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Issue 107 - March 2018

and Town



In this issue Win tickets to see

The Blockheads How to Ace a

Job Interview Win £25

in our Prize Crossword Bringing Local Business to Local People

20,000 copies delivered to Buckden, Brampton,

Godmanchester, The Hemingfords, Eaton Socon, Grantchester and all surrounding villages every month To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Inside this issue... 12

Win Tickets to see Twelfth Day What do you do with the soil after erecting an electricity pole?.......4 The History of Alice..........................................................................6 Win Tickets to see The Blockheads..................................................10 Win Tickets to see Twelfth Day........................................................12 Dine in Style: Searcys St Pancras Restaurant..................................15 Madagascar - The Eighth Continent................................................18 Crufts - 11th to 18th March............................................................21 The Great British Spring Clean........................................................22 Ride for Life is Back........................................................................24 Gorgeous Gifts and Tempting Treats...............................................27 Style Tips for Spring/Summer........................................................29 Spring Back into your Exercise Program.........................................30 Your Clutter Free Life......................................................................33 National Butchers’ Week - 12th to 18th March...............................34 Pensions on Divorce.......................................................................35 Make a Will....................................................................................37 How to Ace a Job Interview............................................................39 Meet the Team at St. Ives...............................................................40 Get Well Soon.................................................................................41

Get Your Soil Into Shape.................................................................43 Local Tree Surgeons Gain National Award.......................................44 Fertiliser.........................................................................................46 R.A.T.S. Rehoming Appeal..............................................................49 Animal Know-How.........................................................................50 Children’s Page...............................................................................52 Six Things People Hate about the Lamborghini Urus......................55 Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe.........................................................56 Moving House with Children..........................................................59 Puzzle Page....................................................................................60 What’s On.......................................................................................62 National Apprenticeship Week.......................................................65 Has Your Local Bank Closed Down?.................................................66 Don’t Have Mad March Hair............................................................69 A Wrose by Another Name.............................................................71 Fun Quiz.........................................................................................73 Prize Crossword..............................................................................74 Local Charities Matter!...................................................................77 Book Review..................................................................................78


Ride for Life is Back

Get your business off to a flying start this year

Advertise with the Villager Magazine... prices start from just £35.00 +VAT per month Editorial - Peter Ibbett, Catherine Rose, Trevor Langley, Solange Hando, Louise Addison, Kate Duggan, Jennie Billings, Centre for Complementary Health, Suzanne Roynon, Sarah Davey, Leeds Day Solicitors, Julie Plumb, Tony Larkins, Pippa Greenwood, Rachael Leverton, RSPCA, James Baggott, Nick Coffer, Tracey Anderson, and Kate McLelland. Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122 • Photography - Evgeniya Tiplyashina Design and Artwork Design 9 • Tel 07762 969460 •

Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email:

Disclaimer - All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

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What do you do with the soil after erecting an electricity pole?

Electricity is taken for granted. But once upon a time, not so long ago in 1929, EG Davies (born 1912 at 11 High Street, St. Neots) was looking for his first job and signed up with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Electricity Company (BC&H) which had been formed as part of the North Metropolitan Electric Company to provide a supply of electricity to an area of around 1,200 square miles which extended as far as March and Newmarket. Offices were set up at ‘Arbroath’ in Avenue Road before moving to a new building ‘with offices and showrooms in the centre of town in 1928’. He records earning as a ‘Boy’ £1 a week in 1930 and eventually progressing to a ‘Junior’ at Stowmarket in 1937 with pay of £3 5s a week which enabled him to ‘get married, set up house and purchase and run a small car.’ One day he was taken out by his ‘boss’ Vernon Smith on a ‘casual’ inspection of a group of labourers erecting new electricity poles. Their task was to dig a hole, insert the pole and force all the excavated soil back into the hole with its foundation


blocks to ensure the pole was secure. One labourer from Hail Weston (‘none too bright’) had a pile of soil left over and was engaged in digging another hole nearby. Upon a ‘not too calm request’ as to what he was up to the answer was supplied that ‘ I couldn’t get all the earth back into the hole so I am digging another to put it in!’ Mr Davies declined to record for posterity the response of ‘management’ to the labourers reply. Mr Davies recorded his life story in his 1988 book ‘Recollections 1912-1947’. He donated part of the profits of his book to ‘The St. Neots Town Museum Public Appeal which is being launched ‘ as a very necessary amenity to record and display all aspects of the town’s past’. I am sure Mr Davis would be pleased that the museum opened in 1995 is thriving. Do drop in (free to locals) or check the web site for 2018’s varied programme of exhibitions and events. You could even record your own memories for future residents to enjoy or become involved as a Volunteer or Trustee.

By Peter Ibbett

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History By Catherine Rose

The History of Alice The Mad March Hare is a character from folklore that was forever immortalised by the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, also known as author Lewis Carroll, in his classic children’s novel Alice in Wonderland. It was written for Alice Liddell, a friend’s daughter who looked nothing like Sir John Tenniel’s famous illustrations. So, who was the real Alice? Alice Pleasance Liddell, who later became Hargreaves when she married the Hampshire cricketer Reginald Hargreaves, was born on 4th May 1852 in Westminster, London. She was the fourth child of ten (two died in infancy) and close to her older and younger sisters Lorina (known as Ina) and Edith, who both went on to feature in Dodgson’s photographs and writing. Soon after she was born, Alice’s father Henry


Liddell became Dean of Christ Church College and the family moved to Oxford in 1856 - the same year that Alice met Dodgson, a keen photographer and college librarian. Dodgson took many photos of Alice during their acquaintance, some of them hauntingly beautiful. They show a pretty elfin girl with a dark bob and soulful eyes pictured in various poses, costumes and guises from Oriental girl to beggar maid. By the time she was 20, Alice had become so wellknown that the famous Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron also took her portrait. Remarkable for capturing the personality of her subjects, Cameron’s photograph shows Alice, by then an attractive young woman, staring defiantly into the lens.

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The original Alice’s Adventures Underground was conceived on a boat trip that the ten-year-old Alice and her sisters made with Dodgson and his friend Canon Duckworth. Entertaining them with one of his imaginative stories, the author invented a fabulous tale about Alice falling down a rabbit hole and meeting all sorts of curious characters on the way. After being begged by Alice to write it down, he presented it to her as a bound handwritten manuscript in November 1864. Encouraged by his friends Henry Kingsley and author George MacDonald, Dodgson decided to commercially publish the story a year later. It was illustrated by the artist Sir John Tenniel and proved so popular that it was followed up in 1872 by Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, later to become simply Alice Through the Looking Glass. However, around the same time that Lewis Carroll’s famous novel was being born, there was a huge falling out between Dodgson and the Liddells. It is still not known what caused the rift as Dodgson’s diary entries for this time were removed. As a result, there has been much speculation over the years as to what happened. One theory is that Dodgson (aged 31) wanted to marry Alice (then 11) but the family were against it. Although times have changed and we would find this both shocking and unacceptable today, Victorian morality was very different and it wasn’t uncommon for an older man to choose a child bride. Up until 1885, when it was raised to 16, the age of consent for a girl was 12. Other theories have suggested Henry Liddell was put out by Charles Dodgson’s criticisms of his deanery or that there was a scandal when, following visits to see the children while their parents were away, Dodgson was accused of having an affair with their governess. It has also been suggested that Alice’s mother believed Dodgson’s visits and photo sessions had become too intrusive. Whatever the reason, it was clearly a bad enough rift for her to take the step of burning all his previous letters to Alice. Imaginative and creative, Dodgson loved the company of children and as a result, his sexuality has later been scrutinised. Alice herself never accused him of any wrongdoing and it was even suggested that her only surviving son Caryl (her other two sons died in the First World War) was named in honour of the author.


Following the fall out with Dodgson, as a young woman it is said that Alice had an affair with Queen Victoria’s youngest son Prince Leopold after he came to study at Christ Church, but that the pair were forbidden to marry by the queen because Alice was a commoner. Fast forward just over a century and the same scenario between a Prince and another ‘commoner’ who also met at university had a very different outcome! Perhaps a clue to their feelings is that Prince Leopold named his daughter Alice, and in turn, Alice named one of her sons Leopold. Because the illustrated Alice bears no resemblance to Alice Liddell and the original story was markedly changed for publication, some critics believe the fictional Alice isn’t based on the real Alice at all. However, it can’t be denied that Dodgson made strong references to her throughout the text. Perhaps the strongest is an acrostic poem epilogue to Alice Through the Looking Glass. A poignant and nostalgic verse about that original boat trip, it spells out her name and begins: A boat beneath a sunny sky, Lingering onward dreamily, In an evening of July…. There is a perhaps even sadder ending to this story as after Alice’s husband died, she sold her original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Underground in 1928. It fetched the considerable sum of £15,400 at Sotheby’s and today is kept in the British Museum. Alice died in 1934 and her ashes are interred at Lyndhurst.

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Oxney Road, Peterborough, PE1 5YN

01480 270 674 26 Cambridge Street, St Neots, PE19 1JL

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†Ford Motorcraft Servicing, MOT, Tyres and repairs are available at participating T.C.Harrison dealers for Ford passenger cars and commercial vehicles with up to 2.5L engines and are applicable to retail customers only. All published prices are recommended retail prices and include parts, labour and VAT. RS, Mustang and LPG derivatives are excluded. Ford Motorcraft services are non-scheduled services not manufacturer scheduled services, so could affect the manufacturer’s warranty status during the first three years of registration. This offer supersedes any other promotions and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative offered. Offers valid until 31st March 2018.

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07/02/2018 09:40

COMPETITION Win 2 tickets

to see The Blockheads + The Reformers Sat 24th March 2018, doors at 8pm, Bedford Esquires We are very pleased to bring living legends The Blockheads back to our main stage for the first time in two years on Saturday 24th March, having been the first band to grace the venue since it changed hands in February 2016. Formed in 1977 to promote Ian Dury’s album New Boots and Panties on the first Stiff Records tour of the UK, the Blockheads are now fronted by one of Ian’s best friends Derek ‘The Draw’, the band’s vocalist and wordsmith. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher still remain from the original band and the current line-up is augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line up of saxophonists including Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards or Dave Lewis. These legendary Brit-Funkers will be playing all the old favourites and new material. In 1978 Chaz composed ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’ with Ian and in 1979 had a number one hit record. In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded and were not to play together again until 1987 when they went out to Japan to play three shows, disbanding again until 1990 when the death of Charlie Charles in September of that year re-united them to play two Benefit gigs at The Forum, Camden Town in aid of Charlie’s family. The last performance by Ian Dury & The Blockheads was Feb 6th 2000 at The London Palladium, Ian died at 9am on 27th March 2000. At this point the band had to make a decision to either stop or continue. The choice was made and the band has continued making albums and touring the world. Now after almost 15 years since Ian passed away, The Blockheads still perform to packed out venues around the world. Support on the night comes from the very excellent The Reformers - These guys blew the crowd away supporting Dr Feelgood on the main stage in 2017 and guarantee to get the crowd going. Tickets are £20 in advance on sale now from seetickets and locally from Esquires bar, Slide Record Shop and Mario’s Hair Design Kempston.


