Website for the over 60s  February 2017
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Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Codenames

Win Codenames from Esdevium Games

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Esdevium Games to offer two lucky readers the chance to win Codenames, a great new word game for all the family.

Codenames is a social word game with a simple premise and challenging game play. Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.

Codenames from Esdevium Games

Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table. Their teammates try to guess words of their colour while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

The game works very well with 4 players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. There is also a cooperative variant where a single team tries to achieve the highest score they can by playing against the game itself.

Each game has one key that reveals the secret identities of the cards on the table

Each game has one key that reveals the secret identities of the cards on the table. The spymasters choose a key card randomly and don't let the field operatives see it.

Recommended for ages 8 years and up, Codenames is suitable for 2 - 8 players. RRP is £14.12.

Codenames won the Spiel des Jahres in 2016

Codenames from designer Vlaada Chvátil and publisher Czech Games Edition won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres, Germany's game of the year award.

This is intended to highlight games of an outstanding design that would be ideal for German families - and if you happen to belong to a family of some other nationality, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the game as well.

Codenames is available to buy from

For Your Chance to Win

    Tell us the name
 of this famous actor
  who is best known
      for his role as
   James Bond 007

Tell us the name of this famous actor?

 a) Brad Pitt
 b) Tom Cruise
 c) Daniel Craig
 d) Pierce Brosnan

  To Enter the Competition

Tell us the name of this famous actor who is best known for his role as James Bond 007? Then send in your answer, together with your full name, postal address and telephone number by clicking on the Sixtyplusurfers link below:

* Please label your entry
Codenames Competition

* This competition is open to
our UK readers only


  From Rome to the
    Royal Crescent

Timothy Richards

 Exhibition of  meticulously detailed
    architectural models by Timothy
   Edwards at Royal Crescent Bath

Bath Preservation Trust celebrates the 250th anniversary of the City, UNESCO World Heritage Site, with an exhibition of Timothy Richards exquisite models at One Royal Crescent, magnificently restored Palladian town house which creates a vital picture of life in the late 18th century.

For 25 years Timothy Richards has been perfecting the art of making plaster models adding tiny details in glass, lead and gold. He has magically miniaturised famous 18th century neo-classical buildings, master works from ancient Greece and Rome, Chrysler and Flatiron buildings in Manhattan, revered American monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Building in Washington.

For 25 years Timothy Richards has been perfecting the art of making plaster models

Richards attracts high profile clients from around the world, from Sir Terence Conran to Harvard University. He practises plasterwork in a tradition which returns to Jean-Pierre and his son Francois Fouquet, in pre-Revolutionary Paris, unequalled in our time. For once the word 'unique' applies.

He masterminds a team of assistants in workshops (not a factory) converted from a Victorian school building in Bath. He grew up in Corston near Bath, studied art in Taunton, travelled widely and finally set up his workshops in 1988. The grand streets of Bath, he reflects, probably set him on his chosen path.

Timothy Richards masterminds a team of assistants in workshops in Bath

He has an affinity with the principles of neo-classical design, inspired by ancient Greece and Rome, later followed by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) an Italian stone mason from Vicenza who became the most influential architect in the Western world.

Timothy Richards explains, "Georgian buildings can make you feel you are living in a palace, at least on its first, principal floor, known as the 'piano nobile'."

Timothy Richards says that Georgian buildings can make you feel you are living in a palace

For further information about the exhibition and to buy models by Timothy Richards visit his website at

 Elizabeth Emmanuel
         to Exhibit at
    Blenheim Palace

Lady Diana Spencer, later Duchess of Bedford

          Lady Diana Spencer, later
              Duchess of Bedford

Blenheim Palace is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Emanuel will be contributing to the exciting new, 'Passion for Fashion – 300 years of Style,' exhibition opening on 12th February, 2017.

The exhibition is a celebration of three centuries of Blenheim related fashion and style. Emanuel will be allowing items from her personal archive to be on display for the very first time and the dress-making process for Princess Diana's wedding dress will be documented from initial sketches and designs, right up to the finished article. The late Princess of Wales was one of four Lady Diana Spencers related to the Duke of Marlborough and his family.

Elizabeth Emanuel says, “I am thrilled to be able to contribute to this new exhibition at Blenheim Palace. I am delighted to be able to lend such precious items which were an integral and important part of the making of the Royal wedding dress. It will be lovely to see them displayed for visitors to see at the Palace.”

She continues, “The exhibition marks the start of an exciting year as I am looking forward to the launch of my new brand later in 2017.”

