Martin Dalby - Aspire Magazine

Martin Dalby - Aspire Magazine




Martin Dalby

Martin has had a long and successful career writing

music for churches and choirs, solo singers, brass and

wind bands, chamber groups and orchestras.

For more information please see inside.

The Perfect Day

Prepare for your big day

with our wedding guide

Find the perfect break

north of the border with

Adventure Scotland

View this issue online at


Martin Dalby

Time, Clocks

and Brahms

© Copyright Martin Dalby 2012

Here is the duration of a second. Count its

length. You can’t. Even your pulse-rate cannot

guide you. The textbooks say that it should

lie between 60 and 100 beats per minute

depending on our recent activity or the state

of our health. Our fittest armies could march

at 120 paces each minute. That was after

the far more recent days when any army

could march successfully through the land. I

remember Billy Connolly lampooning a certain

inadequate Scottish song: “Marching through

the heather,” he complained. As I know to my

cost, “you cannae march through the heather.”

Film composers tend to write at 60 beats per

minute. It makes life easier in synchronising

the music with the events in the film. Yet even

BBC clocks’ counter-weight are faster down

the left-hand side and slower as they rise to the

right. Imagine the frustration to a composer

writing to the second. But guile can average all

that out.

Once we had GMT. Some joker endowed us with BST. I

was born on a Saturday at 1630 double British Summer

Time. (Did we believe that that would fool the German

bombers) Now we have adopted UTC. Harrison had long

before developed his clocks to determine the meridian of

longitude. I love him for that but the world wobbles in its

course. So our admiralty was confused in their purpose. Now

we have the atomic second but I fail to see how that helps

since the world’s tilt still wobbles. Somebody will explain

that to me one day.

Now, think of that second. Music travels horizontally helped

in its divisions and therefore its structures and purpose by

its harmonies and the rhythms by which they move. Take

the first four bars of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet. Simple but

arresting stuff. Approximately one beat equals one second.

There is a curl at the end of the opening phrase. Take care. It

will destroy you for this, though he may never have known

that this was his farewell to his writing of Chamber Music.

What a heart stopper it is

But here the magic begins and continues to the work’s end.

You can skip the “mathematics” that follow. {Music is after all

to be heard rather than read.) For me though it is important.

I told you of four simple opening bars. There are not four

— that is a deception. There are five. Brahms has placed a

repeat sign between bars four and five. I understand fully

the practical reason for his doing so. The work truly begins

at bar six with harmonies that break your heart. To increase

that emotional agony he stretches his original four bars to

eight. (Brahms was brilliant at this kind of thing as at the end

of the first movement of the Violin Concerto where the solo

violin rises higher and yet higher soaring to the rafters until

you realise it can lift its sound no further.)

But now I have lost the lass who was beside me when I

recorded the piece for the BBC. I have lost her name (a

totally distressing thought) though that moment stirred a

brief love for her in my heart. Our foolish laws dictated that

she should be shed from these islands because Australians

may work here for so long and no more. She overstayed the

mark and I lost her forever.

But I am left with a Clarinet Quintet by Brahms to catch

his death and maybe mine, to deliver me forward or

somewhere else and which draws a girl’s memory to me

with a quiet joy.

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Front cover image courtesy of

Martin Dalby

Editor: Claire Tipton

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3rd Floor Office, 29-35 St Nicholas Place,

Leicester LE1 4LD

Company Number: 06036102

2. Martin Dalby

3. Whittlebury Hall Reader Offer

4. Contents

6. Soul Sister

7. Music In The Park

8. Artists’ Profiles

12. The Perfect Day

14. Homes

15. Spearmint Rhino

16. Camping & Caravanning

18. Rambling Holidays

19. Somerset Spotlight

20. Adventure Scotland

22. Autism’s Got Talent

23. Martin Dalby


©VisitBritain / Daniel Bosworth

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Soul Sister

Tina Turner Musical Is Rollin’

Into Royal & Derngate

Soul Sister, the smash hit West End musical

inspired by the life and times of Ike and

Tina Turner, brings live music, electrifying

choreography and a whole lot of soul to Royal

& Derngate from Monday 6th to Saturday

11th May.

The original star of the sensational West End

production, with ‘a voice that could make your hair

stand on end’ (The Daily Telegraph), Emi Wokoma

plays Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush,

Tennessee. She is spotted by R&B bandleader Ike

Turner (Chris Tummings), who renames her and

schools her in the finer points of performance. Ike

and Tina’s professional partnership soars with hits

like Proud Mary and the groundbreaking River Deep

Mountain High, but behind the scenes, their marriage

crumbles as Ike’s controlling nature comes to the fore.

Soul Sister follows the highs, lows, passions and

heartbreak of Tina Turner’s life, as she battles her

way to superstardom and recognition as one of the

greatest solo artists of all time, with nine Grammy

wins and a place in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame. Full

of heart and soul, with stunning musical numbers

played by a live band including the fabulous ‘Ikettes’,

this critically-acclaimed show features all of the classic

hits, including What’s Love Got to Do With It, Nutbush

City Limits, Private Dancer, and of course, Simply the


Soul Sister is at Royal & Derngate from Monday 6th

to Saturday 11th May, with performances at 7:30pm,

and matinees at 2:30pm on Wednesday and Saturday.

Tickets are priced from £32.50 to £15, and can be

booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or


Fun for All the Family

at Music In The Park

Saturday 1st June 2013

Wistow is situated five miles south of Leicester,

signed from the A6 at Great Glen and Kibworth

and the A5199 at Kilby.

Gates open at 5:30pm. Music starts 7:30pm. Finale

& Grand Fireworks Display is at 10pm.

Music In The Park

This charity concert is held in the beautiful

grounds of Wistow Hall, by kind permission of

the Brooks family, and is a great night out for

all ages.

Bring your own picnic and enjoy a wonderful

evening listening to music by ‘Junction 21’ (an

18 piece swing band), and the award-winning,

all-female brass band ‘Boobs & Brass’. This is

then followed by a fabulous firework display

in front of Wistow Hall.

To see a 90-second video taken of the concert

last year, go to and click on

the arrow in the middle of the big picture of

Wistow Hall on the Home Page.

The concert is supporting LOROS (Hospice

Care for Leicestershire & Rutland), the

Prince’s Trust (helps change young lives), and

the Breast Cancer Campaign, which funds

research into breast cancer.


Adults £12.50 (On the night £15),

12-16yrs £5, Under 12s go FREE

FREE parking is available.

No fires or barbecues.

Wet or dry, the show goes on.

Credit Card Hotline:

0116 231 8431

For more info, please visit or ring

0116 231 8431

Tickets can be purchased from Baileys at Wistow Rural Centre and all 24 LOROS shops including Oadby,

Blaby, Market Harborough, Wigston, Leicester Market Place and Queens Road Bookshop.



Artists’ Profiles

Relaxing and educational, art

and craft hobbies are ideal for

those who want a pastime that

offers a sense of accomplishment,

whilst leaving you feeling calmer.

From drawing to painting, pottery to knitting,

there are a wealth of creative hobbies to try

and all of them come with added benefits.

According to the American Journal Medical

Association, who looked at the effects of

hobbies on heart rates, engaging in craft

activities during your leisure time can help to

lower stress levels. In their study, 30 female

heart patients were monitored whilst they

took part in a simple craft project and the

results showed significantly lower heart rates,

blood pressure and perspiration rates in all

the patients. So, whether you’re suffering from

work-related stress, have a hectic family life or

just want to learn to take life at a slower pace,

evidence has shown that a hobby can help to

distract you from the worries and pressures of


If you’re feeling creative and have always

wanted to give painting or drawing ago, pick

up some supplies and try your hand at creating

your own work of art. Painting is a great hobby

to have throughout the year as it can be enjoy

indoors or out; hobbies come in all shapes and

Creative Recycling Artist, Val Hunt,

Awarded Certificate of Recognition

Val Hunt creatively recycles drinks can metal.

