The local businesses helping us celebrate our birthdays in lockdown

Chances are, we’ve all had to plan a lockdown celebration by now, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or graduation. However, many will agree that January celebrations have caught the rough end of the bargain. Far from the summer lockdown which allowed for outdoor activities, the winter lockdown leaves us even more restricted and makes it even more important to ensure our loved ones have the best day possible.

That is why The Property Maintenance People have put together the ultimate guide to the Lockdown Celebration. Whatever the occasion, here’s everything you need to make it special, from cake and décor to gifts and activities. And in true PMP style, this guide contains some of our favourite local businesses who have been our birthday heroes this year, so keep it bookmarked for future celebrations!

Food

The Cake

If ever there was a year to get your dream cake, this is the one! Surprise your loved ones with a bespoke cake by And Eat It that captures all of their favourite things or pick one of Blue Orchid Bakery’s ‘Dream Cakes’ for an indulgent treat.

Celebration Cake

Blue Orchid Bakery Dream Cakes – price on enquiry

Not really a cake person? Why not get an ultimate personalised biscuit from Savery’s Sweet Treats? Their smaller biscuits also make excellent party favours that can be delivered and enjoyed during virtual celebrations – all completely personalised to be all about the birthday boy or girl!

Celebration biscuits

Savery Sweet Treats – Price on enquiry

Go ahead and indulge – you only get one lockdown birthday (hopefully)!

Snacks and graze boxes

Whatever you are doing to celebrate your momentous occasion, you need some luxury snacks to go with it! From the luxury chocolate strawberries by Strawberrylicious to the Pancake Grazing platters and delicious brownie stacks provided by Robyn’s Nest, make sure your loved one is spoilt from breakfast til dinner. Having a movie night? Two Sisters Café can provide the ultimate Cinema Graze Box. They also do savoury boxes for those without a sweet tooth!

Cinema graze box

Two Sisters Café Cinema Box – £25

Dining

Whether it’s a 16th or 60th Birthday, a 1st anniversary or 50th anniversary, our celebrations would usually involve a sit down meal at our favourite restaurant. Luckily, we have been blessed with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats to bring us our favourite cuisine, but if you’re looking for something a bit more special for your celebratory meal, look no further than At Home with Ryan Ltd. This talented private chef uses local quality ingredients to bring you delicious cuisine in the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is reheat or add finishing touches.

You can have your own bespoke menu or you can choose one of Ryan’s set menus, like this mouth-watering four course Valentine’s Day menu below. Why not go all out with table cloths, candles and a great playlist to create the ultimate ambience?

Valentines Menu

At Home with Ryan Valentine’s Day menu – £80 per couple

Décor

A birthday spent inside is a great excuse to go all out with the décor! CC Balloons have such a wide variety of fabulous and unique balloon creations that make the perfect accompaniment to any birthday celebration. Based in Bracknell, they are available for collection or local delivery.

Celebration balloons

CC Balloons – Price on enquiry

Gifts

Gift a Subscription

Quite literally, the gift that keeps on giving! With subscriptions available for stationery, cosmetics, candles, socks, tea, coffee, gin and much, much more, there’s a monthly gift package for everyone. With many subscriptions, you can choose to gift a one time box or a three, six or twelve month subscription, meaning that your gift will continue to bring joy to your loved one month after month.

Our personal favourite is The Jam Jar cocktail club subscription… because who doesn’t want to pretend they’re in a fancy bar instead of their living room once a month?! Each month you will receive the ingredients for two off-menu cocktails, with enough for a total of four servings!

Jam Jar Cocktail Club

The Jam Jar Cocktail Club subscription service – £27.95 a month

Flower delivery

Flowers are always a great way to let someone know you are thinking about them on their special day. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, graduation or just because, there’s a whole host of local flower companies that supply carefully curated bouquets for any occasion. We love Funky Flowers By Kate Thomas, who also offer a fabulous subscription service called funkyflorals!

Celebration flowers

Funky Flowers by Kate Thomas – bouquets from £35

Self-care kit

Self-care kits make great gifts for our heroic key workers who deserve some TLC. The Brown Box Gift Company provide wonderful boxes filled with a range of products made by other small businesses, from candles and bath salts to hot chocolate, tea and coffee! They also offer vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free boxes, catering to everyone.

Little Luv Box on Instagram also do affordable self-care boxes for women filled with cosy socks, face masks and favourite sweets and chocolate – a lovely way to tell someone special that you are thinking of them.

Hamper

Forget Fortnum and Mason, why not make your loved one a personalised hamper supporting local businesses? Get some natural body butter from Liv Eco Friendly, a bespoke soy wax candle from CosyMomentsUK, some Hot Chocolate Bombs by Amelia and of course, their favourite bottle of fizz and you have yourself a beautiful bespoke birthday gift basket – at half the price of your traditional luxury hampers!

Chocolate Hamper

Hot Chocolate Bombs by Amelia – 4 for £12

Body Butter

Liv Eco Friendly Mandarin and Bergamot Body Butter – £8.50

Cosy Moments Candles

Cosy Moments UK bespoke soy wax candles – Small £6.00, Medium £9.50, Large (pictured) £12.50

Activities

Hot tub hire

A little pricier, but a wonderful way to do something extra special for a big anniversary or birthday. Thames Valley Tubs have a range of different hot tub sizes for hire with a number of different packages, such as hot tub pizza parties or cinema nights. They also offer bell tents and domes for a glamping or festival theme!

The service involves contactless set up with delivery on Thursday and collection on Monday, so you can really make a weekend of it!

Spa day

Spoil your little one with an at home spa day – after all, it will be a long time before they can join you at a real spa! Put on some relaxing music, make smoothies, paint fingers and toes and treat them to a natural face mask to make them feel completely pampered. Then settle down to watch their favourite movie – perfect!

Family fancy dress

For this activity, you will need some willing and imaginative family members and a fancy dress box. Whether you organise this with your household or with the extended family over zoom, you’re guaranteed to have a laugh with a themed fancy dress night. It will also make your little one feel special to see their family dressed up as their favourite characters!

You could even do a red carpet theme so that everyone can don their best clothes after a year of cancelled events and wearing loungewear.

Cocktail Night  

Cocktail or mocktail? Whatever your preference, we could all do with something sweet right now. Recreate the atmosphere of a fancy cocktail bar in the comfort of your own home by serving up some of your favourite drinks. A great idea for 18 year olds missing out on the experience of their first legal drink (on the plus side, you can control the strength of their drinks!) and also to include younger members of the family by making your own alcohol free concoctions.

With a wide range of cocktails to choose from, The Jam Jar Cocktail Club offer boxes of one, two or three different flavoured cocktails with enough servings for the whole family. Sorted!

