Page 1

VILLAGER The

Issue 1 - April 2018

and Town

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

In this issue Win tickets to

Classic Ibiza A Historical

Hitchin

Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People Your NEW FREE local magazine covering Hitchin, Great and Little Wymondley, St Ippolyts, Charlton and surrounding areas every month To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

r

E E R py

u o Y

F co

1


The Old White Horse • 1 High Street • Biggleswade • SG18 0JE Tel: 01767 314344 www.lolineinteriors.co.uk e: dave@lolineinteriors.co.uk 2

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Welcome to the first issue of The Villager and Town Life Hitchin edition. Since its launch in 2006, award-winning Villager and Town Life has prided itself on its reputation as an established, community magazine. Bringing local business to over 70 areas from Hertfordshire to Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and around 75,000 magazines distributed, we are now privileged to include Hitchin. Having seen the plight of the small businesses amongst chains, Villager and Town Life aim to promote local businesses and help them flourish. Villager also provides relevant and interesting articles along with exciting competitions for our readership communities, too. In 2013, Hitchin was voted ninth best place to live by The Times and in 2016, a Rightmove survey ranked it 9th happiest place to live in the UK - and it’s easy to see why. With thriving markets, diverse celebrations including the Annual Rhythms of the World Festival and stunning cobbled streets, Hitchin is one trendy town that has still managed to hold on to tradition and its rich heritage.

Inside this issue... A Historical Hitchin...........................................................................4 Bless You! It’s Hayfever Time Again...................................................8 Win Tickets to Classic Ibiza with Ministry of Sound.........................10 Win Tickets to Harpenden Blues Festival........................................12 Belgrade........................................................................................15 Casanova: World’s First Museum & Experience...............................16 Don’t be an April Fool.....................................................................19 Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine..................................................20 Why Colour (& Style) Matters in the Workplace..............................22 2018 A Centenary Celebration - The WI..........................................27 Is it Worthwhile Taking Out Private Health Insurance.....................29 Listening Volunteers from Samaritans...........................................30 Managing Your Stress.....................................................................32 Overhaul Your Lawn.......................................................................35 Greensands Country Announces Summer Festival..........................36 Animal Queries...............................................................................39 Bunnies are for life, not just for Easter............................................41 BMW X3: Truly Capable..................................................................42 Take a Walk with a Llama...............................................................45

Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe.........................................................46 Puzzle Page....................................................................................48 What’s On.......................................................................................50 Declutter your Life..........................................................................53 On Your Bike...................................................................................54 Helping to Save Lives, One Cake at a Time......................................57 Fun Quiz.........................................................................................57 Prize Crossword..............................................................................58 Through the Pinhole......................................................................61

32

Managing your Stress

Get your business off to a flying start this year

Advertise with the Villager Magazine... prices start from just £25.00 +VAT per month Editorial - Louise Addison, Solange Hando, Trevor Langley, Kate Duggan, Jennie Billings, Alison Runham, Pippa Greenwood, RSPCA, Berry House Vets, James Baggott, Nick Coffer and Tracey Anderson, Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122 • nigel@villagermag.com Photography MakingFaces Design and Artwork Design 9 • Tel 07762 969460 • www.design9marketing.co.uk

Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email: nigel@villagermag.com www.villagermag.com

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.

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

3


History

A Historical Hitchin

Now a thriving market town, Hitchin is one of the oldest urban areas in Hertfordshire and is bursting with rich history from as far back as the Roman era. Early Hitchin Whilst there is evidence of Roman activity, the earliest chronicled history of Hitchin was in fact Saxon circa AD 658. Using a combination of Saxon “Hicce” tribe and the River Hiz, the town was named “Hitch.” The unique design of Hitchin was that of a traditional market town, standing on a main route and built around a large market place. The market-place originally extended from the south side of Tilehouse Street on the south to Bancroft on the north, and from the east side of Sun Street on the east along to the west side of Bucklersbury and High Street on the west. Market activity began circa 14th century and by 1603 the market area had been built upon quite regularly. Hitchin boasted many trades including malt making in the 16th century and a prosperous wool trade in the 17th century along Icknield Way. Historical Houses of Hitchin Hitchin illustrates its history with its medieval market square layout, and stunning architecture, including Tudor and Georgian buildings. A notable historical building, St Mary’s Church, is the largest parish church in Hertfordshire. The present church stands on the site of two previous churches dating of around 14th and 15th century

4

but, dating back further, there are remains of a Benedictine Monastery founded by Offa, King of Mercia (r. 757–796). The Church was burnt down in 910 and monks fled to St Albans Abbey, locals used stones of the remains to rebuild the parish and in 1086 St Mary’s Church was listed as the most important church in the Deanery of St. Albans. St Mary’s Church became apt at surviving disaster; the Great Wind of 1115 where parts of the church were damaged, a lightning strike in 1292 and an earthquake in 1298. A striking feature of the church is the 15th century font, created with fine grained limestone. A carving of the Twelve Apostles around the stem shows damage from Puritan soldiers during the Civil War using the church as a stable for horses. Hitchin is fortunate to have retained so many of their ancient buildings and landmarks, including The Priory. The Hitchin Priory originates in 1317 when King Edward II granted a messuage to the Camelite Friars. From 1519 onwards, The Priory was purchased by an old gentry family known as the Radcliffes. The preceding Radcliffe, Ralph, was a scholar of Brasenose College and Jesus College and converted the friary into a school before dying aged forty. Hostility in Hitchin The declaration of war in August of1914 left the residents of Hitchin initially in a state of shock and

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Making an impact in Hitchin and the surrounding areas. Impact Interiors provide high quality, stylish finishes for your home:

SHUTTERS BLINDS CURTAINS WALLPAPER CARPETS HOME FURNISHINGS

“Very impressed with the high level of service at Impact Interiors and the quality of the blinds and hard wood shutters are excellent.” Mr Edwards Ickleford

LOCAL SHOWROOM · FAMILY BUSINESS · MADE TO MEASURE

01462 816 429

15a High Street Henlow SG16 6BS

info@impact-interiors.co.uk www.impact-interiors.co.uk

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

5


disarray but quickly spiralled into an event noted down in history. Initially, a relative calmness saw the privileged classes stock pile food while the working classes looked on. When shopkeepers and grocers became unable to replenish their stock due to demand, they began to raise the price on everyday items such a bread, claiming they needed to stabilise their stock rather than profiteering. On the evening of August 5, on the first full day of war, a 2000-strong crowd of Hitchin locals descended onto the town centre to protest. The crowd surged on local businesses including main stockist,W.B Moss and Son, and even vandalised residential homes, turning up at Mr Moss’ house demanding fairer prices with threats made against his family. Both Mr Moss and the constabulary tried to address the crowd, which escalated animosity and before long, officers had to draw staffs and beat off the crowd. Further protests followed the next evening, with property destroyed and shrubbery ripped up, it is thought miserable living and working conditions for the working classes brought about the rioting. A Historian In Hitchin Reginald Lesley Hine was a renowned historian who’s writings centred around Hitchin market place won him critical acclaim. In 1907, Hine and two photographers visited Minsden Chapel with the aim of obtaining an image of the infamous spirit of a murdered monk, to which Hine maintained they had captured on film and went on to publish the picture in his novel “The History of Hitchin.” While most claim to this very day that the picture is fake, Hine insisted on its validity to his grave. Having suffered with depression for years and fearing he would be accused of misconduct during his career as a solicitor due to his misdemeanour’s during a divorce case he was working on, Hine committed suicide in 1949 by jumping in front a slow train to Cambridge at Hitchin station aged 66. Hine’s last book, Relics of an Un-Common Attorney, a collection of his writings, was published posthumously, and Hitchin Historical Society have been awarding the Reginald Hine Award since 1979.

Fine Fragrances of Hitchin Lavender is thought to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans as a natural antiseptic to war wounds. In the 1500’s, lavender was used as a perfume and for medicinal use by Queen Elizabeth and by 1665 it was used as a protective method against The Great Plague. In the early 1500’s, Hitchin became an established grower of lavender and was one of only two growing communities in the country. Hitchin is also home to the oldest independent pharmaceutical company in the UK, Ransoms. William Ransom built his business from the ground up and helped to ensure the growth of lavender in the area. Ransom distilled the lavender for Perks and Llewellyn and the resulting product was so good that in 1851 Queen Victoria’s train stopped at Hitchin so that the Queen herself could obtain a bottle of essential oil. In the 1980’s the Perks and Llewellyn store was reconstructed in Hitchin Museum complete with all fittings and bottles. Over a hundred years and five generations of family, Cadwell Farm is open to visitors today to promote the uses of lavender and to allow guests to enjoy scenic and scented walks through 25 miles of lavender. The fields are a highly popular attraction and heavily feature in the media, including The Sunday Times and GMTV.

Lavender images by: Hitchin Lavender

6

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


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

7


Time of Year

By Louise Addison

Bless You!

It’s Hayfever time again Hayfever is on the increase, says the British Allergy Foundation. The most likely explanation for this is that summer is starting earlier and pollution is rising. Pollution traps pollen in the atmosphere and holds it there. As a result we’re all being exposed to many more allergens, particularly those of us who live in towns in cities. No wonder we’re all sneezing. The body’s immune system is a wonderful creation. It responds to nasty substances such as viruses and bacteria by generating special antibodies which help to neutralise them. These helpful antibodies are actually large protein molecules of a category known as IGG. Unfortunately, there is another set of antibodies from a category known as IGE. These are less helpful because they tend to over react to allergens, which are harmless materials such as grass pollen. The problem lies with our mast cells. These are cells choc full of histamine and other substances capable of producing inflammation. The IGE molecules cling to the mast cells and when an allergen enters the body it sticks to the IGEcoated mast cells and triggers them to explode, whereupon they release all their histamine and cause an inflammatory response. Some of us have high levels of IGE in our bodies and some of us don’t. Those with high IGE levels

8

are more susceptible to allergies. In the case of hayfever it triggers runny noses and itchy eyes, but it can also trigger asthma if the response occurs in the airways and eczema if it occurs in the skin. Susceptibility does have a genetic basis. However, scientists also know that the immune system develops very early so early exposure to an allergen may affect the development and number of immune cells present, so later in life an allergic response to a particular allergen is more likely. We can’t yet reduce the number of IGE cells in a body but a few years ago scientists discovered that IGG and IGE molecules have different structures and bind differently to mast cells. Thus new medications are now being developed with the ability to disable the IGE and stop it binding to mast cells in the first place. In the future we may be able to relieve the misery of hayfever altogether. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Current Treatments Anti-histamine tablets Impede the body’s immune response so preventing symptoms. Nasal Sprays Work directly on the affected area and leave the rest of the immune system alone. Injections Offer long term protection but are only used in severe cases because of their ongoing nature. REMEMBER - Do not wait until symptoms start. Ideally begin to take medication 3-4 weeks before the start of the hayfever season.

