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Weddings Spring Garden ideas Spend Now - Save Later

Issue 45: April-May 2014

Local Services for You

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk


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‘Our aim is to try and connect local businesses to local people.’

Distribution Thatcham Connections Is a local independent magazine. We aim to think Local, Buy Local and live Local. It is delivered free to 8,000 homes and businesses in Ashmore Green, Cold Ash, Curridge, Hermitage, Midgham, Thatcham, Woolhampton and Yattendon.

How we work

We understand that the needs of a small business are quite difference from those of a big company, and our advertising service is very much targeted at independent and local businesses. From advert design to general advice we are here to help you grow.

Technical & Legal Matters

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this magazine is accurate, the Publisher cannot accept, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, sorted in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, recording, photocopying, or otherwise - without prior permission of the Publisher. in--house artwork and editorial All in presented in this magazine remains the copyright of Ursula Aitken.

Contact Details

Ursula Aitken Publisher and Editor 0118 9886070 ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk www.thatcamconnections.co.uk

Welcome ! Dear Readers Firstly, I would like to offer my sincere apologies to those who tried to cook our last issue’s recipe, the Yoghurt Brownies. This recipe had not been tested properly and it was inaccurate. I know some of you were very disappointed by this. I will try harder to make sure this will not happen again. And … I do hope the chocolate cheesecake in this issue will be more successful!

Ursula Aitken

Short Story

14

Codeword

16

Pet Projects

18

What a particularly depressing last few months we have had with incessant rain - but as I write this in early March, whilst it is chilly, it is also amazing to see and hear how busy the birds are. Joy.

Recipe

24

Book Review

6

Wordsearch

28

Weddings

32

What’s on in the Community

36/37

For some of you it may be the time to check out your garden and witness it coming to life again. I have purposely included some extra pages on this subject - which I hope may raise spirits. For now we must cherish our trees, repair broken fencing, clean the gutters and empty the drains - in readiness for the long summer days ahead. Yes!

Gardening Feature

38

Balconies & Terraces

40

Planning a Funeral

42

Spend Now, Save Later

44

An Arboriculturist

48

Quiz

53

Childrens’ Challenge

54

It is very encouraging to hear about new businesses coming to the Thatcham area - White Rose Bridal Rooms in Midgham - is just such a one. The setting is quite stunning. Could it be a ‘jewel in the crown?’ See page 33.

Handy Numbers

60

Answers

61

Index

62

Please may I remind you once again to say, when speaking to an advertiser, that you saw his/her advertisement in Thatcham Connections. In that way, we will be able to continue to print - and indeed to grow - which I very much hope - we will. All best wishes - particularly for Easter.

NEXT ISSUE - COVERING June - August Copy - ready for print deadline 02 May 2014 at the latest. ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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ÖâtÄ|àç {tÇw vÜtyàxw Oak framed buildings

DESIGNED • MANAGED • CONSTRUCTED

Brooks Farm Bath Road Beenham Reading RG7 5JB Email: info@thebarnpartnership.co.uk Tel: 0118 930 6633 www.thebarnpartnership.co.uk

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For all your soft furnishing and sewing needs Curtains, blinds, pelmets and alterations. Fabric choices and advice available

Contact:

Judy Connolly

07747 634556

www.indigodesign.co.uk

www.cookerburra.co.uk www.cookerburra.co.uk

Est. Est. 1993 1993

THE THE UK’S UK’S NO NO 11 OVEN OVEN CLEANING CLEANING SERVICE SERVICE

DIRTY COOKER ? OVENS, HOBS, RANGES & AGAS YOUR FRANCHISE COVERING

NEWBURY & THATCHAM Call Angela: 01635 884012

CLEANERS APROVED APROVED ARE ARE YOUR YOUR OVEN OVEN CLEANERS APROVED STANDARDS TRADING STANDARDS BY BY BERKSHIRE BERKSHIRE TRADING STANDARDS???

P.C. DECORATING Paul Coulson Tel: 07771 610230 or 01635 201835

• • • •

Local Painter and Decorator with 8 years Experience All types of decorating undertaken including plastering & wallpapering Call now to arrange a FREE No Obligation Quotation No job Too Small

ROGER FIS FISHER HER Carpenter/Joiner Kitchen Fitter/ Glaze Tiling House Maintenance Painting/Decorating

30 Years Experience Tel: 01635 201047 mob: 07876 588721

Newbury Cats Protection We have many cats seeking loving homes especially older cats fundraising volunteers always needed For further information contact 01635 200111 Open daily, except for Tuesdays, 11am-3pm by appointment www.newbury.cats.org.uk

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8


Gardner Leader Taking the pain out of divorce

independent legal advice and not on the eve of the wedding. The reason for this is because there will be certain legal obligations that these agreements will need to meet to be 'binding,' and issues to consider such as future children and their needs. There should be a review clause too, so matters can be re-considered in say five years’ or on the birth of a child. It is also wise to sign the agreement at least 21 days before the wedding to avoid any argument over whether the contract was made under pressure.

