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August 2018

and Town



In this issue Win a family ticket to

Herrings Green Activity Farm Strictly Come

Jive & Swing Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People in the Stevenage Area every month

ur Yo EE FRco1 py

... another completed project near you

Kitchen | Bedroom | Home Study For all your design, supply and installation needs Family run business Visit our showroom: Unit E, Gateway 1000, Whittle Way, Arlington Business Park, Stevenage SG1 2FP Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm

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Inside this issue... Gadgets for Summer Living............................................23 P&R Interiors..................................................................24 Lethal Leatherjackets.....................................................27 R.A.T.S. Rehoming Appeal..............................................29 Best Convertibles for under £2000.................................31 Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe.........................................33 Puzzle Page....................................................................36 What’s On.......................................................................38 Prize Crossword..............................................................42


Win a Family Ticket to Herrings Green Activity Farm What on Earth? The History of Surrealism........................4 Wines: A Good Choice - Rosé..........................................10 Win a family ticket to Herrings Green Activity Farm.......12 Sigiriya: The Lion Rock in Sri Lanka.................................14 9th Annual Bedfordshire Walking Festival......................17 Strictly Come Jive and Swing..........................................18 Use style to blow away negativity during menopause...20

P&R Interiors


Get your business off to a flying start this year

Advertise with the Villager Magazine... prices start from just £30.00 +VAT per month Editorial Catherine Rose, Trevor Langley, Solange Hando, Barry Ingram, Jennie Billings, Tom Hancock, Pippa Greenwood, James Baggott and Nick Coffer

Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122 Photography - seaskylab 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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By Catherine Rose

What on Earth?

The History of Surrealism Surrealism was a radical philosophical movement that was born, seemingly out of nowhere, around a century ago. Famously led by artists such as Salvador Dali and André Breton, it had an enormous impact on our modern culture, encompassing not only art and literature but film, photography, music, political thought and even everyday objects. Surrealism evolved in the 1920s from Dadaism – a politically-based art movement that was a reaction to the First World War. With a Marxist bias, Dadaism rejected logic, reasoning and the status quo that its artists blamed for causing the war, and challenged traditional concepts of art. With its foundations in Dadaism, Surrealism also reflected the development of psychology which was bringing the concepts of psychoanalysis and exploration of the subconscious to the fore. Surrealist art and literature consequently used


dream-like states and seemingly out-of-place but symbolic images to give new interpretation to the world. Despite the fact it is often thought of as purely an art form, Surrealism was first and foremost a literary movement and there were some incredible but now mostly forgotten Surrealist writers during the 1920s and 30s – for example the Polish Jewish writer Bruno Schulz who in 1934 wrote The Street of Crocodiles, a book of Surrealist short stories. (Tragically, he was shot by the Gestapo in 1942.) The word ‘surrealism’ was invented by the writer Guillaume Apollinaire in 1917 when describing a new ballet Parade written by Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. The term was subsequently taken up by the founder of the Surrealist movement, the French poet André Breton (1896-1966).

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A writer and scientist, Breton had trained in medicine and psychiatry, working in a neurological hospital during the war where he used Freud’s theories to treat soldiers suffering from shell shock. From his experiences Breton developed a method of artistic expression called ‘automatism’, which involved writing automatically from the subconscious, enabling the artist to tap into the furthest reaches of the imagination. In his first Manifesto of Surrealism, published in 1924, Breton outlined the idea that Surrealism was a way for the arts to encourage political change as it forced people to ‘think outside the box’. His theories subsequently attracted many followers including Dali (1904-1989), the Spanish painter Joan Miro (1894-1983), German artist Max Ernst (1891-1976), filmmaker Luis Bunuel (1900-1983), American photographer Man Ray (1890-1976) and the Belgian artist Rene Magritte (1898-1967). Surrealist artworks are often disturbing and filled with strange and symbolic images, juxtaposing objects which would not be found together in real life. For example, Dali’s well-known painting The Persistence of Time shows giant clocks melting in an imaginary landscape. Perhaps less familiar but equally striking is German artist Meret Oppenheim’s Object painted in 1936, which depicts a cup, saucer and spoon made of fur. The technique of trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye) also featured in Surrealist art, as in Dali’s clever Swans Reflecting Elephants which shows swans swimming on a lake and the swans’ reflections as elephants below it. As with the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements before it, Surrealism spread its imaginative tendrils into other creative areas. Surrealist photography was taken up with enthusiasm by photographers including Man Ray, who took the memorable shot of a naked woman with two scroll-like ‘F holes’ painted on either side of the small of her back so that her body resembled a violin. Surrealist films made an appearance, the most famous and controversial at the time being the 1929 Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) by


Luis Bunuel and Dali, which features hands coming out of a wall and a woman having her eyeball cut open with a razorblade! (Dali was later asked by Alfred Hitchcock to create a dream sequence for his film Spellbound in 1945.) Dali, along with other artists, conceived Surrealist everyday objects such as the lobster telephone, a woman’s hat in the shape of a stiletto shoe in a collaboration with the fashion designer Elsa Schiparelli, and a sofa that was built to resemble actress Mae West’s lips. Although Surrealism was declared a dead movement by the Second World War, artists continued to produce paintings in its style, such as Magritte’s famous The Son of Man painted in 1966 (the year of André Breton’s death) where a man (Magritte himself ), wearing a 1960s suit and bowler hat, stands with his face obscured by a floating apple. The ‘realism’ of the image makes it all the more striking and is a typical technique of Surrealist art which is often three-dimensional in its appearance. Since the deaths of the original Surrealist artists, Surrealism’s legacy has lived on, heavily shaping the creative arts and thinking of today. Artists who did not consider themselves Surrealists but were clearly influenced by it include Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock. Surrealism freed writers and artists to work directly from their imaginations and to express their thoughts, rather than what they could see in front of them, in ways that had never before been achieved, except perhaps by the innovative 16th century artist Hieronymus Bosch – but that’s another article!

