Langton Life December 2019 / January 2020

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Langton Life December 2019 - January 2020 | Issue 102

Your Village‌ Your Magazine

Distributed FREE throughout the village

Produced by Langton Life Ltd | Tel: 07765 902139 | Email:

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Langton Life Contents

Local happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Property watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 First community luch club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Remembrance Sunday at memorial. . . . . . . . 10 Back in the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Your village society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Yoga Tree of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Village contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Local church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Salomons Estate through the years. . . . . . . . 24 Local council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Cover photo: James Lee, Managing Director of Step Connect2. See page 5.

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Contact Langton Life magazine!

local happenings New owners at Angel Food and Wine We stopped at Angel Food and Wine to chat to Thanes, the brother of the shops’ new owner, Sabes. The brothers are from Crawley, and Sabes bought the shop from one of his friends, the previous owner. Thanes works in the shop, and tells us that so far he is enjoying it. “There are good people, we like it here. It's a small village, and everyone knows each other.” Before coming to Angel, he had worked at a Pizza Hut, and prefers the shop. “You get to know everyone here in Langton Green, whereas in the restaurant it was too busy, you couldn't chat to customers.” In his spare time Thanes enjoys football, and plays for the Crawley Tamil team. He was born in Sri Lanka and lived there until he was six years old. “I would not go back,” he says. “I've been on holiday, but that is enough.”

The magazine is a celebration of life in Langton Green and is published 6 times a year. It is delivered door to door to the 1200-plus houses in the village, and is available at local shops and in some surrounding villages. Please submit editorial and advertisements (pre-paid) for the next edition by 5th January 2020. Tel: 07765 902139 Editor: Ian Campbell Deputy Editor: Jayne Sharratt Email: Registered in England 8709597 The publishers cannot be held responsible for the content of the editorial in this publication.

Lighting up the village with bulbs The Village Society has planted hundreds of bulbs as part of a campaign to help further beautification of our village. Next year will see a concentrated effort by the Society to plant yet more bulbs, hanging baskets, carry out more litter patrols and to keep pavements clear of debris through a constant campaign of bringing tidiness to our streets. In addition, the Society will be carrying out a tree survey to ensure that trees of value which currently do not have a tree preservation order are protected.

Langton Life



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local happenings Margaret Fleming

Events business moves into the village James Lee is the managing director of Step Connect2, a company which organises events in the education sector. Previously based with a wider group of businesses in High Brooms, they had outgrown their space, and so Step Connect2 looked for a new home. When they saw the space in Langton they liked what they saw, and moved into the village in June. When we visited the office was a hive of activity, as staff prepared for an Educational Estates show in Manchester, which would be all about the design and build of schools, bringing the educational sectors together, and supported by the Department of Education. The mural in their new office was painted by the Paint Mechanics, artists based in Tunbridge Wells, and brings some energising colour into the office. “It’s very nice in Langton Green,” James tells us. “It’s easy to get to – I now have a twelve-minute commute to work from Crowborough – and there is a lovely pub at The Hare. The only downside has been the road works – they keep digging up the road.” It’s great to see the building which was previously used by Subbuteo and Flo Print being used again, and James says they were recently visited by people who had actually lived in the building in the 1940s and 50s, and wanted to go in to see where their bedrooms had been!

We were charmed to talk to Margaret Fleming, as she swept the leaves outside her cottage in Langton Green. She has been living in her current home for seven months, but she originally moved to Langton Green more than fifty years ago. “My memories of Langton Green are very much in the past,” she says, reflecting that many of the people she knew have died. “But aren’t I lucky, to be in my eighties? I’m meeting a younger generation now,” she says with gratitude. “I used to buy from the pottery which was here, and the potter’s daughter went to school with my daughter. All my children and grandchildren went to Langton Green Primary School. I started the Langton Ladies Society thirty years ago too. The village is a beautiful place to be, a lovely place, and the people are so friendly. You can go to many places and the people don’t want to know you, but I have nice neighbours here.” In the past, Margaret worked for her daughter, Rachel, who had a wedding dress design shop in the village, and rented the house Oak Lea as her studio. “Her shop was where the hair salon is now, and it was there for twelve years. She made amazing, wonderful wedding dresses, for around forty to fifty weddings a year. She sold a dream.” Margaret is originally from Cheshire, where she met her husband who had gone there to work, before they married and moved to Tunbridge Wells with him. It was lovely to talk to Margaret and her memories of the village, and it turned out that she was a fan of this magazine too. “I think the magazine is wonderful. I love it when it comes through the door, it is so interesting!”

Car club visit Langton Green Classic Car Club recently visited an engineering works near Crowborough that specialises in preparing classic cars for major sporting events such as Goodwood Revival and the Tulip Rally. Such is the reputation of the company, that owners have their cars flown in from around the world to prepare them for some of the world's most prestigious events.

Langton Life


local property

Property watch A selection of properties in and around Langton Green currently available or recently sold - prices for guidance.

Ironstones, Langton Green. £725,000. Detached modern family home with integral garage, gym, utility room and four good sized bedrooms.

Farnham Lane, Langton Green. £1,200,000. Four bedroom detached house with spacious accommodation and garden. Set within communal grounds with a tennis court.

Holmewood Ridge, Langton Green. £3,250,000. Detached new home, immaculately presented throughout, with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, garden and swimming pool.

Rosecroft Park, Farnham Lane, Langton Green. £1,100,000. Five bedroom detached home on a private road with garage and garden, and communal tennis court.

Langholm Road, Langton Green. £650,000. Three bedroom detached house with garage, in a corner plot with large wrap-around garden.

Newlands, Langton Green. £975,000. Spacious and immaculately presented family detached home with garage, generous garden and four bedrooms.

Dornden Drive, Langton Green. £725,000. A refurbishment opportunity in a spacious four bedroom detached house with garage and garden.