Simply send your entry by 16th March 2018 to: Blockheads/Reformers Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. The winner will be drawn ramdomly.

Address: Tel: 10

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04/11/2013 15:45

COMPETITION Win 2 tickets to see

Twelfth Day At Junction 2 in Cambridge on 27th March

Scottish duo, Twelfth Day, to tour UK-wide with five star album Following the release of their long awaited new studio album Cracks In The Room in 2017, Twelfth Day embark on a UK-wide tour throughout March 2018. Catriona Price, (Orcadian fiddler), & Esther Swift, (Peebles harpist), are a ‘two person quartet’, who’s new album, produced by Chris Wood, and mixed by Oz Fritz (Tom Waits), has delighted fans and critics alike. With five and four star reviews from The Guardian and fRoots amongst others, and an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour which moved Jenni Murray to tears, music fans across the UK will have a chance to hear this critically acclaimed, innovative music live this spring, with shows spanning the UK, from Aberdeen to Cambridge, Orkney to London. In the wordless communication that passes between Catriona Price and Esther Swift as they perform, the strength of their decade-long musical partnership, friendship and shared humour is evident. It’s this depth of connection, and tangible desire to have fun, that gives Twelfth Day its extra edge. This is not so much a duo, but a two person quartet. Their two distinctly different voices, the fiddle, and the pedal harp, build layer upon layer of a complex and ever-evolving sound, rich with rhythm, harmony and texture. Twelfth Day are happy to be hard to define. Classically trained, they bring outstanding technical ability as well as an adventurous mix of folk, jazz and classical influences to their compositions and arrangements blended with the folklore and inspirations of their respective Scottish Highland and Lowland upbringings.


Simply send your entry by 16th March 2018 to: Twelfth Day Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. The winner will be drawn ramdomly.

Address: Tel: 12

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TCH MD Villager artwork half_ppl.pdf





Good food + loved ones washing up = mum heaven -


Mothers Day



Sunday 11th March



Full menu, plus Sunday roasts, 12 noon – 4.30pm Book early!



Market Square, Potton, SG19 2NP 01767 260221


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Food and Drink

Dine in Style:

Searcys St Pancras Restaurant St Pancras International is an iconic venue. ‘Meet me at the Champagne Bar at St Pancras’, certainly says, “I have arrived!” This is where Eurostar trains arrive and depart. The shopping is quality retail therapy. Searcys St Pancras Restaurant is very impressive and their adjacent Champagne Bar, with heated leather seating and ‘press for champagne’ buttons, has 98m of serving space and is reputed to be Europe’s longest. Elegance and splendour is all around. Regular train services from the Midlands and elsewhere, including south east England, arrive here. London underground and Thameslink services are fast and frequent, too. The upper level at St Pancras International has a 9m high statue titled ‘The Meeting Place’, depicting a couple embracing-celebrating romance and travel. Also, a statue of Sir John Betjeman commemorates the poet’s successful campaign to save the station, from demolition, during the 1960’s. The Searcys St Pancras Restaurant is very stylish, with pristine table settings and is located on the upper level at St Pancras International. Starters include Smoked Salmon, Scallops and Wild Venison Salami, amongst an array. Chicken Caesar and Gressingham Duck Salads are very popular. Shellfish choices include various, different Oyster selections, plus Crab and Lobster, for example. Mains of Lake District Beef Cheek and Loin of Lakeland Venison, along with Cornish Bream and Brixham Fish Pie, have regular ‘devotees’. Succulent, tender Steaks are further options and Sirloin, Rib-Eye, plus the House-Aged, Lake District Beef, are very much enjoyed, by many. The complementing flavours of the dishes are, truly, a genuine credit to the talented team of chefs and kitchen personnel. Desserts include Norfolk Treacle Tart with Devonshire clotted cream, and Warm Chocolate Cake accompanied by whisky ice cream. A most impressive wines/drinks list has something for all palates. Tasting events include champagnes and happen regularly. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus pre-theatre dining, are all available here, and, if time is of the essence, ‘express’ is no problem. All dietary requirements can be catered for, also private dining, parties and occasions, accommodated. Gift vouchers are available – perhaps surprise someone special? Searcys St Pancras Restaurant & Champagne Bar Upper Concourse, St Pancras International Station, 58 Euston Road, London N1C 4QL Tel: 020 7870 9900 Email:

As always, Enjoy!

ey Trevor Langl

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Local News

Priory Centre, St Neots Thurs 12th April - Sat 14th April


Vamps of St Neots present the hit musical Avenue Q at the Priory Centre, St Neots from Thursday 12th April - Saturday 14th April! St Neots has never seen anything quite like Avenue Q! Most of its characters are puppets, but this is definitely not a children’s show! It is a mischievous and often raunchy look at the challenges young adults face as they try to make their way in the big city. Avenue Q is the story of Princeton, a bright - eyed college grad who comes to New York with a big dream and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighbourhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbours seem nice. Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Avenue Q took Broadway by storm and won three 2004 Tony Awards, for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Jeff Whitty), and Best Original Score (Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx). It went on to successful productions all over the world: “Sesame Street for grown - ups, with filthy minded puppets who teach useful lessons like ‘The Internet is for Porn.” Somewhere, Big Bird is molting.” Entertainment Weekly Tickets available now at!

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Madagascar is the world’s oldest island: it first split from Africa and then from India around 70 million years ago. In the Indian Ocean, between the Mozambique mainland to the west and Reunion and Mauritius to the east, it is the fourth largest island on earth, almost 1,000 miles long, 360 across, best known for the unique flora and fauna which evolved in isolation for a surprisingly long time. According to experts, the first settlers arrived from Borneo in 500 AD and since then, 90% of the original forest has been lost, and deforestation is still ongoing. Most affected are the more densely populated central highlands, laced with paddies and barren hills, but Madagascar still claims over 40 special reserves and national parks – several of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage – with a rich diversity of habitats. Ecosystems range from dry spiny forest in the south, dotted with baobabs and octopus trees, to mangroves and lakes, deciduous trees and dramatic pinnacles in the west and tropical rainforest in the east, where some of the most popular national parks can be accessed from Antananarivo. Ranomafana is a good 10 hour drive south of the capital, the route winding past colourful villages and hills with spectacular views. But one can overnight in Antsirabe, a pretty place bustling with rickshaws and craft shops, then continue the next day. Driving down at dusk in the final stages, it feels almost like the end of the world as the seemingly impenetrable cloud forest rises all around above the Namorona river and waterfall. Morning is the best time to explore the park, when animals are more active. This is where golden bamboo lemurs were first discovered in 1986 and, along the steep trails, nature lovers may be


By Solange Hando

The Eighth Continent

rewarded with wonderful sights as they and other lemurs leap through the trees, playing with their young or swinging from branches. Guides imitate the call to locate them and also point out spiders, frogs, red giraffe-necked beetles and tropical birds such as pastel-hued cuckoo rollers or magpie robins. Mossy memorial stones recall ‘ancient people of the forest’ among tall tree and bird’s nest ferns, traveller’s palms, orchids and lobelia. Chameleons can also be spotted, perfectly camouflaged day or night. East of the capital, the Andasibe-Mantadia national park is an easier option, just a four hour drive with a choice of walking circuits and gentle paths. Palm and dragon trees mingle with eucalyptus, blue tea plants, bird’s nectar, berries and much more. There are birds and butterflies, reptiles, geckos and several species of lemurs, including indris, the largest of them all, whose melancholy ‘singing’ can be heard at dawn. On the nearby river islands, now a sanctuary for rescued lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs, playful ringtails and lovely diademed sifaka, or ‘dancing lemur’, happily pose for wide-eyed visitors paddling in canoes around the reed beds. Fauna or flora, around 90% of species are found nowhere else on earth and one can barely imagine 14,000 species of plants, many with medicinal properties, 170 species of palms, thousands of orchids, hundreds of birds, fish and over 100 species of lemurs, many endangered or rare. It is the world’s top biodiversity hotspot, ‘the eighth continent’, say some ecologists, and in this impoverished but beautiful ‘red island’, one hopes the goverment will bring greater stability and progress to benefit both the people and their incredible natural world.

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Offord-based Platinum Tours have 16 and 25 seat executive mini-coaches available for private hire. We are a family run business with 20 years experience in the coach industry. We provide affordable, reliable transport, whatever the occasion. We also offer day trips, theatre trips and holidays to Warner Leisure Hotels.

t Check ou ur o f o some rips t upcoming days li o h and

Wed 14th March Cadbury World Heritage Tour with afternoon tea

Thurs 22nd March Matinee theatre trip to Milton Keynes to see Crazy For You

Mon 21st - Fri 25th May Midweek break to Warner Hotel, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset

To request a private hire quote, book seats online or see what we have planned this year, visit or call 01480 810560 To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122



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Time of Year

Crufts - 11th to 18th March The world’s biggest dog show is back this month. Here are some facts about our favourite canine competition. Charles Cruft was a dog-biscuit salesman! It was originally just for terriers. The inaugural event was billed as the “First Great Terrier Show”. Five years later it was renamed “Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show” and opened to all breeds. Queen Victoria’s collie Darnley II, and two of her Pomeranians won prizes in 1891. In 1991, Crufts was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest dog show. Now 27,000 dogs take part each year, with 160,000 human visitors attending. Around 350kg (or 55st) of canine fur will be cleared from the Birmingham NEC following the show! Over the years there have been scandals worthy of an Agatha Christie plot.

There have been claims of owners slipping rival dogs laxatives, poisoning them or sticking chewing gum in their fur. There has even been a murder. In 1974 an Old Bailey jury heard how a man began an affair with a woman he met at Crufts, then was stabbed to death by his wife with the knife he used to cut up their dog’s food. Statistically, the most likely breed to win the Best in Show crown is the Cocker Spaniel which has won ‘Best in Show’ seven times Don’t own pedigree? In 2000, the Kennel Club started Scruffts – a show for crossbreeds, which compete for the titles of Most Handsome Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Child’s Best Friend and Golden Oldie.

By Louise Addison

5-year gu

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Offer expires 31st March

3 blinds for the price of 2 Offer applies to blinds, curtains & shutters. To claim your offer please mention this advert when booking. Ts & Cs apply.

