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Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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Calverley closure plans revealed A LARGE tract of Calverley Grounds will be closed to the public for two years once work begins on the Civic Complex development, it has been disclosed. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is legally bound to publish maps showing the full extent of the area affected by the works which when completed will see a new theatre, office block and underground car park built adjacent to the park. Several areas will be permanently appropriated for the project, including the Mount Pleasant Avenue car park, the Great Hall Car Park and the entranceway to Calverley Grounds

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Follow tonight’s Business Awards live on Twitter… More than 200 people from local businesses will gather tonight (Wednesday) for one of the biggest social and networking events of the year – the Times Business Awards 2018. And if you can’t join us at Salomons Estate for this sold-out event, you don’t have to miss out. You can follow the awards via our live social media feed on Twitter: @timeslocalnews with the hashtag #TimesBizAwards. The gala dinner starts at 7pm with welcome drinks while the awards themselves will be announced from 8.30pm onwards. Fifty finalists have been shortlisted across ten categories. Presenting the awards will be TV personality and former Cabinet Minister Michael Portillo.

WORD OF HONOUR

PHOTO: Lee Smith

Young writer wins BBC’s 500 Words competition Page 3

TIME TO GO SLOW

20 MPH speed limit to be extended in town Page 4

TAG ALONG: It is not just Tunbridge Wells in Bloom which will bring a splash of colour to the town in the coming weeks after three local graffiti artists calling themselves the Paint Mechanics were hired to decorate the BHS hoardings on Calverley Road in time for the event. Josh (pictured) and his colleagues Hugh and Andrew joined together five weeks ago, but have painting experience measured in decades.

Blow to taxpayers as hospital wins £1.7million rebate in a secret deal

IN GOOD SPIRITS

First Pantiles gin festival is a huge success Page 5

Minister seeks change in law over ‘anomaly’ in business rate system EXCLUSIVE by Adam Hignett newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk LOCAL taxpayers have been left to pick up a £1.7million bill after Tunbridge Wells Hospital successfully lobbied to have its business rates retrospectively reduced, the Times can reveal. The hospital is understood to have handed out more than £400,000 in commission to agents to fight the case on its behalf. Borough Council officials have reacted with dismay to the news, which saw a deal between the trust and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) thrashed out behind closed doors. The VOA is part of the HMRC and is

responsible for setting business rates in the first place which means it ruled on a complaint against itself and it did so in secret. The row centres on the valuation of Tunbridge Wells Hospital, which until

‘What is disappointing is we have been unable to get an explanation from the VOA’ recently had a rateable value of just under £5millon per annum. Since 2013 the hospital, through the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, has been arguing its rate should be reduced. “What is disappointing is we have

been unable to get an explanation from the VOA as to why they reached that settlement in private and what was so wrong with their original calculation?” said Lee Colyer, Director of Finance at the Borough Council. Hearings are supposed to be held in public although the Times, which first highlighted the issue in 2016, understands that no agendas are made public and no documents prepared beforehand. Seven dates were set for a hearing into the hospital appeal. Seven times those hearing were cancelled. The eighth date was set for Tuesday May 1 and the council were preparing to attend.

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Divisive project VOA defends itself in face of criticism due for rebrand ment was made and ‘taxpayer confidentiality’ has meant no reasoning behind the decision has to be given. This, as much as the cost of the reimbursement itself, has caused consternation among members of the council.

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THE Civic Complex development, which will see a new theatre and offices built in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, is to be rebranded as Calverley Square. Members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council were told of the change on Monday with the new name being applied to the project as a whole as of Friday. Names and addresses for the individual components of the new development have yet to be decided. Explaining the move, Cllr Tracy Moore said: “The name civic development is a little bit dry and does not mean much to many people. Some also associate the word ‘civic’ exclusively with the council. “Even though we have been talking about it for years we still have people who are not really clear on what it entails.

cent rate relief. Of particular concern for taxpayers, he said, is the fact the Trust had to enlist the help of private sector agents in the City to lobby on their behalf, who will inevitably want their cut. Neither the agency itself, Montagu Evans, nor the Hospital would disclose the extent of the fees as the Times went to press, however, in their letter the council estimate around £420,000 will be paid in commission. Lastly, just under half of what the council has to hand over, £320,000, is money the council never had. It was collected prior to changes introduced in 2013 which saw councils both retain a percentage of business rates locally but also take responsibility for some losses during appeal. The letter, signed by Council Leader David Jukes and Chief Executive William Benson, says ‘at the very least’ the authority should be reimbursed this sum. Speaking to the Times, Greg Clark acknowledged receipt of the letter, adding: “I completely share the Borough Council’s frustration with having to meet retrospectively a loss of business rates income over which they had no control.

However, the day before the scheduled hearing, it was announced the Trust and the VOA had reached a settlement, which will result in a £1.7million rebate, of which £674,000 has already been paid by the Borough Council. Outrageous “I was notified two weeks ago and we are just about to make “The VOA are meant to defend the payment now,” confirmed their original decisions robustly; Lee Colyer. they must have a lot of evidence He said since the appeal began to support their original valuafive years ago a ‘provision’ to tion as the government agreed cover the potential costs has with it and we have been collectbeen steadily put aside to limit ing the money dutifully.” the effect on daily spending, “Suddenly at a private meeting adding: “But the money could they cave in. So there may be still have been put to better use good reasons why, but we are not investing locally.” privy to those,” Mr Colyer said. Smaller segments of the refund The council’s frustration is ‘You can put lipstick on a pig will be met by Kent County made clear in a strongly worded but it’s still a pig’ Council NOTICE PLAN 1 (KCC), and the Fire Ser- letter written to MP Greg Clark on vice, both of whom are recipients May 2 in which they lambast the NOTICE PLAN 1 “So Calverley Square is four elements, it’s the of business rates. Another chunk ‘utterly outrageous’ situation which underground car park, the office – which will comes from a ‘collection fund’ accu- sees costs ‘shunted’ from one part allow the council to be run more efficiently as mulated by the council and then of the public sector to the other. well as create space for local businesses – the passed on to central government. Mr Colyer pointed out the new public square between the two buildings, A KCC spokesman admitted ‘no ‘anomalies’ of the current sysand finally the theatre.” provision’ has been made for the tem, which sees NHS run hospiCllr Moore said the project will be: “An appeal. tals and council run schools investment in the town for the benefit of future No representatives from either forced to pay full business rates, generations in the borough.” council were invited to attend whilst private hospitals and However, the name change has not impressed the hearing in which the settle- academies benefit from 80 per many who already oppose the development. Bob Atwood, leader of the Tunbridge Wells NOTICE PLAN 1 Alliance, said: “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. I think this old expression describes the proposal admirably. “Changing its name changes nothing; in fact, it Areas where cranes could be described as a blatant attempt to pass overhead Calverley Park re-brand something which, by inference, the Calverley Park public at large already see as unpalatable and Underground unacceptable.” carpark T PLEASANT AVENUE Calverly Grounds Cllr Ben Chapelard, Leader of the opposition T PLEASANT AVENUE Calverly Grounds on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, said: “The re-brand is a desperate attempt by the Top soil deposit Conservatives to dress up their unpopular project. No amount of expensive spin or PR will Calverley Park hide that it is the wrong project, in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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HERE at Times local newspapers we strive to deliver fair, accurate and balanced reports. When we don’t meet our own high standards we will accept the responsibility and publish clarifications and corrections. If you would like to make a comment on any aspect of the newspaper, please write to the editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU, or email newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk

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which is due to be widened and turned into a public square. Much of the land within Calverley Grounds itself will only be temporarily appropriated whilst the work is ongoing between September 2019 and December 2021. All of the land being used is owned by the council itself. The main entrance from Mount Pleasant will be sealed off for the duration of the work. Members of the council who back the project say the maps could be a bit misleading as much of the area highlighted for use will not be permanently boarded off. Councillor Tracy Moore explained: “What is closed to the public is a lot smaller than the map shows. The map is Sports

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“The Valuation Office Agency has to operate under the existing law but as part of the Government’s review of business rates I will ask the Chancellor to consider how this anomaly can be corrected for the future.”

Opposition claim people will be ‘shocked’ by the plans

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In a letter to Tunbridge Wells MP and Business Minister Greg Clark seen by the Times the VOA’s Chief Executive, Melissa Tatton (pictured) defends the organisation’s record. Within the letter she states: “Cllr Jukes and Mr Benson are unhappy that appeals are agreed ‘behind closed doors’ and without others involved. Rating legislation sets out who can be involved as interested Parties to an appeal and broadly this is only the ratepayer or their appointed agent. “We have a duty of taxpayer confidentiality and cannot always disclose information we hold. Therefore, we cannot provide any information or evidence on an individual case.”

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what we legally have to show for the appropriation letters which are required by law. There is a lot of scope for misunderstanding.” Part of the area covered by the hatched lines is included because of the overhead ‘crane swing’ – the area covered by the full rotation of the cranes used on the project. Further parts of the hatched area are to be used to deposit topsoil that will be planted with grass seed. The Times understand approximately half of the hatched area will be behind hoardings and out of access for the entire two years. Cllr Nicholas Pope, of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance who was elected in May on a platform opposing the development said people are going to be ‘shocked’ when they see the appropriation plans.

THE UNSETTLING CASE OF THE HOSPITAL, ITS BUSINESS RATES AND A DOGGED COUNCIL OFFICER

SOMETHINGS are hard to understand and even more difficult to explain. Such is the case this week with our exclusive story that highlights the complexities of our system for imposing business rates. This is where a Government body called the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) decides how much each entity must hand over each year. If you think they have got it wrong you can appeal, which is exactly what Tunbridge Wells Hospital did. To make life easier they appointed a private company to fight their battle - for a little under £500,000 in fees. The appeals are supposed to be held in public with interested parties able to witness what’s going on. In other words there should be a certain transparency. Sadly that’s not the case.

Seven times over five years hearing dates were announced and seven times the hearings were postponed. On the eighth occasion the Borough Council were all set to attend when they were informed the day before that representatives from the hospital had met with representatives of the VOA behind closed doors and that an agreement had been reached. The deal will cost taxpayers, that’s you and me, £1.7million. There’s no appeal and we are not entitled to know what went on behind those closed doors. The agreement is also retrospective. In essence those footing the bill, largely the Borough Council and County Council, will have to pay a back dated refund for mistakes, over which they have no control, that were made by a Government agency which takes all decisions in secret.

Happily our MP Greg Clark, who also happens to be the Business Minister, is now calling for a review of the whole process. And rightly so. If changes are made then due recognition must be given to one particular person who has kept the issue alive and probably no longer has his calls returned by the VOA which, by the way, acts as its own judge and jury. That individual is Lee Colyer, the Borough Council’s Director of Finance. We are often quick to criticise those whose work is mainly behind the scenes in local Government. It can be a pretty thankless task. We should be equally quick, though, to say ‘well done’... Editorial Director, Richard Moore


NEWS IN BRIEF

New affordable homes fell by half last year TUNBRIDGE WELLS borough saw the number of new affordable homes completed in 2017/18 fall to 72, down from 144 the previous year. It means the borough is falling even further behind in its obligations, having only met 34 per cent of its target in the five years ending 2016/17. The council claim 440 affordable new homes are in the pipeline after being granted planning permission.

Hillview’s Ofsted review THE Head of Hillview School for Girls in Tonbridge has praised her ‘absolutely fantastic’ staff and pupils after the academy was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. In its report Ofsted praised the ‘calm and well ordered’ environment as well as the ‘increasingly high levels of expectation and aspiration’ within the secondary school. Its performing arts department was also highly lauded. Concerns were raised over the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and the general performance in sciences.

Extraordinary meeting MEMBERS of the Southborough Town Council were due to gather for an Extra Ordinary Meeting last night (June 12) in order to debate the final plans for the Southborough Hub. The multi-million pound London Road development has courted controversy due to the demolition of the Royal Victoria Hall. Advocates of the project say it will transform the High Street for the better, whilst providing a new theatre, medical centre, library and shops in one place.

Philomel summer show THE Philomel Singers, a Tonbridge-based choir who raise money for charity, will hold their summer concert at Higham Lane Methodist Church on Saturday [June 16] at 7.30pm. It features a medley of show tunes and songs, a violin solo and clarinet duet. The choir meets for rehearsals on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm in the rehearsal room of St Peter and St Paul’s Church off the High Street. There are no formal auditions and there vacancies for all voices. For more information contact the Secretary, Sheila Burrow on 01732 351651.

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Francesca wins BBC story award – and hitches a ride with royalty By Andy Tong andy@timesoftonbridge.co.uk SCHOOLGIRL Francesca Wade has dazzled a host of established authors and entertainers with her comedy story-writing. The seven-year-old, who attends Hilden Oaks School in Tonbridge, won a bronze medal in the five-tonine age group of BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words competition. There were 135,000 entries nationwide. She received the award from the Duchess of Cornwall at a ceremony at Hampton Court Palace on Friday [June 8], which was broadcast live on Chris Evans’ Morning Show. Her mum Sharon, who is Deputy Headteacher at Hilden Oaks, said: “Her face was one of total amazement as Dara O’Briain read out her story. She was then interviewed on BBC Breakfast TV about ideas for her story.” ‘Agent Ramsbottom and the Mysterious Fish and Chips’ is a humorous account of a police force run by babies who enforce healthy eating on an obese society.

Francesca’s detective tackles a thoroughly modern phenomenon when he goes ‘underground’ to investigate the cause of a fatberg, an accumulation of fatty deposits that blocks sewers. She even received an open letter of thanks from Lanes Group PLC, who clear out the fatbergs from London’s sewers, for highlighting the importance of their work. There were three winners in each category, and they were all taken for a ride in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car from the original film. “For a short while Francesca was allowed to take the wheel and steer Chitty which was the absolute highlight of her day,” said Sharon. She also took a trip on Gloriana, the Queen’s Rowbarge, which was used for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and while she was on board she chatted to the judges and readers: David Walliams, Francesca Simon, Malory Blackman, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Charlie Higson, Jason Isaacs, Shobna Gulati, Amanda Abbingdon, and Jim Broadbent. Mr Boyce said: “We loved this story’s swaggering, bonkers humour

TRANSPORT OF DELIGHT Francesca Wade on board Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the Duchess of Cornwall

and the fact that somehow an important and timely message about the environment came tumbling out of its madness.” Ms Simon added: “What an incredibly wacky and wonderful world created!”

Phone fraud warning after thieves target councillor’s bank account By Adam Hignett TUNBRIDGE WELLS Alliance Councillor Nicholas Pope (pictured) has warned people to be on their guard against phone-scams after fraudsters tried to steal £26,000 from his bank account. Sim-swap fraud occurs when criminals, impersonating the victim, obtain a duplicate phone card from a high street vendor which they then use to access their victim’s online payment methods. This is often made possible due to weak security at some banks and payment sites which only require a mobile phone number to reset security passwords. The new passwords are then sent straight to the duplicated mobile device. Once they have access, the fraudsters can start transferring money.

“I first realised something was wrong when my mobile stopped working,” said Cllr Pope. “I had to spend several hours talking to my mobile phone company because initially they didn’t even realise they had issued a new sim card with my number on it.” Once his phone was reconnected he noticed PayPal had left him a voicemail warning of suspicious activity on his account.

Victim When he viewed his Paypal profile he saw several transactions totalling £13,000 had been made to Ebay in just one day. He then noticed the criminals had linked his PayPal account to a

Francesca received a personalised book of all the top six stories with the judge’s comments about them, and she will also be sent her height in books. To read the story, go to www.bbc. co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1

Barclays account and had attempted to transfer a further £13,000. Luckily his bank noticed the unusual activity and managed to prevent the vast amount of transfers. Instead most of the money went into the bank’s ‘fraud account’ where it was held pending further instruction from their client. However, £4,000 did slip through and it took four and a half months for Cllr Pope to reclaim it from PayPal. He had been told it would take a week. “If all the money had been taken it would have put me in the red,” he explained. “I would seriously recommend people contact their mobile companies to ensure there is extra security. People should also be aware that the bigger their online presence the easier it is to become a victim of Nick Pope this type of fraud.”


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Grand Master Go slow campaign gathers pace Emms wins home as limits imposed on more roads town tournament By Adam Hignett THE great and the good of international chess descended upon Tunbridge Wells over the weekend to take part in the town’s second annual Chess Tournament. A total of 84 players took part in the event over June 9-10 which was hosted at the Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club on London Road, a venue which is also the home of the local Chess Club. Sponsored by Savills, the tournament marks a renaissance in the game, with around a quarter of its participants classed as juniors.

Recognition Players came from across Europe to take part, including the Croatian International Grand Master Bogdan Lalic who came joint second with International Master Justin Tan and the untitled Martin Taylor. The winner of the main Open Tournament was Tunbridge Wells’s own International Grand Master, and former England Olympiad team captain, John Emms, who edged ahead of the field with a win in round five on the last day. Nine-year-old Shreyas Royal earned herself recognition as one of the most promising young players in attendance. The tournament was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor, James Scholes, with the prize giving ceremony officiated by MP Greg Clark. Robert Jacobs, head of office for event sponsors Savills Tunbridge Wells, who is also president of the Tunbridge Wells Chess Club, commented, “With the excellent attendance numbers and exceptionally strong field of players, the tournament is going from strength to strength. We have high hopes that next year’s event will build upon this early success.”

TWO more parts of Tunbridge Wells could soon be joining St John’s in seeing the speed limit on a significant number of their roads reduced to 20mph. Proposals put forward by Kent County Council (KCC) will see a total of 23 roads in St James’s and Sherwood converted to the lower limit. The plans, which have the backing of road safety group 20’s Plenty for Tunbridge Wells, are being put forward in order to complement the development of a new cycle route which stretches between the two areas via Grosvenor and Hilbert Park. Documents outlining the reasoning behind the project state that due to the ‘on-carriageway’ nature of much of the new route, the enforcement of

20mph limits will help ‘avoid the danger to persons or other traffic using the road’. If given the go ahead, it will be the second largest expansion of the 20mph zone in Tunbridge Wells since 50 roads, home to 8,000 residents, in the St John’s ward were converted to 20mph at the end of 2016. The scheme cost £40,000 to implement, the majority of which came from the members’ grant fund of KCC councillor Peter Oakford. No cost for the latest expansion has yet been identified. Spokesman for 20’s Plenty for Tunbridge Wells, Adrian Berendt, said the group ‘welcomes’ the proposal to implement 20mph on 23 more roads, adding: “It will make these streets more welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists and helps

towards the long term aim of making 20mph the normal speed limit for residential streets. “We look forward to the day when all residential streets in Tunbridge Wells have 20mph speed limits and we urge all local residents to write to Stuart Taylor at KCC Highways or email traffic.schemes@kent. gov.uk to express their support for the proposal.”