First Street, Langton Green. £300,000. Two double bedroom period home with a garden. Bathroom and utility room downstairs.


Langton Life

local happenings

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time to start planning your festive feast! Our locally produced Turkeys are from the Sheffield Family Farm at Vines Cross who have been farming Turkeys for over 65 years. We offer a wide selection of Christmas meats including the Three Bird Roast consisting of Turkey, Duck & Pheasant all rolled into one! Whatever you decide, our fully trained butchers are here to meet all your Christmas needs and can advise you on recipes and cooking tips.

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Langton Life


local happenings

First community lunch club On the 4th November the wet and blustery weather put nobody off, and there was an enthusiastic throng of locals gathering at the Langton Pavilion for the first of what is planned to be a regular community lunch club. Organised by the Pavilion café manager Emma Pye and the church’s Emma Stevens, they were well supported by a team of keen volunteers. “We want it to be a lunch for the whole community,” Emma Stevens told me. “The elderly, but also anyone who might be isolated or lonely or stuck. We hope to be able to organise lifts, and we are asking for volunteers to help with future lunches, and also open to referrals if anybody knows someone who would like to be able to come to a lunch.” Emma can be contacted by email at On the menu at the first lunch was a delicious looking butternut squash and lentil soup, Speldhurst and Fuller’s sausages with mashed potato and carrots, peas and gravy, and a home made apple crumble with custard. To drink there was red and white wine. “We are charging £7.50 per person to begin with – a lot of people are volunteering their time, and we hope to get donations of food and wine going forward, so this may be adjusted – we are doing it on a not-for-profit basis so the charge is to cover costs.” As people sat down at the beautifully set tables, there was a convivial air of anticipation. I asked John Robinson how he got to know about the lunch. “I live in Langton Green, and it’s local gossip,” he told me, clearly looking forward to it. “I don’t know what’s on the menu – I want it to be a surprise!” We have featured John before in the magazine because he used to work at the pet shop in Rusthall, and he also likes to go to the lunch club in Rusthall. He was chatting to volunteer Martha Kerry when I spoke to him, who had come all the way from Surrey to help her friend Emma Leegood, who was on the door signing people in. On another table Doreen Batts told me that she heard about the club in a variety of ways, through Daphne Streeter and the Langton Green Ladybirds, and when Emma came to talk about it at the church. She too was looking forward to her lunch. “If someone is prepared to do something for the village they need to be supported.” She said. Her husband, the local historian Peter Batts was also with her, along with local resident Jim Stone. “There’s normally enough noise in here with all the children,” Jim joked about all the chattering going on, “but the adults are noisier!” As I left, I met a lovely and friendly lady called Brenda, who told me her memories of being evacuated from Lewisham in London during World War Two, and later studying for her exams in an air raid shelter, as well as something of her enjoyment of learning Latin and German, and her pride in her grandson who has just joined the marines. I was left with the uplifting sense of having visited a very nurturing, friendly and interesting set of people. The Langton Green sense of community is clearly alive and in very safe hands. Jayne Sharratt


COMMUNITY LUNCH CLUB BRINGING OUR COMMUNITY TOGETHER! We would like to invite our community to join us at Langton Pavilion Café for a Communal Lunch Club. This will be held on 9th December and 6th January from 12noon. We will offer a full lunch and dessert for £7.50 per person. We will welcome anyone from the local area to join us. Booking is essential: please contact: Or Emma Howden: 07990 573917. We look forward to seeing you.

Langton Life

Widbury, Langton? Can anyone shed any light on these photos that I recently came across? They are headed Widbury, Langton. Widbury is, of course, a cul-de-sac off Stonewall Park Road. Is this a house in Widbury or maybe one that existed prior to the current houses?

Rusthall Christmas Tree light Switch On & Carol Service Please do join us for the Christmas Tree Light Switch on outside the URC Hall Followed by music and craft stalls in the St Pauls Church Hall after.

6.00pm Friday 6th December We have mulled wine, hot chocolate and warming nibbles, along with craft stalls for Christmas shopping till 10pm

FREE ENTRY The Rusthall Bonfire and Fete Committee would like to thank all those supporting our events through the year and wish you all a...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


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Langton Life

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Langton Life

local history

Back in the day

A nostalgic selection of images from the past featuring Langton Green and surrounding area

Langton Life

Brewery wagon Tunbridge Wells

Crossroads Langton Green

Local chimney sweep Billy Lorne

Langton Road after 1987 storm

New Inn Langton Green

Sitting on a Bullingstone stile

Workers taking a lunch break 1912

Motts Mill Laundry pre 1912


local happenings

Respecting the dark

“Are we nearly there yet, Dad?”

Now that the clocks have gone back, would Langton Life please put in a piece about Langton Green having a ‘no street lighting’ policy, as new residents to the village may not be aware of this. Could porch lights not be left on all night and could censor lights be checked regularly to avoid faulty lights being left on all night. We know that light pollution disorientates wildlife i.e., bats, owls, badgers, birds, and its absence gives us an opportunity to look up to the dark sky and admire the stars. Mrs S A Irving, Great Footway

A humorous, warts and all travel log of a young family (author 37, wife Eirene 38 and their three daughters Abigail 1, Emily 4 and Hannah aged 6) driving 30,000 miles from the UK to Australia, via the Beijing Olympics, in 2008-09. The book by Langton Green resident Graham Naismith details the highs and lows of family life on the road including encounters with terrorist bombings, earthquakes, blood-clots, gun-toting soldiers, covert tracking devices, landslides, mines, lice, dolphins, ghosts and snakes in a Toyota Land Cruiser that was confiscated in China and blew up in Thailand. If you’ve ever thought about throwing it in and doing something completely different, then “Are we nearly there yet, Dad?” published by Hen Publishing is a must read.

