Sunday 14 April 2019

Highgrove Royal Gardens: Gardens that feed the soul, warm the heart and delight the eye by Carlo Vuolo

Beautiful views of Highgrove
Highgrove Royal Gardens – Gardens that feed the soul, warm the heart and delight the eye. 

On March 14th Cirencester Scene magazine attended an invitation only media event at Highgrove Royal Gardens to celebrate 25 years of garden tours. We get a lot of invitations and can’t go to them all, but this was one we certainly didn’t want to turn down. Highgrove has been home to HRH Prince Charles for over 38 years and, in
Exquisite views
that time, he has overseen the transformation of the grounds from open meadow land with a few gnarled old trees into a wonderful journey around ‘around the world’ by means of several interlinked gardens. Organic principles and sustainability are key aspects of the development and evolution of the gardens, with rainwater being collected and stored, sewage cleaned via reed beds and all organic material composted.

Although many of the plants had yet to reach their full spring abundance, this was a good time to visit to appreciate the ‘skeleton’ on which the various gardens are designed before the foliage and blooms take over. A wildflower meadow, fascinating topiary, a walled kitchen garden and a Mediterranean garden are just some of the exquisite features to be seen. All over the gardens are quirky buildings, sculptures, fountains and many, many huge Ali Baba style pots, including two enormous sherry pots from Portugal, which were posted, simply, to ‘The Prince of Wales, Tetbury’. Not
surprisingly the unwitting courier delivered them to the local pub!

Following our 90-minute tour, in fresh spring sunshine, led by one of Highgrove’s very knowledgeable guides, we enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea in front of a roaring fire, with cakes and sandwiches served on tiered plates, in the beautiful Orchard Room - highly recommended, especially if you like chocolate brownies.

Pre-booking for the garden tours is essential, and they run from April to October each year. This year, for the first time, visitors will be able to take photographs in specific areas. More information can be found on the website –

Growth Hub April 2019: What happened in April

Yesim Nicholson
Look back at what the Growth Hub did in April...
Hello from a health conscious Cirencester Growth Hub 

Here at Cirencester Growth Hub, we’re not concerned only with helping businesses to grow. We are just as interested in the health and wellbeing of the businesses people behind the business – the men and women entrepreneurs who put their all into making their enterprises a success.

Sometimes, it is all too easy for hard-working business people to put their health and wellbeing last on the list, but evidence shows that businesses are more likely to thrive if those running them are on top of their game.

So from April 1-5, we’re hosting Wellbeing Week, and have a packed programme of events, all of them FREE to
Gloucestershire-based businesses:

Monday April 1: create clarity on how to thrive in your life,
Set up for success
career or business - Kiki Kirby Coaching, 12.30-3.30pm.

Tuesday April 2: eat your way to productivity - Sue Thomas, 10.30-11.30am.

Wednesday April 3: creating healthy habits workshop - Bee Carter, from Bee Well Wellness Coaching, 10am-midday; an introduction to reflexology and its benefits - Aimee's Holistic Escape, midday-2.30pm; the clever way of dealing with stress - Dr Anwen Whitham, 12.30-2.30pm.

Thursday April 4: mindful photography for wellbeing - Ruth Davey of Look Again, 11am-12.30pm; Pilates with Gail Finch, midday-1pm; aqua massage, Gail Finch, morning and afternoon sessions.

Friday April 5: mindfulness and its benefits - Hilary Norris-Evans, from Get Mind Fit, 10.30am-midday

For more information about all the events and to book, visit
The Cirencester Chamber of Commerce look on

Cirencester Growth Hub Manager Yesim Nicholson said: “We’re super excited to be hosting Wellbeing Week in April. It’s a whole week of free events, activity and education for local business owners, provided by local wellbeing experts. It’s going to be fun, educational and inspiring.”

Meanwhile, good luck to all the entrants in this year’s Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. We’re sponsoring the New Business of the Year category and can’t wait to find out who has won, at the finals on May 10.

Cirencester Growth Hub, next to the Royal Agricultural University, is part of the wider Gloucestershire Growth Hub network. For more information about Cirencester Growth Hub, visit, email or call 01285 889850.

Alison Fielden & Co April 2019: Lasting Power of Attorney

We have recently had a few clients who, having come in to the office to make new Wills, have been asked whether or not they have Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place. 

They have replied that “it is all dealt with in the Will” implying that they believe their Executors will be able to act as their Attorneys. It has to be pointed out to them that a Will deals with your affairs AFTER your DEATH, but if you have catastrophic injury such as a stroke or serious accident or become mentally incapable AND SURVIVE, there is very little another person can do for you unless they have been legally appointed to act as your Attorney.