WHICH ROADS WILL BE CONVERTED? 1. Belgrave Road 2. Tunnel Road 3. Goods Station Road 4. Hill Street 5. Mercer Street 6. Jackwood Way 7. Stanley Road 8. Norman Road 9. Commerical Road 10. Beech Street 11. Kirkdale Road 12. Brook Road 13. Brooklands 14. Blake Way 15. Rymers Close 16. Hillcrest Drive 17. Oak Road 18. Trebilco Close 19. Clifton Road 20. Laurel Road 21. Lauren Way 22. Rankine Road

MBE for MTW’s Head of Radiotherapy Services CHRISTINE RICHARDS, Head of Radiotherapy Services at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW), has been named in the Queen’s birthday honours 2018. Ms Richards (pictured above), who has worked for the Trust for 28 years, and as a radiographer for 46 years, has been honoured with an MBE for her services to cancer patients. She said: “I am delighted and stunned to have been honoured with this award. I would like to thank all the wonderful staff that I have worked with, who have supported me over the years and enabled me to achieve this.” This year, one in eight of the Queen’s birthday honours have been awarded for contributions to health, including more than 60 awards to NHS staff. Miles Scott, MTW’s Chief Executive, said: “We are all delighted for Christine who thoroughly deserves this fantastic award for her unfailing hard work and commitment to patients. As we approach the NHS’s 70th birthday, there is no more fitting recipient of an award than Christine. She exemplifies the very best of the NHS.”


Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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New festival hits the spot as the town gets into the spirit By Phil Spacey Sunshine, gin and jazz proved an irresistible cocktail that attracted several thousand people to The Pantiles over the weekend for a new festival. There were more than 65 artisan gins from 30 producers to choose from, alongside street food stalls and jazz bands Organiser Julian Leefe-Griffiths said: “It was an absolutely incredible event, Tunbridge Wells really does love gin and tonic. “We put the weekend together knowing that there was a resurgence of interest in gin, but we had no idea that it would be quite so popular. It

was one of the most successfully attended festivals that we have yet staged on The Pantiles.” New Tunbridge Wells distiller Pipehouse launched its Earl Grey and Cucumber Gin, which went down well. Other local producers present were Greensand, Mayfield, Foxhole, Copper Rivet and Anno.

Amazing But it wasn’t just local gins on offer. Kongsgaard from Denmark also attended together with Pink Pepper from France, Family of Hounds from Italy and Mermaid from The Isle of White. The event was put together in association with

premium drinks distributor EnotriaCoe, who helped source many of the producers. Linton Neill from Enotriacoe said: “It’s amazing the selection and diversity now available to the public, anything from blood orange to Irish seaweed is thrown into the mix to make delicious, weird and wonderful tipples. EnotriaCoe in fact stock over 250 gins in their portfolio. The event was also supported by tonic partner Fevertree. “With more festivals coming up, including Jazz on the Pantiles, Saturday night’s Soultrain and the Vintage festival it was a great Gin & Jazz start to the summer,” said Julian Leefe-Griffiths.

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Hospital’s Frailty Unit established in a new bid to stop ‘bed-blocking’ RAPID INTERVENTION The Frailty Unit team at Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Patients who are aged 75 and over and who meet national criteria for frailty, will be eligible for the service. A Frailty Unit at Maidstone Hospital was successfully introduced by MTW a year ago. The Trust’s Associate Director of Nursing, Sally Foy, said: “Acute Frailty Units have been proven to provide the best quality of care for older patients. “By focusing on bringing together the right resources and a range of clinicians we have seen excellent results, providing high standards of care as well as improved collaboration with families, a great staff experience and a reduction in the number of long-stay patients in hospital.” The facility at Maidstone sees 35 per cent of its patients discharged home with ‘personalised support’, helping to prevent further hospital admissions.

‘This service improvement is only the beginning of an important change in the way acute hospital care supports these patients’ NHS Trust

By Andy Tong A FRAILTY Unit has opened at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury as part of a drive to reduce the number of long-stay patients. The ability of the health service to cope with ever growing demand has been crippled by ‘bedblocking’.

Patients remain in hospital despite being well enough to return home, often because of issues surrounding discharge and ongoing care – and the problem is especially prevalent among the elderly. The new department, set up by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s [MTW], is equipped to look after 10 people and offers ‘rapid intervention’ from the point of arrival at Accident & Emergency.

Frailty Unit patients are reviewed and supported by a senior geriatrician and teams from nursing, therapy, pharmacy and Integrated Discharge. They will rapidly assess, treat and, where appropriate, safely discharge patients, providing a link between ‘acute and community settings’. Anyone who is not suitable for discharge will be transferred to a short stay bed on another ward.

Ms Foy added: “Our staff are committed to making sure that older patients are always given the most appropriate care and treatment, that they are respected, listened to and supported at all times.” A Trust spokesman said: “This service improvement is only the beginning of an important change in the way acute hospital care supports these patients. “The Frailty Unit will continue to develop links with community service providers to ensure that patients benefit from services traditionally delivered in a hospital environment, whilst remaining in their own home. “These community services will also work in partnership with the hospital to ensure that frail patients only remain in hospital when absolutely necessary and, when fit to do so, return to their home seamlessly and without delay.”

Owlsnest Wood remains safe as planning bid falls through PLANS to build a new bed care home in Pembury were rejected by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council last week on ecological grounds. Councillors on the planning committee voted 10-0, with two abstentions, in favour of dismissing the application submitted by developer Quantum Group to build in Owlsnest Wood following advice from planning officers. The officers had recommended the committee reject the Tonbridge Road scheme in their report, citing the ‘adverse impacts on landscape, trees and ecology’.

Their report stated: “The proposal is considered to be inappropriate development within the Metropolitan Green Belt.” A number of ‘very special circumstances’ were listed to mitigate concerns about development on the greenbelt, such as the increasing need for elderly care, the site’s proximity to the hospital and the creation of new jobs. However, these were not considered enough to outweigh the downsides, leading planning officers to state: “The harm to the landscape, and character of the area, by virtue of the scale of the

development, amount, layout and site coverage, would not be outweighed by the identified benefits of the scheme.” If given the go-ahead, the proposal would have seen a 76-bed main facility plus 19 smaller dwellings built opposite the Tunbridge Wells Hospital across a five hectare site in the ancient woodland. Documents reveal it would have led to the

employment of 36 part time and 30 full time jobs, generating an estimated £400,000 in additional spending in the local economy per annum. Furthermore, it was expected to pay approximately £34,000 in council tax, but was likely to be exempt from business rates. A spokesman for Quantum Group said the firm were ‘reviewing our next steps’ and may reconsider the application.


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Legal eagles fly higher

Living wage winners ONE of the largest employers in Tunbridge Wells – Childrensalon – has won the Living Wage Champion Employee Choice Award 2018. Childrensalon employs over 320 individuals and is the world’s leading online retailer for designer childrenswear, shipping to 160 different countries. Those recruited to the company are guaranteed not just the living wage (£7.85 per hour for over 25s outside of London), but also enjoy a cash health plan, childcare vouchers, eyecare vouchers, subsidised gym membership and 30 days’ holiday. Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the business had gone ‘above and beyond’ what is expected.

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

LAW firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has made 11 staff promotions across their South East operation. The business, based primarily in Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, is one of the largest legal companies in the South East, with more than 240 employees. It also has an office in Dartford.

Deserved ON THE UP Among those promoted at Thomson Snell & Passmore in Tunbridge Wells are: (L-R) Stuart Price, Jenny Waight, Catherine Fuller, Sarah Keily, Sue Lambert, Heather West, Claire Joseph, Sarah Nettleship and Alex Lewsley

The promotions include five new salaried Partners, a Senior Associate and a Legal Executive Senior Associate. It was also confirmed that three

Associates and a Legal Executive Associate had been appointed. Senior Partner James Partridge said: “On behalf of the firm, I would like to extend my congratulations to all those on these thoroughly deserved promotions. “The promotions reflect the calibre of expertise on offer throughout Thomson Snell & Passmore, and growing talent remains a key focus to further strengthen the growth of the firm. “The internal promotions emphasise Thomson Snell & Passmore’s commitment to developing talent.”

Yoyo to stage free GDPR event as firms are warned to stay vigilant AFTER the Europe-wide General Data Protection Regulation came into effect on May 25, companies are warned by a data expert that they ‘should not forget about GDPR’. John Woodrow, Data & Analytics Senior Manager at top finance firm PwC, told the Times companies still need to be vigilant in their actions. He will be speaking at a free information event about GDPR in business organised in conjunction with local Creative Agency Yoyo Design, to which all are invited.

Helpful Titled ‘GDPR – Managing Your Data from 25th May and Beyond’, the event will run from 8.45am to 11.15am on Wednesday, July 27 at One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. GDPR strengthens the data rights of EU resi-

dents, allowing organisations who misuse personal data to be fined. It was designed to update a 1995 directive and, among other things, required companies to ensure they had asked contacts for permission to maintain their details. This saw a flurry of activity, especially via email, in the leadup to the May 25 deadline for compliance. Mr Woodrow said: “It has been a hectic few months. It has been a large part of my job to help businesses understand how it will impact them. “You have to keep an eye on it. People have panicked a bit, but it is actually more about better data governance. Firms need to be vigilant, and do the right thing. It is not going to blow over, and this affects everyone.” James Forage, Commercial Director of Tunbridge Wells-based Yoyo Design, will open the meeting. He said Yoyo had many enquiries from clients about GDPR s0 they teamed with PwC for the event.

WEB OF CONFUSION: The event will explain GDPR Krishna Iyer, Cloud Assurance Director at PwC, and Rahul Colaco, Senior Manager, Cyber Security and Privacy at PwC, will also be speaking. Mr Woodrow said the event had the potential to be helpful for everyone. He continued: “Everyone is at different levels of where they are at with GDPR. Some have done very little, which is concerning, others have done a little and some have done quite a lot. “This is Yoyo’s event. We will be speaking at it.” To find out more, and register, see: www.facebook.com/yoyo.social/events


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Brewer toasts first pub sale By Jonathan Banks A FORMER bank clerk whose disillusionment led him to take up full-time brewing celebrated his first sale to a pub last week, just six months after setting up his business. Gregg Ellar decided to set up The Hildenborough Brewery Ltd after being made redundant from his job of 15 years as a bank clerk and the tragic death of his father. Both happened within the space of a few months of each other last year.

‘I decided to take a leap of faith and turn my ten-year-plus brewing hobby into a business’ “I decided to take a leap of faith and turn my ten-year-plus brewing hobby into a business,” said Mr Ellar. “I had nearly all the equipment needed for a small commercial venture already, having slowly built up my knowledge and brewing capacity over that time.” Admitting his experience was, and remains, daunting, Mr Ellar believes it was his ‘last chance’ to realise his ambition of becoming a real brewer. He now runs the business with his wife, Catherine, who has become the Company Secretary, although he performs most of the hands-on tasks. “Everything is done by myself in our home, our kitchen is filled to the brim with tun, beer boiler, fermenters, water tank, hoses, pumps and bottles on a brew or bottle day,” he explained. Even though his business is classed as a ‘nano-

brewery’ – a loose definition for very small operations with a brew run of less than three barrels (288 pints) – it is still large enough to warrant a large degree of ingenuity. “Our beer boiler was built in Italy to hold olive oil – it was a bare food grade stainless steel container with one tap and a lid and that was it. I bought it and had it shipped over. I fitted a multitude of taps and strainers for separating hops and recirculation. I also fitted 11,400 watts-worth of heating elements,” he said. “Our fermenters were bare bones food grade conical fermenters from China which I designed, drilled and fitted with a multitude of ports, connectors, seals and cooling coils for a variety of processes. There is barely room in the kitchen.” The lack of a designated space also means a very time-consuming assembly and disassembly period, which overall takes around 24 hours. Since December, his four beer products – a Golden Ale, Golden Lite, Wheat Beer and APA – have predominantly been targeted at the home market. However, last week that changed. “My beer went on sale in the Greyhound pub in Charcott on Wednesday [June 6] and it happened to be a day when a group from CAMRA were visiting, which was a bit nerve-wracking.” But Mr Ellar is already ‘in talks’ with another pub, and claims that despite the cramped conditions there is probably room for ‘one more expansion’ before a separate premises would need to be sought. Mr Ellar added: “I would like to get to the microbrewing stage, but I am not going to take on loans to do it. I would prefer to grow my business organically.”

A Big Breakfast and business cards event BUSINESS leaders in Tonbridge are celebrating one of London’s top networking events coming to town. The Big Breakfast will be held at West Kent College in Brook Street from 7.30am this morning [Wednesday, June 13] for the first time. Large and small firms in the Kent and Sussex area are expected to attend the event, which is usually held in Croydon but is sometimes held in other

BUSINESS SPEED DATING The Big Breakfast in London

towns in the south-east region. A spokesman said: “Attendees will enjoy a free buffet breakfast and the chance to make some great new contacts in a fun and friendly environment.

Pitching “The networking session follows a speed-dating format, with delegates taking part in a series of four minute, one-to-one pitching sessions

to maximise the number of contacts they can make.” Nicolas Heslop, Chairman of the business group West Kent Partnership, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Big Breakfast to Tonbridge, and hope as many West Kent businesses as possible attend.” The event starts at 7.30am at West Kent College, Tonbridge. More details can be found at: www.thebigbreakfast.org.uk

ON TAP Gregg Ellar brews in his kitchen

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Kent builders are set for their own new home

FREEHOLD Wyevale is on valuable land

Garden centre is up for sale to those with a handy £5million By Adam Hignett ONE of the most popular garden centres in Tunbridge Wells could soon be under new management after being placed on the market for £5million. The Wyevale Garden Centre in Eridge Road is being sold off after its current owners, the private equity group Terra Firma, decided to divest itself of all 145 outlets that make up the chain. The sale is likely to result in a handsome pay day for Terra Firma founder Guy Hands, who formerly attended The Judd School in the 1970s and now resides near Sevenoaks. Acquired by Terra Firma in 2012 for the sum of £276million, the Wyevale chain is now being valued at more than £400million by property specialists Christie & Co, who have been appointed to oversee the sale. The first round of bidding ends on June 26. News of the sale comes after the retailer benefitted from its strongest ever trading weekend during the Early May Bank Holi-

day, which saw a year-on-year increase in sales of 61 per cent. Although Christie & Co is exploring a range of options, including the sale of the entire business, it has also been asked to evaluate each individual garden centre as individual sales are also an option.

Opportunity Due partly to the freehold nature of the Eridge Road site, the Tunbridge Wels outlet has been valued at £5million. In compar-

ison, the nearby Wyevale Garden Centre in Paddock Wood is only leasehold and looks set to fetch around £400,000. The most expensive property in the portfolio can be found in the London borough of Sutton, and is expected to fetch £35million if sold separately. Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of Wyevale Garden Centres, said the sale provides ‘a fantastic opportunity for new long-term owners looking to enter the market and existing operators seeking to expand their current operations’.

Born in 1959 in London to South African parents, Guy Hands was educated at a number of primary schools before joining The Judd School in Tonbridge – an institution which now hosts the Guy Hands Library. Although challenged by severe dyslexia, he would go on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mansfield College, Oxford. During his university years, he befriended the future Conservative Party Leader William Hague, who would later be best man at his wedding to his wife Julia.

£4.7billion

SEVENOAKS ENTREPRENEUR Guy Hands

Guy Hands’ business career began in 1982 as a bond trader at Goldman Sachs before he entered the world of private equity in the 1990s. In 2002, he set up Terra Firma, one of the largest private equity investors in Europe with total assets worth £4.7billion, which focuses on turning around distressed companies. Alongside Wyevale, the firm has at one time or another invested in bookmakers William Hill, the EMI record label, Four Seasons Health Care and Odeon Cinemas.

Hope for Corn Exchange conversion by year end THE long dormant Corn Exchange may see its proposed transformation into a new business hub take place by the end of the year, it has been revealed. Planning permission to convert the empty Pantiles building into suitable office units was granted in June last year. A total of 17 business suites are proposed, ranging in size from small two-desk units through to the largest open-plan office suite of 22 desks. There are plans for 100 individual workstations in the longer term. No work is planned on the façade of the 19th-century Exchange, and the Tourist Information Centre will remain at the entrance of the building. Although little renovation has occurred since the application was

WHO IS GUY HANDS?

more of those local businesses who are dependent upon visitors throughout the rest of the year.” Previously, a hub of small shops and cafés tailored to tourists’

footfall in the Corn Exchange declined rapidly after the Day at The Wells attraction closed in 2004. Plans to turn the site into a Curzon cinema fell through in 2016.

submitted, a spokesman for the Nevill Estate Company – which is run on behalf of the Marquess of Abergavenny – said completion of the project will ‘hopefully’ take place by the end of the year. A contract with the architect is being finalised, he added.

Creative update for area A REVIEW is being undertaken by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council of its Cultural and Creative Industries Framework in order to further assist the sector. First published in 2012, the report aims to provide a strategy on how to raise the profile and lend support to creative industries within the borough. Projects such as the development of the The House, a hub providing flexible office space for local businesses in Monson Road, came through recommendations in the report. The council have recommissioned the original authors at Tom Fleming Creative consultancy for the update.

£50m life science fund COMPANIES operating within the local life sciences sector can now seek investment into their businesses via a new £50million venture capital fund backed by Kent County Council. Managed by specialist investment firm NCL Technology Ventures, funding is available for small to medium-sized enterprises based in Kent which are working in fields such as medical technology, biotech and healthcare. For further information on the Kent Life Science Fund, visit www.kent.gov.uk/business

The Helpful HR firm TUNBRIDGE WELLS has seen a new consultancy join the ranks of its burgeoning service industry after Helpful HR set up shop in Monson Road. The firm, run by Roz Chown, moved down from London in April and has already taken on clients such as Yoyo Design. It aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the South East. Mrs Chown said: “By engaging an HR consultant, those SMEs who don’t have an in-house HR function can make sure they have the benefits of a virtual HR Director, as and when they need them.”

