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Your free magazine for Aylesbury, Thame and the surrounding area

Take me home

w art w music w people w Motors w homes w gardens w theatre w business w fashion w Beauty w health w Food w

May/June 2018

Cover image: Fox in Bluebells Picture by Frederic Desmette


Woman to woman

Thame ladies know how to network

Measuring up

Flooring firm lays out special offer

See our website at:

Deal or no deal?

See if Lesley can save you money Plus our columnists: Katy, Naomi, Polly, Amanda, Cathy, Charlotte, Nicola, Sandra, Shaun, Nigel, Rob, Alan and much, much more...

Free local listings for events and businesses

Finally there is a real alternative to timber windows.

A fully stocked showroom including Solidor


Omega Homestyle has over 25 years’ experience of designing and fitting premium doors, windows and conservatories We firmly believe that by keeping the entire process as stress free as possible, we are adding to your enjoyment of your new windows, doors and conservatories. For an individually tailored service and to find out exactly what we can do for you please contact us or come and visit our newly refurbished showroom. Omega Homestyle, Woodway Farm Industrial Estate, Bicester Road, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, Bucks HP18 9EP Tel: 01844

201888, email: or visit:

Lots to see! QuaLity products


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Free parking

The The Old Old The The Old Old Thatched Thatched Inn Inn Thatched Thatched Inn Inn Gastro GastroPub Pub

Gastro GastroPub Pub The TheMain Old Old Main Street, Street,Adstock, Adstock,Buckinghamshire, Buckinghamshire,MK18 MK182JN 2JN Thatched hatched Inn Inn

Gastro GastroPub Pub Main MainStreet Street Adstock Adstock Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire MK18 MK182JN 2JN We Weoffer offeraaunique uniqueblend blend of high highquality quality dining, dining,hosted hostedininaarelaxed relaxed Tel Telof 01296 01296 712584 712584 and andcomfortable comfortableenvironment, environment,serving servinglocally locallysourced sourcedfood food Open Openseven sevendays days

Main MainStreet Street Adstock Adstock Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire MK18 MK182JN 2JN

Open Openseven sevendays days Lunch Lunchfrom from1212noon noon- -2.30pm 2.30pmDinner Dinnerfrom from6pm 6pm- -9.30pm 9.30pm Serving Servingall allday daySunday Sundayfrom from1212noon noon- -9pm 9pm Telephone: Telephone:01296 01296712584 712584 22

Vale Vale LifeLife : Nov/Dec : Nov/Dec 2014 2014

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Whether you are a first-time buyer or moving up the property ladder, our personal approach will ensure that all aspects of your house move will be efficient and speedy. We aim to work hard to make sure your move is as painless as possible and you fully understand the process whilst receiving a value for money service. For Sellers • Early request of the title deeds (and for leasehold management information) to ensure no delay in preparation of contracts • Liaising with estate agents and other lawyers so that all parties in the chain are kept fully informed throughout the transaction • Synchronising your sale with any related purchase For Buyers • Early application for local and other searches • Reporting to you on all aspects of your purchase in writing or face to face • We are on the panel of all major lenders - banks and building societies - which allows us to act for them and you thus reducing your overall costs For more information about our property services speak to Karen White or Julia Pullen today.

01296 432541


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018






Welcome to Coco Tamarind Fine Indian restaurant & takeaway at Askett, Princes Risborough

Coco Tamarind serves the finest modern and traditional Indian cuisine, in stylish, comfortable surroundings. The relaxed ambience and efficient service, plus our well stocked bar, will ensure your time with us is a most enjoyable experience, whatever the occasion.

2 Tone Soul & Motown Party Duo! Tuesday, 17th July from 7pm 5 course meal with entertainment only ÂŁ29.95

Book today to avoid disappointment!


l 10% discount on collected takeaways l Free home delivery within 5 mile radius (min order ÂŁ15) Become a Coco Tamarind Member and enjoy discounts and special offers l Please book ahead, we are busy all week!

Order your takeaway or reserve a table online at or call: 01844 343111 / 01844 346100 Coco Tamarind, Aylesbury Road, Askett, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, HP27 9LY

01296 01296622975 622975 07711750917 07711 750917

FF uu nn e re ra al lDDi ri re e cctot orrss 2121- -23 23 High Street,Wendover Wendover, HP22 High Street, HP22 6DU 6DU Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



BY CO ACH 20 18

Discover 120

exciting holidays across 15 coun tries



R LI for ing 01 DA you n 29 Y B r ow 6 RO 20 33 C 18 66 H 66 UR E

Crusader Holidays 2018

Summer 2016 www.c rusaderholidays 425453

T 01255

BRUGES and The Carpet of Flowers Friday 17th to Monday 20th August 4 DAYS - £349 pp

Andresupplement Rieu Live Single £175In France

Travel Insurance £34 The King of Waltz Returns! André Rieu is back in France with a brand njoy a wonderful weekend in one of new show! André Rieu will give you the most beautiful towns in Europe what you’ve come to expect from his combined with an INCLUDED performances: maestro conducting excursion to thethe stunning Carpet of Flowers his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra in Brussels. and playing his world-famous First created in 1971, this extraordinary Stradivarius violin to create colourful spectacle is assembled by a ahundred concert fullin of just surprises. Theevery repertoire volunteers, 4 hours, other year, ranges romantic,on emotional for just from one weekend, the Grand Place ballads to the most gorgeous one of Europe’s most beautifuland squares. celebrated waltzes. This year’s is the 21st Flower Carpet, Experience the75m magic ofby André which will be long 24mRieu wideatand a festiveover and 600,000 memorable evening and contain colourful begonias! come see why André Rieu is one of the most popularHOTEL, live actsBRUGES in the world! ACADEMIE The 4* Academie Hotel is situated right


Fri 31st March 2017

£385 4 Days

/ 01296




Fawlty Towers at the 4-Star Orchard Hotel

Sun 30th October 2016

£125 2 Days

Single room supp.£15 Insurance £23

Single supplement extra

Lets take a trip back in time - we all loved Fawlty Towers! Come and join in the fun as John Cleese impersonator, Edmond Wells, in the historic ‘golden triangle’the of Bruges. only 6’ 7’’ Basil Fawlty look The hotel boasts a lovely winter garden and soundand alike, walks the walk terrace, plus lift, bar and easy and access onthe foottalk! Typically the talks to the city centre. All 82 en-suite bedrooms Tuesday November 20th & Fawlty Towers theme night will offer satellite TV and hairdryer. 11th £69! start with meetingDecember and greeting Price includes Coach Travel, the guests at reception. Basil Highlights Local ups and entrance to show. will announce dinner as pick Manuel Centrally located hotel for 3 nights with leads guests to dinner in time buffet breakfast: honoured fashion. Sybil is her Included excursion to Brussels usual self, Manuel will feature Entrance to Brussels City Hall balcony for as a waste of space, whilst Basil the best view of the Flower Carpet will be giving the sort of service one would expect from a top class Torquay hotelier, all without mentioning the war! Room, Tuesday June 12th & September 4th - £49 February 10, 2017 – 4 days dinner & breakfast plus live On you willValentine board theevolved Tereza-Joanne Thearrival Feast of Saint into an occasion in which lovers used entertainment from ‘the staff’. in Easttheir End affection Docks. A for ‘Chicken & Chips‘ The Tereza-Joanne to the express each other by presenting flowers, offering This 2 day tour is from restricted joining points in in a basket lunch be served followed confectionery andwill sending greeting cards. These days it is also the perfect Bucks, Beds, Oxon and some Hertfordshire points. by an afternoon of Cockney Entertainment opportunity to take your loved one away for a short romantic break. -ToStarring Gordon Bennett a one man ensure an unforgettable and enjoyable Valentine’s, we’ve come up with Cockney ideas thatentertainer. should help you plan your weekend. Your weekend includes a Chas’n’Dave Max so look for the Valentine. special gift formeets the ladies Bygraves with a dash of Max Miller. Keyboard, ukulele and LONDON THEATRE TRIPS Look at our new style The Tereza-Joanne top deck Wednesday October 17th 2017 brochure – out in Lion King £62; Wicked £69; September. Dreamgirls £69 Thursday November 8th Some of our holidays Romantic Wokefield Park, Berkshire with Snowdrop Walk (HB) £275 Aladdin £59; Tina -The Musical £65; are already on our Warner – Gunton Hall, Suffolk - Top Tribute Party: Take That & Bruno Marsthe (HB)Cockney £259 Spoons with sing-aMotown £69 website and don’t Mill Rythe - Hayling Island – Moonlight & Roses (HB) £219 and dancing. A right longs, comedy Saturday December 15th forget theyou early Old Cockney Knees up to send Lion King £81; Mamma Mia £81; Amsterdam (BB) £279 booking discountPhantom of the Opera £67 home with £279 a smile. Price includes Romantic Paris (BB) offer! coach travel, local pick ups and Prices include coach travel, Gordon Bennett Luxembourg & Roman Trier (HB) Cockney Entertainer entrance. £259 local pick ups and theatre entrance. Medieval Bruges (BB) £289 Visit to book now

Thursford Christmas Spectacular

Valentine Weekends - Love-isLunch in the air!& Entertainment Cockney Matinée

All-New 2017 Brochure

For more information contact our reservations department on 01296 336666 Holidays:


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Day Trips:

4 Buckingham Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2LD Crusader Holiday Shop, 4 Buckingham Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1BH Crusader Holidays, 13 Crusader Business Park, Stephenson Road West, Clacton, Essex, CO15 4HP holidays

Please see our current brochure for booking conditions and trading charter.

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Great rates Amazing results To advertise in Vale Life Magazine Call Charlie on 07702 006218

Spread the word across The Vale: see: for details


Review and reflect


More than just houses


Seals and signets


Going green

Is there cash in your attic?


Measuring up


Artists in action


Remembering Repton


Inspired selection


From little acorns


Just a Joy to behold


Win tickets to Oakfest


Spinning around


Bullying at school


Sign up for Synergy


Turn it up!


What’s your superpower?


Whizz Fizz Fest


Here comes Summer


Super doo-pa-pa


Smiles all round


Blanket on the ground


Woman to woman


Ullo Jen! Gotta new motor?


Deal or no deal


Spring clean your closet with Katy Dyer More fascinating facts from Nicky Gregory Valuation day is on the way

From Open Studios to Bucks Art Weeks Gallery boasts stunning collection Instinctive artist squares up for exhibitions Fibrecrafters are flocking to Freya’s Technology to lift and smooth

Have you a gift you’re just not giving? Salon’s special on Guinot facials Surgery team has lots to offer Thame ladies know how to network

30 Walk with Suffragettes

Celebrate sisters doing it for the girls

Trust keen to support communities “Sage up your life,” says Polly. Flooring firm lays out special offer Woburn’s ruins restored

Garden centre celebrates 40 years! Festival fun for all the family “Stay calm and seek help,” says Nick. Introducing Duncan Lee Dahl inspired fun in Aylesbury town centre Mamma Mia, here they go again!

Deli’s tips for a perfect picnic Girls are taking to the roads

See if Lesley can save you money

A taste of Italy at The Angel


t’s not all work and no play here at Vale Life Magazine. Occasionally we are able to sally forth on behalf of our readers and try out one of the local hostelries or restaurants. A particular favourite is The Angel at Long Crendon. Trevor Bosch, is the talented and amiable owner and head chef of this beautiful 16th century coaching inn and the atmosphere is very like the man himself, relaxed, friendly and welcoming. The menu is reasonably priced, there’s some excellent wines available and some great mid week


ongratulations to the following Mar/Apr edition competition winners! Hopefully your prizes will have arrived by

lunch offers for two and deserts. “We don’t (£14.95) or three really follow trends,” says Trevor.”We just courses (£19.95). Oak beams and aim to get the best out of our ingredients, floorboards, an Inglenook fireplace, whatever’s fresh at sumptuous sofas the market - the best and comfy cushions seasonal produce.” adorn the bar/ My visit, for a special Italian wine reception area - the ideal place to peruse dinner, started with delicious canapés the menu whilst relaxing with a drink. and a moorish Italian It’s a tough job! Food is prepared apéritif, followed by and cooked fresh from scratch Burratta Mozzarella (with Roast in the Angel kitchens, everything Beetroot and Prosciutto Ham) then from stocks and sauces to pastries Crab Ravioli (with Crayfish Basil

now, please let us know if not. Commiserations to those who weren’t so lucky - read on though for more offers and competitions inside this edition, including the chance

to win: tickets to Oakfest and a special deal at Aylesbury Flooring. Last issue’s prizewinners were: A meal for two at the The Black Horse, Thame:

Emma Chadbone, Oakley A copy of Woodworking: Caroline Dix, Ilmer Voucher for Rogue Leisure: Kirsty Egan-Carter, Tring

Broth), Braised Short Rib of Beef and Amalfi Lemon Crostata. The food was superb and each course was accompanied by one or two different Italian wines to try. £50 a head all in, seemed exceptional value considering the quality of the food, drink, service and ambiance and the quantity of wine supplied! It was a fabulous evening and reminded me how lucky we are to have such a high quality kitchen just up the road! Thank you Trevor and team for a fantastic evening. See for more details and events.

Charlie Editor, Vale Life Magazine

Voucher for John Lewis: Gill Herston, Aylesbury Tickets to Beaconfest: Laura Vernon, Chinnor Reboot Day: Cathryn Smith, Great Kimble

Vale Life Magazine is designed and published by Vale Life Magazine, 23 Glenham Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WD Telephone: 01844 261579 Mobile: 07702 006218 Website: Email: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of Vale Life. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies, omissions or late changes. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


with Katy Dyer

Personal stylist and fashion expert Katy scours our local boutiques and passes on tips and tricks for looking your best, plus the latest news on the high street trends

Review and reflect!


pring is such a great time everything you want and more. to review and reflect on For many, it’s the provenance of your closet. Considering clothes that is important from an what you already own ethical or environmental point of versus what you need clothes-wise view. You may want less clothes and want to express at the time that you wear more. You may of year which is most associated choose brands or items based on with newness, growth and colour – their recycling or origin credentials Spring! and like to browse charity shops or Having worked with numerous markets for jewel-like pieces that are clients over the years, of all ages, ready to be re-loved and re-worn in stages, shapes and sizes it quickly a totally new way. became apparent that whilst there are style rules that can be applied If you have an understanding based on an individual’s physical of your values when shopping for characteristics, there are often much clothes and outfits, it is much easier greater influences not associated to purchase effectively, which results with the body or appearance that in clothes you actually wear, rather affect our clothing choices over than a wardrobe full of fashionable the days, months and years. Whilst your needs may change with environmental factors – the weather, your life stage and career, it is the emotional factors that can make a real difference and create total harmony with your values and your New Look Pink look.

Scallop V Neck Sleeveless Skater Dress £19.99

What’s important to you? Model and actress Lauren Hutton said “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose” – to a degree this principle makes up your values when it comes to clothes and fashion. Perhaps you just love looking around the shops at the latest trends, designs and colours. Or maybe you prefer to have your own kind of “uniform” – pieces that work effortlessly together, are easily combined and replaced. Neither is right or wrong. It’s just relative to your values. Perhaps clothes are not something you want to spend much money on – if you like to chop and change then the high street and online fashion retailers will likely be your first port of call – they have 8

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

items that you don’t – this essentially is your personal style. Colour your life Spring and Summer are all about shedding the layers. With less pieces and brighter days, colour can lift your outfit completely and make you feel bolder. Coral pinks, primrose

New Look Pale Blue Suedette Cross Strap Pointed Heels £19.99

Oasis Natural History Museum Sky Print Halter Neck Dress £80

yellow and cobalt blue will really add a zing to your look and lift your sprits – it can be all too easy to stick with black or dark colours. Of course if you really do like to simplify, essentials in neutrals are easy to combine – why not stretch out of your comfort zone with accessories, say earrings, shoes or even just buttons in a summer colour. Material Girl What do you think makes a piece work well for you? The fabric, the fit, the fastening? Well all of these and more. If you are an active type and always on the go, one of the key elements of your look is going to be movement. If clothes are restrictive

F&F Yellow Floral Midi Dress £18

River Island Ecru print

JD Williams Petite Floral Print Crinkle Wide Trousers £28

cut in a luxe fabric is worth short sleeve sheer shirt £28 spending time over. Think cashmere, wool, silk – even with the additional care and attention required it will have the characteristics that are a must-have for your wardrobe.

River Island

Dark blue slim fit jeans £35 Pattern & paint Pattern can be a love or loathe. Love it – combine colours from the pattern to create harmonious JD Williams Embroidered Tencel combinations in Gypsy Tunic £35 separates. If you or uncomfortable in any way they are are all for making probably not going to get worn. a real statement, Natural, hardwearing and more mixing up prints reflected in the clothes you fluid fabrics will perhaps be what in one outfit will actually wear (not the ones you love – cotton, tencel, bamboo, be something you that are taking up space at denim. Have a look in your own enjoy playing around the back of your wardrobe wardrobe – what items do you love with, especially in and are never worn) – try it, to put on time and time again and occasionwear. Not take a look now! which do you avoid? one for pattern? l Katy Dyer is a style If you love glamour and shine, Give it a go with coach and corporate image then a plain pair of blue jeans is just accessories – just a consultant and works with not going to work for you – fabrics hint will really add a people of all ages, stages and with shimmer, glitter, detail and twist to your look. backgrounds to help them present sheen are a real must have. For you, Your values apply in all areas of themselves at their very best. Because it’s way more about how something your life but are not often considered when you look good, you feel good. looks than how it feels. Quality the Find out more at when it comes to dressing. What’s or simply call 01844 872025. top of your agenda? Then the perfect important to you may well be

Helen Grace

Hats and Fascinators to match your outfit available to buy or hire HG

Bespoke pieces can be designed to perfection HG

Enjoy a one-to-one at our studio in Shabbington To book an appointment

T: 01844 201017 E: W:

Adams Travel Your Local Independent Travel Agent Image Style Colour Corporate

Wardrobe Review Personal Shopping Group Consultations & Workshops

01844 872 025

11 Market Square, Aylesbury Tel. 01296 873017

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Column: Nicky Gregory‘Curious World’

Seals and Signets


eals were used in Mesopotamia from 3500 BC - originally a cylindrical device rolled across wet clay to leave a distinct impression. In ancient Egypt the seal became a ring made of stone or pottery and was worn by Pharoahs, religious leaders and noblemen . Historically, signet rings played a very important role in business and politics and were used to sign legal or important documents. The ‘seal’ was made by pressing the ring into hot wax or soft clay and was a mirror image to ensure the mark or impression could be clearly read. It was considered to be more official than a signature as it featured a unique family crest, emblem or monogram and was accepted as proof of authenticity. ‘Signet’ translates as ‘a small seal employed for formal or official purpose’. By medieval times, almost every person of nobility wore a signet ring as it was considered the

Bloodstone signet ring

Victorian desk seal only authentic way to sign one’s name without worry of forgery or tampering. Some signet rings were handed down from father to son, others were destroyed when the owner died. By the middle ages and well into the nineteenth century, rings were considered a mark of class and wealth showing you were a member of the superior society. High ranking members of the church and other aristocrats often required a visitor or diplomat to kiss their

signet ring as a sign of submission or allegiance. Early signet rings were made with raised decoration and monograms, following the development of sealing wax they were made with a depressed design. As time went on they became more ornamental and were made as desk seals, mounted on chains or turned into fobs and worn on watch chains. By the end of the eighteenth century they began to be made with engraved precious stones such as rubies and bloodstones. The stones were sometimes set on a bezel that rotated so that it could be worn facing out or against the finger. A device still used by some secretive societies. Hinged rings were made to hide a portrait of a loved one or other secret token. Our Mar/Apr edition mystery object was a silver plated olive spoon. Can you guess what this one

Nicky Gregory

Curious world

below is? Email your answers along with your name, address and contact telephone number to: Winner to be notified by email.

