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Delivered free to 8,000 homes and businesses in: Ashmore Green, Cold Ash, Curridge, Hermitage, Midgham, Thatcham, Woolhampton and Yattendon

Issue 38

November-January 2013

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WELCOME T: 0118 9886070 E: ursula@ W: A: Stable 5, Gravelly Bridge Farm House Grazeley, Reading, RG7 1LG

Contents Sudoku


Life Begins


Book Review




Garden Feature


Winter time birds




Dear Readers



Welcome to issue 38.



A very, very warm welcome to everyone and in particular, to the householders of the extra five hundred homes - our new distribution area in Kennet Heath. I do hope you are going to enjoy regularly receiving Thatcham Connections.

A very vintage Christmas


Christmas postal dates


Childrens’ Challenge


Firstly, I would like to mention how lovely it is to see the boys and girls of Cold Ash Football Club on our front cover. Special thanks to the Thatcham Photographic Club for taking this great photo.

What’s on in the Community


Handy Numbers


Editor: Ursula Aitken

Printer: Warwick Printing Co Ltd

Yes, this issue covers Christmas! I hope you will find several things in the following pages which will make your present buying easier. Don’t forget that as an alternative to purchasing a gift from a shop, the present of a visit to the hairdresser or podiatrist - or indeed a great load of logs - can all be original and welcomed gifts. And, of course you know, you need look no further as so many suppliers can be found within these pages!

The front cover photograph has kindly been

Let me tell you a little about The Gift Basket Emporium (see opposite page). This business has recently been set up by local businesswoman, Tracey Oldbury. Although still in its infancy, Tracey has plans to create baskets for all occasions - including hen parties and birthdays. So watch this space! We are pleased to welcome Lily (page 55) who are now established in Thatcham. Proud cat owners will also be delighted to know that Purrfect Groom is now up and running at Spire Ridge, Midgham. Finally, if you are a new local business owner and want to tell approximately twenty thousand people about your new business, please see the offer on page 55. I wish you all best wishes for a peaceful Festive Season!

P.S A little update: starting at the head of the household, DH (darling husband) is pleased with me because at the time of writing (end October) I have so far resisted making a fuss about putting on the central heating! (only for a day or two longer I fear) DD has invited her Dad and me for Christmas a special invitation. DS is being very much missed here - but thank goodness we hope to visit him and his wife in February. I can’t wait.

supplied by The Thatcham Photographic Club.

DISCLAIMER Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor it’s editorial contributors can accept any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other case. Thatcham Connections does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systems or transmitted in any form, without prior permission of the publisher.

Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding 2013 to advertisements. 4 NEXT ISSUE - Covering February - March - Copy - ready for print - deadline 6 January

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Garden and Security lighting Conservatories Extensions Kitchens Maintenance PAT testing Intruder alarms Door entry systems Data Cabling Containment 0118 9886070

Ryan Smart Part P Compliant - £5 million public liability and full employers liability. One year guarantee on all materials. Five year guarantee on workmanship.





Each 3x3 box, as well as each row and column must contain the Numbers 1 - 9 Answers on page 49

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Life Begins Time to talk about residential care

By Claudia Leaf Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.


Gardner Leader Moving into residential care, are your affairs in place? A common requirement of an EPA which is regularly missed by attorneys is the obligation to register the EPA with the Court of Protection the moment you reasonably believe the donor is losing mental capacity. If an EPA has not been prepared I would urge clients to prepare a LPA. There are two types of LPA’s - one dealing with Property and Affairs enabling the attorney to pay their bills, sell any property and make decisions on their behalf with regard to finances i.e. payment of care fees. The other dealing with Health and Welfare – It will enable the attorney to make health and welfare decisions.

Lucy Samara of Newbury Solicitors, Gardner Leader discusses the issues that regularly occur when moving a loved one into a care home. Moving someone you care about into a residential care home can be a very stressful and emotional time. I am seeing more and more clients moving a loved one into care wanting to ensure that their affairs are in place to reduce the stress and worry of loved ones. I have detailed below a snapshot of the issues which I regularly discuss with clients in this exact situation. I strongly advise my clients to ensure that they have either a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place. A power of attorney enables the client to appoint one or up to four people to act as their attorney to help manage their affairs should they ever require them too.

