Langton Life Isuue 129

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Produced by Langton Life Ltd | Tel: 07532 339434 | Email: Distributed FREE throughout the village JuneJuly 2024 | Issue 129


local happenings

A community project for the community

For many months, residents living near the shops in Langton Green were getting increasingly annoyed about the number of vehicles and trailers which kept being parked on the pavement, right outside their houses. Apart from the fact that it was illegal, they blocked natural light and were a hazard for pedestrians. Regardless of the number of parking tickets issued, it seemed to make no di erence.

Speldhurst Parish Council Highways Committee had discussed what could be done about this problem for some time, and then committee member Ed Langridge put forward an idea. He suggested that a series of planters could be installed, weighted down with railway sleepers, as a deterrent. Two things which were needed to be done first 1) was to ask the immediate residents what they thought and 2) apply to Kent Highways for permission to install.

Contact Langton Life magazine!

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 11th July 2024.

Advertising: Rob Mauduit Tel: 07941 117423

Editor: Jayne Sharratt Tel: 07532 339434

Director: Ed Langridge Registered in England 8709597

Residents were delighted and immediately o ered to help. The parish council then applied to Kent Highways’ Streetworks team to get approval for the installation. Even with a small project like this, getting approval can take a lot of work. And this was no exception, with Streetworks requesting much information including designs to demonstrate size, height and positioning of the planters. But thanks to Ed’s continuing e orts and the determination of our parish clerk, Katie Neve, they eventually agreed the project could go ahead, but also agreed to waive the fee that usually comes with such an installation.

Langton Life magazine and the Village Society funded the purchase of the planters, soil (two tons!), plants, paint, sleepers – with the community supplying the labour, for free!

Grateful thanks to all concerned – this was a true partnership between residents, community organisations and the parish council. Illegally parked vehicles are no longer part of the pavement furniture and people driving through our village will admire the vista.

House to House Collections

Many of you will know that Fete on the Green relies heavily on those who volunteer their time for free and those who donate free stu ! As well as having around forty independent stalls at the fete we have our own stalls and for some of those we come round to as many houses as we can in Langton to collect all your pre-loved books, DVDs and vinyl for our Book Stall, your no longer required children’s toys, books and games for our Toy Stall, your no longer loved or used household items for our renowned Bric-a-Brac Stall and your unopened bottles for our Bottle Tombola!

Look out for our flyers (at the time of writing they are yet to be posted through your doors) giving all the details about collecting your donations. If you would like to know more about the collections or you would like to volunteer to help out with the collections, please get in touch at:

The publishers cannot be held responsible for the content of the editorial in this publication. Follow us on Social Media @LangtonLife @LangtonLife
Local happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Aurora Borealis 6 Thrive news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Emma Louise Turner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Local council 18 Paint nights at The Hare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Local church 24 Village contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 View
Life online at
Life 3
Langton Cover photo: Happy Me Dance, photo by Tina Chatfield Photography

local happenings

Keith’s art of natural wonders

Langton Green resident Keith Siddle is an artist, Illustrator, and author whose colourful and detailed paintings have been enjoyed by many in the village over the years, through his regular participation in South East Open Studios. This year his studio will be open to visitors from 10am – 5pm on the weekends of the 1-2nd, 8-9th, 15-16th and 22-23rd June 2024.

Pop along to see a large collection of Keith’s art, including paintings, prints, greeting cards, and three children’s picture books written and illustrated by Keith.

Keith specialises in paintings of Koi Carp and has embraced the same work ethos that the most eminent Japanese Koi breeders use in nurturing their Champions: dedication, patience, detail, enthusiasm, and passion.

These skills enabled Keith to expand and experiment with his subject matter, from tropical marine fish and other sealife inspired by his scuba diving experiences to food art, inspired by - eating! Sunflowers, orchids, butterflies, bees and many other subjects are also featured in Keith’s paintings.

Communities come together to call for safer Langton Road

On Saturday 4th May, there was a protest organised by Rusthall resident Lisa Coghlan, to call for a reduction of the speed limit on the A264 Langton Road from 40mph to 30mph.

