Page 1


Issue 112 - 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 in

Langford, Henlow, Shefford, Stanford, Hinxworth, Ickleford, Caldecote, Radwell, Fairfield Park, Shillington, Pirton, Upper and Lower Stondon, Gravenhurst, ur Holwell, Meppershall, Baldock, Stotfold, Arlesey, Hitchin & Letchworth Yo EE To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122


The Old White Horse • 1 High Street • Biggleswade • SG18 0JE Tel: 01767 314344 e: 2

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Inside this issue... 12

Win Tickets to see Twelfth Day

The History of Alice....................................................................4 March is national Bed Month.....................................................8 Win Tickets to see The Blockheads............................................10 Win Tickets to see Twelfth Day..................................................12 Dine in Style: Searcys St Pancras Restaurant............................15 Wordsearch..............................................................................17 How to ace a Job Interview......................................................18 Dogs Trust School Comes to Hertfordshire................................21 Madagascar - The Eighth Continent..........................................22 Riverside Golf Society...............................................................24 Fun Quiz...................................................................................24 Woof Cancer Day......................................................................26 Style Tips for Spring/Summer..................................................29 Let’s Fight Fatigue, Pain and Brain Fog!....................................31 Your Clutter Free Life................................................................33 Local Charities Matter..............................................................34 Changing Lives.........................................................................37

Has Your Local Bank Closed Down?...........................................38 The Garage Shefford ................................................................40 Get Your Soil into Shape...........................................................43 Fertiliser...................................................................................44 Moving House with Children....................................................48 R.A.T.S. Rehoming Appeal........................................................51 Animal Know-How...................................................................53 Children’s Page.........................................................................54 Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe...................................................56 Bedfordshire Bonsai Society.....................................................58 Puzzle Page..............................................................................60 What’s On.................................................................................62 St David’s day...........................................................................65 Don’t Have Mad March Hair......................................................68 Crufts - 11th to 18th March......................................................70 Prize Crossword........................................................................74 National Butchers Week...........................................................77


The Garage Shefford

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 - Catherine Rose, Louise Addison, Trevor Langley, Tracey Anderson, Solange Hando, Jennie Billings,Suzanne Roynon, Pippa Greenwood, Rachael Leverton, Kate Duggan, RSPCA, Nick Coffer and Helen Jones. Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122 • Photography Petr Baumann and Darren Harbar Photography Design and Artwork Design 9 • Tel 07762 969460 •

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

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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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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Time of Year

March is

National Bed Month We spend about a third of our lives in bed so if we live until 75 we’ll have been asleep for 25 years! We all know that a good night’s sleep is important but how much sleep do we really need and why do we do it? The question of why we sleep is actually quite mysterious. In simple terms it’s a daily extended bout of rest where we lay down with our eyes closed. But there’s more to sleep than meets the eye. During this time, our bodies replenish energy stores and make vital repairs, while our minds organise and store the memories of from day before. The amount of sleep we need depends on our age, sex, health and other factors, and our sleep cycles change as we grow older. Most of us know (or think we do) that we should get ‘8 hours sleep a night’ but in fact there is no magic number for how much sleep we should get because we’re all different. Providing you’re not regularly trying to get through your life on two or three hours a night (unless you’re a new mother in which case you have my sympathy) it’s important not to get too hung up on the quantity of your sleep but instead focus on the quality. When we first fall asleep we enter non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). This is divided into three stages, with each becoming progressively deeper. NREM1 and NREM2 are light phases of sleep, from which we can be easily roused. NREM3 becomes deeper, and if woken up, we can feel disorientated.


