Christmas Gift Guide #ShopLocal

12 December 2018
What better time of year to celebrate all-things local than at Christmas! We're surrounded by some of the best independent High Street shops in Rutland and Stamford, and this is the perfect time to spend your money wisely supporting local businesses and keeping the unique shop offerings in Uppingham, Oakham and Stamford alive. So, I thought I'd put together a Christmas Gift Guide featuring some present ideas you can get hold of right on your doorstep! 

Celebrate Christmas whilst supporting local businesses!

Limited Edition Prints for Stamford & Rutland

10 December 2018
You may remember that last year I launched the Limited Edition Print for Rutland in collaboration with Silhouette Sign Design. Well, I'm pleased to announce that just in time for all the last minute Christmas present that I have now released THREE additional Limited Edition Prints... Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford.

Limited Edition Prints (unframed) in celebration of RutlandOakhamUppingham & Stamford by Silhouette Sign Design.
Only £12.99 each available from Etsy.

So, if you managed to grab some of the Limited Edition Rutland Print's last time, you can add to the collection with the town additions or if you missed out there another chance to grab some again and be in a chance of owning one of the 500!

The Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford Prints will also be Limited Edition (500 only), and once they're gone, they're gone.

Each print features unique elements of each town and the thing we love about them — while celebrating their history and heritage. I've wanted to make the prints as affordable as possible by offering them at £12.99 each (or purchase all 4 as a collection for only £44.99) so that whatever your budget for Christmas or birthday presents everyone has the chance of getting their hands on one.

"The perfect gift this Christmas"

The Limited Edition Print Collection only £44.99 available on Etsy (unframed).
Enjoy!

EXCLUSIVE: #MyHiddenPain Charity Project Reveal by Tree Gillions

6 December 2018
A local business owner, a mother and someone who wanted to show the world that there is very much two sides to living with a disability. Meet Tree Gillions of Tree's Home Help, a home support and cleaning company in Rutland.

A few months ago, Tree approached me and Anna Hughes from Colourful Soul in Oakham to ask for our help in a charity project she wanted us to help her bring the idea to reality. As well as the blog, I also run a design, photography and media management company called Rutland Creative and Tree asked if I would be happy to donate my time to photograph her naked for the project we later called #MyHiddenPain.

When Tree explained the project to me, I immediately expressed my interest and wanted to be part of this wonderful movement to hopefully show that anyone can be suffering from a hidden illness however beautiful, successful or influential and in fact, that might just be the secret behind their motivation, inspiration and determination.

The reason I wanted to be on board with this project so much is that although not a disability, I suffer from a hidden illness that people are very surprised to learn that I have, called Bipolar Disorder.

Somedays I'm good and some days not so much, but I never wanted to let it define me and although I used to hide the fact I've suffered with mental health issues since my early teens, I am now proud of what I've overcome with my illness and the person it has made me today.

Tree made a statement about the #MyHiddenPain project...
Fundraising for Scope charity with a target of £500.

"When I came up with yet another random idea, I never hoped that two beautiful people who I now call friends would want to help me to bring my crazy idea to life in what you finally see today.

The reason behind these images was never to gain sympathy or because I’m an exhibitionist but merely to provide a visual snapshot into my life and everyday struggles I face due to my Cerebral Palsy and to show that living with a disability is not a barrier.

For those of you who don’t know me well, I run Trees Home Help, which is a small home support business based in Rutland. I also have Cerebral Palsy (left hemiplegia), a disability I was born with and one I have grown to love.

However, despite the fantastic opportunities it has given me, It has a dark, painful, frustrating and - to be honest - a real crappy effect on my life!

My struggles with my disability are not always visible to people who do not know me well. So, that is why I created #MyHiddenPain which I hope is a powerful piece of art that will help you visualise my struggles and see that despite my day-to-day life as a home support business owner to not judge a book by its cover. 

The colours used are to highlight my different levels of pain that I suffer from daily from mild (yellow) to severe (red). The words painted across my body are to describe the pain and to help those viewing the image understand what it feels like. But in contrast to that, there is also a selection of words which show my positivity and determination that although I have a disability, that doesn't hinder who I am or what I can achieve. But in fact, It makes me who I am, and I am very proud of that. 

I recently read a heartbreaking post on Facebook, from a Mother who had to explain to her 3-year-old daughter that she would always be disabled with Cerebral Palsy even when she thought she would get better once she was all grown. The little girl was distraught and felt her life was over.

Reading that post broke my heart. To think that someone so young could feel that way because of a disability they are so sad to realise they will live with forever... But this also inspired me.

With #MyHiddenPain, I wanted to show that there are positive sides to a disability and hearing the story above was the main reason I decided to do this and to show that whatever your illness or disability you can still achieve so much and trust me, there are many positive too.

I hope my pictures will give people an insight into the hidden pain or suffering that millions of people face every day, and hopefully, it will teach us all to be slightly more understanding and not as judgemental. 

I want to thank the wonderful Charlie Pallett of Rutland Creative (also The Rutland Blogger) for photographing the images, and to the very talented Anna Hughes of Colourful Soul for making my ideas come to life.

Thanks also go to all the generous #MyHiddenPain sponsors Love Life Eat Cake, Inviting Writing, The Rutland Blogger and Leanne Martin Massage. Without the support of these local businesses, none of this would have been possible.

Please give anything you can to the #MyHiddenPain project, whether that be £1, £5, £10 or anything else to help towards the £500 target!
All money raised will be donated to Scope who's work helps to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Kind Regards.

Tree Gillions
Founder of Tree's Home Help"

#MyHiddenPain by Tree Gillions for Scope - Donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/myhiddenpain
It was an honour to support my friend in her bravery in baring all for an amazing charity and to raise awareness that hidden illness are all around and you never know what anyone is suffering or dealing with behind the scenes.

