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A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens


Issue 16 | July 2019





The Fens | July 2019

01354 704500

ED’S letter

We had some fantastic feedback following our June issue; thank you, it really means the world to us. Small companies such as ours rely on feedback (and positive feedback is my favourite). So we’re now looking ahead to July. Typically it’s a busy month, children are getting excited about finishing school for the summer and grownups are wondering what they are going to do to keep them occupied! Hopefully we can inspire you over the next few issues if you, like us, have little ones to think about. This month we took a visit to Ayscoughfee Hall, as recommended by The Friendlands in our June issue. I hadn’t heard of this little gem, which just goes to show, three years in and there is still so much to explore! We were thrilled to interview Nick Tearle also in this issue. I’ve long been a huge fan of his art, in particular the way he captures the changing skies and how it affects the landscape. You can find his interview on page 12. We’re also saying goodbye to one of our popular and interesting columnists, David White who writes on behalf on RSPB. David is moving on to new pastures, but hopes to continue to write for us from time to time. We wish him all the best. Until next month, have a wonderful month.


THIS month 8 Crufts call for local business owner

24 One giant leap - 50 years on from the Apollo 11 mission

12 An interview with a Fenland painter

30 Falling in love with the Fens

17 Your garden in July 18 Digging up the past 21 Become of volunteer in your community



34 Amy’s walk of the month 40 parkrun phenomenon 44 Visiting Ayscoughfee Hall 48 Events in your area 50 Recipe of the month





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

facebook.com/thefensmag @thefensmag thefensmag

Issue 16 | July 2019


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


A magazine with the heart and soul of the Fens



ISSUE 16 | JULY 2019 White Willow on the Welland by Nick Tearle

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 | July 2019



Buying or selling your home

First time buyers

Buy -to-let investors and rental portfolios


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Commercial Property

Building and boundary disputes

Property on separation and divorce

Property & Conveyancing Services When you’re moving house, it can seem like everyone is so busy ticking boxes on checklists that they don’t really take the time to listen and understand you. At MCP our aim is to ensure that we don’t lose focus on our individual clients during the conveyancing process. We want MCP’s clients to feel that they are involved, engaged and in control. A house is one of the biggest investments most people ever make. We provide our clients with all the information they need to make sure their investment is sound and protected. If you would like to speak to the team at MCP to find out how they can help you, please contact by telephone on 01945 464331 Or email Claire James or Helen Robinson at: claire.james@mcp-law.co.uk helen.robinson@mcp-law.co.uk

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WISBECH PARK SET FOR LED LIGHTING UPGRADE Street lighting is going green in Wisbech Park in a bid to save energy, increase public safety and improve reliability. Fenland District Council is investing £12,800 replacing 12 existing street lights in the park with new lights using the latest, energy efficient LED technology. The upgrade is being carried out as part of the Council’s street light replacement programme and is scheduled to start next month. The Council will also be installing six new LED lights in the park at a cost of £10,400, with £4,000 of the funding coming from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme. Cllr Peter Murphy, the Council’s Cabinet member responsible for parks and open spaces, said: “The LED lights will improve visibility, keep the park safe and well-lit for pedestrians and use 50 per cent less energy than conventional lamps. They will also

reduce the number of lighting faults due to the LED’s reliability and reduce maintenance costs.” The Bags of Help funding was awarded to the Council’s Active Fenland team and the Three Counties Running Club following their bid to secure additional lighting for the park. Hundreds of shoppers voted for the initiative during a round of Bags of Help voting at Tesco Extra in Wisbech last year. Grants of £1k, £2k and £4k were available to three local community projects, with the Wisbech Park project scooping the top amount. Three Counties coaches Gary Bligh and Richard Betts worked with Lauren Bremner, Active Fenland’s Senior Health and Active Lifestyle Officer, to secure the Tesco funding. “This is great news for everyone in Wisbech,” said Gary. “A safer, betterlit park works for the whole community and will also give local running clubs

a safer place to train during the dark evenings in winter.” “It was great to see the whole club pull together to ensure we won Tesco Bags of Help funding to contribute to the cost of the lights,” added Richard. “We are especially pleased that our Monday night ‘Trackless’ sessions with Active Fenland can now move to the park and away from the Police Station area that is becoming more developed.” • The ‘Trackless’ running sessions are held on Monday nights, 7pm-8pm, and are open to runners of all abilities. • Beginners running sessions are held on Tuesday mornings, 9.30am10.30am, and Wednesday evenings, 6pm-7pm. • For more information, visit: www.threecountiesrc.org

COUNCIL’S NEW CUSTOMER SERVICES CENTRE TO OPEN THIS MONTH Residents who would like to access council services and speak with friendly advisors face to face will be able to drop into a new Customer Services Centre from this month. Fenland District Council’s new centre will open its doors at The Boathouse Business Centre in Harbour Square, Wisbech, on Wednesday, July 10. It will replace the one stop shop in Bridge Street, Wisbech, which closes on Friday, July 5. The centre will be able to provide local residents with advice and information on all council services, including council tax, benefits, waste collections, homelessness, housing, planning and licensing. Facilities include a payment point for people to pay their bills quickly and easily, self-service computers where people can conduct their business online, as well as face to face customer service with trained and uniformed staff. The Boathouse also has disabled access, free parking and is just a short walk from the town centre. The new customer service centre will be open between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. Cllr Steve Tierney, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transformation and Communication, said: “Our new Customer Services Centre will benefit the local community greatly, providing access to a wide range of council services from one easy to reach location and at a reduced cost to the taxpayer.

“Many people are able to find the information they need or conduct their business online via our website or by calling or emailing us, but it is important that we continue to provide a high quality, face to face service with our staff.” Residents can also access services in a number of other ways. This includes online at www.fenland.gov.uk, by phone on 01354 654321, email at info@fenland.gov.uk and face to face at the Council’s Customer Services Centre at Fenland Hall, March, and Community Hubs located within Chatteris and Whittlesey Libraries. The Fens | July 2019


LOCAL DACHSHUND SPECIALIST LLOYD CROSS CRUFTS CALL UP For more than 40 years, local business Hair Of The Dog Canine Care Services owner Lloyd Cross has been devoted to dachshunds, standard long-haired dachshunds to be more precise. He has bred them, shown them and judged them. On 21st February 2019, Lloyd got a large green envelope from the Kennel Club in the post which made all the time he'd focused on his canine buddies over the years all the more worthwhile. It was a letter inviting him to judge the long-haired dachshund category at Crufts 2022. For Lloyd, from Emneth, "it was a dream come true", something he says he had never thought would happen. Asked why he thought he was chosen, Lloyd says it was his experience, track record and knowledge. Not only had he two previous Best of Breed awards in the Long Haired Dachshund category at

Crufts, but he also judges the breed at events around the world. Over almost five decades, Lloyd, along with his late mother Sylvia, has been involved with dachshunds. Lloyd is currently on the committee of the prestigious UK ‘Dachshund Club’ the oldest Dachshund Club in the world, and is a full member of the Kennel Club. His grooming business on the Elm High Road, ‘Hair of the Dog CCS’ has been operating for just over a year. Before that Lloyd enjoyed a very successful career as a professional singer and Cruise Director on passenger vessels. More than 12 champions have carried the LOGGETA kennel name over the years. Lloyd does not see his dogs as a money-making business. For him, every dog should be entitled to be the best home possible. Lloyd will be travelling to Pretoria, South Africa in October this year to judge at The Dachshund Club of

South Africa’s Championship Show and will take to the green carpet at Crufts in March 2022.

IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY... Well perhaps not today, but if you were enjoying the ‘Picnic in the Park’ programme of events last month, at the annual March Summer Festival, you certainly were treated to a Big Surprise! The Fenland Community Orchestra performed popular music themes from the Movies to an enthralled audience. The concert was preceded by a delightful piece of Mozart played by the FMCA’s own String Ensemble. One of the event’s organisers was quoted as saying “the standard 8

The Fens | July 2019

of musicianship is quite frankly astounding, considering that the orchestra is made up entirely of amateurs of all ages, abilities and walks of life”. One member of the orchestra who had recently been reunited with her flute after a 30 year lay-off said “I can’t believe that I’m now part of such a wonderful organisation. I would encourage anyone considering dusting-off their old instrument to do so and come along and join us one Friday evening for a taster session – if I can do it, anyone

can!” The FMCA meets every Friday evening during school term to practice at March Community Centre, between 6pm and 9pm. New members are always welcome. For further details log-on to www.fenlandmusicccentre.org.uk

GOREFIELD BEER FESTIVAL JULY 11TH, 12TH AND 13TH Don’t miss the 5th Annual Gorefield Beer Festival. With 36 Real Ales, 10+ Ciders, Craft Lagers, Gin Bar , Farmer's Market and live music why not come down for a beer, a bite and a boogie? Camping is also available on site.

