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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED Times LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

EDITORIAL COMMENT

THIS newspaper has, along with many others, been deeply concerned over the past several months about personal attacks on social media against individuals who might be in favour of the planned Calverley Square development. Opposing the idea of a new theatre and civic complex is the sole reason for the creation of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance political party, which in May won seats on the borough council. The Alliance leader on the council is Nick Pope. The party’s chairman is Robert Chris. Both have vested interests in Calverley Square. Cllr Pope’s wife bought a nearby apartment when he knew about the planned development. Mr Chris later bought a flat in the same block. Cllr Pope is most prolific on social media, generating 67,000 tweets to date – more than President Trump at 43,000. He has also posted details of

Tory councillors he plans to target in the next elections if they vote the wrong way, ie. in favour of Calverley Square. Mr Chris hijacked a meeting of the borough council last month when he spoke seven times from the pubIic gallery and shouted comments at a member speaking in favour of Calverley Square. He also issued a press release claiming the council owned a share of the police station site. Kent Police, the Land Registry and the borough council say that’s untrue. Against this background the Times has been looking at trolling on social media and fake news. As part of that investigation Chief Reporter Richard Williams sent Mr Chris

an email with relevant questions. Instead of replying, Mr Chris handed it to one of his online activists, named in the email, who immediately posted it on social media. Within hours there had been more than 100 comments on Facebook and Twitter about Richard Williams. Not all were complimentary. One used the word ‘vile’ and suggested Richard Williams was ‘rather dim’. The National Union of Journalists told the Times: “It is simply not acceptable for a journalist to be harassed because of their job. “Politicians are supposed to be accountable to the community they serve and should therefore answer questions put to them by local journalists.”

IN ALLIANCE Cllr Nick Pope (left) and Robert Chris

When freedom of speech enables you to establish a new political party then that’s great and as it should be. But with that comes a level of responsibility that you have to accept. Passing on a media inquiry without restrictions on its use is a blatant

‘It is simply not acceptable for a journalist to be harassed because of their job’ National Union of Journalists

breach of accepted protocol by the Chair of a political party, and can only be interpreted as an attempt, by whichever route, to intimidate. Alliance supporters have also suggested that both readers and advertisers boycott this newspaper. Presumably another attempt to intimidate. This Times, though, will not be intimidated. And by the way, those questions we put to Robert Chris remain unanswered.

Continued on page 2

Watchdog fears housing plan may mean town becomes a ‘commuter dormitory’ BY Holly Stafford THE Draft Local Plan that aims to provide 13,500 new homes across the borough in the coming years could turn Tunbridge Wells into a ‘commuter dormitory’. That’s the warning this week from the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, who act as conservationists for the town’s history and architecture.

The chairman, Brian Lippard, said: “We see a basic problem in the council’s obligation to plan for large quantities of housing while their ability to decide on what and where is severely limited. “This has the effect of pushing up land prices and enabling developers to argue they can’t afford to build affordable housing. “The result is to make all housing in

Tunbridge Wells more expensive, and risk making the town a commuter dormitory.” He said the society wanted to see much more affordable and social housing being built both within the town and in the borough.” Mr Lippard also warned that the ‘long-term squeeze’ of council budgets and loss of skilled and experienced

staff from the Town Hall is making the council less democratic. He said they had recently discussed with the council difficulties in handling planning applications, and the tendency for even major applications to be decided by officers rather than the elected councillors.

See also pages 4-5


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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

this week… Politicians are supposed to be accountable to the community they serve says the NUJ

JOBSWORTH Recruiter Neil Simmons says record employment is making it hard to find and retain staff p8 GREAT ESCAPE The town’s first immersive escape room opens its doors – we dare you p34

THE National Union of Journalists has this week warned that online abuse of reporters has become a major issue. It was responding to the leaking of an email that was sent as a media query from the Chief Reporter of the Times, Richard Williams, to the chairman of a local political party – Robert Chris of Tunbridge Wells Alliance. The party was established with a single remit, to stop the building of the council’s £90million Calverley Square project that includes a theatre and civic complex. Plans to develop it on the edge of Calverley Grounds have been halted

after the Tories lost overall control of the borough council in May. Alliance supporters are critical, particularly on social media, of anyone who speaks out in favour of Calverley Square. The email to Robert Chris, who lives next door to the proposed site, was part of an ongoing investigation into abuse on social media and fake news. It was later posted online and led to more than 100 tweets and Facebook comments being critical of Richard Williams. A spokesperson for the NUJ said this type of

online abuse has become a major issue for journalists. She told the Times: “It is simply not acceptable for a journalist to be harassed because of their job. “Politicians are supposed to be accountable to the community they serve and should therefore answer questions put to them by local journalists.” She added that posting details such as phone numbers online without permission was also a breach of data protection. “Those responsible must take down the information from social media,” she insisted.

Founding members of the Alliance… CALL TO ACTION: These are the people who launched the new party called Tunbridge Wells Alliance in October 2017. Back row (l-r): Robert Chris (retired accountant), Ben Chapelard (Liberal Democrat councillor), unnamed, Ben Van Grutten (event producer) and James Tansley (civil servant). Front row (l-r): Nick Pope (then Friends of Calverley Grounds), Ellen Kent (who worked in advertising) Chris Gedge (economist and Save Our Park), unnamed. It is not known how many remain members.

PIGGING OUT Keep the kids happy when Peppa Pig and friends come to the Assembly Hall p36

SPORTING CHANCE Tonbridge Juddians sign England rugby prospect Jack Nay ahead of the new campaign p47

CONTACTS EDITORIAL DIRECTOR RICHARD MOORE richard@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk | 01892 779615 DEPUTY EDITOR EILEEN LEAHY eileen@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk | 01892 576037 CHIEF REPORTER RICHARD WILLIAMS richardwilliams@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk | 01892 240626 DESIGN/PRODUCTION LEE SMITH lsmith8@markerstudy.com SALES ENQUIRIES GHak@onemediauk.co.uk | 01892 779650 FIND US ONLINE facebook.com/timeslocalnews timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk twitter.com/timeslocalnews

Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0TF

CLARIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS HERE at the Times of Tonbridge 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 David Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0TF, or email newsdesk@timesoftonbridge.co.uk Markerstudy Leisure is a trading name of One Media and Creative UK Limited registered in England and Wales under company number 5398960 with registered office at 45 Westerham Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2QB.

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This was the original email that Chief Reporter Richard Williams sent to Alliance Chair Robert Chris… Hi Robert, just got a few quick questions I hope you wouldn’t mind answering. Do you personally supply/ highlight public domain council documents you think would make good political arguments for the Tunbridge Wells Alliance to the anonymous Twitter account @ Twellsense run by, among other people, Francis Harris? Does Francis Harris work for the Tunbridge Wells Alliance in any official or unofficial capacity, such as writing press releases, writing leaflets or anything else construed as political activism on behalf of the party? Was Francis Harris [or anybody else] operating the Twellsense account in co-operation with the Tunbridge Wells Alliance during the registration period (six weeks prior) to the last local election? The email was posted on social media and generated more than 100 tweets and Facebook comments including these…

The social media ‘trolling’ of Richard Williams led to this Open Letter being sent to Robert Chris from Richard Williams… Dr Chris, as discussed on the phone, I am extremely disappointed that you, in your capacity as Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance, decided to leak correspondence between ourselves to a third party and allowed its publication online, in what I can only assume is either a deliberate act to intimidate a journalist to prevent him asking questions, or an act of wilful ignorance. Regardless, the consequence is the same. My questions to you, a registered political party, were an attempt to establish that underhand online activities are or are not being used in the process of our democracy and elections. Your actions have now answered that question. Publication of this email online is a reprehensible tort between the relationship between a journalist and a point of contact at a political party. Whether you did or didn’t intend the outcome of this to encourage social media ‘dog piling’ [co-ordinating abuse against

political opponents] or ‘trolling’ [creating discord on the internet] – tactics that the Tunbridge Wells Alliance has been accused of before – especially in the hounding of female councillors – is immaterial. You do not have the defence of ignorance. Because of this, while you continue to be Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance, I will no longer be able to accept, ask for, or receive any comment or statement from you. This means as a political party, you have vetoed your right to reply on any political story written by me, whether it concerns the Tunbridge Wells Alliance or not. As I informed you on the phone, while you may not like the editorial line of the newspaper I work for, or like what we write, we have a free press in this country, and attempts to disrupt that will always be fought. All political parties, whether in governance or not, need to be held to account. Yours is no different. Due to your actions, I feel

this is no longer possible while you remain chairman. A copy of this letter has been forwarded to the National Union of Journalists, as well as representatives of all political parties in Tunbridge Wells. Kind regards, Richard Williams This is the response to that letter… Dear Richard, you sent me an email asking three questions all related to Francis Harris. It is entirely reasonable that I referred them to him to ensure an accurate response. Your email contained no sensitive information and there was nothing in it to suggest that it was in any way privileged. That Francis chose to make your email public is a matter for him. Regards Robert Chris Chairman Robert Chris has so far still not answered the original questions…


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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Couple who ran brothels forced to repay £50,000

Missing teenager found A MAJOR search for an 18-year-old boy who went missing on Sunday [August 11] came to a close when the teenager was found the next day safe and well by Kent Police. Rescue teams had searched drain pipes while a helicopter circled over Tunbridge Wells as concerns grew for the safety of William Bernardo. The student at Uplands Community College in Wadhurst had been reported missing after he was last seen entering an area of woodland off Eridge Road on Sunday evening. A Kent Police spokesman said: “Many thanks to everyone who helped with our earlier appeal.”

Transplant boy dies CHARLIE GRIST, the Southborough boy who had suffered from leukaemia since 2015, has died three months after having a bone transplant. He received three years of treatment but relapsed at the end of last year. The Southbrough Primary School pupil was also a member of Southborough Cubs and Tunbridge Wells Taekwon-Do and played football for the Tunbridge Wells Youth Under-13 Eagles.

NEWS

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Friends help to raise £7,000 within hours in memory of dentist killed in car crash

NEWS IN BRIEF

A MAN and a woman responsible for operating brothels in Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone have been ordered to pay back more than £50,000 to Kent Police under the Proceeds of Crime Act. John Huggett, 46, and Phimlaphat Ratanankul, 37, were given suspended sentences at Canterbury Crown Court for running prostitution rings in both towns. Huggett was ordered to pay £46,978 to Kent Police and Ratanankul £7,439. The pair were arrested in 2016. Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said: “If they fail to comply with the order, they will have to serve prison sentences of four months and a year, respectively. “Following this they will still have to pay back the money. “The Proceeds of Crime Act remains one of our biggest weapons against those who fund a lifestyle from crime.” The act provides for the confiscation or civil recovery of profits from crime and contains the principal money-laundering legislation in the UK.

Local News

By Robert Forrester

Lonely Planet names Bedgebury as one of the ‘most unmissable sights’ By Richard Williams TOP travel guide the Lonely Planet has released its first ever list of the nation’s most ‘memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling sights’ – and it includes our own ‘local gems’. For the first time, the travel media company has chosen the UK’s best sights and experiences and ranked them in ‘order of their brilliance’. The top 500 ‘unmissable sights’ featured in the ‘Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist’ published yesterday [Tuesday] include 34 from across the South East. Leading the way for the region is Bonfire Night in Lewes, which makes the list at No 31. Lonely Planet says: “Nowhere else in the UK celebrates Bonfire Night quite like this small East Sussex town, which becomes something of a full-blown riot each year.” Other must-see attractions and experiences

include Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which is mid-table, ranking 250th out of the UK’s top 500 sights. Bedgebury Pinetum (above), the arboretum in Goudhurst and once the home of Britain’s tallest tree, comes in at No 331, while the stained glass windows at All Saints Church (pictured below), decorated by Russian modernist Marc Chagall, just makes the list at 498. Wider afield, Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters cliffs near Eastbourne are noted as ‘one of the south’s most memorable spectacles’ while Whitstable’s famous Oyster Festival makes the list at No 92, just before ‘eerie’ and ‘bleakly beautiful’ Dungeness at 110. The UK’s most unmissable attraction is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes the top spot in the list, staking its claim because ‘the Fringe floods the city with art and nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale’. To create the Lonely Planet Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, the travel media company say they compiled every highlight from the past Lonely Planet guidebooks that had caught the attention of Lonely Planet’s writers and 20 leading figures in the country’s travel sector. Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience, Tom Hall, said: “Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist brings together the UK’s most compelling sights and experiences, ranging from world-class museums and giant cathedrals to rollicking festivals, inky lochs and tiny pubs. “With rolling chalk hills, Victorian seaside, fairy tale castles and fine food and drink, South East England has something for everyone, so it’s only right that a good number of the region’s wonderful offerings feature among our favourites.”

FAMILY, friends and patients of a Tunbridge Wells dentist who died in a road accident raised more than £7,000 in his memory in a matter of hours. Subhash Pai, 38, died when his black Audi Q7 struck the central barrier on the A21. He was driving along the Pembury bypass towards his dental practice in St Leonards-on-sea during heavy rain that broke last month’s heatwave. Police, firefighters, paramedics and an air ambulance, were called but Dr Pai was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation has been launched by the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) and officers are appealing for any witnesses. An inquest into his death found that Dr Pai died as a result of a penetrative chest trauma. It was adjourned for further reports to be gathered. The father-of-one (pictured below) worked as a dentist at Chapel Park Dentistry where he had practiced for more than 11 years. A relative, Ananth Pai, set up an online fundraising page in memory of Dr Pai with the money going towards helping support the dentist’s wife and four-year-old daughter. It reads: “A hardworking dentist residing in Tunbridge Wells, Subhash was en-route to his practice, when he met with a fatal accident on the A21 near Tunbridge Wells. “The horrifying accident occurred along the Pembury bypass, when his car collided with the roadside fencing.” It continued: “Subhash’s wife – a non-working, full-time mother of a little girl – now faces the daunting task of arranging the funeral and transporting the body to India for his family to participate in the last rites. “Her financial safety net was her husband, and now with this irreplaceable void in her life, she must shoulder the responsibility of taking care of herself and also their daughter’s education and upbringing. “We are hoping to raise £4,000 to help with funeral arrangements and to ease Subhash’s wife and daughter to start life afresh. Every little helps.” That target was met as patients, friends and colleagues raised more than £7,000 within hours of the GoFundMe page going live.


