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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 42 | November 2019

Inside this issue



Written and directed by

Simon Egerton

Key Theatre’s traditional family panto

Book today 5 Dec 2019 - 5 Jan 2020 Search ‘Vivacity Panto’ Call 01733 207 239 2

The Fens | November 2019

ED’S letter It’s the November issue so I can finally start talking about Christmas and getting excited! With lots of weeks still ahead of us, we haven’t gone too festive in this issue but we do have a useful round-up of some fabulous Christmas fayres in and around Fenland which we hope you will enjoy reading about. November itself is an important month for Remembrance Day. This month our feature writer, Molly Day-Coombes has researched the history of this significant day and highlights why it is still a very important date in our calendars. You can find out more about her article on page 30. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks, visiting Fenland-born print artist, Sam Marshall as well as enjoying several performances at the New Theatre in Peterborough. You can find out more about both of these in this issue. You might even spot a review by my (chip-off-the-oldblock) son, Dylan... We have a fantastic competition coming up in the next issue, as well as some gift ideas and plenty of Christmas sparkle. Until then, we wish you a happy month.


THIS month 11 Your garden in November

12 At home with Sam Marshall 20 The best local festive fayres in Fenland and beyond 26 Reviewing the New Theatre in Peterborough 29 New business, Sassi Nails, opens




30 A look back at Remembrance Day and how it all began 32 History - a Peasant’s Revolt 36 Celebrating the wonderful fungi 38 Amy’s walk of the month 48 Events diary 50 WIN tickets to Vivacity’s panto: Beauty & The Beast

Inside this issue


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

Issue 42 | November 2019


PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney PROOF-READER Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell ADVERTISING SALES 07511 662566 ACCOUNTS 07511 662566 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at CONTRIBUTORS Joe Ferridge | Eamonn Dorling | John McGinn | Westfield Nurseries | Eva Jordan Robert Bull | Whittlesey Veterinary Centre Caroline Fitton | Sara Fontanella | Richard Groom | Molly Day-Coombes |Bill Watt DISTRIBUTION

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens



ISSUE 42 | NOVEMBER 2019 Hopping Hares by Sam Marshall

THE FENS is published by Barley Media. Care is taken to ensure that the content and information is correct, however we cannot take any responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by any errors. Permission must be granted to reproduce, copy or scan anything from this publication. For a copy of our contributors’ guidelines please email Barley Media accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties.

The Fens | November 2019





The Fens | November 2019

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The Fens | November 2019


Whittlesey Town Bowls Club presents a

Murder Mystery Dinner Price: £20 per person

Date: Sat 23rd Nov

Menu by M&B Caterers Ltd

(Vegetarian Option) Roast Norfolk Turkey served with Pigs in blankets along the side of Roasted Gammon with Yorkshire puddings and Roast Potatoes Or New minted potatoes. Plus a Selection of vegetables. Sweet Temptation A Combination of Raspberry pavlova nest with a mango sauce Or Toffee and caramel profiteroles Or Rich dark chocolate sponge spoon with a dash of sauce on top Or Why Not Try Them All

6:30pm: Arrival 7:00pm: Start

Watch a play performed and try to work out who the murderer is. The winning table wins 8 bottles of wine. Ticket price includes a two-course banquet style carvery served at your table. Raffle and bar also available.

Tickets are available from Parkers Newsagents or Don McCarthy: 07981 022040 Whittlesey Indoor Bowls Club, 194-198 Station Road, Whittlesey PE7 2HA S3393 OHH Festive Afternoon Tea Ad 93x135 v1.qxp_Layout 1 16/10/2019 14:3

FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA The perfect pre-Christmas treat £16.50 per person Available 1st December – 23rd December 2019

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The Fens | November 2019

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BREEZE WOMEN’S RIDES WITH RUTLAND CYCLING AT PETERBOROUGH Social, friendly and fun rides for women throughout the winter

Rutland Cycling has joined with Breeze Women’s Rides to offer likeminded women a selection of cycle rides throughout the winter at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough. From Mums and Tots rides to a Saturday morning pedal – there is a ride for everyone! All rides are led by volunteer Breeze Champions, who are qualified British Cycling Ride Leaders, who will organise everything for you, lead the group and make sure everyone stays safe. Discover new places to ride, make new friends – all you need to do is sign up! The rides are free with your own bike or from £5 to hire a bike and child seat / £10 to hire a bike and 2-child buggy or trail-a-bike. MUMS & TOTS RIDES Join Rutland Cycling & Breeze with your little ones for a fun, friendly and gentle pedal on quiet, traffic free trails around Ferry Meadows, Peterborough. Great scenery, exercise, fun for the children and chatting for the Mums! Wrap up warm and enjoy the winter sunshine on two wheels! Meet at the cycle

hire centre at Nene Outdoors, Lakeside, Ferry Meadows. Dates: Fridays monthly – for dates and to book visit www.rutandcycling. com/rides Time: 09.45 Distance: 5-7 miles Pace: Easy Advance booking essential. MIDWEEK PEDAL A leisurely ride around picturesque Ferry Meadows, along traffic-free trails. Perfect for those new (or returning) to cycling and a lovely way to meet new friends and enjoy the fresh air. Meet at the cycle hire centre at Nene Outdoors, Lakeside, Ferry Meadows. Dates: Thursdays fortnightly – for dates and to book visit www. Time: 09.45 Distance: 5-10 miles Pace: Easy Advance booking essential

Meadows. Easy pedalling, suitable for beginners with a coffee and cake stop at the end! Dates: Saturdays weekly – for dates and to book visit www.rutlandcycling. com/rides Time: 10.00 am Distance: 10-15 miles Pace: Steady Advance booking essential For more information on all Rutland Cycling’s ride and events, at Ferry Meadows, Rutland Water, Grafham Water, Pitsford Water, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Nottingham and Cambridge, visit: Visit your local bike retailer – open 7 days a week: Rutland Cycling Peterborough, Ham Lane, Orton Meadows, Peterborough PE2 5UU Tel: 01733 371 013.

WEEKEND URBAN PEDAL Scenic ride on cycle paths or quiet roads starting from Lakeside at Ferry

ST. MARY’S CHURCH CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL RETURNS This year’s St. Mary’s Church annual Christmas Tree Festival will be held on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. You can enter your Christmas Tree for free. Entries by

23 November to: Jan Sharman, 76 Station Rd, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1UE. Tel: 01733 202782 or email to: Trees are set up on Thursday 5 December

4.30- 8 pm. The Festival will then be open to the public. Entry £2.50 is per adult, children under 16 are free.

The Fens | November 2019



The Official Opening of the new Whittlesey Town Council Offices Peel House was a great success over the weekend of 28th-29th September.

On Saturday it was an informal viewing day for the public of Whittlesey with teas and coffees for those who wished to look around the Old Police Station and see the new office, council chamber and rooms to let to any business concern.

On Sunday Peel House was the scene for the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire His Honour Neil McKittrick JP, DL to cut the ribbon to declare the building officially open. Retired Bishop of Huntingdon Rt Rev. John Flack blessed the building in front 60 invited guests. Whittlesey Town Council purchased the Old Police Station in Queen Street, Whittlesey from

Cambridgeshire Police Constabulary in May 2017. One commercial office upstairs has already been let and two further offices are available for commercial business letting. It is hoped that the Whittlesey community will make full use of the new premises and that Peel House will be a great asset to future generations, right in the centre of our Town. Images courtesy of RWT Photography.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF The presentations to the Best Allotment Winner of 2019 and runners up were made prior to the Whittlesey Town Council meeting on Wednesday 9 October. Whittlesey Town Council Allotments situated in New Road are inspected regularly throughout the year by Councillors. The judging of those that have been deemed excellent throughout the year are then judged by an independent person, not connected with the Council. This year’s judge was Mrs Gill Lawrence, known to many for her sterling work

with Whittlesey in Bloom. Gill has also been connected with horticulture throughout her life. In her introduction Gill said that she was very impressed with the standard of the Allotments as a whole and that it had been a difficult job to separate the three winners. There was only a “whisker” in it. First Prize went to Stephen Rule, Runner-Up was Natalija Moore and 3rd place went to Norman Coles Congratulations to you all. Should anyone be interested in

CHEQUE PRESENTED TO LOCAL CHARITY Following on from the Letter B 10th charity Annual Nike Ride (B2B), which took place on the 13th July 2019, a cheque for the sum of £4,900 was presented to The Young Peoples Counselling Service. The presentation was made by Bruce Roan, landlord of the Letter B Pub, and Roger Boon who helped organise the ride. It was received on behalf of the YPCS by Leigh Meikle and Nicky Baker. Photo courtesy of Frederick Ayley.


The Fens | November 2019

an allotment, please contact the Town Clerk, Sue Piergianni on 01733 351296 or email clerk@ Images courtesy of RWT Photography.


We would like to thank everyone who supported the quiz night in aid of Whittlesey Christmas Lights. We raised £800 on the night which will be spent on projects in the town. In particular thanks to Gary Swan and his team for organising the quiz, Childers for allowing the use of the room, Lucy’s Flowers, Alison and her team for an excellent supper, and the kind gesture from the Letter B quiz team who were the winners of the quiz but donated the prize money to the Christmas Lights Committee.


Organisers of the Whittlesey Festival want to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Festival the best yet. Sunday 8th September saw the centre of Whittlesey come alive with music, dance, marching bands, over 120 classic vehicles, activities and rides for the children, numerous stalls and so much more. Now in its 12th year, the Festival started off with a parade before the Mayor of Whittlesey Cllr Julie Windle officially opened the event, after which thousands of visitors enjoyed a fun day out. Thanks go to the Festival Sponsors whose generosity enabled the majority of the rides to be free of charge on the day.