Therefore, I would love if you could donate anything you can spare to the #MyHiddenPain charity fundraising page for Scope and help Tree towards here £500 target.

Thank you so much,

What's on in Rutland: December 2018

30 November 2018
It's finally here and it's my favourite month of the year... December!
Prepare yourself for a fun-filled 'What's On Guide' this month with plenty of things to do around Stamford and Rutland this Christmas time with everything from wreath making to film nights and much, much more!

Take a read...

Please Note: More information regarding promotions and events will be added as we hear about them!
If you'd like to feature your event, please email: rutlandblog@yahoo.com
Top Tip:
Bookmark this page in your internet browser so you can pop back to it throughout the month and find out what to do!

Saturday 1st to Saturday 22nd December
At: Welland Vale Garden Inspirations, Uppingham, LE15 9EU
From: 10:00am to 4:00pm
About: Come and visit Santa on his sleigh every Saturday in December. A really personal experience with Santa where children get to sit Santa's sleigh with him and be given a special present by Santa himself! All family members welcome along and take your own pictures too!

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December
At: Rutland Farm Park, Oakham, LE15 6JD
From: 11:00am to 7:00pm
Price: from £3
About: Join in the festivities from 11am-3.30 and 4-7pm (bring a torch!). With complimentary mulled wine & mini mince pie, there's lots of fun to be had for all the family.

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December
At: Melton Mowbray
From: 9:00am
About: A full weekend of events with entertainment for all the family begins on 30th November. In addition to market stalls, entertainment and fayre activities, Melton St Mary's Church will be holding their annual Christmas Tree Festival and a Festival of Cribs takes place in Sage Cross Methodist Church.

Saturday 1st December
At: Victoria Hall, Oakham, LE15 6AH
From: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: POP-UP Christmas Arts and Crafts - Free entry in the Victoria Hall Allman Gallery.

Saturday 1st December
At: Malcolm Sargent Primary School, Stamford
From: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
About: YOU are invited to join in the fun from 1-4pm! Visit Santa in his woodland chalet, play fun games & tombolas to win prizes, buy Christmas gifts, create festive craft items, feast on hot dogs & homemade cakes, enjoy mulled wine and mince pies while raising valuable funds to further enhance our school. We have turned the music chalet outside into a special Santa's grotto! A visit to Santa is just £3.50 and includes a small gift. All profits raised will go to enhancing the school.

Saturday 1st December
At: Oakham Rugby Club, Oakham, LE15 7TW
From: 10:30am
Price: £12 per adult suit, £6 child suit
About: A chance to run/walk/stroll a choice of circuits round the rugby fields (subject to ability) in a Santa Suit, raising money for your own choice of charity or for Rotary and it's good causes. Participants keep their suits, a medal and can enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine after. Bar and club facilities fully available. Best decorated buggy and Toddle Waddle at 10.30am.

Saturday 1st December
At: Ketton C of E Primary School, PE9 3TE
From: 2:00pm to 7:00pm
Price: £30
About: Create your very own Christmas Wreath with full instruction, tools, and materials supplied by our professional florist, Included in the price is a glass of Prosecco and Christmas nibbles. Two 2 Hour workshops available 2pm-4pm & 5pm-7pm. This is a charity fundraising event organised by Ketton School PTA. Contact Ketton School for Tickets.

Saturday 1st December
At: Exton Village Hall
From: 7:30pm
Price: £5 per person
About: Come and join us for a viewing of the new Mamma Mia movie tickets in advance, please. order on the Village hall FB page or email markbutterill@gmail.com 
all proceeds over the video license fee will go to Exton Village Hall improvement funds.

Sunday 2nd December
At: Oakham Town Centre
From: 12:00pm / Lights switch on at 4:00pm
About: Join Oakham Town Council through the afternoon.
12:00pm to 3:00pm: Shops will be open plus charity and craft stalls in the marketplace
3:00pm: Join us to sing a few carols led by the Cottesmore Military Wives 
4:00pm: Switch on of the new Christmas tree by two special girls.

Monday 3rd December
At: All Saints Church, Oakham
From: 7:30pm
Price: £15 per person
About: An evening of music and singing with readings by well-known celebrities from sport, the stage, and screen to raise money for the NSPCC. Doors ope 6.45. All to be seated by 7.20, please. Tickets on sale from Don Paddy’s Uppingham or James Sellicks in Oakham.

Monday 3rd December
At: Greetham Church, LE15 7NF
From: 8:00pm
Price: £10 per person
About: Charity concert for fixing the roof at Greetham Church. 
Tickets at Greetham Shop or Jackie Gauntley 01572 868291 
Ticket includes a glass of wine.

Tuesday 4th December
At: Laxton Village Hall
From: 7:30pm
Price: £5 per person
About: Mama Mia Here We Go Again is being shown at Laxton Village Hall. Freshly brewed coffee, refreshments, and a licensed bar will be available.

From Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th December
At: Stamford Corn Exchange
About: A musical play adapted and directed by DAVID WOOD, based on the book by JUDITH KERR Direct from a smash hit West End season, The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the stage, celebrating 50 years of Britain’s best-loved picture book! The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs, and clumsy chaos! A stunning stage adaptation of the classic tale of teatime mayhem... expect to be surprised! David Wood OBE is undisputedly the country’s leading writer and director of plays and musicals for children.

Wednesday 5th December
At: Uppingham Parish Church
From: 1:20pm to 2:20pm
Price: FREE
About: Join Uppingham School staff and students in a seasonal celebration of this most wonderful time of the year. Expect your favourite Christmas songs, sing-a-long carols, festive instrumental solos and a mince pie to top it all off!

From Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th December
From: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: Food markets with a difference! Come and meet over 30 local suppliers at our biggest ever 4-day festive celebration of local produce. With handmade cheeses, artisan bread, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats, and rare breed meats.

Thursday 6th December
At: Uppingham Town Centre
From: 5:30pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: Festive family fun in the market town of Uppingham. You'll get to enjoy a skating rink, street entertainers, market stalls, live music, a Christmas show, choirs, hot food, face painting, Santa's Grotto, reindeer, competitions and lots of gift ideas because many of Uppingham's local stores will stay open late for Christmas shopping!

Friday 7th December
At: Mini Monsters Soft Play, Oakham
From: 9:30am to 11:30am
About: Cheeki Monkeys Oakham will be hosting a pop-up shop at Mini Monsters, selling pre-loved baby and children's clothes to raise money for Children's Links, which provides support to children and young people in need. There will also be some festive craft activities on offer suitable for babies and pre-schoolers.
Our first Cheeki Monkeys Baby and Children's Market in Oakham is on January 20th 1-3pm at Catmose Sports Centre. For more information about this event or to book a pre-loved stall click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/948889168636742/

Saturday 8th December
At: Oakham Methodist Church
From: 10:00am to 1:00pm
About: Relax and enjoy a Christmas Craft Workshop at Oakham Methodist Church, Northgate. Tea, Coffee & Mince Pies, Sales Tables, Christmas Music. All Welcome!

Saturday 8th December
At: Laxton Village Hall
From: 10:30am to 1:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: This month our Coffee Morning and Community Shop will also include a Christmas Bazaar. 
There will still be our usual variety of cakes and bakes for you to enjoy in addition to some seasonal extras. Bacon rolls, mince pies and mulled wine.

Saturday 8th December
At: Barrowden & Wakerley Community Shop, Barrowden, LE15 8EP
From: 11:00am to 3:00pm
About: Santa in his Grotto from 11am, to 3 pm (with a short lunch break about 12.30) with gifts for our younger customers. There will be lots of Christmas goodies and local crafts for sale, plus Christmas hamper raffle, mulled wine, coffee, delicious homemade cakes, and snacks. A warm welcome to everyone!

Saturday 8th December
At: Ketton C of E Primary School, PE9 3TE
From: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: Christmas Fair held in Ketton School. Visit Santa, win on the Tombola and many other Christmas favourites. Organised by Ketton School PTA.

Saturday 8th December
At: St Marys Church, Melton Mowbray, LE13 0PN
From: 7:30pm to 9:45pm
Price: £8 per person / Under 16's FREE
About: Melton's lively community World Music choir is looking forward to returning to the refurbished St Mary's Church in Melton for its popular Christmas Concert.

Saturday 8th December
At: All Saints Church, Oakham
From: 7:30pm
Price: £10 per person / Buy here
About: “ In Dulci Jubilo” is a concert of seasonal music including works by John Rutter, Harold Darke, and Elizabeth Poston. It is on Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm at All Saints’ Parish Church, Oakham. Tickets are £10 and are also from Colemans Stationers and on the door. The ticket price includes mulled wine and delicious refreshments after the concert. Our chosen charity for the year is East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme and a collection will be made in their support. 
There will be some amusing pieces, a male chorus, along with duets, readings and plenty of opportunity for the audience to join in with some much-loved carols. It is shaping up to be a wonderfully happy and festive evening and a lovely start to the Christmas Season.

Saturday 8th December
At: Market Overton Village Hall
From: 8:00pm 
Price: £5 including nibbles
About: Put on your Dancing shoes to kick off the Christmas season! Come & Dance the night away to all your favourite hits from across the years. Professional DJ. Full Bar & Raffle. Tickets available from the Village Shop. Tel: 01572 767948

Sunday 9th December
At: Stamford Arts Centre
Price: FREE Entry
About: Join us for our gorgeous Christmas Stamford Quality Market at the beautiful Stamford Arts Centre. Lots of beautiful gift ideas from scarves, jewellery, candles, soft furnishings, toys, food and so much more. A great place to buy some unique Christmas gifts and all from local sellers. Support Small Businesses - Buy Local this Christmas. Well Behaved Dogs Welcome.

Sunday 9th December
At: St Mary The Virgin Church, Morcott, LE15 9DH
From: 4:30pm
Price: £7.50
About: A celebration of all things Christmassy in poetry and prose from Charles Dickens to John Betjeman, via Alan Coren and Dr Seuss - readings that are both funny and moving. Favourite Christmas carols to join in. Great fun for a dull Sunday afternoon and guaranteed to get you into the mood for Christmas! Tickets from 01572 747381. Includes mulled wine and mince pie. Heated church. Unreserved seating. A fundraiser for Morcott Church.

Monday 10th December
At: Oakham Town Centre
From: 4:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: Festive family fun in Oakham with market stalls, Santa's Grotto, live music, carol singing, arts and crafts, fun fair and a chance to do a bit of late night Christmas Shopping in the local shops!

From Wednesday 12th December to Friday 14th December
At: Uppingham Theatre, LE15 9UD
Price: £14
About: Seaton Starlights present Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ from December 12th -15th, including a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 15th at Uppingham Theatre. Come on this hilarious journey where you will join King Arthur and his brave (and not so brave!) knights, in their quest to find the holy grail. For tickets contact Lee on 07766582828, www.wegottickets.com, or Uppingham Sports and Books.

Thursday 13th December
At: Uppingham Town Hall, LE14 9PY
From: 7:30pm
Price: £5 per person
About: Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie learns about her mother’s past while pregnant herself.