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More affordable and social housing needs to be built across the borough

Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Society only against ‘harmful proposals’ THE Civic Society is not automatically opposed to all new developments – just some. “It is sometimes said the Society is against development, but actually, we aim to strengthen the hand of the council in resisting harmful proposals,” said society chairman Brian Lippard.

Preservation

TAKING A SOCIAL STAND Brian Lippard

By Holly Stafford THE watchdog organisation that acts as conservationists for local history and architecture says Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s draft Local Plan risks turning the town into ‘a commuter dormitory’. The Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, which this year marks its 60th anniversary, says the council’s obligation to build more than 13,500 across the borough will push up land prices and lead to a lack of affordable homes in the town. The current chairman of the Society, Brian Lippard, said: “The main problems we face are not to do with the council leadership or with our MP, with both of whom we have good relations and regular meetings. “We see a basic problem in the council’s obligation to plan for large quantities of housing while their ability to decide on what and where is severely limited. “This has the effect of pushing up land prices

and enabling developers to argue they can’t afford to build affordable housing. “The result is to make all housing in Tunbridge Wells more expensive, and risk making the town a commuter dormitory.” Mr Lippard continued: “Regarding housing, we want to see much more affordable and social housing being built both within the town and in the borough.”

‘Employment has remained static while the population has increased by 25 per cent’ He went on to say that the ‘long term squeeze’ of council budgets and loss of skilled and experienced staff from the Town Hall is making the council less democratic. He said: “We have recently discussed with the

council their difficulties in handling planning applications, and the tendency for even major applications to be decided by officers rather than the elected councillors.” And he added that there has also been a loss of employment opportunities over the last 20 years, which too threatens the town. “Since 2000, employment in Tunbridge Wells has remained static while the population has increased by 25 per cent. “We argue for more powers for the council to resist this, and also more use by the council of its existing powers to improve the environment and provide infrastructure,” he argued. Mr Lippard explains that the group takes a specific interest in planning applications that affect the town centre. He said: “We operate a campaigning side which is led by an Executive Committee of up to 12 people. Currently it includes two practising architects and a retired town planner, so I don’t think we lack for expertise.”

He said that out of around 1,300 planning applications submitted to the council each year, the Society comment on around 100. “We are not about preserving things for the sake of it but we feel there are certain jewels which so benefit the town that they must not be lost,” he said, adding: “The Pantiles and Common are obvious candidates. Where else can you find such delights? “I would also add our splendid public parks and the absence of high rise buildings which would otherwise spoil the panoramic views from such vantage points as the junction of London Road and Mount Ephraim.” He points to The Church of King Charles the Martyr, the Grade I listed building dated to 1676 which was dedicated to the then reigning monarch and was the first substantial building constructed in the town. “Only with a buoyant economy can it thrive,” added Mr Lippard. “To quote John Betjeman, we want architects to build beautifully rather than beautifying buildings. “To this end, we hope developers will involve relevant groups such as the Civic Society in the early stages of their planning and design.”

HISTORIC BEAUTY Church of King Charles the Martyr


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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TOWN’S CENTRE PIECE Church of King Charles

PILLAR OF STRENGTH Church of King Charles

Half a century of change THE Civic Society’s chairman Brian Lippard arrived in Tunbridge Wells around 50 years ago, and says in that time he has seen the town change for the better. “The prospect of living in a nice town, not having to commute but being near London was too great to refuse,” he said, explaining why he came in the first place. He continued: “My conclusion when comparing Tunbridge Wells in the 1970s to now, is that it is better than it was.” “Back in the 70s, The Pantiles was looking more and more forlorn. It took action from the council, Speyhawk [a property developer] and pressure from the Civic Society to rejuvenate the area. “With the development of the café culture and the assistance of Target Follow, The Pantiles is now a joy to visit. “In the town centre, the Royal Victoria Place replaced what resembled a very large bomb site. Camden Road had and still has a unique charm. I hope it continues as a group of small shops rather than reverting to residential.” Mr Lippard has been a member of the Civic Society for nearly 30 years, but admits he has

only been really active for the last few years. “It was my wife’s idea for us to join the Civic Society in 1986,” he recalled. “I have to confess that it wasn’t until eight years ago that I started to pay real attention to what was happening in the town.” Mr Lippard, who is currently writing a book on the town between 1935 and 2000, explained what the Civic Society get up to when they are not looking at planning issues. “We take part in talks, outings and have an annual summer party,” explained Mr Lippard. “We also have a small Local History Group who produce articles for our quarterly newsletter and have produced many books on both the town and prominent people who have lived and/or are buried here.” He added that for their jubilee celebrations they have produced a short booklet covering the Society’s achievements in its 60 years of existence and a copy has been given to every member. “And at our recent annual garden party we had a special commemorative cake which was cut by the Mayor and distributed to guests,” he said.

SOCIETY HELPED PRESERVE Trinity Theatre building

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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

How adapting to legislation brought family solicitors to Tunbridge Wells By Richard Williams A LAW firm specialising in employment tribunals that faced a 90 per cent cut in clients due to government legislation decided to diversify and become a family solicitors in Tunbridge Wells. Neill Thomas, Managing Partner of Thomas Mansfield, based on Mount Pleasant Road, says the firm started out in London, providing legal advice for employers and employees. “Everything was going well until 2014,” recalled Mr Thomas. “Then the government introduced a fee for employment tribunals of £1,250.” While the legislation was later overturned by the Supreme Court in 2017, at the time it had an immediate effect on the firm’s business.

Personal “The introduction of it had more than the desired effect for the government in that it reduced the number of employment tribunals by 90 per cent, so it had a major impact on us as a business,” said Mr Thomas. The employment lawyer, who is originally from North Wales, says he got the idea to branch out because of living in Tunbridge Wells. “I’ve always lived locally, near to Tunbridge Wells, and I always thought a family lawyers in the town would do very well,” he said. He continued: “While there are some big law firms here, they seem to be everything to everybody and there wasn’t really a personal family law practice. “So I decided to branch out into family law.” He hired Kent family law specialist Susi Gillespie to head up the department and then went about creating a website. “I was advised to just add a family law page on to the firm’s existing website, but that was advice

‘The practice now has seven family lawyers, and Neill Thomas believes the success is down to their personal approach’

I happily ignored. I decided to create an entirely new website, and it has proved the right decision because we quickly became very busy.” The practice now has seven family lawyers, and Mr Thomas believes the success is down to their personal approach. “Nobody wants to see a lawyer,” Mr Thomas admitted. “It is normally when you are going through a difficult time. They are stressed people. You have to empathise with clients, and I think we have become well known for this.” The company has earned a five-star rating on the website Trust Pilot, with scores of reviews from satisfied clients. And he says he also owes much of the success to the practice’s current location. He said: “Being in the centre of Tunbridge Wells really helps. As does having a specific family law website. And it also helps having a really good local newspaper in the town like the Times.” He added that the solicitors now offer a complete family, employment and private client service in Tunbridge Wells, helping people to deal with issues ranging from separation and divorce to unfair dismissal, wills and probate.

FRAUD SQUAD Kent’s KIN team

Top award for Kent anti-fraud initiative that reclaimed over £450k in rate relief A KENT-wide partnership set up to combat fraud and corruption in the county has won a national award after it successfully reclaimed thousands of pounds in false business rate relief payments. The Kent Intelligence Network [KIN] has all the local authorities in Kent signed up as members, including Kent County Council, as well as Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling borough councils. The network has been working on an initiative to clamp down on false claims made for Small Business Rate Relief [SBRR] across the county.

Validate

PERSONAL TOUCH Managing Partner Neill Thomas

The KIN uses a system called ‘HUB’ that pools together all business ratepayer data published individually by each authority – the first software system of its kind to consolidate all business rates data in this way. The system, supplied by Prestonbased Destin Solutions, has led to the rebilling of £456,697 due to

incorrect or fraudulent SBRR claims. Its success has now been recognised at this year’s ALARM Risk Awards conference, held in Manchester, for the Best Initiative in Combatting Fraud. Recent figures reported that business rates accounted for the largest growing area of fraud in local government, with figures more than doubling from £4.3million in the financial year ending in 2017 up to £10.4million in 2018. Nick Scott, Operations Manager at KIN, said: “Kent councils had no mechanisms in place to carry out checks to confirm the application met the rates relief qualifying criteria, so, consequently, awards were made purely on the basis of the circumstances declared. “With the introduction of HUB, the KIN now has the ability to validate all rates relief awards across the whole of Kent. “The majority of ratepayers claim relief correctly, but HUB has shown that there are a minority who are gaining a financial advantage by not declaring their true circumstances.”


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Record employment rate leaves local businesses fighting over candidates By Richard Williams

Why does my watch need to be serviced? This is a question that we are asked often here at David Carpenter as our on-site, fully accredited luxury watch service centre forms the central part of our business, newly established in the high street of Tunbridge Wells. A mechanical watch has many moving parts, all of which require various lubricants to ensure that the friction that they are subjected to does not cause lasting damage. A mechanical watch service consists of complete disassembly, the checking of each component in detail, ultrasonically cleaning and then re-applying these lubricants to microscopic detail. This process should be carried out every 4-5 years to keep the watch in optimum working order and to prevent lasting damage which could eventually render the watch in need of a far greater level of work. Quartz or battery-operated watches also require servicing for many of the same reasons. Although powered by a battery, there are still wheels and gears that are subjected to wear through friction and it is the increase of friction that will result in the battery draining faster than it should. Whereas a battery would be changed every 3-4 years, the watch will require servicing after two or maybe three battery changes. Included in the price of a service we fully disassemble the case to replace all necessary seals and refurbish the case sympathetically. I use this term as often it is not advised that a case be “over polished” as to do so can leave it losing its originality. This is down to customer preference, so we act on advisement from the owner. If you feel your timepiece is in need of a little attention, then please visit us at David Carpenter, where we will appraise it free of charge and give you all available options to return it to you in full working order. All work is covered by our two-year warranty. Please visit us at David Carpenter, 16 high Street, Tunbridge Wells.

David Carpenter, 16 high Street, Tunbridge Wells. 01892 481 060 info@david-carpenter.co.uk davidcarpenterwatches.com

THE job market in Tunbridge Wells is being turned on its head as employers struggle to both hire and retain staff due to record employment figures. Nationally, more people are in work than ever before, with recent employment figures recording 32.7 million in paid work. While this is good news for those seeking work, it means businesses trying to employ people face a long and difficult task to find the right candidates. “It is very much a candidate-led market now,” confirmed Neil Simmons, who runs local recruitment firm TN Recruits. He said jobseekers have a lot more choice and Neil this has Simmons changed

the dynamic between jobseekers and employers. “Employers are used to interviewing candidates, but they should also be pitching their business. “It is really important that candidates know what the opportunity is. “You also have to think about things such as flexible working – that is becoming more important now – and I have clients that hold a monthly barbecue for their employees. Things like that help to keep and attract candidates,” he added. Mr Simmons, who arranges around 30 job interviews for some of the 5,000 candidates on his database each week, said employers simply cannot just throw extra money at employees or candidates to retain or fill vacancies.

THE EMPLOYER’S STORY Victoria Usher, Managing Director of PR Agency GingerMay, said there is a generational difference between employees, with the younger ‘Millennials’ displaying a ‘wanderlust’ that makes retention difficult. “It can take six months to a year to find somebody, hire them, and for them to work out their notice and begin work. “Then we invest a lot of money training them, so we have to find ways to encourage them to stay,” added Mrs Usher, who employs around 50 people in both her Tunbridge Wells and London offices. “In London, the biggest issue is retention, but there is a much bigger talent pool than in Tunbridge Wells. “Here, the story around what local businesses can offer people has to change,” she said. “The younger generation, the Millennials, are very different to older people. “You have to have a completely different

‘When you ask candidates what is important to them, the responses are varied. While money is often in the mix, varied roles, opportunities to grow, training, and the feeling that they are being invested in and listened to by employers is all very important’

“It is not just about money any more,” he said. “When you ask candidates what is important to them, the responses are varied. While money is often in the mix, varied roles, opportunities to grow, training, and the feeling that they are being invested in and listened to by employers is all very important to candidates now.”

Fantastic For Tunbridge Wells’ businesses, one of the biggest challenges for employers is the town’s location. “The bright lights of London are very attractive, but employers should be promoting the fact that working in Tunbridge Wells means you do not have to suffer that commute,” he said. He added: “We also have some fantastic employers in Tunbridge Wells – some really big employers such as AXA, Markerstudy, Childrensalon, and also a lot of really great SMEs that are providing excellent opportunities.”

THE CANDIDATE’S STORY

approach because they have a very different criteria.” She said simply offering competitive salaries was not enough for retention. The key was ‘empowering’ and ‘emboldening’ younger employees.

Issues “This is absolutely massive,” she explained. “It is so important to give them social perks – flexible working, ensuring they go home on time.” She added that GingerMay offer ‘training passports’ to give employees clear visibility of their progression. “We also provide coaches who are independent and come in and work with them to find out what issues they have. “These can be tiny things, but they can sit and stew on them and they can become magnified, so we try to embolden them to raise any issues so that we can iron them out,” added Mrs Usher. Victoria Usher

Web developer Nicola Billing loved her job in London but was ‘sick’ of the commute, so decided to look closer to home for work. The 25 year old, who is from Tunbridge Wells, said: “I was commuting, so getting up early and getting back late. “I used to come in of an evening, make my dinner and then go to bed. I did not have much of a work-life balance.” She explained that while her salary in London was higher, by the time she worked out her commuting costs working closer to home made more sense financially. She now works at Run Digital, a web design company based in Church Road in the town. “I took a little pay cut, but when you work out the cost of the train, the position I am in now actually works out better financially.