Those attending included Speldhurst Parish Chair Paul Curry and Rusthall Parish Chair Liz Ellicott, Rusthall Parish Councillor Paul Gripper, Rusthall and Speldhurst Borough Councillors Matthew Sankey, Jayne Sharratt, and Alex Britcher-Allan, Culverden Borough Councillors, and MP Greg Clark; together with local residents they showed the crosscommunity and cross-party support for this speed reducing measure that aims to make the road safer to cross for residents who want to access the Happy Valley side of the Common from Rusthall and Langton Green.

Missing were any representatives of Kent County Council, who are the Highways Authority who would need to approve the proposed measure. So far Kent County Council have said that they do not feel a speed reduction is appropriate, however it is clear that the community strongly disagrees.

There has been a campaign for a pedestrian crossing on the A264 for more than a decade, originally driven by the hard work of John Barber. The crossing is needed so that pedestrians can get across the road safely, to access the church, the bus stop, and the paths over the Common around Happy Valley. It is especially needed for children, the elderly, and anyone with limited mobility. When KCC said that the cost of a crossing would be expensive, the plan changed to reducing the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph. This would make crossing the road safer in itself but might also be a stepping stone towards achieving a crossing, because it isn’t possible to have a pedestrian crossing on 40mph roads.

Local residents have joined forces with Rusthall Parish Council, Speldhurst Parish Council, the Conservators of the Common, Rusthall Church Youth Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Councillors, and our local MP because it is felt so strongly that a busy road should not divide the Commons in this way, and that the Commons should be open to all who want to enjoy them.

4 Langton Life

Fete on the Green

Saturday 6 July 12 - 5

What we still need to help make our fete a success:


There are never enough volunteers for a huge community event like the fete and there is still time to volunteer to do as little or as much as you can.


Believe it or not the items in your home that you once loved but love no more, tend to sell well at the fete.

Throughout June we will be collecting: Books, toys and games, bric-a-brac and bottles (all clean and unbroken please!)

@langtongreenvillagefete @langtonfeteonthegreen

local happenings

Aurora Borealis

6 Langton Life • Improved mobility and co-ordination • • • Exercises are adapted for seated and standing • Fun and friendship Classes also held at Crowborough, Foresters Hall in Uckfield and Burwash Please contact me for more information or to book a place LANGTON GREEN VILLAGE HALL Movement to Music (seated or standing) Tuesdays at 2pm T: 07900 423676 E:
Langton Green resident Jonathan Bolland sent these photographs
Northern Lights over Langton Green.


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Changing representation at the Borough Council

On 2nd May there were local elections to decide who will represent the new ward of Rusthall and Speldhurst on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Following a boundary review the Borough of Tunbridge Wells now has fourteen ward and is represented by thirty-nine Borough Councillors in total (this number is a reduction from the previous fortyeight). This meant that all the council seats were up for election at the same time – the biggest local election for a generation.

In Langton Green the new ‘Rusthall and Speldhurst’ ward, named after the two large Parish Councils the ward covers, is now represented by three councillors; Jayne Sharratt for Labour with a four year term, Matthew Sankey with a three year term for the Tunbridge Wells Alliance, and Alex Britcher-Allan with a two year term for Labour. Outgoing Councillors for the old ward of Speldhurst are Harry Allen and Paul Curry. Cllr Matthew Sankey sent us the following tribute to Paul.

“The votes are in, our neighbours have decided who will represent them at the Borough Council in our new Ward Rusthall and Speldhurst – which includes Langton Green, Ashurst, Stone Cross, Burswood and Old Groombridge too.

I’m delighted to have been selected alongside Jayne Sharratt and Alex Britcher-Allan, it really is an honour and I know how hard my new colleagues have worked in their old ward and know that we are in safe hands. Of course, I am disappointed that my pal Paul Curry wasn’t selected, and I wanted to say a few words to thank him for his contribution at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and of course for his continued contribution as Chair of Speldhurst Parish Council.

Paul works in IT and loves all things AI, so I asked Chat GTP to write a poem for him:

The Rudes are coming!

