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DECEMBER 2013 VOLUME 15 ISSUE 12 Visit Follow us @lenhamfocus

Beautiful Homes In Your Area Call Us Now To Arrange Your Viewing Or Free Marketing Consultation Winter Warmers ............. Deepings Cottage, Lenham      

Four Bedroom Detached Cottage Arranged Over Three Floors Wealth Of Retained Character Features 25ft Contemporary Kitchen/Diner Garage, Parking And 85ft Rear Garden Energy Efficiency Rating TBA

£575,000 Updown Cottage, Lenham      


Character Four Bedroom Detached Cottage Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty Three Reception Rooms ‘Cottage Style’ Kitchen/Breakfast Room Overall Plot Of Just Under Two Thirds Of An Acre Energy Efficiency Rating E

£795,000 Yew Tree Cottage, Harrietsham      

Character Three Bedroom Semi-Detached Cottage Two Reception Rooms Original Features Master Bedroom With Ensuite Shower Room Garage And Parking Energy Efficiency Rating E

£355,000 3 Bethel Row, Throwley      

Character Two Bedroom Cottage 16ft Living Room Fitted Kitchen/Diner Overlooking Garden Upstairs Bathroom Superb Rural Views Energy Efficiency Rating F

Guide Price £179,995 - £189,995

t: 01622 858241 a: 1 The Square, Lenham e: w:


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Welcome... We have another good article from Jim Myers again this month on Russell Smith and his family. Thanks again to Jim and I am sure there will be more from him in the New Year. We also have more names for the book on the Those Who Served in War and Peace, if anyone has information on these people please do contact Nick Osborne or Amy Myers. We are also looking for more volunteers with the Focus particularly if you are interested in helping out with the editorial. If you think you can help please get in contact with me. 04

Everyone at the Focus wishes all our readers a Great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.


James Collett Focus Editor 01622 850608


Lenham Focus Volume 15 Issue 12 | December 2013 Circulation 2000

DEC 13 Editor: James Collett 01622 850608 | Advertising: Annie Drylie (On maternity leave) Please contact James | Treasurer: Sue Marchant 01622 858511 | 07788163828 | Distribution: Gez Clark 07784 447200 Proof Reader: Jane Hewish Social: Jemma Cockell Printed by: Gemini Print


Copy Deadline: 7th of the preceding month. Please leave copy at 24 Maidstone road or contact us.

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Your Focus Team We are the team behind the Lenham Focus, we build the magazine from start to finish every month. For you.



Our people From left to right: Annie Drylie and James Collett (More to come in next issue!)


Photography: Elliott Round Elliott is a student who has just graduated from Maidstone Grammar School. He has been providing his photography to Flowbox for around a year now. His style is normally contemporary studio weddings. For this magazine, Elliott was commissioned to produce a high-quality, focused and creative set of photographs that embraces the new Lenham Focus brand, and the village ethos.

Flowbox. 07

Writing: James Collett

Design: Will Beeching and Ed Craddock

Although James is not, and never has been, involved in publishing he works on the Focus to ensure the village is always up to date with events and to provide local businesses with a low cost publication to advertise in. As with all the team he gives up his time in between work and family and is always grateful to the contributors who make the job so much easier.

Flowbox are an innovative young creative agency based in Maidstone. Established in 2012 they have been providing the Focus with their time and design services for free. Flowbox works with all sorts of clients from one-man bands to huge corporations. If there’s something you’re after, get in touch! Visit Follow us @lenhamfocus

Borough Council Corner Since last month we have had a number of downpours which have resulted in numerous floods. I have reported via Lenham Parish council a number of these. Unfortunately there appears to be more of a regular problem against the background of a cutback in general maintenance. All we can do is keep highlighting problem areas.


Regarding the co-op / housing proposal, permission has been granted for the demolition of existing fire damaged building. We do not have as yet any date for the application to come forward for either a decision by the planning officer if he was to refuse it, or if not, a date before planning committee members if he is minded to approve it. Finally, (it does seem strange to be writing this in early November) can I wish you all a merry Christmas and peaceful new year. Can I ask where possible, and where needed

Borough Council Corner

Cllr Tom Sams Harrietsham & Lenham Ward t: 01622 859412 m: 07718173329

that we look out for our neighbours, particularly the elderly and let them know that we are around if needed, and that we care.

Security and Electrical Services l Alarm systems l CCTV l PAT testing l Fire alarms l Automated gates l Video/audio entry systems l Existing systems maintained & repaired l All electrical work undertaken l Domestic & Commercial installations




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Cybereye Security Marcus Shephard 01622 858 612 or 07821 776 334


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The White Horse Sandway ~ a traditional public house ~

Tuesday to Friday Lunch including Tuesday evening: 2 courses for £10.50 / 3 courses for £13.50

Tuesday + Wednesday to Friday Lunch 2 courses for £10.50 or 3 for £13.50

Christmas Party + Christmas Day Menus Available Now

Live music 1st Friday of the month 01622 859511 Lenham Heath Road, Sandway




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Dates for Your Diary







Christmas Lights Switch On Lenham Square 3:00pm



Hub Club Age UK Tea Party Lenham community centre 7:15pm




Lenham Family Festival Meeting Lenham community centre 7:15pm



Hub Club Age UK Trip Pick up at Dog and Bear, Lenham 10:45am

Candlelit Christmas Concert Sutton Valence School Chapel 7:30pm

60+ Young at Heart Christmas Party

Candlelit Christmas Concert Sutton Valence Choral Society’s annual Christmas concert takes place on Saturday 14 December in Sutton Valence School Chapel starting at 7.30pm. We will be singing Christmas music by Gustav Holst and Bob Chilcott, and there will be festive readings. Tickets are £10, (£5 for students), including mulled wine and mince pies, and are available by ringing 01233 840540 or 01622 630624.

Dates for Your Diary

Helping Hands Quilts A group of ladies from the Country Ways Craft Groups joined together on Monday 21st October and put together nine quilts for charity. Their time was given freely, the fabrics, threads and wadding were donated. We had five sewing machines on the go and a group of ladies pressing, basting and cutting out. Anyone looking in on us would have seen a hive of activity. Our day began at 9.30am and continued until 4.30pm. The part finished quilts will be finished before the handover day later in November at Aldington. The last quilt day we had, back in the summer, we completed and handed over nine quilts. The total of quilts given to the ladies who came along from the Foster Care Agency was eighty seven. They had a home for every one of them and a need for more. The Helping Hands Charity was formed by Terrance Gilbert, he first saw this on a visit to friends in America. The quilts are given to the Fostering Network in Kent. Every child put into the foster care system is given a quilt of their own to keep, some of the children have nothing to call their own and a quilt that is bright and cheery helps to give them something to hold onto and cuddle and hopefully make them feel a little more secure.

Some of the smaller quilts are given to the prison babies, no matter what the mothers have done, these innocent little babies also need something soft to snuggle into. We have another Helping Hands Day booked in the Main Hall of Lenham Community Centre on Friday 21st March 2014 and Terrance Gilbert will bring the ladies from his area and others from groups in Kent to make as many quilts as we can get done in the day. I would like to ask for donations of unwanted cotton materials (sorry not furnishing fabrics) also any reels of cottons or threads etc. If you would like to contact Jan Haines either at the Osborne Room in the Community Centre on the first and third Tuesday afternoon or the second and last Wednesday morning of the month, I will be available to you. Through donations we can keep going and making children’s lives a little happier at such sad times. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all who came to help on Monday October 21st. You made a real difference to lots of young people and also to me for all your efforts. Jan Haines – Country Ways Craft Groups.


