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st albans


March 2014

Look inside for... St Albans MusicCity Sport Relief Games NOW at the Cathedral International Women’s Day Reader Offer:

NOW at The Alban Arena

FREE entry to The Luxury Wedding Show

What’s on and more...

WIN Overnight stay at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa

promoting local businesses organisations and events since 2006

choose local first

read ‘the NOW magazines’ monthly


Welcome to March

With the excitement of the Winter Olympics still fresh in our minds, there’s lots of local sporting charity events for everyone to get involved in, from Triathlons, Swimming and Cycling to Skydiving and the 1TrueGrit UK Obstacle if you didn't manage to get to the slopes this winter, why not try something more local and give something back while having fun and getting fit. For something more relaxing, after doing all that activity, there’s music of all genres on offer this month, so sit back and enjoy the sounds, or if you fancy having a go at singing as part of a group, you could join in with the Lea Singers Singing Day. For all you ladies out there why not join in with International Women's Day which has been celebrated annually in March since 1911. And of course don’t forget if you need a local business pick up your copy of ‘st albans NOW’ or just read it every month online. And of course Happy Mothers Day to all you mums...

jane & wendy

Rennie Grove Hospice Care


do something for charity

NOW in the Garden


plant your seeds now!

NOW at The Alban Arena


music, magic & comedy

International Women’s Day 14 celebrated since 1911

Reader Offer 16 The Luxury Wedding Show

St Albans MusicCity 20 folk, blues, jazz & more

NOW at the Local Theatres 22 Maltings & Abbey Theatre

NOW at the Museums 23 gadgets, goggles & Steampunk Ball

1TrueGrit Challenge 24 have you got what it takes

Sport Relief Games 25 swim & run for charity

NOW at the Cathedral 28 To advertise call 07983 588313 / 291 Deadline for April: 10th March

tours, services & concerts

What’s on in March 42 & April 44 Index of Businesses 46 accountants to windows & doors

To Advertise: 07983 588291


Rennie Grove Hospice Care have so much going on in the coming months, that we thought we had to let you know, there’s something for everyone so why not get involved. It feels good to give something back, and you’re bound to have a good time doing it!

Chilterns Cycle Challenge Join Fern Britton on Sunday 23rd March for a 10K familyfriendly route along the cycle paths of Aylesbury; a 35-mile loop through the Buckinghamshire Chilterns or a 75-mile marathon that takes in parts of Hertfordshire too, there’s something for every age and ability. Sign up now at

One-off Wedding Dress Sale On the weekend of 5th and 6th April the beautiful Rothschild country house that is Tring Park School is hosting an exclusive wedding dress sale. With hundreds of one-off designs to browse, try and buy at a fraction of the price you’d expect. An extra bonus - thanks to the kind company who donated these exquisite dresses – is that all proceeds from sales will go straight to patient care.

Can you help? Volunteers needed for: Dressers for the Brides (ladies only) / Meeters and Greeters Serving Refreshments / Car Park Marshalling. If you or anyone else you know would like to volunteer at one or all of the 4 half day sessions please email

Amalfi String Quartet - Friday 25th April This highly acclaimed all-female quartet will be playing a programme of popular classical music at Rothamsted Institute, Harpenden. Tickets £20 from Grove House on 01727 731000.

RAF Sprint Triathlon If you love cycling but want to swim and run too, this is just the thing for you! The RAF Halton Sprint Triathlon returns on Sunday 4th May with 10 lengths of a 30m pool, 21K road cycle and 5K run. Relay option available, online entry open now.


London Marathon Sunday 13th April If you have a place in this year’s London Marathon, then why not join the Rennie Grove Team? They offer pre-race tips, support and a pasta party, as well as an 18-mile cheering squad to keep you going on the day. Contact Clair on to join the team and make a difference in your local community.

World Record Sky Dive Event Want to join forces with Skyline in a new record number of tandem jumps taking place in England in 24 hours? On Saturday 14th June enjoy exhilarating freefall (at 120mph!) before your instructor deploys your parachute to experience a peaceful glide back down to earth - all for just £395 in sponsorship.

01727 731000


NOW in the Garden Try Seeds This Spring Whether you want a veg plot packed with produce, or your garden filled with flowers, seeds offer the best and cheapest solution. And you can give your plants a head start by sowing them indoors in March, resulting in earlier crops and blooms. Flower and vegetable seeds are generally sown in the same way. Start off tiny seeds in trays and large seeds in small pots. To sow small seeds, fill a seed tray with moist, good quality seed compost and firm gently to create an even surface. Sprinkle seeds thinly over the compost, and cover with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite. Pop the lid on the tray or cover with a plastic bag, and keep in a warm, bright room or heated greenhouse. Set the tray in a larger container of water if the compost dries out, and remove when the top feels damp.

transplant each one into individual pots or module trays of John Innes No 2 Potting On compost. From mid-April set your seedlings outside during the day (bring them in at night) and plant them outside permanently from late May. For larger seeds, follow the instructions above, but sow only two or three seeds per pot, and check seed packets for the correct planting depths. When the seedlings have a few leaves, transplant them into their own pots. by Zia Allaway. Learn more about sowing seeds at Zia’s Gardening Workshops in Harpenden. Visit or call 07770 780 231 to book your place.

