Anna Kennedy - Aspire Magazine

Anna Kennedy - Aspire Magazine

discover this season’s

pretty pastels and frills with



find the perfect instrument

for you with the




Anna Kennedy is a truly

inspirational woman; as well as

establishing Hillingdon Manor

School in 1999, she’s also

won numerous awards, set up

a charity, written a book, and

generally raised awareness of


For more information, turn to

page 3, or log onto



with an array of

waterways, this spring get


there’s an abundance

of activities to enjoy in



Education Drive

Our school days are supposed to be the best days of our lives, so finding the right school for

your child is extremely important. As parents, the most important thing for our child is that

they are happy; however we also want a school that provides an environment in which they

can flourish.

The right environment will not only encourage your child to learn but will develop their

social skills to give them the best possible start in life. Choosing a nursery school that offers

a stimulating environment will inspire your child to learn new things and encourage them to

challenge themselves. A good nursery puts your child in good stead for school life. There are

numerous nurseries in the region that not only look after your child while you’re out at work,

but also educate them, enabling your child to be one step ahead of their classmates once

they reach the classroom.

Many schools may appear similar on paper, so find out when open days are occurring and

make the time to visit the schools personally. Look at how pupils interact with each other and

how well teachers seem to know the children. Ask yourself, is there a friendly, welcoming and

caring atmosphere, and do you think it’s suitable for your child?

The benefits of an independent education have always been up for discussion, but with

more and more parents choosing to educate their child within an independent environment,

671,000 children in around 2,600 independent schools in the UK (

TeachingZone_SectorStatistics.htm), the benefits are clearly outweighing the negatives.

There are numerous reasons for choosing to educate your child in an independent

school, including: small classes with individual attention, high standards of education and

examination results, good discipline, encouragement of a responsible attitude to school

work, development of social responsibility, and extra-curricular activities.

The all-round education provided by independent schools enables pupils to achieve their full

potential. Although there is more freedom within the curriculum, there are specialist teachers

in most subjects, so each child can excel in certain areas of the curriculum.

The smaller class sizes seen in independent schools benefit all the children, no matter what

their level of intelligence is. Teachers can set work for the quicker students, whilst having time

to explain procedures to less mature students in a different manner so they understand the

work. As teachers will be extremely familiar with the children and where they are in regards

to class work, parents can be advised immediately if there are any concerns, enabling each

child to fulfil his/her own potential, both academically and socially.

At the end of the day, choosing the school in which your child will spend the best years of

their life should be a joint decision; so once you’ve decided on a shortlist of schools, visit

them with your child. This will enable you to see how they react to the surroundings and if

they’ll be happy there!

Reach Your

True Potential

M | P | W

What about helping your child choose their own school/college after completing their

GCSEs? This can be hard, as often parents want one path, whilst the teenager in questions

wants to choose another. The key is compromise. If you want your child to follow an intense

academic route, but they want to follow their dreams of working in the media or becoming

a photographer or artist, finding a school/college that offers qualifications in both is ideal.

A-levels, B-TECs and NVQs are available in a variety of subjects and should give your

creative teenagers something academic to fall back on.

For those who perhaps feel they did not reach their full potential at school, it’s never too

late. There are numerous colleges and adult learning centres across the Aspire region that

can help you get the education you deserve. Whether you need to finally get your Maths

GCSE or you’re looking to learn a totally new skill to aid a career change, such as floristry

or creative writing, then there’s a course for you.

Across the world 75 million children of school age are not in school, and 774 million adults

cannot read or write. The 21st until the 27th of April is Global Campaign for Education

(GCE) Action Week - it's a moment in which children, teachers, parents and people around

the world unite in their demands for education. Last year the campaign was The Big Read,

in which 14 million people took part; this year the campaign is doing a ‘1GOAL Lesson for

All’ with the theme 'financing quality public education: a right for all'. Let's make 2010 the

year to help everyone get an education. For more information, please visit


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AnnA Kennedy

Is An Inspiration

Anna Kennedy is a truly inspirational woman, a woman

who has fought to give her children, and other children

with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, the education they

deserve. In September 1999 she opened Hillingdon Manor

School, which is now an award-winning specialist school

that boasts TV Presenter, Esther Rantzan, as its patron.

As well as establishing Hillingdon Manor School, Anna

has also set up a charity, a college, a residential home,

play schemes and support groups all for children and

adults; she’s also written a her autobiography, ‘Not

Stupid: The Heartbreaking, Inspiring True Story of one

Mother’s Fight to Rescue the Lives of Her Children from

Autism’, which was a top-ten best seller.

At the end of 2009, Anna was nominated for the

Smooth Radio Live Life Awards. She was up against

five other strong competitors who have inspired, lived

life to the full and stood out from the crowd, but she

gained the majority of the public vote and WON!

Anna’s had an even better start to 2010 though after winning a special

Chairman’s award from the Institute of Directors (IoD) at the end of March. The

IoD runs Director of the Year Awards across all regions of the UK, but it was

the South region in which Anna was nominated by Esther Rantzan. Anna said:

“My award was a very special award that was handed out at the end of the

award ceremony, which was held at The Landmark Hotel in London. It was a

total surprise, and even more of a surprise to realise I was the only woman to

win an award all night. There were 300 nominations, which were whittled down

to 23 finalists by a panel of judges, so to win is just amazing. Esther gave a

speech explaining why she nominated me and then I collected my award. It was

amazing and in my acceptance speech I thanked everyone that had supported

me over the years and accepted it on behalf of all the parents, especially mums,

who have children with autism. Since then, I’ve had hundreds of messages of

congratulations on my Facebook page. It’s amazing!”

IoD Chairman, Chris Dodson, said: “Not only did we have a record number of

entries but we were delighted by the achievements of so many directors who

have taken the downturn as a challenge and successfully forged ahead. It was

incredibly difficult to pick no more than three finalists per category.”

On April 2nd, which is World Autism Day, Anna will be speaking on Smooth Radio

for an hour, with Hillingdon Manor School Patron, Esther Rantzan, to discuss

autism and World Autism Awareness Day. If you’re reading this after April 2nd,

please visit the Smooth Radio website where you should be able to listen to

Anna speak again.

On The


For more information on Anna Kennedy,


If that wasn’t enough information for you, she’s is also on

Facebook – just visit!/profile.

php?id=642895835 and add her as a friend.


Front cover image courtesy of

Anna Kennedy

Editor: Claire Tipton

0116 2517385

Accounts / Production: Becky Foley

0116 2515919

Feature Writers: Laura Merry, Sarah Ross

0116 2517385

Graphic Designer: Dina Mistry

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Sophie Webb, Stacey Wragg, Tracy Armstrong

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Published by:

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To subscribe to Aspire Magazine call

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Leicester LE1 4LD

Name & Registered Office:



Allen House, Newarke Street,

Leicester LE1 5SG

Company Number: 06036102


discover this seasons pretty

pastels and frills with



find the perfect instrument

for you with the




Anna Kennedy is a truly

inspirational woman; as well

as establishing Hillingdon

Manor School in 1999, she’s

also won numerous awards,

set up a charity, written a

book, and generally raised

awareness of autism.

For more information, turn to

page 3, or log onto



with its extensive

waterways, Britain is best for


there’s an abundance

of activities to enjoy in



To see more

Spring faShion,

visit highcross,



2. Education Drive

4. Contents

6. Highcross Spring Fashion

8. Virgin London Marathon

10. Aromatherapy Associates

11. Advertise With Us

12. Access All Areas

13. Naidex 2010

14. Music In Me

18. Sustainabilitylive!

19. KiteSurf 101

20. London Golf & Tennis Show 2010

21. Fun Fishing

22. All Aboard

24. Birdwatching

26. Business Focus

28. Spotlight On Staffordshire

29. Tudor History Tours

30. Island Trails

31. St Jeannet


Highcross Spring Fashion

Dress by new Look, £20

Shoes by Carvela at John Lewis, £130

hold-ups by h&M, £5.99


Dress by Warehouse, £50

Shoes by Dune at Debenhams

and John Lewis, £65

Tights by h&M, £5.99

MaTeriaL girLS

at highcross

This season’s fashion collection at highcross has been

stripped down to the basics. it’s not about what you’re

wearing but what it’s made from. from sensuous

silk to raw-edged ruffles in a palette of sugary

shades – make sure you bid farewell to thick winter knits

and embrace the trend for romantic glamour this spring.

Blouse by Ted Baker

at John Lewis, £89

Skirt by h&M, £19.99

hold-ups by h&M, £5.99

Dress (worn as top)

by Karen Millen, £165

Skirt by new Look, £28;

Tights by h&M, £6.99

Dress by Ted Baker

at John Lewis, £99

faux-fur stole by h&M, £19.99

Clutch bag by reiss, £135

Opening Times: Monday - friday 9:30am - 8pm,

Saturday 9am - 7pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm

For more information, please visit

Top by new Look, £16

Skirt by reiss, £95

bra by Karen Millen, £29

Scarf (worn as belt)

by Ted Baker at

John Lewis, £39

hold-ups by h&M, £5.99

Top by Ted Baker at

John Lewis, £99

Skirt by new Look, £18

Shoes by Dune at

Debenhams and

John Lewis, £85;

Tights by h&M, £5.99


Virgin London Marathon

Keep On Running

2010 Virgin London Marathon 25th April 2010

It may have all started in a London pub, but

more than 30 years on the London Marathon

has grown into one of the biggest fundraising

events on the planet. Inspired by the New

York City Marathon, famed for its buzzing

atmosphere and lively crowds, co-founders

John Disley and Chris Brasher dreamt about

creating a British version; a 26 mile race around

the capital.

Broadcast live on the BBC, the marathon

takes in many of London’s most famous

landmarks, including Tower Bridge, Big Ben

and Buckingham Palace, and has raised a

staggering £450million for good causes since

the first race on Sunday 29th March 1981. To

date, a total of 746, 635 people have crossed

the marathon’s finish line and on the 25th April,

six individuals from Leicestershire are hoping to

add their names to the growing list by running

for local charity Wishes 4 Kids.

