Rusthall Life Issue 50

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Produced by Langton Life Ltd | Tel: 07532 339434 | Email: Distributed FREE throughout the village MayJune 2024 | Issue 50 Your Village… Your Magazine
Rusthall Club is open to members and non-members. Draught Lagers Wines Guinness Harvey’s Best Bitter We also have a range of 7 gins Open at 4pm Mon-Fri and 12 noon Sat & Sun Call us for details 01892 539996 Visit us on Facebook @ Rusthall Club - New the

Supported by Rusthall Parish Council

local happenings

A postcard for Ann Collins

When Rusthall resident Ann Collins looked through Rusthall Life last month she had a surprise when she looked at the old postcards of Rusthall Common. There were two boys in the picture of The Old Kitchen or Sweeps’ Caves, in Happy Valley – one of them was Ann’s brother Roger, and the other her cousin Frank. We went to visit her to talk about her memories of the time when the photograph was taken.

Front cover: Local hero Mark Howden taking in the view at Happy Valley, Rusthall Common.

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 June 2024.

Advertising: Rob Mauduit

Editor: Jayne Sharratt

Tel: 07532 339434

Director: Ed Langridge The

“I grew up in Rusthall,” Ann tells me. “My brother Roger and I, and my three cousins, were more or less all raised by our grandparents in St Paul’s Street in Rusthall, because our parents were busy in the war, and my mother died when I was quite young. My grandfather was a member of Rusthall Club, that’s where I learnt to dance. We were all very close as cousins, we ran loose as children and had the run of the Commons. It was beautiful – a nice childhood, until my father remarried, and we went to live in Norfolk.” Ann remembers the Kindertransport refugee children who used to live at The Beacon, and sat next to one of them, Helen Wolf. It was a pleasure to talk to Ann about her memories of Rusthall.

Looking a er a tree at the URC

The magnificent lime tree that grows on the corner of Manor Road and the High Street is a landmark of Rusthall. We at the United Reformed Church feel we are custodians of it, since its roots are firmly embedded in our land. Yet that has also caused us some concern, for its roots have dislodged the tiles on the pathway from Manor Road to the church causing potential trip hazards. Because of this, we have had to shut the “top” gate and rely solely on the “bottom” gate. We have looked at various options, but they are all really expensive and beyond our limited means, and involve cutting the tree roots which we have been told may damage the tree. So please do be patient and be willing to walk the few steps further down Manor Road to use the “bottom” gate - and enjoy the wonderful lime tree as you pass by. Rev. Helen Warmington, Rusthall United Reformed Church, Manor Road.

publishers cannot be held responsible for the content of
editorial in this publication. Follow us on Social Media @RusthallLife Local happenings 3 People power gets Toad Rock Pub back on track 7 A taste of the season at Literary Festival 11 Parish Council 12 Looking forward to a golden year 14 Useful contacts 17 Local church 18 View
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local happenings

Repair café clock repair success

Visiting the Repair Café during March, it was great to see a hive of industry as people brought broken items in for repair by the volunteers. The repair café is a not-for-profit community project where volunteers with skills including bike repairs, jewellery repairs, PAT testing, mechanical, metal working, textiles, upholstery, woodwork and furniture, share their knowledge and keep items in use and out of landfill as much as possible. On this occasion, I was lucky enough to go with clock repair expert Peter, as he returned a clock to Rusthall resident Arthur and his wife. “It was my grandfather’s clock,” Arthur told us. “I remember it from his house in Catford when we visited when I was a child.” He was really pleased to have it working again, and Peter and Eugene Gardner helped hang it on the wall in the dining room.

Can you volunteer?

The Repair Café is always happy to have new volunteers –if you think you can help please contact Eugene Gardner on The Café runs monthly on Saturdays at Sunnyside Community Hall – email for upcoming dates and details.

A Beacon girl visits

The Beacon in Rusthall was used as a hostel for Kindertransport children from just before and during the Second World War.