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Air Ambulance Christmas catalogue now available Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has launched its new-look 2013 Christmas catalogue. 18

Supporters can now buy bespoke cards called Wishing you a Heli Christmas and The Heli & the Ivy showing the helicopter and crew in the snow. Other designs feature stunning local scenery such as Canterbury Cathedral, Leith Hill Tower and Bodiam Castle, painted exclusively for the Air Ambulance by Reg Siger. There’s also a free prize draw to win one of these three original paintings. Gifts include a 2014 Air Ambulance Calendar (£7), a 2014 Diary (£5), a Chromolite Key Chain (£3.50) and a Push & Go toy helicopter (£3), making it an ideal stocking filler.

Air Ambulance

The catalogue also has information on major developments of the service over the past year including night operation and the launch of blood transfusions, and how to become a volunteer. There’s also the chance to win up to £1,000 by purchasing a Lottery Gift Voucher and this year for the first time ever there is an opportunity to purchase a membership for a young family friend or relative, to join Dr Dudley’s Kids Club. To order a copy of the catalogue call 01622 833833 or go to www. * Christmas shoppers can donate to the Air Ambulance by signing up to the Give as you Live scheme before buying their presents online. Top retailers such as Amazon,, John Lewis and Expedia will then donate a percentage to the charity helicopter. Go to www.

£350 Raised by Bill’s Round 20 golfers, including two ladies, played at Sittingbourne and Milton Regis Golf Club on Thursday, 24 October for the 32nd Bill’s Round event. Given the wet and windy conditions through much of the month, it was a pleasant surprise to be playing on a warm, calm, dry and sunny day.

his usual innovative methods to extract some more cash out of everyone to boost the sum raised for charity.

John Millett won the Bill’s ‘Bonfire’ Round trophy with 33 stableford points off a handicap of 17, and chose the RNLI to receive the £350 raised.

The next Bill’s Round charity golf event will take place in April 2014. Full details will be announced later this year. If you haven’t joined in before and would like to take part, especially if you are new to the area, please contact me for full details. (roger.bevan@btinternet. com).

Roy Coles, the previous year’s winner, was second with 30 points and John Winchester, playing in Bill’s Round for the first time since 2004, was third, also with 30 points (beaten by Roy based on scores over the last nine holes).


Roger Bevan

Two nearest the pin prizes went to Steve Bailey on the 4th green and Roy Coles on the 11th. An orange ball team competition was won by Steve Bailey, John Millett and John Winchester with 30 points. A two-course lunch was enjoyed by all at 14.30 and after the prize giving Mike Kingsman employed

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Climate Change Is Happening After very dismal weather-related predictions early in the season, the top fruit (fruits that grow on trees) harvest produced good quality and acceptable quantity.


What has this got to do with climate change and population growth? A lot! Consumers have adopted the ‘five-a-day’ principle and nowadays far fewer packed lunch boxes omit that all important piece of fruit. The UK climate – especially in Kent and East Sussex – is considered ideal for growing apples and top fruit is something in which we could become more self sufficient – very important in terms of future ‘food security’. Rightly – this phrase embraces ‘quantity’ – but it also has reference to ‘nutritious’. Celebrity chefs’ enthusiasm for ‘seasonal’ and ‘regional’ is good for the agriculture and production horticulture industries because it draws attention to what is available – when – and how to use it. Influence on school and hospital menus continues to grow which is good for the nation’s health and also has potential to benefit our farmers and growers. Contrary to earlier reports in some of the daily press, the UK fruit industry is not failing. Where or-

Climate Change Is Happening

chards are being grubbed up, they are mostly replanted - in addition to which new orchards are being created. The most up-to-date statistics from Defra indicate that the total area in the UK covered by apples has increased 6.4 per cent and that the total area covered by orchard fruits has risen by a massive 22 per cent. Cherries included in the latter figures - are making a notable comeback. Far from gloom, the UK fruit industry is on the ascendance. Even better results can be achieved if the industry promotes the advantages of buying British. Few would argue that the UK produces the most flavoursome apples in the world. This is no throwaway boast – and flavour counts! Britain is virtually alone in being able to produce the Bramley – acclaimed as the very best cooking apple. Orchards make important contributions to our landscape. Fruit trees sequester carbon. The fruit industry contributes to the economy. Enough reasons to buy home-produced?

It is an interesting fact that, despite being positively bombarded with ‘communications’, many subjects are viewed in isolation, In order to overcome the joint challenges of climate change and population growth, we must surely take a more holistic approach? And consumers have weighty influence. Demand more UK-produced food and the supermarkets will react

positively. Support farm shops and farmers’ markets. Seasonality is, of course, a factor but combination of new varieties and modern growing techniques has extended the season, especially in relation to soft fruits. Embrace holism! Pat Crawford can be contacted: 07771 635684

Dog Fouling Lenham Parish Council have received several reports of dog fouling incidences. The churchyard has particular issues with regular dog walkers allowing their animals to foul the area and not picking up afterwards. The grounds man who regularly maintains the church yard is concerned that the problem is getting worse. At one point he was alarmed to note the war memorial had dog mess on the actual stonework, the dog owner had not cleared the mess, an act of disrespect which is totally unacceptable. We are fortunate enough to have a wonderful iconic building in the middle of the village which is a much loved landmark and looked after by a willing team of church members and the Friends of St Mary’s group.


The Parish Council has sought advice from the Maidstone Borough Council Civic Warden and notices will be posted throughout the parish. Anyone with information regarding dog fouling issues should contact the Clerk. Margo 859682 or

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Friends of St Mary’s Church, Lenham Do you care about our heritage and the preservation of an ancient and beautiful building?


What an absolute enchanting evening we all had in St Mary’s Church on Saturday 26 October. Fine Arts Brass ensemble entertained us with music from Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and Irving Berlin, to name just a few. St Mary’s was full, with over 100 people attending the performance. The positive feedback from those who attended has been overwhelming. The event was kindly sponsored by Mr & Mrs Ian Burns-Thomson, thank you very much. The event raised £1000 which is going towards our second project to restore the altar window. We are on our way towards our target of £18,000; hopefully by the summer of 2014 we will be able to start the restoration. But, there is still plenty of restoration work that needs doing in the church. The roof is in a bad state of repair which leaks into buckets which are a permanent feature in the church!!!!!!!! Our next event will be in March 2014, so watch out for advertising in the new-year. In the meantime,

Friends of St Mary’s Church, Lenham

The Friends of St Mary’s Committee would like to thank everyone who has supported us during 2013; without your kind generosity there wouldn’t be the funds to maintain our beautiful church. Finally, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2014.