The attorney will be able to continue to use the LPA even if the donor should lose mental capacity. I have commonly witnessed the scenario where a child is able to access their parent’s bank accounts to pay for their bills using a third party mandate or a general power of attorney. Many do not realise that the moment the parent starts to lose mental capacity these are no longer valid methods and the third party will be acting illegally if they continue to use them, unlike the LPA. I would advise my clients to ensure that a Will is in place and check that it is up to date. By preparing a Will you can select your executors and determine who will inherit your estate and in what proportions. The Will can also provide for gifts of any specific legacies i.e. a specific item or some of money. Other advantages include inheritance tax planning and Care Fee planning to ensure that your estates are protected for those you leave behind. For more information, and to find out how Gardner Leader can help you and your loved ones, please contact Lucy Samara on 01635 508080.

In October 2007 the EPA was replaced by the LPA. Therefore if an EPA is already in place and the donor is happy with their choice of attorneys there is no need to prepare a new LPA. 0118 9886070


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. Classes held in Thatcham & Cold Ash.

School of Dance

01635 580930

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


Judy Connolly

07747 634556

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

• • • •

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

All types of decorating undertaken including plastering & wallpapering Call now to arrange a FREE No Obligation Quotation No job Too Small

Seasoned LOGS cut and split to your required size Ring

30 Years Experience Tel: 01635 201047 mob: 07876 588721

Local Painter and Decorator with 8 years Experience


For your woodpile

07836 223467

(Cold Ash)

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ÖâtÄ|àç {tÇw vÜtyàxw Oak framed buildings


Brooks Farm Bath Road Beenham Reading RG7 Email: Tel: 0118 930 6633

The Margaret Spencer Practice � Counselling � Psychotherapy � Coaching Working with individuals and couples on a short term or open ended approach. • Abuse • Addiction • Anger • Anxiety • Confidence & Self Esteem • Bereavement & Loss • Divorce, Separation & Redundancy • Relationships • Stress Management • Depression • Eating Disorders

Are you wondering just how effective Counselling, Psychotherapy or Coaching could be for you? I believe in working with you in a safe, professional, confidential and non-judgemental environment. Call me on 07775 706907 or visit my website for more information:

Margaret Spencer, BSc, MBACP (Accred), MNLP. Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, RG14 5SJ 0118 9886070


Book Reviews:

Christmas Goes Crackers

See also Reshape page 18 0118 9886070


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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.

Free File and polish when you book a Fullbody Spray tan.

07717 507839


Helena Dowling Helena specialises in colouring, cut & blow drys and hair up for a unisex clientele. Helena also delivers a high quality result in wedding hair. 25% off cut and blow dry price when booking in for any type of colour, with this advert.

Mobile - 07788639832 , email -

Karen Hackwood RGN

Face First Clinic now at Bernies (please see opposite page) “Enhance the beautiful you” with non-invasive treatments such as: Wrinkle Relaxing Injections (Botox), Dermal Fillers, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion - and skin needling. Call Karen on 07917 890510 to book your FREE consultation for more information.

Janie Perry

Relax to Revive (please see opposite page)

“Choosing the natural path to health” with Nutritional Therapy, Iridology, Reflexology and Yoga. These natural health methods work with the body enhancing well-being and may aid current health issues; including digestive disorders, joint aches and pains, problems with sleep and energy levels. Visit for further information or email:

Call Janie on 01189 834470 and receive 10% off your first appointment 0118 9886070


A Community based fitness club for all!

Do you want to lose a few pounds? keep fit, and have fun doing it ? Come to Reshape - just the place to Get Fit and lose a few pounds doing it.