From this she creates innovated sculptures, wall

hangings, hats and unusual jewellery. Despite

her use of manufactured materials, much of her

inspiration comes from natural forms. Val welcomes

commissions, however unusual and she especially

likes making birds and fish of any species.

'Reincarnated Rubbish' is Val's touring recycling

exhibition, which in on show in art galleries and museums

around the UK and aims to inspire everyone to experience

the fun of creative recycling.

sizes and are great for keeping our minds active,

stimulated and creative while away from work. A

recent study suggests that engaging in a hobby,

like knitting, making a patchwork quilt, or even

reading a book can delay the onset of dementia.

In the study from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota,

nearly 200 people ages 70 – 89 with mild

memory problems were compared to a group

who had no impairment. Researchers asked the

volunteers about their daily activities within

the past year, and how mentally active they had

been from 50 – 65-years-old; those who had

been busy reading or engaging in craft hobbies

had a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.

You don’t have to travel far to find something of

beauty worth painting, as local parks, churches

and trails are guaranteed provide a great place

to start. If you’re looking to travel further afield,

the glorious scenery of Scotland and the sunny

south coast are fabulous for painting, drawing

and more adventurous activities to combine

with your art.

As most of us now own digital cameras, with

access to instant images of the landscape

we’ve just captured, we often ignore the

true beauty and detail when admiring views

of the countryside. The only way to truly

appreciate the beauty in our everyday lives

and our surroundings is to paint it. Taking

time to delicately paint or draw the landscape

before you is the best way to truly take in your

surroundings and ensure you notice every detail

of what’s right in front of you.

The closest many of us come to including art

in our holidays is by visiting national galleries

and museums, and taking in the most famous

pieces of work. With over eight million visitors

each year, The Louvre (Musée du Louvre) in

Paris, France is the most visited art gallery

in the world. Home to 35,000 works of art -

including Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ – it’s

not hard to see why it attracts so many art

fans each year. The Louvre beats the next most

visited art gallery by over two million visitors;

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

welcomes over six million visitors through its

doors each year, closely followed in third by The

British Museum in London, which sees over 5.8

million people looking to soak up some art.

The art world can be intimidating, but there’s

something in every art gallery and museum that

everyone can enjoy. In fact, a recent study by

Harris Interactive found that people are happier

when they spend money on experiences rather

than material purchases, which is why the

admission price to any art gallery is money

well spent. Many art galleries and museums

are busiest at the weekend so if you want to

take your time and enjoy looking at the art in a

quieter setting, it’s best to avoid the weekend


Discover Your

Creative Side

Lyn is an accomplished

caricaturist, portrait artist

and illustrator specialising

in coloured and graphite

pencil drawing. She has had

20 years experience working

with the public and many

years’ creating commissions

from clients own photographs.

She has worked as an on-thespot

caricaturist at events

and craft fairs all across

the North East of Scotland

and is also skilled in very

detailed artwork from clients

own photographs.

Lyn creates breathtakingly

realistic drawings that you

won’t be able to take your

eyes off.

Liz Knox

Liz Knox has evolved her own style

and painterly language to create

instantly recognisable works held

in many collections throughout the

world. Her paintings are passionate

and atmospheric. By creating

recognisable images and abstract

marks in a setting and painting a

subjective response to the source at a

particular moment, Knox is rewriting

the still life perspective.

Work may be seen in a solo exhibition

at The Edinburgh Gallery until 25th

May and from 5th – 24th September

at Catto Gallery, London.

Bridget's influences come principally

from the classical forms of European

and Oriental ceramics.

These influences have come together in

assured forms and technical concepts,

to which she adds refined and

individual touches.

Her work ranges from wide, open

bowls to teapots & caddies with some

pieces having innovative decorative

detailing in precious metals, hand

worked by the artist. All of her pieces

are graced with a subtlety of finish

and sophistication of glaze colour that

makes them very collectable & much

sought after.

Upper Buckenhill Farmhouse, Fownhope,

Hereford HR1 4PU

Tel: 01432 860411 | Email:

Having worked for the past 25 years as a professional craft

maker, Val is delighted to be awarded an Aspire Certificate

of Recognition for Environmental Art and Design. Aspire

Sales Executive, Lee Matthews nominated Val for this

Certificate because of her unique use of unwanted

materials. Lee said: “Val’s work is so unique; I’ve never seen

anything like it before. I think it’s a great way to make use

of unwanted items and to make something beautiful from

something ugly. I wish Val lots of luck in the future.”

'Val Hunt in her studio illustrated by her daughter Lucy'

Tel: 02476 415087 | Email: | Web:




Artists’ Profiles

Fascinated by colour, texture and light, Maureen

Jordan started her career as an exhibition designer,

having trained at Hull Art College, before becoming

an interior and graphic designer. She’s now an

independent, self-taught pastels artist with a host of

exhibitions and awards under her belt.

Maureen says: “Colour and

texture have always fascinated

me, as has light, whether it’s its

effect on flowers, landscapes

or figures. I find it fascinating

that apparently simple images

can be incredibly different due

to variations in light level, light

direction and reflections. All my

work is a struggle to capture those


I was a freelance interior and graphic designer for many

years, and enjoyed selecting colours and materials for shops,

exhibitions, offices and hotel

refurbishments - whether it

was rough tiles for a restaurant,

knobbly fabric for an office

reception to shimmering silks for

a luxury apartment.

A Closer Look at



Picturesque Pastels

from Maureen Jordan SBA

“Now as a full time artist, I’m

constantly experimenting with

vibrant pastels sometimes mixing

them with watercolour and or

acrylics and metallics creating

stunning effects of bold colour

and texture. I am totally selftaught

but I believe that my

experience as a designer has

a significant influence on my

current work; I like pictures that

have a sense of design.

“My flower pictures have been

reproduced by publishers on

cards and prints and are sold

worldwide. Images from my one

woman show in New York have been reproduced by Amcal

in California for their 1998, 1999 and 2001 calendars and an

associated range of greetings cards. For 2002, they printed a

wall calendar, a perpetual calendar and cards.

“Life drawing is another passion

and at present I am exploring light

effects, reflections and movement

of the figure. Four of these images

have now been produced as

limited edition prints and are

being sold worldwide.”

Maureen has work in private

collections in the UK, France,

Jersey, America, Australia, South

Africa, Hong Kong, Tiawan and Japan. Aspire readers have

the opportunity to see her work at Earsham Street Gallery

(NR35 1AQ) in Suffolk until Friday May 3rd and as part of

‘Florum 2013’ at the Kent Wildlife Trust Sevenoaks Reserve

With a passion for colour,

embroidery and creating

beautiful textiles, Nicola Haigh

produces fascinators, brooches,

watercolour paintings and

silk batik scarves, all from her

studio in Orleton, near Ludlow in


Nicola told Aspire: “I did a BA (hons) degree

in fashion and textiles with embroidery as my

main focus in the late 1970s, before going on

to do a teacher training course in Art. I spent

the next 30 years teaching art but always kept

up with my own artwork. It was important

for me to show my enthusiasm and passion

for art to my students, hopefully to inspire

them. Over the years, I have taken over the

garage and then the building next to it with

my studio, so it’s now a lovely studio where

I really enjoy working. I do a little teaching

here and there these days but I spend most

of my time producing my own artwork or

working on commissions, that is, when I’m

not busy with my daughter, who is recently

newly married and expecting her first baby.

