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fens

RAMSEY & SURROUNDING

THE

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

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Issue 3 | December 2019

Inside this issue FESTIVE RECIPES

Christmas Gift Guide BEHIND THE SCENES AT STAMFORD NOTEBOOK CO.

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust Fens | December 2019 1 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON The | PLACES TO VISIT


Psychic Sally

10 Years and Counting Thursday 16th April 2020 Tickets £25

Santa’s Christmas Countdown

New Year’s Eve Boogie Nite

Thursday 19th December Tickets from £11

Tuesday 31st December Tickets £12

Anthem: Ultimate Queen Concert Show

Best in Comedy Hal Cruttenden and guests

Friday 7th February 2020 Tickets from £22

Centre Theatre Players present

Dick Whittington 8th - 12th January 2020 Tickets from £8

Herman’s Hermits

55th Anniversary Tour Friday 20th March Tickets £24

Friday 28th February 2020 Tickets £15

SEE IT ALL AT BURGESS HALL DECEMBER 7th & 14th Christmas Parties th Tea Dance 16 th Christmas Bingo 18 19th Santa’s Christmas Countdown Christmas Boogie Nite 21st st New Year’s Eve Boogie Nite 31 JANUARY 8th - 12th Dick Whittington Family Panto Indoor Car Boot 26th Burgess Bingo 29th st 31 Cromwell Rotary Club Boxing Dinner

FEBRUARY 1st 7 8th & 9th 15th 16th 21st & 22nd th

23rd 26th 28th 29th

Boogie Nite Anthem: Ultimate Queen Antiques Fair Supermatch Dog Show Toy & Train Collectors Fair St Ives 1940s Music and Dance weekend Indoor Car Boot Burgess Bingo The Best in Comedy The Best of 90s Dance

MARCH 7th & 8th 13 14th 20th 21st 25th 28th 29th April 7th 12th - 13th 16th th

History Fair Penfold Quiz Lace Day Herman’s Hermits Charity Concert Burgess Bingo Big Band Concert Indoor Car Boot Shark in the Park Antiques Fair Psychic Sally

For more information and to book tickets call 01480 388111, visit One Leisure St Ives or www.burgesshall.net. Booking fees may apply. 2

Westwood Road, St Ives PE27 6WU

The Fens | December 2019

Managed by Huntingdonshire District Council


ED’S letter The December issue is always my absolute favourite issue, for many reasons. Everybody is feeling festive and my lovely contributors and advertisers send such lovely Christmassy-themed pieces in. I get to research lots of pretty gifts and I get to design my December cover, which is always a bit special. The last few years we have opted for very traditional festive images, but we are so thrilled with the 2019 cover picture, as taken by Kevin Sawford. What a gorgeous wintry squirrel, just perfect for this issue. Of course, we can’t guarantee there will be snow but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for this Christmas... As well as our annual Christmas gift guide, this issue also features some festive recipes, courtesy of our friends Riverford Organic. We also had the pleasure of meeting and looking around The Stamford Notebook Co. and Richard Groom has taken a look back in time at Fenland in winter. It’s another packed issue and we hope you enjoy reading. Most importantly, I would like to wish all our readers, advertisers, contributors and delivery teams a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

NATASHA SHIELS, publisher

THIS month 9 Your Neighbourhood news

13 Your garden in December 14 Visiting Stamford Notebook Co.

30 The best local festive gifts to buy in the area 32 Christmas recipe ideas 36 Mindful of wildlife

17 Rotary of Ramsey Santa Float

38 Amy’s walk of the month

24 Making the best of Fenland winters

42 Peterborough’s history

fens

46 Useful numbers and events guide

PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney amy@thefensmag.co.uk PROOF READER Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk ADVERTISING SALES sales@thefensmag.co.uk 07511 662566 ACCOUNTS hello@thefensmag.co.uk 07511 662566 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at hello@thefensmag.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS Westfield Nurseries | Eva Jordan Robert Bull | Caroline Fitton | Sara Fontanella | Richard Groom | Molly Day-Coombes |Bill Watt | Anna Bradley-Dorman | Val Fendley DISTRIBUTION 7,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Ramsey and the surrounding villages as well as being available for pick up at Ramsey TESCO and the library

RAMSEY & SURROUNDING

THE

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

A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens

FREE

THE TEAM

Issue 3 | December 2019

Inside this issue FESTIVE RECIPES

Christmas Gift Guide BEHIND THE SCENES AT STAMFORD NOTEBOOK CO.

ISSUE 3 | DECEMBER 2019 Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust Fens | December 2019 1 PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON The | PLACES TO VISIT

Snow Squirrel by Kevin Sawford @kevin_sawford_photography

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

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

The Fens | December 2019

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SEASONS GREETINGS FROM

‘Your Neighbourhood Office’ Just like families everywhere our little family in the office is busy getting ready for the festive season. The Chair of Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, Carol Aston, is working with all the other local group representatives on the ‘Ramsey Christmas Lights Committee’ to get the town ready for the ‘Light Up Ramsey’ switch-on event - 30th November, 2pm onwards. There are also ‘Advent Markets’ leading up to the ‘big day’ (see more details in ‘What’s On’ page 47), activities for families and young people and our ‘Great Whyte’ Christmas event on the 7th December in Ramsey Library (more details on page 6). For the first time Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust is running a ‘Grand Christmas Draw’ with the first prize of a £200 M&S Hamper (including £150 of festive treats and a £50 voucher). Tickets will be available from now until the morning of 7th December 2019, when the draw will be made at ‘The Great Whyte Christmas’ Event. So, keep an eye out for tickets which also give you the chance to win some other great prizes, provided by local businesses. All profits will go towards the day-to-day running costs of the projects based in Your Neighbourhood Office. THANK-YOU in advance for your support.

PHOENIX NEWS Our ‘Sewing for Beginners’ course has been regarded great success for all those who attended, and we are busy planning our next course starting in February – more details in the next issue.

We could not do what we do without the support of our funders, volunteers and the local community. To all of you we send Seasons Greetings and wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

This month we’d like to give a big ‘shout-out’ to one of our Job Search volunteers, Di Pitts. In November she celebrated 10 years of volunteering at Job Search. Thanks Di - you, and all our volunteers, really make a difference.

The Fens | December 2019

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BIRTHDAY BONUS FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE’S COUNSELLING SERVICE (YPCS) IN RAMSEY A couple of years ago Ramsey Million Partnership commissioned the ‘Young People’s Counselling Service’ to work with Ramsey young people. This local charity holds confidential one to one sessions at Ramsey Library each week. The service was oversubscribed from the start and, once the initial funding was spent, further monies were secured from other sources for 2019. However, as a charity YPCS constantly relies on grants and fundraising. Last month Val Fendley, who is one of our colleagues in the Neighbourhood

Office, decided to hold a bake sale and coffee morning on her birthday to raise funds for the Young People’s Counselling Service (YPCS). She also asked people not to buy her presents but to donate the money instead. Very sadly, this year Val’s family has suffered bereavement, losing two younger members of the family - Abigail, aged 25 in February and Glenn aged 37 in June. Val felt this was a great cause to support as her nephew Glenn leaves behind a young son aged just 10 years old. YPCS help youngsters just like him whether they’re coming to terms with bereavement, suffer from anxiety or depression, have been

bullied at school or perhaps have issues within their family. We wanted to share this story, not just to say how proud we are of Val, who raised £780 at her bake sale, but also because she wants us to highlight how important the fundraising is. YPCS is a charity that receives no statutory funding. They survive purely on community fundraising and they’re doing a fabulous job. If you are due to do a fundraiser, are an individual or a business/organisation that would like to sponsor YPCS you can speak to us at Ramsey Neighbourhood Office if you need more information or contact YPCS directly via Michelle Lay, Vice Chair, and Integrative Psychotherapist, on michelle.lay@ ypcs.uk

Nothing for young people to do in Ramsey! Think again..... Young people in Ramsey have so much on offer for all tastes and abilities. The latest club is Boxing Fitness on Wednesday evenings at the Methodist Church Hall. Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust applied for the funding to get this going and are now working in partnership with Boxing Futures, who employ amazing coaches who are well known for their commitment to young people from a wide range of backgrounds. The sessions are going really well and there's still space available if you want

to join in. Every young person gets their first session free. For more details see advert on page 6. The Neighbourhood Office also manage the weekly youth clubs that operate out of the Pavillion at Ramsey Cricket Club on Thursdays. The young people help to set the programme of activities which ensures we're delivering what they want - whether that's at club or on our regular trips out. We often visit the Gauntlet Auto Project out on Wood Lane, Ramsey. We feel so lucky to have such an amazing motorcycle / quad track

right on our doorstep with volunteer instructors taking a keen interest in keeping our young people safe and well trained. There's also a variety of clubs and activities listed in the What's On section at the back of this magazine - whether you're interested in sports, dance, the uniformed groups like cadets or scouts. There's something for everyone. Ramsey Million and Ramsey Town Council are also still working on a skate park for Ramsey. It's an ongoing project which has been held up due to land availability and planning consents. Rest assured though we're still working on it and we're determined despite the lengthy wait. n By Val Fendley, Development Manager, Children, Young People & Families

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The Fens | December 2019


Contact Us

Heritage Winter Talks Our fantastic heritage sites are closed to the public until next Spring but you can still have your Ramsey history “fix” over the winter months! From January to March 2020 a programme of talks will be held in the library with each talk running twice – once in the afternoon and once in the evening. You can hear all about the history of Ramsey Abbey from David Cozens who, along with the National Trust, has ensured that the House and Gatehouse have stayed open to the public for very many years. Local historian, Clive Beeke, will talk about those intriguing tunnels under the Great Whyte and Jane Sills will be giving talks on the history and renovation of Ramsey Walled Garden. Martyn Smith (featured on the BBC earlier this year) will be giving an illustrated talk showing Ramsey

then and now. You can join him in discovering (or reminiscing over) old photographs taken in and around the town.