Frank Hutchins Hall Thatcham What do we offer? Tuesday Attack & Tone 7pm Tuesday PumpFX 8pm We also run Bootcamps Running for Softies

Train the Body Train the Mind Personal sessions and much more! Don’t Delay contact Rob Now on 07710 726424 - 01635 865382





Diana Wortelhock (MCFHP MAFHP)

Foot Health Professional



(Newbury/Thatcham/Surrounding Villages)


• • • • • • •

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Keenest Prices - Best Service

All your routine footcare needs: • Toenail Cutting and Filing Thickened Toenails • Corns/Callus/Hard Skin Removal • Cracked Heels • Verrucae • Fungal Nails • Diabetic Feet

Telephone: 01635 41095 Mobile: 07901 825633 Email: Some evening and Saturday appointments available

We are a local family business Call PAUL or SUE 01635 866600

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TREAT YOUR FEET Podiatry/Chiropody

The Newbury Clinic on Mondays Cedar Dental Care Thatcham on Thursdays Chapel Row Surgery on Fridays

Professional treatments for a variety of foot problems including: Corns/hard skin Ingrown toenails Diabetic feet Flat feet Thickened toenails Cracked heels Emma Barrow, Podiatrist BSc (hons) MChS HPC registered (no home visits) 01635 299149 0776 5996772

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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: Discounts available for double and group adult bookings.

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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 0118 9886070


Winter Planters - By Pippa Greenwood

Garden Feature

Even if you’re sure you’re not going to venture out in to your garden much in the colder months, make sure you have every possible encouragement by creating a winter planter or two. A pretty planter on the front steps or gracing the patio will not only look gorgeous from the warm comfort of the house, but will also help to coax you outside from time to time. Grab a container, some compost and a selection of plants and be creative. Larger is better, as once temperatures drop a larger container is more likely to protect the roots on the plants due to the greater volume of compost. Frozen roots are fatal, so this is really worth bearing in mind. I’d avoid any container less than 30cm (12in) diameter if possible, unless you live in a very mild area. Remember that summer bedding displays can be pulled out now, so you can always reuse suitable containers once the plants have been cleared. Any container will insulate the roots a little, but one made from thick wood (such as a wooden trough or window box, or a halfbarrel) will be very effective. Good quality, fairy chunky plastic also works quite well. Try to avoid metal as this tends to conduct cold. Warm undergarments are all the rage for winter planters. A lining of bubble-wrap polythene or even a few layers of old fabric or carpet, sandwiched between the sides of the container and the compost will help to keep both compost and roots warm. I always save packaging materials from parcels for this sort of thing; why not pull out the bubble-wrap inner lining from a large padded envelope and use that?

If you live in a particularly cold area, or simply want to decrease the risk of winter damage further, try to position winter planters out of the windiest areas. If possible place them fairly close to a house wall on the south or west side as this will help to provide a little extra warmth. A visit to your local plant nursery or garden centre at this time of year should fill you with inspiration as you’ll be amazed at the range of plants available for adding winter colour and interest to pots and planters. Some of my favourites are the universal or other winter flowering pansies or even hardier smaller flowered violas. For some seriously sturdy winter colour, try the winter flowering heathers as these make a good base for the display and you can, if you wish, add trailing plants such as variegated ivies to help provide extra colour, texture and interesting leaf shapes. All these plants will last for years, not just the winter months. At this time of year you are likely to find many garden centres offer very tiny versions of shrubs such as skimmias, Pieris or hollies and many of the dwarf conifers. Although these obviously have the potential to grow considerably larger, they will provide good colour and interest in a container for a year or two and can then be planted out into the garden and allowed to reach their full size.

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In warmer areas, you will also be able to add bright patches of colour to your display using the ‘winter cherry’ or solanum which has bright yellow and orange fruits and also many of the polyanthus whose super-sized, primrose-like flowers come in a wide range of really showy colours. You could also use a few winter flowering cyclamen but these definitely need a very sheltered spot such as a window box on a protected wall. Finally, don’t forget to prolong the time which the planter will look gorgeous by adding in a few early spring flowering bulbs such as miniature narcissus, crocus and miniature iris. There are many different forms, colours and shapes of all these bulbs available and if hidden beneath the roots of your winter bedding plants, you will forget they are there until they burst out in spring and produce a lovely flush of fresh, pretty colour and often some delightful perfume too. Visit Pippa’s website and sign up for ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’. 0118 9886070


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We are a group of enthusiastic photographers of mixed abilities and age groups who meet twice monthly in Thatcham. Our aim is to help each other enjoy photography and improve our skills in an informal, friendly, and supportive way. We meet on the second and last Wednesday of each month at Thatcham Town Football Club, Waterside Park, Thatcham for photographic discussions, exhibition of members’ work, practical sessions, photographic outings and a chance to socialise with people who have a common interest. 0118 9886070


