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Wednesday June 28 | 2017
JODIE PRENGER STARS IN THE FIRST UK STAGE PRODUCTION OF SHIRLEY VALENTINE Page 75
Final decision on River Lawn INSIDE will not rest with Full Council
BOBBIES ON THE BEAT Kent police to deploy more armed officers Page 2
Terror threat forces CCTV climb down on live monitoring ban RECENT terrorist attacks in London and Manchester are likely to mean the continued live monitoring of the borough’s CCTV network. Since 1997 Tonbridge & Malling has shared a control room for monitoring the cameras with Tunbridge Wells where it is based in the Town Hall. In March there was a proposal to move to the ‘passive model’ where cameras would still be recording events but no one would be watching the scenes live.
Significant Moving to passive would save both councils significant amounts of money. However, the Tunbridge Wells Leader David Jukes used a Cabinet meeting on Thursday (June 22) to announce there was now no prospect of ending the live monitoring. He said: “The council had been minded to move to the passive monitoring of CCTV, which would have saved us £100,000 a year. Since the events in Manchester and London, we have now made a policy statement that we will stick to monitored CCTV.” A review of how to monitor in a ‘more cost effective manner’,
By Andrew Tong
firstname.lastname@example.org OPPOSITION is building from within Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council about its plans to sell off the River Lawn site adjacent to the Medway in the centre of town. But even if a meeting of the Full Council votes against the proposal, the Times can disclose that the Cabinet can ignore the vote and approve the sale. The council’s constitution, unlike those of neighbouring authorities, allows it to overrule the views of its other elected members, who can only make recommendations to the executive. Three Conservative councillors have now come out against the plan, which will see the green space between River Lawn Road and the Medway put up for sale along with the site of former Citizens’ Advice Bureau building. It is understood that the valuable piece of real estate would be offered to developers for the construction of luxury housing in order to raise money for the cash-strapped body. Previously, Cllr David Cure of Judd Ward had stood alone as the only Tory to raise an objection. But he has been joined by Cllr Georgina Thomas of Trench and Sarah Spence, Councillor for the Ward of Vauxhall. Ms Thomas’s opposition is based on the fact that there would be no control over what happens to the site once it is in private hands. She says: “I spent a while in two minds and on the fence
whilst gathering the facts about the sale of the River Lawn. “The fact there is no guarantee we can be in control of what gets built there once the land is sold upsets me and I don’t want to look back at that green space we lost.” She added: “I wasn’t elected as a councillor to simply follow suit, I have
‘The fact there is no guarantee we can be in control of what gets built there once the land is sold upsets me’ a strong urge to make a difference and represent my residents as well as Tonbridge and Malling. “I completely understand we need the money but we also need to listen to what the taxpayers want and adapt when necessary.” Ms Thomas is a newcomer having been elected in December. She added: “The council I feel is impressive and hardworking with passionate members that I am learning so much from.
“I am hoping the majority will think for the long term. There are far more innovative ways of bringing revenue to the council without destroying beautiful areas that people have come to know and love. When asked about the Cabinet’s power she said: “I like to believe that Cabinet can overrule for reasons such as they are more qualified and do enormous amounts of research to come to decisions. “In some circumstances this could perhaps be the right thing but they also have a duty to the people and the residents. So let’s hope they make the most ethical decision on this.” She added that her protest was also about the wider question of public spaces in the borough. “I am hoping this will be a starting point to a more forward thinking council in terms of assets and investing for the future.” Cllr Sarah Spence, who has represented Vauxhall since 2007, agreed that the wider implications of the sale were crucial.
BEST IN SHOW
West Kent Keralites win first prize for their procession Page 2
School holidays sorted thanks to our special guide Page 21
Continued on page 2
Enjoy seasonal strawberries and where you can pick them Page 62
OPPOSITION Cllr Thomas has joined the protest over River Lawn
Cabinet could decide River Lawn’s future Continued from page 1 “I am opposed to the sale, this a green public space and a green lung for Tonbridge. I have always fought garden development, infill and over-development, and will continue to do so. “River Lawn is important as a green area – and a public garden if you will. Losing it would be a travesty. Other options need to be considered to fill the funding gap at the council. She added that she was reflecting the views of the town: “The residents have set up a petition and this has reached 1,600 signatures. “We as elected members need to listen to the voice of our constituents, they
are the only reason we are here.” In Tunbridge Wells, no decisions taken by Full Council can be overruled by the Cabinet. Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council issued a statement that said: “The decision as to whether to proceed with the disposal of the open space land at River Lawn Road is ultimately one for Cabinet. “The role of the [Full] Council is therefore limited to a decision as to whether to make recommendations to the Cabinet to inform that final decision.” River Lawn will be debated at a Full Council meeting on July 11.
Council continues live CCTV monitoring Continued from page 1 looking at the CCTV infrastructure itself and talking to ‘various agencies’ on contributing to its costs will still be undertaken, he added. Speaking to the Times Cllr Jukes said: “All the time I am in the chair, CCTV will be monitored. “I have instructed the senior officers to conduct a complete survey of all the cameras in the borough to look at what sort of condition they are in, find out what are the modern facilities and
tactics to ensure it is monitored in the most cost effective way.” Ways of streamlining the service were ‘open to investigation’ and will form part of a cabinet report towards the end of the year. Plans to slash £100,000 from the budget have now ‘been withdrawn’ and will no longer be used to dictate the council’s CCTV policy, he said. Tonbridge and Malling is ‘reviewing’ its CCTV provisions.
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Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Police pledge to put 100 armed officers on streets by next year By Andrew Tong KENT POLICE have committed to ensure that the number of firearms officers in the county returns to its previous high quotas, in response to the heightened threat of terrorist activity. The move comes after it was revealed that existing firearms officers have been working overtime in order to make up for a lack of personnel – or they have been shipped in from other forces around the country. Kent Police told the Times: “In February 2016, the Chief Constable authorised the number to be increased to 100 in line with the Home Office uplift plan for all forces.” It added that the procedure for raising num-
‘Armed policing duties are not suited to all officers’ bers from the current level of 81 was not a simple case of recruitment. “Armed policing duties are not suited to all officers,” a spokesman said. “To protect and serve the people of Kent the high standards required for this critical area of policing will not be lowered. “It is, however, planned for there to be 100 qualified firearms officers by early 2018.” The force has admitted that until this target is achieved, concessions will have to be made to cope with the increased threat.
ON THE BEAT More police on streets
“In the interim period, the required operational uplift will be maintained utilising Kent officers working enhanced duties or, where required, via mutual aid from other forces under nationally agreed arrangements.” The statistics for armed police was discussed at Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Matthew Scott’s Performance and Delivery Board meeting on 7 June. Mr Scott explained that last year’s precept had been increased to pay for an additional 24 firearms officers, and added: “The Chief Constable has told me that 22 of those posts have been filled and the other two posts will be filled very shortly.” Mr Scott acknowledged that recruiting new officers was not only a budgetary issue. “I
know that the recruitment of firearms officers has specific challenges,” he admitted. “Officers come under a lot of scrutiny and pressure from the Independent Police Complaints Commission if they have to discharge their firearms in the course of their duty. “There is also always the possibility that some of Kent’s firearms officers will be tempted to move to other forces.” And he said the situation is exacerbated by the fact that all forces nationwide were trying to find more armed experts to bolster their own numbers. On May 26 this year, the Ministry of Defence Police sent in reinforcements to help the county force in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester. It was announced in February 2016 that Kent Police would be recruiting 37 more firearms officers as a result of a 3.4 per cent increase in council tax – or an extra £5 per person for the police precept. The quotas are confused by the fact that the precise numbers provided by the Home Office differ markedly with those released by the county force. According to Kent Police, it ‘currently has 81 designated armed response officers, the highest number the force has had in over a decade’, and that previously the number had been as low as 70. But the government’s statistics claim that there were at least 90 in the years from 2009 to 2015 – and 100 or more over three separate 12-month periods.
Appeal for more witnesses to help fight asbestos-related cancer claim By Murray Jones email@example.com THE FAMILY of a Tonbridge man who died after contracting an asbestos-related cancer are asking for his colleagues from 50 years ago to come forward with information. They are seeking compensation for the death of David Stone, aged 71, who worked in and around Maidstone at numerous privately owned firms, where it is believed he was exposed to asbestos.
Exposure He died in Maidstone Hospital in October 2014 as a result of mesothelioma. This pernicious and terminal form of cancer tends to only become apparent several decades after initial exposure, by which time it is too late for anything other
POISONED David Stone had no protection when working with asbestos than palliative care. The family’s lawyer, Kate Price, is keen to trace anyone who worked with Mr Stone when he was employed by EW Tyler sporadically between 1964 and 1968 and Medway Roofing and Insulation from 1969 to 1971. While at EW Tyler, he installed new roofs on farms and commercial factory buildings which were made from asbestos boards and sheets. He would have had to drill holes through them,
which would inevitably produce toxic dust. Ms Price, of Access Legal, said: “We hope that anyone who may remember working with David or working at the companies gets in touch as they may have the answers that the family desperately needs. “Any information from his former workmates will help us achieve some sort of justice for Mr Stone that recognises his wholly undeserved suffering.” Compensation would come from the employer’s liability insurance meaning even if the business is no longer trading and the owner is deceased, money can still be obtained from the insurer. Last year, the same firm settled what is considered to be one of the largest compensation claims for mesothelioma for the total sum of £1 million gross. Anyone who thinks they might have relevant information should call 03700 864031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sahrudaya – The West Kent Keralites THE winners of first prize for the best procession at the recent Tonbridge Carnival organised by the Lions Association were Sahrudaya, The West Kent Keralites. This group represents the community from Kerala, located in Southern India. Sahrudaya stands for ‘Good Hearts’ in the Malayalam Language. This year Sahrudaya celebrates its 10th anniversary of origin and this was the first time the association, which has over 150 members from the local area, had taken part in the annual carnival performing traditional dances such as
Chenda Melam and Theyyam. Sahrudaya’s main aim is to support the interests of the Kerala people in the UK, uphold their cultural and artistic values and foster friendships with other communities. In last week’s Times of Tonbridge we wrongly identified members of the Sahrudaya association following incorrect information passed on from a third party. We apologise for this error and are always happy to clarify. For more details on the West Kent Keralites visit www.sahrudaya.co.uk
BEST IN SHOW: Sahrudaya West Kent Keralites won first prize at Tonbridge Carnival
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
NEWS IN BRIEF
Coroner rules teen’s death was suicide A FORMER Bennett Memorial pupil took his own life following the death of his own father and breaking up with his girlfriend an inquest has heard. Joseph Beresford-King, 17, who lived in Sevenoaks, was found dead in Knole Park on February 20 by two off duty paramedics. He was known to be a talented musician who also attended St Matthew’s Primary School in High Brooms. He leaves behind two brothers and two stepbrothers. Coroner Roger Hatch said: “I am satisfied it was Joseph’s intention to take his own life. I have to record his death was suicide. I express my sympathy to the family.”
MP put on hacked list GREG Clark has been named as one of several senior ministers who may have had their emails hacked by groups suspected of having connections with Russia. Two lists of stolen data are said to reveal log-in details of 1,000 British MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police workers and more than 1,000 Foreign Office officials. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), is to now reissue guidance to government departments after news of the security breach was made public. Greg Clark’s office has declined to comment, citing security.
Bar’s charity quiz night THE St George’s Community Children’s Project raised £540 at their quiz night at St John’s Road bar Jean’s Kitchen on Thursday 22 June. In total, 56 people attended the evening, which featured a quiz, dinner, a game of heads or tails and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. All the money raised will go to provide free and low cost childcare places to local families in need. St George’s is the only nursery in Tunbridge Wells to provide this service.
Budget boost for TWBC TUNBRIDGE WELLS Borough Council had a budget underspend of £770,000 in the last quarter of the 2016/17 financial year. Total expenditure on services was recorded at £14.8million. Some of the surpluses have been set aside to bolster the council’s earmarked reserves for future projects.
Friends’ love park photo FRIENDS of Calverley Grounds wish to gather as many people as possible in the popular Tunbridge Wells park on Saturday July 15 at 12 noon for a photo at 12.20pm in the bowling area near the Mount Pleasant entrance. The event is being hosted to show appreciation for the Calverley Grounds and those attending are encouraged to bring their families and a picnic. It is being promoted on social media under #LoveOurPark.
The Bull and The Foresters recognised by Kent brewery this will put us on the map in Tunbridge Wells.” The adjudication panel also had high praise for The Foresters licensee Tyson Marshall, saying: “Tyson took over The Foresters in March 2016 and immediately started to stamp his personality on the pub. “Within a matter of months The Foresters was considered one the best venues in Tonbridge and the pub continues to go from strength to strength with a very friendly atmosphere and staff.” Mr Neame added: “Tyson’s done a great job at The Foresters, totally transforming the atmosphere, and this accolade is truly well-deserved.” Mr Marshall said: “It’s a fantastic award and very much appreciated. We couldn’t have imagined the success that we’ve had and it’s all down to being given a great opportunity by Shepherd Neame.” The awards were announced at a ceremony at the Conningbrook Hotel, Ashford on June 20. The two West Kent taverns were among 13 winners from Shepherd Neame’s 328 pubs and hotels.
By Andrew Tong email@example.com
TWO local pubs have scooped awards from the Kent brewery Shepherd Neame. The Bull in Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells has received the accolade for Best Pub Food in the annual Pub Awards, while The Foresters in Quarry Hill, Tonbridge was named Turnaround Pub of the Year. Judges praised the quality of food and service that makes The Bull, run by Alexander and Rebecca Johnson stand out, praising the ‘innovative use of seasonal ingredients’ and ‘beautiful presentation’. Jonathan Neame, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, said: “Alexander and Rebecca and their team have made the pub a real gem and a great food destination huge congratulations to them for this richly deserved award.” Mr Johnson said: “We’re delighted! This award will really help our business. We’re about to undertake some significant work outside of the pub, with support from the brewery. Together with this award, we hope
PRIZE WINNING PUBS: The Bull (top) and The Foresters
Festival returns to its home turf LOCAL & LIVE will be returning to Tunbridge Wells with an additional venue and a new app to help ensure the event can continue in the future. While the majority of the popular mini-festival will be back in the familiar setting of Calverley Grounds from August 25 to 27, the bank holiday Monday will see the Spa Hotel host an open air acoustic stage for the first time. Additional evening performances will also be held at The Forum.
The free festival has been scaled back in recent years after incurring large debts in 2015 when its size peaked with over 320 bands across 15 venues. The debt forced the festival to be relocated from Calverley Grounds last year but it still managed to raise £8,000 in order to balance its books and return to the park for the coming August Bank Holiday. Organiser Paul Dunton, said: “It is so exciting to be returning to Calverley Grounds for this year’s
Local & Live Festival. “In a change to previous years we will be starting on the Friday night and then running day and evening on the Saturdays and Sunday. We will have around 150 acts performing and a fabulous range of local food and drink concessions. “On Monday we move to our new venue, the beautiful grounds of the spa hotel where we will be running an open air acoustic stage. Around 10 acts will be performing and there will plenty of food and drink available. With late evening after party shows planned at The Forum all weekend and other venues to be announced it’s going to be the best Local & Live yet.” A new app for the festival is also under development which will let people donate money towards the running of the event and ensure it can survive in future years. MUSIC MAESTRO Paul Dunton of Local & Live
Burst pipe shuts down local gym The Gymnastics Club Kent (GCK) in Tunbridge Wells has been forced to temporarily close its doors after a water mains pipe burst last week and the building became flooded. Damage is estimated at more than £250,000 and the premises are likely to be shut for some weeks. The club in Longfield Road has 900 members. The pipe, that supplies a coffee filtration system, burst sometime after GCK closed on Friday night. Staff discovered the flooding when they arrived for work on Saturday morning.
Flooded One of the main areas impacted was the sprung flooring of the gym itself. A spokesperson for GCK said: “There are no gymnastics, all classes have been cancelled and we are refunding members. “We are going to try our hardest to open for the autumn school term in early September, however, this will depend on how quickly the repairs can begin as we have to wait on insurance claims.”
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Car Club proves a hit in Tunbridge Wells By Adam Hignett
firstname.lastname@example.org THE town has proved itself to be a willing participant in the sharing economy after it was revealed that Tunbridge Wells has one of the largest car clubs in the region. Since it was set up in 2014, the community interest company, which is operated by Co-wheels Car Club with some council oversight, has attracted 162 members and grown to possess a fleet of six low emission vehicles. This makes it the largest operation run by the enterprise in the South East. It is also the only one in Kent. “The uptake in Tunbridge Wells has been excellent,” said Craig Dawkins, the Co-wheels Locations Manager, adding it was one of the fastest-growing areas for the company. “We operate across the country, and it is certainly true that some areas are more receptive than others, but it has caught on in Tunbridge Wells above expectations.” In effect, car clubs allow multiple users to book time in a shared vehicle for a one-off set fee upon WHERE ARE THE CLUB’S CARS AND WHAT ARE THEY? Crescent Road Car Park Nissan Leaf AV Auto (electric vehicle)
Grove Hill Road Mount Ephraim Mount Pleasant Road
Toyota Yaris Hybrid Toyota Yaris Hybrid
(opposite the Town Hall)
Toyota Yaris Aygo
Mount Pleasant Road (opposite the railway station)
Toyota Yaris Aygo Toyota Yaris Aygo
joining, followed by a pay-as-you-go tariff. The vehicles are all based within a five-to-tenminute walk of one another within the town centre, in order to ensure that if one is currently checked out, another one will be nearby for use. The council helps facilitate the spread of the scheme by ensuring bays are available at strategic spots, and co-operating with Kent County Council, which is in charge of highways. Co-wheels has responsibility for the fleet itself and the running of the scheme, but no money is charged to the council. Instead, income comes from the membership, which the social enterprise company reinvests into further car club expansion. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Sustainability Manager Karin Grey, who was responsible for introducing the scheme to the town, said: “Co-wheels provide the service at no cost to us. We just ensure the club is an effective organisation and is run in the best interest of members. Our interest is to help reduce traffic and congestion on the roads.” Figures show that for every car club car run in Tunbridge Wells, around five regular vehicles are taken off the roads. “It may look like we are putting vehicles on the £25 SIGN-UP FEE FOLLOWED BY: from
HOURLY car hire
DAILY car hire
CO-WHEELS NATIONALLY 2013/14 20,400 members 2014/15 22,500 members 2015/16 27,500 members
570 vehicles 700 vehicles 1,100 vehicles
roads, but we are helping to tackle congestion,” added Mr Dawkins. The growing membership, consisting of both residents and businesses, has encouraged the council to once again tender the contract to run the club, with an eye on adding at least one, if not two more vehicles by the end of the year. Current proposals are for an additional car to be based in St John’s Road and for one at the lower end of The Pantiles. Places are chosen by an analysis of demographics, population density and the prevalence of on-street parking.