SELEP Chair stays on

Risk Business leaders have welcomed the plans to deliver more offices in the town after the Times revealed over a fifth of office space has been lost in the past five years, with a further 22 per cent perceived to be at risk. Jo James, Chief Executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “Having more people working in The Pantiles will help sustain

MAJOR house builder Bovis Homes is set to move its headquarters from Sevenoaks district to the borough of Tonbridge & Malling, along with a tenth of its workforce. The new headquarters in Kings Hill will provide office space for 120 people, and has been selected for its central location within the area in which Bovis traditionally operates. The Kent-based construction firm is one of the largest in the UK, with revenues exceeding £1billion. Earlier this year, the firm was confronted by a sizeable shareholder rebellion over executive pay at its Tunbridge Wells AGM.

TRANSFORMATION: Business hub could breathe life into the Corn Exchange

The Chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership [SELEP], Christian Brodie, is to extend his term of office for a further two years. The move was agreed by SELEP’s Strategic Board at its latest meeting and will see Mr Brodie continue to lead the organisation that champions investment and economic development in Kent, East Sussex, Medway, Thurrock, Essex and Southend. During his two years in post to date, the organisation has secured £102.65million from the government, which has funded 19 projects delivering new jobs, homes and infrastructure.


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Flourishing Pantiles continues to thrive – despite a national high street decline By Jonathan Banks newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk HIGH streets across the country are under growing pressure with shops often struggling to keep the doors open. In Tunbridge Wells there’s one shopping and eating location that’s bucking the national trend – The Pantiles. It’s ten years since the historic promenade was taken over by Targetfollow, the property investment, development and asset management company. We asked Associate Director Paul Burnett to tell us why, in his view, The Pantiles is flourishing… ‘The company has enabled The Pantiles to progress from being a tertiary retail pitch into a premier boutique shopping location, prime eating area and venue for live entertainment in the town. The former Swan Hotel was completely refurbished into the boutique Tunbridge Wells Hotel opened by Julian Leefe-Griffiths while the former Old Fish Market and Tourist Information Centre has been converted to become home to Sankey’s restaurant. Targetfollow have invested over £500,000 in a rolling programme of refurbishment and restoration transforming other properties on The Pantiles, repairing and improving the outside environment (Breedon Gravel Restoration, paving repairs, crest restoration etc.) and conversion of the old Swan Garage into the new home of Joseph McCarthy fine frames. Under Targetfollow’s ownership and management the Upper Pantiles has become fully let attracting 15 new tenants including high street brand Jack Wills and a plethora of other shops, salons, hotel and restaurants. Other new tenants include Any Occasion, Chegworth Valley, Chocolatl, Collared, Mink Interiors, Morgan Hodges, Oak and Interiors, Beumee Fine Art, The Cakeshed, The Pantiles Tap and The White Room Hairdressing. The new influx has moulded with other MAIN ATTRACTION Thousands flock to The Pantiles for events throughout the summer

well established Pantiles traders including Peter Jenner whose jewellery business has been located at The Pantiles for almost 40 years. A number of the tenants have won national awards and welcomed celebrities over the years.

Hands-on Targetfollow co-founded The Pantiles Events Company as a joint venture with Lower Pantiles LLP. Along with the huge efforts of local entrepreneur and proprietor of Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Julian Leefe-Griffiths, they have flourished a series of entertainment events ranging from live music and markets to fashion shows, food festivals and celebrations. These attract tens of thousands of visitors each year (with more than one hundred events staged in 2017). This has fully utilised the Bandstand which has always been a venue and attraction for the town along with the wider Pantiles. Targetfollow’s tenant and community engagement, the launch of a new website, free Wi-Fi and social media presence contributed to The Upper Pantiles being a finalist in the Great British High Street of the Year Awards in 2016 and securing the prime ‘Mayfair’ position on the new Hasbro Tunbridge Wells Monopoly game. Recently Targetfollow, Dandara and the Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons cofunded newly commissioned information panels for the Commons – the countryside in the town

– to encourage the exploration of its 256 acres. Diverse and beautiful, the Commons are already famous for their unique sandstone outcrops whilst concurrently being a home to communities, two cricket clubs, a children’s nursery and numerous churches and pubs. Targetfollow are long term investors in property and in Tunbridge Wells are appreciative of the support received from local people and the numerous local stakeholders they are actively working in partnership with including Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, the Commons Conservators, the Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons and Royal Tunbridge Wells Together. Through a hands-on management approach and ethos of community engagement, Targetfollow are set to unfold plans over the next few years which will see the enrichment of the community and contribute towards the enlivenment and development of the town. The Pantiles events programme has become a staple in the town’s activity calendar and Targetfollow are committed to ensuring high quality, innovative events that appeal to the entire town and beyond for years to come. Targetfollow will continue working in partnership with groups such as the Commons Conservators to ensure the Commons always provide a venue for community-driven activities and enjoyment as well as attracting visitors and tourists to the town. Targetfollow are excited to play a part in the future of Tunbridge Wells.’


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Mum’s marathon for epilepsy charity inspires Puddle Duck pyjama parties

OVER THE LINE Janina Westwell finishes the Brighton Marathon with her sons Jonny (right) and Sam

A SWIMMING teacher has raised more than £3,000 for Young Epilepsy after running the Brighton Marathon. Janina Westwell, from Fordcombe, was inspired to undertake the challenge by her five-year-old son Jonny, who has epilepsy. The 41 year old describes Jonny as ‘really funny, ridiculously clever, kind-hearted and one of the happiest people I know’. Young Epilepsy is a charity that provides support services to young people with the condition and their families. Janina [right] works for Puddle Ducks West Kent & East Sussex, based in Tunbridge Wells, which specialises in swimming lessons for babies and children. Her colleagues were so impressed with what she did, collecting over £1,800, that they wanted to help raise more. So they held

‘pyjama swimming parties’ that saw youngsters attending their lessons wearing their pyjamas. Janina said: “Jonny is challenged every single day with his condition. If he can live with that and be so absolutely awesome, I can trot a few miles out along the seafront to help him.” She added: “We don’t let epilepsy get in the way of life, and the fact that we can have this attitude makes us the lucky ones.” “I’m gobsmacked at how much was raised, and would like to say a big thank you to Puddle Ducks for all their support.”

Kate Wright from Puddle Ducks said: “Running a marathon is a serious achievement, and knowing just how much this cause means to Janina, we wanted to be able to help out in any way we could. “The children had a fantastic week swimming in their pyjamas, and we couldn’t believe it when we added up how much we’d raised. “So it’s a massive thank you to all our generous families who donated.” For more information on Puddle Ducks, call 01892 617246 or go to www.puddleducks.com/ westkentandeastsussex

Wiesbaden band’s visit strikes a chord with TS Brilliant cadets TS BRILLIANT Sea Cadets in Tunbridge Wells hosted 30 members of the Red Heralds band from twin town Wiesbaden. The unit has had an affiliation with their German counterparts since 1970. On arrival, the guests were treated to a supper cooked by staff and volunteers at the TS Brilliant headquarters in Albion Road. The group went on a walking tour of the town, followed by a barbecue and joint band practice with the Sea Cadets. The Red Heralds also visited Brighton for a day

out at the seaside, after which a formal dinner was held in their honour with the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Len Horwood, and his wife Judy in attendance.

Friendship During the evening, the Unit Officer Commanding, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Vanns of the Royal Naval Reserve, was presented with the Cadet Forces Medal Certificate, and the groups exchanged gifts of friendship.

STEPPING OUT: The Red Heralds and their families on The Pantiles during their stay in Tunbridge Wells


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European midwives visit hospital A DELEGATION of midwives and obstetricians from Italy and Slovenia visited Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust maternity services last week as part of a fact-finding mission to look at best practice. The group of experts, who are developing and improving crossborder maternity services, visited the maternity department at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury and then spent time at Maidstone Birth Centre.

‘The group learnt a lot about the best practice that we have developed’ The Trust’s maternity department is one of only three European centres that the 15-strong group are visiting to find out about their antenatal and postnatal care, and the health structures available to support new mothers. Jenny Cleary, Head of Midwifery at the Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome the group of midwives and obstetricians from Italy and Slovenia to our department, and to show them the excellent facilities we have available. “The delegation was particularly keen to find out how we manage

LABOUR OF LOVE Delegates arrive from Italy and Slovenia low-risk pregnancies and promote normal birth, midwifery-led care and the use of birth centres.” She added: “We showed them round our obstetric-led service at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and then took a tour of Maidstone Birth Centre to see how we manage

active and water births. “The study visit was a great success and the group learnt a lot about the best practice that we have developed to improve the care we provide for women and their families.” Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells

NHS Trust is one of the leading maternity units in England, providing the highest and safest standards of care for mothers and their babies. Its maternity services have been rated one of the best in the country following a review by NHS England.

Lions funding helps disabled riders climb into the saddle

HELPING HANDS: Southborough Lions President Peter Mersh with volunteer Liz Mead at Wellgrove Farm Riding Stables

THE Southborough & District Lions Club have provided Wellgrove Farm Riding Stables in Pembury with a ramp to allow disabled people to enjoy riding. Wellgrove Farm, in Kings Toll Road, offers equine opportunities through the Riding for the Disabled Association [RDA]. Lion Sylvia Fuller met local volunteer Liz Mead last autumn to find a way to help handicapped people of all ages to mount a horse. As a result, the Southborough branch has provided £500 of funding to help with the construction of a ramp which brings riders to a height

that makes it easier to get into and out of the saddle. Wellgrove Farm supervises up to 60 RDA riders from local schools each week, and also six adults from the region. Their involvement in horse riding proves beneficial for their health and general wellbeing, cognitive and social skills. Liz, who has worked as an instructor at the stables for four years and is a trustee, said: “The benefits horse riding can offer riders through balance, emotion, communication, fun and freedom is what drives me to champion its cause.”

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Charity Bank appoints new Chief Executive TONBRIDGE-based Charity Bank, an ethical bank owned by and dedicated to supporting charities and social purpose organisations, has appointed Edward Siegel as its new Chief Executive. He replaces Patrick Ed Siegel Crawford, who steps down after almost six years. Ed was previously Managing Director of Big Issue Invest (BII), the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group. George Blunden, Charity Bank’s Chairman, said: “Under Patrick’s leadership we have provided loans and support to hundreds of charities and social enterprises, touching the lives of more than one million people from across the UK. “Ed is an exceptional choice for Charity Bank because of his experience and deep understanding of the social sector.

Social change “Charities and social enterprises are dealing with many pressing problems. Our goal remains to increase the financial options available to them, so they can make a bigger difference to the people and communities they serve.” Ed said: “Charity Bank has a well-earned reputation as one of the strongest brands in our sector. The bank’s community of borrowers, savers, investors and its team are all working towards one goal – to help strengthen charities and social enterprises so that they can create lasting social change.”


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Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Ireland to appeal European verdict on Hooded Men

Neo-Nazi plot to kill MP was revenge plan against police

THE Irish Government is to appeal against a European court decision that found the UK did not torture the ‘Hooded Men’ during the Troubles. The 14 Catholics were interned – detained indefinitely without trial – in 1971 and said they were subjected to a number of torture methods. Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed Ireland’s request to find the men suffered torture and said there was ‘no justification’ for revising an original judgment in 1978 that held while the men suffered inhumane and degrading treatment, they were not tortured.

A MEMBER of the banned neo-Nazi group National Action plotted to murder an MP for ‘White Jihad’, a court has heard. Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale in Lancashire, bought a 19-inch long machete to kill Labour’s Rosie Cooper last summer. Jurors heard he then planned to take hostages to lure a police officer to the scene and kill her. The scheme was foiled by disenchanted former National Action member Robbie Mullen, who reported the threat to Hope Not Hate. On the opening day of his trial Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and threatening to kill Detective Constable Victoria Henderson. But he denies being a member of National Action. Five other men are on trial charged with being members of the organisation.

Pressure The Prince of Wales shook hands with former IRA bomber and Sinn Fein Stormont Assembly member Gerry Kelly during a visit to the Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast. Mr Kelly escaped from Northern Ireland’s high-security Maze Prison in 1983 while serving a sentence for the 1973 bombing of the Old Bailey. He became a senior republican negotiator ahead of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and was a minister in the powersharing executive.

REACHING OUT The Prince of Wales meets Gerry Kelly in Belfast

Pressure Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told jurors: “It is important to recognise from the outset that these defendants are not being prosecuted for their racist or neo-Nazi beliefs, however repulsive they may be, but for their participation in a banned organisation that sought actively through fear, intimidation and the threat of violence rather than through free speech and democracy to shape society.” In the wake of its support for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, the organisation became the first extreme right-wing group to be proscribed since the Second World War. Mr Atkinson said Renshaw’s violent plan was hatched following his arrest in January last year on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred. He was interviewed by Det Con Henderson about two anti-Semitic speeches in Blackpool and at the Yorkshire Forum for Nationalists in

NEWS IN BRIEF

School exclusion zones to reduce energy drinks ENERGY drink exclusion zones around schools could help limit consumption among young people, MPs have been told. The Government should consider imposing a ban on retailers near schools to stop sales of caffeine-filled products to under-16s, teachers’ union NASUWT said. The move would be a first step in addressing ‘alarming levels’ of energy drink consumption among children, the Science and Technology Committee heard.

Yahoo fined over hack

WHITE JIHAD An artist’s impression of Jack Renshaw in the dock which he claimed ‘Hitler was right’. An analysis of his phone later revealed what police considered to be evidence of child sex offences and he was interviewed again by Det Con Henderson. On July 1 last year, Renshaw unveiled the plot to National Action members at a meeting in the Friar Penketh pub in Warrington. Mr Atkinson said: “Renshaw’s plan had a more sophisticated dimension in that its objective was not simply to make a political point, as he put it to kill for National Action and White Jihad, but to revenge himself on those he considered to be persecuting him and trying to send him to prison for a significant period.”

YAHOO has been fined £250,000 over a cyber-attack that may have breached more than 8m accounts in the UK, the ­Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO] has announced. Personal data including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, passwords and encrypted security questions and answers were potentially compromised on about 500 million accounts worldwide by the Russia-sponsored hack.

Vodka pilot sent to jail A PILOT has been jailed for eight months for being caught on duty while more than four times over the alcohol limit. Julian Monaghan, 49, had worked for BA for 17 years. He drank three double vodkas and diet Pepsi in his hotel room on an empty stomach before he was due on board a long-haul flight from Gatwick to Mauritius on January 18. Police were called when technician Verity McAllen noticed a strong smell of alcohol on Monaghan’s breath.


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Wednesday June 13 | 2018

NEWS

Network Rail must add extra £1billion to budget, says ORR

SUITED AND BOOTED: Gareth Southgate’s England squad pose for a group photo before flying out to St Petersburg in Russia yesterday [June 12]. They will be based in the village of Repino ahead of their opening match against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday (see page 19)

NETWORK RAIL should spend more on reliability and safety, according to the rail regulator. The Government-owned company responsible for maintaining Britain’s rail infrastructure should add around £1billion to its budget for renewals work, the Office of Rail and Road [ORR] said. This could be funded by greater efficiency and additional income from property, it added. It called for an extra £80million to be spent on improving safety, including level crossings and worker initiatives. The figures are based on analysis of Network Rail’s five-year strategy to spend more than £34billion to 2024, known as CP6. Network Rail’s plans for individual routes across Britain will ‘provide a foundation for improvement,’ the ORR concluded.

Reliability ORR’s Chief Executive Joanna Whittington said: “ORR’s initial assessment of Network Rail’s five-year plans shows that the transition from a centrally run company to one structured round eight geographic routes has improved the quality of the plans, but we want to see £1billion more spent on renewing the railway to improve reliability and boost safety. Network Rail’s Chief Executive, Mark Carne, welcomed the ORR’s ‘general support’, saying the regulator ‘accepted the majority of our plans’. He went on: “We will consider the detail carefully over the coming months as there are still some areas of concern that we will need to work with ORR on before it publishes its final determination in October.” Network Rail’s delay in approving timetable changes has contributed to major disruption on Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway routes.

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Government sigh of relief as ‘meaningful vote’ is avoided

by February 15 2019, Parliament would step in and begin directing the Brexit process. Victory in the vote was far from certain for the minority government, which was rocked yesterday morning by the surprise resignation of Bracknell MP and Justice Minister Phillip Lee.

chances of the government deciding in favour of a ‘no deal’ option. However, a last-minute deal between the government and pro-EU Conservatives, facilitated by leading rebel Dominic Grieve, was struck. It states that in the event that Parliament rejects the final deal, the government would then have to seek MPs’ approval for its new negotiating position within seven days. If this fails, by November 30 the government will have to return to the Commons, where MPs will again be given an opportunity to vote on the next steps. As a last resort, if this was also thrown out, then

In a statement on his website, he said Brexit was ‘more complex than was ever envisaged’ and he could not support ‘how our country’s exit from the EU looks set to be delivered’. The government avoided another headache yesterday when the High Court threw out a challenge over the legality of Article 50, which campaigners believed could have brought Brexit to a halt. However Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Green was ‘hopeless and, for that matter, totally without merit’.

THERESA MAY secured a significant victory in her battle to overturn several amendments to the Brexit Bill yesterday [June 12], despite the shock resignation of one of her own ministers. The government won its bid to overturn the ‘meaningful vote’ clause that the Lords had inserted into the legislation by 324 votes to 298. Victory was seen as crucial for the government, who believed the clause – which would have required Parliament to vote on the final terms of any deal between Britain and the EU – would have seriously weakened their negotiating position in the build-up to Brexit. This is because it would have all but killed the

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BUSINESS

National Business News

New Look forced to reduce prices FASHION chain New Look has swung to a full-year loss amid plunging sales in shops and online. The retailer reported an operating loss of £74.3million for the year to March 24, having made £97.6million profit in the previous year. New Look’s sales in the UK fell by 11.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis, accelerating from a decline of 6.8 per cent the year before. Website sales slumped by 19.2 per cent. Total revenue was £1.34billion, down from £1.45billion year on year.

Disappointed In a bid to lure back customers, Executive Chairman Alistair McGeorge is lowering prices. “Quite frankly, we have disappointed some of our best customers,” he said. “It is interesting what happened. We had lost our prices. “We had put our prices up, all we have done now is to put it back to where it should be. It didn’t work, it was never going to work.” New Look launched a restructuring plan in March and will shut 60 stores in a Company Voluntary Agreement affecting 980 jobs.

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Bellway keeps on growing but rivals feel the squeeze BELLWAY has said it is on track for a full-year sales milestone despite signs that Britain’s property market is faltering as it confirmed that price growth is cooling. The house-building firm, which is based in Newcastle, said that while pricing was generally ‘firm’, the rate of growth had been easing back in 2018. It added that customer demand has been hit for large and higher-value homes in certain areas, prompting the use of incentives to boost sales. But the group said it was on track for ‘substantial’ full-year earnings growth and record house sales of more than 10,000 in spite of the price pressure.