If you do not have an LPA and lose capacity to deal with your own affairs, it will be necessary for the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to act on your behalf. This is not only a lengthy and expensive process but it has ongoing implications. Deputies may be required to pay Bond monies to the Court at the outset and must keep careful accounts which must be lodged with the Court annually (together with a fee).

An LPA is a legal document which a person over the age of 18 years and with full mental capacity may make. It is possible to make an LPA for (1) Property and Finance and/or (2) Health and Welfare. The person making the document is called the ‘Donor’. The Donor appoints another person(s) as their ‘Attorney’, giving them power to make decisions about their property & financial affairs and/or health and welfare. Up to four Attorneys may be appointed and the Donor may stipulate whether they may act independently of the others, or they must act together. It is also advisable to include substitute Attorneys in case the first appointed Attorney is unable to take on the role. The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used (£82.00 fee). The document may then be stored safely until either you give your permission for it to be used or a time when it is needed by your Attorney because you have lost capacity.

Principles of the Act that your attorneys must follow:

1. Your Attorneys must help you to make as many of your own decisions as you can unless they establish that you cannot do so.

2. They cannot treat you as unable to make the decision in question unless all practicable steps to help you to do so have been made without success.

3. They must not treat you as unable to make the decision in question simply because you make an unwise decision.

4. They must make decisions and act in your best interests when you are unable to make the decision in question.

5. Before your attorneys make the decision in question or act for you, they must consider whether they can make the decision or act in a way that is less restrictive of your rights and freedom but still achieves the purpose.

It is possible to make an LPA without using a solicitor, however, mistakes may result in your LPA and Application being rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian and the fees paid may be lost. Solicitors have experience of making and registering LPAs on behalf of their clients so that costly and time-consuming mistakes may be avoided.

For further information please contact Tina at Alison Fielden & Co, The Gatehouse, Dollar Street, Cirencester, GL7 2AN. Tel: (01285) 653261. Open Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 5.00 pm and Saturdays, 8.30 am – 12.30 pm.

Monday 8 April 2019

Corinium Museum Upcoming Events April 2019

Enjoy cultural events in this exquisite location.
Find out about upcoming events at the Corinium Museum!

Roman Armour
Children’s Workshop with James Harris
Tuesday 9 April 10.30-12pm

Create a full set of Roman weapons and armour and become a Roman soldier in this fun workshop.
Cost: £8 per child, £7 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 6 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Mini Mosaics
Children’s Workshop with Emma Stuart
Wednesday 10 April, 10.30-12pm

Join us for a morning of mosaic making. We will explore the museum looking for inspiration from the museum’s Roman mosaic collections. During this morning workshop you will create a mosaic tile to take home using colourful, safe glass tiles. All materials and instruction provided.
Suitable for age 8 and above. Please enquire about younger children as there is quite a lot of supervision required for children under 8.
Cost: £8 per child, £7 members
Booking essential

After Corinium
Afternoon Tour with Dr Valija Evalds

Wednesday 10 April, 1-2pm
Join Dr Valija Evalds as she takes you beyond the Roman period, to explore our Anglo-Saxon and Medieval collections. In this short walk through the galleries, we will explore objects from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, remnants of a Viking winter camp, pieces of a medieval abbey, and remains from the age of chivalry. Children 7 and above are welcome with an adult.
Cost: £5.50 per adult, £5 members
Booking recommended

Spring Garden Peg Doll Faeries
Children’s Workshop with Volly Evalds
Thursday 11 April, 10.30-11.30am

Learn about Roman gardens and wildlife, and celebrate the season by making a spring flower fairy with accompanying wildlife friend.
Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 members
Booking essential

A Star is Born
Corinium Cinema
Thurs 11 April, 7pm

Bradley Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers - and falls in love with - struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a
singer... until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight.
Cert: 15
Run time: 2 hr. 13 min.
Cost: £6.70 per adult, £5.70 concession

Family Film Friday
Friday 12 April, 11am

Each school holiday we will be selecting a film for families to enjoy. Film titles are released approximately 4-6 weeks in advance. For film titles contact the Corinium Museum or visit our website.
Cost: £5.60 per adult, £2.70 per child

Wee Warriors

Children’s Workshop with Rebecca Shellenberger
Tuesday 16 April, 10.30 – 12pm
Come to the museum today and craft a variety of peg doll soldiers. We will have examples of Celtic fighters, Roman Soldiers, and Saxon Warriors.
Cost: £8 per child, £7 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 7 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Beautiful Brooches

Children’s Workshop with Rebecca Shellenberger 
Monday 15 April, 2-3pm
In this workshop children will learn some of the typologies of brooches in our collections, and then create some of their own. This is wearable art, and sure to cause the next big trend.
Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 for members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 7 and above.