Mystery object l Nicky Gregory is the owner of Antiques@Wendover, The Old Post Office, 25 High Street, Wendover, Bucks, HP22 6DU Tel: 01296 625335 Email: Web:

ANTIQUES AT… WENDOVER A Dateline ANTIQUES CENTRE Est. 1987 A QUALITY ANTIQUES CENTRE offering town and country antiques in a Tudor, brick and timber house, with wall paintings and inglenook fireplaces. Park in the Courtyard at the rear, where you will find Garden Antiques, a Tea Room, the Barn Courtyard Shops and an Artist’s Studio. We are open every day from 10am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 5pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

A George III oak chest of drawers, with walnut banding - £695. The Old Post Office, 25 High Street, Wendover, Bucks, HP22 6DU Tel: 01296 625335 Email: Website: 10

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Hester Clarke Fine Jewellers

Independent Family Jewellers since 1892 Goldsmiths House 10-14 Cambridge Street Aylesbury Bucks HP20 1RS 01296 482963

Is there cash in your attic?!


special antiques and collectables valuation event is to take place in Tring. Experts from record-breaking auctioneers, Lockdales will be providing free valuations for the public on Tuesday 22nd May, from 11.30am to 3.30pm at Tring Community Centre. Lockdales experts offer free, no obligation, valuations on the following types of collectables: Coins (including British & World, sovereigns, Krugerrands, Royal Mint commemoratives and proof sets), Stamps, Banknotes, Medals and Militaria, Antiques, Clocks, Watches, Jewellery, Gold, Silver, Pre-1900 Documents/Books and Maps, Cigarette-Cards, Postcards, Pre-1960 Sporting Programmes and Tickets, Pens, Vintage Toys, Vintage Comics, Scientific Instruments, Swords, Bayonets, De-Activated and Antique Firearms. No appointment is necessary,

Lockdales experts offer free valuations

The record-breaking Rolex simply turn up with your items and

the valuers will be happy to see you. Members of the public will have the option, if they wish, to consign their goods to auction (subject to terms and conditions). Cash purchase offers are also available. Free, high quality, illustrated catalogues from previous auctions will be distributed to give the public an insight into the standard of services available.

Lockdales recently broke the British record for a Rolex Submariner watch sold at auction. On 11th October, 2017, they sold an example made circa 1964, with orange numerals, for nearly £280,000 including premium an achievement reported in the national media. The owner had consigned the watch to auction at one of Lockdales’ valuation events in the East of England. Many other star items have turned up at such events and Lockdales are looking forward to meeting people from the Tring and surrounding area who have something they’d like to have valued by an expert. l Lockdales Valuation Day, Tring Community Centre, Silk Mill Way, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 5EP (free car parking on-site subject to availability). If you have any questions feel free to contact Lockdales’ Martlesham offices: 01473 627110, Email: or see Lockdales website:




TUESDAY 22nd MAY 11.30am - 3.30pm

Tring Community Centre, Silk Mill Way, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 5EP free parking on site (subject to availablitiy)


Coins (GB & World, Sovereigns, Krugerands, Royal MInt, Proof Sets) Jewellery, Watches, Silver, Gold, Vintage Toys, Clocks, Books, Maps, Pens, British & World Stamps, & Covers, English & Foreign Banknotes, Early Postcards, Cigarette Cards, Pre-1970’s Comics, Vintage Trading Cards, Medals & Militaria, Swords, Bayonets, De-activated & Antique Firearms or Pre-1960 Sporting Programmes & Tickets

WE VALUE. WE BUY. WE AUCTION. The experts of Lockdales Auctioneers will be present Free Valuations. No Appointment Necessary

(01473) 627110 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

9–24 June 2018 Over 500 artists and makers in over 200 venues in the County’s largest visual arts event. Pick up a free directory from local Tourist Information Centres, libraries and participating venues.


01296 614283


If you enjoy arts and crafts you may have attended past events, exhibitions and demonstrations put on as part of Bucks Open Studios. The annual countywide initiative is back big time this year, 9-24th June, when the renamed Bucks Art Weeks invites all to see a spectacular selection of makers and artists in action...


ucks Open Studios is no more - long live Bucks Art Weeks! The annual event has undergone an extensive review, launched a new website and revealed a change in name to Bucks Art Weeks (BAW),

in preparation for this year’s event, which takes place from 9th to 24th June 2018. The two-week extravaganza of creativity encourages the public to visit some 500+ makers and artists in more than 200 working studios, galleries, halls, centres and venues across the county, to experience the fun and fascination in observing, participating in and purchasing all things handmade. The new brand identity reflects Bucks Art Weeks’ commitment to moving the word ‘ART’ to centre stage and strengthening its message to the public. It boasts a new strapline, too: ‘Makers and Artists

9–24 June 2018 Over 500 artists and makers in over 200 venues in the County’s largest visual arts event. Pick up a free directory from local Tourist Information Centres, libraries and participating venues.


01296 614283


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

in Action’ which aims to give clarity to the public on the nature of the event. “We wanted to dispel any confusion about what an ‘open studio’ might be,” says Bucks Art Weeks chairman Susannah Fellows. “Dance? Film? Art is what we’re about, so we needed to say so! Our new logo and signage are still in our identifiable yellow but, hopefully, more eyecatching for those new to the event, whilst still familiar to all those who have visited and enjoyed our artists and makers during our past 33 years.” This year BAW will be honouring the centenary of women’s suffrage and is holding a launch event, #100WomenArtists, at Claydon House and Estate in Middle Claydon on Sunday May 20th. Here, in recognition of the centenary of women suffrage, achieving the vote and the long road to equality, 100 Bucks Art Weeks women participants, past and present, will be assembling. The National Trust house and garden will be open to the public, as usual, from 11am-5pm and in addition there will be a full afternoon of activities, with prominent speaker Elizabeth Crawford (author of the recently

published Art and Suffrage) giving a talk, Period music, suffragette portrait painting, children’s activities and much more. The main focus of the day will be a photograph (to be taken from the upstairs window of Claydon House by kind permission of Lady Verney) of the assembled 100 Bucks Art Weeks women artists standing shoulder to shoulder, in the Courtyard with their work. It promises to be a great day out. Roll on BAW 2018! Bucks Art Weeks is a wonderful opportunity to experience firsthand the creativity going on around Buckinghamshire. To see who is taking part, when and where, look out for the yellow signs, or pick up a free guide from your local Art Gallery, Library, Tourist Information Centre or participating venue. Details are also on the website at: www. or if you send a large self-addressed envelope with 2 x 1st Class Stamps to: Bucks Art Weeks Directory, C/o Obsidian Art, Layby Farm, Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, HP22 5XJ

l Bucks Art Weeks 9-24th June T: 01296 614283 E:

Background image - Brenda Hurley

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Thame’s popular fitch & fellows gallery is run by former West End star Susannah Fellows, who is just celebrating the first birthday of her town centre premises, having moved from East Street last year...


oving to larger premises in the centre of Thame has been a real success,” says gallery owner Susannah Fitch Fellows. “We’ve been so much busier that sadly my own leatherwork has had to take a back seat! I’m still doing repairs but I haven’t been able to make as much as I was before. “The exciting thing is we have a faster turnaround now, so there are always new items coming in and new artists to introduce. For instance we have just displayed some beautiful landscapes by Brenda Hurley and sold two of her pictures straight away. She has a background in textiles and an amazing understanding of colour and produces the most wonderful pieces full of texture, colour and drama. “We have work here by sculptor Sally Dunham, who models human and animal figures using a mixture of Earthstone clay and porcelain and is particularly known for her lovable and humorous ‘Mr Herbert’ pieces. Inspired by the world around her she constantly comes up with new ideas and the results are absolutely delightful with amazing detail. “And I am still stocking Helen Kemp - a Scottish artist I had in my London gallery 25 years ago,” says Susannah. “She does wonderfully whimsical pieces - wall sconces, tealight holders and the candelabra pictured below.” There is also work by Bob Emmett who has developed a technique for piercing his handthrown ceramic bowls, jars and tealight holders with lace-like patterns that emulate the seas moods and movements. Bob has other ceramicists baffled as to how he does it and

Susannah Fitch Fellows why his pieces don’t collapse in the kiln whilst being fired! Some of the artists featured at fitch & fellows, such as Laurance Simon, are very highly regarded indeed. Her quirky, animalthemed, painted ceramics are also displayed in the permanent ceramics collection at the V&A, as is work by Japanese artist Ikuko Iwamoto, who produces beautiful cups, bowls, teapots and jugs in organic shapes, inspired by nature and the microscopic world. Much of fitch & fellows success is down to Susannah’s eye for pieces that will delight and engage whilst being of excellent quality. She is constantly sourcing exciting new artists and her gallery is bursting with gorgeous, fascinating, unique and desirable items priced from just a few pounds. “I have three basic criteria for selecting exhibits,” says Susannah: “How well the artist uses their materials; the strength of imagination shown; and how well the piece is finished. “We have some very interesting jewellery here and for Bucks Art Weeks I am clearing the centre of the gallery and making space for Kerry Newth, an award-winning Bucks based jewellery maker, to demonstrate her craft in

the gallery. Inspired by the natural world, sea creatures and the coast in particular, she uses gold fusing, reticulation and granulation to create raised textured surfaces on earrings, pendants, bangles, bracelets and more. She’ll be here Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10am-1.30pm on the 14th-16th and 21st-23rd June. Anyone is welcome to come and see her in action and chat about the techniques she uses.” A long-time fan and collector of contemporary art, Susannah is now in her second year as Chair of Bucks Art Weeks the annual, countywide artists and makers event (9th-24th June, - see opposite page). “I’m really enjoying it,” says Susannah, “I can’t wait for the 100 women artists launch at Claydon, on Sunday, May 20th, it will be amazing!” Pop in to fitch & fellows for a browse, or to pick up a Bucks Art Weeks leaflet, there’s always something new to see and prices are very reasonable from around £20 upwards. l fitch & fellows, 18 Buttermarket, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3EP Tel: 01844 215099 Email: Web: Open Tue-Sat 10.30am-5:30pm

Sally Dunham sculpture

Helen Kemp: double candleholder

Kerry Newth: ring

Sally Muir: oil on board

Ikuko Iwamoto teapot, cup and vase

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Column: Sandra Smith ‘Our Creative Vale’

Just a Joy to behold! A

t Karen Joy’s Piddington home, the timeless voice of Ella Fitzgerald fills a light, spacious studio overlooking some of the most idyllic countryside in Aylesbury Vale. “I also love classical music,” the artist reveals. “It’s got to have soul. You can get a good painting out of Shostakovich’s 5th symphony but I’m exhausted by the end of it.” Animated about her art and overflowing with a love of the outdoors, Karen finds inspiration when walking. “I love the endless depth of landscape. It’s lovely round here; I think that’s why people like my work because they get it too. I always have my phone with me so I take images. If you try and copy a photograph it doesn’t work because the elements are constantly on the move. I work out where the horizon is then sketch briefly with paint. My work is instinctive.”


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Karen Joy A typical studio session lasts a couple of hours during which two thirds of a composition are complete. At this stage setting an image aside for a while gives objectivity. The second sitting is about refining the painting. As an ex picture restorer and with a good colour sense,

the 64 year old believes square canvases provide the right sky / land balance. Although first attracted to watercolour, having been introduced to the flexibility of quick drying acrylics, she now appreciates their layering opportunities and enjoys the randomness of pushing around paint with a pallet knife. Box canvases as opposed to frames, she says, suggest a less abrupt ending to her landscapes then goes on to tell me of other ambitions on the horizon. Revealing one of her abstract impressionist paintings, she declares, “That’s where I want to be. It’s much more difficult but you have to move on, you have to. I’m much more of a morning or midday person and like to paint several times a week or I’d go stale.” Karen, who insists she’s much quieter when not engaged in conversations about art, looks forward to meeting the public at two imminent exhibitions: between

Creative Vale

Sandra Smith 19th and 28th May (alongside photographer, Stuart Feurtado) at Claydon House and, for Bucks Art Weeks (9-24th June), in Kingsey Church where, two years ago, she sold 15 paintings. Such success may, to this artist, be “phenomenal” but take a look at her stirring landscapes and you won’t be surprised. l Find out more about Sandra

Smith’s work as a freelance writer by following her on Twitter: @TheCurrentMrsS or visiting her website:

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Freya Jones’ spinning and fibrecraft store at Stoke Mandeville is proving an amazing success! Packed with equipment, supplies and accessories and with Freya on hand to offer friendly and enthusiastic help and advice, workshops and courses it’s no surprise really - she could even be on the telly soon...


t’s a good 18 months since Freya Jones opened her Spinning and Fibrecraft studio in Stoke Mandeville. Once known as home of Bucks Goat Centre, Layby Farm has become something of an art and crafts hub with two galleries, a bookbinder and a photography studio, in addition to Freya’s store, all grouped around a handy café. “It’s going fantastically,” says Freya. “people are coming from all over. I’ve been on BBC Three Counties Radio, we’ve had the ITV here filming wet felting for one of their shows, the monthly Knit and Natter and Sit and Spin sessions are really popular and I’ve had such lovely feedback from people saying they really appreciate what I’m doing here, it’s heartwarming - the spinning and knitting community are such lovely people! “I’ve been gradually expanding my range, as demand requires. I am quite fussy, so everything has to be excellent quality and ethically sourced. I now have West Yorkshire Spinners Yarn, reared, sheared and spun in Britain. We have Malabrigo’s ultra-soft ethically produced free range Peruvian Merino in beautiful colours - which is great for: knitting, spinning, needle-felting, wet-felting, weaving and more. “We have also added Baby Lock, who produce the most fabulous embellishers - a felting machine with 12 barbed felting needles. These are high end machines that mesh fabrics, wool threads, yarns or similar materials together, using their own fibres. It’s brilliant if you’re a mixed media artist as you can make your own fabric in just a few minutes, it’s like magic! “We have Ashford spinning wheels and looms, which are beautifully made in New Zealand. I have some set up in store for

Freya Jones you to try before you buy, plus a range of Ashford accessories, including hand carders, reeds, bobbins etc. I can supply any Ashford product, so please ask, as items can be ordered and usually arrive within a couple of days. “We also stock drum carders by Classic Carder, all individually handmade in solid Ash and signed. They are internationally renowned and I am lucky enough to be one of very few UK stockists. Wendy Fowler’s stoneware yarn bowls are also sold all over the world, although she happens to live in High Wycombe! They are absolutely beautiful and make a great gift for a knitter or crocheter. “We have a complete range of Madeira embroidery threads for machine and hand stitching - they are the best and of course environmentally friendly. They are so good I have people who have driven more than 50 miles to come and stock up!” Freya has a whole wall of fibre on display including British breeds of wool, speciality fibres such as silk and baby camel, more than 20 different colours of Merino, Merino and silk blends, Merino and bamboo blends and unusual fibres including: seacell made from seaweed, rose fibre which is made from roses and even a milk fibre! They have all been specially prepared for spinning or felting. Lots of items would make great presents the Hawthorn Handmade felting kits are very

reasonably priced and a great way to get into fibrecraft and there’s a good selection of crafts books, plus lots of accessories, cards, knitting bags, mugs, gifts, bit and bobs and even some useful Freya Jones own brand products and exclusive wool blends that Freya has designed. “We have lots of new courses coming up,” says Freya, “and also Bucks Art Weeks in June for which I will be demonstrating dyeing of silks and fibres and probably doing some weaving, felting and spinning too! We are listing number 115 in the Bucks Art Weeks directory. “It’s a dream job for me. I’m passionate about good customer service and I’m satisfying my desire to keep ancient skills and knowledge alive! I’m really pleased the courses are so popular and that so many people are still interested in learning these skills. ” Freya is happy to exchange advice and tips with anyone from beginners to experts and her courses are great value at £55 for a whole day, including all materials, tea and biscuits for elevenses and a hot lunch! See her website or pop in for more details. l Freya Jones Spinning & Fibrecraft, Unit 1, Layby Farm, Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5XJ Tel: 07496 033156 Email: Web:

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Amanda Trott

l Column

I’d heard the CACI Synergy facial has been achieving fantastic results, so jumped at the chance to give it a try at The Belmore Centre recently. Therapist Alison has worked with CACI for over 20 years and can’t speak more highly of the system...


any readers of Beauty Spot will have heard of, CACI - pronounced kaysee (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument). The original CACI technology was developed in America by Dr Thomas Wing for the treatment of a facial paralysis condition called Bell’s Palsy, and in 1992 the first CACI professional facial toning system, was launched in the UK. Since then CACI has developed an impressive list of facial and body contouring and anti-aging solutions. Their latest, CACI Synergy system introduces S.P.E.D™ (Simultaneous Photo Electrical Delivery) microcurrent LED technology. Designed to combat lines and wrinkles, eye bags, skin hydration, acne, cellulite and stretch marks, the dual action of simultaneous LED and microcurrent energy stimulates tissue regeneration and helps collagen production creating more visible and longer lasting results. A variety of CACI treatments are offered at The Belmore Centre including a Cellulite and Bottom Lift treatment, CACI Eye Treatment, Jowl Lift Treatment and a range of AntiAgeing Facials. When invited to experience the CACI Synergy facial, I couldn’t wait! Therapist Alison has worked with CACI for more than 20 years and speaks very highly of the system. She explained it is a technical rather than a pampering facial but the results are fantastic. Not only is it good for deep cleansing and microdermabrasion but it also lifts by using a microcurrent to give the facial muscles a workout while the SPED light therapy can stimulate collagen production and help calm inflammation. The facial takes around 90 minutes to complete and is finished with an essential oil infused silicone masque. First Alison gave me an ultrasonic peel, deep cleansing my skin with an actuator, which uses vibrations to dislodge dirt - I was vaguely aware of a gentle vibration as she swept it across my face, but nothing more. She followed with microdermabrasion - but not as we know it. Often minute particles are blasted onto or massaged over the skin to remove dead skin cells, but this was done with the aid of an orbital attachment which gently buffs the top layer of epidermis. Teamed with the benefits of SPED light therapy this is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It felt very pleasant and not at all uncomfortable. Next came pronged applicators with serum 16

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Amanda Trott

Beauty Spot

3: Re-education with microcurrent

1: Cleansing ultrasonic peel with the actuator

2: Orbital microdermabrasion

4: Wrinkle comb

5: Silicon masque, massage with applicator and healing blue light to maximise hydration 6: Afterwards!

infused buds, used in a pinching or stretching motion, to ‘re-educate’ the muscles and apply a microcurrent, encouraging them to tighten, whilst pulsed light helped to stimulate collagen and elastin production. The ‘reminding’ process followed, which reminds and stretches the muscle using different motions. None of this was painful, although at times it felt a little uncomfortable, rather like having a cactus rolled across my face! Next the ‘wrinkle comb’ was used to bring amino fluid to the surface, plumping lines and wrinkles with a peptide Alison described as ‘Botox in a bottle’! Finally a silicone based masque containing essential oils and calming rose water, and exuding the most wonderful fragrance, was placed onto my face. Alison massaged another applicator over the top of the masque which emitted a blue healing light to maximise the hydrating effects. This treatment is ideally taken as part of a course but after just one, before I even touched my face, I was actually aware that it felt tighter and lifted but not in an unpleasant dried out

way. My skin looked glowingly healthy, fresh and radiant and I felt able to step out onto the street without my usual dab of tinted moisturiser. After just the one treatment, I could see a lift in my face. Alison recommends a course of 10 to really make a lasting improvement with monthly maintenance to follow, although everyone is different. If you would like to find out more about CACI Synergy or to book an appointment with Alison or one of the other Belmore Centre therapists, then call them on: 01296 612361 or go to: for more info or to book online.

l The Belmore Centre, Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 9DR T: 01296 612361 E: W: Open Mon to Thurs, 9am-9pm; Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 9am-3pm and Sunday, 10am-4pm l To contact Amanda with regard to Beauty Spot

features please email:

Health & Fitness l Column:

Life Bites with Sarah Virág

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

What’s Your Superpower?


re you a natural at writing? A born public speaker? Someone who dreams of pursuing a gift for painting, or of sharing a natural flair for interior design? Maybe you’re lucky enough to be enjoying your superpower right now – that unique gift that makes you stand out from the crowd. But what about the rest of us? Well, if you’ve ever secretly hankered to go the extra mile with something you enjoy, but not felt quite brave or ready enough to follow through, then it’s likely you’re consciously (or subconsciously) hiding a wonderful element of your true self from the world. Ready to start owning it now? Ask yourself these 6 powerful questions to help reveal that hidden gold; 1. What‘s that thing I do, happily and with relative ease, that makes my heart sing? 2. If I knew there was no chance of failing, what would I start doing

Sarah Virág Confidence Coach

today? 3. What activity or pursuit do family and friends always compliment me on? 4. What comes easily to me? Makes me feel confident and happy? 5. What do I look forward to doing when I have spare time? 6. Which are the books, websites, videos, museums, movies, news stories that I return to over and over again? Hello Superpower! Latent, sometimes fabulously

unique, personal skills and attributes can lie dormant and unshared for a lifetime if you don’t uncover and reveal them in all their glory. Everyone has them. The question is; “Are you sharing yours?“ Time and time again I urge my clients to step up to their own, unique Superpowers. That ‘thing’ deep inside, that calling, that urge, that unexplored passion to expose and master something they already feel comfortable doing.

