Town Crier Magazine August 2020

Page 1

TownCr er AUGUST 2020




We Are BACK!





A New New Kitchen Kitchen NewKitchen A Kitchen New this Spring This Summer Summer This Winter Summer EST.




Why replace when you can reface? • Huge choice of doors, worktops, appliances, sinks & taps • From a simple door swap to a complete kitchen refit • UK manufactured products • The whole process managed from design to completion


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e’re back!!

F o u r months of no Town C r i e r ! Shops and businesses closed - unable to hug family and friends it has been surreal, like something from a sci-fi film! What else is there left to say about this horrendous situation we all find ourselves in? It’s already been said so I am going to skip over the obvious as I am sure we have all had our fill of Covid 19 and we just want life to get back to normal, whenever and whatever that will be. It’s amazing how we have all had to adapt and change our way of living!

LOCAL NEWS Rock Snake - Trowbridge 6 The community symbol Green Academy 8 Kingsbury Taking a step up


We've had a great response for the August magazine, people have told us they have missed us so that was really kind. We have maintained our presence on social media throughout the lockdown period with a huge impact and interaction, but it’s great to be back in production with the actual magazine. We have lots inside for you to read and catch up on so hope you enjoy – get out in the sunshine as much as you can while we have it.

For now we will work from home and will only go into the office once a week, however we are contactable at all

Whatever you do keep safe and stay well. Till September,

FOOD Frying pan pizza - Yes 16 Recipe: really! It's so good! 19

An n i e


TRAVEL and the over 50s - a 10 Travel lifetime of adventures

Delicious Gin & tonic cake perfect for a summers day

HEALTH & BEAUTY with nutrition 17 Struggling during lockdown



Gails Guide to Gin - Perfect for the Gin-curious


Business News - Get your busiess online Care for the over 50's identifying health issues

Editor: Annie Harling Sales: Clair Gallie Artwork: Sam Lapham Photography: Paul Stallard Accounts: Victoria Lovell

Est: 21 yrs

It is so lovely to see our businesses opening again so please remember to support them all. I admit the thought of time off was a double edged sword. On the one hand having the time to catch up with baking, gardening and DIY jobs was just great, but the other side, probably all business owners, thinking about money, furloughing staff and of course letting customers down has been a real worry and I really missed working with the girls. I am so happy to be back up and running!


FEATURES Challenges 9 Classroom coming out of lockdown


times on 01249 811068. If you want to book advertising, let us know of any new events or editorials, please do so either by phone or email.

Suffice to say, we hope you are coping and staying safe and well.



Vitamin C - C the benefits in many different forms


Walking back to happiness the benefits of a walk

HOME & GARDEN Improvements - evolving 20 Home our homes during lockdown 53

Lockdown Musings - now our garden centres are open


Cracks & Crevices - planting in those tiny pockets of magic

5b Wood Street, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0BZ Tel: 01249 811068


and the team!


www. @localtowncriermagazine

CONDITIONS OF ADVERTISING: The Editor reserves the right to refuse any copy which she feels may not be appropriate material for print. No responsibility will be taken for any damage or loss of material caused by inaccuracy or omission of any advertisement. Artwork prepared by us remains the property of The Town Crier Magazine and reproduction in any form is expressly forbidden without prior permission from the Editor. We provide artwork free of charge and where possible we will adhere to your request on layouts and type, but we cannot guarantee an exact copy. If you wish to produce your own artwork to a specific layout, or have any changes to an existing advert, please ensure your copy is with us by the 1st of month prior to publication at the latest. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the The Town Crier Magazine. Deadline for submissions for the September 2020 issue: 10th August 2020.


LOCAL CHARITY HELPING LOCAL PEOPLE Waste Not Want Not is the award winning Chippenham based recycling charity that has helped those on limited income to create more comfortable homes since 2002. We recycle serviceable furniture and electrical goods and sell them at low prices from our showroom in Hungerdown Lane and via our social media pages. We cover the North Wiltshire area. We have a fantastic team of volunteers who support our manager and two other members of staff. Volunteers are always welcomed here and we aim to help those who are looking to return to work. We can help with CV’s and interview tips too. WNWN is the ideal place to find the perfect volunteering role because we work with you to find what works best for both of us. You could help with customer service, preparing goods for sale, displays in the showroom, administration, customer calls or for those who love the fresh air, why not help out on our van? Our Manager, Phil Reade is happy to show you around and discuss volunteering opportunities, why not give him a call? New Trustees are always welcome too, just ask Phil. If you have household items other than washing machines and you want them to go to a good home, we collect free of charge. We reduce landfill by around 75 metric tonnes each year too. We have exciting plans for the future and keep our supporters up to date on our website and Facebook pages. Why not check us out and follow us if you like what you see? Call in to the showroom or contact us on; 01249 447140 or email:

COME AND VISIT THE POPULAR LOCAL RECYCLING CHARITY We are always pleased to welcome customers to our showroom in Hungerdown Lane, Chippenham, SN14 0JJ. Why not pop in and take a look at our quality stock of furniture beds and electrical goods. We welcome those with a household income of £25,000 per year or less and those who are retired. We deliver across North Wiltshire at low cost. Our opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also open on the fourth Saturday of each month 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations always welcome during opening hours or we can collect free of charge. Call us on 01249 447140 see our website at: or visit our Facebook page: wastenotwantnotwiltshire

As restrictions begin to lift we hope you and your families are safe and well after a challenging few months during lockdown. Many of you have continued to rely on us for your plumbing and heating needs throughout this time and you'll have seen our engineers complying with all necessary precautions. Despite restrictions easing we are still observing all the necessary precautions when visiting your homes; our engineers are using hand sanitiser and wearing gloves (which they change between each job) and whilst wearing masks is not mandatory based on the Government guidelines, the engineers carry them and are happy to wear them during your appointment. If you've put off any plumbing or heating work during the last few months or think you'll require us in the near future please do give us a call in the office on

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We are here Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm. Alternatively, you can email us at


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The Rock Snake Acting as a symbol of community in Trowbridge Rock snakes have become a symbol of community across the UK since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the county town of Wiltshire was no exception. Members of the local community in the Broadmead area took it upon themselves to create a rock snake to spread some joy and give families something to do together during lockdown. The concept of the rock snake is simple, all you have to do is find a rock and some paint and get creative! Adults and children alike have been creating beautiful colourful designs that feature everything from spots and stripes to NHS rainbows. By the end of June, the rock snake in Broadmead had reached well over 200 rocks which is a fantastic showing of the community coming together to have a little fun. Kelly Flindall is a mum in the area who started the snake after being inspired by other towns on Facebook. She added “My two daughters got into rock hunting a few years ago after finding a painted one at a beach in Dorset. They then designed their own to start the snake! I thought the idea of a snake was great during the pandemic as it meant children could still paint and design rocks for a purpose but didn’t need to touch the other rocks for fear of transmitting the virus. It has had such fantastic support and beautiful painted rocks with a lovely community spirit running through the estate. There has been endless support for the snake in the Broadmead community, which Kelly touched on. “The Broadmead group on Facebook was started by Tareen Mitchell which I think was a fantastic thing to do. It has certainly brought people together” she says. It’s fantastic to see some positive news forming from the wake of the pandemic. Have you been creating your own rock snake in your community? Let us know! 6