1914-1918 Anniversary The Great War In last month’s Focus we asked for help for the Hatch Charity’s planned book Lenham and the Great War, Those Who Served in War and Peace, which will be published on the anniversary of the outbreak of the war in August 1914. The list of the 260 men who served is available in the Community Centre. Last month we appealed for information and photographs on some of the names for whom we have little or none at the moment; that list stopped at the letter H, so here is the next batch in the hope that they ring plenty of bells: Kemp, Edward who was in the Kent Cyclists battalion Killick, R., who was in the Buffs Knight, Edward who served in the Royal Navy Laidler, Harold, in the Hampshire Regiment Manktelow, A J who ran the draper shop where the bakery now is. Murton, Percy and C: Percy died in the war, but seems to have come from Ashford, and we’ve no information on the C Murton. Moxon, Robert who was in the Machine Gun Corps Moyes, Thomas who was in the Navy Obard, Chas and Sidney (probably Obbard) in the Royal West Kent

and East Surrey Regiments respectively Palmer, Land – a mysterious forename. Could be connected to the saddler Alfred Palmer, or to the Palmers who used to farm at New Shelve long ago Pocock – no other information save that he was in the Royal Navy Pearl, F who was in the Royal Army Medical Corps Poole, Reginald, who was a bombardier in the Royal Field Artillery Post, George or Geoffrey who was in the Royal Army Service Corps, and later, as befits his name, a Lenham postman


These are just a few of the gaps we hope to fill in the jigsaw puzzle the list presents, but time goes by quickly so please contact us not only on these names but on any others on the list. Call Nick Osborne on 07900585733 or Amy Myers on 01622 859915

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Lenham Village Store We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new Year and to thank you all for your custom and support this year. Also a huge thank you to all the ladies who work in Lenham Village Store and The Little Country Garden for all their hard work throughout the year, we are so grateful for all that you do. This month we celebrate our 5 year anniversary on taking over the Village Store so an extra big thank you for all your support over these last 5 years. This month we are celebrating the Christening of our little Autumn, a big Thank you to Rev Dick Venn for that and again for our lovely members of staff who are covering the shops for us. We will save you a drink. Once again we take our hats off to the Lenham Lighting committee who have spent every weekend since October putting up the Christmas lights and the Tree. A huge and massive well done and Thank you! We donated the Christmas tree again this year so we hope that you all like it.

In Lenham village store we are selling Christmas trees and we can take orders for those, we can also take pre orders for food from the Deli, Hampers and Beers, wines and Spirits. If there is anything that you are looking for please do let us know and we will do our best to source it for you. In the Little Country Garden we have handmade Fudge made by Jemma and her team, they have just found a recipe for Christmas pudding Fudge so do pop in to have a little taster of that.


In preparation for the cold weather we have also just started selling Calor gas, house coal and smokeless coal, emergency household oil drums, along with our very competitive and local logs and kindling. We are always here for you in weather emergencies and with free deliveries for those who are stuck in and any elderly residents. Our number is 01622 828255 if you need us. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! See you all in the New year‌lets make it a good one!!

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Thoughts & Reports Christian Message December 2013 This summer we became grandparents. That event is of course significant for us and for the parents. But there is a deeper meaning that we don’t really understand, that we can only grasp at, sensing that there is more. Just one of the things it does is remind us of the miracle of new life, of birth. It also reminds us of the fragility of life. It’s an astonishing thing. 28

Sometimes the most astonishing things can only be understood when we allow all of our being to acknowledge them. So with our grand-daughter. She smells newborn; she feels so soft and tender; she looks so small; she weighs next to nothing in our arms; she sounds …. well, she sounds like a baby! She is astonishing. Christmas, too, is astonishing. Not just because of a new birth, but because of so much more. Christmas has inspired music, dance, poetry, prose; we see the lights that promise something, smell the aromas of fruit, pine and spices; all point us to sense that there is more: something other – someone – to whom we are drawn.

Thoughts & Reports

Christmas is astonishing. It’s astonishing because prophets 600 years before the birth were convinced that something like this would happen: they foresaw a birth, a life and the suffering. Many of the Jewish prophets had expected a messiah, one who would come to set things right, one who would suffer, one who would be a bridge between God and man. It’s astonishing because this Jesus, whose birth as light of the world we anticipate through advent and celebrate at Christmas, fulfils so many of those old Jewish prophecies. It is he who came from God to enter our world, join us in our suffering and show us a way to live; but more than that, to make us the offer of a life with God that he himself called “life in all its fullness.” Not life without suffering or pain, but life with God, life that is fulfilling and purposeful, not lost, uncertain or directionless. Not least, it’s astonishing because it’s still with us, 2000 years later. At the threshold of this flickeringly gorgeous time – quiet in heart and mind, clear-eyed, we sense Immanuel, God with us, here.

Take time this Christmas to treasure the astonishing truths of this story of new birth, to seek and to find this treasure who was a baby but who now offers peace, reconciliation, love, forgiveness, the love of God surrounding and enclosing us.

Messy Church is back for the autumn term

No flowers during Advent

Have you been to Messy Church yet? An hour of games, messy construction, paint, glue and glitter. Activities for boys and girls, babies and grandparents, toddlers and teens. Then a chance to gather round for songs, story and prayer. And finally a slap up tea for all the family. Church for families but on a Saturday afternoon at a time that suits you! So what are you waiting for! Here are our autumn dates and venues:

Christmas flowers 21st December

14th Dec - Lenham church

January flowers 4th/11th - Mrs Jones January 18th/25th Mrs Humphrey

Hope to see you soon!



January Brass cleaning - Mrs Hopkins Very many thanks and Seasonal Greetings to all the flower arrangers and brass cleaners!

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A Huge Thank You


18 months ago Lenham Primary School set up an outdoor nature area featuring a wildlife pond, a bug hotel, a dry stone wall, log piles, a hedgehog house and a meadow. This area not only encourages wildlife into the school grounds but also creates a wonderful outdoor learning space for the children. The area is already attracting all sorts of interesting wildlife. Frogs, newts and even a common lizard have been spotted. This summer the Kent Wildlife Trust awarded our nature area with a silver Kent Wildlife Garden Award, which we are very proud of. The nature area continues to develop; this year we’ve been working hard to ensure that next year the meadow is full of colourful nectar-rich flowers from January through to October to attract and feed even more insects, making it a ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ meadow. This resource has been developed almost entirely by volunteers and donations from local and nation-

A Huge Thank You

al businesses, which is especially heart-warming considering the current economic climate. This article is to say a big thank you to all those businesses that have contributed throughout the year, helping us to fill the meadow with ‘perfect for pollinator’ plants. Bam Construction very generously provided us with 800 bulbs (snow drops, winter aconites and wood anemones), The Potted Garden also very kindly donated 100 cowslips, Oxeye Daisy, Field Geraniums and Field Scabious plugs, J Parker’s Bulbs provided us with 150 snowdrops and bluebell bulbs. Unwins, Sarah Raven, Victoriana, Elm Court Garden Centre and Thompson & Morgan all donated wildflower seeds and Tesco and Asda provided us with some fundraising bits and pieces. We are very grateful for their help and support and look forward to seeing the children enjoying their nature area for many years to come.


