Volpa gets top industry accolade for eighth time

For the eighth year consecutive year Volpa, the award winning Perth-based integrated marketing agency, will be included in the national Recommended Agency Register. The accolade places the firm among the UK’s top marketing services suppliers as rated and endorsed by their own clients.

RAR is the UK’s leading source of insight on marketing services companies and provides consultancy to a wide range of clients across every sector. The customer satisfaction ratings have been made by brand owners and marketing professionals. For those agencies that score highest, their inclusion in the Register is affirmed.

Volpa, which provides marketing, public relations, design and digital services, was set up in 2002 by Perth serial entrepreneur and marketer Tricia Fox. Their inclusion in the register this year has seen them rated highly across 14 separate services including media relations, design and web development.

The past two years have seen rapid and healthy growth for Volpa. In 2015 the firm took on 20 new clients, doubled its staff to eight and expanded its office space at Castlecroft’s King James VI Business Centre in Perth. The firm recently added a public relations executive and operations manager to its team, and will soon add a second graphic designer.

Volpa’s client list features high-profile names in tourism, hospitality and the food and drink sectors including The Enchanted Forest, St. Andrews Aquarium, The Famous Grouse Experience, Scotland’s Secret Bunker, Dundee Science Centre, Inveralmond Brewery, Horsecross Arts, Stirling Venues and Scone Palace.

Tricia Fox, Volpa managing director, commented:

“I am extremely proud that we have again received this endorsement from the Recommended Agency Register and that we’ve retained our position as one of the UK’s top marketing agencies. The fact that we continue to maintain strong relationships with our clients while also gaining new business speaks volumes about our team and their commitment to delivering excellent marketing services. We’re excited about what the future holds for Volpa.”

Balhousie Wheatlands Care Home introduces foreign language workshops to help tackle dementia

A Stirlingshire Care Home has introduced an innovative series of workshops designed to help residents fight the effects of dementia. Balhousie Wheatlands Care Home in Bonnybridge is helping tackle the disease, which sees 7.7 million new cases worldwide every year, by offering a range of foreign language workshops to their residents.

Run by a newly formed social enterprise, Lingo Flamingo CIC, the tailored sessions help residents with early forms of dementia to improve communication, cognitive development and inter-personal skills, as well as build their confidence. It is believed that speaking multiple languages can delay the onset of dementia by up to five years.

Running for twelve weeks, the workshops have included German classes, where residents have discovered the German words that they already use with the English language. Residents have participated in music sessions, learned memory techniques, rhyme and reason, word association as well as an array of other activities.

Many of the instructors leading the workshops are either international students or refugees. This is part of Lingo Flamingo’s wider vision to facilitate more opportunities to bring together younger and older members of the community as well as bring together different cultures and backgrounds.

Establishing the business last year, Lingo Flamingo Founder, Robbie Norval has seen the impact foreign language workshops have had on those living with dementia. Robbie commented:

“I have worked in Care Homes in the past and have seen how isolating and lonely life can be for people living with dementia. Working with languages in other countries highlighted to me just how empowering language based workshops can be for those living with the disease, from helping to improve memory capacity, to offering a safe and inspiring place for people to enjoy themselves.

The workshops are not curriculum based, with a focus on enjoyment and building confidence through praise-based learning. Robbie added:

“When people first join a workshop, they can be a bit shy at first, but they soon get into the flow and rhythm of the classes. It’s a great thing to see. Our workshops are very much activity-based and are designed to be a balance between enjoyment and stimulation. For example, in our French workshops, we run tasting sessions where people smell and eat croissants to help awaken senses.”

Grace Sloan, Home Manager at Balhousie Wheatlands Care Home, added:

“Lingo Flamingo’s foreign language workshops have proved very popular with many of our residents. It is fantastic to see how they respond to the activities and the enjoyment they get out of every session. Dementia can be a very isolating and frightening illness and we are delighted to be working with Lingo Flamingo to help residents use these inspiring techniques to help slow down the effects of the disease. This is an excellent way to help our residents to continue to participate in community initiatives.”

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group, visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

For more information about Lingo Flamingo, visit www.lingoflamingo.org

Balhousie Care Group’s Louise Barnett shortlisted for Women Ahead award

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care Group, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to a Business award at this year’s prestigious Women Ahead Business Awards.