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Relax & Renew

Beauty Studio

Voted Americas most wanted non-invasive beauty treatment Suitable for all skin types, the Venus Freeze is a comfortable warm treatment that's used as a non-surgical face lift, helping to improve lines, wrinkles, jowls & a double chin. On the body it will tighten loose skin, reduce cellulite & fat, resulting in a more defined youthful appearance.

What results will I get? Tighter skin • Softening of wrinkles • More youthful appearance • Reduced cellulite • More contoured silhouette •

All this with...

NO downtime • NO pain • NO Discomfort •

Just £25 for a taster session when you mention the Villager

Call today for a free consultation

www.renewbeautystudio.co.uk renewbeautystudio@gmail.com T: 07984 744 and 218 Millard Way, Hitchin, Herts SG4 0QE 9 To advertise in The Villager Town Life please call 01767 261122


In association with

Win 2 tickets to Classic Ibiza

with Ministry of Sound at Hatfield House Classic Ibiza with Ministry of Sound is returning to Hertfordshire on 1 September. The concert sees the Urban Soul Orchestra (USO), DJ Goldierocks and a host of live vocalists perform some of dance music’s most iconic tracks in the delightful grounds of Hatfield House. Here’s what to expect: 1. Dance music A-listers: USO have performed with a veritable who’s-who of dance music, including Nightmares On Wax, Groove Armada and Robert Miles. 2. Superstar DJ: Goldierocks has performed exclusively for Kate Moss, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Giorgio Armani and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. 3. Get set to select: The set-list includes some of the biggest dance-tracks dating back to the 90s. At Easter you can vote for your favourite track to be added to the set on Classic Ibiza’s Facebook page (@ClassicIbiza). 4. Family friendly: Classic Ibiza is a concert for all

the family, so whether you’re six or 60 you are assured of having a fantastic evening. 5. Food for thought: You can bring your own picnic and refreshments or take advantage of the local street-food vendors and bars on site. 6. A night of two halves: Classic Ibiza starts with a chill-out set, where you can relax over a glass of bubbly, or dance along as the sun fades. The music gets ramped up in the second half and you’ll be transported to a magical, alfresco celebration, with accompanying lasers.

Visit: www.classicibiza.co.uk or call 01630 674342. Tickets: Adults: £39.50, Children (5 –16): £17.50, Under 5’s: free, Car-parking: free. Simply send or email your entry by 16th April 2018 to: Classic Ibiza Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. Email: nigel@villagermag.com The winner will be drawn randomly.

CLASSIC IBIZA TICKET COMPETITION ENTRY

To win 2 free tickets to Classic Ibiza answer the question below and email or post your response by 16th April 2018. Classic Ibiza sees the Urban Soul Orchestra, DJ Goldierocks and a host of live vocalists perform which kind of music? A: France music  B: Prance music  C: Dance music  Name: Address: Tel: Email: 10

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Truly Independent

OPEN MORNINGS Saturday 28 April 2018 Saturday 22 September 2018 Excellent independent education for girls and boys aged 3 to 18 Forward-thinking, creative and supportive environment where children are treated as individuals Green and spacious campus with top class facilities for sport, music, art and design Extensive school bus network and shuttle bus to Letchworth Garden City train station To find out more call 01462 650 947 or email admissions@stchris.co.uk www.stchris.co.uk

ď‚™ @StChris_School

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

ď…­ stchris_school 11


Win 2 tickets to

Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival “Bringing great sounds to Hertfordshire” Showcasing the quality of live music in the UK; with The Pretty Things headlining and five other very different but striking bands in the line-up, this will undoubtedly be another a great festival and an occasion not to miss! No need to worry about searching for food and drinks on the day either, there will be a range of alcoholic/nonalcoholic beverages, real ales available and a varied menu that should meet everyone’s taste! Through their entire career, The Pretty Things have written, performed, and created informed, intelligent, groundbreaking, and original music, enabled by powerful, melodic writing that has kept this incredible band alive for nearly half a century. Sadly, this iconic British band is calling it a day this year and after an incredible career spanning 55 years, they intend to go out with a bang exactly the same way they came in! So don’t miss this opportunity to experience The Pretty Things live one last time and get your tickets now at only £25, by calling 01472 349 222 or online at www.solidentertainments.com/blues/harpenden/ tickets.html. Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 1PD

HARPENDEN BLUES FESTIVAL COMPETITION ENTRY To win 2 free tickets to The Harpenden Blues Festival simply answer the question below and send your entry by 16th April 2018 to the address above. Name The Pretty Things first three singles that appeared in the UK Singles Chart in 1964 and 1965?

Simply send or email your entry by 16th April 2018 to: Harpenden Blues Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. The winner will be drawn randomly from the correct entries.

Name: Tel: Address: 12

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


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

13


14

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Belgrade

Whichever way you arrive, the first sight of Belgrade takes your breath away, the ‘White City’ rising like a sphinx above the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Up on the hill, the iconic spire of St Michael’s, the Orthodox cathedral, dominates the old town but all eyes are set on the citadel spreading along the ridge, 125 metres above the valley. This strategic location fired up battles and invasions for almost 2,000 years, razing the city to the ground 44 times, but in the new independent Serbia peace has come and the old fortress sprinkles towers, turrets and walls in the wonderful oasis of Kalemegdan, the city’s central park. Birds twitter all around and there are statues and flower displays, grand staircases, fountains and gates, a few crenellations, a couple of museums and churches and lots of winding paths and shaded seats where locals come to chat or play chess. Visitors stroll along the beautiful cliff top promenade to enjoy the views, the modern city in the distance, the bridges, the cruising boats anchored along the Sava, the green waters of the Danube flowing around the Big Island’s nature reserve. Excavations have revealed the presence of the Vinca, one of the oldest prehistoric cultures in Europe, the Celts, Romans and many others, but surviving fortifications only date back to the 18th century, rebuilt by Austro-Hungarian and Turkish rulers. The ‘old town’ is even younger, claiming 200 years at the very most, but is stylish and colourful with tree-lined streets, outdoor restaurants and stunning buildings ranging from Romantic or Renaissance style to neo-Baroque, Art Nouveau or early Deco, in white or pastel hues. The wide pedestrian street

Travel Knez Mihailova is everyone’s favourite, the place to meet friends, enjoy a drink or browse the luxury shops before heading to the vast Republic Square. There you can gaze at the equestrian statue of 19th century ruler Prince Michael, the National Theatre and the National Museum containing some 290,000 exhibits from around the world. Most valuable is the Miroslav’s Gospel, the oldest Cyrillic manuscript of its kind, with 362 illuminated pages dating back to around 1180. Belgrade has myriad churches, including Saint Sava rebuilt in the 20th century and now one of the largest in the world, honouring the country’s medieval patron saint and founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Saint Sava is set on the Vracar plateau but nearer to the town centre is an elegant cluster of former palaces, now turned City Hall and Presidential Seat, enhanced by lawns and flower beds. Look out for the House of the National Assembly across the park, pristine white and fronted by sculptures of ‘Black Horses Playing’. Relaxed and cosmopolitan, easy to walk around, Belgrade is a delightful capital, from the gently buzzing centre and waterways to the lovely Botanical Garden or the secluded Bohemian District around Skadarska Street. Once home to gypsies, this steep cobbled lane is full of old charm, a hideaway for writers, artists and savvy visitors. There are intriguing paintings and trompe l’oeil, antique and ethnic shops, small galleries and inviting flowerdraped terraces serving delicious food and wine at affordable prices. Guitar, harmonica, violin or tamburitza, traditional music sounds in every corner, late into the night but a world away from the throbbing nightclubs and floating restaurants along the Sava. Meanwhile on the cliff-like ridge, all is quiet and the old citadel glows high above the mighty rivers.

By Solange Hando

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

15


Food and Drink

Casanova: World’s First Museum & Experience Italy is known for producing numerous products of high-quality. Italian designer fashions and cars are very much recognised and sought-after, globally. Many visitors return regularly to Italy, for the enjoyment of beautiful landscapes and coastal areas, plus explorations of Italy’s history and cultural heritage. There are many more attractions and qualities the country has to offer, including very impressive glassware, porcelain, lace and furniture, plus wonderful cuisine and wines, for example. Giacomo Casanova lived during the 18th century. Born 2nd April 1725, in Venice, he lived for 73 years. During his life, the legendary Giacomo Casanova was an adventurer, poet, musician, writer and spy, amongst his many attributes, as well as being renowned for his encounters with females. Entering the University of Padua, at twelve years of age, Casanova graduated at age seventeen with a degree in law and constantly searched to satisfy his desires for love and lust. During the early part of the 21st century Carlo Parodi envisaged the creation of a Museum & Experience, to offer everyone the opportunity to learn and discover about the life of Giacomo Casanova. Carlo Parodi, founder of Giacomo Casanova Limited and the Giacomo Casanova Foundation works tirelessly, along with professionals, that include university professors, plus many other knowledgeable and skilled personnel and has created the Museum & Experience, for all to enjoy. The first Giacomo Casanova Museum is located in Venice. As well as the very interesting memorabilia, which includes paintings and artefacts from Casanova’s life and times, modern technology and multimedia inclusions allow visitors, of all ages, to engage in - and discover – the world of this charismatic man. The romances of Giacomo Casanova, plus the styles and ways of life, of that era, hold much interest and fascination, evoking and satisfying curiosity and intrigue. From Mr Carlo Parodi: “I’ve decided to offer a tribute to Casanova, a man of love, poetry, music and adventure, giving evidence of the educated, cultivated, learned and refined gentleman - Giacomo Casanova.” Other Giacomo Casanova Museum & Experience venues, permanent and temporary, are planned to be located in several cities, including Prague, Saint Petersburg, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Beijing. Standard and VIP tickets are available, plus many very memorable additional features, including Romantic Days (and Nights) Packages – Perhaps surprise someone special? For all information and more details, https://igg.me/at/casanovaexperience/x Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: @giacomocasanovafoundation

As always, Enjoy!

ey Trevor Langl

16

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Home cooking and support in later life Delicious home cooked meals and additional support for yourself, or someone you care for, in Hitchin and the surrounding areas.

Home cooked meals

• Delicious and nutritious home cooked meals, specially prepared and delivered to you.