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Kent Karate Students from the Kimura Shukokai Karate Kent club based in and around Maidstone claimed another haul of medals at the Kimura Cup


competition held in Birmingham. The club members returned with a total of nine gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals from this national competition. Topping the club’s list of medal winners with three golds was eleven year old Caitlin George from Kingswood who attends Swadelands School in Lenham. Caitlin won both her individual kumite (sparring) and kata (forms) events before teaming up with Debra Scamp to win the pairs kata event. Finley Lodge from Hollingbourne also won two golds defeating his club mate Lawrence Bordean in the final of the cadet 9-11 years kumite event before joining Lawrence and Daniel Kennard to take gold in the cadet team kumite event. There were also golds too for Sensei Katie Simpson who won the adults mixed black belt kata event to add to her European championship title won in May this year, Luke Carpenter in the cadets mixed 12-15years kata event, Lawrence Bordean in the cadets mixed 9-11 years kata event and seven year

Kent Karate

old Luis Townsend from Lenham who won the 6-8 year olds kumite event. “This was a fantastic result for the club”, said club instructor Sensei Chris Simpson “and a further endorsement of the club’s Development Squad programme. The club won the most medals in the competition but narrowly failed to top the table by one gold medal”. Several of the students taking part in this competition are now training with the England Squad in the hope that they will be selected to represent England at the KSI World championships to be held in South Africa in 2014. Karate, as a non-Olympic sport receives no central funding and therefore all the students who are on the squad will have to raise funds to pay for the costs of competing in South Africa. Whilst the club is running several fund raising events if anyone is interested in sponsoring the Kent squad members or joining the club they should contact Chris on 07801 639052. For further details about the club please visit

GENERAL / SOCIAL NUMBERS Archaeological Society Badgers (St Johns Ambulance) Badminton Bowling Club Brownies (2nd Lenham) Drama Gardening Society Guides (1st Lenham) Lenham Badminton Club Lenham Nursery School Lenham Players Lenham Wanderers Lenham Social Club Harrietsham and Lenham Scouts Harrietsham and Lenham Cubs Mother’s Union Pilates Classes Royal British Legion St John Ambulance Women’s Institute Youth Centre St Edmunds Platts Heath Country Ways Quilters and stitchers Lenham ValleyBusiness Ass.

Lesley Feakes Mrs Manley Linda Bird Lyn Fuller Andrea French Gail Kelly Keith Varney Mrs J Thomsett Mrs Pat Abson Ami Rathmill David Abson Alf Smith Club Events Nick Still Mrs A Seales Mrs J Thomsett Vivien Elcomb Mr W Peter Mrs Bond Mrs C Toner Nicki Folland-Smith Karen Yardley Jan Haines Alan Reading

01622 850275 01622 842603 01233 756762 01622 851538 01622 851646 01622 850671 01622 850228 01622 859009 01622 858561 07967 128056 01622 858561 01622 859802 01622 858890 01622 859789 01622 859829 01622 859009 01622 853887 01622 850520 01622 205452 01622 850048 01622 859171 01622 858208 01233 714699 01622 820841

Borough Councillors:

Tom Sams John Barned (Roads, Pavements)

01622 859412 01622 851142 08458 247800 01622 602117 01732 847572 0800 776600 01622 842257 01622 859733 01622 679709 01622 853800 (am) 01622 858581 (pm) 01233 713317 01622 858341/859204 03000 242424 08454647 01622 851616 01622 859682 07772 226097 07870 252317 07977 981993 01622 858208 08458 274800

Kent Highway Services Dog Warden Cat Protection Drugs Helpline Heaths Countryside Corridor Lenham Enhancement Ass. Lenham Country Market Lenham Community Centre Lenham Heath Parish Hall LenValley Practice On Call Care NHS Direct Member of Parliament Parish Council Clerk Parish Police PCSO Police Constable Rural Community Warden St Edmonds Platts Heath Reporting Potholes

Lost and Found FREE CALL Ruth Lovering Brian Llong Kevin Fitzsimons Margaret Mitchell Sharon Reed Doctors Surgery South East Health Hugh Robertson MP Margo McFarlane Dave Rowley Brian Waghorne Colin Davey Karen Yardley

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Accounting & Business Services Air Conditioners Alarm Systems Barbers Beauty Parlours an therapist Builders/decorators

Butchers/Meat Carpentry Carpets/Flooring Caterers Catteries 34

Charted Surveyor Childminder Chimney Sweep Chiropody Cleaning/Housekeeping Clothing Computer Services

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Estate Agents

Contact Numbers

Stonebridge Associates RB Air Cybereye Security Sweeney Todd Mobile beauty therapist Alpha Andy and Paul Apollo Elwood (Painter/decorators) KRS Building/decorating KSE Home Improvements Lenham Decorating Services SR Interiors (painters/decorators) Stuttle Dyer (painters/decorators) G B Lister Snoad Farm Carpentry and General Building P Humpries Carpets direct Beaubray Caterers Little Dene Boarding Cattery Inkstand cattery James Collett Debbie Brett Invicta Chimney Sweep Afeneh Smith (mobile service) Heathers Chiropody Surgery Amy McLaughlin Phynix Domestic cleaning House proud valet The Little Attic A.C. Computers Harrietsham Computers Lynn MS Computer services The LenValley Cosmetic Clinic Lenham Ballet School Pam Hills AD Pink Electrics Barrie Weston Contractor Electrical Solutions Invicta Power Services/ Gas Fitters MGI Electrical Rockland Electrical Philip Jarvis

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Activate Body and Soul 853750 A W Court 850840 Susan Surgey 01795227695 Just a Mow 859940 The Big Mow 07871088119 Gowers Garage 858210 Tricia Oliver 859226 Lenham Village Store 858255 Chris 07957214822 Glass n glaze 01233840768 Bow Window 858787 Phase Hairdressing 850001 Smarty’s 851150 Immyblingy 298129 Simon 01795890052 Dorset Cottage 851766 Audley Care 633101 Simplicare 01732526934 Ireland Landscapes 844605 Maidstone Landscapes and Paving 851222 A Short 07738658751 Seasoned Logs 07733328715 Len Valley news 858262 Graham Yates Bsc Ost (Hons) 01304379954 A D Pink 884774 Pest Purge 842481 Saxon Warrior 858287 All Fix Plumbing 851186 Epic Plumbimg 210298 Pure Plumbing 769722 The White Horse 859511 Carter Roofing 01795886084 R and D Roofing 858291 Lorenden 01795590030 Thornloe and Co. 859416 Arshed Mahmood 07770725129 Gez Clark 07784447200 Ambilly Tree Surgeons 859113 R & P TV ariel services 631717 Harrietsham Vets 858666 Maidstone Wills and trusts 08453884495


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Regular Daily & Weekly Events Daily Monday Tuesday



Friday 36

Saturday Sunday

Activate Fitness Facilites

Line Dancing LenARA Brownies 2nd Lenham Pilates classes Line Dancing Redbacks Explorer Scouts

Activate Sports Swadelands 7am--8.30am & 5pm--9pm St Johns Hall, Ham Lane 4.30- 6.00pm 7.00-9.15pm Community Centre 8.-10.00pm Community Centre 9.30-11.30am (8-11 years) 6.30- Great Chart Golf Ctre 10.30am Community Centre Swadelands Ham Lane 7.00-9.30pm Cadets (10-18) 6.00-8.00pm Swadelands Ham Lane 7.00-9.30pm Community Centre 7.00pm-8.00pm 8.30 -9.30pm Community Centre 7.30- 9.00pm Lenham Primary Sch 6.15- 7.45pm Community Centre 11.30-12.30pm St Edmunds Platts Hth Booth Hall Harrietsham 7.30.-9.30pm

H/sham&Lenham Beavers Guides 1st Lenham H/sham&Lenham Scouts Judo Club LenARA Keep Fit Lenham Youth Club

Harrietsham Scout Hut Community Centre Harrietsham Scout Hut Community Centre Community Centre Swadelands Ham Lane

Activate Fitness Facilites French Books for Children Tea/Coffee/Cakes Sunday Schools

Activate Sports Hall Swadelands 8am- 5pm Harrietsham Primary School 9.30-11.30am St Mary’s Church 10.00-12.00noon see separate church services page

St Johns Ambulance Badminton (Feathers) Parent & Toddlers Group Harr & Lenham Cubs LenARA Pitch & Putt Lenham Badminton Club Lenham Youth Club St Johns Ambulance Lenham Youth Club Pilates classes