Many of those who gave feedback to the Committee said they would find it difficult to choose a favourite aspect as there was such a variety of things on offer. There was an astounding line-up of dance acts including the Ukrainian Cossacks ‘Orlyk’ who amazed everyone with their high kicks and energetic routines, the Rug-Cutters Lindy Hop dancers, The Solas School of Irish Dance, the Whittlesey Christian Church Dancers and Majorettes not to mention a full music line up in the marquee on the Green and in the Church. The Festival Schools Art Exhibition held at the Whittlesey Christian

Church in Broad Street was a showcase of incredible work by local schools including Park Lane, Alderman Jacobs, New Road, Coates and Sir Harry Smith Community College (SHSCC). Prizes and trophies were awarded on Festival day by the Mayor of Whittlesey. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone and we look forward to seeing you at next year's Festival on Sunday 13 September 2020. If you would like more information as to how you can get involved please contact Brian Smithyman on 01733 752093 or email

SLIMMING WORLD GOES GOLDEN! Whittlesey and Eastrea’s Slimming World groups have been celebrating a very special birthday this year! To celebrate 50 years of Slimming World, members and their consultants dressed in golden tones, 60s fancy dress and enjoyed some themed party foods. Charlene Knowles, one of the Whittlesey consultants, commented that she thought her members were “Amazing sports” for dressing up and joining in the Golden celebrations! Along with Whittlesey and Eastrea, members across the country celebrated and some won prizes of

£50 shopping vouchers just by turning up to weigh that week! Anna said: “It’s been a fun-filled week with fabulous food and party games. It’s been amazing to see members come together and celebrate this special occasion.” A very special Golden award was presented to one member of the Tuesday night group. On her Slimming World journey she has lost over HALF her body weight! (An astounding 12 stone gone!). She said without the support from Slimming World, her friends in group and her consultants, she doesn’t know where she would be or what state her physical and mental health would be in! She was gifted with a Golden 50 Award and £50 shopping vouchers by the company.

The Whittlesey branch of the Royal British Legion are delighted to announce that a new Poppy Appeal Organiser has been appointed for Whittlesey and district. Susan Taylor, who lives locally, has taken up the challenge and is looking forward to working within the community and raising money for the Poppy Appeal. Judy Darby and Ray Thrower the previous organisers, will be on hand with assistance and guidance for her, should it be required. Susan would be pleased if anyone who wants to help her during the busy Remembrance period contact her on telephone number 01733 686708 or mobile number 07504 668209. The branch would like to wish Susan good luck and every success for the future. Photo: left to right Judy Darby, Susan Taylor and Ray Thrower. The Fens | November 2019


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YOUR GARDEN IN November The garden begins to wind down in November as deciduous plants enter dormancy. Leaves are falling rapidly and wind and rain are on the increase. Whilst most of nature is hibernating in the colder months, winter is the ideal time to get new trees into the ground. Trees are best planted in the late autumn when the soil is still warm but not too dry giving roots time to acclimatise before the harsher temperatures of winter arrive. Whatever you plan to do outside in November, take time to enjoy the garden as it fades leaving structural plants and evergreens to take centre stage.

Looking good this month... Trees

3 ESSENTIAL JOBS FOR NOVEMBER PROTECT TENDER PLANTS The weather is turning so it’s time to get those plants protected – frosts can do serious damage to tender plants. Frostsensitive plants in pots should be moved to the greenhouse, conservatory or porch. Exotic plants such as palms or tree ferns should be wrapped up for the winter with frost protection material. LIFT AND STORE CORMS AND TUBERS Lift and store plants such as dahlias and tuberous bedding begonias that have been hit by bad weather. Store in a dry, frost-free dark place ideally in a layer of sawdust. Check

occasionally over winter to ensure they are dry and rot free. Remove any that look suspicious to prevent the risk of further infection. TIE IN TALL PLANTS AND SECURE STRUCTURES An important winter job is to stake tall plants, climbers and young trees to protect against strong winds. Check that existing ties are not cutting into stems of plants that have grown over the summer. Structures such as arches, pergolas and fences should also be checked and ideally treated with a preservative. If repaired now there is less potential for damage in high winds. Enjoy your garden!

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WHY SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Trees add structure to gardens and landscapes. As well as being used as a focal point for the garden they also make good hedges and screens. They come in a huge number of varieties, shapes and sizes and there is one to suit every taste and position. While most trees are grown for their foliage or flower, some are praised for their bark and branch shapes. Some trees look fantastic in spring while full of flower and others burst into vibrant colour in the autumn. HOW SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Young trees should be staked diagonally. This protects them from strong winds and ensures the roots do not get damaged. Most varieties of tree will have specific planting instructions. There is a tree that will thrive in all soil types from wet soil to poor dry land and everything in between. The best advice is to check the plant label or look it up in an online plant directory.

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The Fens | November 2019 11

At home with

Sam Marshall (and Miss Marple)


The Beatrix Potter of the Fens, Sam Marshall couldn’t be happier in the countryside, reminiscing on her time living in Fenland. We had the pleasure of her company to find out how its landscapes still influence her work

12 The Fens | November 2019

On a cool October morning we arrived at the studio of Sam Marshall. Greeted by a warm smile and the surprisingly loud barks of Miss Marple, Sam’s adorable brown mini dachshund, we found ourselves in an artist’s studio full of surprises. Like many artists we have met, Sam’s journey has been as interesting and colourful as her art. Having grown up in Lincolnshire, her father a farmer, the young budding artist wanted to escape the limited opportunities of her childhood and home town. Sam was offered a place at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London. What followed was a love-affair with her London life and work which lasted over two decades. During that time Sam worked in the film industry, as a nutritionist and completed the Drawing year at the Royal Drawing School, where she now teaches. It was here that she discovered her love of etching and print-making. “But it was turning 40 that was really life-changing for me,” Sam explained. “I’d had enough of London life, it wasn’t good for my mental or physical health anymore so I just started looking and that’s when I found this place.” This place, is a rural cottage in Northamptonshire, just a short drive from Stamford. Sam moved in and built her home studio, tweaking its design to ensure she could get the best views of the fields and woods that surround her. Returning to nature reminded Sam of the influence landscape plays in her work. “My dad was a farmer,” she added, “and I grew up with the flat landscape and great expanse of sky. I realise now that the time I spent as a child in the Fens is so important to my work. I’ve always been fascinated by sparseness and it seems to trigger the great imagination I had as a child and still do.” This love of nature and natural habitat can be seen in Sam’s striking and thought-provoking print work. Her designs are full of different landscapes, often depicting animals with real personality.

“I so often hear students telling me they don’t have a creative bone in their body, and that’s just not true. Part of what I love so much is unleashing the creativity in people who think they can’t” Sam has a wonderful balance of work and life. Her mornings, when she isn’t commuting to teach at The Royal Drawing School, is spent running in the woods with Miss Marple by her side. In fact, the dachshund is hardly ever out of her sight. Like so many great artists before Sam, this mini dachshund is a loyal companion who provides plenty of inspiration. Her latest series of work features Miss Marple and her beloved campervan. In each scene there are hidden messages and a sense of energy. “I’m fortunate in that my teaching in London pays my mortgage, so my prints only have to please me. If I put something on my website and somebody loves it, then that’s a real bonus. If I made my work commercially driven, it would completely change the experience for me.” Sam combines her atmospheric landscapes and animal portraits with a vibrant use of colour. It’s this addition which is really interesting and creates a unique print. But for this artist, drawing is still at the heart of her practice. Before any carving commenses, Sam always begins with a detailed sketch.

Sam’s talent and infectious personality have meant that she has a stream of eager students wanting to sign up to her monthly workshops. There’s a variety of workshops that Sam runs from her home studio, from beginner linocutting to more advanced lessons in adding colour to prints. “The workshops are addictive and almost meditative,” Sam told us, “and many of my students go away having made lifelong friendships. We always have fun and there’s lots of handmade cake on offer! I so often hear students telling me they don’t have a creative bone in their body, and that’s just not true. Part of what I love

so much is unleashing the creativity in people who think they can’t.” If you fancy trying out linocutting, Sam’s monthly workshops (based at her studio in Laxton) are just the thing, see below for details. You can also pick up a print (or Christmas card) at Sam’s Open Studio Weekend on Saturday 30th November/ Sunday 1st December, 10am-4pm. Joining with three other artists in the same village, the open studios is a great chance to meet the artists and discover their work. Introduction to Linocut - Saturday 18th January, Saturday 15th February, Saturday 14th March Colour Linocut Workshop - Sunday 26th January, Sunday 16th February Introduction to Drawing Workshop Saturday 22nd February Booking Making Workshop - Sunday 15th March

Full details about the worshops are on the ‘news’ page on the website. Workshops are £50 for the day (10am-4pm), all materials included. Contact Sam to book. You can buy Sam’s work via her website at You can also follow her on Instagram @Sammarshallart The Fens | November 2019 13

Alumdene Farm Potato Delivery Service Locally grown quality potatoes

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ling and Suitable for roasting, chipping, baking, boi mashing - the perfect all rounder

Evening and weekend deliveries available For quality, locally grown Fen potatoes, please call us today!

Rob:Payment 07733on198772 delivery





VIKING 14 The Fens | November 2019

CALL MATT 01733 840051 or 07939 010257 Or find us on Facebook

Santa Steam Selected dates 23rd November to 24th December ❅ Welcome from our station staff ❅ Entertainment provided on the platform ❅ Exciting visit to Santa’s grotto where each child receives a special present ❅ Join our steam hauled, decorated train for a fun-filled ride to Peterborough and return ❅ Staff serve the children with a drink and chocolates - Parents and other adults are not forgotten with a mince pie and either an alcoholic miniature, wine or a hot drink! ❅ Santa walks through the train to see the children, providing an opportunity to take photographs and to wish everyone the compliments of the season!

Available on Premier 1st Class compartments

It’s not where you go this Christmas, it’s which you choose...