Saturday 15th December
At: Oakham Library
From: 10:00am to 11:00am
Price: FREE
About: Meet Sayeh Stone, Rutland Radio presenter and author of 'Shaped Animals'. Sayeh will be reading her fab new picture book 'Snotty Santa' to young children, followed by some Santa-themed crafts. Ages 2-7 years. FREE but tickets required - available from Oakham Library. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday 15th December
At: Stamford Arts Centre, PE9 2DL
From: 10:00am to 5:00pm
About: More than 20 stalls of high-quality gifts, made by local makers, crafters and artisans - all based in and around Stamford. Get your Christmas shopping cracked while supporting local independent businesses. Organised by a team of local Etsy sellers.

Saturday 15th December
At: Normanton Church, LE15 8RP
From: 6:30pm
Price: £10 per person
About: Join us for a festive evening at the beautiful Normanton Church. £10 per person, to include a mince pie and mulled wine, and free parking in the main car park. Tickets are selling fast, to book yours call Sue on 07757 975088, or alternatively call into Berridge Taxis, Long Row, Oakham.

Saturday 15th December
At: Oakham School Chapel, LE15 6DT
From: 7:30pm
Price: £8 per person
About: A Quirky Christmas Presented by Chater Community Choir. In aid of Shine! (registered charity - 249338). Tickets available from Tracy Steward 01780 729006 or Jenny Clarke 01572 821197 

Sunday 16th December
At: Barnsdale Gardens, Oakham, LE15 8AH
From: 10:00am to 3:30pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: Put on your Christmas jumpers and join us for a family festive day of Christmas crafts, cupcake decorating, festive activities and a delicious afternoon tea for you and the children. (Afternoon tea needs to be pre-booked.)Afternoon teas can be viewed and booked through our website shop. If you do not fancy an afternoon tea then why don't you just join in with the crafts?!

Sunday 16th December
At: Rutland Cycling, Rutland Water, LE15 8HD
From: 10:00am
Price: £5 per family
About: Rutland Cycling's charity Santa ride is back again this festive season on Sunday, 16th December at 10.00 am. Suitable for the whole family. Join us for a steady pedal at Rutland Water, from Giant Store Normanton to Whitwell for refreshments, then back to Normanton. All proceeds going to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice Charity. Fancy dress is optional but encouraged with prizes up for grabs for the best fancy dress and best-dressed bike. Family ticket only £5. Bike hire is also available at only £5 (advanced booking only).

Xmas Prize Bingo
Sunday 16th December
At: Market Overton Bowls Club, Oakham
From: 7:30pm
About: The Cricket Club Bingo is renowned for giving out good prizes & this is will be no different.

Satuday 22nd & Sunday 23rd December
At: Oakham Castle, LE16 6DX
Price: From £4
About: Traditional festive cheer returns to Oakham Castle. Join us for a Dickensian inspired Christmas weekend. Paid entry with free activities crafts and entertainment. Santa will be back with real reindeer. You will be transported to a Victorian parlor, where Mr. and Mrs. Fezzywig will invite you to join their Christmas party. There will be games and old-fashioned toys to play with beneath the glittering real tree, mulled wine, crafts and plenty of things to dress up in! A nostalgic trip into a bygone world...All set in the stunning medieval Great Hall.

EXCLUSIVE: Witham Wines launch alcoholic Sparkling Elderflower Infusion

21 November 2018
Witham Wines is an artisan winery and makers of sparkling wine, ran by the Ruigrok family in South Witham, Lincolnshire, which is where their beloved elderflower used to create their signature alcoholic beverages is also harvested.

Today, Witham Wines are excited to announce their new product exclusively on the blog... As I'm equally excited to announce that I am one of their Brand Ambassadors alongside local chef and former Masterchef contestant, Simon Spooner and local wine journalist and enthusiast, Jess Lamb.

Witham Wines have spent month perfecting their product and the latest addition to their line, an alcoholic Witham's Sparkling Elderflower Infusion made with English spring water. Produced in their Lincolnshire Winery at a respectable 3.5% ABV and is also Gluten Free and Vegan. 'Infused with Love' Sparkling Elderflower Infusion by Witham's (Witham Wines) launches throughout Lincolnshire Cooperative stores this week.

Witham Wines launch Witham's Sparkling Elderflower Infusion.

A Visit to: Brentingby Gin, Melton Mowbray

13 November 2018
Nestled in the heart of the village of Brentingby near Melton Mowbray is something quite unexpected... But it's where you'll find the Brentingby Gin Distillery.

Brentingby Gin is unique and a true craft gin. Handcrafted and produced in Brentingby created by gin-lover, Bruce Midgley. Brentingby Gin has already made its mark on the nation and is a favourite of some of the UK's biggest celebrities. Bruce has put his heart and soul into creating a fantastic gin to differ from the rest and it certainly does just that!

Produced locally in a picturesque village near Melton called Brentingby.

Rutland Remembers with The Rutland Poppy Project

8 November 2018
The Rutland Poppy Project has brought the local community together to create 10,000 ceramic poppy sculptures commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

Each poppy, which has been handcrafted by a someone from the Rutland community who volunteered to participate in the project, has now been arranged at Oakham Castle in an eye-opening display inspired by the original work by Paul Cummins at the Tower of London.

The Rutland Poppy Project of 10,000 handcrafted poppies on display at Oakham Castle.

What's on in Rutland: November 2018

6 November 2018
The Christmas activities are slowly creeping in and there is lot of autumn/winter events on around the county this month with craft fayres, music events, film nights, remembrance services, performances, charity stalls, tree dressing, wreath making and much, much more!


Please Note: More information regarding promotions and events will be added as we hear about them!