Maybe you're engaged and considering a "prenup" or you're currently separated from your wedded partner? If so, there are a few legal changes afoot. The Law Commission has proposed for prenuptials and postnuptials - an agreement made about assets during marriage - to become legally binding in England and Wales for the first time, by introducing "qualifying nuptial agreements." Currently, any prenup financial settlements are persuasive in asking a court to make an order after an assessment of whether the terms are fair. But the changes ahead could allow couples to decide how to divide up their property and exclude assets and, as long as legal conditions are met and are fair, these agreements will be binding and not subject to judicial scrutiny. These proposals may reduce the cost and emotional stress of divorce, and take away uncertainty of what may happen if the marriage breaks down. However, it is advised that both parties still seek

If the marriage does break down then couples should consider mediation which is when couples resolve matters between each other to avoid court. It's an approach we actively encourage at Gardner Leader if clients are suitable for mediation - but not all cases are - as evidence shows that mediation is faster and cheaper than going to court. From April the Government has introduced a compulsory requirement for separating couples to attend a ‘ mediation information and assessment meeting’ before they can apply for children or financial orders. Another option is the collaborative law process, which is like mediation but with your lawyer present. Everyone agrees in writing not to go to court but to seek a solution and avoid conflict, which is good for people that want to preserve an amicable relationship with their former partner. So if you have divorce on your mind, then there are options to consider and changes ahead. The key is to consider the approach that is right for you and, where possible, discuss matters first with your partner. By Collette Bailey, Partner in the Family Team, Gardner Leaders solicitors. Contact 01635 508080 or visit gardner-leader.co.uk

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J. Thompson Painting and Decorating

All Aspects of Decorating Interior and Exterior Domestic Repairs and Maintenance Free Quotations

Joseph Thompson Tel: 0777 5065896

Email: jthompsondecorating@live.co.uk *M

F

*F FR IT EE TI NG *

EA R E SU E RI NG *

SMART BLINDS & SHUTTERS

SHOWROOM HIGH ST, THATCHAM

• • • • • • •

Romans Wood Venetian Pleated Vertical Blinds Rollers Plantation Shutters Conservatory Blinds

Keenest Prices - Best Service We are a local family business Call PAUL or SUE 01635 866600 www.smartblindsandshuttersthatcham.co.

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CAP SECURITY LOCAL LOCKSMITHS Professional Family Run Business

All makes of Locks Opened/Fitted/Replaced/Repaired

To ALL Types of Doors Windows and Garages UPVc Door and Window Maintenance Specialists Free Security Advice & Estimates

01635 868 318

101A Park Lane, Thatcham Berkshire 10


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Sunday 25th May 2014

New Park, Englefield Estate Theale, Reading, Berkshire RG7 5ED By kind permission of Englefield Estate and The Benyon Family

9.00am until 5.00pm. Adults £6.50, Children, Concessions £3 Family Ticket (2+2) £17, Under 5’s FREE Dogs on leads Welcome Craft & Food Marquees Countryside Area Vintage Machinery Grahams Hog Roast Classic Cars

Trade Stands Birds of Prey Fun Fair Bar Flyball

Hounds Ferret Racing 4X4 Vehicles Archery Dog Show

For further information and details please call Lydia 07733325110 berkscountryfayre@gmail.com

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Feature:

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Affordable photography based in Thatcham, covering the South of England. Portrait, Wedding & Dance Photography

www.sallyrimmerphotography.co.uk

sallyrimmerphotography@gmail.com 07855251992

WEB DESIGN Quality websites for small businesses and individuals at great value. Free estimate service, I am happy to discuss your project with those initial questions. Let me help your business grow & develop through a clear, easy website with fantastic design.

01635 866094 // 07971 533327 www.deborahtaylor-webdesign.com

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Thornford Road Crookham Common Newbury RG19 8EL All Dogs Walked Daily Professional Care and Attention at all times Viewing welcome by appointment. For further details please ring:

01635 268544 CODEWORD CODEWORD

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t n a t n u o c c A Lady

unting ay to day acco d f o s ct e sp a ll Providing a ll. atter how sma services, no m f small nd the needs o ta rs e d n u I so lf er and will siness myse accounts in ord r I run a small bu u yo t ge u yo n help way. businesses. I ca on-accounting n , ar e cl a in g in explain everyth

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tabilityservice

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Feature:

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Caring for you and your pet

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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Dear Readers I am a newcomer to Thatcham - I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about my business. Dance, Weddings, Occasions and Animals all feature in my lens - I am keen to have a fresh take on photographs - to be both crisp and creative. Please give me a ring to discuss any ideas you may have - at all times friendly and affordable - please see my contact details below. I look forward to hearing from you! Sally

07855251992 www.sallyrimmerphotography.co.uk Please also see page 15

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20


Karen Tyler-Trillo

After a lifetime of loving, caring for and owning pets and with a farming background, Karen has turned her attention to the welfare of animals in a professional capacity. Karen will visit your pet and look after him/her with much loving care.

In addition to the services already mentioned, Karen and her team are also happy to water plants, pick up post and carry out basic house security checks at your request.

These services include: Dog W al king, P et Feeding, Pet/House sitting, Basi c pet grooming in your home. Also, Pet Taxi and Dog Midwifery.

Readers who mention seeing this ad will be given a 10% discount on their first booking.

One-to-one Clicker training for your dog is Whatever your pet may also offered with an be, Pet Angels UK are experienced trainer. here to offer a variety of Pet Angels UK Services fully insured services. are expanding all the Not only is your life time - to include Pet made easier - and you Portraits and provide have peace of mind accessories. when you are out or Please have a look on away but also this their website for more ensures no stress for information: your animal.

Karen is also an accredited microchipper

Your local friendly Pet Service Tel: 01635 881 891 or 07876 785312

www.petangelsuk.co.uk

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THATCHAM & NEWBURY MAINTENANCE SERVICES

plumbing / heating electrical / carpentry Specialists in plumbing and heating. We are registered to install and service all systems. We offer many other maintenance services, including:

• Electrical • Small Building • Carpentry • Installing bathrooms and kitchens We always offer free quotes for our services and free call outs.

