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  • Plumbing & Heating | It's The Biz

    PLUMBING & HEATING Directory Read more Call BEES KNEES PLUMBING Taps, leaks, blockages, radiators & cylinders, first and second fix, general plumbing. ​ 07914 259908 Email Social Website Read more Call ASTRAL HEATING & GAS SERVICES Boiler and central heating repairs and servicing. Gas safe registered. ​ 07748 876343 Email Social Website

  • Keep the Bells Ringing | It's The Biz

    LOCAL BIZ Keep the bells ringing The Rochester Cathedral Company of Bell Ringers are raising funds for essential work required to ensure the future of the cathedral’s bells. Anyone living in Rochester will be familiar with the sound of cathedral bells ringing out across the town. This sound is created by the cathedral’s Company of Bell Ringers, a group of men and women of all ages and from all walks of life, who ring the bells that are hung in the space below the cathedral spire. This ring consists of ten bells which were cast in 1921 and essential works are now required to ensure their future. The Rochester Cathedral Bells Centenary Project has been set up to raise £100,000 to fund these works. The money will also be used to extend the ring to twelve bells; a rare thing in North Kent. This will better allow the ringers to continue their work as a teaching tower, encouraging young and old from all backgrounds to come and learn. It will also encourage visiting ringers, as the appeal of a ring of twelve is irresistible! There are lots of ways to contribute, from a small donation here to sponsoring a bell – the ringers will be buying three new ones! They would like to ring the new bells for the first time in 2021 to celebrate the centenary of the casting of the current ring. The project was launched last September, when the Dean of the cathedral spoke of how much the bells are appreciated. To help maintain the long tradition of ringing in Rochester and to make the cathedral bells a sound to be enjoyed for many years to come, you can visit justgiving.com and make a donation. Click here. A brief history of Rochester Cathedral ​ Founded in AD604, Rochester Cathedral is England’s second oldest. The present building dates back to the work of the French monk, Gundulf, in 1080. The glorious Norman architecture of the nave, parts of the crypt, as well as one of the finest Romanesque facades in England, make this an inspirational place to visit. The Cathedral is blessed with some fine examples of later Gothic styles as well as the magnificent 14th century Chapter Library door. Hidden from view is one of the oldest doors in England. Today, daily worship is central to the life of the Cathedral. There has been a community worshipping continually on this site for over 1400 years.

  • Explore & Draw | It's The Biz

    ART & CRAFT Explore & Draw Explore & Draw, an art class run by local artist Luna Zsigo, came to Restoration House in May last year. 25 students found inspiration in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of the gardens, drawing and painting still life subjects. Explore & Draw is an art class run by local artist Luna Zsigo. Inspired by the great George and Mary Watts, Luna passionately believes that “art is for all” and everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professional artists. Explore & Draw hold unique and exciting drawing, painting and creative writing events in buildings of historical, architectural and cultural interest. The classes often focus on still life compositions made up from artefacts and objects sourced directly from archives of the sites. The event at Restoration House took place on a slightly overcast day, but it was warm enough and there was plenty of light bringing out the rich and vibrant colours of the beautiful garden. Your editor joined the class on a tour around the house itself before we all joined Luna in the garden where she handed out art materials and helpful advice. Having explored the nooks and crannies of the garden – an incredible space which I think can justifiably be described as a “secret garden” as very little of it can be seen from the surrounding streets. It comprises formal and productive areas as well as the restored Tudor garden which was discovered during an aborted housing development project, and rescued by the owners with the help of English Heritage. It proved an ideal location for Luna’s class, inspiring the creation of a variety of drawings and paintings by the assembled students, all of whom benefitted from Luna’s advice and guidance. Luna also runs a series of workshops named, Explore & Draw – Meet the Artist where she collaborates with other creatives from different disciplines to show that there is no single way to become an artist. ​ Find out more about Explore & Draw and Restoration House: f @exploreanddrawmedway q Luna 07751 231616 E exploreanddraw.medway@gmail.com H www.restorationhouse.co.uk