What's on in Rutland: Bonfire & Fireworks 2018

27 October 2018
One of my favourite occasions of the year is definitely Bonfire Night on 5th November. It's an event we always looked forward to as a family whilst growing up and occasionally we even hosted charity firework evenings of our own.

This year I thought I'd put together a guide of 'What's on' around Stamford and Rutland in the theme of the 5th November whether that's fireworks, productions or bonfires so you can make plans with your family and friends.


Whissendine Bonfire and Fireworks Spectacular
Friday 2nd November
At: Whissendine Sports Club, Whissendine, LE15 7EU
Time: from 6:00pm
Price: from £3
About: Whissendine CE Primary School Parents Association is holding its annual Bonfire and Firework Spectacular on Friday 2nd November 2018 at Whissendine Sports Club, Melton Road, Whissendine. Gates open at 6pm. Bonfire lit at 6.15pm with fireworks starting at 7pm. Hot & cold refreshments will be available including licensed bar & BBQ. 
Tickets purchased in advance Adults £4 Children £3. Gate price is £5 (any age). Under 3's go free. 
Tickets can be purchased from Rutland Toy Store in Oakham and Whissendine Mace Convenience Store in Whissendine from the 12th October. 
This event is being sponsored by Stapleford Park Hotel. All proceeds to go to Whissendine CE Primary School. 
Strictly NO Sparklers. Parking is limited in the village and parking restrictions around the sports club will be in place for safety reasons so please park carefully around the village and allow time to walk to the Sports Club.

Barrowden Bonfire Night
Saturday 3rd November
At: Barrowden Recreation Ground
Time: from 6:00pm
Price: Donations Only
About: Bonfire, fireworks, BBQ, drinks and more! Dogs welcome too!

Rutland Lions Firework Display
Saturday 3rd November

At: Oakham Rugby Club, Oakham, LE15 7TW
Time: from 6:00pm
Price: £6
About: Rutland Lions host their annual firework display on Saturday 3rd November 2018 at Oakham Rugby Club. As usual, there will be two displays, the first starting at 7pm, slightly less noisy and intended more for younger spectators, the second at 7.45pm, a fully choreographed display with big bangs and bright skies for all spectators. The usual barbecue fayre of hot dogs and burgers will be provided, and the rugby club bar will be open for all types of refreshment. The magical lightsabers will also be available for all those budding Jedi out there. Entry remains at £6 on the night for everyone over 5 years old, however both single and family tickets can be purchased in advance, £5 for everyone over five years old, £16 for a family of four and £20 for a family of five. Tickets will be available from Fords of Oakham and from Uppingham Sport & Book. Please note that family tickets will NOT be available on the night. Please note that dogs will NOT be granted entry to the Showground, and we respectfully request that children do not bring sparklers.

Saturday 3rd November
At: East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE2 6SW
Time: from 5:00pm
Price: from £5
About: Enjoy live music, fairground rides, and a superb firework display on 3rd November as the Peterborough Firework Fiesta sponsored by Britannia Fire & Security returns for 2018. Watch the spectacular display of fireworks by Titanium, the company behind national celebration fireworks such as the Commonwealth Games and New Year displays in London and Edinburgh. There’s great family entertainment to enjoy with live music, food outlets, fairground rides. 
Free parking at the East of England Showground. Tickets are on sale now - visit the website for full details. All proceeds from Firework Fiesta are donated to charities and good causes in Peterborough

Bonfire & Fireworks at the Engine Yard
Saturday 3rd November

At: Engine Yard at Belvoir Castle, Belvoir, Grantham, NG32 1PA
Time: from 5:30pm
Price: from £5
About: Join us on the evening of Saturday 3rd November to enjoy a beautiful autumn evening. Warm up with a Bailey's Hot Chocolate whilst watching a firework display by the wonderful MLE Pyrotechnics and toast your toes on our bonfire!
Gates open at 5.30pm for music entertainment and food from our outdoor kitchen including hot dogs, burgers, toffee apples and much more! Refreshments for both the little ones and adults will be available too. Bonfire from 6pm and fireworks start at 7.45pm.

Stamford Kiwanis Annual Bonfire & Firework Display
Saturday 3rd November

At: Stamford Welland Academy, Stamford, PE9 1HE
Time: from 6:00pm
Price: from £2
About: A spectacular bonfire event that draws crowds to what is regarded as the region's finest fireworks display. As well as a truly giant-sized bonfire, the evening includes children's entertainment, hot food and mulled wine. It takes place at Stamford Welland Academy, Green Lane, Stamford on Saturday, 3rd November. Gates open at 5:00 pm bonfire lit at 6 o'clock followed by a massive fireworks display starting just a little later. Free Parking. No sparklers, please. Bring all the family to enjoy a memorable and spectacular fireworks display. Entrance £5 Adults, £2 children. Proceeds distributed to local charities.

The Gunpowder Plot
Saturday 3rd & Monday 5th November

At: The Core, Corby, NN14 3AG
Time: from 7:30pm
Price: £15 per person
About: A fantastic night out for those who want a bonfire night celebration with a difference.
The Gunpowder Plot returns to Boughton House in November 2018. Witness a spectacular re-telling of the events of the 5th of November 1605 with large-scale projections, breathtaking theatrical performances, and a dramatic soundtrack, all rounded off with a stunning firework display over the grounds of the stately home. This promises to be an explosive night out for the whole family, not to be missed!
Back with a bang after one year off, the completely reimagined show will have an all-new soundtrack, script, performance, and animation. It’ll be staged in the grounds of Boughton House on Saturday 3rd and Monday 5th November.