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Food and Drink


A Good Choice – Rosé

Rosé wines are very popular for drinking in the summer months. Now, with several styles being available, made utilising a wide variety of grapes, they can be enjoyed throughout the full year. Popularity speaks for itself, as many countries, worldwide, now produce these wines, which incorporate some of their colour from the grape skins. Adding colour to a dining table and al fresco, for example, as well as making fabulous apéritifs, these wines are a great choice. Indeed, sophistication comes to mind, when the pink wines are around.

La Vieille Ferme Rosé (France) is a very popular (dry) wine. I find this has pleasant, light-red fruits for the bouquet and most pleasing mouthfeel, which continues on, to the palate sensation. Pairs well with grilled meats, salads and a lot of cuisine. Coeur de Cardeline (France) is a further, often-selected, production. This Côtes de Provence pale-pink pleaser exudes a bouquet of summer fruits, which enticingly leads to the mouth’s pleasures. The excellent flavours continue to the palate, for a most satisfying finish. Grilled meats, fish, pasta and salads, match very well with this wine. Arniston Bay Rosé (South Africa) is a Fairtrade production which graces many dining tables. The name is a reference to the blue skies, wonderful beaches and the fishing village. Again, the bouquet pleases, very well and the mouthfeel follows, with red berry flavours, plus a positive, memorable finish. Great to accompany numerous dishes of cuisine. These are just a selection. Each to their own and we all have our preferences – whether red, white, sparkling or other. Take pleasure in finding your favourites. I located these wines at Co-op stores. Having been a customer of the Co-op for many years, I have noticed an increase in the variety of household goods and foods, as time progresses. With the choices of wines, spirits, beers and other beverages available, the Co-op, I consider, is most worthwhile visiting. If Co-op membership is of interest, then customesr gain rewards on selected purchases and products. The Co-op also supports Fairtrade. For more details www.

As always, Enjoy!

ey Trevor Langl


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Win a Family Ticket to visit Herrings Green Activity Farm & Bird of Prey Centre

Herrings Green Activity Farm is a family run business so we know how important it is to provide our visitors with a feel good family day out. Home to over 200 animals and birds of prey, the farm allows visitors to get close encounters with our birds and animals. Every day we have interactive displays and keeper talks going on every thirty minutes including meet and handle our owls, pat a pet, flying displays, groom our donkeys, animal and critter displays, have a go at flying an owl, shire horse talk and more. As well as all of our displays there is lots to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day: children’s play areas including our new for 2018 pirates’ cove, crazy golf, tractor and trailer rides, craft barn, pony rides (additional cost), tyre trails & barrel rides (additional cost). If you just fancy sitting back and relaxing then you can enjoy an array of delicious cakes, freshly baked baguettes, and a variety of hot drinks from our tea room, visit our traditional sweet shop for tasty treats or our ice cream parlour. With an amazing team of friendly staff we are able to give you a memorable day out for the whole family. All activities are included in the general admission prices, there’s no need to pre-book just come along and join in the fun. Adult £12.50 Senior £11.50 Child (3-15 years) £9.50 Family (2 adults & 2 children) £34.50 Children under 3 years are free. The farm also offers a variety of experience days; 2 hour, half and full day experiences for all ages. Get closer to the birds, meet, handle and free fly many different species of owls, hawks, eagles and falcons. See our website for more details. To be in with a chance to win a family ticket to Herrings Green Farm simply send your entry by 16th August 2018 to: Herrings Green Farm Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. The winner will be drawn randomly.


For a chance to win a family ticket to Herrings Green Farm simply complete your details below and post your entry by 16th Aug 2018 to: Herrings Green Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Name:

Herrings Green Farm, Cotton End Road, Wilstead, Bedfordshire MK45 3DT Tel: 01234 742362/01234 742766 Open 7 days a week 10.00 – 5.00


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By Solange Hando

Sigiriya: The Lion Rock in Sri Lanka There are no lions in Sri Lanka but when the first king arrived from India, his flag portrayed a lion symbolising hope and freedom. The Sri Lankan flag has endured ever since, except in colonial times when it was tucked away in England, in the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Today visitors come from far and wide to set eyes on Sigiriya, the Lion Rock rising in the central province, a sheer 200 metres above the plain. It’s a scenic landmark, hauntingly dramatic since patricide and usurper king Kasyapa built his palace on the very top in 477. Away from the capital, he designed this impregnable fortress to keep safe, should his half-brother, the rightful heir, return from exile. He did, in 495, and when Kasyapa foolishly came down to lead his army, the royal elephant suddenly changed direction. It was to avoid a bog, they say, but thinking this was a signal to retreat, the army deserted. Kasyapa killed himself on the spot. The palace was abandoned, Buddhist monks settled back in the caves and all was forgotten until the 19th century when the British scaled the rock and discovered the ruins. Sigiriya is now a world heritage site and whatever the crowds, the mighty copper-coloured rock takes your breath away, rugged and scarred, inaccessible, it seems, yet you can see patches of grass and lonely trees sprouting from the top. At the base of the rock, a gentle stroll takes you past the remains of outer and inner ramparts, the moats and water gardens, until you reach the


natural archway marking the start of the steep stone steps. Then it’s a climb to the fresco cave – branching up a near vertical spiral staircase – where sensuous bejewelled maidens have beckoned for over 1,500 years. With slender waists and generous bosoms, the ladies of the court appear almost unreal in soft golden colours. Over the centuries, myriad pilgrims and artists have fallen in love with these Cloud Maidens and recorded their impressions on the nearby Mirror Wall. Roughly half-way up, the open Lion Terrace is a great place to rest, enjoy the view and gaze at what was once the Lion Staircase House, the last and only gateway to the palace on the top. The lion lost its head long ago but the massive paws carved into the rock beckon the fittest up the last dizzying stairway. The summit takes everyone by surprise, a plateau stretching 1.5 hectares, glowing with red terraces and ancient walls. This is the highest point and innermost precinct of the whole complex, where a royal garden and outer and inner palaces converged on a rock-cut pool. There are very few ruins up there but no one seems to mind, for spellbinding vistas lead you from the plain and formal gardens far below to the wooded slopes, the terraced gardens and the boulder gardens where the dramatic ‘Cobra Hood Cave’ preserves fragments of ancient paintings. Mountains rise in the distance, but on this lofty perch you feel on top of the world.