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Feature: Winter Time Birds Wintertime is very difficult for birds, especially the further north that they live because the weather gets considerably colder and harsher. The ground often freezes preventing them from accessing the nutritious worms. The insects are hibernating and most hedgerows and trees are dormant for the cold winter months. Birds can find it difficult to find enough food or even a drink, especially if the winter has brought snow. Lots of people help the birds by throwing out stale bread for them to eat. Although this does elevate the birds hunger, bread isn't a very nutritious food source. Most garden bird’s staple diet is usually, fruit and berries, nuts and seeds, insects, worms and grubs, Very tasty. To really help the bird out this winter you could string up some monkey nuts. Buy some peanuts in their shells and thread a sharp wool needle with a length of wool with a knot in the end of it. Push the needle through the middle of the peanut shell and out of the other side, it's a bit like threading beads. Thread on more monkey nuts in this way until the wool is almost full. Unthread the needle, make a loop in the wool that is left and tie a knot to keep the nuts and the loop in place. Use the loop to hang the nuts from the bird-table or tree. You could also make a tasty bird-cake... Add to a bowl some chopped up bacon rind, leftover chicken bits from Sunday dinner, a few peanuts, a few raisins and frozen peas, some shelled sunflower seeds if you have any, some diced apple and a couple of heaped table spoons of flour and mix well. Add some water and mix to create dough. Mould into a ball shape and leave it over night on the kitchen windowsill to dry. By morning it will be hard and ready to leave out on a bird table or lawn for the birds to peck at. It's just as important the water is left out as well as food. In the winter, water turns to ice and the birds do not have access to drinking water. Leave a dish with fresh water in it out in your garden for the birds, and check it on really cold mornings to make sure it hasn't turned to ice. Some of the UK’s bird population are becoming endangered, this means that their population numbers are falling. Organisations like the RSPB do valuable work to protect and monitor endangered breeds of bird. You could monitor the birds yourself during the winter months, spend an hour each day for a week recording all the birds that visit your garden or bird-table. Bird watching is also known as twitching. There is a chart on the website, a list of UK winter birds that you may see. Each bird has an illustration to help you to identify which breed it is, and there is some information about each birds preferred habitat. Some birds are residents of the UK, which means they live here all year round, others just visit for the winter. Some birds on the list are endangered, so some of the birds are rarer than others; but you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them. Maybe you could tempt them into your garden with a bit of tasty bird-cake. Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.


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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 0118 9886070


YOUR PETS A wide range of leading animal feeds, bedding and accessories. All your pets needs under one roof! Delivery Service

Please see opposite for details of our Grooming Rooms - in Midgham and also now open at Winklebury We have a comprehensive range of products for your pet: Dog leads, dog collars, flea collars, travel accessories, dog crates and water bowls.

4 Elmwood Parade Winkleberry Basingstoke RG22 8LL 01256 472747

5 The Monument Essex Street Newbury RG14 6QW 01635 550 660

Unit 10 Chineham Shopping Centre Basingstoke RG24 8BQ 01256 840170


01189 713878


01189 712936

PET SHOP Large selection of Reptiles, Birds and Fish - fish restocked - indoor and outdoor

Reptiles Aviary Cockatiels Budgerigars Finches Canaries Quails

The Grooming Room

All in Stock

Bring your cherished pet to The Grooming Room were we have a full animal spa in which we provide a wide range of grooming services. We aim to make your dog feel as comfortable as possible during their short stay with us. Our experienced groomer will put your pet at ease, ensuring a stress-free experience.

Our specialist services include: Bathing, clipping, trimming, stripping, de-matting, nail clipping and ear plucking.


