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Issue 46 | March 2020


A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

Inside this issue Discover all about Thomas Clarkson

Ely Cathedral’s ‘Crowns & Gowns’ Exhibition Find the best local bluebells Fens | March PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON |The PLACES TO2020 VISIT1

THU 12 MARCH 2020 Box Office: 01733 852992 newtheatre-peterborough.com


The Fens | March 2020

ED’S letter

This month is not only Mothering Sunday (March 22nd) but also International Women’s Day (March 8th); a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. For my column this edition, I wanted to highlight a few of the important women that work behind the scenes of this publication because they are all, equally incredible. Having been with me from almost the launch of the The Fens magazine, Amy Corney has been an amazing assistant of mine. She plans our diaries, shares her creative ideas and organises our Ramsey distribution. Not long after, and through a mutual friend of Amy’s, we met Cassie Ward. Cassie is not only a wonderful mum to her two teenage boys, but she sells advertising space for our publication whilst managing her very own successful career creating and writing her own crochet designs. This year she became a published author. And then last, but definitely not least, we have Theresa Shiels, my proofreader and wonderful mother-in-law who checks all three publications for any awful errors and usually gets only a few hours to do it. I’m so thankful for you all.


THIS month 11 Your garden in March

23 Getting into... ice hockey

12 Last chance to see Ely Cathedral’s ‘Crowns & Gowns’ exhibition

30 Have you heard about the Fenland Flag?

15 Visiting Johnsons of Old Hurst 16 Recipe of the month 20 Fiesta held at Freedom Leisure



Issue 46 | March 2020


38 Find the best places to spot bluebells this month 42 The history of Thomas Clarkson - a forgotten man 44 Events diary 46 Shrek the Musical hits Peterborough

Inside this issue Discover all about Thomas Clarkson

Find the best local bluebells Fens | March PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON |The PLACES TO2020 VISIT1

PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk ASSISTANT EDITOR Richard Groom richard@pcbonline.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney amy@thefensmag.co.uk PROOF-READER Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk ADVERTISING SALES sales@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 Whittlesey Veterinary Centre | Caroline Fitton Molly Day-Coombes |Bill Watt DISTRIBUTION 9,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves, Pondersbridge, Benwick, plus copies in March, Wisbech, Ramsey and Queensgate Shopping Centre


A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

Ely Cathedral’s Crowns & Gowns Exhibition


facebook.com/thefensmag @thefensmag thefensmag

ISSUE 46 | MARCH 2020 Sunrise over Ely Cathedral by Andrew Sharpe

THE FENS is published by a local team. 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. THE FENS accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | March 2020


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The Peckover’s Grand Tour 1872 Using archive material and original travel journals, we tell the story of the Victorian Grand Tour and how the Peckover’s faith shaped their travels. 22 February – 15 November during house opening times.

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The Fens | March 2020

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/peckover © National Trust 2020. Registered Charity no. 205846. Photography © National Trust Images.

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The Fens | March 2020


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The Fens | March 2020


WHITTLESEY ALLOTMENT AND GARDEN SOCIETY The Annual General Meeting of the Whittlesey Allotment and Garden Society (WAGS) was held on Thursday 23 January at the Falcon Hotel. At the AGM all officers stood down from their posts for various personal reasons and due to the few members present it was evident that it was going to be a struggle to fill the posts. However, Paul and Liz stepped up and were duly elected as Chairman and Treasurer respectively. The Society has only nine paid up members despite there being over


Whittlesey U3A Open Meetings take place at Childers, Station Road, on the third Thursday of each month at 2pm. Main speakers for the coming months are: March 19th Upwood Ukuleles April 16th Bramble Lodge Alpacas May 21st AGM and Singchronicity

a hundred allotments at the site on New Road. The Society is not just for allotment holders, but, as its name suggests is also for gardeners. The annual fee is £5 and with that comes the benefits of discounts at various local businesses. WAGS hold on average four meetings a year when members can meet up and swap ideas etc and would welcome anyone to join and come along to the meetings; the date of the next meeting will be advertised shortly. Paul, Chairman,

NEW FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE We now have members of this group at every open meeting to welcome any first time visitors. Each month, our open meetings offer a Jigsaw Exchange, a book Exchange and a Raffle. Please feel free to join us for an afternoon or contact Wendy Fletcher, Publicity Officer, at wendyfletcherwriting@gmail. com

can be contacted on 07986965934 The allotments are owned by Whittlesey Town Council. There are regular inspections throughout the year and an Annual Best Allotment presentation. This is judged independent of the Town Council. There are currently a few allotments available for rent – anyone that is interested should contact the Town Clerk, Sue Piergianni, on 01733 351296 or by email at clerk@ whittleseytowncouncil.gov.uk

Members of The Whittlesey Society enjoyed hearing about William Shakespeare by Mr Don Chiswell at their February meeting. The group meet at The Town Hall Market Street Whittlesey at 7.30pm on the second Monday of the month. If you are interested in the Town, especially in conservation issues and would like to join, new members are always welcome. There is a small membership fee but occasional visitors are welcome for £2 per meeting. The speaker on March 9th is the Rev. David Bond who will be talking about War Memorials. There will be no meeting in April.

THE CRAFT MARKET IS COMING TO QUEENSGATE – TWICE! Queensgate Shopping Centre is preparing to host a craft market in Central Square on Saturday 30-Sunday 31 May. If you can’t make the date, then don’t panic, because it’ll be back again on Saturday 18-Sunday 19 July, just in time for Independent Retailer Month! Both two-day events will take place from 9am – 6pm on the Saturdays and 10.30am – 4.30pm on the Sundays. Come along to pick up unique handmade goodies from independent crafters. Whether you’re buying gifts or treating yourself to something nice, you can be sure that you’ll leave with bags full of beautiful, handcrafted items that put a smile on your face. The events will take place in collaboration with The Craft Market, a local business network which supports independent retailers to grow through craft fairs. The Craft Market will see 22 business coming together at each event to showcase their creations, and will give shoppers the chance to snap up unusual buys. Queensgate Shopping Centre will approve each trader, so

you can be sure that every stall will be worth browsing and buying from. Rebecca Keefe, Marketing Manager at Queensgate, said: “We can’t wait to welcome The Craft Market and talented local crafters to Queensgate. These two events are going to be so exciting! Everybody loves shopping with independent retailers, and now we’re bringing them together all in one place, to make it easier than ever to shop

independent! Plus, it’ll give visitors a great day out. Whether you’re coming in May or July, or popping along to both events, we look forward to seeing you there!” Find out more about The Craft Market by visiting https://en-gb.facebook. com/CraftMarketWisbech/ Or check out Queensgate Shopping Centre’s new website at www. queensgate-shopping.co.uk

The Fens | March 2020


HEREWARD COMMUNITY RAIL PARTNERSHIP ACHIEVES NEW NATIONAL ACCREDITATION Fenland’s Hereward railway line has seen its Community Rail Partnership receive official accredited status from the government’s Department for Transport.

said: “It’s great to have our hard work recognised in this way and, with access to a new grant fund, should take us on to do even bigger and better things for the community in the future.”

The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP), which aims to connect communities with the Hereward stations at Manea, March and Whittlesea and champion local railway improvements, has become one of the latest CRPs to receive the new quality benchmark.

Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, added, “I’d like to congratulate the partnership on this achievement, which is testament to their efforts in improving the rail service and station facilities and attracting more people to use their local rail line.”

Managed by Fenland District Council, the CRP is funded by train operators Greater Anglia, Cross Country Trains, East Midlands Railway and London North Eastern Railway with support from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and local organisations.

Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder responsible for transport, said: “The accreditation of the Hereward Community Rail Partnership is a fantastic achievement. It is recognition of the hard work undertaken by all involved in the partnership, including staff, committee members and volunteers in the Friends of Stations and Street Pride groups.

Under the government’s new Community Rail Strategy, community rail partnerships are encouraged to apply for accredited status to demonstrate that they operate to high standards and that their objectives and activities are supported by government. The Hereward Line partnership’s accreditation also marks it out as a good representative of the local community. It also gives the partnership access to the Community Rail Development Fund as a further source of grant funding to help it carry out its work. Paul Nelson, chairman of the Hereward CRP, 8

The Fens | March 2020

“Accreditation also opens further funding opportunities which will enable the partnership to develop further projects, which improve our stations and better connect our passengers.” Since it was established in 2012, the partnership has been involved in numerous projects to develop the Hereward Line and promote rail travel in the Fens. The partnership helped to secure the two hourly services from Manea Station, plus additional stops of the LiverpoolNorwich service at March Station, including a lunchtime service, a later evening stop and also at

weekends. It is also helped to progress the Fenland Station Masterplans to deliver improvements at Manea, March and Whittlesea stations. The CRP developed the initial high-level masterplans and consulted widely with the public to ensure the right schemes were included to upgrade the stations for the future. The CRP also held consultations on options for platform lengthening at Manea and Whittlesea, and new platform shelters for the stations that are due to be installed in April. The schemes are part of a £9.5million package of funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to Fenland District Council, supported by Greater Anglia as a delivery partner. The partnership has also developed the Hereward Line Guide, highlighting places to visit and ideas for days out along the 29 mile route from Peterborough to Ely. The free guide can be picked up from the Fenland stations and Fenland District Council’s Customer Service Centres and Community Hubs, or downloaded from the Council’s website at: www.fenland.gov.uk