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Local News By Barry Ingram

9th Annual Bedfordshire Walking Festival September is a great month for walking, the air is cooler, it feels fresher and colours begin advancing through the trees. In Bedfordshire the whole county begins that change and is a great place to enjoy a walk. The Bedfordshire Walking Festival 8th to 16th September offers lots of opportunities for people of almost all abilities. Whether it is one of the many walks for health of between 30-90 minutes, an informative guided walk of around two hours, a half day walk of around 3 hours, or for the really serious, full days of between 12-21 miles. For the family an evening of Trails and Tales for older children with an afternoon version for younger ones. Why not take the train with a ride on the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway and return on foot along the Grand Union Canal. Food lovers will enjoy first collecting food from the hedgerows then going back and transforming the goodies into Jam and more at Clophill Around this part of Bedfordshire there are informative walks around Biggleswade Yes, there is a lot more to Bigglewade than meets the eye, also from Shuttleworth, Northill and a fascinating history walk at Willington. Those who enjoy walkers walks have an option of a 13 mile day walk from Roxton or half day afternoon one from Blunham Rounding off the nine days over the weekend of 15th & 16th is the annual Greensand Ridge Challenge 40 miles across the Greensand Country.

If you can’t do both days why not come for one. On Sunday 16th is the Launch of the Sandy Green Wheel Walking Route at 2-00pm and after the opening ceremony there will be walks of 90 minutes, ideal for families and one of 6 miles approximately 2-3 hours. One of the most attractive features of the festival is that almost all the walks are free and do not require booking so you can just turn up. Some mostly the health walks it is better to phone the leader beforehand. Where booking and charges are necessary these are shown in the programme and bookings along with payment can be made via the festival web site. There isn’t space to extol all the virtues of the festival and its walks extending across the county to Luton, Dunstable and beyond in the south to Keysoe, Swineshead and Bedford in the North and East to West across the Greensand Country with plenty in the middle. Only a few have been mentioned so why not explore Bedfordshire on foot this September after picking up a programme or visiting the festival web site

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Local News Strictly Come Jive & Swing is coming to a town near you! First call out for contestants!

Have you ever fancied learning the Jive, Rock n’ Roll or even the Charleston… …? If the answer is yes, then this is your opportunity. You will have six weeks of professional dance lessons with World Record holders, JiveSwing, with a chance of Lindy-Hopping your way to being crowned 2018 Strictly Champions at our Grand Finale. Garden House Hospice Care is looking for 12 couples (or 24 singles) to join its first ever Strictly competition. We have teamed up with the world record holders Jive Swing – who are currently the UK’s youngest and leading swing dance teachers and performers of authentic dances. Jessica Carter, Events and Overseas Challenges Manager, commented: “We are looking for a 24 people within North Hertfordshire and Stevenage to take part in our first Strictly event. You do not need any experience just a ‘have a go’ attitude. Professional dance lessons will start in September, so sign up soon to guarantee your

Fo r

place! Please do get in touch if you want to find out more.” Our Grand Finale takes place on Saturday 17th November at The Spirella Ballroom in Letchworth. Tickets for the evening are available via our website. Come and support our fantastic dancing couples who are competing to be crowned our 2018 Strictly Come Jive & Swing Champions. For more information, please call Jessica Carter in the Fundraising team on 01462 679540 or (terms and conditions apply)

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House of Colour

Use Style to Blow Away Negativity During Menopause Menopause is steeped in negativity, rarely talked about openly and is often associated with weight gain, mood swings and hot flushes. However, menopause is different for every woman and there are many ways we can halt the negative association of this all-important phase in life that every woman goes through. To follow are tips on how to build your confidence using style and colour during Menopause. 1. Its not always easy but try seeing this as a new phase to your life; perhaps a new chance to reinvent yourself and to celebrate your body, skin and confidence. Always highlight your body parts that you like and don’t think, just perhaps because you are on the good side of fifty, that you must fade into the background! Now is your time! 2. Oestrogen is key to building collagen in our skin, so during menopause your skin may lose elasticity, or look duller and feel thinner or drier. Being well moisturised and wearing the right coloured makeup will make you appear healthier. The right lipstick is key! 3. Black is often thought of as a slimming colour but if you are not a winter season then it is not your colour. As we age even some winters begin to struggle to carry it off! Tailoring and the art of layering is far more helpful in creating a slimmer look. 4. If you are feeling flushed, know that the right colours will bring down high colouring and if you feel your complexion needs a lift try the more vibrant colours in your colour palette. Importantly, autumns and springs suit warm tones whilst winters and summers should wear cool tones. 5. If you feel like foundation is too chalky on your skin now, try using a BB cream as it has all the benefits of hydrating like a moisturiser, providing the coverage of a light foundation and often contains a sunscreen. Try www. 6. It is important to exercise when going through menopause so keep active and choose great sportswear to keep you motivated. Get re-measured for a good fitting bra, invest in some quality sports kit including a great sports bra and choose some trainers


