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mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine 23

mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 23, December 2013 Complimentary

DAYTIME MOTORMOUTH

TAKE A TRIP TO MARKET Get in the festive spirit

The rise and fall of Jeremy Kyle

LINTON PARK

A remarkable villiage mansion

VOICE OF AN ANGEL

Wrights Warehouse •

At Wrights we have over 80 years’ experience, amazing prices and excellent, helpful and caring staff

11 Waterloo Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 7UG | Tel: 01622 690246 Open: Monday to Saturday, 9.00am-5.30pm | www.wrightswarehouse.co.uk

December 2013

We will beat any internet price

Katherine Jenkins’ star keeps shining

n History n Travel n Business n Entertainment n And much, much more


mmm Maidstone, Medway Magazine

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Maidstone’s Independent Arcade

Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 23, December 2013 Complimentary

23

DAYTIME MOTORMOUTH The rise and fall of Jeremy Kyle

LINTON PARK

A remarkable villiage mansion

VOICE OF AN ANGEL Katherine Jenkins’ star keeps shining

December 2013

n History n Travel n Business n Entertainment n And much, much more

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Or perhaps you need that special outfit for the little one this Christmas? Then Little Stars children’s shop will dress your child in style. Bumbles sweet shop, who can offer you homemade Belgian chocolates, chocolate shoes and so much more and so unique.

Gentlemen look no further with a choice from Woods Designer Clothing for Ladies and Gentlemen or Roy Robson who stock highest quality men's tailoring and fashion clothing also Raffles Collezioni menswear Need that special gift or present for yourself then take a look at AEA Audio and Sound where you will be blown away by the sound and vision choices for your home. Wish that special treatment for the party nights ahead, then visit Blake’s hairdressing and beauty. All under a tranquil setting with many other shops to browse round and enjoy.

After you have browsed around all the shops then why not relax in our coffee and tea shop or even the wine bar. A unique mix of time honoured family emporiums and modern designer shopping. And why not book your child’s place with Santa for lunch on selected dates throughout December – see website of this and all events and promotions throughout December, including Light Up A Life in conjunction with the Heart of Kent Hospice. At the Royal Star Arcade, we will assure you stylish stress-free shopping at this Christmas.


With Christmas fast approaching here at The Royal Star, you will be able to find that perfect gift, whether it is jewellery, gifts for the home, for him or her We have Kilburn Jewellers, a familyrun business, who stock a wide range of jewellery and gifts. They also offer the service of creating bespoke jewellery, making sure the design is a perfect piece and ensuring the customer owns an exclusive hand made piece of jewellery.

Arcade

Or perhaps you need that special outfit for the little one this Christmas? Then Little Stars children’s shop will dress your child in style. Bumbles sweet shop, who can offer you homemade Belgian chocolates, chocolate shoes and so much more and so unique.

Gentlemen look no further with a choice from Woods Designer Clothing for Ladies and Gentlemen or Roy Robson who stock highest quality men's tailoring and fashion clothing also Raffles Collezioni menswear Need that special gift or present for yourself then take a look at AEA Audio and Sound where you will be blown away by the sound and vision choices for your home. Wish that special treatment for the party nights ahead, then visit Blake’s hairdressing and beauty. All under a tranquil setting with many other shops to browse round and enjoy.

After you have browsed around all the shops then why not relax in our coffee and tea shop or even the wine bar. A unique mix of time honoured family emporiums and modern designer shopping. And why not book your child’s place with Santa for lunch on selected dates throughout December – see website of this and all events and promotions throughout December, including Light Up A Life in conjunction with the Heart of Kent Hospice. At the Royal Star Arcade, we will assure you stylish stress-free shopping at this Christmas.


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Welcome

THERE is surely no better time of the year than Christmas? The twinkling lights, the excitement, the delicious food, drink, and of course, the opportunity to dazzle at all those parties!

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And we're certainly planning to celebrate it in style here at mmm.

In addition to all your favourite regular features, we take a special look at some real Christmas crackers. There's Katherine Jenkins – the gorgeous singer who has managed to make the crossover into the mainstream and become a genuine superstar. And all from such modest beginnings.

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By the time you've added that wonderful wide-eyed wonder of children and, as the song says, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

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DON’T MISS OUT

Become a subscriber – just pay £24 p&p for a year and we willl send you the next 12 magazines hot off the press

I remember being mesmerised when I saw her a couple of years ago at the Music on the Hill festival at Kings Hill – she took my breath away. She really is a shining example of how, if we follow our dreams and capitalise on our talents we can achieve our goals.

Then there's someone rather like the brussel sprout you're likely to encounter this month – you either love him or hate him. But there seems no avoiding Jeremy Kyle, the man who has become synonymous with daytime TV – and whose career took him through Kent for several years.

And if you want some inspiration to make your Christmas truly memorable, then we take a look at some of the Christmas markets you can visit – many of which are just an hour drive once you hop off the cross-channel ferry or Eurotunnel.

We hope you have a fantastic festive season and that Father Christmas brings you everything you crave. Rasa

Be a part of this unique magazine dedicated to Maidstone and Medway Here at mmm we have an opportunity for a talented Sales Executive. You will be a can-do person with a passion for all that’s great about our area.

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former TV for fronting presenter, best She admitsPet Rescue. known they have financi ally from benefit home purcha some shrewd ed ses – but no intentio they “We have n of moving on have just yet. our homes done really well buy homes,” the star reflectswith . “We work, do that need a bit of them buy someth up, sell on done that ing else. We and have donethree times andhave we quite well that. out of “We are not going again, to move but we see part of our pensio our house as n.” It would seem we “sound can add financi al manag ement” to her achiev that list of skill she ements too. A is pass on clearly keen to to “Teach her off-spring. ing about moneymy childre n and finance is very importa nt. Matthe s and I have w talked how, if our childre about make a n do mistak e, we will help them pay it off tackle it, not just for them. “I think money if you have got , one of things the worst you your childre can do is to hand n money over fist. hand them at It is not going all.” to help The couple wed in is Davina 2000 was wed 's second marria in what to Andrew ge. She years betwee Legget t for two n 1997 Matthe and w, who compa now runs 1999. ny, a travel departmentis no slouch in the looks either knows the challen – and Davina as they ge they look both busy career to balanc e out theirface "I'm under s. no illusion husban d is gorgeo s - I know my us and I need to

Send a CV to rasa.dregva@mmm-media.com


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mmm MMM Media Ltd White Cottage 13 Ashford Road Maidstone ME14 5DA Tel: 01622 299035 studio@mmm-media.com sales@mmm-media.com mmm-media.com Publisher Rasa Dregva Editor Tom White

Travel Editor Tricia Lester

Design Matthew Jones Karen Oliver Accounts Kerry Head

Further Contribution Evelina Webster Cover Photo by David Skinner

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11 Katherine Jenkins

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Katherine Jenkins has shown at a young age how much experience you can gain in a short time. Now at 33, she is a world renowned singer in classical music, not to mention performing at the Super Bowl and appearing in Doctor Who

31 Christmas Markets

Try something a bit different this winter, the foreign Christmas markets are not to be missed

34 Jeremy Kyle

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51 History

We take a look at the historic old Linton House that is still an exceptional building to date

77 Traditional Times

Traditions for families may have began decades ago, or started this year - Christmas in Kent offers a host of opportunities, all you have to do is go and discover them

79 Winter Wonderland Castles

Allow yourself to be transported into the past by visiting one of Kent’s beautiful historic castles this Christmas and experience the magic first hand

80 Christmas Cinema

Having previously worked in Kent during the 90s, Jeremy Kyle is now best known for exploiting people with their problems on his TV show

Whether you are looking for something to do over the festive break with family or friends, a trip to the cinema can be fun for all

Find out where THE spot is for skiing and boarding this year, also get fascinated by the beautiful culture and nature of Cambodia

The awards for the best wedding businesses is a gala event in Kent, check out the fun filled evening

41 Travel

82 Kent Wedding Awards Night


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A

Katherine Jenkins

T just 33 she has suffered the trauma of her father dying of cancer when she was just 15 and had to cope with a vicious attack by a stranger, while a student, which saw her fight off his

efforts to rape her but not before being beaten and robbed, and admitted to snorting cocaine and popping ecstasy tablets in her youth. She was even forced to take to

Twitter to deny false rumours she'd had an affair with football legend David Beckham and on a trip to entertain the troops in Iraq, was in a helicopter hit by ground-to-air missiles and told to bail out.


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Pictures courtesy of BBB Doctor Who

But amid the negative headlines, she has also enjoyed some truly remarkable, natural, highs with a string of chart-topping albums, sell-out tours, high-profile performances and a personal fortune thought to exceed ÂŁ11m. She even found time to run the London Marathon earlier this year in memory of her late father, and appeared in a special edition of Doctor Who.