Revolting Romans
Children’s Workshop with Rebecca Shellenberger
Tuesday 16 April, 10.30-11.30am

Hear about some of the revolting things Romans got up to with their food and hygiene. Examine a Roman ear scoop, make a Roman snail and after a short talk on revolting Roman food, you’ll need to make and take home a sponge on a stick. Finish the morning with a horrible Roman quiz.
Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 6 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Roman Abacus
Children’s Workshop with Rebecca Shellenberger
Monday 15 April 10.30-12pm

Make this simple, but fascinating tool and learn how Roman children learned maths. Hope we can ‘count on’ you to join us.
Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 for members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 7 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Mythical Beasts and How to Print Them
Children’s Workshop with Emma Stuart
Wednesday 17 April, 10.30-12pm

Create pictures of Mythical Beasts inspired by mediaeval manuscripts and your own imagination. Using a series of printmaking techniques, you will print your own designs to take home. All instruction and materials provided.
Cost: £8 per child, £7 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 8 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Ancient Gods and Goddesses
Storytelling with Volly Evalds
Wednesday 17 April, 10.30-11.30am

Join us to hear stories from Roman, Norse and Medieval legend: tales of Gods and Goddesses, warriors and weavers, hunters and nymphs. Make a mythical mask or colour a magical picture.
Cost: £3 per child, £2.50 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 4 and above. Please enquire about younger
See this fantastic model and more first hand!

As You Like It
Royal Shakespeare Company Live
Wed 17 April, 7pm

Come into the forest; dare to change your state of mind.
Rosalind is banished, wrestling with her heart and her head. With her cousin by her side, she journeys to a world of exile where barriers are broken down and all can discover their deeper selves. Director Kimberley Sykes (Dido, Queen of Carthage) directs a riotous, exhilarating version of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.
Cost: £17 per adult or £15 members
Booking recommended

Corinium Mosaics
Afternoon Tour with Emma Stuart
Thursday 18 April, 2.30-3.30pm

Join Emma as she takes you on a journey through the mosaics of Roman Corinium. Hear about the development of the mosaic collection and how mosaics were lifted and laid in their current place in the museum. The tour will last approximately an hour with places to sit en-route. We will end with a rare look at some of the paintings and sketches of mosaics from the Museum archive.
Cost: £5.50 per adult, £5 members
Booking recommended

Revolting Romans
Children’s Workshop with Volly Evalds
Thursday 18 April, 10.30-11.30am

Hear about some of the revolting things Romans got up to with their food and hygiene. Examine a Roman ear scoop, make a Roman snail and after a short talk on revolting Roman food, you’ll need to make and take home a sponge on a stick. Finish the morning with a horrible Roman quiz.
Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 members
Booking essential
Suitable for ages 6 and above. Please enquire about younger children

Meet the Ancestors
Evening Lecture with James Harris
Thursday 25 April, 7-8.30pm

Human remains and how they are buried can tell us a huge amount about a person’s life and culture. Join James to find out about the ancient peoples of the Cotswolds from the Neolithic to Medieval. This lecture will feature real human remains.
Cost: £7 per adult, £6 members
Booking recommended

Mary Queen of Scots
Rural Cinema
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 April, 2.15pm

Mary Queen of Scots is a historical drama based on the life of Mary Stuart and her rivalry with Elizabeth I. It explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart.
Cost: £5.80 per adult, £4.95 concession.

Saturday 6 April 2019

Country Matters April 19: Cultural Changes in Farming by The Hodge

Country Matters
By The Hodge
‘God in His wisdom made the fly,
And then forgot to tell us why.’
Ogden Nash The Fly 1942

As I look back over life in the country, there are a number of things that have changed beyond simple progress. Yes, one could cite the almost total dependence on mobile phones and other computers; the red tape; the accent on speed and efficiency and many more. But these aren’t just specific to the countryside.

In farming, the biggest change has been the de-population of the working community. A modest family farm might have employed 25 people in the 1950s; today it will be run by one man with help from his family and maybe the occasional use of independent contractors for specific tasks. This has led to much more isolation and loneliness for many country people and a rise in mental illness as a consequence. During the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease disaster, suicides among farmers rose considerably and whilst initially it was thought to be linked to the compulsory slaughter of their livestock, it turned out that many instances were of farmers whose stock hadn’t been culled. It was the prolonged closure of cattle markets and agricultural shows which were often the only social meetings that isolated countrymen had to look forward to.

