 or find them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve been inspired by your visit to Railworld Wildlife Haven, you can support the volunteers with their future plans by visiting their Localgiving page.

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Sat 15th June

Viewing Friday 14th June Midday to 7pm & from 9am on morning of sale

The Fens | June 2019


Treat yourself and friends to

Afternoon Tea

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Selection of finger sandwiches Warm fruit scone with cream and jam Assorted cakes Tea or coffee

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The Hermitage

ANNUAL FETE / CARBOOT SALE The One Not To Be Missed The Hermitage annual fete/carboot sale will be held this year on Saturday July 20th with the gates opening at 1.00 pm in Falcon Lane Whittlesey. Admission as always is just 20p and it is always a really fun afternoon. As well as over 20 genuine car booters, there will be a homemade cake stall, a tombola stall, raffle, a refreshment tent serving hot and cold drinks and slices of cake etc as well as lunches with a delicious sweet to follow.

Every single penny raised goes towards

The Hermitage residents Comfort Fund which pays for such things as activities and in-home entertainment, etc.

The Hermitage Residential Home, 6-12 St Marys Street, Whittlesey Tel:

16 The Fens | June 2019

01733 204922

10 YEARS OF THE B2B CHARITY BIKE RIDE Now in its 10th year, the B2B Charity Bike Ride, which always starts at finishes at The Letter B pub in Whittlesey, takes place on Saturday 13 July. The 53-mile bike ride takes the cyclists through Pondersbridge all the way to Upwood, Great Gidding, taking in lots of pretty scenery and the odd hill or two, before the riders wait just before Whittlesey so they can all ride back to the pub together. As well as a great challenge, the B2B has always been about raising money for local charities. Bruce Roan, landlord of the Letter B, explained how they had raised over £70,000 already and hoped to raise another £5,000 this year. Organisers Bruce, Roger Boon and Russ Hart will donate the funds this year to the Young People’s Counselling Service. Big thanks go to the 25 sponsors who have helped raise the funds required to put on the bike ride each year. As a thank you, Bruce

is holding a special quiz on the Sunday following the ride. Whilst the 50 entrance places have already been taken, keen cyclists can put their names down on the reserve list or support the riders by waiting outside the Letter B between 1:30pm and 2pm to cheer them on. I took part in the event a few years ago, and what I really enjoyed was the comradeship between everyone. This isn’t a race, the fastest rider waits for the slowest and everyone completes the course together.

Photos by Frederick Ayley




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The Fens | June 2019


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11B Mark et S treet, Whittlesey P E 7 1 B A DI NI NG I N O NL Y - SUNDA YS 4PM T O 9P M T UESDAY T O T HURSDAY 5PM T O 10PM


We visited award-winning organic farm in the Cambridgeshire border, to meet with owners of Bees & Co. and to find out how easy it is to all do our bit to help the plight of the incredible bee

WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL It’s been widely reported about the decline of bees in Britain; this is due to many factors including urbanisation and fewer pollinating flowers. One huge impact facing bees today is the evershrinking number of beehives. In 1900 there was estimated to have been 1 million beehives across the UK, but by 2015 this number had shrunk to just 270,000. The average age of a beekeeper today is 63, so without the next generation taking an interest, the future for bees is uncertain.

Only a few years ago, the couple were living in Buckinghamshire. Having recently married, they had planned on moving just 20 minutes from their old home when Caroline found the derelict building in Langtoft and insisted Jez went to view. Having been brought up on a farm, Jez saw the potential in the plot and by 2017 they had launched Bees for Business from that very site. The business began as a means to help raise awareness of the plight of the honeybee, whilst offering a solution. They grew rapidly from just one beehive to over 70. But this isn’t just a business which sells honey, and whilst they do sell in some local independent stores and to the wholesale market, Jez focuses more heavily on doing something positive for the honeybee. “We launched ‘Project 250’: committing to install 250 new beehives over the next 5 years and partnering with land owners to sow 250 acres of organic, bee-friendly flower seeds on unused land,” he explained, “enhancing the environment visually whilst improving biodiversity and providing vital food sources for pollinators.”

there are more than


species of bee in the UK

Jez and Caroline Rose are breaking the mould and showing the UK that beekeeping isn’t a dying tradition but something exciting, rewarding and extremely important. Their farm, tucked in the middle of Fen countryside, is an example of how a passion for doing something good for nature can be rewarding in many different ways.

The world’s first certified Carbon Neutral honey farm, Bees & Co. offer opportunities for businesses to improve The Fens | June 2019


their own corporate social responsibility. You can adopt a beehive, receiving information about your beehive and honey at the end of each harvest; or even twin your workspace, building or business in a cutting-edge new solution. Like the WaterAid’s Toilet Twinning Project, Beehive Twinning is a more costeffective solution which allows your business to increase their environment friendly credentials whilst simultaneously helping the honey bee.

beehive and, donned in my suit, I was amazed at how calm the bees were. I felt quite privileged to see them at their work, and truly humbled at how they communicate and work together (frankly we could learn a thing or two from them). Witnessing bees being born is something I won’t forget in a hurry, neither will the taste of raw British honey, with its floral notes. SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP? Some things, Jez explained, are obvious. Bees need water, as well as pollen, so try to create areas in your garden where they can land safely and drink. Plant bee lovers’ flowers, such as lavender, hollyhock or crocuses. If you have space, why not plant a mini-meadow, small patches of native British flowers provide colour all round in your garden and a feast for local honeybees. If you haven’t got a garden, window boxes or a pot of flowers still provides plants for insects. Lastly, if you’re going to buy honey, don’t buy it from your local supermarket. The well-known brands use honey from across the EU, which doesn't help or support our bees. Find a local beekeeper and buy from them. You’ll be supporting that beekeeper and colony of bees, plus local honey really does help hay fever sufferers!

Each hive has around

But it’s not just businesses that can engage, the couple are extremely proud of their workshops and experience days which are open to the public. Packages start from £125 per person and give the chance to experience a day in a life of a beekeeper. Visitors get close to the honeybees, enjoy a garden tour and a unique honey tasting session. Everything is provided, including the beekeeper suits plus an organic pizza lunch. For those who are interested in having their own beehive, Jez’s workshops teach everything you’ll need to know including how to spot for disease, handling the bees and harvesting honey.

40,000 bees plus one queen bee

Jez is a wonderful advocate for the honeybee. His knowledge and passion shine through. This was my first experience of getting close to a 20 The Fens | June 2019



Weddings £500 for the complete hire of the hall from Fri-Sun

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To find out more about Bees & Co. or to book a workshop or experience day, please call 01778 487 923 or visit www.beesforbusiness.com. Here you can also find out more about adoption plans and beehive twinning. Jez is also teaming up with Adam Frost to deliver a ‘Gardening for Bees’ day course on July 26th. Places are still available, for further information please visit www.adamfrost.co.uk or call 01780 740531.

Fully qualified    Carpenter  &  Joiner  with  over  21  years   experience  in  the  trade.   Specialising  in  all  aspects  of  bespoke  carpentry  &   joinery  Inc.   Built  in  wardrobes  , Bookcases    ,  Beds    

WIN A BEEKEEPER EXPERIENCE DAY FOR TWO We’re thrilled to be able to offer one reader the chance to experience beekeeping for a day with Bees & Co. This fantastic prize, worth £250, can be redeemed on a date that suits the winner (valid for either the 2019 or 2020 season). To enter, simply email win@thefensmag.co.uk, marking your email ‘Save the bees’ by June 15th. Please make sure you include all of your contact details. You can also enter on Facebook. One winner will be picked at random after the closing date. Good luck!