The very popular Rude Mechanical Theatre Company will be back again in Langton Green this summer performing another great outdoor play in the grounds of the school on Wednesday 19 June at 7.30pm.

In Speldhurst, where the old post office stands, Lives Paul Curry, a man of diligent hands. Always in a tracksuit, his signature style, With a beard just like mine, and a warm, friendly smile. A house cat companion, soft and serene, Keeps him company, a perfect routine.

Chair of the Parish, he's the heart of the town, With dedication and care, he's renowned.

For the community, he works day and night, Ensuring their needs are met with delight. From meetings to plans, he's always engaged, In Speldhurst’s story, his name is well-paged. For a leader like him, so steadfast and true, Is a treasure for Speldhurst, and its bright future too.

All are welcome to come with your own low-backed chairs from 6.00 for picnics. You won’t want to miss it!

It is called ‘The Dressing Book’. This original play by The Rudes toured briefly in 2012 mainly to arts centres and a few village halls, so most of you will not have seen it, but it was extremely well received both in the press and by the audiences, so Pete Talbot, the director, says he thought it would be good to tour it again so more people can enjoy it. Originally, it was written for three actors and six puppets, but it has been re-written for six actors and lots of music with some great new songs.

It is a hilarious comedy – When two ladies turn up to a ball in identical dresses a fracas follows! - but equally poetic and tender. It is set in 1795 in Tunbridge Wells but plays games with time and social status and has a twist in the tail. It follows the ‘social round’ of Maybelline who records which dresses she wears for each event in her ‘dressing book’ - and the men she encounters while wearing them. The play opens a window on the way clothes were – and still are - a means by which

men could control the separated public and private worlds of women. Has anything changed? Through a process of ‘magic realism’ the action changes to the 1960’s and Maybelline’s clothes, which had been her prison, now set her free.

TICKETS – are available now on the company’s website – Or ring 01323-501260. Get the date in your diaries now!

local happenings Langton Life 9
Outgoing Borough Councillor Paul Curry


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local happenings

Thrive news

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week (organised by the Mental Health Foundation) and the theme has been movement.

We know that movement is really good for releasing feel good hormones - these positively a ect both physical and emotional wellbeing by releasing endorphins, which combat pain, reduce stress and improve mood! It can be anything, from boogying to a tune you love to walking slowly in nature.

We have been encouraging the village to try di erent elements of movement. We mapped out a walk beginning and ending at the Pavilion Cafe that Emma has also been promoting. This is a good one for self-starters. For those who need more encouragement (or

indeed company), we have our next two gardening sessions at the Community Garden, when we're going to breathe even more life into the new raised beds.

And on Wednesday, Rebecca Leach and Lindsey Milton got joggers and walkers alike involved in a 3km route that began and ended at the Hare! Lindsey ran at the front while Rebecca supported those who preferred to walk. It was so successful that they've decided to run it monthly! The next session will take place on Wednesday 12 June, meeting at the Hare at 7pm.

Local Author Simon Court Collecting milk bottles

Langton Green resident Simon Court founded his leadership consultancy with his wife, Jane, twenty-six years ago. Simon has an MBA from Warwick Business School and an MSc from Imperial College.

He has coached many leaders of companies in a diverse range of industries, including entertainment, gaming, biotechnology, technology, travel, insurance, and venture capital. During that time, he has helped to build two businesses valued at over $1bn, British gaming company Miniclip and German tech company Tipico.

This is Simon’s first book. It has some fabulous endorsements including from Sir Clive Woodward, 2003 Rugby World Cup winning head coach: “Successful founders, like successful sports coaches, deliver results through people. This book shows you how to do that brilliantly. It is a must-read for every founder.”

Simon, Jane and daughter Meghan have lived in Langton for 28 years. When he is not writing, Simon is a keen runner and skier and he is often seen around Langton with his golden retriever, Harvey.

Founder’s Legacy is available from that famous on-line retailer beginning with A. The audiobook is read by Simon and the forward read by Rob Small.

Thank you to everyone who is collecting clean milk bottle tops for me. I pass them on and the RNLI and Kent Air Ambulance benefit from the proceeds.