By Sarah Ross

Martin Hulbert (centre)

and brother, Graham, second right

Richard Bebbington

and Angie Conibear

Steve Mitchell

and Mark Hodson

Brothers Martin and Graham Hulbert will be

taking on the challenge together in order to

raise money for the children’s charity and

it won’t be the first time they’ve tackled the

marathon for Wishes 4 Kids. Martin, from

Wigston, explains: “I initially found out about

Wishes 4 Kids through work, as it was my

employer’s chosen charity. So, when I was

widowed in 2004, instead of people bringing

flowers to the funeral, I asked them to donate

to Wishes 4 Kids. I spoke to founder, Russell

Brickett, about the idea and he set up the Laura

Hulbert Fund in memory. This allowed us to see

not only how much money was raised, but also

who it was allocated to and how it was spent.”

As a keen runner, Martin devoted himself to

raising cash for the charity and went on to

complete the Stratford Half Marathon in 2007

and the London Marathon in both 2008 and

2009. He says: “I’m a keen sportsman and I

like running, I enjoy the competition of running

against myself, so it seemed like the obvious

thing to do.”

Seeing his brother successfully complete the

marathons, Graham, from Market Harborough

felt inspired and last year the two signed up for

the challenge together, as Graham explains: “I

saw my brother doing it and I thought to myself

I must do that one day, so I did. I’m not the

fittest person in the world, but I just thought it

was the chance to give something back and I

really wanted the opportunity to get out there

and do something.”

Following months of tough training, the

brothers travelled to London on the 26th April

2009 to take part in the race. Painted head to

foot in purple – the charity’s chosen colour –

Martin crossed the finish line in an impressive

three hours and 14 minutes – a triumph for

Wishes 4 Kids and the ultimate personal

achievement. Graham followed shortly behind,

coming in at four hours and 43 minutes.

Graham adds: “My main aim was to get round

in one piece, but I was hoping to complete it in

five to six hours, so to actually cross the finish

line in the time I did was great.

Thanks to Martin, Graham and all their friends

and family, the Laura Hulbert Fund has so far

raised more than £35,000 for Wishes 4 Kids

in the last six years alone and it’s a figure that

keeps on growing. If you would like to sponsor

the brothers for the London Marathon 2010,

head on over to


Wishes 4 Kids is a Leicester-based charity who

aim to make dreams come true for children

with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

However, it’s only through the kind help and

support of its dedicated volunteers that the

charity can survive and one Leicester couple

will be running the London Marathon in order to

do just that.

Richard Bebbington and Angie Conibear have

become regular fundraisers for Wishes 4 Kids

and have completed a 950 mile bike ride, from

Land’s End to John O’Groat’s, as well as the

ultimate challenge of scaling Mount Everest.

As a keen runner, Richard also signed himself

up for the London Marathon 2008, which took

place on the 13th April. He explains: “It was

the first time I’d ran it and it was absolutely

fantastic, the atmosphere on the day was


Richard completed the gruelling race in four

hours and two minutes, it was however, a tough

challenge, as he explains: “I’ve done quite a lot

of running but the last six or seven miles were

hard. It was tough anyway but for the last few

miles, you’re just counting down. However, the

crowd definitely keep you going.”

Stood on the sidelines cheering Richard on,

Angie felt inspired and the couple took the

decision to sign up for the 2010 event together.

She laughs: “Yeah before I knew it I was

applying myself.”

To show your support for Richard and

Angie, please visit www.justgiving.


Whilst most workmates hit the pub at the end of

a busy day, two colleagues from Leicester have

been hitting the gym – in preparation for the

biggest challenge of their lives. Steve Mitchell

and Mark Hodson, who are both employees of

GE Sensing in Groby, have signed up for the

2010 London Marathon in aid of Wishes 4 Kids.

It’s the first time the pair will be tackling the

mammoth 26.2 mile run, and both are excited

about the task ahead. Steve explains: “I’ve

always wanted to run it and it’s something I’ve

been thinking about doing for a while. I’ve done

a lot of different things for various charities

over the years - I do the Three Peaks Challenge

every year and have done for eight or nine

years now. I’ve previously raised money for

Cancer Research, Rainbows and a few other

charities and I was looking for something I

could really sink my teeth into, after all the

London Marathon is the big one.”

Inspired by his work pal, Mark has also signed

up. He says: “I’ve done a few things for charity

previously, but not to the same extent as Steve.

I did join him on the Three Peaks Challenge

and although he nearly killed me off, it was an

enjoyable experience. I like to challenge myself

and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

Steve mentioned the idea last year and we

thought we’d give it a go.”

The Three Peaks Challenge, which requires

participants to scale the heights of Ben Nevis,

Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours, is

one of the UK’s toughest fitness challenges, so

does that mean Steve and Mark ready for the

nation’s biggest race?

Mark says: “I’ve definitely not ran this kind of

distance before however, I do like to keep fit

and active by going to the gym, running and

playing sport. We’ve both started the training

already, we started before Christmas and have

been running between six and seven miles

three times a week. Since New Year though

we’ve really been knuckling down and are

trying to push that up to ten miles and we’re

also putting in a big run every other week.”

Steve adds: “The thought of the challenge

ahead doesn’t really faze me; it’s all about the

training and making sure we don’t pick up any


With a tough training schedule already in

place, the pair are aiming high and planning to

complete the race in record time, Steve laughs:

“Ideally I’d like to complete it in less than two

hours, but that’s probably not going to happen!”

With the record currently standing at two

hours, five minutes and 15 seconds – held by

Kenyan Martin Lel since 2008 – the boys would

have to turn their training into a full-time job to

complete such a mission.

Steve continues: “No, three and a half hours

is the aim, but it all depends on the training.

We’ve both had a couple of injury niggles but

providing nothing goes wrong on the day, we’d

really like to finish in under four hours.”

Mark adds: “Yeah, obviously you don’t know

what’s going to happen, but if it doesn’t go well

then it would just be nice to complete it.”

On a serious note, Steve and Mark are

delighted to have the opportunity to raise

money for such a good cause, Mark says:

“Steve and I are both parents and it’s horrible

to think what some kids have to go through

and to have a wish granted can make all the

difference. You just have to look at the work

Wishes 4 Kids does, it’s such a worthwhile


Steve adds: “There are a lot of charities that

are well publicised and receive a lot of money

from the public, but Wishes 4 Kids is a local

charity that needs the support of local people

and I think if you’re going to do something like

the London Marathon then you might as well do

it for charity.”

To support Mark and Steve on the 2010 Virgin

London Marathon, log onto www.justgiving.

com/MarkRuns2010Marathon and www.


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April 25th fast approaching, Aromatherapy

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This non-oily gel contains essential oils and aromatic waters to help

release tension in aching muscles and joints after exercise or a hard day.

it’s an essential aid for those undertaking physical training and who suffer

the stresses and strains of gardening and other demanding outdoor

activities. Skiing or winter sports holiday? This is a suitcase essential! it has a

localised soothing and warming effect and can be applied on the spot for

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Key ingredients:

• Lavender essential oil - known anti-inflammatory and analgesic

• Ginger and Black Pepper – are warming and help circulation

• Rosemary – circulation stimulant; purifying, warming and soothing to


• Lavender and Rosemary Hydrolats – re-enforce action of essential oils

as well as relieving aches and pains after a physical workout, this gel leaves

the skin soft and supple. for maximum benefit, massage directly over

muscles and joints before and after activity.

De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil

a welcome relief for tired, heavy limbs, this powerful blend of plant extracts

and essential oils is an invigorating, warming and energising treat. feel your

stressed or aching muscles and joints come back to life as pure essential

oils of ginger and black pepper help optimise circulation and release

stiffness and tension. herbaceous lavender, a known analgesic, brings

support to tender muscles after heavy exercise. a feast for all the senses,

experience the goodness of nature as it works on muscular discomfort

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Key oils:

• Lavender – eases stiff and tight muscles after exercise

• Ginger and Black Pepper – warming and help circulation

• Rosemary – purifies focuses and clarifies thoughts

• Coconut Oil – softens the skin

perfect after a hard days skiing, gym exercise or gardening, or when

recovering from marathons, apply a few drops direct to the area of muscle

discomfort before showering, or add a capful to a full bath for soothing


De-Stress Muscle gel (150ml, £18.75) and De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower

oil (55ml, £34.75) are available at leading hotel and destination spas,

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Access All Areas


Life a




As we get older we often need a

little extra help, and as a result can

become heavily dependent on others.

Progress in modern medicine and the

combination of a healthy diet and

plenty of exercise can all help us to

live longer, in fact, many of us can

now expect to live well into our 80s

and 90s. However, as a result more

and more of us will find ourselves

relying on others for help as we reach

our twilight years.

Mobility can be a big issue as we get

older however, it is important for our

independence. For those with less

mobility getting out and about or

even just climbing the stairs can be a

daily challenge. Many of us feel very

attached to our homes, especially

if they hold many happy memories

for us, so moving to a ground level

property may not be an option.

However, the use of a stair lift can

make life much easier and allow you

or your loved one to regain some


If you’re finding it difficult to keep

mobile or have been affected by illness

it’s still important to keep active and

using a mobility scooter can help you

get out and about. Whether you’re

looking to hire a scooter for a day out

or are looking to purchase one, there

are plenty of specialist shops to cater

for your needs, but you may find they

make life much easier and much more


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According to the Department of

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during rush hour. However, wheelchair

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recommend Thorntrees Grarage for

wheelchair accessible vehicles.

When it comes to holidays, if

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24-hour Answering Service

Naidex 2010, the UK’s longest

established disability, homecare and

rehabilitation show returns to the

Birmingham NEC on 20th - 22nd April

2010. The event will be opened on

10am on Tuesday April 20th by Shannon


Shannon is without doubt the UK’s

most recognisable disabled model and

recently starred in the Channel 4 series

‘How to Look Good Naked’. Following on

from this, Shannon has just completed

a photo shoot with Debenhams for a

promotional campaign that is currently

in stores. The campaign is the first

time a disabled model has appeared in

advertising for a high street store. The

outcome will also be shown in the next

series of ‘How to Look Good Naked’, the

award-winning fashion show hosted by

Gok Wan which encourages women of

all shapes and sizes to strip off and love

their bodies.

“I am delighted to be opening Naidex

2010. There are so many products and

avenues of advice for people with

disabilities and events like this are a

positive step in spreading developments

and innovations to a wider audience,”

commented Shannon.