The Library ENGAGE programme is adding two talks the programme which are yet to be confirmed. In fact, at the time of going to print, all talk dates are in the process of being confirmed so look out next month when they will be printed here. Talks will take place between Thursday 16th January and Tuesday 14th March. For more information see www. discoverramsey.co.uk/calendar

Neighbourhood Office, Ramsey Library, 25 Great Whyte, Ramsey, PE26 1HG Tel: 01487 814897 Email: Phoenix & SPARKS : Alison Seery rntprojectmanager@gmail.com Ramsey Million : Anna Bradley-Dorman office.ramseymillion@gmail.com Discover Ramsey & A Journey Through Time : Ann Cuthbert promotingramsey@gmail.com Activities for Families and Young People : Val Fendley val.rntoffice@gmail.com Ramsey Community Market : Carol Aston market.rntoffice@gmail.com Websites : www.ramseyneighbourhoodstrust.org www.ramseymillion.org www.discoverramsey.co.uk Facebook : Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust Ramsey Million – Big Local Crunch - Ramsey BOSH -Ramsey SPARKS Club Ramsey Timebank The Dog’s Meet Jobsearch Ramsey Ramsey Phoenix Project Discover Ramsey Twitter : @RamseyTrust @RamseyMillionBL @RamseyTimebank @discover_ramsey

YOUR OPINION COUNTS BUS SERVICES Please take a few minutes to fill in this very important Bus Survey. The information gathered will inform bus services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the next 30 years. It is also important that non-bus users complete it too, as it also looks at why people do not use public transport. Closing date is 15th December 2019. To complete the survey online visit www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/FutureBus/ or call 07377 001512, 9am – 5pm, Mon to Fri. The Fens | December 2019

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News

RAMSEY LIONS LIGHT UP ST THOMAS A BECKET CHURCH Last month, in honour of Polio Eradication Worldwide, Rotary in Ramsey’s project, St. Thomas a Becket Church was lit in PURPLE. The colour was symbollic as purple is used to identify which child has had their treatment. This year is Rotary in Ramsey’s Golden year! Founded 1969, the club have a number of special projects planned such as an “information lectern” explaining what is under the Main Sreet - The Great Whyte. For more information please contact the President Richard Hyde on 01487 812220. Image (courtesy of Bill Barber) shows some members of Rotary in Ramsey outside St Thomas A Becket Church.

DON’T MISS POSTING YOUR LETTER TO SANTA

The NSPCC’s annual Letter from Santa can be ordered now for December delivery to ensure they arrive at the right time to get little ones excited. This Christmas parents can build their little ones a personalised Letter from Santa and feel good by doing their part to support children in need this Christmas by donating £5 to the NSPCC.

It’s a gift your family will treasure. And, with a suggested donation of £5 you'll be helping support children who need it most this Christmas. The money will help the charity continue to provide vital services like Childline, which can often be the only place vulnerable young people can turn to over the holidays. Choose the perfect letter for your little one from 8 new illustrations like ‘Reindeer Flying Practice’, ‘Christmas

Disco’ and ‘Elves are Ready to Go!’. Tailor with the child’s name, address, gender, age, hobbies, best friend or family member’s name and a special message for a magical start to Christmas. Letters are age appropriate, with shorter text that is easier to read for younger children and longer letters for more advanced readers. The letters are also available

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Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN December

Most gardeners tend to think that everything in the garden is dormant in December. While this does tend to be the case there are still crops, plants and wildlife to protect from any winter frosts. The lawn will need to be kept clear of any remaining leaves and patio containers will need raising to avoid them sitting in the wet. The beginning of the month, however, will probably be dedicated to decorating the Christmas tree. For many people this is an essential part of their festive traditions and there’s nothing quite like a real Christmas tree to decorate a room and fill the home with that nostalgic seasonal aroma…

Looking good this month... Mahonia

CHOOSING A CHRISTMAS TREE There are several types of Christmas tree to choose from and if you’ve never had one before it can be hard to decide which will be best. NORDMANN FIR – this is the top choice for real indoor Christmas trees and has excellent needle retention. The lush, glossy, rich green needles are soft and dense making it easy to decorate and the strong branches will support your lights and decorations to create a stunning display. They quite often have a wide base, making a perfect place to hide presents! NORWAY SPRUCE – the ‘traditional’ Christmas tree. Strong branches make for easy decorating, although the needles can tend to be fairly sharp. If you are choosing this tree it is best kept outside for as long as possible

before bringing it into a cool room to help with needle retention. POTTED/POT GROWN TREES Most people buy cut Christmas trees, but it is possible to buy ‘potted’ or ‘pot grown’ trees. If you want to keep your tree after Christmas to pot on or plant in the garden always ask for a pot-grown tree. Potted Christmas trees have usually been grown in the ground and then dug up and potted with a few roots. They generally won’t last much longer than a well cared for cut tree, and usually won’t establish in the garden afterwards. Pot grown trees have been grown in the pot and so are more likely to be successful for growing on from year to year.

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There’s few things more satisfying to me than a really good notebook. In the age where everything is electronic, I take great pleasure in still writing notes on every place we visit and every person we interview for The Fens. So when I discovered that there is a traditional notebook maker living not only locally, but still using the same techniques and traditional artisan skills, I just had to pay them a visit. And so we found ourselves, as the name suggests, on an industrial unit in Stamford, meeting Hugo Spiegl of Spiegl Press Limited, to find out how The Stamford Notebook Co. came about. “Where shall I begin?” Hugo had asked me, to which I replied at the beginning and he chuckled. The beginning, for this robust, familyrun business takes us back to the 1950s; a time when printers and bookbinders were doing very well in Britain. Set up by his father, Spiegl Press Limited made stationery as well as bound books, pads and commercial press for local businesses such as solicitors. It was a time when if you needed headed paper, you would have to use a printing firm. The company did very well, thanks to loyal clients and its strong belief in good quality materials and a highly skilful workforce. But like many printers, the advances of technology and the drive for cheaper products which could be bought elsewhere, had a negative effect on business. The demand for ebooks, online media and advertising has all had an influence on the entire printing industry. The first online printing service, which was launched in 1995, allowed customers a new way to order their print. Smaller, local businesses simply couldn’t compete with their fast service and cheap prices, regardless of quality of end product.

Classically British

The Stamford Notebook Co. WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL

Looking for a handcrafted gift for someone you love this Christmas? These handmade, traditional notebooks which can be personalised might just be what you’re looking for….

14 The Fens | December 2019

Where similar companies have ceased trading, Spiegl Press did something very clever, they diversified. Looking at his company, Hugo recognised what they had was special. Their company still had all the skills of artisan bookbinders and the printing machines (some which date back as far as 1948), as well as the knowledge of the best materials. Their response to a changing market was to evolve and create a product which they could sell commercially as well as to the public, which not only used all of their knowledge and expertise, but offered something which few others were doing. The


Stamford Notebook Co. was created. Trading for over six years to date, the lifestyle books, diaries, handmade leather refillable journals, leather accessories and notebooks have been hugely successful for Spiegl Press and it’s not difficult to see why. Just the notebooks alone are available in four sizes, in six different styles and with over 70 colours to choose from. There are endless combinations of Stamford Notebooks you could purchase. In fact, when we challenged Hugo and Aimee, their Product Developer, to give us an exact figure of how many different notebooks they could make onsite, they just smiled at us. It’s impossible, actually, because pretty much all of their notebooks can be personalised, therefore the answer would have to be plucked from the air. And that’s before you look at their other huge range of best-selling products. Each and every product starts its life exactly the same way. Materials are chosen by the team with one very important factor in mind - quality. For Hugo, price doesn’t come into question. The paper and fabrics for covering the books have got to be

the very best. “We use the finest materials and the finest British paper to create the very best product,” Hugo explained. And it is for this reason that The Stamford Notebook Co.’s products are sold globally. They offer luxury and longevity, they are relevant and made to endure the journey which they go on. It’s not about buying a cheap book but buying an artisan product, all handmade locally to last a lifetime. And what will the future hold for The Stamford Notebook Co.? “You have to keep investing in your skill-based team,” Hugo concluded, “and keep bringing out new product ranges. You have to be bold and brave, and stick to your guns.” With everyone talking about the importance of sustainability, it’s not surprising to see that Spiegl Press are evolving their business model to include more recycled materials, to maintain their high standard of using sustainable and accountable FSC paper. In fact, one of their newest ranges, ‘Elements of Nature’, is a totally

recyclable product which uses absolutely no plastics and is Vegan friendly. Buying from The Stamford Notebook Co. is championing a local British company. Their products are of the highest quality and they can be personalised in the same building in which they are made, making them an ideal gift, whatever the occasion. Each notebook comes handmade, beautifully presented and offers the receiver a gift of words, because in this modern age of computers, mobile phones and tablets, there’s still nothing better than the handwritten word, I can assure you. Corporate and bespoke orders are welcome. Find out more at www. stamfordnotebooks.co.uk or contact the team on 01778 762550 or team@ stamfordnotebooks.co.uk. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

WIN A BESPOKE NOTEBOOK To celebrate Christmas around the corner, we’re offering one lucky reader the chance to own and personalise a Stamford Notebook Co. product. The Bronze Buckram Notebook can be personlised with initials. To be in with a chance, simply email win@thefensmag.co.uk with the subject heading ‘Notebook’. Please include your contact details. We’d love to hear who you would give the notebook too (and yes, you can nominate yourself). Entries close after midnight on December 5th. Best of luck. The Fens | December 2019 15


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News

ROTARY IN RAMSEY SANTA FLOAT CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE

Don’t miss Santa, courtesy of Rotary of Ramsey visiting your street. See below this year’s Santa Float route and dates:

Warboys: Fenton Rd, New Rd, Bencroft Lane, Madecroft, Padgetts Cl, Mill Green, Forge Way, Farriers Way, The Furrows, High Street.

Thu 12 Dec Route 11 (rev) Ramsey: Field Rd, Star Lane, Lime Rd, Princes St, Westfield Rd, Allen Rd, St. Thomas Pk.

Thu 28 Nov Route 17 Ramsey St Mary’s: Estelle Cl, Holme Rd, Herne Rd, Ashbeach Drv, Oak Wy, Foxglove Wy, Bluebell Cl, Primrose Cl, Poppy Cl, Harebell Cl, Clover Cl, Ashbeach Rd, Lion Cl.

Fri 6 Dec Route 4 (Rev) Warboys: Pathfinder Way, Wellington Cl, Lancaster Cl, Stirling Cl, Church Rd, Popes Lane, Throckmorton, Beech Cl, High St, Ramsey Rd, Longlands Close, Haycroft Cl, Oaklands, St. Mary’s Green, Jubilee Ave, Wiggs Cl (or Wiggs Cl, then Jubilee Av).