Emanuel's artefacts will be surrounded by Blenheim Palace's own priceless collections and displayed alongside 18th, 19th and 20th century items of clothing, shoes and accessories on loan from the Hereford Museum and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

The exhibition will be mounted throughout the Palace with displays in 11 separate locations

The exhibition will be mounted throughout the Palace with displays in 11 separate locations, and there will be a special digital display featuring the recent Dior S/S17 Cruise collection catwalk show which took place in the State Rooms in May 2016.

A Passion for Fashion will look at the outerwear and underwear which would have been worn by family members, as well as some of the more unusual accessories used by them - false eyebrows made from 'mouse' skin, fans, wigs and scalp scratchers and a look at King Louis XIV's obsession with shoes and how the styles he favoured have been adopted by the fashionistas of today.

This captivating exhibition will also highlight examples of clothing worn by Victorian children

This captivating exhibition will also highlight examples of clothing worn by Victorian children, including the young Winston Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace.

“This fascinating exhibition will give visitors a unique insight into Blenheim Palace's fashionable past and will highlight the leading role the Palace and its many occupants have played in the changing face of fashion through the ages,” saya Antonia Keaney, curator of the exhibition.

“In addition to the beautiful – and sometimes incredibly impractical – fashions of the past, we will be bringing the exhibition right up to the present day to include iconic items from the Palace's more recent history,” she adds.

Blenheim State Room

A Passion for Fashion' - 300 years of style at Blenheim Palace runs from February 11th to March 12th 2017.

For more information about Blenheim Palace visit

   Tickets on Sale
    for Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Lynn

Singing sensations Blake and Hayley Westenra, comedian Alexander Armstrong and renowned dancer and choreographer Robert Robinson are the first few names set to star in a one-night spectacular this year to celebrate Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday.

London’s world famous Palladium will host the spectacular variety extravaganza on Saturday 18th March 2017, and will honour The Forces’ Sweetheart and mark her incredible 100 years. Organisers are promising a once in a lifetime experience for those lucky enough to snap up tickets to this star-studded event, which will raise money for the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity (DVLCC).

To tell the story of Dame Vera’s life, and highlight her many hits such as We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover, the show will feature a host of stars from the stage and screen. The celebrity guests will be performing and narrating during the evening and will be accompanied by the revered Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, The Squadronaires, a very fitting tribute to Mr Harry Lewis, Dame Vera Lynn’s husband, who was a founder member.

Dame Vera is credited for boosting the nation’s morale during the darkest days of World War II, and has been honoured countless times for her services to entertainment and charity. Her latest accolade came in the Queen’s 2016 birthday honours when she was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.

The full guest line up is set to be released in the coming weeks but audience members can expect an incredible evening of entertainment from some of the most loved stars in show business.

Dame Vera says, “To have reached my hundredth year is in itself an achievement - with all the many memories that one collects over the years, the different places and the wonderful people one meets and the many, many fans from across the world who have supported me. The show on March 18th will be but a tiny insight into my career from when I started professionally on stage at the age of seven, through the war years right up until the current day. So I want you to sit back and enjoy what for me has been an incredible adventure of song, dance and friendship.”

Dame Vera’s son-in-law Squadron Leader Tom Jones (Ret’d), one of the show’s producers, adds, “We are all incredibly excited to be celebrating Dame Vera’s milestone birthday with this star-studded show at The London Palladium. She remains so humble about her career, which touched the lives of so many troops and got them through some of their darkest days.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming guests, friends, VIPs and dignitaries to the concert to celebrate - it will be a truly memorable night for all who attend.”

The Dame Vera Lynn 100th birthday celebration - or 100: A Tribute to Dame Vera Lynn as it is entitled - is being held at the London Palladium on 18th March 2017.

Tickets are on sale now priced from £50 and available from

     New Waterway
 Walks Unwrapped

Explore the nation's tranquil waterways this winter

Banish the winter blues, embrace the fresh air and explore the walking routes on the nation's tranquil waterways this winter.

The Canal & River Trust, working with the Royal Geographical Society and iFootpath, has created a host of easy to access walks that reveal the hidden history, architecture, wildlife and colourful narrowboats of our canals and rivers amidst relaxing views of the water.

Whether you want a short stomp with toddlers, a vigorous all-day hike with friends or a Sunday stroll to a cosy waterside pub, there are over 2,000 miles of traffic-free towpaths to explore in England and Wales.

Towpaths offer accessible and mostly level walking routes with little chance of getting lost as you follow the line of the meandering river or canal. Historic lock flights, charming hump-backed bridges and glimpses of the past - such as rope marks and mile posts - all add interest and no winter walk would be complete without coming across the welcoming lights of a friendly pub, café or teashop.

