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Thatcham Connections The Connections

Our Favourite Local Magazine

Business Directory

Christmas

St. John Ambulance

Thatcham Scouts

Competitions

Locals Who Launch

Delivered free to 6000 Homes and Businesses

November December January 2008/2009 Issue 18


Small Ads Innovative, stylish products for your baby or toddler. Host your own party & enjoy great discounts.

01635 41230 www.bambambaby.co.uk

Need any help with your horse? Ellie Walls

PROFESSIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP Established 1895 N.A.C.S. member CAGES, CAPS and COWLS FITTED (01635) 45175

07912 665514 (Experienced and locally based) 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

(Call at any time)

£3 off per chimney on presentation of this advert until 30.11. 08

Telephone Extensions Supply & Installation services Professionally fitted to BABT regulations anywhere into your property

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗

Extension telephone points Broadband ADSL telephone points Sky Digital telephone points Telephone line faults repaired All work guaranteed Free estimates/Competitive prices

0118 984 5184

0778 793 4883

WEBB TELECOM

0118 9744294

Baby Massage Classes With

Deborah

01635 Email: roundways88@btinternet.com

867300 www.iaim.org

ACCOUNTANCY AND TAX SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED See Page 47 for main advertisement

(01635) 582829


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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3


www.thatchamconnections.co.uk Dear Readers A very, very, warm welcome to everyone. Yes, this issue covers the festive period Christmas! I hope you will find inside some good ideas to help make this time extra special.

Connections. We will all do well to take advantage of these - as we can benefit from some significant savings. Please see pages 2, 3, 11, 12, 37 and 54. Watch the dates though in case you miss out!

Another regular columnist has joined us: Simon Claxton. He will be writing on money matters and his expertise in the financial world will be a very welcome addition for us.

Editor: Ursula Aitken Telephone: 0118e:9886070 ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk Stable 5, Gravelly Bridge Farmhouse Grazeley, Reading. RG7 1LG Printed by Newman Thomson

Printer: Newman Thomson The front cover photograph and the photos on pages 16, 34 and 57 are supplied by courtesy of Thatcham Photographic Club

Dare I say it, in this time of doom and gloom outside (in all ways!) this publication is well and truly helping local businesses. Readers, it is because of you that this is Congratulations to the winners happening. Thank you! Your of last issue’s Bucklebury support guarantees our fuFarm Park competition (see ture. page 16.) Debbie Smith from It is also very good to have Hermitage and Ann Socker the support of the Thatcham from Thatcham were the lucky Photographic Club. I am most winners. grateful to them for supplying I am pleased to tell you that us with excellent photos. in this issue we are running two more competitions. Please see pages 3 and 54. I hardly need say it - but I am looking forward to another full mail box! In addition, there are other offers to readers of Thatcham

Finally, if there are any local clubs who want free publicity, do please contact me. I will always help if possible. With all best wishes for now, Christmas and the New Year.

www.norriesite.com

Contents

Page

Please note Childrens’ Challenge page has flown to page 62

Wordsearches

9/26

Letter Sudoku : Each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the letters shown in the anagram given below the puzzle. The finished grid will reveal a nine-letter word. .

Thatcham Scouting

12

St. John Ambulance

14/15

Out and About around Thatcham

16

Gardening Feature

28/29

Christmas Fragrances

33

Boxing Day

34

Starting a new Business

46/47

Community Pages Remembrance Day

56/57 57

Christmas last posting times

56

Please note - next latest copy date : Mid-day Friday 9 January 2009


With our straight forward casting process we can save precious moments in your life to touch and hold forever. We can cast anything from a baby’s tiny finger to an adult torso or a dog’s paw. We can present your memory in a wide range of finishes including our popular choices of Bronze resin, Aluminium Resin and Marble plaster. We also cast in solid metal or simple plaster to suit your requirements. To find out more on how to keep a unique record of baby’s hands and feet or preserve the tender touch of a loved one forever, please contact us for a free consultation in your home or at our studio.

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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5


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

Helen’s Hairy Hounds Mobile Dog Grooming Service Pamper Your Dog In The Comforts Of Your Own Home

Thornford Road Crookham Common Newbury RG19 8EL

Good Homes required for Ex-Racing Greyhounds (free to suitable homes)

All Dogs Walked Daily Professional Care and Attention at all times Viewing welcome by appointment For further details please ring

01635 268544 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 11am-3pm by appointment www.newbury.cats.org.uk

Trimming/Clipping Brushing/Bathing Turbo Drying Ear Cleaning Nail Clipping Friendly Reliable Service City & Guilds Trained

Tel: 07766 303476 www.helenshairyhounds.com

F.C. CUMMINS & SONS 2 MILES NORTH OF NEWBURY ON B4009

HORSE/ANIMAL and POULTRY FEEDS A range of pet food for Cats/Dogs and Small Pets Natural and organic feed plus other equine supplements and goods

Horse Feed from £5.50 per bag Cash & Carry or Delivery Paddock Maintenance and Fencing Visit our shop now or phone us on

01635 200327 www.fccumminsandsons.co.uk


NEWBURY Donnington Grove Surgery, Oxford Road

01635 47170 (Small Animals, Farm and 24 Hour) 01635 39039 (Equine) Clinical expertise Full facilities including hospitalisation Friendly and helpful staff THATCHAM SURGERY 10 London Road, Thatcham Berkshire RG18 4LG Tel: 01635 868382

24 Hour Emergency Service

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

TADLEY SURGERY Old Kiln House, Silchester Road Tadley, Hampshire RG26 3PX Tel: 0118 981 5500

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

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Cedar Ceramics Tiling Specialist • Professionally trained, domestic & commercial, wall & floor tiler.

• Experienced, reliable, courteous, competent and friendly!

• Free no-obligation estimate at a time to suit you.

• Discounts on the tiles you choose, and free delivery to your door!

• For more information, other

services, photographs and recommendations see my website :

www.cedarceramics.co.uk or Contact ROSS on

01635 299372 226089

Mobile: 07790

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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Feature

Our Counsellor - Bruce Bamber

Confidence ... Writing this piece I was oozing with it until someone dear to me read the first draft and thrust the ‘indispensable guide to the use of good English’ under my nose. The room was suddenly filled with that unmistakable damp aroma of evaporating confidence. I was paralysed with uncertainty for some considerable time. The world markets were oozing with it until the ‘indispensable guide to the prudent management of credit’ was thrust under someone’s nose. Before we knew what was happening we had panic, paralysis and worse. Confidence can be a transient and delicate thing. It can be a good way to cover up a problem whether it be my inability to communicate successfully using the written word or the market’s prioritising of short term material gain over long term stability and prosperity. I would hope that the modest knock endured by my confidence has led me to re-evaluate and adapt my actions and build greater knowledge and resilience. The crisis resulting from false confidence on a global or a personal level can be a very destructive thing. There is plenty of ‘confidence’ out there on a Friday and Saturday night, there is ‘confidence’ from acting out a role, buying the right gear, having the best gizmo, controlling your appearance and environment, excessive risk taking or thrill seeking. You can feel confident if you avoid all those people who might point it out when you act like an arse. Of course, confidence based on a clear and objective knowledge of oneself is a fundamental building block of a healthy human being. But confidence has a nasty habit of masquerading as denial. At some level we all know that we can’t live on the never never forever. (Perhaps I need to look more carefully at my use of the English language after all.) Bruce Bamber can be contacted on 07769 783424