Cocktails

The Jam Jar Cocktail Club gift boxes – one cocktail flavour £22.95, two cocktail flavours £33.95, three cocktail flavours £44.95

Pottery

Whether you have young children who like to get messy or you are looking to spend a therapeutic afternoon painting some new homeware, pottery painting can be enjoyed by all ages, and with a huge range of ceramics available for delivery or collection from The Ugly Duckling, it can also be enjoyed in your own home. From ceramic mermaids and dragons to three tier cake stands, there’s something for everyone to paint.

Why not make it into a virtual party by inviting your child’s friends to paint a plate or bowl along with them on zoom? With items available for same day click and collect, organising is a cinch and reasonably priced, too.

Or you could gather some friends for a virtual ‘wine and pottery night’ – a great way for everyone to unwind, have a catch up and get creative while doing it.

Ugly Duckling Ceramics

The Ugly Duckling products – pottery painting to go kit £4.50, ceramics bought separately for £2.99+

Here at The Property Maintenance People, we know that it is more important than ever that you feel safe and comfortable in your home, which is why we are continuing to operate throughout national restrictions and are following strict safety measures to protect our clients and staff. Contact us today for any emergency or general maintenance work – and make sure you get it done in time for your lockdown celebration!

Christmas activities and events for kids in Berkshire

With Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire all subject to Tier 2 COVID restrictions, it is obvious that this is going to be one very unusual Christmas and many family traditions may have to go amiss. Luckily, some of our local communities and independent businesses have gone above and beyond to provide us with some COVID friendly Christmas activities and events to bring us some festive cheer this December.

From make your own gingerbread men and Christmas lanterns to virtual storytelling and workshops, here is PMP’s top ten Christmas activities and events to keep your children in the festive spirit during this unusual year

Virtual call with Santa

You might not be able to visit Santa personally this year, but luckily you can still make it magical for your little ones with a virtual call with Santa – all the way from the North Pole! There are lots of virtual Christmas experiences to choose from, which enable your child to have a live or pre-recorded personalised message from Father Christmas himself. Make it a Christmas they won’t forget!

DIY Gingerbread

Decorate your own gingerbread

Keep your little ones busy with a decorate your own gingerbread box! Beeziebakes.co.uk offer small or large DIY Gingerbread Kits which include a range of different shaped gingerbread cookies, four different types of Christmas sprinkles and icing pens in three colours. The company specialises in delicious homemade goods, so you can guarantee top quality gingerbread without having to bake your own – win win!

Click here to order your DIY gingerbread kit today.

Virtual Lantern Making Workshop and annual Maidenhead Lantern trail

Norden Farm in Maidenhead are still hosting their annual Lantern Making Workshop, but this year it will be online and on demand! Simply collect your festive lantern making set from Norden Farm and follow the pre-recorded tutorial from home, whenever it suits you. You can even transform your lantern into an animal of your choice by following their artist inspiration! Book a time slot to pick up you lantern making kit and let the fun begin!

Norden farm will also be putting on a Lantern Trail to replace their annual Lantern Parade that has taken place over the past 10 years. Maidenhead High Street will be covered in colourful animal lanterns for you to find! Find out more about this community project here.

Visit the Reading Twilight Trail

Reading is putting on its first ever Twilight Trail this year, with a 1km long outdoor lighting and sound installation running through the Abbey Ruins and Forbury Gardens. From 8th December to 3rd January, visitors will be able to create their own light shows, wander through beautifully illuminated trees, and discover dazzling light orbs, floating mirror balls, kaleidoscope patterns, interactive displays and more. There’s even a festive pop up bar!

In line with COVID restrictions, tickets will be limited and must be pre-booked. For more information, on the Reading Twilight Trail, click here.

Xmas Pottery Painting

Paint some Christmas pottery

From mini snowmen to paint-your-own baubles and novelty mugs to light up ginger bread houses, there is so much for the kids (and parents!) to paint at The Ugly Duckling Pottery House in Newbury. With their to-go boxes, the whole family can paint glorious creations from the safety of your own home – but if you are suffering from cabin fever and need a change of scenery, the store will be open from 2nd December for households and support bubbles to paint their pottery in-house.

Click here to browse The Ugly Duckling’s selection of ceramic pottery to paint at home.

Visit the Gruffalo Grotto, Sandhurst

Some lovely locals in Sandhurst have set up a ‘Gruffalo Grotto’ in Owlsmoor, Sandhurst! The grotto, which includes fairies, teddies and snowmen elves, is located in the nature reserve between Cambridge Road and Magdalena Road. Lit up until 5pm every day, children are welcome to bring something to add to the grotto or a painted Christmas pebble to be hung in the ‘fairy garden’.

Discover the Lexicon Elf Trail

The QR codes are back in the Lexicon shopping centre Bracknell, ready for you to discover ten mischievous elves hiding in shop windows! Scan the codes to learn more about all the characters and find all ten to receive a free ebook about the elves’ hilarious shopping adventure! If you complete the trail, you will also be entered for a chance to win one of ten limited edition Lexicon elves!

Click here to find out more about the Lexicon Elf Trail.

Watch a virtual story telling performance

Puppetry and storytelling company Theatre of Widdleshins is coming to Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead to bring us a live performance of ‘The Magic porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales’. Running from 10th to 12th December, the show tells much-loved tales with a twist and a concoction of puppets, pop up sets and original music!

Whilst social distancing and limited capacities will be in place to allow guests to enjoy the performance in person, the show will also be livestreamed so children can enjoy it from the safety of their own home. For more information and to book your tickets for ‘The Magic porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales’, click here.

Attend a virtual Christmas drama workshop

Let your little characters use their creative energy in this virtual Christmas drama workshop by Sideways drama school. Children can practise their acting abilities with games, dancing and role play activities that allow them to transform into elves helping Santa prepare for Christmas day.

The class is open to all children aged 5-9 years. More information about the Sideways drama workshop can be found by clicking here.

Windsor Walk

Do the Windsor Great Park Family Trail

Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden are always beautiful at this time of year, but they are getting especially festive over the twelve days of Christmas with a family trail! Running from 19th December to 3rd January, the hour long trail, which is wheelchair and buggy friendly, starts at The Savill Building and leads through to Windsor great park. Along the way, you’ll be spotting the difference between gingerbread men and filling in the gaps for The 12 Days of Christmas!

Tickets are £3 per person including a treat or £1.50 without the treat. For more information about the Windsor Great Park Family Trail, click here.

