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Issue 20 May 2014

In this edition of The Sticks Exclusive interview with Kate Robbins Win tickets to see the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers and King of Pop Our new Cheese column BBC Radio 2’s Janey Lee Grace on the Natural Products show We road test the Kia Soul And much more Plus pages of events listings across Herts, Beds & Bucks


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Welcome to the May edition of The Sticks Magazine! The most talked about magazine in Herts, Beds & Bucks With over 16,000 readers a month

In this issue: Exclusive interview with Kate Robbins Win tickets to see the King of Pop Curwens Column Managing the Kids Becoming a Grandparent Art Column Car Test – Kia Soul Janey Lee Grace on the Natural Product Show Hero Cheese of the Month Big Barn Food Column Listings – Herts, Beds & Bucks

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Contributors: Janey Lee Grace, Terry Sullivan Donna Obstfeld, Andrew Merritt-Morling, Jo Coker, Sharon Struckman

See you in June! Editor & Sales: Terry Sullivan Tel: 07756 274444 Email: thesticks9@gmail.com www.the-sticks.co.uk Follow us on twitter @thesticks9 www.facebook.com/sticksmag

Listen to The Sticks Radio Show at 10am on Mondays on Secklow Sounds www.secklowsounds.org

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Exclusive Interview with Grumpy Old Woman Kate Robbins Kate Robbins is an actress, comedienne, singer, songwriter,impressionist and voice- over artist who currently lives in Bedfordshire, She is part of a showbusiness dynasty and has been entertaining us for over 30 years The Sticks Recently caught up with Kate as she was rehearsing for her new stage show – Grumpy Old Women

You currently live in Bedfordshire but you were not born there? I was born in Kent but was brought up on the Wirral, Merseyside from the age of about 5, I think until I left home at 17 and came down to London but have lived in Bedfordshire since 1988. It must had been interesting growing up with your family? Yes we are all show off’s that was what it was. It was a bit of a hectic upbringing, my dad was sort of in show business, he used to manage bands and comedians people like that and with Paul McCartney being my Mums cousin we all grew up with that sort of fame all around us and I am not saying we considered it normal but I did not really realise what my family connections were till I had left school and thought blimey. Yes one of the Beatles is your cousin never really meant much when I was at school. Yes all my family are in the same sort of industry, my two sisters and Ted my brother. I was in the Eurovision song contest with my younger sister, Jane years ago in 1980 and we did quite well we came 3rd; these days for Britain to come anywhere is quite good. We were watched by about 500 million people were else can you play to that many people in one night, it was fantastic and was the first television I had done and I was put in this group called Prima Donna, 3 boys and 3 girls a bit like Guys and Dolls where a few years before and I made friends with all the people in the group and still remain friends with all of them now. It was a lovely journey that. I went on to do other things obviously then I went into Crossroads. I always say that working on Crossroads was the first comedy I ever did, even though it was not supposed to have been. People really loved Crossroads. I was only put in the story because the producer wanted to have a hit recorded from the show, so every time I walked into the motel I would start singing this song which in the end sold over half a million and got to no 2 in the charts it was “More Than In Love”. That was a lovely little start for me really but I had been around for years with my own band before that, I was around at the same time as Kate Bush was having success and I remember hating her another Kate that plays the piano, dark hair, big boobs you know but she is brilliant, I love Kate Bush really so I thought what am I going to do to compete with her

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and then I sort of fell into comedy and I started doing stuff for Granada TV I did bits with Hale & Pace and loads of others. You have done lots of things since including singing on the hit Story of the Blues? Yes also I wrote the theme tune to “Surprise Surprise” for Cilla and now they use it again for the Holly Willoughby series, so it is nice that that is still being used as it is a few pennies in the bank. Tell us about your time on time on Spitting image I did all the female voices on the show except Margaret Thatcher who was voiced by Steve Nallon. It would be fun if they brought it back now with all the politicians expense scandals, it would be great we would have a right old time although then there was some great characters, whilst now everyone is so scared and wants to be so PC and wants to be the perfect politician without any foibles. What made Spitting image so funny is that we picked on peoples worst parts of their personality, that’s what doing a characterisation is all about, so I would do Fergie’s (Sarah Fergusson) voice and have her saying things like “They have named a pudding after me at Buckingham Palace, its called ginger sponge “and then I would put this terrible snort on the end, poor woman she never even did that in real life. We had carte blanche to do what we like really. It was very irreverent and very funny and some of the people brought their own puppets. Celebrities used to get quite miffed if we did not do them, they loved it well most of them anyway. It kept them in the public eye. In those days young kids knew who was in the shadow cabinet now a days you ask who is in the cabinet and they have not got an idea let alone the shadow cabinet, I think it was a good way for children engaging in politics and it made young people interested in politics, which I don’t think we have got at all. I sang on the Chicken Song too so I have been on a number one record and a number two record, that was me singing “Hold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose”. They don’t write romantic lyrics like that anymore. I then went on to do a show with my brother Ted called “The Robbins” that also featured my sisters as well. We did lots of stuff at Granada television for years. We did lots of sketches and impressions it was great fun. He is doing “The Slammer “now a show for children and he plays the governor of the prison, he has a great time doing that and then there is my sister Amy who was in The Royal for years also there is Emma she is a singer who is one of the “Sheila’s Wheels” ladies, she is the dark haired one on the advert and Jane who is a sculptor now she was 17 when we entered the Eurovision - now she is a fully fledged grown up now and doing very serious work. I then did the Children’s Variety performance and the original series of Deadringers on the radio, I did not want to do it visually because I had enough of doing impressions by then and I was bringing up my kids at home and I just wanted to do voice-overs and did not want to do visual stuff for a while because trying to bring up three kids is hard work. One of your children is now famous? Yes, Emily (Atack) - she is doing ever so well. She was on The Inbetweeners, Dancing on Ice and 4 movies. She has just finished a film called Almost Married, a thriller. I never expected my kids to have normal jobs. In 2007 you were given an Honorary Bachelor of Arts degree from Bedfordshire University, for her lifetime contribution to the Performing Arts? I was it was lovely, I was really chuffed to get that, very, very pleased there was me and the chef Jean Christophe Novelli we both got one the same day. -5-


One show I did not realise you were in was the Dinnerladies Yes I played Babs in that. I was a very unattractive woman in it who said things like “is it a sit down toilet”. I loved working with Victoria (Wood) and what great writing it was. I have done Doctors, Casaulty and Heartbeat among others, they call me one episdoe Kate! I love doing those. I have also done some classic comedy including Last of the Summer Wine, and the great thing about that programme was that as everyone was so old that when filming they used to finish at 2.30 in the afternoon as everyone needed a nap. What are you doing curently ? I am touring with a show called “The Return of the Grumpy Old Women - 50 Shades of Beige” with Perrier Award-winning comedienne, writer and original star of Grumpy Old Women, Jenny Eclair and Susie Blake from Mrs Brown's Boys and Coronation Street. It is a three hander, very funny I have to say, it is a riot - you don’t need to be a woman or a grumpy woman to come and see it and enjoy it, we love men coming along too. We have got sketches, tunes and dancing, it has a bit of everything but I don’t want to give much away but honestly it is very funny. We talk about the joy of big knickers, how to customise an unwanted pole dancing kit, the joy of being single and dating in your 50’s - we talk about everything honestly. My two girls Martha and Emily saw it and they went “Mum we love it” and they said “You don’t have to be grumpy or old to enjoy it”.

See Kate in The Grumpy Old Women – Fifty Shades of Beige 1st May – The Stables, Wavendon -Sold out 5th May – Wycombe Swan 16th May – Alban Arena, St. Albans 15th June - Watford Colosseum

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Win a pair of tickets to see King of Pop: The Legend Continues

King of Pop: The Legend Continues is led by the world’s number one Michael Jackson tribute artist Navi, which alone sets this show above the rest. Navi is the only MJ tribute ever invited to perform for Michael himself. Michael actually stood up and gave Navi a standing ovation after he performed at one of his birthday parties in LA. Along with his live band and dancers, Navi brilliantly recreates all the Jackson classics in a show that will take you closer than you ever imagined to an original Jackson concert. Featuring hits such as Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Black or White, Thriller, Man in the Mirror and the ‘Jackson Five’ classics in a show suitable for the whole family.

We’re offering the chance to win two tickets to see the King of Pop – The Legend Continues live at Watford Colosseum on 22nd May. Simply answer the question below Q: What is the name of Michael Jackson’s best-selling album? a) b) c)

Invincible Thriller Dangerous

T&Cs: Not exchangeable for cash or an alternative production/performance Send your answer by email to thesticks9@gmail.com with your name, address, email address and daytime phone number. Closing date: Noon on Friday 16th May The prize will go to the first correct entry drawn on Friday 16th May. Usual Sticks rules apply. Editor's decision is final.

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WILL YOUR BUSINESS SURVIVE YOU? If you own a small business or are a sole trader, have you considered whether you have made adequate provision for when you are no longer around? Business Continuity is important for everyone – but especially so for small businesses • • •

Is your business capable of continuing to deliver its products or services at an acceptable level following a disruptive incident? How would the business continue to run if you (or a key person) suddenly died, or had an accident that put you out of action? What happens if there is a practical problem such as fire or flood, IT systems crash, or even something extreme like a terrorist attack?

