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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 13 | April 2019


plus Easter Egg Bundle

Chocolate heaven


Tiger Racing The Fens | April PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TO2019 VISIT 1


For children currently in Year 5



To find out more about this event, call our Admissions Team on The Fens | April 2019 586750 email admissions@wisbechgrammar.com 01945

ED’S letter

We did it! Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon arrived and Team Fens donned our running gear and braved yet another wet race. This one was special however, because for once I ignored the time on my watch and ran for fun with friends. The support was fantastic and the scenery was just beautiful. I completed the 13.1 miles with a great big smile on my face, not only knowing I had raised some much needed funds for Cambridgeshire Deaf Association, but also because I realised running doesn’t have to be about racing. I’m pleased to say CDA raised over £1,195 through fundraising. Our April issue, you will be pleased to hear, isn’t full of photos of me during my race, but instead celebrates all things Easter. We’ve got some egg-cellent events, we visited an egg-ceptional chocolatier and eggs-plored Ramsey Rural Musuem (sorry, that was perhaps one pun too many). Basically, we’ve had a lot of fun this issue and with the weather warming up, I can’t wait to bring you more stories from across Fenland. One final quick note to say Happy Anniversary to The Fens Wisbech. This month marks a whole year since our launch issue in April 2018. What a wonderful year it’s been. The biggest of thanks must go to our brilliant advertisers and readers. You support the publication more than you’ll ever realise and it’s an honour to publish it.


THIS month 10 Visiting Harry Specters chocolate factory 15 Your garden in April

27 WIN an Easter bundle including a £50 Queensgate Gift Voucher

16 Digging up the past

34 Amy goes on a hunt for spring with Twiggy and a new friend

20 Adding a splash of colour to your wardrobe

39 Exploring a rural life at Ramsey Heritage Museum

24 Richard Groom jumps on his bike to explore the Fen

44 Recipe of the month Profiteroles


46 30 years of Tiger Racing WISBECH & SURROUNDING


A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens



plus Easter Egg Bundle

Issue 13 | April 2019

Chocolate heaven

48 Events in your area 50 Independent of the month Shab to Chic


Tiger Racing The Fens | April PEOPLE | FOOD | HOME & GARDEN | NATURE | WHAT’S ON | PLACES TO2019 VISIT 1

THE TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR Natasha Shiels hello@thefensmag.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amy Corney amy@thefensmag.co.uk SUB EDITOR Theresa Shiels DESIGN TEAM Natasha Shiels Charlotte Whittaker Vinny Clarke PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Brudenell chrisbrudenellphotography.co.uk ADVERTISING SALES Cassie Ward 07734 952626 ACCOUNTS hello@thefensmag.co.uk 07511 662566 SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe for just £12 for 6 issues, contact us at hello@thefensmag.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS David White |Gareth Monger | Garry Monger | John McGinn | Steve Barclay MP | Richard Groom | Lauren Bremner DISTRIBUTION

Printed monthly to the villages Emneth, Gorefield, Leverington, Murrow, Newton, Parson Drove, Tydd St. Giles, Wisbech St. Mary, Outwell plus Wisbech centre

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

Chicks photographed at New Fen Farm in Ramsey St. Mary’s. With thanks to Grace Roberts, her adorable chicks and Chris Brudenell

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

The Fens | April 2019



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A state-of-the-art skate park has been officially opened in Wisbech thanks to a huge community effort to provide young people with a new and improved facility. Youngsters who helped to design the skate park in Bath Road, Waterlees, joined residents, councillors, funders and others involved in the project for a celebratory ribbon cutting yesterday (Monday, February 25). The £75,000 facility, which boasts solid concrete ramps, quarter pipes and a bowl section, was made possible thanks to a £30,000 grant from Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. The rest of the funding came from Section 106 contributions, Fenland District Council support and community fundraising. District councillors Virginia and Michael Bucknor, who represent the Waterlees Village ward, have been championing support for an improved skate park for several years. The old skate park in Bath Road was then removed last year due to safety concerns. Since then Fenland District Council, Wisbech Town Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Clarion Futures have worked together with residents and the ward’s Oasis Community Centre to help develop and fund the new skate park. A community group was set up and a consultation was launched to ask residents and young people what features they’d like to see in the new facility. Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment and open spaces, said: “Young people played a huge part in the design process as their feedback helped to 6

The Fens | April 2019

ensure the skate park offered exactly what they wanted. “I’m delighted to see it come to fruition. It’s a great hub for young people to get together and enjoy their sport and an excellent example of what can be achieved when community organisations and individuals work together to push a project along.” Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said: “We are delighted to have supported a project that has been led by the community and will give so much back to local people. Clarion Futures exists to provide new opportunities for our residents and we’re certain the new skate park will benefit residents for many years to come.” Councillor Laura Cobb, one of the councillors who represents the Waterlees ward on Wisbech Town Council, said: “Since becoming a town councillor in 2017 I have worked with the town and district councils and other partners to achieve the replacement of the skate park at Bath Road. “One of the reasons I stood to become a member of the town council was to try to achieve improvements to youth facilities on the Waterlees ward and to get the children what they want, need and deserve. So I’m absolutely delighted the

skate park has now been completed and is already being enjoyed by so many children. My pleasure in seeing this much-needed facility being provided for the young people of Wisbech is also shared by Wisbech Town Council; it’s a fantastic addition to the ward and town as a whole.” Pictured bottom right: A £30,000 cheque from Clarion Futures Communities is presented to Fenland District Council towards the Wisbech Skate Park project, as Cllr Peter Murphy, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, cuts a ribbon to officially open the new facility. He is pictured with young scooter users, along with, from left, Cllr Laura Cobb, Lizzi Wales and Kerrie Tonks, Youth and Community Coordinators for Fenland at Cambridgeshire County Council, Wisbech Town Council clerk Terry Jordan, Oasis Centre Manager Chris Stevens, Maria Walker, Neighbourhood Investment Officer at Clarion Futures Communities, Phil Hughes, Head of Open Spaces at FDC, and Cllr Andy Maul.

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The Fens | April 2019


NEW EXHIBITION OPENS WATER RISING 9 MARCH – 1 JUNE 2019 GroundWork Gallery opens its Spring 2019 season with an exhibition featuring works by artists who are thinking about water. The exhibition includes a film produced on the North Norfolk coast and sculptures and paintings reflecting on the waters of East Anglia. We all face a changing relationship with water, adapting in future to its constantly rising levels. While engineers, planners and agencies are busy forming barriers and strategies to mitigate its dangers, artists think creatively about direct encounters with water, proposing

HANNAH’S ON TOP OF THE WORLD Trainee accountant Hannah Shales from Wisbech achieved the highest mark in the world in the Asscociation of Chartered Certified Accountants December 2018 Financial Reporting exam with a score of 95. Hannah (22) lives in central Wisbech and was educated at what is now the Thomas Clarkson Academy. She works for one of the oldest firms of independent chartered accountants in the region, Whiting & Partners, at The Crescent in Wisbech. “I was really quite surprised. I didn’t really expect to do so well,” says 8

The Fens | April 2019

images about experiences, raising questions about its beauty and power, helping us to form new and different attitudes to it. The exhibition contains a number of underlying stories. One is about the spectacle and drama of water’s turbulence. There are works about the ways in which humans pit their strength against rising water levels, about the risks of being submerged. On the other hand, there is the imperative to conserve, to create barriers, to keep safe and dry. Which attitude is paramount is one of the discussions we as viewers need to have. Water Rising is intentionally thought provoking. It extends over two floors throughout the building and contains

work in a variety of media: film, painting and drawing, photography, ceramics and glass. There are eight artists represented in the exhibition. All of them excel in their fields and many of them have significant international reputations. During the course of planning Water Rising, the Gallery learned of the sad death of the distinguished artist Susan Hiller, whose dramatic work ‘Rough Moonlit Nights’ is included in the exhibition. GroundWork Gallery, 17 Purfleet Street King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1ER Find out more by visiting www.groundworkgallery.com

Hannah who now faces two more exams before sitting her final chartered account qualification test. Her achievement was rewarded with an ACCA certificate, a cash prize, and a bottle of bubbly. Keith Day, Partner at the Wisbech Office commented, “Hannah has worked extremely hard throughout her studies and we are delighted that this has been rewarded in her recent results.” Picture above: Hannah Shales with

her certificate and a bottle of champagne with Wisbech Partners, Richard Meadows (left) and Keith Day (right).

maintained for the whole community to enjoy.