please see page 65


The Lamb Tapas and Grill Bar All the rustic charm of a traditional country pub but with a difference. Recently refurbished, The Lamb is now under the management of Head Chef Simon Rudd (who you may know from his days at The Royal Oak and The Beetle and Wedge) and offers something a bit different from the usual pub style menu. Simon has created a fresh and original menu, including a great selection of Mediterranean Tapas, mouth watering steaks and grills (from local supplier Vickers Game) and fresh fish from Devon, all accompanied by a fine selection of wines and beers. For Christmas, The Lamb offers two menus – one with traditional Christmas choices and a second featuring a selection of Tapas, for a Christmas party with a difference! You can download our menus at www.lambinn.info. Our party menus are available from – 24th December and for party bookings made before 17th November we will give a 10% discount off the full menu price.

2nd

The Lamb is now the perfect place not only for formal dining but also for that equally important casual drink and snack. We look forward to extending you a warm welcome, good service and a relaxing atmosphere.

The Lamb : Long Lane : Curridge :

Berkshire : RG18 9LY. www.lambinn.info.

Telephone 01635 200348.


Feature

Scouting in Thatcham, Cold Ash, Woolhampton and Hermitage

Taceham Hundred is the scouting district that covers Thatcham and the surrounding villages. We have a very active scouting community with 5 Scout Groups, 1st and 2nd Thatcham, Cold Ash, Woolhampton and Hermitage.

Some of the Activities

We have over 400 young people involved in the district so far. Young People The majority of our young people join Beaver Scouts (5¾-8) and stay with us though the Cubs (8-10½). Scouts (10½-14) and Explorer Scouts (14-18). You can join direct into any section, just contact us on the address below. Both boys and girls can join any of our sections. The movement offers young people a balanced programme giving them the opportunity to create friendships, build confidence, and develop team skills, leadership, independence, and initiative. We take part in a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing and many more. In older section we run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme so that members’ achievements are converted into a recognised certificate. Scouting can be for everyone In order to give young people these opportunities we rely on a large friendly team of adult volunteers who perform a wide range of roles, from Section Leaders, Assistants and Helpers to Support, Treasurers, Chairmen, Fundraisers; to specific activity instructors, kayaking climbing and many others. So that we can grow the movement further we need more adults to help. A role in scouting can take as much or as little time as you want to give and full training and support is given. Why not contact us to find out how you could get involved in helping us. Website: District: www.tacehamhundred.org.uk Explorer Scouts (14-18): www.axfordexplorers.escounts.net

Contacts: David, The District Commissioner: dc@tacehamhundred.org.uk Ben, the Distrit Explorer Scout Commissioner desc@tacehamhundred.org.uk

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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Feature

St John Ambulance


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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15


Feature

People and Places - Out and About around Thatcham Bucklebury Farm Park ‘Tractor John’ Millard and Gemma Howes are seen here picking the lucky winners of last issue’s competition. John is the guide and ‘conductor’ on the farm’s popular tractor and trailer rides around the Park. Gemma is one of the team of animal keepers and enjoys introducing visitors to the farm’s favourite residents including miniature donkeys, Shetland ponies, cows, sheep, llamas, wild boar and kune pigs as well as the cuddly collection of rabbits and guinea pigs.

Thatcham Court Nursing Home Thatcham Court Nursing Home was opened officially on 23 September. Mr Arnold Peters, who plays the character ‘Jack Woolley’ from BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’, assisted by Ray King, Bupa Chief executive, formally opened the home by unveiling a painting by local artist Sarah Moorcroft. Residents, relatives and staff enjoyed a champagne reception, followed by a buffet lunch. See page 40

Macmillan Cancer Support Over £500 was raised at a local coffee morning on 26th September. 40,000 coffee mornings throughout the country took place in a bid to raise over £8m. Macmillan are constantly holding fundraising events to raise much needed money for those affected by cancer. To learn more about the wonderful work Macmillan does, log on to: www.macmillan.org.uk.

The Tanzania Project On 17 September, Thatcham Photographic Club were invited to help Kennet School in raising funds to send 30 of its students to assist in renovating a village school in Mbokomu. The aim of the project is to provide a safe and stimulating environment for the local school children. Huge works have to be done before this is achieved. Thatcham Photographic Club displayed a selection of members’ photographs and raised in excess of £420 on the night.


A local charity for local people providing support, care and information For more information please contact :

01635 31542 ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

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Mobile Paint Pottery Events Host Paint your own Pottery events at your venue Children’s parties, ladies evenings, Rainbows, Brownies and much more! Ideal fundraising for both toddler groups and nurseries Baby and toddler hand/foot print sets available More information: www.paintpottery.co.uk

Contact Joanna on

01635 863309


Gardner Leader Child Contact and Child Support following a Relationship Breakdown Separating parents have much to contend with, particularly in the current economic climate. When a relationship breaks down, it is often a challenge to find a financial solution that is fair and acceptable to both parties, whilst ensuring that the needs of any dependant children are met. Lucy Savage, Legal Executive in the Family Team at Gardner Leader LLP, takes a closer look at the separate issues of child contact and Child Support that arise in these circumstances. Through the financial maze that the family is navigating following a relationship breakdown, of primary importance are the many and varied needs of the children. The children need to know that even though their parents no longer love each other, they (the children) are loved by both parents, irrespective of the financial arrangements that are made following the relationship breakdown. As far as possible, they should be kept unaware of any difficulties that the parents are having in reaching an agreement over who lives where and who receives what. When, however, the parents have reached agreement, it is very important for both parents to take part in telling the children the future plans. The parents will endeavour to make arrangements for the children to have contact with the parent with whom they are no longer living and, in addition, will try to agree the level of Child Support payments that will be made by the nonresident parent. Some will involve the Child Support Agency (CSA) and others will make their own informal arrangements. Sometimes a situation arises where a

non-resident parent is not making any child maintenance payments, perhaps because of unemployment or with no justifiable grounds, but still wants to see the children, what happens then? Some parents struggle with the notion that contact with children is neither parents’ “right”, but rather the child’s right to a good relationship with both parents wherever possible. It may seem unfair that a parent who, for example, is self employed “gets away with” reduced Child Support payments because their income is difficult to prove, but then expects to be “allowed” to take their children on holiday for a week. Perhaps the CSA makes an odd decision as to the level of payments that doesn’t seem fair. Is it therefore, OK to stop or reduce contact with the children until the non-resident parent pays a “fairer” amount, or insist on the number of overnight visits being reduced so that the CSA payment is increased? The legal precedent in the UK provides that child contact and Child Support payments should not be connected. Clearly committed parents will do their utmost to ensure the best possible standard of living for their children by making their Child Support payments as generous as possible, but such payments are not a prerequisite to contact taking place; children’s time is not “for sale”. Stopping contact can in certain circumstances be very detrimental to a child who may then think that they are to blame. The Family Team at Gardner Leader is committed to assisting families in reaching agreements on relationship breakdown that put the best interests of the children first, as the vast majority of parents understandably wish to do.

