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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 40 | September 2019

Step back in time at




Indoor Bowls Centre



Here’s an offer that will change your life! Drop in to the PETERBOROUGH INDOOR BOWLS CENTRE any Saturday morning between 9:30am and 9:45am and join our coaching session - we will even lend you shoes and bowls and at only £3 for 2 hours, how can you go wrong?

Make new friends, learn a new sport and really have some great fun.

We have members from 8 to 97 years old and they can all play and enjoy bowling together. We have a FREE gated car park, friendly members and staff and a very competitively priced bar.

We have 6, newly laid, bowling rinks that match any in the area.

Give us a call on 01733 566709, leave a message if necessary, or even better call our Chairman Jeff Pitt on 07976 034180 or Martin Bunning on 07879 853349. We’re always happy to talk to anyone about our fantastic club.


n n




Heated/ air conditioned indoor bowls all year round Outdoor green bowling Monday and Tuesday 10am Card making club Tuesday and Wednesday Darts teams 7.30pm new members wanted Tuesday Archery 7pm NEW MEMBERS WANTED Every second Tuesday Aircraft enthusiasts




Every 3rd Tuesday Steam train enthusiasts BOCCIA Tuesday and Saturday 10/12 Wednesday 12/2 Thursday 7/30pm 2 Pool teams new members wanted


Friday Scrabble 11am/1pm


Pigeon club Friday 6pm


Room hire, regular shows, bingo, races etc etc

Peterborough Indoor Bowls Centre, Burton Street, Peterborough, PE1 5HA


The Fens | September 2019

ED’S letter

The summer holidays - where do I begin? We’ve had sunshine, we’ve had rain, there’s been fun and laughter and memories made but why oh why do we have six weeks of them? By the end, we’re tearing out our hair to keep our children entertained while we are praying for five minutes at our desks to actually work. Am I alone in this? I suspect not. The funny part is that I know, one week into September, and I am going to so miss the sound of my children in my house. With my youngest starting school full-time from this month, I know I am going to feel very strange for the first few weeks. I will however, be very busy because at the end of September, THE FENS magazine will have a brand new baby - welcome to the family THE FENS RAMSEY. Behind the scenes we have been meeting with Ramsey Neighbourhood News Trust and we are both delighted to announce that THE FENS RAMSEY will be published in partnership with them. From October, we will produce a publication specifcally for the residents of Ramsey and combining our expertise with the Trust to continue their excellent work. This will be our third publication and I have no doubt that it will be as loved as our current two. If you would like to know more about THE FENS RAMSEY, please drop me a message or call me on 07511 662566.


THIS month 9 Whittlesey Festival is here

30 A look at how we live

11 Your garden in September

32 Richard Groom takes on an allotment

12 Visiting Peterborough’s Medieval gem 18 Ramsey’s Heritage Open weekend 26 The art of willow weaving


36 The Great Fen Spitfire 38 Amy’s walk of the month 40 New season trends 46 Peterborough and Robin Hood - local history



A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


48 Events diary 50 Recipe of the month

Issue 40 | September 2019

Step back in time at




THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney SUB EDITOR 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 DISTRIBUTION

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 40 | SEPTEMBER 2019 Corn Field by Chris Brudenell

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

The Fens | September 2019





Upcoming Events

23 R D NOV

13 T H DEC

Freddie Hall

All your favourite Jazz, Blues and Motown songs

Anthony Shiels Piano Bar Lounge Music

Peter Jay

The one and only

Pino Soccio

The Amazing Italian Singer

14 T H DEC

Call us to book your table and enjoy our talented singers performing at Vesuvio

Our full menu is available. A £10 non-refundable deposit is required at time of booking

21 S T DEC


Ramsey Heritage Open Weekend 14th & 15th September •

7 heritage sites open with exhibits/activities

Shuttle mini-bus between sites

Piano Bar Lounge Music The talented

Anthony Shiels Pino Soccio

The Amazing Italian Singer Piano Bar Lounge Music The talented

Anthony Shiels Freddie Hall Jazz Blues and Motown

Pino Soccio The Amazing Italian Singer

Whittlesey Disabled @Over 60s Club Fundraising Event

Christmas Bazaar Saturday 16th November at Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey 10am - 2pm Refreshments available

Guided Bus Tours* : ‘Ramsey’s Waterways’ (Saturday only) ‘People Power’ (Sunday only) * Bus tour tickets are available (search for Ramsey) Email: Tel: 07762 710257 Tickets may be available from the library on the day - issued on a first come basis.

Homemade Cakes Bottle Stall, Crafts, Jewellery, Tombola, Leather, Pickles, Toys Candles, Bath Bombs and lots more PLEASE COME ALONG, LOTS OF GOODIES TO PURCHASE FOR CHRISTMAS All stall spaces now filled We have a great variety of stalls booked |

Heritage Open Day Advert 2 portrait final.pdf 1


The Fens | September 2019

8/8/2019 5:39:52 PM

Promotional Feature

PROTECTION WHEN IT MATTERS MOST If you want peace of mind that you and your family would cope following a death or serious illness then now is the time to consider life and critical illness insurance. The insurance industry paid out a record £5 billion in protection claims in 2017 — that’s nearly £14 million every day providing financial help to families following an injury, illness or bereavement. Roshani Hewa, Assistant Director, Head of Health and Protection at the Association of British Insurers, said: “A serious injury or illness can be traumatic, but with insurers paying out on more than 97% of claims, consumers can rest assured that they’ll have the support they need if the worst happens.”

SUE AND MARTIN’S STORY When Sue Ansell became critically ill, it was a tough time for the whole family. Husband Martin, pensions expert at NFU Mutual, explains why having protection cover was vital. “Around 25 years ago, Sue and I were moving to another house, so we increased our mortgage to £72,000. “We were asked if we would like to protect ourselves, not just in the event of dying, but also in the event of a critical illness. We thought it unlikely that both of us would ever have a critical illness at the same time so we decided to do half, £36,000 as this would cover half of the mortgage should anything happen. “Sometime later, Sue began to feel unwell. She would lose the ability to speak or understand people — just for a minute or two. We had it investigated, and the hospital told us it was a tumour in the brain, and it would kill her unless we allowed the doctors to operate. At the time, you’re facing the uncertainty of the tumour, the operation, the children — the last thing you want, on top of all that, is to have financial worry. “Luckily, the critical illness cover did exactly what it said on the tin. It gave us a lump sum that allowed us to rely on one income rather than the two. “The pressure of the mortgage was eased and it took away such a great part of the worries we faced.

“Thankfully Sue has made a recovery. She is able to live her life and do the things that really matter, like seeing her kids grow up. “You can’t insure against emotional problems but you can insure against financial ones. Do what you can afford and review it regularly.”

YOU NEED TO KNOW Critical illness cover provides protection for illnesses and conditions specified in the policy. NFU Mutual Financial Advisers advise on AIG Life protection products.

GET IN TOUCH Speak to your local NFU Mutual Agency on 01733 203 274 and we will put you in touch with your personal Financial Adviser. NFU Mutual Financial Advisers advise on NFU Mutual products and selected products from specialist providers. When you contact us we’ll explain the advice services we offer and the charges. Financial advice is provided by NFU Mutual Select Investments Limited.

Our Agents are appointed representatives of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited (No. 111982). Registered in England. Registered Office: Tiddington Road, TheRegulation Fens | September Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7BJ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Authority. A member of the Association of British Insurers. For security and training purposes, telephone calls may be recorded and monitored.



Ramsey Road, Farcet, Peterborough, PE7 3DR Open Tues - Sun 01733 219888 Mum's & Tots Tuesdays

See our Facebook page & website for  information on upcoming events and fun days!


Everyone Health Delivering NHS Health Checks in your community: CHATTERIS MARCH RAMSEY WHITTLESEY, WISBECH

Sunday Roast Every Sunday from 12 noon

Animal Paddocks Play Area & Games Farm Walks & Events Home grown produce Locally sourced meat

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



Elgood’s Brewery Beer Festival 2019 in conjunction with SIBA East Region featuring local East Anglian Breweries


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

• Facilities & working kitchen • Showers • Spacious foyer • Meeting room with projector and free Wifi • Seating 120 at any one event

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MONDAY SLIMMING WORLD 5:30 & 7:30pm T: 07539 229365

TUESDAY EASTREA PAINTING GROUP 1:00 – 4pm T: 01733 205241 YOGA 6:30 – 8:30pm T: 07738 272474

WEDNESDAY JU-JITSU 6:30 – 8pm JUNIORS 8 – 9:30pm SENIORS T: 07980 874671

THURSDAY ADRENALINE MARTIAL ARTS 3:45 – 4:45pm SUPPAWT DOG TRAINING THURSDAY 6 – 6:45pm SLIMMING WORLD 9:30 T: 07511 915970 T: 07539 229365 TAI-CHI QUILTING 10 – 12pm 7:30 – 9pm T: 01733 840474 T: 07842 090506

More than just a village hall - the heart of the commun ity...