As we all want to look back on life and feel satisfied that we’ve chased our dreams and goals, one of the very best ways to step forwards positively every day, is to give yourself permission to use and share your cherished skills – whatever they are! Isn’t it about time you released that wonderful Superpower within? l Sarah Virág BA (Hons), is a

confidence coach, writer, former global events manager, mother of three and author of ‘Wings for Life: Your Pathway To Freedom After Emotional Upheaval’. Website: Email:

A salon with over 10 years experience, specialising in re-styles,

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Column: Fitness Focus with John Holman

The problem with massage


here are potentially quite a few problems that can crop up when undergoing a massage explains John Holman, clinic lead at Thame’s specialist massage therapy business, Massage Matters. If you enjoy the benefits of youth then it’s generally a breeze - you will easily be able to turn over on a narrow couch, however if you are a little older and have back, neck or shoulder issues, then this can be a bit more of a struggle. To be honest, massage can be a bit ageist! Traditional massage is not really that comfortable when lying face down with your head in one of those horrible face holes, whilst having your neck cricked over to one side is rarely relaxing. Having

your arms by your side requires a degree of flexibility that can be a challenge, but the alternative of having them dangle over the sides can cause the hands to become cold or even numb. None of the problems detailed above are an issue here at Massage Matters. All of our clients are treated to the benefits of Hydrotherm, the World’s first 3-dimensional massage system, with no face holes, cricked necks,

Health & Fitness

Exclusive Vale Life Magazine reader offer Readers of this article are invited to try your first Hydrotherm 3-dimensional massage at a special introductory price of just £39.95 Ts&Cs: You must be a new client of massage matters to take advantage of this offer. This offer cannot be used with any other offer. Normal price ranges of treatments are between £45 and £65 dependent upon therapist. Offer ends 30/06/18.

arms dangling over the side of the couch, and no need to turn over during treatment, as we can provide a full body massage with our client lying on his or her back the entire time! Perhaps the best features of all are Hydrotherm’s cushions of warm water, which keep our clients warm, perfectly aligned and fully supported throughout. We have numerous clients in their 70s and 80s who regularly benefit from massage, so absolutely no ageism here!

John Holman Massage Matters

Until now, this evolution in massage therapy has been available here in Thame, but exclusively to the therapists and clients of Massage Matters. We thought it was time for anyone else who is interested in the clinically proven benefits of regular massage but who hasn’t yet experienced Hydrotherm to be given the chance to try it out for themselves. See offer above...

l Massage Matters, North Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3TH Tel: 01844 212022 Email: Web: Open Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm, Sat: 8am-6pm, Sun: 10am-4pm Closed Bank Holidays

If you are feeling sad, confused, worried, depressed, anxious, lonely, or just overwhelmed, I can help. Whatever issue is troubling you, why not get in touch and we can find a solution together? I am a qualified Therapist offering a flexible therapeutic service tailored to your needs and requirements.

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

* offer valid until 1 June 2018 and subject to class availability at time of booking

Health & Beauty Vale Life : May/Jun 2016

It’s not only boy scouts that need to be prepared, the early shot of Spring sunshine has reminded us that warmer days are not far away and we need to be ready for peeling off those winter layers...

Ellen Aubrey “Good news for clients old and new,” says salon owner Ellen Aubrey. “There’s a special 20% off Guinot Hydradermie Cellular Energy Youth Facials from 25th April to 25th June 2018 - just see the link on our Instagram account ‘4beautysalon’. “Also we now have a new, free, 4beautySalon App! Download it today for even easier online booking.”


CND Shellac

fter basking in that mini April heatwave we could be forgiven for getting a bit carried away with fantasies about long hot summer days...” says 4beauty owner Ellen Aubrey. “Hopefully these are not too far away though and with this in mind we are preparing our clients for baring those bods and airing those toes. “We have seen a steady rise in waxing and pedicure appointments throughout April, so we are focussed on getting you all ready for the warmer months ahead. “So what are our top three ‘prepare to bare’ treatment recommendations that will stand you in good stead as the weather warms up? 1. Pedicures - so important to be ahead of the game with this one. Be ready for those one-off sunny days that appear at this time of year and demand open toes or sandals. We always recommend CND Shellac Pedicures, quick, easy and durable. There is no risk of smudging when you leave the salon as the finish is cured under an LED lamp, so can be undertaken on chillier days even if wearing boots.

2. Facials - remove the dull, lack-lustre, greyness of winter-worn skin to reveal a fresh, luminous, radiant face, ready for the brighter times ahead. We are happy to offer expert advice on changing your skincare routine to reflect the change in seasons and your skin’s needs and also how to prepare and protect from harmful UV, along with the pollutants and free radicals that float invisibly around during warmer times. 3. Guinot TechniSpa Body Treatments - the ultimate advanced body treatments to smooth,

contour and breakdown cellulite to get that beach body ready for exposure. “Our award-winning therapist, Kelly, is at your service for this specialist, bespoke treatment that is personally tailored to meet your own desired results.” l 4beauty Ltd, 56 High Street, Whitchurch, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4JS Tel: 01296 640644 Email: Web:

See link from our Instagram account: ‘4beautysalon’

4beauty, Whitchurch, nr Aylesbury Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Award-winning Family Run Hearing Consultancy Estd in 1989

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Don’t suffer in silence, book in for a personal appointment. Call or email for more details or join us at one of our Hear Today events”

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Come along and talk to our audiologists, we also have our van equipd with specialised equiptment to check the health of your ears. All for FREE.

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01494 733840 Thame Cobbles Yard 112 High Street Thame Oxfordshire OX9 3DZ 01844 396057

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Health & Fitness


Column: Fitness focus with Lucy Phillips

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

What is Hypnotherapy?


eople often ask what hypnotherapy actually is and more importantly what it can do. To dispel any myths, it does not require the use of a pocket watch, nor do you lose control and end up clucking like a chicken! Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process between the therapist and their client to help bring about positive change and work towards the client’s goals. The therapy involves a combination of psychotherapy and hypnosis. Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and in this relaxed state, your mind is more responsive to suggestion. It is important to understand that no one can be hypnotised against their will, nor can the therapist take control of your mind. During hypnosis, you are awake and in control at all times. What areas can Hypnotherapy help with? Whilst many people

are familiar with hypnotherapy as a solution for giving up smoking and dealing with fears and phobias, such as fear of flying or spiders or needles, there are in fact many other areas for which it is a highly effective treatment. Stress is something that we are all very familiar with and it has been labelled the “health epidemic of the 21st century” (World Health Organisation, 2016), and that can manifest itself in many different ways including anxiety, insomnia, weight issues, low mood, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to name but a few. Hypnotherapy can be very effective in helping to manage

Aylesbury Sports Massage For all your aches, pains and injuries Contact Clare Davies Hartwell, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire Tel: 01296 747477 Email: Website:

these issues. There has also been a significant rise in the number of children and teenagers who are suffering with varying levels of anxiety which can result in eating disorders, selfharming, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Hypnotherapy does not involve medication and offers young people the opportunity to take back control and deal with the challenges they face at school and university in a calm and relaxed environment. How do I find a Hypnotherapist? It is important to look for a therapist who is registered/accredited with a professional body, such as the CNHC ( which is the UK voluntary regulator for complementary health practitioners, or the National Council for Hypnotherapy ( The NCH has a directory of all

Lucy Phillips Hypnotherapist UK registered hypnotherapists and this accreditation ensures that the therapist will have achieved a substantial level of training and experience, as well as being insured and adhering to a strict code of conduct. l Lucy Phillips is a qualified

Clinical Hypnotherapist at Sage Hypnotherapy based in Wendover. For further information about hypnotherapy or to book an initial consultation, Lucy can be contacted on 07847 623253 or email:

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‘Movement for every body’ Welcoming, modern studio offering small group yoga & pilates classes, for all ages & abilities, in friendly, relaxing, professional environment Cross Keys House, New Road, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 0LF Tel: 07793 387272 Email: Website: Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Health & Beauty

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Fairford Leys Smile Centre is celebrating it’s seventh birthday. The small, friendly practice offers dental services plus an additional range of cosmetic treatments in a stylish modern environment...


ractice manager Dianne Lee, dental hygienist Lois O’Reilly and dental nurse Hannah Parker met whilst working for the same Aylesbury dentist and became such good friends they decided to set up their own practice together! Fairford Leys Smile Centre was the result. A partnership between the three, founded seven years ago, in 2011, it has proved a popular addition to local dental care ever since. Dr Zaki Khatana BDS is now the fourth member of the Fairford Leys Smile team. He qualified from Kings College London and has worked in general practice ever since. He is from High Wycombe but has been practising in Thame for the last six years. Zaki has a Postgraduate Certificate in Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry and has also been trained in the treatment of crowded teeth using ‘invisible’ braces and the Inman Aligner. At Fairford Leys Smile Centre he not only offers a full range of dental services, from routine examinations to fillings, x-rays, root canals, implants, veneers, bridges, dentures, gumshields etc but also orthodontics and invisible braces - teeth straightening using the Inman Aligner and SmileLign system - and teeth whitening. He also offers facial aesthetics such as anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels and lip augmentation fillers, plus a range of prescription skin care for people with skin problems such as eczema, rosacea, acne and general skin ageing concerns. He can also treat excessive sweating with cosmetic injections. “It makes sense for dentists to offer fillers and anti-wrinkle injections,” says Zaki. “We are medical professionals and used to working in the facial area. We understand the anatomy, have steady hands, and are practised in using our implements with precision and in giving injections. We know what we are doing. It’s

Reception 22

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Zaki, Hannah, Lois and Diane important when having fillers that people pick their practitioner carefully, don’t just go to the cheapest option. I’ve had quite a few patients come to see me to have a poor job put right.” Zaki regularly goes on courses to keep up with developments and the surgery uses the latest technology, such as low dose digital radiography and intra oral cameras, which allow patients to be shown problem areas. The practice has a dental surgery, a hygienist’s surgery, a treatment room, a sterilisation room and a spacious reception and waiting room. It has a stylish, modern feel with comfortable sofas in the waiting area, fresh flowers on display and a relaxed friendly feel to proceedings. “It’s all about the patients,” says Zaki. “We know some are nervous, so we keep things relaxed, friendly and comfortable and as little like a traditional dentist’s surgery as we can and we offer flexible opening hours for those who can’t visit during the working day.”

Treatment room

“We’re a private practice,” says Diane, “but we operate Denplan or our own Smileplan payment plans, which means you make a monthly payment, (about £20 on average) and it covers most things. It’s a really good way for families to budget. It even covers you for emergency treatment when you’re away from home. Children cost less and it’s lovely to have the peace of mind that if you wake up with a problem you can get it checked out straight away without worrying about the cost. “Regular visits to the dentist means problems can be spotted before they cause pain or need costly treatment. Getting your children used to regular check-ups is terribly important. Understanding how to look after their teeth from an early age is invaluable which is why we also offer Denplan for children and families. “If you’d like to come in for a free consultation regarding any of our treatments or services, please just call. We are not at all pushy - we will give you a treatment plan with options and costs and then it’s up to you to go away and decide what you’d like to do.” l Fairford Leys Smile Centre, 8 Hampden Square, Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 7HT. Telephone: 01296 398180 Email: Web: Open Mon: 11am-9pm; Tue: 8am-4pm; Wed: 8am-12pm; Thu: 2pm-9pm; Fri: 10am-2pm; Sat: by appointment only

‘Good Health’ with Sandra Smith

Are you sleeping OK? F

or our waking hours to be productive and satisfying a good night’s sleep is crucial. Although the amount of sleep we each need varies (6-8 hours is typical), this is the time when, ideally, bodies and minds need to switch off from their daily demands. But sleep isn’t something we should take for granted. Stress or new situations may result in disturbed sleep patterns which have a negative impact, easily disrupting normal routines and capabilities. “If you are regularly experiencing sleep disruption,” says Thame Therapy Clinic’s Andrew Roscoe, “then your waking life is going to be quite different. We can all take that for a while but when it becomes habitual, we start losing the plot.” Problems vary from difficulty falling asleep, to waking early or

Are you getting enough sleep? even repeatedly during the night. Each scenario means our bodies aren’t given the opportunity to regenerate as Andrew explains. “Rest time, when your mind and physical body are taken out of gravity, not doing any work, is important. Because of 24 hour living, even when lying down people are on their phone or laptop so their brains are still engaged. There’s too much plate spinning. Invariably those with sleeping problems don’t take breaks,

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exercise or eat at the right time. You have to change the day time to make the night time different. Our bodies are geared up to be active or relaxing at the right time.” For anyone unable to break negative patterns themselves, Andrew suggests acupuncture. This ancient treatment moves energy around, restoring balance between the mind and body. An initial session begins with discussion about health including physical and emotional challenges. “I have to help you clear the decks. Running on empty creates a funny kind of heat. You’ve used up all the cooling, calming; now your energy is low and you’re getting hotter inside. Once there’s too much heat it’s like a pot on the stove boiling dry.” He treats those experiencing recent disruption as well as people whose issues date back years. Each case is reviewed after 3-5 sessions.

Good Health

Sandra Smith Andrew also stresses the value of lying down in the middle of the day, not necessarily to sleep but so that blood recharges key organs such as the liver, resulting in a feeling of freshness and vitality. The knock on effect could help restore a normal sleep pattern, and make your daytime more effective, too. For further advice Andrew can be found at Thame Therapy Clinic: l Sandra Smith is a freelance

writer, follow her on Twitter: @TheCurrentMrsS or visit her website:

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Health & Beauty

Fitness Focus with Jenney Klose

Do you need insoles?


he foot is our body’s interface with the ground. When we walk or run, the way our feet interact with the ground causes associated movement in the lower limb, lumbar, spine and pelvis. This is normal, but sometimes subtle variations in the shape and mobility of our feet change the interaction, placing excessive stress and strain not only on the foot but also on other parts of the body, such as knees, hips, back or neck. Over time, feet can change shape, resulting in pressures, pain and lesions such as corns and calluses. Insoles (orthoses) can be used to change gait, realign joints and reduce pain and pressure. Common conditions that can be treated with orthoses include: • Excessive Pronation • Paediatric Foot Problems • Flat Feet • Plantar Fasciitis

• Heel Pain • Metatarsalgia • Foot Stress Fractures • Bunions • Hallux Limitus • Morton’s Neuroma • Tendon Problems • Arthritic Foot Problems • Lower Back/Pelvis/Hip/Knee/ Leg problems

During an average day, we take about 8,000 steps and, depending upon our weight, this adds up to a cumulative force of about 600 tons on our feet! Podiatrists understand how important it is to have comfortable feet - our aim is to keep you

moving. We are experts in prescribing orthoses. Gait analysis is commonly used to help athletes run more efficiently and to identify posture or movement related problems in people with injuries and muscle fatigue. Any misalignment in the structure of the feet may result in pain and can cause foot, knee, hip and lower back pain. At Feet First we provide a professional biomechanical assessment and orthoses prescribing service if required. We make bespoke orthoses on site using our innovative equipment. These are designed for your own individual problems, moulded to fit your feet and finished to fit your specific footwear. There are ‘off-the-shelf’ orthotics available but there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to orthoses so you can easily buy the wrong insoles and exacerbate

Jenney Klose Podiatrist

your problems. There are different prescriptions for activities such as running, golf, walking, hiking, daily footwear, ladies’ footwear or cushioning and pressure deflecting for comfort etc. We recommend professional advice for your individual needs. We also have a wide range of shoes to accommodate orthoses. Some of our sandals have removable foot-beds so you can still wear your orthoses during the warmer months. l Feet First, 13a Upper High

Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3ER Tel: 01844 261023 Email: Web:

Experts in Mobility and Healthcare Supplies Come and visit our new showroom at Watermead, Aylesbury or, if you can’t get to us - give us a call and we’ll visit you! Specialists in ‘tilt in space’ riser recline chairs Lightweight wheelchairs Wide range of mobility scooters Extensive range of three/four wheeled walkers Bath and shower solutions Aids for daily living Profiling beds and stairlifts Discreet professional advice on continence management Advice and guidance on all aspects of mobility and personal care Equipment Hire Excellent after sales service and customer care 35 Lakeside, Watermead, Aylesbury, HP19 OFX | Tel: 01296 435607 | Web: Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Thame Ladies Network

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Networking groups are everywhere these days but it’s not often you hear of a one that has attracted 1,000 plus members within just a couple of weeks of launching! So what’s the secret Thame Ladies Network...


omen like to be connected it seems and if you live in the Thame area there’s no better way to meet likeminded souls and find out what is going on than to join Thame Ladies Network (TLN) - just log on to Facebook, search for Thame Ladies Network and click ‘Join Group’. Initially a Facebook group set up by Vale Life beauty columnist Amanda Trott, the membership grew so rapidly that within a couple of weeks more than 1,000 ladies had joined up and numbers were increasing every day! Amanda turned to two friends, sisters Beth Bennett and Lucy Mann to help run

the group and within a short time it had become a thriving Facebook community with regular meet ups, or Chattercinos, at The Thatch in Thame, for coffee and networking. “I’d seen similar groups on Facebook and thought it would be nice to do something for ladies in Thame,” says Amanda. “I came to live in Thame some 25 years ago and at the time was expecting, so met other mums-to-be at antenatal classes. If it hadn’t been for that I’m not sure how I would have made new friends. The idea of using social media to link up seemed a good idea. I didn’t want it to be a forum for gossip though, more a way to inform and inspire

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Roo Davies The White House 2 East Street, Thame

Thame Ladies Network ‘Admins’ Lucy, Amanda and Beth - Pic by Sarah Minchin each other - a positive platform on which to share news of charity events, give recommendations, be encouraging and supportive, promote activities and businesses and form friendships. “Very quickly members were interacting and bouncing ideas off each other on Facebook and it seemed natural to take things a step further and have meet ups in the real world. A coffee and a chat was the obvious way to start, so the Chattercino was born! They are a great way to get to know one another, form friendships and find out about each other’s businesses. “We have a lot of talent in the group - designer Sam Osborne created our logo/banner in

her clever quirky style, while photographer Sarah Minchin has helped out by taking pictures along the way, including the ones for this feature. Beth and Lucy have been an amazing help with the admin and organisation - we are around 1800 members now and I couldn’t possibly cope with it all myself! “The admin team do it for Thame and our local businesses, we are not promoting anything ourselves. We’re all very passionate about our town and we’ve been amazed at the number of local ladies who are running their own businesses, but equally we have lots of purely social members and it’s lovely to see them making new friends and finding out what’s going on.