Even a short interruption can have a disproportionate effect on a small business – totally halting output and letting customers down. Plus, it is more difficult to absorb the financial impact of any business interruption. A high percentage of small businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months. It is therefore essential that you have a Business Continuity Plan together with appropriate insurances, a will, and any Lasting Powers of Attorney needed in place. Make sure your employees/family know where all these documents are kept! Making Your Business Continuity Plan Step 1: Define your disasters and assess your risks What could happen to you or your business, and what effect would it have?. How likely is it to happen? Step 2: What would need to be done in the event of a disaster Give someone responsibility for this and ensure it covers basics like: • evacuation procedures • fire equipment • first aider • Insuring your Premises, Key Equipment, and even Key People • Back up your IT & Telecoms information • Ensure emergency contact information and critical paperwork is kept off site Step 3: Test the plan Discuss the plan with your staff/family to hopefully expose any flaws and if possible try it out. At Curwens LLP, we can help with preparing a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney and are always happy to have an initial chat with you on the telephone to run through exactly what you need. So if you have any questions just give us a ring on 01992 463727 or have a look at our website www.curwens.co.uk.

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Curwens LLP are your local solicitors based in Royston, Hoddesdon, and Enfield.

Managing the kids As any working parent will tell you, life fits into multiple compartments all of which need to be juggled, organised and re-organised. Life as a working parent is like one of those children’s puzzle games in which the little squares are moved around to form a picture, however as a working parent, each time you put the puzzle down, one of the children (or your boss, or partner, or childcare provider) comes along and moves all the pieces around again so the picture is a mess again. Managing the kids to ensure that you are happy with their childcare arrangements can be just as important as finding the right job or managing your boss and your team. Get it right and everything just falls into place, but get it wrong and it will be one of your biggest stressors in life. There are lots of options for childcare and choosing one that is right for your family will depend on your working hours, your work location, the number of children you have, the age of the children, your partners situation and your budget, not to mention your personal preferences for childcare. Options such as grandparents, child minders, nannies, nurseries and ultimately school, after school clubs and holiday camps are all thrown into the mix and getting the right combination at the right time is as much an art as a science. What can you expect from your employers to help make life easier? The answer is often, not a lot. While many employers offer childcare vouchers through a salary sacrifice scheme, many are still not able to offer parents true flexible working as the needs of the business just don’t allow it. Employers should give you unpaid time off to deal with a family emergency, but this is to arrange care, not to provide it. So if a child is sent home sick from school, your employer should allow you time to pick them up and take them home or to the doctors, but they don’t have to allow you to have the following day off to care for your child. Some parents will call in the grandparents, but not everyone has this luxury. Some parents will be asked to take the time from their holiday allowance. Each employer is different, so it is important that you find out what your rights are within your workplace. Your contract of employment, or employee handbooks, are good starting places for information. All employers should have a documented policy and it is important that they adhere to this to avoid claims of discrimination – consistency is essential. DOHR is an HR practice working with business and the education sector to “make the workplace a better place to be”. 01923 504100

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enquiries@dohr.co.uk


The complex world of Grandparenthood is explained by Jo Coker Clinical Director of LCC Becoming a Grandparent

For most of us becoming a grandparent is a wonderful experience and one that we long for so we can share the milestones in the developing child’s life. However, barely a week passes when I do not have either a grandparent or parent in my consulting room, because they are finding the relationship problematic and traumatic; often the stories are heartrending and those involved are very upset. In my experience the problems come about because both sides are trying to avoid conflict and so do not address the issues that are “hot” and therefore cannot make changes and compromises. Much of the upset seems to be caused by lack of flexibility on both sides, but dare I say it is often on the grandparents’ side. Naturally, the grandparents are “old hands”; they have raised their children and have views on how it should be done. Often they forget that times change and with this infant care practices. With this in mind, below are some tips to help those of you expecting a grandchild start on this new stage with as little difficulty as possible and blossom. •

Prepare!! When we have a child we read books and take classes, as a grandparent you too can prepare. There are many good books out there on the topic of becoming a Grandparent with advice and tips. Also, read some books on current baby rearing practice so you can be up-to date in any discussions that you may have. Don’t just hold on to what you know, be curious. When the expectant parents tell you the news, whatever your concerns, smile and be supportive. You may be worried they are not financially stable or in the middle of a course that will be disrupted or single. These things can be worked out later, announcing your first baby is special, do not cloud it. Check whether this is common knowledge, and who it can or cannot be discussed with. Leave them the pleasure of telling friends and wider family. Many couples, or Mums-to-be like to wait until they have had a scan to check everything is progressing well before they tell the wider family, so respect this. Do ask what you can do to help and support the couple during the pregnancy. Most couples appreciate an offer of help with equipment or a donation to help with the expense, but be guided by them. You may want to buy up the shop, but it may not be what they want or their taste, so be flexible and open to their needs. Consider how you might be able to help after the birth, do not make major changes without consultation, but perhaps explore with the parents to be how you might be helpful and what realistically you might want to and be available to do. If you do commit to helping care for a grandchild to enable the parents to work, make sure you think this through very carefully, as it can lead to tensions if you find the commitment too much. Never tell horrific birth stories or try and direct the birth procedure. You may have had a wonderful natural birth and breast fed until weaning, but you must respect the new mother-to-be and her decisions, which may be very different. Never interfere on this matter it will cause conflict; your relationship with the mother and your grandchild may depend on this. If asked, offer any thoughts very tentatively and not as though they were written in tablets of stone. Be interested in the birth plan and their plans for their child. -10-


Remember Mothers-to-be are often very centred on what is happening to them. Make allowances for this and be interested in what is happening to her. Do not be offended if she seems disinterested in your life. This is normal and part of the process for preparing for parent hood, after the birth Mums tend to gradually regain their sense of perspective. Do be helpful after the birth, but I warn you this is a tricky balancing act! Do too much and you may undermine the new parent/parents and make them feel they are not coping, so be sensitive. I know we all want to hold the baby, but this may mean you are sitting comfortably while Mum is running around making tea. Where possible try to help by allowing the Mother more time with her baby, so offer to do some ironing or cooking. Perhaps take the baby for a walk so Mum can catch up on well-deserved rest. Be aware of post-natal depression and open to talking if it occurs and supporting Mum and baby. Mums today have a lot of pressures on them, which are probably very different from when you had children, be empathetic. Maybe help Mum find out about the good local support available to her. The Mum may be your much-loved daughter but be prepared to share her time with the other grandparents. In most families there is another set of grandparents, sometimes more with re-marriage. Try to be as diplomatic as possible and communicate with the other grandparents to coordinate visits so the new family are not swamped, and maybe in co-operation with the Mum decide who will do what to help. If you are divorced from your child’s father or mother, try to find it in yourself to make peace if there has been discord and work together as grandparents for the new baby. There are bound to be events that both of you, and potentially new partners, will need to attend. If you sit through the event looking as if you are “sucking a lemon” this will spoil these precious occasions for all concerned; so take a deep breath, smile and try to be gracious. You children will be appreciative and after you take the plunge it will become easier. If you are finding it hard to do this, or let go of past hurt, then seek help externally, don’t act it out within the family. I hope these guidelines will help you enjoy what is one of the greatest privileges – that of being a Grandparent.

Local Counselling Centre
 T: 01462 674671 E: hello@localcounsellingcentre.co.uk W: www.localcounsellingcentre.co.uk

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Mayor to celebrate opening of creative ‘hub’ in the Hertfordshire countryside

PS Arts, a popular art and photography gallery, housed in a converted barn in Datchworth, Hertfordshire, is celebrating its official opening on 9 May 2014. An evening event attended by guest of honour, Councillor Howard Morgan, Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, will mark the occasion. Guests will be invited to browse the eclectic mix of art, ceramics, sculptures and photography. They will also be officially opening their new exhibition gallery at PS Arts, namely “Southern Hemisphere” with a black and white photography exhibition of Portable road in the seventy’s. The foundation for this exhibition is an eclectic series of images photographed by Sarah Bissett Scott in 1976 for her post-graduate research at the Architectural Association. Sarah revisits Notting Hill in photographs and digital prints to share her understanding of what regenerating North Kensington, now more fashionably known as Notting Hill, has meant for its communities. This exhibition will be open to the public for 2 weeks, starting on 9 and running until 25 May 2014. This characterful farm building has been transformed into a thriving art centre. With her vision and passion, Stevenage-based photographer and art enthusiast, Sharon Struckman, together with two business partners: Bespoke home furnishings creator, Melinda Walsh Baines and successful cake designer and Vintage tea room owner, Sarah Poole. PS Arts is a combination of art gallery, exhibition centre, Bespoke furnishings, workshops and vintage tearoom, has become a popular destination for those who appreciate art, tranquillity and a slice of homemade cake. It began life when Sharon, who has long been passionate about art and photography, discovered the barn enabling Sharon to start her new venture.

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Following early experimentation with a photo studio, tearoom and small art display, Sharon expanded the art gallery in response to demand from artists and artisans keen to display their art and creations in this beautiful space. Having enjoyed a career in marketing and PR, Sharon moved to England from South Africa in 2002. She settled into life as a homemaker and mum, while dreaming of creating a retreat for artists and as we all know creativity and passion can turn dreams into reality. There are now 26 artists promoting their work at PS Arts thanks to Sharon. The art on display covers a range of media including: water colour, acrylic ink, oil, pastels, fused glass, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics and textile arts. “We are passionate about promoting talent,” Sharon explains. “We want to encourage people of all ages and abilities to come here to explore, experiment and realise their creative potential. We have the facilities to hold exhibitions, run courses and host events. This event will be a great opportunity for PS Arts and introduce the public to our new exhibition centre,”Southern Hemisphere.” This trio of inspiring women are equally passionate about preserving the environment. All furniture and furnishings in use at the barn have been sources from second hand or free cycled sites. There is also great excitement surrounding “Serendipity”, an art inspired garden area being created from up-cycled materials and plants. Although in many ways a work in progress, PS Arts is already a vibrant mingling of visitors to the tearoom, exhibiting artists and people looking to admire or purchase a unique piece of art or design. The facilities at PS Arts are available for exhibitions, private functions, workshops, lifedrawing classes, icing and cupcake classes, upholstery classes and more. Surrounded by fields, an ancient bluebell forest and a small lake, PS Arts is a creative hub for art, located approximately 30 minutes from London by car or train. It comprises an art gallery, exhibition centre, creative workshop space and vintage tearoom and is the brainchild of three entrepreneurial women: South African-born Sharon Struckman of PS Arts is a food photographer, art enthusiast, has her own column in Hertfordshire Life magazine. She is the co-ordinator for the Welwyn & Hatfield branch of Herts Visual Arts. www.psarts.co.uk Melinda Walsh Barnes is an Australian and has lived in Hertfordshire for over 20 years. Her company, MWB bespoke has taken over the adjoining barn, where she has opened her handmade curtains, blinds, bespoke soft furnishing and re-upholstery up cycling business. She loves to share her years of experience in interior design and practical up cycling. www.mwbespoke.co.uk Talented, Sarah Poole owns We R Cakes, specialising in celebration cakes and is the Vintage tearoom owner at PS Arts from where she also runs cake making and decorating workshops. www.wercakes.com Nigel Greenwood from of Greenwood Creations. Designs and makes bespoke and up cycled garden furniture which is on show in the new art garden “Serendipity” at PS Arts.

