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Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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INSIDE BESPOKE SERVICE

PHOTO: Craig Wishart

New two-mile cycle path links town with Pembury Page 3

YARDS OF BARGAINS Community event returns with 180 yard sales Page 5

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Dame Kelly Holmes took part in a local parkrun on Saturday to encourage the nation to get fit on the NHS’s 70th birthday. She joined 650 other runners, many of whom were dressed up as doctors, nurses and patients. Full details page 2

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New super-clinic and extended GP hours will boost patient care By Andy Tong newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk PLANS to improve local healthcare will see the creation of a new super-clinic at Tunbridge Wells Hospital along with the opening of GP surgeries until 8pm and at weekends. The new Urgent Treatment Centres [UTCs] at the hospital in Pembury and the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s sister hospital at Maidstone will be ‘fully open’ in April 2019. The news comes as West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG] announced the closure of out-of-hours practices at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital and Sevenoaks Community Hospital at the end of this month.

The extended hours at doctors surgeries, which will see them open until 8pm Monday to Friday with some weekend appointments, will come into effect in October.

‘Changes will make sure people get a consistent 24-hour GP-led service’ Dr Mark Whistler The UTCs are designed to relieve pressure on Accident & Emergency Departments, offering an alternative for patients who are not sure what level of care they require. It is also envisaged that they will offer more scope for follow-on treatment, while also deploying staff more efficiently.

The centres will enable people to undergo additional testing such as X-rays and access the expertise of consultants more quickly if required. In addition, mental health and social care workers and therapists will be on hand to offer advice and support. The centres will also offer improved facilities for the assessment and treatment of children and frail patients. The UTCs will work closely with conventional GP practices and staff will have access to medical records if patients give their consent. Dr Mark Whistler, urgent care Clinical Lead for West Kent CCG, said: “For a long time we have known that significant

Continued on page 2

VEG WITH EDGE

Tunbridge Wells foodies love Vegetarian Week Page 64

TOAST TO THE OAST

Step inside the twin conversion in our property guide Page 48


Lifestyle Going out News & Sport

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CONTACTS EDITORIAL DIRECTOR RICHARD MOORE richard@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk | 01892 779615 DEPUTY EDITOR EILEEN LEAHY eileen@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk | 01892 576037 CHIEF REPORTER WILLIAM MATA will@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

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CLARIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS HERE at Times local newspapers we strive to deliver fair, accurate and balanced reports. When we don’t meet our own high standards we will accept the responsibility and publish clarifications and corrections. If you would like to make a comment on any aspect of the newspaper, please write to the editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU, or email newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk 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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Dame Kelly leads nation in fitness campaign to mark birthday of NHS Continued from page 1 DAME KELLY HOLMES took part in the Tonbridge parkrun last weekend to encourage the nation to get fit on the NHS’s 70th birthday. The double Olympic gold medallist from Hildenborough was a nursing assistant before she went into the Army, and she was promoting a nationwide running event on June 9 to celebrate the health service’s anniversary. By recruiting members of the public to take part in their local run, ‘parkrun for the NHS’ is spreading the word about the contribution of the NHS to

‘You only really probably appreciate the NHS when something is going drastically wrong’

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the health of the nation and inspiring people to take part in physical activity and volunteering. Dame Kelly joined around 650 runners at the Racecourse sportsground on Saturday [May 12] for the officially launch of the joint initiative. NHS staff took part and many others were dressed up as doctors, nurses and patients. Dame Kelly had earlier tweeted: “Too cold for a little nurse’s outfit but I will be wearing blue.” Over 500 parkruns are held across the UK every Saturday morning. The non-competitive 5km

HEALTH KICK: Runners dressed as medics take part in Saturday’s special parkrun runs are free and open to all ages and abilities. Growing levels of obesity in adults and children is a major health issue for the NHS because it leads to many life-threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and stroke. It is estimated that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year and it could

overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death. The cost of treating diabetes alone is around £10billion every year – nearly 10 per cent of the NHS’s entire budget. Dame Kelly said: “Increased levels of activity leads to improved mood, self-esteem and a wide range of health benefits. I think it’s really important we use things like the parkrun as medicine.” She added: “I know from first-hand experience how sociable and welcoming parkruns are. “You can be a volunteer, you can run for the first time, you can meet people, you can socialise, you can have a coffee at the end of it. “Actually that’s more important, to get people to feel good about themselves. “My mother was very ill last year. She passed away, unfortunately, but she had fantastic care. “You know you only really probably appreciate the NHS when something is going drastically wrong and you realise what it’s all about.” Ian Dodge, NHS England’s Director of Strategy and Innovation, is a frequent parkrunner and took part in the Tonbridge version. He said: “With more than half of adults in England overweight or obese, it is vital that people find time in their busy lives to get more active. “In the year the NHS turns 70, taking part in this special edition of parkrun is one way to get fitter, feel better and deliver a welcome birthday present for the health service too.”

If cases are serious, patients can move easily to A&E WHAT IT ALL MEANS…

Continued from page 1 numbers of people come to the emergency departments when they don’t have a strict medical need to do so, because they don’t know what else to do or want the reassurance of being seen at a hospital. “Not only will these developments help people to receive the right care, first time, but they will also make better use of the staff available and make sure people get a consistent 24-hour GPled service from both Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals and more integrated care. He added: “Once the Urgent Treatment Centres are open, patients who come to the hospital but need to see a nurse or GP, will do so. “Then, if it turns out their case is more serious than it might appear, they can be swiftly moved into the emergency department, where the consultant-led teams will take care of them.”

Do these changes apply to all GP surgeries? Yes. National planning guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement requires all CCGs [Clinical Commissioning Groups] across the country to provide improved access to GP services, including at evenings and weekends, for 100 per cent of their population by October 1. What are GP surgeries required to deliver in terms of offering extended hours? The guidance requires patients to have access to face-to-face appointments after 6.30pm until at least 8pm on weekday evenings and access to face-to-face appointments on Saturdays and/or Sundays as determined by the needs of the local population. Both evening and weekend appointments can

be booked by patients in advance or on the same day and can be made with a GP, nurse, pharmacist or physiotherapist. Will appointments be at a patient’s normal surgery? The appointments could be provided at one or a few locations within a GP ‘cluster area’ – there are seven geographical cluster areas in West Kent – and will be available to all patients registered at a practice in that cluster. What are the opening hours for GP surgeries currently? Right now GPs are contracted to offer services between 8am and 6.30pm, although some practices in West Kent offer early-morning appointments.

Grammar schools could receive funds to increase parent choice By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk HEADTEACHERS have cautiously welcomed news of a government grant that could allow grammar schools to expand. The Department for Education has pledged £50million to create more spaces in selective state schools. This could see England’s 163 grammar schools given around £300,000 each in a move ministers say ‘will offer more choice’ for parents. Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge opened an annexe in Sevenoaks last year and its Headteacher, Maureen Johnson, commented on last week’s announcement.

She said: “I am pleased to hear the Government is still committed to increasing parental choice through offering grammar schools the chance to expand. “Governors at the school are absolutely behind the need for grammar schools to encourage students from all backgrounds to see a grammar school education as a real option.” For grammars to take on more pupils they will have to submit plans setting out how they will boost the numbers of disadvantaged pupils they admit. Critics have argued that selective education hinders social mobility and does not benefit the education of pupils. Mrs Johnson added that the announcement comes in midst of a ‘prolonged period of underfunding’.

Maureen Johnson Headteacher of Weald of Kent Grammar School “The announcement fails to address the immediate and pressing issues that all schools, primary, secondary and special ones face, which is to manage inadequate budgets whilst still trying to deliver the best education possible.” The announcement follows news that Kent County Council is looking to create openings at five schools to

meet a capacity need, with hundreds of homes set to be built in West Kent in the next 15 years. County Hall reported in December last year that more than £25million had been set aside to support these expansion plans. Edward Wesson, Headmaster of The Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells, said: “It is a bit odd hearing this announcement in the context of basic needs expansion of places in West Kent. “Over recent years, that has included grammar school expansion. “As a result I think this £50million pot is irrelevant to Kent, so, as much as I would like to attract more money, I doubt it will mean much to us as a school. “However we have opened up our admissions to pupils on Free School Meals by prioritising their admission to the school and will continue to do so and to work with other schools locally as well.”


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Times changing as villagers lose rail link LEIGH and Penshurst stations will no longer have a direct link to London when Southern Railway modifies timetables from May 20. An hourly shuttle service from Tonbridge to Redhill will still serve the stations but John Reynolds, Chairman of Tonbridge Line Commuters, said the move was a ‘retrograde step’. “Usage of the line has been underestimated as it can be used as an alternative route and for journeys to Croydon,” he said. Passengers along the line will now have to to change at Tonbridge or Redhill to make a connecting link to the capital. Southeastern services in West Kent will also see slight timetable alterations from May 20. Visit www.southeasternrailway. co.uk for more information.

Potholes being filled MORE than 20,000 potholes have already been filled this year across Kent as part of the county council’s £7.5million repair blitz. Bad weather in the ‘Beast from the East’ storm at the beginning of March led the authority to pledge an extra £2million to tackle a backlog. Since March 1, 14,998 potholes have been filled. This includes 1,438 in Tunbridge Wells borough and 706 in Tonbridge & Malling borough.

Quiz night for charity Hildenborough Village Hall hosts a special quiz night on Saturday, May 26, to raise funds for Hi Kent, the local charity for deaf and hard of hearing people. All proceeds will go towards helping people with hearing loss in the area. Entry costs £8 per person, in teams of six, and includes dinner. To book call 01622 691151 or email d.jones@hikent.org.uk

Travellers on Common A GROUP of travellers, who set up on Southborough Common last weekend, are to be evicted, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has said. Around six caravans were spotted on the site on Friday [May 11] which attracted the attention of local authorities. A member of the Town Hall’s Community Safety Unit visited the next day and ‘served a letter to begin the eviction process’.

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Council has ‘no intention’ of buying out town retailers newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk

Operation The letter, seen by the Times, has the heading ‘this communication affects your property’ and states ‘the council is considering making a CPO to acquire land and interests of land’. Authorities can implement a CPO to force businesses to give up land or even the entire property. The Town Hall has previously told the Times

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development work is ensure we fully understand who owns property or has rights on the site and nearby properties. “The letter has been sent on behalf of the council to those with property and property rights in the area. It encloses a statutory notice that asks for information about ownership and access rights. “It is not a letter saying the council is compulsorily purchasing properties and there are contact details in the letter for anyone who is concerned to be able to speak directly to a member of the council’s property team.” John King, owner of Kai’s Kitchen, said: “It is the latest run-in with the council in an ongoing situation. We have just reopened after being flooded and this letter has come as a bit of a shock.” Opponents of the Civic Complex have criticised the Conservative-run council’s handling of the situation. Lib Dem Cllr Ben Chapelard said: “These letters have caused alarm to three business owners. “The council previously told shopkeepers and briefed councillors that these shops would not face a CPO.” Tunbridge Wells Alliance Cllr Nicholas Pope said: “Understandably, business and property owners will be very surprised, and, in many cases, shocked, to have received these without prior warning and explanation.”

SURPRISED Kai’s Kitchen on Mount Pleasant received a letter

By Jonathan Banks TOWN HALL has moved quickly to quell fears that it will issue Compulsory Purchase Orders [CPOs] to retailers next to the Civic Complex and theatre site. Restaurant Kai’s Kitchen, jewellers Walsh Bros and the British Heart Foundation charity shop are all neighbours on Mount Pleasant and received letters from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on Friday [May 11]. This was two days after planning permission was granted to build the contested £90million complex on land next to Calverley Grounds.

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that a CPO would only be required ‘as a last resort’ and said only one was being considered. It is understood this relates to Hoopers department store, whose land the council may need to access to allow the theatre operation to run. The letter goes onto say: “This information is required by the council to ensure all persons with a relevant interest in the land are served with the appropriate statutory notices in respect to the CPO and are kept informed throughout the process.” But the council has denied this means a CPO will be used to force out any of the retailers. Cllr Tracy Moore, Portfolio Holder for Civic Development Communications said yesterday [Tuesday]: “There is no intention to compulsorily purchase Kai’s Kitchen, Walsh Bros or the British Heart Foundation shop. “This is a complex and important project and one of the things that has to be done as part of the

See page 4 for more on the Civic Complex

Cycle path extension hailed as chance to leave the car at home By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk CYCLISTS will now be able to ride to Pembury on a new two mile path from the edge of North Farm. The link, which ends at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, is the final part of a £900,000 highways scheme. The new route joins the existing seven mile cycle path which follows the A21 to Tonbridge and through North Farm to Tunbridge Wells and was opened last year. Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, and Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge, joined cyclists and dignitaries for a celebratory ride along the two mile extension on Saturday [May 12]. Mr Clark was loaned an electric bike from the Cycling Made Easy shop located on St John’s

Road for the occasion. He said: “This new cycle path is a fantastic opportunity for people to cycle to work or for leisure. It’s a great addition to the local cycle network.”

Opportunity Kent County Council and Highways England were behind the scheme, which also included improved links to the footbridge over the A21 at Blackhurst Lane. The authorities will be using a high-tech counter device to record the number of pedestrians and cyclists who use the route. For Mr Clark, who doubles up as Business Secretary, it was his second bike-related opening this month, having attended the launch of doubledecker cycle parking at High Brooms on May 4.

ON YOUR E-BIKE MP Greg Clark takes on the two mile route “In spite of the rain, we had a brilliant time riding the new cycle path,” Mr Clark continued. “We need to get the word out so that people know it’s there and might consider cycling between Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, instead of jumping in the car.”


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Time running out for challenges to theatre after planning decision Opponents commit to blocking project and claim ‘it’s not over until the spade goes in’ By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk

CULTURAL STRATEGY Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has backed the plan

OPPONENTS of the £90million Civic Complex and theatre are considering their options now planning permission has been secured. In a meeting last week, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously backed the development, which could house council offices, business offices and a replacement to the Assembly Hall Theatre from 2021. Cllr David Jukes, Leader of the ruling Conservative group, welcomed the decision as ‘good news for the transformation of the town’, and construction could begin next October. Before then, other parties are weighing up if and how to launch a legal challenge, while the project still has a number of hurdles to overcome. Chiefly, the council may need to obtain a compulsory purchase order [CPO] to access land owned by Hoopers department store.

Expensive While the authority said this would only done ‘as a last resort’, Tunbridge Wells Alliance Cllr Nicholas Pope, said this is where the project is most likely to be derailed. “We are discussing our options at the moment, but we will challenge it,” said Cllr Pope. “CPOs could derail it as these are out of the hands of the council and other authorities will decide it.” Bob Atwood, Alliance Chairman, added: “We are looking for any means possible to oppose it and there are a number of options open, including legal action. “It is a big step and it could be the case of someone taking legal action and us supporting them.” The nine-member council committee’s decision was made from a planning perspective, rather than a political one. The lengthy debate examined environmental, technical and archaeological concerns. But it was hardly surprising the board, made-up entirely of Conservative members, passed it as the majority had already given advanced plans their blessing in a full council meeting last December. At the meeting on Wednesday [May 9] committee member Cllr Bob Backhouse led calls for the project’s approval, stating the 1,200-seat theatre could attract ‘greater footfall’ to boost the town’s economy.

SLICE OF LIFE The complex could also contain a café and offices

The approval was made despite 148 objections being raised during a public consultation, and only eight comments in favour. Critics have described the complex as unnecessary, too expensive, not part of a masterplan and damaging to its surroundings. After the decision Cllr Ben Chapelard, Leader of the Opposition Liberal Democrat group, said: “It

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? NOW planning permission has been granted, the developments come thick and fast. The next architectural design plans [RIBA Stage 4] will be drawn up and work packages are likely to go out to tender within weeks. The council will also be in negotiations with Hoopers department store over a possible Compulsory Purchase Order of land for access. Before construction begins in October 2019, a legal challenge could be made, offering perhaps the final opportunity for the project to be stopped.

is not over until the first spade goes in. “I can’t imagine the opponents giving up. [If we were in power] we would look to put the project on hold and review it.” There was some disgruntlement the meeting had been arranged only a week after the borough council elections, which saw three previous committee members stand down. On Wednesday Cllr Barbara Cobbold gave her apologies and Cllr Linda Hall was also unable to attend, but told the Times she would have opposed. There were also calls made by the Alliance and Lib Dems for an independent panel to have

decided on planning permission. The BBC and Sainsbury’s have also come out against the Civic Complex during the consultation stage, stating their concerns about noise and dirt from construction. Other firms, however, including developers British Land and Altitude, have registered support. The council has not yet confirmed how the existing Town Hall and Assembly Hall, a listed building, will be next used. It it is understood that construction in Calverley Grounds will not affect the seasonal ice rink or Mela festival area.

WHO SAID WHAT? “The decision brings us a step closer to delivering the vision in the cultural strategy for Royal Tunbridge Wells to become the cultural heart of Kent and Sussex Weald. “This is a significant investment in the future prosperity of our borough, for the benefit of generations to come.” – Cllr Tracy Moore, Cabinet Member for Civic Development

“Our members unanimously expressed their support and said it would reflect a positive investment in the town. “They were particularly supportive of having more office space. Our town is losing businesses, not because they want to relocate, but because they cannot find space.” – Karen Pengelly, Manager of Royal Tunbridge Wells Together

“The committee’s decision is very good news. The next ten years will see major changes in the town and this development will be a key part of the transformation and will play an important role in delivering economic benefits to Tunbridge Wells.” – Cllr David Jukes, Council Leader

“There is little evidence that the proposals will deliver cultural and social benefits and that it will have an impact on the local economy. “It is hugely expensive and if this was a third party’s plan [rather than the council’s] there is no doubt it would be turned down.” – Bob Atwood, Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Alliance

“This is a missed opportunity for the borough council to do something for the town that is futureproof. This is the wrong project, in the wrong place at the wrong time.” – Cllr Ben Chapelard, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group

“Irrespective of the results of the planning application Labour councillors will maintain their opposition to the civic centre and scrutinise and hold the Conservatives to account for their irresponsible promises.” – Martin Betts, Labour Tunbridge Wells Campaign Co-Ordinator


Warning about tool thieves in unlikely hotspot

Devastating Tunbridge Wells carpenter Andrew Waller said thieves stole nearly £7,000 worth of tools from his van over Christmastime. “It was devastating,” he said. “There had been a string of break-ins in my area. My van was reasonably new and has strong exterior including deadlocks I had fitted. “However they managed to lever open my van and got through the dead locks in a matter of minutes.” Simply Business said some thieves were making off with goods worth up to £11,000. The post code area with the most number of claims was said to be TN12, which covers Paddock Wood and Staplehurst. Mr Waller continued: “While my insurance had me covered from a financial perspective, it effected my customers as my van was off the road for a week whilst it got fixed.”

