Guildford & Villages • April 2014
VANTAGEPOINT YOUR COMMUNITY YOUR VIEW
Also inside: JOTTINGS COMPETITIONS GUILDFORD JAZZ THE ART OF GLASS IN WEST HORSLEY
GET CYCLING! Follow in the steps of our great cyclists and take to the road in the Surrey Hills
TO THE POINT Tracy Carroll from Local Food Surrey has written an interesting article this month about how important it is to support our local food shops, which appears on page 26. She quotes a very interesting statistic that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local community, compared with just £14 if that tenner is spent in a multinational. This information came from a report carried out by the New Economics Foundation which has studied local economies and has come up with 10 steps to save local communities. Their ﬁrst suggestion is to rebuild lo-
cal economies by plugging the leaks that are draining local money away to other parts of the country. How money circulates in an area is just as important as the amount of money ﬂowing into it, which means that we should all be encouraged to spend our money with local shops, farmers’ markets and tradesmen. This goes for businesses as well. We should all be dealing with local suppliers wherever possible. Buy stationery from your local supplier. Use a local accountant. Work with local companies, who may already be doing their bit by advertising in the locally produced newspaper or
magazine such as this one. To quote the report, “the income gets passed on from local business to local business, over and over again. This is the same money, but every time it changes hands, it creates local wealth”. Keeping our local economy as vibrant as possible is vitally important. Local businesses, shops and markets (and, of course, charities and organsiations) must be supported if we want to retain our distinctive local communities, which is often the reason we choose to live where we do. So let’s all keep it local! Stefan Reynolds, Editor
VantagePoint is the local magazine produced by local people for the local community, and is published by Vantage Publishing, a Godalming based magazine business established in 2009. We now publish five community magazines which are delivered monthly by Royal Mail to 107,277 homes across the South East, which gives us the largest local circulation in the local area, all with guaranteed delivery by your postman. Please visit our website or contact any of us below if you need any more information.
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THE VANTAGEPOINT TEAM Stefan Reynolds Editor & Publisher 01483 421601 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributors: Elizabeth Carlos, Tracy Carroll, David Gillott, Penny Kichen, Patrick Le Mesurier, Mark Pittick, Matthew Pottage, Amanda Reid, Charlie Smith, John Walter Print: Polestar Stones Cover: Alan Tomlinson
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The Art of
Gwyn Phillips, the co-founder of AppArt, meets an artist who has just relocated locally to Surrey West Horsley, nestling in the shadow of the North Downs is the location chosen by Adam Aaronson, one of the UK’s leading studio glass makers, for his new studio. Adam was faced with a diﬃcult decision when he was given notice to quit his London premises due to a re-development plan in Earl’s Court some 12 months ago. Having lived and worked in London for more than 25 years this was going to be a big wrench and he had some doubts as to whether he would ﬁnd any suitable alternative property. London was prohibitively expensive so a move to the countryside seemed likely. However the setting has to be right and his requirements for mains gas and three-phrase electricity meant that ‘soulless lots’ on industrial estates looked to be the only option. This was something that Adam would not contemplate as the environment is a key inspirational factor in the creation of his work. A chance meeting eventually led to the discovery of a disused agricultural building just oﬀ the A246 on the fringe of West Horsley that ﬁtted his requirements. So Surrey has a new addition to its pool of highly talented artists and already people are discovering the beauty and fascination of studio glass. Adam’s interest in glass started many years before when, having graduated from University (reading International Relations), he worked with his mother at their London gallery which specialised in antiques, glass and ceramics. An invitation by artist Peter Layton to join his weekend glass courses provided the catalyst and conﬁrmed the career direction Adam would take in the future. Studio Glass Art was only just beginning to be established in the 1970’s and glass artists were under represented. In 1982 Adam opened a specialist gallery of contemporary British glass, initially at their Highgate gallery, but soon after in Piccadilly, where it gained an international reputation. A glassmaking studio followed in 1986 and this was established to enable glass 8
artists, without their own premises, to pursue their work. By then, Adam had decided he wanted to produce his own work so this selftaught glass maker was on his way. Adam specialises in free-blown glass. He is a colourist and subliminally inﬂuenced by the natural world and especially the play of light on water and the landscape. The impressionist painters Turner, Whistler, Monet and others have been a signiﬁcant inspiration for his work and this can clearly be seen in his “Reﬂected Light” series. When asked which type of work he most enjoys he replied: “The piece I have just made”, as he gets great joy and satisfaction every time he creates and works with glass. Working with glass requires painstaking preparation and hundreds of subtle actions during the creative process. The ﬁrst stage is the selection of a palette of colours and then molten clear glass is drawn from a furnace and gradually worked, with colour being added at diﬀerent stages of the process. Repeatedly the glass is reheated before more work and then it is placed in an annealing kiln to cool down slowly, sometimes over several days. Each piece created is unique and the process is highly intuitive with minute changes leading to variations in the colour eﬀect and shape produced. For larger pieces, Adam has a team to assist him and he likens his role to the lead violinist in a string quartet in the evolving composition of the glass. vantagepointmag.co.uk
A visit to his studio reveals the great variety of the work produced. There are one-oﬀ artworks, such as “Strata” and “Watercolour”, commissions for individuals and trade orders where a range of work is produced and repeated for sale to galleries and museum shops. Adam has to maintain a balance between the diﬀerent types of work in order to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise. In addition to producing glass, Adam is keen to pass on his experience and joy in working with glass. He is a natural teacher and mentor, as evidenced by his courses for beginners and specially arranged workshops and demonstrations. In the half-day course,
complete novices are guided through the process of creating glass objects and for those that want to go further there are tailor-made courses available in free-blown glass making. The studio is usually open from Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5.30pm when individuals and groups can visit and more details on workshops and course can be found on the studio’s website. FIND OUT MORE
Adam Aaronson Glass Studio, Foxbury Barn, Epsom Road, West Horsley, Surrey, KT24 6AR. Tel 01483 375035, visit adamaaronson. com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. AppArt is holding an Easter Art Exhibition and Sculpture Trail at Prior’s Field School, Godalming from the 5th to 18th April. Visit appartonline.co.uk for more information.