“I also have so much more time. In the evenings now I can go to the cinema with my boyfriend or go out for dinner. I couldn’t do that before,” she explained. She added that working in a small team was also important for her when she was seeking a new employer. “This company is small and friendly, so the working environment is great. “Even when I worked in London I worked in a small team, so I had a lot of involvement, which his very important.” She continued: “But really, for me it comes down to ensuring you feel you will get on with the people you work with, and feel comfortable in the workspace.”

Nicola Billing

Law school award for Cripps’ apprenticeship programme A LEADING university has recognised a Tunbridge Wells law firm’s apprenticeship programme with an award one year after it began. Law School BPP University named Cripps Pemberton Greenish ‘Small/ Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year’ for its paralegal apprenticeship scheme at its annual awards ceremony this year. The BPP Apprentice of the Year awards recognise talent across a range of industry sectors, including law, tax and accountancy, banking and nursing, highlighting employers across the UK that have ‘gone the extra mile throughout an apprenticeship’. Over 850 employers were invited to

take part in the awards, with categories including Apprentice of the Year, Employer of the Year, Apprentice Champion of the Year, and Inclusion and Diversity Champion. Cripps’ paralegal apprenticeship scheme was only launched in 2018, as Gavin Tyler, Managing Partner at the law firm, explained. “As one of the first businesses in Kent to launch a scheme of this kind, we are incredibly proud to win this award. “We launched our apprenticeship scheme last year as a pilot, and so far it has been a huge success. “So much so, that we have made the decision to take on a new intake, who will be joining us in September.”

LEGAL LEARNERS: Apprentices at Cripps Pemberton Greenish


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Recruitment firm wants to make Taylor Made Dreams come true

PHOTO: Matt Harquail

RUB OF THE GREEN: Studio44 staff and guests enjoy the Nevill sunshine for their annual golf day

Studio44 keep driving hard to raise funds for hospice ellenor MORE than £4,000 was raised for the Kent hospice ellenor at a golf day hosted by Studio44 at the Nevill Golf Club in Tunbridge Wells. Around 75 golfers took part in the fourth annual charity event hosted by the digital agency, which included a dinner, raffle and auction. ellenor is the only charity offering hospice care to children in their own homes, allowing families to spend more time together. Director Doug Rubashow said: “Everyone seemed to have a fantastic day, with all golfers enjoying the golf and fantastic meal put on by caterers Purple Pumpkin. “This is the fourth year we have run this day in support of the wonderful ellenor charity, and it’s a charity we’re so pleased to be partnered with. “The work they do is outstanding and they make such an enormous difference to the lives of so many families. We’re excited to be doing more work to support them moving forward.” He added: “We are also enormously grateful to the businesses and golf club members who supported the day by either playing or

Wednesday August 14 | 2019

donating prizes – and of course contributing to the atmosphere.” The charity’s Senior Area Fundraiser, Charlotte Ball, said: “ellenor would like to thank Studio44 and all that took part in this year’s annual golf day.

Challenge “We are extremely grateful for their continued support year on year helping to raise vital funds and continuing to help raise awareness.” Studio44 will also be sponsoring ellenor’s 2019 Accumulator Challenge, in which companies are given a £50 note and four months to find ways of increasing it as much as they can. Charlotte said: “The Accumulator Challenge encourages local organisations to take part and work alongside each other to continue fundraising efforts to help make a real difference to the children and families we support.” For more information about the charity, visit ellenor.org

conductor for the day if that is their goal.” LOCAL employment agency TN Recruits has She added: “We also source and financially aid formed a partnership with charity Taylor Made the families with professional counsellors and Dreams to help children with life-limiting illnesses to realise their bucket lists. Based in Crowborough, Taylor Made Dreams ‘Giving back to our local was founded by Suzi Mitchell in 2012 after she helped her son Taylor to fulfil his own bucket list. community is something TN Recruits decided to partner with a charity all of us feel strongly about’ after launching its branch in the borough of Tonbridge & Malling, ME Recruits, last year based holistic therapists to support their emotional on the success of its original model. wellbeing in sensitive and difficult circumstances. Managing Director Neil Simmons said: “One of “The support of businesses like TN Recruits the first things we wanted to sort when we scaled will enable us to reach more children’s goals and up was our own charity partnership. support more families. “Giving back to our local community is “We met Neil through Business Network something all of us feel strongly about, and the International, which demonstrates the power of story behind Taylor Made Dreams, together with local business networks in helping each other out its amazing work, perfectly matches our business for the greater good.” values of commitment, passion and empathy. For more information about the charity, visit The TN Recruits team has already raised £1,830 taylormadedreams.net for the charity after participating in the Crazy Jean’s Soapbox Race this summer. Suzi said: “We are thrilled that TN Recruits has decided to support Taylor Made Dreams for its charity partnership. “This sort of support is vital to being able to carry out our mission statement to help children with life-limiting illnesses carry out their bespoke wishes, while also being there for the families. “We are proud to have helped many of our children go on once-in-a-lifetime DREAM TEAM: TN Recruits Managing Director Neil Simmons with holidays, meet their celebrity Suzi Mitchell, founder of Taylor Made Dreams idols, or even become a bus


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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Doctor with tumour rallies fight in ‘last battleground against cancer’ By Andy Tong andy@timesoftonbridge.co.uk A DOCTOR who specialises in neurology has gone to Westminster to campaign about awareness of brain tumours – a condition from which he suffers himself. Tonbridge resident Dr Neil Bindemann attended the annual general meeting of the influential AllParty Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours [APPGBT]. The 53 year old is part of a team of political campaigners working with the charity Brain Tumour Research. Neil runs the Primary Care and Community Neurology Society [P-CNS], which he set up in 2004. He underwent urgent brain surgery in 2015 when a tumour was discovered during an MRI scan at King’s College Hospital in London. He was diagnosed with a pineocytoma brain tumour, which led to life-threatening pressure build-up known as hydrocephalus. A scan in 2018 showed the tumour was still growing, and Neil took the decision to start the ketogenic diet. A year later, in March, a further scan showed the growth had been halted. The APPGBT meeting discussed how the ketogenic diet and new surgical techniques can be used to target tumour growth and also control seizures in brain tumour patients. Neil offered his experience as part of a campaign to encourage more funding into researching the role of the ketogenic diet. Representatives of the ketogenic dietary therapy charity Matthew’s Friends spoke about their work in supporting brain tumour patients using the diet to manage symptoms.

Limited Also attending the event were patients, carers, researchers and representatives of other charities, including Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet, historically, only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to it.

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MP visits Dolphin Centre to discover advances in ASD TUNBRIDGE WELLS MP Greg Clark visited the Dolphin Centre in the town to find out more about support given to children and young people. The centre hosts a variety of clinics with paediatricians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and specialist nurse advisors. Mr Clark wanted to find out about the help given to those with autism spectrum disorder [ASD]. Dr Joseph Kalegis talked Mr Clark through the challenges facing children with the condition. With a high demand for assessment nationwide, he learned about improvements that have been made to waiting lists for local children with ASD issues to be diagnosed. The Kent Community Foundation Trust has centralised its administration and improved signposting for referrals. The Trust has commissioned external providers to support the service so that all those who were on a backlog list were seen by the end of July.

SUPPORT AND ACTION Dr Neil Bindemann outside Parliament

New surgical methods were examined too, among them a non-invasive scanning technique which allows surgeons to map the regions of the brain around a tumour so that it can be removed while sparing healthy tissue.

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Neil said: “There are currently limited options for brain tumour patients, but given my neurosciences and immunology background I am aware of a few research papers suggesting a role for diet in tackling cancer, and in particular the ketogenic diet for brain tumours, as well as developments in new surgical techniques. “Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed survive beyond five years, as compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers. “It is imperative that we continue to call for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.” For more details, visit braintumourresearch.org

FACT-FINDING MP Greg Clark with speech and language therapist Lyndsey Tilley


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Hearing set to stop suspension of Parliament A JUDGE has agreed to fast-track a hearing on whether the Prime Minister Boris Johnson can legally suspend Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit. Campaigners including more than 70 MPs and peers filed a petition at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to attempt to stop Mr Johnson from being able to ‘prorogue’ Parliament. Judge Lord Raymond Doherty set the date of the substantive hearing for Friday September 6 – in what is set to be a tumultuous week in Westminster. MPs will return from their summer break on September 3, and Labour could call a confidence vote in the Government any day that week. The following day, the Government will provide a progress report on power-sharing in Northern Ireland. A source said Downing Street anticipated that Monday September 9 – when MPs are likely to discuss the report – could be the first major legislative showdown over no-deal.

£500,000 payout for Salmond case THE Scottish Government confirmed it has paid £512,250 in legal costs to Alex Salmond after a court ruled its handling of complaints made against him was ‘unlawful’. The former First Minister launched legal action against the Scottish Government in August 2018 to contest the complaints process activated against him in relation to sexual harassment allegations, which Mr Salmond (pictured below) has denied. At a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in January, judge Lord Pentland said the Government’s actions had been ‘unlawful in respect that they were procedurally unfair’ and were ‘tainted with apparent bias’. The Scottish Government admitted it had breached its own guidelines by appointing an investigating officer who had ‘prior involvement’ in the case.

SEARCH MISSION Nora Quoirin went missing on August 4

Body of Nora found in forest near resort A BODY found in a forest in Malaysia has been identified as that of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin, who went missing while on holiday. The London teenager, who had special needs, disappeared from the jungle destination of Dusun on August 4. Rescuers found the body next to a small stream, 1.6 miles from the resort. A post-mortem examination is due to take place today [Wednesday] to determine the cause of death.

Almost 350 people were deployed in the search operation on Monday National deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor said the body ‘was not in any clothings’ and said while it remained a missing persons case, officers were looking into all possibilities including the ‘angle of criminal investigation’. The huge search and rescue team received a call from a member of the public about the sighting near a waterfall at around 1pm yesterday. Almost 350 people had been deployed in the operation on Monday, according to Malaysia’s Malay Mail newspaper. Previously, search crews looking for

Nora played her mother’s voice in the dense Malaysian forest near where she disappeared. Nora was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly. Her parents said her condition meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking. The Lucie Blackman Trust, set up after a missing woman from Sevenoaks was found dead in Japan in 2000, is handling media for the Quoirin family. The organisation, which supports British nationals who are in crisis overseas, said: “The Lucie Blackman Trust can confirm with great sadness that the body found today is that of missing teenager Nora Quoirin. “Local police have confirmed identification. Please respect the family and do not approach them at this difficult time.” The teenager’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, a French-Irish couple who have lived in London for 20 years, thanked those looking for her as fundraising pages set up by Nora’s aunt and uncle collected more than £100,000 from well-wishers. Nora’s mother made a heartfelt appeal on Monday to find her as a £10,000 reward – donated by an anonymous Belfast business – was offered for information leading to her safe return.

NEWS IN BRIEF circulation. The designs from the Royal Mint follow the release of coins last year to mark the 60th anniversary of the children’s favourite, who was created by Michael Bond in 1958.

Diana the musical hits US

Please look after this 50p NEW 50p coins depicting Paddington Bear visiting the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral have gone into general

A STAGE musical about Princess Diana’s life is to arrive on Broadway next year. Diana is billed as the story of the woman who ‘rocked the Royals’ and ‘chose to be fearless, and as a result became timeless’. It has music by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, and the lead role will be taken by Jeanna de Waal, who has appeared in American Idiot and Kinky Boots on Broadway.

Britons help stop attacker THREE Britons who helped to disarm an attacker with a knife in Sydney have described their ordeal as ‘very surreal’. Lee Cuthbert, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy, all from Manchester, were at work at the time. They said: “We looked out and saw him on top of a car wielding a knife and we all just kind of reacted from there. “We just tried to get down as quick as we could. You don’t think, you just kind of react really, it was very, very surreal. “We all kind of chased, worked together, but it was Luke who was the real hero. He pursued him the hardest and managed to get a grip of him.”

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Calls for caution after biggest growth in wages for 11 years ECONOMISTS have welcomed rising wage growth, but warned that the UK jobs market could be peaking. New data from the Office for National Statistics [ONS] showed that the number of people in employment increased by 115,000 to 32.81million in the three months to June. The ONS also revealed that those in work have seen their wages increase ahead of inflation, with pay raising by 3.7 per cent – representing the strongest growth in 11 years. Some commentators have said that the figures are a welcome boost for the UK economy, following last week’s revelation that the economy shrank for the first time since 2012. Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at the EY Item Club, said: “The pick-up in employment growth in June looks particularly resilient given recent soft UK economic activity, extended Brexit uncertainties, an unsettled domestic political situation and a challenging global economic PAY BOOST environment. Amber Rudd “Earnings growth in June was welcomed the robust, extending the recent wage rise stronger performance after there

had been some signs that the rate of improvement had been levelling off earlier in the year.” But some economists have warned that falling job vacancies and the rise in unemployment could take the shine off this wage growth. The number of people out of work went up 31,000 to 1.33million for the last quarter, as the rate of unemployment increased to 3.9 per cent – the biggest increase since 2017. Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “While competition has pushed up salaries, thin margins and low productivity may set a ceiling for pay growth. “Although vacancies remain high by historic standards, the number has been dropping since the start of the year. “Impressive jobs market data should not lull policymakers into a false sense of confidence.” Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “More people in work than ever before means more households across the UK are earning a regular income, and millions more receiving a pay boost thanks to wages rising at their fastest in a decade.”