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Yard Sale returns for second year and is bigger than ever

By Phil Spacey AN insurance company’s research has found Tunbridge Wells to be a surprising hotspot for tool theft. A study, released last week by Simply Business, showed the town had the highest theft per tradesman ratio in the UK, with one in 13 making a claim last year. The company complied the data by analysing its 425,000-strong customer base and finding the places where the most number of claims were made. Tunbridge Wells saw the sixth total highest number of claims, behind London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leicester and Chelmsford. But its comparative size meant it was top of the list for ‘highest tool theft per tradesperson’.

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By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk BARGAIN hunters are looking forward to the return of Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale, one of the town’s biggest community events. Organisers have so far signed up 180 registered sellers for the second event, which will be held on Saturday, June 2. The format sees residents stage a car boot-style sale in their front garden or driveway. It is free to register and proceeds can either be kept or given away to partner charity Tree of Hope. Organiser Ingrid Pope launched Tunbridge

Wells Yard Sale last year after seeing a similar event in the US when she visited Maine State two years ago. She said the 2017 sale was hugely successful although this year it ‘promises to be even bigger’. “We heard stories of people meeting their neighbours of many years for the first time on Yard Sale day, and that is what the day is all

Clutter about,” said Mrs Pope, who runs her own business Creating Space Coaching. “Having a deadline can be very useful to set yourself a task that you tend to put off. “The benefits of clearing clutter are numerous, including improved well-being and even better health.” Participants register on the official website and are plotted on an interactive map with a brief description of what they will have on offer. Local businesses are also invited to take part. For more information visit www.twyardsale. co.uk ORGANISER Ingrid Pope is behind the second event

CLEAR VISION A yard sale last year

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‘Make healthcare more local’ say MPs as Hunt asks for NHS advice By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk UNCERTAINTY The BT office opposite Sevenoaks railway station

BT tight-lipped over future of county staff BT is to cut around 13,000 jobs across the UK, but has not said how Kent employees could be affected. The communications firm has large offices next to Sevenoaks railway station, as well as in Sidcup and Crawley. BT announced the cuts on Friday [May 11] as the firm looks to reduce costs by around £1.5billion, despite pre-tax profits rising 11 per cent last year. Analysts have said the firm, which is progressing in its digital and televised sport operations, needed to streamline to pursue projects. At the most recent analysis, BT had 106,400 employees. A spokesperson, said: “We will reduce the number of offices we have in the UK over the coming years, developing a network of 30 modern workplaces across the country. “There are no details yet of what this means for individual locations around the country.”

CONSERVATIVE MPs have called on the Health Secretary to boost Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge services as the NHS battles financial pressures. Jeremy Hunt wrote to all Tory Members of Parliament earlier this month to ask for advice in solving funding problems. Mr Hunt’s letter said after its ‘most challenging winter for years’ there is ‘no doubt’ of the pressure the NHS is under. It follows Theresa May’s announcement that an urgent long-term financial strategy must come in before the planned 2019 review of public spending. With Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust receiving a Care Quality Commission rating of ‘requires improvement’ in January, the effects of these challenges have been felt locally. CHALLENGES The Trust ‘requires improvement’

Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat, one of three Tory politicians asked for their views by the Times, said: “I’d like to see healthcare become even more local.

Capacity “I’d like to see the Government continue to invest in the NHS and that means delivering more GP capacity here in Tonbridge. Since November we have seen £10billion in new funding but more is needed to keep the NHS delivering.” “We can improve recovery rates and treatment outcomes by keeping people close to family and friends,” he continued. “That’s why I want to see more services at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, delivering care in the community for years to come.” Mr Hunt has been in the role since 2012 and said in his letter he would be ‘grateful to her the views’ of colleagues. This is following what he previously described as the NHS’ ‘worst ever winter’. Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark said: “Everyone accepts long-term funding of the NHS is a challenge. “People are living longer and developments in treatments and medical science also adds extra financial pressures. “Given these known challenges, I think it’s quite right for the Health Secretary to ask

COMMENT: Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat has responded to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for input.” Mr Tugendhat said all of the NHS’ bodies needed to be ‘better focused on patient outcome’ and should ‘keep care local’, especially in serving rural communities. “That’s why I’m disappointed NHS England has chosen not to invest in branch surgeries in villages like East Peckham,” he continued. “The focus should be on the patient not the provider and I’m determined we use the resources available as efficiently as possible to get the best for our community. “This is too important for all of us to be reduced to an ideological debate [over privatisation].” Wealden MP Nus Ghani was also asked for her thoughts, but no reply had been received from her office at the time of going to press.


BUSINESS

HEADLINE SPONSOR

Times Business Awards

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Gala night tickets on sale for the awards celebrating local business

By Duncan Audsley newdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk MORE than 200 people will enjoy the most exciting social and networking event of the year next month and you have the chance to be among them. Tickets are now on sale for the Times Business Awards, which will be held at Salomons Estate in Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday, June 13. Guests at the glittering black tie gathering will be treated to a champagne reception and a threecourse meal with wine. The gala night presents an opportunity to network with some of the most successful business leaders in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Malling. But as well as the chance to swap business cards, the evening will also offer jokes and stories from television personality and global traintrotter Michael Portillo. The former government minister turned documentary-maker has most recently been on our screens in Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain on Channel 5, in which he explores abandoned buildings around the country, and series 6 of his Great Continental Railway Journeys is being rerun this week on BBC Two. The celebrity has committed to ‘making the audience laugh a bit’ at the awards, but has not

confirmed if he will be wearing his trademark exotically coloured jacket and trousers. If that’s not enough, there will also be live music until midnight, giving everyone an opportunity to make use of the dance floor. Those attending need not be company owners, or associated with nominees, but people who wish to be part of the event, which showcases the best individuals and organisations in West Kent.

COULD THIS BE YOU? More than 200 enjoyed the awards last year

Winning Jenny Kitchen, Managing Director of Tunbridge Wells creative agency Yoyo Design, has entered her firm in the Best Business 1-25 Employees category, having previously been named Young Business Person of the Year. She said: “We love getting involved in local events, and of course we’re always hopeful of winning. “We didn’t quite know what to expect [at a previous awards] but it was a fantastic evening.” Hope Marshall is another to have signed up for the awards, having entered the Young Entrepreneur of the Year. “This is the first time I have entered an awards of any kind, and I liked the sound of this category,” she said. “It would be amazing to win, but I wanted to come because I think it will be a great event.”

HOW TO BUY YOUR TICKET

WELL TRAVELLED Michael Portillo about to set off on another railway journey

PHOTO: BBC/Boundless

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THE Times Business Awards will be held at Salomons Estate from 6pm on Wednesday, June 13. Guests will receive a welcome drink and a three-course dinner with wine included in the price. Tickets are £95 each or £850 for a table of ten. To secure your place, call Lara Milan on 01892 739764 or email: lmilan@markerstudy.com


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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Times Business Awards

BUSINESS

Family business maintains its traditional community values alongside world sales COMPANY: G Collins & Sons COMPANY TYPE: Jeweller SPONSOR TYPE: Headline sponsor Family-run jewellers G Collins & Sons were among the first to sign up to support the local business community, as the firm itself seeks to grow in new

areas. The jeweller is one of two headline sponsors for this year’s Times Business Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, June 13. William Mata spoke to Josh Collins, Director of the prestigious company, which is based in Tunbridge Wells High Street.

Why did you want to get involved with the Times Business Awards?

And how has your business developed or moved forward?

At G Collins & Sons, we are delighted to support this wonderful event that celebrates the achievements of local businesses, and rewards the excellence of young entrepreneurs through to established businesses.

The company’s online presence has seen dramatic changes. As the business has developed, so has our website, undergoing complete renovation. We believe that our user-friendly website is a brilliant platform for customers to see and purchase our products from the comfort of their own home. Also, we have now been able to reach customers from all over the world who otherwise may not have been able to find us. As a result, we’ve seen our online business grow considerably in the last year. We pride ourselves on the personal service we offer in store, and we enjoy serving our customers on a face-to-face basis, but we are also a brand that keeps moving with the times and adapts to our customers’ changing needs. For us as a business, the most vital thing is to maintain our traditional values without losing touch with the modern world!

How important are small businesses to the local economy? We think it is very important to support our local community. Small businesses are essential to enrich the local area and generate new jobs in the town.

Would you encourage firms to enter or buy tickets for the awards? Definitely. It is a great opportunity to reward your company with this prestigious local award, and for your staff to gain recognition for all their achievements and dedication over the past year. It is always exciting to discover new and innovative businesses right here in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

What have been some of your own successes in the last year?

DOUBLE VISION G Collins & Sons in Tunbridge Wells High Street

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We have continued to grow as a company over the past year, with the expansion of our new on-site workshop. Our 17 expert craftsmen and women are extremely busy providing the ultimate service to our clients. It is one of the largest independent fine jewellery workshops in the UK. We are also very proud to employ local people and give apprentices a unique opportunity to learn traditional skills from our experienced jewellers, some of whom have worked for us for more than 25 years.

What makes your company stand out? G Collins & Sons is a family-run establishment in Tunbridge Wells. We’re passionate about providing the highest standards of service and care for our clients. We offer the finest pieces matched to the individual’s requirements. It’s equally important to us that we create a professional, relaxed and friendly environment in which everyone feels comfortable. We’re very proud of our highly experienced master jewellers and silversmiths who undertake repairs and commissions, including specialist restoration of antique items.


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Mayor hopes to inspire a new generation to help community By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk THROUGHOUT her year in office, the retiring Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Julia Soyke, hopes to have inspired a new generation to help their community. With just a few days of her term remaining, the 2017/18 Mayor welcomed 45 members of charities for a reception in Town Hall on Thursday [May 10]. “It has been hugely enjoyable, full of surprises,

and all of them have been positive. It has been excellent,” Mrs Soyke told the Times, reflecting on her year. “I feel honoured to be carrying the chain. I believe in doing all I can for the community, but I never expected to become Mayor, and it was a surprise to be asked. “Most of all. I have enjoyed meeting the young people for whom local government seems far removed. I want them to feel that if they want to become Mayor it is something reachable.” Mrs Soyke, who was recently re-elected as a

SUPPORT Mayor Julia Soyke chose DAVSS as her charity of the year

Conservative councillor for Speldhurst & Bidborough ward, said she has put the community before politics throughout her time as Mayor. She has played a key role in fundraising and supporting community groups, most notably her chosen charity, DAVSS [Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services], as well as chairing council meetings.

WRAPPED UP: Toy Appeal with MP Greg Clark

Pleasure In her speech at the charity reception, she stressed the difference that councillors and mayors can make. “It is too difficult to say what my greatest achievement was,” said Mrs Soyke, who chaired the Full Council meeting in December where the controversial new Civic Complex and theatre was effectively decided. “The biggest challenge has been speaking without notes,” she continued, “that is something I did not quite master. “The council officers, without exception, have been very cheerful and supportive. It has also made me realise there are people everywhere doing an amazing amount of volunteering.” Current Deputy Mayor Len Horwood will take over the role in a Full Council meeting on May 23, with Cllr James Scholes to become the new Deputy Mayor – for the second time. Mrs Soyke said: “A good mayor likes people and needs to enjoy it. It is a lot of work, but I regard it to be a pleasure. Even annual general meetings – you get a feel for what is being done. “I hope people will see that I am very fond of the area and the people who make it such a special place.”

STAND ON CEREMONY: Inside the Town Hall

SUNNY: With husband Peter at a community event


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New Citizens Advice headquarters is in position to tackle problems By Andy Tong THE Citizens Advice Bureau for Tunbridge Wells opened a new office in Monson Way last week, which has put them back at the centre of the town’s agencies and charities. The headquarters, in the Town & Country Housing Group’s building, was opened by the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Julia Soyke, and MP Greg Clark on Friday. Alison Kemp, Grants Manager of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells &

District, said: “We used to be in Monson Road, then we moved to Vale House, but we felt a bit remote from everyone else down there. “It’s good to be back because a lot of our partners are here, like the Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre and Imago.” Citizens Advice has seen its workload growing during the years of recession following the financial crisis. In 2017, the bureau’s team of 70plus volunteers helped over 5,300 people – more than one in 20 in the

borough – in 11,000 sessions, and secured for them £1.145million in debt relief, unclaimed benefits and savings in energy bills. “There has been an increase in debt problems,” said Ms Kemp. “But we always say ‘no debt is unsolvable’.” For the last year the organisation has been stepping in to help out doctors who are having to treat increasing numbers of people suffering because of their financial situation. “We are finding that a lot of people coming to us have mental health

HERE TO HELP The volunteers at Citizens Advice in their new office

problems, and we’re trying to have a more holistic approach, working out of GP surgeries, too,” said Ms Kemp. “People are seeing the doctor with social issues rather than medical ones. They are feeling stressed or depressed because of debt problems. “They feel they have no one else to talk to, and because of that they are taking up GP consulting time.”

Appointments The volunteer-based charity has been sending representatives into three surgeries, St Andrews in Southborough, Greggs Wood in Sherwood and Rowan Tree in Showfields. “In this way we can alleviate some of the stress on the NHS. Our advisers go into surgeries one day a week. This is done on a drop-in basis and by appointment.” The scheme has proved a success, and Citizens Advice is trying to expand it into rural areas. For initial appointments, it will continue to be based at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Gateway premises at Fiveways from 10am-4pm. There are also services available at Cranbrook Library, the Soup Bowl drop-in at the United Reformed Church and The Hub at the Mental Health Resources Centre in Grosvenor & Hilbert Park. For more information, call 03448 487978 or visit www.twcab.org.uk

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Foster families are urgently needed for teens and siblings THERE are 920 new foster families needed in the South East over the next 12 months, according to the charity Fostering Network. There is a particular need for families to foster teenagers and groups of brothers and sisters. The figures have been released during the charity’s Foster Care Fortnight, and they say that without more families coming forward, some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from their siblings, or being placed with a foster carer who might not have the right skills and experience to meet their specific needs. They want to encourage more participation so that the service can match the needs of each child more closely with the skills and experience that each carer brings.

Flourish Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society, opening their hearts and homes to fostered children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home. “Looking after fostered children, many of whom have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, can be challenging. But it is that challenge, along with the reward of seeing these children and young people flourish, that many foster carers say makes them proud to foster.” One carer, Dan, said: “What makes me proud to foster is when you realise the impact you have made in a young person’s life, especially when they’ve gone from arriving in a scared and vulnerable state to being able to express themselves and let their personality shine.” Visit www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT thekn w.guide Ninety-one year old Marie Crisp, who lives in Tonbridge, has been using the Dial 2 Drive service for several years. She said: “Dial 2 Drive is an absolute godsend as my husband lives in Pilgrims View care home

‘The service ensures that those people who find it difficult to get out and about are not confined to their homes’

STEERING COMMITTEE (L-R) Nathan Brown of Bluebird Care, Dial 2 Drive customer Marie Crisp and volunteer driver Mike Wood

Bluebird Care helps stop isolation with £500 donation to Dial 2 Drive DIAL 2 DRIVE, a volunteer community transport scheme based in Tunbridge Wells, has been awarded a £500 grant by leading homecare provider Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The charity will use the funds to recruit and train additional volunteer drivers in order to support increasing demand for its service from clients across West Kent. Dial 2 Drive is a community transport scheme for people living in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and the surrounding area who are unable to access public transport due to old age, illness or disability. Volunteer drivers use their own cars to take clients to medical and social appointments. Fiona Watkins, Project Development Manager at Imago, the charity which runs the Dial 2 Drive

scheme, said: “We are very grateful to Bluebird Care for its generous grant. “This will help us to recruit more drivers and deliver a fantastic service to even more people in the area. “We currently support more than 800 clients, enabling them to stay active and independent in their local community for as long as possible.”

Demand She added: “The service ens-ures that those people who find it difficult to get out and about are not confined to their homes, and are able to enjoy a more independent lifestyle. “It also helps to support the local economy and saves the NHS money, as fewer appointments are missed or cancelled.”

Scones all round as Tonbridge Rotary and Hadlow Manor treat pensioners “We were delighted to get involved with such a THE Rotary Club of Tonbridge arranged a special worthy cause and treat the local pensioners to a outing for local pensioners over the Early May delicious afternoon tea. Bank Holiday weekend. “It’s a great thing that Rotary does by getting Volunteer drivers took the group on a those who may not see anyone for days on end picturesque tour of the Kent countryside, out of the house for a change of scene, and for a followed by an afternoon tea laid on by Hadlow chance to mingle with other local residents – all Manor hotel. while enjoying a cuppa and a scone.” Rotarian Peter Ruck said: “The event has taken For information about the Rotary Club, email: place each year, ending up at a different venue. tonbridgerotarymembership@gmail.com “But Hadlow Manor heard about it and were excited to get involved and offer the local JAM TODAY: Afternoon tea is pensioners their laid on in The Garden Room renowned afternoon tea. “There were sandwiches, homemade scones and cakes a-plenty. “The Garden Room was a hive of activity, with around 50 locals enjoying the drive and the tea, and with such beautiful weather it really was a perfect afternoon.” Giles Thomas, Group General Manager of Hadlow Manor, said:

and without the service I would not be able to visit him very often.” “My regular driver, Mike Wood, is always very friendly, and the service is much safer than getting a taxi as the drivers are all DBS [­Disclosure and Barring Service] checked and trained in how to support older people.

Community News

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“Dial 2 Drive is a very affordable service that has given me back my independence.” Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells operates a Community Grant Scheme which supports local causes through the provision of a £500 grant to a different group four times a year. Nathan Brown, Community Liaison Manager at Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, commented: “As a home care company, we are all too aware of the importance that access to transport can play in helping older people to live a full, independent and active lifestyle. “By enabling older people to get out and about, the service is helping to alleviate loneliness and social isolation in the community.” Applications are open for Bluebird Care’s next Community Grant award until Friday [May 18]. For more information about Bluebird Care Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, email Nathan Brown at: nathanbrown@bluebirdcare.co.uk


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Towns to celebrate wedding with colourful street parties not be hosting a street party for the wedding. Steve Wynne helped organise the road’s first street party, when the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became man and wife, and the tradition has continued every year since. But this year’s knees-up will be in June. “We have done one every year since the last Royal Wedding,” he said. “At that time, we had not had a Royal Wedding for some time, and this is another one just seven years on, so there is less hype. “The county council made it an easier process in 2011. They closed roads and advertised that fact. I am not sure that is happening this time around.”