Mark Pittick oﬀers some advice for serious cycling in and around the Surrey Hills Cycling has become the new national obsession, fuelled by the success of the GB track cycling teams’ Olympic gold medal hauls and by success from the recent Tour de France wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012) and Chris Froome (2013). Surrey is the most wooded county in the UK and has hosted some of the worlds’ major road cycling events, including the Olympic road race and key stages of the Tour of Britain. There has never been a better time to be inspired by cycling, to get ﬁt and enjoy the best countryside Surrey has to oﬀer. The Surrey Hills is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, encompassing a hilly area of the North Downs and taking in Cranleigh, Dorking, Farnham, 14
Godalming and Haslemere. This area is a cycling paradise, for both mountain and road cycling. Cycling is a great way to get around and enjoy the wonderful landscape, and a chance to test yourself up some of the world famous climbs, including the iconic Box Hill and Leith Hill (highest point in the South East). You can ride for miles in this small area, never climbing the same hill twice and enjoying fantastic vistas covering the South of England from the top of Leith and Holmbury hills. Using local train services, you can also get here farly easily. Having lived and cycled in the Surrey Hills for many years, I have a good understanding for how you can get the most out of cycling in the area. Whether you just have an old bike you’d like to dust oﬀ or are already an accomplished cyclist looking to challenge yourself on the steepest climbs the area, I have compiled for you some useful tips for an enjoyable ride along with a couple of routes, including a short introductory ride and a tough test on the “The Tour of the Surrey Hills”. vantagepointmag.co.uk
The following lists my top ﬁve tips to getting the best out of your cycling, whether cycling in the Surrey Hills or elsewhere: 1. Safety Always follow the Highway Code and ride ensuring you are considering other road users. Ride single ﬁle and not in long drawn out trains or groups of riders, as this can aggravate local motorists in the Hills as there isn’t much room on the narrow roads to pass cyclists. I always ride with ﬂashing lights on front and back of the bike as this gives early warning to motorists in the dark lanes of the Hills. If you see horse riders then slow right down, give them a verbal “hello” so they know you are there and if safe to do so, pass. If the horse looks skittish, then stop and wait until the horse rider gives you the ok to pass. 2. Bike ﬁt Ensure your bike ﬁts you properly, even if it is an old banger! Ideally get a professional ‘bike ﬁt’ at one of the many local bike shops, who will measure you and adjust your bike to ﬁt you properly. This will ensure you have the most comfortable and eﬃcient ride possible. 3. Clothing. Wear the best Lycra cycling shorts with a padded insert that you can aﬀord and ensure you don’t wear any underwear (yes you need to go commando!). This will ensure you don’t get nasty saddle sores, caused by friction between you and the saddle. Please always wear a helmet too; I’ve never met anyone who came oﬀ a bike and said “I wish I hadn’t had a helmet on”. 4. Fitness The key to building ﬁtness is to start gradually and build up the mileage and introduce hills as you get ﬁtter. If you are new to cycling, then a 16km run on ﬂat terrain is a good start for an hour ride, ideally completing this at least three times a week. If you purchase a bike and then head straight for Bar Hatch Lane as your ﬁrst hill, your lungs will feel like they are going to exit your chest when it ramps up to 20%, and it will probably put you oﬀ cycling forever. Box Hill is a much better starter hill as it is not very steep, at an average gradient of about 5%. April 2014
5. Nutrition Take water bottles and some energy food to eat along the way for any ride over an hour. If you attempt to ride for four hours on fresh air alone, you will probably get “The Bonk” after about two hours (this is where you simply run out of gas due to depleting all your energy stores). So drink plenty of water (or better still an energy drink) and eat regularly during the ride (ﬂap jacks etc. will do nicely). Please do take your litter home with you, discarded wrappers and bottles don’t add to the natural beauty of the area. The great thing about cycling is that you can travel quite large distances and see a lot of the local area, whilst burning a lot of energy and building ﬁtness. Cycling is also very kind on the body, not overly stressing the knees, back or other parts of the body. A steady paced ride will burn between 600 and 800 kcalories per hour; adding up to about 4,000 kcalories on a
ride of four to ﬁve hours. For those of us who are looking to manage our weight, then cycling is an ideal way to burn oﬀ those unwanted pounds (3,500 kcalories equates to about one pound of fat). > 16 15
When cycling in the Surrey Hills, you will no doubt soon be keen to improve your times up the climbs. One of the biggest inﬂuences on your climbing time is how much you weigh, as unfortunately this has a big impact on how hard it is to cycle up a particular hill. This is why cyclists can seem to be a bit obsessed with how much they and their bikes weigh. As an example of how your weight aﬀects climbing times I have produced the table below, which shows how your climbing time would vary up Box Hill: Assumptions: sustained power you can generate on bike equals 200W, hill 2.5miles long, bike & accessories weigh 15lbs and gradient averages 5%: Personal weight Average Speed 126lbs/ 9 stone 15.9mph 140lbs/ 10 stone 12.9mph 154lbs/ 11 stone 11.8mph 168lbs/ 12 stone 10.9mph 182lbs/ 13 stone 10.2mph
Time to climb Box Hill 9.4 minutes 11.6 minutes 12.7 minutes 13.8 minutes 14.7 minutes
You can see from the above, that a diﬀerence in weight of four stones means a climb time diﬀerence of over ﬁve minutes; or put another way, it takes 54% more time for a 13 stone person to climb Box Hill versus a nine stone person. If you want to lose weight, keep ﬁt or just see our fabulous local countryside, there has never been a better time to start cycling, so go on, get that bike out and enjoy the Surrey Hills! If you want to get more out of your cycling and this article has whetted your appetite, then you can learn everything you need to know about road cycling from Surrey Hills’ resident, Mark Pittick’s ,book ‘Zero to Hero: The Fast Track Guide to High Performance Cycling’. This book expands on the subjects shared in this article, starting from ‘bike ﬁt’, clothing for all weathers, through to bike choice, ﬁtness and ﬁtness plans, weight management, nutrition, competing in Cycle Sportives and much more besides. Inspired by writing this article, I embarked on writing a second book on cycling! This book covers 11 cycle routes in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex, and is entitled ‘World Class Cycle Routes in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire’. I have cycled over 100,000km in the area and these rides are the reﬁned best routes that the area has to oﬀer. The book has routes divided into three categories, short (up to about 50km), medium (up to about 100km) and epic (up to 200km). Each route has a summary description of the route and key places on route and some pictures of the local area. At the end of each route there is a link to mapmyride.com, where a ﬁle is available to download to a cycle navigation computer i.e. Garmin 800. Using the route ﬁle you will be able to retrace the whole route easily without referring to a map or written instructions. Available for download via www.amazon.co.uk/kindle (or just type in “Mark Pittick” into amazon.co.uk and it will pop up). 16
A selection of
CYCLE ROUTES Introductory ride in the Surrey Hills
(32km with four climbs including Leith and Holmbury Hills). The ﬁrst route detailed here is a taster of what the Surrey Hills has to oﬀer the road cyclist. Go directly to the Garmin website using this link for the route details: http://connect.garmin.com/ course/5640216 At the end of the ride, stop in the Hurtwood Inn for well-earned pint or a cup of tea and slice of cake from Peaslake village stores.
The Tour of the Surrey Hills
If you are reasonably ﬁt and can ride up 16 challenging climbs, gaining a total of 2,400m in vertical ascent for 115km, then this ride is for you. Every year the Audax cycling organisation runs a non-competitive ride out of Shere in August, showcasing the best cycling the area has to oﬀer (Box Hill, White Down, Bar Hatch Lane, Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, Coombe Lane…..). You can join this ride for about £5 by applying to the Audax organisation in the UK, or alternatively just turn up whenever you like and have a go yourself. The ﬁt types here will complete this ride in about four hours, whilst it can take others over six hours so beware. Go to the Audax website and ﬁnd the turn-by-turn directions starting from Shere community centre: www.aukweb.net/event/detail/12-356
Two local rides
We also have a couple of rides for you to try. One is on page 46 and covers Peaslake, Coldharbour and Westcott. The other covers Chiddingfold, Haslemere and Blackdown and appears in our Haslemere and Farnham editions and can be seen online at vantagepointmag.co.uk.
Local writer Penny Kitchen oﬀers some advice as a new mother-of-the-bride to be.
