Property news Get cosy Warm up your home using colour Page 4
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Prepare your home for autumn
How to enjoy firework celebrations - safely
Spooktacular things to do with the kids
Editor’s letter Welcome to the October issue! The clocks are set to change this month which can only mean one thing – the colder weather is on its way! But fear not; inside this issue is lots of advice to help ensure your property doesn’t fall foul of the cold weather. Now is the time to focus on preparing your home and garden against the elements. Doing so will ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises, such as burst pipes, or the death of your favourite garden plants you’ve lovingly tended to over the summer.
Prepare your property for colder weather Autumn is here; the leaves are falling and it’s getting colder. Here are some handy tips for preparing your home for the colder months
And as the dark nights draw in, it’s also time to start planning for the seasonal events coming up on the calendar; Halloween and Bonfire night! To get you inspired, inside we feature a winter-warming recipe, perfect for either event. And if you’re looking for something frightfully good to do to celebrate Halloween, our travel pages feature enough spooky events around the country to help you plan spooktacular fun! We hope you enjoy reading this issue and we look forward to sharing more property-related and lifestyle articles with you next time. Enjoy! Linda McKeown Editor
By turning your central heating back on now, you will be made aware of any issues with your heating before the cold weather really hits
You can lose as much as 30% of heating through seals and gaps in your loft
Boilers and radiators With the changeable weather over the summer, you will have probably turned your boiler on earlier than normal, only to turn it back off again with the warmer weather returning in September. If, however, you haven’t turned it on again, now is the time. By turning your central heating back on now, you will be made aware of any issues with your heating before the cold weather really hits. It may be wise to get your boiler professionally serviced to check for any problems that may appear further down the line. An engineer will identify problems with your thermostat that you may not be aware of. Your radiators may have had a build-up of sludge over the summer months – an engineer will flush through the dirty water and replace it with clean water ready for the harsher winter months; helping to ensure you never have to go without heating.
Draughts The last thing you need is pesky draughts letting cold air in and hot air out. You can check for draughts yourself using a lit candle around door frames and window frames. When
there is a draught, the flame will blow towards you. You can then either fix the draught yourself using hardware from a store or by calling in the professionals. You can lose as much as 30% of heating through seals and gaps in your loft. Check under the insulation for cut-outs, pipes, wires etc, and seal them from the inside. If you have a log burner or multifuel burner, remember to close the flue after use, (when the fireplace has cooled) to avoid heat escaping.
Create a cosy ambience Even sealed windows can allow heat to escape. By using good quality curtains, you can better insulate your windows. Close them at nighttime and when you’re not at home to conserve heat. With the nights getting darker, light up your windows with some warm fairy lights to create a cosy ambience. If you feel cold, you will be cold; trick your mind and make your home as cosy as possible! If you don’t have a real fireplace, light some scented candles. Choose autumnal scents such as wild pumpkin, cinnamon or cookies to create a cosy atmosphere in your
home. Spoil yourself with some fleecy blankets to wrap up in during the evenings. This will stop you from fiddling with the thermostat and making your house too warm.
Re-arrange the furniture Move your sofa, and any other furniture, away from the radiator; your sofa absorbs heat from the radiator which stops it from circulating around the room. The same goes for big TV units, dressers etc: try to keep your radiators unblocked by furniture so they can release heat just as they should. In bedrooms, long curtains can have the same effect. If possible, tuck the curtains behind the radiator and move beds away from radiators too. Waking up with your arm on a scalding radiator isn’t an enjoyable experience for anyone! If you have a conservatory clean it too and make it winter-ready; if you have vinyl flooring, invest in a thick shaggy rug. A conservatory can get cold even with a heating system installed, so opt for a plug-in heater too!