ALL SMILES Meghan Markle and Prince Harry get ready

By William Mata will@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk ROYALISTS in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge have bucked a countywide trend by organising a large number of street parties on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day. Kent County Council has revealed there are just 17 taking place in the whole county when the couple tie the knot on Saturday [May 19]. This compares to 182 in 2011, on the day when the couple formerly known as William and Kate got married.

But Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge account for nearly half of these, with two and six private street parties being staged respectively. In Tunbridge Wells Hopwood Gardens and Silverdale Road are both throwing a party for residents. Street parties in Tonbridge are in: Rodney Avenue, Millstream Place, Goldsmid Road, St Bernard’s Road, Portman Park and, appropriately, Royal Avenue. There are also public events at One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells and Frant Memorial Hall, where the wedding will be shown on a big screen. However, Stephen’s Road, which has been dubbed ‘the friendliest in Tunbridge Wells’, will

SHOW OF COLOUR A previous street party in Stephen’s Road

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

ROYAL CELEBRATION FOR SIX THE hard work of four people from Tunbridge Wells and two from Tonbridge has resulted in an invitation to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace this summer. Every year the palace opens its doors to 30,000 guests to enjoy a royal tea party. Those from Tunbridge Wells are: Georgia Read-Cutting, a Cranbrook dentist and school assistant, Patricia Savidge, born in 1931, who has always wished to go to a royal Garden Party, Lynne Butler, who has been instrumental in keeping Brenchley Memorial Hall functioning, and Fiona Pengelly, for her work with Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre. From Tonbridge, those chosen are: Jennifer Humphrey, a charity volunteer, and the Rev Sheila Perkins, the Associate Vicar of St Stephen’s Church.


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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Foodies support festival despite bad weather over the weekend By Jonathan Banks Overcast skies and occasional rain failed to dampen spirits at The Pantiles Food Festival which attracted more than 4,000 people at the weekend. Organiser Julian Leefe-Griffths said: “Sometimes you work really hard to put on a great festival and then the weather doesn’t play ball. “But this year, wow, did those plucky residents of Tunbridge Wells still come out in force.” Saturday was wet and drizzly but the dozens of stallholders still did ‘great business’ with a crowd of more than 1800 people attending. The Sunshine on Sunday really pulled in the visitors with around 3200 people going along. “I would really like to give a fantastic and massive ‘thank you’ to not only all the residents who

joined us over the weekend, but also to the traders, market stallholders and producers who took part in the event,” said Mr Leefe-Griffiths.

Fun Chefs who gave ‘great cookery demonstrations’ from the bandstand all through the weekend came from The Kentish Hare, One Warwick Park, The Spa Hotel, The Small Holding in Kilndown and The Twenty Six in Southborough. Larkins Brewery and Fullers Butchers also supported the festival. Music from Lipstick and Beatniks, Fred Clark and DJ Carl Quinn completed a fun weekend. Jazz on The Pantiles is now back for the summer every Thursday night.

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LIFESTYLE

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Wednesday May 16 | 2018

recommendation is always a good place to start, so ask friends and trusted colleagues in your network. Failing that, you can always search on LinkedIn or Google for recruitment agencies that specialise in your particular sector, geographic area and career stage.

PEOPLE IN

thekn w

Why don’t recruiters respond to my emails or return my calls?

Seeing your CV disappear into a recruitment agency’s black hole is one of the most dispiriting aspects of job hunting – but don’t despair, and don’t give up. According to the latest statistics, almost half of UK employees will be looking for a new job this year; that’s a huge workload for the 23,000 registered recruitment agencies. Getting a good recruitment consultant or headhunter on your side is always worth the effort, as their strong networks can help you land your dream job. These are some of the questions that I’ve had over the years on how to find, connect with and make the most of recruitment agencies…

Victoria McLean

Do I need recruiters, or is it better to target companies directly?

CEO of career consultancy City CV reveals how to make recruiters work for you

An effective job search will involve both strategies, as building relationships with recruiters can definitely help you find job openings and secure interviews. As well as introducing you to some of the best opportunities out there, a good recruiter will support you

IN thekn

This is a really frustrating situation. Recruiters are busy people, dealing with hundreds of candidates, so your first job is to make sure you don’t get lost in the pile of CVs and profiles. It’s not easy, but my tips are:

with the latest insights into the broader job market.

My friends say that headhunters approach them with opportunities, which never seems to happen to me – what am I doing wrong? To improve your chances of being contacted, you need to be visible. The first thing you must do is to make sure that your CV and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source potential candidates – and there are over 550 million of them – so you really can’t afford to be inactive on this platform. Don’t forget face-to-face networking, as it’s still imperative and will never go out of style. It’s estimated that 85% of jobs are found through networking, so maintaining a high profile in professional organisations, attending industry events and speaking at conferences will all help you get noticed by recruiters.

n Do your research on the agency to make sure that your experience is relevant to their markets. Send a polite personal message on LinkedIn to introduce yourself. n Make sure that your profile, CV and covering letter are relevant and concise. Highlight your key accomplishments and clearly specify what opportunities you’re interested in. n Be respectful and professional (you’d be amazed at how many candidates don’t get the basics

n Be helpful. If the recruiter has an opportunity that’s not for you, suggest someone else in your network.

n Be honest and transparent, as there’s nothing worse than a timewaster. If you’re going for interviews with other companies, let your recruiter know (but don’t let them know the specific firms that you’re interviewing with – be discreet). Also, be realistic about salary expectations. If you decide that a job offer isn’t for you, be upfront about it, and if you change your mind about the position, inform them straight away. Above all, remember that recruiters are always assessing you on how you’ll perform for their clients, so stay professional at all times. Even if they don’t find the perfect opportunity for you right now, don’t burn bridges, as you never know when you might need their help in the future. If you have any work-related questions, or would like to know more about City CV, contact Victoria at: victoria@citycv.co.uk www.citycv.co.uk

How do I find the right recruitment consultant for me? Like anything else, personal

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wABOUT PLACES TO GO THE MOUNT EDGECUMBE On The Common

right). Politely check in with them on a regular basis for an update.

THE PANTILES Sunny colonnade

BARS WHICH BOAST ALFRESCO DRINKING IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS garden, but this year they’ve renovated their outside space and it’s all ready to welcome sun-worshippers. Who needs to host a barbecue at home when you could head to this St John’s Road gem instead? www.saintjohnsyard.com To read more articles like this, visit www.theknow.guide

family-friendly garden with great views over The Common and beyond. Sit back with a pint and watch the world go by. www.themountedgcumbe.com

W

ith summer just around the corner and the royal wedding happening on Saturday, it’s time to raise a toast:

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THE TOWNHOUSE This Spanish eatery in Calverley Road has a gorgeous rear

terrace where you can socialise, enjoy their delicious tapas offering and share a jug of sangria or two with friends. www.townhousetwells.com

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THE MOUNT EDGECUMBE This pub, just off Mount Ephraim, has a spacious and

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THE GEORGE Not only has this venue – also on Mount Ephraim – just been named CAMRA pub of the year, it also has plenty of outside space where you can soak up the sun while you sample their extensive gin offerings. www.thegeorgepubtunbridgewells. co.uk

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THE PANTILES Without a doubt, sitting out on The Pantiles in the sun is one of the best things to do in Tunbridge Wells, and with great views of The Bandstand and Colonnade, you'll be spoiled for choice – try Hattons, The Ragged Trousers, The Pantiles Café The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Woods… wherever you pick, it'll be a great spot to watch the world go by. www.thepantiles.com

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SAINT JOHN’S YARD We always loved Saint John’s Yard for their burgers and beer

THE GEORGE Alfresco ambience


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National News

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Election watchdog Government must respect ‘will’ Second death on says it cannot stop of Holyrood after bill is rejected tour of Sri Lanka poll interference THE Electoral Commission has admitted it is powerless to stop overseas intervention in British polls. The elections watchdog also warned that it needed a raft of new powers to tackle laws being flouted by groups in the UK. Campaigners view the maximum £20,000 fine it can impose for a single offence as the ‘cost of doing business’, Chief Executive Claire Bassett told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. She said: “I think we have to be absolutely clear, if those people seeking to interfere in our elections are based abroad and acting abroad, that is beyond the remit that we have as a UK-based regulator and something that is a real challenge for us all.

Information “We have no powers to either intervene or stop someone acting if they are outside of the UK.” She called for the time taken for returns to be submitted to be speeded up and for powers to allow the organisation to force social media companies to provide information about posts on their sites. “Outside a campaign period, we can’t compel social media companies to share information with us and that’s a real challenge,” she said. MPs were told the watchdog wanted to be able to impose tougher fines. Ms Bassett told the committee: “We feel that our maximum fine, which is £20,000, is just too low. “It’s been described as the cost of doing business and that’s something we would like to see increased, particularly in line with other regulators who can make much more significant fines.”

WESTMINSTER has been urged to ‘respect the will’ of the Scottish Parliament and make further changes to key Brexit legislation after MSPs refused to give their consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill. While the UK Government could force the Bill through against the wishes of Holyrood, such a move could spark a constitutional crisis. Westminster has never before introduced legislation that covers devolved areas without the approval of the Scottish Parliament. After MSPs voted by 93 to 30 against consent to the Withdrawal Bill, Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell demanded: “The UK Government must respect the will of the Parliament.” But the Tories hit out, claiming it was ‘patently obvious that Nicola Sturgeon wants a political crisis to provide cover for her independence drive’. Mr Russell will now write to David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, who has been leading talks with the devolved administrations for the UK.

Concerns He wants the Tory minister to come to Scotland and ‘hear the concerns of all parties’ after SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Greens joined together in the vote. Scottish Labour, which has been pressing for cross party talks in a bid to end the row, said it was ‘welcome’ that both the UK and Scottish governments had agreed to these. Scottish Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay said: “Labour stands ready to work with other parties to find a solution.” The long-running dispute between Edinburgh and London centres on what should happen to powers currently held by Brussels after the UK leaves the EU.

A SECOND British amateur rugby player has died on tour in Sri Lanka. In a statement, Durham City Rugby Football Club said it was with ‘great sadness’ that they announced the passing of 26-year-old Tom Baty yesterday [May 15]. It follows the death of his teammate Thomas Howard, 25, after the pair were both admitted to hospital in the city of Colombo on Sunday due to breathing difficulties. The players, who both came from Durham, were on tour with one of the club’s teams called the Clems Pirates. In a statement, the club requested that the privacy of their families would be ‘respected and upheld at this difficult time’. The club had previously stated that in both cases the breathing problems were not related to playing rugby. Mr Howard’s post-mortem examination did not show any injury or illness and samples have been sent for further analysis, police said.

REALITY CHECK: Mike Russell said the government in London ‘cannot ignore the reality of devolution’ Scottish Government ministers fear the Bill, as it currently stands, could constrain Holyrood for up to seven years after Brexit. Mr Russell said: “The UK Government wants to take a power to restrict the competence of this Parliament. “And it wants to be able to exercise this power even in the face of an explicit decision by this Parliament that it should not. “The Scottish Parliament has now said overwhelmingly that this attempt to undermine devolution is unacceptable. “The UK Government cannot ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this Parliament says. They cannot pretend that no motion has been passed.

New Look to revise price tag after row NEW LOOK is to review its pricing after it emerged that the fashion high street chain was selling some larger clothes for a higher price than smaller sizes. The fashion retailer said it would ‘ensure pricing differences like these’ did not happen again. One shopper spotted that trousers in New Look’s ‘Curves’ range cost 15 per cent more than those in their standard collection. Some observers claimed it was fair to charge more for an item that uses more fabric while others described it as a ‘fat tax’.


National News

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

‘Appalling escalation’ in murder and robbery

RCN votes for cannabis THE Royal College of Nursing [RCN] voted to decriminalise cannabis for medical use. It will lobby all UK governments after a resolution at its annual general meeting in Belfast was passed to help those suffering ‘terrible pain’ to legally obtain relief. Chief Executive Janet Davies said: “The evidence is quite compelling on what people are doing themselves.” The RCN also voted for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, making it the first major trade union to support a second vote.

Author Wolfe dies at 88 AUTHOR Tom Wolfe, who chronicled everything from hippies to the space race before turning his sharp eye to fiction, has died aged 88. Wolfe’s agent Lynn Nesbit said he died in a New York City hospital. The ‘new journalism’ reporter and novelist insisted that the only way to tell a great story was to go out and report it.

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Princess after all? Bride-to-be’s two royal connections

NEWS IN BRIEF

LONDON has seen an ‘appalling escalation’ in killings, robberies and burglary. The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee said there were 157 homicides in 2017-18, a 44 per cent increase from 109 the previous year. Youth homicides rose by 30 per cent, from 26 to 34. Personal robbery has increased 36 per cent and burglary by 33 per cent. Chairman Steve O’Connell said: “Our committee will be asking what steps are being taken to keep Londoners safe and reverse this appalling escalation in crime.”

NEWS

ON THE MOVE: Changing of the guard at Windsor Castle

Meghan’s father suffering from ‘unbelievable amount of stress’ MEGHAN MARKLE’S half-sister Samantha has revealed their father Thomas Markle had faced an ‘unbelievable amount of stress’. Ahead of the royal wedding on Saturday [May 19] Mr Markle has gone into hospital where doctors are conducting tests. He had complained of serious chest pain after an apparent heart attack last week. Mr Markle told the celebrity website TMZ: “I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I’d like to be a part of history.” Mr Markle became embroiled in controversy after he allegedly staged paparazzi photographs of himself. TMZ said Mr Markle decided not to go to the ceremony for fear of embarrassing his daughter. A palace spokesman said: “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr

Markle in this difficult situation.” Ms Markle told Good Morning Britain that her father had been pressurised into a dangerous situation because of press intrusion. “He was living a very quiet, peaceful life, not as a recluse. He’s a very intelligent man. He’s been gregarious and worked in entertainment for 40 years,” she said.

Panicking “He had spoken with press and was doing just that, but when he called me, panicking on the freeway because he’s in a dangerous situation being followed by seven or eight cars, I think there have been examples in history of how dangerous that can be.” She earlier attempted to shoulder some of the blame when she tweeted that it was her idea for Mr Markle to pose for what she described as ‘positive photos’ in a bid to combat his ‘bad’ portrayal in the press, but insisted it was not done for money.

ANCESTRY experts claim that Meghan Markle is a descendant of both King Edward III and King Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, according to experts. Genealogists at Ancestry.co.uk have revealed the American’s ancestry ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry on Saturday [May 19]. Ms Markle’s father Thomas Markle is of Dutch and Irish descent, and her mother Doria Ragland is African-American. Ancestry.co.uk unearthed a calligraphic chart which they used to prove that Meghan is distantly descended from Lionel of Clarence, the third son of Edward III, who ruled England from 1327-77. His reign saw the beginning of the Hundred Years War against France, and he created the Order of the Garter in 1348.

Chivalry St George’s Chapel, where Harry and Ms Markle will wed, is the Chapel of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of chivalry in England. Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, was Queen of England from 1536 to 1537. Jane was a second cousin to Isabel Hildyard, Meghan’s 12th great-grandmother. She promoted peace at court, helping to reconcile Henry with his first child, Mary. But is also seen as having manipulated the king into disposing of his second wife Anne Boleyn, to whom she was lady-in-waiting. She died 12 days after giving birth to Henry VIII’s male heir Prince Edward, who would later become Edward VI. She was said to be the favourite of the king’s six wives and they are buried together in the Quire of the royal wedding venue St George’s Chapel.


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NEWS Business BUSINESS National andBusiness World News News

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Bank owners’ loss Record 75 per cent in work with after PPI scandal jobless total at lowest since 1975 THE owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks has slumped into the red with half-year losses of £95million after taking a hit from the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal. Leeds and Glasgow-based CYBG - which is in talks over a potential £1.6billion takeover of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money - was left nursing the loss after recently taking an extra £350million charge for PPI mis-selling claims ahead of the complaints deadline. The new provision, which was revealed last month, saw CYBG take a £202million pre-tax charge for the first half, as it said £148 million was covered by a conduct indemnity deed with National Australia Bank. CYBG also put by another £18million for ‘other legacy conduct issues’ during the half-year to March 31. Its pre-tax losses came against profits of £46million a year earlier.

Vodafone’s chief quits after decade VODAFONE’S Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will step down on October 1 after 10 years in the post. He will be succeeded by Chief Financial Officer Nick Read, who in turn will be replaced by his deputy Margherita Della Valle. The mobile phone giant’s full-year results revealed it swung out of the red with bottom line profits of £2.5billion against losses of £5.4billion the previous year, when it was knocked by a mammoth hit on its Indian arm. The group reported a 15.4 per cent rise in annual earnings to £3.8billion for the year to March 31 despite revenues falling 2.2 per cent to £40.1 billion.

THE number of people in work has reached a new record while earnings grow in line with inflation. Employment increased by 197,000 in the quarter to March to 32.3million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.6 per cent. Unemployment fell by 46,000 to 1.42million, giving a jobless rate of 4.2 per cent, the lowest since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Average earnings increased by 2.6 per cent in the year to March, down by 0.2 per cent on the previous month, but 0.2 per cent up on a year ago. The latest CPI inflation figure is 2.5 per cent. Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: “With employment up again in the three months to March, the rate has hit a new record, with unemployment remaining at its lowest rate since 1975.

HOME TRUTHS 28,000 EU nationals have left work in the past year

Royal wedding set to boost retail landscape THE royal wedding is expected to provide an estimated £195.5million boost to UK retailers over the next four months. Retailers are expected to see shopper numbers increase by an average of 0.3 per cent over the months to the end of August, according to Springboard. With the global spotlight on the UK, spending by tourists is expected to rise by £48.9million over the coming months. More than £41.1million will be spent on wedding-related merchandise.

100 jobs lost at Wickes

Flat “The growth in employment is still being driven by UK nationals, with a slight drop over the past year in the number of foreign workers. “It’s important to remember, though, that this isn’t a measure of migration. “Growth in total pay remains in line with inflation, meaning real earnings are flat on the year.” Meanwhile the number of non-UK nationals from EU countries working in this country fell by 28,000 to 2.29million over the past year, the first annual fall since 2010. The figure for non-UK nationals from outside the UK increased by 20,000 to 1.25million. The number of people working in the UK from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004 fell by 91,000 to 917,000, the biggest annual reduction since records began in 1997. The proportion of all people working in the UK accounted for by non-UK nationals has increased

NEWS IN BRIEF

from 3.5 per cent in 1997 to 11 per cent now. The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker’s Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, increased by 31,200 last month to 897,000, the highest for over three years. Job vacancies fell by 16,000 to 806,000. The number of self-employed workers fell by 33,000 to 4.75 million. Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: “Since 2010 we have seen 3.2million more people move into work right across the UK. Youth unemployment has fallen by over 40 per cent. “With wages growing faster than inflation and increases in the personal tax allowance, not only are more people bringing home a pay packet but they are keeping more of their hard-earned money for themselves and their families.”