Contact: Lucy Savage, Legal Executive, Gardner Leader LLP Tel: 01635 508100 Please also see page 68.

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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LOCAL RESIDENTIAL CLEANING SERVICES

Hate Housework?

We Love It!

Local Resident, Phil Ryder, has recently taken on a myhome franchise covering the Thatcham area. Phil recognises that ’time’ is precious and that everyone needs to spend valuable time at home - sometimes, without having to do the cleaning! Phil heads up a team of highlytrained, fully insured, cleaning professionals who have undergone a strict vetting process, including police checks.

myhome’s cleaning service is tailored to meet the individual needs of each client, so before Phil can prepare a personalised quotation, he will visit the client at their property to assess their requirements and discuss any special requests. Phil explains ‘Most customers opt for a fortnightly clean as the service is so thorough. But our service is flexible and our one-off cleaning services are also great for people in a variety of situations - moving into a new home, vacating rental accommodation and undergoing the dreaded inventory check - or in emergency situations such as after parties, are due, or after the builders have been in’.

01635 873911 www.myhomeplc.com newbury@myhomeplc.com

before family

With Christmas approaching, why not let us make Your Home Sparkle!


Lady Painter Jackie Cleaver

Supply and fit hardwood flooring Restore and repair original floors Free Quotes Personal and Professional Service Competitive prices Fully Insured Tel: Mob:

01488 684078 07931330310

www.oaktree-floors.co.uk

Hungerford

07771 636990

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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21


please see also page 25


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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23


MONKEY

LOOKS FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU

!


CHILDRENS

Only 6 children per class Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Swimmers ASA recognised Award Scheme CRB checked

Bookings being taken for lessons at Brockhurst School and Downe House School, Thatcham

Call 0845 094 1575 (local rate)

rose@swimlessons.co.uk www.swimlessons.co.uk

Small friendly classes

• • • • • •

Fun French Music and Dance Soft-play Cooking Drama

• • • • • •

Early Years Foundations Stage •

snorkelling

• • • •

Stroke improvers

BOOK NOW FOR JANUARY TERM COURSE

Diving

‘ We are looking for ASA Level 1 and Level 2 Swimming Teachers

Beginners from 3 1/2 years

Gardening Fantastic Outdoor play facilities Animal Care Arts and Crafts Woodland Adventures Healthy home cooked meals Ofsted Registered

Padworth Common, Berkshire, RG7 4JD 0118 9701600

www.jubileedaynursery.co.uk

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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Nightingale’s Swim School

Small, friendly classes for all ages & abilities. Sunday morning lessons at Downe House School, Cold Ash, Thatcham We have some spaces left

for this term ‌. Call now for availability!

Telephone 01264 771043 or email info@nightingales-swim-school.co.uk


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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27


Garden Thyme Garden Maintenance and Landscape Services

Garden Thyme is run by Ian Douglas and Mark Lissenden. Ian and Mark have over 30 years of combined experience and knowledge in the gardening sector, maintaining and developing private and commercial gardens to a high standard. They have won 2 National BALI awards. They pride themselves in offering a reliable and professional service. Their services include: patio laying, pressure washing and lawn treatments (with selective weed killers), garden clearances, hedge cutting, tree pruning, fencing, winter digging, vegetable planting and aftercare. They offer one-offs, weekly, fortnightly or monthly visits. No job is either too small or too big. Please ring for a very competitive quote. The photographs below show their work :

Office 01635 866546 Ian Douglas 07725 819 652 Mark Lissenden 07742 078 026 gardenthymeservices@hotmail.co.uk


See p 58

01635 202232

Newbury Garden Buildings

01635 2000 00

The Energy Warehouse Ltd

Renewable Energy Showroom & Consultancy 01635 203344

Berkshire Aquatics

• Wide range of Koi and pond fish • Equipment • Pond Design & Build

01635 202300

Paramount Pools Ltd

01635 201854 01635 201623 ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

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Feature

Gardening Pages

A Night Garden ……..

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day.” Vincent Van Gogh

As the nights draw in it’s tempting to close the curtains and snuggle up in the warm, leaving your garden to nature’s resting season. But, the judicious use of outdoor lighting can revolutionise your view of the garden transforming it into a magical and mysterious place. A well designed lighting scheme adds another dimension to your garden by highlighting dramatic plants and producing exciting scenes reminiscent of fairyland. If you don't go into your garden at night, admire it from inside by creating a picture from your window. Highlight individual aspects such as a particular plant or the branch of a tree, nestle small lights among foliage and around containers on

your patio to create subtle pools of illumination. Add impact by installing a beam to draw attention to something special like a pond or sculpture. For those of you who use your garden at night, whether for summer entertaining or winter peace, make sure you provide enough light to enable you to move around safely. You don’t need to make the light so bright it looks like daylight, just enough to prevent accidents. Avoid dazzle and also make sure you don’t create confusing shadows. A little light by the door to your garden will make sure that you are not temporarily blinded in the darkness and lamps along the pathway so you can see where you’re going are enough. Less is more, as shadows and darkness make the landscape more atmospheric. Place lamps where you have steps and


other unexpected changes of level and, if you have a pond, a strategically placed light near the water provides a sparkle that is truly exquisite and also prevents accidents. Spotlight fountains and moving water and ensure the light fitting is not reflected in the water. You must purchase light fittings that are specifically designed for outdoor use as to use any other would be dangerous; they are made of corrosion resistant materials and sealed against the weather. For more professional and impressive lighting you will need to employ an approved electrical contractor to install your display and make sure all connections are properly sealed and wiring weatherproofed. Remember, plants grow and change over the seasons and years so take this into account when positioning permanent lights. In the winter garden trees produce dramatic shapes and grasses look particularly spectacular when lit. During the summer, any white or pale coloured flowers glow beautifully under illumination and an added dimension of perfume enhances the night-garden experience.