• Choose just one or two meals a week, or meals for every day. • Made with quality ingredients. Support

Companionship

• Help to look after pets • Help with home management •

For further information contact Amanda on 07979 388510

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

17


Charles Wilson Carpets & Flooring • Quality flooring and carpets • Modern & traditional designs • Reliable, expert fitting service • 46 years of experience

Ref: The Villager

01462 450780

39 Hermitage Road, Hitchin www.charleswilsoncarpets.co.uk

18

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Technology

Don’t be an April Fool

Keep your stuff safe on PCs and phones It seems like every day there’s a new warning about hackers and dodgy software — and over Christmas we learned that there was a security flaw in almost every modern computer, tablet and phone that could let baddies get our passwords and other private information. So how do we keep our important information safe and secure? There are three important things to consider. They are: loss, where you lose digital things such as photos, home movies or documents you don’t want to lose; malicious software, which is when a program sneaks onto your computer and causes trouble; and hacking, which is when somebody you don’t know gets into your computer to access your personal information and/or demand money. The good news is that they’re all easy to deal with. Let’s talk about loss first. The single best way to prevent loss of valuable personal things such as family photos is to have extra copies. They don’t need to be printed copies — if you take as many photos as we do the cost of getting even some of them

printed is frightening — and if you keep your copies digital then you don’t need to spend too much money to copy your entire photo or video library, or anything else you want to keep a backup of. You can store backups on services such as Google Photos, Flickr and Apple’s iCloud, but for proper peace of mind we’d recommend backing up to an external hard disk: that’s much faster, and doesn’t require you to keep up a membership or pay a monthly subscription as some online services do. You can get a really good external hard disk for less than £40, and you don’t need to pay much for faster, even higher capacity ones: at the time of writing Seagate’s Expansion drive, which offers 1TB of storage and has a super-fast USB 3.0 connection for modern PCs and Macs, is just £45. If you’re backing up really massive libraries, a whopping 4TB of storage is still under £100 — although most of us won’t need anything close to that. External hard disks aren’t the only options. You could burn your own DVD data discs, or use USB flash drives such as SanDisk’s Ultra Flair 32GB (£12.95).

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

However, we’re not convinced they’re great options for longterm backups. Drives such as the Patuoxun Portable USB DVD CD RW Writer may be cheap — £17 from Amazon, with discs even cheaper — but DVD and CD discs don’t last forever and many of our ones started to rot after a few years in normal conditions. And if you’ve used many USB sticks you’ll know of their incredible ability to go missing and never be found again. There’s not much point in having a backup if you can’t find it when you need it. The cures for malicious software and hacking are the same: security software. There are plenty of free options such as the excellent AVG Free (www.avg. com), but it’s worth considering spending a little money on a paid-for security suite such as BitDefender Total Security (around £49/£69 for an unlimited-device Family Pack). BitDefender doesn’t just cover your PC: it protects Macs, Android and iPhone/iPads too, and it includes tools to stop bad things getting onto your devices as well as anti-hacking protection for your personal data. It comes highly recommended by the internet’s most trusted review sites.

19


Health & Beauty

Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine It’s not just homes that benefit from a good ol’ spring clean... Ditch old makeup and skincare products Most of us are guilty of holding onto favourite cosmetics way longer than we should do. While makeup doesn’t have a fixed use-by date as such, it does start to degrade once it’s been exposed to air and sunlight. If you check the packaging of any skincare or cosmetic product, you’ll find the PAO symbol. This shows the ‘period after opening’ that the product needs to be used within. In most cases, it’s six or 12 months. Products that come into direct contact with your skin, such as a lipstick, or a moisturiser that you scoop out of the jar with a finger, are particularly virulent breeding grounds for bacteria. So have a good sort through and ditch anything that’s been open longer than its PAO. It’s also worth having a bit of a declutter at the same time. Are you ever going to wear that lurid purple eyeshadow? If you want products that will last longer, check the PAO before you buy. In general, pump action lotions will last longer than those in jars, as the lotion comes into less contact with oxygen and light. Clean makeup brushes Makeup brushes and cases can get decidedly grubby, so it’s a good idea to give them a gentle clean on a regular basis. Most cosmetic bags can be washed by hand, using a mild detergent. Brushes can be cleaned with face wash, baby shampoo or a mild soap. Soap is probably the easiest. Just swirl the brush gently on wet soap to create lather, use your fingers to massage the bristles, then rinse thoroughly with warm water and leave it to dry. If your old brushes are past the point of revival, the Nellie Make Up Brush Set from Oliver Bonas is worth considering. For £38, you get five different types of brushes and a handy mirror, all housed in a stylish pink case.

20

By Kate Duggan www.kateduggan.co.uk

Try something new It’s easy to get stuck in a perfume rut, wearing the same fragrance year after year. Or worse, wearing a fragrance you’ve been given as a gift but aren’t in love with. Fragrance doesn’t have to be expensive. Marks and Spencer’s Island Escape Eau De Toilette is £16 for a 95ml bottle. For £18 you can have the giftset, which includes a full size fragrance and body lotion. Island Escape is a light, citrusy fragrance, with notes of bergamot, pear and rose, mixed with a hint of sea salt, so it’s perfect for spring and summer. Slap on the SPF Ideally, we should protect our skin from the sun every day, rain or shine. The easiest way to take care of your face is by choosing a moisturiser with a high SPF rating. Nspa Expert Daily Rejuvenate Cream has an SPF of 30 and contains active ingredients such as Crocus Chrysanthus Bulb extract, which has been proven to improve the appearance of ageing skin. What’s more, the cream costs just £10 in ASDA. It’s ideal for spring, but come summer you’ll need a sun lotion that you can reapply throughout the day.

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Mobile Foot Health Practitioner

Lucy E. Hobbs-Morris BA (hons), MCFHP, MAFHP telephone: 01462 641113 mobile: 07795 030774 email: hobbs_lucy@hotmail.com

Some of the problems I can help you with Toenail Cutting Thick nails Ingrown nails Corns Callous Cracked Heels Fungal Nails Diabetic Footcare Fully registered and insured 12 years experience

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

21


House of Colour

Why Colour (& Style) Matters in the Workplace

Could the colours and styles you wear help you achieve more in the workplace? Whether we like it or not, how we present ourselves in the workplace can alter how people see you and your company brand. A new boss should aim to exude authority but also be approachable; a manager presenting to a new client needs to look professional and memorable for the right reasons. Given we make up our minds about someone within the first few seconds of meeting them, it follows that our first impressions alone can alter future relationships between client and service provider, boss and employee, or colleagues. However, it’s also never too late to change! The truth is it is harder these days to get a job and progress in your career. We are needing to work harder and smarter, and part of that is by standing out in positive way and being noticed for all the right reasons. When we liaise, present, network and manage we need to look and feel good. Top Tips for Making The Right Impression At Work 1. Wear clothes that fit you. Very baggy shirts and oversized jackets may look slouchy and un-kempt. In the same way, tight fitting dresses, skirts and shirts could give your colleagues and clients the wrong impression. 2. Get to know your red. Red in the workplace is so powerful and can be worked with any seasonal palate. For example, if you are a Winter, opt for deep burgundy and blue based reds. If you are a Summer, try Cherry red variations. Autumns are best in fiery brick reds and Springs in bright and warm Geranium reds. Alternatively keep it subtle

22

with just one item of red, like a bold red lip, or a scarf or tie for a man. 3. Pair bold shirts or blouses with neutral jackets or vice versa. Work clothes don’t have to be boring, but you don’t want to dazzle and distract with a rainbow of colours. One impact colour and two neutrals are a good rule of thumb. Add an extra colour with your blouse, belt, scarf, bag or shoes to make your outfit ‘pop’, it will make you more memorable to everyone you meet. 4. Quality speaks loudly, so pay attention to getting good quality shirts, blouses, jackets, accessories etc. for work, that extra investment will send the message that you are worth it! 5. Accessorise! A silk scarf will soften an otherwise harsh tailored suit, or layering necklaces could give an edge to your outfit dependent on your ideal style.

By Jennie Billings www.houseofcolour.co.uk/ jenniebillings jennie.billings@houseofcolour.co.uk

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Experience the warm welcome of Talents, where we’ll create the style to reflect your personality.

Specialists t: 01462 437687 e: info@hairbytalents.co.uk

www.hairbytalents.co.uk

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

23


Your local hearing specialists We offer the best technology and an honest, unrivalled service. Discreet Hearing offer microsuction wax removal the safest and most comfortable form of wax removal

Home visit service

Wax Removal Prices: One Ear

£40

Both Ears

£60

There will be a charge of £25 if no wax is present for removal.

Call today to book your wax removal appointment Wax removal undertaken by Audiologists registered with the HCPC.

Discreet Hearing is operated by Peter & Joma Ormrod, a father and daughter team, with two decades of experience in the hearing industry and a lifetime experience of dealing with hearing loss. Peter himself, has worn hearing aids for over 40 years, and alongside parents, aunts and uncles with a

hearing loss, both Peter and Joma have a unique insight into the problems faced by the patient, their family, friends and colleagues. Because of our family history we fully understand and empathise with the hard of hearing and look after all of our patients like we do our own family.

T: 01438 517 306 or 07887 567 978 E: info@discreet-hearing.com 24

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Showcasing the very latest technology Direct connectivity to ANY mobile phone and your television Enjoy the freedom of being able to easily connect with any Bluetooth® phone*, regardless of the brand. Answer calls with a touch of your hearing aids and use them as a wireless headset to talk hands free. Audéo™ B-Direct

Use your hearing aids as wireless TV headphones and experience clear, quality, stereo sound on your TV.

Rechargeable technology is here Phonak have launched a brilliant rechargeable hearing aid powered by lithium-ion technology! • No more battery hassles • 24 hour charge Audéo B-Rechargeable

• Unmatched Hearing Performance

Super discreet Virto™ B-Titanium • The smallest Phonak in-the-ear hearing aid ever • Custom made from titanium to fit Virto B-Titanium

• Excellent hearing performance with AutoSense OS

At Discreet Hearing, we understand that you want to get the benefits of better hearing, without anyone understanding how you do it. That’s why we offer a range of super discreet, In-the-Ear solutions. Our custom made hearing aids are virtually invisible so no-one needs to see how well you hear.

www.discreet-hearing.com To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

/DiscreetHearingLtd Like our page

25


BICKERDIKES

26

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Women’s Institute

2018 A Centenary Celebration By Catherine Rose

Many early leaders of the WI were active in the women’s suffrage movement and to them an important part of the new organisation was to encourage the fuller participation of women in public life. WI’s were considered the rural counterpart of the banding together of women in the urban areas for the common fight for freedom and independence of both thought and action. Suffragist groups existed all over the country and under many different names, their aim being to achieve the right for women to vote through constitutional and peaceful means. As early as 1832, a Suffragist named Mary Smith presented the first women’s suffrage petition to Parliament. As we know, nothing came of that petition or many others which followed, and the blatant lack of consideration to the women’s formal requests for suffrage caused women to believe more pressure was needed to validate their cause, culminating in the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) being formed in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst and two of her daughters. However, when WW1 broke out in 1914 she encouraged Suffragettes to help with the war effort so, for a while, their campaigns ceased, but success followed when, in 1918, the Representation of People Act gave (some) women the right to vote. The WI movement was closely linked with the campaign for suffrage, and many of the early members were some of the most resolute women in the country, realising that women working together could effect change. One of those women, WI member Margaret Winteringham, was elected Member of Parliament for Louth in 1921, and she was both the first English born female MP and only the second woman to take up her seat. She worked with the WI on some of its earliest campaigns in raising the age of consent from 13, and ensuring fathers supported their children born out of marriage. The achievement of the women’s movement has seen maternity leave rights, equal pay, and domestic violence legislation.