Over the past 35 years, Naidex has

steadily developed to become the

most prestigious disability event in the

UK with thousands of products being

exhibited by over 360 companies to

aid independent living – including

wheelchairs, scooters, adapted vehicles,

pressure relieving beds, walking

aids, recliner chairs, stairlifts, access

equipment and daily living aids. For

trade representatives, healthcare

professionals, parents, carers and

teachers of special needs children,

Naidex 2010 is the only event to see all

the latest industry developments under

one roof.

Naidex 2010 has numerous new and

improved features including the brand

NEW Communication Village located

in Hall 19 by the KideQuip feature.

Communication Matters, the UK charity

supporting the aided communication

needs of children and adults, will be

giving a seminar in the Kidequip seminar

theatre, where they will be discussing

topical and relevant issues aimed at both

healthcare professionals and parents of

disabled children.

Following the appointment of Jean

Gross as England’s first Communication

Champion, Naidex has launched a

Communication Village which will be

showcasing the latest developments

in assistive technology for speech and

language therapists, SEN teachers,

parents and users of communication

aids and assistive technologies. The

Communication Champion, funded

jointly by the DCSF and Department

of Health, will be responsible for

working across Government, delivery

partners and other stakeholders to

co-ordinate and build on initiatives to

improve services for children and young

people with speech, language and

communication needs.

Located within KideQuip, Naidex’s area

dedicated to children’s equipment and

services, Go Kids Go (Association of

Wheelchair Children) will be presenting

the ‘Go Kids Go’ zone. Ade Adepitan,

the wheelchair basketball paralympian,

television presenter and patron of Go

Kids Go, plans to attend Naidex 2010 on

Wednesday 21st April. Go Kids Go sees

the national charity host free of charge

wheelchair skills and activity sessions

over the three days. In addition to the

scheduled events, specialist trainers will

be on hand to give individual advice

and support to young wheelchair

users during the exhibition. Go Kids

Go will also be running ‘Have a go’

sessions throughout the three days,

featuring wheelchair games, challenges,

dance sessions and an introduction to

wheelchair basketball. Spare wheelchairs

will be available so that non-disabled

parents and siblings can join in the fun.

For the first time at Naidex 2010, visitors

will have the chance to ‘Meet the OT’ at a

Naidex 2010




new dedicated feature area. Offering the

opportunity to interact with OTs from the

Occupational Therapists in Independent

Practice (CPTSS-IP), visitors to stand E56

will be able to ask questions and benefit

from comprehensive knowledge and


Sharmin Campbell, Chair of COTSS-IP

commented: “We are delighted to have

this opportunity to have a presence

at Naidex. We hope it will raise public

awareness of Independent Occupational

Therapists and the services they offer. We

also look forward to providing helpful

advice and assistance, ensuring that a

visit to Naidex is even more worthwhile.”

Independent OTs will be on hand to fulfil

a number of roles at the show; providing

advice and information on products

and services available to members

of the public, answering enquiries

regarding solutions to assist with daily

living, mobility, work and leisure related

activities, and the potential options

available, and guiding visitors, wherever

possible, to products and solutions.

Furthermore OTs can give expert

opinions on products found at the show.

Naidex 2010 takes place at NEC,

Birmingham on 20th – 22nd April

2010. Register now for free entry at using priority code



Music In Me

Music Makes The

World Go Round

It is said that music can be a calming influence and is commented

as being the soundtrack to our lives. An expression through sound,

music is everywhere, everyday, and affects everyone.

The creation, performance, significance, and

even the definition of music vary according

to culture and social context. Music ranges

from strictly organised compositions, through

to improvisational music and aleatoric

forms. Music can be divided into genres

and subgenres, although the dividing lines

and relationships between music genres are

often subtle, sometimes open to individual

interpretation, and occasionally controversial.

As we all know, the only way to create music

is by playing instruments. Learning to play

a musical instrument has never been easier,

with various ways accessible to all levels

of ability - whether you’re brand new to an

instrument or want to refresh your memory

on an instrument from your childhood. You

could have One-to-One Lessons, which can

range from absolutely free to a respectable

price, depending on the quality and level of

instructor; look through your local newspaper,

or check online. Alternatively, you could

join one of the many Classes, available to

all ages, in your local area; check out your

local council website, or check what learning

institutes are in your area. Finally, you could

choose to teach yourself, at your own pace

and within your own home, with Chord Books;

levels range from beginner to advance and

you can learn in your own time.

If you’re already well-practiced in playing any

instrument and are looking for somewhere to

play regularly, why not join a local orchestra

or band – you never know, you could end

up playing at corporate functions and/or

weddings up and down the country.

Whether you want to learn an instrument or

not, exposing your children to a wide variety

of music may help their IQ. Over the last

15 years, numerous studies have found that

music can boost brain power, but the most

notable was in 1993, at the University of

California. It was here that physicist Gordon

Shaw and Francis Rauscher, an expert on

cognitive development, played the first ten

minutes of the Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos

in D Major to a group of college students,

with surprising results – a temporary increase

in the students' spatial-temporal reasoning

(the ability to visualise something in space

that unfolds over time), for about ten minutes.

The Mozart Effect was born (

Further to this finding, research since has

found that having music lessons during

childhood, particularly before the age of

seven, can have a lasting positive effect on

children's development; in fact, studies by

American Dr Rauscher, found that piano

lessons in particular help develop children’s

spatial-temporal intelligence.

Whether you feel music should be used to

improve the intelligence of your children

or not, it’s always fun to discover new and

exciting musical genres!

Are you an outstanding musician?

Are you in need of help,

information or advice?

Awards for Young Musicians

support young instrumentalists

making music in any genre.

Through our awards programme,

we make grants from £200 to

£2000 to eligible young people.

Our Pathways programme can also help you answer

questions such as:

• Who can I apply to for financial help?

• What courses are available outside school?

• Are there summer schools and master classes I could attend in my area?

• How should I choose a new instrument?

• What is the best way of trying out different types of musical activities?

To find out more about how we can

help, contact us:

Call 0117 9049906



Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

Offering the very best advice and support for

those who are passionate about percussion,

Drumroll Productions is designed to help

and inspire all ages and abilities. Featuring

top tips on learning new instruments, handy

exercises to enhance your skills and plenty of

percussion related products, it’s an essential

reference point for musicians who strive to

be the best.

The benefits of learning a musical instrument

have long been known, as they can teach

adults and children new skills and boost

self-confidence. However, research also

suggests that practising scales and chords

can boost your IQ by as much as seven

points, as the brain’s shape alters when

an individual masters complex patterns of

notes. At Drumroll Productions, a wide range

of products are available to assist you in

developing a diverse understanding of the

art of percussion playing.

Specific products include study materials

to inform and guide your progress in areas

such as orchestral snare drum, concert

tambourine, mallet style studies and playing

musical theatre music, plus a host of other

educational materials. All have been

created to educate and inspire, making

percussion instruments fun and easy to learn.

Drumroll Productions includes exclusive

material from percussionist, Nigel Shipway,

who is a leading musician in his field. Having

studied percussion from an early age and

attended the prestigious Royal Academy

of Music in London, Nigel has a wealth of

knowledge that he is eager to share with

others. In fact, he has compiled 40 years’

worth of knowledge and expertise to create

a unique and comprehensive guide for

drummers and percussionists.

Nigel is always keen to share his passion

for percussion and regularly runs clinics for

musicians of all ages and levels, which can

be held in schools, colleges and any large

hall. The clinics cover a diverse range of

percussion instruments, from snare drums

to tambourines, with Nigel on hand to

demonstrate how they can be played. The

workshops provide an ideal opportunity for

young people to have a go at playing these

instruments in a fun and friendly atmosphere

however, adults and community groups can

also be catered for or included in his clinics.

Drumroll Productions

With Nigel Shipway

Recognising that occasionally we all need

a little advice, Nigel is writing an e-book

entitled ‘The Percussionist’s Essential Survival

Guide’. The first chapter, ‘The Grim Realities

of Touring’ is available free at www. now, where you

can sign up to receive this and then excerpts

from other chapters in the months to come.

The book incorporates the many survival

techniques Nigel has learnt throughout his

career and having been fortunate enough

to work alongside some of percussion’s

great names, including James Blade, Reg

Barker and Bobby Christian, he has brought

together all of their top tips too.

Nigel’s devotion to drumming is best

demonstrated by his extensive collection

of percussion instruments; he has spent

many years collecting every conceivable

percussion instrument and is now currently

compiling a Percussion Dictionary. This will

feature an A to Z of instrument definitions

and terminology relating to percussion and a

Sampler will soon be a feature of the site.

Aiming to provide musicians with professional

tips in bite-size form, Nigel’s Series of

Percussion Secrets are an ideal way to

learn the tricks of the trade. By signing

up on the website, you can read Nigel’s

recommendations for everything from

creating distinctive sounds to tuning. The

series includes ten different topics so far,

including ‘How to Practice’, ‘Snare Drum’

and ‘Preparing for Shows’ to name but a

few. Many more will also be available in the


There are a wide variety of products

available at the online shop, including

ringtones and drum sticks, all uniquely

created for you by Nigel. The inspiring

percussion ringtones are available in a

wide variety of wild and whacky styles

and include ‘Braziliance, ‘Diddlyring’,

‘Bladeringer’ and ‘Ain’t Got Not’. Many of

these are derived from famous percussion

excerpts from standard orchestra repertoire

and really make a statement about who you

are. With tones to suit all tastes and offering

great value for money at only 99p, there’s

something for all musicians.

As an expert in his field, Nigel has drawn

upon his experience to create a range of

drumsticks and mallets, including multipercussion

sticks, bongo mallets and

Stained glass drum table

lamp, available to order

through the website.

Baroque timpani

sticks, which have

all been designed

exclusively for

Drumroll Productions.

Prices start from £14

a pair and a range of

drum and percussion accessories will also be

available later in the year.

Music exercises are the best way for

percussionists to improve their technique,

which is why Drumroll Productions sell a

variety of study guides for beginners and

intimidate level players in Tambourine,

Multi-Percussion, Triangle, Xylophone and

Marimba, Pedal Timpani, Solo Marimba and

Snare Drum.

To receive quarterly Newsletters and to find

out more, visit

Alternatively, call 01491 629838 or email


Music In Me


Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

Make Beautiful Music With

The John Kerr

Award For English Song

The John Kerr Award for English Song was established in 2006 after the death of

the remarkable tenor John Kerr two years earlier. John used to perform regularly

at Finchcocks Musical Museum in Kent, home to probably the largest playing

collection of antique keyboard instruments in the world, certainly the UK.