Pressure

OFF THE RACK New Look is shutting 60 stores

Bellway’s comments came as rival Crest Nicholson confirmed its profit margins are under pressure from stalling prices and rising build costs, with the squeeze set to continue into next year. Crest reported a 2 per cent fall in half-year profits to £74.8million. Shares in builders fell across the board, with Crest down 6 per cent and Bellway 3 per cent in the FTSE 250 Index, while their FTSE 100 counterparts, Barratt Developments and Persimmon, were also in the red. Recent house price surveys have confirmed the UK property market is struggling to gain traction.

BUILDING CONFIDENCE Bellway is expecting record sales

NEWS IN BRIEF

Co-op Bank investigator will be paid £1,500 a day A FORMER colleague of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be paid £1,500 per day to conduct an independent review of how the Co-op Bank was regulated before its near collapse in 2013. The Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority [PRA] detailed the daily rate for Mark Zelmer, who will conduct most of the investigation from Ottawa, Canada. He will also have the support of a team from Grant Thornton UK.

Ted Baker steers clear

But until now, the new-build market has remained the bright spot, thanks to Government support in the form of the Help to Buy initiative. Bellway said that, although it is seeing stable market conditions, ‘the rate of increase has moderated compared to last year’. “Where affordability is a greater constraint, customer interest is less pronounced for particularly large or higher priced homes,” it added. Despite this, Bellway is expecting to notch up record sales as it forecast growth of around 600 in the year to July 31. Full-year earnings should also see solid growth as its average selling price was set to rise to above £280,000 from £260,000 the previous year. Weekly sales reservations since February 1 rose to 233 from 221 in 2017, an increase of 5.4 per cent from an average of 251 active outlets.

TED BAKER has reported a rise in revenue across its various sales channels, despite the company warning that it operates in an ‘uncertain’ consumer environment. Group sales at the retailer rose 4.2 per cent in the 19 weeks to June 9, a performance achieved against a backdrop of bad weather across both Europe and the East Coast of America. Online sales jumped 33.6 per cent, while wholesale sales were up 14.2 per cent over the period.

Boohoo is full of cheer BOOHOO has posted soaring sales in the first quarter as it pushed ahead with its ambitious expansion plans. Group sales at the online fashion retailer, which comprises Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, and Nasty Gal, jumped 53 per cent to £183.6million in three months to May 31. Sales in the UK jumped 49 per cent, up from £74.6million to £110.7million, while its sales in the US were up 75 per cent to £31.4million.


World News

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

SPORT IN BRIEF

Da Silva denies ‘lead’ in attack on Crowley JOCKEY Raul da Silva has denied using a piece of lead to strike Jim Crowley in the face at Goodwood on Sunday [June 10]. Crowley claimed he was ‘the victim of an unprovoked attack from behind’ in a changing-room altercation that led to Da Silva receiving a 21-day suspension for violent conduct. The 2016 champion Flat jockey alleged that he was hit ‘with what felt like a piece of lead’ after a ‘number of jockeys’ questioned Da Silva’s riding technique after the first race of the day.

LTA launches academies STIRLING and Loughborough Universities have been named as the sites of two national academies that will form the centrepiece of the Lawn Tennis ­Association’s new high performance pathway. The strategy, unveiled at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, is the LTA’s latest attempt to produce a system that will create British strength in depth at the top of the sport.

Potter goes to Swansea GRAHAM POTTER has been appointed manager of Swansea City after the Welsh club’s relegation from the Premier League. The former Stoke and West Brom defender oversaw the rise of Ostersund from fourth to first tier during a seven-anda-half-year spell in Sweden. “I was happy in Sweden but for me it was about the right opportunity and Swansea City was that for me,” Potter said.

Trump praises Kim for ‘first bold step to a bright future’ DONALD TRUMP and Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary nuclear summit yesterday [June 12] with the US president pledging unspecified ‘security guarantees’ to the North and Mr Kim recommitting to the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula’. Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, the pair clasped hands and held a one-on-one meeting, additional talks with advisers and a working lunch. Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks and, speaking at a news conference, Mr Trump thanked Mr Kim for ‘taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people’. The president said ‘real change is indeed possible’ and added that he is prepared ‘to start a new history’ between the two nations, adding: “The past does not have to define the future.” He said Mr Kim has ‘an opportunity like no other’ to bring his country back into the community of nations if he agrees to give up his nuclear programme. The president announced he will freeze military ‘war games’ with US ally South Korea while negotiations between the two countries continue.

ACROSS THE DIVIDE Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump clasp hands He cast the decision as a costsaving measure, but Pyongyang has long objected to the drills as a security threat. Mr Trump acknowledged that the timetable for denuclearisation is long, but said: “Once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over.” The president acknowledged that US intelligence on the North Korean nuclear stockpile is limited, ‘probably less there than any other country’, but added: “We have enough intelligence to know that what they have is very substantial.” Mr Trump sidestepped his public praise for an autocrat whose people have been

River tragedy at World Cup venue

COLLISION: The boat overturned on the Volga

ELEVEN people have been killed as two boats collided near a Russian city where England are playing their opening game in the World Cup. The accident occurred late on Monday on the Volga River off the shoreline at Volgograd. A barge being pulled by a towboat collided with a paddleboat carrying 16 people on a sightseeing tour. The captain of the paddleboat was drunk, the state news agency Tass reported.

oppressed for decades. He added that Otto Warmbier, an American once detained in North Korea, ‘did not die in vain’ because his death brought about the nuclear talks. He added that Mr Kim accepted his invitation to visit the White House at the ‘appropriate’ time. Light on specifics, the document signed by the leaders largely amounted to an agreement to continue discussions as it echoed previous public statements and past commitments. It also pledged to repatriate the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Korean War.

Vase found in attic sells of record £14m AN 18th Century vase discovered in an attic has fetched 16.2 million euro [£14.3million] in France, a record for Chinese porcelain. Discovered by chance in the attic of a French family home, it was removed from the container it was found in and taken into the auction house in Paris in a shoe box. The exact history of the vase before 1947 has not been traced. The vase, produced for the courts of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-1796), is the only known example of its kind.

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Letters

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Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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 newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk or newsdesk@timesoftonbridge.co.uk or write to the Editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU Better inside the tent, peeping out The new logo for the Assembly Hall is not a pyramid, it’s a tent! We could have some people camping in Calverley Grounds if the large ‘A’ is used as shown in your paper [May 30]. The campsite has plenty of attractions within easy walking distance. Another revenue stream for the council to help pay for the new Civic Complex. Clever move. Graham Salmon Via email

Chair works hard to help homeless

FOOT THE BILL IN TONBRIDGE? Tunbridge Wells’ precinct has not harmed Calverley Road shops

What Tonbridge needs is a bus station – and pedestrianised High Street Mr Bullen’s allegation of ‘bureaucratic inertia’ about Tonbridge High Street [May 30] is justified. What Tonbridge needed from county and central government grants, more than widened pavements, was broader lateral thinking about the real causes of our High Street traffic problem – i.e. the huge number of buses obliged to use it, especially during ‘schools out’ time. Reducing our pedestrian crossings and traffic lights to a minimum was never going to solve problems encountered by pedestrians. Furthermore, as our MP, Mr Tugendhat, recently inferred in the Times, doing away with the bus stop bay outside Caffè Nero in favour of a newly created loading bay right next to it was not the most sensible of ideas. What Tonbridge really needs is a bus station, with buses routed around Cannon Lane, freeing up our High Street. Many towns have

It’s Alliance who should stand down I write in response to Robert Chris [May 30] regarding the local elections. There is little evidence to suggest Labour or Liberal Democrats standing down candidates in favour of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance would have resulted in more of the latter’s candidates being elected. As a predominately single issue party without a national profile, the Alliance struggled to get support beyond those passionately opposed to the Civic Complex project. The splitting of the opposition vote was evident in Culverden, where a Conservative was elected with 30 per cent of the vote. In St John’s, the absence of an Alliance candidate saw the Tory incumbent pushed to a poor third place by two candidates standing against the project. The evidence in St John’s shows that opposition candidates who were clearly anti-Civic Complex both defeated a pro-scheme Tory. All credit to Nick Pope and his achievement in being elected in Park ward, but the question must be asked whether the decision of the Alliance to put up candidates in Sherwood and Culverden secured the election of pro-Civic Complex Tories. The results show that it is the Alliance

one (some smaller than ours). There is space in Vale Road where the Saturday market is held. This area is conveniently close to the railway station and High Street shops. A few years ago, when the pedestrianising of the High Street was under consideration, the plan was dropped, allegedly on the grounds that it would harm High Street trade. It doesn’t seem to harm London’s Oxford Street – though that still permits selective traffic – and it hasn’t harmed the busy Tunbridge Wells shopping street, Calverley Road. Plea to our councillors from your electors: Next time county or government grants become available, please include a bus station in your considerations. Wider lateral thinking is bold lateral thinking. Keith Coomber Tonbridge who should be considering standing down candidates in the next election in favour of other parties better placed to win. Bjorn Simpole Labour candidate for St John’s ward

Council’s castle turned into homes? It was interesting to note that one of the largest office blocks right in the centre of Tunbridge Wells was missing from the list of properties to be safeguarded under the Article 4 Direction notices reported in the Times [May 30]. Yes, it is the Town Hall. Owned by the council and used as offices by the council. Would this omission be linked to the need to maximise the selling price of the site as part of the Civic Complex plan, by any chance? A Permitted Development of high-end residential apartments in the ‘former’ Town Hall would make much more money than ‘start-up’ offices, ‘creative spaces’ or ‘educational’ uses mentioned almost casually by our council leaders as possible uses. What am I bid for 35,000 sq ft of ‘former’ offices in an imposing building in the centre of town? Jim Kedge Tunbridge Wells

I write to correct a misquote in the article by Mark Hood about affordable homes [June 6]. I am quoted as saying that I thought the building of 183 affordable homes was ‘a drop in the ocean’. This comment was lifted from an article and is wrong, as I have never discussed the building of 183 affordable homes in Tonbridge & Malling, let alone made a comment about this. I was referring specifically to the fact that only eight three or four-bedroom ‘family’ houses had been built in Tonbridge itself. Further, I would like to thank Mr Hood for bringing people’s attention to the fact that the Leader of the Council, Nicolas Heslop, is also Chair of the homeless charity, The Bridge Trust. All our volunteer trustees, including the Chair, work hard for the cause of homeless people in our borough and elsewhere, giving much of their spare time freely to support this cause – work that is not publicised enough. John Handley Chief Executive, The Bridge Trust

Calverley

Observations on life and more important things

This week Calverley is away – again. In place of his regular column, we offer some reader feedback from his recent tales… I JUST needed to write, because although I love reading Calverley’s highly amusing comments each week, I felt this week he should have had a bit more sensitivity. I refer to the comment about schoolchildren going off to the Isle of Wight and one child who had all his or her clothes packed in individual bags. Has Calverley thought this might be due to the child having learning disabilities rather than just being lazy?! Some children on the spectrum would struggle hugely with their routine being changed so dramatically whilst away from home. Having their clothes labelled clearly would be one less thing for them to stress over. More compassion please next time! Emma Jacobs Frant

Scaremongering and cosying up The problem with Steve Jackson’s reply about fracking and fossil fuels [May 30] is that he falls into nightmare scaremongering jargon which the Green Party indulges in and has been allowed to get away with: ‘Environmental catastrophe’ he avers, expecting little rebuke or argument, but we’ll leave that for another day. ‘Unwillingness to deal with our excess consumption of energy’: Can I assume that now includes all energy, not just the fossil fuel variety? Our so-called ‘unwillingness’ does not exactly square with the facts: The hugely expensive – to the consumer – investment in alternatives and some of the most crippling carbon taxes in the world. Nor does his drama-laden statement recognise that UK CO2 emissions have fallen since the 1990s, especially since 2013. He also fails to see the thrust of my argument: He sees only an argument for an increase in fossil fuel consumption, which is as wrong as it can be and which was never stated by me. So, to keep my argument simple: Currently we have to use fossil fuels in our energy mix, so it makes sense to use our own. Or would he rather be in hock to unreliable and unsavoury foreign powers like Putin and cosying up to Middle East potentates? Is he OK with that arrangement? Arms for energy, royalty and senior politicians brown-nosing? Does his zeal brook no compromise, no realism, no pragmatism? Edward Baker Tunbridge Wells

WHAT a cheapskate! Mrs Calverley must have the sympathy of us all. £6 for a bunch of supermarket roses, AND he took them back because they drooped. If Calverley spent a little less time in the town’s watering holes, he wouldn’t have to make the gesture, possibly, and he would certainly have the money to buy a decent bunch – unbidden and not under the cosh. Peter Casson Tunbridge Wells

Bus talks go in the wrong direction Whilst I welcome the Kent County Council bus service consultation, I question how representative this will be. There are no public meetings being held in either Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells. And if you want to get back from Cranbrook or Sevenoaks from a consultation meeting when it ends at 9pm, good luck to you! Alan Bullion 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


Education

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Wednesday June 13 | 2018

EDUCATION Times WITH THE

Juniors tackle Apprentice-style challenge YEAR 5 and 6 students from all over the area went to Salomons Estate to compete in the first Tunbridge Wells Junior Enterprise Challenge earlier this month. The event was established at Beechwood School by business teacher Rebecca Smith, and through the sponsorship of Markerstudy Leisure was able to expand to local primary schools. Teams of eight students were sent by schools to compete for the title, resulting in a total of 110 pupils attending from June 4-6. They were given a project brief to work from, and were treated to presentations over the course of the three days from industry experts on topics such as product placement, health and nutrition, product design, branding, promotion, pricing, presenting skills and running a trade fair. The brief was for students to create something to encourage healthy eating among younger generations. Their tasks ranged from idea mapping to creating a product, pricing and marketing it, including filming an advertisement and making a presentation – much like in TV’s The Apprentice. All their work had to be based on market research while demonstrating innovation. The final day of the competition was open to parents, teachers and other guests. The panel of judges included the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Len Horwood, recently retired Kent Police Chief Inspector Dave Pate, Rebecca Randall of Rebecca Randall Colour and Design and Thrive Events, Al Ferguson of The Dad Network and Clive Evans, a retired local teacher and magistrate. They had a hard task deciding an overall winner, but Southborough C of E Primary School were crowned the champions. Their winning design was called ‘DipStix’ – an easy fruit snack with a dip container built in and

WINNING TEAM Southborough Primary School alternatives of the ‘Big Dipper’ and ‘Little Dipper’. The product, their professional trade stand and engaging presentation won the judges over. They are now looking forward to a visit from Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark to talk about their product and experiences. Organiser Rebecca Smith said: “I have always been passionate about business, innovation and developing entrepreneurs of the future. “I have taught business for over 14 years in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, and to see what these young people developed and created in three days was inspiring. “It was fabulous to see a year of planning and hard work culminate in such a fantastic event. And it would not have been possible without the sponsors – Markerstudy Leisure, ID&C, Tale Digital, the Dance Studio, Green Lizard Estate Agents and Revive Health and Fitness. “I am already planning for next year, when we

hope to include even more students and schools.” Salomons Estate, owned by the Markerstudy Group, were proud to sponsor the event, which advocates continuous learning and innovation. These are also the aims of the Markerstudy Group’s apprenticeship scheme, ALEX (Apprenticeship Learning Experience), which recognises that traditional learning methods aren’t for all, and offers an alternative route to both career and relevant qualifications. The scheme also offers a realistic apprentice wage and benefits package. For more information on the Tunbridge Wells Junior Enterprise Challenge, or to be involved next year’s event in any capacity, email: r.smith@beechwood.org.uk For further information about the ALEX apprentice scheme, email Ewan Freeman at: alex@markerstudy.com

Pupil’s ‘Wave’ of success in prestigious art competition A PUPIL from Rose Hill, an independent co-ed prep school in Tunbridge Wells, has won second prize in an international art competition run by the Independent Association of Prep Schools [IAPS]. The judges said the standard of the competition, which welcomed entries from students around Europe, was ‘extremely high’ this year and congratulated the Year 6 pupil, WHERE THERE’S A WILL… Schoolboy Will with his entry

named only as Will, on his work in the Year 5-6 category. The iART Competition has run annually since 2013 and gives IAPS schools an opportunity to ‘focus on the innovative and inspiring artwork produced by their pupils’. Will’s piece of art is called The Wave, and all the winning artwork will be displayed in the IAPS Gallery in Leamington Spa until the end of this month.

There will be an awards ceremony at the gallery on June 25, but you can also see the artwork on the IPAS Facebook page @UKIAPS Rose Hill’s Head Teacher Emma Neville praised Will for his impressive oeuvre: “Well done Will. We are very proud that he has been recognised in this way as I know that a lot of hard work went into the piece of artwork.”

Words up LIBRARIES across Kent celebrated National Bookstart Week last week [June 4-10], which offers a chance for families with young children to have fun reading together – anytime, anywhere. Pre-school children attended library rhyme and storytime sessions across the county, with each receiving their very own mini version of this year’s featured book ‘A Busy Day for Birds’ by Lucy Cousins to take away. Bookstart is the national book gifting programme for babies and three year olds. For more information, visit www.kent.gov.uk/ leisure-and-community/libraries

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Weekly Comment

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Nus Ghani

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Nus Ghani was elected MP for Wealden in May 2015 and represents Crowborough, Eridge and Uckfield, among other towns and villages. She also currently serves as Parliamentary UnderSecretary of State at the Department for Transport and is Assistant Government Whip. In 2018, Ms Ghani became the first Muslim woman to speak from the House of Commons Despatch Box. The Times also publishes comment from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties

Conservative MP for Wealden

Why we need to be celebrating female suffrage THIS year, we celebrate a hundred years since some women got the vote for the first time. In 1918, British society took a huge step towards universal suffrage thanks to the dedication, commitment and courage of the suffragettes who fought tirelessly to win the vote. Since then we have come far. We now have 208 female MPs in Parliament, we have had two female Prime Ministers and, in January, I was proud to become the first female Muslim to speak on behalf of the Government in the House of Commons. Bit by bit, our political system has become more reflective of the nation I am proud to represent. To mark the occasion, I recently worked in collaboration with the Bridge Cottage Heritage Centre in Uckfield, in my constituency of Wealden. Bridge Cottage ran an engaging and memorable exhibition celebrating the lives of the women of Wealden and Sussex who campaigned to extend the franchise a century ago. The Women of Wealden Suffrage Exhibition was a fortnight-long exploration and celebration of the journey the suffragettes went on to win the vote. By working with local historical organisations and groups, including the Women’s Institute, Girlguiding and local schools, Bridge Cottage put on a fantastic display commemorating the people who changed the fabric of our society all those years ago.