The Property Maintenance People are a local, independently run business, working with PMP Approved independent contractors across Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. We love our local community and want to celebrate the other great independent businesses in the surrounding area! Check out our Facebook page for more news about our favourite local events and businesses – and be sure to send us any we may have missed!

 

Interior Design Ideas to Update your Home Office

2020 has been the year of the home office, with over 60% of the UK’s adult population working from home. Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, many employees have been working remotely continuously since April, and whilst some will have perfected a Pinterest-worthy home office, others are suffering from backache after eight months of working from the sofa.

Is this new regime a dream come true for you? Or is it just not your cup of tea? (Speaking of tea, is it time to put the kettle on again?)

Whether you need some fresh inspiration to boost your productivity or you are looking for some long-term changes to facilitate permanent home working, here’s some PMP Approved top tips to give your home office a new lease of life.

Make the most of the wall space in your home

You don’t need a designated room to have a chic home office. Make the most of every inch of space in your bedroom or living room by fitting a ‘floating desk’ or mounting a unit on the wall. Pop it next to your bed for a hard-working unit that acts as a desk space during the day and a bedside table by night. Or maybe you could place it in your living room for a work space that doubles up as stylish shelving at the weekend. You could even fix cupboard doors so you can shut away your office outside of working hours!

Put up panels of cork on your home office wall

Fix panels of cork above your desk for a wall that acts as a giant mind map for your ideas. Pin up anything from personal photos and mementos to important work bulletins, reminders and brainstorming sessions.

Standing Desk

Invest in a standing desk for your home office

Yes, the idea of standing all day makes us groan too. Yet experts say that standing desks could reduce back pain, lower blood pressure and even boost productivity, energy and mood. It is therefore worth investing in an adjustable height desk or a standing desk converter to allow you to change the height of your desk throughout the day so that you can work standing up for 15-30 minute intervals.

Tidy the wires in your work area

Hiding or tidying your wires is such a simple step that can transform your work space and improve productivity. There are so many ingenious ways to tidy away your wires, in keeping with your office décor and with little to no cost, including:

  • Woven or wicker baskets placed on or under your desk
  • DIY felt cord organisers
  • A shoe box wrapped in stylish wallpaper or wrapping paper
  • Hardback book covers
  • Command hooks
  • Staple gun

Desk and chalk board

Get a chalkboard wall in your home office

If homeworking is suiting you well and you are thinking of making it permanent, why not get a chalkboard wall? It is surprisingly easy to do, and the result will have you spreading your larger than life ideas on a space big enough to accommodate them.

Simply grab some chalkboard paint and a pack of chalk and you’re good to go! The ceiling is your limit.

Hide away clutter in your work area

Whether its loose files, scribbled notes or forgotten paperwork, we all have our own version of workplace clutter. Keep it concealed, using anything from an industrial filing cabinet to an upcycled bedside table. Hiding away clutter and minimising the items left on your desk surface will reduce stress levels and improve organisation.

Home Office Shelves

Invest in some wall length shelves for your home office

On the other hand, exposed wall shelving will keep all your work materials where you can see them, and force you to keep everything organised! They also allow you to create an aesthetically pleasing workspace with personal touches such as photo frames, plants and favourite books.

Go deskless in your office!

Old fashioned office desks are a thing of the past. Use a minimalist table as a desk for a simple and sophisticated work space that feels less like an office and more like a productivity station.

Under stairs desk

Turn the space under your staircase into an office area

If you’ve got plenty of space under your stairs and are looking for a fun and unique lockdown project, why not change this dead space into a workspace? Simply fit some shelves and a desk under the staircase and you have a compact workspace that will not impose on any rooms in the house. Not to mention how unique and interesting it looks!

Laptop and plants

Bring the outdoors into your work space

Or, you could just buy another plant to spruce up your home office. Real or fake, you can never have too many!

Are you in need of workspace update? Click here to get some free quotes from our PMP Approved contractors who can hit the refresh button on you home office.

Make your garden a hedgehog haven

The UK hedgehog population is in decline, sadly due to lack of habitat and food, busy roads, and the use of pesticides that reduce the availability of their natural diet of slugs, snails and insects.

Thankfully, there’s lots of things you can do to make your garden a place of respite, comfort and tasty treats for our prickly friends. And not only will this help out the endangered species, but it will also be beneficial to your garden, as hedgehogs like to eat common garden pests.

According to Countryfile and Gardeners’ World, here’s how you can make your garden a hedgehog haven over the winter months.

Leave out food and water

Hedgehog 1

Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so do not leave out milk for them! Leave out a saucer of fresh water instead. It is also a common assumption that hedgehogs like pumpkin flesh, but this is actually a natural laxative for them and can cause dehydration and weight loss in the crucial months when they are preparing for hibernation.

According to the Woodland Trust, the best foods to provide for these prickly pals is meat-based cat and dog food and cat biscuits. You can also buy specially made hedgehog food which can be found in most good pet shops and garden centres. Minced meat and chopped up boiled eggs are said to be good hedgehog food as well.

Make your garden easily accessible

Cut a 12cm by 12cm hole in the bottom of your fence to allow hedgehogs to come and go as they please.

Make a pond ladder

Hedgehogs love a swim, but are not very good at climbing out of the water! If you have a pond, be sure to build a pond ladder, ramp, or place a few rocks at the waters edge to allow the hedgehogs to take a dip and go for a daily swim without getting stuck.

Hedgehog 2

Find a natural alternative to slug pellets

Slug pellets remove slugs and snails, a crucial part of the hedgehog’s diet, from the food chain. Not only that, but conventional slug pellets are extremely harmful to our prickly pals. Rather than using toxic chemicals to remove slimy creatures, why not encourage more hedgehogs into your garden so they can do the job for you?

However, if you really do need to get rid of slugs and snails, Countryfile suggests placing a container in the ground, with a few inches poking above the surface, and half-filling the container with beer for a chemical-free remedy to trap your unwanted garden guests – without unwillingly harming any other creatures.

Hedgehog 3

Check grass before mowing or strimming

Before you neaten up your garden by mowing and strimming, check any long grass for hiding hedgehogs.

Hedgehog 4

Leave an untidy patch in your garden

Though aesthetically pleasing to humans, a tidy garden is not appealing to hedgehogs. Be careful when tidying up your garden and always break up piles of sticks gently, keeping an eye out for sleeping hedgehogs. Leave sticks, leaves, twigs and compost in a quiet corner of your garden for hedgehogs to nest in. Whilst providing an excellent hibernation spot, Gardeners’ World suggests that this untidy environment also attracts hedgehog food, such as slugs, beetles and centipedes.

Check your recycling

Crush cans and cut up plastic rings or any waste that a small mammal could get caught in. Make sure your recycling is kept in a secure place and is never overflowing to avoid escaping pieces of hazardous plastic.