LOCAL ARTIST CREATES SCULPTURE AT WILLOW COURT A metal sculpture of a Weeping Willow tree has been installed at the multi-million pound assisted living development in Whittlesey. Longhurst Group, which is delivering the 60 unit Willow Court development in Whittlesey, commissioned the artwork to act as a focal point in the garden area of the scheme. The structure was designed and constructed by local artist Jeni Cairns, who specialises in metal work based on a theme of nature. Jeni said: “I like to be around nature. It has a strength, but also a fragility so when I create a sculpture, it looks fragile but is made out of a strong material. “I live a few miles from Willow Court, so I think Denise [Banks, Head of Interior Design at Longhurst Group] liked the fact I was local and worked with metals. We met and had a look at the space – she said she wanted something bold and based around a willow tree. “The piece took me a couple of weeks to complete and the whole process was really good. Denise was great as she had lots of ideas, but also gave me lots of scope to do my own thing. She was really happy when I revealed it.” Willow Court is Longhurst Group’s £9.3 million state-of-the-art care complex which will offer 47 one-bedroom apartments and 13 two-bedroom properties for the elderly, as well as a residents’ lounge, restaurant, hair salon and therapy room, micro-shop and communal gardens. The sculpture, which will have a plaque naming the artist can also be enjoyed by anybody with a visual impairment, as the leaves have been designed to incorporate a wind-chime effect. To find out more about Willow Court visit www.longhurst-group.org.uk/ willow-court


When Algernon Peckover and his two daughters set off on the Grand Tour of Italy, they were embarking on a major journey that would last them some 53 days and cover around 3,200 miles. Between 22 February- 15 November 2020 there will be an exhibition in Lord Peckover’s bedroom (first floor) about the Grand Tour undertaken by some of the Peckover family in 1872. Using research from original Peckover travel journals, photographs and source material, we tell the story of the Victorian Grand Tour and how the Peckover’s’ Quaker faith shaped their journey. Many items, never before seen, will be on display, providing an opportunity to engage with the Peckover’s experience of the cultural phenomenon of the Grand Tour. While visiting Peckover, a stroll around the beautiful gardens is certainly not to be missed. But why not extend your visit further by taking an adventure

to Egloods Brewery and Gardens. Their four acre garden is a wonder to explore, part of which historically formed some of the Peckover estate.

Find out more by visiting nationaltrust.org.uk/peckover

PIG DYKE MOLLY DANCERS MAKE ANOTHER DONATION TO MACMILLAN CANCER CARE On Monday 3 February the Pig Dyke Molly Dancers presented a cheque for the sum of £1,200 to Jane Ross, representing Macmillan Cancer Support. This is the twenty first year that Pig Dyke has supported Macmillan and estimate that they have donated a total of about £20,000 over the years. The money is collected each year by dancing at various venues, particularly around the pubs, clubs and private parties in the Whittlesey area on New Year’s Eve. The team are always overwhelmed by the great reception and generosity of the local community when they perform, albeit in some very small and crowded venues. Just before Christmas each year the team also go as far along Oakdale Avenue as they can before it becomes too late, singing carols. Yes, real old fashioned traditional carol singing, not necessarily the best quality choir in the world, but real and live. They are always delighted when they are met by residents at their doorsteps, many who have saved their loose change throughout the year.

Pig Dyke Molly dancers have a unique style of music and dance, dressed in their distinct black and white attire, quite a menacing appearance and are always at the major folk festivals including Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival. They would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have supported them throughout the year, either with the Macmillan collections or general cheering and appreciation when they perform.

It has been a mixed year within the team, with a doubling of members which brings about its own organisational difficulties. They have a reputation of supporting extremely good music and are currently looking for new musicians to introduce and develop the unique sound they always enjoy. Anyone wanting further information please see www.pigdyke.co.uk or do not hesitate to contact pigdykesecretary@hotmail.co.uk The Fens | March 2020


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10 The Fens | March 2020 If you would like to book an appointment, please call

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Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN March Spring is finally here! The warmer and sunnier days during March provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It’s a great time of the year as new life bursts forth and the garden begins to transform. Preparation of seed beds and borders should be well under way this month as well as cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up the mess that the winter has left behind. Whether you’re preparing for shrubs and bedding plants or sowing seed for vegetables, once all the tidying is done you’ll be in a better position to plan the seasons planting.

Looking good this month...Pansy/Viola

ESSENTIAL JOBS FOR MARCH SOW SEED AND PLANT ONION SETS, SHALLOTS & POTATOES As the soil begins to warm you can start to sow broad beans, salads and sweet peas. If bad weather is forecast be sure to cover seedlings with cloches to protect them. March is also the time to plant out onion and shallot sets – cover with fleece or netting to protect from birds. Early varieties of potato such as ‘Rocket’ and ‘Swift’ can be planted in the early part of the month. If they have been kept in a light and frostfree environment they should be ‘chitting’ (a slight sprouting from the seed potato). Chitting before planting can encourage earlier and heavier cropping. FEED As the warmer weather promotes fresh growth a general garden fertiliser should be applied to help boost roots, green foliage and

encourage more fruits and flowers from your plants. It can be applied around the base of plants by scattering straight from the box and left to be watered in by the rain. Unfortunately the warm weather will also see weeds start to grow as well. Weeding isn’t the most popular of jobs but it is best to pull any that start to appear while they are young to prevent spreading. SCARIFY THE LAWN Do some lawn preparation this month before the growing season gets well and truly under way. Choose a dry day and give the lawn a thorough rake to remove the remnants of winter before giving a cut with the mower blades set at the highest position. Then aerate with a garden fork or aeration machine. This improves drainage and gets oxygen to the grass roots. Finally, apply a top dressing of spring lawn feed to add nutrients.

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WHY SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? One of the most popular bedding plants, pansies and violas are hardy annuals that have a stunning array of colours to choose from. Bringing the joy of spring to your garden during the colder months, they grow happily in borders or containers as well as providing great ground cover. HOW SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Plant them in moist, well-drained soil in a spot with good sunlight to encourage flowering. Tough little plants that are extremely hardy, they prefer cooler temperatures and need watering regularly. They are also very versatile – plant them in beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets.

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The Fens | March 2020



Crowning Glory This month is your last chance to visit a collection of costumes, jewellery, props and memorabilia from major films which is currently on display in Ely Cathedral. So what does the ‘Crowns & Gowns’ exhibition hold?

WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Showcasing original dresses and outfits from some iconic films such as ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Elizabeth:The Golden Age’ and the Netflix smash hit, ‘The Crown’, the cathedral exhibition gives visitors the chance to see the exquisite costumes in full detail. There are no glass cabinets and minimal restrictions which enables you to fully appreciate the incredible work which goes into each piece. But the exhibition is more than just dresses proudly on display, it showcases the cathedral as the chosen location for these iconic films. In fact, Ely Cathedral has 12 The Fens | March 2020

been the set for a total of nine films, narrowly missing out on being picked for a Harry Potter film. To bring this to life, the exhibition houses various interactive screens which, as well as providing fascinating information about the films shot here, also plays movie clips of the scenes in which the cathedral is centre stage. THE COSTUMES Set in the Lady Chapel, ‘Crowns & Gowns’ has costumes worn by Hollywood stars including Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender and Colin Firth. Frankly,

it’s the closest I will ever get to Colin Firth in the flesh, and that was quite thrilling. Visitors will also learn about the history of the company who are responsible for the intricate detailing of each and every costume held in the exhibition. Angels is a family-run business dating back to 1840. Spanning seven generations, Angels are one of the leading costume houses and have been dressing the stars of the stage, screen and TV for over 175 years. Based in London, the company which started from humble beginnings making men’s attire, soon discovered

there was a lucrative market for making clothes for the London theatres. Today, Tim Angel and his three children manage the costume house, making not only costumes for TV but they also are the UK’s largest fancy dress supplier. Walking through the ‘Crowns & Gowns’ exhibition, it’s not difficult to see why they are still at the top of their game. The incredible detailing of each costume is faultless and as authentic as possible. By lending the cathedral some of the outfits from the scenes filmed here, the artists’ dedication to their art really comes to life. There’s no trick of the camera here. In addition to the costumes, the exhibition also includes a few pieces of genuine movie memorabilia such as original film scripts, daily call sheets and on set photographs. I found the call sheets particularly interesting, getting a glimpse of what a typical day’s filming involves. So why bring this exhibition to life? “This is something we have been considering doing for some years and it has been an exciting journey to bring it to fruition,” Joss Palmer, Events Manager at Ely Cathedral explained. “It has been a real privilege to have the Cathedral used as a location for such prestigious movies and television shows and we are grateful to the film industry for their continued support. If the event proves popular, we hope to follow ‘Crowns & Gowns’ with a larger scale exhibition in the summer of 2021.” Your last chance to catch ‘Crowns & Gowns’ is March 15th. Whether you’re a film buff, interested in dressmaking or just want to appreciate the splendour of Ely Cathedral, a visit to the exhibition is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Appealing to a wide age range and interest groups, entrance to the cathedral is just £8 (which includes the exhibition). If you visit on a Sunday entrance to ‘Crowns & Gowns’ is £5 (children under 16 are free when accompanying a paying adult). The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4pm or Sunday midday to 3:45pm. There are some wonderful volunteers on hand to explain more about the costumes and history behind them, as well as a beautifully stocked gift shop and tea room. Find out more by calling the Box Office on 01353 660349 or visit www.elycathedral.org The Fens | March 2020