Cottesmore Bonfire Night
Sunday 4th November

At: Cottesmore Community Centre, Cottesmore, LE15 7DH
Time: from 4:00pm
Price: from £1.50
About: Tickets will be on sale from Cottesmore Village Shop from around two weeks before the event. Gates Open 16.00. All timings and attractions subject to weather conditions.
Bonfire, fireworks, refreshments, sparklers, stalls and more.

North Luffenham Fireworks
Monday 5th November
At: The Oval, North Luffenham, LE15 8LB
Time: from 6:00pm
Price: Donations only
About: The 2018 event will take place on Sunday 4th November 2017 on the Oval. Gates open at 6pm and the bonfire will be lit at around 6:10pm and fireworks will start at 6:30pm. We will have a competition for the best ‘Guy’ and there will be drinks to buy. Please donate generously as you possibly can on the night.

Firework Display
Monday 5th November

At: Blackstones Sports & Social Club, Lincoln Road, Stamford
Time: from 6:00pm
About: Fireworks Display, BBQ and Stalls. All welcome!



What's on in Rutland: Halloween

26 October 2018
Halloween is nearly here and whether you celebrate it in your family or not, there is plenty of things to do around Stamford and Rutland to get into the spirit and keep the kids entertained this week.

So get your planners, diaries and WhatsApp groups at the ready to make some Halloween plans with the following events...


Open Daily from 11:00am to 5:00pm
At: Burghley House, Stamford, PE9 3JY
About: During October why not come and join us for the Burghley Halloween Trail around the Sculpture Garden. Tread through the crispy Autumn leaves and find the hidden spooks to receive a treat. Admission is included with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket. Annual Pass holders and Friends of Burghley also get free admission. Afterwards, why not warm up in the Garden Cafe with a yummy hot chocolate or a cup of steaming soup? Open daily from 11am to 5pm (last admission at 4.30pm)

Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Wednesday 31st October
At: Stamford Arts Centre, Stamford, PE9 2DL
Price: from £5
About: New Ghost Walks fun for all the family, suitable for children 6+
Hear about the spooks that haunt Stamford streets!
Book tickets here


Hootingly Haunted Halloween
Saturday 27th October
At: Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Egleton, LE15 8BT
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Price: £10 per person
About: Carve a pumpkin and make your own broomstick to take home! Discover what goes on under the cover of darkness at a nature reserve as you dissect owl pellets. A prize for the best fancy dress costume! £10 per participant, booking required at rutlandwater.org.uk or by telephoning the centre on 01572 770651.

Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October
At: Rutland Cycling, Bull Brigg Lane, Whitwell, LE15 8BL
Price: £1 donation to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice
About: Cycle the Spooky Bike Trail between Whitwell and Normanton, collecting the clues along the way! Complete the trail to collect your prize at the end.


Sunday 28th October
At: Barnsdale Gardens, The Avenue, Exton, LE15 8AH
Time: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Price: from £5
About: Come for a walk in the Weird Woods where you can take part in a spot of spooky apple bobbing and carve your own petrifying pumpkin to take home- it's frightening fun for all the family, and kids in costume visit free!

Stamford Spooktacular
Sunday 28th October
At: Stamford Recreation Ground, Stamford, PE9 1EN
Time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Price: FREE Entry
About: It is FREE Entry for the afternoon. 1pm - 4pm, presented by Stamford Town Council with Friends of Stamford and Rutland theatre, Activities for all the family. Music, Live Entertainment, Interactive Children's quiz. Children Colouring Corner and Spooky Photo Area - Come and take your selfie in some "Spooky Accessories". Best Pumpkin (bring your own) and Best Fancy Dress competition. As well as ghost stories, costume characters and many prizes to be won.

Pumpkin Picking at Hill Farm, Chesterton

24 October 2018
Just 20-25 minutes from Uppingham, on what looks just like a normal farm, you'll find a real hidden gem and it's called Hill Farm in Chesterton near Peterborough. Which has become quite the annual occasion for us to visit every October, as we go pumpkin picking!

Edward enjoyed picking the pumpkins for each member of his family.

There are different areas of the field where you can pick the pre-picked pumpkins or those still growing.
This year, I took my godson as he's now old enough to pick his own, ride in the wheelbarrow, play on the park and enjoy this country-bumpkin style Halloween activity with me.

Hill Farm is a great place to visit whatever your age and even though I'm twenty-something, I look forward to it each year. It's a working farm which is open throughout certain months of the year as a 'pick your own' farm with everything from strawberries to squashes but each October you can visit to pick the perfect pumpkin!

A wheelbarrow ride around was the easier transport with a two-year-old.
There is plenty of parking and even birds of prey! As well as a play area and it looked like some families had brought along picnic too and made a real day of it. But the farm does have their own coffee shop, toilets and other amenities for you enjoy to make your visit the perfect day out with the family.

The Hill Farm 'Ghost Busters' display.
I recommend bringing your wellingtons, just in case and if you've got little ones, prepare for a little walk to the pumpkin field - the wheelbarrows come in handy with that though! But even the walk to the field is fun-filled with the farm set out with little Halloween displays including the 'Hill Farm Ghostbusters', ghosts hanging from trees, a pumpkin trail, model graveyard and much more.


Each year there are birds of prey which you can have the opportunity to hold if you wish.
You can pick as many pumpkins as you like and if you don't fancy a walk to the field, there is already some freshly picked at the shop for you to choose from. The prices start from around £1 with even some mini munchkin pumpkins too! When you visit the field to pick your own, you return to the shop with your wheelbarrow and each pumpkin you've chosen is measured and priced by size but on average they are just a few pounds.


The play area/park has something for children of all ages with swings, monkey bars, slides, balancing apparatus and even a little farm cut out for your to take funny photographs in. There is plenty of bench seating too, but many had bought a picnic blanket too.