in a fabulous colour from your colour palette and you are ready hit the gym or pound the pavements! 7. If you are feeling flushed, know that the right colours will bring down high colouring and if you feel your complexion needs a lift try the more vibrant colours in your colour palette. Importantly, autumns and springs suit warm tones whilst winters and summers should wear cool tones. 8. Use accessories close to your face such a scarves, necklaces or earrings in one of, or an assortment of, your wow colours to highlight your complexion and to look great. 9. Comfortable dressing will be another vital consideration during menopause so wearing the right size and shape is important. Some of us may want our clothes to skim over our torso, but make sure you do not swamp your body; you can always add a belt to bring the silhouette in a little. Learning where on your body to best wear a belt is key. It is absolutely possible to prioritise style whilst still being comfortable. 10. Wearing more breathable fabrics that allows the air to flow such as linen or 100% cotton will help with hot flushes. Avoid anything labelled100% polyester. 11. Patterns are a great way to mask sweat but choose one that really suits you. Different patterns suit different style personalities. You may have something with a lovely pattern in your wardrobe right now that fits well but never feels quite right. It probably isn’t a pattern that suits YOU.

By Jennie Billings Style and Colour Consultatnt at House of Colour

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YOGA FOR BACK PAIN “Be Active Again” • Gentle and effective • Ideal for beginners • 12 week course starting September

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No appointment necessary Wet cut & blow dry........................£10.50 Wash cut & blow dry ....................£13.50 Clipper cuts 1-4 .............................. £8.50 Senior citizens (Over 65 yrs mon-thurs) ................ £8.00 Children (up to 11 yrs).....................£9.50 Beard trim........................................ £3.50 Beard trim (with cut throat shape up)..............£5.00 Shape ups, lines & patterns (from).... £1.00 Skin fades ..................................... £11.50


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09/01/2018 15:32

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Time of Year

Gadgets for Summer Living Sit outside with a drink on a warm summer evening? Don’t mind if I do, but I do mind being eaten alive by mosquitoes! This year I am installing a Bug Zapper Light Bulb. The bulb provides two different modes that can be chosen with the wall switch: Antimozzie or light plus anti-mozzie. The bulb’s 360-degree LED blue-violet light band emits a wavelength of 365-420nm, which attracts mosquitoes. It’s safe for human’s though, as there is no radiation, it’s non-toxic and chemical-free. Really intense summer sun calls for a parasol. Now you can choose one with solar-powered internal lights which will also charge a small electronic device like a phone. Your teens will love you. It’s always good to have something to sit on when out and about over the summer. Whether you are going camping or for a walk on the beach a blanket is a useful item. Unfortunately, they can

be a bit bulky. Enter the Pocket Blanket, available from good camping shops. Made of water repellent, puncture resistant, lightweight nylon, they fold into a 3 x 2-inch (7.5 x 5 cm) pouch. It fits two people lying down or four people sitting, and its weighted corners will help to keep it from blowing around. It’s irritating when one party member disappears, and you have little or no phone reception to let them know you’re waiting. Try an off-grid communication device like Gotoky. It’s like a tiny modern-day walkie-talkie which connects to your phone with Bluetooth, has a range of 4 miles and lets you contact other people who have downloaded the app, bypassing the need for mobile coverage. With two per pack you can text or even share grid locations. As a bonus communications are end-to-end encrypted!

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By Tom Hancock


With a spacious working showroom in the heart of Bedford, P & R Interiors is a local family-run firm that provides inspirational modern design and cost-effective solutions for both kitchens and bathrooms.

A stylish bathroom to suit your current needs….

With our ageing population, an increasing number of us are less mobile. P & R Interiors can design, supply and fit an up-to-the-minute bath or shower room which also discretely incorporates function and practicality for the less able. The best news is that many of these features are currently right on trend - from flush-to-floor shower trays and wet rooms, to walk-in showers with fixed glass screens – and built using the latest materials. Managing Director Paul Kynoch, who has decades of experience in the trade, explains: “We believe that simplicity and ease of use are key. Less mobile people may need a higher-level toilet or a lower access bath. Our basins and toilets can be hung at a custom height to suit every need. We have baths with a door, or showers with screens that open outwards to help prevent falls. “There are 54 working bays in our showroom that are constantly being updated. So, you can come in, see


exactly what you are buying and experience firsthand how it works. We supply, and can fit, your entire bathroom.” P & R Interior’s own dedicated installation team can work on the supervised installation of your bathroom while adhering to local authority guidelines. Safety is paramount, and designs incorporate safety glass, thermostatically safe showers and non-slip floors. Such is the design quality of the bathrooms, that accessories for the less able such as a wall-mounted fold-down shower seat, work seamlessly with the installation to be barely noticeable. Fold-down grab bars beside the toilet and sturdy shower rails that double up as supports all help make daily bathing the hassle-free pleasure it should be. It’s worlds away from the disabled bathrooms found in hospitals and care homes. It is also now possible to install low level lighting under the bath that comes on automatically when you enter the bathroom at night. Hidden behind a two-way mirror that gives the illusion of flooring stretching beneath a ‘floating’ bath, the effect is as stunning as it is practical. This is the beauty of these safety and mobility features - they are so unobtrusively stylish, no one will notice you need that bit of extra help as they will simply be admiring your bathroom! Materials have moved on apace since the era of acrylic baths in ‘avocado’. Now there are high quality

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resins that produce super thin shower trays and beautiful ‘tapless’ baths. Towel rails can be colour matched to cabinets for as little as £100 extra. If you’re not a fan of wall tiles (although P & R Interiors carries a vast range), you can have waterproof panels instead. And if you have a smaller bathroom - as many of us do - then you will find P & R Interior’s wide but shallow depth basin units fit perfectly and provide spaciousness.