“A lot of my commissions are for brides,

mothers-of-the-bride and other wedding

guests who want a unique, bespoke

fascinator or brooch. I can match any colour

outfit to create something that complements

whatever you’re wearing.

“I still teach on Wednesday mornings, from

(TN13 3DH) in September. Maureen added: “I have been a

member of the Society of Botanical Artists for many years

and was recently awarded several awards at their annual

exhibition in Westminster including ‘The President’s Award’

for paintings in pastel in 2012. My work is shown in various

mixed and shared exhibitions in London and occasionally

outside London. For many years I have shared a two man

show at the Llewellyn Alexander gallery. I also had a solo

show at Jensen Fine Arts, New York and took part in a mixed


Further information about Maureen, as well as examples

of her work, can be found online at:

Alternatively, you can call Maureen on 01473 278122 or


10am until 1pm, but it’s very informal and

relaxed. I never take more than four people

and we work on a variety of things. At the

moment, I am working with two ladies who

started off learning watercolour techniques

but we’ve moved onto batik, so I’m happy to

teach whatever the student wants to learn.

There is lots of idea generating and lots of

coffee consumption; it’s great fun.”

Nicola is gearing up to show her work as part

of an exhibition with the Shropshire Guild,

aptly titled ‘Showing Off’, at The Harley Centre

in Ludlow. She currently sells her silk batik

scarves locally. She said: “I love batik work;

I think it is my favourite thing to do. I love

how unpredictable batik is – you really don’t

know exactly what you’re going to get until

you melt that wax. It reminds me of ceramics

when I was a school teacher – you never

really knew what to expect when you opened

the kiln door and batik is the same. I love the

colours and I love the results. I do get bored

quite easily, which is why I like to experiment

with watercolours and textiles too. Lately, I

have been combining my textile embroidery

and watercolour work and I’m loving the


For further information on Nicola’s work,

please visit her website:

Alternatively, to discuss a commission

with Nicola, or to arrange a visit to her

studio, please call 01568 780843 or email

Art For All, from Janene Elise Pike

Based in Cambridgeshire,

Janene Pike is a recent

Fine Art BA (Hons)

graduate from the

Cambridge School of Art.

Looking to find her way in

the art world, both locally

and nationally, Janene’s

work focuses on exploring

the realities of everyday

life, juxtaposing the trivia,

the tragedy and all the

moments in between.

Janene told Aspire: “I’ve always

enjoyed art and being creative,

but I assumed that it would just

be a hobby. I pictured a career in

computers, but when it came to

my GCSEs, I decided that actually

I didn’t enjoy working with

computers, so I chose to follow

the art path instead. As well as

my Fine Art degree, I also have a

National Diploma in Textiles and a

Certificate of Higher Education in

Textiles: Surface and Mixed Media.

“My approach to creating artwork

is eclectic. I use a multitude of

processes and techniques, from

fabric manipulation to digital

manipulation. I think it works

really well to combine my three

artistic passions: painting, textiles

and photography. I pulled them

all together in the final year of

my degree and have not looked

back. It works well to manipulate

my work on the computer, plus

it means I can put a lot of my

artwork into houses, an element

that features heavily in my work.

“I like to place much of my artwork

into houses. I think it’s because

this instantly makes my work

relatable to many people, plus it

allows me to explore rooms and

feelings together. . The meaning

of the home has captured my

imagination from a very early age

and still holds a deep fascination

for me. As a wheelchair user, my

work sometimes includes aspects

of disability, but my main aim is

to appeal to a wide audience, to

make my work relevant to as many

people as I can, even if it is not

perceived in the way I originally

intended. Everyone experiences

both good and bad in their lives

and my artwork aims to portray

this through colour, texture, form

and abstraction. It’s important

to me to include meaning in

everything I do and to use my

artwork to help me make sense of

the world.”

Janene will be opening up her

studio to the general public as part

of the Cambridge Open Studios

on the first, second and fourth

weekends of July. Visitors are

welcome by appointment during

the rest of the year. Janene’s list of

past exhibitions includes: Wicken

Flower festival in August 2009,

First Shop in Cambridge in April

2010, two exhibits at the Ruskin

Gallery Balcony in 2011, ‘Not

Too High, Not Too Low’ at the

Cambridge School of Art in March

2012, New Dynamics Degree

Show at the Ruskin Gallery in June

2012 and Wysing Young Artists:

Changing Spaces Pop Up Gallery at

the Grafton Centre Cambridge in

August 2012.

“I like to tell a story with my

artwork, but it is for the viewer

to decide what the story is. I

know what I feel the story is, but

I want them to draw their own

conclusions from my work and

to come up with their own story,

based on their individual life

experiences. I have a lot of artwork

for sale and I am also open to

commissions. I would like to set

up a charity with the proceeds of

my artwork. I have had my funding

for physiotherapy cut and the NHS

cannot consistently accommodate

my needs, so I know that if this

affects me, it must affect a lot of

other people too. Long-term, I

want to set up a charity that will

help fill the void. I would love to

hear from any Aspire readers who

have experience with setting up a

charity or anyone who can help me

with this,” Janene added.

For further information, or to arrange a viewing of Janene’s work, please contact her:

Tel: 07917 151955





The Perfect Day

Going To The Chapel…

Dance The

Night Away

Whimsical weddings and vintage brides were big in 2012, as were the

engagement shoot, the candy table and the white bridesmaid dress (thanks

Pippa!). If you’ve recently taken the plunge and got engaged, Aspire would like

to offer our ‘Congratulations’ to the happy couple. However, once the initial glow

has died down and your face no longer aches from smiling 24 hours a day, it’s

time to get planning, and you’ll need to plan carefully to avoid starting married

life in debt.

Step 1 – Decide On Your Date

Unless you’re planning a long engagement, you’ll need to decide upon a preferred date

to tie the knot. There's a popular folklore rhyme that claims your marriage will take on

certain characteristics depending on the month you chose to tie the knot:

January - Marry when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true,

February - When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate,

March - If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know,

April - Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man,

May - Marry in the month of May, you will romance the day,

June - Marry when June roses grow and over land and sea you'll go,

July - Those who in July do wed must labour for their daily bread,

August - Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see,

September - Marry in September's shine so that your life is rich and fine,

October - If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry,

November - If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember!

December - When December's snows fall fast, marry and your love will last.

Step 2 – Work Out Your Budget

With the average wedding costing around £18,500 (

average-wedding-cost), it’s easy to get carried away when planning your wedding, but

Level 1

The Perfect Party Venue

As Leicester city centre’s premier events venue, De Montfort University’s

Level 1 promises a party to remember. Spacious, modern and affordable,

the venue is a fantastic location for celebrations of any kind, from weddings

to birthdays, engagements to anniversaries to suit any budget. Recent new

addition, The Factory, has been fully refurbished and is ready to welcome

you for those special milestone celebrations.

With a fully stocked bar, attractive drinks prices and free onsite parking,

Level 1 are sure to help your party go with a bang. Located close to the

city centre, Level 1 has a standing capacity of 1,000 and can cater for 180

seated guests.

For that individual touch, the venue also provides entertainment and décor

to suit your requirements. Tariffs are set at a competitive rate.