Plan ahead for the summer with the following night scented plants: Jasmine, which as well as its heady perfume, produces a profusion of white flowers that shine in the light. Evening Primrose flowers open every evening throughout the summer until the first frosts and Night Scented Stock is appropriately named. Nicotiana, or the Tobacco Plant has trumpet shaped blossoms fill the evening air with a delicious scent and Ipomea alba, or Moon Flower is an evergreen climber vine that is fragrant all evening. Even at this time of year, scent can be experienced. Sarcococca hookeriana, or Christmas Box, flowers throughout the winter and cannot be beaten for perfume. The tiny, unassuming flowers produce a concentrated delectable honey fragrance. Brighten up these dark evenings by bringing some radiance into your garden and, while you enjoy your new view, plan your summer planting and barbeques in your newly luminous wonderland. Š 2008 Rose Henfrey

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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31


KAVEN BEAUTY CLINIC Give the lady in your life a gift that she will appreciate. Show your love and understanding for all the mundane things she does for you. Send her to be pampered at

Kaven

51 CHURCH STREET THEALE READING BERKSHIRE RG7 5BX

Gift Vouchers available for

Christmas Gifts from as little as £10 Also

Christmas Open Evening 26th November 2008 from 6pm

complementary make up’s and mini manicures free

Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm, Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-4pm

www.kaven.co.uk Call to book on 01189 303747


Feature

Christmas Fragrances

“Of all the senses, none surely is so mysterious as that of smell... the nature of the emanations that stir it to activity is still unknown... its effects upon the psyche are both wide and deep, at once obvious and subtle.” from ‘Aromatic and the Souls – A Study of Smells’ by Dr. D. McKenzie, 1923

S

cents have the uncanny ability to conjure up memories and emotions in one single whiff. A waft of a certain perfume or aftershave can recall your first love; the scent of damp leaves brings childhood recollections of playing outside and Christmas has a set of aromas special to each person. The fragrances of the seaside, Play Doh, wood smoke, books, certain flowers and wet dog will produce different reminiscences for all of us. This is because our sense of smell is directly linked to a part of the brain that automatically creates emotional memories. The allure of perfume is thousands of years old and the first scents used deliberately were aromatic woods and resins that were burnt on fires. This method of scenting an area evolved into incense and, in fact, the word ‘perfume’ means ‘through smoke’. Frankincense and myrrh are both derived from tree sap and are naturally associated with Christmas, yet few of us know what they actually smell like. The power of the appropriate aroma has been recognised by many businesses; the scent of freshly baked bread and spiced buns is piped out in supermarkets to encourage us to buy more; estate agents recommend brewing coffee before showing prospective purchasers around the house you are trying to sell and, in some countries, revitalising scents are wafted into underground train stations to cheer up glum commuters.

perfume is now packaged in bottles which are often a piece of art in their own right, something beautiful to adorn the dressing table and a wonderful gift. Many gorgeous perfumes enveloped in stunning containers will be given and received this Christmas. Incorporating scent into everyday life is easy and can prove safer than potentially buying the wrong, costly perfume for your loved one. Perfumed candles, scented hand and body lotion, drawer sachets to fragrance your clothes, aromatherapy burners and diffusers are all ingenious ways to add some uplifting aroma to yourself and your home.

Christmas has its own set of smells that are forever embedded in our minds, Christmas dinner, plum pudding and brandy, cinnamon, oranges studded with cloves and pine Although our sense of smell is considered insignificant compared to other animals, it is needles add to the wonderful smell of more important than most people realise. For nostalgia. example, how could you tell whether meat was rotten or milk had turned if you couldn’t Perhaps you could find some frankincense and myrrh to add to the scent collection. smell the rancid odour? Although we still use oils and incense, most ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

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33


Feature

Boxing Day

Boxing Day means something different to

everyone. For some it’s a day to spend relaxing at home after the mayhem of Christmas Day; children playing with new toys, adults recovering from an excess of food and drink. Perhaps for you it’s the day to enjoy one of the many sporting events either on the television or in real life. For others it’s a day to get out and about in the fresh air, perhaps going for a nice long walk in the countryside. More recently it’s become a day for some serious ‘retail therapy’ – as if the run-up to Christmas Day itself wasn’t enough – with many queuing outside stores from the early hours of the morning in the hope of grabbing a bargain in the sales. But have you ever wondered about the origins of Boxing Day? Why does it have such an odd name? Many people have pondered this, and the truth appears to be hotly disputed. While it’s a public holiday in Britain and a handful of Commonwealth nations, other countries don’t recognise it at all. Boxing Day has nothing to do with disposing of discarded boxes, pugilism or returning unwanted gifts to the shops. Its origins lie in the practise of people giving a present to those who had worked for them during the year. Other theories postulate different beginnings, but the main theme running

through them all is that of gifting those less fortunate than ourselves. From the lord of the manor handing out boxes of food, cloth and money to his servants, to the Churches opening their alms boxes to help the destitute, Boxing Day has a long history of charitable donations and seems to take its name from these various ‘boxes’. Whereas gifts between those of equal status were given on or before Christmas Day, the following day was reserved for recognising those less fortunate members of society, whether employees or the generic “poor”. Boxing Day is also St. Stephen's Day, named for the first Christian martyr. His name lives on in the familiar Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas”. King Wenceslas was a Catholic king of Bohemia in the 10th century, and may well have started the notion of benevolence to the underprivileged on “the Feast of Stephen” when he helped the poor man struggling through the snow. So Boxing Day may have a very long history indeed. All this seems to have been largely lost in nowadays. Our modern day equivalent is the Christmas bonus or Yuletide tips, and Boxing Day is often spent shopping. Consumerism has taken over from charity. What does it mean to you?


PANG VALLEY ORGANICS Organic Produce at an affordable price.

Organic beef, lamb and chicken home produced on our own farm which has been certified organic since 2000 Rare breed organic pork organic vegetables

BOOK YOUR CHRISTMAS TURKEY NOW ! Eling Farm, Hermitage, Newbury, Berkshire RG18 9XR

Tel: 01635 200021 Email:elingfarm@clara.co.uk Eling Farm is located between Hermitage and Yattendon or between Hermitage and Hampstead Norreys just off the B4009 Opening Times Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9am - 1 pm

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

35


The Fox Inn High Street: Hermitage : Berkshire : RG18 9RB For reservations and party bookings, please call us on 01635 201545 The Fox Inn has a reputation for good food and drink served in the relaxing atmosphere of a traditional country pub, complete with timbered beams and wood burning stove. Our menu includes a range of reasonable priced home-made meals, using fresh produce from local suppliers. Listed in The Good Beer Guides 2007 and 2008, you can choose from 4-5 well kept real ales, as well as a fine selection of wines and beers. We also offer a large choice of soft drinks. Our Christmas party menu is now available and, for bookings made before 17th November, we will offer a 10% discount if you mention that you read about us in Thatcham Connections. We look forward to extending you a warn welcome, friendly service and the relaxing atmosphere of a real country inn.

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

37


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

39


CAMRA

West Berkshire Branch Campaign for Real Ale

Pub of the Year 3 - 9 November

THE SIX BELLS

“Pie Week” Come and sample

The Green Four Star Inn AA rating

our infamous

Beenham

home made pies !

RG7 5NX

Christmas Menu

01189

now available … also

713368

New Year Gala Dinner

Proprietors: Glynis & Chris

• For all Ages • Very Competitive Prices • If We Don’t Stock It We Can Get It • All Your Crafting Need In One ●Knitting materials ●Hand Made Paper ● Decoupatch

114 Bartholomew Street

Newbury

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

Berkshire

RG14 5DT

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

41


Locals Who Launch

MARSHA SWANZY 07833 778803 www.marshaswanzy.com marsha_swanzy@yahoo.com

Unit 10 Lower Way Farm Thatcham RG19 3TL

U NIQUE

F ASHION DESIGNS WHICH ARE : ‘Quirky’ ‘Classic’ ‘Vintage’ ‘Unusual’ ‘One-off ’ ‘Made to measure’ ‘Different’ Also: Creative soft furnishings Curtain work High quality alteration service. QUINTESSENTIALLY ENGLISH

“ENJOY

BEING NOTICED”


Feature

Our Financial Expert, Simon Claxton With whom have you placed your Trust, then? Worrying figures provided by the UK life insurance industry show that only 1% of life insurance policies are written in trust. There are major benefits to putting life policies in trust so many thousands of people are missing out!