As soon as the seedlings emerge, remove the lid or plastic bag. Keep the tray watered, and when the seedlings have 5 or 6 leaves,

Butterfly World is open for spring


Butterfly World in Chiswell Green, St Albans reopens on 24th March for lots of family fun. Learn about the lifecycle of the butterfly in the Tropical Butterfly House, wonder at the busy leafcutter ants in the biggest colony in the country, and get ‘hands on’ with creepy crawlies during the Insect Handling sessions. Parents can enjoy a wander through the inspiring designer gardens and enjoy a cup of tea at the Nectar House Cafe, while children play in the Natural Play area. The Children’s Easter Holiday Activity programme has something exciting for all ages, including craft and environmental workshops. Open 10 - 5pm every day Entry £5 per person until 1st May 01727 869203


NOW at the Alban Arena A number of events have already sold out this month, so don’t panic if the show you’ve booked isn’t listed! The Irish House Party Weds 5th March 7.30pm Dublin’s No.1 award winning music and dance show with All Island champion musicians, great banter and not forgetting some excellent Irish dancing. Toploader Sat 8th March 8pm The band revisit all their singles including ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, ‘Achilles Heel’ and ‘Time Of My Life’ as well as introducing fans to their brand new material. Clannad Tues 11th March 7.30pm Clannad the Irish family group with their haunting songs, mesmerizing vocals and captivating sound. Ed Byrne: Roaring Forties Weds 12th March 8pm A self-confessed “miserable git” since the age of 23, Ed embraces middle age with open arms. “I am in my Forties, HEAR ME ROAR!” iMagician Fri 14th March 7.30pm Jamie Allan is one of the greatest innovators of modern magic. iMagician defies the boundaries of logic and blends incredible illusion with high technology including iPad illusion, virtual assistant and spectacular laser manipulation. The Ultimate 80’s Party Sat 15th March Live acts including The Wild Boys, Pat Sharp DJ set, Chesney Hawkes Electro and Synthpop DJ. Peter Pan On Ice Weds 19th - Mon 24th March times vary The world-renowned Russian Ice Stars bring you a new adaption of this famous fantasy adventure by J.M.Barrie. Morecambe Sat 29th March 7.30pm This unmissable new production with Bob Golding as comedy icon, Eric Morecambe. The show is a moving, heart-warming, tear-jerking, laughter-inducing story of the man


The Alban Arena

01727 844488


DIY Classes for the over 60’s Older people are learning DIY and Car Maintenance Skills through a new training programme initiated by St Albans District Older People’s Forum and run by tutors from Oaklands College. So far students have learned new painting techniques and how to tackle damp. Christine Allen who attended one of the DIY sessions said: “The tutor was so patient with everyone. He answered all our questions and explained everything. I learned how to recognise and manage damp, and learned tricks of the trade to deal with it. It was hugely beneficial.” Local people aged 60 years + are invited to book a free place on this or future courses by calling Oaklands College on 01727 737000.

NEW group opening in Chiswell Green The University of the Third Age (U3A) are a self-help organisation for active retired or semi-retired people, providing educational, creative and leisure activities. Launch Meeting Thursday 6th March, 10am Greenwood Park Community Centre Chiswell Green Please come along and find out more!


For more information on St Albans District Older People’s Forum visit Basic DIY Skills Tuesday 11th March 5.30pm - 8pm Oaklands College, St Albans Campus, Hatfield Road AL4 0JA


Come and try Archery! Open Archery Afternoon Saturday 15th March with qualified coaches who are fully insured and equipped with appropriate bows and safety equipment for beginners. Bring outdoor/waterproof clothing, strong, flat, footwear (no open toes) and a sense of


humour! This is an outdoor club with no facilities, so please bring your own refreshments. Venue: Wheathampstead Archery Club, Folly Fields (off the Lower Luton Road, opposite Melissa Fields), Wheathampstead Time: 1 - 4pm Cost: Just a donation (ÂŁ2?) Open to everyone over 10. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Julia Reading BSC (Hons) MChS, HPC Registered Podiatrist

I Treat The Following Foot Conditions Corns * Callous * Fungal nails Ingrowing toe nails * Verrucas General foot health advice For an appointment please phone

07746 472781 Tuesdays Nash Pharmacy (next to Waitrose) 2 Ermine Close, St Albans

Mon & Fri / Tues or Wed pm Southdown Clinic Harpenden

Home Visits Available


International Women’s Day - 8th March

Inspiring Change Women's equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day (IWD) celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. Inspiring Change is this year’s theme and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change. IWD has been celebrated each year on 8th March since 1911.

Five Miles to Fabulous Celebrate International Women’s Day with a cycle ride the ‘Five Miles to Fabulous’ new season of rides gets underway on Saturday 8th March. Meet at the cycle stands at Morrisons supermarket, Hatfield Road, St Albans at 9.30am for a women-only easy-paced cycle ride using local traffic free routes and quieter roads. Do give your bike a once-over and pump up the tyres though! We’ll have a coffee stop, so bring some money, make sure you have seasonal clothing and a spare innertube the same size as your wheels! No need to pre-register, just turn up. The rides are organised by the South Herts CTC, for more information visit



Reader Offer... FREE entry to the Luxury Wedding Show on 2nd March plus a chance to WIN an Overnight Stay at the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa On Sunday 2nd March the exclusive Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa will throw open its doors to the Luxury Wedding Show. This glamorous event gives you lashings of pre-wedding inspiration, including award winning London bridal designer, Ritva Westenius, (Best Bridal Retail Designer Award 2014), who will be showing an exclusive preview of her 2014/15 collections, plus designs from Caroline Couture, based locally in Harpenden. This really will be a catwalk not to be missed, where you will receive a glass of bubbly while you sit back and enjoy the show. Designed to be fun and inspiring with that special touch of Luxury and glamour, the Show is a must-visit day out for the whole wedding party. Pre-registration for the Luxury Wedding Show is essential so be sure to put this date in your diary this very minute! Sunday 2nd March 11am - 4pm Bridal Catwalk Shows 12.30pm & 2pm Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, Luton, Beds LU1 3TQ ‘st albans NOW’ is offering you FREE entry to the Luxury Wedding Show (register at and quote HN2014) plus the opportunity to WIN an overnight stay for two at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. One lucky winner will be drawn on the 2nd March, but you must attend the show to win.



