Rusthall Life issue 46

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Produced by Langton Life Ltd | Tel: 07532 339434 | Email: Rusthall Life Distributed FREE throughout the village SeptemberOctober 2023 | Issue 46 Your Village… Your Magazine
Rusthall Club is open to members and non-members. We look forward to seeing you Draught Lagers from £3.60 • Med Glass Wine £3.60 Guinness £4.10 • Harvey’s Best Bitter £3.90 We also have a range of 7 Gins Open at 4pm Mon-Fri and 12 noon Sat & Sun the RUSTHALL open to all 01892 556 500 Live your life Rusthall Lodge, Nellington Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells. TN4 8SJ Get the support you need to live life the way you want to. Our team is dedicated to ensuring you receive the care you need while supporting your independence. @RusthallLodgeKent Y OURLOCAL COMMUNITY PU B

Rusthall Life

Erin nails national award

On a recent visit to The Beauty Box on Rusthall High Street it was lovely to meet nail technician Erin Esty, who recently won a national award at The English Nails Brows and Lashes Awards that took place in Manchester on 9th July this year. Erin won nail technician of the year award for the Southeast region, and then won overall as well. Erin told me, “I’ve been working here in Rusthall for two years, ever since Debbie bought the business, and I love it here, I love the village community. It was such an amazing thing to be in Manchester and win the award – it’s still sinking in. It was voted for by clients and I’m so grateful to them all for their support.”

Football fans waiting for first home game of the season

Fans of Rusthall Football Club were in the stand early waiting for kick-off at the first game of the season on 12th August. Rusthall played Lordswood at home at the Jockey Farm Stadium, and the result was a 1-1 draw. Pictured are Matthew Saunders, Robin Saunders, Terry Barden and Paul Goldsmith. Terry told me he played for Rusthall himself back in the 1960s. “They called me the bullet,” he says. Is he ever tempted to get back out there on the pitch, I ask? He admits that at the age of eighty-two he is happy just to watch these days. Find fixtures lists and more for Rusthall Football Club at

local happenings Contact Rusthall Life magazine! The magazine is a celebration of life in Rusthall and is published 6 times a year. It is delivered door to door to the 2000-plus houses in the village, and is available at local shops and in some surrounding villages. Please submit editorial and advertisements (pre-paid) for the next edition by 11th October 2023. Advertising: Rob Mauduit Editor: Jayne Sharratt Tel: 07532 339434 Director: Ed Langridge The publishers cannot be held responsible for the content of the editorial in this publication. Follow us on Social Media @RusthallLife Local happenings 3 Toad Fest success ....................... 4 Mark Rees 6 The centre that wraps its arms around you 8 Rusthall Scouts and Guides 10 Join Rusthall’s big clean up 12 Rusthall Village Fete 14 Useful contacts 17 Local council .......................... 18 View Rusthall Life online at Rusthall Life 3 Front cover: Chris Gurr sent us this stunning photograph of the Tarry Path that runs across Rusthall Common from Rusthall Road to Langton Road.
Supported by Rusthall Parish Council

Toad Fest success

The weekend of 12th and 13th August saw the Toad Rock Retreat’s first festival, a busy two days of live music, games for children, stalls and on the Sunday a bouncy castle. The lineup on Saturday included The Rusties, Robyn Keen, Patinas Acoustic, Vintage Vinyl DJs and Flux Capacitator, with The Jammed, Ollie Paterson and DJ Chris Elwood playing on the Sunday. The Saunders family were

picnicking near the Toad Rock on the Common, celebrating a family birthday listening to the music and enjoying the food and music. “It’s a lovely festival, everyone’s enjoying it,” they said. At craft stall Made by Belle were Bliss, Belle and Amber. Amber said, “It’s nice that this has got people together, everyone’s been so nice, we’ve sold lots and its raising money for a great charity Hospice in the Weald too.”

Cath and Megan at the Toad Rock

Landlady Cath and manager Megan were delighted with the success of The Toad Rock Festival they had organised on the weekend of 12th and 13th August. It was lovely to see them on the evening of Saturday 12th. “I’m so happy so many people are here,” Cath said. “It’s fantastic that we can raise money for Hospice in the Weald and see the pub so busy.”

local happenings 4

Mark Rees

Mark Rees, who died suddenly on July 26th, was an extraordinary and game-changing  person, who made a difference not only to life here in Rusthall, where he was born, eighty  years ago, and which was his home for his whole life, but throughout this country and mainland Europe.