Thame Ladies Network

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Angela and Nicola Cox

Angela and Nicola Cox

Holistic Health and Beauty Therapy

Holistic Health and Beauty Therapy Relax, Release, Rebalance

Relax, Release, Rebalance

Introducing our New CACI SYNERGY SPED Face Lifting w w With Patented Micro-Current and LED Light Technology Amazing Results for : New CACI SYNERGY SPED Face Lifting Introducing our with Patented Micro-Current and LED Light Technology Amazing Results for - Lifting Face Muscles; Lifting Face Muscles Plumping Out Wrinkles ; Skin Brightening and Toning; Plumping Out Scars Wrinkles Healing and Stretch Marks; Acne and Rosacea; Pigmentation; Skin Brightening and Toning Hydrating and Moisturising; Stimulating Healing Scars and Stretch Marks Collagen and Elastin Acne and Rosacea, Pigmentation Hydrating and Moisturising Stimulating Collagen and Elastin Chattercino - Pic by Sarah Minchin

Discount of suggestions, all genuinely helpfulfor your first treatment and/or course, call ... ideas. Please call for a discount on 53 Churchway, Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8HB “The ChattercinosTel:are great your first treatment and/or course 01844 290559 fun and a brilliant way of07795 meeting Mob: 086689 53 Churchway, Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8HB people if you are at Web: on Tel: 01844 290559 Mob: 07795 086689 your own a lot, looking after Web: children, like me, or running a one woman business. It’s nice to meet the people you have seen or really positive thing right from the it’s just chatting in a relaxed and even communicated with on our start though and shows what a need informal atmosphere! Facebook page. Our ladies are there is locally, especially for those making friends rather than just working on their own, to have some business aquaintances - it’s making way of connecting with others and Thame a better place.” also what an amazing number of Lucy: TLN Admin talented and creative ladies there are Beth: TLN Admin “I think our Facebook page in Thame. “I immediately thought, ‘what a is a really good way for ladies to “Ladies come to the Chattercinos great idea’ when Amanda told me find help with things,” says Lucy for different reasons - some to Sarah Minchin Photography about her TLN Facebook page,” Mann, who has a background in socialise, some to share their Photographer Sarah Minchin corporate administration. “You says acupuncturist Beth Bennett, business, but a lot then become specialises in relaxed and informal can ask a question or ask for a “but neither of us thought it would family photography. She favours take off quite so quickly! It’s been a customers of each other. Amanda recommendation and you’ll get lots has a new gardener, I have a new local locations rather than studio accountant, it’s easier to engage sessions, so will often head out when you have met and got to know into the local countryside with her someone. subjects and get very natural shots. “It’s fascinating how every single Sarah also does weddings and newcomer arriving at a Chattercino events, but again it’s very much is nervous though - wondering across the room with a long lens, what they might have to do, and to take those off guard moments then look so relieved that there is and lovely, natural shots rather than nothing other than to wear a name formal poses. label! The pop up shops are useful “As someone trying to run my as those who don’t know anyone own business I knew networking can go and browse and will soon was something I needed to do,” says get approached and end up in Sarah, “but I was a little bit scared 0771 2492543 conversation, it is a very inclusive by it - there are so many successful and supportive group. Come along, business people out there. I went to “The Chattercinos are every two months on a Friday morning. We have two pop up shops at each one and £1 of the £5 admission (which includes coffee) goes to our charity fund. We are aiming to raise £1,000 for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust this year. “We have lots of ideas for developing the group and plans are in the pipeline for more events, starting with an evening meet or Chattervino in the next few weeks.”

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Thame Ladies Network

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

for some of my Nutrition on Track clients on the subject of Mindful Eating. “Joining TLN has been fantastic not just for friendly get togethers and making contacts, but for hearing all about the incredible enterprises that other members are making happen all around us - it’s very inspiring. Thanks so much Amanda, Beth, and Lucy for all you do to make it happen.

a group before once and found it very intimidating but this is a lovely informal way of doing it. Having a coffee and a chat seemed much more appealing and when I got there the girls were really friendly, so I keep going back, I think I’ve been to every Chattercino since! “There are so many good photographers in Thame it’s very hard to stand out and carve your own niche. “Having the chance to talk to lots of people I wouldn’t usually have met has been really useful and lots of my business cards have been taken. It’s a really useful opportunity. Roo: Your Life Journey Life coach Ruth (Roo) Davies helps people embrace uncertainty and feel confident to live the life they want to live; whether that is by feeling empowered to make change happen or by managing the change that is happening around them. She does this via face to face coaching in a compassionate, Roo Davies


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Chattercino - Pic by Sarah Minchin

safe and confidential space. “I discovered Thame Ladies Network last year when I was establishing my practice in Thame at The White House on East Street,” says Roo. “What a pleasure it was to find such a large collection of positive, driven, business minded ladies, right on my doorstep. “From day one being part of TLN had a big impact, from helping spread word of my launch event and sharing creative ideas for growing my business, to trusted

recommendations for local services such as printers and photographers. It’s also a great feeling to be part of such a constructive group of fab ladies!” Louise: Nutrition on Track Independent nutrition and weight management adviser Louise Wright created Nutrition on Track in 2016 to help her clients eat well and achieve their nutrition and wellbeing goal. She gives fad free, sensible, fact-based advice and a range of services from 1:2:1 coaching to Louise Wright a popular 5 week group course. “I think Thame Ladies Network is a superb group,” says Louise. “The Facebook page is really useful, there’s always lots going on and I can pop my own adverts in occasionally. The Chattercinos are a great place to get ideas, make contacts, or just have a chat with friendly networkers everybody is very approachable and not at all pushy. It’s very sociable and there is always such a friendly welcome from the organisers. “For me it has been really helpful as through TLN I met Jenny Doherty of Beam Admin who helped me improve the layout of my course materials. I formed a link with Ginny Loisel of Nu-skin and am now able to offer my clients the biophotonic carotenoid scanner. “Several ladies from TLN have attended my courses or become 1:1 clients, including Jazzercise instructor Janey Enticott. I also met Sarah Hammond of Be-More who kindly came and ran a fantastic workshop

Emma: Maud&Mum Emma Lowndes is a local blogger - author of Maud&, which aims to support anyone taking an increasing role in supporting an elder relative or friend. In the blog Emma shares hard learned tips that save others time and money. She also advocates for elder and Emma Lowndes carer rights in the public, private and charity sectors. “What I love about Thame Ladies Network,” says Emma, “is that not only does it connect you to other entrepreneurs, potential collaborators and customers in the local area, but it is also a very positive group that always aims to lift its members.” Angela Cox Health & Beauty Angela has been practising Health and Beauty Therapy for 33 years and her daughter Nicola is also qualified with 10 years experience. “I particularly love doing relaxation and health therapies such as Massage, Reflexology, Ayurvedic Facials, Theta Angela & Nicola Healing and Journey Therapy,” says Angela, “while Nicola enjoys beauty fixes such as Eyelash Tints and Perms, Eyelash Extensions, Gel Nails, Fake Tan and Facials. We have both just qualified in the newly patented CACI SYNERGY S.P.E.D Non Surgical Face Lift with Red & Blue Rejuvenating LED Light Therapy, which gives fast and dramatic results without needles, surgery or downtime, which is very exciting! “We have found TLN a lovely, informal, friendly group. The Chattercinos on a Friday morning at The Thatch are brilliant - you meet such interesting people and it’s

Pic by Sarah Minchin

Thame Ladies Network

Birdie Bunting


irdie Bunting is run by Saskia Nesja. She began her business making beautiful bunting, hence the name, but now also creates the most gorgeous, bespoke, children’s clothing. Even better, using clever combinations

of cuffs, waistbands, poppers and drawstrings, these pieces will grow with your child, last longer and are perfect both for your own little ones and for presents, especially if you are not sure of the exact size! Go to the website, pick a fabric and a style of garment and Saskia will make your clothing to order “My mother always sewed but never taught me so although I had a sewing machine I didn’t use it for ages, as paper patterns put me off!” says former history teacher Saskia, who is originally from Massachusetts and used to work in the education department at The National Army Museum in London. “Moving out to Thame and being at home more, with a young family to look after, meant I was able to teach myself and make items for my own children. The business has just grown from there, I really enjoy it now especially sourcing all the beautiful fabrics. “Birdie Bunting clothing is all

Lucy, Amanda and Beth -

Pic by Sarah Minchin

Pic by Sarah Minchin

Saskia with her Birdie Bunting pop up shop at a TLN Chatterchino Below: Grow With Me leggings handmade, mostly from stretchy cotton knit fabrics with organic as an option. “I also make ‘Grow With Me’ clothing which has built in room for growth, so although being handmade and bespoke and not the cheapest option, they will grow with your child and last longer, giving more wear and great value. An item made for a three month baby will generally size up to one year. And I take care to ensure all items are well made.” See Saskia’s website for full details

on products. Items range from around £10 up to £35. l Birdie Bunting - bunting, bibs & custom children’s clothing Contact: Saskia Nesja E: W:

The White House Beauty & Holistic Health Clinic 2 East Street, Thame, OX9 3JS

Our team of highly qualified independent practitioners offer a variety of therapies, yoga and fitness classes. For further information please contact great for networking and to share knowledge. “The online Facebook forum is excellent too - you can pass on information and promote new offers, seasonal things, treatments, places to visit etc - it covers a huge spectrum and is very useful both professionally and socially. Thank you Amanda and team! Saskia: Birdie Bunting Saskia Nesja, pictured top right, makes children’s clothes and bunting, see panel above for details. “Thame Ladies Network is such a great idea,” says Saskia. “I originally found the network on Facebook, I

think a friend tagged me. It’s great it’s not just a business thing, the social side is very good and I think a lot of members just enjoy coming along to see what everyone is up to and what others are doing. “The Facebook page is a constant source of information and inspiration and the Chattercino meetings are very sociable and can be very busy. I love being involved and I’ve had quite a few orders from members, so it’s been great for business. l Thame Ladies Network - join on Facebook - search for Thame Ladies Network and click ‘join group’ button! E:

Jen Webster: 07768 188664 or Amanda Supple: 07761 355107

Help for carers of elders in Oxon/Bucks If you’re supporting an elder relative or friend, whether a little or a lot, go to: for useful wellbeing, time and money saving info. Also on Facebook and Twitter @maudandmum Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


by Cathy Soughton

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Walk with suffragettes


s many of you will know, this year marks 100 years since some women, (but not all), were able to vote for the first time. After peaceful constitutional campaign methods by women’s suffrage societies, (suffragists) had failed to make significant progress, a new generation of activists known as suffragettes emerged in the early 20th century. Headed by Emmeline Pankhurst who had founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, (WSPU), they were more militant and used violence to forward their cause by damaging property, sometimes using incendiary devices and arson to do so. The suffragettes were active all over the country including Buckinghamshire. One of their most destructive actions was an arson attack on Saunderton railway station near Princes Risborough on 9th March 1913 when the station buildings were destroyed and

suffragettes left placards hanging from the railings with the message “Burning to get the Vote” and “Votes for Women”. Several suffrage meetings were held in Aylesbury’s market square. One meeting held in April 2012 attended by members of the WSPU and the Women’s Tax Resistance League, (WTRL), a sister movement which used tax resistance to protest against the disenfranchisement of women, was organised to protest about the treatment of 28 suffragette prisoners in Aylesbury Prison, (then a women’s prison), some of whom had gone on hunger strike and were being force fed. Around 100 people marched to the prison. On their return to the square, speeches were made but some in the watching crowd turned violent and started hurling missiles at the speakers who had to be escorted by the police to the station to catch a train back to London. Later that week Mrs Hamilton of

whilst the Government in return released all suffragettes from prison on an amnesty. In 1918 an Act was passed allowing certain women the right to vote but only those aged the WTRL who lived in Wendover thirty or over who met certain and refused to pay her taxes had property qualifications. All males some of her goods seized and put over the age of 21 were also given up for auction at the Red Lion hotel. the right to vote. Both supporters and opponents The Centre for Buckinghamshire attended the auction and were Studies is researching with a allowed to speak at the end but there team of volunteers, the lives of was no violence on that occasion. Buckinghamshire women who got A book by the Rev Colin to vote in a General Election for the Cartwright Burning to Get the Vote: first time in 1918. The research will The Women’s Suffrage Movement in be published on a blog throughout Central Buckinghamshire, 1904-1914 the year, and the project will provides more details about the culminate with a Heritage Open Suffrage movement in the county. Day event on Sat 8th September. With Andrew Clark, Colin has also You can find the blog at: written a booklet of six heritage https://shegotthevote.wordpress. trails of varying length, tracing the com More volunteers are welcome women’s suffrage movement in and – contact the Centre on: 01296 around the Chilterns. It is available 382587 for details. online at uk/free-walks-leaflets (scroll down l Cathy Soughton is a professional genealogist and architectural to Walking with Buckinghamshire historian providing family history and Suffragettes) house history research in the local When the First World War area. erupted, the suffragettes ended W:, all militant activities and instead E:, focused on aiding the war effort, T: 01296 624845

Community Matters Every month we give our time and money to local communities. We donate £1000 to be shared by three good causes that you choose.

Waitrose Thame Supporting the community 30

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Column: Nick Phillips ‘Good to give’

More than bricks & mortar


hese institutions appear on every high street and are part of our national psyche – our beloved charity shops. As consumers, many of us love to browse their shelves for both old and new items. Charities themselves continue to treasure their retail outlets, placing great value in them despite low profit margins and tricky trading conditions. To the casual bystander this approach may seem outdated: why do charities take their high street stores so seriously when there is a plethora of ways available which are far more efficient at raising money? Looking at the statistics, for every £1 spent through retail, £1.30 is raised. With legacies a similar cost to return raises £26.09. The answer is that they offer so much more than just a way to generate income. Crucially they give charities a physical presence in our busy everyday lives through which they

Florence Nightingale Hospice shop, Walton Court, Aylesbury raise their profile, tell us about the great work they do and put themselves at the forefront of our minds when we make donations. Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury is a great example of how important retail is to a charity. Around a third of its income comes from retail, providing essential funds to pay for its services. Its shops are all within 12 miles of the Hospice - a very efficient way of raising

awareness of the Hospice and its services locally. The Hospice’s shops also help to form a community, providing a way for people whose family and friends have been helped by the Hospice to maintain a connection with it by donating, shopping or volunteering. A wider community is instantly formed through the shop network and their adjacent communities. The result is that their shops all have a different character, tailored for the community by the people who run them, their customers and the donors who support them. Yet not everyone is pleased to see new charity shops open their doors. There is still a perception that these ‘second-hand stores’ bring down the high street. This myth is busted by

Nick Phillips

Good to give the Charity Retail Association which has found they actually make high streets more attractive to investors by filling units and attracting visitors. The move towards specialist charity shops, for example selling furniture or designer goods, also helps increase footfall. With a growing sense of re-use and re-cycle, charity shops becoming more specialist and professional in their presentation, it is clear that they are here to stay supporting charities with income, raising profile and attracting volunteers. l Nick Phillips is CEO of

Community Impact Bucks: Tel: 0300 1111 250



Funeral Wakes, Christenings, Birthday Parties, Baby Showers, Proms, Reunions, Family Celebrations… In fact, any event that requires a venue.


Phone 01296 734030 Email: Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Column: Down to business with Philippa Batting

Just a walk in the park


rotecting, promoting and celebrating our natural environment is of the utmost importance. Experiencing the natural world, especially in the area we live, adds so much to our lives and can help take away the stresses that none of us are immune to. That’s why my interest was recently piqued by Dame Cheryl Gillan MP’s suggestion that the Chilterns should get an upgrade on its status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to become a National Park. This change would seem to have two major benefits for the Chilterns. First, it could offer greater protection from developments that are detrimental to the area. National Parks and AONBs have largely the same legal protections, but the former benefit from their own independent planning authority while the latter

fall more under the auspices of local authorities. Though there are guidelines in place to ensure that any proposed developments take into account the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the local area, these have offered no protection from HS2 or increasing housing development. Secondly, National Park status would help to draw more visitors into Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns and provide a welcome tonic for those businesses that count on visitors from further afield. The tourism sector is a major player in the Buckinghamshire economy, with approximately 2,300 businesses employing 16,000 people. More than £400 million is spent locally each year as a result of 10 million day trips and 1.1m overnight stays in the county. Alongside the fantastic cycling and walking opportunities in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire is

blessed with plenty of National Trust properties, such as Cliveden, Waddesdon Manor, Stowe and Hughenden Manor, that frequently rank among the most visited of all such properties in the country. And our famous varied attractions like Bekonscot Model Village, Silverstone and Go Ape draw in plenty of families, sports fans and adventurous souls. Just imagine what a National Park (the closest to London) would add to the already stellar offering of the county. National Park status would certainly be another thing that Visit Buckinghamshire & The Chilterns, the destination management organisation for the area, could use to encourage visitors in to the county and to inspire residents for their weekend plans. While we wait to see what the proposed government review of AONBs brings, and whether the Chilterns will eventually become

Are you drowning

Philippa Batting Down to business

the UK’s sixteenth National Park, hopefully we can at least look forward to a little more sun now that spring has arrived. It’s an ideal time to get out and about in Buckinghamshire’s beautiful countryside and visit all those wonderful shops and attractions along the way, that combine with the natural landscape to ensure that Buckinghamshire offers a little something for everyone. l Philippa Batting is MD of Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF), working to support and facilitate success within the business community. Membership is free - visit:


under your 'to-do' list?

professional admin support for your business 32

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Pardon my English! A local dialect ‘Call My Bluff’ by Jacot de Boinod

 ü  ü ü  ü 

Can you guess the right definitions of the following words?

Bookkeeping VAT Returns Management Accounts Payroll via

1) Dunnekin

3) Gabber (Berkshire dialect)

A) a scarecrow made of old garments B) a turnstile C) a privy, an outdoor toilet

A) one that is finicky about dress; a dandy (of either sex) B) to splash up and down in the water, as washerwomen do when rinsing their clothes C) to gossip, to natter

(Hertfordshire dialect)

Call 01844 396134

2) Culls

(Buckinghamshire dialect) A) small white specks under the finger nails B) the downy particles that collect under furniture C) the inferior beasts or articles culled or weeded out from a quantity

4) Hodmidod

(Hertfordshire dialect) A) a pole slung across a stream to stop cattle passing B) a youth between boyhood and manhood C) a scarecrow, usually one carrying a ‘gun’

l Adam Jacot de Boinod was a researcher for the

television series QI and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books. Having researched our rural dialect, he is setting a fun ‘Call-My-Bluff Quiz for Vale Life readers - mind your language now... ANSWERS: 1C) a privy, an outdoor toilet 2C) the inferior beasts or articles culled 3C) to gossip, to natter 4C) a scarecrow

Hosted Telephony Business Mobiles

business solutions Communication Made Easy

Broadband Services/ Internet CCTV/Access Control M2M Sims (Machine to Machine)

01296 329875 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Vale of Aylesbury Housing strives to be more than just a landlord. The Trust not only provides homes for those in need but also a variety of initiatives to help better the lives of residents and strengthen their local communities, laying foundations for more than just houses.... “


ot everyone is aware of what we do as a housing association,” says Matthew Applegate, CEO of Vale of Aylesbury Housing. “We would like to change this though, so that both our residents and the communities they live in, can benefit from our services and the opportunities we can provide.” So what’s available and how can you get involved? Most recently, we have launched the ‘Thriving Communities Fund’, a community investment vehicle of up to £250,000 per year. The fund consists of 3 types of grants: • Springboard Grants of up to £300 to support Trust residents with opportunities for wellbeing, education, training or employment. • Micro Grants for any relevant community or voluntary groups of up to £1,000 for small projects such as the purchase of equipment or venue hire. • Project Grants for any relevant community or voluntary groups of up to £10,000 for larger initiatives, such as the purchase of more substantial equipment or on-going running costs. Further details about the fund and application forms are available at: What else? The ‘Spark’ initiative focuses on providing training and employment opportunities specifically, and is the bringingtogether of various existing initiatives, as well as the addition of some newer ones. These

Introducing our new community investment scheme

Thriving Communities Fund 34

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Matthew Applegate, CEO of Vale of Aylesbury Housing include: • Apprenticeships with us or our contractors • Traineeships and Work Experience with us or agencies we work with • Tuition Plus, our programme of confidence building and support for residents’ children taking the 11 plus exam • Learn Grow Develop, our training programme for residents including ‘Learning on Demand’ where enough interest is shown in a particular topic • Job Club, supporting people in our community back into work And finally… The ‘Nurture your Neighbourhood’ scheme aims to provide Trust residents with safe and pleasant surroundings by allowing them to have more of a say in their community facilities and services, such as:

• The Annual Gardening Competition with various categories and prizes, encouraging residents to look after their gardens. This is done in partnership with Lindengate, a local gardening charity • ‘Nurture your Neighbourhood: Improvement scheme’ where Trust residents can apply for an improvement such as landscaping work or communal garden furniture • Community Orchards on communal land • Block Champions - A group of volunteer residents who ensure the cleaning and maintenance services carried out in their block of flats is as expected • Litter picking campaigns alongside local schools to educate children about responsible waste disposal and recycling • Assisted Gardening Service for those who are less able to maintain their garden themselves. We provide lots of opportunities for residents and non-residents alike, aiming to improve the lives and neighbourhoods of local people by applying our own vision: ‘Homes for living, communities for life’. So get involved and find out what’s available in your community! l Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, Fairfax House, 69 Buckingham Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2NJ Tel: 01296 732600 Email: Website:


Funding open to all and available for


Equipment Venue Hire Wellbeing

Education Visit for more information.