The Award was created in John’s memory after his premature.

John’s partner, Maureen Lyle, told Aspire: “John loved to

perform, especially English music, so it felt right to create this

Award in his name. The John Kerr Award Trust is a registered

charity that aims to help young singers in two ways: firstly,

to assist young singers with bursaries/prizes, and secondly to

promote the English song repertoire, which we feel has been


The John Kerr Award for English Song competition takes place

every two years, with the first competition having been held in

2006. The 2006 competition attracted entries from five countries

but was won by Klaartje van Veldhoven, a Dutch soprano,

whereas the 2008 competition was won by English soprano

Laura Mitchell, who took the top prize of £2000.

Maureen added: “We’ve recently had some excellent news

about our very first runner-up, Greg Castle. He did really

well in our 2006 competition, coming second to Klaartje van

Veldhoven, but his career has come on leaps and bounds since;

he’s doing extremely well, currently starring as Don Curzio

in an English Touring Opera production of ‘The Marriage of

Figaro, alongside our 2008 winner, Laura Mitchell. This is

an amazing achievement for both Greg and Laura. If coming

runner-up in our 2006 competition wasn’t enough for Greg, he

also made it to the final of the 2008 London Handel Singing

Competition, which is part of the London Handel Society

Festival, and he’s also entering our 2010 competition again, so it

should be an amazing competition, not only to see how far Greg

has progressed, but also to find some more amazing talent as we

have done previously.”

The 2010 competition is due to be held at Finchcocks on 3rd

October 2010. Maureen added: “Our first competition in 2006

attracted a modest number of entries, but this more than doubled

in 2008, when the final candidates were all outstandingly

talented. We have the highest hopes for the future and enquiries

for this year’s competition are starting to come in.”

Anybody with a love for music, singing and the English song

can enter The Award, as long as they’re aged between 18 and

35 at the time of the final. Contestants who wish to enter the

competition must send a recording to the Award Trust; from

all the entries, a committee will pick the final eight, who will

perform for 25 minutes each at the final in October 2010.

Recordings must be received by July 12th 2010. The first prize

is £2000 and a recital at Finchcocks, second prize is £1000, and

there is also an accompanist’s prize of £500.

“Once we’ve picked our final eight, we will contact them

and they must agree to appear in the final. The finalists will

attend a rehearsal a day or two before the final with their own

accompanist or they may use our own official accompanist. The

final itself begins at 10am and all eight finalists will perform

for 25 minutes (approx. eight songs) each and the winner will

be decided by our panel of judges: Ian Partridge CBE, Julie

Kennard, and Dr. Geoffery Govier. Last year, Ian in particular

praised those contestants who performed the less well-known

pieces; he enjoys the rare pieces more than the well-known

ones. The judges also place a lot of emphasis on the performer’s

relationship with the audience and their interpretation of the

piece, as well as their diction,” Maureen added.

Members of the public are able to buy tickets to see the final,

either from Maureen or from Finchcocks Musical Museum.

Tickets will cost no more than £20 for the whole day.

Maureen would also like to hear from any businesses, large

or small, that would like to help by becoming a sponsor for

the competition. She explained: “Like all charities, we are

constantly in need of funds to cover the expenses of holding the

competition. We are particularly looking for donors who might

be prepared to sponsor one of the prizes, but we’d welcome

anyone who would like to make any kind of contribution,

whether it be sponsoring our smallest prize of £500 or even

sponsoring the entire competition.”

Tel: 01892 530049



The John Kerr Award Trust is a registered charity: 1121245




The dates have been announced for

the UK’s leading event for excellence

and innovation in the environment,

water, land and energy sectors.

Sustainabilitylive! will take place

from April 20th – 22nd at the NEC


Following the success of Sustainabilitylive! 2009, media company

Faversham House Group has announced the dates for 2010 stating:

“It is to be the biggest event yet – with more new and exciting

initiatives than ever before.”

Bringing together top industry events, Sustainabilitylive! 2010

is the must attend event for suppliers and buyers tackling the

resource and sustainable issues facing UK companies today. The

National Energy Management Exhibition (NEMEX) will again be

united with the International Water and Effluent Exhibition (IWEX),

Environmental Technology (ET), Brownfield Expo (BEX) and

Sustainable Business - The Event.

This year Sustainabilitylive! hosted over 350 exhibitors and

attracted 7725 attendees. 2009 exhibitor Stacey Pottinger,

Communication Manager at Parsons Brinkerhoff confirmed the

event’s success commenting, “Dynamic, refreshing and informative

event, we have had a fantastic amount of quality leads that will

hopefully be converted to business. The event also offers brilliant

networking and the opportunity to build business opportunities with

other exhibitors.”

Event director Donna Bushell comments: “Sustainabilitylive! 2009

has exceeded our expectations. It has been so well received by

exhibitors, visitors and supporting associations alike. Seeing the

success of the show has reinforced what we already knew – that

these industry areas are continuing to expand, offering increasing

business opportunities. Comments from attendees have confirmed

that this event really is unrivalled if you are in business within

any of these sectors (land, energy, environment, sustainability

and water) – offering networking opportunities, groundbreaking

discussion on legislation and insight into the most innovative of


For up-to-the-minute news on exhibitors, the seminar and features

programmes, how to register for FREE attendance, or how to

exhibit, visit the new interactive website

Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

KiteSurf 101

Ride The Wave

Established two years ago KiteSurf101 provides an extensive range of kite

surfing accessories alongside high-quality tuition for kite surfers of all abilities.

Based overlooking Greatstone Beach in Kent, KiteSurf101 is the perfect place

to start your kite surfing adventure.

Experience has shown that there are huge learning and safety benefits when

beginner kite surfers learn kite and board skills independently, which is why

KiteSurf101 offers one-to-one tuition for all abilities.

KiteSurf101 owner, Keren Davis, told Aspire: “Our one-on-one sessions offer

the rider a more bespoke service. We know that people learn not only at

different rates but also in different ways, so our one-to-one sessions allow for

this. They’re available for anybody, at any level of riding. They cost £40 per

hour and you can learn absolutely anything you want or need.”

KiteSurf101 offer one, two and three-day courses for those that would like to

learn the basics. The one-day course costs £100 and the aim is to have you

up and riding by the end of the day. The two-day course helps you build on

the basics learnt on day one but helps you to become more proficient with

the aim of being able to turn around at the end of the day. This two-day

course costs £190. If you book onto a two-day course, a voucher for a FREE

two-hour Cable Wake-Boarding session at JB Ski is included. Finally, there’s

the three-day course which costs £275, and has you out on the water, putting

into practice and improving on everything you’ve learnt. Included within the

three-day course, along with the Cable Wake-Boarding session at JB Ski, is a

FREE IKO Progression-Beginner DVD. This is a great way to reinforce what

you have learnt on the course.

Keren added: “If a customer books onto a one-day course but wants to stay

for the two or three days then we honour the prices quoted above. We always

go through all the safety instructions before we start. We go through them

in-depth on day one, and then quickly run though them on day two and

three, in order to get riders into the habit of remembering and checking all

the safety procedures.”

KiteSurf101 also offer land-based taster sessions for those that are

considering taking up this thrilling sport but haven’t had a go before. These

sessions last for two hours and cost £40, including all equipment hire.

If you’re already an experienced kite surfer, KiteSurf101 can still help you. If

you’re having problems perfecting a particular trick or just want to improve

your techniques, you could sign up for a two-hour trick clinic session (priced

at £75), or a four-hour improvers clinic session (priced at £100).

As well as the kite surfing school, KiteSurf101 also have a shop stocking an

extensive range of clothing, equipment (including Xelerator Boards as they’re

the sole UK distributor) and accessories.

Keren added: “We stock everything you could need, from rash vests, t-shirts

and hoodies, to harnesses, kites and boards, as well as wetsuits, gloves,

boots and helmets. We also sell kite and wetsuit repair kits, in addition to

offering our own specialist kite repair. The beach we use, Greatstone, is a

fantastic beach for learners - it is long and sandy and the water is only knee

deep for about a mile. If the wind direction isn’t great here, we can also teach

15 minutes away at Camber Sands on the Kent and Sussex border. As these

two beaches are so close by, we can teach 95% of wind directions, which is


For more information on KiteSurf101, please call 01797 363825 or

07525 211617. Alternatively visit or email


London Golf & Tennis Show 2010

at ExCEL from

apriL 30th - may 2nd

The popular London golf Show will

return to exCeL, London, from april

30th to May 2nd, for its sixth outing –

but this time it arrives with a sibling:

the new London Tennis Show.

Ken Schofield CBe, the chairman of

the golf Show group Ltd, which owns

both the London and neC golf shows,

confirmed the new format back in

December, in association with ian

peacock oBe, the current president of

the Tennis industry association (Tia

UK) and former chief executive of the

Lawn Tennis association (LTa); roger

Moreland, chief operating officer of

the england golf partnership; and

Sandy Jones, the chief executive of the

professional golfers association (pga).

Schofield, an enthusiastic tennis

player himself, said: “There are many

crossovers between the two sports.

Commercially, many of the large

brands in golf are also present in

tennis and many amateurs play both

sports to relax. The time is right for the

launch of a tennis show and we are

now able to build upon the success

we have enjoyed with golf shows at

both exCeL and the neC over the past

five years. it’s hugely encouraging that

the LTa and others from the tennis


industry have joined with the england

golf partnership and their associates

in supporting the new show. They too

can see the promise in opening up an

already successful show to an even

larger potential audience.”

he added: “To our knowledge, never

before have so many professional

bodies from within the world of sport

come together to endorse a consumer

show such as this. it is testament to the

potential of the event that so many

people and organisations have signed

up as supporters.”

ian peacock, who was also formerly

managing director of Slazenger and

chairman of the golf foundation,

added: “it was Sandy’s (Jones) original

idea and the Tia supported the

concept eagerly. after discussing it

with Ken (Schofield), we recognised

the possibilities of building on

the existing golf shows to offer an

opportunity for tennis enthusiasts

to see what is being developed. it is

also an ideal vehicle for businesses

and companies in tennis to showcase

their products and services to players,

enthusiasts and supporters of the

game. “We are very excited about the

show and already have commitments

from some major names in the game

who will give support through the

Tia, which will highlight some of the

innovations, ideas and products its

members will showcase.”

roger Draper, the chief executive

of the Lawn Tennis association, also

welcomed the initiative. he said:

“The LTa is delighted to support the

London golf & Tennis Show in 2010

and we look forward to working with

our colleagues in golf to create a

successful show which will promote

these two great sports.”