Hedgehog 5

Be extremely careful with bonfires

If you are planning on having a bonfire, be sure not to build it until you are just about to light it. If it must be left out for a while, make sure you move it just before lighting in case any critters have mistaken your bonfire for a worthy hibernation spot. Check it for hedgehogs whenever it has been unattended for a while.

If you see a hedgehog in need, call Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue service on 01344 623106 for advice.

Have you got any baby hedgehogs in your back garden? Check out this great article from our friends at Prospect Estate Agency to find out what to do if you find a baby hedgehog.

How to make the most of your garden in winter

The first lockdown had a lot of us digging out the gardening gloves and rediscovering our green fingers. But that was back in spring when the sun was shining, and unfortunately the prospect of gardening during a winter lockdown is, for many of us, a lot less inviting.

That’s why we have put together some PMP Approved ways to make the most of your winter garden, so whether you are a seasoned gardener or only just discovering the joys of your garden, you’ll be able to experience the great outdoors whilst staying at home this winter.

Plant winter flowers

Snow Drops

Gardeners’ world suggests planting winter flowers such as Cyclamen coum, hellebores, snowdrops, crocus, aconites and winter iris to bring colour to your garden during these dreary months. For new and interesting scents, try planting viburnum, hamamelis (witch hazel) and daphne.

Feed the wildlife

Bird Table

When confined to your home, simply watching the wildlife come and go in your back garden can bring so much joy and comfort. Seriously!

Leave out seeds, nuts and fat balls and see what birds it attracts. Consider buying a bird house or even building your own as a lockdown project to give the birds a safe and sheltered area to enjoy the food.

Gardenlines.co.uk suggests leaving out minced meat, non-fish-based tinned cat or dog food and chopped boiled egg for hedgehogs. For squirrels, they suggest hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, sunflower seeds and chopped carrot. You could even attract badgers with apples and pears, dried dog food, peanuts and mealworms!

Leave some water out but check it regularly to make sure it doesn’t freeze over. It is important not to leave too much food out so that the animals do not become reliant on it as a food source.

Finally, consider getting a wildlife camera! It is a great way to see what kind of nocturnal creatures are enjoying the food you left out.

Protect plants from winter damage

Frosted Leaf

Protective coverings should be applied to your lovingly nurtured plants at the first signs of frost to keep them safe from winter damage. Cover up vegetable beds with landscaping fabric or cardboard if you are not planning to use them over winter, and bring potted plants inside if possible, as they are the most at risk.

However, according to Gardeners’ world, homegrown kale actually tastes better with a touch of frost!

Grow bare root plants

Winter is an excellent time to try your hand at growing bare root plants. These are plants that are sold without soil surrounding their roots. Not only is it more economical, but it brings a wide variety of plants to inject colour and life into your garden, with hedges, roses, fruit trees, perennials and shrubbery.

Do some pruning

Pears on a tree

Pruning during winter encourages the strong growth of these crumble-worthy fruits like blackcurrants, apples, pears, raspberries, redcurrants and gooseberries. It also encourages roses to flower and keeps ornamental trees neat and tidy.

Grow winter veg

Wouldn’t it be great to serve up Christmas dinner with veggies grown in your own garden? According to Gardeners’ World, Christmas staples like parsnips and Brussel sprouts can be harvested over winter, as well as kale, winter salad, leeks and winter cabbage. Garlic, raspberries and rhubarb can also be nurtured over winter to be enjoyed in tasty summer dishes next year.

Need help getting your garden winter ready? Click here to get three free quotes for all your gardening needs, whatever the weather.

 

Everything you need to know about EICRs

The rules have changed regarding Electrical Inspection Condition Reports (EICRs). Since 1st July 2020, it is now mandatory for landlords to provide a copy of their electrical safety report to their tenants and, if requested, their local authority.

Here is everything you need to know about an EICR.

What is an EICR?

EICR stands for Electrical Inspection Condition report and is the report given after an assessment of the quality and safety of the electrical installations, electrics, and cables in your property. It is an official document, carried out in accordance with the BS7671, and is completed by a qualified engineer or electrician.

The report categorises the competency of your electricity as follows:

C1 – danger exists and needs immediate attention

C2 – potential for danger advises immediate attention

C3 – no danger but still recommends improvement

Any C1 and C2 remedial works identified by an EICR inspection must be completed prior to a tenant commencing at move in stage. For current tenancies, there is a 28 day grace period for remedial work to be completed.

C3 works are only recommendations and not a legal requirement.

Why do you need an EICR?

EICRs might be mandatory for landlords now, but in reality, most good landlords should have been getting electrical safety reports on their properties every five years anyway. It is also highly recommended for business owners and homeowners to ensure the safety of their property as well.

Electrical installations deteriorate with wear and age and can become a fire hazard. This includes improperly insulated wiring and faulty appliances. It is therefore imperative that they are professionally checked every few years, as any hazards may not be obvious to the naked eye.

EICR 2

When should you get an EICR?

How often you should get an EICR depends upon what kind of property you are running and whether you are a landlord, business owner or homeowner. The BS7671 sets the standard for electrical installations in the UK and recommends the following:

Business owners – once every five years

Landlords – once every five years or when there is a change in tenancy

Homeowners – once every ten years, unless the property has a swimming pool, in which case you should get one every year

As it is imperative to get any remedial work completed before a tenant moves in, an EICR should be agreed and ordered by the landlord at the point of instruction so that the any works can be carried out whilst the property is being marketed and in advance of securing a tenant. The EICR is to be paid in advance, as is any remedial works.

Finding a qualified electrician or engineer

We have a number of PMP approved electricians and engineers that will be able to carry out an electrical safety report with no fuss. Click here to get a free quote in three easy steps and find the right electrician for you.

We are still operating during lockdown and doing all we can to keep you and your property safe. Our PMP approved contractors are fully compliant with COVID restrictions, keeping a safe distance and wearing full PPE.

Contact us today for more information.

PMP COVID update

Here at the Property Maintenance People, the safety of our clients and contractors is our biggest priority. In line with government guidelines, we will continue to operate over the upcoming COVID lockdown in order to keep your home running smoothly.

Here is how we will be keeping you safe during these unprecedented times.

Full PPE

Each of our PMP approved contractors are required to wear masks and gloves for the full duration of their time in your home.

Social distancing

Our contractors will keep a safe distance away whilst they complete the task at hand and keep all contact with clients to a minimum.

Sanitisation

All contractors are required to sanitise their hands before and after their visit to your home.