My daughter and her ﬁancé announced their engagement on the 30th December. As I write, one month later, I have already spent hours online researching, been to two wedding fairs and to look round ﬁve potential venues. Now every time I log on, pop-up ads from wedding dress suppliers, mother-of-the-bride websites and gorgeous venues assail me. They have me in their sights! “Couldn’t you just elope and throw a party?” I asked hopefully. “No!” was the answer. Four of Anna’s friends are getting married in the next six months and now she understandably wants her own ‘big day’. Like many couples, they are planning on paying for most of it themselves, but as they add up the various costs I can feel their anxiety mounting along with the excitement. What we have learned on our early forays into appraising venues will hopefully prove helpful for any readers in the same boat. Luckily for me, my daughter’s shortlist of half a dozen venues were all in and around Farnham and Guildford. We are particularly blessed with beautiful properties and locations in this part of the world but it can be very hard to choose. The ones we’ve looked at have fallen into three categories: hotel, country house and barn conversion. And then there’s 900-yearold Farnham Castle below, with its romantically ruined keep and a pretty half-timbered ‘new’ addition commissioned by Elizabeth I – deﬁnitely in a class of its own! When? The ﬁrst decision to be made is time of year and date. You will ﬁnd, as we did, that summer weddings (imagine sunshine and a romantic background of old stone, wisteria and lavender) are expensive! The venue bargains are to be found on winter weekdays, but can your nearest and dearest get the day oﬀ work? Even if you opt to pay the top price (as much as £11,000 for a Saturday in August) rain might still put paid to those outdoor photos in the rose garden.
The more desirable the venue is, the further ahead you need to book your date, especially in the summer months when booking a year and a half in advance is not unusual. It’s another reason for possibly looking at special rates available for an autumn/winter/weekday/ short-notice wedding. Priorities When you phone to book an appointment to view, have some idea of how many guests you will have – the venues can tell you exactly how many they can accommodate seated and standing. Even if you always imagined a formal ‘Downton’ setting, do look at other options. Converted barns full of mellow beams, such as Gate Street Barn south of Guildford and Bury Court at Bentley on the Surrey-Hampshire border, are gaining in popularity, but they are not necessarily less expensive, and for most families cost is the bottom line. On the other hand, they may allow you a choice of half a dozen caterers, oﬀering diﬀerent styles and prices. You will ﬁnd that the more formal and grand the property the less ﬂexible arrangements are likely to be. A ‘house’ caterer is a case in point. If you want a hog roast or a barbecue and the house caterer will only provide traditional wedding fare, you need to know at the outset. Also check to see if you have to add VAT to prices because that extra 20% makes a big diﬀerence.
What we discovered as we pored over the brochures and quizzed the very pleasant people who showed us around was that you sometimes gain on the venue price – a special oﬀer perhaps – only to ﬁnd that their exclusive caterer’s eyewatering prices boost the costs back up.
Many of the questions concern the catering which, after all, is central to a happy and successful day. Can you bring in your own caterer? Is there a fully equipped kitchen? Can their own caterers be ﬂexible with the menu? Can they accommodate special dietary requirements? Will there be a tasting ahead of the day? How many serving and bar staﬀ will be on duty?
Watch out for extras. Your day may not be such a bargain if you have to pay bar staﬀ for the evening, hire cutlery, table linen and cake stand, or pay corkage if you supply your own wine. Take it from me, this all adds up!
Is entertainment permitted and do they supply a PA system for the speeches? Are there attractive areas indoors for photos if it’s raining? Is there a comfortable room or rooms where the bride and bridesmaids can get ready and is there a complimentary suite for the couple’s wedding night?
An important consideration for us was having two separate rooms for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, otherwise all your guests must vacate the hall while chairs and tables are set for the meal. We preferred to know that this was all done and decorated in advance.
You have to consider insurance, adequate parking (can guests leave their cars overnight?) and disabled facilities as well as establishing their cancellation/postponement policy.
Accommodation A deciding factor can be whether accommodation is available on site, which is why the hotel option is often the best. It saves your guests having to hunt around for a bed and breakfast and the cost of taxis at the end of the evening. Three venues we visited oﬀered accommodation for the exclusive use of the wedding party – the Farnham House Hotel, Northbrook Park (both a few minutes’ drive out of Farnham on the A31) and Farnham Castle, which I was surprised to learn, has 32 bedrooms. Northbrook Park, a delightful country house with orangery and peacocks in the gardens, also has accommodation on site in the form of chalets, each with kitchen, sitting room and separately lockable double bedrooms and family room. Even small details need to be considered. For instance, at Farnham Castle candles aren’t allowed and at Loseley Park confetti, noisy ﬁreworks and Chinese lanterns are forbidden. Both of these restrictions make absolute sense when you consider the grandeur of the listed buildings, but you need to be aware and warn your guests. Questions to ask I found loads of useful questions to ask on www.confetti.co.uk and recommend you go through these with any potential venue. In fact, write the answers down because you will forget who said what! April 2014
Once your venue and the catering are sorted, then all you have left to think about is the photography, the invitations, the ﬂowers, the evening entertainment, the dress, the cake….. Eloping would be cheaper but think of all the fun they’d miss! Two new books to help with your wedding planning Customise your wedding, with beautiful craft projects. You’ll ﬁnd quick, simple and stunning items to make from each top designer, including invitations, table settings, favours, decorations and gifts for the bridal party. With six themes to choose from, you can create the perfect, costeﬀective special day. (GMC Distribution, price £16.99) Couples planning their big day can save up to 75 per cent of the average cost of a wedding by following some simple steps, according to the just-published Haynes DIY Wedding Manual. Author Laura Strutt estimates she saved a fortune on her own wedding and she is now sharing her practical advice and tips with this new easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. FIND OUT MORE
Farnham Castle at the top of Castle Street, Farnham, is managed by Galloping Gourmet. Tel 01252 413091 www.farnhamcastleweddings.co.uk Northbrook Park, Crondall Road, Farnham Nr Bentley, Surrey GU10 5EU Tel: 01420 521266 www.northbrookpark.co.uk Gate Street Barn, Gate St, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0LR Tel: 01483 894362 www.gatestreetbarn.com Bury Court Barn, Farnham, Hampshire GU10 5LZ Tel: 01420 550499 www.burycourtbarn.com Farnham House Hotel, Alton Road, Farnham GU10 5ER Tel: 01252 716908 www.farnhamhousehotel.com Penny Kitchen can be contacted at penny.kitchen@btopenworld. 21
Rage against the
Andrew Crisell recently made a list of potential gripes and was horriﬁed to discover that virtually everything irritated him, the classic symptom of a dreadful old fogey. In the ﬁrst of an occasional series, he tackles one of them.