Sometime ago you may have been sold a life insurance policy, either by a financial adviser or insurance broker. Good financial advisers would explain the options around setting up either a joint policy or a policy each which can be more tax efficient. Other options such as “life of another� may be more appropriate together with a specific trust. Today we can buy life insurance cover over the phone, on the internet and even when we do the weekly shop. These life cover providers are not always in a position to advise on the many options so you never get told about them. This is because most people are primarily concerned with price but they could be making an expensive mistake by not taking professional advice. If you need life assurance then speak with an independent financial adviser (IFA) who can source a competitively priced policy and show you the best way of setting your policy up. So do you need life insurance in trust? Well this very much depends on your own personal circumstances. The main benefits are that the policy proceeds are paid out very quickly, no need for probate, and the policy payout does not form part of your estate for inheritance tax. There are three parties needed for a trust: 1.

The Settlor - This is you. You are gifting this policy into the Trust.

2.

The Beneficiaries - These are the people who will receive the policy proceeds in the event of death. You can nominate spouses, children, grandchildren etc and also specify amounts of money or percentages they will receive.

3.

The Trustees - These are the people that oversee and look after the Trust. Trustees need to ensure that funds are distributed according to the trust deed.

Significant Inheritance Tax (IHT) savings can be made by placing life insurance policies into trust as the policy proceeds are paid to the Trust and not your estate. A good Financial Adviser can provide basic trust documents for free so there is no additional cost unless your situation is particularly complex. An adviser can also make sure you have the right policy. For example, in many cases having a policy each for mortgage protection can be very similar in cost compared to just having one joint life policy between you so what would you rather have? Make a start today by contacting an independent financial adviser. They can assess your requirements and take you through the steps needed to set your life insurance up correctly.

Simon Claxton can be contacted on 01635 202001

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

please see page 53

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

43


Feature

Advertiser Profile

Nightingale’s Swim School mornings held at on Sunday Downe House Cold Ash info@nightingales-swim-school.co.uk RG18 9JJ www.nightingales-swim-school.co.uk Being a mother of young children herself, Carrie Nightingale knows how important it is to teach children to swim properly ! This is why she started Nightingale’s in 2001. All the teachers in the school are ASA qualified (Amateur Swimming Association) and they welcome all children from 6 months onwards. Mums or guardians are welcomed too in the pool - or watching at the side. Nightingale’s also recognises the importance of working with a family, wherever possible, so that they are either in the pool at the same time or in adjacent lessons.

One stroke at a time is taught. Every child works at his or her own speed. This ensures that everyone’s confidence is built up soundly and systematically. Carrie has been teaching on Sunday mornings at Downe House School for the past 5 years. As you can see, the pool is large and beautiful. To enquire about availability, please email or call :

01264 771043

Carrie Nightingale

See also page 26

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

45


Feature

Starting a New Business

Starting a new business takes guts, determination, know-how and a little luck. Have you got what it takes? Fed up with the current gloom and doom messages about the economy, yet you have an amazing business idea which you’re sure is a winner. What do you do now? Plan The first thing on the agenda is to formulate a clear business plan. You need to know why you are setting up in business, determine your goals and to work out whether there is a market for your goods or services. A strong business plan is essential. Write everything down, as thoughts and ideas tend to evolve better on paper in a structured format and the end product is also essential for negotiating finance should the need arise. Competitors Never underestimate them. Find out who they are and what they offer. Identify their weaknesses then ensure your product or service is that much better. You need to work out where you fit in. Will your product be cheaper but just as good, or more expensive but aimed at the top end of the market? Where is your niche? Your skills Be honest about these. You might have great sales skills but know nothing about finance. If you lack an important skill who will provide it? If you need to employ staff be honest about their skills too. It’s tempting to employ a friend or family member when in reality they may not be the person best suited to the job. Business Structure Will you be a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company? All have advantages, disadvantages and tax implications which will impact upon your business.

Finance Don’t underestimate how much setting up a new business costs. Research fully and don’t be afraid to take advice. Even the best idea won’t make megabucks immediately. We all start small and grow with time (Don't I know it - Ed Thatcham Connections!) Ideally you should save enough money to keep you going through the early stages. Remember to research any grants or low interest loans which might be available to you. If this is not an option, your wellresearched business plan should help you to secure extra finance from a financial institution. Recognise the importance of generating cash and keeping it flowing. If cash flow gets blocked explore alternative ideas for funding. Invoice financing for instance can release up to 85% of cash held in unpaid invoices. It’s important to be realistic. When you fill in cash-flow forecasts and operating budgets make sure that the break-even point is set at a comfortable level. Then monitor your actual performance against your forecasts. Credit Try to negotiate longer credit terms with suppliers and shorter terms with customers. Consider how early settlement or volume discounts could benefit your business.


Review suppliers regularly to ensure their prices are still competitive. Seek Advice There is plenty of free advice available through local enterprise agencies, Business Link and bank managers. Don’t ignore paid advice though. Financial advisers, accountants and solicitors can be very useful but choose carefully. Visit several before you make a decision and don’t just choose the cheapest. You need someone who appreciates your needs and understands the direction you’re heading. A good external adviser can stop you making rash and/or disastrous business decisions. Contingencies Think about life cover and key person insurance. What would happen if you or one of your key people couldn’t work? Is your product protected? Do you understand tax and employer

obligations? Have you considered your public liability requirements? Take action now. Finally Expect to take a few knocks. Every business will experience difficulties at some point. If you’re flexible, creative, professional and optimistic it will make glitches much easier to overcome.

Useful Web Addresses www.businesslink.gov.uk Phone 0845 600 9 006 www.sbs.gov.uk (Small Business Service) Phone 0207 215 5000 www.hmrc.gov.uk (Inland Revenue) www.smallbusinessadvice.org.uk Phone 01234 831 623 www.nfea.com (National Federation of Enterprise Agencies)

ELECTRICAL & PROPERTY SERVICES For all domestic electrical work Property Maintenance Part P Registered Electrician Emergency call out Free Estimates 01635 860126 07786 846 367 info@abc-electrical-property.co.uk

ACCOUNTANCY AND TAX SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED Business Accounts Self Assessment Returns VAT Buy-to-Let CIS Payroll Meetings at Home/Business Fees fixed in advance

(01635) 582829

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

47


Feature

Our Health Therapist - Theresa Wright

Enjoy Christmas without the Guilt!

feeling full. This is why you often feel

I am often asked “What should my ideal

really hungry half

weight be?” This is such a difficult ques-

way through the

tion to answer. I feel that too much em-

morning if all you

phasis is put on weight and not enough

have had for break-

emphasis on being healthy.