The John Noakes Experience Saturday July 13th Skegness Silver Band from 3.00pm TC3 Band Rock n Roll Band the B Sides

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JOHNSONS OF OLD HURST OPEN NEW TROPICAL HOUSE It might have been a month full of wet weather, but that didn’t stop Johnsons of Old Hurst, near Huntingdon, from completing their newest attraction at the family farm. The Tropical House, which they hope to open mid July, already houses resident crocodiles Romeo, Cuddles and Sherbert, plus their two new juveniles. As well as the crocodiles, the building will have ponds and pens for snakes and a board walk entrance. Once opened, visitors will be able to visit the tropic house and discover exotic inhabitants, right in the heart of Cambridgeshire. Johnsons of Old Hurst already has an excellent set up for visiting families, with a woodland walk, play area, reasonably priced cafe and a shop selling everything from home-grown meats, to vegetables, local gins and gifts. Better yet, there’s no entrance fee so everyone can enjoy a great day out for only the cost of lunch (or an ice-cream or two). Keep your eyes on Johnsons Facebook page for regular updates on the opening of their Tropical House, plus other events and special days throughout the year. Find out more by visiting www. johnsonsofoldhurst.co.uk or calling 01487 824658. Johnsons of Old Hurst are at Church Street, Old Hurst PE28 3AF

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A PORTRAIT OF A FENLAND PAINTER Nick Tearle is well known for his paintings which capture the breathtaking Fenland landscape. We caught up with him ahead of his solo exhibition this month to find out why the area inspires him

WORDS AMY CORNEY What is your background and why did you become a professional artist? I studied Fine Art, Art History, Photography and Graphics at Stamford College and got a degree in Music Technology at Leeds Beckett University, so the desire to work in the arts was always there. I worked in Special Education for three years and set up a music accessibility club before going back-packing in Asia. I taught English in Singapore and did graphics work on the side for a local arts magazine and Tiger Beer. After that I moved to the Philippines where I worked in a marketing office for Australian clients. I have always drawn and painted, but after returning to landscapes in the Philippines I knew I was at a stage in my life that I felt I had both the skill and the life experience to go full time and set up my own business. Four years later I have held or been a part of 12 exhibitions, sold over 60 original paintings, completed 10 commissions, won four awards, published a book and I’m an exhibiting member of both the Lincolnshire Artists Society and the Welland Valley Art Society.

about 15 years old, painting various subjects and in many styles until 2014 when I settled on landscape. My father taught me some fundamental drawing techniques as a child, but as for painting, I have basically taught myself. In hindsight, the art education I received at college lacked any real technical value and focused far too much on studying the biographies of artists dead and gone or the 1% of contemporary artists that grab headlines. There was really nothing realistic about a career as an artist; by that I mean how to produce consistent work, price it, market it and sell it, interact with gallery owners and set up your own events.

How long have you been painting? Are you self-taught or did you study? I really started painting at GCSE level,

What are you currently working on? I’m always working on several paintings at once; some small pieces are finished in one go in the space of an hour, but

12 The 12 The Fens Fens | | July July 2019 2019

Which medium do you use for your paintings and why? I use premium artist grade oil paints. If used correctly there is literally no other medium that can produce the depth and range of visual effects in paint. The paints I use have no filler or extender in and are very powerful, you only need the tiniest bit to completely change a mix. I feel I’m a long way from reaching my potential as an oil painter.

larger pieces can have many layers and take months. My most ambitious project at the moment is a 42 x 38 inch painting of a white willow tree in the sunrise. It has already been in progress for months and it could take a year in total, but I hope once it’s finished it will be something special. How does the Fens, its landscape and wealth of wildlife inspire you and your paintings? Although it is flat and seemingly devoid of features the fenland landscape is undoubtedly a beautiful part of the country, but perhaps to understand it you have to live here or at least spend a bit of time here. Due to the unobstructed horizon we get huge skies, amazing sunrises and sunsets. It’s also easy to see super moons and blood moons when they occur. If you venture out into the agricultural landscape you can lose yourself in miles of endless perfectly straight roads that seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see. The isolated houses and farms

out there, lopsided with subsidence usually at the end of a line of crooked telegraph poles, seem to tell their own story. There’s a kind of subtext or narrative of mystery and intrigue that can be found and this relates well to my love of Edward Hopper’s work and the drama of romantic landscape painting. That said, it is not an easy landscape to paint. Besides being windy and cold most of the year the experience of being in that landscape is easily lost inside a frame, my goal is to overcome that. What is your daily routine: how much of your day do you spend painting and where do you paint? It’s not easy to make a living as an artist but it’s not impossible. I’m an independent artist meaning I have no contract with a publisher or a particular gallery so my time is spent not only making paintings but also designing and producing limited edition prints, and promoting these via social media, my own website and events. I do my own framing and also offer this service to the public and other artists as Fenland Frames (www.fenlandframes. com). Painting is the goal but it’s just one part of what I do. Everything else I do is there to support a lifestyle that allows me to paint as much as possible. The thing I love about working for myself as an artist is that no day is typical. One day I’m working all day on a huge painting in the studio, the next I’m chasing a storm across the Fens taking photographs, another day I’m painting en plein air and another I’m stood in front of lots of people talking about the paintings and the landscape or setting up an exhibition. How do you feel when you are outside in the elements painting in the midst of the Fens countryside?  Painting outdoors is really when I feel most free. I don’t worry too much about creating a perfect painting. The act of being out there, enjoying the environment and doing what you love is perfect. It’s a great excuse to be in nature at times when you wouldn’t normally. Some days you wake up and you just know it’s an outdoor painting day, something about the light. I grab my backpack with all my equipment ready to go and head out for the sunrise.

How do you start a painting? I start with a sketch, in loose paint on a panel or canvas. Then I work from large simplified shapes with soft edges towards smaller more detailed elements with harder edges. I also work dark to light. That’s the general idea but every time I start a painting I try something different you have to remember to have a sense of play; I try to experiment. What is you most important artist tool? Is there something you couldn’t live without in your studio? Music, a great sound track really helps. I usually start a painting session in silence whilst I work out where I’m at and where I want to go with the painting. Once I’m in the flow I put on the tunes. I have eclectic tastes so it could be anything from minimalist classical, ambient electronica or traditional indian ragas. How do you know when a work is finished? Rembrandt said, ‘a work of art is complete only when the artist has fully realised their intentions’, I’d be inclined to agree. Do you have a favourite piece, or which piece are you most proud of and why?

I do, I have favourites for different reasons. I decided to keep one small painting called ‘April Sky over Langtoft Fen’. It was one of four cloud studies I painted in one day. Making art sometimes feels like it flows through you and sometimes the flow is nowhere to be found. I feel like that little painting represents a time when the flow was there in abundance. I also love my largest commission to date ‘Rain on Morton Fen’ simply because I think it represents clearly what I’m trying to represent as an artist. But mostly my favourite is always a work in progress, currently it’s the huge sunrise painting sat in my studio. Which art movement or artist do you admire the most or find inspirational? My goals as a painter are most aligned to the romantic era of European landscape painting. This is to represent the landscape’s awe inspiring drama. What advice would you give someone contemplating a career as an artist? Do it! But don’t wait for someone to come and validate your art or offer you a place in a gallery, believe in yourself and present consistent art. Try to create a following and learn how to market yourself. I first started selling work on a market stall, this was a great way to get

