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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 2 | November 2019

Inside this issue

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust



The Best in Comedy Superb line-up with Matt Richardson & guests

Friday 8th November Tickets £15

Christmas Boogie

Christmas Parties Tickets £40

8th - 12th January 2020 Tickets from £8

Tickets £12or buy both for £20

St Ives 1940s

Herman’s Hermits

Music & Dance Weekend 21st & 22nd February Tickets from £13.50

Friday 7th February Tickets from £22

Dick Whittington

Saturday 21st & Tuesday 31st Dec

Saturday 7th & 14th December

Anthem: Ultimate Queen Concert Show

Centre Theatre Players present

New Year’s Eve Boogie

Celebrate in style

55th Anniversary Tour Friday 20th March Tickets £24


SEE IT ALL AT BURGESS HALL NOVEMBER 2nd 3rd 8th 9th 10th 15th 16th 17th 23rd & 24th 25th 27th 30th & 1st

Boogie Nite Toy Fair The Best in Comedy Christmas Craft Fair Dog Show Jim Davidson Ultimate Commitments and Blues Brothers Charity Tea Dance Antiques Fair Tea Dance Burgess Bingo Rock & Gem Show

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

FEBRUARY 1st 7th 8th & 9th 15th 16th 21st & 22nd 23rd 26th 28th 29th MARCH 20th

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 Herman’s Hermits

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

Westwood Road, St Ives PE27 6WU

The Fens | November 2019

Managed by Huntingdonshire District Council

ED’S letter

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


THIS month 9 Your Neighbourhood news

13 Your garden in November 14 At home with Sam Marshall 17 National Heritage Weekend 21 Christmas at the Burgess Hall 24 Reviewing the New Theatre in Peterborough




A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 2 | November 2019

30 A look back at Remembrance Day 32 The best local festive fayres in Fenland and beyond 36 Celebrating the wonderful fungi 38 Amy’s walk of the month 42 History - a Peasant’s Revolt 44 WIN tickets to Vivacity’s panto: Beauty & The Beast 46 Useful numbers and events guide 50 Independent of the month Doctor Tree

Inside this issue

Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust




THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney PROOF READER Theresa Shiels PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell ADVERTISING SALES 07511 662566 ACCOUNTS 07511 662566 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at CONTRIBUTORS Westfield Nurseries | Eva Jordan Robert Bull | Caroline Fitton | Sara Fontanella | Richard Groom | Molly Day-Coombes |Bill Watt | Anna Bradley-Dorman | Val Fendley DISTRIBUTION 9,000 copies printed monthly. Delivered to Whittlesey, Eastrea, Coates, Turves, Pondersbridge, Benwick, plus copies in March, Wisbech, Ramsey and Queensgate Shopping Centre @thefensmag thefensmag Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust

Hopping Hares by Sam Marshall

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

The Fens | November 2019


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Neighbourhood Office Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, Neighbourhood Office, 25 Great Whyte, Ramsey, Cambs, PE26 1HG | Tel: 01487 814897 | |

05.09.19 The bannernights YNO.pdf are 1

drawing in but, as usual there’s lots of activity coming from Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, based in ‘Your Neighbourhood Office’. You can see from the logos at the top of this page the wide range of projects based there. You can find us right in the centre of Ramsey, just above Ramsey Library. For details about any of our projects/activities see our contact details on page 9.

THE FENS RAMSEY LAUNCH We were delighted to host THE FENS Magazine Launch, with Natasha and her team, in Ramsey Library at the end of September. All those attending, including Mayor Steve Corney, were very impressed with the first issue and thrilled that THE FENS Magazine has decided to come to Ramsey and the surrounding area.


9/5/2019 11:01:28 AM

Sparks Social club for adults with additional needs had a wonderful 1st birthday party and it was fantastic to see so many faces! The club continues to go from strength to strength, but we would still love to meet some new members. We meet every Monday evening at The Ramsey Methodist Church hall at 7pm for crafts, card games, tuck and other fun activities! In October, we had a boxing workshop. Sarah and Andy from ‘Boxing Futures’ put members through their paces. One member said it was the best night of his life!

For November, we are looking forward to creating clay Christmas decorations, pumpkin decorating and more. If you are interested in joining, then your first session is free! If transport is an issue, then please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The Fens | November 2019



The Pavilion


Last month we told you about the four elements of Phoenix – workshops/training, Ramsey Timebank, The Dog’s Meet Community Café and Job Search. The small team took the opportunity to officially unveil our new lottery funded five-year programme at the launch of The Fens Magazine.

The first of our workshops was held at the end of September providing attendees with a First Aid Emergency at Work certification. As well as learning important skills there was a great deal of fun and laughter.

3pm in Ramsey Library. The group meet to enjoy crafting, have a chat and enjoy a cup of tea. If you like crafting, or want to learn more, then please pop down as the group are keen to share their skills and welcome new members.

We are delighted to welcome ‘Ramsey Crafters’ to the timebank. You can join them on Mondays 128

The Fens | November 2019

You can also come and find out more about Phoenix at Ramsey Mereside Village Hall, on the 6th November, during their regular Coffee Morning, between 10am and 12pm.

Have you ever felt like a swan serenely gliding along the surface of still lake whilst under the surface you’re frenetically paddling from A to B – well that’s what it’s like for Ramsey Million Partnership! Currently it appears there isn’t anything new to report however, in addition to funding our established projects, there’s lots of work going on in the background. One example of this is our partnership project with Ramsey Cricket Club and Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust to create a multi-use community space that will be able to cater for a wide variety of community and sporting activities. Many activities managed by Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust have successfully run from the site for several years - including BOSH, CRUNCH, BOSH Summer, The Dog’s Meet Community Café, Repair Café and Phoenix workshops and courses. Although a great centrally located site, - the only in Ramsey that offers inside and outside space and, very importantly, parking – it wasn’t built to cater for these very different activities. Most significantly we’re all running out of space as the numbers attending, and range of activities, are growing. Ramsey Cricket Club has been amazing, allowing their site to be used, so developing the building and future proofing it for sporting and community use is mutually beneficial. To make a very long story short, the last few years have been spent drawing up plans, awaiting planning permission, developing a business case and negotiating legal agreements – all taking time and money. Where are we now? Planning permission was given in August this year and over the next few months the technical drawings will be drawn up by our architect, in association with surveyors and structural engineers, enabling us to get building quotes. Once received we will start applying for funding to match the monies Ramsey Million Partnership have agreed to put towards the build. If all goes to plan we hope to start the build late 2020 – but there’s lots of ducks (or swans!) that need to be lined up before we get to that stage and, to use yet another saying, you know what can happen to the ‘best laid plans’? Despite being hard work we continue to be excited about this build. This project has been a priority from the start of the ten-year Ramsey Million Big Local programme, back in 2013, and we are determined to make it happen. Watch this space! n Ramsey Million Partnership