…and a kitchen to meet your future ones

Following customer demand, the fitted kitchen displays are now an integral part of the business meaning that when you visit P & R Interiors, you are only a step away from having your dream kitchen. Top quality German and English-style kitchens are available to suit every budget and the company offers a free 3D software design package that Paul describes as ‘photographic’. Specialising in high-tech German designed kitchens from Pronorm alongside more traditional-style English kitchens from JJO Plc, far from being out of most people’s pockets, P & R Interiors can often match trade prices and will always work to your budget. “It’s really unusual for us not be able to come up with

a solution for you” says Andrew Groom who has 20 years’ experience under his belt. Germany is the industry trendsetter in kitchen colours and design - and high street retailers eventually follow suit. Pronorm epitomises the elegance of a true ‘handleless’ kitchen. With its expansive, sleek cupboard fronts and modern electrically-operated doors - including ‘glass climbers’ that magically fold up like Venetian blinds - their kitchens are state-of-the-art. In years to come, we will all have convenient pull-down shelves and smart, hygienic ceramic or glass inserts on our cupboard fronts, but for now, Pronorm sets the bar. As with bathrooms, kitchen materials are better and more durable than ever. You can have traditional granite in a gloss or leathered finish, quartz or Corian worktops, and now there are other finishes to choose from including Hi-Macs, and Staron. One of the latest worktop materials is Dekton. Described as ‘bomb proof’, it doesn’t stain or mark, is 100% hygienic, and heat resistant. It has been described as the ‘most scratch resistant surface on the market’. Finish off your design with mood enhancing, colourchanging lights and you really will have a kitchen of the future. P & R Bathrooms provides design and full installation or supply only. There is a five-year guarantee on all AEG Premier Partner exclusive products and a 10year guarantee on all kitchens. Both trade and retail are welcome.

P & R Interiors, 9 Lurke Street, Bedford M40 3HZ Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00 pm Saturdays 10.00am to 4.00pm Tel: 0845 434 8401 Email: To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122



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Lethal Leatherjackets Daddy-longlegs or crane-flies are starting to hatch out now as adults, but it is their young – known as leatherjackets – that really cause grief in gardens. If your lawn has yellowing patches on it or you’ve noticed it being ripped up in the last few weeks, chances are leatherjackets are to blame and it is likely that the problem will get a lot worse. Leatherjackets feed on grass roots (and can also cause problems in flowerbeds and vegetable plots) and this may cause the plants they attack to be weakened and even die back; worst of all, these juicy larvae are tasty snacks for animals such as crows, rooks, magpies, badgers or foxes. So if there are leatherjackets in your garden, these animals will search them out, ripping up your lawn or excavating beds and borders in the process. Lawns are usually worst affected and can be quickly devastated. What is the best way to check if you have them? Early in the evening, water a couple of the yellowed patches thoroughly and do the same with a ripped-up patch. Next, cover these areas in black polythene weighed down with a couple of bricks or similar. A double layer of black bin liners or an opened-out plastic compost bag will work well. Next morning, lift the polythene and you’ll see the pests on the soil or lawn surface. So how do you know leatherjackets are to blame? Leatherjackets are greyish-brown, tubular, legless, up to about 4.5cm long and so nearly transparent that you can often see inside them, lunch and all. To remove more, repeat this black polythene trick

and deposit the pests on the bird table as free and nutritious bird food. For a much quicker, easier and more thorough solution, use the biological control nematode ‘Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer’. It is quick and easy to apply – I just use a watering can and water it onto the affected area shortly after I’ve seen the first daddy-longlegs and when soil conditions are right – usually late August to late October. As long as you keep the area moist for about three or four weeks, it works a treat – and is even safe if you have a dog, pet rabbit or other pets (or kids!) who use the lawn. So how can you get hold of this? There are two pack sizes available, suitable for standard lawns or those with a very large area to cover but you won’t find them in garden centres as they have a short shelf life. You can, however, find out more and order them from www.pippagreenwood. com/products in the Protect Your Plants section. We’ll send them out by first class post in an insulated envelope for you to show those pesky leatherjackets who’s the boss! Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and you’ll find some great gardening items: Nemaslug, green controls for leatherjackets, chafer grubs, ants and greenfly, plus garden plant supports, raised bed kits, Easy-Tunnels, gardening tools, Grower Frames, signed books and more! You can even book Pippa for a gardening talk at your local gardening club.

By Pippa Greenwood To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122


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Local News

Rehoming Appeal Skittle and Willow

This is Skittle (ginger/white) and Willow (black/ginger/white), a lovely pair of female guinea pigs. Skittle was born in July 2015 and Willow in March 2017. They were a little shy when they first came in to RATS as they had not been handled much due to the family having a very lively new puppy. They were handed in to hopefully find a quieter family to live with. They are happy to live in a hutch outdoors in the warmer months but will then need to be indoors or inside a shed for the winter. If you could offer Skittle and Willow a home, please call Hazel on 01234 357788. Any potential home will be vetted by one of our volunteers. 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.

Covering Herts, Beds & North London areas

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The Complete


Traditional Lawns

Block Paving & Driveways

Patios ❁ Paving ❁ Driveways ❁

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Fencing Turfing ❁ Decking ❁ Gazebos

Lighting Water Features ❁ Exotic PLants ❁ Artificial lawns

Lighting Solutions

Timber Structures

Compact Gardens

Call us now for your free consultation on: 01438 313765 To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122



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Best Convertibles


For Under £2,000

By James Baggott

With summer in full swing, if you want a drop-top to provide that wind-in-your-hair experience we’ve picked out some of the best convertibles for under £2,000. MG TF Readily available and well-priced, most MG TF’s come with a peppy 1.8-litre engine and all have a folding cloth roof. It’s still a relatively handsome looking car that seems to have aged well, and we found a number for well under our £2,000 budget. Citroen C3 Pluriel Designed to be five cars in one, the C3 Pluriel wasn’t successful, meaning you can pick up decent used examples and, though they may not have a sports car design, you still get that drop-top experience very cheaply. Most cars get alloy wheels and air conditioning, but make sure the folding roof functions correctly. Mercedes SLK Buying a used Mercedes can mean higher repair costs and pricier parts, so choose carefully – a decent servicing history is essential. An early 2000s SLK should be well-equipped, with electronically-adjustable seats and cruise control. Toyota MR2 For no-frills, involving motoring, the little MR2 provides exciting performance from a 1.8-litre engine, and its compact size makes it feel nimble on the road. The lack of any real boot does make it impractical but there are plenty of reasonable examples available within budget.