Following on from this is rapid eye movement sleep (REM), the stage at which we dream. When scientists study brainwaves during REM sleep they find that the brain behaves similar to when we’re awake, but our muscles are more-or-less inactive. Each sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and in order to feel fully rested and refreshed when we wake up, we must experience all four stages. A full night’s sleep will include of five or six cycles, while a disturbed, restless night consists of fewer. The perfect sleep environment Comfortable temperature (16-18°C) Fresh air circulating but no draughts. Dark - try using blackout blinds or an eye mask. A large bed - Buy the largest you can accommodate A quality mattress - try out lots and buy the best you can afford. Ban technology - The blue light emitted by screens is hazardous to good quality sleep. Quiet - you can buy soft earplugs if noise is a problem though some people sleep better with white noise in the background. Routine - A regular bedtime routine is an important cue to help us fall asleep. Think about the bath, book, bed routine we often establish for our children. You can use essential oils, a good book and a warm milky drink. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and screen use too close to bedtime, and never go to bed on an argument!

By Louise Addison

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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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Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the whole window including

the frames and all the hardware, however Cloudy2Clear have come up with a simple and cost saving solution‌ Just replace the glass!! If you see condensation in your windows just visit our website or give us a call on 0800 61 21 118. We will send out our highly experienced engineers for a free no obligation quote. A Cloudy2Clear quote takes on average no longer than 20 minutes. Once the quote is completed, we will sit down with you and explain the problem and tell you how we can fix it.

With years of experience Cloudy2Clear have a wealth of knowledge and are recognised as a Which Trusted Trader, plus our work is backed by an industry leading 25 year guarantee. Cloudy2Clear also replace faulty locks handles and hinges on all windows and doors. Your friendly local Cloudy2Clear specialist is Tom Bliss and he services the Luton, Stevenage, Letchworth, Dunstable & surrounding areas. So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Tom a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118.

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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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Good food + loved ones washing up = mum heaven -








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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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Opening times: Mon: 12-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm Tues: closed Wed-Thurs: 12-2.30pm, 5.30pm_10.30pm Fri 12_2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm Sat 12-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm Sunday 12-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm

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14/02/2018 08:48 17


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.

By Louise Addison

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Fiddle Daemons Violins, Violas, Cellos, Bass

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Local News

Dogs Trust Dog School come to Hertfordshire Dogs Trust have set up Dog School which now has 26 training schools across the UK, with the latest Dog School having just arrived in Hertfordshire. Last year over 20% of the dogs taken in by Dogs Trust rehoming centres (3,000 dogs) were handed in for behavioural reasons, 200 of these simply because their owners couldn’t handle their puppy’s behaviour. The charity is hoping Dog School training classes will help owners live a harmonious life with their pet pooches and avoid more dogs finding themselves homeless in 2018 as a result of a lack of training. Maria Wickes, Head of Dog School at Dogs Trust says, “Dogs Trust Dog School classes are an amazing resource and through our team of expert behaviourists, we helped over 6,000 dog owners train their four-legged friends last year”. This year, Dog School Hertfordshire has set up classes in Harpenden, Stevenage and Letchworth Garden City offering fun, informative classes to teach the key skills that prepare dogs for the

‘real world’ and encourage good decisions in different situations. There are courses specifically designed for three types of dogs, each with unique requirements: puppies, rescue dogs and adult dogs. A recent survey by Dogs Trust found that a quarter of dog owners wish they could teach their dog to settle when out and about and 18% wish their dog would come back when called. These are just two of the components of Dog School training class content delivered in each course. Some other parts of the course include walking on a loose lead and being more comfortable with veterinary handling. The course costs £50, but for rescue dogs it is only £40. Courses include five weeks of practical training, plus a free induction week at the start to go through some of the basics like canine body language. There is a maximum of 6 dogs per class and at least two professional coaches, so there’s plenty of individual attention for each owner and dog to help them achieve their potential. Head Coach, Natalie, at Dog School Hertfordshire says, “We can’t wait to meet dog owners and dogs around Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas in our new training class locations. Along with the weekly classes, we will also be running regular events and workshops for the community. Our first event is a family class, which will be held on the 4th April in Stevenage and 11th April in Harpenden.” To enquire further about Dogs Trust Dog School, visit the website:, email or phone 01582 807524

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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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Local News