Be inspired by
autumn’ s new colour trends
Ha n d ma d Wo o l Y a r e Ch u n k n Bl a y M n k et e ri n o Y e llo w
Ochre is a beautiful mustard yellow that is taking the high-street by storm, and it’s perfect for brightening up a room while adding a cosy feel of autumn too. Either opt for block colour or items featuring it as hints of colour. There are a whole host of ways of incorporating ochre into your bedroom, but we can’t resist a lovely, chunky, throw to snuggle up to help survive the colder nights coming our way! Handmade Chunky Merino Wool Yarn Blanket Yellow Handmade from Merino wool, The Handmade Chunky Wool Yarn Blanket is incredibly soft and luxurious. The intricate craftsmanship gives the blanket a beautiful look and lush texture. Throw it at the end of your bed to add warmth to your bedroom. £44.95 www.tastitch.com
Top pick Ideal Home Papillion Contour Fabric Accent Chair
The living room If you’re feeling brave and want to add colour to your living room, then opt for a colourful piece of furniture, such as a signature sofa or chair.
Ideal Home Papillion Contour Fabric Accent Chair Inspired by the classic mid-century contour chairs, Papillion features decorative button detail and soft rounded edges in pastel pink. The beautifully shaped leg section is wrapped in a naturally toned wood-effect that creates an eye-catching contrast against the felt-effect fabric above them. £219 www.very.co.uk
Think of autumn and warm tones of reds, browns and yellows come to mind. Celebrate the season by adding the latest trends to your home
Key colour trends for the home are shades of yellow, rustic reds, dusky pinks and geometric colourways
On trend ni ng i D d re e t ls o h M a rg a ret U p li a & C o. C h a i r Op h e
The dining room
Now’s the time to be bold with your colour choices for the home. Nothing is out of bounds, so try the likes of burnt reds with navy. Experiment and you’ll be surprised! And when it comes to your dining room, it’s no different. Update your entertaining and dining space to make an impact. Margaret Upholstered Dining Chair Ophelia & Co. These chairs will add a comfortable, sophisticated feel for a formal or casual dining room. Honey finished legs made from hardwood offer modern simplicity and a rich tone to complement the seat of the chair. And at a price that won’t break the bank either! £183.99 – set of 4 www.wayfair.co.uk
Bo n e ood s W ric a n dle t e m Ge o wit h H
The Kids’ room
There’s no need to let the kids miss out on the latest trends this autumn. Give their room an uplift with fun, geometric furniture that’s practical as well as fashionable! From shelving units, funky cushions and rugs, there is plenty of inspiration out there. Why not try some geometric themed storage boxes? Geometric Wooden Box with Handles Bring adorable design to your home with this decorative wooden storage crate from Happy Little Folks. Perfect for a children’s room, it’s ideal for holding little bits and pieces. Each box has been carefully hand-painted with the bold geometric shapes having been created by using nontoxic, water-based paint and sealed with non-toxic varnish. Simply choose your colour scheme and off you go! £28 By Happy Little Folks www.notonthehighsstreet.com
How best to prepare your garden for the colder months We are currently grasping onto the last ounces of sunny weather, and now your garden will need some attention and preparation for autumn and winter With the hottest day ever recorded in the UK having just passed us by (38.7 degrees Celsius in Cambridge on 25th July this year), your garden will have had its work cut out this summer, and is likely now feeling rather dried-out and exhausted. With the colder months just around the corner, here are our top tips as to how best to prepare your garden for the cooler times ahead.
Put away garden furniture Your outside furniture will have done you proud throughout the summer months, but now you need to ensure it doesn’t become needlessly wet, rusty, and perhaps even frozen in parts. Pack away any chairs and tables, as well as the barbeque if it’s a movable one, to prevent them from becoming victims to the elements throughout the winter season. A dedicated storage space or a garage would be ideal places to store them.
Protect your low-growing plants from wet weather by covering them with a sheet of glass or a cloche, and surrounding them with a slightly elevated layer of gravel or grit
The final cut of the grass It’s advised that any good gardener should keep their lawn generally well-maintained throughout the winter months, keeping it tidy and well-looked after. Late October or early November is generally the ideal time to give your lawn its final trim before winter hits. However, if you live in a particularly mild area you may be able to get away with cutting your grass in December.
Rotting plants Rotting and dying plants and other vegetation in your garden don’t only look untidy, they can also spread disease to other, healthier, plants in the surrounding area. Pests and fungi are also likely with old plants and could incur further problems for your garden. Insects feeding on your crops throughout the summer may lay eggs on the stalks and leaves, so removing any finished plants prevents pests from getting a head start come springtime. It’s also useful to note that burying old plants in your garden adds organic matter to your soil, which improves soil tilth and overall health.
