Friday, 13 July 2018


By Carlo Vuolo, Cirencester Scene Magazine

Following the resounding successes of the first two productions at The Barn Theatre, the brilliant musical ‘The Secret Garden’ and the stark realism of ‘One Minute’, the last show of the current season is an uplifting and engaging tragi-comedy. ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ by Jim Cartwright, which has been named one of the 50 best plays in the history of theatre, opened on July 7th.  

Sarah Louise Hughes as Little Voice

It is the tale of a shy, reclusive northern girl, nicknamed Little Voice (LV), living with Mari, her domineering, alcoholic mother. LV’s only comfort is listening to her late father’s collection of old vinyl records, from which she learns to impersonate famous singers, including Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf and Marylin Monroe.

Sarah Louise Hughes, making her professional debut, excelled as the title character, Little Voice, and blew the audience away with the sheer power of her ‘Massive Voice’ after she has been persuaded - or rather coerced, into performing at the local nightclub. We really thought we were listening to the great stars themselves as she finally opened up and released all her inner tensions and frustrations, albeit temporarily. Mari’s long-suffering neighbour, Sadie, mercilessly teased and ‘fat-shamed’ by Mari, was played with appropriate resigned pathos by Larissa Hunter.

Failed talent scout, the scheming Ray Say, is played menacingly by Gary Richards as the latest in a long line of Mari’s useless boyfriends. He hears LV sing and sees her as his big chance of fame and fortune. Her mother, mistakenly thinking her daughter’s success would secure her own relationship with Ray, persuades her to comply against her will when he ruthlessly coerces Little Voice into singing at his friend Mr Boo’s seedy nightclub. It ends badly for all.

There was some welcome light relief with the sweet, gentle friendship LV struck up with the equally shy Billy (Hadley Brown), an apprentice telephone engineer with his own hidden talent, as well as the entertaining comedic interaction between the telephone fitter (Stephen Omer) and Mari.

Gillian Cafferty as Mari and Sarah Louise Hughes as Little Voice

The glue which held the whole story together was, however, undoubtedly the superb performance of Gillian McCafferty as Mari. Her performance was brilliant, and her comic timing accurate to the nanosecond. She even kept in character during the interval, drinking ‘vodka and Malibu’ in the theatre bar with Sadie and bantering with the audience as they passed by.

With the cleverly designed set, The Barn Theatre backstage team used their technological wizardry to recreate a convincing representation of Northern back-to-back gloom and deprivation.

This production is guaranteed to raise laughs and lift your spirits. It is a delight from start to finish and is another ‘must see’ offering from the Barn Theatre team. Cirencester is so, so lucky to have this wonderful facility. 

The rise and fall of Little Voice runs until August 4th.   
Tickets can be booked on or 01285 648255.

Please be aware that mature language, smoking and adult themes are used throughout the show.

Cirencester Ramblers Walks July 18

Lechlade Bridge

Sun 15 Jul  Cockleford to Cowley returning through woods.  6.5 miles. Donation to travel £3.  Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15 07502 281184am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Marian Preston 01285 654904OTD 07854 179541 Details  

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Tues 17 Jul Bishopstone up the Coombe to The Ridgeway.  3.5 miles. Donation to travel £3. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.  John Bookwood 01285 860407OTD 07803 707843 Details 


Lacock to Reybridge and along the River Avon.  Bewley Comon, Bowden Park & Nocketts Hill.  6.5 miles. Donation to travel £4. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.  Mike Bailey 01666 577755/otd 07870976315 Details   

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Sun 29 Jul  The Ridgeway, Barbury Castle and Draycot Foliat. 6 miles.  Donation to travel £4. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.   Gerry Swallowe 01285 862116OTD 07985941784 Details

Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre: Phobia Anyone? July 18

Phobia anyone? 

Did you know that everything would be okay if we only had one mind each? But in actual fact I’m frequently heard saying “We have one brain, with two minds”. The conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

The conscious mind is your intellectual mind, it likes fact and it comes up with the correct assessment of any given situation.  The other mind, your subconscious mind, is emotionally driven and is powerfully focused on your survival.  It’s there to keep you safe.  Therefore it can frequently come up with the opposite response to the conscious mind.  Whereas the conscious mind might think ‘Flying is the safest form of transport’, the subconscious will be looking for the nearest exit to flea if you’re fearful of flying.