A former Beacon girl, German Jewish refugee Renate Pagener Livingston, has given The Amelia’s Erica Prean archive a very special gift. Renate, originally from Recklinghausen, travelled on the Kindertransport on her own from Germany to the Hook of Holland in

February 1939, just before her fifth birthday. She was met there by her uncle, who put her on the ship to England.

Renate has lived in New York State since 1946. She came with members of her family to visit The Beacon and the Amelia Scott centre. Along with Heather Stracey, Senior Collections O cer, I was privileged to interview her. Renate promised to send us the knapsack she used on her brave journey to freedom in England as a small child. Imagine our delight when it arrived, still in excellent condition.

Her time at The Beacon was marked by a very tragic event. In March 1942, her older sister Margot, aged nine, was killed by an army lorry when running across Tea Garden Lane, when the girls were together.

Renate has a family of four children and grandchildren. “I did my bit for humanity after Hitler took away most of my family.”

Renate’s knapsack will be used for education work and is a tribute to the journeys made by the Jewish refugee children who stayed at The Beacon.

Anne Goldstein

4 Rusthall Life


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People power gets Toad Rock Pub back on track

Former Landlord and Landlady of the Toad Rock Retreat Shelley and Nick are returning to reopen the popular community pub, after it closed suddenly in March.

Their return has been celebrated by local residents who are keen to get their pub back in the heart of the community. On Saturday 6th April after an appeal for help, around thirty local residents volunteered their time to clean the pub, garden and furniture, to prepare it for reopening.

“Shelley and Nick coming back has brought the life and soul to the community,” said local resident Paul Carling, when asked why he was helping. Landlady Shelley said, “Everybody is helping, it’s amazing.

Local Barney sanded the tables and bar, others have been here since 10am power washing and cleaning. We’re going to be a great pub, pure and simple. Good beer, good food and hospitality.”

Alan and Angela were working at the bar polishing the glasses. “We couldn’t say no,” said Angela, who worked for Nick and Shelley in the pub in the past.

Local John was already sat at the bar with a beer. “Denny Bottom is totally unique,” he told me. “It still has a sense of community that other places have lost.”

Suzy Phillips agreed, “We sent a note out and lots of people came, even the kids were here brushing out moss from between the stones. There have been four generations here...aged from eight to eighty.”

Annie Softley, who had been pressure washing from 10am, told me, “There are thirty-five people here – it just goes to show how much the community needs the pub. Most people have been here all day.”

When the helpers gathered outside the pub for a team photo, Shelley spoke to the crowd from her heart, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! You are amazing.”

It’s clear that the whole community of Rusthall are pleased the Toad Rock reopened on 20th April.

Jayne Sharratt

local happenings Rusthall Life 7

local happenings

Bereavement Charity seeks volunteer

Abbey Funerals began a bereavement charity so that people who are grieving can meet for a cup of tea and chat, and feel less isolated. They will soon start a regular meeting in Rusthall – anyone who would like to find out more, or who might like to volunteer, can contact the o ce at 01892 487144 or email

Making Happy Valley accessible

“After a few years in the gestation, I am writing to let you know that at the beginning of next week, given an fair wind with the weather, work will be started on resurfacing the path from the parish church of St Paul’s through Happy Valley to The Beacon,” wrote John Barber in early April.

The fundraising for a path that would be accessible to more people who would like to use the Commons, including those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters, was co-ordinated by the Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons. “The cost is around £45,000 and has been contributed by a wide range of extremely generous donors. A couple of extra benches are being provided as an ancillary to the works so that the views and the quiet can be enjoyed at leisure,” John said.

The work has been done in a sympathetic way approved by the Commons Conservators, appropriate for the Commons environment, with a view to ensuring that the path is more readily and sustainably available during all weathers.

