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10 top spooky thrills and spills

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk Issue 12

FROM GIFTS TO DAYS OUT OUR GUIDE TO A GREAT

s a m t s i r h C

SANDI TOKSVIG FGW ON THE TELLY MITCH TONKS 2014 PREVIEW puzzles & games

intnry W cou hotel BREAK


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REACHING ACROSS OUR NETWORK – THIS IS YOUR ESCAPE ROUTE

inside this issue OXFORD

Ride the ghost train PAGE 14

SWANSEA

The lowdown PAGE 29

CARDIFF

Top five brewery tours PAGE 12

LONDON

All I want for Christmas PAGE 30

BATH

Preview of 2014 PAGE 24

PORTSMOUTH

WEYMOUTH

Next stop PAGE 9

Top fare PAGE 35

06 WE’LL TAKE YOU THERE Nelson gets a new neighbour as a giant blue cockerel lands in Trafalgar Square

09 NEXT STOP

Theatre, exhibition and events

14 RIDE THE GHOST TRAIN Feel the chill this season at our selection of horrifying haunts and spooky places www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

22 FIVE FACES OF FIRST GREAT WESTERN

30 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

24 ALL THE BEST FOR 2014

35 TOP FARE

29 LOWDOWN

37 PADDINGTON BEAR KIDS’ PAGES

Behind the scenes on Channel 5’s show about First Great Western

A look ahead to unmissable moments over the next year

Everything you need to know about Swansea

Our advice on the best places to find the ideal gift this Christmas

Mitch Tonks on the joy of oysters

Keep the kids occupied on the journey with puzzles and games

41 BRAIN TRAIN

Challenge your brain with these puzzles and tricky trivia

45 GUIDE

We guide you through the First Great Western Network

50 VIEW FROM HERE

We catch up with the brilliantly bold television personality Sandi Toksvig

escape | 3


THERE’S

A SECRET IN THE FOREST

this christmas

advanced booking essential

0207 434 3111

fatherchristmas@therainforestcafe.co.uk 20 shaftesbury avenue, london w1d 7eu www.therainforestcafe.co.uk www.facebook.com/rainforestcaf e london @rainforestcafe


welcome

10 TOP SPOOKY THRILLS AND SPILLS

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk Issue 12

2014

FROM GIFTS TO DAYS OUT OUR GUIDE TO A GREAT

Christmas

SANDI TOKSVIG FGW ON THE TELLY MITCH TONKS 2014 PREVIEW PUZZLES & GAMES

BEST OF PAGE 24

in W COUNTRY HOTEL BREAK

00_ESCAPE_Issue12_COVER.indd 1

08/10/2013 14:49

Editorial enquiries Editor Dan Panes escapeeditor@thinkpublishing.co.uk Managing Editor Jack Kibble-White jack@thinkpublishing.co.uk 0141 582 1376 Assistant Editor Andrew Cattanach andrew@thinkpublishing.co.uk 0141 582 1280 Design Matthew Ball Sub-editor Andrew Littlefield, Sian Campbell Advertising Sales Daniel Haynes daniel.haynes@thinkpublishing.co.uk Publisher John Innes john.innes@thinkpublishing.co.uk Published on behalf of First Great Western by Think 124-128 Barlby Road, London W10 6BL 020 8962 3020 thinkpublishing.co.uk First Great Western Head Office Milford House 1 Milford Street Swindon, SN1 1HL firstgreatwestern.co.uk © 2013 First Great Western. All rights reserved. Every reasonable endeavour has been made to find and contact the copyright owners of the works included in this newspaper. However, if you believe a copyright work has been included without your permission, please contact the publishers. Views of contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the policy of First Great Western nor those of the publishers. All material correct at time of going to press.

Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

Cover London in winter, Alamy

Great Western wonderland

N

ow that you’ve settled into your journey, getting some well-deserved respite from the cold outside, let us show you some of the great things to look forward to this year and next on the First Great Western network.

With the spooky season upon us, we thought it the perfect time to offer you some of the most terrifying ways to while away the dark nights. Turn to page 14 and travel to some of the creepiest ruins, haunted houses and tours on the network. On page 30, we really get into the Christmas spirit with our recommendations on the best places in London to grab the perfect gifts for your relatives – it should mean you won’t be getting dad socks this year. With the new year only just around the corner, on page 24 we preview some of the most exciting shows, exhibitions and festivals coming up in 2014. On page 22, we take you behind the scenes of a new Channel 5 series that follows the men and women who work for First Great Western. Perhaps you’ve met them on your trip today – they’re always happy to say hello. Here’s to our Great Westerners!

Let us show you some of the great things to look forward to

Dan Panes (Editor)

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 5


FOURTH PLINTH

Ruling the roost For the next 15 months a huge blue cockerel will be perched in London’s Trafalgar Square. The sculpture, created by Katharina Fritsch –one of Germany’s most notable artists – is entitled Hahn/Cock, and makes a colourful addition to the otherwise grey plaza. Installed on a plinth originally built in 1841 to display an equestrian statue, the bird is a humorous parody of the kind of pomp associated with municipal spaces such as Trafalgar Square, with its baroque fountain and grand Nelson’s Column. GETTING THERE Trafalgar Square is a short walk from Charing Cross tube station

GETTY

London


We’ll take you there


HHHHH

‘A NIGHT OF SHEER DELIGHT’ The Daily Telegraph

Sunday Ex

press

3 DEC - 5 JAN

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT!


Your guide to great events happening just along the tracks

Next stop

The Light Princess American singer-songwriter Tori Amos teams up with writer Samuel Adamson to produce The Light Princess, a dark and surreal musical hitting the West End this December. The fairy tale follows the relationship between Althea, a princess incapable of crying yet so grief-stricken that she begins to float, and the prince Digby, whose grave moodiness and inability to smile lead him to wage war. l National Theatre, London, until 2 January l Nearest Tube: Waterloo

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

escape | 9


Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup comes to Bristol The USA face The Cook Islands at Bristol’s Memorial Stadium at 8pm on 30 October as Group D of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup gets under way. It’s a sporting occasion not to be missed. Tickets are now on sale from £10 for adults and £5 concessions. To buy tickets, visit www.bristol.gov.uk/rlwc2013 or call the 24-hour ticket hotline on 0844 847 2013. l Memorial Stadium, Bristol, 30 October

Singin’ in the Rain This Christmas, the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain is coming to Cardiff. This revival production features songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, including ‘Make ‘em Laugh’, ‘Good Morning, Moses Supposes’ and, of course, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. Original screenplay and adaptations are by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. l Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 3 December–5 January l Take the FGW train to Cardiff


best of the rest

London Jazz Festival November sees the return of this acclaimed festival, a city-wide celebration of all things jazzy. Acts range from luminaries such as Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis to exciting new talent like Tigran Hamasyan, and from intimate duets to full-blown orchestras, plus everything in between. Workshops, including ‘Jazz for Toddlers’, aim to safeguard the jazz legacy as part of London’s cultural heritage. l Various venues, London, 15–24 November

Yule love these two Christmas shows

Two great Cardiff shows for Christmas Sherman Cymru in Cardiff is pleased to announce the two Christmas show titles for 2013 The Sleeping Beauties for over 7s and, for younger children, Corina Pavlova and the Lion’s Roar, which is performed in both Welsh and English. Sherman Cymru’s main stage production, The Sleeping Beauties, is a new take on the much-loved fairy tale by Penarth’s Rob Evans. Meanwhile, Corina Pavlova and the

Lion’s Roar is about a little girl who visits a unique pet shop where the pet chooses you. For more information and to book your tickets call Sherman Cymru’s ticket office on 029 2064 6900 or visit www.shermancymru.co.uk l The Sleeping Beauties runs from 6 December-4 January l Corina Pavlova and the Lion’s Roar runs from 10 December-4 January l Take the FGW train to Cardiff Central

win

&

GUYERS HOUSE HOTEL & RESTAURANT

A TWO-NIGHT STAY IN BEAUTIFUL WILTSHIRE

birmingham museums trust, shutterstock

G

uyers House Hotel & Restaurant is the first choice for those looking for a charming country house hotel with friendly customer service. Enter our autumn competition and be in with a chance of winning a two-night stay for two, with a three-course dinner on the first evening in our two AA Rosette restaurant and a bottle of Champagne on ice in your room on arrival. The prize also includes First Class Rail Return Tickets for two on First Great Western Trains. Closing date 24 January 2014 www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

SPECIAL OFFER Two nights’ bed and breakfast for two in a double or twin room for only £179, including a two-course fine-dining dinner on your first night in our two AA Rosette restaurant. Dine with us on your second night and you will get a complimentary glass of Prosecco before your dinner and late check-out at noon the following day (on request). To book this special offer call 01249 713399 or email enquiries@guyershouse.com and quote FGW or visit: www.guyershouse.com/FGW