Please note that I can only accept milk bottle tops as shown. The colour doesn’t matter - Blue ones are also acceptable but I didn’t have enough!

Please only bring me ones about that are about the size of a 50p piece from the plastic milk bottles.

Feel free to reuse a clean bag rather than a new one and they can be left in or by my porch if I’m out

My address is 6 Ox Lea, Thank you Sue Humphries

Langton Life 11

local happenings

Happy Me Dance

resident Sarah Wheatley to design a bespoke project for her daughter Clara and her friends which would be dance based but would also allow a local social outlet for connection away from a college based or home environment. Happy Me Dance successfully applied to National Dance Organisation ISTD Dance for funding and were recipients of the Broadening Access to Dance Award which has allowed the project for a dance class for a Down's Syndrome community to take place.

Happy Me Dance is a Dance and Wellness Company, established in January 2019 and founded by Michelle Clark who has a 25-year background in education. Happy Me Dance was founded initially for adults to o er an energised class to supercharge the body, mind and spirit with an ultimate focus to provide connection. However a year later, in March 2020, we were all locked down and suddenly everyone felt disconnected and so Michelle began connecting with people online and this opened the doors to everyone! The purpose of Happy Me Dance is to o er dance classes to all ages, ability, gender, sexual orientation and race. Individuality is celebrated and connection continues to be at the heart of Happy Me Dance. Being involved in the Community Hub, I was interested to know more about Project Wave in Langton Green. Project Wave- The Awakeningswas born from Michelle's studies in dance and dance psychology at the Movement in Practice Academy with Dr Peter Lovatt, author of 'The Dance Cure' and founder of the wellness app, 'Move Assure' with Dame Darcey Bussell. Projects are bespoke and designed for individual groups. Michelle’s Project Wave collaborations have so far included working with seniors with Parkinson's, Dementia and mental illness and collaborating with Team Domenica based in Brighton, teaching candidates with learning di culties.

In November 2023, Michelle was approached by Langton Green

Michelle expressed gratitude to the Langton community for embracing this project so warmly and for the support from LGCSA, Emma Howden at Langton Pavilion Cafe, James Bowdidge at the Community Hub and Paul Curry from Speldhurst Parish Council.

Project Wave Patron, Baroness Rosa Monckton, who recently received her peerage from the King and was sworn into the House of Lords on 21st March is passionate about and is a champion for inclusivity. She attended a launch event at the Community Hub in March 2024 and spoke in support of the work of Project Wave and the legacy to further develop the initiative to reach more groups.

If you would like to be involved in extending or supporting Project Wave or would like Michelle to design a project for your bespoke group, do get in touch via the details below. 07427 371396

12 Langton Life
Photos by Robin Kent Photography
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Tunbridge Wells town-wide Yard Sale 2024

The Tunbridge Wells townwide Yard Sale is back for its sixth year! It will take place on Saturday 8 th June 2024, and at the time of going to print had five sellers registered in Rusthall and one in Langton Green, as well as many others throughout the town.

“We look forward to running the yard sale again this year,” says Ingrid Pope, the event organiser. “People now know what the event is about and it’s a real focal point in their summer calendar.” This big free community event is e ectively a car boot sale but in people’s front gardens or driveways. Participants register on the website and are plotted on an interactive map with a brief description of what they will have on o er. Visitors can then plan their route all over town! Local businesses are also invited to take part so look out for special o ers or products on the day, and we also have a few schools getting involved this time.

the local community group Charlie’s Angels, who are carrying out amazing work in not only reducing food waste but also supporting those in need.

The event is completely free to take part. Each seller decides if they want to keep their profits for themselves, donate some of the money to a charity of their choice, or support the 2024 event partner community group. So now is the time to turn all those unwanted items into cash!

Ingrid Pope, who runs a coaching and decluttering business, says “having a deadline can be very useful to set yourself a task that you tend to put o . And the benefits of clearing clutter are numerous, including improved well-being and better health.”

Feedback after previous town-wide Yard Sales showed that what participants had really enjoyed was the sense of community. “We heard stories of people meeting their neighbours of many years for the first time on Yard Sale day, and that is what it is all about!”