“The cars have to be based in commercially viable areas where there is enough demand,” said Ms Grey, who explained large developers building in the area are often asked through the planning system to help facilitate club expansion. However, the club itself is just one part of a wider push to help tackle congestion in the town and improve the environment. “The car club will form part of an overall way in which people will travel in the future,” said Ms Grey. “There is more of a sharing economy facilitated by smart technology, such as dial-a-ride bus services and greater use of carpooling.” DRIVING FORCE Craig Dawkins
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Jewellers recognised in time-honoured way… CHIMING WITH THE HIGH STREET Collins’ new clock
THE historic High Street shop front of the jewellers G. Collins & Sons has been enhanced with the addition of a clock. But this is not just any timepiece. It’s an exclusive Patek Philippe Calatrava clock, providing the town with another landmark.
Landmark The Calatrava wristwatch takes its name from Patek Philippe’s emblem, the Calatrava cross, and was first introduced in 1932, when the Stern family – now in their fourth generation – took on the company. Classic, understated and iconic, it is Patek
Philippe’s signature design, inspired by the minimalist principles of the Bauhaus movement. The High Street clock is a long-standing tradition, originally for the benefit of members of the general public, who – in days gone by – may not have possessed their own timepieces. Thanks to modern technologies, this clock is also illuminated at night. G. Collins & Sons have been associated with Patek Philippe for more than 12 years, and said the installation of the clock ‘marks a truly special landmark firmly cementing the relationship between these two family-owned companies for many years to come’.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
The day the town opened its doors to Belgian refugees fleeing World War I By Murray Jones email@example.com RESIDENTS of Tunbridge Wells are being encouraged to learn more about a piece of the town’s ‘forgotten history’. Camden Road Education Arts and Theatre Enterprise [CREATE] has joined up with academics from the University of Kent and University College London to launch a project called Discovering the Belgian Community in Tunbridge Wells, Kent 1914-1918. Since January, the team has been gathering information on the 300-strong ‘Belgian Colony’ that sought refuge in Tunbridge Wells during the First World War. As the crisis in Europe unfolded in late August 1914, Tunbridge Wells was quick to respond, establishing a Refugees Committee to liaise with the national relief organisation. The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Charles Whitbourn Emson, chaired the committee. In October 1914, he sent a missive to the Secretary of the Belgian War Relief Committee in Folkestone. It read: “I am pleased to inform you that arrangements have been made in this Borough to accommodate 30 Belgian refugees, not of the peasant type, but of the middle class and tradespeople.” The Mayor also opened a local fund for the new arrivals, some of whom arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Gifts of money, furniture and even homes poured in. All sections of the town contributed to making
JUST VISITING: Ludovic, Jacques and Marie-Louise Boeynaems c. 1916, when they were living with their siblings and aunt and uncle at 19 Beltring Road
end of the brutal conflict. When Armistice was declared in November 1918, members of the Belgian colony joined the celebratory parade in the town, bearing a banner that read: ‘Long Live England. We thank you all’. By May 1919, all the Belgians had returned home, and Mayor Emson was decorated by the King and Queen of Belgium – in
the Belgians feel welcome; schools were found for the children, English lessons were given, local doctors gave their services free of charge, and the Kosmos Kinema and Opera House provided free entry to shows. A Belgian shop opened in the High Street, a dedicated social club named ‘Club Albert’ was formed and met in the Constitutional Club in Calverley Road. By the spring of 1918, a Belgian School had also opened. As the war continued, some refugees went to the Front to fight, while others GIFT OF GRATITUDE: A bust of Mayor Emson presented moved to different districts to take up to the town by its guests in 1915, and made by Belgian employment, but many stayed until the sculptor Paul Van den Kerckhove – himself a refugee
recognition of the help given to their citizens in their time of need. The project’s Alison MacKenzie said: “It’s a heartwarming story of what one community can do for another, which is not without its resonances today. “During these years of remembrance as the centenary of the First World War is commemorated, we hear, quite rightly, about the war itself and the terrible sacrifices made by both sides, but it is also important to honour the work on the Home Front.” The background for this article was provided by the Belgian Community in Tunbridge Wells 1914-1918 project. For more information on this piece of the town’s history, visit: blogs.kent.ac.uk/rtwbelgians
TUNBRIDGE WELLS BELGIAN WEEK: JULY 15-23 A series of events have been planned for Belgian Week in Tunbridge Wells, starting with a concert on Saturday July 15 at St Paul’s Church, Rusthall. The highlight of the programme will be local composer James Whitbourn, a distant relative of the former Mayor Charles Whitbourn Emson. A piece written by Frederic Bonzon, a Belgian who was in Tunbridge Wells during the Great War, will also be performed. The team are inviting singers to take part in the concert. If you would like to join the choir, please contact Alison MacKenzie either by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 07754 306763.
Local Business News
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Town Centre Manager expects MP to be ‘productive’ in his support for local firms GREG CLARK paid a visit to the offices of Royal Tunbridge Wells Together on June 16 in order to discuss ways of supporting local enterprises with Town Centre Manager Karen Pengelly in what was their first meeting since she took up the role at the start of the year. Issues discussed included parking, the impact of online shopping on traditional retail and business rates. Of particular concern is the diminishing amount of office space available in the town, Ms Pengelly said, adding she did not see developers ‘queuing up to build more’ as residential offers a far better return on investment.
Ms Pengelly said the meeting was of an introductory nature. “It was a nice hello. I have spoken to him about the challenges facing the town and said there needs to be a change in planning legislation to
help support offices. “We have set up another meeting for a couple of months’ time. Hopefully by then I will have some productive and constructive suggestions from him on what can be done.”
Uncertainties In addition, she spoke of her desire to see a more joined up approach between businesses and the local authority to encourage tourism to the town saying it was an area East Kent had been very successful in, ‘perhaps at the expense of the west.’ The Secretary of State for Business acknowledged there would be increased uncertainty during the Brexit negotiations but said Tunbridge Wells was ‘doing better than most other towns’ in creating an attractive shopping environment. He added: “Of course, there are uncertainties in any negotiations and that’s why you need to do what you can locally to make yourself attractive to customers and that’s what this [Town Centre Manager] role is about.”
COMPANIES in Tunbridge Wells which were hit hard by the recent hike in business rates may see some relief towards the end of the summer, it can be revealed. The Borough Council is currently drawing up the criteria for who will be eligible for rate relief after disclosing that it has received £269,000 for the 2017/18 financial year in order to soften the blow for those establishments particularly stung by the hike. But the amount of money available to help struggling firms is set to diminish rapidly, falling to just £8,000 in three years’ time, a council spokesman has warned.
Survey points to gloom among South East SMEs THE health of SMEs in the South East deteriorated sharply in the first quarter of the year, a business survey has found. Compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on behalf of the challenger bank CYBG, the report found six of the eight indicators used to measure business health in the region have declined. The overall score for the region in the SME Health Check Index was 46.5. This is in line with the national average, which itself was the lowest reading since the beginning of the series in the first quarter of 2014. The survey points to slowing economic growth during the period. Specific areas for concern among firms in the South East are the slowing pace of hiring, the increasing cost of doing business and a decline in confidence. However, there was a small increase in the number of firms reporting growing revenues and lending to companies had risen. David Duffy, Chief Executive at CYBG, said small and medium-sized enterprises were the ‘engine room’ of the economy and were going to be ‘ever more critical’ in a postBrexit world.
A safer Kent showcase TALKING SHOP: Karen Pengelly and Greg Clark
Council set to discuss business rate relief By Adam Hignett
NEWS IN BRIEF
The money has come from the £300million Chancellor Philip Hammond set aside in order to quell the growing backlash in the business community over the rises, which were felt to be particularly punitive for companies based in London and the South East. Some establishments in Tunbridge Wells saw their rateable value more than double in April. At the time Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, warned that the ‘perfect storm’ of increasing rates, rents and rising inflation will leave ‘large holes’ in the high street. However, it has been reported that not a single penny of the central government fund has yet been handed out because local authorities have been left to formulate their own criteria over who will be
eligible to receive the money – a task many have yet to complete. A council spokesperson said: “The additional government funding is £269,000 for 2017/18 but reduces to only £8,000 in three years time. “As there are over 4,000 business in the borough it will be necessary to set criteria for directing these funds to those businesses that are most adversely affected by the change in rateable values calculated by the Valuation Office Agency. “To get these funds distributed as soon as possible to businesses we expect there to be an urgent item at the Cabinet meeting on August 3, the criteria for distributing the funds will be set out in the Cabinet report.”
SECURITY is being stepped up at the Kent County Show in response to the London and Manchester terror attacks, event organisers have said. The county’s largest showcase event for farming, countryside and rural life, draws thousands of people each year to its site in Detling. This year it will be held on July 7-9. Organisers are urging people to arrive earlier as more stringent security, including bag searches, means longer queues to enter are to be expected.
Brewing at Bluewater SHEPHERD NEAME, Britain’s oldest brewer and based in Faversham, has set up a seasonal pop-up brewery store at Bluewater which will be open until July 5. The store includes a bar featuring their first cider, Orchard View, and new Cinque Five Grain premium lager. In addition, a pioneering ‘HOPS360’ virtual reality experience has been created, allowing each guest to take a virtual tour of a hop garden. ‘HOPS360’ was itself created by the Tunbridge Wells video content agency Digitom.
Local Business News
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Salon has petit makeover By Adam Hignett
Four bidders battle for South East franchise THE contract to run the majority of Kent and Sussex’s rail network has attracted the interest of four companies in the run-up to the renewal of the south-eastern franchise, it has been announced. Among the interested parties is the current operator Southeastern Railway, officially titled London and South East Passenger Rail Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Govia Ltd.
TOP fashion shop Childrensalon has undergone a makeover in Tunbridge Wells High Street to be rebranded the Petit Outlet, following the launch of the company’s latest internet venture. Known for being the world’s largest online retailer for children’s designer clothes, Petit Outlet gives its discerning customers the opportunity to purchase out of season stock at a fraction of its regular price. Petit Outlet was launched online in April, but Chil-
NEWS IN BRIEF
Dates booked for July business seminars TWO free business events will be hosted by West Kent College next month aimed at helping companies to grow and boost exports. The National Centre for Micro Business will run a one-to-one business growth and improvement session on July 5 from 10am4pm. To book a place, email: email@example.com Local SMEs interested in selling services and products to overseas markets are urged to attend the Export Breakfast Briefing on July 18 from 8-10am. The event is being run by the Department for International Trade in association with the West Kent Partnership. Visit www.westkentpartnership.org.uk
Leap in law revenues
Improvements However the operator – which has come under fierce criticism in recent years for its poor level of commuter satisfaction – will be competing against three other bidders, including Stagecoach South Eastern Trains Ltd and Trenitalia UK Ltd. The final operator hoping to take over the regional network when the new franchise is set to start in December 2018 is South Eastern Holdings Ltd, which will be a joint venture between Abellio Transport Group Ltd, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd. The government has warned that whoever is awarded the contract needs to make improvements to the service being offered at the moment. Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling has set out four areas that require improvement, including creating more comfortable trains and improving reliability.
drensalon has now had its only bricks and mortar retail arm follow suit. The rebranding was overseen by Chief Creative Officer, George Smith, whose redesign has seen the dark blue façade of the original store repainted bright red, with an intricate mural depicting scenes from fantasy and folklore. There are further pictures on the store’s inner walls and the counter has been covered in a collage of old British comics. Founded in 1952, Childrensalon ranks No 45 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100, and No 77 in the International Track 200, and employs 300 people in the local area.
TOWN law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore have announced another year of strong financial results. In the year ending June 5, 2017, the company’s revenue grew by 8.5 per cent – twice the market average. Total revenues now stand at £20.48million. CEO Simon Slater commented: “These results are extremely encouraging in such an uncertain economic and political environment. They are all the more significant because our growth is entirely organic.”
Brave contract win REBRAND The former Childrensalon shop
THE Royal British Legion has secured a ‘multi-million’-pound contract to make signs for Network Rail via its Kent-based division Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Mental health strategy lauded at inaugural Kent conference By Adam Hignett firstname.lastname@example.org FUTURE plans to improve services in Kent for people suffering a mental health crisis have received praise from the government. Kent Police and the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust have agreed a joint Mental Health Strategy which aims to provide the right care and support for all those in crisis. The strategy was launched at a Mental Health Conference in Maidstone on June 20. It was the
first conference of its kind in Kent, with around 100 delegates from charities, local authorities, commissioning groups and community safety and criminal justice partners represented. Keynote speaker Sarah Newton, MP, the Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism, told the conference: “Around a third of all incidents dealt with by the police in Kent have a mental health element. “I am particularly encouraged the strategy talks not only about crisis point resolution, but about work to prevent people from ever reaching that crisis point.”
workers and police officers alongside MP Sarah Newton (rear centre)
Hollywood ties no longer of Paramount importance for theme park developer
MP pledges pub support WEALDEN’S Nus Ghani has added her name to the British Beer & Pub Association’s list of MPs who are supportive of brewing and pubs in the UK. She said she is dedicated to ensuring that the 78 pubs and eight breweries which are based in her constituency will continue to thrive. Last year, the MP surveyed every pub in her constituency in order to find out more about the challenges facing the industry. In March of this year, she introduced a new bill in the House of Commons that sought to ensure that British embassies and consulates overseas purchased and served English wines at events. She said: “Pubs are social hubs across Wealden and provide local jobs in the food and drinks sector and are often the heart of a village or town community. I have been working with local pubs to help encourage locals to eat and drink locally, and
JOINED UP APPROACH: Kent’s Police & Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott (left) meets local health
PUMPING UP THE VOLUME: Nus Ghani on a national level I have been campaigning to tackle beer duty. I will continue campaigning for pubs and breweries, and will continue pulling pints in Wealden’s superb pubs.”
A QUESTION mark has been placed over the future of a proposed giant theme park in Kent after the main developer of the £3.2billion project split with a key partner. London Resort Company Holdings [LRCH] announced they were breaking ties with the film studio Paramount Pictures last week, but have stated this will not affect its goal to submit a planning application in November.
Stars However, it means the theme park – which was to be known as London Paramount – will no longer feature the blockbuster names the film studio is
famous for, such as Top Gun, Mission: Impossible and The Godfather. It is understood the developer and the studio were unable to reach terms on some of the rights to major films, including the image rights for some of their top stars. Resort spokesman Andy Martin said the break with Paramount was a ‘positive move’ which will enable the developers to work on a wider variety of attractions. The project, which has received £35million from Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi – the Kuwaiti owner and Chairman of Ebbsfleet United FC – has already seen its opening date pushed back three times to 2022. If it goes ahead, the Swanscombe peninsula resort is expected to create 27,000 jobs in the area.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Phil finds dream location for ellenor fundraising campaign PHIL SPENCER, presenter of TV property series Location, Location, Location, and patron of ellenor, visited Knole House for the first time to attend a function for the hospice charity. The stately home in Sevenoaks dates from 1456 and has 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards. The home-finding expert described the occasion as a ‘massive honour’. The event, hosted by Lord and Lady Sackville, aimed to raise awareness and funds for ellenor. The charity provides specialist hospice care at home for babies, children and young people across North and West Kent. Director of Income Generation Rachel Holweger said the demand for ellenor’s care was growing. “We know we are not reaching all those children who need us,” she said. “We believe there is the same number of families again that could benefit from ellenor but we simply do not have the resources, which is why we have launched our appeal.”
ellenor’s Children’s Hospice at Home Appeal, which was launched last year, aims to raise £1.5million over three years in order to increase the charity’s team of specialist nurses and carers.