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Ye Olde Croc House A visit to Johnsons of Old Hurst is never a dull day; last month we visited Andy and Tracey Johnson to talk about their latest addition to their family-run farm business (and met some new friends along the way)…. WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Originally a dairy farm back in 1899, Johnsons of Old Hurst has seen many changes, most of which I am sure would surprise and delight Andy’s great grandfather. But like our changing climate, traditional farms have needed to evolve in order to survive. Few, however, have evolved in quite the same way. Whilst the cows remain a staple on the farm, providing beef for the farm shop, they now have new neighbours living in a specially built tropical house. Andy’s crocodiles (which are used to explain the ethos behind ranching and conservation of crocodiles ) are joined by iguanas, snakes, parrots, turtles, tropical fish and much more. There are few places in the Fens where you can witness all of the above in a habitat where banana trees can grow and rare species can thrive. But the success of the farm comes at a cost and last year saw visitors in their thousands. The family hadn’t expected the popularity of their site, which offers families and couples the chance to walk around woodland and meet a huge variety of different animals. Last summer, their popular tearoom hit new heights and a decision was made to convert the crocodiles’ old home into a third seating area (to complement the tea room and steak house). Appropriately named Ye Olde Croc House, the cosy room, which is dominated by a stunning stone fireplace with working log burner, offers visitors a quieter and more tranquil place to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea.

summer months. We hope this new addition will give a more grownup, quiet ambience, allowing the families to still enjoy the tearoom,” Andy explained. There are always new plans in the pipeline for this unique family business, including an additional outside kitchen to provide another option for purchasing food. Of course no visit is complete without a walk to the tropical house to meet Cuddles, Sherbert, Romeo and their other crocodiles. I even had the privilege of holding Gordon, their ‘friendly’ burmese python. Now that was an unforgettable experience (see pg. 3 for evidence). One thing is for certain, Johnsons of Old Hurst will keep on growing and providing delight and discovery.

The great thing about this building is that visitors can hire it out privately and can enjoy an intimate occasion, whether it be a christening, party, funeral, corporate or something else. “We wanted to create somewhere for our existing and new customers who find the busy tearoom a bit too much during the

Johnsons of Old Hurst is open all year, please visit their website (www.johnsonsofoldhurst.co.uk) for opening times (please note they close Mondays). If you would like to book a private function in the new Croc House, please call 01487 824658 or email sales@ johnsonsofoldhurst.co.uk The Fens | March 2020



White Chocolate and Bay Leaf mousse with Cardamom Shortbread and passionfruit curd The mousse can be made from dark or milk chocolate. You can swap the bay leaves for chilli, rosemary, coriander and the same with the shortbread. Lemon curd is classic with this recipe but you could also try orange or even pineapple....

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND BAY MOUSSE 8 bay leaves 100ml milk 250g white chocolate 300ml double cream 3 large egg whites



1. Crush the bay leaves into a small saucepan and heat gently until almost boiling (but not!) then remove from the heat and sieve into a plastic bowl. Stir the chocolate into the milk and heat 10 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring in between until the mix is velvety, set aside. Whip the cream in a bowl into soft not stiff peaks, set aside. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir a spoonful of the egg mixture into the chocolate then fold in the rest with a large metal spoon. Then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into glasses and chill.

120g Plain Flour 70g cornflour 70g icing sugar ½ tsp sea salt 8 cardamom pods (just seeds) 120g diced butter

2. Put all of the dry ingredients for the shortbread and cardamom into a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the butter and pulse-blend until you have a dough. Tip onto a worktop and knead until


Eat, drink, stay!

6 passionfruits 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 80 grams caster sugar 50 grams unsalted butter

16 The Fens | March 2020

velvety smooth. Roll out to about 1cm thick then press into a greased baking tray and place in an oven at 170oC for 35-40 mins until golden and firm. Cut whilst still warm and place on a cooling rack.

3. Put the seeded pulp of five of the passionfruits

into the processor and blitz just to loosen the seeds. Strain into a jug or bowl. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together. Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy-based pan, and when melted stir in the sugar-egg mixture and the passionfruit juice, and keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened. Off the heat, whisk in the pulp - seeds and all - of the remaining passionfruit, let cool slightly, then pour into a container. Keep in the fridge. To finish, top the mousse with a spoonful of curd and shortbread biscuit.

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FENLAND GOT INTO THE FREEDOM FIESTA SPIRIT FREE Fitness Fiesta event at Hudson, George Campbell, Manor and Chatteris Leisure Centres was a huge success! Hundreds of people were given a taste of the wide range of fitness facilities provided at all four Fenland District Council Leisure Centres, managed by Freedom Leisure last Saturday as they held their first “Fun Fitness Fiesta” at the Manor, Hudson, Chatteris and George Campbell centres in Fenland. Visitors were shown the recently refurbished gyms which are now equipped with the very latest Technogym kit and attended taster fitness classes such as Body Pump and HIIT all for FREE, as well as enjoying swimming sessions for the whole family. Existing members, their families and friends, as well as people looking to start their fitness journey turned up to see what the four Freedom Leisure Fenland Sites had to offer. The event was hosted by representatives from Fenland District Council including Phil Hughes and Simon Bell, and councillors Kay Mayor and Sam Clark. They visited all sites accompanied by Jordan Gill (Professional Boxer) and other local 20 The Fens | March 2020

councillors. Jordan, a local boxer from Chatteris at the top of his game,was suitably impressed with the top class facilities available to the residents in Fenland. He was also able to meet and greet members, giving them advice, hints and tips on how to train effectively whatever their goals and aspirations. As part of the celebrations, Freedom Leisure invited some of the oldest and youngest members to attend. These members show that you are never too old or young to start a fitness regime and being a member at one of the centres enables you to achieve your goals and to keep fit and healthy whatever your age or ability! Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure Cllr Sam Clark commented about the day; “Since I became Cabinet Member for Leisure in May 2019, I have been very happy with how Freedom Leisure has been operating our four leisure centres. The refurbishment at the Hudson Leisure Centre and the new gym equipment across all four centres is providing a fantastic visitor experience which has

translated into improved membership figures and more people being more active, more often. I am really looking forward to more progress with our partnership with Freedom over this year.” Dan Palframan, Freedom Leisure Area Manager also added; “We’re so pleased with all the recent changes across all four of our centres and this Fun Fitness Fiesta was the best way to see for yourself the improvements we’ve made and how you can join your local fitness facilities. It was great seeing so many people attend our

Free Fun Fiesta Day.” Freedom Leisure manage the four leisure centres within Fenland in March, Whittlesey, Chatteris and Wisbech, with a combined total of 3 pools, 2 learner pools, 4 top of the range gyms, 2 soft play areas at Whittlesey and Wisbech, and over 100 classes a week across all sites from Body combat and Group Cycling to Zumba.

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Ice Hockey Continuing our series to inspire you to try something new, this month we’re looking at ice hockey and how locally you can get involved Britain defied the odds and secured their place in the division for at least another year. The Peterborough Phantoms are the only team local to the area, competing in the NIHL National League, the UK’s second division. Formed in 2002, the Phantoms replaced the Peterborough Pirates, who had been in existence since 1982. The Phantoms have always competed in the second tier since their formation and have enjoyed plenty of success in recent years.

Ice hockey has been played in the UK since the early years of the 20th century. Britain was a founder member of the world governing body, the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation), which was formed in 1908. The first game between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was held on 16th March 1900, when Oxford won 7-6. The sport continued to increase in popularity during the 1930s, with the opening of large indoor arenas in London at Wembley, Haringey and Earls Court. Teams were almost full of Canadian professionals, many of whom went on to compete in the NHL (National Hockey League).

Hockey League and below that is the NIHL National division, which acts as the second tier of the sport in the UK. The Elite League attracts players from all over the world, some of which have previously played at the top level of ice hockey, the NHL, whilst the NIHL consists mainly of British players, who are accompanied by imported players, mainly from Europe.