May Parker Federation Trustee

At the end of the First World War, in 1918, there were 700 WIs and by the end of 1919 there were 1,405. Today the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) is the largest women’s organisation in the UK with around 212,000 members in more than 6,000 WI’s across England, Wales and the Islands. 2018 also marks the centenary of the first WI opening in what is now the Huntingdon & Peterborough Federation of WIs, the Federation setting an amazing array of very interesting and exciting events for its members throughout this celebratory year. The Federation consists of a Board of Trustees overseeing all of its WI’s within the Huntingdon & Peterborough area, having WI advisers, health & safety, data protection, finance and property officers, with sub-committees relating to public affairs, creative crafts and cookery, events and leisure and membership. We also have a Denman ambassador - Denman being the WI’s centre for learning for women (and for men), members and non-members, with residential courses including accommodation, set in the picturesque village of Marcham near Oxford. In this year of celebration let us not forget that many rights and privileges we take for granted were fought for through campaigns and petitions by pioneering women of the past.

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

27


SPECIAL OFFER For all new conveyancing matters taken during MARCH and APRIL 2018 We are offering Residential Conveyancing on a “No completion, no fee” basis * Please contact us for further details: THE WALKERS PARTNERSHIP Fish Hill Chambers, 2-3 Fish Hill, Royston, Herts, SG8 9JY Tel: 01763 241121 Email: t.browning@walkerspartnership.co.uk www.walkerspartnership.co.uk *Freehold Registered Properties Only

Your local events, exhibitions, signs & graphics company working with clients worldwide.

020 3078 8000 sales@absolutesg.co.uk absolutesg.co.uk

our clients trust us to deliver the best results, and that’s exactly what we do.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help bring your brand to life. 28AC392 - ASG Hitchin Advert.indd

1

09/03/2018 13:03 Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Finance

Is it worthwhile taking out private health insurance?

Private health insurance generally covers the cost of private consultations, treatments, and immediate aftercare as an inpatient. Some policies also pay for outpatient care, such as physiotherapy. Employers sometimes offer this type of insurance as a benefit to their employees, but if you’re thinking of taking out your own policy, how do you know if it’s going to be worthwhile? Before we look at the benefits and potential drawbacks of private medical insurance, here’s a little more detail on the cover that could be included. What might a health insurance policy cover? The benefits provided by private health insurance vary according to the monthly premiums, with comprehensive policies offering the greatest level of cover. Here’s a general outline of the main benefits: • Private consultations • Anaesthesia • Inpatient stays for investigative tests, surgery, or immediate post-treatment care • Treatments and procedures as a day patient • Outpatient treatments and aftercare physiotherapy or hydrotherapy, for example How does private health insurance work? Private medical insurance is designed to work alongside NHS services, so your GP would need to refer you for a private consultation. Policies are renewed annually, with monetary excesses applying in the same way as with other forms of insurance. The insurer sets a limit on the amount of cover available to you annually. They define the benefits, plus any exclusions that apply - a pre-existing illness, for example - in the policy document. Why might you decide to take out private health insurance? • You need fast access to a consultation, investigative procedure, or treatment • Treatment isn’t available on the NHS • You’re employed, but don’t receive private health insurance as a benefit • You’d like to see a particular consultant, or require a specialist referral • You want the comfort of staying in a private room • You don’t want to wait for physiotherapy after surgery

What are the potential drawbacks of private medical insurance? • Policies are costly, with premiums increasing every year • Some health conditions are excluded, so a private healthcare policy may not cover all your medical needs • You have to pay an excess each year • You may have ethical concerns about private health care • The insurer sets limits on the amount of cover available for each condition, each type of treatment, and an overall amount in the policy year How much will private health insurance cost? Various factors are taken into account by insurers when setting the price of private healthcare premiums - these include (but are not limited to): • Age • Existing health • Medical history as an individual, and of your family • Lifestyle • Types of cover required It’s advisable to shop around before buying private health insurance - comparison websites are a good way to find out about the cost of various policies. Alternatives to private health insurance There are alternative ways to fund private medical treatment without taking out an insurance policy. If you have residual income or existing savings, for example, you could set aside a sum to cover a proportion of future treatments. Paying only for the initial consultation is also an option if you require an urgent medical opinion. The consultant would then refer you back to the NHS for treatment, if necessary. Healthcare cash plans also exist that help you cover your medical costs. In this case you’re refunded the costs that you pay up front, up to pre-agreed limits.

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

29


Local News Listening Volunteers from Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage answered over 28,000 calls last year and need your help to do more Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage are proud to have a brilliant team of volunteers who help keep the branch open and answer the phones to anyone who needs to talk. Talking doesn’t have to just be done over the phone; our volunteers also respond to emails and SMS messages that can be sent in anonymously to Samaritans. In 2017 alone, our volunteers: • Answered 28,246 calls • Spent 5,991 hours on the phone listening to callers • Replied to 1,876 emails • Responded to 4,300 texts Gill McLearnon, Director of Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage said: “Our volunteers are all very different and come from different walks of life but all are valuable and I am very proud of the contribution that each and every volunteer makes in enabling us to be there to help those who need our service. Of course, we’re always looking for additional people to join us and help us to do more in 2018.” The North Herts and Stevenage branch of Samaritans is one of more than 200 branches throughout the UK and is based in Hitchin. Samaritans has over 20,000 volunteers who give their time to listen to people struggling to cope. The vision of Samaritans is that fewer people die by suicide. Volunteers work to achieve this vision by making it their mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce suicidal throughs and behaviours through the power of listening. In order to maintain a round-the-clock service, we rely on our listening volunteers to answer calls, fundraising volunteers to help raise the c.£20,000 a year required for branch running costs, and our support volunteers to help with administration,

30

publicity and IT tasks. Our brilliant team of outreach volunteers also give talks, attend events and get out into the community to spread the message that Samaritans are here to listen, any time, free from any phone. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer with the local branch they can find out more about the different volunteering roles and how to apply: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritansnorth-herts-and-stevenage/volunteering-northherts-stevenage Upcoming information evenings will take place on Tuesday 20 February and Monday 19 March – call 01462 455333 or email north-herts.volunteering@samaritanseast.org.uk to register your interest. For more information about the Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage please contact Karys, Publicity Officer at nh.sams.karys@gmail.com

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


We build our mortgages around you All homes are different. The same applies to the need for home financing. Therefore we offer individual and flexible solutions for all your mortgage needs and requirements. We can find a financial solution to suit your needs whether buying a new home or remortgaging. Julie Donnelly - Individual Banking Manager Tel: 01462 441488, email: judo01@handelsbanken.co.uk

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

handelsbanken.co.uk/hitchin Handelsbanken is the trading name of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Registered Office: Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY. Registered in England and Wales No, BR 000589. Incorporated in Sweden with limited liability. Registered in Sweden No, 502007-7862. Head Office in Stockholm. Authorised by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

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

31


Health

Alison Runham ww.alison.runham.co.uk

World

Managing Your Stress Most of us experience stress at some point, but persistent stress can affect our health and even cause serious illness. So, we need to know how to reduce stress and its effects on our minds and bodies. As the charity MIND points out, confusingly, we use the word stress to refer to two different but related things: • Situations or events that put pressure on us. • Your reaction to being under pressure. Stress can: • Affect your mental health. Stress can cause problems such as anxiety and depression, and exacerbate existing mental health issues, causing increased stress and a vicious circle that can be hard to break. • Affect your physical health. When you feel stressed, you may not sleep or eat properly, and your body releases excess cortisol and adrenaline. This can make you feel unwell and may eventually lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, asthma, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.

32

What Causes Stress? • Major changes or events e.g. bereavement, moving home, relocation, a financial crisis, exams, redundancy, retirement, job change, moving away from home, marriage, relationship break-up, illness or injury, pregnancy or parenthood. Supposedly ‘happy’ events, such as the birth of a baby, can put extra pressure on us not to appear stressed. • Continual pressure, e.g. health worries about yourself or others, a stressful job or large workload, relationship difficulties, overwhelming responsibilities. • Feeling out of control and unable to change a situation. • Uncertainty about the future, e.g. the risk of redundancy or awaiting results of medical tests. • Living too quiet a life. This seems counterintuitive, but if your life lacks change, purpose or activity, this can be stressful too. • Clutter and disorganisation. Research shows that the sight of clutter can cause stress, as can