The egp’s roger Moreland added: “i am

delighted the egp will participate in

the London golf & Tennis Show 2010.

We have watched the progress of the

London golf Show with interest in the

past few years and see it as a lasting

annual event in the golf calendar.

“it allows people from all sectors of

the golf industry to interact with each

other, and with the many golfers who

come to the show. We look forward to

working with the show organisers to

make sure that as many aspects of golf

are presented as possible.”

Jones confirmed the support of

the pga, and added: “We have

watched the golf shows establishing

themselves and we recognised we

could work closely and well with the

organisers to make the show better

reflect the many aspects of golf that

we ourselves are keen to promote.

The pga is involved in numerous

initiatives to promote golf to as wide

an audience as possible, and working

to develop the show both for golf and

tennis is going to be great fun. i am

also delighted to work on an initiative

with Ken and ian, both of whom i have

worked with previously and respected

for many years.”

Ticket Prices

Golf Club Member: free enTrY –

must register online by april 17th

On The Door: £15

In Advance: £10

Juniors (age 12 & under): free

enTrY – must be accompanied by an


Tickets for the show can be bought


golf-tickets or by calling the dedicated

London golf Show operators on

0844 847 1650 (lines are open

24-hours a day).

Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

Get Hooked

Fishing has been a popular pastime for

hundreds of years, enjoyed not only for

the thrill of the chase, but also for the

chance to sit in beautiful surroundings

and simply relax.

All fishermen are required to have

a Fishing Permit, which covers most

places in the UK and must be renewed

annually. Day fishing is probably the

most popular type of fishing. However,

as most fish feed around dawn and

dusk, night fishing is a great way to

catch the little blighters out!

Many places across the UK offer fishing

holidays, the perfect excuse to escape

for a few days with your friends and

Sea Fishing and Wildlife Watching Aboard


Experience the spectacular waters of Cardigan Bay with a sea fishing

trip aboard the Highlander II. Available for hire for up to 12, Highlander II

offers an unrivalled fishing experience off the coast of North Wales.

Setting sail from Pwllheli Marina, Highlander

II is owned by Tony and Jayne Bruce, who

have a passion for the water and have

been offering boat trips for 20 years. Tony

says: “I’ve always been into boats so it just

seemed a natural progression to help others

experience the waters of Cardigan Bay. We

initially started with fishing trips, but we

found more and more people were keen

to spot the local wildlife, so we now offer

trips for dolphin, whale, porpoise and seal

spotting, as well as birdwatching.”

There are three different fishing trips to

choose from:

• Rough ground reef – offering the

opportunity to fish for tope, black bream

and thornbacks.

• Bardsey Island – for pollock, ling and


• Deep water wrecks – fishing in St George

Channel for larger pollock.

indulge in your favourite hobby.

If your love of fish goes beyond simply

fishing, why not become a fish keeper

and have your own pond in your back

garden. Don’t worry if you don’t know

where to start, there are some great

companies out there who can do

everything from offering advice about

the best equipment to building your

whole pond.

If your garden doesn’t allow for a

pond, then don’t despair, keep your fish

indoors in a trendy fish tank. Available

in all shapes and sizes, a fish tank will

add interest and colour to any room in

the house.

Highlander II is manned by a qualified

skipper, who is licensed by the MCA, and is

also ideal for corporate events and family

celebrations. All equipment can be hired,

bait can be purchased and Highlander II can

be hired for six to ten hours. New for 2010,

Tony and Jayne will be introducing catch and

release shark fishing.

For those who want

to get up close and

personal with a variety

of wildlife or enjoy a

relaxing boat trip, Enlli

Charters allow tourists

to visit and explore the

beautiful Bardsey Island. Here, up to 40

passengers can admire the seabirds and

hundreds of seals that live around the island.

As prices vary according to your personal

requirements, for more details contact Tony

on 01766 522000 or 07836 293146 to find

out more.

Alternatively, visit the website at or email

For more information on boat trips to Bardsey

Island, go to

Valley Dam

Fly Fishing

Wales Top Fishery

Offering a calm and relaxing

day’s fishing to the backdrop of

the most beautiful Welsh scenery,

Valley Dam Fly Fishing is the

ideal setting for your next fishing


Established by Brian Earp, the site offers

ample space and great facilities in a

secluded location in mid-Wales. Having

been a keen and passionate fisherman

all of his life, Brian founded Valley Dam

in 1996, after digging out what was a

disused lake and widening the banks. The

lake, which is situated in Llanfihangel,

Powys, is now eight to ten feet deep and

covers just over two acres. Valley Dam

is well-stocked with Rainbow, Brown and

Blue Trout, with the largest recorded

Rainbow weighing in at 15 and a half

pounds and the largest Brown at 11

pounds, six ounces.

Brian says: “It’s a beautiful location and

you can’t even see any other houses.

The view across the far bank is of rolling

hills and there are mountains to the left,

Fun Fishing

The Best Fishing

Tackle In Wales

Established since 1973, Llyn Angling is

run by anglers for anglers. Originally

established as a sadlery and leather

goods store, the shop only had a tiny

fishing tackle section that didn’t meet

the needs of the many passing tourists.

Now under the ownership of Tom

Hughes, who took over from his parents

six years ago, Llyn Angling has been

transformed to cater specifically for the

fishing tourist rather than the hard-core

local angler.

Tom explained: “My parents took over

from the original owner many years

ago and I took over from them when

they retired in 2004. They kept a small

amount of leather goods but I decided

to dedicate all our efforts to fishing so

phased the leather items out and now

we solely sell fishing tackle and fishing


Llyn Angling stock a wide range of

fishing related products, from spinning

rods to fresh, and frozen, bait for the

Coarse, Game and Sea angler from Abu

Garcia, Daiwa, Masterline, Shimano

and many other major suppliers. With

prices ranging from £30 upwards, a

trip to Llyn Angling, to get everything

you need for a fishing holiday in Wales,

won’t break the bank.

Tom added: “We pride ourselves on

our customer service and our extensive

knowledge of the area and the fish

that can be caught there. We believe

that the angling around Llyn is some

of the finest in the country and we aim

to ensure that you experience the best

that this beautiful area has to offer. The

best part of my job is seeing a happy

angler return to tell me about the

experience they had fishing around

here thanks to my advice.”

Llyn Angling is open Monday to

Saturday 9:30am until 5pm, and seven

days a week in July and August.

If you are new to angling, or just want

to give it a try, Llyn Angling is the

perfect place: call 01758 613291 or

log onto

some people come here to just sit by the

lake and enjoy the peace and quiet.”

The site has a day lodge with tea and

coffee making facilities, microwave oven

and toilets, plus private car parking

space and disabled access to the lake.

Whilst many fisheries forbid spectators,

Valley Dam offers a warm welcome to

those who want to accompany a fishing

enthusiast and there are picnic tables

around the lake so visitors can enjoy

a spot of lunch. Children are welcome

onsite, but must be accompanied by an

adult. Prices for a day’s fishing vary, with

catch and release sessions starting at £10

for four hours and catch them and keep

starting from £12 for four hours.

Valley Dam has become so popular it

came in 26th place in a poll of the 200

top fisheries in Britain.

Find out more by visiting or calling 01691 648837


All Aboard



Warwick Top Lock

• Suppliers of rope and twine

• Quality rope fenders

• Bannister ropes for stairs

• Garden and decking ropes

• Mail order service

• Illustrated price list

• Buy direct from the maker - no VAT

Tel: 01926 410588

Fax: 01789 778953

Alan at Get Knotted

Lower Cape, Warwick, CV34 5DP


Britain By


Peace Of Mind Thanks To

Mercia Marine


Buying a boat is not only a big commitment but it’s also an expensive purchase

so you must ensure you insure it against any unforeseen circumstances. Aspire

would like to recommend Mercia Marine, boat insurance and marine trade

specialists with over ten years’ experience looking after the marine insurance

needs of thousands of satisfied clients. We had a chat with Co-Director David

Sudworth to find out more about Mercia Marine…

What types of insurance do Mercia Marine


“We can provide boat insurance for a wide range

of leisure craft from dinghies to narrowboats and

dutch barges to £750,000 cruisers or yachts.

Boats can be used for pleasure to liveaboard or

commercially and are covered throughout the

United Kingdom and Western europe including

the Mediterranean Sea. Mercia can also provide

quotations for marine trades insurance covered by

a policy written by us and underwritten by Lloyds

of London. Cover can be for the one-man band

self employed or for boat yards, boat builders,

harbours, marinas or hire boat fleets and offers

most of the insurance needs for many marine

trades and businesses.”

What criteria do you have that customers and

their vessels must meet?

“Generally we cover craft up to 40 years old or

older for dinghies, dutch barges or narrowboats.

We require surveys on boats over 23’ and 20

years old and can provide full cover or just

third party liability only. Boat Safety Scheme

Certificates should be provided for inland craft

where applicable. Our yacht policy provides fairly

wide cover, is underwritten by Lloyds of London

and offers a 5% no claims discount for each claims

free year up to a maximum of 30% which can be

protected for a small charge. We can include racing

for yachts and dinghies, liability for waterskiing and

towing toys.”

So if you need insurance and want to speak to a real

person with the necessary knowledge and experience, call

Mercia Marine today on 01684 564457. Alternatively, visit

Canal Cargo


Canal Cargo Bookshop Is an Internet shop

specialising in books and maps for the Inland

Waterways of England, Scotland and Europe.

The shop also covers subjects on the buying,

maintenance and running of boats. There

are books on crafts related to the waterways

including painting and rope craft. Sections

are devoted to coastal cruising around the

British waterways and the Mediterranean

areas. Other areas covered are Fiction,

Humour and Children’s books and games.

There is a wide range of DVD’s covering both

the English systems and the Continent.

Canal Cargo is happy to

receive orders either via

the Internet or by mail

or telephone. If a book

is not on the stock list

then the shop will place a

special order for you with

the publishers. There is

also a section of books

published by the Royal

Yachting Association

covering subjects such as

dinghy and small yacht

sailing, navigation, motor

cruising and surfboarding.