Support Lord Sackville, who welcomed more than 50 guests at the function, said: “I had no idea of the range of care ellenor provides to terminally-ill children across Kent, and I was particularly taken by the fact that care is provided in the family home. “I cannot imagine being in the situation that these families face. To know that they have the support of ellenor is such a huge relief to parents, grandparents and all those involved.” To make a donation, or to find out how to get involved with ellenor’s Children’s Hospice at Home Appeal, please call 01474 320007 or email: email@example.com
Perrys golfers get in the swing to show support for Family Matters
IN THE BAG: Harman’s Hackers (l-r): James Stevens, Trevor Harman, Gary Wickens and Craig Harman with Chief Executive Stewart Pope
HOME TRUTHS Phil Spencer with Lady and Lord Sackville
GOLFERS from across Kent came to Chart Hills Golf Club in Biddenden for the sixth Perrys Annual Charity Golf Day and raised £5,608 for Family Matters. Hosted by Tunbridge Wells-based chartered accountants Perrys, the event saw 21 teams competing, with Harman’s Hackers as the overall winners – captained by Perrys partner Craig Harman. Just one point separated the top two teams, who scored 100 and 99, closely followed by a tie on 96 points for third and fourth places. The winners were presented with golf bags, with the runner-ups receiving Forlife Stump Teapots and a selection of quality teas provided by Café du Monde. The day was supported by Aytel Systems IT support, Farm and Landscape in Wrotham Heath and marketing agency PMW Communications. The charity Family Matters offers
support services to those that have been affected by sexual abuse or rape, including free one-to-one counselling sessions. Stewart Pope, Chief Executive of Perrys, said: “We are delighted that in our sixth year of hosting this event we have once again been able to raise such a fantastic amount. “The support Family Matters provides to victims of rape and sexual abuse across the county is absolutely crucial for making lives better – we are very proud to be helping them with their vital work.” The charity’s John Doody said: “It was a fabulous day and thoroughly enjoyable. “On behalf of Family Matters, I would like to send my sincere thanks to Perrys for organising such an excellent event and their invaluable support of our work.” To find out more about the charity, or to make a donation, please visit www.familymattersuk.org
Sevenoaks School’s art classes at hospice inspire patients and pupils STUDENTS from Sevenoaks School have been holding weekly art therapy sessions with patients at Hospice in the Weald this year. The pupils visit the hospice’s headquarters in Pembury every week to draw and paint with the patients, and talk about art, as part of the independent school’s Voluntary Service Unit [VSU] projects. Emma Delpech, an art teacher at the school who runs the VSU art project, said: “Creativity is a great source of well-being, providing all those involved in, or observing, the activity with a space of meditation and purpose and a connection with processes that can produce pleasing and surprising results. She added: “The students who visit Hospice in the Weald on Thursday afternoons benefit from this activity as much as the patients and hospice staff do. They enrich our lives and inspire us.” Every session covers a different activity, including making clay vegetables, creating prints and experimenting with glazing. One of the students commented: “Visiting the hospice is such a fulfilling experience. Every week that we go I find myself getting closer to the day patients as we see the same people, so you start to get to know each other and build good relationships. “It is a great feeling to take something you are passionate about and translate that into helping others. Art works so well because it removes any pressure by allowing people to open up through shared creativity, play and plenty of humour.”
ART WITH A HEART A student helps with clay modelling
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
By Andrew Tong firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre has received a cheque for £13,000 out of the blue from a multinational firm after a mum heard about the charity’s work through her daughter. The fairy tale began when Lamberhurst Primary School asked its Year 3 pupils to do a project about a local charity of their choice, then do a presentation on it. Nine-year-old Helena McNamara decided to write about the drop-in centre because her aunt had died of cancer. She was intrigued by how she had been able to cope with having the disease, and wanted to help in memory of her aunt. Pickering, which is based in Tunbridge Wells and run entirely by volunteers, provides support through counselling and a
variety of therapies for more than 3,000 people who suffer from terminal illness and their families. Helena paid a visit and put together a booklet about how the children’s room at the centre would benefit from refurbishment. Her entry was picked as one of two winners and became the school’s chosen charity.
‘It’s about things that people can put their arms around’ Helena’s mother, Sue, works for the large systems company Accenture, which runs a Make a Difference programme, where employees contribute part of their salary to a central fund and then choose three charities to support with the money. Two hours before the deadline for pitching potential beneficiaries, Sue remembered
Pickering and hurriedly put together their application. “I’d completely forgotten about it,” she recalled. “I realised two hours before the midnight cut-off.” Sue said Pickering was an ideal choice. “It’s about things that people can visualise and put their arms around, something you can associate with personally. You can see the beginning and the end product. And £13,000 will change that room.” She added that it was particularly meaningful that ‘hundreds and maybe thousands of portions of people’s salaries had gone into the pot’. Sue and Helena popped in to give Pickering’s co-founder, Polly Taylor, the entirely unexpected news. “What a lovely surprise that was,” said Polly. “And it didn’t come from the company itself, but from the staff, which makes it very special because we are a community charity.”
13 PHOTO: Lara Milan
Schoolgirl’s presentation leads to £13k donation for Pickering
POT LUCK: Helena McNamara and her mum Sue at Pickering Cancer Centre
Project management cyclists raise £19k for Alzheimer’s Society
Puddle Ducks join forces with coastguards to be ‘sea smart’
CONSULTANTS Faithful+Gould celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary by raising £19,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Staff from their London and Tunbridge Wells offices cycled over 50 miles from their headquarters in the capital to the Kent town. The project and programme management consultancy is aiming to raise a total of £70,000 for the charity through all of its 26 branches across the UK and Europe. They will cover 7,000 miles in 70 days to complete their 704SE7ENTY challenge. “With no technical hitches, all 54 of us managed to make it to the finish line at Tunbridge Wells for a well-deserved beverage and are pleased to have raised £19,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society from this ride alone,” said Stephen Hateley, Regional Managing Director for Faithful+Gould. He added: “Dementia is something that affects so many people, and as yet has no cure, and our colleagues overwhelmingly chose the Alzheimer’s Society as the charity they wanted to support.” It is thought that more than a third of people in the UK have a friend or family member with dementia. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. For more information about the charity visit www.alzheimers.org.uk
LOCAL swim school Puddle Ducks has been supporting Brighton’s Coastguard in a water safety campaign, helping everyone to keep safe at the seaside. Children and babies who attend their lessons have taken part in the campaign by wearing pyjamas during their swimming sessions in PJ Week, to assist them in learning survival skills. The Swimming Teachers’ Association [STA] organise an annual water safety campaign, Learn to Swim Week [June 10-16]. Puddle Ducks has partnered the Sussex town’s coastguards to distribute fun activity booklets which encourage everyone to be ‘sea smart’. Clive Relf from Puddle Ducks said: “We are delighted to support the great work Brighton’s Coastguard do on a daily basis. “Here at Puddle Ducks we understand how fantastic swimming is and how important it is to swim safely. He added: “During our PJ Week, parents and children wear pyjamas during lessons, which provides a good indication of what it would be like to be fully clothed in the water, should they ever be in that situation.
END OF THE ROAD: Steven Moore, Faithful+Gould Senior Project Manager in Tunbridge Wells, is greeted by his family after arriving in the town
“This is a great way of teaching our students important lifesaving skills in a fun and relaxed environment.” For information on the classes available at Puddle Ducks, call 01892 617246 or visit www.puddleducks.com/local-teams/west-kenteast-sussex SAFETY FIRST: Brighton coastguard Carl with Puddle Ducks teacher Michelle Wheatley and her son Cooper
NEWS IN BRIEF
Couple lose appeal fight for sick baby JUDGES in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have rejected a plea from the parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard to intervene in the case. After losing legal battles in the UK courts Chris Gard and Connie Yates, from Bedfont, west London, took their fight for their 10-month-old son, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, to undergo a therapy trial in America to the Strasbourg judges. Yesterday [Tuesday] the ECHR announced the application to the court by the parents was ‘inadmissible’ and said their decision was ‘final’.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Prime Minister defends DUP deal amid claims it will ‘increase division’
Cable clear for leader FORMER cabinet minister Sir Ed Davey has ruled out running for the Liberal Democrat leadership, appearing to leave the way clear for Sir Vince Cable to take the job. The former Energy Secretary said it was a ‘difficult’ decision not to stand but was based on the desire to spend more time with his young family.
Cyber attack targets UK ADVERTISING giant WPP said the firm had been hit by a ‘suspected cyber attack’ amid reports hackers had caused widespread disruption to companies across the globe. The world’s biggest advertising business which is based in London said a number of its companies had been affected and it was currently ‘assessing the situation’.
LABOUR has claimed that Theresa May’s deal with the Democratic Unionist Party will see most of the UK miss out on billions in additional funding for infrastructure and public services. The Prime Minister has robustly defended the deal. Announced on Monday, it was immediately branded a ‘bung’ after it emerged that Mrs May had approved an additional £1 billion in spending on infrastructure and health in Northern Ireland, along with new flexibility over £500 million of previously allocated cash, as part of an arrangement which will see the DUP’s 10 MPs prop up her minority administration. Scottish and Welsh politicians have demanded equivalent sums are handed over under the so-called Barnett formula, which normally guarantees proportional rises in the different nations of the UK. Labour has now released figures from the House
of Commons Library suggesting that if the formula was applied to the funding announced on Monday, it could see as much as £68 billion spent in the rest of the UK. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the deal could eventually be worth as much as £2 billion, which would normally imply £59 billion of additional spending in England, £6 billion in Scotland and £3 billion in Wales, under the system known as ‘Barnett consequentials’. But senior Conservative sources have insisted the Barnett formula does not apply to the money because it is an addition to the Northern Ireland Executive’s block grant. They pointed out that similar exemptions affected cash for city deals in Scotland and Wales. Speaking during a visit to Bristol, Mrs May said: “We’ve seen across Scotland, Wales and England Government investing in those parts of the country. “If you look at Scotland we’ve seen city deals, we’ve seen the same in the south west of England with the Bristol city deal, we’ve seen the local growth deal. The Government recognises the importance of investing in all parts of the country. “That’s what I want to ensure - a country that works for everyone and ensuring that we are seeing growth and prosperity spread across the whole country.” Mr McDonnell said: “The coalition of chaos that was set up yesterday risks increasing division in our society by easing austerity in one part of the UK alone.”
Charles ‘humbled’ by volunteers as he meets Grenfell Tower survivors THE Prince of Wales is said to have been ‘humbled’ by the stories he heard from the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and the volunteers who have helped them when he visited the charred ruins of the building on Monday. While looking at the thousands of tributes laid in memory of the victims of the tower block blaze, members of the public flocked towards the Prince, filming him on their phones and asking for selfies. One woman shouted “Thank you very much, I’m so impressed” as he shook hands with various onlookers, later posing for photos with some of them. The second in line to the throne repeatedly thanked the groups of volunteers he met for their ‘fantastic’ and ‘amazing’ work. Isabelle Alajooz, a 28-year-old volunteer for homelessness charity Shelter, described the Royal visit as ‘a boost’ adding: “We told him the work we were doing was for the victims of the tower and he wanted to know how they had been immediately housed and assisted by everyone.” Charles also met some of the survivors of the deadly fire, holding the hand of a man who said he had lost his family in the blaze, while another woman fought back tears after chatting with the Prince.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Scottish independence referendum now stalled NICOLA STURGEON has announced that a second independence referendum will now be put on hold. It comes after her party lost 21 seats at the General Election to all three Unionist parties and saw the vote TIME FOR REFLECTION share slip by 13 Nicola Sturgeon points to 37 per cent. In the immediate aftermath of their bruising election, which also resulted in both former SNP party leader Alex Salmond and its leader in the Commons Angus Robertson lose their seats, Mrs
LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a major crackdown on the ‘scourge of knife crime’ in the capital after three fatal stabbings were reported within hours of each other on Monday. He has pledged an extra £625,000 to fund knife and gang crime projects in the city after the number of offences in London involving knives rose by 11 per cent in 2016.
Sturgeon said she needed time to ‘reflect’ on its outcome and what it means for a referendum. Addressing the Scottish Parliament in Hollyrood yesterday [Tuesday] said she would wait until after the Brexit process is complete before holding another referendum, having previously pushed for the plebiscite to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. Ms Sturgeon said she still wanted to give people a choice at the end of the Brexit process when ‘clarity has emerged’ about how leaving the EU will impact Scotland and the UK. In the meantime, she said she would ‘redouble’ her efforts to secure the best possible Brexit deal for Scotland. Unionist opposition leaders said the First Minister had not gone far enough and have demanded the threat of a second poll be taken off the table indefinitely.
Urgency Mr Loughton said he welcomed the additional £4 billion offered by the Government but added there was going to be a shortfall given the cost pressures from pay increases and the apprenticeship levy.
The former Schools Minister said “It’s the accumulative effect of being under funded for so many years in West Sussex that means that so many of our schools do not have any further slack that they can take up, they really are running on empty. “This cannot wait any longer and I do urge the Secretary of State for Education, I hope ministers on the front bench will take back this message, as a matter of urgency, let’s have a resolution to this consultation and let’s have a meaningful settlement that means that schools in my constituency have fair funding to give our children a fair start against the rest of the country.”
Series of fatal stabbings prompts Mayor to issue knife crime strategy
Former Minister warns schools are ‘running on empty’ Tim Loughton a Tory MP and ex- children’s minister has called on the Government to ‘urgently’ get a resolution to a fair funding formula. The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham raised the issue as MPs debated the Queen’s Speech in the Commons arguing a solution ‘cannot wait any longer’.
CRACKDOWN Sadiq Khan arriving with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick at Tuesday’s Knife Crime Strategy launch
It came as Scotland Yard launched three separate murder investigations after fatal stabbings across the capital. Since the start of the year until June 18, 24 people under the age of 25 have been fatally stabbed in London. Mr Khan said: “Every death on the streets of London is an utter tragedy, and I am deeply concerned about the rise in knife crime on London’s streets. Dozens of families have been bereaved; many more have seen their loved ones severely injured. “We need to send a strong signal that carrying and using knives is totally and utterly unacceptable. “The only way we can truly beat the scourge of knife crime on our streets is by properly funding youth services - the Government needs to step up, reverse these cuts and help provide the services we need to tackle knife crime.”
National Business News
Central Bank takes action to head off a ‘wide range’ of risks THE Bank of England has told banks they must put aside another £11.4 billion over the next 18 months as it warned the economy faces a ‘wide range’ of risks. The lending crackdown comes amid fears over surging levels of unsecured consumer borrowing on credit cards and car finance, which is rising by more than 10 per cent a year and outstripping incomes. It announced plans that will see banks build up their capital buffers by £5.7 billion initially, with aims to instruct them to bolster reserves by another £5.7 billion in November. In its bi-annual financial stability report, the Bank also said it will tighten affordability tests for mortgage lending, over worries the banking sector has become too reliant on ‘benign’ economic conditions. It said the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), headed by Bank governor Mark Carney, was continuing to work on contingency planning for a ‘range of possible outcomes’ of Brexit negotiations. These will help ‘mitigate the risks to financial stability as the withdrawal process unfolds’, it said. WARNINGS Bank of England’s Mark Carney
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Google hit with record £2bn by EU watchdog
SILICONE Valley tech giant Google was found guilty of breeching antitrust rules yesterday by Europe’s competition watchdog, which accused the company of abusing its search engine monopoly. The £2.1bn fine is the largest fine to be handed out by the watchdog yet and follows a seven year investigation which has drawn accusations from across the Atlantic of anti-American bias. Google said it was considering launching an appeal against the commission once it had reviewed the decision. The investigation was into complaints that the company gave its own shopping service, Google Shopping, a prominent position on its search engine – often putting it in bold at the top of page one. Rival services were demoted further down the page and were less promoted by Google’s algorithms, the watchdog said.
Underscoring the disadvantage, the commission cited evidence saying 95 per cent of clicks on desktop computers were made on the first page of search results, while the first result on page two attracted only one per cent of clicks. Figures reveal more than 90 per cent of internet searches run through Google in most European countries. In a statement, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. “That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals.
‘Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service’ “Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.” The European Commission has told the internet search giant that it now has 90 days to stop the practice or face a penalty of up to five per cent of the average daily turnover of the firm’s parent company, Alphabet.
WORLD IN BRIEF
Hague court rules on Srebrenica massacre THE Dutch government is partially liable for the deaths of some 300 Muslim men murdered by Bosnian Serb forces in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, an appeals court ruled yesterday. The ruling largely upheld a civil court’s 2014 judgment that said the state was liable in the deaths of the Bosnian Muslim men who were turned over by Dutch UN peacekeepers to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 and subsequently killed.
Tributes to a unifier GERMANY’S leaders paid tribute to former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who spearheaded the country’s reunification during 16 years at the helm, in a requiem Mass at Berlin’s Roman Catholic cathedral yesterday. The parliamentary caucus of Mr Kohl’s conservative party organised Tuesday’s service at St Hedwig cathedral. Their current leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among the guests. Mr Kohl died on June 16 aged 87.
Air-strike civilian toll AN AIR STRIKE targeting an Islamic State-run jail in eastern Syria has killed at least 42 prisoners, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 15 I.S. jailers and fighters were also killed in the air strike that happened in the Deir El-Zour province on Monday. The activist-run Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet said at least 60 civilians were killed.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
And another thing… This is the page where you, the reader, have your chance to express your views or comments on what’s going on in our part of the world. We like to hear from you. You can email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU Primary school PTAs and extra-curricular sports clubs are two of the hardest hit, according to recently published figures. Let’s hope that those who do have a spare hour or two to give choose to spend it wisely at a school, club or on a residents’ committee. Just that small amount of time volunteered to help others can make such a big difference, not only to the recipients but to those who give up a bit of their precious time. Vanessa Lewins Via email
GETTING TOGETHER And parking any differences
‘Failing’ school deserves our support Jo Cox reminds us we are united It is refreshing to see cross-party tributes for the late MP Jo Cox took place last week in Tunbridge Wells. In these uncertain times, when the country seems more divided than ever, it is reassuring to see these local politicians coming together to pay their respects and show that ultimately we have more uniting us than dividing us. Hopefully those elected to serve us will
The students have got it all wrong Martin Betts of the Labour Party wrote [June 14] that Mrs May’s description of Jeremy Corbyn maligned him by saying he was weak; a spendthrift; a friend of terrorists. That’s not maligning him, that’s a fair description of the truth. He’s right that the Conservative campaign was a disaster, it was, but Mr Corbyn’s popular manifesto was an ill-disguised bribe: ‘Free university tuition’, and they came out in droves; ‘an end to austerity’, a socialist mantra straight out of the 1920s, and spending money that we do not have on a renationalisation programme. More jargon – ‘Protecting the NHS’, from what? I thought I detected a re-emergence of political awareness that I had not seen since the 1960s, but I was wrong. All I saw was a base appeal to venality, the outcome of which is that the people of Canterbury have now been disenfranchised for five years by a transient student body who will not be there one or two years hence – and they’ll still have to pay tuition fees. We need a radical solution: Let us take the battle cry of the 18th-century American revolutionaries and give it a twist: ‘No representation without taxation’ – and you must register to vote in your home town. Edward Baker Tunbridge Wells
Light at the end of a long tunnel I am thrilled that this country took an important step back from the seemingly inevitable drift towards right-wing dogma at the last election and
continue in this vein when it comes to doing what is best for the town and those who live in it, and put aside petty and dogmatic squabbles. Likewise, it was good to see MP Nus Ghani taking her pledge of allegiance to The Queen in her native tongue of Urdu as well as in English. It just goes to show that, contrary to what some may think, you can still be a British patriot while acknowledging your heritage. Pam Asquith, via email aligned itself with a more liberal, vibrant and community-minded outlook. It’s all too easy to look after your own interests and not have the courage to step outside of your prejudices and generate the generosity of spirit to think about your fellow man. It’s an awful lot harder to fight for change and improve society than it is to sit contentedly in your castle and pour scorn on those who are less fortunate than yourself. But the long journey back to a caring society is only just beginning, because we have fallen so far in the last two years. Geoffrey Burns Tunbridge Wells
Where all have the volunteers gone? I was not surprised to hear that a local nursery is having to face possible closure due to the lack of volunteers willing to come on board and run its committee of trustees. Sadly, I have come to realise the current issue at Chiddingstone Nursery is a scenario that is all too familiar. It would seem that unless you are going to get paid for doing something that will enhance others’ lives, or pique their interest in something, then the amount of interest in doing it for free is pretty much zero these days. Over the past few years we have seen lots of afterschool clubs that were run by keen parents taken over by privately-run external organisations. Now whether this is due to a lack of time or interest, I obviously cannot say, but it seems to be happening more and more.