This year the Tunbridge Wells town-wide Yard Sale is partnering with

For registrations or further details:

Good luck to the Langton Divas!

local happenings 14 Langton Life FROM YOUR
Wishing the fabulous Langton Divas U14 Girls Football Team all the best in the upcoming Langton Green Football Fiesta! We are all rooting for you! Excellence is not a skill set. It’s an attitude.
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local happenings

Emma Louise Turner: first female

ornithological photographer (1867-1940)

Local historian Carol Mellors sent us the fascinating life story of pioneering Langton resident Emma Louise Turner.

Long before Subbuteo was created by Peter Adolph in Langton Green, both Upper and Lower Birchetts were occupied by the extended Turner family who for three generations until 1930, ran a successful Grocers and Drapers. In 1881 the population of Langton Green was only 625 but it was expanding, providing a good living for the extended Turner family.

Emma Louise Turner was born on 9th June 1867: the fourth and final child of John Turner: Grocer and Draper. John Turner was wealthy enough to have all his children privately educated and employ a servant. However, in 1880 when she was only 13, Emma’s mother died followed by her elder sister Mary in 1891. Her elder brother Frank’s wife died in 1895 leaving two small children all living at Lower Birchetts. Emma appears to have focused her life on her extended family until her brother married again in 1900.

It is not clear how Emma’s interest in photography and birds began, possibly at boarding school, but by 1901 she was a member of the Royal Photographic Society and began staying for months every year on the Norfolk Broads. By 1904 she was giving public lectures illustrated with her own lantern slides and in December she became one of the first female fellows of the Linnean Society. In 1905 Emma was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Photographic Society for her photograph of a great crested grebe.

By 1910 Emma was a pioneer of bird ringing and participated in the Country Life ringing project.

By 1911 Emma was recording herself on the Census ‘Lecturer in Ornithology’. In that same year at Hickling Broad, she captured an image of a young bittern, believed to be extinct since 1886. Emma would lie for hours covered in leaves, near a nest and wait for action. This image brought her national acclaim.

A passionate conservationist, in her 1924 book, Broadland Birds, she wrote of the bitterns: ‘it is now the duty of everybody to guard this recovered inheritance which our forefathers so shockingly wasted.’

In 1923 The National Trust purchased Scolt Head Island, Norfolk to preserve its breeding birds and, plagued by egg collectors, Emma became its first Warden. In 1933 Emma became the only female founder of the British Trust for Ornithology causing the Daily Telegraph to refer to her as Mr. E. L Turner.

Emma wrote 8 books, some still available today, and she was a regular contributor to many publications including The British Bird Book and Country Life publications. Emma never married and sadly lost her sight 2 years before her death in 1940. She left her estate to a nephew and niece. In 2012 the BBC broadcast ‘Emma Turner; a life in the reeds’ was based on her book Broadland Birds.

Support for the bereaved

Friends Together, a bereavement support charity founded by Abbey Funerals, have recently set up a new group based in Rusthall. The Group o ers peer support for those who are bereaved, on the last Friday of the month from 1pm to 2.30pm at the United Reformed Church in Manor Road, Rusthall. All are welcome. Please do visit the website www.friendstogetherbs. org or call 01892 487144, for more details.

16 Langton Life
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local council

NEWS from Speldhurst Parish Council


We held our Annual Parish Meeting (APM) at Speldhurst Primary School on 29th April. As well as updates from our councillors, and questions from residents, we also presented the Kent Association of Local Councils Award which acknowledges and recognises those who've made a significant contribution to their local community. This is a part of the meeting that we look forward to every year, and this year was particularly special because we presented the award posthumously to Langton Green resident Josie Gamble.

As many of you will know, Josie contributed to village life in Langton Green in a multitude of ways. She led the Little Saints Baby and Toddler group, was a much-respected Governor at Langton Green Primary School, set up the Sole Sisters walking group, organised the village fete, and was always at the forefront of any Langton Green Village Society scheme. As part of our presentation we heard from those who had volunteered with Josie over the years, who spoke about how generously she gave her time and how much of a sense of fun she brought to it all.