Remember when that plane was magnificently landed in the Hudson River by Chesley Sullenberger? At the time I had a fear of flying, so when someone said “Isn’t that fantastic”, I responded “That’s another darned good reason not to get on a plane”!  We’re looking at the same situation, but from two totally different perspectives.

So how do we deal with phobias using hypnotherapy?  Well it depends on the phobia as there are two types of phobia.  There is the simple specific phobia where a person reacts negatively when they come into contact with the thing that causes fear, i.e. dentists, needles, flying, spiders, etc.  Then there’s the more complex non-specific phobia which causes fear and anxiety continually.  An example is Emetophobia - a fear of being sick, considered to be one of the most common phobias in the world.  It can affect the sufferer in ways such as not wanting to collect their children from school in case that child is feeling ill. This phobia can even stop someone having chemotherapy because of the fear of sickness, they’d prefer to take their chances with the cancer!

Another non-specific phobia is a fear of driving, unless there’s been a specific incident that triggered the fear, such as an accident.  But rarely do people understand the difference between specific and non-specific fears and that’s important in order to choose the right hypnotherapy treatment.

One of the basic features of any phobia is a conflict between the conscious and the subconscious.  I say “Conversation talks to the conscious minds, whilst hypnosis talks to the subconscious”.  This means we can filter through to the client’s subconscious about how they want to be rather than how they currently are.

If a phobia is a specific phobia, i.e. spider or flying, then it’s usually a pretty quick fix of 4 sessions.  If it’s a non-specific phobia, then it may take quite a few more sessions depending on what life is throwing at that person at that time.

The good news is either sort can be fixed!  So you can enjoy wondering how it would be to get on that plane looking forward to the flight (as I do now every month when going to lecture in Belfast), or to pick up that spider and throw it out of the window, or whatever phobia you have, wondering how good it would be if you didn’t have it anymore!

Nicola Griffiths runs the Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre in Dyer Street which has a choice of six solution focused hypnotherapists who have specialist training in helping people overcome phobias.  Visit

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Little Voice, from now to August 4th! Don't miss.

Gillian McCarthy and Sarah Louise Hughes

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

A tale of despair, love and hope written by English dramatist Jim Cartwright in 1992.

Olivier award winner for Best Comedy ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ tells the heartwarming story of a reclusive Northern girl-next-door whose remarkable ability to impersonate the great singers of old brings her into the spotlight. Pushed by a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking mother and her equally unappealing talent agent boyfriend, timid ‘Little Voice’ will need to conquer more than just stage-fright if she is to find her own voice in the world.

Named as one of the top 50 plays of all time and called a “A northern showbiz fairytale, a backstreet Cinderella story, with a built-in kick” by The Guardian. Directed by Award Wiinner Michael Strassen and featuring a full professional cast, Little Voice has something for everyone.

Sarah Louise Hughes plays LV
“Enchanting, uplifting, emotional and truthful, Jim Cartwright’s Olivier award winning show is a comedic tragedy about finding your voice in a noisy world.”

Praise for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice:

“A northern showbiz fairytale, a backstreet Cinderella story, with a built-in kick” The Guardian

“Like everything Cartwright writes, Little Voice is playful, magical and terrifying, a view of the world from an unexpected angle, perpetrated by an imagination that notices the dust in the grooves of old records and finds poetry in garish, swanky clothes or the glitterball of a rowdy northern club” Sunday Times

Please be aware that mature language, smoking and adult themes are used throughout the show.

01285 648255

Join in at a local Fundraiser for the "Forgotten Army" of WWII


Gloucester boy Ron Harding, now
102 years old.
The 14th Army in Burma was known as the “Forgotten Army” because all attention in the UK was on the war in Europe following D Day .  Even when the war was over in Europe troops in Burma had to continue the fight until what was known as “VJ” Day (Victory over Japan) on 15th August 1945.