ur sarcastic young editor calls me Gog, which stands for ‘Grumpy Old Git’. But I’m actually very nice. I’m kind to animals (understandably, children are a step too far), and although my wife says I’m a bore I’ve livened up many a dinner party by bringing along all the train spotting guides I’ve kept since boyhood. But I do admit that certain things get my goat, and since the editor says you’re the brightest readers in the country, I’m conﬁdent they get yours, too. So until he ﬁres me, I’m going to share them with you from time to time, and we can be grumpy together. My goat-getting topic today is automated telephone answering. You know the sort of thing I mean. Your internet connection fails and you want to talk to your service providers, because a word of advice could help you ﬁx it straightaway. But when you unearth the booklet they gave you, you can’t ﬁnd a
I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him
contact number. They don’t actually want to talk to you, you see, they’d prefer you to email. But how are you supposed to email when the connection is down? Finally, you locate a number hidden in the inner pages, dial it . . . and receive a warning: ‘Calls will be charged at x pounds a minute and local January 2014
rates may apply’. What those are is anyone’s guess, but the gist is clear: like the patient of an old-fashioned physician, you’re going to be bled. Then you’re told, ‘your call may be monitored for training purposes’. Training purposes? Does the company’s staff need to be trained how to say ‘Hello, what’s the problem?’ Where does it recruit them from – Kyrgyzstan? Next comes a galaxy of options. ‘To hear about our exciting new range of products and services, press one on your telephone now. To upgrade to Openretch RubberBand, press two. To take out insurance against your system crashing, press three.’ And so on. This way of forcing us down different channels as if we’re laboratory rats is apparently known as an algorithm. It’s probably short for ‘algorithm-and-blues’, because you’re offered anything but the service you want. So you just hold, and suddenly Vivaldi’s Four Seasons crashes into your ear. I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him, and my only hope is that the eternal summer created by global warming will render his work extinct. The music fades. Are you at last going to talk to a real person? No. ‘You are 23rd in the queue, but you will be answered as soon as possible.’ Then, to add insult to injury, ‘Your call is important to us’! At this sarcastic effrontery, you feel the despair they intended and ring off. Companies will now do anything to avoid having to deal directly with their customers. But give us a bell and tell us what you think of Gog’s brilliant new column. Your call is important to us. You’re 67th in the queue. Meanwhile, fancy a spot of Vivaldi? Do you agree with Andrew? What irritates you these days? Please let us know at email@example.com. 23
Guildford Jazz Three Years On… Currently based at The Freeholder’s in Farncombe with Jazz@ TheCavern and The Electric Theatre in Guildford, Guildford Jazz is dedicated to bringing performances by some of the country’s top jazz musicians to a local audience, in an intimate and welcoming environment. Originally started in 1982, Guildford Jazz was given a new lease of life in 2011 by local bass player Marianne Windham, making jazz nights at both venues a monthly ﬁxture. In addition, Guildford Jazz regularly provides performance opportunities for younger people studying music and runs improvisation workshops for local musicians. Marianne is thrilled to have made it to the third anniversary of Jazz@TheCavern this year, and is particularly pleased that the jazz nights are proving so popular with people exploring jazz for the ﬁrst time. Reminiscing about how it all started, she says: “Three years ago I walked into a room with a small stage, a vaulted ceiling, a PA system, stage lighting, a bar, and a landlord who wanted to put on some jazz, and I knew I’d found the perfect place. Three months later, with some tables, chairs, candles, an enthusiastic audience, some exceptional musicians, and a ﬂurry of hard work, the Jazz @ The Cavern club was born.” “It’s an unlikely venue in many ways: despite its name, the function room lies above a pub between the historic towns of Guildford and Godalming in Surrey. But the club has quietly ﬂourished, and since our ﬁrst gig with Mark Nightingale in April 2011, over 70 musicians have created a jazz haven that has been enjoyed by nearly 2000 people and which has helped put Guildford onto the UK jazz circuit map. “Our guests have included many of the great names in British Jazz, and many of them have given the club very kind feedback. Dave Newton’s words, in particular, are etched on my mind: “Keep it up and you’re going to become an institution”. I hope he meant it in a good way. “There have been some memorable personal highlights this last year – an unforgettable gig in the spring from Guildford’s 24
own Iain Ballamy, Martin France and Gareth Williams; the summer success of our ﬁrst “Jazz Showcase” event for students; Alan Barnes and Bruce Adams playing a charity gig in the autumn to a full house in Guildford’s beautiful and historic Guildhall; the enthusiasm of both tutors and students at the pre-gig workshops throughout the year, and most recently, the utterly joyous atmosphere at the Latin Jazz Night in December with Dave O’Higgins and Gareth Lockrane. “It seems remarkable that this year already sees our third anniversary of the club, and we’re celebrating with a whole season of performances paying tribute to the music of famous jazz composers. British jazz icon Tim Whitehead paid tribute to the music of Wayne Shorter in April, and for our anniversary gig in April top British jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman celebrated the music of Benny Golson. “It hasn’t all been plain sailing, of course. Setting up a club from scratch was rather daunting, and running a jazz club is not the easiest undertaking! I am hugely indebted to all the musicians who have given of their time and talents with such generosity and also the new Freeholder’s landlords, Dave and Yvette, who have embraced the jazz nights with such enthusiasm.” Pre-gig workshops from guests at the Cavern are open to all instrumentalists and this season will be based on the music of the composer of the month. FIND OUT MORE
For more information, please visit guildfordjazz.org.uk
Let’s eat the
Will our local economy go hungry as we vote with our food pounds at the supermarkets? Local food specialist Tracy Carroll explores. A Google search for statistics about small shop closures throws up a disturbing - yet unsurprising - set of results. ‘7337 high street shops closed down in 2012,’ and ‘More than 320 independent shops will close every week in 2013,’ jump from the screen. Closures such as these drain diversity from the high street and slice deeply into our local economy. Indeed, a study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local economy, compared with £14 for each tenner spent at multinationals. Consider it. The farmer buys a meal at the local cafe; the cafe owner buys tomatoes from the local greengrocer; the greengrocer gets his shoes heeled at the local cobblers; the cobbler buys a pie from the local bakery; the baker buys meat for his pies from the local farmer. When buying from national businesses or even those tens of miles away, money leaves our community. Let’s not knock them; supermarkets employ local people and are a godsend to many, including time and cash strapped parents, disabled people and the elderly. They have their place, yet I ﬁnd the shopping experience somewhat shallow.