Anne Musker, Chair of the Tunbridge Wells Access Group said, “The sense of the world nbriwith stiles and footpaths - all gone from my future and locked in the past. Then I read a piece about a wheelchair accessible route being opened in Southborough and it really lifted my spirits. So we are hugely grateful for all the e ort that has gone into this project for everyone who uses wheelseither for a short term injury or as a long term wheelchair user - and will be delighted to see all the little ones in their buggies enjoying a new route as well. We know many spirits will be lifted.”

“It will be wonderful to make the splendid views that the path provides open to more people,”

John said. “It is also clear that making the path more widely usable reinforces the need to have a safe crossing place of the Langton Road, so that the improvements can actually be enjoyed by the maximum number of people who would want to see the wonders of Happy Valley and experience the tranquillity that nature provides.”

Improvements to local footpath

A footpath used by many Rusthall school children as well as other walkers is undergoing a programme of improvements to make it feel safer and pleasanter to use.

The cut through from the end of Woodside Road in Rusthall to Coniston Avenue in the Culverden area of Tunbridge Wells is a useful shortcut for reaching schools, as well as an access point for Hurst Woods which are owned by the Woodland Trust. Although the path significantly shortens journeys and is close to local beauty spots, it can also feel unkempt and uncared for because of the gra ti on the water pumping station, the overhanging trees, lack of light, and mud on the ground. One Rusthall parent told us, “We would like our daughter to walk home from school through there, but it doesn’t feel like a safe path to walk. She takes the long way to and from school.”

Others also had concerns about the path. “It’s such a handy cut through for schools but I stopped my kids walking that way after an incident last year. Better lighting and foliage cut right back so sight lines are better would be a good place to start,” said one resident, with another adding, “I walk there too. I’ve never liked it largely because it feels dingy, unpleasant and uncared for,” said another resident.

The incident of indecent exposure at this location has not reoccurred, and while nowhere can ever be guaranteed to be completely safe, we know that Tunbridge Wells is one of the safer places to live in the country. Nevertheless, people say they avoid the route either because mud makes it inaccessible in winter, or because they don’t feel safe.

In discussion with local councillors, the Community Safety Unit at the Borough Council thought that the best way to try to make the path safer would be to increase the footfall, so that it is less isolated. That meant looking at ways to make it more accessible and feel safer and pleasanter. Firstly, the team asked Kent County Council to clear the paths of mud and leaf debris, and clear out the drains so that the path wasn’t waterlogged. Next the Borough Council’s facilities team have changed the light bulbs in the streetlamps to LED so that they will be brighter and cut back the tree foliage around them so that the path is illuminated. The next stage is a meeting with Southern Water, who own the pumping station, to see how they can play their part – the hope is that they can be connected with the Community Payback team so that this can be a regular site for improvement works.

What do you think? Have you noticed improvements in the path? Email and let us know.

8 Rusthall Life
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A taste of the season at Literary Festival

This year’s Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival will feature food themed events for the first time. On Saturday 11th May there will be events in a marquee in Calverley Grounds, including ‘A Taste of the Season – a Professional Chef session exploring local and seasonal food.’

Two of the chefs live in Rusthall. Scott Goss, head chef at The Beacon in Tea Garden Lane, is a champion of local produce, while Robin Read ran his pop-up restaurant The Counter at Daily Bread and is soon to open a permanent restaurant in the centre of town. I asked Scott what made him want to be involved with the literary festival?

“It’s the sense of community,” he tells me. “Anything that brings people together is very much at the heart of our values as a place of hospitality. I’m also never going to say no when someone asks me to do something,” he laughs. “It’s a credit to the festival organisers that they have been able to get the great lineup of chefs that they have on the lineup – we love it when we are all together.”