Contact Will directly on 0116 255 5576 ext 332 or email

Alternatively, contact Chris Hackett on 0116 257 6300 or email

De Montfort Students’ Union Ltd | Campus Centre Building | Mill Lane | Leicester | LE2 7DR

by setting your budget early on, you can avoid spending more than you can afford. In

order to save for your special day, it’s advisable to open a ‘wedding bank account’ so any

spare cash, other than your planned monthly wedding savings, can be put straight into

this account – the pounds will soon add up and you might be able to afford more than

you imagined!

Step 3 – Choose Your Venue

The venue you choose for your wedding day all depends on the type of ceremony you’d

like. A marriage ceremony is basically the same whether you opt for a religious or civil

affair: it’s a public declaration of your love for one another and it will give you new,

legal status as husband and wife. Begin by combing the area, visiting every venue that

takes your fancy – after all, the venue is an important part of your day. It will form the

backdrop for your photographs (the lasting memory of your special day), set the tone

and atmosphere for the whole day and hopefully create wonderful lasting memories

with your guests.

The UK’s largest wedding spectacular The National Wedding Show is already gearing up

for the autumn shows, taking place on 27th – 29th September at Earl’s Court, London

and on 4th – 6th October at Birmingham NEC, providing the ultimate inspiration for

engaged couples nationwide planning their perfect day.

For those dreaming of a traditional fairytale wedding, seeking more of a cutting

edge and contemporary affair, or even planning a destination wedding, The National

Wedding Show is the ultimate shopping destination, with 250 wedding experts from

stunning wedding gowns to show stopping flowers, leading photographers to bespoke

accessories, delicious cakes to dream honeymoons and groomswear to mother of the

bride. For more information visit the National Wedding Show website

We specialise in a range of exquisite,

handmade Swarovski crystal tiaras

and headbands, wedding rings, bridal

jewellery, bride and grooms gifts and

beautiful gifts to say a very special,

‘thank you’, to your wedding party.

All our items have been carefully

handpicked, paying particular

attention to quality and fine detail, the

perfect complement to your wedding



Monday Closed

Tuesday 10am – 4pm

Wednesday 10am – 4pm

Thursday Closed

Friday 10am – 4pm

Saturday 10am – 5pm

Sunday Closed

7 Commonwealth House, Montreal Road, Tilbury, Essex RM18 7QX

Tel: 01375 401302 / 07948 209456

Wedding Band consultations are by appointment only. Tiaras,

Bridal Jewellery, Accessories, Wedding Party Keepsakes and much more.

Founded in 2008, The Distractions

are a group of musical friends

who offer a selection of musical

packages for weddings, private

parties and corporate events

within 200 miles of their base

in Derbyshire. Aspire are so

impressed with their sound and

extensive repertoire that we’ve

awarded them Aspire’s Certificate

of Recognition for Music &

Entertainment 2013.

Current band manager and drummer,

Joseph Malik, told Aspire about the band’s

history: “The original band members, myself,

the lead vocalist, Lydia, and our guitarist,

Lawrence, all met at music college in

Coventry, Nexus Trust. We founded the band

a year after meeting and began playing at

functions across the Midlands. Over the last

four years, we’ve relied on word-of-mouth

recommendations to get work, but we

decided earlier this year that it was time

to put a bit more time and money into the

band and now we have over 40 gigs booked

for this year.”

The Distractions are not your average

function band, nor are they a tribute band.

They range from a single to a seven piece

band, and are available for your whole

day or just part of your event. They are

fully insured, qualified musicians and their

equipment is PAT tested. They have a range

of pre-made packages, starting from £695

rising to £2,195, but they’re happy to tailor

make a package that suits your individual

requirements and/or budget.

On hearing the news of our Certificate of

Recognition for Music & Entertainment

2013, Joseph said: “We’re honoured to

be chosen to receive this recognition; it’s

unbelievable. We’ve had an amazing year

and it’s wonderful to know that people think

we’re actually good and that we’re actually

worth investing in. We’re overwhelmed

with everything we’ve achieved this year

and we’re very grateful to everyone who

has booked us to perform and even those

people who have enquired about us. We’re

looking for an even better 2013.”

Aspire Assistant Sales Manager, Emma

Cross, added: “There are so many ‘function’


bands out there that just don’t do it for

me, but hearing The Distractions showed

me what good bands should sound like.

I hope this Certificate of Recognition

encourages Aspire readers to head over to

the website and listen to The Distractions

for themselves.”

The Distractions main aim to provide their

clients with a musical experience that can

be customised to their individual, personal

requirements and tailored to suit their

budget, size of venue or time constraints.

The band’s secondary aim is to use a

percentage of their profits to improve the

lives of disadvantaged people in the UK.

Joseph explained: “Obviously, we want

each and every client to have exactly what

they want for their function, whether it’s a

birthday party, corporate event or wedding

day. We can do pretty much anything, but

when it comes to weddings we know that

we need to have an extensive repertoire

in order to cater for all the guests. This is

why we can play jazz, pop, funk, Motown

classics, blues and rock and roll. Although

it’s important to cater for the bride and

groom, we know that the couple won’t be

happy if each one of their guests doesn’t get

up to dance for at least one song, so we try

to cater for every taste.

“Lawrence and I chose a charity each that

we wanted to donate 10% of our profits to.

Lawrence lives in Cambridge, so he chose

Jimmy’s Night Shelter, a night shelter that

provides emergency accommodation and

care for those who would otherwise be

homeless in the city of Cambridge. I live

in Derby, so I chose The Hope Centre Food

Bank, who provide food parcels for people

in need throughout the city of Derby; it

is partnered with the local church who

provide the storage space and access for the


For more information, or to enquire

about availability, please visit our

website or

call Joseph on 07977 991235

Jimmy’s Night Shelter:

The Hope Centre Food Bank:




Spearmint Rhino

Home Sweet Home

Mortgage rates are expected

to fall further over the coming

months, according to the Bank of

England. The Bank said borrowing

rates for homeowners fell in the

first quarter of 2013, for the third

quarter in a row. This comes after

the latest figures from the Bank of

England revealed that the number

of mortgage approvals in the UK

fell to a five-month low in February.

The Bank said there were 51,653

mortgage approvals in February, the

lowest since September last year.

The news from the Bank of England comes

despite other recent signs of a pick-up in

the housing market, with both the Halifax

and the Nationwide reporting increasing

prices. The number of mortgages available

in the market has increased and some

mortgage rates have fallen.

Historically ‘the beating heart of the

housing market’, first-time buyers have

struggled to save deposits big enough to

get them on that first rung of the property

ladder over the past four years. The latest

figures from Redrow are great news for any

homeowners looking to sell their property

and move up the ladder.

Many homeowners have been forced to

adopt an ‘improvements culture’ since

the housing market crashed in 2008.

According to a survey of estate agents,

carried out by Rics in early 2012, more

and more homeowners are following this

trend, hoping to add value to their home

rather than moving. Rics discovered that

the best ways to increase the value of your

home was with the addition of another

bedroom, closely followed by a new

kitchen or bathroom.

To achieve a homely, lived-in feel, why

not invest in some antique furniture.

Furniture plays a big part in creating the

right atmosphere and feel to any home, so

if you’re going for the ‘period look’ make

sure you invest in some furniture that

complements this. Antique furniture can

emphasise the character of your home, so

when shopping for furniture, avoid mass

manufactured tat. Not only is antique

furniture of a higher quality than today’s

substandard furnishings, but it will also

increase in value the longer you own it.