Here are a few walks to whet your appetite:

Stourbridge walk

Known as the 'Crystal Canal' follow the Town Arm of the Stourbridge Canal to uncover why this area was ideal for glassmaking during the Industrial Revolution. Visit Britain's most complete working 'glass cone' and see Stourbridge's flight of 16 locks. The starting point is Canal Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 4LU. The finishing point is Red House Glass Cone, Wordsley, West Midlands DY8 4AZ. Distance is one and a half miles.

Dudley walk

Crossing four limestone hills, this walk offers geological insights into the area and delightful views of the West Midlands countryside. The starting point is Dudley Priory, Priory Park, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AY. End point is Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley, West Midlands DY3 1QR. Distance is five miles.

Birmingham walk

Walking from the Bullring Shopping Centre to the bustling city centre, this walk explores Birmingham as the 'workshop of the world'. The city has been subject to constant change. Discover how Birmingham's heritage is celebrated in cleverly-converted buildings and spectacular new ones. The starting point is Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham B5 4BU. End point is Victoria Square, Birmingham B2 5TB. Distance is under two miles.

To find out more about the new walks or to discover interesting places near you visit

News & Book Reviews

Celebrate the Birth of Flight at Ironbridge

Ceramic clay workshop at Ironbridge

          Half-term 18th – 26th February

Celebrate the birth of flight during the February half-term with an array of themed family activities at Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge Museums tying in with special flight-linked anniversaries.

2017 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Wilbur Wright (16th April 1867), who flew the world’s first successful aeroplane back in 1903 with his brother Orville, while the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart, was born 120 years ago on 24th July 1897.

Create pneumatic rockets and gliders at Enginuity

Discover the fun of flying at the Enginuity hands-on design and technology centre in Coalbrookdale, where you can build and launch a pneumatic rocket at drop-in workshops between 10.30am and 3.45pm for £1 (plus admission) from 18th to 26th February.

Craft materials such as paper, card and plastic will be used to create model rockets of around 30cm in length, which can then be ‘fired’ from Enginuity’s air powered pneumatic launcher through a selection of suspended targets. You can also make a paper aeroplane and join daily record breaking attempts to beat the longest flight at 12noon or 3pm. Afterwards complete the Flight Trail and discover more about famous engineers and fliers who helped us take to the skies.

Between 20th and 24th February go along to Enginuity’s Fab Lab and use the 3D printer to make 8-inch long gliders from special plastic for a small fee of £1 for each model (plus admission). Then design decals for your glider on the computer, cut them from coloured vinyl using the vinyl cutter and stick them on to your glider, which you can take home and fly outside.

Falconry displays and kite-making at Blists Hill Victorian Town

At Blists Hill Victorian Town, where life over 100 years ago is recreated, you can watch in wonder as magnificent Birds of Prey swoop over The Green in our daily Falconry displays. You can also join a workshop to design and make a kite from craft materials between 11am and 1pm from 18th to 26th February, then fly it on during the early afternoon.

Each kite carries a small fee of £1 in addition to the museum entrance charge. Families can also follow a flight themed trail to follow around the Town over the holiday week.

Flight themed tile and ceramic clay workshops

Flight themed tile and ceramic clay workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum

Between Saturday 18th and 25th February, excluding Sunday 19th, join drop-in flight themed tile decorating workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum and use your imagination to decorate tiles using the traditional tube lining technique; perhaps a hot air balloon, flying saucer, aeroplane or other flying ‘machine’.

Tiles cost from £5 each (plus admission) and can be fired and sent home later for a small extra charge to cover postage and packing. It takes up to 1½ hours to decorate a tile so last admission is at 3pm.

Coalport China Museum

Across the river at Coalport China Museum you can take part in hands-on flight themed workshops from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd February to try sculpting your own flying creature from air-drying clay; choose from a bird, dragon, insect, bat or wherever your imagination leads you.

Throughout the half-term holiday, you can also paint ceramic items such as a money box, fridge magnet or delicate china flower as well as paper plates. Sessions take place between 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm and all ceramic items carry a small charge of £1-£4 in addition to the museum entrance fee. Afterwards follow a trail to discover the many birds from across the globe, which are featured in the museum’s ceramic collections.

Information for visitors

Blists Hill Victorian Town

All the museums are open from 10am until 5pm (Blists Hill until 4pm) during the February half term. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply).

Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities will vary from day-to-day and some additional costs will apply. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.

For further information visit the Ironbridge website at

Or call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424.

Living with Birds
at Hever Castle

Living with Birds at Hever Castle

    February 11th - 19th half term

Hever Castle & Gardens is teaming up with the RSPB to celebrate British garden birds during the February half term holiday. Visit the historic castle in Kent between 11th – 19th February to enjoy ‘Living with Birds’ a fun family event aimed at school aged children.