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Kia Bares its Soul The second-generation of Kia's Soul - a compact crossover - has now gone on sale. Sharing its underpinnings with the Cee'd hatchback and priced from ÂŁ12,600, Kia claims the new Soul has improved ride and handling. The Soul comes with a choice of two engines and five trim levels. Andrew Merritt-Morling, managing editor of first4auto, our motoring media partner, takes a look.

In order to improve practicality, the new generation Soul is bigger all round - and bolder in looks. Styling leans heavily on the Track'ster concept car that was unveiled two years ago at the Chicago motor show. A new central trapezoidal air intake, low-mounted front fog lights and Kia's familiar 'tiger-nose' grille are the key styling elements. Under the bonnet, you can choose to select a 1.6-litre direction-injection petrol units producing 130bhp and 119lb ft of torque, or a 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 126bhp 192lb ft. Both drive the front wheels. The GDI petrol unit emits 158g/km of CO2 and return 41.5mpg. The 0-62mph sprint can be accomplished in 10.6 seconds before going on to top out at 115mph. The CRDi diesel, meanwhile, emits 132g/km and returns up to 56.5mpg and is slightly slower in the sprint, trailing the petrol model by one-fifth of a second (10.8 seconds). Top speed is also slightly down at 113mph. Select the optional 6-speed automatic and things are more noticeably slower, with the 0-62mph dash completed in 11.8 seconds before running out of steam at 110mph. Thanks to the new stiffer Cee'd-based chassis, Kia says it has improved the Soul's ride quality via new geometry and suspension bushes. -14-


As well as the choice of petrol or diesel engines, buyers also have five trim levels to choose from: Start, Connect, Connect Plus, Mixx and Maxx. All models come with DAB radio, variable power steering, painted bumpers, keyless entry, tyre pressure monitoring system, wheel-mounted audio controls and USB/auxiliary audio connections. The entry level Start model has 16-inch steel wheels and air conditioning and weighs in at £12,600. Move up to the Connect model (£14,800 to £17,900) and you get part-leather trim, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, heated door mirrors, fog lamps, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a reversing camera, a central storage box-cum-armrest between the front seats and black gloss trim on dash, steering wheel and parts of the door trim. Mid-spec Connect Plus (£15,900 to £19,000) gets an enhanced sound system (including front speaker mood lights) and integrated satellite navigation. The lower three trim levels are available from launch.

The upper two trim levels - Mixx and Maxx - will be following in the summer. The penultimate Mixx (£18,150 to £21,250) gets even bigger wheels - 18-inch alloys - LED lighting, privacy and solar glass and heated front seats as well as exterior trim highlights, including a contrasting-coloured roof and door mirror casings. A tougher, more sport-oriented appearance is provided, courtesy of an urban styling pack. The topof-the-range Maxx model (£19,950 to £21,550) gets leather trim, front and rear parking sensors and a fixed panoramic sunroof. Its technology is also improved, benefiting from a TFT instrument cluster, smart-key entry and engine stop/start button. The Soul comes with 354 litres of boot space with its rear seats in place, rising to 1,367 litres with them folded away. Kia say that a Soul EV - a fully-electric version with zero tailpipe emissions - will also be added to the Nissan Juke-rivalling range at the end of this year. Kia expect 5,000 Soul's to be sold in the UK as it aims to take full advantage of the booming European crossover market. In 2013, 380,000 units were sold in Western Europe and Kia predicts this will increase to 600,000 by next year. The UK plays a significant part in this picture, contributing more than a quarter of Western European crossover sales.

www.first4auto.com

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Natural Products Show

Inspired by nature fuelled by passion is the ‘strapline’ for the recent Natural and Organic Products Europe trade show at London’s Olympia, the show is in its 18th year and its massively increasing in popularity, – despite perhaps needing to make sacrifices in other areas it seems people really hold onto their values and are becoming increasingly savvy about good nutrition, good food supplements and the best in natural and organic skincare and beauty products. There were four zones all in the one show,. The Natural Beauty and Spa featuring the best in organic and natural skincare and makeup, some of my favourite companies were there including Green People, Simply Bee (great skincare containing Propolis) Planet Health who do unique skincare with silica and FOM cosmetics who have gorgeous facial oils. The natural health zone featured supplements, herbal products including the high quality supplements and ‘essential food’ from G&G vitamins, Sun chlorella, Better You who make great vitamin D oral spray and the Natural Living zone, everything from Probiotic cleaning fluid from Libby Chan and the laundry soapnuts from Greenfrog Soap One of the most enticing zones was The Natural Food Show which included raw food, vegan, gluten free and some well-known healthy brands. Some of my favourites included Booja Booja chocolate, the great cereals from Rude Health, Tiana Fair Trade Organics who alongside their raw organic extra virgin coconut oil, coconut water, flour and nectar now also have Coconut Goodness, - coconut flesh in a jar – yum! A real find for me was a US company who have just started distributing their food products into the UK Food For Life baking have great bakery products. It all got quite biblical as I tasted their heavenly Ezekiel 4.9 sprouted grain breads. The sprouting of grains maximizes nutrition and digestibility, while retaining important natural fiber and bran. The resulting protein and complex carbohydrates don’t tend to spike blood sugar levels the way process flour breads would. Of course some Hertfordshire companies were represented too, Konjac Sponge based in Tring have now added to their collection of cleansing and exfoliating sponges a brilliant one for dogs, to gently wipe their tears! Logona are based in Bedfordshire and have beautiful skincare and beauty products. Holy Lama Naturals are based in Hatfield and have the most unique handmade soaps and body care products based on Ayurvedic principles, there’s also some unique Holy Lama Spice Drops including Cinnamon, Cumin Seed and even Mulled Wine – yes I had a sneaky tipple in the middle of the day – well it’s exhausting being at trade shows!

Have a look at www.janeyleegrace.com for my recommendations

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Win a Pair of Tickets to See the Thrilling Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Live In Concert on Friday 9th May at Hertford Theatre

From 1 to 18 May, Europe’s most established taiko ensemble will be touring the country with their blisteringly energetic show. This unique performance will feature enormous Odaiko drums, an army of eerie UV Ninjas, and relentless synchronised rhythms that will leave your chest pounding. Two lucky readers can each win a pair of tickets to this unforgettable evening at the Hertford Theatre on Friday 9th May. Runners up will receive an exclusive merchandise pack which contains Mugenkyo’s latest DVD. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer this question: The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers were founded 20 years ago by director Neil Mackie, but what does ‘Mugenkyo’ literally mean? A) Limited Revolution B) Limitless Reverberation C) Loud Resonance Send your answer by email to thesticks9@gmail.com with your name, address, email address and daytime phone number. Closing date: Noon on Thursday 2nd May The prize will go to the first two entries drawn on Thursday 2nd May. There is no cash alternative. Usual Sticks rules apply. Editor's decision is final. For more information about Mugenkyo: www.taiko.co.uk

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HERO CHEESE OF THE MONTH Grevenbroecker Award winning Cheese monger, Toby Archer from The Cheese Plate in Buntingford will be sharing a great cheese every month. This month we will be focusing on Grevenbrocker, a delicious cheese from Belgium. Grevenbroecker is made in the Flanders region of Belgium, in the award winning family run, Catharinadel dairy. This un-pasteurised blue cheese is unlike many other blue's, in being a stacked curd blue cheese, this process involves only cutting the curds, before rolling in the bacteria (mould from rye bread) and pressing into shape, unlike normal blue manufacture which blends the bacteria into the milk early in the cheese making process, subsequently the curds do not take on the taste of the blue. The cheese itself has a delightful marbled effect, soft and unctuous. Once on the palette this cheese takes on two layers, the creamy curds and the light and salty blue notes, truly a sensational tasting experience, best enjoyed at room temperature, served on a sweet digestive style biscuit with a glass of light sweet desert wine, such as a Monsoon Valley, late harvest Chenin Blanc from Thailand or a Senorio de Sarria Moscatel from Spain, steer clear though, from ports or heavy pudding wines.

www.thecheeseplate.co.uk 26 High Street, Buntingford, Herts, SG9 9AQ Tel: 01763 271533 Email: Toby@thecheeseplate.co.uk

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Asparagus Week Spring is early this year and my Asparagus bed has already yielded one delicious dinner. What better way to celebrate the change of the season with fresh, delicious, healthy, local, or home grown, asparagus.

Asparagus is best eaten within 2 hours from picking. The longer you leave it the more the natural sugars turn to starch and the base becomes stringy and inedible. So now is the time to find your local Asparagus grower and gorge yourself on really fresh shoots, or buy crowns and create your own asparagus bed for a crop in 2 years.