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Great British Spring Clean The Great British Spring Clean campaign, which is taking place on 2 - 4th March, has a simple aim: to bring people across the country together to clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and beaches. The campaign is organised by Keep Britain Tidy, an independent charity working towards eliminating litter, ending waste by creating sustainable practices, and improving our beaches, parks and streets. Places to be Proud of - The goal of the Great British Spring Clean is to inspire 500,000 people to get outdoors, get active and help clear up the rubbish around them, so that they can ‘live and work in places that they can be proud of and prosper in.’ The campaign works with individuals, businesses, organisations and public bodies, and has some big-name supporters including Coca-Cola Great Britain, Lidl, McDonalds, Wrigley, Costa, Iceland, KFC, Greggs, Stagecoach, the RSPCA, the RSPB and the Marine Conservation Society. Get Involved - ‘Join our growing army of #LitterHeroes who have had enough of other people’s litter

and are willing to do something about it,’ urges the campaign’s statement. ‘Together we can make a difference and clean up the environment on our doorstep.’ You can do some litter-picking by yourself or with friends and family, although make sure you stay safe, particularly if you’re litter-picking near roads. If you prefer to join an organised event or group, the campaign page has a handy map of what’s on – and you can also enter your postcode to discover events taking place near you. Visit great-british-spring-clean. At Killingbeck in Leeds, for instance, the plan is to clean up the local nature reserve, making ‘the green space on their doorstep’ a nicer, safer place for both people and wildlife. There are also plans to do a litter pick-up in the areas covered by Leeds Health Walks. Meanwhile, Belper claims to be planning its biggest litter-pick ever on the 3rd March, with several sites targeted for clean ups. There are lots of events on the map already – just click on a virtual map pin to see a snippet appear, then click the snippet heading to find out exactly where and when


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the event is taking place. Feeling Adventurous? The more adventurous of you may like to combine litter-picking with sightseeing, exercise or both. Wayne Dixon, whose adventures can be tracked by following @ WayneKoda on Twitter, is walking and litter-picking his way around the 7,500 miles of Britain’s coastline accompanied by his dog, Koda. He is raising money for Mind and North Inuit Dogs while also supporting Keep Britain Tidy and their Great British Spring Clean campaign. It’s a cause dear to his heart and Koda’s, as Koda nearly lost a leg when he was injured by a discarded can. You may not have a few years to spare to follow in Wayne’s footsteps, but a shorter coastal excursion could be fun. If you like to be on the water rather than walking beside it, you could join the Plastic Patrol, as featured on The Russell Howard Hour. The group paddleboard the waterways of Britain removing discarded plastic. ‘We’ll supply the litter pickers, refuse sacks and we’ll even dispose of everything you find – just come along, do your bit and have fun.’ Visit www.plasticpatrol. and click on ‘clean-up events’ to find one near you.

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Local News

Ride for Lifeis back! East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is encouraging cyclists to get back in the saddle for an epic 200-plus mile ride across the region. The charity’s Ride for Life returns on Friday, 20 July. Cyclists will start and finish at the home of headline sponsor Johnston Logistics UK, in Snetterton, visiting EACH’s three hospices – The Treehouse in Ipswich, Milton just north of Cambridge and Quidenham in the Norfolk countryside – in between. The journey takes three days. Greg Tucker, from Harston, was among cyclists who took part in last year’s challenge. He said: “It was a great three days of effort, excitement and enjoyment. We had a great time together doing some good for other people. It was certainly a highlight of my year!” Tim Grimes, from Hethersett, also took part. “A very enjoyable weekend was had by all,” he said. “It was a very well organised event – the best I’ve been to so far.” The three-day challenge costs £150 and each participant must raise a minimum £400 sponsorship. That package includes dinners, beds and breakfasts at city locations and luggage transfers. Cyclists unavailable for the entire event can choose to do just one leg of the route, covering around 65 to 70 miles. The cost is £50 and minimum sponsorship of £150 is required. Everyone taking part will have access to first aid assistance if needed, a back-up vehicle, kit list and training information, mechanical help, fundraising support and more. The route has been designed to weave through scenic countryside, visiting


some of the most beautiful villages and towns in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Emma Benstead, EACH Events Fundraiser, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing back our Ride for Life. As Greg and Tim said, it’s a really fantastic way to meet people, explore the East Anglian countryside and enjoy yourself, all whilst raising money for a vital good cause. “There’s no competitive aspect to this and people can enter individually or as groups. Spaces are limited, though, and we have some fantastic early bird offers, so please get in touch now to find out more and secure your place.” The early bird prices are as follows: One-day registration £37.50 plus minimum sponsorship of £150 Three-day registration £125 plus minimum sponsorship of £400 Three-day registration for groups of four or more £100 per person plus minimum sponsorship of £400 per person EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia and supports their families. For both those accessing care and those who have been bereaved, EACH is a lifeline at an unimaginably difficult time. It costs the charity almost £6 million a year to deliver its service and all funds raised through Ride for Life will help. To book your place and for more information visit or contact Emma on 01953 666770.

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your advertisement which will appear in the TOWN COUNCIL OFFICIAL GUIDE

ly, and advise us of any errors by returning the amended proof otherwise it will be presumed correct.

ishing Co. Ltd.) will not be liable for any errors or omissions in your will be printed as the proof shown below, without liability to LAP.

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Health & Beauty

Gorgeous Gifts and Tempting Treats Whether you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, or just fancy treating yourself, we have plenty of goodies to tempt you this month. Jo Malone has released a collection of five limitededition fragrances, called English Fields. Unusually, several of the scents are based around cereals and grains, such as wheat, barley and oats, giving them a warm, fresh aroma. Choose from Poppy & Barley, Primrose & Rye, Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus or Green Wheat & Meadowsweet. Each 30ml cologne is priced at £47 and is available from The NHS’s My Trusty skincare range is now available to buy from supermarkets and pharmacists. The range is based around skin-loving sunflower oil. Clinical scientist Dr Mark Brewin says, “Although originally developed to treat patients with burns and scars, My Trusty is gentle enough for the whole family to use every day. Our users have reported significant benefits on problematic skin conditions.” There are body lotions, hand creams, body butters and a face oil. Each one is lightly scented with essential oils, such as bergamot and neroli, and fragrancefree versions are also available. The best part is that prices start at just £4, and every product that’s bought helps to fund the NHS, see www. Natural skincare brand Odylique has ventured into makeup for the first time. Every product is packed with organic and fairly-traded natural ingredients and is palm oil-free. If you’re just venturing into natural cosmetics, lipstick is a great place to start. Odylique’s Organic Mineral Lipsticks (£18) are made with nourishing ingredients, such as jojoba oil and shea butter. Created without synthetic silicones they have a matte finish and may feel different to your usual brand, but the colours are great, and they really do soften and protect lips. Available from

Time Bomb’s Peace & Quiet Coconut Cleansing Oil is a real multi-tasker. It works hard to remove makeup and excess oil, but is really gentle and very nourishing. Coconut oil has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The cleanser also includes other skinloving, natural ingredients, such as grape seed, sunflower and safflower oils. The result is smoother, softer, clean skin. On its own, the cleansing oil costs £25 from www.timebombco. com, but do check for giftset offers on QVC. At the time of writing, the oil was being offered with the Flashback Nightly Treatment and H2Omega Complexion Cocktail for £54, which is a saving of more than £20 in comparison to buying the products separately. Looking for the perfect gift for Mother’s Day? Green People’s Divine Treat gift box is sure to earn you some brownie points. Featuring the Orange Blossom Cleanser, Exfoliator and Moisturiser, it’s perfect for combination and oily skin. The trio works together to balance skin, unblock pores, hydrate, remove impurities and soften skin. It’s also a real treat for the senses, as each product is scented with orange blossom, spicy black pepper and warming cypress. As with all Green People products, they’re organic and free from SLS, parabens, alcohol, lanolin and artificial fragrances. £50, from

By Kate Duggan

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Jill Dighton BSc (Hons) MBACP (Accred)., UKCP Reg.

Counselling Service Depressed? Anxious? Relationship Issues? Low Self Esteem? Have you considered Counselling sessions? Based in Grafham village, I offer a professionally qualified Counselling Service to individuals and couples in a secure, confidential & non-judgemental atmosphere. Ample parking. Concessionary rates available. For further details: Visit: Email: Tel: 07925 852 985 (Voicemail available)

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House of Colour

Style Tips for Spring/Summer 2018 1. Throw black and other dark colours to the back of the wardrobe this Spring. Fashionistas are choosing to mix and match shades to make different, stand out combinations by colour blocking, but do stick to the colours within your season’s palette. 2. Florals continue to be a popular style to lookout for this season including garden, tropical, bright vintage and ditsy florals. Ensure you get your scale right when wearing patterns, those big, statement florals are best for romantics while ditsy florals are especially good for ingenues. 3. An overtly feminine trend means layered sheers, florals and frothy frills in abundance. Pretty pastel dresses for spring colour palettes are also making a mark this season but be sure to choose a dress that works well with your body type. Prom dresses and maxi dresses do not suit all! 4. If pastels aren’t your thing, be a ray of sunshine with playful bright colours from your seasons colour palette. Colours like cherry tomato, emerald green and of course 2018’s pantone colour of the year, ultra violet, were colours seen across all the fashion runways. Use colour blocking this Spring to add a bit of sass to your wardrobe and to feel uplifted in the warmer weather. 5. This season also features exotic tropical prints teamed with safari jackets which can be worn from top to bottom, or more selectively as a jumpsuit, dress or as a camisole. If you are not feeling quite so brave accessorise with a light-weight scarf or safari sunglasses. Sartorial dressing continues with unexpected shapes, some curvilinear, others asymmetric, with folding, twisting and draping for the dramatics amongst us. 6. Thank goodness for hybrid sportswear! Being comfy and on trend is a powerful mix. Sportswear continues to be popular especially with here to stay hi-lo styling, but confidence and the right shoes are especially important for this look. 7. Some of you may be glad to hear that skirts are getting longer this spring with popular midi to midcalf lengths, a versatile

By Jennie Billings

hemline that can be styled with heels if you want to dress to impress, or flats for comfort. Shorts on the other hand are getting shorter! Trousers are more tailored, but many designers chose roomier fits and wider legs. 8. Handbag arm-candy comes in a variety of shapes this season, from circles to squares so this is an easy way to experiment and try something new. Ditch your darker handbags this spring and choose a gorgeous neutral, coral, green or tan. 9. Make up this season falls into two categories – “no make up” make up for a positively healthy and fresh look versus escapism. Experiment freely and embrace new ideas. Make sure you know which colours suit you best and remember that the right lipstick will always take your outfit to the next level. 10. Knowing what reds suits you means you can use this primary colour to liven up your look in your signature style this Spring. As for the other primary colours, summer and winter season palettes will be hard pushed to find a cool yellow that suits, and autumns and springs need to stick to the warm blues that lift their complexion.