I gave a talk as part of the exhibition on the Wealden women who had inspired me, and how I, as the first female MP for Wealden, continue to champion the cause of female equality in politics. As an MP, I do not have to justify my gender to represent one of my constituents, nor do I have to justify how I represent someone because of my gender. That is how it must be in society, too, and in every community, in every family, and in every organisation. Too often, this is unfortunately not the case across the country. In Wealden, men earn 20.8 per cent more than women doing similar jobs – we must champion these women, and encourage even more to take on underrepresented careers such as engineering.

Inspiring When I visit schools across Wealden, meeting the next generation of female leaders, I see the same enthusiasm, drive and determination that the suffragettes had a hundred years ago. I hope to demonstrate to them that the green benches of the Houses of Commons are a welcome place for Wealden women, no matter your background and no matter your gender. Those who fought to establish the right for women to be able to vote and run for office did so in the face of extreme adversity and resistance. It is an honour to represent Wealden in Parlia-

SISTERS ACT Nus Ghani (centre) opening the Women of Wealden Exhibition at Bridge Cottage ment, and I can only do so thanks to the dedication of the suffragettes. Their perseverance and courage is to be admired, and a hundred years

Bjorn Simpole Vice-Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Constituency Labour Party

later, as events like the exhibition at Bridge Cottage demonstrate, the suffragettes are still inspiring young girls across the country.

Bjorn Simpole was the Labour candidate for St John’s ward in the borough council elections in May. He works as a Policy Advisor for a local authority in London The Times also publishes comment from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green parties

Who will address the borough’s housing crisis? DURING the recent local elections, a constant question that arose on the doorstep was: “Where are my children going to live?” In the last year, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council only built 72 new ‘affordable’ units. But what is affordable? Certainly not 80 per cent of market rent, which is how this council measures it. With average rents for a three-bedroom family property in Tunbridge Wells at £1,312 per month in 2017, that means that affordable is defined as £1,050. That is nonsense. The Leader of the Council, Cllr David Jukes, says developers want to build housing in Tunbridge Wells. They may do, but too many properties being built are luxury houses or expensive retirement flats. The council’s focus should be on providing genuinely affordable options to meet the housing needs of borough residents on low and middle incomes who cannot afford market prices to rent or buy. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council transferred its housing stock to Town & Country Housing Group over 20 years ago. This approach was designed to ensure that the expertise to maintain existing stock and provide low-cost social housing was delivered through a dedicated body with the appropriate skills, knowledge and expertise. It is increasingly clear that this approach is failing, and the council should look to other areas of the country where councils are using imagination

and innovation to provide new social housing. There are currently 927 households waiting for affordable rented housing in the borough. These hardworking individuals and families deserve better than being stuck on shorthold tenancies in the private rented sector with no security and a constant threat of being made homeless.

Broken What kind of new homes are built, and who for, now matters as much as the numbers of new homes provided. Britain’s housing system is broken. Across the country homelessness is up by 50 per cent since 2010, rough sleeping has doubled, and 120,000 children are without a home to call their own. The Labour Party’s recent Housing for the Many Green paper set out an ambitious plan to build one million genuinely affordable homes to buy and rent over ten years. This will provide new homes for families on low to average incomes who are priced out of owning a house in Tunbridge Wells. A Labour government will back councils and housing associations with new funding, powers and flexibilities to build again at scale. Labour would also suspend the ‘Right to Buy’ until such homes are replaced. We need to think about the next generation.

Families and individuals on low and average earnings need homes of their own. With local property prices now up to 12 times average salaries, it is simply not good enough to ignore this issue and continue to support policies that deliver a tiny proportion of genuinely affordable housing.

The council is able to make confident claims about the success of the financially risky Civic Complex and theatre in five years. Yet it can’t say how many affordable houses it will deliver in two years. So much for their priorities! This council is failing everyone by ignoring the housing crisis.


Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Profile

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LIFESTYLE

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Do you have any personal recommendations of where is good to eat?

PEOPLE IN

thekn w

When you want a change from eating in Tunbridge Wells, there are some amazing country pubs on our doorstep. One of my favourites, especially on a Sunday for a roast, is The George & Dragon in Speldhurst.

Are there any particularly nice views nearby that you enjoy?

Garry Jefferey

Bidborough Ridge has the most amazing views, and we’re really lucky to live in a place where you only have to drive five minutes out of Tunbridge Wells to be in the heart of the countryside.

Talk us through your perfect day off in the area

Tell us where you live

The owner of Jean’s Kitchen & Wine Bar gives us the lowdown on a few of his favourite local hotspots

Groombridge, which is just outside of Tunbridge Wells, but I have businesses in St John’s and Pembury.

How long have you been there? I was born in Tunbridge Wells and have lived here my whole life – all 52 years of it – so I didn’t have much choice! Having said that, I couldn’t think of a better place to live, as there’s something for everybody here. I’ve had businesses in Tunbridge Wells

for the past 30 years, and it’s a thriving, supportive community.

look at the plants, shrubs and pottery – it’s very therapeutic.

What’s your favourite shop locally?

Where do you take visitors when they come to stay?

There’s a bit of an unusual place on The Pantiles called Beumée Contemporary Fine Art, which sells sculptures, paintings and ceramics. Every time I pop in, there always seems to be something interesting to see. I also love the garden centre, Notcutts, in Pembury; I like popping in there to have a walk around to

I always think that The Pantiles is a great place to take people on their first trip to Tunbridge Wells. You can’t go wrong: It’s steeped in history, brimming with bistros and pubs, there are lots of interesting independent shops to discover, and – on a hot day – it’s a great place to hang out and take in the bustling atmosphere.

I like to chill out and take the dogs for a walk at the weekends. There are loads of great places to go, from walking down to The Pantiles and enjoying a drink by the bandstand, to visiting one of our many parks. Out of town, you can’t beat Knole in Sevenoaks; walking through the grounds with all of the deer, right up to Knole House itself where you can have a coffee, it’s a great place to unwind.

Why do you love where you live? It’s been home my whole life and my children were brought up here too. There’s a real sense of community and the town has so much to offer - there really is something for everyone. Garry is one of the co-organisers of this Saturday’s Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race family fundraising day. For tickets and more information visit www.crazyjeansevents.com


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LIFESTYLE

Families

IN thekn

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT thekn w.guide

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

wABOUT FAMILIES

HATTIE HARRISON TALKS PARENT PIGEONHOLING Local mum and blogger Hattie Harrison, pictured above right, gets a few things off her chest about the pitfalls of parent pigeonholing…

H TRIBAL TRIBULATIONS What kind of parent are you?

i, I’m Hattie Harrison, mum of three, wife to one and hero of none (yet). I’m one of a number of mums on Instagram who enjoy massively oversharing our everyday lives – our successes (poo in the potty – happy emoji) and celebrations (Prosecco boomerang); our failures (tantrum in a public arena – gritted teeth emoji) and our commiserations (Prosecco boomerang). So, talk to me about what kind of parent you identify as. Are you an arty-farty one? An almond milk latte one? A gym bunny? A nightclub honey? A helicopter one? An attachment mum? A yes parent? A no parent? A three gym bags full parent? If you’re not sure who

your tribe is, perhaps ask an opinionated onlooker (no shortage). I believe that I’m a former member of the ‘boozy mum club’ (ask anyone unfortunate enough to be in lunging distance from me on the dance floor at Zee Bar), and I also believe that I’m a member of the ‘whinge about your family online’ club. We all know that it’s cheaper than therapy, but I’m beginning to worry that I’ll need some kind of family discount card in the future. The above, sometimes literal, labelling of ourselves and others (see: Instagram handles @slummy/yummy/ chummy/plummy mummy) can be problematic. Surely we should feel

able to move seamlessly from one parenting approach to another, without feeling like we’re letting others, and ourselves, down. So, from now on, my parenting approach is to unashamedly straddle across all of the aforementioned ‘mum stereotypes’. If you spot me out and about, I may well be wearing active wear, or conversely, I might be enjoying a glass of wine al fresco, but one thing’s for certain – I’ll be doing me, so you go ahead and do you. (Mic drop. And Prosecco boomerang.) Hattie Harrison blogs at That Mum Blog. To find out more, visitwww.thatmumblog.co.uk


Wednesday June 13 | 2018

yourh me INSPIRATION FOR MOVING

Apartment in the park

AND IMPROVING

AVAILABLE EVER Y WEDNESDAY – A MUST-READ

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PROPERTY, IN TERIORS, TOP TRENDS AN D GARDENING

Scenic seclusion Page 26

Edwardian house Updated Page 27

26

YOUR OWN GROOMBRIDGE PLACE

38

AN INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT

A passion for pineapples

On-trend interiors Page 46

45

WILD AT HEART: BUILD A BUG HOTEL


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yourh me

To suit your budget

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Your at-a-glance guide to

WITHYHAM ROAD GROOMBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE

£750,000-£795,000

UNDER £450,000

(SHARE OF FREEHOLD)

n Shower room n Cloakroom n Kitchen/breakfast room n 2 double bedrooms n Leasehold 999 years (from 2014) n Service charge approx.£250 pcm

n Apartment n Timber front door n Spacious entrance hall with velux skylight n Reception/dining room

CONTACT Bracketts Tunbridge Wells 01892 533733 www.bracketts.co.uk

THE PRIORY, NEVILL PARK

GUIDE PRICE

£425,000

UNDER £500,000

n Reception room

FERNDALE POINT, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

n Dining room

GUIDE PRICE

n Kitchen

£475,000

n 4 bedrooms

n Terrace house n Ground floor n Entrance hall n Downstairs cloakroom

n Conservatory

n Family bathroom n Rear garden with garage CONTACT Bracketts Tunbridge Wells 01892 533733 www.bracketts.co.uk


To suit your budget

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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27

great properties by price range…

UNDER £550,000 PADDOCK WOOD, TONBRIDGE

OIEO

£450,000 n Edwardian semi-detached cottage n Modernised throughout with some original features n Kitchen n Open plan family/dining room n Sitting room with open fire n Family bathroom n Master bedroom with en suite n 2 further bedrooms (1 double) n Rear garden with patio n Parking for 2 cars CONTACT Barnes Kingsnorth Pembury 01892 822880 www.bkestateagents.com

UNDER £600,000 CLARENDON WAY, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

£575,000 GUIDE PRICE n Three storey town house n Entrance hall n Downstairs cloakroom n Kitchen/family room n Dining room n Reception room n Master bedroom with en suite n 3 further double bedrooms n Family bathroom n Landscaped rear garden with rear patio area CONTACT Bracketts Tunbridge Wells 01892 533733 www.bracketts.co.uk

UNDER £800,000 WITHYHAM ROAD, GROOMBRIDGE

GUIDE PRICE

£750,000-£795,000 n Extended 1980’s cottage

UNDER £700,000 LD HADLOW ROAD, TONBRIDGE n Spacious kitchen/dining room n Master bedroom with en suite n 3 further double bedrooms n Family bathroom

GUIDE PRICE

£685,000-£699,950 n Recently refurbished detached house

n Detached garage and off-road parking

n Family room

n Solar panels n Entrance hall

n No forward chain

n Dining room

CONTACT

n Sitting room

Wood & Pilcher Tunbridge Wells 01892 511211 www.woodandpilcher.co.uk

n Master bedroom with dressing area

n Dining room/reception area n Sitting room n Study n Reception room

n Open plan kitchen with breakfast bar

and en suite n 2 further bedrooms n Rear garden with decked area CONTACT Wood & Pilcher Tonbridge 01732 351135 www.woodandpilcher.co.uk


Wednesday June 13 | 2018

thekn w.guide

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38

yourh me

Bluebell Farm

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

AT A GLANCE

BLUEBELL FARM CHURCH STREET, SEAL, NR SEVENOAKS n Former dairy farm n Exclusive development n 2, 3, or 4 bedroom properties available n York stone flooring n Underfloor heating n Marble work surfaces n Fully tiled modern bathrooms n Views across the communal grounds and lakes beyond

Prices from

ÂŁ450,000 Available to buy through Hamptons International Sevenoaks 01732 430071 www.hamptons.co.uk

Exclusive new development set in 15 acres of park-like grounds with lakes


Gardening

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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45

Summer fun We love to dine al fresco, but there’s more to your summer garden than a high-maintenance extension to your dining room. Jon Bond discovers new ways to make the most of your outdoor space with seasonal activities that will truly make the sunshine special

GARDEN EXERCISE IN THE MORNING You don’t need expensive equipment to boost your fitness, as simple stretches and activities that get you moving in the morning are enough

MAKE ART WITH PRESSED FLOWERS Botanical art is all the rage, and making your own pressed flower frame is as easy as picking your favourite blooms from the garden and placing them in a book. Be patient, and after just a couple of weeks they’ll be pressed enough to frame. (Try to find flowers with a range of shapes and textures for an impactful display). Once dried, place them between sheets of glass in a metal-rimmed frame for a classic ‘herbarium’.

CREATE A G&T HAVEN Why not make that ice-cold gin and tonic even better with garnishes from your own garden? Lemons might be a struggle, but it’s perfectly possible to grow your own cucumbers for a refreshing addition to your cocktail, along with mint to really pep it up. The star-like flowers of borage can be frozen into ice cubes, and practically glow when popped into the glass. Perfect!

for a happiness-boosting dose of endorphins. Try some yoga poses in the garden to get you started – there’s nothing like fresh air to make the most of breathing exercises! DISCOVER TRADITIONAL OUTDOOR GAMES Wooden, rustic and far more attractive than swing ball, Mölkky is a Finnish garden game suitable for all ages, combining chance and skill. Players must knock over pins to try and score exactly 50 points, with some quirky rules that make for a lot more fun than traditional bowling games.

BUILD A WILDLIFE HOTEL With pollinating insects facing a steep decline, help bolster their numbers by building a bug hotel. For the frame, recycle anything that you can find – the scruffier the better, as nooks and crannies are perfect for all kinds of bugs. Be sure to include bamboo canes for solitary bees, and if creepy-crawlies aren’t your thing, fill with teasels, wool and straw, which will instead attract nest-building bird species to your garden.

This feature appeared originally in our sister publication, SO Magazine. Find more on gardening by visiting www.theknow.guide


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yourh me

Interiors

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Three easy ways to give your home a speedy update to stay fashionable

2: FAKE IT WITH FOLIAGE Foliage and succulents – those fleshy-leaved plants including cacti – are the go-to green accessories this year, and if you lack ‘green fingers’, just opt for those ultrarealistic and perfect-in-every-detail artificial versions. “For me, plants magically transform spaces, add texture and are a game changer when it comes to enlivening surfaces,”

says designer Abigail Ahern, whose Abigail Ahern/Edition collection at Debenhams includes faux succulents and plants. “Faux plants are even better, as they’re pet-friendly and add a punch to any surface. Faux plants and flowers add colour, shape and life to a room and, like artwork, they are another powerful tool in your decorating arsenal. Needless to say, I am a little bit obsessed!”

3: PICK A PUNCHY PINEAPPLE This is the must-have fruit for rooms, and suits our growing passion for all things tropical. “Pineapples have always been a symbol of hospitality, and have historically been associated with the mysteries and flavours of the tropics. Some aspects of that still carry forward to today, making

pineapples a bold, chic choice to decorate your home with flair,” says Rebecca Snowden, interior style advisor at Furniture Choice. “Their distinctive shape and tall crown as well as their kitschy appeal allows them to be utilised in unexpected ways, such as pineapple bookends, cushions, and even candle holders.”

Your home space should be as on-trend as your wardrobe. And just as one well-chosen accessory can update an outfit, one on-trend piece of homeware can be all it takes to bring a room bang-up-todate. These items won’t break the bank either – but they’ll definitely punch above their weight when it comes to impact…

1: SHELL OUT FOR LOBSTERS The fishy trend for lobsters first swam to the surface in the spring fashion collections, and now they’re getting their claws into home decor. “Who can forget when flamingo fashion came on the scene? Those

flamboyant birds appeared on everything from fabrics to wallpaper, but now lobsters are pinching their space,” says Alison Hughes, cofounder of lifestyle homeware brand, Cream Cornwall. “These bright red crustaceans have

a similar appeal to flamingos – because they’re so iconic and distinctive. Try using them to decorate lampshades, cushions or tableware, and they’re really enjoying a moment in the sun currently. We predict more and more people will fall for lobster loveliness.”


Wednesday June 13 | 2018

thekn w.guide IN PRINT AND ONLINE SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

The Crazy Jeans Soap Box Race

ARTS & CULTURE | LIFE & STYLE |

FOOD & DRINK | MOTORING

50

In Dunorlan Park Page 53

On the new Poetry Trail

BEAUTIFUL MUSIC IN THE FOREST

More festival fever

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Page 51

TIME TO SMELL THE ROSÉS

64

Make your father’s day

MAKING THE MOST OF MACAU

70

We’ve got it all sewn up Page 60

WEIGHING UP THE LOCAL SPORT


thekn w.guide

arts

50

Arts & Culture

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Have Faith in a weekend of noteworthy music…

If you go down to the woods this weekend – well Bedgebury Pinetum to be exact – or head into Tunbridge Wells, you’ll see myriad musical stars performing, including Paloma Faith. Eileen Leahy previews the fantastic music to be enjoyed on our doorstep in the next few days RETURN OF PURE MAGIC

MUSICAL ARCHITECT Paloma Faith performs her latest album at Bedgebury

T

UNBRIDGE WELLS is well known for its extensive and impressive mix of musical offerings (as you can also see on P54), but this weekend there’s a wealth of different concerts and gigs to enjoy which will suit all musical tastes. On Friday and Saturday, Bedgebury Pinetum – famous for its wooded glades, amazing adventure playground and cycle trails – will welcome some of music’s biggest names thanks to its 17th Forest Live weekend of open-air concerts. Paloma Faith, who is currently touring with her latest album The Architect, hits the stage on the first night, with support from country music duo Ward Thomas, while on the second night former Housemartins and Beautiful South singer Paul Heaton will perform with Jacqui Abbott, welcoming mighty Billy Bragg as their special guest. The now sold-out concerts are

organised by the Forestry Commission, the government department responsible for protecting and promoting the sustainable management of our woods and forests. And their aim is to ‘increase their value to society and the environment’ courtesy of such annual music events like this.