Josie’s husband Mark, who accepted the award on her behalf said that Josie had “a unique ability to get people not just to help, but to want to help, and all with a smile.” What a wonderful way to be remembered.

The minutes of the APM are now available to view on our website under The Parish Council tab.


Chris May (pictured below with current and ex-colleagues) finally hung up his calculator for the last time in April. A gathering of colleagues and councillors past and present took place at the pavilion to mark his retirement, with speeches made by the four Chairs Chris has worked with during his time at the parish council.

Chris joined us fifteen years ago and, with the help of the then chair, Lynn Je reys, set up a modernised parish council from scratch as he was thrown in at the deep end with no handover. At that time there was no computer and no o ce, just boxes of papers which he stored in his garage. During his tenure as clerk, Chris achieved many things, not least the building of the parish o ce.

Chris stepped back as clerk nearly 3 years ago but continued as finance o cer while teaching his successor Katie all things finance. His experience, knowledge and sense of humour will be greatly missed but the o ce team has his number on speed dial!

Enjoy your retirement, Mr May!


We are all pleased to see that Langton Community Hub continues to develop its activities at Langton Pavilion. James Bowdidge recently updated us on a whole host of community-focused activities that had taken place in April, including Emma Howden’s lovely community lunches, a Swap and Share Bookshelf, and Midwives, Mum & Baby Wellbeing classes. A Nourish Foodbank facility has now been set up in the pavilion, too.





James also noted that the hub was starting to develop a constructive dialogue with LGCSA in conjunction with the parish council bookings sta , and early discussion had taken place about joint initiatives.


ChrisMayon 862927


Langton Pavilion Café continues to run alongside community hub activities from 8.30am – 4.00pm on Tuesday to Friday each week (school holiday hours may vary).


We were happy to welcome a new Parish Councillor at our May Full Council Meeting, when we co-opted Langton Green resident Jade Dickens. You can read more about Jade in our next news but in the meantime, we would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining her and our other councillors in the democratic decision-making that a ects life in the parish villages of Ashurst, Langton Green, Old Groombridge and Speldhurst.

Parish councillors attend meetings to discuss and vote on a range of parish matters, from environment to highways, planning, and more. They can also get hands-on if they want to, with practical work such as helping to maintain local footpaths and volunteering with community speedwatch. And just as this involvement is invaluable for the parish, our councillors find it hugely rewarding too. For some, it has made their CV stand out, for others, it provides the opportunity to get to know other residents in a friendly and inclusive environment. Finally, although the role isn't voluntary work in the strictest sense, the feeling of satisfaction is the same. While our councillors come from all sorts of backgrounds, they are united by their commitment to improving quality of life in Speldhurst parish. If this is a commitment you share, do get in touch with our Clerk, Katie Neve, to find out more about what the role involves. Applicants can expect to attend an informal interview with up to three of our councillors and the successful candidate will be co-opted as a parish councillor for the rest of the term.


Full Council: 7.30 pm, Monday 3rd June, Speldhurst Village Hall

Full Council: 7.30 pm, Monday 1st July, Ashurst Village Hall


If you’d like to contact the parish council, call the Clerk, Katie Neve on 01892 862927/07760 769513 or email

For helpful information about Speldhurst Parish Council, and to sign up for news alerts, visit or follow us on Facebook as ‘Speldhurst Parish Council’.

Speldhurst parish covers the villages of Ashurst, Langton Green, Old Groombridge and Speldhurst. The Councillors representing these villages are:

Paul Curry (Chair); Katrina Lyle (Vice-Chair); Hugh Cleaver; Caroline Davies; Richard Ellery; Rebecca Leach; Ian Muress; Simon Norton; Alan Rowe; Domenico Tarricone; John Turner

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Accessing our Commons

Inclusion and accessibility are matters close to my heart and so I have been watching the progress of the All Abilities Path on the commons with great interest. It runs along from St Pauls Church to The Beacon. This new path means that wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs and anyone else who found it tricky to access and navigate that part of the common, will soon be able to stop and appreciate the wonderful view of Happy Valley that takes in the lakes in the ground of The Beacon and the edge of Tunbridge Wells. Plans for the path began in 2021 and there has been a huge fundraising e ort to fund the project over the last 3 years. Friends of

Tunbridge and Rusthall Commons raised some of the money, along with donations from Rusthall Parish Council and local sponsors and organisations which have all contributed to the 450-meter resurfaced path, with plans for some additional benches along the way. Consultation has involved Ranger Dan meeting with local people who rely on wheelchairs for mobility and accessibility and their input has helped shape the path it is becoming.