After joining Balhousie, a leading provider of quality residential care for the elderly in Scotland, three years ago as Operational Manager, Louise quickly progressed to Area Manager before taking up the post of Operations Director last June.

Since then Louise has introduced a number of new processes that have helped to offer the right level of support to staff in each of the business’s 25 care homes. These new initiatives have galvanized managers and the wider teams, helped to retain and develop staff and has resulted in a 5% growth in care home occupancy.

Louise began her career as a qualified nurse before joining the care home sector 17 years ago. She said:

“I am delighted to have been shortlisted for a Women Ahead award. I’m very lucky that I love what I do and I’m proud that this accolade has given us an opportunity to recognise the hard work of all the managers and the wider teams at Balhousie Care Group. I’ve seen remarkable changes in the way the teams operate since joining the business, so this recognition is testament to their commitment and hard work.”

Kirstene Feenan, Marketing Manager at Balhousie Care Group, added:

“There has been a company-wide transformation at Balhousie over the past twelve months and it’s largely down to Louise and her leadership of our teams. Our new strategic plan has given staff a clarity and consistency of focus. She fully deserves this recognition and we wish her well in the upcoming awards.”

To find out more about Balhousie Care Group, visit www.balhousiecare.co.uk

To find out more about Women Ahead visit www.womenahead.co.uk

Could it be the Year of the Whisky? Mystery rock carving in China leaves Scots distillery baffled

What is the link between a Scottish missionary doctor, a resort in the mountains of China, and the UK’s oldest whisky distillery?

That’s the question being asked after construction workers in China uncovered a giant piece of rock engraved with the word Glenturret – the name of the famous whisky distillery in Crieff, Perthshire.

The discovery came during a recent excavation for a resort at Moganshan, a hilly vacation destination of China two hours from Shanghai. The developers of the resort know some of the property used to belong to Dr. Duncan Main, a Scottish missionary doctor who dedicated 45 years of his life to working in China in the late 1800s and early 1900s. What they are puzzled about is the connection to Glenturret.

Staff at Glenturret Distillery in Crieff, Perthshire are baffled too. That’s why they’re calling on the public to help them solve the last pieces of an intriguing puzzle, one that gives a new twist to UK-China trade relations.

Grant Horsfield, founder of naked, which operates a luxury eco-resort in the area and is working on opening more properties, commented:

“We know Dr. Duncan Main, one of the most famous missionaries in China at the time, had a castle on the property and that it was used as a summer retreat by him and his hospital staff. It was built in 1910 as a sanitorium and known simply as #1 Moganshan. We also know it passed into the hands of the government of Zhejiang for a short time during China’s nationalisation and then was handed back to Dr. Main’s son, S. Duncan Main. It was then sold to the Jiangnan Auto Company and opened as the Green Shade Inn. However, it was not well maintained and was torn down in the 1960s.”

Horsfield recently got in touch with Glenturret Distillery, home of The Famous Grouse and The Glenturret Single Malt, after he and his workers found the name engraved in bold letters into a piece of rock. With the help of researchers on both sides of the world, including the local history officer at the AK Bell Library in Perth, the two parties have filled in a few blanks. But they’re hoping the public can help solve the mystery for good.

Stuart Cassells, General Manager of Glenturret Distillery, commented:

“At first it might seem not seem like a surprise that a Scottish missionary doctor would be linked to a Scottish whisky distillery. But the fact is that Dr. Duncan Main was born and brought up in Ayrshire and was educated in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We have yet to find a link between Dr. Main and our own region of Crieff, which is some distance away at the foot of the Scottish Highlands.

“We’re wondering if perhaps Dr. Main was such a fan of his native drink that he was one of the first importers of Glenturret whisky to China. Another possibility is that the rock has uncovered a link not to Glenturret Distillery but to a British steamship called Glenturret that we also know existed.

“What is clear is that Glenturret made its mark, literally, halfway around the world. We’d love to have someone come forward to shed some more light on what is truly a fascinating story and a very colourful cast of characters. Otherwise, for us, it may not be so much the Year of the Monkey as the Year of the Whisky as we try to clear the whole mystery up.”