Regenerate your compost A rich heap of compost can go a long way, and can be used to top up garden beds, amend deficient soils, and fertilize lawns. If you’re making way for another batch of compost and cleaning out the previous load, it’s likely to be insulated against winter’s chill, meaning microbes fester for longer into the winter. To prevent the microbes from festering further, compile your autumn compost heap with plenty of autumn leaves, straw or sawdust, layered with kitchen scraps and other active, green matter.
Prepare the soil Autumn is a great time to add in new additions to the soil, such as manure, compost, kelp and rock phosphate. It’s often best to wait until your soil dries out before deciding to work it and add in extra nutrients: doing so in autumn means you won’t need to do as much in spring. Once you’ve added your additions, cover the bed of soil with sheets of plastic or other coverings to help prevent winter rains from washing the nutrients below the active root zone. The soil should be ready to be uncovered in dry spring, ready to work its magic.
Protect vulnerable plants from frost You can protect your low-growing plants from wet weather by covering them with a sheet of glass or a cloche, and surrounding them with a slightly elevated layer of gravel or grit, to ensure swift drainage of any potential rainwater. Some outdoor containers are frost-proof, and it’s advised you use these to prevent them cracking.
Plant cover crops Late summer or early autumn is an ideal time of the year to sow crops like rye, vetch and clover because, as well as adding nutrients, such crops as these help prevent soil erosion, break up compacted areas, and increase levels of organic matter in garden beds. Also, one way to increase the levels of available nitrogen for garden vegetables is to plant legumes in your garden, such as clover or field peas. Although some cover crops are hardier than others, it tends to be a general rule of thumb to plant cover crops around one month before your first killing-frost.
Late October to early November is generally the ideal time to give your lawn its final trim before winter hits
A guide to
on Bonfire night
Bonfire night can be one of the most exciting nights of the year and for very good reason. It’s a night filled with pretty firework displays, traditional bonfire treats and cosy hot drinks. However, it’s important to stay safe Whether you’re attending a firework display or celebrating at home, it’s important to remember that there are certain things you should and should not do.
You should: • • • • • •
build your bonfire far away from your home stand far enough away from fireworks and the bonfire make sure an adult checks the bonfire for hidden animals have a bucket of water nearby for emergencies keep your beloved pets inside during the celebrations remember to wrap up warm
You should never: • return to a firework after it’s been lit • let off fireworks after 11pm, (or midnight on the 5 Nov), as it’s illegal • build a bonfire near to any trees, fences or your home • leave before ensuring the fire and surroundings are put out • pour petrol or paraffin on the fire
According to the RSPCA 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear a firework set off
Bonfire night stats
Firework displays can be great for the whole family. They can also be very dangerous, so here are a few tips on how to stay safe: • Only adults should; set up firework displays, light fireworks and safely dispose of them • You should only buy fireworks which show the CE mark • Read and follow the instructions • Use a taper to light the fireworks • Have a bucket of water at hand • Use a board or other non-flammable rigid surface for flat-bottomed fireworks • Stand at a safe distance whilst fireworks are going off
4, 436 people used the NHS A&E services for firework related injuries in 2017/2018 Around half of all firework injuries happen to children under the age of 16 (gov.uk) Over the past five years over 350 preschool children have been hospitalised due to firework injuries (UK fire service)
Tips to help keep your pets safe Fun with sparklers • Find somewhere safe and open • Make sure you wear gloves when handling sparklers • Sparklers shouldn’t be given to children under the age of five • Hold the sparkler away from your face and body • Never touch the end of the sparkler • Once it’s no longer burning, put it in a bucket of water
Bonfire night can be a very scary night for your furry friends. According to the RSPCA, 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear a firework set off. So, to help, we’ve put together a few useful tips to keep them safe and happy. • If you have a dog, make sure you walk them in daylight hours before the fireworks start • Close all your windows and curtains, to help muffle the sound • Put the telly or radio on to provide distraction • Create some hiding spaces around the house and if they do hide under furniture, leave them there • Make sure your pet is microchipped in case they escape • For small animals, partly cover their cages with blankets: this will help with soundproofing