What an interesting story you reported [June 21] about problems at the Temple Grove Academy. It was refreshing to see a newspaper looking for the positives in a school that was told it ‘required improvement’ in three out of five key areas, following a visit from the Ofsted inspectors. As you highlighted, the reality is this has been a failing school for some considerable time, with children suffering from ‘years of poor teaching’. The Headteacher, Sam Linton, who only took over three years ago, also pointed out that the situation was not helped by the departure of two teachers midway through the year. On the upside, it does appear she and her dedicated staff are turning things around, with pupils now attending school and wanting to do well. They have aspirations. Ms Linton has also threatened to ban parents from the school playground if they persist in using bad language. Bully for her. Because we live in such an affluent town, it is easy to forget there are some less fortunate than others. Those are the ones that deserve our attention and our support. Peter Aldwick Via email
It’s crunch time for the potholes It’s all very well the council wanting to spend £72million on its new offices and another theatre. But what sort of impression does it create when the roads are falling to pieces in front of our eyes? The crossroads that join Church Road to London Road is such a cratered moonscape that it’s bone-shaking. The road past Langton Green’s parade of shops is turning into a trench. St John’s Road, past the schools, is literally crazy paving. You can see cars swerving to avoid the pitfalls. Our roads are busy enough, and dangerous enough, already. Surely it won’t be long before there’s an accident and someone is badly hurt? No doubt our local authority will say it’s up to Kent Highways or the county council. But how long will they stand idly by while our reputation sinks into all the holes? Edgar Betts Via email
We do our best to publish letters in full. However, the Editor reserves the right to edit any letter. Please ensure that letters do not exceed 250 words
Observations on life and more important things
BEING politically correct was not something folks had to worry about back in 1918. Here’s an example of what Himself means: When the First World War broke out, the good people of Tunbridge Wells offered to provide homes to refugees fleeing the conflict in Belgium. The Mayor at the time was one Charles Whitbourn Emson (what a lovely moniker). In a letter to those organising matters, the Mayor made it quite clear we would not accept any riff-raff and wrote offering refuge to 30 individuals ‘not of the peasant type, but of the middle class and trades people’. So that’s what set the bar. TALKING of mayors, the new Number One Citizen of Tonbridge & Malling trotted along to the town carnival on Sunday and had a most splendid time. He entered into the spirit of things, was placed in the stocks and pelted with wet sponges. So far so good. Then Cllr Roger Dalton was just a tad too honest and declared: “I look back over the last 40 years and think what a fool I’ve been for not coming [to the carnival] sooner.” All of which adds grist to the mill of those who believe his absence could be explained by the fact he doesn’t even live in the borough. Calverley would point out he most certainly does live in the borough, a long way from the town itself, but in the borough. Anyway he was born in Rusthall, so he’s OK. STAFF from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council had their summer party the other day, not that Calverley was invited, but then why would he be? Where did this jolly bash take place? The Nevill cricket ground. The very place the council is under attack for failing to maintain, putting in doubt the county cricket festival. There is no truth in the rumour, by the way, that partygoers danced on the pitch. They kept to the outfield. ONE has to chuckle. Himself has a friend who asked, kindly, for his wife to drop his favourite brogues into the cobblers – there’s an oldfashioned word. He was mortified to learn that she had dumped them in one of those charity recycling bins. She claimed she had misheard him. Yeah, right. She never did like those shoes. Chin, chin readers
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
MIRANDA TANSLEY from Tunbridge Wells was announced joint winner in the 8-10 category at the 2017 Wicked Young Writer Awards held last Friday [June 23] in London. The ten year old attended the ceremony at the Apollo Victoria Theatre with her mother, father and 11-yearold brother Ciaran.
‘A story that breathes life into a true episode from the frontline of the Suffragette movement’ Her book, entitled The Suffragettes of Tunbridge Wells, was praised for being a story that ‘breathes life into a true episode from the frontline of the Suffragette movement’ by the judging panel, which included former MP and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ed Balls, ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and acclaimed How
To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell. After winning her award, Miranda, who attends Holmewood House School, spoke exclusively to the Times about why she decided to write a book on this subject. “I enjoy history, and my dad was telling me all about the suffragettes in Tunbridge Wells, and how in 1913 they burned down the cricket pavilion because they weren’t allowed in – only to make the tea.” This inspired Miranda to write a story about a group of four young women – Eliza, Rose, Victoria and Miranda – and their plan to set fire to the men-only Nevill cricket ground pavilion. Although she has written ‘many stories already’, this is the first time she has entered a competition. It took Miranda six days to write the tale, and she hopes to do a sequel ‘to find out the consequences’ of their act. Her story will be published as part of this year’s Wicked Young
WRITE ON: Miranda Tansley (left) at the awards with Iona Mandal, Gaby Roslin and Cressida Cowell
PHOTO Darren Bell
A budding young writer inspired by the suffragettes’ suffering wins top prize
Writer anthology, and included in her prize was a £50 book token, tickets to see the musical Wicked and £100 for her school to spend on books. With over 115 short-listed finalists, competition was certainly strong, and included other consciously crafted stories as well as poems and non-fiction pieces covering subjects
as diverse as dementia, mental illness and hope in adversity. The Wicked Young Writer awards, which are now in their seventh year and championed by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as patron, encourage young people aged between five and 25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves, producing unique and original pieces of prose and poetry. Over 600 primary and secondary schools and colleges entered this year’s competition from all over the UK. Head Judge Cressida Cowell said of the winners: “This year, my fellow judges and I read poems and stories addressing really big issues – mental illness, hope in adversity, kindness to strangers and the value of education. “There was an incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they all had this in common – they made us, as judges, feel something.”
St Gregory’s girls are the champions MEMBERS of the junior league volleyball team at St Gregory’s RC School are celebrating being crowned winners of the Kent Volleyball Association Schools’ League for under-16s. The girls beat Sackville School in Sevenoaks and Townley Grammar School in Bexleyheath in last week’s tournament. The junior league was started a few years ago due to the apparent lack of competitions in the sport for this particular age group, according to the tournament’s organiser Katie Jo Dolan. She added: “The Kent Volleyball Association agreed to start a league for school-aged children in the hope that some of the students involved would then move to join club volleyball within their areas.”
FEELING THE BOUNCE: St Gregory’s Girls Under-16s Volleyball Champions with their trophy, alongside Head of PE Joe Cumber (left) and teacher Terry King
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
MP for Tunbridge Wells
Greg Clark was ﬁrst elected to Parliament as a representative of Tunbridge Wells in 2005. The Conservative MP has since held a number of positions in Government and currently sits as a member of the Cabinet in his capacity as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Southeastern franchise must be held to higher standards AS THIS is my first column since the General Election, I must start by saying how grateful I am to be returned as MP for Tunbridge Wells. It is a tremendous privilege – and a big responsibility – to represent this strong and vibrant community, and I will always do my best to help and support everyone who lives here, regardless of party politics. You may remember in my April column I encouraged people to contact me with their priorities for the next Southeastern rail franchise, to help inform my response to the Department for Transport’s consultation. I am most grateful to everyone who got in touch with me, either by email or through the postcards I handed out at our stations. I also met with my Rail Action Group – consisting of local commuters – as part of developing my response, and I’m grateful, too, for their time and contributions. For some time the service we receive has not been good enough. Earlier this year Southeastern was rated as the second worst train operator nationwide for customer satisfaction – only Southern achieved lower scores. On too many days problems have disrupted the network, while trains have become more crowded, prices have gone up, and communication with passengers continues to be a concern –
ACTION Greg Clark hears passengers views
particularly when things go wrong. These problems, and more, featured prominently in the feedback I received, and my response to the consultation emphasises the need to deliver a service which is reliable, which provides better value for money, and which must maintain the current level of service to and from all stations –
and adding extra services wherever possible. Indeed, there were particular calls for more trains to and from Cannon Street, as well as the return of a direct service to Gatwick – a real upgrade on the infrequent, fragile connection we currently have. Other issues in my response include calling for more flexibility for part-time commuters to be
able to buy tailored season tickets, or a carnettype system of pre-bought tickets at a discount. Improved capacity through longer trains is also vital, given the large number of our services starting further down the line, and the network must be updated with on-board Wi-Fi. In addition, I have urged that the next operator look at upgrades to our stations – from the vital issue of installing disabled access at High Brooms to additional parking, more bicycle storage and longer opening hours for station toilets. Finally, with around 70 per cent of delays on our part of the network caused by infrastructure failures, we need to see better working between the next operator and Network Rail to ensure problems are fixed more quickly and delays are reduced. The Department for Transport will now use the feedback they have received to draw up the terms for the new franchise, and this will include the standards the next operator will be held to. This is why the comments and suggestions so many of you sent me are vital, and I would again like to thank everyone who got in touch. If you would like a copy of my consultation response in full, and haven’t already given me your details, just drop me an email at: email@example.com
SPECIAL T U O L L U P EDITION
In association with Tunbridge Wells Together
T H E S E C O N D O F A T WO - PA R T L O C A L G U I D E T O E V E RY T H I N G Y O U N E E D T O K N O W F O R Y O U R B E S T S U M M E R Y E Tâ€¦
GREAT OUTDOORS Go local with our ultimate guide to festivals near you
BOOK IT IN
All the dates that matter for your summer diary
SEASONAL FLAVOURS Delicious recipes to enjoy on warm summer evenings
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Make sure your diary isn’t booked up too quickly, as we have some fabulous summer events you won’t want to miss CALENDAR OF EVENTS: JULY
With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to keep your children amused for six long weeks… Well, that’s where this Summer Times special guide comes in handy, as it offers you lots of inspiring ideas on great days out and fun activities. Whether it’s a child-friendly festival, an educational visit to an historic home or an outdoor camp, you’ll find all of those and more in this exclusive 12-page guide. After flicking through it you’ll see that boredom really isn’t an option this summer, given the amount of great days out to choose from in the area. Then, of course, there are all the various holiday clubs and workshops which will engage your children and help them meet friends, make new ones or learn a new skill. So, to help you make summer 2017 one to remember, read on to find out what’s happening where and how you can get your kids involved. We guarantee you’ll never hear the words ‘I’m bored’ over the next few weeks thanks to this indispensable guide, which is packed full of pursuits that promise limitless action and adventure for your little ones.
SUMMER CALENDAR OF FAMILY ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS
In association with Tunbridge Wells Together
>> JULY 1
Town Sounds Head to the Recreation Ground in Tenterden on July 1 and 2 for one of the biggest events of the year – Tentertainment. Now in its tenth year, the popular music festival returns for a weekend of live music, local produce and fun in the sun for the whole family. Headlining on Saturday are the Frequent Flyers, and Sunday’s headliner is local musician Adam Chantler, who you might recognise from 2014’s Britain’s Got Talent. Entry is completely free, and the festival runs from 10am9pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. www.tentertainment.co.uk Tentertainment
>> JULY 1
Sweet 60s Lilac Sheer’s female ensemble presents modern renditions of much-loved classics from Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Peter Paul and Mary, etc, at Trinity Theatre this month. Songs performed on the evening will include Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer and Blowin’ in the Wind. With a 60s theme, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine promises to be the perfect throwback evening – the ideal girls’ night! www.trinitytheatre.net >> JULY 3
Storytelling Sessions Bring the whole family along to Knole Park for storytelling in the bookshop from 11-11.30am on July 3, 10 and 17 – the perfect way to keep the kids entertained while allowing you to enjoy the beautiful surrounds! Take advantage of the Brewhouse Café serving hot and cold food, snacks, drinks and ice cream, or why not make the most of the sun and enjoy a picnic in the vast grounds? This is a free event for families (children must be accompanied by an adult) but donations are always welcome. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole >> JULY 7
Folk Fun Phil Odgers, one half of vocalists The Men They Couldn’t Hang, is performing at St Edith’s Hall, Kemsing this July. His latest solo album, the highly regarded Roll to the Left, focuses on his songwriting skills, and you will have the opportunity at this special performance to hear many of the songs from the album, alongside
Kent County Show favourites from his back catalogue of classics. Phil Odgers will be accompanied by Bobby Valentino, on the fiddle. Valentino’s violin can be heard on tracks by artists such as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bob Geldof, and Shania Twain. More details available at www.stedithfolk.co.uk >> JULY 7
It’s Showtime Held at the Kent Showground in Detling, the annual Kent County Show takes place on July 7, 8 and 9 and is a showcase for farming, countryside and rural life. The three-day event brings together the very best of Kent with animals and food, fun and excitement, and above all a sense of what ‘The Garden of England’ has to offer. Open from 8am6pm every day, the show is a wonderful outing with plenty of displays, entertainment and local food, as well as over 400 exhibitors. For tickets and information, visit www.kentshowground.co.uk >> JULY 8
Eating Outdoors Pashley Manor Gardens are dedicating a week to their Kitchen Garden (running until July 15). For
those passionate about eating what you grow, the gardens are a re-creation of how the long-lost Victorian potager might have been. Hidden by its soft red brick walls, the garden is full of fresh produce and flowers that supply the café and feed the house. Pear trees and vine arches welcome you, and there will be a chance to talk to the gardeners and ask questions, as well as learn about the produce. Homemade chutney and honey will be on sale in the shop. www.pashleymanorgardens.com >> JULY 8
Feasting Fair Running across the weekend of July 8 and 9, the Cobnut Food Fair commences at 10am at King John’s Nursery in Etchingham and lasts all day. The ideal foodie event, this inaugural food festival blends the finest traditional and artisan producers and suppliers from across Kent and Sussex, and will provide you with the best food and drink – on your doorstep! There will be over 40 stalls, cookery demonstrations, live music, foraging workshops, live talks and plenty of food tasters. Perfect for any kind of foodie of any age. www.cobnutfoodfair.co.uk
Kitchen Garden Week
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
>> JULY 9
>> JULY 15
Celebration of Words
Gates open at 1pm on July 9 for the Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival’s special outdoor summer picnic concert at the stunning and historic setting of Tonbridge Castle. Russell Watson will be headlining the event, and jazz singer Liane Carroll will be the supporting act. Russell, titled the ‘UK’s best-selling classical artist’, has sold over seven million albums throughout his exceptional career, and will be performing songs from his latest album, True Stories. Tickets are priced from £45 with children under 16 half price and children under 5 free. Full details can be found at www.ryejazz.com
This enchanting literary festival will take place in the glorious gardens of Boldshaves, Woodchurch, near Tenterden over the weekend of July 15-16. Writer guests will include Yuval Zommer, author/ illustrator of The Big Book of Beasts (ages 8 to 12), and Naomi Howarth, whose latest book is Tug of War (ages 4+ to 8+). The charity Beanstalk will also be present to give one-to-one reading support throughout the days. And Badger Bushcraft will be on hand in the woods throughout the weekend to lead outdoor activities from den-building to woodland crafts. www.wealdenliteraryfestival.co.uk
Summer Jousting Tournament
>> JULY 16 >> JULY 15
Thrills and Spills Running over the last three weekends of the month, the annual Summer Jousting Tournament is returning to Hever Castle and will include an exhilarating display of action, stunts, falls and fights in an authentic arena complete with royal box. The knights will compete for points to find the season’s ultimate champion in the surrounds of the award-winning gardens, once the childhood playground of Anne Boleyn, which date back to the 13th century. Bring along a blanket and watch the joust in style from the medieval spectator stands, available for a small cost on a first-come, firstserved basis. For further information and admission tickets to the castle and grounds, visit www. hevercastle.co.uk
Fearless Film Grab the picnic blanket and come along to Tonbridge Castle for an open-air screening of Ghostbusters. The showing of the 1985 classic will commence at 9.15pm, and doors will be open from 7.30pm onwards. To really make the evening special, there is also the option to order extras such as blankets, backrests and beer buckets. Premium seats can also be bought, which include a chair in prime position within the arena and a complimentary drink at the Luna Bar. Visit www.thelunacinema.com >> JULY 19
Rhythm of the Dance Russell Watson
Come along to the Assembly Hall Theatre and witness this incredible live
show of Irish entertainment, featuring world champion dancers, a traditional Irish band and the Young Irish Tenors. Rhythm of the Dance celebrates a renewed vigour in Irish culture, embracing traditional and current as well as the ancient SeanNos dance style. Internationally rated as one of the most popular and successful Irish Step Dance tour shows, tickets are priced at £24 and are available from www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk >> JULY 22
Fairy-tale Fun Travel back in time this summer and meet the Knights and Princesses of Groombridge Place, just outside Tunbridge Wells. There will be interactive shows, storytelling and much more. The event runs from July 22 until August 6, and you can discover what life was like during medieval times through interactive shows and many more activities to keep the whole family happy! You can also save 10 per cent when you book online at www.thelittleboxoffice.com/groombridge
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
>> JULY 23
CALENDAR OF EVENTS: AUGUST
>> AUGUST 1
The Pantaloons Theatre Company will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the beautiful setting of Bough Beech Visitor Centre. The Pantaloons are critically acclaimed and promise to tell this tale in their own distinctive, anarchic style. Priced at £13 for an adult and £8 for a child (family ticket available), the performance will take place on grass, so picnics are encouraged. Hot and cold drinks and a selection of snacks will be available from the visitor centre. See www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk >> JULY 25
Maize Maze Open daily from 11am to 5pm, the Summer Maize Maze at Penshurst Place continues to run throughout the whole of August and offers the perfect day out for all the family. The maze will be ready and waiting for you to discover its concealed corridors and clues hidden within! Entrance to the maze is included in a Gardens and Grounds ticket, allowing you to enjoy the house, grounds and variety of eateries throughout the day. www.penshurstplace.com