01733 202442 | The Eastrea Centre, 2 Roman Gardens PE7 2DF



The Fens | September 2019

• 150+ beers from mostly East Anglian breweries • Live Bands: › Thursday Night – Toadfish Bone › Friday Night - The Cherry Reds › Saturday Afternoon - The Rusty Relics › Saturday Night - Bewildered • Food, Cider, Wine, Soft Drinks All Tickets: £4.00 All Beer: £3.00 per pint Elgood’s Brewery, North Brink, Wisbech, PE13 1LW

Thursday 19th September 6 - 10.30PM Friday 20th September 5 - 10.30PM Saturday 21st September 12 - 10.30PM

Book Tickets: 01945 583160 01945 583160 |


EVERYONE HEALTH – DELIVERING NHS HEALTH CHECKS IN YOUR COMMUNITY What is an NHS Health Check? The NHS Health Check is a national programme offering a health check-up every five years to adults in England aged 40 to 74 without a pre-existing cardiovascular condition. One of the largest prevention programmes of its type in the world, the programme is designed to help prevent and detect early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower the risk. If you are in the 40-74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you should have an NHS Health Check every five years. Everyone Health delivers these important checks in local, easily accessible community clinics across Cambridgeshire, you will find us in libraries, community centres, at local events, church halls, Pop up Shops in town centres- we also deliver in workplaces. Plenty of appointments are available to suit your needs. The check takes about 20-30 minutes. You will meet with a trained professional who will check your

blood pressure and cholesterol, they will record your height, weight, age, gender and ethnicity. You’ll also be asked some simple questions about your family history and choices that may put your health at risk. Once you’ve had your NHS Health Check, your results will be discussed with you, you’ll be given personalised advice on how to maintain or improve your health, which will help you lower your risk of developing any of the conditions screened for. Andy H, who had an NHS Health Check at our Pop up Shop in Huntingdon earlier this year was informed his Cholesterol was high and would need to visit his GP for discussion and medical advice about how this could affect him. Andy also took advice away with him from the Everyone Health practitioner about changes he could implement in the meantime to improve his health & lifestyle. At the GP appointment after a further fasting blood test Andy’s results from the NHS Health Check were confirmed and it was agreed he would return after 3 months to see if the changes in lifestyle he was implementing would improve his

results enough to avoid medication. Andy returned after 3 months to find his Gp happy as he confirmed his cholesterol had reduced to a healthier level and he had lost 9.1kg, meaning he would not need medication – just to continue with what he was doing! Andy said: “Everyone Health provided a very beneficial and good service, a worthwhile visit that has turned things around for me”.

How can you get involved? You can make an appointment for your NHS Health Check by: Tel: 03330 050093 Email:

WHITTLESEY ATHLETIC FOOTBALL CLUB AWARDED FUNDING FOR NEW FLOODLIGHTS Whittlesey Athletic FC in Cambridgeshire has been awarded funding by the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). As sister organisation of the Football Foundation, the FSIF are the largest funders of nonleague football in the country. The £32,718 FSIF grant will enable Whittlesey Athletic FC to achieve promotion from the Peterborough & District Football League (Step 7) to the United Counties Football League (Step 6), ensuring the club continues to develop and offer football for the people of Whittlesey and the surrounding areas. Whittlesey Athletic FC currently has three Adult men’s teams and four junior teams ranging from Under 8s through to Under 15s. The club aspire to provide a platform for the children of Whittlesey and the surrounding areas to play football within their ‘hometown’ at a level that matches their ability throughout their football career, with a defined pathway through to adult football within their local town. David Moore, co-Chairman of Whittlesey Athletic FC, said: “As a recently formed club following the successful merger of three previous football clubs within the town of

Whittlesey, we now have a platform to grow. We have enjoyed great success over the years but have never managed to ultimately meet the grounding requirements of Step 6 football, to match our ‘on-field’ achievements. “Gary Munns (co-Chairman) and I re-joined the club at the end of the 2017 season. That season ended with the club regrettably having to withdraw from Step 6 football after a brief but reasonably successful few months, due to failing to meet the floodlight requirements. We came back with the initial goal of rebuilding the club and improving the great foundations we already have, resulting in achieving the ground grading and subsequent promotion to Step 6. The Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Premier League has ultimately led to this success. The new floodlit pitch will allow the club to develop further and we are already developing our juniors with a long-term view of having an Under 18s team playing in the midweek floodlit league. Given the challenges this age group face working and playing football we feel this is a great way to further support them. “Moving forward, we have a long-

term dream of creating a Community Hub at our Feldale site. We are keen to open the venue up to other sports operating at several different locations within the town of Whittlesey who all face challenges operating at council run facilities. We have a great base to start from and over the coming years we will be seeking further development and welcome any local organisations to come and visit the site to see what we have to offer and how as a united front we can truly create a Community Hub which everyone in the local area can enjoy, be a part of and ultimately be proud of.” Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “It is great to hear that a grant from the Premier League, through the FSIF, is going to help Whittlesey Athletic FC to install new floodlights at their Feldale site. “Through the FSIF, the Premier League is committed to improving the standard of infrastructure at all levels of the game. It is important that investment makes its way to lower league clubs, and the new floodlights at Whittlesey Athletic FC is a great example of what this funding can do.”

The Fens | September 2019



The highly acclaimed Hereward Concert Band will again be performing an evening of military and light popular music, in the Main Hall of the NealeWade Academy, March, on Saturday 7th September at 7:30pm. Conducted by Henry Clydesdale, Principal Trumpet of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps Staff Band and Ceri Griffin, Head of Music, Neale-Wade Academy, the Hereward Concert Band's annual charity concert, now in its 10th year, will be joined by local professional and amateur musicians, exforces players and Neale-Wade students and staff. Tickets available at the door from 7pm, priced at just £6 for adults and £3 for students and children under 16. Great raffle prizes and refreshments will be available during the break, along with plenty of free on-site parking. All proceeds will be split 50/50 between the two good causes.

MORT COMES TO THE KEY THEATRE TERRY PRATCHETT’S black comedy ‘MORT’ is coming to the Peterborough Key Theatre’s Studio this month. The play is centred around young Mort (short for Mortimer), who finds himself apprenticed to the Grim Reaper to learn the trade of death. Performed by the Peterborough Revellers, ‘MORT’ runs from the 19th to the 21st September at 7.45pm. Tickets are available by phoning the Key Theatre 01733 207239 or by visiting

WHITTLESEY PARKRUN CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY This month marks the first anniversary of the parkrun held in Whittlesey. Helped to be set up by Geoff Howes, the local parkrun has had as many as 173 runners take part in the weekly timed 5k, held at The Manor field on Station Road. The anniversary parkrun will be held on September 7th, and Geoff is hoping for their best attendance yet. He added, “So far we have averaged 93 runners/walkers per week along with 20-25 volunteers. Most of the participants are local although we do get visitors from all over the country.” As part of parkrun’s philosophy, local organisations have helped during a ‘takeover’ event, these include Whittlesey Warriors, Whittlesey Althletic Football team, the Peterborough Samaritans and the Girl Guides. They would be interested in hearing from more local groups which might be interested in a parkrun takeover. Whittlesey parkrun starts every Saturday at 9am at The Manor field, Whittlesey. Pre-register at parkrun. to receive official finishing times. Find out more about Whittlesey parkrun on Facebook. Make a date in your diary for September 7th. The group are planning an outdoor picnic, so bring or bake a cake and join in the celebrations! 8

The Fens | September 2019

THE WHITTLESEA SOCIETY The Whittlesea Society meets at Whittlesey Town Hall, Market Street on the second Monday of each month at 7.30pm. The group was started around 1974 and the aim of the society is to take an interest in the town and the conservation of buildings and the area in general. Members discuss any relevant planning issues and local events. During the years members have started the Whittlesey museum, and were greatly involved in the Straw Bear festival. An archaeology group enjoyed taking part in some organised ‘digs’ and now some

members have started The Mud Wall Group who have recorded the town’s important mud walls and aim to promote their importance to the town. The monthly talks are varied but generally have a local history theme. If you are interested in the town and enjoy learning about the area you would be made most welcome. Just turn up or contact Maureen Watson 01733 203767. At the September meeting on 9th September Mrs. Maureen James will give a talk on ‘A History of Fairy Belief’.

WHITTLESEY FESTIVAL: THE BIG COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN! The big countdown to Sunday 8th September, the day of the Whittlesey Festival has begun. The streets will be buzzing with excitement and music and laughter will fill the air, starting off with the Parade at 10am from the Whittlesey Christian Church in Broad Street. Don’t forget to arrive in good time so that you can line Broad Street, Market Street and the Square to wave flags and cheer as the parade goes by. The official opening will take place at the Square, by Mayor of Whittlesey Councillor Julie Windle at 10.15am. From then until 4pm there’ll be plenty to do all day with something for everyone. It promises to be a fun day out for all the family with lots of stalls, attractions, rides, dance and entertainment on the Market Square, with a variety of music including the Whittlesey Concert band, school choirs and many others in St Mary’s church and in the Marquee on the Church Yard Green with free sport taster sessions both in and outside Childers. Many of the rides and attractions are free this year and this is made possible by our sponsors Kelly Vision, Ben Burgess, Hugh Crane, DC Site Services, Falcon Hotel, East Midlands Waste Management Ltd and the

Whittlesey Town Council, to all of whom we are extremely grateful. The free Festival Programme is now available in local shops and venues with full information about the day but here’s just a taster of some of the many performers and attractions; • The Massed Pipe and Drum Band • Ukrainian Cossack Dancers ‘Orlyk’ • Solas School of Irish Dance • Rug- Cutters (Lindy-Hop) dancers • Starlight Twirlettes Majorette Troupe • Free Face Painting and Balloons (Whittlesey Christian Church Marquee Mkt. Square) • Harlequin Musical Society • Andy Harding Sports Demonstration • Over 150 Classic Vehicles

(cars, motorbikes bikes, Hot Rods) • School Art Exhibition and display and talks by Jim Cooke; international artist – (Whittlesey Christian Church – free admission all day – talks at 11.30 and 2.15) • Puppet shows (Market Square) • JeZo (Children’s entertainer) • Vintage Fire Engine • Mud Walls Group ( Behind the Black Bull – Market Street) • Climbing wall, Magic shows, Water Zorbs, Crazy Golf, Land Train, Fairground rides … and much more For further information or if you are interested in volunteering as a Steward on the day please contact Brian Smithyman on 01733 752093 or email or Jenny Parker on 01733 351005. Find us on Facebook y23jmlou The Fens | September 2019


Westfield Nurseries

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Everything you need for the perfect garden

Large selection of locally grown shrubs, bedding & basket plants. Good selection of Vegetables including Seed Potatoes, Vegetable Packs, Packet/Loose Seed. Garden chemicals Lawn Feed, Weedkiller, Pest Killers plus Gravel, Slate, Rockery Stones, Furniture, Benches, Arches



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Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN September Summer is coming to an end with the month of September generally being a cooler month than August. The days are becoming noticeably shorter, but the weather is however usually warm and calm, giving us the ideal conditions to plant trees and shrubs. It’s a great time of the year to appreciate those long lasting plants that flower into autumn and if you have a fruit or vegetable patch you’ll be busy reaping the rewards of a hopefully successful harvest. Don’t forget - if you look forward to a great spring display of colour then now is the time to buy and plant your bulbs. Whatever you’re doing in your garden this month, be sure to make the most of the remaining warmth while you can.