The The Fens Fens | | July July 2019 2019

13 13

constant feedback and work on my pitch. I collected contact details from anyone who was interested and created a following via a newsletter. Think of yourself as a brand, create a logo even if it’s just your signature and have some business cards printed. If you treat yourself as a professional, others will too. Do you have any ambitions or goals you are yet to achieve with your work?  Absolutely, I’d like to get more involved with conservation issues facing the Fenland areas and I’d love to put my work forward to the Institute of East Anglian Artists. What is your favourite thing about the fens and what can we find you doing when you’re not painting? My favourite thing about living and working here is simply the peaceful pace of life. I spent a long time living in big cities and I eventually realised that the rural life is the one that’s meant for me. I don’t want EXHIBITION AND BOOK distractions and fancy shops, I just like to hear the birds out of the window and see beautiful sunsets across the Nick Tearle is holding a two-day solo exhibition at The Institute in Deeping fields. St. James on the 6th and 7th of July from 10am until 4pm as part of the Peterborough Artists Open Studios. Visit www.nicktearle.net to view paintings, sign up to his newsletter and find out where you can view his art by clicking on the exhibitions page. Nick’s book, Standing High Out Of Shrunken Peat, is a collaboration with poet Becky OwenFisher and is also available to purchase through the website. The book features 48 pages of beautiful artwork and poetry and is a great example of how inspiring our landscape is. 14 The Fens | July 2019


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Home & garden

YOUR GARDEN IN July Fling the doors open to the garden and head outside! Summer is here and what better way to spend your free time than being outside and enjoying your beautiful, flower filled garden. Keep plants looking good by regularly deadheading and you’ll enjoy a longer display of blooms. Make sure you keep new plants well watered to get them through those long, hot days and hoe off those pesky weeds, which can thrive in the sunshine. Although this can still be a busy time in the garden, don’t forget to find the time to sit back and relax so that you can enjoy all the hard work you’ve put in to achieve your beautiful display.


How to use a hedge trimmer effectively With summer in full swing, it might be time to take your hedge trimmer from the shed and show your shrubs some TLC. Here are some tips on how to use a hedge trimmer effectively – and avoid injuring yourself in the meantime. SAFETY FIRST Because hedge trimmers have large blades, it’s important to be cautious when using one. You should: 1. Wear protective goggles and gloves at all times to prevent twigs, leaves and other objects from cutting or injuring you 2. When using ladders to trim hard-to-reach areas, stand them on flat ground, have someone hold them in place, and don’t over-reach KEEP EQUIPMENT WELL-SERVICED Old hedge trimmers that have been in your garden shed for 15 years might no longer be as effective as they once were. You can make your equipment as good as new – and avoid hurting yourself with a faulty machine – by

having it professionally serviced every few years. GENERAL HEDGE TRIMMING TIPS You’re ready and prepared to start trimming your hedges, but do you know the most effective way to trim your garden shrubs? Here are four simple tips that’ll serve you well this summer: • Start from the bottom of your hedge and work your way up • Trim the sides of your shrubs at an angle. This will ensure sunlight hits each section of the shrub and doesn’t restrict growth • Don’t go too deep with your trimming – you don’t want to remove too many branches and making the hedge look sparse • Avoid over-trimming; informal hedges only need to be cut once or twice a year, whereas formal hedges may need three to four annual trims For help with servicing and repairs of your hedge trimmer or other garden machinery, call Fenland Spirit Services on 0775 383 6499

FEED, WEED & DEADHEAD Adding a liquid feed to your weekly watering regime will give a much needed boost to hanging baskets, containers and borders helping them to produce more flowers and, in some cases, encouraging a second flush of flowers later in the season. Bedding plants, roses and many other perennials will also benefit from regular deadheading. This will prolong the flowering period, making the garden more attractive, and will also prevent the plants from putting their energy into seed heads. Simply pinch off the fading flowers, or for tougher branches use secateurs. Don’t forget to keep weeds down – they steal vital moisture and nutrients. Kill them by regularly hoeing borders and vegetable patches. Larger weeds should be dug out or pulled up. WATER There’s no science to watering! If you’ve got containers or plants in hanging baskets a bit of common sense goes a long way. Try lifting a container or basket, does it feel light or under watered? How does the compost look? Is it pale and shrunken away from the sides? Dig into the compost with your fingers. Does it feel dry? It should be moist but not dripping wet. During prolonged dry spells, water at least once a day. Enjoy your garden! The Fens | July 2019




ST WITHBURGA AND THE FLOATING CHURCHES WORDS GARRY MONGER At the end of the 19th century church attendances were in decline partly due to the poor state of the fen roads. In 1897 the bishop of Ely sanctioned Rev George Broke, BA, vicar of Holme in Huntingdonshire to build a floating church. William Starling constructed the flat-bottomed 40ft long lighter at Stanground at a cost of £70. The church featured in an article ‘The Floating Church’ by L.S.Lewis in The Strand magazine. Pulled by a horse, it was claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world and the cheapest on record. East Dereham church lies on the site of a monastery founded by St. Withburga. 55 years after her burial in 743 her undecayed exhumed body was re-interred in the Dereham church which became a place of pilgrimage. In 974 it is reputed to have been stolen by monks from Ely and a spring supposedly appeared at the site of the saint’s empty tomb. St. Withburga’s Floating church was moved in 1905 to the Manea parish of the Rev. F.G. Guy and served communities including the former colony at Manea. Pictures show it flying the flag of St.George and the flag of St.Andrew (to indicate to laggards that service was about to commence). A small wooden lectern in St.Mary Magdalene church, Stilton is claimed to be the last remaining artefact from the ‘Fenland Ark’. After it was no longer used as a church it was sold privately and was believed to have been in use until 1912. A meeting in July 1825 led to the creation of the London Episcopal Floating Church Society. The Admiralty adapted the Brazen, an ex-sloop man-of-war (a convict ship) and the first service took place on 18 The Fens | July 2019

Good Friday, 24 March 1829. The final service was in 1845 following which the Brazen was broken up. An earlier ’floating chapel for seamen’ was a non-denominational Ark (formerly HMS Swift) dating to 1818. A ‘Blue

Peter’ was run up at 10 o’clock as a signal for the congregation to assemble. A new floating church, St. Peter’s Barge, is now to be found in the Docklands area. This Dutch freight barge was refitted in the Netherlands and brought across the North Sea in 2003. In 1842 the rector of St. Clements, Worcester, the Rev John Davies, who became known as ‘The Apostle of the Watermen’ founded a floating chapel for the watermen and their families by adapting an old Severn barge ‘The Albion’ and moored this

‘Watermen’s Church’ by the Old St. Clements churchyard. In 1843 a congregation of the newly formed Free Church of Scotland was denied land on which to worship, by the Laird. Their solution - to build it on water. The isolated community raised £1,400 for a Glasgow shipyard to construct the 80ft long Floating Church complete with vestry, pulpit and seating for 400. Launched in 1846 it was towed to Loch Sunart and moored in Ardnastang Bay. Some years later a great storm broke the anchor chains and it was blown ashore and settled between high and low tide lines which is designated in Scotland as no man’s land thus allowing the services to continue and be used as a school. The laird died in 1861. Eventually in 1868 a site was obtained and a church built at Acharacle and the iron church salvaged for scrap. This was the end of the story until 2016 when John MacCillan, a local diver found one of the original ‘mushroom’ anchors and some chain at the bottom of the loch. The community ran an appeal to ‘crowdfund’ a project to raise and preserve the anchor and make it the centrepiece of a new display about the ‘Floating Church’ in Strontian. Top image courtesy of The Strand mag, bottom image courtesy of PCC. 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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VOLUNTEERING IN YOUR COMMUNITY WORDS Pearl Charalambos The Volunteers’ Week (1st June – 7th June) was established in 1984 by Volunteering England, which merged with NCVO in 2013. NCVO now leads this UK-wide campaign. Volunteering is defined by NCVO as “someone spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone who they’re not closely related to. Volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual” (NCVO, 2019). There are many roles in volunteering. For example activities such as befriending or buddying, helping at community events, schools, churches, fundraising, conservation activities and more. Volunteering opportunities can be found in a variety of settings from sport clubs to local community organisations. So, what makes people want to volunteer? Volunteering generates many physical and mental health benefits. According to NHS Health website ‘Moodzone’, there are evidence-based researches that showed giving our time to any small

or large acts of kindness improves our mental wellbeing. ‘Giving to others and co-operating with them can stimulate the reward areas in the brain, creating positive feelings’. People who volunteer gain confidence, experience and enjoy a closer relationship with their community. Participating and volunteering in sports has correlations with higher levels of social trust and trust in institutions (Sport England, 2011). One of our volunteers, Grzegorz Wegrzyn who has been living and working in Wisbech for the last 10 years said: ‘I want to make a difference. Active Fenland provides free sports and physical activities which benefit the community. It gives people opportunity to be active and interact with each other. It is the main reason why I have become the volunteer for the project’. Another volunteer Chris Gay also said: ‘Doing what I am doing definitely improved my relationship with the community. It’s a charity

work I am doing and I am proud of being involved with it’ (Chris Gay, Wisbech Table Tennis Club Volunteer, 2019). According to Citizens Advice, you can volunteer as many hours as you want each week and your benefits won’t be affected. The Active Fenland Community Cohesion project has many volunteering opportunities. For example, helping at Sport and Community Events and learning new skills in the basics of community development, widening your social network, supporting the social integration of our multi-ethnic community, getting upskill training in first aid, getting a qualification in Level 1 sport and physical activity activator and many other opportunities. For more information in volunteering with the Active Fenland Social Cohesion project, contact Pearl Charalambos – Sport and Physical Activity Co-ordinator at: pcharalambos@fenland.gov.uk 07729 638832 The Fens | July 2019