DIY retailer Wickes is axing 100 jobs at its head office as part of a cost-cutting drive. The group, owned by Travis Perkins, said the cull will affect workers at its headquarters in Watford, Hertfordshire, where it employs a total of 300. A Wickes spokesperson said: “In order to continue to drive growth for our business, we have been re-shaping our support centre to allow us to be leaner and more agile, and focus on key areas of growth in our multi-channel/digital businesses.”

Exceeding expectations MR KIPLING cakes firm Premier Foods has shown its strongest annual performance for five years. Revenue rose 3.6 per cent to £819.2million in the year up to March 31 and pre-tax profit rocketed 74.2 per cent to £20.9million. Batchelors is now Premier’s top performing brand following the launch of new products, such as Batchelors Super Noodles, which sold over 13million pots.


World News

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

OUT OF SIGHT: Palestinians observed a general strike on Tuesday [May 15] to mourn those killed by Israeli army fire as funerals were held in Gaza. It marked the 70th anniversary of Palestinian

‘nakba’, the uprooting of hundreds of thousands in the Middle East war over Israel’s 1948 creation. On Monday, Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 on the Gaza border.

European powers try to save Iran nuclear deal – and trade interests MAJOR European powers are seeking to keep Iran in a landmark international nuclear agreement even after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany – signatories of the 2015 deal to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons – held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif amid concerns that the sanctions will also damage European business interests. “The UK and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it,” said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson ahead of the talks.

“We will look at potential options for supporting continued sanctions relief for Iran to ensure we meet our commitments under the deal, as well as calling on Iran to continue to abide by the restrictions the deal places upon their nuclear programme,” he said. Mr Johnson also called on Washington ‘to avoid any actions that could prevent the remaining parties to the agreement from meeting their commitments under the deal including delivering sanctions relief through legitimate trade’. Mr Zarif said he had a ‘very good and constructive’ meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who helps to supervise the UN Security Council-endorsed agreement.

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Letters

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT thekn w.guide

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

And another thing… This is the page where you, the reader, have your chance to express your views or comments on what’s going on in our part of the world. We like to hear from you. You can email us at newsdesk@timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk or newsdesk@timesoftonbridge.co.uk or write to the Editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU

THE ICING ON THE CUP CAKES Tunbridge Wells Alliance took votes away from Lib Dems and Labour

Alliance split the Complex vote and failed protesters in the end Hugo Pound told the Times that the Conservative vote across the Tunbridge Wells borough had reached 43 per cent [May 9]. And, in the interest of the health of a council, it was refreshing to see the Tories losing two seats. One to the Liberal Democrats, one to the TW Alliance. A Town Hall will always operate more effectively with some kind of opposition. However, even with these two seats being lost, the Conservatives did win 12 out of 16 seats and now control 41 out of 48. This is hardly a fair representation of feeling, considering 57 per cent of the town did not vote Tory. Mr Pound, the Labour Chair for the borough, said the result showed the Tories did not have a mandate for their controversial Civic Complex and theatre plan. He might be right, as

Get to work behind the façade

candidates said the former was one of the biggest talking points on the doorstep. If this was the biggest issue, it was frustrating to see the anti-Civic Complex vote split between parties competing for a Conservativeheld ward. New party Tunbridge Wells Alliance stood several candidates in wards where the Liberal Democrat and Labour candidate also opposed it and took a large share of the vote. In Broadwater, Sherwood and Culverden wards, the Lib Dem or Labour candidate may even have won the seat if the Alliance candidate had not stood. That would be three extra seats the Tories did not win and further decrease their stranglehold on Town Hall. Could the Alliance’s agenda have been better served by not standing candidates at all? Scott Christian Via email

Despite the local protests, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council seems determined to go ahead with its Civic Complex. Yet the photograph of the façade of the council building [May 2] is so in keeping with the epithet of a ‘Regency town’. Surely, as they have done in London, why not keep the façade and refurbish the interior? It cannot cost anything near the £90million the council hope to spend? Knowing of other councils who had grand plans, this will definitely overrun and the final cost will be unbelievable. You only need to visit the City of London, where so many buildings look like they have existed for years but are in fact very modern on the inside. If they can do it, so can we. However, would anyone listen? The people who elect the councillors are just silent voices as they get trampled underfoot. The councillors seem to have their own agendas and the public just have to accept. A sad day. John Pearce Tunbridge Wells

If my calculator is correct, the Conservatives in Tunbridge Wells Borough won 11 [12 actually] of the 16 seats on an overall combined vote of just 40 per cent. How’s that for a productive return? In fact, only five of these seats individually achieved 50 per cent of the vote. So the council will continue to ignore the 60 per cent who didn’t vote for them and continue to drive unpopular policies. So much for democracy. Clearly, this is selling most of the voters short and must be remedied if we have any real ambition to realise true democracy. This, of course, shows its ugly head in the matter of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s headlong pursuit of new offices and a theatre complex, against the wishes of many residents. Some would say you get the politics you deserve, which is of great comfort to [Council Leader] David Jukes, who continues to display a dismissive complacency towards his ­constituents’ feelings on the matter. Martin Dawes Via email

Election wasn’t true democracy

Sherwood’s reasons to be proud

It seems obvious that local politics, like national politics, is distorted by a first-past-the-post electoral system. Yet again a minority vote is the kingmaker and the majority can go hang.

There were a record number of five candidates in Sherwood, and a very engaging campaign was energetically fought. I was seeking a third term and I shall be a councillor now until 2022.

In the past only UKIP have campaigned here, and I was astonished to hear from residents, by phone and on the 277 bus, about the cohorts of people dropping leaflets – some not from Sherwood, which is why I think they stood out. Moreover, some regretted the need to denigrate Sherwood (or ‘slagging us off’ as some stated it colourfully). I made a pitch for Sherwood based on the solid work we’ve done in the community. For example, the money invested in new roads has led to more employment. When I arrived in 2008, unemployment was over nine per cent; now it is barely one per cent. Nationally, more people are in employment than ever (32million) and more women are in the workforce. Over £42million was invested in new housing by the Town & Country Housing Group, and a new 550-plus development is being built on barren land. No social/affordable housing was built from 1997 to 2010 but we’ve achieved some 300. These facts were ignored, and that is why people were angered. Residents can earn up to £12,000 now before tax and our council tax only rises by just £5 per year. The issue that caused angst was the proposed Civic Centre, which is why the campaign was strongly fought. I was able to retain my seat owing to our record of support in the community Bob Backhouse Conservative Councillor for Sherwood ward

Calverley

Observations on life and more important things

POT LUCK? Pick a paint…

REGULAR readers (admirers) might recall the tale of Calverley’s experience when Mrs Calverley decided the lounge needed a lick of paint. He was required to buy more than a score of sample pots in the search for a new colour for the ‘statement’ wall. Some pots cost £4.50. In the end Mrs C decided to paint the wall a shade of red – exactly the same colour as it was. Some followers of this column doubted the veracity of such a tale, believing things like that just did not happen. Thanks, then, are due to the reader who sent this picture highlighting samples bought during a similar experience. Calverley will respect his request for anonymity.

One bus gained is another lost It is interesting to note that Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark has identified a shuttle loop for Arriva bus service 281 to link Rusthall with High Brooms via Tunbridge Wells town centre. For more than 70 years the 281 – and its predecessor, 81 – has linked Rusthall with the town centre and High Brooms. At one time there were spurs to Oak Road Estate, Southborough Fountain and Tonbridge (via Yew Tree Road). But, of course, improvements come at a cost somewhere, and this is borne in Tonbridge, where there is a 25 per cent reduction in the basic Monday-to-Friday frequency of services 218 and 219 between the town centre and North ­Tonbridge, with the last weekday bus at either 8pm or 8.10pm, depending on whether you go by the timetable leaflet or the roadside publicity. No tectonic efficiency in this area. Tony Russell Tunbridge Wells

Wrong, there’s no junction right of way I only moved to Blackhurst Lane a few months ago and I must agree with Alan Bullion [May 9] that the junction at Hall’s Hole Road and Blackhurst Lane is very, very dangerous. Cars coming from Hall’s Hole Road and turning right into Pembury Road do not have right of way turning right, but they keep doing it all the time. There have been many near misses and some crashes already, albeit minor so far. Can the authorities do something about this issue before someone gets killed here? At pick-up time, there are lots of schoolkids crossing the streets around this junction. Gerard Lazaroo Tunbridge Wells

We do our best to publish letters in full. However, the Editor reserves the right to edit any letter. Please ensure that letters do not exceed 250 words

SOME people are really sneaky. Calverley happened to be having coffee (and no it wasn’t an Irish coffee) at one of those nice places in town when he noticed a chap in a Mercedes bump into another vehicle as he pulled out of a roadside parking space. Himself was most impressed when the driver got out, wrote a note, tucked it under the windscreen of the damaged car, then drove off. What a nice, honest gesture. However, being a cynic, Calverley could not resist reading the note, which said: “People think I am writing down my insurance details – I am not.” What a rotter. RARELY are the Beckhams (he of football fame, she of fashion) out of the headlines. So no big surprise when David, Victoria and family celebrated his 43rd birthday with a visit to a restaurant, an event they shared with their 75million followers on Instagram (as you do). What caught Calverley’s eye, though, was mention of the gift that daughter Harper apparently bought her dad: A Louis Vuitton wine case costing £4,500. Such a thoughtful prezzie from a six year old. OVERHEARD – man talking on Tunbridge Wells train about the local election results that saw one of the ‘rebel’ Alliance candidates snatch a seat from the Tories. “Don’t worry if you don’t like the result,” he told a friend, “you can always get the House of Lords to change it.” Out of the mouths of Brexiteers…

Chin Chin, readers

Calverley is away this week visiting vineyards (again)


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Education

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT thekn w.guide

EDUCATION Times WITH THE

Technology versus tradition… The arrival of Alexa – a vocal virtual personal assistant – in many children’s bedrooms has got dyslexia specialist and language expert Liz Hawker wondering whether it’s better to read or to be read to? She debates the issue As above, with the advent of Alexa in so many children’s rooms, my question is: Is it better to read or to be read to? And if the latter, does it matter that it’s Alexa? When it comes to dyslexia, seeing and hearing the same material at the same time makes the world of difference. This multi-sensory aspect of literacy helps dyslexic pupils use more of the brain and more channels to help recall that word or phrase the next time it comes around. This kind of experience was a given for children born before the digital overload. Backpedal to 1950 and the launch of Read with Mother, an intimate radio story time scheduled to flow along with the digestive juices right after lunch. With over a million listeners, it was so popular it went on to the BBC World Service. “Are you sitting comfortably?” asked the reader. “Then I’ll begin…”

Semi-robotic Was this radio icon a 1950s equivalent of Alexa or Amazon’s Audible? Absolutely not. As the title spells out, Listen with Mother was intended for the mother and child to listen together – and that’s exactly what they did. The experience of hearing language and enjoying a story was a social one, shared with a parent who would be there to respond and reflect on what happened next, or to talk about the characters. This was not a device to free up mother to do the washing-up. In contrast, today’s audiobooks are for solitary listening – for driving, train journeys or perhaps for the partially-sighted. For anyone with dyslexia, they are a fantastic adjunct to the book itself, bringing together letter shapes, spellings, punctuation and sounds into a single, more memorable mix. They are read by the authors

themselves or by readers who love texts and consider carefully how their voice conveys them. And the use of voice really matters. What audiobooks bring, which Alexa doesn’t, is those essential prosodic aspects of language, which are vital in conveying inference and meaning. As a story unfolds, intonation, pitch, rhythm and varied tempo are as important as the words themselves. With these stripped away, poor Alexa puts out a semi-robotic word string that falls surprisingly short of the phenomenal developments being made in the field of speech pathology by VocaliD. So, back to my question: I believe it is better to read and be read to, but it must be with the

patterns of language that make it meaningful, complex and real. For primary-aged children, nothing beats a parent reading while the child tracks the text (or, even better, paired reading, where both read the story). Alexa, while practical, spits out language stripped bare. Her story reading is adequate but nothing more than a word stream without nuance. Books, whether in print or read aloud, are an invitation to another world, as much as linguistic enrichment. What would you rather listen to? Liz Hawker is a parent and dyslexia specialist at Kent College Prep and Senior School. She is also a specialist in French and German linguistics

Parliamentary lord visits Skinners’ Kent Academy

IN THE HOUSE: Lord Dholakia (third from left) at the school with pupils and Principal Matthew Tompkins (right)

Last week, Skinners’ Kent Academy welcomed House of Lords member Lord Dholakia to talk to and encourage students to become more engaged with the political and Parliamentary process. Lord Dholakia, a Liberal Democrat peer, met with pupils to discuss his work and that of the role of the House of Lords. His talk was followed by a question and answer session on the Parliamentary process and life at the Houses of Parliament. Vice Principal Helena Read said: “We were delighted to welcome Lord Dholakia to The Skinners’ Kent Academy. The visit gave our

students an opportunity to find out more about the Parliamentary system and the work of the House of Lords in particular. “This event is part of a broad programme at the academy that supports students to explore a wide range of careers and raise aspirations.”

Programme The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s Peers in Schools outreach programme, which was established across the UK in 2007 and has so far involved around 90,000 young people.

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Weekly Comment

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS VISIT thekn w.guide

Hugo Pound Chair of the Tunbridge Wells Constituency Labour Party

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Hugo lives near the centre of Tunbridge Wells. He is a chartered psychologist specialising in corporate leadership and strategy. He has worked in industry, consulting, the NHS and as a qualified social worker in a London borough. He has particular interests in family support, housing and mental health

We need a borough council that listens THE borough council elections have proven to be the referendum the Conservatives never wanted. The results are conclusive, more conclusive than the EU referendum, as 57 per cent of voters backed parties that were opposed to the new Civic Complex and theatre. In addition, 43 per cent of voters backed the Conservatives who put forward the plan. The silent majority has spoken. This council does not have a mandate for the Civic Complex. Voters have sent them an instruction to stop the project and think again. In my day job as a chartered psychologist, I specialise in helping business leaders to develop and maintain environments in which everyone can flourish. My colleagues and I work with leaders and leadership teams all over the world. In truth, I don’t see much modern-day leadership in the Conservative ranks of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. The old days of ‘heroic leadership’, leading from the front and occasionally looking back to see if others are following, are gone. Effective leadership is about being open to others, being collaborative, exploring alternatives, encouraging the views of others rather than shaping the debate by stating yours first. It really is time that the Tory leadership started working with others, looking at realistic,

genuinely affordable alternatives to the current grandiose and inappropriate proposals. They have had their fingers in their ears for too long, trying not to hear the objections – maybe the election results will be a wake-up call. Let’s hope so.

WELL RED Labour supporters at the election count

Priorities So, what should be our council’s priorities? To me, a priority is something that is both important and urgent. A new theatre is not the number one priority, nor is moving out of the Town and Assembly Halls. The priorities are the development of genuinely affordable housing and easily accessible, affordable office space, so that young families can live, work and contribute to their local communities by staying in the borough. During our local election campaign, we met people whose grown-up children have moved away because they cannot afford to live here. We met grandparents who feel unsupported and isolated because their family is no longer nearby. We met families in the private rented sector with three children to a bedroom. We saw empty shops, derelict land, congested roads and met business owners who are looking to leave Tunbridge Wells because office space is so hard to find and exorbitantly expensive. The election results have confirmed our view

that this council has got it spectacularly wrong. Rather than proposing something that few people want and that carries huge financial risks, it needs to look again at what is important and urgent. It is because of this that our Labour councillors will continue to oppose the plan and work for the real and pressing day-to-day

priorities of the people they represent. This council lacks effective, modern leadership, leadership that acknowledges and takes account of the views and opinions of others rather than blindly moving forward, deaf to entreaties and blind to objections. We all deserve better than this – change still needs to happen.


