Editor’s Letter: July 2019

Dear Neighbours,

It’s the start of Wimbledon Fortnight (1st-14th July), so we start this issue with some fascinating facts about the prestigious tennis tournament, page 10. My husband has been lucky enough to get two centre court tickets, midway through the tournament; so I’m excited to be able to tick-off another item from my bucket list… I’m presuming he’s taking me, if not he’ll be needing to set the tent up in the garden to sleep in!

If space allows, a well-designed outdoor structure, whether for work or relaxation, (or when you want to escape the kids/partner!) can make a wonderful addition to a garden; read Katherine Sorrell’s advice on page 14.

Today, we take the ease of global travel for granted but it was the birth and rise of the package holiday that paved the way for world citizenship and changed the concept of the travel we now take for granted. We look at the history of the package holiday on page 18.

If you’re looking for a good book to while away your summer evenings with, or to read whilst relaxing on your hols, we have a great selection on page 22.
Staying on the topic of holidays, we have tips on staying safe and well whilst abroad, page 24. We also have budget friendly ways to have fun with the kids during their 6 weeks off school, page 48.

‘Neo Mint’ is set to take over the worlds of fashion and interiors in 2020, say trend forecasters; we have ways in which you can incorporate this colour into your home on page 50.

Whilst we crave a hot summer, the warmer weather can cause bugs and beasties to thrive, causing damage to our gardens. Pippa Greenwood has advice on how to tackle these prolific pests on page 56.

Until next month…


Delapre Abbey – Experience History Alive! This July

Photograph by Matthew D Crosby

Travel back in time for an exciting weekend of displays, demonstrations and hands-on history.

On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July, Delapré Abbey will be celebrating all British history with a weekend of spectacular, participatory fun for all the family.

From 11am to 4pm, the Abbey and grounds – which are filled with 900 years of history – will be transformed. Re-enactment groups from far and wide will bring the house and grounds to life with arena displays, living history encampments, merriment, and interactive activities for all ages.

Expect displays by Romans, Vikings, Normans, Wars of the Roses and English Civil War groups, alongside Georgian trials, and an appearance by Queen Victoria! Visitors can also enjoy valiant sword fighting, skilful archery and cannon displays.

Vikki Pearson, Delapré Abbey’s Visitor Experience Manager comments: “Our annual Battle of Northampton event always delivered a thrilling and noisy extravaganza. With History Alive! celebrating many periods of British history, this promises to be our biggest living history event yet. It’s not to be missed!”

Pre-book tickets now for a fantastic weekend of history for all the family. Adult tickets are £10 per day or £15 for a weekend pass with under 18s free on all pre-booked tickets. Visit delapreabbey.org to book tickets and find out more.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – @DelapreAbbey.

Trilogy Junior Active: Summer Holiday 2019

Kumon, Maths & English Tuition – Free Trial

Green’s Restaurant: Upcoming Events

Spinney Vets: Brexit Uncertainty Means Pet Owners Should Act Now, Warns Leading Vet

Spinney Vets, in Northampton, are warning EU pet passports could be invalid in the event of a no-deal Brexit

A leading Northampton vet is urging pet owners across the county to act now if they’re planning to travel to the European Union (EU) later this year.

Iain Fletcher, clinical director at Spinney Vets, in Northampton, is concerned a no-deal Brexit could scupper the current agreement which allows free travel across the EU for dogs, cats and ferrets with pet passports.

Iain, who is based at Spinney’s hospital on Kettering Road, has highlighted Government advice which warns it could take around four months for pets and their owners to comply with much stricter travel criteria applied to non-EU countries.

He said: “The government guidelines say it’s unlikely a current EU pet passport will be valid for travel if Britain leaves without a deal on October 31.

“Transferring to the arrangements for non-EU countries would require all pets receive a rabies vaccination, followed by a blood test at least 30 days later to prove they are immune.

“The pet would still have to wait a minimum of three months from the date of that blood test before they could travel, making the process at least four months in total.

“Owners would also have to obtain a health certificate from their vet, which couldn’t be issued more than 10 days before travel.

“It all means that taking pets abroad could become a long, drawn-out process, so I would urge owners to get their animals booked in with us as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen delays.”

For more information on the government’s current guidelines on EU travel with pets after Brexit, visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit.

To book an appointment, or for more information on Spinney Vets, which also has a newly-refurbished practice at Wootton Fields, visit www.northamptonvets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.

Northampton General Hospital: Teamwork Praised In CQC Inpatient Survey

Patients staying overnight in Northampton General Hospital have rated the hospital 7.9 out of 10 for their experience of care by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The inpatient survey, which took place in July 2018, rated the hospital against others nationally in eleven different categories. Measuring 60 different aspects of the hospital experience, the survey looked at the experiences of people who had been discharged following an overnight stay in an NHS hospital.

In the eleven categories the hospital is scored out of ten for things such as; patients having trust and confidence in the doctors and nursing staff caring for them, cleanliness of rooms and wards, feeling well look after by non-clinical staff, and the transition between services.