Riverside Golf Society The Riverside Golf Society was formed approximately ten years ago in Stotfold. We currently have twenty members but like all society’s we are looking for a few new faces of all standard, all ages and both male and female. We play approximately ten events a year between the months of March and December at a number of different courses, mainly in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. We have booked this year events at Panshanger, Redbourn, Knebworth, Aldwykbury Park, Brampton, Three Locks, Beds and County, Leighton Buzzard, The Shire and Cambridge Meridian. We have also booked an overnight break at Farthingstone where we will be playing our Flagship event. Society days are played mainly on the second Monday of each month and consist of either

breakfast, 18 holes of golf and a light lunch or 18 holes of golf followed by a two course meal. Prices are a competitive £40 per event. There is an annual membership fee of £50. Individual prizes as well as a team prize are awarded after every event and we also run an Order of Merit competition and a knock out tournament throughout the year, the winners of which will receive a trophy.

If you are looking to join a friendly, welcoming and well organised society then please get in touch with Ron Treadwell on either 07783 456625 or by email to

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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No previous yoga experience required Sign up for the next 12-week course This course will put YOU in charge of your BACK and give you a ‘toolkit’ for life. Learn skills to improve the health of your back for the long-term. If you are suffering from pain, weakness and ongoing issues with your back - sign up for this course and open up a whole new world of health and movement. Contact Idunn Rodziewicz idunnr@b� Courses throughout the year in Hitchin

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Local News

Woof Cancer Day

George and Evie Photo: Beth Corcoran

Saturday 10th March 2018

Woof Cancer Day is an exciting new event coming to Fairlands Valley parks in Stevenage on Saturday 10th March 2018! It is a sponsored 5km dog walk organised by Cancer Research UK volunteers. At Woof Cancer Day, dogs (+ owners!) can pay to take part in the sponsored walk around the lovely parks – other family members are also welcome, the more the merrier! Cancer is a disease of cells. All cells can become cancerous - whether they belong to humans or dogs. Cancer cells rapidly divide and demonstrate several other key hallmarks of cancer. The treatments we have developed for beating cancer in humans can often be used to treat dogs too, including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Woof Cancer Day will be a family friendly walk with additional activities including a fun dog show, poochtastic stalls, top dog and fancy dress competitions, refreshments and a shorter route for older dogs and puppies! Our volunteers can’t wait: “I’m so excited to be helping organise this event and can’t wait to see all the wagging tails on the day! Everyone with a dog should sign up for this fun event for a fantastic cause!” Emma Rogers, Volunteer from Biggleswade. Siblings George and Evie from Letchworth are entering with their dog Lola along with Mum and Dad, and have started their fundraising - having already reached an amazing £160! Sign up at now at and get involved to help Beat Cancer Sooner! Join our Facebook Group for regular pupdates - Woof Cancer Day Stevenage.


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Welcome to your new look Letchworth Dental Surgery

We have been extremely busy over the last few months, transforming the Letchworth practice to bring the very best in new technology and comfort to all our patients. Added to this we have also introduced new treatments including a hygienist as well as several cosmetic dentistry options.


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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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Local News

Let’s Fight Fatigue, Pain… and Brain Fog!

Letchworth-based charity The Herts MS Therapy Centre helps people to fight chronic pain and the exhausting tiredness that often accompanies it. We understand how debilitating pain and fatigue can be. We know all about brain fog too. We aim to help as many people as we can, with any long term or neurological condition. Increasingly, we help people who have Fibromyalgia. Do you, or someone you know, have Fibromyalgia? We host a free drop-in support group at our Centre in Letchworth, and offer two therapies that help many people with Fibromyalgia: Oxygen Therapy – involves breathing in pure oxygen under gentle pressure. It helps many people via pain reduction, energy boosts and accelerated healing. Steve N has Fibromyalgia. He says: “Hyperbaric oxygen has made a significant difference, helping with my chronic tiredness and alleviating some of the joint and muscle pain, generally making life a whole lot more pleasant.” Pain Reduction Therapy - is an effective, drug free treatment for less pain, more energy and faster

healing. Research shows beneficial results in around 80% of people with chronic pain. Brian H says: “I did the six week Pain Reduction Programme. It worked well for me. I have had pain free mobility for the first time in nine months.” Give it a go! Try Oxygen Therapy or Pain Reduction Therapy for free. Call Claire on 01462 684 214 – or visit for more details. Let’s fight fatigue and pain!