Glenturret Distillery is asking anybody with information on Dr. Duncan Main, particularly regarding his time in China, or the mysterious rock to get in touch with the distillery at marketing@theglenturret.com

The Timeline of #1 Moganshan and Glenturret

1775: ‘Hosh’ distillery, later known as Glenturret Distillery, is established beside the waters of Turret Burn in Crieff, Perthshire.

1856: Dr. Duncan Main is born in Kirmichael, Ayrshire.

1873-1881: Dr. Main begins studying business and soon becomes interested in missionary work and medicine. He studies at both the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

1881: Dr. Main marries Florence Nightingale Smith, named after the original Florence Nightingale. They set sail for China and a career as missionaries. They settle in Hangzhou.

1910: Moganshan in the mountaintop bamboo forests near Hangzhou has become a popular getaway for missionaries and their families escaping the stifling heat of Shanghai. #1 Moganshan is built as a sanitorum for Dr. Main, his family and his hospital staff.

1921: Following the American Prohibition, Glenturret ceases distilling whisky. It will remain closed for another thirty years.

1926: During their time in China, Dr. Main and his wife have been credited with opening more than 30 medical and welfare institutions. Dr. Main has received several honours and decorations from the Chinese government. The couple retires to Scotland.

1928: #1 Moganshan is nationalised under the leadership of Zhang Jingjiang, the then governor of Zhejiang.

1931: The older son of Dr. Main, S. Duncan Main, disputes ownership of the villa. The property is returned to Dr. Main’s son.

1932: Dr. Main’s son sells #1 Moganshan to the Jiangnan Auto Company, founded in 1932 by Zhang Jingjiang. It is known as Green Shade Inn.

1957: Glenturret Distillery reopens in Crieff.

1960s: After years of neglect, #1 Moganshan is torn down.

2007: South African Grant Horsfield opens the first of his naked eco-friendly villas in Moganshan, which puts Moganshan back on the map as a vacation destination after 70 years of oblivion.

2015: Glenturret Distillery celebrates its 240th anniversary. It remains the only whisky distillery in Scotland to hand mash during its production process. Maker of The Famous Grouse and The Glenturret, it is the most visited distillery in Scotland.

2016: naked has an additional six resorts under development. In excavating the area of Moganshan, Horsfield and his company uncover a rock bearing the name Glenturret.

Crieff Succeeds BID Calls for Brand Input

The Crieff Succeeds BID has issued a call out to local residents, businesses and visitors to Crieff to help them in the early stages of developing a new brand for the town which will be used to promote Crieff to new audiences across Scotland.

Following a competitive tender process, The Crieff Succeeds BID has appointed Perth based marketing and PR agency Volpa to head up the work on developing the new brand for the town. They are now looking to the local community to assist with input to the process to help put Crieff firmly on the map as a destination of choice.

John Bray, General Manager of the Crieff Succeeds BID commented:

“As part of our strategy to develop a successful and thriving town, we will be rolling out a series of destination marketing campaigns. We’re keen to ensure that the brand we develop is as authentic as possible and is recognizable to local people as their Crieff, as well as being desirable to visitors.

“We all have a vested interest in the success of this brand and we welcome input from the wider community, to help us form and develop a strong positioning for Crieff as one of Scotland’s most popular tourist towns. I’d urge everyone who cares about the future of the town to set aside five minutes and tell us what they think is best about Crieff.”

A link to the survey, which should take no longer than five minutes, is on the front page of the BID’s website: www.crieffsucceeds.com and will be available until Friday 11th March.

Morrison’s pupil adds a touch of spring to win Crieff Hydro art competition

Alice Wright, an S2 pupil from Morrison’s Academy, has temporarily swapped the classroom for artistry, after her winning painting was chosen as the cover artwork for Crieff Hydro’s local mailer.

The 13-year-old’s spring-inspired painting of daffodils was picked from dozens of entries to front the door-to-door local flyer which will be arriving through 12,000 local letterboxes this week. Crieff Hydro’s “By the locals, for the locals” mailer campaign will feature school children’s artwork from across Strathearn throughout the year, with each flyer containing a range of exclusive offers and savings for Strathearn residents.

Kirsty Laird, Crieff Hydro’s Marketing Whizz, commented:

“We have been so impressed by the creative flair seen in all of the entries we received from Morrison’s Academy, it was very difficult to pick just one winner! Alice’s spring-themed painting captured the time of year beautifully and was the perfect choice for our spring flyer. We’d like to thank all of the Morrison’s Academy kids and staff who helped us with this project and we look forward to working together more in the future.”