Mazda MX-5 The MX-5 is a reliable, cheap-to-repair convertible and is a go-to choice for those who want a relatively involving drive coupled with compact dimensions. Rust is an issue, particularly on early models, but a clean example will provide miles of trouble-free motoring. Mini Convertible The ‘new’ Mini has proved to be immensely popular, and the convertible version was snapped up as a result of its cutesy styling and reasonably powerful range of engines. Available well within our £2,000 budget, make sure that the interior is straight, and listen for strange noises from the costly-to-replace power steering pump. Saab 9-3 The 9-3 convertible is a comfortable and spacious drop-top, and there are plenty of spare parts and components available should you need replacements, despite Saab’s now defunct status. Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet Most Bugs come comprehensively equipped, with air conditioning and alloy wheels just some of the extras you’ll find fitted, and the Beetle is a decent and reliable soft-top. BMW 3 Series Convertible (E46) There are many examples of 3 Series convertibles to be found at this budget. Most common are E46 models, which are sturdy and excellent to drive. A variety of engines are available too, with even the top end straight-six models well in this price bracket. Double check the arches as these are prone to rust. In addition, turn the steering lock to lock while travelling at low speed and listen out for any troubling knocking noises. Audi TT Roadster There aren’t many about in this price range, but the Audi TT Roadster is a fine option. Strong build quality, reliable engines and quirky styling mean that this soft-top still looks and feels fresh today. At this price you’ll be looking at a high-mileage example, but providing it’s got a decent service history there’s no reason why these can’t be hasslefree convertibles.

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Visit our beautiful

Bathroom Showroom ...With more than 50 displays of bathrooms, furniture & fittings Free in-house 3D design service Quality products from leading manufacturers Experienced staff offering impartial advice Free delivery within a 20 mile radius of our showroom

01438 725309

Caxton House, Caxton Way, Stevenage, Herts. SG1 2XS

HERTS OVEN CLEAN Herts Oven Clean is a domestic oven cleaning specialist in Hertfordshire. Non-caustic, fume-free solution individually prepared for each customer. Ovens, Hobs, Grills, Extractors, Agas, Microwaves and Gas Barbeques. Call Richard on 01438 813492 Bring a sparkle to your kitchen today. 32

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Three Counties Radio

Churros with chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar

Churros is hands down one of my absolute favourite things. It takes me back to Spanish holidays, hot sun and chocolate all over my fingers! It’s easy to make at home though and will make you a hero with your children. This recipe was created by Haydn Groves. A former National Chef of the Year, he took on the three great cycle tour routes (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana) with former footballer Geoff Thomas to raise money for cancer research. He produced a beautiful charity cookbook called “Back In The Saddle” as a result, which mixes travel journal and photography with wonderful recipes from all the stops he made on the journey. This churros recipe comes, of course, from one of the stages he rode in Spain. For the sauce: 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) 40g double cream 40g full-fat milk 20g caster sugar (or omit for a bitter sauce) For the churros: 250ml water 25g caster sugar 25g vegetable oil 1⁄2 tsp salt 125g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 2 litres vegetable oil for frying To coat: 100g caster sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a pan and gently melt together, stirring occasionally until you have a smooth shiny sauce. Keep it warm. 2. To make the churros, in a small saucepan over a medium heat, combine the water, caster sugar, vegetable oil and salt. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Sieve the flour and baking powder together and stir into the liquid until the mixture forms a ball. 3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer, or deep frying pan, to 190°C. 4. Mix the remaining caster sugar and cinnamon and set aside. 5. Using a piping bag with a 12mm star nozzle, pipe lines of the dough, 8-10cm in length onto parchment paper. 6. Taking care not to splash yourself with hot oil, gently pick up the piped churros pieces from the paper and place into the oil and fry until golden for approximately 3 minutes. 7. Remove the churros with a slotted spoon and put onto a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain. 8. Dust with the cinnamon sugar and serve freshly cooked with the warm chocolate sauce for dipping.

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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I D Decorating Painting & Decorating Services Painting – Interior & Exterior Decorating Coving No Job Too Big Or Too Small Fully Insured & Free Estimates Telephone: Ian Dunklin 0790 508 3799


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Domestic Appliances Repairs of

Painters and Decorators

Premier Painters and Decorators are a professional, punctual and hard working company delivering outstanding quality of work to our clients in and around Stevenage From wallpaper hanging, feature walls, coving and cornice work. We even clean facias, soffits and guttering. (PVC or Wood) If you would like to take advantage of our services, require a quote or advise please do not hesitate to contact us. Be assured when Premier quote a job there are NO HIDDEN EXTRAS. Private and commercial, exterior and interior painting services.

For a free quotation please contact Gary on Tel: 01438 353793 Mob: 07733 227961 Email:

Washing Machines Tumble Dryers Dishwashers Electric Ovens Electric Cookers Microwaves Vacuum Cleaners and all domestic appliances. VAT Registered. Specialist in Hotpoint, Indesit, Ariston, Creda and Whirlpool appliances.