Ice hockey is now considered the most popular indoor sport in the United Kingdom, whilst also being regarded as the fastest growing winter sport. The game is played with five skaters and one goalie on the ice for each team at one time, but teams have up to 19 skaters and rotate players on a regular basis. The game is split into three 20-minute periods, but the clock stops each time the referee blows their whistle. The aim, like football, is to score more goals than the other team to ensure victory. Unlike football, ice hockey matches do not end in a draw. If the score is level at the end of the 60 minutes, five minutes of overtime are played. If no one wins in overtime, the result is decided on penalty shots. The top league in Britain is the Elite Ice

The Great Britain team have enjoyed success in recent years. In 2018, they were promoted to the top division in International hockey by winning their group. In 2019, they competed in the top division for the first time in many years and dramatically won their final game 4-3 against France to ensure their safety in the top division. The top division contains teams like USA, Canada, Finland and Russia, who are staffed almost entirely of wellestablished NHL players, but Great

In 2008/09, the Phantoms won the league, cup and playoff treble, in one of the most historic years in the club’s history. In 2014/15, they won the playoffs for the first time since the treble winning season, beating the Manchester Phoenix in the final at Planet Ice, Coventry. The 2018/19 season was also an extremely successful one for the Phantoms, who won another treble. This time, they won the NIHL Autumn Cup, NIHL South Cup and the South playoffs, before losing out on a fourth trophy in overtime in the final. This year, the Phantoms are competing in the newly formed NIHL National division, which has brought together teams from around the country, scrapping the regionalised formation of the previous league. They are competing in upper mid-table as the season goes into its second half. The goal for the rest of the term is simply to finish as high as possible in the league table, whilst competing to win the National Cup and end of season playoffs. There has never been a better time to get involved with ice hockey, especially in Peterborough, in what is an exciting time for the club. The team play the majority of their home games on Sunday evenings at 5:30pm, at Planet Ice Peterborough. For more information, visit www.gophantoms.co.uk

The Fens | March 2020


Five Centuries - Five Influential Female Writers Local author and mother of two

ADVICE FROM THE FENLAND MIDWIFE Currently routine preconceptual care is not readily on offer from a healthcare professional unless you have an existing chronic health condition. So where does one get information? Do folk even consider that they should be in peak health before pregnancy? As a midwife I understand that planning to become parent (s) is a lifechanging event! It is also an opportunity to make personal improvements to health and lifestyle for good – what better time to take a long hard, honest look at yourself inside and out? Q. Do you eat a balanced diet? I do not mean a cake in each hand type of balance (if only) but eating foods from each of the food groups in the correct quantity daily. I am not suggesting a reducing diet unless you feel that is appropriate. Look at the meals you eat, or the meals you inadvertently miss, are they good for you, your concentration, appropriate in size for the type of activity you undertake at work and in your leisure time? Q. Are you getting the right amount of exercise? No one expects you to be an elite athlete, but you need at least 30 mins exercise per day that increases your heart rate This could simply be a

brisk walk, so don’t feel you have to search for a gym membership and the time to go there! Q. Are you drinking too much alcohol? Alcohol consumption affects the fertility of men and women, did you know that? There is plenty of evidence to read and understand the implications, starting at www.drinkaware.co.uk. Q. Are you a smoker? Most of us accept that smoking is harmful to our bodies because the research evidence has been available for years. It is however an addiction. Quitting successfully requires careful planning, strategies in place and plenty of support. Seek helpful, guided support to help navigate this. You could access NHS online at www.nhs.uk/smokefree for some information as a start. Firstly, though you must be convinced yourself of how it can impact you, your baby now and in the future. This may well be the motivation you need! If you find you are pregnant and haven’t had chance to make changes, it is never too late! Have the conversations and make the changes as quickly as you can! Now is a good time to start with better habits because these will be transferred to your baby at conception and during pregnancy and beyond.

If you wish to contact or speak to me I have a facebook page, rachelthefenlandmidwife@ gmail.com or visit the website fenlandmidwife.co.uk 24 The Fens | March 2020

EVA JORDAN shares her musings To mark International Women’s Day 2020 this month, here are my thoughts on five female authors across five centuries whose lives and work have both intrigued and inspired me. Aphra Behn–a celebrated poet and novelist, was also one of the most influential dramatists of the late 17th century. Penniless after the death of her husband, she vowed never to depend on anyone for money again and took up writing to support herself. Her first play, The Forc’d Marriage was produced in London in 1670. She became one of the period’s foremost playwrights and continued earning her living in the theatre, and as a novelist, until her death in April 1689. Mary Wollstonecraft–was an 18th century philosopher and proto-feminist. Best known for her feminist philosophy A Vindication of the Rights of Women, it was her response to educational and political theorists of the time who did not believe women should receive a rational education. Wollstonecraft maintained that women were human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men. Her daughter, Mary Shelley, also became a writer–best known for her Gothic novel, Frankenstein. Elizabeth Gaskell–was a 19th century English novelist, biographer and short story writer who used her stories to show readers a detailed portrait of Victorian society, including the appalling state of impoverished workers in the industrial centres of the North. This attracted the attention of Charles Dickens, who invited her to write for the periodicals he edited: Household Words and All Year Round, which included my favourite Gaskell novel, North and South. Jean Rhys CBE–was a 20th century novelist born on the Caribbean island of Dominica, best known for her critically acclaimed novel Wide Sargasso Sea–the prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Using themes of dominance and dependence, especially in marriage, her story illustrates the mutually painful relationship between a privileged English man and a Creole woman from Dominica–namely Mr Rochester and his first “madwoman in the attic” wife. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie–is a 21st century Nigerian writer of novels, short stories and nonfiction. My first introduction to her work was We Should All Be Feminists–an essay based on a TEDx talk she gave in London in 2012. As an African feminist, Adichie suggests gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. However, she remains “hopeful because [she] believe[s] deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better”. You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter www.facebook.com/ EvaJordanWriter/

Feeling stressed? DITCH THE SCALES FOR GOOD! So many people base dietary success on what the bathroom scales say. I have even known people to weigh themselves several times a day, meeting each gained ounce with terror and each lost ounce with delightful triumph. But this is an unproductive and often demoralising routine to fall into and there are far better ways to monitor progress and to track the loss and gain of the one thing people are interested in keeping in check - body fat. Firstly consider that scales, whether they are cheap ones bought from a supermarket or clinical ones at a medical facility can be inaccurate, they require calibration regularly and I know coming from a boxing background where making weight for fights literally does depend on fractions of ounces, just how diverse even the best quality scales can be. Secondly when you step on the scales you are weighing everything, your hair, your blood, your organs, your bones, your water, there are so many other interchangeable variables in the mix. I often joke with those that live by the results of the scales that they should be sure to have had a hair cut before next stepping on,

as it could actually minutely reflect in the result on the scale but would in fact not tell us anything about how we are progressing. The most accurate way is to take body measurements, ideally no more than once a week so that clear results one way or the other can be identified. Use a tailors measuring tape around just a few body areas such as the waist, hips, arms and remember exactly where and how you took the measurements so as to ensure consistency. Also aim for the same time every week or however often you decide and keep a simple record of the result. A quick Google search will give you some accurate tips for how to do this correctly. By doing things this way we are measuring primarily body fat and not factoring in numerous other aspects of the human body that weighing yourself includes. My advice has been for many years to not bother wasting money on a set of scales, pick up a tailors tape, you’ve probably got one lying around somewhere, give yourself a good solid week or two between recording results and start measuring the thing you are actual trying to lose, body fat!

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

Are you feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed? What would you think if I told you that you don’t have to? What would you think if I told you that you are in control of how you feel? Some of you will be open to the idea and want to know more, some of you will think that it can’t possibly apply to you, that’s okay, I just ask that you to be open to the possibility. Our thoughts turn into our reality, so if you do not like what you are getting or how you are feeling it stands to reason that you need to not only change what you think, but how you think. Our thinking patterns are largely driven by the values and beliefs we develop in childhood, if you have the belief that you are not good enough or not deserving your thoughts are rarely going to be attracting happiness and wealth. Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” the same applies to our thoughts, unless you change them you are going to keep getting more of what you already have. There are lots of ways you can interrupt your negative thought patterns and shift towards more bountiful, positive thinking, visit safehaven-therpay.com for free techniques and exercises on how to create big change in your life. Do you want to feel energised, happy and focused? Join me at Orton Hall on the 10th May for my sell out Unleash Workshop.

Susie Munns can be found at Safe Haven Therapy & Coaching Mobile: 07915 073 013 www.safehaven-therapy.com www.facebook.com/ SafeHavenTherapy The Fens | March 2020




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By the time you read this, I will have occupied this planet for thirty seven years. I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way that handsome chap above this article holding that mug could possibly be heading like an out of control steam train towards his forties, but alas what I once thought (when my parents were around that age) was pretty ancient, is now a looming reality and like an ostrich, I wish to bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. I’m not really that excited about my birthday. Sure it was fun when I was younger. Presents, days out, friends all around you. These days, most of the time I’m at work. Presents are socks, friends are dispersed living at various points along the A47 and as a rule, I get myself so depressed at the thought of getting older that I spoil the mood anyway. I have previously enjoyed my birthdays. I recall going to see Jurassic Park at the cinema when I turned ten. I recall a heavy and fun night out with mates for my eighteenth. I remember absolutely nothing about my 21st which almost certainly meant it was an awesome night. Sure there’s been nights out since then, but, and please anybody else my age agree with me just so I don’t seem quite so old, but the consequences of such nights seem to be much more severe now. I could go out and drink myself to a point where I would come home clutching a bargain bucket from KFC to my chest, eat the entire thing and wake up the following morning ready for the day ahead. Now I go for a few beers and I wake up in the morning feeling like someone’s stapled my brain to a yoyo and relentlessly banged it on the ground and back for six hours. The reality of this moan as I’m sure will have been picked up on, is that I suggest that the reason I dislike my birthdays are because I can’t just go out and get drunk with my mates like I used to. I guess the big problem is despite my best efforts I turned into an adult and therefore have to behave like one. However, I feel I may not be in the minority here, as there are already ‘rumblings’ amongst friends as to plans for fortieth birthdays. Plans that I’m sure will involve nights away, possibly abroad, copious amounts of alcohol and late nights. The reality will probably be a night in ‘Skeggy’, where we’ll end up in a nice quiet pub (because everywhere else is too loud) and after a few beers everyone who is used to being in bed at 8pm because their kids woke them up at 5am will need to retire, slightly drunk to their comfy room ready for a good night’s sleep. And if I’m brutally honest, that actually doesn’t sound that awful. Joe Clarke-Ferridge is an occasional writer and often a right grumpy ‘old’ git. Find me @LifeofanOrdina1 The Fens | March 2020