2nd Tuesday Derby & Joan 2nd Tuesday Royal British Legion 2nd Tuesday Citizens Advice Bureau 1st Tuesday Lenham Valley 1st Wednesday Parish Council Meeting 4th Wednesday LenARA (active retired) Last Wednesday Archaeology Club 1st Thursday Reading Group 2nd Thursday Women’s Institute 3rd Thursday Last Saturday Len&Har. Disability Grp 2nd Sunday Lenham Country Market

Regular Daily & Weekly Events

Lenham House Lenham Social Club Harrietsham Village Hall Business Association Community Centre Community Centre Community Centre Lenham Library Community Centre Community Centre Lenham House The Village Square

5.45- 7.00- 9.00pm 7.30- 9.30pm 5.30- 8.30pm 2.00- 3.30pm 7.30-10.00pm

2.00pm 10.-12noon 6-8pm 7.30pm 7.30pm 4.45--5.45pm 7.30pm 7.30pm 10.30am 9.- 1.00pm

Len Valley Practice Christmas & New Year Arrangements: Lenham Surgery, Harrietsham Surgery and Dispensary Monday 23rd December Normal opening hours Tuesday 24th December Normal opening hours Wednesday 25th December Closed Thursday 26th December Closed Friday 27th December Normal opening hours Monday 30th December Normal opening hours Tuesday 31st December Normal opening hours Wednesday 1st January Closed Thursday 2nd January Normal opening hours Friday 3rd January Normal opening hours During the period between Christmas and New Year all appointments will be book on the day only; not pre-bookable. When the practice is closed: For medical advice when the practice is closed telephone 111.


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Lenham Parish Council Brief report on the LPC meeting held on 6th November 2013


Public Participation: Cllr Drylie introduced two young men from Flowbox a web-site design Company that had already completed a lot of work for customers in Lenham including the monthly magazine the Focus to present their website design for the LPC. The LPC requested that they design a new website for the Parish Council with easy to follow tabs to other local web-sites, and be linked to both Twitter and Facebook to promote the work of the LPC and also to encourage the younger generation to become involved in what the Parish Council actually tries to achieve. Cllrs. Drylie and Osborn agreed to lead the project with help from others. The total cost to set up the new web-site was quoted by the Flowbox representatives at £700 to set the site up plus £60 per year to maintain. A vote was taken by the LPC and it was agreed to go ahead with the project which should be set up by next February, and a launch of the new website will be advertised as and when it is completed and up and running, a new exciting and hopefully successful venture for the LPC to interact with

Lenham Parish Council

the younger generation. Mr. B. Long advised that the Speed Watch team had been out in the week and had registered one vehicle speeding up the High Street at 58 miles an hour; he asked if some Speed Indication Device signs could be installed especially one on the Headcorn Road in to the Village. Cllr. Morris of Harrietsham Parish Council advised that the last one they had installed and connected to the mains electricity cost £6,000. Cllr. Barr pointed out that unlike Harrietsham and Grafty Green there were four entry roads in to Lenham, which proves to be more difficult to manage than those with just a single road through. Cllr. Morris advised that the LPC should talk to Kent County Councillor Ward member Jenny Whittle to see if she could help fund one out of her Highways budget. B/L also advised that many of the road signs around the parish needed some form of repairs: Boro Cllr. T. Sams advised that the LPC carry out an audit of the signs around the parish which were in need of repair, and hand that to Kent Highways Services to deal with the repairs. B/L also advised

that the roundabout just outside the Doctor’s Surgery required tidying up, Cllr. Barr advised B/L that the ground belonged to KHS, and would be reported to them. Mr. I. George advised the parish Council that there were three street lights not working he had noticed, these were taken down by the Clerk and KHS will be advised of the faults. KCW Martin Sherwood reported that he had received no complaints during Halloween or Guy Fawkes night, which was excellent, as many of his fellow Wardens had had complaints. M/S reported that the Winter Warm event had been a success and well attended; 70% of the patch work quilts had been handed out, there were several more events to take place around the Maidstone District where the others would be distributed. Cllr. Barr enquired if those people who did not really need their Winter Heating Allowance from Government would donate their money to the less well-off and those out of work who had to make a hard choice of either of switching the heating on or buying food. Cllr. Morris advised that it was out of the Parish Council remit to carry out such a project; Cllr. Godfrey advised that a third party if willing could collect and distribute any money donated by generous parishioners to those who proved to be in most need, some local Charity like the Hatch Charity might be willing to participate in such a project; further discussions will take

place on this project. KCC Ward member Jenny Whittle could not attend the, but the chairman advised that he had spoken to J/W and that she had given her apologies for not being able to attend but reported that J/W was still looking into the double yellow lining in Dickley Lane out-side the Marley entrance, and had scheduled a meeting with Cllr. Bone over the problem in the area and also the repainting of the double yellow lines around Ham Lane, where they have been worn away. J/W advised that she was still involved with the Lenham Bowling Club’s request to purchase the bowling green land from KCC, and also the proposed Co-op store development in the Faversham Road. The Chairman opened the main meeting: Matters Arising: WC’s lease: It was agreed by full Council to take over the 15 year lease of the public toilets; a further 2 quotes would be sought on the refurbishment of the internal sanitary ware. Swadelands proposed change of its bus/coach bus route: Cllr. Greenwood who is a Governor of the School, advised that the proposed change to the route had been quashed. A new litter bin for the BMX Park: The new litter bin had been purchased for the BMX Park and was due to be installed this week. Dog Fouling in the Churchyard: Cllr. Greenwood advised that he


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LPC Continued...


had held a meeting with the MBC Dog Warden over the problem and how to try solve it; laminated signs will be sited in the Churchyard to warn dog owners that they faced prosecution if they were caught with their dog fouling the footpath and not clearing it up. Public Telephone Box, in Lenham Square: the LPC had decided to adopt the telephone box, and pay the ÂŁ1:00p lease fee, the telephone will be taken out and the box sealed. Reports & Committees/Spokespersons: Finance & General Purpose: The Chairman requested that the grants to local societies be agreed. It was agreed by full Council that as from next year any local bodies would have to write requesting a grant, with evidence that they are in need of financial help from the LPC. Website development: This item had been discussed earlier in the. Planning: Cllr. Huggens had distributed his report on the Planning meetings held on 6th October and November 4th 2013, there were no questions muted. Cllr. Huggens reported that Cllr. Gillett and he had met both the MBC Planning Officer and the KHS officer over the proposed development of the Lenham Ironmongers site. Cllr. Huggens stated that Cllr. Gillett and he were grateful for

LPC Continued...

both representatives for attending the meetings, but it seemed to them both that there were still no fixed positive recommendations forthcoming from either party over the development. Groom-Way Development: The Chairman advised that the sale of LPC land in Groom Way was now nearing completion, it was still a matter of signatures. Cllr. Osborn gave an update on the additional Affordable Housing for the Groom Way site; the proposal from Golding Homes; is to go for the two 2 bedroom houses and a bungalow option, subject to further survey work. Neighbourhood Plan: LPC were looking to working together with MBC planning Department on some form of presentation showing the suggested SHLAA sites that have been identified in the Parish, where consideration could be made by the Lenham Parishioners on the best sites for expansion for the village in the future. The LPC are still awaiting confirmation from MBC of the selected sites. Highways and Transportation: The Chairman read out Cllr. Bone’s written report; there were no questions. Cllr. Bone advised that he had arranged a meeting with KCC Ward member Jenny Whittle to look again at how to solve the overnight parking issue in Dickley Lane.