Activities for Young People Young Mentors - This issue we want to mention our young mentors / volunteer youth support workers who assist staff at our clubs. They’re about to embark on their Level 2 Youth Work Training and deserve a shout out. Daniel and MacKenzie are currently supporting BOSH. They’ve already completed their Level 1 Youth Work, First Aid and are currently doing their Food Hygiene. Logan has been voluntarily supporting the CRUNCH for the past 18 months and, after successfully completing his training, has been offered a paid sessional role (taking over from others who have moved on to university). He is now being inducted into his weekly evening post and is doing really well. Long may this continue. Our clubs are so much more than weekly social clubs. We love developing our young people and ensuring they take part in wider community activities. BOSH recently visited Jones Court sheltered housing complex where they played bingo with the older people. This follows earlier visits to the Senior Lunch Club. CRUNCH decided to do a litter-pick in October half term as part of their work in the community. Well done guys, we’re proud of you! What’s Coming Up? - The Ramsey youth clubs will continue running term time throughout Autumn and Winter. The sessions for age 5 to 10s (BOSH) and 11 to 16s (CRUNCH) operate on a Thursday at Ramsey Cricket Club. Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust is also working in partnership with Boxing Futures, with funding from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, to deliver a pilot boxing

club, which has just started at the Methodist Church Hall on Wednesday evenings. Boys and girls are welcome at either of the two sessions. The 6-7pm session is for ages 7-11yrs and 11-16year olds are welcome between 7-8.30pm. We’re also planning our Christmas activities with the children and young people who attend our clubs. • Christmas Party for children aged from 0 to 10 years. We’ll be inviting families from both our Toddler Time sessions and BOSH but the party will be open to everyone. There will be fun and games with a professional entertainer and of course a gift from a very special man, Father Christmas, who is stopping off in Ramsey, despite his heavy workload, on Saturday 14th December. Before moving on we must say a big thank you to the Rotary Club of Ramsey for their support with the Christmas Party. It is their 50th Anniversary year and in celebration they are supporting community initiatives and have chosen to support our party. Thankyou! We really are very appreciative of all they do for Ramsey families. The party is a ticket only event so please ensure you book in advance. At £3 per child it’s great value. •

Ice Skating is the activity the older young people have chosen as their Christmas activity. We’ll be heading off to Peterborough Ice Arena on Friday 6th December for a sub-zero disco. Club members get priority for this trip but once again all young people aged 11 to 16 are welcome by signing up with us.

Contact Us Neighbourhood Office, Ramsey Library, 25 Great Whyte, Ramsey, PE26 1HG Tel: 01487 814897 Email: Phoenix & SPARKS : Alison Seery Ramsey Million : Anna Bradley-Dorman Discover Ramsey & A Journey Through Time : Ann Cuthbert Activities for Families and Young People : Val Fendley Ramsey Community Market : Carol Aston Websites : 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

n Val Fendley, Children, Young People & Families Development Manager

DISCOVER RAMSEY – HERITAGE OPEN WEEKEND Abbey Green and Thomas a Beckett Church looking fantastic during the National Heritage Open Weekend. See the full report on page 16. The Fens | November 2019


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SARAH’S A WINNER AFTER LOSING OVER HALF HER BODY WEIGHT A woman is celebrating after losing half their body weight and winning a golden slimming award

Sarah Doyle, from Chatteris has lost a life-changing 10st to win Slimming World’s ‘Club 50’ Award – which has been specially-created this year to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday – and is awarded to those members who have lost an incredible 50% of their starting weight. Sarah, who’s gone from 18st 13lb to 8st 12lb, says: “I had been overweight for years. I’m so proud and happy to win this award, especially in such a monumental year for Slimming World. I feel like a new woman since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person. For me though it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest – I’m happier, healthier and much more confident now.” The 45-year-old joined her local group in August 2016. Sarah says: “My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit, to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.” After checking the Slimming World website, Sarah decided to join her local Slimming World group at Chatteris. She says: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was

embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there. I needn’t have worried though, everyone there was so friendly and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential between me and the Consultant – I’d had visions of having to tell everyone how much I weighed! “Since then I’ve made so many friends at the group, I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week. They helped me with recipes and tips and if I was ever struggling, they were always there to build ne up and remind me why I’d wanted to lose weight in the first place and how far I’d come since first stepping through the doors. And it was so rewarding to support other members who needed a boost you.” Sarah followed the club’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped fast food and takeaways for home cooked alternatives, finding she could still eat fish & chips and lose weigh. She says: “People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad or obsessively counting every calorie you eat, but it’s not like that at all at Slimming World. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’ – in fact, people are always surprised at how much food I have on my plate and can’t believe I’m losing weight eating so much

without ever feeling hungry. “I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners, but I’ve learned how to make small changes like using lean meat or cooking with low calorie spray instead of oil or butter. It fits in so well with the rest of my family and we can all eat the same meals. I know that I haven’t ‘gone on a diet’, this is a change that I’ve made for life and I have the tools I need to stay like this forever. My smile is definitely real now!” Today Sarah’s went from a sze 24/26 to size 10, but furthermore, she’s also made a career out of her success with Slimming World by becoming a Consultant back in 2018 running groups in Chatteris and Warboys. As well as the special Club 50 Award, in 2019 Slimming World is hosting a summer full of golden festivities to celebrate 50 years of helping members achieve their dream weight. To find out more about the Golden Summer of Celebration visit: Sarah’s group in Warboys meets every Monday at 5:30pm & 7:30pm at The Sports and Social Club, and the Chatteris group meets every Thursday at 5:30pm & 7:30pm The Conservative Club. To join call Sarah on 07425 156890 or pop along. The Fens | November 2019 11

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Home & garden

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

Looking good this month... Trees

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

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

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

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The Fens | November 2019 13

At home with

Sam Marshall (and Miss Marple)


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

14 The Fens | November 2019

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

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

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

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

Full details about the worshops are on the ‘news’ page on the website. Workshops are £50 for the day (10am-4pm), all materials included. Contact Sam to book. You can buy Sam’s work via her website at You can also follow her on Instagram @Sammarshallart The Fens | November 2019 15

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1st Monday or the Month (2nd if Bank Holiday) 11:15am - 1:15pm FREE At Acorn we focus on social activities, mutual support, and fun. We offer a safe place to make understanding friends in an environment where no personal questions are asked, but support and advice is available.