Fri 13 Dec Route 10 Upwood: Farm Cl, Barley Wy, Ramsey Rd, High St, Ailwine Rd, Moss Cl, Royal Oak Cl, Church Ln, Thatchers Cl, Helens Cl, Bentley Cl, Meadow Rd.

Sat 7 Dec Town Centre Collection at Advent Market (09.00 – 14.00)

Sat 14 Dec Route 6 Fairmead Park & Wistow: Fairmead Park: Mosquito Rd, Liberator Rd, Anson Cl, Canberra Rd, Lancaster Rd, Lincoln Rd. Wistow: The Grove, Oaklands Ave, Church St, Bridge St, Manor St, Parsonage St, St. Johns Pl, Kingston Wy, Mill Rd.

Fri 29 Nov Route 16 Ramsey Heights & Pondersbridge: Ramsey Heights: Herne Rd (South of Holme Rd), Fishers Close, Ugg Mere Court Road, Middle Dr, School Dr, Ugg Mere Court Rd to end of houses. Pondersbridge: Oil Mills Rd, Ramsey Road, The Drove, Bevills Pasture, Ramsey Rd to CAMLAN Industries, South along Herne Rd to Decrease Drove, Daintree Rd & then up to Ramsey St Mary’s speed limit. Sat 30 Nov Ramsey Lights Switch On Day – lookout for Santa! Mon 2 Dec Route 14 Ramsey Forty Foot: Hollow Rd, Ramsey Rd, Blacksmiths Cl, Stanley Cl, Church Cl, Mill Ln, St. Felix Dv, Sandringham Dv, Balmoral Dv, Windsor Dv, Dukes Dv. Tue 3 Dec Route 1 (Rev) Warboys: Humberdale Way, Bottles Rd, Flaxen Walk, Goldpits, Old Mill Av, Woodlands, School Rd. Wed 4 Dec Route 2 (Rev) Warboys: Station Rd, Wilthorne, Pasture Cl, Great Pastures Estate (Mahaddie Wy, Lawrence Dv, Etc.), Orchard Close, Coronation Av. Thu 5 Dec Route 3 (Rev)

Sat 7 Dec Route 5 (Rev) Bury: Upwood Rd, Garden Ct, Grove Wy, Bader Cl, Rowell Wlk, Barn Cl, Redebourn Ln, Bury Cl, Valiant Sq, Tunkers Lane, High Meadow, Buryfield, Pound Rd, Ringwood Cl, Woodfield Av, Brookfield Wy, Owls End, Caton Close, Greenwood Cl. Mon 9 Dec Route 8 Ramsey & Bury: The Terrace, Brands Close, Bury Road, Fairfields Dr, Old Station Rd, Signal Rd, The Sidings, Blenheim Rd (upto Whytefield Rd only), Whytefield Rd, Mews Cl, Station Rd, Slade Close, Flowers Ct. Tue 10 Dec Route 9 Ramsey: Park Rd, Fellowes Dr, Oliver Cl, Canberra Ct, Serjeants Cl, West Av, The Avenue, Cricketfield Ln, Blenheim Rd (from Whytefield Rd only). Wed 11 Dec Route 7 (Rev) Ramsey (Biggin Lane West): Biggin Ln, Cromwell Cl, The Maltings, Pathfinder Wy, Wheatfield Dr, Malthouse Ln, Hopbine Ct, Taverners Dr, Ward Cl, Lion Walk, Foundry Wy, Drayhorse Rd, Oasthouse Wy,

Sat 14 Dec Tesco Store Ramsey (09.00 – 14.00)

Mon 16 Dec Route 12 Ramsey: Great Whyte, Little Whyte, Silver Street, Mill Lane, Tower Cl, Turvers Lane, Millfields, Newtown Road, New Rd, Great Whyte to High St (Old Nat West Bank) Tue 17 Dec Route 13 Ramsey: Abbots Close, Abbey Field, Oates Way Lawrence Road, Wood Lane, Church Green, High Street, Crown Mews, Hollow Lane to speed limit sign. Wed 18 Dec Route 18 Benwick: Ramsey Rd, High St, Lilyholt Rd, Chapel Gdns, Doddington Rd, Heron Wy, Whittlesey Rd, River Cl, Neneside, Cricketers Wy, Doddington Rd, High St, White Hart Dr, Bakehouse Cl, Skeifs Row, Fields View, Cambridge Row, Old West Est.

The Fens | December 2019 17


Setting the perfect table Nothing says more about Christmas than sharing food with those we really care about. To this end, the first sighting of the table, laid ready for the festive meal often is rallied by many ooohs & aaahs. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong, but here are some of my top tips In one of my first homes, on being rather excited by the opportunity to invite guests to my home for Christmas Lunch, I overlooked the fact that I did not actually have a dining table! Being somewhat inventive, I opted to use a wall paper pasting table. I received the afore mentioned ooohs and aaahs when first sighted, however, when laden with food, this was replaced mainly by ooohs and ouches as the table collapsed under the weight! Fortunately, we had plenty of wine in stock and no-one seemed to remember... The most important factor is to consider what it is that you are looking to serve and how you are going to serve it. With this in mind, consider if you need to have space to lay down platters or dishes straight from the oven, in which case you may want to ensure that the service utensils are also ready on the table. If you will be plating the meal up in the kitchen and transporting it over, your table can be more elaborately decorated. I have often sat at tables that have had enormous amounts of effort put into and whilst they look wonderful, it is nice to be able to see the person sitting on the other side. If you are considering tall centrepieces, make sure everyone can

18 The Fens | December 2019

see each other around the table. The same is also true for candles, careful placement, often grouped, can work well. Crockery always makes a table look well dressed and it is a good way to ensure that you have enough space to place the plated meal. If you want hot plates, they will need removing and replacing. To avoid this one, the use of a charger, place mat, slice of timber, slate or similar could be used. Glassware is often down to what you may have in the cupboard and what you expect to be drinking on the day. If possible, I always think it is nice if

a tumbler can be arranged so a little water can be consumed. Style is very personal to you and your guests. Candles, glassware, place names, crackers, a fabric runner, pine cones, flowers - they all say something different and can help to make the table the centre of your room. A simple way to decorate your table is to use baubles, or branches of fir. Having mis-matched crockery and glassware adds wholesomeness and authenticity. I love to dress a table; I so enjoy having guests in my home. For me, it’s about spending time with whoever is with me. Enjoy your day and remember, your presence is far more important than your presents.

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


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

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Solo gym memberships are available at One Leisure Ramsey, which includes full use of the gym for just £28.99 per month. *Gym induction fee of £30 applies. Includes fitness test, bespoke fitness programme and ongoing reviews.

Find out more at www.oneleisure.net The Fens | December 2019 21


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

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

For more information and further assistance with diet and nutrition, contact Rob via escapethediettrap@ outlook.com 22 The Fens | December 2019

Phobias

Phobias can affect anyone regardless of age, sex or social background. It is reported that approximately 10 million people live with a phobia in the UK alone. There are varying degrees of phobias, but at their worst can be very debilitating. Symptoms can include: dizziness, sweating, palpitations, shaking, nausea and an upset stomach. In my experience phobias tend to be learned, usually from a parent, or are as the result of a traumatic event and are driven by fear. Once a phobia really takes hold, you can actually experience the physical symptoms by just thinking about whatever it is you are afraid of. Believe it or not phobias can be one of the fastest things to overcome. I used to have a crippling fear of spiders; I’d had it for as long as I could remember. I once sat on the back of a sofa for over 3 hours paralysed by fear, waiting for somebody to come home and remove the wild beast (tiny spider). It took my mentor 17 minutes in front of a class full of students to shift my life long phobia with EFT (tapping); I went home that evening and picked up a spider from my bedroom wall with my bare hands and put him out of the window. Now I do not even put them out, I am quite happy to share our home with them. I have since helped lots of people overcome lots of phobias including, flying, driving, public speaking, dentists, heights, being sick to name a few. Get in touch to find out how I can help you.

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


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MAKING THE MOST OF

Fenland Winters WORDS RICHARD GROOM

The Fens was once a difficult place to live in winter, but our ancestors were able to find ways to survive and thrive through even the harshest conditions For thousands of years, the Fens must have been a tough and bleak place through the winter months. Just look at this extract from Sir William Dugdale writing in the 1600s about the Fens prior to their drainage and reclamation: “For in the winter-time, when the ice is strong enough to hinder passage of boats, and yet not able to bear a man, the inhabitants within the Fens can have no help for food, nor comfort for body or soul.

were excellent sources of meat and fur. Meat and eggs were also available from birds such as ducks, swans, cranes, plovers, spoonbills and oystercatchers. Fish were plentiful too. The Domesday book of 1086 records ‘such quantities of fish as to cause astonishment to strangers.’

“And what expectation of health can there be to the bodies of men, where there is no element good? The air being for the most part cloudy, gross and full of rotten harrs; the water putrid and muddy, yea, full of loathsome vermin.”

In more recent times, locals would get busy in the autumn, laying in food for the winter. Pickling was commonplace, for everything from blackberries and elderberries to shallots, cabbage and cooking apples, while meat was salted to last through to spring.

Life wasn’t all bad however, and we shouldn’t just rely on miserable accounts like this to tell us what conditions were like. The Fens was once rich in mammals, including beavers and otters, both of which

As well as plenty of food, it was possible to take relatively comfortable shelter from the cold. Reeds

24 The Fens | December 2019

grew in abundance, so Fen people had access to materials for thatching the roofs of their houses. To help survive outside, potatoes were baked and carried in pockets to keep hands warm. But let’s not imagine that life was easy. In Sybil Marshalls’s classic book ‘Fenland Chronical’ she shares her father’s recollection of the winter of 1916, ‘the worst storm as ever I remember’. He recalled: “The snow froze thick on the shutters of the mill sails, making each sail a solid block. At the end of that day, there was hardly a telegraph pole in the whole area left standing.” When he got home in the evening, he ‘yelled, and roared, and banged, and rattled’


but neither his wife nor children could hear him above the clatter of the storm. He also talks about a group of farm workers near Pondersbridge having to take shelter from the storm in the Green Man pub, emerging at closing time very much the worse for wear. Sadly the Green Man is no more, but sheltering from a storm in a pub is still a very good idea. FEN SKATING The people of the Fens have always been good at making the most of what nature throws at them. Nothing demonstrates this better than Fen skating. For hundreds of years, we have taken to the ice at every possible opportunity.

the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. Welney has a long tradition of Fen skating competition dating back at least to the 1850s. Skating in the Fens wasn’t just about competition. It was often a valid means of transport, with frozen rivers and fields linking villages and making average speeds of up to ten miles per hour possible for skaters. In his 1876 book ‘Reminiscences of Fen and Mere’, J M Heathcote recalls skating with the local vicar all the way from Connington to Ely and back in 12 hours.