Overall the hospital performed well in most categories with all being rated as about the same as other hospitals nationally. The Accident and Emergency department was rated highly at 8.5/10 with the overall hospital experience score sitting at 7.9/10.

Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Services Sheran Oke said: “We’re proud of the results that we’ve received at NGH and would like to thank everyone in Northamptonshire who took part in the survey.

“We’re really pleased that our local community told us that that the staff caring for them worked well together. And that our patients felt that they had confidence in the decisions made about their condition or treatment by staff.

“We’ve scored really well in providing privacy for our patients when being examined or treated both in Accident and Emergency and the rest of the hospital. This is really important to us and we’re proud that patients have recognised this.

“Patients also told us about areas where we could do more to provide better care. This included noise from other patients during the night which scored 5.4/10. We’re already working to see how we can reduce the impact of noise during the night to make sure patients don’t miss out on valuable sleep.

“On one of our wards we have opened a dementia room to provide space for patients to sit with staff and relax when they may not be able to sleep, or if they’re feeling agitated during the night.

“We’re always looking at how we can improve care and we are listening to the feedback provided from this survey and our patients. We want to take things further and do even better in next year’s survey”.

To view the full results please visit https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RNS/surveys

Editor’s Letter – June 2019

Dear Neighbours,

June officially marks the start of summer in the UK… hooray! The longer, warmer days invites leisurely walks, picnics in the park, family barbecues and an impromptu drink in a pub garden. I also find the sunshine encourages me to be more healthy; favouring nutritious salads and stocking my fridge with an array of fresh fruits. For a few months, at least, I actually manage to consume the recommended quota of ‘5 a day’… the fruit in a glass (or two!) of Pimms counts, right?

With summer solstice on 21st June, we delve into the history books and look at the meanings of Midsummer; page 10.

Whether you want to create show-stopping meals on your BBQ, grow your own vegetables or just need a new novel for your holiday, we’ve got it covered in this month’s book reviews; page 14.

Last issue we discussed the dangers of heatstroke for dogs. However, there are other health hazards for dogs and cats during summer you may not have considered; details on page 20.

Driverless cars are a hot topic in the motoring world at the moment; but what are they, and what do they mean for the future of motoring? We’re going to try and clear things up; page 34.

The combination of long nights and nice weather means it’s time to head outdoors – and technology can help make the outdoors even greater and the light nights even brighter; see page 48 for our pick of great outdoor gadgets.

The Seventies revival in interiors has been brewing for a while, building up to an unmistakable trend that has even started to reach the high street. Interiors expert, Katherine Sorrell, has tips on achieving this look (page 52)… without an avocado bathroom in site!

Finally, the sensational, multi-award-winning West End show, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, triumphantly returns to Northampton as part of its landmark 30th anniversary tour… and we have a two tickets to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 18. Until next month…


Spinney Vets – New Era For Popular Northampton Vets

Crowds flocked to a fun day at a Northampton vets to celebrate its £215,000 expansion and rebranding.

Spinney Vets, which was previously known as Spinney Lodge, recently completed the transformation of its Wootton Fields surgery and invited the public to come and see the changes.

More than 100 visitors attended the event at the practice in Wootton Hope Drive , where youngsters were invited to be a vet for the day.

They learned about scanning pets for microchips, were shown how to carry out ‘operations’ on a Tigger soft toy and were given a certificate and goody bag to take home.
Lisa Bond, Wootton Fields’ clinical director, said: “The fun day was a huge success and we were delighted with the number of people who came to view our new facilities and hear about all we have to offer here at Wootton Fields.

“This has been a huge project and it was extremely exciting for all of us here to show our clients, old and new, the amazing transformation that has taken place at Wootton Fields.”

The centre expanded into a former estate agents’ office next door to give it the space needed for the extensive improvement works.
The practice has doubled the number of consulting rooms from two to four and now has a dedicated theatre and X-ray area.

Wootton also now boasts six dog kennels, doubling its previous number, and its nurses are now able to hold more weight clinics, ‘Happy Hoppers’ sessions for rabbits and senior pet health clinics.

“This expansion has hugely increased what we are able to offer and will mean major advances in our diagnostic capabilities,” said Lisa.

For more information, visit www.northampton-vets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.

Royal & Derngate: Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story

Forget feel good, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, is feel great!

The sensational, multi-award-winning West End show first opened in 1989 and has been thrilling audiences around the world ever since. Now it triumphantly returns to Northampton as part of its landmark 30th anniversary tour.

Experience the drama, passion and excitement as a cast of phenomenally talented actors and musicians tell Buddy Holly’s story, from his meteoric rise to fame to his final legendary performance at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Enjoy two Peggy Sue-perb hours of the greatest songs ever written, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh, Boy!, Rave On, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B Goode, Raining In My Heart, Everyday, Shout and many, many more!

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story takes to the Derngate stage between Monday 9th and Saturday 14th September. Tickets are priced from £11 and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

* A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.