Law & Order: The Chairman read out the 3 monthly reported crime figures supplied by PCSO D. Rowley who was unable to attend; there were 16 reported crimes over the past month, a substantial increase on last month’s reported figures, 13 of which were burglary and theft from houses, outbuildings and cars, so more vigilance is required by owners to stop this trend which covered all areas of the Parish. D/R’s report also advised that the police were receiving a lot of calls relating to fraud scams; he advised that a booklet produced by the Met police could be accessed by going to little¬-_book_scam.pdf . There was also an increase in domestic fuel thefts in the rural areas and he advised that residents using domestic fuel should be vigilant and report any sightings of suspicious persons or vehicles to the police, especially just after a delivery. Lastly he reported that there had been a number of road traffic accidents on the bend near the Lime Tree cottages on the Faversham Road; this will be looked into with the KHS. The chairman advised that he would be attending the next Police Forum meeting at Headcorn on the 21st November 2013, and asked if any Councillor had anything they wished to add to the Agenda, there were no requests. Environment: Cllr. Greenwood reported that the

fallen boughs in the Cemetery had been cleared, and a quote for the fencing in the Cemetery still had to be finalised; he reported that Cllr Barr and he were holding a meeting with the vicar and Church warden over the Churchyard maintenance. The Chairman advised that the LPC had to agree a new Company to carry out the Safety Inspections on the three Children’s Play areas, as the company it used to use had stopped trading. It was agreed by the full LPC to go with PI Company for its future inspections of the equipment at a cost of £59:95p per site. The Parish Clerk reported that the land the redundant recycling site was sited on did not belong to the LPC but a private owner, but the LPC felt obliged to fence off the area and display a notice stating that MBC had closed the site as it believed that kerbside collections now fulfilled the requirements of recycling needs; Cllr. Greenwood agreed to get a quote for the fencing off of the site. The Chairman advised that the MBC had acknowledged the request from LPC to register the Jubilee Allotments on its register Council list of Community Assets under the Community Right to Bid Scheme; the final decision will be made by MBC on the 4th. December 2013.


The Parish Council wish all the parishes residents a “Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.”

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Clubs, Societies, Organisations and Gatherings Lenham Archaeological Society Our last meeting this year will probably have already past when you read this.


Keith Parfitt, a very good Kentish investigator will be giving a talk on 27th Nov about the discoveries made recently near Dover . Dec there is no meeting and Jan 29th 2014 will be short talks from our members. Our AGM will be on Wednesday February 26 So our next year’s Programme will start in March and Andrew Mayfield will be putting the list of meetings in the Library. We shall be pleased to see any new members. I was wondering if we should change and be known as “Lenham Heritage Group” as this would then cover history, the countryside and archaeology combined. Your thoughts on this suggestion would be most welcome. This months history notes :Hope you enjoy the snippets of information that arise when looking at older maps. One question some people have asked me is the position of the Windmill. If you look in the “Lenham in Old photographs book by Jean Cockett & Amy Myers” page 35 you will find pictures of the Town Mill (once where Mill

Clubs, Societies, Organisations and Gatherings

Close is now) and Lenham Heath Mill as it was before a storm in 1925 damaged the sails. What is more usual is that the brake on the sails fails in high winds and consequently the whirling wheels drive the mill stone so fast that friction overheats it and burns the place down ! One of my favourite lyrical songs is “Windmills of your mind..” Like a clock whose hands are sweeping Past the minutes on its face And the World is like an apple Whirling silently in space Like the circles that you find …. …in the windmills of your mind.

But these two windmills are not the only ones we had in Lenham.

The 1841 map names two more. This photograph by Paula JardineRose is from the hill to the west of Faversham road ….it was once called Windmill Hill! So one has to assume it once had a windmill! Another windmill that has position drawn on the 1841 tithe map is Pivington Mill.

Notice that the Pilgrims Way is drawn much wider than Hubbard’s Hill and presumably took a lot more traffic. The name Pivington could mean pivot, and could be the origin of the name if it had a windmill (often they are replaced every 200 years or so as they have this common tendency to burn down!) Pivington also means to puff or blow! The actual position of this mill is now lost as a chalk quarry gobbled up the whole of Longden and Round Downs. It could well be that this high area of the Downs was once a banked Hill Fort in the Iron Age, evidence is that it stretched

back over the hill and had more banks near Lone Barn lane where one gets a view across to Essex. Yet another possible windmill I mentioned before, as Lower Winder field, south of the railway station, for its name suggests a winder or windmill! That really would be an old one possibly 14th C. Just west of Pivington windmill of course our cross now stands. So many outside Lenham ask me why and when it was cut. I notice the cover of last months Focus had a picture of it but only the foot of the cross shows …a pity, as our splendid war memorial and poppies surrounding it would have been most appropriate for Nov. Here is the photo I took in July , Pivington mill would have been on the far right:-


Please contact me if you have any historical points of interest. I have just been talking on email to a lady who lives in Sydney Australia. One of her ancestors was an Elmstone from Elmstone Lane: and another email contact is a Baldock , again tracing to Lenham. HAPPY CHRISTMAS everyone . Lesley Feakes 01622 850275 606@

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Continued... Lenham Gardening Society Our October speaker Richard Wilks gave us a very entertaining talk called ‘larger than Life’ in which pictures of flowers and animals were enlarged 100+ times so that an ant looked 6 feet tall. The pictures were incredible and gave us a whole new way of looking at nature.


By the time you read this we would have had our AGM so details of any changes to the committee will appear in the January issue. Just to remind you that there is no meeting in December, our next meeting will be on Thursday 16th January. The competition will be a Decorated Flower Pot (Max 8”) and/or Five sausage rolls: we will also be collecting 2014 subs. Don’t forget our winter social on Thursday 20th February same format as this year so please make a note and look out for more details later. It only remains for me and the LGS Committee to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a great new year. Keith Varney Chair LGS Lenham W.I. May I take this opportunity to wish


you all a very Happy Christmas from all the members of Lenham W.I. At our December meeting it has been decided,that instead of bringing a present,we would like members to bring items of non-perishable food for donation to a Food Bank.We will be having a belated Christmas meal at the Dog and Bear in January,something to look forward to in the quiet period following Christmas!! We are anticipating an interesting and varied programme of speakers in 2014, and if you are thinking of joining us, make 2014 the year you finally’ take the plunge’ and immerse yourself in the W.I. You won’t regret it!! Gill Simes 60+ Young at Heart The next meeting will be Thursday 19th December for our Christmas Party which I am sure everyone is looking forward to. We have a group Stone Def to play for us who are very good. There will be songs to sing along to and maybe dance to. The whole team would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our friends. There will be no meeting in Jan-

uary so hope to see you all on Thursday February 20th 2014. If anyone needs a lift please ring Jenny on 01622859208. Jenny, Olive, Sue, Zoe, Martin, Tom and Nina Hub Club Age UK Our next meeting is Thursday 5th December and it will be ‘Party Time’ so put your dancing shoes on!

isting officers and committee were re-elected. Chairman’s, Treasurer’s and Secretary’s reperts on the year were given. We had a successful year, winning several awards and at the County Conference were presented with our 65th Anniversary Certificate. We held several social functions and joined with the men for a social evening.

On Wednesday 18th December we will be going on our trip to the Woodville Hall Gravesend to see Beauty and the Beast Pantomime. Pick up from the Dog & Bear at 10.45am and Harrietsham at 10.55am. I am really looking forward to both days.