There are records of Fen skating going back to the 12th Century, when skates were made of bone rather than metal. Speed skating is thought to have been introduced to the Fens by Dutch drainage engineers in the 1600s. By then, blacksmiths made metal skates, which were strapped to boots. Records of championship skating near Whittlesey date back at least to 1841, when a £10 prize was on offer to the winner and over 6,000 people came to watch. In recent years conditions have rarely been cold enough, but there was Fen skating in 1992, 1996, 2010 and 2012. March 2018 saw the most recent opportunity for skating in the Fens. The ‘Beast from the East’ froze part of the Whittlesey Wash and dozens of locals enjoyed two days of skating. Skaters also took to the ice at Welney Wash, on

BRINGING LIGHT INTO WINTER Fen folk found other ways to enjoy themselves in winter months. Festivals such as Whittlesey’s Straw Bear can be traced back for centuries. As well as looking forward to the death of winter and the coming of spring, these festivals gave agricultural workers an opportunity to dress up and dance outside people’s houses in return for money, beer or food. What we now know as a traditional Christmas emerged during the 19th Century, bringing much needed rest and celebration to winter. Decorations such as homemade paper chains became popular, in addition to the existing practice of bringing holly, ivy and mistletoe into the house. Christmas cards, Christmas crackers and hanging up stockings became widespread. Christmas trees became popular in Victorian times. These were often decorated with fir cones and candles, as well as cotton wool to imitate snow. It seems that the risk of fire was considered worth taking by Fen people eager to enjoy some light and joy at the bleakest time of the year. The Fens | December 2019 25


THIS MONTH’S BOOK REVIEW Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye and Rebecca Mascull Published by HQ Every Christmas it has now become customary for me to read Charles Dickens’ wonderful Christmas story, A Christmas Carol; the tale of solitary miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas through a series of ghostly visitors on Christmas Eve, including his old business partner Jacob Marley. However, for those of you who don’t know, there is a prequel to this great Dickensian ghost story, namely Miss Marley.

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Written almost two centuries after A Christmas Carol, Miss Marley tells the story of orphans Clara and Jacob Marley. The siblings spend the first happy years of their young lives living in a grand house with their parents. However, some years later, after the tragic loss of both parents, Clara and Jacob then find themselves homeless and penniless. Living on the streets of London, in the shadow of the workhouse, the youngsters scavenge for food as, “Every Friday afternoon, the butcher threw scraps from his back door to the hungry street children, but all the best morsels went to bigger boys and vicious stray dogs”, relying on their wits and one another to keep each other safe. Then an opportunity presents itself, one that will allow the intrepid youngsters to flee the dangerous city streets and escape poverty. Jacob seizes it, despite the great moral price to his soul. Later, after much hard work, the siblings once again elevated to their place in society, Jacob meets Ebenezer Scrooge… and so begins their infamous partnership. The author’s note by Vanessa Lafaye states how she often wondered about Marley’s backstory; an exercise that eventually consumed her imagination. Sadly, Vanessa passed away in February 2018, unable to finish this beautiful prequel. But at the request of Vanessa’s husband, and her publisher, it was, I’m pleased to say, completed by Vanessa’s good friend and fellow author, Rebecca Mascull. Our verdict… Written in third person, this is the bittersweet story of Jacob Marley as seen through the eyes of his sister, Clara. Clara is a character entirely invented by the author who believed “that the idea of inhabiting Marley himself felt too much like trespassing”. Masterfully written, this evocative fable offers insight into the social observations of Victorian life, which at times reflect some of our current issues, whilst also capturing the Dickensian spirit of Christmas, complete with ghosts, goodwill, hope and redemption. By Eva Jordan

26 The Fens | December 2019


Maybe your Christmas Present will be on Rightmove on Boxing Day As we approach the Christmas period and New Year’s Resolutions many families make the decision to move house in the new year. You may be surprised to know that according to Rightmove statistics one of their busiest days to launch new properties is Boxing Day as this is one of the busiest days for people looking on

agency experience to be your allin-one home buying solution and to be a friendly voice in your corner throughout the home buying and selling process.

Rightmove. If you are a buyer this could mean that your new home will appear on Rightmove on Boxing Day as many estate agents will be holding off putting new properties online until Boxing Day so that there are more people looking at them. Also if you are a seller and want to sell in the new year now may be the time to speak with your estate agent to get your house ready to go onto Rightmove on Boxing Day to get as many buyers eyes on it as possible!

We would like to wish all our readers and clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Please don’t hesitate to contact Heartland Mortgage Services on 07540 626386.

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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: kerry@heartlandmortgageservices.co.uk kerry@heartlandmortgageservices.co.uk For a no obligation appointment at a time and location For a no obligation appointment at awww.heartlandmortgageservices.co.uk time and location to suit you, please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email:Sol8179 to suit you, please call Kerry on: 07540 626 386 or email: kerry@heartlandmortgageservices.co.uk kerry@heartlandmortgageservices.co.uk

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The UK tax administration continues to tread a path which it claims will modernise the UK’s taxation system and turn it into a world leader. So, giving information to HMRC in this way is consistent with this direction of travel; where standard e-submissions replace posted forms and explanations. Initially the use of this new facility has been slow in first 9 months, any changes that make it easier for companies to claim what is arguably the most generous tax legislation on the UK statute book must be encouraged. But, and there’s a huge BUT. As R&D tax relief is, effectively, funded from the EU purse, we will need to wait to see what impact Brexit might have upon this, although HMRC have indicated that the intention will be to retain and possibly improve this tax relief. Jeannette Hume is a Corporate Tax specialist and can be contacted through 01553 774745 or through your local Whiting & Partners office.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. St.December Neots | Wisbech TheIves Fens| | 2019 29


Christmas Gifts in the Fens

It’s my favourite time of the year and one of my feature highlights - getting to look at the lovely festive gifts from retailers and local crafts people. Here’s just a small selection of some of our favourites n M&S Pet Champagne Bottle - £6 | Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

Walnut Tree Designs Harris Tweed HeadWarmer - £18 | Search Walnut Tree Designs on Facebook and Etsy

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M&S Selfie Light - £9.50| Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

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New Look White Christmas Cracker Slogan T-Shirt - £9.99 | Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough n

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Blue Design Shed Fused Glass Single Flower - from £65 | www.bluedesignshed.co.uk n Blue Design Shed Fused Glass Bubbly Heart - £6 | www.bluedesignshed.co.uk

Walnut Tree Designs Dinosaur Lavender Tree - £4 | Search Walnut Tree Designs on Facebook and Etsy n

30 The Fens | December 2019


Ruth Fairhead Porcelain Reindeer (in gift box) £14 each | www. ruthfairheadceramics. co.uk n

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M&S Collection Jewellery Advent Calendar - £19.50 | Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

Ruth Fairhead Ceramic Wren Dish - £28 each | www. ruthfairheadceramics.co.uk n

n FatFace NinjaBread Socks in a Bag in Grey - £6 | Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

n John Lewis & Partners, Green Marbel Cheese Bord & Knives - £50 | Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough

Walnut Tree Designs Liberty Print Wired Headband - £8 | Search Walnut Tree Designs on Facebook and Etsy n

n Oundle Candle Christmas Pud (with lucky sixpence included) - from £7.95 | oundlecandles.com

VEHO Stero Headphones - £12.95 | Wades, Ramsey n

The Fens | December 2019 31


A Fenland

CHRISTMAS LUNCH Celebrate the wonderful local produce our area has to offer with these fantastic vegetarian dishes, courtesy of Riverford MUSHROOM, LENTIL & RED WINE WELLINGTON An ideal veggie centrepiece to your Christmas feast. The cooking is simple and speedy, but you need to give the filling time to cool - it makes working with the pastry much easier. If practical, it’s worth getting all the elements ready the day before. It gives them time to cool, leaving you to just wrap and bake on Christmas morning. It’s easily made vegan by using vegan pastry and brushing the top with a little oil in place of the egg Serves 4-6 Prep 10 mins Cook 40 mins – plus cooling time 4 large Portobello mushrooms 1 onion, finely dice 1 carrot, finely diced 1 celery stick, finely dice 1 tin cooked dark/puy lentils 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped 1 tbsp soy sauce 100ml red wine 300g puff pastry 150g baby spinach 1 egg, beaten 1 Preheat your oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Toss the mushrooms in a roasting tray with 2 tbsp of oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 mins. Remove from the tray and place in the fridge to cool quickly. Clean the tray.

32 The Fens | December 2019

2 While the mushrooms roast, warm 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, carrot and celery over a medium heat for 10 mins, until starting to soften. 3 Meanwhile, drain and rinse the lentils in a sieve. 4 Add the garlic, rosemary, lentils, soy sauce and red wine to the veg, along with 100ml of water. Cook over a medium heat for 10 mins, until most of the liquid has disappeared and the lentils have become mushy. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pop into the fridge to cool. 5 Roll out the pastry into a rectangle about 3mm thin, roughly the size of an A4 sheet. Lay it on the clean baking tray and return it to the fridge to stay cold. 6 Wash the spinach. Place it in saucepan over a high heat until just wilted, about 30 secs. Cool immediately under cold water. Drain,

squeeze out any excess water, and roughly chop it. 7 To build the Wellington, spread the cooled lentil mix evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2cm gap along one long edge. Place the mushrooms, stems up, in a line down the centre and pack them with chopped spinach. Brush the exposed pastry edge with a little water. Gently lift it up and over to completely encase the mushrooms, pressing the damp edge down to seal. Crimp the open ends closed. Brush with a little beaten egg and lightly score the top with a sharp knife. Cut 2 or 3 vent holes in the top to let the steam escape. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 mins, until golden and cooked through.


HASSELBACK POTATOES WITH GARLIC & ROSEMARY Serves 4 Prep 10 minutes Cook 1 hour

spoon next to the potato to stop the knife cutting down to the board.

2 bulbs of garlic salt & pepper 1kg small/medium potatoes 50/50 mix of olive oil and sunflower oil 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

3 Place the potatoes in a roasting tray. Toss in plenty of oil, salt and pepper. Roast them, sliced side up, for 30 mins.