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ONE GIANT LEAP WORDS RICHARD GROOM IMAGES VARIOUS Fifty years on, the story of how Apollo 11 got to the moon - and back - is still mind blowing in its audacity and complexity

On 20 July 1969, two men landed their vehicle after an incredibly dangerous journey across nearly 250,000 miles of cold, airless space. Less than seven decades after the Wright brothers flew their wooden plane on its first flight of just 37 metres, men were on the moon. The landing came just eight years after president John F Kennedy’s famous words: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The scale of Kennedy’s challenge was matched by the machinery it took to do it. In the first two and a half minutes after lift-off, the 3,000ton, 110-metre tall Saturn V rocket consumed about 2,000 tons of fuel. That’s enough to fill the tank of your Ford Focus 50,000 times. During this time, the five engines 24 The Fens | July 2019

of the first stage of the rocket developed 60 gigawatts of power - twice as much as the average production of the UK’s electrical generating system. After those two-and-a-half minutes, the first stage was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean and the second stage took over. Its engines boosted the rocket’s speed to about 15,000 miles-perhour. After six minutes it too was jettisoned. The third stage had just one engine, which first fired up for a couple of minutes to finish the job of getting into earth orbit at 17,000 miles-per-hour. It was ignited two hours later to increase speed to 25,000 miles-per-hour to send the Apollo 11 crew of three astronauts on their way to the moon. Which brings us nicely on to the question: just how do you get to the moon?

50 years on, the Saturn V is still the most powerful machine ever made

The Apollo 11 crew from left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

GETTING THERE ISN’T EASY It’s not simple. You don’t just point at the moon and press the throttle. You instead must aim for the exact point in space where the moon will be when you arrive. And you need to be incredibly accurate or you’ll either crash into the moon or fly past and be lost forever in space. To do that, you need computers. On Apollo 11, the Command Module and Lunar Module had almost identical computers which, among other things, handled the navigation. They were puny by modern standards, with just enough memory to store a tiny jpeg thumbnail image. But it didn’t matter. They weren’t used to store astronaut selfies. They were there to guide the Command Module and Lunar Module with pinpoint accuracy to the moon, orbit around it, land the Lunar Module to within a few metres of a pre-designated spot while the Command Module stayed in orbit, and then get the Lunar Module back to the Command Module once the astronauts had had their

fun on the moon. Then the Lunar Module was jettisoned and the Command Module was guided by its computer back to earth, slicing through a tiny entry ‘window’ with amazing accuracy, and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean as close as possible to a waiting recovery ship. Remember this was all done at a time when computers could be as big as a room. To create such capable computers, small enough to fit into spacecraft that were each only as big as a family car, was nothing short of amazing. SEEING STARS Like all computers, these would have been useless without data. For Apollo, that included data that could let the computers work out exactly where in space the spacecraft were at any given time. To do this, the astronauts used a sextant to measure angles between several specially chosen stars. It wasn’t so different from the way that sea captains navigated across the oceans hundreds of years ago. It was all controlled by a simple keypad, with numbers zero-to-ten and nine additional

keys. No QWERTY keyboard, no mouse and no touchscreen. The computer programmes weren’t stored on hard drives or discs, but on miles of copper wire that was painstakingly woven by hand into ropes. NASA engineers called it ‘LOL memory’ as the ropes were woven by ‘little old ladies’. When two alarms sounded in the final few minutes of the Lunar Module’s descent to the moon, it wasn’t because the computer had failed. It was just doing its job. Overloaded with information from a radar that wasn’t needed for the landing, the computer knew it had to shove the task of processing that data to the back of the queue. The alarms were just a way of letting the humans know what was going on. SPECIALIST MACHINERY FOR A SPECIAL JOB The Lunar Module was one of the most advanced flying machines ever designed, but it never flew on earth. It was designed only for space flight. The single descent engine couldn’t be test fired before the flight, because its propellant would start to corrode the engine within days of being released from the fuel tanks. The Lunar Module’s legs weren’t even strong enough to support its weight on earth.

The Fens | July 2019


But no matter, ‘the Eagle has landed’ is way cooler and is quite rightly etched into history. (But now that you know about ‘contact light’ you are all set for coming across a bit nerdy to your mates during the Apollo 11 anniversary.)

The Lunar Module was a masterpiece of specialist engineering

Because it couldn’t get a test flight, Apollo 11’s Lunar Module had to be perfect in every way. Thankfully, it was, from the moment its descent to the moon began by undocking from the Command Module while orbiting the moon at 3,500 miles-per-hour. Astronaut Michael Collins was left to look after the Command Module in orbit. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin rode down to the moon in the Lunar Module, which had to slow down to a hover before landing within just 15 minutes. It did so with less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining. ‘CONTACT LIGHT’ The first words spoken on the moon were not Neil Armstrong’s famous ‘the Eagle has landed’, but probably Buzz Aldrin’s ‘contact light’: a report that a sensor dangling from below the Lunar Module had recorded contact with the moon. Or maybe Neil’s ‘shutdown’ (which he reportedly said but I can’t hear on the audio). Or perhaps Buzz responding ‘OK, engine stop’.

And of course, as Neil stepped onto the lunar surface itself a couple of hours later he said ‘whoopee!’. OK so he didn’t, that’s what Pete Conrad said on Apollo 12. Neil said something about a giant leap for mankind, which it was. Perhaps the biggest leap mankind has made, or ever will make. IT’S A DEAD TROUT Thanks for bearing with me through my dash through a week-long mission in about 1,400 words. But I’ve saved the best for last: an insight into what the people who made it all happen were really like. Look closely at footage of the Apollo 11 astronauts boarding the van that took them out to the Saturn V rocket. One of them is carrying a brown paper bag, as well as the life support unit attached to his spacesuit. That’s Michael Collins, and in that bag is a trout nailed to a piece of wood.

responsible for getting the astronauts safely into the spacecraft at the top of the support tower. Guenter was a keen fisherman, well known for telling tall tales about the giant fish he caught. Mike’s response was the present of a rather pathetic looking trout: a ‘minnow’ as he describes it in his excellent autobiography, ‘Carrying the Fire’. I love this story. It tells us that the astronauts didn’t worry about the germs no doubt emanating from a rather smelly, uncured dead fish. That there was a sense of camaraderie between astronauts and ground crew. But most of all, they had time for a bit of fun, even in the face of enormous danger and stress we can only imagine. We can’t say for certain whether or when humans will return to the moon. Maybe we will, or perhaps it’ll be Mars next time. Whatever it is, I hope that we do it with as much focus, style, fun and unity as the men and women of Apollo.

The trout was a joke gift for Guenter Wendt, who was the ‘Pad Leader’

The crew were put in quarantine for 21 days due to fears of moon germs

MOON MEMORIES Eamonn, 62, remembers 20 July 1969… I remember how tense the landing was, watching Patrick Moore and the rest looking very worried. It seemed to me they were trying to land on the moon housed in a tent made out of tin foil! Me and my oldest brother stayed up to 4.00 am to watch the moonwalk a couple of hours later. He dozed off, so I had to wake him as Armstrong got out of the hatch. I think the older generation were more amazed than us kids, maybe because there was so much science fiction on TV at the time and we sort of expected it to happen. But looking back now, it was an amazing achievement to do it first time when you think that Apollo 12 was nearly aborted on launch and Apollo 13 nearly killed the crew.