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

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Newbury Cats Protection

Geoffrey Church & Co FUNERAL DIRECTORS

For a personal and dignified service at all times …

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

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

∗ Pre-payment Funeral Plans available ∗ Enquiries welcome THATCHAM


Churchgate, The Broadway Tel: 01635 868444

48a High Street Tel: 01488 686830

TADLEY 48 Bishopswood Road Tel: 0118 9814420 0118 9886070

PURRFECT GROOM Specialist Cat Groomer

Newbury/Midgham based I offer a specialist service to assist with the coat maintenance of your cat in a relaxed and sensitive environment. Grooming removes debris and matting and returns the coat to ‘purrfection’ without the need for sedation. Call Lee on 07748 626 358


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. Whatever your pet may be, Pet Angels UK are here to offer a variety of fully insured services. Not only is your life made easier - and you have peace of mind when you are out or away but also this ensures no stress for your animal. These services include: Dog W al ki ng, P et Feeding, Pet/House sitting, Basic p et grooming in your home. Also, Pet Taxi and Dog

Midwifery. In addition to the s e r vi c e s 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. One-to-one Clicker training for your dog is also offered with an experienced trainer. Pet Angels UK Services are expanding all the time - to include Pet Portraits and provide accessories. Please have a look on their website for more information: Readers who mention seeing this ad will be given a 10% discount on their first booking.

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

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By the UK’s largest oven cleaning company

Non-caustic. Ovens, hobs, extractors and microwaves cleaned.

: 01635 818080

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 Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.


Thatcham Connections’ Christmas Quiz

See page 49 0118 9886070


F r o m t h e R e c t o r o f Al d e r m a s t o n a n d W o o l h a m p t o n B e n e f i c e

departed friend it was as if I were gazing on the scene for the first time, or rather gazing on it with fresh eyes. How extraordinary, I thought, how completely and mind-blowingly strange, and wonderful, that God gave us this story. A baby born of a woman, a baby born of God, a baby heralded by angels and worshipped by shepherds and wise men… a light in the darkness, the life of heaven entrusted into our hands.

A Week before Christmas A week before Christmas last year a parcel arrived at my door. It wasn’t something I’d ordered from Amazon. It was an unexpected gift hand delivered by the daughter of a friend who had died earlier in the year. ‘Olwen wanted you to have this,’ she said, ‘it’s from Bethlehem.’ Later I opened the box and discovered inside beautiful hand crafted nativity characters made from olive wood. My friend had bought them on a trip to the Holy Land many years ago. I took the characters out one by one and set them up on the table – Mary and Joseph, shepherds, animals, wise men, a camel and of course the baby. The baby lay in a simple olive wood manger with his arms outstretched as if he wanted to be held. So I picked him up and held him in the palm of my hand. I stared at him. I stared at the scene. How many times had I heard the Christmas story? How many times had I sung about it, preached about it, seen pictures of it? But as I stared at this surprise gift from a

The day after the delivery of the nativity scene I took my new arrival to church to show the children. ‘He looks as if he wants to be picked up’, said one girl, echoing my own thoughts, ‘look at how his arms are reaching out’. We took it in turns to hold the baby. ‘Revd Becky – can I take baby Jesus home?’ the girl asked as I went to put him back in the manger. I smiled. Of course that’s what every vicar wants - Jesus taken home, Jesus taken out from the church, held in people’s hearts and lives, not put back in the dusty cupboard in the vestry until next Christmas. But I didn’t preach her a sermon - nor however did I give her my olive wood hand carved Jesus from Bethlehem! This surprise gift from a much missed friend was going to stay on my mantelpiece all year round, preaching me a silent sermon about all kinds of unexpected gifts, about heaven come to earth, about this Christmas hope placed in ordinary hands like mine.

Revd Becky Bevan

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CODEWORD Each letter in this puzzle is represented by a number between 1 and 26. The codes for three letters are shown. As you find the letters enter them in the box below. Solution, page 49

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46 0118 9886070


Start any time Ballroom & Latin American Dance Classes for

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


01635 876777 WE CAN HELP

School of Dance

Free Collection/Delivery—Free Courtesy Car on all servicing and repairs. Subject to availability


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






Unit 7 Pipers Court, Berkshire Drive, Thatcham

Monday evenings Acland Hall - Cold Ash 7.307.30-9.00 01635 580930

Naomi House Children’s Hospice

Needs your help! We provide respite care and emergency support to life-limited children, young adults and their families from central Southern England. Please support us with fundraising or volunteering Call: 01962 843513

See page 49 Please mention Thatcham Connections when responding to advertisements.