Winter Light Spectacular

15th November to 4th January

Please note Santa will not be at the lights event

Arriving at Wansford, you will gather on the platform for the big reveal then once on board the heated carriages, sit back and enjoy a magical train ride, viewing the beautiful light displays between Wansford and Overton Station while a musical accompaniment adds to the spectacle. The turntable Café will be open until the train’s departure, offering a selection of hot and hearty snacks.


Buy tickets online: Charity 263617

01780 784444 The Fens | November 2019

Wansford Station, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LR


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AUCTION Sat 30th November Auction of Rustic, Vintage & Modern Items Viewing Friday 29th Nov Midday to 7pm & from 9am on morning of sale

House Clearance Specialists - Contents bought for cash - Free local collection All enquiries Tel: 07713 081526 Or email: 16 The Fens | November 2019

Dentistry with a difference Why have we received so much positive feedback since opening in 2018? Perhaps because we offer a different style of dentistry with our focus on: • Preventative and family care • Consultant expertise in Orthodontics & Oral Surgery

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18 The Fens | November 2019




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9th - 10th November (10am - 5pm) Wimpole Christmas Craft Fair Prepare for Christmas, celebrate family time and get away from it all at a Wimpole Christmas. Wimpole’s Annual Christmas Craft Fair is set in heated marquees in the grounds. The market is filled with lots of irresistible gifts from jewellery, ceramics, leather goods, textiles and food. Admission: £4 Children under 14: Free. Tickets are available on the day. n Wimpole Estate, Arrington, Royston, Cambridgeshire SG8 0BW 14th - 16th November Ely Cathedral Gift & Food Fair Now in its eighth year, this popular event is widely acknowledged as one of East Anglia’s exceptional Christmas

20 The Fens | November 2019

shopping experiences. Over 120 bespoke trade stalls are located in the Cathedral’s magnificent nave, its famous Lady Chapel and a heated marquee in the beautiful Cathedral grounds. This high profile event, inside one of Cambridgeshire’s most iconic venues, makes Ely Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair a perfect day out. The Stained Glass Museum will be open as usual during the Christmas Fair. Advance booking essential. Please call 01353 660359 for further information.

15th - 16th November Peterborough Cathedral Craft and Gift Market Timed to coincide with the city’s Christmas Lights Switch On, on Friday 15th November, this year’s Christmas market will be bigger and better than ever! Open Friday 15th November 6.30pm to 9.00pm and Saturday 16th November 9.30am to 4.30pm. A donation of £2 per adult is invited on entry and the proceeds will go towards the running of Peterborough Cathedral.

16th November to 28th December (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) Peterborough City Christmas Market The Cathedral is participating in the City’s Christmas Market this year, with traditional market stalls on Cathedral Green joining those in the city centre. There will be gift ideas, alpine chalets and Yuletide food and drink outlets, so come along and experience Christmas in a beautiful setting. 17th November (11am - 3pm) Ramsey Rural Museum Christmas Craft & Food Fair

Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts and cards, plus browse the chocolate, cakes and preserves stalls. There will also be beers, cheeses and much more to tempt you. Entry is just £1 and the tearoom will be open for refreshments. n Ramsey Rural Museum, Wood Lane, Ramsey PE26 2XD

23rd - 24th November (10am - 4pm) Harvest Barn Christmas Craft Fayre Harvest Barn is thrilled to be hosting their first ever Christmas Craft Fayre, showcasing all the amazing local talent the Fens has to offer! There’ll be carols, chestnuts and a wide array of indoor and outdoor stalls to browse through and find the perfect gift for a loved one! There will also be plenty of supplier stalls, showcasing the amazing produce Harvest Barn sell in

their farmshop. n Harvest Barn Farmshop, Whitehall Farm, Ramsey Road, Farcet PE7 3DR 1st December (10am 3pm) March Christmas Market March celebrates its 7th Annual Christmas Market! There will be over 100 stalls from which to buy that perfect present, live entertainment to enjoy and tasty festive food to savour. Visit the Town Hall and discover Winter Wonderland and even meet the big man himself on the Market Place. 6th December - 9th December Burghley Christmas Fair and Fine Food Market Food markets with a difference! Come and meet over 30 local suppliers at our biggest ever 4 day festive celebration of local produce. With handmade cheeses, artisan breads, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats.

n The Courtyard. Open 9:30am to 4pm (3pm on Sunday). Free entry. There will be a parking charge of £5 per car. 7th December (3:30pm - 7pm) Whittlesey Extravaganza This year’s Extravaganza will include plenty for the whole family. There will be a small entrance fee for Santa’s Grotto and children’s wristbands are £5 - the wristband entities children to unlimited goes on certain rides. 8th December Wisbech Christmas Fayre Visitors to the Fayre can look forward to indulging their senses in all things festive from roasted chestnuts to hot chocolate Baileys liquor, to live music. There are a wide range of stalls offering gifts and plenty of seasonal food. So why not come to the Market Place and Horsefair Shopping Centre between 10am and 3pm - you might even spot Santa and his reindeers.

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Finding inspiration

London Design Week never fails to deliver & this year was no exception. We visited Chelse Harbour to see what is new in terms of Interior Design & tried to capture a taste of emergin London Weektonever fails to deliver & this year waswooden no exception. Wesatin visited Chelsea A Design great revisit 1950’s furniture, elegantly curved frames in finished Walnut, Harbour to see what is new in terms of Interior Design & tried to capture a taste of emerging Oroko give your space a warmth without the glossy finish. The elevated seat, allowing style the l A greatairrevisit to beneath, 1950’s furniture, elegantly curved wooden frames in satin finished Walnut, Teak & to flow maximising on that feeling of space & making Oroko give your space aflooring. warmth without the glossy finish. The allowing the most of your Furniture is really theelevated balancetoseat, London Design Week never fails to deliver and this year was no exception. Wecapturing visited Chelsea Harbour see what is new the light & air to flow beneath, maximising on that feeling of space & making of working with timber metals bronzea taste being evident in terms of Interior Design & and tried to-capture of very emerging style - much the most of your flooring. Furniture is really the balance more subtlecapturing in the details. Open We found a great revisit 1950s furniture, important. Pops-shelving, of colour being are used to evident geometric oftoworking with timber & metals bronze very - much used perhaps as room dividers elegantly curved wooden frames in satin add a little fun,subtle in ochre and teal as designs as more in the details. Open to show your much loved possessions finished Walnut, Teak and Oroko give over theshelving, last few months but also soft do the rugs usedclosing perhaps asthe room dividers without out light. Marble your space a warmth without the glossy pink, olive green and muted spice. and inlays to show your much loved possessions returns as table tops but in a finish. The elevated seat, allowing the Layering rugs over hard flooring in & cabinet in furniture. without closing out the light. Marble mattleather or satin so that the subtle light and air to flow beneath, maximising polished concrete, andfinish timbers Whilst there is returns as and table & really cabinet tops but in abest. All colours are their on that feeling of space and making adds further texture allows the shown anto absence matt orthis satin finish so and that theof subtle the most of your flooring. Furniture is light to be carried in & traffic areas piping with in we haven't even started the really capturing the balance of working an acoustic warmth in seating areas. furniture, top colours are really shown to their best. All fabrics or lighting.

with timber and metals - bronze being The lighting to this &incorporates we haven'tsome even startedstitching with the very evident - much more subtle in the industrialfabrics elements, many pendants add detail or lighting. With so much- of grey being used over the past few years, this has not details. Open shelving, used perhaps as all sizes and every hue of blown to the more been abandoned incorporated subtle tones & room dividers to show your much loved glass.but The rather accessories becoming with other architectural Without so much being used overhave thenot past few years, thismoody has not textures. Theever walls however become far more & the possessions without closing the light.grey more important, just from fabrics and been abandoned but rather incorporated with other subtle tones & of lighting more Pops Marble returns as table and cabinet tops the aesthetic quality, butfar also from important. trimmings are textures. The walls however have become far more moody & the but in a matt or satin finish so the green element. very much colour are used to add a little fun,in in that the subtle colours are Incorporating blown abundance. lighting far more important. Pops of ochre & teal as over the last few months but also soft pink, olive really shown to their best. All glass, verdigris London is really theflooring International centre conc colour usedspice. tometals addLayering a little fun, in over &are muted rugs hard in polished this and we haven’t even and raw timbers - the of Interior Design, with our Autumn trade green ochre & teal as over the last few months but also soft pink, olive leather & timbers adds fairs further texture & allows the light to be car started with the fabrics or vase is elevated to be running throughout two months. The & muted spice. Layering rugs over hard flooring in polished concrete, traffic areas & an acoustic warmth in seating areas.

lighting. displayed as one piece representation from our partners from every leather & timbersasadds texture & allows thehere lighttotoexhibit be carried With so much grey being or separated threefurthercorner of the world are and in traffic areas & an acoustic warmth in seating areas.

The lighting some our industrial used over the past few individual items. incorporates promote truly multi cultural society. It is years, this has not been Velvet, chenille, linen really something elements, many pendants - of all sizesto&be celebrated. The lighting incorporates industrial abandoned but rather and silks are every hueallofused blown some glass.Simon TheBlack is an interior designer at incorporated with other with much evidence of elements, many pendants of all sizes & accessories becoming ever moreInterior Orlando Design at 2 Broad subtle tones and textures. - there are noThe everyembroidery hue of blown glass. important, not just from the aesthetic Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HA. For further The walls however have rights or wrongs - just your accessories everthe more information call 01733 200800 or visit qualitybecoming but also from green element. become far more moody personal taste. Many of important, not just from the aesthetic Incorporating blown glass, verdigris and the lighting far more the fabrics incorporate qualitymetals but also fromtimbers the green element. & raw - the vase is Incorporating blown glass, verdigris elevated to be displayed as one piece or metals & raw timbers - the vase is separated as three individual items.

elevated to be displayed as one piece or separated as chenille, three individual Velvet, linen & items.

silks are all used with much evidence of embroidery - there are no rights or wrongs - just your personal Velvet,taste. chenille, linen silks are all used with geometric much evidence of as do the Many of &the fabrics incorporate designs embroidery - there are no rights or wrongs just your personal rugs & inlays in furniture. Whilst there is taste. Many of the fabrics incorporate geometric designs as do the an absence of piping in furniture, top rugs &stitching inlays in to furniture. Whilst there is add detail to the more an absence of piping in furniture, top are very much in abundance.

architectural fabrics & trimmings stitching to add detail to the more architectural & trimmings are very muchofinInterior abundance.

with o Londonfabrics is really the International centre Design, Autumn trade fairs running throughout two months. The represe London is really the International centre of of Interior Design, from our partners from every corner the world are with hereour to exhi Autumn trade fairs running throughout two months. The representation promote our truly multi cultural society & is really something to b from our partners from every corner of the world are here to exhibit & celebrated. promote our truly multi cultural society & is really something to be celebrated.