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

yourh me INSPIRATION FOR MOVING

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AND IMPROVING KITCHEN WITH EXTENDING ISLAND

Listed house In the heart of a village Page 36

Farm bungalow Close to Dunorlan Park

AVAILABLE EVER Y WEDNESDAY – A MUST-READ

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

GEORGIAN HOME AMID THE FIELDS

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Page 27

PERIOD HOME & BARN WITH VIEWS

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TWIN OAST CONVERSION TO LET

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A sense of style and how to get it… Page 52

CONTRAST YOUR GARDEN COLOURS


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yourh me

To suit your budget

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Your at-a-glance guide to

BROOK LANE TONBRIDGE GUIDE PRICE

£800,000-£850,000

UNDER £250,000

n Living space

UNDER £400,000

n 2 bedrooms

NEVILL TERRACE, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

n Double doors leading to decked garden area

LEIGH ROAD, HILDENBOROUGH

n Family bathroom

£389,000

n Enclosed rear garden

n Semi-detached cottage

n Garden store

n Grade II listed

n Small single parking area

GUIDE PRICE

n Gallery kitchen area

£230,000

n Bedroom

n Ground floor apartment n Leasehold

n Bathroom n Ground rent and service charges

n Double wrought iron gated entrance n Brick paved driveway n Entrance lobby

n Lawn garden with timber decking CONTACT Bracketts Tunbridge Wells 01892 533733 www.bracketts.co.uk

n Lawn & raised flower beds

n Exposed beams n Three floors n Sitting room n Kitchen/dining room n Fitted kitchen area

CONTACT Barnes Kingsnorth Tonbridge 01732 771616 www.bkestateagents.com


To suit your budget

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

thekn w

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great properties by price range…

UNDER £450,000 MERRION WAY, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

GUIDE PRICE

£389,995 n Semi-detached house n Built by Taylor Wimpey in 2013 n Entrance porch n Spacious living room n Stylish kitchen/dining room n Modern bathroom n 3 bedrooms (one with en suite) n South-facing garden with terrace n Off-street parking n Additional visitor parking CONTACT Flying Fish Properties Tunbridge Wells 01892 514189 www.flyingfishproperties.co.uk

UNDER £500,000 MAY COTTAGE, DUNORLAN FARM

£450,000 n Single storey home n Farm conversion n Sitting room n Kitchen/dining room n 2 double bedrooms (all with doors to garden) n Bathroom n Boarded loft storage area n South-west facing garden with large patio area n Communal front courtyard n Parking for 2 cars CONTACT Barnes Kingsnorth Pembury 01892 822880 www.bkestateagents.com

UNDER £1MILLION BROOK LANE, TONBRIDGE

UNDER £700,000 n Downstairs bedroom with en suite

WESTWAY, PEMBURY

£800,000-£850,000

n Master bedroom with en suite and dressing room

£550,000

n Detached house

n 3 further bedrooms

n Entrance hall

n Detached double garage

n Study/family room

n Kitchen

n Wrap around garden

n Cloakroom

n 2 conservatories

CONTACT

GUIDE PRICE

n Entrance hall/dining room

n Utility room n Cloakroom n 2 reception rooms

Wood & Pilcher Tonbridge 01732 351135 www.woodandpilcher.co.uk

OIEO

n Large sitting/dining room n Kitchen/breakfast room n Large family bathroom n 4 bedrooms (one with en suite) n Rear garden backing on to woodland area n Parking for 3 cars CONTACT Barnes Kingsnorth Pembury 01892 822880 www.bkestateagents.com


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yourh me

Bramblewood

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

AT A GLANCE BRAMBLEWOOD SPRINGWOOD PARK, SHIPBOURNE ROAD n Reception hall n Drawing room n Dining room n Study n Cinema/games room n Gym area n Kitchen/breakfast room n Utility room n Master bedroom suite with balcony n Guest bedroom with en suite n 4 further bedrooms n Family bathroom n Integral double garage n South-facing landscaped gardens n Covered swimming pool with pool house n Oval gazebo with shingle room n Approx. 2 acres

Stylish family house with landscaped gardens and swimming pool

GUIDE PRICE

£2,700,000 Available for sale through Savills Sevenoaks 01732 789700 www.savills.co.uk


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yourh me

Holgate House

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Deceptively spacious and charming semi-detached Grade II listed property

AT A GLANCE HOLGATE HOUSE CHURCH STREET, TICEHURST n Entrance hall n Drawing room n Dining room n Kitchen/breakfast room n Utility room n Cloakroom n Cellar storage n Master bedroom n Double bedroom n Family bath and shower room n 2 double bedrooms (one with en suite) n Attic bedroom/office n Walled courtyard garden

GUIDE PRICE

£695,000 Available for sale through Savills Tunbridge Wells 01892 507000 www.savills.co.uk


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yourh me

Moonrakers

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

AT A GLANCE MOONRAKERS DARMAN LANE, LADDINGFORD n Detached farmhouse n Built in 1840 n Entrance hall n 3 reception rooms n Conservatory n Kitchen n Drawing room n Dining room n Playroom/study n Utility room n Master bedroom with en suite n 3 further bedrooms (one with en suite) n Orchard garden n Play area

ÂŁ875,000 Available for sale through Firefly Properties Paddock Wood 01892 838363 www.fireflyproperties.co.uk

Beautiful Georgian family home once used by smugglers to hide their treasure


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yourh me

Old Swatlands

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Grade II listed home with panoramic views as well as two bedroom barn

AT A GLANCE

OLD SWATLANDS CRANBROOK ROAD, GOUDHURST n Entrance n Reception halls n Drawing room n Dining room n Sitting room n Kitchen/breakfast room n Conservatory n Utility rooms n Cloakroom n 4 bedrooms n Dressing area n Family bathroom n Attic/ bedroom 5 n Landscaped garden n Tennis court n Heated outdoor swimming pool n Evergreen hedging n Triple garage n Garden store with plant room n Detached period barn with 2 bedrooms

ÂŁ1,525,000 Available for sale through Savills Cranbrook 01580 720161 www.savills.com


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yourh me

Park Farm Oast

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

AT A GLANCE PARK FARM OAST TUDELEY n Converted oast house n Entrance hall n Kitchen in roundel n Neptune designed kitchen n Dining room in roundel n Large living room n French doors to rear n Timber and iron spiral staircase n Master bedroom with en suite n Free standing bathtub n 2 double bedrooms (each in roundels) n Large family bathroom n Off-street parking with double carport n Lock-up garage n Small garden with patio area and farreaching rural views n Tenancy fees & charges apply n Unfurnished

ÂŁ4,500 PCM Available to let through Savills Sevenoaks 01732 789760 www.savills.co.uk

An oast conversion with timber and iron spiral staircase in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

thekn w.guide

Advertising

yourh me

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yourh me

Interiors

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

5 Interior experts

reveal their style secrets Do you want to create a Pinterest or magazine-worthy setting? As HomeSense turns ten, industry pros tell Gabrielle Fagan how they achieve an enviable yet effortless stylish look

G

iving a room a style revamp is one of life’s joys – but it can also be a daunting task if you’re not sure where to start, or lack confidence in your colour choices, for instance. The great thing is it’s perfectly OK to

‘borrow’ tried and tested approaches from the experts, whether that’s trawling Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, browsing through glossy magazines, or even studying how shop displays have been styled up.

Curious? Here, five interior style professionals from HomeSense reveal five incredibly simple tricks and secrets, along with some examples of how they’ve styled up items while keeping to a budget…

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Emily Dawe: Interior stylist, writer and craft designer

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Colour Co-Ord: “If you have a lot of books, grouping them together by colour can look really striking. You don’t have to necessarily create a whole rainbow, but by stacking all the blue books together, or all the green books, etc, you will make your shelves look more uniform and it will create a real visual impact.” DIY style: “Create one of those

expensive fluffy stools at a fraction of the price. It seems so simple, but if you get an inexpensive stool (if it has hairpin legs, then even better), attach a fluffy cushion to the top of it. You may need to use a circular cushion pad, then attach the excess fabric to the underside with a staple gun. And voila – chic on a shoestring!”

Georgia Gold: Interior and lifestyle photographer Simplicity is key: “I love colour but one of my best-kept photography secrets is to go back to basics. Make sure you leave empty space when putting

a room or area of your home together. It will naturally create a focus, a balanced setting and gives an opportunity to let the product speak for itself.”

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Cassandra Lisa Marie Doyle: Interior stylist and trend researcher

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Diana Civil: Interior stylist and art director No-fail colour scheming: “If you’re unsure how to choose a starting point for a decorating scheme, a simple trick is to buy one fabric item that you love for the room – for example, a patterned cushion or curtain for the living room, or duvet cover for the bedroom, then use these as the template for the room scheme,” says Diana, whose career includes stints as art director on several magazines,

including Good Homes, Ideal Home and House Beautiful. “Designers do a lot of research making sure colours work perfectly, so you know it’s a tried and tested colour combination because the designer has done the matching for you. Pick two or three colours from the design and colour-match the tones for the key elements in the room – it’s a simple trick that works every time.”

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Aurelien Farjon: Prop stylist and set designer Picture play: “If you want to create an arrangement of different picture frames on the wall,

cut sheets of paper the size of the picture frames and stick those out on the wall first with Blu-Tack. This will allow you to test and try different heights. It will also allow you to step back and decide if it’s correct before drilling into the wall. Make sure the paper is a different enough colour to the wall – for example, brown paper on light walls, white paper on dark walls.”

Do neutral with a twist: “Sage is becoming the new neutral, which works perfectly in a bedroom. “Curate your space using a muted colour palette; use velvet for a statement soft furnishing in trending emerald green or ochre,” suggests Cassandra, whose work includes creating trend-led set design and sourcing props for photography and TV advertising. Little details: “Try adding a picture shelf the full length of one wall, using oversized prints to add a sense of height. Group small accessories together in odd numbers, which will appear more pleasing to the eye.”


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Wednesday May 16 | 2018


Gardening

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

yourh me

55

YOU CAN BURN MORE THAN

51,000

CALORIES A YEAR

in the garden, here’s how: Lose weight and get fit by using your outside space as a gym, while also looking after your grass, beds and borders. Some 78 per cent of regular gardeners claim it reduces their stress levels, and 80 per cent report better nights in the land of nod.

This week, expert Victoria Truman tells us about the benefits of adding darker colours to garden design feel. Bespoke fencing in darkest grey or black allows the greenery to pop in contrast. Within the design, use a strictly limited palette of plants that will provide an easy-on-the-eye display. Our vision appreciates repetition, which can relax the mind. A dining area enclosed by clear stemmed pleached trees gives a feeling of semi-formality and ‘enclosure’. Try planting green topiary domes and golden, green Japanese grass; its foliage forms attractive, loose, cascading mounds. Plant Trachelospermum

jasminoides along the boundary fences; this evergreen plant, smothered in highly fragrant, small white flowers in the summer, stands out against the black of the fence. For lighting, a combination of subtle spots and dramatic up-lighting, combined with light washes in some beds, makes the garden really come alive at night. This design creates a simple, uncluttered space with good bone structure and strong, bold lines. www.victoriatruman.com

200 CALORIES

Digging is a great cardio workout and an excellent way to de-stress. You can burn up to

250

an hour when digging heavy soil (but don’t overdo it if you have a bad back)

Pulling up stubborn weeds for

35 minutes

158 CAN BURN

CALORIES

Raking is vital to let your lawn and plants breathe, and it’ll work your upper body, and burns around

120

CALORIES

I

find that clients are wanting more simplistic and low-maintenance gardens; often with no grass, and requiring minimal work and maximum ‘wow’ factor! Using black as a backdrop for a garden gives it a good bone structure and strong bold lines – something to consider if designing your own garden and wanting to use black. Use a combination of dark-coloured materials to achieve the effect. Try charred timber retaining walls; the unpolished, naturalistic quality of burned wood evokes a rough, organic

Pushing a mower up and down the lawn for 35 minutes can use up

CALORIES

The dark side

So, which jobs burn the most calories?

Pruning pretty Evergreens, such as rosemary, lavender, bay, myrtle, sage and thyme, can be pruned as soon as winter is over. Never cut into old wood and always leave enough foliage to help draw energy back into the limbs n Keep those weeds under control

n Start to feed citrus plants

n Protect fruit blossom from

n Increase the water given

late frosts n Tie in climbing and

rambling roses n Sow hardy annuals, herbs and

wildflower seed outdoors n Warmer weather means it’s

time to get sowing and planting

to houseplants n Feed hungry shrubs and roses n Sow new lawns or repair

bare patches n Prune fig trees n Divide bamboos and

waterlilies

Find more gardening by visiting www.theknow.guide

IN 30 MINUTES


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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

Toast the royal wedding

ARTS & CULTURE | LIFE & STYLE |

FOOD & DRINK | MOTORING

58

With the monarchy’s drinks! Page 66

APPLAUSE FOR OPEN-AIR THEATRE

61

TRY SOME DECORATIVE LIVING

70

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT IN CHICAGO

Find your inner veggie

72

Is it time? Page 64

RIGHT ROYAL WEDDING TIPS


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arts

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Arts & Culture

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

The theatre of dreams with the outside edge… Live theatre productions have become a summer staple, and there’s one company ensuring our area gets the best selection of creative performances at a great venue and price. Eileen Leahy talks to Applause Rural Touring’s Sally Lampitt about what the company has in store for audiences this season

I

TOO MANY COOKS A show starring fruit and veg character Froojamaflip

F YOU’RE out and about over the next few months – whether at a festival, fête or grand stately home – you’re more than likely to see a theatre troupe appearing on the bill. Stage shows in the great outdoors have become hugely popular over the past few years, with not even the (highly likely) chance of rain putting people off booking tickets. These days you can see everything from alternative versions of classic fairy tales to restoration comedies and contemporary puppet shows performed al fresco in a range of diverse venues from castles to gardens and parks. One company helping to bring brilliant theatre in many varying guises to the masses is Applause Rural Touring. This Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation, based in Tunbridge Wells, works with numerous artists and communities to bring high quality performances to pretty much everywhere, from village halls, pubs

and schools to many of the bigger festivals across Kent and Sussex. Locally, you can catch them this summer in Speldhurst, Rusthall and Hever. “All the performances are interactive, family-friendly, suitable for all ages, and great fun,” explains Sally Lampitt, Applause’s touring co-ordinator and show commissioner. Applause’s real USP, however, is that the shows are offered at highly subsidised costs so event organisers can boast exciting and unexpected arts experiences for everyone to enjoy. In short, making theatre less of an elitist, expensive experience and more accessible to all.

This season Applause is working on six shows, and next year they will celebrate their 20th anniversary, with Sally adding that despite being around for almost two decades, their goal has always remained the same: To work at the heart of local communities in Kent and Sussex providing affordable, challenging and inspiring performances in familiar places. “It’s about providing rural communities with professional productions they would not normally get to see unless in a big city or at large outdoor event. It’s providing access to high quality artistic experiences for all to share,” explains Sally. “We work with outstanding professional companies and commission shows that will often go on to tour nationally and internationally. “Applause is also about supporting local promoters through subsidising the events and providing the artists with a new platform to showcase their work and to reach a wider audience. “In 2017 more than 31,000 people saw an Applause show over the summer.” Despite its huge audience reach, and

THE JUKEBOXES Speak for themselves!


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

‘All the performances are interactive, familyfriendly, suitable for all ages, and great fun’

created for pub audiences and to the unique atmosphere and setting of a pub. “Highly subsidised, and requiring no special sets or space, the shows give landlords the opportunity to offer new experiences to their regulars, attract new customers, and reinforce pubs as central to rural community life.” In terms of outdoor shows this year, Applause has commissioned a brand new one. It comes the fact it works with more than 40 different from Handmade Theatre and is called Too Many companies and artists throughout the year, Cooks, and according to Sally it is ‘inspired by Applause is managed by a small team of just five. In addition to their buoyant outdoor offering the boom in food-themed TV shows’. “It’s a sizzlingly scrumptious show jam-packed they also run the cleverly titled Inn Crowd, a with tasty tunes, popping puppets and a lot of programme which sees various theatre troupes silly sausages! We are also working with Curious perform in different pubs around the area. Creations, who have created Froojamaflip, an 8ft “Inn Crowd is a project that supports rural stilted character handmade with painted and pubs to host spoken word, poetry and textured fruit and vegetables. Along with Fred storytelling performances,” continues Sally. the gardener, he will be sharing the wonders of “These live performances are specifically the Great British Garden.” As well as giving creatives the opportunity to perform in front of new audiences, Applause also offers them advice and support during the development phase of new commissions, working with groups to ensure that their show is the best it can be and meets the needs of rural touring. But when it comes to naming a favourite place to perform, Sally is reluctant: “With over 60 shows happening across the summer, it’s difficult to choose just one venue as they are all unique in their own way. “It doesn’t matter how big or small they are, each gets the opportunity to showcase a professional performance.” As to what audiences will come WHIPPING UP away with after seeing one of the MORE FUN productions, Sally says it’s simple: With a show “All the shows will entertain, based on all the delight and stimulate foodie TV shows imaginations young and old!”

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FUN AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY, HERE ARE SOME OF THE SHOWS APPLAUSE RURAL WILL BE TOURING WITH AT A VENUE NEAR YOU THIS SUMMER n Bootworks Theatre presents The JukeBoxes – two beautiful 1950s jukeboxes sit sideby-side. Watch them spring into life as two performers (hidden inside) recreate classic pop music videos in a fun, lip-syncing musical medley. Using props, masks, puppets and a terrible selection of wigs, the kitsch duo mimic some of our favourite celebrity pop stars from past and present, including The Beatles, Sinead O’Connor, Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder and Adele. Audiences are encouraged to sing or dance along with the show. Whatever your age, there’s a little something for everyone.

I SCREAM A Rat Choc Chip surprise

n Nearly There Yet presents Memory Man – a charming one-man wordless piece set to a beautiful soundtrack and using familiar props to gently look at our ideas of memory. Props include teddy bears, a radio, bunting and a working electric train set. The centrepiece of the show is a structure on which memories are gathered and hung up for us all to see. The spectacular finale sees the entire four-metre high set – including a working bubble machine – balanced on the performer’s chin. A show to remember!

n Curious Creations presents Froojamaflip and Fred – this unique garden-themed duo are a high impact and visual act, full of quirky detail, especially designed to encourage a better understanding of the natural environment. Inspired by the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Froojamaflip is an 8ft stilted character created from handmade, painted and textured fruit and vegetables. Through storytelling, this walkabout act brings to life ‘Lucy Leek’, ‘Bertie Banana’ and ‘Adam Apple’. Accompanied by Fred the gardener, they will give away seeds, fruit and vegetables.

n Travelling Light Circus presents The Playground of Illusions – a collection of eight ‘giant toys’ which each contain a visual illusion that the audience are free to wander round and explore. Each one is self-sufficient and works brilliantly on its own, and together they make an unforgettable and fascinating experience that is inspirational, educational and (most importantly) awesome fun. Vintage industrial machines are reused to make the quirky gadgets, creating an intriguing visual spectacle that will draw visitors in and ignite their imaginations.

n Beautiful Creatures presents Rat Choc Chip – a very funny new walkabout performance from Beautiful Creatures Theatre. Everyone loves an ice cream, so queue up at the Rat Choc Chip cart for a ‘tail’ of the unexpected and a double scoop with a furry surprise. Be charmed by the lovable and haphazard ice cream vendor, help with her desperate attempts to keep her furry friends out of sight of the health inspector, and see if you can tell the difference between chocolate sprinkles and well, let’s just say, little rodent ‘gifts’.

n HandMade Theatre Presents Too Many Cooks – a sizzlingly sumptuous show jampacked with tasty tunes, popping puppets and a lot of silly sausages! Part walkabout and part theatre show, this culinary delight will get your taste buds going. The show, from Hand Made Theatre, explores the recent boom in food-inspired TV shows, festivals and artisan culture – anything from coffee to sausages. The team will bring many characters to life through stories and puppetry and a lot of explosive silliness. Suitable for children and their families, aged 0-100. Visit the Applause website to find out the closest event to you at www.applause.org.uk And for more information on pub performances, see www.inncrowd.org.uk


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Going Out

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

going ut Seven days of activities at a glance

By Eileen Leahy

IT’S THE ONE THAT WE WANT! Don’t miss Grease at the Assembly Hall

WEDNESDAY The Assembly Hall will be taken over by lots of sassy Pink Ladies and T Birds all this week as TWODS perform their version of the classic musical Grease. With chart-topping songs like You’re The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You, it promises to be a fantastic production. Tickets from £18. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk Another NT Live performance of Macbeth will be beamed into the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge this evening from 7pm. Tickets to Rufus Norris’s version of this Shakespeare classic, which stars Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear, are priced at £14 per person. www.emftheatre.ticketsolve.com BoostFit classes are held on Wednesday evenings at 7pm at St Gregory’s Catholic School. The classes cost £5 for a one-hour session. For more details, see www.boostfit.com The much-acclaimed thriller flick A Quiet Place, starring Emily Blunt and real-life husband John Krasinski, is on tonight and tomorrow at the Moonlight Drive-in Cinema located at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood. Screenings are at 9.15pm all week and tickets cost £25 per vehicle. www.moonlightcinema.com

THURSDAY The current exhibition at Trinity Theatre Gallery is a show entitled Vulnerability by Jenny Neill. Originally from Brighton, the artist is now based locally and likes to explore the female form in a variety of different mediums, including gouache, ink and charcoal. The show is on until May 20 and the gallery is open from 10am until 10pm. The Catherine Bellinger School of Dance hosts an adult ballet barre class every Thursday at St Peter’s Church in Bayhall Road, Tunbridge Wells. Running from 11.10am until 12.10pm, the classes are for all abilities and everyone is welcome. For more information and termly fees, see www.catherinebellingerschoolofdance.co.uk Writer and broadcaster Robin Ince comes to Trinity Theatre tonight with his latest show Pragmatic Insanity. The star of The Infinite Monkey Cage, a popular physics programme which he co-hosts with Professor Brian Cox on BBC Radio 4, is back with his first solo show in three years. Tickets cost £17 and it starts at 8pm.