Poundland’s new range – under £1 POUNDLAND is launching a range of products priced at less than £1. The discount retailer is to pilot the permanent ranges in its stores, and will also test out selling a number of items for more than £1. It said the move is the latest stage in a shift from a ‘single price retailer’, which it says will allow it to cover more items demanded by customers. The pilot will also include trials of £1.50, £3 and £4 price points, after it started selling products at £2 and £5 in 2017. Managing director Barry Williams said: “While three-quarters of the products we offer will still be £1, it’s important we look to broaden our ranges elsewhere, whether above or below £1.”

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Grounding of 737 Max WordPress buys Tumblr platform Tumblr is being sold brings widespread losses MICRO-blogging off by American telecommunications company AVIATION services provider John Menzies and holiday giant Tui have blamed losses on the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The new airliner has been taken out of action following two fatal crashes. John Menzies saw a pre-tax loss of £4.4million in the six months to June 30, compared with a profit of £8.3million for the same period in 2018. Weak cargo volumes also contributed to the difficulties, as did the loss of some contracts in the latter half of last year. Tui reported a 46 per cent dive in underlying earnings, which fell to £93.6million during the third quarter. It also cited the weak pound and uncertainty over Brexit as reasons for the decline.

BUSINESS

Ask the Lawyer Stephen Wilmot Stephen is a Matrimonial Solicitor with over 35 years of experience in his field. He deals with Divorce, Judicial Separation, Child Arrangements, Financial Provision and Domestic Violence aspects of marriage breakdown but also deals with unmarried couples in terms of property ownership disputes. Stephen is able to prepare Pre -Nuptial and Post -Nuptial Agreements, Co-Habitation Agreements and Separation Agreements and handles Special Guardianship and Adoption cases.

WHO GETS THE HOUSE IN A DIVORCE? It’s a big question and the answer depends upon many factors. Like a lot of Matrimonial Law “who gets what” is ultimately up to the parties to agree or if they can’t, for a Judge to decide. Believe it or not, 3 different Judges at three different courts on three different days might well produce at least slightly different answers in every case.

No-deal Brexit brings only ‘mild disruption’ THE worst outcome of a no-deal Brexit will be ‘mild disruption’, given the preparations being made by Boris Johnson’s Government, according to the Next chief executive. Conservative peer Lord Wolfson said he would ‘much prefer’ a deal but told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am much less frightened of no-deal if the Government is well prepared. “We’ve got every indication that they’re now taking that seriously.” He said the required level of confidence, energy and vigour ‘certainly wasn’t’ in Theresa May’s administration: “I’m very pleased to see that vigour has now come to government and we are properly preparing for all eventualities.” He added of Mrs May: “I think there was almost a wilful attempt to not prepare in government and mainly out of the fear that they were so scared of no-deal, they wouldn’t allow anyone to admit it could happen.” He believes Mr Johnson’s team is in the process of identifying and solving the problems, adding: “If businesses and the Government prepare well for no-deal then I think the worst outcome will be mild disruption, but the best outcome is we will actually get a better deal – one that is acceptable to Parliament.”

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Verizon, just two years after it was acquired as part of its Yahoo takeover. Automattic, the firm behind blogging service WordPress, has bought Tumblr. Launched in 2007, it currently hosts some 475million blogs.

The House is usually a home to 2 adults and possibly several youngsters, and it’s not only a home, but also, in a legal sense a capital asset and so, a source of money if and when sold. The courts have a checklist of factors that they must consider when sorting out finances in these cases but crucially, the rules require “first consideration being given to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of eighteen”. So, sometimes the House must be preserved for the occupation of the children and the parent who is going to care for them day to day until they cease full time education or training – the Parent With Care or “PWC”. Inevitably then, if money is tight the other parent (or Absent Parent – “AP”) who won’t be caring for the children full-time, could be at a distinct disadvantage when the court tries to meet Housing and Capital Needs. The AP might need to rent from a landlord or move in with friends or other family. The value of the House, any mortgage upon it, its size and the location, but also the cost, size and character of the alternative home or homes required by each of the PWC and the AP, will be significant factors too, as is the borrowing capacity of anyone who is looking to buy a new home. If the House is just big enough to accommodate the child(ren) and the PWC, and it is financially possible to keep the House going, then it might be transferred to that parent and he/she might “buy out” the financial stake of the AP in some way. Otherwise the House might be sold later with the AP getting a “pay out” on sale when the net proceeds of sale will be split between the PWC & AP in some way. So, as you can see the question isn’t one with a single and straightforward answer but I hope that this sheds some light on the topic as a start and provides some indication of the way the lawyers and courts think about, and work to sort out this issue. We will always do our very best to simplify these challenging topics and to work with you to find the best possible solution, so do contact us for further advice.

Dr Martens reaps reward SALES of Dr Martens shoes were higher last year as the British brand enlarged its global footprint and attracted new customers. Revenue was up 30 per cent to £454.4million in the year to March 31, and underlying earnings soared by 70 per cent to £85million. With the opening of 20 new sites, retail revenue rose 30 per cent while e-commerce jumped 67 per cent.

Telephone: 01892 526442 | Email: enquiries@keenemarsland.co.uk www.keenemarsland.co.uk Address: Keene Marsland, 6 Clanricarde Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1PH Parfitt Cresswell SRA No. 71480 is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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Letters

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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, Times Local News, Salomons Estate, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0TG Is Southborough’s Hub trouble down to Labour councillors’ negativity? I was sorry to read that the Southborough Hub project was in trouble [July 31] only three months after Labour took control of the town council. It is ironic that, nationally, Labour talks of spending £500billion and renationalising entire industries. Yet in Southorough the Labour town council seemed reluctant to invest in much-needed community facilities. I suspect this was because the Southborough Hub project was started by the previous Conservative administration, and Labour’s actions are an act of mindless political spite. I was on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council myself for four years and saw the negativity with which the local opposition parties operate. Most of their councillors automatically vote against any Conservative proposal, and I suspect many don’t even bother reading the background papers first. There has been talk about how the Hospital cancer service is out of order My husband has been diagnosed with cancer. When he needed emergency treatment a few months ago, the diagnostic machine needed to determine the problem was out of order. Today [August 5], a vital scan required to programme his radiotherapy, which has been scheduled for weeks, was cancelled at less than two hours’ notice. Why? Because the scanning machine is out of order. Why is our hospital unable to maintain vital equipment? Is the health service close to complete collapse due to lack of funding? Name withheld Guilty as charged over garden waste fee There is growing anger amongst full council taxpayers, like myself, in both Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells districts, against the sudden extra demand for more cash to collect seasonal garden waste, which we already pay for. I believe this is unlawful, and have contacted the legal department at Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, and sent a copy to my MP and the Leader of the said council. None has replied, which, to me, is a clear sign of ‘guilty as charged’. That being known in law as ‘double recovery’, otherwise known as double billing – charging twice for the same service! Taking that view a stage further, it is tantamount to ‘demanding money with menaces’, otherwise known as blackmail, on the grounds that we are essentially being forced to pay the price that we have already paid. Or else! Furthermore, I have estimated that no more than six bin loads per year are needed in an average household: Leaves in the late autumn and cutting back around now. It has to be a scam, doesn’t it? And a countrywide one at that. Colin Packman Via email Bin and gone? There’s no time to waste How nice to see Tony Smith writing about the

Conservatives in our town are complacent. But, in my experience, the opposition parties are too negative, know surprisingly little about important local issues, and aren’t fit for power. The new Labour administration in Southborough is proving my point. Lawrence Heasman Via email

MINDLESS SPITE? Is Labour playing politics with the Hub? deliverance of the new recycling bins [July 31]. The brown bins we already use for garden waste are marked on the lids for the required usage accordingly, therefore it makes sense to keep the brown bins as they are presently being used, and for the new black bin to be used for bottles, plastics, etc. There is still time before the new collections come into force on September 5 for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to see sense and amend their decision on recycling. I would have thought the Alliance party would have noticed this and voiced their opinion. James Tinkler Rusthall Voting percentages can be misleading Cllr Thomson [July 31] claims that Dr Chris misled readers over the level of support for the Calverley Square project by using figures based on the percentage of voters against the project rather than the percentage of the registered electorate against. On the other hand, when arguing about Brexit, the Government always claims justification for Leave based on the percentage of votes for leave, not the percentage of the registered electorate voting to leave – about 37 per cent. Funny that. John Telling Tunbridge Wells The signs are that they are taking no notice The observations of Ian Rennardson [July 24] concerning illegal posting of signs advertising new housing developments are not restricted to the town of Tunbridge Wells. They are also a problem in the villages of the borough. In Hawkhurst there are three major new developments, and some of the developers choose to ignore the restrictions on advertising. It is pleasing, however, that reporting transgressions to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council elicits a speedy response and rapid removal of the offending signs.

It seems that citizens have to police their surroundings to ensure laws – with which developers must be extremely familiar – are not contravened. Simon Spanswick Hawkhurst Cars are always ahead of public transport The article by Fran Long of the Tonbridge and Malling Green Party [‘Every aspect of Climate Change must be addressed’, July 24] was as usual full of clear and insightful analysis, particularly in relation to the misleading nature of the statistics quoted by those who boast about the UK’s green credentials. She also gave numerous examples of the inconsistency of declaring a target of UK carbon-neutrality by 2050, while and the same time encouraging fossil fuel production and the expansion of aviation. We can see a similar mismatch between the fine words and actions on the ground at the level of local transport infrastructure. Kent County Council and the boroughs within Kent annually publish numerous plans and ‘strategies’ extolling the benefits of walking and bicycling instead of taking the car. Yet less than two per cent of transport budgets are spent on making this possible by installing safe, segregated cycleways and attractive pedestrian routes, the rest being spent – in our area – on ‘keeping Kent moving’, which for our transport planners means widening roads, ‘improving’ junctions and prioritising car parking. Pembury Road in Tunbridge Wells is often congested. Evidence from similar schemes elsewhere suggests that an investment of £1million – less than one per cent of the cost of dualling two miles of the A21 – on upgrading the parallel cycleway to Dutch-level standards would reduce motor traffic on this road by at least 15 per cent. It is still all about cars, and the lip service paid to ‘active travel’ is just that: Lip service. Paul Mason Tunbridge Wells We are making the EU look highly efficient When I voted to leave in 2016 I did so because I believed the level of bureaucracy in the EU simply slowed everything down too much and restricted our ability to trade. For me, it certainly wasn’t an issue to do with immigration. I have two very valuable Romanian workers in my business who have opted to leave the UK due to the result of the EU referendum. One had been here for 14 years and could have had citizenship, but his wife, a qualified pharmacist, had only been here for four years and so they felt their position was unstable. We wanted them to stay but to be honest I think they just felt unwanted in this country at that point. After the vote it just seemed as though there was absolutely no plan. I had expected the politicians behind it to have sorted that out and I didn’t expect the Prime Minister to resign, and even Farage did a runner in the aftermath! When I look at the situation with trade in

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comparison to what was promised, I now think we should stay in the EU and look more closely at how we negotiate within the EU to speed things up there, rather than the other supposed deals we are messing around with right now. I mean, who are we going to trade with now? Donald Trump? No thank you, he’ll slap high tariffs on everything and the whole situation will be a nightmare. And now we’ve got another PM without a general election. I feel that I made a mistake with the vote I made and now I want to do everything I can to correct it. That’s why I’m supporting a People’s Vote on the final Brexit outcome. Vanessa Clarke Paddock Wood Europe is more democratic than we are Yet again we hear the EU described as ‘undemocratic’ [July 31]. The EU consists of 28 democratic states, whose elected governments appoint the Commissioners. We recently voted for the European Parliament, elected on a much fairer system than the Westminster Parliament, whose antiquated first-past-the-post electoral system can produce majority governments elected on little more than 30 per cent of the vote. Objectively speaking, I would argue that the EU is, overall, more democratic than the UK. On the particular point of VAT rates, raised by MR Sanders, If member states collectively wanted to change them, this would be reflected in the decisions of the Commission. Leaving the EU means not just losing our guaranteed rights and freedoms on matters like workers’ rights and environmental protection (any future UK government could simply scrap them), but, as is becoming increasingly clear from the comments of leading Brexiteers, becoming a kind of vassal state of the USA and accepting its much lower food standards. Alan Pavelin Chislehurst Little England letter and a lot of laughs As an avid reader of your weekly publication, I feel I have to suspend my merriment, momentarily, to issue this response and commend the humorous and exacting contribution from Alexander Magnus [July 31]. Such perception, such wit compares most favourably against the contrived messages from Messrs Thompson and Casady and other Tories, who will ignore local public opinion at their peril. Martin Dawes Via email There’s hope, but it’s time for a pause Further to my previous letter [July 24], I note that Jacob Rees-Mogg has banned the use of the word ‘hopefully’ in his department – which is a start, though he’s banned the ‘Oxford comma’, which is silly. Ben Hardy Tunbridge Wells (An Oxford comma is one that is used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ – Ed)

Calverley has gone walkabout…


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Education

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EDUCATION Times How to make the grade With A level exam results being announced tomorrow [August 15], and GCSEs next week, many students will be thinking about what’s next for them. Here, Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, offers his advice on alternative routes to a successful career There are a few key things to take into consideration, and the first is that your future options really depend on what your long-term aim is.

Joe Crossley EXAM results can be an intimidating prospect for many people across the country. A lot of individuals assume that the next steps into education or a career are very dependent on the grades they get, so it’s important that all the possible routes available are understood to help someone make informed choices.