We should not forget this awful struggle in the jungles and plains of Burma and there is certainly one amongst us who will surely not.  Ron Harding who is 102 was one of those great men who fought there and he is very much alive living in a care home in Gloucester.  His story is remarkable as he narrowly escaped death and capture several times as a gunner in 24 th Anti Aircraft/Anti Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.   On one occasion his position was overrun by the Japanese and he was compelled to hide in  a jungle hole for nigh on 3 weeks  until he was rescued suffering from dehydration and malnutrition.

Another remarkable story is how he was forced to find his own way home after VJ Day.  Such was the chaos as the war ended administration faltered. This he did by hitch hiking on military aircraft and ships to get himself home to Leckhampton. 

The ABF The Soldiers Charity are holding a fundraising talk and supper at the Royal Agricultural University on Friday July 20th at 6.30 pm to highlight the “Forgotten Army”.  The talk given by a renowned military tour guide Piers Storie Pugh will focus on another remarkable story, the Chindits, a group of soldiers who fought behind the lines in Burma.   Ron will not be attending but his son Andrew will be.  And we hope others will too.  To attend please get in touch with  Suzanne Hollis  on 01980 672337 Tickets are £25 including a fork supper with wine included.

Alison Fielden & Co: Employed or Self Employed?

Get advice at this local law firm near the Abbey Grounds

By Alison Fielden & Co

Amid all the distractions of The World Cup, Brexit, President Trump and Wimbledon, not everyone may have spotted an interesting decision from The Supreme Court which impacts further on the so-called “gig economy”.

The decision will allow plumber Gary Smith to take action for redress against Pimlico Plumbers Ltd as a “worker”. He had been with the company for almost six years.

Pimlico Plumbers, as readers may know, is a well-known London-based business which used (it argued) “self-employed” contractors as the lifeblood of its workforce. It is led by its charismatic chief executive, Charlie Mullins.

In the recent judgment, the Law Lords backed the initial employment tribunal and the Court of Appeal in ruling that Mr Smith’s work met the definition of “employment” under statute. In the lead judgment, Lord Wilson said that Mr Smith should be considered a “worker” and entitled to numerous rights, including the right to holiday pay and rights not to be the subject of unlawful discrimination nor to have unlawful deductions made from his pay.

An important consideration was whether Mr Smith had undertaken to perform personally his services for Pimlico Plumbers. A second question was whether he actually worked for the company, or whether the company was his client or customer.

On the first matter, it was held that the dominant feature of Mr Smith’s contract was an obligation of personal performance (he had a limited facility to to turn down jobs, but only by substituting himself with another Pimlico person)

On the second question, it was held that Pimlico imposed such a tight control over his work attire, as well as severe payment terms and restrictions that it was right to conclude that Pimlico could not be regarded as a client or customer of Mr Smith.

Some commentators have argued that Pimlico Plumbers and other similar organisations may now have to change their model or they will face multiple legal challenges. This case may also influence other appeals to be heard by the higher courts later this year e.g. the Uber and City Sprint cases.

These are interesting times in the Employment Law world!
For legal advice on all aspects of Employment Law, please call Martin Hopwood or Alison Fielden on 01285 653261 (for further information or to book an appointment).

July Events at Corinium Museum!

July at Corinium Museum

Sian Summerhayes Exhibition

5 July – 29 July

This exhibition is a collection of artwork by Sian Summerhayes featuring original paintings, giclee prints, hand-painted jewellery, homewares and hanging ornaments. Sian works on an array of surfaces including paper, wood, slate and fabric to create original pieces and prints as well as decorative and functional items for the home and to wear. Bright and busy, her style is cheerful, colourful and pattern-orientated, inspired by countryside scenes and homely interiors. 

Quirky depictions of birds and animals are a trademark of her work, combining a folky yet contemporary feel. Sian Summerhayes is a local artist living and working in the Stroud area of the Cotswolds.

Free entry


Corinium Cinema

Thursday 12 July, 7pm

Maudie, based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love.

Cert: 12

Run time: 1 hr. 53 min.

Cost: £6.50 per adult, £5.50 concession

RSC Live Romeo & Juliet

Corinium Cinema

Wednesday 18 July, 7pm

Join us for an RSC Live screening of Romeo & Juliet, broadcast to the Corinium Cinema.