fast is a slice of white toast. In fact if you

The first consideration is body shape.

have a white bread

Unless you go under the knife, there are

sandwich at lunch-

certain factors that won’t change. If you

time too you are go-

were born a pear shape (small waist and

ing to have a serious blood sugar drop in

large thighs), no amount of dieting is

the afternoon and that is when all resolve

going to change that. In fact you could

goes out of the window as you grab the

end up looking really ill. And as you get

nearest chocolate biscuit to appease those

older there are body changes that are

lowered blood sugar cravings!

going to happen - come what may. However, a healthy body, of whatever

Drinking water is good for you. It keeps

age, will make you look great. Well toned

you hydrated and therefore keeps your

muscles give good body shape and a

organs healthy and your brain working. A

clear skin achieved by a healthy diet

2% drop in hydration causes difficulty with

makes a person look well at any age!

simple maths problems and fuzzy thinking. A little alcohol goes a long way – I’m afraid

How do you achieve this? The answer is

all the calories in alcohol are empty which

surprisingly simple, but difficult to follow!

means that they just go to building fat.

Eat a healthy diet, drink water, take ex-

Both tea and coffee are dehydrating and

ercise. What could be easier?

can induce stress as caffeine increases the heart rate.

Eating a healthy diet means avoiding processed foods, saturated fats, refined

Exercise is not so hard either! We live in

sugars and grains. Processed and refined

one of the most beautiful parts of South-

foods are very addictive. There is an ad-

ern England. Get out there and go for a

vert for a certain type of crisp snack

walk! Join a local dancing class, even bet-

which says “You just can’t pop one!” Too

ter go with your partner and make it a fun

right, you end up munching the whole

night out! We are well served with local

bowlful because once those chemicals hit

swimming pools, riding schools, badmin-

your digestive system, your body craves

ton, tennis, squash, rugby and football

more! Refined grains (white flour prod-

clubs. There really is no excuse. The Catch

ucts) are quick to digest and are far less

22 is that you feel too tired to exercise,

satisfying than unrefined grains

however if you made the effort to exercise

(wholewheat products, oats and rye)

you would have so much more energy!

which take longer to digest and therefore stay in the stomach longer keeping you

See page 50


The school offers a range of dance classes for adults Ballroom, Latin American and Sequence Dancing. All abilities welcome from ‘two left footers’ with little sense of rhythm to those who wish to improve their technique and style - up to, and including, competition standard. Classes in Cold Ash & Newbury

School of Dance

01635 580930

www.1stepahead.info

Down to Earth Nursery 01635 861005 Lower Henwick Farm Turnpike Rd Thatcham www.down2earthnursery.co.uk

Specialising in original Hanging Baskets - flowers & edible

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

49


Midgham & Woolhampton pages

THERESA WRIGHT HEALTH THERAPIST

TREATMENTS •

REMEDIAL MASSSAGE THERAPY

AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE

FITNESS & HEALTH CONSULTATION

ONE ON ONE

• Theresa has her own exclusive private gym and clinic - so you can be assured of total privacy

FITNESS COACHING

SIX WEEK HEALTHY EATING PROGRAMME T M E W

0118 9710255 0777 5708431 theresa@theresamwright.com www.theresamwright.com


Midgham & Woolhampton pages

Bernies Hair & Beauty Barn

Kennet Holme Farm Buildings, Bath Road, Midgham RG7 5UX Telephone: 01189 713 562

Kim Jones With 8 years beauty experience, Kim delivers a high quality service in all of her treatments. This is supported by extensive product knowledge including Dermalogica, Bio sculpture, Jessica manicures and pedicures, Fake bake tanning, Crystal clear microdermabrasion and Hot stone massage. For more information and bookings please call 07717507839

Martin-Roman Karlsson Martin has over fifteen years of international experience as a professional hair stylist. He has worked extensively throughout Europe, including West End London. Martin brings special flair and passion for hairdressing. Maybe he can inspire you to have a great hair cut or hair up? For a free consultation please call me. Stay beautiful! 07766765109

Jill Wolstenholme Whilst many see a massage as a luxury item, Jill believes it can benefit all. Whether its ability to combat stress, ease aches and pains or just for relaxation purposes, she is keen to promote it as part of our everyday lives. Her range of treatments include Swedish and Indian Head Massage, Remedial, Pregnancy and Hot Stone Massage - or a luxurious Ayurvedic Facial. For more information, please call Jill 07786 415177


Feature

Music, Movies & More - News & Views with Alan Dorey

venue staff, but specialist organisations who actually sign bands and artists even When was the last time you went to see though they won’t be releasing music: big your favourite band live? Time was when names like Paul McCartney, Madonna and tours were infrequent and tickets like gold- Joni Mitchell have signed up to such firms: it’s all about dust, but as the getting a recording industry good return goes through its from the latest seismic tours – and shift, there’s a good never been a experience better time to see for the some great live audience music. too. Bands and T i c k e t musicians used to buying is so tour to hone their much easier music and these days promote albums: t o o – Pink Floyd, for whether by e x a m p l e , phone or previewed large chunks of Wish You Were Here some web – and even though you may well have months before it came out on LP. Tours to cough up a ‘handling charge’, it’s rare were a necessary requirement, but rarely that you can’t get tickets for most artists. made money and – let’s be honest – the Of course there are exceptions – the 2009 Led Zeppelin tour or a major artist playing sound quality was often poor. a small venue as a one-off – but usually, Today, bands tour to earn their income, to the customer wins out. sell CDs and promote themselves as a brand – and to get close to their fans. Long Venues too are getting more savvy: the time bands who haven’t troubled the charts Millennium Dome was a flop, but turn it in years can still make a good living on the into the O2 Arena and suddenly, major live circuit – back catalogues sell well and bands are attracted by its 25,000 indoor they’re often keen to collect your e-mail capacity. Artists can play a series of dates address so that newsletters and offers can at the same venue, thus saving on travel be sent out to you. Up and coming bands and still enabling many fans to get to see tour to get recognition, and although they them because of its central location. release CDs, they’re often self-issued as record companies tighten their purse- But, as with the huge explosion in music strings and sign fewer and fewer artists. festivals in recent years, the growth must They too want e-mail addresses – but also slow down soon: already some venues rely use My Space and Facebook and all the on tribute acts to subsidise bands other social networking-sites on the web to promoting original music and if we go too far down that road, venues will soon provide ‘extra value’. decline in number. Touring is where the money is and CDs are almost incidental. Just take a look in your So, forget the economic woes of the world, local paper or any of the music magazines get out there to enjoy fabulous live music to see the huge range of acts appearing and do your bit to keep the British music live near you. As always, where there’s industry alive and thriving. money, there are companies keen to help things along – not just promoters and Alan Dorey www.themusicalbus.com

“Got Live if you want it!”


THATCHAM & NEWBURY

NEED AN MOT?

MAINTENANCE SERVICES

Cars, Mini Buses, Light Commercial Classes 4, 5L and 7

01635 876777 WE CAN HELP

plumbing / heating electrical / carpentry Specialists in plumbing and heating. We are registered to install and service all systems.