‘There are a few key things to take into consideration, and the first is that your future options depend on what your long-term aim is’ Not passing an exam is certainly not a barrier to achieving success in the future. I left school without any qualifications and now sit as a CEO at one of the nation’s leading training providers. Having a plan is essential, and if you don’t know what you want to do, then think about what you enjoy. I like talking and working with people, so retail was a good starting point for

me. If there’s a trade or sector you are interested in, then research what you need to do to get into that area. Once you have an idea of which career path is the right one, building the correct skill set is the next step. People shouldn’t assume that school, college and then university is the only path that is a credible one. In fact, I think there are many great examples of successful people who have started work early and then gone on to further education later in life. Find out about alternatives routes. Traineeships and apprenticeships are great ways to build a long and successful career. Traineeships are a good way for 16-24 year olds to try out different sectors and job roles without making a longstanding commitment. They are also beneficial for employers, to ensure that they bring the right people into their business. Traineeships include really important elements that give students the right foundation for employment,

STRESS Exam results are looming including maths and English, work readiness, and industry-specific skills such as food safety. They are a useful way of gaining vital soft skills and work experience that is not always readily available.

Debt Apprenticeships are also now a respected alternative to college and university. Apprenticeships ensure that participants gain not only sectorspecific skills, that are delivered by people with the most up-to-date knowledge, but they also ensure those skills are embedded over time. The key difference, of course, with an apprenticeship is that they enable people to earn while they learn, which no other educational route can really compete with! We know that on average a university debt is £23,500, which can be difficult for many to pay

off and take years to finally say goodbye to. This is versus an average £23,542 apprentice salary, which means earning, surviving and gaining invaluable expertise that will set individuals up for life. Qube Learning work with a lot of people from many backgrounds, we strive to help our students (and employers) prosper and get the best out of working and learning. I know what it is to pick myself up again and to get knocked back, and that is why I am passionate about helping others on their journeys. Everyone deserves a chance wherever they are from. It is imperative that all businesses look at character not just CV or qualifications and offer equal chances to all. Find out how a Traineeship or Apprenticeship could kick-start your career or contribute to your organisation by contacting the experts at qube-learning.co.uk


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NEWS

Weekly Comment

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Cllr David Scott

Conservative Cabinet Member Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Wednesday August 14 | 2019

David Scott is a Conservative councillor for Culverden ward. He also sits on the Cabinet at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council where he is the portfolio holder for Property and Major Projects. Using his background in finance, analytics and risk management, Cllr Scott works to help rejuvenate the borough.

The danger is inaction – a decision needs to be made OUR motivation is for Tunbridge Wells to progress as a great place to live, work and visit. This means dealing with issues within the council’s control and motivating people and businesses to do their part. The danger is indecision and inaction – as we have seen over the years. We did not take action on previous proposals to deal with the substantial problems of the theatre and civic buildings – first recognised in 2003. In May, I took on responsibility for CURTAIN FALLS The Assembly Hall

major projects and engagement because of a determination to see the town and borough progress. Yes – I fully understand the political position. However, I want all councillors to face the true choices of what to do NOT simply do nothing. There is no easy answer or zero cost option. We have the opportunity to invest now, at low interest rates – below the rate of inflation. We can build a commercial office which will pay the costs of our new civic

offices. Many other towns, led by various political parties, have seen cultural development as critical in their own rejuvenation. We can progress without increasing council tax. We must be realistic on what, where and how we build. We must listen to professional advice. We should take an evidence-based decision – rather than shy away or believe in unrealistic options. We must subject alternatives to critical review and make a proper choice between them. The inescapable problem is that the Assembly Hall Theatre has poor backstage facilities, leaving modern touring productions unable to fit their productions into the building. It is not suitable for major productions and, hence, less attractive to us – the public. We can close the theatre or do something with it to rebuild in situ or elsewhere. Refurbishing it will not enhance it sufficiently or be value for money. The Town Hall has major problems. It is too large and not designed for a modern council. The existing buildings need to be redeveloped to create valuable space while retaining key heritage aspects. I believe in engagement with the community and commerce, collaboration

‘The inescapable problem is that Assembly Hall Theatre has poor backstage facilities, leaving modern touring productions unable to fit their productions into the building’

with all political parties and others who want this borough to progress. Above all, I believe in making a decision and implementation of a solution that will enrich the town and the borough for the benefits of its residents. A non-political team is currently leading a review of the various alternatives during this summer. They will advise the council on their recommendations. I am pleased to be working with a crossparty group of councillors to look at the concerns, to work through the economics of alternative proposals, to talk with other theatres in the country, to speak to those with first-hand experience, to check the forecasts and assumptions made over the past ten years – to consider alternatives. Let’s not delay. We are already spending large amounts on maintenance, environmental, health and safety issues, inefficient working and operating subsidies for two buildings. Delays will cost additional money. We are listening to residents. We are collaborating with other political parties. We remain open to new ideas and alternatives. A decision needs to be made.


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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AVAILABLE EVER Y WEDNESDAY – A MUST-READ

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PROPERTY, IN TERIORS & TOP TRENDS

INSPIRATION FOR MOVING AND IMPROVING timeslocalnews.co.uk

A countryside Abergavenny House Just outside Tunbridge Wells Page 19

18

Triple beauty in the round

A super-stylish three-kiln oast and converted barn Page 23

A HEATED POOL WITH A VIEW…

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A LIGHT, BRIGHT EXECUTIVE HOME


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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Best property buys for... We all love to see homes with the ‘wow’ factor – which could apply to the kitchen, reception room, garden, or something else. Sarah Bond homes in on specific aspects that make these properties well worth a look… Bracken Wood

Parrock Lane, Colemans Hatch GUIDE PRICE

£1,495,000 CONTACT • Knight Frank, Tunbridge Wells • 01892 515035 • knightfrank.com This substantial portion of an Edwardian country house close to Hartfield and Ashdown Forest is a charming equestrian dream, boasting beautiful views as well as an annexe and paddocks. MAIN POINTS OF INTEREST Main house

n Entrance hall n Drawing room n Dining room n Sitting room n Kitchen/breakfast room with study area, plus pantry

n Master bedroom n 4 further bedrooms n 2 family bathrooms and a shower room

The HEATED POOL…

Detached annexe

n Sitting room n Mezzanine bedroom and shower room Outside

n Mature gardens and grounds n Heated swimming pool and summerhouse n 2 stable blocks providing eight stables, hay store, tack room and feed room, plus paddocks

n Detached garage/workshop n In all about 6.43 acres


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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The PRICE… The COUNTRY KITCHEN…

Units 1-2 Hawkwell Business Centre Maidstone Road, Pembury GUIDE PRICE

£425,000 CONTACT • Bracketts, Tunbridge Wells • 01892 533733 • bracketts.co.uk An excellent opportunity for a project – two single-storey detached buildings in a small business park priced for refurbishment/ conversion, with planning for change of use to residential use (C3).

Yew Tree Cottage

Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells GUIDE PRICE

‘Every morning we enjoy sitting in bed with a cup of tea looking out over stunning farmland, lakes and forest’ CURRENT OWNER

MAIN POINTS OF INTEREST n Located on the rural outskirts of Pembury village n Good-sized garden

£675,000-£700,000

n Parking for multiple cars

CONTACT • Fine & Country, Tunbridge Wells • 01892 701900 • fineandcountry.com

n No onward chain

n Space to extend (subject to the usual consents)

Known locally as an ‘Abergavenny House’, this extended, Gothic-style, Grade II-listed semidetached home was built around 1886 as part of the Abergavenny estate. It sits between Tunbridge Wells and Frant village. MAIN POINTS OF INTEREST

n Porch with wooden side benches and hall with leaded windows

Horseshoe House

n Lounge with oak-framed bi-fold doors to

Roopers, Speldhurst

garden, Velux window and tiled floor with underfloor heating

n Delightful country-style kitchen/diner with butler sink, electric Aga and French doors to raised courtyard area

n Family room n Study with leaded window n Snug with exposed chimney breast housing wood burner

n Master bedroom with large walk in closet n 2 further double bedrooms with built-in closets and exposed floorboards

n Family bathroom with free-standing roll-top bath, separate shower and half-height wood panelling

GUIDE PRICE

£825,000 CONTACT • Jackson-Stops, Tunbridge Wells • 01892 521700 • jackson-stops.co.uk On the market for the first time in nearly 40 years, a well-maintained house with pretty gardens offering scope for modernisation.

n Sitting room with patio doors to terrace n Dining room n Kitchen/breakfast room

n Landscaped gardens, including sandstone

n Master bedroom with en-suite bathroom

patio, lawn with arbour seating area and a Japanese-inspired koi pond with a waterfall and wooden bridge. Plus a side terrace with outside kitchen and two large storage sheds/playhouses

n 3 further double bedrooms and a bathroom

n Generous parking on driveway behind remote-

n Parking area and double garage

control entrance gates, plus a detached garage with a working clock face, and storeroom above

n Short walk to Speldhurst village centre

n Garden with lawn, terrace, shed and greenhouse


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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Oast House

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AT A GLANCE LITTLE HALDEN OAST HOUSE TENTERDEN ROAD ROLVENDEN

Stunning Grade II-listed oast with circular kitchen and barn annexe

n Converted triple-kiln oast and barn believed to date from the Jacobean period, with 19th-century additions n Cranbrook School catchment area (2019) Oast House n Reputedly one of the last working Kent oasts up until 2004, it was fully renovated in 2012 n A wealth of exposed oak timbers, beams and brickwork add to the charm of the modern interior n Drawing room n Dining room n Family room n Modern circular kitchen with range cooker n Cloakroom n Circular master bedroom n 4 further bedrooms (two with spiral staircases and mezzanines) n 3 contemporary bath/shower rooms n Electric underfloor heating to ground floor Detached Cart Barn n Reception room n Bedroom and shower n First floor studio/office room with balcony Outside n Gardens with pond n Workshop and mower store n Sits towards end of private lane

GUIDE PRICE

£1,250,000 CONTACT • Savills, Cranbrook • 01580 720161 • savills.co.uk


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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Datura Cottage

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A stylish, much improved executive home backing on to fields in Hadlow

AT A GLANCE DATURA COTTAGE GROVE CLOSE, HADLOW n Contempory home built in 2002 in a private, gated cul-de-sac adjoining fields n Rural village setting with easy access to the local towns of Kings Hill, Paddock Wood and Tonbridge n Open-plan kitchen, dining and living space with tri-fold doors to patio n Spacious lounge n Dining room n Superb home office/study with Neville Johnson fittings n Utility room with side access n Ground floor WC n Eye-catching staircase and elegant galleried landing n Master bedroom suite with with Nevill Johnson fittings, his and hers dressing rooms, and a stunning new bathroom n 4 further double bedrooms (one also en-suite) n Family bathroom n Gardens featuring a large sandstone terrace, a pergola with powered awnings and retractable windbreaks, lawns, a children’s play area and raised vegetable beds, plus a gate opening to fields n Driveway with space for several cars, plus a double garage

GUIDE PRICE

£1,250,000 CONTACT • Fine & Country, Tunbridge Wells • 01892 701900 • fineandcountry.com

‘We have really brightened up the space by adding plenty of glass to face the beautiful garden and let in more light’ CURRENT OWNER


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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ARTS & CULTURE LIFE & STYLE FOOD & DRINK MOTORING SPORT and MORE...

IN PRINT AND ONLINE SEVEN DAYS A WEEK timeslocalnews.co.uk

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Life is sweet

Celebrate afternoon tea week with some delicious homemade cakes

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MEET PEPPA PIG AND FRIENDS

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THIS WEEK’S BEST LIVE MUSIC

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VIVA THE NEW VAUXHALL

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ENJOY THE SENSATIONAL SEYCHELLES


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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Don’t panic! The new Jail Break escape room is an exhilarating experience… Clue Cracker’s Jail Break, located at The Shuffle House in Tunbridge Wells, is the area’s first immersive escape room – where you have just 60 minutes to work out how to break free. Here, Eileen Leahy quizzes its co-founder Katie Haygarth So Katie, can you tell us how the idea for running your escape room came about? Myself, my husband Ben, and our friends, panto producer Tom Swift and his wife Amanda, all live locally in Tunbridge Wells, and three years ago as a Christmas present we went to play Hint Hunt Escape Rooms in London. We were instantly hooked, and thought ‘we could do this’ – and so Clue Cracker was born.

THE CALL to prison!

Can you give us a bit of background on escape rooms? Escape Rooms are the fastest-growing entertainment business since cinema, having gone from 300 in the UK in 2016 to well over 1,500 in 2019. We felt that Tunbridge Wells is long overdue a bit more entertainment and variety, and how better to do that than lock the locals up in a prison cell and give them 60 minutes to escape? Did you trial Jail Break anywhere before launching it at The Shuffle House in St John’s Road? We opened a pop-up version of Jail Break in Dreamland, Margate, in 2016 (the same year Ben popped the question), and after a successful six-week run we ran another pop-up over Halloween. We went to number one on Trip Advisor of things to do in Margate, and were actually approached by a large Escape Room company offering to buy our game as they enjoyed it so much! Since then, we have just been waiting for the next opportunity to arise. During the past couple of years we, as a team, have played over 100 games across the country, and even ventured to Budapest (the home of escape games) last February for an escape game holiday. How quickly did it go from an idea to securing the space to do it and opening? Ismail Refet (Ish), the fourth of our tribe, owns the hugely successful and cool St John’s Yard and The Shuffle House in St John’s Road. Earlier in April, Julia (Ish’s wife) and Amanda were chatting, and it was mentioned that they COULD YOU ESCAPE? Crack the clues in the game to find out

were looking to do something with the function venue at The Shuffle House. Amanda suggested an escape game. On April 24 we all met up for a chat, and within days it was decided that Clue Cracker would be revived! We bounced around a few ideas, and three months later we’re open.