The shop also features a selection of other kinds of pumpkin and squashes some for decoration and some to each, carve or decorate! As well as prepicked fruit and vegetables, oil, apple juice and other items grown or made on the farm.



Each year I visit Hill Farm it makes me realise how lucky we are to be surrounded by farming and all these unique activities we get to be able to do because of the gorgeous countryside.

     Find out more about Hill Farm...
Hill Farm, Oundle Rd, Chesterton, Peterborough PE7 3UA
Opening hours:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm
T: 01733 233270

Uppingham Teenager finds fame on CBBC TV Show

13 September 2018
Eva Finnemore (13) from Uppingham is a year 8 student at UCC and has spent her summer holidays living every child's dream in London, filming for a TV Show called 'Got What It Takes'.

You might know Eva better as the young, confident and talented musician and singer-songwriter, Eva Rose. Over the summer she has been filming episodes for the show which will be aired on CBBC on Monday 24th September 2018 and she needs your vote to WIN!

Eva Finnemore talks CBBC TV show 'Got What It Takes'.
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Eva and her Mother, Mel Finnemore moved to London for 3 weeks and stayed in the 'Music Mansion' with 8 other parents and child pairs. By day, the teams each took part competing in pop-star style challenges to get to get the teens to the sing-off. By night, they mingled and jammed together in the Music Mansion's common room, where they made - what Eva said were - friends for life.

The competition features famous mentors and industry experts such as Olly Murs, Maya Jama, John Newman, Sophia Grace and Britain's Got Talents Bars & Melody and the show is presented by Blogger/Influencer Anna Maynard. The winner of 'Got What It Takes' will have the opportunity to star on stage alongside music chart-toppers at Radio 1's Big Weekend.

The Finnemore family are community heroes in Rutland, as Eva's parents are firefighters and charity supporters locally in and around the county and are also Stonemasons at Finnemore Stone in Uppingham.

Eva has been singing and songwriting since she was 8 years old and she can play 7 instruments including the guitar and the piano. She says her love for music helps her academically in school especially in Maths and English which work in harmony with her songwriting, learning instruments and reading music.

She's an academic student at Uppingham Community College but makes as much time as she can for her passion, her music. Eva plays locally at open mic nights at Don Paddy's in Uppingham and monthly at Exeter Arms in Barrowden. She's also won Leicester's Got Talent and performs at HallatonFest annually, whilst still making time to maintain her grades at school and film for TV shows... I don't know how she does it!

Eva Finnemore talks CBBC TV show 'Got What It Takes'.
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Eva told me all about her look which she says is 'very important'. She loves bright colours and bold clothing choices but it's more than that... 

Every time she writes a new song, she buys a new outfit to go with it! For her song 'Moving On,' she wears a leather steampunk inspired outfits with a 50s style skirt which features a map. Eva is probably most noticeable for her incredible braids, usually in all kinds of colours which takes her Mum 5 hours to do and about 2 and half hours to take out before school.

As a child at primary school, Eva had a difficult time with bullies and she wrote a song called 'Invisible Invincible' at the age of 8 about her struggles and coming out the other side. Listening to Eva and her family explain this time to me and the reasons behind the song, I felt that this really has made Eva the strong, independent and determined thirteen-year-old she is today. She's an extremely polite, confident and utterly charming young woman and I find it hard to believe she's only 13. She carries herself perfectly and a delight to spend time with.

"The show was a great experience and I've met friends for life"
- Eva Finnemore

It's really refreshing to hear such a young lady like Eva talk about how much she loves Rutland, despite traveling around the country performing she says 'she'll never want to live anywhere else'. 

Eva needs your support throughout the 10 'Got What It Takes' Episodes before the final on 26th November which will go to a vote for the winner of the series and Eva would love it if you could support her by voting when the time comes.

You can watch the first episode of 'Got What It Takes' on Monday 24th September on the CBBC channel at 5:25 pm. Watch the teens and their mums take on a Vlogging & Football Challenge!

Please note you must have a BBC online login to vote and I'll keep blogs social media accounts up to date with voting information nearer the time

Follow Eva Rose Music:
Instagram: @EvaRoseMusic05
Twitter: @EvaRoseMusic05


A Visit to: Curtain Upp Dance School, Uppingham

23 August 2018
Curtain Upp Dance School was started by Helen Becque in 2016 and the school now has many pupils of ages 2-12 years, who all love to dance! Helen's passion for dance is so clear as soon as you meet her and you can tell the children admire their teacher.

I visited the Saturday sessions/rehearsals at Uppingham Town Hall, where children of all ages who've formed friendships since joining Curtain Upp all danced together each performing their groups and solo pieces for the show that Sunday. There was lots of laughter and the town hall was full of confidence and complete enjoyment.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Sunday was show day! The big day everyone had been waiting for and I was so excited too!
The show featured many different types of dance including tap, modern, Strictly Come Dancing worthy lifts and even cartwheels, worms and 'the floss'!

But don't think the parents got away with it! The show also featured an impressive 'Dad Dance' which was a beautiful ballet! Put it this way, they were actually rather good but my stomach hurt from laughing. Well done Dad's!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
The school resumes after the Summer break on Thursday 31st August at Uppingham Town Hall. Taster sessions are £1 and your child can enjoy weekly classes from only £3.

I interviewed Helen about the school, the shows and the story behind Curtain Upp...
Take a read!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your 2018 Summer show! I had so much fun and it was lovely to see children of all ages enjoying dance and being so confident on stage.
Please tell our readers more about Curtain Upp and how it started?