A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that for every £10 spent at a local food business, £25 is generated for the local economy, compared with £14 for each tenner spent at multinationals. Browsing the aisles, I meet images of smiling farmers cuddling a chicken or leaning against a cow, the picture of rural contentment - really? I’ve noticed the word ‘market’ crops up a lot in supermarkets these days, too, whether it’s ‘Market Street’, ‘market fresh’ or ‘market value’. So, as someone who is immersed in the local food scene, I ﬁnd it interesting to see these gigantic companies, which turn over millions each week, doing their utmost to conjure up a ‘local’ shopping experience while competing with business owners who are doing it for real. 26
Identikit high streets monopolised by multiples (however heavily disguised as ‘local stores’) make me sad. That’s one of the reasons I set up my networking websites (Local Food Surrey and Local Food Sussex). By bringing together independent traders, we can make some real noise as well as connecting chefs, producers, retailers and consumers to keep those vital food pounds close to home. We’re now producing ﬁlms, telling the stories of people who work jolly hard to keep their businesses thriving. Comment to these folk about all the money they must be making, and you’re likely to be met with an ironic smile and a roll of the eyes. Because, truth is, unlike the big names in the food industry, none of the independent business owners I’ve talked to are doing it for the money. ‘Passion’ is a word that has become over used on food labelling, but I use it here without apology; these people prove their passion by working long hours in order to keep their shops open, make artisan products, then stand there in the rain at farmers markets - smiling. So, shall we support them by spending a few pounds each week at local businesses? We must. FIND OUT MORE
Tracy Carroll is managing director of LocalFoodSurrey.com and LocalFoodSussex.com. Please visit the websites for more information. vantagepointmag.co.uk
Questions& Answers Hello, my name is Jo and I would like to answer gardening questions from local enthusiasts! I live locally and have been working in horticulture for over 30 years, and as a professional gardener for over 10, so I hope I can help local people with their gardening questions. Q: How can I remove moss from my lawn? A: Many lawns at the moment have more moss than grass. This is because conditions have been ideal for moss... nice and damp and not much sun. The ﬁrst step is to kill the existing moss. This can be done using a granular lawn weed feed and moss killer. Full instructions for rate of application and timing will be on the packet. After two weeks the moss should be black and dying... which is when the hard work starts. Using a metal lawn rake or scariﬁer, all the dead moss needs to be removed. Electric scariﬁers can be hired from DIY outlets. Don’t be tempted to put the moss on your compost heap as it will still contain weedkiller. The Q: How can I grow really tasty tomatoes? A: Firstly, choose the right variety. In my experience cherry tomatoes are the most ﬂavoursome and often have the advantage of ripening early, therefore avoiding the dreaded tomato blight. My favourites are Gardeners Delight, Sungold and Tom Thumb. There are also “ new” heritage varieties available which are old non-hybrid types traditionally grown for their ﬂavour. Tomatoes are easy to grow from seed, in trays or in individual pots. They will need a light frost-free location, and remember to water sparingly once they have germinated. All local nurseries and Garden Centres will be selling tomato plants in pots, but don’t be tempted to leave them outside if it is still frosty. Location is also an important factor for ﬂavour.. they will need lots of sun (on its way hopefully?!) and heat to produce that lovely sweet taste. I am lucky enough to have a south facing garden, so my tomatoes grow in growbags and pots up against the house. That way they get any available sun all day, and heat from the bricks at night. If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse that is ideal, just watch out for white ﬂy and remember to water well without splashing water onto the leaves, as this will scorch them. 30
next step is to improve drainage. The simplest way is to prick the soil to a depth of a couple of inches with a fork, or more labour-saving devices are available, such as tines on a roller, which can be pushed across the lawn. Sand can then be raked into the holes to act as mini drains. Now the fun bit... re-seeding your lawn. Assuming you are sowing grass seed over existing patches, the best way is to mix half the recommended rate with topsoil or peat free compost and scatter by hand over your lawn. Remember to water liberally for the ﬁrst few weeks unless we have lots of rain... highly likely I suspect! Q: How can I get colour in my garden throughout the year? A: The easiest way is to buy one or two plants in ﬂower every month, or even better, ask friends and neighbours for cuttings, or in the case of herbaceous perennials, ask for a clump! In January this year I had four shrubs and bulbs in ﬂower in my garden, but I also have colour from stems of plants such as Cornus, Acers and Rubus. Then there are the berries and other fruit such as Hawthorn, Pyracantha, Rosehips, Crab Apples and of course Holly. Evergreens are also invaluable. Shrubs such as Mahonia and Fatsia also have ﬂowers out of normal season and fabulous architectural foliage. Grasses such as Carex and Stipa look wonderful any time of year with the sun or frost on them. Whatever your garden is like, now is a good time to sit still, take stock, and enjoy... GET IN TOUCH
If you have any questions you would like answered in future publications of VantagePoint by someone with local knowledge, then please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at the VantagePoint address on page four of the magazine. vantagepointmag.co.uk
light on lighting
All our rooms need to have an ambience, and this month we look at how some lighting suggestions can make a room feel cosy, stylish, or give it the WOW factor, Charlie Smith advises. Lighting is one of the key elements that helps make your house a home. Proper lighting enables you to perform tasks easily, makes you feel safer and more comfortable, and allows you to enjoy your home to its full potential. Each room, however, has speciﬁc and unique general and accent lighting needs. Here are some tips and ideas to consider when planning your lighting needs for each room in your home. 1.Use lighting and decoration for a ﬁrst impression. The hallway conveys the ﬁrst impression of a home’s interior. Centre a traditional chandelier, contemporary pendant, or transitional close-to-ceiling ﬁxture in your hallway to provide basic illumination and create a welcoming atmosphere. Make your artwork come to life and illuminate it with halogen light from a track or adjustable recessed down-lighting. Mirrors also add a special decorative touch to a foyer. 2. Size the decorative ﬁxture to the space. Not all halll ways can accommodate a large chandelier, so make sure the size proportions are correct. Likewise, if you have a larger space, you’ll need a larger ﬁxture. If you are able to view the ﬁxture from above, make sure to select a foyer chandelier or pendant that looks attractive from second storey viewing. 3. Use lighting to bring out the best in your living spaces. Enhance your room’s ambiance, dramatise wall textures, accent artwork, or just provide general illumination for your study, living room, family room, playrooms, or bedrooms. A variety of diﬀerent types of lighting ﬁxtures will work for both your general lighting and accent lighting needs. Try recessed lighting or track lighting to make a room come alive by accenting artwork, wall washing, or grazing. Table lamps are also a great choice. When table space is limited, wall lamps are a good alternative. 4. Create a focal point with lighting. Your dining table is in place, chairs are 34
pushed in, and the table is set. To complete the picture you need a centre piece, your light ﬁxture. This lighting ﬁxture is the focal point of your room, so it needs to express your own personal style, while still satisfying general lighting needs. Whether your dining and entertaining style is casual and laid-back, or is generally more formal, choose a ﬁxture that reﬂects you. 5. Use a chandelier or pendant for general lighting. Both ﬁxtures are excellent sources of lighting and are sure to set the tone of your dining room. Recessed wall washers can also provide additional light while helping to create an illusion of a larger room space. When hanging a chandelier, make sure that the chandelier is 6” to 12” smaller than the narrowest side of the table. The bottom of the pendant or chandelier should be approximately 30” above your table. Consider a smaller chandelier with an integral down light for additional light on the table. 6. What about the kitchen? Not only are your meals prepared here, but your family and guests gather here as well. Suﬃcient and adequate lighting is a must for performing all your culinary needs, helping kids with their homework, ambience for dinner parties or just simply to create a feature to the room. Sketch a plan of your kitchen that focuses on activity areas and then decide what kind of light each area will need: general, task, accent, or decorative. Use higher watt bulbs vantagepointmag.co.uk
in task areas. A glass or plastic pendant will provide ample “up-lighting” to cover the entire dining area with light. 7. Illuminate certain areas. This could include your special home objects, architectural detail, or food presentation areas with track or recessed lighting. Use under cabinet lighting in cabinets, valances, and toe spaces and create drama while also supplying additional light to navigate around your kitchen in the evening.
8. Don’t forget about the bathroom. Bathroom lighting is probably the last place people want to invest time and money. Mirrors go unlit, and often one ceiling ﬁxture is used to light up the sink, mirror, and shower. However, as whirlpool tubs become larger and steam showers are added, more and more time is spent relaxing in the bathroom. Since you begin and end your day in the bathroom, why not spend a little extra time considering which ﬁxtures and lights would work best? Halogen bulbs are generally the standard for bathroom lighting, but the newest compact ﬂuorescent bulbs are also a great option. FIND OUT MORE
All the above suggested solutions can be seen at Elstead Lighting’s showroom with over 2,000 designs to choose from. The design ranges are both contemporary and traditional. They cater for all areas of the home, the team are highly experienced and they will come up with any solution for any design scenario. Please visit their website www.elsteadlighting.com for more information. For information about Home Styling visits, call Charlie on 07770 568307 or email email@example.com.
Elstead Lighting - a potted history of a long established local business Elstead Lighting was originally The Elstead Forge and was founded back in 1686 in Elstead, Surrey, by a Mr Richard Paine. It was managed by his succeeding heirs until 1870. It then passed on to the Bovington family in 1870 who carried it on until 1956, when daily work in the forge ceased.
two or three extra, and put the surplus in the shop window or on a small display board outside. People would buy items from here which led to Geoﬀrey designing and making more. It was this simple change that started Elstead Forge on its journey to where it is today.