Impressive As well as overseeing the running of Bedgebury, the Forestry Commission also look after other key areas of natural beauty and importance around England, including Delamere Forest and Westonbirt Arboretum, where the aforementioned artists will also be playing over the summer, along with other stars, including Gary Barlow, George Ezra, UB40 and The Script. With the concerts held every year since 2001 in seven of the Forestry Commission’s beautiful locations across

the country, an impressive 1.5 million people have attended gigs, seeing the likes of Elbow, Suede and Kasabian all strut their stuff. Did you realise that 21 million people currently visit the nation’s forests every year, as 99.6 per cent of our population live within an hour’s drive of a Forestry Commission wood or forest? And money raised from the concerts over the past 17 years has contributed to a wide range of preservation and environmental projects – from wildlife conservation to making improvements for visitors. So by buying a ticket to one of these Forest Live gigs, not only do you get to see a brilliant artist perform, you’re also putting something good back into the environment. What’s not to like?

THE MAGIC NUMBERS are back after eight years with a new tour and new album, and are coming to The Forum tomorrow night [June 14]. Made up of two pairs of siblings, they formed in Ealing in 2001 and enjoyed huge success with their self-titled debut album The Magic Numbers, released in 2005. Two more albums followed – Those the Brokes (2006) and The Runway (2010) – and they just launched their fourth offering, Outsiders, last month. With a great reputation for their live performances, they’re definitely worth checking out on Thursday – if you can still get a ticket, of course… Bookings at www.twforum.co.uk

BUBLÉ DOUBLE ACT

For more information on who is playing when at the remaining concerts, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/music

HEADING TO OUR BEAUTIFUL SOUTH Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

THERE’S musical entertainment of a different kind at the Assembly Hall on Friday [June 15], with Mark Daniels performing his Ultimate Bublé act – a tribute to the easy-listening Canadian crooner Michael Bublé. Mark says he delivers ‘an incredibly uplifting show full of Michael Bublé’s biggest hits, with an absolutely knock-out band’. So if you’re a fan of the man behind hits such as Haven’t Met You Yet and Home, then what are you waiting for? As for Mark’s favourite Bublé track? He replies: “From a performance point, there are so many different emotions tied up in every song… but I guess if I had to pick the one I most enjoy performing, it would have to be Song for You. Tickets cost from £22 from www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk


Arts & Culture

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Rhymes with reason This weekend also sees the first Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival taking place. The brainchild of local publisher Sarah Miles, it will include special readings, workshops and an interactive trail. The Times discovers more about this artistic event… HAVING wondered for years why there is no literary festival in Tunbridge Wells, it took Sarah Miles of Paper Swans Press to make something happen herself. Sarah publishes poetry and flash fiction, and with the success of several Sarah Miles launches and poetry events in Tunbridge Wells, she decided that 2018 was the year to set up the first Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival. It will take place this weekend and commences with a spoken word event at The Sussex Arms on Friday night. On Saturday, there will be poetry workshops at the primary venue, Trinity Theatre, for beginners and more advanced poets, a ‘How to get published’ seminar, and free readings by local published poets. Sarah believes that poetry is an important part of the arts. “It is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression and often comes to the fore in times of great emotion — World War I being a prime example of when poetry was used to convey the horrors of the trenches.” She goes on to add: “Poetry is a social

documentary, and what is happening now shows societal shifts, yet still a deep connection with this art form. “Both spoken word and page poetry is going from strength to strength at the moment, and according to the Neilsen Book Data [the world’s leading provider of book information], sales of poetry have enjoyed a steady increase over the last five years.”

Springboard Which, Sarah says, is why now seemed like the ‘perfect time’ to step forward and raise the profile of poetry in Tunbridge Wells. “There are a lot of local poetry events and groups, and it seemed timely to bring them into our community. Hopefully, people who have an interest in writing poetry will be encouraged to come to one of our workshops to learn some new skills and gain confidence in their writing.” Sarah is running the festival with poets Abegail Morley and Jill Munro. They believe that it will be a springboard for an even bigger venture next year, and hope they can work in partnership with local businesses or likeminded local patrons to help fund the 2019 event. Information about the festival and booking details can be found on the event website www.tunbridgewellspoetryfestival.co.uk

POETRY IN MOTION…

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RECLAIMED Framptons Café Bar & Kitchen

ONE key element of the Poetry Festival is a special trail which visitors can follow around The Pantiles and up to Chapel Place. Sarah Here its creator, Salway Sarah Salway – a former Canterbury Laureate – tells us what it involves: “I run two writing classes at my home in Tunbridge Wells for a mixture of local writers. Some are beginners, others are well published. “And although I have published six books, I am really keen on getting writing – especially poetry – out there where people can enjoy it and have it become part of their lives, rather than an ordeal you have to get through at school! “So, for example, on International Women’s Day earlier this year, I hung poems about and written by women up on the railings outside my house for passers-by to read. When I first heard about the Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival, I knew I wanted to get as many local writers as I could involved. “I love Tunbridge Wells for the number of wonderful independent shops and businesses we have, so the two seemed to go together. “Each writer who comes to my groups has been paired with a shop or business along Chapel Place and The Pantiles and have written a poem inspired by their designated shop, which will be displayed in the window over this coming weekend. You can see a sample poem by Dagmar Seeland on the right. It was written for Framptons which, as many know, used to be Barclays Bank, and still has the original safe…

Money doesn’t talk here anymore. Now it quietly walks in, suit crumpled from the train, loosens its tie orders some wine sits down by the window. This isn’t a statement sort of place: all exposed brick and reclaimed wood, where interest is shown not accrued and hugs are still legal tender. They don’t provide loans (please don’t ask) and banter is all they exchange. That gun by the bar is there not by chance: they use it for shooting the breeze. Money doesn’t really talk here anymore, though some say they can hear a soft murmur from the safe over there late at night; perhaps it’s the spirits inside. Dagmar Seeland The Poetry Trail has been organised by Sarah Salway. Find out more at www.sarahsalway.co.uk or tunbridgewellspoetryfestival.co.uk And follow on social media – #TWPoetryTrail


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thekn w.guide

Going Out

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

going ut Seven days of activities at a glance WEDNESDAY

Today, Burrswood hosts a pop-up pottery workshop with ceramicist Finola Maynard. Taking place in the Groombridge venue’s orangery, the event runs from 9am until 4pm and will include an introduction and demonstrations on general ceramic skills and handbuilding techniques. Tickets, which cost £60 per person, include hot drinks throughout the day as well as lunch and a cream tea. Call 01892 865988 to reserve a place.

By Eileen Leahy

There’s still time to catch the Landscapes exhibition at Trinity Theatre Gallery. On until the weekend, it features the work of Francisco Centofanti, a professional artist graduated from the Florence Academy of Art in Italy who counts The Who’s Roger Daltrey among his many fans. This is a great opportunity to see this artist’s work – which is collected and exhibited worldwide – up close and personal. The Spa Hotel welcomes another C&T Auction

GOING POTTY Over ceramics at Burrswood

today at 10am. This time the theme is vintage toys and soldiers, so if you’re into collecting them make sure you go along and have a look. For admission prices, visit www.candtauctions.co.uk

A LEGEND’S LIFE STORY At Trinity

THURSDAY

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society’s Summer Exhibition is on until Sunday. As well as being able to browse numerous works, you will also have the opportunity to buy many of the paintings and sculptures on display. The gallery, which is located at 61 The Pantiles, is open daily from 10am until 4pm. Admission is free. Pashley Manor in Ticehurst is hosting its annual Rose Week until Saturday, so if you’re a keen horticulturalist and literally want to make time to smell the roses in life, then make sure you pop along. More details at www.pashleymanorgardens.com Jazz on The Pantiles continues in full swing every Thursday evening. To make it a really special event, why not avail yourself of One Warwick Park Hotel’s Bubbles and Burger deal, which costs just £10 per person? For more details, see www.onewarwickpark.co.uk For evening entertainment of a different kind, why not go along to Trinity Theatre, where there is a screening of McKellen: Playing the Part? Hosted by Graham Norton, and broadcast from the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank, it gives audiences the opportunity to

celebrate and enjoy musings from one of Britain’s legendary actors. This recorded transmission starts at 7pm, and tickets cost £19. See www.trinitytheatre.net

FRIDAY

The inaugural Tunbridge Wells Poetry Festival will take place this weekend. There will be workshops, readings and evening events, including an open mic night. For information on what to see where, see www.tunbridgewellspoetryfestival.co.uk Read our interview with its organiser on page 51.

DR DOLITTLE A new stage production at Trinity Theatre


Going Out

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

WARTIME TALE See Lily James in The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society at Trinity

SATURDAY

water displays, children will be able to climb aboard a fire engine and get in a rescue boat. This weekend, why not show your dad how much you love him by hopping over to Hever Castle, where they are holding a special Father’s Day event? As well as a variety of classic cars on display, there will be lots of fun activities for children, including making a car themed key ring and face painting. The water maze and Tudor Towers adventure playground will also appeal. For more information visit www.hevercastle.co.uk Penshurst Place will also be celebrating fathers with its Weekend for Dad event. Today there will be a number of children’s crafting activities running from 11am until 4pm, and then on Sunday the Junk Orchestra will perform a number of performances on – yes you guessed it – their ‘junk-struments’. For more information, visit www.penshurstplace.com

The much anticipated Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race SUNDAY is on today in Dunorlan Park. The family fun day Today there are a few more vintage car fairs for aims to raise lots of money for local charities and auto enthusiasts. Over at Bewl Water there will bring communities, businesses and organisations be an Austin Seven Rally, while Groombridge together. With 40 handmade soapboxes competing Place is running its Classic Motor Show event for in various races, monies will be raised for both Father’s Day. There will be vintage models from the Hospice in the Weald and ellenor. The RNLI down the decades and plenty of live music, too. will also be present raising vital funds. The day For further information on tickets and timings, runs from 11am until 8.30pm and tickets cost see www.bewlwater.co.uk and from £10. For more details, see www.groombridgeplace.com www.crazyjeansevents.com Trinity Theatre has a busy afternoon and Kent Fire & Rescue evening. First up, it welcomes will be hosting a Water a new stage production of Savvy Fun Day at Bewl the classic children’s tale Dr Water from 10am-2pm. Dolittle at 2.30pm (tickets This is a free family cost £10), and then at 6pm event, and is a great it screens another showing chance for everyone of The Guernsey Literary to learn how to stay And Potato Peel Pie Society safe around water film, which is directed by while having fun. Mike Newell, stars Downton As well as seeing Abbey’s Lily James and is water rescue demos set in the aftermath of World from firefighters War II. Tickets cost £11. Book and Splashpals your tickets at AUCTION Newfoundland dog www.trinitytheatre.net Vintage toys at The Spa Hotel

PICK OF THE WEEK: The Merchant of Venice Trinity Theatre Friday, June 15, 7.30pm

Professional theatre troupe Bowler Crab bring their production of the Shakespeare classic The Merchant of Venice to Trinity Theatre on Friday evening. This is the company’s 12th production to date and it will be touring all over Kent, Sussex and London over the next two months. Bowler Crab’s Artistic Director, Stephen

At the Odeon cinema this afternoon, there’s another chance to catch a screening of the Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake at 2pm, choreographed by Liam Scarlett. The ballet follows the story of Prince Siegfried, who one night encounters a flock of swans – one of whom reveals herself to be a beautiful woman called Odette. But she is being held under a spell by the evil Von Rothbart, who later disguises his daughter Odile as Odette to trick Prince Siegfried into breaking his vow of love. But Siegfried is determined to save Odette, whatever the cost… www.odeon.com

MONDAY The popular Moonlight Drive-In Cinema at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, continues its run of

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John, comments: “The Merchant of Venice is an edgy comedy filled with romance, laughter and the odd tear. It has laugh-out-loud scenes alongside cleverly constructed moments to be taken more seriously. “Whilst plentiful in romance, riddles, disguises, song and dance, our production also questions the topics of race, class, worth, gender, religion and – ultimately – revenge.” Tickets can be purchased from www.trinitytheatre.net For more information about Bowler Crab, visit www.www.bowler-crab.com

Solo: A Star Wars Story this evening at 9.45pm. Directed by Ron Howard, it’s the tale of how Han Solo came to meet his future co-pilot Chewbacca, and stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson and Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke. Tickets cost £25 per vehicle. www.moonlightcinema.com

TUESDAY

The Remarkable Characters of Tunbridge Wells exhibition is still on at Woods restaurant on The Pantiles from 10am daily. Running until September, it is the brainchild of photographer Mark Wilkinson and writer Anne Wagstaff, who have a ‘curiosity about people and what makes them tick’. A book to accompany the show is priced £18, available from www.remarkablecharacterstw.com


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Going Out

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

THE GREY LADY MUSIC LOUNGE The Pantiles, Doors 7.15pm, entry £6/£7 Websites www.pdag.co.uk and www.thegreylady.co.uk Wednesday Imy Laurie, Chasing Shadows, The Secret Crowd Friday Soul Kitchen Saturday The Violet Jive Sunday Jimmy Harrison, Paul Monham, Ryan Weeks Tuesday Harry Whitty, Milly Rusling, Jon Grayson, Jez Harley

THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM

live music With Paul Dunton

F

OR a fantastic midweek gig, The Forum’s Stable features four excellent up-and-coming bands tonight (Wednesday) with Patchwork, Doghouse Outhouse, Infrared and Cheapfloat all performing. And The Secret Crowd headline The Grey Lady with great support from Chasing Shadows and Imy Lawrie also on the bill. And remember to check out Jazz on The Pantiles on Thursday, where The Roger Beaujolais & Tina May Quintet will be performing. On Friday night, popular local four-piece band Cyrano headline The Forum with support from The Harveys and Contrast. Look out for The Crazy Jeans

The must-read guide to what’s on musically for the week ahead… www.paulduntonandguests.com

Extravaganza at Dunorlan Park this Saturday daytime, which is a charitable soap box race event and features a Local & Live music stage starring Suncharmer, Cyrano, Harry Whitty and Rob Picazo. There are many fine options for Saturday evening, with my top picks being Jason Lines at The Bedford Pub, Oscar at The Beau Nash, The Violet Jive at The Grey Lady and The Heartbeats at The Royal Oak Pub. For folk enthusiasts, the talented Chis Cleverley will be at Tonbridge Folk Club on Monday evening, while Mitch Feral & The Moveable Feast – an excellent live band – will be performing at The Punch & Judy, Tonbridge on Tuesday night.

Event information at www.twforum.co.uk Wednesday The Stable: Patchwork, Doghouse Outhouse, Infrared, Cheapfloat Thursday The Magic Numbers Friday Cyrano, The Harveys, Contrast Saturday Boogie Nights Sunday Unfest Sunday sessions (1pm start)

THE ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Crescent Road Friday Ultimate Bublé (Michael Bublé trinbute)

Cyrano

CRAZY JEANS EXTRAVAGANZA

THE SUSSEX ARMS BASEMENT

Dunorlan Park. Tickets and full details at www.crazyjeansevents.com Saturday Activities start 12noon (soapbox race) 5pm-9pm Local & Live Stage featuring Suncharmer, Cyrano, Harry Whitty, Rob Picazo

Sussex Mews Open all day, music from 8pm, entry charge may apply. More information at www.twforum.co.uk Saturday Life Tuesday Wars

JAZZ ON THE PANTILES Music from 8pm-10pm Thursday The Roger Beaujolais & Tina May Quintet

THE BEAU NASH TAVERN Mount Ephraim Open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late Saturday Oscar

THE BEDFORD PUB

Tina May

2 High Street Open all day, free entry, music from 8pm till late Thursday Nate Austin Saturday Jason Lines

THE ROYAL OAK PUB Prospect Road Open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late Saturday The Heartbeats

TONBRIDGE FOLK CLUB The Flying Dutchman, Hildenborough Music from 8pm, hat collection with a suggested contribution of £7 (£5 concessions). More information at www.tonbridgefolkclub.org Monday Chris Cleverley

THE PUNCH & JUDY PUB 11 St Stephen’s Street, Tonbridge Open all day, free entry, music from 8pm Tuesday Mitch Feral & The Moveable Feast


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Food & Drink

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

We’re in the pink If you enjoyed Saturday’s National Rosé Day, Times’ Drinks Editor James Viner picks out some perfect pinks to keep on sipping in the sun

Think of France’s Midi region. Made from cinsaut, grenache and syrah, it’s selling fast!

2: THE ULTIMATE TEXTBOOK DRY PROVENÇAL ROSÉ BARGAIN FROM THE WINE SOCIETY

2017 Côtes de Provence Rosé, Arbaude, Mas de Cadenet, France (12.5%, £8.50, The Wine Society) The Negrel family make exemplary wines a few miles south of the picturesque Montagne Sainte-Victoire. On the empty glass test with

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1 2 1: ROSÉ STEAL FROM THE RHÔNE’S ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILLE PERRIN

2017 La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux Rosé, Rhône, France (12.5%, £7.49, Co-op; £7.99, Waitrose) The Perrin family reliably produce some of the smartest bottles in the Rhône (including the rightly-fêted Miraval rosé and even finer Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape). But the wines it produces under their low-priced La Vieille Ferme négociant label are just as exciting in their way, with the gently alluring and exuberant red fruit of this new-season dry rosé being especially enchanting. It takes deliciousness and wraps both arms around it. Charm, flavour, tang and form; all work in the wine’s favour. And the price is right. It blooms in the mouth with cherries, strawberries, grapefruit and dried herbal aspects.

other quality Provençal pinks under £10, this would be the first one finished, I’ll venture: Bone-dry, juicy and bright— all raspberry, melon and pear with a faint riff of dried herbs and peppery spice. Very reasonably priced and the archetypal shade of pale pink, this is a scrumptious BBQ-ready all star. Sip this quaffable, happy, summery, fruit-filled wine in the sun with ratatouille, pissaladière, bouillabaisse, salade niçoise, grilled fish,

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roast leg of lamb hot off the BBQ and, of course, aïoli. Not a big wine, but a thoroughly engaging one, made with equal parts cinsaut, grenache and syrah; the balance and length are on the money. Irresistible is the word.

3: PERKY NEW ZEALAND PINK

2017 Villa Maria Private Bin Hawke’s Bay Rosé, New Zealand (12.5%, £8.99-£9.95, NZ House of Wine, Hailsham Cellars, WineDirect) This crisp, dry, multi-faceted, predominantly merlot Kiwi pink has a rose petal bouquet and squeaky clean strawberry, tangy raspberry, delicate guava and spice flavours. It’s one of those wines you are happy to drink, not deconstruct. There’s plenty to think on here, but even more to simply tuck into and love. It’s light, but drinkability and interest levels are good. Food-wise, the world should be its oyster (think salads, moussaka, sushi, picnics, pizza and prawns). High refreshment factor — positively impressive.