Call us now on 01635 826770 or 07771 653289 email: williams.ron@virginmedia.com

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RECIPE:

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07766 880504 01189 422764

FALKLAND BUILDERS

Over 30 years Experience

All types of Building work undertaken

Brickwork Specialist Extensions Alterations Renovations

01635 42744 & 07831 470693 e: falklandbuilders@hotmail.com

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Feature:

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NEED AN MOT? Cars, Mini Buses, Light Commercial Classes 4, 5L and 7

01635 876777 WE CAN HELP Free Collection/Delivery- Free Courtesy Car on all servicing and repairs. Subject to availability

BIG VALUE FIXED PRICE SERVICE WITH FREE MOT

Price includes service parts, labour & VAT. Offer only available on 4 cyl cars up to 2000cc

ONLY

ÂŁ129

INCLUDING FREE MOT

AIR CONDITIONING SPECIALISTS....RECOVERY SERVICE

HALFWAY GARAGE

Unit 7 Pipers Court, Berkshire Drive, Thatcham

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See page 61

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Tracey

Mobile Hairdressing 07770 823283 I offer quality, personal, affordable hairdressing in the comfort of your own home at a mutually convenient time! I can travel to you in Thatcham and the surrounding villages. Please call if you would like to make an appointment. Tel: 07770 823283 Email: Traceyblick@virginmedia.com Discounts available for double and group adult bookings. Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.

See page 61

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KENNET HOLME FARM BUILDINGS MIDGHAM KENNET HOLME FARM BUILDINGS MIDGHAM

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KENNET HOLME FARM BUILDINGS MIDGHAM

Easter for Bridal Bridesscene! ... Our new local

Weddings have changed considerably since April 1995 when civil marriages in England and Wales were permitted to take place somewhere other than a register office. Scotland and Northern Ireland followed suit in 2002 and 2004 respectively. These locations, known as ‘approved premises’ include attractive and romantic venues such as castles, stately homes and even museums so you can have your dream wedding in a stunning and unusual setting. To find approved premises in your preferred location look at w.weddingvenues.com. A popular option is to get married overseas. Many travel companies include special wedding packages covering everything from flowers to registration documents, but if you decide to do it yourself then you need to ensure your marriage will be recognised in Britain. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a webpage detailing this information which can be found at www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-livingoverseas/births-marriages-deaths/marriage-abroad/. Some issues need to be confirmed very early in the wedding planning. Your choice of date and venue go hand-in-hand as many popular locations are fully booked up to two years ahead.

Once you’ve established the date you can send out your first batch of wedding stationery; "Save the Date" cards. This relatively new custom ensures your invitees don't inadvertently book their holiday at the same time. For extra originality you can now buy ‘Save the Date’ fridge magnets! Research the latest trends by browsing wedding magazines to get inspiration and keep a scrapbook of all your ideas. Civil ceremonies allow a very modern take on wedding vows; you can write your own vows using poems, speeches or write from the heart. As long as there is no religious content, almost anything is allowed, but will need to be approved by the registrar. Whether you choose a traditional white wedding dress, or something a bit different, try on as many designs as possible as your preferred style may not actually suit you. Another factor to consider is the likely weather on your wedding day. In Britain this can never be guaranteed, but if you’re travelling overseas check that your outfit can be transported easily and is cool enough to be comfortable in tropical climates. This also applies to the groom’s suit; thick, dark wool on a beach in the Maldives is not a good choice.

Continued on page 47 Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.

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KENNET HOLME FARM BUILDINGS MIDGHAM

Firstly, please let us offer our heartfelt congratulations on your engagement and welcome you to White Rose Bridal Rooms. Situated in the stunning Midgham countryside, we are a new Bridal shop born out of frustration while planning our own wedding. We will offer you our highest level of service and unique personal experience from your first appointment through to your wedding day. Our friendly and relaxed personal consultation will allow you plenty of time to discuss your plans and to try on as many gowns as are needed to find ‘The One’. We are stockists of the stunning ranges of Opulence Brides and Pure Bridal from Romantica of Devon. These are truly beautiful dresses at affordable prices. We also have a huge range of ex-sample dresses for those brides with limited time on their hands. And we are also stockists of TrueBride Bridesmaid dresses, beautiful dresses in every colour imaginable.

We work closely with many people in the wedding world and can personally recommend everything you need to plan your day. Cakes by Cakelicious, Photography by Chris Kemp and Flowers by Willows and Blooms. Also available in our shop is a whole host of bespoke handmade items such as vintage head pieces by Tiara Jems and shoe encrusting by Pretty in Crystals. A stunning range of paper bouquets, ring pillows and horse shoes by Polly truly makes us a One Stop Bridal Shop where you will find all you need - and more - for your perfect day. Our men’s hire by Black Tie Hire completes the whole Bridal party.

You give us your vision, your dream and your reality and we will make it happen. We look forward to meeting you and helping you find your perfect dress.