26 The Fens | July 2019

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ON FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE FENS… WORDS David White, RSPB IMAGE Dave Rogers So, after almost 11 years working for the RSPB in the Fens, this is my last article as a member of staff in the area. I therefore I would dedicate this article to how I have fallen in love with the Fens over the last 10 years.

bumpy and narrow roads. However, a decade later, I am actually more used to driving around here than I would be driving around the busy roads of the Poole and Bournemouth conurbation nowadays!

I have probably mentioned in these articles before that I was born and bred in Dorset. I moved up to the Fens in October to work at RSPB Lakenheath Fen, initially on a sixmonth contract. I really didn’t expect to still be here almost 11 years later!

I have now well and truly fallen in love with the Fens, especially the wide-open skies and the wonderful wildlife. In fact, it has been wonderful to witness how certain species have flourished in the Fens during the last 10 years.

It was an interesting experience moving to the Fens initially, as it is very different to Dorset! Firstly, I was suddenly quite a long way from the sea. Secondly, there were suddenly very few hills. During my first week at the reserve, I was taken down to the far end of the reserve to a point where I could see Ely Cathedral with the naked eye, which is around 12 miles away as the crow flies. Talk about an open landscape!

Here at Lakenheath Fen, two pairs of cranes had been present since 2007 and in 2009, one of those pairs fledged one young on the reserve. This was the first crane chick to fledge in the Fens for over 400 years. At least one pair have nested on the reserve each year since and have produced young most years. There are now also several pairs nesting elsewhere in the Fens, which is an encouraging sign for the future.

The other major thing that I had to get used to were the roads. As I had recently passed my driving test when I moved up here, it took me quite a while to get used to the bendy,

As you may know, the reserve was created specifically as a new home for bitterns. These secretive members of the heron family also nested on the reserve for the first time in 2009.

30 The Fens | July 2019

There were four “booming” males (males in breeding condition) and four successful nests. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength. In 2011, there were seven booming males and seven nests, which is the highest number of successful nests to date. There were at least 11 booming males on the reserve this year, which is the highest number of boomers that we have ever had. Talk about a success story! Although I am leaving the RSPB, I will still be living locally for the time being and I am planning to volunteer on the reserve while I can. You may therefore see me around from time to time or even read one of my articles. I hope you have enjoyed reading my articles as much as I have enjoyed writing them. All the best for the future and I hope that you all love the Fens as much as I now do!

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GOING, GOING, GONE! WORDS Justine Walker, Graduate Legal Executive, Commercial Property undertaken, such as a local authority Property auctions have increased in and environmental searches. popularity over the last few years, with dozens taking place every month. For example, John is a director of a Many people are now choosing to buy company that is expanding. John their property this way as it is fast, sales has found the perfect property to typically complete within 21-28 days of renovate and use as the company’s the auction. There is also the chance that newSelling office. After John is you can land a great deal. Are you Buying, oropening, Remortgaging approached by a third party who has It isAt easy to get carried away the to simplify theand benefit of a restrictive covenant on Fraser Dawbarns we at work John’s title that says the property is not auction but it is important to remember remove stress from your property transaction. to be used for business purposes and that following a successful bid, you have that if John does not close his office, entered into a legally binding contract We keep you updated with all major developments as they will take enforcement action. and you won’t be able to withdraw they occur and our fixed fee service helps you keep without financial repercussions. John has now incurred significant track of your costs. expense in renovating the property for his business only to find out that he For peace of mind we recommend Our lawyers can provide advice on a wide range of is not permitted to use the property having a solicitor review the legal pack conveyancing matters including: in such a way. This could have been beforehand, as such a review may highlight potential problems which avoided with a professional review. • House Purchases and Sales can be addressed or avoided before • New Build Purchases Having the auction pack reviewed committing to the purchase. The pack • Remortgaging and auctioneer’s Releasing Equity is extremely important if you are will be available on the • Buying Retirement Home reliant on a mortgage or finance to website and aincludes title information, • Buying a Shared Ownership purchase the property. Any funding either in the form of a title registerHome and plan registered land), or copy deeds arrangements need to be agreed • (for Transferring Ownership of a Home (for• unregistered land). pack also before the auction. If you do not have Buying a House asThe a Landlord a review, finance could be withdrawn includes any into searches that Home the seller has • Moving a Rented

if it later transpires that there is a defect with the property, leaving you to try and fund the purchase through other means. It is important to note that, following a successful bid, the property must be registered into the name given on the auctionHome? memorandum of sale. You your can’t register the property into joint names if only one name is given on the memorandum. The purchase would need to be completed in the sole name first and then later transferred into joint names. This could cause issues if you are obtaining a mortgage, as those named on the mortgage offer and deed will need to be named as the registered owners of the property. At Fraser Dawbarns, we strive to help our clients find the right deal for their needs. We understand that sometimes there is not much time between a buyer finding an auction lot that they are interested in and the auction itself. Therefore, we are happy to review auction packs at short notice.

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Walk of the month

Exploring an ancient trail WORDS AND IMAGES AMY CORNEY

With hopefully a sunny summer on its way, what better way to spend the holidays than by exploring some of our lovely nature reserves that form part of the Fens? Having ticked a fair few of our list of ‘must visit reserves’ already, we headed to Brampton Wood to experience one of the oldest in Cambridgeshire. With Twiggy and Bow in tow we picked a bright warm day to explore this woodland wonder.

Swathes of frothy champagne coloured cow parsley line the pathway that leads you to the entrance of the nature reserve. In a pretty outbuilding there is lots of information and a map of the area, as well as leaflets which are available to take away. The wood is the second largest in Cambridgeshire and is at least 900 years old, with the first records dating back to the Domesday book of 1086AD. Originally created in the middle ages, the area has been used as a resource for timber, hay and as pasture for livestock. The wood has changed hands many times over the years, but after a successful campaign to save and conserve the area, the Wildlife Trust purchased the wood in 1992. The reserve covers 132 hectares and is a mix of woodlands, streams and grassy banks with over 3,400 recorded species living here. One of the leaflets we picked up was a guide to spotting butterflies, so perfect for encouraging little ones to take an interest in nature. Nightingales, Woodpeckers, Common frogs and Hazel dormice are all some of the creatures that live here and might also be possible to spot! Taking a right turn off the main path, we headed into the woods with our dogs on leads, which you are required to do until the end of July due to the low nesting birds that inhabit the reserve. This wood is home to trees that have survived for centuries; these gnarled architectural specimens tower above, creating a dramatic atmosphere. 34 The Fens | July 2019

THIS MONTH’S BOOK REVIEW To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Published by Arrow; The 50th Anniversary edition (2010) Ferns and grasses cover the forest floor and every aspect of the wood was green, verdant and brimming with life. A symphony of birds sang above our heads and despite the reserve’s proximity to the A1, the wood is incredibly peaceful and calm. Following the trail through the trees we came out onto the cross ride. This wide path passes through flora filled grassy meadow banks. Here we were delighted to spot tiny white and lilac flowers poking their heads out through the long grass. On closer inspection, we realised these pretty blooms were common spotted orchids, the first time we have spotted them in the wild! Walking through the grasslands we lost count of the butterflies that were enjoying the sunshine, and heading back along the main path, we spotted a family building a den amongst the trees. With a forest made up of oak, ash, birch, hazel and maple trees, the landscape is incredibly diverse with a plethora of rich foliage and wildflowers, definitely one of the prettiest woods we have visited so far. If you are seeking refreshments after your walk, then Brampton village is home to several pubs including The Hare on the Green, as well as The Willows Tea room. We will return to this wonderful wood once the nesting season is over and allow ourselves and our dogs the chance to explore even more of this ancient place. Other local reserves to explore this summer.. Best for picnics Ferry Meadows & Hemingford Meadows Best for little adventurers Hinchingbrooke County Park & Wicken Fen  Best for fauna and flora - Woodwalton Fen Best for a ramble & pub lunch Holme Fen & The Admiral Wells  Best for bird watching Fen Drayton & Welney Wetland Centre