Mark’s parents gave him the name Brenda at birth, but he felt always, that he was different from other girls. In the 1950s, gender dysphoria was a phrase not yet invented, let alone was the need to change one’s gender identity fully understood.

This meant the ‘Brenda-time’ of this life being full of trauma, bullying and general misery. To those of us who have got to know Mark over the years, it’s a great tribute to his bravery and determination that he was eventually able to live an active ‘Mark-life’, fully accepted by society and to give so much to the people of Rusthall.

In his working life, Mark had been a driver in the WReNS, a school laboratory assistant, a hospital technician, a taxi driver, a guide for Italian students studying in Tunbridge Wells, and latterly on the staff at the former West Kent College working with overseas students who were learning English as a second language. He studied for a degree in Education at Christ Church College Canterbury which led him to a lifelong association with Canterbury Cathedral where Mark was both a Server and a Guide.

It will be impossible to list all the good causes that Mark was involved with. Whenever there was a charity event in the village, he was there. Mark was an early local pioneer for recycling, the joint founder of the Village’s Hospice in the Weald charity shop, a Samaritan, a founder of Rusthall Going Green and the Fairtrade café. It was only a surprise to him that he became a Rusthall Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor from 1994 –97.

Mark was unsure about recent media focus on gender transitioning. He was even more dispassionate about his own role

in the beginning of a public recognition of the normality of people being able to accept and pursue the consequences their gender identities.

To help a full recognition of gender transition, Mark broadcast on Radio 4 with both Claire Rayner and Joan Bakewell (once taking her to Rusthall’s Red Lion pub for lunch) and on Woman’s Hour. He was also featured on TV including a BBC 1 News report when his application to the European Court in Strasburg considered his application for male gender recognition on his passport. This campaign was eventually marvellously successful. Probably Mark’s most outstanding contribution to the benefit of people throughout the world, gender recognition  was an important issue for Mark for many reasons. One was that he had been turned down for admission to a theological college because at that time the  Church of England did not ordain women. Later on Mark obtained a Diploma in Theology.

Another of Mark’s passions, was choral singing. He joined a number of local choirs, particularly enjoying Early English music. Even in his last few months, happily spent at Rusthall Lodge, he would spend a devoted hour, every week, watching Choral Evensong – especially if it came from Canterbury.

Mark lived with dementia for the last few years until he needed to have full time care. This he enjoyed at Rusthall Lodge, where he had warmth, regular meals and observant care both day and night. He was usually to be found in the lounge, enjoying the company of other residents and visitors, with whom he became very popular.

To sum it all up, Mark was an amazing individual, and lived a life to show us how determination and a focussed vision can prevail and flourish despite all its problems. Rusthall village owes him a lot.

local happenings 6 Rusthall Life Friendly professional dental care “At Rusthall Dental Practice we strive to offer our patients the best possible treatment and advice.” Book an appointment today... 01892 536 598 39 Meadow Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8UN ‘Follow the sun for a brighter smile’ (not fast for profit) Slow grown For organic veg delivered, call your local veg lady Sally on 01892 576991 or visit the Veg Since 1986 Revolution Leading for flavour
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The centre that wraps its arms around you

It is clear from the moment I enter the building what a special place the Pickering Cancer Centre is; calm, nurturing and safe. It has grown beyond its founder Polly Taylor’s hopes. “I thought it would be a place for buddying each other through the difficult times. I never dreamed it would turn into somewhere with therapy and activities as well.” She is clear about why she wants me to visit, and it’s not to help her raise money. “I want you to write about us so that people know we’re here. We want as many people who need us to access us as possible.”

The centre began out of a need Polly identified when she had cancer herself. “I set it up nineteen years ago, because I saw there was a missing link in cancer care for the emotional side of things,” she says. “The NHS are brilliant, and they look after people physically, but there’s a huge need for families and patients to have help with the emotional toll cancer takes.”