Diagnostics over the phone

Our highly qualified team are trained to help you diagnose the problem in your home over the phone. We can suggest solutions for you to try and rectify the issue yourself, to prevent any contractors being sent to your home unnecessarily.

 Virtual maintenance

Even if you are not yet ready to let anyone into your home, our PMP approved contractors are still here to help you with you from a distance. If you find yourself with a maintenance issue, our skilled engineers can give you real-time, expert guidance through the process over zoom to help you solve the problem without even entering your home. Contact us to find out more.

Urgent works prioritised

We understand that it is now more important than ever that your house feels like a home, with running water, functional heating and safe electricity. We will therefore be prioritising works that involve leaks, heating failures, water shortages or electrical faults to get you home back up and running as soon as possible.

We are all in this together. If you have any concerns or queries about having maintenance done on your home or would like a virtual appointment, contact us today.

From all of us at PMP, we hope that you keep safe, well and positive during these times.

Keeping your pet calm this firework night

Bonfire night and the days surrounding it can be a very distressing time for our furry, feathered and scaly friends, especially if there are fireworks being let off in your neighbourhood. Here at PMP, we know that an unhappy pet makes for an unhappy home, so we’ve put together some top tips from the RSPCA and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home to ensure the safety of all creatures great and small this firework night.

Avoid letting your pet outside at prime firework time

Take your dog out for long walk nice and early to ensure that they are tucked up at home long before dark. If you can, feed them early too, so they can do their business on the walk and then get let out for a final toilet break after 11pm (or 12am on bonfire night) when fireworks are legally required to finish. It might be worth introducing this routine a few days early so the sudden change does not disorientate your pet further.

Keep your cat inside and provide them with a litter tray to do their business in so they are not caught outside when fireworks are being let off.

Bert and Tallulah

Where possible, bring outdoor animals indoors

Consider bringing your little critter’s hutch or aviary inside over firework night so they do not get spooked by the bright lights and loud bangs that will seem heightened for small animals that live outside. It is worth bringing them in a few days early so they can adapt to their surroundings.

If you cannot bring them inside, turn its enclosure around so it faces the wall instead of the open garden. Cover with blankets to muffle the sound but make sure to leave enough ventilation.

Enzo

TV and radio

Turn up the TV or radio or play music to drown out any sudden loud bangs. However, be mindful of whacking up the volume too high and covering one distressing sound with another – your pet definitely will not thank you for drowning out the fireworks with heavy metal music! According to Battersea cats and dogs’ home, classical music generally helps to calm dogs down, so if your dog is really distressed it might be worth forgoing your usual TV viewing schedule and putting some calming Beethoven on.

Vlad

Draw the curtains to cover up windows and patio doors

It is not just the sound that distresses our furry friends – the sudden bursts of light can also unsettle them. Make sure all curtains are drawn and windows are covered to minimise the bright flashing lights coming into the house.

For smaller animals, partially cover their hutch, cage, or aviary with blankets to block out the lights and sounds but leave an uncovered area so that they can look out.

Ted

Provide safe hiding spaces

Create some safe spaces for your dogs and cats so that they can hide themselves away from the bright lights and loud bangs.

Cats feel safer the higher up they go, so a top shelf or cupboard might be the ideal place for a safe haven with blankets, toys and treats, assuming it is completely secure. A cardboard box lined with blankets with opening slightly covered should do the trick. Alternatively, if your cat has a favourite spot in the house, try to coax them in there with toys and treats.

For your canine friends, place ‘doggy dens’ around the house. These can include a table with a blanket draped over it or a covered crate with blankets inside. It is important that you use positive reinforcement to ensure that your pet associates the space with happy experiences, so add some of their favourite toys, a long-lasting chew or a kong containing their favourite treat and do not pester them while they are in there.

Do not confine your pets to one room or shut them in their ‘safe space’ as that could also cause distress, and they might injure themselves by trying to get out. They may just want to stay close to you like any normal evening, and that is okay, too.

Boris

Provide bedding that smaller animals can burrow in

A box full of hay with holes for easy access can provide your little critters with somewhere to burrow into. This will make them feel cosy and safe, and give them a place to hide if they get spooked.

Mimsy

Act natural

Even though you’re taking all these precautions to keep your pet happy, it is important that you do not let them catch on to anything unusual! Play with them as you normally would but do not follow them around the house or act nervous in front of them. Cats and dogs are very intuitive creatures and are likely to catch on if you’re acting different.

Maisie

Make sure the house and garden is secure

Escape-proof your house and garden as best you can in case your cat or dog bolts at a sudden firework. If possible, restrict your pet’s access to any outside doors so they cannot run out when anyone is leaving or entering, and make sure everyone in the house knows that they need to be quick when opening and closing outside doors. Remember that cats can wriggle into some very tight spots, so make sure all ‘weak spots’ in your garden are secure in the event that your pet does manage to get outside.

Vlad

If you’re worried about your animals bolting from the garden this firework night, contact The Property Maintenance People and we will put you in touch with a PMP Approved contractor who can fix any flimsy fences or weak spots to keep your garden safe and secure.

In the meantime, send us some pictures of your furry friends in their safe spaces!

Ted

Free Children’s Lunches in Berkshire

Here is a list of restaurants, pubs and organisations offering free lunches for struggling families this half term.

 

Stag and Hounds, Bracknell

What: A free meal for any child that needs one over half term

Where: Forest Road, Bracknell. RG42 4HA

How: contact 01344 483553 for more information

 

Aldermaston Tea Rooms

What: Free packed lunches for children who are entitled to free school meals or who are vulnerable can be picked up from midday to 1pm on Monday to Friday of the Half Term holiday.

Where: Visitors Center, Wharfside, Reading. RG7 4JS

How: Email Aldermastontearooms@yahoo.com or text 07535350550 with your first name only, how many lunches you require and on which days. When you come to collect ask for your takeaway order and quote your first name.

 

Plough and Harrow

What: Free meals every lunchtime for vulnerable children from Monday 26th to Friday 30th October

Where: Newell Green, Warfield, Bracknell. RG42 6AE

How: Email ploughandharrowwarfield@gmail.com

 

Shed Café, Reading

What: Children in need will receive a free meal from 26th-30th October, 8am-3pm. Lunch includes a choice of a sandwich or toastie with either tuna, cheese, chicken, tomato, marmite, jam, and peanut butter filling, or a choice of “bowl food” including pesto pasta, couscous, cheese, tuna, chicken, tomato, avocado, grilled peppers, humous, shredded carrot and mushrooms.

Where: 8 Merchants Pl, Reading RG1 1DT

How: Contact 0118 956 1482 for more information

 

The Lord Raglan, Wokingham

What: The Big Smoke Brew Co is donating 1,000 healthy free lunches at its pubs, including The Lord Raglan. The offer runs from 9am to 9pm from 26th to 30th October.