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There was a riot! By Ann Cuthbert, Promoting Ramsey

Ramsey joined the National Heritage Open Day scheme once again this year and enjoyed glorious sunshine throughout the weekend. There were two firsts this September with Ramsey’s Masonic Lodge opening its doors to the public and the Old Nene Golf and Country Club staging a riot! Storyteller Chip Colqhourn led the charge after a bus tour explaining the mob’s dispute with Sir Henry Cromwell. The tour stopped at Sir Henry’s magnificent house (Abbey House) and convened in the town’s meeting place (Thomas a Beckett Church). His revolting peasants arrived at the actual location of the 16th century Muchwood Riots and, armed with hatchets, they stormed the stage. Fortunately, Ramsey Mayor Steve Corney was on hand to restore order! Steve, with wife Jo and son Ted, visited all the sites and was really impressed with what he saw. “Ramsey Open Heritage Weekend was as well organised as it was attended. Everywhere looked great which is down to all the volunteers, so a massive thank you to them all. Every Heritage Day I try to speak to as many people as possible to see if they're enjoying their day and how far they have travelled. It's always nice to hear people's opinions of our town, and sometimes it's surprising how far they have come, which is all down to the great work of the many, many heritage volunteers and Discover Ramsey who organises and promotes the event.” CHAPELS AND CHUTNEYS Hundreds came from Huntingdonshire as well as visitors from Essex, Sussex, Lincs, Suffolk, Yorkshire and, even, Vancouver! Ramsey’s medieval treasures, the Abbey Gatehouse and Lady Chapel were open and Thomas a Beckett Church organised tours of the bell tower. The Walled Garden was soaked in fabulous colour as the summer drew to a close and visitors went home laden with chutneys

and jam. The Mortuary Chapels enjoyed similar numbers (around 500) over the weekend and did well at their massive book sale as well as displaying the unique contagion window. Ramsey Rural Museum held a dog show and craft fayre as well as showcasing the area’s history and attracted over 1000 visitors. WATERWAYS BUS TOUR On Saturday local historian, Clive Beeke, conducted two Waterways Guided Bus tours. 70 people joined the buses and enjoyed finding out about the tunnels, Whittlesey Mere and the draining of the fens. These tours were really well received and showed just how much interest there is in the watery history of our fenland towns. Clive has a website (www.ramseytunnels. that describes and illustrates the story of what lies beneath the town and what the main street looked like before it was culverted. Ramsey’s heritage sites close to the public at the end of October and an Open Heritage Day begins the new season on April 5th next year. As usual the Joint Heritage Group in Ramsey will be planning ahead and devising something new to attract visitors back for another free Heritage Day in the spring. They hope to see you there! The Fens | November 2019 17


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Finding inspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fens | November 2019 19


Cyclone studios are available at One Leisure centres across Huntingdonshire and can be used on either a pay as you ride basis or as part of the One Leisure Platinum and Cyclone memberships. All new users should have a bike induction where their Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is set, users program their FTP into the bike to ensure the workout is tailored to their fitness capability. There are many benefits for road cyclists who wish to use Cyclone. The IC7 bikes can be used to perform power training with highly accurate data to further improve their cycling ability. Using their FTP, cyclists can do structured indoor training to help improve their strength, speed and power using the bikes fantastic Coach By Colour technology. One Leisure Fitness Consultant Ollie Ritch is one of only twelve ICG® Master Trainer’s in the UK and is based at One Leisure, St Ives where he, and the team, lead daily cycling classes in their Cyclone suite. Having initially qualified as an indoor cycling instructor in 2012, Ollie’s passion for indoor cycling really took off in 2016 when he began to use the new Cyclone studio to train for the Iron Man competition. Ollie states “I use Cyclone to further improve my cycling fitness. In 3 years since training on the bikes I have seen my fitness, which was already pretty good, improve by a further 10% having utilised the Coach By Colour system. What I really love about teaching in the Cyclone studio, is seeing our members learning and improving on the bikes and the local community that we’ve built at One Leisure. I would encourage anyone to come down and have a go, Cyclone has something for everyone with a 20 The Fens | November 2019

range of indoor cycling classes.” There are four different instructor led sessions as well as the availability to use the facility outside of the scheduled classes. Popular sessions include Myride®+ Live, which uses forward motion video technology to ride some of the world’s most fantastic destinations and ICG®’s Coach by Colour®, which uses a rider’s FTP to provide an individually tailored ride whilst connecting with the instructor and other riders to maximise the training experience and reach goals faster. In addition to the classes, the cyclone studio can be used with a virtual instructor to run a virtual cycling session and there’s also an app to download and pair with the bike to run a workout through the app as well as monitoring progress. So whatever your choice, there’s a cycling session for you at One Leisure.

Ironman competitor and One Leisure Fitness Instructor Beca Young states that “the Cyclone studio has made a huge difference to my cycling and being able to access the studio at my convenience has been great. Working with power has allowed me to become strong in my weak areas and transfer this outside onto the road. In my half ironman bike leg this year I shaved off 16

minutes compared to last year’s time and that was down to the hard training I’ve done in the Cyclone studio on the IC 7 bike.” She continues “I use Cyclone to help me improve my general bike fitness, to socialise with others in group cycling classes but most importantly it has been a vital tool through my Ironman journey and has given me the confidence I needed to compete in international competitions. In a space of a year I have seen my fitness improve by 20% and I hope this continues in the future.” The Platinum membership package at One Leisure includes unlimited use of the Cyclone studio, over 200 fitness classes (including spin) and unlimited gym and swimming. It also includes free crèche and swimming for dependent children. Plus there’s free parking and Wi-Fi at every centre, along with Cafés at our larger centres. All for just £40 per month. Induction fee may apply. The Cyclone membership package at One Leisure includes unlimited use of the Cyclone studios (but does not include the instructor led classes), across all five sites and is available for £15 per month or £3.50 per session (£2 per session for 11 – 16 year olds). For more options, including joint memberships and terms and conditions please see our website www. To book a Cyclone session or become a member, visit your local One Leisure centre or call the team on 01480 388111.