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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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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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By Herts Sports Partnership

Changing Lives:

Local News

Actives Bodies, Active Minds

Headteachers, PE Subject Leads, School Governors and Sports Apprentices from more than 160 schools attended the sixth annual Hertfordshire Primary PE & School Sport conference at the University of Hertfordshire on Tuesday 16 January. Organised by the Herts Sports Partnership, the event opened with an inspiring keynote address from Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, who highlighted how recent changes to national sport and wellbeing strategies applied to primary schools, with a focus on the importance of using school sport, PE and physical activity to address pupils’ physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. A lively initiation into the theme of ‘Active Bodies’ then followed, with the entire audience rising to their feet for a few moments of dance with Youth Sport Trust Athlete Mentor and BMX Champion Mike Mullen – who was joined by, YOPA, the for the Herts Year of Physical Activity mascot.

The conference programme included 24 practical and theoretical workshops with subjects including ‘What Makes Outstanding PE?’ and ‘Evidencing the Impact of the Primary PE and Sport Premium’ plus ideas for how to best utilise the school grounds to encourage a positive learning environment. Over lunch, a marketplace packed with exhibitors from across the sport and PE sector offered delegates an opportunity to view a range of innovative products programmes and equipment. Tanya Angus event coordinator, was extremely pleased with the success of the day. She said, “It has been a fantastic event with lots of positive feedback from everyone involved. Our annual event was very well received and of real value to Hertfordshire schools.” For more information about the conference, please contact Tanya Angus. To find out more about the work of Herts Sports Partnership visit

Cllr. Richard Roberts (Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health), YOPA (the Herts Year of Physical Activity mascot) and Ali Oliver, CEO of Youth Sport Trust.

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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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TEMPLARS CROSS LODGE We take time to listen and find the best way forward Contact us to arrange your free initial 30 minute visit (We are happy to come to you for a small extra charge) Close to Baldock town centre in spacious surroundings this motel style Bed & Breakfast offers off road parking. • CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST • LARGE LUXURY EN-SUITE ROOMS • FREE WIFI INTERNET ACCESS • SKY TV/DVD PLAYER • FRIDGE IN ROOM • PRIVATE LOCATION • CLOSE TO TRAIN STATION • MAJOR CREDIT CARDS TAKEN

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Local & Reliable


The Garage Shefford Ltd

We love what we do The Garage Shefford is celebrating their one year anniversary. The Garage is growing under the capable combination of Ian, his wife, Sue, and their daughter, Emily. From the moment you walk through The Garage’s door, there is a welcoming atmosphere from a smiling Emily and Ian and the bond between the pair is clear. Emily, service manager, receptionist and go-to-girl, comments: “It’s all hands on deck, but we’ve held our ground for a year and loved every minute of it.”

Photography: Darren Harbar Photography


The Garage offers a large choice of MOT’s and services as well as Class 4 MOT (cars, motorhomes and minibuses up to 12 seats), they also carry out Class 5L (16-seater minibuses and school buses) and Class 7 (vans between 3000 and 3500 kg in weight). The Garage Shefford has recently received a much deserved green status from DVSA ( MOT governing body) along with being part of the Trust My Garage scheme, RMI and also part of the Independent Garage Body. Senior mechanic, Ian, comments: “We are so pleased to be a coveted Green Status so soon. The Garage work hard to ensure everything is of the highest quality, from the oil to our clean workshop area, and we are transparent in that we offer everything at a fair price. Emily’s scrupulous running of the day-to-day business, from paperwork, appointments to customer service certainly helped us along the way to achievement.” Having expanded on their customer base, often just through recommendation alone, Emily comments: “We have customers return as they love the personal touch we provide. We really get to know every individual, their needs and concerns and provide the