Everyone at the centre is a volunteer, and they are completely self-funding. “We have no wages to pay so all the money goes into the centre, which has enabled us to buy the building and a holiday home in Pevensey to give families a break. There’s also a smile fund to help people.” Some volunteers have experienced cancer themselves. “Until you’ve had cancer, nobody can understand the fear, nobody,” says Polly.

“You just feel like they’re wrapping their arms around you,” says Denise, whose daughter Maiher died of cancer in October last year. “She was my little star,” she says of her daughter, who was the mother of two young children. “She shone a light on us,” Polly agrees. “Always fighting, never giving up…her spirit didn’t. She thought of everyone else.” Denise tells me about the difference Polly made to the family. “Day or night Polly will take that call if you’re worried, she’ll talk without breaking confidentiality,” she says Denise, adding that the centre has meant everything to her family. They make sure they involve the whole family, including children, when they are working with families. “You can see how important that support is,” Polly says. “Years ago, people wouldn’t talk about cancer, but the more we talk about it the better it is.” Denise agrees. “We need honesty, but in the correct way.”

The Covid lockdowns were clearly a challenge for everyone who needed the centre. “I was working from home, and I got to the point where the youngsters were asking to see people and be hugged. I rang William Benson, the Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and asked if we could have open air meetings in Calverley Grounds and he said yes, as long as social distancing rules were kept. There was a tree there we called the hugging tree because we went behind it when people needed a hug. I would never turn a young person away who needs a hug,” Polly tells me.

There’s no limit to how long people can come to the Centre, and it’s there for whatever support people need, be that a chat, therapy, help with practical things or signposting to other services. “Sometimes it’s when they get all clear that the emotions run in. Knowing we are there is so important. It can be like a roller coaster – days of laughter and tears. Tears aren’t a weakness, they are as healing as laughter,” says Polly. Polly has been a Rusthall resident for forty-seven years, and used to be on the Rusthall Community Association before it became the Bonfire and Fete, with her friend Muriel Reeves who passed away not so long ago.

“It was all about bringing the community together. Rusthall is a very special village,” she says. “It has the greatest heart and spirit. There were some very special people back then who wanted to support everyone – no child was left out – we supported whoever. That’s why I wanted to be involved with the Langton Green and Rusthall Treasure Hunt when Lisa Coghlan asked me – I felt it had that same ethos of bringing people together from all backgrounds, leaving nobody out.”

Meeting Polly in the centre she has created, I can see why she is such a local legend. She is kind and warm but also ready to fight on behalf of those who need it; and she has an instinct for when people might need her.

You can contact the Pickering Cancer Centre by dropping in during its opening hours 10am-3pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, or phoning them on 01892 511880, or look at their website

local happenings 8 Rusthall Life
Jayne Sharratt Polly on the right, pictured with Denise, Maiher and her children, and another volunteer.
Rusthall Life 9 FREE FREE Charity FURNITURE coLLECTIONS & HOUSE CLEARANCES Turn your surplus furniture into humanitarian aid! call or whatsapp 07526159297 BOOK NOW! Rusthall Life on audio An audio version of Rusthall Life is available for anyone who has difficulty reading. It is read by Ian Cowdroy, who for many years has been working with the Kent Association for the Blind’s Talking News Service. If you have reading difficulties and would like an audio version of Rusthall Life or Langton Life please contact We professionally record each issue and email it to recipients. The Wellbeing Team at Rusthall Lodge would like to find a volunteer to play the piano for their residents. They can be flexible about times and dates and could refund any expenses incurred. Anyone who is interested should contact Marilyn at the Lodge who would be very pleased to hear from them. Her email address is activities@ Can you play the piano?

Rusthall Scouts and Guides

Scouting Group Camp

Our 2nd Royal Tunbridge Wells Scouting sections regularly go on camps, some indoors, some outdoors and sometimes in unusual places like ships, but the last time that all the sections were given the opportunity to camp together on a leader led camp was back in 2017. So it was with much anticipation that we headed off to Adamswell campsite back in June for the Task Master Camp. We were joined by young people from all of the sections Squirrel, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and of course lots of our Leadership team and some of our parent volunteers.

This camp was another great opportunity for our Young People to demonstrate peer leadership as they were split into mixed teams for the

two days and tasked with a number of challenges including;

- Den building

- Lego challenge

- Create a portrait of our Group Scout Leader

- Complete 15 mini challenges against the clock

- Pioneering challenge

- Ball challenge

On the second day, the young people also took part in a live game of Cluedo across the campsite before finding out who were the winning team of the Taskmaster challenges. We are already looking forward to the next one!