Tears and laughter as Pride in Fenland honours district’s unsung heroes Fenland’s unsung heroes were in the spotlight last month as their achievements were recognised at the 12th annual Pride in Fenland awards. The heartwarming event, held at Wisbech St Mary Community Centre, celebrated the district’s best during a night of tears, smiles and laughter. More than 200 people packed into the venue for the awards ceremony, which is organised by Fenland District Council in partnership with the Fenland Citizen newspaper. Cllr Mike Cornwell, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “The Pride in Fenland awards are Fenland’s very own Oscars, celebrating the magnificent contributions and achievements of volunteers across our district.” Six Pride in Fenland awards were won on the night. Each of the winners was presented with a trophy and a cheque for £100; the runners-up received cheques for £25. They and all the other nominees also received a special certificate:

to Whittlesey. Richard has been involved in the organisation of Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival since its revival 40 years ago and has also been a mainstay of Whittlesey Christmas Lights Committee for many years (now in the role of chairman), helping to ensure the town’s lights improve year on year. He is also an active member of Whittlesey in Bloom, assists at the Summer Festival in September and the Christmas Extravaganza, and is also the duck mascot at the Whittlesey Mayor’s Charity Duck Race, held annually on Easter Monday. Runner-up: Delvin Smart. Delvin received two nominations for two very different projects. One was for his volunteer work at Wisbech Community House, and the other for his efforts to support the People and Animals UK charity. One nominator described him as “a superstar of the community”.


Winner: Kayla Hay. There was a standing ovation for brave Kayla as she received the award for her incredible courage and drive to help others, despite suffering from leukemia. Kayla has raised over £1,000 for Addenbrooke’s Hospital Charitable Trust through various events and raffles, which funded new equipment for the paediatric oncology ward. She also organised a Mad Hatters Tea Party in aid of a family who had lost a loved one, raising £1,000 to help them buy a memorial sculpture. Runner-up: Harry Clark. Whatever the weather Harry takes it upon himself to sweep and litter pick his local skate park in Friday Bridge to ensure it remains clean and well

Winner: Andy Maul and Vikki Holmes, for their help in setting up the Grub Hub at their café, Bygones in Wisbech, with the 50 Backpacks for the Homeless charity. Runner-up: Steven Hubbard, for helping his neighbours to recycle and organising a new communal bin area for his street as part of his role as a Getting It Sorted volunteer.

VOLUNTEER IN THE COMMUNITY Winner: Richard Exton, for his tireless efforts and outstanding commitment


Winner: Bernie Wing, for his selflessness, dedication and sportsmanship going back 60 years. Boasting a successful boxing career before retiring, Bernie has shown exceptional devotion to his sport and subsequently to his local community by coaching young and old alike at March Amateur Boxing Club. He also passes on his boxing knowledge and skills at local schools and clubs. Runner-up: Manea Youth Football Coaches. Coaches Steve Taritisimo, Simon Millward, Mark Walker, Matt Doggett, Jamie Chilcott and Tom Cave selflessly give up their time so youngsters in the village can play football, and are helping the club go from strength to strength.

GROUP, CLUB OR ORGANISATION BENEFITING THE COMMUNITY Winner: The Whittlesey Dance Club. Freya and Albert Pattemore, Linda Long, Roger Brown and Patricia Smith received the award for the weekly dance club they run at the town’s Manor Leisure Centre. Runner-up: Wimblington Summer Show Committee. The dedicated team volunteers their time to organise the one day horticultural show for the benefit of the whole community.

JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARD Winner: Roger Reader, for the decades of tireless dedication he has given to village life in Murrow and Parson Drove. Roger founded the Parson Drove Car Show, which raises thousands of pounds for charity, and is involved with many community organisations including Murrow Village Hall, Parson Drove Amenities 95 and Parson Drove Street Pride. He is also a key holder for The Cage, opening it up to the public during the recent Heritage Open Weekend, and his passion for history has seen him involved in many projects. Runner-up: Dulce Loureiro. Nineyear-old Dulce was recognised for the commitment she gives to her voluntary role as a young helper at The Spinney Adventure Playground in Wisbech. A hardworking young lady, Dulce takes her role seriously.

The Fens | April 2019



TASTE GOOD What’s not to love about the idea of combining chocolate with a social enterprise? The result is guilt-free indulgence… WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL I first heard about Harry Specters in a magazine interview. Two things struck me; firstly it was a local company (based in Ely), and secondly (and more importantly) was their vision to create a business that provided employment opportunities for autistic individuals. I was intrigued to find out how a business could be successful whilst also making a positive impact on society. When I visited last month, I quickly realised I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Currently based at an industrial unit in Ely, but soon to be moving to a 10 The The Fens Fens | | April April 2019 2019 10

bigger warehouse in Chatteris, Harry Specters is, at its heart, a family-run business. Inspired by their autistic son Ash, Shaz, his wife Mona and their daughter moved to the UK to provide him with a better future. What they didn’t realise at the time, was that their move and quest to find him this better life, would inspire their own. “It was during a family holiday to Scotland that Mona felt inspired to pursue her love of chocolate,” explained Shaz. “She found a two day chocolatier course and I encouraged her to go.” Mona had a natural

talent for creating chocolates which looked beautiful and tasted delicious. “We originally began making and selling our chocolates from our conservatory,” added Mona. “I was still working full-time but by 2012, I went part-time and eventually took the leap to focus on the business. Quitting my well paid job and saying goodbye to the monthly pay slips was one of the hardest leaps of faith.” But the couple were focussed and determined. Harry Specters, which was named by their son, at its very foundations was built on providing

a future for autistic people who wanted to work but struggled to gain employment. “In the early days, Ash and some of his autistic friends would come round and help us package chocolates. Before long, we needed more space and employees.” The couple even involved their daughter, Mina, who works in London as a branding expert. Her creative talents produced the eye-catching logo and she is still responsible for the packaging designs of every product.

individuals. They help in various aspects of the business including making, packaging and selling chocolates. We spoke to Greg and Oliver, who have both been working for Harry Specters for over two years. In Greg’s case, it was the first employer who had given him an opportunity. What started as work experience led to a full time position offer. He is now Mona’s assistant chocolatier and was extremely proud showing us around the unit.

THE CHOCOLATES The move to Ely gave the company much needed space to expand their ranges. Mona was then able to experiment and create a wide range of flavours using white, milk and dark chocolate. 22 awards later, including a 3 Star Gold Great Taste Award, Harry Specters is certainly up there with some of the best chocolates in the country. So what’s their secret? “There’s no secret,” Mona told us with a huge grin. “What makes

SOCIAL MISSION An initial grant gave the fledgling company the kick-start it needed. Lloyds Bank not only provided the much needed initial £4,000 grant, but they were to prove to be a vital corporate client. It didn’t take long for other companies to buy into Mona’s social cause. “We wanted to offer confidence and hope to young people with autism by providing employment and free training, whilst still producing great products. In doing so, we aim to be a role model for ‘great product, great cause’ for other businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs.” Since the company’s inception in November 2012, they have 260 beneficiaries, who mostly includes young people with autism. Today, Shaz and Mona employ eight autistic The Fens | April 2019


our chocolates taste so nice is the fact that we put absolutely nothing artificial in them. Each chocolate is made up with fresh ingredients, chocolate and cream.” As such, each box of chocolates has a shelf life of three months and are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. And because the shelf life is shorter than high street chocolates, you know that you’re eating freshly made products. Of course we had to test this theory and after our interview, the team got to taste a few. I can assure you, they’re fantastic! SO WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR HARRY SPECTERS AND ITS BRILLIANT TEAM? A further investment has allowed the company to scale up and they are looking forward to moving to their new premises in Chatteris in the next few months. This will allow them to keep growing, reaching more corporate clients and meeting the growing demand for their chocolates. You can order Harry Specter chocolates directly from their website. Look out this month for a special Easter Egg, which will be hand painted in blue, a subtle nod to Autism Awareness. The company also offer a chocolate subscription service, whereby you can have a box delivered straight to your door as frequently as you wish. At the end of your subscription, you will even receive an email to let you know directly how your money has helped their autistic employees. When I asked Mona and Shaz what’s been their highlight since launching their business, it was exactly that. “It’s been the difference we’ve made to the lives we’ve touched along the way. Running a business can be extremely 12 The Fens | April 2019

WIN A HARRY SPECTERS’ EGGISM EASTER EGG Harry Specters Easter Eggs are extra special. Hand sprayed blue, they’re a subtle nod to the social aims of the company, providing opportunitues and giving back to autistic people. Every purchase from Harry Specters directly helps. challenging, it’s so important to have a purpose to help drive you. And that’s ours, to be doing positive and wonderful things every single day.” This really is guilt free chocolate! Find out more about Harry Specters by visiting www.harryschocs.co.uk or calling 01353 967030. You can also email your enquries to sales@ harryschocs.co.uk

We’re thrilled to be giving one lucky reader an Eggism Easter Egg. To enter, all you have to do is email win@thefensmag.co.uk with your favourite chocolate flavour by April 10th. Please ensure you include your full contact details including postal address and the mark the emails: Eggism.

