The Shop Girls – Eve’s story

It was Eve who first introduced me to Heyworth’s, an elegant ladies department store in Cambridge which closed its doors 49 years ago. I had never heard of it before, like most people, and yet its memories are still vivid and nostalgic for the shop girls who worked there in a bygone era during the 1940s-60s when courtesy and an immaculate appearance were the order of the day. They are...
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Why do airlines oversell seats?

Hot on the heels of James Dawson’s legal victory in the Court of Appeal, upholding his compensation from Thomson Airlines following a six hour delayed departure for his flight from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic, six years after the flight, I would like to suggest another airline loophole which needs resolving – airlines deliberately overselling seats, which happened to my friend...
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Scott Polar Research Institute commemorates Sir Edgar Speyer – 100 years on

I am so delighted for Prof Tony Lentin that he has succeeded in gaining recognition for Sir Edgar Speyer for bankrolling Scott’s expeditions to the Antartic. Now, 100 years on, a plaque is to be dedicated in his memory at Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute. German-born Speyer was a philanthropic support of the British arts, innovation and adventure in the Edwardian era. This...
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My weekend bootcamp at Champneys

I did say to myself, ‘never again!’after a gruelling week long bootcamp at Champneys two years ago. Don’t get me wrong, it hit the right spots, though the highlight of my day was my long awaited beauty therapy, and I came away with some life changing dietary habits. But those dozens of exhausting burpees, star jumps and early morning jogs – every day – are best...
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The luck of Lord Archer

I had no idea when I saw Lord Archer speak in Cambridge last Friday that he had recently been operated on for prostate cancer. He was his usual exuberant and confident self, repeatedly saying how thankful he was for his luck which led to his phenomenally successful literary career. Lord Archer looked fit and well at The Sick Children’s Trust literary lunch at Madingley Hall, a charity...
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Introducing The Shop Girls

I am counting the weeks now till the publication on 25 September of my book, The Shop Girls. It is a heartfelt and dramatic collection of memoirs of young women who worked in an upmarket Cambridge ladies department store during the 1940s-60s called Heyworth’s which served titled and distinguished ladies related to the royal family, as well as gypsy women from the Midsummer Fair who bought...
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Why we urgently need new liver disease biomarkers

Liver disease rarely makes the headlines, yet it is one of the leading causes of human mortality, resulting in almost 2 million deaths per year globally – many of which could be prevented by early detection. There are over 100 types of liver disease, which together affect at least 2 million people in the UK. It recently came to prominence following the tragic death of fomer British tennis...
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A relaxing Ragdale Hall break

“Can I stay an extra night?” Nancy pleaded with the receptionist at the end of her short break at Ragdale Hall spa. Nancy has been a regular visitor there for 25 years, but with all the best will in the world, her wish could not be met as the spa was full! I was stunned to hear this; after all, aren’t we still meant to be feeling the pinch from the economic decline? Yet...
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Clones, Darwin’s granddaughter and a popular politician

Reading about Britain’s first cloned dog today reminded me of what the celebrated literary critic, Prof John Carey, said at the splendid Cambridge Literary Festival last weekend where he was giving his new book, The Unexpected Professor, a plug. He was asked to name his favourite contemporary author and the reply he gave, this lover of Milton and Shakespeare, was not what I expected. One...
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The Sunday Times Cancer Campaign

I count myself lucky to live near Cambridge. If I ever need treatment for cancer, I feel confident that I would be given the best care by oncologists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. I certainly wouldn’t want to go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn which is on special measures and failed my father. The challenge for cancer patients is to have a doctors to correctly...
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Why we need patient data sharing for medical advancement

All around the world scientists are collaborating to discover early diagnosis for diseases and new therapies which will enable us to live longer, healthier lives. To enable this researchers need to access as much patient data as possible to learn from. George Freeman MP, founder of patients4data was today hailed Reformer of the week by the Reform think tank (and not for the first time) for his...
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The PR Masterclass

It’s great to read a PR book by a fellow journalist, and in The PR Masterclass, Alex Singleton gives some useful insights into the right way for PR professionals to approach hacks. At first Alex, a former Daily Telegraph journalist, is scathing about PR ignorance, stating that out of 60,000 people in full-time PR jobs in the UK, perhaps only 15,000 are highly skilled. That’s a...
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The new Paddocks House Hotel, Newmarket | House Collection

I love the fact that the new Paddocks House Hotel in Newmarket was financed by Eastern Counties Finance, a private lending company which supports agricultural and rural businesses. Why worry about seeking support from hostile banks when savvy Matthew Smart and his team are willing to help, believing in the House Collection vision with its launch last year of Poets House in Ely, and now Paddocks...
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Breaking news – Heidi Allen makes generous statement

On Friday South East Cambridgeshire Conservatives – of which I am a member – voted to reaffirm Lucy Frazer as their parliamentary candidate, while seeming to concede there had been an error with the final count at the open primary last month, which went in favour of her opponent Heidi Allen. Heidi has made the most generous natured statement which I am confident will win her many new...
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Lucy Frazer reaffirmed as Tory candidate

After what has been an unsettling three weeks for South East Cambridgeshire Conservatives, Lucy Frazer was this evening reaffirmed by members as their candidate for the next parliamentary general election. A special meeting was held following uncertainty over the final count at the open primary held last month when Lucy Frazer was declared the winner over Heidi Allen; they were both stunning...
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