Storage solutions  ,    Kitchens  ,  Skirting       Doors  hanging  ,  window/door  repairs   And  much  much  more…   If  you  would  like  me  to  come  and  quote  for  any  of   your  ongoing  or  future  projects  please  get  in  touch     Call:  0778047406   Email:  jon@j-­‐p-­‐m-­‐carpentry.co.uk  

The Fens | June 2019


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22 The Fens | June 2019

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Bring personality to your shades! Where in the past lampshades have become simpler and squarer, the trend in interior fashions now leads to a more decorative finish. Indulging your vintage lampshade with more sass and swagger by adorning with trims, gimps, buttons and bullion fringing can add a very personal style to any room in your home. Simon Black explains By simply adding a gathered frill to the lower edge and embellish this further by fraying out the bottom can transform a basic drum shade. Once mastering this simple technique, you can start to allow your imagination and your skill to broaden your horizons to incorporate ribbons and buttons. Whilst some from major manufacturers and leaders of the interior design field can be outside of some of our budgets, often, remnants and alternatives can be picked up in local craft fairs and of course can be made yourself - they can take patience! Try plaiting ribbons, or basic garden twine, shredding an old pair of jeans into strips and twisting with something

contrasting like a satin. A glue gun is a great tool when looking to achieve a somewhat more romantic, shabby-chic look. By incorporating beads, buttons and bows, flowers and ribbons. Creating something fun for a child’s room can be achieved using a simple basic shade and appliquÊing felted animals - a bright splash of colour, offering a friendly image for your young one. If you are more adept at needle craft, a vintage dress or item purchased from a charity shop could

help you achieve this gorgeous deco inspired elegant shade - perfect for a dressing table or nightstand Where ever your imagination leads you, have fun and show your personality in your home! Simon Black is an interior designer at Orlando Interior Design at 2 Broad Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HA. For further information call 01733 200800 or visit www.orlandointeriordesign.co.uk

The Fens | June 2019



You’re Never Too Old, And It’s Never Too Late Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings

As a parent, my main wish is that my children grow up to be happy and healthy and I am sure nearly every parent feels the same. As exam season is in full swing, the pressures our children face are at the forefront of many parents’ minds. The newly developed ‘H3 Super Kids’ programme, is tailored to the belief that, ‘many of the subconscious programmes we operate on are ingrained in the early years of life, so it is vital that from a young age we take the time to create healthy, happy children with established positive attitudes.’ It is a programme that focuses on mindfulness, emotional intelligence, compassion, goal setting, gratitude, health, habits, focus and communication. The goal is to help children feel healthy in mind and body!

can be mixed with a variety of other drinks or food. Children are finding it goes down well with orange juice or milk! If you are interested in this programme please get in touch! I can give you more information and if you are on Facebook I can add you to a newly formed group that includes information, ideas and testimonials from those who are already involved.

It is aimed at children aged 4-12 and includes a book to focus the mind and a supplement called ‘Giving Greens’- a fantastic product to ensure your child is getting their 5-10 day. One scoop is equivalent to five portions of fruit and veg a day! It includes veg you may not ordinarily eat, with sprouting seed nutrition. It Katy Huett, Ariix Representative Email: katyhuett86@gmail.com Tel: 07847 517343 Facebook page: Healthy and Happy with Katy 24 The Fens | June 2019

Earlier this year, I was kindly invited by the Whittlesey U3A to be guest speaker at their monthly meeting in April. Honoured, I agreed. Then I worried a little. No spring chicken myself, I knew most of my audience were likely to be slightly older, and no doubt slightly wiser than me, so I wondered what I could talk about that would keep everyone interested and entertained for 45 minutes––not everyone is a reader, or is as passionate about books as I am. Nonetheless, most people love to hear a good story, especially one that proves you’re never too old, and it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. So, I decided to share mine. I explained how I had always loved reading, and dreamt of one day seeing my own stories in print. I did—eventually. However, having written my first story at age 8, it would be another 40 years before it happened. Lack of opportunity, inexperience and bad life choices held me back to a point, but a lack of belief in myself is what held me back the most. I had some minor publication success during my 20s but then came marriage, followed by two beautiful children, followed by divorce—or, my “Nodus Tollens” moment, which, coined by John Koenig from his Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows means, “the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.” Divorce was difficult and unpleasant and financially life became very tough. I took jobs that fitted around the children but school holidays were a nightmare as most of my earnings went on childcare. So I went back to education, which wasn’t easy, but in 2009 I graduated with a BA Honours Degree in English and History. You don’t need a degree to be a writer, but what it gave me was the tools and the confidence to believe I could write. By then I’d met my other half, who also had children, and we all moved in together and became a blended family. Trying to navigate my new life as a working parent and stepparent proved to be both challenging and humorous, but also inspirational. I didn’t realise it at the time, but like a seed growing in the dark, ideas for my debut novel were taking root. That’s when I wrote 183 Times A Year and the rest, as they say, is history. You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter www.facebook.com/ EvaJordanWriter/

HOW BAD IS CHOLESTEROL? Cholesterol is an interesting nutritional discussion. If I took a quick poll I’m sure many would conclude that high cholesterol is bad, in fact I’d be surprised if anybody even suggested the opposite. But there are a great many books, medical journals and published articles with titles like ‘The Great Cholesterol Myth’ and ‘Cholesterol is Harmless’ that all offer a different view of the role cholesterol plays in causing heart disease. First things first, cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood, your liver produces it but it can also be eaten in certain foods such as meat, eggs and dairy. It is widely believed that high levels of cholesterol cause fatty deposits in the coronary arteries and in turn can cause heart disease. However in the last 5 years studies have found alarming figures that show half of the people hospitalised globally with heart attacks had perfect levels of cholesterol. Many of the arguments suggest that studies to prove cholesterol is bad have been adjusted to fit a predetermined theory. In one such study, entire countries were erased from the data because their results went against the believed notion of cholesterol as a primary cause of cardiovascular disease.

But why? We may once again look at the massive number of products currently available on the shelves advertised as ‘low cholesterol’, but an even greater market is the pharmaceutical industry which currently makes over $20billion annually from medicines that claim to prevent heart disease, and yet 30% of deaths globally are still heart related. I tend to agree that one naturally occurring fat such as cholesterol should not be directly blamed as the sole cause of heart disease. There are so many factors that contribute towards strokes and heart attacks that it is short sighted and foolish to line up behind one cause and believe medicating it will solve such a huge problem, especially with the insufficient and questionable quality of data that we have. It’s certainly a discussion that warrants further thought. As always I suggest researching for yourself both sides of the argument, draw your own conclusions and never take anything in the nutritional world as a given.

For more information and further assistance with diet and nutrition, contact Rob via escapethediettrap@ outlook.com

Breaking the Cycle of Depression Depression is more common than we realise, there is a one in six chance of experiencing an episode of depression, with women being twice as likely to get depressed than men. Many of us live busy ‘stressed’ lives and there is a link between stress and depression; a high level of cortisol is present in the blood of people suffering from depression. Cortisol is a stress hormone released when we go into fight or flight mode, Cortisol increases blood pressure and blood sugar and lowers our immune responses. We often look outside to make ourselves feel better or happy, when in fact it is an inside job. You get what you focus on, the more you focus on negativity, the more stressed you become and the more stuck you become. What we think about comes about, and although it may not always feel like it, we can choose our thoughts and focus. Our brain does not know the difference between reality and vivid imaginings, so our thoughts do become our reality. Every thought we have triggers a particular neurochemistry, the chemical messengers of thought are inside of your body in a hundred of a second, those chemicals effect how we feel. Depression is an inside job, you have to work at maintaining the cycle and whilst the inside ‘job’ remains the same the depression will continue. The good news is, the inside ‘job’ can be changed. A solution-focused active approach that interrupts the negative patterns is best; my intention is always to make the biggest change in the shortest amount of time. Get in touch for a free 15 minute consultation.

Susie Munns can be found at Safe Haven Therapy & Coaching, 5 Market Place, Whittlesey, PE7 1AB. Mobile: 07915 073 013 www.safehaven-therapy.com www.facebook.com/ SafeHavenTherapy The Fens | June 2019


INTRODUCING THE FRIENDLANDS WORDS RICHARD GROOM IMAGES KARA HACKETT A relative newcomer to the Fens has embraced life here, and is sharing her passion for the area on social media I guess it’s only natural that when you have spent all or most of your life in an area you take it for granted. So it was very refreshing for me to stumble across ‘The Friendlands’ on Facebook recently. Here is someone new to the Fens exploring its history, culture, businesses and nature – and sharing the experience for anyone who is interested. It’s a brilliant way to look at the area through fresh eyes, with stunning photography to enjoy too. The Friendlands is put together by Kara Hackett, who moved to the Wisbech area a couple of years ago with her husband and young son. It’s the latest move in a life welltravelled for Kara: “When I was

26 The Fens | June 2019

growing up my family moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Scotland, and moved to South London a few years ago. Work brought my husband here and we instantly decided we had made the right move. “I’ve lived in cities full of skyscrapers and countryside dominated by

mountains, so the endless skies of the Fens are very different. I love the uninterrupted landscape. Even on a bleak winter’s day you have lovely scenery and plenty of light and sky from horizon to horizon.” MAKING FRIENDS IN THE FENS Kara likes more than the scenery: “When we knew we’d be moving here I looked online and found lots of negative comments about the area. But our experience has been very different. Our neighbours were lovely from the day we moved in, with several pushing welcome cards through our letterbox.” Kara decided from the start to make the most of moving to a new area. Thanks to Google, recommendations from locals and a few back issues of The Fens magazine, she started to see what the Fens had to offer.