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


disorganisation and always running late. Your stress threshold and the amount of stress you feel may depend on: • Your perception of the situation, which can be affected by your positivity (or lack of it) and your past experiences. • Your experience of dealing with this specific type of pressure. • Your mental health and emotional resilience. • The support we receive. The Symptoms of Stress Emotional and behavioural symptoms: • Avoiding the source of your stress. • Irritability/impatience. • Aggression. • Agitation/restlessness. • Racing thoughts. • Depression or anxiety. • An inability to enjoy yourself, laugh, or take an interest in life. • A sense of dread. • Worries about your health. • Feeling neglected, lonely or tearful. • Difficulty making decisions and concentrating. • Poor lifestyle choices: biting your nails, smoking or drinking, eating too much or too little. Physical symptoms: • Shallow breathing or hyperventilating. • Panic attacks. • Insomnia, disturbed sleep or nightmares. • Muscle tension. • Blurred eyesight or sore eyes. • Loss of libido and enjoyment in sex. • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. • Headaches. • Chest pains. • High blood pressure. • Indigestion or heartburn. • Constipation or diarrhoea. • Nausea or dizziness. • Persistent tiredness. Reducing and Coping with Your Stress Changing your routine, reducing your responsibilities and using time-management techniques or organisational techniques can all help to reduce the stress in your lives. Time management tips can be found at www.nhs. uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/timemanagement-tips/ and www.mind.org.uk/ information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/ stress/dealing-with-pressure/, which also has useful strategies for dealing with specific pressures, such as being a student or carer. Trying to reduce or remove the causes of your

stress is important. But sometimes we can’t change the situations causing us stress. However, we can learn to react to them in a healthier way, and there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you cope with stress. Self-help strategies include:  Complementary and alternative therapies Therapies such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage and acupuncture may help you relax. Ecotherapy, which involves spending time in nature, may also help. This can include physical exercise or work in green spaces.  Lifestyle Changes A healthy diet, regular exercise and ensuring you get enough sleep will help. Spend time with family and friends and talk through your problems with them. Make time for hobbies and relaxation too. Downtime is essential to keep your mind and body healthy; it’s not a luxury.  Changing Your Mind You can try to develop a more positive outlook. Try to note down three things every day that make you happy, grateful or relaxed. There is a useful NHS video on replacing negative thinking with positive.  Breathing exercises You can find instructions at www.nhs.uk/ conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/waysrelieve-stress/.  Stress-busting apps and courses Try Chill Panda apps.beta.nhs.uk/chill-panda/, Silver Cloud apps.beta.nhs.uk/silvercloud/ and the Stress & Anxiety Companion apps.beta. nhs.uk/stress-anxiety-companion/, all from the NHS. If these aren’t working for you, visit your GP, who can talk through your problems and recommend further treatments, including:  Talking treatments • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you understand what your stress triggers are and how you react to them, showing you how to act and react more positively. • Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) combines mindfulness, meditation and yoga to reduce stress.  Medication Medication to help you manage or reduce symptoms, e.g. antidepressants, sleeping pills, irritable bowel syndrome treatments and high blood pressure medication. So, don’t ignore stress... Tackle it now.

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

33


BICKERDIKES

STRONG-BASE Driveways & Landscaping Transform the appearance of your property with a beautiful new Resin Bound Gravel driveway, patio or pathways. Call today for a free no obligation design and price quotation.

Call Paul on: 07794 791 978

www.strongbasedriveways.co.uk UK Landscape Gardener of the Year Award 2015 UK Driveway Transformation Award 2016 UK Driveway Transformation Award 2017

GARDEN DESIGNERS

Professional Paving & Landscaping Groundwork • Driveways • Concreting • Patios Turfing • Fencing • Re-pointing • Brickwork All work guaranteed and finished to a very high standard

REDTAIL PEST CONTROL For All Your Pest Control Needs All Pest Species Dealt With BPCA (1&2) Qualified Member of the NPTA Basis Prompt Registered Very Reasonable Prices CRB checked Contact

JAMES ROSE MOB: 07807429843 email red.tail.1st@gmail.com

Free quotations

Tel: 07802 355122 Email: coxjames416@yahoo.com 34

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Garden By Pippa Greenwood www.pippagreenwood.com

Overhaul

Your Lawn It has rained so much in recent months that my lawn has taken a battering, though the flower and vegetable beds are starting to pick up. Over-wet conditions can cause roots to die off and will reduce the oxygen in the soil. Worse still, any areas of the lawn you’ve walked on or moved a wheelbarrow over will have become compacted or squashed. Thus, the air spaces in the soil are dramatically reduced, and the heavier your soil is, the worse the problem is likely to be. So for green grass that’s ready for summer, it’s time to get to work. Check over your lawn mower and see to anything that needs sorting. If necessary, take it to a reputable outlet for a service as soon as possible. If your grass needs cutting, make sure you don’t set the blades too low for the first few cuts, as this weakens growth and makes weed invasion more likely. After mowing, you can relieve some of the soil compaction to allow air down to the roots, making for better growth and healthier grass. If only small areas are compacted, drive a garden fork into the lawn every 4-6 inches or so, getting the fork tines to a depth of 4-6 inches, then gently ease the handle of the fork back and forth to enlarge each drainage hole. Next, mix some sieved garden soil or loam with horticultural sand (about one part soil/loam to nine parts sand) and brush across the lawn and into the holes you’ve made. The result is a drainage system over those compacted areas. If the soil in the garden is quite heavy or contains a lot of clay, the whole lawn will benefit from aerating.

I recommend you buy, borrow or hire a ‘hollow-time aerator’, either as a hand operated one, a machine or a mower attachment. This cuts cylinders of soil from your lawn and when filled with the ‘top-dressing’ mix above will result in longer-lasting drainage channels. Any moss should be removed, so apply moss killer and then rake it all out after the time specified on the pack. The lawn will look worse initially, but it allows more air to the roots of the grass plants and gives them more space to grow and spread too. Lawns that have suffered from waterlogging benefit from a suitable feeding regime. Whether you choose a granular or liquid feed, make sure that it is a spring lawn food formulated to give the balance of nutrients lawns need now. Granular feeds must be watered in unless it rains shortly after application. Walking on a very wet lawn soon wears it out and kills off grasses. To repair bald or thin patches, roughen up the areas using a rake and then sprinkle a suitable seed mix on to match the existing grasses. If you’ve not got many patches to sow, you can buy small patch repair packs. Once all the work is done, keep off your lawn for a few weeks to allow it to take advantage of all that TLC and grow away really well. 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 May accompanied by weekly advice and tips from Pippa) plus Nemaslug, bio-controls, gardening tools, raised bed kits, Grower Frames, signed books and more!

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

35


Local News

Greensand Country

Announces Summer Festival This summer, from 26 May to 3 June, Greensand Country, an island of beautiful countryside, which includes the Greensand Ridge stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, will host the first ever Greensand Country Festival. Taking place across the landscape, the festival will include a number of exciting events, activities, talks, exhibitions and competitions, including guided walks, have-a-go wilderness crafts, family wildlife activities, open air theatre performances and 4x4 adventure challenges. The 9-day festival will be a celebration of everything that people love about Greensand Country, and will showcase our distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside. Claire Poulton, Programme Manager at the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership says: “The Greensand Country Festival is an exciting step forward in promoting the unique history, wildlife and culture of our highly attractive landscape, and will encourage people to visit, enjoy and have a better understanding of Greensand Country. “Working in partnership with businesses and attractions across the landscape, the festival will engage local visitors, people from neighbouring towns and villages, and families who are new to the area, inspiring them to get out into the countryside and explore the many events and activities on offer.”

36

Clophill Heritage Trust, the local voluntary community charity which runs the Clophill Eco Lodges and St Mary’s Old Church, is running a number of events and activities as part of the Greensand Country Festival. Founder Ali Bradbury explains: “We are delighted to be involved in the first festival, and look forward to welcoming new visitors to Clophill, who are keen to discover more of Greensand Country and its impressive landscape.” For further information about Greensand Country visit greensandcountry.com, Tweet us @greensandsocial or find us on Facebook and Instagram. The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership is led by the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the Greensand Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is made possible by National Lottery players. Without them we couldn’t fund the project.

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


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

37


5LE0WIS 1 £ N H JO

S VOUCHER

Covering Herts, Beds & North London areas

ARDEN VERY G D WITH E VER BOOKE MAKEO TIME OFFER ED LIMIT MS APPLY *TER

The Complete

GARDEN DESIGN SERVICE www.greatgardenideas.com

Traditional Lawns

Block Paving & Driveways

Fencing ❁ Turfing ❁ Decking ❁ Gazebos ❁

Patios Paving ❁ Driveways ❁ ❁

Artificial Lanws

Lighting Solutions

Lighting ❁ Water Features ❁ Exotic PLants ❁ Artificial lawns ❁

Timber Structures

Compact Gardens

Call us now for your free consultation on: 01438 313765

WHY HIRE A SKIP? RUBBISH CLEARANCE HERTFORDSHIRE 24 HOURS

7 DAYS FULLY INSURED & LICENCED DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL SERVICE

GARAGE - LOFT - OFFICE - HOUSE - GARDEN WASTE - APPLIANCES PROBATE CLEARANCE | DE CLUTTERING SERVICE

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

01438 215 018 | www.rubbishclearanceherts.co.uk | 07960 98 32 98 38 HRC half page.indd

1

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts 20/02/2017 16:40


Pets

Animal Queries Dear RSPCA vet, I have two gorgeous 6-month-old kittens – Stanley and Mabel. My husband says I should get them micro-chipped, but is it really necessary and will it hurt them? Cath, Kempston Dear Cath, Your husband has given you excellent advice. You’ll have discovered by now how adventurous cats can be! Even if your kittens wear a good quality safety collar and tag (which we suggest at all times, ideally with a bell to warn your local birdlife) these can get lost or removed. Microchipping your kittens will give them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they become lost or stolen. Heartbreakingly, thousands of pets are lost every year, and many are never reunited with their owners. Microchipping can change that. A microchip will give both Stanley and Mabel their own unique code. They can then be scanned and matched to your contact details, which are kept on a database. Make sure you update these details every time you move. Please don’t worry that this will hurt them. If you saw them being carried around by their mother, you’ll have noticed that each kitten has a loose fold of skin on the back of their neck. This is where your vet will inject a tiny microchip. Most animals

don’t even notice – it’s certainly no worse than an injection that we all expect human babies to have! You obviously love your kittens. For the cost of a few take-away coffees, microchipping is a great investment and the best way of protecting them. It’s also recommended for all other animals and birds. The RSPCA run regular microchipping events – so keep an eye out for one in your area.