Looking good this month... Hebe ‘Bowles’s Variety’

3 ESSENTIAL JOBS FOR SEPTEMBER DIVIDE HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS September is a good month to lift and divide summer-flowering herbaceous perennials. Most perennials need to be divided every three to five years as the plants can become too big for the border and become congested. Dividing will invigorate the plant and help to improve flowering and overall shape for next year. Gently dig out the plant you want to divide, being careful not to damage the roots. Use a garden fork to separate the plant into two then shake of any excess soil and replant in your chosen spot a soon as possible. TAKE PERENNIAL CUTTINGS Take cuttings of tender perennials such as fuchsia, salvia, verbena, penstemon and chrysanthemum. It’s a great way to increase the number of plants you have for your summer display and there’s something really satisfying about seeing plants grow that you’ve created yourself. Find some strong growth that hasn’t flowered this year and cut a 5-10cm

stem just below a leaf joint. Strip the leaves from the lower stem and leave one or two pairs at the top. Dip the end in hormone rooting powder and plant in pots of compost mixed with grit. Leave the pots somewhere bright and warm until rooted then re-pot into larger containers. Overwinter in the greenhouse or conservatory. PLANT SPRING FLOWERING BULBS Bulbs make a fine display planted in containers or borders, especially Tulips, Snowdrops and Daffodils. They are one of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow and are great for adding colour to spring borders. Tulips come in a huge variety of colours and bloom at a time of year when there is very little colour in the garden. Snowdrops, appearing before the tulip, are one of the earliest flowering plants in the garden. When the snowdrop begins to fade the daffodil begins to appear, with its cheery shades of yellow brightening the borders.

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WHY SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? Hebe ‘Bowles’s Variety’ is an evergreen, rounded shrub with ovate, glossy green leaves that makes a very attractive plant for borders or containers. Easy to care for, this Hebe is drought tolerant and flowers prolifically in summer. HOW SHOULD YOU PLANT THEM? This variety of Hebe flowers best when planted in full sun. The addition of a good quality compost when planting is essential to prevent the roots becoming too dry. After flowering, shear back dead flower stems to keep the plant looking full.

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The Fens | September 2019 11


MEDIEVAL GEM WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Set just two miles west of Peterborough city centre stands Longthorpe Tower, a superb example of not only medieval structure but also domestic wall paintings. Protected by English Heritage, this tower is open to the public and allows a glimpse into life during the 12th century Built in around 1290-1300 by Robert Thorpe, a lawyer, landholder and official of Peterborough Abbey, Longthorpe Tower is set back from the Thorpe Road and contains a vaulted ground-floor room intended for storage, the painted room on the first floor and a further room above topped with a battlemented wallwalk. The tower joins other surviving parts of the medieval manor house: the great hall and a two-storey crosswing, both dating from around 1260. This part of the manor is now privately owned, whilst the tower is managed by Vivacity. The hall itself would have been used for dining and entertainment and the cross-wing would have contained a place to sleep and a private reception room. The tower is known today as a ‘solar tower’. These were attached to grand but otherwise unfortified houses to provide extra rooms and add a measure of security. They were also a symbol of status. The wooden stairs which are used to access the tower today, were built so that they could easily be set fire to or easily knocked down, should an invasion take part.

THE FIRST FLOOR Whilst the tower is in itself a fascinating example of medieval structure, it’s the first floor painted room which is of particular importance and 12 The Fens | September 2019

interest. The decoration, which covers almost all of the walls, was painted directly onto the dry plastered walls. The pigments would have been much brighter with some gilding, but over the centuries the colours have unsurprisingly faded. These walls, it’s thought, were painted for two reasons. The first simply to create a sumptuous and impressive interior; the second to entertain and remind visitors of Thorpe’s status and connections. The over-arching message was to remind and reassure the onlooker of man’s redemption from sin or evil and the hope of the

after-life. One of my particular favourite paintings is the ‘Wheel of the Five Senses’ which is painted just above a fireplace (thought to have been placed in the room at a later date). Whilst the smoke and fire have damaged the bottom part of the wheel, you can still quite clearly see the pairings of animals and senses. The monkey represents taste, a hawk (smell), a spider’s web (touch)|, mammal and the head of a cockerel (sight). I haven’t ever seen anything quite like it before and I really doubt I will again.

VISITING THE TOWER The Tower is open Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from April – October, 10am-5pm (last entry 4pm). General admission is £3 for adults and £2 for children, students and seniors. Families can get a discounted entry for £8 (2 adults and up to 3 children), and under 5s are free. English Heritage Members also get free entry. Admission prices vary on special event days. Guided tours of Longthorpe Tower for individuals or groups are subject to availability. To discuss booking a tour, please contact 01733 864663 or email: Longthorpe Tower is situated on Thorpe Road, Longthorpe, Peterborough, PE3 6LU.

The Fens | September 2019 13

THE SECOND FLOOR The second floor wasn’t painted but instead it shows a remarkably complete 14th century domestic interior. The deep windows reveal the depth of the walls and show a latrine and exposed roof-carpentry (although not all of the wood is original). The central moulded strut however, is original and the other timbers probably date from the 15th century. The presence of the latrine (that’s a stone medieval toilet) but lack of fireplace suggests this room was used as a bedroom. So what happened to the tower over the years? Later generations of Robert Thorpe held the tower until the death of William V, who died childless in 1391. It was inherited by John Whittlebury, formerly an MP for Rutland. In 1502 it seems to have been bought by a London merchant, William Fitzwilliam, although there is some confusion as to who then owned it for the next 450 years. Real interest in the site began in the 1940s when tenant, Hugh Horrell, discovered the paintings under layers of whitewash. Horrell reported his findings to the current owner, who sought advice of the Society of Antiquaries of London. The paintings were carefully uncovered, although the removal of the lime wash did 14 The Fens | September 2019

take much of the original surface. Whilst some damage was caused by using wax (which had to be removed in the 1980s), regular monitoring since has shown they are in remarkably stable condition. Captain Fitzwilliam gave Longthorpe Tower to the nation in 1948 and from 1984 it was under the care of English Heritage. Since 2012 it has been managed by Vivacity, who now open the tower at weekends to allow the public to view this wondrous piece of history. The tower comes alive during special weekends when medieval re-enactors bring the medieval period back to life. With much of medieval Peterborough lost during the development of the city, hidden gems like Longthorpe Tower become a remarkable and important building to protect. Hidden by trees, this 1330 tower leaves a striking impression on its visitors.


EST. 1981 EST. 1981 EST. 1981

EST. 1981

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After popular demand, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be launching a Fens version of the publication for the residents of Ramsey. From the team who launched The Fens Peterborough and The Fens Wisbech, our latest publication will feature the same high quality editorials, informative local news and plenty of local events to inspire our readers to make the most of living in our area.

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The Fens | September 2019 15

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NATIONAL HERITAGE OPEN WEEKEND September 14th & 15th By Ann Cuthbert, Promoting Ramsey

For the first time Ramsey’s heritage sites are open for a whole weekend as part of the national open heritage scheme. A community bus will act as a shuttle between the sites and a 53 -seater modern coach is the transport for guided bus tours.

PEOPLE POWER The theme this year is People Power and, apparently, tales of insurrection and riot are plentiful in Ramsey! The Rural Museum is featuring an exhibition about the Fen Tigers, the locals who worked hard to resist the draining of the Fens which threatened their livelihood. These local heroes were trying to protect their families and homes and you can find out if they succeeded. The Walled Garden is focussing on local volunteers who founded Ramsey’s heritage sites and have kept them all open to the public. None of the heritage sites have a paid employee and the fact they exist is testament to “people power” in Ramsey. The Abbey House is celebrating the charities that were founded in 1656 and are still working in the town today. And, maybe a commentary on the most significant kind of 18 The Fens | September 2019

“People Power” in the area, the Mortuary Chapels are concentrating on the “Toilers of the Fields” in tribute to the agricultural labourers from Medieval times to the present day.

STEP INSIDE THE MASONIC LODGE Another first this year for Heritage Day is that the Masonic Lodge will be open to visitors on Sunday 15th. Martin Dean Of the Masons says, “Ailwyn Lodge of Freemasons was formed in 1911 and is a member of a worldwide fraternity which encourages its members to practice every moral, social and domestic virtue in their everyday lives. The lodge rooms at Abbey Rooms, is open to visitors on Heritage Sunday and I will be there to answer any questions about the history of freemasonry in Ramsey.” JOIN A “RIOT”! On Sunday at 1-30pm a 53 seater coach is leaving the library on Ramsey’s Great Whyte and on board

there will be an unruly peasant from the 16th century. He or she will be explaining all their grievances against the local Lord, Sir Henry Cromwell. The dispute took years to settle and Sir Henry took it to the Royal Court. Will you take sides with the peasants or will you feel that Sir Henry Cromwell should be obeyed? Listen to the arguments and then decide as we arrive at the Old Nene Golf Club and to take a look at the scene of the Muchwood Riots. The Old Nene Golf and Country Club is hosting a Family Fun Day on Sunday September 15th from 10am – 3pm and it is possible that the “revolting peasant” may interrupt the music on stage to incite a riot! The coach will return to the library. WATERWAYS TOUR – BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND As well as the Muchwood Riots bus tour on Sunday, the Waterways Tour is running on Saturday. Clive Beeke’s guided tour about Ramsey’s fascinating Waterways was so popular in April that many were disappointed not to be able to join the bus. This time there are r 2 tours on Saturday 14th September at 1130am and 2-30pm from the library. The tour will take in the tunnels in Ramsey, the site of Whittlesey Mere and Ramsey Forty Foot Drain before a stop at the Rural Museum. Tickets are available via www.eventbrite. com (search “Ramsey”) or by contacting Ann Cuthbert: 07762 710257 Images: Ramsey Walled Garden; Find out about the Fen Tigers at the Rural Museum; Masonic Lodge, Ramsey

Thinking you want to sell your home?