Ashley and The Team

T: 0118 971 0377

E: info@whiterosebridalrooms.com W: www.whiterosebridalrooms.com

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KENNET HOLME FARM BUILDINGS MIDGHAM

Pine & Oak Furniture Ltd Berkshire’s Largest Furniture Retailer

RUSTIC & HAND CRAFTED FURNITURE Teak root outdoor furniture & accessories

High quality solid wood furniture at unbeatable prices

IN STOCK, TAKE TODAY. FREE DELIVERY* VISIT OURE CLEARANC OUTLET

r Next to ou ore st am gh id M

www.pine-oak.co.uk

info@pine-oak.co.uk | newbury@pine-oak.co.uk

MIDGHAM

4 Extensive Showrooms Kennet Holme Farm Buildings (A4) Bath Road, Midgham, Berkshire RG7 5UX tel 01189

712666

NEWBURY

10,000sq.ft Showroom Pelican Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1NU tel 01635

33000

WINNERSH

Winnersh Garden Centre Nr. Showcase Cinema Winnersh, Reading, Berkshire RG41 5HE tel 01189

797355

*Free delivery within 10 miles from store. Tearms & Conditions apply. Additional delivery/assembly charges may apply on clearance sale items

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Your local friendly electrician Offering a reliable service You can depend on. 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

All types of electrical work Approved domestic installer Part P registered New installations, Extensions Kitchens, Bathrooms Fuse boards Lighting & Power

9 9 9 9 9

Fully Insured No job too Large or Small Audio and visual installations Fault finding Rewires

CALL PAUL ON 07833248438 OR 01635 770256 www.electricanthatcham.co.uk currentconnection@googlemail.com Silverthorne, robertsfeild, Thatcham, RG19 3TW

FUNERAL DIRECTORS & MEMORIAL CONSULTANTS 15 Hampton Road Newbury Berkshire RG14 6DB Tel: 01635 41615 Fax: 01635 522050

Dignity Funerals Ltd. A company registered in England

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Diary Dates :

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ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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Feature:

Water, Water, Everywhere by Pippa Greenwood

A water feature adds a truly magical dimension to any garden, large or small. The sound of tinkling water and the movement of light on its surface both works wonders, even on a less than perfect plot, and can be just the finishing touch you need for a patio or back yard or for a much larger garden. A visit to your local garden centre or specialist aquatics centre, or a browse online, will reveal a plentiful choice of water features of all shapes, styles, and sizes; but before you commit yourself, just what are the main points to bear in mind? First, position. If you want moving water, your choice of feature will almost certainly need an electric pump, so there has to be a powerpoint nearby – an obvious point perhaps, but one that people do sometimes overlook. Do you want an eye-catching centrepiece for a formal garden, or just the music of running water as the soundtrack to your barbecues or alfresco Sunday lunch? In either case, you need to carefully consider the appropriate position. Any water feature from pond to delicate fountain can turn

bright green in summer due to the build-up of floating algae. You can go a long way towards preventing this peasoup effect by positioning the feature away from the hottest direct sunlight. Make sure it’s well away from overhanging deciduous trees, too, as falling leaves are likely to clog everything up. For smaller spaces or patios you’re best off with a selfcontained and perhaps wallmounted feature. There are lots of great self-contained water features available such as terracotta or glazed pot stacks with the water continuously circulated from one container to another by a hidden pump, so you would only need to top it up in the hottest weather to compensate for the effects of evaporation. Spouts and fountains are great fun in a garden. A spitting fish, frog, or gargoyle can add a touch of art – or humour – while its waterjet will oxygenate a pool, reducing algae and keeping the pond-life happy. If you want moving water and the reflections it provides but perhaps have toddlers, a stone-effect millstone with a low centrally-positioned jet spreading ripples of water

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across its surface is both beautiful and safe. Plants are integral to any pool or pond. Surfacefloating plants such as waterlilies not only look gorgeous but their large, near-circular, leaves also shade the water’s surface – again, reducing any problems you might have with algae. Waterlilies need still water, though, so they are best avoided if you have a fountain; but a single spitting feature at one end of the pool shouldn’t create too much turbulence for them. Make sure you plant them at the correct depth if you want them to flourish. Plants grown around the edges of a pools and ponds are called marginals and do best in shallower water or boggy ground. Use plenty of them: they look gorgeous; they hide unsightly edges and signs of the liner; and they are a haven for wildlife. For a more formal look you’ll want fewer marginals, but some shapely rushes or ferns or some yellow or purple bog-iris will add extra impact. Marginals to consider include yellow-flowered marsh marigold (caltha palustris); white-flowered bog arum (calla palustris); miniature Continued on page 50 38


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Feature:

Balconies and Terraces By Ursula Buchan

For the natural optimists amongst you, who see a lack of garden space as no brake on your desire to grow plants, a balcony is a real asset. Sure, you have to be certain that it is strong enough to bear a load (and that probably means asking an expert) but, once that’s established, it is remarkable what gardening impulses you can indulge. There are two things you need to get right: suiting your plants and containers to the site aspect and the climatic conditions, and taking account of the fact that the balcony may well be in view from where you sit or work. Painting your sitting room in eau-de-nil, then putting orange and red-flowered cannas on the balcony may not have quite the required effect. On the other hand, green-leaved ferns and variegated hostas might be just the thing to give your interior scheme added conviction. The aspect of your balcony will dictate what you try to grow. If it faces south or

west, so is sunny and windy, you are best off growing pots of Mediterranean sub-shrubs, like lavender, rosemary, santolina and cistus, which are used to such conditions, as well as trailing drought-tolerant ivy-leaved pelargoniums. Plenty of springflowering bulbs, which die down in summertime, such as crocuses, daffodils, and tulips, are a must. If shady, these can be substituted by snowdrops, aconites and Septemberflowering Cyclamen hederifolium, and shade-tolerant perennials, with good foliage, such as epimediums, herbaceous geraniums and colouredleaved heucheras. All these promote an atmosphere of restrained prettiness but, for something with a rather more exotic feel, you might try cordylines, agaves, the smaller bamboos, yuccas, and other largeleaved, exuberant, but drought-tolerant, foliage plants. The garden centres are well geared up for these nowadays.