10 Rusthall Life

The first term of Squirrels

When we last wrote, we were due to start the second Drey of Squirrels (part of the Scouting family) in the Tunbridge Wells district back in April. We have now completed our first term and we could not be prouder of the Young People who make up this section.

Our Squirrels range between 4 and 5 years of age currently, although they do not leave the Drey until they are 6 years old, when they move up to the next section, Beavers, and they really have thrown themselves into all of the activities that we led each week.

We have had a busy thirteen weeks with lots of varied activities including:

• Foam Jousting

• Making their own musical instruments

• Making models out of Duplo

• Lots of crafting including making St George’s shields

• Completing a treasure hunt around the high street

• Bug hunting on the Scout allotment

• Growing their own cress heads

• Yoga

• Making their own flag using hapa zome technique (hammering flowers onto fabric)

• Exploring the Common

• Toasting marshmallows

And these are just a few of the things that we have been getting up to!

Girl guiding in Rusthall

We recently gained two enthusiastic new volunteers for Rusthall Guides –Gemma Bradley who has qualified as a new Leader with the Guide unit and Liz Mankelow who is a Unit Helper with 1st Rusthall Brownies.

We are delighted to have new volunteers in our units. We have four Units, and they all meet in the Church Centre Hall during term time.

Rainbows: aged 4 to 7 years old - Monday 4:15pm- 5:15pm

Being a Rainbow is all about having the chance to try new things and have fun. To get their hands dirty, do sports, arts, and crafts with girls their own age under the supervision of enthusiastic Leaders. They can develop self-confidence, make new friends, and gain badges on the way. This is a continuous programme that develops as they grow.

Brownies: aged 7 to 10 years old -Two Units Monday 5-30pm – 7pm, Thursday 6-00pm – 7-30pm

The programme continues at a higher level, but you do not need to have been a Rainbow first. The girls have the opportunity to learn new life skills, help to make decisions on the activities undertaken, learn to work together through fun activities and games. Badges can be gained and now we are allowed weekends away as a Unit living and working together.

Guides: aged 10 to 14years old – Friday 6pm- 7-30pm The programme progresses and is more suited for the age range. Here

If that was not enough, two of our Squirrels came along and stayed at the Family Camp over the May Bank Holidays with their older siblings who attend other sections of Scouting, along with their parents. Several came along to Group Camp for the day to join in with activities with the older sections ranging from Beavers right up to our oldest section Explorers. And the majority of the group came along to the end of term fun with Beavers and took part in an obstacle course, limbo and archery.

Each session also includes story time, and we try to link the story to the session theme as much as possible - we have definitely found out that the group love puppet books! And we usually fit in at least one fun game per session.

Each session is supported by a dedicated team of leaders, and we also have two Scouts who attend regularly as Young Leaders, offering the opportunity for the Squirrels to work alongside them using peer leadership. It has been lovely to see the relationship develop between them all.

If you are interested in signing your young person up for one of our Scouting sections, please contact rusthallscoutgroupwaitinglist@ to express your interest.

the girls are involved with planning their meetings, learning skills for life, exploring new places. Joining in with girls from other areas and countries at concerts, festivals, and camps. Continuing to gain badges on their way. They even have the chance to share their knowledge by helping with the younger groups.

Rangers: Girls 14 -18 can join a Ranger Unit and continue through their journey. At the moment our nearest unit is in Speldhurst, but if there was enough interest, we would love to re-open the Rusthall Rangers.

There are also opportunities to meet other like-minded girls at County Events, activities such as Water Fun Day at Tonbridge and when old enough the chance to travel abroad to Guiding events in other Countries.

To be able to give this opening to these girls we always need volunteers. No matter what your skills are, there is always something that can be used in our programme. If you think you are enthusiastic and would like to help, we will be delighted to have you join us there are many ways to help.

I have learnt a lot through my years involved with Guiding and it continues every week. If you are interested either visit www. or send an email for more information to:

Rusthall Life 11

A new family business in Rusthall

feeling of care you get from a family business. Starting up in 1984 was hard – they had to sell their home and move to a flat above the premises they bought in Tonbridge. I didn’t appreciate it much at the time, but now I do.”