Contact RONNIE Tel: 01438 720 304 Mobile: 07739 922493

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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. 36

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Stevenage airport taxiS

Stevenage Airport Taxis offer the most reliable and professional airport transfer service in and around the Stevenage area. We have several licensed vehicles that can cater for up to 8 passengers. We also provide a transport service for weddings, long distance journeys and any occasion day or night leisure trips. Please visit our website for any bookings or quotations or call

01438 420420 Online Bookings • Credit Cards Accepted

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n O s ’ t Wha In August 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 24, 30 & 31 August Craft & Activity Days 10am-12 noon & 1-3pm The British Schools Museum, 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin. SG4 9TS £5 per child Every Wednesday and Thursday in August. Designed for 4-11 year-olds. Web: 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 August Sapphire Social Club 8.30pm The Orange Tree, Hitchin We are a small and friendly group for single people generally aged 50 and above. We offer a variety of social events during the month and the opportunity to meet and make new friends. Potential new members are warmly welcome to come along and meet us with no joining fee for the first two months. Tel: Joyce 07952 678021 or Ian 07900 890583 for info Web: 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August Springfield House Friday Bridge Club 1.30pm Springfield House (the home of the Old Stevenage Community Centre) To play cut-in Chicago Bridge. Play is informal and friendly. Tel: Richard Bean 01438 221517 4 August Embroiderers’ Guild National Day of Stitch 10-2pm Letchworth Library, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City Exhibiting and demonstrating a variety of needlework techniques both traditional and modern, suitable for all ages, interests and skill levels.


4 August The Signals Museum Open Day 10am-4pm The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get an entry ticket from the Guardroom. See website for full information. Web: 6, 13 & 20 August Staplers Country Dance Club 8-10pm St John’s Community Hall, Hitchin Staplers is your local social folk dance club. It’s easy to start as all the dances are walked through first then called and you don’t need to bring a partner, lots of people go on their own. It is a friendly group and you will be made very welcome. Car parking available next to the hall. Tel. 01462 895567 or 01462 624144 Web: 6, 13, 20 & 27 August Branch Out Social Club for Single People 8.30-11pm Cromwell Bar, The Sun Hotel, Hitchin Branch Out meets every Monday night and is a medium-sized Social Club for single people. It was formed in 1995 to bring together single, divorced, widowed and separated people, aged 40 upwards, from the Herts, Beds and Bucks area, to socialise and enjoy one another’s company. The club organises regular events, such as dinners, discos, meals, parties, Sunday walks, theatre and concert visits, day and weekend trips and holidays. Tel: Lorna 01438 233657 Web:

7, 14, 21 & 28 August Stevenage Bridge Club 7.30pm Priory Nursery, Stanmore Road, Old Stevenage To play Duplicate Bridge. A host system is run to find partners, if required. A wide level of ability play at the club. Tel: Phil Cooper 07957 813434 9 August Meeting of Vintage & Classic Vehicles 4pm Sports Ground, Pirton, Hitchin Free entry Entertainment, raffle, tombola, souvenirs, bar and refreshments. In aid of RNLI. Tel: Mike Frisby 01462 433716 Email: 16 August Letchworth District Gardeners Association 7.45pm Central Methodist Church, 109 Pixmore Way, Letchworth Garden City LDGA & LALG Members £2, Visitors £3 inc. refreshments A talk by Paul has been running his own garden consultancy business for the last 15 years and in 2004 achieved a Bronze Medal at Chelsea for his Courtyard Garden. More recently Paul set up ‘Grow Places’ to help more people enjoy the social and health benefits of gardening. Tel: Meetings Organiser 01462 621961 Web:

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

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n O s ’ t Wha In August 25 & 26 August The Pantaloons 2018 Outdoor Theatre Shows 2pm & 7pm RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Adults £15, Children (age 7-16) £8, Under 7s free, Family 2+2 £40 Saturday As You Like It. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” Welcome to the Forest of Arden, a world of clowns, lovers, runaways and rebels. The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons present their innovative and hilarious open-air version of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy, with folky, foot-stomping live music and their own inimitable brand of buffoonery. Sunday “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Everybody loves Ernest. In fact, Cecily and Gwendolen are both engaged to Ernest. The only trouble is, Ernest doesn’t exist. Or does he…? This energetic and musical production from the criticallyacclaimed Pantaloons’ infuses Wilde’s witty words with snappy new songs and frantically funny physical theatre to give this perennially popular play a hilarious contemporary twist! Bring your blankets, picnics and chairs, bring a bottle of your favourite tipple and enjoy theatre in the open air. Assistance dogs only please. Tickets available to buy before each performance from the ticket yurt. Online booking fee of £1.25 per transaction applies. Web:

25-27 August Benington Chilli Festival 10am-5pm Benington Lordship Gardens, Benington Adults £8.50, Children under 16 £2.50, Under 12s free. Over 60 pitches of the nation’s best known independent chilli traders selling everything and anything you can make with chillies - chutneys, sauces, pickles, seeds, cheese and chocolate. Chilli eating competition at 4pm each day. Entertainment for all the family. Extensive selection of refreshments including Mexican burritos and tacos, Thai, Cajun, Greek and Lebanese fayre, wood oven pizza, spicy sausages, ice cream and more. Vegan and vegetarian dishes too. Sample beers, local cider, spicy ginger beer, soft drinks and the legendary Hot Mule cocktail. Many varieties of chilli plants available to buy from knowledgeable growers. Web: chilli-festival/ 26 August Hitchin & Letchworth Local Group RSPB Trip Own transport trip to Rutland Water. Start the season by visiting an excellent reserve with numerous hides, birds (including ospreys), butterflies and dragonflies. Permits £5.70/£4.50. Meet at Egleton car park (O/S 141, SK 880 072) at 9.30am. Leader Martin Johnson. Web: groups/hitchinandletchworth