TROWBRIDGE news Thousands Raised For Mayor’s Charity During his year in office which came to an end in May, Trowbridge Mayor for 2019/20 Councillor David Cavill supported as his chosen charity Southwick-based ruksak45218. The charity, spearheaded by Rory Donaldson and Lee Fletcher, aims to provide basic essentials for children and young people aged between 5 and 18, in order that they should be able to concentrate on their education, free from concerns and distractions over the lack of essential items, they should have, that others on occasion, take for granted. The amount collected through various charity activities, including bag packs, quizzes, a daring skydive and the Annual Civic Dinner and Dance in March amounted to a magnificent £3879.66. Councillor Cavill said “On becoming Mayor I was pleased to discover a local charity which had identified a real need within our community. Ruksak is doing some wonderful work with disadvantaged young people and my sincere thanks go to all the individuals and groups which have been so generous in supporting it during my Mayoral Year.” Rory Donaldson of ruksak45218 said “ruksak45218 have had an amazing year, with such fantastic support from the Mayor of Trowbridge, Trowbridge Town Council, Wiltshire Council, Selwood Housing, Trowbridge Lions, Trowbridge Future, BBC Wiltshire and other fantastic local organisations. Everything we have done this year is for the benefit of young persons in Wiltshire aged 5 to 18 – we are so grateful for the fund raising that has taken place: this will allow us to expand, enhance and grow our services to the young persons of Wiltshire, so that they can achieve their potential, aim higher and fulfil their dreams and aspirations” .

Bringing a Splash of Colour A group of volunteers has played a huge part in helping to brighten the surroundings in Trowbridge’s Town Park. Trowbridge Volunteer Gardeners have over the past few weeks done a fantastic job to maintain the “Riot of Colour” border at the Court Mills edge of the park, whilst also working on the borders at the rear of Roundstone Surgery. Clare Lyall, Head of Neighbourhood Services for the Town Council, said “We’d like to say a huge thank you to this fantastic group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly throughout most of the pandemic to help ensure Trowbridge Park looks its very best – you are amazing.”

A Big Thank You ... In recognition of the great work carried out by all keyworkers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Active Trowbridge are offering keyworkers’ children the opportunity to join a series of Active Kids Camps at a great price throughout August, while also helping and supporting other working parents through the summer. The camps offer a range of inspiring activities to entertain, stimulate and educate children aged 4*-12 years. The activities are run by qualified Sports Coaches and will take place in local schools in and around Trowbridge (please note that 4-yearolds must be attending primary school). These activities are taking place with the generous assistance and support of Clarendon Academy, Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership, Tesco and Unique Signs. For further information, please call 07748 966870 or visit the Active Trowbridge Facebook page.


KINGSBURY GREEN ACADEMY Junior pupils are getting ready to take the step up


TAFF at Kingsbury Green Academy have been using creative online tools to support Year 6 pupils from nine Wiltshire primary schools in preparing to move on to the secondary school in September. Over the past weeks Kingsbury Green Academy, which belongs to the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, has invited pupils from primaries in Calne, Hilmarton, Heddington, Cherhill and Bromham to submit questions they may have about what life at their new school will be like. Teaching staff then held online transition meetings with Year 6 classes of each school, to respond to their queries and allay any anxieties they may have about transitioning to the senior school. Kingsbury Green Academy is also the only secondary school in the area offering a Year 6 to 7 summer school this year. In late July Year 6 classes will each have two days of team building exercises at the school, using technology, making maps of the school to familiarise themselves with the layout, taking part in treasure hunts and getting to know other members of their tutor groups. At any one time there will just be 50 pupils on site, split up into small groups. The school is also helping prepare the pupils’ parents for changes. Principal Jason Tudor and Head of Key Stage 3 Susan Giddings will lead a virtual new Year 7 Parents’ Evening via Zoom on 8 and 9 July, where they will


answer parents’ questions and ensure they have everything they need to support their child to start positively at Kingsbury Green Academy. The evening will include a virtual tour of the school and a video to introduce key staff, along with a guide of what parents can expect their children will learn in Year 7. Jason Tudor said: “Transitioning from primary school to secondary school is a very anxious time even in normal circumstances, but in the current social distancing regime it’s even more so. We strongly believe that putting young pupils’ minds at rest and making sure they feel more confident about coming into school, which is very different from their primary schools, is essential if they are to get the best out of their next step in education. “Our aim is that by the time our pupils leave the school, each will have achieved their own personal goal in the area of life that they want to excel in. Whether that is in science, art, music, sport, drama or whatever else is their passion, we will give them every opportunity to shine and be their best possible selves, so we want to ensure they get the best start on that journey. “We really did not want any of our new pupils to miss out on what new Year 7s normally experience, so with a bit of imagination and a lot of technology and hard work by my colleagues we’ve created an experience for them and their families. The aim is that by the end of the summer they will be absolutely itching to start their new school.”

CLASSROOM Challenges

By Tracey Anderson

Coming out of lockdown presents particular challenges for families with kids will have been in school all along; some will have had a good lockdown experience; some will have struggled for many reasons, and some will not be going back at all this side of the summer break This is a challenging time for families as they readjust while still dealing with anxieties and worries about the pandemic, jobs, relatives, and finances. Your child may be excited about the return to school and reuniting with their friends, or they may be worried and anxious. Talk to them about what they are looking forward to and what concerns they may have about going back to school. Try to act as a sounding board, listening without immediately offering advice. Sometimes just talking something through can help children come up with solutions of their own. Take your child's concerns seriously. Academic and social pressure

is daunting enough without the additional stress of returning after a lockdown. Never belittle or trivialise their problems. Share some of your feelings and experiences in an age-appropriate manner. Also share your own healthy coping mechanisms. Try to keep communication channels open so they will talk honestly with you. Discuss important issues but also make time for silly stories about your day or theirs. Make it a priority to motivate their learning. Be curious and interested in their lessons and link it back to the learning they did at home if you can. Give specific, concrete praise such as "I really like your detailed approach to this project," rather than a general comment " That's great!" Don't be afraid to ask for help. Let teachers know if you're worried about anything in particular, or if you feel child could benefit from extra help in making the transition back from home to school.


Travel & The Over 50's The over 50s are more willing to immerse themselves in local culture than younger travellers. A poll of 2,000 adults found those entering their sixth decade are more likely to socialise with the locals, communicate in the native language and go off the beaten track.

Around seven in 10 are happy going for walks away from the resort - compared to just 54 per cent of those aged 30 and under. 41 % of the over 50s will happily make new friends when abroad, while only a third of younger adults said the same. In contrast, younger holidaymakers are far more likely to travel for a suntan - 22 % compared to 15 % of older passengers. Those under 30 are also almost three times more likely to feel nervous about experiencing local cultures and customs when abroad than older travellers. A spokeswoman for TUI Tours, which carried out the study to coincide with the launch of a new programme which offers local experiences in far-flung destinations like Borneo and Uzbeckistan, said: “This research shows a real thirst for travelling to more unknown and unusual countries. Those aged 50 and above definitely have an adventurous side, and more than that, a desire to understand and experience local cultures and customs. They are after all, the original free-spirited adventurers of the 60s and 70s and they want more from their travels than just a beach flop.” However, Brits under 30 are a little braver when it comes to adopting local customs such as wearing appropriate clothing - 21 % versus 16 % of the over-50s. It also emerged those nearing or in retirement like to travel three times a year to far-flung destinations. Those in their fifties and sixties are also far more likely to opt for multidestination holidays breaks where they take in several locations and experience many sites - than 10

the younger generation.