1 Preheat your oven to 180˚C/ Gas Mark 4. Cut the top centimetre from each bulb of garlic, and sit them on a square of foil. Cover with a slug of oil and a pinch of salt. Add a dash of water. Bring the sides of the foil up into a tight parcel. Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 mins, or until the flesh is soft and turning golden brown. When they are ready, remove the bulbs from the foil and leave to cool. They should be done before the potatoes are ready. 2 Meanwhile, thinly slice each potato without cutting all the way through. You could try to do it by eye, but a better trick is to lay the handle of a wooden

4 Remove from the oven and use a pastry brush to baste them with the hot oil from the bottom of the tray. Return to the oven for 20 mins, until completely tender in the middle. 5 While the potatoes are finishing, squeeze the soft flesh from the garlic skins, like squeezing toothpaste, a strangely enjoyable task. You’ll end up with a sweet, sticky garlic purée. Mix it with the rosemary. 6 When the potatoes are ready, use the pastry brush to brush the potatoes with the garlic and rosemary. Try to work as much as you can into the slices. Return them to the oven for a final 5 mins. Serve immediately.

BRAISED SPROUTS, RAW KALE & ALMONDS Serves 4 as a side Prep 10 mins Cook 10 mins 1 head of black kale olive oil 500g sprouts, trimmed and halved glass of white wine 40g flaked and toasted almonds salt and pepper 1 Strip the kale leaves away from the stalks and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Use your hands to massage and scrunch the oil and salt into the leaves for a couple of minutes. Set to one side.

CARROTS & CLEMENTINE IN A BAG A theatrical technique that seals in the flavour and lets the veg cook in its own moisture. You’ll need baking parchment and 3 bulldog clips. You could use a dash of mulled cider instead of water side towards you. Fold it in half from left to right. Double-fold the top and bottom edges and secure the folds closed with bulldog clips, creating a bag.

Serves 4 prep 5 mins cook 30 mins 8 carrots, peeled and chopped into 3cm angled pieces 1 clementine, peeled and sliced into thin discs 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise 3 whole cloves 2 tbsp olive oil 1 bay leaf Salt & pepper 1 Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. To make the bag, spread out a rectangle of baking parchment, approximately 60 x 30cm, with the longer

2 Put the carrots and clementine in a mixing bowl with the spices and oil, season well with salt and pepper and mix well. Tip them into the bag with the bay leaf and a dash of water. Double-fold the open edge of the bag and clip it closed. 3 Sit the bag in a roasting tray and bake for about 30 mins; the bag should puff up. Turn out into a bowl, or open at the table like a big bag of crisps.

2 Warm 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. Add the sprouts and fry them over a medium heat for 2-3 mins. Add a pinch of salt and tip in the glass of wine. Braise the sprouts in the wine, turning occasionally, until the wine has evaporated. This should take 2-3 mins, by which time the sprouts should be just tender. If they seem a little under, add a dash of water and cook it away. 3 Keep the sprouts on the heat and let them cook for a few more mins, until starting to colour on the edges. Remove from the heat and stir in the kale. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the toasted almonds.

The Fens | December 2019 33


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Nature

Mindful of wildlife As the year draws to an end it’s an ideal time to look back over the last 11 months, as well as anticipating the dawn of a new year on the near horizon

WORDS Caroline Fitton, The Wildlife Trust IMAGE J.Barnard

With darker shorter days and many of us leading busy crammed lives with 21st century data overload from mobile phones and tablets, social media, digital platforms, confused politics, Brexit uncertainties it’s both beneficial and important to take time out – and breath . . . Being outdoors in natural surroundings helps calm us and reconnect to our own inner peace. Many who crave peace find it through nature. Associated with peace today are the terms mindfulness and ASMR - which stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response”, and describes a pleasant tingling sensation moving from the scalp and down the spine, triggered by various repetitive stimuli, such as whispering, rustling leaves or reeds swaying in the breeze or perhaps the immersive quality of bird song. These trigger a physical response, a tingling, which in turn stimulates psychological responses ranging from relaxation to

sleepiness - many of us will have felt ASMR in natural surroundings, and the quiet enjoyment that nature reserves bring is the perfect way to seek it out. Under the sweeping skies of the Wildlife Trust’s Great Fen, for example, this very special 14 square mile reserve has many areas which offer the chance of meditation and tranquillity – from the exquisite graceful woodland of Holme Fen, to the sanctuary of double height bird hide at Trundle Mere Hide with views out over Rymes Reedbed. In places such as this, true mindfulness, with its emphasis on the relaxed focusing of attention on the present, sharpened by meditative exercises or by being alert to details in the environment, is possible. Seeing wildlife and nature reserves in a mindful way can be soothing, and mentally beneficial, helping put the wider world into a less jumbled and aggressive perspective.

Fenset David Holliday 36 The Fens | December 2019

EVENTS Mindfulness walk at the Great Fen - Friday 13 December, 1-2.30pm An opportunity to discover mindfulness techniques whilst walking in the beautiful natural habitat of the Great Fen. Book a place: info@greatfen.org or call 01487 815524 www.wildlifebcn.org/events/201912-13-mindfulness-walks www.greatfen.org.uk/ In the Deep Midwinter Wildlife Walk - Saturday 28 December, 10am – 1pm Time to walk off the excesses of rich food and drink with the Wildlife Trust’s Ely local group. British wildlife has largely evolved to cope with the low temperatures, shorter day length and possible bad weather that winter brings. Indeed, many species actively head to Britain, thus taking advantage of the relatively benign conditions that these islands enjoy (so we have no excuse not to get out and look for them!) In what has now become an annual outing, the Trust’s Ely Local Group will be heading out to see what species they can spot around the Roswell Pits area. Bittern, goosander and kingfisher are among the highlights of previous mid-winter walks; there should be plenty of interest to see.

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Walk of the month

A maritime stroll WORDS AND IMAGES AMY CORNEY

On a blustery grey November morning we headed to the historical old seaport of Kings Lynn to trace its maritime past. Passing through the South Gate, a 15th century stone-built gateway, we entered this seaport and market town which is home to some stunning architecture, most prominently a mash up of medieval and Georgian buildings. Originally called Linn, a name derived from the Celtic word for lake or pool, the town become known as Bishop’s Lynn in the early 13th century. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII,  the town changed its name to Lynn Regis – which latterly evolved into King’s Lynn, the name it retains today.    Strolling along the front of the port we started our walk with a blast of fresh air coming from the South Quay. Boats moored to the sides of the harbour bobbed with the breeze and the mud banks reflected the wintery brown coloured water, you certainly wouldn’t want to take a dip! This Hanseatic town was one of England’s most important ports, with 38 The Fens | December 2019

its origins dating back from as early as the 12th century. The Hanseatic League was a powerful German trading organisation which was made


up of merchants from North Germany and the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Together they brought much wealth and prosperity to the area and the legacy of this history is still visible today. Late medieval merchants’ houses stretch back to the river, nestled between the cobbled lanes. Along the front old warehouses stand in varying states of decay, their original uses revealed in peeling old lettering fading on their facades. Here you can find the Marriot’s Warehouse which was built as a Tudor warehouse around the 1580s by Thomas Claybourne, one of East Anglia’s wealthiest corn and sail merchants. Some of the buildings have been renovated and are now home to restaurants and harbour view homes. Giant anchors left alongside the front look as if they have just been left and forgotten but are a constant reminder to the once industrious days of the past. Continuing along the front we spotted The Custom House, designed by Henry Bell, built in 1683 and opened as a merchant’s exchange in 1685. Inside you can find out more about the town’s rich heritage including its

illustrious smuggling past. In front of this classical building stands a prominent statue of Captain George Vancouver, a great navigator and surveyor, who was born in Kings Lynn and charted much of the North West Pacific Ocean. Captain George overlooks the Purfleet Quay which was the town’s principle anchorage for ships since medieval times. Heading towards the centre of the town down Queen’s Street we spotted the most unusual building, with a quirky checkboard style façade. This is the Town Hall and Trinity Guildhall which was built in the 1420s and used as the meeting place for the wealthy merchants of the town. Nowadays the building is home to Lynn Museum and houses important artefacts from the area. It is here that you can also pick up maps and a guide for the maritime trail which comprises of 27 numbered plaques nestled into the pavement at important landmarks around the town. Directly opposite stands King’s Lynn Minster an impressive church over 900 years old and founded by the first Bishop of Norwich, Herbet de

Losinga in 1101. On the tower used to stand a tall spire which was used as a seamark by Mariners, but dramatically fell in a violent storm in 1741. The Minster is open every day and stands in the historic Saturday Market Place. This meeting point was originally used by the merchants and traders to sell their goods and is still used for weekly markets. Following down St Margaret’s Place, we admired the medieval properties on the narrow streets spotting green plaques on the former merchant houses. Now feeling the chill, we decided to head to one of the town’s cafes for a mug of hot tea and a spot of lunch! Kings Lynn is a town full of character with its fascinating maritime past, quirky buildings and varying trails to follow. With plenty of shops, cafes and historical places to visit, the town really is a forgotten gem but one that is worth exploring! Distance: 1 Miles/ 1.6 KM Terrain: Pavements, Time: 1.5 hours Cost: Parking, museum entrance fee The Fens | December 2019 39


RESTAURANT REVIEW

FIRST TASTE AT

Homme Nouveau Whittlesey’s newest restaurant opened its doors last month, and we were thrilled to be invited to experience it for ourselves. Homme Nouveau didn’t disappoint…. WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL trolley’s offerings, but I spied it at the bar and was impressed by the choice. Homme Nouveau was busy and it’s easy to see why. They’ve cracked the difficult balance between offering a fine dining experience whilst appealing different tastes. The food wasn’t overpriced; it was good quality food at a fair price. Service, even on their opening night, was spot on. So what does Chris plan for the future? “We want to sustain our business and keep our product consistent, whilst also challenging the thought process of fine dining in the area. I’d love to have a rosette within 18 months.”