ANIMAL QUERIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch www.rspca-bedfordshirenorth.org.uk

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

39


40

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Bunnies are for life, Rabbits make wonderful pets, but they do require significant time and care to ensure they are healthy and happy. If you are considering a rabbit as a pet you need to be aware that the average life span of domestic rabbits is 8-12 years; they are social animals and normally prefer to be with another rabbit. Rabbits require space to run and jump, they need a large hutch/cage, with sufficient room for them to stand on their hind legs and to lie fully stretched out. They should not be restricted to a hutch, but should also have access to an enclosure or garden with rabbit appropriate toys and places to hide or sit on top of. Hutches need to be dry, draught free and well ventilated, rabbits tend to choose a certain area to toilet in so this area needs to be regularly checked and cleaned to help prevent the attraction of flies and also for their health and cleanliness. Rabbits must be checked at least daily (more often during the summer) to ensure that they are eating normally and that their rear end is clean and dry (which is especially important in warmer months, when dirty bottoms could attract flies). Their teeth are constantly growing, so hay (which

Berry House Vets

not just for Easter

makes up a large percentage of their diet) and rabbit friendly chew toys or branches/twigs need to be provided to help keep them short. Neutering is advisable, particularly in females, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, reduce the risk of cancer and urinary tract infections and can also help reduce the chance of aggressive/territorial behaviour. Vaccinations are also highly recommended. For further information please contact us at the Practice or visit www.berryhousevets.co.uk

Providing exceptional compassionate veterinary care for over 50 years Open 8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-4pm Saturday at Hitchin Laparoscopic (key-hole) surgery In-house laboratory Surgical and Medical Veterinary Certificate Holders Extensive range of nurse clinics Experienced local team Veterinary Acupuncture Puppy Parties

HITCHIN (01462) 451500

SHEFFORD (01462) 812746

www.berryhousevets.co.uk

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

41


Motoring

BMW X3: Truly Capable The wheels are spinning, but the BMW isn’t going anywhere. Every revolution of the alloys sinks the new X3 deeper into the huge blood-orange dunes of the Saharan desert. We’ve been tackling one of the toughest off-road routes I’ve ever experienced – from deep, rolling dunes to sharp, rocky trails – and the fact that only now, close to our final destination, one of my colleagues has managed to half bury a BMW is a testament to the X3’s abilities. Nestled in a lunar landscape, beneath a carpet of stars so bright they look superimposed on the sky, is our camp – a long way from the madness of Marrakesh, where our day began. We set off on our epic drive towards the Atlas Mountains, the roads from the city quickly opening up into out-of-this-world landscapes. Soon we’re crossing the Tizi n Tichka mountain pass, one mighty hairpin after another. Our X30d – with a new 260bhp, 620Nm engine – is the pick of the range, and on these roads it’s swift and enjoyable. At midday we arrive in Ouarzazate, and the famous Atlas Film Studios, where we drive our BMWs through the gates of the Game of Thrones city set.

By dusk we’ve covered nearly 300 miles and have taken in the stunning Anti Atlas Mountains. We pass through M’Hamid, the last conurbation before the desert, in a dusty convoy of 15 brand new BMWs. Our camp is an hour of off-roading away and our X3 drifts and slips its way like a rally car across the challenging terrain, with just the lights of the cars in front illuminating the impenetrable darkness. It’s the blackness that catches out a colleague when approaching the camp, resulting in the BMW being beached in a position that takes seven men and shovels to retrieve it from. The next morning, we’re told today will be tougher than yesterday. Five hours of harsh off-roading will be followed by a dash back across the mountains to the airport. We’re quickly back in the groove, drifting the off-roader around sandy corners and clattering over sharp rocks. As the desert eases, we experience the barren, flat, dry river beds of the Ouef Draa, Iriki Lane and Erg Chigaga, all stages of the famous Dakar Rally.

42

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts

On the edge of the desert, a rear tyre loses pressure but BMW chaperones soon change the wheel and we continue. We’re enjoying the X3’s comfy new interior and smart multimedia system when another tyre bursts. It takes an hour for the BMW support car to arrive, and it looks like we’ll miss the flight from Marrakesh. And so begins a rush to the airport, but from screeching hairpin bends to blink-and-you’ll-miss-them overtakes, the BMW takes it all in its stride and we arrive with minutes to spare. Sat, perspiring, exhausted but elated on the plane, we smile – we made it. The BMW X3 may have two new tyres, but it’s been returned unscathed and we’re taking off just 25 minutes after arriving at the airport. All credit to BMW. There aren’t many firms who’d put their cars, or a bunch of journalists, through what we experienced. It’s proven it’s a truly capable car, able to transport you and your family on any adventure – and I for one am certainly looking forward to the next one.

By James Baggott


Keep it local Not everyone trusts the internet, we prefer the traditional methods, come and have a cup of Tea, and talk to us face to face about your next Car or Van.

01462 457070

25 High Road, Shillington, Near Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3LL

Car and Commercial Vehicle Sales John Cox half page 3-17.indd 1

07/03/2017 16:21

EBAY COLLECTIONS

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

Local & Reliable

43


Registered Charity No: 1086392

THE 16TH ANNUAL

• FREE PARKING ALL WEEKEND •

• GREAT

ARENA ATTRACTIONS •

12TH -13TH MAY 2018 MILL LANE, STOTFOLD, BEDFORDSHIRE SG5 4NU

A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT! • STEAM FAIR HIGHLIGHTS •

THE SAUNDERS STEAM COLLECTION / VINTAGE FAIRGROUND / FREE KIDS ZONE / THE WALL OF DEATH / BEER MARQUEE / CRAFT & GIFT MARQUEE / TRADE STANDS / FOOD COURT / LIVE MUSIC ALL WEEKEND / THE WATERMILL & TEA ROOM OPEN / AND MUCH, MUCH MORE...

20% DISCOUNT on Advanced Tickets Available Online Now!

DAILY PRICES: ADULTS: £10.00 / SENIORS: £5.00 / CHILDREN: £5.00 / UNDER 4s: FREE

visit www.stotfoldmill.com /steam-fair 44NOW0477_SM_Steam_Fair_2018_Villager_131x194_Ad_AW.indd Please mention The1 Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts 27/02/2018 10:19


Quirky Britain

Feeling stressed out?

Take a walk with a llama

According to the advertisement strapline for one of the many llama trekking trips available in the UK today: “You feel calmer when you walk with a llama”. Llamas originally came from South America, where local people have used them as pack animals for hundreds of years. Their specially adapted feet padded, like a dog’s - together with their friendly natures made them the perfect companion for long treks across the mountainous Andes region. What happens on a llama trek? Although llamas are able to pull carts and carry up to 25% of their body weight, they are not suitable for riding, so your trekking experience will be limited to leading your llama on a halter as you walk along. At first glance this may not seem like much of an ‘experience’, but trekkers report that leading a llama is a surprisingly relaxing and calming experience. A UK llama trek can involve anything from a half-day trip (ending with a cream tea, of course) to a ramble lasting several days. Brenda Stevens, a member of the British Llama Society and owner of the trekking company UK Llamas, offers visitors the opportunity to halter and groom their llama before leading them into the country lanes and footpaths around the village of Mosterton in Dorset. Llamas are usually

well-behaved but have been known to pause on their route if they find a particularly tasty hedgerow plant. Brenda explains: “Our llamas enjoy nothing more than exploring the village and helping our neighbours by ‘trimming’ their bushes and trees along the way!” What makes llamas so special? Llamas will also stop in the middle of a trekking expedition if they sense the presence of wildlife, helping their human companions spot creatures they might otherwise fail to see on a countryside walk. With their sharp senses and strong protective instincts, they are often used on farms to guard lambs, ducks and chickens from attack by predators. Hardy and undemanding, they are also placed in paddocks to provide companionship for horses and ponies. Perhaps it is this ability to bond with other species that has singled llamas out as ideal travelling companions for humans. In spite of rumours that llamas can spit in spectacular fashion if angered, this rarely happens. In fact, many UK llama owners have become so confident of their animals’ good behaviour that they have started to involve them in animal therapy sessions. Parties and celebrations are another growth area for the ‘llama experience’. James and Suzanne Benson from Nidderdale Llamas even make their animals available for hen parties and weddings. For hen parties the llamas are equipped with pink ‘L’ plates on their tails, while participants can hire sashes to wear as they walk. At weddings, llamas can meet and greet guests and provide a focus for photographs. Suzanne says: “We can arrange for two llamas or one llama and one alpaca to accompany the bride and groom through the ceremony, walk down the aisle, even carry the rings!” Paying to lead an animal on a countryside ramble may seem like a slightly eccentric thing to do, but there’s little doubt that llama trekking is a magical and unforgettable experience for those who take part. To quote one happy customer who reviewed his trekking trip on the TripAdvisor website: “Quite simply one of the BEST days out we have had.”

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

45


Three Counties Radio

TRADITIONAL HOME-MADE JERK CHICKEN One of my greatest pleasures on the Weekend Kitchen is how the food we feature directly reflects the wonderful diversity of the three counties we broadcast to. We can have British classics, great curries, Turkish and Middle Eastern treats, traditional pastas, fiery stir fries and much much more. Recently I welcomed Sacha Ojo on to the programme. She launched her catering company, Sacha’s Kitchen, in Bedford when it became clear that her friends’ love of her Jamaican cooking suggested she deserved a much wider audience. Jamaican food is all about warmth, generosity and family –three words which describe Sacha perfectly. Obviously she had to give us her Jerk Chicken recipe. Apparently there are more Jerk Chicken recipes than there are days in a lifetime – Sacha’s family recipe is absolutely wonderful. Jerk sauce ingredients: 2 bunches spring onion, chopped 2 tbsp thyme 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tsp cinnamon powder 1 tbsp Pimento (Allspice) 1 tbsp coarse black pepper ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 2 tbsp dark brown sugar 2 tbsp soy sauce 2-4 Scotch Bonnet chillis, chopped (adjust to taste) 6 tbsp water Chopped parsley to serve You can use whatever cuts of chicken you want – leg, thigh or even breast. Allow a couple of pieces per person. This is plenty of marinade to serve four people. It goes without saying that you can also cook this chicken on the barbecue!

1. Place all the sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until you get a smooth consistency. 2. Adjust for taste and heat, by using more or less chilli. 3. Wash the chicken pieces (skin on), in water mixed with a really good squirt of lemon. 4. Slash small slits onto the chicken. Massage all the marinade into the chicken and leave in the fridge overnight. 5. Place in a tray and cover with foil. Bake at 160C/ Gas Mark 3 for 30 minutes then remove the foil, turn the oven up to 200C/ Gas Mark 5 and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and a lovely deep colour. 6. Scatter with the chopped parsley and serve with chips, mash or rice.

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.