This is a great project with potential to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of more people living in and around Langton Green and I look forward to it being completed. NL

Langton Life 21 local happenings
Photo by James Weston

Thrive Langton's aim is to create or support activities which nurture our mutual wellbeing. To that end, we invite you to attend a special screening of STEVE - a documentary about male mental health.

Langton Green Pavilion Hub

Thursday 13 June

7.30pm for 8pm

The film has been made by Ben Akers, whose childhood best friend, Steve, lost his life to suicide, the UK’s biggest killer of men under 45. In this 90-minute documentary, Ben goes on a mission to look at why this is happening. And what men can do to help themselves. While the subject matter is sensitive, Ben has created an empowering film of real warmth, and hope, that tries to push us all on from Mental Health Awareness to Mental Health Action. You won't want to miss it.

Please join us for pre-screening refreshments at 7.30pm before the film begins at 8pm. The documentary is about men but is not exclusively for men - the film provides real insight regarding male emotional and mental fitness. Mums, sisters, wives, aunties, friends - you will be glad

you came to better equip yourself in discussing these significant emotional health matters.

This is a free event but we warmly welcome donations at the event in order to continue nurturing well-being in our community. Thrive Langton will give half of the proceeds to Ben Akers’s charity, Talk Club.

With grateful thanks to the Langton Green Village Society for enabling Thrive Langton to use the Community Hub space to show this film.

Scan the QR code to get a ticket for the screening.

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Paint nights at The Hare

I have been to several of Raymond Warren’s paint nights in Tunbridge Wells and the latest one – at which we all produced a fabulous painting of a bee - was held at The Hare.

The beauty of these paint nights is that you do not need to be ‘good at art’ to produce a piece of art. The first time I went with a friend, we had a few drinks, laughed a lot and didn’t listen properly or follow instructions, yet we both came away thrilled with our multi-coloured and instantly recognisable highland cows! Each of us pleasantly surprised to have tapped into the ‘inner artist’, that we certainly did not discover during our school days!

I have been several times since to a paint night; I have invited

others who were hesitant until they too discovered the joy of a paint night with Raymond and realised their true potential was not enabled by the 1970’s curriculum! If I can’t persuade anyone to come with me, I am happy to go on my own; it’s an opportunity to ‘lose yourself’ completely, to forget about the pressure of work, the stresses of the day and the demands on your time and to just focus on painting and creating. Raymond also has a great playlist to which we all sing along whilst painting!

Paint Nights at The Hare take place monthly and if you want to know more about them go to I cannot recommend them enough! NL

local happenings Langton Life 23

local church

News from All Saints' Church

It is hard to believe that we have been without a vicar in Langton Green for nearly a year now. There has been much to do, and time waits for no one.

Our church is thriving. Our community spirit is very much alive and well. Our beautiful Pentecost banner is a symbol of our outreach, and we are making good progress with our search for a new vicar. Our parish profile (the booklet of information to encourage a priest to come forward) is ready and being combined with Speldhurst, Ashurst and Groombridge churches. This was helped by the information we received from the questionnaires that people in Langton Green completed, so thank you for being involved. One of the things that came out of the questionnaire was that all age worship on the second Sunday of the month was the least favourite and older people want to see younger people in church generally. To help this we are going to trial a Service of the Word on the second Sunday at 10.30am to see if the regular

congregation would prefer it and set up a more fun and interesting children’s area in church so that there is something every week which the children can enjoy but alongside the more adult service.

Chocolate Church (family breakfast with beautiful Godly Play Bible stories) continues to be enjoyed; if you have not tried it, do sign up for it. More information on our website and Facebook page.