Welcome to the world of bees Tony Apps delighted members of Langton Ladybirds with his fascinating talk about the life of bees. We were amazed to learn that each hive contains between 30,000 to 50,000 bees which can produce 100 lbs of honey from each hive and he explained in great detail exactly how the honey was extracted. Tony brought along a hive that he had specially prepared to show us how the process works and explained that he had inherited his passion and interest from his father who like Tony, was a keen bee keeper. Langton Ladybirds meet in The Palmer Room at Langton Green Village Hall between 10.00 am and midday on the second Thursday of the month. Please contact Daphne Streeter on 01892 863753 for further information. Daphne Streeter


Langton Life

local happenings

It’s a cracker! It was on a trip to Paris, in 1840 that an adventurous and forward-thinking Tom Smith discovered the ‘bon-bon’ sugared almond, wrapped in a twist of tissue paper. Seven years later this simple idea evolved into the Christmas Cracker.

By placing a small love motto in the tissuepaper, he created enormous interest in this product, especially at Christmas and it was during a search for inspiration to achieve even greater sales that he casually threw a log on the fire. The crackle sound, made by the burning log, gave him an idea that would eventually lead to the crackers we know and love today. After a great deal of hard work and experimentation he came up with the cracking mechanism that created a ’pop’ as the ‘bonbon’ wrapping was broken. This eventually became the snap and the cracker was born. Over the next few years his idea evolved and grew and he moved from his original premises in Clerkenwell, East London, to Finsbury Square, in the City. His sons, Tom, Walter and Henry took over the business when he died and later a drinking fountain was erected in Finsbury Square, in memory of his mother and to commemorate the life of the man who invented the Christmas Cracker. It was Walter who introduced the paper hats and he toured the world to find new and unusual ideas for the gifts. The company was very aware of current affairs and crackers were created for the Suffragettes, War Heroes, Charlie Chaplin, the Coronation and many other occasions. Exclusive Crackers were also made for the Royal Family and still are to this day.

Editor – Our thanks to Leah Roberts for submitting this topical item. I seem to remember a cracker manufacturer living in Hither Chantlers in the seventies.

Langton Life

Artist at work The editor recently came across this wonderful old photograph of an artist painting a scene in old Groombridge. Of course, it has been posed by the photographer but it contains a wealth of detail about village life in Victorian England, such as the clothes worn and transport used.

Young photo competition winner

Five-year-old Langton Green primary schoolgirl Felicity Mathews has won first prize in this year’s Rusthall Village Association photography competition for the under sixteen category. Gary Francis, Picture Editor of the Courier said "A stunning image and not easy to take a shot straight into the sun. But this shows brilliant backlighting with the beams of light shining through the trees and retains detail in the ground foliage".


Committee members and volunteers helping to keep the village footpaths free of rubbish


Langton Green is fortunate to have a band of people who care passionately about the village, putting in hours of ‘community service’ to make your village a better place for one and all and to defend the quality and environment of where we live. This is what Jeremy Stirling, a long-standing Committee member has to say about living here, ‘I feel that it is a real privilege to spend some of my time giving the village back just a little of what it has given me. It’s a wonderful place to live with so much going for it and all too easy to take it all for granted. We moved to Langton Green intent on staying for five years – forty four years later we’re still here! ’ The Society raise money each year through our wonderful local fete; the quiz night; annual memberships and donations to enable us to help a whole raft of beneficiaries including the Primary School for an outdoor library and a new classroom; Pat’s coffee mornings held monthly in the church hall; helping to fund the purchase of kit for the local Brownies and Rainbows; landscaping the church grounds and we also award grants to village children in years 11 to 13 undertaking charitable projects abroad. In addition, as well as planting hundreds of bulbs, we organise litter picks; support local charities and keep an eye on planning applications which could adversely impact on our village. The Society will also do all it can to keep Langton Green as a village separate from Tunbridge Wells. A new initiative – a Senior’s lunch in the Pavilion Café and supported by the Village Society started in November and was a great success!

to say, ‘One of the great assets of our village is the Village Society who provide innumerable benefits such as financial assistance to local clubs and projects and undertake voluntarily the responsibility of doing what it can to keep Langton Green a great place to live.’ For quite a few years now, the expansion of Gatwick Airport has been a major concern with the prospect of a huge increase in planes flying over our village. Operating a second runway would have a significant impact on our daily lives and the Village Society has been campaigning (with some success) vociferously with others to get the CAA to agree to a return to presuperhighway flightpath dispersal. Martin Barraud, a local campaigner had this to say, ‘The Village Society have for many years strongly supported our efforts to reduce the impact of Gatwick Airport’s expansion proposals, both financially and vocally, and for that we are extremely grateful. It’s a fight we cannot afford to lose and no-one has been more supportive than the Village Society. Thank you.’

Daphne Streeter, a stalwart in the village as the Hospice in the Weald local organiser and the Ladybirds initiator has something


Langton Life

Christmas tree supplied and dressed every year by the Society

Every year, the Village Society buys, erects and dresses a Christmas Tree by The Hare for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. And the hanging baskets from May until September add some welcome colour to the A264. Lisa, a local resident says, ‘It makes such a huge difference to the village to have baskets of colour adorning the main road during the summer months. It would be great if they could be there all year round! ’

The Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells, Councillor and Mrs James Scholes having fun at this years villager fete

Working with the Parish Council, the Village Society has taken over Speedwatch duties and will be active towards the end of 2019. Volunteers have come forward to help reduce the speed of traffic through the village and they will be visible at locations agreed with Kent Police. With so many new, young families having recently moved to the village, we believe this to be a very worthwhile project. Long-term resident, John Kenward is one of the volunteers, ‘This is a great initiative in an effort to get drivers to act responsibly when driving through our village. Just the sight of helpers in yellow jackets will slow people down.’