When it comes to a destination wish list, Japan, New Zealand and the Arctic Circle are among the places the over 50s want to visit, in addition to countries closer to home such as Italy and Spain. So far, one in 10 adults aged 50 and above have been to Canada, Australia and Egypt respectively. A further one in 20 of those polled, via OnePoll, has visited India, while 26 % have experienced America. Almost a fifth are hankering after more authentic experiences than the usual sun, sea and sand holidays while one in 20 want to have interesting stories to share with others. To demonstrate the effect of going off the beaten path, TUI sent five lucky competition winners on a TUI Tours South Africa adventure to keep a video diary. Diarist, Kevin Hughes described the once-in-a-lifetime trip as “unbelievable” and said: “If it wasn’t on your bucket list, it should be.” The group also got to grips with some local cooking lessons, and took a watery plunge on a voyage to spot hippos guarding their young from hungry predators. Julia Bradbury, who accompanied the TUI Tours winners on their quest to experience the authentic side of South Africa, said: “As the video diaries of our competition winners, and the survey results, show, there is a real drive among the over 50s age group to experience local cultures and customs when they travel. “With age comes a certain level of confidence and experience of course, which may lead to a willingness to go off the beaten track. “Everybody likes to go home with happy memories and positive experiences from their holidays, but the over 50's also like to return home armed with more knowledge about where they've been , knowing they made a positive impact on the local communities as well."

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fter 18 months of intensive planning and a brand new barn conversion, Spotty Dog Farm Shop opened on Saturday 21st March...and closed again 3 days later as the Country went into Lockdown. Owner and Managing Director, Kerry Davies said ‘Having invested so much time, energy and money into transforming our original business, PinkBox Boutique into the Farm Shop I had always dreamed of owning, I wasn’t about to give up everything we had worked for and we had new staff to think of as well.’

Within the first couple of weeks we built an online ordering system so people could choose what they wanted to have delivered and we added in some treats including our legendary doughnuts and cakes. During lockdown, our team worked very long hours to pick and pack orders and get them delivered, often late into the evening. Our customers were amazing and given it was so difficult to get slots with the big supermarkets, we were able to offer same day delivery to our customers in Calne and Devizes. We have received such lovely messages of support throughout! It wasn’t easy – food supply chains nationally were struggling. Fresh produce prices became volatile and expensive and the quality was often hit and miss as other countries struggled to continue to get their products out and into the UK. But being a Farm Shop, we already had many local suppliers and so we were able to keep much of our range in stock for the most part.

The new Farm Shop is based at Lower Farm, Rowde, already home to the Rowdey Cow Café and Ice Cream Parlour. We knew we could serve our community by offering home delivery of essential food items, but we also needed to keep our staff safe, so we decided to close our doors to the public. We shifted the shop around so we could fit in additional chilled food storage and everything else we would need to be able to change from being a traditional shop into a busy food distribution centre. We also set up a 'safe zone' outside of our shop for customers who wanted to shop as part of their daily exercise and collect their orders from us themselves. We risk assessed our potential new operation, rewrote all our policies and procedures in conjunction with our staff so they were happy they would be safe coming in to work every day. Everything happened so quickly – it amazes me now when I look back at what we managed to achieve. 14

In May, we decided, as a team, that we were ready to open our doors again to the public. So after another shift around in the shop and some additional Covid measures put in place to keep everyone safe, we did just that. Without doubt, Covid measures are going to be with us for many more months. Now we know we can operate our business under complete lockdown – we know that we can continue to serve our customers safely whatever situation we find ourselves in. Lockdown was really hard work for us, but we learned so much and our team is closer and more determined than ever to see our small local business succeed.

Coconut ICE CREAM | PREP TIME: 15 mins COOKING TIME: 10 mins & chilling/freezing Serves 6

Cool, Creamy & Delicious!

Stir constantly for 5-10 mins until the custard thickens slightly and you can trace a line through it with a wooden spoon. Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film (to prevent a skin forming), cool then chill for 30 mins.

INGREDIENTS: 1 x 400ml can coconut milk 150ml double cream 1 x 160g can coconut cream 50g golden caster sugar 4 large egg yolks 25g desiccated coconut, toasted

At this point you can use your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

METHOD: Whisk the sugar and the egg yolks in a bowl until thick and creamy. Pour the coconut milk, double cream and coconut cream in a saucepan and heat until it almost reaches boiling point. Pour this coconut milk mixture in a slow stream over the egg yolks and sugar, whisking constantly. In a new saucepan, pour in the custard mixture and stir in the desiccated coconut.

If you don't have an ice cream maker transfer the chilled custard to a small freezer-safe container with a lid and freeze for 1 hr, then use a fork or electric whisk to really churn through the ice cream to break up the ice crystals so that the mixture is the same consistency all the way through. Pop it back into the freezer for another 2-3 hrs, whisking it about every half hour, then cover with cling film and freeze with the lid on until firm. Take out of the freezer 10 mins before serving so it’s easy to scoop.

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! y l l a e r Yes Prep time: it’s so



Rise 2-5 days (it takes a little preparatio n but it’s so worth it. )

Frying pan Pizza Cooking time: 5 minutes + 35 mins Makes 4 pan-sized pizzas IMPORTANT - You cannot use a non-stick frying pan for this recipe. It has to be a cast iron pan or skillet.

Ingredients 500g Strong white bread flour (But if you have any Italian 00 flour, it’s is even better). 1½ tsp dried active yeast. I did not have this throughout lockdown and used rapid dried yeast instead. I found that the rise time was quicker (2 days vs 4 days) so this might actually be a bonus. 1 tsp table salt 1 tsp sugar Topping 1 400g tin chopped plum tomatoes 1 pack buffalo mozzarella 1 bunch basil Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle Add any toppings you like - Pepperoni, ham and sweetcorn, ham and pineapple....

Method Mix the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar then stir in 325ml water to a smooth dough. Cover and put in the fridge for two to four days. Remember rapid yeast will activate faster and may only require two days, or even one if you’re in more of a hurry. Tip on to a lightly floured surface. Divide into four roughly equal portions, shape into balls, 16

cover and leave for two hours. While the dough is rising take the cheese and toppings out of the fridge so that they come to room temperature. Empty the tomatoes into a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until they form a thick sauce. Season this to taste with salt and a pinch of sugar. Once the dough has proved, flatten it into pizza bases to fit your pan. For reference my pan has a 26cm base. Heat the cast iron frying pan or skillet over a moderatehigh heat. It’s ready when you drop a little water into the base and it instantly hisses and bounces. Preheat the grill to between moderate and high. Lightly flour your hands then stretch the dough into a rough round, keeping the edges a bit thicker. Cook in the pan until the top starts to dry out then add some tomato sauce and mozzarella. Wait a minute before adding any other toppings. Leave in the pan until base begins to char. The first time I chickened out but as I got into the groove the subsequent pizzas were much better. When you’re happy with the bottom switch the pan to under the grill until the cheese bubbles and the edges brown. Finish with a few basil leaves. These really are the next best thing to a pizza from a pizza oven or a proper pizzeria.

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1. Stay Hydrated – Keep a bottle of water on your desk and aim to have a glass with each meal. Not a huge fan of water? Try adding a squeeze of lemon to improve the taste.


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2. Conscious Snacking – Move tempting snacks into opaque containers so you can’t see them. This means if you do fancy eating the snack, it won’t be because you’ve seen them on the counter. If you do snack, don’t eat straight from the bag, portion it out into a small bowl or plate as we’ve all been guilty of eating a whole share bag of treats! 3. Gamify Fruit and Vegetables – This is great if you have kids, You get 1 point for each different fruit or vegetable. Challenge each other to see who can get the most points for the day by eating the most fruit and vegetables with their meals or as snacks.