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Good foliage is important in this situation, since flowers often go over quickly. Deciduous plants, especially shrubs, have the advantage of not resisting the wind much in winter (when the strongest gales are felt). In a more sheltered place, evergreens have their place in protecting privacy, filtering wind and giving some muted colour in winter. If it is practicable to fix openwork trellis to the balcony rail, you can grow clematis or honeysuckle up it. As for tiny yards or patios, as long as you leave just enough space for access or for sitting out, you can cram the rest with pots of every kind. They often look best in a cluster of different shapes, sizes and materials. On a balcony, plastic pots in a terracotta colour are best but, at ground level, pots can be as solid and heavy as you like. You can be more adventurous in your planting, too, since you won’t be faced with the problem of wind exposure. If the yard is a suntrap, I suggest alpines and small bearded irises, which come in a positive rainbow of colours in May, with colourful, vertically-growing plants, like crocosmias and the purple-pinkflowered Verbena bonariensis, to follow. Or you might prefer to go for one or two dwarf or slow-growing trees or shrubs, with two seasons of interest, such as a witch hazel (Hamamelis) or Japanese maple (Acer). What compost you use for planting depends on how long you intend the plants to remain in the pots. For summer annuals, a soil-less, preferably peat-free or reduced-peat, ‘multipurpose’ compost, will do; to this you can add water-retaining granules (which swell up on watering to a jelly and release their moisture slowly into the compost), as well as steady-release fertiliser, such as Osmocote, which lasts most of the summer. If the plants

are permanent, use John Innes No 3 compost, which contains soil and fertiliser, and is intended for plants remaining in pots at least a year. Watering is crucial. If you live in a hosepipe ban area, I suggest you line the inside of summer pots with polythene, into which you have made a number of holes, before putting in the compost; this will slow down the rate of water loss. Use ‘grey water’ from the kitchen and bathroom. And put a layer of grit on top, after the plants go in, to hinder evaporation. If water is plentiful and you have an outside tap, use a simple drip irrigation system for your pots; it is efficient and time-saving. One skill you may find it useful to learn is the art of pruning, since plants often outgrow their space eventually. If you cut back your deciduous shrubs after flowering, and evergreen ones in the spring, it is surprising what you can cram into the smallest space.

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Feature:

Three Essential Steps for Planning a Funeral As we grow older it becomes inevitable that sooner or later we will face the prospect of arranging a loved one’s funeral. Whether that person was a member of the family or a close friend with no family of their own, you may be confronted by a number of questions.

Should it be a large event or a small, intimate gathering? Poems or prayers? Which photo is best for the order of service? Should we request flowers or donations? Although we typically avoid talking about uncomfortable subjects, it becomes progressively more difficult to discuss someone’s funeral wishes as they age, or become terminally ill. The best time to have that conversation is when the person is still active and in good health. If you never managed to broach the topic while your loved one was alive, then the first step will be to find out whether they have left written instructions regarding their funeral, perhaps in the form of a letter or a note in their will. Even if you do find some instructions, there may be gaps in the information. Beyond the deceased’s stated preferences you may struggle to answer questions such as ‘Who is actually responsible for organising the funeral?’ UK law states that if an individual has written a will and appointed executors, the executors will be charged with making the funeral arrangements. In practice it is often family members or friends who take on this role, with the executors’ authority. Once you have established who will be responsible for the organisation, the second step should be to appoint a funeral director. It’s wise to check that they belong to an accredited body such as the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (www.saif.org.uk) or the National Association of Funeral Directors (www.nafd.org.uk). The person who makes the funeral arrangements is responsible for paying the bills, so take care if no prepaid plan exists and there are insufficient funds in the deceased’s estate to cover the costs. If you are eligible to receive government benefits you can

find out about the financial help available at your local Jobcentre Plus. Good planning is essential when it comes to bringing people together. A funeral is a time of raw emotion and step three involves consulting friends and family. Be prepared for diplomacy – you may even have to negotiate between family members if there are unresolved issues. Do your best to meet people’s needs. Are your guests from the local area or are they travelling from elsewhere in the country? Will they want to view the body when they arrive? Perhaps they will need a meal, or overnight accommodation? In some cases an afternoon service may be more convenient. If you have family members arriving late from farflung locations who wish to view the deceased in an open coffin, your funeral director can offer an embalming service (at additional cost) to preserve the body. There’s always a choice, so don’t feel you have to opt for the nearest crematorium, church or other religious centre if it doesn’t seem appropriate. A little research may result in a more positive experience for everyone.

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Perhaps the hardest decision of all – if the deceased left no instructions - is whether to opt for burial or cremation. In this case you may find it helps to canvas the opinions of friends or relatives, or consult a faith leader if the person followed a particular religion. Where a Church of England funeral is required, your local C of E church is obliged to provide a burial plot if the person died within the parish and if there is space in the churchyard. If the deceased was not particularly religious, then the funeral director can recommend an appropriate person to officiate. This may be a Community Pastor or member of the British Humanist Association. This individual will interview you about your loved one in order to compose a suitable, non-religious tribute.

director will guide you through the many small decisions you will need to make, such as who will carry the coffin, what clothes the deceased person should wear and what possessions can be placed in the coffin. They will advise you on hymns and music, catering, printing the order of service and the hire of vehicles as well as acting as a collection point for donations in lieu of flowers, if that is required. Meanwhile you can download a “Funeral Planning” fact sheet free of charge from Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk). It comes with a handy form for you to write down your own instructions and it’s well worth taking a few minutes to set down your wishes: one day it will make someone else’s planning so much easier to do. By Claudia Leaf

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Feature:

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Continued from page 32 Photographers and videographers are important people at your wedding as they provide a record of a day that has a tendency to disappear in a blur. Modern photography includes candid shots of the wedding party rather than the stiff and formal line-ups of the past. Once again, book well in advance especially if you are getting married on a Saturday in the summer. Disposable cameras placed on the reception tables also provide more fun for you when the films are developed.

archways and garlands. Candles lends a romantic atmosphere but may not be permitted in some locations. If your chosen venue forbids the use of flame there are plenty of battery operated LED ‘candles’ and fibre-optic lights to choose instead.