at The Burgess Hall It’s never too early to think about Christmas and with a wide range of shows and events coming up, you can have it all at The Burgess Hall, St Ives CHRISTMAS GIFT AND CRAFT FAIR

Burgess Hall are kicking off the season with The Christmas Gift and Craft Fair on 9th November. Running from 10am til 4pm, there’s lots to see and do. With a variety of stalls from Christmas crafting to gifts for loved ones, there’s also a children’s competition as well as Santa’s Grotto. There’ll also be hot and cold refreshments to purchase throughout the day, perfect to relax after your shopping! Entrance is £3, under 12s free.


For little ones, there is Santa’s Christmas Countdown show on 19th December. “There’s nothing Santa loves more than starting the countdown to Christmas by opening the windows of his giant Christmas calendar. But when he tries to begin the countdown this year, disaster – the calendar is broken and all the magical goodies inside have gone missing! Santa needs them to get ready for Christmas, but how is he going to get everything back in time?” Join Dotty the Elf, Dasher the Reindeer, Jack Frost and Pompom the Penguin in a fun, festive, musical adventure to help fix the Christmas calendar and get Santa’s Christmas

Countdown started – plus remember to bring your Christmas letter to post in Santa’s special post box! Santa’s Christmas Countdown is a 45 minute, interactive family show, particularly suitable for 2-7 year olds. Afterwards the adventure continues as each child gets to meet Father Christmas and receive a specially wrapped present from him – it’s the most Christmassy Christmas show ever, HO-HO-HO! There are two show times at 10.30am and 3pm and tickets start at £11.


The popular Boogie Nite gets a festive makeover, book early to avoid disappointment as this is always popular! Celebrate Christmas early on 21st December where there will be two dancefloors playing a mix of classics from the70s, 80s and 90s plus all your festive favourites. You can then finish off the year in style on 31st December with the special New Years Eve Boogie Nite. Tickets for each event are just £12 each or you can buy a ticket for both for just £20.



Treat the whole family to a classic pantomime this January. The award winning Centre Players will be returning with family favourite Dick Whittington. Running from 8th – 12th January 2020, tickets start at £8, you don’t want to miss it!


Whether you’re looking for a festive night out with friends, colleagues or loved ones, there’s plenty of choice at the Burgess Hall. Their popular Christmas Party is just £40 per person and includes a drinks reception, sit down meal with a disco afterwards. There’s two nights to choose from either 7th or 14th December.

Stuck for a Christmas present? Why not treat your loved ones to tickets for one of Burgess Hall’s upcoming events? ‘Anthem: The Ultimate Queen Show’ by Majesty are returning to the Burgess Hall on 7th February 2020 following their incredibly popular performance earlier this year. There’s stand up comedy at ‘The Best in Comedy’ on 8th February and the fantastic ‘Rock for Heroes’ will be returning to the Burgess Hall in November 2020. Plus 60s beat rockers Herman’s Hermits will be performing at The Burgess Hall as part of their 55th Anniversary Tour on 20th March 2020. There’s more exciting dates and acts to be announced for Spring too. For more information or to purchase tickets go online call 01480 388111 or visit the Box Office at One Leisure St Ives *online booking fee applies. n Burgess Hall, Westwood Road, St Ives PE27 6WU The Fens | November 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@ 22 The Fens | November 2019

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

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The Fens | November 2019 23


New Theatre Peterborough

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

The Odeon cinema had a long and glorious history on Peterborough’s Broadway. Opening in 1937, it was a luxurious place to see the latest films (along with near neighbour the ABC from 1953 to 1989). I remember queuing round the block for ‘Star Wars’ in 1977, and watching numerous James Bond films there in the 1980s. Sadly, the Odeon closed in 1991 and stood empty until local businessman Peter Boizot MBE bought it and converted the building to a theatre, reopening as the Broadway in 2001. A highlight for me was seeing country legend Glen Campbell put on a storming show in 2006. But the Broadway had its ups and downs. Following a devastating fire in 2009 it remained closed for several years. Even after opening again, more than once locals wondered 24 The Fens | November 2019

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

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

Avenue Q was funny, catchy and at times moving

Image courtesy of Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

Image courtesy of Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

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

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

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

Fame is coming to the New Theatre from 25 November

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

I really enjoyed Madagascar. My favourite song was ‘I Like To Move It’. It really got the audience moving it, moving it. The popcorn was amazing. The show was amazing too. I can’t wait to see what is coming to the theatre next. Review by Dylan and Martha, age 6 and 4. The Fens | November 2019 25

THIS MONTH’S BOOK REVIEW Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan Published by HQ Digital “It was the darker things in life that drew humanity in...” Closer Than You Think is the third psychological thriller written by bestselling local author, Darren O’Sullivan, and the first of his books I’ve read. Recommended by a good friend, my expectations were high. I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.


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

26 The Fens | November 2019

Looking to buy a home… My top 5 tips to get you started Local based firm, Heartland Mortgage Services, aims to provide customers with a stress free service. Whether you’re looking for help to find your new dream home or find the best mortgage available, Kerry McQuade can help 3. Create a viewing plan – At Heartland we work with our clients to create a viewing strategy to ensure they are viewing a range of houses to make sure the one that they buy is right for them

1. See a mortgage advisor to check your affordability – It’s important you know how much you can borrow and buy a property for to make sure you don’t view and fall in love with a home you can’t afford! 2. Access your credit file – Such as Experian and give the report to your mortgage advisor – will help them recommend the options available to you

5. Understand the costs – Costs to move vary from person to person – at Heartland we offer this as part of the process, so you are in an informed position from day 1! If you are looking to buy a home and need help and advice on not only the mortgage but also the house buying process please don’t hesitate to contact Heartland Mortgage Services

4. Need to sell? – Get your home on the market! A lot of people will be looking at Rightmove daily waiting for their dream home to come onto the market – unfortunately this normally means they miss out as it is sold to someone who is already sold or more proceedable. Get yourself sold and in the strongest position possible for someone to accept your offer – your home will be someone else’s dream home they have been waiting for!