Tel: 020 8399 0486

Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

Surrounded by water and home to 2,200 miles of canals and rivers, Britain is the place for boating. With

an extensive network of waterways, which are rich in history and home to an abundance of plant and

wildlife species, it’s easy to see why 13 million people use them as part of their everyday life. From walking

the dog along the canal to enjoying a relaxing boating holiday, it’s easy to see why so many people are

drawn to the calmness of the water.

Few things in life can be as relaxing as a holiday on a narrowboat, exploring Britain’s canals and rivers

and taking life at a slower pace. Narrowboat holidays have grown in popularity in recent years, as more

couples choose to swap the hustle and bustle of busy tourist destinations for an unrivalled tour of Britain’s

extensive network of waterways. In fact, a survey of 2000 people, conducted last year by Towergate Bakers

Insurance found canal narrowboat breaks were the fifth most popular choice of holiday during 2009. It’s

easy to see the big attraction, as this type of holiday is described as the ‘fastest way to slow down’.

Not only does a narrowboat offer a comfortable place to lay your head, it’s also a fantastic way to

see more of the country and allows a rare opportunity to experience a different way of life. The unique

aspect of a boating break is that you’re not tied to one place, leaving you free to explore as much of the

countryside as you can fit into your holiday. You can also make the most of the tranquil surroundings and

scenery by indulging in a spot of reading, painting or photography. As you’ll also be cutting out air travel

and car journeys, boating is the greener way to enjoy your summer break.

There are many companies up and down the country who will allow you to hire a narrowboat for a short

break or longer holiday, and are equipped with all mod-cons to ensure maximum comfort. For those who

are new to boating, instructions and guidance are available to get you safe and confident on the water

before you cast away. If you fancy a change of scenery or are heading to the coast this summer, why not

hire a sailing boat and explore the waters that surround our beautiful island.

If you’ve already been charmed by the water and have invested in your own boat, keeping it ship shape

is a top priority to ensure maximum enjoyment. There are plenty of books and guides to help you with the

running and maintenance of your boat, as well as maps for all of Britain’s waterways.

Sally Narrowboats Ltd

All our boats are built to the highest standards

of quality and safety; and luxuriously

appointed with all the home comforts you

would expect to complete your ideal holiday


Our fleet comprises of boats of various sizes

for short or weekly breaks, 10-day or multiweek

hire all year round. You can enjoy the

hospitality of numerous canalside pubs and

restaurants with no worries about parking or

driving home.

We have 20 years’ experience and are able to

provide you with all the assistance you need.

01225 864923




The Results Are In

Photo credit: Sue Tranter

Photo credit: Andy Hay

The results are now in and this year, a whopping 530,000

people took part in the free and fun event, spotting over

eight and a half million birds in gardens up and down

the country. for the seventh year running the house

sparrow was named Britain’s most sighted bird, making an

appearance in 63.9% of gardens and an average of 3.6 being

spotted in each garden.

There was great cause for celebration following the 2009 Big

garden Birdwatch, after the long-tailed tit made it into the

top ten for the very first time, suggesting this species of bird

was getting used to feeding on the seeds and peanuts in

hanging feeders and on bird tables.

however, this year’s count has shown a large drop in the

number of smaller bodied birds visiting gardens in the UK,

with the long-tailed tit, coal tit and goldcrest being the

worst affected. in fact, the average numbers of all these

species dropped significantly compared to the 2009 survey

and is thought to be the result of their susceptibility to the

cold. These birds have to eat almost continuously to stay

alive, which can be a challenge during Britain’s harsh winter


These tough conditions are also thought to be responsible

for drawing many countryside birds, who are normally found

in fields, farmland and hedgerows, into our gardens instead.


Photo credit: Ben Hall

fieldfares, redwings, bullfinches and yellowhammers all

found their way to bird feeding stations in our gardens, due

to a shortage of food in their usual haunts.

Many members of the thrush family, including song

thrushes and mistle thrushes, along with blackbirds, were

seen in much higher numbers this year, as they also headed

into gardens for food. an unexpected high number of

blackcaps were also spotted and although it was thought

by experts that their numbers would decline during winter,

many were discovered feeding on bird tables. Like the longtail

tit, blackcaps are adapting their behaviour in order to

survive, by feeding from bird tables and feeders in gardens,

and therefore becoming more visible.

Sadly, some of Britain’s most familiar garden birds have

suffered great declines. Despite holding the top spot for the

seventh year in a row, sightings of the house sparrow have

declined by 17% alone. Blackbirds came in second place – a

rise from third in 2009 – and starlings dropped to third, after

a ten year run within the top two.

over the last 30 years, the rSpB has enlisted the help of

supporters throughout the country to count the number

of birds visiting their gardens. This nationwide event initially

began as a one-off in the late 1970s, when junior members

of the charity were asked to count the number of birds

Did you join in with Britain’s largest

wildlife survey? Back in January we

encouraged all of our readers to

take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden

Birdwatch, which takes place annually

and tracks the different bird species

living within the UK.

appearing in their gardens over the last weekend in January.

however, the idea was so popular and so successful that it’s

become a staple event in the rSpB calendar. according to

the charity, more than three million hours have been spent

observing and enjoying the wide variety of birds visiting our

gardens and their behaviour over this time, and more than

six million birds are spotted by volunteers like you every

single year.

The results from county to county vary significantly, but the

aspire region of Leicestershire and northamptonshire both

saw the house sparrow take first place. in Leicestershire, an

average of 4.01 birds were spotted in 70.7% of gardens and

in northamptonshire, 4.18 were sighted in 74.8% of gardens.

Leicestershire Top Ten

• house Sparrow • Blackbird • Starling • Woodpigeon

• Blue Tit • Chaffinch • goldfinch • robin • Dunnock

• Collared Dove

Northamptonshire Top Ten

• house Sparrow • Starling • Blackbird • Blue Tit • Chaffinch

• Woodpigeon • goldfinch • Collared Dove • robin

• great Tit

To find out more results from across the country,

head to


The Birds

as the findings of the rSpB’s Big garden

Birdwatch have shown a decrease in the number

of birds visiting our gardens this winter, aspire

thought we’d encourage you to feed the birds in

order to not only increase numbers and survival

of these species, but also to give you something

to admire.

over half of British adults already feed the birds

that visit their garden, but to ensure these wild

birds make it through harsh winters, more of us

need to leave food out. a great food source to

leave out for birds is mixed bird seed, which can

be bought ready-mixed from pet stores and even

Wilkinsons; the best mixtures contain plenty

of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut

granules, but please note that mixes that contain

chunks or whole nuts are suitable for winter

feeding only. it’s also best to avoid mixtures that

have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils, as well

as mixtures containing green or pink lumps, as

only the large species can eat these dry.

Black sunflower seeds are an excellent yearround

food, and in many areas are even more

popular than peanuts. The oil content is higher

in black than striped ones, and so they are much

better. peanuts are however, popular with tits,

greenfinches, house sparrows, nuthatches, great

spotted woodpeckers and siskins, and a rich in fat.

Crushed or grated nuts attract robins, dunnocks

and even wrens, but beware peanuts can be high

in a natural toxin, which can kill birds, so buy from

a reputable dealer.

fat balls and other fat-based food bars are

excellent winter food. if they are sold in nylon

mesh bags, always remove the bag before

putting the fat ball out – the soft mesh can trap

and injure birds. Mealworms are a natural food

and can be used to feed birds throughout the

year; they’re relished by robins and blue tits, and

may attract other insect-eating birds such as pied


it’s always best to buy a proper feeder for these

kinds of foods. although many shops sell them in

their own nylon mesh bags, this can be harmful

to birds, trapping their feet and even causing

By Laura Merry

broken or torn off feet and legs, so buying a nut

or seed feed is the safest option. Seed feeders

are tubular transparent containers with holes,

through which birds are able to access the seed.

These are designed for sunflower seeds and seed

mixes labelled feeder seed and will attract tits,

siskins and greenfinches. nut feeders are made

of steel mesh, and are the only safe method of

offering nuts to wild birds. The mesh size needs

to be large enough to prevent beak damage

and small enough to prevent large pieces of nut

from being removed – about 6mm is a good


finally, you can always feed garden birds left over

and stale bread, but not mouldy. Many moulds

are harmless, but some that can cause respiratory

infections in birds, and so it is best to be cautious

and avoid mouldy food entirely. if food turns

mouldy or stale on your birdtable, you are

probably placing out too large a quantity for the

birds to eat in one day. always remove any stale

or mouldy food promptly. Stale food provides a

breeding ground for salmonella bacteria, which

can cause food poisoning. at least one type of

salmonella causes death among such species as

greenfinches and house sparrows.

Britain’s gardens are an increasingly important

refuge for several species of threatened birds.

Several red list birds use gardens regularly in

winter, including house sparrow, starling and

song thrush. The icy weather will bring further

red-list birds to gardens, including redpolls,

yellowhammers and tree sparrows. To help these

birds, aspire and the rSpB are urging as many

people as possible to feed garden birds.

providing supplementary food in your garden

during the winter months, and especially during

particularly cold snaps, will bring some amazing

birds into your garden and you’ll be surprised

how fascinating you find their behaviour

and colours – they’ll brighten up any garden,

particularly in the bleak winter months.

For more information and advice on how

to do your bit for Britain’s wild birds,



Business Focus

The Best

In the


We are a family farm, making traditional, handmade

Gloucester cheese.


All our cheese is vegetarian, and made from

unpasteurised cows’ milk.

Our farm is one of only four traditional Single

Gloucester producers in the world.


Best British Produce

Smart’s Traditional Gloucester Cheese

Finalist Best Food Producer in BBC Radio Food

and Farming Awards 2006

To visit or for mail order contact Mrs Diana Smart Telephone: 01452 750225

Email: smartstrad.cheese@btinternet

Old Ley Court, Chapel Lane, Birdwood, Churcham, Gloucester, GL2 8AR, UK

Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

We know how difficult it can be to find wellestablished

companies that can offer a high

level of service tailored to your personal needs,

so we work hard to bring you the very best

organisations and specialist services in the UK.