Your wedding cake is one of the major talking points at the reception. Traditional tiered cakes are still popular but more modern versions can be works of art and very personalised. Another option is to have a number of beautifully decorated small cakes placed When it comes to flowers, you can really go to town. on a tiered display tray. Modern floral creations are spectacular and a good florist can create a masterpiece for you to carry which Music adds to the atmosphere of your entire day from can also include crystals and beads. If you have the moment you enter the wedding venue to the chosen a fresh flower bouquet you can now have this evening party. If you hire a DJ for the evening give beautiful creation preserved for posterity. Many him a playlist well in advance of the day and don't companies professionally dry and frame the flowers forget to include music that will appeal to all for you. generations. Why not include a note with your invitations asking all attendees to request one special Transport to the venue can be in almost any style you song each and then send these requests to the DJ? wish from buses, limousines, horse-drawn carriages and even motorbikes and hot air balloons. Allow With your hair and make-up don't try anything yourself plenty of time to get to the venue as there is radically different on this special day. Consider taking nothing worse than being held up in a traffic jam on a make-up lesson or book a professional makeup the way to your own wedding. artist to assist you. Your hairstylist will have lots of advice and don’t forget to have a trial run with your Many wedding venues have strict rules on the use of hair decoration if you are having one. confetti so ask what is permitted and make sure all attendees know the rules. Perhaps you will be able to Planning your wedding can be extremely stressful if use fresh or dried real flower petals rather than paper you allow it to be. If it all gets too much then consider shapes. hiring a professional wedding organiser who will deal with all your requirements leaving you relaxed and Decorating your venue can set any mood you wish, happy to enjoy your special day from fun to romantic. Popular modern choices are balloons which can be created into the most amazing

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Feature: An Arboriculturist is another name for a Tree surgeon After all the excessive rain and heavy weather we have been experiencing in the last few months, you may need to call on one of these professionals to help repair or remove trees in or around your garden. It’s better to call them as soon as you can as a lot of damage to trees - and possibly your property too, if the branch falls on your house or car. An arboriculturist can check for dead wood, dangerously split branches and can identify diseased trees. In fact, a fully trained professional can work on your tree from the roots to the tip to keep it healthy, safe and attractive. However tempting it is to work on a tree yourself, please take into account that working up a ladder is incredibly dangerous and the basic rule is only to work on those branches you can easily reach by standing on the ground. Anything higher than that should involve the professionals who have trained long and hard for this very purpose. They have the qualifications, know-how, equipment and insurances that only the professionals provide.

Another point to remember is that a wellestablished tree may well have a Tree Preservation Order on it, which means that you need to check with your local authority before attempting any major work on it. Also check with them if you live in a Conservation Area. If either applies you will need to go to your local planning department to get permission to carry out the work. These days, far too many ‘cowboys’ operate in this business and although the ‘cowboys’ will undoubtedly be cheaper than a trained tree surgeon, you may end up with more problems than you started with, as the professional company will have invested in the correct training and protective equipment. Reputable companies never solicit work by knocking on doors and will always have an address and landline, rather than just a mobile phone number.

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Once you have found a genuine arboriculturist, check their qualifications, experience and make sure they have up-to-date insurance. References are a good idea too, follow them up and look at work they have done locally. Ask for a full written quotation and make sure you know whether VAT, removal of branches and tidying up is included in that as well. If you wish to keep the wood, then make that clear from the start as you may save quite a bit of money. And never pay until the job is finished! In addition to understanding the health and structure of these living monuments, tree surgeons are creative and artistic so can prune to a beautiful and natural shape. Trees can live for many decades so it is very important that they are looked after by the best people available!

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Continued from page 38

reed-mace (typha minima), perfect if you love bulrushes but don’t have the space for them; water forget-me-not (myosotis scorpioides) with their stunningly pretty pale blue flowers; and water and bog iris (eg iris laevigata) with their rich purple blooms. You’ll need about two plants per metre. Water-features attract wildlife, and on summer days you may well be visited by beautiful, colourful dragonflies or mayflies. If there’s any depth of water then many birds may also come to drink and bathe. And remember, even a small pond needs a safe exit-route in case wildlife such as hedgehogs pop by for a drink and inadvertently tumble in. A shallow beach of pebbles at one end should do the trick.

If your feature has a sizeable surface, it’s well worth netting it in the autumn to catch falling leaves. Simple garden netting stretched taut over the surface is ideal. Remove it as necessary, tip off the leaves, and replace it until the worst of the leaf-fall is over. If leaves are allowed to accumulate in the water they’ll not only clog the pumps and reduce the depth of the water, but as they rot down they’ll produce methane gas which is toxic to pond life. In winter, try to stop the water feature from freezing up. If the weather forecast predicts extremely cold temperatures, smaller features are best emptied out

completely and the pump cleaned up and stored in the shed. Ponds with fish need to have an ice-free area maintained on the surface or the fish may be killed by toxic gasses such as methane building up under the ice. Floating an old football on the surface helps, or you could melt a hole in the ice using the bottom of a pan of very hot water (but don’t pour the water in), repeating when the surface re-freezes. Visit Pippa’s website www. pippagreenwood. com for ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ for the AskPippa Q&A service, Nemaslug, natural pest controls and lots more besides!