The Fens | November 2019 23

A Q&A With Bestselling Author Darren O’Sullivan Local author and mother of two Everyone Health Delivering NHS Health Checks in your community: CHATTERIS MARCH RAMSEY WHITTLESEY, WISBECH

TEL: 0333 005 0093 Email: Evening and weekend appointments available

EVA JORDAN shares her musings Back in September I was lucky enough to do a joint ‘Ask The Author’ event at Peterborough City Library with bestselling author, Darren O’Sullivan. It was a great success, including plenty of audience participation. I was fascinated to learn about Darren’s journey to publication compared to mine, and I was surprised to hear that his love of books, unlike mine, came later in his childhood. Therefore, for those of you that missed our event but are keen to know more, read on... 1. Hi Darren, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself? Hi, I’m Darren O’Sullivan, Author of Psychological thrillers, Our Little Secret, Close Your Eyes, Closer Than You Think, and Dark Corners.

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2. How long have you been writing? Did you always want to be a writer? I have been writing for about 18 years. I started my career as an actor (although it was hardly a career) so my writing journey began with my dabbling with stage plays. However, despite writing shows, I didn’t want to be a writer, I hoped that by writing I would find a way in to be a more successful actor. Even the idea for my first book came from a play called Pact. I wrote it, had actors in to workshop it, and at the end of the first session we all knew the play was terrible. But, the characters were good, and I couldn’t shake them. It was then I contemplated writing a book, not knowing if I could. When I started, I was hooked, and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a writer. 3. And finally, what advice would you offer anyone thinking of becoming a writer? The only advice that means anything is very simple; to write, you have to write. A marathon runner cannot complete 26.2 miles, if they just decided, on the day of the race to do it. You have to run, a lot, for months and months before entering. Don’t get me wrong; I am not a marathon runner, not even close. But I do the same with words. I wasn’t a good writer when I began; in fact, I was terrible. But I did it, every day; I put down words and finished pieces that would never be read. I ran. And I’m still running now. Get enough miles under the belt, and you will finish the race. You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter EvaJordanWriter/

DO WE REALLY NEED PROBIOTICS? Probiotic is a word that seems to have effortlessly found its way into everyday vocabulary, supermarkets now stock numerous drinks, yoghurts and supplements offering a probiotic boost that will increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, the small breakfast drink Yakult is a prime example. Reports of people actively taking probiotics for the same purposes as we use them today can be found as far back as 100 years ago. Although we generally consider the word bacteria to be a bad thing the body actually has trillions of good bacteria that help with things such as digestion and the immune system, and having a healthy gut balance is said to aid with a wide variety of ailments and illnesses ranging from everything from eczema to type 2 diabetes. Generally we will maintain and top up our good bacteria with the foods we eat, fruits, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains are all great everyday examples of foods that feed the microbes in the gut. The bacteria themselves are also pretty good at maintaining their own levels and we must remember that we are talking in trillions here,

so consider what benefit adding a supplement such as Yakult (6.5 billion good bacteria per serving) actually has. If we factor in the cost and the other ingredients included to make them palatable, the negatives begin to outweigh the positives. Some recent studies have suggested that if you are already eating well then there may be some benefits to adding additional probiotics to your diet, though these benefits seem to simply correlate with those of someone who is generally eating well anyway, but there certainly doesn’t appear to be any negatives. However if your diet is generally poor, adding good bacteria to your diet can actually be a bad thing. It all comes down to the health of your gut wall, if this is compromised the bacteria can escape into your body and have a negative impact just like any other bacteria would when released into the body. We must treat dietary supplements as just that, necessary additions to an already great and consistent diet. It’s only at the point of having a healthy functioning routine that we can begin to find the need and use for any outside additions.

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

Havening Techniques Havening is a psychosensory therapy that helps to permanently treat traumas, phobias and anxiety, it also creates positive alterations to our brain and strengthens our emotional landscape, leaving us better able to deal with stressful events. It was created by Dr. Ronald Ruden, a medical doctor who specialises in neuro-science and trauma. After observing a colleague receive EFT, another psychosensory therapy, for a phobia he become intrigued by how it worked and spent 10 years alongside his brother, Steven Ruden, researching the science behind this approach, and with the results developed the powerful and effective Havening Techniques. I have witnessed first hand how effective this therapy is; the case that stands out the most for me is one of my first. I worked with a lady who had been in a serious car accident, I fully intended to use EFT, but because of her injuries tapping would have caused discomfort, so I decided to try this new therapy I had just trained in. After just a few minutes of Event Havening, Lynn went from being unable to talk about the accident without crying and shaking to being able to recall the event in detail with no emotional impact. The trauma had literally been removed from her amygdala (the part of the brain trauma is stored). Here is what Lynn had to say a few days after our session; “I cannot thank you enough for seeing me this week. I have to say WOW!!! The change that I have experienced since seeing you has been enormous. I will be recommending you to everyone!!! I really, really appreciate your help, I cannot even explain.” To find out more, visit

Susie Munns can be found at Safe Haven Therapy & Coaching Mobile: 07915 073 013 SafeHavenTherapy The Fens | November 2019 25


New Theatre Peterborough

WORDS RICHARD GROOM In today’s digital world, nothing quite matches the experience of a live theatre or musical experience, and now our region has even more to offer

The Odeon cinema had a long and glorious history on Peterborough’s Broadway. Opening in 1937, it was a luxurious place to see the latest films (along with near neighbour the ABC from 1953 to 1989). I remember queuing round the block for ‘Star Wars’ in 1977, and watching numerous James Bond films there in the 1980s. Sadly, the Odeon closed in 1991 and stood empty until local businessman Peter Boizot MBE bought it and converted the building to a theatre, reopening as the Broadway in 2001. A highlight for me was seeing country legend Glen Campbell put on a storming show in 2006. But the Broadway had its ups and downs. Following a devastating fire in 2009 it remained closed for several years. Even after opening again, more than once locals wondered 26 The Fens | November 2019

whether the building could survive as a profitable theatre. Thankfully, it hasn’t been converted to become another Wetherspoon’s. Instead, the future looks bright as new owners, Selladoor Venues, have taken on the Broadway, invested in refurbishment, and rebranded it as the New Theatre to join a growing portfolio of venues. This follows two years during which the Dawe Charitable Trust worked tirelessly to save the venue, as acknowledged by Selladoor’s Director of Venues, Stuart Shanks: “Everyone at Selladoor would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to The Dawe Charitable Trust for keeping this wonderful venue alive and for all of their support.” As well as managing theatres, Selladoor is also a production

company, putting on shows that tour the UK and further afield. This relationship will provide a steady stream of first class shows for the New Theatre, complemented by a wide variety of shows from other companies and promoters. These include Bill Kenwright, who has previously brought two successful pop-up seasons to the venue. A WEST END EXPERIENCE Selladoor’s own produced show ‘Avenue Q’ came to the New Theatre in September, a few days after the reopening. I was lucky enough to be in the audience with a few friends and we had a great time. ‘Avenue Q’ is funny, full of catchy tunes, and very adult at times! Imagine Sesame Street after the watershed and you get the picture. Set on a New York Street, its characters go through life’s ups and

Avenue Q was funny, catchy and at times moving

Image courtesy of Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

Image courtesy of Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

experience, but without West End prices, or the hassle of catching the late train back from Kings Cross. If ever anyone tells me again that there’s nothing to do in Peterborough, I’ll point then to the New Theatre – and of course the city’s Key Theatre and Cresset – as evidence to the contrary.

downs, trying to make sense of it all. The fact that most of the characters are puppets adds to the fun, but also seems to make the emotion even more human and touching. Despite being one of the first performances at the New Theatre, everything looked and sounded superb, with no teething problems to worry about. The sound and lighting crew did a superb job. The cast was also excellent, especially Cecily Redman - a bundle of energy with a wonderful voice in the lead role as Kate Monster. It really was a West End

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE A fantastic programme is scheduled for the New Theatre. A highlight is the world’s longest running theatre show ‘The Mousetrap’ from 4 to 9 November, followed by children’s favourite ‘Mr Men and Little Miss’ on 12 and 13 November. There’s a huge taste of the 80s with ‘Fame The Musical’ running from 25 to 30 November. The venue is also hosting live music. Peterborough Jazz Club presents live shows on 10 November and 1 December, there’s a night of Christmas classics with singing trio Blake on 2 December, and an afternoon Christmas cabaret on 4 December. Looking ahead to 2020, British rock and roll legend Joe Brown pays a visit on 17 January, comics Ed Byrne and Stewart Lee hit the stage on 29 January and 14 February respectively, and Irish country star Nathan Carter brings his live show to Peterborough on 7 February. These are just a few highlights from a packed programme, so please visit for the complete listing or call the box office on 01733 852 992.

Fame is coming to the New Theatre from 25 November

A FAMILY THEATRE The New Theatre is already setting its stall out as a family destination. One of its first shows was ‘Madagascar the Musical’, telling the tale of Alex the lion and his friends after leaving the comfortable surroundings of Central Park Zoo. Here’s a review from two kids who clearly had a great time!