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The new proposals mean GPs and other senior clinicians have freedom to individually control how much their pension pot grows, allowing them to maximise the amount they can save without facing significant pension tax bills having breached limits on tax relief. The department wants to work with employers and staff representatives to develop a new tool to help clinicians tailor the new flexibilities to support their individual preferences. This will help them to identify the best pensions approach to maximise their clinical work without facing large tax bills. Subject to the response, the government hopes to introduce the new proposals in time for the start of the new tax year in April 2020. If you need help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact the pension specialist at our Peterborough and Ramsey offices. Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | | St.November Neots | Wisbech The Fens 2019 29


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

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

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

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

The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, popularised the link between WW1 and poppies, ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row’, and inspired American academic Moina Michael to personally adopt the poppy in memory of the war dead. She campaigned for the poppy to be adopted as the official American symbol of remembrance and worked closely with others trying to do the same in the UK. One such person was Anna Guérin who met Field Marshal Douglas Haig, chairman of the Royal British Legion in 1921, and persuaded him to adopt the poppy as their emblem. The first annual poppy day was held on 11th November 1921 where all of the 9 million poppies made were sold and £106,000 was raised to support ex-servicemen. These men discovered that post-war Britain was not a ‘land fit for heroes’ as they received little to no support after their demobilisation. After 1921, ex-servicemen began to demonstrate against Remembrance Day proceedings and disrupted the services at the Cenotaph to highlight the extravagance of the commemorations, when ex-soldiers were homeless and unemployed. Despite the continuity in some aspects of Remembrance Day, the atmosphere of the day and its commemorations have drastically changed over the last 100 years. Remembrance Days which followed the end of WW1 were treated by the

younger generation as days which should be celebrated as they marked their survival of the difficult war years. However, during the late 1920s, Remembrance Day became a more sombre event as celebrating survival was deemed inappropriate. During WW2 commemorations declined as the focus was on the current war, and it was in 1939 that the decision was made to hold the general memorial events on a proximate Sunday, as a specified ‘day of dedication’. After 1945, both World Wars were remembered on the Sunday closest to the 11th November, thereby officially replacing Remembrance Day with Remembrance Sunday. The services which were held often took place in churches, which meant they were notably separate from everyday life, unlike the two minutes silence. The marginalisation of commemoration sparked the declining interest in remembrance services as the years passed and time created distance from the conflicts. The nation’s relationship with war changed around the middle of the century, caused by the increase in television sales from the 1950s. The increased ownership of televisions brought Remembrance Day events directly into homes, meaning that watching the services at home became a significant part of the population’s Remembrance Day traditions. The end of the twentiethcentury brought a resurgence of interest in WW1 and in turn an interest in commemorating Remembrance Day on wider scale. In 1996, after a campaign by the Royal British Legion the previous year, the two minutes silence on the 11th November was reinstated, meaning that remembrance became part of everyday life once more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Molly Day-Coombes BA (Hons) is a History graduate from the University of Lincoln. Author of https://allthingshistory108. The Fens | November 2019 31


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

32 The Fens | November 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wrinkled Peach, Rhodotus Palmatus

Fabulous fungi

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

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

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

Earpick Fungus, Auriscalpium Vulgare

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


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

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


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Walk of the month


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

abandoned in the late 1960s. The sand and gravel site is located on the flood plain of the River Nene and once left became an ideal location

for fishing, dog walking and bird watching. Taken over by the council, the area was turned into a country park and officially opened to the

public in July 1971. The area has evolved over time and is now home to a plethora of fauna and flora. The park has several different walks to choose from in varying length, we chose the riverside walk which is marked on the map in black and is around a mile long. The park has been designed to be wonderfully accessible, with the shorter routes being formed from fully hard surfaces and we even spotted mobility scooters available to use in the information centre. The riverside walk is wonderfully atmospheric with golden autumnal trees banking the lake edges, their burnt orange glow reflecting in the water. We spotted swans and ducks enjoying the seasonal feasts along the riverbanks. There are lots of hides and seating areas around the lakes so plenty of places to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. I imagine it could be very peaceful if you didn’t own a cockapoo suffering an identity crisis and trying to live her best life as a seal! Avoiding the fisherman, enjoying their early Saturday morning we continued the route taking in the beauty of the changing season. Hedgerows were laden with berries and teasel seeds made tempting snacks for a flock of cheeky sparrows. Interesting fungi sprouted from the damp log piles and we spotted acorns strewn like jewels across the woodland floors, a delectable snack for the squirrels! Otters, Water Voles, Kingfishers and Woodpeckers are just some of the creatures that call the park home and may be spotted if you have the patience to sit quietly! With a very soggy dog in tow we headed to The Kingfisher Café who did not bat an eyelid at the sight of our wet pal and even allow dogs inside the café! We sat outside, which has a lovely view of one of the lakes and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Perhaps less commercial than other country parks (there isn’t a gift shop!) Barnwell really is a fantastic place to visit. There are lots of nature trails or orienteering maps to follow as well as seasonal events to see and on the last Friday of the month they host ‘Dementia walks for health’ followed by a chat and refreshments in the café. Perfect for families and all ages, it was fantastic to see a country park strive to be so accessible to all. Distance: 1mile/ 1.6KM Terrain: Paths, grass, woodland, boardwalks Time: 45mins/1hr Information: www. Cost: Free entrance, parking charges apply

The Fens | November 2019 39

PIG DYKE MOLLY DANCERS WORDS Tim Jenkins Many of you will have seen the Pig Dyke Molly Dancers roaming around the streets in a bewildered fashion and dancing in spots around the Cambridgeshire towns dressed in their colourful black and white attire. Molly dancing is a division of Morris dancing, but far more sophisticated and subtle. They do not need the stIcks, bells or hankies as props for dancing, it’s just the sheer elegance of their art form that delights and entertains the public. Over the Christmas and New Year season we have various activities that are always well supported around the area. Starting in mid December we can be found Carol singing along Oakdale Avenue in Peterborough. (Yes real traditional carol singing with voices and not amplified recordings!) This is followed on New Year’s Eve where we can be found dancing around in every pub, alehouse, party or hostelry that will accept them in the Whittlesey area. All the money that they collect from these two events is donated to Macmillan Cancer Care. Each year we raise in excess of £1,000 and estimate that over the years they have donated about £18,000 to this charity. We would, at this point, like to thank everyone who has helped fill the buckets to make this possible. Pig Dyke Molly consists of a very broad variety of characters with very differing professions and