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Local based firm, Heartland Mortgage Services, aims to provide customers with a stress free service. Whether you’re looking for help to find your new dream home or find the best mortgage available, Kerry McQuade can help 5. How they will market your home? – do they use professional photography? Rightmove Premium Displays? Will they conduct an open house event?

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6. Ensure you have a floorplan on your online advert – majority of buyers won’t click onto your property for more details if it doesn’t have a floorplan!

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a time to suitdebts you against your home. Your home may ThinkAppointments carefully beforeatsecuring other be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may For a no obligation appointment at a time and location For a no obligation appointment at a time and location to suit you, be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. to suit you, please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email: please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email: For a no obligation appointment at a time and location For a no obligation appointment at time and location to suit you, please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email:Sol8007 to suit you, please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email:

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Finding inspiration Often our best inspiration comes from our surroundings or situations in which we find comfort. Places that we walk through every day or spend our rest time, can give us great comfort and security. This is why we find that colour schemes and design inspiration that reflect, or are inspired by these places, tend to be so successful. We are all different, some of us love the hustle and bustle of the city, others the beach and many find refuge in the garden, parks and nature. The life-enhancing power of shades from nature; the soothing effects of a cloudless sky, the mood-enhancing qualities of verdant fields under a warm summer’s sun, can be utilised to create a calm relaxing space for you, your friends and your family to enjoy all year round. Add in accent tones in vibrant green, yellow or pink as is your wish to add in warmth on even the dullest of days. These accents can be utilised in accessories of flowers and cushions, or a footstool placed centrally in a living space. These tones can also be utilised in a kitchen in canisters or domestic appliances. Timber floors, natural materials for lamp bases and stone fire surrounds help to ground the scheme. The opportunities these days are endless. Where once we painted all our woodwork in white, modern

trends see us drawing in the softer tones of soft greys, greens and blues for our windows so that the window frames melt into the views beyond and the skirting boards tone in with the floors and walls. In this manner, our choice of furniture, the upholstered and polished surfaces we choose, help to reflect our lives we choose. With our children and pets, we can select finishes that are easily cleaned and maintained. If our life has less demands of the maintenance aspect, pastel shades and finishes can help provide a lighter fresher space. However you choose to live, inspiration is there all about you. You don’t have to commit to all aspects all at once, start with one thing that you

like and gently add layers until you have the space that is right for you. There is no right or wrong, it is purely a reflection of you and your life. Enjoy it, be proud of who you are and have fun!

Simon Black is an interior designer at Orlando Interior Design at 2 Broad Street, Whittlesey PE7 1HA. For further information call 01733 200800 or visit

The Fens | September 2019 23

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Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings For this month’s book review I’m reviewing the wonderfully illustrated children’s story The Hospital Hoppities, published by Eyrie Press. Therefore, I thought I’d take the opportunity to have a chat with publisher and managing director behind the local press, Jane Spencer. 1. Hi Jane, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and about Eyrie Press? Hi Eva. I’m an editor and proofreader living in March, Cambridgeshire. I home educated my four children and realised there weren’t many books that featured home educating families, at least not in a positive way, so I decided to address that and publish some! I set up Eyrie Press as a social enterprise and then broadened its horizons to publish books that take a non-tokenistic approach to featuring other communities underrepresented in fiction, or books by writers from East Anglia. We also run local writing and publishing workshops from time to time and have an annual short story competition exclusively for East Anglian writers. 2. ‘The Hospital Hoppities’ is such a lovely, beautifully illustrated book and is the perfect companion for small children that have to spend time in hospital. How and why did Eyrie Press get involved with its publication?

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Charlotte, the author, submitted it to us and it was such a lovely idea that we knew straight away we wanted to publish it. As a story which aims to make families in hospital feel ‘seen’ in children’s literature, and which empowers its main character with a helping role rather than a dependent one, it very much ticked our boxes! We put out a call on Facebook for an illustrator and were delighted to find Anjalee, who did an amazing job of bringing the story to life. We could hardly believe this was the first book she’d illustrated! 3. And finally, for all those budding writers out there, I understand you are open for submissions. What, ideally, is Eyrie Press looking for?

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Going forward, we’re focusing on well-crafted novels and novellas in the genres of contemporary, historical and speculative fiction. We’d really like submissions that are by writers from East Anglia (which we define as Cambridgeshire, Peterborough Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire), or which feature underrepresented communities. There are more details on our website www. and you can get some hints as to what I like in a submission by reading the Q&A I did over at The Book Stewards blog! You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter EvaJordanWriter/

POSITIVE CHANGE ON THE HORIZON Although there seems to be a never ending daily flow of negative news in regards to public health and our fight against the obesity crisis, it is important to find when they present themselves, the positives. Cadbury has announced that it will be reducing the calorie content of a number of its confectionary products to follow advice issued by Public Health England that states manufactured snacks and treats should contain no more than 100 calories. Although I initially read this with my usual pessimism, thinking ‘That’s not enough. What about the sugar? It’s not all about the calories!’, I remembered that I am always the first to say that small steps can lead to great strides in the world of nutrition. With one of the world’s largest manufacturers making commitments to tackle obesity, significantly obesity amongst children, these small steps could be highly significant. What I see as an even more positive move by Cadbury is their reformulating of a signature product, Dairy Milk. It

is now being made with 30% less sugar, replacing some of the removed sugar with plant fibre, a move the firm described as “the most significant innovation in the brand’s history.” Fibre is important for the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream as energy rather than being stored as fat. They are also backing the ‘two a day max’ campaign, again in line with PHE advice stating that children are snacking far too much on unhealthy products due to poor knowledge of how much is too much. All of these things are vitally important as figures last month revealed the number of young people being treated for Type 2 diabetes has risen almost 50% in the last 5 years, this is heavily due to the over consumption of sugar. Low estimates suggest 80,000 lives and £15bn in NHS costs could be saved over a single generation by reducing the amount of sugar the youth of today are consuming. It is indeed a positive that such a huge company as Cadbury is taking steps to change for a healthier future, long may it continue.

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

What is Mindfulness? Being mindful is being aware of or bringing attention to this moment in time, deliberately and without judging the experience. It is not the same as a relaxation, if you are listening to a relaxation recording you will probably lie down and usually fall asleep listening to it.  When you practice mindfulness or meditate it is best to sit or stand.  You do not want to fall asleep; it defeats the objective of being in the moment if you fall asleep. What are the Benefits? People who practice mindfulness can have increased experiences of calm and relaxation, higher levels of energy and enthusiasm for living, increased self-confidence and self-acceptance, they are less likely to experience stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction or low immune function and they have more self-compassion and compassion for others. So, what is stopping you? For most of us the excuse used is lack of time, but being mindful does not have to take long or take time out of your day, you can incorporate it into your day. I practice mindfulness on my way to collect the boys from school, I use the time to be fully present and not think about what I still have to do that day. Simply clear your mind and focus in on the sounds that come and go as you walk along, if your mind starts to wonder, gently bring it back to the present without judgment. Do not name the sounds, as this will activate the thinking part of your brain, just notice them. You’ll be amazed at how many sounds you haven’t noticed before on the same walk. Join me at Orton Hall on the 6th of October if you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and how to practice it. Visit to find out more.

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


Willow Weaving WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Weaving with organically grown willows since 1998, Sue and her husband Kirk have built up a business directly around their passion for this age-old craft. We visited the duo in King’s Cliffe to have a try at willow weaving Basket weaving itself dates back a very long time, in fact the recent archaeological investigation at Must Farm in deep Fenland, discovered bronze age artefacts including an eel trap, woven in willow. The same technique, of growing and harvesting willow, before soaking it ready to mould it around a willow structure, hasn’t changed in thousands of years. The main difference being, that whilst two hundred years ago it was a huge industry, today we have fewer master weavers. East Anglia happened to be an area where many weavers lived, and this is likely because they lived where they could grow the willow. Typically weavers would make basketry - a popular form of packaging to transport things such as fish, dairy products, brick, stone, etc, as well as eel traps. Each area had its own style of baskets and containers and a different variety of willow used. Sadly, the introduction of plastic caused a huge decline in the basket industry. The problem with this material, we are now really starting to discover and suffer from. As plastic isn’t bio-degradable, now is the right time to look to the past and revive 26 The Fens | September 2019

the older crafts which are better for wildlife and the planet. REVIVING AN ANCIENT TRADITION Sue discovered willow weaving whilst she was teaching

secondary school students. “I found willow weaving addictive,” she told us, whilst surrounded by bundles of willow at her home. “At the time I was organising different arts and crafts people to come in and teach

my students, and I realised that looked much more fun. I quit my job and spent a few years teaching school children before starting my own business.” But it wasn’t easy to learn. Master weavers are few and far between. To understand this ancient tradition, you first have to find a weaver whose work you admire, and then join a workshop to learn from them. Sue had several weavers she was fortunate enough to be mentored by. From here she took a City and Guilds qualification. Initially Sue sold her traditional and contemporary baskets to local markets. “We went without a car for three years,” she added, “so we travelled to the markets on a horse and cart along with our two (then) small children. It was great, and without the internet back then, it was a great way to advertise our small business.”