By Gail Mitchell 18

I fell in love with gin when I went to a gin tasting event a few years ago. These events are a bit thin on the ground right now for social distancing reasons, so if you are gin-curious and wondering where to start I'm going to try to be your guide. Gin is a flavoured alcohol, with juniper as the predominant botanical. Juniper is a fragrant shrub and its aroma and taste should be the signature note in any gin.

It has to be made with all-natural ingredients (no artificial flavourings), high-quality alcohol and only contain 0.01g of sugar per litre of alcohol. Crucially you can't add any other flavourings after distillation. It's the purest form of gin and is a good place to start your gin journey. I would say No. 3 London Dry Gin is one of the best places to start your gin journey. It's won the world's best gin 4 times and is a beautiful smooth gin which won't disappoint. Regular distilled gin – This is made in a similar way to London Dry Gin but may have flavourings, essences and sugar added to it after the distillation process. Craft distillers have been producing more variety and exciting new flavours recently. Broadly there are herbal gins (less sweet), floral gins (light and fragrant), fruity gins (sweeter) and citrussy gins (light and fresh). Look at the list of botanicals to see which appeal.

Even the name ‘gin’ is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean juniper. You can add other botanical ingredients, but juniper should always be the primary one. There is actually a legal EU definition of gin: it must be a juniper-dominated spirit, with an agricultural origin and a 37.5% ABV. This means that as well as the main botanical being juniper, the base alcohol must be made from something natural such as wheat, barley, rye, molasses, potatoes or grapes, and there must be at least 37.5% of pure alcohol in the total volume of liquid. London Dry Gin - This doesn't have to be made in London, it can be made anywhere in the world but it's important to know that it's the highest-quality gin you can produce.

Geographical gins - Just as champagne has to come from a specific region in France so certain gins have to come from a particular geographical area. Mahón Gin can only come from Menorca, it's a sweeter style of gin which comes in various flavours, and Vilnius Gin from Lithuania, which is quite smooth and has a citrussy / pine flavour. The UK used to have a geographical gin Plymouth gin - but it lost its protected status in 2014. Sloe gin - is actually a gin liqueur. It contains more sugar and its ABV is between 20-25%, which is below the minimum requirement of a spirit. Old Tom gins - An older style of gin. These gins are sweeter because in the 18th Century, when gin was also very popular sugar or honey was added to disguise bad-quality gin they used. Nowadays Old Tom Gins are made to a high standard and are the gin you would use in a Tom Collins cocktail, which should be made with soda water rather than tonic, because tonic would add too much sweetness to an already sweet alcohol.

Gin & Tonic Cake

Gin & Tonic with a slice of Lemon’ Drizzle Cake - Perfect for a summer afternoon tea Ingredients 3 large eggs, beaten 240g butter at room temperature 240g caster sugar 240g self-raising flour 2 large lemons 200ml gin 25ml tonic water (optional – elderflower is particularly nice) 130g granulated sugar

Method Line a 1Kg loaf tin Preheat oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Cream the softened butter and caster sugar together until light. Add the eggs a little at a time and beat until combined. Carefully fold in the flour and the finely grated zest of both lemons.

Add the juice of 1 lemon and 100ml of gin, then pour into the lined tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin while you make the drizzle. Combine the rest of the gin, the granulated sugar, tonic water (if using) and juice of 1 lemon in a bowl. Puncture the surface of the cake all over with a skewer, then pour the drizzle over Don’t remove the cake from the tin until it’s cold and the sugary topping has crystallised. Serve with crème fraiche and a G&T…of course.


Homeowners are now spending TWICE as much time on home improvements than they did before the lockdown. A study of 2,000 adults found that house proud Brits would spend an average of four hours and 44 minutes a month making their residences perfect. This figure has now rocketed to eight hours and 21 minutes in recent months. But despite their efforts, the study commissioned by Independent Network powered by VEKA found they are still five years and five months away from getting their homes ‘just right.’ It also emerged 14 per cent have a ‘vision’ of how they want their house to look including the furnishings they’ll buy, what the décor will be and even how the windows will look. A spokeswoman for Independent Network powered by VEKA, said: “The research shows just how much of a priority our homes are at this moment in time.We’ve always been a house proud nation but clearly this love for our homes has increased dramatically in a relatively short period of time. With us spending more time at home perhaps the nation is finally getting time to get their homes up to the standard they would like." The study also revealed that three quarters of homeowners would describe themselves as house proud, with 71 per cent adding that their homes are more important to them now than ever before. As a result 54 per cent felt more motivated to improve their homes at this particular moment in time. Homeowners have gone from spending an average of £98 a month on improving


their homes prior to the lockdown to £181 a month now. And there is no sign this drive to finish off their homes will slow anytime soon with 85 per cent still having jobs they want to get done this year. Among them are painting walls and ceilings, giving the garden a revamp and getting the living room done. It also emerged that 43 per cent admitted they are a perfectionist when it comes to their homes – and won’t stop until their house is ‘spot on’. Although, 39 per cent don’t think their residences will ever be truly finished. Despite this 70 per cent are 'content' with their homes as they are. In fact, those polled even have favourite parts of their homes, with a fifth claiming to be most proud of their bathroom. The living room is the area of the home they are most proud of, followed by the kitchen and the garden. Four in 10 admitted they are so proud of their homes they ‘can’t wait’ to invite people over as restrictions are reduced. The study also revealed on average, master bedrooms get redecorated every five-anda-half years, bathrooms every six years and three months, while windows tend to get replaced every eight years. The garden gets a revamp after five years, the kitchen after six years and four months, and the living room after five years and four months. “For many of us, our homes are constantly evolving – whether that’s changing the décor, the layout of rooms, having new windows installed or whatever it might be. “And that’s very much what makes owning a home so much fun – seeing your plans come to fruition and being able to step back and be delighted at the work done."


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Press Release

turday 6th July 2013, DL Windows was proud to launch its new showroom on Malmesbury Road ppenham, Wiltshire. The fantastic weather and combined offer of a free BBQ certainly helped the day a huge success, bringing in many new customers to see the range of windows, doors an rvatories on offer.

Mayor of Chippenham, Sylvia Gibson, dropped by to visit the new showroom. “It was lovely to see evelopments with this local company,” she said. “I would definitely consider using DL Windows in ture when I need new windows”.

onting from Chippenham was the proud winner of a £500 voucher to be used on any windows o and Susan Howell won a round of Golf for 4 people at Bowood Golf Club.

day, Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham, visited the showroom and met the staff. He said “It is couraging to see the development of local businesses that is able to provide new employment in DOORS CONSERVATORIES • ROOFLINE toughWINDOWS economic times.•It’s great to see• DL Windows taking on two apprentices and providing tw young people with the training and support they need as they begin their working lives.” Why choose us?

not come and see the new showroom for yourself? Come and browse the complete product rang • Family run business been right trading Wiltshire sincebrand 1968 ‘Inspirational Living @ DL’. There high quality products for allthat’s budgets upinto the luxury thing for everyone, whatever your glazing needs! • Directly employed, professional tradesmen

• 10 Year Guarantee s, it’s about excellent customer service, fantastic products in all price ranges and meeting people want advice on how to best improve their homes, saidbudget Managing Director, Malcolm Lyus. • Highest quality products at a price that suits ”your

Wedo offer a complete range energy efficient our products A asto standard wanted •to something extra forofour existing and ratings future on customers. We with wanted add value to t ience and show that we understand how important it is to take time over deciding • We guarantee all our customers a Price Match Promise - we will beat any like for likewhich quoteproduc ght for your home. That’s why we have really worked hard to create a welcoming environment at • Fensa howroom. ” Registered Company

ndowsDLisWindows located at 127 in Wiltshire and Wiltshire the showroom is open Ltd, 1AMalmesbury Clark Avenue,Road, PorteChippenham Marsh Industrial Estate, Calne, SN11 9BS ay-Saturday 9am-5pm by appointment. Tel: 01249or 464999 Email:

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Colemans Farm Community Centre Your Community Centre is here for your use but do you know where it is or the facilities it can provide?