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The Women by S. E. Lynes; Published by Bookouture This is the second psychological thriller I’ve read by this author and she is fast becoming one of my favourite writers in this genre. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, for me, this story brings to mind writer Neil Gaiman’s quote– “I like stories where women save themselves”–which is just what this story does. However, at what price? We begin in Rome where newlyweds Samantha and Peter are on their honeymoon. They are queuing to visit a famous stone carving of a man’s face called Bocca della Verita (The Mouth of Truth) where, according to legend, if you place your hand in the mouth and tell a lie, the stone jaw will clamp down and bite if off. Samantha is intrigued. “The gargoyle is disconcerting, she admits. But the urge to put her hand inside the mouth is almost overwhelming. At the same time, she imagines the mythical severance, the bloody stump of her own wrist, the horror on the faces of the crowd as she staggers, bleeding, onto the street.” Peter, on the other hand, seems harassed, reluctant to be there. But why? We are then taken back in time and introduced to Samantha Frayn, a university student from Yorkshire studying in London, where she meets the rather handsome Peter Bridges. Peter, who is much older than Samantha, is an accomplished, charismatic history lecturer. “He is slim. He dresses well—how she imagines an American academic might dress: soft blues, fawns, tan brogues.” He spots Samantha at a university social event and begins chatting to her, offers to take her for a drink. Samantha, both young and impressionable, is completely swept away by his charm and sophistication. She is flattered that a man such as he, a man with a wine cellar, who whistles classical music, drives a sports car and lives in a beautiful house on a hill, would single someone like her, a nobody, out. Their ensuing romance is immediate, thrilling and intense. Unlike anything Samantha has experienced before, especially with boys her own age, and before she knows it, she has moved in with Peter. Later, when she looks back, Samantha will wonder just when the subterfuge began. As in her previous novels, the author’s prose, which is succinct yet brilliantly informative and descriptive, completely draws you in making The Women an enthralling psychological thriller that is perfectly paced with just enough tension to keep you turning the page to the very end. By Eva Jordan

28 The Fens | March 2020

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The Fens | March 2020


Flying the Fenland Flag

WORDS RICHARD GROOM The Fen Tiger is flying proudly across the region and around the world, symbolising the history and character of Fenland people The flag is the creation of James Bowman, an Ely-based writer and historian with a passion for flags and the Fens. He designed the flag in 2017 and started to promote it across the region the following year. James says: “I saw that there was an increasing interest in county and regional flags across the UK. Having lived in the Fens for 25 years I felt very strongly that it has its own identity, and therefore that it should have its own flag. Since I shared my design with people the response has been fantastic. It’s clear that people are proud of the Fens and want a flag to share their pride.” A POSITIVE SYMBOL OF THE FENS The flag’s design consists of three elements. The central yellow band represents agricultural prosperity, echoing fields of wheat that are such an important part of the Fenland landscape and economy. The blue outer bands represent the natural and man-made waterways that keep us dry. Taking pride of place is a tiger representing the Fen Tigers, who were protestors opposed to the drainage of the Fens (see ‘Centuries of Fen Tigers’), and the determination of local people in general. The flag has gained significant support in the 18 months since James began his campaign. South East 30 The Fens | March 2020

Cambridgeshire MP Lucy Frazer has already written a letter of support to the Flag Institute, and several East Cambridgeshire and Fenland District councillors have expressed their support. Perhaps more importantly, local people not involved in politics have enthusiastically welcomed the flag. It can be seen flying over many homes and businesses in the region and dozens of narrowboats also fly the flag. Stickers have been produced and countless shops, pubs and other businesses are displaying one on their premises. They are also featured on all the buses operated by FACT Community Transport in March. SPREADING THE WORD There has been media interest in the flag across local newspapers and TV. But this isn’t just a local story. The campaign has gone global and pictures of the flag flying across the world - from Mongolia to the USA have been sent into the Fenland Flag Facebook page. The flag is especially gaining visibility in Whittlesey thanks to the efforts of Cheryl Wright. Since moving to the town a couple of years ago she has embraced Fenland life and the community, and is a keen supporter of the flag. She has already encouraged many local shops and other businesses to display the flag in

one form or another on their premises. Cheryl says: “Everyone can adopt the Fenland Flag as it has no political meaning or controversy. It’s just a positive way to show you are proud to live here. James has produced a few hundred stickers at his own expense that I’m taking around the town. I hope that we’ll soon have them available to buy from local shops in Whittlesey and across the Fens.”

James will officially submit the flag for (hopefully) acceptance by the Flag Institute for inclusion on the UK’s official Flag Registry. The more local support that can be generated before then, the greater the chance of the application being successful. Similar flags have been accepted onto the Registry in recent years, such as the regional flag for the Black Country in the West Midlands. Once the flag is on the Registry as the official flag of the region, it is likely that more organisations locally will display it.


To find out more or express your support for the Fenland Flag, visit the flag’s Facebook page (search ‘Fenland Flag’). At least four UK companies produce and sell the Fenland Flag in various formats and sizes: Flying Colours, Red Dragon Flagmakers, Mr Flag and Jersey Flags all have websites where you can order your very own Fenland Flag.

CENTURIES OF FEN TIGERS The original Fen Tigers used sabotage to thwart the efforts of rich landowners trying to drain the Fens in the 1600s in order to create new farmland. Drainage would destroy the way of life for thousands of people who depended on the wetlands for their livelihood. The Tigers destroyed embankments, blocked up drains and dykes, and burnt farmhouses and crops. The level of civil unrest severely delayed land reclamation in the Fens. When works to drain the Fens resumed in the late 1700s and early 1800s, there was further rioting and sabotage. Ultimately however, the works went ahead. The wetlands were transformed into the most fertile farming land in the country. ‘Fen Tigers’ has since been used to describe Fenland folk in more general terms, especially those with a resilient, hardy character. It was the nickname of the Army’s Cambridgeshire Regiment, which was active from 1908 to 1961. Many sporting individuals and teams are also known as Fen Tigers, from boxers Eric Boon and Dave Boy Green to Mildenhall’s speedway team and Ely Tigers Rugby Club. Tigers can also be seen on the coat of arms of Fenland District Council.

By coincidence, there may actually be real tigers in the Fens. For years there have been reports of a mysterious big cat roaming the Fens. But as one big cat expert said in 2013: “It may just be a domestic cat.”

Whether you are employed or Self-employed, the art of making provision for now and the future revolves around increasing income and reducing expenditure so that you can wisely use your ‘disposable income’. You can increase income by reducing exposure to taxation, reducing the cost of going to work or making best use of the tax breaks and allowances that are provided. Some employers offer ‘Salary Sacrifice’ as a more cost-effective way to build a pension pot, provide childcare, purchase a bicycle or a range of employer benefits. If these opportunities are offered – research them well before deciding whether to use or ignore them. If you are self-employed, these options may still be available – just in another way. If you want to maximise or even minimise the profits that you pay tax on – it might we worthwhile combining the advice of an accountant and an independent financial adviser. Reducing expenditure is important, for example, if you can ‘work from home’ commuting costs including parking and possibly refreshments can be reduced significantly. Would public transport work for you? Could one vehicle be disposed of along with the associated running costs, maintenance, insurance, tax and depreciation. Could transport costs be shared with someone else that does a similar commute to yourself? Reducing exposure to tax can come in many forms. Some of us are very opposed to paying basic rate tax on earnings at 20%, yet volunteer to pay tax on petrol or diesel at 57p per litre that equates to over 40% out of income after tax. Clearly long distances cannot be covered on foot or a bicycle, rail journeys are increasing, bus journeys are reducing, and car journeys remain the most popular since 1952, see: https://assets. publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/661933/tsgb-2017-report-summaries.pdf Reducing our dependence on fossil fuel consumption can not only help the environment, it can significantly reduce your exposure to tax. If you need help on budgeting, setting realistic time related objectives and putting in place effective controls and monitoring can help pay off the mortgage early, reduce the strain of a tax demand and allow the option of early retirement. If any of that appeals, contact an independent financial adviser. Free Initial Review If you have financial concerns and you are looking for some advice, why not have an initial consultation at no cost to you by arranging a meeting with me? The value of an investment can go down as well as up, you may not get back as much as you put in, past performance is not an indicator of future returns Tax planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change. For financial planning advice on investments, retirement and estate planning, seek out an Independent Financial Adviser with a good record of delivering simple financial advice that really works.

Eamonn Dorling Dip PFS, Senior Independent Financial Adviser. Brooks Wealth Management Tel: 01733 314553 Mob: 07767 795816 Email: Eamonn@brookswealth.co.uk Brooks Wealth Management is a trading style of Ampris Limited who are an appointed representative of Wealthline Limited, registered in England 08761632 (Registered office: 8a Cowgate, Peterborough) Wealthline Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 684319 The Fens | March 2020 31

Fenland Archery Club

est. 2006


Come and try this all inclusive sport - for free Venue: Sir Harry Smith Community College, Eastrea Road Whittlesey PE7 1XB


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On Saturday 18th April 2020 10.00am to 2.00pm If you are looking to get into a sport, Minimum Age Archery could well be for you. Archery is an inclusive and accessible sport which 10 years can be enjoyed by the whole family, We have archery young or old. We are a friendly club equipment and which shoots the full range of bows. We experienced have a full programme of competitions coaches available and fun shoots throughout the year. to gently introduce We encourage personal fulfilment and you to the sport. friendly competition.