Asparagus Health facts;Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Like avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals and help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer. Superfood & delicious Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralise cell-damaging free radicals and help slow the ageing process. It may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. WOW If like me you are lucky enough to have an Asparagus bed you will cutting selected tips already, 3 weeks earlier than last year. I planted my beds 4 years ago and can only pick until the 1st June (next year mid June). They are delicious and incredibly sweet and tender if picked and cooked straight away. I will be filling in any gaps this year with new crowns and hoping to try out some new recipes so that we can gorge on the crop and not get bored of such a healthy vegetable.

www.bigbarn.co.uk

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Herts Listings Embroidery exhibition - til Sunday 1 Jun A display of embroidered textiles by Filamenti group. Knebworth House SG1 2AX On the Move: from skates to scooters- til Saturday 31 May How many ways can you think of travelling from A to B? Discover the amazing range of ways people have found to get around with this family friendly exhibition. Free Entry, Open Tuesday – Saturday. Hertford Museum, 18 Bull Plain, SG14 1DT Re-imagined Exhibition - til Saturday 17 May The New Maynard Gallery is proud to present “Re-imagined “ - a collection of works from four renowned Hertfordshire artists. The Hawthorne Theatre Welwyn Garden City AL8 6BX Ashridge Spring Trail - til Friday 30 May Join us for a stroll through the woodland discovering more about springtime at Ashridge. Follow your map, answer the questions and return to the shop to collect your reward sticker. Ashridge Estate HP4 1LX Discover Sandridge exhibition - til Thursday 29 May This exhibition is organised as part of the Sandridge 900 celebrations. The Discover Sandridge exhibition is about the history of this area north of St Albans covering Bernard’s Heath. Museum of St Albans, Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 3RR Bouncers & Shakers - til Sat 3 May By John Godber. Directed by John Keogh. Barn Theatre, Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6ST Radlett Players Presents: Neighbourhood Watch - til Saturday 3 May This play by Alan Ayckbourn was first performed in September 2011. Martin forms a local neighbourhood watch group but events get out of hand when Montmorency, Martin’s garden gnome, is smashed. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL Morcambe - Wednesday 30 Apr and Thursday 1 May The Olivier Award winning play stars Bob Golding as comedy icon, Eric Morecambe. Don’t miss this moving, often hilarious tale about one of Britain’s best loved entertainers. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ Grease - Thursday 1 to Sat 3 May Grease is a 1972 musical, set in 1959 at Rydell High School. It follows 10 working class teenagers as they navigate their way through the complexities of growing up. Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6BX

Toploader- Fri 2 May 7.30pm, Formed in 1997, and with a string of over 20 hits at home and abroad, Toploader rose to global fame in the year 2000 with their cover of 'Dancing In The Moonlight' which maintained a top 40 position in the official UK charts for 50 weeks. Tickets: £18.00* in advance, £21.00* on the day. Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk Barron Knights - Friday 2 May The Barron Knights are probably the most entertaining group to come out of the 60’s and 70’s. Don’t miss this one you will walk out the theatre with happy memories. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ Our Friends, The Enemy - Friday 2 May The Western Front, Christmas 1914: lights appear from the German trenches and soldiers meet between the firing lines. The events that follow are the most astounding stories of the Great War. Letchworth Arts Centre. 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW Kimpton May Festival - 50th Anniversary year Friday 2 to Monday 5 May This year promises to be bigger and better with 4 days of action packed events themed what else but -“50” - so be prepared for some lateral thinking by the procession float teams. Kimpton SG4 8RB Suggs - My Life Story - Sat 3 May 7.30pm. The death of Suggs’ beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday triggers a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew. Stunned by what he learns Suggs is taken back to his childhood on the tough streets of 1970’s Soho and his first appearance on Top of the Pops at the age of eighteen. With musical accompaniment and uncalled for interjection from Deano his loyal manservant-cum-pianist. Tickets: £26.50* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN. 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk The Future is Unwritten presents: England Away – Saturday 3 May By Paul Hodson 2001, the night before England thrash Germany 5 – 1. Four England fans meet for the first time on a campsite in Munich. Drink is drunk, songs are sung, secrets are exposed. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE Stortford Music Festival - Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 May featuring Chas Hodges Band, Uncle Funk, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, The Small Fakers, New Town Kings, CC Smugglers, Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels, The Sea. St. Mary’s Field, Windhill, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 2NQ


Stapleford Flower Festival - Sunday 4 and Monday 5 May The Stapleford Flower Festival is an annual event that has been running for 45 years. Every year the church is decorated with flowers, all in arrangements which fit the chosen ’theme’ St Mary’s Church, Church Lane Stapleford SG14NB

Hertford Museum Stores Open Day at the Seed Warehouse - Saturday 3 May 11.00 am – 3.00 pm Go behind the scenes at Hertford Museum stores. Discover how we store and care for our vast and varied collections. Hertford Museum, 18 Bull Plain, SG14 1DT Hitchin Symphony Orchestra - an evening of lolipops - Saturday 3 May St. Mary’s Church, Hitchin Leader: Janet Hicks Conductor: Paul Adrian Rooke ‘Another Evening of Lollipops’ J.C. Bach: Suite No. 2 (‘Lucio Silla’) Elgar: ‘Chanson de matin’. St Mary’s Church, Churchyard, Hitchin SG5 1HP

Lemsford Village Fete - Monday 5 May As is traditional, this splendid event will provide a true English country fete experience with maypole dancing. St. Johns C of E Primary School, Lemsford Village, Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7TR

Comedy Club - Saturday 3 May Paul B Edwards hosts another anarchic evening of great comedy, with Dan Evans and Al Lubel. Licensed bar. Letchworth Arts Centre. 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW

Beltane Summer Festival - Monday 5 May Celebrate the start of Summer with a fun-packed days of activity for all the family at Celtic Harmony, the Iron Age Settlement just outside Hertford. * Live Music * Drumming Workshops. Celtic Harmony Camp, Brickendon Lane, Hertford SG13 8NY

Hertfordshire Garden Show - Saturday 3 to Mon 5 May Get your garden into shape for the new season. Choose from a wide range of plants and garden accessories. Book tickets online to save 10% - your ticket includes admission to the Gardens and Park. Knebworth House SG1 2AX

Aldbury May Fair - Monday 5 May Aldbury May Fair is a great day out for all the family, with plenty to see and do. From the traditional May Pole dancing, crowning of the May Queen and Morris Dancers. Aldbury Village, Nr Tring HP23 5RT

La Bohème - Sun 4 May 7.30pm.Featuring the celebrated Chisinau National Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra with international soloists. Directed by Ellen Kent, this brand new production is traditionally staged and features lavish sets and costumes. La Bohème is one of the most romantic operas ever written. It tells the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer. This classic tale of Parisian love and loss features many famous arias including ‘Your Tiny Hand is Frozen’, ‘They Call Me Mimi’ and ‘Muzetta’s Waltz’. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Tickets: £35.00*, £31.00*, £24.00*.Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN. 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Ruby Wax – Sane New World - Wed 7 May 8pm. Ruby Wax, the much loved US born comedian, actor and writer, is coming to Watford Colosseum with her brand-new show, Sane New World. The show is based on her critically acclaimed book "Sane New World" which helps us understand why we sabotage our sanity with our own thinking. 'Sane New World' shows us how to rewire our thinking to find calm in a frenetic world and how to become the master, not the slave, of our own minds. This show is your passport to saner living. She might not be sane herself but she does a pretty good imitation. Tickets £17.50*, £15.50* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN. 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Table Top Sale in aid of the National Deaf Childrens Society - Sunday 4 May Good quality second hand children’s clothes, books, toys, maternity clothes, baby items, general household items, books and other good quality items! Scout Hut, Chene Drive, Waverley Road, St Albans AL3 5PE

Fiddler on the Roof - Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 May The musical with more than a dozen well known songs including Matchmaker, If I Were a Rich Man, Sunrise, Sunset and even a Bottle Dance. The show played well over 5000 performances on Broadway. Broxbourne Civic Theatre, High Street, Hoddesdon EN11 8BE

Back To Broadway - Sunday 4 May Let this mesmerising show take you through the world of musicals, its drama, its beauty and its sheer joy. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ

Billy Pearce - Wednesday 7 May One Of Britains most talented and best loved comedians and performers, Billy Pearce, emerged from the fertile talent fields of Butlins in the mid 1980’s. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ

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Secondary Cause of Death - Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 May Digswell Players present this Comedy Thriller by Peter Gordon Inspector Pratt arrives at Bagshot House with grim news for Colonel Craddock, but that’s just the beginning. Digswell Village Hall, 30 Harmer Green Lane, Digswell (Next to Welwyn North Railway Station/Jn6 A1M) AL6 0AT

centenary of the start of the First World War. Da Vinci Hall, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3NX Arcadians Cabaret Showcase, with Letchworth Arcadians - Friday 9 and Saturday 10 May Enjoy an evening of great entertainment where the talented cast will perform a variety of acts from Freddie Mercury to Les Miserables. Letchworth Arts Centre 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 3EW

Hellfire Comedy Club - Thu 8 May 8pm. What a great night! A curry and three of the finest up and coming comedians to entertain you. Comedians for May include Ivan Brackenbury, an inept hospital radio DJ who is the creation of Tom Binns, a former breakfast radio host on London's XFM as well as a comedian in his own right and Kevin McCarthy, “The Man with the Beard”. Kevin is a veteran of the early days of Saturday Night Live, the original Comedy Store and the legendary comedy tent at Glastonbury. Tickets: £18.00 (includes curry and the evening’s entertainment) Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN. 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