For the last 18 years, Chris has been working in the industry, training at the well-known Ramsey restaurant, Bow Window. Since then he has worked at a variety of establishments, but it was always his dream to run his own own eatery. The perfect opportunity arose earlier this year to take on one of the historic buildings on the Market Place in Whittlesey, and Chris seized it. “I’ve lived in Whittlesey since I was one,” Chris explained, “so if I was going to open a restaurant anywhere, it would be here.” The name, Homme Nouveau, was inspired by his own family name. “I wondered what ‘Newman’ was translated into French,” he added, “Homme Nouveau sounded right. It’s also a great nod to my training of classic French techniques and methods.” A true family affair, Chris explained that the modern and stylish decor of the new restaurant is thanks to his wife. Coupled with soft, classic music and newly unholstered chairs, ensures Homme Nouveau is the perfect setting for a fine dining experience. As expected, Chris’ team of five front of house waitresses set the right tone. We ordered the duck pate and mushroom risotto for starters. Each 40 The Fens | December 2019

dish surpassed our expectations. Next came our steaks. These were cooked exactly as we had ordered them and were delicious, much helped I’m sure by Chris’ insistence on using local produce from local suppliers, in this case Jones Butchers. It was difficult to choose a dessert as we wanted them all, but we opted for the childhood memories dish, which comprised of popcorn Panna Cotta, homemade doughnut and chocolate sauce, and the indulgent dark chocolate mousse. Needless to say, it was only empty plates that ever left our table! I also really enjoyed sampling the gin menu (anybody who knows me well, knows that I can’t resist a good gin), and our photographer was pleased to see a good variety of beers. We didn’t get to try the cheese

Whittlesey already has an excellent choice of independent restaurants and Homme Nouveau complements them nicely. It’s fine dining, without being pretentious. Here you can eat your steak, cooked to your liking, or try something a bit different and experiment with flavours. We’ll definitely be back for more... To book a table call 07917 061682. Homme Nouveau is at 12 Market Street, Whittlesey PE7 1AB.


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LOCAL HISTORY BY BILL WATT

Peterborough’s History F

or those of you who have read the previous three articles, you will be aware that they ran in a chronological order. Peterborough has a history, pre- Roman times but I think I will call that long era, Pre-History and we will concentrate on Peterborough’s history post Roman. Goodness knows; there is enough of it. So!, to our beginning. Here I will briefly run through a line of the different “Kings” who ruled the various “Kingdoms” which arose and fell during the “Dark Ages” and finish this piece at the establishment of an Abbey at Medeshamstede (Peterborough). From the time of the Iceni revolt, led by Boudicca in 60/61 AD, Britain had become a largely peaceful, settled and prosperous part of the Roman Empire, in which all freeborn Britons were Roman Citizens.

Rather than a “Roman Withdrawal” from Britain, it was more a collapse of Roman central power. Rome itself was under attack from Goths and Vandals. The monolithic power that used to be Rome, had by this time split into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. Because of these external pressures on Rome itself; Britain was largely left to its own devices. Over time the Roman Army changed from a conquering and mobile force to one which largely consisted of garrison duties. From AD 350 Saxon pirates, coming across the North Sea, began to pose a threat to the eastern coast of Britain. To counter this threat a series of forts was built from the Wash, Skegness to Dunwich and then along the south east coast. These forts and the defence they gave were commanded by the “Count of the Saxon

42 The Fens | December 2019

Shore”. These coastal forts provided protection into the early AD400’s. In 409 AD Britain was attacked, again, by the Saxons (who came from what we now call Saxony, Germany); “The Britons freed themselves, expelling their Roman Governors and setting up their own administration”. In 410 AD the Emperor Honarius told the British to look to their own defences. AD 458-60 saw the full- scale migration of Romano/British aristocrats and city dwellers across the English Channel to the Amorican area, north of the River Loire, in north west Gaul. As a unified country France did not exist until after the Norman Conquest. It could be argued that it was from that point on, the period of history, once called the Dark Ages, began. However, the term the “Dark Ages” is no longer so casually used. But, it could be said to be “Dark” in describing the 400 to 500 years of the waxing and waning of different peoples from where we would now call Western Europe, arriving on England’s East and South Coasts. Once these leaders had consolidated and expanded their land holdings they began to think of themselves as being Kings of their particular Kingdoms; such as Gododdin/ Northumbria, Reged (now Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire), Gwynedd, (now North Wales) and Dumnonia, (now Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the West Country. Since the term the “The Dark “ was coined we have gained much more knowledge about this period of England’s history. There are written sources, but not many. The only section of society who remained literate, was the Church and naturally, that written by the early Church was written for their particular viewpoint.

we have The History of the English Church and its People which covers the period from AD 409 to AD 731. We have history written by a Welsh Monk by the name of Gildas and we have The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. It is thought that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was first started during the 9th century but there is a belief that an Oral History began in 754. As well as these few written sources historians have began to piece more together through archaeological discoveries and the information that can be gleaned from these discoveries from the science now available to examine them. From the period AD 350 onwards, up until just before the Norman Conquest, the list of tribes and Tribal Leaders, who conquered land, established what they began to call “Kingdoms”. Is too long and detailed to itemise in this short history piece. However, I will mention, in AD 46070, the appearance of a Leader called Ambrosius Aurealianus. He is recorded as killing a Saxon leader,

who has been named as Vortigen, then waging war on the Saxons, confining them to their landing grounds. At this point some Historians consider this to be the final death of Roman Britain. Two new names then emerge for the “native British inhabitants”, Cymru and Cumbri (Cumbria). AD 469 The Roman Emperor Anthemius appealed to Britain for military help against the Visigoths. In response a force was dispatched to the emperor’s aid; this force was largely destroyed in battle against the Visigoth king Euric. Back home the British provinces finally slipped from any semblance of Roman control and dissolved into separate kingdoms. Going into AD 470 Ambrosius was replaced by Arthur (Artorius) as supreme commander of the Britons. By now the war was no longer Britons against Saxons. A leader named Cerdic (British name) employed English Federates against Arthur. By AD 473 the men of Kent, under the leadership of Hengest moved westward, driving the British before them. The


Anglos Saxon Chronicle records another Saxon chieftain, Aelle landing at Selsey Bill, on the Sussex coast and driving the British into the Weald. Over the next 9 years Saxon coastal holdings were gradually expanded in Sussex. During this time the Saxons were expanding eastward into central Europe but during the 480’s AD this was blocked, resulting in more settlers arriving in Britain. In AD 490 the Saxon leader Hengest died to be succeeded by his son Aesec. In AD 495 the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the “Germanic” king Cerdic and his son landed on the south coast, probably near the Hampshire- Dorset border and moved inland. They established the area that was to become Wessex. Sometime around AD 500 the combined forces of Oesec of Kent, Aelle of the South and West Saxons were defeated at the battle of Badon, ( possibly following an advance along the Ermine Way between Silchester and Swindon near Liddington, where the Roman road is crossed by the Ridgeway). At this point English/Saxon expansion was halted and there was no fusion of societies, as happened on the continent. Arthur’s subsequent campaigns were fought to reassert Imperial/Central authority over the former diocese of Roman Britain. He was successful; stable government was established once more, creating institutions which endured for another 50 years. Those of you who read my earlier piece about King Alfred the Great, will remember that I mentioned the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. It was King Alfred who took the decision to codify them. The names of some of the Saxon leaders, we cannot be sure of. let alone the spelling. The legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table arise from this era; again, we cannot be sure of this being the actual name of a Ruler. However, we can be sure of the existence of a Leader, who managed to unify the Britons and halt Saxon/ English expansion for those 50 years. When you consider the seesawing of power over the past 50/60 years, the unification that Leader achieved was amazing. The Saxons who had established themselves in their East Coast Enclaves could not be ousted and the monk Gildas, writing in his Chronicle lamented , “ lugubri divortio barbarorum” the melancholy partition of Britain with the barbarian. The Latin word divortio implies formal cessation of territory to others. However, it must be noted that the differences between the heathen cultures of Anglican and Saxon England, though real, were less significant than their resemblances. There are little differences between their social structures, agricultural practices and building styles. Both cultures were subsistence farming based, therefore there was not the surplus to support urban towns; although towns still did exist. They were certainly less wealthy, politically active and industry ceased to exist, but were often re-fortified. Again, Gildas, writing in AD 540, expressed his fears that the current period of peace was threatened Gildas also railed against kings who led their own war bands and had usurped the functions of judges. In AD 565 St. Columba established a Monastery on the Isle of Iona; he was a missionary of the Celtic side of the Catholic Church. By the middle of the 7th. Century, England had coalesced into major, separate kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex and East Anglia. In 654 AD, Peada, son of the Mercian king Penda, converted to Christianity prior to marrying Alhflaed, a Princess of Northumbria. The following year, 655, Peada and his father in law, Oswiu, King of Northumbria co-founded a monastery at Medeshamstede. So began the history of Peterborough; some 1364 years ago.

Bah Humbug! Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings It’s December already and Christmas is almost upon us. In the run up to the day itself, time permitting, you’ll find me snuggled up in the evenings with a small glass of Baileys, a mince pie and some good festive reading. I can also guarantee you that one book I’ll be reading will be Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. It’s one of my absolute favourites and has now become a bit of a tradition of mine to read every Christmas. For those of you who don’t know it, this famous Victorian tale tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a solitary miser, shown the true meaning of Christmas through a series of ghostly visitors on Christmas Eve, including his old business partner Jacob Marley. First published in December 1843, the first edition of A Christmas Carol had completely sold out by Christmas Eve, with a further 13 editions released by the end of 1844. In 1849 Dickens began public readings of the book which proved so successful, he undertook another 127 readings, right up to the year of his death in 1870. A Christmas Carol, which has never been out of print, has been translated into several languages and adapted many times for film and stage. Some lesser known versions include: Carry on Christmas starring Sid James as Ebenezer, and The Six Million Dollar Man— “A Bionic Christmas Carol”, whilst some better known adaptions include Mickey’s (Mouse) Christmas Carol, Bill Murray’s Scrooged, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and my favourite film version, Disney’s A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. Back in October this year I was honoured to meet Lucinda Hawksley, great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, at Wanstead Library, where she gave a talk about the man himself and the Christmas story that undoubtedly influenced social reform. As a historian and author with a keen interest in her own family history, Lucinda also talked about Dickens’ early childhood, including his time spent as a child labourer, and how, as an acclaimed novelist, not only did he become the greatest celebrity of his age but also a brilliant campaign journalist, philanthropist and social reformer. Above all else though, at a time of year when many families feel the financial burden of Christmas in what too often becomes a celebration of wealth and consumerism, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol reminds us that a joyful Christmas does not require Ebenezer Scrooge’s gold. Merry Christmas everyone!

You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter www.facebook.com/ EvaJordanWriter/ The Fens | December 2019 43


Recipe

Maple and rosemary bacon We love this recipe at Christmas‌ crush it up and sprinkle it on your Brussels sprouts!