ENTER COMPETITION Visit firstgreatwestern.co.uk/ guyershousecompetition and answer the following question: In which county is Guyers House Hotel situated? Prize is subject to availability and must be taken by 30 September 2014. Based on two adults sharing a classic double or twin room. Special offer is subject to availability and must be taken by 28 February 2014. Based on two adults sharing a classic double or twin room. See the FGW website for full competition terms and conditions.

l The Dylan Thomas Festival The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea (27 October– 9 November) l At-Bristol Ice Rink Millennium Square (9 November– 5 January) l Hello my Name is Paul Smith Design Museum, London (20 November– 2 March) l Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland (21 November– 5 January 2014) l Turner and the Sea National Maritime Museum, London (22 November– 21 April 2014) l Much Ado About Nothing The Old Vic Theatre, London (until 23 November) l Bath Christmas Market (28 November– 15 December) l Russell Brand Messiah Complex Various venues (until 16 December) l Francis Bacon & Henry Moore Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (until 5 January 2014) l Secret Egypt: Unravelling Truth from Myth Portsmouth City Museum (until 23 February 2014)

Brand new show


Top five

next stop

Hannah’s Christmas Fayre The Dame Hannah Rogers Trust has been transforming the lives of children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities for more than 230 years. This year, its popular Christmas Fayre will be held at the trust’s beautiful 90-acre site at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, Devon. The charity will host more than 60 stalls offering Christmas gifts, including jewellery, textiles, homeware, children’s clothes, and much more. There will also be a vintage stall section run in association with Miss Ivy Events as well as a wonderful line-up of live entertainment. And if that’s not enough, there will be the opportunity to join Santa’s elves on an adventure before meeting the man himself. l Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, 15–16 November l Take FGW train to Newton Abbot

Brewery tours Here for the beer

1

Bristol Beer Factory bristolbeerfactory.co.uk Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads A no-nonsense name for a no-nonsense brewery, the Bristol Beer Factory has a dedicated following throughout the city. Private tours give you and your friends an insight into hop-based alchemy and the chance to taste what’s on tap.

2

Seale-Hayne

Pipes Beer pipesbeer.co.uk Take FGW train to Cardiff Central From Smoked Lager to American IPA, this Cardiff-based brewery, established in 2008, keeps it crafty with their all-natural, additive-free approach. They try to introduce two new beers each month that can be enjoyed at regular ‘Bar Open’ events.

3

Tomos Watkins tomoswatkin.com Take FGW train to Swansea Known for their award-winning Welsh ales, the Tomos Watkins Brewery tour is very hands-on, encouraging visitors to sample as much beer as they wish. A rich and diverse range will satisfy ale fans of all types, while cider drinkers will find something to quench their thirst too.

4

Sambrook’s Brewery sambrooksbrewery.co.uk Nearest Tube Clapham Junction At London’s first urban brewery, founded in 2008 and based in Battersea, each beer is affectionately named after a local industrial landmark and bears the tagline ‘Brewed in the Heart of London’.

5

Meantime Brewing Company meantimebrewing.com Nearest tube North Greenwich Known for their idiosyncratic flavours, Meantime Brewing Company is the largest brewery to open in London in almost a century. Highly recommended is the Bespoke Food Tasting Tour which pairs Meantime beers with a selection of dining courses.

Fun Fact The ancient Babylonians would drown a bad brewer in his own beer 12 | escape

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


RIDE

GHOST N I A TR

THE

all aboard for a spooktastic tour of

Britain’s LITTLEFIELD MOST SPINE-CHILLING SPOTS. ANDREW PUNCHES YOUR TICKET

14 | escape

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


DAYS OUT

B

ritain is the home of things creepy, spooky and altogether ooky. Monsters such as Frankenstein, Dracula and Mr Hyde were dreamt up by English, Irish and Scottish authors, and the UK’s unbeatable collection of haunted houses, Gothic ruins and ancient monuments makes it the perfect place to experience something a little bit out-of-the-ordinary. As the nights draw in and winter’s icy fingers take hold, we shine a torch on some of the network’s strangest places and weirdest experiences. BOO!

TERRIFYING TOURS London Ghost Walk

london-ghost-walk.co.uk Ghost book author and paranormal television presenter Richard Jones offers a number of different walks around the capital’s creepiest corners. Kicking off at 7pm, these tours are particularly effective in the autumn and winter, once darkness has descended and a chill lingers in the air. Richard’s expertise in all things otherworldly means that not only will you visit familiar haunts such as the Gothic glory of St Paul’s Cathedral, but also take in rather more offbeat locations, such as the spot in Smithfield where Sir William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace was hanged, drawn and quartered in the 13th century. Along the way you may encounter the shade of a lone monk in a crumbling crypt, or the spirit of the She-Wolfe of France.

Exeter Red Coat Guided Tour exeter.gov.uk

Take FGW train to Exeter St David’s Subtitled ‘Spook and Broomsticks’, this tour takes you round the heart of Exeter, reputedly one of England’s most haunted cities.

WICKED Inmates of the London Dungeon

(Exeter also plays a small but significant role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written in 1897. At the start of the novel, Jonathan Harker travels from England to Transylvania to help the vampire count with a property transaction overseen by Harker’s employer, one Peter Hawkins of Exeter.) The Red Coat Guided Tour meets at 7pm every Tuesday at Cathedral Yard in the city centre, when a local expert will escort you to a number of historic buildings and regale you with tales of their ghostly residents. The tour is suitable for all ages, and on Thursday 31 October there’s a special Halloweenthemed event that’s certain to be all treat and no trick.

The London Dungeon

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

GHOULISH Gothic Exeter Cathedral

thedungeons.com Nearest Tube Waterloo First opened in 1974 and now ensconced in a brand-new home

on the South Bank, the London Dungeon remains the UK’s foremost horror experience. Deep in the bowels of an authentically dingy dungeon, professional character actors lead visitors round an interactive, 90-minute tour of London’s murky past, complete with gruesome special effects. You’ll come face-to-face with such infamous historical figures as Guy Fawkes, Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, pass through plague-ravaged houses and foggy London streets, and witness the full depravity of a bloody torture chamber. There’s even a boat ride along the Thames, recreating Anne Boleyn’s last journey on the way to her execution (and be warned – you will get wet!). It’s the perfect day out for the junior ghouls and gorehounds in your family.

escape | 15


DAYS OUT

CREEPY CASTLES

SPOOKY Berry Pomeroy Castle

The Tower of London hrp.org.uk

Nearest Tube Tower Hill This historic castle’s official title may be Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, but the home of the priceless Crown Jewels is better known around the world as the Tower of London. Initially constructed in the 11th century, the tower’s imposing Gothic façade – and the looming presence of those rather sinister ravens – has long made it a favoured setting for spooky films, novels, computer games and comic strips. Over the centuries, a number of famous ghosts have been spotted around the castle, including Anne Boleyn (carrying her own decapitated head under her arm), Lady Jane Grey, Henry VI and the Princes in the Tower, imprisoned and allegedly murdered here in the 15th century. Not all of the castle’s spooks are human in origin, for tales are also told of a huge ghostly bear appearing in the Martin Tower and scaring the living daylights out of a guard.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

and 16th centuries, the castle fell into ruin by 1730 and has allegedly been haunted by phantoms ever since. Perhaps the most terrifying apparition is the White Lady – the shade of Lady Margaret Pomeroy, imprisoned in the castle by her jealous sister Eleanor when both women fell in love with the same man. GLOOMY Also known to waft Guy Fawkes through the castle’s plotting at towers and ramparts are the tower the Blue Lady, whose sudden appearance portends a grisly end for someone, and a beckoning spook known only as Tempting Death. Visitors can recover their nerves with a light snack and hot drink in the castle’s on-site café.

www.english-heritage.org.uk Take FGW train to Totnes Nothing conjures up a spooky atmosphere like an old ruined castle, and Berry Pomeroy Castle, near Totnes in Devon, is one of Britain’s very best. Originally constructed in the 15th

century earlier, executioner Jack Ketch often practised his bloody craft here. With so much horror happening in and around the castle, it’s not surprising that some 15 spirits have been recorded on the site, haunting the ancient crypt and the Saxon St George’s Tower. Throughout October and November, the castle is celebrating its gory past with Ghost Fest 2013, a series of events including spooky tours, after-dark dinners, overnight ghost hunts and murder mystery evenings. It’s a great opportunity for budding ghostbusters to explore one of England’s eeriest places.