The Fens | April 2019


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Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN April Spring should be well under way this month with daffodils in full flow, their bright flowers enough to cheer up any dull day. Blossom trees will be blooming and fresh growth will be appearing on plants everywhere. ‘April Showers’ are common but don’t be deceived by sudden bursts of rainfall – you may need to start watering plants more regularly on dry, bright and windy days. With longer days and stronger sunshine growing conditions are continually improving and the warmer weather will give us all the opportunity to get busy in our gardens.

ESSENTIAL JOBS FOR APRIL KILL WEEDS Getting on top of weeds early in the season means that you should prevent them seeding and becoming a problem. Hoeing the border once a week works well. Perennial weeds, such as dandelions, will come back if they’re hoed off, so to get rid of them permanently by using a weed killer.

Spring lawn care tips Taking care of your lawn in the spring isn’t always an easy task. The unreliable weather can wreak havoc with your plans, and April showers might delay that first cut. Here’s how you can start to get your lawn in perfect condition before summer: 1. Ensure the lawn is dry Because it’s likely that your lawn is still very wet at the beginning of spring, be wary about starting to mow it again. Always check that the lawn is dry before attempting to cut it – if it’s wet you might do more harm than good. 2. Start mowing on a higher setting When you do begin to mow your garden, use the lawnmower on a higher setting. That way, you’re only trimming the top off the grass and can avoid damaging the lawn whilst it’s still a little damp. 3. Don’t mow more than once a week Avoid trimming your lawn more than once a week. Too much and

it may become damaged and unhealthy. We don’t want it to vanish completely! 4. Kill moss and weeds If you haven’t done any gardening over the winter, you might notice an abundance of moss and weeds in your lawn. Spring is the perfect time to spray your garden with weed killer, as well as giving your grass the feed of nutrients it needs to grow healthily. 5. Sow seeds to replenish bare patches If you notice that your grass is full of bare patches after the first cut, don’t panic: you can still have the perfect lawn by the end of the season. Simply sow more seeds to replenish the patches. The spring weather is perfect for growing new grass. To buy a refurbished mower with a warranty, visit Fenland Spirit Services 28 Ten Mile Bank, Littleport, CB6 1EE or call 0775 383 6499.

SUPPORT CLIMBERS Climbing plants should be growing rapidly now, so will need ample support for new growth. Extend or replace trellis as necessary or add more wire to arches and tripods. New shoots will need to be gently encouraged sideways as they grow. This will send vital growth hormones along the length of the shoot rather than just to the tips and so will encourage flowering all over the plant. The rest of the garden will also be growing well now, so if you have been putting off carrying out any major pruning then now is the time to bite the bullet and get it done. Trees, shrubs and hedges should be cut back now before birds begin to nest. CARE FOR YOUR LAWN The lawn will need regular mowing from now until autumn. Get some maintenance carried out to your lawn mower to ensure it stays in good running order – at the very least your mower blade should be newly sharpened ready for regular use. Keep the edges of the lawn tidy after mowing with a sharp pair of shears or a lawn edger. Don’t forget to give the lawn a spring feed after mowing if you haven’t got round to doing it yet. If a more drastic approach is needed to spruce up your lawn, sowing seed for new lawns or over seeding dead patches can be carried out from midApril onwards. The Fens | April 2019




WORDS GARRY MONGER ILLUSTRATIONS GARETH MONGER The Octagon, a Georgian Chapel of Ease to the parish church of SS Peter and Paul, was built under an Act of Parliament of 1827. A brick building, faced with stone and designed by William Swansborough, it consisted of a chancel, octagonal nave, bell turret and a porch facing the Old Market and provided sittings for 800. The lantern was an imitation of that at Ely cathedral but, sadly, the construction was such that only twenty years later, due to defective foundations, it had to be removed and was replaced with a coronet of battlements and pinnacles. There are a number of extant Fenland church towers crowned with octagons, some of which predate that of Ely cathedral. A low wall topped with iron railings was located between the front entrance steps and the footpath and a graveyard is to the rear of the chapel. Parts of the Octagon lantern found their way into other local buildings. Thomas Peatling (d1881), a brewer and wine merchant, built Leverington House in about 1852, incorporating portions of the recently removed chapel lantern.

headstones are overgrown. The water drinking-fountain and trough were removed from the Old Market and re-erected on Lynn Road where they are still located. Nowadays they play their part as planters for flowers, contributing to the successful Wisbech in Bloom entries.

In 1897 a drinking fountain and water trough were erected on the Old Market in front of the chapel. Dedicated to the memory of Mr and Mrs Collins by their daughters, it bears the inscription Honest Water, which ne’er left man i’ the mire.

The chapel’s records are held by Wisbech & Fenland museum and include registers of baptisms and burials.

By 1952, when a photograph of the Octagon featured in an article by Arthur Oswald in OLD TOWNS REVISITED published by Country Life, the chapel was in a dilapidated state and was pulled down only a short time later. The churchyard was retained and the chapel site sold and replaced by a bank. When the Trustee Savings Bank closed, the building became a veterinary surgery which it remains to this day. 16 The Fens | April 2019

The small secluded churchyard remains, although as it is surrounded by a high wall and fence, it is not obvious and the remaining

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Garry Monger BSc PGCE is a former local councillor, teacher and army reservist. He is a member of FenArch and other local groups working to promote community archaeology in the Fens.


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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, Our relationship with black white and grey will never fade, however it’s vital to add a punch of colour this time of year. Sara Fontanella explains why we should add some vibrant shades of yellow and mustard to our lives Paris Fashion week was owned by mustard: mustard coats, dresses and even trousers. Thanks to the likes of Carolina Herrera and Ralph, this summer sizzler is here to stay for the season. Although a beautiful colour, mustard and shades of yellow aren’t the easiest to pull off, so it’s important to find tones which complement your hair colour and skin. And if you’re not feeling brave enough to wear it, you can always try an accessory! There’s no reason why mustard should just stop there! Bring fashion into the home, too. I’ve recently added a mustard throw to my house, it adds a brilliant pop of colour. Why not pick up a mustard candle or a lemon scatter cushion? It’s such a warm and welcoming colour, go on, try it and see! Shout out this month to my brother and owner of Fontanella’s Italian Retaurant on Market Street, Luca Fontanella: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And finally Happy Easter to everyone ...Yes any excuse for chocolate, right?







Book a styling session with me, Style by Sara. Whether it’s an instant fix or a wardrobe makeover, I can help you on your way to a better version of yourself! Sara Fontanella – 07913 036896 | s_f00@hotmail.com | FB – Style by Sara | IG – Sara.Fontanella 20 The Fens | April 2019



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EG+ Job No: 744805-1 Production:Clients:Nissan - NIS:744805:Artworks and Linked files:Studio:744805-1_NIS_P4_18_LEAF_PCP_170x265.indd Trim: 170x265mm | Visual Area: 170x265mm | Bleed: 0mm ARTWORK @ 100% Export Option: EG+ Large Format 300 | Ratio: 0.642 | Page 1 of 1

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Firstly, what is your motive? For many patients caught in a cycle of ill health or injury, the motive is health, energy, being able to do more with those we love or to feel more confident in ourselves. To put a musculoskeletal perspective on this for our backs, knees and of course hearts, every stone we put on over our healthy weight is equivalent to carrying a full-size bowling ball around – 24 hours a day! The basic rule is; if you eat fewer calories than you use, you WILL lose weight. Try cutting down on SUGAR laden drinks and foods such as bread, cakes, biscuits etc. These are high in calories and provide only a short-lived burst of energy.