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By the UK’s largest oven cleaning company

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: 01635 818080 www.ovenclean.com See page 61

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Thatcham Connections’ Quiz

See page 61

See page 61

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Feature: Thatcham Connections’ Childrens challenge Page

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Photograph supplied by courtesy of The Allenova School of Dancing

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See page See 61

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HandyNumbers

Emergency Community Responders Police/Emergency Thames Valley Police British Gas Emergency Thames Water Emergency Southern Electric Emergency Royal Berks Ambulance NHS Royal Berks Fire & Rescue

0800 587 0207 Dial 112 0845 8505 505 0800 111 999 0845 9200 888 0845 770 8090 0118 9365500 0118 945 2888

Post Offices Cold Ash (last posting 4.20pm) Hermitage (last posting 4.30pm) Tesco, Northfield Road The Co-op, 54 The Broadway Woolhampton (Last posting 4.45pm) Yattendon (last posting 4.00pm)

01635 588300 01637 200276 01635 873251 01635 863223 01189713729 01635 201236

Schools Brockhurst & Marlston Downe House School Elstree School Francis Baily Kennet Parsons Down Infant & Nursery Parsons Down Junior Spurcroft Primary St Finians Cold Ash St Marks Cold Ash Thatcham Park C of E Trinity Whitelands Park Primary Yattendon Primary School Chemists Boots, Thatcham Medical Practice Lloyds Pharmacy, Burdwood Ctre Lloyds Pharmacy, Crown Mead Lloyds Pharmacy, Kingsland Ctre Term Dates 2012 -2013

• • • • • •

Supermarkets Tesco, Northfield Rd The Co-op (24 hrs) at Texaco Garage The Co-op Broadway The Co-op Burdwood Centre The Co-op Dunston Park Waitrose, The Broadway Yattendon Stores

CitizensBureau Advice Bureau Citizens Advice West Berks CAB, 0845 0269402 West Berks CAB, at Thatcham Health Centre 01635 516605 at Thatcham Health Centre 01635 516605 Helpline 01635 864245 01635 588300 Helpline for Carersfor Carers 01635 864245 ClientLine Advice Line 0844 4779980 01635 865052 Client Advice 0844 4779980 01635 869701 01635 865011 Travel Travel Rail Enquiries 08457 484950 01635 868113 Rail Enquiries 08457 484950 01635 567500 01635 201236 Newbury Newbury Buses Buses 01635 567500

Hospitals West Berkshire Community Hosp Minor Injuries Only Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Other Important Other Important NumbersNumbers 0800 800 151 01635 273300 B.T. FaultB.T. LineFault Line 0800 800 151 Fly toTipping, 01635 519080 Fly Tipping, report to report 01635 519080 08443 105040 0118 3225111 KATS KATS 08443 105040 Connections 0118 9886070 0118 9886070 ThatchamThatcham Connections Photographic Club 865516 01635 865516 ThatchamThatcham Photographic Club 01635 Vet: O'Gormon Slater Main 01635 868382 Vet: O'Gormon Slater Main 01635 868382 DVLA Swansea 0300 7906801 01635 867171 DVLA Swansea 0300 7906801 01635 868006 01635 866169 RecyclingRecycling Garden Centre, 0118 9787811 HermitageHermitage Garden Centre, 01635 20001635 442 200 442

Medical Practitioners Thatcham Medical Practice, Bath Rd Burdwood Surgery 01635 200293 Emergency Only 01635 200286 Out of Hours Doctor 0118 971 3302 01635 862188 Helping Services 01635 862121 A.A. 01635 862475 Cruse Bereavement Care 01635 866700 Newbury & District Cancer 01635 871541 Care Trust 01635 865925 Childline 01635 862600 PALS 01635 870950 Royal British Legion 01635 41373 RSPCA 01635 862517 Victim Support 01635 201397 Library

01635 864423 01635 868538 01635 863334 01635 869244

(glass, textiles, books) (glass, textiles, books)

Centre Car-park KingslandKingsland Centre Car-park adjacent to Waitrose adjacent to Waitrose (paper, (paper, glass, 0845 7697555 mixed plastics, textiles, glass, mixed plastics, textiles, cans)cans) 01635 523573 Household Waste Recycling Household Waste Recycling CentreSt(opposite Centre (opposite Gabriel'sSt Gabriel's School) 01635 31542 0800 1111 0118 932 3799 01635 867621 08705 555999 0845 30 30 900 01635 866049

Mon: 9.30-5.00 Tues: 9.30-7.00 Wed: NOT OPEN Thurs: 9.30-5.00 Fri: 9.30-7.00 Sat: 9.30-12.30

Term 1 - Wednesday 4th September 2013 - Thursday 24th October 2013 (Holiday: Friday 25th October 2013 - Monday 4th November 2013) Term 2 - Tuesday 5th November 2013 - Friday 20th December 2013 (Holiday: Monday 23rd December 2013- Friday 6th January 2014) Term 3 - Tuesday 7th January 2014 - Friday 14th February 2014 (Holiday: Monday 17th February 2014- Monday 21st February 2014) Term 4 - Monday 24th February 2014 - Thursday 3rd April 2014 (Holiday: Friday 04th April 2014 - Monday 21st April 2014) Term 5 - Tuesday 22nd April 2014 - Friday 23rd May 2014 (Holiday: Monday 26th May 2014- Friday 30th May 2014) Term 6 - Monday 2nd June 2014 - Wednesday 23rd July 2014

In Service Day - Tuesday 3rd September 2014 will be an INSET DAY for all West Berkshire Schools. Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.