I am so glad you enjoyed the show, I agree it is wonderful to see the joy on the children’s faces when they are performing and so many of them have gained confidence immensely since they started dancing. This is one of the main reasons I started Curtain Upp. My daughter Talia wanted to dance and I wanted to be able to give her all of the wonderful experiences, benefits and opportunities I had as a young dancer. I started dancing at the age of 4 and soon realised it was something I loved to do.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
I started my career as a professional dancer in Blackpool, it was the best decision I ever made as this led to years of dancing, travelling the world and meeting the most amazing people. After this period in my life, I then trained to be an Art teacher but also taught dance, drama and music.

Opening Curtain Upp has enabled me to combine all of these transferable skills and experiences as a dancer and a classroom teacher. I feel as though I am where I belong and I am so happy I can have a positive impact on the people of Rutland who are interested in performing too.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
2. One of the things I loved most, was seeing girls and boys dancing together. They all learned some amazing choreography and so many unique skills from different types of dance. Please tell us more about the children that take part in Curtain Upp and the types of dance included?

At Curtain Upp we offer dance classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Acrobatics, Street, Commercial, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. We teach group classes and private lessons, which is called the Curtain Upp Elites. We offer a variety of disciplines so that the children have a good choice of classes and can broaden their experience of styles of dance easily.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Dance classes start at age 2 and we encourage both girls and boys to join us. Many of the children who dance together attend the local schools in Uppingham. However, others come from various schools in the Rutland area and beyond. Curtain Upp is a family and it is wonderful to see the children making friends and bonding with other children from different areas and classes.

This was definitely apparent during our first ‘Spotlight Dance Festival’ this year and was reinforced at our Summer Show. It is so lovely to see all of our dancers creating lasting memories together. I am still great friends with the people I danced with at dance school and professionally, and they are friendships and memories I will cherish forever.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
3. I also came along to the dance school on a Saturday, which is located in Uppingham Town Hall and it was lovely to watch the children rehearse their parts, meet some of the parents and the children too. I was amazed by all the children’s confidence, especially 2-year-old Florrie.
Please tell the readers a little more about the Saturday school?

I am so glad you had the opportunity to see the magical transition from rehearsal to a performance on the stage. Little Florrie was just a few weeks old in her Mommy’s arms when Rosie her sister attended Curtain Upp’s very first taster session at our launch. As soon as Florrie could stand she was copying her sister dancing, so she joined the class as soon she was just 2 years old and was the youngest person to take part in our Summer Show at Uppingham Theatre. I think her confidence and ability amazed everyone.

Saturday morning is our busiest day and starts at 9am with Baby Ballet age 2-3, followed by Baby Modern. Each 30-minute session costs £3. As the school is forever growing and evolving, I am currently working on our September timetable and all of the timings of classes can be found on our website www.curtainupp.co.uk.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
4. The show was outstanding! The music, the choreography and the outfits were stunning. It was clear to see the children love their time at Curtain Upp and seeing their faces beam while they performed was lovely to witness.
Please tell us more about the shows, the rehearsals etc 

This was our first ever theatre show and I must admit it was a little daunting. But I felt very confident it was going to be the most amazing experience for the children and their families. Especially as many of them would be dancing at such a wonderful theatre in their hometown. I started to plan the show a year ago and we began to learn and rehearse the numbers in March. We practised each week, added props and then polished the numbers. I really wanted the children to try their best to remember the steps themselves (apart from the baby group) so I made the decision not to be on stage with the younger children. I am so glad I went ahead with that decision as it meant that each troupe held the stage all by themselves and they were all so fantastic! I was bursting with pride.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Our costumes were sourced from a variety of places, but my favourites were those that were made by the Parents and Grandparents themselves. I am so glad you sensed the children’s love for their time at Curtain Upp. This is why I named the show ‘For the Love of Dance’ and ultimately this is the essence of Curtain Upp Stage School.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
5.  Thanks again for letting me share Curtain Upp on the blog, it really was a pleasure. Helen, what have you and your team got planned for the future of Curtain Upp and where can our readers go to signup their children?

Thank you so much for taking the time to see what we do. I strongly believe that dance can have such a positive effect on life. We have lots of exciting plans for the future and I will continue to ensure our dancers are receiving the highest quality of dance teaching combined with a strong element of fun and creativity.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
We have been fundraising this year and with the help of this and also donations from local organisations and businesses we will be installing Ballet Barres in Uppingham Town Hall ready for September. We are also purchasing movable dance mirrors. We will be presenting our annual free showcases at The Falcon Hotel for Christmas in Uppingham and Uppingham Feast Day. As well as participating in the Rutland Spotlight Dance Festival 2019. After the huge success of our first Summer School, we plan to continue to hold ‘Holiday’ clubs at various times during the year.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
We are also collaborating with Brooke Peverall who hosts SINGS! sessions around Rutland, to create a Curtain Upp choir. We will be focusing on Musical Theatre and Pop songs and have a £1 taster session at Uppingham Town Hall on Friday 31st August at 4.15pm.

Finally, from September we will also be focusing on exam work in Ballet, Modern and Tap. It will never be compulsory to take exams, but I feel the dancers are now ready to take this next big step and I am so excited to be presenting them with this new challenge.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
___

If your child loves to dance, learn new skills, enjoys activities or maybe just wants something super fun to do at the weekends and perform in a big production with the most amazing costumes I've ever seen then maybe they should try a £1 taster day at Curtain Upp.

If anyone would like to see if there is space to sign their child up for a £1 taster for any session at any time during the year, they can do this via the Curtain Upp website www.curtainupp.co.uk or by emailing Helen directly at helen@curtainupp.co.uk.

Follow Curtain Upp on Facebook:

and if you want to be a dancing Dad just like these heroes...
You know where to go!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Please note this blog post contains sponsored content
If you would like to purchase any of the photographs please contact: rutlandcreative@yahoo.com

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