Where: 30 Denmark St, Wokingham. RG40 2BB

How: Email how many meals you need to lunch@bigsmokebrew.co.uk.

 

Pho restaurant, Reading

What: This Vietnamese street food chain is giving away 50 free lunches, including veggie fried rice and a piece of fruit, for children in need every day from 26th to 30th October.

Where: 1-1a King’s Walk, King Street Reading, RG1 2HG

How: Contact 0118 391 4648 for more information.

 

Slough Outreach, Slough

What: This homeless charity will be providing free meals for vulnerable children this half term

Where: 27 Church Street, Slough

How: Contact 07832442424 for more information.

 

Mission Burrito

What: Free children’s lunches during half term for any child who receives school lunches or is struggling this half term.

Where: The Oracle Centre, Reading. RG1 2AG

How: Ask the team for the “Kids Half Term Offer”” and there will be “no questions asked”. Call 0118 951 1999 or email reading@missionburrito.co.uk for more information.

 

Lockey Farm Shop, Arborfield

What: Free children’s packed lunches for struggling families this half term.

Where: Sindlesham Road, Arborfield. RG2 9JH

How: Ask at the coffee shop or contact 0118 976 1063 for more information.

 

Fox and Hounds, Caversham

What: An 8 inch classic pizza for children of struggling families. No purchase necessary and can be put in a takeaway box for subtlety.

Where: 51 Gosbrook Road, Caversham. RG4 8BN

How: Pop in and ask for the “holiday pizza”. Contact 07915540926 for more info.

 

Zotta Deli, Wokingham

What: Free take away pack lunches, including a sandwich, piece of fruit, a snack and a drink, for children with access to free meals at school from 26th to 31st October

Where: 383-385 Reading Rd, Wokingham. RG41 5LT

How: Private message the Facebook page or contact 0118 977 6222 for more information.

 

Avenue Deli, Reading

What: Free grab bags for all children entitled to free school meals during half term.

Where: 100 Royal Avenue, Reading, RG31 4UT

How: Call 0118 327 3113 or message the café and they will have lunch ready to go from 12pm the same day.

 

Pierreponts Café, Goring

What: Free packed lunch for children who receive free school meals.

Where: High St, Goring, Reading. RG8 9AB

How: Contact 01491 874464 for more information.

 

The Bunk Inn, Curridge

What: Families in need can collect a free child’s packed lunch, including a sandwich, drink, piece of fruit and a bag of crisps, from the pub.

Where: Curridge, Newbury. RG18 9DS

How: Email info@thebunkinn.co.uk with how many packed lunches are needed and on which days.

 

The Crown and Horns, East Ilsey

What: A free lunch pack including a sandwich, packet of crisps, piece of fruit and a drink will be available for families in need from 1pm to 3pm on Monday to Friday in half term.

Where: Compton Road, East Ilsley. RG20 7LH

How: The packs can be picked up and taken home or enjoyed in the pub. Contact 01635 281545 for more information.

 

The Pheasant, Highclere

What: This pub is offering 30 food boxes for struggling families this half term. Each box includes carrots, potatoes, bread, bread, pasta, peas, 500g minced beef, four chicken breasts and a pack of sausages.

Where: Hollington Cross, Andover Rd. RG20 9SE

How: Contact 01635 253360 for more information.

 

Hampstead Norreys Community Shop, Thatcham

What: Free packed lunches for children in need of support.

Where: Manor Courtyard. RG18 0TD

How: Parents or carers can write a discreet note to the shop manager letting them know how many meals are required so that the café can provide free packed lunches during half term.

 

Churchill’s Fish and Chips, Bracknell

What: Free hot meal for any child aged 4-16 who is entitled to school meals, between 12pm and 2pm on Monday to Friday of half term

Where: 8-9 The Square, Bracknell RL12 9LP

How: Say ‘the meal is for Marcus’ between 12pm and 2pm in store or over the phone to discreetly order a hot meal for your child. Contact 01279 713560 for more information.

 

The University of Reading

What: The university is delivering 1000 hot meals to children of struggling families in Reading

Where: The University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 6AH

How: They tweeted “if you or someone you know would like to ask about free meals for a child, please get in touch with @BFfC_Child. They’ll be able to help”

 

Hungerford Town FC

What: Free takeaway jacket potato lunch for the children of Hungerford who benefit from free school meals

Where: Bulpit Lane, Hungerford, RG17 0AY

How: Email hungerfeedtown@gmail.com to register.

 

Is your organisation offering free children’s lunches this half term? Let us know today.

COVID Friendly Ideas for Half Term

Half term is upon us and with lockdown restrictions on the rise, we are yet again faced with the same dilemma – finding new ways to entertain the kids safely and responsibly. But not to worry – we have come up with some PMP Approved activities to get your kids in the spooky spirit in these unprecedented circumstances.

 

Pumpkin picking

Take your children to a pumpkin patch and not only will they be able to pick their own pumpkins for carving, but you’ll also get some adorable autumnal photos in the stunning landscapes.

Garsons Farm in Esher, Surrey, are opening their doors to Pumpkin pickers for pre-booking only. You have to buy a Farm Pass in advance and book a time slot from 9am-4pm Monday to Saturday. Happy picking!

 

Thorpe Park drive in cinema

Famous for its fright nights, Thorpe Park have found a new way to celebrate Halloween with Luna Cinema coming to reside in the theme park this October. The drive-in cinema has state of the art screens and sound, which is wirelessly connected to your car sound system for an immersive experience. Food and drink can be contactlessly ordered from your car, making it a completely socially distanced activity. There is even special prize for the best Halloween costume!

They are offering kid-friendly films all throughout half term, with showings of classic films such as Jurassic Park, Jaws and The Greatest Showman. (Scream, The Shining and Silence of the Lambs are showing late into the night, if you can get a babysitter!)

 

Tricky Treasure Hunt

Trick or treating is essentially off the cards this Halloween, so make sure your kids don’t miss out on all the treats with a terrifying treasure hunt! Hide their favourite sweets around the home or garden and get them to dress up and fill their pumpkin baskets with as many treats as they can find.

 

Lexicon MonsterHeroes Treasure Hunt

The Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell has launched its own treasure hunt, in the form of QR codes in shop windows that, when scanned, reveal a different ‘MonsterHero villain’. Children that discover all ten will receive a free audiobook of their adventures!

 

Beale Wildlife Park

There’s plenty of Halloween fun to be had at Beale Wildlife Park in Pangbourne. Children in Halloween fancy dress get in free, and if you bring along your own carved pumpkin you could be in for a chance to win a family season pass for next year.