4: SYBARITIC BENCHMARK ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE FROM A MAISON ON SONG

Deutz Brut Rosé NV Champagne, Aÿ, France (12%, £46.16-£47.50) Founded in 1838 and now owned by the Rouzaud family, who run Louis Roederer, Deutz (pronounced Derts) is a standard-bearer for excellence and unusually makes full-bodied rosé at three different levels. This pristine cuvée is one of the planet’s finest entry pink NVs and a must-try for fans of Laurent-Perrier and the handful of other world-class, pinot noir-forward rosé champagnes. Charmingly understated, eminently fresh and breathtakingly persistent, this dazzling wine has a debonair rose petal fragrance and radiant red fruit palate. In the end the price looks more than reasonable; says it all. A posh and meticulously pinpoint accurate champagne for picnics, sushi, canapés, Cantonese cuisine and smoked salmon. Winemaking of a high order. Glitters in the glass with a light dosage of 8g/L.


Food & Drink

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Breakfast of smashed avocado, roast tomatoes, poached hens egg & toasted sourdough

ONE FROM SEVENTEEN Brought to you by Seventeen, One Warwick Park Hotel Every week, Seventeen – the restaurant at One Warwick Park Hotel – brings you its pick of the week, whether it be a top recipe, key member of staff or supplier. This week, we catch up with bar supervisor Joshua Keay (right), who makes a mean Espresso Martini…

What’s your favourite cocktail on the menu? My favourite has to be the Espresso Martini, definitely better to drink than make. A simple, stimulating yet delicious combination. What is the one cocktail ingredient you can’t live without? I would say sugar syrup, for the pure reason that it is the core ingredient of nearly every cocktail. I love using fresh ingredients though, lots of fresh fruit where possible. It tastes great and looks even better. What’s the strangest drink request you’ve had? Definitely a double shot of ‘decaf espresso’ – each to their own I guess… What’s the most popular drink on the menu? Cocktail-wise, I would have to say the Bramble, but there is also a huge ongoing trend with gin and Prosecco. Negronis have been hailed as the cocktail of 2018, however Aperol Spritz is still very popular. We are also seeing a rise in Tequila-based cocktails. How long have you been in the industry? For six years – three of them in Australia.

What’s your favourite thing about working at One Warwick Park Hotel? As we are a contemporary hotel, it’s great for me to be able to work with the latest and best equipment – as well as a great team. Also, being in the hub of Chapel Place, it’s a great, vibrant place to be. Can you give an interesting fact about cocktails that others may not know? The Bramble was given its name due to the way the blackberry Chambord liqueur makes its way through the crushed ice. Also, did you know we have Happy Hour every night here from 5-7pm? Everyone should know that! SHAKING IT UP A coffee and a cocktail!

You can enjoy a selection of delicious cocktails on the new Terrace at One Warwick Park Hotel every day of the week. To book a table, please telephone 01892 520 587. You can find further information on the restaurant’s weekly menus at www.onewarwickpark.co.uk/seventeen

THE LEICESTER ARMS HOTEL • High Street, Penshurst • 01892 871617 • www.theleicesterarmshotel.com

Banana & Honeycomb Eton Mess

On The Menu…

Piri Piri Chicken Burger with skinny fries

How long have you been at Seventeen, One Warwick Park? I joined in October last year, just in time for the busy festive period!

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Portland Bay Crab with avocado & mayo sourdough toast

Portland Rump Kentish Lamb with Provençal vegetables and salsa verde

Smoked Ham Hock Terrine and pickles

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Advertising Feature

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

A game of two halves

It’s been a long four-year wait for some, and a well-needed break for others. WITH THE first match of the FIFA World Cup kicking off this Thursday [June 14], people will be flocking to pubs and venues worldwide to watch the highly-anticipated action in Russia. We’ve selected some of the best pubs and venues, local to you, to immerse yourself in the excitement of it all. For those of you choosing to spend your summer kicking back rather than watching the kick-off, we’ve lined up an equally impressive selection of the best local venues promising to be football-free…

England fans will be able to enjoy all the team’s World Cup matches on the big screen at Tonbridge Angels Football Club. Gareth Southgate’s group games will be shown live on a giant screen erected in the Marquee at Longmead Stadium on Darenth Avenue. A fully licensed bar with discounted prices will be in operation from two hours before kick-off. Smaller viewing screens will also be provided. If England progress into the knockout stages then the subsequent matches will all be featured at Longmead too.  The first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will be Russia v Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Moscow (Luzhniki) at 4pm on Thursday June 14

WORLD CUP

NO WORLD CUP

THE ABERGAVENNY ARMS Frant Road, Frant 01892 750233 www.abergavennyarms.co.uk

COCO RETRO Vale Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 522773 www.cocoretro.com

THE FORESTERS ARMS Quarry Hill Road, Tonbridge 01732 361927 THE BEDFORD High Street, Tunbridge Wells 01892 578538 www.thebedfordtw.co.uk THE LEICESTER ARMS High Street, Penshurst 01892 871617 www.theleicesterarmshotel.com THE CROSS KEYS PUB St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells www.crosskeystw.co.uk CASSIDY’S SPORTS BAR Castle Street, Tunbridge Wells 01892 522373

THE GEORGE & DRAGON Speldhurst Hill, Speldhurst 01892 863125 www.speldhurst.com THE WARREN High Street, Tunbridge Wells 01892 328191 www.thewarren.restaurant THE MEXICAN KITCHEN London Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 315297 ONE WARWICK PARK Tunbridge Wells 01892 520587 www.onewarwickpark.co.uk


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Look Good, Feel Good: Father's Day Special

Look sharp

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Because he’s worth it

Spoil your father on Sunday with one of these grooming goodies BIRCHBOX MAN EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS LIMITED EDITION £25, www.birchbox.co.uk

If you want to dress well, then it’s all about having a confident approach to clothes and knowing what suits your frame. This applies to both women and men – so with Father’s Day just around the corner, Eileen Leahy asks Stuart Hardman (left) of Southborough tailors Hardman & Hemming to give his five top tips on how men can look good, all the time… SUITS YOU, SIR Shirt: £26; tie: £12; jacket: £75; shoes: £39; trousers: £25 all from Burton www.burton.co.uk

CLINIQUE FOR MEN MAXIMUM HYDRATOR ACTIVATED WATER-GEL CONCENTRATE, £36, available at Clinique counters nationwide and www.clinique.co.uk

HONEST SKINCARE BEARD OIL £30, National Theatre Bookshop, www.shop. national theatre.org.uk

GO CLASSIC – We always say that style is very different to fashion, so don’t be too tempted to go for the latest trends. They may look good now, but in six months or a year you will find that you don’t really want to wear them any more and you will have wasted your money. A classic style (think Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger) never goes out of style, it’s classic for a reason. ACCESSORISE – Something a lot of men forget to do is add the little touches to their look. A nice pocket square for your suit, cuff links, or maybe a cap or a hat are all worth considering when getting dressed. The smallest detail can sometimes make the biggest difference. BE BOLD – Don’t be frightened of pattern or colour. We all need to fit in at times, but when you get the chance be yourself and be bold. Go for a brighter check jacket or some colour in your

Now get the look You’ve read how to look stylish whatever the occasion, now try these accessories on for size

HANDKERCHIEF £45, Maharishi in Ultra Violet, Geoff Stocker, www. geoffstocker.com BELT £12, River Island www.riverisland.com

tie. People will notice, and you’ll be surprised at how many good comments you’ll get. CONTRASTS – We think your clothes should earn their keep, and the more you can wear them the better. Going for a suit or jacket with a contrasting waistcoat really helps – that way you can wear the suit as a three-piece, the jacket or waistcoat with jeans or chinos, or even individually. In short, it keeps things looking fresh. INVEST IN QUALITY – Spend your money wisely. Go for good cloth that will last, and as I said, keep things classic and your suits should last you years. Also shoes! Make sure you invest in great quality ones – brands such as Loakes or Barkers are great. They may not be cheap but they will last you forever. For more information on Hardman & Hemming, visit www.hardmanandhemming.co.uk

LEATHER WALLET £198 Billfold leather wallet, Launer, www. launer.com TIE £20, Hammond at Debenhams, www. debenhams.com SHOES £95, Baldini at Men’s Dune, www. dunelondon.com

PRADA LUNA ROSSA BLACK EAU DE PARFUM SPRAY £47.15, www.escentual.com

MEN’S SHAVING SET £14.95, Rex London, www. rexlondon.com


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Business

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

A decade of silver service from a genuine high street favourite Micallef Jewellers are celebrating their 10th anniversary on Tonbridge High Street. Andy Tong spoke to Sacha Micallef, whose father has been a master of his craft for 40 years… SALES TEAM Sacha with the ever-present Coco

­ dvantage over the high street chains with their a buyers or those who buy from agencies which restricts them to certain suppliers. Do you like working in Tonbridge High Street? We could see that it was a town with a lot of potential. It has these beautiful landmarks with the castle and the river. You just don’t see that in other local towns. And it’s an easy high street for consumers to navigate, it’s just one road with a concentration of shops. I liked it so much, I moved here.

‘I do feel very much part of the community. People are superfriendly. There is a strong community of retailers that’s grown up over the last 10 years too’ This high street is full of hard-working, exciting independent shops and businesses. Time and again you see people on social media putting Tonbridge down but I think it’s a fantastic town, we have amazing coffee shops and hairdressers – you can’t get that online. These are the retailers who keep the high streets alive. Tonbridge is very much a working town, people tend to live off the high street where in other places around here they come in from outside and it can become a bit of a ghost town.

When did the business start? The family business began in Rainham 35 years ago, and the shop has now been on Tonbridge High Street for 10 years. We have also had a branch in Sevenoaks for six years. How many of the family have been involved? Michel Micallef, my father, is the jeweller. He was trained at Hatton Garden in London. My mum ­Jacqueline handles valuations and administration, while I run the shop in Tonbridge. Then there’s my dog Coco, a shih tzu, who’s always in the shop. We have had plenty of sales because of her. How has your business changed down the years? The jewellery industry has moved from being very

heavily gold orientated in the 1980s and ’90s. We sell more silver now, which has its own identity rather than being a copy of gold. White coloured jewellery in general is very much more popular, in silver, platinum or white gold. However, we are seeing a lot more requests for rose gold. Also gold has become a lot more expensive, so silver is much more affordable, especially if you like a more chunky style of jewellery. You just don’t see people wearing thick gold chains like BA Baracus in The A Team these days. We have had to change our business and what we stock with this in mind. We have pieces from about 60 different jewellery suppliers, which gives us the

How has it changed in the last 10 years? It’s also a progressive place. The High Street has had its pavements upgraded as well as River Walk. And there are so many things happening in town, such as the Food Festival and the Dragon Boat racing. It’s a very vibrant town, it

JEWEL IN THE HIGH STREET A selection of Micallef’s products; (above, l-r) Michel, Sacha and Jacqueline Micallef

has so much more going for it than other towns around here. I do feel very much part of the community. People are super-friendly. There is a strong community of retailers that’s grown up over the last 10 years too, we all communicate with each other and get on well – it’s not at all cliquey. We are all aiming for the same goal, to improve the commercial environment. Does most of your custom come from passing trade, the internet, or word of mouth? Word of mouth and repeat customers mainly. We do have a website but it is very difficult to compete with the big online retailers – and to get yourself on Google as a silver or diamond jeweller is very expensive. We can’t compete on those terms, but we can compete in terms of service and advice. The industry is moving towards that, especially with repairs, alterations and cleaning – these have really taken off. We do regularly get asked to resolve problems with internet purchases. Our customers also know we won’t keep their jewellery longer than we need to. We do the work ourselves, we don’t contract it out, and we can turn it around in a week, not six weeks. We have just taken on extra hands in our workshop to help us with the extended demand we are experiencing. The service side of our business is important because people are trusting you with their valuables – and not just because they are expensive, there’s the sentimental value too. Our reputation has developed from this trust. What do customers like about Micallef? We can get most things in at any time. We like to be flexible and it gives you that extra personal touch. We like to think we go that little bit further for our clients. Before we sell, we like to make sure the jewellery items are suitable for them. Fine jewellery can be delicate, and there are a lot of people who like to wear jewellery when they’re gardening! The suppliers we use tend to be those who offer a style that’s wearable and sellable. I like to make sure that we can guarantee everything that we sell. If it’s too complicated then it will come straight back. People do want to wear things all the time, and we provide after-care to make sure that everybody’s happy with what we sell. It’s our integrity that’s important to me. We also take in a lot of second-hand jewellery. People bring it in to us rather than us buying it at auction, and those sell very well because our customers are looking for something a bit different. To see the collection, or for more information, visit www.micallefjewellers.com.


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travel

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Travel

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Portuguese puds, bungee jumps and celebrity bars 7 Reasons to visit Macau Dubbed the ‘Las Vegas of the Far East’, Macau – across the water from Hong Kong – is a hub of bright lights and entertainment, as Simon Lovell finds out

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HERE’S plenty to see and do in Macau – just a 55-minute ferry transfer from Hong Kong across the Zhujiang River estuary, there’s more to this place than just gambling in the Las Vegas of Asia. Here are seven must-d0s when you’re there…

THE BRIGHT LIFE Macau is well worth a gamble

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Make the biggest jump of your life If you’re going to do a bungee jump, you may as well do the tallest commercial one in the world and jump 233-metres off the famed Macau Tower – you’ll be following in the slipstream of Lewis Hamilton, Kanye West, Warwick Davis and Karl Pilkington. Gasps from spectators watching from the observation tower just below accompany each thrill-seeking plummet. It’s an unforgettable experience which is over all too quickly, although video and photos provide an excellent reminder. Jumps costs £335 from www.ajhackett.com/macau

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Dine on Portuguese-inspired food There are some fantastic restaurants in Macau. Although many people seek out the dim sum at restaurants like The Eight at the imposing Grand Lisboa hotel, where there is a strict dress code, I preferred the more intimate feel of smaller places, such as Antonio (www.antoniomacau.com) and Litoral (www.restaurante-litoral.com), which specialise in Macanese food and remind you of the country’s Portuguese connections. The ameijoas (clams) and serradura (biscuit mousse) at the latter were a lunchtime treat which cost around £20, washed down with Sagres.

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Drink it like Beckham You won’t go far wrong if you follow in the footsteps of David Beckham and head for Sky 21 Bar (www.skyconceptmacau.com/sky21). The USP of this trendy spot is its panoramic view of the city. A cocktail and a beer will cost

around £15, and if you rock up as the sun’s going down, there are few better shows in town.

THE HEIGHT OF ENTERTAINMENT Performers in the House of Dancing Water play

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Watch wild (and wet) acrobatics The competition for good shows is high here. One of the best is the House of Dancing Water play at the plush City of Dreams complex – see www.cityofdreamsmacau.com The love story is played out on a stage which

transforms into a pool and features actors who perform a stunning display of acrobatics – even involving motorbikes. Tickets for the 90-minute show start at around £60 for adults and £40 for children.

5 THE A-MA TEMPLE Built in 1488 as a shrine to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu

Check out the architecture The Historic Centre of Macau was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, and there is plenty to see. The iconic ruins of St Paul’s Church and the 17th-century Mount Fortress are popular places, as is the A-Ma Temple. But it’s worth heading off the beaten track, too. You’ll see plenty of Portuguese touches

in the pastel shades and architecture, and it’s easy to forget you’re only a few miles from the bustling centre of the peninsula when you’re watching fishermen in the quiet southern village of Coloane.

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Sleep in a hotel with its own giant fish tank The MGM Grand (www.mgm.mo/en) is arguably the grandest hotel of all in Macau. It was chosen for an edition of America’s Next Top Model, and also features an eye-catching 8.3-metre high cylindrical aquarium which is home to thousands of fish. There’s also a VIP room for seriously high-stake gamblers. Rooms cost from £170 per night with breakfast.


Travel

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

thekn w.guide

DREAM DESTINATIONS…

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Whether you go global or stay local, there are some amazing travel deals to be had this week

Idyllic Ibiza

Sovereign Luxury Travel has a seven-night break in Ibiza, on a Half Board basis, from £1,199 per person – saving up to £1,239 (34%) in total. Staying at 5-star Insotel Fenicia Prestige Suites and Spa, the package includes a £150 Sovereign flash sale discount, a 20% room reduction, a free upgrade to Half Board, UK airport security fast passes and access to N°1 Lounges, private resort transfers and return flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian. Based on departures July 7, 2018. Book via www.sovereign.com

SENADO SQUARE An historic meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese

Real ale deal

LANDMARK The ruins of St Paul’s Church

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Have a flutter – it’s the done thing Many of Macau’s visitors are here for the casinos, including those making the short hop over from China, where betting is illegal. Baccarat and blackjack are both popular, and if you don’t want to dabble, it’s fine to watch the dramas unfold. There’s a good crowd at the Sofitel at Ponte 16 (www.ponte16.com.mo/en) – and with a beer and sandwich costing around £3.50, it’s a cheap spectator sport. This may be one of the smaller fish in a very big pool, but that doesn’t detract from the experience.

How to get there Cathay Pacific flies direct to Hong Kong from London Heathrow and Gatwick (£719) and Manchester (£729). All prices are for return economy fares. For the latest fare promotions, visit www.cathaypacific.co.uk For further information about Macao, see www.visitmacao.co.uk

Go ‘back to basics’ and camp at The Six Bells Grade II listed pub just three miles from Lavenham in Suffolk. Tucked away in the quiet grounds of the pub, which serves real ale and a hearty menu of seasonal, locally-sourced food, there are plenty of opportunities to stargaze and spot local wildlife from your tent pitch. Treat dad to a brewery tour at Adnams of Southwold a short drive away, sample their award-winning ales, lagers and gin, all brewed and distilled on site. Non-electric grass tent pitch from £30 per night. For availability, visit www.pitchup.com

Stunning Sri Lanka

Specialist operator Jules Verne has added a new Sri Lankan itinerary to its popular collection of escorted holidays in the Indian subcontinent. This ten-night trip takes you to the north of the country, which has retained its unique style and culture after being off limits during the civil war, which ended in 2009. The tear-shaped island offers wildlife, temples and delightfully uncrowded coastal areas in abundance. For departures on September 21 and October 26, 2018, the price is from £1,995 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), transfers, nine nights’ B&B, five lunches, nine dinners, excursions, and the services of guides and local representatives. One overnight flight. See www.vjv.com


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thekn w.guide

Motoring

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Motoring News

A round-up of the latest car reveals, consumer issues and hot deals

Audi reveals bold new Q8 flagship AUDI has unveiled the latest offering in its five-strong SUV range – the Q8. A new flagship for the model line-up, the Q8 is the heart to the Q7’s head – a stylish off-roader with a coupélike rear roofline to compete with a huge number of rivals. The Q8 features styling similar to that of the Q8 Concept and Q8 Sport Concept. Audi says this previews the next-generation design language for all of the brand’s SUVs, mainly in the styling of the front grille. The distinctive ‘Singleframe’ forms an octagonal surround to the grille, which Audi describes as ‘brawny’. It has standard-fit LED headlights, bold rear haunches, and gives an impression of bulky wheel arches. The rear features a tapering roofline

and full-width glossy styling element. Overall, the Q8 is lower and wider than the Q7, but shares the same wheelbase. With only five seats inside, though, there’s more room for rear seat passengers. The dash features the same layout as the A8, A7 and A8 and consists of a twin-screen infotainment display and Virtual Cockpit digital dial pack. The Q8 will launch with a V6 diesel engine. A lower-powered diesel and V6 petrol are due in 2019. All three engines are mated to 48V mild hybrid systems for seamless stop-start and coasting functions. Expect a hot SQ8 and hybrid e-tron model, too. Order books are due to open shortly. Expect a price of around £65,000 for entry-level 50 TDI models.