As well having the opportunity to showcase her artistic flair, Alice also won a £50 gift voucher to spend at Crieff Hydro, from dinner to trying out Action Glen’s Segway experience.

For more information visit www.hydrolocal.com

Scone Palace & Perth City celebrate double tourism award shortlisting

One of Scotland’s most iconic visitor attractions, Scone Palace, has been shortlisted for an accolade at this year’s prestigious National Coach Tourism Awards. In a double celebration for Perth, the City of Perth has also been shortlisted for an award alongside the crowning place of Scottish Kings at the nationwide event.

The only finalists from Scotland at the national awards, the historic Palace has been shortlisted for Coach Friendly Visitor Attraction of the Year while Perth will battle it out in the Coach Friendly Destination of the Year category.

This recognition marks the beginning of a landmark year for Scone Palace, as the popular Palace celebrates 50 years since it opened its doors to the public as a visitor attraction. Margo Baird, Marketing Manager at Scone Palace, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for a National Coach Tourism Award, and it is particularly special as we enter our 50th year as a visitor attraction. We work very closely with the coach tourism sector and have spent many years building strong relationships with tour operators to help bring thousands of tourists to Scone Palace and Perthshire every year.”

Margo continued:

“It is also fantastic to see Perth City recognised at the awards. We are proud to have worked closely with Perth and Kinross Council to grow the number of tourists visiting the area and to see Perth become the first Scottish city to be awarded Coach Friendly Status.”

Councillor John Kellas, Perth & Kinross Council’s Enterprise & Infrastructure Convener, added:

“This is a remarkable moment of recognition for Perth. The city has worked incredibly hard to increase its profile as a must-see tourist destination in Scotland and, after achieving Coach Friendly Status in 2015, this is another fantastic string to our bow. I would like to congratulate Scone Palace for their shortlisting. They have played a significant role in developing a constant flow of coach tourism to the area which we are delighted to welcome every year.

“Along with our friends at Scone Palace, we are the only Scottish finalists at the National Coach Tourism Awards. Receiving an accolade like this really highlights the city’s dedication to making Perth one of Scotland’s most beautiful, iconic and cultural destinations.”

The Fair City will be up against destinations from all around the UK including Liverpool, Derry, Devizes and Bournemouth. Scone Palace will compete against other UK visitor attractions including the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare, Longleat, West Midland Safari & Leisure Park and Powderham Castle.

Scone Palace and the City of Perth will attend the final with around 450 industry professionals representing the very best coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions and tourism suppliers on Wednesday 16th March at the NEC in Birmingham and will be hoping that it will be a good news for both awards.

To find out more about Scone Palace, visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

Volpa joins forces with The ARCHIE Foundation to make some Bucket Trail noise

Tayside PR and Marketing agency, Volpa, have added their support to the region’s largest mass participation public event, Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail. The trail will see the City of Discovery invaded by over 50 individually designed, equally as mischievous, Oor Wullie sculptures this summer.

The award winning agency, whose client rosta includes many of Scotland’s biggest and most popular tourist attractions, will be working with organisers The ARCHIE Foundation, along with partners Wild In Art and DC Thomson, to provide some cunningly good publicity to the art project that hopes to raise crucial funds needed to create a state of the art twin operating surgical suite at Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee.

As well as providing PR support for the project, Team Volpa will have their very own Oor Wullie sculpture, whose customised design has already been the subject of many office debates.

Tricia Fox, Volpa’s Founder, is looking forward to bringing some Volpa magic to the unique project:

“We are all very excited about working with The ARCHIE Foundation, Wild In Art and DC Thomson to help Oor Wullie – and his bucket – shine in Scotland’s sunniest city. It’s a fantastic project, the first of its kind in Dundee. We’re delighted to have the chance to help. He’s somewhat of a Scottish icon and, with 2016 being his 80th anniversary, he’s someone of whom every living generation in Scotland will have fond memories.”