What if your first true love was someone you’d been told you must hate?

Set in a world very like our own, this Romeo and Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents.

The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heartbreaking consequences.

Cost: £17 per adult, £15 members

Discovery to Display

Roman Society Day Excursion

Saturday 21 July, 9.30 – 4.30pm

A ‘Discovery to Display’ day excursion to find out about current archaeological processes from excavation, to processing the archaeology, and then to final museum deposition and display.

The day will include a tour of the Cotswold Archaeology Office in Kemble to hear about recent excavations and take a look at how finds are processed. Then to the Corinium Museum Resource Centre in Northleach where the museum team will explain the next stage of the process and finally on to the Corinium Museum for a talk from Museum Director Amanda Hart and a chance to look at the galleries. Transportation will be provided.

10-11am                               Cotswold Archaeology tour including a break for tea & coffee

12-1pm                                 Resource Centre, Northleach

1-2pm                                   Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)

2.15-4.30pm                       Corinium Museum, talk by Amanda Hart

This day excursion has been made possible with support from the Roman Society.

Cost: £15 per adult, £12 members and Roman Society Members

Booking essential

Adult Drawing Workshop

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Monday 23 July, 10-1pm

Join us to draw some real Roman and Prehistoric artefact. Drawing material is provided but feel free to bring your own. This is a relaxed and friendly workshop with guidance if needed.

Cost: £15 per adult, £12 members

Booking recommended

Suitable for ages 16 and above

Roman Shields

Family Drop-in

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 10-11am

Make and decorate your own Roman Shield, inspired by the Roman army, to take home.

This fun morning drop-in will provide you with the tools to create your own Roman shield. Shields were often curved to protect the soldier’s body and brightly decorated with special designs to show power. Designs included eagles, lightning bolts and laurel wreaths. Create your own to take home.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Become an Archaeologist

Discovery Zone

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 11-12pm

Have a go at handling real Roman artefacts from our collections, drawing and trying to identify them.

Included in admission

Free to members

A Tale of Two Hoards

Afternoon Talk with Kurt Adams

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 2-3pm

Join Kurt Adams finds liaison officer for Gloucestershire, to hear the tale of two remarkable Roman hoards. First the Thornbury coin hoard which features over 11,000 Roman coins then the amazing dog hoard which features a unique standing dog statuette. Kurt will discuss how these hoards were found, how they have benefited their local museum and most importantly how they have shed new light on to the archaeology of the area.

Cost: £7 per adult, £6 members

Booking recommended

Roman Helmets

Family Drop-in

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Friday 27 July, 10-11am

Make and decorate your own Roman Centurion helmet, inspired by the Roman army, to take home.

This fun morning drop-in will provide you with the tools to create your own Roman helmet. Helmets were worn to protect the face and often had cheek plates and a rim around the neck. They were made from metal, usually bronze, and prevented soldiers from being harmed by swords and spears. Create your own protective helmet and wear it with pride, just like a Roman soldier.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Become an Archaeologist

Discovery Zone

Friday 27 July, 11-12am

Have a go at handling real Roman artefacts from our collections, drawing and trying to identify them.

Included in admission

Free to members

Rural Cinema

Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July, 2.15pm

The Corinium Museum takes part in the Rural Cinema Scheme. Films are released approximately 4-6 weeks in advance. For film titles contact the Corinium Museum or visit our website.

Cost: £5.60 per adult, £4.80 concession

Iron Age Round house

Family Drop-in

Monday 30 July, 10-11am

This family drop in activity will show you where people in the Iron Age lived.  It will demonstrate the concept of a roundhouse, and give your child a fun takeaway activity to play with at home. This creative activity includes a roundhouse with an Iron Age man, animals, fire and fish bringing the Iron Age world to life.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Prehistoric Painting

Children’s Workshop

Tuesday 31 July, 10.30-11.30am

Release your inner artist, and explore the natural methods that people have been using for the creation of art for thousands of years.  Be prepared to get creative and messy!

Prehistoric art tells us about the early life of the nomadic hunters and gatherers. Be inspired by the cave paintings of animals, hand prints and people that have been found all over the world. Natural pigments were carefully painted onto the rock by ancient artists. You can do the same in this workshop, learning new techniques and going back to the past to create your own artworks to take home.

Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 member

Find out more about ultra fast broadband in rural areas with Gigaclear!

Get rural connections!
Gigaclear – Ultrafast full fibre broadband for rural Britain.

Gigaclear was founded in 2010 and is one of the fastest growing broadband suppliers in the UK – by the end of 2017 Gigaclear operated networks in rural locations across some 17 counties mainly in the south of England, with more in the pipeline. The company is dedicated to providing reliable, ultrafast, full fibre broadband directly to homes and businesses in rural Britain.

What does this mean for you?

Do you have trouble staying connected in the countryside?
Enjoying the freedom of working flexibly, streaming seamlessly and getting the latest entertainment or box-set with the speed you need – wherever you are. We also understand that rural communities rely on high speed broadband to thrive enabling schools, village halls, shops and surgeries to better serve the people of the community. At 1000Mbps, we offer a significantly faster service with FTTP connection than standard copper-based ADSL connection. All part of our commitment to ensuring that rural communities have access to the latest and very best technology.

For the residents of Appleton, a village in Oxfordshire, the choice of internet connectivity was between slow and nothing at all – applications such as iPlayer were virtually impossible to use and downloading a one hour programme would take all night. Appleton’s broadband connection used old-school copper wire and major network providers had no plans to upgrade it any time soon – even with Government funding. Villagers got together to take matters into their own hands and researched what alternatives were available.

Local resident, Julian Morris, comments, “There were a number of rural broadband initiatives out there, but they required significant time and investment from residents to run and manage the service. We needed a solution from a sound commercial organisation which we could simply subscribe and easily connect to. That’s why we chose Gigaclear.

Get a dependable connection
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The company held an Open Day which made people realise what they’d been missing out on for years because of poor broadband. Since connecting to Gigaclear, we’ve been able to take full advantage of the Internet in a way that just wasn’t possible before. We watch TV shows using BBC iPlayer without interruption, access our daily newspapers online and most importantly have regular and reliable Skype conversations with our grandchildren. Additionally, I’m now able to work just as efficiently at home as in the office. This means that I can miss the rush hour completely and have a better work/life balance.”

One of many comments from happy customers which have contributed to our Trust Pilot 4 Star rating.

To find out more call 0370 224 8915 or visit   

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Pet Talk With Corinium Vets: BBQ Safety Tips July 2018

Food for dogs?
BBQ safety tips for pet owners

We all love a family BBQ on a hot summer day.

Please consider the potential dangers for your pets if they are to be part of this joyful event.

Here are a few top tips on how to avoid accidents with pets:

1. Please don’t feed any scraps and tell your family members and friends not to ‘accidentally’ drop food. Scraps can upset your pet’s stomach. Some, for example garlic, onions and grapes are poisonous for pets. Undercooked or fatty foods can give them diarrhoea and vomiting.

2. Place left overs and litter in a lidded bin. In particular bones, plastic bags, corn on the cob and peach stones will often cause bowel blockages or injuries if ingested by greedy pets. Kebab skewers can cause very serious injuries.

3. Keep pets at a safe distance from the barbeque while it is hot. Keep pets away from flames and glowing embers. Leave lighter fluid and firelighters out of reach.

4. Alcohol is dangerous for pets, so keep alcoholic drinks out of reach of thirsty pets.

5. Your pet is at risk of heatstroke in the sun and hot weather. Keep pets in the cool shade and provide plenty of water. Dogs will enjoy licking ice-cold water or ice cubes. A moist towel placed over the back or a cooling vest may be appreciated by a dog who is getting very hot. It may be better to get them into a cooler place indoors to calm down and relax in peace, especially if they are very excitable.