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right advice for them. We always give no obligation advice and there’s no expectation to commit to a sale, I am always happy when customers drop in just for a chat and advice.” The Garage Shefford endeavours to cater for every customer’s needs, regardless of age, gender or locality and offers a senior discount as well as a military and uniformed 10% discount on display of ID and always sources local suppliers. One returning customer, Thandi St Leger, visited The Garage in October 2017 and was overwhelmed with the service. Thandi comments: “What a breath of fresh air The Garage is. Every time the bill has come in it has been under the estimate cost. Emily is so friendly and easy to do business with. An oasis of civilisation amid a desert of garages that lack the touch of knowledge when it comes to the customer journey that Emily and her staff provide.” The Garage Shefford are digital-friendly, with Emily on hand to communicate to customers conveniently and with informed responses as well as followers on Facebook being treated to competitions including free MOT’s, kits and hampers. The Garage website is bursting with information and advices offers unique online promotional deals and allows customers to use the booking form with ease. Emily adds: “All we want from our customers is that they leave us content that they have had a high quality job at a fair rate and we always make sure they are consulted

every step of the way. The Garage boast a child and pet-friendly waiting area so there’s no obligation for customers to wait around else where - there’s music, Wi-Fi and delicious complimentary teas and coffees.” So what do the dynastic father-daughter duo do in their spare time? “More cars.” Laughs Emily. “We love going to Goodwood and looking at vintage cars, as well as watching the races there. Classic cars are a strong interest for both of us and we happily welcome them at The Garage too. As often as we can we help with charities- from our local church roof to McMillan cancer , Air Ambulance and many more. We also help to contribute to local raffle prizes for local schools, businesses and events.” It’s been a year on and as clear as when they first opened their doors, The Garage Shefford really do love what they do.

For information and pricing on MOT’s and services please visit: or for further enquiries: 01462 414820 The Garage Shefford Ltd, 2B St. Francis Way, Shefford SG17 5DZ Facebook: The Garage Shefford Twitter: @Emilygarage

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 Fencing Services  Security Fences  Garden Fences  Gates  Repair & Restoration Call 01767 316901 or 07927 748460

Email: Web:

Our services extend across Beds, Herts and Cambs from RS Fencing 42

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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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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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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,

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

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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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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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Painting and Decorating Free advice and free quotations. Give Rob a call 07866 631386 Office: 01462 700396 Mobile: 07866 631386 Email: Web:

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. To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122


Local News

Bedfordshire Bonsai Society The Bedfordshire Bonsai Society was established in 1979. Since then the society has organized several activities including digs, annual shows, workshops and social events where bonsai enthusiasts gather together to appreciate the art of tending to trees in pots (bonsai). Already this year, the club has carried out 2 digs on sites where permits were granted, held a breakfast event and have been working diligently to prepare the trees for the upcoming growing season and annual bonsai shows. As interest in bonsai is increasing nationally and internationally, Bedfordshire Bonsai Society is ensuring that members and new enthusiasts have a forum where they can develop and improve their skills in the living art’ especially in developing bonsai from native species. Bedfordshire Bonsai Society meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at the Toddington Village Hall (LU5 6AN) at 7:30pm and host several other workshops throughout the month. Further details can be found on the website or on Facebook. Website: Facebook: (Beds Bonsai Club) Email: Chairperson: Sir John Trinder 07860 682161


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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. 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