The forge then lay dormant until 1965 when it was taken over by Geoﬀrey Lucas. At this point the forge mainly produced gates, railings and general ironwork, as well as some ﬁre baskets and hearth accessories. Gradually, the gates, railings and general work dropped oﬀ but the making of ﬁre baskets and some lights grew. When the forge received an order for a ﬁre basket or light they would make
In September 1971, Geoﬀrey asked his brother Stephen Lucas to join him. They operated out of two premises; the Elstead Forge and a builder’s yard a mile away which had oﬃce facilities, a place to pack and sort orders, a workshop and a spray painting area. Geoﬀrey and Stephen quickly out grew the Elstead premises and built a new factory in the Mill Lane Industrial Estate, in Alton, Hampshire.
In 1972 Elstead exhibited at its ﬁrst hardware trade fair at Olympia in London, showcasing their range of lanterns, ﬁre baskets and barbecues. In 1973 Elstead exhibited at the London Light Show for the ﬁrst time and continued to grow steadily. Stephen’s son Jonathan joined in 1979 and he continues to run the business from premises in Alton which enables alll work to be carried out from one single site. Here they have a large showroom where they can showcase one of the largest collections of decorative lighting in the UK. Elstead Lighting, Elstead House, Mill Lane, Alton Hampshire GU34 2QJ. Showroom open 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. Tel 01420 590510.
Following the success of the Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival in 2013, which saw over 5,000 people attend over the two day event, the Double Twelve will return in 2014 on the 14th to 15th June. Expected to be the biggest motoring competition held at Brooklands since 1939, it is being organised in association with the Vintage Sports-Car Club and held on the weekend closest to the Anniversary of its original opening date, 17th June 1907. The new structure of the competitions was changed in 2013 to encourage entrants to enjoy a full weekend of motoring competition and give them greater ﬂexibility to choose from the three stand-alone competitions. This will be the format in 2014 with the three stand-alone events: • The Double Twelve Speed Trials on the Mercedes-Benz World circuit on Saturday 14th June • The Double Twelve Concours held on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June • The Double Twelve Driving Tests on Sunday 15th June Each event will have its own class and overall winners, but to achieve a Brooklands Double Twelve Award, an entrant must compete in any two of the three events and the combined scores of these two events will decide their Double Twelve placing. This means that a car may enter the Speed Trials on the Saturday and then the Driving Tests on the Sunday. Alternatively a car can be entered for the Concours on the Saturday and take part in the Driving Tests on the Sunday and a car could also be entered for the Speed Trials on Saturday and be judged in the Concours on Sunday. As well as the main competitions, the Test Hill Challenge will also take place on Saturday. This will involve everything from 36
Sinclair C5s, bicycles and motorcycles to giant pre-war racing cars and running races for energetic children up the punishing 352ft (107m) concrete slope. Some vehicles may even head down the Test Hill in a test of their brakes. The Museum itself displays a wide range of Brooklands-related motoring and aviation exhibits ranging from giant racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles to an unparalleled collection of Hawker and Vickers/BAC-built aircraft, including the Second World War Wellington Bomber, Viking, Varsity, Viscount, Vanguard, VC10, BAC One-Eleven and the only Concorde with public access in South East England. With family entertainment once again planned throughout the site and lots more attractions to be announced, this is a weekend for everyone. Advance ticket prices for 2014 are: Adults - £13; Children (aged 5-16 inc.) - £5; Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) - £32; Brooklands Trust Members (BTM): adults - £2; Under 5s free. Advance tickets will be available from the Museum Shop nearer the time - see main website for announcements. brooklandsmuseum.com. Ticket prices on the day: Adults - £15; Children (aged 5-16 inc.) - £6; Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) - £37; BTM adults £4; Under 5s free. Visitor parking will be in The Heights, oﬀ Wellington Way - please follow event signage.
A locally inspired Easter meal Three of our local chefs oﬀer up a special three-course meal for Easter
Warm Asparagus Hollandaise Ingredients 20 asparagus spears 400ml vinegar 4 free range eggs Seasoned butter in which to toss asparagus in - prepare this by mixing some butter at room temperature with salt and freshly milled black pepper. If you are using salted butter, you may not need to add more salt. Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce Rocket leaves for garnish Serves 4 Le Mesurier sauces are available at local food shops and delicatessens and at local farmers’ markets. For more information, look online at lemesuriers.com.
This recipe for a light and tasty starter comes from Patrick Le Mesurier, the Godalming-based chef behind the Le Mesurier condiment range. Ready in minutes, it showcases the delicate, nutty ﬂavour of British asparagus, which traditionally reaches the shops towards the end of April. “Easter cooking is all about fresh, vibrant ﬂavours”, says Patrick, who trained with the Roux brothers. “British asparagus is the best in the world; a prized culinary gem. In fact, it’s so precious that none of it is exported – we British quite rightly keep it all for ourselves.” 1. Trim the asparagus spears so they are all the same length. 2. Plunge them into boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a warmed dish. Keep warm. 3. Have a high-sided pan just coming to the boil, add the vinegar, stir the water and break the eggs into the vortex. Cook for 3 minutes until softly poached. (Or if you wish you can use an egg poacher.) 4. Open a jar of Le Mesurier Hollandaise Sauce and warm as per instructions. 5. Toss the asparagus in the seasoned butter and line up 5 on each plate.
6. Remove softly poached eggs and place on top of the asparagus. 7. Spoon the warmed hollandaise sauce on top of the egg, and garnish with a few rocket leaves.
Chocolate and Caramel Tart Ingredients 375g shortcrust pastry (either bought or home-made) 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract Flour, for dusting 100g 70% plain chocolate 100g white chocolate 6 tbsp melted butter 2 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks 4 tbsp golden caster sugar Icing sugar and single cream, to serve (optional) For the caramel 150g sugar 50g water Serves 10 38
Chocolate is a must for an Easter menu, so we asked Chef David Gillott of Ashtead’s Four Gables Food Academy to come up with an extra-special dessert. In this recipe for a makeahead dessert, a caramel layer sits under a rich chocolate topping – deﬁnitely a family favourite! 1. Cut the pastry into rough pieces and put in a food processor. Drizzle over the vanilla paste and blitz until it’s well mixed throughout the pastry. Tip out onto a ﬂoured surface, bring together into a dough and knead until well combined. Roll out to line a 23cm tart tin (leave any overhanging pastry and then you can trim it away after cooking). Chill for 30 minutes, to allow the pastry to rest.