Wicken Fen

HIDDEN GEMS In her own words, here are some of Kara’s favourite discoveries in the Fens that everyone should check out. Fenland Bushcraft is a fantastic place where you can get closer to nature. Based near Wisbech St. Mary’s, the team there run brilliant workshops and courses where you can learn outdoor skills: from making a shelter and lighting fires, to navigating with and without a compass. The Manor House 1690 in Crowland is owned by a lovely lady called Sophie, who runs a shop selling an eclectic mix of things for the home. She makes a lot of what she sells, including ceramics, plum jam and beeswax candles. Sophie is also busy restoring the Manor House, so the shop is open by appointment only, and you can buy via the website. Manor House 1690

Peckover House “With a toddler to keep busy, naturally when I look for activities it’s often with him in mind,” she says. “But I refuse to spend all my time in a soft play centre and seek out things that will give him a much richer experience, including enjoying nature. “I’m also determined to do things I’m interested in, such as enjoying art and eating out. I’m pleased to say there are opportunities for doing both in the Fens.” Kara has a special interest in small, independent businesses: “They need as much support as they can get, so I’m always looking for new shops and cafes to visit. I try to make a point of talking to the owners while I’m there. It’s really nice to find out about their background and how they came to be running a business.” BUILDING CONNECTIONS You can keep up to date with Kara’s ongoing adventures in the Fens, and get some inspiration for things to do across our region. Search for @thefriendlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is just the start for Kara and she still

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve is perfect for the family to visit, whether you want to see how many different types of wildlife you can spot, or just enjoy a walk or bike ride. There are also boat trips and a ‘back to basics’ campsite. Crowland Abbey has plenty of new places to visit, so expect lots more activity from The Friendlands. This summer is likely to feature plenty of outdoor activity: “Now that our son is older we can do more active things together and I’m looking forward to miles of nature walks, including along the Nene Way.”

Ayscoughfee Hall is a hidden gem and one of my favourite museums. It’s a beautiful 15th century building with over five acres of stunning gardens. There’s also a brilliant gallery that tells the story of the Fens. Entrance is free and there’s a café too, so it’s great for a family day out.

The Fens | June 2019


HAPPY FATHER’S DAY This month, fashion expert Sara Fontanella focusses on men in her Father’s Day special It’s June!! How did we get here so quickly? It seemed only yesterday we were popping the champagne for New Year and we’re already half way through... I’d like to start by wishing all the dads a very Happy Father’s Day, and this edit is for you! Homing in on what’s hot for Spring/Summer 2019 for you men out there! Whether you’re treating dad to a new outfit, or you’re a dad and want to change your style, I have a few picks which I’m sure will go down well. Menswear trends are showcasing yet another exciting season. Casual tailoring, nudes and plains teamed with pops of colour will have you looking fresh, crisp and trendy! Shorts Tailored shorts - cargo style or simply basic - are a statement in themselves. Wear with brogues or bright white trainers, with a t-shirt and blazer!


Sage is THE colour Plenty of colours hit the runways, but only one colour got the biggest reaction and that was SAGE. You can see sage in t-shirts, joggers and even suits.


The MAN bag Yes, men don’t be shy to carry a bag of your own. Man bags are a perfect accessory for any outfit. Special shout out to my Papa: Enzo Fontanella, of Fontanella’s on Market Street, Whittlesey. Happy Fathers Day x





Book a styling session with me, Style by Sara. Whether it’s an instant fix or a wardrobe makeover, I can help you on your way to a better version of yourself! Sara Fontanella – 07913 036896 | s_f00@hotmail.com | FB – Style by Sara | IG – Sara.Fontanella 28 The Fens | June 2019


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LYNCROFT CARE HOME From cafes to pubs, shops to spas this may not be what you’d expect from a care home! Lyncroft Care Home in Wisbech has an exciting summer ahead. The longestablished Care Home on Clarkson Avenue will have an additional 14 en-suite bedrooms, plus refurbished lounge and dining areas, bistro café and even its own pub. The original features of the 19th century rectory have been thoughtfully retained whilst incorporating state of the art design and functionality, allowing staff to deliver the highest standards of personalised care in a luxury setting. EXCITING FUTURE AHEAD FOR LYNCROFT CARE HOME The care home will be able to care for up to 52 older people, offering long-term and respite residential and dementia care. Staff are encouraged to get to know residents and their families individually; supporting and encouraging people to continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests. There is a range of meaningful activities for residents to enjoy every day, either in a group as a sociable activity or on a one-to-one basis. From reminiscing and games to light exercise, crafts, gardening or singing, 30 The Fens | June 2019

there is always something going on. The home’s new dementia friendly areas will be used to facilitate the meaningful activities, with games and quizzes taking place in the pub and creative activities and socialising in the café. LONG-STANDING REPUTATION Lyncroft Care Home has an excellent reputation locally, with their most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report continuing to rate them ‘Good’ in all areas. The inspection report stated that “People continued to receive care from staff who were kind and caring. People’s privacy and dignity was protected and promoted.” The CQC report also highlighted; ‘We observed people were treated with kindness and were positive about the staff’s caring attitude. We received feedback from people and relatives which supported this. One person told us, “The staff are magnificent; they treat us very well” A relative said, “I think they’re excellent”. Each person had their life history recorded which staff used to get to know people and to build

positive relationships with them.’ Lyncroft Care Home has strong connections with the local community in Wisbech which helps people to retain their connections with the local area. St Peter’s Church visit for regular services and the staff and residents have enjoyed participating in the Rose Fair regularly over the years. The home even has its own resident cat, Toby, who has been a great friend to many residents. Residents also enjoy regular day trips to a wide variety of local destinations, with each outing carefully planned with the residents’ needs and preferences in mind. Recently Lyncroft residents have enjoyed ten pin bowling, feeding lambs on a farm and been on a river boat trip. As part of the Country Court Care ‘make a wish’ initiative, a resident’s wish to spend time with horses again will come true with a visit to a Shire horse sanctuary in Norfolk. 120 YEARS OF CARING This warm and caring family atmosphere at Lyncroft Care Home has been facilitated by having many long-serving members of staff. In

fact, between them staff celebrated clocking up 120 years of caring between them this year. The milestone was celebrated with an awards presentation, where Country Court Care Finance Director, Al-Karim Kachra, presented staff with a certificate and gift. “We are delighted to recognize and celebrate the commitment and dedication of our staff here at Lyncroft Care Home” said Al-Karim Kachra “Lyncroft Care Home has gone from strength to strength over the years. Our extension and refurbishment project currently underway means that we are looking forward to an exciting future ahead.” Commenting on her achievement Senior Carer Nicky, who has worked at the care home for fifteen years, said “It’s the environment here at Lyncroft that makes staff stay. Lyncroft has a friendly, family atmosphere that makes it enjoyable to work here”. Home Manager Brenda Durrington, who celebrated 25 years working for Country Court Care this year, commented “I’m very proud to have such long serving staff on the team here at Lyncroft. Their dedication makes all the difference to the lives of our residents”. Brenda was presented with a bunch of flowers and framed ‘thank you’ from all the staff to mark their appreciation of her as their manager. In an emotional speech she thanked staff for all their support and dedication over the years. MEET THE MANAGER Brenda began her career at Lyncroft Care Home in 1994 as a part time carer, before working her way from Senior Carer to Deputy Manager and then Home Manager, where she stayed for 17 years before moving to a peripatetic role within Country Court Care. She managed care homes in Somerset and London for four years, sharing best practice and her extensive care knowledge before returning to Lyncroft earlier this year. “Lyncroft is a wonderful home” explains Brenda “when I first came here, we had just 14 residents, it’s great to see the home thriving and growing. The staff team are a real family which creates a caring and homely atmosphere for our residents”. A recent visitor to the home commented “The manager is truly amazing! She has been there for over 25 years and is extremely knowledgeable. The staff at Lyncroft are what makes this place amazing, they are a family and always treat everybody, either staying or visiting, as a family. Lyncroft is always so spotlessly clean every time I visit. I have never found anything bad to say about Lyncroft.”