NOW for a local walk Enjoy the countryside on your doorstep with the popular ‘St Albans, Harpenden & Villages Health Walks’. Led by trained volunteers the walks take place whatever the weather, cater to all ages and abilities and are a fantastic way to get more active, have a good natter and improve general wellbeing. Best of all they are completely free! The following walks are planned for the coming months: Highfield Park Mondays 9.30am, Tuesdays 1.30pm Charters Health Club car park, Hill End Lane, opposite Spar Wheathampstead Tuesdays 10.30am Meet at the public car park behind The Bull, East Lane, Wheathampstead, AL4 8BL Hatching Green Thursdays 10.30am Hatching Green, Redbourn Lane, Harpenden, AL5 2JP (on road parking only) Mackerye End Saturdays 1st March and 5th April, 2pm Meet at the public car park behind The Bull, Wheathampstead Greenwood Park Fridays 2pm Meet outside Greenwood Park Community Centre, Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green Bricket Wood Sunday 16th March, 10.30am Moor Mill Pub car park, off Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood Heartwood Forest Sunday 27th April 10.30am Meet in Heartwood Forest car park, High Street, Sandridge


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The UK’s top party band: based near Harpenden! For more years than bandleader Nigel Tully cares to remember The Dark Blues have been keeping dance floors packed, by playing the very best hits of the last 50 years with affection, authenticity and fantastic musicianship. Lead singer Annabel Williams, born in Harpenden and schooled at Sir John Lawes, is not only a brilliant vocalist, she is also the official vocal coach for both the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent! The rest of the band have equivalent pedigrees: saxophonist Nick Newall played with The Kinks for 7 years, guitarist Adrian with top Abba tribute band Bjorn Again, and singer/pianist Lol was resident at The Ritz Hotel for a decade. A real feast of musical talent, held together by Nigel’s infallible instinct for the next song to play. For over 20 years The Dark Blues’ annual concert on the Herts Showground has been Hertfordshire’s party highlight of the year. Up to a thousand guests pack the marquees, bringing their own food and drink in parties of any size to tables which they decorate with the party’s theme, this year it’s “Dance through the Decades”. By the time the band takes to the stage, everybody is raring to go – and three hours later the

audience is demanding encores, which the band happily provides from its amazing repertoire of classic and current hits. The only break is for the raffle, with all the proceeds going to help support the hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted. Guests come in all age groups (though young adults often prefer to be seated some distance from mum and dad’s table!) and there is no dress code other than a request to fit in with the theme. All we ask is that you are ready to dance – to the wonderful music of The Dark Blues! Herts County Showground 31st May 8pm 01582 842226

St Albans MusicCity 15th - 23rd March Immerse yourself in the twilight leafy metropolis that is St Albans MusicCity! St Albans has a rich musical history and continues to foster a vibrant scene. This is a celebration of that scene which encompasses everything from traditional folk, blues and jazz through to indie, metal and pop across all the key music pubs and venues in the district! As part of St Albans MusicCity 2014 The Pioneer Youth Centre will be hosting a special celebratory (all ages) gig on the opening Saturday followed by an after-show gig at The Horn. The Pioneer Youth Centre will also be the subject of a complimentary exhibition at The Museum of St Alban, for the whole of March, celebrating their integral role in the St Albans Music (and skateboard) scene, from The Zombies to Enter Shikari and beyond. There will be opportunities to join in workshops and open mic sessions as well as special events around the district. Programmes can be picked up at all participating venues and from the Tourist Information Centre or downloaded at For a full list of all gigs taking place visit Voices photographed at Pioneer Youth Centre



NOW at the Maltings

NOW at Abbey Theatre

Faustus 1st March 2pm / 7.30pm £11 / £9 When a brilliant but arrogant academic, gets the opportunity to learn more about magic and the universe than any of his peers, it seems a chance too good to miss. But the price for such wisdom and riches is a high one – his soul. Packed with dancing, singing, and a 1940’s jazz inspired soundtrack, an energetic and memorable production. Katie’s Jumping Fleas 8th March 8pm £7.50 / £5 An uplifting musical evening of songs from the 1950s to the present day, accompanied by a band of ukuleles of all shapes and sizes, you’ve never seen or heard anything quite like this! A St Albans based ukulele troupe that has been regularly entertaining local audiences and now it’s your chance to experience An evening of foot-tapping, broad-grinned and, if you’re so inclined, sing-along entertainment is guaranteed. This is a charity event, with all proceeds of ticket sales being donated to Grove House Day Hospice, St Albans. The Ladykillers presented by OVO 13th - 15th / 19th - 22nd March 8pm £10 / £7.50 A criminal gang poses as a string quintet whilst planning a heist in the King’s Cross home of an oblivious old biddy. When she becomes wise to their ruse the thugs draw lots to decide who should bump her off and avoid a spell in choky. With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her, Mrs Wilberforce is alone with five desperate men. But who will be forced to face the music? A classic black comedy with a final body-count in the Tarantino class, reimagined by the creator of Father Ted from the Ealing Studios original starring Peter Sellers and Alex Guinness.


Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans 0844 8700 887

The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare Company of Ten, Main Stage 27th Feb - 8th March 8pm Matinée: 2nd March 2.30pm Valentine and Proteus seek the woman of their dreams. What follows is a scintillating kaleidoscope of a play which keeps the audience entertained throughout. Can there be a happy ending? With more twists than a lover’s knot, this play has humour, hidden identity and even a dog! The Secret World of Charles Dickens 20th March 8pm Ian Keable, winner of The Magic Circle’s prestigious Comedy Award, performs the favourite magic tricks of Charles Dickens and divulges the spooky practices of Victorian psychics. “The show is enlightening, entertaining and engaging...mind-bending sleight-of-hand mysteries, with a spooky Victorian literary twist,” Islington Tribune. Cosí Fan Tutte by W A Mozart St Albans Chamber Opera, Main Stage 25th - 29th March 7.30pm Matinée: 29th March 2.30pm Two young friends, Guglielmo and Ferrando, decide to test the loyalty of their fiancées Fiordiligi and Dorabella. They pretend to go off to war only to return immediately in disguise and attempt to woo each other’s fiancées. Their simple plan unravels as they tie themselves in knots. The music is considered by many to be Mozart’s best.