INGREDIENTS

115g soft brown sugar 60ml cider 60ml maple syrup Pinch of smoked paprika Sprig of rosemary (roughly chopped) 10 slices of streaky bacon cut in half

THE METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 200oC. Line a baking tray with foil and place a wire rack on top.

2. Place a small pan on a low heat. Mix all the ingredients except the bacon. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and brush the bacon on both sides with the sugar mix. Arrange the bacon on the wire rack and place in the oven. Remove the bacon every 5 mins or so and brush both sides again, pop it back in the oven and repeat for about 20-30 mins until the bacon is crisp and browned. 3. Allow to cool before serving as a snack.

Chef's Twist

This works well with honey or even r just building up a layer of icing suga are s herb during baking is good. Suitable t thyme and sage, and ginger root is grea for ze boo also. Cider is our favourite this dish but beer works just as well, especially a wheat beer. We have found that wafer thin pastrami is good but much more expensive

Eat, drink, stay!

Pub gastronomic, farmhouse kitchen, boutique rooms River Nene, between Thorney & Whittlesey | 01733 202256 44 The Fens | December 2019

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The Fens | December 2019 45


USEFUL NUMBERS

Editorial Policy Summary •All items are included entirely at the discretion of the editor who reserves the right to edit or refuse to print any item submitted. •The Fens Magazine cannot accept any liability for omissions, errors or mistakes which occur in production. •All materials contained within are strictly copyright, all rights reserved. Production in whole or part without permission of The Fens Magazine is prohibited.

24 Hour Emergency Number 01480 52222 Age UK Cambridgeshire 0300 6669860 Care Network Cambridgeshire 01480 423065 Caring Together (Carers Trust) 03452 410954 Citizens Advice Bureau 0344 2451292 Cromwell Vets 01487 814789 Huntingdon Job Centre 0843 5092446 Hunts Forum 01480 420601 Life Amid Debt (LAD) 07768 681564 Locality 01480 376209 Luminus Group 0345 2669760 Muir Housing 01480 453234 One Leisure 01480 817900 Police Emergency 999 Police Non Emergency 101 Ramsey Child & Family Zone 01480 379420 Ramsey Community Bus 01487 711330 Ramsey Community Warden 07900 340265 Ramsey Food Bank 01487 812818 Ramsey Library 0345 0455225 Ramsey Million* 01487 814897 BOSH/CRUNCH 07955 817137 Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust* 01487 814897 Ramsey Post Office 01487 812549 Ramsey Volunteer Bureau 01487 814117 The Bobby Scheme 01480 413311 Stagecoach 01223 433250 Swearers Funeral Services 01487 812239 The Ramsey Initiative 01487 813612 WI Centre 01480 453137 Health Addenbrookes 01223 245151 Hinchingbrooke Hospital 01480 416416 Peterborough City Hospital 01733 678000 Rainbow Surgery 01487 710980 Ramsey Dental Surgery 01487 812312 Ramsey Health Centre 01487 812611 Village Halls/Community Centre Bury Village Hall 01487 813848 Ramsey Community Centre 01733 844816 Ramsey Forty Foot Village Hall 01487 814637 Ramsey Mereside Village Hall 01733 844459 Upwood Village Hall 01487 815475 Wistow Village Hall 01487 822708 Schools/Child Care Abbey College 01487 812352 Ashbeach Primary 01733 844262 Bury C of E Primary 01487 813784 Bury Play Group 07733 360836 Busy Bee Day Nursery 01487 711643 Head Start Nursery 01487 710709 Ramsey Pre School 01487 710160 Ashbeach Ladybirds Pre School 01733 219900 Ramsey Junior School 01487 812500 Ramsey Spinning Infants 01487 813587 The Ramsey Day Nursery 01487 710422 Upwood Playgroup 01487 813510 Upwood Primary School 01487 813510 Councils Ramsey & Bury County Councillor County Cllr. Adela Costello 01487 813124 Ramsey & Bury District Councillors District Cllr. Steve Corney 07795 057440 District Cllr. Jeff Clarke 07802 398259 District Cllr. John Palmer 01487 814063 Warboys District Cllr. Jill Taverner 01487 823082 District Cllr. Graham Bull 07780 511928 Ramsey Mayor - Cllr.Steve Corney 01487 814957 Ramsey Town Council 01487 814957 Parish Council - Clerk 01487 812447 Bury Parish Council 01487 813278 Wistow Parish Council 01487 812877

46 The Fens | December 2019

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WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing hello@thefensmag.co.uk LIGHT UP RAMSEY Saturday 30th November from 2pm

Don’t miss Ramsey’s Christmas lights from 2pm. For up to date news please visit Ramsey Christmas Lights on Facebook

RAMSEY COMMUNITY MARKET CHRISTMAS 2019 30th November, 7th December, 14th December and 21st December

Pitches available Saturdays/Thursdays in 2019/2020. Contact 01487 814897 or market.rntoffice@gmail.com

SEASONAL MUSIC CONCERT Friday 6th December, 7:30pm

Ramsey Methodist Church are pleased to welcome the Bury and Ramsey Concert Band conducted by Martin Todd to perform a concert of seasonal music in Ramsey Methodist Church on Friday 6th December at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be served, and entry will be on the door at £5, under 16’s free. Proceeds will be shared 50/50 between the band and Ramsey Methodist Church. All are welcome to enjoy an evening of varied music.

BREAKFAST BUFFET WITH SANTA Friday 6th/7th/8th December

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

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

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

‘GREAT WHYTE CHRISTMAS’ Saturday 7th December – 11am

Ramsey Library – FREE event – RAF Wyton Area Voluntary Band and Festive Refreshments. For further details contact rntprojectmanager@ gmail.com – 01487 814897. Everyone welcome.

WHITTLESEY EXTRAVAGANZA Saturday 7th December - 3:30pm 7pm

This year’s Extravaganza will include plenty for the whole family. There will be a small entrance fee for Santa’s Grotto and children’s wristbands are £5 - the wristband entities children to unlimited goes on certain rides.

ADVENT MARKETS – GREAT WHYTE, RAMSEY Saturday 7th, 14th, 21st December

To book a stall contact market. rntoffice@gmail.com – 01487 814897

PETERBOROUGH CONCERT BAND FESTIVE CONCERT Sunday 8th December, 4.00pm

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

children. Refreshments and tuck shop available. The party is a ticket only event so please ensure you book in advance - £3 per child. val.rntoffice@ gmail.com - with kind thanks to the Rotary Club of Ramsey for their support

RAMSEY COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS FAYRE Sunday 15th December, 11am - 2pm

Free entry to Ramsey’s Christmas Fayre, which will be held at Ramsey Community Centre. There will be local businesses and craft stalls selling gifts, treats, festive refreshments and more. The event is supporting Magpas Air Ambulance

PETERBOROUGH GHOST WALK Tuesday 17th December - 7.30pm

Explore the city’s spooky side! Be spellbound by our haunted heritage with our ever-popular Ghost Walk. Pre-booking is advisable for this highly popular tour which is not recommended for under-8’s. (all children must be accompanied). Meet outside Peterborough Museum £5 adults; £3 children. Book now online at vivacity.org or call 01733 864663.

CHRISTINGLE AT PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL Friday 20th December – 5.30pm

A service for young children and their families, with seasonal readings, carols and Christingle oranges.

CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING WORKSHOP Tuesday 10th December 7pm-9pm

£45 per person. Make your own real Christmas Wreaths at Harvest Barn. Tickets available on www. popupblooms.com

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY Saturday 14th December, 2.30pm 4pm

For children aged from 0 to 10 years, on Saturday 14th December, 2.30pm at Ramsey Community Centre. Santa will be visiting with a gift for the

THE PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT Saturday 21st December – 7.30pm

Peterborough Cathedral Choir, Youth Choir and Festival Chorus with a programme of Christmas choral favourites. The Fens | December 2019 47


REGULARS MONDAY Acorn Cancer Support Group v 1st Monday of the month (2nd if Bank Holiday) 11:15 - 1pm. Rainbow Resource Centre. For details call 07739 934524 Ramsey & District Garden Club v 3rd Mon of month, 7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre [ 01487 710702 Women’s Section Royal British Legion v 3rd Mon, 7:30pm, British Legion [ 01487 812143 Ramsey WI v 2nd Mon of month, 7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre Time Out v 2nd & 4th Mon 9:30am11:30am Great Whyte Baptist Church [ Peter + Valerie 01487 812323 Ramsey Senior Road Runners v Every Mon & Weds 7pm9pm, Bedford Room, One Leisure Centre [ 01487 812829 Bingo - Mereside Village Association v Mon fortnightly, 7:30pm Mereside Village Hall Trekkers (7-11 years) v Every Monday term time 6:30-7:30pm, School Room, Salem Baptist Church [ 01487 815568 Handbell Playing v Every Monday 7-9pm Upwood Church 1st Bury Brownies v Monday 6-7:30pm, Bury Church Hall [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Toddlers v Every Mon 9.30-10.30am Thomas a Becket Church 1st Bury Guides v Monday 7:30-9pm, Bury Church Hall [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Sweaty Mamma’s v 10 -10.45am, Mereside Village Hall [ Rosie - 07963 468740 Ramsey Crafters [ Every Monday 12-3pm Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 710851 / 01487 814633 48 The Fens | December 2019

For up to date information about news and events www.discoverramsey.co.uk

Ramsey Tennis Club v Every Monday 6pm, Abbey Grounds [ 01487 209369 Caring Together - Ramsey Family Carers Hub v 3rd Monday of the month, 11am-1pm, Ramsey Library [ 01480 499090 Yoga Class v Every Monday 7-8:15pm, Ramsey Junior School [ Debbie 01487 812218 Ramsey Rockets, Netball Club v Every Monday 8-9pm One Leisure Astroturf [ Jo.rose4@btinternet.com Little Miracles, After School Sports v Every Monday 5-6pm One Leisure, Ramsey [ Amy - 07715 306112 TUESDAY Crossroads (4-7 years) v Every Tuesday term time 3-4:30pm, School Room, Salem Baptist Church Christian Meditation Group v Every Tues, 7.30-8.30pm Sacred Heart Church, [ mrsestorey@gmail.com Line Dancing v Every Tuesday 8-9:30pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Ladies Meeting v Every Tuesday 2:30-4pm Great Whyte Baptist Church [ Peter/Valarie 01487 812323 or Pauline Nixon 01487 814030 University of the Third Age v 2nd Tues 2pm Ramsey Community Centre [ ramseyu3a.org.uk Ramsey Child & Family Zone, Stay, Play & Learn v 10 - 11.30am, Ramsey Community Centre, £2 [ 01480 372700 Rotary Club of Ramsey v Every Tuesday 7:30pm Ramsey Golf Club [ 01480 460843 511 Air Cadets, Ramsey v Tuesday & Thursday, 7-9pm Redebourn Lane, Bury [ 01487 710776 Bell Ringing, St Thomas a Becket Church v Tuesdays (Except Holy Week) 7.30-9pm