Spooktacular soup! If you’re planning on carving pumpkins this Halloween, make the most of the whole pumpkin! There are plenty of recipes out there to try, but we love this soup which uses both the flesh and seeds Pumpkin & lentil soup
Serves 4 Kcals per serving: 233 Suitable for vegetarians and gluten free
Ingredients • • • • • • • • •
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp 2 onions, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds 100g split red lentils ½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve 1l hot vegetable stock pinch of salt and sugar 50g crème fraiche, plus extra to serve
Method 1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and
starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender. 2. Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry using kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar. Stir well. 3. Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraiche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning. 4. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
This recipe, and more, can be found at www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/creamy-pumpkin-lentil-soup
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2-Piece Squirrel Print Hat & Mittens Set With this cute crocheted hat and matching mittens, they’ll be ready for splashing through all the puddles! Featuring ribbed cuffs, for a snuggly mitten fit. Embellished hat features a fun pom pom and squirrel motif. £14 www.marksandspencer.com
Girls grey padded belted longline coat Featuring zip pockets and detachable faux fur trim, this padded and belted long-sleeve coat is ideal for any fashion-conscious girl. Made from 100% polyester fabric. £50 www.riverisland.com
Monsoon Space Stripe Novelty Gloves Simply fun at their fingertips! These novelty gloves feature space-themed appliqués – perfect for any space-loving child. Available for ages 3 - 13 years. £12 www.very.co.uk
Boys’ Tech Parka Made from a shower-resistant material, this parka features a zip-through front, pockets for stashing essentials and a faux-fur lined hood to help protect against the elements. Available in bright blue, navy and red colourways. £55 - £61 www.johnlewis.com
Barbour® Leather Black Utility Gloves Invest in these 100% leather gloves to keep your hands warm and protected against the cold. £60 www.next.co.uk
Accessorize Devonshire Check Blanket Scarf In a classic check, this Devonshire blanket scarf by Accessorize is sure to lift your winter looks with tones of pink and yellow. 100% acrylic. L190 x W70 cm. £20 www.very.co.uk
Chilton Short Padded Wellies Don’t let the rain dampen your mood, or your style! These mid-height wellies from Joules are super stylish and have been finished with a faux fur collar for warmth. An anti-slip sole gives extra grip for those frosty mornings. £49.95 www.joules.com
Accessorize Nude Chunky Cable Poncho Ponchos are still on trend for the colder months, and this chunky knit poncho, made from 100% acrylic, is a must-have to help defend against the cold. £32 www.next.co.uk
SD-3 Parka Jacket Dress your man in style while keeping him cosy. With removable faux fur trim, a zip and toggle button fastening, five outer pockets, one inner pocket and ribbed cuffs, what more could he want in a jacket! £90.99 www.superdry. com
ahead! Grab your broomsticks, it’s Halloween! Here’s how to keep your little coven spellbound and the not-so-little monsters in your life cackling at some of Britain’s top haunts
Apparently, we have the Celts to thank for Halloween and its creepy traditions. According to some scholars, the last day of October marked the end of the Celtic calendar and was the day they chose to honour their dead. Unfortunately, the Celts also felt this was the time when the barrier between worlds became wafer thin, allowing spirits to cross over and mingle with the living in order to destroy their recently gathered crops. So, to prepare themselves for this medieval fright night, the Celts across Britain and Europe
disguised themselves as ghosts and ghouls to wander unopposed, further arming themselves with lanterns carved from large seasonal vegetables and lighting bonfires. Sound familiar?
– the night before All Saints Day, which is November 1 – and, with the Church starting to restrict Pagan practises, Irish settlers heading to America took their traditions with them.
Of course, the well-to-do were far too important to indulge with such supernatural superstitions, so the poor offered to pray for their dead as well – in return for a small cake or, if you like, a treat. Conversely, in Irish mythology the Pooka (think Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) would also be around to play pranks. Of course, you can’t miss the trick.
And that’s how a festival dedicated to death snowballed into the multi-million-pound fun night we know and love today.