War and Peace
Moscow State Circus
A great celebration of military history and vintage lifestyle is coming to the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood from July 25-30. The military and vintage festival will be packed full of education and entertainment. Living history scenes will provide a unique picture of life in conflict with depiction from WWI to the present. There is also an area dedicated to all things vintage which focuses on the peace element of the show’s title. Opening times are 10am-6pm. See www.thehopfarm.co.uk
>> AUGUST 6
Castle Canines Penshurst Place
>> JULY 22
>> AUGUST 5
Twist and Shout
For a weekend of drinking, dancing and embracing the Wealden countryside, head to the White Hart, Newenden, for their annual Beer and Music Festival. Expect a great mix of bands delivering rock, blues, acoustic and more while you enjoy an array of beers from around the country and closer to home, too. With a special festival menu, talented face painters and a henna tattooist, plus a fabulous play area, it’s not to be missed. During the event, money will be raised for Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital. www.thewhitehartnewenden.co.uk
Starting at 7.30pm, why not get your friends together and head to the Assembly Hall Theatre for a night of musical nostalgia and dance? Sing along with a cast of leading performers to the music of The Beatles, Hermans Hermits, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones, Lulu and many more. The music will cover the explosion of Brit Pop in 1962 through to the era of Flower Power and Free Love of the late 60s and is guaranteed to get you moving. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
Hever Castle are hosting their own canine event over the first weekend of August – there will be stalls, entertainment and prizes to win for those with the best pooches. Whether you own a dog yourself, or just love them, you are welcome to enjoy displays from a variety of of our four-legged friends, including guide dog puppies, Therapy Dogs, and even huskies from the Siberian Husky Welfare Association. Hever Castle and Gardens welcome dogs on leads around their 125 acres of grounds, which will also be open as normal over the weekend. www.hevercastle.co.uk >> AUGUST 23
Railway Dining Enjoy a Fish & Chip supper with the Kent & East Sussex Railway. Board at 6pm from Tenterden, and choose from a range of locally-sourced
food, which is served to you as the train departs. Enjoy tea, coffee, wine or locally-brewed beer with your choice of a variety of fish, sausage, chicken or vegetarian spring roll with chips. Online booking prices are £16.20 per adult, £10.80 per child and £9 per meal. www.kesr.org.uk >> AUGUST 31
Circus The world’s most famous circus show, Gostinitsa, is coming to Dunorlan Park this summer. Promising all the spectacle and nerve-tingling, edge-of-your seat thrills for the whole family, the Moscow State Circus have been planning this event for the past two years. Award-winning clowns the Chervotkins Duo will guide the audience through the show, which includes Europe’s only double Russian swings. The performance will commence at 7.45pm with tickets priced at £8 per person. www.skiddle.com
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
THE LOCAL FESTIVAL HIT LIST the local produce being sold in the marquees. Definitely one to mark in your diary! www.tentertainment.co.uk >> JULY 1
Big Day Out The Big Day Out festival is a day-long event held at Mote Park, which is ideal for a family day trip. Now in its second year, the festival is set to be even bigger and better than last year, with more children’s entertainment and television characters, arts and crafts areas and a children’s disco and karaoke stage. There’ll also be performances from hit artists and former X Factor stars. But don’t worry, adults won’t miss out – there’s a foods of the world village and beer, cider and ale area, too. Tickets are now available at www.bigdayoutfestival.com >> JULY 14 – 15
The local festival scene is a celebration of artistes from the area. So if you like to support Kent & Sussex talent, here’s a comprehensive list for you to start ticking >> JUNE 30 – JULY 2
Love Supreme Jazz Festival The ultimate local jazz event, the Love Supreme Jazz Festival will be held over three days at the stunning Glynde Place in East Sussex. This year, The Jacksons will be headlining the main stage on Saturday July 1, celebrating 50 years of performing. With a further four stages, a fairground, children’s area and food village, there
Vicar’s Picnic will certainly be enough to keep you entertained all weekend. To book your tickets, go to www.lovesupremefestival.com >> JUNE 30 – JULY 2
Tentertainment A perfect event for the whole family, Tentertainment is an annual festival that spans over three days. Set on Tenterden Recreation Ground, the free event features live music from both local and national acts all weekend. It is so much more than just music, though, with a whole range of different food and drink stands, entertainment and funfair rides for the kids, and you can even send part of the weekend browsing
Vicar’s Picnic, also known as ‘Kent’s biggest little music festival’, is returning to the Lees in Yalding. The festival is known for having acts from a whole range of genres, and indie-rock band The Fratellis will be headlining the main stage this year. The festival will be home to two stages and a DJ tent, and there is also the opportunity to camp there. However, it’s not all about the music here, there is also an amazing range of entertainment, gourmet foods, cocktails and ales. Tickets are available at www.vicarspicnic.co.uk
enthusiastic Mote Park will also be hosting another festival at the end of the month – with the rock festival Ramblin’ Man Fair returning for its third year. So far, headline performances from Saxon, Extreme and ZZ Top have been confirmed, as well as a beer festival running alongside the live music performances. Created for rock fans by rock fans, this isn’t one to miss. Weekend tickets cost £150. For details and to book, visit www.ramblinmanfair.com >> AUGUST 4 – 6
Margate Soul Festival One of the biggest soul music festivals in the UK is set right next to the beach, in and around Margate’s Harbour and Promenade. There is expected to be over 50 DJs performing on two stages and seven themed venues. It will be a combination of ticketed live shows, family-friendly street performances as well as club nightlife. A weekend ticket is £66 from www.margatesoulfestival.co.uk Margate Soul Festival
>> JULY 28 – 30
Ramblin’ Man Fair On top of the Big Day Out at the beginning of July,
Continued on page 55
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Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Your at-a-glance guide to
CROMER STREET TONBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE £420,000-£440,000
UNDER £250,000 MAYLAMS QUAY, MEDWAY WHARF ROAD, TONBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE
£195,000-£220,000 A modern one-bedroom apartment that enjoys a scenic setting alongside the river. Also of benefit, the property is just a short walk to Tonbridge mainline station and High
Street. The accommodation comprises a light and open-plan living area with lounge and fitted kitchen which includes an integrated oven, fridge/freezer and dishwasher. There is also a double bedroom and bathroom. CONTACT Ellis & Co Tonbridge 01732 770077 www.ellisandco.co.uk
UNDER £350,000 ALBION ROAD TUNBRIDGE WELLS
This spacious semi-detached house is close to Tunbridge Wells’ Camden Road and is in need of modernisation. At ground level, the accommodation comprises a large lounge and dining room, kitchen, WC
and outhouse. Upstairs are two double bedrooms and a bathroom. The house has double glazing and gas-fired central heating, and there is also a pretty rear garden. It would make a great home improvement project, or a investment opportunity. CONTACT TW Property Tunbridge Wells 01892 530109 www.tw-property.co.uk
To suit your budget
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
great properties by price range… UNDER £450,000 SHIRLEY GARDENS RUSTHALL
A light and airy family home, with a driveway for 2-3 cars plus garage. Situated in a popular location in the village of Rusthall, near Tunbridge Wells, the property is end of terrace and the accommodation comprises a lounge/diner, kitchen, downstairs cloakroom, three bedrooms and a modern, fitted shower room. It also benefits from double glazing, gas-fired heating and both front & rear gardens. No onward chain. CONTACT KMJ Property Rusthall 01892 515188 www.kmjproperty.co.uk
UNDER £800,000 FOSSE BANK CLOSE TONBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE
£695,000-£725,000 Offered with no onward chain, this four-bedroom, three-reception room detached house has a large garden. Situated on a good size plot and walkable to Tonbridge High Street and mainline station, the property offers plenty of off-road parking with a car port and drive. Although in need of some modernisation, the space this offers is definitely worth viewing. CONTACT Ellis & Co Tonbridge 01732 770077 www.ellisandco.co.uk
CROMER STREET TONBRIDGE
YARDLEY PARK ROAD, TONBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE
£420,000-£440,000 A well-presented and appointed Victorian semi-detached property with the added benefit of traditional halls adjoining. The acommodation ranges over three floors and comprises on the ground floor an entrance hall, dining room, sitting room and kitchen. To the first floor there are three bedrooms and a family bathroom, and to the second
floor there is an attic bedroom with eaves storage. Outside, the property has a wider than average plot, which is attractively landscaped and laid to lawn to the rear. CONTACT Bracketts Tonbridge 01732 350503 www.bracketts.co.uk
A substantial detached property within walking distance of Tonbridge mainline station and High Street. The light and spacious accommodation enjoys a good size entrance hall, a large kitchen with adjoining breakfast room in a conservatory, a study, a cloakroom, an en-suite master bedroom, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. Outside is a good size garden, double garage and ample parking. CONTACT Ellis & Co Tonbridge 01732 770077 www.ellisandco.co.uk
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The big reveal On July 1, leading developer Berkeley Homes will unveil a brand new show home within its prestigious lakeside collection, at the awardwinning development, Holborough Lakes THE upcoming open day on July 1 at Holborough Lakes’ new show home presents the latest opportunity to experience the best of lakeside living at the new north Kent neighbourhood, and to enjoy the far-reaching views. Designed by renowned interior design practice Honky, the property showcases a superb combination of modern family living in a peaceful waterfront location. The new four-bedroom show home forms part of
the desirable ‘Petworth’ collection of house styles, located on the fringes of the freshwater centrepiece of the new community. One of the most sought-after property designs, the substantial home boasts panoramic views across the water to the woodland beyond, as well as charming features, including a boxed bay window and glass-fronted balconies. The property also benefits from a secluded private garden, accessed via French doors from
the spacious open-plan family/dining room. Set in a picturesque enclave with the North Kent Downs as a backdrop, Holborough Lakes is an attractive new neighbourhood developed by Berkeley Homes, surrounded by professionally maintained grounds and mature trees. The homes have been thoughtfully designed to reflect the heritage of the location and to create a distinctive identity for the neighbourhood, blending traditional Kentish architecture with contemporary interiors. Alongside two activity trim trails, the development also includes an excellently equipped on-site nursery, Valley Invicta primary school, village hall and private residents’ gym.
In addition to an expansive rural setting, residents also enjoy quick and easy access into London. Trains from nearby Snodland offer rail links to Stratford International in 37 minutes and St Pancreas International in 45 minutes. The new show home is available to purchase for £585,000 (interiors via separate negotiation). Also available are two-bedroom apartments from £330,000. Help to Buy is available on select properties at Holborough Lakes. The open day will take place on Saturday July 1 between 10am and 4pm. For further information and to register interest, please call 01634 775881 or visit www.holboroughlakes.co.uk
The Hay Waggon
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Tudor Hay Waggon rolls into a new era Three new homes created out of a much-loved village pub launched last week ‘As well as the charming period features, the homes enjoy a touch of modern luxury’
THE transformation of Hartfield’s old pub, The Hay Waggon, is nearly complete. The public had the chance to see the intricate work that has resulted in three new homes at the launch last Saturday, with visitors enchanted by the unique collection. Dating back to 1540, the pub has undergone a respectful restoration, with expert care taken to bring the building up to a high standard for contemporary living, while protecting its robust character and history. A range of original features have been retained, such as the authentic fireplaces, the baking stove and beams with visible carpenter’s markings. This has ensured the origins of The Hay Waggon play a part in the new chapter of the building, giving residents a glimpse into their rich past and preserving it for the future. As well as their charming original features, the homes enjoy a touch of luxury, from integrated wine coolers to free-standing baths and underfloor heating. Brand new electrical installations, gas boilers and zoned central heating systems are in place to futureproof the building, while the windows, doors, oak beams and timbers have all been fully restored to their former glory. Catriona Hill-Scanlon, of sales agents Savills, comments: “We are thrilled with the reception The Hay Waggon has received after opening the doors to this exciting project for the first time. “We knew the public will be interested to see how The Hay Waggon had been transformed, and they were impressed by the sensitive way in which it has been drawn into the present day. “The three homes will sell fast, so I encourage
people to register their interest quickly.” Visitors at the launch were able to view all three homes, all of which have private parking and their own attractive features. The Granary has an open-plan kitchen/dining room with a vaulted ceiling and a separate garden room. Sheaf House and Thresher House are both arranged over three floors, enjoy over 2,100 square feet of accommodation and have characterful cellars. Located in Hartfield’s High Street, within an Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Hay Waggon is close to many of East Sussex’s most enchanting features, such as the Ashdown Forest, with its links to Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh, and hunting lodge 15th-century Bolebroke Castle, where Henry VIII is said to have stayed. Prices for these unique homes start at £595,000. To find out more, please contact Savills Tunbridge Wells on 01892 507005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Old Vicarage
Room to roam in a spacious villa AT A GLANCE THE OLD VICARAGE LANSDOWNE ROAD TUNBRIDGE WELLS ■ Sitting room ■ Dining room ■ Drawing room ■ Kitchen with breakfast room ■ Media room ■ Garden-level reception room ■ Family room ■ Utility room & 2 cloakrooms ■ Wine store ■ Master bedroom with en suite shower and dressing room ■ Five further bedrooms ■ Separate bathroom and shower room ■ Two garages ■ Gardens
£2,395,000 Available for sale through Hamptons Tunbridge Wells 01892 516611 www.hamptons.co.uk
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Sevenoaks’ new Prime Place is now in its prime – complete with stunning gardens ‘We have created serene green spaces at the heart of Prime Place Sevenoaks’
THE former Tubs Hill House, close to Sevenoaks station, has been successfully converted into a collection of luxurious apartments called Prime Place. The development, by Be, is located in London Road, and includes a striking courtyard garden designed by a multi-gold-medal-award winner at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This has recently opened, along with an exclusive business suite, and both are now being enjoyed by the new residents, together with a hotel-style concierge service. The stunning, peaceful south-facing garden, designed by landscape architect Robert Myers Associates [RMA], is arranged on two levels linked by a spiral staircase and has a profusion of shrubs and flowers. Robert Myers said: “We have created serene green spaces at the heart of Prime Place, Sevenoaks, where residents can relax or socialise together. With their carefully-chosen planting, the courtyards are inviting at ground level and visually interesting from above all year round, enhanced at night by low-level lighting.” The building exterior has also undergone a total facelift, with soft-coloured brickwork, cladding and extensive glazing perfectly complementing the modern interiors. Apartment interiors are light and airy, enhanced by higher-than-usual ceilings. Smart designer kitchens, large bedrooms (both doubles), timber-effect flooring and elegant, fully-tiled bathrooms and en-suite shower rooms exude high quality in every detail. Many apartments on the higher levels enjoy stunning, far-reaching views of the North Downs and every home benefits from a parking space. www.be.co.uk
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
THE LOCAL FESTIVAL HITLIST CONTINUED
Festival Fashion How to pack for every eventuality
Continued from page 26 >> AUGUST 10 – 12
Leefest Presents: The Neverland
LAYERING IS KEY
Known as the mini Glastonbury, Leefest is located right on your doorstep at Edenbridge. With headline acts such as Annie Mac and Jake Bugg, it’s hard to believe that a mere ten years ago this huge local festival was based in the founder’s back garden. There are three different themes – Lost Boys, Mermaids and Pirates – and there’s also theatre, comedy and a walkabout performance. More information and tickets at www.leefest.org
Leefest Presents: The Neverland >> AUGUST 11 – 18
Broadstairs Folk Week The seaside town of Broadstairs will come alive with over 70 different folk-related events each day ranging from workshops and music performances to arts and crafts. The venues are all over town, with the concert marquee being home to the headline acts. For a full list of activities, visit www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk
Next striped cardigan, £42 www.next.co.uk
AUGUST 25 – 28
Local & Live: After a smaller than usual event last year, Local & Live will be returning to its former size this year, with Calverley Grounds already being booked for the main festival, and additional events at The Forum and this year, The Spa Hotel on Aug 28. With over 20,000 people attending in previous years, it is one of the largest events in Tunbridge Wells and displays some of the best local, fresh talent around the area. See www.localandlive.org
BACK IT UP Michael Kors Silver Backpack, £315 www.houseoffraser.co.uk
SEPTEMBER 1 – 2
In the Woods What started out, ten years ago, as just a ‘party in the woods’, has blossomed into something much bigger. The location of the In the Woods Festival is kept secret right up until the date of the event, but rest assured it will be a perfect fit for the whole vibe. It’ll be the perfect spot to enjoy undiscovered music, art, short films, theatre, literature, amazing local ales and food. The likes of Jack Garratt, Kate Tempest and Slaves have all had their own set at this intimate festival before they made it to the big time. See www.inthewoodsfestival.co.uk
STYLE IT OUT WITH SUNNIES Ray Ban sunglasses, £150 www.sunglasses-shop.co.uk
DITCH THE DENIM SOCK IT TO EM’ Dubarry alpaca socks, £35 www.dubarryboots.com
M&S tiered long sleeve yellow dress, £49.50 www. marksandspencer. com
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Flavours of the season As we head towards July, the weather is heating up – so it’s time for some summer dishes to savour. Why not try your hand at these light and tasty recipes from the culinary experts at Whiting & Hammond? CRAB CAKES WITH DILL MAYONNAISE Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes What you need: 250g potatoes, diced 300g white crabmeat 1 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped 2 spring onions, finely chopped Zest and Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve Small bunch of dill, finely chopped 4 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise 2 tbsp plain flour 1 egg, lightly beaten 85g dried breadcrumbs Sunflower oil for shallow frying
Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for about 15 minutes, drain, then return to pan and leave to steam-dry for about five minutes. Mash, then leave to cool. In a large bowl, mix the crabmeat, capers, spring onions, lemon zest and half the juice with half the dill. Stir in mashed potato with some seasoning, then shape into 12 neat, round patties. Transfer these to a plate and put in fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. To make the dill mayonnaise, mix the mayo with remaining lemon juice and dill. Put in fridge for later. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Dust
the crab cakes all over with flour then dip into egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs. Add sunflower oil to a shallow frying pan (to about 1cm up side). Heat oil, then carefully slide the crab cakes in (you might have to do this in batches). Cook for about three minutes on each side until they are crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper. At this point, you can pop the crab cakes into oven to keep warm, or serve straightaway with dill mayonnaise and extra lemon wedges. To serve, smear a generous spoonful of mayonnaise across the plate, place crab cake on top of mayonnaise, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.
STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE Serves 4
Halve strawberries, place in a bowl and sprinkle with half Preparation time: of the sugar. Set aside while 10 minutes you prepare the crumble. Cooking time: To make the crumble in a 10 minutes food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together to What you need: a light crumbly texture, then 480g strawberries press together and cut into 60g caster sugar 2-3cm cubes. Place on a 2 tbsp water small baking tray, then 30g unsalted butter cover and freeze for one 1 tsp lemon juice hour until solid. Preheat the oven to For the crumble 190°C/gas 5. Pulse the 80g plain flour cubes of dough in a food 50g caster sugar processor to break into 20g brown sugar small pieces of crumble. 55g unsalted butter Spread evenly on a baking tray to a 5mm thickness, and bake for seven minutes until golden brown. While
still warm and pliable, cut out four discs with the 8cm cutter. Bake these for a further three minutes. To prepare strawberries, put the water into a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the remaining 30g of sugar, leave for a few minutes then dissolve over a medium to high heat and cook to a very pale blonde caramel. Immediately add the butter, then strawberries and lemon juice. Heat for 30 seconds. To serve, divide the warm strawberries between individual dishes and top each serving with a crumble disc. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop or crème fraîche if you prefer.
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THE TOP PICS FOR THE WARMER MONTHS
The Spa Valley Railway
A Murder is Announced
Enjoy a destination at every station this summer!
At The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, Aug 15-19
TRAVEL on one of the Tunbridge Wells railway’s steam or heritage diesel trains through the beautiful Kent and Sussex countryside, and choose to hop off at any of the stations en-route to explore Eridge, Groombridge, High Rocks or Royal Tunbridge Wells itself. Joint tickets are also available with entry to Groombridge Place and High Rocks. Special Railway treats include Driver and Signalman Experiences, Afternoon Tea, Fish & Chip Suppers, High Weald Belle Dining, Days out with Thomas [the tank engine], Character Visits and Santa Specials.
One Warwick Park WITH Jazz on the Pantiles, and gloriously warm evenings, Chapel Place is thriving with fantastic summer ambience, right through to the stunning restaurant at One Warwick Park Hotel, L’AMORE. With a fresh summer menu using the most seasonal ingredients, live music and a special pre- or post-jazz dinner, what better place to spend a crisp and pleasant summer evening with friends and family? Summer means later evenings, warmer nights and lots of fun – and One Warwick Park want to make sure you make the most of these blue skies and sunshine rays, therefore they have extended their happy hour for the entire evening, meaning cocktails after work in the sun are here to stay. Don’t forget, they have a lovely private dining space and contemporary spaces, with air-conditioning, for you, your family, friends and even colleagues to use this summer. If you have an event, let One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells make it a special one. www.onewarwickpark.co.uk
FAMILY EVENTS THIS SUMMER Annual Summer Steam Festival July 1 & 2 Teddy Bear’s Day Out August 13 & 14
Celebrating 20yrs since Spa Valley started running trains! Special birthday event on August 23 Paddington™ Visit September 9
The Spa Valley Railway is based next to Homebase and Sainsbury’s at Tunbridge Wells West Station, TN2 5QY. Tel: 01892 537715. Book online at www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk
LOCAL acress Louise Jameson, who lives near Tunbridge Wells and is famed for her roles in Doctor Who, Eastenders and Bergerac, plays Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple alongside Janet Dibley as Letitia Blacklock. Also appearing are familiar TV faces Tom Butcher, Sarah Thomas, Dean Smith and Lucy Evans among the cast of 12. The whodunit begins when the residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advertisement in the local newspaper that a murder will take place on the coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. It reads: “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October the thirteenth, at little Paddocks – at six-thirty p.m.” Unable to resist finding out more, a group gather at the house at the appointed time, and suddenly the lights go out and a gun is fired… Enter Miss Marple, who must unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer. For more information, and to book tickets, call 01322 220000 or visit Orchardtheatre.co.uk
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Discover a wild summer with Kent Wildlife Trust
Eridge Horse Trials and Country Market July 15 & 16 A FANTASTIC line up of sport and attractions awaits you at the 2017 SsangYong Eridge Horse Trials & Country Market just outside Tunbridge Wells. Competitions range from Novice to Open, and local riders will be going head-to-head with top international competitors, including the likes of Olympian and former three-times Badminton winner Pippa Funnell, as well as many other names in the sport. At the Country Market, as well as a superb range of over 50 exhibitors, food and drink and mini fun fair, the event includes a new Cars in the Park on the Saturday for the classic car enthusiast. Sunday offers the popular Dogs in the Park, which will incorporate a fun dog show, dog agility, scurries and distraction alley. This year also sees falconry displays and terrier racing. Come along with friends, family and dogs to experience all the thrills and spills of eventing, and more. For details, see www.eridge-horsetrials.co.uk
August 15-19 IT’S going to be a wild summer with a fantastic variety of family events at the Kent Wildlife Trust visitor centres in Sevenoaks, Bough Beech, Maidstone and Romney Marsh. During the school holidays, kids can go wild with pond-dipping and mini-beast adventures, and get crafty making clay nature prints, recycled plastic birds and bugs, or by designing and creating a kite to fly on the beach. All the family can join in a traditional Punch and Judy show, followed by a puppet-making workshop. Discover exciting facts about owls and see them fly around Tyland Barn with Kent Owl Academy. Or enjoy an outdoor performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Pantaloons Theatre Company. Bring a picnic for a great day out. Booking is essential for most events. For more information about dates, times and prices, or to book online, go to www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk
Bewl Water WITH over 13 miles of exciting cycling tracks, a row of pedaloes ready to set out over the water, and range of obstacles and hideouts nestled in the woodland providing the perfect challenge for Bewl’s laser guns, there isn’t a better place to head to with the family this summer. Enjoy a relaxing Sunday stroll, or a day packed full of adrenaline. You can also keep your little ones busy by dropping them off at one of the
holiday camps. They will spend their days learning survival skills, going on nature trails, playing laser challenges and driving around in ‘mini-ranger cars’, plus much more, with prices from £19.50. How about a summer evening with delicious dining overlooking the dazzling reservoir with a crisp and refreshing drink hand, as the summer sun sets over the waters? The Boathouse Bistro is the perfect spot to dine and enjoy a fresh menu using seasonal ingredients, especially for you. For more details, visit www.bewlwater.co.uk
Salomons Estate THERE’S no finer place in Tunbridge Wells to enjoy the summer sunshine and an afternoon tea than at Salomons Estate. Sit on the grand terrace overlooking the beautiful lake and gardens which surround the romantic manor house, creating a truly idyllic backdrop. Relax and take in your stunning surroundings with a selection of delicious homemade scones, fresh sandwiches, and even a glass of bubbles. The elegant mansion house and rolling scenic grounds can cater for the perfect summer BBQ, and for all private and corporate events. There are a range of spaces which are truly exceptional in summer months for you, or your friends, family and colleagues to come and enjoy. For more details, see www.salomons-estate.com
Food & Drink
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Enjoy the fruits that signal summer fun Wimbledon starts on Monday, so treat your tastebuds
AST week was the official start of the British strawberry season and growers predicted there would be a six per cent increase in production of the iconic summer soft fruit this year. The reason is primarily down to the cool, dry winter and recent spell of warm weather, which together have created the perfect growing conditions for this year’s crop. The deliciously juicy and slow-ripened strawberries are now on supermarket shelves in abundance, and are delicious served straight with a
dollop of fresh cream, or as part of a tasty dessert. Laurence Olins, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 98 per cent of berries sold in UK supermarkets, recently commented: “More and more people understand the fantastic health benefits of snacking on a punnet of berries, and fortunately we have been able to match this growing demand with innovation in the industry, to ensure consumers can look forward to good quality British berries on their supermarket shelves.”
LOCAL PICK YOUR OWN FARMS If you fancy picking your own then why not try visiting one of these local farms? Downingbury Farm Maidstone Road Pembury Kent TN2 4AD Tel: 01892 824282
Pippins Farm Orchards Pembury Kent TN2 4AD Tel: 01892 824569
Maynards Farm Cross Lane Ticehurst Wadhurst TN5 7HQ Tel: 01580 200394
BERRY INTERESTING FACTS Over the past year, more
than 126,000 tonnes of strawberries were sold in the UK, with shoppers spending more than £580million on the delectable berry The consumption of fresh
berries has grown by an impressive 132 per cent since 2007, outstripping the 49 per cent increase of fruit consumption as a whole Berries now make up a
remarkable 22 per cent of all fruit sold in the UK, and this has pushed the value of the berry industry above £1.2billion Berries are a great healthy
summer snack and an abundant source of vitamins, minerals and phyto (plant) nutrients which have been linked to a diverse range of health benefits Among the many strawberry
varieties available on shelves are Malling Centenary, Sweet Eve, Sonata, Elsanta, Driscoll’s Zara and Ava Joy
STRAWBERRY CAKE Wow the special person or people in your life with this impressivelooking cake. The classic French recipe here has a few shortcuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to whip up this version! Prep: 45 minutes Cook: 35-40 minutes 225g (8oz) soft margarine 225g (8oz) caster sugar 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Grated rind of 2 lemons 4 medium eggs 6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled 3 tablespoons cold water 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine 150ml (¼ pint) double cream 500g (1lb, 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard
2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit 250g (9oz) ready-made marzipan Little icing sugar Few small strawberries Few chocolate hearts
What you do: Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8-inch) heartshaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper. Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth. Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown, and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack. When the cake is cold, cut into two
Cuts into 10 slices
thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin. Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake. Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then
Food & Drink
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked. To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip, then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray. Chill until set, then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve. Cook’s tip Not a fan of marzipan? Then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or dust with sifted icing sugar instead.
Recipes courtesy of www.seasonalberries.co.uk
stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid. Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream, then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting. Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the
ACE DRINKS FOR WIMBLEDON Follow James Viner on Twitter @QuixoticWine Austin’s Summer Punch, England (£6.99, Aldi, 1l) – Bargain, gin-based, citrusy lookalike rival to Pimm’s If you like Pimm’s, you’ll love this – plus it’s in a litre format and great value for money. Based on a quintessentially British recipe, this blend is the perfect drink for Wimbledon. Game, set and match! Serve the traditional way with ice-cold lemonade, chopped cucumber, strawberries, oranges and a sprig of mint. Muscat Carte Or Beaumes de Venise NV, France (£7.99, Waitrose) – French muscat for strawberries with cream If you’re looking for a treat to enhance a fruit dessert (or blue cheese), consider this luscious, floral, fruity and finely-tuned Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grapes that have undergone a slow and cool fermentation. This stylish vin doux naturel displays a delightful grape-like freshness and orange-blossom lift, and would also play a very happy Wimbledon doubles match with a bowl of strawberries and cream.
Veuve Clicquot White Label DemiSec Champagne, France (£42.42, The Drink Shop; £44.50, Ocado) – A sensational seasonal sparkler What to drink with strawberries if served plain and unadorned? A lovely glass of Champagne. Displaying all the hallmarks of their classic Brut Yellow Label, but with a higher dosage, which softens the natural acidity, this is a magnificent match for fruity desserts, especially strawberries without cream. Presenting a mouthwatering mix of candied peach, honey and brioche flavours, this refreshing bubbly has a crisp, fresh finish. Moscato d’Asti Elio Perrone 2016 DOCG, Italy (£8.25, The Wine Society) – Chic, gently fizzy and lightly sweet Italian dessert nectar For easy sipping on languid summer mid-afternoons and early evenings, a glass of this classy, gently sweet, gently fizzy, low-alcohol Moscato d’Asti is a budget alternative to demi-sec Champagne. With its teasing, prickling fizz and vivid summer meadow, peach, floral and lustrous grapey aromatics and flavours, this invigorating Piedmontese take on muscat would happily handle a fruit salad or bowl of strawberries served plain with a little sugar.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
DESIGN WITH THE TIMES
A stable home plan The Stevensons want to move to Tunbridge Wells from London and have found stables with land that seem ideal for conversion YOUR QUESTION: Dear Design with the Times, We live in Clapham and would like to move into your area. We have been looking at lots of towns within an hour commute of London, but not many have everything Tunbridge Wells can offer. It is a really diverse town and has a lively buzz about it. We both work near London Bridge so commuting from Tunbridge Wells on a daily basis should be fairly painless, and while we don’t currently have children, the schools are excellent so we would like to make our home here. We would like a project, something where we can have input on design and put our own mark on it, and, long-term, add some value. We are really excited to have found some stables in the grounds of an old farmhouse that some old family friends own just outside the town. They have been owned by the family for about 40 years and we are interested to see if we could obtain permission for their conversion to our dream house. The building is in good condition, it is L-shaped
and has a floor area of around 150 sq m. It’s Victorian with blue header brickwork and stone detailing with a traditional Sussex clay tile roof. It comes with an acre of land and hasn’t been used for 20 years. We feel really lucky to have managed to secure an option to buy the stables subject to obtaining planning permission, and would really like your advice on how to go about the project. Martin and Sue Stevenson OUR ANSWER: Finding disused buildings like this for conversion to dwellings is becoming rare, so well done for managing to secure something which sounds so exciting! It is certainly a very interesting time for planning opportunities of this type, and there is currently a window of opportunity to convert redundant farm buildings – which your stable would be classed as – into dwellings. Over the past few years we have been successful in obtaining planning permission for many similar projects. In terms of planning, there are a number of principle requirements that need to be fulfilled:
Having studied at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal Academy of The Hague, John Bullock launched John Bul lock Design in 2003. With offices in Tunbridge Wells High Street, John has won awards for his work and is committed to delivering the best outcomes for clients. www.johnbullockdesign.com
• The building must be redundant • The building must be of sound structural condition • The building should be able to be converted without significant extension • The development must not harm the building’s character • The access, car parking and residential cartilage must not harm the character of the countryside • The conversion would meet an identified local need for housing With a sensitive design scheme your stables would appear to meet this criteria and would certainly be worth pursuing. With any design we always feel it’s
important to work with the structural style of the building and take a holistic approach. It’s an opportunity to create a site-specific design that relates directly to its setting and wider environment. The site appears to be fairly well screened and it is best to work with the building to express its agricultural style and character, maintain the external appearance with traditional materials, but maybe adopt a more contemporary feel to the glazing. For instance, the existing openings are quite large, so use a door system which takes advantage of this and visually opens up the inside space to the outside. Given the accommodation is all on ground
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‘There is currently a window of opportunity to convert redundant farm buildings’ floor level, creating a wing or separate area for the bedrooms always works best, then the bedrooms and living accommodation are clearly defined. The design process is worth spending time on, and considering all options by way of defining a brief and moving the spaces until a workable solution is found. It’s better to move walls around on paper rather than changing the design during the build, which will only add to the costs. A formal planning application would be required, and with this submission the following specialist reports would be necessary:
the permission will be retained in perpetuity. Moving the project on from planning would involve the preparation of detail which would enable the works to be costed accurately and to be implemented on-site. This would be covered in the following stages of work: Building regulations, drawings & specifications Building regulations are a statutory requirement, and if you are carrying out any building work it is important to understand how the building control system applies. It is also important to be aware that as the owner of the building it will ultimately be your responsibility if the work does not comply with building regulations, even if you have employed a builder. This is why it is key to agree the specification of works with the builder in advance in order that they can be accurately assessed during the building stage.
Some building projects are exempt from the regulations, however the works involved in conversion of your stables would require significant detail defining everything from drainage to insulation. Detailed working drawings for tender It is advisable to try and define the full scope of works and design all elements of the project right down to the lighting and door handles. A fully specified tender document will allow everything to be costed by the contractor prior to commencement of works in order that the price can be fixed. We would recommend obtaining four prices by way of a competitive tender process, which will allow for a quantifiable assessment of costs and offer the best value. It is quite difficult to cost the project at this early stage, however, as a guide, we are currently seeing
tender costs for this type of work typically returning around £2,000 per metre, depending upon level of specification. On this basis, a very rough guide price would be somewhere in the region of £300,000, but you would also need to factor in costs for services, such as electric and water, and finishes. You should be eligible for a reduced VAT rate of 5% for conversion of a farm building to form a dwelling, but check this with your solicitor. Project Management We always recommend entering into a formal contract for the works to protect yourselves and the contractor. The contract would be implemented by the contract administrator, who will also oversee the works and ensure everything runs smoothly. A project of this scale is likely to take in the region of six to eight months to build.