Abbey Theatre Westminster Lodge St Albans AL1 2DL 01727 857861

NOW at the Museums 2nd March 3pm Lecture Jane Eyre The Well Dressed Governess Costume historian Gillian Stapleton tells the story of Charlotte Bronte and her most famous fictional character, Jane Eyre, through the clothes they would have worn Verulamium Museum, £10 6th March 7.30pm Lecture: Gadgets With Maurice Collins, collector and owner of the artefacts on show in the current exhibition ‘Gadgets and Goggles’ at the Museum of St Albans. Please book Verulamium Museum, £8 8th March 10am - 5pm Community Book Fair An opportunity for community groups to fundraise by selling used books, free to participate and to buyers. Verulamium Museum

12th March 11am Tots Tales Storytelling, craft activities and museum hunt, for ages 2 - 4years. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Museum of St Albans, £1 22nd March 7pm - midnight Steampunk Ball With Steampunk Band ‘Ghostfire’ Museum of St Albans, £15 30th March 3pm Sunday Stories Under 7’s story time All children must be accompanied by an adult. Museum of St Albans, £1

Museum of St Albans Hatfield Road 01727 819340 Verulamium Museum St Michael's Street 01727 751810


Holiday Workshops and Term Time Classes in ST ALBANS

07949 293463


Taking place at Benington Lordship, High Elms Lane, Benington


The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 21st - 23rd March Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre and Harpenden Swimming Pool are hosting the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Swimathon. You can do your Swimathon on your own, or in a team of between two and five people. Pick your Swimathon distance and choose your session. Why not take on a challenge, snap up your place and enter now! On 23rd March take part in your local Sport Relief Mile at one of the following local venues Come and show what you’re made of. Dust off those trainers, pull up your Sport Relief socks and get ready to run, jog, walk or wiggle the Mile. Afterwards, kick-back with friends and family and enjoy a great day out. Don’t delay snap up your place today! The Harpenden Mile Rothamsted Park 9.45am - 1pm Camp Green and Harpenden Sports Centre invite you to come and join in the fun. The St Albans Mile Highfield Park 12 noon - 6pm St Albans City Youth FC invite you to join in the pre-Mile warm-up. Afterwards you can discover the Tree Trail, get lost in the maze or relax in the tea bar. The Redbourn Mile Redbourn Common 1pm - 5.30pm




NOW at the Cathedral Mosaic Chamber Choir & Abbey Singers with the Lawes Baroque Players Sat 1st March 7.30pm In aid of Rennie Grove House and the Friends of The Abbey, £9 - £26, concs £6 / £4 More to Explore Tour: Through the Looking Glass Sun 2nd March 3pm Visit the Lady Chapel to examine the often overlooked stained glass windows Meet at the West End door, free Ash Wednesday Weds 5th March 8pm Choral Eucharist with imposition of ashes, marking the start of Lent. Sung by the Abbey Girls Choir and men of the Cathedral Choir. St Albans Symphony Orchestra Sat 8th March 7.30pm Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto Strauss – Alpine Symphony Liadov – From the Apocalypse £8- £20, child £1, students £5 from 01727 857422 / St Albans School & St Albans High School for Girls Concert Weds 19th March 7.30pm Shostakovich – Cello Concerto No.1 Vaughan Williams - Serenade to Music Albinoni - Adagio Tickets from St Albans School 01727 855521 St Albans Choral Society & Orchestra Nova Sat 22nd March 7.30pm Mozart – Requiem in D minor K626 Britten – The Company of Heaven £10 - £25 also available from SACS Ticketline on 07884 231958 Young Musician of the Year Finals Sun 23rd March 1.30pm, £5 on the door, child free Mothering Sunday Sun 30th March 9.30am Parish Eucharist / 11.15am Matins / 6.30pm Evensong Easter Services for a full list of services visit Abbey by Night Weds 2nd April 8pm & 8.30pm This unique, atmospheric tour gives you the rare chance to explore the Cathedral by candlelight. As darkness descends, you are guided around the candlelit venue by monks and historical characters who bring to life the building’s remarkable history and highlights. Drinks reception 15 minutes before the tour time. Restrictions apply. Tickets £12 including drinks reception, available from the Cathedral Gift Shop, 01727 890290 or the website.

Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban 01727 890283



Consumer Advice NOW Jonathan Vernon-Smith is the Sony Award winning mid-morning show presenter for BBC Three Counties Radio. During his consumer hour he helps listeners with their consumer problems and now shares his advice here with you.

The Best Way to Buy a Car Mobile phones, internet connections and cars are the three products I receive the most calls about on my consumer radio show. Today I’d like to help you avoid problems with the latter – cars! Buying a good, reliable car rather than a nightmare vehicle that will eat into your wallet is a good way to start. The most important thing to understand is that unless you buy from a proper retailer, you have no comeback if the car develops a fault. The minute you drive a car away from a private seller, you’re on your own if it breaks down. I therefore suggest only buying cars from good, reputable garages, and if you can stretch to it, main dealers. They, generally offer the best after sales service. Secondly, do your research. Use the internet to find the most suitable car for you. Look at reliability scores, running costs and insurance. Don’t rush into purchasing a car you know nothing about on the forecourt, just because you think you’ll look good in it! Find something that’s the right size, has a good reputation for reliability and isn’t going to cost the earth to run. The third thing you must do is buy locally. Don’t make the mistake that many people do these days. Search for the car of your dreams on the web, find the only independent garage that has one available in the colour they like is 300 miles away and travel up by train to buy it. If you have a problem with that vehicle it will be your responsibility to get it back to