The name Halloween originates from the mid-1700s and is derived from the Scottish All Hallows’ Eve
Warwick Castle WARWICK From October 19 until November 3, the castle becomes a dead cert for those looking for bloodcurdling tales. With a choice of scare levels – Plucky Pumpkins, Daring Dukes and Brave Knights – you can meet a host of bizarre characters, wondrous witches and even the crew of the Paranormal Encounters TV show as they try to discover why the ghosts of Warwick cannot leave. Further details: warwick-castle.com
Given such a macabre backstory, it’s really no surprise the best places to get spooked at Halloween are Britain’s mythladen stately homes and castles. We feature five which we are sure will help raise the chill factor.
It’s really no surprise the best places to get spooked at Halloween are Britain’s mythladen stately homes and castles
Said to be one of the country’s most haunted castles – which encouraged staff to keep a special ‘ghost book’ to record the eerie experiences of visitors! You may even bump into the ghost of Sir Charles, said to wander the corridors of his former home, or catch the distinct whiff of horses coming from the empty riding school. Further details: english-heritage.org.uk and search for Bolsover Castle
The name Halloween originates from the mid-1700s and is derived from the Scottish All Hallows’ Eve – the night before All Saints Day
OXFORD Visitors to Oxford Castle, another of Britain’s most haunted buildings, will be met by a host of Halloween-themed fun; from Bill Spectre’s ghost trails and midnight ghost tours of the castle, to the jailbreak escape room puzzle game, as well as Trick or Treat evenings, pumpkin carvings and ghost hunts for families and children.
Further details: oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk/events/ event/ghostfest/
Fancy exploring the darker side of history among bright lights? No better place than an illuminated tour of the ruins which inspired Dracula, Bram Stoker’s classic horror story where you can meet witches and witchfinders. Further details: english-heritage.org.uk and search for Whitby Abbey
Other events Added to the above, the London Dungeon is promising something terrifyingly spectacular in their Halloween show (thedungeons. com) while younger thrillseekers will love Brick or Treat, the spooktacular sleepover event at LEGOLAND Windsor (legolandholidays.co.uk). And just to prove ghostly goings-on aren’t confined to dry land, the skeleton crew of a ghostly pirate ship has moved into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard bringing with them Halloween crafts, face painting, a deathly disco, kids trail and lots of competitions (historicdockyard.co.uk).
margam CASTLE SOUTH WALES
Margam Castle in Port Talbot can be a chilling location at the best of times and is said to be the home of the nasty and angry spirit of a gamekeeper who really throws his weight around! The castle has seen a lot of paranormal activity so their after-dark Halloween Ghost Hunt should be a ghoulish experience. Further details: eeventbrite.co.uk/e/halloweenat-margam-castle-ghosthunt-south-wales Of course, if you prefer your Halloween to be more home-based there are several things to keep the youngsters occupied before they go Trick or Treating. The English Heritage website (English-heritage.org.uk) carries helpful guides to making creepy lanterns and masks, as well as proposing a change to the modern trend of carving pumpkins by reverting to the more traditional turnips.
No self-respecting party would be complete without apple bobbing, another game which can be traced back to the Celts, who tied apples to trees to encourage the sun god to return the following year. Then it’s off for the much-loved house-to-house procession where clusters of Grim Reapers, zombies, Captain Jack Sparrows, ghosts, skeletons and even Hulks knock on doors and demand: ‘Trick or Treat?’ Whatever would the Celts have made of it all?
The EFL Championship: How are the promotion favourites doing so far? Promotion from the EFL Championship is the most lucrative prize in world football; worth around £170 million because of the enormous TV rights package on offer!
Last years’ promoted teams, Norwich City, Aston Villa and Sheffield United are already feeling the harsh realities of life in the Premier League. But, with masses of money paid out in transfer fees and player contracts upon promotion, they will hope to duplicate the success of teams such as Burnley, Bournemouth and Wolves in the long run. Two teams win promotion automatically every year, with a play-off for the final spot from the teams positioned third to sixth. It’s a long hard slog with 46 games in the league, (and cup games on top,) and the Championship always throws up some surprises along the way. Before the busy winter period, here is our handy guide to how the promotion favourites are faring so far.