The Village Society fete is a big occasion in the village diary. One of the best in the area, it is designed to bring the community together where everyone can have a great day out. Josie Gamble, our Fete Chairman says, ‘Jolly well done Langton Green for making our village fete such a success. The weather was glorious and on the back of a fabulous fun day for all the family, we raised a significant sum to enable us to help community groups in the village. So to everyone who took part, a very big ‘thank you’ to you all.’

NOT A MEMBER? Speedwatch team in action

Ed Langridge, Village Society Chairman receiving a Community Award from the Chairman of Kent County Council

The winning team at the Village Society Quiz Night

Langton Life


local happenings

Mick Chandler

Mick Chandler passed away 11/9/2019 aged 82. Mick used to live in Langton Green before moving to Rusthall with his family. He was a well-known character to all that knew him. DF

At Knepp castle in West Sussex they are introducing White Storks back into Britain. The village of Storrington near Worthing was called in Saxon times Estorchestone, which means the village of the Storks. The village emblem still has White Storks on it. There are around twenty White Storks seen in this country every year which are migrants from Europe. Knepp Castle along with two other landowners have built pens covering six acres and have introduced young birds from Warsaw zoo. When they are around three or four years old it is hoped the birds will be loyal to the region and lose the urge to migrate. They will then be allowed to fly freely in the surrounding landscape. More birds will be added each year to build up a colony as southern England is well capable of supporting a wintering population of storks. The first stage is complete with the first birds released this summer and a pair made a nesting attempt at Knepp. A surprise for such young birds, they laid eggs but abandoned them soon afterwards. We must now wait and see if these graceful birds will become part of the British landscape. In Europe they nest on buildings and trees; they like to live near people and are thought of as a good luck charm. Alan Ford

A wildlife haven for the village We really enjoyed a visit to the vicarage recently, to look at the progress Lynn is making in creating a wildlife garden. It was great to get a tour of the different habitats which are being created. They are replanting the hedge because they want it to be six feet thick and spiky, so that cats can’t get in, and birds have enough room to get in and keep warm. In the earth, they have put down Kentish wild flowers, so this spring should see the flowers coming up. They have created sandy bee banks, into which bees and insects will be able to crawl. “A big issue for our environment has been the loss of bees,” says Lynn. “One thing we can do is encourage wild bee populations, because they have a natural resistance to the viruses which cultivated bees are vulnerable to, and because it gives them back some of the habitat which has been lost to them.” She shows us a burnt-out log, which they hope will be used by honey bees. “We will just leave them and not take honey from them. There are bees in the church roof too,


and that is really positive.” Lynn’s passion for the garden is clear as she points out the different features which nature can make use of. “Piles of logs left to rot, a tree, vibrant bee and bug houses, bat and bird boxes, a pond, local wildflowers so we are genuinely working with the flora and fauna specifically in Kent, holes in the rhododendron tree.” It is inspiring because these are often simple things that lots of us could find space to do ourselves. Lynn and her family have not transformed the garden alone, and she introduced us to Chris, Lynn’s parents’ live-in carer, who offered to turn her hand to the garden when they had to go into a care home. We hope that we will be able to visit the garden again in spring and summer to bring you news of the changes the seasons have made. Jayne Sharratt

Langton Life

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local happenings

Chapman Cup presentation After an absence of more than ten years the Tug of War returned to the Village Fete. It amused and thrilled the crowd. The Queen hit "We will Rock You" introduced the three heats, there were three teams and a heat comprised three pulls each, all under the strict control of Major Dean of the Challenger Troop. In the end, The Peasant Farmers were victorious, benefitting from a significant weight advantage. They became Tug of War champions and winners of the coveted Chapman Cup. The presentation of the cup to the Peasant Farmers took place at the Hare on the 7th October and now the freshly engraved cup resides on the top shelf in the bar awaiting the battle at next year’s fete on Saturday 4th July 2020. Any teams keen to challenge the Peasant Farmers and prepared to flex their muscles and give a heave and a ho at next year’s Tug of War, please do contact me. Josie Gamble at

Calling all singers– we need you!

Where are you? All Saints has vacancies in all departments for more voices. We would love to welcome some new faces to our happy group. It is not vital to be able to read music because you will learn quickly from the expert guidance of Michele our new Musical Director. She is a professional singer, with a modern/traditional approach and makes choir practices really enjoyable. We asked Michele to say a few words about herself: “My name is Michele Roszak and I have lived in Tunbridge Wells for many years. I trained in singing and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and now teach singing at TWGGS and Bennett Memorial as well as privately; I also enjoy performing in recitals and concerts. I currently run four community-type choirs, including the church choir at All Saints in Langton. It consists of a friendly group of people who sing a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to ballad, gospel and even light rock! If you enjoy singing then please feel free to come along and give us a try. Thanks for reading this, and I hope to meet some of you in due course”. Currently we are learning some modern anthems and new pieces for Christmas which, with new voices, would be really great. You do not need to be a committed Christian, but just love singing! Do come and give us a try, you will be made very welcome. We practise on Thursday evenings from 7.15 to 8.15 pm. Please contact Shirley Sears on 01892 864794.

Langton Life

Brunch Cafe celebrates first successful year Brunch Cafe is officially one year old and going from strength to strength! The Brunch family has worked hard all year long at expanding our services with much success, including takeaway menus, cake orders, and catering for private dining in your very own home. We want to say a huge thank you to all our patrons for being an integral part of our success! Our next challenge is a one-off event featuring an evening of light entertainment and a three course meal with fresh ingredients in collaboration with other local businesses. This evening will be an intimate, exclusive and unique event, so keep an eye out for more information on how to book in the café and on our social media! We are also inviting all local artists to get involved at Brunch! We have dedicated a portion of our wall space for Langton Green's finest artistes to show their work, all ages and abilities are welcome. Each artist's work will be on show for one month at a time and any sales will be subject to a small commission. Please enquire in Brunch for further details. Here's to year number two!