Lady Painter & Decorator

Solutions to Sudokus page 6

Answer to page 58

Jackie Cleaver

Magic Number 69

Solution to Codeword page 46

Answers to Quiz page 43 1. Blitzen 2. O Christmas Tree 3. Pot Noodle 4. Saviour’s Day 5. A turkey 6. Archie Mitchell 7. Indonesia 8. The Grinch 9. Wallace & Gromit 10.Last Christmas

Solution to Wordsearch page 48 Deck the halls with boughs of holly

07771 636990

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g{x UtÜÇ ctÜàÇxÜá{|Ñ has moved to Brooks Farm Bath Rd - Beenham RG7 5JB Email: Tel: 0118 930 6633 see page 11 0118 9886070



A Very Vintage Christmas

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

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

9 9 9 9 9 9

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

CALL PAUL ON 07833248438 OR 01635 770256 Silverthorne, robertsfeild, Thatcham, RG19 3TW

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How about giving someone you love a Poinsettia for Christmas? They are always popular because of their colour and association with the Festive Season. Widely available at Garden Centres 0118 9886070



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:

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The Connections Our favourite local independent magazine

NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY - FOR NOVEMBER ONLY Are you a new local business? Are you starting a new local business? Is your business eighteen months old, or less? Would you like to take advantage of up to a 25% saving on a new one-off full page editorial to support an initial advertisement in Thatcham Connections?

Do you believe that most of the advertisers in Thatcham Connections place their ad there time and time again, because they feel that it is worthwhile? Do you think your business too would benefit by regular advertising?

Do you see February and March 2013 as being the optimum time to launch your advertising?

Ursula Aitken, Editor,Thatcham Connections Stable 5 | Gravelly Bridge Farm House Grazeley | Reading RG7 1LG Tel: 01189 886070 Email:

If the answers to these questions are ‘yes’, please contact Ursula by the end of November to discuss - with no commitment - ideas, and to see if this opportunity makes sense for you. Please see page 4 for contact details. (Please email or leave a message on answerphone if necessary). This offer ends at the end of November so please be sure to book space by then. 0118 9886070


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FEATURE: Thatcham Connections’- Challenge Page

Answers See page 49

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W H AT ’ S O N I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y :

Diary Dates: Monda y 19t h No ve mber 2012

Ne ighbou rhood Wa t ch 7.30 p. m

Wes t Ber ks hi r e Counci l Of f i c es, M ar ket St r eet , Ne wbur y. T her e wi l l be a t a l k b y C arol i ne St e venson of T r adi n g St andar ds about Sc a ms. Repr esent at i ves f r o m t he N ei ghb our Ro gue T r ader s and Sca Serr vi c e wi l l gi ve cr i me updat e s. hood P ol i c i ng T e a m and Fi r e Se A nnyone yone i s wel c o me t o at t e nd. … … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… .

Fr i da y 30t h No ve mber

C ha rit y Qu iz

Bur Bu r d wood Co mmuni t y Cent r e, T hat cha m 7.00 p. m Fundr ai s i n g f or t he Gi r l gui di n g UK Cent enar y Fund. Wi t h l ocal qui zmas t er Ra y Her ber t . £6 per per son i ncl udes qui z ent r y and a pl ou gh man’ s s upper . T e a ms of up t o 8 must pr e - r e gi st er and pa y cater i n ad vance f or cat er i ng pur poses pl ease. Cal l T : 0 7548 88 3569 o r e - mai l r osi e.huxt abl e @h ot mai l .co.u k f or addi t i onal i nf or mat i on … … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… .

Fr i da y 7t h Dece mber 2012

Th atc ha m Ch ristma s Lig hts C el ebr at ions

5.30 p. m i n T hat cha m T own Cent r e

… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… .

Wednes da y 12t h Decemb er

A ft e rnoon o f F estiv e M usic - Br adfi e ld Col leg e

4.00 p. m - 5.30 p. m

Fess t i ve mus i c , c hor al s i n gi n g t o get her wi t h r eadi n gs and Fe car ol s . Boo k b y 7 Dece mber . Al l wel c o me. 0118 964 4500

… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… …… … … … …… … … …… .