If you’re looking to update your home, it’s

worth working out what you can afford

to spend and stick to it. It’s amazing what

a fresh lick of paint can do – if you want

to make the accessories stand out, or

make the scheme easy to change, opt for

a neutral colour, but if you want to make

a statement, choose a colour you love

and complement it with natural/neutral

furniture that can be used time and time

again. Filling your home with personal

mementoes ensures your house always

feels like home.

C’est La Vie!

Crammed full of vintage shabby

chic accessories, vintage kitchen

accessories, home interior accessories

and a selection of wonderful home

gifts, Belle La Vie is a fabulous and

unique online shop.

The brain-child of Debbie Bowler, Belle La Vie

went live online in September 2012 with the

aim of bringing shabby chic, vintage items

with a splash of colour to homes across Britain.

Based in Derbyshire, Debbie hopes to open

a Belle La Vie shop this summer, but for now,

Belle La Vie is exclusively online:

“It is extremely important to me that my

customers get exceptional service, right down

to their use of the website, the quality of their

purchase, a fair price and the receipt of their

product. It doesn’t matter whether someone

spends £2.99 or £100; each customer is very

important to me. Being an online service, I

don’t get to see or talk with my customers, but

that doesn’t mean the service should fall below

par; I want my customers to enjoy shopping

with Belle La Vie and I want to enjoy selling to

them,” Debbie told Aspire.

Sourced from trade fairs across the country,

as well as independent designers, Belle La Vie

boasts a unique range of products such as

candle holders, frames, cushions, tableware

signs and plaques etc. “Choosing products

for Belle La Vie has proved quite challenging,”

explained Debbie, “not everyone finds

accessorising their home easy, therefore, we

want the products to blend well together on

the website enabling the customer to easily

choose products to make their house a home.

We stock decorative shabby chic products

as well as retro/vintage accessories which

all complement one another.” To make the

shopping experience with Belle La Vie stress

free, items have been separated into room

categories on the website.

Tried &


For further info, please call Debbie on 01335 361025

or email



Camping & Caravanning

Close to the town of Woodbridge we

are a small family-run touring park

©VisitBritain / Rod Edwards

Carry On


Covering 152,033 square miles, Great

Britain has an abundance of places to

discover and explore. A holiday within

the British Isles would allow you to not

only avoid the stress of going abroad,

but also discover some of the magical,

mystical and down-right spectacular

places on this Isle we call home.

Are you watching the pennies or looking for a greener

getaway If so, the UK is the place to stay for a holiday.

Providing couples and families of all ages with a

cheap and cheerful, fun-filled break, with no passport

required, caravan and camping holidays have made a

major comeback.

As a self-catering, no frills alternative to a package

holiday, camping and caravanning breaks offer the

chance of an enjoyable holiday that won’t break the

bank. In recent years, the economic climate has made

us all more aware of every penny we spend, so to

ensure you and your loved ones can still enjoy quality

time together on an annual holiday, opt for a caravan

or camping break.

Camping and caravanning breaks don’t have to be

the back to basics experiences they once were and

they certainly don’t mean going without. Recognising

that many people want all their home comforts,

most sites now provide electric hook-ups for tents

and caravans, so whether you can’t live without your

hair straighteners or want some proper lighting, it’s

easier than ever to find the pitch that’s right for you.

If you’re a camping novice, there is a unique and

recent creation for you to try out; rent-a-tent options

may cost a little extra but they will leave your holiday

hassle-free and ready to enjoy your break.

With locations up and down the country, caravanning

and camping offer no restrictions and with so much

choice, you can go as near or far as you like. Aspire

have five top recommendations for you to consider

this summer…


With an array of traditional seaside towns littered

with knick-knack souvenir shops, plenty of farmers

markets to explore and numerous attractions, old and

new, to keep the whole family entertained, Norfolk

is the perfect destination for a camping break at any

time of the year. Why not sample the beauty of North

Norfolk’s Heritage Coast with a trip to Hunstanton,

Wells-next-the Sea or Sheringham and any seaside

villages in between. This stretch of coastline is an

excellent place for birdwatching, fossil hunting and

exploring the various walking trails.


For family fun and animal attractions head to Surrey,

where you will find the British Wildlife Centre, Bocketts

Farm Park and Birdworld, which are all guaranteed

to keep kids entertained. Learn about our country’s

wonderful array of wildlife and see more than 40

different species in their natural setting, including

deer, foxes, birds of prey and the beautiful red squirrel

at the Wildlife Centre.


For those who love the great outdoors, birdwatching

is the perfect way to see a bit more of the countryside

and a whole host of different species. Suffolk is a

hotspot for birdwatchers and offers one of the very

best opportunities for twitching during autumn,

winter and spring months. Each season offers a

unique twitching experience, as a variety of birds from

all over the world are drawn to the east coast. Worldrenowned,

thanks to its connection with Benjamin

Britten, founder of the Aldeburgh Festival which takes

place in June each year, Aldeburgh is as perfect a

traditional seaside escape as you could hope to find.

Pastel-coloured 19th century holiday villas line the


Isle of Wight

The stunning, unspoilt scenery and wealth of

attractions to entertain the whole family make the

Isle of Wight the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing

break any time of the year. With over 60 miles of

coastline, half of which is ‘Heritage Coast’, the Isle

of Wight has some of the country’s best beaches,

perfect for building sandcastles, swimming in the sea

and generally watching the world go by. There are

currently 13 award-winning beaches on the Island,

including Ryde Beach, Compton Bay, Yaverland Beach

and, Aspire favourite, Shanklin Beach which forms

part of Sandown Bay. Not only is Shanklin Beach only

a short walk away from the centre of town, during the

summer season, it is machine cleaned and litter picked

on a daily basis, ensuring it’s as safe as a beach can be

for you and your family. In fact, it is so clean that large

amounts of seaweed are removed and taken to local

farmers for use as compost.


With three stunning National Parks, covering a

combined area of 4122 square kilometres – that’s a

whopping 20% of the total land area of the country –

Wales is full of wide open spaces, history, wildlife and

breathtaking scenery. Walking the 186 miles (299km)

of Coastal Path is the perfect way to see the beauty

of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park; however, it’s

a strenuous undertaking that’ll take 10 to 15 days to

complete. Luckily there is a bus service for one-day

hikes or for linking multi-day walks together. However,

walking the Coast Path isn’t the only way to enjoy

Pembrokeshire; its stunning coastline offers safe,

sandy beaches for families, it’s a haven for outdoor

adrenaline junkies and wildlife enthusiasts and the

area’s fascinating past is ever-present in prehistoric

tombs, Celtic crosses, Iron Age Hill Forts, Norman

castles, medieval churches, Victorian forts and historic

towns and villages. Pembroke Castle is an enormous

oval-shaped stone fortress which was built in 1189.

Having been extensively restored during the Victorian

era, the Castle now proudly displays historical exhibits

and has a maze of tunnels, stairs and towers that are

just waiting to be explored.

Since the 2008 recession, caravanning and camping

breaks have enjoyed something of a revival. With

so many households watching every penny, now’s

the perfect time to invest in a static caravan on a

picturesque caravan site. A great investment for your

money, not only can you enjoy your new holiday

home whenever the mood takes you, you can also

rent it out to friends and family and even strangers

looking for a budget UK break.

Boasting so much freedom and the chance to

experience something new, it’s easy to see why

camping and caravanning holidays are back in vogue.


Hidden away in lush meadows

surrounding Park Farm, our campsite

offers a safe and peaceful base from

which to explore Norfolk.

The campsite is simple and no frills but

has modern facilities, masses of space

and allows campfires. There is also

free fishing on the banks of the River

Wensum, which is on the edge of the

farm estate.