Selcot Cleaning Services Ltd For your Green Clean T: 01892 546 578 • Natural Eco Friendly products • Our own equipment used • Weekly / Fortnightly / Monthly / One off • Fully insured, dedicated & friendly staff • Competitive rates • Based in the village

Alexis L Millar CThA Neuromuscular Massage (Qual 1999) Advanced Medical Acupuncturist

Shoulder/Back/Neck/Leg pain Tennis/Golfer’s elbow

Tunbridge Wells Glass Works is a local, family owned business dealing in glass, mirrors, table tops, traditional lead lights, replacement windows and doors and sealed double glazed units. The business was established in 1949 as a glass merchant and general glazing company, and has grown both in size and its range of services.

Contact me on

0774 813 5596 E: Langton studio/home visit

Tel: 01892 522415 10 -12 Tunnel Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2BT

E.R. Hickmott & Son Funeral Directors Members of N.A.F.D. and S.A.I.F. Service Sheets produced at our own premises Pre-payment funeral schemes available Owned and run by the family in Tunbridge Wells for six generations Twenty four hour emergency service – Qualified Funeral Directors

41 Grove Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells

Tel: 01892 522462 (two lines) 20

Ian Robertson B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S

Offering quality comprehensive care for small animals (consultations by appointment) 24 hour emergency service 01892


20 Ashley Gardens, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8TU

Langton Life

local happenings Life and work seem to blend together seamlessly for Nicholas Barrett and his partner Tali Davies. Visiting Nicholas in Hollond’s Barn where he lives and teaches Tree of Life yoga classes, I am offered a herbal tea and raw chocolate, and given a cushioned seat on the wooden floor in the pleasant room with a wood burner and a sleeping cat. On a cold autumn day it has the feel of a very soothing retreat. Nicholas has been teaching yoga for twenty-three years since he was twenty-one, when his mother died. “I was looking for something to give me a sense of purpose and meaning, and yoga did that. It was a real moment of realising, ‘Ah, this is what I really love doing.’ My family all thought I was mad. Before that I had studied at the London College of Fashion, worked at Harvey Nichols and had a stall at Portobello.” He travelled to India every year for ten years to learn more about yoga. For him, being spiritual is about being mindful and meditative, present in the moment, rather than following a particular religion. There is an informal and friendly feel to the classes, and Nicholas enjoys feeling part of the community here. “We like to have herbal teas and chat after the class,” he says. “The type of yoga I do is really geared towards alignment, and we have equipment which can make it easier for people to get into correct positions.” Nicholas tells me. “Yoga can help everyone, not just those who happen to be really bendy and flexible. I have classes for the elderly and people with mental health issues, and I teach people from a diverse range of backgrounds – it is very mindful and helps people from all walks of life.” To give me a sense of the difference it can make to people’s lives, he showed me a video of Keith, a Langton Green resident and governor of the village primary school who has Parkinson’s, before and after a class and the dramatic difference the session had made to his ability to walk freely. Nicholas and his partner Tali are currently planning their wedding in the village, which will take place next year with Reverend Lynn Trainor performing the ceremony. Tali is trained in dance psychotherapy, and is starting some classes of her own. Called Movement Matters, she describes them as dance classes where participants will be guided with simple instructions to get them moving in a variety of ways. “It will get you closer to yourself,” she says. “It is a space for people to unfurl their own line of movement, to music. It will be therapeutic and healing, and allow people to feel the freedom in their own body.” The couple are clearly very at home here in Langton Green, and have a great enthusiasm about helping people in the local area. “Yoga helps more than just the body,” Nicholas says. “A lot of people are yearning for something more, and it helps us empty these busy cluttered minds of ours.” Jayne Sharratt

VILLAGE CONTACTS Allotment Society Simon Heller 077112 24053 Brownies Sally-Ann Gathern 822261 Church (admin) Sally-Ann Gathern 822261 Emma Stevens 861213 Church Hall Bookings Jacqui Avery Friends of All Saints' Church Jenny Greenaway 01342 850727 Hospice Link Daphne Streeter 863753 Ladies Luncheon Club Linda Sykes 664854 Langton Green Allotments Chris Pullen 07931 311925 Langton Green Car Club Ed Langridge 862006 Langton Life Editor Ian Campbell 07765 902139 Langton Life Distribution Suzanne Preston 07989 657160 Little Saints Josie Gamble 862194 Mothers’ Union Penny Woodford 862562 Neighbourhood Watch Peter Brown Netball Laura Kerr-Sheppard 07718 333813 Nursery School Nikki Lanchester 01892 862943 Parish Clerk Chris May 862927 PCSO Joe Pearson 07772 225962 Rainbows Sunday School Sally-Ann Gathern 822261 Village Hall Bookings Adrian Moss Village Society Ed Langridge 862006

Langton Life


local church Something for everyone this Christmas

Poor Mary and Joseph wandered the wilderness from Nazareth to Bethlehem not finding anywhere to lay their heads – this advent will be a different story! 24 homes are opening their doors to host Mary and Joseph as they travel around the village during December as we start our own ‘posada’ tradition in Langton Green. The word posada means "inn" or "shelter" in Spanish. The tradition started in Latin America and re-enacts the Bible story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay. It is delightful to find young and elderly meeting in each other’s homes to collect Mary and Joseph, perhaps sharing a cup of tea and lighting a candle together. On the 9th December at 5pm at we are having Carols at The Hare and Blessing of the Village Christmas Tree, this is a fun way to start getting into the festive spirit and enjoy a glass or two at the same time – it was fabulous last year to have such a mix of youngsters and oldies (and middlies). Saturday 14th December at the church is a special Village Christmas Concert in aid of Hospice in the Wield with mulled wine and mince pies (free but a donation to the hospice would be appreciated) The programme is yet to be finalised, but it should be a gorgeous evening of being sung to by different folk, as well as joining in occasionally with a carol or two.