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This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at preventing anxiety in our pets

PROMOTING PET ANXIETY AWARENESS With nearly 80% of pets in the UK suffering from anxiety, the month of March is officially being dedicated to bring awareness to Pet Anxiety and how you can help your pet. Our pets can suffer from anxiety just like we can, however it is often not realised that their behaviour is a result of anxiety, stress or fear. Anxiety is an emotion, our pets do not choose to be anxious and it can be detrimental to their health in the long term. Emotions are not rational, we may know that all is safe and there is nothing to worry about, but our pets don’t. An anxious, nervous animal does not feel safe.

• • • • • • • •

How to tell if your pet may be suffering from anxiety:

A little stress and anxiety is a normal part of life to help with survival and their body has a balancing system to keep things in check. Behaviour and health problems start to occur when their anxiety and stress becomes a long term emotional state for them. Living a life of constant anxiety is no fun for our pets and is not healthy, usually resulting in a shortened life span. Constant, long term anxiety can have an effect on our pets’ kidneys, bladder, heart, blood pressure, digestive system, skin and coat and immune system. These effects may be seen as diarrhoea, incontinence, allergies, kidney and heart disease and high blood pressure.

The following behaviours can be indications of anxiety, but can also be indicators of other behaviours. • • • • • • • • • • •

Scan the environment and are very alert to everything. Pacing around or restless. Easily distracted by things. Overly active, unable to settle down. Excessive panting, when not warm. Excessive whining, whimpering. Trying to get away from what is making them feel anxious. Avoiding eye contact. Trembling. Hiding. Yawning.

Licking their lips. Air sniffing. Shaking when they are not wet. Excessive shedding of their hair. Changes to their eating or sleeping habits. Find it difficult to respond to your requests. Find it difficult to focus and learn. More likely to choose aggressive behaviours in some situations.

Why should you be aware of how your pet is feeling?

If you have any concerns as to whether your pet may be anxious or stressed about life, please contact us here at the surgery for further help.

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 | March 2020

www.whittleseyvets.co.uk info@whittleseyvets.co.uk facebook.com/whittleseyvets

Planning a holiday or break? Book your pets in for their own holiday at Little Acre, your local Boarding Kennels and Cattery

Your pet, expertly groomed by our City and Guilds trained groomer All breeds and sizes welcomed Grooming to breed standard or owner’s preference Coat specific high quality shampoos used Spa treatments available

Your dog will enjoy a secure paddock and daily walks Your cat will enjoy individual pens and a sun balcony The kennels and cattery are centrally heated Covered by 24 hour on-site CCTV

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Tel: 01733 840350

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Making Nature’s Connections WORDS Caroline Fitton, The Wildlife Trust

Bringing the beauty and fascination of the natural world to the fingertips of those who may not be able to easily access the outdoors, the Wildlife Trust in Cambridgeshire’s education and community team based at the Great Fen have been running Nature Connections sessions as part of an outreach programme. These have been gathering momentum over the last few years and are offered to community groups, care homes and recovery groups, designed to connect people with nature who may be restricted to outdoor access by limited mobility or illness. They are a wonderful, gentle way of engaging with people about their childhood memories of wildlife or being outdoors, and involve simple activities using natural materials. The team take natural objects into the homes, for example scent bags with natural herbs, ‘feely’ bags with cones, stones, shells etc, and greenery such as plants and leaves. Simple crafts using natural materials, planting seeds or plug plants, making colourful images using leaves, petals etc all help create a sense of wellbeing.  Rebekah O’Driscoll, Communities and Wildlife Manager, explains: “In one session at a care home with around 10 residents (almost all dementia sufferers) we were planting some plug plants to keep in the home. As

soon as the compost came out the residents were suddenly engaged with the activity; it evoked memories of having allotment gardens and enjoying gardening in the past. We also read the Wordsworth poem ‘Daffodils’, to finish off the session and almost the entire group joined in and recited along - it was a very poignant moment for us. “Another memorable session was with the Blind Association in Peterborough, where we focussed the afternoon on bird song recognition. The group varied in terms of stages of sight loss, some had been blind all their lives while others had lost sight or had partial vision. We had various props to use and played bird song to identify the different birds. We also had some wooden eggs made to the exact size of the real thing. One lady who had been blind all her life was absolutely astounded at the size of the wren’s egg, smaller than a Cadbury mini egg, and how she had no idea how small a wren must be but this gave her an idea, but also she couldn’t believe that such a small bird made such a lot of noise!” Some of this work during the last year was made possible by funding via Tesco Bags of Help scheme, which enabled the team to recruit help in delivering the sessions, plus made the purchase of resources possible, for example table top magnification

Fluttering onto April’s horizon . . .

lenses to assist those with poor sight, and a large floor-scale size artistic impression map of the Great Fen area, to help connect people with the landscape by identifying where they are - a real visual aid connecting people with the landscape. Rebekah O’Driscoll again: “We meet all kinds of people at these sessions and their value is very apparent. People can connect with nature in many ways and if we can bring a bit of that wellbeing inside to people who struggle to access it then we feel like we have made a real difference. We are taking bookings for 2020 - and welcome any requests - and have a dedicated volunteer and staff member to deliver them.” For anyone wanting to volunteer or help with Nature Connections sessions, please contact Rebekah.ODriscoll@ wildlifebcn.org or call 01487 815524. To discover more about volunteering opportunities at the Great Fen please visit www.greatfen.org.uk/get-involved/ wild-experiences/volunteer

Make a date with the Butterfly Brothers: Thursday 23 April, Great Fen Countryside Classrom, 7-9.30pm Jim and Joel Ashton (the Butterfly Brothers) are passionate about wildlife and have been designing and creating all manner of interesting wildlife-attracting projects ever since. From wildflower meadows and wildlife ponds to putting up nest boxes and building log piles, they enjoy designing and managing new or existing projects of any size and work nationwide.

36 The Fens | March 2020

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Walk of the month

Bluebell Spotting this Spring WORDS AND IMAGES AMY CORNEY

38 The Fens | March 2020

Over the next few weeks Spring will be bursting into life and the countryside will fill with vibrant colour leaving behind the dreary days of Winter. One of my favourite things to do at this time of the year is to visit some of the local woods in the search for the native English Bluebell. Nothing heralds the start of Spring like the carpets of blue that fill our nature reserves and woodlands. Almost half of the world’s bluebell population are grown in the UK and we are particularly lucky in the Fens as there are lots of local places to spot them! Bluebells are an important early food source for pollinators such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies and usually start flowering from the middle of April but they can flower earlier if the weather is mild. I find checking the nature reserves’ social media pages helpful as often they will post to let you know the bluebells have started. Before you visit! Bluebells are a protected species, meaning it is illegal to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells. Trampled bluebells will die from being crushed, so please stick to paths and its best to wear wellies as it can be very muddy at this time of the year!

Our top places to enjoy Bluebells Lady’s Wood in Upwood This is one of my favourite ancient woodlands to visit and if you can time it right then the bluebells always put on a fantastic show. The wood is only 7 hectares so is a manageable size for those with small families, although the entrance is 600 metres from the car park so could be tricky for pushchairs if there has been wet weather! There are lots of places to sit and make the most of the wonderful photo opportunities the bluebells offer.


Free/ Car park Dog friendly

Wistow Wood in Ramsey A nature reserve predominately made up of old ash woodlands and that puts on a pretty spring display. Bluebells, Dog’s Mercury, wood anemones and primroses can all be spotted during the

Spring and the woods are not far from Johnsons of Oldhurst so perfect for a walk then a spot of lunch.



Brampton Wood in Huntingdon This is Cambridgeshire’s second largest ancient woodland stretching over 132 hectares and is at least 900 years old, with records of the wood mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086AD. Over 340 plant species have been recorded here and Spring is the perfect time to visit. Vast areas of the woodlands are carpeted with bluebells as well as violets, primroses and other seasonal flowers. Wild orchids can also be seen in the Summer, so a perfect place to visit throughout the year! Free/ Car Park Dog friendly

Grafham Water Nature Reserve in Perry, Huntingdon Created in the 1960s to supply drinking water to the new town of Milton Keynes, it is the third largest reservoir in England. Naturally evolving into a wildlife haven the reserve is a mix of ancient and plantation woodlands, grasslands, scrub, ponds, wetlands and open water. A great place for families to visit as there is lots to see and do, as well as an onsite café. Bluebells and other spring delights can be spotted

Car parking charges Dog friendly

Free/ Parking in roadside Dog friendly


in the ancient woodlands.

Thorpe Wood in Holywell Way, Peterborough An ancient 10-hectare woodland that has been recommend to us to visit for its bluebell display and is located close to Ferry Meadows. We haven’t been yet, but the wood is known to be suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs thanks to its crushed limestone paths. A mix of large mature oaks, ash and hazel trees with a diverse mix of ground flora.


Free/ Small car park Dog Friendly

Old Sulehay Forest in Yarwell This was a new find for us as we only visited for the first-time last year, the reserve covers 85 hectares and some paths run through the old quarry so are a bit trickier to navigate. As well as bluebells the ground gets covered with wild garlic, which provide a heady scent on a warm day. A perfect place to spot other Springtime flowers and the grasslands are home to glow worms in the Summer months.