Oxford Castle

oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk Take FGW train to Oxford Oxford Castle’s service as a place of incarceration dates back to 1071. By the 15th century it had gained a reputation as a terrifying place of rough justice, meted out by the fearsome Marshall William Smith, the King’s Prison Keeper. Notorious arsenic poisoner Mary Blandy EERIE was hanged outside the Haunted castle in 1752, while a Oxford 16 | escape

Castle

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


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DAYS OUT

HISTORIC HAUNTS

Stonehenge

english-heritage.org.uk Take FGW train to Salisbury The magic and mystery of Stonehenge continue to cast a spell over everyone who visits it. Possibly nearly 3,000 years old, this ancient stone circle has long

fascinated writers, artists and musicians, turning up in everything from The Beatles’ film Help! to the cult science fiction series Quatermass. Theories abound as to the circle’s origin and purpose – was it a place of pre-Christian

worship, a burial site, or even a landing pad for extraterrestrials? Whatever the truth, there are few more powerful or evocative sights in the world than seeing Stonehenge shrouded in mist and grey light on a winter’s morning, or etched in twilight as darkness

descends. The site is open every day of the week, and a complimentary audio tour is included in the price of the admission ticket, although bear in mind that from the start of November last admittance is at 3.30pm.

MAGICAL Stonehenge, site of mystery

The BFI London IMAX www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

MORBID Touring the tombs at Highgate

highgatecemetery.org Nearest Tube Archway (High Barnet branch) ‘A spectre is haunting Europe’. So wrote Karl Marx – buried in Highgate’s East Cemetery – at the start of the history-changing Communist Manifesto. It has to be admitted that Marx and Friedrich Engels were talking about the spirit of socialism rather than, say, the ‘Highgate Vampire’, just one of the many ghosts claimed to have been spotted in London’s most famous Gothic burial ground. The large memorial erected to Marx is one of Highgate’s most-visited features, but there are plenty of other famous names buried here, including George Eliot, Jeremy Beadle,

Sir Ralph Richardson and Lucien Freud. First opened in 1839, the cemetery is now recognised as an informal nature reserve that’s home to a large variety of plants and wildlife. It’s certainly a great place to go to quietly contemplate questions about life, the universe and everything (the title of a novel by author Douglas Adams, also buried in Highgate).

alamy

Highgate Cemetery

escape | 19


DAYS OUT

Tintagel Castle

english-heritage.org.uk Take FGW train to

Bodmin Parkway Today it only exists as a glorious ruin, but Tintagel Castle was once a significant medieval fortification. More interestingly, it was also rumoured to be the birthplace of Arthur Pendragon, the legendary king of Britain whose quest for the Holy Grail has become the stuff of myth and legend. The tale has grown in the telling, so that the wizard

MONSTROUS Night of the Demon (1957)

Merlin, the love affair between brave Sir Lancelot and Arthur’s wife Guinevere, the knights of the round table, the lady of the lake and the magical sword Excalibur all feel now like details from an early instalment of the television series Game of Thrones. So why not go back to the source of one of Britain’s most cherished fantasies, and experience for yourself the enduring mystery of this bleak and beautiful place?

GETTING GOTHIC

P

20 | escape

MYTHIC Legendary Tintagel Castle

erhaps the most famous ghost story of them all, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ by Henry James, begins with a group gathered round a fire listening to ‘gruesome’ stories, ‘as on Christmas Eve in an old house a strange tale should essentially be’, as the narrator puts it. The BBC certainly agreed, making a series of ghost stories for broadcast at Christmas throughout the 1970s, many of them based on the work of James’ namesake, the English academic

M. R. James. In 2012, these fantastically spooky short films were collected together by the British Film Institute (BFI) in a best-selling box set aptly titled Ghost Stories for Christmas. In time for Halloween, the BFI has now launched a UKwide season of screenings, talks, books and DVDs celebrating Britain’s fascination with all things Gothic. Among the new DVD titles are Supernatural and Dead of Night, two more classic 70s television programmes with a

decidedly scary atmosphere that make for perfect home viewing on a dark winter’s night. And if you can’t get enough of all things ghostly, the Gothique Film Society will commence its 48th season of film screenings in October at London’s Conway Hall. Established in 1965, the society remains committed to showing the best and rarest horror, science fiction and fantasy films on the big screen – where they belong. bfi.org.uk/gothic thegothiquefilm society.org.uk

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


Bookings 0117 987 7877 bristololdvic.org.uk

Charles Dickens’

Coming soon… 27 Sep -2 Nov

A Bristol Old Vic production Adapted & directed by Neil Bartlett 28 Nov -18 Jan

A tale of adventure, courage and the pursuit of true love. Written by Hans Christian Andersen. Adapted by Joel Horwood Directed by Simon Godwin. Designed by Jon Bausor A Bristol Old Vic production

13 Feb-6 Apr 2014

IN TWO PARTS A Bristol Old Vic production Directed by Sally Cookson Charity No. 228235


on screen

Five faces of First

You may have caught them on your television on Thursday nights. Now Escape steps through the screen to bring you the stars of Channel 5’s The Railway: First Great Western

W

e’ve seen doctors and nurses, police officers, airline staff and even estate agents caught on camera on our television screens in the past few years. Channel 5’s documentary series, which screened from the end of August, followed the working lives of the staff of First Great Western. The Railway: First Great Western features a team of dedicated drivers, managers, ticket inspectors and technicians as they help millions of passengers move along the spectacular Great Western route every year. Each programme tells the staff’s extraordinary stories, giving us an insight into the stresses and strains – and fun and laughter – of working for one of Britain’s largest train companies. Here’s our run-down of some of the faces you will have come to know, love and possibly even fear! Perhaps you’ll spot one or more of them on your next trip.

Monarch on the move

Jody Edwards Strong-willed, straight-talking ex-air hostess Jody has seen and heard it all across her miles as Train Manager. She's responsible for the smooth

running of the train, liaising with the train guard and dispatchers to ensure that everything runs on time. ‘I was asked one afternoon if I had a spare half-an-hour

Derek Mitchell Cheery team player and St Ives Branch Line Supervisor Derek makes sure the branch line runs smoothly and effectively. With up to 1,000 people stopping by hourly throughout the Cornish summer, Derek keeps himself busy with ticketing, keeping security in check, and ensuring that the customers

are happy. ‘I had never done anything like this before but I am a people person and like having a chat so, when they asked me to get involved, I said I would give it a go. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result, although I’ll probably cringe when I watch it on TV and hear what my voice sounds like. I don’t think Brad Pitt will be calling.’

to answer a few questions for a TV production company,’ says Jody of her low-key entry into the world of television stardom. ‘From this came my appearance in

the show. A camera crew followed me around for a couple of days. It was good fun, but also quite hard work, because you end up having to explain a lot for the camera.’


Great Western

Of her new-found fame, Jody says: ‘It’s been quite funny being on telly. Lots of passengers have recognised me. On the day after the first episode aired someone even asked

Simon Jeffrey At the start of The Railway: First Great Western, Simon has just been promoted to the role of Duty Station Manager at Paddington Station. He's soon faced with

me for my autograph! And a nice couple also asked to have their photo taken with me. Of course colleagues have taken the mick, but that’s to be expected!’

a fire on the line, which causes significant delays on a hot Friday in London. It’s down to Simon and the team at Paddington to keep passengers updated, and bear the brunt of their frustration.

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

Dave Bunyan Revenue Protection Inspector Dave considers himself part revenue enforcer and part social worker. He’s heard every fare-dodging excuse in the book and is on first-name terms with a number of regular travellers. Dave spends his days putting his experience in debt recovery into action and he carries out everything from spot checks to group operations. Of his experience in front of the camera, Dave says: 'Initially I had my reservations about becoming involved but, the more I worked with the film crew, the easier it became. I realised the series wasn’t intended as something for the rail enthusiast, it

was more about one person’s life on the railway at a particular time. I grasped the nettle and ended up enjoying it. 'We had an allday filming at Henley-on-Thames which covered fare evasion, customer service, special events, lost property, lost passengers – the whole spectrum of what is deemed to be a normal day on the network.’