  • Missing the office? | It's The Biz

    LOCKDOWN STORIES Missing the office? We examine the history of the office, and find out what it’s been like for people forced to work at home during lockdown... Since lockdown began, the working day has taken a very different form for those able to work at home, in spare bedrooms, sheds, garages or with a laptop on the settee! ​ There have always been jobs which can only be done in a designated workplace such as certain functions in factories or building sites, although even those will have administrative operations which have most likely been conducted remotely during lockdown. An office seems to be the place where the admin is done, but these days, that could be practically anywhere. At home? In the coffee shop? But where does the tradition of traveling to and from an office to conduct business come from? ​ Ancient Rome had its own business district, each town containing its forum bounded by shops and offices. It’s the Roman Latin word officium loosely meaning “bureau” that gives us the word we use today. However, with the demise of the Roman Empire, the concept of dedicated office space was largely forgotten, until the 18th Century. By this time, the kind of work which we now associate with offices was carried out at home, with business owners living on the premises, employing clerks who also lived on-site, combining administrative and household duties. But in 1726, the first purpose-built office building in Britain was constructed in Whitehall for the Admiralty. It is now known as The Ripley Building, after its architect, Thomas Ripley. Then, in 1729, The East India Company opened their headquarters on Leadenhall Street, housing their thousands of employees dealing with the complex business of trade with India and Asia. Author Charles Lamb worked as a clerk at the East India Company and in his diaries he commented on the long hours: “On Friday I was at office from 10 in the morning to 11 at night – last night til 9”. ​ The 20th century saw the advent of the open-plan office, something many of us are familiar with today. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright envisaged an office like an open plan factory, with few walls. Subsequent variations have seen landscaped workspaces, rooms full of cubicles and modular offices, consisting of flexible, semi-enclosed spaces. The century progressed and construction innovations enabled taller and taller buildings to eventually allow thousands of workers to inhabit spaces in relatively small square feet of expensive land. Technology continued to advance, from electric lighting, the telegraph, telephone, typewriters, calculators, word processors, computers, the internet, tablets and mobile phones gradually transforming the working day. It is now easier than ever to conduct “office” work from almost anywhere – wi-fi or 4G permitting. For some businesses, this has proved a lifeline during lockdown, as they have been able to continue productive activity from the homes of their employees. So how has it been, swapping the commute and office politics for a desk shared with family and pets? We asked for feedback... DEAN HOLDEN, STROOD I had to be set up from scratch, we had the space and some of the kit but it was a stressful few days. Once done it was business as usual for the whole office; able to start earlier and work longer. No travel and great weather was great; we were able to escape to garden for a break in the sun. It works very well and the team have stayed motivated – however I can see that we need a mix. If we continue working from home during bad weather, there is potential for moods to change. If we look at the positive side and see us coming out of lockdown, then home working will be a great boost to work/life balance; two days from home would be great for me!! ​ MARK BLACK, SITTINGBOURNE Having commuted to London for years, it’s now just a stroll along the landing to the office. Initially it was a little stressful with technical glitches setting up remote access to my work computer, but with daily Zoom meetings and conference calls the team are able to work efficiently. I miss the social interaction of the office but do we need to cram ourselves into expensive communal buildings? I can’t see myself doing 5 days in the office ever again! This virus has changed the work landscape. ​ MARY DOWNIE, ROCHESTER I work for the Military in Gillingham. During lockdown some staff have been working from home, some going in for a few hours a week and some furloughed at home. While there is a cost to set up home working – supplying IT equipment to staff – it has been a great success. Some people are generating much more work and finding it easier without interruptions. One of the guys in my office has even been working on the odd weekend as he has had nothing else to do. He lives in a flat, so not having a garden means it has helped keep him occupied. People have also noticed the financial saving in train and petrol costs. Some have asked if the working from home can continue when the lockdown is over and we will be looking at it long term. Also, we have meetings several times a year. These generate a lot of expenses as some travel and have to stay overnight, travel and food costs. We have often asked if the meetings can be done via Zoom as some of them don’t last more than a couple of hours. Some people don’t like change and some are old school and have refused. They now had no choice but to do them via Zoom and they have been a great success so this will definitely continue. ​ JO NEWTON, ROCHESTER I’ve been working from home since just before lockdown. We are part of the food industry, on the manufacturing side, so we have been working all through this and have never been busier. I realise how lucky we are. The production and warehouse staff have had to be on-site but on the office side, those who can work from home have been doing so. It’s funny listening to everyone’s different experiences. Some people have found it very challenging but personally, I have loved it. I am more productive (I’m doing longer hours and am normally fired up and ready to go by 6/6.30) and don’t have the constant office interruptions. I tend to work through lunch anyway but I make sure I log off at 4pm. I keep in close contact with my team through Zoom chat and we have regular Zoom meetings to make sure we’re all OK. You get the normal IT issues which can be irritating; but they happen when you’re in the office too! I don’t drive and due to the buses, it can take me an hour and a half to two hours to get to work (it’s a 20 minute drive), so potentially I’m saving 4 hours a day! On the few occasions that I’ve needed to go in, the company has paid for taxis. I usually get five buses a day, so this is a huge help and relief at the moment and I’m really dreading having to go back to that. I’ve been doing it for sixteen years and now that I’ve stopped, I realise how tiring it is. From a safety perspective, it really is “germ soup”. My husband is a comedian, so for him the future is still very uncertain. He’s been busy writing but any social distancing, even going down to one meter, makes live comedy impossible at the moment. He’s been great though. We live in a one bedroom flat and he’s relegated himself to the bedroom for half of the day to give me space to work. As soon as I finish, we go for a walk. With no garden, this little bit of outside time has been crucial. I’m looking forward to things going back to normal but while we’ve been in our lockdown bubble we’ve appreciated the little things. A warm sunny day, with fish and chips and a bottle of beer by the castle. FaceTiming friends for a catch-up. It’s made us appreciate that it doesn’t take much to make a day great…but my work being safe has contributed to this. Not having to worry too much about the bills is a huge weight off of our shoulders as we’re not spending much.