Meet the team


handler Garvey Director Alan Chandler has lived or worked in Buckinghamshire for some 56 years and has more than 35 years experience in all aspects of the commercial property sector including developments and investments. Alan graduated from Greenwich University in 1986 with an Honours Degree in Estate Management and has

Chartered Surveyors since 1989. A father of four and a keen sports fan, Alan enjoys watching football and rugby union and keeps fit by swimming three times every week and walking at weekends through the Chiltern Hills and beyond. He is a former member and President of Great Missenden/ Prestwood Lions Club and a past President and now


member of Thame and District Lions Club. Alan has been involved with many schemes in the Chiltern District Council area including Anglo Business Park Amersham, Bell Lane Office Village, Chiltern Court, Chiltern Commerce Centre, Amersham Commercial Park, Corinium Industrial Estate, Link House, Stones Courtyard, Anglo Business Chesham and Anglo Business Aylesbury.

CHANDLER GARVEY MARkET NEW COMMERCIAL BuY TO LET OPPORTuNITY IN AYLESBuRY been a Professional Associate of the Royal Institution of

For Future Centre, Aylesbury 15 Bridgegate Business Centre, to let of Chandler Garvey has been instructed by Kingston Space Ltd to SaleAlan Chandler, Director 34,692 sq ft Aylesbury - 2,410 sq ft market the Space business Centre, a development of 27 units located in one back to back

A mid-terrace twoand 16 units in the other. The units are of modern construction, having been built in terrace storey industrial / 2009. The sizes range from 367 sq. ft. up to 908 sq. ft. and are fitted with a mezzanine floor. business unit with a The total accommodation on the estate is 19,541 sq. ft. The site benefits from tax and stamp profiled metal clad elevationduty and roof. savings, cheaper than renting, commercial investment yields will be higher than yields on The property is residential buy to lets, all units are business rates exempt (small business rate relief), and located on Bridgegate there is a dedicated unit and visitor parking. Business Park, just off Gatehouse Way building of are 34,692 ft (3,223 The freehold is owned by Aylesbury Vale DistrictDetached Councilindustrial/warehouse and Kingston Space Ltd thesqlong and comprises some sq m). Steel portal frame - constructed late 1980s. Good office 2,410 sqleaseholders, ft. with over 130 years remaining. units are(11,400 available £64,000yard plus VAT. content sq ft),from self contained with 103 car spaces.

All units let onOffice monthly licences and are now To producing annualLoft income in excess Park, Amersham Offices, Aylesbury to let / areAnglo Let a grossFriars of £300,000. Further details from Alan Chandler – / 01296 398383. from 3,310 to 13,240 sq ft from 10,000 - 75,000 sq ft For Sale Modern development on the south side of White Lion Road, (the A404). Unit 4 is available now and units 1, 5, 6 & 7 are available in May 2018. Two storey offices with air conditioning, full access raised floors and parking.

To Let

Storage Land College Road North, Aylesbury

1.4 acre site fronting A41 Aston Clinton Road with industrial/ warehouse building 4,765 sq ft. There is planning permission for another 1,525 sq ft steel framed workshop on the site.

10,000 - 75,000 sq ft of good quality Grade A specification offices in a prime town centre location. The property will form part of the upper floors of the existing Friars Square Shopping Centre. Available in 18-24 months.

to let

First floor offices, Aston Clinton - 456 sq ft

Recently redecorated offices of 456 sq ft, benefitting from carpeting throughout, store room, reception area, main office, kitchenette, unrestricted car parking on Weston Road, lighting and gas fired central heating.

Call our Aylesbury Team - Alan Chandler and Terri Clarke on: 01296 398383 Lettings | Acquisitions | Investments | Valuations | Property Management Rent Reviews and Lease Renewals | Development / Planning Advice | Business Rates

A new perspective on property

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Step inside by Polly Gibbs

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

How to get Savvy with Sage

Image: Sage Paint by Neptune

A ‘new neutral’ is set to become the ‘It’ colour this year as, according to Pinterest, searches and image saves for sage green are up by 170% ...


ith a soft greyish undertone, sage is understated, delicate and subtle, making it surprisingly easy to decorate with. As a backdrop it serves to harmonise most colour schemes; complimenting greys, greens, oranges, purples, browns and delicate blues (you may be thinking “blue and green shouldn’t be seen…?” well, Mother Nature knows best and she created Bluebells and Forget Me Knots, that’s good enough for me). Sage sits in a pleasing palette of succulents, eucalyptus and ornamental grass greens, evoking a sense of wellbeing, spa and

Grass by Rowan Heuval for Unsplash


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

simplicity, with a nod to delicate Chinese and Japanese ceramics. Dark wood furniture looks especially beautiful with sage, creating a delicious contrast often seen in spas for an oriental feel, that promotes calm and wellbeing redolent of earth, air and water. Dial up the chic by introducing black accents, as demonstrated in this gorgeous bathroom by Brooklyn based studio, Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design. In fact if you’ve ever noticed interiors on American TV dramas like Homeland or Hostages,

Bamboo by Erol Ahmed for Unsplash

Polly Gibbs

Step inside

Polly Gibbs, Creative Director at Coco Design, shares her down to earth approach to interiors, from design secrets to trends and everything in between.

Succulents by Maria Orlova for Unsplash Eucalyptus by Miles Tan for Unsplash

Step inside by Polly Gibbs

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

you’ll know how homely-grey-greens are a staple neutral amongst a collection of cosy muddied colourways. Often contrasted with wonderfully generous architraves in crisp white, it’s a really smart look that Americans do really well. As versatile as greys, creams and whites, sage works in every room in the house; from a welcoming hallway to a relaxing bedroom and the most jungalow of lounges because it naturally loves foliage and greenery. It nestles easily among natural textures like bamboo, jute, sisal and wicker. Try ‘Mizzle No.266’ by Farrow & Ball - a lighter version of ‘Pigeon’, it’s a modest grey green named after the mix of mist and drizzle commonplace in West Country evening skies. Inspired by the underside of a sage leaf, and illustrated by the door image on the next page in eggshell - Neptune’s Sage is described as ‘subtle, unassuming and abundantly fresh, working as a feature or as a quiet accent’. Sage is also a timeless colour that works equally well in period, classic, contemporary or, as shown on page 45, in a modern country scheme by Neptune.

Bathroom by Elizabeth Roberts. Photo: Dustin Aksland

Despite being a small space, the ‘sage on sage’ pairing succeeds due to the textural play between the material elements, without which it would feel flat. The matt painted plastered walls, handpainted cabinets, rough aged beams, linen tea towels, wire basket, glass jars, reflective Elcot tiles and vintage breadboard have an artisan quality; while the foliage and shiny pop of white from the Belfast sink that mirrors the light thrown from the window, bring essential contrast and balance to the sage paint. Continued on page 38

A stove to make every room part of your family home… Call to discuss your ideas and then visit our showroom:

( 01844 342400 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Step inside by Polly Gibbs

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Kitchen by Nelson Taylor in F&B Mizzle

Succeed With Sage - 3 Savvy Tips: 1. Test - Green is one colour that can really change under different light conditions, so do use testers before committing. Be careful not to tip too far towards mint or the result could feel, well, toilet roll green (try ‘Mellow Sage’ by Crown, ‘Mizzle’ by F&B or ‘Sage’ by Neptune). 2. Contrast - the designers secret weapon in sharpening impact is achieved by juxtaposing colours, textures and details through darker or lighter accents - like the crisp white architrave or black accents featured. 3. Textural Play - it’s essential to mix materials, especially with all walls in matt emulsion, otherwise the result will look flat. For more inspiration see the Curious Coco dedicated ‘Savvy Sage’ Pinterest board and follow me on social.

Continued on page 41

Door painted in Sage Eggshell by Neptune 38

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Stylish kitchens for modern lifestyles

Charles Huntington Flooring Charles Huntington Flooring

•Expert Advice •Professional Fitting •Very Competitive •Expert Advice for Residential and •Professional Fitting Commercial work •Very Competitive •Carpets to suit all for Residential and Book your freeCommercial design work Budgets appointment•Carpets today to suit all •Free Quotes Budgets •No Obligation •Free Quotes The Italian sense of beauty •Free is here… Parking •No Obligation Stoneworld Kitchens 43A Upper High St Thame OX9 2DW 01844 261768 •Free Parking CARPETS • VINYLS • SISAL • STAIR RODS SAFETY FLOORING • WOOD • BINDING TAPES •Expert CARPETS • VINYLSAdvice • SISAL • STAIR RODS Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm SAFETY FLOORING • WOOD • BINDING TAPES

Charles Huntington Flooring

•Professional Fitting Tel: 01296 337181 Mob: 07767370067 •Very Competitive Web: Tel: 01296 Mob: 07767370067 for337181 Residential and 23 DUCK FARM COURT, STATION WAY, AYLESBURY, HP20 2SQ Web: Commercial work DUCK FARM COURT, STATIONvinyl, WAY, AYLESBURY, HP20 2SQ WE WILL NOT BE BEATEN ON QUALITY OR SERVICE l Independent, family run carpet l Carpet, sisal, coir, hardwood l Extensive range of23traditional Charles Huntington Flooring to suit all and flooring specialists l Exclusive suppliers of Roger Oates and contemporary flooring •Carpets Charles Huntington Flooring Charles Huntington Flooring WEcan WILL NOT BE BEATENyet ON hard-wearing QUALITY OR SERVICE •Expert Advice Charles Huntington Flooring beautiful runners l Expert fitting service at competitive prices - we Budgets and rugs in our local area l Domestic and commercial match or better your quote •Expert Advice Charles Flooring Providing adviceHuntington and installations •Expert Advice •Expert Advice•Free •Professional Fitting Advice to private customers, professionals and •Professional Fitting Quotes•Expert •Expert AdviceFitting •Professional •Professional Fitting contractors for over 25 years •Professional Fitting •Very Competitive •No Obligation •Professional Fitting for Residential and •Very Competitive •Very Competitive •Very Competitive •Very Competitive Extensive experience with Commercial work for Residential and Residential and for Residential•Free and •Very Competitive Parking for thatched, heritage and listed buildings. Commercial work for Residentialwork and Commercial Commercial work Saturday 10am until 4pm. Any other time by appointment



N S TA L • I L








• ST O



Charles Huntington Flooring

Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm Saturday 10am until 4pm. Any other time by appointment



G • GU


for Residential •Carpets to suit and all Commercial work •Carpets to suit all Budgets Opening Times: Monday to Friday •10am 5pm CARPETS VINYLSuntil • SISAL • STAIR RODS CARPETS • VINYLS • SISAL • STAIR RODS CARPETS Saturday • VINYLS • SISAL • STAIR RODS CARPETS • VINYLS SISAL • Any STAIRother RODS SAFETY FLOORING • WOOD • BINDING TAPES until•RODS 4pm. time•Free by appointment CARPETS • VINYLS • 10am SISAL & • STAIR SAFETY FLOORING • WOODQuotes • BINDING TAPES Stoves, Installations Servicing SAFETY FLOORING • WOOD • BINDING TAPES SAFETY FLOORING • WOOD • BINDING TAPES SAFETY FLOORINGTel: • WOOD • BINDING TAPES Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm 01296 337181 Mob: 07767370067 Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm •No Obligation Saturday 10am until 4pm. Any other time by appointment Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm Opening Times: Monday to Friday until 5pm Opening Times: MondayBucks to Friday until 5pm North Mill Road Bledlow HP2710am 9QP 01844 342400 Saturday 10am until 4pm. Any other time by appointment Web: Saturday 4pm. Any by appointment Saturday until time 4pm. Any other time Tel: by appointment 07767370067 Saturday10am 10amuntil until 4pm.10am Any other other time by appointment Tel:01296 01296 337181 337181 Mob: Mob: 07767370067 Tel: 337181 Mob:337181 07767370067 Tel: 01296 Mob: 07767370067 Web: •FreeHP20 Parking Tel:01296 0129623 337181 DUCK Mob: FARM07767370067 COURT, STATION WAY, AYLESBURY, 2SQ Unrivalled customer service through the commitment of our family team.

Commercial work •Carpets Budgetsto suit all •Carpets to suit all •Carpets to suit all Budgets •Carpets to suit all Budgets Budgets •Free Quotes CARPETS • VINYLS • SISAL • STAIR RODS Budgets Oxfordshire • Buckinghamshire • •Free Quotes •Free Quotes •Free Quotes •No Obligation Hertfordshire • Berkshire • and beyond •Free Quotes •No SAFETY FLOORING • •No WOOD • BINDING TAPES •No Obligation Obligation •FreeObligation Parking •No Obligation •Free Parking Contact us to book your free home THE BEST IN home •Free Parking •Free Parking survey or to visit our showroom to see •Free Parking the stoves in action.

comforts Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Step inside by Polly Gibbs

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Continued from page 38 Lastly, the creamy flagstone floor serves as a horizontal anchor, grounding the space whilst also echoing the visual break created by the oak countertop. Source List l Polly is an award-winning designer, Decorex100 interiors influencer & Amara Interiors Blog Award Finalist. If you’ve got a rockin’ interior or design dilemma, message her and it could feature in the next issue: Website: Insta, Twitter, FB: @ TheCuriousCoco

Henley Kitchen by Neptune

High quality bespoke kitchens and furniture, handmade by skilled craftsmen in Buckinghamshire Complete Kitchens | Bedrooms | Wardrobes | Cupboards | Shelving | Storage Solutions | Furniture | Desks | Offices

‘Mark’s attention to details, such as the plate rack and bespoke drawer dividers, make everything a pleasure to look at and use.’ Unit 23, Kemps Farm, Chapel Road, Ford, Buckinghamshire, HP17 8XG Tel: 01296 706030 Email: Website: Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


‘The Art of Wood Burning’

JØtul “fighting the cold since 1853”

The most comprehensive showroom in Oxfordshire Over 75 stoves and 15 under fire on display Kiln dried and Eco logs

Jøtul – logo

HETAS registered. Ample free parking. Boundary Business Park, Wheatley Road, Garsington, OX44 9EJ Showroom open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-1pm For technical advice it is advisable to make an appointment

01865 361505 Featured stoves from JØtul 42

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

It’s been a busy year for Aylesbury Flooring. The Bedgrove based business has developed a huge local customer base across the years but now the abundance of new building is also bringing in work...


ylesbury Flooring is now in its 28th year. The successful, family firm was established in 1990 by husband and wife Ian and Jayne Middleton, who run the business with help from their son Toby and Sales Manager Gary, who has been with the company for six years. They have built an excellent reputation for good service and specialist knowledge and cater for all types of domestic flooring, boasting an impressive range of more than 5,000 carpet samples from leading manufacturers such as: Victorias, Brintons, Westex and Penthouse to name a few. They additionally specialise in Design Flooring from leading manufactures Moduleo, Karndean and Amtico. “New housing developments seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment,” says Jayne. “The flooring packages that are offered with many new homes are often lacking in choice and quality though and people have discovered that if they come here there is

Moduleo Country Oak a huge selection to choose from and they can actually save quite a bit of money, while ending up with better quality flooring and a much higher standard of service and advice. Their choice is less likely to be the same as their neighbour’s carpet too! “We have a huge choice of floorings and many years experience, so we can advise on the best options for any particular situation. We offer free quotes, a measuring service and sample loans. Customer service is key to us though. No matter how big or small the job we give our best service and the personal attention of myself, Ian, Toby or our sales manager Gary.

From left: Aylesbury Flooring sales manager Gary with Toby, Ian and Jayne Middleton

“A large proportion of our business is luxury vinyl tiles, such as Moduleo, Karndean and Amtico,” says Jayne. “We have a special offer for Vale Life Magazine Moduleo Herringbone BlackJack Oak readers of £3 off per m2 when you buy 10m2 or more, on the entire Moduleo “Although grey is in at the moment, range. We are exclusive suppliers of carpet has become more adventurous,” says Moduleo products in the Aylesbury area and Jayne, “with stripes popular for stairs and have a display in store, so come and have a developments such as the new man-made look and mention Vale Life to claim your fibre carpet ‘Soft Touch’ which is supersoft discount! Offer ends June 30th, 2018.” underfoot. It’s a heavy domestic cut pile, twist Belgium firm Moduleo carpet, suitable for upstairs combines the beauty of as well as downstairs and is the natural world, with the stain resistant, fade resistant durability of innovative and long lasting.” vinyl technology and Aylesbury Flooring are offers excellent customer very much part of the local service and unparalleled community and sponsor ‘green’ credentials, being their own Sunday league made from 50% recycled team, Aylesbury Flooring materials in an eco-friendly FC, which has just won the factory. Bucks & Berks intermediate There are beautiful wood Sunday County Cup! and stone effect finishes The Aylesbury Flooring which include: oak, wenge, Ian pictured by the Moduleo display showroom is a winner too teak, pine, elm, maple, well stocked, light and airy concrete, slate, bluestone and granite. It is and an ideal place for prospective customers moisture-resistant, scratch and scuff resistant, to pop in for some advice and to have a look sound and heat absorbent, slip resistant and at samples. It’s nice to be able to feel the easy to clean and comes with a 15-20 year carpets and tiles and see them up close and guarantee! there’s plenty of parking right outside. “We’ve laid miles of flooring over the l Aylesbury Flooring, 3 Jansel Square, years,” says Ian, “mostly in the local area Bedgrove, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, but occasionally in London and further HP21 7ES Tel: 01296 415038 afield. We get a lot of return business and Email: recommendations, which we value, as it shows Website: we are doing the job right.”\aylesbury.flooring

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Real Living

by Charlotte Bolton

Get the garden Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Summer ready

Spruce up now for a right royal occasion...


hat better reason to throw a garden party than a Royal Wedding, but is your outdoor space in suitable shape for family, friends and fun get togethers? Stylish Garden Furniture This lively Pineapple Print deckchair, below right, by More By Design will definitely make a statement - pass the Pena Colada anyone?! The deckchair works on a clever dowel system so the brightly printed slings can be interchanged, or taken off to wash. Slings are available separately and in a variety of designs for £15. Frames are made of Sycamore wood with metal fixtures, while slings are 100% polyester and are washable at 30 degrees. Weight limit 20 stone. Pineapple print deckchair, £75, Ideal for smaller gardens and patios, Wilko’s Corner Balcony Lounge set top right, with integral pop-up table, folds away for easy storage, £250, www.wilko. com.

Pineapple print deckchair: £75

Dinner for two, bottom left - is available in a cool aqua shade as well as lime green and yellow, a painted wooden furniture set to brighten up any spot. Featuring a vibrant

Blue String Moon chair: £25, B&M

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Charlotte Bolton

Corner balcony lounge set: £250,

Antigua Painted Wood Bistro Set: £79.99 from


Real Living

Red String Moon Chair, £25, B&M

Real Living Ikea outdoor furniture

by Charlotte Bolton coloured top with a white base, the folding bistro dining set is perfect for compact garden spaces and even balconies. It is made from sustainably sourced Eucalyptus and features a solid wood finish with a smooth surface. The folding design means that it can easily be stowed away when not in use. It has been coated with PU paint which is hard wearing and can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. £79.99

Floral napkins

Pineapple Hi-Ball glasses

Sainsburys Fiesta plates

from Very. Everyone will want to try out these fun seats (bottom of opposite page)! Moon string chairs, £25 each, B&M. Ikea have a fantastic range of stylish furniture for all sizes of outdoor space; prices start from £10 for the wrought iron/wooden Tarno chair. Colour Pop Tableware Flamingo wine glass, £4, Matalan. Boho floral napkins, £3.49 for 20, Party Pieces. Fiesta design party plates, £2 for 10, Sainsburys. Royal Blue 8-PIECE cutlery set, around £2.50, Amazon. Funky Garden Decor Lunar fairy lanterns, £16.99 for 10, Nomad patterned cushion, £8, Matalan. Pineapple hi-ball glass and holder set, £14.99 for 4, www.drinkstuff. com

Lunar lanterns

Matalan Flamingo wine glass

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l To find out how your home could be featured in a UK homes magazine visit Charlotte’s website: Share your home interior ideas in a magazine! It’s fun, and free!