FRIDAY Go Ape at Bedgebury is the perfect activity for the

children to get stuck into as its tree top adventure trails are both exciting and exhilarating. Children must be a minimum age of ten years old and at least 1.4m tall in order to participate in this tree top adventure. For tickets and timings, visit www.goape.co.uk Crowborough artist Robin Alexander Elliott’s eclectic work is currently on display in a new exhibition at The G&C Gallery in Camden Road. Entitled Dreaming Reality – Reality Dreaming: An Exhibition Explained, the show runs until May 25 and features 15 works by the artist, who studied at the Sidcup School of Art under the tutorage of Frank Auerbach. St Alban’s Church, Frant welcomes drummer Pete Cater and his Big Band this evening for a special concert. He is one of the most soughtafter swing big band musicians and has worked with musical idols such as Benny Carter, Tom Jones and Jamie Cullum, to name but a few. Doors open at 7.30pm and the concert starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £18 from Frant Stores, Brittens music shop and www.wegottickets.com – or you can phone organiser Paul Barber on 01892 750665. An American in Paris is being screened at Trinity Theatre this evening from 7pm. This breathtakingly beautiful Tony award-winning Broadway musical, inspired by the original MGM film, tells the impassioned story of discovering love in the

‘City of Light’. Expect amazing choreography, gorgeous sets, and all those favourite Gershwin tunes. Tickets cost from £18, bookable at: www.trinitytheatre.net

ARE WE DREAMING? See the work of local artist Robin Alexander Elliott at the G&C Gallery

SATURDAY This morning from 10am there will be a charity fair in aid of The Barnabas Fund for Persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq held at King Charles the Martyr Church Hall in Tunbridge Wells. Admission is free and there will be toy, china, book, toiletries and jewellery stalls to browse. The fair will also benefit the faminestricken Christians in East Africa. Join in with the celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day at One Warwick Park Hotel, where you can watch the Royal Wedding on TV while enjoying afternoon tea with a royal twist! From £18 per person. www.onewarwickpark.co.uk Alternatively, for rail enthusiasts there is a model railway show happening at the Great Hall in Southborough Primary School. It is the first one in Tunbridge Wells in over 20 years and is also one of the largest in the county. There will be over 20 layouts and a number of trade stands, and the exhibition is being supported by clubs and modellers from around the South East. There are another couple of free crafting sessions at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery from 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park are

putting on a Dog Show today from 10am. For more information on this event, see their official webiste – www.fogh.org.uk Further afield, near Heathfield, there will be a Ballades and Bolognese evening at Broad Oak Village Hall organised by the Rotary Club in aid of charity. Tickets cost £16 per person and include a two-course meal, tea and coffee and entertainment from The Professionals. To book your tickets, call 01892 661 705.

SUNDAY If you’re tying the knot this year, then head on over to the Wedding Fair at the Mercure Hotel in Pembury. You’re sure to find lots of ideas and inspiration at this free event. For more information, visit www.mercuretunbridgewells.co.uk The winner of Visit Kent’s Happy Family award, Penshurst Place offers even more reason to visit as it now has a new and improved adventure

WEDDING FEVER Watch the Royal Wedding at One Warwick Park Hotel and head to a Wedding Fair the day after, at the Mercure Hotel, Pembury

GET IN THE SWING See Pete Cater’s Big Band jazzing up Frant


Going Out

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS in Tunbridge Wells! See the West End musical on screen at Trinity Theatre

INCE-TANT FUN Enjoy Robin Ince’s take on love, death and art (with a little bit of physics) at Trinity Theatre

playground. As well as a giant 30ft zip wire there’s also an obstacle challenge, complete with scramble net, to enjoy. For ticket prices and opening times, please visit www.penshurstplace.com A fresh and original reworking of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale Alice in Wonderland arrives at Trinity Theatre this afternoon at 2.30pm. Go along to enjoy Alice’s weird and wonderful journey through this alternative world full of crazy characters. It is ideally suited to those aged between four and 11 years old, and tickets cost £7. The Oast Theatre are now staging their latest production, Dial M for Murder. This Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller is on every day until next Saturday, with some matinée performances. Tickets for members cost £7.50 and £10 for non-members. See www.oasttheatre.com

thekn w.guide

PICK OF THE WEEK: The Decorative Living Fair Eridge Park

Friday and Saturday May18-19

Fans of rare and vintage finds for the home will have to make a beeline for Eridge Park this Friday and/or Saturday, as it will be hosting the ever popular Decorative Living Fair once again. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit over 60

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specialist stalls selling everything from jewellery and knitwear to French brocantestyle treasures for both the home and garden. There will also be lots of food and drink to enjoy, courtesy of local producers and Hattons of The Pantiles, who will be present with a pop-up café serving their delicious food and refreshments. Tickets cost from £7.50 from www.decorativelivingfair.co.uk

MONDAY Trinity Theatre is running a senior cinema event today, screening the Tennessee Williams classic A Streetcar Named Desire, which stars Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. The film starts at 10.30am and tickets cost £5 per person. Thompson Spare Art Gallery’s latest show features the work of Thomas Neil, a talented digital printer and painter who has made some great prints of Tunbridge Wells with a delicate modern twist. The gallery describes his work as ‘clear and refreshing’. Open every day from 9am until 5.30pm, except Sundays.

TUESDAY

The exhibition entitled Remarkable Characters of Tunbridge Wells is still on at Woods on The Pantiles. Running until September, it is the brainchild of photographer Mark Wilkinson and writer Anne Wagstaff,

who have a ‘curiosity about people and what makes them tick’. The restaurant is open from 10am daily. There is also a book to accompany the show, which costs £18 and is available from www.remarkablecharacterstw.com


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Going Out

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

THE GREY LADY MUSIC LOUNGE The Pantiles. Doors 7.15pm, entry £6/£7 Website www.thegreylady.co.uk Wednesday Ellie Wade, Laura Lamn, Sarah Tonin Friday Soul Kitchen Sunday James Medhurst, Ian Knapp, Benjamin Lewis Tuesday Charlotte Rose Ellis, The Alley Devils

THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM

live music With Paul Dunton

T

HE middle of May sees plenty of great gigs and concerts. Tonight [Wednesday], at The Grey Lady, popular local fivepiece Sarah Tonin will be performing a selection of their psychedelic, progressive rock tunes with support from Ellie Wade and Laura Lamn. My top picks for Thursday include The Faim, Dream State, Parting Gift and AvaGrace at The Forum. Jazz On The Pantiles features renowned local Jazz pianist Robert Reid, and The Sussex Arms will be hosting The Caress and Shama. On Friday, the superb Pete Cater Big Band are at the church in Frant. Saturday has many popular local musicians in action, including

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

Between Giants at The Beau Nash, Ryan Weeks at The Bedford and David Migden & The Twisted Roots headlining the Local & Live Sessions at Trinity Theatre, supported by Top Cat Collective and Sean de Burca. The Forum are hosting a homeless fundraiser gig featuring Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind and Night Without Sleep. Charities benefitting include Porchlight and Winter Shelter, who do tremendous work to support those without a home. Close out the weekend in style on Sunday at The Grey Lady with local singer-songwriters James Medhurst, Ian Knapp and Benjamin Lewes. Monday and Tuesday brings gigs worth seeing in the Tonbridge area.

Event information at www.twforum.co.uk Thursday The Faim, Dream State, Parting Gift, AvaGrace Saturday Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, Night Without Sleep

JAZZ ON THE PANTILES The Bandstand. Music from 8pm to 10pm Donations welcomed Thursday Robert Reid

THE SUSSEX ARMS BASEMENT Sussex Mews. Music from 8.30pm, entry charge may apply. See www.twforum.co.uk Thursday The Caress, Shama Tom Lewis

Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind Monday Forgetting The Memories, Ursus

THE BEDFORD

ST ALBAN’S CHURCH

2 High Street. Open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late Saturday Ryan Weeks

High Street, Frant. Doors 7.30pm, music from 8pm. All details and tickets from www.wegottickets.com/event/427830 Friday The Pete Cater Big Band

TRINITY THEATRE Church Road. Concert details and ticket information at www.trinitytheatre.net Saturday Local & Live Sessions: David Migden & The Twisted Roots, Top Cat Collective, Sean de Burca

EM FORSTER THEATRE Tonbridge School. Details and tickets at www.boxoffice.tonbridge-school.co.uk Saturday Tonbridge Philharmonic Society Concert, including Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony No 3 and Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with soloist Matthew Higham.

THE ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Crescent Road. Details and tickets at www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk Sunday Material Girl – The Music of Madonna

TONBRIDGE FOLK CLUB The Flying Dutchman, Hildenborough. Music from 8pm, hat collection (£7 suggested, £5 concessions). More details at www.tonbridgefolkclub.org Monday Tom Lewis

THE TRADING POST BAR 5 Culverden Down. Open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late Tuesday Open Mic with Gez Gold

THE BEAU NASH TAVERN

THE PUNCH & JUDY

Mount Ephraim. Open all day, free entry, music from 8.30pm till late Saturday Between Giants

11 St Stephen’s Street, Tonbridge. Open all day, free entry, music from 8pm Tuesday Steve Boltz Bolton


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food

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STAY CONNECTED 7 DAYS A WEEK…

Food & Drink

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

It’s time to veg out It’s National Vegetarian Week. To celebrate, Eileen Leahy serves up delicious recipe ideas and talks to local vegetarian foodie Jane Apps, of The Fat Carrot in Hildenborough, about the health benefits of adopting a non-meat diet…

O

VER the past decade there has been a huge rise in vegetarianism, and according to a recent National Diet and Nutrition survey, it’s now estimated that around two per cent of the UK population is vegetarian – more than 1.2 million people. Teenagers make up the highest proportion, and vegans are thought to make up less than one per cent. A vegetarian or vegan (meat and dairyfree) diet can be suitable for everyone regardless of age, but if you’re considering following either of these non-meat diets it’s advisable to seek expert advice on your specific nutritional needs. Good places to start are the Vegetarian Society (www.vegsoc.org) and also the official NHS website (www.nhs.uk). Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to concentrate on improving your recipe repertoire, and there are lots of deliciously simple dishes you can create using nature’s rich abundance of vegetables and plant-based foods. Sam Platt, Manager of the Vegetarian Society Cookery School, advises the following tips to get you started:

1

Not every veggie dish needs cheese – If cheese is in your starter, avoid it in your main courses and vice versa. Try other ways to pop a bit of protein into a

dish; pulses and grains, tofu, nuts, seeds and tempeh all have great protein content – and are super tasty, too.

2

Experiment with flavours and cooking methods – Don’t be scared to combine lots of different vegetables in one dish. Cook them in many ways: Mash them, roast them, marinade them, steam them, fry them…

3

Fill up – A plain green salad can be tasty, but on its own it won’t make for a great dining experience. Make sure your veggie/vegan options are just as enjoyable as the non-veggie dishes.

4

Be aware – There are ingredients that may appear to be veggie but in fact are not. Worcestershire sauce (which contains anchovies), and certain beers and wines are common pitfalls – but veggie options are available. Many French and Italian cheeses are not vegetarian, e.g. Parmesan, but you can easily find suitable alternatives. Now try making the recipes on the facing page… For more recipes, tips and information on following a vegetarian diet, visit www.nationalvegetarianweek.org

THE LOCAL VEGGIE HERO Jane Apps, who has been a vegetarian for the past two decades, runs The Fat Carrot, an ethical, compassionate food company which produces high quality vegetarian and vegan food selling at local markets. Here she tells the Times a bit about her brand: “The Fat Carrot was founded in 2012 to fill a gap in the market for imaginative handmade veggie food. We started making and selling vegetarian and vegan foods at local farmers’ markets, and in 2014 became managers of Cranbrook Farmers’ Market. “We now run a monthly pop-up veggie café within the market and have seen the business really grow – we now also cater for weddings and events in Kent. “Our fresh products are handmade and we regularly attend farmers’ markets in Tonbridge, Shipbourne, Penshurst, Cranbrook, Offham and Egerton. “For me, the key benefits of a diet free of meat is that it’s kinder to the planet, the animals and your health. “In terms of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, Tunbridge Wells is lucky to have the Plant Base in Camden Road, which is fully vegan, but other establishments can be very hit and miss. Many do have a veggie menu but others still don’t even understand that products like wine and Parmesan are not necessarily vegetarian. They will also incorrectly label dishes – I have even seen fish labelled as vegetarian! “A little more training would be helpful and the National Vegetarian Society offer courses. “This year we will be running four vegan events. The next one is the Spadework Vegan Festival on June 17 in Offham, West Malling. www.thefatcarrot.co.uk


Food & Drink

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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Bulgur Wheat, Lentils and Barley with Smoked Tofu Tofu provides a good source of complete protein in a vegetarian diet, as it contains all the essential amino acids required by the body. Preparation: 10 mins Cooking: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

Cajun Quorn with Coriander Rice and Mango Salsa Quorn provides a good low-fat source of protein as well as being a great source of zinc, which helps to maintain a strong immune system. Preparation: 15 mins Cooking: 20 mins

INGREDIENTS For the mango salsa: 1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into small chunks 5 cherry tomatoes, halved 5g coriander, finely chopped 1 small red chilli, finely chopped 1 tbsp lime juice Pinch of salt Pinch of ground black pepper For the Cajun Quorn: 350g Quorn pieces ½ tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp ground cumin ½ tbsp ground coriander 1 tsp crushed dried chilli 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tbsp olive oil For the coriander rice: 100g brown rice 1 tsp olive oil 1 large spring onion, finely sliced 10g coriander, finely chopped

METHOD

1 2

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the brown rice. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender. Drain and set aside.

3 4

Make the salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a plastic freezer bag, add the Quorn pieces, paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried chilli, garlic and olive oil. Shake the bag until the Quorn is completely coated in the spice mixture. Transfer the spiced, coated Quorn pieces to a large, non-stick baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside. Combine the cooked rice with the olive oil, spring onion and coriander. Serve the Cajun Quorn with the rice and mango salsa.

5

6 7

1 tsp olive oil 100g marinated tofu pieces ½ tsp smoked paprika 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar

1 sachet cooked bulgur wheat, green lentils and barley 1 small red onion, finely sliced 1 roasted red pepper (from a jar) 80g canned artichoke hearts in water, drained and sliced 100g spinach

METHOD

1

Pour the olive oil into a small non-stick frying pan, add the tofu pieces and the smoked paprika and

cook for five minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and allow to sizzle and reduce. Put the bulgur wheat mixture into a bowl, add the onion and pepper, and toss together gently to break up. Then add the cooked tofu and artichokes and toss again. Scatter the mixture over the spinach leaves and serve.

2 3

4


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Drinks

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

By royal appointment Ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding, Times drinks editor James Viner chooses four delicious tipples which boast that all-important royal seal of approval

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etting in the mood for the royal wedding ceremony at midday this Saturday, May 19, in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, this week I’ve decided to celebrate some stately drinks which have been granted a royal warrant. Businesses that have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales can request a royal warrant. Once accepted, warrant holders can display the royal coat of arms and the words ‘by appointment’. And all of these will make the perfect toast to Harry and Meghan’s nuptials.

THE JOY OF SPARKLING CORNISH TERROIR

1) 2015 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, Cornwall (£29.99 to £24.99 From May 16- June 5, Waitrose) From a pioneering Cornish winery founded in 1989 and appointed a Royal Warrant by HRH Prince Charles in March 2018 (the first English wine producer to receive such an honour), this regal English pink sparkling wine has a wild cherry blossom bouquet and red berry compote, raspberry ripple tones, plus a dry finish. Pour

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with sushi or cakes and fruit tarts at tea parties. Acidity lengthens and refreshes the generosity of a truly elite native sparkling rosé. Its purity is quite exceptional – no wonder Camel Valley’s wines have been served on many royal occasions. Bravo!

FULL-BODIED SMOKY & PEATY SCOTCH WHISKY 2) Laphroaig Ten-Year Old Malt Whisky, Scotland (£30-£38.95, Sainsbury’s & Whisky Exchange) Laphroaig/D Johnston & Co’s Royal Warrant of Appointment to the Prince of Wales was first granted in 1994. Smoky, phenolic, medicinal and Lapsang Souchong-like, Laphroaig (pronounced ‘Laff-roy-g’) is undoubtedly the most iconic Islay marque – the Marmite of whisky, if you will, which you’ll either love or loathe. A classic dram that’s reminiscent of dried seaweed and much enjoyed by HRH The Prince of Wales. Just the ticket for Teriyaki salmon.

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On The Menu… Spicy Warren Lamb Sausages with Greek-style salad and salsa verde

The Warren Jerk Pork Burger with triple cooked chips

Duck Liver Parfait, blood orange, radishes and crispy chicken skin

REGAL TOASTY/TOASTING CHAMPAGNE

3) Champagne Pol Roger White Foil Brut Réserve Nv, France (£36.25-£43, The Whisky Exchange & The Wine Society) Pol Roger is perhaps best known as Sir Winston Churchill’s preferred champagne, and was the first house to hold the royal warrant way back in 1877. It was served at the wedding reception of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2011. The house remains familyowned and has a name for creating champagnes of grace and elegance which cellar very well. Blended from 30 still wines with three years in the cavernous cellars beneath Épernay, this is the perfect apéritif champagne (also top-notch with spicy dishes and fish and chips).

