Spectacular science

Round & About


Science and art come alive this March at Innovate Guildford 2019

Our science and arts festival, Innovate Guildford is back for its fourth year and this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet!

Innovate Guildford celebrates the best in innovation in Guildford and beyond. Building on the success of previous events, there are exhibitors from across the local area – Innovate Guildford will inspire and delight people of all ages. There’s plenty for the kids to do and best of all the event is completely free!

Already confirmed this year are McLaren Cars, The Pirbright Institute, a pop-up Planetarium and the Academy of Contemporary Music. They will also be interactive exhibits and workshops for lots of hands-on fun.

Proving there really is something for everyone at this year’s Innovate Guildford, visitors will be able to take part in a wide range of activities including slime design, coding, Minecraft, robotics and even step inside a planetarium.

Plus we’ve got a special treat for computer gamers – Guildford’s megastar game company Media Molecule will be at the show with brand new entertainment!

The event which showcases technology, innovation and creativity in the region, will run from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 23rd March at G Live, so save the date for a day out with a difference.

To find out more about the day, exhibitors and workshops visit innovateguildford.co.uk

Health walks

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Step out and step up your health and fitness with a good walk

Walking, we all do it everyday, but have you ever really thought about all the health benefits and how you can make it really count?

With Walking for Health, the Guildford walks programme, you can take part in a short free walk nearby to get active and stay active at a pace that suits you.

And as well as being active, it’s also a great way to explore what’s around you and make new friends while you walk, you don’t need any fancy equipment and unlike most things – it’s free!

To take part in one of the Guildford Walking for Health walks just pop along to the start point and one of the trained leaders can take your details then you can get involved in as many and as often as you like.

Walks currently take place every Monday in the Guildford area and are due to start on Tuesdays in Worplesdon and Thursdays in Shere. For more information about any of these contact Annelize Kidd on 07554 423010

Shalford area walks can be enjoyed on Wednesdays, contact Georgina Churchlow on 07714 821159

For walks in the Whitmoor Common area on Fridays, contact Roger Philo on 07905 282658

Volunteers are also needed to help the walks happen either as a walk leader or a back marker. If you are interested in helping with the walks, contact Annelize Kidd on 07554  423010

Or email any queries to guildfordwfh@outlook.com

If you still need convincing, it’s worth bearing these health benefits in mind:

– Help your heart and lungs work better

– Lower your blood pressure

– Keep your weight down

– Lighten your mood

– Keep your joints, muscles and bones strong

– Increase “good” cholesterol

The Walking for Health programme operates around the country helping people to lead healthier, more active lives. To find more walks near you or if you’re not in the Guildford area have a look at walkingforhealth.org.uk

Surrey Wildlife Trust

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Happy anniversary to Surrey Wildlife Trust!

Surrey Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 60th anniversary of protecting the county’s wildlife this week and has a range of events to mark the milestone.

On 21st March, 1959, a band of naturalists and conservationists founded the Surrey Naturalists’ Trust with two goals – to protect wildlife and educate the public about nature – these tenets are still fundamental to the Trust today.

While much work has been carried out over the past 60 years to ensure they have stayed true to this since securing the first reserve in 1960, Seale Chalk Pit on the Hog’s Back to saving the ancient woodland Nower Wood, near Leatherhead to creating a new reserve in 2013 called Priest Hill.

Today the Trust manages more than 70 reserves, has more than 26,000 members and is supported by in excess of 1,000 volunteers who won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last year.

2019 marks a new milestone for the Trust with  new chief executive officer Sarah Jane Chimbwandira and a new strategy to reconnect the landscape with nature recovery networks. Healthy and well-managed hedgerows, rivers, nature reserves and green spaces will help people and wildlife flourish.

Sarah Jane said: “If we all take action now, in 60 years’ time wildlife could be thriving and at the heart of everyday life. If not, we may not even notice that wildlife has disappeared from Surrey’s precious landscape, being replaced by litter and pollution.  And all because we think it’s someone else’s job to look after it; it isn’t.

“We all have to take action and we all have to look after Surrey’s landscape like our early founders and volunteers.”

She adds: “We welcome everyone to get involved. Anyone can be the next leading environmentalist in Surrey. Could it be you?”

The Trust has walks, talks and events planned over the next few months to celebrate its 60 years beginning with an environmental youth summit for 16-18 year olds on 28th March.