6. White or pale coloured animals may suffer from sunburn especially on their nose and the end of their ears. Use a pet safe sun cream.
We hope these tips are helpful and everybody is able to enjoy the lovely summer weather!
Dr. Bettina Gruninger (Veterinary Surgeon), Alison Cuss and Nicki Wray (Veterinary Nurses)

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Country Matters By the Hodge July 2018 The Need for Rare Breeds

Country Matters
By The Hodge

“…our pedigree farm livestock is just as much a part of Britain’s heritage as is her castles, her art collections or her historic churches.”
HRH The Prince of Wales, 1996 writing in The Ark

So, I got into trouble last month. Well, it’s not so unusual, it happens quite frequently. Part of life’s rich tapestry – one shrugs and move on. What else can you do?
My crime? Inducing you, dear readers, to eat rare breeds of livestock. Hang him! Flog him! Send him to the colonies!
You may recall that I discussed farm shops, real and phony, and suggested you give up the convenience of the mega-emporiums, (supermarkets to you), and shop instead for real tasty, delicious, healthy food at either of the two real farm shops, one of which specialises in rare breeds.
So what are rare breeds? Rare breeds as defined no only here in Britain but within the confines of the UN and all its members, are pedigree, native animals whose populations have fallen into decline so that they’ve become…. rare. Native? Doesn’t mean they wander about in a loincloth and with a spear in their hoof but that they were developed in this country.
But, and this was the viewpoint of the big commercial farmer back in the 1970s when such breeds were first recognised and steps began to be taken to rescue them, if they’re rare they can’t be much good can they?
There’s many reasons for their rarity. For a start, many don’t suit intensive factory farming. Stick a Gloucestershire Old Spots pig in an intensive indoor pig unit and it’ll soon turn up its trotters and snuff it.
Others are not specialist enough at what they do. Most milk is derived nowadays from mega-producing black and white Holstein cattle. The output by comparison of a rare Red Poll cow is minute so it’s fallen on the wayside despite its hardiness, the high quality of its milk and the fact that surplus male offspring make excellent beef. Specialist dairy farms just want mega-producers as it’s the only way they can survive with the stupid prices they receive for milk.
Little primitive black sheep like Hebrideans are a total anathema to a commercial shepherd with his flock of hundreds of Dutch Texel sheep with their huge rumps and rapid growth from compound feeds, but put them both on the side of a mountain where food has to be searched for and the wind and the rain blows hard and the Hebridean will be in his element and the Texel will be pushing up daisies.
And farming is a fashion industry. If Old MacDonald imports a flock of Rouge de l’Ouest sheep from France and sends his Southdowns off to market in disgust, sure as eggs is eggs, Farmer Giles next door and all his other neighbours will soon be following suit. Just like sheep.
So these rare breeds should really just be allowed to die out, shouldn’t they. They can’t hack it compared with the Limousins and the Belgian Blues (beef cattle), the Beltex and the Bleu de Maines (sheep) or the Pietrains and the Durocs (pigs) so let them go. We don’t need dodos and dinosaurs.
Or maybe we do need to conserve them after all in which case, the last thing you should be doing is telling people to go and eat them! Stupid boy!
Well, no actually. We must conserve them because they all have attributes that differ from the modern breeds big commercial farmers rely on. And we must eat them too. Many animals are, for one reason or another, not suitable to breed from. For a start, most males are surplus to the needs of the breeder. One ram can look after the needs of 30 or 40 ewes and bulls and boars are similar. If there’s no market for the surplus – i.e. if we don’t eat them – then farmers struggle to keep them. So having a healthy market for the non-breeding stock is essential for the health of any of these breeds. So go and buy the meat!
Am I forgiven? 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Guided Bird Walk in Amphitheatre Ciren Wildlife Group

Walk through Cirencester and see it with fresh eyes.