“It’s the most rewarding thing, to be trusted by someone to look after their loved one. We never take it for granted,” says Jo Parker, the managing director of Abbey Funeral Services. “My mum always told me that we should approach every funeral as though it is for a member of our own family, and if you think of it like that you never get complacent.”

Meeting Jo at her new premises on Rusthall High Street, I was immediately struck by her warmth and sincerity. It’s easy to see why this family business has been so well thought of over its forty years of business. What brought them to Rusthall, I ask? “We have served families in Tunbridge Wells and surrounding villages for a long time and having the opportunity to offer a space to visit us that is more local than our Tonbridge office, is a lovely prospect,” Jo explains. “We have a little work to do until the office will be fully open for visitors but in the meantime are more than happy to visit families in their own home should they require our services.” Jo lives close by in Langton Green and knows what a great community Rusthall is. “Our office in Tonbridge feels like it’s part of the community and people can drop in, and we hope that people in Rusthall will feel the same way about us here once we are set up, which should be in November.”

The business was started by Jo’s parents, Jim and Chris Parker, in 1984, and since then has built up an exceptional reputation in both the community and the funeral profession. Explaining how her parents came to set up their own business, Jo tells me that her mum was a nurse and her dad worked for a family run funeral directors. “When the company was bought by the Co-op, dad realised he wanted the

Jo studied art and design and worked for a publishing company in Tunbridge Wells, before her mum persuaded her to come and work in the family business. When her parents went on holiday for a month and the manager left, Jo was on her own. “It was a real baptism of fire, I dealt with every kind of funeral you can imagine, and I found that I loved it and was good at it. I’m just so passionate about what we do. Being part of a family business is very special and it means a lot to us all. We have used the saying ‘Our family caring for your family’ from the beginning and it means as much today to all of us at Abbey, as it did the first time it was said.” Jo’s brother works for the police force and her sister is a paramedic, so there’s a real ethos of service running in their family.

The establishment of their own bereavement charity Friends

Together has meant that they can offer peer support to 200 members, with meetings on a monthly basis in different locations. “You can see a family’s journey through grief and coming out the other side – there have even been a few weddings out of the groups – you see things come full circle,” says Jo. “Grief for a loved one is a loss you can’t explain, so peer support from people who understand really helps. Just to be able to help, that’s lovely.” They hope they will be able to set up a group for Rusthall and Langton Green soon.

Jo has just finished a year as National President for their trade association SAIF – “It’s an honour because other funeral directors vote who should do it each year, and we are the only company to have had three members serve as President because mum and dad both did it too.”

Abbey offers a fully confidential, bespoke service from the full traditional funeral to a non-attended cremation and everything in between, suiting the family’s needs and budget. Abbey is a SAIF approved funeral director which mean they adhere to a strict code of conduct, have regular inspections of their premises and work within the legal requirements of the funeral profession. All staff are fully trained through the IFD college and all funeral arrangers are FCA approved to advise on pre-paid funeral plans.

New disabled parking for Rusthall Football Club

Rusthall Football Club now has disabled parking close to the gates to the ground so that football fans who are less mobile can access the ground more easily. The parking space was made possible by a donation from the Sefton family in memory of Rusthall resident Michael Sefton, and Dave Rusbridge paid for and gave up his time to do the fencing. Michael Sefton will be remembered by many as a resident of St Paul’s Court and a veteran table tennis player, of whom the English Table Tennis League said, “Mike was a great competitor, supportive team-mate and big personality within the league and all the clubs that he played for. He really loved table tennis and always did what he could to help everyone play.” He also enjoyed going to the Jockey Farm Stadium to see Rusthall play. His son Colin Sefton told me, “I started going with dad to see football matches last November, when I was visiting him one Saturday afternoon and realised going to see the football was something I could do with him. He really enjoyed coming here, it’s very friendly and welcoming and the club were very good when he died, putting a notice on their Facebook page, sending a wreath to the funeral and some members attended the funeral. We really appreciated it. We told them we

would like to donate some money in dad’s memory, and when they suggested this, it seemed apt as I would drop him at the gate and then drive to park further away.”