Chelsea Garden Show, Mulberry’s offices in London, and much more. There’s even a cow, sheep and pig willow structure on the St. Ives roundabout, all made by the talented Sue with willow grown by Kirk on their willow beds in King’s Cliffe. A particular highlight for Sue was when she was asked by archaeologist Julia Cox to recreate a willow fish trap uncovered at Must Farm. “It was fascinating,” she explained. “From looking at the object, I could tell that they had used willow grown specifically for weaving. The

A chance grant through the Rockingham Forest Trust, enabled Sue and Kirk to launch a website, this gave them a opportunity to reach a wider audience and larger, more modern commissions started to come in. To date, Sue has made willow structures for Burghley House, The Fens | September 2019 27

technique they used was exactly the same as what we do today.” ORGANIC GROWTH “Kirk learnt how to grow willow at Ferry Meadows,” Sue told us. “He gave up his job to work alongside me full time and is now responsible for harvesting the willow by hand.” The married couple grow seven different types of willow, all grown for specific baskets. Selling baskets is only part of their business however, Sue also runs monthly workshops for those looking to learn a new craft or just enjoy making something with their hands. From August, workshops will be held in a new premises - The Old Brewery Studios in King’s Cliffe. Here you can learn to make baskets or a garden structure. There’s the choice of one day, weekend and three day workshops. They’re suitable for all abilities, as tested on me during our visit when I, rather proudly, made my own garden structure. Sue is a superb teacher, no doubt using her years in a school to bring the best out of her students. So next time you’re looking to buy a log or laundry basket, look to buy from a local craft person like Sue. You’ll get a great feeling knowing you’re supporting a crafter as well as doing your bit to support a sustainable planet. Find out more by visiting or you can call 01780 470876. More examples of her work can be found on Facebook and Instagram. You can also commission an order direct to Sue Kirk, including a bespoke basket. Find out more by visiting the website above, where you can also find out about her workshops.

28 The Fens | September 2019


Find us on 

CONSERVATIVE CLUB t: 01733 202381

Continued thanks to all our regular supporters. New membership applications welcome. Come in and sample the athmosphere and entertainment.

September Events Saturday Music 8.45pm - 11.45pm

Smart-casual dress code. Football tops, baseball caps excluded • Sat 7th - Steve Moyse

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• Sat 14th - Dale Diamond • Sat 21st - Lennie & Emma • Sat 28th - Dave James Sunday Events • Sun 1st - Monthly Sunday Lunch 1.30pm - Bar open till 5.30pm • Sun 8th Whittlesey Festival Day “Open day” 12pm - 6pm Live Music - 2pm-5pm - Neil Timothy - 60’s 70’s and more

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HOW WE LIVE WORDS Wendy Fletcher As we begin to take climate change and pollution more seriously, I thought it would be interesting to look at the changes we could make... We can all contribute in our own way. I have been inspired by my daughters to look at the issues around plastic. Following recent media cover, highlighting the amount of plastic we throw away without a second thought, we are looking at a few adjustments which as a family, could make a difference. One daughter now has a plasticfree bathroom. She has replaced the plastic bottles with hard bars; a range including shampoo, conditioner and shaving cream. There is also an option of taking bottles to an outlet where

30 The Fens | September 2019

they can be refilled, but these seem to be a little scarce at the moment. I am sure they will become more widespread if there is enough demand. That demand, of course, has to come from us. Her toothbrush is now made of bamboo, but again life is never straightforward. Some of these claim to be biodegradable but have nylon in the bristles. Alternatively, they may be boar-bristle, which might not sit comfortably with vegans.

Has the word ‘minefield’ come to mind yet? At least the razor is less complicated: a metal handle with a replaceable metal blade. The plastic soap dish has found a home with a friend who was going to buy a new one, so it has not gone to landfill, but lives out its useful life elsewhere. In its place sits an enamel version, evocative of times when enamel was popular in its simple white and blue; not thrown away when

the colour of the decor made it unfashionable. A wooden toilet brush, with natural bristles, has proved to be quite functional beside the toilet with a wooden seat and a wooden holder for the recycled toilet paper. Toothpaste tubes and spray cans of deodorant have been replaced with screw-top glass jars, containing home-made alternatives in a choice of flavours and aromas. This daughter has not found any plastic free spaces in the bathroom which cannot be filled with a good alternative. Watch out, kitchen cupboards, she is heading for you next! A second daughter decided to look at bringing back the old fashioned methods of cleaning and stopped buying the ‘one for every job’ bottles of cleaning products. The basic ingredients are familiar and recipes which our grandmothers would have quoted without a second thought are now readily available on the internet. Bicarbonate of Soda, lemon juice, vinegar; probably there in the cupboard waiting to be brought out again. The other lovely aspect of these changes is the smell in her house: no more overtones of astringent chemicals, just the subtle hint of essential oils. Lemongrass has to be better than sink scourer; Citronella instead of fly spray; and my favourite, Lavender, which makes any room inviting and relaxing. Furniture will benefit from an

application of wood-feed and not build up a sticky deposit of spray polish. She also recalled Granny’s shining white hair; untouched except for a wooden comb, and has now acquired a very similar one. Goodbye to static and manic frizz. Daughter number three is busily crocheting small cloth squares. What could be simpler? They can be knitted if crocheting is not your favourite hobby; or hemmed pieces of left over fabric. All are machine washable and can be different colours for different jobs. They can replace dish cloths, dusters and nylon cleaning clothes. Most importantly, they can be used instead of those ‘disposable’ wipes which are now causing problems in the sewers and rivers. Did we really think we had said the last goodbye to them when we flushed the toilet? As we start to recognise how much we could be doing, it is time to spread the word. Maybe we could

do this through some of our local organisations? I was pleased to hear recently that a band of tea-ladies who serve refreshments at the Whittlesey U3A open meetings, are suggesting that they could fill members’ travel cups instead of using disposable ones. Every cup counts, so perhaps other groups can follow their example, or come up with their own schemes. Meantime, let’s all have a look around our homes. What can we reuse, recycle, upcycle, pass on to charity shops instead of to landfill? Can we share with a neighbour instead of buying two? Can we make a gift instead of buying one? And when we do buy something, can we all be aware of that other nightmare that blights our lives: Packaging. Supermarkets have been encouraging us to take our own bags by charging us if we don’t. Maybe it will come to a point where the same applies to containers and bottles, but we don’t have to wait for them. We can start now by buying only loose fruit and vegetables; taking our own tubs to the deli counter and supporting our local farm shops and farmers’ markets. We are so lucky here in the Fens, surrounded by a plethora of locally grown produce and some growers are making it easy for us by using ‘miles travelled’ signs. So, let’s all choose tasty, fresh ‘low mileage’ vegetables and carry them home in a hessian bag – preferably slung over the handlebars of our bicycle. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Wendy is a freelance writer who grew up in Whittlesey and often writes on topics of local interest. She also set up and runs the 'Whittlesey Wordsmiths', the U3A's creative writing group. The Fens | September 2019 31

FIRST TASTE OF the good life WORDS Richard Groom “I’ve got an allotment.” Not the text message I was expecting from my brother one spring morning, but there it was. He had done it. After a few months on the council waiting list, his name had come up and a plot was waiting for him. As soon as he saw the size of the plot - and the height of the weeds growing across every square inch of it - he realised that he needed help. HIS allotment became OUR allotment. As it happens, most allotments are pretty big. The standard size is 250 square metres; about the size of a 32 The Fens | September 2019

doubles tennis court. The idea is that you can grow enough to feed a family of four. That’s a lot of food. Or a lot of weeds, if you don’t keep on top of them. So there we were, two blokes with very limited gardening experience and no vegetable-growing experience at all, with a big plot of weedy land to do something with. Gradually, we are getting there. To start with, it really

was just about clearing the weeds. As we did, lovely stuff emerged. We discovered strawberries, dug up potatoes hiding underground, and found piles of lovely, rich compost. It's still early days, of course. We’re spending as much time keeping the weeds under control as anything else. Even so, we’ve created three vegetable beds and already marrows and potatoes are getting close to harvest time. Neat rows of cabbage and

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spinach have been planted. The little shed that came with the plot is being kitted out with tools. Packets of unopened seeds lie waiting for us to tear open and see what nature can do. But it’s not really about the veg or the weeds, at least not totally. Having an allotment means having time to think, to relax, to chat to your neighbours over a rickety fence. It’s about nature, fresh air, butterflies and friendship. And tea. Lots of tea. Hopefully in a few months I’ll have news and pictures to share of abundant crops and victory in the battle against weeds. In the meantime, drop by if you fancy a cuppa. If you are interested in having a go, my advice would be to wander down to your local allotments and have a chat with the folk down there. Get a sense from them of the work involved in keeping one. If that doesn’t put you off, your local council will have someone who can advise you on availability.


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PET CORNER| WHAT IS NEUTERING? Neutering applies to both males and females to describe the surgical procedure to prevent pets from reproducing. In males the procedure is called ‘castration’ and in females it is called ‘spaying’. • Male dogs can be neutered from 6 months of age. • A female dog may come into season anytime from 6 to 18 months and can be neutered before their first season, if however, they have had a season, they will need to wait 3 months after their last season before they can have the surgery. • Both male and female cats can be neutered from 4 months of age or need to weigh 1kg or more. • Both male and female rabbits can be neutered from around 4 months of age. What are the benefits of having my pet neutered? There are many pets across the UK who need a home. Neutering can help avoid the accidental matings that occur, hence not adding to the number already needing homes. Spaying can prevent or decrease the risk of: • Vaginal hyperplasia. • Mammary cancer, if neutered before

This issue, Whittlesey Veterinary Centre looks at neutering your pet

their first season the incidence of mammary tumours is reduced to less than 0.5 %. This benefit decreases with each season until after the third season where there is no reduction in risk. • Womb infection (pyometra)- Unneutered females over 10 years old have a 25% chance of developing a life threatening womb infection. • Pregnancy and birth do come with some risks and should not be taken lightly. When in heat female dogs will drip blood tinged discharge for 3 weeks or more, they will also be attractive to male dogs which can elicit unwanted attention. Some entire female dogs will have a false pregnancy after their season and although this is natural, it can cause behavioural and even medical problems. If your dog becomes pregnant you have the responsibility and costs of caring for her during pregnancy, birth and rearing her puppies, plus any potential complications that may occur. Female cats will ‘call’ (come into season) regularly, about every three weeks during spring/ summer. Entire female cats will attract entire males and can lead to unwanted spraying

and fighting. Castration can prevent or decrease the risk of: • Testicular cancer and torsion. • Diseases promoted by the hormone testosterone, including perianal tumours and perineal hernias. Castration is always advised when the testicles are retained in the abdomen because the risk of testicular tumours is greatly increased. Surgery may decrease the chance of testosterone driven behaviours, such as marking, humping but, it’s not guaranteed. With male cats it can help to reduce fighting, hence a reduction in infected wounds, abscesses and the spread of FIV and FeLV infection. It may also help reduce the roaming cats being injured or killed on the roads. There can also be reasons not to neuter your pet however, we feel the benefits of neutering outweigh the reasons not to. We are happy to discuss the benefits of neutering during a consultation and what is best for your individual pet. What about weight gain? Weight gain is often associated as a side effect of neutering.With the correct diet and appropriate exercise, weight gain should not be an issue.