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Colemans Farm Community Centre is located in Angel Close, off Prince Charles Drive, Calne. The Community Centre is available for hire by any one or Local Group for their activities, meetings or family or social gatherings. It can be hired up until 9pm, 7 days a week. The Centre has a large room capable of sitting up to 60 people in a theatre style or 40 around tables.

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Get Your Business Online

Small businesses are under pressure right now. If your business relies on people visiting your shop or premises you've probably seen a large portion of your custom disappear. Yet these customers still need your products and services, and many of them are going online. If your business can't sell online you're missing out.

Below is a quick-start guide to get your business online fast.

eBay - eBay is not just the ultimate car boot sale, it's also a great place for companies to sell their products. It's easy to get started. Follow eBay's tutorials and you can have your first listings up within minutes. Don't forget that you'll probably have quite a bit of competition, and people will be looking for the best prices. You'll also have to factor in postage costs and eBay's commission charge, so make sure you cost it all out beforehand. But if you're careful you'll get your products in front of thousands of potential customers within a very short time frame. Amazon - Amazon Marketplace lets

companies list their products on the main Amazon website. You get access to thousands of customers, but as with eBay you'll be listed alongside your competitors. It's a bit trickier to get an account set up but Amazon walks you through the process to make sure you meet all their criteria. You'll need to convince Amazon that you can deliver your products on time and to the correct quality and they will even provide you with warehousing and postage services (at a cost) if you need them. As with eBay they charge a commission per sale so make sure you factor this into your selling price.

Your own website -

If you want to sell direct to your customers through a website it’s fairly easy to set one up these days. There are a range of readymade stores such as Shopify, from


which you can ‘rent’ a website. You upload your products, connect up to their payment system and you're good to go. For these systems you pay for the site rental and a payment charge per order, which is similar but a bit more than a normal credit card charge. The other option is to have a web design company (like mine!) build the site for you. Here you'll get professional help and support setting everything up correctly, and once you're connected to a bank or PayPal you'll only be charged normal card fees. You will need to get people to visit your site. The best way to do this is to contact every customer whose email address you already have and send them your web address. Then use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to target people in your area. Within these platforms you can even target specific types of people to make sure your advertising spend gets maximum return. Your web designer will be happy to help you get all this sorted out. Act now. If you're not selling online, you're missing out. By Bob Grant Web Consultant at

Awdry Bailey & Douglas

continues to recruit the best people and recognises success in round of promotions Progressive Wiltshire law firm, Awdry Bailey & Douglas continues to deliver upon their dedication to help their clients succeed, whilst investing in their people by ensuring their success is always acknowledged. The recruitment of experienced Private Client Solicitor, Marina Emmanouel and the promotion of six members of staff illustrates this dedication and underlines the firm’s commitment to provide excellent client service and exceed expectations by being dynamic, inspiring and proactive. Marina Emmanouel is a dual-qualified solicitor in England & Wales and Cyprus and joins the firm’s Chippenham office after having worked for a leading law firm in Bristol for several years. Marina specialises in a number of areas in the private client spectrum including Wills, Trusts, Estate Administration and Court of Protection work. Marina commented “This is an excellent time to join such a well established and forward thinking firm as ABD. It was the perfect opportunity, because for me client care is at the heart of everything I do, and working at ABD provides me with the foundation to do just that. It is vital to be able to listen attentively to my clients’ concerns, solve any problems they may encounter and put them at ease”. The recruitment of Marina also coincides with a round of recent promotions for six employees in the firms Private Client and Conveyancing departments. Heather Wannell, is now a Senior Associate and Head of Private Client and Matthew Brewer, Nikki Capp, Elizabeth Hutchinson-Wall, Ellie Mewse and Steven Pipe have seen their hard work recognised and are now all Associates. Tim Hotchkiss, Partner commented “The recruitment of Marina and the recent round of promotions continues to demonstrate that at Awdry Bailey & Douglas we live up to our commitment to not only deliver exceptional client service, but also to acknowledge our successes. I would like to congratulate this talented group of excellent lawyers on their promotions, as they have proved time and time again that they put the client’s needs at the heart of everything they do.”

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Supporting You

We have provided emergency signage displaying Health & Safety measures, a vast array of floor graphics to help enforce social distancing and one-way routes, along with notices and infopanels promoting new policies and procedures.

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SHOP LOCAL. SUPPORT LOCAL. Campaign by Calne Town Council




start Atwell Martin, 6 Bank Row. Gift Box, 7 Bank Row. Simply Flowers, 7 Church St. Flying Pig Emporium, 15 Church St. Calne Pet Supplies, 26 Church St. G&S Jewellers, 2 Phelps Parade. Chilvester, 1 Oxford Road. SES Bicycles & Farm Machinery, 4 Wood St. Family Wise, 19 High St. Laundromagic, 1 The Strand.



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What’s the Story?

KINGSTON HOUSE Celebrating 13 assistance years servingavailable the Calne area Remote

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Residential Care Home For the Older Person

Residential and Specialist Dementia Care All rooms with En-Suite facilities Caring, Professional staff and a lively environment Regular trips on our Minibus Eden Alternative registered home Visitors always welcome Lansdowne Crescent East, Derry Hill, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 9NT Tel: 01249 815555 Fax: 01249 818928 E-mail: For further details, please contact the Home Manager Registered Charity No 1060478

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discover our world @BoroughParade

At Bazaar we have a wide range of exciting products for you to choose from, as a gift or a treat for yourself. We also stock a wide range for Cake Decorating Albums & Photo Frames Bags & Scarves | Home Scents & Candles Glass Vases | Paperweights & Ornaments Purses & Wallets | Soft Toys & Teddy Bears Gifts for Baby & Wedding Ladies & Mens Toiletries | Mugs

Newly furnished with new lines added! Visit us soon!

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C The Benefits

Vitamin C – beauty miracle or myth?

It had been many weeks since I ventured into a shop. I was looking for moisturiser as I'd burned through all the half-finished pots and tubes I'd been using throughout lockdown. I was curious to see the number of vitamin C-related products which I'd not noticed previously. Vitamin C seems to be all the rage right now. I wondered what the science said. Vitamin C is actually a powerful antioxidant. This means that it's great for repairing damage done by free radicals. In reality this equates to sun-damage, for example uneven skin pigmentation, sunspots, and fine lines, but also the inflammatory pigmentation which can be left behind by acne. Pure vitamin C is actually an acid (ascorbic acid). There are many scientific peerreviewed studies which conclude that it is extremely effective. Unfortunately, it also has some substantial drawbacks. In order for it to be absorbed into the skin its pH has to be around 3, which is really quite acidic! This can cause skin irritation in some people. Vitamin C is very unstable in its pure form and breaks down quickly to erythrulose (an ingredient in fake tan) so long-term use can stain your fingers and face. It also develops an unpleasant smell as it degrades, and products often smell 'off' before they are used up. Because of these issues cosmetic manufacturers tend to favour vitamin C derivatives in their products. To make a derivative the ascorbic acid molecule is altered by adding other chemicals. The resulting compound is more stable but the pay-off is that it's now less effective. Any of the following listed on a product label are vitamin C derivatives.