Jan Pearce who lives in Langton and is the local organizer and fund raiser for the RNLI (and there are 43,000 like her) gave us an extremely informative talk on the work of Lifeboats. She gave us a questionnaire which when given the correct answers really illustrated the wide scale of their work. RNLI not only cover the UK but the whole of Ireland as well. Protecting and including inland waterways of 19,000 miles, with 250 lifeboat stations. Mainly all work is voluntary. And all money raised is from legacies, donations and collections. The busiest Life Boat Station is at Tower Bridge. With the population of the capital there are many dangers of the river close at hand. Suicides, drunks, jumping off bridges, swimming from bank to bank not aware of the currents, tide and mud suctions of The Thames. A new boat with its equipment costs two million. The newest boats have water jets instead of propellers for more manoeuvrability and safety. There are four hovercrafts for large tidal mud areas like Morecombe Bay and Southend. These have paid pilots. Special units go to disaster areas and floods across the world resourced by The International Development Agency. Education has always been a priority. To respect water it is always going to be in control. The RNLI annual running cost is one hundred and sixty three million. In 2018 twenty thousand lives were saved with an average response time of 90 seconds. Ann Clark

For those who would like a quieter, gentler remembering of Christmas, on Sunday 15th at 2.30pm we are holding a HOPE carol service. This especially suitable for those who find the bustle of big events a bit much and is designed to be dementia and family friendly. We finish with a cup of tea and cake with craft activities. Of course we have the perennial favourites: The Village Carol Service (by candle light) at 5pm on Sunday 22nd followed by mulled wine and mince pies; the hilarious crib service on Christmas eve, when Mary & Joseph will be returning to the church just in time for Jesus to be born (poor Mary!); Midnight Mass with the church a-glow with candles at 11.30pm; and finally, the delightful easy going Christmas All-Age communion service at 10am on Christmas morning. P.S. I am still hoping for a real donkey for the Christmas nativity…anyone happen to have one?

Merry Lynn

Christmas 22

Found a fiver on a litter pick Two of our ever-helpful residents, Lawrence Dollimore and Neil Barrington-Johnson were out on a Village Society organised litter pick and apart from picking up all the usual rubbish which people can't be bothered to take home (and recycle!) they picked up a fiver which, god bless them, has now gone into the 3H charity box at the Brunch Cafe! Good chaps!

Langton Life

Quirky Quilters Our ďŹ rst meeting was in June 2019 in Rusthall library, when a lot of stitchers nervously arrived unsure of what to expect. The initial meetings were full of ideas and excitement at ďŹ nding like-minded individuals. The group was begun by Dar Breeze and her friend Cherie Sanderson. The Quirky Quilters picked their name as they decided early on that yes, it was a quilting group but unlike other groups they were happy for any type of sewing. Our members sew, knit or embroider whatever inspires them to be creative in textile art. The group rapidly outgrew the library and it was decided to find a larger space with room to grow. Luckily Speldhurst Village hall was able to accommodate the rapidly expanding group and we meet once a week on a Tuesday from 10.45-1.45. At meetings we share ideas and expertise as we sew, knit and embroider over a cup of tea and home-made cake. One of our members said recently, “They should prescribe our group on the NHS as it is the most relaxing OFF LICENCE and therapeutic day of the week for me.â€? It is a wonderful GROCERY at all levels from beginner to atmosphere with our members working expert.FOOD We have&plans in the LANGTON New Year to have an open day where ROAD WINE

anyone who is stuck on a sewing project is welcome to drop in and see if we can help. The group has had trips to quilt fairs, visited other quilters to see their collections and also joined in on workshops. There are plans for further visits, including the Quilt Festival at Detling in November. In September the group arranged a Macmillan Coffee morning at the village hall. There was a display of quilts, a bric a brac stall, book stall and a handmade stall with all the items created by the members of the group. There were two raes which were very popular – with a stunning Kimono quilt donated by one of the group. Cakes were baked, coffee and tea served by the gallon and the hall was festooned with handmade bunting. The day was a huge success and the group were able to raise just under ÂŁ1500 for the charity. Their next project for charity is to make quilts, blankets and knit clothes for ‘Project Linus’ – their website is - all contributions of any of the above will be gratefully accepted. If anyone is interested in joining the group please contact either Dar or Cherie and they will be delighted to help. You can email us on either and


All wines and spirits sale or return.OFF LICENCE Support your local shops GROCERY



A warm welcome from Steve Jeevakaran

Decorative and Fine Arts Society


In Langton G reen

All wines and spirits sale or return.

LANGTON ROAD 01892 861304 FOOD Tel: & WINE

The Langton Green Store All wines and

Support your local shops

(01892) 731 221

A warm welcome from Steve Jeevakaran For all your spirits everyday Fresh foods, sale needs, or return. Tel: 01892 861304 wine, beer, lottery, household products, Support your store cupboard essentials, and local shops sale-or-return service for parties. A warm welcome from Steve Jeevakaran

Are you keen on the visual arts? Join our friendly group and hear lectures by noted experts on a wide range of arts and crafts We meet at 7.30 for 7.45 pm at Holmewood House School on the 4th Thursday of the month from September to June For details call 01892 535385

01892 861304 ATel: warm welcome

Brunch CafĂŠ

Breakfast • Lunch Cake • Coffee

“Arrive in style with ACS Chauffeurs�

Langton Road Tel: Sam 01892 459460

Book online

PAT’S COFFEE MORNINGS Everyone Welcome at All Saints Church Hall for Coffee, Cakes and Cheerful Company, 10.30 to Midday.