Firm but fare

Will Ginieres Will works as a technician at the Long Rock Depot in Penzance. A normal working day for him begins in the evening – the night shift gives him more time to spend with his family. Before working on the railway, Will used to be in the RAF, but he says he is here to stay. What he likes most about his job is that he is ‘allowed to function on his own thoughts all the time’.

escape | 23


new year

Poptastic! Justin Timberlake JT is back on the scene with his new album The 20/20 Experience, and with it has come the announcement of a 2014 UK tour. As we write, no dates have yet been divulged, but – if the new single is anything to go by – we’re pretty excited nonetheless. Expect extravagant staging and provocative dances in a mammoth venue. ★ justintimberlake.com

and Louis have added more dates, including two extra nights at Wembley Arena. Could you find a better stage on which to catch the biggest boy band in the world? It promises to be a fantastic show with cheeky charm from the boys and screaming girls galore. ★ onedirectionmusic.com Rudimental 14-15 February O2 Brixton Academy Nearest Tube

One Direction On tour from 24 May After their UK tour sold out in minutes, Harry, Zayn, Liam, Niall 24 | escape

Brixton Since the release of the 2012 single 'Feel the Love',

British electronic outfit Rudimental have gone from strength to strength, and show no signs of letting up any time soon. With new tour dates just announced, it looks like Rudimental are gearing up to own 2014. ★ rudimental.co.uk

Comedy central Miranda Hart: My, What I Call, Live Show On tour from 28 February Miranda Hart needs little introduction. The BAFTAnominated star of sitcom Miranda

and period drama Call the Midwife, is a household name. For this tour she’s inviting you to her party, and as hostess looks to entertain with humorous attempts at song and dance. Should be a blast. ★mirandahart.com www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


With the New Year hurtling towards us, it’s time to start putting some entries into next year’s diary. Here’s our pick of the finest events, performances and festivals – just a little while down the track

Russell Howard: Wonderbox On tour from 21 February Another TV regular, Russell Howard is back doing what he does best, going out on the road with a great new show. Young and razor-sharp, Russell is everything you want in a comedian. ★ russell-howard.co.uk Lee Evans: Monsters On tour from 18 August A veteran of the comedy scene, Lee Evans is one of Britain’s biggest – and perhaps sweatiest – entertainers. Here he returns with a new show that promises to be as animated as ever, playing to more fans than ever before across 50 nights. ★ leeevans2011tour.co.uk Jack Whitehall On tour from 5 March Jack Whitehall first caught our www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

attention as the presenter of E4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth and he's rarely been off our screens ever since, with appearances on Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats, not to mention his hit TV series Fresh Meat. Make sure you catch his new show in 2014. ★ jackwhitehall.com Punt and Dennis On tour from 18 January Punt and Dennis, groundbreaking comedians and former collaborators with David Baddiel and Robert Newman, return with a new stand-up show. Perfect for fans of their BBC Radio 4 programmes The Now Show and It’s Been a Bad Week. ★ bit.ly/ puntdennis

incredible PERFORMERS Quidam, Cirque Du Soleil 4 January2 February Royal Albert Hall Nearest Tube

South Kensington Prepare to be transported into the whimsical world of Cirque du Soleil, an experience made all the better by being staged in the incredible surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. This latest production promises to mesmerise, with world-class performances from over 50 acrobats, singers, musicians and more. A truly

unmissable treat, Quidam is far from being just another circus act. ★ cirquedusoleil. com War horse 18-19 July Wales Millennium Centre Take FGW train to Cardiff Central There’s rarely a dry eye in the house after a production of War Horse. Whether you’ve read the original book by Michael Morpurgo, seen the Steven Spielberg film version, or simply heard about this production's theatrical razzledazzle, it would be a hard-hearted theatregoer who didn't leave deeply touched by this story of one horse's experience in the First World War. ★ warhorseonstage.com

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NEW YEAR King Lear From January National Theatre, London Nearest Tube Waterloo Sam Mendes will direct Simon Russell Beale in Shakespeare’s classic about royalty gone wrong. How the Skyfall director finds the time, what with his production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London’s West End and a new James Bond film in the pipeline, we’re not sure, but we’re positive his take on the Bard’s tragedy will be a suitably epic one. ★ nationaltheatre.org.uk

One for the kids Horrible HistorIES Barmy Britain Tour On tour from January Meet all your favourite historical figures as they come alive on stage in this spectacular new show. Whether you’re five or 105, it’s history like you’ve never seen before. With a brilliant combination of terrible tales, amazing acting and 3D bogglevision, it’s a gruesomely great night out for all the family. l barmybritain.com

Art attack Richard Hamilton exhibition 13 February-26 May Tate Modern, London Nearest Tube Southwark The late Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as one of the founding figures of Pop Art, with a career spanning more than 60 years. In 2014, Tate Modern is putting on a major retrospective of his work,

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

freshest festivals

including his iconic depictions of such celebrated figures as Mick Jagger and Margaret Thatcher. ★ tate.org.uk William Blake: Apprentice and Master 18 November-15 February 2015 The Ashmolean, Oxford Take FGW train to Oxford Towards the end of 2014, the Ashmolean in Oxford will host a major exhibition of work by the visionary 18th-century British painter and poet William Blake. 'Apprentice and Master' will explore how Blake drew inspiration from earlyRenaissance artists, and how his own work went on to inspire the next generation of young printmakers. A great opportunity to see some of Blake’s seminal works up close. ★ ashmolean.org Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance 19 February-11 May National Gallery, London You probably know your Michelangelos from your Da Vincis, but can you tell a Dürer from a Cranach? The muchoverlooked German Renaissance comes to the National Gallery in London this spring, so expect to get better acquainted with some of northern Europe's greatest artists. Think of all the elegance and grace of the Italian Renaissance only with more intensity, not to mention an almost limitless attention to detail, and you have the German Renaissance. Enjoy! ★ national gallery.org.uk

Wilderness Festival 7-10 August Cornbury Park Take FGW train to Charlbury Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Cornbury Park, this young festival has a chilled-out vibe. Glastonbury’s baby sister, it’s full of great music and thought-provoking talks, plus impressive theatrical, culinary and literary events. There’s even a fully functioning spa. What more could you ask for? ★ wildernessfestival.co.uk Bristol Slapstick Festival 24-27 January Various venues, Bristol Take FGW train to

Bristol Temple Meads The Bristol Slapstick Festival is

London Mime Festival 9 January-1 February mimelondon.com Bath Literature Festival 28 February-9 March bathfestivals.org.uk

the biggest event of its kind and, entering its 10th year, is going from strength to strength. The highlight of the festival looks to be the gala event at Colston Hall where three classic films will be shown, each accompanied by a live orchestra. ★ slapstick.org.uk The Great Bath Feast October Various venues, Bath Take FGW train to Bath Spa From the city that gave us the legendary Mary Berry, this month-long food festival is a must for anyone who loves a great feast – and, let's be honest, who doesn’t? It’s a celebration of the finest wines, artisan cheeses, street foods, exquisite puddings and meaty treats. Go on, tuck in. ★greatbathfeast.co.uk

Glastonbury Festival 25 June-29 June glastonburyfestivals.co.uk Cornbury Festival 4-6 July cornburyfestival.com

The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 22-30 March oxfordliteraryfestival.org

WOMAD Festival 24-27 July womad.org

Bristol VegFest 23-25 May bristol.vegfest.co.uk

Reading Festival 23-25 August readingfestival.com

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Discover a small corner of paraDise at the enD of the line... Visit swansea’s gower Peninsula, britain’s first designated area of outstanding natural beauty. with over 200 holiday cottages and apartments in our portfolio, we can help you discover the magic of swansea bay, mumbles and gower for yourself.

The LargesT CoLLeCTion of hoLiday homes in mumbLes, gower & swansea marina

Tel +44 (0) 1792 360624 | enquiries@homefromhome.com | www.homefromhome.com 101 newton road, mumbles, swansea, sa3 4bn


The Lowdown

swansea Beautiful beaches draw the crowds to Wales’ waterfront city. By Cara Devine

Three Cliffs at Gower, near Swansea

Indoor market as seen on TV

Hooked on Jimmy Osmond

TAKE IN THE VIEW AT RHOSSILI BAY Recipient of such accolades as Britain’s best beach and best picnic spot, Rhossili Bay is three miles of unadulterated natural beauty. Brave a steep path and you have access to gorgeous sandy beaches, imposing cliffs and coastal walks with stunning views. You can stroll over to the Worm’s Head islet at low tide or, for the more energetic (and hardy!), the waves are often suitable for surfing. l britishbeaches.info/rhossilibay-swansea

The owners bring their haute cuisine background to bear on the best of Wales’ local and seasonal produce. From it they have crafted an ingenious and delicious menu, combined with a quality wine selection and personable service. Well worth a visit. l sliceswansea.co.uk

STROLL AROUND THE MARITIME QUARTER This recently rejuvenated area has a mix of Georgian, Victorian and modern architecture that provides the perfect backdrop for a wander. At the marina, decide which boat you’d buy if you won the lottery, browse a craft gallery, then grab some refreshment at one of the quarter’s many bars, restaurants and cafes. The new National Waterfront Museum is also nearby, should you need to brush up on your knowledge of Wales’ industrial and maritime past through the museum’s cuttingedge interactive technology. l swanseamarina.org.uk HAVE A MEAL TO REMEMBER AT SLICE This tiny (really – it seats 18) restaurant is fast becoming Swansea’s worst-kept secret. www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

YOU ARE HERE

DID YOU KNOW?