SMOOTH AND MELLOW COGNAC FAVOURITE FROM CHURCHILL’S CABINET

4) Hine Rare Vsop Cognac, France (£46-£50, Master Of Malt & Waitrose) Hine is rightly esteemed by the Cognac cognoscenti, and was apparently Sir Winston Churchill’s favourite (he also liked Armenian brandy). It’s also the only cognac to hold a Royal Warrant of Appointment from HM the Queen, which she awarded in 1962. Thomas Hine was originally from Dorset and moved to Cognac, aged just 19, in 1791. He joined a local Cognac business, married the owner’s daughter and became a partner in the firm. Hine Rare is a Fine Champagne blend of over 25 cognacs with at least 50 per cent coming from the venerated Grande Champagne area. It’s a wonderful digestif and ideal in such cocktails as the Sidecar and French 75. Cheers!

Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

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THE WARREN • High Street, Tunbridge Wells 01892 328191 • www.thewarren.restaurant Homemade toasted Brioche

Sautéed monkfish, braised ox tail, spinach and langoustines

Loin of Warren Mutton with wild garlic, polenta, and new season English Asparagus

Freshly baked sourdough bread

Raspberry and white chocolate macarons

Milk chocolate mousse and raspberries

Sardines on toast, black olive tapenade, tomato compote


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Advertorial

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

A new imagining for local pub that is sure to please Since Justin Moore re-invented The Vine as the new social hub of Goudhurst back in 2016, the business has gone from strength to strength, with their speciality steaks and relaxed atmosphere becoming an instant hit. Here, we catch up with him to learn how trading a finance career in London for a country pub in Kent has been far from a quiet life…

QUIET LIFE Justin Moore trades finance for hospitality

‘We’re very proud of the menu and pleased to say that our only frozen product on site is our ice cream’ So, Justin, tell us a little about what people can expect when visiting The Vine… The pub itself is an old coaching inn that dates right back to the 17th century. It’s taken on a number of different guises over the years, but we’ve now brought it back to life as a community hub. We’re very much a drinking pub, as well as having a menu that centres around our speciality – steaks. I was always keen to avoid becoming just another gastro pub, so our menu is far more focused on the pub classics and local, seasonal produce.

How has your new menu been received by your customers? The most important thing for me when opening my own pub was making sure we were supplying something for everyone. For example, we put together a special sandwich menu for our regular walkers who come in during the weekend. The fish finger sandwich is now a real favourite! I think we’ve got the balance just right – we produce a high end à la carte menu but, at the same time, we wouldn’t ever become a pub that stops serving crisps behind the bar. Every local needs pork scratchings!

What inspired your new menu? It was quite a personal choice – I love a good steak. Steaks and the pub classics were our staples, then we introduce seasonal dishes during the year, like game and fish. We source our game from the Canal Game Company nearby, and the meat is from Woodlands Farm. We’ve invested in a Big Green Egg BBQ that means our meat is cooked over charcoal – properly aged meat, cooked to perfection. We’re very proud of the menu and pleased to say that our only frozen product on site is our ice cream.

You didn’t start out in hospitality... This was my first venture into it – my background was finance. I had an entrepreneurial itch that I needed to scratch and, living in Biddenden, starting a business locally seemed perfect. It certainly hasn’t led to a quieter life though! It took one or two visits to this pub before I decided to take it on, and I was aware that it needed re-inventing. Bringing my personal touches and energy to this place has been a real adventure. Were there any suprises when you started out? I suppose I was a little naïve at first in thinking that bringing a strong menu and sourcing good local produce would be an instant


Advertorial

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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control and hygiene. Our chef previously worked as the Head Chef in The British Museum and he brings a really fresh and creative mindset, and loves bringing what he’s learnt to an area with such great local produce. Being from North Italy, he cooks steak expertly and his Côte du Boeuf large cut with a South African rouge is the perfect dinner combination. We’ve also launched a new takeaway service, something that has been seen a lot in London recently, and is new to this area. What does the future hold for The Vine? Much of the same, hopefully. I’m delighted with the staff, the service and the environment. Before arriving in the summer of 2016, I did a lot of research to make sure I was delivering what people wanted. I think nowadays the challenge is just getting people up and off the sofa, away from their TV and out to their local pub which is why events like our burger and comedy for £15 pounds are something I want to keep pushing. We also want to continue making the most of our restaurant area upstairs – it can seat up to 40 or hold a buffet-style event for 60 and we’ve got live bands there once a month.

RELAXED DINING A redesigned interior for foodies to enjoy success; it’s taken a while to build up the reputation we now have and you can’t beat word-of-mouth in the pub industry. We had a family from Ashford here recently who said they’d travelled here after hearing about our burgers – that was a proud moment for us! We’ve got a certificate of excellence on TripAdvisor and a bunch of great reviews. It’s about continuous progress, however, so we are always keen to think of new ways to improve and work with other local businesses along the way.

Who are some of the local businesses you’ve worked with so far? We work closely with the local vineyards and brewers to produce a diverse drinks menu that caters to everyone. Our wine menu covers a range of prices, grapes and regions and our close relationship with local vineyards has meant we’ve worked together to perfect this. We also work with Chapel Down for their

fantastic whites and bubbles, as well as Biddenden for their ciders, and Herbert Hall in Marden for the high quality sparkling wine they produce. We are the only Herbert Hall supplier in this area, as the majority of their produce is only available in London. Bringing the London ethos to Goudhurst has been really important to me. In what ways have you brought aspects of London to Goudhurst? Restaurants in London often have a real feel of innovation as there’s no time to stand still. They have to achieve this while being tight on stock

The Vine High Street, Goudhurst 01580 211105 www.vinegoudhurst.com


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travel

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Travel

Sensory overload – all you need to see, do and hear in Chicago

With the launch of the UK’s cheapest daily flight from London to Chicago, there’s never been a better time to go to ‘Windy City’, says Aine Fox A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT A spectacular view of the city

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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N 1885, the world’s first skyscraper – the ten-storey Home Insurance Building – was erected in Chicago. Since then, the skyline has grown dramatically, with structures now looming ten times as high. “Downtown was our playground,” says 67-year-old Lynn Hughes, recalling her youth growing up in Oak Park, one of the city’s 77 neighbourhoods. Back then, the 41-storey Prudential Building reached furthest into the bright blue sky. The former teacher is one of around 200 greeters who volunteer their services to, in Lynn’s words: “Show off our city.” This is my first trip to Chicago, and as I settle into my room overlooking Millennium Park, I can’t help but compare it to New York – a city which, in my head, would be hard to knock off the number one spot. So why should people visit Chicago? Lynn doesn’t need a second to think before answering: “Our city is the friendly, clean, affordable New York.” Millennium Park is one of its many green spaces, situated within the sprawling Grant Park – known by locals as the city’s front yard. Free activities range from weekend yoga classes on the lawn to classical music concerts performed by the Grant Park Orchestra, and Chorus in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. During the summer, people gather around the Crown Fountain, made up of two 50ft-high glass towers featuring projections of Chicagoans spouting water from their mouths in the style of ancient gargoyles. But with so much on offer, this is a year-round destination – and a new direct flight from Norwegian Air Shuttle makes it cheaper than ever. Plan a trip to delight the senses with these essential activities… DO… a downward dog in the sky The Windy City’s setting on Lake Michigan means that Chicago truly has some spectacular views. And while park yoga in the fresh air is enjoyable, striking the downward dog pose 94 floors high in 360 Chicago, the former John Hancock building, is a thrill. The class takes place in a glass-walled room with a mirrored ceiling, and instructors gently offer tips as they walk around the room. COST: Sky Yoga is $15 (about £11), which also includes admission to the observation deck (bring your own mat). It runs on Saturdays from 9am-10am, but arrive 20 minutes early. Visit www.360chicago.com/360-sky-yoga SEE… architecture by water For an alternative view of the city, a trip along the Chicago River is perfect. First

HEIGHT OF CALM 360 Sky Yoga

Lady Cruises, in association with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, offers an insight into how the impressive buildings on the banks of the river, and beyond, sprung up over the course of the last century. On breezier days, rum-spiked hot chocolate is served during the 90-minute tour – which has been voted the city’s best tour by TripAdvisor. COST: From $44.48 (about £33) excluding tax. Multiple daily tours operate until November. Visit www.cruisechicago.com STAY… at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel This former men-only private members’ club – which had to keep its moniker as part of the deal to restore and reopen the Venetian Gothic building as a 241-room hotel – is an ode to old world style with its extravagant dark wood interiors. Overlooking Millennium Park, the Michigan Avenue building occupies an enviable location – it’s a short stroll from the likes of shopping mecca Macy’s, or the Art Institute of Chicago museum. COST: Standard rooms from $269; suites from $1,000. Visit www.chicagoathletichotel.com A LION OF A MUSEUM The Art Institute of Chicago

EAT… a tasty meal at RPM Steak A few minutes’ walk from the riverside, this sophisticated restaurant on West Kinzie Street has a relaxed ambience. It offers an excellent variety of steaks, but save space for the sides – the Japanese sweet potatoes and spicy broccolini are recommended. You may end up arguing over who gets the last crispy Brussels sprout though – the in-house curry vinaigrette dressing gives the veg a whole new lease of life. COST: RPM Steak frites is $43 (about £32); sides from $9-13 (around £6-10). Visit www.rpmrestaurants.com ENJOY… the hilarious comedy shows at Second City The Chicago-based comedy club, which has been running for more than 50 years, sparked the careers of Bill Murray and John Candy, to name a few. One of its current shows, Dream Freaks Fall From Space, takes a mocking look at modern-day American life – covering everything from race to dating, and how the PLENTY TO SPOUT ABOUT The Crown Fountain


Travel

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

LIVE BLUES At Rosa’s Lounge

country’s current controversial President was elected. The part-scripted, part-improv show is laugh-out-loud funny in some parts, and plain wacky in others. COST: Tickets to the show, which runs until October 3, are priced from $23 (about £17). Alcoholic drinks are from $7 (£5). SKY SCRAPING An architecture boat tour with First Lady Cruises

How to get there

DREAM DESTINATIONS…

Norwegian Airlines (www.norwegian.com/ uk; 0330 828 0854) flies the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner daily non-stop from London Gatwick to Chicago O’Hare from £149.90 one way; premium fares from £499.90 one way, including lounge access and more than a metre of legroom. For more information on Chicago and the experiences available, visit www.choosechicago.com

LISTEN… to the blues at Rosa’s Lounge Dressed in a vibrant blue three-piece suit, 82-year-old Willie Buck sings classics such as Muddy Waters’ Mannish Boy. One of several performers at the club, the grandfather of 20 is on first-name terms with most of the club’s patrons, who come here to see him play. Check the club’s calendar for dates. COST: Entry from $10 (about £7.50). Cocktails $6 (£4.50). Visit www.rosaslounge.com

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

Country living Stay at Park Cottage in the grounds of Cossington Park, Somerset, which sleeps six in three bedrooms. The walled garden ensures privacy, and guests can also enjoy shared use of the table tennis room, playground, orchards and fields. There are some 22 acres to explore, including extensive gardens, plus there’s a play fort, badminton and croquet. A week’s break for six costs £1,442, saving £216, arriving Saturday, May 26. Call 08000 433468 or visit www.premiercottages.co.uk

Perfect Provence There’s currently a wonderful offer on three nights for the price of two at the five-star Crillon le Brave, set amid beautiful vineyards and just 25 miles from medieval Avignon. Enjoy a heated outdoor pool, spa and serene countryside views as well as some amazing gastronomic food. Prices are from £780 pp (two sharing, and saving £195 each) and include flights (Heathrow), car hire, B&B, Kirker Guide Notes and a Concierge Service. Valid on stays until June 30. To book, call 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com

Golden opportunity

What better way to spend summer’s end than on a two-week rail odyssey through California? With this amazing deal you will travel along the scenic west coast on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train, hop on board the Napa Valley Wine Train, enjoy journeys on the California Western Railroad’s Skunk Train and Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Departing September 4, this 15-day holiday costs from £4,655 pp (two sharing), including flights (London), all rail travel and excursions as per the itinerary, room-only accommodation, two lunches, two dinners, San Francisco Visitor Passport (for travel in the city) and a tour leader. Book at Ffestiniog Travel on 01766 512 400 or visit www.ffestiniogtravel.com


thekn w.guide

best dressed guests…

BE THE

If you’ve got a wedding to attend this summer, make sure you stand out from the crowd – but not the bride – with an elegant dress and some of these essential accessories BEST FOOT FORWARD A high heel gives a polished feel to any look, and these are not only elegant, they’re super comfortable, too. Satin knot detail sandals, £38, Next, www.next.co.uk

Look Good, Feel Good

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

TOP TASSELS The statement earring shows no sign of waning but, remember, don’t be tempted to team them with a necklace as all you’ll achieve is overkill. Multi Coloured Thread Orb and Tassel Drop Earring, £6.99, New Look www.newlook.com TIMELESS CLASSIC A little bit of sparkle goes a long way, but you don’t want to upstage the bride, so limit your bling to this beautiful bracelet. Jisco bracelet, £22, Dune London, www.dunelondon.com

FLOWER POWER A clutch is a classic choice for a wedding handbag, but ensure yours is big enough to stow all your essentials in. Alanis Floral Ziptop Clutch, £37, Accessorize, www.accessorize.com

MAIN IMAGE courtesy of Lipsy, available from www.very.co.uk, www.asos.com and www.next.co.uk

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Look Good, Feel Good

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Say

‘I do’ to these bridal beauties

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As Meghan Markle walks down the aisle on Saturday, all eyes will be on what she’s wearing, and also how she looks. Eileen Leahy focuses on a few of the American actress’s favourite products, and presents some other key cosmetics for all brides to be…

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vegan, cruelty-free product that can be used as a shampoo, body wash, hand soap and even make-up brush cleanser. She has declared she loves two in particular – the lavender and almond varieties – and says the scent really lasts. As well as being a perfect pampering all-rounder and fit for a royal-to-be, it is also kind to the environment and those with sensitive skin and is free of any nasty chemicals.

5. Rainbow Shine Wand, £35, Lee Stafford, available from Argos stores nationwide. As any nervous bride knows, if you don’t have your hair just so, you won’t feel confident sashaying down the aisle. One of the top tress tends at the moment is the demi wave, and this clever little curling wand tool will help you achieve big and bouncy curls which will keep in shape and boast natural-looking volume all day long. It’s easy to transport, so you can touch up if you need to just before your first dance together as man and wife.

5 1. To Have and To Hold Limited Edition box £32, Birchbox, www.birchbox.co.uk Launched on May 16, this is the ultimate beauty edit for any bride to be, as it contains handy sample sizes of everything a bride will need. In this limited edition set you’ll find everything to ensure your limbs are nourished and glowing, your tresses shine and your complexion is radiant. Big brand names include Paul & Joe, Origins, Darphin and Philip Kinglsey. www.birchbox.co.uk

most famous family on Saturday, so her skin will be up against some serious scrutiny when it comes to all those close-up camera shots. So how to ensure she is not only glowing on her wedding day as well as every other? Step forward this wonder product, a super luxe elixir which helps to reduce signs of ageing thanks to its 14 handpicked ingredients, which include sandalwood nut kernel and Caribbean coral extract. Oh, and it also just happens to be one of Kate Middleton’s favourite products!

2. Beauty Sleep Elixir, £42, Beuti Skincare www.lookfantastic.com Meghan Markle will be marrying into the world’s

3. Wild Bluebell Cologne, £90, Jo Malone London, available from Jo Malone counters nationwide and www.jomalone.co.uk

Not only does this fabulous floral fragrance smell incredibly fresh, it can also be one of any bride’s special ‘something blue’ items. According to a spokesperson for Jo Malone, its cologne collection is the most popular choice for brides. And with just one sniff of this divine scent with its top floral accord notes, which are swiftly followed by hits of creamy persimmon and base notes of intense white musk, you’ll see why! 4. Lavender and Almond Dr Bronner Pure Castle Liquid Soaps, from £6.99, available from Whole Foods, John Bell & Croydon and www.drbronner.co.uk It’s official: Meghan Markle loves Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap, a completely natural,

6. Q10 Plus Skin Firming Body Lotion, £5.29, Nivea, available from most major retailers, including Boots, Superdrug and Sainsbury’s. Miss Markle recently revealed that her beauty essential isn’t a fancy lotion but this everyday staple for keeping skin soft and supple. The star told specialist website www.beautybanter: “I use this religiously. It’s honestly my favourite lotion on the market, it’s so affordable, and makes my skin look and feel amazing. I would buy a case of this at a time if I could find it.”

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thekn w.guide

Motors

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

FIRST DRIVE

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The updated

Toyota

Land Cruiser As SUVs become more and more luxurious, the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the few unashamedly old-fashioned off-roaders around. Tom Wiltshire finds out how it copes in the urban jungle

WHAT IS IT?

The story of the Toyota Land Cruiser is one that’s almost as old as Land Rover. Production began in 1951, and since then it’s gained a worldwide reputation for strength, solidity and off-road capability. The latest model was introduced in 2009, with a range of updates. It’s also packed with tech, none of which detracts from the overall feeling of old-fashioned brawn.

WHAT’S NEW?

2018 has seen a rather large update, aimed at keeping the car in step with rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery. There’s a new workhorse ‘Utility’ model, but we’re test driving a top-spec ‘Invincible’ trim. The 2.8-litre diesel engine gets a smaller turbocharger along with AdBlue to reduce exhaust emissions, and the interior has been tidied up to accommodate a large central touchscreen and comprehensive off-road controls.

WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?

The UK market receives only a single engine – a 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel. The large capacity and low cylinder count means it’s less smooth than a Land Rover’s 3.0-litre V6, and it’s down on power, too, with just 174bhp compared to 255bhp. However, with almost 450Nm of torque, pulling power is ample, and the Land Cruiser feels like it could cope not just with its 2.4-tonne weight, but the 3-tonne trailer it’s permitted to tow. Utility models are offered with a manual transmission, but most buyers will be using a sixspeed automatic. It’s relatively smooth, but coping with the car’s bulk means it has a tendency to downchange at a moment’s notice – even on the motorway. Refinement is an issue from cold, but at a cruise it settles down to a muted thrum.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The Cruiser is enormous, heavy, slow and ponderous – but buyers won’t care too much about that. Crucially, with an automatic gearbox and great visibility, it’s very easy to drive for a car of its size, more so than the Discovery. Our Invincible trim offered up to six adjustable driving modes, which you’ll never use – but none of them alter the over-light steering.

The ride isn’t as sophisticated as most of its rivals due to the separate chassis construction, but the trade-off is off-road ability. Put simply, its reputation is well deserved – these cars are unstoppable and faultlessly reliable.

HOW DOES IT LOOK?