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WORDS Caroline Fitton, The Wildlife Trust

Four years ago the Wildlife Trust excavated a WW2 Spitfire which had lain buried for years under layers of peat having crashed at Holme Lode, very close to the National Nature Reserve Holme Fen, now in an area of the Wildlife Trust’s Great Fen. The excavation of the Mark 1A Spitfire took place in October 2015, and honoured the life of the young pilot who died on a training mission 75 years earlier. On 22 November, 1940, Spitfire X4593, of 266 Rhodesian Squadron Royal Air Force was based at RAF Wittering; on a routine training flight with two other Spitfires, Pilot Officer Harold Edwin Penketh was seen to break formation entering a dive from which he failed to fully recover. Witnesses stated that his aircraft partially recovered at around 2,000ft but then re-entered a dive and struck the ground vertically. Pilot Officer Penketh did not attempt to use his parachute and was killed in the crash, his body was recovered and returned to his home town of Brighton at the time.

36 The Fens | September 2019

Investigations concluded that either a failure of the oxygen system or other physical failure had occurred. The dig was timely to preserve a record of this important piece of fenland heritage before the rising water table – with ongoing land restoration to wetlands – would have made this impossible. It was a highly successful and memorable time for all involved, and engaged the interest of people across the country with high levels of media attention. Kate Carver, the Wildlife Trust’s Great Fen Project Manager said: “The excavation proved fruitful, poignant and highly symbolic for our Fenland heritage. All the teams worked wonderfully well together with a strong sense of camaraderie which will stay with us for a long time - and the memory of Harold Penketh now lives on in a far more tangible way.” Stephen Macaulay, Project Director for Oxford Archaeology East said: “We hoped that as the Spitfire crashed in peat soil that the artefacts would be well-preserved but the condition of many the finds throughout the week including the pilot’s headrest, oxygen tank and pilot’s helmet were beyond our expectations. During the excavation we were truly honoured to mark Harold Penketh’s life and contribution with a Battle of Britain memorial overflight on Thursday which was a very poignant moment in the week.” A film made at the time is going to be screened on Friday 27 September at the Great Fen’s Countryside Centre at Ramsey Heights, showing the meticulous excavation process involved by the archaeology teams who worked during the week long dig. There will be a chance to ask questions and enjoy a cuppa after the viewing.

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Walk of the month

Searching the city for a forgotten history

WORDS AND IMAGES AMY CORNEY Peterborough is one of the fastest growing cities with new building developments popping up everywhere, with this is mind we decided to visit the city and find out its historic past. On a bright August day, we went for lunch and an afternoon stroll around Peterborough, keen to explore the city on foot. Parking our car in one of Queensgate’s car parks we headed through the shopping centre down to Westgate arcade ready to try out one of the newer eateries in town. ‘When Polly met Fergie’ is a stylish restaurant with a jazz and cocktail bar above it, preferring to support an independent business we enjoyed a lovely lunch – fuelling us for our walk to come. Crossing back through Queensgate we exited onto Queen Street which takes you out onto the Cathedral Square. Here stands the impressive St John The Baptist Church, a slice of 11th century history surrounded by modern restaurants and cafes. This church was originally located further east of its current location but when the centre of Peterborough was relocated, the church was moved stone by stone. Construction to rebuild the church began in 1402 and despite it nearly getting demolished following the English Civil War in 1651 38 The Fens | September 2019

the church has survived, receiving a grade 1 heritage listing in 1952. From here we turned down Cross Street which then merges onto Priestgate. This street dates back to the 12th century, created when the town plan was drawn up by the monks of Peterborough Abbey.

On this medieval street stands Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery whose origins date back to the 16th century. The museum is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the city thanks to its complex past and former use as a hospital from 1857. Despite

modifications and much rebuilding due to fire damage, the central core of the building dates from 1816 and remains one of the finest Georgian buildings in the city. It became a museum in 1931 with the art gallery opening in 1939 and today the museum and gallery are owned and run by the council.

Leaving the museum, we turned back down Priestgate, exiting onto Bridge Street. From here we had a clear view of the magnificent Peterborough Cathedral which towers high above the other buildings. We walked through the large archway which leads you through to the cathedral and its grounds. The cathedral dates back to 1118 and is over 900 years old and the impressive structure stands within its own pretty parklands and is host to lots of events throughout the year. With a contemplative garden attached, the area feels like you have stepped back in time, escaping the hustle and bustle happening just outside its gates.

Emerging back out onto the square we decided to visit another haven we had heard lots about but had never visited. Walking up Bridge Street and past Rivergate we headed over the town bridge leaving behind the centre. At the junction we turned right going along Oundle Road and on our left, we arrived at The Green Backyard. The Green Backyard is Peterborough’s community garden which was set up just over 10 years

ago in 2009 by volunteers. This site was once known as Rams Fair Meadow and after the Second World War was home to 200 allotments which have now been combined into one large area open for all members of the community to access. The Green Backyard is a tranquil zone nested in between the railway and residential and commercial buildings. Home to an array of local wildlife the site is run as a charity by a board of trustees and is a mix of fruit trees, wildflower meadows, vegetable patches and free-range chickens. The team have worked tirelessly to keep the site open and to provide a place for refuge and calm in an incredibly busy city. On site they also run Backyard Food which is a not for profit shop which sells eco friendly products, food grown on the site and plastic free refill supplies such as porridge and nuts. Despite the hustle of the city and the thundering of the occasional train whizzing by we were surprised at how charming and relaxing the space is. We spotted dragonflies buzzing around the pond and bumble bees enjoying the globe head thistles that were dotted in between the vegetables. Volunteers picked ripe tomatoes and flowers swayed in the summer breeze, in a city built of concrete and stone finding this green oasis at the end of our walk provided the perfect antidote to our urban exploration. Distance: 1mile/ 1.7KM Terrain: Pavements, grass Time: 1.5/2hrs Information: The Fens | September 2019 39

DO YOU REMEMBER, DANCING IN SEPTEMBER? This month, fashion expert Sara Fontanella reveals some top picks for the change of season I LOVE this time of year! And yes, those who know me will know it’s my birthday (not the only reason I love this month!) it’s because the change of fashion sees the introduction of a warmer deeper colour palette; mustards, deep reds and berries to name a few! But 2019 Autumn/Winter sees all our favourites and a few surprises! For example, hot pink is a must have colour for the season. Here are a few of my favourite looks heading into transitional season.


TREND ALERT SUIT IT UP Sharp shoulders, belts and strong tailoring ENGLISH TWEED The Queens tweed takes a modern twist in capes and scarves as seen in Chanel, Lanvin and Victoria Beckham




DARK ROMANCE Florals are still key, but darker more deeper tones STAND TO ATTENTION Outerwear with chunky boots, belted jackets and parkas SPOT THE ANIMAL Zebra, leopard, tiger – This trend is not going anywhere!! ROCK CHICK Unleash your inner rock chick with a nod to metallics LOVELY LACE Black and nude will see you through to the party season too, as seen through Gucci and Dolce.

Book a styling session with me, Style by Sara. Whether it’s an instant fix or a wardrobe makeover, I can help you on your way to a better version of yourself! Sara Fontanella – 07913 036896 | | FB – Style by Sara | IG – @stylebysara87 40 The Fens | September 2019






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BOOK REVIEW The Hospital Hoppities by Charlotte HartleyJones; Illustrated by Anjalee Burrows Published by Eyrie My book review this month is something a little different for me. The Hospital Hoppities is a beautifully illustrated children’s story aimed at younger children who spend extended periods of time in hospital. The idea being to make their stay a little less scary and a lot more fun. Ollie, a little boy waiting for his operation, is bored. His wise old grandmother tells him about the Hospital Hoppities: small, furry rabbits, with big eyes, shimmering fur and long floppy ears. They are, according to Ollie’s grandmother, magic rabbits that live in hospitals. “They look after the children and help the hospital be a happier place, but they don’t like to be seen”, so most of the time they make themselves invisible. They do this by thumping their back paw. However, one-day Ollie spots a Hospital Hoppity in the drawer of his hospital bedside cabinet. Somehow he has got his paw stuck. Ollie helps the Hoppity release his paw but when he taps it to make himself invisible, it doesn’t work. The Hospital Hoppity then asks Ollie for help, and between them they fly around the wards of the hospital carrying out good deeds. Charlotte Hartley-Jones, the author of this delightful story, is a trained clinical psychologist and writer who also has a son with a chronic medical condition, which, armed with her with her first-hand experience of life on a hospital ward, inspired her to write this book. She was keen to write something children could relate to, especially those that spend a lot of time in hospital, by taking some of the fear out of the experience. Therefore, although the story itself doesn’t focus on individual health conditions, the beautiful illustrations by Anjalee Burrows, a digital illustrator, do show medical equipment like heart monitors, drip stands and hospital staff wearing stethoscopes and scrubs, helping to ‘normalise’ such things. The storyline also empowers Ollie, the main character, by giving him a helping role, instead of a dependent one. Our verdict… The Hospital Hoppities is a wonderfully magical, beautifully illustrated story that is both entertaining and comforting, especially for small children that have to spend time in hospital. It would also make the perfect companion for children visiting siblings and loved ones, helping to ‘normalise’ what can sometimes be a very daunting experience. By Eva Jordan 42 The Fens | September 2019