THE STATS Distance: 1.5 miles/ 2.4km Terrain: Grass, meadows, forest Time: 2hrs Cost: £5 each entry fee to gardens, house tours can be booked in advance. Information: wwwwildlifebcn.org

‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ It’s a long time since I read a classic and having read a lot of contemporary books of late, I decided I’d like to add a few more classics to my repertoire. Books I’ve promised myself I’d read but have never got round to. This month I chose Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. An instant success when it was first released in 1960, widely read in schools and a Pulitzer Prize winner, it has become a classic of modern American literature. Therefore, it’s safe to say my expectations were high… I’m relieved to say I wasn’t disappointed. Set in the sleepy fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression of 1930s America, this story centres on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Narrated in the first person by “Scout” real name Jean Louise Finch, across three years of her life, beginning at age six, the story’s main protagonist looks back in retrospect an unspecified number of years after the events of the novel have taken place. Scout, who also has an older brother, Jeremy “Jem” (a constant playmate and companion), is the daughter of one the town’s well-respected lawyers and hero of this story, Atticus Finch, also defence lawyer for the accused Tom Robinson. Atticus, a widower with a droll sense of humour, has instilled in his children his strong sense of ethics and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality and when he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, he exposes himself and his family to the anger and prejudices of the white community. However, with his strongly held beliefs, wisdom and compassion, Atticus serves as the novel’s moral backbone. Our verdict… Beautifully descriptive, with a court scene that evokes all the senses, this is a humorous, nostalgic, innocent, and, as the novel progresses, increasingly dark and foreboding critique of society, including the era it was written in (there was a lot of civil unrest in America during the 1960s) and the time it was set in. To Kill A Mockingbird was a story of its time, however, it was also, in my humble opinion, a story ahead of its time… one that resonates as much now as it did sixty years ago. By Eva Jordan The Fens | July 2019



PASSENGERS ASKED HOW £80,000 SHOULD BE SPENT AT LITTLEPORT STATION Passengers at Littleport station have been allocated £80,000 as part of the Govia Transport Railway (GTR) Passenger Benefit Fund. The fund has been allocated following the disruption caused by the May 2018 timetable issues. I recently met with Daniel Long, a member of local station team at Littleport who explained more about the fund. Stakeholders will be asked to prioritise ideas ready for a selection and approval process starting in August. The consultation period finishes on 31 July 2019. To have your say visit the GTR website at www. passengerbenefitfund.co.uk/

Local Campaigner Maria Stableford has founded several groups including the Fenland Chronic Illnesses Support Group, at which members are offered online and physical meet-ups, and the Littleport Disability Access Group. Championing local disability issues, it was Maria who photographed and recorded eroded footpaths of Littleport, many of which have now been renewed. Recognising that Littleport railway station had issues for mobility disabled alighting on and off the train, Maria contacted me as her local MP. Last year, we both met with the Department of Rail and Road in London to discuss ideas for improvements and fed into the focus group for rail users. Following our meeting, we were pleased to see that from 30 August 2019, people with “hidden disabilities” will be able to obtain blue badge parking permits enabling them to park closer to their destination. This marks the biggest overhaul of the current system for over forty years and a positive step forward for equality. Maria continues to campaign for disability rights. Following last week’s GTR’s announcement of the £80K ‘Passenger Benefit Fund’ for improvement to Littleport Station, Maria and the Littleport Disability Access Group are submitting their ideas for rail improvement. It is great to have local campaigns doing so much to improve our community. Cleaning carpets in over 100,000 homes


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Knowing who is setting up, managing and controlling companies Improving the accuracy and ease of use of data on the Register Protecting personal information on the Register Ensuring compliance, sharing intelligence and other measures to deter abuse of corporate entities 5. Implementation If you want to study the proposals and respond, then a link is available on our website: www.whitingandpartners.co.uk

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ENTRANCE ON DAY 10am to 5pm Adults £10 Concessions £6 Family Ticket £25 Under 5’s Free DISCOUNT WEEKEND TICKETS AVAILABLE Camping available but must be pre-booked Step back in time for 1940’s music and entertainment. Something for all the family. For children: Funfair, magician and farmyard animals.



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A great evening with all dance styles catered for including Ballroom, Lindyhop Swing, Jive as well as the social and community dances of the period. Whilst period dress is encouraged to add to the atmosphere it is not essential. Ticket numbers are limited so please buy early to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased locally in person before mid July from The Green School Shop, Great Whyte, Ramsey by kind permission of Susan Jarah Tickets on sale by downloading a booking form directly from the website

www.ramsey1940s.co.uk The Fens | July 2019



MORE THAN JUST A WORDS NATASHA SHIELS IMAGES CHRIS BRUDENELL Every week, at more than 1,400 locations worldwide, people gather for their Saturday morning ritual: running a parkrun. This running phenomenon, which started 15 years ago in London, has now spread to over 23 countries and involves men and women either running, walking, jogging, in wheelchairs, with a dog or pushing a buggy. Coupled with thousands of volunteers, and the children taking part in the growing number of 2k junior parkruns on Sundays, it’s easy to see why parkrun is a wonderful phenomenon. IN THE BEGINNING... On 4 October 2004, 13 runners ran a free, timed 5k in Bushy Park in southwest London, organised by Paul Sinton-Hewitt. Paul had benefited from free, timed runs organised by running clubs in Johannesburg, South Africa, when he lived there. Now, injured and unable to run – and between jobs, so with time on his hands – he wanted to give back to the running community, as well as to keep in touch with his running friends. 40 The Fens | July 2019

He decided to start a free, weekly, 5k time trial. Paul discussed the idea with some of his friends, particularly Jim Desmond and Duncan Gaskell, and they agreed to help. The first run was very low-key: times written down from a stopwatch and each runner writing their name and finish position on a clipboard in the back of Paul’s car. The results were sent out to all members of Ranelagh Harriers, the club to which Paul and most of the runners belonged. The event, named Bushy Park Time Trial (BPTT), grew by word of mouth. A year later there were 155 runners; by the second anniversary that had grown to 378. From very early, the event attracted not only fast club runners wanting to test themselves on the flat, measured 5k course as part of serious training towards 10ks and marathons, but also a much wider range of people, from beginners to older veterans. Unexpectedly, participants soon became very loyal – even addicted


– to the event and some, such as Darren Wood, turned up every week. Paul ran with his dog one day and other runners soon brought theirs as well, while busy parents even started pushing their babies or toddlers around in a buggy. EXPANDING In January 2007, Paul and the team started a second run five miles away at Wimbledon Common, with a third event, at Banstead Woods in Coulsdon, Surrey, soon following. By the end of 2008, BPTT had 10 ‘children’, as far south as Brighton, north to Leeds, Middlesbrough, Bramhall and Glasgow, and across to Cardiff. During this time the event names changed from ‘Time Trial’ to ‘parkrun’. The new name better captured the inclusive nature of the events, encouraging more and more people to participate. Growth continued, with people starting up more events either because they had visited a parkun and wanted one closer to home, or

they had got hooked, then moved house and missed their weekly parkrun. This is partly due to its set up parkrun's are free and inclusive of all. You don’t have to be an elite runner, but they do ask for you to remember your barcode! To take part, all that runners need to do is register online and bring their parkrun ID barcode (printed out) with them if they want to have their run registered and get their time. It’s really that simple. In return, they get – usually within hours of the run – their time, age grading, and whether or not they got a PB. Additionally, most events provide a weekly run report and often photographs of the runners, all available from the parkrun websites or Facebook pages. As if that wasn’t enough, runners completing 50, 100 and 250 parkruns get a free technical T-shirt (under-18s also get one for 10 runs). VOLUNTEERS One of the great things about parkrun is that each event is managed by local volunteers. This aspect is of course essential to parkruns remaining free. However, parkrun volunteering, as much as running, changes lives. Through parkrun, volunteers have learned to stand up and speak to dozens or hundreds of people; to write ‘Run Reports’; to take photographs of runners; and to organise events and manage volunteers. These experiences have helped people to discover new talents and to grow more selfconfident. Additionally, volunteering

has given people a chance to give something back to parkrun, to running or to their local community, and it has provided injured runners with something positive to do while they can’t run. And, as many volunteers have discovered, in parkrun volunteering you get back more than you put in, with lots of smiles and gasped thanks from runners. It’s hugely rewarding, including the pleasure of sharing with parkrunners each triumphant milestone: running the whole course for the first time; running PBs; reaching 50, 100 or 250 parkruns; running at 50 or 100 different events; and many more personal achievements. JUNIOR PARKRUN Just like the 5k events, the first 2k junior event was at Bushy Park. This was started by Paul Graham as a monthly event for four to 14 year olds in 2010, and now attracts hundreds of children (and accompanying parents) every month. Three other junior parkruns started over 20112013. Later in 2013 new weekly junior parkruns started up, with Ironman triathlon champion Chrissie Wellington spearheading the development of the weekly format. By 2014 there were 35 junior parkrun events across the UK. So if you haven’t tried a parkrun, what are you waiting for? There are lots of local parkruns in our area, including Wisbech, Whittlesey, March and Peterborough. So why not join the revolution this Saturday? More information can be found at www.parkrun.org.uk