them to repair. That’s going to be a very expensive journey on a recovery vehicle all the way to Manchester! Use the internet to research garages and the people that run them. Fourthly, if you don’t know anything about cars, then for goodness sake, take someone with you who does! A friendly mechanic is best. If you don’t know anyone who is an expert, then I would strongly advise having an independent check on the vehicle by an organisation such as the RAC. It may cost a couple of hundred quid, but it's worth every penny if it prevents you from buying a complete lemon. A car is normally the second most expensive thing you purchase after a house, I lose track of the number of people who spend £15,000+ on something they know and understand nothing about and then wonder why they have problems. Please remember that when you find a car that you like, do not put a deposit down unless you really intend to buy it. When you agree to pay a deposit, you normally enter into a legally binding contract to purchase the product. If you change your mind, you not only risk losing the deposit, you could be forced by the garage to take the car and pay the full amount owing on it. Salesmen and women often suggest the deposit in a relaxed manner. Don’t be fooled, when you change your mind, the relaxed manner will probably fly right out of the window. Never pay the full amount requested for a vehicle, the garage will price a vehicle up with some room for negotiation. Remember car salesmen are employed partly because of their ability to get as much money out of you as possible and make the company as much profit. Bear this in mind at all times when agreeing a price to pay. If you’re hopeless at doing a deal, then take someone with you who is good at it! Finally, if you follow my advice and still have a problem with it or the garage, then you can contact me at BBC Three Counties Radio and I’ll do my best to try and help. Why not tune in weekdays from 9am at BBC Three Counties Radio.

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NOW for a puzzle General Knowledge Crossword Across 1. Ornamental plaster used to cover walls (6) 4. Native North American tribe (6) 9. Pear-shaped fruit with green skin ripening to black (7) 10. Writing material (5) 11. Asian water lily (5) 12. Volatile liquid used chiefly as a solvent (7) 13. Narrow strip of rubber formed into a loop for holding objects together (7,4) 18. Book of the New Testament (7) 20. Long, narrow passageway (5) 22. Measuring stick (5) 23. Small guitar with four strings (7) 24. Agitated (6) 25. Insect which rests with forelimbs raised as if in prayer (6) Down 1. Building for housing horses (6) 2. German submarine in World War II (1-4) 3. Frame supporting the body of a car (7) 5. Appear suddenly or unexpectedly (3,2) 6. Windlass used when weighing anchor (7)

7. Soft yellow substance secreted by aural glands (6) 8. Expert in art, food or drink (11) 14. Blue-flowered trailing plant (7) 15. Brilliant and showy technical skill (7) 16. Group of people assembled to sing (6) 17. Mary ___, women’s pentathlon gold medal winner in the 1972 Olympic Games (6) 19. Lofty nest of a bird of prey (5) 21. Mixture of rain and snow (5)


Word Ladder Change one letter at a time (but not the position of any letter) to make a new word - and move from the word at the top of the ladder to the word at the bottom, using the exact number of rungs provided.

R O L L answers on page 46 32

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NOW for a Good Read Now the weather’s improving and spring has almost sprung, it’s time to head outside and explore the great outdoors. OK, so this might be taking the month of March a tad literally, but how about taking it literary? Here are some of our top tips for great reads about epic journeys.

A Walk in the Woods


Bill Bryson

Henry David Thoreau

Far from being a stroll among the bluebells, the Appalachian Trail is a two thousand mile route that goes right the way along the East Coast of North America, from Georgia to Maine. Bill Bryson’s hilarious account of all the things that will kill you along the way will have you longing for a bit of adventure. This is a trek that’s a journey into the wild. Some don’t make it alive. Rest assured, if the bears don’t get you then the poison ivy will.

According to Thoreau, in order to find happiness, we just need to spend more time outdoors. More specifically, not only do we need to constantly reconnect with nature but we need to be moving and discovering and taking long afternoon walks. As a writer he took inspiration from his surroundings and revelled in the wild and the free. Here he did his greatest thinking and he remains a hero among environmentalists and fans of American literature alike.

Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Rachel Joyce

This is an extraordinary story that begins with the most ordinary of objects: a letter. Harold Fry receives a letter from old flame and dear friend Queenie, who is now in a hospice and facing her mortality. Harold writes her a reply but then on a whim, decides he must walk the 600 miles to hand deliver it to her, leaving his wife upstairs doing the housework. It’s such an amazing and heart-warming story. Will Harold reach Queenie in time?

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Simon Armitage

Doris Pilkington, Nugi Garimara

The Hobbit

Most walkers complete the Pennine Way by going South to North but Simon Armitage decided it would be more poetic if he did it the other way around. He made the 256 mile journey from Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border to his native Yorkshire, and the village where he was born. True to form, Armitage decided not to look like he was on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition but to wander as a lonely troubadour, penniless on the Pennine Way and give poetry readings in village halls, churches and pubs. It’s packed with Northern soul and would be best enjoyed with a pint of stout in a pub.

In 1931 the Australian government dictated that all Aboriginal and mixed race children should be removed from their homes and put into settlements to assimilate into white culture. This is the true story of three little girls who followed the rabbit-proof fence 1000 miles across the harsh Australian outback, all the way back home. Doris Pilkington’s mother was one of those girls and here she tells her mother’s remarkable survival story. It’s an absolutely unbelievable account of the human spirit and its resilience.

J R R Tolkien

If there’s one thing in life that hobbits enjoy more than anything, it’s comfort. From the sanctuary of his hobbit-hole, Bilbo Baggins is plucked by the wizard Gandalf and taken off on an extraordinary and most unexpected journey, deep into Middle Earth. Accompanying Gandalf and his band of thirteen dwarves, the world’s most reluctant hero must help them raid the treasures of Smaug the Magnificent, a dangerous dragon. Written for Tolkien’s own grandchildren, it’s the prelude to The Lord of the Rings and a fantastic odyssey into the unknown.