The trail-brazing Oor Wullie sculptures will all be beautifully designed by local and national artists, as well as the odd celebrity. They will take to the streets of Dundee and greater Tayside for 10 weeks this summer. As the summer comes to a close in September, all the sculptures will be auctioned off with all proceeds going towards The ARCHIE Foundation’s appeal for £2 million towards the new twin operating surgical suite at Tayside’s Children Hospital.

Event organisers are currently encouraging Tayside businesses both locally and on a national level to get involved and sponsor one of the unique sculptures, urging them not to miss the chance to be involved in what will be the most exciting mass-participation event of the summer. Those who have already confirmed their sponsorship include Dundee’s Apex hotel, John Clark Motor Group, Avian and Barnetts Volkswagen.

Tricia continued:

“Not only is this a great moment to raise awareness of the amazing work The ARCHIE Foundation is doing for the Tayside region, but this is great opportunity for local artists, businesses, schools and communities to get involved and demonstrate their support, very publicly, by being part of a project which will contribute to the economic, cultural and social life of the area.”
Dundee is the latest city to benefit from the successful Wild In Art sculpture projects, which have previously seen giant cartoon Gromits in Bristol, GoGoGorillas in Norwich and SuperLambBananas in Liverpool.

To find out more about Volpa visit www.volpa.co.uk

To find out more about Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, visit www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com

To discuss sponsorship, contact Neil Cooney on 07960162223 or neil@archiefoundation.org.uk

For further information about the work of The ARCHIE Foundation, visit www.archiefoundationhome.org.uk

Win an engagement photoshoot at Crieff Hydro Wedding Fair

With spring almost here and wedding season just around the corner, preparations are underway at Crieff Hydro for their annual spectacular Wedding Fair, taking place on Sunday 13th March, 2016 from 12 noon – 3pm. To celebrate another year of wedding day memory-making, the award-winning leisure resort is offering couples attending the Wedding Fair the chance to enter an exclusive photography competition to win a free engagement photoshoot with Jenni Browne Photography.

Crieff Hydro are asking brides and grooms-to-be to share photographs they take during the Wedding Fair on social media, and a winner will be chosen to receive the special prize. All couples will be supplied with lanyards containing the competition details when they register upon arrival.

This year’s Wedding Fair is set to showcase a range of outstanding local and regional wedding suppliers with over 30 exhibitors, from florists and photographers to pipers and make-up artists, on hand to meet couples and help them to create the most important day of their lives.

Exhibitors include piper Drew Sinclair, Celebration Station Cakes, Cranston Imagery, Enchanted Events, Apple Blossom Time, Love Vintage Campers, Simply Sweet and many more businesses from the local area and beyond. Thomas Cook will also be at the fair to help couples find their perfect honeymoon.

As well as a glass of fizz on arrival, there will be beauty tutorials, menu tasting, musicians and a live set from the popular function band, Pepperpots. There’ll also be an all-important ‘man-zone’ for the grooms to enjoy beer tasting, sporting challenges and browse more male-orentated suppliers, such as The Kilt Company and stag and hen party specialists, Action Glen. Couples will also be able to explore Crieff Hydro’s function spaces and enjoy a tour of the resort’s stunning 900 acre estate.

Crieff Hydro’s new Wedding Coordinator, Kathryn McLellan, commented:

“Weddings are such an exciting time for couples and there are so many options available to them and endless choices to make – this is where the fun begins! Our Wedding Fair gives you a head start as we bring all of Perthshire’s best wedding suppliers together under one roof and highlight everything that Crieff Hydro has to offer as a beautiful Scottish wedding venue.”

Kathryn continued:

“We can’t wait to see the entries to our exclusive photography competition, a fantastic opportunity for couples to win an extra special engagement photoshoot. Any kind of pre-wedding photoshoot can be invaluable as a practice run ahead of the big day, so we hope to see lots of photos taken during the Wedding Fair.”

For more information visit www.crieffhydro.com/weddings/wedding-fair-2016

How to succeed in a crowded sector: Rascal London Porter’s 5 Steps to Success

Craft beer brand Rascal London Porter, which celebrates its first birthday this month, is making a big splash with beer lovers and the trade. And the best bit? With little marketing and facing a crowded sector, the cheeky Rascal is succeeding against the odds.

Winner of an award before it was officially launched, critics’ favourite, and the stuff of impressive sales, Rascal is enjoying success thanks to its clever positioning and a few drops of good luck.