Free / Parking in laybys Dog Friendly

The Fens | March 2020


MAKE TIME in 2020. Introducing our new initiative in 2020

TIME is something precious to us all; when it has gone we cannot retrieve it! We can MAKE TIME only by thinking ahead. We need to keep as healthy as we can and make sure we have the skills and equipment when we need it most. We want more of our community to MAKE TIME to raise money for Defibrillators For All. We want groups to consider Defibrillators For All as their chosen charity. Every pound matters, it all adds up. We want to MAKE TIME for people by saving their life. We want to MAKE TIME to train our young people in life saving skills. We want to MAKE TIME to screen our young people for undiagnosed heart conditions. With your help we can achieve our goal of MAKING TIME in 2020. Our first fundraising goal of 2020 is to raise almost ÂŁ5000. This will allow us to offer 18 professional training sessions to all local children between the ages of 7 & 11.

Updated list of defibrillators. Cut me out and keep me safe

GET IN TOUCH Email: defibrillatorsforall@gmail.com Tel: 07912 513825 Find us at: 311 Eastrea Road,

Whittlesey, Peterborough 40 The Fens | March 2020


Serving the Eastern Region for over 90 Years

2020 a Year of Change Whiting & Partners has been present in many market towns of the eastern counties for over 90-years. Naturally, over time, there has been massive change, but will the seemingly relentless advances in technology help to fashion your business? Asks Emily Haines According to our professional body AAT, the Association of Accounting Technicians, advances in technology will reshape our industry even further in 2020. It lays out four key areas of importance to our clients:


Now we are out of the EU there are three key questions. What will the significant alterations be that could affect your business and your cash flow? Will you have to look further into the future with management accounts and financial forecasts as an act of support into the unknown? We are already providing assistance to many of our Peterborough and Ramsey clients with these services.

Open Banking

New Open Banking regulation impacts the way in which banks connect with third parties including software providers like Xero. Many of our clients have recently switched from bank feeds using Yodlee to the new Open Banking feed.

Artificial Intelligence

Businesses, including accountancy firms, are evolving endlessly driven by new technology. We use third party software like Receipt Bank and Auto Entry to automate our processes. This means we can invest more time in complex and detailed client matters, enabling us to boost our client-centric approach.

Whiting & Partners offers core accounting services with specialist expertise in:

• • • • • • • •

Agriculture Construction Contractors Manufacturing Property Retail Road Haulage Technology

Peterborough Office Eco Innovation Centre, Peterscourt, City Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. PE1 1SA Telephone: 01733 564082 peterborough@whitingandpartners.co.uk Ramsey Office 108 High Street, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. PE26 1BS Telephone: 01487 812441 ramsey@whitingandpartners.co.uk

App Integration

Application Programming Interfaces are allowing apps to share data and information with cloud accounting software, for example Xero, in a seamless and innovative manner. There are now over 800 third party apps which integrate with Xero! So, it seems that continuous advances in technology will be shaping the accountancy industry even further over the next 12-months.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. The IvesFens | St.|Neots Wisbech March| 2020 41

A forgotten man THOMAS CLARKSON Despite a monument dominating the centre of Wisbech and a local school carrying his name, few in the Fens know the man behind the dedications WORDS MOLLY DAY-COOMBES Thomas Clarkson was born on 28th March 1760 at the Free Grammar School in Wisbech where his father was headmaster. Thomas was one of four and they lived in the school grounds until his father died of a fever when Thomas was six years old. His widowed mother moved their family to what is now 8 York Row, between Etcetera and Coakley's Opticians. EARLY RESEARCH Thomas left home at fifteen years old to enter St Paul's School in London. He intended to follow his father into the church (his father was an Anglican priest). Thomas then attended the University of Cambridge in 1779 and graduated with honours in 1783. Thomas was first encouraged to consider the immorality of slavery when he took part in an essay competition. The essay question asked "Is it lawful to make slaves of others against their will". Thomas launched himself into his research with the intensive nature that defined his career, interviewing former slave traders and those who had witnessed the trade first-hand. He was deeply disturbed by his findings and later recorded, "It was but one gloomy subject from morning to night...I sometimes never closed my eye-lids for grief". The essay which resulted from this all-consuming work earned Thomas first prize. In June 1875, whilst riding to London the thought crossed Thomas’ mind that "it was time some person should see these calamities [slavery] come to an end", and Thomas decided that person was him. Thomas decided to publish his essay and enlisted the help of his brother, John, and Quaker 42 The Fens | March 2020

printer James Phillips, who agreed to publish Thomas’ work. THE TOURS After making Phillips’ acquaintance, Thomas was officially part of the abolitionist movement and he proceeded to dedicate his entire life to ending slavery. He was the only one in the movement to make it his sole career, making him one of the first professional reformers. Thomas’ next move was to visit slave ships in London’s ports to gather notes on the trade. He subsequently used these to lobby Members of Parliament. One such MP was William Wilberforce who was instantly interested in Thomas’ research and requested to be kept involved. In 1787 Thomas embarked on a series of tours of the country, covering 35,000 miles over the next four years. He attempted to galvanise public opinion while gathering evidence and locating witnesses. Thomas gave speeches in hundreds of venues and became the public face of the movement. Thomas’ first tour in 1787 covered the major slave ports where he conducted numerous interviews. Spending so much time around the ports as a vocal abolitionist posed a great threat to his safety. Thomas was often threatened and was once attacked on the Liverpool docks where the mob attempted to push him in the Mersey, however he managed to escape relatively unscathed. Thomas’ campaigning made him recognise the need to dramatise his

speeches to increase public appeal. His signature method was his ‘Africa Chest’. The chest was divided into sections, each of which held samples of objects including: wood, cotton, oil, rice, cinnamon, ivory, dried fruit, cloth and ornaments. Thomas used this chest to prove that Africa offered abundant trading opportunities to Britain which were more ethical and financially viable than slavery. Also stored in the chest were slave traders’ instruments which Thomas used to demonstrate the barbarity of the trade. These included chains, shackles and a device for prying a slave’s mouth open to prevent them from refusing to eat. Another technique the abolitionists utilised was the use of images to exemplify the inhumane treatment of the slaves. The most famous of these images is of the Brookes ship, which Thomas reworked with the help of Committee members, to include the measurements of the ship alongside the detailed drawing of 454 slaves lined up in rows. Another iconic image was John Wedgewood’s ‘Am I Not A Man and a Brother’ which consisted of a kneeling, chained slave uttering the title question. This was the first widespread use of a logo designed for a political cause which adorned a range of paraphernalia, including 500 medallions which Thomas distributed. Eventually, the toll of the tours, long hours and constant anxiety hit Thomas, and following a period of poor health he was forced to retire in 1793 as he found himself on the brink of a physical and nervous collapse. The constant defeats

“Thomas continued his fight with the aim of abolishing slavery in the British Empire. Thomas’ ultimate goal was achieved on 1st August 1838 when nearly 800,000 black people throughout the British Empire were freed” and disappointments in Parliament exhausted Thomas so he decided to move to the Lake District where he married and started a family. In 1804 Thomas moved to Bristol with his ill wife. Shortly afterwards, Thomas resumed his work, embarking on another tour of England in 1805 to gather support. On 24th February 1807 legislation was passed by the House of Commons banning the trading of slaves. The next stage of the abolitionist movement was directed against the whole institution of slavery. By this stage Thomas was nearly eighty years old and was almost entirely blind, however Thomas continued his fight with the aim of abolishing slavery in the British Empire. Thomas’ ultimate goal was achieved on 1st August 1838 when nearly 800,000 black people throughout the British Empire were freed. The second wave of the movement saw Wilberforce receive more prominence and after his death his

sons wrote a biography which was hugely influential and paved the way for Wilberforce to be seen as the leader of the movement in the national consciousness. THE TRUE FRIEND OF THE SLAVES Where other abolitionists were buried in Westminster Abbey, when Thomas died on 26th September 1846 he was buried in a churchyard near Ipswich. Only in 1996, exactly 150 years after his death, was a plaque unveiled in the Abbey, dedicated to ‘A Friend of the Slaves’, Thomas Clarkson. The Clarkson Memorial in Wisbech stands on Bridge Street on the South Brink. The memorial was unveiled on 11th November 1881. The statue stands at 68ft high with a statue of Thomas and an inscription to his memory. Other figures adorn the base, depicting Wilberforce, Granville Sharp (one of the first English campaigners for the abolition of slavery), and the ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother’ cameo. The Peckover family funded a large proportion and the remainder was funded by

public subscriptions. The location was chosen due to its central position and it ensures that all who visit the town view it. Thomas dedicated his entire working life to abolishing slavery, yet his role was overshadowed by Wilberforce, who continues to eclipse him, making Thomas one of the most important ‘forgotten men’ of history. As the unsung leader of one of the most important humanitarian campaigns in modern history, it is the responsibility of those in his hometown to keep Thomas Clarkson’s memory alive. You can find out more about Thomas Clarkson, as well as view his ‘African Chest’ at Wisbech & Fenland Museum, Museum Square, Wisbech. The museum opens Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Molly Day-Coombes BA (Hons) is a History graduate from the University of Lincoln. Author of https://allthingshistory108. wordpress.com/ The Fens | March 2020


WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing hello@thefensmag.co.uk COUNCILLOR SURGERIES Will be held in Peel House at 8 Queen Street from 09:30 to 10:30. Saturday March 7th Councillors present will be: Councillor Chris Boden (County, District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Eamonn Dorling (Town Councillor). SADDLETRAMP LINE DANCING Friday 6th March The Fleet, Fletton, Peterborough. Featuring Tony Rouse. To book a table or for info call John and Lynne on 01733 750699. ABBA TRIBUTE SHOW Saturday 7th March Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets £7.50 from the Club or £10.00 on the door. CROWNS AND GOWNS - AN EXHIBITION Until Sunday 15th March Ely Cathedral. Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.00pm; Sunday 12.00pm to 3.45pm. A fabulous collection of costumes, jewels, props, behind the scenes footage and memorabilia from some of the major Hollywood movies filmed at the cathedral. Visit elycathedral.org or call the box office on 01353 660349. WHITTLESEY CONSERVATIVES RACE NIGHT Friday 13th March St. Andrew’s Parish Hall, Whittlesey. Doors open 7pm and races start 7.30pm. Tickets £8.50 each including sausage and mash supper. Horses can be purchased for £3 each and race sponsorship is £10 per race. These can be booked and purchased prior to the evening. Tickets and further details from Julie Windle on 01733 204445. MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION Saturday 14th March Westwood Community Junior & Infant School, Maple Grove, March. 10.00am to 4.30pm. March & District


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 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

44 The Fens | March 2020

Model Railway Club present their exhibition with layouts, trade stands, demonstrations, steam traction rides and refreshments. Free parking. Adults £5.00, children £2.00, family (2 adults + 3 Children) £10.00. Visit www.mdmrc. co.uk for info. GARDEN WILDLIFE TALK Wednesday 25th March St Ives Free Church. 7.30pm. The RSPB Huntingdonshire group welcomes author and TV presenter Peter Holden MBE to talk about how wildlife can benefit from our garden activities. Refreshments, raffle and items for sale. £4 entry (free to local group members). COMPLETE MADNESS LIVE Saturday 28th March Childers Sports and Social Club, Whittlesey. Doors 8pm. The UK’s number one Madness tribute show. Tickets £15 available by calling 07526 664949. TRIBUTE NIGHTS AT THE FALCON Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st March Falcon Hotel, Whittlesey. Saturday 14th at 7.00pm, Robbie Williams, tickets £27 including two-course carvery meal. Saturday 21st at 8.00pm, Michael Buble, tickets £10. Call 07526 664949 for tickets or more information. WHITTLESEY U3A MEETING Thursday 19th March Childers, Whittlesey. 2.00pm. Main speaker from Upwood Ukuleles. Next meetings and speakers: 16th April, Bramble Lodge Alpacas; 21st May, Singchronicity and AGM. Meetings open to all retired or semi-retired people. The group also offers members a choice of over thirty interest groups with something for everyone, from creative writing and family history, to gardening and Scrabble! Contact Wendy Fletcher at wendyfletcherwriting@gmail.com for more information. 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 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 refreshments. For further info contact Kathryn Gray on 01733 351594.

AN EVENING OF MUSIC & MAGIC Friday 20th March Christian Church, Broad Street, Whittlesey. 7pm for 7.30pm start. A night of music and magic with Whittlesey Concert Band and Peterborough Society of Magicians in aid of the Mayor of Whittlesey’s Charities. Tickets £7.50 available from Sue Piergianni at Whittlesey Town Council, Peel House, 8 Queen Street, Whittlesey or call 01733 351296. KEITH HALL MEMORIAL 10K & FUN RUN Sunday 29th March Bedford Hall, Thorney. 9.30am start for 10K, 10.30am for 3K. Chip timing, flat PB course, medal for all finishers and prizes for different categories. 10K race £12 affiliated or £14 unattached, online entry only at totalracetiming.co.uk/ race/146. 3K is just £3 entry with cash only entries on the day. More info at www.thorneyrunningclub.com

LOOKING AHEAD… CELEBRATE THE FENS DAY Saturday 20th June People and organisations of the Fens are invited to ‘do their thing’ to promote the Fens. This could be anything from holding an event, camping, writing a poem, putting a photo on social media or leading/joining a tour. The ideas can be endless, but the organisers Fascinating Fens invite you to consider ideas that promote and explore the Fens through heritage, nature, creativity, wellbeing and accessibility. Please email fascinatingfens@outlook.com for more information. WHITTLESEY MUSIC ON THE SQUARE 2020 Sunday 21st June, 19th July and 9th August Arrangements have been made by Whittlesey Town Council for the 2020 Whittlesey Buttercross Music Festival. Keep the dates free in your diaries for ‘Music on the Square’ from 2.00pm. Whittlesey Rocks. Come and join the fun every Wednesday night at The Falcon Hotel, 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

You don’t still believe that? How did the world get would have been to side here? Where do we with my science teachers. come from? These Of the two they seemed are some of the basic more level-headed and questions of life. I their position more thoughtremember learning two through. Yet, that’s not very different answers to where I ended up. Why those questions at school. not? In my science classes I The first reason is the Bible was told that the universe itself. The Bible claims to be originated with a big different from every other explosion and over a book. It tells us that its words long period of time stars are God’s words. If this is and planets formed. true then the accounts Then, at some point, life of creation in the Bible began on earth as a very aren’t early man’s efforts simple organism. Through to explain our existence, Paul Kosciecha, countless mutations but rather God’s of how we Whittlesey Baptist Church over millions of years, it came about. evolved into the varied Next, the limitations of life forms we see today. science. As I think of the different Yet, when I went into my RE lessons, our theories of origins, I’ve come to realise teacher explained to us that the Bible that it is impossible to prove any of teaches that God made all things in a them scientifically. We can come up short span of time. with different explanations about our As I listened, I found myself left with a origins and some may seem more choice. Who did I believe? Did I believe plausible than others. Yet, we cannot my science teachers, or did I go with my be 100% sure unless we can go back RE teacher? and see it for ourselves. Here’s where In one sense, the logical conclusion the Bible stands apart. It claims to be

the words of God who was there when the world was made. Third, it makes sense. When I look at the world around me, I don’t see a world that could have come about by random chance and accident. Instead, it speaks of design. To me there must be an intelligence behind the complexity and beauty of the world in which we live. Then, lastly, the hope it brings. If God created the world there is a reason why we are here. There is a basis to ask questions of purpose and value. If I am just a result of the chance forces of nature then I am left stranded and wandering in the big questions of life. Whenever I tell people that I believe God created the world I do get some funny looks. Often people will respond by saying, ‘you don’t still believe that do you?’ I understand the response. I realise that I’m definitely in a minority. Yet, I do genuinely think it is the most credible answer. If you want to get in contact to talk about God or what the Bible has to say you can contact us at the church or through our website at www.whittleseybaptist.org.uk or email info@whittleseybaptist.org.uk

Coffee Connections 10:00am Second Thursday of each Month

The Fens | March 2020




show hits Peterborough this Spring

Hot off the success of their criticallyacclaimed production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, PODS return to The Cresset to perform the Broadway smash hit, Shrek the musical. “Once upon a time, there was a little Ogre named Shrek….” And so begins the tale of our unlikely hero and his loyal steed Donkey as they embark on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing, love-sick dragon. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other misfits, and you’ve got the biggest, brightest musical comedy around. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek the musical is a Tony award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs as well as the popular Shrek anthem ‘I’m A Believer’. Shrek the musical brings much-loved fairy tale characters to life in a hilarious 46 The Fens | March 2020

all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages. The cast is made up of over 30 talented local performers who rehearse each week to put on PODS’ award-winning productions. Their previous sell-out production of ‘Hairspray’ at The Cresset won the regional award for Best Musical and last year’s ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ has received a nomination for Best Musical 2019. “We’re thrilled to be nominated again and we find out the result at the awards ceremony at the beginning of March. It’s testament to the hard-work and passion that all of our members put into our shows that they’re recognised as the best in our region” said Director, Rob Bristow. PODS mark their 120th Anniversary this year and are excited to stage a celebratory concert in the Autumn. In the meantime, the company continue to work hard rehearsing

for the regional première of this SHREKtacle of a show which plays throughout May half-term.

Shrek the musical runs May 26-30 at The Cresset, 7.30pm nightly with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Special Opening Night Offer - all tickets only £15 (standard price £20 adults and £17.50 concessions) To book call 01733 265705 or visit www.cresset.co.uk

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion picture and the book by William Steig




26TH - 30TH MAY 2020




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Wine, dine & relax!

Ca su al din ing at its fin est

New for 2020

Farm to fork

3 course Farm Lunch £9.95 (Mon-Fri)

Bespoke Garden Smoker

New monthly menu

Wood and charcoal cooking

New website

Gasto Pub/bar snacks/tasting menus

New rooms and lounge area

New deli counter/online shop

New Bling Bar and real ale

Home-reared pigs

Happy hour £1.99 a pint

Veg garden and poly tunnel


Sustainable Food Producer 2014

48 The Fens | March River2020 Nene,

WINNER Pub of the Year 2015

WINNER Pub of the Year 2017


WINNER Best British Restaurant 2018

between Thorney & Whittlesey | 01733 202256 | www.doginad.co.uk

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The Fens Greater Peterborough March 2020