Travelling abroad isn’t so easy right now, so why not book yourself a musical journey and join this Newbury Festival for two weeks of music from across the world.
Starting this year on Saturday 4 September, the festival offers events for all the family, from gospel choirs to English song, steel pan to acoustic guitar, laugh out loud cabaret and world renowned jazz. Festival highlights include
The Carice Singers offering peace and beauty through beautiful song in a post pandemic world
duo genius guitar playing from internet sensations playing songs you know in ways you probably don’t
Bounder and Cad cheeky, charming and very very funny, expect raw satire from the very latest news
Travelling by Tuba a musical world tour for all the family, celebrating the spirit of the Olympics
The festival runs from 4 September to 21 September and tickets are still available for many performances (though many are selling fast). All venues are set up to be Covid safe with reduced capacities for everyone’s comfort.
Treat yourself to a day out with some shopping on the banks of the beautiful River Thames thanks to Henley Decor Fair from Thursday, 23rd to Sunday, 26th September
Hosted by TV personality, Gary Wallis of Restoration Workshop, the Henley Decor Fair will return this September to its stunning riverside location.
With more than 150 of the finest decorative traders, the Henley Decor Fair has built a reputation for being the interiors event of the year and a destination for top dealers, interior designers and movie prop companies alike.
This is no ordinary antique or salvage fair; this lifestyle event has everything to inspire the vintage lover or the interior designer in us all. From vintage clothes and jewellery to a wide variety of decorative antiques, architectural salvage and reclaimed items for the home and garden. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet the country’s top dealers and even mingle with personalities and experts from well-known TV shows such as Salvage Hunters: The Restorers and The Bidding Room.
Take a break from shopping and enjoy the live ambient music in the beautiful riverside surroundings. You will find cocktail bars, craft beers from the local Rebellion brewery, vintage tearoom and a wide choice of delicious gastro food stalls all at your service.
Henley Decor Fair welcomes families and well-behaved dogs; a great day out is guaranteed with something for everyone.
Henley Decor Fair Trade Day is on Thursday, 23rd September. The fair will be open to everyone from Friday 24th to Sunday, 26th September.
For more information and to grab your tickets please visit www.henleydecorfair.com
The chances are you haven’t taken your passport out of its safe keeping place for quite a few months, but before you start eagerly pulling those suitcases from the loft and getting ready to pack, make sure your passport is as ready to travel as you are.
Did you know that since Brexit, the requirements for your passport have changed. It is recommended that on the day you travel you have at least six months left on it. This allows for: travelling in Europe for up to three months (you don’t normally need a visa for the first 90 days in every 180 days of travel) and the requirement from most European countries to have at least three months left on your passport on the day after you leave.
Your passport must also be less than 10 years old on the day after you leave. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.
These rules apply for travel to and between most countries in Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
Here’s a few essentials you need to know:
→ It costs £75.50 to renew or replace your passport if you apply online or £85 if you fill in a paper form.
→ You must be aged 16 or over (or turning 16 in the next three weeks) to get an adult passport. There’s a different process to get a passport for a child.
→ There are different ways to renew or replace your passport if you’re outside the UK.
→ Allow up to 10 weeks to get your passport. It takes longer to apply by post than online.
→ You may be able to get a passport urgently if you need one sooner.
→ Do not book travel until you have a valid passport – your new passport will not have the same number as your old one.
After so long with being unable to enjoy a holiday you don’t want to get left on the runway at the last minute!
Pangbourne College is a co-educational day and boarding school set in 230 acres within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Founded in 1917 by Sir Thomas Devitt of the Devitt & Moore Company to train boys for a career at sea, the College is now a modern, friendly day and boarding school for 450 boys and girls aged 11 to 18.
We are a small school which offers sound academic results, first-class sports coaching and an excellent pastoral structure which prioritises the happiness and wellbeing of each individual member of our community.
We also offer plenty of co-curricular opportunities for sport, art, music, drama and adventurous training, so that each individual fulfils their potential and develops confidence, values and skills to make a positive difference to the world.
In November 2019, the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) rated the college as ‘Excellent’ for both the academic and personal development of its pupils, and in June 2021, we were shortlisted for the ‘Co-educational Independent School of the Year’ category in the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 Awards.