Coinciding with National Nest Box Week, visitors can learn how to help birds nest, survive and thrive in their gardens at home. A bird box building workshop* will provide kids with the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK by putting a nest box in their gardens, also providing the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that come to the garden (*additional fee).

Make a Nest Box at Hever Castle

Children can join a FREE bird themed craft workshop and find out more about different species of British birds on a bird spotting trail in the grounds. Visitors can also buy a bag of bird food* at the information centre (*50p) to feed the birds and ducks.

National Nest Box Week is organised each year by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Britain’s leading bird research charity. They encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area to promote biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds, particularly now the natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing.

See the birds at Hever Castle

From February 11th (weather dependent) visitors can follow a snowdrop trail through the grounds where a dusting of frost adds to the beauty of a walk in the award-winning gardens.

At this time of year, thousands of delicate snowdrop bulbs are starting to emerge after their winter dormancy, the first sign that spring is just around the corner.

For further information please visit the website at

Or call Hever Castle on 01732 865224.

Ancient Jug Returns Home to Turkey

Adam Partridge with Thelma Bishop

It's not everyday you return from holiday with a 4500-year-old souvenir. But inadvertently that is exactly what happened to Mrs Thelma Bishop of Gatley, near Stockport. Last year Adam Partridge Auctioneers and Valuers in Macclesfield were approached by Mrs Bishop seeking further information on a ceramic jug she and her husband Malcolm had bought after visiting Ephesus in Turkey in the early 1960s.

Mrs Bishop, a regular client of Partridge's studio ceramics sales, knew her Lucie Ries from her Hans Copers but was at a bit of a loss as to the authenticity of the jug. Luckily, Jason Wood, Specialist Consultant in Studio Ceramics at Partridge's, was on hand. Wood, who is also an archaeologist, made contact through his Turkish wife with several experts who confirmed the jug to be a genuine Early Bronze Age artefact belonging to the Yortan culture (c.2500 BC) and of a type commonly found as a burial offering in many graves in western Anatolia at this period.

The jug is beak-spouted, black-slipped and burnished with an almost-perfectly rounded base and looping handle with small raised lugs to the body. It is in remarkably good condition for its age and stands 26.5cm high.

What to do?

The Yortan Early Bronze Age Jug

Although it was bought in good faith over 50 years ago, it was now clear that the jug should never have left Turkey. Wood therefore advised Mrs Bishop that it would be wrong to sell the jug at auction and that it should be returned to Turkey. Mrs Bishop agreed to this course of action and Wood then contacted the Turkish Embassy in London for advice on the necessary procedure to follow.

The jug will be handed over to the Turkish authorities in London shortly, and will find a new home in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Jason Wood says, "It is not everyday that a prehistoric pot from Anatolia is unearthed near Stockport. Given its age, fragility and how far it's travelled, I'm also astonished at its remarkable condition – better than some 20thcentury ceramics I've catalogued."

Adam Partridge adds, "I'm so pleased this rare Turkish artefact is returning to its country of origin. Not all auction houses faced with this situation would act in the same way. I hope we have set an important precedent for similar cases in the UK."

Adam Partridge with Thelma Bishop, Mrs  Bishops partner John Needham and Jason Wood

Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism comments, 'Turkey has been fighting against illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts for many years and working for their repatriation. The Turkish Directorate General for Cultural Heritage and Museums expressed Ministry's thanks to Mrs Bishop and Adam Partridge Auctioneers for contributing to the protection of Turkey's cultural heritage. Their sensitive actions set an example to the auction community, while stressing the importance of transparency in the art market. The Ministry will be pleased to welcome Mrs Bishop and Adam Partridge Auctioneers to Turkey and will be presenting them with museum passes to use in all the museums in Istanbul.'

As one of the leading source countries of the world's oldest civilizations, Turkey banned the export of cultural artefacts more than a century ago in 1884. The country's recent efforts have seen the repatriation of numerous artefacts, including notably the Weary Heracles Sculpture from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Boğazköy Sphinx from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and the Orpheus Mosaic from the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In the 1990s, Turkey was successful in world-wide legal cases that ensured the return of the Lydian Treasury from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Elmalı Treasure from an American private collector. Turkey continues its negotiations and legal proceedings for the repatriation of cultural assets.

Malcolm and Thelma Bishop ran an art dealership through a gallery in Fallowfield in Manchester, with a reputation for selling quality studio ceramics and modern design. At the time it was known as 'the Primavera of the North.' Malcolm died in 2005.

The next studio ceramics sale at Adam Partridge Auctioneers will be on Friday 17th March. Entries are invited until 20th February.