40 The Fens | November 2019

backgrounds. There is an age range between 8 and 80 and mixed sexes. We have a striking visual appearance and vibrant dancing style coupled with good unique music. Bucking the trends of the folk world, we have doubled the number of dancers in the past two years. This motley crew come together for their sheer love of dancing, entertainment and sociability. The odd pint of beer has to be consumed for medicinal purposes occasionally, in order to keep the body and joints supple. Morris and Molly dancing is believed to have originated when the plough boys and farm labourers were out of work and money during the winter. In order to survive they would go and dance or sing to the local squire and gentry who would have been able to store food. It is rumoured that the begging was quite aggressive, with acts such as carrying the plough onto the fine lawns and manicured gardens. (Hence ‘Plough Monday’ the first Monday after the twelfth night) If they did not receive any gratuity, they would drag the plough

across the lawn. In order not to be recognised they would create disguises such as animal heads, face paint etc. Pig Dyke Molly continue this tradition of being a bunch of unruly beggars. However, over Christmas and New Year we are begging for money to aid their Macmillan Care cancer care fund. The team has enjoyed success for many years and spread the gospel of Molly dancing across the globe. We have danced on several Saint Patrick’s days across in Ireland, Bourges and Nimes in France, Greece and America. The Americans are funny people, could not really make us out, but appreciated the eccentricity. Explaining that a Dyke was a drainage ditch was another matter! When in New York we took the opportunity of dancing on Broadway unfortunately not in a theatre, but out in the street where we belong. We have had another great year and danced at numerous festivals across the country and are looking forward to this coming Whittlesey Straw Bear festival in mid-January 2020. We look forward to meeting some of you again this winter as we do our annual New Year’s Eve pub crawl around Whittlesey, Carol singing in Oakdale Avenue, and Whittlesey Straw Bear. We shall try not to exceed our quota of fun. Thank you all to all those who have supported us in the past, and hopefully those who will support us in the future.

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Peasant’s Revolt

eterborough has a direct link with this extra-ordinary (for its time), first - large scale rebellion to take place in England. A lot of you will also know it as Wat Tyler’s Rebellion. For it to be named as a “Peasants” revolt is a bit inaccurate. A wide spectrum of rural society was involved, including many local artisans and village officials and some minor, local Country Gentry.

It began on the 30th May in 1381 and ended in November of the same year. Trouble spread as far north as Beverley, York and Scarborough and as far west as Bridgewater in Somerset. By November at least 1500 “rebels” had been killed and most of the Leaders had been tracked down and executed. There was no one, single cause for rebellion; as in most cases, when a populace rises up against authority; there are multiple causes. This was just after the Black Death and the subsequent socioeconomic and political tensions, high taxes imposed due to the conflict with France in the Hundred Years War and instability of the local Leadership in London. The breaking point was the arrival of a Royal Official,

42 The Fens | November 2019

John Bampton in Brentwood to collect unpaid poll taxes. Yes, Mrs. M. Thatcher was not the first one to impose a poll tax. His attempt s to collect these taxes ended up in violent confrontation, which spread rapidly across the south east of the country. The rebels burned court records and opened local goals. They sought a reduction of taxation, and end to serfdom (unfree labour to the local Lord) and the removal of the King’s senior officials and law courts; who were seen as corrupt. Inspired by the sermons of a local, radical cleric, John Ball and led by Wat Tyler a contingent of rebels from Kent marched on London. Arriving at Blackheath, London, they were met by representatives of the Royal government; who unsuccessfully tried to persuade them to go home. King Richard 2nd, then 14, sought refuge in the Tower of London. At this time most of the Royal Forces were either abroad or in Northern England. On June 13th the rebels entered the city of London, and, joined by local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to Law Books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal

government. The following day Richard met the rebels at Mile End, which was a courageous thing to do, where he acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, other rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside. On 15th June Richard met Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield, and this is probably the part most of you know; violence broke out and a member of Richard’s party killed Wat Tyler. Richard managed to defuse this tense situation long enough for London’s Lord Mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city and disperse the rebel forces. Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his earlier grants to the rebels. King Henry VIII did exactly the same thing when Lords in Yorkshire challenged him with regard to matters arising from the Reformation. To continue. By now the rebellion had spread into East Anglia. The University of Cambridge was attacked, and many royal officials were killed. At the same time as these events were

unfolding a John Wrawe led rebel forces into Suffolk. Wrawe had considerable influence over the rebels in Eastern England and their numbers almost matched those of London. The local authorities offered very little resistance to the rebels, major nobles failed to organise defences, key fortifications fell easily to the rebels and local militias were not mobilised. On June 12th Wrawe attacked the property of Sir Richard Lyon in Overhall, advanced on Bury St. Edmunds the following day, gathering support as he went. John Cambridge, Prior of Bury St. Edmunds Priory was disliked by the local townspeople, due to his considerable wealth and Wrawe allied himself with the townspeople and stormed the abbey. The Prior escaped, only to be found two days later and was subsequently beheaded. A small band of rebels marched north to Thetford to extort protection money from the town, another group tracked down Sir John Cavendish, the Chief Justice of the Kings Bench and Chancellor of Cambridge University. He was caught at Lakenheath and killed. A John Battisford and Thomas Sampson independently led a revolt

near Ipswich on the 14th June. They took the town without any opposition and looted the properties of the archdeacon and local tax officials. Revolt began to stir in St.Albans on 13th June, when they heard of events in London. On 14th June protestors met with the Abbot, Thomas de la Mare and demanded their freedom from the Abbey. The Abbey had considerable privileges in the area. Subsequently they found that the Abbot had flown; they then broke open the Abbey Goal, destroyed fences which marked out the Abbey lands and burnt Abbey records in the town square. They then forced de la Mare to surrender the Abbey’s rights in a charter on the 16th June. The revolt against the abbey then spread out over the next few days, with abbey property and financial records being destroyed across the county. After the attack on Cambridge University, it was forced to negotiate a new charter, giving up its Royal Privileges. The revolt then spread north to Ely, where the gaol was opened, and the local Justice of the Peace executed. In Norfolk the revolt was led by Geoffrey Litster, a weaver and Sir Roger Bacon, a local Lord who had ties to the Suffolk rebels. On June 17th these rebels gathered outside Norwich and killed Sir Robert Salle, who was in charge of the city defences. The townspeople then opened the city gates to let the rebels in. This led to the looting of buildings and the killing of Richard Eccles, a local official. William de Ufford, the Earl of Suffolk, fled his estates and travelled to London in disguise. Violence spread out across the county, as gaols were opened, Flemish immigrants killed, court records burned, and property looted and destroyed. On June 17th the rebellion spread to Peterborough, then known as Burgh St. Peter. A mob laid siege to the abbey, a symbol of wealth