Ascorbyl palmitate Ascorbyl glucosine Magnesium ascorbyl palmitate Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate Calcium ascorbate Sodium ascorbate Sodium acorbyl phosphate L ascorbic acid 38

Studies have found that the most stable derivatives are fat soluble rather than water soluble so look for preparations that contain:

L-ascorbic acid Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate Sodium ascorbyl phosphate Ascorbyl glucoside These derivatives will be more effective because they remain stable at a more neutral pH (5-6) so are less likely to irritate your skin, and they will have sufficient contact time with your skin because they won't decompose quickly causing the characteristic staining and odour. Instead they slowly convert back into ascorbic acid, giving a gradual release effect. There is some debate about the effectiveness of vitamin C products. They have been shown to protect skin against UV in a clinical study on humans, and vitamin C has been found to stimulate collagen synthesis and reduce pigment production in in vitro cell studies, though bear in mind that performance in a test tube does not necessarily equate to performance in real life. Studies also seem to suggest that Vitamin C is also more stable and more effective when combined in a product with vitamin E. The two antioxidants seem to work synergistically, a wonderful word which means they interact in such a way that each helps the action of the other.


REDUCE YOUR Control your breathing - Deep controlled breaths in and out lower blood pressure and enduce calm. Relax your body - whilst deep breathing, think hard about your body and relax your muscles releasing tension. Meditation - There are lots of apps available and even guidance videos on YouTube to help get you started practising more mindfulness. Yoga / Pilates - A good discipline to have in your life. If done regularly it can help lessen the stress of a busy life. Get outside! - A walk, or sitting in your garden, get outside for 20 minutes a day. Challenge negative thoughts - it might sound mad but talk to yourself, ask why are you having these thoughts. Reason with your negative self or talk them through with a loved one or friend who will really listen. Keep a personal diary or journal - Writing down your thoughts and feelings can really help take them out of your brain. Seeing your worries in black & white can help to rationalise them and clear your mind. Challenge your thoughts - Often anxiety is overthinking and worrying about things that haven't even happened yet. Challenge what they mean and you'll discover that you can only worry about facts not thoughts. Have a long hot soak in the bath and shut out the world by playing some of your favourite music!

Calne Wellbeing Clinic and natural health shop, has now reopened its doors and look forward to welcoming you at 13 Church Street. As well as providing professional sports and holistic therapies, we also stock quality vegetarian and vegan health supplements, from Pukka, Solgar, Lamberts,Veridian and many others, such as as Amour Natural Aromatherapy oils, herbal remedies from A.Vogel, probiotics from the highly sucessful local company Microbiz, and beautiful, natural organic skin care from world renouned Dr Hauschka

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With your wellbeing at heart Jason and Michelle Redding Our shop opening times at present are 10-2pm Clinic appointments are 10-6pm

£5 money off voucher redeemable against Acupuncture and remedial therapy sessions

01249 542653


e-motion e-bikes e-motion’s shop in Swindon like to give you a good selection of electric bikes to choose from, any of which you are welcome to try out for yourselves with no obligation. New bikes cost £999 upwards and electric conversion kits from £600. We also have secondhand models. Whatever your reason for wanting an e-bike, e-motion is a good place to start looking and we are one of the few that still have plenty of stock! The eMTB Batribike Delta has rear hub drive with an integral battery at £1499.

The Gazelle Ami with a Shimano centre drive motor is a smooth operator. Cost ÂŁ2199.

Hair Services Calne’s Premier Joico Salon Joico Colouring centre Creative cutting Brazilian Smoothing treatments Relaxing Shiatsu massage chair

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Tel: 01249 812002 9 Church Street, Calne, SN11 0HU

Strictly complying to the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. Providing Hair and Beauty services, to protect the health and safety of our clients and our amazing team. 40

A Message from Jenny... Being a member of the Association of Reflexologists (AOR), means I had to take extra exams to be allowed to become a member. This also provides the additional benefit to certain clients who have health insurances to be able to reclaim their costs, so please check your documents. Another stipulation is that you have to be insured, which of course I am. The Government have agreed that Reflexologists can now re-comence treatments. The Association will keep us updated of all new legalities as we move forward. 1) Before visiting a client, I will carry out a Risk Assessment with yourselves over the telephone 2) You will need to provide your own recliner chair, armchair and footstall or outside garden floating chair, towel, blanket and music.

privacy). You will arrive and leave through a side gate avoiding contact with other people. Thorough deep cleaning between each treatment will be carried out according to (AOR) guidelines. This is unfamiliar territory for all of us but for the safety of us all. My aim is to leave you feeling happy and content with no problems by following the correct procedures. If you live in a residential/nursing home, you would need to make sure the management are informed and happy for me to visit. You would also need to provide me with a set of their guidelines. I hope this reassures you and that you would feel comfortable and safe during your treatment. These procedures have been put in place to ensure confidence and to protect us all during this time. If there are any changes moving forward, these will be monitored and adhered to as necessary. Should you have any questions or information you think would be useful to me, I would be most grateful to hear from you. Keep well,


Your local 'talking feet' reflexologist

3) On arrival I will wear a uniform, gloves and face mask. I will double check with yourselves that nothing has changed from the initial Risk Assessment. If changes have occurred unfortunately, we would have to rebook. 4) All entrances should be opened by yourselves to allow me access to your home, minimalising any risk. You should also wear a face mask and if possible, have the window open. 5) At the start of the treatment, I will dispose of my gloves, sanitise my hands, then commence the treatment in the normal way, using my pump action cream.

“Talking Feet, Listening Hands�

6) Once the treatment has finished, I will sanitise my hands again and put clean gloves on. 7) On leaving, all entrances should be opened by yourselves for me to exit. 8) A change of uniform will then take place ensuring no contamination for the next client. For those who live closer and who would prefer to visit me for their treatment, this will be carried out in a gazebo where we can be out in the fresh air ( enclosed to ensure

Jenny Dell - Reflexologist Mobile - 07899 093286


CARE FOR THE OVER 50’s One in five 50-somethings is 'keeping quiet' about a potentially serious health issue, it has emerged. Research revealed a worrying number of older Brits are yet to tell loved ones they have problems ranging from hearing loss to heart disease and arthritis to mental health issues. And even more alarmingly, one in 10 have been keeping the information to themselves for longer than 12 months. Six out of 10 said they are keeping schtum so they don't worry their loved ones, and another 29 per cent feel 'too embarrassed' to share the details of their condition with others. It also emerged one in three would feel self-conscious wearing a hearing aid. That is despite the fact half of Brits over 50 worry about their hearing failing as they grow older and 43 per cent recognise wearing a hearing aid would improve their quality of life. Maarten Barmentlo of Signia, which commissioned the study, said: “As we get older it is natural for our health to become more fragile, and it’s a lucky few who


make it into old age without acquiring something to worry about.

response and hoping it’s the right one.

“What is important to remember is a problem shared is a problem halved, and sometimes carrying the worries of a health issue can do more harm than good. “

Despite this, 39 per cent of those surveyed by admit there is still a stigma attached to wearing a hearing aid which may put them off talking to their doctor about having one fitted.