ABOUT COUNTRY COURT CARE Lyncroft Care Home is part of the Country Court Care Group, a family owned and run business founded in 1983, with the company philosophy “Our family caring for yours”. The business is renowned for being a best in class care provider with an outstanding reputation. Country Court Care has won numerous Great British Care Awards. In 2015 the company was awarded Health Investor Residential Care Provider of the Year and is in the carehome.co.uk ‘Top 20 Large Care Home Groups 2018’. The Group’s head office is in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The newly refurbished Lyncroft Care Home will be hosting an open day in the Summer when the local community will be invited to celebrate the completion of the extension project with residents and staff. If you would like more information on this or the home itself, please contact them on 01945 475 229 or lyncroft@countrycourtcare.com The Fens | June 2019


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INDOOR BOWLS - Why not give it a try? Finding a new activity can not only be fun but great for your health and social life too. So why not try indoor bowls, you can even try it for FREE Once again, Whittlesey Indoor Bowls Club & Sports Complex are offering SIX WEEKS FREE TRAINING playing indoor bowls, starting on Saturday 3rd August at 9.30am. Over the last six years these courses have proved very popular, with over 150 coming along to give it a try. The game is not strenuous, but combines skill and finesse with gentle exercise, providing a great way to while away the long winter months. But no matter what the weather, a warm welcome always awaits you. The group have over 250 members, of which a third are ladies who ‘hold their own’ against the men. Please bring flatsoled shoes to change into, which you will be required to wear to protect the greens. The carpets cost £10,000 per rink to replace, and as they have five rinks in play, we do need to look after them. HOW DOES IT WORK? Experienced members will show you how the game is played so that, by

the end of the six weeks, you are in a position to decide if indoor bowls is for you. “We hope that it is and that you decide to join the club and continue with the “Beginners League”, which follows on each Saturday Morning from mid-September,” added Chairman, Alan Cox. The main season runs from September to Mid-April with five sessions a day during the week, and one or two sessions per day at weekends. League games and rollups are played mid-week with the weekends devoted to competitions and friendly matches. The rinks are available for 2.25 hour sessions from 9.30am until 9.30pm, and slots are usually available for practice sessions. MORE THAN JUST BOWLS The re-furbished Sports Hall currently offers Table Tennis, Walking Football, Short Mat Bowls, Carpet Bowls and Kurling, and is available for hire for other sports activities/club functions. The Club has an active social side

and the fully licensed bar and drinks machine supply a good range of hot and cold drinks. With over 250 bowls and 100 associate members, they are probably the largest sports club in Whittlesey and are renowned as being a very friendly bunch. So why not give it a try? To see them in action, come along to one of the roll-up sessions at 9.30am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, or Friday nights at 7.00pm. Alternatively, call 01733 202209 or 01733 204244 for further information. The desk is not constantly manned in the summer months, so please leave a message with your telephone number and they will get back to you. Best of all, just come along to the training sessions on Saturday mornings between 9.00 and 9.30am on any Saturday from 3rd August onwards and HAVE A GO!! Whittlesey Indoor Bowls Complex is at 194 Station Road, Whittlesey, opposite Carpets4Less.

Whittlesey Indoor Bowls Club & Sports Complex FREE BOWLS TUITION! Try this beautiful game on Saturdays at 9.30am


Six weeks FREE training provided Why not give us a call to express your interest or just turn up on the day? Don’t forget to bring flat soled shoes to change into

We are opposite Carpets4Less at:

194—198 Station Rd, Whittlesey

Tel. 01733 202209 or 204244

Our new Sports Complex also offers other great sporting activities!!

Find out more about Whittlesey Indoor Bowls Club & Sports Complex at www.whittleseyibc.co.uk The Fens | June 2019


PET CORNER| TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOUR PETS COMFORTABLE AND SAFE DURING THE SUMMER WEATHER • Never leave your pet in the car, on a 25ºC day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 38ºC in just minutes, and on a 32ºC day the temperature can reach as high as 48ºC in less than 10 minutes, resulting in heatstroke which is serious and can be fatal. • Always make sure they have constant access to fresh cool water at all times. Make sure the water is not warm or stagnant or left in the sun. • Dogs like to dig to cool down, provide them with a damp sand pit to dig and lie down in. • It is not always a good idea to shave your dog, this can increase the chance of sunburn, especially as double or undercoats actually act as air conditioning for your dog. • Walk your dog in shady areas, early in the morning or later on in the day when it is cooler. • Avoid strenuous exercise, some dogs don’t know when to stop playing fetch etc. you need to be sensible for your dog. • Don’t let them drink stagnant water which runs the risk of them picking up giardia (a parasite) and other intestinal ailments.

This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre shares some hot weather tips

• Apply sunscreen to your pet’s ears and nose, short haired, white/light coloured and those with pink skin are more susceptible to burning.

weather especially in wooded areas and long grass and carry tick borne diseases.

• Keep an eye on older pets and those with allergies where their breathing will be affected, plus the youngsters who will get hot quicker. • Be aware that the heat of concrete, tarmac, sand etc. will burn, dry and crack their paws, which is very painful and increases the risk of infection. Place the back of your hand firmly on the surface for 7 seconds, if it’s too hot for your hand it’s too hot for your pet’s pads. • Stay close to home and take your phone in case of emergencies. • Avoid stressful situations for your pet, increasing the risk of them getting too hot. • If they spend time outside, make sure they have shade and a drip hose to provide fresh running water for them. • If they are kept inside whilst you are at work does your house stay cool for them? • Keep them away from rubbish bins as they decay quicker in the warmer weather and may cause illness if eaten. • Check them for ticks daily. These are easily picked up during the warmer

• Take care with those dogs who enjoy swimming, not all dogs are skilled swimmers and can become victims of the undertow. Don’t let them drink it, salt water can dehydrate them causing vomiting and diarrhoea and water from lakes and ponds have parasites and bacteria that may infect your dog. • Don’t let your dog hang their head out of the car window increasing their risk of injury, like debris in their eyes, it’s much safer to travel with your dog in a crate. • Avoid giving your pet leftovers from barbeques, they can cause gastrointestinal upsets leading to vomiting and diarrhoea. The ash or charcoal can result in gastrointestinal problems too, plus keep fire lighters and lighter fluid out of your pet’s reach. • If you are taking your pet on holiday with you, check out the local Vets in the area, so you are prepared if necessary and make sure your dog has up to date identification details on their collar including your mobile telephone number. • Make sure products used during the summer that are poisonous to your pet, like lawn fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides are kept out of their reach, also remember some garden plants are dangerous, even fatal to them too.

Whittlesey Veterinary Centre

OUR SERVICES We offer a wide range of medical and surgical investigations and treatments on-site: Fully-equipped operating facilities Ultrasound & digital X-Ray In-house laboratory Dental hygiene clinics Worm and flea treatment Pet passport Free Nurse clinics Neutering advice Advice on diet, insurance and weight House visit service Puppy parties

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34 The Fens | June 2019

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NATURE’S MUSIC WORDS David White, RSPB IMAGES David Capps As I write this article in early May, the RSPB has just released its first ever single. Just in case, by the time you read this, you haven’t heard it, I will describe it: it’s two and a half minutes of bird song! As I have no interest in modern pop music whatsoever, it is very refreshing that a piece of music like this can make it into the charts. I duly downloaded “Let Nature Sing” on the day that it was released and listened to it. It is a fantastic mixture of different species singing. However, one of the things that crossed my mind was how many of these different songs could the average person actually identify? The answer that I came to was sadly, probably not that many. However, there is one specie’s song in Let Nature Sing that I think most people would be able to identify: the one that says its name. If you are still not sure what species’ song I am referring to, it is the very human sound of a cuckoo. This then bought another question to my mind: how many people have ever actually heard or seen a cuckoo in real life? The answer to this question again is sadly, probably not that many.

36 The Fens | June 2019

However, I don’t want this article to be all doom and gloom! The good news for those of us who live in the Fens is that there are still reasonable numbers of cuckoos that can be heard and seen in the local countryside. The best places to listen and look for cuckoos in the Fens tends to be at the various wetland sites in the area. The main reason why there are still a few cuckoos in our local wetlands is because these wetlands hold good populations of reed warblers. This then leads on to the less nice part of this tale: cuckoos are famous for being nest parasites and the females always lay their eggs in the nests of other species. One of the cuckoo’s favourite host species in this part of the world is the humble reed warbler. Therefore, if you visit a wetland that has lots of pairs of reed warblers, you have a good change of hearing and possibly seeing a cuckoo there! Therefore, if you have never heard or seen a cuckoo, I can recommend several sites in the Fens where you may well at least hear one. These include RSPB Ouse Fen, which is near St Ives and the National Trust’s Wicken

Fen reserve, which is near Soham. Indeed, a lot of research has been done on cuckoos at Wicken Fen over the years and there are even several books that you can read about the cuckoos there. Another place that you can come and look for cuckoos is RSPB Lakenheath Fen, near Brandon which is where I am based. As I write, there are already at least four males and a female present. In fact, the first bird that I have seen on the reserve for the last two mornings has been a cuckoo. What a great start to the day! As we have a large population of reed warblers nesting on the reserve, there are plenty of places for them to lay their eggs. The poplar woods are also full of big, fat and hairy caterpillars. Although most species of birds won’t touch these with a proverbial barge pole, cuckoos love them! I hope this article has inspired you to come looking and listening for cuckoos this month.