What's more, she's no stranger to Kent having topped the bill at the charity Music on the Hill event at Kings Hill two years ago. Yet to look at the singer, trim, calm, in control and drop dead gorgeous – with curves in all the right places -

you'd be forgiven for thinking all this drama happened to someone else. Her success is remarkable – and all the more so given her childhood. Born in Neath, Wales, her father,


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Selwyn John, was a factory worker and her a mother, Susan, a radiographer. “I started singing at four years old. There was a talent show at my primary school, so I came running home and said ‘Mum, you’ve got to teach me a song’. I didn’t know if I could

sing. All I knew was that I wanted to be in this show. And my mum taught me a song called Going Down the Garden to Eat Worms, which is a bit of a silly song. But it made everyone laugh and clap, and that’s where it all started.” From small acorns the most remarkable oak would grow. At the age of

11 she was crowned Welsh Choirgirl of the Year and it seemed she was destined for big things. But tragedy lay just around the corner. At the age of 15 her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. The illness would claim him swiftly. Katherine's world was left in tatters and her grief for her lost father continues to this day. The famous

singer recalls “That my father didn’t live to see my success which hurts. “But I do believe he sees me and if I’m really nervous, I talk to him. His death was a terrible blow. Even though I got my chance to say goodbye, you always berate yourself

for the things you didn’t say. “I was trying so hard to be upbeat that maybe I didn’t express how I really felt about him. After the funeral I wrote him a letter. All the things I didn’t say. I’ve never let anyone see it and to this day, when I’m stressed, I read it.” Unable to cope with her emotions following her loss she eventually turned to a professional counsellor who allowed her to put her thoughts in order. “It helped enormously,” she admits, “it was such a relief to talk it all through with a stranger. “Today, I’ve dealt with it.” Attending a local comprehensive school, she was a straight-A student and, at 17, secured a place at the Royal Academy of Music where she intended to train as an opera singer.a


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Moving to London, she would have another brush with drama. Returning home after a night out with friends, she was attacked as she walked down an alleyway. “I was on the phone to my friend when he grabbed me. I was lucky, I escaped and ran, but it taught me a lesson to be more vigilant.” Having graduated she pursued a career as a singing teacher, as well as stints as a model and even a tour guide on the banks of the Thames for popular tourist attraction, the London Eye.

But fate was about to intervene. A boyfriend was so taken and confident on her talents, he sent a tape to Universal – the rest, as they say, is history. Offered a six-album deal worth a cool £1m she was about to be catapulted into the limelight like few others. She shot to fame when she sang at Westminster Cathedral for the silver jubilee of Pope John Paul II in 2003, not long after signing the massive deal with Universal. It would provide the high profile

she needed to make her debut album the following year Premiere, one of the fastest selling classical CDs in history. She had managed, it seemed, to secure that all important crossover success to the mainstream.

Katherine’s career is remarkable and natural, highs with a string of chart-topping albums, sell-out tours, high-profile performances and a personal fortune thought to

Pictures courtesy of BBC

exceed £11m Over the next four years, six of her seven studio albums topped the classic charts, selling four million copies in the process. She had become a huge name with glorious success and a clutch of awards. When her Universal deal ended she signed for Warner – a deal worth a staggering £5.8m. Not everything has passed off smoothly, as she remembers a trip to perform to the troops in Iraq. “We were flying over the Tigris and suddenly there was this incredibly loud bang and the helicopter began to fall. Someone shouted we’d been hit and we thought we were going to have to bail out. We were being fired on by ground-to-air missiles. “All I could think of was 'I’m done for”, Everything seemed to freeze. I was terrified but strangely calm at the same time. All I remember was this falling sensation. There was nothing I could do. Everything outside seemed grey and you could feel the water coming up to meet you.” Fortunately, the pilot got control of the craft and steered her to safety. So does handling Katherine take a special kind of man too? At the beginning of 2011 she announced her engagement to Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones. But by the end of the year they had separated. She remains fiercely protective of her private life. However, she managed to


inadvertently fire her name into the headlines when she insisted to fans on Twitter that rumours she had had a fling with David Beckham were false. She's broadened her horizons too in recent years, adding acting to her CV – with a role in the Doctor Who special last Christmas. “They sent me the script and it was so hush-hush I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone,” she remembers. “Not even my mum”. “Even holding the script made me nervous. Every page was embossed with my name so that if it got leaked they would know it was me. I was so terrified that I kept it locked in the safe. “It's definitely given me more of an open mind about acting. I've been asked to do other things since, but I've said no.” It seems whatever Katherine Jenkins touches continues to turn gold. And there seems no sign of that Midas touch ending quite yet. mmm


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For the prettiest decorations in town and a great selection of gifts head to Harpers this Christmas

With an instore coffee shop, this is the perfect place to unwind before browsing our range of quirky and unusual gifts, homewares and local art.

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dressed in home-made items. If you are not craft-minded, then look out for fabric and printed paper decorations. Many independent shops have work on sale from local artists, which will ensure your tree is unique as well as beautiful.

Christmas trends take their cue from fashion and this year is no exception, with tartan and tweed featuring in decorating schemes. Incorporate a few key pieces into any current gold or red scheme and you will be bang on trend. Go for a cosy and coherent look with this scheme by adding a few tartan cushions or throws to the sofa.

Ring the changes with a modern Christmas tree – these bare branch style trees can come pre-lit and the simple structure really helps showcase a few beautiful baubles.

Clear and crystal decorations always give a sophisticated look to your tree. Once you have a selection of these, it is easy to vary your display each year by adding an accent colour or even just by changing the colour of the ribbons on the baubles.

Don’t restrict your baubles to the Christmas tree. Group a selection in a bowl or vase. This can make a lovely table centre or by adding some battery operated fairy lights it will brighten a fireplace or windowsill. Harpers, 12 Market Buildings, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1HP. Tel 01622 692148.

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Christmas Markets mmm 31

LOOKING for something a little different this Christmas? Then why not take a trip across the sea to visit one of the many hugely popular, and atmospheric, festive markets. There are fantastic marketplaces in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany – all of which make the perfect weekend away or, in some cases, simply a fun-packed day out. For centuries, major settlements on the Continent spent the winter months gathering together to put on special displays of clothing, food and gifts. And what was once the preserve of Germany – where the Christmas market is so ingrained in its traditions – swept across mainland Europe.

Today, they form an important part of the tourism offering of destinations across northern Europe – something the UK is trying desperately to catch up with but, as yet, still fades into insignificance compared to the charm of the European market. From Calais and Boulogne – just a few minutes drive from getting off a cross-Channel ferry or Eurotunnel train – to the likes of Bruges and Arras, just an hour's drive away. Or perhaps a little further afield like Brussels, Amsterdam or Cologne, there's plenty of places where you can enjoy a break whilst enjoying the excitement of the season. So what can you expect from these

markets? Traditionally, there will be dozens of wooden stalls – in some places there are well in excess of 100 – selling everything from local food and drink to Christmas decorations. What's more, many towns and cities also have ice rinks, ferris wheels and fairground rides. That's in addition to all the normal shops and historic sights, which mean these venues frequently get thousands of visitors each and every day. Add twinkling multi-coloured lights, and the buzz of excited chatter from young and old alike, and it becomes an intoxicating mix which will elevate your Christmas season this year.


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Top Five Christmas Markets Bruges It's only an hour away by car and easily accessible by train or coach. The Belgian city of Bruges is ideal for a day out or weekend away. Its historic city square is transformed with wooden huts springing up and something for everyone, you stroll around the compact, walled city.

Brussels Leap on a Eurostar train at Ebbsfleet or Ashford International and you'll find yourself transported to the Belgian capital in a little under two hours. When you get there, you'll find the home of the European parliament awash with festive shopping opportunities, rides and rinks.

Arras It's an often overlooked gem in northern France, but Arras is really worth making a trip. It's easy to reach – just an hour on the toll road heading towards Paris. You'll find a city with ornate squares and glorious architecture. Imagine all that covered in twinkling lights and dozens of festive stalls and you'll realise why it's worth discovering.

Cologne The gothic cathedral provides the perfect back drop to dozens of Christmas stalls all sat beneath a giant Norwegian spruce and a canopy of fairy lights. It's a longer trip to get there – closer to four hours and crossing through France, Belgium and then Germany to reach it – but it's worth the effort. This is a classic German market is oozing charm and style.