For more information visit

Moomin Exhibition at Southbank Centre

Moomin Exhibition at Southbank Centre

The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914-2001) and her famous creation Family Moomintroll is brought to life in the UK’s first major exhibition devoted to the Moomins and the life of Tove Jansson at Southbank Centre. Adventures in Moominland is an immersive and interactive exhibition that features recreations of scenes from Moominland and over 40 original drawings and archive materials from Tove’s studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu. The show is part of Nordic Matters - a year-long exploration of Nordic art and culture at Southbank Centre throughout 2017.

Over half of the works and objects in the exhibition are shown in the UK for the first time including the very earliest Moomintroll dolls to be sold commercially, Tove’s painting palette and painting utensils and flower headdress. Some of the earliest representations of a Moomin - appearing as a motif on the cover of the satirical magazine GARM that Tove contributed to and in a loose watercolour sketch of a small black figure sailing into the sunset - are featured. Guided tours of the immersive show include an audio narrative voiced by Sandi Toksvig and written by children’s author Laura Dockrill.

The exhibition explores how several of the Moomin stories, such as Comet in Moominland (1946) and Moominland Midwinter (1957) were written against the backdrop of political and socio-economic change in Finland and heavily influenced by Tove’s relationships with family, friends and lovers which defined the narrative and character development. Written during a time of hardship in the wake of WWII, the tolerant world of Moominvalley offered a refuge from the harshness of reality. Although the stories often saw the Moomins fleeing from danger, Tove ensured that there was always a happy and uplifting ending.

Tove explored her art and own sexuality within the confines of this changing political landscape - and her friends, enemies, fears and hopes often found themselves manifested in the complex and emotional stories. One drawing on display depicts Thingumy and Bob, who represent Tove and her lover, Vivica Bandler - a married woman with whom Tove had a brief and passionate affair. At the time, same sex relationships were illegal in Finland and so the relationship had to be kept secret.

Adventures in Moominland reveals - through a short animated interpretation by artist Elizabeth Hobbs created exclusively for the show - that Moomintroll began life as a character to be feared, inspired by stories told to her by her uncle. Tove’s first drawing of a Moomin was made when she was a young woman during an argument about Kant with her brother Per Olov. She drew the ugliest figure that she could on the interior wall of a family outhouse. Moomintroll was later refined, became the character we know today and was joined by a host of other characters including Moominmama, Moominpapa, Snufkin, Sniff, Snork Maiden and Little My.

The exhibition explores the influence of the Nordic landscape within the Moomin books, from the dense forests of Moominvalley to a canvas tent on the water’s edge in Finland and the snowy, Winter landscape represented in Moominland in Midwinter (1957). The show includes a preparatory watercolour sketch for the cover of the book. In recognition of Tove’s love of jazz, the exhibition includes a jazz soundtrack composed by Aki Rissanen and commissioned by Southbank Centre.

Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove Jansson says, "Tove's work was very much inspired by her life experience - both on the highly personal level of her close relationships and more generally in terms of the influence of Finnish society, politics, lifestyle and landscapes. Southbank Centre's approach of combining archive objects from Tove's home and studio with immersive worlds straight from the pages of the Moomin books is the perfect way to tell the story of how this artist and her creations developed in conjunction with one another."

Paul Denton, Producer, Southbank Centre adds, “Tove Jansson’s work is beloved throughout the world by children and adults alike, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce a new generation to the magical world of the Moomins through this new immersive exhibition.”

The Moomin books explored in the show include Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), Comet in Moominland (1946), Finn Family Moomintroll (1948), Moomin Midwinter (1957) and Moominpapa at Sea (1965). Original Moomin comic strips by Tove will be displayed in Southbank Centre’s Archive Studio in Royal Festival Hall until February 2017. The comic strips were first published in the London Evening News - later absorbed into the London Evening Standard - from the 1950s onwards.

A pop-up Moomins shop, courtesy of The Moomins Shop, Covent Garden, is located on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall. .

Listings Information

Adventures in Moominland

Adventures in Moominland Part of Nordic Matters

Located at the Spirit Level at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, the world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson and The Moomins is brought to life in a major new immersive, interactive exhibition Adventures in Moominland. The exhibition presents new insights into Jansson’s life and the influences behind her work with archive objects and illustrations built into the experience. Recommended for ages 7+

Timings and prices:

Weekends and holidays – PEAK. Every 15 minutes between 10am – 6pm (last tour enters at 6pm).£16.50/£13.50 (supporter ticket). £15/£12 (non-supporter ticket)

Midweek – OFF PEAK

Daily, on the hour at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm & 6pm.Thursdays and Fridays only, an additional tour at 7pm for adults only. £13.50/£11.50 (supporter ticket). £12/£10 (non-supporter ticket)

Mischief and Mysteries in Moominvalley

11th - 19th February, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm (no 12.30 performance on 18 February) Level 4 Green Bar at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, ages 4-7 years, £8. Magical puppetry, original music and interactive play are involved in this Moominvalley workshop. Tickets are £8 for the child but parents must stay throughout the workshop.