46

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


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

47


Codeword 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

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. 48

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Chase HP advert_ppl.pdf

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

1

14/09/2017

11:15

CHASEHOUSE DEVELOPMENTS LTD All aspects of general building and landscaping undertaken. Driveways | Patios | Fencing Garden walls | Block paving Turf | Artificial grass | Decking Please contact Dan for more information and for a free estimate Chasehousedevelopments@outlook.com

01438 416872 07717 241701

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

49


n O s ’ t Wha In April

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

2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 April 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: www.branch-out.org.uk 3, 10, 17 & 24 April 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 4 April Stevenage Family History Society 7.15pm for 7.30pm Friends Meeting House, Cuttys Lane, Stevenage Visitors £3 inc. refreshments A talk by Meryl Catty titled ‘Masters of the Seas’ about the life and career of a 19th century Merchant Seaman. Web: stevenagefhs.site88.net 4 April North Herts Association of the National Trust 7.30pm Christchurch, Bedford Road, Hitchin Non-members £2 on the door Talk on ‘Roads Were Not Built for Cars’ by Clifton Hughes. 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: colinecropley@gmail.com 4, 11, 18 & 25 April Baby Rhyme Time 10.30-11am Baldock Library Free event 4, 11, 18 & 25 April Toddler Tales 2.15-2.45pm Letchworth Library Free event

50

4, 11, 18 & 25 April 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. Web: www.vivacechoir.co.uk 5 April 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 by Caroline Rayman on ‘Three Great Families and their gardens’ - a talk on the gardens of the Astors, The Sackville-Wests and the Rothschilds. Visitors welcome. Free parking. Email: theartssociety.nh@gmail.com 5, 12, 19 & 26 April Roundabouters Country Dance Club 8-10pm Friends Meeting House, Cuttys Lane, Stevenage £3 per week inc. refreshments, Annual subscription £5 Friendly club for English country dancing. We welcome new members, both beginners and experienced. All dances walked through; club and guest callers ensure a varied programme. First week free. Tel. 01438 727239 Web: www.roundabouters.org.uk 5, 12, 19 & 26 April 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: www.sapphiresocialsinglesclub.co.uk 6 April Hitchin & Letchworth RSPB 7.30pm The Settlement, Letchworth, SG6 4UB Mark Thomas talks about ‘Life of a Bird Detective’. What is it like to investigate crimes against wild birds? What goes on behind the scenes? How do you catch the killers? All will be revealed!

6, 13, 20 & 27 April 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 7 April 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. www.rafsignalsmuseum.org.uk 8 April Radwell Spring Open Day 2-4.30pm Radwell Mill Come along to see the grounds of Radwell mill open to the public including the petting farm, duck race, hot and cold food, craft stalls, raffle, fire engine, tractor rides, Morris Men performing and lots more to see and do. Well-behaved dogs welcome. Parking on site. Tel: Linda 01462 835428 for craft stall enquiries 9 April Icknield Quilters 7.30pm for 7.45pm start Baldock Community Centre Visitors £4. Speaker will be Julia Gahagan who is giving a talk on miniature quilts. Visitors welcome. Web: www.icknieldquilters.co.uk 9, 16, 23 & 30 April Staplers Country Dance Club 8-10pm St John’s Community Hall, Hitchin Staplers is your local social folk dance club. It’s easy to start as all the dances are walked through first then called and you don’t need to bring a partner, lots of people go on their own. It is a friendly group and you will be made very welcome. Car parking available next to the hall. Tel. 01462 895567 or 01462 624144 Web: www.staplers.org.uk 10 April Zoolab 2pm Baldock Library £2 per person An action-packed adventure meeting tree frogs, snakes and tarantulas!! Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Tel: Baldock Library phone 01707 281533 for tickets Web: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/litfest

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


n O s ’ t Wha In April

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

11 April 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 12 April Stevenage Floral Art Society ‘Spring Workshop’ Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start High Street Methodist Church Hall, Stevenage Old Town Visitors £7. An evening for you to make your own arrangement. Entry fee includes refreshments and tuition. Beginners very welcome. Tel: Margaret 01438 880086 to book & find out what you need to bring 12 April Baldock & Clothall WI 7.30pm United Reformed Church, Whitehorse Street, Baldock Visitors £3 including refreshment and raffle ticket Facebook: www.facebook.com/ baldockclothallwi 12 April Stevenage Floral Art Society 7.45pm High Street Methodist Hall Visitors very welcome. 15 April Stevenage RSPB Trip 7.55am Titchfield Haven A coach trip with the Hitchin and Letchworth Group to this NNR on the Solent. Reserve admission £4.25, Concessions £4. Meet at the rear of Waitrose store on Primett Road at 7.55 am. Please call Paul Collis to book and confirm cost. Tel: Paul Collis 01438 861547 15 April 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: www.madisonevents.co.uk

17 April Stevenage RSPB 7.30pm Friends’ Meeting House, Cutty’s Lane, Stevenage Members £3, Non-members £4, Under 16s 50p Jonathan Forgham will present a talk entitled ‘A Walk to Hel, on a peninsular in Poland!’. There will be a Plant and Flower Bring-and-Buy stall. 19 April Letchworth District Gardeners Association 7.45pm Talk by Robert Brett on ‘Developments at Hyde Hall’. Web: www.ldga.org.uk 19 & 26 April Moo Music Sandy, Biggleswade & Shefford 10-10.40am Shefford Baptist Church Moosical fun for your little one! Music & movement classes for 0-5 year olds in Sandy & Sutton. New sessions in Shefford! Come and join in the fun with your little moover. Email: Heather sandymoo@moo-music.co.uk Web: www.moo-music.co.uk/sbs Facebook: www.facebook.com/moomusicsandy 19 & 26 April 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 20-28 April Spring Exhibition 2018 Daily 10am-4.45pm Community Museum Gallery, The Arcade, Letchworth Free admission 21 April Langford Garage Sale Trail 10am-1pm £5. Raising funds for TRACKS Autism, 1st Langford Brownies and 1st Langford Cubs. Have a table top sale at your home and support our local good causes. Households taking part will be listed on a map which will be made available on the day at key points around the village. Any proceeds from the stall are yours to keep. Please come along to Langford and bag a bargain in our village wide Garage Sale. Tel: 07905 667427 Email: jo.smith@langfordscouts.org.uk to book your stall

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

21 April Weston Music Society Spring Season 7.30pm Weston Church Tickets £15 inc. programme and interval drink, Under 19s free. Gary Ryan (classical guitar). A Fellow of the Royal College of Music, Gary is well known to all guitar enthusiasts both as player and composer and as examiner and competition adjudicator. Tickets can be reserved by telephone or email. Tel: 01462 790573 Email: felicitylowe@yahoo.co.uk Web: www.westonmusicsociety.org.uk 22 April A day in the woods Bottoms Corner Wood, Gravenhurst £65 inc. course fee, all materials, tea, coffee, fruit and cake. Make a willow obelisk plant support. Learn how to create something beautiful for your climbing plants. Booking essential. Tel: Wassledine 01462 711815 Web: www.wassledine.co.uk/a day in the woods/ courses and events 22 April Willian Bowls Club Open Day 11am-4pm Norton Common, Lower Bowls Green, Letchworth New Bowlers welcome, free tuition plus tea and cake! All equipment provided. Also any Tuesday at 2pm or Thursday at 6pm. (24 April onwards). Tel: David 01462 642790 Web: www.willianbowlsclub.org 28 April A day in the woods Bottoms Corner Wood, Gravenhurst £75 inc. course fee, all materials, tea, coffee, fruit and cake. Make a willow hurdle. Have a go an at ancient craft. Booking essential. Tel: Wassledine 01462 711815 Web: www.wassledine.co.uk/a day in the woods/ courses and events 29 April A day in the woods Bottoms Corner Wood, Gravenhurst £70 inc. course fee, all materials, tea, coffee, fruit and cake. Make a willow ball. Create something decorative for your home or garden. Booking essential. Tel: Wassledine 01462 711815 Web: www.wassledine.co.uk/a day in the woods/ courses and events

51


BICKERDIKES

We are looking for more delivery people in this area to deliver our magazine. Please contact Nigel for more details

Tel: 01767 261122

Email: nigel@villagermag.com 52

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Time of Year

Declutter Your Life It’s that time of year when we get the urge to Spring Clean If you can’t lay your hands on items you need because they’re buried under piles of junk; if you’re constantly moving items from one pile to a new ‘temporary’ pile; if you find yourself thinking, “I can’t throw this away, it might come in useful one day,” you’re probably a clutter-victim. Californian blogger Dave Bruno wrote The 100 Thing Challenge. He set himself a year-long experimental task of reducing his belongings to 100 items. Although it started as a challenge he actually chose to keep living by his new rules afterwards, saying he prefers the simplicity. It would be tough for most of us to emulate Bruno exactly, but he has a point. Most of us probably put far too much time, effort and money into acquiring, keeping and storing possessions, and sometimes it’s good to let go. If you’re ready to de-clutter, then we have a few simple tips. If you feel you need help, there are experts in de-cluttering who will guide you through the process of letting go. De-cluttering Tips Deal with one room at a time the task will seem less daunting. Stick with that room until it’s finished. Choose a nice day - Take the room contents outside. Psychologically it’s easier to sort and let go if you’re one step removed. It’s also less likely that the clutter will make it back inside.

Sort everything into three piles - Label them dump, donate and keep. Be realistic: if the item in question hasn’t been used for over a year it is unlikely you will ever use it. Deal with the dump and donate piles - Do this before anything comes back into the house. It’s much harder to mess up your good work if the stuff is physically gone. Sort and label - Place the remaining items in clearly labelled boxes. Make sure there is one temporary box to house items which really belong in another room. As each room is sorted those items can be replaced, and other misplaced items can be housed there while the de-cluttering process continues. Replace everything that remains - The maxim ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ is a good one. Keep small items in clear plastic boxes and store them in cupboards or wardrobes. When you’re done instigate a ‘one thing in: one thing out’ rule. It will make you think twice about acquiring something if you know something else must go. Finally, once a week, take two bags and go through your home. One bag is for rubbish, the other for items in the wrong place. When you’ve finished throw the rubbish away and replace the misplaced items. Follow these small steps and you too can declutter your life.

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

By Tracey Anderson

53


Parenting

On Your Bike Learning to ride a bike opens up a whole new world of fun and independence for children. Even babies and toddlers can join in the fun of a family bike ride, with a little help… Babies can start joining you on bike rides from around nine months old, as long as they can hold their head up unsupported. You’ll need to choose between a trailer and a front or rear bike seat. Child bike seats start from around £30. The more expensive ones usually have extra features, such as a five-point safety harness, rather than a three-point one. Some have backs that can be tilted for on-the-go naps. Front-mounted seats sit in front of you and attach to the frame. They sometimes have a shorter back than rear mounted seats, and usually have a lower maximum weight allowance, so they won’t last you quite as long. On the plus side, you’ll be able

to see your child, which makes sharing a ride more fun. Some rear seats fit to a pannier rack, while others fit to the frame. You might find balancing is a little bit easier with a rear seat compared to a front one, and it should last you until your child is around four years old. Whichever type of seat you go for, you’ll need to check that it’s suitable for your bike and the weight of your child. Look for a seat with plenty of padding, a good safety harness and adjustable foot supports. Bike trailers are more expensive than seats, but you can pull older children, and often two at a time (plus picnics or shopping). Trailers usually have a cover, so your child will stay dry if you get caught in the rain, even if you get soaked. You might struggle with a trailer on steep hills though, and you’ll need a garage or shed to store it when it’s not in use.