What the Lady bird Heard - Friday 9 to Sunday 11 May From the author of ’The Gruffalo’ comes ’What the Ladybird Heard live on stage. Fun for all the Family. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ Carmina Burana - Sat 10 May 7.30pm,Following a triumphant performance of The Armed Man (Karl Jenkins) at Watford Colosseum in 2012, English Philharmonia and Chorus return under the baton of conductor Graham Wili with another exciting programme. Carl Orff’s dramatic and engaging Carmina Burana is both popular and instantly recognisable and shares top billing with George Gershwin’s thrilling and well-loved Rhapsody in Blue, for piano and jazz band. Adding pizazz to the evening is the world premiere of a new jazz piece, The Seasons, by Sebastian Weiss, commissioned by English Philharmonia Chorus especially for this concert. Tickets £25.00*, £20.00*, £15.00*Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Singing Nina - Thursday 8 May Chicago Jazz Queen, Karen Underwood and her band bring the story of the great Nina Simone, from her struggle against racism and exile from her homeland to her flamboyant troubled relationships. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ Living Crafts - Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 May An extra special 40th Anniversary Living Crafts Visitors will be treated to an extra special event when Living Crafts celebrates four decades of promoting British crafting excellence. Hatfield House, Hatfield AL9 5AB

The Only Way is Downton - Saturday 10 May Seabright Productions Direct from a West End season comes this first national tour of Luke Kempner’s tour-de-force impressions comedy in an extended version featuring exclusive new material. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE

Thank You For The Music - Fri 9 May 8pm.The world’s favourite ABBA concert show is coming to town with an all-new, sequin-spangled production celebrating the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision triumph with their first worldwide hit Waterloo. Enjoy the most authoritative spectacular ever: Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, Mamma Mia, Thank You for the Music; Gimme Gimme Gimme and more.Seen the record-breaking movie? Taken in the smash-hit West End musical? Bought the chart topping albums and singles? Now experience the UK’s No1 concert show Thank You for the Music! Tickets £21.00*, £19.00*, Children Under 14 £15.00*Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Watford Model Railway Exhibition - Saturday 10 May Model Railway Exhibition with more than 20 layouts in a variety of scales and gauges. Trade support attending. Free parking, full disabled access, refreshments. Queens School, Aldenham Road, Bushey WD23 2TY Omid Djalili - Saturday 10 May He’s back on tour with a splash, following a sell out four week West End residency and a sold out season at the Edinburgh Festival. Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Lytton Way SG1 1LZ Blofeld and Baxter: Memories of Test Match Special - Saturday 10 May "Blowers and Baxter: Memories of Test Match Special" is a charming show for both cricket and non-cricket lovers

Through a Child’s Eyes - Friday 9 May The horror of war, as seen through the eyes of a child and expressed through dance, marking the -22-


Tea Dance will evoke memories of a forgotten era and create memories of a new one. Tea, coffee and a selection of cakes will be available. Tickets: £5.00 Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN.0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

alike. Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 6BX Kidzstuf nearly new children’s sale - Saturday 10 May A fantastic nearly new sale selling pre loved children’s clothes, toys and equipment from ages 0-12 years. Our Lady’s RC Church Hall, Park Road, Rickmansworth WD3 1HU

RLOS Presents: Oliver! - Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 May Orphaned Oliver Twist goes from mistreatment in the London workhouses to falling in with a gang of pickpockets led by the roguish Fagin, the kind-hearted Nancy, and the menacing Bill Sykes. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

Decomposed! - Saturday 10 May Can Will save his brother Igor from turning into a zombie? Down on his luck, Will is forced to move back in with his smelly twin. Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6BX Pennyfarthing Antiques & Collectors Fair Sunday 11 May A quality range of 70 stalls, including Porcelain, Jewellery, Glass, Small Furniture and much more. Ideal for finding that individual gift. Wyllyotts Theatre Darkes lane, Potters Bar EN6 2HN

HOT FLUSH starring Lesley Joseph - Wed 14 May 8pm, Share in the friendships, the secrets, the laughs, the tears and the ups and downs of four ordinary women – and one man (Matt Slack) – living extraordinary lives. Myra (Lesley Joseph) is a successful divorce barrister whose rat of a husband has left her for a blonde bimbo, Jessica (Ruth Keeling) is struggling to understand life in the midst of a mid-life crisis, while Sylvia (Lori Haley Fox) has been married to Joe since she was 20… and bored since she was 21! Helen (Anne Smith), a widow, is trying to take one day at a time; it’s just that sometimes several days attack her at once. More fun than joining a gym and cheaper than botox, Hot Flush! might even leave you feeling 34 ½ again! So wipe away the credit crunch blues and get your girlfriends together for an unmissable night at Watford Colosseum. Bring your man along as well; you’ll all love it! Tickets £21.50*, £18.50* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

The North London Wedding Fair - Sunday 11 May Fantastic location for a wedding fair at this 4 star hotel. Amazing, professionally staged fashion shows at 12.30pm and 2.30pm by The Boutique, Enfield. The Royal Chace Hotel, The Ridgeway, Enfield EN2 8AR The Little Hadham Antiques Fair- Sunday 11 May An established fair known for its wide range of quality antiques at reasonable prices. Little Hadham Village Hall (Signposted off the A120 between Puckeridge & Bishop’s Stortford) SG11 2BP Plant Fair - Sunday 11 May Stock up your garden at our annual Plant Fair with plants from our volunteer growers and local nurseries. Ashridge Estate HP4 1LX

Wedding Fair - Wednesday 14 May A superb wedding fair held in a stunning venue, just a few minutes from the M25. Admission and Parking are free of charge. Doors open 5.30pm - 9.30pm. See over 30 local companies. High Elms Manor, High Elms Lane, Watford WD25 0JX

Hertford Castle Open Day - Sunday 11 May Hertford Castle will open its doors to the public for the first time this year. Take a look around the historic Grade 1 listed building and grounds. Hertford Castle SG14 1HR

Faulty Towers - The Dining Experience-Thu 15 May 8pm, The Forum Restaurant is thrilled to host Faulty Towers The Dining Experience featuring Basil, Sybil and Manuel in a ‘two-hour eat, drink and laugh sensation’ (Daily Telegraph). The show starts as the audience wait to be seated for their three-course meal and then hurtles along into the world of the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers with unscripted madcap mayhem guaranteed! Enter the world of the snobbish, manic Basil; his domineering wife Sybil; and their hopeless language-challenged waiter, Manuel. Be one of the steady stream of bemused guests trying to make Manuel understand what it is you want; ask for an ‘ice bucket’ and you may just be presented with a

Little Shop of Horrors -Monday 12 to Saturday 17 May Fresh from last year’s acclaimed production of Anything Goes, Watford Operatic present a memorable production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Watford Palace Theatre WD17 1JZ Tea Dance - Tue 13 May 1pm,Mr Wonderful return to the Colosseum with a series of glittering dance events suited to beginners and seasoned dancers alike. Come with a partner or on your own, come for a dance or just a chat we'd love to see you. Get your dancing shoes on and take to the floor for a graceful, elegant and nostalgic afternoon of dancing. The Colosseum’s

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winding her Dad up. Oh, and she’s a boxer. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE

‘nice bucket’; a simple procedure like opening a bottle of wine can become a huge drama, and maybe during all this, you might get some service – Faulty style of course. There are no booking fees on this performance. Delivery charges may still apply. Tickets: £40.00 including a three-course meal Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Dylan Thomas’s Final Journey: written and performed by Peter Read - Saturday 17 May Starting in his ‘lovely, ugly’ home town of Swansea, the play follows Dylan Thomas through some of the journeys he made, culminating in his final journey to New York in 1953, where he died. Letchworth Arts Centre. 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW

Jive Talkin’ Perform The Bee Gees - Fri 16 May 8pm. The Bee Gees Story unites the UK’s hottest talent for a truly inspiring evening of everything Bee Gees. This is the show that Bee Gees fans everywhere have been waiting for. Featuring the stunningly convincing vocals of brothers Darren and Gary Simmons as Barry and Robin Gibb, as well as Jarrod Loughlin as Maurice Gibb, these three leading men have collectively starred in London’s West End, performed on numerous worldwide TV appearances and even performed live with the Bee Gees themselves. The show also features a stunning acoustic medley of some of Bee Gees earlier hits showcasing the uncanny voices of the three lead singers creating a truly emotional musical journey. Tickets: £20.50*, £18.00* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

The Aurora Ensemble - Saturday 17 May The Aurora Ensemble (Wind Quartet) - Zemlinsky | Ibert | Nielsen | Jim Parker | Carter | Reicha | Bizet Established in 1996, the Aurora Ensemble is a traditional wind quintet. Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6BX Battle re-enactment weekend - Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May A historical re-enactment of the camp site and the second battle of St Albans by the Medieval Siege Society will be held on Bernards Heath. Bernards Heath, St Albans AL1 4AP Letchworth Food and Garden Festival Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May The Letchworth Food and Garden Festival takes over the town centre with local food heroes showcasing the best produce from the region in our market. Letchworth Town Centre SG6 3DD

Earthquakes in London - Friday 16, Sat 17, Mon 19 to Sat 24 May By Mike Bartlett. Directed by Rosemary Bianchi. Barn Theatre, Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6ST

Men’s Singing Workshop - Saturday 17 May This workshop led by Dominic Stitchbury, who runs the Chaps Choir in London, is designed to get more men interested in singing with a choir. This is a great opportunity for men to get singing. Community Hall, North Hertfordshire College, Monkswood Way, Stevenage SG1 1LA

Polly and the Billet Doux - Friday 16 May Something brilliantly different – that’s how you describe Polly and the Billet Doux. Known for their flawless, energy filled performances, the band blend a genius mix of folk, pop, rock n’ roll. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE

Dragon Boat Regatta - Saturday 17 May Get your colleagues, friends and family together and set up your teams ready for our first ever Dragon Boat Racing! Cassiobury Park WD18 7LG