For families this is an excellent venue,

with a huge amount of space even in the

summer - great for kids to enjoy a game

of football or to play. There is a swing

and small wood to explore too.

In the nearby village there is an excellent

pub, deli, butchers and small grocers.

The area also enjoys many footpaths

and quiet lanes, which offer enjoyable

routes for walking or cycling around the

Wensum valley.

Park Farm, Swanton Morley, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 4JU

Tel: 01362 637 950

8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday & 10am - 6pm Sundays


Run Cottage Touring Park,

Alderton Road, Hollesley,

Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3RQ

Close to the town of Woodbridge we are a small family-run

touring park with 20 pitches.

Set in a 2.5 acre parkland setting with a large pond and views over open

farmland, we offer peace and tranquillity.

A place to escape the hustle and bustle of today’s busy lifestyle.

• All electric hook-ups

• Six all-weather caravan pitches

• Open all year • Two-acre dog exercise area

• Toilet & shower block • Chemical disposal point

• Tourist information area • 1.5 miles from shingle beach

• Village shop & pub within easy walking distance

Hendre Eynon Caravan

and Camping Site

Camping at its best, surrounded by nature

at its best. Ideal for family holidays, we are

pleased to welcome back visitors year after


We provide a simple style family-run site on

a working dairy farm. Perfect for families,

with sheltered numbered perimeter

pitches, most with 10amp electric hook-ups

and with the area in front left free, means

there’s lots of space to play.

We are just 2 miles from St Davids with its

magnificent cathedral and are within easy

reach of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

and fine sandy beaches.

Facilities include toilet blocks, family

shower rooms and laundry room.

Apps Court Farm has over 80 acres of

grassland and is a fabulous place to stay

within easy reach of the London and

many tourist attractions in the South East,

including Hampton Court Palace, Windsor

Castle, CWOA, Thorpe Park and Legoland.

The campsite has direct access to the

River Thames, providing great cycling and

walking routes and there are excellent

riverside pubs and restaurants within easy


The campsite has both electric and nonelectric

pitches, toilet and shower facilities,

fresh water and elsan points. Activities

available onsite include fishing, archery,

dog agility, quad biking and mini tanks.

Tel: 01394 411 309 | Email:

Hendre Eynon Caravan and Camping

Site, St.Davids, Pembrokeshire SA62 6DB

Tel: 01437 720474


Prices start from £10 p/n

01932 244822



Rambling Holidays

Somerset Spotlight

Discover the Very

Ramble On!

Top Recommendation

Bala Bunkhouse

The Coach House & Little Cottage

A 20-bed bunkhouse and six bed selfcontained

Bunk Room


©VisitBritain / Daniel Bosworth

Walking is one of Britain’s favourite hobbies, and is great for

boosting circulation and improving energy levels. You can enjoy

a walk anywhere and whatever the weather; if it's raining, don't

be put off, grab a coat and wellies and get out there. The whole

family can come too as the kids will love jumping in the puddles.

You don’t need a lot of expensive, high-tech equipment to enjoy

a walk either, just a pair of comfy shoes or trainers!

Walking is an excellent form of exercise that not only burns

calories (in fact a brisk walk burns the same amount of calories as

a run over the same distance), but also builds stamina, helps beat

stress, lowers your blood pressure, and can cut your risk of heart

disease by up to 50%. It’s also good for bones and muscles and

helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk of some

cancers… and it’s FREE!

We’re spoilt for choice on places to ramble in this country thanks

to our variety of landscapes and environments. The Aspire region

has many parks and national trails for you to explore – places such

as Bradgate Park, Rutland Water, and Brixworth Country Park are

all great places to enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll, even in the

cool, crisp winter air!

When planning a walk always remember to check the weather

and choose your route carefully. Be sure to wear appropriate

clothing and footwear, and if you’re planning to be out and about

all day, remember to take plenty of spare layers as the weather

can change quickly. You should also consider packing a small first

aid kit and a torch in case of emergency.

If you’re interested in having a go, but don’t want to commit to a

walking holiday, the National Forest Walking Festival runs from

18th – 30th May 2013, this popular walking festival has something

for everyone. With more than 80 varied walks, the Festival is the

best way to discover rolling English countryside, dissected by

meandering rivers and canals, dotted with picturesque historic

villages; from a gentle stroll, walks for the whole family, walks

suitable for wheelchair users, to longer more strenuous rambles

for keen walkers, the packed programme has something to suit

you! Exciting additions to this year’s Festival, the fifth annual, are

the first Night Walk and a Photography Walk on which you can

pick up tips that might make you the next David Bailey!

If you’re new to walking, why not visit, where you’ll find loads of tips on how to

get started and increase your fitness slowly and steadily. There’s

even a personalised 12-week programme for you to get involved


Less than two miles from Bala on the

edge of Snowdonia National Park, Bala

Bunkhouse is only a few minutes’ drive

from the lake and white water centre. The

Bunk House is a converted 18th Century

Welsh stone building. It is set back from

the road in over an acre of picturesque

grounds bounded by a river and a stream.

Modernised to provide accommodation

for outdoor activity groups, it is light,

airy and comfortable with night storage


There is a large lounge/dining area

and bunk rooms for 2, 4 and 8 plus

annexe for 6. Plus a self-contained

Bunk Room sleeping 6. Separate ladies

and gentleman's toilets have washing

areas and hot showers. There is a fullyequipped,

large self-catering kitchen.

Off-road private parking and a barbecue.

Tel: 01678 520738


Period Rooms dating from colonial

times to the Civil War, including

Quilts, Folk Art, and Native

American craft.

23rd March - 3rd November

Gangsters and Gunslingers


Full admission or gardens-only

admission available.

Dogs on leads are welcome in

the gardens.

American Museum in Britain

Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD

01225 460503

of Somerset

Did You Know

• The West Somerset Railway is the

longest preserved steam railway in

the country

• Cheddar cheese is produced and

originates from the village of Cheddar

• Taunton was the first town in the

country to be lit permanently by

electric street lighting in 1881

• There are 23 golf courses in Somerset

• Somerset means 'land of the summer


Orchard Stable, Orchard Cottage and

Gardeners Cottage are ideally situated for

exploring Devon, only three miles from the

Atlantic Highway giving access to a wealth of

popular attractions, the Atlantic coast and its

many beaches and within easy reach of the

rugged landscapes of Dartmoor, Exmoor and

Bodmin Moor.

For shopping, the popular market towns of

Bideford and Torrington, with their famous

pannier markets, are close by offering an array

of good pubs, shops and restaurants. The

villages of Buckland Brewer and Littleham are a

short drive away and both offer a good village

pub, plus the larger town of Barnstaple and the

city of Exeter are all within an hour’s drive.

Alternatively, bring your own or hire bicycles

and cycle traffic-free on the converted railway

track known as the Tarka Trail and stop for a

drink or bite to eat at one of the many watering

holes en route.

Orchard Farm, Monkleigh, Bideford, Devon EX39 5LQ

Tel: 01237 478943 or Mob: 07800 809162

Hostel in Isle of Arran, Brodick,

Perfectly located in the centre of

Lamlash, the Aldersyde Bunkhouse

is ideal for a base for anyone on a

budget to explore this magnificent


Aldersyde Bunkhouse offers disabledfriendly

accommodation on the Isle

of Arran. Our bunkhouse features

a wide range of disabled access

features including ramps, wheelchairs,

disabled showers and much more.

Based in Lamlash, Isle of Arran, our

accommodation is open to all of the

general public worldwide. Our bunk

house can sleep up to 24 people and

also offers beautiful surroundings,

which are consistent with the rest of

this lovely island.