For those who have recently taken the plunge and started their own business,

these tough economic times mean that you need to ensure you’re offering

the very best products at the very best prices. For those who are running

their own business, the advice from the British Retail Consortium is for

independent companies to create their own distinct identity and focus on

incorporating local character. This will ensure you offer something truly

unique that other, rival companies do not and encourage customers to use

your services and goods. With many independent businesses having suffered

as a result of the recession, ensuring your business stands out is more

important than ever.

Reputation is the key to running a good business and is vital to its success. It

is important to ensure you can provide your customers with the best quality

and service, as well as good value. The best way to ensure you have a

good reputation is to make sure your staff are customer friendly, which costs

nothing at all but guarantees customers will come back time after time. Many

people buy goods from recommended companies, whether that be through

family members and friends, or just through word-of-mouth, so you need

to guarantee your staff will make a good and lasting impression. After all,

everyone wants to be known as the best in the business.

There are many advantages to choosing smaller, independent companies

above large, multi-national businesses, as you’ll be treated as an individual

rather than a number. Our recommended companies are specialists, with

a wealth of experience, who also offer the very best customer service. So,

whatever it is your’ looking for, Aspire bring you only the most reliable and

well established companies in the country.

Image by Artography

Tel: 01455 233224

Just Dance!

With a history dating back to 1954, The Rochelle School of Dance has taught many of

Leicestershire’s children how to dance with the best of them. The late Sheila J Smith

founded the school in Birmingham before moving it, and her family, to Leicestershire

in 1965. The school is now lovingly run by Sheila’s daughter, Kaye Shufflebotham,

who has been dancing since she could walk.

Kaye told Aspire: “My mother danced as a little

girl and after completing her training, went onto the

professional stage, performing at the Alexandra Theatre

in Birmingham and also working alongside Sir Norman

Wisdom. She met my dad, they married, had a family: my

brother John, myself and my sister Sadie. We all danced

as children but Sadie and I followed in mum’s footsteps

by performing on the professional stage. I carried on

dancing, training with my mum until I was 16-years-old

and then continued my training at Pattison’s College,

where I gained my teaching qualification. I have been

teaching since the age of 19. I took over The Rochelle

School of Dance in 1988 when my mum sadly died and

continued her work. She just loved to dance and I just

love to teach; I love my job, so much so that although

I’m grateful of a holiday every once in a while, I’m glad

to get back to work, which I doubt many people can

genuinely say. I’m very lucky to have a job that I love so


The Rochelle School of Dance offer classes in ballet, tap,

theatrecraft, modern jazz, freestyle, hiphop, acrobatics

as well as speech and drama in their studios in Hinckley,

Barwell and Sapcote in Leicestershire. In Hinckley,

classes are held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and

Saturday at the United Reformed Church; in Barwell,

classes are held on Wednesday at 'The Loft' studios on

King Street; and finally, in Sapcote, classes are held every

Friday at the Methodist Church Hall on Leicester Road.

Kaye added: “At The Rochelle School of Dance we offer

children a once a week taste of dancing. We’ve got a very

good sense of fun here and fair discipline, and a sense of

respect for one another is instilled in the children from

day one; so it’s not just dancing skill that we teach the

children, we also teach them life skills to help them in

whatever they chose to do. I had one former student, who

is now a doctor, write a lovely ‘thank you card’ to me

when she left to go to university that said she felt she had

more self-awareness and confidence for having danced

and meant a lot to me.”

The Rochelle School of Dance is a registered member

of the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA)

and numerous examination sessions are held throughout

the year to enable students to gain recognised dancing

qualifications. The purpose of this is for pupils to

progress with the IDTA examining body.

“Many of our students that have moved onto college have

found that no matter what course they’re doing, their

dancing exams have sometimes helped them get into their

chosen college. I think it’s important for children to have

an all-round education, both in academic subjects and

within dancing, which is why we offer so many classes

in so many different styles. Also, if the child wants to

move onto the professional stage, they’ll need to have a

good foundation, a good all-round knowledge of different

styles and techniques. It’s important to me that those

Sheila Smith

children who want to succeed are given the best possible

training,” Kaye added.

Aspire Sales Executive, Tracy Armstrong’s three-yearold

daughter, Zoe, has recently started classes at The

Rochelle School of Dance in Hinckley. Tracy said:

“Zoe has started the Baby Ballet classes and she’s

thoroughly enjoying every minute of them. Both Zoe

and I have found Miss Kaye and her team so friendly

and approachable, which is one of the reasons we chose


For more information on The Rochelle School of Dance,

visit, or call 01455 636514.

Alternatively, e-mail


Spotlight On Staffordshire

A County

Full Of Discovery

Ideal for a day out, short break or even longer stay, Staffordshire has bundles of

charming market towns, quiet waterways and miles of rolling green hills, woodlands

and inspiring landscapes just waiting to be explored.

With the Peak District National Park, National Forest and Cannock Chase to visit,

those with a passion for the outdoors are easily catered for. Whether you’re looking

for beautiful, secluded walks, miles of cycling paths or the best rock climbing and

caving opportunities, the Peak District has it all. The National Forest also provides

plenty of space for discovering the outdoors, 200 square miles of it in fact. Full of

wildlife and wonder, the chance to learn about bushcraft survival, plus horse riding,

all ages are easily catered for.

Historic houses and great architecture can be found in abundance in Staffordshire

and there is a wide variety to experience. From the 17th Century stately home of

Weston Park and its sweeping parkland to the magnificent sight of the medieval

Lichfield Cathedral, there are fascinating secrets from these grand buildings to be


As a county famous for its pottery, Staffordshire is home to big names such as

Wedgewood and Moorcroft. You can experience this ceramic heritage for yourself

and even get your hands dirty trying to create your own piece of pottery.

If you’re looking for more modern pursuits, Staffordshire is home to the utmost in

adrenaline-fuelled fun. With numerous nerve-wracking rides, including the brand new

Th13teen, which incorporates the latest theme park technology to create the ultimate

rollercoaster experience, Alton Towers is a big hit with kids of all ages. Whilst Drayton

Manor has thrilling rides, children’s rides and 15 acres of open plan zoo.

For evening entertainment, head to Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, where you can enjoy

a wide variety of shows and performances, from classical music to comedy, musicals

to family fun. Whilst the Stafford Festival Shakespeare, taking place this summer at

Stafford Castle, is ran in association with the theatre and will feature the famous

playwright’s comedy, ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’.


Reynolds hey

Set in rolling countryside, this

modernised farmhouse offers

excellent accommodation and

friendly atmosphere. Situated

close to Moorcroft, Wedgewood,

Portmeirion, Alton Towers and

the beautiful moors and dales of

Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

B&B from £24 - £25

Telephone 01782 502717 or mobile 07851 972863

Email: Web:

Park Lane, Endon, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST9 9JB

Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

Beech cottage

A newly converted one bedroom cottage

in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Convenient

for Peak District, the Potteries and Alton


Cosy, well-equipped retreat with scenic

views, patio and barbecue.

Prices from £200 - £350 per week

Short breaks from £40 - £55 per night

For more information call 01782 550967 or mobile 07976 068560

Little Summerhill Cottages, Tickhill Lane, Dilthorne, Staffordshire ST10 2PL

cedaR tRee cottage

Situated 300 yards from

Trentham Gardens, easy access

to Alton Towers, two golf courses

and Wedgewood Visitor Centre.

We offer a warm welcome,

comfortable bedrooms, guests’

own beamed lounge with open


B&B from £35 - £45 per night

For more information call 01782 644751 or email

41 Longton Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 8ND

Established on 24th June 2009 – 500 years to the day since

Henry VIII was crowned king – by owner, Steve Murphy,

Tudor History Tours offer an unrivalled look at the most

talked about period in over 2000 years of British history.

The Tudor Dynasty began with King Henry VII, who took

the crown by force at the Battle of Bosworth, and also

includes the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

From day trips to short breaks, a week’s holiday to a

ten-day getaway, Tudor History Tours can tailor-make

tours to suit your needs and interests, incorporating both

the famous attractions and well-kept secrets that were of

great importance between 1485 and 1603. Steve says: “We

offer unique tours of historically important sites, many of

which are situated off the beaten track. They also include

activities where you can get to experience Tudor life and

handle weapons and armour.”

As the southeast of England was the setting for many

famous Tudor moments, the majority of the destinations

are in this area, including West Sussex’s Arundel Castle,

East Sussex’s Anne of Cleeves House and Dover Castle in


One of the most popular destinations on the Tudor tour is

the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. Here, you can you

enjoy a costume guided tour of the museum, see artefacts

from this famous ship, discover why it was a firm favourite

of Henry VIII and even enjoy a Tudor style banquet in one

of the museum’s great halls. Steve says: “We keep group

sizes to no more than 16, ideally eight couples, to ensure

every tour has the personal touch. Each stop is quite

lengthy, so there’s plenty of time to look at the attractions

and ask questions.”

On the tours you can explore famous castles, discover

more about Henry VIII’s six wives and his great love affair

with Anne Boleyn, as well as the life of Elizabeth I and her

relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Guests

will travel aboard a luxury coach to each destination and

travelling time is kept to a minimum to ensure you spend

maximum time exploring the sites on offer.

Steve says: “Prices for all tours include accommodation,

meals, transport and entry fees, as well as a fully guided

tour. We pride ourselves on the accommodation, as we

only use traditional old-fashioned English Inns, these are

specifically chosen for their charm and character. Most are

also historically significant, with low oak beams and large

fireplaces, and some even have their own resident ghosts;

the best story I’ve heard whilst conducting the tours is of

two ghosts having a sword fight at the top of a staircase.”

As one of only a small number of companies offering

guided history holidays, Tudor History Tours promise

a memorable and very personal trip, and are ideal for

those who have a passion for the past. Steve adds: “Tudor

History Tours are mainly geared towards adults who have

a passion for history, but of course we welcome anyone who

wants to gain an insight into Britain’s Tudor period.”

When booking a Tudor History Tour you will be provided

with a magazine detailing the itinerary for your trip.

Booking is available online or via the phone and tours

operate from Easter to September.

To find out more about prices and availability, visit the

website at

Alternatively, call 01323 647006 or email

Tudor History Tours

Tudor History Tours

A Unique Glimpse at Britain’s Past

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about

Britain’s past, Tudor History Tours guarantee

to provide you with a truly unique holiday and

take you on a fascinating journey to some of our

country’s hidden treasures.