Exhibition tickets purchased online include a 20% discount on The Moomin Colouring Book (Price after discount £8).

Buy tickets at  

Renovation for
St. Ermin's Hotel

Caxton Bar at St. Ermin's Hotel, London

St. Ermin's Hotel in London's St Jame's Park has been transformed after a £30 million renovation. With an intriguing and glamorous past, eclectic styling, gorgeous rooms and suites, the enigmatic Caxton Bar and Terrace and award winning restaurant, The Caxton Grill, the overall result is a distinctly individual, contemporary and welcoming offering.

A captivating and colourful history sets this property apart from others in the capital. During the 1930s the hotel and the next building were used by officers of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) located close by. The likes of Ian Fleming, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Laurence Grand, H. Montgomery Hyde and Eric Maschwitz were all known to have worked from the building and throughout the Second World War, it operated as a convenient annex by SIS surrounded by other secret organizations.

The Caxton Bar was used regularly by SIS, MI5 and Naval Intelligence Division case officers to meet their agents. Eventual defector Guy Burgess frequently met his Russian counterpart in the bar to hand over top-secret government files. In 1940, Churchill, asked a group of individuals that were later to become the SOE, to “set Europe ablaze” and they initially housed themselves over an entire floor of the hotel.

Afternoon Tea is a speciality at the St. Ermin's Hotel, served every afternoon in the beautiful, elegant first floor mezzanine Tea Lounge. With seasonal menus available year round – including 'Honey Afternoon Tea' in September, a summer selection of sweet and savoury treats and wonderful winter menu running throughout the Christmas period – Afternoon Tea is always a sparkling occasion at the St. Ermin's.

For details visit

 Sixtyplusurfers Book Reviews

 Gino's Hidden Italy
        By Gino D'Acampo
        Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

Gino's Hidden Italy by Gino D'Acampo

Join the nation's favourite Italian chef on his journey of discovery through Northern Italy to reveal the secrets of real Italian food. In Gino's Hidden Italy, Gino takes us off the beaten track into the markets, kitchens and restaurants of Italy where the very best authentic Italian food is cooked.

Dispelling the assumption that Italy is one country with a single identity, culture and cuisine, Gino reveals how it is a collection of regions, each with its own character, revealed in the local food.

Gino discovers amazing traditional dishes that are hidden gems. From the creamy risottos of Lombardy to Liguria where vegetables, herbs and olives cultivated on steep terraces are the star ingredient to family home meals.

The book is split into eight sections - Antipasti & Soups, Pasta, Risottos, Fish & Seafood, Poultry & Meat, Vegetables & Sides, Pizza, Pies & Bread, and Desserts. Using traditional methods found in the kitchens of Italy, Gino will introduce his fans to 80 delicious recipes that will bring authentic Italian dining to your family table.

Gino's Hidden Italy accompanies his recent 7-part television programme, Hidden Italy, which was shown on ITV1.

I love Italian food, having very special memories of childhood holidays in places such as Lake Como, Cernobbio and Venice which are all featured in the book, so I was delighted to receive Gino's Hidden Italy and explore some of the foods, recipes and cultures of these places in more detail.

The book includes a mouthwatering selection of recipes with a fascinating introduction for each one, describing the origins of the recipes and often with an anecdote from Gino about the ingredients and people he has met during his travels.

This is a glorious book with stunning pictures and so many delicious recipes to try. Most of them are fairly easy to make and include step-by-step instructions so that you can enjoy them at home and escape to the sunny paradise of Italy.

I particularly liked the recipes for Fresh Pea Soup with Egg and Padano Cheese, Polenta-Crusted Mackerel with a Tomato and Basil Salad, Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Risotto with Lemon, Home-Made Saffron Fettuccine, Oven-Roasted Chips with Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary, and also the Apple and Rosemary Cake.

The perfect way to bring a little joy and sunshine into your kitchen, the book is packed with plenty of inspiration for appetising Italian meals. Forget the bad weather and treat yourself to this bright and colourful, warmly written cookery book. The ideal pick-me-up to the long, cold winter.

Gino D'Acampo, photograph by Matt Russell

              Author, Gino D'Acampo
           photograph by Matt Russell

Born in Torre del Greco, Naples, in Southern Italy, Gino inherited his grandfather's love of cooking and studied at the Luigi de Medici Catering College. He regularly appears on TV, most recently in Gino's Italian Escape and Let's Do Lunch with Gino and Mel. He is also a resident chef on ITV's This Morning.