Aldersyde, Lamlash,

Isle of Arran KA27 8LS

Phone/fax: 01770 600959




‘Fantastic cottage, beautifully presented in

a lovely village with amazing coastline'

Situated in the charming and popular

village of St Agnes, Whitegate offers

stylish and comfy accommodation for

up to 4 people (plus cot). Within easy

reach of the stunning rugged Cornish

section of the SW Coast Path, the

Cornish World Heritage Area, as well

as the Eden Project and a multitude

of renowned gardens, Whitegate is an

ideal base for exploring historic and

picturesque Cornwall.

A cosy traditional miners cottage,

updated to combine comfort with

convenience, Whitegate boasts hotelgrade

mattresses, a wood burner, Wi-Fi

broadband and two double bedrooms,

plus a well-equipped kitchen. A warm

Cornish welcome awaits!

Tel: 01872 553109


Whatever the time of year,

Somerset makes a great place

to enjoy a long weekend or a

week’s holiday; it’s ideal for

those who want to enjoy long

walks, spectacular views and a

wealth of historical sites.

Situated on the west Somerset and

north Devon boarder, the heathercoated

moorlands of Exmoor National

Park are something to truly be admired.

The wild countryside and dramatic,

rugged coastline provide some of the

most breathtaking views of Britain and

remain untouched by human hands.

With wild ponies and red deer roaming

freely across the Park, as well as a host of

other wildlife, it’s a rare treat for holidaymakers

to enjoy the beauty and wonder

of these stunning creatures. Somerset’s

three areas of Outstanding Natural

Beauty – Quantock Hills, the Blackdown

Hills and the Mendip Hills – make this

the best county for enjoying the great

outdoors with your four-legged friend.

Steeped in history and mystery,

Glastonbury draws tourists to the county

from across the globe every year. Famed

for its festival, this town combines

beauty and tranquillity and has many

attractions for those who like to explore

their surroundings. With miles of wellmaintained

footpaths and a charming

network of ancient lanes, there’s

plenty to see for those who like to get

around either on foot or on two wheels.

Glastonbury Abbey, set in 37 acres

of stunning parkland, has an awardwinning

museum and visitor centre, and

is believed to be the resting place of

King Arthur and his wife Guinevere.

Packed with sacred sites and true beauty,

Glastonbury Tor rises magnificently from

the Summerland Meadows. It is also

believed to be the home of Gwyn ap

Nudd, the King of the Fairies, and holds

many myths and legends. The structure

of Glastonbury Tor is the remains of a

fantastic three-dimensional labyrinth,

created during the Neolithic times for

ceremonies. So, why not pack up a picnic

and climb your way to the top, where

you can explore this ancient monument

and gaze in wonder at the views across

the landscape.

Ideal for the inevitable wet-weather

days that come with the great British

‘summer’, Somerset also boasts a large

number and wide variety of indoor

attractions. The Fun Farm in Priorswood,

Taunton, is an indoor and outdoor

children’s adventure centre where you

can have fun feeding the animals and

experience the thrill of quad biking. For

those who want to step back in time

and take a ride on a traditional steam

train, Yeovil Railway Centre provides the

perfect opportunity.



Adventure Scotland

Whether you’re looking for a city break, beach

getaway or countryside adventure, Scotland is the

place. A holiday in Scotland promises to be a unique

and memorable event. Despite its compact size,

Scotland is home to an array of attractions that are

sure to occupy every member of the family, no matter

what their age or taste.

If it’s a traditional family holiday by the seaside you’re

after, you’re sure to find it in Scotland. The west coast of

Scotland stretches for miles offering delightful marinas,

harbours and seaside resorts for you to enjoy, but with

new developments and improvements on the east

coast, deciding which coast to explore will be difficult.

As Scotland is home to a beautiful yet diverse

landscape, it’s the perfect destination for those wanting

to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you want to take

a relaxing stroll to enjoy the stunning views or need an

adrenaline rush, there’s an outdoor pursuit for you. From

fishing and golf to mountain biking and white-water

canoeing, the great Scottish outdoors has something

for everyone.

Discover The Best

Scotland Has To Offer

Offering both peace and tranquillity and

a bustling cosmopolitan city, Perthshire

is the ideal place to enjoy a Scottish

summer getaway. Self-catering in

Perthshire does not get better than these

two properties: the fabulous Locherlour

Cottage, surrounded by the tranquillity

of the Strathearn countryside, and Tay

Views Cottage, situated in the heart of

the city, overlooking the River Tay.

Locherlour Mill

This five-star luxurious, spacious and charming

annex of Locherlour Mill is a recent conversion

from three bedrooms to a single storey holiday

cottage. Converted to an exceptionally high

standard, Locherlour Mill offers guests privacy,

peace and quiet with their own entrance, parking

area and courtyard where they have stunning

south facing panoramic views. The cottage also

boasts a double bedroom with five-foot bed and

en-suite shower room. The spacious kitchen/

dining area/lounge is fully equipped with

Freeview TV and Wi-Fi as well as a large sofa

bed in the lounge area with another bathroom,

with shower, leading off this part of the cottage.

Witness The

Beauty Of


Perthshire Views

Luxury Self-catering

Tay Views

Situated in the heart of Perth city centre, Tay

Views is a delightful and luxurious two bedroom

first floor apartment boasting stunning views

over the River Tay and across to Kinnoul Hill.

Centrally located with easy walking access to the

variety of shops, restaurants, art galleries and the

theatre in Perth city centre, the apartment boasts

all modern conveniences and is furnished to a

high standard, comfortably sleeping four people

in two bedrooms. The spacious main bedroom

has a five-foot bed and faces towards the city

centre, whilst the twin bedroom overlooks the

River Tay. The apartment also boasts a fully tiled

bathroom with a bath and integral power shower,

a bright and well-appointed galley kitchen, and

a spacious lounge/diner, which boasts views of

the River Tay.

Located in the very heart of Scotland, Perthshire

makes an excellent destination for a holiday in

2013. Whilst there, make sure you take a walk

and and discover why this beautiful region is

known as ‘Big Tree Country’, home of the tallest

trees, widest conifer and tallest hedge in Britain.

For further information, please call

Joanne on 01764 430018 or visit

For a romantic break for you and your partner, why not

take a trip to one of the six major cities in Scotland:

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness

and Stirling. These cosmopolitan cities mix traditional

Scottish culture with the vibrancy and excitement of a

modern city. These six wonders are positively oozing

with things to see and do, from superb shopping and

nightlife, to some of the best museums and galleries in

the UK!

Scotland is also the place for wildlife; The Scottish

Wildlife and Nature Tourism Operators Association

believes Scotland is the number one destination for

watching wildlife in Europe, thanks to the diversity

of the landscape. Recent years have see the reintroduction

of many native Scottish species, most

notably the Sea Eagle and Red Kites, which now grace

the Scottish skies once again. Each summer, six million

seabirds nest in the cliffs and the Mull coastline is home

to hundreds of marine wildlife, including whales and

sharks, so it’s worth taking a look!

For more information, visit

‘Woodbine Cottage’ is situated in

the village of Newcastleton in the

Scottish Borders.

Walking, fishing, golfing, tennis are all

available locally. The ‘7 stanes’ mountain

bike trails offer routes for those who like a

challenge and routes for those who prefer

a more leisurely ride. The nearby Rock UK

centre offers many activities from gorge

walking, abseiling, archery and a 300m

zip wire!