Leeds United Promotion from the EFL Championship is the most lucrative prize in world football
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds were last years’ play off final losers; despite sitting at the top of the table for most of the season the players tired and they lost their way. Losing first-teamer Pontus Jansson and top-scorer Kemar Roofe, and without the funds to replace them, they have looked to youngsters on loan from the Premier League this season. With another preseason under his belt and described as the ‘best manager in the world’ by Guardiola, expect them not to
tire this year. They steamrollered over Swansea, only to lose in the 90th minute, so they will hope Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa bed in and make an impact as they don’t want the same problems as last season, when they lacked the cutting edge in attack.
Cardiff City Swansea City may be flying high at the start of the season, but expect this to be a temporary surge, much like a 100:1 outsider out front in the Grand National. They will fade, but expect Welsh rivals, Cardiff City, to hold steady throughout the season. Neil Warnock is an old hand at getting teams promoted, holding the record with 8 promotions in his management career. Cardiff have a solid squad of players, ready to rotate over the busier periods; when other teams drop off. Don’t be surprised when they’re, at least, in the play-off spots come the turn of the new year. And with Will Vaulks catapult throws, expect some last-minute goals ruining everyone else’s party.
Fulham Fulham spent big last year to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Caretaker manager Scott Parker did enough at the end of last season to get the job full time. They have a large squad of players, most with Premier League experience who will itch to get back to the top-flight. Like Leeds, they have dipped into the Premier League loan market, bringing in the experience of Harry Arter and the exciting Ivan Cavaleiro from Wolves, and kept hold of star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Expect Mitrovic and Cavaleiro to be pushing each other in their own personal goalscoring competition to the end of the season and don’t be surprised if Mitrovic reaches the magical thirty.
Just why do we celebrate
Bonfire night has been an annual celebration in the UK for centuries. But what exactly are we celebrating? To find the answer you need to start at the beginning and that means going back hundreds of years, to the year 1605 The gunpowder plot was first organised by a man named Robert Catesby. He recruited other Catholics, including the now infamous Guy Fawkes, and together they plotted to blow up King James I and his ministers. This was an attempt to end the persecution of Roman Catholics by the English government. At the time, England was a Protestant country and they wanted England to be Catholic again. They thought that if they assassinated King James I and his government, this would then happen.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder treason and plot!
Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators put 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars underneath the Houses of Parliament, ready to set off a massive explosion. However, the plot was exposed when a member of the group sent a letter to his friend, who worked at Parliament, advising him to stay away on the 5th of November. The letter was apprehended by the
King’s supporters and the plot was discovered. Guards stormed the cellars and the plotters were caught red handed, apparently lighting the barrels. With the gunpowder plotters’ assassination attempt foiled, they were arrested and later executed. In response, Londoners immediately began lighting
bonfires to celebrate the plot’s failure and a few months later, Parliament declared 5th November a public day of thanksgiving. So, each year on the 5th of November, the anniversary of the foiled plot, people across the UK celebrate the night by setting off fireworks and lighting bonfires! Traditionally, a dummy man – representing Guy Fawkes – is placed on top of the bonfire.
Six interesting facts about Bonfire Night 1
Up until 1959, it was illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night in the UK
Fireworks were invented by accident. In the 10th Century a Chinese cook accidentally mixed three common cooking ingredients (sulphur, charcoal and a salt substitute) and they set alight making colourful flames
St Peter’s School in York was attended by Guy Fawkes and as a mark of respect for its former pupil, the school refuses to burn his effigy
Fireworks first reached Europe in the 14th century and the first recorded display took place in Florence On record, the first firework display in England was at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486 If the gunpowder underneath the Houses of Parliament had been lit, it would have caused damage within a radius of almost 500 metres
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Meet our Team CTOR Having been at Simply Homes since its inception in 2010 I am overjoyed to have achieved my dream of taking over ownership of the business which I am so passionate about. I have some fresh ideas which
I am confident will enhance an already successful operation previously lead by Steven Oates.