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New Company Car? Think Electric Deciding on the purchase of a company car or cars? Now is the time to talk to your accountant because tax changes have been introduced for electric vehicles. Purchases of electric vehicles for use as company cars may be boosted by the government’s announcement that drivers using them will no longer pay Benefits-in-Kind (B-i-K) tax from 2020/21. Writes Paul Jefferson In September, last year, a’ Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure’ was introduced. As a result, the previously published B-i-K rates for 2020/21 vehicle taxes have been scrapped. The old taxation system has been replaced by two new tax tables for company car drivers. One for those driving a company car registered after April 6, 2020, and one for those driving a company car registered before April 6, 2020. For vehicles first registered from April 6, 2020, most company car tax rates will be reduced. For an electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions, drivers will be taxed at 0%, paying no B-i-K tax at all. Furthermore, the 0% rate is also extended to company car drivers in pure electric vehicles registered prior to April 6, 2020. They were already looking forward to a much-reduced rate of 2% for 2020/21. As often said about Treasury announcements ‘the devil is in the detail’ and from 2023/24, fleets will have one B-i-K tax table again as the rates are realigned. The government aims to announce appropriate percentages at least two years ahead of implementation to provide certainty for employers, employees and fleet operators. Obviously, circumstances differ but tax implications could be significant.

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If you are in doubt or need assistance with B-i-K, then please contact your local Whiting & Partners office or call Paul Jefferson on 01480 468931. Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. St.September Neots | Wisbech TheIves Fens| | 2019 43


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BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM...’S AUNT Everyone who has ever met me will confirm that I am no footballer. At school, my fellow ‘friends’ would have rather picked the gym horse to have in goal before they would pick me and with good reason as I, after all, was the person who once proudly saved a shot on goal, and then proceeded to give a goal away by stepping back over my own goal line. So imagine my horror when, more out of desperation than a want for me to be involved, I was picked to take part in a charity 5 a side football tournament. I was picked, certainly not for any football skill, but because in the company I work for, not only is the football talent rather limited (and I’d say that is a rather kind phrase) but there aren’t many people there who are able to run for more than a few seconds without the need of some Darth Vader style breathing equipment. Despite this, we cobbled a team together, and in a team that was supposed to consist solely of people who worked at our company there was me and the manager that actually worked for the company, two grandsons of the manager, two husbands of two colleagues and a lad who to this very day, I have no idea who he is, or where he came from. If i’m honest, when I agreed to do it, I thought it was a silly football thing that no one would take seriously, but my God did I misjudge that. When I turned up in my running shorts and company themed football top, I was met with teams talking tactics, inspirational talks, and very sturdy looking men playing ‘keepy-uppies’ which just in case anyone is wondering, my record, is two. And I count dropping the ball onto my foot to get it started as one. Before our first match our manager took the cigar out of his mouth long enough for our motivational talk which consisted of the words ‘just go and win’ and then we were off. As planned I was able to run around lots but the problem came when the ball was anywhere near me. I am actually embarrassingly useless with a football and more often or not, when I attempted to pass the ball, I normally passed it to the wrong person, or straight off the pitch and the closest I came to scoring was in my own goal as I booted the ball away after my only really successful tackling contribution. Joe Clarke-Ferridge is an occasional writer who’s expecting the call up from Manchester United any day now. They must need someone to clean the loos. Find me @LifeofanOrdina1

At this time of year some business owners consider how they might exit from their business. Should they simply sell to the highest bidder, leave it for the family to sort out, set themselves up to receive an ongoing income from future profits, or carry on working in it? A profitable business is seldom a guarantee for life, it might enjoy a ‘sweet spot’ for a period, then something changes, and it has to evolve just to remain solvent let alone profitable. For example, several years ago the manufacture of traditional shape Colour TVs was a profitable business, then flat screen technology emerged, initially at a very high unit cost, now you would not consider purchasing anything else – some of the old names have gone, some evolved and some successful producers are names many of us are unfamiliar with. Diversity can be an important business strategy, so can the place that you save current profits for later use. Business can be high risk, so it makes sense to invest for your retirement assets elsewhere as a haven, away from the day to day business management, you might also need to hold some assets as another legal entity so it will be safe if the business suffers a down turn. Not only can a well-structured pension arrangement diversify, provide choices in respect of timing an exit, the tax benefits can be worthwhile too. Some pension arrangements can hold commercial property – even the same premises that the business is being run from, fancy paying rent into your own pension fund, some can even borrow funds to assist I suitable purchase, however, property may not be easily sold at a given time so it is important not to have all your eggs in one basket – that word diversification again!. This sort of financial planning requires specialist legal and financial help, you will need advice, but the benefits can be life changing. • If your business is doing well: Keep it up to date and invest some of the profits wisely for later use and take professional financial advice. • If you know that your business is about to hit the sweet spot: Take marketing and financial planning advice now to protect the business from potential threats (you will be encouraged to conduct a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). • If your business is in decline: Take advice now before it becomes a liability – you might need to be open minded but seek help now. For financial planning advice, seek out an Independent Financial Adviser with a good record of developing business.

Eamonn Dorling Dip PFS, Senior Independent Financial Adviser. Brooks Wealth Management Tel: 01733 314553 Mob: 07767 795816 Email: Brooks Wealth Management is a trading style of Ampris Limited who are an appointed representative of Wealthline Limited, registered in England 08761632 (Registered office: 8a Cowgate, Peterborough) Wealthline Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 684319 The Fens | September 2019 45



Robin Hood

Is there a link between Peterborough and Britain’s most famous outlaws: Robin Hood and Little John? It’s a lovely Romantic Legend. Let me explain.

of truth hiding amongst the tales. They have stood since “Time Out Of Mind”. Well, slightly shorter; they are now reliably estimated to date back to Roman times.

Picture if you will, two small Standing Stones to the west of Peterborough, just off the old A47 near the village of Castor. They sit on the side of the slight hill overlooking Ferry Meadows. To get to them you take the left turn, off the A47, above the hill leading down into Castor, which will put you onto the access road leading down to Milton Ferry Bridge. The two stones are situated about 200 yards down on the right; access to them is via a recently constructed path leading from the road onto sloping ground which gives you the view over Ferry Meadows. Here at the end of the path is a small enclosed area in which sit the Standing Stones. As can be seen, the display area is now very sadly neglected; a fact I consider looking into. The work undertaken to move them from their original site, to where they now are, was funded by the National Lottery. They used to sit much further down the bank, quite near to the River Nene.

As in all things concerning the expansion of the Roman Empire; very shortly after arriving here, in 43AD, our Roman Guests! took steps to consolidate their position and by 44AD had constructed their large, fortified camp at Longthorpe and stationed the Ninth Legion there; some 2400 men. For those of you who might be interested in a little more detail; irrespective of where the Roman Army built their main camps, they were always constructed to the same grid plan. So Marcus Aurelias, who was stationed in Morocco one year and then moved to sunnier climes in Britannia the following, when arriving at his new posting, knew exactly where everything was situated. Here, on the banks of the river Nene, close to where Milton Ferry Bridge stands they determined a safe crossing point on the river and placed two Marking Stones, to indicate this crossing point. As time went by and the Romans carried on with their construction of Ermine Way; the military road going north, there was a requirement for a bridge to cross over the Nene. The logical place to build it was following the line of Ermine Street; this was at a point we now call Water Newton. For safety reasons they also constructed a temporary, “Flat Pack” timber fort, used for approximately three months. At the same time, a Roman town began to grow, which

There are a few legends concerning the stones, one of which involves Robin and Little John firing arrows and the stones mark the spot where the arrows fell; another variation of this, is the stones were already in place and the grooves in the stones were caused by disturbance caused by the passage of the arrows fired. As in all legends and stories, there is a grain 46 The Fens | September 2019

we all know as Drurobrivae; meaning “Fort by the Bridge”. This is the first appearance of Peterborough’s Standing Stones; unless future archaeology throws a different light on the subject. That is the wonderful thing about History, our understanding of things past is always open to change. We now fast forward to the early Middle Ages, some years after King Alfred the Great and his daughter established a unified and united England and the Church became an established and fixed point within English Life. At this time, the area which is now Greater Peterborough, was called, among other things, the Soke of Peterborough. It was a separate and individual Diocese and shared a Border with the Diocese of Ely; exactly as it does now, in 2019. The Stones then became a physical marker of that Border. So, there is a direct link in the purpose of the Stones in Roman Britain and Anglo Saxon Britain.

Why the bath? My first role as a minister confusion as he tried to was in a church in a figure out what we were small village in rural going to use it for. He Herefordshire. About five would regularly tell me years earlier the church how he was progressing building had been closed with our new bath! due to a rotten floor. Have you ever seen The small congregation anyone being baptised? It were now meeting in a can be a strange sight to portacabin. see somebody standing The portacabin was in the water and then put pretty small so we under and lifted back up. decided together to It’s not the sort of thing begin a building project. you come across every We began to gut and day. So why do we do it renovate the original and what’s it all about? building so that we could The first thing to say is Paul Kosciecha, use it for Sunday services that it is something Jesus Whittlesey Baptist Church and other activities. It was told us to do. As a church an incredible few months we are a group of people as we spent time working together and who follow Jesus and we want to live saw God provide the funds needed for in his ways. Our understanding of the the work. Bible is that Jesus taught that when Part of this renovation involved somebody becomes a Christian they putting in a new baptistry – a pool that should be baptised. So that’s what we measured about 3m long, 1.5m wide do. and 1m deep – under the new platform However, that’s not all. Baptism is at the front of the main meeting room. also a picture of what the Bible says I still remember the builder’s look of happens when someone becomes


a Christian. The Bible tells us that when someone puts their faith in Jesus their sins are forgiven – they are washed away. The Bible also tells us that a person is changed when they commit their lives to Jesus, they become a new creation. Both of these statements of the Bible are pictured in baptism as someone goes under the water and then comes up again. Baptism is also an opportunity for someone to publicly show their faith in Jesus. As someone is baptised they make a statement that they are trusting Jesus and committing their life to following him. Why am I writing about baptism here? The reason is that at 11am on Sunday 15th September we will be having a baptismal service and I wanted to take the opportunity to invite anyone who wanted to come along. It would be a good opportunity to see what we do and to hear more about what it means to be a Christian. If you want to get in contact to talk about God or what the Bible has to say you can contact us at the church or through our website at or email

To celebrate our 250th Anniversary we’d love to welcome back to the church premises for a re-union meal anyone who has previously been part of Whittlesey Baptist Church events & groups. So if you ever attended one of the many weekly clubs, Seedlings, Sunday School or even the Holiday Bible Club, then you’d be very welcome.