There’s a certain brutish charm about the Land Cruiser, although it’s unlikely to win any beauty contests. Our model was painted in a rather lovely deep metallic blue, while the upright and imposing grille plus sharp LED headlights also class things up a bit. The impression is ruined somewhat by the old-fashioned side-hinged rear door as well as the relatively small wheels. From the inside, the double bulges of the bonnet give a real impression of bulk.

WHAT’S IT LIKE INSIDE?

Motoring News

Climb up into the cavernous interior and you’re faced with plenty of switches. The high-mounted infotainment screen allows for a selection of bulky off-road dials and buttons, all sensibly-sized for use while traversing rough terrain. Material quality is rugged rather than plush, but it all feels hard-wearing and the build quality is rock solid. There’s also plenty of room for five, though the

electrically-operated seats six and seven are far better suited to children than adults.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

Our Invincible grade came in at over £50,000, which may be tough to stomach given the lack of on-road manners. But look at it against its main rivals and it begins to look more attractive. While the Land Cruiser can come fully-loaded for its top-spec price tag, a Land Rover Discovery still finds plenty of items relegated to the options list. Comfortable, electrically-operated front seats have heating and ventilation, and the off-road goodies are all standard, too. But some items are missing, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and a sunroof.

VERDICT

The Land Cruiser is truly an institution, and current owners won’t need any encouragement to soldier on with the brand. They’re unstoppable due to amazing off-road ability and dependability. Attracting new buyers is tougher. It’s impossible to deny that most modern SUVs are better on the road, have better interiors, and look rather less workhorsey. But if it suits your needs, you won’t be disappointed with this old-school bruiser.

Electric chauffer service to take off at Heathrow HEATHROW AIRPORT has signed a new deal with Jaguar which could see the British manufacturer supplying up to 200 of its all-electric I-Pace vehicles for a passenger chauffeur service to and from the airport. Set to be introduced this year, the service will become the largest chauffeur-driven electric car fleet in the UK, with an initial set of 50 vehicles introduced from launch and the option of adding a further 150 later on. Heathrow Airport’s Emma Gilthorpe said: “We are thrilled to be working with two British companies on this landmark initiative to support more sustainable transportation choices for our passengers. “We remain focused on addressing the impact road vehicles have on air quality on the roads around the airport. “These Jaguar I-Paces are the latest in a long line of initiatives we are taking to ensure we do not force a choice between the economy and the environment.” The fleet will be capable of 1,000 airport journeys each day, reportedly saving eight tonnes of nitrogen emissions each year.

The ‘perfect’ sports car LOTUS has announced what it claims is the lightest V6 model ever – ‘perfect’ for road use. The Exige Sport 410, the latest in the British brand’s Exige line-up, has been developed from the track-focused Exige Cup 430. Lotus says this gives it ‘unrivalled’ driving dynamics and a degree of motorsport prowess courtesy of true downforce – up to 150kg. Weighing in at just 1,054kg, the car has a power-to-weight ratio of 389bhp per tonne – higher than a McLaren 570S. Power comes courtesy of Lotus’s 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine. Top speed is a reported 180mph, with 0-60mph achieved in just 3.3 seconds. Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales said: “We have developed it into the perfect road-orientated sports car.” Available in the UK from £85,600.

THE KNOWLEDGE MODEL AS TESTED:

Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible ENGINE: 2.8-litre

MAX SPEED: 108mph 0-60MPH: 12.7 seconds MPG: 38.1

4-cylinder turbo diesel

EMISSIONS: 194g/km

POWER: 174bhp

PRICE: £52,855

TORQUE: 450Nm

Plugging the power gap DESPITE being announced in the autumn budget, a £400m fund for improved electric car infrastructure has yet to be delivered. In a written answer to Parliament, Junior Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick admitted the fund – which was set to be made up of £200m from the government and £200m in private investment – has not been mustered. Jenrick said the first task, procuring a private sector fund manager, is expected to start this summer. Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald criticised the response: “The government’s electric cars policy has run out of power before it’s even left the driveway. It has been revealed that they have failed to secure a penny of the £200m of private investment.”


Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Advertising

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Recruitment

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

WITH THE

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

OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND TONBRIDGE


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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.

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CLASSIFIEDS

Codeword:

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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.

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© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

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DIFFICULTY RATING:★★II

3

1

2

8 9 7 3 2 1 2 2 5 4

5

9

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

2

DIFFICULTY RATING: ★★★★

1

4

LAST WEEK’S SOLUTIONS

SUDOKU & JIGSAW SUDOKU

In this Sudoku, the normal 3x3 boxes are now strangely odd shapes – but all the rules and logic of normal Sudoku apply. Fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and box contains every number uniquely.

Puzzle solutions will be published in a forthcoming issue

B E A V E R A E E Z M E R C A G A R T A N Q U R A D I U M A A J U R I S T A I H A CON E R K S C R I E H F T I P O F F

H A U R O I L D E R D I B B L E

OW R I A P T OW D A T Y N L E X S T

A R D E L B A I R U I N E S D E R S R N E MO D O Z A T E

Sudoku:

9 8 3 6 2 4 1 5 7

7 4 5 1 8 9 3 2 6

1 6 2 7 3 5 4 8 9

8 2 4 5 6 1 9 7 3

6 5 9 2 7 3 8 1 4

3 7 1 9 4 8 5 6 2

5 9 7 3 1 2 6 4 8

1 9 3 8 5 2 7 6 4

5 7 8 2 6 4 3 1 9

4 3 2 6 7 9 1 8 5

2 1 8 4 9 6 7 3 5

4 3 6 8 5 7 2 9 1

Jigsaw Sudoku:

8 6 7 3 2 5 4 9 1

2 4 1 7 9 3 6 5 8

9 5 6 4 8 1 2 7 3

3 8 5 1 4 6 9 2 7

6 1 9 5 3 7 8 4 2

7 2 4 9 1 8 5 3 6

© 2016 Syndicated Puzzles

CODEWORD

17

thekn w.guide

Puzzles

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

77


78

thekn w.guide

Sport

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

Whirlwind White urges greater investment from World Snooker told the Times while holidaying in the Cayman Islands. And he is looking forward to taking on Dylan again after playing him at an event in Tenterden earlier this year. “Dylan’s a very good little player,” said Jimmy. “His enthusiasm was great and his cue action was fine. My advice would be to keep up that level of enthusiasm and just keep playing.” Although he has won almost £5million on the pro circuit, Jimmy is celebrated as possibly the greatest amateur to play the game, so he is full of encouragement for places like the Victoria Centre.

SNOOKER: JIMMY WHITE is returning to the Victoria Snooker Centre in Tunbridge Wells for an exhibition evening on Friday May 25. The legend known as the ‘Whirlwind’ will take on local players – and is set to resume his rivalry with Paddock Wood prodigy Dylan Smith. He first appeared at the venue on Camden Road seven years ago, when he entertained a sell-out audience with his exciting potting style. Graham Martin, the Victoria Centre’s owner, said: “It’s with great pleasure that we welcome back the people’s champion. “Jimmy has been a popular choice to return to our club,” added Graham. “Over the years he has also become a friend of ours, always obliging with

requests that we have required.” The 56-year-old Londoner, who was awarded the MBE for his services to the sport, will be accompanied by leading referee Michaela Tabb, and walk-on girl Jade Slusarczyk. Graham explained: “The evening will consist of 10 frames against local players including Tunbridge Wells Snooker Open runner-up Matt Simpson and local 10-year-old starlet Dylan Smith. “We will also we will have a charity auction frame. So get your tickets now, this one is not to be missed.” Even though Jimmy has been playing on the professional circuit since 1981, he enjoys the opportunity to mingle with the public up close at events such as this. “It’s an absolute pleasure to play the exhibitions, a complete joy, and it’s a chance to get to meet the people,” he

‘It’s an absolute pleasure to play the exhibitions, a complete joy’ “When I was amateur, I won everything going,” he said. “In those days it was different, there were a lot of competitions every weekend. “I was talking to [world No 1] Mark Selby about it and he said he used to play every weekend. Young people like Dylan have got to play in as many tournaments as they can.” But he fears for the future of the sport because of a lack of facilities like the Tunbridge Wells club in the UK, so that the best young talents are currently coming out of the Far East. “The problem at the moment is there are no young players coming through, they are mainly from China. There’s nothing at grass roots level here.

Bronzes at the double for Rebecca and Tonbridge Grammar in nationals GYMNASTICS: TONBRIDGE Grammar School were turning cartwheels after picking up two bronze medals at the Gymnastics Acrobatic and Tumbling National Championship finals at Fenton Manor in Stoke. First on the floor to represent the school was Rebecca Ng in the Over14 tumbling competition. She executed three different sequences, showing all of her strength and power. In a very strong category, she was awarded a highly commendable bronze, placing her third in the UK out of 24 finalists.

Artistry The school’s six-strong Under-14 Group Acrobatics team then gave an excellent demonstration of timing, skill and artistry. The team consisted of Charlotte Ng, Fleur Jenkins, Madeleine Arnell, Millie Lipman, Florence Wells and Emily Murray. The margin for error was small as every detail of the sequences was scrutinised. After an outstanding performance, the group was also placed third. The Under-19 Acrobatics Pair of Eleanor Barrett and Izzy Kerslake also delivered a flawless routine

FINE BALANCE The Under-14 Group Acrobatics team show their skills

full of synchronicity with energy and finesse. The standard was extremely high, which showed in the results as they achieved the fifth highest score – just 0.1pts off third place. The final performance was by Charlotte Ng in the Under-14 Tumbling. Demonstrating her versatility, she showed the judges her repertoire including an impressive round-off double flick back somersault. She was competing against girls who were two years her senior, and gained valuable competition experience as her focus and determination saw her placed seventh and ranked 12th nationally. Julia Duncan, the school’s head of Physical Education, said: “This is another impressive set of results for our gymnasts, who all work exceptionally hard to achieve the high standards of performance they reach. “All in all, the girls were a credit to the school. Huge thanks must go firstly to our dedicated and committed coach Mrs Tania Cattoor and also to the valued and continued support of parents.”

two weeks ago at The Crucible at the age of 43. Jimmy was commentating on Eurosport - and full of admiration. “I watched every pot, it was a brilliant match. It’s great for Mark, he’s had a fantastic year, and John Higgins can hold his head high.” Jimmy has infamously never won the game’s greatest crown despite appearing in six finals, but when asked if he had any regrets about that he growled: “I’m still playing, you know.” The Whirlwind was always something of an enfant terrible in the snooker sphere, and was impressed that Williams kept his promise to conduct his press conference naked if he won. “He didn’t think he was going to win, but he’s a man of his word,” he chuckled. Had Jimmy ever done anything like that in his wild years? “I’ve done that a couple of times,” he said mischievously. Tickets cost from £25. To book, call 01892 525833 or 07748 104314 PASS ON A FEW TIPS Jimmy White with local prodigy Dylan Smith and Sky’s Jade Slusarczyk

PHOTO: Lucy Shaw

EYES ON THE PRIZE Jimmy White still loves the sport at 56

By Andy Tong

“World Snooker [the sport’s governing body] has got to put back more practice facilities for them, they are not all like Dylan who can play at the club.” However, the top of the game is in rude health. “Snooker has never been so popular and for the new professionals, the prize money has never been so good. “Now they’ve started the seniors’ tour there have been lots of players coming out of retirement. Snooker’s in the best shape it’s ever been in.” Although Jimmy has slipped down the rankings in recent years – he is now 93rd in the world – he retains his enthusiasm for the game and says he can carry on playing for years to come. “As long as the eyesight is okay and you still have the enthusiasm to practise, there’s no reason you can’t carry on winning,” he said. “It’s not like footballers and boxers, who slow down as they get older.” Mark Williams was lauded for winning the World Championship

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

Rain disrupts Kent League CRICKET: THE weekend’s cricket programme was wrecked by the wet weather, with Tunbridge Wells stumbled to 95 for 6 in their Kent League Premier Division match against Bexley at Manor Way before the contest was abandoned. After being reduced to 10 for 2, they recovered thanks to a 50-run partnership between Alex Williams (36) and Christian Davis (37). But both fell to Alex Hill, who picked up 3 for 25 before rain intervened for the final time. In Division Four Cowdrey’s new recruit Ashley Borella scored his

maiden league century for the Tonbridge side before their match at home to Catford was called off. Having been put in to bat at Swanmead, the home side reached 178 for 8 in 34 overs with Borella making 109 including 16 fours and a six. Dinujan Nesanathan was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 25. Also in Division Four, Tonbridge were bowled out for 143 in 34.1 overs by visiting Rainham, Ben Peters top-scoring with 41 at No 8 and George Mottram taking 3 for 38. In reply Rainham reached 43 for 1 before the heavens opened.

It’s a breeze: Try your hand at sailing SAILING: TONBRIDGE Town Sailing Club is offering a free trial to anyone interested in trying dinghy sailing at Haysden Country Park on Sunday [May 20]. The open day is part of the Royal Yacht Association’s [RYA] Push the Boat Out campaign nationwide and runs from 2-5pm. The event is free, with refreshments available. Kent Fire & Rescue Service will be in attendance unless they are required for an emergency. Tonbridge Town is a small, family-friendly club and an RYA Training Centre. Booking is not required, but enquiries are welcomed through their website. “We’re inviting the local

community to come down to have a go at sailing, see what our club has to offer and get involved. Who knows, you might just get hooked,” said Keith Minster, the club’s Commodore. “Sailing can be as physical or as relaxing as you want to make it: sail with others or on your own, do it competitively or potter about and just enjoy the gentle escape of being outside in the elements.” Club members will be on hand to advise on training courses, racing and social activities For more information visit www. tonbridgesailing.org or follow the club on facebook/tonbridgesailing. Details of Push the Boat Out can be found at www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo


Sport

Wednesday May 16 | 2018

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79

‘I have a huge amount of pride at what we have achieved’ Rich Smith, who has retired as press officer for Rusthall FC, recalls more than 40 years spent with his ‘beloved’ Rustics... FOOTBALL: “FROM a very early age I was taken along to watch Rusthall by my late dad, who began playing for them in the 1940s and later served as a committee man and then secretary for many years. So it was only natural that I would follow in his footsteps and enjoy a long association with the club. But I could never have imagined being involved for 40-plus years. Indeed I am only standing down now because of my health problems, although I plan to carry on watching as many games as possible in the coming years. Over the years I have seen the club change dramatically, from struggling to field two teams every Saturday on council pitches at Southwood Road to what we have today, a team playing at Step Five [in the football pyramid] alongside our noisy neighbours [Tunbridge Wells FC] from up

to under 18. But above all we have these amazing facilities here at Jockey Farm. Although my decision to retire is tinged with sadness for me, I am filled with a huge amount of pride at what we have achieved as a club. Over the years I have worked with some amazing people at the club. Derek Seal, who

GOING FORWARD Rich Smith has seen the club change dramatically

‘I have worked with some amazing people like Derek Seal and Bob Woodhams’ the road, and our reserve team playing at a level that years ago we couldn’t even dream of seeing our first team playing. Along with that we have a thriving youth set-up catering for players as young as five right through

came in as Chairman in the early 1980s and straight away got us elected to the Kent Amateur League. He then had the vision to get a pitch here at Jockey Farm. He has probably had the biggest effect on the club in my time.

Coxon snatches victory in final minute of extra time By Dean Jacquin FOOTBALL: RUSTHALL Reserves emerged triumphant from the Tunbridge Wells Senior Charity Cup final despite being taken to extra time by Southborough. The game started at a frantic pace, with the Rustics shading possession and Boro looking for the ball over the top to their lively front men. Rusthall’s Yannick Tchoundjin came closest in the early exchanges as he hit the bar with a great strike from 25 yards. However it was Boro who took the lead, shortly after Rustics centre-back Stuart Hunter had come off with a dead leg. A ball was played over the top and Boro’s Simon Hammond managed to lob keeper Jake Cornish as he came rushing out of his goal.

With half-time approaching Rusthall levelled with another route one ball that Southborough failed to clear. It fell to Arnel Maga who coolly sidefooted past the Boro keeper Brad Collins. In the second half both sides enjoyed periods of pressure and created opportunities. Rusthall veteran Nick Coxon was thwarted just before the 90 minutes elapsed by an interception.

Throws So the game headed into extra time with Boro making full use of their weapon, long throws that caused danger whenever they were in Rusthall’s half. With a penalty shootout looming, Callum Seal won a free kick near the Boro byline. The initial kick was cleared, but Rusthall recycled the ball. Craig Gallie chipped it across goal and Coxon was in the right place to head home the winner with just a minute remaining.

Thomson in the early running in East Grinstead sprint event BEASTS OF THE EAST Mark Poulton (left) and Francis Leary

By Kieran Fitzpatrick TRIATHLON: THERE were 240 competitors taking part in the East Grinstead Sprint Triathlon, and Tunbridge Wells’ Mike Thomson continued his strong early-season form.

The race featured a 400m swim in the Kings Centre pool, followed by an undulating bike course through Forest Row and Hartfield and a two-lap run through the town centre. Thomson crossed the line in 1hr 15min to finish 15th overall. His impressive performance was capped by a 19min 5km run split. Mark Poulton was second home for the Tunbridge Wells club, securing seventh place in the M50 category in a time of 1:22. Eric Perrier and Jude Hagger competed in the Balearic sunshine when they took on the demanding Ironman 70.3 Majorca. This consisted of a 1.9km sea swim, a challenging 56-mile bike course ascending the Col de Feminia and a half marathon along the beach front. Perrier raced hard from the gun, recording a strong 2:45 bike split on his way to securing a top 50 position in Age Group, crossing the line in 5:08. Hagger executed her race to perfection with a 31-minute swim and metronomic pacing on the run. She secured sixth place in Age Group in a time of 5:28, and confidence is high ahead of the forthcoming Ironman Lanzarote.

NICK OF TIME Nick Coxon heads in the late winner

PHOTO: Brendan Kemp

Rusthall Reserves 2 Southborough 1 (after extra time)

But there have been many more who have helped us achieve such great progress. Sadly Derek tragically passed away while mowing the pitch, but I am sure he will be looking down on us today and, like me, feel very proud, as would his great friend Bob Woodhams who in his time did an amazing amount of work here at Jockey Farm. I was never a great player, I just love the game. I stopped playing when we were elected to the Kent Amateur League as we needed a linesman, and I did this job for many years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I do hope, like me, you will remember the great times we have shared at this great club of ours. Although this season has been a struggle for the first team, I have still enjoyed the experience of seeing my team play at a level that previously I had only dreamed about.”


Times of Tunbridge Wells 16th May 2018  
Times of Tunbridge Wells 16th May 2018