Ecological Assessment This would need to be undertaken by a specialist who would visit site to establish if there is evidence of any protected species in habitation, such as bats or barn owls. If there is, it doesn’t stop development, but measures would need to be put in place to accommodate these. For example, the ecologist might suggest bat or owl boxes on the outside of the building. Structural Feasibility Report It would also be necessary for a structural engineer to assess the structure and confirm that the building is in sound structural condition, and can be converted without significant remedial works. Planning Submission This would involve the preparation of the necessary planning application forms and a statement explaining the design concept and evolution, which would be submitted online to the planning department. There is a fee payable to the local authority for planning applications. For your scope of works and change of use it would be £385.00. The planning process should take eight weeks from registration of the application and involves a three-week public consultation period where neighbours and the parish council are able to make comments both negative and positive. We would always advocate engaging with neighbours and the parish council to explain the scheme and try and alleviate any concerns at an early stage. Once planning permission is granted, it will last for three years, and if at any time in this period you formally commence works,
John Bullock Design offer advice on any architectural project. See a selection of their portfolio of work at www.johnbullockdesign.com or call 01892 525732
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
PHOTOS: ALEX TENTERS
A special gift from a not-so-secret Santa When a family Christmas dinner turned into an engagement celebration with her now husband, Lee Worgan, Laura Wilson began planning her modern take on a traditional wedding. With plenty of help from their loved ones, it became a perfect day that was full of surprises for all… DRESSES TO IMPRESS Ready to go
How did you and your husband meet? We met in a cocktail bar on a night out in Eastbourne. I was out with my close friend Laura (who later became one of our bridesmaids). Lee was at the same bar with a couple of his friends. Luckily for me, Laura knew one of Lee’s friends, so we all got chatting and the rest is history. Lee hadn’t been looking for a girlfriend when we first met, but that soon changed. My dad, being a football manager for a number of years and knowing most of the local non-league footballers, was less than impressed when I announced that my new boyfriend was a local nonleague footballer. I seem to recall him exclaiming: ‘Oh no, please tell me it’s not Lee Worgan!’ Thankfully they are great friends now. Tell us about your proposal I always wanted all of my family to be there whenever Lee decided to pop the
question, so was delighted when he proposed to me after dinner on Christmas Day 2015 in one of our favourite restaurants (The Farm in Eastbourne) surrounded by my loved ones. We all exchanged secret Santa gifts after dinner, and I was the last to receive my gift, which (thankfully), breaking all secret Santa budget rules, was an amazing ring. The waiters rushed over with champagne and the celebrations began. We had a last-minute Boxing Day party with close friends to celebrate, before getting down to the business of wedding planning in the new year. Where did you get married, and how did you choose the venue? We decided to get married at Buxted Park. I had grown up in East Sussex and always knew of Buxted Park and what a beautiful, picturesque venue it was.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE Stunning
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
When the time came to choose the place for our special day, it was top of my list. I knew that I wanted a relatively traditional wedding, and Buxted Park offered that. The main house dates back to the 18th century and the church in the grounds is hundreds of years old. The venue was so lovely, it wouldn’t disappoint, even if the weather didn’t turn out to be ideal. Something else that particularly appealed to me was that the church and reception were in one location, meaning our guests could relax into the day and not have to worry about transport to the reception. Tell us about your big day and some of the highlights We wanted the day to be a modern twist on a traditional English countryside wedding. Our (seven!) bridesmaids wore soft and pretty blush tones, and the flowers, supplied by Joanne Truby, were shades of pink with bursts of ivory. The day itself was incredibly action-packed, full of surprises for both our guests and each other.
We made the walk from the church to the hotel accompanied by a bagpiper (Ivan Brooks, kentpiper.co.uk), a surprise from my Scottish dad. At the wedding breakfast, our guests were swept out of their chairs before dessert by singing waiters (singingstaff.co.uk), and I was surprised by Sam Calver (samcalver.com) singing our first dance song – Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. Ellie Sax (elliesax.com) then really got the party started, playing along to some disco and house classics with her illuminated saxophone. Although for me the speeches were a real highlight, taking us all on a rollercoaster of emotion – to quote one of our speakers, even the cake was in tiers!
DREAM VENUE Buxted Park
How did you start your married life? After a couple of days downtime, we were lucky enough to pack ourselves off to Dubai, followed by a week spent at a water villa in the Maldives. The resort opened just in time to welcome us off the seaplane as the island’s very first guests. We’re now happy to be back to reality without a wedding to plan, although in the absence of a project, we’ve just put in an offer on a house!
‘For me, the speeches were a real highlight, taking us all on a rollercoaster of emotion – to quote one of our speakers, even the cake was in tiers!’
Tell us about some of your other top suppliers Alex Tenters was our photographer and he was a huge hit with us and our guests. He was there from beginning to end and didn’t miss a moment of the action. We are delighted with all of the pictures – he is so talented. Kent violinist Jenny Maslin played beautifully as I entered the church. My dress was by designer Stewart Parvin, and purchased from the fantastic Bespoke Wardrobe in Essex. I accessorised with a sparkly hair piece and shoes by London designer, Emmy. Decor-wise, my friend Nicola Read of Boutique Wedding Hire helped me style our venue with lots of pretty glass candle holders, gold decorative vases and huge balloons, which we used in some of our bridal party pictures! Bows Hire carpeted and draped the venue, providing us with the perfect backdrop. We hired a selfie mirror from Altitude Events, which kept our guest entertained all evening. Our stunning cake was provided by the fantastic Donna of Willow and Bloom Cakes, and our guests snacked on gourmet marshmallows in the evening provided by Trine of Moes Marshmallows. My hair and make-up artists were Kent-based. The lovely Lucy Jayne did my make-up, and Vicki Lord styled my hair. Ally Lambert of Ally B Make Up & Hair attended to the bridesmaids. One Warwick Park made the build-up to the wedding extra relaxing by hosting us for a Champagne afternoon tea and my third hen do!
BRIDE’S TOP FIVE WEDDING TIPS
1 2 3 4 5
Invest time and money in a good photographer who you feel comfortable around and you can put your trust in. Have (several) amazing hen and stag parties, they are so much fun! Recruit your family and close friends into helping you plan and execute your day. Be a team throughout the process. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t forget to enjoy it.
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
VOLKSWAGEN ARTEON ELEGANCE WHAT’S NEW?
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The Arteon is a premium saloon car designed by Volkswagen to sit above the popular Passat as its new flagship. A comprehensively new vehicle, it offers a sporting drive coupled with an impressive amount of autonomous technology. With room enough for five people and a big boot it’s practical, too, turning it into an all-rounder. Set to arrive in dealerships in September, the Arteon is ideal for those who want to stand out from the crowd.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
There’s no denying the Arteon is a bit of a looker. With sculpted lines and a large chrome grille, it’s a distinctly premium vehicle, while 20-inch alloy wheels, such as the ones fitted to our test car, increase its presence on the road. It really looks worlds away from the standard Passat, which is not an ugly car either. Inside, it’s business as usual for a Volkswagen product. The cabin is solidly made, with plenty of soft-touch materials giving the car an upmarket feel. However, it’s hardly exciting, though silver metal finishes do give it a bit of a lift. The large infotainment system is a breeze to use and looks good, though it’s the same unit premiered on the new Golf recently. Everything feels well made and will certainly stand the test of time, but the cabin just lacks the level of flair that you’d expect from a car in the premium segment.
THE NEED FOR SPEED Test car had ‘a surprising amount of poke’
One of the Arteon’s trump cards is the impressive leg room up front and at the back, which makes it an ideal long-distance cruiser. The seats are also comfortable, and there’s plenty of storage for loose items in the front. However, the sloping roofline puts headroom at a premium. You can seat three people in the back, but it may exacerbate the problem. The practicality levels are increased thanks to the boot. There are 563 litres of seats-up space to play with, rising to an impressive 1,557 litres with them folded down. Its square shape makes it ideal for larger items such as suitcases, though a relatively wide boot lip could make loading them trickier than usual.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
‘Set to arrive in dealerships in September, the Arteon is ideal for those who want to stand out from the crowd’
The Arteon behaves in a wholly predictable way. The steering has a decent amount of heft to it (more so when sport mode is selected), but it can feel a touch light at higher speeds. You can’t get away from the car’s sheer size, and this means it can feel a little ungainly – especially on narrow country roads. The ride errs on the firm side, no doubt a by-product of the large alloy wheels. Our test route took in a fair amount of rutted, potholed roads, and the car dealt with them well on the whole, but felt a touch too stiff at times. The 2.0-litre diesel fitted to our test car felt flexible enough for daily driving, and had a surprising amount of poke – especially from
FACTS AT A GLANCE: MODEL: Volkswagen Arteon Elegance ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: £35-£40,000 (to be announced) ENGINE TESTED: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol POWER: 237bhp 0-60MPH: 6.5 secs (est)
The flagship saloon car is a good-looking all-rounder, whose sporting drive and impressive tech make it ideal for those who want to stand out from the crowd By Jack Evans
lower down the rev range. However, the gearbox can feel sluggish at times, and can be quite delayed in dropping a cog under heavy acceleration. There’s an excellent amount of refinement, with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. This makes the whole driving experience far more relaxing, and proves that the Arteon would be a good cross-country car.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Volkswagen has yet to reveal the price, but it’s set to be between £35,000 and £40,000. UK customers will get just two trim levels to pick from – Elegance and R-Line – with the latter having a lower ride height on top of the standard adjustable dampers. The price bracket puts it in line with some strong competition – the Audi A5 Sportback for one – and means the Arteon has a harder fight on its hands than the standard Passat. Equipment levels are high, though we’re unable to tell what will come as standard.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
The Arteon would suit the driver who looks at all the primary options in this segment and fancies something completely different. The predicted price tag is rather high, but the level of build quality more than lives up to it. However, the lack of interior flair could put some buyers off, as will the lack of a more comprehensive range of engines. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT For its segment, the Arteon is good looking, sporty, boasts autonomous technology and has a big boot
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
FIND YOUR PERFECT JOB TODAY A MUST READ FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR WORK LOCALLY
OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND TONBRIDGE
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
7 6 5
A B C D E F G H I J K L MNO P Q R S T U VWX Y Z 10
8 11 6
3 9 1
Numbers are substituted for letters in the crossword grid. Above the grid is the key with two letters solved. Try to complete the first few words to give you more letters, or look for a frequent number that might reveal a common letter. As you find letters, enter them in the key and into the grid. Cross off the letters in the A to Z list.
3 1 5 4 8
7 4 3
J O B L E S S
To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains every number uniquely.
9 5 6
6 2 7 1
9 4 3
2 3 6 1
4 2 7
In this Sudoku, the normal 3x3 boxes are now strangely odd shapes – but all the rules and logic of normal Sudoku apply. Fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and box contains every number uniquely. Puzzle solutions will be published in next week’s paper
J E S S E
A CO B B A I A R A V A R I A I Z X C R E T I O Q L P R O U T M E I E EW T E M P I A A H R U B I N E L L N D L E S S
3 5 9 4 7 8 2 1 6
4 2 7 1 5 6 9 3 8
Y S U OC C U M M B
A T E F U S U C R OO
I T Y U S O R N A I N E S I E D E K S
1 6 8 9 2 3 4 7 5
B I L I N G U A L
9 1 2 3 8 7 6 5 4
5 3 4 2 6 1 7 8 9
7 8 6 5 4 9 3 2 1
2 4 3 6 1 5 8 9 7
6 7 5 8 9 2 1 4 3
8 9 1 7 3 4 5 6 2
7 3 5 4 1 2 9 6 8
9 8 2 5 6 4 7 3 1
1 6 4 8 3 7 5 2 9
8 7 9 2 4 5 3 1 6
5 9 6 1 2 3 8 7 4
2 1 3 7 9 6 4 8 5
6 4 8 3 5 1 2 9 7
4 2 7 6 8 9 1 5 3
3 5 1 9 7 8 6 4 2
© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles
© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.
DIFFICULTY RATING: ★★★I
© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles
SOLUTIONS (FROM LAST WEEK)
SUDOKU & JIGSAW SUDOKU
DIFFICULTY RATING: ★III
Arts & Culture
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Taking up their baton and bows for Carmen
PLAYING THE PROMS The Tonphil at Tonbridge Castle
The Tonbridge Philharmonic Society perform Bizet’s opera at St Stephen’s Church on Saturday. Eileen Leahy caught up with their conductor, Matthew Willis – who always wears something memorable on stage – to hear all about ‘Tonphil’, as they are known How long have you been the Music Director of Tonbridge Philharmonic Society [TPS]? I have been with TPS for three years, since September 2014.
Why did you take on the role? I wanted the role as, unusually for an amateur music society, they have both an orchestra and a full chorus, rehearsed by the same music director. This allows us to explore a wider repertoire than other groups may have the opportunity to.
Can you tell us a little bit about the TPS and its history? Tonphil – as it is colloquially known – was formed firstly of a choir, just after World War Two, in 1946. In the minutes from the society’s inaugural meeting, it states it was set up to ‘build into a strong virile fellowship all who valued the practise and performance of great Choral Works as well as other musical activities’. An orchestra was formed 12 years later, and last year was the 70th anniversary of the society. With over 150 members, it goes from strength to strength.
How often do you rehearse and perform? The choir and orchestra rehearse with me once a week – the orchestra on Monday evenings, the choir on Wednesday evenings, at Tonbridge School. We perform up to five concerts each
season; two are purely orchestral ones, three are choral concerts; and then we also have our community Round Table Family Carols in the stunning Tonbridge School Chapel at Christmas.
What do you think being part of Tonphil gives its members? It has an exciting, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. I have a focused rehearsal technique that challenges and teaches members to deliver what is required to perform to a high standard so we can impress our audiences. Members can have singing lessons with me (in both group and individual sessions) to encourage them to develop a healthy vocal technique that will help deliver higher performance standards.
When did you first get into classical music and know it was the career for you? I was first attracted to music as a young child, taking up singing, trumpet, piano and composition. After I was offered a place at Trinity College of Music in my teens, I began to realise I could move on to have a career as a professional musician.
What do you most enjoy about a career in music? I love the variety that each music ensemble I work with brings to my life – and the friendships I have made across the world as a result of my music career.
‘We are presenting Carmen with full orchestra, chorus and three soloists from the London stage’ THE CROWDS GATHER Ready for the castle proms
Arts & Culture
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Celebrating Valentine’s Day
MUSIC, MAESTRO, PLEASE Matthew Willis conducts orchestra and soloist
Willy Russell’s classic comedy Shirley Valentine is on at the Assembly Hall next week, with Jodie Prenger starring in the title role. As the Times discovers, it’s a performance that audiences are bound to fall in love with
W Can you tell us more about this year’s summer concert? This summer we are very excited to be presenting a concert version of Bizet’s famous opera Carmen, with full orchestra, chorus and three fantastic professional soloists from the London stage.
And what you hope the audience will enjoy most? We are performing it in English, using the English National Opera’s text, and we hope the audience will enjoy the high drama, sultry passion and a playful performance.
Can you give us a clue to what memorable clothing you might be wearing? The choir have bets on it, I hear… I wouldn’t want to let them know
now, but I will make sure my outfit doesn’t distract them too much from their performance.
What do you like to do when you are not conducting the Tonbridge Philharmonic? I love to walk my dog along the river, read books, learn new languages and cook for my friends. The Tonphil welcomes new
members to its choir and sections of the orchestra. It helps if you can read music, and the orchestra has certain performance level standards due to the nature of the increasingly challenging and exciting repertoire it is now performing. To arrange a free taster rehearsal session, see www.tonphil.org.uk
RY housewife Shirley Valentine famously quipped: “Why do we get all this life if we don’t ever use it?” in the film of the same name, where she was memorably played by Pauline Collins. Nearly 30 years on, theatre audiences can hear the lovable Liverpudlian – this time played by stage and screen actress Jodie Prenger – pose the same question as she makes egg and chips for her husband, laments her children leaving home and talks to ‘the wall’. This feelgood comedy about a bored housewife who, on a whim, decides to pack her bags and head off to Greece – where she finds Retsina and romance – was written by famous playwright Willy Russell, who also penned West End classics Educating Rita and Blood Brothers. Three decades on from its first theatre outing in Liverpool, the comedy clearly still has enduring appeal, given the success of its first UK theatre tour to celebrate its 30th birthday. Next week, the cast pitches up in Tunbridge Wells at the Assembly Hall, where it will perform from Monday to Saturday [July 3 to 8]. Of the revival, Willy Russell says: “It’s now 30 years since Shirley Valentine first
walked on to the page, into my life and the lives of so many others. “Shirley cooked her first meal of egg and chips on the stage of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool before then hoofing it down to London where, along with the cooking and talking to the wall, she started picking up the string of awards she’d win in the West End, on Broadway and in the film that won both a BAFTA Award and Academy Award nominations.” Although Shirley Valentine has been translated into many different languages and has toured all over the world, the one thing Willy Russell says Shirley has not done is extensively tour the UK. “There have been approaches and plans mooted but, somehow, it’s just never quite felt right and so I’ve resisted such efforts – until now!” His mind was made up when producer Adam Spiegel introduced him to Jodie Prenger, who won the BBC’s talent search I’d Do Anything in 2008, and has starred in Tell Me on a Sunday and Oliver!