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Complementary Health

Spring Back

Into Your Exercise Program Spring is almost here and even though it’s important to stay fit and healthy all year round, many people find an extra boost of motivation to start exercising and eating well again this time of year. Many of us have busy schedules, enjoy high calorie foods and relaxing in front of the TV, but making small changes to your daily lifestyle will add up to big changes over time. The question is how do we motivate ourselves to make more of the choices we know are good for us? One-way is by reminding ourselves of the benefits of exercise which are profound, numerous and far reaching. More exercise guarantees a healthier, happier life, improved sleep and work productivity. Mood and relationships will improve and a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Can any of us afford to say no? People can see the benefits of regular exercise from just 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, which is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). This doesn’t mean you have to join the local gym or running club, even household chores like vacuuming or gardening, or walking to work are classed as moderate exercise as long as you do 150 minutes per week. More vigorous exercise could be running, swimming or football. 1 minute of vigorous activity is considered the same as to 2 minutes of moderate activity. Diet is obviously an important part of exercise and as a general guide eating 8 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per 24 hours for 1.5 to 2 days before big events such as football matches or marathons, is good preparation. You may have heard “carb loading” is known to increase exercise performance, but unless you are planning a hard 90-minute workout it may be better to skip the big bowel of pasta. Try to match your energy requirements to your energy input. If you are having a big day with lots of activity, you may need more food than a quiet day at the office. After exercise “post-workout” is when research has shown it is important to eat protein, the building blocks of our muscles and bodies. Guidelines


suggest 20 grams of protein within 30 to 60 minutes of finishing exercise to build new muscle. Your main meal should also include 20 grams of protein (which does not have to be animal based) in every main meal for the next day or so as your muscles need it and you have definitely earned it. If you would like further information on the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet, please give us a call on 01480 455221 or visit for more details.

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OPI Gel Manicure & Pedicure for ÂŁ35 (Saving ÂŁ15) Amy Hillson Valid until 31/03/18 Treatment Specialist Gift Vouchers Available 12 Manor Gardens, Buckden, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 5TN

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Judy obtained her Licentiate in Acupuncture, and B.A (Hons) degree in Traditional Acupuncture, from the College of Traditional Acupuncture, Warwickshire. Judy is a passionate believer in the positive benefits, on both physical and emotional levels, that may be obtained from receiving acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine. Judy has been trained as a classical Five Element Acupuncturist; treatment is aimed at the root cause of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feelings of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves. Judy continues to pursue her belief in excellence of care for her patients in her role as a dedicated acupuncture practitioner, and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council. Please contact Judy for a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how acupuncture treatment can help you.

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Interested in meeting new English and French Friends? Friends of France is an Association of English couples who participate in exchange visits with families from a sister Association in France. Every other year we visit our French friends and stay in their homes for a few days near Angers on the Loire. The Association endeavours to pair people with compatible French couples. This seems to work well even though the majority of English members do not speak French. It is a relaxed, informal and friendly group of people in both countries. The English members, who mostly live near St Neots and Kimbolton, aim to meet once a month for a light Sunday Lunch to raise money to fund the hosting of our French counterparts. Once every two years French members travel to England, stay in our homes and take part in organised visits and events. The highlight in 2017 was a barn dance, with the caller attempting to explain the intricacies of “Strip the Willow� in English and French!

If you would like to know more contact: Greta Evans 01954 252230 or Ed Sloper 01480 891364 32

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Time of Year

By Suzanne Roynon

Your Clutter Free Life It’s spring! Throw the windows open and invite clean air to access every part of your home to cleanse away the winter fustiness. But what happens if your home is full of ‘stuff’ and the air is always stagnant? I’m not referring to the things you use, love and need. I’m talking about piles in the corners, junk rooms, crammed cupboards and the chair you use to dump things on. Have you ever noticed that people with very minimal houses seem slimmer, healthier and more energetic than the occupants of cluttered houses? When someone clears the clutter from their home, they often lose weight without trying. By offloading ‘stuff’, their body feels safe to ditch the safety layer of accumulated fat. One lady cleared her clutter in December then feasted all Christmas. She was astonished to weigh less at the beginning of January than she had for ten years. If you need a greater incentive, do you pay a mortgage or rent your home? Calculate the amount of space your clutter takes, it’s not unusual to find it takes the equivalent of an entire room, then do a quick sum to see just how much your ‘stuff’ costs you each month. So where to begin? Taking ten minutes to sort out a drawer is a good place to start. Break yourself in gently with an easy win! As your confidence grows, move on to cupboards – if you stockpile plastic containers, endless mugs, the accessories for a long dead vacuum cleaner or random things which might come in handy (but

never do), get ruthless! If you haven’t used an item in the last year and don’t love it or genuinely need it, it is clogging your space. Wardrobes and cupboards can be daunting, but when you get the hang of keeping only the items you use and love, they are incredibly satisfying to reclaim. Next month The Villager offers hints to make your wardrobe user friendly, but if you can’t wait, visit Once you’ve decided to get rid of something, remove it from the house straight away. Always aim to recycle or use Freecycle ( wherever possible. One client donated a vanload of furniture, clothes and bric-a-brac to a charity which came to collect the lot. They were delighted and so was she! The interesting thing about relieving the constipation of material stuff is people around you start doing it too. Without prompting kids clear their rooms, partners tackle the shed, I’ve even known neighbours spontaneously tidy an eyesore garden. You never know where the process will take you...... When all the bags and boxes of clutter have gone, spring cleaning is a breeze. You will sleep better, feel more energetic and might even lose a few pounds! Enjoy the space you have created and welcome new and exciting opportunities into your life. If you want to know more, Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston is an easy read. Suzanne Roynon is a personal performance life coach.

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Time of Year


Butchers’ Week

March 12th – 18th Once every high street boasted a butcher or two, then along came giant supermarkets and things changed. In the early 1990s the number of butchers in Britain was 15000; by the millennium there were just 6000. But in the past few years things have been looking up for butchery. Consumers are demanding more locally sourced and sustainable meat. The horsemeat scandal a few years ago also gave the industry a boost as consumers became more wary about processed food. One of the main influences though has been the rise in cookery programmes. We are becoming a nation of cooks. Celebrity chefs urge shoppers to try unusual cuts of locally sourced meat and this has prompted a boom for traditional high street butchers. When Jamie Oliver praises the thrifty tastiness of brisket, viewers are quick to follow his advice and head to their local butcher. The Meat Trades journal - which organises National Butchers’ Week - reports that an “overwhelming number” of people in the UK would prefer to buy from a butcher than a supermarket. Because it was often a family business, lots of butchers can trace their origins back generations. These businesses take great pride in their work. A good butcher will be able to advise on portion size and cooking methods, and will do some or all of the meat preparation for you. It might be a little early in the year to bust out the BBQ but a nice slow-cooked brisket could be the perfect supper dish for a chilly March evening.

By Sarah Davey


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Leeds Day Solicitors

Pensions on Divorce Ending a marriage is always a difficult time, both emotionally and practically. One of the toughest challenges can be dividing the financial assets you have as a couple. A recent study by Scottish Widows revealed that 7 in 10 couples do not consider pensions during the divorce proceedings, leaving women short changed by £5billion every year. The research revealed that more than half of married people (56%), would argue for a fair share of any jointly owned property, and 36% would want to split their combined savings. Alarmingly fewer than 1 in 10 (9%), claim they would want a fair share of pensions, despite the average married couples retirement pot totalling £132,000 which is more than 5 times the average UK salary of £26,000. According to the research, 13% of married couples would be concerned about losing a pet during a divorce rather than sharing a pension (9%). A key finding also includes that women are less well prepared for retirement, with only 52% saving adequately compared with 59% of men. Divorced women are even less prepared – 24% are not saving anything toward a pension. The research reveals that almost half of women (48%), have no idea what happens to pensions when a couple get divorced. 22% presume that each partner keeps their own pension and 15% considers they are split 50/50, no matter what the circumstances. There are 3 ways to split a pension in a divorce settlement; Offsetting - where the whole pension is taken, typically by the husband and the wife is given other assets in order to compensate e.g., property or cash. Pension Sharing – this was introduced in 2000 and allows a pension fund to be split between spouses. One spouse is allocated a chunk of the other spouse’s pension and, depending on the scheme, they can either take the money and place it in an alternative scheme or leave it invested in the same scheme as their spouse, albeit in a completely separate pension pot.

Our offices: Huntingdon Godwin House, George Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3BD T: 01480 454301

Earmarking - this is when part of a pension fund is attached to the spouses pension and typically it is the wife who has the pension income entitlement to it when she retires. Before lawyers are able to assess just how much a spouse will receive from a pension share, a valuation is needed. Lawyers tend to look at pension funds in two ways. The first is consideration of how much a certain percentage of a pension fund would generate in terms of income in retirement so if, for example, the wife needed £10,000 a year, what percentage of the funds she would need to achieve that income. Secondly, parity of pension transfer valuations. This can be a complex exercise. Other factors need to be considered as to which one of these formulas should be applied depending on the circumstances of each case. Sometimes specialist advice is needed from Pension actuaries who assist lawyers with reports when needed. If you are experiencing Family Law problems and want to find out what your options are, then please contact the Family Team at Leeds Day on 0844 567 2222 or send an e-mail to Simon Thomas, Lisa Leader and Lee Bailham are all highly experienced divorce and family solicitors practising exclusively in Family Law. The team includes Resolution and Accredited Family Law Specialists and Simon Thomas also specialises in collaborative Family Law. We are able to see clients in any of our three offices in St Ives, Huntingdon and St Neots. Our team is able to offer a full range of Dispute Resolution options, all of which can be found on our website Please quote this article when making an appointment before the end of April 2018 and your first 30 minute consultation will be free of charge.

St. Ives 11 Station Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5BH T: 01480 464600

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St. Neots Xenus House, Sandpiper Court, Eaton Socon, St. Neots PE19 8EP T: 01480 474661 35


COPLEYS Solicitors

Excellence through Experience

BUYING & SELLING A BUSINESS BUYING & SELLING YOUR HOME COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DIVORCE AND FAMILY EMPLOYMENT LANDLORD AND TENANT WILLS, TRUST & ESTATES PLANNING Call our approachable team to discuss your issue. Our offices are located in the centre of Huntingdon and St. Ives to make your visit as easy as possible.