In the

18th

Swansea City AFC was founded in

century Swansea was nicknamed ‘Copperopolis’ because it produced so much copper

Getting there

Take FGW train to Swansea

FACTOID

FAMOUS FACES

Worm’s Head at Rhossili has the seventh most photographed sunset in the world

Actress Catherine Zeta Jones and actor Rob Brydon

twinned with

Mannheim, Germany

BROWSE THE WARES AT SWANSEA INDOOR MARKET Housing more than 100 stalls, this great vaulted steel and glass structure dates from 1960, although the market has existed in some form or other for more than 1,000 years. It was recently the subject of a BBC documentary chronicling the traders’ fight for survival in this age of retail giants and out-of-town shopping centres, so take this chance to show your support for independent retailers. You’ll find everything from traditional Welsh cuisine to books and clothes and, of course, some quality banter from the traders. l swanseaindoormarket.co.uk GET PARTICIPATIVE AT A PANTOMIME SWANSEA GRAND THEATRE What better way to wind up your day than with a swashbuckling pantomime adventure? This new production of Peter Pan, starring Jimmy Osmond, guarantees a treasure chest full of fun, with magnificent scenery, beautiful costumes, an abundance of comedy and stunning flying sequences. l swanseagrand.co.uk

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All I want for

Stuck for festive gift ideas for picky family members? London’s shops and boutiques offer a world of choice beyond socks and soap on a rope

Mrs Kibble’s Olde Sweet Shoppe

Absolute Vintage

Les Senteurs

Nearest tube

Bond Street Whisk mum back to her childhood with some good old-fashioned sweets. Mrs Kibble (who really does exist) keeps the capital’s West End on a sugar high with bestsellers such as rhubarb and custard, and toffee crumble. A box of assorted, handmade English truffles makes the perfect present for chocolate lovers. mrskibbles.co.uk

Shoreditch High Street Coco Chanel once said that ‘fashion changes, but style endures’, and these words certainly ring true at this renowned vintage clothes shop. Whether you’re looking to strike a pose in a rara skirt or dial back the decades with a 1940s dress, Absolute Vintage always has something timeless and distinctive. absolutevintage.co.uk

Nearest tube Marble Arch Follow your nose down to London’s oldest independent perfumery and discover more than 350 fragrances from around the world. The award-winning Les Senteurs was originally conceived as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the department store perfume counter, giving customers a more personalised shopping experience and time to stop and smell the roses. shop.lessenteurs.com

Nearest tube

REX/BRITTA JASCHINSKI

Mum

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www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


GIFT SHOPPING

DAD Harold Moores Music

Highbury Vintners

Nearest tube Oxford Circus Specialists in classical and jazz music, this record shop deals in many rarities you might not find on iTunes. Browse the works of the great masters across two floors and pick out some gems for a loved one’s collection. Even if you’re new to the classics, helpful and informative staff can guide you through 1,000 years’ worth of music. www.hmrecords.co.uk

Arsenal Stocking close to 1,300 wines, this independent wine merchant likes to focus on smaller producers. Highbury Vintners also mixes the grape and the grain with an ever-changing range of microbrews, single malts and interesting liqueurs for cocktails and more. highburyvintners.co.uk Nearest tube

sister Tatty Devine

Tate Modern

Nearest tube

Nearest tube Southwark Stocking the widest range of books on modern art and culture in the UK, Tate Modern has not one but three shops in the towering former Bankside Power Station. Alongside the weighty coffee table reads there’s an attractive range of jewellery and lots of art supplies to help realise your relative's artistic ambitions. tate.org.uk/visit/ tate-modern

Shoreditch High Street With their Daliesque moustache necklaces and lightning bolt earrings, Tatty Devine’s fun and irreverent approach to jewellery sets them apart from the crowd. Designers Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden founded the company in 1999 and quickly built a loyal following, creating imaginative pop pieces in brightly coloured plastic. tattydevine.com

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

London Review Bookshop Nearest tube Holborn The eminent literary journal has its very own bricks and mortar shop. It's crammed with an eclectic selection of books, with tomes on politics, current affairs and history particularly well represented. Step into the adjoining cake shop for a slice of a London literary coffee house in the best tradition. lrbshop.co.uk

Duke of Uke Take overground train to Shoreditch High Street For virtuosos and beginners alike, the capital’s one and only ukulele and banjo emporium caters to players of all abilities. New and vintage instruments come in all shapes and sizes and a wide selection of sheet music allows you to add a Hawaiian lilt to bands such as AC/DC and The Beatles. More than just a music shop, Duke of Uke also offers ukulele lessons and regular gigs. dukeofuke.co.uk

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GIFT SHOPPING

BROTHER

Gosh! Comics

RED5

Nearest tube

Tottenham Court Road Superhero antics, vintage children’s books and cuttingedge small press all collide at this comic shop with something for everyone. Graphic novels are the main focus, but what makes Gosh! special is the chance to buy exclusive limited-edition prints signed by writers and artists. Enthusiastic staff are always on hand with recommendations. goshlondon.com

Nearest tube

Shepherd’s Bush For a gift with a difference, go gadget mad at RED5, which stocks everything from the really useful to the appealingly outlandish. The shop features hundreds of innovative products and great presents for the young and young at heart, including remote-control helicopters and a selection of truly mind-bending puzzles. red5.co.uk

GRANDPARENTS Fortnum & Mason Nearest tube

Piccadilly Circus The iconic Fortnum & Mason department store in the heart of central London specialises in tempting tuck boxes for every occasion. Fortnum’s first hampers were

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created to meet the demands of well-heeled travellers in the late 1730s, and they continue to pack in everything from cheese and biscuits to venison salami and champagne. fortnumandmason. com

Bond Street Far from your average cuppa, the capital’s finest tea store brings a special blend of connoisseurship and knowledge to the art of brewing up. Postcard’s close relationship with

Various locations Craftsmanship is the watchword at this menswear label, which has four stores across central London selling wardrobe essentials. Anyone who appreciates casual clothes and effortless style will be happy flicking through the rails of classic T-shirts and Japanese denim jeans on sale here. Albam’s inspiration comes courtesy of old-school cool icons such as actors Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. albamclothing.com

COUSIN

Postcard Teas Nearest tube

Albam

producers all over the world lets you discover oolong from Taiwan or a Beijing breakfast black tea, all the while picking out the perfect pot to warm along with all the accessories. postcardteas.com

Portobello Market Nearest tube

Ladbroke Grove Portobello is really several markets in one. Saturday is when all are in full swing, with the main attraction being the vibrant antiques and bric-a-brac section covering collectibles of every description. There are also some weird and wonderful street performers to be spotted while you’re perfecting

your haggling skills among the hundreds of stalls. portobelloroad. co.uk www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


AN OXFORD PLAYHOUSE PANTOMIME

Friday 29 November 2013 to Sunday 12 January 2014

Don’t forget... Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 November

Ciphers

By Dawn King Directed by Blanche McIntyre

Written and directed by Peter Duncan Robin Hood rides into Oxford for the Playhouse’s acclaimed annual pantomime. Book now, because it ‘Sher wood’ be a shame to miss it! A very glittery and joyful festive bauble on the top of this year’s tree. HHHH What’s On Stage on Dick Whittington 2012

Tickets: from £14 NO BOOKING FEE! £1 off all tickets booked before Friday 1 November 2013.

Call the ticket office or visit the website for more information.

A stunning and intelligent spy thriller, from an award-winning writer and director super-team. Featuring spies, double-agents, and important questions about identity in a world where everyone lies.

Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 November

To Sir, With Love

Adapted by Ayub Khan Din Based on the major 1967 film of the same name, this heartwarming story follows the struggles of a black teacher in post-war England. Matthew Kelly stars at the Friday and Saturday performances. HHHH Times

01865 305305 www.oxfordplayhouse.com


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Brighton including Swimming pool, Sauna &in ͻ^ƵďƐƚĂŶƟĂůĐŽŶĨĞƌĞŶĐĞĂŶĚďĂŶƋƵĞƟŶŐĨĂĐŝůŝƟĞƐ͖ O O Largest Largest health health and leisure leisure club club of of any any hotel hotel in ͻdŚĞ,ŽƚĞůĂůƐŽŚĂƐĂďĞĂƵƚLJƐƉĂŽŶƐŝƚĞĐĂůůĞĚ steam room &and gym with over 30 machines for ǁĞĂůƐŽŚŽůĚĂĐŝǀŝůǁĞĚĚŝŶŐůŝĐĞŶƐĞ ͻdŚĞ,ŽƚĞůĂůƐŽŚĂƐĂďĞĂƵƚLJƐƉĂŽŶƐŝƚĞĐĂůůĞĚ Christmas party nights catered for OǁĞĂůƐŽŚŽůĚĂĐŝǀŝůǁĞĚĚŝŶŐůŝĐĞŶƐĞ Largest health club any hotel in steam room &and gymleisure with over 30ofmachines for ǁĞĂůƐŽŚŽůĚĂĐŝǀŝůǁĞĚĚŝŶŐůŝĐĞŶƐĞ Brighton Brighton including including Swimming Swimming pool, pool, Sauna Sauna & & WƌĞƩLJWĞŽƉůĞŽīĞƌŝŶŐŶƵŵĞƌŽƵƐďĞĂƵƚLJ aerobic, cardio vascular &&weight work outs WƌĞƩLJWĞŽƉůĞŽīĞƌŝŶŐŶƵŵĞƌŽƵƐďĞĂƵƚLJ aerobic, cardio vascular weight work outs Brighton including Swimming pool, Saunafor& ͻdŚĞ,ŽƚĞůĂůƐŽŚĂƐĂďĞĂƵƚLJƐƉĂŽŶƐŝƚĞĐĂůůĞĚ ͻdŚĞ,ŽƚĞůĂůƐŽŚĂƐĂďĞĂƵƚLJƐƉĂŽŶƐŝƚĞĐĂůůĞĚ ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚƐ steam steam room room && gym gym with with over over 30on 30 machines machines for l The Hotel also has a beauty spa site called ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚƐ ͻdŚĞ,ŽƚĞůĂůƐŽŚĂƐĂďĞĂƵƚLJƐƉĂŽŶƐŝƚĞĐĂůůĞĚ steam room & gym with over 30 machines for O aerobic, WƌĞƩLJWĞŽƉůĞŽīĞƌŝŶŐŶƵŵĞƌŽƵƐďĞĂƵƚLJ WƌĞƩLJWĞŽƉůĞŽīĞƌŝŶŐŶƵŵĞƌŽƵƐďĞĂƵƚLJ No1 Bar and open day till 1am Sunday aerobic, cardio cardio vascular vascular &all & weight weight work work outs outs O Pretty No1 Bar andbistro bistro open allweight daybeauty till 1am Sunday People offering numerous treatments WƌĞƩLJWĞŽƉůĞŽīĞƌŝŶŐŶƵŵĞƌŽƵƐďĞĂƵƚLJ aerobic, cardio vascular & work outs &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚƐ ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚƐ –&ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ Thursday 3am Friday & Saturday – Thursday 3am Friday & Saturday ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚƐ ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ O O No1 No1 Bar Bar and and bistro bistro open open allall day day tilltill 1am 1am Sunday Sunday ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ For the best possible rates book directly online at O&ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ No1 Bar and bistro open all day till 1am Sunday &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ – Thursday – Thursday 3am 3am Friday Friday & & Saturday Saturday www.queenshotelbrighton.com The Hotel, 1-5 &ŽƌďĞƐƚƉŽƐƐŝďůĞƌĂƚĞƐŬĚŝƌĞĐƚůLJŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ The Queens Hotel, 1-5King KingRoad, Road, BrightonBN1 BN11NA 1NA ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ –Queens Thursday 3am Friday & Brighton Saturday dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE t: 0800 970 7570 w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com t: 0800 970 7570 w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com The Queens hotel, 1-5 King Road, BN1 1NA The The Queens Queens Hotel, Hotel, 1-5 1-5 King King Road, Road, Brighton Brighton BN1 BN1 1NA 1NA e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE t:0800 970 970 7570 w:wwwqueenshotelbrighton.com t: 0800 t: 0800 970 970 7570 7570 w: w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com www.queenshotelbrighton.com The Queens Hotel, 1-5 King Road, Brighton BN1 1NA ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ dŚĞYƵĞĞŶƐ,ŽƚĞů͕ϭͲϱ<ŝŶŐZŽĂĚ͕ƌŝŐŚƚŽŶEϭϭE e:info@queenshotelbrighton.com e:t: info@queenshotelbrighton.com e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com 0800 970 7570 w: www.queenshotelbrighton.com Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ ƚ͗ϬϴϬϬϵϳϬϳϱϳϬǁ͗ǁǁǁ͘ƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ e: info@queenshotelbrighton.com

Ğ͗ŝŶĨŽΛƋƵĞĞŶƐŚŽƚĞůďƌŝŐŚƚŽŶ͘ĐŽŵ 10% of food and beverage only applies website www.queenshotelbrighton.com www.queenshotelbrighton.complease please note other 10% of food and beverage only applieswhen whenyour yourbooking bookingisismade made on on our our official website note other   websites may look similar are notthe thehotel hotelofficial officialwebsite. website.10% 10% off off applies applies to all food thethe stay forfor thethe websites may look similar butbut are not food and and drinks drinksconsumed consumedininthe thehotel hotelduring during stay number of guests staying in thebooked bookedroom. room.ItItcannot cannotbe be given given to to other guests or used against other events ororWeddings etc. number of guests staying in the guests or used against other events Weddings etc. 10% 10% of food of food andand beverage beverage only only applies applies when when your your booking booking is made is made on on ourour official official website website www.queenshotelbrighton.com www.queenshotelbrighton.com please please note note other other

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T P FARE Y Restaurateur, food writer and seafood guru Mitch Tonks on some of his favourite foodie destinations

ou either love oysters or you hate them. I am an oyster fan and I love to eat them just as they are. But finding great oysters can become a bit of a mission. The preferred provenance of an oyster is personal to the oyster eater and they can be quite different in flavour. Size will vary hugely too. So my advice? Get tasting and find out what you like. Is there a polite way to eat oysters? They are best consumed direct from the shell, or using an oyster fork to ensure you don’t splash your neighbour with the divine juice. Be sure to chew and properly taste the flesh of the oyster rather than just swallow it. Baking or grilling an oyster changes it dramatically, as does the addition of gutsy flavours such as Tabasco, fresh chillies and garlic. How to tell if your oyster is really fresh? The shell should be tightly shut and not gaping at all, and when opened it should contain some liquor or juice and not be dry. The next best test is the smell. Breathe it in and it should be just like being at the seaside. Imagine the tide washing in, the salty seaweedy freshness of the ocean – the smell of a fresh oyster will transport your senses right there in an instant. There are two types of oyster that you will be faced with at the fishmonger. The first is the wild or native oyster, which is round and flat, with firm and sweet meat. This oyster is always the connoisseur’s choice. The other type of oyster you will more commonly find is the rock oyster. This has a deep bottom or cup, and a flat top shell and a pointed end. These oysters are farmed and available all year round, whereas the wild oyster is only fished between September and April (hence the saying about eating oysters when there is an R in the month).

best oyster bars

WRIGHT BROtherS What they don’t know about oysters isn’t worth knowing. At Borough Market, Soho and The Ferryboat Inn in Cornwall. thewrightbrothers.co.uk

J SHEEKEY A seafood restaurant in the heart of London’s theatre district. It just feels right to always have oysters here. j-sheekey.co.uk

ROCKFISH BRISTOL Clifton is centre of the serious food scene in Bristol and quality seafood is really celebrated here. rockfishgrill.co.uk

Pearls of wisdom

Mitch’s quick oyster recipes Oyster tartare Finely chop a shallot, a tablespoon of capers and a tablespoon of gherkins. Mix them with a few drops of Tabasco then sprinkle this mixture over the top of your shucked oyster with a squeeze of lemon.

Oysters lardo parmigiano Scrunch up some foil and then open it out on to a tray. Open 12 oysters (enough for two people) then press them into the foil so they do not roll on their side. Sprinkle on a few drops of

Worcestershire sauce, a little Parmesan and some black pepper. Lay a strip of lardo on top then sprinkle a bit more Parmesan. Grill under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes until the lardo and cheese have melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

CRAB HOUSE WEYMOUTH Portland oyster beds are right in front of the café. How good is that? crabhousecafe.co.uk

HIX OYSTER & FISH HOUSE This room’s stylish views over the Cobb, Lyme Regis, offer the perfect backdrop for enjoying fine oysters. hixoysterandfishhouse.co.uk

escape | 35


Cut the cost of your commute!

Buy a season ticket with your rail season.

From ÂŁ35 a month A PLUSBUS season ticket gives you unlimited bus travel around the whole urban area of the town thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at the start and / or end of your train journey.

plusbus.info

for details visit: www.

Price shown is for a monthly PLUSBUS season ticket for Brighton, Newport, or Weymouth.


kids’ pages

help Paddington Here are some fun tasks you cany from A to B with while you make your wa

spot THE difference There are five differences between these two pictures – can you spot them all?

Prizes!