I really enjoyed Madagascar. My favourite song was ‘I Like To Move It’. It really got the audience moving it, moving it. The popcorn was amazing. The show was amazing too. I can’t wait to see what is coming to the theatre next. Review by Dylan and Martha, age 6 and 4. The Fens | November 2019 27

DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE... Contact our Admissions Team to ďŹ nd out how we can inspire your child to discover who they are. Book a personalised tour or attend any of our upcoming open events including our

6th Form Open Evening on Thursday 7 November 1800 - 2000 Super Science Morning (for children currently in year 5) on Saturday 30 November 0930 - 1230 With dedicated transport across Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, we are closer than you think!

To ďŹ nd out more call our Admissions Team on 28 The Fens | November 01945 2019 586750 email

Sassi Nails Time spent pampering yourself is not only good for your well-being, but it’s also a great chance to escape the household chores. We popped to visit Sassi Nails, a brand new nail bar in Whittlesey...


hen Sarah Goodman discussed the idea of opening a nail bar with her regular hairdresser (and friend) of many years, Victoria of The Orangery offered her space in her own salon. It was a brilliant opportunity for partnering up the already successful hair salon, and by moving in, Sarah would be able to extend the experience from hair cuts and colours to various nail treatments and brow tints.

Sassi Nails opened in Sept

So how did Sassi Nails evolve? Previously a makeup artist with over nine years experience, Sarah has been working from home between her acting roles in Peterborough Revellers and bringing up two children. Now that her children are both of school age, it was time for Sarah to put her ambitions first. She qualified as a nail technician three years ago and since then has been kicking up a storm in the Hair and Beauty awards, winning various prizes and accolades. In particular, Sarah has a natural talent for creating outstanding designs on nails, from dancers to skulls and everything in-between.

Her warm personality and passion shine through, making Sassi Nails a winning business all-round. Whilst she is known for her elaborate designs and long nails, Sarah offers a wide and varied service. Clients can choose from a simple mini manicure, ideal for those wanting to look after their nails but don’t or can’t wear polish; all the way to full acrylic enhancements and the popular gel polishes also. Sarah is also able to design and make custom press-on nails. Open Monday to Friday, with some weekend appointments available throughout the year, Sassi Nails based at The Orangery offers a salon environment with a cosy and relaxing atmosphere. Come in for a real experience. Sassi Nails is at The Orangery at 40 Whitmore Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HE. Find out more by contacting Sarah on 07493 031221 or email Sarah is now taking appointments and card payment facilities are available. All clients get a free cuticle oil pen to take home - so why not book in for something special this month?

£5 off

This coupon will entitle you to £5 off your treatment at Sassi Nails. Simply bring this voucher to redeeem your offer. T&Cs apply. The Fens | November 2019 29


REMEMBRANCE DAY 100 years after the very first two minute silence to commemorate the end of the Great War, Molly looks at its history and discusses why it’s still as important in the 21st century WORDS Molly Day-Coombes IMAGES Chris Brudenell On Tuesday 11th November 1919 at 11 o’clock the country fell silent for two minutes to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of the Great War. Four days previously, King George V asked the public to observe the silence, with the intention that ‘“the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”’. The event was a solemn occasion, focusing on commemoration rather than triumph. The two minutes silence became the centrepiece for future Remembrance Day proceedings and remains the focal point in the twentyfirst century. The Great War ended on the 11th of November 1918 at 11 o’clock, after the loss of 750,000 UK military personnel. Celebrations marked the end of the war and this joyous atmosphere continued in the following June when the European powers signed the Treaty of Versailles which officially marked the end of the war. To commemorate this event, the first Peace Day was held on 19th July 30 The Fens | November 2019

1919. A victory parade was held in London, where around 15,000 British Empire servicemen participated, and thousands of civilians attended. The parade route directed the troops down Whitehall and past the recently unveiled Cenotaph. The Cenotaph, meaning simply ‘empty tomb’ in Greek, was designed by architect Sir Edwin Leutyene on request of Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The structure was initially made from wood and plaster and was only intended to stand for a week following the Peace Day. However, thousands of civilians wished to pay their respects, and wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph’s base. The unexpected popularity of the memorial resulted in Leutyene being commissioned to build a permanent version which was unveiled on Remembrance Day 1920. Pathé news footage of Remembrance Day 1919 shows the Cenotaph as a focal point of commemorations as thousands

of people gathered around the monument during the two minutes silence. As the memorial is dedicated to ‘The Glorious Dead’, rather than listing individual names, meaning it became a tangible place of mourning for those whose relations died without a known grave. Many people chose to gather in public places during the silence, and this communal nature of remembrance was later translated into the erection of local war memorials. Local war memorials functioned as individual and communal sites of mourning for the 100,000 soldiers who fought in WW1 who had no marked grave. Wisbech’s war memorial is central to the historic area of the town, situated on the Crescent, adjacent to the Castle, and facing the Thomas Clarkson memorial, and was unveiled on 24th July 1921. 450 names now adorn the base of the Celtic cross memorial, 281 names of missing and killed residents from the First World War, and 169 names for those lost in the Second World War.

Local war memorials functioned as individual and communal sites of mourning for the 100,000 soldiers who fought in WW1 who had no marked grave Similarly, Whittlesey’s war memorial has a central location, located on a traffic island in the intersection of the market place. The monument was unveiled on 25th February 1923 and was funded by public subscription. The memorial consists of a figure of St George standing over a slain dragon atop a plinth where 193 names are inscribed to commemorate the residents lost in WW1, and 54 more names were added after WW2. Annual ceremonies at local war memorials consisted of reading out the names of the dead, as a public acknowledgement and memorialisation of their contributions to the conflict. The epitaphs of the memorials exemplify the town’s intentions in erecting the memorials; Wisbech’s reads ‘To the undying memory of all Wisbech men who gave their lives for us in the Great War’, and Whittlesey’s simply states ‘Lest we forget’. Local war memorials remain the focal point for Remembrance Day proceedings. The poppy forms another tradition of Remembrance Day, the origins of which are in the appearance of these flowers following the destruction of Flanders in Belgium during WW1, where the churned-up mud allowed poppy seeds to rise to the surface and germinate. The use of the poppy to commemorate war dead is believed to have origins in the Napoleonic Wars, however only after WW1 did the poppy became an international symbol of remembrance.

The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, popularised the link between WW1 and poppies, ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row’, and inspired American academic Moina Michael to personally adopt the poppy in memory of the war dead. She campaigned for the poppy to be adopted as the official American symbol of remembrance and worked closely with others trying to do the same in the UK. One such person was Anna Guérin who met Field Marshal Douglas Haig, chairman of the Royal British Legion in 1921, and persuaded him to adopt the poppy as their emblem. The first annual poppy day was held on 11th November 1921 where all of the 9 million poppies made were sold and £106,000 was raised to support ex-servicemen. These men discovered that post-war Britain was not a ‘land fit for heroes’ as they received little to no support after their demobilisation. After 1921, ex-servicemen began to demonstrate against Remembrance Day proceedings and disrupted the services at the Cenotaph to highlight the extravagance of the commemorations, when ex-soldiers were homeless and unemployed. Despite the continuity in some aspects of Remembrance Day, the atmosphere of the day and its commemorations have drastically changed over the last 100 years. Remembrance Days which followed the end of WW1 were treated by the younger generation as days which should be celebrated as they marked their survival of the difficult war years. However, during the late 1920s, Remembrance Day became a more sombre event as celebrating survival was deemed inappropriate. During WW2 commemorations declined as the focus was on the current war, and it was in 1939 that the decision was made to hold the general memorial events on a proximate Sunday, as a specified ‘day of dedication’. After 1945, both World Wars were remembered on the Sunday closest to the 11th November, thereby officially replacing Remembrance Day with Remembrance Sunday. The services which were held often took place in churches, which meant they were notably separate from everyday life, unlike the two minutes silence. The

marginalisation of commemoration sparked the declining interest in remembrance services as the years passed and time created distance from the conflicts. The nation’s relationship with war changed around the middle of the century, caused by the increase in television sales from the 1950s. The increased ownership of televisions brought Remembrance Day events directly into homes, meaning that watching the services at home became a significant part of the population’s Remembrance Day traditions. The end of the twentiethcentury brought a resurgence of interest in WW1 and in turn an interest in commemorating Remembrance Day on wider scale. In 1996, after a campaign by the Royal British Legion the previous year, the two minutes silence on the 11th November was reinstated, meaning that remembrance became part of everyday life once more.