HUNTINGDON OFFICE: 28 High Street • Huntingdon • Cambs PE29 3TH t: 01480 456191 email: ST. IVES OFFICE: Red House • 10 Market Hill • St Ives • Cambs PE27 5AW t: 01480 464515 email: 36

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Make a Will

Time of Year

and help transform patient care

Making or updating your will can seem like a big challenge. However, it can be a lot more affordable and straightforward than you may think. Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s annual Make a Will Week takes place this year from 23rd to 27th April. A group of local solicitors and will-writers have kindly agreed to waive their usual fees and write or update a simple will, in return for you making a donation to change patients’ lives at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals. To find out more, simply call Alice on 01223 254841, email or visit

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How to Ace a

Job Interview

You’ve had the letter offering you an interview. Great! Now how do you maximise your chances of landing the job? Know what to say - Use the company’s own words to describe yourself. If the job advert asked for a self-motivated, energetic individual then talk about yourself in words which make it obvious you satisfy those requirements. Remember to say please and thank you - it’s easy to forget basic manners when we’re nervous. If a question does catch you off guard don’t say, ‘I don’t know.’ Instead, depending on the type of question say something like, ‘I would need some time to consider that...’, or ‘I wouldn’t want to answer that too hastily, I’d prefer to do some research first...’ Make sure the interviewer knows that you want to work for the company. It sounds obvious but is often overlooked. Know what not to say – It’s best not to open with, ‘What does your company do?’ or anything which could be answered with a simple Google search. Make sure you’ve done your homework! Don’t ask anything which makes you sound lazy or entitled: avoid enquiries about having your own office, making personal calls, or how soon you can take your holiday. You can ask about salary, just make sure it’s not too early in the interview. Know how to answer *that* question - Someone always asks ‘What is your biggest weakness?’ or

a something similar. Don’t pretend you don’t have any weaknesses because we all do. But avoid the whole, ‘I work too hard,’ humble brag, i.e. ‘My weakness is really my strength’, because it’s a very corny answer which lots of people will give. Instead use this question as a chance to differentiate yourself form the competition. Prepare an answer authentic to you, one where you show you recognised your weakness in a situation. Explain how you recognised it, what you did or are doing to overcome it, and how you have turned it to your advantage. Watch your body language - Shake hands at the start to show confidence and be more memorable. Sit straight and slightly forward in your seat (to indicate interest), and maintain regular eye contact throughout the interview. Smile a few times but try not to grin like a Cheshire cat throughout! Follow up - Email a thank-you note after the interview. You can get your interviewer’s contact info simply by asking for his or her business card. If you get a second interview or job offer, respond as quickly as possible. If you don’t get the job, accept it with grace and send a follow-up message thanking the interviewer for their time anyway. They may remember you favourably the next time a position becomes available.

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By Louise Addison 39


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SB TURF • Turf supplied and laid • All overgrown gardens rotivated • Cleared, levelled and laid with cultivated lawn turf • Grass seeding • Block paving and patio service All work carried out by experienced staff Recommendations and portfolios available Free Estimates

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Garden By Pippa Greenwood

Get your soil

Into Shape

A fundamental garden need is good quality soil; it is key to bigger flowers and heavier crops. And there is still time to shape up your soil before the gardening season really begins in earnest. Frosty weather can be useful, as it can save work with heavy clay soil. If you roughly dig or fork it over, the frost will act on the large lumps of clay and break them down somewhat, making them more manageable. Most soils can become badly compacted if you walk or stand on them when they are very wet, especially if the soil is clay or slightly heavy loam. If you can’t avoid walking on wet soil, use a few boards or planks as walkways to spread the load and reduce damage. Forking a heavy soil rather than digging with a spade will reduce compaction, but either way the soil surface usually ends up pretty lumpy. Re-forking, breaking up the large lumps, followed by a final raking will help you get closer to that ‘fine tilth’ often described in gardening books. Adding bulky organic matter such as leaf mould, well-rotted manure or garden compost helps feed the soil naturally and improves its texture, so that it holds the right amount of moisture for as long as possible – and there is still time to fork this in now. Create free organic matter by making a compost heap or bin, and turn autumn leaves into lead mould, a wonderful soil conditioner. Incorporating some horticultural grade grit or gravel will also help to improve the texture and performance of a heavy clay soil. Avoid builders’ gravel or grit – it can damage or kill garden plants. If you have lots of small stones or larger lumps of flint in your soil, remove them before planting your flowers and vegetables. Some stones are good,

but even a lightly stony soil can result in forked or deformed root vegetables. Alternatively, invest in raised beds and fill them with stone-free soil. Manure adds both texture and food for your plants. It should be good quality, with few additives, and free from weeds, especially troublesome ones like nettles, docks and couch grass. In recent years, manure contaminated by the weedkiller used to control weeds in pastureland has devastated plants. Try to buy from someone local who you can trust to tell you what chemicals have been used. Manure must be well-rotted – ideally it should have sat in a heap for about two years. Green manures are a great way to feed and condition your soil, and help suppress weeds and protect the soil from wind erosion. They work especially well on parts of the garden where plants are not grown year round – as when you use a green manure, you sow seed, allow the plants to grow and then incorporate them into the soil to rot down. Sow seeds later this year – there are lots to choose from, including red clover, mustard, field beans, phaecelia and field lupins. Yes, there’s potentially a fair bit of work involved, but you don’t have to do everything suggested and anything you do will make a huge difference! Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and you’ll find some great gardening things: ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ (where you receive your chosen garden-ready vegetable plants in the spring accompanied by weekly advice and tips from Pippa) plus Nemaslug, biocontrols, gardening tools, raised bed kits, Grower Frames, signed books and more!

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Local News

Local Tree Surgeons Gain National Award Eden Tree Specialists Ltd gain ARB Approved Contractor (ArbAC) status. Eden Tree Specialists Ltd have recently attained the status of ARB Approved Contractor (ArbAC). The ARB Approved Contractor Scheme is the only comprehensive accreditation scheme for tree surgery businesses in the United Kingdom and is operated by The Arboricultural Association. The ARB Approved Contractor scheme is increasingly demanded by Local Authorities and other large commercial organisations. ARB Approved Contractor is also of considerable benefit in the domestic sector as a quality mark assuring the client of good quality tree care undertaken safely and efficiently. The scheme requires the contractor to meet high standards covering four key areas and then exhaustively tests all aspects of a tree-care business’s operation and management: • Their understanding and practical application of current arboricultural practice • Their compliance with legislative requirements of arboricultural contracting


• Their compliance with health and safety requirements of arboricultural contracting (endorsed by the CHAS scheme) • Their high levels of service to clients through efficient business management. On the day of the assessment, we were assessed on our office based documentation, systems and processes and following this, we visited one of our tree teams in action where the assessor had the opportunity to question our operatives. We then visited numerous previous sites, so the assessor could see examples of our completed works. Samuel Dudley, Managing Director of Eden Tree Specialists Ltd said “Achieving this accreditation is of great importance to the business. This recognition gives our clients the assurance of our high standards of work. This means a huge amount to our whole team, as we work so hard to ensure that our working practices are at the very best level possible”.

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Garden View

By Rachael Leverton

Fertiliser This month the days get longer and the sun gets stronger...we hope! However March is famously temperamental and if the soil where you are is still wet and cold then it’s wise to delay planting and sowing until the temperature rises. Plant nutrient reserves are low at this time of year so, as the soil warms up, it’s time to think about fertiliser. Many gardeners are a bit frightened of fertiliser. All those chemical symbols on the side of the packet are rather reminiscent of school chemistry lessons. In fact the basics are quite simple. NPK - This can be observed on the side of most fertiliser packages. The letters stand for: N - Nitrogen P - Phosphorous K - Potassium Together these are known as the macro-nutrients and each of them has its own use. Nitrogen primarily feeds the leafy above-the-ground parts of the plants. Phosphorous promotes strong roots. Potassium makes grass hardier, promotes germination and improves vegetable and fruit yields.


The proportions of each macro-nutrient will be printed on the packet. Equal amounts of each nutrient make for a good general purpose fertiliser. A lawn will need a good balance of nitrogen and phosphorus to guarantee lush green grass with a healthy root system capable of withstanding dry spells. Fruiting plants need higher proportions of potassium. There are other macro-nutrients: Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, which plants obtain freely from the air and water; and calcium, magnesium and sulphur, which should be present in any good general purpose fertiliser. Plants also need micro-nutrients: Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Boron and Molybdenum. Plants take all these nutrients and build everything they need from scratch, including vitamins. What plants cannot do is absorb vitamins directly from things such as pet food, milk or so-called fertilisers which contain vitamins, proteins and fats. So don’t be intimidated by fertiliser. Decide what your plants need then read the label. It’s easy as ABC..or rather NPK!

Happy Gardening

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Local News

Rehoming Appeal This month’s rescue animal looking for their forever home is Johnny

This lovely boy is Johnny a 4 year old retired Greyhound. He is a very calm dog who walks well on the lead and is very affectionate. He gets on well with other dogs and will make someone a great friend and companion. Greyhounds make wonderful pets and like most greyhounds he only needs a couple of walks a day to keep him happy. If you can offer this lovely, lively boy a home please contact Julie on 01763 289827 Alternatively, please email Philippa at who will be pleased to forward your enquiry onto the team. View other small mammals, dogs and cats currently in our care for re-homing on our website: or facebook : You can also see photographs and details of the animals in our care in our charity shop in Hitchin Street, Biggleswade SG18 8AX. Open Monday to Saturday from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.

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Animal Know-How Tackling the cat crisis

The cat population in the UK has reached crisis point. Despite subsidised neutering schemes from some rescue organisations, more and more cats are coming into our care and less families are re-homing cats. This puts on a huge financial strain on small local animal charities like us. Many people support the idea of neutering. However, there is a widely held mistaken belief that a cat should have a litter of kittens before she is spayed. So, spaying is often delayed until after a first litter. The ‘one litter’ myth is further reinforced by owners applying human emotions to their cats, e.g. “she’ll make a great mum/I don’t think it’s fair to deny her the right to motherhood”. With the reality of having to look after, pay for the care of, and part with the kittens – not living up to what cat owners had imagined – having a litter does serve as a trigger for many people to consider neutering their pet. However, despite this, 21 percent of cats that had a first litter will have a second litter and seven percent have a third litter or more. The more litters a cat has, the greater the chances of her – and the kittens – ending up being abandoned. The reason that the ‘one litter’ trigger is not always enough to prompt action is due to the considerable confusion that exists about when to neuter. Finding a window to neuter becomes increasingly difficult after a cat has had a litter of kittens because of the need to wait until the kittens have been weaned – by which time the cat may be pregnant again. The probability of an unneutered female cat getting pregnant is higher than 80 percent. This adds up to an awful lot of kittens, growing up into cats, that not enough people want to re-home. So, what can you do? To protect your female cat from getting pregnant, she will need to go the vet to have a simple operation called spaying (also known as ‘fixing’, ‘neutering’ or ‘being done’).


When your girl cat is about four-months-old, she will start to attract the attention of tomcats (even her brothers) who’ll want to have sex with her. This is why it’s important to have her spayed before she is four-months-old to protect her from getting pregnant while she’s still a kitten herself. Once she has been spayed your kitten will be able to do all the things cats enjoy doing, like going outdoors, climbing trees and playing. Your boy cat will also need to have a simple operation, called ‘the snip’. This can stop him from spraying in your house to mark his territory, which can be very smelly, and getting nasty injuries from fights. He’ll also be less likely to wander off and get run over, as cats that are snipped tend to stay closer to home. Having your cat snipped will protect him from a nasty disease called FIV – which is the same as HIV in people, but for cats. It’s spread through cat bites, often between males fighting over a female. It can’t be caught by people. To have this operation, your cat will need to be dropped off at the vets, and picked up again later that same day. Unfortunately, there are far more cats in this country, than there are loving owners. As a result, unacceptably high numbers of cats end up in rescue organisations – like the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch. This can be detrimental to cats’ welfare and it also comes at a considerable cost to animal charities. Please do not add to this terrible problem. If you love cats enough to have one, or more, as a pet – please also accept the responsibility that comes with being a pet owner and have them neutered.