Calais It really could not be easier to reach Calais. The cross-channel ferry leaves you just a short bus ride from the town centre, and the Eurotunnel terminal is just down the road. And what's more, it's a great place to get a taste of Christmas on the Continent. The town centre square has stalls and lights, while there's also Cite d'Europe – the enormous shopping complex which also offers you the chance to fill up on cheap wine.

HOW TO GET THERE By boat: There are a number of ferry operators which can take you across the busy stretch of the

English Channel from Dover to Calais. There are good deals to be had for day trips – often for a car and a number of passengers – or leave your car in the UK and simply travel as a foot passenger.

By train: Eurostar – let the train take the strain. Pick up the service from Ebbsfleet or Ashford and it will take you directly to the likes of Lille, Brussels or Paris. Eurotunnel – travel by car on the shuttle service between Folkestone and Coquelles, just outside Calais. It's super-fast – just 35 minutes – and you can then drive swiftly onwards using France's impressive motorway network. Or simply head to the centre of Calais and catch a domestic rail service.

By plane: Jet directly to a number of major cities in a fraction of the time – but don't forget that check-in times will often make the overall journey time longer. But for many, travelling abroad just isn't the same without taking to the skies.


Talk isn’t cheap Having already a background in Radio, Jeremy Kyle has taken it apon himself to edulge in peoples everyday social problems that entertian the UK audience every weekday morning....

O

NCE upon a time there was no morning television schedules. Networks would wake up slowly and devote much of the first part of their day to programming for schools. Then things started to change. First breakfast TV shows began – all colourful sofas and

knitted jumpers. They were then followed by easy on the mind shows such as This Morning and, before you knew it, the television schedules had become full day affairs. Richard and Judy were never going to win awards for exciting, challenging shows,

but they dished up a regular slice of inoffensive entertainment ranging from health advice to star interviews alongside fashion and cookery. But then someone arrived who would transform daytime TV.

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After Jeremy Kyle, things would never be the same. The Jeremy Kyle Show was everything your mother warned you about. It was crass, it exploited people and their problems, and it did so in pursuit of TV ratings by hiding beneath a veil of shedding valuable light on key social issues. It took what the likes of Jerry Springer had done in the US and splashed it across our TV screens while most were at work. For those that weren't, it became the classic example of entertainment for the unemployed or the student – “too busy watching Jeremy Kyle”, became shorthand for

adding it was a “depressing display of dysfunctional people, whose lives are in turmoil, often in some perceived or actual dispute with each other, for the purposes of titillating bored members of the public who have nothing better to do in the morning than watch trash TV”. But the man, who for the past decade has been synonymous with daytime TV, shies away from giving too much away about himself and interviews are few and far between. But Kent plays a big role in the remarkable Jeremy Kyle story. Now 48, Kyle began his working life as a life insurance salesman, before turning this gift of the gab to flogging advertising on the radio. Z

those who needed to get up and out. Yet the show was compulsive viewing for many – pulling in 1.5 million viewers. The accusations it exploited the people pulled on the show to discuss the paternity of their children, or who aired their dirty laundry for the delights of the public, were ignored amid an audience who lapped it up. There are even t-shirts you can buy proclaiming 'No matter how bad my life gets I can always be happy knowing that I’m better than the people on The Jeremy Kyle Show'. A judge once described the show as akin to “human bear baiting”,

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Once in a studio environment, it was perhaps inevitable he would make the leap from behind the scenes to behind the microphone. After working in Taunton he was spotted and signed for Invicta FM – the commercial radio station operating out of Canterbury and Whitstable. He quickly established himself on the station before leaving in 1997 for BRMB in Birmingham. Five years later he made the leap onto a major national network as he joined Virgin and shortly afterwards stepped out of the radio world to emerge into the television world. “My father epitomises everything I'd like my kids to say about me,” he reflects. His father was both accountant and personal secretary to the Queen Mother for 40 years. “He gave his kids the best

start and he had values. He would open the door for a lady. “I remember standing in the garden of Clarence House and going down to Windsor Castle with him. I remember being proud - although kids at school used to take the mickey out of me. “It's about having your kids and investing in your kids with time, really. They set your moral compass." His adoration of his father saw him name him the man he most admires in one interview. Married twice, he met his first, Kirsty Rowley, in 1988 while he worked as a recruitment consultant. Engaged within two months of starting to date, they were married within a year of first meeting and their daughter, Harriet, was born the following summer. The marriage would not last, however, and crumbed just five months later on. Some years later, infuriated by him mentioning the breakdown of their relationship on TV, she broke her silence. “He seemed incapable of telling the truth about anything from the most trivial day-today things to more important issues,” she told the Daily Mail in an

interview the presenter had tried to block with an injunction. “Jeremy was a gambling addict and what startles me is the hardline approach he takes with the people who appear on his show. It angers me that he can put himself in the position of, in his own words, a 'TV God'. "The man I married wouldn't have been out of place as a guest on his own show. The programme is crass and embarrassing, and for Jeremy to act like some kind of agony uncle is sheer hypocrisy. "He is asking for trouble. He has a history of gambling and all that goes with it, the lies, the deceit. His whole life back then was a big lie. I just wish I had been able to give him one of his own lie-detector tests. It's not like he's been the victim. That was me. My marriage to him was an extremely unhappy period of my life and one which I am not allowed to forget." She added: "He told me he had gone through a painful bust-up with his fiancee after he caught her in bed with his best friend. I believed him, who wouldn't? After we split, I found out this was a lie, and he'd been saying much the same thing about me to his next girlfriend. "Just before we got engaged in December he told me he had a lifethreatening heart condition. He even showed me a brown bottle of pills. I was completely shattered. "I was just so shocked and felt terrible for him. I suppose it made me want to marry him all the more. Z

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and a groom unknown to one another and saw them tie the knot. Unsurprisingly, the marriage between Carla and Greg Cordell was shortlived – and the 'couple' split just three months later. She would turn to Jeremy. And by 2002 she was walking down the aisle with him instead. The pair remain together and have two daughters and a son. He says: "I'm a committed dad of four, I don't set myself up as anything other than an ordinary bloke, one day we are going to sit our kids down and tell them mummy married a stranger on a radio show in Birmingham and daddy was on the Jeremy Kyle show.” mmm

“I was eager for us to be together. I believed he didn't have long to live. He didn't put a timescale on it, but he said to my mother, which she recalls vividly, that he could die at any moment." Kyle resisted the urge for a public slanging match. He said, instead: “It's about dignity for me. I think people are different to what they were 20 years ago. I will never get embroiled in that, it's not fair on my daughter.” By 1999, Kyle had fallen for former model Carla Germaine. She had taken part in a bizarre contest on his BRMB radio show, which found a bride

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ODAY Cambodia is symbolised by awesome Angkor Wat, the largest manmade religious structure in the world but Cambodia is also home to the remarkable Tonle Sap and its fishing communities, the beautiful south coast and the reinvigorated capital of Phnom Penh. One visit to the Kingdom is rarely enough....

What’s the Fuss About? Without a doubt, Cambodia’s iconic image is that of Angkor Wat. The temple, nearly a thousand years old, is not only astounding in its size but also in its detail; nearly

every wall is covered with intricate bas reliefs depicting celestial dancers, scenes from the Ramayana and images of daily life of the time. One of Asia’s most incredible sights and truly

spectacular in its beauty and symmetry, Angkor Wat is best explored with your own knowledgeable private guide or viewed from the air by helicopter or tethered hot air balloon.


Reap the Rewards Siem Reap is known for being the gateway to temples aplenty, but this beautiful backwater offers so much more. A destination in its own right, Siem Reap is home to an abundance of stylish, boutique accommodation, delectable restaurants and trendy watering holes. Wander off the main boulevards and experience rural Cambodia as you meet the locals on dirt roads and in markets. Check out nearby Tonle Sap Lake, a fascinating boat trip from Siem Reap. An ecological marvel, Tonle Sap Lake is home to floating villages complete with floating schools, churches and shops. Palaces and Pagodas Phnom Penh lies on the confluence of three rivers and

retains its beautiful French-colonial architecture from its days as one of Indochina’s seats of French government and is now a city constantly reinventing itself. Phnom Penh is an atmospheric city and is home to the sublime Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, and also a recent tragic history. The Khmer Rouge devastated the city during the 1970s and although the past is remembered at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the population of Phnom Penh is looking towards the future – new industry, fantastic restaurants and innovative art galleries abound in the city today. Stay in a chic modern hotel on the waterfront or a Raffles property oozing colonial opulence. a


Seek out the South In Cambodia’s south is Sihanoukville, fast becoming a popular beach destination for travellers from all over the world. Sihanoukville’s unspoilt beauty has been likened to the Thailand of twenty years ago, and was recently

featured in a poll as one of the best beaches in all of Asia. Enjoy fresh seafood, white sand and crystal clear water whilst staying in a converted villa right on the beach. Further afield lay the towns of Kep and Kampot, where one can explore

a former French seaside resort and travel by boat amongst scenic rice paddies to view forgotten temples. If you would like more information or holiday options to Cambodia, then call Baldwins Travel on 01622 762141. mmm


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Val d’Isère

Kirsty Keeling-Jones

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Branch Manager Baldwins Travel Agency Maidstone 01622 762141 We are excited to announce Travelux of Tenterden is now part of the Baldwins Travel family. Baldwins believes in employing knowledgeable and professional consultants so we are very pleased to inform you that the excellent and very experienced team in place at Travelux is not changing and we are delighted that they are delighted to be joining us too.