Other spooky activities include a make-your-own Halloween or animal facemask and a Halloween themed family discovery trail, based around all things freaky – from toads and black cats to werewolves.

 

Getting ready for winter

The nights are getting colder, the days are getting rainier, and with the clocks going back this weekend, it is time to face the facts – winter is upon us. Given the current restrictions and the growing likelihood of a second lockdown, it is clear that the most wonderful time of the year might look a little different this time around.

At PMP, we worked from home all throughout the summer lockdown to keep your properties in check. But a home office in the winter is a far cry from our home office in the back garden, so we’ve come up with some ‘PMP Approved’ ways of keeping your spirits high while you work from home this winter.

 

Change all your light bulbs to LED bulbs


Not only do LED light bulbs more reliable, with higher energy efficiency, longer life span and ability to operate safely in cold temperatures, they have also been proven to have excellent benefits for your mood and productivity.

According to greenenergy.org.uk, people working under LED lighting are less likely to experience ‘burn out’ in the working day and reported an above-average overall mood. They are also extremely affordable, so you can save some pennies for Christmas presents!

 

Get your boiler serviced

Now that you’re going to be at home all day, it is more important than ever that your boiler has been fully serviced and is up and running efficiently.

At PMP, we are offering 50% off your boiler service with the discount code BOILER 2020. Head to our Facebook page for more information and for tips and tricks on how to keep your boiler happy all winter long.

 

Get outside


Yes, we know this is easier said than done. The summer sun had us desperate to find any excuse to get outside, for walks, runs, cycles, rounders, picnics or sunbathing. Somehow, the outside world seems a lot less inviting now…

Get yourself a decent pair of wellies and one of those big golf umbrellas, pull on your rain jacket and give yourself a good pep talk before stepping out into the wind and the rain, even if it is just for a brisk walk round the block. We promise you’ll feel better for it after being hunched over your computer all day, although you might resent us at first!

 

Get dressed everyday

Okay, so we’re not saying you should be sat at home in a suit all day. But in the depths of winter, it can be more tempting to work in your dressing gown rather than braving the cold to get changed. Simply sticking on a nice jumper and jeans can make you feel more presentable and boost your productivity for the day. You can also stop pretending that your webcam is broken when you join zoom calls…

 

Watch out for mould

A mouldy workplace is the last thing you want. Follow precautions to ensure that you’ll be having mulled wine and not mouldy walls this winter.

  • When boiling food, cover up the pans, open a window slightly and make good use of the extractor fan if you have one.
  • Dry your clothes in a ventilated room and avoid putting wet clothes on radiators.
  • Ventilate the bathroom after a shower or bath and wipe away any condensation immediately.
  • Leave space between the furniture and the wall to allow air to circulate.
  • Open the window or trickle vent to change the air.

If you do find yourself with an unwelcome tenant spreading across your walls and ceilings, check out this handy guide of natural remedies to try to rid yourself of those pesky mould spores.

 

Stay connected

It’s traditionally the party season, and its hard not to think of all the Christmas parties, birthday celebrations and cocktail nights we should be having. It is very easy to want to curl up in bed and cry into your hot chocolate at this thought, but it is so important to stay connected and keep your spirits high during this time.

Clearly we will not be able to party in the traditional sense, but perhaps its time to dust off those quizzing skills from the early lockdown period and have a few Christmassy zoom quizzes from the comfort of your own home. Pop some prosecco and have a virtual celebration or set up Netflix party to have a cosy viewing party with friends. Nothing will stop us partying (responsibly)!

 

Treat yourself

Look at the positives – all that money spent on drinks, Christmas party outfits and meals out can be saved or redirected to some indulgent purchases to boost your serotonin in the dark winter months. Are you partial to a decadent Christmas coffee on your daily commute?

Why not treat yourself to a coffee machine that will make you your favourite drinks while you work from home. Had your eye on some nice new homeware, appliances or electronics? Go on, you’ve earnt it! Alternatively, save your pennies for a later, (hopefully not) rainy day.

 

Have a redesign

Suffering from cabin fever? Why not treat yourself to a complete makeover of your home office. Our PMP approved contractors offer unrivalled refurbishment and renovation services to transform your tired home office to a haven of productivity.

To find out more about our services and get a free quote, get in touch today.

10 Independent bars and restaurants in Berkshire to support this weekend

With blow after blow hitting the hospitality industry, we wanted to send out some love to our favourite independent pubs and restaurants in Berkshire. The perfect choice for date night, Friday night drinks or Sunday lunch this weekend!

 

The Boot, Bracknell

Serving up authentic Italian cuisine made with fresh produce, this gorgeous pub restaurant located on Park Road is family-owned and bursting with character. With an in-house pizzeria, you can watch your mouth-watering pizza be handmade before your eyes. Or, just pop in to sample their huge selection of spirits, which can be enjoyed in beach houses in their beer garden.

 

The Lyndhurst, Reading

A rustic pub nestled in a corner on Queen’s Road, The Lyndhurst prides itself on unpretentious food, a great beer and cider menu and a family friendly atmosphere. Its homely menu also has vegan options for our plant-based friends, making it as inclusive as it is relaxed.

 

Fuego, Bracknell

Located on the top floor of Fenwick department store, Fuego offers a range of authentic tapas dishes, pizzas cooked in a wood stone oven and a mouth-watering dessert menu. Prosecco lovers will delight in their range of sparkling cocktails, which can be enjoyed on the leafy rooftop area. If a relaxed weekend brunch is more your scene, check out their breakfast menu to line your stomach before a day of shopping in the Lexicon.

 

The Redan, Wokingham

Built in the 1700s but reborn in 2006 as stylish cocktail bar, The Redan has earned itself the accolade of ‘the only bar with heated outdoor seating in Wokingham’. And this is not its only attractive quality, as the bar boasts an eclectic cocktail menu, mixing old classics with surprising new twists and creating unusual concoctions that will tantalise your tastebuds.

 

Maidens Head, Maidenhead

Now with the Gourmet Chicken Company running the kitchen at the Maidens Head, you can enjoy some sizzling Churrasco Cajun chicken breasts, wings, burgers and wraps in a range of different flavoured spices. The outdoor heaters give this bar a cosy ambience and make it the perfect place to sip on your favourite craft ale. The service is excellent there, too.

 

South Hill Park, Bracknell

South Hill Park, Bracknell
Home of the infamous ‘Wilde theatre’, this stunning 18th century mansion is described as the ‘creative heart of Berkshire’. Unable to reopen its doors to theatre goers, South Hill Park is still running its cinema in line with COVID guidelines, playing blockbusters and independent films from Tenet to Trolls.