A chance to build your own Bugatti hypercar BUGATTI’S Chiron is one of the most desirable cars in the world – but it’s also one of the most exclusive, with just 500 set to be made along with a price tag in excess of £2million. Thanks to Lego, though, you can get one for a fraction of that price.

Functioning The toy firm has recreated the hypercar in brick form as part of its Technic range of highly-detailed models – albeit shrunk down to 1:8 scale. But it hasn’t skimped by on details. The 22-inch long model consists of 3,599 individual parts and packs a ton of features, including functioning gearshift paddles in the cockpit and a replica of the 8.0-litre W16 engine with moving pistons.

Even the rear wing’s adjustability has seen a faithful recreation. Much like the real car, this set comes with a ‘speed key’ that moves the spoiler positions for optimised handling or speed, perfect for keeping the car hugged to the living room floor. Take a look under the bonnet and you’ll also find a scaled-down Bugattibranded overnight bag, as found in the full-size Chiron. Just the one colour is available – a duo-tone blue finish – while a sticker set features as standard. Accompanying the 3,599 bricks and pieces is a ‘coffee-table style’ book with building instructions. The Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron is available now through Lego stores for £329.99, and will be available from other retailers from August.

Skoda unveils a Superb armoured-plated car at a more affordable price WATCH any world leader in their armoured transport and it’s likely to be something like a blacked-out Mercedes S-Class. But Skoda has identified a gap in the market for those who want their tank-like transport to be a bit more discreet. Enter the armoured Skoda Superb. On the outside, the Superb looks entirely standard. It’s based on the estate model, decked out in grey and fitted with a pragmatic 2.0-litre, 187bhp diesel engine. The exterior belies the car’s capabilities, though. It’s been modified and reinforced to meet PAS 300 requirements for ballistic and blast protection and is totally bulletproof. Skoda is keeping quiet about the car’s full specifications on safety grounds, but mentioned a few more modifications. Suspension and braking has been uprated to cope with the extra weight, while the car rides on specially reinforced run-flat tyres. Passengers ride within a safety cell, and there’s an emergency lighting and siren system if you need to part the traffic. The interior remains virtually unchanged, but that’s no bad thing – the Superb has ample legroom, and the usual interior fittings remain, including an 8-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The armoured Superb has been developed by Skoda in conjunction with a UK-based converter. It will be available to order from standard Skoda dealers, but you’ll need to dig deep – prices start from £118,688. Compare that with a Mercedes-Maybach S600 Guard, however, at £438,000, and it begins to look a bit more reasonable.


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Recruitment

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

WITH THE

FIND YOUR PERFECT JOB TODAY – A MUST-READ FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR WORK LOCALLY

Fill your vacancy now in print or online

From just £99 For more information contact our commercial team on 01892 779650

OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND TONBRIDGE


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14

25

11

21

2

2 6

4

H

14

8 17

4

H

7

D

7

19 7

19

10

9

4 7

5 7

7

18

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.

8

2 4 2 4

2

5

1 7 9 3

5 1

9 4

6

9

1

1

1

8 3 5

7

8

1 3

2 1

CLASSIFIEDS

Codeword:

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains every number uniquely.

26

H

6

6 7 4 3

5 7

9 6

9 8

14

5

25

H

3

1

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

14

5

DIFFICULTY RATING:★★II

4

5 6

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

3

DIFFICULTY RATING: ★★★★

2

23

LAST WEEK’S SOLUTIONS

SUDOKU & JIGSAW SUDOKU

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 a forthcoming issue

F A T E F U L I N P U T

A B L E S P L C P R I P U R A T A C A Z E D E N O S O U V R E F N J R K S OM E N R R R ON G S T W A E E N A N C Y

L I C E D E H O E X A C T D N E S I G N S E A B R I C L R Q A N T A A I W E N C I L D E E A I R E D

Sudoku:

1 9 7 3 5 4 8 6 2

6 2 3 8 9 7 5 1 4

4 8 5 1 6 2 3 7 9

9 6 4 7 3 5 1 2 8

3 7 2 4 8 1 6 9 5

8 5 1 6 2 9 7 4 3

2 3 6 9 7 8 4 5 1

1 4 8 3 7 5 2 6 9

2 6 9 4 1 8 3 7 5

6 1 2 9 5 3 7 8 4

5 1 8 2 4 6 9 3 7

7 4 9 5 1 3 2 8 6

Jigsaw Sudoku:

8 7 1 6 4 2 9 5 3

4 2 3 5 9 7 6 1 8

5 9 6 8 2 4 1 3 7

7 3 5 1 6 9 8 4 2

3 5 7 2 8 6 4 9 1

9 8 4 7 3 1 5 2 6

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

CODEWORD 1

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Puzzles

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

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Sport

Please send sports stories to: newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk or newsdesk@timesoftonbridge.co.uk

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

Mighty Mills raises her game to be crowned junior queen of All England at powerlifting “I didn’t think I’d get it, having never touched the weight and being very psychologically affected by milestones, but I had nothing to lose so just gave it my best shot,” said Lizzie. “It was heavy but I knew my legs were strong enough to lift it.”

HEAVY DUTY Lizzie hoists 185kg in the deadlift,a 6kg personal best, to win the title with 400kg overall

‘It’s a huge achievement. I didn’t go into this competition expecting, or even hoping, to win’ The next discipline was the bench press, which is Lizzie’s forte. She recently took part in the World Championships in Finland, having won the British Championships in February. She lifted 70kg, then 75kg, but narrowly missed out on 77.5kg.

The final category was her favourite, the deadlifts. She opened with 167.5kg, ‘which felt awfully heavy, but I had game plan in mind and wasn’t going to stray from it’. She graduated to 180kg, which was a 1kg personal best. In order to reach the coveted 400kg overall total across all three events, Lizzie needed to lift 185kg on her last attempt, which she duly achieved. She added: “I realise now that at the time I could have attempted to break the British record, which was 187.5kg, but better to play it safe and secure the 400kg total goal than to risk it all.” While her main competitor had managed a ‘huge’ squat of 152.5kg but Lizzie had clawed back the 12.5kg margin over the next two events. Although they had both reached the 400kg mark, Lizzie was deemed the winner on bodyweight since she weighed 400g less than her rival.

LIFTING THE DEPRESSION

By Andy Tong andy@timesoftonbridge.co.uk POWERLIFTING: TONBRIDGE powerlifter Lizzie Mills has been crowned junior champion at the All England Championships at Moulton College in Northampton, winning the Under-23 category for 72kg. The 22-year-old teacher, who has an engaging habit of smiling when she

lifts, has also been selected for Team GB to take part in the European Bench Press Championships. Lizzie said of her national title: “It’s a huge achievement. I didn’t go into this competition expecting, or even hoping, to win because it seemed so far away and the competition was going to be steep as the standard is high. “I try to concentrate on doing my best and trying to improve on my performance each time and having fun

rather than focusing on getting a place on the podium.” I went into the competition aiming to achieve a double bodyweight squat of 140kg (over 300lbs) which is a huge milestone, and to also get a 400lb (roughly 180kg) deadlift. The event kicked off with squats and Lizzie began by lifting her previous best in competition, 127.5kg, then went up to her best in the gym, 135kg, before breaking new ground with 140kg.

LIZZIE MILLS currently teaches mathematics at a school in Portsmouth. While she was at university there, she suffered from anorexia and depression – and she credits powerlifting with saving her life. Now she says: “My health is good. I have a lot of focus these days and especially now I’m progressing in the sport and representing the country, I have to be very diligent with my diet and self-care. I even went part time at work to be able to spend more time training and looking after myself.” DANCE FOR JOY: Lizzie enjoys her gold medal moment

Peters knocks Cowdrey off O’Riordan’s spin makes mincemeat of top spot in Tonbridge derby Sandwich Town as Wells start strongly Tonbridge 208-9 beat Cowdrey 117 by 91 runs By Stuart Clarke CRICKET: THE hosts Tonbridge produced a powerful performance in the town’s derby match at Poplar Meadow to knock Cowdrey off top spot in Kent League Division Four. In the process Tonbridge moved above their local rivals into second place, equal on points with new leaders Catford Wanderers. Cowdrey captain Anthony Mills won his first toss of the season and put Tonbridge in on a green-looking track. Chirag Patel (22) and Stephen Hall (29) began sensibly against a disciplined spell by Chris Fenwick, who conceded only 21 runs in his 10 overs. The introduction of Ash Borella (2 for 41) and Ryan Addison kept the home side under pressure and at the halfway stage they had reached 65 for 2. But then wickets tumbled and Tonbridge subsided to to 116 for 7, Addison tearing up the middle order. Tonbridge then rebuild superbly thanks to a match-winning partnership

between Ben Morgan, with 57 off 71 balls, and captain Matt Smiles (23). The stand of 59 was finally broken by Fenwick, who took a deserved wicket, while Addison grabbed 4 for 42 as Tonbridge closed on 208. The Cowdrey run-chase was characterised by poor shot selection as Tonbridge fielded and caught well.

Collapse Andy Hammond made 28 as skipper Smiles took two wickets at each end of the innings to return 4 for 23. But it was the leg spinner Ben Peters who wrecked Cowdrey’s hopes by snatching 5 for 24 as the visitors collapsed from 78 for 2 to 99 for 8. They were bowled out for 117 to lose by 91 runs, the humbling defeat being a reminder for the erstwhile leaders that they have to remain focused. Cowdrey will look to get back to winning ways at High Halstow on Saturday [June 16] while Tonbridge travel to Downham and Bellingham.

Sandwich Town 191 lost to Tunbridge Wells 193-3 by 7 wkts By Alan Cutts CRICKET: TUNBRIDGE WELLS overwhelmed an in-form Sandwich Town at The Nevill to occupy second place in Kent League Premier Division behind Blackheath. The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first, and the pace of Ari Karvelas found the edge to dismiss the dangerous Zack Fagg. Wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva (31) unfurled a sprinkling of driven boundaries and the score rose to 90 from the first 20 overs. At that point the pacemen were replaced by the spin of Marcus O’Riordan and Fred Florry and the game changed. O’Riordan found a good loop for his off-breaks and broke through, dismissing Ben Chapman for a brisk 37, then snaring Tom Chapman as well. Alex Smith (37) had shown resolve in partnership with Rory Smith (32) but a slick stumping by captain Chris Williams saw the former depart.

O’Riordan now swept away the middle order as three wickets tumbled for nine runs from nine deliveries to a series of mistimed aerial chances. The young spinner went on to take six wickets, a rare feat in 50-over cricket, to end with exceptional figures of 6 for 42. The incisive speed of Karvelas, who returned 4 for 35, wrapped up the innings in successive balls to send Sandwich reeling to 191 all out with ten overs unused – and leave himself on a hat-trick for the start of the next match.

Brothers During the Sandwich innings Sam Stickler picked up a hamstring injury, and Hugo Williams replaced him as substitute fielder. That meant all three Williams brothers [the others are Chris and Alex] were on the field in the same league match for the first time – and their father Mark is the club chairman. Chris Williams and Michael Waller

put on a steady 35 for the first wicket of the Wells reply before the former fell leg before wicket. The captain was the next to depart, missing a yorker, having registered 41 with seven boundaries. But Christian Davis was progressing securely by this stage. Alex Williams (21) then struck some delightful blows but he holed out at 127 to a well-taken catch in the deep, and it was left to Davis and Will Stickler to see the hosts to their target. They added a trouble-free 66 in a partnership marked by sensible running and calm stroke-play, during which time Davis moved to his second fifty of the campaign. His remained unbeaten on 69 off 115 deliveries and found the ropes on six occasions in an elegant innings as the target was reached on 193 for 3 with 10 overs to spare. Tunbridge Wells will look to put pressure on leaders Blackheath, four points ahead of them, when they visit Lordswood on Saturday [June 16].


Sport

Wednesday June 13 | 2018

St Gregory’s show futsal skills FUTSAL: ST GREGORY’S in Tunbridge Wells have reached the national finals of the FA Youth Futsal Cup. The school’s Under-14 boys played in the regional finals in Chichester last month. After topping their group they quickly went a goal down in the semi-final but dug deep and went on to win 2-1. In the final they faced very strong opposition but through their skill and determination they won 4-3. The national finals will take place in Birmingham on June 23. Futsal is a fast-paced variant of football played on a smaller, hard indoor surface, similar to five-a-side. There is an emphasis on technical skill and ability in high-pressure situations and so it is considered an excellent breeding ground for football skills for the 11-a-side game. The U-14s are part of St Gregory’s Football Academy, which has been a huge success over the past four years, giving both boys and girls the opportunity for specialist coaching through links with Gillingham FC. Last month teams in four successive year groups – including the Year 9 and 10 girls’ team – were crowned champions in the West Kent Schools’ Football Finals at Culverden Stadium, winning six out of seven finals. The school also has a brand new 3G playing surface so that matches can now be played all year round. But the Football Academy is not just about playing the beautiful game. All students in Year 7 take part in a programme called the ‘Edge’, which teaches skills essential for higher education, employment and life.

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Jenkins and men’s team hit the front on Romney Marsh By Julian Fussell

TOUCH AND TECHNIQUE: (L-R) Futsal finalists Sammy Nunes, Billy Kent, Ethan Hook, David Howie, Jack Balcombe and Joseph Tyrie The school designed a syllabus that lets students study different subject areas within the context of football. These include Skills From Brazil to help with literacy, Enterprise for numeracy and business, Football Remembers for history and Football And Religion for religious education. Noel Bradbury, Assistant Headteacher in charge of the Edge, said: “The beauty of the Football Academy is that it enables both boys and girls to learn and develop in an area they are passionate about. “To support our literacy programme we have close ties with Dan Freedman, author of the Jamie

Johnson series. Dan visits regularly to inspire young readers with his books, which have been featured on CBBC. “Students are involved with a numeracy and enterprise project to raise money for a trip to a professional club. Recent trips have been to FC Porto and Real Madrid.” While on these visits the pupils take part in training sessions with club coaches and matches against local teams, as well as enjoying first-team match days and cultural outings. Mr Bradbury has spoken at conferences in the United States to share the formula of the academy with schools and coaches there.

Bysouth takes Eastbourne’s steep challenge in his stride By Kieran Fitzpatrick TRIATHLON: RICHARD BYSOUTH of Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club produced a commanding display at the challenging Eastbourne Triathlon. Competitors had to battle strong currents during the 600m sea swim, with Bysouth exiting the water after 15 minutes battling the waves. The stunning 17.5km bike course tested the athletes’ legs up the iconic Beachy Head climb on to the South Downs. Bysouth was able to consolidate his position, recording the 15th fastest bike split of the day at 37 minutes.

completed the swim in a respectable 18min. The bike leg lived up to its reputation but Cook was delighted to finish in 1hr 46min. Jim and Su Bonner travelled to Oxfordshire with David and Amy Pay to race in the Blenheim Palace Bloodwise Triathlon. The event attracted over 4,000 athletes to race over sprint distance at this historic venue. Athletes completed a 750m lake swim in the heart of the grounds before a multi-lap format for the 20km bike and 5km run.

Notorious The race concluded with a 5km run up and down the notorious St Bede’s Hill. Bysouth held on to secure 25th place overall, seventh in Age Group, crossing the line in 1hr 22min. Graham Hubbard and Mark Poulton also represented Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club in the Veterans category. Hubbard gained an advantage with a strong swim and pressed on to finish in 1hr 35min. Poulton enjoyed a strong bike, closing the gap on the run, to cross the line a minute later. Dan Cook selected Eastbourne as his first ever triathlon and after SCENIC ROUTE: Jim Bonner, Su Bonner, Amy Pay, David Pay at the initially putting his borrowed picturesque Blenheim Palace sprint event wetsuit on back to front, he

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CYCLING: THE Southborough & District Wheelers riders were in recordbreaking form in the Kent Cycling Association 50-mile time trial held on Romney Marsh. Competing against a field of 72 riders and taking advantage of ideal race conditions, Pip Jenkins won the ladies’ competition and set a course record with her time of 2hr 10min 22sec – which was also a personal best [PB]. Rob Stephenson recorded a PB of 1hr 51min 30sec, and he was closely followed by Matt Kuwertz (1:53.17) Neil Couchman (1:55.41), with Doug Bentall finishing in 2:10.22. The times posted by Stephenson, Kuwertz and Couchman were all records for the Wheelers men’s team at the 50-mile distance. They beat the previous record, which

OVER THE LINE Rory Barrett (right) pips Keith Henderson to a podium place by 0.09sec

had stood since 1982, by more than 21 minutes and their form saw them scoop the fastest club team award. The event was won by Chris Fennell (The Independent Pedaler) in 1:41.37, which also set a course record. In the club’s criterium championship, held in the category 2/3/4 race at Cyclopark in Gravesend, Przemek Jersz, Rory Barrett and Keith Henderson had an eventful and competitive race.

Bunch sprint A seven-rider break eventually came down to a fiercely fought bunch sprint and a tight finish saw Barrett take third place overall, finishing 0.09sec ahead of fourth-placed Henderson to win the club championship. Hayden Tucker finished a credible 12th place in the category 4 race, while Jenkins came fifth in the ladies’ race.


Times of Tunbridge Wells 13th June 2018  
Times of Tunbridge Wells 13th June 2018