Reunion Meal

Date: Sat September 28th Time: 7:30 – 9:30pm Venue: Whittlesey Baptist Church Cost: Free To register your interest and book a place e-mail or call Graham on 07864687659

The occasion will also afford you the opportunity to see the church premises following the recent renovations as well as to view the pop-up museum covering the last 250 years of the church. The Fens | September 2019 47

WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing ‘HELP FOR HEROES’ CONCERT Saturday 7th September, 7:30pm

WHITTLESEY & DISTRICT BUISNESS FORUM ANNUAL CHARITY WALK Sunday 1st September, 9:30am Please support this great event. You can pre-register by filling in the form on page 20 or sign up on the day. The walk is a 5-mile route leaving Whittlesey and taking you through Eastrea and Coates before arriving back at Whittlesey. There will be refreshments along the way and a finishers keepsake. All money raised will go towards Defibrillators For All and Whittlesey Scaldgate Club. Entry is £5 for adults and £2 for under 16s. Find out further detailson page 20.

The highly acclaimed Hereward Concert Band will again be performing an evening of military and light popular music, in the Main Hall of the Neale-Wade Academy, March, on Saturday 7th September at 7:30pm. Conducted by Henry Clydesdale, Principlal Trumpet of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps Staff Band and Ceri Griffin, Head of Music, Neale-Wade Academy, the Hereward Concert Band’s annual charity concert, now in it’s 10th year, will be joined by local professional & amateur musicians, ex-forces players and Neale-Wade students & staff. Tickets available at the door from 7pm, priced at just £6 for Adults and £3 for students & children under 16. Great raffle prizes and refreshments will be available during the break, along with plenty of free on-site parking. All proceeds will be split 50/50 between the two good causes.


Will be held in Peel House in Queen Street from 09:30 to 10:30 on the first Saturday of every month throughout 2019. Saturday September 7th Councillors present will be: Councillor David Mason (District, and Town Councillor) Councillor Eamonn Dorling (Town Councillor) If you have any matters of concern and wish to discuss with a Councillor, then please come along and let us know. PLEASE NOTE The Councillor Surgeries will be in the new Council Offices at Peel House in Queen Street



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


CONSERVATIVE FUNDRAISING EVENT Sunday 15th September 2019, 12:30pm

Whittlesey Branch of North East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association will be holding a Sunday Lunch on Sunday, 15th September 2019 at the Falcon Hotel, London Street, Whittlesey at 12.30pm for 1pm start. Guest of Honour and Speaker will be Paul Bristow, Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough. Tickets are £17.50 per person and are available from Julie Windle TEL. 01733 204445 or Kay Mayor TEL. 01733 204944.

ELGOOD’S BREWERY BEER FESTIVAL 2019 Thursday 19th September - Saturday 21st September WHITTLESEY FESTIVAL Sunday 8th September, 10am

Don’t miss the Whittlesey Festival, which officially opens by the Mayor at 10:15am on the Market Square. With lots to do for the whole family, this is definitely one not to be missed. Find out more on page 9

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

See 150+ beers at Elgoods Brewery, Wisbech, from mostly East Anglian Breweries, plus live bands, food, cider, wine and soft drinks. Thursday: 6pm 10:30pm Friday: 5pm - 10:30pm Saturday: 12 - 10:30am Tickets are £4 and all beers are £3 a pint. Book tickets on 01945 583160 or visit for more info

WHITTLESEY CHRISTMAS Open to all ages and abilities. Meets every Friday during Term time 6pm - 9pm, March Community Centre. Just come along or visit www. 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

LIGHTS QUIZ Friday 20th September, 7:30pm

Don’t miss this quiz, held at Childers, all raising funds for the Whittlesey Christmas Lights. Tickets are £8.50 per person which includes a sausage supper (vegetarian option available). There is a £40 cash prize.Tickets are available in advance from Richard Exton on 07836 733507 or Lucy’s Flowers 07595 336610 or at 6 Angel House, Eastgate, Whittlesey


Well-known gardener and son of Geoff Hamilton continues the great work at Barnsdale Gardens, focusing on organic and peat-free principles, having had probably the most inspirational teacher of all. Hear Nick’s ideas on creating and maintaining vegetable production all year round. Everyone is welcome. The talk is free for Cambridgeshire Self Sufficiency Group or £8 per person for nonmembers. Tickets are available from Angela on 01353 774728 or Mark on 01487 710641. You can email or visit www.


This September, the RSPB Huntingdonshire Local Group welcomes Charlie Kitchin to talk about Birdlife and Management of the Nene Washes. Charlie’s worked as a warden and a site manager for over 30 years at the RSPB. His talk covers history of the Fens drainage, its archaeology, the creation of the washes, and the key wildlife and how the RSPB manages the habitat. This fascinating talk will be preceded by the group’s Annual General Meeting. The evening will include an intermission where tea, coffee, and snacks are available. There will also be a raffle, and books, badges, and bird feeders will be on sale. Everyone is welcome! St Ives, The Free Church Entry: £4 (members free)

MARCH & DISTRICT MODEL RAILWAY CLUB OPEN DAY Saturday 5th October, 10am - 4pm

Held at The Scout Hall, Mill View, March PE15 8SY (behind Sainsbury’s). Come and see the club layouts, refreshments. For further info contact Kathryn Gray on 01733 351594. Whittlesey Rocks. Come and join the fun every Wednesday night at The Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey at 7:30pm. Just £2 each (accompanied under 16s free). Learn to jive and stroll with Rock’n’Roll music. Sudbury Court coffee mornings Monday & Thursday 9.30-10.30 and Bingo Tuesday evenings from 7.00pm. The Whittlesea Motorcycle Club all makes of bikes welcome. We meet every other Tuesday from 7.30 pm at The Vine Public House on the Green in Coates PE7 2BJ. Facebook search ‘’Whittlesea Motorcycle Club



£40 PRIZE MONEY £8.50 per person



Richard Exton: 07836 733507 & Lucy’s Flowers: 07595 336610 6 Angel House, Eastgate, PE7 1SE demonstrations and trade stands. There will be refreshments available and everyone is welcome to see how the club builds and operates layouts. Find out more at

CHARITY BALL Saturday 5th October, 7pm - 1am

Raising funds for VHL UK/Ireland & Alzheimer’s Society. Join a host of music at this charity ball organised by Vixstar Events. Tickets are £45 each which includes a welcome drink on arrival, three course dinner, music/ disco, charity auction and many prizes to be won. To grab a ticket please visit


Whittlesey U3A Open Meetings take place at Childers, Station Road, on the third Thursday of each month at 2pm. Main speakers for this year: September 19th: A talk by Dr Peter Hau on‘A Day in the Life of a Forensic Scientist’ October 17th: A talk on the Hunts Cyclist Battalions, (The Gaspipe Cavalry) with Martyn Smith November 21st: Remembrance and WW1 with Gordon Thorpe December 19th: Christmas Party and Abba Tribute Band In addition to the main speakers, our September meeting will offer the following: Theatre Club, Paper Crafting, Creative Writing, jigsaw and book exchange, and Raffle We also have a new notice board where members can place cards, advertising items for sale to other members. Please feel free to join us for the afternoon or contact Wendy Fletcher, Publicity Officer, at The Fens | September 2019 49


John's Salted Caramel Made from only 4 simple ingredients in only 10 minutes, this homemade caramel is salty, sweet and irresistibly buttery. No sugar thermometer required and the possibilities for serving are endless (though just a spoonful is nice!). Use caution when cooking as the temperatures get very high


• 200g Caster sugar • 90g Salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces • 120ml Double cream • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Chef's Twist To add flavours to the caramel you can infuse the cream before adding to the sugar, such as liquorice. Or how ke about a spoonful of banana milksha concentrate? Some chocolate melted in? Or a spoonful of Horlicks? Freeze dried strawberries? Black pepper? 50 The Fens | September 2019


1. Heat caster sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful it will be very hot. 2. Once the sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful with this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir until completely melted. 3. Very slowly drizzle in the double cream

while stirring. Since the cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. 4. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools. 5. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. At the Dog in a Doublet we serve the caramel with our homemade brownie and fill chocolates.

Eat, drink, stay!

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms River Nene, between Thorney & Whittlesey | 01733 202256


Home or business, big or small, we’ve got all your cleaning needs covered at our Whittlesey Showroom! Over 17,000 products stocked, all under one roof!

Chemical and janitorial supplies Great range of pressure washers & vacuum cleaners An extensive range of cleaning equipment available for hire

Outstanding service Trade prices Car cleaning equipment Free & easy parking Professional products

148 Station Road, Whittlesey, PE7 2HA OPEN Open 7.30am till 5.30pm Monday to Friday

7.30am till 12 noon Saturday

t: 01733 286931 e: w: (*Offer doesn’t apply to discounted or promotional items or for on-line orders.) The Fens | September 2019 51








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The Fens Greater Peterborough September 2019  

The Fens Greater Peterborough September 2019