Scott is clearly sincere and enthusiastic in everything he does. What inspires him locally, I ask? “Right now, I’m doing lots of foraging,” he tells me. “I’m loving gathering wild garlic, sorrel, Jack in the hedge…I call myself the world’s laziest forager, because I only have to go to the Toad Rock, and it’s all there.” There is clearly an abundance of wild food right here on our doorstep if you know what you are doing, but

he does add the disclaimer, “please don’t eat foraged food unless you are certain you know what you are picking!”

“I’ve lived in Rusthall for ten years now, and it’s been a great place to raise our family. It’s just out of the hustle and bustle of town and has all the Commons and countryside for the children to explore. I love going to Daily Bread or seeing the girls at Manuels for their cakes and pastries. It’s a great area to be in. At The Beacon we’re celebrating ten years of I’ll be Mother in May – it’s been a wonderful decade, and we’d love locals to book a table and celebrate with us.”

We interviewed Robin Read at the time of his pop-up restaurant at Daily Bread. Clearly passionate about naturally sourced ingredients, artisan farmers, growers, and producers, it was also important to Robin that he sourced his ingredients as locally as possible. “The more energy we can save even in the distance food travels is the right thing to do,” he told us, clearly proud of how extremely local some of the produce was, from foraged mushrooms from the woods around Rusthall, locally picked blackberries and using apples from his own tree. He met every one of his suppliers and visited every farm, river, warehouse, or barn across the country to make sure he has the best knowledge of the produce and its maker.

Find more information on the full Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival lineup at

local happenings Rusthall Life 11
Scott Goss Robin Read Herb Robert Jack by the Hedge
that you can
Three Cornered Leek Eating wild food is at your own risk, please do not eat anything
if you
in any doubt
correctly identify

Parish Council

News from


A hot topic at the moment given the state of local roads.’Kent County Council are responsible for Highways Maintanace.’ The most e ective way to report potholes is to report them on the KCC website at Report a problem on a road or pavement - Kent County Council


PC Lisa Whitehead has recently taken over our area. PC Whitehead has already started to make herself known around the village.

There is a dedicated website where you can keep abreast of what is happening in communities around Kent and also find links to report issues. Contact-Us

Call 999 in an emergency if a crime is in progress or life is in danger.

EMC Academy

The EMC Academy, U19 Scholarship Programme, are based here at The Rackli Centre. You may have seen the students moving around the village in their sports uniforms or training down at Southwood Road Football pitches. If you have ever wondered what they are doing we are excited to be able to report on the success of the current cohort.

The Scholars are having an unforgettable season for all the right reasons!

At the time of writing, EMC Academy are still unbeaten in the Youth Development League, in the finals of the Southern Cup, and are in with a possibility of reaching the National finals as well.

The scholarship programme has had a film crew follow them this season to document the journey of these young men and the academy.

The documentary gives a real insight into the life they lead, as they undertake academic studies vs the highs and lows as they push forward in their footballing journey. The first 3 episodes are out now and can be viewed on EMC’s o cial YouTube channel.

With interest building around their current squad from professional

clubs, Academy Manager Henry Muggeridge is extremely proud of what the group have achieved so far:

“We are really excited heading into the run, with the chance of winning a possible treble. But the real success we’ve managed to achieve this season, is developing this group as players and young men; turning them into the close knit squad that they are and helping them all to achieve their full potential.”

Many of the group are already playing at step 6 or higher this season, including a couple at Rusthall FC.

As a former professional footballer, myself, I know the level these players need to reach, and I believe there are some names here people will remember for years to come.’

With four league games to go, and only two wins needed to secure the league title, EMC will be hoping to achieve the league title very soon. With a squad that is made up of nearly all first years, the sky is the limit for this exciting group of players!”

To find out more about EMC Academy and the scholarship programme, please visit their website


Phase 1 of our All Ability Garden at Southwood Road Allotments is complete with Phase 2 underway. Phase 2 will be completed later this year at which time we will be o ering the chance for residents to share the experience and cultivate the raised beds under the supervision of Crossways Community, our local charity partners. Checkout their background here: https://crosswayscommunity. Phase 1 was completed with support from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council via a UK Shared Prosperity Fund grant (Levelling Up Fund).