2. For the caramel, place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, then reduce down until it starts to turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn it! 3. Heat oven to 180˚C. Line the pastry with cling ﬁlm (yes cling ﬁlm – don’t worry, it won’t burn and it’s the best way to blind bake a tart). Fill with rice, bake blind for 15-20 minutes, then remove the cling ﬁlm and rice and bake for 5-10 minutes vantagepointmag.co.uk
FOOD Slow Roasted Shank of Lamb with Port and Redcurrant Jus For the main course, we consulted John Walter, Head Chef and Manager of The Lakeside Restaurant at the University of Surrey. An enthusiastic supporter of seasonal ingredients, John has chosen the sweet and tender meat of new season lamb, preferably from the South Downs, and teams this with purple sprouting broccoli and new potatoes for an exquisite Easter Sunday lunch. 1. Pre-heat the oven 190˚C. Chop the celery, onions and carrots into large chunks and lay in a ﬂameproof casserole or roasting tin. 2. Nestle the seasoned shanks of lamb on top of the vegetables then add herbs, spices, peppercorns, wine and port. 3. Cover loosely with ovenproof foil and bake for 1.5 hours. 4. Remove the foil then cook for another 30 minutes. 5. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a large, warmed serving dish and keep warm, leaving the juices in the roasting tin 6. Meanwhile, boil potatoes with a sprig of fresh mint until tender. Keep warm. 7. Place broccoli in a pan with two cups of water and a knob of butter, season and cover with a tight-ﬁtting lid. Cook over a medium/high heat for
5 minutes until the broccoli is tender. 8. Drain the broccoli cooking water into the tin containing the lamb roasting juices, then place the tin over a medium heat on the hob to release the caramelised juices before stirring in the redcurrant jelly and more wine as needed; simmer to create a rich jus. 9. Arrange the broccoli and potatoes around the lamb, pour the jus into a warmed jug and serve.
more until pale and golden. Carefully spread the caramel over the base and set aside while you make the ﬁlling. Lower oven to 160˚C. 4. Break the chocolate into pieces and carefully melt in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water before adding the melted butter and stirring to combine. Put the eggs, yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for 10 minutes - it may be easier to use a machine! You will know the mixture is ready when it turns pale and leaves a trail when you drag a spoon through it. Using a large spoon, gently fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to knock out the air. Transfer to the tin. 5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the
surface is set and risen – it will still wobble slightly. Cool, then chill overnight, before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
Ingredients 4 sticks of celery 4 medium carrots 2 medium onions 4 shanks of spring lamb, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper Sprig of fresh thyme Sprig of rosemary 2 bay leaves 4 allspice berries 4 crushed juniper berries 4 black peppercorns Glass of full-bodied red wine (allow extra for gravy) Glass of ruby port 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly To serve Purple sprouting broccoli New potatoes Mint and butter for cooking Serves 4
FIND OUT MORE
All our featured chefs are members of Local Food Surrey, where you can discover the ﬁnest local food and drink from Surrey, cookery classes and the very best restaurants, pubs and caterers serving delicious local produce. Visit localfoodsurrey.com to ﬁnd out more.
ACUPUNCTURE OR PAINKILLERS Are you missing the point? Amanda Reid from Take a Breath investigates
There was a time when acupuncture was thought of as a funny sort of treatment - funny peculiar that is, and certainly not funny ha ha. For who would voluntarily subject themselves to having needles jammed into them like a stuck pig, or a victim of ancient witchcraft? However, a while ago, suﬀering from painful frozen shoulder which a myriad of treatments and remedies had failed to relieve, I was about to have this myth dispelled. A friend said, as friends do, “You must try my physiotherapist”, and so it was that this intuitive and caring individual with spiritual eyes and the gentlest of touches began, with my permission of course, painlessly to introduce needles into various parts of my body, apparently unrelated to where I was feeling the pain. Think reﬂexology, think Eastern wisdom. Somehow the excruciating pain that had kept me awake half the night for weeks on end began to lessen until it, after a few sessions, completely disappeared. Magic, or what! It is seriously alarming that, according to recent reports, half the Western world seems to take chemical painkillers on a regular basis, for back pain and other niggles. These substances, particularly those that are opiate-based, are addictive. I just looked at the blurb accompanying one well-known analgesic, which warned that more than three days consecutive use could tip you over into dependency - and it’s a rare GP who takes the time and trouble to wean a patient oﬀ an addictive substance. The trouble is, that point of no return is an unknown quantity that diﬀers for each individual. Traditional acupuncture, by contrast, can reduce inﬂammation and provide long-term relief for all types of pain, not just skeletal, without uncomfortable side-eﬀects like the drowsiness, nausea and constipation that is associated with many painkilling medicines. The side-eﬀects of acupuncture, however, are almost always positive, giving increased energy levels, improved sleep and digestion, plus a general sense of well-being. In April 2014
fact, acupuncture is becoming increasingly mainstream. The National Institute for Heralth and Care Excellence now recommends its use for persistent non-speciﬁc lower back pain, and has proposed it be made available on the NHS. Take a Breath consulted local practitioner and member of The British Acupuncture Council, Rachel Townsend. She told us, “Traditional acupuncture is based on an ancient Chinese system of medicine and is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today with 2.3m. treatments carried out each year. The practice involves extremely ﬁne, sterile needles inserted at speciﬁc points on the body to trigger its natural healing responses and is not at all frightening or uncomfortable. Being holistic, it seeks to address the underlying causes of pain and ﬁnd a long-term solution, rather than just masking them with medication. Every patient is unique and two people with the same western diagnosis will have diﬀerent treatment plans because the pathology of their illness is diﬀerent”. Rachel added that the beneﬁts of acupuncture are not limited to pain relief but extend to a whole range of other illnesses. FIND OUT MORE
This article is brought to you by Take a Breath, an online local business directory and community, supporting a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Visit www.takeabreathmag.co.uk to ﬁnd local natural health practitioners, classes and workshops, read articles, and connect with like-minded people. 41
What to do in
With Matthew Pottage, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley
Turn boring blobs into naturalistic drifts April is a good time to review early spring bulbs that have ﬁnished their ﬂowering displays and are now in leaf. Some of the earliest, such as snowdrops, should now have pretty much completed their active growth cycle for this year but will still be visible above ground. This makes it the best time to lift any big clumps, split them apart and replant in whatever formation takes your fancy. Bulbs physically ‘bulk up’ by adding smaller bulbs alongside the parent bulb, which, after many years can lead to some congestion and pulling these apart re-invigorates them. While it may seem laborious the best way to create a carpet effect is to re-plant
smaller bulbs singularly but in close proximity to each other. This is also a good time to think about which bulb combinations to plant to give you longer displays – at Wisley we have a bank of early crocus that are peppered with the white Leucojum venustum and Cyclamen coum – the whole area is a tapestry of spring colour and lasts well over a month. Plant spring bulbs under trees or mature shrubs where you are less likely to disturb them.
Left: Livting and dividing Galanthus elwesii after ﬂowering, while still in leaf. Above: Cyclamen coum
Sneaking through the winter? April is usually about the right time to start un-wrapping any plants that have been protected for the winter. The warmer spring days will initiate growth, and while a late frost may clip softer growth, it won’t cause you any serious problems. It is also a good time to crack on and start planting half-hardy ornamentals such as Penstemon, which can cope with the cooler nights. We have a super collection of Penstemon at Wisley. They will ﬁt with most planting styles and can be an ideal way to ﬁll in edges in traditional cottage borders, or, if you’re after something more adven42
turous, some of the bolder cultivars will blend nicely into more subtropical bedding displays. I’m a real fan of P. ‘Stapleford Gem’ with its almost two-tone blue/ purple ﬂowers (left), though I see from the propagation lists my teams put together that they are very fond of the striking, pink ﬂowered P. ‘George Home’ which has a white throat. It is quite an old cultivar, but never fails to perform. If you’re lucky, some of your half-hardy plants like Verbenas and even some Helichry-
sum will have survived the winter and by now should be in need of a tidy up. Get out the secateurs and take the stems back to vigorous buds or re-growth. Apply a dressing of balanced fertiliser once the risk of frost has passed, and they’ll continue growing like winter never happened. FIND OUT MORE
RHS Garden Wisley is the ﬂagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB. Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley to ﬁnd out more.