Travel Tips from your Local Award Winning Travel Agency Skis, snowboards and boots are best hired in resorts, as most top resorts stock the latest and greatest! That way you can always change the equipment if it doesn’t suit you If you've never skied before or feel a little rusty, head to one of your local artificial ski centres or one of the three indoor snow domes in the UK. This will help get your muscles used to the strains of skiing so you can ski harder for longer on your first day. This will definitely help, and you’ll have more fun if you’re in shape before you arrive. If you have a basic level of fitness, you are much less prone to fatigue, a common cause of injury for the once-ayear skier. Warm clothes and layering is required! When it comes to packing, remember to bring lots of layers for when it's chilly. This helps trap the warm air closer to your body. There are a lot of phrases in skiing which can flummox the beginner. ‘Fresh tracks’ – when you make your own line down the mountain. ‘Pinning it’ – when you straight run down the hill. ‘Riding the tails’ – when you basically only use the very back end of your skis. ‘Benz ze knees’ – you’ll hear ski instructors saying this all the time. What they mean is feel shin pressure, which is done by bending your knees – but not sitting down.


The Ultimate Guide

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I

T IS a simple fact; most people love Val d’Isère, whether they’re boarders or skiers. It only takes one visit to get hooked on the heady combination of quality pistes (300km of them!), reliable snow, breathtaking scenery,

legendary après ski and vibrant nightlife - all centred around a charming, yet cosmopolitan French mountain village. Slope-wise there’s something for all levels, making the resort a great choice for family ski holidays. Meanwhile, the majority of intermediate to advanced runs attract a

similar clientele, adding to the effortlessly cool vibe of the resort. There’s just enough glamour here to create a buzz, without the pretentiousness that has crept into other European resorts. Trendy bars have a relaxed feel and gourmet food is easily available, but not the norm. a


Why Val d’Isere? Val d’Isère shares a huge area with Tignes, with lots of runs for a mixture of abilities With plenty of off-piste skiing, served by Val d'Isere's extensive lift network, there's lots of challenges for the more advanced skier. Once the snow has fallen, the high altitude of the ski area keeps the slopes in great condition for skiing and boarding. It has an extensive choice of ski schools offering one to one or group sessions as well as off-piste lessons and guiding.

There's a whole choice of package holidays to suit all ages, group sizes and requirements; including families, groups of friends, thrill seekers or even those looking to relax on a luxury break. The Val d’Isère slopes connect with those of Tignes in the east to make the ‘Espace Killy’ ski area, and consists of over 300km of well groomed pistes and spectacular views. Due to its high altitude, Val d’Isère benefits from an exceptional snowfall, making it one of Europe’s most snow-sure resorts. It's actually possible to ski all the way down the

Bellevarde ski areas which are the next step up with several easy runs. The main runs back into the centre of Val d’Isère are steep and can get very crowded, so beginners will do better catching a lift home at the end of the day. Intermediates Val d’Isère has a range of ski options for intermediates, who can explore the three different ski areas of Val d’Isère (Le Fornet, Le Solaise and Bellevarde), each with a

different character and plenty of steep slopes to improve your technique. There are several slopes worth giving a try in the Bellevarde area and the glacier runs above Le Fornet, offering skiing up to 3,456m. Advanced On-piste or off-piste, Val d’Isère is a veritable playground for the advanced skier or boarder, with no less than 24,710 acres of accessible off-piste to explore as well as some challenging runs.

resort's slopes for most of the season. With several steeper slopes, the resort caters best to intermediates and experts, but beginners will also be able to find suitable slopes. Here’s an overview of what’s on offer for different levels and interests. Beginners Val d’Isère is home to two nursery slopes, one in the centre and one in La Daille just to the west. Seven of the lifts here are totally free of charge, so total beginners can get away without a ski pass until they're ready to brave the Solaise and

‘The Face’ (the Olympic run) is the resort’s most challenging on-piste route, but there are plenty more challenging runs throughout the area. To really push things further, you can hire an off-piste guide who will take you away from the groomed and controlled areas. a


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Snow parks Val d’Isère is home to a top notch snow park ‘Oakly Valpark’ and is dedicated to making it as impressive as possible. Offering up a great selection of well-shaped kickers, plenty of events and funky music blasted out on a daily basis, the Valpark has a buzzing vibe. The best time to go Ski season in Val d’Isère takes place between the beginning of December and the end of April. The resort is quieter in December before Christmas. There are also more opportunities to grab some bargains, with cheaper lift passes and some great last minute offers. January is also a very quiet time to hit the Val d’Isère slopes, with excellent snow conditions. February is a busy month with half term usually falling in the middle of it, so aim to go either side of this. With March and April comes the spring sunshine and is great for those looking for long lunches on the slopes and topping up the tan. Families and children in Val d’Isère Val d’Isère is a child friendly resort that is perfect for family holidays, with many hotels offering child-care and crèche facilities, as well as entertainment for all ages. The tourist office will often run shows and family-friendly entertainment, so pop in when you arrive to discuss what’s on offer. It’s what Val d’Isère does best, so there are a number of English-speaking ski schools that offer lessons for children, as well as pick up services and child-minding. Schools such as the Oxygène or the WHIZZ Kids classes at The British Alpine Ski and Snowboard School, offer a range of ski and snowboarding options for children from the age of four onwards, focusing on teaching small size groups and using specially designed lessons and games to teach and improve skills. Many chalethotels and independent childcare

providers have large crèches with kids’ clubs to keep little ones entertained (ranging from ages four months to twelve years) and offer drop off and pick up service from the ski schools. There are even late night drop off crèches from 7.30pm to 11.30pm, so parents can enjoy a relaxing evening. Family friendly chalethotels, can be fully equipped with essentials such as cots for daytime naps, potties, bottle sterilisers and fridges. There are also 24hour kitchen facilities for early morning or late night feeds. Why not call us or pop in to Baldwins Travel to find more.


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The Linton House T

HERE are few prettier villages for the motorist to savour as they head out of the county town on the busy A229, than Linton. With its commanding views over the Weald, its 13th century church and classic English pub, it is one of the many jewels on our doorstep. But as the thousands drive through the village, either heading to Maidstone or south towards Staplehurst, few will have feasted their eyes on the imposing manor house which is perched to the east of its borders. Linton Park is a remarkable building – its white walls overlooking the countryside as it sits amid a 330-acre site of parkland, woodland and farmland. Once the seat of local barons, it has played host to many of the county's major movers and shakers over the years, from leading local and national politicians to the top

business figures. Yet it remains, perhaps, one of the county's best kept secrets. Today, the visitor is likely to get a glimpse from the roadside of a treelined road leading to the impressive Grade I-listed building. But that is likely to be it. Because despite its walls being drenched in local history, it sits in corporate hands; the headquarters of a major international company. Camellia employs more than 73,000 people in offices across the globe – but at its heart is Linton Park. The company itself specialises in agricultural and horticulture, private banking and financial services, food storage and distribution and engineering. For sheer inspiration, it is hard to look further than its headquarters. Previously known as Linton Place and Linton Hall, the building is a large 18th century house.

Built in 1730 for Sir Robert Mann, a powerful London merchant – replacing an existing building on the site. It is believed a house has been on the site since the 14th century - the home of local landowners. Subject to various improvements over the years, it was extended to its current size in 1825. In the same year, formal gardens were laid out, turning it into a major estate. Today, the house is Grade I-listed – a categorisation reserved only for the most exceptional buildings in the UK. The brick-fronted stables have been given Grade II-listed status, along with the brick-built underground ice house, dating back to 1788. But it is more than simply a magnificent building. It has played a significant role in the county, playing host to some of Maidstone best known figures.