The Parade in Whittlesey will leave the Ivy Leaf at 2.00pm and march to the memorial on Queen Street for a Service of Remembrance, followed by a Church Service at St Mary’s Church. The Royal British Legion and Whittlesey Town Council welcome everyone to attend the Parade and Service. If you wish to take part in the parade please ensure you are at the Ivy Leaf for 1.15. For further information, please contact either Susan Taylor 07504 668209 or by email suebtaylor@gmail. com or the Town Clerk - Sue Piergianni on 01733 351296. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Molly Day-Coombes BA (Hons) is a History graduate from the University of Lincoln. Author of https://allthingshistory108. The Fens | November 2019 31



Peasant’s Revolt

eterborough has a direct link with this extra-ordinary (for its time), first - large scale rebellion to take place in England. A lot of you will also know it as Wat Tyler’s Rebellion. For it to be named as a “Peasants” revolt is a bit inaccurate. A wide spectrum of rural society was involved, including many local artisans and village officials and some minor, local Country Gentry. It began on the 30th May in 1381 and ended in November of the same year. Trouble spread as far north as Beverley, York and Scarborough and as far west as Bridgewater in Somerset. By November at least 1500 “rebels” had been killed and most of the Leaders had been tracked down and executed. There was no one, single cause for rebellion; as in most cases, when a populace rises up against authority; there are multiple causes. This was just after the Black Death and the subsequent socio-economic and political tensions, high taxes imposed due to the conflict with France in the Hundred Years War and instability of the local Leadership in London. The breaking point was the arrival of a Royal Official, John Bampton in Brentwood to collect unpaid poll taxes. Yes, Mrs. M. Thatcher was not the first one to impose a poll tax. His attempt s to collect these taxes ended up in violent confrontation, which spread rapidly across the south east of the country. The rebels burned court records and opened local goals. They sought a reduction of taxation, and end

32 The Fens | November 2019

to serfdom (unfree labour to the local Lord) and the removal of the King’s senior officials and law courts; who were seen as corrupt. Inspired by the sermons of a local, radical cleric, John Ball and led by Wat Tyler a contingent of rebels from Kent marched on London. Arriving at Blackheath, London, they were met by representatives of the Royal government; who unsuccessfully tried to persuade them to go home. King Richard 2nd, then 14, sought refuge in the Tower of London. At this time most of the Royal Forces were either abroad or in Northern England. On June 13th the rebels entered the city of London, and, joined by local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to Law Books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day Richard met the rebels at Mile End, which was a courageous thing to do, where he acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, other rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside. On 15th June Richard met Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield, and this is probably the part most of you know; violence broke out and a member of Richard’s party killed Wat Tyler. Richard managed to

defuse this tense situation long enough for London’s Lord Mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city and disperse the rebel forces. Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his earlier grants to the rebels. King Henry VIII did exactly the same thing when Lords in Yorkshire challenged him with regard to matters arising from the Reformation. To continue. By now the rebellion had spread into East Anglia. The University of Cambridge was attacked, and many royal officials were killed. At the same time as these events were unfolding a John Wrawe led rebel forces into Suffolk. Wrawe had considerable influence over the rebels in Eastern England and their numbers almost matched those of London. The local authorities offered very little resistance to the rebels, major nobles failed to organise defences, key fortifications fell easily to the rebels and local militias were not mobilised. On June 12th Wrawe attacked the property of Sir Richard Lyon in Overhall, advanced on Bury St. Edmunds the following day, gathering support as he went. John Cambridge, Prior of Bury St. Edmunds Priory was disliked by the local townspeople, due to his considerable wealth and Wrawe allied himself with the townspeople and stormed the abbey.

The Prior escaped, only to be found two days later and was subsequently beheaded. A small band of rebels marched north to Thetford to extort protection money from the town, another group tracked down Sir John Cavendish, the Chief Justice of the Kings Bench and Chancellor of Cambridge University. He was caught at Lakenheath and killed. A John Battisford and Thomas Sampson independently led a revolt near Ipswich on the 14th June. They took the town without any opposition and looted the properties of the archdeacon and local tax officials. Revolt began to stir in St.Albans on 13th June, when they heard of events in London. On 14th June protestors met with the Abbot, Thomas de la Mare and demanded their freedom from the Abbey. The Abbey had considerable privileges in the area. Subsequently they found that the Abbot had flown; they then broke open the Abbey Goal, destroyed fences which marked out the Abbey lands and burnt Abbey records in the town square. They then forced de la Mare to surrender the Abbey’s rights in a charter on the 16th June. The revolt against the abbey then spread out over the next few days, with abbey property and financial records being destroyed across the county. After the attack on Cambridge University, it was forced to negotiate a new charter, giving up its Royal Privileges. The revolt then spread north to Ely, where the gaol was opened, and the local Justice of the Peace executed. In Norfolk the revolt was led by

Geoffrey Litster, a weaver and Sir Roger Bacon, a local Lord who had ties to the Suffolk rebels. On June 17th these rebels gathered outside Norwich and killed Sir Robert Salle, who was in charge of the city defences. The townspeople then opened the city gates to let the rebels in. This led to the looting of buildings and the killing of Richard Eccles, a local official. William de Ufford, the Earl of Suffolk, fled his estates and travelled to London in disguise. Violence spread out across the county, as gaols were opened, Flemish immigrants killed, court records burned, and property looted and destroyed. On June 17th the rebellion spread to Peterborough, then known as Burgh St. Peter. A mob laid siege to the abbey, a symbol of wealth and authority, which was a convenient focus for their anger. It also housed local tax records; whose destruction might benefit them. The only chronicler to record what happened next was Henry Knighton, Canon of the Augustinian Priory of St Mary in the Meadows at Leicester He wrote: “ Help came in the shape of Lord Henry Despenser, Bishop of Norwich, who, through the agency of divine mercy, arrived with a strong force. Some were struck down with swords and spears near the altar and others at the church walls. Both inside and outside the building; this referring to Beckets Chapel( now Starbucks on Cathedral Square). For the Bishop gladly stretched his avenging hand over them and did not give scruple to give them final absolution for their sins, with his sword. Three to four hundred people were indiscriminately slaughtered in Cathedral Square that day – among them women and children. In London, Wat Tyler was already dead, his head stuck on a pole; the rebellion collapsing. The fighting bishop, meanwhile, continued around the region, putting down rebellion wherever he found it, in the same uncompromising fashion. He defeated a rebel force at the Battle of North Walsham on the 25th or 26th June. This being the last occurrence of any major resistance. So dear reader, although on the surface it looks as if Peterborough has been a quiet backwater, regarding major historical events; appearances can be deceptive. There are many stories left to tell, from Peterborough escaping serious effects from the Reformation to “Hereward the Wake”. Strangely enough, although I grew up on the English/Scottish Borders, on the East Coast; when we learned about the Norman Invasion of 1066, we learned about Hereward the Wake.




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This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at poisonous substances for our pets

PET POISONS With the cooler months and festivities during this time of year comes an increased risk of your pets coming into contact with substances that are toxic to them. Common poisons during this time of year are: • Acorns • Conkers • Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) • Rock Salt (used to de-ice paths and roads) • Chocolate • Mushrooms • Mothballs • Autumn Crocus • Grapes and Raisins • Compost Piles • Onions • Macadamia Nuts • Amaryllis • Chrysanthemum • Hydrangea • Oleander • Ragwort • Poinsetta • Holly • Mistletoe • Snowdrops

What to do if you think your pet’s been poisoned: 1. Stay calm and remove your pet from the source of poison. 2. Contact your Vet immediately and tell them the time, place and how the poisoning occurred. If possible bring the packaging, plant or substance along with you to your Vet. 3. Never attempt to treat your pet yourself. 3. Never attempt to make your pet vomit, unless instructed to do so by your Vet. 4. Never wait and see if they will be okay.

How you can prevent poisoning in your pet: • Keep an eye on your pets. • Keep houseplants where they cannot reach them and pick up dropped leaves/petals. • Keep poisonous substances safely away from your pets. • When treating your pets with insecticides, keep them away from other pets in your household. • Check your garden is free from and not overhung by any poisonous plants.

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Wrinkled Peach, Rhodotus Palmatus

Fabulous fungi

Where can you find a wrinkled peach and a yellow brain . . . ?

WORDS Caroline Fitton, The Wildlife Trust IMAGE Brian Eversham A foray into any wooded area to discover the world of fungi can prove an absorbing pursuit in autumn and winter. One of the most important groups of organisms on the planet, fungi are easy to overlook, given their largely hidden, unseen actions and growth. Together with bacteria, fungi are responsible for most of the recycling which returns dead material to the soil in a form in which it can be reused. Without fungi, these recycling activities would be seriously reduced - we would effectively be lost under piles many metres deep of dead plant and animal remains. So without these strange and fascinating life forms, neither we, nor the inhabitants of our native forests, would survive for long. The Wildlife Trust in Cambridgeshire looks after several ancient woodlands in the county where fungi is just waiting to be discovered. Wintry wet dank weather helps to bring on the ‘fruits’ of the fungi - the mushrooms, toadstools, brackets, puffballs and many other amazing shapes that these ‘creatures’ produce (recent genetic investigations have shown that they are nearer to animals than they are to plants), as they start to emerge from the ground, leaves or decaying wood. Dead wood is an exceptionally valuable resource, made use of by a wealth of wildlife, especially insects and fungi, and so is a key component of many woodland nature reserves.

The wonderfully named wrinkled peach, Rhodotus palmatus, is often found on fallen decaying trees and varies from delicate pinkishapricot to deep salmon in colour, with wrinkled convex caps which flatten with age. Yellow brain, Tremella mesenterica, is disc shaped and develops brain-like lobes and folds of soft shiny flesh that wobble like jelly when knocked. Its tough, gelatinous flesh, a bright golden yellow, makes it easy to spot in wet weather, growing on dead twigs and branches of broadleaved trees. Recently at Gamlingay Wood Brian Eversham, CEO of WT BCN found three rarer species: earpick fungus, Auriscalpium vulgare; rosy bonnet, Mycena (pura) rosea, and small stag’s-horn, Calocera cornea – it’s easy to see how the earpick fungus (above right) got its name. Fungi have reproductive spores which are dispersed through the air. Under the cap of a mushroom are the spore-producing gills, while a puffball is a sack of spores, just waiting to be prodded or for an animal or bird to tread on it, resulting in a puff of spores, like dust escaping from a split hoover bag. The colour of the spores can be important in identifying the species of fungus - this can be given away by ‘bracket-forming’ species

Earpick Fungus, Auriscalpium Vulgare

which grow from the side of a tree trunk, depositing a coating of spores on the bark beneath. A lovely film made at the Trust’s Overhall Grove nature reserve by PhD student Ellie Bladon clearly explains fungi’s amazing underground connections invisible to our eyes: view here watch?v=RQ5bXQDFET4


Lady’s Wood nature-reserves/ladys-wood Raveley Wood nature-reserves/raveley-wood Holme Fen, Great Fen www. great-fen West Cambs Hundreds; four more ancient woods www.wildlifebcn. org/westcambshundreds