An Evening of Burlesque - Saturday 17 May Flushed with success, now entering its fourth fabulous year, the world’s original touring burlesque spectacular is about to hit the Alban Arena at 8pm! Officially Britain’s biggest burlesque. Alban Arena, St Albans AL1 3LD

Hot Flush - Sunday 18 May The Naughtiest Musical in Town! Starring Lesley Joseph. Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Hertfordshire Early Dance May Revels Saturday 17 May Tudor Feast. Dancing led by Anne Daye. Crowning of the May Queen. Entertainment. Live music for dance and singing from the Presence. St Stephen’s Church Hall, 14 Watling Street, St Albans AL1 2PX

Kidz Praise - Sun 18 May 3pm Hallelujah Kidz Praise is a celebration of Easter performed by children and teenagers from age 7 to 19. Through singing, dancing, drama and multimedia, they will tell the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join us for a special time of reflection, entertainment and celebration with children from around the UK. Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road,

Bitch Boxer - Saturday 17 May House and Snuff Box Theatre Meet Chloe, 21 from Leytonstone. She likes the simple things in life: cherry sambuca, hairbrush-in-the-mirror karaoke and -24-


Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

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selling recording artists of the 20th century. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

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St Albans Charity Cycle Ride - Sunday 18 May Organised by the Rotary Clubs of St Albans, this fun event is suitable for everyone from families to cycling fanatics. Choice of increasingly challenging fully marshalled routes. Oaklands College Campus, Hatfield Road, St Albans AL4 0JA

The King Of Pop - Thu 22 May 8pm King Of Pop: The Legend Continues is led by the world’s number one Michael Jackson tribute artist ’ Navi’, which alone sets this show above the rest. Navi is the only MJ tribute ever invited to perform for Michael himself. Michael actually stood up and gave Navi a standing ovation after he performed at one of his birthday parties in LA. The two remained friends and Navi was also regularly hired as a decoy to distract fans and press when Michael visited the UK. Along with his live band and dancers, Navi brilliantly recreates all the Jackson classics in a show that will take you closer than you ever imagined to an original Jackson concert. Featuring hits such as Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Black or White, Thriller, Man in the Mirror and the ‘Jackson Five’ classics in a show suitable for the whole family. Tickets £18.00*, £20.00* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Herts Auto Show - Sunday 18 May Charity car & bike show event in aid of the Make A Wish Foundation. A large selection of vehicles from past to present on display as well as local companies and dealerships showing current models. Stanborough Park, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6DQ Carpenters Story - Sunday 18 May Widely regarded as the first ever “tribute” show back in its 1989 incarnation, with sell out shows including The London Palladium. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, Hertfordshire WD7 8HL

Bobby socks and Blue Jeans - Thursday 22 May This sensational and exciting live music production features over 40 smash hits of the fabulous 50’s and 60’s. Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Newgate Street Village May Fayre & Fun Dog Show- Sunday 18th May Come and enjoy all the fun of a Village May Fayre - Traditional family fun including - Fun Dog Show - Best Puppy, Most handsome dog, Prettiest bitch, Best Veteran dog/bitch, Best condition. Newgate Street Village SG13 8RA

Paul Hollywood – Get Your Bake On! - Fri 23 May 8pm Paul takes to the stage for an evening of baking, comedy and fun. Audience members will get a real insight into Paul’s life and career which has seen him become a household name. From the story of how his father persuaded him to ditch his path as a trained sculptor and join the family baking business; tales of his time as head baker at some of the world’s most exclusive hotels, which lead to him becoming one of the country’s finest artisan bakers; to anecdotes from his time filming The Great British Bake Off.Paul will demonstrate up to four of his favourite recipes during the show and four lucky audience members, chosen at random, will be invited to take part in one baking challenge with the chance to be dubbed star baker. Says Paul, “When I was approached to do a tour, I jumped at the chance, I can’t wait to share my passion for baking with a live audience.” Tickets: £28.50* Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

An Evening with Pam Ayres - Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 May Pam Ayres brings her latest show to the Gordon Craig following the recent publication of her new book of poetry. Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ In My Life - Paintings and drawings by Alan Briggs - Monday 19 to Friday 30 May A visual diary of drawings and paintings spanning a lifetime. Alan Briggs earned a living as a photographer and in later years as an illustrator. He has sketched and painted all his life. Letchworth Arts Centre. 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW Shappi Khorsandi -Tuesday 20 May Star of Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, and Have I Got News for You, Shappi Khorsandi is back with a brand new show for 2013. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

Abba Reunion - Friday 23 May Superbly accurate harmony vocals and a full live band, combined with stunning replica costumes and excellent authentic choreography, has produced one of the most requested tribute shows in the

Bing Crosby - Swinging On A Star - Wednesday 21 May Performed by Tony Jacobs and his band Join Tony Jacobs & his Band on this incredible journey celebrating Bing Crosby, one of the best-25-


another all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles! The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it - quick! As they set up a fete to raise the money for the repairs, they’ll need your help to make sure everything goes smoothly. Join Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, as well as Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep as they have fun putting up bunting, running stalls and organising a great day out. There’s also a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr Potato where everyone gets wet and Peppa needs to find her Golden Boots! Peppa Pig returns live on stage with super cute puppets and brilliant sing-along songs in this brand new show that will brighten your day. So grab your wellies and brollies and get splashing! Tickets: £16.50*, £14.50*Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

world. Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ Postman Pat Live – It’s Showtime! - Saturday 24 May 1.00pm and 3.30pm See Pat and his friends live on stage in an exciting new story – “It’s Showtime!” Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford SG13 1PS Jungle Book - Saturday 24 May Set in the vibrant tropical jungle of India and adapted from the original Rudyard Kipling story, this production dramatises the journey to maturity of Mowgli the man cub. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE Hertfordshire County Show - Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May The annual Hertfordshire County Show traditionally takes place over the late May Bank Holiday weekend. Attracting up to 38,000 visitors & displaying the best of Hertfordshire. The Showground, Dunstable Road, Redbourn AL3 7PT

Teddy Bear’s Picnic - Wednesday 28 May Come and join us for a fun show, full of songs, games, stories and laughter. Children (and mums and dads) are encouraged to bring their teddy bears along with them. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

The Racing Bug - Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May Get ready for some high octane full throttle fun as the Racing Bug rolls into Letchworth’s Leys Square. Letchworth Town Centre SG6 3DD The Drifters - Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May Following on from the success of the 60th Anniversary Diamond Tour, The Drifters are proud to bring a fast moving, exhilarating production showcasing the optimum of their own historical legacy over 60 years. Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Louise Jordan: Florilegium Spring Tour Wednesday 28 May Hailed ‘a rising star’ by the Telegraph, Louise’s award winning debut album has been described as ‘a masterclass in songwriting’. Touring with her second, critically acclaimed album Florilegium. Baldock & Letchworth Folk Club Orange Tree, Norton Road, Baldock SG7 5AW

Dino Adventure - Sunday 25 May Be a palaeontologist and complete our dino trail to claim your prize. Ventura Wildlife will be bringing reptiles for children to handle. Knebworth House SG1 2AX

Frankenstein’s Creature - Wednesday 28 to Saturday 31 May Viktor Frankenstein’s ambition was noble and simple: an end to death and suffering for humankind, but blind ambition doesn’t see who it hurts. Mary Shelley’s gothic tale is brought to life. The Court Theatre, Pendley, Tring HP23 5QY

Mini & VW Show - Monday 26 May Minis from 1959 to date and VWs from the oldest Beetle to the newest Golf. Arena events, autojumble and trade stands. Held in the Park. Tickets include admission to the Garden and Dinosaur Trail. Knebworth House SG1 2AX

Stanhope & Elizabeth Forbes - the English "fin de siecle" - Thursday 29 May Lecture by David Evans JP BSc Stanhope Forbes, painter of realistic genre, married Elizabeth Armstrong in 1889 and together they founded the newlyn School of Art. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

Animal Antics - Family Activites for May Half Term - Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 May 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3.00 pm) Make an animal mask and more crafty bits and pieces inspired by our natural history collection. £1.50 per child. Hertford Museum, 18 Bull Plain SG14 1DT

Inspector Norse - Friday 30 May A man is found dead in a barn with a walking pole in his forehead. Enter Inspector Sandra Larsson in her authentic, rustic knitwear. With her own personal life unravelling before our eyes. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

Peppa Pig’s Big Splash - Wed 28 & Thu 29 May Wed 10:30am, 1pm and 4pm Thu 10.30am and 1pm Come and join Peppa and her friends for -26-


before fate’ is how Tchaikovsky signified the opening motif in his Symphony NO.5 Esther Yoo, prize winner at the International Sibelius Competition 2010.Bedford Corn Exchange, St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL

Little Howard’s Big Show For Kids - Friday 30 May Little Howard is the world’s only live interactive animation. He’s won so many awards and fantastic reviews and he’s only just celebrated his 6th birthday (for the tenth year in a row)! Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford SG13 1PS

Kitos Latino Vocalist live - Saturday 3 May Join in the payday weekend entertainment at Grosvenor G Casino Luton with Latino Vocalist Kitos performing live within our bar area. 35 Park Street West, Luton

Up Pompeii - Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May Based on the original characters devised by Talbot Rothwell and Sid Colin for the Frankie Howerd BBC comedy, this hilarious romp through ancient Pompeii brings back all the television favourites. Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6BX

17th Bedfordshire Classic Motor Show - Sunday 4 and Monday 5 May Hundreds of classic vehicles, in beautiful surroundings, including Saloons, Sports, American, Commercial, Military, Classic Motorcycles, Kit, Custom, Replica, plus Club Displays. Woburn Abbey MK17 9WA