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For several decades, it remained in the Mann family, passing down through the generations. Around the end of the 18th century, after passing through three hands, Sir Horace Mann, who was made a baronet in 1755, decided Linton Park would be his territorial designation. The traditional step which sees those bestowed with a peerage of baronet aligned with a geographical location. He preferred, however, to spend his time in Italian city, Florence. After visiting Mann during one of his returns to Linton, his friend Horace Walpole wrote that Linton Park was “fine and stands like the citadel of Kent; the whole county is its garden”. By 1814 the house moved out of the Mann lineage – inherited instead by the Reverend James Cornwallis, Bishop of Lichfield and the widowed husband of the final Mann's eldest sister. The Cornwallis family are deeply ingrained in Maidstone's history. And by the second half of the 19th

century, their impact was becoming apparent. Fiennes, Cornwallis' eldest, who shared his name, would become an MP for the county town – and also Baron Cornwallis of Linton. He served two terms at Westminster – from 1888 to 1895 and then again from 1898 to 1900. The baron would also go on to serve as chairman of Kent County Council for two decades, stretching from 1910 to 1930, and held the title of Deputy Lieutenant of Kent. He would die in 1935 – his title passing on through his family. His eldest son, however, was killed in an IRA attack in 1921 and Linton Park passed to his second son. Who, just two years later sold the property. Linton Park became the family residence of Olaf Hambro – a member of the famous merchant banker family. Hambro would stay in the house until 1961 when he died. It would then pass to the Daubeny family before it was again sold in 1974 to the Freemasons.

After a brief spell as a school it passed into corporate ownership – eventually being taken over by its current owners. While pleasingly, the building continues to serve a genuine purpose rather than become a monument to its past. The estate remains private property which does prevent many from getting up close and personal to a building with such a rich local history. However, the local cricket club, named after the village, plays in the grounds and has enjoyed some notable successes in national village cup competitions. They found themselves playing at the home of cricket, Lord's, in the process. Linton Park remains one of the county's foremost country homes, with commanding views, which make it a mouthwatering prospect should it ever come on the market again. For now, though, it remains well cared for, well maintained and an essential part of the local historian's knowledge bank. mmm


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FOOD

Chicken Wellington

Ingredients: The Mushroom Duxelle 200g button mushrooms 3 shallots 1 clove garlic 1 spring Thyme Chicken Parfait 50g chicken livers 50g unsalted butter 1 x 25ml port Pastry Method: The Mushroom duxelle Sweat ingredients together, when brown, blend together Chicken Parfait Liquidise all ingredients together, sieve. Put into a terrine mould.

Recipe by Mecure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel

Cook in a baine marie at 125 degrees for approximatly 40 mins. Mix table spoon of the pate with same of mushroom duxelle. Chicken Seal chicken supreme in a hot pan, then allow to cool. Season the duxell mix and the chicken. Cut a square of puff enough pastry to wrap the chicken. Place chicken in centre. One tablespoon of the duxelle mix. Egg wash around the pastry edges Pull together and pinch seal Cook for 25 mins at 180 Serve with a classic potato rosti and buttered savoy cabbage. Serve with red wine and enjoy!


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Perfect Christmas Gift

A Unique Experience At West Malling

A Unique dining experience in Pilgrims’ Hall with the Michelin star and TV chef

Richard Phillips personally welcoming you. One of the UK’s top sommeliers sharing his knowledge with the guests, he will personally choose a wine for each course

6th February 2014 in Pilgrims’ Hall.

£85.00 per person, tickets avaliable from Aylesford Priory

T: 01732 870 000 www.pad-thai.co.uk manta@pad-thai.co.uk 15 HIGH STREET, WEST MALLING, KENT ME19 6QH

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The Friars Aylesford Priory Kent, ME20 7BX Telephone: 01622 717272 Email: enquiry@thefriars.org.uk Website: www.thefriars.org.uk

OPEN ALL DAY SUNDAY Traditional Sunday Lunch until 6pm

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FOOD

Coq au Vin with Smoked Bakon

Recipe by The Windmill Pub & Restaurant by Richard Phillips Ingredients: 50g butter 12 baby onions (peeled and left whole) 150g button mushrooms (left whole) 50g flour (browned) 1 whole chicken (jointed) 150g smoked bacon (cut into lardons) 4 cloves garlic finely chopped 250ml red wine, 250ml chicken stock 1/2 bunch of chopped parsley 2x bay leaf Sprig of fresh thyme 6 turned Jersey Royals (cooked) Method: Pre heat a large pan, add a little olive oil, dust the flour onto a plate. Coat the seasoned chicken pieces, place into the pre heated pan, colour on one side then turn add the butter and continue to colour until golden brown. Add the baby onions, bacon and garlic, continue cooking for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms, bay leaf and thyme. Add the red wine and stock, bring to the boil, cover and place into a pre heated oven 180 degrees for approximately 1 hour. To Serve Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with warm jersey royals.


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Evening A la Carte Menu available for Fine Dining area

New years Eve Party 2013-14

Fabulous Dinner and Entertainment 1st Sitting: £15 6pm - 8.30pm

2nd Sitting: £30 9pm till late

Biddenden Road St. Michaels, Tenterden Kent TN30 6SX (Ample car parking) Tel: 01233 851191


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ITH the recent release of papers at the National Archives regarding Unidentified Flying Objects, 1953 saw a Kent airfield feature on television and radio when an X-File was declared at RAF West Malling. Robin J Brooks investigates. By April 1945, RAF West Malling had completed the large reconstruction that would allow it to become one of the major peacetime night fighter bases. One of the first squadrons to arrive was No. 25 who bought their Mosquito NF36 aircraft in on the 5th September 1946. By 1948, the weather was taking its toll on the main wooden aircraft and the squadron prepared to go jet powered with the De Havilland Vampire. This conversion took until 1951, when the first of the Vampire Night Fighter 10 aircraft arrived with the squadron becoming the first to go into operational service with these fighters. The squadron progressed well with the new aircraft and despite several incidents of

little significance during the first two year. One particular incident on the 3rd November 1953, involving a Vampire NF10 from the squadron made national headlines. It was also to have repercussions in Parliament. It began with a normal take-off sequence from West Malling control tower. “ 239 you are cleared for take-off. There is no known traffic in the area”. Having received clearance, Flight Lieutenant Terry Johnson and his navigator, Flying Officer Geoffrey Smythe, got airborne in Vampire WP239, to carry out a normal daytime reconnaissance mission. In bright sunshine they rapidly climbed to 20,000ft over Kent. Turning north they settled down for a routine flight when Flt Lt Johnson noticed a very bright circular object dead ahead. It appeared to be about a mile away and about the size of a full moon. Nudging Fg Off Smythe, who was concentrating on his airborne radar, both men stared ahead as the object

appeared to be stationary. As they got closer it appeared to move cross the sky in front of them. Looking back down at his radar screen, Fg Off Smythe expected to see it appear as a blip. Nothing was to be seen, it appeared as though nothing was there. Suddenly it moved to the east of the aircraft at very high speed and within seconds was gone. In fact the entire incident had lasted no more than a minute. Wondering what on earth they had seen, the two men continued their mission before landing back at West Malling. At the de-briefing they gave an account of what they had seen. Fully expecting the reaction of the intelligence officer to be one of ridicule, quite the opposite happened. In fact, they were further questioned by their CO, Squadron Leader Furze and later, by the West Malling CO, Group Captain Hanley. After 48 hours, the Air Ministry Z


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released information on the sighting to the media who immediately gave it front page coverage. Both men were interviewed on radio and television, for several days it ran as headlines in most papers. However, it appeared as though this sighting for some reason had worried the Air Ministry. A month or so later, an order was sent out marked ‘Secret’, warning aircrew and ground radar operators not to communicate with anyone other than officials about anything they saw that could not be explained. Flt Lt Johnson and Fg Off Smythe were the last airmen to give interviews to the media but even stranger events were

to happen to the two men in the following weeks. Sometime after the incident they were called to the Air Ministry to give further account of the sighting to the Duke of Edinburgh’s equerry, Squadron Leader Peter Horsley. Apparently, the Duke himself had a great interest in the reports of flying saucers. A week later the equerry came to West Malling to further visit the airmen. Ushered into the CO’s office, they sat with Peter Horsley discussing

the sighting for about an hour. It was not only the Duke of Edinburgh that had an interest, but also Lord Mountbatten, who was an avid reader of all material, including comics, of anything suggesting that we were not alone in the universe. As if to substantiate the incident, an amazing revelation some days later in a press release by the War Office appeared to back what the two men had seen. They stated that on the same day at 2.30pm, an unidentified object had been tracked on a ground radar unit based at Lee Green. This time it gave a radar echo and it appeared to be circular and about 200ft across. It remained stationary for about ten minutes, before moving away slowly until it was lost from radar range. Thirty minutes later the same object was also observed on another radar set manned by four anti-aircraft personnel. With the War Office having Z