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

£119 INCLUDING FREE MOT

AIR CONDITIONING SPECIALISTS....RECOVERY SERVICE

We offer many other maintenance services, including:

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

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Call us now on 01635 826770 or 07771 653289

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

53


J7

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DUPLICATION

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FUNKY COFFEE

Freshly Ground Coffee for ‘On the Go’ people has arrived in

THATCHAM OUTSIDE THE TRAIN STATION

Cheer up the day with a coffee !

OPEN FROM 6AM TO 6PM


Feature

Community pages

Useful local phone numbers: Emergency Thames Valley Police British Gas Emergency Thames Water Emergency Southern Electric Emergency

0845 8505 505 080 111 999 0845 9200 888 0845 770 8090

Travel Rail Enquiries Newbury Buses

08457 484950 01635 567500

Council

RSPCA DVLA Swansea Victim Support

08705 555999 0172 782341 0845 30 30 900

Health Thatcham Medical Practice 01635 867171 Doctors’ appointments 01635 871117 Appointment cancellations 01635 295445 All other appointments/calls 01635 295445 Burdwood Surgery 01635 868006 Newbury Hospital 01635 273300

Vet

West Berks District Council Thatcham Town Council

01635 42 00 01635 863592

Police Station West Berks Street Care

O’Gormon Slater & Main GKG Veterinary Surgeons

01635 868382 01635 868047

0845 8505505 01635 519080

Library

01635 866049

01635 8623223 0118 9713729

Mon: 9.30-5.00 Tues 9.30-7.00 Wed - not open

Post Office Broadway, Thatcham Woolhampton

Thurs 9.30 - 5.00 Fri 9.30 - 7.00 Sat 9.30 - 12.30

Thatcham Community Traders

December 2008 Last Posting Times UK Mon 15 Dec Thurs 18 Dec Sat 20 Dec Fri 19 Dec Tues 23 Dec

Standard Parcels Second Class First Class Special Delivery (Saturday guarantee) Special Delivery

International Airmail Fri 5 Dec

South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East, New Zealand & Australia

Wed 10 Dec

Japan, USA, Canada & Eastern Europe

Fri 12 Dec

Western Europe

Thatcham’s

COMMUNITY RESPONDERS Some of the Thatcham Team

Thatcham Catholic Hall Sunday 30 November 2.30 - 4.30 pm For more details: 01635 202 003

IF YOU NEED A DOCTOR OUT OF HOURS PHONE

West Call 0118 9787811

0800 587 0207 ‘We are waiting to hear from you!” www.southerncentralambulance.co.uk


Remembrance Day Parade Sunday 9 November 2008

The Parade will depart at approximately 10.35 am from Waitrose Car Park, march along Station Road, Broadway, High Street, A4 to the War Memorial. A service will take place at the War Memorial with a two minute silence at 11.00 am The Parade will then march to St Mary’s Church where there will be another short service. The National Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas, Staffordshire is a wonderful memorial to all those lost on the battle fields.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. Laurence Binyon Switching on Christmas Lights

‘Christmas Celebrations’

Friday 5 December

The switching on of the Christmas Lights in Thatcham will take place in the Broadway on Friday 5th December. As in previous years there will be entertainment and lots of fun for the family. There will be community carol singing, seasonal entertainment from Kennet School, Trinity School and Spurcroft Primary School plus performances from KATS and Cold Ash Brass Band. Community organisations will provide stalls offering food, game and gifts. It is hoped that Island Donkey Sanctuary will once again be in attendance. Many of the shops will stay open late providing an opportunity for Christmas shopping. Of course, Father Christmas will be appearing and children will have the opportunity to meet him and receive a small present. Additional entertainment in Santa’s Grotto will be provided by a Face Painter and Balloon Modeller. The theme this year will be “Pantomime!” and shops in the town are invited to take part in a window dressing competition organised by Thatcham Chamber of Commerce and Trade. Other competitions are planned, including a treasure hunt and fancy dress competition. And with the theme being Pantomime there will, of course, be a “Best Dame” competition for adults! The entertainment on the stage starts at 6.00 pm. ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

57


COMMERCIAL AND DOMESTIC

ELECTRICIAN WHEELERS GREEN WAY, THATCHAM

07875386490 mace.solutions@yahoo.com

·NAPIT registered ·Free no obligation quote ·Fully insured

Geoffrey Church & Co FUNERAL DIRECTORS Weddings & Funerals Bouquets & Arrangements Corporate Accounts Wedding Consultations at a time to suit you WE ALSO OFFER A LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICE

01635 202232

Hillier Garden Centre Priors Court Road - Hermitage

For a personal and dignified service at all times …

∗ Personal Service - 24 Hours ∗ Private Chapels of Rest ∗ All types of Memorials, supplied and fixed

∗ Pre-payment Funeral Plans available ∗ Enquiries welcome THATCHAM

HUNGERFORD

Churchgate, The Broadway Tel: 01635 868444

48a High Street Tel: 01488 686830

TADLEY 48 Bishopswood Road Tel: 0118 9814420


LET’S FACE FACTS: With people living longer, the strain on State benefits growing, and 1 in 9 baby Boomers forecast to live to 100 ...

Would you like

:

T h e Tr u t h ab o u t w h a t y o u s ho u l d a n d s ho u l d n't d o w i t h you r m on e y? To get a firmer idea of where you are heading financially? T o c h e c k t h a t y o u r e x i s t in g p r o v i s i o n s , su c h a s l i f e a s s u r a n c e o r p e n s i on s a r e r e a l ly r ig h t f or y o u? To t a k e c on t r o l of y o ur f i n an c e s w i t ho u t nec e s s a r i l y b e in g so l d a n y t h i n g - a n d s e e y o u r l i f e s ty l e i m pr o v e?

Call Simon Claxton at Fusion Financial Management on 01635 202001 First meeting is free to establish whether I can help!

Fusion Financial Management is a trading name of 2plan Ltd 2plan Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. It is entered on the FSA register (www.fsa.gov.uk) under reference 461598.

HOME COMPUTER TROUBLE TROUBLE--SHOOTER Having trouble understanding your computer? Using e-mails, Internet browsing, creating address books/labels or invitations/cards, digital photos, or just not the faintest idea where to start! Need to set up a wireless network, converting to broadband or any other hardware needs. I’m here to help. Contact Sarah Sladen 07979378408 or 01635 299429

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

59


L.M.C Tel: Mike Charlton on (M) 07895088910 (H) 01189 714034

Locally based

*M

*F FR IT EE TI NG *

E A FR E SU E RI NG

SMART BLINDS

*

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• • • • • • •

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.smart_blinds.net

Tracey Mobile Hairdressing 07770 823283 I offer quality, personal, affordable hairdressing in the comfort of your own home at a time to suit you. Based on Dunstan Park, 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: Tracey.blick@tiscali.co.uk Discounts available for double and group adult bookings.