PETERBOROUGH POP UP SHOP! The Trust’s Peterborough Pop Up Shop is opening again on Friday 15 November staying open up to Christmas eve. Run by staff and volunteers the shop will be stocked with wildlife-themed merchandise - whole ranges of wildlife related goodies from stocking fillers to classy Wrendale designed products and optics such as binoculars and monoculars. For the first time last year the Trust took over a retail unit in in Westgate Arcade – part of Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre – and will be back in the same place. 36 The Fens | November 2019

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At Queen St Church Hall, Whittlesey The Fens | November 2019 37

Walk of the month


Crunchy golden leaves underfoot, glistening dew dropped spiderwebs and our warm breaths leaving trails in the air, Autumn is most definitely here. The most colourful time of the year has arrived, and nature’s dramatic display is in full swing. With plenty of Autumn trails in the area to explore we ventured to Barnwell Country Park in Oundle to celebrate the very best of the harvest season. Barnwell holds a dear place in my heart as it is where we used to visit when I was a child, the picturesque park is very good for families thanks to its children’s play areas and sculpture trail and I have lovely memories of exploring the area and trying to find the wooden animals dotted throughout the park. Taking Twiggy, our furry friend with us to explore we attempted to dodge the endless October rain showers and headed to the park. The park is nestled in the heart of the Nene Valley and covers 37 acres of lakes, riverbanks and meadows. The park originally started life in the late 1950s as ‘Oundle Pits’ but was abandoned in the late 1960s. The sand and gravel site is located on 38 The Fens | November 2019

the flood plain of the River Nene and once left became an ideal location for fishing, dog walking and bird watching. Taken over by the

council, the area was turned into a country park and officially opened to the public in July 1971. The area has evolved over time and is now home

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to a plethora of fauna • Building & Land Appraisals and flora. • Works to Listed Buildings The park has several • Planning Permission & different walks to Building Control Approval choose from in varying • New Build, Change of Use, length, we chose the Conversion & Extensions riverside walk which is marked on the map in Architectural services catering for residential and commercial clients black and is around a CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION mile long. The park has been designed to be wonderfully accessible, with the shorter routes being formed from T: 07917 358101 fully hard surfaces and we even spotted mobility scooters E: available to use in the information centre. JC Architectural Consultant – Rose Villa, The riverside walk is wonderfully atmospheric with Main Road, Holbeach Drove, Spalding, PE12 0PS golden autumnal trees banking the lake edges, their burnt orange glow reflecting in the water. We spotted swans and ducks enjoying the seasonal feasts along the riverbanks. There are lots of hides and seating areas around the lakes so plenty of places to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. I imagine it could be very peaceful if you didn’t own a cockapoo suffering an identity crisis and trying to live her best life as a seal! Avoiding the fisherman, enjoying their early Saturday morning we Open 2019-20 specialise in training inCourses CIEH courses, safety, We We specialise in training in CIEH foodfood courses, FireFire safety, FirstFirst continued the route taking in the beauty of the changing Attend as an individual or part of a team. All courses to be held at our aidallatlevels, all levels, Health & Safety courses through IOSH, aid at andand Health & Safety courses through IOSH, training venue in Peterborough, from 9-5pm. season. Hedgerows were laden with berries and teasel NEBOSH. Prices Starting from as little as £45 / person for 1/2 NEBOSH. Prices Starting from asspecialise little as £45 / safety, person forCIEH 1/2 We specialise in training in CIEH food We courses, Fire in training First in food course seeds made tempting snacks for a flock of cheeky We can also come to your place of work and train staff onsite for ALL courses. AllSafety nationally certified. day day courses. All courses nationally certified. We specialise inHealth training incourses CIEH food courses, Fire safety, First course aid at all levels, and & aid courses at all levels, through and IOSH, Health & Safety courses we deliver, at a date and time that suits you. All courses are sparrows. Interesting fungi sprouted from the damp log aidNati atonally all Starting levels, and Health & Safety courses through NEBOSH. 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THIS MONTH’S BOOK REVIEW Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan Published by HQ Digital

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“It was the darker things in life that drew humanity in...” Closer Than You Think is the third psychological thriller written by bestselling local author, Darren O’Sullivan, and the first of his books I’ve read. Recommended by a good friend, my expectations were high. I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint. The story begins with a prologue narrated in close third person via the voice of the unknown antagonist of the story, in this case a serial killer. He explains to the reader how he believes people become who they are based on their environment and experiences, and how he also believes that the possibility of changing who we are, is, essentially impossible. However, he also believes people can evolve: “He [himself] had experienced several evolutions which had altered the direction of his thoughts and actions. But these didn’t change who he was. He would always be someone who killed.” Make no mistake; he is not a nice individual. The main protagonist of the story is a woman called Claire Moore. Narrated in first person, she is a physically and emotionally damaged character who ten years prior survived the brutal attack of a serial killer. However, although she escaped the clutches of the man the media dubbed The BlackOut Killer, Claire’s husband didn’t, which is something that has haunted her ever since. To the general public Claire represents hope and survival, but behind closed doors life is a struggle, despite the fact her attacker was actually apprehended and imprisoned. However, fast forward ten years and Claire is slowly feeling stronger again. She is tired of living in fear. So with the continued support of close friends and family, she begins to fight back the demons that have, for all intents and purposes, kept her a prisoner in her own home. Until that is, Claire hears the news about a recent murder; one where the killer has used the same modus operandi adopted by her perpetrator. But how is that possible? Is it a copycat killer? Or… is he closer than Claire thinks! Our verdict… Closer Than You Think is a taut whodunit. A domestic thriller that is both well written and easy to read. The characters are well drawn and the writing atmospheric, with just enough twists and turns to keep you turning the page. However, I can also safely say, the ending was very unexpected. 42 The Fens | November 2019



GROUNDWORKS ❏ Plant Hire ❏ Mini digger /CPCS plant operators ❏ Groundwork and New Builds ❏ Block Paving and Patios ❏ NEW mini digger & fully trained operator for day-weekly-wknd hire

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New Proposals for Doctors’ and Nurses’ Pensions According to an annual survey of doctors, the average wait for a routine GP appointment in the UK has risen above two weeks for the first time.

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I’m sure, writes Trina Nunn, that many readers of this magazine will be aware of this and will also have been surprised to learn that the doctor they’ve seen for years has suddenly retired early to pursue a career change. I am aware of one who became a wildlife photographer and another who set up a donkey sanctuary in the south west!

• • • • • • • •

An end may be in sight for early retirement, pressure of work and frustration because senior NHS doctors, nurses and GPs are being consulted on proposals to give them greater access to more flexible pensions and allow them to dedicate more time to patients. We’ve been in business across this region for over 90 years and among our portfolio of clients are many from the health sector. They are turning to us now for help and advice on what can be a tricky area. There are three key areas which require careful consideration. These are personalising pension growth level; fine-tuning and topping up; phasing pension contribution levels. The Department of Health and Social Care believes that a third of consultants and GPs may be turning down extra shifts because of how the NHS Pension Scheme interacts with the wider pension tax rules. The new proposals mean GPs and other senior clinicians have freedom to individually control how much their pension pot grows, allowing them to maximise the amount they can save without facing significant pension tax bills having breached limits on tax relief. The department wants to work with employers and staff representatives to develop a new tool to help clinicians tailor the new flexibilities to support their individual preferences. This will help them to identify the best pensions approach to maximise their clinical work without facing large tax bills.

Agriculture Construction Contractors Manufacturing Property Retail Road Haulage Technology

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Subject to the response, the government hopes to introduce the new proposals in time for the start of the new tax year in April 2020. If you need help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact the pension specialist at our Peterborough and Ramsey offices. Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | | St.November Neots | Wisbech The Fens 2019 43


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A blind man sees He sat by the side of the walking backwards and road as he always did. forwards, intent on getting Without the use of his where they’re going, eyes he couldn’t find they all came to a stop. work and he had no Bartimaeus could hear the one else to care for him. people lining along the His only hope was the road, pushing each other wooden bowl in front of for position. him and the kindness of a ‘What’s going on?’ passer-by. he shouted, pulling at His was a busy spot and the cloak of the person the sound of footsteps nearest to him. ‘Leave me combined into a constant alone,’ came the reply, beat. Sometimes people ‘I’m trying to get to see would stop and look at Jesus.’ ‘Jesus? Do you him. They laughed and mean Jesus of Nazareth?’ joked; they called him the blind man asked. Paul Kosciecha, names. Every now and ‘That’s right, now let go of Whittlesey Baptist Church then he would hear the my cloak.’ sound of coins being Bartimaeus had heard taken from a purse and dropped into people speaking about this Jesus as the bowl. they passed by him each day. He’d Today seemed to be just an ordinary heard that Jesus taught people about day for Bartimaeus. He’d found his place God and performed miracles. How outside of Jericho and had settled in many times had he heard of a healing to see what the day would bring. What that Jesus had performed? Bartimaeus happened next was beyond his wildest thought to himself, ‘maybe he could dreams. help me see?’ It all began with a change in the He sensed where the crowd was sound of the road. Rather than people gathering, turned his head in that


direction and began to shout out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ People from the crowd turned. ‘Be quiet,’ some said. Others told him to ‘stop making so much noise.’ He didn’t listen. Instead, raising his voice even louder, he cried out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ His voice penetrated through the crowd and on the other side Jesus heard him and stopped. He turned to those lining the road and said, ‘Call him.’ They turned to give Bartimaeus the news. He sprang up and felt his way through the crowd until he was standing before Jesus. ‘What do you want me to do?’ Jesus asked him. ‘Teacher, I want to see,’ came the reply. ‘Go, your faith has healed you,’ said Jesus. At that moment, something incredible happened. Bartimaeus could see. He looked down and there were his hands. He looked around at the people, there were their faces. Jesus had healed him! He left his place by the side of the road; he left his bowl and with the crowd he followed Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was no ordinary man. Why not come and hear more at our Sunday morning services this month as we look at the miracles of Jesus and their relevance to us today?