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What about breakfast – probably the most important meal of your day. Many patients say they don’t like the idea of breakfast and a few even manage to get by on one large meal at the end of the day. But how does that affect our bodies? If we have a rhythm to waking and sleeping, then so does our digestive system. How about a bowl of porridge or natural muesli to sustain the start of your day and bring life back to your bowels? Feeling hungry later, can easily lead to binge eating on those high calorie snacks rather than healthy snacks – a banana or apple. For your main meal, before you order that pizza, try grilled chicken (without the bun!) and vegetables. Eating a large meal before going to bed, not only guarantees poor sleep but also does nothing to aid digestion or proper use of calories. What about exercise or should I say ‘activity’. Do you get involved with family activities? Swim or walk with the children, walk the dog, if there’s an escalator, take the stairs – it doesn’t have to cost money.


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Perhaps your goal could be to make one of these changes and see what happens. Remember it’s about changing your eating habits and lifestyle and natural weight loss can take time so enjoy your improved health with patience. Contact us today on 01945 405007 or visit www.fenlandosteopaths.co.uk Based on Sutton Road, Wisbech The Fens | April 2019


RUNNING WORDS Lauren Bremner

The sport of running can seem a bit of a daunting prospect for a lot of people. It’s true that it can be hard work and difficult to start, however it is also the most convenient and rewarding sport when it comes to getting fit and losing weight! How many times have you heard the words: “Oh, I’m not a runner”, or “I can’t run” muttered? Or maybe you’ve been the one saying it? But I’m here to tell you that everyone, EVERYONE, can learn to run. It may take more time than others, you may not be the fastest but you most definitely will be lapping everyone sitting on the couch. Many people have started their running journeys using the ‘Couch to 5K’ plan, which gently eases you into running if you have never run before and helps you to achieve the 5km milestone, which is amazing! This is the distance of the Saturday parkruns that set off at 9am all over the UK and worldwide. In Fenland, we have a junior parkrun which takes place at Wisbech Park on Sunday mornings at 9am. This is a 2km route for 4-14 year olds. We also have two adult parkruns which take place at West End Park, March and Whittlesey Manor Leisure Field. The Couch to 5K plan can 22 The Fens | April 2019

be found on the NHS website by searching for it in the search bar.

activefenlandbookings@fenland.gov. uk.

Sometimes, sticking to a plan can be difficult without any extra motivation. Therefore it’s good to set yourself achievable goals that are relevant to you; maybe you have a date mind for when you want to be able to run 5k by, or a special event such as a parkrun or a 5K running race? Having this in mind will help get you moving even on those days when all you want to do is flop on the sofa! Also, why not use it to get running as a family or with friends, being accountable for helping someone else achieve their goals will also motivate you to achieve yours: help each other out!

Those who have joined Three Counties Running Club before as running novices, have gone onto run four times a week and training as a run leader for the club, with others going on to train to run half marathons! No matter what your goal is these sessions will help you to achieve it!

Active Fenland can also give you a helping hand with our beginner run courses throughout Fenland. These courses are free and run by a qualified coach who can support your individual goals. With a large group of you starting together everyone will be positive, supportive and encouraging every step of your journey. Sessions in Wisbech start 2nd April, 6pm at Leverington Sports and Social Club with Three Counties Running Club. For more information on these sessions, please email

If you would like something to train for as your first taste of a race, or do as a family, why not consider taking part in the Easter Bunny which will take place on Friday 19th April at 9am until 1pm at Wisbech Park. Registration is at 9:45am, warm up at 10:40am, 1k family run starts at 11:00am and 5k run starts at 11:30am. All the finishers will get a medal. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk search Three Counties Easter Bunny Run. You can purchase tickets on the day, however they are expected to completely sell out. Remember there will be a range of stalls from children’s activates to food on the day and dressing up is encouraged!

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We’re blessed in the Fens with miles of flat roads perfect for cycling, although sometimes things don’t quite go according to plan Spring is definitely my favourite season. The garden is starting to fill with colour, driving home from work is in daylight again, and everything just feels brighter. It’s also time to get cycling: I pack my bike away for the winter, bringing it out around the first weekend in March. I was especially looking forward to getting back on the bike this year, eager to enjoy some lovely spring weather. The warmest February since 1897 (or something like that) left me feeling ready to go. Then came storm Freya. The first weekend of March 2019 was cold, wet and windy, with the country battered by gales up to 90mph. Despite the Met Office website declaring that ‘Eastern England is one of the more sheltered parts of the UK’, us locals know that’s rubbish. Few places on earth are as windy 24 The Fens | April 2019

as the Fens. Or at least, that’s how it feels when you’re trying to bike into a headwind on an exposed road north of Chatteris.

But I’d promised the editor an article about biking in the Fens, so I pulled on my cycling gear (no Lycra though, it doesn’t suit me) and headed off

Richard’s brother shows off his Raleigh Chopper, circa 1975

into the depths of the surrounding area. Within minutes I regretted it and started to think about the fifty other things I could be doing on a Sunday afternoon. Then I remembered that a bit of wind didn’t used to faze me. WHEN RALEIGH RULED OUR WORLD Cycling in the windy Fens is not a new experience for me. I grew up near Ramsey, between Huntingdon and Peterborough, and in the 1970s not even the strongest winds could stop us getting out on our Raleigh Choppers. Actually, my two brothers had Raleigh Choppers: I had the much smaller Tomahawk before progressing to a Grifter, with its knobbly tyres and BMX-like riding position. For us kids back then, a bike meant you could see your friends, or go into Peterborough to spend hours in the toy department at Woolworths. It was also a passport to even more exotic places. My older brother John even rode to Hunstanton once. Best of all, we used clothes pegs to clip playing cards to the forks of our bike to make a passable engine sound. The faster you went, the more noise the cards made as the spokes clattered against them. For a few seconds until the pegs flew off, you could imagine you were Barry Sheene. Even better, with a ramp made from a few bricks and a plank of wood, you were Evel Knievel, jumping hundreds of feet through the air, or so it seemed. MARCH TO WISBECH, THE HARD WAY Coming back to the realities of storm Freya in 2019, I found myself tackling a classic Fenland route from March to Wisbech. I headed out of March on the B1101, crossing the Twenty

Map courtesy of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Rural Group

FINDING YOUR WAY There is an excellent set of leaflets available to download at www. visitcambridgeshirefens.org/cycling that cover cycle routes around Ely, March and Wisbech. Check out also the National Cycle Network, which includes a stretch of Route 63 that runs from March to Peterborough via Whittlesey: you can find it on the national map at www.sustrans.org.uk/ map-ncn. The Sustrans website also has information about the Green Wheel, a 45-mile route around Peterborough that includes traffic-free sections.

Foot River and turning right towards Coldham, where the windfarm turbines were spinning at a furious rate. Riding into a strong headwind it almost felt as though I was stationary, despite the stinging pain in my legs confirming that I was actually pedalling. Leaving Coldham, there’s a section where the road is lined by rows of trees. These gave me some temporary relief from the wind as I made my way north, turning left onto Redmoor Bank just before the village of Friday Bridge. This is my favourite kind of Fen road: narrow, out of the way and mostly free from traffic. There are even a couple of twisty bits to add variety to the ride. On a calm, sunny day it would be glorious. But today it was a struggle just to stay upright.

took me over a disused level crossing, across the A47 and into Wisbech via Cromwell Road. One of the good things about cycling is that it burns off a lot of calories, so scoffing cheeseburgers and cake feels like legitimate refuelling. I took on a lot of fuel. The route I’d planned to get back to March takes in Elm, Outwell, Upwell and a long stretch of the B1098 along the Sixteen Foot Drain. It’s a lovely ride I’m sure, but it will have to wait for another day. Storm Freya was just a bit too fierce, even for a Fen native like me. Instead, Mrs G answered my plea for help and came to drive me and the bike back home. The Fens will be there another day, and so will I.