12 Rusthall Life
Dates for the diary 2nd May Elections for Borough Councillors and Kent’s Police Crime Commissioner 18th May Full Council / AGM - 7.30pm Rackli Centre 10th May Full Council – 7.30 – 7.30 Rackli Centre

Rusthall Life on audio

An audio version of Rusthall Life is available for anyone who has di culty 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 di culties and would like an audio version of Rusthall Life or Langton Life please contact We professionally record each issue and email it to recipients.


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Singing for fun

I really enjoyed dropping into Singing for Fun recently for a good old singalong. The lyrics are put on the screen, and old favourites from the sixties are enjoyable to join in with. Organiser Jan says, “Singing for Fun was originally thought up to help anyone with dementia but we quickly realised that it is a great group for anyone. So we are an all-inclusive fun group of all ages! We sing a wide variety of songs. Everyone is welcome. The emphasis is on fun.” The group runs on the last Tuesday of each month (excluding December) from 2-3pm in the Rusthall United Reformed Church on Manor Road. If you would like more information call Jan on 01892 529100

Changes to Rusthall Post Office

At the time of going to press it had been confirmed that the dedicated post o ce space in Rusthall One Stop on the High Street will be closed on 27th June. Many residents have been concerned about the loss of the current post o ce sta , who have a combined total years of service of over 100 years, who we understand are all taking redundancy. The One Stop will be closed for one week, and the new layout will include two Post O ce counters at the front of the shop. We are told that all the currently available post o ce services will continue to be o ered, and that One Stop sta will be trained in post o ce services. Concerns remain from locals about how the queues will be managed alongside retail space, and whether the same quality of service will be possible. Local Borough and Parish Councillors, who petitioned against the changes, have been holding One Stop and Post O ce to account over the changes and will continue to do so.

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local happenings

Looking forward to a Golden Year

The 3H Foundation is a charity which was founded in 1975 and every year helps over a thousand children and adults with disabilities to get a break away from their restrictive circumstances. To many, 3H is a lifesaver.

The charity started its life in Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells fifty years ago next year and is now based on the Langton Green and Speldhurst Road at Went Farm. Initially, they had a shop – thought to be one of the first, if not the first, charity shop in the town. Now they are a significant contributor to help those in need – physically and mentally. 3H arrange sailing holidays on masted ships; activity centre breaks; support hampers for those to enjoy at home; trips to theatres and theme parks – and for those people who are carers (did you know there are seven million carers in the UK?), pamper days are organised at hotels where they can enjoy a break to recharge their batteries. A crucial period of relief.

So, 2025 will be a very special year for us. A Golden Year. Four guests who have enjoyed time away with 3H had this to say –

Sailing holiday 2023

‘I came into it thinking it would just be a short break away from home but soon realised that it was more than just that. It was an opportunity to make good friends, learn how to work and function as a team and to develop skills that may well carry on far into the future….’ Toby.

Grant Programme

‘My little boy and I had an amazing time, it really helped our bonding. Joel actually started talking more to me and even started eating. I can’t thank you enough for your help and generosity.’ Joel’s mum


‘We just wanted to say a huge THANKS to you all at the 3H Foundation for the Challenge Box you sent. Jem loved the baking and happily participated in the gardening related activities. As a family, it has created some wonderful memories and given us the confidence to try more activities.’

Carers Hampers

‘We received the carers hamper and OMG we are blown away by your kindness and generosity. A wonderful box filled with wonderful items, which included a voucher to buy Cook meals which is such a lovely treat for us as a family.’ Hannah’s father.

We are totally self-funding and rely on Trusts, businesses and individuals for our income. The more we receive, the more people we can help. It’s as simple as that. Demand always far exceeds what we can physically supply.