‘The week before opening, we all came together and worked solidly till 3.30am most mornings to make sure it was ready for the first game – we ate a lot of pizza and tapas that week!’ Was it a stressful process? The construction itself was quite a hefty job as the function building had a large built-in bar, a kitchen and a toilet. So Ish and his trusty helper, Jake, ripped it all out within a week and built rooms, wired electrics and

screwed in fixings until the footprint of Clue Cracker was formed and ready for us to paint, create effects and build the actual puzzles. The week before opening, we all came together and worked solidly till 3.30am most mornings to make sure it was ready for the first game on Saturday July 27 (we ate a lot of pizza and tapas that week!) Sure enough, after a couple of test games, we locked our first official team up and they escaped by the skin of their teeth! How does it feel to be running Jail Break, Tunbridge Wells’ only escape room? It is so thoroughly exciting! We knew for a while that an escape room in Tunbridge Wells was imminent, and if it wasn’t us it would have been someone else very soon. We are so proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time, and are already planning our next escape room in the upstairs area! In fact, if it was down to Ish, we’d already have bought at least two more venues and be starting up a franchise… Tell us a little bit more about the escape room… The brilliant thing about an escape room is that it can be built anywhere and adapted to the location. Every game has a different theme and, once you’re in the room, you are totally immersed into a different world. As far as you, the player, is concerned, the outside world has stopped and you are a deadly criminal attempting your first escape from a grimy 80s’ jail. A lot of escape rooms tend to be built on industrial estates, so we are incredibly lucky to have joined The Shuffle House. What do you think people gain from doing this type of activity? There are multiple things to gain from our escape game. First and foremost is the excitement of being totally immersed in a different world; the adrenaline and the competitive nature we all possess inside; being pushed to the limits; to think outside the box and be brave enough to try stuff out that you would never normally try. This makes it a huge buzz. Secondly, teamwork. Whether you are a family, a bunch of friends or a corporate group, you will love the way it forces you to work together as a team; to communicate and co-operate as one to achieve the same goal. And lastly, in a world full of technology, there’s nothing better than seeing people lock their phones away and forget about social media and life on the outside for 60 minutes. And would you say it’s best for people to do it in pairs or in groups? You can play the game in anything between two-to-six player groups. We personally think a group of four is the perfect number, as six people can be a lot of voices and opinions, and there’s a lot to do for a two-player game. However, all numbers of players are achievable within the time limit! What has the reaction been like so far? The reaction has been unbelievable – better than we could have ever imagined! Everyone is so happy to have some more entertainment in Tunbridge Wells. In just one week we received 15 excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and went to number three of ‘Fun & Games in Tunbridge Wells’, as well as having numerous reviews on Facebook. We are thrilled to see our own game and our own ideas coming to life and people thoroughly enjoying themselves. Is there a common clue people find easily? Ironically, the most common ‘clue’ people miss is just searching! Around the room there are lots of padlocks, but there are also LOTS of hidden items that people constantly miss – even escape room enthusiasts. So the best advice we can give anyone is to search everywhere and doublecheck, even if someone’s looked there before…


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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GRIM BUT FUN The jail is nothing if not atmospheric!

Arts & Culture

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THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL? Let’s hope so

Are you getting people coming from far and wide to play it? So far we’ve had a lot of locals, but we’ve also had players from Surrey, north London and the furthest afield was from Dubai!

best time, laughing and encouraging each other on. Last week we had a team of THE GOT OUT OF enthusiasts who JAIL CARDS have played 550 that all players want… games, and it still took them 55 minutes and a few clues to escape. What were your aims when you started However, it’s always good to have aims and out, and do you think you’ve achieved goals for the future, so we are now hoping to them already? learn and grow from Jail Break for our next game. As enthusiasts and lovers of Tunbridge Wells, our aim was to create a brilliant game accessible Describe the Jail Break experience to first-time players, families and friends of in three words… varying ages, but also challenging enough for Exhilarating, fun, immersive. experienced players to enjoy. I believe we have achieved our starting goal as I am currently To find out more about how you can get involved watching a family team with ages ranging from in Jail Break, visit cluecrackergames.co.uk around ten to 60, all of which are having the


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Going Out

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goingout 7 days of activities

WEDNESDAY Youngsters and adults can join local insect expert Dr Ian Beavis for a Mini Beast Safari on Tunbridge Wells Common today. Looking at the creatures and their habitats, Dr Beavis will be leading a fun and informative trail across the the open space. Participants will discover how to identify insects and their varieties, and are welcome to bring their own apparatus, such as a transparent

Wednesday August 14 | 2019

MUSIC TO THEIR EARS Take the youngsters to see Peppa Pig: My First Concert at the Assembly Hall

By Adam McGroarty

box with a lid. You can join the Safari at either 10.30am or 2.30pm. The event is free, but booking is essential, so for more information and to reserve places, visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

THURSDAY Elinor Dashwood has a lot of good sense, and her sister Marianne an excess of Sensibility, together they make Sense and Sensibility. Production company The Pantaloons are bringing their openCOMIC CAPERS air theatre production of See Sense and Sensibility the Jane Austen classic to at Smallhythe Place Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden, in a fastpaced telling of all of the scandals, scoundrels and severely sprained ankles. It is recommended you bring a picnic and something to sit on (an edible blanket would be ideal!) Tickets cost £15 for adults and £8.50 for children. Booking is essential. To do so, call 01580 762334. Go down to the Spa Valley Railway to see characters from PAW Patrol today. Heroic fireman-puppy hybrid Marshall will be at Groombridge Station to greet fans from 10.50am

onwards, and there’s plenty to see at Tunbridge Wells West Station, including a model railway and a working engine shed. You can view the timetable for the day and book tickets online at spavalleyrailway.co.uk FRIDAY If you feel like going further afield for a spot of nostalgia, get yourself over to Village Hotel Club in Maidstone to enjoy a blast from the past with the Ultimate 80s Night. The evening starts with a three-course meal at 8pm, and the resident DJ will be playing dance floor classics throughout the night. Tickets cost £25 and cover entry as well as the meal. To book, go to village-maidstone.yapsody.com LOCAL PAW PATROL: Marshall will be at the Spa Valley Railway

Penshurst Vintage & Antiques Fair Penshurst Village Hall TN11 8BP

24th, 25th & 26th August Trade entry Saturday 9.30am Public 10.30am-5pm Entrance £2

Come and find decorative antiques, French brocante & vintage items for the home & garden. Enjoy delicious cakes and tea by Betsy’s Bake.

Talent show Sex, Drag and Rock ‘n’ Roll, hosted by Charlie Hides, starts at 7.30pm this evening at the Assembly Hall. Hides, most famous for appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race, will be hosting the evening of talent and entertainment, including a drag king and drag queen competition. The panel of judges is led by X Factor finalist Bella Penfold. Suitable for ages 18 and up. Tickets cost £15 and can be booked at assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk SATURDAY Peppa Pig: My First Concert is an interactive introduction to a live orchestra with children’s favourite Peppa Pig, as well as Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and George. The live orchestra will play some of the show favourites as well some exciting orchestral pieces for children. Learn about all the different sounds that instruments


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

make together, and little piggies can join in and make music of their own. Tickets cost £22.75 and you can see the show at either 12noon, 2pm or 4pm. To book, go to assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk For a wheelie good time, Biddenden Tractorfest 2019 rumbles out of the gates today and tomorrow [Sunday]. Of course the central attraction will be the tractor exhibitions, showing off a huge range of different models from different time periods, as well as classic cars, stationary engines and steam engines. There will also be plenty of other attractions, including dog shows, falconry, craft stalls, children’s entertainment and food and drink from local artisans. Tickets can be purchased on the day, but are discounted if booked online. For more information and to book, go to tractorfest.co.uk SUNDAY Held on the first and third weekend of each month between 10am and 4pm, The Pantiles Market brings a wide variety of local produce, MAKE HAY… At Biddenden Tractorfest

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YOUNG GUNS Can be taught to shoot by experts in Brenchley tasty treats, designer clothes and artisan crafts to town. Seasonal themes and guest traders mean a new experience comes with every visit. For more information, visit thepantiles.com MONDAY The British Association of Shooting and Conservation [BASC] are hosting a Young Shots

Going Out

Shooting Activity Day at West Kent Shooting School in Brenchley. Open for ages 10 to 16, those interested can have a go at clay pigeon shooting as well as air rifle shooting, all under the guidance of BASC coaches. There will be additional activities, including wildfowling and a gun dog demo. Tickets cost £45 per person and include tuition, clays and cartridges. Places are limited, so to book call 01244 573028 or email: southeast@basc.org.uk TUESDAY Pop along to Fenwick in Royal Victoria Place for a Children’s Baking Class and Parents’ Sparkling Cream Tea. This week, children aged four to 12 can take part in a class making and decorating their own cupcakes. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy a sparkling cream tea, including a glass of Prosecco, a fruit scone or a hot drink. The class starts at 3pm and lasts for an hour. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £9 for children. For more information and to book, visit fenwick.co.uk

PICK OF THE WEEK: A Pair of Four 8pm, Thursday August 15 Trinity Theatre

A Pair of Four consists of Chris Murphy, Scott Kingsnorth, John Oakley and Dan Smiley – members of Claquers Theatre and veterans of the local comedy scene. The show is entirely improvised, so prepare for an unexpected journey through an evening of laughter as they deliver a show which is influenced by you, the audience. Tickets cost £10. To book, visit trinitytheatre.net

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DON’T MISS… The Pantiles Market

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Going Out

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT: timeslocalnews.co.uk THE GREY LADY MUSIC LOUNGE The Pantiles Doors 7.15pm, entry £6/£7, websites pdag.co.uk & thegreylady.co.uk Wednesday Antoine Lynn, Simon Crabb, Milly McCarron Friday Soul Kitchen Saturday Latin Party – tapas and dancing Sunday Lee Willz, Meg Jordan, Jack Leon Mackey

live music With Paul Dunton

F

or a great midweek outing tonight [Wednesday], popular local singer-songwriters Antoine Lynn, Simon Crabb and Milly McCarron will all be performing at The Grey Lady, and The Brandenburg Sinfonia are at Hever Festival Theatre. Thursday night sees the superb Sonpikkante at Jazz On The Pantiles. And on Friday classical music fans can enjoy Helen Lacey (soprano) and Alexandra Standing (piano) performing a ‘Love’s Journey in Song’-inspired repertoire from Ravel, Strauss and Schumann at Finchcocks in Goudhurst. Saturday night is a brimming with live gigs, including G.E.M at The Beau Nash Tavern, Local & Live at The Royal Oak, and The Grey Lady

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

hosts their Latin Party with plenty of tapas and dancing on offer! And Sean Fennessey & Friends will be live at Trinity Theatre with Cyrano. Close out the weekend in style on Sunday afternoon with London Saxophones on the Vine Bandstand in Sevenoaks, and concerts at both Waterdown House and on Tonbridge Castle Lawn. Plus in the evening the highly entertaining Jive Aces are at the Hever Festival Theatre, Jack Walton will be live at Verdigris, Tonbridge and Jack Mackey, Megan Jordan and Lee Willz will all be on the same bill at The Grey Lady. On Monday night, folk fans can catch the excellent Kelter at The Tonbridge Folk Club, and King Size Slim returns to the Punch & Judy in Tonbridge on Tuesday evening.

HEVER FESTIVAL THEATRE Hever, Nr Edenbridge All event details and tickets available at heverfestival.co.uk Wednesday Brandenburg Sinfonia presents The Four Seasons Sunday The Jive Aces JAZZ ON THE PANTILES The Pantiles Bandstand Donations welcomed Thursday Sonpikkante TRINITY THEATRE Church Road All event details and tickets available at trinitytheatre.net Thursday 10am-4pm: The Space Junk Orchestra

Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Saturday An evening with Sean Fennessey & Friends, Cyrano

King Size Slim

MUSICSTATION Bank Street, Tonbridge Booking essential For information, call 01732 350629 Thursday & Friday 8pm-9.30pm Adult band workshop, all levels welcome THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM The Common Event information at twforum.co.uk Friday AC/DC: A tribute by Let There B/DC Saturday Pride Late: Bella Penfold, Crayola the Queen, Bombay Monkey, Frog Prinx Dan Phibian, Zeela FINCHCOCKS Locations vary, see below Event details and tickets available at finchcocks.com or finchcocks.co.uk Friday – Goudhurst 7.30pm: Love’s Journey In Song: Ravel, Schumann, Strauss, with Helen Lacey (soprano) and Alexandra Standing (piano) Sunday – Waterdown House, Frant Road 2.30pm: Simon Edwards (tenor) and Frédérique Varda, with Helena Lloyd and Richard Burnett, including a Tribute to the soprano Arlene Thiel The Jive Aces THE BEAU NASH TAVERN Mount Ephraim Music from 8.30pm Saturday G.E.M. Sunday Open Mic Night THE ROYAL OAK Prospect Road Music from 8pm Saturday Local & Live Festival Warm-Up TONBRIDGE CASTLE LAWN Music from 3pm

All event information can be found at tonbridgecastle.org Sunday Sevenoaks & Tonbridge Concert Band THE VINE BANDSTAND Sevenoaks Music from 3pm Sunday Lazy Sunday Afternoons: London Saxophones VERDIGRIS Tonbridge High Street Music from 6pm Sunday Jack Walton TONBRIDGE FOLK CLUB Flying Dutchman, Hildenborough Music from 8pm. All welcome. More information at tonbridgefolkclub.org Monday Kelter THE PUNCH & JUDY St Stephens Road, Tonbridge Music from 8pm Tuesday King Size Slim


Wednesday August 14 | 2019

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Motoring News

Motoring This week…  Hybrid SUV prices  Free charging  Beware fakes

Vauxhall announces pricing for firm’s first plug-in SUV… Vauxhall has revealed its pricing for the upcoming Grandland X Hybrid4 – the vehicle manufacturer’s first plug-in SUV. Starting off the range, the £35,690 Business Edition Nav Premium variant is the first of four trims on offer, with SRi NAV and Elite Nav coming in respectively at £40,300 and £42,200. Sitting at the top of the pile is the £45,450 Ultimate Nav grade. Coupling a turbocharged 1.6litre four-cylinder engine with a 13.2kWh battery pack, the car produces 296bhp, allowing it to hit 0-60mph in under seven

seconds. More impressively, Vauxhall claims it can return up to 176.5mpg while emitting 36g/ km in CO2 – with 32 miles of electric-only driving possible on a full charge. As standard, a 3.3kW on-board charger is fitted to the car, though a higher-capacity 6.6kW version can be had optionally. Vauxhall says a 7.4kW wallbox will charge the battery fully in under two hours. The Hybrid4’s powertrain uses regenerative braking technology, which means up to 10% more electric range can be eked out.