and authority, which was a convenient focus for their anger. It also housed local tax records; whose destruction might benefit them. The only chronicler to record what happened next was Henry Knighton, Canon of the Augustinian Priory of St Mary in the Meadows at Leicester He wrote:-- “ Help came in the shape of Lord Henry Despenser, Bishop of Norwich, who, through the agency of divine mercy, arrived with a strong force. Some were struck down with swords and spears near the altar and others at the church walls. Both inside and outside the building; this referring to Beckets Chapel( now Starbucks on Cathedral Square). For the Bishop gladly stretched his avenging hand over them and did not give scruple to give them final absolution for their sins, with his sword. Three to four hundred people were indiscriminately slaughtered in Cathedral Square that day – among them women and children. In London, Wat Tyler was already dead, his head stuck on a pole; the rebellion collapsing. The fighting bishop, meanwhile, continued around the region, putting down rebellion wherever he found it, in the same uncompromising fashion. He defeated a rebel force at the Battle of North Walsham on the 25th or 26th June. This being the last occurrence of any major resistance. So dear reader, although on the surface it looks as if Peterborough has been a quiet backwater, regarding major historical events; appearances can be deceptive. There are many stories left to tell, from Peterborough escaping serious effects from the Reformation to “Hereward the Wake”. Strangely enough, although I grew up on the English/Scottish Borders, on the East Coast; when we learned about the Norman Invasion of 1066, we learned about Hereward the Wake.

A Q&A With Bestselling Author Darren O’Sullivan Local author and mother of two EVA JORDAN shares her musings Back in September I was lucky enough to do a joint ‘Ask The Author’ event at Peterborough City Library with bestselling author, Darren O’Sullivan. It was a great success, including plenty of audience participation. I was fascinated to learn about Darren’s journey to publication compared to mine, and I was surprised to hear that his love of books, unlike mine, came later in his childhood. Therefore, for those of you that missed our event but are keen to know more, read on... 1. Hi Darren, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself? Hi, I’m Darren O’Sullivan, Author of Psychological thrillers, Our Little Secret, Close Your Eyes, Closer Than You Think, and Dark Corners. 2. How long have you been writing? Did you always want to be a writer? I have been writing for about 18 years. I started my career as an actor (although it was hardly a career) so my writing journey began with my dabbling with stage plays. However, despite writing shows, I didn’t want to be a writer, I hoped that by writing I would find a way in to be a more successful actor. Even the idea for my first book came from a play called Pact. I wrote it, had actors in to workshop it, and at the end of the first session we all knew the play was terrible. But, the characters were good, and I couldn’t shake them. It was then I contemplated writing a book, not knowing if I could. When I started, I was hooked, and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a writer. 3. And finally, what advice would you offer anyone thinking of becoming a writer? The only advice that means anything is very simple; to write, you have to write. A marathon runner cannot complete 26.2 miles, if they just decided, on the day of the race to do it. You have to run, a lot, for months and months before entering. Don’t get me wrong; I am not a marathon runner, not even close. But I do the same with words. I wasn’t a good writer when I began; in fact, I was terrible. But I did it, every day; I put down words and finished pieces that would never be read. I ran. And I’m still running now. Get enough miles under the belt, and you will finish the race. You can find out more about Eva by visiting www.EvaJordanWriter. com or find her on Twitter and Facebook: @evajordanwriter EvaJordanWriter/ The Fens | November 2019 43

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

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

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


We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Vivacity to once again be giving away a family ticket to this year’s Beauty & The Beast. All you have to do to be in with a chance is to email your contact details to marking your entry ‘Panto’ by November 10th. One winner will be chosen at random. Good luck! 44 The Fens | November 2019

FARM TO ….. A family run farm for over 100 years. Ten minutes from St Ives & Huntingdon. Visit a variety of traditional and some more unusual animals from cows, pigs, deer to parrots and crocodiles.

50ft fresh meat counter offering one of the largest selections of home produced meats in the country. With our own deli celebrating a wide range of home produced products and fifty British cheeses.

Visit our tearoom and enjoy homemade cakes, scones, sandwiches, afternoon teas and our traditional breakfasts. Try our new steakhouse and jiggers bar for a home produced steak.


Bar open for drinks all day Butchers & Farm Shop Tuesday – Friday: 9am - 6pm Saturday: 9am - 4pm Sunday: 10.30am - 4pm Monday: Closed

Food served Tuesday – Friday: 12pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 9pm Saturday: 12pm - 9pm Sunday Carvery: 12pm - 4pm Monday: Closed

Church Farm, Church Street, Old Hurst, Huntingdon, PE28 3AF Tel: 01487 824658 Email: Email for steakhouse bookings: Visit our facebook page: johnsonsofoldhurst & johnsonssteakhouse Web:

Tea Room

Tuesday – Friday: 9.30am - 4.30pm Saturday: 9am - 4.30pm Sunday: 10.30am - 4pm Monday: Closed


The Fens | November 2019 45


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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 01487 813725 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 | November 2019

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WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing THE LIBRARY PRESENTS: FAMILY PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP Saturday 2nd November

Work with professional tutors to learn printing techniques and produce your own art work. Suitable for all abilities and levels of experience. Presses, inks, paper and materials all provided. Suitable for: Minimum age 6 yrs, children under 12yrs must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are £5, Concessions £2.50

ROTARY RACE NIGHT Saturday 2nd November

Rotary in Ramsey are holding a Race Night at Ramsey Mereside Village Hall. Tickets are £10 which includes a hot supper. For ticket information please call 01487 812220

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

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

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS CRAFT Saturday 16th November 10.30am12.30pm