Of the 20 per cent of those who were keeping an illness secret from loved ones, two thirds were, however, happy to disclose the nature of their illness for research purposes. If they did have a worrying health concern, 58 per cent of Brits over 50 would be most likely to confide in their partner, followed by their best friend. Thirty per cent have had a loved one disclose a health concern to them in private, which they haven’t told anyone else about. Though 11 per cent have later discovered their partner was keeping their own health condition a secret from them. More than half of people who are worried about their hearing admit to regularly having to ask people to repeat themselves. A third admit to pretending they have heard what has been said, and a quarter admit to making up a

Maarten Barmentlo added: “After decades of listening and living a louder life, it’s not unreasonable to expect our ears to have lost some of their lustre, and Brits shouldn’t feel deterred from wearing a hearing aid if they feel they need it. “Hearing aids have long been associated as being out of date and not at the cutting edge of today’s cool technology and we wanted to change that perception. “At Signia, we are aware of the stigma which many people feel is attached to wearing a hearing aid. ''Our aim at Signia is to help consumers overcome stigmas and anxieties attached to failing health by developing designs, such as the Styletto range, so people can feel comfortable and be positive about their self-image. “Styletto has implemented the best possible technology to ensure that not only does the product deliver incredible sound, but is also a very user-friendly device.”

CARE FOR THE OVER 50’s CONTINUED “Hearing aids have long been associated as being out of date and not at the cutting edge of today’s cool technology and we wanted to change that perception. “At Signia, we are aware of the stigma which many people feel is attached to wearing a hearing aid.

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''Our aim at Signia is to help consumers overcome stigmas and anxieties attached to failing health by developing designs, such as the Styletto range, so people can feel comfortable and be positive about their self-image. “Styletto has implemented the best possible technology to ensure that not only does the product deliver incredible sound, but is also a very user-friendly device.”

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Funeral Director Jennifer Dip FAA, Dip FD, arranger Sue and the team at E. Wootten & Son pride themselves on their traditional ways and set the highest standards for the funeral profession. We will help you and your family through one of the most difficult times in your lives with compassion, respect, knowledge and openness. We will guide you every step of the way to ensure that the funeral you choose for your loved one is both personal and unique. Our caring services start from just £1995 (Plus third party fees) Bereaved families can rest assured, knowing that their loved one is being cared for within our purpose built premises, which include:

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Did you know that having a stairlift fitted can reduce the need to go into a care home by 4-7 years and the biggest falls risk in your home is on the stairs? The pandemic and lockdown situation has made people stop, think and re-evaluate. More so now, the health of our family is important, and people are turning their homes into a haven of comfort and safety.

As key workers, 1st Choice Stairlifts worked throughout the pandemic and have seen a rise in demand for stairlifts to help keep loved ones safe on the stairs. From people who want to remain independent in their own home, older people moving in with their children, and aiding safe hospital discharges - all making a life changing difference with the help of a stairlift, fitted in just a few hours working to Covid secure guidelines. Normally 400 million hospital bed days are taken with falls patients each year. With a second wave of Covid anticipated in Winter, we can help to reduce the burden on the NHS by eliminating any falls risk you have on your stairs. We have models to suit every home and budget – even rental lifts and outdoor lifts – call us for a quick chat to see how we can help you.

Transform your life in the home you love Just imagine in just a few short hours, we can make stairs a much safer place by installing a stairlift. Visit Our Showroom: 25 Harris Road, Calne, SN11 9PT or call us on:

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Happiness Walking Back to

I was furloughed, and my husband John had to work from home. We decided to use the time it usually took us to commute to start walking. We'd never really walked as a form of exercise before, or any form of exercise, so this was something new. We worked out a route and as we were used to getting up at 6am to travel to our respective jobs and we decided that staying in that routine seemed sensible. We have walked for just over an hour every day for ten weeks and this is what we've discovered. Walking trims your waistline - Both John and I had the start of middle age spread. Over ten weeks I've dropped a dress size and John has discovered he's wearing the trousers that prior to lockdown he'd been considering donating to charity. Walking relieves arthritis pain - After four weeks John noticed that his arthritis pain seemed less. This seemed counterintuitive so I consulted the arthritis society website and discovered that walking is recommended because it does indeed help reduce inflammation and stiffness in your joints. The important thing to remember is to walk 'correctly'. Hold your head up; keep your neck, shoulders and back relaxed; swing your arms naturally, with a slightly bent elbow; tighten your stomach muscles a little to give yourself a supported core, and breathe deeply as you walk. Walking

improves your mental wellbeing - At the start of lockdown I think we both felt really anxious about all the uncertainty. As the weeks progressed, while we walked we discussed our worries and thrashed out solutions to some of the problems we faced or might face. I certainly began to feel in a better place mentally and as though I could cope better with life in general. Being outside, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine definitely helped to clear some headspace each day. Walking reduces blood pressure - Johns blood pressure had been sneaking upwards and just before lockdown our GP had been monitoring it with a view to him starting blood pressure medication. When it became clear that he wasn't going to be examined by a doctor for some time I was concerned enough to buy a home blood pressure monitor online. We tested it out to make sure the readings matched those of the clinic then forgot about it! After six weeks (on the date he was supposed to have been returning the GP) we tried it and discovered his blood pressure was just within normal range. By week ten it was well within the normal range. Mine too has dropped significantly. Crucially throughout this period neither of us has felt like we were ‘exercising’. Walking felt natural and easy. I know this article is anecdotal and personal but there is plenty of research to support exercise being almost as important as diet in controlling type-2 diabetes; that it helps with balance and co-ordination and so helps to prevent falls in older people, meaning they are more likely to stay out of hospital, which at the moment is even more important than usual, and finally that it helps boost the immune system which is important for obvious reasons right now. We will definitely continue to fit walking into our day even when life returns to a more normal pattern. By Jo Turner


Leave loneliness behind at Malmesbury’s William Lodge retirement development As we mark Loneliness Awareness Week and lockdown measures continue to ease, Churchill Retirement Living has partially re-opened the Show Complex at its William Lodge development in Malmesbury, where those looking for a sociable, secure and low maintenance lifestyle can find out more about the many benefits of buying a brand new retirement apartment. With apartments now available to view by appointment only, potential purchasers are being asked to book a slot to visit the development on Gloucester Road to secure a new apartment specially designed for the over 60s. Explaining the many benefits of purchasing a brand new apartment, Churchill’s Regional Sales & Marketing Director Zoe Bonnington says: “After months of lockdown we know that many people will be thinking about the future for themselves and their families. The Churchill lifestyle offers security, peace of mind and independent living for the over 60s, along with making new friends and being part of a new community. I’d encourage anyone who wants to find out more to come and see us now to avoid missing out.

“Our brand new apartments are carefully tailored to our Customers’ needs, with subtle practical touches to make life easier like easy reach plug sockets, illuminated lights switches and easy turn lever taps in the kitchen and bathroom. More importantly the dedicated Lodge Manager and built in sense of community means you’ll never need to feel lonely again.” To find out more about the apartments available to buy now at William Lodge call 01666 718270 or visit

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The Town Crier Magazine | DECEMBER 2016



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The Town Crier Magazine | FEBRUARY 2019


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LOCKDOWN musings By Rachael Leverton

Back in May garden centres became some of the first businesses allowed to reopen to the public. For gardeners stuck at home (even though we understood and supported the lockdown), it's been a frustrating time. We've been unable to plant during one of the best springs I can ever remember. And for many of the UK's growers it has been devastating. Millions of lost plants nurtured to be at their best by Easter were lost. The scale of the issue was mind-boggling. Garden centres and nurseries usually make the bulk of their income during the early growing season as people prepare their plots for the summer but instead they've been forced to compost or recycle millions of plants, leaving one in three growers in serious financial difficulties, with little possibility of recouping their losses later in the year. I was glad to see nurseries and garden centres reopening and in spite of my own apprehension about venturing out, I decided to go to my local garden centre reasoning that the open outdoor spaces meant transmission of coronavirus was less likely and it would be easier to maintain social distancing. There were staff in the car park and the queue markings were 2m apart. The trolleys were cleaned before being handed to the customers and social distancing was observed throughout the one-way system. There were fewer plants on display which puzzled me for a second until I realised that growers couldn't take the risk of planting a few weeks before when they had no idea whether they would have to destroy those plants too. Such a heart-breaking decision for them to have to make.