Christmas Celebration 11th December then 8th January 2020 and 12th February For more information phone Pam 01892 863620 or Pat 070439 05939

(Formerly the asparagus hut) on Groombridge Hill

Come and see our varied range of foods from farms in Kent and East Sussex; local producers that manufacture with care and integrity.

LIVE MUSIC Weddings‌ Masonic Festivals‌ Corporate Events‌Restaurants

Contact: BAND MATTERS Email: Tel: 01892 862396

Dog Walking & Day Care Dog Boarding, Cat Care Carolyn Gordon

Registered & Insured Petsitter

01892 862582 / 07763 216139

Langton Life

Our soft fruits + fresh veg, milk, eggs, bread, cakes, cheeses, pies, honey, jams, fruit juice, ice-cream and much more‌

Open: 9.00am to 6.00pm Daily 10.00am to 5.00pm Sundays Off Road Car Parking

Tel: 01892 861753 23

Salomons Estate

through the Years

Photo: Craig Matthews

Last month, 50 very special guests gathered to share their unique stories and experiences of Salomons Estate through the ages. Here we piece together the jigsaw puzzle that they collectively helped to shape. The story starts in 1829 when Sir David Salomons bought a ‘very elegant small villa’ on the edge of Tunbridge Wells before tearing it down and commissioning the renowned British architect, Decimus Sir David Salomons Burton, to design the substantial country house that exists today. Sir David Salomons was one of the founding members of what is now known as Natwest Bank and was the first ever-Jewish Lord Mayor of London. The politician campaigned tirelessly for the equal rights of Jews and laid himself open to considerable penalties, speaking for his cause in the Houses of Parliament. Salomons Estate is now part of the Jewish Country House Project, which celebrates Jewish life in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the world of the Anglo-Jewish aristocracy. Representing the Jewish Country House Project at the 190th celebrations was Thomas Stammer who is currently working on a book featuring Salomons Estate. Sir David Salomons left the estate to his nephew Sir David Lionel Salomons who was a keen scientist and engineer, making history on several occasions. Sir David Lionel Salomons built laboratories, and workshops in the grounds and a unique science theatre to demonstrate his experiments, which is still enjoyed by visitors today. Among many of his outstanding achievements, Sir David Lionel Salomons was the first person in the UK to hold a motor show. He also had the law changed so that cars could travel more than 4mph, invented an electric exposing camera in 1895 and was granted a patent for his invention of the automatic railway signaling system. The third notable member of the Salomons family to live on the estate was First World War hero, Captain Reginald Salomons. Visiting Salomons on the 190th anniversary were James Beeny and Gina Georgio, who wrote the West End musical ‘The Dreamers’ which tells the moving tale of Captain Reggie Salomons and his team of 128 men, mainly from Southborough and High Broom, who lost their lives on the HMS Hythe, which sunk off the coast of Gallipoli in 1915. Last December, James and Gina’s top West End cast performed The Dreamers in the renowned Abbey Road Studios. In 1937 Reggie’s sister, Vera Bryce Salomons, gave the estate to Kent County Council for use as a convalescent home – in memory of her brother, father and great-uncle. In the 1970s it was transformed into a training centre for regional health authorities, during which time residential facilities where built. Returning to the estate for the 190th celebrations Photo: Salomons Museum


Salomons Estate is known for little more than being a conference centre on the edge of Rusthall. After 190 years of fascinating history at the Victorian country house, it is about time we explored the untold tales of this hidden gem in our midst.

Photo: Salomons Museum

was Liz Scholey, manager of the NHS center in the 1980s. Liz and her husband John were also celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary last month, which was made extra special by visiting the venue where they got married. In the 1990s Salomons was handed over to Canterbury Christ Church University who continued to use it for educational purposes. To accommodate their needs, the University converted the stables into offices and lecture rooms and the residential facilities into accommodation. Today Salomons is operated by Markerstudy Group, which celebrates all aspects of the estates history. The group encourages local resident to simply explore the grounds, visit the museum and learn more about the extraordinary family it was once home to. They are working on an ongoing refurbishment programme, which aims to restore the Victorian charm of the country house and retain the unique features that make it so intriguing. They also continue to facilitate education, training and conferences on site and welcome weddings and Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells, special occasions that bring Cllr James Scholes and his wife, Jane Scholes the charming house to life.

Chris Jones, Curator, Salomons Museum

Langton Life


The best veg you’ve ever tasted 100% organic veg boxes, from our farm to your table. All with free delivery in Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas.

Call your local veg lady Sally on 01892 576991 or visit

We are an independent family run business based in Tunbridge Wells, with many years experience in the care sector. We offer an alternative to residential care by providing clients with one to one live in care, support and companionship enabling them to maintain their independence and remain in the security and comfort of their own home.

01892 518400 66 High Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN4 8SD

Tel: 01892 523584 Central Heating, Gas & Oil Boilers, Cylinders, Bathroom Installations and General Plumbing undertaken.

clareabelles eighth page_Layout 1 26/03/2019 12:55

Regular Domestic Cleaning Services tailored to your requirements for more information visit or call Clare on 07786 243638 See for End of Tenancy and Commercial Property cleaning services and management

HENRY PAUL FUNERALS Contemporary and Traditional Services

HENRY PAUL FUNERALS is a traditional family owned funeral directors purposely dedicated to providing distinct levels of service, choice, dignity and care to bereaved families in Pembury, Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas. 24 Hour Emergency Service Home Visits Private Chapel of Rest Full Fleet of Modern & Vintage Vehicles Floral Tributes Catering Masonry Pre-paid Funeral Plans Repatriation

GUITAR TUITION Whether you're starting out from scratch, stuck in a rut or simply wish to further yourself on the guitar‌ Jonathon's guitar studio can help. All ages welcome, beginners to advanced, Rock, Pop, Blues, Funk, Metal etc.