BEN S H
I live only 3 miles from my office, with my wife and young daughter. With my wealth of knowledge of the local area and a wide spectrum of experience within the property market I base my sales success on providing accurate valuations, focussed energetic marketing, and great customer service to vendors and purchasers. The result â€Śâ€Ś. Guaranteed sales! My passion for photography and eye for detail makes your property stand out above the rest. My expertise covers all aspects including lifestyle, twilight, and aerial shots, ensuring I capture your home in every light and show it to its absolute best potential. Committed to selling your property for the best price, I am willing to go above and beyond to achieve that for you, and will always make myself available, delivering regular updates and a personal service from start to finish.
developers including Berkeley Homes, Weston Homes, Beverly Homes and Taylor Wimpey. Well experienced in valuations, sales and customer service, Linda is a valued member of our team, ensuring we deliver the very best experience for our vendors and buyers. She prides herself on excellent and positive communication with clients, often going above and beyond to make the sales process as smooth as possible. Linda has lived in Hertford her whole life, and has excellent knowledge of the property market and local area. Passionate about keeping fit, you must ask her about her trek to Machu Pichu if you get a chance. Linda is friendly, warm, a joy to share an office with, and
E G O T I AT O R S N
progression, having started her career in the New Build sector, working with well known local
Linda most recently joined the team at the start of the year, bringing her expertise in sales
N SH AW
she looks forward to helping you with your move
R I started my estate agent journey at Simply Homes six years ago as a Saturday member of the team, using the extra money to buy our first home, alongside my full-time job in fashion buying. I worked as a fashion buyer for eight years using my creative flair dealing with and building relationships with suppliers all over the world. I left when I became a Mum and have worked 2/3 days a week at Simply Homes since. In June 2018 my husband, Ben, and I took over the business. Using my creativity, I look after the marketing side of the business; Creating new branding to take Simply Homes forward as a company. Having moved house four times in four years, I have a good understanding of the process and having lived in Hertford all my life I have excellent local knowledge.
CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Simply Homes is in a different league to all other agents we’ve been with, for us it’s the personal touch, the fact that everyone in the business is involved with the transaction and they always told us what was going on with our house
HANNAH & CAMELO
The brochure itself, when I first saw that, was phenomenal, I almost fell in love with the building before actually being in it, after seeing the video brochure, there was no way I wasn’t going to see what is now my home.
MATT & SARAH The level of service we received was always excellent, I had mobile numbers I could contact anyone whenever I needed to, and whenever I couldn’t get hold of somebody, they’d come back to me really quickly.
LESLEY & MATTY I would definitely recommend Simply Homes to my friends & family when it comes to selling a house as I had an excellent result of an asking price offer and an agreed sale within 9 days, which meant which meant we were able to move on and get the house we wanted.
POLLY I’d certainly recommend Simply Homes to all my family and friends, just because they are a very professional body of estate agents with personal service and give that little bit extra when it comes to finding a buyer.
I certainly would recommend Simply Homes, and already have, for their professionalism and understanding of what someone may be looking for.
Exclusively At Simply Homes
Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move
Selling your property
Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and a property brochure. Sharing your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale.
A leading independent agent covering Hertford, the name Simply Homes is synonymous with trust, excellence and integrity.
Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback.
With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us.
Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.
When you choose to market your property with Simply Homes, you can be confident that weâ€™ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.
We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display.
As part of what makes us unique at Simply Homes we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Simply Homes in our area. In addition, our qualified database of tenants will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. All our tenants are fully referenced and vetted, making sure the highest of standards are met to find the right tenant for you. today VALUATION Book your FREE
By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale or rental.
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Feature in our monthly magazine
Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides
Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)
Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services?
UNIQUE with Simply Homes
Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers
RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN
Portals and websites
Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Rightmove featured property advertising*
Feature on our Facebook and Twitter
All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website
Turn over A NEW LEAF
INSTANT VALUATION ONLINE Iâ€™m marketing my property with Simply Homes
Share with friends Request a viewing
Start a new adventure this Autumn. Market your property with Simply Homes and start your moving adventure today. We concentrate on the little things that make a big difference to your move.
Local schools View on a map Value my home
T. 01992 558 557 W. simply-homes.co.uk