My own garden has been a source of solace throughout lockdown, but what has been particularly nice is the number of people who have discovered gardening during this period. There is a lot of psychological research which concludes that nurturing plants and flowers diverts our attention away from stresses and anxieties in our lives and goodness knows there's been way too much stress and anxiety recently. So, as we hit July is there anything easy which you can still plant, and which will still grow? The good news is yes. Nasturtiums can be sown throughout this month. They are known for their brightly coloured flowers and attractive foliage. There are trailing, climbing, and dwarf varieties. The showy flowers can be single or double and come in fiery shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. Leaves are pale green and umbrellashaped with long stems. They are the perfect flowers for beginner gardeners so if the kids have been dying to have a go at gardening these are your go-to plant. Sow the seeds and within 7-10 days, you should see sprouting. They are drought tolerant and ideal for hanging baskets and containers. Even better, you can add the flowers, buds and young leaves to salads, and they have the most wonderful peppery taste. Love-in-the-mist are easy to grow and have distinctive seed heads. These can be sown until early July and also again in September so they will get a head start for next year. And of course, you can still plant sunflowers. Who doesn't love a sunflower? Plant one for each member of the family and see whose grows the most. You could give prizes for the tallest, the prettiest or the largest flower.

Happy gardening,


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Cracks ‘n’ Crevices I love a crevice. A little gap between the lawn and the path; a cracked paving slab, or a little hole in a wall. These are tiny pockets where magic can happen. Does the crack or crevice sit mainly in the sun or the shade? If it’s sunny, you have a choice of plants with silvery or aromatic foliage. If it’s shady, choices will be more limited but there are still plants to suit. When planting, buy the smallest plants you can and gently strip off most of the compost. Squeeze them carefully into the crack or hole, water them and top dress with grit unless the crevice is in a vertical surface (because the grit will fall out!). Accept that some plants won’t survive, but if you monitor them and nurture them a little in the first year, watering and pushing a little more compost in if the rain washes any way, then most plants will establish themselves. The most successful time of year to plant cracks and crevices is March and April but don’t restrict yourself, any of these are worth trying. Dianthus squarrosus - Russian dianthus produces mats of blue-grey leaves and single white flowers with a pretty scent. Androsace sarmentosa 'Sherriffii' - This little plant is my go-to because it’s sturdy, establishes easily and is topped with pretty pink rosettes in the spring. Aubrieta deltoidei - I was always a bit snobby about this plant but when I saw it smothering an ugly cracked concrete wall at my son’s school, I fell in love with it. The purple against the pale grey concrete looked amazing. It can be sheared back after flowering to keep it in check but basically its bomb-proof.

Arenaria alvacariensis - My ten-year-old calls these ’alien blobs’ which doesn’t do them any justice. They are really easy to establish and form an attractive green dome of tight foliage, smothered with small white flowers in late spring. Thymus serphyllum - Tiny-leaved thymes are great crevice plants, and useful in the kitchen! Erigeron karvinskianus - sprinkle seeds into crevices and this tiny daisy will grow and then self– seed happily. It’s particularly good for dry, sunny areas.

Sempervivum - I have had a love affair with houseleeks since my student days. I wedge them into every crack and crevice in my garden. They will settle in and create little colonies almost anywhere you shove them, adding texture and colour. They’re evergreen too. What’s not to love? Vinca - Periwinkles have the prettiest little flowers, available in white, purples and blues, that actually thrive in shade, so they are perfect for brightening that neglected corner of the patio...the bit with the loose paving stone that rarely gets any sun and always looks a bit drab. My dad referred to cracks ‘n’ crevices plants as horticultural haberdashery! The tassels, beads and bows of the plant world, that cover the ugly seams and embellish the plain areas. I think that’s a brilliant description of these hardworking little plants. Happy gardening. By Rachael Leverton


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We are here to help At time of writing, the team are also awaiting news of when the Chippenham showroom at Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate can reopen (please keep an eye on the website and social media for an update on that).

The team at Wiltshire’s best loved heating and plumbing company, John Williams Heating Services, are now back at work helping customers. After cutting down their workload during lockdown to only emergency calls and closing their Chippenham office, the team are now back at work offering boiler services, installations, and dealing with plumbing issues including dripping taps. All engineers are wearing PPE, sourced locally, adhering to strict social distancing rules and strong cleaning procedures. Indeed, the team have always been known for their cleanliness in the homes of their customers – now that’s been taken to a whole new level. Debbie Williams, co-founder of the company, said: “We like to thank our customers for their support and understanding during this challenging time. While we were able to deal with emergencies during full lockdown, there was a lot we were unable to do by law and we appreciate that must have been frustrating at times.”

John Williams Heating Services is a Worcester accredited installer, Gas Safe registered and a member of Oftec, the trade association monitoring best practice in oil heating installation and repair. “We are now out and about helping customers while obeying strict rules to keep us all safe. We will now always call a customer prior to an appointment to talk through our process when we arrive at a home and also to check that there is no one in a household who has symptoms.”

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Hopscotch and Handbags – by Lucy Mangan The Cat in The Hat/ Dr Seuss’ Sleep Book – by Dr Seuss You can never have too much nonsense in your life – especially not if you are under eight years old – and if you want nonsense, then Dr Seuss is the absolute master. These two classics are a must for every child’s bookshelf. The Cat in the Hat is a cautionary tale of sorts – never let strange felines into your home. One wet and cold day, the narrator and his sister make the mistake of opening the door to the eponymous cat, only for him to wreak rhyming havoc on their home. Children delight in each new calamity, and the rollicking rhythm carries you along to the end. Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book is a calmer tale, ideal for bedtimes, but still with the same humour and pizazz. Featuring an array of strange and sleepy creatures, from the Chippendale Mupp to the Hinkle Horn Honkers, the ‘Who’s Asleep Score ‘ gradually grows until the very last sleeper is needed – you! Illustrated in the author’s bold and distinctive style, these books stand repeated reading. Which is just as well, as you’ll be asked for them again, and again, and again....

Subtitled ‘The truth about being a girl’, this book is essential reading for grown up girls of all ages. In it, Lucy Mangan explores the subtleties of female life from school onwards – or, as the title has it, from Hopscotch to Handbags. As the cover and the chapter headings suggest, the tone is always light-hearted. This is no self help book – instead it’s a mixture of reminiscences, cautionary tales and laugh out loud moments. Packed with lists, diary entries, jokes and quizzes that are pure 1970’s Jackie magazine, the beauty of the book is how quickly you can place yourself within it. What girl doesn’t remember the intricate rules of teenage friendship, or the range of helpful excuses to get out of the dreaded PE lesson twice a week? And while lists may be something you would expect in a boy’s book, here they serve as a checklist and a reminder - I guarantee that you will measure your teenage self against the ‘cool and uncool’ list, and the Top Ten Beloved Books will send you back to your old childhood favourites (Malory Towers, anyone?) Mangan’s style is chatty, confidential and inclusive – you instinctively feel like you are part of a gossipy group – and her points hit home. Even when you do find yourself matching 90% of the criteria that make you a grown up, you’ll still be safe in the knowledge that it is still ‘so much better than being a boy’!



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