Pictured are Rusthall Football Club Vice-Chair Jamie Poole, Borough Councillor Jayne Sharratt, Captain Jack Smith, Simon Howe, Colin Sefton and some of Rusthall Football Club’s junior mascots in the new parking spaces.

12 Rusthall Life local happenings

Join Rusthall’s big clean up this Bonfire day

During the day of Saturday 28th October, Rusthall Bonfire and Fete Committee are joining forces with Rusthall Parish Council and Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells Commons to clean up Rusthall – think lots of litter picking teams out collecting rubbish to be collected by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, conservation work on the Common, and the building of a bonfire ready for the torchlight parade and fireworks in the evening. It should be the most fantastic day and night of community collaboration, action, and entertainment.

Rusthall needs you!

To make the biggest impact possible, we need volunteers.

• 6 team leaders for 4-hour shifts

• 50 volunteers for 2-3 hours each

Meet at St Paul’s Church Hall on the High Street from 8am on Saturday 28th October. All supplies will be provided. Children are welcome to help out as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Please do dress sensibly for the weather. Email Lisa Coghlan at lisatoes@yahoo. to put your name down as a volunteer or ask any questions you might have.

Build a bonfire

With the conservation of our Commons and clean air in mind, this year the Bonfire and Fete Committee have been working with Ranger Dan of the Commons to make a list of the materials they can accept to burn on the bonfire.

Yes please

• Dry vegetation

• Untreated wood

• Pallets clearly marked with HT (heat treated only)

No thank you

Treated wood – no old furniture, painted furniture or treated fence panels

Composite woods – mdf, chipboard and plywood

General rubbish, plastics, rubbers etc

Bonfire materials should be brought on the day only please!

local happenings
Life 13

R u s t a l V i l l a g e F e t e

The Village Fete was on 24th June this year, a little after our July issue went to print – but it was too big a success for us not to take a look back at some of the highlights in this issue. Chair of the Bonfire and Fete Committee Lisa Coghlan said, “We were thrilled to see so many people across the whole community attend the village fete and thank the fantastic stall holders entertainers and volunteers. We loved seeing The Rusties back too!”

Life local happenings


Meeting Nikita Hope

LIt was lovely to meet village resident Nikita Hope recently at Daily Bread, to talk about the Repair Café at Sunnyside Community Hall where she volunteers, and her hopes for its future development.

“I’d love it to expand into a way for people to swap things they don’t need for things they do need, but we need to work out the details of how this would work, as there is limited storage at the moment,” she says. Nikita has been keen to get involved in village life as much as she can since she moved to the village with her mum a few years ago. “I love the village, I’ve never lived anywhere where I’ve felt so included,” she says, about her motivation. The next Rusthall Repair Cafés are on 30th September and 28th October - email for more information.

Rusthall Life 15 Looking to Sell this Autumn? Then Call 01892 515188 / 01342 824824 Offices in Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & Forest Row
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Hall, Manor Road, Rusthall

Beauty Box birthday

The team at The Beauty Box recently celebrated their second birthday – and they’ve never been stronger. Owner Debbie Thompson said, “I love every day at the salon meeting the loveliest clients and working with the best team ever.”

A Play in a moment

Claqueur Impro are the Rusthall based improvision Theatre company who have been pioneering a new brand of improvised plays totally made up in the moment. In July I took my daughter along to their show at Rusthall Club to see what it was all about – and we loved it! We didn’t know what to expect, but everyone was very welcoming to us, and we loved the way the actors performed different short sketches with drama and humour –they were very funny.

Back to school

There’s a new term starting at Rusthall St Paul’s, our lovely village school. Hannah Mackintosh is a school parent and chair of the PTA, as well as being a teacher at the school, running the very popular Forest School. I asked her what she was looking forward to this academic year? “I’m looking forward to getting out to our dedicated space on Rusthall Common more, the new head teacher is very supportive of that, and working more closely with Commons Ranger Dan Colborne to find out how we can help support the biodiversity of Rusthall Common. I’ve lots of fun activities planned for the children, and now I’m in my third academic year of being a Forest School teacher I know what works really well with groups, and the children have become really familiar with the routine and ground rules. I’ve been successful in applying for free trees from the Woodland Trust so will be planting some trees in the school grounds around November time – I can’t wait to get back outdoors with the children!”