ANIMAL KNOW-HOW is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch

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Can I go to the Paddocks for my Holiday please?

Paddocks Boarding Cattery Peaceful location. No dogs boarded. Spacious, individual, heated chalets with large covered runs. Inspection welcome. Boarding from ÂŁ7.30/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

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BCA Villager Advert A7:Layout 1 04/07/2012 14:52 Page

Fiddle Daemons Violins, Violas, Cellos, Bass

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Buckden Day Nursery 16 Mill Road, Buckden Cambs. PE19 5SS e: w:



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Six things people hate about the Lamborghini Urus Lamborghini has taken the wraps off its controversial Urus 4x4 – but not everyone thinks it looks bellissimo. While an off-roader from a traditional sports car manufacturer is always going to raise eyebrows, it seems the internet is aghast at everything from the door handles to the new Italian car’s name. On the plus side, the Urus has a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 under the bonnet packing 641bhp, allowing the SUV to reach a top speed of 186mph – that’s quicker than the Bentley Bentayga. It also gets all manner of off-road tech designed to make it capable in all conditions, not just on the road. However, despite the incredible technology, a lot of people don’t like the way the Urus looks. So what exactly has got up people’s noses? The rear door handles - Once you’ve spotted them, they’re hard to un-see. For some reason, Lamborghini placed the handles on the rear wheel arch and they look like ugly barnacles. With many manufacturers working hard to

integrate handles into creases and curves of bodywork so they don’t ruin lines, it appears Lamborghini’s designers forgot it needed them and stuck them on at the last minute. The name - Roughly translated, the name Urus refers to extinct wild relations of domestic cattle. We get the association with bulls – there’s one on the Lamborghini crest, after all – but this one seems just a little tenuous. The Urus moniker sounds clunky and it’s far from the sleek Lambo names of old – evocative names like Miura, Diablo and Countach. Even Gallardo has more panache than the new 4x4. The interior - It’s hard to ignore the influence that Lamborghini parent Audi has had over the Urus’ interior. The large infotainment screen looks good, but unfortunately that’s where the design appeal stops. Lower down, the switchgear, steering settings and drive mode controllers have all been lumped together. It all looks just a little clumsy – and not particularly userfriendly. Front sensor - In order to top the latest safety tests, manufacturers

have to incorporate the semiautonomous technology in their cars. This relies on sensors at the front of the car. Most car makers tuck them away neatly in the front of the grille, but Lamborghini seems to have chosen to make it a ‘feature’. Unfortunately, it does stick out a fair bit and makes the front end of the car look less finished than it should – we’d have liked to have seen it fit flusher with the front bumper. Rear styling - The back of the Urus hasn’t gone down well with some internet commentators – most labelling it fussy and over-styled. The quad exhaust pipes appear to be angled out, rather than pointing directly rearward – a strange styling touch that will also take some getting used to. Side profile - You’d expect a Lamborghini-made SUV to incorporate a little sleekness in its design, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Urus. The windscreen is very upright, while the rear three-quarters has a rather unfortunate hint of a Hyundai Veloster in it. Just don’t say that too loudly – it will upset the Italians.

By James Baggott

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Three Counties Radio

Sugar-Free Chocolate cake with date and chocolate frosting “Free From” recipes are increasingly popular on the Weekend Kitchen. Dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free… but can a cake, a proper tasty cake, be sugar-free? With no added sugar, sweeteners or honey? Well, it turns out it can. Cynthia Stroud, who runs a cake shop in Hertford, is a sugar free baker ( She started to make sugar free cakes to help her young daughter, who doesn’t do too well on sugar. And this chocolate cake is a firm favourite at home. As well as providing sweetness to cakes, sugar also acts to help make a sponge fluffy and aerated. So, without the sugar, this cake is a little heavier than usual, perhaps with a consistency more akin to a fruit cake. But it tastes wonderful, and with the only sweetness coming from the dates, is very suitable for anyone who has to carefully watch their sugar intake. If you prefer, you can simply replace the coconut oil with butter. To make the cake: 250 g dates (stoned, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and pureed) 150g coconut oil, melted 4 eggs 100g self-raising flour 50g ground almonds 50g corn flour 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/ Gas Mark 4 (160°C for fan-assisted ovens) and line 2 x 6 inch tins. 2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with a hand whisk, scrape down the sides, whisk again until smooth, and pour equally into the two tins. 3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean, and leave to cool on a wire rack. To make the frosting: 150g dates (stoned, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and pureed) 100g softened (but not liquid) coconut oil 2 tablespoons evaporated milk 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1. Mix all of these ingredients with a hand mixer until they go light and fluffy. 2. Spread the frosting between the two fully cooled cake layers and then spread it on the top layer. Decorate with berries of your choice (and a little edible gold spray for added effect if you wish).

Hear wonderful recipes on Nick Coffer’s Weekend Kitchen every Sunday morning on BBC Three Counties radio at 11am. You can also join Nick every weekday afternoon at midday for brilliant local guests with great stories to tell and all the music you want for your early afternoon.


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Let us help you get your business off to a flying start VILLAGER The




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Our award winning magazines offer a unique local advertising platform. Printed on high quality paper we are still able to offer incredible prices along with a second-to-none service, professional advert design and a team just waiting to help you. With over 20,000 copies being delivered door to door every month can your business wait any longer to be in The Villager? Advertising in The Villager and Town Life could not be easier, for further information or to book your advertising space please call Nigel on 01767 261122 or e-mail or visit our website

Why advertise anywhere else? 58

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Moving House The thought of leaving friends and going to a new school, coupled with the anxiety of the unknown, can make moving house very unsettling for children. Kate Duggan recently moved house with ten days’ notice. (She wouldn’t recommend it.) Here are some of her top tips for helping children to cope with a big move. Involving your child If possible, take your child to see the new house before the move, and explore the area together. Involve them in small decisions: “Where do you think this should go?” “What colour shall we paint your room?” You could also let your child choose some wall decals for their bedroom and a new duvet cover or rug. That being said, they will want familiar items around them. The day before you move, help them to pack a suitcase with everything they’ll need for the next couple of days, including a favourite teddy, a book, a game and so on. Don’t stress about decluttering While you may be desperate to declutter ahead of the


with Children

move, your child may not cope with the extra pressure of giving up toys and clothes, even those that have been languishing in a cupboard for months. Don’t force them into getting rid of things if they don’t want to. You could suggest packing items that they’re not sure about into a box for the loft, with the agreement that you’ll both open it and sort through everything a few months after the move. Making family time When your to-do list is three feet long, it’s really difficult to carve out any quality time to spend with your family, but do try. Leaving the boxes for 20 minutes so you can play a board game can help to avoid a potential meltdown later on. All of you will benefit from getting away from the house for a couple of hours now and then, ideally for some fresh air and time to focus on each other. Talk to your child Explain why you’re moving house,

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whether it’s due to needing to pay less rent or because you’ve found a better area to live in. Talk about how your child is feeling about the move. What are they worried about, and what can you do to alleviate those worries? So, for example, if they’re worried about a new school, could you ask their teacher to help you arrange a playdate before your child starts at the school? If they’re upset about leaving friends, can you arrange meet-ups or Skype calls? Make time for yourself Moving is stressful. And when you’re stressed, it’s very easy to lose your temper with the kids when they’re being particularly whingy or difficult. So try to take some time out to recharge your own batteries. You might find relaxation techniques useful, or just kicking back with a glass of wine and a film now and then may help.

By Kate Duggan


Codeword 1



























Easy Suduko

Hard Suduko

Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzles. 60

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n O s ’ t Wha In March

Deadline for What’s On entries is the 12th of the previous month. What’s on entries to

6 February-6 March ‘St Neots Now and Then’ Photographic Exhibition Tues-Sat 11am-4pm St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots Local residents free, Adults £3, Seniors £2, Children £1. An exhibition showcasing photographs from our historic collection of local images and highlighting the changes that have taken place in the last 100 years. To tie-in with this exhibition we will be launching a new service providing 20 of the most attractive images of the area for sale, either enlarged onto canvas or available as A4 or A3 prints. 2 March St Neots Local History Society 7.30pm Eynesbury Junior School Talk by Philip Saunders on ‘The Huntingdonshire Manor and its Records’ 3 March Art & Craft Fair 9.30am-4pm Free Church Hall, St Ives Free admission Quality handmade art and craft stalls and tombola. 3 March St. Mary’s Church Charity Auction Viewing 10-11am, Buckden Village Hall Auction begins promptly at 11am All proceed to St. Mary’s Church Repair Fund. Tel: Patsy Gray 01480 810041 for further details 3 March St Neots Timebank Coffee Morning 11am-1.30pm St Mary’s Church Hall Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate St Neots Timebank’s 6th Birthday. Web: 3 March The Great British Spring Clean 2-4pm QEII Playing Field, Little Paxton Little Paxton Community Litter Pick. Litter Heroes assemble for the annual community litter pick. Volunteers will be supplied with a high viz jackets, litter pickers, gloves & black bags and allocated areas to litter pick. The litter pick starts and finishes at the QEII Playing Field. If you would like to help keep Little Paxton spick & span, please come along and help. Little Paxton Parish Council event.

6, 13, 20 & 27 March Roxton Bridge Circle 7.15-10pm Roxton Parish Hall Small friendly group playing Bridge every Tuesday evening. Tel: Phyllis 01480 374327 Email: 7 March Godmanchester Senior Citizens Club Coffee Morning & Raffle 10am-12 noon Godmanchester Town Hall Monthly coffee morning and raffle. Annual membership fee is £10. Tel: Geoff 01480 434697 7 March Brampton Flower Club 7.30pm Community Centre, High Street, Brampton Visitors welcome £6 inc. refreshments Flower arranging demo by qualified demonstrator, raffle, sales table and tea or coffee. Tel: Jan Dobie 01480531822 Web: 7 March Black Cat WI 7.30pm Wyboston Village Hall The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month. Tel: Susie Woodman 01234 376098 7 March Little Paxton Gardening Club 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Members £1, Guests £2 Speaker will be Kathy Brown from Stevington showing how to use ‘Bulbs for All Seasons’. 7, 14, 21 & 28 March Little Fishes 10am-11.20am Grafham Village Hall Stay and Play Tots Session during term-time. Babies welcome too. Sessions include free play and craft activities, bible story and sing along. Tel: Jean Clark 01480 890033 Email:

7, 14, 21 & 28 March St Neots Choral Society 7.30-9.30pm Eynesbury C of E Primary School, Montagu Street, Eynesbury St Neots Choral Society is in its 46th season. New members are very welcome to join and there are no 5, 12, 19 & 26 March auditions to frighten you but an ability to read a little Comrades Chess Club 7.30pm music is helpful! There is an annual subscription Comrades Club, Godmanchester once you decide to join the Society. New members Keep your mind active and play chess. Over 18s only are welcome in all voices. Tel: 01480 212298 for as it’s a licensed premises. Every Monday except Bank membership. Web: Holidays. Seeking new members. Ozzie: 01480 414623 Email: 10 March Simply Saturday 5, 12, 19 & 26 March 12-2pm St James Church, Little Paxton Scottish Country Dancing A new venture for adults of all ages at Little Paxton 8-10pm Judith’s Field, Godmanchester Church, with lunch and various activities available. Tel: Mrs Pat Crowe on 01480 453774 Tel: Leisa Hunt 01480 471748 Email: Email:


10 March Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Concert 7.30pm Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre, Huntingdon Tickets £14/£12, Student concession £7/£6 Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra present ‘Romance… Tragedy… Fate’. Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Bach’s Magnificat, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte and Brahms’ Tragic Overture and Song of the Fates provide a programme of tension, drama and high emotions in this latest concert by Hunts Phil. Conductor Bjorn Bantock. Tickets are available by telephone, online or on the door. Tel: Box Office 01480 375678 Web: Web: 11 March Family & Friends Volunteering 10am-12 noon Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough Free event – suggested donation £2 Make a difference by helping the Rangers out in the Park. Children, couples, grandparents and friends - everybody is welcome. All tools and training will be provided, you just need to bring along lots of enthusiasm! Free car parking for all participants. Meet at Discovery Den. This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities. Booking essential. Tel: 01733 234193 12 March Perry WI 7.30pm The Baptist Church, Perry For all women aged 18+. Guests are very welcome, so come and “try before you buy”. 13 March Alconbury Over 60’s Club coach trip to Downtown Garden Centre £15. Tel: Sheila 01480 890396 or Val 01480 890166 13 March St Ives Sugarcraft Guild 7.30-9pm Reading Room, Hemingford Grey Visitors £6. Monthly meetings where you can learn, hands-on, various cake decorating techniques and/or sugarcraft. The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month. Tel: Shirley 01480 454616 14 March Cambridgeshire Rural M.E. Tea & Chat Second Wednesday of every month. Monthly meetup for adults with M.E. and partners/friends. Web: 15 March St Ives & District Flower Club 2.15pm Visitors £7. Burgess Hall, St Ives Demonstration by Ann Purt from Wisbech entitled “Spring Has Sprung”.

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n O s ’ t Wha In March

This is a small selection of the What’s On for the full listing please go to our website

15 March Love’s Farm Women’s Institute 8-10pm St Neots Football Club The Love’s Farm Ladies is Love’s Farm’s new WI group, meeting on the third Thursday of the month. Come to make friends and do something new. Tel: Nikki Jackson 07563 715043 Email: 16 March The Big Short Doors open 7.30pm, film starts 8pm Corn Exchange, St Ives Tickets £5 + booking fee Screen St Ives. Directed by Adam McKay USA 2015 130mins. Cert 15. A scathingly funny indictment of what really caused the global 2008 crash - reckless gambling by bankers of the volatile US housing market; engrossing and timely. Web: 17 March Baby & Children’s Market Nearly New Sale 10.30am-12pm Cambourne Village College, CB23 6FR Admission £1, Children free Lots of stalls bursting with top quality like new and new baby and children’s items. Web: 17 March Let’s go Fly of Kite 10.30am-12 noon & 1.30-3pm Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough £3 per child Let’s go fly a kite, but first we have to make them. Join us in making your very own kite from scratch. Meet at Discovery Den. This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies. Booking essential Tel: 01733 234193 for further details 17 March Sport Relief- Have a Field Day 2-4pm QEII Playing Field, Little Paxton Free event Come along an enjoy taster sport activities on the QEII Playing Field and in the village hall. Refreshments will be available in the village hall. Check the Parish Council’s Facebook page and lookout for the posters for the sport activities available. This is a great opportunity to take part in the Sport Relief Billion Steps Challenge. Web: 19 March St Neots Royal Naval Association 8pm The RAFA Club, 44 Huntingdon Street, St Neots St Neots & District Branch of the Royal Naval Association meet on the third Monday of every month. For further details contact the Secretary Tel: Tony Webley 01480 215218 Email:

21 March Carers Coffee Club 2.30-4pm The Royal Oak, Hail Weston Are you caring for a loved one with a memory loss? Come along and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee whilst chatting with others in a similar situation. Our informal group meets on every third Wednesday of the month. Tel: Neil Silby 07889 319888 Email:

24 March Children’s Spring Party 2-4pm Little Paxton Church Free event The special guest will be Spider-Man! Come dressed as favourite hero! Food, fun and crafts and the Easter story. Pre-school children to be accompanied. Please email to book a place. Email: Annette This is a free event.

22 March Toddler Time 10.30-11.30am St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots £3.50 per child. The museum mice will be helping us find out about some of the animal stories in the museum and we’ll be making mice to take home. Suitable for children aged 2 to 5, babies welcome to come along too for free at this drop in event. Tel: 01480 214163

24 March St Neots Choral Society 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Eaton Socon Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle. Web:

22 March St Neots & District Gardening Club 8pm St Mary’s Church Hall, St Neots Members £2, Non-members £2.50 inc. refreshments & raffle ticket. ‘Compost making for the garden’ with by David White. 22-24 March Sleeping Beauty Pantomime 8pm, Bar opens 7.30pm & Sat 2.30pm Catworth Village Hall, PE28 0PA Adults £6.50, Children £4 NODA nominated Catworth Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year and continues to go from strength to strength. This year’s panto, Sleeping Beauty, is written by Phil Ward and promises to deliver all the ingredients of a successful CATS production guaranteed to have you rolling in the aisles – oh yes it will! Booking fee may apply. Tel: 01832 274734 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm Web: 24 March Jukebox Promotions present ‘The Final Show’ 8-10.45pm Comrades Club, Godmanchester Tickets £12. After decades of bringing original artists and international tributes to value for money events in the UK and Europe, Jukebox Promotions are retiring as a stage show organiser and, as they have so many people locally that love their productions, have chosen a local venue for this, the very last show! It will feature some of the themes of their shows over the years including Jukebox Legends, Elvis 2000, a great Buddy and Cliff feature with some magic country music memories by Red Strokes. Along with the fantastic voice of Fiona McLean-Day. 50s, 60s, 70s, Country and Rock & Roll all on one show! Book in advance – tickets will not be available on the door. Tickets available at The Comrades Club evenings and Saturday afternoons only or online. Tel: 07506 719791 Web

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27 March Hemingford Grey Flower Club 10am Entrance £4 inc. refreshments. Hemingford Grey Reading Rooms, High Street, Hemingford Grey Flower demonstration by Sandra Jaina. All welcome. 30 March Easter Egg Hunt 10.30am-12 noon & 1.30-3pm Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough £4 per child. Oh no, the Easter Bunny has misplaced all of his Easter eggs, can you and your family help him find them in time to for Easter! Begin with some seasonal spring craft, explore the park and hunt for eggs and collect your prize and the end. One prize per child booked. Meet at Discovery Den. This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies. Booking essential. Tel: 01733 234193 for further details Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2018 Rotary Club of Huntingdon will be interviewing candidates for this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). Are you an ambitious person between the ages of 18 and 26 and looking to enhance your life as a future leader? You will benefit from an established leadership and personal development residential course to be held at Grafham Water from 21st-28th July. Run by Rotary District 1070, it is fully funded for one young person by the Rotary Club of Huntingdon. You will gain team building skills, have initiative tests and take part in outdoor physical activities such as sailing, canoeing, hiking and other exciting pursuits. Learning presentation skills is an important part of the business development section. It is an intensive week, not for the faint-hearted. After the one week course you will have made a circle of new friends with similar ambitions; you will have gained confidence in your own abilities, to think logically, to work within a team and you will have pride in your achievement. If you are keen to take part and can arrange to attend for that one week without fail, contact the Rotary Club of Huntingdon for an application form for RYLA 2018. Tel: Geoff Burniston 01223 276416 for more information Email:




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Time of Year

National Apprenticeship Week March 5th-9th

Are you taking your GCSEs or A levels this year? Have you decided what to do afterwards? Many schools champion university or further education colleges but have you considered an apprenticeship? The 11th National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5th to 9th March 2018. During the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career. An apprenticeship is a chance to earn and learn. It allows you to mix working full-time and learning on the job with gaining a qualification. Anyone over 16 can be an apprentice. Courses last at least a year, and are available in a huge range of industries – there are apprenticeships in everything from accountancy to social media. It’s not just small companies who offer them; many of the big players such as Google, IBM, Barclays and Nestle offer excellent apprenticeships with good longterm prospects. In terms of learning styles, apprenticeships are best-suited to those people who want to get into the workplace straight away, or those who prefer a hands-on approach to learning. Some people (some teachers even) worry that an apprenticeship might limit a more able student’s options. This isn’t the case at all, if anything it opens them up. Thanks to the in-depth industry experience apprenticeships provide, many apprentices progress further and faster in their chosen fields. There are also higher-level apprenticeships and some people choose to move into further education at a later stage, either at a conventional university or through a body like the Open University.

Spending time in workplace as part of your apprenticeship means that you naturally develop important ‘soft skills’, such as communication and team work. These skills are transferrable whatever path your career ultimately takes. One major benefit of an apprenticeship is that you won’t have a student loan to pay off, and on top of this you are earning a salary and building a network of contacts. About 70% of apprentices are offered a permanent position at the end of their apprenticeship, and 90% remain in employment. To decide whether or not an apprenticeship is right in your case you need to do your research. Think about what your career ambitions are and look at potential pathways. Talk to employers at careers fairs and ask what they are looking for, and talk to people who have done an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are not right for everyone but they shouldn’t be viewed as a lesser option. Modern apprenticeships are a dynamic, flexible way to launch a career and one might be perfect for you.

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By Tracey Anderson 65


Has Your Local Bank Closed Down?

An increase in the number of customers using online, telephone, and mobile banking, in conjunction with a drive to reduce costs, led to hundreds of local bank branches closing their doors in 2017. According to market research company, Statista, “In 2016, 64 percent of all individuals used the internet for online banking ...”¹ So how do you sign up for this if you’re not ‘tech-savvy,’ and are there any alternatives if you live in a remote area, have limited access to the internet, or simply don’t want to use online banking? Telephone, internet, and mobile banking Bank systems and requirements vary in terms of registration, but in essence you’ll provide your personal details, decide on a password, and choose some security questions or memorable information that can be used as an added layer of security. When you register online, you’ll also be prompted to download the bank’s mobile app to your smartphone, where you can sign in using the same information as for internet banking. Banks may send part of your login information through the post for security purposes, and in some cases you may have to use a small device to log in or transfer larger sums of money. Some new banks are expanding their branch network It’s not all bad news with regard to in-person banking, however. A few banks are expanding their networks in the UK, bucking the trend of high street branch closures. Handelsbanken Established Swedish bank Handelsbanken has a network of more than 200 branches in Great Britain, with further expansion plans being reported in the press. Its business model means


that branches are located away from the high street, in order to reduce their operational costs. Metro Bank Metro Bank branches, or ‘stores,’ are open seven days a week, 362 days a year. You can carry out all the usual banking transactions at Metro, and they have your cheque book and bank card printed in the branch on the same day that you open an account. Day-to-day banking at Post Office branches A further development that will help if you’re missing your local bank branch is the new partnership between the banking industry and the Post Office. You can now carry out day-to-day banking transactions at your local Post Office, such as depositing and withdrawing cash, paying in cheques, and checking your balance. Although some of these services were previously available to a limited number of customers, the new arrangement allows 99% of personal high street banking customers, and 95% of small businesses, to use Post Office branches for their day-to-day banking needs. Mobile branch banking One new initiative is helping customers to access vital banking services once or twice every week. Lloyds Banking Group has partnered with security firm G4S to provide ‘banks on wheels. ’ In other words, armoured vans that travel to locations where smaller branches have been closed. Third party authorisation It’s also possible to authorise a trusted friend or member of your family to carry out certain bank transactions on your behalf. They won’t be able to control your account, but could pay in, withdraw money, and obtain a balance for you if you provide the necessary written authority. Branch closures are a significant issue, particularly for older people living in rural areas of the UK, but with alternative methods such as the mobile branch banking service, access will hopefully be improved for those who need it.