Meet our Head, Mr Thomas Garnier
We will be opening our doors to those families starting on their journey towards selecting the right senior school for their child in the Autumn. Our open mornings include a presentation from the Head, a tour of the College and plenty of opportunities to meet our community of staff, pupils and parents.
The next Open Mornings will take place on the following dates:
● Whole College Open Morning: Saturday 18 September
● Dunbar (Year 7) Open Morning: Saturday 16 October
Abby Lacey set up Mental Health Mates – Reading after needing help herself, the support group helps anyone suffering as well as their family and friends
Founded in 2016 by author and journalist, Bryony Gordon, Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support groups, run by people who experience their own mental health issues, meeting regularly to walk, connect and share without fear or judgement.
In early 2019, being a fan of her writing and podcast, as well as suffering from anxiety for most of my life, I decided to check out Mental Health Mates. The nearest to me were about 20 miles in either direction, so after about five minutes of procrastination, I contacted them and offered to start my own group.
I know from experience that mental illness magnifies through isolation. I also know that being outside in nature is great for your mental health, so to incorporate walking and talking to someone, sharing with them or simply walking beside them – just connecting – is the first step to recovery.
In May 2019 I set up Mental Health Mates – Reading, organising bi-monthly weekend walks for people suffering from mental illnesses, along with their family and friends, in and around Reading.
We were lucky enough to have almost a year of walking together before the pandemic hit, but we’ve carried on walking when we can, and when we can’t, we meet bi-weekly through Zoom. The Zoom calls are a great way to check in, in a really informal environment. There is no structure to our calls – we chat about everything from TV to politics, from fashion to medication – we cover it all! There is never an expectation to talk and if you don’t want the camera on, that’s fine too.
We have built a great community of like-minded people, and we have visitors on the calls from all over the country as I, along with other walk leaders, actively advertise that all are welcome.
When we are able to get together, our accessible walks are as gentle or as brisk as the group would like, so we cater for everyone, covering about two miles over an hour.
We are truly spoilt for choice for locations in the area from beautiful lakes such as Dinton Pastures and Whiteknights Lake at the University of Reading, to the River Thames at Caversham. We’re hoping to expand our offering to west Reading too in the early summer too, so we can reach even more people.
Thank you to everyone who nominated their favourite pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, community stores, independent grocers and virtual and live events – there’s clearly a lot of love out there for those in the hospitality industry who’ve worked so hard to get through the past year even when they haven’t been able to open.
We asked you to share with us those who deserve recognition and thanks and have truly brought ‘good cheer’ to us as we’ve come together. And the winners are…
Petworth Community Craft Group has taken its fundraising efforts for local charities online to continue its good work when they haven’t been able to meet in person.
The group which has just marked its third anniversary brings crafters of all abilities together to make saleable delights to help boost local charities including more than £1,000 for Petworth Community Garden and in excess of £2,500 for the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Club.
When sources of selling ceased last year because of the pandemic, Tricia Stephens from PCCG said they “entered the 21st century, creating a Facebook page and sold from there as well as Petworth virtual Christmas market”.
Where possible the group uses unwanted, surplus or natural products to make a wide variety of gifts and useful items. Materials used have included donated designer fabric samples, donated blank cards and envelopes, unwanted magazines and newspapers, scraps of wool, corks, fir cones and much more.
PCCG encourages teamwork and a sense of camaraderie and belonging and enables experienced crafters to share their know how.
Members are welcome to bring their own project, make crafts to raise money or just go along for coffee and a chat and see what others are doing.
The group usually meets every second Friday in the month at Coultershaw Warehouse and is looking forward to getting together as soon as they can.
Farnham travel operator Bushbaby Travel are helping customers to holiday safely while abiding by Covid protocols. Check out their latest advice on where you can hope to explore…
Whilst we’re unable to take to the skies until at least mid-May – we can still dream of foreign shores as we await the Global Travel Taskforce report on 12th April. We can plan holidays too, with refunds guaranteed by most tour operators should those dreams not quite become reality this year.