Looking at the miracles of Jesus

Sundays @ Whittlesey Baptist Church 3rd November 11am - A lame man walks - Luke 5:17-26 10th November 11am - A dead man lives - Luke 7:11-17 17th November 11am - A crowd are fed - Luke 9:10-17

The Fens | November 2019 47

WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing COUNCILLOR SURGERIES

Will be held in Peel House at 8 Queen Street from 09:30 to 10:30 on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2019. Saturday November 2nd Councillors present will be: Councillor Alex Miscandlon (District, and Town Councillor); Councillor Roy Gerstner (Town Councillor). If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know.

FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE Friday 8th November, 7:30pm

Featuring Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir and held at The Cresset, Peterborough. Tickets are £13.50 and available from the Cresset Box Office by phone on 01733 265705 or at www.peterboroughsings.

TABLE-TOP SALE Saturday 9th November, 2-4pm

Palmer Close are hosting a tabletop sale at their site on New Road, Whittlesey. Entry is free and there will be cakes, toys, bric-a-brac and clothes available. There will also be a raffle drawn at 3:30pm. All proceeds will help to find the residents’ Christmas lunch

ST JUDE’S CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Saturday 9th November 10am12.30pm

Held at Childer’s Social Club, Station Road, Whittlesey. Many stalls including cakes, jewellery, crafts and cards, tombola, bottle stall and woodcraft. Refreshments available. Raffle ticket on sale on the day .

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Saturday 16th November 10am - 2pm


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

48 The Fens | November 2019

Raising money for Whittlesey Disabled over 60s Club. Come along and find great Christmas gifts, homemade stalls and plenty of refreshments. Held at Ivy Leaf Club, Station Road, Whittlesey

MEMORIAL CONCERT Sunday 17th November, 3pm

A memorial concert is being held for Edward Storey, the popular local poet. The concert will be held in The Peterborough School, Thorpe Road. Call 01733 343357 to book a seat.


The Race Night will be held at St. Andrew’s Hall, Parkinson Lane, Whittlesey. Tickets are £8.50 each which includes a Sausage and Mash Supper. Doors open at 7pm and Races start at 7.30pm. Horses can 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 of the event are available from Julie Windle Tel. 01733 204445

HARVEST BARN CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAYRE Saturday 23rd – Sunday 24th November 10-4

Harvest Barn will be hosting their first Craft Fayre, showcasing the wonderful talent from across Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. There will be plenty of indoor and outdoor stalls to browse as well as the launch of our new festive food and drink and of course carol singers! Entry is free. For information on stalls email Ashley at

EXTRAVAGANZA Friday 6th December 3.15pm-5.30pm BREAKFAST BUFFET WITH SANTA 6th/7th/8th December

Santa is coming to Harvest Barn and would like to join you for breakfast! Spend the morning in our brand new cabin with Santa and enjoy a delicious hot and cold buffet breakfast – everything will be available from sausages, bacon and eggs to croissants and toast! Tickets are £8.99 per child, which includes a craft table, buffet breakfast and gift from Santa. Grown ups are free to sit with their children or you can pay £6.99 to get in on the buffet breakfast action! To book your tickets email Ashley at, drop us a Facebook message or pop in store!

CRIMBLE AT THE CRUMB Friday 6th - Sunday 8th December

Don’t miss the proudly independent Crumb Studio’s glittering Christmas pop-up. Once more offering modern rarities, ceramics, sculpture, prints, jewellery and more. The Crumb Studio is at 60 Cross Drove, Coates, Whittlesey PE7 2HJ. Fri: 6pm-9pm; Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 10am-4pm



The popular City of Peterborough Concert Band are performing an afternoon concert of festive music to celebrate the Christmas season. Please come and join us at St Andrews Church, Ledbury Road, Netherton, Peterborough, PE3 9RF. Tickets are £6, free for accompanied under 16s, and available from Hilary Lewis 01733 265877 or

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.

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

CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING WORKSHOP Tuesday 10th December 7pm-9pm £45 per person. Make your own real Christmas Wreaths at Harvest Barn. Tickets available on

FUNDRAISING SOCIAL NIGHT Saturday 14th December, 7:30pm - 11:45pm

Fundraising event for Defibrillators For All at The Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey. Entertainment by Apache Duo. Tickets are £8.50 and can be purchased from Jackie by ringing 01733 205498

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Open afternoon…. Come and have a look at our nursery!


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: November 21st: Remembrance and WW1 with Gordon Thorpe December 19th: Christmas Party and Abba Tribute Band In addition to the main speaker, our November meeting will offer the following: Songs from the Trenches by the Whittlesey Warblers; A table of memorabilia brought in by members; A poppy from the Tower Of London display; A silhouette of a TOMMY that was released to commemorate 100 years of the end of the war; W.W.1 pictures and books; The local history group will bring some written work about local W.W.1 soldiers; The Creative Writing Group will have books for sale and examples of their work. Jigsaw and book exchange, and Raffle. We also have a notice board where members can advertise items for sale to other members. Please feel free to join us for the afternoon or contact Wendy Fletcher, Publicity Officer, at wendyfletcherwriting@


Wednesday 6th November 2019, 2pm-3pm For more information please email or contact 01733 203433


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Sincere thanks for your continued support. Applications for membership welcome. Please book early for New Years Eve - Tickets available from early Nov - Tickets £5 Members / £10 Guests includes buffet - Music Duncan “Big D”. Membership renewals due from 1st January 2020. £23.00 per person

November Events Saturday Music 8.45pm - 11.45pm • • • • •

Sat Sat Sat Sat Sat

2nd - Steve Jay 9th - Steve Carmel 16th - Reuben James 23rd - “Waddo” 30th - Mike Shelby

• Sunday 17th - Monthly lunch 1.30pm (Bar open 12 - 5.30pm) • Friday Night music - 8.30 11.30pm “In The Mood” Tickets Members £8/Guests £10 (Contact Joe Duffy/bar at the club

FRIDAY LUNCH Hot food served Fridays 12-2pm


Parties ~ Weddings Conferences ~ Funerals Birthdays ~ Christenings The Fens | November 2019 49

LAUGHS AND SONGS AT BEAUTY & THE BEAST Vivacity’s annual pantomime at the Key Theatre is the longest running pantomime in the city and has earned a reputation for being the go-to place for the best authentic traditional family panto and music experience at Christmas. This year, the story is Beauty & the Beast and, as with the last 4 years, the show is directed by Simon Egerton, who has also created a brand new script along with original and parody songs that will instantly have you singing along. Beauty & the Beast is a classic french fairy tale made popular by Disney, which recently returned to big screens with Harry Potter’s Emma Watson in the title role. Simon Egerton’s version puts a hilarious, local twist on this traditional tale, setting the action in the provincial town of ‘Pierreborough’, (home of the ‘Macrongate Shopping Centre’) with set, costumes and actors showing off lederhosen, alpenhorns and plenty of yodelling. Against this backdrop of alpine silliness, we meet the quirky, kooky character of Belle (who doesn’t really like dressing like ‘the other girls’) and are swept up in an adventure with her to undo the curse of the wicked Wolf Queen and her Wolf Pack. Along the way, Belle teams up with friends and family rescue The Beast, (a

formerly charming ‘chevalier’) from his terrifying transformation. The panto at the Key is always unique in that all the music is performed on stage by the actors themselves - from drums to dulcimers - and this year’s cast features the return of some firm Peterborough favourites as well as some talented new faces. Returning cast members include Fran Frenech as the evil Wolf Queen, who in last year’s Peter Pan played the operatic pirate diva Dolores Smee. Rob Hazle, who will be known to Peterborough audiences as John in Peter Pan (2018), Potty the Chamberlain in Sleeping Beauty (2017) and Uncle Billy in Dick Whittington (2016) returns in the role of Chef Jean-Paul. Key Theatre stalwart Robin Johnson, who played Barnacle Bill in Peter Pan (2018), King Rat in Dick Whittington (2016) and Abanazar in Aladdin (2015) this year plays the (much friendlier) role of Belle’s father – Monsieur deDumdeDumdeDum. In the starring role of Belle, Vivacity are also delighted to welcome back Rebecca Levy who will be wowing audiences for the third year running, having previously played the title role in Peter Pan (2018) and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (2017). Rebecca is also a singer and songwriter in her own right,

having been a Featured Artist on BBC Music Introducing, whose new album ‘How To Keep Your Girlfriend 101’ is released on 21 October 2019. Every panto needs a dame and joining the cast this year is TJ Holmes as Madame Obnobs. TJ is an experienced actor-musician and musical theatre performer who is joining the company ‘hot foot’ from touring in the hilarious hit show One Man, Two Guv’nors. We are also joined by 3 teams of 10 children from Peterborough and the surrounding area who will play the Wolf Queen’s evil Wolf Pack. Writer, director and composer Simon Egerton said: “I am thrilled to be back working with the creative team at the Key Theatre again and with such a fantastic cast and crew. Our shows combine the best traditional family panto and musical experience you can find, not just in Peterborough. We aim to provide all the glitz, glamour, fun and “he’s behind you”s that you might expect but always find room to make things a little different. How have we managed that this year? Well, you’ll have to come and find out!” Beauty & the Beast runs from 5 Dec 2019 - 5 Jan 2020 and tickets start from just £10. You can book online at or call the Key Theatre box office on 01733 207239


We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Vivacity to once again be giving away a family ticket to this year’s Beauty & The Beast. All you have to do to be in with a chance is to email your contact details to marking your entry ‘Panto’ by November 10th. One winner will be chosen at random. Good luck! 50 The Fens | November 2019


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52 The Fens | November 2019

Profile for The Fens magazine

The Fens Greater Peterborough November 2019  

The Fens Greater Peterborough November 2019