Find out more about Rusthall St Paul’s School at www.rusthall-cep. or follow them on Instagram @rusthallschool

It’s not only the audience that don’t know what play is to be presented, neither do the actors. “It feels like magic’ says director Jon Oram, “It’s like stepping out into a play that’s already happening, none of us know who we are playing until the lights come up, and we look at our partner and then we begin to discover everything”. Claqueur Impro performers group first formed 2010 following the Tunbridge Wells Community Play, The Vanishing Elephant. They have been meeting every Tuesday night at the Rusthall Club to practice their craft for the past six years. Prior to Play in the Moment they performed game shows, but “this is the most challenging and rewarding improvised theatre yet, it’s improvising without a net.” It certainly feels dangerous especially when you realise its truly made-up moment by moment on the spot. “It’s like rowing a boat, you can see where you’ve come from, but you don’t have any idea of what you are rowing into, it could be smooth water, rapids or a weir.” It’s really a shared experience with the audience who feel the sense of danger with the actors.

If you are interested in giving improvisation a go you can join the Monday group at Rusthall Club (7.30- 9pm). This is a friendly supportive and welcoming group who simply practice impro for fun. The first taster session is free, so you have nothing to lose.

If you want to catch an impro show you can see the Claqueurs at any of these upcoming shows. Plays start at 7.30 and tickets for all shows are £8 available online at 26th

For more information visit claqueimpro to sign up for workshops email

16 Rusthall Life
local happenings
The Rusthall Club, 5 St Paul’s St, Rusthall TN4 8RJ 5th Oct Even Flow Café, 79 St Johns Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9YU 28th Nov The Rusthall Club, 5 St Paul’s St, Rusthall

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Visit our showroom and browse through our library of samples. Call 07957 811 589 to book an appointment.


Rusthall Guide Group etc.

Daphne Pilcher 01892 521691

Rusthall Village Association

Sue White 01892 458695


Parish Clerk

01892 520161

Parish Chair Liz Ellicott

Parish Clerk Alison Stevens

01892 520161

Manor Road Pre-School 07972 739852

St Paul’s Church Parish Office 01892 521447

Rusthall United Reformed Church Church Secretary – Mary Nolze 01892 536727

Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons

Membership Secretary – Chris Gurr 01892 542408

The Molyneux Almshouses 07504 839548

Rusthall Football Club Jockey Farm 07897427522

Rusthall St Paul’s School 01892 520582

Rusthall Scout Group Beavers, cubs and scouts

Rusthall Medical Centre 01892 515142

St Paul’s Church Fellowship Zillah Witt 523028

Out of hours medical service 111

Emergency Services 999

Samaritans 116 123

Commons Conservators 01892 554250


(Non-emergency) 101

Rusthall Cinema Club Eugene Gardner

Rusthall Lunch Club

Mrs Ros Rodwell 01892 618538

Harmony Children’s Centre 03000 418059

Sunnyside Pre-school 07534 810779

Rusthall Library

Bonfire and Fete Committee

If you represent a community service or organisation that you would like to be listed here, please email the name of the organisation, a contact name and either telephone number or email address to

Rusthall Life 17
The Black and White Shop, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, TN3 9QH
01892 457007
all day everyday INDOOR SEATING & COVERED GARDEN Lovely Local and Fresh Food and Drink Freshly baked SOURDOUGH BREAD available Wednesday - Saturday
& Soup LITTLE ONES with a cup of bottomless squash
07891 719 001
Guitar setups, repairs, wiring and general friendly advice

News from

Community Speedwatch is a national initiative where proactive members of local communities join with the support and supervision of their local police to record details of speeding vehicles using approved detection devices.

Registered keepers of vehicles exceeding the speed limit are contacted - initially with a letter explaining the potential risks and consequences of their dangerous behaviour. Repeat offenders will receive a visit from the local police, irrespective of where they live. Beyond these friendly gestures, focused enforcement and criminal prosecution follow based on the collated evidence. Here in Rusthall we have a team of volunteers who monitor the speed of vehicles through the village.

Although the group liaise with the police, they have no jurisdiction to issue fines or tickets. All information is passed onto the Police to process. Speed checks are carried out on several different roads at different times.