1 March Arts Society North Hertfordshire Lecture 11am or 2pm Spirella Ballroom, Bridge Road Letchworth £7- pay on the door The Arts Society North Hertfordshire presents a lecture on ‘100+ years of Modern Art explained with scepticism and lots of humour’ by Linda Collins. Modern Art takes some understanding. It can make us laugh or make us angry. This lecture may do both but it will also give us a context to help our understanding. Visitors welcome. Free parking. Email: 1, 8, 15 & 22 March Toddler Tales 2.15-2.45pm Letchworth Library Free event 1, 8, 15 & 22 March Baldock Community Orchestra 7.15pm Knights Templar School (Room CS1), Baldock £7 per week or 10 week term £50 A friendly group of musicians... Come and give us a try, first session free! Tel: Rachel Dawson 07818 480332 1, 8, 15 & 22 March 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 Web: 2 March Hitchin & Letchworth RSPB 7.30pm The Settlement, Letchworth, SG6 4UB Talk by Claire Stringer on the work of the RSPB in UK Overseas Territories, including albatross conservation on Tristan da Cuhna. 2, 9, 16 & 23 March Springfield House Friday Bridge Club 1.30pm Old Stevenage Community Centre To play cut-in Chicago Bridge. Play is informal and friendly. Tel: Richard Bean 01438 221517


3 March 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. 3 March Jumble Sale 1.30pm Clifton Community Centre Adults 50p. Biggleswade Sandy Lions Jumble Sale. Any donations of jumble gratefully received. Drop off at 13 Fairfax, Clifton. 3 March Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Hardy Plant Society 2pm Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Garden writer and broadcaster, Val Bourne, will be talking about ‘Spring Cottage Gardening with the Dearly Beloved’ Val is a new speaker for the society. Plants for sale from Swines Meadow Farm Nursery. 5, 12, 19 & 26 March 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 one 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: 5, 12, 19 & 26 March 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:

6, 13, 20 & 27 March Stevenage Bridge Club 7.30pm Priory Nursery, Stanmore Road, Stevenage To play Duplicate Bridge. A host system is run to find partners, if required. Tel: Phil Cooper 07957 813434 7 March Stevenage Family History Society 7.15pm for 7.30pm Friends Meeting House, Cuttys Lane, Stevenage Visitors £3 inc. refreshments Talk by Ian Waller - ‘The Broken Branch’ about how family historians research why an ancestor changed their name. The talk provides useful tips on how the name change can be discovered. 7 March North Herts Association of the National Trust 7.30pm Christchurch, Bedford Road, Hitchin Non-members £2 on the door Talk on ‘Becoming a Famous Author’ by Martin Lloyd. Non-members welcome. Membership of the National Trust not necessary. Tea and coffee served during the evening. Second-hand books and homemade preserves are on sale at every meeting. Tel: Colin Cropley 01462 713391 Email: 7, 14, 21 & 28 March Baby Rhyme Time 10.30-11am Baldock Library Free event 7, 14, 21 & 28 March Vivace Choir 7.30-9.30pm Edgeworth House, 121 High Street, Arlesey We are looking for keen singers to join our fun and friendly choir. Find out more about the choir and its concerts online. 8 March RSPB Stevenage Walk 9.30am A morning walk round Mardley Heath, South of Knebworth. Meet in the car park at 9.30am. Grid Ref. TL 248 183. Postcode AL6 0TP. Tel: 01438 861547 8 March Baldock & Clothall WI 7.30pm United Reformed Church, Whitehorse Street, Baldock Visitors £3 including refreshment and raffle ticket. Facebook: baldockclothallwi

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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

8 March Stevenage Floral Art Society 7.45pm High Street Methodist Hall Floral demonstration by Rekha Naidoo with the theme ‘Flowers thro’ Floral Eyes’. Visitors very welcome. 12 March Icknield Quilters 7.30pm for 7.45pm start Baldock Community Centre AGM - Members only. Sewing evening. Web: for more info 14 March Henlow Branch R N A 7.30pm Community Centre, The Gardens, Henlow The Henlow Branch of The Royal Naval Association meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Tel: Jack Stafford 01462 850618 for further info 14 March Letchworth Music Chamber Concert 7.45pm Howgills Friends Meeting House, 42 South View Tickets £12, Under 18s and students £6 We welcome music lovers to our next Chamber Music Concert to enjoy a varied programme of music for Flute and Piano played by prize-winning musicians, Sarah Bennett and Daniel King Smith. They will play Bach (E major Sonata), Vivaldi (La Notte), Poulenc (Sonata) Schubert (Ständchen) and Prokofiev (Sonata) all ideally suited to the intimate atmosphere of the oak-panelled venue. Tickets available on the door. 15 March Gardener’s Questions 7pm for 7.30pm Central Methodist Church, 109 Pixmore Way, Letchworth Garden City Tickets £7 Letchworth District Gardeners Association. Chaired by Pippa Greenwood. Please email your question in advance. Tickets available from Letchworth Local &Tourist Information Centre, 33- 35 Station Road or Tapps Garden Centre, Wallington Road, Baldock. All profits will go to Growing People and Garden House Hospice Care. Email: Web:

18 March Biggleswade Antiques Fair 9.30am-4pm The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Entrance £1.50. This antiques fair offers a diverse range of antiques and collectables so whether you are a professional dealer, an avid collector or just looking for something special, this monthly fair is the place to visit. Café serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Tel: 01480 382432 or 07906 647346 Web: 20 March Stevenage RSPB 7.30pm Friends’ Meeting House, Cutty’s Lane, Stevenage Members £3, Non-members £4, Under 16s 50p Kevin Sawford will present a talk entitled ‘East Anglian Wildlife - A photographer’s Year’. 24 March 17th Ashwell Flea Market 9.30am-1pm St .Mary’s Church, Ashwell Many interesting and useful items for sale at knock-down prices. Come and browse and pick up some bargains at this famous event! Tea and coffee available. Proceeds to the Church Restoration Appeal. 24 March Nearly New Sale 10am-12 noon Great Ashby Community Centre Entry £1. Stevenage and Knebworth Twins Club are holding a nearly new sale of baby and under 6s clothes, toys, equipment and more. 24 March Self-Published Author Event 11am-3pm Letchworth Library Free event 24 March Weston Music Society Spring Season 7.30pm Guy Johnston (cello) and Tom Poster (piano). Smyth Sonata in C, op 5, Grieg Sonata in A minor, op 36 and Rachmaninov Sonata op 19. Other concert dates are 21 April and 19 May. Special offer 3 for 2. Buy a season ticket for all three concerts for only £30 and it’s transferable - if you can’t come, invite a friend to take your place. Email: Web:

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24 March North Herts Guild of Singers Spring Concert 7.30pm Stevenage Coptic Church Centre, Broadhall Way Tickets £12, Fulltime students £8 A Celebration of Female Composers - Smyth: Mass in D - McDowall: Magnificat - Maconchy: Proud Thames Overture. With Hertfordshire Philharmonia. Conductor Stephen Bullamore. Concert coincides with the Centenary of women’s franchise, Ethel Smyth was a suffragette who wrote the song of the Suffragette movement. Tickets from David’s Bookshop Letchworth, Hitchin Initiative, telephone or online. Tel: 01462 790210 or 01438 861185 Web: 25 March Stevenage RSPB 10am Lynford Arboretum An all day trip to Lynford Arboretum and the Brecks. Meet in the Arboretum carpark at 10am. Bring a packed lunch. Grid Ref. TL 822 943. Postcode IP26 5HW. 25 March Baldock Baroque perform Vivaldi on Palm Sunday 6pm St. Mary’s Church, Baldock Free admission, Retiring collection A sequence of choral and instrumental music appropriate to Holy Week, presented by the Choir of St. Mary’s Church Baldock with guest singers and the ‘Baldock Baroque’ ensemble. Programme includes Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ and ‘Stabat Mater’. Hitchin & Surrounding Areas - Fun & Social Stuff A Social Group based in Hitchin, but also aimed at the surrounding areas. The groups arranges drinks, socials, going to Live Music events, charity events, Pub Quizzes, etc.. The aim of the group is to enable a variety of people who are over 18 years old (with no upper age limit) to get to know each other in a social and friendly setting whilst also enjoying a variety of events & activities. Web:


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St David’s Day March 1st St David is the patron saint of Wales and bizarrely also the patron saint of doves (who knew?). In Welsh he is Dewi Sant. He was born around 500AD and his parents were a Prince, and the daughter of a Chieftain. He was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. David is said to have cured his tutor Paulinus of blindness, by making the sign of the cross. Realising that his protégé was blessed, Paulinus sent him off as a missionary to convert the pagan people of Britain. He became a priest and is remembered for helping to spread christianity across the continent, founding 12 monasteries during his lifetime. These monasteries were known for their extreme asceticism, where monks abstained from worldly pleasures, living on a diet of bread, vegetables, water and milk. At one monastery however the life of austerity was so unpopular that the monks

Time of Year

attempted to poison David. The story goes that David ate the poisoned bread after blessing it, and thus came to no harm. His best know miracle was raising a hill that he was standing on to deliver a sermon when people at the back couldn’t hear. In his final sermon he asked his monks to ‘do the little things you’ve seen me doing.’

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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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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

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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



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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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INSTALLATION Boiler installation with 7 - 10 year warranty Boiler breakdown & power flushing Frozen condense pipe rectified Boiler service and landlord certification

PLUMBING Bathroom installation Wetroom installation Mains pressure upgrade General plumbing work & maintenance

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Do you find it difficult to get someone to come and do a small job? Fault finding/repairs Extra lights and sockets New fuse boards Rewires P.A.T testing Landlord inspections Qualified electrician  Fully insured Reliable service  Tidy work Free quote  Satisfaction guaranteed

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IAN SIMPSON Carpentry and Joinery All aspects of carpentry work undertaken Kitchens, Bedrooms, Doors, Windows 25 years experience Free estimates Please call 01462 851695 or 07967162448 E-mail

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Time of Year

By Sarah Davey

National 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.










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Classifieds Accountants

Carpentry and Joinery

Tim Jordon

Carpentry and Joinery Made to measure quality timber products supply and fit. Doors, Windows, Stairs, Gates, Kitchen Worktops, Wood staining, painting and varnishing Station Road, Lower Stondon, Beds. Tel: 01462 850363 or 07544 790071

Aerials and Satellites AERIALS & SATELLITES T/A Broadband Communications Established 1993

Aerials & Satellites • Digital Aerials Freesat & Satellite Installations Commercial IRS Systems All Work Guaranteed • CAI Approved C.1616 Based in Stotfold

Tel: 01462 732 628 • Mob: 07860 436 217

Electrical Contractor Electrical Contractor

N A Bush

• Domestic & Commercial • Extra Lights / Sockets • New Circuits • Full or Partial Rewires • Test Inspection Certificates • Consumer Unit Upgrades Neil 07981 310939

Experienced Qualified and Insured All work guaranteed


Wobbly legs on chairs and tables remedied Jammed and broken doors fixed Tired and marked surfaces brightened up Rejuvenate your wooden furniture both antique and modern Call Jamie Robinson on 01462 835619/07940 400742

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From just £35.00 per month plus VAT

Call Nigel on 01767 261122 for more information 78

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Classifieds Property Maintenance

Plastering Services


Home & Garden Services

Œ Patio’s Œ Driveways Œ Fencing Œ Brickwork Œ Painting & Decorating Œ Tiling 20 Years Experience - No Job Too Small!

01462 850575 or 07950 311881

Plastering Services


James Geekie Plastering All types of plastering - big or small Interior/Exterior Work Undertaken Re-skim Rooms, Walls, Artex & Ceilings Dry Lining and Screeding Tel: 07792 415356 or 01462 490598 Email:

Plumbing and Heating


Jumbo van with up to 3 men. Helpful, efficient and friendly service for all your moving, carrying, and domestic disposal needs, including house and garage clearance.

Call Richard on: 01767 317387 or 07968 787496 Email:

Removals and Storage removals, storage, archive and shipping • House and office moves • Large and small vehicles • Local/long distance and overseas removals • Containerised storage • Extremely high quality customer service Call for a no obligation quotation

01582 572967

Property Maintenance


Stephens Dinky ad_02.indd 1

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lutetinoannces o S e m DIY Ho perty main General


All jobs undertaken Call Darren on 01462 850786 or 07710 462544

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