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Porsche crackdown on knock-off fakes PORSCHE has been cracking down on sellers of knock-off goods in a bid to protect its brand – uncovering a mix of fraudulent items in the process. Last year, the German firm claims to have confiscated over 200,000 items unofficially bearing its branding – said to be worth around £55.1million. Of those, 33,000 are said to be spare parts for its cars. It’s these parts that are of most concern to Porsche, including critical safety items such as airbags and brake discs.

Dangerous

Electric News: Tesla plans for free unlimited charging on some cars The American firm Tesla has revealed that it will be offering free unlimited supercharging with any purchase of its Model S or Model X vehicles. Despite being a service that Chief Executive Elon Musk previously called ‘unsustainable’, the introduction of free charging for Tesla’s top-end models will come as exciting news to owners, meaning thousands of pounds in terms of savings. Though little information has been released regarding the details of the offer – and with just a Tweet via Tesla’s official Twitter feed to confirm it – it’s likely that the move has been made in order to re-energise sales of both cars. The announcement follows on from larger than expected losses by the

manufacturer, which posted losses of 408 million dollars (circa £327million) during the second quarter of 2019, despite record deliveries of its cars. At the end of last month, Tesla revealed that it delivered 95,365 cars and produced 87,048 cars in the first quarter of the year – an increase compared with 91,000 and 86,000 respective units in the final quarter of 2018. Tesla’s network of electric car charging points is one of the most widespread in the world, with 290 superchargers located in the UK alone. These are backed by more than 550 Tesla destination chargers, which allow owners to top up their batteries at the end of their trip – albeit at a slower rate than the superchargers.

Thomas Fischer, a member of Porsche’s Brand Protection team, said: “This is where things get dangerous. These spare parts are neither tested nor approved. It goes without saying that we want to prevent products like this ending up in our cars.” Other items confiscated have included T-shirts, caps and posters – and some more bizarre discoveries, such as Porsche badgeshaped erectile dysfunction tablets. The firm called out some online retailers for – the brand claims – making the selling of counterfeit goods relatively easy, and has estimated that around 80% of fake products are sourced from China. Michaela Stoiber, also of Porsche’s Brand Protection team, said: “Sometimes the counterfeits are quite obvious. The products are far cheaper than normal, or the Porsche emblem has been poorly copied. We sometimes also find that a different animal is shown in the centre of the logo. For example, instead of the Porsche horse, it could be a sheep standing on its hind legs. “Our goal is always to locate the source. Once we have found it, we inform the local authorities to take the necessary steps there.”


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food

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Everything stops for afternoon tea It’s that most quintessentially British of traditions which dates back to the 19th century and is still as popular as ever and next week there is a national celebration of it. Here are some delicious recipes and a little bit about afternoon tea’s history to tempt your tastebuds

H

ENRY James (1843– 1916), the great American writer who spent most of his writing life in England once said: ‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.’ With the rise in popularity of tea drinking in the 19th century, it is said that Anna, the 7th

Duchess of Bedford and other ladies of the upper social classes would get a little peckish ahead of dinner. The solution was to have a cup of tea and a light snack midafternoon to keep the hunger pangs at bay. This soon became part of a daily routine and the Duchess began to invite friends to the house to join her for refreshment.

Etiquette However, it was thanks to Queen Victoria that afternoon tea came to be the more formal affair we enjoy today. During her reign, tea service became increasingly grand and enjoying the ritual in the country’s celebrated dining rooms held social status. Etiquette played a big part, from the dress code to the way that tea was poured and stirred. Today there are no strict rules when serving an afternoon tea, but traditionally it will consist of a selection of finger sandwiches, warm scones served with pots of clotted cream and jam, and a variety of delicious bite-size cakes and pastries. A pot of freshly brewed loose-leaf tea is the usual accompaniment obviously although nowadays a lot of establishments also offer a glass of fizz, too.

Rhubarb tartlets with Crispy Almond Shortcrust and Coconut Yogurt Rhubarb is one of the first indigenous ‘vegetables’ that we particularly look forward to baking with after the long winter. In this recipe we combine a perfectly balanced sweet and sour rhubarb-vanilla compote with coconut yogurt and almond short crust to conjure up spring on a plate. (Suitable for vegans) MAKES 8 TARTLETS (DIAMETER 10CM/4IN) SHORTCRUST PASTRY n 200g (7oz) spelt flour, plus extra for dusting n 50g (13⁄4oz) ground almonds n 20g (3⁄4oz) dark muscovado sugar n ½ tsp baking powder n pinch of salt n 60ml (2fl oz) mild olive oil, plus extra for greasing n baking beans, for blind baking FILLING AND TOPPING n 300g (10oz) rhubarb, peeled and sliced into 3cm (11⁄2in) pieces n grated zest of ½ organic orange n 60ml (2fl oz) maple syrup n 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds removed n 500g (1lb 2oz) coconut yogurt

Method: Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the oil and 60ml (2fl oz) water and work everything together quickly to form a dough. Avoid over-handling the dough; it should remain fairly rough. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film, and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. Meanwhile, bring


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the rhubarb, orange zest, maple syrup, and vanilla pod and seeds to the boil in 31⁄2 tablespoons of water and simmer for 8–10 minutes, until soft. Leave the compote to cool. Preheat the oven to 185°C (365°F/Gas 41⁄2). Grease 8 tartlet tins and dust with flour. Divide the pastry into 8 equal portions and roll each one out into a circle on a floured

work surface. Line the tartlet tins with the pastry, press the edges slightly, and trim off any overhanging pastry. Prick the pastry bases several times with a fork and chill for 15 minutes. Line the bases with pieces of baking parchment cut to size, weigh each piece down with baking beans, and blind bake the pastry for 17 –20 minutes in the centre of the oven.

Remove the baking beans and baking parchment, release the tartlets from their tins, and leave to cool. Fill with the coconut yogurt and top with the rhubarb compote. Tip: Decorate with a piece of vanilla pod on top of each tart to make these rhubarb tartlets a bit more exotic.

Plum Cake with Cinnamon and Vanilla Crumble This tray bake brings back unforgettable childhood memories of the plum harvest in our grandmother’s garden. Baking this classic together was an annual ritual. Our updated version is crammed with plums and is less sweet, while the cinnamons gives it a sophisticated twist. MAKES 1 TRAY BAKE YEAST DOUGH n 200ml (7fl oz) milk of choice (we used almond milk) n 25g (scant 1oz) dark muscovado sugar n 10g (1⁄4oz) dried yeast n pinch of salt n 375g (13oz) spelt flour, plus extra for dusting n 50g (13⁄4oz) softened butter FRUIT TOPPING n 1.5kg (3lb 3oz) plums n 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar n 2 tsp ground cinnamon

CRUMBLE n 100g (31⁄2oz) spelt flour n 30g (1oz) dark muscovado sugar n 2–3 drops vanilla extract n 60g (2oz) chilled butter DECORATION Phlox flowers (optional) To make the yeast dough, heat the milk in a pan until lukewarm. Add the sugar, yeast, and salt and stir well. Use the dough hook on an electric mixer to combine the flour, yeast mixture, and butter in a bowl for a couple of minutes, until you have a glossy, supple dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave the dough to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, for the crumble, rub all the ingredients together in a bowl until you have rough

crumbs and leave to chill in the fridge. Knead the yeast dough once again on a floured work surface and roll it out to the size of your tray. Transfer onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Cover the dough with a closely packed layer of plums (cut surface facing up) and scatter with the sugar, ground cinnamon, and the crumble. Cover the cake and leave to prove once more for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4. Bake the plum cake in the centre of the oven for 35 –40 minutes then remove and leave to cool. If you wish, decorate with phlox flowers. Tip: For a vegan version, you can replace the butter with the same quantity of coconut oil and use a plant-based milk. This cake also tastes great with other varieties of plums or with chopped apple.

Recipes extracted from Natural Baking by Carolin Strothe and Sebastian Keitel, published by DK, priced £12.99.

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travel

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An African-Asian adventure you will remember forever… ‘Abu Dhabi boasts extraordinary skyscrapers, shopping malls, top quality hotels, tree-lined boulevards and picturesque gardens, while still maintaining a subtle Arabian mystique’

S PRASLIN Aldabra giant tortoises are among the enjoyable attractions of The Seychelles

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OME experiences never leave you, and visiting Africa is one of them. With its wildlife bonanza, sandy dunes, tropical rainforests and rich traditions, there’s nowhere like it on this planet. So, planning a visit to this epic continent and its lengthy coastline could be quite daunting. But one cruise offers an unrivalled exploration of its African coast and isles, and parts of the Arabian coast,too. From the Arab lands in the north it journeys along the east coast to the wetlands, wine and wildlife in the south while also island-hopping through the clear, turquoise waters to Mauritius, the Seychelles and Madagascar. Also included is a call to Reunion Island, home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, where a hike to the peak at the Piton de la Fournaise is not to be missed. Fill your day with exploration thanks to free and unlimited excursions in every port, taking in everything from mystical souqs and spice-filled markets to Africa’s game reserves and unrivalled history. Afterwards, your evenings onboard will be spent savouring exquisite cuisine accompanied by fine wines and spectacular ocean views.

ABU DHABI The discovery of oil in 1958 transformed this rural backwater into a modern metropolis with the highest per-capita income in the world. Today, Abu Dhabi boasts extraordinary skyscrapers, shopping malls, top quality hotels, tree-lined boulevards and picturesque gardens, while still maintaining a subtle Arabian mystique. Sail the lovely Gulf waters and numerous islands surrounding the city in a traditional dhow vessel; tour Heritage Village, a living museum where artisans ply their traditional crafts; or shop the central souk area for gold and Bedouin silver jewellery. MUSCAT Oman’s capital, and largest city, is deliberately different to the modern metropolises of other Gulf cities. Edged by the Arabian Sea, its predominantly low-rise white buildings are the consequence of a preference by the Sultan to retain traditional architecture, and are a stark contrast to both the surrounding dark rugged Hajar mountains and the ostentatious skyscrapers

of neighbouring Dubai. Barter for a llama wool pashmina in the Muttrah souk, or visit the spectacularly opulent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. SALALAH This subtropical city is the capital of the region and Oman’s second largest city. From July to September, the otherwise dry landscape is quenched by the ‘Khareef’ – a monsoon that transforms it into a lush paradise with generous rivers and waterfalls, making it almost unrecognisable. Frankincense is still hugely important in this area and is the unmistakable scent throughout the Salalah souk. Be sure to take home some incense as a souvenir of this extraordinary destination.

‘Mahé is fringed with idyllic white sandy beaches against a backdrop of a lush forest-covered mountains’ MAHÉ The largest of The Seychelles’ paradise islands and home to the capital city of Victoria. Mahé is fringed with idyllic white sandy beaches mixed with villages brimming with Creole culture against a backdrop of a lush forest-covered mountains. Visit the National Botanical Gardens to see the giant Aldabra tortoises (some over 150 years old). PRASLIN One of The Seychelles’ most popular destinations. The beaches on Praslin really do stand out, with famous spots like Anse Lazio and Anse Geogette frequently making the top ten lists of best beaches and most beautiful destinations worldwide. It is sleepy, laid back, and far less developed than neighbouring Mahe. Look out for the very rare bird species that dwell on Praslin, including The Seychelles bulbul and the black parrot. PORT LOUIS The cosmopolitan capital city of Mauritius was founded in 1735. To find the soul of the city, head to the central market – a bustling focal point surrounded by ethnic quarters and well reserved colonial buildings. Historic sites of interest include the Champ de Mars – the oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere.


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Guedes buildings, reminiscent of Gaudi. Visit the Praça de Trabalhadores designed by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century. And sip coffee in one of the many outdoor cafés as you watch the world go by in this vibrant seaside capital. RICHARDS BAY One of South Africa’s largest harbours is the tourist’s gateway to Zululand, once the mightiest of the sub-Saharan African Kingdoms. Richards Bay was set up by Sir Fredererick Richards, after whom it is named, during the Anglo-Boer War of 1880-81, and began its life as a makeshift harbour. The bay has some of the most spectacular wetland scenery and pristine beaches on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal. Join an exploration of the land of King Shaka, or embark on an unforgettable safari to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. MAPUTO There are bags of things to discover in this port

MOSSEL BAY Situated halfway between Cape Town and Port

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Elizabeth, this bay offers more than 37 miles of beaches and at least 300 days of sunshine a year. Known as the location where the first Europeans made landfall on South African soil in 1488, today’s Mossel Bay is one of the country’s most popular beach destinations, as well as a haven for outdoor adventurers. CAPE TOWN Called ‘the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth’, and regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town offers museums, lush parks and shops, while impressive mountains, magnificent beaches and outstanding wineries add to the attraction. Ride a cable car to the top of the famous, flattopped Table Mountain and gaze at the mosaic of towering peaks, verdant valleys and the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Off the coast, and of great historical interest and importance, is Robben Island – once the prison holding outstanding anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. MOSSEL BAY Where the first Europeans arrived in South Africa

‘A doorway into a mysterious and beautiful world’ POINTE DES GALETS A tiny volcanic island off the east coast of South Africa. Lush rainforests cling to the undulating landscape, also home to an abundance of flowers and tropical fruit trees. FORT DAUPHIN Also known as ‘Tolagnaro’ – a wonderful doorway into a mysterious and beautiful world. Set amongst crescent-shaped beaches under high forest-clad mountains. Madagascar’s charming Fort Dauphin has developed into the centre of a prosperous tourist industry.