Another change that isn’t entirely related to the countryside but seems to disproportionately encompass the country way of life, is intolerance. Not so many years ago, if you had a different viewpoint, you still ‘got along’ and accepted that not everyone felt the same way. You’d meet in the pub or the Post Office and still be civil and polite and discuss the weather or the latest gossip.

But today, there seems to be so much more extremist views and direct action. It’s no longer the case for many that becoming vegan is an individual choice of lifestyle. Today, many farmers, butchers and others are harassed by militant vegans protesting about meat and livestock. This is encouraged by organisations like PETA who shout that shearing sheep, for instance, is cruel and that they should be allowed to grow their fleeces unhindered. This is just dangerous. Few farmers make a single pound from the wool off their sheep’s back, prices being what they are, so many I’m sure would love to stop shearing and save all the work and hassle. But modern sheep don’t just reach a stage of having a shaggy coat that stops growing. It continues unabated. A few years ago, a sheep went ‘wild’ in Australia and avoided the shearers for several years and when it was found, it could barely move under the weight of wool.

Even in our temperate climate, sheep quickly overheat if left unshorn. Left in full wool causes other problems too. A long fleece is more easily snagged and caught up in brambles, gorse etc. causing the sheep distress until released by the shepherd. As mentioned a few months ago, sheep seem to live to die and an adult that for any reason finds itself on its back struggles to get upright again. One with a heavy fleece is likely to die quite quickly. Finally, and I suggest that you save this bit until a time when you’re not eating, a heavy fleece gets badly polluted at the back end and this in turn encourages what is known as ‘fly strike’ when blow flies are attracted to the resultant clinkers and lay their eggs in the mess. The eggs hatch and the maggots emerge and live off the flesh of the sheep – literally eating it alive. So, removing a sheep’s fleece is not cruel – it is a necessary management process to ensure the animal’s welfare.

And it’s not just militant vegans. The countryside is subject to vehement and sometimes violent protest by the anti-hunting campaigners who seem to get away with the sort of behaviour that would not be tolerated for a moment on the streets of one of our cities. The badger cull too is beset by rampant campaigners determined to disrupt the implementation of government policy aimed at eliminating the compulsory slaughter of thousands of cattle every year,

All of these are examples of extremist views and actions that did not exist in the countryside just a few years ago. They are aimed at legal activities and people just struggling to make a living on an everyday basis.

I find it very sad.

Saturday 9 March 2019

Watermoor House: Activities from mosaic making to choir lessons.

Everyone needs some stimulation! Take part in this friendly

Activities at Watermoor House, Cirencester

Watermoor House knows that activities are central to excellent care. Activities provide opportunities to support feelings of inclusion, occupation, attachment, identity, and comfort. 

We offer a range of different types of activities to ensure that we can meet the needs of all residents, regardless of interests and ability. For example; we run a falls-prevention group and weekly keep-fit, through a partnership with G-Fitness.

We have some art projects coming up, including making a mosaic for our new patio garden. The residents receive visits from local Nurseries and also go out for lunch every month. Recently, we created a mobile shop, which has been well received by residents who can now easily buy some basics and treats!  
Let's do our best to stay happy!

We partner with Mindsong for choir sessions and host piano-playing and poetry sessions. On Fridays, we show a film of the residents’ choice in our comfortable lounge. Watermoor House is committed to providing emotional and psychological support via our full and varied activities programme and our Accredited Activities and Marketing Coordinator, Alison, is kept very busy! Watermoor House welcomes visits and has open days during the year.

Please see our Website and Facebook page for more information.

Cirencester Ramblers: Enjoy Local Walks and Make Friends

The ramblers enjoying a beautiful day.

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Sun 10 Mar  The walk will take us past Witcombe Roman Villa and the reservoirs and then will climb the Cotswold escarpment to Barrow Wake. The Cotswold Way is then followed up Cooper's Hill and then downhill to the cars. 10 miles. (Strenuous)  Donation to travel £3. Richard Holmes 07726 566609. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Details

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Sun 17 March. From the Old Rail Yard, Tetbury the walk passes by Duchy Home Farm and farms that supply barley to Stroud Brewery. The return route is via old disused railway line.  7.5 miles. Donation to travel. £3. Sarah Wood 01453765683/OTD 07956 861346. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Details

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Sun 31 March.  From Great Bedwyn we follow the Kennet and Avon Canal to Crofton Pumping Station, there we leave the canal to visit a working windmill before heading back through woodland. 7 miles. Donation to travel £4. Bob Scott 07807 936674. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Details