Blue cutlery set, Amazon

bespoke doors & windows in timber, aluminium & composite

We manufacture, supply and install:

folding sliding doors sliding doors french doors single doors


01487 740044

The Old Dairy, Lawn Farm Business Centre, Grendon Underwood, Bicester, Buckinghamshire HP18 0QX

windows shaped glazed screens entrance doors roof lights

VISITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to book call our Head Office on 01487 740044 Open Tuesday to Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday 9am - 2pm Closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Do you live, work or have close family living in the Aylesbury Vale District? Do you live, work or have close family living in the Aylesbury Vale District? You could be eligible to move in to a brand new home, in the District, this Summer. You could be eligible to move in to a brand new home, in the District, this Summer. Over the next two years, Hightown Homes are building affordable one, two Over the next two years, Hightown Homes are building affordable one, two and three bedroom homes in the District, including Tingewick Road, Buckingham, and three bedroom homes in the District, including Tingewick Road, Buckingham, available for Shared Ownership sale. available for Shared Ownership sale. Tingewick Road offers 2 & 3 bedroom, semi-detached houses with contemporary Tingewick Road offers 2 & 3 bedroom, semi-detached houses with contemporary kitchens, private gardens and parking. kitchens, private gardens and parking.

To discuss your eligibility please contact To discuss your eligibility please contact 46

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


web. www.chiltern

Smooth runnings A

tel. 0771281 LEASE CHECK THIS PROOF CAREFULLY, Nigel Grace n article written by The of potential disruption. will save you time and money! tel. 075000482 Federation of Master 3. Try to choose NUMBERS a builder you feel ARTICULARLY PHONE AND 7. A common problem is that Safe as houses Builders entitled ‘How to comfortable with and can envisage potential clients have not allowed www.chiltern ensure your project runs working well with. For weeks/ enough time and expect a builder to web. in your budget to cover potential OUR EMAIL ADDRESS smoothly’ has some great tips which months, your builder will be an be available at short notice. A good problems and always invest money I thought I would pass on. What is particularly valuable is these come from builders with the aim of helping their clients and reducing problems on sites.

1. Projects are all about client / builder relationships. Knowing what is expected is essential. You know what you want from your builder and they must be clear what they are delivering, and this should all be agreed – ideally in writing. If a builder won’t give you a detailed quote or be prepared to sign a contract – walk away! 2. Communication with neighbours is key to the success of a project. Deliveries, large lorries, site workers parking in the street, noise, dust, vibration – all these things can causeLproblems with your ESS IRE most neighbours. of us will be a REE WBut F H lot more forgiving L SWITCif told in advance

extra member of your family - in your house, affecting the way that you live your life, so it is important that you feel comfortable with them and enjoy their company – not in a social way though! 4. Do your homework when choosing builders. You will be spending a significant amount of money on your build so make sure you do your due diligence, get recommendations, visit previous projects, talk to your architect and take your time. 5. Maintain good communication with your builder. Problems often come with a lack or breakdown of communication. 6. Consider everything thoroughly before building commences. Changes, however small will affect your build, so take your time and plan and review everything. It may delay the start of your build, but it

builder will be booked up months in advance – if a builder can start ‘next week’ ask yourself why? 8. Things go a lot easier if the client is fully aware of the implications of a project prior to starting. A building project is disruptive, it will affect your lives but embrace it and get help from your designer or surveyor when it is appropriate. Expect noise, dust etc - you will soon forget about it once the project is completed. And you can always use it as an excuse to have a good clear out! 9. Customers tend to underestimate the level of ‘unknowns’ and work in connection with services in existing properties Work in existing properties is usually less straightforward than a new build – and potential problems increase with the age of the property. Allow time and money

in surveys in advance 10. Don’t be overly price driven Cheapest is not always best. Review all the tenders you get – and where possible get help to do this. If someone is a lot cheaper than the others, you need to know the reason why. 11. Clients should be familiar with the cost implications of different specifications. It is always important to align your desired design with your available budget – which brings us on to point 12. 12. Use a quantity surveyor. I totally agree with this one! A good quantity surveyor should help you save money on your build.



l Nigel Grace MRICS is an experienced chartered quantity surveyor. If you need help or advice on your project contact him on:

Operate OPEN your garage NEW SHOWROOM NOW door from anywhere R WAL Y ROLLE R E V E H WIT DOOR GARAGE

in the house local garage door Operate Your your garage and electric gate expert BIG BRAND door from anywhere NAMES Operate your garage in the house door from anywhere Visit our showroom at: 6 Swan Walk, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3HN

ESS IREELLESHS WIR FFRREEEE W CH ER ITC WIT AALLLL SSW W LLLLER we supply and install a range of garage doors. W R Y R OOxfordshire Based in Thame, VVEERY RO E H IT E RR Roller Garage Door, a Sectional Garage Door for W O WITH Rit’s D Whether aEE space Osaving OO G D A A G A G AR extraGinsulation or a new Up and Over Garage Door our products are of the highest quality with a wide choice of colours and materials.

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column ‘In the Garden’ with

Naomi MacKay

Remembering Repton Take time out to pay a visit to a garden envisioned by the last great English landscape designer of the 18th century, says Naomi MacKay...


nyone who has visited a selection of the UK’s stately homes will have come across the name ‘Capability’ Brown – the famous 18th century landscape designer known as ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’. But are you as familiar with Humphry Repton, the last great landscape designer of the same century, who is often regarded as Brown’s successor? This year, that could change,

The restored Doric Temple at Woburn Abbey as historic parks and gardens across the UK are marking the bicentenary of his death. And we are lucky in this part

of the country as we have several gardens that have been influenced by Repton, including the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate, and the

most complete example of his work at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. Repton was a fan of the more formal and intricate styles that can

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column ‘In the Garden’ with

Naomi MacKay

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

The Folly at Woburn Abbey be seen in 19th century garden design. He published his theories in two influential books, Observations on the Theory and Practice of

Landscape Gardening (1803), and Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1816).

He created designs for about 400 parks and gardens – which were all presented in one of his famous Red Books. While Brown


was also involved in the carrying out of the designs, Repton’s involvement stopped at the creation of the book.


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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column ‘In the Garden’ with

Perhaps this is why so many of his designs never actually made it into the physical world. And it is why Woburn is so very special. It was the 6th Duke of Bedford who asked Repton to send him ideas for landscaping the grounds of Woburn Abbey. The plans that were carried out in full included a new approach from the London Road, the thornery plantation and a viaduct. Some of his ideas were only partially executed - for instance the pleasure grounds layout, hills either side of the driveway and changes to the Basin Pond dam. There were other ideas that were never started. Take a trip to the Woburn Abbey Gardens and you can see his vision – his ideas for paths and excavations were completed – and his Menagerie built and the bridge over the Greenhouse pond constructed. Since 2004 the present Duke and Duchess of Bedford have been restoring many of Repton’s features including the folly grotto, the Cone House, and the striking Chinese-

Naomi MacKay

Chinese style Pavilion at Woburn Abbey style pavilion, which was completed in 2011 and went on to win a Hudson’s Heritage Award. In 2013, Woburn’s project to restore the 19th Century Humphry Repton landscape won the “Best Restoration of a Georgian

Garden” at the Georgian Group Architectural Awards. Until 28th October, a new exhibition, entitled Humphry Repton: Art & Nature for the Duke of Bedford explores the fascinating relationship between

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column ‘In the Garden’ with

Naomi MacKay

events throughout the year. It is 205 years since Repton presented the Red Book for the Ashridge Estate. The gardens feature small secluded gardens as well as a large lawn that leads to avenues of tree. The gardens are open for the National Gardens Scheme (which raises money for charity) on June 10th from 2-8pm. They are also the venue for three open-air cinema nights – including Scream, Notting

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Hill and La La Land during July and August. l Naomi Mackay is a freelance

journalist who, as well as writing about gardens and gardening, helps small businesses with anything to do with words – writing or proofing brochures and websites, running social media campaigns or producing blogs. Contact her at:

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the opportunity to discover Repton’s other works for the family including at the picturesque Devon estate of Endsleigh, Oakley House and Russell Square in London. There will also be Reptonrelated family trails, activities and

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Haddenham Garden Centre is 40 this year! The thriving, independent family business has quietly grown over the years, expanding and diversifying to meet the needs of customers. It is no longer just a great place to purchase plants but is a one stop shop for all your home and garden needs and more...


addenham Garden Centre was founded in 1978 by Chris Hawkins and his father, Jack as a plant nursery with a single glasshouse. The family owned independent has steadily grown over the years and is today run by a third generation of the Hawkins family: Stephen, Kate and Ben, while Chris and his wife Margaret still play a role behind the scenes. The business has changed dramatically over the years, it has grown in size several times - another expansion is currently in the planning stages - and lots of new product ranges have been introduced, from pet food to homeware, clothing, gifts, cards, food and drink. It’s a relaxed, pleasant and friendly Stephen, Kate and Ben Hawkins place to shop, where customers can browse the homeware section, garden too, so wheeling items to the furniture and barbecues before having car is easy - there’s plenty of Chris Hawkins a quick coffee and picking up some sturdy trolleys and help is on bedding plants, a bag of compost and hand if required. maybe a rather stylish Orla Kiely nesting box! “In 2007 we introduced the Gardener’s There’s lots of free parking right outside Retreat Coffee Shop,” says Kate, “which has become ever so popular. It’s run by chef Dan Top cakemaker Emma in Powell and staffed by a hardworking team of The Gardener’s Retreat chefs and helpers, including Emma (left) who bakes our delicious homemade cakes. “We source ingredients locally and make most of our food from scratch. There are four hot seasonal specials every week and a tasty coffee shop menu. We offer a Full English Breakfast until 11.30am and Roast Dinners are served on a Sundays. Our fruit and vegetables come from the village greengrocer,

Bloomin’ Fruity, while meat comes from the nearby Egg House Butchery - we also sell a range of their meats in our Farm Shop section, along with local Dinton Farm eggs, bread from the Cornfield Bakery, biscuits from Just Biscuits at Stoke Mandeville, Chiltern Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oils from Wilstone, Peaches and Cream Fudge from Thame and a range of local and regional beers and ciders, local and international wines and flavoured vodkas including selections from: Daws Hill (Radnage); The Radnage Cider Company; Chiltern Brewery, (Terrick); XT Brewery (Long Crendon); Drovers Hill Farm Cider (Saunderton); Malt The Brewery (Great Missenden) and more. “Coffee beans come from Bean Bags

Local brews in the Farm Shop


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Coffee, a local independent based in Worminghall. We use their Fairtrade Java Organic coffee bean, it has a great taste and goes down well with customers and staff. “Our plant department contains every type of plant you are likely to need to create your ideal outdoor space. We have a comprehensive range of seasonal bedding, for you to create your own displays, plus a wide selection of pre-planted arrangements and hanging baskets and a big range of pots and planters in colours to suit everyone’s taste. “Our shrubs are arranged in ‘Year of colour’ beds, so that you can ensure your garden has points of interest throughout the year, while our roses and cottage garden plants are arranged in colour themes, ideal if you are looking for a plant of a particular colour, or planting a colour themed bed. “We stock fruit trees, fruit bushes, herbs, strawberries and a range of seasonal vegetable plants. There’s vegetable and flower seeds and bulbs, ornamental trees, climbing plants, alpines, heathers and grasses... all sourced from suppliers who pride themselves on the quality of their plants and many of which are British. “There’s also tools and accessories, compost and grow bags, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and weed killers, grass seed and lawnfeed, wood paints, stains and preservatives, garden canes, watering cans, hosepipes and trellis, garden ornaments and landscaping, paving and fencing materials. “Our experienced horticulturally trained staff can help you with any questions you may have, whether it be about where to grow

a plant, type of soil required, what feed they mini department store! There’s even Jellycats require or pest and disease concerns. The Plant - cuddly toys for kids, children’s gardening kits Department is headed and vintage sweets. by Jane with Wendy and “We stock Regatta David assisting.” Clothing,” says Kate. “It’s It’s always nice to get high quality, great value something for nothing outdoor gear for the whole and Haddenham Garden family, not just gardeners Centre customers can sign and we also stock Tigi up for a Reward Card, Clothing for women - a free in store. You then casual clothing label earn points every time you designed for leisure, with shop, and receive reward an emphasis on comfort, vouchers to spend in the store. Members also easy care and value for money. We also have receive exclusive special offers and promotions. wellington boots and gardening footwear.” Gift vouchers are also Of course now is the time to be thinking available. about replacing that tatty set of ancient garden The centre’s Pet furniture or rusty old barbecue, ruining the Department is packed look of your lovely garden. Haddenham with food and accessories Garden Centre has stylish ranges of Alexander for furry and feathered Rose and Kettler garden furniture to suit all friends. It is headed by tastes and budgets and an extensive range Becky, an animal lover and of Napoleon and Landmann barbecues and trained Pet Nutritionist. accessories. If you can’t see what you want, just She is happy to advise and ask. There is also high quality Desser & Co. help with any pet related conservatory and living room cane furniture. enquiries. More than just a garden store “We aim to stock the best and Haddenham Garden Centre is very healthiest products for your pets,” much part of the local community says Kate, “including Natures and is home to the local Red Kite Menu raw dog and cat food, wild Radio station (107.2FM). No bird food and a range of products doubt we’ll be hearing a few 40th for chickens, including food, treats anniversary dedications on air and bedding.” this year - Happy Birthday indeed The Gifts and Homeware Pet Nutrition Haddenham Garden Centre! Advisor Becky department at Haddenham Garden Centre is a great place to find a l Haddenham Garden Centre, Stanbridge Road, lovely gift or tempting item for your home Haddenham, Bucks, HP17 8HN or garden. There’s handbags and jewellery, Tel: 01844 290395 scarves, candles and toiletries, cushions, books Email: and DVDs, greetings cards, photoframes, Website: clocks and kitchenware, it really is like a not-so- Local delivery service available

Orla Kiely home & garden range

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Column: Lucy Ellis ‘Animal Magic’

Rabbit awareness week


his year Rabbit Awareness Week (2nd-10th June) will focus on diet, as a rabbit’s digestive system is both complex and critically important for maintaining optimal health. In the wild rabbits will feed on high levels of fibrous grasses, so the bulk (85-90%) of a domesticated rabbit’s diet should be high quality dust-extracted feeding hay. Make sure the hay is freshened every day and freely available at all times. The health benefits of a haybased diet are threefold: rabbits require a diet which is high in fibre to keep their digestive tract moving, whilst chewing the grass helps to wear down their teeth and maintain dental health. Foraging for food encourages their natural behaviour and keeps them entertained. Encourage your rabbit to eat more hay by laying it in their favourite resting place or in a rack above their litter. Sprinkling herbs or nuggets through the hay will promote foraging, or you can feed

hay through toys such as willow balls or cardboard tubes to provide mental stimulation. Muesli may look appealing as a supplement to hay, but rabbits can be fussy and pick out just the pieces that they like, favouring starchy components and leaving the healthy fibre! Instead, feed nutritionally balanced nuggets to ensure that your rabbit gets all the minerals and vitamins he needs. Choose a product appropriate to your rabbit’s life stage and stick to the feeding guidelines to prevent your rabbit becoming obese. Also aim to feed 5-6 greens a

day, providing a variety of veggies, plants and herbs. Snacks can be fed in small amounts either by hand to help bonding, left in housing to keep your rabbits occupied or sprinkled through feeding hay to stimulate foraging activity. Limit any sweet treats to just a couple of tablespoons a day as rabbits can suffer from obesity, leading to a variety of health issues. While carrots themselves are high in sugar, carrot tops can be fed much more freely. It is also important to be aware of food that is toxic to rabbits such as onions, shallots, garlic, chives, rhubarb, foxgloves, bluebells and plants grown from bulbs. Finally, make sure they always have access to plenty of fresh water. It is also important to look after your rabbit’s emotional well-being. Rabbits are incredibly social animals, seeking companionship with other bunnies in order to feel safe, yet sadly over half the population of bunnies in homes

Lucy Ellis

Animal Magic are kept in solitude which can lead to loneliness. It is therefore best to keep rabbits in pairs, although both rabbits should be neutered, otherwise you could find yourself with more than you bargained for! The rabbits should be introduced to each other in a new environment rather than in the existing home of either one and, although they are sociable creatures, it is important to provide large enough housing to accommodate both bunnies. We have more information and a wide range of hay, nuggets and bunny boredom busters at Unique Pets in Chamberlain Road, Aylesbury or High Street, Winslow. l Lucy Ellis is a writer and

blogger who with Jenna Tomlins runs Unique Pets (Aylesbury & Winslow), independent pet shops,

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

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Bank holiday and half-term fun Working with wool at Green Dragon Spring Bank Holiday - Monday 28th May


family day of demonstrations and exhibitions at sheepshearing time - as the weather gets warmer during May, it’s time for shearing our rare breed sheep. There’ll be demonstrations of shearing throughout the day, as well as how the fleeces can be used. Local crafts people will be demonstrating the magical process of turning wool fibre into woollen cloth, yarn and garments. Visitors will have the opportunity to ‘have a go’ at some of the craft techniques on show with the help of the experts. There will also be an exhibition of work for sale showcasing the amazing diversity of wool in art, from fine art pictures to knitted garments and functional 3D items.


Half-term fun on the Farm! 26th May to 3rd June 2018

y the halfterm holiday, the weather will be warm enough for the Green Dragon babies to leave the Animal Barn, where they were born, and venture outside. As usual there’ll be a full programme of animal encounters, from the cute and cuddly to the

Sheep shearing

Work begins on new Wildlife Reserve!


reating a dedicated British and European Wildlife Conservation Reserve is a unique and ambitious new development for Green Dragon. The 3-acre reserve is due to open in July 2018 and, following a crowdfunding campaign and the award of a rural business grant, work began in April.

Green Dragon’s aim is to promote the conservation of some amazing British wildlife, from birds of prey to mammals and species of deer. All animals will be responsibly sourced and housed in extra-large enclosures. Already, the reindeer herd has been increased with some new

cold-blooded. And for those visitors who want something special, there are exclusive, hands-on experiences led by one of our trained livestock team where visitors can get close to animals. These popular 30 minute sessions can be tailor-made to suit visitors of all ages and need to be booked in advance.