Peaslake, Coldharbour and Westcott Ride into the picturesque village of Shere, climb to Coldharbour, one of the highest villages in the county, and sample cafés and traditional pubs along the way. The route runs through the heart of the Surrey Hills along winding leafy lanes, over hills with heady descents and boasts far reaching views to the South Downs. Visit the National Trust Rhododendron Wood, ablaze with colour in spring, admire the carpets of bluebells on Leith Hill’s slopes and see Jack, the blacksmith, strike the hour on the famous Abinger clock. Go online to vantagepointmag.co.uk for a Blackdown cycle in our Haslemere edition.
The cycle Turn L out of the station approach, and turn R into Wonham Way, a footpath only, immediately after the bridge. Soon turn R into a bridleway at the bend and follow NCN22 signs all the way to Shere. Go under the bridge, bear L and in ¼ mile go straight ahead to cross Queen’s Street into a driveway. Fork R into a bridleway and in ½ mile Shere church spire comes into view.
box into Lower Breache Road. In ¾ mile, at the end of a lefthand bend, turn R onto a bridleway through woods, ignoring a byway and a farm lane. Turn L by a cottage into Pond Head Lane. Soon pass a pond where you should see resident swans. Cycle ¾ mile on the bridleway. The last gate is electric and operated by a button on a post, well before the gate. Turn L and go to the attractive Parrot Inn. You can sit at a table outside and relax overlooking the cricket green.
At the end of the track turn R to explore the picturesque village of Shere. Go past the church to the square and see the clear Tillingbourne stream with its ducks and then enjoy a coﬀee at the Lucky Duck or visit one of the pubs. Take the road upwards past the William Bray.
Turn R at the major road, the B2127, and soon L onto the B2126, SP Holmbury St Mary. In 1/5 mile, at the top of the rise, turn R into Tanhurst Lane to climb the lane to the Rhododendron Wood, on the slopes of Leith Hill.
Climb the hill and at the top go over the railway bridge, leaving the NCN22. Turn L towards Peaslake. In a mile turn R into idyllic Jesses Lane. In a further mile turn L and soon bear R towards Peaslake village. This is a veritable biking mecca with a bike shop and the aroma of cheese straws drifting from the village stores. Alternatively you can sit at a table outside the Hurtwood Inn whilst you watch the world go by. Take the major road, SP Ewhurst via Coverwood. In ¾ mile the road bends sharply to the right and climbs to pass the Duke of Kent school. Enjoy some glorious views as you ride along the ridge. Descend to the T-junction and turn L to sail down the hill towards Ewhurst. Perhaps pause at the Bull’s Head and rest in the garden with its bright ﬂower borders. Ride through the village on the B2127 and, at the corner, turn L (ahead) towards Ewhurst Green. In ⅓ mile turn L into Plough Lane. Go over the hump-backed bridge and turn R by the post 46
Cycle on to the junctions and go ahead towards Coldharbour for 2 miles. There you can pause to gaze at the views or perhaps rest at the Plough. Continue for a further 2 miles as you enjoy the downhill run towards Dorking, but watch for Logmore Lane where you fork L at the end of the woods. Close to Westcott, fork R past the church and turn R into the A25. Soon turn L into Westcott Street, unless you are visiting the Crown Inn, ⅓ mile to your right, a good stop for those who enjoy home-made food. The lane bends towards the A25 but turn R into a bridleway. Pedal past farmland for 1½ miles. The track narrows to a path and, looking back, the spire of Ranmore church can be seen to the north-east. Cross Abinger Lane and continue on the track through woods, the NCN22, and over Abinger Roughs. In ¾ mile there is a large grass area with a seat which makes an excellent picnic spot. Keep straight on into a narrow path. Turn L into Hackhurst Lane to cycle down to the A25. To your left is the Abinger tea rooms where you can have a light meal or sample Annie’s delicious cakes. Notice the famous Abinger clock on the corner. Turn R from Hackhurst Lane onto the A25. In a short distance turn L into the bridleway to pass Southbrook Farm to Wonham Way. Turn R and go down to the A25 by Gomshall station. vantagepointmag.co.uk
The route There are quiet lanes and some bridleway riding to avoid the A25. This is in the midst of the Surrey hills so expect an ascent such as Forest Green to Leith Hill, where you climb the pretty but steep lane for ½ mile. Equally there are some good downhill runs, e.g. from Pitch Hill into Ewhurst and from Coldharbour to Wotton.
Winkworth by Sarah Lemarié
DISTANCE: 20 miles OS MAPS: OS Landranger 187 Dorking and Reigate, OS Explorers 146 Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate, 145 Guildford and Farnham (GR TQ088478). GRID REFERENCE: SU 933478 STARTING POINT: Gomshall station, 5 miles west of Dorking on the A25. REFRESHMENTS: In Shere there is the White Horse, the William Bray and the Lucky Duck café. In Peaslake try the Hurtwood Inn or the village stores for drinks and snacks. In Ewhurst, Forest Green, Coldharbour and Westcott there are pubs and at Abinger there is a tea room.
This cycle is taken from On Your Bike: In and Around the Surrey Hills, published by Countryside Books. Visit countrysidebooks.co.uk for more information. Neither the publisher nor the author can accept any responsibility for any changes, errors or omissions in this route. Diversion orders can be made and permissions withdrawn at any time.
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Celebrating 5 years of local magazine publishing • January
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ITY R COMMUN
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EVE YOUR VIEW YOUR COMMUNITY
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West Surrey Natural History Society Our society is for anyone with an interest in the natural world. The Society aims are to increase the awareness of the ﬂora and fauna particularly of Surrey. The Society works with the following objectives in mind: • To bring members and all those with a love of nature into helpful communication. • To secure the protection of wildlife and objects of interest to the nature student. • To promote and preserve the natural beauty of the countryside. • To extend and make popular the study of nature. • To promote and participate in conservation projects. The above is achieved through our monthly talks by well-known naturalists on a wide variety of natural history subjects. We recently had a talk on The Wildlife of Esher Commons by Dave Page who is the Countryside Estates Oﬃcer for Elmbridge Borough Council. The talk covered the various habitats of lowland heath, grassland, woodland and areas of marsh, bog and open water which support a rich variety of plant and animal species. In 1955 the Commons were designated a Site of Special Scientiﬁc Interest. An up and coming talk (24th April 2014) is Madagascar – not just lemurs! This is an illustrated talk by Dr Peter Gasson, a research botanist at Kew Gardens. The talk is about his recent trip to Madagascar with regard to plants, scenery, endemic birds, mammals (especially lemurs) and chameleons.
Talks take place between September and April and are held at 8pm on 4th Thursday in the month at Ripley Village Hall. A full list of talks is available on our website www.wsnhs.wordpress.com. Throughout the year ﬁeld outings take place covering subjects from orchids to wildfowl, dolphins to butterﬂies, nightingales to fungi. Last year a visit was arranged to the Natural History Museum where members were able to visit ‘behind the scenes’. A visit to the WWT Reserve at Barn Elms was lead by one of the Society members and group walks arranged to local sites such as Bookham Common, Winkworth Arboretum and Thursley Common are also led by Society members glad to share their knowledge whether a bird, ﬂora or insect enthusiast. Regular table top sales are held during the evening talks selling items such as books, plants, cakes and preserves. Proﬁt from these events are donated to local wildlife organisations; this years donation was made to The Hedgehog Fund. An informative monthly newsletter is published for members with interesting articles on observations by members; including articles on society walks, members reports on nature holidays as well as local sightings of wildlife.
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If this interests you we would love to see you. Further information is available from the Society Secretary Anna Stribley 01372 457623 April 2014
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