On an uncharacteristically hot and sunny bank holiday weekend, Cirencester Wildlife Group met in the Roman Amphitheatre for a guided bird walk, hosted by Andy Lewis from the North Cotswold Ornithological Society. With temperatures predicted to reach into the low 20’s for both Friday and Saturday the conditions were perfect, and true to form our feathered friends didn’t disappoint.
Friday’s walk began with an unexpected arrival, an Australian couple who had recently arrived in the UK and were looking for somewhere to stretch their legs.
“Aye, you’ll never guess what they are!” – Upon spying Andy’s binoculars.
Strangely enough they were both keen bird spotters from Adelaide and lucky for us they must’ve packed some Aussie sunshine! After a quick trip back to the car they soon returned, binoculars in hand.
After listening to a few songs and calls, and Andy interpreting the morning chorus - “twiit, twiit” nuthatch, “teecha-teecha-teecha” great tit, “tser err-err-err” blue tit – we began our walk.
It wasn’t long before we had our first guest, a great stotted woodpecker, which was heard calling long before it was spotted “tchick…tchick…tchick”. After sitting in the tree for a few minutes, no doubt wondering what we were all staring at, accommodatingly it glided down to a nearby bird feeder so we could all get a closer look – Beautiful!
As we continued on around the amphitheatre we heard and saw many different woodland birds: blackcaps, chiffchaffs and gold crest. We also heard lots of wrens, with their characteristic trill, as well as a few different stories about the birds of Australia. Apparently their robins really do have a red breast, unlike the dusky orange of their British equivalent! But their magpies aren’t actually magpies, think that makes us even.
All kinds of birds inhabit Cirencester!
Strangely enough, for such a warm morning, we didn’t see any birds of prey – that would have to wait until the following morning.
Saturday’s walk started in the same way, the only difference being it was a little warmer and there were no antipodean additions! "pink, pink” chaffinch, “oo-OO-oo” woodpigeon and of course the, by now, unmistakable trill of the wren.
It looked like this walk would also end without any birds of prey but just as Andy was drawing things to a close a sparrow hawk circled overhead and shortly after a long tailed tit flew across in front of us carrying a feather in its beak – a lovely late flourish to end two very enjoyable walks.
Thank you to everyone who came along, we hope you enjoyed it. And thank you to Andy Lewis for volunteering his time to support the Group. If anyone is interested in receiving notifications about upcoming events please email for details.
Mel, Huw and Scott
Cirencester Wildlife Group

P.S. there’s an open invitation to attend an Adelaide Bird Society field meeting, if anyone is looking for an excuse to stretch their legs (or spread their wings)!

Friday, 15 June 2018

Minety Music Festival 2018 29th June-1st July

Minety Music Festival is now in its second year, following on from the fabulous success of 2017, when it was shortlisted in the UK Music Festival Awards ‘Best New Festival’ category.
It is a community ‘not for profit’ 3-day summer music event (run entirely by volunteers) & in 2018 aims to raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Combat Stress and Naomi House & Jacksplace Hospice.
Over 40 bands on 2 stages showcasing local music talent and covering a wide spectrum of music styles with plenty to do and see for the whole family.
Get in the crowd!
There will also be a range of FREE activities in the Kidzone, including slacklining, an inflatable side and assault course, bouncy castles, circus skills workshops and a mobile caving experience. Although the festival hopes for hot weather, it will be fully prepared for all eventualities!
Chesney Hawkes
The main stage will be undercover, so whatever happens, you can stay dry and enjoy a superb weekend of music. You are guaranteed excellent music, a superb wide range of food and a well stocked house bar, Gin & Prosecco Bar and Coktail Bar! Free camping means that you can really embrace the festival atmosphere!
On the “Regent Building” Main Stage
Friday 29th June: Bon Giovi Saturday 30th June: Neville Staple Band Sunday 1st July: Chesney Hawkes