Golden Eagle

additions - two males and one female - and a golden eagle arrived in April. More fantastic additions to the wildlife reserve coming soon!

l For more details about the Working with Wool Day, half-term activities, private animal encounters or the new Wildlife Reserve, call 01296 670444 or email The Green Dragon Eco Farm, Play Centre & Eaterie, Claydon Road, Hogshaw, Bucks, MK18 3LA Open daily 10am-5.30pm

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01844 279274 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Column: Heather Jan Brunt ‘This farming life’

Adam’s top of the crops


ountryfile is one of the most popular programmes on television, and one of the primary reasons for that is Cotswolds farmer Adam Henson who presents regularly on the Sunday evening show. He has a lot of fans and is a great draw, and that was evident when he recently took part in a promotional morning at Briants in Longwick. The family owned business is a retailer and wholesaler of garden machinery, forestry equipment and fencing supplies catering to domestic, professional and agricultural customers. Managing director Rebecca Briant’s father David started up the business 55 years ago and she has taken over the reins as he is retired now. But the whole family was out in force for the promotional morning, with David, his wife Sylvia and Rebecca’s 12 year old daughter Mia all lending a hand. Rebecca said: “I met Adam three years ago at the servicing dealer

Rebecca Briant with Adan Henson conference at the Oxford Belfry. He was a guest speaker. I had the privilege of sitting next to him. I spoke to him about the business and gave him my business card. “He subsequently became a customer and the promotional morning is running because I rang him and asked him if he would be interested in doing a promo and he said yes. “We are holding the morning to generate new business and he is a big crowd puller.” Adam certainly did attract a

big crowd and signed copies of his three books as well as having his picture taken with fans. One lady from Stone, who bought all three books, excitedly told me: “I saw him at Blenheim for Countryfile Live, I watch Countryfile every Sunday and I have been to visit his farm as well. He is a lovely man.” In addition to Adam, there were stalls set up for the day by Princes Risborough Young Farmers Club, Vale Training and Stihl. Young Mia was also handing out free cakes to visitors. She said: “Every Saturday I sell cakes to the people who work here, to earn my pocket money. But today I have done it for the customers, free of charge. I made 200 cakes and I have only eaten one myself.” Princes Risborough Young Farmers hoped to attract new members and those on duty all said they were Adam fans and had had their pictures taken with him. Vale Training from Marsh was promoting the courses they run,

This farming life Heather Jan Brunt

including training on fork lifts, diggers and chainsaws. Last year they also ran a course called Computers For The Terrified. Before leaving I checked out the robotic lawn mowers being displayed, in the hope one of them might be suitable for my garden. But although they look like a fabulous machine for standard gardens, they are not yet suitable for wild ones like my own, which has virtually no flat bits and is filled with undulations, trees, roots, slopes and general difficulties. So sadly, it looks like I’ll have to continue spending hours trying to manage it with the petrol mower. l Heather Jan Brunt is a journalist

and a farmer’s wife. You can follow her on Twitter @HJBjournalist

Win tickets to Oakfest!


akley CofE Combined School are hosting their fifth OakFest Music and Beer Festival, OakFest’18 on Saturday 9th June. The event is now an annual fixture having been such a success over the last four years. The gates to the school field on Worminghall Road, (HP18 9QY) will open at 12.45pm and the crowds will be entertained through to midnight by 13 local artists, ranging from solo acoustic acts to bands, including: The Band With No Name; Transit; Prog Floyd; Bright Shadows; Elemental Joe; Michael Lee; The Ponderosa; Zack Johnson; Vibe; Hair of the Dog; Georgie Bird; Paul & Martin and Muther’s Union plus the School Drummers - something for everyone from Rock to Folk, Country to Blues, Pop and Prog Rock. There will be a fully stocked bar with a good range of local ales and ciders, a complement of wines and a comprehensive spread of spirits. There’s a Pimms tent plus a great 56

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Rusty Shackle

range of food to please everyone, from cakes to burgers and pulled pork - all delicious local fare. Sweets and ice creams will also be on sale plus a barbecue and a traditional Tea Tent for those who enjoy homemade cakes, scones and biscuits, ice creams, teas, coffees and squash. There’s free parking and camping on the recreation ground via Lynnens View off Oxford Road. For the children there is a craft activity tent and a bouncy slide, face painting and an evening cinema tent.

Rugby-Tots will be running rugby taster sessions and Premier Sports teaching archery. Oakfest is a charity event run to fundraise for the upkeep and improvement of Oakley CofE Combined School and is staffed completely by volunteers. Take your own deckchair or blanket and enjoy the activities and entertainment. It’s a fun-filled day for all the family and all are welcome (no alcohol to be brought in though and no dogs). Tickets are available on the gate or in advance via the website: from the School Office: 01844 238364,, and from Vintage and Modern Guitars, Thame and The Eight Bells, Long Crendon. Adults £10, Under 18s £5, advance ticket sale offer (ends 26th May), buy one Adult ticket get an under 18 ticket free - for details visit:, or follow Oakfest\ Oakfest18. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket (2 adult & 2 under 18 tickets) to Oakfest’18, email your name, address and telephone number, along with the answer to the following question, to: What are funds raised by Oakfest for? Winner to be drawn at random from correct entries and notified by email by June 4th, 2018. l\oakfest18


Column: Nick Andrews ‘Education Matters’

Bullying at school Y

our child may come home and report that they have been, or are being, bullied at school. Equally, they may report that one of their friends is being bullied. Let’s define the terms quite carefully. Bullying is not a single incident, no matter how severe. It is persistent over time; it is repeated and continuous. Children can sometimes refer to a single incident as bullying; gentle questioning can usually establish whether it is part of a pattern or not. The next step is to establish with your child that psychological bullying; name calling, insults and demeaning comments is just as important and, in fact, can be more damaging than physical bullying. I often used to tell a story to the children in my class of me being called “fatty four eyes” in the playground over and over again. I then relay the tale of breaking my arm at about the same age. I then pointed out to the children that my arm is fully recovered; whereas the memory of those continual insults

stays with me – over 50 years later! It is important to establish that the bully is the one that needs help in order to stop the behaviour. This way we rob the bully of some of their mystique and power and give the power back to the victim. This works to enable the bullying to be reported. The child, perhaps your child, is not ‘telling tales’, but is helping the bully by reporting the events and getting them stopped. Schools have training and policies about bullying and a statutory

responsibility to eradicate it. If you report the bullying then I advise you to keep a written record of your conversations in case the matter needs following up. You may want to ask for a copy of the AntiBullying Policy. It is often the case that bullies are, or have been, the bullied and by bringing the matter to light you will be helping everyone, although parents of the child being reported can become angry and defensive. It is important that you follow the advice you give to your own

Nick Andrews

Education Matters children. You remain calm and are clear that the bully is in need of help, whilst the victim has an inalienable right to be safe at all times. If, as sadly very occasionally happens, you believe that the bullying is being carried out by an adult within the school your recourse can be to the Headteacher. If the person you need to report is a senior staff member or the Headteacher themselves then the Chair of Governors will deal with the matter. Please be confident that either of these people will receive the information properly. Ideally, they will welcome your intervention as the helpful well-intentioned act it is. l Nick Andrews is a retired Headteacher and runs a free education consultancy service in Aylesbury at the More+ cafe. Email:

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Music Column:

Our new music columnist is Duncan Lee: Musician, Drum tutor and MD/co-owner of XYZ Music Academy. Please send details of your musical activities for this page to: and add your gigs to our website what’s on diary for free at:

Live Music MAY 11th nbs: Aristocrat, Aylesbury 12th Devestation: Victoria Club, Aylesbury 12th Five Fold Kiss: Shootpool, Aylesbury 17th Jamnation: Shootpool, Aylesbury 24th Space Elevator: Bucks SU, High Wycombe 25th Wrong Jovi: Shootpool, Aylesbury 26th Nirvana UK: Shootpool, Aylesbury 27th Outrage Against the Machine: Shootpool, Aylesbury 26th Gig Night at the Limelight Queens Park Arts, Aylesbury JUNE 2nd The Machine Rages On plus Deftones UK: Bucks SU, High Wycombe 2nd Hustler: The Aristoscrat, Aylesbury 2nd Rockbone: The Bell Inn, Tring 3rd The Zimmermen: Queen’s Head, Long Marston 8th Folk in the Annexe: Queens Park Centre, Aylesbury 9th Rock Trip: Billington Showground, Dunstable 9th Craig: Dukes, Risborough 9th Dodobones: Court Theatre, Tring 10th Papa Truck: Dukes, Risborough 15th Gary Fletcher Band: Limelight, Queens Park Centre, Aylesbury 16th Prog Floyd: Beacon Festival, Christmas Common 17th Smooth Operator: Anglers Retreat, Marsworth 17th: Al Jenkins: Dukes, Risborough 23rd The Long Riders: The Old Sugar Loaf, Dunstable 24th Mudslide Morris & The Revelators: Dukes, Risborough 24th The Way Back: Hampden Arms, Gt Hampden 30th Skasouls UK: Shootpool, Aylesbury


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Turn it up! with Duncan Lee

Songwriting competition M aidenhead-based business Christopher Ward is delighted to announce a new partnership with Thame Town Music Festival and Convention, (13th & 14th July, 2018). Christopher Ward will be sponsoring the festival’s music industry convention and songwriters competition, which is aimed at supporting and educating musicians to help them understand how the music business works, make useful contacts and gain advice on advancing their musical careers. It’s a free multi-genre, multivenue festival based around Thame town centre and aimed at promoting live, original, music performance from new and established artists. 2018 is the second year the not-for-profit organisation has staged the 2-day festival, following a successful debut event in 2017 which saw more than 200 musicians attract over 8,000 visitors during the two

Glen Matlock band headlining main stage at last years TTMF

days. TTMF18 will take place in up to 10 venues, including an outdoor main stage on the High Street car park, showcasing an even greater number of musical performers. The songwriters competition invites budding songwriters to share their original music by submitting an entry via YouTube. A judging panel including Helen McCall, Christopher Ward’s Head of Marketing will create a shortlist of 10 finalists who will each be invited to perform on

Friday 13th July 2018, as part of a festival showcase. The final winner will be chosen and given the chance to perform as a headline act on the second day of the festival (14th July 2018). The winner will also receive financial backing and support from Christopher Ward as part of the competition prize. For further details on how to enter the competition or purchase tickets to the event go to:

Callow Saints Unhinged!


allow Saints new EP ‘Unhinged’ is out now! The exciting 4-piece rock band, combines catchy lyrics, beautifully powerful female vocals, thrilling guitar, pumping basslines and driving drum beats and their songs will be stuck in your head for days. Having taken the local music scene by storm, the band rapidly spread further afield and have been much in demand on the Oxford and London scenes. They were voted one of the top bands out of 20,000 entrants and won a slot at the prestigious Camden Rocks

Festival; performed alongside the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Bryan Adams and The Pretenders at Cornbury Festival; and have headlined a packed out O2 Academy in Oxford. A thrilling live band Callow Saints put every ounce of effort into performances, creating a high-energy, musically powerful show, with a wide range of unique songs, each as memorable as the last. Check out their album and upcoming gigs, including Aylesbury’s Shoot Pool on May 26th at:

s part of an effort to encourage talented young musicians in the surrounding counties, Beaconfest will be holding a Battle of The Bands event on Friday the 15th of June along with a youth showcase on Saturday the 16th of June.

The winner of the BOTB will be entitled to a place on the mainstage at Beaconfest + FREE studio time at XYZ Studios. If you are in a band under the age of 18 and would like to enter for this then please visit: www.

Bands battle at Beaconfest A


Column: Showtime! with Shaun Nolan

Waiting on Janie


he Sun has finally got his hat on, and what better way to escape the scorching heat than to sit inside a nice (hopefully air conditioned) theatre? This Spring, there is a huge slew of shows for you to catch in both the Aylesbury Vale and London’s West End, all of which I am excited about. Over at the Court Theatre in Tring, the Vale Musical Society are putting on a huge and glorious revival of My Fair Lady (8th May – 12th May). As I’ve said in this column before, I was a member of the society for a number of years and performed in several shows with them and they are all a fantastic bunch of people. I also know for a fact that the Vale have been eagerly waiting to perform My Fair Lady for as long as I can remember, so now that it’s finally

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Janie Dee stars in Monogamy at Aylesbury Waterside theatre

Shaun Nolan Showtime!

Harry Potter actor Alfred Enoch. Directed by Michael Grandage, this is one of my most anticipated West End openings of the year. The other big play I’m excited for this year is a transfer of Nina Raine’s Consent from the National Theatre to the here, I’m sure it’s going to be well Aylesbury as the lead in Monogamy, Harold Pinter Theatre from May 18th. Both of the plays are pretty worth your while going to see it. a play all about the private life of hard hitting, but they’re equally At the Queen’s Park Arts Centre, a television chef (May 15th-19th). unmissable dramas. while I’ll be working hard on Dee is a phenomenal actress with There’s something for everyone pulling together my upcoming play incredible range and power, so I at the theatre this month. Now all to be staged there in September, cannot wait for Aylesbury to fall in the team at Unbound Theatre will love with her just like I have. I most you have to do is decide what to see next! be hosting an Improv Comedy recently saw her in Follies at the l Shaun Nolan is a freelance writer Night on May 13th. The team at National Theatre and if you saw who, when he isn’t writing columns Unbound are incredibly generous the show or the NTLive screening, for different publications, is typically and funny, so I can guarantee that then you will have done, too! found writing his own fictional stories this is a night you won’t want to Meanwhile, in the West End... and scripts. You can find him at @ miss. Red, a play by John Logan, runs shaunycat on Twitter and if you want In May, one of my favourite stage at Wyndham’s Theatre from May your show mentioned in this column, actresses Janie Dee arrives in 4th starring Alfred Molina and tweet him and let him know!

SLAPTON MIDSUMMER FETE SATURDAY 23 JUNE SLAPTON RECREATION GROUND LU7 9DS 12.30 onwards Live music... Traditional fairground games... Dog show... Pony rides... Bar... BBQ... And much much more! Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

WhizzFizzFest, formerly known as Aylesbury WhizzFizzing Festival, is back to bring Aylesbury town centre to life with a riot of colour and music, this year on Saturday 30th June...


rom 11am to 5.30pm on Saturday, June 30th, the unique family festival that is WhizzFizzFest will once again celebrate children’s literature through visual art, music, words and huge carnival puppets. This year’s theme is Magic and Mystery and will kick off, in grand tradition, with a parade involving hundreds of local school age children from the Vale of Aylesbury and beyond. Inspired by their favourite children’s books, young people are helped to produce wonderful and exciting artwork, including puppets and costumes, that are showcased during the parade to an audience of thousands. Headlining this year’s WhizzFizzFest event will be ballerina extraordinaire and Strictly Come Dancing judge, Dame Darcey Bussell, who will oversee a spectacular Magic of the Dance competition featuring students from local schools. Dame Darcey will warm up the audience with her dancers before judging the five finalists. Each team in the final will be introduced by Darcey and the winning team will perform once again to close the show. Adding a dusting of gold to the glittering day will be the appearance of Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill who will host a question and answer session for her many fans and budding future Olympians. Dame Jessica will also tell us about the magical new book from her series Evie’s Magic Bracelet. Fantastic singer and songwriter, Tony Hadley, will also be spreading some magic and mystery in his very own question and answer session. Did you think you knew everything about him? Come along and discover more as he chats about his amazing


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Dame Darcey Bussell

Tony Hadley

life, his love of music and the inspiration behind his new album. And there’s more! Award-winning children’s author David Solomons, known for his fantastic book My Brother is a Superhero, guarantees laughter for all the family when he reads from his latest sci-fi comedy, My ArchEnemy is a Brain in a Jar. Dame Darcey, Dame Jessica and David Solomons will also all be available to sign copies of their latest books at Waterstones bookshop. Need a break? Book a table for a delicious themed afternoon tea in the beautiful Bucks County Museum gardens, where you can listen to music and pirate tales from Peter Pan, whilst enjoying an array of sandwiches, tea, scones and cream and cupcakes. There will also be a special guest appearance from a cast member from the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre production of Peter Pan. A must for budding pirates and fairies! As well as all of these amazing ticketed events, there are lots of other exciting activities to see and plenty to do all day long, whatever the weather!

David Solomons

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill

At the runway in Market Square, enjoy an exclusive preview of Whistle Down the Wind, this year’s 2018 Stage Experience project. Join some of the talented cast members for some specially selected performances giving a taste of what to expect in August at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in association with Vivo D’Arte. Join local children’s authors who will be reading from their books, including Lauren Cook from Quainton, who won BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition last year in the 5-9 age category. Get hands-on with arts and crafts activities, listen to live music and watch the fancy dress catwalk competition. There’ll also be street performances, bouncy castles, a fantastic food court and much, much more. Prepare to be entertained! Entry to the festival is free, however tickets are required for some of these events. Visit: to book and to find out more about what is going on at this amazing festival! l WhizzFizzFest, Town Centre, Aylesbury 11am to 5.30pm, Saturday 30th June, 2018


Column: Nicola Lisle ‘Classical Lass’

Return of Opera al fresco


’m writing this column in one of my favourite Oxford cafés on what is officially the warmest day of the year so far. The trees are in blossom, the sun is out and there’s a cloudless blue sky. Bliss! This glorious weather naturally turns my thoughts to some of the fabulous classical music events coming up in the Vale over the next few weeks. For a really special treat, there’s nothing quite like spending a summer’s evening at the spectacular Wormsley Estate, home to Garsington Opera since 2011. This year’s season runs from 31st May to 22nd July and opens with a new production of Mozart’s final opera, The Magic Flute, a witty and dramatic tale of love triumphing over evil. The following night you can see Richard Strauss’s Capriccio, which marks Garsington’s first collaboration with Santa Fe Opera. Later in the season, Garsington

Opera at Garsington

revives its collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra in a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, and there is the world premiere of The Skating Rink by British composer David Sawer and librettist Rory Mullarkey. More on these next time! For the full Garsington experience, arrive early so that you can explore the grounds and gardens, have a traditional afternoon tea, admire the Wormsley Cricket Ground (which has featured in Midsomer Murders), and take in the stunning beauty of the Opera Pavilion. During the interval, enjoy a picnic by the lake or dine in one

of the marquees. For full details, visit: There’s another chance to Nicola Lisle soak up sunshine and spectacular Classical Lass views at Waddesdon Imogen Cooper Manor’s Windmill Hill gives a recital of music on 2nd June for the by Haydn, Beethoven latest in the Music at and Schoenberg on Windmill Hill series. 12th May, then on 9th Regular performers June clarinet virtuoso Anna Noakes (flute) Michael Collins and and Gabriella Dall’Olio pianist Michael McHale (harp) return for a play a selection of fourth consecutive year, this time with Roger Chase (viola), pieces by Finzi, Ireland, Arnold, for an evening of chamber music by Debussy, Widor and Horovitz. Both concerts take place at St Mary’s Debussy and Bax. Again, it’s worth arriving early so that you have time Church, Wendover. For details, visit to wander outside and admire the outdoor sculptures and the view across the Vale of Aylesbury. Find l Nicola Lisle is a freelance writer out more at and author specialising in classical uk/whats-on. music, genealogy and social history. Finally, for some more chamber Follow her on Twitter @NicolaLisle1 music, check out Wendover Music. and send her a tweet if you would like There are two concerts coming up: your concert or show mentioned in this column. legendary pianist Imogen Cooper

The Latin way to dance yourself fit


livia Jayne is a dance/ fitness instructor and singer/songwriter from Bucks. She trained at the British Academy of New Music in London and has worked in the UK and abroad in shows and productions and has been a professional Street and Latin dancer for 15 years. Olivia also has 10 years of fitness teaching experience and was voted the best fitness instructor in Bucks in 2013. She is currently teaching Zumba fitness (a popular Latin-inspired dance workout) in Haddenham on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Her classes provide a space for customers to dance, have fun, shape up, meet new friends and have a laugh! Her classes are friendly and supportive and everybody is welcome. Olivia is also a Level 3 personal trainer and loves to help clients

reach their fitness goals, feel better about themselves and make positive changes to their lives. Music is an important part of Olivia’s life and she enjoys providing live music for events, parties, corporate functions and weddings. Her repertoire spans strong and Olivia Jayne - fitness instructor healthy,” says six decades and many genres from Pop to Olivia. “It can Soul, Motown, Disco and Acoustic. help prevent heart disease and Visit Olivia’s website for more stroke, high blood pressure, obesity information or to view or listen and osteoporosis and reduces stress. to her audio/video demos: www. “Exercise can strengthen bones and lungs, helps prevent cancer, Olivia also has some availability uplifts your mood and boosts energy, for singing lessons at her studio, while dance helps keep your brain for those interested in learning active and improve motor skills and technique, building confidence and balance. It helps you to feel good! having fun! “Dance is one of the best ways “Regular physical activity is to keep fit and supple whilst also recommended to keep your body having a fantastic time.

Olivia Jayne - performer “Zumba Fitness was created by Beto Perez in the 1990s and combines Latin/World music with the structure of an aerobics programme. In a Zumba class you will feel inspired by the exciting, uplifting music and can burn between 500 and 1000 calories. It is relaxed and fun - you don’t have to ‘get the moves right’ the emphasis is on having a great time and getting fitter. l Olivia Jayne Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

If the sunny weather is making you long for a holiday, an evening of Mamma Mia at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre will brighten your outlook, or there’s a variety of comical excursions to amuse and delight plus for youngsters a magical trip to Laa-Laa land with the cute and colourful Teletubbies…


ay ‘Eh-Oh’ to four of the most famous faces from the land of children’s TV, when Teletubbies Live arrives at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (Sat 26th – Sun 27th May). Specially created for little ones, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po will be giggling, jumping and waving their way to town, in a show full of love and laughter, as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland! Look out for Tubby Phone, Noon-Noon and the Sun Baby in the sky, as the beloved TV series takes to the stage for the first time ever.