Locals Who Launch PETER KIRKHAM YOUR LOCAL HANDYMAN Having worked for 27 years within the construction industry and with a love of outdoor work, it is not surprising that Pete is now launching his new business as a Handyman. Pete can do most things around the house and garden. (See below for a selection of tasks.) He is equally happy to tackle both the small and the not so small. • Woodwork/decorating • Install laminate flooring • Flat pack assembly • Shelving • Garden Tidying, shed building • Any jobs that need doing around the house or garden

“I am reliable and honest”. Reasonable costs References available Fully insured 12 Lamb Close Berkshire

01635 872285

Thatcham RG18 3UE

07849078204

www.berkshirehandymanservices.co.uk

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

61


Feature

Thatcham Connections’ Challenge page


Hermitage based

Thatcham based ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

63


Feature

Book Review - Non Fiction

As ancient as Homer’s Odyssey, with more translations and revered as a sacred text by Hindus and Buddhists alike, The Ramayana is the most famous literary work in the Indian East. In the West, however, it is relatively unknown. Discovering the tale during a spiritual quest to India in his youth, journalist and broadcaster, Martin Buckley, became fascinated by the dynamic work behind the sanitised western translations. He determined to return to the country of its origin, retracing the story across the geography of India and Sri Lanka. Along his Indian Odyssey, Buckley reveals the true influence of the tale on the development of the country’s religion and politics. Often finding himself in dangerous circumstances, he unveils the devastating results of the civil war in Sri Lanka and the role The Ramayana has played in forming the beliefs of its activists. Woven through his travelogue is Buckley’s own, very abridged, version of the tale, taken almost entirely from Valmiki, the first version to be committed to verse. As eye-opening as Buckley’s journey turns out to be, this fiery story of honour, power and desire leaves the reader wishing for more.

Martin Buckley An Indian Odyssey (Hutchinson, Hbk, 2008) £18.99

Advertising and Distribution DISTRIBUTION 6,000 copies of Thatcham Connections are distributed FREE of charge five times a year to: Thatcham, Cold Ash, Hermitage, Curridge, Yattendon, Midgham and Woolhampton. TO ADVERTISE Please call or email Ursula Aitken: ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 988 6070 Editor: Ursula Aitken Telephone: 0118 9886070 Email: ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk Whilst every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by error in the printing of an advert. All artwork is accepted on the strict condition that permission has been given for use in the publication. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. Thatcham Connections does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise - without the prior consent of the publisher. Publisher: Thatcham Connections

Please note our next copy date is:9th January 2009


Concrete Pumping Services 278A Benham Hill Thatcham Berkshire RG18 3AJ • • • • •

Mobile Concrete Service For many jobs including beautiful patios For style For inaccessible places Trade and DIY

Mobile: 07515 154722 Telephone: 01635 865069 Email: alan24_7@btopenworld.com

Confidential Counselling Service Who said life was easy? Whether as a last resort, to get things back to how they used to be, or to make things better than they ever have been, counselling may be able to help. depression - stress - bereavement relationship difficulties - anxiety self esteem - guilt - sexual issues confidence - anger - self-harm coping - life choices - abuse

t. 07769 783424 Based in Newbury

Bruce Bamber Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP)

ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

65


Index Baby Massage Just the 2 of us Baby Products Bambambaby Bathroom Installations Corsair Blinds Smart Blinds Boarding Kennels Foxhold Book Review Bridal Shop Jennie’s Bridal Wear Wedding Events Whirlwind Events Building Society Newbury Building Society Burial Ground Acorn Ridge

2 2 21 60 6 64 18 18 17 7

Dog Grooming Services Helen’s Hairy Hounds Electrical & Property ABC Electrical Thatcham & Newbury Maintenance Services Electrician Mace Solutions Equestrian Help Ellie Walls

6 9 53 58 2

Farm Park Bucklebury Farm Park

16

Fashion Designs Marsha Swanzy

42

Financial - IFA Simon Claxton Flooring Oaktree Floors Stone Partnership Florist Buttercups & Daisies

58

Funeral Directors Geoffrey Church & Co

58 49 29

43/59 21 63

Car Maintenance Halfway Garage

53

Care Home Bupa Thatcham Court

16/40

Cats Protection Newbury Cats Protection

6

Garden Centre Down2Earth Nursery Hilliers Garden Centre

55

Gardening Feature Gardening Services

30/31

15

Garden Thyme Green Thumb Newbury Garden Buildings NPT Paving Specialists

28 27 27 31

CD/DVD Duplication J7 Charity St John Ambulance The Newbury & District Cancer Care Trust

17

Children’s Challenge

62

Chimney Sweep Wilkins Christmas Extravaganza Cleaning My Home Coffee Venue Community Information Computers GIGTEK Ltd Sarah Sladen Thatcham PC Doctors Concrete 24-7 Concrete Counselling/Coach Bruce Bamber Craft Shop Kreate & Make Curtain & Soft Furnishings Indigo Designs Dancing & Drama Schools One Step Ahead Read Dance Stagecoach Decorator Lady Painter LMC Decorator

Gifts - see Personalised Gifts

Music & Dance for Children Monkey Music 24 Stagecoach 24 Nursery School Jubilee Day Nursery Organic Foods Pang Valley Organics Osteopath Cedar Osteopathic Practice Paving Specialists NPT Building Services

22/25 35 60 31

Personalised Gifts Dan Butler Graphic Design 36 Nordikota.com 38/39 Pix2Gifts 36 Photographer Breathe Henwood-Fox Photography Tiwigi Picture Framer Inner Piece Plumber Anthony Bosley Pottery Making Memories Restaurants The Coach and Horses The Fox The Lamb The Six Bells Sculpture Casting a Memory Soft Furnishings Alive Interiors Solicitor CLM Law Gardner Leader

55 18 25 58 8 18 49 37 11 41 5 17 44 19/68

2 37

Golf Club Sandford Springs

67

20

Guitarist Jonathan Strange

54

55

Stone Products and Flooring Stone Partnership 63 Scouting in Thatcham 12

Handyman Peter Kirkham

61

Sudoku Puzzle

4

Supermarket Waitrose

3

56/57 50 59 2 65 10/65 41 2 49 26 24 21 60

Hair & Beauty Bernies 51 32 Kaven Tracey Mobile Hairdressing 60 Health & Fitness Club Bradfield College Health Therapist Theresa Wright Home Cinema Vivid Research Homes for Overseas Students OISE Horse/Animal and Poultry Feeds FC Cummings & Sons Locksmith Cap Security

49 48/50 53 23 6 6

Swimming School GR Swimming School Nightingales Swimming School

26/45

Tax Advice Tax Assist TWD

47 9

Telephone Extensions Webb Telecom Tiling Cedar Ceramics Vet O’Gorman Slater Main

25

2 9 7

Water Softener JM Softeners

12

Wordsearches

9/26


ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk 0118 9886070

www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

67


email: ursula@thatchamconnections.co.uk

Gravelly Bridge Farmhouse

Reading www.thatchamconnections.co.uk

Grazeley

Thatcham Connections Stable 5

Tel: 0118 9886070

Ursula Aitken

RG7 1LG


Thatcham Connections Nov/Dec 08