Our financial situation is good and we donated to National, County and Benevolent finds.

The whole team would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There will be no meeting in January so look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday 6th February 2014.

We hope you all enjoyed the seasonal tea and as we do not meet in December, may we wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

On 11th November at 11am we met at the memorial in the Churchyard for a brief service of Remembrance.


Enid La Plain

Martin, Tom, John, Zoe, Jenny and Nina RBL – Women’s Section Our October meeting was the AGM and in the absence of any nominations from the floor the ex-

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Safety & Security

Family Festival Meeting

Be Safe & Happy Well it’s nearly Christmas again, time to think about getting all the presents, food in, not forgetting the drink,

12th December 7.15pm

organising parties etc. all sorted, all done. Forgot something? Ah safety. Do find that drawing pin when dropped on the floor, pick up cocktail sticks, which can enter your feet, they can be find. These will not show up on x-rays. Throwing peanuts into the air and catching them in your mouth could slip down your throat in to the airway and lungs causing serious problems and a stay in hospital. Prickly Christmas trees with hot coloured lights fascinate children who want to touch them. If anyone has had too much to drink, don’t just flop them on the bed. Lay them on their side, bring their upper leg up to tight angles, tilt the head so the airway remains open, then if they vomit they will not inhale and choke. Keep a watch on them; if breathing is causing problems get medical help at once. Don’t drink if you are driving or you could be inside or visiting someone dear to you in hospital. Don’t have unhappy memories next Christmas. So with these points in mind I wish you all a happy and safe prosperous new year.

We need your ideas as to how to produce a fun for all the family event for the local people, a community cohesion event, where all age groups will be welcome to help organize a stall or side show join in the events and be part of a team. If you are able to help us we would like to meet you at our informal meetings and discuss your suggestions.

Safety & Security

Please join us at the Community Centre and become involved in the LENHAM FAMILY FESTIVAL

The LENHAM FAMILY FESTIVAL activities span from Thursday 5th June to Sunday 8th June 2014 If you are a member of an organisation who would like to be part of the festival contact Margo on 859682 for more details, individuals who can offer a helping hand are equally welcome. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Water, Water....Everywhere? It’s the rainy season again, but next time you curse the wet stuff give a thank you instead for the technology that brings

that rainfall into our houses as clean water. How different would our lives be without an abundance of water? In Zambia it is not uncommon for families, young children and adults alike, to walk four kilometres every day over steep, rough terrain, just to get fresh water to drink and cook with. Farms often fail to support the families who run them because of a lack of fresh water. Children miss out on getting an education because they are too busy fetching and carrying heavy containers of water. Disease is rife because water is unsanitary. The four Churches in the Len Valley benefice: Lenham, Harrietsham, Boughton Malherbe and Ulcombe, would like to work with our village communities to help four villages in rural Zambia experience the fresh water that we take for granted.

four communities in the Choma and Kalomo districts of southern Zambia. This would be sufficient to provide freshwater for 1800 people, improving health, improving farming yields, improving quality of life. Look out for activities over the coming year, for the benefit of our community and at the same time for the benefit of rural Zambians. Let’s have some fun together, be it in the rain or the sunshine, and get a bit closer to water, water everywhere.


More information to follow in the next issue!

What we would like to do, with your help, is join the Tearfund initiative to build five boreholes in

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Emilia’s Little Heart I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone over the last two years who has supported us through fundraising, listening, promoting and being there


to step in and help. It is not all about how much is raised it is also about people coming together and giving their time to make a difference to our children who have to spend time in hospital. We are still supporting the hospitals of the East Kent Trust (William Harvey, Kent and Canterbury and QEQM, Margate), and the 9 wards of the Evelina London. We regularly provide stickers, certificates and sponsor art and craft boxes so that the children have the opportunity to be rewarded for their bravery and be distracted from the hospital environment. We hope as we go into our third year of existence that we can spread throughout Kent hospitals, providing these key items. There are also a number of more costly projects that we are starting to embark on. William Harvey, Ashford and Kent and Canterbury have asked for funding to create an outdoor play area. We are currently sourcing companies to build a canopy at both places play areas as they need protection from the sun and other elements. We will

Emilia’s Little Heart

also be requiring play equipment. If you know of a company that would like to help us out please get in contact at emiliaslittleheart@ Our other large project that we are currently sourcing a developer for is an app for paediatric intensive care patients to enable children in that situation to have a means of communication and empower them in an unfamiliar environment. The money raised from our annual Hope Ball held on Saturday 19th October will be used to fund this project. The Hope Ball was a huge success this year, with over 180 people joining us to celebrate our second year of the charity.

Registered charity: 1145863 Room decorations supplied by Creative Venue. The evening hosted a raffle, live auction and silent auction. Our guest speaker Shaun Williamson alongside the Mayor of Maidstone, Clive English, and KCC Chairman Eric Hotson helped us to bring in £7800, so thank you for the giving of your time. The 80s Disco as mentioned in the October issue was also a huge laugh and raised us £640. This will go in to the bank to fund the sponsoring of our art boxes for all our hospitals for two months. Thank you again for everyone who made this possible. We had a public vote take place throughout October for the Lloyds Bank Community Grant. Hundreds of people supported us by texting and online voting, and in branch our counter pile was overflowing compared to the other charities who were shortlisted. We don’t get to hear until December on whether we have been successful. However if we come in first or second we win £3000 for the project Emilia’s Little Heart Birthday Box. With this project if it’s a child’s birthday when they are in hospital they will have a lovely present bought for them, and a cake etc. Fingers crossed we have done it!

Early September was the Run to the Beat challenge and Daniel Wright, Jo Simmons and her niece Parize took part and raised £700 in one day for us. That is an amazing amount, thank you so much for taking part and drumming up support from your family and friends. I hear from Mark Newman (Lenham resident) one of the Kent Police cadets who is raising money for us currently that things are going well. One of the cadets held a collection at his child’s christening, a raffle is going to be held with some top prizes and they had fantastic success at getting the charity to be supported by Waitrose, Allington. Many people have fed back to us that our counter box was overflowing. Thank you to anyone who put a counter in the box. Now we embark on this third year with over £60,000 raised, which would not have been possible without the support of our local community. We are extremely grateful to Amanda’s Party Pieces, ImmyBlingy, The Village Store , The Bakery and Phase Hair and Beauty for helping out with events and holding our collection boxes. This help really has a huge impact on the charity’s work, so thank you. We look forward to reporting more on our work soon.


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Russ Smith & Family


Russell Smith (Russ) moved from Ashford to Lenham with his parents in 1979 when he was ten, although he was no stranger to the village. He had loved the village ever since and is deeply committed to helping the community. He has served as a fireman here and he is a trustee of the Lenham Social Club, as was his uncle George Chambers, whose wife Brenda is sister to Russ’s father Roger, who is president of the Lenham Social Club. Russ is also keenly involved both as a life-guard at Lenham Swimming Pool at Swadelands School and with the campaign to keep it operating for the people of Lenham. More volunteers needed, he says, so if you value this amenity take note! Russ’s mother, Sylvia, works as a volunteer at the Heart of Kent Hospice shop in the village square. As for Russ’s career path, it’s been an interesting and varied one. Originally he wanted to join the

Russ Smith & Family

Army, but this was ruled out when he was afflicted with ‘clicky hips’ at the age of thirteen. Nothing daunted, he worked on various jobs both here and in the ‘big smoke’ where he was contracts manager at a scaffolding firm. The delights of commuting to London by car or motorcycle faded after nine years however, and then fate took a helping hand. Spurred on by a £5 bet, he joined the prison service, attracted by the elements of structure and discipline that he had hoped to experience in the Army. He has now worked as a prison officer for over eight years in local Kent facilities, a career he finds both challenging and rewarding. It isn’t just Russ who is involved in village life. It’s a family affair. Russ met his future wife, Nicola (Nick), when they were both fourteen when they were briefly at the same school. Nick is a Lenham native but fate did Russ a good turn in arranging for them first to meet at

one school and then to bring them back together at another school. Nick is now a mobile hairdresser and she and Russ have three daughters: Eleanor, 21, who is an assistant manager at McColls, Megan, 17, now training at William Harvey hospital, and Amy, 15, who currently delivers papers for Len Valley News.