Eventually, and thankfully, the road The Fens | April 2019


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Get ready for EASTER

Indulge in these Easter treats - they’re not just for kids remember! HOTEL CHOCOLAT EGGS AND SOLDIERS £8


Win a Hotel Chocolat Easter Bundle plus £50 Queensgate Gift Card Looking forward to a ‘cracking’ Easter this year? Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough have everything you need to create the perfect hunt, delicious Sunday family roast and of course those all-important chocolate eggs! Whether you are after something traditional, something personalised or something out of this world- Queensgate has it all! Plus, to help you have an ‘egg-cellent’ Easter, we have a £50 Queensgate Shopping Centre Gift Card and two Hotel Chocolat Soft-Boiled Eggs (worth £10 each), to give to one lucky reader so you can treat the whole family to their Easter egg of dreams or maybe a day of Easter themed fun!

you would share your prize with before April 10th. One lucky winner will be chosen at random after the date. You can also enter online through The Fens Facebook page. Just remember to include your contact details and your choice of eggs: white, milk or dark chocolate. Good luck!

All you have to do to enter is email win@thefensmag.co.uk with who

The Fens | April 2019


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A word from MP Steve Barclay

5,500 BOOKS DONATED TO LOCAL CHILDREN In February I launched my fourth Read to Succeed campaign. This initiative aims to give every year 4 pupil in our 34 primary schools a book of their own for them to keep and read over the summer holidays. Since I launched this community-based project in North East Cambridgeshire it has enabled over 5,500 books to be donated to local children.  This book counts as the pupil’s first book of the six to complete in the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge. This year the theme chosen is “Space Chase.” I recently held my first Arts round table meeting at March Town Hall where over 20 stake holders attended. This included the Arts Council, local arts organisations, the District Council and professional artists, to discuss how we attract more arts funding to our area and how the arts better engage our local audience. Ideas we are taking forward include creating a database so each artist submitting a funding bid does not have to duplicate the same evidence required by funding bodies when other artists have done this for their own bids. We agreed a series of other actions with a follow up meeting planned.

While Brexit is never far from my thoughts as the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, I recognise that people locally as nationally have a wide range of views on this issue. It is important that we find a way to bring the country back together after what has been a difficult and divisive time. I

am working closely with the Prime Minister to secure a deal, including meeting with leading European officials. Having a 6 year old and an 8 year old at home waiting to play football and talk about dancing does keep these discussions in welcome context.

The Fens | April 2019


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LET’S GO ON SAFARI! WORDS David White, RSPB IMAGES Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) If you read our articles regularly, you will know that we arrange a selection of events on our reserves in the Fens. This month, I am writing to publicise our exciting 4x4 safaris that will be taking place on three of our events in the Fens during the next couple of months. Here is some more information about them: If you’d like to gain a special insight into what goes on behind the scenes on our reserves in the Cambridgeshire Fens and visit parts of the reserves which aren’t normally open to the public, then join us for a 4x4 wildlife safari. These events will be run during the breeding season and will be taking place at three very different Fenland reserves: • RSPB Nene Washes, near Peterborough A large area of wet grassland that is home to 90% of the British breeding population of black tailed godwits, a rare species of wader. Elegant cranes also nest on-site, as do many species of waders and colourful yellow wagtails. Booking URL: http://bit. ly/4x4NeneWashes • RSPB Ouse Washes, near Chatteris

Part of the largest area of wet grassland in Europe which is home to hundreds of ground nesting waders including lapwing, redshank and common snipe. The jangling song of the local corn buntings also fills the air at this time of year. Booking URL: http://bit.ly/4x4OuseWashes; • RSPB Ouse Fen, near St Ives This developing reserve is the result of a landmark project between Hanson UK and the RSPB to transform a sand and gravel quarry into the UK’s largest reedbed. You will see how this work is being carried out and hopefully see some of the reedbed specialist species which already live there, such as bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits. Booking URL: http://bit. ly/4x4OuseFen As well as pointing out the wonderful wildlife that calls these reserves home at this time of year, your guide will also tell you about how we manage these reserves and what makes them so special for people and nature. Event dates & locations: • Nene Washes: Wednesday 17 April & Thursday 16 May, 6.30pm8.30pm

• Ouse Washes: Wednesday 25 April, Wednesday 1 May, Wednesday 8 May & Sunday 12 May, 6.30pm-9pm • Ouse Fen: Saturday 27 April, 6.30am-9am & Friday 10 May, 6.30pm9pm If these safaris sound like your kind of events, places are limited to three people per safari. We therefore recommend that you book soon if you would like to take part in them. The cost for these safaris is Adults £30 (nonmembers), Adults £24 (RSPB members). You can book onto these events online and I have put in the booking URL at the end of the event descriptions above. If you do not have access to the internet, please ring 01842 863403 or 07803 576410 to arrange payment. We hope that this article has inspired you to come along to one of our safaris. As well as the safaris, we also have a selection of other events planned across the Fens. Here are a few other highlights: • RSPB Nene Washes: Dusk walks to listen for drumming snipe, corncrakes and spotted crakes. • RSPB Ouse Fen: Early morning reedbed rambles to listen for bitterns and look for marsh harriers • RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes (near Swavesey): Monthly Wednesday Wanders, a Dragonfly walk and two willow weaving workshops. If you would like more information about any of these events, please ring me using the contact telephone numbers listed above. Alternatively, you can e-mail me on: david.white@rspb.org.uk We hope to see you at one of our events soon!

32 The Fens | April 2019



With the dark winter months now behind us, many are likely to be planning for summer holidays with the children, but for separated parents, this can be more complicated than it might appear WORDS Daniel Sims, Fraser Dawbarns Solicitor based in the Family Department them can take the children abroad for If both Mum and Dad have ‘Parental up to 28 days without permission, but Responsibility’ for the children, they have parents that do not have the benefit equal rights and responsibilities and of an Order or the agreement neither can dictate the arrangements Are you Buying, Selling or other’s Remortgaging will be committing a criminal offence for when the children are with the other under the Child Abduction Act 1984. parent.

At Fraser Dawbarns we work to simplify and remove stress from your property transaction. To avoid holiday dates clashes, Subject to any Court Order to the

and losing large holiday deposits, it contrary, either parent could take the We keep you updated with all major developments as is sensible to discuss this months in children for a ‘staycation’ within England they occur and our fixed fee service helps you keep advance. As part of this, we always and Wales, without the other’s consent, track of your costs. though it is always best practice to discuss advise that travel, accommodation and agree this in advance, and to make and contact details are shared. Our lawyers can provide advice on a wide range of Hopefully the other parent will agree sure contact times are ‘made up’ before conveyancing matters including: to the holiday, in which case it would or afterwards. be prudent to obtain their agreement • House Purchases and Sales in writing, so that you can bring it with Foreign holidays are slightly different • New–Build Purchases however and not just in terms of climate! you to the airport. If the other parent Remortgaging and Releasing Equity will not agree however, the only option The• standard position is that parents need • Buying a Retirement Home either permission from the other parent, or is to make an application to the Court for permission, by way of a Specific an•Order from the Court allowing Home them to Buying a Shared Ownership Issue Order. temporarily remove the children the • Transferring Ownership of afrom Home country. Parents with Child Arrangements • Buying a House as a Landlord Orders statinginto thata the children ‘live with’ The outcome of Court proceedings • Moving Rented Home

is never certain, but generally holidays are not a problem. Provided the location is not ‘high risk’, and there is no threat of the parent remaining there with the your Home? children and not returning, the Court will often take the view that foreign holidays are in the best interests of children, to give them life experiences and broaden their horizons. Such applications can be costly and time-consuming however, and so cannot be made a few weeks before a holiday is due! As with all other decisions and arrangements made for the children, this matter requires clear communication between the parents, and a focus on what is best for the children. If you would like advice regarding contact/holiday arrangements, or any other family matter, please contact us at info@fraserdawbarns.com or telephone any of our offices:

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Walk of the month

Searching for Spring WORDS AND IMAGES AMY CORNEY Squelching mud underfoot, sunshine streaming through the trees and springtime birds hopping from tree to tree, our next walk has taken us on a hunt for signs of spring in Wistow Wood. Nestled between Ramsey and Warboys the pretty wood is part of the Wildlife Trust and covers 9 hectares so perfect for those looking for a more manageable ramble through a wild landscape. The wood is just off the main road surrounded by arable farm land and with a stunning view looking down to Ramsey and the surrounding villages. On entering the wood, we observed the map which shows a clear route through the reserve. The path itself is very clear to see and on our visit was rather gloriously topped with thick mud, the kind that makes a rather satisfying sound when you try to walk through it but filling you with trepidation that you will slip over! In contrast to the thick brown mud and leaf strewn paths the woodland floor was a riot of fresh springtime foliage. Unfurling green leaves marked the spots where bluebells will appear in a few weeks’ time, or earlier if the weather continues to remain warm. Dog’s mercury sprung from every corner with wood anemones adding to the mix, green buds had started bursting open but most of the trees were still lacking their spring splendour. Whilst we were too early for most flora to be in flower, we did come across patches of primroses adding interest to the forest floor and acting as food sources for those looking for pollen. Our puppy Twiggy has gained a comrade on this walk with her best friend Bow, my brother’s cocker spaniel, joining in our springtime exploration. More delighted than usual, Twiggy revelled in having her 34 The Fens | April 2019

sidekick in tow and in her usual style had to show off by plunging into the only open water in the area. Seamlessly set in the tranquil wood is a rather picturesque pond, perfect for the animals and birds that reside there, not so ideal for an over excited cockapoo with an obsession with water. After fishing her out our delighted dog continued her woodland ramble with only us despairing at the prospect of taking a rather wet and smelly dog out for lunch. The trees in the wood are a mixture of ancient ash, oak and maple, with evidence of its medieval history highlighted in the woodbank, ditch and pollard oaks. The stumps of old trees are covered with a mix of moss and fungi, forming the perfect habitats for smaller creatures and invertebrate. Hollow tree trunks make ideal hiding holes and we spotted branches piled up and shaped to create dens. Ancient roots and branches make the path slightly hard to navigate but not inaccessible, although it would be much easier when the earthen floor has dried out! Thinking about lunch we hopped back in the car and drove the few miles up the road to Johnsons of Oldhurst, eager to satisfy our cravings. Indulging in a hot chocolate and slice of cake we enjoyed a rest before stocking up on groceries and Easter chocolate at their farm shop. If like us, you have taken your four-legged friend then their tea room has outside seating which is dog friendly and ideal for wet dogs to dry out! Alongside the farm complete with free roaming chickens and ducks, there is a wood which they welcome walkers to use, so if you’re feeling energetic and need to burn off your lunch you can continue your walk there. If you are keen to experience the beauty of bluebells and other wildflowers this spring then April is the ideal time to see these woodland wonders. Other places renowned for their bluebell displays include Lady’s Wood in Upwood, Grafham Water in Huntingdon, Thorpe Wood in Peterborough and Blickling Estate in Norfolk.

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Serving the Eastern Region for 90 Years

Small Business Challenges According to the Federation of Small Businesses confidence among small business owners is at its lowest point for nearly a decade. The figures are drawn from the latest Small Business Index and fly in the face of the owners’ intent to grow their businesses over the next year. Scott Bishop outlines five challenges encountered when speaking to clients with small businesses: 1. First is TIME. When planning a business, it’s important to schedule enough time for all the activities which will contribute to the smooth running of the venture. Proper preparation is key. 2. Second is creation of a CLIENT BASE. Entrepreneurs may develop fantastic ideas but they will flop when they go to market if market research has not been conducted properly. Buyers want top customer service and quality. These, lead to a positive reputation and recommendations. 3. CASH FLOW is vital to a small business and it’s often the greatest source of worry and stress for owners. We advise setting a budget, adhering to it but make allowance for any unexpected expenditure. Funding channels like grants can ease cash flow and help to finance investments which will, over the longer term, create income but have a larger financial cost in the outset. 4. Among the biggest challenge for business owners is the seemingly endless revision or introduction of LEGISLATION and REGULATIONS. It’s demanding on owners as they try to keep pace with the changes. Frequently these often relate to both the internal and external environment including recruitment, data protection, financial legislation as well as imports and exports. They impact on the operations and finances of a small business.

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

• • • • • • • •

Agriculture Construction Contractors Manufacturing Property Retail Road Haulage Technology

Wisbech Office 12 & 13 The Crescent, Wisbech, Cambs. PE13 1EH Telephone: 01945 584113 wisbech@whitingandpartners.co.uk Information on which this article is based is correct at the time of publishing. Any updates are available on our website: whitingandpartners.co.uk

5. Finally, MOTIVATION. Small business owners, especially in the early days, are responsible for most operating and administrative tasks from IT to HR and everything in-between. This is the most challenging time when passion and motivation can win the day. Why not let our dedicated small business advisers in our Fenland offices help you manage your business? We have knowledge and expertise drawn from a wide range of industries and sectors. We can help with regulations, planning tips and financial support.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | St. | Neots | Wisbech The Fens April 2019 37


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A Rural Life in the Fens Step back in time and discover the history of the Fens, its people and their rural way of living WORDS AMY CORNEY IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Ramsey is a traditional fenland market town steeped in history with its numerous heritage sites. It is also home to its very own Rural Museum which is a treasure trove of history, artefacts and displays which have been carefully curated over the past 40 years. The museum is situated in Hassock Meadow which is part of the original 10th century Benedictine Abbey estate and is housed in picturesque 17th century barns. The idea for the museum began in 1977 by a small group of business owners, farmers and local people. After many years of hard work and restoration, the public were invited to view the exhibits from 1983. Its official opening to the public was in 1988 by local Fenland author, Sybil Marshall. Agricultural machinery shows the progression of the The The Fens Fens | | April April 2019 2019

39 39

farming industry alongside exhibits of Ramsey’s local history. The museum has items on display spanning 200 years from 1740 - 1940s. The stable block focuses on local history with displays from RAF Upwood, Ramsey Fire Brigade, Ramsey Abbey school and the local police station. All the items on display have been donated by members of the public and there is certainly an impressive amount!

close attention to detail and without breaking any of the green poison bottles! Next door in the parade of shops is the Cobbler’s, this family run business was on the high street of Chatteris from 1855-1988 but was kindly donated by the Paul family and rebuilt at the museum in 1990. Traditional tools spanning the 19th and 20th century line the walls, alongside a collection of leather shoes and the close attention to detail in replicating the shop really transports you back in time.

Arsenic and other deadly poisons are just some of the glass bottles lining the shelves of the chemist shop. The contents of the shop were donated by the Whitwell family in 1993 after the closure of their family business in Peterborough. Volunteers have carefully recreated the shop with

Outside there is the Fen Cottage which started its life in the 1930s in Ramsey St Mary’s but was painstakingly dismantled and reconstructed at the museum. The cottage opened in 2012 and is a perfect example of life in the 1940s complete with interior décor, furniture

40 The Fens | April 2019

and props to match the period. Other highlights at the museum include a traditional caravan used by the workmen building the roads over 100 years ago, Ramsey Stores an early 20th century shop with vintage products and packaging on display and the Pump room which explores the important history of the drainage of the fens. Alongside the tea room and gift shop the museum also holds the local archives and most recently one of the volunteers has created a website dedicated to the history of the Great Whyte tunnels which Ramsey is built on. What is extraordinary about the museum is that it is run solely by volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering there for over 27 years! The volunteers work on all aspects from repairing the buildings,

to renovating displays and machinery to baking cakes for the on-site tea room, to compiling the archives, to being front of house and running the museum on its open days. The team are always looking for more volunteers and whatever your skills they will be able to match you up with a job that is both enjoyable and rewarding. The museum is a big part of the local and wider community and to maintain this they host a wide range of events throughout the year. Their first event of the year is taking part in Ramsey’s Heritage Day on Sunday 7th April where the museum will open its door to visitors for free and is also hosting its first craft and food fair. Other events happen throughout the year with the museum’s pinnacle being the traditional Plough Day in September which celebrates the history of the local farming area with plough matches, crafts stalls and

Diary Dates more. With wonderful displays capturing the history of the fens and rural living, different activity trails for younger visitors and a charming tea room Ramsey Rural Museum is well worth a visit. It is open from April – October on Thursdays 10am-5pm and 2pm-5pm on weekends and bank holidays. There is a small charge to visit but this is to ensure the museum can continue running and maintain its buildings and displays.