There’s still time to enter the Wild Surrey art and photographic competition!

Entries must be submitted by 14th April –  an exhibition will then take place in Guildford from 25th May to 14th June during this time on 1st and 2nd June Guildford Goes Wild on the High Street.

Other events to look out for are Bay Pond open day in Godstone on 15th June; heath week from 28th July to 2nd August and rivers week from 22nd to 29th September.

Picture: David Attenborough visits Nower Wood in 1985

For more information about Surrey Wildlife Trust, it’s activities, celebrations and how you can get involved visit surreywildlifetrust.org

Vintage Fashion Fairs

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Passion for vintage fashion at Farnham Maltings 

If you have a passion for classic fashion then you should make a date to visit the Vintage Fashion Fair at Farnham Maltings with a range of clothing, accessories and textiles to browse. 

Carefully selected traders offer authentic vintage from the Victorian era through to the 1980s.  Everything from affordable pieces to designer and collectible treasure in gorgeous prints, colours and fabrics can be found.  There is always a great selection of jewellery and accessories to add some vintage style to an outfit.  

Vintage fashion offers an opportunity to own and love pieces that are timeless, unique, great quality and represent fantastic value for money.  From an environmental perspective vintage allows re-use and avoids landfill.  

From a fashion perspective vintage lets you showcase your individuality and personal style.  Whether you dress head to toe in 1940s originals or add a 1980s jacket to a modern jeans and t-shirt outfit, vintage can enhance your look. 

Vintage Fashion Fair Farnham has been created by experienced fair organiser Marilyn Tye and owner of vintage fashion business Pret-A-Vintage, Nicola Chinn.  Their quality bi-monthly vintage fair at Farnham Maltings showcases the best, authentic, wearable vintage fashion, accessories and textiles from local, London and UK dealers. 

Stallholders are hand-picked to bring together a varied selection to suit all tastes and budgets.   

Vintage fashion fairs are a great way to shop for vintage.  At the fair you can shop a selection from  20 dealers who have searched far and wide to find and restore beautiful pieces from the Victorian era through to the 1980s, ready for you to own and love.

The next fair is on Saturday, 16th March and open from 10am until 4pm for just £2 entry, under 16s free. 

Some dealers accept card payments but others accept only cash so please bear this in mind.  There are a number of cashpoints in the town centre which is a 3 minute walk away.   

Spice of life: local foodie’s book

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Pangbourne foodie Balwinder Kapila explains more about her new book A Pinch Of Spice.

That’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Indian cooking? The flavours? The colours? The wonderful spices and aromas, perhaps? Or do you think “I love the food, but I couldn’t cook an Indian meal. It’s too hard”? Trust me: it isn’t – and in this book, I’ll prove it!

For years, my friends in Pangbourne have asked me for the secret to Indian food, but, as a British person who grew up in an Indian family, I didn’t think there was any particular secret; it all seemed perfectly natural. The trouble sometimes seemed to be that people were using the right ingredients in the wrong way. When I was asked if I’d give cooking lessons to show how it was done, I tried to explain that it was easy. I think perhaps the idea of using unfamiliar spices and ingredients, coupled with visions of standing by the stove for hours on end made it all seem too much of a challenge for many. I hope this book helps dispel some of those myths and inspires people to be adventurous and enthusiastic about trying these recipes.

When I decided to write a cookery book in memory of our son (who was a student at Theale Green School), many friends were keen to help. The book has been eight patient years in the making. What was originally meant to be a little booklet for family and friends evolved into a full-scale project. A few hastily scribbled recipes eventually began to transform into a book. Cooking together, testing recipes in each other’s homes, sharing ideas of food and culture, photography masterclasses and proofreading all played their part.

I also wanted to share my experience of my Indian upbringing in Hounslow. As I put this book together it became clear to me that recipes and ways of preparing food for your family and friends carry with them stories and histories that are just as important as the ingredients themselves. They are about cultures, individual family members and memories, both happy and sad; about the everyday, special celebrations and love.

Most of the dishes are from the Punjab region of northern India. I have combined traditional Indian home-cooked food with other recipes that I have developed over the years. I hope you will enjoy serving your family and friends the dishes that I have so much enjoyed serving to mine.