It’s a good idea to visit your local bike shop to speak to a specialist adviser before you make any decisions. They’ll be able to recommend a trailer or bike seat that’s right for you, your bike and your child. Cycling with young children Once your child is old enough to ride a 16” bike, you might want to progress from a seat or trailer to a Trail Gator or other tow bar. These attach your bike to your child’s, so you can pull your child behind you. They’re handy for when you fancy a longer ride than your child could otherwise manage. Some tow bars can be unclipped and folded down, if your child wants to ride on their own for a while. Your child’s bike might feel a bit wobbly when it’s being pulled, so tow bars aren’t suitable for children under around four. Where to go Lots of roads have designated cycle lanes now, and there are plenty of traffic-free routes to explore too. The National Cycle Network offers 14,000 miles of bike-friendly roads and paths. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk for free printable cycle route maps. Fancy joining other families for a bike ride? www.cyclinguk.org lists hundreds of UK cycling events, including ones that are suitable for families. It’s also worth asking what your local bike club has to offer, as lots of cycling clubs organise volunteer-led rides for beginners and families.

By Kate Duggan www.kateduggan.co.uk 54

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


ANDY LEONARD

LOCAL

Painter & Decorator Fully insured quality workmanship Interior & Exterior For a free, friendly, no obligation quotation

Please contact Andy on

CALL NOW ON:

07847 849202 Mas terCard

07889 903283 Email: andythepainter5@hotmail.com

Maes tro

AL Painter & Decorators QP.indd 1

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

09/02/2018 15:0

55


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

56

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Local News

Helping to save lives… ...one cake at a time Are you a star baker, precise with icing, or just love an excuse for a get together? Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) are looking for people like you. The Charity is asking its supporters, and cake lovers, to host their own A Very British Afternoon Tea throughout June. Whether you’re looking to host Afternoon Tea in your back garden, or entice the office with a cake showdown, the Charity’s free fundraising pack has tips and recipes for you! Within your pack you will find some fun activities including a tea-tasting competition, your own Great Bake, fun games and how to create your own Crew using gingerbread men. This year’s campaign features a former airlifted patient of the Charity, Kate Oliver. Eight years after a road traffic collision, which left her in a coma with life changing injuries, Kate has made a good recovery and

now runs a successful tearoom. She shared her story and some of her top baking tips for the Charity’s A Very British Afternoon Tea fundraising pack, and will be hosting her own tea party in June. Maria Alexander, EHAAT’s Head of Fundraising, said: “We are appealing to individuals, community groups and businesses who love cake to gather their friends and colleagues, put on an apron, and get baking! Last year’s A Very British Afternoon Tea was an extraordinary success, and we hope that this year’s initiative will continue to raise much-needed funds for our life-saving service.” A Very British Afternoon Tea is sponsored by Berryworld. For more information and to receive your free fundraising pack you can visit www.ehaat.org, call the Fundraising Team on 0345 5040 055 or email afternoontea@ehaat.org

Fun Quiz - East and West 1. Which body of water is known by names that translate as “the East Sea” in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands and by a name that translates as “the West Sea” in Estonia? 2. Which country was known as the Dutch East Indies when it made its first and only appearance at a FIFA World Cup in 1938? 3. What is the most westerly capital city in mainland Europe? 4. Which other English county borders both East Sussex and West Sussex? 5. What are the names of the two rival gangs in West Side Story? 6. In which county would you find the town of Lowestoft, which is the most easterly settlement in the UK? 7. What name did the Western Allies use to refer to the bestknown crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War? 8. The term West Bank is normally used to refer to a region in the Middle East that lies to the west of which river? 9. What is the name of the local London Underground station in EastEnders?... Walford East or Walford West? 10. If you flew due east from Edinburgh airport, what would be the first country you would fly over after leaving Scotland? 1. The Baltic Sea 2. Indonesia 3. Lisbon 4. Surrey 5. The Sharks and the Jets 6. Suffolk 7. Checkpoint Charlie 8. The River Jordan 9. Walford East 10. Denmark

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

57


The Villager Prize Crossword

Prize

ÂŁ25

Across 7 Buff up (6) 8 Equality (6) 9 Throw (4) 10 Used by trains (8) 11 Tangled (7) 13 Dizzy (5) 15 Frighten (5) 17 Laughed (7) 20 Fuel (8) 21 Applaud (4) 22 Light wind (6) 23 Hug (6)

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



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

Down 1 Pillar (6) 2 Cash register (4) 3 Agitated (7) 4 Ruin (5) 5 Fighting (8) 6 Remained (6) 12 Revenue (8) 14 Without sound (7) 16 Seats (6) 18 Authorise (6) 19 Repaired (5) 21 Surrender (4)

Name: Tel: Address:

58

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


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

59


WINDOW REPAIRS

Serving all of Herts - Based in Stevenage Specialising in replacing misted units

BEFORE AFTER email: info@jmlwindows.co.uk website: www.jmlwindows.co.uk 07977 911 926 / 01438 906300 • Misted/broken double glazed units • Sticking doors or windows adjusted • Broken/loose handles • Leaded or Georgian units replaced • Hinges for gapping windows • Leaks fixed • All types of locks replaced • Energy saving Planitherm glass • Cat/dog flaps in glass or panels • Door re-alignments Visit our website for over 30 customer reviews 60

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


Time of Year

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD) takes place on Sunday 29th April.

Through the Pinhole! With the advent of the smart phone we have happily turned into a nation of photographers, capturing images wherever and whenever we please. We add filters and create digital art so easily that we’ve almost forgotten a world where this wasn’t possible…where photography was more of a dark art. Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day aims to get us back in touch with that magic. Pinhole photography is photography without a lens. We know that people have been making images using pinholes since the 5th century AD because references to the process have been found in ancient Chinese texts. They knew that objects reflect light in straight lines and that rays from the top of an object, travelling through a pinhole, will appear in the lower half of an image... in other words the image will be upside down. Greek philosophers and Arabian physicists studied the phenomenon. It was used in astronomy to study the movement of planets and solar eclipses while artists used it to help them paint landscapes. Sir David Brewster, a Scottish scientist, was one of the first to make pinhole photographs in the 1850s. Photographs taken with a lens can be rendered very sharp: by contrast pinhole photos are soft. Some photographers liked them because they felt the images were atmospheric, not unlike

By Louise Addison

the paintings of the Impressionists from the same era. Nowadays the pinhole camera is still popular. It is another tool at a photographer’s disposal. Like any tool it has advantages and limitations. One big advantage is that a pinhole camera is very easy to make. It’s basically a light box, with a tiny hole in one end and film or photographic paper in the other. Designing and building your own camera is great fun and taking pictures with it is a very satisfying and pleasurable experience. There are helpful videos on You Tube and even readymade pinhole camera kits. Pinhole cameras can - and have been - made from almost anything: drinks cans, cereal boxes, biscuit tins, shells and even an old refrigerator. A cardboard kit is probably the best material for a beginner, but the only limit is your imagination. Photographic paper and developing fluids can be purchased very cheaply from camera shops and some good art retailers. Check out the link here to the Worldwide Pinhole Camera Website, where you can find instructions to build your own pinhole camera. You could even upload your efforts to the WPPD web gallery. Have fun. www.pinholeday.org (the WPPD website)

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

61


Classifieds Roofing

Cleaning Services DUSTING DAISY DOMESTIC CLEANING

Award Winning Cleaning Company Domestic and commercial cleaning services. Friendly, reliable and uniformed staff. Weekly, Fortnightly Cleaning or to suit. Spring Cleans, Ironing and more. References available on request

Call Brenda on 07855 016872 www.dustingdaisycleaning.co.uk

Wheelie Bin Cleaning

Plastering Services

Scrubbish ad Feb 2018.pdf

1

23/02/2018

16:31

Prices from £3.99 per bin, cleaned every 4 weeks To book visit our website

www.scrubbish.co.uk or call our office on

01462 416565

Removals

MUSCLE & MOTOR

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.

Business gone slow? Let us help!

Call Richard on: 01767 317387 or 07968 787496 Email: muscleandmotor@gmail.com www.muscleandmotor.co.uk

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

enquiries@stephensremovals.com

62

Advertising in The Villager is easy. To find out more call Nigel on 01767 261122 or email nigel@villagermag.com

Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts


VILLAGER

VILLAGER The

The

and Town

Issue 1 - April 2018

and Town

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

In this issue Win tickets to

Classic Ibiza A Historical

Hitchin

Life

Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People in

Hitchin, Ickleford, Purwell, Charlton, Gosmore, St. Ippolyts Great Wymondley, Little Wymondley and surrounding areas every month To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

ur Yo EE FRco1 py

Bringing Local Business to Local People

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

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

Tel: 01767 261122

Email: nigel@villagermag.com Web: www.villagermag.com

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS  Alcoholics Anonymous........................0845 769 7555 Anglian Water......................................08457 145 145 Bedford Hospital...................................01234 355122 Lister Hospital.......................................01438 314333 Benefits for people with Disabilities.....0800 882 200 Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue..............01438 729041 Carers Line............................................0808 808 7777 ChildLine.....................................................0800 1111

Citizens Advice.....................................0844 245 1290 Crimestoppers........................................0800 555 111 Cruse Bereavement Care......................0333 252 9152 Floodline..............................................0845 988 1188 Frank—Drug Advisory..........................0800 776 600 National Debt Line...............................0808 808 4000 Gas Emergency......................................0800 111 999 NHS Direct...................................................0845 4647

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

National Rail Enquiries........................03457 48 49 50 Non Emergency Police Line................................... 101 NSPCC.................................................0808 800 50000 Relate.................................................... 0845 48 49 50 RSPCA Cruelty Line..............................0300 1234 999 Samaritans...................................................... 116 123 Tax Credit Helpline...............................0345 300 3900 Victim Support...................................... 845 30 30 900

63


Personal, caring and independent. The complete funeral service 24 2 4 hhour our sservice ervice

Private P i C Chapels h l off R Rest

Memorial Stonemasons

Funeral Plans

Own Crematorium ST E V E N AG E • 01438 316623 H I T C H I N • 01462 438422 KN E B WO RT H • 01438 812365 B U N T I N G F O R D • 01763 274111 WELWYN GARDEN CITY • 01707 390018 WE LW Y N • 01438 714686 HE RT F O R D • 01992 582052 WA R E • 01920 468551 LE T CH WO RT H • 01462 684292

www.austins.co.uk 64

Harwood Park

The perfect setting to commemorate the life of your loved one

Crematorium and memorial gardens created and managed by the Austin family in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

www.crematorium.co.uk

Serving the local community for ten generations Please mention The Villager and Town Life when responding to adverts

Hitchin apr 18  
Hitchin apr 18  
Advertisement