Frank Skinner - Man In A Suit-Fri 30 & Sat 31 May 7.30pm Following a sell-out London run comedy legend Frank Skinner brings his brand new show to Watford Colosseum. Tickets: £28.50*Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Ickwell May Day Festival - Monday 5 May A traditional May Day Festival. May Day celebrations are held in this small village near Biggleswade, every year. Ickwell Green, Near Biggleswade SG18 9EE

We Say Yeah - Cliff Through The Years Saturday 31 May From the producer of ’Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, ’Elvis through the Years’ and ’The British Pop Invasion’ comes a new show celebrating the music. The Radlett Centre, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett WD7 8HL

Wilden’s Annual MayDay Fayre - Monday 5 May One of the best village fetes for miles around will be opening at 1pm on Monday 5th May. The Bedford Pipe Band will march down Wilden High Street at 1pm to the Village Hall. Wilden Village Hall, High Street, Wilden MK44 2PB

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe Saturday 31 May Dyad Productions Monroe as we’ve never seen her before: alone in her bedroom, in dressing gown and slippers-no glitz, no glamour, no masks. Overdosed on pills, the woman behind the icon unravels. Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE

Bedford: Bamberg Spring Fest 2014 - Friday 9 and Saturday 10 May 12 noon to midnight, Harpur Suite, Bedford Come and enjoy our twin towns’ best exports at the brilliant Bedford Bamberg Beer Festival! Over 40 different German Beers, Wines & Schnapps. Bedford Corn Exchange, St. Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL

St.Albans Steam and Country Show - 50th Anniversary Event- Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 Jun 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Herts Steam traction engine rallies. Some of the engines present 50 years ago will be back again, together with photographic displays of all the other exhibitors. Oaklands College, just off the A1057 Hatfield Road, St. Albans, (Approx Satnav code AL4 0XR), AL4 0XR

Pavenham Nursery Plant Sale - Saturday 10 May A chance to buy high quality and often unusual plants direct from a wide range of professional nurseries. Free advice. Herbs, Basket and bedding plants, Clematis, Alpines, Herbaceous perennials. The Village Hall, Pavenham, Bedford (towards the Oakley end of the village) MK43 7PH Indoor Table Top Sale - Saturday 10 May Refreshments., Adults 50p children under 12 10p.St Anne Church, Crawley Grn Rd Luton LU2 0RB

Floral Art Show - Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 Jun Home Counties Area of National Association of Flower Arrangers is holding its Area Show. Competition flower arranging from local clubs with demonstrations of flower arranging to watch. Riding School Conference Centre, Hatfield House, Hatfield AL9 5NQ

Bob Marley Tribute LIVE at Grosvenor G Casino Luton - Saturday 10 May Join in our weekend entertainment with Marlon as our Bob Marley Tribute live. Marlon arrived in the UK from Jamaica around 8 years ago. Grosvenor G Casino Luton, 35 Park Street West, Luton LU1 3BE

Beds Listings Philharmonia Orchestra: Tchaikovsky & Sibelius- Friday 2 May ‘Complete resignation -27-


Stotfoldmill Steam Fair and Country Show Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 May This is the 12th year we have held this popular event which continues to go from strength to strength. It started from very humble beginnings and has gradually built up over the years to be a firm favourite. Mill Lane, Stotfold SG5 4NU

jasper, carnelian, coral etc. Stockwood Hotel, Stockwood Crescent, Luton LU1 3SS Tina Turner Tribute live at Grosvenor G Casino Luton - Saturday 17 May Join in our weekend entertainment with Justine Riddoch at our Tina Turner Tribute performing LIVE at Grosvenor G Casino Luton. Officially The UK’s Number One Tribute to Tina Turner. Grosvenor G Casino Luton, 35 Park Street West, Luton LU1 3BE

Season Premiere Airshow - Sunday 11 May Celebrating 50 years of the Friends of our Collection – The SVAS. This special airshow does just that, it recognises the invaluable contribution made by the Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society. The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Aerodrome SG18 9EP

Meppershall Festival 2014 – Tea and Cakes, Salsa & Music! - Saturday 17 May Now in its 5th year, this popular community event will once again showcase local talents. This year: we will have lovely tea and homemade cakes for sale in the village hall during the afternoon. Meppershall Village Hall, High Street Meppershall SG17 5LX

Ailesbury Mausoleum & Crypt - Sunday 11 May This is a fine example of one of the first mausolea to be built in the country with the earliest parts being built by Thomas Bruce, a descendant of the legendary Robbie! St Mary’s Church, Church Rd, Maulden MK45 2AU

Biggleswade Antiques Fair - Sunday 18 May Over 45 stalls offering a range of antiques from jewellery, glass, china, pictures, postcards, kitchenalia and militaria. Popular cafe serving lunches, hot and cold drinks. The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade SG18 8JH

Contemporary Applied Textile Art Demonstration by Katie Essam - Wednesday 14 May Katie is a mixed media, textile artist. She is inspired by everyday beauty which she incorporates into her work. Katie combines freehand machine embroidery, appliqué, paint, crochet and more. West Room, Parish Hall, Church Road, Harlington LU5 6LE

Lockdales Coins and Collectables Free Valuations and Buying - In Event - Tuesday 20 May Bring along your coins and collectables for a free, no obligation expert valuation. You will also have the option to consign your goods to our auction or to sell them direct to us for cash. The Old Palace Lodge Hotel, Church Street, Dunstable LU5 4RT

ABBA Reunion - The 40th Anniversary of ’Waterloo’ Tour - Friday 16 May In 1974 a little known Swedish pop group swept to superstardom with their Eurovision winning ‘Waterloo’, and 40 years later the song and the band remain as popular as ever. Bedford Corn Exchange, St. Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL

Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play - Friday 23 and Saturday 24 May Charlie and Lola are completely excited to be back on stage with their Extremely New Play - and this time they’re bringing along Sizzles the Dog! Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive, Dunstable LU5 4GP

Free Mahoosive Ukie TooNes Ukulele Gathering Uke-Oustic Jam in the Park - Saturday 17 May Come down to join Totternhoe’s very own Ukie TooNes Ukulele Gathering music fest with a difference. Join 12 Ukulele gatherings for a monster jam in the park inside the grand marquee. Totternhoe Football and social club LU6 1RG

A Classic Evening Airshow - Saturday 24 May Soak up the atmosphere at our simple, elegant and unique evening airshow. The flying displays include a selection of our beautiful aircraft and there will be features from visiting aircraft. The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Aerodrome SG18 9EP

Bedford Sinfonia - From Russia with Love Saturday 17 May Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet Overture; Glazunov - Concerto for Alto Saxophone; Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 1; Rachmaninov - Symphonic Dances, Opus 45; Bedford Corn Exchange, St Pauls Square MK40 1LE

A Traditional Village Fete at Clophill - Saturday 24 May St Mary’s Church Clophill is holding a traditional fete in the Church Grounds. Lots of stalls, exhibitions, music, children’s entertainment with refreshments. St Mary’s Church Grounds, High Street, Clophill MK45 4BE

Luton MrBead Bead Show - Saturday 17 May String & Loose Bead & Pearls Supplies for the Home Jewellery Maker. Many different gemstone beads like jade, turquoise, pearls, agates,

Mentmore Arts Festival - Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May local art raising funds for your local Hospice. Florence Nightingale Hospice

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Moonrakers Celtic Music - Friday 2 May Moonrakers are four consummate musicians playing harp, fiddle, whistles, guitar, Irish bouzouki and female/male vocals. St Michael’s Church, Stewkley, Nr Leighton Buzzard LU7 0HL

Charity (FNHC) is delighted to be chosen as a beneficiary of this year’s Mentmore Arts Festival. Mentmore Village Hall, St Mary’s Church Mentmore LU7 0QF Classic Bike Rally and Family Event - Saturday 24 May A great family outdoor event, in the historic grounds of Moggerhanger House. What will you see and do there?...Classic Motor Bikes all entries welcome, a great variety of stalls. Moggerhanger Park,Park Road, Moggerhanger, MK44 3RW Bedford, Bedfordshire MK44 3RW

Organ Recital - Saturday 3 May Celebrity Organ Recital by Ian Tracey Organist to the City of Liverpool and Organist Titulaire Liverpool Cathedral. Buckingham Parish Church, Castle Street, Buckingham MK18IBS Longwick Village Fete - Saturday 3 May A fun day out for all the family. Starts at 12 noon with traditional May Day celebrations. Lots of activities, entertainment, music, craft and food stalls. Go Karts. Fairground. Longwick Village Hall Playing Fields HP27 9QY

Take That Tribute live at Grosvenor G Casino Luton - Saturday 24 May Join in our weekend entertainment with the UK’s top Take That tribute, ‘That That LIVE’ only at Grosvenor G Casino Luton. Last time this group was here, we had over 300 women dancing the night away. Grosvenor G Casino Luton, 35 Park Street West, Luton LU1 3BE

Hazeldene Farm Lambing, Piglets & Local Crafts & Food Stalls - Sunday 4 May •Come and see the baby piglets and lambs being born •Feed the animals •Meet Nelson and Poppy our resident farm dogs •Walk around the farm & visit our farm shop Hazeldene Farm, Ashridge Road, Chesham HP5 2XD

Luton International Carnival - Sunday 25 May With spectacular colourful costumes, music from around the globe, street entertainers and international food to tickle your taste buds, it will be a truly unmissable day. Luton Town Centre LU1 2LJ

Spring Steam Gala & Model Railway Exhibition - Sunday 4 and Monday 5 May Spring Steam Gala and Model Railway Exhibition (Including Rewley Road layout) Industrial Steam Gala including up to 7 locos in steam, double heading, freight trains, Driver for a Tenner and Brake Van. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