Sleeping up to 8 people + cot, this 4

bedroom property has 1x double bedroom

with en-suite, 1x double bedroom (ground

floor), 2x twin bedrooms, family bathroom,

toilet room with wash hand basin, living

room with combined dining area, lounge,

kitchen, utility room and rear garden with

seating/patio area and secure bike lock-up.

The property is non-smoking and we

welcome two well-behaved dogs.

Please book at

or email

or telephone 013873 75484.

Top Recommendation

g2 outdoor

Outdoor Activities

in Scotland

Based in Aviemore near Inverness

in the Cairngorm National Park, we

are ideally placed to access a wide

range of outdoor activities for all

the family.

Our range includes white water

rafting & mini rafting, canoeing

& kayaking, hill walking & rock

climbing, mountain biking, gorge

walking & canyoning together

with a full winter programme from

Telemark & alpine skiing & winter ski

touring to winter skills, snow & ice

climbing & more.

01479 811008

Hoppity House

Hoppity House is located in the heart

of St Andrews, minutes’ walk from

the world-famous Old Course. In fact

we are minutes’ walk from the beach,

shops, university, restaurants and

bars. We have 7 beautiful en-suite

rooms, all of which have under gone

upgrading and modernisation. Each

room has a flatscreen TV, fridge and

tea and coffee making facilities.

Hoppity welcomes children and is

pet-friendly. We also have storage for

golf clubs and bicycles. There is free

Wi-Fi access in Hoppity too.

I am always happy to help organise

tee times or any other requirement

you may have.

Hoppity House. 4 Murray Park,

St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AW

Tel: 01334 461116

Mob: 07701 099100


Relax At Appin House

The Highlands of Scotland are home

to only a quarter of a million people,

living in communities spread

throughout the area, making them

one of the most sparsely populated

areas of Great Britain. With such

peace and tranquillity and natural

beauty in abundance, the Highlands

make the perfect destination for a

holiday, at any time of the year.

Nestled amongst some of the most breathtaking

scenery in the Scottish West Highlands, Appin House,

winner of Aspire’s Certificate of Recognition for

Holidays & Leisure 2013, offers self-catering holiday

accommodation within two two-star log cabins built

in the 1990s and a 2005-built cottage, which caters for

those with limited mobility.

Boasting an elevated position overlooking Loch

Linnhe, Appin House’s main attraction, the beautifully

built Tigh an Lios (Gaelic for ‘garden cottage), is rated

four stars by the Scottish Tourist Board. The open-plan

living/dining/kitchen area benefits from underfloor

heating to ensure the house is comfortable, even

during those cold Scottish winters. Downstairs as

well as the open-plan living area with well-equipped

kitchen, guests will also find a double bedroom (with

Z-beds which can be one double or two twins), a wet

room for those with limited mobility and a utility

room with washing machine, fridge/freezer and

tumble dryer. Upstairs there’s a double bedroom (with

large cot) with an en-suite shower room and a twin

bedroom with a full en-suite bathroom. As well as

the two bedrooms, there’s also a large open area with

a two-seater settee bed, which can sleep a further

two people, making Tigh an Lios ideal for up to eight


Outside, Tigh an Lios boasts a sunny patio and a

barbecue, perfect for al fresco dining. The property

also boasts stunning views of the surrounding

Highland countryside. Prices range from £580 to £990

per week for six people.

As well as Tigh an Lios, Appin House is also home to

two two-bedroom log cabins, constructed in the late

1990s. Both cabins boast two bedrooms (one double

and one twin) and a bathroom, as well as an openplan

living area. Although both cabins are next to one

another, they face in opposite directions allowing for

increased privacy. One cabin faces up the hill, with

views of the nearby forest, whilst the other faces

downhill, and boasts views of the loch below.

Aspire spoke to Denys Mathieson who has lived at

Appin House for the last 30 years with her husband,

David. She said: “There’s so much to do around here;

there’s skiing and climbing at Ben Nevis, there are

daily ferries to the neighbouring islands from Oban

and Fort William, and there’s even fishing available

from the end of the pier at the marina. There’s

wonderful walks and hikes from our doorstep and the

national cycle path travels right past our property,

about a quarter of a mile from Tigh an Lios front door.

There are so many wonderful restaurants within a

five-mile radius, all of which serve delicious and locally

caught seafood. Guests are also welcome to relax in

our beautiful garden, which covers three acres and

boasts many specimen trees and pathways through

the lawn and shrubs, which lead visitors to secluded

resting places.”

On hearing the news of the Certificate of Recognition

for Holidays & Leisure 2013 Denys Mathieson, who

has lived at Appin House for the last 30 years with her

husband, David, said: “I’m overcome. I’m delighted

to be awarded this Certificate of Recognition and I

hope it brings more people to Appin House and the

Highlands area in 2013. It’s such a lovely part of the

world, with a lovely community; a holiday here will

be very worthwhile, whether you come in spring,

summer, autumn or winter.”

Earlier this year, Aspire also awarded Appin House with a Certificate of

Recognition for Quality Self-catering Holidays. For more information,

please call 01631 730207 or visit



Autism’s Got Talent

Martin Dalby

Notes From

Martin Dalby

Martin Dalby is an experienced and knowledgeable musician

and composer. In a successful career spanning almost 50 years,

Martin has worked with numerous well-known musicians and

has even had his music performed at The Proms on four


Martin’s Life Through The Years…

• in 1942, in Aberdeen, Martin was born

• in 1960, he won a Foundation Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in


• in 1963, Martin spent two years in Italy

• in 1964, whilst in Rome, he wrote Laudate Dominum, which was performed

for the first time by the pupils and staff of Aberdeen Grammar School in May


• in 1965, he was appointed as a music producer to the BBC’s newly formed

Music Programme (later to be Radio 3)

• in 1971, he became the Cramb Research Fellow in Composition at the

University of Glasgow

• in 1972, he returned to the BBC as Head of Music, Scotland

• in 1991, he relinquished his role as Head of Music to pursue a more creative

role in BBC Scotland

• in 1991, he won a Sony Gold Award

• in 1993, he retired from the BBC - Martin now composes full-time

• from 1995 to 1998, Martin was Chairman of the Composers’ Guild of

Great Britain

When not composing, Martin loves…


In the past two years, Aspire have awarded Martin

with a Bronze Certificate of Recognition 2010,

which was followed by a Platinum Certificate of

Recognition 2011 and finally an award for Services

of Distinction for Classical Music.

• spending time in the outdoors - he’s a hill walker and birdwatcher

• railways and literature

• he holds a Private Pilot’s Licence


Martin has written a large amount of

music, for orchestra, for chorus, for brass

and wind bands, for the Church, for

film, radio and television, many songs

and song cycles, and chamber music

ranging from duos and trios to octets

and nonets. Most of Martin’s music has

been commissioned from festivals such

as Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Cardiff,

Orkney and Peterborough, or from

orchestras and ensembles. It has been

performed widely throughout the

world, notably at such festivals as the

Warsaw Autumn and the Henry Wood

Proms in London.

E: | W:

Martin Dalby, 23 Muirpark Way, Drymen, Stirlingshire G63 0DX



Martin Dalby


Music for the organ loft, churches and choirs,

solo singers, children’s voices, brass and wind bands, film,

instrumentalists, chamber groups

and orchestras.

Dalby’s large output of compositions is

heard widely throughout the UK and abroad

and includes performances at many festivals

with four performances at The Proms.

Scottish Music Centre

City Halls, Candleriggs,

Glasgow G1 1NQ

Martin Dalby

23 MuirparkWay, Drymen,

Stirlingshire G63 0DX


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