GET IN TOUCH

Send us all your fun facts, drawings and ph otos. Our favourites will be featured in future issues!

your d n e S s to emakiplublishing.co.u!k

u om yo e@thin escap ve to hear fr We’d lo

ON THE BEACH Enjoying an ice cream and building sandcastles, here is Tia Claridge, aged 6, who has sent us a great picture of herself having fun in the sun

Fun facts A group of rhinos is called a ‘crash’

** *

Peanuts can be used as an ingredient in dynamite

Riddle

What holds water but is full of holes?

WHICH ONE…?

Take a look at these three pairs and then try to answer the question

IS TALLER? A BRACHIOSAURUS OR A DOUBLE-DECKER BUS www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

LIVES LONGER? A TORTOISE OR A TIGER

WAS INVENTED FIRST? BASKETBALL OR FOOTBALL

The number of muscles that move your hand | escape | 37


Word search

FIND firework, icicle, bonfire, snowboard, conker, sledge

L S I C M S K I N S A P M B U L V C F N E R I F N O B I E O B C O N K E R C L W E D R Y P E G L C B

Win win win!!

Here’s your chance to win great prizes. To enter the draw,

simply send the correct answers to the address provided To win Meccano's awesome new Evolution ATV model worth £29.99, send us the answer to the following question by 24 January 201 4: In the abbreviation ATV, can you guess what the V stands for: All-Terrain V_ _ _ _ _ _

F P R B F E X E I R S K R F I L G R B D D R A O B S T B K S

MISLAID MARMALADE

You could win all six books in the fantastic Wereworld series by Curtis Jobling. Send us the correct answer to the following que stion by 24 January 2014: Which of these do we usu ally associate with a full moon? A. Vampire B. Werewolf C. Elf

Paddington has lost a jar of his favourite orange spread. Can you help him get his hands on it?

Before tractors were invented, what kind of animal would pull the farmer's plough? H____ Send us the correct answer by 24 January 2014 and you could win a Monster Treads Tractor and a Monster Treads Shake & Sounds Dump Truck from TOMY www.tomy.co.uk

Send your answers, along with your name, address, age and contact telephone number to: Escape Magazine, Think, Woodside House, 20-23 Woodside Place, Glasgow G3 7QF. Or email us at escape@thinkpublishing.co.uk

for the fun of it

Why was the broom late for work?

HE OVER SWEPT

What did the traffic light say to the car?

DON’T LOOK, I’M CHANGING

ll a man What do you ca e? with a rubber to

ROBERTO

ANSWERS Spot the difference: Missing knife, spoon, button, napkin and letter 'm' Riddle: A sponge Which one: 1. A brachiosaurus is tallest 2. A tortoise lives longer 3. Football was invented first

38 | escape | The age of Ant and Dec

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Paddington Bear™ © Paddington and Company Ltd 2013. Paddington Bear™, Paddington™ and PB™ are trademarks of Paddington and Company Ltd.

I O Q O U D C C C A

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R T E F W G V E Y O


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Book online www.ios-travel.co.uk/trains or call 0845

710 5555

Cruise Scillonian from Penzance Fly Skybus from Land’s End · Newquay · Exeter

At-Bristol’s Ice Rink Skate under the stars this winter!

at-bristol.org.uk/icerink A registered charity (no. 1049954)

Open 9 Nov 20 13 to 5 Jan 201 4


Pitch perfect

Win four nights of luxury under canvas Sign up to our Escape eNewsletter for your chance to win a fabulous four-night midweek getaway for six at Longlands in the beautiful North Devon countryside, courtesy of Sawday’s Canopy & Stars. • Four nights luxury safari lodge accommodation • £250 to spend on meals and locally made produce in Longlands Larder • Return standard rail travel for 6 people For your chance to win this fabulous luxury escape – as well as offers, articles, travel info and much more – simply sign up for our monthly Escape eNewsletter.

Sign up at www.fgw.co.uk/longlands or scan here for your chance to win.

Subject to availability. Competition expires 20th January 2014. For full terms and conditions, visit www.fgw.co.uk/longlands


brain train

Wrong track

Below is a superfast tour through the life of a celebrity. But can you spot the three deliberate mistakes in our potted biog?

Relax while exercising your mind

Sudoku

Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row, column and 3x3 square must contain one of each digit EASY 1      

3  

5  

7

3

9

5        

2

9

4      

7      

 

3

4

7  

 

7          

3  

 

6

9  

5  

1  

2  

8  

2

4

     

3      

6

1

6

5        

3

9

3  

4

8  

9      

4

MEDIUM  

3    

 

2

7

8

2  

5

3

5  

9    

       

2  

7    

1    

7  

4  

2

9

                  7

6  

5  

2    

1

   

6  

8        

   

7  

9

3  

8

2 3 4 8 1 9 6 5 7 1 8 5 7 6 4 3 2 9 8 5 1 9 2 6 7 3 4 4 7 2 3 5 1 9 8 6 6 9 3 4 7 8 2 1 5

MEDIUM ANSWERS

7 6 9 5 3 2 8 4 1

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EASY ANSWERS

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3 1 8 2 9 6 7 5 4

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

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WAYNE ROONEY Wayne Rooney was born in Croxteth, Liverpool. He was brought up in the council house he shared with his parents and two older brothers. It was always Wayne’s dream to become a footballer. At the age of 9 he joined the academy of the club he supported, Tranmere Rovers. Aged just 16, Wayne scored a last-minute winner to end Chelsea’s unbeaten 30-game run, becoming the Premier League’s youngest goalscorer in the process. Wayne Rooney signed for Manchester United in August 2004.

A porky prime puzzle

Wayne’s world

The Points

Five more chances to bag some correct answers What was stolen

1 in Paris on 21

August 1911? Which computer 2 games character was originally called ‘Jumpman’? Who first gave voice 3 to classic characters Yoda, Miss Piggy and the Cookie Monster? What is the largest 4 island in the northern hemisphere? Which famous 5 1960s band took their name from a book by Aldous Huxley?

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brain train

Make the connection

Queen: The darling buddies of Brian May

What links: Richard Burton, Dennis Hopper, Barry Humphries, Liza Minnelli and Catherine Parr?

Eight tracks Here are eight songs that all feature time in the form of a month somewhere in their title. Can you think of any more?

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BAND OF HORSES St Augustine Formed in 2004, cult American rock band Band of Horses hail from Seattle, and although plaid and facial hair define their look, their actual sound is quite different from the more generic grunginess that you normally associate with that city. ‘St Augustine’ is beautiful and delicate and rugged and robust, all at the same time – a clever trick if you can pull it off!

BIG STAR September Gurls Big Star are one of those bands that failed to make it big at the time, but have since escaped obscurity to become a major influence on all sorts of more famous acts, such as REM. The oddly-spelt ‘September Gurls’ is a glistening piece of American power pop. U2 October The name of the Irish rock outfit’s second album, ‘October’ is also the second song on side two of that particular record. Unlike much of the rest of the disc, it’s a quiet, near-instrumental piece.

Rod’s September song

MORRISSEY November Spawned a Monster Released as a single in 1990, this song is apparently one of Mozzer’s personal favourites. Erstwhile Smiths band member Andy Rourke features on the track, which appears to have been influenced by the darkly poetic novel Les Chants de Maldoror. TEENAGE FANCLUB December We’ve already mentioned Big Star, but if there was ever a band influenced by that earlier outfit, it’s got to be the Scottish group Teenage Fanclub. Indeed, you suspect that the name of this track is a conscious reference to the aforementioned ‘September Gurls’. This song comes from the band’s classic breakthrough 1991 album, Bandwagonesque.

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alamy

ROD STEWART Maggie May Not only does this song feature a month in its title, but the word ‘September’ turns up within the first couple of lines. ‘Maggie May’ is ranked 130 in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 tracks of all time. Recorded in 1971, it reached number one in both the UK and the US and remains one of Rod Stewart’s best-known hits.

THE KINKS Rainy Day in June This Ray Davies-penned song finds The Kinks in wonderfully morose form, as they chronicle ‘misty shadows’ and demons coming to life when a bright blue summer’s day turns all grey and nasty. A neglected gem, the tune first appeared on 1966’s Face to Face, The Kink’s fourth studio album.

ANSWERS WRONG TRACK: Wayne’s brothers are both younger than him. The club he joined aged 9 was Everton, and it was Arsenal’s unbeaten run that he ended. THE POINTS: 1. The Mona Lisa 2. Mario 3. Frank Oz 4. Greenland 5. The Doors Make the Connection: They were all married four times

QUEEN The March of the Black Queen Taken from their second album (helpfully titled Queen II), this is a song not to be quibbled with. It’s the band working at their multi-tracked, extravagant best, seemingly throwing everything at what is a truly epic production. But with lyrics such as ‘Blue powder monkeys playing in the dead of night’, we’ve really no idea what the song is all about.