Groovy Grasshoppers and Crafty Crickets - Kids Crafts and Storytelling - Tuesday 27 May Make a model of these amazing minibeasts. Find out about the life cycle of grasshoppers and crickets. Marston Vale Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine MK43 0PS Wands in the Willows - Outdoor Adventure Friday 30 May A walk to the willow huts to make crazy crowns and magic wands. Marston Vale Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine MK43 0PS

Tea Party at the museum - Sunday 4 May This is raising funds for Cancer Research UK Relay For Life Buckingham 2014. Team - The Midnight Runners are holding a Tea Party in the exercise yard at Buckingham Old Gaol. Buckingham Old Gaol, Market Hill, Buckingham MK18 1JX

Bon Jovi Tribute live at Grosvenor G Casino Luton - Saturday 31 May Join in our payday weekend entertainment with our very own ‘Jon Bon Jovi Tribute’ LIVE at Grosvenor G Casino Luton. The premiere UK tribute to the music of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Grosvenor G Casino Luton, 35 Park Street West, Luton LU1 3BE

Florrie’s Scootathlon & Duathlon for sporty kids! - Monday 5 May Get your scoot on kids! Back for 2014, is Florrie’s Scootathlon & Duathlon, a fantastic sporting challenge for children aged 4-11. You can take part in a scoot, cycle and run Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Buckinghamshire HP21 9PP

Bucks Listings

The 2014 Chalfont St Giles & Jordans Literary festival - Tuesday 6 May to Sunday 18 May amongst the stars of the literary world joining us for this year’s celebrations will be the respected historian, TV presenter and author Dr David Starkey. Master storyteller and best-selling author. Various locations within Chalfont St Giles and Jordans HP8 4QF

Entertaining Mr Sloane - London Classic Theatre - Friday 2 May Kath and her elderly father, Kemp, live in a house on the outskirts of a rubbish dump. Their drab existence is interrupted by the arrival of a new lodger, the enigmatic Mr Sloane. The Theatre, Stantonbury Arts & Leisure MK14 6BN

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Bonham’s Valuation and Talk - Thursday 8 May A visit by Simon Davies of Internationally acclaimed Bonhams. Simon will give a talk followed by a public valuation or identification of your favoured item. Please bring one item with you. Buckingham Old Gaol, Market Hill, Buckingham MK18 1JX

Oye Santana LIVE @ Clayton’s Marlow Thursday 15 May Performing the best of Santana including worldwide hits such as Maria Maria, Smooth and Oye Como Va, Clayton’s Marlow, 16 Oxford Road, Marlow SL7 2NL "Mort" - an amateur production of Terry Pratchett’s novel by Stephen Briggs - Friday 16 May Performed by Chesham Bois Catholic Players, this is our second foray into the world of Terry Pratchett. Welcome to the Discworld – in a world that travels through space. The Little Theatre by the Park, Church Street, Chesham HP5 1HU

Little Chalfont Farmers’ Market - Saturday 10 May Great selection of quality, locally produced food at this monthly market. Buy rare-breed pork, bacon and sausages, buffalo meat, lamb, game and poultry plus seasonal fruit and vegetables. Village Hall car park, Cokes Lane, Little Chalfont HP8 4UD

Living Together A Play by Alan Ayckbourn Friday 16 and Saturday 17 May Staged by CADS in association with Samuel French. Cheddington Village Hall,Church Lane, Cheddington, Nr.Leighton Buzzard LU7 0RU

Marlow Choral Society present Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle - Saturday 10 May Marlow Choral Society present their Spring Concert, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, with piano and harmonium accompaniment, conducted by Chris Grant. Also featuring Rossini piano solos. All Saints Church, The Causeway, Marlow SL7 2AA

Fawley Hill Steam and Vintage Transport Weekend - Friday 16 to Sunday 18 May A weekend of family fun: Steam trains, Vintage fairground, traction engines, vintage transport from Camels (racing) to jet planes (flying over) Fawley Hill, Fawley, Henley on Thames RG9 6JA

Aston Clinton Village Market - Sunday 11 May Don’t miss a wonderful opportunity to sample and take home a huge selection of farmers’ market produce including bread, cheese, pickles and chutneys, home-reared pork, free-range eggs, cakes. Aston Clinton School, Twitchell Lane, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury HP22 5JJ

Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally - Sunday 18 May There will be up to 1000 vintage vehicles to admire, everything from buses, tractors and lorries to cars, motorbikes and steam engines. 100+ trade stands Weedon Park, Weedon Hill, Near Aylesbury HP22 4NN

Paws for a Walk for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People - Sunday 11 May Enjoy a beautiful walk around Wendover Woods and join Hearing Dogs with your picnic when you finish! The Woods are at the highest point in the Chilterns and the views are stunning. Wendover Woods HP22 5NF

Wedding Fair at Wycombe Swan & Town Hall Sunday 18 May All the needs of your special day under one roof enhanced by a beautiful venue with staff and exhibitors at your disposal. Come and meet the staff and local suppliers St Mary Street, High Wycombe HP11 2XE

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - Vintage Train Steaming Open Day - Sunday 11 May A chance to ride on our historic Vintage Stock dating from the 1890s with no extra charge. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre - Diesel Day Sunday 18 May D2298 in passenger service and another diesel on a parallel freight train. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

Taplow Girls’ Choir - Sunday 11 May Taplow Girls’ Choir directed by Gillian Dibden MBE. A wonderful choir of young female voices which performs to an outstanding standard. Programme to include works by Purcell, Bob Chilcott. Christ Church URC, Oxford Road, Marlow SL7 2NL

Nancy Astor’s birthday party at Cliveden Sunday 18 May Step back in time to the 1930s and celebrate the birthday of one of Cliveden’s most illustrious past owners, Nancy Astor. Meet ’Nancy Astor’ and her party guests. Cliveden, Taplow, Near Maidenhead SL6 0JA

Our Country’s Good - Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 May It tells the true story of the first penal colony in Australia and a young, ambitious lieutenant, Ralph Clark, who agrees to direct a play with convicts in the main roles. The Theatre, Stantonbury Arts & Leisure MK14 6BN

Love Your Local Market: Launch of Aylesbury’s Vintage & Craft Bazaar - Tuesday 20 May Bring your mysterious antique treasures, family heirlooms and curiosities to Aylesbury Market where TV antiques expert will be on hand to give

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Sunday 25 May Metropolitan No. 1 will be steaming following her triumphant return to London’s Underground System!! Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

free valuations and share his knowledge. Market Square, Aylesbury HP20 1TW Northern Ballet: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tuesday 20 to Sat 24 May Northern Ballet brings its magic to Shakespeare’s most bewitching play in this critically acclaimed dance version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 3NZ

Cream teas, plant sale and tombola - Sunday 25 May Come and enjoy cream teas at Cholesbury Village Hall from 2pm - 4.30pm. A wonderful selection of home-made cakes and scones will be on sale. There will also be a stall selling locally grown plants. Cholesbury Village Hall, Cholesbury Lane, Cholesbury HP23 6ND

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra | John Lill’s 70th Birthday Celebration -Wednesday 21 May The world-famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra arrives at your door step in a concert celebrating John Lill’s 70th Birthday who will perform Beethoven’s memorable and lively Third Piano Concerto. Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange St, Aylesbury HP20 1UG

Annual Bus Rally & Veteran Cycle Club of Great Britain at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Monday 26 May Annual Bus Rally with the Veteran Cycle Club of Great Britain. You can expect to see around 20 buses and a dozen vintage bicycles and tricycles. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

Northern Ballet: Three Little pigs - Friday 23 May Following the fantastic sell-out success of Ugly Duckling, Northern Ballet is delighted to announce our latest ballet especially for children, Three Little Pigs. Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 3NZ

Children’s activities at Buckingham Old Gaol Owls! - Thursday 29 May Come and meet Tony Hewitt and his 8 owls from Owls to Behold. Tony will give a short talk and there is lots of hands on with the owls. Buckingham Old Gaol, Market Hill, Buckingham MK18 1JX

Comedy Night - Friday 23 May A delightful evening of comedy brought to you by Top Marks Entertainment. Staring Mary Bourke, Dominic Holland and Tony Cowards. Light snacks and drinks available at the bar. Missenden Abbey, London Road, Great Missenden HP16 0BD

Stony Music Hall! - Friday 30 May A second scintillating stab at sensationally spiffing stuff, with the effervescent Julie Bubbles, some new acts and a few return visits from the sell-out first one. There will be hankie-chewing. York House Centre, London Road, Stony Stratford MK11 1JQ

Mentmore Arts Festival - Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May Exhibition and sale of local artists paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, glass and pottery. Mentmore Village Hall and St Mary’s Church Mentmore LU7 0QF

Gig Delusion Comedy Night in aid of Florence Nightingale Hospice and Willen HospiceSaturday 31 May As part of the John Schorne 700 celebrations, a comedy night with a difference comes to Whitchurch, as comedienne Andy Kind performs his stand-up show. St John the Evangelist Church, Whitchurch HP22 4JZ

Festival of Transport - Sunday 25 May A whole range of classic vehicles attending, from vintage Fords to sleek Ferrari’s. Army vehicles to old tractors plus motor bikes of all eras. Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0EG

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Miniature Traction Engine Rally - Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 Jun Miniature Traction Engine Rally organised by the VAMES Miniature Railway, with ride-on traction engines all faithfully built smaller versions of the real thing. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Aylesbury HP22 4BY

All Morgans’ Day - Sunday 25 May The Morgan Centenary Roadster R100 Register, in cooperation with The National Trust and Help for Heroes. Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Nr Aylesbury HP18 0JH Moving Mail Weekend with Postman Pat & Jess the Cat at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre –

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Sticks May 2014  

Out now the May Issue of The Sticks digital magazine The number one what’s on magazine across Herts, Beds & Bucks with over 16,000 readers...

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