If you would like to donate or become a volunteer helper, please get in touch.

The 3H Foundation. B2, Speldhurst Business Park, Langton Road. Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN3 0AQ

Registered Charity number 286306

Our Patron is Dr Karen Darke MBE –Olympic Gold and Silver paraplegic champion in hand-cycling, a geologist, an adventurer and writer! We are delighted to have the support of such an inspirational person.

Campaign to make A264 Langton Road safer

Rusthall Parish Council, Tunbridge Wells Commons Conservators and the St Paul’s Church Youth Council have united in order to pressure Kent County Council to extend the 30-mph speed limit along the A264, Langton Road, from the junction with Rusthall Road.

The campaign is a longstanding one, championed by local residents who want to cross the road in order to go to church, use the bus services, and walk in Happy Valley. At peak times some people have to wait up to five minutes to cross, and it is especially dangerous for older people, people with mobility di culties, young people and dog walkers.

We believe that reducing the speed limit from 40 to 30 mph will make it easier and safer to cross this dangerous road and also easier for motorists turning on to the road.

The road tra c survey carried out by KCC in December shows that tra c is likely to be compliant with a 30-mph speed limit along this stretch of road.

As part of our campaign, we would like to present KCC Highways with a dossier of near misses, di culties and experiences that the

local community have had at any point crossing or entering the A264. If you have anything to relate, please will you send a BRIEF account to or drop a note in to the Rackli Centre on Lower Green Road.

Councillor Liz Ellicott, Rusthall Parish Council

On behalf of TW Commons Conservators and St Paul’s Church Youth Council.

14 Rusthall Life

URC Hall, Manor Road, Rusthall

School fete fundraising for play equipment

Rusthall St Paul’s School will be holding their Spring Fair on Saturday 11th May in the school playground and meadow. There will be all the usual fun and games - refreshments, stalls, music and entertainment as well as a ra e with £100 cash prize donated by Rusthall Life magazine. All money raised will go towards enriching the village school children’s play and learning experience. The fundraising towards the new play equipment that we reported on in the last issue has been going well with generous donations made by Manuel’s bakery, The Toad Rock Pub’s Quiz, private individuals, and some grant funds on the horizon - but we still need to keep fundraising to get the project over the line. The Friends of Rusthall School o er their sincere thanks to everyone who has donated to the fundraiser.

Rusthall votes

On 2nd May there will be the biggest local elections in a generation, as all the council seats on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are up for election. Residents will be able to vote for three candidates, and there will be three councillors to represent the new ward of Rusthall and Speldhurst. Rusthall is the biggest community in the new ward, and it is hoped that there will be a high turnout to vote in order to make sure that Rusthall’s voice is heard in the new, bigger ward. There will also be a chance to vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner. The location of your polling station will be on your voting card.

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Jemma and Jay’s marathon

Well done to Rusthall locals Jemma Parris and Jay Walters, who ran the London Marathon on 21st April in aid of two charities that mean a lot to them.

“Our two families are the best of friends and do most things together anyway, so it was fantastic that we both managed to secure charity places for this year,” Jemma told me. Jemma ran in aid of Hospice in the Weald. “Sadly, in the summer of 2022 we lost two family members in the space of six weeks - my great uncle Dennis and our much-loved Nanny Barnes or Nanny Rock Cakes as our children fondly called her. As a family we could not have asked for more in terms of the care and support they and we as a family received during those di cult times from the Hospice, and so I wanted to give back to enable them to carry on doing the amazing work they do. I know many people locally will have used their services and I feel extremely blessed to have this facility on our doorstep as sadly we never know when we may need to use it,” she said.

“Having run the marathon before, I am well aware of the level of training that is involved - it is no mean feat but I am more than willing to take this on again for such a worthy cause.”