   To contact me, or for more information, you can visit www.balskitchen.com, www.facebook.com/balskitchen or @balskitchen on Instagram.

A show stopper!

Round & About


Scouts and Guides stage fun-packed gang show at South Hill Park.

However you look at it February is a cold, miserable month but help is at hand to lift your spirits and get rid of the winter blues.

The Scouts and Guides of South East Berkshire Gang Show are ready to entertain you at the Wild Theatre, South Hill Park, Bracknell with their fabulous variety show filled with fun, laughter, singing and dancing.

The show, suitable for the whole family, is performed and organised solely by volunteers, many of whom give up many hours to help the young cast mostly aged 9-25, to perform on the stage. Volunteers include talented producers, musicians, backstage crew and costume teams as well as the hoards of others who help to make the show a success.

Come and support the performers as they tread the boards with a variety of entertainment and South East Berkshire Gang Show guarantees you will have a good time and leave with a smile on your face.

Performances run from Tuesday, 19th to Saturday, 23rd February at 7.15pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.

Tickets are available now online or from South Hill Park box office, starting from £14.50. Discounts are available for families, groups of 20+ and seniors (except Saturday evening).

    For details and to book go to www.southhillpark.org.uk or call South Hill Park box office on 01344 484123.

Older & wiser: a care-giving career

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With our rapidly ageing society, the demand for elderly care at home increases and good care-givers are in high demand…

Many care providers are finding active retirees – sometimes nearly the same age as their clients – feature among their best employees.

“Older care-givers know the frustrations of ageing and have a lot of patience and understanding,” says Right at Home’s Kevin Lancaster. “They tend to relate well to their clients and can talk about the ‘old days’ with shared recollection.”

The number of older people delaying retirement is also increasing; with economic uncertainties and people living longer on fixed incomes, many are drawn to elderly care to supplement their incomes. Care is a natural choice for retirees wanting to give something back to their community and build meaningful relationships.

The UK Government recognises the value of recruiting older people. Department for Work & Pensions Minister Amber Rudd MP said: “Retirement should be an increasingly active phase of life, when people can continue working and volunteering, as well as saving and looking after their health. Older people have a wealth of skills and experience.”

“We love hiring older care-givers to provide home care for other seniors,” adds Kevin. “The Right at Home 2018 UK CareGiver of the Year, Yvonne, is a grandmother in her 60s. Older care-givers bring a compassionate awareness of age.

They already share Right at Home values, having grown up learning the value of commitments. The benefit of older people caring for their peers is a win-win situation for us all.”

    0118 207 0600www.rightathomeuk.com/twyford

AniMalcolm magic! Family theatre

Round & About


Join animal-hating Malcolm on his trip to a farm and see how life changes at Wycombe Swan on Sunday, 17th February.

Malcolm doesn’t like animals even though his family love them. The house is full of pets which are of no interest to Malcolm who only wanted a laptop for his birthday.

A Year Six trip to a farm is the last thing he wants but during he learns a lot about animals and what it’s like to be an animal. Something amazing happens to him and he finds out how wild life as an animal can be.

AniMalcolm is a vibrant, energetic and funny musical, based on David Baddiel’s book. “AniMalcolm was my third book for children, and I think it’s my funniest,” says self-confessed animal-lover David, who has four cats and a guinea pig. “Animals are loveable, cute, sweet, friendly, and nice to cuddle, but they are also, always, funny. They are deadpan – their faces never really change… Which, if they’re falling off a sofa, or running into a plate-glass window, is definitely the funniest face to make.”

The production by Story Pocket Theatre combines physical theatre, puppetry and storytelling to bring the comic tale to the stage.

The show is suitable for children aged seven years and up and tickets cost £12, £10 concessions or £35 for a family.

    To book tickets for AniMalcolm at 2pm or 6pm call 01494 512000 or visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk

For the full tour, which also includes shows at Aylesbury Waterside in March, visit www.storypockettheatre.co.uk

We have a family ticket (four tickets) to give away too, to see the show at a venue of the winner’s choice!
Click here to enter before 12pm on 11th February 2019.

Restless Minds: Ward Thomas

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Ward Thomas – AKA 24-year-old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy who went to school near Cranleigh – tell us about their influences ahead of their gig this month.