This is Gino's fourth book with Hodder & Stoughton. His previous books include Gino's Italian Escape, A Taste of The Sun, Gino's Veg Italia, and Gino's Islands in The Sun.

Gino's Hidden Italy - How To Cook Like A True Italian is published by Hodder & Stoughton. Price is £20 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at

     Hot Pies on the

         By Sheila Newberry
          Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

Hot Pies on the Tramcar by Sheila Newberry

Hot Pies on the Tramcar is set in London in 1925. On Paradise Corner, just past the tram stop, Florence runs a pie shop, famous for miles around.

Warm and comforting, just like her pies, Florence is always there as a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, especially to her full house of family and friends.

There’s her six year old niece Josefina, left with Florence by her wayward sister, Stella. There’s also Rose Marie, Florence’s younger sister, in search of adventures of her own. And Manny, invalided out of the First World War, and in need of a job and a place to rest his head.

Balancing her friends and her pies leaves Florence little time to look after herself. But times could be changing. And joyfulness may be just around the corner. Will she finally find her own happy ending?

I was keen to review a joyful book for the February issue of Sixtyplusurfers, so I was delighted to receive Hot Pies on the Tramcar with it's enticing cover of a lady holding delicious looking pies in a 1920s London setting, complete with trams.

As soon as I started reading, I was fascinated to learn more about the delightful characters in the story including the kind and caring Florence who runs the pie shop on Paradise Corner and the family who live with her and help her run the shop.

As the story progresses, we find out more about the characters and what life was like in the mid-twenties after WWI. It's not always easy and Florence often ends up helping others who are hard on their luck, as well as herself to make a success of their lives.

The book
is well researched and gives a realistic atmosphere of what it was like to run a pie shop in the 1920s, bring up a family, and find a partner and romance within the constraints of these more austere times when people had survived the traumas of the first world war.

Heart warming, engaging and fabulously nostalgic, I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle family saga. The perfect gift for Valentine's Day or a welcome treat for a cosy, relaxing evening by the fireside. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

Sheila Newberry

   Author, Sheila Newberry

Sheila Newberry was born in Suffolk and spent a lot of time there both before and during the war. She wrote her first ‘book’ before she was ten – all sixty pages of it in purple ink, Her family has certainly been her inspiration and she has been published most of her adult life.

She spent forty years living in Kent with her husband John on a smallholding, and has nine children and twenty-two lively grandchildren. They retired back to Suffolk where Sheila still lives today.

Hot Pies on the Tramcar is published by Zaffre Publishing. Price is £6.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book click on


 Liz Earl Wellbeing  

               By Liz Earle
            Review by
Simon Fine

Liz Earl Wellbeing Yearbook

Bestselling author and TV presenter Liz Earle MBE shares her favourite ways to eat well, look well and live well with the most popular recipes and ideas from her much-loved Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine.

The book is divided into sections, one for each season. Each section features Liz’s favourite recipes (Eat Well) followed by beauty advice (Look Well) and home and craft ideas (Live Well). The recipes flow from breakfasts, moving on to lunch, dinner and treats.

There are some superb recipes for Christmas and other festive times of the year including Valentine's Day and Easter. Liz encourages her readers to try out unusual ingredients such as amaranth, chia seeds and millet though most of her recipes are sufficiently straightforward for relatively unskilled cooks, like me, to try.

Liz Earl

Simple ideas such as making your own yoghurt and granola, rather than relying on shop bought varieties, sound like healthy alternatives and a lot of fun. Liz is also brimming with ideas for looking after yourself and your surroundings. The book includes a two-day inner cleanse, caring for your eyes, feet and hands, a spring clean for your home and how to enhance your home with flowers.

With 190 beautiful colour photographs, this book oozes quality and would suit any coffee table. But really this is a book to keep handy in the kitchen for when you want to spend time preparing meals for special occasions. The tone of the book is invigorating and energetic with a great positive vibe throughout.

And Liz’s website,, features more recipes, advice and inspiration to help you look good and feel great.

Liz Earl

                    Author, Liz Earle

Liz Earle MBE is one of Britain’s most respected and trusted authorities on beauty and eating well for wellbeing. The award-winning author of over 30 bestselling books on nutrition, diet, skincare and natural health, she co-founded the global beauty brand Liz Earle Beauty Company in 1995, before returning to writing and TV presenting and now publishing the quarterly magazine Liz Earle Wellbeing.