Jay ran the marathon to raise money for Asthma + Lung UK. “They’re the only UK charity that fights for everyone’s right to breathe. Every pound I’m able to raise will take us a step closer to a world where everyone has healthy lungs. In February 2023 I lost my Mum to a very rare form of Pneumonia. She was only 66, had reached a stage in her life where she was the happiest and fittest she had ever been. Mum absolutely loved her job, was a doting grandparent and was an extremely loving, supportive and proud Mum, wife and friend to so many. Running 26.2 miles will be one of the biggest challenges of my life. Using Mum’s fight and determination, I will make it to the finish line!” Jay said in the run up to the race.

Rusthall Guide Group etc. Daphne Pilcher 01892 521691

Rusthall Village Association

Sue White 01892 458695


Parish Clerk 01892 520161

ParishChair 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

Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells Commons Ranger Daniel Colborne 07860 750597

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 Police (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

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Rusthall Life 17
The Black and White Shop, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, TN3 9QH

News from St Paul’s Church

Easter Greetings to you all, and please accept my apologies for missing the last edition. A big thank you to Jayne Sharratt for all that she does in ensuring the publication of Rusthall Life.

As I write, we have just celebrated Easter, and the Parish Church was awash with beautifully arranged flowers. It was a sight to behold, and the smells of the various flowers, especially the lilies filled the building. Unfortunately, though, not everyone could enjoy the lilies due to allergies. I sympathise with them as I too su er from hay fever – but mine is really bad in May and June.

You may remember me writing about the Youth Council. Well, they’ve been doing amazingly well and actively campaigning for a better lifestyle which includes everyone being able to enjoy nature and the environment. They have been trying to keep to their motto ‘be the change you want to see’ by, among other things, advocating for a pedestrian crossing along the Langton Road (A264). Recently they prepared an area in the Parish Churchyard for two beehives. Below are a few of the photos taken on the day followed by Easter photos at the Parish Church.

As a Parish, we are preparing to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Parish church in 2025. I was looking for a posh way to describe this but realised that it would be a mouthful –‘Demisemiseptcentennial anniversary’. So, we will stick with 175th anniversary. It will be a year-long celebration and we would like the whole community to be and feel part of it. Please contact Chris Dobson via email: or telephone: 07757 680165 with your thoughts and ideas on this. Chris is also the person to speak to if you would like to be part of the 100 Club.

I can’t finish without thanking everyone involved in the Community Larder. I’m aware that aspects of it may be frustrating to some people but we are all trying to ‘do our bit for the planet and our community’ and it is worth remembering that the primary aim of the larder is to reduce food waste.

Thanks to Elaine and her team who have been serving tea and co ee to those in the queue as a sign of hospitality and welcome.

Visitors to Playtime at St Paul’s

The new parent and toddler group that runs every Wednesday from 9am-11am at Rusthall St Paul’s Church Hall on the High Street has been going from strength to strength since it was set up in January. As well as many parents, carers, babies and children, the group has had quite a few visitors. First, Ruth from Nature Makers ran a session of children’s nature-based craft that went down very well. The following week residents at a local care home, Mount Ephraim House came and had tea with the volunteers and children. The children and guests really enjoyed the inter-generational contact – it was lovely to see. More recently, in the Easter school holidays, older children were invited along too to join in the fun, and there were tabletop games

and colouring in a separate room for them. Everyone is welcome at this group if they have a child under schoolage. There is a donation request of £1 per family. The group couldn’t be the success it is without support from the community - massive thanks have to go out to Ginette and St Paul’s Church for their support, as well as the many volunteers who make the group tick. These include Nix Hope who organises art for the children, Nette who comes most weeks and organises activities for the older ones in school holidays, and all the ladies on the tea rota! We always welcome new volunteers so get in touch if this is something you would like to do. Tea and snacks are served at 10am, and there is a story and songs just before the group closes at 11am. If you would like any more information about this group please contact Jayne on 07532 339434 or Liz on 07840 837968

18 Rusthall Life local church

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