But whether you are attending the cinema or not, it is worth making a visit just for the Atrium bar, restaurant and café, which offers an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also serve up Sunday lunch, which can be enjoyed overlooking the mansion’s beautiful grounds.

 

Oakford Social Club, Reading

This enigmatic bar has a fantastic, friendly atmosphere that has remained even with strict adherence to COVID guidelines. Multiple, high-quality food companies take residence in their kitchen, bringing something for everyone around the table. Veggie and vegan dishes, 2 for 1 burgers, classic pub grub and tasty chicken are served all under one roof and are consistent in their great taste.

 

Bar 1, Ascot

You may have stumbled in here after a boozy day at Ascot racecourse, but did you know that the food at Bar 1 is actually award-winning? It has received 14 awards from Open Table, a booking site that only recommends the finest of restaurants from the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Michelin Starred venues. The menu is certainly very far-reaching, with the choice of traditional tapas, stone-baked pizzas, gourmet sandwiches and fish dishes.

 

The Pinkneys arms, Maidenhead

Set in the heart of Pinkney’s Green village and surrounded by National Trust land, this traditional English country pub is dog friendly and specialises in seafood, pizza and Sunday lunch. With the upstairs Barn Bar available to hire for weddings and private functions, you can rest-assured that this is a top-notch venue for anything from date nights to birthday celebrations.

 

Ruchetta, Wokingham

With its exposed beams and rustic feel, this charming Italian restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine. Its sophisticated menu has roots in Southern Italy, featuring a range of fish, meat and pasta dishes which are made using only the finest ingredients. It makes the perfect venue for a celebration!

Most haunted places in Berkshire

Berkshire is no stranger to paranormal activity and is actually home to some famous phantoms with national renown. Whilst our approved contractors are not afraid of your noisy pipes, creaky floors or chilling draughts, some of the creepy tales from across the county are enough to even give them the chills!

We collected some of our favourite ghost stories from all over Berkshire to bring to you this spooky season. Could these tales of scary spectres and gruesome ghouls be true? Or are they just old wives’ tales, myths and fables? One thing is for sure – you are never too old for a good ghost story.

 

South Hill Park, Bracknell

South Hill Park, Bracknell

A grade II listed building steeped in history, South Hill Park art centre in Bracknell is a well known hub of paranormal activity.

A man in Victorian top hat and tails has been spotted strolling along the veranda and walking down the corridor to the studio theatre, which is one of the most active areas in the mansion for spooky sightings. The man is believed to be a former owner, Major Rickman, who took his own life in the gun room in 1917 after struggling with crippling debt. His footsteps have been heard by staff late at night and one employee has witnessed him walking towards her.

A lady in red has made frequent appearances on Saturday evenings, spotted by staff in a 1940s dress at the top of a staircase. When the staff member turned around, no one was there.

Accompanying these tales are reports of doors slamming, wailings, rattlings and bangings. Two sound technicians were allegedly working alone one night when they heard footsteps through the stage microphone, but when they rushed to auditorium, there was no one there.

 

Maidenhead Thicket

A hotbed of menacing highwaymen in the 17th and 18th centuries, Maidenhead thicket is patrolled by a number of phantom highwaymen on horseback, who allegedly hide in the thick vegetation.

 

Queen’s Oak, Finchampstead

Queen’s Oak pub in Finchampstead is another famous venue for spooky goings on. The owner first realised that they were not the only inhabitants when they noticed a figure standing behind the bar, watching them. They have also claimed witness to a little girl, a woman believed to be the girl’s mother, and an old woman in a rocking chair upstairs. Yet the owners are not frightened – they want to get to know the ghosts and have even left toys out for the little girl to play with.

 

Berkeley Avenue, Reading

In the dead of night, a ghostly car is said to creep, soundless, up Berkeley Avenue, with no lights or engine to speak of. Numerous drivers have spotted the phantom vehicle, and witnesses have claimed that the car gets so close that you can see the spectral driver, who is said to be a good-looking red-headed woman.

 

Windsor Castle

Built in 1066 and seeing its fair share of deaths, executions and suicides, it is no surprise that Windsor Castle is home to a number of ghostly figures, many of which are famous. King Henry VIII is known to ‘pace furiously’ around the castle, groaning in pain and shouting occasionally as he drags around the ulcerated leg that resulted in his death.

Queen Victoria is said to be ‘most unamused’ by the alterations made to the castle by her grandson, King Edward VIII, especially the removal of the family spruce tree in the castle grounds. Workmen allegedly spotted her spectre waving her arms and groaning loudly as they went about removing the tree.

Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife who was executed for witchcraft, treason and adultery, has been spotted peering through the window of Dean’s cloister and weeping. Elizabeth I has been sighted in all black at the same window and her high heels can be heard pacing the hallways. The ghostly figure of George III allegedly gazes mournfully out of the library’s windows and doorways which he was confined to during his periods of madness.

 

Windsor Great Park

It is not just royals who haunt the castle and surrounding grounds. The phantom of a melancholic guardsman who shot himself in 1927 has been spotted roaming the long walk by the castle. Reportedly, the ghostly figure is often seen smiling, suggesting that he found more happiness in death than in life.

One of the greatest legends of Windsor Castle and the Great Park is that of Herne the Hunter. Herne was a huntsman for King Richard, and allegedly threw himself in front of an angry stag that charged at the King after he had injured it. A wizard appeared as Herne lay dying and said that the only way to save the huntsman would be to cut off the stag’s antlers and tie to Herne’s head.

After his recovery, he soon became the King’s favourite, but the other huntsmen were jealous and pressured the King for his dismissal. He subsequently hanged himself from a great oak tree, which he now haunts the site of. His horned spectre is said to ride around the park, rattling his chains and terrorising the wildlife. Apparently, he appears when England is in dire trouble… so you would perhaps catch a glimpse of him if you strolled through the park in current times!

 

Watlington House

Witnesses have spotted a ghostly figure in red uniform puffing on a pipe and gazing out the window of this grade II listed community building in Reading. The figure is believed to be the spirit of Captain Edward Purvis, the first known occupant of the house in 1764.

 

Quelm Park, Bracknell

Derived from an old English term for ‘death, murder or slaughter’, Quelm Park estate in Bracknell is believed to be an old sight of highwaymen executions. A man on a white horse is said to haunt Quelm lane, and dogs reportedly will not walk there!

Are things going bump in the night in your home? Contact us today and we’ll get a PMP approved contractor on the case. Unless you have a poltergeist, in which case you may need a paranormal investigator…