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originally released the news, the Air Ministry suddenly put out their own press release stating the object tracked on radar was just a meteorological balloon which had been released at around 2pm on that same day. They further stated that it was this balloon that the two Vampire airmen had seen. This however did not convince them and both men doubt that what they witnessed was not a weather balloon. Speaking to a journalist during the 1980’s both stated:“If it had been a balloon then we would have approached it very quickly. This object moved off at very great speed, something which a weather balloon was not capable of. I have no idea what it really was but we were familiar with all the aircraft types of the day and it was certainly nothing like anything we had ever seen. It is possible that the object was extra terrestrial”. Yet again the anti-aircraft

crew, and in particular Sergeant Waller, gave further conviction to the fact that the object was indeed extra terrestrial when he publicly said that he was convinced it was not a balloon and that, for it to have given such a strong radar signal, it had to be metallic. Despite all the evidence, the Air Ministry persisted in explaining the sightings as balloons. This was further strengthened during a debate in the House of Commons in which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence confirmed the ministry’s version. It was suggested by him that the story of flying saucers was all ‘baloney’ and that the house should take no further notice of reported sightings. For many who had experienced such sightings,

Copy of Terry Johnson’s Logbook

this appeared as though it was an attempt to keep the truth from the general public regarding such happenings. Over the years since 1953 many other strange sights have been reported by aircrew and civilian pilots yet the Air Ministry and the current Ministry of Defence still refused to publish their findings. Until now! The newly released files at the National Archives, give an idea of just how many reports there were of strange objects in our skies. Flt Lt Johnson and Fg Off Smythe, now long retired from the RAF, are still convinced that what they saw was not of this world. Whatever the truth may be, the incident placed RAF West Malling in the forefront of the X-files in Kent. By Robin J Brooks


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news, topical treats and more...

Don’t make it easy for thieves now the darker evenings are here.. Adding these strips of security comb to the top of panels and gates can help deter would-be intruders

The shorter days are definitely upon us so I feel duty bound to mention the increase in darkness seems to also result in increases in crime. It doesn’t take Einstein to work out that under cover of darkness it’s much easier to perpetrate burglaries and break-ins, whether they are opportunistic or planned. It’s also the time of year when people across the land put tempting piles of presents underneath Christmas trees and helpfully illuminate them with fairy lights in living room windows, then wonder why they find they’ve unfortunately been stolen when they come home from the well publicised event, that almost everyone in the neighbourhood attended – apart from the burglars of course. They were having a busy evening of a different kind! It’s sad but true. So what can be done to help you avoid

being a victim of this sort of crime? Well you can obviously beef up your home security, there are many companies out there that will provide alarm systems and window locks – you certainly don’t need me to tell you that. What I can tell you about is not making it easy for thieves to either enter your garden or to leave it again with goodies they’ve taken from your home. A strong high fence could make the difference between them coming into your garden, or choosing another garden down the road that has a lower fence. Having said that, your nice high fence might have a helpful gate, I say helpful because it might just be unlocked. So coming and going under cover of darkness and leaving quickly with their plunder may be pretty simple. Make it more difficult and they will move on to easier pickings!

Increase the safety of welcome visitors at the front of your property after dark by simply installing these verge protection marker posts from Jacksons. They define the edges of drives and lawns, helping everyone keep on the straight and narrow by showing up with the aid of their handy reflectors. Seasonal Savers offer 15% off!

Win a Jacksons wheelie bin store Enter the free prize draw and be in with a chance to win one of our very popular wheelie bins, or £150 of Jacksons vouchers. Simply log on to your local page, address below and follow the easy instructions on how to enter. The draw closes 31.12.13. To enter go to:

I recently fitted some of Jacksons security comb to the top of a gate in my back garden (pictured at the top of the page, available from Jacksons). I felt that my fence was high and quite secure, especially as I had installed a high, single pergola along the fence line and this has now been covered with thick tangly growth from various climbing shrubs, and doesn’t present a particularly inviting proposition to climbers of the human variety. However my nice little side gate (padlocked, of course), shrieked at me, “Come on over, you can climb me, no problem at all!” Especially when I was on the outside in the back lane, looking at the proliferation of wheelie bins: green, household, recycling - masses of them, all waiting to be made into handy climbing aids for would-be felons. So I have fitted security

comb along the top of the gate, making it not quite so inviting! And talking of climbing please make sure ladders and step ladders are locked away in your garage or shed, or failing that, chain and padlock them to something sturdy, so they can’t be used by those rotten folk who may try to access higher unlocked windows on your property. We’ve got a lot more tips on how to increase your home security if you go to your local page: www.jacksonsfencing.co.uk/ashfordlocal You can also follow links there to find details of our Seasonal Savers offer - throughout December and January we are offering 15% discount on tool sheds, metal wall trellis, verge protection marker posts, raised bed kits and wheelie bin stores (like the ones in our current Free Prize Draw).

louise@jacksons-fencing.co.uk


The Rural Location 64 mmm

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tream farm is a five bedroom character property set along an idyllic country lane. Heated swimming pool and numerous outbuildings including a gym, pool house, triple garage/workshop, stable block and hay barn. Beautiful gardens and paddocks set in 2.5 acres. Set near the village of Sutton Valence with its local amenities including a village church, post

office/shop, doctors surgeries, several local pubs and hair salons. Local education is provided by the renowned Sutton Valence Preparatory and Sutton Valence Senior Schools along with a good local primary school. The large village of Headcorn is approximately 3.5 miles distance with stores, including a local Sainsbury, post office, library and primary school.

Headcorn mainline station provides services to London Charing Cross and London Bridge, with a journey time of about 60 mins. Stream Farm is situated in an idyllic rural location surrounded by Kent countryside. The peaceful country lane location ensures tranquillity, well away from roads and noise, it is the perfect haven for families with young children and pets.


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The property offers good size family accommodation and is presented in immaculate order throughout, having been meticulously maintained by the current owners. The ground floor comprises a good size sitting room with an inglenook fireplace housing a wood burning stove, oak beams and flooring. There is a separate dining room with doors leading on to a conservatory, which overlooks the secluded and beautifully manicured gardens. The bespoke fitted kitchen/breakfast room has a triple aspect including double doors out to the garden, utility and cloakroom. From the spacious inner hall, a staircase

ascends to the first floor where there is a master bedroom with an en-suite shower room, three further double bedrooms, a single bedroom (currently used as a study) and family bathroom. Further stairs to attic room (currently used as a hobby room). Set within a plot of approximately 2.5 acres, the property is approached from the lane through double electric gates leading to the driveway with ample parking and a detached triple garage/workshop. Immaculate formal lawns surround the property with a large sun terrace around the heated swimming pool. An adjacent pool house

and separate gym room provide flexible entertaining areas that could be suitable as annexe facilities if required. Natural stream forms the boundary between the gardens and the equestrian facilities. A lovely bridge gives access to the two paddocks and stable block, comprising three loose boxes and a hay barn. These facilities can also be accessed by vehicles via a separate wide gate from the lane. There is a further 4.5 acres available by a separate negotiation. For full details and to arrange a viewing - being strictly by appointment only - contact Madeline Rose on 01622 844455, madeline@madeline-rose.com or visit the branch at Bower House, North Street, Sutton Valance, Kent ME17 3HR.


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MOTORS

A classic investment

A stunning 1958 Aston Martin DB2/4 MK III that sold at Silverstone Auctions’ sale at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, is believed to be the highest price ever paid for the coupé model at auction. The car, which was owned by the same family for 55 years since it was bought brand new in 1958 for £3,242 19 shillings and 6p, was sold for a record £220,800 at the sale on the 15th of November. As well as being one family owned, it benefitted from one of the largest history files the auction house has ever seen, as well as

receiving an extensive restoration in the late 1990s. Commenting on the sale, Guy Lees-Milne, classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions, said, “We are delighted to have secured such a fantastic price for the vendor of this fabulous Aston Martin, achieving what we believe is the highest price ever paid for this particular model at auction. Our results across the whole sale were pretty exceptional and setting a new model record was the icing on the cake.” However, the sale of the Aston Martin wasn’t the only record

breaker at the NEC sale, as the auction house also achieved an all-time sales record of £2.7 million, doubling its achievements at the same sale last year. Guy added, “It’s been a fantastic year for Silverstone Auctions offering some truly memorable cars along the way. Achieving a new record for such an iconic model really is testament to our ongoing commitment to providing vendors and buyers alike with the best service, advice and support. We look forward to demonstrating this again at our first sale in the New Year at Race Retro.” mmm