This summer we could be scanning our ‘Health Passport’ app at check-in, holding details of our recent Covid tests or vaccinations. We don’t believe many destinations will insist upon vaccinations to enter. However, they could allow travellers to avoid arrival protocols such as quarantine or tests.
It’s not just the rules of other countries that are key, but also our own. Currently, those having to travel for non-leisure reasons must quarantine for 10 nights and take three tests when returning. Those coming from a ‘red list’ country must do so in a hotel.
Whilst adventure-seekers may accept this in their quest to cure their wanderlust, we’re hoping quarantine-free travel to some low-risk destinations will be allowed, with testing in place to screen for variants. Our hopes and ambitions for summer are outlined here but do keep in touch via our Coronavirus Travel Updates Group.
Dramatic Iceland has almost eliminated Covid and the expectation of travel corridors with Greece and Cyprus are growing. Turkey is also promising! But for other parts of mainland Europe tourism will depend on vaccination progress and ‘Green Pass’ roll out.
For those longing for tropical climbs, the Maldives should see their travel corridor returned. The Seychelles (currently red-listed due to its’ proximity to mainland Africa) have minimal cases and nearly vaccinated their residents. It may be autumn, however, before we can savour a Mauritian sundowner.
Cases are now low in Southern Africa, but we expect at least home quarantine to stay due to variant concerns. If you’re missing the Bush, a safari in non red-listed Kenya remains a possibility. The UK is assisting in the vaccination programme there.
Previously corridors were confirmed with many countries here, but arrival quarantine remains in place for most. The exception is Sri Lanka, the tear-shaped island that ‘has it all’. Thailand tourism has launched a campaign for our return from 1st July, perhaps wishful thinking.
Whilst we remain hopeful for Canada, we don’t anticipate access to the USA until autumn. Holidays to Latin America are also likely to remain restricted – although a rainforest adventure in Costa Rica just might be on the cards!
The islands have fared well and we expect to see some travel without quarantine permitted. For example, Antigua, boasting a beach for every day of the year. Bliss!
Dunsfold Village Shop has two reasons to celebrate – not only has it marked 10 years serving the community but it has also won an SW Surrey Community Hero Award.
South West Surrey Community Hero Awards
The award launched by MP for South West Surrey, Jeremy Hunt, acknowledges the shop’s contribution to the local community during the Covid-19 pandemic, going above and beyond to help others during these challenging times.
Lockdown posed a huge challenge but the shop has remained operational throughout the past year, in recognition of the importance of local shopping for the community. During the first lockdown, a successful online shop was launched for collection and delivery to vulnerable customers and in February a huge milestone was reached with the 3,000th order. Alongside this, the shop doors have been open for the vast majority of the time, operating within Covid-safe guidelines.
Mr Hunt said: “We have all been humbled by the numerous examples of individuals going the extra mile to help people in need during the pandemic. Thank you so very much for all you are doing to support those in need during this crisis – you are a true local hero!”
Owned and run by the community, the shop opened in 2011 and now provides a comprehensive range to customers, including everyday groceries, a richly-stocked delicatessen, fresh fruit & vegetables, freshly brewed coffee and hot drinks and other support services, including dry cleaning. It is a staunch advocate of Love Local and during Covid has continued to stock goods from many local producers including Rawlings of Cranleigh, Dylan’s Icecream, Taurus Wines, Flowers by Juliette, Sugar Party, Charlie’s Trout, Mandira’s Kitchen, eggs by Hallgate Farm and Lee House, Crafty Brewing Co, Firebird Brewery, Hogs Back Brewery, Hungry Guest and many more.
Run by manager Gary Halls and his five staff, the shop operates with a team of local volunteers who help stock shelves, serve and compile and deliver orders. Gary said: “We are delighted to receive this award. 2020 was extremely challenging but with teamwork and a lot of creative thinking, we transformed the way we operate and are stronger for it. The most important thing is keeping our customers and staff safe, whilst at the same time, continuing to provide our community service, arguably more vital than ever during Covid.”
Dunsfold Village Shop Committee Chair, Karen Thurston, said they were extremely grateful for the hard work of the staff and volunteers, adding: “The benefits of the village shop have shone through during the last year – it is central to village life and has been a lifesaver for many locals – and it has been a huge pleasure to be part of it.”