If you have some spare time and would like to become a volunteer, please contact the Parish Office on 01892 510161 or email deputyclerk@

Below are some statistics for Rusthall Parish for the period from May to 31st July 2023.

Allotment BBQ & Prize Giving 2023

On Saturday 8th July we were delighted to once again hold a summer BBQ and present the allotment competion winners with their certificates and prizes.

The prizes were announced by Councillor Doug Smith, the Chairman of Allotment Committee and were presented by Councillor Liz Ellicott, Chair of Rusthall Parish Council.

The prizes awarded were as follows;

Southwood Road Allotments:

1st Prize Dermot Maxwell

2nd Prize Peter Banks

Best Newcomer John Danzey

Best Scarecrow Crossways Community

Southwood Road (Extension)

1st Prize Liz Watkinson

2nd Prize Pam Travis

Best Scarecrow John Tapp

Wickham Gardens

1st Prize Joannie Hamilton

2nd Prize David Clover

Best Newcomer Andrew Revell

Best Scarecrow Emma Sanderson

Well done and congratulations to all concerned!

Kent Fire & rescue Safety checks

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is offering free home safety checks which are well worth taking up. To find out more visit ‘Home Fire Safety visits

Thermal Imaging Surveys

Thanks to the success of last years’ surveys, we intend to do some more this autumn. If you live in the parish and haven’t had one yet but would like one, please contact or call 01892 520161

The survey will show you where your home is losing the most heat so you can take preventative action to get the cost of your utility bills down.

18 Rusthall Life local
No. of sessions 15 No. vehicles exceeding speed limit 269 No. DVLA valid vehicles 250 Accuracy 92% Max speed recorded in 20mph 40mph (=100%) Police actions taken following speed watch reports 1st record observed 145 Active enforcement 1 Awaiting processing 22 Follow up letters issued (of escalating severity) 101 Rusthall Speedwatch started in April 2019 Total no. vehicles recorded exceeding speed limit 2319 Max speed recorded 54mph (170%)
2023 9th
Diary Dates:a. Full Council Meetings
b. Allotment Committee
September 2023 c. Environment Committee 23rd October 2023
1st Prize Plot 30 Dermot Maxwell 2nd Prize Plots 17A & 17B Peter Banks Best Newcomer Plot 39B Andrew & Teo Revell
Rusthall Life 19 01892 825505 Contemporary and Traditional Services HENRY PAUL FUNERALS HENRY PAUL FUNERALS is a traditional family owned funeral directors purposely dedicated to providing distinct levels of service, choice, dignity and care to bereaved families in Pembury, Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas. 24 Hour Emergency Service ● Home Visits ● Private Chapel of Rest ● Full Fleet of Modern & Vintage Vehicles Floral Tributes ● Catering ● Memorial Masonry ● Pre-paid Funeral Plans ● Repatriation FUNERAL DIRECTORS 49-51 London Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0PB 01892 458338 HEAD OFFICE 10 High Street, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 4NY 01892 825505 FUNERAL DIRECTORS & MEMORIAL SHOWROOM 88a Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 3EG 01732 605002 8034 Henry Paul Advert 126 x 88_Layout 1 17/02/2016 10:23 Page 1 Ian Robertson B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S Offering quality comprehensive care for small animals (consultations by appointment) 24 hour emergency service 01892 511715 20 Ashley Gardens, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8TU An Executive Travel Service combining service, style, values and good manners Whether you require a car for airport transfers, business travel, an event or a special occasion, we will get you there in style. We provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week (pre-booked) service. E: T: 07714 242890 FREE LOCAL DELIVERY + Logs Kindling Smokeless House Coal Premium Coal & GreatofRangefireside products All Winter Emma Tamkin mar mafhp mcfhp • Corns & Callous • Fungal Infection • Ingrowing nails • Nail Trimming • Diabetic Foot • Reflexology • Cracked Heels • Thickened Nail • Athlete’s Foot • Foot Washing Contact Emma on 07759 476912 EMMA THE FOOT LADY Foot care in your own home… A Salon for all the Family A Salon for all the Family A Salon for all the Family We are a Goldwell unisex hair salon for the whole family providing quality professional hair care. With all the expertise of the high street but with a welcoming atmosphere and free parking. Call for an appointment or pop in 01892 520612 To advertise your service or business Contact Rob Mauduit Rusthall Life

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