(Image left) Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Washing, Tracks, Maintenance – Outside, 1973. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. (Image right) Michael Dean, I want me kids to have the same chances (Working Title), 2013. Image credit: The Artist. Courtesy Supportico Lopez Berlin, Herald Street London and Mendes Wood São Paolo.

EXHIBITIONS

Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art Works 1969-1980 Until Sunday 17 November

Michael Dean: The Introduction of Muscle Until Sunday 17 November

Joëlle Tuerlinckx: Wor(l)d(k) in Progress? Saturday 7 December 2013– Sunday 9 February 2014 11am – 6pm, Tuesday – Sunday, free Plus Music, Performance, Talks and Screenings Arnolfini 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA arnolfini.org.uk @arnolfiniarts Supported by

‘A DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS’ at BLENHEIM PALACE

9th November to 13th December 2013

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hristmas at Blenheim Palace is always an enchanting spectacle full of splendour, and this year is no different with the Palace being set for a traditional ‘Dickensian Christmas’. There is an array of activities for all the family to enjoy. From Christmas carols and storytelling to seasonal gifts and delicious food. Don’t forget to take a ride on our festive miniature train to visit Santa in his grotto! BUY ONE DAY, GET 12 MONTHS

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firstgreatwestern.co.uk BY PHONE 08457 000 125 (0700–2200 Mon–Fri, 0800–1900 Sat–Sun) AT THE STATION From ticket offices. Most debit and credit cards are accepted. Don’t forget to pick up a mini timetable or download one from our website. Please make sure you buy your ticket before travelling. www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

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TICKET TO RIDE First Class For added luxury, see if your train offers exclusive First Class carriages. First Class offers more spacious seats, complimentary refreshments and newspapers, and use of our dedicated First Class lounges.

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Sh a Ch lford ilw or th G om D Do ork sha ll in rk ing g W e (D ee st pd en e)

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Ashchurch for Tewkesbury

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At First Great Western, we believe every journey should be an enjoyable one. Whether you’re going away for the weekend with loved ones, doing extra work on your laptop or taking some time out for yourself, we’re here to help

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Night Riviera Sleeper Arrive rested and relaxed with our Sleeper service. Our ‘moving hotel’ offers fully air-conditioned private cabins, personal TVs, complimentary travel accessories, free refreshments and even a morning wake-up call.

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escape | 45


the guide

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FROM VOLO TV Volo TV is the world’s first on-train, video-on-demand TV system

onward bound By bus PLUSBUS is a ticket that can be added to most types of train ticket. PLUSBUS gives you unlimited bus travel around town at the start, finish, or at both ends of your train journey. Together with your train ticket, it’s a great way to get directly to your chosen destination. By bike We support green travel and bicycles are a fantastic way to make your way from A to B, not to mention the health benefits of pedal power. Don’t forget to reserve a place for your bike on board, where possible, or take advantage of bike hire schemes or parking facilities.

W

ith 70 different programmes, covering comedy, sport, drama, factual and kids’, there’s something for everybody. l It’s fun, free and easy to use. You’ll find us in Coach D on all First Great Western High Speed Trains. l The Entertainment carriage is very popular, so book early to avoid disappointment.

FIND OUT MORE l For further information, visit www.volo.tv, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. l Advertisers can take advantage of this captive audience - just go to kbh-ontrainmedia.co.uk to find out more.

on board LUGGAGE can be stored in the overhead shelves, in the racks at the end of carriages, or under the seats. POWER POINTS are available to use for free on all our High Speed Trains. Look between the seats in front of you in Standard, or on

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the walls in First Class. FIRST CLASS can be found in Coaches F, G and H on High Speed Trains, and on some selected local services. THE QUIET CARRIAGE offers peaceful travel, free from phones and music players. Head to Coach A

in Standard, or Coach G in First Class on our High Speed Trains. THE ENTERTAINMENT CARRIAGE can be found in Coach D, Standard, on our High Speed Trains. This world-first technology lets you view your favourite TV shows at the touch of a button.

By plane Leave the car at home when flying from Bristol, Cardiff or Exeter International Airports, each a short bus ride away from the city’s station. Travel with us direct from Reading to Gatwick Airport or from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport with Heathrow Connect. By car Most of our stations have pay-as-you-go car parks. Pay over the phone using our cashless payment system. To use, register your contact details, car registration, where you have parked and your card details, by calling the number advertised at car parks.

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk


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The Sleeping Beauties Written by Robert Alan Evans Join us this Christmas as Sherman Cymru reinvents the tale of Sleeping Beauty with a twist…

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28 November – 15 December 2013 The biggest and most beautiful Christmas Market in the South West

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the guide

2FOR1 days out

Monkeying around at ZSL London Zoo

First Great Western is offering hundreds of fantastic 2FOR1 savings on top attractions, hotels, restaurants and more when you travel by train. So what’s your next stop going to be? Exeter Cathedral? ZSL London Zoo? Or the Doctor Who Cardiff bus tour?

To take advantage of these offers all you need to do is

1 Go to daysoutguide.co.uk

2 Browse the list of offers

3 Click ‘Claim offer’ on the one you like

4 Print off your 2FOR1 voucher

5 Present the vouchers together with your National Rail train tickets when you arrive at the attraction. (Read our FAQs for full details)

how are we doing?

Special offers First Great Western has a range of special offers. Check them out on our website at firstgreatwestern.co.uk Railcards Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you one-third off most standard rail tickets (time restrictions may apply). There are different types of Railcard, starting from £10, and they are valid for 12 months. Eurostar We’ve teamed up with Eurostar to offer you the chance to buy a ticket from your UK www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

destination through to the Continent, making it easier to travel and giving you the best value for money. SuperBus The First SuperBus ticket offers inclusive onward bus travel in the Bristol area for holders of certain train tickets with a destination of Bristol Parkway or Temple Meads, at no extra cost.

Contact us Email: fgwfeedback@ firstgroup.com or call us on 08457 000 125 (0700 to 2200 every day) with any questions, concerns or feedback. We’d love to hear from you. National Rail Enquiries To find out all the latest service updates on all Train Operating Companies, call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50. Or you can check online at nationalrail.co.uk

Customer Panel First Great Western’s Customer Panel provides us with valuable customer feedback. Contact your local Customer Panel member, who will help convey your comments. Email: customer.panel@ firstgroup.com Passenger Focus The independent National Rail consumer watchdog can be contacted at passengerfocus.org.uk

escape | 49


View from Here

Sandi Toksvig

The ever-popular television and radio presenter shares some favourite anecdotes ahead of her new show, My Valentine SANDI’S heroines Sandi Toksvig gives us her top five female role models Shami Chakrabarti Director of campaign group Liberty Jude Kelly Artistic director of the South Bank Arts Centre Helena Kennedy Human rights lawyer Kate Mosse Author Juliet Stevenson Actress

S

andi Toksvig is on story-telling form as she prepares for her latest one-woman show, My Valentine. ‘I was on my way to Truro in Cornwall,’ she begins in a voice familiar to anyone who has switched on British television or radio in the last 30 years. ‘I was taking a flight from Gatwick but it was cancelled – because I was the only person who thought it a good idea to get there by flying. So, I had to take a black cab all the way to Truro, and on the way we drove past Stonehenge – in a London taxi. I thought it was really rather marvellous. And the bill was 400 and something pounds.’

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This is just a taster of the extraordinary life Toksvig draws upon in the My Valentine tour. ‘I’m in my anecdote-age,’ she puns. ‘I’m 55 years old and I’m still passionate about life, so the show is my Valentine to life.’ Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Toksvig was brought up in England and studied at the University of Cambridge where she was a member of the famous Cambridge Footlights. A successful career in television and radio soon followed, presenting and appearing in a host of innovative programmes, including Whose Line Is It Anyway, QI, Mock the Week and The News Quiz. And that’s to say

I’m still passionate about life, so the show is my Valentine to life nothing of the countless books and plays she’s written. Toksvig has also just finished her first year as chancellor at the University of Portsmouth, which she describes as a wholly pleasurable experience. ‘Just last week I spent an entire week shaking 4,500 hands to graduate them and try and send them off with a spring in their step. It’s

fab – and I get to dress as a wizard.’ Scholastic wizardry is all very well, but our favourite of Toksvig’s anecdotes is the one where she holds hands with Neil Armstrong’s secretary, just as the great man steps on to the surface of the moon. ‘I was 11,’ she begins. ‘My father was reporting for Danish television, so my brother and I were just hanging out in mission control and she [Neil Armstrong’s secretary] was looking a bit anxious, so I held her hand.’ For more great stories, make sure you catch Toksvig on tour this year.


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Escape, issue 12