With limited marketing, it has sold the equivalent of 100,000 pints to date and will hit the USA next month. Meanwhile, supermarket chain Aldi has picked it to be part of its Scottish Beer Festival, an in-store showcase of Scottish breweries beginning on March 10th and available while stocks last.

It’s what you might call the perfect product launch, says craft brewer Inveralmond Brewery. And with such a success on its hands, the Perthshire brewer is keen to share its secrets with the food and drink trade.

Bob Hogg, Commercial Director at Inveralmond Brewery, commented:

“Little did we know when we named this beer Rascal just what a cheeky rascal it would turn out to be. We knew we were onto a winner with this product, the latest from our Inspiration Series of beers, but its rapid rise in popularity – and in an already crowded sector – has surprised all of us. It has cemented itself with a strong fan base, and it’s a hit with critics too.”

Here, then, are Rascal’s 5 Steps to Success:

Step 1: Have a fantastic product

Rascal first started to hit Britain’s pubs and off-trade in February 2015 as part of Inveralmond’s Inspiration Series. A rich dark beer with notes of silky mocha flavours, it has a spicy aroma and a complex, mellow finish.  In other words, there’s mischief lurking in those dark mahogany depths. In his beer column in The Herald, Colin Campbell described Rascal as “full of life and character… [with a] long, amiable bittersweet finish that hugs you and asks, very persuasively, for more. A brilliant beer.”

Step 2: Stand out in a crowded market

Why the name Rascal? For a start, it’s a mischievous beer – a 5.6% ABV with a combination of a spicy aroma and silky palate. For another, it’s streetwise. In developing it, Inveralmond Brewery was inspired by the mighty brewing styles of 18th century London, a place where rascals prevailed. “Our new product development team felt that it summed up the rugged rascals that were around in London at that time,” says Hogg.

Step 3: Launch yourself at exactly the right time

No doubt about it: British beer is undergoing a revolution, with craft beer outperforming the rest of the market. The number of breweries is skyrocketing and is now higher than at any time since the 1940s. The UK now has more breweries per head than any other country, opening at the rate of one every two days.*

The London Porter dates back to 18th century and 19th century London. Named after the porters who moved goods on and off ships and around London’s city streets, London Porters are seeing a steady rise in popularity. And while some would say it’s foolish to dive into a crowded market, Rascal is proving that it can compete. Sales are 40% to 50% more than anticipated, says Hogg.

As well as being sold in the UK on-trade and off-trade, Rascal has been shipped to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy. The next step is to dip a toe into the U.S. market. Starting at the end of March, Inveralmond will export the brand to pubs and retail stores in the USA via U.S. importer Iron Horse Beverage. Rascal will get an extra marketing boost in March when it hits the shelves of Aldi in Scotland as part of the supermarket chain’s Scottish Beer Festival. Starting on March 10th, Rascal will be available in Aldi stores while stocks last.

Step 4: Get a competition win under your belt

Rascal London Porter won Champion Beer at the 2015 World’s Biggest Ale Festival, run by JD Wetherspoon, before it was even officially launched. After winning the Dark Ales Class, Rascal progressed to the final and won the festival’s overall Champion Beer award, which JD Wetherspoon customers voted for online. The result? It was featured on JD Wetherspoon’s national guest ale list during July and August 2015.

David Aucutt from East West Ales explained what made Rascal stand out from its beer contemporaries to be crowned Champion Beer: “Rascal won the Dark Ales Class initially as it was considered the beer with the most balanced flavour. Rascal won the overall Champion Beer award for the same reason, but also for being the beer the judges considered to be the most distinctive. Of all the beers tasted, it was the one they would most like to drink again.”

Step 5: Be a lucky rascal

 A little bit of serendipity goes a long way. Just as Rascal was gathering steam for its nod to 18th century beer making, so interest was growing in that whole era of British history.

Dickensian, a new TV series that reimagines Charles Dickens’ novels into 20 half-hour episodes for the soap-loving generation, has taken off on the BBC. The elaborate set even features The Three Cripples pub, featured in Oliver Twist. And the London Porter just happened to be Dickens’ beer of choice.

Meanwhile, Series 2 of Poldark, set in late 18th century Cornwall, comes our way in the Autumn, with a third series already in the works.