LOCAL PARKRUNS Central Park Junior parkrun This free, weekly timed 2k parkrun is aimed at children between 4 and 14 and held at 9am every Sunday. Held at Central Park in Peterborough, it’s open and safe for all to take part in. Peterborough parkrun Held at the beuatiful Ferry Meadows, this 5k timed run starts at the cafe every Saturday morning at 9am. This is a great one to bring the family to, as they can play in the park or enjoy a hot drink while they cheer you back to the finish. Whittlesey parkrun The newest in the area, Whittlesey’s parkrun has grown from strength to strength. Held at The Manor Leisure Centre on Saturdays, starting at 9am, all abilities are welcome. March parkrun March’s parkrun is held on Saturdays at West End Park on City Road. These parkrunners are a friendly bunch and encourage you to have a post run coffee at The Royal Exchange Tea Parlour on Market Place. Wisbech Junior parkrun Launched last year, this 2k run is held every Sunday at 9am at Wisbech Park on Park Avenue. Remember under 11s must run alongside an adult. The Fens | July 2019


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Situated in Spalding, nicely between Peterborough and Wisbech, Ayscoughfee Hall is a surprising find. Built in the 1450s by Sir Richard Aldwyn, a wealthy merchant, the Hall was built entirely in brick in one building campaign making it almost unique in Britain. The early house had a ‘H’ plan, with two wings and a central hall, which would have then be the centre for family life. Over the years as you would expect, Ayscoughfee Hall had many different residents, including probably the

most well known of which was the Johnson family. The Johnsons owned the house for 160 years, with six generations of males all called Maurice Johnson. Significant changes were made to the house in the 1800s, most significantly by moving the main door to the centre and adding a porch. In 1898 the Johnson claim on the hall ended when Isabella Johnson sold it to a committee of Spalding citizens for benefit of the town’s inhabitants. In 1902, it was transferred to the Spalding Urban District Council. During the World War, the hall was commandeered by the army to house Belgian refugees. Its use evolved, at one stage it was a private school, before later housing council offices. In 1974 it was passed to South Holland Council and renovated for use as a museum, which opened in 1984. In 2004 it

44 The Fens | July 2019

was refurbished again and the new museum opened two years later detailing the history of Ayscoughfee and Fenland. Today the Hall is free to visit. Its beautifully landscaped gardens include a formal lake and pavilion, plus many unexpected features such as the 1925 aviary which houses finches, cockatiels and canaries, a kitchen garden and play park and two war memorials, one of which has been newly erected. There is also a Peace Garden, planted in 1995 to commemorate 50 years since the end of the Second World War. The landscaped gardens certainly provide a peaceful area to walk around. There are quiet spots and stunning vistas across the lake beside the onsite cafe. Despite visiting in June, nobody had told the weather man and it was threatening rain all morning. Thankfully the hall itself provided a warm respite from the outside chill, and we enjoyed our stroll through Fenland history in each of the rooms. I was pleasantly surprised to see that much of the hall is open to the public, providing plenty of space to provide information about the hall’s

history as well that of the area. There was even a Fen room! Those interested in the history of the area, from agriculture to Fenland skating, would find a visit to Ayscoughfee fascinating. There’s also plenty of medieval architecture on display to give a real sense of the heart of the building. Interactive displays and the added bonus of an outside play area, makes Ayscoughfee Hall the perfect museum and gardens to visit with children in tow. Equally the historical artefacts, well signposted rooms and mature gardens make it a destination for all ages. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday (plus Bank Holidays) between 10:30am and 4pm. The Cafe is open April to September, every day from 10am to 5pm, and then between October and March until 3pm. The Gardens are open Monday to Saturday from 8am and Sunday from 10am. They close 30 minutes before sunset.

To find out more please visit www. ayscoughfee.org or call 01775 764555. Ayscoughfee Hall is on Churchgate, Spalding PE11 2RA. Don’t miss the Ayscoughfee 1940s Weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August between 10:30am and 4pm. Entry is free. Further events can be found at the above website.

The Fens | July 2019



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Tailor made and certificated training to meet all your needs!

We can also come to your venue to deliver training

Dates for open courses are :

Emergency First Aid (6 hrs) 15 July 22 July 12 August Paediatric First Aid (12 hrs) 15 & 16 July 12 & 13 August First Aid at Work (18 hrs) 22 to 24 July 23 to 25 September

Quality training at competitive prices!

First Aid at Work Requalification 8 & 9 July

Buttercross auctioneers & valuers


HOUSE, SHED, GARAGE & BARN CLEARANCES Contents bought for cash or entered into auction FREE LOCAL COLLECTIONS Next sale of Rustic, Good prices being realised for Vintage & Modern Items GOLD, MILITARY 7th Sept - 10.30 am & VINTAGE FARM ITEMS at the Falcon Hotel Whittlesey PROBATE VALUATIONS LOW COMMISSION RATES

07713 081526 laurenceseaton@hotmail.co.uk The Fens | July 2019


WHAT’S ON Include your event for free by emailing hello@thefensmag.co.uk WISBECH WORDS Thursday 4th July at 7pm

Wisbech Words is having their second meeting at Wisbech Castle. It is hosted by poet, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, and is an opportunity for local people to take their art forms off the page to share in a friendly, welcoming and supportive environment. Email wisbechwords@ gmail.com if you would prefer to book a slot in advance.

AFTER HOURS LIVE AT OCTAVIA’S CAFE, WISBECH Saturday 5th July, 3:30pm-5:30pm

After Hours Live is an evening of entertainment with a twist of faith, open to all. A beautiful and relaxed environment where you can sit and chat with friends with some coffee and delicious hand-made cake and be enveloped by music and laughter. Cost: Free, refreshments available for purchase www.afterhourslive.org.uk

FMCA ANNUAL BANDSTAND CONCERT Saunday 7th July, 2pm - 4pm

The Fenland Music Centre Association are pleased to announce, that it’s Concert Band and Recorder Ensemble will be appearing at this year’s annual series of Bandstand Concerts in West End Park, March, on Sunday 7th July between 2 and 4pm. A wide range of music popular is expected, along with a few surprise pieces thrown in for good measure! The FMCA meets every Friday evening during school term to practice at March Community Centre, between 6pm and 9pm. New members are always welcome. For further details

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. fenlandmusiccentre.org.uk 48 The Fens | July 2019

log-on to www.fenlandmusicccentre. org.uk

FAMILY BINGO Monday 8th July 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Held at Marshland Hall, Smeeth Road, Marshland St James, PE14 8JB and more information can be found on our facebook page or by calling 01945 430414.

BINGO EMNETH CENTRAL HALL Thursday 11th July The Lancasters is a local supported living unit for people with severe learning difficulties. There is a large garden there which needs remodelling, all profits will go support this project. Doors open 6.30pm, eyes down 7.15pm. Refreshments, cakes ,raffle, tombola, lucky squares card.