Serving the Eastern Region for 90 Years

Start Your Business Our Way Cambridgeshire’s record for innovation and groundbreaking achievement is the envy of many. With three cities and several large towns, it would be easy to forget the enthusiastic and energetic entrepreneurs who work in many of the more rural areas including Fenland. Writes Chris Kelly Whiting & Partners has been active in the region for 90 years and as Business Advisers we have a growing list of both start-ups and maturing businesses whose owners are understandably very passionate about their ideas. It’s not about ‘pouring cold water’ but when we start to dig a little deeper and ask questions about their visions and plans for their enterprises, we frequently get responses including: ‘I haven’t thought about that...’

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There are really four essential measures that owners should bear in mind. Focus. Take time to think, plan and write a business plan. It is not only important for you to develop your idea but also allows you to reflect and learn as your venture grows. Write down all your ideas and then sort them into the business plan sections like operations, marketing and finance.

Telephone: 01733 564082 peterborough@whitingandpartners.co.uk

Evaluate. Analyse and review your ideas, identifying the resources you might need. Prioritise your ideas so that you can ensure each step is viable and you have the time and resources to complete each task or idea. The risk is that your adrenalin will take over and you will try to run before you can walk. Proper evaluation helps to resist taking on too much too soon!

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Learn. Reflect and learn from your experiences. Be honest and factual when reviewing the results of your projects and set out key action points to help you going forward. Things may not always work out as you planned but this can often be a positive if you are willing to take on board necessary changes.

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Reward. Arguably and most importantly make sure you celebrate every one of your successes, whether it was achieving a sales goal or simply learning something new – it is all a step in the right direction for ensuring business success. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet. If you want to learn more and book a FREE initial consultation, then please call our specialist business advisers at our offices in Peterborough or Ramsey.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | St. |Neots | Wisbech The Fens June 2019 37

Walk of the month

Path to a secret garden


On a late Sunday afternoon we headed to the picturesque village of Hemmingford Abbots located next to St Ives on a quest to find a hidden garden we had heard lots about! Filled with quintessentially English thatched cottages painted in pretty colours with rambling roses sprawling around the windows and doors, this wonderful village is like stepping back in time! We parked on a side road and headed towards the public footpath that appears off the High Street. As you pass through the rows of houses you come to the first meadow of the walk, strolling through the grasses and wildflowers we then came to a thicket of bushes and trees. The horse chestnut trees were in full flower and we spotted the river through the scrub. We exited through the gate into another meadow which ran alongside the river Great Ouse. Like a scene from Wind in The Willows it was home to numerous swans, ducks and families ‘messing around on the river’. Bright red canoes laden down with picnics floated past us as everyone enjoyed the sunny afternoon on the water. In the field next door a herd of cows were also picnicking on the bright green pasture. Somewhere 38 The Fens | June 2019

through the Regatta meadow we had left Hemmingford Abbots and arrived in the equally attractive Hemmingford Grey. As we walked along the riverbank the hedges began to part and glimpses of a beautiful secret garden started to appear. On the right-hand side of the path an ornate iron gate emerged from the ivy strewn hedgerow with The Manor sign attached. Creaking the gate open we entered the garden, falling down the rabbit hole into a whimsical Alice In Wonderland style garden. Chess shaped topiary flanked the path that leads you up to the statuesque manor house, which was built in 1130s and is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses. The house is also famed for being the home in the ‘Green Knowe’ series of books by children’s author Lucy M Boston. Lucy

wrote her books whilst living here and her son Peter did the illustrations, reimagining lots of the original features of the house and garden in the books. Diana Boston, Lucy’s daughter in law is now the custodian of this wonderful house and garden, Diana was very welcoming and although we were too late in the day for the tour of the house we still enjoyed wandering through her splendid garden. As well as tours the garden

THIS MONTH’S BOOK REVIEW Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Published by Penguin “This story begins with a barbeque…”

also hosts special events with an open-air theatre performance of Sense and Sensibility on the cards in July. The gardens were just starting to burst into late spring colour with a sea of frothy blue forget-me-nots spilling out from every corner. Striking purple alliums were beginning to open and although we were slightly too early to see the famed iris display, the garden certainly did not disappoint! Bees buzzed through the borders, enjoying the sweet lilac camassias and the pink peonies had just started to bloom. As well as the more formal cottage style borders, areas of the garden have been allowed to become wildlife havens with wildflowers and cow parsley popping up under the woodland canopies. After purchasing one of Diana’s plants which she had on sale we left her garden going down the long leafy drive and back out into the village. Opposite us stood another stunning period property complete with picture perfect wisteria and vibrant green shutters surrounding the windows. Following the public footpath hidden next to this home we went down the path nestled between more wishlist properties. Pink honeysuckle spilled over the walls and we couldn’t help but peer into the wonderful gardens that appeared in gaps in the fences. At the end of the path we came across St James’ Church with its stunning waterfront location and graveyard with a view. Now a decision had to be made. We could carry on our walk down Love Lane and continue exploring this pretty village or turn right down Church Lane and find the nearest watering hole. The latter option won out and we ended our walk in The Cock with a cider in their beer garden. With other walks from the village that take you into St Ives or to The National Trust’s Houghton Mill there are plenty of other options to explore on another sunny day.

THE STATS Distance: 1mile/ 1.7km Terrain: Meadows, paths, pavements Time: 1.5/2hrs Cost: £5 each entry fee to gardens, house tours can be booked in advance. Information: The Manor, Hemmingford Grey www.greenknowe.co.uk

I thoroughly enjoyed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, and the TV adaption was pretty good too, so I was looking forward to reading Truly, Madly, Guilty. I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. Easy to read with well-written dialogue and deliciously flawed characters, it hooked me from the start. Set in Sydney, Australia and centring on a group of friends at a barbeque, it quickly becomes apparent something troubling has taken place, something, which has deeply affected everyone, which keeps you guessing to the end, adding to the suspense and pace. The plot and chapters are character driven with each chapter either flitting back to the day in question, or forwards to the days and weeks that follow it. Written in close third person the characters are likeable and annoying in equal measure, like real people. Marriage, childhood, parenthood, and friendships are some of the themes explored, and although each character comes with their own set of middle-class, suburban baggage, they are all authentic, well-rounded, and sympathetically drawn individuals. Moriarty uses wit, which is devilishly acerbic at times, and close, almost psychoanalytical observation to show us the three faces of her characters, namely, the face the world sees, the second face, reserved for close friends and family, and then of course there is the third face, which is usually the truest reflection of an individual but is also the face no one else sees, except, of course, the person themselves. Like all good writers, Moriarty allows the reader access to all these versions of her characters, whilst at the same time observing what makes them tick, including guilt, loneliness, PTSD, and difficult childhoods. When tragedy strikes, Moriarty’s brilliant prose sums up the thoughts, feelings and emotions surrounding the event in a way that feels both genuine and relatable via the inner ramblings of one of her characters, Clementine — “This is what it feels like. You don’t change. There is no special protection when you cross the invisible line from your ordinary life to the parallel world where tragedies happen. It happens just like this. You don’t become someone else. You’re still exactly the same. Everything around you still smells and looks and feels exactly the same…” Our verdict… Brilliantly observed characters with a plausible plot, Truly, Madly, Guilty has enough twists to keep you turning the pages and enough depth to keep you immersed. One of my favourite reads this year. By Eva Jordan The Fens | June 2019



Men aren’t always the easiest to buy for, so what can you do to make your father feel special this month? We spoilt photographer and all-round brilliant dad, Chris Brudenell at Westgate Arcade and discovered there’s more to Queensgate than first meets the eye

I couldn’t think of a more deserving person to treat than our fantastic photographer Chris. Not only has he been through an incredible transformation in the last few years (losing 8 stone and discovering running), but he is an integral part of THE FENS magazine. A new look, designer clothes and glasses and a delicious meal seemed like the perfect way to say ‘thank you’. With Father’s Day just around the corner, and June being Independent Retailer month, why not plan in a visit to Queensgate’s independent retailers? Our morning began with a visit to PKai Hair where Chris was booked in for a wet cut and restyle. We met Helena, the unisex salon’s director, and she instantly put a slightly nervous Chris at ease. After an interesting consultation, wash and head massage, she began work to restyle his old ‘dad’ hair cut. Helena explained that they see lots of men in their salon, who appreciate their expertise and knowledge. In addition to their cutting and colouring services, PKai also sell a great range of products, including the clever NIOXIN brand which promote hair growth through their supplements and shampoos. Donning his smart new haircut, Chris and I dropped into Maysons who sell a mixture of designer wear. Store Manager Andre helped Chris pick out a few different outfits and we were really impressed with the quality and comfort they provided. Though they did struggle to find shoes to fit his massive size 11 feet! To continue the 5-star treatment, 40 The Fens | June 2019

we popped next door to the Oculist. We had met Gerry and his team a few times before, and again we felt a warm welcome as they moved around the store picking out a great range of glasses for Chris to try on. The Oculist pride themselves on providing a unique experience coupled with expertise and an exceptional range of designer eyewear. It was great fun to watch Chris transform his appearance and try on some different designs and styles. We fell in love with quite a few! Sadly, on this occasion, we had to leave them in the shop. Feeling energised, we visited traditional butchers Grasmere Farm. Here the team sell everything from pork pies and sausage rolls, to homemade pies and hot pasties, cold meats and joints, freshly made soup and jacket potatoes. We were thrilled to taste some of their famous pork pies. For the men who love their meat, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Grasmere - that was dinner sorted! We rounded off our day at Homemade Burger Co. We both opted for vegetarian burgers with a side of chips and dips. It was my first visit to this restaurant, but Chris told me that it’s one his family’s favourite, and I can see why. Our burgers were delicious, service was speedy and the waiters were very attentive. With full and satisfied tummies, we headed home.