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BUSINESS

RETAIL phenomenon Primark shows no signs of slowing its Kent invasion after plans were revealed to move into the centre of Canterbury. It will take over the building currently occupied by BHS in the popular Whitefriars shopping complex. The move will see it take over the site when BHS closes in January. The chain already has stores in Maidstone, Chatham, Folkestone, Margate, Westwood Cross, Gravesend and Dartford and has created an enviable reputation for its discount clothes. It is not the first time a BHS has Primark set to replace BHS in Canterbury morphed into a Primark. the In 2010, Sir Philip Green, retail expert who owns Arcadia – owner of BHS last five years, has campaigned for Primark to open – sold 10 sites to the fashion chain – among them the retail outlet. a Folkestone store. for the former Woolworths store on the city's was Initially Primark summer this It was announced earlier thoroughfare. the for main which city, cathedral intending to come to the

Retail Takeover

British Jewellery Designer Shop relocation

Charmian Beaton, a jewellery designer, is moving to 6 Gabriels Hill in Maidstone. She is originally from Scotland and now lives and works in Maidstone, where she owns a gallery selling contemporary jewellery, handmade by leading UK and European designers. She has worked in the jewellery industry since graduating in 1999 and has owned her gallery since 2002. Her work is available throughout the UK, online and from her gallery. Charimain hopes that the

new prominent position in the town centre will help her business to grow further, Cementing Gabriels Hill in people’s minds as the place to go when looking to buy jewellery from independent retailers. The gallery stocks the following European designers: Manu Schmuk, Erfurt Design, Drachenfelds, Xen, Feniom, Unique, A.R.S, Andrea Korsgen and; British designers: Charmian Beaton, Sara Preisler, Nick Hubbard, Paul Finch, Rowena Park, and much, much more.


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Re-launch of Raja in Kent There was a re-launch party at the Raja restaurant in Kent, where many people from the Maidstone community were able to try the new dishes. Mr Raja .... himself set welcomed his guests with his speech; “First of all I must say a very sincere Thank You to everyone in the Maidstone community for welcoming me and my restaurant to the town 5 years ago. I have made many new friends over the last five years, and it is wonderful to see so many of my loyal friends and customers here tonight.” He then continued; “I always try my best to provide the best quality food in a high class setting, and here in Maidstone I have recently added another top Chef to my team, who has worked in 5 star hotels in Bangladesh, Dubai, Bahrain and many other worldwide destinations as well as 16 years’ experience in some of the very best UK restaurants”. “I hope you will enjoy some of the new dishes we are offering this evening, and if you can’t see your favourite dish, my chefs will be happy to cook it for you.”


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BUSINESS

Betteshanger Development

Kent’s old coalfield to become an eco friendly energy park

AMBITIOUS plans to transform a former coalfield in east Kent into a state-of-the-art green energy park have been warmly received. Spearheaded by Hadlow College, the scheme for the former Betteshanger Colliery will cost £40 million and create up to 1,000 jobs. The development will include a green technologies business park and a research, development and education centre. It is also hoped to become a major eco-tourism destination, attracting over 100,000 visitors each year. A full planning application will be submitted this month (December) with hopes work could begin as early as next spring if given the green light. Some £30 million of the

investment will come from private investors – the remaining £10 million from a government development grant. The 121-hectare site has remained unused since the coalmine closed down in the late 1980s. MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, said of the proposals for the Betteshanger Sustainable Energy and Mining Heritage Park: “This is a real victory for the hard work of so many who have fought so hard to make this project happen. It has been a long battle for me to deliver the Government funding needed.” Gary Cox, a former miner at Betteshanger, added: “With our collieries lost forever, our mining communities have been waiting for

a project to come along that will give them hope for the future. “This Hadlow project offers far more than we could have hoped for. Education, employment and a celebration of our mining heritage.” Although led by Hadlow College other agencies, such as the Homes and Communities Agency, Dover District Council, East Kent Spatial Development Company and private sector partners, have been instrumental throughout the four years of planning and preparation. Nationally it has support from the Department for Communities and Local Government and Business, Innovation and Skills, the Industrial Coalfields and Coastal communities Alliances, as well as local MPs and Kent County Council.


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BUSINESS

Kent Flats Turbine Row

Construction to begin on local wind farm A WIND farm off the north Kent coast is set for a £150 million expansion. The Kentish Flats site is to have 15 more turbines built to add to the existing 30 already generating electricity in the Thames Estuary. Work will begin in 2015, when completed, the farm will be capable of powering 42,000 households. The site is operated by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall. It had already secured permission from the Government for the work to take place. Last month (November) it made the decision at board level to push ahead with the plans. Matthew Green, Vattenfall’s project manager for the scheme, said: “Our decision to invest around £150m in the Kentish Flats extension is the final hurdle that needs to be cleared before construction can start in 2015.

“It’s good to get that and I’m looking forward to leading the construction team over the next two-and-ahalf years. We will now complete a period of intense detailed engineering and planning for the construction phase in 2015. “When we start installing the 15 wind turbines, there will be a short period of intense construction activity through spring and summer 2015. “Building a wind farm offshore is a significant and very challenging

engineering exercise. There will be a number of big vessels 8km off the Kent coast during construction and I hope that local people will take a lot of interest in what we are doing.”

Royal Star Arcade

Under new management

Royal Star Arcade is pleased to announce that it is now under new management. The new owners are a Kent family, who over the forthcoming year plan to relaunch the arcade making improvements to reflect the history, character and style, including a new website.

From the 1st of December, the arcade will be opening on Sundays, which will continue into 2014, becoming a seven day shopping arcade. Management are currently in discussions with the Kent Farmers Association to bring a farmers market in on Sundays, along with various other events.


Traditional Times

T IS easy to think much of the fun has gone out of Christmas; replaced instead with a commercialisation, which has sucked the life out of what is traditionally the highlight of deep winter. But you can indulge in a festive season which harks back to the more traditional times – it’s just a case of knowing where to look. From Christmas markets, where stalls creek under the weight of locally grown and produced food and drink, hot punch and the sweet scent of roasting chestnuts, to those where German stallholders provide the chance to experience one of their country’s famous festive markets; where wooden toys and succulent sausages sizzle in the cold winter air. For the animal lovers, a reindeer centre springs into life for the festive period – offering young and old alike to get up close and personal to

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the animals who, on Christmas Eve, will help Santa fly around the world delivering gifts to youngsters. And there is no better time in the year to mark your faith than by absorbing the history and beliefs of a church service. But, of course, each family has its own traditions, often unique to them, whether it is the day and events which surround putting up the Christmas tree, or foraging for holly and ivy; every family knows what to cherish over the festive period. Canterbury is something of a past master when it comes to Christmas. Perhaps it is as a result of the splendour of its cathedral, the beauty of its streets and its blend of independent traders and the bigger brands. But when dressed up in its festive illuminations, there are few better places to be.

In recent years, it has offered up more to shoppers – and central to that has been a hugely popular German market which sets up base in the Whitefriars shopping complex. It offers a rustic charm to the city, with its wooden stalls colouring the air with the scent of mulled wine and the irresistible sizzle of barbecued sausages. It is when the darkness draws in that the market truly dazzles, with the festive lighting taking shoppers to a festive world. The market runs up until December 23. Of course, everything the city does is overlooked by the majesty of the cathedral, its spires spiking into the sky and visible for miles around. And for many it is their destination of choice on Christmas Day itself. Because it is there, the focus of the nation’s media traditionally turns as the Archbishop of Canterbury delivers his sermon to the congregation. Z


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It is often a defining moment more so than ever this year with Dr Rowan Williams announcing he would be stepping down as Archbishop at the end of the year. Canterbury will be far from alone in seeing worshippers head out of the warmth of their homes on Christmas morning to offer up their prayers. Most churches will expect to see their biggest turn-out of the year to celebrate such a key date in the Christian calendar, from the major places of worship such as the cathedrals of Canterbury and Rochester to the village and rural retreats which dot our landscapes. In addition, many churches will be holding midnight masses allowing you to welcome in the big day in a classic setting. Check with your local churches to see if they will be holding such a service. For the younger generation, Christmas is not the same without a trip to pay their respects to another key figure - none other than Father Christmas himself. You will be hard-pushed to attend a major store or shopping complex where the jolly red-faced man will

not be in attendance in the runup to his busiest day of the year. Among the many venues you can catch him in will be The Mall in Maidstone, where he will be staying in an ice-cream themed grotto up until Christmas Eve. While he’s there, Santa will no doubt be keeping in close contact with the reindeer farm at Capralama Farm in Bethersden. It imported a handful of reindeer from Sweden ten years ago - now, courtesy of a successful breeding programme, it boasts more than 100. A spokesman explained: “Our reindeer are English bred and farm reared, some by hand, making them extremely tame and are perfect to meet and greet the public at the farm and the many events we attend all over UK.” And as a special Christmas treat, it opens up the Reindeer Grotto. The spokesman adds: “The grotto is 150ft long and, walking through six animated festive scenes, children will then have their very own special encounter with Father

Christmas in his log cabin along side some of his trusted reindeer friends.” In addition to the reindeer there are also pigs, goats, llamas, donkeys, wallabies and rabbits. And after you’ve told Santa if you’ve been good or bad and greeted his reindeer, then why not head to your local theatre to enjoy a pantomime? Traditions for families can have begun decades ago, or begin this year - Christmas in Kent offers a host of opportunities, all you have to do is go and discover them. mmm


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LLOW yourself to be transported into the past by visiting one of Kent’s beautiful historic castles this Christmas and experience the magic first hand. With so many castles on our doorstep, here a just a few offering a winter wonderland of glitz, glamour and history...