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2. They They can can all all come come in in aa pack. pack. 2. 3. They all won Eurovision Song Song Contest. They all won the the Eurovision Contest. 3. 4. They They all all spoke spoke with with aa stutter. stutter. 4. 5. Adding Adding aa letter letter at at the the start start of of them them turns turns 5. colours. them into colours. 6. They They can can all all be be prefixed prefixed by by ‘Road ‘Road To’. To’. 6. 7. They They are/were are/were all all blind blind inin one one eye. eye. 7. advertising campaigns. 8. They dropped Tiger Woods from advertising 9. They are all fictional doctors 9. 10.They are are times times of of day day when when the the shipping shipping forecast forecast is is broadcast. broadcast. 10.They

food

FOOT

OLD BLUECOAT SCHOOL

for its history and for concert bookings --or to hire see www.oldbluecoatschool.org.uk

The Thatcham Art Experience runs regular courses and workshops with specialist tutors in : Pastels, Watercolours, and Acrylics Four-week Wednesday evening courses take place in Thatcham Methodist Church Hall , Chapel Street, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. A four-week daytime drawing course with Jo Derczynska will start on Thursday, 7th November in The Old Bluecoat School, Thatcham, 9 a.m. -11 a.m. Course fee £32 All levels of experience welcome! Email: thatchamartexperience@gmail.com Phone: 07914 321 681 ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

61


INDEX: Accountant Accountability 15 T.C. Accounting Services 8 Amateur Theatrical Society KATS 2 Barns The Barn Partnership 7 Berkshire County Fayre 12 Blinds Smart Blinds 10 Boarding Kennels Foxhold 16 Builders A Thompson 29 Falkland Builders 25 Car Maintenance A-Z Autoparts 27 Halfway Garage 27 Pegasus 25 Carpenter/Joiner Liege Carpentry 16 Roger Fisher 8 Cats Protection Newbury Cats Protection 8 Charity The Newbury & Dist Cancer Care Trust 10 Children Including Babies GR Swimming School 57 Monkey Music 56 Chimney Lining KP Voller 45 Chimney Sweep PC Dollin 12 Cleaning Home is 61 My Home 63 Coaching The Margaret Spencer 11 Practice Computers Sarah Sladen 17 Curtains & Soft Furnishings Indigo Designs 8 Dancing School Allenova School of Dancing 57 One Step Ahead 52 Decorator PC Decorating 12 J Thompson 16

Diet Cambridge Diet Dogs Canine Hydrotherapy Dog Groomer Dapper Dogs Drains Drain & Able Electrician Current Connection Home Electrics Fencing Crookham Sawmills Fitness Zumba & Pilates Flooring Laws Floors Florist Buttercups & Daisies Football Club Cold Ash Football Club Funeral Directors Geoffrey Church Turner Brothers Furniture Pine and Oak Gardening Services A4 Gardening Services AJC Services Back to the Fuchsia Buckingham Landscape Crookham Sawmills Garden Thyme JPH Forestry Kalehurst Lawn Force Mowers UK Guttering CD Guttering Handyman Peter Kirkham Martin Newman Hair & Beauty Bernies Koo’s Hair Designs Tracey Mobile Health Therapist Happy Bean Lettings Agency Castle Lettings & Property Services Locksmith Cap Security Locksmark

Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.

52 19 19 22 35 25 25 56 6 11 56 43 35 34 49 39 46 12 49 53 49 46 51 51 22 3 23 31 28 30 30/31

Oven Cleaning Cookerburra 8 Ovenclean 52 Pet Carer Pet Angels 21 Pest Control Control Services Limited 49 Photographer Sally Rimmer 15/20 Picture Framer Inner Piece 11 Pilates Lorraine 57 Plumber AJ Bosley 5 Hayes Heating & Plumbing 35 Thatcham & Newbury 22 Maintenance Services Paul Worsley 7 Podiatrist/Chiropody Treat your Feet 30 Renewable Energy The Energy Warehouse 45 Restaurants The Coach & Horses 30 Roofer A Thompson 27 Sand and Gravel Rivar Sand and Gravel 50 Solicitor Gardner Leader 9/64 Storage - secure The Barn Store 14 Tax Advice Tax Assist 43 Theatre School Read Theatre School 58 Vet Donnington Grove 19 Web Design Deborah Taylor 15 Weddings White Rose 33 Bridal Rooms Weight Loss Judy Harrison 13 Window Cleaner P.D.D. Services 50

15 10 22 62


No time for housework? We’ll clean your home to the highest standard! 9 Friendly, fully trained team

9 Flexible cleaning services (weekly, fortnightly, monthly)

9 Spring cleans, one-off blitz 9 All cleaning products & equipment provided 9 Your clean is fully insured & guaranteed Call Phil Ryder on

01635 873911 for a FREE estimate

Newbury.clean@myhome.com ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

63


Ursula Aitken

Thatcham Connections

Stable 5

Tel: 0118 9886070

Gravelly Bridge Farmhouse

email: ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk

Grazeley

Reading

RG7 1LG

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

Thatcham Connections Issue 45 (AprMay14)  

Local Magazine, Thatcham

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