Millennials face a barrage of criticism as well as being burdened with the anxiety social media can cause. So Lizzy and Catherine Ward Thomas come across as a thoroughly refreshing duo.

Lyrically the twins have tackled issues close to their hearts on their new album Restless Minds, with observations on social media, the women’s movement, what “the truth” means today and mental health, which inspired #NoScrollSunday.

With support from The Wandering Hearts, they will perform at Guildford’s G Live on Tuesday, 26th February, which is almost a home gig. “We know Guildford very well,” the sisters tell me. “We grew up only 20 minutes away and went to school near Cranleigh. We’ve been to the Borderline a lot to watch fellow musicians play as well as playing there ourselves.”

Catherine and Lizzy grew up in a very musical family. “Our parents were in a band and they played a lot of The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles. Our cousin introduced us to country music and we became obsessed with Dixie Chicks and many others. We’ve listened to a whole range of genres growing up and still do now. We’re drawn to a great melody, an authentic storyline with great lyrics. We also feel strongly that – in this modern digital age – we all crave honesty, authenticity and things that take us back to our roots. So that could also be what’s drawing people into country more nowadays.”

Country music might be enjoying a surge in popularity but the twins dislike pigeon-holing their music when it comes to genres… “So when we write, we go into the room with the attitude of ‘let’s write what we feel today’. Then when we get to the studio we always have fun experimenting with what kind of production works best for a particular song. So we’re always wanting to be open-minded to blending genres together within an album.”

I wonder what it’s like performing and making music as twins? “It’s great! We’ve gone through a lot together growing up but have different perspectives on the same topic or event. So it really works in the creative process. And performing together is a real treat as we have a lot of fun connecting with each other musically on stage and singing together in general. We’re really excited to get back on the road!”

● Ward Thomas will play at Guildford’s G Live on Tuesday, 26th February.

For more information please visit www.wardthomasmusic.com/live

Bowie & beyond

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Liz Nicholls chats to Woody Woodmansey ahead of the Holy Holy show this month…

Three years on from Bowie’s death, his bandmate Woody Woodmansey still finds the concept of him being “gone” utterly surreal.

“He’s probably in my thoughts most of the time,” says Woody, “but it’s the same for everyone – he doesn’t go away. The music we created has lasted the test of time. We never ever thought the music we made 40 years ago would still be on the radio.”

Together with producer Tony Visconti, drummer and “Spider Man from Mars” Woody are getting set to take their Holy Holy tour around the UK with an all star band including glorious Bowie-esque vocals from Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory. The group will perform Bowie’s material from 1969-73.

I ask Woody about meeting David for the first time, when he arrived at his flat in a big gothic building in Beckenham… “I had all these questions in my head,” says Woody. “Like: was he clever or thick? Could he write? Mick [Ronson] had raved on and on about him. I was expecting this curly-haired folkie from Space Oddity but he opened the door in a rainbow T-shirt, silver belt and red corduroy trousers and shoes he’d painted blue stars on. We chatted about music and I could tell he was intelligent. Then he picked his 12 string up and amazed me with his presence – he never flinched for a moment.”

Woody duly turned down the tempting offer of a managerial job at a glasses factory in his native Yorkshire to join Bowie down in London and make history. “The music industry had become so

boring and we wanted to give it a kick up the ****, which I guess we did!” laughs Woody.

I ask Woody whether his love of music started at school. “No! I didn’t become aware if music until after school,” he laughs his throaty, smoky cackle. “I just played Hendrix, Led Zep and Cream records, putting my finger on the vinyl to slow it down a bit and hear what the drums were doing so I could copy it. I only learned the rudiments later.”

This time three years ago, Woody and the band were playing the High Line in New York, not far from where David lived. “It was his birthday and Tony decided to call him. We played a bad karaoke version of Happy Birthday. The audience joined in and he loved that. He asked them what they thought of Black Star, which had come out that day and they went wild! We said we’d catch up soon but of course never did because two days later his son messaged the news. David had always seemed invincible. On the Ziggy tours he was barely eating and was often really ill but he always got on stage and smashed it. After the news we weren’t sure whether to carry on but David would have so we did, in celebration of him. And here we are now, still celebrating him. Our rider might be a bit less rock and roll but the spirit is just the same.”

● The Holy Holy UK tour runs from 8th to 24th February, including shows at Guildford’s G Live and London Palladium.