Sunda y 16 Dece mber

M a yo r ’s Civ ic Car ol S e rvic e

4.00 p. m at St Ma r y’ s Chur ch, T hat cham

New Developments at The Old Bluecoat School Bath Road, Thatcham Could you be interested ? Which would you enjoy most ? Singing in a choir Going to Concerts Going to Art Exhibitions Practising Yoga Spending a morning with others interested in crafts and knitting Singing in a Choir : ‘Sing A Long For Fun’. The group, led by two leading West End performers, Jayne O’Mahony and Nik Stoter, meet on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m to 8.30 p.m. No commitment, no auditions, no pressure - £9.00 payable weekly. Jayne: 07920 851976 Going to Concerts: Sunday Afternoon Tea & Cake Concert Series £10 per adult £5 for school age children email: Going to Art Exhibitions: contact 07914 321681 for more details. Practise Yoga: Thursday evenings 7 p.m to 8.30 pm Emma : 07767 710360 A morning with others: ‘Knit a bit’. Enjoy coffee and cake and meet others interested in general crafts and knitting. Wednesdays 10.30 a.m to 12.00 p.m. Contact 07914 321681 for more details. To learn more about The Old Bluecoat School - the earlier 14th century chapel of St Thomas - and the town’s only Grade 1 listed building, visit With its very good acoustics and excellent natural lighting, the building has been home in recent years to regular art exhibitions and most recently, Thatcham’s community Festival Art Exhibition. The building is available for hire. More details on: 07914 321681.



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 999 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

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

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

0845 0269402 01635 588300 01635 865052 01635 869701 01635 865011 01635 868113 01635 201236

01635 273300 0118 3225111

01635 867171 01635 868006 01635 866169 0118 9787811

0845 7697555 01635 523573 01635 31542 0800 1111 0118 932 3799 01635 867621 08705 555999 0845 30 30 900

Citizens Advice Bureau West Berks CAB, at Thatcham Health Centre Helpline for Carers Client Advice Line

01635 516605 01635 864245 0844 4779980

Travel Rail Enquiries Newbury Buses

08457 484950 01635 567500

Other Important Numbers B.T. Fault Line Fly Tipping, to report KATS Thatcham Connections Thatcham Photographic Club Vet: O'Gormon Slater Main DVLA Swansea

0800 800 151 01635 519080 0870 285 5289 0118 9886070 01635 865516 01635 868382 0300 7906801

Recycling Hermitage Garden Centre,

01635 200 442

(glass, textiles, books)

Kingsland Centre Car-park adjacent to Waitrose (paper, glass, mixed plastics, textiles, cans)

Household Waste Recycling Centre (opposite St Gabriel's School)

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 5th September 2012 - Thursday 25th October 2012 (Holiday: Friday 26th October 2012 - Monday 5th November 2012) Term 2 - Tuesday 6th November 2012 - Friday 21st December 2012 (Holiday: Monday 24th December 2012 - Friday 4th January 2013) Term 3 - Monday 7th January 2013 - Friday 15th February 2013 (Holiday: Monday 18th February 2013- Monday 25th February 2013) Term 4 - Tuesday 26th February 2013 - Thursday 28th March 2013 (Holiday: Friday 29th March 2013 - Monday 15th April 2013) Term 5 - Tuesday 16th April 2013 - Friday 24th May 2013 (Holiday: Monday 27th May 2013- Friday 31st May 2013)

Term 6 - Monday 3rd June 2013 - Wednesday 24th July 2013 (Holiday commences on Thursday 25th July 2013) In Service Day - Monday 5th September 2012 will be an INSET DAY for all West Berkshire Schools, therefore a non-teaching day. Children will go back in to school on Wednesday 5th September 2012 0118 9886070 65