Children’s Chapel runs on the 3rd Sunday in the month, and it is always a joy to see new faces join us.

If you are looking for

information about church please try our notice boards in the porch, or website or Facebook All Saints Church – Langton Green

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sally-Anne Gathern – Church Warden

Community lunch date

The next Community Lunch at the Langton Pavilion Community Hub will be on 10th June. These wonderful lunches served up by volunteers are truly popular, and a great way for residents to come together. Pictured are organiser Emma Howden, and singer Jess who often entertains guests with her nostalgic singing. If you would like more information contact

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Langton Green Village Hall

You can now book online at or email us at or call 07581 471147

Here at Langton Life, we always say this is your village, and your magazine. We try really hard to reflect the community, and are always happy to hear from our readers.

Do you have an idea, feedback, news, something to share? Let us know. Get in touch with me at editor@ Jayne Sharratt, Editor


Allotment Society

Simon Heller 077112 24053


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 / Langton Ladybirds

Daphne Streeter 863753

Langton Green Cricket Club

James Marples 07966 131471

Langton Green Allotments

Chris Pullen 07931 311925

Langton Green Car Club

Ed Langridge 862006

Langton Life Editor

Jayne Sharratt 07532 339434

Langton Life Distribution

John Preston 07964 897049

Little Saints Parent and Toddler Group, All Saints’ Church Hall

Mothers’ Union

Penny Woodford 862562


Laura Kerr-Sheppard 07718 333813

Nursery School

Nikki Lanchester 01892 862943

Parish Clerk

Katie Neve 862927 PCSO Rainbows

Sunday School

Sally-Ann Gathern 822261

Village Hall Bookings

Adrian Moss

LGV committee

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local happenings

Residents claim their right to walk on Commons safely

Following incidents of indecent exposure on areas of Rusthall Common close to Langton Road, local residents and the Ranger and Manager of the Commons came together to talk to community police o cers at a protest on 9th May. The rally was organised by Jayne Sharratt and Lauren BrooAk of Reclaim the Night Tunbridge Wells, who campaign for a safer Borough for all. BBC South East Reporter Sara Smith came and reported on the incident on South East Tonight that evening. “I was really proud of the way the community spoke out so eloquently about the impact these incidents are having on us - in the villages here we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and Commons, and we won’t accept our freedom to enjoy the outdoors being taken away quietly,” said Jayne. I was also glad that the Community Police O cers attended and were able to reassure residents about the investigation and actions being taken to improve safety.

At the time of going to press the man responsible for the incidents has not been caught. Anyone wishing to see the clear CCTV of a man wanted in connection with these inquiries, or to find out more should look at the Kent Police report at ences-near-tunbridge-wells

Rusthall Community Cinema

I am a great supporter of local and independent organisations and so it made sense to go along to the Rusthall Community Cinema to see what it has to o er!

I have to say that I was amazed at how Sunnyside Hall (where I go for my yoga class) is transformed into a cinema hub. The seats are set out, some with tables for your drinks and refreshments that can be purchased prior to the film. I was astounded at the array of food and drinks on o er; from a piece of homemade flapjack to a Magnum ice-cream out of the newly purchased counter-top display freezer! The kettle was on for cups of tea or if you fancied a decent glass of red then that was on o er too! There was even a ra e! The evening worked like clockwork due to a team of regular volunteers whose jobs include setting up and packing away, checking tickets, serving food and drink as well as presenting and showcasing the films! The cinema is accessible to all, and they also o er free transport for anyone unable to get themselves to the hall.

On the evening that I went they were showing two films, one about a man making a dress out of stinging nettles (not everyone’s cup of tea) and a documentary called ‘The Mighty Penguins’ about the Brentford Penguins, an amateur football team whose players all have Down’s Syndrome, which was definitely my cup of tea and I loved it! The cinema does show ‘blockbusters’, recent examples are Oppenheimer and Barbie, but it also shows lesser-known films, and it is this variety, as well as the personal touches laid on by the

volunteers that make a trip to the local cinema an enriching and embracing experience. NL

If you would like to know more about the Rusthall Community Cinema, please go to:

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