Sometimes, when gifts are difficult to think of, an experience is a much nicer way to show your love and appreciation. We’re all so busy all of the time, so what gift could be more precious than time? This month, spend some time with your family, you’ll be thankful for it.

With thanks to our retailers at Westgate Arcade, Queensgate: P-Kai Hair 15 Westgate Arcade. Tel: 01733 358825 Maysons 27 Westgate Arcade. Tel: 01733 342347 The Oculist 24 Westgate Arcade. Tel: 01733 555621 Grasmere Farm 3 Westgate Arcade. Tel: 01733 562939 Handmade Burger Co. The Old Still Westgate Arcade. Tel: 01733 345502


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We are teaming up with organisers of The Battle of The Proms to giveaway 3 pairs of tickets Every summer thousands of picnic fans and music lovers gather their friends, pack up a picnic and head to celebrated local landmark Burghley House in Stamford for a spectacular open-air concert. The fun begins with a thrilling mounted skillat-arms display, in full Napoleonic regalia, by an expert cavalry troop, followed by a sensational freefall demonstration by The Red Devils, the British Army and Parachute Regiment’s official display team. The musical entertainment warms up with toe-tapping vintage vocals from The Vignettes, followed by a 2-hour programme of uplifting classical music from the 60-piece New English Concert Orchestra. The legendary Grace Spitfire, accredited with shooting down the first enemy aircraft over the Normandy beachhead 75 years ago on D-Day, performs a meticulously choreographed display to the opening 2 pieces of the orchestral performance. The Battle Proms is still believed to be the only opportunity in the world to 42 The Fens | June 2019

see their signature piece – Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’ – performed as he composed it: with 193 live firing Napoleonic cannons providing a thunderous percussion! This quintessentially British ‘party in the park’ features magnificent musical firework displays, culminating in a flag waving, sing-a-long, firework spectacular including all the ‘last night of the proms’ finale favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.


The Battle Proms returns to Burghley House in Lincolnshire on Saturday 20th July. Are you ready to pack up the hampers and champers and enjoy an unforgettable night out? To be in to win all you have to do is email win@ thefensmag.co.uk with the subject ‘Battle’ by June 15th. Three winners will be picked at random. Don’t forget to include your contact details. Don’t want to leave it to chance? To book tickets for this summer spectacular, visit battleproms.com


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n o g e L k c u D Confit Puy Cassoulet IMPRESS GUESTS WITH THIS TASTY MAIN


• 8 heaped tablespoons coarse rock salt • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, lightly bashed • 2 good handfuls of thyme sprigs • 1 garlic bulb, skins left on the cloves, cloves roughly chopped • 8 good handfuls of rosemary sprigs, broken • 10 black peppercorns • 6 good duck legs from free-range farmed ducks • 5 × 350g jars duck or goose fat • 150ml white burgundy, or other dry white wine

SAUSAGE AND LENTIL CASSOULET • 1 tbsp butter • 1 tbsp olive oil • 6 Toulouse sausages • Knob of  butter • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced • 150g/5½oz smoked bacon, diced • 1 small carrot, finely chopped • 1 stick celery, finely chopped • ¼ leek, finely chopped • 1 bay leaf • 2 tsp ground cumin • 300g/10½oz Puy lentils • 175ml/6fl oz red wine • 450ml/16fl oz dark veal stock • 2 tbsp good sherry vinegar • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large bowl, throw in the salt, the juniper berries, thyme, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns. Toss the duck legs in the mixture, really pushing the salt into them. Take a few of the stems that haven’t stuck to the duck, some berries, some peppercorns and excess salt in the bowl, and scatter it into the bottom of a lidded container large enough to take all the duck legs. Put the first three duck legs in the bottom, skin-side up. Scatter over more of the salt mix left in the bottom of the bowl on to the duck legs, before placing on the next three duck legs on top. Tip any bits left in the bowl over the top. Put on a lid and wrap the whole box in clingfilm. This is so that when you turn it upside down, you do not cover your fridge in salty juice. Leave the duck legs for 12 hours in the fridge, turning the box upside down halfway through.

the fat as well, taking care not to add residual salt to the duck fat Add the wine. Cut out a cartouche (a circle of baking paper) that fits neatly into the pan and place over the duck legs. Put a robust kitchen plate on top; this will keep the duck under the oil. Bring the fat up to a gentle, bubbling simmer on the stove-top for 2½–3 hours. You will know when the duck is ready by testing it with a fork; the meat should come away easily from the bone with only the slightest prompting, but should not fall off without. The legs will store in the fridge at this stage for a good month as long as they are submerged in the fat.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the duck or goose fat. Take each duck leg, brush off any visible salt with your hand and pop it into the pan of fat. Repeat with all the legs Pick out some berries, peppercorns, garlic, rosemary and thyme, and drop these into

3. When ready to eat. Preheat the oven to 200C fan / 220C / Gas 7 half an hour before you plan to use the duck legs. Roast the duck legs for 30 minutes, or until the skin is very crispy. Serve with the puy cassoulet.


1. For the sausage and lentil cassoulet, first fry the sausages in the butter and oil, until browned.

Chef's Twist

nfit duck Try serving the co or the lad with an orange sa es or ag us cassoulet with sa mash ry tte gammon and bu keep u yo re potato. Make su ur yo r fo ds the fat afterwar ! es to roast pota 44 The Fens | June 2019

2. Heat a sauté pan or a large frying pan and then add the knob of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic, diced bacon, carrot, celery, leek, bay

leaf and cumin and cook for a further two minutes. 3. Add the lentils and red wine and bring to the boil. Cook until the volume of wine has reduced by half, then add the stock. Place the cooked sausages and cook the lentils for 25-30 minutes. Mix in the sherry vinegar and parsley. Serve with the duck legs on top.

Eat, drink, stay!

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AN INAPPROPRIATE END I’m a Funeral Director. When I normally confess to this when meeting new people the conversation goes one way or another. Some recoil in fear, acting almost like I’ve just admitted that I have some sort of flesh eating disease and by looking at me direct in the eye somehow endangers them. Others will find it fascinating and will bombard me with questions. As a funeral director I can promise you one thing, there is never a dull day and despite what you may think, it can throw up some surprisingly humorous moments. Cue last Saturday morning, when I was enlisted to scatter some cremated remains. I looked after the gentleman’s family for the funeral and so they asked me to take a short service to mark him being scattered. This is not unusual. What was slightly unusual was a request made by the family concerning how the cremated remains were scattered. Normally, they are scattered in the shape of a cross if the person was religious, or simply a ‘closed’ circle if not. However, this family insisted I scatter them in the shape of a heart. A lovely thought, maybe. Practical, not really. You see, scattering devices are not exactly precision tools. It does not scatter in a thin line, more of a thick, incredibly sporadic line, and so anything but a cross or a circle is something of a challenge considering I got an ‘E’ in graphics at school and my greatest art achievement is being able to draw that house with a cross in the middle of it without having to lift the pencil. Not wanting to disappoint though I agreed to the challenge and sure enough, when the time came I took a deep breath and activated the scatter device. It must have been 3 seconds before I heard sniggering from the teenage grandchild behind me, and about 1 second after that, when I realised that what I was drawing didn’t so much resemble a heart, but instead, I was scattering this 93 year old man in front of his family in a shape that could only be described as a rather hefty set of boobs. Upon realising, I tried to alter it, but there was no mistaking the very pronounced ‘top of the heart’. Professional to the end, I carried on as usual, noticing the occasional furtive glance and snigger from the family which was accompanied by a knowing smile as I shook their hands to say goodbye. I’m sure it’s what he would have wanted. Joe Clarke-Ferridge is an occasional writer who thanks his single Twitter follower. Let’s see if I can double my following with another and feel free to message me if there’s anything you’d like me to write about, or ask me about.