Oh – and there’s a third love in Russ’s life, besides his family and the village of Lenham. Luckily, the whole family loves her – and the holidays they have taken with her. She’s called Lottie, and she’s a classic restored VW Camper. Text by Jim Myers

Water, Water....Everywhere? 18 months ago Lenham Primary School set up an outdoor nature area featuring a wildlife pond, a bug hotel, a dry stone wall, log piles, a hedgehog house and a meadow. This area not only encourages wildlife into the school grounds but also creates a wonderful outdoor learning space for the children. The area is already attracting all sorts of interesting wildlife. Frogs, newts and even a common lizard have been spotted. This summer the Kent Wildlife Trust awarded our nature area with a silver Kent Wildlife Garden Award, which we are very proud of. The nature area continues to develop; this year we’ve been working hard to ensure that next year the meadow is full of colourful nectar-rich flowers from January through to October to attract and feed even more insects, making it a ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ meadow. This resource has been developed almost entirely by volunteers and donations from local and nation-

al businesses, which is especially heart-warming considering the current economic climate. This article is to say a big thank you to all those businesses that have contributed throughout the year, helping us to fill the meadow with ‘perfect for pollinator’ plants. Bam Construction very generously provided us with 800 bulbs (snow drops, winter aconites and wood anemones), The Potted Garden also very kindly donated 100 cowslips, Oxeye Daisy, Field Geraniums and Field Scabious plugs, J Parker’s Bulbs provided us with 150 snowdrops and bluebell bulbs. Unwins, Sarah Raven, Victoriana, Elm Court Garden Centre and Thompson & Morgan all donated wildflower seeds and Tesco and Asda provided us with some fundraising bits and pieces. We are very grateful for their help and support and look forward to seeing the children enjoying their nature area for many years to come.


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Church Services in Len Valley Benefice Services in December 1st December – 1st Sunday of Advent 8am Lenham BCP Holy Communion 8am Harrietsham BCP Holy Communion 9.30am Harrietsham Family Worship 9.30am Boughton Holy Communion 11am Lenham Holy Communion 11.15am Ulcombe Family Worship


8th December – 2nd Sunday of Advent 8am Lenham BCP Holy Communion 09.30am Harrietsham Holy Communion 11.00am Lenham Morning Worship 11.15am Ulcombe Holy Communion 6.30pm Boughton Choral Evensong 15th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent 8am Lenham BCP Holy Communion 9.30am Harrietsham Morning Worship 9.30am Boughton Holy Communion 11am Lenham Holy Communion 11.15am Ulcombe Morning Worship 5pm Lenham Carol service 6.30pm Harrietsham Carol Service (with School Choir) Monday 16th December at 6.30pm Christmas fun for those with learning disabilities and carers at St John the Baptist Church in Harrietsham. There will be Christmas carols, crackers, mince pies and other festive refreshments. Please do join us.

Church Services in Len Valley Benefice

Wednesday 18th December 7pm Ulcombe Carol Service 22nd December – 4th Sunday of Advent 8am Lenham BCP Holy Communion 9.30am Harrietsham Holy Communion 9.30am Boughton Family Worship 11am Lenham Family Worship 11.15am Ulcombe Holy Communion 3pm Boughton Carol Service 24th December – Christmas Eve 4pm Crib Service in each Church 11.15pm Harrietsham Midnight Service with Holy Communion 11.15pm Ulcombe Midnight Service with Holy Communion 11.15pm Lenham Midnight Service with Holy Communion 25th December – Christmas Day 10am Boughton Family Holy Communion 10am Harrietsham Family Holy Communion 10amLenham Family Holy Communion 10am Ulcombe Family Holy Communion 29th December – 1st Sunday of Christmas 8am Lenham BCP Holy Communion 10am Harrietsham Benefice Praise Service with Holy Communion

Prize Crossword Please leave your completed crossword entry at LENHAM LIBRARY on or before the 20th of the month

Across clues 1. C…O…R…P…S…E (4,5) 6. Gets 1ac. around north (5) 9. Frighten a loud one of 1ac. (5) 10. One who will get a buzz from work (9) 11. In all directions transport shows fresh problems (3,7) 12. This may affect 6d but is correctable (4) 14. One of 1ac is rejected by flapper! (7) 15. Beefy 1ac! (7) 17. A leg to stand on for one of 1ac (7) 19. Questioned what Thomas did (7) 20. Discomfort in 1ac. (4) 22. Hardy companion! (4,6) 25. Gain the upper hand and picture one of 1ac ((4,5) 26. One of 1ac. may be seen in print (5) 27. Edible arrangements! (5) 28. Noted knees-ups! (9) Down clues 1. Support in one of 1ac. (5) 2. Where you might be in trouble in every


sense (4,5) 3. Poor Sparta exploded when these men dropped (10) 4. Canary maybe, not dead, turns up on its home for one of 1ac. (7) 5. Part of 1ac and holds 4d together (7) 6. 1ac giving agreements on the radio (4) 7. Diseased man rises to drive off (5) 8. Knocked back on French dilapidated piers and dazed initially (9) 13. Promises shown by fools holding you, we here, and in charge of church to start with (10) 14. Dismissive of cricket side and Mr. Milliaband maybe holding one of 1ac (9) 16. What is needed for a new design (5,4) 18. Sets new change to describe characteristic of some Tories (7) 19. Sounds like you have seen the biomes, but in South Island? (7) 21. At the centre and one of 1ac. (5) 23. 1ac. inside 4d (5) 24. 1ac can be harvested (4) Visit Follow us @lenhamfocus

Success comes from working together.

Have a fantastic Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

...and while you’re sitting there planning what you are going to do about your business in 2014, think about the benefits of joining Lenham Valley Business Association.

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Last months crossword solution Last months winner was Clive Lennard of Lenham Heath.

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Published by Lenham Focus Lenham Focus is published by the Lenham Focus Team. Any opinions expressed are those of the contributors and not the publishers. Every 67 care is taken in compiling the contents of the magazine to ensure that they are correct and accurate at the time of printing and the publishers accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. The publication of advertisements does not constitute an endorsement by the publishers. Authors of articles and advertisements in Focus take full responsibility to ensure they obtain any prior permission for use of copyright materials. Focus is Distributed by Volunteers to: Lenham Village, Lenham Heath, Platts Heath, Sandway, West Street, Woodside Green and Warren Street. For ‘Out of Town’ Readers Distribution Natwest Bank Lenham, Chequers Fish Bar, Lenham Post Office, Len Valley Newsagents and Harrietsham Post Office.

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Lenham Focus | December '13  

The December edition, containing all the latest news and interesting articles from the heart of Lenham.

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