Liz Earle Wellbeing Yearbook is published by Liz Earle Associated Productions Ltd in paperback. Price is £25. There are just 200 copies of the exclusive Limited Edition Yearbook available at £40, covered in luxury linen, embossed with rose gold foil, and with silk bookmarker ribbons and a special back pocket to keep all your extra notes and recipes safe.

Each Limited Edition Yearbook is personally inscribed by Liz and numbered (for example 1/200).

For more information about the book visit the website at

          The Royal Ruler
   & The Railway DJ

 By Tony Prince & Jan Sestak
            Review by Simon Fine

The Royal Ruler & The Railway DJ by Tony Prince and Jan Sestak

The Royal Ruler & the Railway DJ, is a double autobiography from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Tony Prince began life as an apprentice jockey, training alongside Willie Carson, before becoming a musician and DJ on the pirate stations Radio Caroline and Luxembourg, both of which I recall listening to in the 1960s in the days before the BBC played pop music.

Prince recalls his meeting with Elvis Presley, singing with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, touring with the Osmonds and partying with Led Zeppelin. He also confronted Harold Wilson when the Labour government effectively banned pirate radio from operating offshore. Tony became the only DJ to perform inside the iron curtain in 1970, soon after the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, which is where Tony met Jan.

Jan Sestak grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. Jan was an avid music fan but could only listen to western pop music by secretly listening to Radio Luxembourg, becoming a lifelong fan of Tony Prince and the other DJs. Jan listened in the knowledge that the Czechoslovak Secret Police who prowled his land would send him to prison if he were discovered.

Jan’s description of living under communist rule are shocking and disturbing, like a real life version of a 1984. Jan worked on the railways, was conscripted into the army and took every opportunity to see western artists and play records as an amateur DJ.

The book is written as a series of short chapters, alternating the stories of Tony and Jan. So there is Tony’s life of fun and excitement contrasting with Jan’s story of austerity and fear. Finally Jan meets his hero when Tony performed in Czechoslovakia, which is a fitting highlight to this remarkable book which will appeal to fans of pop music and pirate radio and anyone with an interest in modern European history.

Tony Prince joined Radio Caroline where he became The Royal Ruler and then, for 16 years, broadcast from Radio Luxembourg. He was the only DJ to interview Elvis Presley becoming Honorary President of his fan club. In his later career he launched DMC pioneering mixing and remixing music.

Jan Sestak’s parents suffered years in Nazi Concentration Camps. With a poor communist record Jan found it impossible to accomplish his ambition to become a DJ. Soon after the Russian invasion of his country he met Tony Prince. 30 years later they met again when Tony returned to the Bav club in Brno for a reunion.

The Royal Ruler & the Railway DJ is published by DMC Publishing. Price is £25.

For more information about the book click on

   The I-Spy Series  
    for Grown-Ups

          By Sam Jordison

           Review by Simon Fine

I-SPY At The School Gate

The I-SPY concept for kids was very simple: it was like the ‘I spy with my little eye’ game, only instead of ‘something beginning with’, there were pictures and descriptions and opportunities to discover interesting things. Children would score points for each spot and send off for an official I-SPY certificate.

Now the I-Spy series has been satirised by Sam Jordison to produce beautifully observed parodies of the originals. There are four books in the series: At The School Gate (My Mum’s Better Than Your Mum), The UK (While It Lasts), Signs and Instructions (You Must Obey) and Pets (When Human Friendship Is Not Enough).

I-SPY PETS - When Human Friendshis Is Not Enough

Each of these is in the same format as the original children’s books, with opportunities on each page to collect points for observing objects and activities. Each challenge is amusingly illustrated with naff photographs from the 1960s/70s including fine examples of flared trousers, frilly shirts, dodgy haircuts and “nice” families.

Each book has its own unique style. At The School Gate, for example, features many recognisable stereotypes of the modern parent that collects their offspring from school each day, whilst Signs and Instructions is a collection of officious, confusing and pointless signs plus some that have been “amended”.


The style of writing is definitely tongue-in-cheek – “The Tiger Mum and Dad – the only thing they relish more than their own child’s success is your child’s failure.”

You may not feel the urge to collect 20 I-Spy points for spotting a Curtain Twitcher, 10 points for observing the dog who looks just like its owner or 30 points for spying some philosophical graffiti, but these books will nonetheless provide as much fun for grown-ups as the original books did for a generation of children.

I-SPY THE UK - While It Lasts

Sam Jordison is a journalist, author and publisher. He writes for the Guardian. He is the author of several best-selling books, including the Crap Towns series, and most recently, Literary London, co-written by Eloise Millar.

The I-Spy Series for Grown-Ups by Sam Jordison is published by HarperCollins. Price is £4.99 for each hardback book.

For more information about the books visit the website at