Currently pensions may be accessed at any time from age 55 – whether you should or not depends on many factors. With Final Salary / Defined Benefit Pensions it is important to understand whether there are financial penalties applied if benefits are taken before ‘Normal Retirement Age’ which could be age 65, for example if taking benefits reduces the income paid (for life) by 4% per year – in simple terms taking benefits 10 years early will reduce income by 40%. Understanding whether your pension is a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution is important because some plans may be switched, and some really should not. On what basis would you decide? A tax free lump sum early in retirement might be a helpful financial boost. With a Defined Contribution Pension if a large lump sum is withdrawn, the resulting income is likely to be less than if a smaller lump sum is taken. The tax implications can be significant. Some plans can provide what is referred to as Phased Drawdown: For example, a basic rate taxpayer with a fund of £250,000 needs a net ‘income’ of £10,000. Following advice from his IFA, it is agreed that £30,000 of the pension fund needs to be ‘crystallised’ in order to provide this £10,000 net income. Firstly, a tax-free lump sum of £7,500 is generated (25% of £30,000) with the remaining balance of £22,500 moved into drawdown to provide an income. After allowing for basic rate tax*, the drawdown funds generate an income of £2,500 per annum. This results in the desired ‘net’ income of £10,000 (i.e. £7,500 + £2,500). If an income of £10,000 is required the following year, the policy holder will need to crystallise another lump sum in order to provide him with £7,500 net which, added to his £2,500 drawdown income, would provide him with the £10,000 total. Eventually the option to draw tax free cash will run out, but this might correspond with the payment of State pension, therefore flexible draw down can in some circumstances be more suitable than the purchase of a taxable lifetime annuity. This example should not be taken as advice – just an explanation of one way to use a pension fund creatively. Please note the application of basic rate tax might not be appropriate to everyone, in some circumstances a refund might be appropriate in other cases more tax might be due – always consult a qualified IFA before making decisions of this type.

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 * 20170808 ERC LLA current deals 8th August 2017 ‘This may involve a lifetime mortgage, the actual rate available will depend upon your circumstances. Ask for a personalised illustration.’

The Fens | June 2019



The best kind of life

sitting in your favourite armchair, your favourite drink in your hand, the dog lying across your feet and you’re watching your favourite show on Netflix. Does that sound attractive? Yet, again it isn’t what Jesus is talking about here. So, what is Jesus talking about when he speaks of ‘life to the full’? He is talking about a life where we know God. He is speaking of a life where our sins are dealt with through the cross of Jesus, where we experience the care of God every day and know that we will spend eternity with him. Jesus is saying that a life with God is the best life we can have. He is telling us that it is better than money, health, adventure and leisure. Yet, that is not all. He is also saying that he came into this world so that each of us could enjoy this life through him. So, if you knew God, would it make a positive difference in your life? If we listen to Jesus, then the answer is an absolute yes. If you want to know more why not contact us through our website or email on info@whittleseybaptist.org.uk.

On a scale of 1 to 10, There is a certain amount how would you rate your of appeal about a life like life? Would you rate it as that, but it isn’t what Jesus high or low or somewhere is talking about. in the middle? What if Another dream we you were to have God might have is a life of in your life, do you think perfect health. Illness that would make any and weakening bodies difference? so often get in the way Why am I asking these of us living the lives we questions? In the Bible, want to live. They frustrate Jesus makes an incredible and hinder. A life without claim. He says that he sickness or dodgy knees came into the world to certainly has its merits, yet give people life. Not just it isn’t what Jesus is talking any life, he said he came about. so people could have life A life of adventure Paul Kosciecha, to the full (John 10:10). is a life of excitement. Whittlesey Baptist Church Yet, what kind of a life Whether it is the thrill of was he talking about? throwing yourself off a Many of us dream of a life where we bridge attached only by a bungee have plenty of money. Maybe we’ve cord or the discovery of new sights even put a figure on it. We know just and places, there is never a dull how much we need to pay off the moment. Certainly, that’s a life that mortgage and live a comfortable life appeals to many, yet it isn’t what where we can do all that we want to Jesus is talking about here. do without having to work too hard. What about a life of leisure? Imagine

Whittlesey Baptist Church 250th Anniversary Fun Day Come and help Whittlesey Baptist Church celebrate our 250th Anniversary!

Bouncy Cast

le Treasure Hunt Fête Games Barbeque lie Beat the Goa

Saturday 8th June 11am to 3pm

Free Entry Museum Free Refreshments Prizes Coconut Shy

Children's Competition Prizegiving will be held at 2pm

Join us at Whittlesey Baptist Church, Gracious Street, Whittlesey - Parking available at the Ivy Leaf For more information visit www.whittleseybaptist.org.uk/together250 46 The Fens | June 2019

Win one of 3 pairs of tickets to Rutland’s Open Air Theatre Once again we are thrilled to be teaming up with Stamford Shakespeare Company to give three pairs of tickets away to this year’s season

Throughout the summer the Stamford Shakespeare Company presents a season of plays at the stunning Rutland Open Air Theatre. Described by The Sunday Times as “One of the finest things to do this summer” and The Stage as “One of England’s premier alfresco theatre venues” it really is an experience not to be missed. This summer the Company are proud to present three fantastic plays: Twelfth Night - June, July & August (opens 11th June) Set in Albania in the early 19th century, garnished with live music and glorious costumes, Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, Twelfth Night, containing some of his finest comic characters, is a merry tale of unrequited love, shipwrecked twins, cross dressing, mistaken identity and drunken revels. The hilarious antics of roguish Sir Toby Belch, foolish Sir Andrew Aguecheek, pert Maria and prim Malvolio delight audiences young and old. Julius Caesar - June, July & August (opens 18th June) Shakespeare's epic tragedy Julius Caesar, where political and military rivalries spiral out of control, is one of his most gripping plays and features some of his greatest characters. In this powerful drama set in Ancient Rome, Brutus and Cassius, fearing the growing domination of Julius Caesar, plot his death. But when, on the Ides of March, the dictator is assassinated, Mark Antony unleashes the rage of the people against the conspirators.

Blithe Spirit - July & August (opens 9th July) Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, a wonderful, supernatural comedy set in the late 1930s, portrays the trials and tribulations of novelist Charles Condomine, who foolishly holds a séance to research his latest book. When the eccentric medium Madame Arcati accidently summons the spirit of his first wife, Elvira, his life descends into chaos. How will Charles cope caught between two wives, one dead, the other very much alive? The theatre is situated in the grounds of historic Tolethorpe Hall, where last summer over 33,000 people experienced the magic of a visit to this unique venue. The auditorium faces an open air stage set within an idyllic woodland glade. The permanent canopy above the audience means no performance is ever cancelled because of inclement weather. Enjoy a picnic in the glorious gardens, then take your seat, protected from summer showers, and see a stage like no other. Also to be seen at Tolethorpe Hall are two stained glass windows, believed to be the only example anywhere in the world of stained glass portraying scenes from eight Shakespeare plays. There is also a stunning long-stitch tapestry, designed and made by American Kaffe Fassett, the internationally known knitwear designer. The tapestry hangs in the orangery and depicts hollyhocks, a feature of the beautiful Tolethorpe gardens, which were enhanced by

leading gardener Bunny Guinness, a regular on BBC television and radio. The gardens overlook classic English parkland, where every night hundreds of people enjoy picnics before heading into the auditorium to sit back, relax and be entertained. If you would like something more formal than a picnic, you can dine in the restaurant, where more than 5,000 meals are served during the season. There is also a theatre bar for enjoying preperformance and interval drinks and a spacious orangery where interval coffee is served. BOOKING INFORMATION Tickets £11 - £19 Box office: 01780 756133 Further information and online booking: www.stamfordshakespeare.co.uk HOW TO ENTER OUR COMPETITION To be in the chance of winning please email win@thefensmag.co.uk with who you would like to share your ticket with. Include your contact details (including postal address) and make the subject of the email ‘Shakespeare’. Entries close on June 12th. Good luck.