7th April Ramsey Heritage Day & Spring Craft and Food fair 21st April Easter Egg hunt 27th April A living History Event 19th May Ramsey Fen Fair Phone 01487 815715 Ticket Prices: £4.50 Adults; £4.00 Concessions; £1.00 Children (5 – 16); Children under 5 FREE; FAMILY TICKET £10.00 (2 Adults & 2 Children) Ramsey Rural Musuem, Wood Lane, Ramsey PE26 2XD https://ramseyruralmuseum.co.uk/ The Fens | April 2019


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You can flavour the cream with mas hed banana instead of vanilla, or chopped str awberries or raspberries. How about using white chocolat e instead of dark or even us e your favourite chocol ate bar?

PROFITEROLES WITH VANILLA CREAM AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180oC (fan) Gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and set aside.

INGREDIENTS PROFITEROLES • 50g/1¾oz butter, cut into cubes • 75g/2½oz plain white flour • 1tsp caster sugar • Pinch of sugar • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten CHANTILLY CREAM • 600ml double cream • 1 vanilla pod • 1tbs icing sugar CHOCOLATE SAUCE • 200g dark chocolate • 100ml double cream • 30g butter • 30g golden syrup 44 The Fens | April 2019

2. Pour 125ml water into a medium non-stick saucepan set over a low heat and add the butter. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar and salt. Melt the butter slowly in the water, then increase the heat and bring it to the boil. As the water starts to rise up the pan, tip all the flour into the bubbling water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a thick, smooth paste and leaves the sides of the pan (about 2-3 minutes). Tip the mix on to the baking tray and leave to cool (about 10 mins). When it’s cool, return back to the pan and add the beaten eggs, just a little at a time, beating very well between each addition. The paste should become soft and glossy. 3. The best method for the profiteroles is to pipe them with a large plain nozzle, but using two dessert spoons dipped in water is fine. You should end up with about 18 balls on the baking tray. Space them well apart to allow for rising.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the buns are well risen and golden-brown. 5. Remove the tray from the oven. Holding each bun with a clean, dry tea towel. Turn upside down on a wire rack and make a 1cm/½inch hole in the base by twisting the tip of a knife or poking with a skewer to allow the steam to escape. Leave to cool. 6. While the profiteroles are cooling, make the cream and chocolate sauce. To make the cream, simply add all the ingredients (scraping the seeds from the pod) into a large mixing bowl and whisk until silky smooth. 7. To make the chocolate sauce, combine the cream and chocolate (broken into pieces) in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until the chocolate has totally melted. Then stir in the syrup and butter. It will be glossy and rich. 8. To finish, pipe the cream into the profiteroles, place 3-4 into a bowl and cover with the chocolate sauce.

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30 YEARS OF TIGER RACING There are thousands of Tigers on the roads across the UK, including on the racetrack. But did you know that the majority of them are made on home soil, in the heart of Wisbech? We popped along to meet Jim, Laura and Paul Dudley at their workshop on Anglia Way, to find out more


he Tiger Sportscar has an impressive history. The cars have appeared on numerous television programmes, including Channel 5’s “5th Gear” whereby Tiff Needell broke the World Record of 0-60mph driving a Z100 Tiger in just 2.8 seconds. But these cars, whilst impressive in their speed and power, are also road vehicles. Tiger Racing is the passion of Jim Dudley, who started in the motor trade as an apprentice in 1966. He opened his first workshop in Kent three years later and purchased his first Series 2 Lotus Seven that same year. From here he regularly took 46 The Fens | April 2019

part in sprint events. As his career developed, alongside his passion for racing cars, Jim formed Tiger Racing and Tiger Sportscars in 1989. The company initially produced a range of kit built sportscars. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the first true Tiger design, as we recognise today, was launched and designated the Super Six. The basic design criteria was to offer the enthusiast a superbly engineered car that had readily available components (mostly Ford). The result, was a high quality car that was equally at home on both road and track. By 1998, and thanks to a huge

interest from the Japanese market, Jim opened a new Peterborough branch. Throughout these years, the Tiger continued to develop and designs tweaked. Several models came out, including the 2003 Z100, the amazing twin bike engined rocket which took the Word Record, mentioned earlier. 2004 was a huge milestone for the company after purchasing the English Racing Automobiles marque. Tiger now had a historic brand name that would see the development of new models in the best traditions of British sports and race car construction. Now in 2019, Tiger is celebrating



1. Tigers are also in many other countries 2. Tiger ran two race series for ERA and Tigers around the UK circuits 3. Tiger has restored classics for customers are far as North Scotland and South Wales

30 years of continuous production. In those years one thing has remained true, the company is still family run. Jim works alongside his son Paul and daughter Laura, as well as a fully trained team. Each component of the car is bespoke and handmade, from the welder who makes the chassis in the workshop, to the leather on the seats hand stitched by Laura. Customers can still buy a ready-made Tiger or buy a Tiger kit which can be made at home. But it’s not just Tigers which frequent the Wisbech workshop, their facilities include two engineering shops, a sales/show area for a wide range of classic vehicles, there’s a paint department, MOT garage, trimming shop and an impressive parts department. Jim’s connections with the local clubs, such as the East Anglian Tiger Owners Club and the Wisbech Classic Car Club, means there’s always an impressive collection of classics waiting to be restored. Jim’s years of experience, coupled with his warm personality means it’s hardly surprising his business has survived where so many others haven’t. So whether you’re interested in purchasing a Tiger kit to build at home or drive away a factory built one , or maybe have a classic car in need of some work or fancy picking up a new set of wheels, Jim is a great place to start. The team have an open door policy so you can pop down to any day of the week between 9am and 5:30pm or Saturdays between 10am and 3pm. You can contact Tiger Racing on 01945 466200 or visit www.tigerracing.com. Tiger Racing is at Unit 10, Anglia Way, Wisbech PE13 2TY The Fens | April 2019


WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing hello@thefensmag.co.uk WALPOLE ART & CRAFT CLUB Saturday 30th March - 10am - 4pm

Those crafty ladies of the Walpole Art & Craft Club, who raise so much money for charity, are at it again. They will be holding a very special CRAFT FAYRE on Saturday 30th March in Walpole St Peter Village Hall 10a.m – 4p.m. They will have on sale all their lovely handcrafted items, including cards, jewellery, knitted, crocheted and needle worked items and so much more. There will also be refreshments and Tombola to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you there. If you would like a stall please contact Lynne 01945 780447 or Christine 01945 489953

RAMSEY HERITAGE DAY Sunday 7th April 11am- 5pm

Free guided bus tours and free entry to Heritage sites, don’t miss this annual event and discover the fascinating history of water in Ramsey

TRY CANAL BOATING FOR FREE Sunday 7th April, 11am - 4pm

Enjoy a free short trip on a skippered boat with Drifters, at Fox Narrowboats, Marina Drive, March PE15 0AU. Find out more at www.drifters.co.uk/ openday

REGULARS FREE Glow in the Dark Table Tennis! New and exciting activity for ages 1019 years old Just drop in and play! Fridays 15.30-17.00, Rosmini Centre, Wisbech. Fenland Music Centre Association Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles. Open to all ages and abilities. Meets every Friday evening during Term time 6pm - 9pm, March Community Centre. Just come along or visit our website on http://www. 48 The Fens | April 2019

RACHAEL’S PLANT OUTLET – OPEN EVENING Thursday 11th April 5pm – 8pm

Quality Plants at Wholesale Prices – 15% discount during the evening. Nursery tour taking place at 6.30pm. Sue Bates Artist and Cakes and Daisies will be joining us with a range of cards and framed prints, cakes and bakes, wedding floral display, together with hand tied floral bouquets. Refreshments and a raffle – all proceeds to Swim22 – Diabetes UK - find us at School Road, West Walton, Wisbech, Cambs PE14 7DS 01945 664520 e:sales@ rachaelsplantoutlet.co.uk