[ Cathy 01487 814860 [ Paul 01487 813372 Ramsey Child & Family Zone Bumps & Babies v 1.30pm-3pm, Ramsey Library [ 01480 3727000 Ramsey Senior’s Lunch Club v Every Tuesday & Thursday Rainbow Resource Centre [ 07748 837899 Toddlers, Mereside Village Association v Every Tuesday 2:30pm, Mereside Village Hall [ 01733 844816 Food Bank v Every Tuesday,10am 12noon, Thomas a Becket Church 1st Ramsey Rainbows v Tuesdays 5.15 - 6.30pm, Ramsey Methodist Church [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 1940s Volunteer Day v Every Tuesday 10am, The Camp, Wood Lane [ 07881 730047 2nd Ramsey Brownies v Tuesdays 6-7:30pm, The Scout Hut [ Ann Patmore 01487 815878 [ Wendy Nicholls 01487 814547 Upwood Table Tennis Club v Tuesdays 7:30-10pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01487 812923 [ hollyhouse.upwood@ tiscali.co.uk Ramsey Cycling Club v Every Tues & Thurs 7pm, Bus Bay, Abbey Road, Ramsey [ Paul: 07707 598621 WEDNESDAY Ramsey St Mary’s WI v 3rd Weds, 7:30pm, The Barn, Ashbeach School [ 01480 453137 Upwood Table Tennis Club v Wednesdays 2-4:30pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01487 812923 hollyhouse.upwood@tiscali. co.uk Ramsey Senior Citizens Club v 1st Wednesday of month 2pm (Except Jan & Aug) Bury Village Hall [ 01487 711649

www.ramseyseniors.wordpress.com

Dementia Cafe v 1st Weds of month 10-12pm Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01487 415235 Bingo Evening St Mary’s Church, Ramsey St Mary’s v 2nd Wednesday, 7:3010pm, Ashbeach Barn [ 01487 711548 Wistow WI v 2nd Weds, (Except August) 7:30pm, Wistow Village Hall [ 01487 822828 Becket Senior Lunches v 3rd Wednesday of month St Thomas a Becket Church [ 07763 205042 Ramsey & District Stroke Support v 3rd Weds of month 2pm, Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01487 815274, Parkinson’s UK Ramsey Support Group - Medication Review Clinic v 2nd Weds, 2-4pm Rainbow Resource Centre [ 01480 896735 Ramsey Rangers v Alternate Weds, 8pm9:30pm Royal British Legion Club [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 1st Ramsey Scouting Group, Beavers v Every Weds 5:45-7pm (Term time only), Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 01487 813435 1st Ramsey Scouting Group, Cubs v Every Weds 7:10-8:30 (Term time only), Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 01487 813435 Bury Carpet Bowls v Weds 7:30-9.30pm [ 01487815363 or 01487822450 Upwood Brownies v Wednesdays 6-7:30pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01733 844850 Coffee Morning v 1st Weds, 10-12pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Noah’s Ark - Mums & Toddlers v Every Weds 9.30 -11am Term Time, Great Whyte Baptist Church Hall [ 01487 812689 Young Farmers Club v Every Wednesday, Various Locations


[ Jordon 07717 723266 [ Tris 07743 655337 1st Ramsey Brownies v Weds 5:30pm-7:00pm Ramsey Junior School [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 2nd Ramsey Guides v Weds 7-8:30pm Royal British Legion club [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Urban Dance Academy v 3 to 4 years, 4-4:30pm v 5 to 6 years, 4:30-5:15pm v 7 to 8 years, 5:15-6pm v 9 to 10 years, 6-6:45pm v 11+, 6:45-7:30pm Ramsey Community Centre [ UDA 07776 122841 Indoor Carpet Bowls v Every Weds 7:45-10pm Ramsey Forty Foot Village Hall [ 01487 813085 Ramsey Junior Road Runners v Weds 7:30-8:30pm Bedford Room, One Leisure Centre [ 01487 812829 Craft club v Every second Weds of each month, Ramsey Mereside Hall [ 01733 844459 Junior Youth Club v Weds (1st, 3rd and 4th of each month) 5.457.15pm , Ramsey Mereside Hall [ Louise Clark themeresider@aol.com Senior Youth Club v Weds (1st, 3rd and 4th of each month) 7.30 - 9pm, Ramsey Mereside Hall [ Louise Clark themeresider@aol.com 1st Warboys Rainbows v Weds Warboys Church 5 - 6pm [ 01733 844850 Yvonne 1st Warboys Brownies v Weds Warboys Church 6.15 - 7.45pm [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Ramsey Friendship Centre v Weds (except first week in month) 10am-12noon. Ramsey Methodist Church hall. Transport available. [ 01487 711330 THURSDAY Messy Church - Fun & Food for Juniors v Second Thurs 3.30-5pm Scout Hut, Little Whyte [ 07859 594227 Warboys Friendship Club v 10-11.30am, Warboys Parish Centre

[ Ann Doyle 01487 823176 Salem Baptist Chapel Oasis (People over 50) v 2nd & 4th Thursday 2pm High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Abbey WI v 1st Thursday of month 2pm Bury Village Hall [ 01487 813848 Little Lambs Toddler Group v Every Thurs 9:30am, Salem Baptist Church, High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Ramsey Choral Society v Every Thursday 7:309:30pm, Ramsey Junior School [ 01487 813819 Ramsey Camera Club v Fortnightly (Except School Holidays) 8-10pm, Ramsey Community Centre [ 01487 711706 Ramsey Rural Museum Open Day v Every Thursday 10-5pm, April to October, Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 815715 Ramsey Reading Ring Book Group v 1st Thurs of month 10:30am, Ramsey Library [ 0345 0455225 Papworth Trust Fun United Youth Club - for young people with additional needs v Every Thursday 7-9pm Holy Cross Parish Church Hall [ 0800 952500 Ramsey Yarners v Every 3rd Thursday 2pm Ramsey Library [ 0345 0455225 Knit n Natter v Alternate Thurs 10am –12pm Ramsey Mereside Village Hall So nSews v Alternate Thurs 10am 12.30pm, Ramsey Mereside Village Hall Ramsey Forty Foot Brownies v 6-7:30pm, Ashbeach School Barn [ 01733 844850 Yvonne Line Dance Classes v Every Thursday 1:45-3pm Warboys Sports & Social Club [ 01487 824143/ 01480 494367 Ramsey Bridge Club v Every Thurs 7-10:30pm Bury Village Hall, [ 01487 824002 Food Bank

v Every Thurs,10am12noon, Thomas a Becket Church Abbey Ukuleles v Every Thurs, 7-9pm, Ramsey Golf & Bowls Club [ 07887622077 FRIDAY Hunts Mind v Fri, 10-11am, Ramsey Library [ 01480 470480 Bury Table Tennis Club v Every Friday 7 -10pm Bury Village Hall [ Roger Albone 01487 813428 Rhymetime at Ramsey Library v Friday (term time)10.3011am (0-2ys), 11.1511.45am (2+) [ 0345 045 5225 Child Health Clinic v Friday 9.30 – 11am Ramsey Library [ 01480 357152 Little Bugs Club v Every Friday, Countryside Centre, 10.30am-12noon [ 01487 815524 SATURDAY & SUNDAY Ramsey Rural Museum (April - October) v Saturday & Sunday 25pm, Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 815715 Open Door - Drop in for Coffee v 3rd Saturday of month 10-12pm, Ramsey Methodist Church [ 01487 813833 Salem Baptist Chapel v Sunday School - 9:45am Morning Service - 10:45am Evening Service - 6:00pm High Street, Ramsey [ 01487 815568 Ramsey Walled Garden v Every Sunday & Bank Holidays Easter - Oct Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 813054 Little Miracles, Family Session v Every Sat 10:30 -12pm Ramsey Methodist Church [ Amy - 07715 306112 Bury Rainbows v Saturdays 9:15-10:30am Bury Church Hall [ 01733 844850 Yvonne AA v Every Saturday, 7pm, Thomas a Becket Church Great Fen Wildlife Watch v Every 2nd Sat 10-12pm

Countryside Centre. (No meeting in December, January and August). We now take all children from Primary Schools, parents must stay with children under 8 yrs old. Cost is £3 per child or £5 a family (siblings) [ 01487 710420 Ramsey Mortuary Chapels v First Sun, Easter-Oct, 2-5pm Wood Lane, Ramsey [ 01487 814304 Heritage First Sunday v First Sunday - April to October www.discoverramsey.co.uk Great Whyte Baptist Church v Sunday Service, 10.45am [ 01487 812323

REGULARS Job Search v Mon & Wed 10am-12pm Ramsey Library [ 01487 814897 All-a-Board Games Club v Monday 2-4pm, Ramsey Library SPARKS v Monday 7-9pm, Ramsey Methodist Church The Dog’s Meet v Tuesday 10am-12pm, Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 BOSH v Thurs (Term-time) 4.306pm Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 CRUNCH v Thurs (Term-time) 7-9pm Ramsey Cricket Club [ 01487 814897 Community Market v Sat & Thurs 7am-1pm Great Whyte [ 01487 814897 Toddler Time v First Sat of the Month, Ramsey Community Centre [ 01487 814897 Ramsey Crafters v Mondays, 12-3pm, Ramsey Library [ Contact 01487 814897 Boxing Fitness v Wednesdays 6-7pm (7-10yrs - £1.50 per session) and 7-8.30pm (11-16yrs - £2 per session), Ramsey Methodist Church Hall [ Contact val.rntoffice@ Information is believed to be correct at time of printing, please contact us if anything needs amending at hello@thefensmag. co.uk . Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust and The Fens Magazine does not endorse any of the services/organisations within this publication.

The Fens | December 2019 49


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52 The Fens | December 2019

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