The Fens | June 2019


WHAT’S ON 2 BOOZY BIRDS SECRET GIN FESTIVAL Friday 7th June - Saturday 8th June

Returning this year toThe Secret Garden Touring Park, in Mile Tree Lane Wisbech, is the Secret Gin Festival. This year you can choose between a Friday evening session (7:30pm to 11pm), a daytime Saturday session between 3pm and 6:30pm or an evening session again between 7:30pm and 11pm. There’s camping available, live music, food, dancing and plenty of gins! Tickets are just £12.50 per person. Contact Gemma on 07919 116991 or email 2boozybirds@gmail.com for tickets or further information

STEALER (CLASSIC ROCK & BLUES) Saturday 8th June, 9pm The Nags Head, Eastrea. Free entry


Entrance, activities (including bouncy castle and traditional fete games) and the museum are all free, yes FREE!. There will be something for all ages to enter in to and prizes to be won! So come along and join in. For those who like less active pursuits, the pop-up museum of the 250 years history of Whittlesey Baptist church will also be available to browse and enjoy through the day. As well as to view all the entries made to the Children’s drawing and poetry competition. www.whittleseybaptist. org.uk/event/fun-day/



Painting group, Eastrea Centre every Tues 1pm - 4pm all are welcome, for details contact Sue on 01733 205241 Jim’s Bingo, Tues and Thurs. Doors open at 7pm. Eyes down at 7.30pm at the rear of the Conservative Club. Whittlesea Society meet on the second Monday of each month at 48 The Fens | June 2019

A familiar figure from the back row of the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra will be moving forward at the summer concert on June 8 at 7.30pm at the Queen Katharine Academy. Horn player, Tim Rausch, plays with orchestra regularly but will star as the soloist for the Mozart Horn Concerto No 3. The concert also features Haydn - Symphony No 101 (Clock); Rossini - The Italian Girl in Algiers; Mendelssohn - Italian Symphony. Tickets are available on www. cpso.org.uk or at Peterborough Visitor Information Centre at £13.50 (£11.50 concessions). Two children, accompanied by an adult each, go free, others are £5. Tickets usually available on the door. The concert is sponsored by V&A Vigar.


The Fenland Music Centre Association are proud to announce, that it’s Community Orchestra has been invited to play at the annual ‘Party in the Park’, on Sunday 9th June, in West End Park, March at 1pm. The FMCA Community Orchestra will feature local musicians of all ages and abilities and will be performing a well known selection of ‘Music from the Movies’, under the baton of Ceri Griffin (Head of Music; Neale-Wade Academy, March)

HERITAGE FESTIVAL IN PETERBOROUGH Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th June

Free entry, just head to the Cathedral Square. More info at vivacity.org/ heritagefest

AFTERNOON TEA Saturday 22nd June, 4pm-6pm

Whittlesey Branch of North East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association will be holding an 7.30pm in the Town Hall Whittlesey Mud Walls Group Meet upstairs at the Whittlesey Museum on the first Wed of the month at 10:30am Just for Kicks Rock n Roll Club Record Hop. Every Monday. Yaxley British Legion. 07718 511640 TAI CHI & SABRE Eastrea Village Hall Every Thurs evening. 7.30pm - 9pm Contact Jan or Jeff on 07842 090506 Fenland Music Centre Association Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles.

afternoon tea at Rose Cottage, Paradise Lane, Whittlesey between 4pm and 6pm by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Alan Hobbs. Tickets are £10 per head and are available from Julie Windle tel 01733 204445 or Kay Mayor on 01733 204944

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELMER Saturday 29th June, 10am - 1pm

Happy birthday Elmer celebrations at Ramsey Library. Enjoy Elmer inspired crafts and fun. £2 a child, ages 3+

SUMMER CONCERT Saturday 29th June, 6:30pm

This year’s annual Fenland Music Centre Association’s Rotary Summer Concert, will take place on Saturday 29th June at St. Peter’s Church, High Street, March. All 8 of the FMCA’s Orchestras, Bands & Ensembles will be playing music ranging from classical to modern, with a special ‘Night At The Movies’ theme as the main event. Conducting will be Ceri Griffin, Beth Letts, Theo Letts. Doors open 6:30pm for 7pm start. Adults £7, Concessions £5, Accompanied Children Free. Refreshments and a raffle will be available during the break. All proceeds will go towards the FMCA’s continued work within the local community. For more details visit www.fenlandmusiccentre.org.uk. This event is generously sponsored by the Rotary Club of March and organised by volunteers of the FMCA

EASTREA CENTRE FAMILY FUN DAY Saturday 6th July, 12 - 4pm

Free entertainment for the whole family, live music, stalls and BBQ and bar. All invited at The Eastrea Centre, 2 Roman Gardens PE7 2DF


Don’t miss The Hermitage’s annual Fete and Carboot sale held in Falcon Lane, Whittlesey. Admission is just 20p and there Open to all ages and abilities. Meets every Friday during Term time 6pm - 9pm, March Community Centre. Just come along or visit www. fenlandmusiccentre.org.uk Music Makers Whittlesey meet on the first Thursday of every month. A singing group for older people. Persons with memory challenges very welcome. Venue: The Wesley Room, Queen Street Church, Whittlesey at 2:30pm. £1 per person, includes





THE EASTREA CENTRE, 2 ROMAN GARDENS PE7 2DF WWW.EASTREACENTRE.CO.UK will be plenty of stalls, refreshments and plenty more. All funds to the residents’ comfort fund

WHITTLESEY MOTORCYCLE CLUB PRESENT THEIR SHOW ON THE GREEN Sunday 28th July, 11am - 4pm Classic and modern bikes on display, teas and coffees, trade stands and much more. Free admission. Held outside The Vine Pub, Coates, Whittlesey PE7 2BJ


Thanks for your valued support. New membership applications welcome.



Whittlesey U3A Open Meetings take place at Childers, Station Road, on the third Thursday of each month at 2pm. Details of speakers and entertainment: June 20th: Camsight July 18th: Whittlesey Museum August 15th: Music by Fool’s Gold September 19th: A talk by Dr Peter Hau on ‘A Day in the Life of a Forensic Scientist’ Wendy Fletcher, Publicity Officer, wendyfletcherwriting@ gmail.com refreshments. For further info contact Kathryn Gray on 01733 351594. Whittlesey Rocks. Come and join the fun every Wednesday night at The Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey at 7:30pm. Just £2 each (accompanied under 16s free). Learn to jive and stroll with Rock’n’Roll music. Sudbury Court coffee mornings Monday & Thursday 9.30-10.30 and Bingo Tuesday evenings from 7.00pm. The Whittlesea Motorcycle Club all makes of bikes welcome. We meet every other Tuesday from 7.30 pm at The Vine Public House on the Green in Coates PE7 2BJ. Facebook search ‘’Whittlesea Motorcycle Club

June Events Smart-casual dress code. Football Saturday Music 8.45pm - 11.45pm • Sat 1st - Mike Shelby tops, baseball caps excluded

• Newly decorated members lounge - small stage / dance floor - Air conditioned. 47” TV • Function room with stage and own bar facility - Air Conditioned • Snooker Room - 2 full sized tables - Air conditioning • Ideal local venue to hire for any occasion.

• Sat 8th - Roger Williams • Sat 15th - “Waddo” • Sun 16th - Monthly Lunch 1.30pm - Bar open until 5.30pm • Sat 22nd - Mark Josef • Sat 29th - “Travis”

NEW Friday Night Live Music - 8.15pm 11.30pm - Club Function Room • Fri 21st - “59ers” - 4 piece band Tickets £8 Members £10 Guests

FRIDAY LUNCH Hot food served Fridays 12-2pm


Parties ~ Weddings Conferences ~ Funerals Birthdays ~ Christenings The Fens | June 2019




MTH PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Martin Hardy runs his own business MTH Property Management from his hometown of Whittlesey. Martin has enjoyed running his business for the last 25 years and to celebrate his business turning a quarter of a century we caught up with him to find out more


WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS DO? MTH Property Management undertakes a wide range of building and home improvements, from small jobs such as flooring and tiling to bigger builds such as conversions and complete kitchen and bathroom installations. I pride myself in providing my customers with an excellent service that is tailored to suit their needs and requirements. From the initial design phase of a project to overseeing the installation and finish, my business aims to make home improvements hassle free. WHO MAKES UP YOUR TEAM? Alongside myself I have a team of qualified and trusted tradesmen and women that make up my workforce. Many of them have worked with me for years and have help me build my business up to where it is today. WHAT FUTURE PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE BUSINESS? 50 The Fens | June 2019

I hope my business continues to stand the test of time and is still successful in the years to come! My aim is to carry on providing a service to the local community. I don’t want to grow the business and lose the personal touch which I feel is so important. Maintaining excellent feedback and continuing to receive word of mouth recommendations is really important. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I really enjoy all aspects of my work and the last 25 years have flown by! My favourite part of the job is when the customer sees the finished product and is happy with my work. Home renovations are hugely important to the customer especially when they have spent a long time planning it and they are trusting you to create their dream home. I always listen to my customer and work with them to ensure they are truly satisfied with the final outcome and are happy

to recommend me to others. OUTSIDE OF WORK WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY? I am a huge fan of motorcycling and bike racing, so I enjoy watching that or taking part when I have any spare time. My 10-year-old nephew is also a big fan and is just starting out his mini motor career, so I support him whenever possible. To find out how Martin and his team at MTH Property Management can help you or to get a free quotation, call 01733 841237 or 07754 070606 or email mthservices7@yahoo.com


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The Fens Greater Peterborough June 2019  

The Fens Greater Peterborough June 2019