Upwell Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of the comic classic Iolanthe at St Andrew’s Methodist Church Hall, Isle Road, Outwell. PE14 8TD. @ 7.30 pm. The Iolanthe story, pitting a corps of fairies against the House of Peers, has delighted audiences since 1882, when it became the first G&S opera to have its premiere at the brand new Savoy Theatre. Iolanthe is one of the best known in the series of G&S operettas. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this colourful production by a local group. Reserved seats £7.50 (child £4). Box office 01945 773070. See website: upwellgands.weebly.com

fenlandmusiccentre.org.uk pilates tues nights 6.30pm till 7.30pm Murrow Village Hall. Fenland Archaeological Society (FenArch) meet at 7:30pm in Mendi’s, Old Market, Wisbech on 4th Wednesday of the month. Young archaeologists The 8-16 Fenland Archaeology group meet 10am - 12pm at the museum, Museum Square, Wisbech on the 4th Saturday of each month. Wisbech Model Railway Club The group meet every Monday

CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT AT PECKOVER HOUSE Friday 19th - Monday 22nd April, 11am - 4pm

Visit Peckover House and complete their Spring Trail, discovering more about the garden. Trail cost £2.50 plus normal admission price. Find out more at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/peckover

FENLAND LIGHT RAILWAY RUNNING DAY Sunday 21st April, 10am- 5pm At Ramsey Mereside Tickets £1 per person per ride. Tea and cakes available to purchase


An open mic evening for Fenland writers, poets, spoken word performers, rap artists and more. Help at Museum Square, 1-2 The Crescent, Wisbech PE13 1ES. Further information

from 6:30pm to 9pm in Room 1 of The Institute, Hill Street, Wisbech. New members most welcome. Unfortunately there’s no wheelchair access. Further details from 07707 885718. Walking Netball – Thursday 9:30am Hudson Wisbech £2 Walking Football – Tuesday 9:30am and Friday 8pm Hudson Wisbech £2 Back to Netball – Tuesday 7pm Hudson Wisbech £2 Ladies Badminton – Wednesday 7pm Hudson Wisbech £2 Adults Badminton – Monday 7pm Hudson Wisbech £2




INTRODUCING OUR BRAND NEW CATERING TRAILER Excellent range of buffets and extras:

• Garden parties • Freshly prepared hot and cold buffets • Wedding catering • Homemade cakes, pastries and drinks can be included • Funerals and Wakes • Traditional ice cream cart • Event catering • Fully catered with platters and crockery • Corporate hospitality • Mid-week discounted rates Call: 07930 494 076 | 01733 206658 | richard@thefenlandroaster.co.uk

Or visit www.thefenlandroaster.co.uk at wisbechwords@gmail.com or find their Facebook group @Wisbech Words

MINDFUL ART THERAPY WORKSHOP Saturday 27th April, 10am to 3pm

at Wisbech Library, Ely Place, Wisbech, PE13 1EU A day of using creative arts in a therapeutic way. The whole day is £40 per person and this includes lunch, refreshments and all materials and resources. A £20 non-refundable deposit is required to book your

Forever Fit – Tuesday 11:30am £2 (Short mat bowls, New Age Kurling and Table Tennis) Adults Table Tennis – Friday 1:30pm Wisbech Table Tennis Club £1 Beginners Running – Tuesday 9:30am Wisbech Park Free Yoga Oasis Centre – Tuesday 1:30pm Oasis Centre Free For more info on any of the above email lbremner@fenland.gov.uk or call 01354602116 Play Bridge? Wisbech Mixed Bridge Club meet every Thursday 6.45pm at WWMCC,

place. For more information and for details of how to book your place and pay your deposit, please either send me a message, call me on 07780 628422 or email me on happyinthemomentmindfulness@ gmail.com Places are limited and we would therefore urge you to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

invited to play at the annual ‘Saint George’s Fayre’, on Sunday 28th April, at March town centre at 12 noon. The FMCA Concert Band will feature local musicians of all ages and abilities and will be performing well known ‘Music from the Movies’, under the baton of Ceri Griffin (Head of Music; Neale-Wade Academy, March

FMCA CONCERT BAND Sunday 28th April, 12pm

The FMCA are proud to announce, that it’s Concert Band has been

29 Hill Street, Wisbech. No partner necessary. Call 01945 464608 for more details. Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop Fortnightly at Wisbech Library 10am12 midday (Next sessions March 16th, April 6th, April 20th) For more info visit the website at www.happyinthemoment.com or call 07780628422 Silver Surfers We meet at Parson Drove Sports

Pavilion behind the village hall. Thursday mornings, 10am to 12noon. Everyone is welcome to meet others and to overcome problems with computers iPhone or ipads. NEW Ukulele Group at Parson Drove A new Ukulele playing and singing club meets each Wednesday at The Butchers Arms, Parson Drove 7pm to 9pm. Beginners and learners or those who have never played are welcome. The choice of music will be yours as we will have a democratic approach to what we play. Martin Hammond 01945 700 676 The Fens | April 2019



INDEPENDENT BUSINESS Nicky Jarvis is the business owner behind the interior and gift shop Shab to Chic located in Wisbech. We spoke to Nicky to find out what inspired her decision to open her business and what motivates her to run it

WORDS AMY CORNEY IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL I had set up shop within my home, still selling from the Facebook page and having open days so people could come and purchase their wares. Last year in April 2018 I had full planning consent passed to officially run the business from home with regular opening days/ times. 

HOW LONG HAS THE BUSINESS BEEN RUNNING AND HOW DID IT GET STARTED? I had the idea for my business in November 2016 and we are now into our 3rd successful year of trading. I found myself in a very dark place after the loss of my eldest sister and the youngest of my six brothers, within 14 months of each other. Not knowing what life was going to throw at me next, I woke early hours on the 1st November 2016, and it was as if somebody had just switched on the light (a lightbulb moment!) and the idea came to me. Not knowing at that time as to where or how I was going to sell my upcycled furniture, I just knew it was something I had to do. By the 8th November ‘Shab to Chic’ was up and running, offering upcycled painted furniture, home accessories & giftware. In the next 6 weeks before Christmas I held open house days and people were coming and purchasing my furniture and accessories. Fast forward to March 2017 and I hadn’t stopped painting and my daughter Stacie was painting alongside me to help keep up with all the orders for our furniture that kept flocking in. By this time, 50 The Fens | April 2019

WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS DO? I upcycle and sell quality furniture which I have sourced and painted in Frenchic furniture paint. We also sell brand new industrial & rustic furniture, home accessories, giftware, greetings cards and hampers for all occasions. WHO MAKES UP YOUR TEAM? I run the business with the help of my husband, my three daughters and their partners, they all play an important role and I wouldn’t be able to succeed without their support. HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS STAND OUT AGAINST ITS COMPETITORS? Shab to Chic offers a very unique shopping experience and I think this is what makes us so different to the rest! We source unique products and lovingly create bespoke pieces of upcycled furniture. We are really passionate about the products we source and the furniture that we sell. We always go the extra mile to give our customers the best service including making complimentary hot drinks. WHAT DO YOU SELL THAT WE MIGHT NOT REALISE? I am honoured to be a stockist of Frenchic Furniture Paint and

I stock all 51 colours in the range, so anyone can have the opportunity to try their hand at renovating furniture. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR BUSINESS? I am really proud that each piece of furniture I have upcycled and restored back to its former glory has gone on to have a new life and hasn’t ended up in a skip or landfill. I have now to date sold and painted 590 pieces of furniture and it is so rewarding seeing these items go to a new home. OUTSIDE OF WORK WHAT CAN WE FIND YOU DOING? Alongside running my own business, I also work in our family business, The Jolly Fryer in Wisbech. I have worked beside my husband for the past 36years and long may that continue! Shab to Chic is based at 62 Gaultree Square, Emneth PE14 8DD and open Tues-Thurs 10am to 5pm, Sat 10am to 5pm. Find out more aby calling 07545 817823 or visit www.shabtochic.uk

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Profile for The Fens magazine

The Fens Wisbech April 2019  

The Fens Wisbech April 2019