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Apricot and Apple Strudel Layers of light and crispy filo pastry wrapped around a sweet fruit filling makes a delicious pud that tastes just as good warm as cold. Serve with tangy crème fraiche, thick Greek yogurt or vanilla custard 2 large cooking apples zest of 1 lemon, finely grated 85g no-need-to-soak dried apricots, chopped 50g fresh white breadcrumbs 1 tsp ground mixed spice

7 tbsp Demerara sugar 6 large sheets filo pastry 50g unsalted butter, melted Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Peel, core and finely chop the apples and place in a bowl with the lemon zest, apricots, breadcrumbs, mixed spice and 3 tbsp of the Demerara sugar. Mix well. Place 2 sheets of the filo pastry, slightly overlapping, on a large greased baking tray. Brush them liberally with some of the melted butter then arrange 2 more sheets on top. Brush with more butter and top with the last 2 sheets. Spoon the apple mixture along one long pastry edge, leaving a 3cm border. Sprinkle over another 3 tbsp of Demerara sugar. Fold in the 2 short ends of the pastry then roll up loosely from one long side to enclose the filling, making sure the seal is underneath. Brush the pastry all over with any remaining melted butter and sprinkle over the rest of the Demerara sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Check after 25 minutes and cover loosely with foil if the pastry begins to go too brown. Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar. Tip Adding breadcrumbs or ground almonds to the fruit mixture helps to soak up any juices and stop the pastry from becoming soggy.

Pirate Gran Fri 28th - Sun 30th March Watford Palace Theatre Sat & Sun 11m, Fri 1pm, Sat 2pm Meet Gran. She bakes. She knits. You'd never guess she was a Pirate! "Pirating isn't the life for everyone, but Gran says if you don't mind sleeping in a hammock and being called Scary Mary, then it's a career more girls should think about." With a pet crocodile under her bed, a wicked sense of humour and a whole raft of adventures under her belt, time with Gran is never dull! Gran isn't scared of anything. Not even monsters. This magical swashbuckling story is an absolute treat for seafaring children aged 3 and above, and their shipmates of all ages, from the team behind Stick Man and Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales. Adults ÂŁ8, child ÂŁ6


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A Gainsborough found in St Albans A portrait of former St Albans Mayor, Joseph Gape currently on loan to the Museum of St Albans has been identified as a Thomas Gainsborough following an investigation by the BBC’s Fake or Fortune. Gape was Mayor of St Albans three times in 1746, 1761 and 1797 and also served on the local Council for more than 50 years. Unattributed until now, the painting was passed down through the Gape family until the 1960s when it was loaned to the Council for display in the Civic Centre, and more recently to the museum. The painting was spotted by the producers of Fake or Fortune on the Public Catalogue Foundation’s website, Your Paintings, at yourpaintings/paintings/joseph-gape-1720181026493 a website giving the public access to oil paintings held in public ownership or on long-term loan to public institutions. The Gape family is one of St Albans’ oldest, appearing in local records as early as 1485, and at least 16 members of the family have held the post of Mayor of St Albans at various times up to 1829. The Gapes were considerable land owners with land in Fishpool Street, Sopwell Lane, Romeland and Holywell Hill. Their original prosperity was based on tanning, a process of treating animal skins to produce leather a trade that played a key role in St Albans’ economy from the medieval times onwards. St Michael’s Manor Hotel was the site of the original Gape tannery, the land having been obtained by Henry Gape after the dissolution of the monasteries. John Gape built St Michael’s Manor in 1585. The house was passed down through the family until it was acquired by the Newling Ward family in 1965 and is now run as a hotel. Why not pay a visit to the museum and take a look for yourself at the famous masterpiece.


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Come and Sing! Singing is good for you! Inspired no doubt by the success of Gareth Malone and The Choir, the papers have recently been full of articles about the benefits of singing on health and well-being. "Cock an ear in Britain today and you will realise that we are becoming a nation of warblers. More and more of us are stepping out of the shower and singing in public." Harpenden has an extraordinarily wide range of music groups - something for everyone. What if you have always loved singing in a choir, but are currently out of practice? Or would love to find out what singing in a choir is really like? Come along to The Lea Singers Singing Day on Saturday 8th March, 11am - 5pm at St George's School, Harpenden. We will spend the day working on the Brahms Requiem, a really special piece of choral music. For The Lea Singers, the singing day gives us an opportunity to sing through a work we will be performing later in the Spring, and to welcome friends and local singers to join us. For our guests, this is a chance to join in with a great piece of choral music. Singing days are relaxed, sociable and fun - and are as much about coffee, cake and the chance to chat to other singers as about learning great music. However, they generate a real sense of achievement of what can be achieved in a short space of time. Here's what one of the guests at last year's singing day said after the event. "Thank you so much to Lea Singers for giving me the opportunity to attend such an inspiring singing day! Not knowing the Nelson Mass at all, I found it extremely challenging and wondered if I would in fact give up and go home at lunchtime, feeling rather out of my depth. But Ben’s singing technique information at the beginning of the session was very helpful and worthwhile, and I soon had a change of heart. He is indeed an inspiring music teacher.... There really is a joy and companionship in a common love for music." To find out more visit or call George Darley on 01707 377029. The Lea Singers will be performing the Brahms Requiem with Jonathan Dove's The Passing of the Year on Saturday 22nd March at 7.30pm at St Nicholas Church Harpenden. If singing is not for you, do come and listen!

Forgotten Inns of Redbourn Old Mother Redcap and Tom O'Bedlam are nicknames and even if you don't know who they were, they sound somewhat colourful and intriguing characters. Both gave their names to inns in Redbourn High Street. Number 52 (pictured) was once "the Mad Tom-inBedlam", while number 82 was at one time "Old Mother Redcap".