  • Wedding tips | It's The Biz

    LIFESTYLE Top 10 wedding planning tips If you're planning a celebration, offer these handy hints… SOS Entertainment 1. Budget Set a realistic budget before you do anything else - and decide who is paying for what. In order to stick to it, make sure you factor in all the details and don’t forget additional costs like gifts and dress alterations. Remember that the cheapest is not always the best, so ask for references and look at examples of their work. ​ 2. Guests The biggest wedding expense is probably going to be your guests, so draw up a list early and make sure you only include people you really want to be there. Then you will be able to find the right venue that can accommodate your chosen number. Your “all day” guests, comprising close friends and family, will join you for the ceremony and wedding breakfast; whereas your guests who come just for the reception will only incur an extra cost if you are supplying an evening buffet. ​ ​ 3. Seating plan It’s a good idea to start this as early as you can. It can be much more difficult than you expect it to be – a logistical headache! Always remember that not all of your friends and family get on, so be sure to do your homework before you do your seating plan. ​ 4. Menu Select a menu that reflects you and your partner’s tastes by choosing your own favourite dishes, rather than being driven by the dietary requirements of other people. It’s vital to ask your guests if they have any food allergies. Some people suffer from extremely sensitive conditions – for example even the presence of peanuts in the room it can cause a reaction through the air! ​ 5. Kids Be consistent with your policy on children - are they all welcome; will it be immediate family only; or do you want an adult-only wedding? Whatever you choose, make sure you stick to it to avoid hurt feelings. It could cause a problem if you let one family member bring their children but not let another bring theirs! ​ 6. Website Make a wedding website so that all your guests and family members can visit one place to check all the details of your day. This can include the gift list, the day’s itinerary, as well as transport and accommodation information. Friends and family can also post and share any photos from your special day. ​ 7. Ground rules Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions at the church and reception venue, such as whether confetti as allowed. Some wedding venues state that you have to clean the venue at the end of the night or pay a extra charge some even keep your deposit if this is not done! Check if your venue will allow your DJ to use smoke or haze machines – if they’re not warned prior to the DJ using it, the whole place could be evacuated due to the fire alarm being set off by the smoke/haze. ​ 8. Stay organised Keep accurate records of all your transactions with suppliers and venues, and ensure you have a list of contacts handy on the day itself in case you need to make contact with a missing driver! It’s always handy to a second set of suppliers in reserve, should any of those you have chosen let you down. Draw up contracts stipulating full refunds and compensation in the event that the agreed work isn’t carried out. ​ 9. Thank you Don’t forget to thank your wedding party and those who have played a part in your big day – arrange small gifts as a thank you. If you don’t have the budget for any gifts, then a thank you during your speeches or via the DJ’s Microphone will do, just so they know you appreciate all they have done for you ​ 10. Have fun! No one will enjoy a day hosted by a stressed-out couple who are overwhelmed by last-minute panics. With careful planning and organisation, you will be able to relax and make the most of all the special moments with your loved ones. Enjoy yourselves – it will fly by! Why not treat yourselves and your guests to some entertainment in the evening? Some companies offer white adult bouncy castles, cash grabbers (Crystal Maze), photobooths etc. ​ ​

  • Privacy | It's The Biz

    It's The Biz Limited – privacy policy – last updated 19 August 2020 ​ Our contact details It's The Biz Limited, registered office: 71-75 Shelton Street, London WC2H 9JQ Email: neil@itsthebiz.net Customer service number: 01634 470281 ​ What type of information we have We collect email addresses, telephone numbers and physical addresses of business customers and representatives of community organisations, and occasionally private individuals. ​ How we get the information and why do we have it We collect this information from email enquiries, website form submissions, social media contact or telephone calls received. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the lawful basis we rely on for processing this information is your consent. You are able to remove your consent at any time. You can do this by contacting neil@itsthebiz.net . What we do with the information We have the information for the following purposes: (a) to design and publish advertisements in print and online for business customers and to remain in contact for current advertising and future advertising; (b) to insert promotional material in print and online for non-profit community organisations and charities and to remain in contact for future promotion; (c) for competitions, quizzes, letters, comments and other submissions in print and online. All contributors, whether paying, non-paying or interracting, give their details with consent and retain the right to withdraw consent at any time by emailing or telephoning using the details above. None of the information is shared outside the this company. ​ How we store your information Information is stored electronically in password-secure hard-drive and cloud storage. Details of commercial advertisers and community organisations are held on file indefinitely for the purpose of ongoing promotional activities. Details of private individuals are kept only as long as necessary to complete the relevant interraction. ​ Under data protection law, you have rights including: Your right of access - You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. Your right to erasure - You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances. Your data protection rights How to complain Email: or call our customer service number: 01634 470281 You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data. The ICO’s address: Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Helpline number: 0303 123 1113 neil@itsthebiz.net ​ ​

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