The city is dominated by the mountain chain of Anosy and St Louis Peak. MAPUTO Discover the relaxed charm of Maputo with its wide, European-style boulevards, lush with jacaranda, bougainvillea and other tropical foliage, where old colonial palaces are mixed in with modern high-rise buildings. Visit the cathedral built in 1944 in the shape of a cross, then the lively Mercado [Market] Central. Enjoy a snack of freshly-roasted cashews and a cold bottled drink. Stop by the National Museum of Art, then stroll along the Avenida Julius Nyerere browsing the boutiques, vendors, and restaurants. Look for African waxprint and woven fabrics, beautiful wooden boxes and picture frames. Seek out the surreal Pancho


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Recruitment

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WITH THE

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

OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND TONBRIDGE


CODEWORD 4

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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.

Codeword:

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9 4 6 9 8

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5 6 3 4 3 5 2 6 4 9

1 7 © 2016 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

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DIFFICULTY RATING:★✩✩✩

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

9

8 6 3 2 5 7

4 6 1

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7 1 5

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© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

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LAST WEEK’S SOLUTIONS

SUDOKU & JIGSAW SUDOKU

DIFFICULTY RATING: ★★✩✩

CLASSIFIEDS

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Puzzles

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

GO N R E Y R E A F R WA M MA Z V E

L F C L U B J A A F O RM S R B R A E D I L N Y I N G S N C RMU P R A S K I N T R A B E L E T S M I S

L A Q U N A D R A Y

E GO A I R E D D E R

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Sudoku:

7 9 8 6 3 1 2 5 4

2 1 6 7 4 5 3 9 8

4 3 5 2 8 9 7 1 6

1 5 2 8 9 7 6 4 3

9 7 3 4 6 2 5 8 1

8 6 4 1 5 3 9 2 7

3 8 9 5 1 6 4 7 2

6 2 1 9 7 4 8 3 5

5 4 7 3 2 8 1 6 9

4 6 2 3 1 8 7 9 5

8 1 3 5 6 4 2 7 9

7 2 6 4 8 9 1 5 3

9 3 4 1 7 5 8 2 6

5 7 1 9 2 3 6 8 4

Jigsaw Sudoku:

2 5 9 6 4 7 3 1 8

6 9 8 2 3 1 5 4 7

1 4 7 8 5 6 9 3 2

3 8 5 7 9 2 4 6 1

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

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Sports

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Wednesday August 14 | 2019

Ruthless Wells cut down Vine to move into title contention Tunbridge Wells 235-5 beat Sevenoaks Vine 140 by 95 runs By Alan Cutts CRICKET THIS important encounter was bedevilled by high winds but Tunbridge Wells knocked local rivals Sevenoaks Vine off the top spot in Kent League Premier Division, rising to second place in the process. With gusts reaching 40mph at the Nevill - two of the Railway End sightscreens were blown over – and a persistent drizzle falling, the match was reduced to 36 overs a side. Vine skipper Luke Schlemmer won the toss and

inserted the home side but after an early setback the home captain Chris Williams joined forces with the in-form Sam Stickler (37). The latter led the way in a partnership of 102 for the second wicket as the visiting attack was worn down and then dominated.

But the first ball from Matt Barker (3 for 25) sent back Bekker with a thin edge and though Rouse kept forcing the pace, he received little support. Another young bowler, Mark Mclean (2 for 21), soon deceived the all-rounder with a well-flighted spinner and when he holed out at 111 for 8 the writing was on the wall. Bepey returned to wrap up the win by 95 runs, securing Wells’ fifth consecutive league triumph over their near neighbours since 2016 . They moved closer into title contention, 13 points behind the new leaders Beckenham, as the Vine slipped to third, a point behind. With three games left, Wells now travel to Beckenham on Saturday (August 17).

Alex Williams now joined Julian O’Riordan to maintain the rhythm, however, putting on 78 in 13 overs, the former striking a vibrant 51 off 48 balls with five boundaries. O’Riordan remained undefeated on 38 as Tom Parsons picked up 2 for 49 at the end, and the Vine were set a daunting 236 to keep themselves on top of the table. Former Wells skipper Evert Bekker (35) proved the mainstay at the top of the Vine order as he saw his side slip to 23 for 3 thanks to some fine close catches. Teenage left-armer Isaac Bepey (3 for 23) picked up two early scalps before Kent’s Adam Rouse (42) joined Bekker to add 55 for the fourth wicket.

Vibrant Williams made a brisk and attractive 62 from 54 balls with four fours and three sixes, all the maximums coming within ten balls. But the bowlers kept calm and both the set batsmen were quickly removed by Andrew Reid-Dick (2 for 38) as the score fell to 122 for 3.

Pointless Angels made to suffer after early red card By Jim Rowe FOOTBALL TONBRIDGE ANGELS slipped to their third straight defeat in National League South after Rhyle Ovenden was sent off early in the match at Meadowbank. The controversial dismissal after 22 minutes left the visitors still searching for their first points of the season following their promotion. Ovenden, on his 21st birthday, had been brought into the starting 11 as Tommy Brewer was unavailable through injury. The visitors opened brightly, D’Sean Theobalds firing wide after four minutes and Jared Small forcing a good save out of Slavomir Huk. Tommie Hession-Harris’s corner flashed across the face of goal, and it was against the run of play that Dorking went ahead after 18 minutes. After a challenge on the edge of the box the ball was slipped through to James McShane, who buried his shot between goalkeeper Myles Roberts and the near post.

Excessive Then Ovenden and Dorking’s Ben Dyett challenged for an aerial ball and both went down hurt in what seemed an accidental clash. But after the referee consulted his assistant, Ovenden was shown a straight red card. Manager Steve McKimm said of the incident: “The referee told me it was an elbow, excessive force. I’ve watched the video and he doesn’t even lead with his elbow, he is looking at the ball. “The referee has got that completely wrong. I know it’s not an elbow – and it changed the game massively.” In the 40th minute Dorking doubled their advantage with a clinical goal as a corner from the right was met by the head of Jason Prior.

Gore Court 67 lost to Cowdrey 69 for 0 by 10 wkts

TAKE A CHANCE Chinedu McKenzie fires in a shot

By Stuart Clarke

PHOTO: David Couldridge

Dorking Wanderers 3 Tonbridge Angels 1

and a clearance off the line by a defender. In the last 20 minutes both sides had chances but Tonbridge were indebted to Roberts for two good saves to thwart Sole and Tom Richards, while the latter also hit the crossbar. McKimm reflected: “We didn’t deserve that result. The first 25 minutes we were superb but the sending-off changed the game massively.” The Angels now travel to Bath City on Saturday (August 17, kick-off 3pm).

Tonbridge mounted a brave second-half display that, while not bringing any reward, gives encouragement for the games ahead. Small, who was a constant threat, had a snapshot four minutes into the half which was saved by the feet of Huk at his near post. Roberts, who was standing in for the injured and suspended Jonny Henly, acrobatically turned over a shot from Giuseppe Sole. On 61 minutes the visitors found the net when Small pulled the ball back from the right byline for Hession-Harris to fire in at the near post. But the comeback was stopped in its tracks just two minutes later when Elliott Buchanan struck a fine shot from 20 yards past the despairing dive of Roberts. A run from inside his own half by Small ended with a shot being parried away by Huk. The rebound fell to Joe Turner, whose effort was saved by a combination of the goalkeeper

MEMORIAL SERVICE A memorial service will be held in memory of Charlie Slocombe at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Borough Green on Friday (August 16) at 1.30pm, followed by a gathering at Platt Memorial Hall in St Mary’s Platt. The former Angels player, 26, died while playing football last month.

Balham prove too strong for Rusthall By Dean Jacquin FOOTBALL RUSTHALL exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle in the extra preliminary round against Balham from the Combined Counties Premier Division. On an excellent at Wibbandune both sides looked to play on the deck and probe for openings to capitalise upon. Reuel Powell-Downey crossed for Luke Adams but he was unable to find the important touch for the visitors. Balham grew into the game as the half went on

and created some chances that were squandered, and the score was goalless at half-time. The second half followed a similar pattern but after 51minutes the ball fell nicely to the home side’s midfielder Ashley Snadden, who passed it into the corner of the net. This prompted Rusthall to become more offensive, and Balham then looked to counterattack on the break. Powell-Downey had a good chance well saved late on, and Balham saw the game out to proceed into the next round. Rusthall now return to action in the Southern Counties East League Division One at home to Lydd Town on Saturday (August 17).

UP FOR THE CUP Ryan Styles challenges for the ball

PHOTO: Dean Jacquin

Balham 1 Rusthall 0

All-round skills of Jalill give buoyant Cowdrey easy win over bottom side

CRICKET COWDREY followed up their comprehensive victory over Leeds & Broomfield with another powerful win against Kent League Division Three’s bottom side Gore Court. Ryan Addison won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first, then immediately struck with the first ball of the match as he bounced out Muhammad Asghar. A partnership then developed between Gore Court captain Adam Collins and overseas player Clarence Baird but it was to be their only significant contribution.

Hostile The introduction of Minhaj Jalill’s spin induced a collapse with Baird succumbing for 36. The wicket-keeper was the only Gore Court player to make double figures. The Sri Lankan overseas player picked up 4 for 11 from his allotted ten overs. At the other end Nick Farr blew away the lower order with some hostile fast bowling to grab 3 for 4, and Gore Court had been skittled for 67 in 28.3 overs. Cowdrey’s openers Barney Scott and Jalill reached the target by 4pm, winning by 10 wickets on 69 for 0 after 13 overs. Jalill made light work of the task, hurrying to 46 not out off 38 balls with six fours and two sixes to complete an excellent all-round performance. Defeat for Catford Cyphers means the Tonbridge side need one more victory from their last four matches to guarantee they remain in the third division. Cowdrey now travel to Catford Wanderers on Saturday (August 17).


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Ambitious TJs sign up England prospect Nay

FLYING THE FLAG Alexander Dunmall was in second place after two days

Dunmall gives US kids a scare GOLF YOUNG golfer Alexander Dunmall enjoyed an outstanding first two days at the US Kids World Championships in North Carolina. The six-year-old prodigy from Five Oak Green was competing against 111 other children in his age category in the three-day competition at the Pinehurst course. More than 1,600 young golfers were taking part overall in the flagship junior event, which has been the subject of a documentary on Netflix called The Short Game. Alexander shot a round of two under par on the first day, which put him in second place despite fierce competition which saw the US leader shooting seven under.

On the second day the Capel Primary School pupil was again on top form, retaining the runners-up berth with a round of one under. Amid intense humidity on day three, he was unable to recover from a bad hole and dropped back to eighth place, but he was still the highest-placed European in his age group. His mother Claire said: “We thought maybe he would make the top 20 but we never dreamt it would be the top 10.” A place in the top 20 means he has automatically qualified for next year’s Worlds, and he will also be competing in the US Kids European Championships after coming third at Longniddry in June.

Howard has a night to remember with win on long-distance debut By Adam Dennis

That was followed by a marathon run comprising eight laps of a 5.3km course that saw the athletes running through the sunrise. Waite said: “Then the sun starting coming up, and even on a housing estate in Dartford that was quite special.” Howard finished in first place overall, setting an impressive debut time of 11:47, with Fuller finishing ninth in his category in 13:20m, while Waite won her section in 13:41.

TRIATHLON CLAIRE HOWARD claimed first place in the Midnight Man triathlon on her debut at the longer distance after racing through Saturday night in Dartford. She was one of three Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club members who wanted to make up for missing out on their first Ironman event. Howard (F40-49), Helen Waite (F40-49) and John Fuller (M40-49) had all hoped to take part in the Nottingham Outlaw race last month but it was curtailed by adverse weather. The long-distance triathlon in north Kent consisted of a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run, starting on Saturday evening and continuing through the night. Determined not to let months of training go unrealised the trio took on the added complexity of racing in the dark while being deprived of sleep. With weather again affecting race day with high winds, the race started late and the bike leg had to be altered to 26 laps of a 7km course. On the four-lap swim in the lake, Howard exiting the water first in 1hr 27min, followed by Fuller in 1:35 and Waite in 1:44. On the flat and windy bike course there were more than 100 dead turns during the six hours or more in the saddle. TIRED LEGS: (L-R) Claire Howard, John Fuller and Helen Waite

RUBGY TONBRIDGE EARN YOUR STRIPES JUDDIANS have secured the TJs’ coach Peter Dankert signing of England Under-20s welcomes Jack Nay back rower Jack Nay ahead of their new campaign in National Two South. The Saracens Academy member, 21, played in the Under-20 World Championship in Georgia in 2017-18 and in the age group’s Six Nations. He joins TJs from the Toronto Arrows in Canada, where he was on loan from Sarries for the Major League Rugby season. During the 2017-18 season he was loaned out to the Bedford Blues, where he scored six tries in for the Championship side. He also scored a memorable solo try for Saracens against Harlequins in the AngloWelsh Cup under captain Ben Earl, the England squad player who went to Head Coach Peter Dankert said: “As a club we Tonbridge School. are very ambitious, and with the support from our sponsors such as Ridgecrest Cleaning, we are now in a position to attract players of Jack’s Quality quality, which will make a great difference to the strength of our squad. Jack, who is 6ft 4in tall and weighs 240lb, said: “We are all very excited for the coming season “At this stage in my career moving to an ambitious, well organised club like TJs is perfect. and want to welcome rugby fans from across Kent to come to Tonbridge to see stars like Jack “It will give me the opportunity to play a full in action.” season at a high standard and will definitely TJs start their league campaign at home help my development, and hopefully I can play a Leicester Lions on September 7. key role in securing a league title for the club.”


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Times of Tunbridge Wells 14th August 2019  

Times of Tunbridge Wells 14th August 2019  

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