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Rochester Castle: Set in the picturesque Rochester Castle Gardens - find inspiration for some unique gift ideas along with luxury and value goodies and stocking fillers; grab some tasty festive treats at the farmers' market or pick up some more traditional Christmas ideas at the craft fair. Don't forget, FREE Christmas parking on Saturday, 30 November and Sunday, 1 December. Enjoy a hog roast, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts as you browse the wide range of stalls for those last minute gifts. Then step back in time to a Victorian Christmas and meet some of Dickens' heroes and villains under our guaranteed

snowfall at the Rochester Dickensian Christmas on Saturday, 7 and Sunday, 8 December. Or just soak up the magical atmosphere at the Christingle Service at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday, 14 December. Plus, don't forget to visit Santa's Grotto! Visit Rochester Christmas market this December, and start your Christmas early. Other Kent Castles include: Hever Castle www.hevercastle.co.uk Dover Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk Tonbridge Castle www.tonbridgecastle.org Walmer Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk

From 7 – 24 December, Christmas is alive at Leeds Castle “the loveliest castle in the world”. Nature has crept into the magnificent castle rooms to create a beautifully decorated and glittering ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, brimming with traditional decorations, twinkling lights and fragrant pine Christmas trees. This year is the first Christmas market with German market style chalets open daily from 11am to 6pm, 7 to 22 December and late night shopping until 9pm on 12, 13, 19 and 20 December. Browse handmade decorations for your home, quality gifts, beautifully crafted traditional wreaths and festive garlands. Many local suppliers will be offering homemade pies, meats, cheeses, fudge, chutneys, spirits and liqueurs, ideal for the Christmas dinner table. A discounted £7 grounds and market only ticket is available if you do not already have a Key to the Castle ticket. Follow the trail of glittering woodland decorations around the castle to discover an enchanted forest grotto where children can meet Father Christmas. Those who have been good will receive a traditional gift to take home. As Father Christmas is very busy this time of year, pre-booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Tickets cost £10 per child which includes a gift. A valid Key to the Castle ticket is also required. Pre-book a timeslot on 7, 8, 14, 15, 19 to 24 December from 10am to 4.30pm. This year, meet Father Christmas’ reindeer outside the castle every day from 7-24 December! Children will love our new husky sleigh rides, on the 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 24 December. Have a photograph taken ‘hugging a husky’ afterwards. £3 per child per ride. mmm


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HETHER you are looking for something to do over the festive break with family or friends, a trip to the cinema can be fun for all. Here are just a few of our favourite films showing over the festive period.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Bilbo and the dwarves' epic and eventful dragon slaying quest continues in part two of Peter Jackson's stunning new trilogy. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) are on a dangerous journey. Their goal is to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor from fearsome Smaug the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch). But to reach Erebor, they must pass through many weird and wonderful lands. The second part of Peter Jackson's awesome trilogy expanded from the much-loved Tolkien classic takes us deeper into Middle-earth.

his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When Ryan believes he's uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life, countless others and his relationship with his fiancee Cathy (Keira Knightley).

Khumba: Rejected by his superstitious herd, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes but finds the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo. This humorous family film stars Jake T. Austin, AnnaSophia Robb, Loretta Devine, Roger Jackson, Liam Neeson.

American Hustle: Inspired by a true story from the late 1970s, Cristian Bale leads an amazing ensemble cast in this jaw-dropping crime thriller based on the real-life story of a conman recruited by the FBI. Bronx conman Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a brilliant hustler who works in tandem with his British lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). But the criminal duo aren't cunning enough to escape the attentions of deranged FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). He forcibly recruits them into a seductive, dangerous world where government and the mafia intersect.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: This original story follows Jack (Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot the story follows him from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan and into

Frozen: Frozen is the latest family adventure from Disney. Summer in the kingdom of Arendelle has just turned unseasonably cold. As an eternal winter grips the land, young Anna (Kristen Bell) realises

who's responsible. Her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) has been cursed from birth with the dangerous ability to create ice and snow. Now impetuous, daring and tenacious optimist Anna, with her friend and reindeer, must track Elsa down in a race against time to save the kingdom. Saving Mr Banks: This light hearted comedy starts Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in the heartwarming true story behind Disney's 'Mary Poppins'. Movie titan Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) promises his children that he will make a film version of their favourite book. But he overlooks one crucial factor - the wishes of the author! The book is 'Mary Poppins' and its author is prim Englishwoman P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson). He quickly realises that if he's ever to get his film made, he will have to learn a great deal more about the author's background. This is the little-known true story of the making of a timeless classic. The Railway Man: Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the powerful true story of a former army officer who tracks down his wartime torturer. Adapted from the late Eric Lomax's bestselling memoir of the same title, this is an extraordinarily moving account of the emotional aftermath of war.


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Pictures courtesy of Cineworld


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THE KENT WEDDING AWARDS 2013

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edding businesses from across Kent have been celebrating at the annual Kent Wedding Awards, hosted at the Mercure Maidstone, Great Danes Hotel. This years’ event was the biggest ever, with more than 350 guests. The black tie gala evening was hosted by fabulous TV Celebrity Paul Ross, who ensured a fun-filled atmosphere throughout the evening. The Kent wedding sector was very well represented, with leading companies nominated as finalists, representing the best of the best within 20 categories ranging from Wedding Dress Retailer of the Year, through to Most Stylish Arrival. Events director, Karin Allfree commented. “It was a fantastic night again. We were very impressed with the number of couples and businesses that entered. All of our finalists and winners were great examples of the very high standards offered within Kent’s wedding industry today”. To view the full list of winners and finalists, please visit www.kentweddingawards.co.uk


With Christmas fast approaching here at The Royal Star, you will be able to find that perfect gift, whether it is jewellery, gifts for the home, for him or her We have Kilburn Jewellers, a familyrun business, who stock a wide range of jewellery and gifts. They also offer the service of creating bespoke jewellery, making sure the design is a perfect piece and ensuring the customer owns an exclusive hand made piece of jewellery.

Arcade

Or perhaps you need that special outfit for the little one this Christmas? Then Little Stars children’s shop will dress your child in style. Bumbles sweet shop, who can offer you homemade Belgian chocolates, chocolate shoes and so much more and so unique.

Gentlemen look no further with a choice from Woods Designer Clothing for Ladies and Gentlemen or Roy Robson who stock highest quality men's tailoring and fashion clothing also Raffles Collezioni menswear Need that special gift or present for yourself then take a look at AEA Audio and Sound where you will be blown away by the sound and vision choices for your home. Wish that special treatment for the party nights ahead, then visit Blake’s hairdressing and beauty. All under a tranquil setting with many other shops to browse round and enjoy.

After you have browsed around all the shops then why not relax in our coffee and tea shop or even the wine bar. A unique mix of time honoured family emporiums and modern designer shopping. And why not book your child’s place with Santa for lunch on selected dates throughout December – see website of this and all events and promotions throughout December, including Light Up A Life in conjunction with the Heart of Kent Hospice. At the Royal Star Arcade, we will assure you stylish stress-free shopping at this Christmas.


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Maidstone’s Independent Arcade

Maidstone, Medway Magazine Issue 23, December 2013 Complimentary

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DAYTIME MOTORMOUTH The rise and fall of Jeremy Kyle

LINTON PARK

A remarkable villiage mansion

VOICE OF AN ANGEL Katherine Jenkins’ star keeps shining

December 2013

n History n Travel n Business n Entertainment n And much, much more

Arcade www.royalstararcade.com

Maidstone Medway Magazine December'13 issue  

Your local lifestyle magazine featuring celebrities, local news, travel, food, Christmas festivities, local events and much more

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