Mother Redcap was an ale wife, a women who brewed ale. There is an old rhyme about her: "Old Mother Redcap according to her tale, lived twenty and a hundred years by drinking good ale. It was her meat and medicine besides. And if she still had drunk ale, she never would have died" A similar aged woman who brewed ale appears in "The Tuning of Elynor Rumming" which was penned by John Skelton poet laureate to Henry VIII. In his poem, Skelton describes Elynor as "For she is somewhat sage, And well worn with age, For her vysage. It would asuage, A mannes courage". The inn, Old Mother Redcap was on the corner of Lamb Lane and the Redbourn High Street in the late 1700s. As to Tom O'Bedlam; Bedlam refers to Bethlehem Hospital in the City of London known as Bedlam for short. which was used to house lunatics. And Tom O'Bedlam was the nickname for inmates who had been discharged. There was a popular, but mistaken belief, that Tom O'Bedlams were allowed to beg, at a time when other beggars were treated harshly, and whipped or placed in the stocks. So many beggars claimed to be former inmates of Bedlam. There is a poem about Tom and his sweetheart "Mad Maudlin" who went in search of him. "For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam, Ten thousand miles I've travelled. Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes, For to save her shoes from gravel". This pub was present by 1757 and closed in 1933. Tom in Bedlam was opposite The Bull pub and later let as a fruiterers and boot repairers, kept by John Garratt 1851. Elizabeth Eastwood City & District of St Albans Tour Guide




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What’s on in March 42

1st Faustus see page 22 Pole Stars St Albans Chamber Choir, St Saviour's Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans, 07570 454744, 7.30pm, adult £13, child £1 2nd The Luxury Wedding Show see page 16/17 3rd Talk: Pictures from a library garden by Mr Brian Ellis Marshalswick Horticultural Society, Baptist Church Hall, Sherwood Avenue, St Albans, 8.15pm, £3 4th St Albans Pancake Race St Peters Street, St Albans, 12 noon 6th U3A Launch Meeting see page 10 Hopelessly Devoted see page 45 7th Folk at the Maltings Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans, 0844 870 0887, 8pm, £10 8th Open Singing Day with The Lea Singers St George's School, Harpenden, 01707 377029, 11am - 5pm Community Book Fair see page 23 Harpenden Art, Crafts & Antiques Fayre Harpenden Methodist Church, 10 - 4pm Strauss & Mendelssohn see page 28 Think Floyd Live in Concert The Radlett Centre, 01923 859291 “The Definitive Pink Floyd Experience” 7.30pm, £20 / £18 The Grand Vintage Fair The Jubilee Centre, Catherine Street, 01582 831481, 10am - 4pm 8th & 9th International Women’s Day see page 14 9th Scale Model Airplane Exhibition Day Shuttleworth Old Warden Park, Nr Biggleswade, Beds Wedding Fair Knebworth House, 11am - 3.30pm Lambing Day see opposite page 11th Basic DIY Skills for over 60’s see page 10 12th & 26th Walk: Ghosts & Ghouls Guided Walk starts outside Old Town Hall, Market Place, 8pm, adult £4 14th Showaddywaddy Watford Colosseum, £19.50, 8pm

15th Open Archery Afternoon see page 12 Tree Planting at Heartwood Forest 10 - 3pm 15th & 16th Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Watford Colosseum, get up close & personal to life-like dinosaurs, £13.50 15th - 23rd St Albans MusicCity see page 20 16th Lanwarne at Burstons see page 7 19th Macbeth Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, 7.30pm, adult £15, concs £12 Display: Aspects of Bavaria St Mary's Church, Childwickbury, St Albans Harpenden & District Philatelic Society, visitors welcome, 8pm 20th The Secret World of Charles Dickens page 23 21st - 23rd Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games see page 25 22nd Steampunk Ball see page 23 The Passing of the Year & Brahms Requiem performed by The Lea Singers, St Nicholas Church, Harpenden, 7.30pm 23rd Chilterns Cycle Challenge see page 4 24th Butterfly World Reopens see page 6 24th - 29th Crazy For You Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden Light Operatic Society see page 36 25th - 29th Cosí Fan Tutte see page 23 29th Hear My Prayer Hardynge Choir Concert, High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden, 7.30pm Fund Raising Auction The Wadley Hut, Watford Road, St Albans, bric a brac & book sale: 9.30am auction viewing: 12 noon, sale: 1pm O Radiant Dawn St Saviours Church, 01582 763774, Carillon Chamber Choir, 7.30pm, £14 / £12 30th Mothers Day Afternoon Tea Knebworth House, 12.30pm or 3.30pm www.knebworthhouse .com 1 TrueGrit 10k Obstacle Challenge see page 24 Mothering Sunday see page 28 Spring Fayre Frogmore Paper Mill, Apsley

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What’s on in April 44

2nd Abbey by Night see page 28 3rd Jimeoin – YES, YES, WHATEVER…?! The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, 7.30pm, £17.50 4th Martha Reeves & The Vandellas The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, 7.30pm, £23.50 Folk at the Maltings The Maltings Arts Theatre, 0844 870 0887, 8pm, adult £10, concs £8 5th Swan Lake The Vienna Festival Ballet Company, The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, 2.30pm, £22.50, £14.50 St Albans Bach Choir St Albans Cathedral, Handel: Israel in Egypt, 7.30pm, £10 - £25 Walk: Crime & Punishment meet outside the Old Town Hall, Market Place, 2.30pm, adult £4, child £2 5th & 6th One-off Wedding Dress Sale see page 4 6th More to Explore Tour: What did Lord Grimthorpe ever do for us? St Albans Cathedral, look at the 19th century controversial restoration of the Abbey, 3pm French Market Hatfield House, 10am 8th & 9th Charlie & Lola’s Best Bestest Play Watford Colosseum, £12 & £13.50 9th - 11th Around the World in 80 Days Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, 2pm & 6.30pm, £14, concs £9 10th Family Discovery Morning: Let Your Fingers Do the Walking St Albans Cathedral, 01727 890283, explore materials & textures in the Cathedral Matt Richardson Hometown Hero Harpenden Public Halls, 01582 767525, 8pm, £10 10th -12th High School Musical Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, 01727 857861 Thu 10th - Sat 12th Apr: 7.30pm & Sat 12th Apr: 2.30, adult £10 / £8, concs £6 11th The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show Harpenden Public Halls, 01582 767525, 7.30pm, £21.25