GOREFIELD BEER FESTIVAL 11th, 12th and 13th July

5th Annual Gorefield Beer Festival With 36 Real Ales, 10+ Ciders, Craft Lagers, Gin Bar , Farmer’s Market and live music why not come down for a beer, a bite and a boogie?! Camping also available on site. Live Music featuring: Thursday July 11th Banjo Mania starring Sean Moyses & friends Friday July 12th Country & western with Merv & Maria The John Noakes Experience Saturday July 13th Skegness Silver Band from 3.00pm TC3 Band Rock n Roll Band the B Sides Also on Saturday July 13th 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 from 6:30pm to 9pm in Room 1 of

Farmers Market from 12pm, Sports races for young and old and inflatable fun for the kids. Keep them entertained with a £5 wristband for a whole day of bouncing! Opening times: Thurs 6pm-11pm, Fri 6pm - 12AM, Sat 12PM - 12AM . FREE ENTRY Gorefield Community Hall, Wolf Lane, Gorefield PE13 4NE

SUMMER MARKET Saturday 13th July, 10am - 1pm

Range of stalls, produce and refreshments. St Peter Church, Church Road, Walpole St Peter, PE14 7NS. Free entrance and parking


A free talk by conservator and wallpaper specialist Dr. Phillippa Mapes. Includes break and refreshments and opportunity to view wallpaper samples and collections. To be held in the Library, Wisbech and Fenland Museum. Places are limited so ensure you book your space at tfletcher@fenland.gov.uk or call 01354 622210

JUNIOR SCIENCE CLUB Saturday 13th July, 11am -1pm

Held at The Wisbech and Fenland Museum

MESSY CHURCH AT QUEEN MARY CENTRE, WISBECH Saturday 20th July, 3:30pm-5:30pm 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 Forever Fit – Tuesday 11:30am £2 (Short mat bowls, New Age Kurling

Messy Church is a fun way of doing church for the whole family and is once a month where Mum and Dad don’t have to cook! Enjoy making crafts, hearing Bible stories, singing songs and exploring faith in a creative way together, finished off with a tasty home-cooked meal. Entry is free but donations are welcome. Children, please bring an adult with you. Cost: Free Age Range: All-Ages (children must be accompanied by adult) www.messywisbech.org.uk

SUMMER CONCERT Sunday 21st July at 3pm

Well known local guitarist Estevao Devides, will perform an afternoon of summer music. Tickets £10 to include refreshments. Book in advance with Gerard Fletcher on 07853 148132 or online at http://www.eventbrite.com. St Peter Church, Church Road, Walpole St Peter PE14 7NS.


Register online now for the 5 Mile or Fun Run which starts at Bedford Hall, Station Road, Thorney. The 5 mile race kicks off at 10:30am and entry includes a memento for all finishers. Prices are £12 affiliated or £14 unattached (there’s an extra £2 charge on the day). The Fun Run starts at 9:30am around the park and includes a medal and certificate for all finishers. Entry is £3. Register at www. runbritian.com

Project Photography Exhibition


Classic and modern bikes on display, teas and coffees, trade stands and much more. Free admission. Held outside The Vine Pub, Coates, Whittlesey PE7 2BJ

NERF WARS SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUB Tuesday 30th July 10am-3pm

Held at Marshland Hall, Smeeth Road, Marshland St James, PE14 8JB and more information can be found on our facebook page or by calling 01945 430414.


Free entry, send photo & address to ECH facebook page or email j-mccourt1@sky.com, for further information phone 07518 749635. Voting all day Saturday 10th August at Emneth Central Hall. Saturday 10th August, Yard & Table top sale, £5, to book 07518 749635. BBQ 9am-midday. Family disco 7.30pmmidnight with Stuart Warren. Tickets £10 adult, children under 16 free. Burger van from 8pm. Tickets available on Facebook, from The Gaultree Inn or phone 07518 749635. 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, 29 Hill Street, Wisbech. No partner necessary. Call 01945 464608 for more details.

Come and see a free and informative exhibition of photography by the volunteers of the Wisbech High Street Project. Ten local people have spent

the regeneration and grant-funded improvement of properties on Wisbech High Street. the can last view two the years documenting the town, :it’s You exhibition at these locations

Wisbech Museum the library room Saturday 29th June - Saturday 6th July Opening Hours 10am - 4pm Tues to Sat The Light Cinema upper lobby Sunday 7th July - Saturday 3rd August Viewable whenever the cinema is open

history and it’s high street. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, photographic workshops have been running alongside work on the regeneration and grant-funded improvement

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

Marshland Hall activities Mondays: 9:30-10:30 Yoga; 10-1 Soft Play; 2-3:30 Line Dancing; Tuesdays: 10-1 Soft Play Wednesdays: 10-12 Indoor Bowls; 1-2 Sweaty Mamas; 6-7 Karate; 6-7 Marshland Saints Football; 7-8 Tai Chi; 8-9 Clubbercise Thursdays: 6-7 Marshland Saints Football; 7-8 Yoga; 7-8 Marshland Saints Football Fridays: 10-12 Soft Play; 2-4 Tea Dance; 6-7 Karate Saturdays: 10-12 Archery All events held at Marshland Hall, Smeeth Road, Marshland St James, PE14 8JB. More info can be found on facebook or by calling 01945 430414. The Fens | July 2019



h t i w s b i r t c e f r e P w a l s e l o c e r o c d har A GREAT DISH FOR RUB FANS


• 2kg of pork ribs, cut into individual bones




1. To make the perfect ribs is a long process, but I promise the results are worth it. Firstly, take all your brine ingredients and bring to the boil, preferably in a pan that will later accommodate your ribs as well. Allow it to cool. Once cool, submerge the ribs in the brine and weigh down slightly so they are all under the surface (a plate is good). Leave in the fridge overnight.

• 3.5ltrs Water • 1ltr Apple juice • 1kg White sugar • 50g Ground cinnamon • 50g Black peppercorns • 10g Whole cloves  • 250g Salt • 5 Bay leaves

• 100g Smoked paprika • 100g Dark brown sugar • 100g Garlic powder • 100g Sea salt • 100g Course ground black pepper

2. The next day remove from the brine and dry with kitchen towel. Rub the dry rub over the ribs and place on a baking tray. Cover firstly with baking parchment, then with kitchen foil. Bake at 85oC for 8 hours or overnight (see the twist for other options). Allow ribs to cool before reheating on the BBQ for 5-10 minutes.


• 1 Bulb fennel • ¼ Small celeriac, peeled • ¼ Small red cabbage • ¼ Small white cabbage • 1 Beetroot, peeled • 1 Spanish onion • 2 Large carrots, peeled • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds, toasted • 2 tbsp Flaky sea salt • 1 Lemon, zest only • 1 tsp Chopped fresh dill • 1 tbsp Chopped chervil • 1 tbsp Chopped fresh flatleaf parsley • 300g Jar of mayonnaise • 35g English mustard • 1 Lemon, juice only • 1 tbsp Salted anchovies • 2 tsp Caster sugar • 35g Horseradish salt • Cayenne pepper, to taste

STEP TWO - THE SLAW 1. Shred or grate the fennel, celeriac, red cabbage, white cabbage, beetroot, onion and carrots then mix in all the other ingredients using a large bowl. Refrigerate until needed. Don’t miss all you can eat ribs and wings every Tuesday at Smoke and Embers Restaurant at Dog in a Doublet 50 The Fens | July 2019

Chef's Twist The brine can be used again so why not brine some chicken (whole, breasts or joints will work and only need a couple of hours in there to feel the benefit). The rub is good for other meats as well; how about rubbing it over a whole striploin of beef before BBQing? If you want to experiment with different textures or are just in a rush, try cooking the ribs at 135oC for 4.5 hours or even 200oC for 1 hour. The coleslaw is great in a sandwich with chicken or cheese!

Eat, drink, stay!

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




Oxney Road, Peterborough, PE1 5YN

01775 889 120

Elsoms Way, Pinchbeck, Spalding, PE11 3JG

* Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Commercial Vehicle range: urban 24.8-68.9 (11.4-4.1), extra urban 37.7-83.1 (7.5-3.4), combined 32.1-74.3 (8.8-3.8). Official CO2 emissions 226-96g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 715/2007 and 692/2008 as last amended), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. T. C. Harrison Group Limited, Milford House, Mill Street, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1HH acts as a credit broker in relation to financial products and not a lender. We work with a number of carefully selected credit providers who may be able to offer you finance for your purchase. We are only able to offer finance products from these providers who may reward us for introducing you to them. T. C. Harrison Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Fens | July 2019


Profile for The Fens magazine

The Fens Wisbech July 2019  

The Fens July issue features an interview with Fenland artist Nick Tearle and we visit Ayscoughfee Hall

The Fens Wisbech July 2019  

The Fens July issue features an interview with Fenland artist Nick Tearle and we visit Ayscoughfee Hall