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre: One for the Ladies

Nicola Griffiths hypnotherapist.
One for the ladies…or is it?
I recently found myself in a situation where I absolutely knew I had to take more time for myself.  I run a busy clinic, I have my hypnotherapy clients and I lecture at two schools of hypnotherapy training.  I don’t make life easy for myself as one of those schools is in Belfast and the other in Manchester, so not exactly on my doorstep.  Oh, and that doesn’t include the new school I’m taking on in completely the opposite direction of Southampton!
So considering all this, I found myself smiling to myself as I said to a client the other day “If we run ourselves ragged, we can damage our health and our ability to concentrate.  Our focus can become foggy and we lose sight of what we want to achieve”.  Mmmm, Nicola, you might want to listen to yourself a bit more!
But then I relaxed, as I know I do look after myself in between all the work.  I take time out for things like facials and spa days.  I have regular reflexology and acupuncture which I love.  And I know that we don’t have to put everything down in order to regain that focus, you don’t have to have a week’s holiday to recharge (although I’ve nothing against that obviously).  Even 50 minutes of proper time out can do the brain one heck of a lot of good.  It allows the thought processes to calm and for clarity to emerge.
Sue Drew, the holistic beauty therapist at my clinic calls it ‘Investing in Yourself’.  She says “People get facials for different reasons, and with our busy lifestyles it is not easy to find time for yourself. However in my many years of experience in the beauty industry, without a doubt my clients who have a regular facial look younger and have a lovely complexion”.   Now if that happens, it’s certainly going to do people a power of good!
People incorrectly think of massage, whether a facial massage or a body massage, as a pamper session.  In fact massage is very beneficial for stress and various other symptomology. Even the NHS recognises it has benefits!  
I originally entitled this snippet ‘One for the Ladies’, but then I thought that was wrong.  Because in these modern times, we see more and more men coming in for facials and massages – not just because they need distressing but these days they tend to look after themselves more than they’ve ever done before.  Now there’s a nice topic for my next little article!!
Nicola runs the Cirencester Hypnotherapy & Health Centre in Dyer Street.  Their massage therapists include Sue Drew, Maggie Godden, Sally Peachey, Karen Benbow (Indian Head Massage) and Cheryl Webster. More details at:

What's on at Corinium Museum

Exhibitions and Events
Roman Soldier on a Stick
Family Drop-in
Friday 1 June, 10-11am

Create a Roman soldier on a stick inspired by the Roman army and the kit they carried.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 for members

Early Man
Family Film Friday
Friday 1 June, 11am

Set at the dawn of time, when dinosaurs and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of how one plucky caveman unites his tribe against a mighty enemy and saves the day!

Cost: £5.60 per adult, £2.70 children
Booking recommended

‘Inside Out’
Exhibition by Anne Boning
7 June – 1 July

Artist and Sculptor, Anne Boning, presents a series of paintings exploring light, shade and colour.

The exhibition comprises a series of more than fifty small watercolour paintings.
The images are an expression of the artist’s innermost thoughts and were painted over a particular period of time.

Free entry

Discover the Archaeology of the Cotswolds
Afternoon Talk with Dr Alison Brookes
Thursday 7 June, 2.30-4pm

The Prehistory galleries of the Corinium Museums are to be transformed during the Stone Age to Corinium Project. Join Dr. Alison Brookes, Collections Development Officer, to explore how the new space will inspire and engage visitors with the archaeology of the Cotswolds.
The talk will offer the opportunity to see a selection of objects which are currently in storage including rare stone tools, the earliest pottery vessels and an array of Bronze and Iron Age metalwork. During this new series of talks Alison will reveal how the objects were discovered and what they tell us about the earliest human occupation of the Cotswolds.

Cost: £7 per adult, £6 members

Battle of the Sexes
Corinium Cinema
Thursday 14 June, 7pm

The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the Battle of the Sexes and became the most watched televised sports event of all time.

Cost: £6.50 per adult, £5.50 concession

The Post
Rural Cinema
Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 June, 2.15pm

In June 1971 The New York Times, the Washington Post and the nation's major newspapers took a brave stand for freedom of speech and reported on the Pentagon Papers, the massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned four decades and four Presidents.

Cost: £5.60 per adult, £4.80 concession
Booking recommended

Dr Valija Evalds – What Are They Wearing?
Evening Lecture
Thursday 28 June, 7-8.30pm

What Are They Wearing? Dr. Valija Evalds explores images of cloth and clothing on medieval and renaissance artefacts in the Corinium Museum Collection. Abbot’s mitres and renaissance ruffs often look exaggerated to the modern eye, as do the shapes of medieval and renaissance bodies. And why would a merchant like John Coxwell wear so much black? Dr Evalds asks what the artists meant to convey when they depicted garments, and what the contemporary audience understood when they saw it.

Valija Evalds has a PhD in art history from Yale University. She has lectured in medieval art history, the history of costume and textiles, the development of illustrated children's books and the history of the home. She has published articles on medieval sculpture and the history of dress. 

Cost: £7 per adult, £6 members
Booking recommended

Please contact us if you would like any further details or images for any of the events that we are holding.