“I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress, one who possessed the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again.” For ticket prices and performance
times, see www.assembly halltheatre.co.uk TALKING TO THE WALL Jodie Prenger (also inset) as Shirley Valentine
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
SEVEN DAYS OF SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE
WHATS ON WITH THE
Eileen Leahy Local events
>> TUESDAY The colourful Hever in Bloom is on all week, so if you’re a fan of flowers then this event is a mustsee. As well as being able to tour around the rose garden and see it in all its glory, visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in a floral workshop. For further information on prices and timings, visit www.hevercastle.co.uk >> WEDNESDAY If you fancy a mid-week treat and the sun is shining, then make sure you head over to Bewl Water’s Boat House Bistro, which is serving delicious afternoon teas every day until the end of July. To book your sunny spot on the balcony and watch the boats bob by while enjoying a sumptuous sweet feast, go to www.bewlwater.co.uk The big-screen Baywatch is screening at the Hop Farm’s drive-in cinema today and tomorrow, so if you want to see the celluloid remake of this 1990s TV classic, which stars Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson, then make sure you go along for 9.30pm. Red bathing suit optional! Tickets cost £25 per vehicle and can be booked at www.moonlightcinema.com
>> THURSDAY Jazz on The Pantiles is still in full swing every Thursday evening throughout the summer. To make it a really special event, why not avail of the exclusive menu offered by One Warwick Park Hotel before the music gets underway? Between 12noon
If you would like to see your events featured in our weekly What’s On pages, please email email@example.com
and 7pm you can enjoy one course for £10, two courses for £15 and three courses for £20, including a large glass of house wine. Alternatively, you can sip a glass of your favourite wine or cocktail of choice in the hotel’s lounge bar, which is offering 2 for 1 on all drinks every Thursday between 5 and 7pm. For more details, see www.onewarwickpark.co.uk The National Theatre’s production of Salomé will be live streamed into various venues across the area, including the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge. This particular production, directed by Yael Farber, puts a different spin on the traditional biblical story of a girl whose mysterious dance will change the course of the world. Tickets cost from £14 at the EM Forster Theatre and can be booked via www.tonbridgearts.com Go along and enjoy a glass of Proscecco with some of the artists at the Artspring Gallery, 167 High Street, Tonbridge, from 5.30pm to 8pm for a Private View and to welcome their new artist, Julie Taylor. Also chat with other artists while you view new work. The gallery is open from 10.30am to 8pm on the first Thursday of every month. www.artspringgallery.co.uk >> FRIDAY This weekend, the Capel Fête and ‘Fête-Ival’ takes place. The community-led event kicks off this evening from 5.30pm at the Recreation Ground in Falmouth Place, Five Oak Green, with a screening of the popular film Trolls. There will also be a bar, food and live music until 10.30pm. Saturday’s entertainment starts with a traditional procession, departing from Tatlingbury Farm at 12.30pm, reaching the Recreation Ground around 1pm. This year’s theme is ‘Colours of the Rainbow’. The fête itself will include plenty of stalls, a car show, a tug of war, a cream teas tent and a gymnastics display. Tonight, Bore Place, near Bough Beech, will host an astronomy evening from 7pm until 9pm. Join
ALL ABOARD For the Spa Valley Railway Summer Steam Festival THE LIVER LAD John Lennon
PICK OF THE WEEK Beautiful Boy, Trinity Theatre Friday June 30, 7.30 pm
the Edenbridge and District Astronomers for a spy at the night sky. If it’s clear, you’ll hopefully spot The Moon, Jupiter and maybe even Saturn! The event will go ahead whatever the weather, so dress appropriately. There will be the opportunity for Q&As with experts as well as fun activities and refreshments. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 for children. See www.boreplace.org Classical guitarist John Williams plays Frant Music Festival at 8pm, at St Alban’s Church in Frant. The concert is sold out, but there is the possibility of some returns on the night. For more details, see www.wegottickets.com >> SATURDAY The Spa Valley Railway Summer Steam Festival takes place today and tomorrow. Most of the action is based at Eridge Station, but there will be regular steam trains transporting visitors to and from Tunbridge Wells West. As well this, there will be the chance to see a rare outing from Beatrice No 2705, on loan from Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, and Ring Haw, kindly lent for the festival by North Norfolk Railway. With lots of delicious food and local ales and ciders to sample, it promises to be a great day
ALL THAT JAZZ Remi Harris
Trinity screens the story of John Lennon before he became a Beatle and Liverpudlian legend. The young Lennon is played by Joey Blaché, and lives with his strict Aunt Mimi (Lauren Carroll). After the death of his uncle, John soon discovers where his estranged mother, Julia (Amber Town), lives. As the pair become closer, the secrets that the Lennon family have been hiding for years slowly unravel beyond anyone’s control… Tickets start from £9 and can be booked at www.trinitytheatre.net
out! Tickets cost fom £25 per person. For details, see www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk If you couldn’t get in to see John Williams play at the Frant Music Festival, then worry not as there is another very talented group of guitarists playing this evening from 8pm. The Remi Harris Trio have been dubbed one of the finest jazz combos in the country, with accolades from the likes of Jamie Cullum and fellow musician John Etheridge. To see what all the fuss is about, go along for 8pm. Tickets cost £14 and are available from Frant Stores, Brittens Music shop or www.wegottickets.com >> SUNDAY Taking place today at Penshurst Place is the 5k Run or Dye, the world’s most colourful race. This enormously popular event starts at 8am
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
and finishes at 3pm, and will raise money for Great Ormond Street’s Kiss it Better fund this year. Participants can either jog, run or dance their way through the stately home’s picturesque parkland while being covered in a rainbow of coloured powdered dyes as they make their way round. For a full listing of prices, visit www.runordye.co.uk The Cerise School of Dance will stage their latest show, Dedication, this afternoon from 2pm at Trinity Theatre. The dancers range from three to 20 years and will each perform a variety of dance styles, including ballet, tap and street, as well as musical theatre. Tickets cost £10 each. Love live music, opera and venturing further afield at the weekends? Then make sure you plan a visit to the annual Glyndebourne Festival, which runs until August 27. This year’s line-up is exceptional, with works that include Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Brett Dean’s new and highlyacclaimed version of Hamlet, as well as Giuseppe Verdi’s classic opera La traviata. For tickets and timings, visit www.glyndebourne.com >> MONDAY Ease yourself into the new week by catching a screening of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, at the Hop Farm’s Moonlight Drive-in Cinema. Shows are at 9.45pm every night until Thursday, and tickets cost £25 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.moonlightcinema.com >> TUESDAY The real-life events of the Somerset floods of 2014 are translated into compelling film The Levelling, which is being screened at Trinity tonight at 8pm. After Clover receives a call telling her that her brother Charlie is dead, she returns to her family farm to face her estranged father, Aubrey. She is shocked by the devastation, and determined to find out the truth about what drove Charlie to take his own life. Go along to find out what she discovers. Tickets cost from £9.
A ROUND-UP OF THIS WEEK’S MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS
Paul Dunton Live music
The must-read guide to what’s on musically for the week ahead… www.paulduntonandguests.com
WEDNESDAY Will Watson, Lui Peng, Noble Jacks, Sorrel Nation FRIDAY Salsa Camina SATURDAY The Tar Babies SUNDAY The Breretons and Andy Twyman
THE BULL INN Frant Road, open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm
THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM Event information at www.twforum.co.uk
SATURDAY The Heartbeats MONDAY Open Mic Night
SATURDAY Sean Fennessey & Friends THE ROYAL OAK Prospect Road, open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm
THE SPA HOTEL Mount Ephraim, open all day, free entry, music from 8pm onwards, booking recommended on 01892 520 331
FRIDAY Live Jazz: Lesley Alexander
SATURDAY Nicole Simpson
ST ALBAN’S CHURCH Frant, tickets £20 from Frant Stores, Brittens Music, www.frantmusic.org.uk or 07768115184
THE BEAU NASH TAVERN Mount Ephraim, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late
FRIDAY John Williams, John Etheridge and Gary Ryan SATURDAY Remi Harris
FRIDAY Beau Nash Soul Night SATURDAY Fiddle Fit THE KING WILLIAM IV Pembury, open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm
SATURDAY Timeless THE ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Crescent Road. See www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
THE CROSS KEYS St John’s Road, open all day, free entry, music from 8pm. See www.crosskeystw.co.uk
TRINITY THEATRE Church Road, information on times and tickets at www.trinitytheatre.net
SATURDAY Kisses Sweeter Than Wine:– The ’60s Sweetest Sounds FRIDAY The Levellers with support from Matilda’s Scoundrels
THE BEDFORD 2 High Street, open all day, free entry, music from 8pm till late. More information at www.thebedfordtw.co.uk
MONDAY TWUNT: Ukulele Jam Session
THE GREY LADY MUSIC LOUNGE The Pantiles, doors 7.15pm, entry £6/£7, websites www.pdag.co.uk and www.thegreylady.co.uk
WEDNESDAY The Conduct (theatre show) FRIDAY The Burlesque Fever Show SATURDAY Back to the 80s SUNDAY Unfest Sessions (1pm start)
THE MASONIC CENTRE St John’s Road, for show times & ticket prices visit www.seetickets.com
FRIDAY Abba Stars Gala Night THE BANDSTAND The Pantiles, music from 8pm, donations welcome
THURSDAY Jazz On The Pantiles with The Jive Aces
THE SUSSEX ARMS Sussex Mews, music from 8pm till late visit www.twforum.co.uk for more information
FRIDAY Cosmic Thoughts, Lucaufer SATURDAY Oh Boy! RUSTHALL CLUB 5 St Paul’s Street, open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm
SATURDAY Justine The Breretons
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TEAM EFFORT Twenty four primary teams participated
Primary school pupils have a ball at cricket tournament CRICKET: TUNBRIDGE WELLS Borderers Cricket Club held their inaugural Inter-Schools Mixed Kwik Cricket Festival on Wednesday June 21. The club hosted 24 teams from Years 3 to 6 from a number of local primary schools where they teach the sport. The tournament’s organiser Trevor Vousden told the Times: “All 240 children had fun and enjoyed this fast paced form of the game at the amazing facilities across both cricket outfields at Borderers. Thanks to all of those across the club and parents who volunteered to umpire and run the refreshments stalls to make the day a great success.”
Winners The cricket club, which was formally the Old Skinners’, is based at St. Mark’s Recreation Ground. There were 60 matches played in total and they were, according to Trevor, played in ‘exemplary spirit’. “Three of the four groups went to tie breakers due to teams finishing on level points after which crossover matches were played to establish a 1-12 final position. For most of the children taking part this was their first experience of any form of competitive cricket matches.” He went on to say that
‘final placings were secondary to the main objective of the day’ which was for the children to have lots of fun. The Years 3/4 competition was won by Frant Primary who defeated St James’ in the top play-off match, whilst the Years 5/6 finale was an all St James’s affair with the A side running out deserved victors over the school’s B team. Trophies and medals were awarded to the winners and participating schools received a gift of a Cloud Catcher coaching bat and each child was awarded a medal. The event was sponsored by AXA PPP with support from Sainsbury’s, Kent Cricket Direct and Comfoot and Keys. Frant Primary’s PE Teacher Amanda Douch told the Times: “The tournament was really well organised and most importantly had umpires! This enabled teachers to coach form the side instead of trying to do everything from the pitch. It was a lovely experience for the children and winning the Years 3/4 age group was a bonus. Borderers hold weekly sessions are held at St. Mark’s Recreation Ground on Saturday mornings between 9-10am through to September. For more information, please email Trevor Vousden on t. firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s tee time at Poult Wood as Crocker is crowned champion of first Southern Disability Open GOLF: POULT WOOD Golf Course in Tonbridge hosted the first Southern Disability Open last week, with 18 golfers taking part on the hottest day of the year. Tonbridge & Malling Leisure Trust launched the inaugural event in conjunction with Kent Golf. The competition was broken down into three categories, with one overall champion. Councillor Pam Bates, Deputy Mayor
in Barnet, was triumphant in the Ladies all Handicaps with 33 Stableford points. David Copsey, Head Professional at Poult Wood, said: “It was a truly wonderful day. The golf course was in fantastic condition and it was extremely
inspiring to see the level of golf played by all the competitors. “The Southern Disability Open is a new event in the golfing calendar that we are extremely proud to be a part of. We look forward to hosting it again next year.”
‘The Southern Disability Open is a new event in the golfing calendar that we are extremely proud to be a part of’ of Tonbridge & Malling, was on the first tee to greet the competitors at the start. Steve Crocker, from Horn Park Golf Club in Godstone, won the Men’s Handicap, Scratch to 24 with 38 Stableford points. He was also crowned the 2017 Southern Disability Champion. Phil Meadows was the winner of the Men’s Handicap, Scratch 25 and above with 37 Stableford points. Hannie Harris, of the Shire Golf Club
FAIR PLAY: (l-r) Jamie Blair, Disability Manager of England Golf, Phil Meadows, Poult Wood Head Pro, David Copsey, Steve Crocker and Hannie Harris
LEADING LADY Hannie Harris prepares to tee off
COACH: Trevor Vousden
THE DRIVE TO WIN Steve Crocker was overall champion CHAMPIONS: Frant Primary won the Year 3/4 competition
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Wednesday June 28 | 2017
Sailing charity for the disabled wants your vote to win £25k
SAILING: A CLUB that helps disabled people to sail at Chipstead Lakes wants your vote to help win a £25,000 Community Award from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Wealden Sailability is one of 300 charities selected to share in the Freemasons’ £3million distribution as part of their 300th anniversary celebrations. The recipients will win a grant of between £4,000 and £25,000, based on the results of a public poll. Wealden Sailability allows people with disabilities who would not otherwise be able to take part in sport to enjoy the freedom of the water on their own, and to compete on a level playing field with able-bodied enthusiasts. It was a recipient of the Queen’s Award for volunteering in 2015. One of the charity’s trustees, Mike Mackenzie, said: “A grant of up to £25,000 would make a huge difference to Wealden Sailability, which brings independence to people who often have very little.
MAKING WAVES Wealden Sailability provides disabled people with sporting independence
They may have difficulty getting to the boat, but once afloat they are equal to anyone else on the water.” Now in its tenth year, Wealden Sailability has grown from a small group of enthusiastic sailors to having a fleet of 23 specially adapted boats serving around 70 people a week, assisted by volunteers. Mike added: “Sailing can really change lives, and Wealden Sailability provides people with all types of physical, mental and learning disabilities with this wonderful opportunity. And blind people and paraplegics can learn to sail solo.” Mark Estaugh, the Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Master from West Kent Province said: “We are proud to support many charities across West Kent, but in this special 300th anniversary year we want to involve the public.” To vote, visit www.mcf.org.uk/region/kent-west before Monday July 31. To find out more about the charity, visit www.wealdensailability.org
From a garden tour to the big one It’s time for a haka from Hika Sign up now for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Bike Ride as Cranbrook wins a top coach CYCLING: REGISTRATION has opened for the annual Royal Tunbridge Wells Bike Ride on September 3 – now in its fifth year. There are three options catering for all abilities: A new circuit for the 25-mile Garden Tour; the 55-mile Kent & Sussex Explorer, and the ‘Big One’ – 85 miles which challenge the best riders. Riders start from Dunorlan Park at 9am, with registration from 7.30am. The advance entry fee is £24 per person, reduced to £20
if you use the discount code RTWBR20 online (valid until July 31). Groups of five or more also pay £20 each. On the day, registration will be £30. Entrants aged 14 to 15 must ride with an adult and need a consent form signed by a parent or guardian, and 16-17 year olds also need consent. Helmets must be worn. The event’s chosen charity is Matthew’s Friends, who provide information and support for children and adults using ketogenic
dietary therapies for epilepsy, glut1, brain cancer and other neurological disorders. Last year the bike ride raised more than £1,500. For more information about the rides and route maps, go to www. tunbridgewellsbikeride.co.uk Applications can be made at www.wildside-online.co.uk If you would like to donate to Matthew’s Friends, visit their Just Giving page, or find out more at www.matthewsfriends.org
Hockey sticks or light sabres?
HOCKEY: MEMBERS of Tunbridge Wells Hockey Club were out in force to support England Women against the Netherlands at the Olympic Park, East London, on June 11.
David House, Tom Fantom, Chris Pelham, Dmitriy Miller and Ed Willshire (below, l-r) dressed up as Star Wars characters to see the hosts draw 2-2, then lose a penalty shoot-out.
By Andrew Tong RUGBY: SOME All Black magic is to be conjured up by Cranbrook School to boost the prospects of all of its rugby teams next season, thanks to the generosity of a parent. The grammar has secured the services of former New Zealand forward Hika Reid as rugby coach. Hika, 59, was a hooker who represented the All Blacks in nine Tests from 1980-86.
‘Tom and Hika have already planned a full pre-season programme with training for all year groups’ He will work alongside parent Tom Hillier, a former Wasps player and old boy of Cranbrook School. Head of Sport Elizabeth Coleman admitted that the school’s sport has suffered as a result of budget cuts. “The plan is to reignite and drive forward the rugby at Cranbrook,” she said. “Government funding cuts have affected the staffing, particularly in terms of sporting provision. “However, we are determined that this should not prevent students’ access to a broad and competitive programme. “Tom and Hika have already planned a full pre-season programme with training for all year groups, including our new Year 7s and 9s. “They will both be working with all
the year groups in games sessions and practices each day, and will support all teams in matches throughout the season.” The influence of Hika will bring an effort to instil All Black flair and fluency. “The emphasis will be on the exciting New Zealand Super Rugby style of play and this will be followed by all students,” said Ms Coleman. The thrilling prospect was made possible by one of the parents. “None of this could have happened without the support of a parent with a passion for sport who has donated the funds to hire these two outstanding coaches,” Ms Coleman explained. “The positive effect they will have will impact the school as a whole. Staff and students alike are very excited at the prospect.” Hika is looking forward to working with the players: “My main focus, with the help of Tom, is to establish a positive rugby culture at Cranbrook School,” he said. “By placing a strong emphasis on player development we will endeavour to help each player realise their potential in understanding their position-specific duties and roles. “We will also be introducing an array of skills for them to adopt, personalise and express out on the pitch.” ALL BLACK MAGIC Hika Reid wants a ‘positive rugby culture’