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Don’t Have Mad March Hair

The gadgets for trimming, taming, styling and straightening. In the old days, we had combs, brushes and curling tongs – and that was about it. Now there’s more tech than you can shake a GHD straightener at, all of it promising to deliver luscious locks or silky-smooth skin. So which technology is actually worth having for your hair? There are two kinds of gadgets: gadgets for getting rid of hair you don’t want, and gadgets for making the hair you do want look better. In the first camp we’ve long had electric razors, epilators and little personal trimmers, but lately they’ve been joined by lasers — well, light treatment anyway. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is one of the gentlest hair removal methods around, but you can’t do it if you’re about to go somewhere sunny, and it doesn’t work on lighter hair or very dark skin. Beware of any firm claiming to offer laser treatment from home devices: laser is a more powerful IPL and it’s the preserve of salon machines costing five figures. The best known IPL system is probably Philips’ Lumea, whose

products are around the £250 £350 mark. That’s a lot of money for a gadget, but if you have the right skin tone and hair colour it means no ingrowing hairs, waxing or other unpleasantness. It’s safe everywhere, too. What about the hair you do want? The same pseudo-science that infests beauty products is in hair care too, with lots of big and clever-sounding nonsense trying to convince us that a hairdryer is more than just a hairdryer. Sometimes a hairdryer is all you need. The biggest name in high-tech hairdryer technology is Dyson, whose unlovely (is it just us? It looks like, well, a Dyson) but very effective Supersonic costs £299. It’s very powerful, very quiet and stays cool to the touch, although we can’t help thinking we’re basically holding a hand dryer next to our heads. More modest technologies can make a big difference too. Straighteners with adjustable temperatures can help prevent too much frizz, especially with hair you’ve coloured, and straightening brushes such as BaByliss’s £50 2440BDU put the heat inside the hairbrush to

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great effect. The same firm has embraced the other big trend in haircare: straighteners that also style. The Smooth & Wave Secret isn’t cheap – at £129.99 it’s up there with the luxury brands such as GHD – and it looks like a weapon, but it’s enormously clever: hair is drawn into its ceramic chamber, held and preheated, and then it either uses Smooth Mode to straighten or Wave Mode for waves and curls. It goes up to 230 degrees for even the most untamed hair and takes just 15 seconds to warm up. That’s important: some rivals don’t like to point out that by the time their straighteners reach peak temperature, you could probably have grown a beard. It’s very important to shop around for products like the ones we’ve mentioned, as — with the exception of Dyson, which keeps a firm hold on its prices — they’re subject to constant aggressive discounting by supermarkets, beauty shops and online sellers. And it pays to be flexible when it comes to specific brands: the difference in price between Brand A with nice packaging and the slightly less cute Brand B can be staggering.



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Quirky Britain


If British towns and villages lived up to their names, you could visit Coat or Matching Tye to buy a new outfit then pop along to Fryup to satisfy your Greedy Gut, before heading to the pub to Guzzle Down a pint of Beer. You may think these are all places invented by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, but in fact the names mentioned here belong to real villages in Devon, Essex, Norfolk, Somerset and Yorkshire. The UK’s roads are littered with signposts pointing out destinations that sound funny, rude or – let’s face it – utterly weird. But if you’ve ever wondered why the original residents chose to burden their home town or village with such a name, the answer is, they probably didn’t. Since the name first appeared hundreds or even thousands of years ago, it will have undergone a gradual transformation, being mispronounced or added to by each new group of settlers. Location, location, location Our place names originally combined different pieces of information, including the geographical characteristics of the land, residents’ names or occupations and the religion they followed.

The Anglo Saxons were practical in their approach to naming, describing geographical features or the size or type of settlement a traveller could expect to find. The Dorset village of Scratchy Bottom (voted second in a 2012 poll to discover Britain’s worst place name) refers to a hollow place in the landscape where the soil is rough, while the modern city name Birmingham is made up of three different elements: the given name Beorma, the word ‘inga’ (meaning family or tribe) and ‘ham’, meaning homestead. The Normans, who invaded in 1066, were known to rename places to suit their own tastes. For example a village in Essex known as Fulepet (‘foul pit’ in Anglo Saxon) was renamed as Beaumont (‘fair hill’), while Beaulieu (‘fine place’) in Hampshire was given its name by a Norman French landowner who loved the local landscape. Gods and saints Our town and village names also reflect the country’s religious history, acknowledging the worship of pagan gods and goddesses as well as Christian saints. The war god Woden is reflected in the name Wednesfield (West Midlands) and Wodnesfeld

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(Essex), while Thursley in Sussex was originally a sacred spot for the worship of the god Thunor (the name means ‘Thunor’s Grove’). Throughout the UK you’ll also find ancient villages linked to church names. This often occurs when a settlement becomes large enough to warrant the development of a second church. The village is then divided by its church name, for example, Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter. If you live in an oddly-named place you’ll probably have learned to put up with outsiders poking fun, but for some the teasing can get a little too much. In 2012 the town of Staines – much derided by Sacha Baron-Cohen’s comic invention Ali G – voted to change its name to ‘Staines-upon-Thames’ in an effort to improve its image. So why don’t residents of our more oddly titled towns and villages do the same? We can only conclude that they love their quirky designations and don’t want to alter them. After all, these colourful names provide an insight into the earliest origins of our cities, towns and villages and it would be a sad day for all of us if they disappeared. Anyone fancy a trip to Great Snoring? By Kate McLelland



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February’s Puzzle Solutions and Winners Last Month’s Crossword Winner Mr Andrew Lever from Buckden Winner of the Phil Beer Competition Mr David Robinson from Biggleswade Easy


Fun Quiz - Trilogies

1. Who wrote the Tilly Trotter trilogy, consisting of novels called Tilly Trotter, Tilly Trotter Wed and Tilly Trotter Widowed? 2. What was the first film trilogy to have all three of its films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar? 3. Inspiring the name of the oldest daily newspaper in France, what is the name of the main character in a trilogy of 18th century plays by Pierre Beaumarchais? 4. In the 1980s, which British author wrote Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match, a trilogy of spy novels known as the Game, Set and Match trilogy? 5. In the 1970s, who collaborated with Brian Eno to record the albums Low, Heroes and Lodger, which became known collectively as the Berlin Trilogy? 6. Which trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins is set in a nation called Panem? 7. Written by Eoin Colfer and published in 2009 on the thirtieth anniversary of the first book, And Another Thing is the sixth novel in which other author’s so-called “trilogy of five parts”? 8. Which 2013 film was advertised as “the epic conclusion to the trilogy of mayhem and bad decisions”? 9. Published in 2002, what was the title of the first in a trilogy of books by Jennifer Worth that was centred around her work in the East End of London in the 1950s? 10. Dad’s Army was the first of what is regarded as writer David Croft’s trilogy of TV sitcoms set

1. Catherine Cookson 2. The Godfather trilogy 3. Figaro (the French newspaper is called Le Figaro) 4. Len Deighton 5. David Bowie 6. The Hunger Games 7. Douglas Adams’ (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy novels) 8. The Hangover Part III 9. Call The Midwife 10. It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and ‘Allo ‘Allo

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The Villager Prize Crossword



Across 8 To be on a ship (6) 9 Not new (4) 10 Outside (8) 11 Angry (7) 13 Funeral fires (5) 15 Almost two pints (5) 17 Below (7) 20 Observing (8) 21 Story (4) 23 Educational establishment (6) 24 Required (6)

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this page and send to the address below before


16th March 2018 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

Down 1 Female sheep (4) 2 Recording room (6) 3 Burglars (7) 4 Belief (5) 5 Every sixty minutes (6) 6 Widest (8) 12 Inconvenience (8) 14 Combining (7) 16 Calculate (6) 18 Respect (6) 19 Foolish (5) 22 Vegetable (4)

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New Decorations Interior and Exterior Painting Wallpapering

Mark Newman

Painting & Decorating

01954212342 07969650344 164 Limes Road, Hardwick Cambridge CB23 7XX 76

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Local News

Local Charities Matter!

Small Charities Forum Launch

Local charities are the lifeblood of the communities they serve, playing a vital role in supporting the daily lives of thousands of people, right here in Bedfordshire. But the reality is that small and local charities are struggling to get their voices heard. Which is why the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation have set up a Small Charities Forum to support them and they held their first very successful event on Local Charities Day. Over 30 small charities came together to talk about the challenges they face. Mandy Johnson, CEO of the national organisation, the Small Charities Coalition explained that it was critical for everyone to recognise the valuable work that local charities do, much of which is done by volunteers. Only by working together, sharing ideas and problems, could small charities begin to shout collectively about what an impact they make. Fozia irfan, CEO of the Foundation stated ‘As a local funder, we are fortunate to work with many charities

• • • • • • •

and community groups in the county and we understand that they are facing challenging times. It is our responsibility as a funder to go beyond giving grants and providing extra support they need, otherwise these organisations could potentially be at risk. The Small Charities Forum, which we developed provides a valuable resource to help organisations thrive and sustain their excellent work in the community. ‘ If you would like to find out more about the Small Charities Forum or to make a donation to the Community Foundation please visit our website on All donations will help us to continue our work in the community.

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Book Review By Kate Duggan March Medley


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The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

It’s 1917 and pregnant teenager Cathy Wray seeks sanctuary at a London toy store. She soon discovers that these toys are unlike any she’s ever seen before. There’s a clockwork dog that’s devoted to his master, paper trees that grow from seed, and toy soldiers that wage battles on their own. Cathy learns to call The Emporium home, and the people who own it her family. But then the First World War breaks out, and nothing will ever be quite as magical again. The Toymakers is a must for fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Email: Boiler Repairs/Servicing/Installation Full Heating Installations Efficiency Upgrades Bathroom Design and Installation Specialist Powercleaning Service 30 Years in Business

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White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht

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Profile for Villager Mag

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