UB40 The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, 7.30pm, £32 seated, £28.50 standing 11th - 15th Hansel & Gretel Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, 11am & 2.30pm, £12 12th Theatre Organ Concert St Albans Organ Theatre, 320 Camp Road, 03003 65 65 65, 7.30pm, £10 12th & 13th East of England Food Festival Knebworth House, 10 - 5pm 16th Display: Singapore St Mary's Church, Childwickbury, St Albans Harpenden & District Philatelic Society, visitors welcome, 8pm 18th & 19th Easter Trail Knebworth House 11 - 5pm 20th Famers Market Hatfield House Classic Car Show & Auto/Aero Jumble Shuttleworth Old Warden Park, Nr Biggleswade, Beds 20th - 21st Jousting Knebworth House 23rd April - 5th May Exhibition: E R Hughes St Albans Cathedral, exhibition of prints by this English painter, free 24th Illegal Eagles The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, 7.30pm, £24.50, £22.50 24th April - 3rd May 'Tom & Viv" by M. Hastings Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, 01727 857861, times vary, £10.25 - £12.25, concs £9.25 - £11.25 25th Bouncers & Shakers Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 324300 26th Saturday Organ Concert Series With Robert Woolley, St Saviour's Church, Sandpit Lane, 5.30pm, free The Live Music Project The Tuesday Club + The Vulz + Chameleon Boy + Dodo Bones, Trestle Arts Base, St Albans, 01727 850950, 7.30pm, 14+ 27th Lanwarne at Burstons see page 7 29th April - 3rd May Annie St Albans Operatic Society, The Alban Arena, 01727 844488, times vary, £17.50

Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest

Thursday 6th March 7.30pm A Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre production A parent knows devotion. A football fan, an athlete, a scientist, a priest. They feel it. No matter how hopeless it seems. Chess is in prison, facing a lengthy sentence, her cell mate, Serena, becomes her soul mate. But when Serena is given parole, Chess faces total isolation. Hope comes in the form of a music producer looking for a reason to love music again. She finds a powerful voice in Chess. But to harness her talent, Chess must first face her past. Following her smash-hit début ‘Wasted’, Kate Tempest’s incendiary new play combines lyrical fireworks with exhilarating live music. An hour story set to an orchestral backing. Adult £12, concs £10, group £40 (for children aged 14 and over) To book call the Box Office on 01727 850 950 Trestle Arts Base, Russet Drive, St Albans


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Beauty Skin & Tonic


Bicycle Repairs Cycletech Hertfordshire Bowling Club Batchwood Hall Bowling Club Cabinet Makers Sequoia Bespoke Care Advisory Services Westcott

30 3 31 10

Carpentry / Joinery Chris Smyth


Children’s Art Classes FineArt4Kids!


Chiropodists Julia Reading Kathy Witchard

13 13

Cleaning Big Yellow Cleaning Company 43 Carpet Brite 43 Daily Poppins 41 Domestico back cover Domestique 45 Linda & Karen Cleaning Services 41 Murray’s Cleaning Services 41

Education Mandeville School


Electricians Alban Electrical Services I & B Electrical MLC Electrical

36 37 37

Fencing Verulam Fencing


Flooring Creative Wood Flooring


Foot Care Golinska Foot Care


Garden Centre Burston Garden Centre


Gardening / Landscaping Garden Life Landscapes Lanwarne Landscapes Supagrass

2 7 7

Oven Cleaning Ovenmaster


Painters & Decorators CB Decorators M & M Decorating

39 38

Photographers I & W Photography


Plasterer A. Merson Plastering


Plumber DJ&M Plumbing Services Ltd Pond Maintenance Maltby Aquatics Women With Waders

35 & 47 9 9

Property Maintenance Nick The Handyman


Security Maximum Security Systems

35 38

Gas K25


Shutters The Harpenden Shutter Company

Glassware Repairs Chipped Glassware


Hairdressers Chestnut Professional Hairdressing Phoenix Hairdressing

Soft Furnishings Homeworks Sew Far Sew Good

39 39

19 19

Tree Surgeons Fircroft Tree


Health / Fitness / Slimming Lighter Life Peppermint Healing The Fit Lab

15 9 12

TV Repairs JB TV Services


Wedding Show The Luxury Wedding Show



Windows & Doors AA Window Repairs Cloudy2Clear Markyate Windows & Doors Sash Restorations Ltd

27 29 26 26

Counselling / Sex Therapy Michael Stock


Hearing Services The Hearing Healthcare Practice

Domestic Appliance Repairs Leigh Hibon


Hot Tubs A5 Hot Tubs


And not forgetting on Sunday 30th March Celebrate Mothers Day Sat 29th March Craft Workshops: Making Mother's Day Bunting Sun 30th March: Decorating Mother's Day Cookies Stockwood Park, Luton 11-12.30pm, age 6+, £12.50, to book call 07857 413 031

The clocks go forward to British Summer Time at 1am when BST starts and the country moves out of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Answers to puzzles General Knowledge Crossword Across: 1 Stucco, 4 Apache, 9 Avocado, 10 Paper, 11 Lotus, 12 Naphtha, 13 Elastic band, 18 Hebrews, 20 Aisle, 22 Ruler, 23 Ukulele, 24 Shaken, 25 Mantis. Down: 1 Stable, 2 U-boat, 3 Chassis, 5 Pop up, 6 Capstan, 7 Earwax, 8 Connoisseur, 14 Lobelia, 15 Bravura, 16 Chorus, 17 Peters, 19 Eyrie, 21 Sleet.

Word Ladder ROCK rick rice rile role ROLL

We have made every effort to ensure that any material published in st albans NOW is correct and can accept no liability for any errors or delays in publication or distribution, st albans NOW accepts no responsibility for its advertisers.




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Do you have a skill or interest you would like to share with primary school children? We deliver a wide range of exciting after-school activities and need leaders who want to share their passion with children, anything from

Crosswords to Cupcakes, Sudoku to Science Experiments, Music to Maths. Maths Latin, Sports, Maths, English, Science and Media Skills are particularly welcome. Short and long term opportunities available. Further details and rates of pay are available on our website. Mandeville Primary School, St Albans & Chaulden Junior School, Hemel Hempstead 47

st albans NOW March 14  
st albans NOW March 14  

st albans NOW March 14 local advertising local events and what's on low cost advertising local businesses Harpenden and St Albans