Island Trails

Discover Shetland With

Elma Johnson’s

Island Trails France

Have you ever been away on holiday

and wanted to know more about the

history, folklore, and traditions of the

area? Well, if you’re thinking of visiting

Shetland, you can learn all about its

magnificent landscape, its history and

its people thanks to Elma Johnson

and her Island Trails, winners of an

Aspire Certificate of Recognition for

Quality Tourism.

Elma has been running Island Trails

across Shetland and the Isles for

the last 30 years. Her passion and

enthusiasm for the area and its history

shines through on every tour, ensuring

your moments on the Islands are

more precious. Elma told Aspire: “I’ve

always been interested in tourism, and

started running Island Trails about 30

years ago. I learned everything I know

from the late Thomas Henderson

MBE (who was an historian and

founder of the Shetland Museum),

who I worked with in his small hotel.

He was an internationally respected

expert on Shetland and her history,

so the information given comes from

the best.”

Elma’s Island Trails have gone from

strength to strength. With such a

wealth of knowledge on mainland

Shetland and the one hundred isles

that surround her, Elma can tailormake

tours to suit you and what

you’d like to know. In fact, Elma’s

Island Trails have been going so well

that she’s joined forces with other

Shetland experts, including Douglas

Sinclair and James Tait, to offer an

even wider range of guided tours

that give you a unique insight and

experience of life in Shetland through

the ages.

Being such an expert on Shetland,

Elma can show you the best routes,

the most spectacular scenery,

introduce you to the most delicious

local food, and bring Shetland and its

landscape, history, and people to life.

Elma added: “All my tours are all day

events; I could never do them in half

a day, there’s just too much to see

and do and too many stories to tell.

My Island Trails are great for anyone

visiting this magical area – the history,

traditions and folklore date back to the

beginning of time.”

Elma added: “My Island Trails are

great for anyone visiting this magical

area – the history, traditions and

folklore date back to the beginning

of time. I’ve also been able to help

people visiting the area who are

tracing their family tree. I can take

them to places that their forbearers

came from. I enjoy every aspect of my

job thoroughly.”

‘In Aboot Da Night’

If Elma’s Island Trails weren’t enough

for a traditional Shetland experience,

she also welcomes tourists to her

Bigton home, which overlooks the

beautiful St Ninians Isle for a delicious

and traditional Shetland meal and

an evening of music, dancing and


The ‘Inn Aboot Da Night’ experience

is not to be missed. The traditional,

mouth-watering meal consists of

heather and seaweed-fed lamb (much

prized in top Turin restaurants), locally

grown potatoes and vegetables, soup,

all followed by heavenly ice cream and

rhubarb. With wonderful and warm

hospitality from Elma herself, most

nights end with visitors having a go at

traditional Shetland dancing steps! An

‘Inn Aboot Da Night’ experience costs

just £45 per person and it’s well worth

the money!

Shetland will be transformed for two

weeks in June as hundreds of people

who have ties to the islands, but are

now scattered across the globe return

to reforge lost connections, enjoy

the culture and heritage of Shetland

and to enjoy a very special holiday.

Taking place from June 14th until 26th,

Shetland’s 'Hamefarin' (homecoming)

will welcome Shetlanders from all

around the world back to their home

islands, something which Elma

has been heavily involved in. She

explained: “The first 'Hamefarin' was

held 1960 when I was just 16 years

old and it was a roaring success. The

next was held 25 years ago in 1985

and again it was a great success so

we felt the time was right to welcome

Shetlanders back once again. The 2010

event is expected to see the largest

number of visitors yet, with around 500

Hamefarers estimated to be making the

journey to Shetland.”

Tel: 01950 422408 Email: Web:


Aspire Magazine: sponsored by

France At Its Best With

Saint Jeannet

is a wonderful destination for a holiday

any time of year, but the south of France is a

particular hotspot for Brits looking for sun, sea

and sand from their annual getaway. One area

Aspire would like to highly recommend is The

Côte d'Azur. This Mediterranean coastline of

the south eastern corner of France extends from

Menton, near the Italian border in the east, to

Cassis in the west and includes towns such as

Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Toulon, and Saint-

Tropez. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and

Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region.

Situated within this stunning region of France is

Saint Jeannet, winner of not one but two Aspire

Certificates: a Certificate of Recognition for Top

Quality Accommodation and a Certificate of

Recognition for International Destination 2010.

Owner, Olga Moyle bought the ruined granary for

a few pounds in the 1950s, not long after World

War II had ended and when times were hard. Olga

said: “I was living in Provence, in a large house

with a DADA poet Georges Ribemont-Dessaigne,

and his wife, Suzanne. Georges and Suzanne had

no children and for some reason had come to

regard me as the ‘daughter of the house’. It was

not long after the end of The War, I had just left

Art School and, at the time, could speak hardly

any French. I was an innocent among the ageing

DADA group and the congregation of artists

and writers whose names crop up so often in

the literature of Art History today. Georges and

Suzanne had a large house in the mountain village

of St. Jeannet, which was open to all and Georges

was considered fondly as a friend by all of them. ”

The property is currently split into two

apartments; the lower apartment was refurbished

in December 2006, whilst the upper section of the

property has been completely rebuilt recently. The

apartments may be rented separately or together:

• The top apartment has large, open plan kitchen/

living room with a settee/double bed, double

bedroom and bathroom, and a mezzanine floor

that provides additional sleeping accommodation.

A spacious terrace garden enjoys unique

panoramic views of the Mediterranean coast and

surrounding hills and villages.

• The lower flat is very similar; it has a combined

living room and kitchen, which includes a settee/

double bed, on the ground floor and upstairs, a

bedroom with double bed and bathroom with

toilet and shower.

Olga told Aspire: “You can see the Mediterranean

Sea from all the windows in both apartments; it’s

a wonderful sight to wake up to. Both apartments

have well-equipped kitchens and share the cellar

at the bottom of the house where a washing

machine is available. The house boasts a large

terrace garden that has been described by many

residents within the village as the best garden in

the village; you can watch the planes land at Nicé

airport from here, as well as having stunning,

breathtaking views of the entire Mediterranean

coastline. My family has made many happy

memories in this house over the years and we just

hope our guests make some too.”

When not being used by friends and family, the

lower flat may be rented out for £250 per week,

or £230 per week for two or more consecutive

weeks. If rented together with the top apartment,

the combined rent is £480 per week, or £460 for

two or more weeks.

The area surrounding St Jeannet is ideal for

walking, climbing and picnics. The ancient

Roman cathedral town of Vence has excellent

restaurants, art galleries and a swimming pool.

There are also street markets on Tuesdays and

Fridays, delightful shops, library and English is

spoken in the banks and at the Tourist Information

Bureau. The sea is just a 30-minute drive from the

property and there are numerous quaint French

towns and villages within easy reach just waiting

to be explored!

Olga and John Moyle

Tel: 01584 890391 or 07876 242942 Email:

St Jeannet


Zip ‘n Steam®

Healthy Meals With Minimum Fuss

Trying to juggle the pressures of work with the demands of a young family can be tough, especially when it comes to planning healthy and nutritious meals.

We’re all encouraged to incorporate five portions of fruit and vegetables into our daily diet, but for those with busy lives it can be difficult to put together a healthy

meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

The Zip ‘n Steam is the ideal product for those who lead busy lives, but who also want to eat healthily. This fast and easy to use product means you’ll no longer

be tempted to live on takeaways or ready meals, so you can ensure you and your children get a healthy balanced diet.

Creating a delicious meal with minimum cooking

time couldn’t be easier, as the Zip ‘n Steam is

perfect for cooking a wide range of fresh or frozen

vegetables, fish and chicken in the microwave.

This fast and healthy cooking system locks in the

taste and natural goodness of your food, so now

you can cook delicious meals in minutes that taste

great and are healthy too.

Research carried out by Reasenheath College,

an independent research establishment, has

found that the Zip ‘n Steam allows food to retain

more vitamins and minerals than other cooking

methods. The tests found that when cabbage was

microwave steamed, 85% of the Vitamin C was

retained. As the most soluble of all the vitamins,

this percentage is usually lost when boiled in a


The Zip ‘n Steam has revolutionised steam

cooking within the UK since it was first created in

2004 and has become a regular feature in many

kitchens across Britain. Designed especially for

microwave use, the Zip ‘n Steam bags can be

used to cook food thoroughly and evenly, and

without cold spots. Marketing Executive, Lyn

Edwards, explains: “The Zip ‘n Steam acts as

a mini pressure cooker and has a valve which

allows the pressure to build up within the bag. This

method of cooking keeps all of the nutrients in,

instead of them being lost, making them a healthy

way to cook with no washing up.”

If you’re wondering where to get started the Zip

‘n Steam comes with handy instructions, as well

as recipe cards to give you some delicious ideas

to try out. There is also a recipe book by Jenny

Stacey available; ‘Steam for Life’ contains 23 tasty

dishes to try and costs only £4.99.

The bags are available in two different sizes. The

medium bags measure 8” by 10”, are ideal for two

to three servings and a pack of ten are available

for just £1.49. The large bags are perfect for

serving larger families and measure 10” by 10”,

with a pack of ten available for £1.99. From corn

on the cob with parsley to garlic and lemon cod,

steak tacos to chocolate apples, you can create

inspiring meals to tempt even the fussiest eaters.

Value bundles, including a mixture of medium and

large bags, are available in packs of 25 or 30.

The Zip ‘n Steam is also available in catering sized

packs, which are perfect for creating healthier

school dinners and as the bags are disposable,

there is no risk of bacterial transference. They can

also be used to store food for up to two days in a

refrigerator or for up to two weeks in the freezer.

The Aspire office has been converted to the

Zip ‘n Steam way of cooking after discovering

the product last year and have since awarded

creators, Excelsior Technologies, two Certificates:

a Certificate of Recognition for Product of the

Year 2010 and a Silver Annual Certificate of


Senior Sales Executive, Emily Davison, says:

“The instructions are simple and clear, which

makes the bags very easy to use, and the dish I

prepared was very tasty and filling. The bonus was

that there was very little washing up afterwards!

I would certainly recommend giving them a try

and if you’re not at home in the kitchen then they

certainly make cooking a lot easier.”

To order your Zip ‘n Steam bags or for more delicious recipe ideas, log onto

For more information call 01244 280916 or email

Look out for issue 159,

on the 19th April 2010

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