10 High Street, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4NY

01892 825505

Langton Life


49-51 London Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0PB

FUNERAL DIRECTORS & MEMORIAL SHOWROOM 88a Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 3EG

01892 458338

01732 605002

For more details phone Jonathon on

07900 825495 25

local council

NEWS from

Speldhurst Parish Council A CASUAL VACANCY

TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL DRAFT LOCAL PLAN As you are probably aware, the draft Local Plan was recently open for consultation. At our Open meeting in October, Stephen Baughen, Head of Planning at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) gave a presentation on the Local Plan and the impact it would have on the Borough.

Has occured on Speldhurst Parish Council

Central Government have increased the number of houses TWBC is required to deliver over the current 20-year period, from approximately 6,000 to 13,500. Over the past year or so TWBC has held two rounds of “call for sites,” requesting landowners to submit land for consideration for inclusion as development sites in the Local Plan. Several sites in Speldhurst Parish were submitted by landowners and all were reviewed by TWBC. Of these only one was considered for inclusion in the draft plan, site 231 in Speldhurst, and it is the same site considered several years ago for local needs housing. When this site was identified there was considerable discussion within Speldhurst Parish Council (SPC) given the history, the location and previous concerns. In the end SPC decided, by a majority decision, to remain neutral at this time. SPC did however have discussions with TWBC and made submissions on several conditions it wanted included should this site be retained. Whilst not formally objecting may seem at odds with the Parish Plan published in 2016, circumstances have changed. The pressure on TWBC to deliver more housing is enormous. Submitting a Local Plan that does not deliver the required housing risks having the Plan rejected (as has just happened with Sevenoaks). Without an approved Local Plan there is no defence against applications, at which point all the sites submitted by landowners become potentially viable. This risks substantial development against our wishes. Should site 231 be rejected, TWBC will need to find an alternative location which may or may not be in our Parish. But given the huge numbers in other parishes (600 in Hawkhurst, over 1000 in Paddock Wood, 2,500 in Capel/Tudeley) it is likely that TWBC will look again at the other sites in Speldhurst. There will be a second round of consultations on the PreSubmission Local Plan in August 2020. By then, we will have a clearer view of any changes to the proposed site allocations for our Parish and what conditions have been attached for those sites. SPC will then review its position and make further submissions in line with that position. SPEEDWATCH IN LANGTON GREEN Rupert Milner and Chris May enjoyed a successful Speedwatch training session with volunteers from Langton Green last month. By the time you read this, they are likely to have carried out their initial Speedwatch sessions at sites around the village. The way Speedwatch works is that if a vehicle is driving above the speed limit, its details will be recorded and sent to the central Speedwatch office for collation. If a vehicle is caught speeding three times on any Speedwatch camera anywhere, the registered owner will be written to. We are also hopeful that the site of our volunteers and their camera will act as a deterrent for drivers.


See Council notice boards for more information or contact the Parish Clerk Chris May on 862927 or email

THIS MONTH’S PHOTO Councillor Rupert Milner (pictured right) and SPC Groundsman Len Cooper undertake footpath repairs at Stone Cross. We are really pleased that several volunteers have recently offered to help them. If you would like to join in, please contact Kate Harman at the Council office. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 has been a busy year for us all, and Speldhurst Parish Council would like to wish our Langton Green residents an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas break. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020. NEXT MEETINGS All members of public are welcome to attend our meetings Monday 2nd December, Speldhurst Village Hall Committee Room at 7pm Monday 6th January, Langton Green Village Hall in the Gallery Room at 7.30pm HOW TO CONTACT SPELDHURST PARISH COUNCIL If you have an issue you would like to raise with the Parish Council, please contact the Clerk, Chris May on (01892) 862927 or The Parish Council office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 9.30 and 1pm and Wednesdays from 1.30 to 5pm. (Closed Thursdays) For more information about SPC, visit The Parish of Speldhurst comprises the villages of Ashurst, Langton Green, Old Groombridge and Speldhurst. The Councillors representing these villages are: Neil Barrington-Johnson (Chairman); Rupert Milner (Vice-Chairman); Joy Podbury; Julia Soyke; Katrina Lyle; Judy Price; Richard Ellery; Millie Woodliffe Alan Rowe; Dave Pate; Alan Round; John Turner; Ben Scarbrough

Langton Life

The Hare Langton Green

We are a classic English pub with wooden floors, good old furniture and lots of books and pictures. Come and join us this winter for fresh food, drink and good old pub activities. Pub Walk Join us on our monthly outings into the surrounding countryside on our pub walk. The next two dates for the diary are Saturday 14th of December and Saturday 18th of January. The usual format will apply, where we’ll meet at the pub at 10am for a cuppa and a bacon sarnie, then set off at 10:30am. The aim is to be back at the pub for around 12:30pm, where you can quench your thirst with a well-earned pint! As always the pre-walk refreshments are on us, but if you’d like to make a donation to Nourish Food Bank it would be greatly appreciated.

“Trig’s Pudding Club” Those of you well acquainted with our pudding menu will know that our sweet treats are all made by our wonderful pastry chef Chris, fondly known as Trig! He’s been spoiling us with his wide repertoire of puds for well over 20 years at The Hare, so we thought we’d celebrate him and his favourite recipes. He’ll be making a small batch of a different pudding every week, so you’ll have to be quick to get your pudding fix! Keep an eye for more details in the new year.

For full details of all of our events please go to

T: 01892 862 419 • E: Langton Life


Kitchen Furniture, Beautifully Made Our kitchens are of the highest quality, completely unique and excellent value. All our kitchens are handmade in our workshop in Crowborough, East Sussex. A truly bespoke kitchen - Made to any size and in any finish. For more information please contact us.

Telephone: 01892 663 496 I Eridge Green Handcrafted Fitted Kitchens Ltd. Unit 5, Millbrook Business Park, Sybron Way, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 3JZ