The Friends of Ramsey Library Children’s Christmas craft morning ‘Snowflakes & Santas’ , 50p per child

PATRICK BARKHAM TALK Saturday 16th November 7:30pm

Conservationist and author Patrick Barkham (award-winning author of The Butterfly Isles, Badgerlands, and Coastlines and The Guardian’s Natural History Writer. His latest book Islander, won the 2018 National Geographic Traveller Magazine book of the year award) will be giving a talk - recounting a fascinating journey around some of Britain’s most intriguing small islands, meeting their wild residents. At the Orton Hotel, Peterborough, 7.30-9pm, £10; £8 Trust members. Contact louise.rackham@

RAMSEY CHORAL SOCIETY - REJOICE MUSIC Saturday 16th November, 7:30pm Listen to Ramsey Choral Society perform Rejoice, with music by Britten, Handel, Purcell and Schubert and Tansy Castledine as conductor. To be held at St Thomas a Becket Church, Ramsey. Tickets are £12 in advance or £15 on the door. Tickets available on 01487 710792 or The Green School Shop, Great Whyte, Ramsey

RAMSEY ARTS FESTIVAL AGM Monday 18th November, 7-30pm

Come and enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles with Ramsey Arts Festival in the Ramsey Library Meeting Room for the AGM. Everyone welcome to join the meeting at the beginning of the 30th year for this festival.

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

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

breakfast – everything will be available from sausages, bacon and eggs to croissants and toast! Tickets are £8.99 per child, which includes a craft table, buffet breakfast and gift from Santa. Grown ups are free to sit with their children or you can pay £6.99 to get in on the buffet breakfast action! To book your tickets email Ashley at, drop us a Facebook message or pop in store!

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

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

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

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

BREAKFAST BUFFET WITH SANTA 6th/7th/8th December Santa is coming to Harvest Barn and would like to join you for breakfast! Spend the morning in our brand new cabin with Santa and enjoy a delicious hot and cold buffet

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.


Two weeks prior to Christmas, the Rotary Float will be touring the area with Santa on board. More information to come in next month’s issue.... The Fens | November 2019 47

REGULARS MONDAY Acorn Cancer Support Group v 1st Monday of the month 11:15am-1pm [ Rainbow Resource Centre 01487 822456 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 | November 2019

For up to date information about news and events

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 [ 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, [ 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 [ 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@ 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 [ 01487 814842 Upwood Table Tennis Club v Wednesdays 2-4:30pm Upwood Village Hall [ 01487 812923 hollyhouse.upwood@tiscali. Ramsey Senior Citizens Club v 1st Wednesday of month 2pm (Except Jan & Aug) Bury Village Hall [ 01487 711649

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 Senior Youth Club v Weds (1st, 3rd and 4th of each month) 7.30 - 9pm, Ramsey Mereside Hall [ Louise Clark 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 THURSDAY Ladybirds Toddler Group v Fortnightly 1:30-2:30pm (Term time only), Ashbeach School, Ramsey St Mary’s [ 01733 844901 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 9.30am 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 Lunch Club - Ramsey Mereside v 3rd Friday, 12-2pm, Mereside Village Hall, bring your own lunch 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 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, rntprojectmanager@gmail. com Information is believed to be correct at time of printing, please contact us if anything needs amending at hello@ •Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust and The Fens Magazine does not endorse any of the services/organisations within this publication.

The Fens | November 2019 49



Doctor Tree

Daniel Fortuna is a professional tree surgeon and the owner of local business ‘Doctor Tree’ We spoke to Daniel to find out how his business started and what he gets up to day-to-day

WORDS AMY CORNEY HOW LONG HAS THE BUSINESS BEEN RUNNING? We started ‘Doctor Tree’ on the 1st October 2012, I decided to leave the company that I was working with at the time as the role was not fulfilling and I wanted to further my climbing experience. I then pursued a career as a freelance climber working in around the Fenland and Norfolk area for other tree surgeons and that’s where my business began. WHO MAKES UP YOUR TEAM? We have a small team consisting of 4 full time members and with the contacts I made via free lancing we also have another 4 subcontractors that work with Doctor Tree on a regular basis, when the workload demands extra help. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE NAME? I decided to call it Doctor Tree because there is no one in the area with a similar name, it’s a great play on words and does what it says on the tin! WHAT ARE YOU DOING DAY TO DAY? I carry out some of the Ariel work, but after spending a number of years climbing, I now tend to spend as much time on the ground, allowing our less experienced climbers to gain theirs. I also do the day to day running and organising of the work. HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS STAND OUT AGAINST ITS COMPETITORS? We specialise in large and technical tree works as well as undertaking small back garden jobs. We have the equipment to deal with any scenario large or small. We conduct our work to very high standard and are very proud of the work we do. HAVE YOU HAD ANY UNUSUAL JOBS YOU HAVE WORKED ON? All of our jobs are unique in their own way, but I would say that the unusual jobs would be insurance jobs where we could be removing a failed tree that has fallen on to a property or we 50 The Fens | November 2019

have even pulled the odd tree from rivers. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? I enjoy getting to work outside, helping to improve and conserve trees to the best of my ability and helping our customers which gives me great job satisfaction. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT HAVING A BUSINESS IN THE FENS? I feel more at home in the countryside rather than in built up cities so getting to work in the beautiful fens with its vast landscapes really is my favourite part of the job. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS? You need a lot of perseverance! Chances are it will a lot harder than you would expect and there are some very long hours when you are first starting out. One of my favourite quotes is “business is a marathon not a sprint” WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR? Watching it grow it to what it has now become thanks to our hard-working staff and wonderful customers. I am also really proud of the team as we have had the honour to be invited to the Husqvarna training camps and we have represented the country in 2 world championships and 1 European championship. OUTSIDE OF WORK WHAT CAN WE FIND YOU DOING? When I have the spare time, I really enjoy woodturning and creating wooden craft items, it’s a great way to relax and I get to upcycle the waste from our jobs. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO IN THE FENS? I have a real interest in flying and like to get a lesson every now and then as time permits! Flying over the Fens is a really great way to appreciate the area!

Get in touch with Daniel and his team by calling 01354 656 582 or 07926 431 464. You can also visit www. or email daniel@



The Fens | November 2019 51

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52 The Fens | November 2019

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The Fens Ramsey November 2019  

The Fens Ramsey November 2019