INDEX: Accommodation to let Upper Lodge Farm 6 Alarm - Security Yale 31 Amateur Theatrical Society KATS 2 Barns The Barn Partnership 11 Beauty Boutique Angel Eyes 18 Blinds Smart Blinds 18 Boarding Kennels Foxhold 36 Builders Falkland Builders 46 A Thompson 14 Building Society Newbury Building Society 40 Car Maintenance Halfway Garage 48 Pegasus 40 Carpenter/Joiner Ivan Ivanov 43 Liege Carpentry 54 Roger Fisher 10 Cat Groomer Purrfect Groom 37 Cats Protection Newbury Cats Protection 37 Charity The Newbury & Dist Cancer Care Trust 36 Children Including Babies GR Swimming School 60 Jubilee Jets Holiday Club 59 Jubilee Day Nursery 56/61 Monkey Music 60 Tatty Bumpkin 59 Swim School Waterworld 57 Chimney Sweep PC Dollin 10 Cleaning Cleansing Services 23 Just at Home 49 My Home 33 Coaching The Margaret Spencer Practice Computers 11 Sarah Sladen 19 Curtains & Soft Furnishings Indigo Designs 10 Dancing School Allenova School of Dancing 50 One Step Ahead 10/48

Decorator A Brush above the Rest 45 Lady Painter & Decorator 45 10 PC Decorating Tony Fegan 53 Dentist Dr Jeeves 3 Drains & Drainage Cleansing Services 23 Drain & Able 23 Electrician Current Connection 52 Home Electrics 40 RJS Electrical 5 Equestrian Centre Cullinghood 36 Fencing Crookham Sawmills 54 Fitness Reshape 18 Flooring Laws Floors 41 Florist Buttercups & Daisies 15 Football Club Cold Ash Football Club 55 Funeral Directors Geoffrey Church 37 Gardening Services A4 Gardening Services 28 AJC Services 27 Buckingham Landscape 10 Crookham Sawmills 54 Garden Thyme 25 JPH Forestry 25 Kalehurst 26 Mowers UK 28 Salcey Arborcare 28 Gas Specialists R&B Heating & Plumbing 67 Gift Baskets The Gift Basket Emporium 4 Golf Club Sandford Springs 47 Guttering CD Guttering 30 Handyman Peter Kirkham 21 Martin Newman 39 Hair & Beauty Bernies 17 Face First Clinic 16 Tracey Mobile 20 Health Therapist Relax to Revive 16 Home Improvements RPT Services 42

Hypnotherapist Rob Donnelly Therapy 13 Knitting Yarn Fest 45 Ladies Fashion Shop Lily 55 Locksmith Cap Security 42 Locksmark 54 Logs David Pope 10 Memorials Newbury Memorials 20 Oven Cleaning Ovenclean 42 Pet Carer Pet Angels 38 Pet Shop Your Pets 34 Pest Control Control Services Limited 19 Picture Framer Inner Piece 15 Plasterer Synergy 15 Plumber AJ Bosley 7 Hayes Heating & Plumbing 46 Thatcham & Newbury Maintenance Services 54 Paul Worsley 30 Podiatrist/Chiropody Foremost Footcare 18 Treat your Feet 20 Racket Stringing Thatcham Stringing Centre 10 Renewable Energy The Energy Warehouse 26 Restaurants The Coach & Horses 51 Riding, see Equestrian Roofers A Thompson 23 Sand & Gravel Rivar Sand & Gravel 53 Solicitor Gardner Leader 9/68 Tax Advice Tax Assist 23 Storage - secure The Barn Store 11 Vet O’Gorman Slater Main 37 Water Softener JM Softeners 30 Website Design Dunston Graphics 29 Window Cleaner P.D.D. Services 42

R & B Heating & Plumbing Ltd

Your Local Gas Specialists ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

LPG (Bottled Propane Gas) Mains Gas Oil Commercial Properties

We are a local company with over twenty years experience In providing a friendly, caring and professional service R & B are proud of our excellent customer service and offer A wide and varied range of products and services including A five year warranty for all Worcester Bosch products We can give you free advice on ways to improve your heating system to reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint Servicing Boiler Breakdown Water Heaters Power Flushing Landlords Gas Safety

Boiler Repairs Catering Equipment Boiler Replacement Planned Maintenance Controls

General Plumbing Repairs

0118 9712954 or 07967728697 0118 9886070


Ursula Aitken

Thatcham Connections

Stable 5

Tel: 0118 9886070

Gravelly Bridge Farmhouse





Thatcham Connections Issue 38  

Issue 38, local magazine, Thatcham

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