MAMMA MIA!: Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th June

Fancy escaping to a Greek island paradise? Look no further as the world’s sunniest smash-hit musical is on the horizon, MAMMA MIA! for one week only, Tue 26th to Sat 30th Jun. MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island. To date, it has been seen by more than 60 million

MAMMA MIA!: Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th June


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

people in 50 productions in 16 different languages. When it was released in 2008, MAMMA MIA! The Movie became the highest-grossing live action musical film of all time. A second film, MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again is currently in production and has a global release in July this year. From West End to global phenomenon, the London production of MAMMA MIA! has now been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. It is one of only five musicals to have run for more than 10 years both on Broadway and in the West End, and in 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin, in the People’s

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Teletubbies Live: Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th May

Coming up at Aylesbury Waterside Your at-a-glance guide to what’s on... Ed Byrne Menopause the Musical David Baddiel That’ll Be The Day Teletubbies Live

Bill Bailey: Wednesday 30th & Thursday 31st May Ed Byrne: Saturday 12th may

Republic of China. Creator and Producer Judy Craymer said: “It’s very thrilling to be performing MAMMA MIA! at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre for the first time. It tells the heart-warming story of a mother and daughter through the irresistible songs of ABBA. I hope the people of Aylesbury and beyond will have a fabulous time and join audiences around the world dancing in the aisles.” There’s no shortage of laughs in the Waterside line-up this summer – Ed Byrne’s Spoiler Alert ( Sat 12th May) sees the Mock the Week star deliver a mass of funnies, before Bill Bailey (Wed 30th & Thu 31st May) tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness… whilst also fashioning a symphony from a ringtone! If you love puns, you will be in good company with Tim Vine (Fri 1st Jun) and his new tour full of silly jokes, showing off new

Bill Bailey

Tim Vine The Simon and Garfunkel Story The Carpenters Story The ELO Experience The Dreamboys Material Girl – The Madonna Story Mamma Mia!

Sat 12th May Mon 21st May Wed 23rd May Thu 24th May Sat 26th & Sun 27th May Wed 30th & Thu 31st May Fri 1st June Sat 2nd June Thu 7th June Fri 8th June Sat 9th June Wed 13th June Tue 26th to Sat 30th June

homemade props, singing new daft ditties, and all with the appearance of confidence! Remember, the Waterside’s Second Space is home to a monthly Comedy Club (Fri 18th May & Fri 29th Jun) and if your appetite for comedy is as big as your appetite for homecooked food, you can add a curry to your ticket package – go on, spice up your night out! For a full programme of events pick up a What’s On or visit Call 0844 871 7607(Bkg fee. Calls 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge) and snap up this summer’s hottest tickets. l Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1UG Telephone Booking: 0844 871 7607 Website:

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018



Column: Nick Coffer ‘In the kitchen’

Cherry Bakewell Tart


cannot resist a sweet treat, and luckily we have them every week on the Weekend Kitchen. This sumptuous Bakewell Tart was created by highly talented local cakemaker and pastry chef Victoria Chidgey. She set up her business, Little Tring Cakes, after several stints in top London businesses – and the pastry recipe here was given to her by a chef at the Savoy Hotel when she was 16 years old. She swears by it, as it creates an incredibly light, flaky and moreish tart.

In the kitchen Nick Coffer

Ingredients: You’ll need a 9” Pie Mould / Tart Ring or a 12 whole bun tray with round pastry cutter.

5g/1 teaspoon Almond Essence 25ml Brandy (if you have it knocking about)

Pastry: 340g Flour 225g Butter 110g Golden Caster Sugar 1 Egg

Filling: 125g Black Cherry Compote

Frangipane: 120g Butter 120g Golden Caster Sugar 120g Ground Almonds 2 Eggs

Topping: Flaked Almonds Icing Sugar (Golden is best but it doesn’t matter too much) Method: Preheat the oven to 160C, 140C Fan, Gas Mark 3.

Beat the butter (at room temperature) with the sugar until it is well incorporated and has lightened in colour. Scrape the bowl and add the flour. Beat on a low speed and, when the flour is just incorporated, add the egg. Keep mixing until it all comes together. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour or so, or in the freezer for 15-25 minutes. The recipe is enough pastry for two tarts so you can freeze whatever you don’t use.

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

For the frangipane, melt the butter in the microwave until it is very soft but still holds its shape. Mix in the sugar with a wooden spoon and lightly beat for around 3 minutes. Add the ground almonds and brandy (if using) and mix until incorporated. Add the egg and beat for 1-2 minutes. Roll out the pastry to approximately 3mm thick. l Hear wonderful recipes on Nick Coffer’s Weekend Kitchen every Sunday morning on BBC Three Counties radio at 11am. You can also join Nick weekday afternoons at midday for music plus local guests with great stories.


Column: Deli delights with Joe and Hannah

Blanket on the ground


ow that the sun is well and truly here, we are thinking about long afternoons lazing in the park with good friends, family and most importantly, a picnic! There are possibly three must haves for your picnic basket. Firstly the picnic blanket. Now I don’t know about you, but in the past the picnic blanket was generally, when remembered, a pain to cart around. Not anymore though! The amazing picnic/leisure blankets from Tweedmill are specially designed picnic rugs which come rolled and clipped to an easily manageable size with leather carry handles and a waterproof backing. Being comfortable, stylish and machine washable too, this rug is a must have for any picnic or outdoor leisure event you are set to enjoy. Secondly, once you are relaxed on your Tweedmill rug in the glorious sunshine, what better way

Joe & Hannah Deli delights

to further enhance the occasion than with a beautiful British Cheese. Cerne Abbas Man Cheddar is our recomendation - this West Country Cheddar is on the strong end of the cheddar spectrum having been matured for at least

18 months. The longer maturation period allows the cheese to develop an intense depth in flavour and small natural salt crystals for a slight crunch, making it the perfect ingredient for a tasty Ploughman’s lunch al fresco. A glass of wine or a cold, crisp G&T would wash things down nicely, but just because the sun is shining doesn’t automatically

mean reaching for the alcohol A lot of people are now opting for some of the more interesting nonalcoholic drinks such as Borrago - an alcohol, sugar and calorie free ‘spirit’ designed for the adult pallet. Named after the Latin word for Borrage (bright blue edible flower) it is high in a variety of the kind of botanicals you would usually find in Gin and is delicious mixed with tonic and lots of ice for a grown up soft drink to refresh you before the evening’s festivities. l Joe and Hannah run delicatessen and homeware store The Deli at No5 at 5a Buttermarket, Thame, OX9 3EW, pop in or contact them via: Tel. 01844 214229

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column: Alan Candy’s Road to the Future

Ullo Jen! Gotta new motor? Women race to get on the roads

VW pioneer autonomous parking


EMALE car ownership is now at record levels, silver is the most popular car colour and more and more drivers are choosing automatic gearboxes. These are just some of the latest fascinating facts from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacture and Trading). Female care owners numbered 11.8 million in 2017, according to new data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT. Latest analysis shows the number of cars registered to women has surged by more than a fifth (21%) since 2007, with

Alan Candy women now owning more than a third (11.8m) of the UK’s cars. This compares with a 10% increase in the number of men buying one in the same period. A total of 17.8m cars were registered to men in 2017 and there are now 34.7 million cars on UK roads - up 12% across the past 10 years. Meanwhile, drivers are

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benefitting from more technology than ever before. Although manual gearboxes still dominate, the number of automatic models has risen 70.5% since 2007,

with some 8.4 million now on the road. Forty per cent of all new cars registered in 2017 featured an automatic gearbox, double the proportion in 2007.

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l Column: Alan Candy’s Road to the Future Affordable, awardable Dacia Sandero

PROBLEMS with parking will soon be a thing of the past – and Volkswagen is pioneering the way forward (or should that be backwards?). Many things have increased The VW Group are currently in price since 2013 when the testing autonomous parking at Dacia Sandero first arrived in the Hamburg Airport. Based on a car UK. However, despite a recent park map, the Volkswagen, Audi facelift and improvements, the and Porsche vehicles navigate entry-level Sandero Access has their way to a parking space on always maintained its ‘shockingly their own. affordable’ claim of being the most Orientation is provided for affordable car on sale in the UK. Dacia has now announced its first them by simple pictorial markers price rise for the Sandero Access installed in the multi-storey car in more than five years – but still park. remains the most affordable new Its advantage? This can be car on sale in the UK, by more than used in virtually any car park. The £1,000. function is set to be available for Priced at £6,995 the Sandero the first customers in selected Access SCe 75 is not just about the multi-storey car parks from the car ownership, with some start of the next decade. 1,500 model ranges and Autonomous parking is due 65,000 different to be ready to order for model specifications, some initial VW Group 22.5% of UK vehicles from the start cars on road in compared with 1,200 of the next decade. 2017 less than and 56,000 10 years ago. More than a 3 years old fifth (22.5%) of cars The data also shows on UK roads were less the diversity of British

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Dacia Sandero Access SCe 75

reasonable initial purchase price. It recently came out on top of the cap hpi Pence Per Mile list, with a pence per mile figure that takes into account all day-to-day running costs and depreciation, of just 20.63p – ahead of every other car on sale in the UK today.

And demonstrating that the Sandero is not just about an extremely affordable price are the numerous recent awards it has picked up – notably for the Ambiance TCe 90 version, which has topped What Car?’s ‘Best Small Car up to £12,000’ category for the past six years.

supermini and lower medium than three years old in 2017, together taking 62.3% market helping improve air quality and share in 2017, up from CO2 emissions with the latest low emission 60% in 2007. Silver most technology. Data also shows popular car Elsewhere, smaller consumers’ changing colour for models continue to car colour preferences, 2017 make up the bulk of with the trend to the UK’s car population – mini, Continued on page 74



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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018 67 05/04/2018 11:35

l Column: Alan Candy’s Road to the Future

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Continued from page 73 monochrome seeing brighter colours fall out of favour. In 2017, silver/aluminium was the most commonly seen car colour on the road, followed by black and blue. Data from 2007 reveals that blue was then the top choice, followed by silver/aluminium and, in third place, red – a colour that has now fallen out of the top five completely, along with green, which was previously the fifth

most popular shade. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “With every new model launched, more motorists are benefitting from more advanced technology, from innovative safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive speed control, to state-of-the-art infotainment and comfort features, including headsup navigation, heated seats and air-con, in-car WiFi and greater connectivity.”

THE all-new Ford Focus, (below) just unveiled, is on sale for September delivery, with all main models offering enhanced specification while being priced more competitively or at carryover levels. Prices start at £17,930 for the Focus Style – £2,300 below the model it replaces. Focus Zetec and ST-Line – together representing 55 per cent of sales – are now £850 and

£250 less respectively. The new Focus range will comprise seven variants from launch. Starting with Style (at £17,930), the range progresses through Zetec (£19,300), ST-Line (£21,570), ST-Line X (£24,050), Titanium (£21,550), Titanium X (£22,820) and Vignale (£25,450). UK car sales figures for the vital first quarter of 2018 reveal a continued and dramatic decline in

The new Ford Focus

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column: Alan Candy’s Road to the Future diesel purchases. Now global automotive analysts Sophus3 reveal that potential electric car buyers seeking alternatives are increasingly confused and frustrated over their online experience. So are car manufacturers missing a trick, missing sales and slowing down electric vehicle uptake as a result? Sophus3’s analysis clearly shows that interest in electric vehicles is increasing significantly on car brand websites - up 60% year-on-year in 2017 - but most consumers are not ultimately choosing to buy electric (below 2% of the UK new car market) - for a number of possible reasons: Electric vehicle considerers are frustrated with their online experience - yet show a greater hunger for information and are more disposed to request a test-drive than petrol or diesel considerers. Some car brands are still (incorrectly in Sophus3’s view) marketing electric as an ‘alternative’ or ‘lifestyle’ choice, when Sophus3’s analysis shows

Chinese hunger for Skoda grows China is Skoda’s strongest single market in the world – one in every four of their cars is sold there. In 2017 the car manufacturer increased deliveries in China by 2.5 per cent to 325,000 vehicles. This makes last year Skoda’s best year to date since re-entering the Chinese car market in 2007. Now Skoda in China has released first sketches of a new model (see picture) - an SUV - which has been specially designed and developed for the needs of Chinese urban customers. Following on from the Skoda Kodiaq and the Skoda Karoq, the new mainstream SUV will that electric vehicle considerers are now at a point of comparing petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric on a level playing field, focusing on running costs, monthly payments and ownership

be the third member of the brand’s SUV family for the Chinese market. The model celebrated its debut in the run-

up to the 2018 Beijing Motor Show. No name as yet but what’s the betting it starts with another K?

practicalities. Some manufacturers are also presenting electric vehicles in typical, and virtually irrelevant, “petrolhead” terminology such as horsepower, top speed and

0-60mph time. Most cars are now ‘purchased’ through monthly finance payments and the base level of payments favours petrol and diesel over electric.



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Diesel Fuel Injection Specialists

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l l

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

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Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

A car is one of our biggest purchases and yet when buying one we often sign up to a finance agreement without taking the time to check if we are getting a good deal or not. Next time why not call our own ‘Martin Lewis of Car Finance’ Lesley Carter to see if you are on the right track...


hen buying a car it’s easy to get carried away. The vehicle looks fantastic, you can’t wait to drive it home and when the salesman says he has a finance package to fit the bill, you are ready to sign and hit the road! It’s hard to stop and consider what’s going to happen in a few years time, how much this is really costing you, whether there will be anything owing at the end of the deal and whether you could get a better deal elsewhere... Tracer Finance provides motor finance packages for new and used Cars, Motorcycles and Light Commercial Vehicles. The Aylesbury based company was set up by vehicle finance wizard Lesley Carter some two years ago and drawing upon Lesley’s 23 years of knowledge, experience and contacts is able to offer help and advice to those who want to find the best vehicle finance deal for them. “All most people worry about is the monthly payments,” says Lesley, “which are important, but more important is whether it’s the right deal for you and suits you from beginning to end. I’ve had people come to me and say ‘I didn’t realise I’d still owe £10,000 at the end of the period’ but they do! “Just hold on a minute! Don’t rush into signing anything, give me a call. I don’t charge for advice and it doesn’t take long for me to look through what you are being offered and get an alternative quote. I can explain the financial implications of the deal being offered, advise whether or not it is the best finance package for you and more often than not save you some money. “People think they have a 14 day cooling off period but although you can reject the finance deal once signed you’d have to make sure the funds were paid back to the lender. The dealer will have the funds at this point so you’ll be counting on them to be helpful... “I will get you the best deal I can. If I beat what you are being offered you save money. If I can’t, then go with the dealer’s offer but I’ll make sure you have a good deal and you understand what you are signing up for. “Dealers will often say, come back to us in a couple of years time and you can trade the vehicle in for a newer model, but I’ve known

Lesley Carter people who have done that and after a couple of trade ins have found themselves with several thousand pounds worth of negative equity. Their car is worth £12,000 but they actually owe £19,000! “There are four common types of finance package. Hire purchase and conditional sale agreements are similar - you make a monthly payment and at the end of the term you own the car. A Lease Purchase deal is similar to a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal in that you pay a deposit and monthly payments and then there is a lump sum to pay at the end if you wish to buy the car, or you can refinance the car at this point and pay off the lump sum over a further period of time, or you can part exchange the car for a newer model. On a PCP deal you have the option of handing the car back at this point as well. “Problems can store up though if the dealer keeps the monthly payments down by overestimating what the value of the car will be at the end of the term and you end up owing more than your vehicle can be traded in for.” Lesley works both with businesses and private individuals. She has access to a variety of finance companies and because of the volume of business she does with them, she is able to get really good rates. “Sometimes customers will take their lower quote back to the dealership and they offer to match it,” says Lesley. “Hopefully the

customer will then say, it’s too late now I’m going with Lesley! But it’s entirely up to them. “All the quotes I give are subject to status though. So unfortunately I’m only able to place business for clients who have a good credit history!” If you don’t know the exact car you want Lesley can still organise an agreement in principal for finance using details of the kind of vehicle you are looking for. Tracer Finance is a small company offering a friendly, professional and personal service. It is FCA registered which means regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. “I really enjoy helping people get the best deals,” says Lesley, who is also a Parent Governor at Henry Floyd school. “I have been described as the Martin Lewis of Car Finance! I’ve helped finance purchases of all types of car, van and motorcycle, from Minis and Smart Cars to Ferraris, Lamborghinis, a McLaren and a Rolls Royce! I can’t source the vehicles for you but I can certainly help you with the finance.” l Tracer Finance, Allease House, Townsend Piece, Bicester Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8BQ Tel: 01296 415950 or 07557 123926 Email: Web: Twitter: @FinanceTracer FCA Licence No: 646839 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018


Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

l Column: On

The Road with Rob Auchterlonie

A touch of class




aguar’s junior executive offering has been attracting plenty of plaudits since its launch in 2015. And it’s not hard to see why. For too long the Germans have held sway in the battle for sales in Rob Auchterlonie the premium sector. And rightly so. You can’t argue against the quality ON The Road of the cars Audi, Mercedes and BMW line up for your approval. JAGUAR XE Portfolio AWD But they’ve got a bit of opposition from the British built XE, a car flying the UK flag with a bit more aplomb than the unlamented X-Type, which wasn’t much more than a Mondeo in a different coat and pretty soon went out of fashion. In profile it almost has the looks of a coupe, a very neat coupe, but of course it’s not. And there aren’t many coupes I can leather interior might not be to think of that will carry five adults everyone’s liking but it gives you in leather cosseted luxury. a different choice from the more One of its biggest plus points mainstream black/grey/ivory is the superb driving position. leather on offer on most option Knowing how many packaging lists. hurdles designers have to It’s a car that’ll be on the radar negotiate, I can hardly believe how for anyone holding down a decent tailored it is: perfect seat shape job, and it’s available with a choice and position, ideal control layout of engines that makes the XE and instrument view. fairly cost effective to run. Maybe the chocolate brown The body shell feels stiff, the



Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

engine operates smoothly enough and what they call acoustic management (sound deadening to you and me) is pretty good considering it’s a diesel under the bonnet which dishes up progress that is reasonably swift. It just doesn’t make Jaguar-like noises. There’s a choice of drive modes, which also alters the display ahead of you, and opting for dynamic can make the XE a bit quicker to react when you’re trying to get onto a busy roundabout or into traffic from a side road. I love the way the dash cuts into the doors, so the air from the side vents sweeps round and into the

cabin. It also warms up the door handles nicely on cold days. The boot looks a decent size, and actually is, but the bootlid isn’t that big because of the downward sweep of the rear window, so loading it up requires some precision. And opening the rear doors calls for a bit of care due to the way the door edge sweeps back into the C pillar. The interior – and indeed the exterior - exudes class, and they used to say you can’t buy that. Well let me tell you that you can. It’ll cost you £41,000. To an extent, we’ve been down this road before, with the X-Type, which had similar hopes pinned on it for sales success. But XE seems

Vale Life : May/Jun 2018

to be bucking that earlier trend. Jaguar have come up with something capable of taking on the seried ranks of Johnny Bosch. FOR: classy looks, a genuine alternative to the 3 series and A4 AGAINST: doesn’t sound like a Jaguar should FASTFACTS: Jaguar XE Portfolio AWD; £40,775; 1999cc four cylinder twin turbo diesel, 240ps, 240Nm; eight speed automatic; top speed 155mph, 0-60mph 6.7secs; fuel – urban 34.5, extra urban 54.3, combined 45.1; CO2 144g/km.


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73 Vale Life : May/Jun 2018 09:32 03/11/2012

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Vale Life Magazine May-Jun 2018  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury Vale area of UK: Aylesbury; Thame; Tring; Wendover; Princes Risborough; Chinnor; Waddesdon; Winslow...

Vale Life Magazine May-Jun 2018  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury Vale area of UK: Aylesbury; Thame; Tring; Wendover; Princes Risborough; Chinnor; Waddesdon; Winslow...