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26 August Tea Afternoon 2-5pm St Marys, Graveley Free entry St Marys Graveley PCC annual Tea Afternoon. Why not visit this delightful old Church, dating back to the 11th Century, just north of Stevenage, for the best homemade cakes you’ll find, and a cup of tea (or coffee). The Maze at Crow End will be open for the public just this one day The Maze is open by courtesy of the Hogg family, and a small charge will be made with all proceeds in aid of Church funds. Free parking at Graveley Hall Farm adjacent to the church. Tel: Janet Singleton on 01438 813863 31 August-2 September Cool Britannia Festival Knebworth House Celebrate an epic era of music with headline acts including the Happy Mondays and Ocean Colour Scene. Get ready to dance your way through the nineties and noughties with an incredible supporting line-up that includes artists such as Razorlight, The Lightning Seeds and Toploader. Web:

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



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July’s Puzzle Solutions and Winners Last Month’s Crossword Winner Mr D Thomas from Biggleswade Winner of the Meraki Festival Competition Anne Rowell from Brampton

Winner of the Bickerdikes Competition Maurice Leake from Stevenage



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The Villager Prize Crossword



Across 7 Corporations (13) 8 Emotions (8) 9 Poverty-stricken (4) 10 Modified (7) 12 Confess (5) 14 Incident (5) 16 Place of education (7) 19 Slice open (4) 20 Sidewalk (8) 22 Chances (13

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


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

Down 1 Complimentary (4) 2 Thump (6) 3 Innovator (7) 4 Artificial (5) 5 Torn (6) 6 Irritating (8) 11 Evolves (8) 13 Nunnery (7) 15 Country (6) 17 Boundaries (6) 18 Notices (5) 21 Require (4)

Name: Tel: Address:


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01438 215 018 | | 07960 98 32 98 To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122 HRC half page.indd 1

43 20/02/2017 16:40

n i t l h F e o J Plasterersam

Female Plasterer specialising in: Plastering, Plasterboarding, Making Good and Painting


Tel. 07951 362335 / 07836 768670 Email: Fully Insured All Work Guaranteed – No Job Too Small Call Now For A Free Quote

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Handyman Plumbing Electrical Painting & Decorating

Drainage Gardening Locksmith 24/7 Emergency Call Out

Big Enough To Cope, Small Enough To Care 44 Jem Property Services 4-18.indd


12/03/2018 13:35 Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Property Maintenance Premier Property Maintenance is a multiple trade company operating in and around Hertfordshire and north London. We are a well organized management team with a professional approach to Client Liaison, Supervision and Health and Safety. We operate with a versatile in-house work force with various specialist trades, which results in our ability to provide our Client’s with an ‘all-trades’ service. We pride ourselves on delivering a competitive quality service to new and existing Clients.

Premier Property Maintenance offers a comprehensive range of services including;  Fully managed bathroom and kitchen installation  Electrical and plumbing certificates for landlords  All aspects of electrical work covered by NIC installers  Plumbing and heating engineer  All aspects of carpentry work covered  Wall and floor tiling  Plastering and cornice work

 Painting and decorating including wallpaper  Roofing - slate and tiled  Brickwork  Laying of laminate and wooden flooring  Conservatory project manage and installation  Fully project managed garden landscaping  Window and conservatory cleaning 01438 353793 / 07531 229067

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Painters and Decorator Lavender Marshall Painters & Decorators Emergency Call Outs Full & Partial Rewires Electrical Safety Reports CCTV Installation Security Lights Garden Lighting

Tel: 07854 738740 Email: Web: Find us on Facebook - Dot Electrical

Dot ElectricalJune 16.indd 1


Internal and External Coving, Wallpaper Hanging Fully Insured. 20 years experience Call for a free no obligation quote

01763 288168 or 07917 877455 Email:

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25/05/2016 22:11:12

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and Town


Alcoholics Anonymous..............................0845 769 7555 Anglian Water............................................08457 145 145 Bedford Hospital........................................ 01234 355122 Lister Hospital............................................ 01438 314333 Benefits for people with Disabilities...........0800 882 200 Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue................... 01438 729041 Carers Line..................................................0808 808 7777 ChildLine...........................................................0800 1111 Citizens Advice...........................................0344 245 1292 Cocaine Anonymous..................................0800 689 4732 Crimestoppers..............................................0800 555 111

Bringing Local Business to Local People Your local full colour A5 monthly magazine delivered free of charge to 1000s of homes and businesses in your local area. The Villager and Town Life is dedicated to promoting local businesses, charities, community groups and everything else in your local area.

Cruse Bereavement Care............................0333 252 9152 Floodline....................................................0845 988 1188 Frank-Drug Advisory....................................0800 776 600 National Debt Line.....................................0808 808 4000 Gas Emergency............................................0800 111 999 NHS Direct.........................................................0845 4647 National Rail Enquiries..............................03457 48 49 50 Non Emergency Police Line.........................................101 NSPCC.........................................................0808 800 5000 Relate..........................................................0845 48 49 50 RSPCA Cruelty Line....................................0300 1234 999 Samaritans............................................................116 123 Tax Credit Helpline.....................................0345 300 3900 Victim Support............................................845 30 30 900

For more information or to reserve your space please contact Nigel on:

Tel: 01767 261122

Email: Web:

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Steam & Country Fayre 14th, 15th & 16th September 2018 Old Warden Park, nr Biggleswade (SAT NAV SG18 9DX)



Steam Engines of all sizes Action Packed Arena Working Demonstrations Heavy Horses Fairground Organs Working Crafts Craft & Food Halls Trade & Market Stalls Vintage Vehicles Old Time Fairground Vintage Tractors Morris Dancing Licensed Bar & Refreshments

Saturday & Sunday

Gates Open 9am

Caravan & Camping Area Download or contact for booking form

All Enquiries to: BSEPS, PO Box 346, Henlow, Beds SG6 9GP Tel: 01462 887200 Email:



Friday Adult


CHILDREN (Under (Under 16) 16) CHILDREN


FREE CAR PARKING Coach Parties Welcome - please contact us Free Entry to SAC Members

Book Tickets Online at Discounted Prices! Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society

Charity no 291744


Great Ashby August 2018  
Great Ashby August 2018